Dental Hygiene Degree Launches a Lifetime of (healthy) Smiles
A member of the first cohort of dental hygiene students on the Terry Campus, Gail Dunkleberger graduated in 1988 and went straight into her life’s work. Nearly 30 years later, she is still a dental hygienist and will continue as long as her body allows her to keep treating patients.
“It is my passion. I love what I do,” she said. “I am proud to be a dental hygienist, because I want to help patients with good oral health, which is so very important for their overall health.”
Dunkleberger had been a dental assistant and wanted to further her education, so she enrolled on the Dover campus.
“It was not an easy program,” she recalled, “but it was all well worth it.”
Looking back, she said at times it felt like everyone was living out of their cars, due to travel for clinical and an occasional off-campus class.
“The travel was not an easy task, because we were carrying all of our supplies with us,” said Dunkleberger. “We carried our instruments in a Plano tackle fishing box and our clinical jackets and shoes could only be worn in the clinic, so we had to carry them, as well as our text books and other supplies.”
Gail made it through the travel and the classes and then sat for her three Board Examinations.
“The program prepared us well,” she said. “I passed them all the first time around. I would not be where I am today without completing my education and getting my diploma at Delaware Technical Community College.”