By Samuel Smith
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The dental assistant and dental hygiene programs at the Camden County College Blackwood campus are the places to start your journey toward helping people obtain and maintain a healthy smile, a recent information session told prospective students.
If you are looking for a career the economy has not taken a toll on, you are people oriented and ready for a new start or to advance your skills, then think about becoming a dental assistant, said Program Director Roxane Terranova at an orientation/information session Dec. 2 in Halpern Hall. Terranova told the 30 prospective students in attendance this is not just a job but a career in the medical field.
Among the responsibilities of a dental assistant are support work, pulling records, preparing the tray and sterilizing tools. The program at Camden County College provides students with the knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal skills and values that will qualify graduates for a career in dental assisting, according to the outline given to each attendee at the information session. Graduates will also qualify for national certification and state registration without a two-year work experience requirement.
During the session, Terranova pointed out those who desire to further themselves in this medical field may do so. The possibility of taking X-rays and assisting in making bridges are within the reach of those who obtain the needed certification. The assistant has the opportunity to work in the business side of this profession by doing patient and insurance billing and dealing with insurance companies.
The program has three basic goals, according to the outline given to the attendees:
- To provide a college level dental assisting education that will prepare the student to function effectively as a dental assistant in various settings.
- To maintain a dynamic dental assisting education that recognizes the complexity of a scientific and technologically oriented society.
- To provide the student with the skills and knowledge necessary to attain certification, registration and licensure mandated for dental assistants.
Terranova told the attendees that Camden County College is at the forefront of dental assistant training. The students will have training and learn hands on how to do digital scanning and use 3-D printers. Terranova said the typical dental assistant student is a middle class woman in her early 20s but there has been a recent upsurge in men entering the field.
Along with the program, the college has a fully operational dental hygiene clinic. The fees are inexpensive and the clinic is open to the public. A cleaning is only $6, which is far less than most insurance co-pays. They perform other services that range from free nutritional counseling to X-rays with a prescription from a dentist. You can contact the clinic by calling 856-374-4930 or going to camdencc.edu and searching for Dental Clinic.