GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s Paul B. Hanks Dental Clinic recently revamped its prices, and now offers quality preventive dental care at an even lower cost to patients.

Beginning May 19, all exams, X-rays and preventive services (like cleaning, sealants, fluoride, etc.) will be offered for one flat $28 fee, rather than individual charges for services.

In addition to offering members of the community affordable dental hygiene care, regardless of insurance, the clinic also gives Lewis and Clark Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene students the opportunity to gain real world experience as a part of their education and training.

“The faculty and staff at the clinic include licensed dentists and dental hygienists, and certified dental assistants. All treatment provided by students is closely evaluated by the faculty. The student to faculty ratio is extremely low, making an exceptional learning environment for students,” said Dental Hygiene Coordinator Michelle Singley.

Lewis and Clark’s Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs are designed in a unique 1+1 curriculum. Dental Assisting students graduate from that program with a Certificate of Proficiency after two full-time semesters and take the Dental Assisting National Board exam to become Certified Dental Assistants. Students can stop after that program and jump right into their field, or choose to apply into the second phase of the curriculum, the Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene. The AAS degree is an additional five semesters, or one and a half calendar years.

The Dental Assisting program started in the fall of 1972, and has been an American Dental Association accredited program since that time. That program was revised in 1994 and the Dental Hygiene phase was added in 1995. Both programs boast excellent accreditation reports, as well as success on national board exams.

After graduation, Dental Hygiene students typically seek positions in local or regional private practice dental or dental specialty offices. Some graduates go on to pursue undergraduate degrees.

“Excellence flourishes among the instructors in both programs, and the faculty pride themselves in their commitment to lifelong learning,” said Dental Assisting Coordinator Chris Hallstead. “Just this May, two faculty will complete their graduate degrees in education, and one completed a specialty certificate in online learning.”

In recent years, two college teaching award nominations were given to faculty in the programs: Michelle Singley, RDH, EdM, with the Illinois Community College Trustees Association Teaching Award in 2008, and Vicki Snell, CDA, RDH, EdM, with the Emerson Teaching in Excellence Award in 2013.

The Paul B. Hanks Dental Clinic is connected to the George C. Terry River Bend Arena on the college’s Godfrey campus. Appointments are available Monday through Thursday this summer by calling (618) 468-4463. Days and hours of appointments change each semester.

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