Jaclyn Irvin Named Student Liaison to PA Dental Hygiene Association

Freshman Dental Hygiene student Jacelyn Irvin. Photo by Matt Carlin

by Kayleigh DiGiacomo, Liberal Studies

Jaclyn Irvin, an ambitious first year Dental Hygiene student and resident of Lansdale, had quite a rewarding semester. On top of her rigorous, yet rewarding, workload in MCCC’s Dental Hygiene program, she has added the position of 2011-2012 Student Member Liaison to the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association (PDHA) to her resume.

“I love this career path and am very excited to represent fellow DH students,” said Irvin, who was elected to the position during November’s PDHA student meeting.

As Student Member Liaison, Irvin’s responsibilities include attending two Board of Trustees meetings in Harrisburg, sending reports of the meetings to other DH programs in Pennsylvania, managing the Student House, attending conferences on various DH issues, and organizing the PDHA students’ annual meeting in Lancaster.

Irvin anticipates that this position will keep her informed on prevalent issues in the Dental Hygiene field; she looks forward to bringing “current DH issues to [her] fellow classmates.”

Irvin believes that this position will enhance her education and experience at the College

“As PDHA student liaison, I hope to meet different people throughout the state. I can stay up to date on current issues in the dental hygiene field. Hopefully holding this position will give me the opportunity to network and help me in the future,” she said.

Before coming to the College, Irvin attended East Stroudsburg University, hoping to get her degree in Education. However, after rethinking her major and consulting with family members in the dental hygiene field, she decided to apply to the College’s DH program.

This program, which only accepts 21 students per year, caught her attention because of its reputation as providing an “excellent education.” Irvin expresses that, although the course work is difficult and time consuming, she has learned a great deal in her first semester.

Due to the program’s demanding coursework, Irvin does not have much free time to participate in extracurricular activities. However, when she is not working as a waitress at Bertucci’s or busy with school assignments, Irvine enjoys spending time with friends and reading.

As for her future plans, Ivrin hopes to find a job in a private practice, and, eventually, she would like to further her education to explore other dental hygiene related fields.

College, PA Dental Hygienists’ Association Co-Sponsor ‘Sealant Saturday’

Montgomery County Community College and the Pennsylvania Dental Hygiene Association will co-sponsor “Sealant Saturday: A Children’s Dental Sealant Program” on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for children ages 6-14.

A dental sealant is a clear, preventive coating placed on permanent back teeth in order to prevent decay. During the sealant program, free oral exams and sealant placements will be performed by licensed dental hygienists in consultation with licensed dentists. Auxiliary support services will be provided by the College’s Dental Hygiene students.

The College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic is located in Science Center room 211 at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Space is limited, and examinations are by appointment only on a first come, first served basis. For information and appointments, call 215-641-6483.

Dental Hygiene Students Take 1st Place in State Competition

by Kayleigh Digiacomo, Liberal Studies

As part of Montgomery County Community College’s Theory and Practice of Dental Hygiene III course, second-year Dental Hygiene (DH) students went to Lancaster to participate in the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association (PDHA) table clinic competition on Nov. 14. After four months of research, writing, and preparing, Rebecca McKendrick, Malinda Henderson, Ashley Valco, and Kimberly Frederick’s hard work paid off; paired in groups of two, both teams brought home first place prizes for their projects.

Judged on the prevalence of the topic (among other criteria), Henderson and McKendrick decided to explore “The Oral Manifestations Post-Gastric Bypass Surgery.” McKendrick explained that the medical world is increasingly witnessing patients in need of gastric bypass surgery, which could have oral repercussions. She explained that Dental Hygienists “need to know how to comprehensively treat these patients.”

Valco and Frederick researched the effects of hookah smoking on dental hygiene. Valco relays that “the negative effects can be worse than cigarette smoking, and this information needs to be shared.”

Jenny Sheaffer, the College’s DH program director, said that the PDHA table clinic competition is a great supplement to the students’ education in that it gives the students “an area of expertise” that will “enhance their confidence in making oral presentations to fellow colleagues in their profession.”

Both McKendrick and Valco agree that the PDHA competition was an extremely informative and rewarding project. “Dental Hygiene isn’t just about cleaning teeth… it is a lifetime of research and teaching, which is exactly what the table clinic was all about,” said Valco.

The four students have been invited to compete at the national level at the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) conference in Phoenix, Ariz. this summer.

As McKendrick and Valco wrap up their last year in the College’s DH program, they reflect on their experiences. McKendrick, who hopes to some day teach dental hygiene, chose the College’s DH program because of its reputation as being the “best and most competitive dental hygiene school in the area.” She wasn’t disappointed,

“The dental hygiene program is rigorous academically and also clinically… I feel we are as prepared as we can be when graduating from this program,” she said.

McKendrick notes that the College only accepts 21 students into its DH program per year, so the program is full of “students who are constantly striving to excel.”

“This is part of what makes this program so successful…the other part is the faculty. We are fortunate to have the most incredible, knowledgeable, and caring faculty,” she said.

The College’s DH program is very community centered; MCCC and PDHA co-sponsor Sealant Saturday in the clinic on campus, the students volunteer at CVIM (Community Volunteers in Medicine in West Chester), and they give presentations within the community on the “importance of dental health and its affects on overall health.”

Valco goes on to say that the College’s DH community projects have greatly prepared her for her future endeavors. This summer, she is going to the Dominican Republic for a Dental Missions Trip and is contemplating pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public health.

Rebecca McKendrick, Malinda Henderson, Ashley Valco, and Kimberly Frederick. Photo by Matt Carlin