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News > Dental technician accepted into hygienist course
Dental technician accepted into hygienist course

Posted 3/28/2012   Updated 3/28/2012 Email story   Print story


by Master Sgt. James Bunce
81st Dental Squadron

3/28/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Tech. Sgt. Claudia Holcomb, 81st Dental Squadron, is one of eight Air Force dental technicians accepted to attend a two-year registered dental hygienist course as part of the Air Force Dental Hygiene Training Scholarship Program.

In 2003, the Air Force entered into joint educational agreements with two institutions, Trident Technical College in Charleston, S.C., and St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Fla., to train active-duty dental technicians as registered dental hygienists. The programs are accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Holcomb applied for the program in October and learned of her selection Feb. 22.

"I was very excited," she said. "It was a life-changing surprise!"

She departs Keesler next year to attend St. Petersburg College's associate's degree program in dental hygiene. The curriculum includes both general education and professional dental hygiene courses. Upon graduation, she is eligible to sit for the dental hygiene national board exam as well as regional and/or individual state board examinations for her dental hygiene license. After completion she will provide preventive, educational and therapeutic services in an Air Force dental clinic.

"I couldn't have done this without the support of everyone in the (dental) squadron," she added.

The Bolivian native has been a member of the Air Force since July 1, 1998, and assigned to Keesler since October 2008. While at Keesler, she's earned an associate of arts degree from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. She and her husband, Master Sgt. Jeremy Holcomb, 85th Engineering Installation Squadron, reside in Biloxi with daughters Amaraya, 7, and Samaya, 12.

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