PCC Ready to Serve First Dental Assisting Class
WINTERVILLE—After a year of planning, renovations and securing proper permissions, Pitt Community College is ready to welcome students to its new Dental Assisting program this month.
The diploma program, which PCC officially inherited from nearby Martin Community College on Aug. 1, will feature training that teaches students how to perform office, chairside and laboratory procedures that assist with the delivery of dental treatment. Graduates may be eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination to become Certified Dental Assistants.
“We have explored offering a dental program at PCC for many years,” said PCC Health Sciences Dean Donna Neal. “MCC had an excellent Dental Assisting program, and when they decided that they could no longer continue it, we expressed interest in assuming responsibility for it.”
Neal said that in addition to relocating and purchasing equipment, PCC had to renovate space in its William E. Fulford Building to house a dental lab and clinic for training and offices for Dental Assisting faculty. She said Pitt hired MCC’s Shelby Brothers as program director and Desiree Perry to serve as an instructor.
“It’s been an extremely challenging year moving the Dental Assisting program from Williamston to Winterville,” Neal said. “We’ve had to get approval from the North Carolina Community College System, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Dental Accreditation. It’s taken a tremendous amount of planning and effort, but we are excited to be starting the program this fall.”
Brothers said the support she’s received at PCC has “exceeded” her expectations and noted that the college has created a first-class, fully-equipped dental training facility.
“Dean Donna Neal and her team have been nothing short of amazing,” Brothers said. “Our program at Pitt will build upon the outstanding reputation that was established at Martin Community College and continue to produce the most educated and capable dental assistants in the area.”
PCC’s first Dental Assisting class is comprised of 12 students, who will learn about infection/hazard control, radiography, dental materials, preventive dentistry and clinical procedures through a combination of lecture, laboratory and clinical experiences. The 48-hour curriculum includes instruction in general studies, biomedical, dental and clinical sciences, and clinical practice.
Neal said Pitt has partnered with many of the region’s dental offices and East Carolina University’s Dental School to give students places to complete their clinical experience requirements.
“Students who complete the Dental Assisting curriculum at PCC will graduate as Dental Assistant IIs capable of performing expanded functions, taking X-rays and coronal polishing,” Brothers said.
As is the case with many of its health sciences programs, admission to Pitt’s Dental Assisting program is competitive. Neal said the college is using a point system for accepting students “like we do for other programs, such as nursing and respiratory therapy.”
Detailed admissions information is available on the PCC website (www.pittcc.edu). In general, applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalency and a 2.5 GPA in general education and recommended courses.
Students interested in joining the program in Fall 2022 may begin applying for admission Sept. 1. They must submit a completed application by April 1, 2022 and are asked to contact PCC’s Health Sciences Division at (252) 493-7473 or firstname.lastname@example.org