Learn From the Best: GRCC professor changes lives with voluntary dental care

Teri Herdon smiling.

Teri Herdon, a Grand Rapids Community College  dental Instructor, has seen first hand how dental care can change lives. 

She vividly recalls one patient she encountered while volunteering at a Mission of Mercy event, which provided dental care for patients in need in Grand Rapids. 

After completing treatment, the patient began crying and hugging Herdon. The patient had never been able to afford dental care, and by getting the help she needed, could now be put on a kidney transplant list.

“We both began crying with joy. She thanked me for saving her life, and I’ll never forget the impact she had on me. We still keep in touch and she’s doing well,” Herdon said. 

Herdon enrolled in GRCC’s Dental Hygiene program in 1990. She worked in private practice for a while and came back to GRCC to teach in 2003. She still maintains a busy schedule of teaching, working in private practices, administering board exams, and volunteering. 

“I love working with the students. We work hard and build strong relationships. I get to take what I have learned in the world and bring it into a hands-on classroom,” Herdon said.  

The program involves hands-on learning in the GRCC Dental Clinic. The Dental Clinic is open to the public and offers preventative services to the public such as cleanings, x-rays, and more for affordable rates. 

Herdon says the dental faculty have created a collaborative environment. The program has a strong reputation for knowledgeable staff, state-of-the-art technology, and hardworking students.

“I’ve been to many other colleges to administer exams,” Herdon said. “I am always proud to come home to GRCC. Our dental program has a strong reputation, it makes me proud to work here”. 

The dental hygiene program has a competitive waitlist, more information can be found here

The Dental Clinic is currently accepting new patients, more information can be found here.

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