ACC-OC Dental Assisting Students Get 'Two Thumbs Up' at Lestonnac Free Clinic


American Career College students are always willing to help their community — morning, noon and night.

On June 3, three ACC-Orange County dental assisting students volunteered at a Lestonnac Free Clinic and helped provide dental fillings, cleanings and extractions to Fullerton community members. ACC-OC dental assisting program director Cecilia Cabrera said the trio — who came from day, evening and midday cohorts — gained valuable hands-on experience at the event.

"We took over the admitting part — Luis Marroquin helped translate, they wouldn't let him go — the sterilization area and the radiation area. Antoine Ruff and Meray Farag, from the evening session, enjoyed using the portable X-ray machine," Cabrera said. "They really got the hang of the X-ray gun. The dentist doing the diagnosis ended up giving them 'two thumbs up' after each patient and telling them that their X-rays were coming out really good."

Cabrera added that not only was dentist Kimberly Nguyen impressed with the group's performance, she also discovered one of her assistants was an ACC graduate.

"It was really a wonderful experience for the students," Cabrera said. "Dr. Nguyen will keep in touch and would like us to participate again on their next event."

The volunteer opportunity for the students actually happened quite "serendipitously," ACC-OC Student Services director Valerie Dickson said.

While looking for an affordable medical care option for an ACC student, Dickson contacted the Lestonnac Clinic, a low- or no-cost health organization in Orange County that offers dental and vision assistance plus health and wellness screenings. After speaking to the Lestonnac office manager, Dickson reached out to the Cabrera to help introduce the clinic to some students.

"Lestonnac provides care for our students and our students help provide care for community members," Dickson said. "That’s a win-win situation."

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