Newsmakers to Feature: LCCC Dental Hygiene Program

This Sunday’s Edition of Newsmakers will make you smile!

  The topic is good dental health.  Senior Producer Jayne Ann Bugda and the I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick host the monthly Public Affairs Program.

  Bugda and Mehalshick will feature the Dental Hygiene Program at Luzerne County Community College. 
  Guests Julie Cleary, RDH, professor- Dental Hygiene at LCCC and Ashley Bieber, a second year Dental Hygiene Student at LCCC will discuss the Dental Hygiene program at LCCC.  They will also offer some good dental health tips for children and adults and talk about the schools low cost dental clinic that is open to everyone.   
  Newsmakers will air Sunday, February 9th at 6:30 am on WYOU and at 11:30 am on WBRE. 

Spring semester hours for the Benco Dental Clinic are Mondays at 4 and 6 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m., and Fridays at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. 

Fees are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and $5 for children 18 and under.

Call 570-740-0446 or toll free 1-800-377-5222

Luzerne County Community College offers a two-year Dental Hygiene Program which is fully accredited, a one-year Dental Assisting Program which is fully accredited, and an Expanded Function Dental Assisting (EFDA) Diploma Program.  The Dental Assisting Program can be expanded to two years for an Associate Degree in Dental Practice Management.

The College’s Dental Department and the Northeast Pennsylvania Dental Hygiene Association hold a Kids’ Cavity Prevention Day every year.  This year’s event will be held on Saturday, March 22, from 9 a.m. to noon.  The program is free of charge for children ages three to sixteen and includes dental exams, cavity varnish to strengthen enamel and help prevent tooth decay, pit and fissure sealants, dental x-rays, oral hygiene instruction, and a toothbrush.  The event will be held at the LCCC Dental Clinic, 38 East Main Street in Nanticoke.


Letter from 

 Sara Litzelman RDH,  LCCC  Graduate


As a student in the dental hygiene program at LCCC, I was very anxious and excited to start working on patients during my first year.  The opportunity was presented to see a guest speaker, Eva Grayzel, who was an oral cancer survivor. She told her remarkable story about her journey with oral cancer, and explained the importance of early detection. Little did I know that a few months later, I would have something in common with Eva. 
In spring 2012, I started to see my first patients. My grandmother was one of the first patients that I ever saw clinically. During the intra-oral exam, I noticed an area on her tongue that I wanted to bring to the dentist's attention.  She attributed it to her ill-fitting partial plate rubbing on that area.  A biopsy was taken when she visited her dentist and it came back negative for oral cancer. This diagnosis did not sit well with me. After seeing Eva, and seeing 
that area on her tongue, I was still worried about the negative results. I called my sister saying I knew it was oral cancer. During the summer, my grandmother's tongue started to swell, and the area was growing rapidly. This was my biggest fear.  
In fall 2012, I made sure my grandmother was one of my first patients again. She had another biopsy done two days before I saw her in clinic. We had a new oral cancer screening wand that I was anxious to use on her. The wand was a light that reflected abnormal cells, and when put into use on my grandmother, it didn't show anything abnormal. I was puzzled at this point, but my grandmother felt relieved yet again. A week later, the lab results came back that my grandmother was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma. I felt my heart drop and I thought of Eva, and the struggles she had. 
Two surgeries and a year later, my grandmother is a SURVIVOR due to early detection and the urging dental hygienist she has as a granddaughter.
The faculty at LCCC and I followed my grandmother's story from the beginning to now.   Today, I am a licensed dental hygienist and a professional member of the Oral Cancer Research Foundation. Being only 21 years old, I know my passion in life. I feel as though I was meant to be a dental hygienist, to see Eva, and to save my grandmother's life.  I practice T.A.M. (Tongue and Mouth) oral cancer screening and I urge other dental hygienists to do so. T.A.M also happens to be my grandmother’s initials. Coincidence or fate? You decide!

Sara Litzelman, R.D.H
Luzerne County Community College
Dental Hygiene Class of 2013

Dental Health Facts
  • · Roughly half of American adults aged 30 or older have some form of periodontal disease according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey data reported in 2012. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the percentage can be as high as 70-80%
  • · Inflammation from chronic oral infection (like periodontal disease) may be related to systemic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke), respiratory disease and even certain forms of cancer.
  • · Pregnant women with moderate to severe periodontitis have a 7 to 8 fold increased risk of delivering a premature, low birth weight baby.
  • · The mouth may be one of the first areas of the body to show certain conditions like: Vitamin B deficiencies, acid reflux disease, certain blood abnormalities (like leukemia), bulimia and suspected child abuse and neglect.
  • · Nine out of 10 adults ages 20-64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth, and dental disease is the most common chronic disease suffered by children, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
  • · In 2010, Pennsylvania received a grade of “F” for children’s dental health according to a PEW report.  In 2013, the state received a grade of “D.”
Dental Health Myths

  • Myth: Normal healthy gums sometimes bleed.
  • Fact:  When gums are healthy, they should not bleed spontaneously or from proper home care. Bleeding gums may indicate inflammation from bacteria found in plaque. The tissue that covers the gums is the same type of tissue that is present on skin. Would you be concerned if your hands bled every time you washed them?
  • Myth:  A hard toothbrush cleans better than a soft toothbrush
  • Fact:  A hard bristled toothbrush can be damaging to teeth and gums. When applied correctly, a soft bristled brush is more effective in cleaning near the gum line.
  • Myth:  Poor oral hygiene only affects the mouth.
  • Fact:  Scientific research has revealed a strong connection between oral health and systemic health. The same bacteria found in dental plaque that cause periodontal disease have been found to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Poor oral health can also decrease blood sugar control in diabetics and has been found to contribute to premature births.
  • Myth:  Everyone needs to floss between teeth.
  • Fact:  While it is important to clean in between the teeth since dental disease often begins there, not everyone benefits from flossing.  For people with gum recession and open contacts between teeth, floss may not be effective in cleaning these areas and other aids like tiny brushes should be used instead of floss.
  • Myth:  Diet sodas and other diet drinks do not cause cavities because they do not contain sugar.
  • Fact:  These drinks may contain certain acids that can erode teeth and contribute to tooth decay.
  • Myth:  Sugar causes cavities.
  • Fact:  Cavities are caused by germs in the mouth that feed on sugar that produce acid which attacks the tooth.  In time, the acid attacks weaken the tooth to the point where a cavity forms.
  • Myth:  Toothbrushes should be replaced twice a year.
  • Fact:  Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed or if you have had a contagious illness or suffer from periodontal disease.
  • Myth:  Germs that cause cavities cannot be passed from person to person.
  • Fact:  Parents and caregivers can pass bacteria that cause cavities to their children by testing or blowing on their food, sharing utensils or licking a pacifier to “clean” it.  Adults can transmit germs that cause periodontal disease by kissing another person.

  • Golf Challenge
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Appearance
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • No TXT Nepa
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Hometown Heroes
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Movies
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

Video Center