SCF Dental Hygiene Students Volunteer for Dental Hygiene Month

The dental hygiene students at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) spent part of October, recognized as dental hygiene month, in service to others. More than 40 students and faculty participated in the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic Oct. 12-13, providing free dental services to those in need. To prepare for dental hygiene month, two groups of students presented their research at the Florida Dental Hygiene Association’s annual symposium in Orlando at the end of September.

This was the fourth consecutive year dental hygiene students from SCF helped set up and staff the dental clinic at the RAM event. Volunteering for the event is not a requirement of the program, but SCF’s dental hygiene students typically come out in force for the 12-hour community service day, said Kimberly Bastin, program chair.

“We saw it as an enrichment opportunity for the students,” Bastin said. “They see some of the need in the dental clinic at SCF, but not like the number of patients and the need at RAM.”

Bastin said students who volunteer at RAM also see how other dentists work and an entirely different process at RAM than is typical of the clinical setting. Students at SCF said it is rewarding to help people who wouldn’t otherwise get dental services. It’s also rewarding that the patients trust the students and are appreciative of their work.

Two of those second-year dental hygiene students, Suzanne Dicamillo and Shawntay Funston, also presented research at the Florida Dental Hygiene Association. They were one of two teams from SCF who presented at the statewide conference last month. Their research focused on whether Xylitol inhibits bacterial growth in the mouth. Both students said the conference, which was designed strictly for dental hygienists, was educational and fun.

The two students will present their research again to dental hygienists in Manatee County in January. Presenting at the statewide conference helped them prepare for the questions they will have from community hygienists, they said.

For information on SCF’s dental hygiene program, visit

Second Year Dental Hygiene students prepare for RAM

Faculty and students who participated in RAM on Saturday

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