We’re sure throughout your life someone has asked you, “What do you want to do when you get out of high school?” Some people don’t really know what they want to do, so they just answer with: “I don’t know,” or “I have a good idea.” As for us, Shikellamy senior Desarae Maurer and Mifflinburg senior Amber Englehardt know exactly what we want to do.

“For the past few years my goal was to get accepted into Pennsylvania College of Technology and work my way into their Dental Hygiene Program. I want to be a Dental Hygienist or a Dental Assistant,” said Amber Englehardt.

When the opportunity of going to SUN Area Technical Institute came to us, we didn’t hesitate. Desarae said,” I came to SUN Tech because I knew it would be a new experience in the classroom and I had a feeling that the hands-on learning would help me get to where I want to be.”  Out of the nineteen available career choices, we knew that if we wanted to reach our dreams of being a dental hygienist or a dental assistant than we would have to walk through the door of the Dental Health Technology room. Theory, hands-on experience with high-end equipment, and working with live patients has helped us reach the expectations of being in the dental field.

In our program, our equipment is in great condition. Being only two years old, all of the dental equipment in each of the three operatories lets us, as well as every other dental student, get the proper education they need. From having new dental chairs, new x-ray machines, new storage compartments, and our reception area enhances the room to make it look and feel like an actual dental office. The learning process includes:  learning it out of our textbook, practicing on manikins, working on each other, and then having the opportunity to work in the dental office right next door. In order to earn your privileges on going to the clinic next door, we have over 200 projects that need to be completed.

Everything we do in the classroom is a project that we must accomplish.  A few projects we must conquer are passing instruments, seating and greeting patients, rinsing and suctioning, and sterilization of instruments and operatories. Many of the projects that are required for us to succeed are being tested off in everything we do. From flossing teeth, setting up trays, and assisting with a root canal, the dental health students complete projects every day.

As for us, we are on our way to achieving our goals with dental assisting from the help of SUN Area Technical Institute. As said before, Amber is planning on attending Pennsylvania College of Technology with hopes of being accepted into their Dental Hygiene Program. Desarae has plans on attending Boston University to major in psychology and working in a dental office on her free time to earn her way through college. With high hopes, we are positive that we will succeed and achieve our goals to make our dreams come true.