Julie Ehrman, a dental assistant program instructor at Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) - a public career technical education district located at 5487 N. 99th Ave., Glendale - took her job an extra step forward on Sept. 8 when she received a biomimetic dental procedure, courtesy of Dr. John Upton at Arrowhead Dentistry in Glendale, 20265 N. 59th Ave.
Ms. Ehrman, always looking for ways to improve her curriculum for students, took part in the unique procedure - Mr. Upton called it “minimally invasive dentistry,” according to a news release - that will hopefully last longer and be more effective than past methods of fixing cracks and breaks in a tooth.
Ms. Ehrman took pictures the entire time, speaking with Mr. Upton about what exactly was happening, so that she could teach a lesson on the subject to her class down the road.
She said the best dental assistant students, ones that get lucrative jobs and climb the corporate ladder quickly, are eager to learn more about dentistry and be of service to the doctor or dental hygienist.
“We have to educate ourselves,” she stated. “The students should be interested in keeping their minds open to the newest techniques and information, whether they go into the science of dentistry, engineering or other lab work. That way you can open a lot of doors in an industry that is stable.”
Mr. Upton, in the process of creating a mold of Ms. Ehrman’s tooth to later be used in further steps of the procedure, said the skills Ms. Ehrman hopes to teach in lessons like the biomimetic dentistry unit show motivation that can be used to impress dentists like him looking to hire new assistants after graduation.
“If you want to do this kind of dentistry, you have to have a step above the others: lifelong learning skills, dedication, and an interest in growth in your career,” he said.
Visit west-mec.edu/dental-assisting or schedule a visit with a recruiter.