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CCBC’s Dental Health Programs Paying Off for Students and the Community

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CCBC Logo 100wSince the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) School of Health Professions opened its state-of-the-art Dental Arts Center at CCBC Dundalk, MD, in 2008, the college’s dental hygiene clinic has recorded more than 18,000 patient visits. A service of the CCBC Dental Hygiene program, the clinic offers preventive dental services to people across the state of Maryland at significant savings over general dental fees, with discounted rates for CCBC students and alumni, senior citizens and the general public. In fact, from spring 2009 through spring 2016, CCBC estimates that clinic patient fees, compared with those charged by general dental practitioners, saved patients $5.8 million.

Photo credit: Clark Vandergrift Photography

According to Shawn McNamara, Ed.D., M.S.N., RN, Academic Dean of Instruction for the CCBC School of Health Professions, “The clinic records more than 2,500 patient visits annually. While some of these visits are generated by our dental hygiene students, who must provide patients for their clinical experiences, others come to us via personal referral, promotion, and community outreach.” 

Dental hygiene students see the benefits, too. “It is a great feeling to have someone give you a hug at the end of an appointment and say it was the best dental experience he or she ever had,” notes student Jordyn Burgess. Melissa Stemple, also a dental hygiene student, adds, “Our dental hygiene clinic is an exceptional value to the community. Many people go without preventive dental care due to a lack of insurance. Our clinic offers thorough care and valuable patient education at an extremely low cost.”

“The hardest barrier for us to overcome has been the misconception that we provide dental hygiene preventive services only to residents of Dundalk or eastern Baltimore County,” notes Dr. McNamara. “In fact, our education program, as well as our clinic services, are offered statewide. And we work closely with the health department and general dentists in the area to make sure our patients receive the level of care necessary for maintaining good oral health,” he explains.

In addition to its dental hygiene program, which is currently available only at CCBC Dundalk, for years the CCBC Continuing Education has offered classes leading to a Dental Assistant Certificate. Dental assistant classes currently are held at CCBC Dundalk, and will expand to CCBC Randallstown at Liberty Center in November 2016. 

Photo credit: Clark Vandergrift Photography

These locations—on both the east and west sides of Baltimore County—are intended to broaden enrollment into this entry-level program. Steve Jurch, ATC, LMT, Director of Health and Human Services, adds, “This new dedicated space at CCBC Randallstown will allow for expanded course offerings during the day and help meet the needs of community and this growing profession.”

While the Dental Assistant Certificate program can be completed in 16 to 20 weeks, the Associate of Applied Arts in Dental Hygiene is a two-year credit program that includes a summer session. This full-time program, which prepares students for licensure as dental hygienists, requires admission through CCBC Selective Admissions. 

Courtesy of Jacquelyn S. Lucy, Media Relations Coordinator, Community College of Baltimore County

Published on October 12, 2016.

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