Bulletin of Dental Education

Chattanooga State Receives Grant for Dental Simulation Workstations

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Chattanooga State Community College was the top recipient of a $1.12M READI (Recruit, Engage And Develop for Innovation) Grant to boost career and technical education programs through the federal Perkins Grant program. The Dental Department, which includes programs in dental hygiene and dental assisting, was one of five Chattanooga State programs to benefit from the grant, receiving $350,000 to provide 20 dental simulation manikins for student use beginning in spring 2023.

Chattanooga State CC_workstation

“These units are set up very much like a dental operatory,” says Angie Maida, CDA, RDH, M.Ed., Dental Hygiene Program Director. “The simulators allow students to practice on a manikin just as they would a patient, using air, water, and suction-powered devices.”

Prof. Maida also said that the manikins have a full head, face and torso, “and, of course, teeth with calculus deposits on them.” In addition, the simulation lab allows first-year dental hygiene students to practice new skills in a lab and classroom setting rather than in the clinic, which is shared with dental assisting and second-year dental hygiene students.

Grant writer Lyn Potter, Ed.D., M.S., Engineering and Information Technologies Department Head, noted that “dental simulation manikins provide an equitable environment where students experience diverse, real-world scenarios needed to minimize knowledge and skill gaps.”

The manikin simulators are expected to be delivered toward the end of September 2022 and will be installed in the classroom. They are designed to blend didactic with hands-on learning experiences in a true “simulation” fashion so students can receive hands-on training without having a “live” patent in the dental chair. Students can be working on the manikins while in the classroom setting, not just during clinic training. This real-world environment will allow students to learn and master clinical skills.

“We are thrilled with the prospect of a simulation lab for first-year dental hygiene and assisting students,” says Prof. Maida. “The additional lab allows for greater hands-on opportunities, especially in the first semester of study as students prepare for clinical with patients.”

The class of 2025 will be the first cohort class of students to benefit from this new and exciting learning opportunity.

The READI Grants were established by the Tennessee Board of Regents with unused Perkins funding from previous fiscal years that would otherwise expire this year.

Courtesy of Betty Proctor, Public Information Coordinator, Chattanooga State Community College

Published on August 10, 2022

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