Class of 2014
Health and Exercise Science Major
Some people may not be excited at the thought of spending 40 hours a week at a dentist’s office. In fact, many dread the one or two hours per year they are forced to endure cleanings, fillings and other procedures.
However, John Freeman, a senior health and exercise science major (with a concentration in pre-dental studies), was excited to spend his free time at the dentist.
During the 2013 spring semester, John completed an internship shadowing Dr. Joe McIntyre in his Bridgewater dental practice, Smiles for Life.
John wanted to gain valuable insight into the world of dentistry before applying for graduate school, and the internship also helped fulfill certain application requirements for dental school.
His father, a dentist, did not encourage his son to follow the same path. “He told me to chase my dreams, study other subjects and decide what I really enjoy,” John said.
“I started college studying something completely different at a different liberal arts school,” he said. “I found my home at Bridgewater College, and I eventually found my interests coming back to dentistry. When things in life continuously come back to you, they just can’t be ignored.”
During the course of the internship, John assisted on everything from routine dental cleaning to complex oral surgical procedures such as root canals and dental implants. He also was able to make retainers and work with lab equipment.
Smiles for Life has access to some of the latest technology in the field of dentistry, and John was fortunate to learn about these machines first-hand before beginning graduate-level dental work. His favorite machine is a three-dimensional Panorex machine, which takes full x-rays that can be manipulated to view from any angle. This helps the dentist to place implants in the exact spot needed without fear of miscalculating or hitting a nerve.
John describes the personal value of his internship to his future career with much enthusiasm. “No matter where you are going in life, experience in your field of study always benefits you. This internship not only meets requirements needed for graduate school,” he said, “but it also provides you with much of the information other students will not receive until graduate school. Between this program and work at my dad’s office, I feel one step ahead with the basics under my belt.”