Dental students offer free services

The Dental Hygiene Program is now offering free services to patients.

The clinic offers its services to the students and community at no charge. These services include blood pressure screenings, oral cancer screenings, fluoride treatments, selective polishing and dental sealants. Treatments are not a replacement from seeing a licensed dentist and do not include a dental examination to determine dental problems. 

“This program allows for our students to get the hands-on training they need. We want to get these students ready for the real world,” said Eva Sepulveda, director of the Dental Hygiene Program. 

The degree is a two-year program that runs from August to May each year. Along with classroom lectures, dental hygiene students get to practice on one another and treat real patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

The program accredited and requires each student in to complete clinical hours. The number of hours needed for each student is the reason patient treatments are provided by the clinic.

“I no longer have dental insurance and have not been able to see a dentist regularly in over a year. Being able to have the opportunity to get these dental services free of charge takes a huge weight off of myself and my family” said Bobby Rosser, a Del Mar College student who is in the application process. 

A 30-minute screening of each potential patient is done to see what type of cleaning is needed and to make sure the patient meets the health requirements for treatment. 

Applying for treatment from the clinic does not mean automatic acceptance. Once the final patients are selected a student hygienist will be assigned to each case and will contact each patient to schedule appointments. 

“The program is doing well and has been for years,” Sepulveda said. “Our 100th year of running the program is this year and we are planning a huge celebration.”

For more information about the clinic and how to qualify, visit Room 125 on the first floor of the Health Science building on the West Campus or call the patient care assistant, Amanda Canales, at 361-698-2854. 

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