Free dental care eases toothaches

Illustration by EMILY PRESTWOOD | The Ranger

At a time when health care is a concern not only to college students but to much of the country, Amarillo College offers an advantage to students, faculty and staff: free preventive care at the dental clinic. It is one of many resources available to students attending AC.

The dental clinic, accredited by the American Dental Association, has been in operation for more than 30 years. It is a place for students to learn a rewarding profession while offering a valuable service to fellow students as well as to AC faculty and staff. The public also is welcome to use the clinic for a fee of $30.

“The clinic provides preventive care to its patients,” said Donna Cleere, dental hygiene program chairwoman. Services include teeth cleaning, X-rays, blood pressure screening and oral cancer screening.

For young children, the clinic provides a sealant, a plastic coating that helps prevent cavities. The service costs $5 per tooth for anyone.

“The high quality of the dental hygiene program can be attributed to the dedication of the faculty and staff,” said Jnita Collins, an assistant professor in the dental hygiene department. Collins said getting to know her students is one key part of the success of the program.

Madison Chaney, a dental hygiene major, holds a similar philosophy.

“I have always wanted to help people,” she said. “And the most important part of my chosen profession will be my relationship with my patients.”

Before dental clinic students start working on patients, they are required to go through rigorous pre-clinic training in which they learn about the various instruments they will use and practice the proper way to use them.

In addition to the dental clinic, other AC resources available to students include Adult Student Services, which offers child care, transportation, textbooks and tuition scholarships.

For more information, call the Washington Street Campus at 806-371-5449, the West Campus at 806-354-6007 or the Moore County Campus at 806-934-7220.

Another resource for students struggling with a class is free tutoring. To learn more about the tutoring program, call Charlotte Goebel at 806-371-5432.

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Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images.
Photos by DARLA FISH | The Ranger


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