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Students in the Vermont Technical College’s dental hygiene program normally fulfill 12 clinic hours a week treating real-world patients. But now, students are resorting to practicing on each other. While this still counts towards their clinic hours, the school says that getting experience with actual patients is much better, and part of why VTC has one of the best dental hygiene programs in the country.”Our students have a very high board passage rate. Nationally, we do really well…in the top 10 usually of hygiene schools in the country,” said Dr. Cheyenne Warren, program director of dental therapy at Vermont Technical College. She says that COVID-19 has made it a bigger challenge to get patients in the door, whether that be due to safety concerns or schedule with working from home. Appointments at the VTC clinic take longer than at most dentist offices, since the students are still training. In the past, students have reached out to friends and family, asking them to use VTC’s services. But Bethany Brandt Ashline, a student in the dental hygiene program, says it’s been challenging for her to get patients who aren’t students. “You’ll get patients who will respond to you and then they can’t come in on the days that I’m actually gonna be in clinic,” said Brandt Ashline. Warren says that using VTC’s program could save patients quite a bit of money. For example, a typical teeth cleaning can cost over $100 without insurance, but at VTC, it costs about $35. Another reason for patients to go to VTC is that it is incredibly helpful for the students’ education. “The best patient experiences for our students are people who have not been to the dentist for several years,” said Michelle McKay, a dental hygienist and faculty at VTC. clothes at home. However, the program is desperate for patients and will take anyone that they can get.

Students in the Vermont Technical College’s dental hygiene program normally fulfill 12 clinic hours a week treating real-world patients. But now, students are resorting to practicing on each other.

While this still counts towards their clinic hours, the school says that getting experience with actual patients is much better, and part of why VTC has one of the best dental hygiene programs in the country.

“Our students have a very high board passage rate. Nationally, we do really well…in the top 10 usually of hygiene schools in the country,” said Dr. Cheyenne Warren, program director of dental therapy at Vermont Technical College.

She says that COVID-19 has made it a bigger challenge to get patients in the door, whether that be due to safety concerns or schedule with working from home. Appointments at the VTC clinic take longer than at most dentist offices, since the students are still training. In the past, students have reached out to friends and family, asking them to use VTC’s services. But Bethany Brandt Ashline, a student in the dental hygiene program, says it’s been challenging for her to get patients who aren’t students.

“You’ll get patients who will respond to you and then they can’t come in on the days that I’m actually gonna be in clinic,” said Brandt Ashline.

Warren says that using VTC’s program could save patients quite a bit of money. For example, a typical teeth cleaning can cost over $100 without insurance, but at VTC, it costs about $35.

Another reason for patients to go to VTC is that it is incredibly helpful for the students’ education.

“The best patient experiences for our students are people who have not been to the dentist for several years,” said Michelle McKay, a dental hygienist and faculty at VTC.

Other preferred patients use tobacco, accumulate build up quickly, or have poor oral hygiene habits at home.

However, the program is desperate for patients and will take anyone that they can get.

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