Parkland College’s Dental Hygiene Program recently hosted its third annual “Day of Healthy Smiles.” There were plenty of smiles gained from that day, and not just from the patients.
More than 100 volunteers participated in the April 11th event, including dentists, oral surgeons, assistants, SmileHealthy staff, Ragle Dental Labs and Orthotechnologies, and Parkland Dental Hygiene, Surgical Technology, and Nursing program students, graduates, and faculty. One hundred and seven patients received free treatment of extractions, oral surgery, and fillings, and 15 patients received appliances to replace teeth.
Comments from our students confirm the impact this day of service has on their professional growth:
“The clinic day made me feel like I changed someone’s life,” Lauren Hea said. “That’s a big deal, to help people love themselves more and to gain confidence. It gave me the most indescribable feeling of happiness.”
“Today was a blast; everyone did such a wonderful job,” Ashton Rothweil said. “I never wanted it to end! But it really just reassured me that I went into the right profession. I’m so in love and cannot wait to get out there. Everyone I met was so inspiring!”
Lindsay Salinas called the clinic day a “once in a lifetime thing that I won’t ever be able to do again!
“I’m so glad to be a part of clinic day the past two years I’ve been at Parkland and to see how much patients are truly grateful!” Salinas said. “It was priceless and makes the entire day and all the planning worth it! It’s exciting to help be the reason someone is smiling again!”
The Parkland College Dental Hygiene Program is proud of the extra effort faculty, students, and the administrative assistant in the dental hygiene clinic give to prepare for and participate in this day.
[Peg Boyce is director of the Dental Hygiene Program at Parkland College.]