SUNY Canton Picks Up National Dental Hygiene Award

Students practicing their dental hygiene skillsThe SUNY Canton Dental Hygiene program has been selected as a recipient of the American Dental Hygienists Association’s prestigious Student Member Community Service Award.

“Only three colleges in the United States win this prestigious award each year,” said Pamela P. Quinn, Associate Professor and Dental Hygiene Program Director. “We are very honored to be one of the recipients.”

The program was recognized for its community outreach initiative with the Upstate Cerebral Palsy Center in Rome, N.Y. “It was a win-win situation for both student populations,” Quinn said. “Our hygiene students developed a deeper understanding of the dental needs of their patients while the children and young adults at that facility learned about their teeth and became more comfortable interacting with oral health care professionals.”

Each child received an electric toothbrush and the dental hygiene students utilized the brushes to reinforce good home care habits.

“This population of patients is at greater risk for cavities and periodontal disease,” Quinn explained. “During this 8-month project, the Dental Hygiene students screened each child’s teeth and applied fluoride varnish to reduce the risk of cavities. They also gave lessons on healthy snacks and other oral-health topics to the children and the staff as the year progressed.”

Some of the supplies for the project were provided through a Department of Health Preventive Dentistry Grant. The hygiene students also wrote letters seeking donations from dental product suppliers. “We have a larger class next fall so I am hoping that the project will expand,” Quinn said.

SUNY Canton partners with Mohawk Valley Community College to offer this high-need associate degree program, located at the Veteran’s Administration Outpatient Facility in the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome. The College recently began offering a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene through SUNY Canton OnLine. The program is designed for working professionals and graduates who wish to further accelerate their careers.

Dental Hygiene is a rewarding and flexible career. It is a progressive profession that allows those who are balancing a family and a career the luxury of choosing either part-time or full-time employment. The average annual salary for a full-time hygienist nationwide is $56,700; with an average annual salary of $48,000 to $52,000 in the Syracuse, Utica, and surrounding areas.

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 65 courses online each semester. The college’s athletic teams have joined the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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