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GPC brings high-tech dental to Dunwoody - Dunwoody Crier: Our Columnists

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GPC brings high-tech dental to Dunwoody

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Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:00 am

Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) has an education department that calls the Dunwoody campus “home” and positively impacts the Dunwoody / Perimeter area community: the Dental Hygiene Department.

Georgia Perimeter College’s School of Dental Hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and is the largest in the area. The school has an on-site clinic located exclusively at the Dunwoody campus to facilitate training and community services.

The dental hygiene department offers an Associate of Science degree career program, while the hands-on student training setting provides a unique resource for discounted dental services to Dunwoody and beyond.

The dental community is consistently faced with a training hurdle due to a lack of mass media training; there are very few cutting-edge, media-focused training facilities in this region.

GPC’s dental hygiene department hopes to build on the “teaching clinic” model they have already successfully managed by building a new Dunwoody-based clinic incorporating the much-needed media capabilities. The current operating location will be closed when the enriched workspace clinic is completed.

The future facility will incorporate cutting-edge media equipment to record clinic sessions for mass media training. This will provide a much-needed, extended media training facility in the Southeast and will be key to extending the prestigious reputation of the GPC Dental Hygiene Department.

The new clinic will not only improve an already valuable training facility; it extends the capacity of GPC’s dental health outreach programs for the metro Atlanta community.

GPC currently provides over 15 free or discounted dental services to the community during the school year. The clinic, open to the public by appointment, does not file insurance, but accepts cash or credit or card payment in exchange for dramatically reduced pricing on dental hygiene services.

Onsite dental hygiene services are also provided on a regular basis for the senior program members of the Weinstein Center, participants of Just People (a local non-profit providing support services to adults with disabilities) and current residents of the Atlanta Transitional Center.

Additionally, twice a year as a participant of “Georgia Seal” events, GPC’s Dental Hygiene Department transports area elementary students to the on-site clinic to provide free dental sealants and dental hygiene education.

GPC students routinely volunteer at health fairs, elementary schools and senior living communities throughout metro Atlanta.

“Oral health can be a causeway to general systemic health. One leads to the other and vice versa” says Ms. Cherie Rainwater, RDH, MS, GPC dental hygiene department chair. “Contributing to our community’s oral health is a key building block to protecting their overall health.”

The new clinic, in a funding stage at this time, will allow GPC to continue and extend these services while becoming a state-of-the-art regional training facility. Dunwoody resident and dentist, Jeffrey G. Priluck, D.M.D, M.A.G.D, is considered a prestigious practitioner and educator in his field and is a key innovator in the conception of the new clinic.

The goal of bringing the “next-generation” of dental hygiene education to the Dunwoody campus is a great fit. The Perimeter area is home to the largest concentration of medical facilities in the Metro Atlanta area and this training facility will contribute greatly to the leadership of Dunwoody in attracting and retaining the medical community.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a dental hygienist’s median wage as $70,210 annually and growing, making this a highly popular field for those seeking a two-year education program with a high financial return in the workplace.

The clinic project is projected to cost $2.5 million.  The goal is to complete fund raising by December 2013 with construction beginning immediately thereafter.  If you would like to donate to the new facility, you may do so online at www.giving.gpc.edu and selecting Dental Hygiene as the cause.

If you have questions on further ways you or you or organization can contribute, please feel free to contact Jeff Tarnowski, VP of Institutional Advancement at jeffrey.tarnowski@gpc.edu or 678-891-1786.

If you would like to utilize the reduced fee clinic setting, the clinic is open afternoons from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. when school is in session. Appointments may be secured by calling 770-274-5140 during the hours of operation.

© 2016 Dunwoody Crier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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