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STLCC Student Earns Scholarship from Missouri Dental Assistants Association

April 21, 2014

Amber Dunn  
Amber Dunn, left, and Deborah Munson

Amber Dunn, a dental assisting student at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, has been chosen for a scholarship from the Missouri Dental Assistants Association.

Dunn’s $600 scholarship is the first awarded to a STLCC student. The scholarship is given to one dental assisting student each spring semester, and the recipient must be enrolled in an accredited dental assisting program, be a member of the American Dental Assisting Association, maintain a grade-point average of 3.0, and write an essay on how the scholarship will assist in obtaining the individual's educational goals.

Dunn, who lives in Florissant with her husband, Ronnie, and their 3-year-old son Wyatt, plans to graduate in May with a certificate of proficiency in dental assisting.

She is currently working for Dr. James Klarsch, an orthodontist with a practice in Town and Country, as an externship to gain clinical experience, and will complete another internship elsewhere this summer.

“She’s a great student, very attentive and smart,” said Deborah Munson, an assistant professor and program coordinator. “She will be an asset to any office. She is polite and professional.”

Dunn earned an associate degree in liberal arts from St. Charles Community College, and returned to school to pursue a career as a certified dental assistant.

“I like being able to help and contribute to a patient feeling better about themselves,” Dunn said. “I like how detailed the program is. It gets you feeling prepared, there are no loose ends. It gets you ready.”

STLCC’s 40-credit-hour certificate program contains extensive classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction, giving the student a broad background in all areas of dentistry and based on the latest procedures and techniques.

The dental assistant performs many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills in a dental office. Duties include preparing patients for treatment, maintaining and updating treatment records, assisting the dentist during a variety of dental procedures, taking and developing dental X-rays, developing infection control protocol, preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment, providing direct patient care in both general and specialty dental procedures, providing oral care instruction following dental treatment,  and office management.