Bulletin of Dental Education

Salt Lake Community College Dental Hygiene—Busy as Ever

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Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) dental hygiene students continue to shine in the community through service and SLCC marketing events. The program’s AmeriCorps membership also enhances the students’ community service experiences.

This fall, all SLCC dental hygiene students participated in the Utah Dental Hygienists’ Association annual session, where students attended continuing education courses and interacted with oral health care vendors, exhibitors and dental hygiene professionals. This experience elevated students’ awareness, motivation and commitment toward their chosen profession.

Utah Give Kids a Smile Event

Each year, the dental hygiene students look forward to assisting with the treatments provided to children at the Utah Give Kids a Smile event. This event takes place at the University of Utah School of Dentistry (U of U SOD), which affords the SLCC dental hygiene students an opportunity to collaborate with dental students.

First-year dental hygiene students have also been busy volunteering at elementary and middle school back-to-school nights. During these community events, SLCC students help schoolchildren learn about the dental hygiene profession as well as provide them and their families with oral health education and proper oral hygiene instruction. Additionally, the first-year students’ involvement with the Midvale Health Fair this fall gave attendees opportunities for dental screenings and fluoride varnish applications. The students will also be giving oral health education presentations to elementary school students at the YMCA Fall Festival.

Second-year dental hygiene students are continuing their clinical practice at the SLCC Dental Hygiene Clinic on the Jordan Campus. The students also participate in rotations at the VA Dental Clinic, at the U of U SOD Greenwood Health Center Dental Clinic and through a collaboration project with the Utah Dental Hygienists’ Association and Utah Senior Care Charity Foundation. The collaboration project serves the dental needs of residents of long-term care facilities, as students and registered dental hygienists work together to provide comprehensive dental care to the residents of up to 10 local certified nursing homes. 


Second-year dental hygiene students
provide care at community clinics. 

Second-year students also provide free dental hygiene services to adults and children from the Utah refugee populations. For instance, students devote an entire day to providing oral health education in conjunction with preventive dental hygiene services, including periodontal treatment, oral exams, dental prophylaxis for children and adults, sealants and fluoride treatments. This has proven to be a beneficial and rewarding experience for all involved. For their next service project, SLCC students will assist with the dental care provided at the Utah Family Dental Clinic.

Recently, the SLCC Dental Hygiene Department demonstrated its support of the Salt Lake Community College CTE Pathways event, with 75% of the department’s faculty and more than a dozen students providing information about the SLCC School of Health Sciences and the dental hygiene program to high school teachers, counselors, administrators, students and parents. The program was a fun and dynamic event that reached thousands of attendees—another successful day of service for the SLCC Dental Hygiene Department.

Courtesy of Renee Mendenhall, RDH, M.B.A. and Sandra Wilkie RDH, M.S., Salt Lake Community College

Publishedon October 11, 2017


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