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Lake Land College dental hygiene students provide care to those in need

 Several Lake Land College dental hygiene instructors and students from the senior dental hygiene class recently traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. for a volunteer service learning experience.

 Students worked with Remote Area Medical and helped provide dental care to patients in the Appalachian area. Fifteen students and three instructors volunteered and saw about 115 patients for cleanings.

 “The experience definitely taught me a lot,” said Lacee Clark of West Terre Haute, Ind. “I feel like this opportunity made me a better hygienist just by having more experience with the patients. Most of these patients had not had their teeth cleaned in several years and some had never had a cleaning. So most of the patients were a little difficult to clean which gave me more of a challenge, but made me proud of myself when I was finished.”

 During this trip, the students conducted teeth cleanings, including applying a polish and varnish fluoride treatment. Some of the students assisted the dentist with extractions or fillings, and helped them by giving local anesthetic injections.

 “This trip really made me appreciate the things I have in life that some people aren't as lucky to receive,” said Clark. “These patients were so nice and they were so grateful for the services we provided. Some of these patient waited all night long in line just to have a cleaning from us, which made me feel very special and important and like I made a tiny difference in their life.” 

 To learn more about the dental hygiene program at Lake Land College, contact Program Director Debbie Kirts at (217) 234-5202 or



Caption: Several Lake Land College dental hygiene instructors and students from the senior dental hygiene class recently traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. for a volunteer service learning experience. Participants pictured here are, in the front row, from left: Marcia Schilling, Brownstown, Debbie Kirts, dental hygiene program director; Jennifer Harlin, Sullivan; Amber Hilderbrand, Robinson; Sydnie Cohoon, Neoga; Lacee Clark, West Terre Haute, Ind.; Jessica Good, Mattoon; and Sarah Holmes, Flat Rock. In the middle row, from left are: Trudy Rodriquez, Joliet; Lauren Lewis, Labadie, Mo.; Alicia Kniepkamp, Vandalia, IL; and Kylee James, Kankakee. In the back row, from left are: Kendra Ochs, Olney; Tierra Becker, Gays; Christy Crowell Terre Haute, Ind.; Beth Hartrich, dental hygiene instructor; Shannon Kennedy, Mattoon; and Carol Hjort, dental hygiene instructor..

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