AC offers free dental services; dental clinic brings bright smiles, bright futures

dental

By Austin Ashby, Staff Reporter ¦

Amarillo College’s students and the community at large have a resource available to them that most do not know about — the West Campus Dental Clinic.

“The services we offer are all preventative,” Rachel Rubalcaba, dental clinic office coordinator, said. “X-rays, dental cleanings, sealants. We do have doctors on staff that do exams for the patients.”

Rubalcaba said they also do an initial screening at $35 for the general public but AC students can have that initial fee waived. Students can get discounts for some of the other services offered as well.

“We do intake and the exam and determine which kind of cleaning each patient needs,” Rubalcaba said, noting that if they only do one cleaning, there is not an additional charge.

The clinic is usually staffed by a class of 28 students. The dental students are advised in groups by an instructor for the patient’s cleaning and x-rays. Each instructor is assigned anywhere from three to five students.

“I help train them on how to use their equipment, techniques to effectively clean their patients’ teeth and take vital signs,” Monica Cryer, an adjunct dental hygiene instructor, said

The dental students have numerous chances to practice their skills in a variety of settings, including visiting the prison with Dr. Henderson, a dentist who helps at the clinic. Prison visits are done on a volunteer basis.

Running the dental clinic requires staff members to fill multiple roles.

“I’m a lot of things,” Krista Lutonsky, adjunct dental instructor, said. “I teach pre-clinic, Clinic I and I actually take students to the VA.”

Students wishing to learn more about dental services can call 806-654-6050 or visit www.actx.edu/dental_hy/clinic.

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