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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

First Term Dental Assistant Students Volunteer

June 1, 2012

Visalia Dental Assisting students“First-term students” usually means nervousness, unease, and hopefully a slow and gentle start for a program – but not for SJVC Visalia’s Dental Assisting students.

Four students and their instructor helped to provide dental care to needy California residents, jumping right into to their field and getting a big picture experience in the process.

“I wanted to ‘wake up’ the compassion in [the students’] hearts and offer them a chance to dive right into the dental field,” said instructor Cynthia Flores.

The students partnered with the California Dental Association (CDA) Foundation, a state-wide organization that works to provide needy California residents quality dental care through free dental clinics. Students assisted with all aspects of the Modesto clinic, escorting patients between stations, printing x-rays and working in the numbing area.

“I know if something is sponsored by the CDA, it will be well organized and well attended,” said Flores.  “Helping those in need is something they won’t forget…they came back with even more interest in dentistry – you could hear the excitement in their voices.”

The students were both nervous and excited going in to the event as first term Dental Assistants.

“I’m glad I did it and can say I was a part of something so important,” said student Danielle Tingler. “Seeing all the patients happy because they were getting something they needed for so long was very rewarding.”

Fellow student Patricia Botella agreed: “My favorite part of the day was helping people – and to see those people look at me and say ‘thank you for volunteering.'”

Tingler recommends the experience to other Dental Assistant students as well. “You meet a lot of people, maybe even some you could work for. I can’t wait for the next one!”

To find about more about the CDA Foundation’s free clinics and ways to get involved, visit their website at

Great job, SJVC Visalia!

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