State's high schoolers fill spots for AEGD Dental Camp
Dental residents and their faculty in Wichita State University’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry are looking forward to hosting 20 high school students in the first AEGD Dental Camp, Wednesday, June 13-Friday, June 15.
Price of admission: Free. Experience gained: Priceless. The camp is being sponsored by the WSU College of Health Professions.
The students, ranging in age from 16-19 and arriving from all parts of Kansas, will meet at Fairmount Towers first thing Wednesday and hit the high-tech AEGD facility at 2838 N. Oliver before lunch.
The demographics of the camp participants could hardly be a better match to the mission of the College of Health Professions program, said AEGD faculty member Mike Snowbarger.
With a majority of participants coming in from Altamont, Carbondale, Conway Springs, Garden City, Hays, Kansas City, Maple Hill, McPherson and Medicine Lodge, the first AEGD camp meshes especially well with the mission of recruiting and retaining dentists to practice in underserved areas of Kansas.
Snowbarger, who worked in his own dental practice for 30 years in Wichita, is impressed with the knowledge and skills that AEGD will offer the high school students.
“If you’re interested in becoming a dentist, you’re interested in hands-on experience,” said Snowbarger.
Hands-on is just what the campers will get. Working in the simulation lab and treatment rooms, they’ll take X-rays and make impressions of each other’s teeth. They’ll pour their own plaster model for a custom-made impression tray.
Students will also get simulated practice with cavities. They’ll drill holes in plastic teeth and fill them with silver, using the latest materials and equipment.
For suture simulation, however, students will make their stitches on low-tech but tried-and-true devices.
“We’ll be bringing in a lot of bananas,” said Snowbarger.
When not working on projects, students will shadow dental residents as they treat patients and sit for lectures or demonstrations, according to Jasmine Guiterrez Massions, event coordinator for the dental camp.
Some down time, too
Massions said the campers will have such busy days they’ll need to blow off steam in the evenings, so she has planned some activities.
Wednesday evening it’s back to Fairmount to wash up for a picnic supper and bowling at The Alley, one of Wichita’s finest entertainment facilities located close to the city’s Waterfront area on east 13th Street.
“We wanted to show off Wichita some,” said Massions. “Plus, bowling is great team-building sport.”
For Thursday’s evening activity, they’ll have a social dinner at Fairmount and then head to LaserQuest to plaster each other with paint instead of mold-making material.
Friday afternoon campers will participate in a mock graduation and celebration with their camp counselors, all of whom are students in either Wichita State’s pre-dental or dental hygiene programs.
Campers will return home, each with a personalized framed certificate and armed with new awareness, hands-on experience and invaluable career contacts that will help them determine their potential in dentistry.