MDCC’s Dental Hygiene Program is “All Smiles”
by D. Reed Abraham
Oct 19, 2012 | 4763 views | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Freshman student Terra West
Freshman student Terra West
Sophomore student (right) Cherelle Osborne
Sophomore student (right) Cherelle Osborne
The MDCC Dental Hygiene program received funds to incorporate and up to date digital imaging system and a type of practice management software to the existing analog radiology technology currently being used in the MDCC Dental Hygiene Clinic.

“We have been given such an added advantage with the new technology and equipment,” said sophomore dental hygiene student Sylar Rogers. “The knowledge and expertise will make us more marketable when seeking employment in the competitive job market.”

MDCC was the recipient of a $40,927 USDA, Rural Development Grant to partially fund the purchase of new digital radiographic equipment and practice management software for its Dental Hygiene Program.

This grant was funded through the USDA, Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program.

The installation of this equipment has allowed Mississippi Delta Community College the opportunity to provide their students with the most advanced technology that is presently being used in dental offices these days.

According to Mrs. Catherine Dunn, Dental Hygiene Program Supervisor, “The ability to train on digital radiographic equipment is essential because digital x-rays are quickly becoming the standard in dental imaging. An increasing number of dental professionals are choosing to use digital radiography over conventional x-ray film as a tool in diagnosing dental caries.”

For years, x-ray film was instrumental in the thorough examination of possible lesions. It was the only tool available.

However, digital radiography has proven to be superior to film in diagnosing even the smallest carious lesions because of its ability to enlarge, enhance, contrast, and even colorize an x-ray image through advanced imaging software.

Simply stated, there is no comparison between a 1-inch x 1.5-inch film on a light box versus a digital image enlarged to the size of a computer screen.

Early stages of decay are more visible through an enlarged digital radiograph, allowing for earlier detection and minimally invasive dental treatment.

Not only are they an excellent diagnostic tool, but they decrease radiation to the patient by over 80 percent.

Freshman student Daneille Hall said, “I am very impressed with the technological advances here at MDCC. The different teaching methods are fantastic. We are taught in the classroom, hands on in the class, and videos that we are able to watch at our computers in our operatory or even at home.”

The MDCC Dental Hygiene program provides students with the knowledge and clinical experience to perform patient assessments, individualize treatment plans, take prescribed radiographs, implement treatment, and execute formative evaluations during treatment and summative evaluations upon re-care.

This comprehensive dental hygiene process of care is presented throughout the curriculum and is applied in the clinical setting.

The MDCC Dental Hygiene facility is located on the MDCC campus in the Allied Health Building.

The Dental Hygiene program provides students with the knowledge base for dental hygiene and prepares students to assess, plan, implement and evaluate dental hygiene services as an integral member of the health team.

Learning experiences and practice time in clinical and radiological procedures is necessary to assure sufficient opportunity to develop competence in all clinical and radiological procedures included in the Dental Hygiene curriculum.

The MDCC Dental Hygiene Clinic is used 24 hours a week in the fall and 28 hours a week in the spring for clinical teaching.

The clinical faculty includes 3 full-time dental hygienist and three general dentists.

The patient population is acquired from the student body, faculty, family members, and the public.

Ten treatment areas, 2 radiographic areas, and one panoramic area are available for use by clinicians.

When applicable, all treatment areas are utilized during each session.

For more information, visit MDCC’s website at or call 662-246-6322.