Western University of Health Sciences will hold a dental camp for about 50 local middle school and high school students from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28, 2012 in the Health Education Center, 701 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif. 91766.

Most of the students attending the event are part of the Pomona Health Career Ladder, which encourages students to become health professionals. The event is organized by WesternU and the California Dental Association. Dental hygiene students from West Coast University in Anaheim will also volunteer.

“The goal of the camp is to stimulate interest in the dental field, including dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting and dental lab technology,” said second-year College of Dental Medicine student Wade Banner. “We want to give students knowledge on what’s out there in dental careers. We want to give them the opportunity to pursue a worthwhile career.”

A dental career provides a good income and a flexible schedule.

“I think it’s great for anybody to get into it,” Banner said. “There’s a need for dentists out there, with more than 330 underserved dental areas in California right now. If we can stimulate interest for dentists to go to those areas, then that would be good.”

Activities include drilling out a cavity on a plastic tooth and filling it with composite, taking alginate impressions of teeth, carving a tooth out of soap, and learning dental/oral anatomy and basic dental terminology. Students will also learn how to take care of their teeth with proper oral hygiene.

“It’s a really good opportunity for people to be exposed to what dentists do,” Banner said. “All of dentistry isn’t fearful. It isn’t just giving shots and drilling teeth. It’s helping people, too.”