As administrators and local government officials gathered on Friday afternoon in the new dental science program building at Macomb Community College, the underlying theme was ‘help is on the way’.
The college offered a first look at its new, state-of-the-art 12,000 square foot dental clinic that will not only produce much-needed dental assistants and hygienists, but also provide preventative dental services at low cost. to the community.
The building sits at the south end of MCC’s south campus on College Park Road, just off Martin Road and west of Hayes Road in Warren. The building once housed the graphic arts and institutional research staff. The college injected $ 5.6 million into the building and program redesign and welcomed its first dental assistant students on August 23 for a 16-week program.
“Even before COVID I used to get calls from people saying ‘we need help, we need dental assistants, does anyone know any hygienists? “And now I can finally say help is on the way,” said Dr Christopher Gorecki, executive director of the Macomb Dental Society, which represents more than 500 member dentists. “Dental assistants and dental hygienists are part part of our team. ”
“Help is on the way. I am extremely proud of this statement,” said Warren Mayor Jim Fouts. “It does several things for Warren. It’s pretty cool to say we have a dental college in Warren. . But more importantly, help is on the way with regard to services. … People who normally couldn’t afford dental care are going to get it. And I think that is extremely. important.
College president James Sawyer said about two years ago that the college had considered partnering with Oakland Community College for a dental science program. But ultimately, the MCC decided that the OCC dental science base, located on its Highland Lakes campus, would not work.
“It became clear very quickly that we needed our own facility. We were to serve Macomb County. The OCC dental facility is on the Highland Lakes campus, so it’s just too far away, ”Sawyer said. “There is also a program in Wayne County, but again, for us, it’s about serving Macomb County and serving our students and our community.”
According to employment statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Studies, there is currently a significant demand for dental assistants and dental hygienists. An October 2019 search for jobs in the Detroit area spanning the past 12 months yielded 550 jobs for dental assistants and 250 for dental hygienists. A growth rate of 7% over 10 years is projected for both types of positions.
“And these are great jobs, high paying jobs, that lead to great careers,” Sawyer said.
The No Credit Dental Assistant program prepares individuals over the course of 16 weeks for an entry level position as a chair assistant in a dental office. Job responsibilities include preparing patients for dental care, sterilizing equipment, preparing instrument trays, collecting and recording patient medical and dental history and patient vital signs, development of dental x-rays for dental diagnosis, providing patients with information on dental hygiene, oral health care, dental plaque control and dental hygienist assistance. The median salary for a dental assistant is $ 35,360.
Through the two-year dental hygienist program, graduates can earn an associate’s degree in science and prepare for licensure exams. Beyond the tasks that can be performed by a dental assistant, a dental hygienist can also perform procedures such as scaling and root debridement, administration of local anesthesia, nitrous oxide sedation, fluoride topically, the application of antibiotic and antimicrobial drugs, taking impressions, developing diagnostic models, taking dental x-rays, providing dental education and nutritional counseling, and various laboratory procedures. The median salary for a licensed dental hygienist is $ 65,000.
The CMC dental hygienist program has entered the accreditation process. and its application is under review. The college is expected to receive a visit from the Commission of Dental Accreditation in January and plans to have its first dental hygienist courses in fall 2022 and to be open for patient acceptance in January 2023. The plan is to provide a wide range of services at low cost. preventative services for residents, including cleanings and x-rays, sealants for young patients, fluoride treatments, sports and night guards, bleach and bleach trays, and impressions for study models .
The facility includes a student training center, including a lab with 13 dental simulators, classrooms that can project 360 degree images from the lab and a teaching station for patients in the clinic, as well as a computer lab with 36 stations. There are 20 patient stations (operations) and several x-ray rooms, including a panoramic machine that captures the entire mouth in a single two-dimensional image of the teeth, upper and lower jaws, surrounding structures and tissues.
For more information on Macomb’s dental assisting and dental hygienist programs, call 586-286-2097 or email [email protected]