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Lauren Aten

Lauren poses and smiles while adjusting the light on a patient

Lauren Aten

Title: Registered Dental Hygienist, Sunset Hills Dental Group

Program: Dental Hygiene

Years Attended: 2021–2023

As a dental hygienist, Lauren transforms lives by educating patients and encouraging proper oral health care. She learned these skills in STLCC-Forest Park's state-of-the-art Center for Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS). We'll soon offer the same immersive educational experience at our Florissant Valley campus with a new CNHS opening in 2025.

Q&A with Lauren

Q: What degree did you earn at STLCC?

A: I received an associate degree in applied science in the dental hygiene program and graduated in the spring of 2023.

Q: What are you doing career-wise now, and what does your position entail?

A: I work at Sunset Hills Dental Group, and my role is to help patients achieve and maintain optimal dental health through personalized oral health education. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about your current role? 

A: I love creating relationships with my patients and motivating them to improve their oral health. 

Q: How did your life journey lead you to where you are today?

A: I always wanted to work in a patient care setting, and I love the independence of a dental hygiene role. In the past, I have worked in a medical office on the reception side of things, but I knew I wanted to be face-to-face with patients.

Q: How would you say your chosen career path is “transforming” the community?

A: I have the opportunity to educate patients on proper oral health and how it connects to their overall health. When people make that connection and understand how important dental health is, it can positively affect them and elevate general health for everyone.

Q: What led you to take classes at STLCC?

A: The STLCC dental hygiene program is accredited and affordable, and the instructors prepare us well—it has a very high pass rate for the national boards. It’s also the only dental hygiene program in the St. Louis area. 

Q: How did STLCC support and prepare you for where you are today?

A: They helped set us up for success by hosting a dental hygiene career fair to find jobs before graduation. The program also had mandatory offsite rotations and an on-campus clinic. When preparing for clinical/national boards, we were given multiple practice exams to build our confidence and readiness.

Q: What was your favorite thing about attending STLCC?

A: I really enjoyed my two years in the new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences building. It is state of the art with brand new equipment to learn on.

Q: Do you have a memorable class or professor you’d like to shout out?

A: Maggie Malench and Kim Polk: their hard work, dedication, and passion for teaching are genuinely appreciated. Thank you for everything! 

Q: What would you say to students considering community college?

A: Community college is affordable and offers transferable credits. It also has a lower student-to-teacher ratio, meaning you can get more individualized attention. I enjoyed my time at STLCC and highly recommend it! 


Explore Dental Hygiene at STLCC

Prepare for a successful, patient-focused career in dental hygiene through immersive training with expert instructors, an on-campus dental clinic, and offsite clinicals.

Learn More

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