Students in the Dental Assisting program at the Delaware Area Career Center are only weeks into the second semester and are already learning how to operate cutting-edge technology in the dental field.
DACC Public Information Officer Alicia Mowry said students were introduced last week to 3D dental scanners, which immediately create three-dimensional, color images of a patient’s teeth that can be rotated to see multiple angles.
“The clear image improves communication between patient and doctor, which has a direct impact on treatment,” Mowry said. “This replaces the traditional impressions, which uses a procedure that is uncomfortable for most patients.”
Mowry added the 3D impressions are used along with computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing dentistry to improve the design and creation of dental restorations and dental prostheses.
Last week, students received live virtual instruction from a specialized trainer from Planmeca, a dental products manufacturer that works closely with universities and institutions to provide training to students, Mowry said.
“While each student took a turn maneuvering the scanner to learn the proper techniques, other students were able to watch on their own computers,” she said. “Students who were learning remotely that day also participated from home.”
Mowry said Planmeca representative, Terri Britt, showed students different techniques for the device, including how to hold it in order to get the best scan, how to color correct the image, and the proper pattern for scanning all of the teeth.
She added the 3D dental scanner is a new piece of technology owned by the Delaware Area Career Center “specifically to ensure that students are prepared to enter the workforce, understanding how to grow and learn with the technology that is available.”
Students in the program said the lessons with the technology will give them an edge when they enter the workforce.
“This is going to help me in the future because I plan to stay in the dental field and expand my education,” said Joseph De La Torre, a Worthington Kilbourne senior in the program. “By learning this new technology, it will help me prepare for the future.”
Thomas Worthington senior Jennifer Gutierrez Gallegos said it’s advantageous to be training on the latest equipment.
“There is new technology out in the world every day,” she said. “We have to get used to learning the new technology coming our way.”