Profile a Place: Dental Hygiene


We All Want Clean Teeth


Robert Mahalko Full Time Clinic Laboratory Technician, said to me in our interview, “You need to have at least 3 hours in your schedule of free time to clean your teeth.”  This is the most shocking thing I ever heard when coming to clean your teeth at City Tech Dental Hygiene Clinic. You need this much time because it is a thorough cleaning. The students and professors check for all types of growths, diseases or mild problem such as cavities, for their patient to have clean and non-problematic teeth. The Department of Dental Hygiene states, a dental hygienist is “a licensed member of the dental health team who provides educational, clinical and therapeutic service to the public according to individual state Dental Hygiene Practice acts.”  This might be the meaning of a Dental Hygienist, but you can’t get this service from every dental hygiene service place you visits. This is why I believe if the City Tech Dental Hygiene students and professors can spend 3 hours making sure students and faculty have perfectly clean teeth then this is the right place for you.  

I walked into a small dentist’s office at City Tech. I talked to the secretary of the Dental Hygiene office named Ms. Brown who introduced me to Mr. Mahalko after explaining my assignment to her. A white short man with salt and pepper hair walked through the doors. He had small beanie eyes which looked like they were looking into your soul knowing you had too much candy. He had a crooked smile, but with perfectly white and straight teeth.   I was expecting a man in blue or green medical scrubs with a white coat bigger, but he instead he was wearing a business collared shirt and slacks. He introduced himself as Bob also known as Mr. Mahalko. I was given all the information about the Dental Hygiene Clinic with just asking one simple question, which was “What is a Dental Hygienist?”

The Dental Hygiene Clinic is located in the Pearl Building on the second floor room 200. The working hours are on Mondays through Thursday 8 am to 11 am and Mondays through Thursdays nights 6pm to 9 pm. In my interviewed Mr. Mahalko said “that students come 30 minutes before the clinic opens to clean the equipment that is touch during clinic hours, even though the previous students also cleaned the equipment before leaving.”  This allows the awful pungent smell of disinfectant to hit your nose as you walked through doors of the clinic. The smell lingers throughout the clinic allowing you to know the equipment and room is fully cleaned.  The clinic has two rooms which has 25 equipment chairs in each room. The rooms are fully lit with bright fluorescent lights. As you walk through the rooms you can see your reflection through the equipment and work areas because of the lights and the cleanliness of the room.

I always admire City Tech for having a Dental Hygiene Clinic for students or faculty who do not have dental insurance or are financially stable.  Allowing students or faculty to have their teeth cleaned for free, is a great opportunity for people having certain financial problems. According to The New York City College of Technology website, the clinic offers more services such as “Oral Cancer Examination, Blood Pressure Screening, Dietary Counseling for Prevention of Dental Decay, Screening of Periodontal Disease, Screening for Dental Caries, Oral Hygiene Instructions, Community Dental Referral, Fluoride Treatment, Pit and Fissure Sealants, Radiography, Scaling and Root Planing, Selective Polishing, Follow-up Periodontal Maintenance Therapy and Tooth Whitening ( New City College,” Patience Clinic).

 Also some of the services are free, but if they are not free with a valid ID you can have student or faculty discount of 50 %. They have a fee for the general public.  This a great opportunity   because outside customers can experience a City Tech cleaning service and can spread the word about the City Tech Clinic. I asked Mr. Mahalko, “How much money did it cost to have all the equipment?”  He said “It cost the school $1.3 million to improve all the equipment in the labs/clinic, (R. Mahalko, Personal Communication, December 3, 2015).”  I realize that the professors want the best quality for their students to use because when dental students get into the real world of dental hygiene they understand how to use the equipment. It’s taking a little while to update all the equipment to be fully computerized.

Throughout my interview with Mr. Mahalko, he was trying to persuade me to come to the clinic to get my teeth cleaned. No outside organization is going to spend 3 hours on teeth cleaning, then check for diseases or growth. Instead, dentist spend 30 mins on each patient.  This shows the difference in how many patients City Tech takes in compared to dental organization outside. It shows the City Tech Clinic cares about their patient’s teeth because of the long process they take. Some dental organizations just care about our money and don’t care if your teeth drop out of your head.

I am very lucky to have met Mr. Mahalko because I was able to understand the meaning of caring for your patient instead of seeing them as money.  I believe that City Tech students and faculty should visit the Dental Hygiene Clinic because they provide so much for us to have our teeth forever.

Worked Cited

The New City College of Technology, Department of Dental Hygiene-“ Pham flip”

Mr. R. Mahalko Personal Interview, 3 December 2015

New York City College of Technology- “Patience Clinic Service”


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