Dental Assisting students enjoy high-tech training off-campus
Mid-way through their Dental Assisting certificate program, Temecula Dental Assisting students are invited by Pacific Dental Services (PDS) to test drive an expensive and sophisticated piece of equipment essential to a specialty career in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. The CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) unit, located at the PDS Corona training center, uses computer systems to design and fabricate esthetic dental products such as crowns and bridges to restore teeth.
“Prosthodontics is a specialty area that replaces or builds up tooth structure, and this hands-on experience lets our students know how to work the units that they’ll see in their private offices,” says Cindy Ovard, Dental Assisting Program Director, SJVC Temecula. “Pacific Dental Services gives us the opportunity to learn how to use and operate this equipment that is so much used in the industry now, and the state requires that Dental Assistants have this training during their education program.”
The equipment includes an intra-oral camera that takes pictures inside the mouth and sends them digitally to a computer screen. A second computer system is then used to digitally form the perfectly compatible crown or bridge.
“I felt that the CAD/CAM field trip training was super informative and fun,” says Dental Assisting student Madelyn Dietz. “Our host, Rose, (PDS representative) was enthusiastic in every detail of her explanations.”
SJVC’s Dental Assisting program has always emphasized experiential – or hands-on – training for its students. “Compared to books, videos or verbal explanations, nothing is like actually performing an exercise on the exact unit they’ll find in their offices,” says Ovard.
“The training at Pacific Dental Services was great, very helpful and very informative,” says Dental Assisting student Kathy Sanchez-Ochoa.
Pacific Dental Services is a large corporation with many dental offices and employees, which makes it an important extern site for Temecula’s Dental Assisting students. “Quite a few of our Dental Assisting students are placed in their offices for externship and are often hired after graduation, in part because they already know how to use the CAD/CAM unit,” says Ovard.
“The workshop went really good,” says Rosalinda Olague, Pacific Dental Services trainer. “The group (SJVC Dental Assisting students) was very interactive and talkative. Great group of Dental Assistants; I am excited to see them in our offices and get them hired.”
Two PDS representatives, Samantha Hansen and Rosalinda Olague, are SJVC Advisory Board members and contribute dental industry knowledge and experience toward the campus’ Dental Assisting program’s constant growth and development.
Strong partnerships with business and industry within local communities ensure that SJVC graduates have viable professional resources throughout their careers.
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