Bulletin of Dental Education

Dr. Elmer E. González Honored for Career in Dental Hygiene

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Elmer GonzalezElmer E. González, Ph.D., M.B.A., RDH, Program Director of New Mexico State University-Dona Ana Community College dental hygiene program, has been awarded a 2021 Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction. Dr. González has focused his career in academia on teaching dental hygiene students at University of New Mexico for seven years and at New Mexico State University–Doña Ana Community College since 2016.

While educating future dental hygienists is rewarding in and of itself, Dr. González’s accomplishments extend far beyond the classroom. His students are taught the importance of oral health promotion and disease prevention, and they are sent out into the real world to apply their newly acquired skills in underserved communities in southern Doña Ana County, New Mexico, close to the United States-Mexico border.

Dr. González developed and implemented several dental hygiene programs targeting different communities with the goal of improving oral health, reducing oral disease risk factors (such as smoking or vaping and poor nutrition), lack of access to oral health care, lack of access to oral hygiene education and the need to incorporate oral health early in the development of children. These outreach programs have included a middle-school based clinic, a clinic that serves children from homeless families and an oral health program to train caregivers and desensitize the caregivers of their fears of performing oral hygiene on their clients. His greatest satisfaction comes from providing future hygienists with the skills necessary to make a difference in the oral health and lives of others. 

Published on Nov. 10, 2021

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