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Michigan community college opens dental clinic, adds new programs

Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich., opened a 12,000-square-foot dental clinic housing new dental programs Sept. 17 to meet workforce and clinical demand, the Macomb Daily reported Sept. 19.

The college reportedly spent $5.6 million to remodel a building formerly housing its graphic arts and institutional research staff. The building features a laboratory with 13 dental simulators, classrooms, a teaching patient station in the clinic, a computer lab with 36 stations, 20 operatories and multiple X-ray rooms.

The school said it considered partnering with Oakland Community College to create a program, but decided it was best to establish its own program to serve the immediate community.The school will train dental assistants and hygienists, and its students will offer local residents low-cost preventive services.

In an October 2019 search of job openings in the Detroit area for the previous 12 months, the Macomb Daily found 550 job postings for dental assistants and 250 for dental hygienists.

The school's new dental assistant program spans 16 weeks and prepares students for entry-level positions. The college accepted its first class of dental assistant students Aug. 23.

The two-year dental hygiene program offers students an associate of science degree and prepares them for licensing exams. The college is seeking accreditation for the dental hygiene program and will have an accreditation visit in January. The college expects to welcome its first class of dental hygiene students in fall 2022.

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