These High School Kids Like Going To The Dentist 

A group of local high school students were actually excited to go to the dentist’s office today. The first annual dental academy was held in Bangor.The noise of a dentist’s drill usually sends kids scrambling for the nearest exit, but these high school students want to be here. This week at Penobscot Community Healthcare in Bangor, they’ve opened their doors for the first annual dental academy.Dr. David Drohan is the chief dental officer at Penobscot community healthcare. “What they’re looking at is seeing what a dental appointment looks like from the providers point of view,” says Dr. Drohan, “what it looks like to administer local anesthetic, what it’s like to have your teeth cleaned, to have a tooth extracted, to make a crown.””It’s awesome! You get to see everything,” says Tanner Furgeson a 9th grader, John Bapst. Alexa Hammond is entering the 10th grade at Hermon high school and says this academy has been an eye opener. “We got to shadow a lot of things and get to experience it instead of going into a classroom and just learning it,” Hammond says, “we actually got to do it. Which is what I enjoy because I like doing things instead of reading it in a book.” Dr. Drohan says Maine is facing one of the highest dentist shortages in the country…he’s doing his part to combat the problem. They have four senior dental students rotating through this clinic and three more doctors doing their residencies here. He’s trying to spread the word to an even younger audience with this dental academy. “We’ve decided a lot of innovative strategies, and part of that is to try to intervene so the young kids in Maine will hopefully come back to Maine, stay in Maine, and work in Maine,” he says.The kids are getting the message loud and clear. “Frankly I didn’t know what I wanted to do and my mom was just like, ‘oh try it you might like it.’ I don’t know what I want to do but I actually really like the dentistry field,” says Hammond.Other students, like Tanner Furgeson, seem to know exactly what they want to do. “I am hoping that I’m going to make it in to a really good dental program out of college hopefully. and I was hoping to be an orthodontist.”