AVON PARK — Seven graduates of South Florida State College’s Dental Assisting program were honored July 17 in a traditional pinning ceremony in the SFSC University Center Auditorium. Graduates were Lavette Coleman, Temikia Jones, Patricia Lopez, Itsel Miranda, Carmen Molina, Ashley Norton and Erika Sullivan.
Keynote speaker Dr. Marc Sander, a local dentist, complimented the students on their commitment to the field of dentistry and expressed how proud he is of the graduates.
“The impact that you all can have as a dental assistant goes far beyond chair side assisting and sterilization,” Dr. Sander said. “Few professions can improve not only the physical health of patients, but can emotionally and psychologically change a patient’s life for the better. Not only will you be helping to restore a patient’s dental health, but you will be helping to give your patients new found self-confidence.”
During the ceremony, graduates accepted their dental assisting pins from Dr. Deborah Milliken, chair of SFSC’s Dental Education program. Bob Sconyers, dental education instructor, then delivered the dental assisting oath along with SFSC’s dental assisting graduates.
“Dental assisting is an exciting and ever-changing field,” Dr. Milliken said. “With all the new products and techniques coming out of dental research, it takes a well-trained assistant to be ready to adapt and prepared to work with new materials and techniques that the dentists want to use. One of our primary goals for our students is to learn how to modify proven techniques to new situations.”
“This year’s dental assisting students had a great year,” Sconyers said. “Every student in the dental assisting program passed the Orthodontic Expanded Duties Competency exam and will receive certification. Also, the prospects for employment this year are great. This is the first year that we have more jobs being offered than students to take them.”
SFSC offers an 11-month occupational certificate program in dental assisting. Upon completing the Dental Assisting program, graduates can become Certified Dental Assistants by passing the Dental Assisting National Board exam and qualify for Expanded Functions Dental Assisting Certification as well as Orthodontic Assistant Certification. SFSC also offers a two-year Associate in Science degree program in dental hygiene. Upon completing this program, graduates become dental hygienists by passing the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and the Florida State Clinical Licensure Examination.
For program entry requirements, visit www.southflorida.edu/academic/apsci/dental/ or call 784-7131.