LIT dental hygiene seeks patients

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LIT dental hygiene students are looking for patients. UP photo by Clarissa Hernandez

Dental hygiene students at Lamar Institute of Technology accept patients as part of their training process. These services are offered in the Paul & Connie Szuch multipurpose building until the end of the semester and are available to students and the general public.

Hygiene students all start by doing a pre-clinical. During their pre-clinical, students work on manikins as part of their entry-level training. After pre-clinical, students begin their first year in the clinic with real patients.

For first year students, clinical days are Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Freshmen usually see about 10 patients because it takes them a little longer to go through the whole process,” said Deborah Haynes, dental hygiene administrative associate.

Second-year clinical students handle the most complicated procedures. Clinical days for second-year students are Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. They also do Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.

“Sophomores usually need 15 patients, sometimes more, it just depends on what kind of cleaning they need,” Haynes said. “Sophomores see higher class patients as deep cleanings because these procedures take a bit longer.”

There are currently about 27 hygiene students and they get their clinical grades based on the number of patients they practice on.

“All dental hygiene students are expected to provide for our own patients. Our rating depends on our patients, we are always accepting new patients,” said Port Arthur junior Cristina Medina.

The price for the general public is $25. This includes x-rays, sealants, oral cancer screening, fluoride, and dental cleaning. The price for Lamar students and faculty and anyone senior is $15. To get x-rays only, it costs $10. Hygiene students also do head and neck examinations, cleanings, scalings, root planing, polishing and fluoride treatments. No insurance is required for any of the services provided.

Payment options are debit, credit and cash. The only card they don’t accept is American Express. They do not accept checks or financing options such as CareCredit.

“Your oral health has a lot to do with your overall health, so if you can come in for a checkup it will be very beneficial for you,” Port Arthur junior Guadalupe Espinoza said.

For more information, appointments can be made at the dental clinic or call the clinic at 409-880-8860. Staff members will explain available days and add people to the waiting list. A designated hygiene student will then personally call patients about the appointment.

LIT dental hygiene students are looking for patients.  UP photo by Clarissa Hernandez
LIT dental hygiene students are looking for patients. UP photo by Clarissa Hernandez

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