The Dental Assisting graduates

AVON PARK, Fla. – July 18, 2019 – South Florida State College (SFSC) honored nine graduates of its Dental Assisting program in a pinning ceremony in the SFSC University Center Auditorium on Wednesday, July 17. Receiving their pins were Ashley Ayala, Hali Bohannon, Rachel Burton, Ashley De Santiago, Sebrina Gillilan, Julie Lopez, Jaynice Nance, Raquel Rodriguez, and Janet Sanchez.

To open the ceremony, Dr. Deborah Milliken, chair of SFSC’s Dental Education program, congratulated the dental assisting graduates on behalf of herself and the faculty.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Stefani Allison, a dentist whose general practice is based in Winter Haven and provides clinical experience for SFSC dental assisting students. Dr. Allison spoke with the graduates on the importance of their role as an assistant within a dental practice. She commended her current dental assistants, who graduated from SFSC’s Dental Assisting program, saying that they make her flourish. She urged the graduates to work as a team: “When you have a team that’s always positive, you know that you will work with great people every day and that you can change patients’ lives. When you always try to be a better member of the team, you make the dentist a better person and boss.” She stressed good communication skills, organizational skills, and understanding the dentist’s procedures. She stressed that a dental assistant must be flexible within any office or clinical setting, because healthcare is a lifetime learning process—it’s always changing.

Upon completing the Dental Assisting program, graduates can work as certified dental assistants by passing the Dental Assisting National Board Examination and qualifying for the Expanded Functions Dental Assisting Certification as well as Orthodontic Assistant Certification. All nine dental assisting graduates have received Florida Orthodontic Certification.

SFSC also offers a two-year Associate in Science degree program in dental hygiene. Upon completing this program, graduates become dental hygienists by passing the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and the Florida State Clinical Licensure Examination.

For more information on the dental programs at SFSC, call 863-453-6661 or visit