"October is National Dental Hygiene Month," says Kathy Schlotthauer, director of HACC's dental hygiene program and assistant professor. "It's a good opportunity to let people know about the exceptional dental hygiene services that are available here at HACC at a lower cost. These services have been benefiting people of our region for the last ten years."
As with most jobs in health care, there is a high demand for dental hygienists. Graduates from the dental hygiene program at HACC have a 100% placement rate. The average starting rate in southcentral Pennsylvania for a dental hygienist is $22 per hour. Graduates from HACC can work as dental hygienists, dental assistants, or in expanded function dental auxiliaries (place dental restorations).
Some of the highlights of the open house include:
- Students presenting "table clinics" that offer information to the consumer about smoking cessation, mouthguards, and tooth whitening
- Oral cancer screenings performed by the students and past graduates
- Information sessions for the dental hygiene, dental assisting, and expanded function dental auxiliaries
- Tours of the clinic facilities
- Oral health products
Students and staff at HACC's Dental Hygiene Clinic provide many services to the community, including low-cost care for uninsured patients, handicap accessible facilities, Medical Assistance approved dental hygiene services, construction of mouthguards to prevent sports injuries, and services to special needs populations living in group homes. Students travel to retirement homes to offer residents basic dental hygiene services, and visit schools, childcare facilities, and community groups to promote correct oral hygiene care techniques. HACC students can be seen providing dental hygiene services to patients at the dental clinic of Carlisle Hospital and Health Services, the dental clinic at Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg, and the Dental Check-up Center on Hanover Street in Harrisburg. In addition, students visit schools and child care facilities to promote correct dental hygiene techniques.
For more information about the Dental Clinic Open House, readers may contact the Harrisburg Area Community College at (717) 780-2441 or 1-800-ABC-HACC, ext. 2441.