Dental Assisting beats Criminal Justice

Published 8:43 am Saturday, February 9, 2019

By Bobby Tingle

The Orange Leader

Dental assisting student Victoria Smith, in the beginning, intended to pursue a course of study in criminal justice.  But after talking to her advisors she discovered the Dental Assisting program and has been sold on it since.

Lamar State College Orange has a highly respected Dental Assisting Program and a reputation for providing competent dental assistants.

The dental community seeks students who complete their training in the dental assisting program at Lamar.

“Once they see they came from this program their chances for employment are improved,” said Camie Colley, dental assisting instructor.

Students spend time in the classroom and in the laboratory on campus.  They also work in the real world where they work with real patients at clinical sites.

The program is rigorous.

The program begins in either August or January and is completed in one calendar year.  

Students spend the first semester engaged in academic and laboratory preparation.  The program covers a spectrum of topics including: dental radiology, office management, dental software, chair side assistance, dental science, the anatomy of teeth, materials used, lab procedures and taking dental impressions.

The second semester is spent in the field, in the real world of dentistry with real patients, at clinical sites specializing in General Dentistry, Orthodontics, Oral Surgery or at a Denture Lab.

Jami Miller is currently serving as President of the Lamar Orange Dental Assisting Society (LODAS).

LODAS provides students with the opportunity to get to know other students.  They also engage in community service. In October, they collect and distribute socks to residents of nursing homes.   In February, they promote dental health by delivering dental care packages to daycare facilities and schools for younger students.

“I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field,” Miller said. “When our high school toured the campus our last stop was the Dental Assisting Laboratory.  The instructor’s presentation convinced me to choose this path.”

Students receive a certificate when they complete the course.  But more importantly, they are prepared with the knowledge to succeed.

Lamar also offers students the opportunity to take the State of Texas Board Exam, which they are required to pass within their first year of employment.

It is common for students to gain employment through their work at clinical sites during their second semester.  

Others may choose to pursue a dental hygiene program or dental school after completing the course of study.

Students interested can go to where you can find more information.  

Financial aid and scholarships are available and students may qualify for childcare assistance while enrolled.