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.