Tyler Junior College offers a pro­gram that benefits students and public by providing affordable dental care.

     The dental hygiene program has been in operation since 1969. Service includes dental cleaning, fluoride treat­ment, X rays, oral examination, and scal­ing.

     “Service is provided, all combined for $20 per semester,” said Department Chair of dental hygiene Carrie Hobbs.

     Enrollment changes in response to the job market in the area.

     “Many of our graduates go outside the Tyler area to get jobs, and many of our graduates come from outside the Tyler area to get jobs, most of our stu­dents are from other areas, we have a few that want to have employment here in Tyler, said Hobbs. The job market can be tight, and in a couple of years it will have a flow and then in a couple of years it will be that there are several jobs avail­able, its always been like that since I can remember.”

     The clinic at TJC offering dental services for patients is located north of the Pirtle Technology building, next to the new planetarium it is open for stu­dents and public. In order to schedule an appointment they must call the clinic at 903-510-2342. From that point they will be contacted by a student to book the patients visit and accommodate a schedule.

     “This is my first time here, my wife has been coming here for 2 years now so I decided to come and try out their services, the people are very friendly and that’s what makes me feel more com­fortable, it makes me feel as if I was at home but really the main reason I’m here is to be part of this students education and also to save a lot of money,” said Ed Watkins, a patient for the dental clinic on campus.

     According to Candice Sowell, den­tal hygiene student, patients who usu­ally get helped are understandable in the process of assistance. The difference between coming to visit the regular dentist is that a patient walks in, get assisted and probably comes out in one hour. However, at the TJC clinic, the process of as­sistance to patients can take up to four hours and the reason for it is because students receive grade qualification as they are providing service to the patient.

     “I’m very pleased with their service. The timing process is a little bit longer than a regu­lar visit to the dentist but I definitely have to say that the time waiting is worth it,” said Martha Watkins.

     For students thinking about major­ing in the dental hygiene career, they can receive an Associate in in Dental Hygiene at Tyler Junior College. The sessions be­gin in the fall each year, but students must be admitted to the program. The capac­ity for students admitted is 24 students each year. It takes four semesters upon completion to receive the degree. The Ty­ler Junior College Hygiene Department of Dental Hygiene is accredited by the American Association Commission on Dental Accreditation under the following status: “ap­proval without reporting requirements.”

     This semester, the dental hygiene students are providing a fundraiser and anyone can stop by the clinic to purchase white strips for $35 That is over 60 percent savings compared to any other clinic. Purchases can be made Monday-Friday at the clinic office on campus.

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