A Close Look at RCTC’s Dental Hygiene Program
Nobody likes fuzzy, grimy, dirty teeth. What everyone wants is simple: sparkling pearly whites! RCTC’s Dental Hygiene program is helping students perfect their skills cleaning, flossing, and much more, so they can one day ensure teeth are healthy and beautiful. Doing that requires the students to work in a lab full of pertinent equipment, and even a full clinic where they are able to provide a number of services to the community (and gather hours of clinical work needed for graduation). These eventually licensed oral health pros are put through the ringer on the way to graduation – but students don’t seem to mind. At the end of the day, they just want to work hard to perfect your smile. Below are some things you may not know about the program.
First-year students get to participate in dental services, and are present while second-year students perform tasks like dental sealants. Different colored scrubs identify who is a first- or second-year student.
Anyone is able to visit the clinic for dental hygiene services at a low cost. The clinic also accepts insurance, making it a good way for the public to not only get oral care, but to help students sharpen their skills.
Students practice in a real-world setting, allowing them to get familiar with the proper tools of the trade, making them more than ready for the job before they leave RCTC. They even take X-rays, prompting our photographer to step out of the clinic more than once.
Chairs and items like X-ray machines are donated by local businesses, showing great community support for the program.
The child (above in the first photo) was one of many able to come to the clinic during the Give Kids a Smile event. “In the end, it’s rewarding. We helped 24 kids that wouldn’t otherwise have had access to care, or the money for it,” says RCTC Dental Hygiene program graduate Hilary Bottema (not pictured, and currently working in the field).