Saturday, April 1, 2017

WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL: Trip opens eyes to dental careers

West Middle School eighth-grade science students were able to discuss careers in the dental industry on March.

Mrs. Pasek-Colley's second-hour class toured Dental Advisor in Ann Arbor. Dental Advisor independently tests dental products including dental floss, dental equipment and dental materials for crowns and braces.

The class was welcomed in the conference room and shown a short video that gave an overview of the facility before touring the dental lab, where they saw 3D printers and milling machines in action.

Dr. Collins, an employee of Dental Advisor, discussed safety precautions that dentists take to prevent germs from spreading.  For instance, did you know that 88 percent of germs are spread by your hands?

Precautions include hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, masks and latex-free gloves – all of which the students were allowed to try.

As the tour continued, the students saw machines that tested the effectiveness, strength and durability of different products. The scientific method is evident in the research and experiments performed.

The last stop was to an actual dental practice. Here the students watched sterilization stations and met with dental technicians. They explained that computer imaging is the wave of the future in dentistry.

The West staff and students want to give a thank you out to everyone at Dental Advisor. It was a wonderful trip and opened eyes to the many careers available – given the right education.

But the group was surprised to learn that many of the employees received a great deal of on-the-job training. Dentists, assistants, biologists, physicists, computer programmers, web designers and marketing specialists work together with a common goal of providing the dental industry with the best products for their patients.

The students are grateful for all the work they do. The trip was capped off with lunch at Pizza Papalis in Taylor.

The students now have a greater awareness of the careers that they can pursue. Knowledge is power – power to allow us to become anything we choose to be.

Let's reach for the stars, or in this case a toothbrush!

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