During the spring 2016 semester I had the opportunity of interning at
Clemson Family Dentistry in Seneca, SC.
Dr. John McRoberts, Dr. William Gustafson, and their entire staff were
incredible teachers and mentors throughout my entire experience.
They not only taught me about the procedures they perform, but
taught me how to be professional in the field of dentistry.
During my internship, I had the opportunity to visit the six dental
specialties accredited by the American Dental Association.
Overall my internship was a huge success, as it helped strengthen
my desire and dream of becoming a dentist.
3. Clemson Family Dentistry
Clemson Family Dentistry works to make dentistry a gentle and
The staff strives to provide excellent, comprehensive services to the
patients of all generations.
At Clemson Family Dentistry, the goal and mission is to involve all
patients in an active program to prevent dental disease by combining
high tech solutions with a soft touch.
Whether it’s a complete dental makeover or a simple whitening, the
staff enjoys working to create those bright smiles and ensuring that
everyone has a positive dental office experience.
4. Clemson Family Dentistry
The office is located at 875 Old Greenville Hwy Seneca, SC
and is opened Monday- Thursday 8:00am-5:00pm and every
other Friday from 8:00am-2:00pm.
5. Clemson Family Dentistry: Doctors
Received his Doctor of Dental
Medicine degree from the Medical
University of South Carolina in
A member of the SC Dental
Association, the Academy of
General Dentistry, the American
Academy of Computerized
Dentistry, the American Academy
of Oral Medicine.
He has been providing dental care
in the Clemson/Seneca area since
Dr. John McRoberts, D.M.D., P.A.
Received his Doctor of Dental
Surgery degree from The
University of Tennessee College
of Dentistry in 1971.
A member of the SC Dental
Association, the American Dental
Association, and a Fellow of the
Academy of General Dentistry.
He has been practicing in the
Clemson area since 1973.
Dr. William Gustafson, D.D.S., P.A.
6. Clemson Family Dentistry: Assistants
Dr. McRoberts and Dr. Gus have four certified dental
assistants that work in the office: Shavon, Brenda, Jan,
and Janna. Combined they have over 45 years of
I had the opportunity of being able to work with all four
of them very closely. They were great teachers and if it
wasn’t for their passion of dentistry and willingness to
help, my experience at Clemson Family Dentistry would
not have been the same.
Throughout my experience, I was able to assist them
with fillings, impressions, crown preparation, extractions,
and root canal procedures.
7. Clemson Family Dentistry: Hygienists
Being a general dentist office, hygiene appointments are
the majority of the appointments this office has
There are 5 hygiene rooms with a total of six hygienists
who are employed at Clemson Family Dentistry.
Each of them has had their own unique dental
experiences, and it was a pleasure to be able to work
alongside the six of them for the entire semester.
8. My Internship
During my thirteen week internship, I was able to participate in a
numerous number of tasks. The various tasks I performed were:
shadowing, assisting, sterilizing, laboratory work, and an in office
I was able to observe extractions, fillings, bone grafting, crown
procedures, implants, root canals, orthognathic surgery, orthodontic
procedures, along with various cosmetic procedures.
I had the opportunity to learn through hands-on experience by
assisting Dr. McRoberts with many of these procedures. This was a
fun way to learn and interact with the procedures and patients.
Laboratory work was another big portion of my internship, where I
created models based off my impressions and made myself
whitening trays, a night guard, and an essix for tooth number 26.
As part of my internship, I had the opportunity to observe six different
dental specialties in the surrounding area.
Upstate Periodontics and Implant Dentistry (Dr. David Garrison)
Advanced Upstate Endontics (Dr. Michael Pfister)
Issaqueena Pediatric Dentistry (Dr. Camille Horton)
Issaqueena Prosthodontics (Dr. Craig Horton)
Upstate Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Dr. Samer Judeah)
Upstate Orthodontics (Dr. Mark McInnis)
This was a great experience and gave me a real insight into all the
career possibilities that exist within the field of dentistry. More
information about my specialties, can be found on the specialties
page of my portfolio.
Seating patients and assisting
After observing procedures for about
three weeks, my tasks increased from
seating patients and preparing them for
their appointment, to assisting Dr.
McRoberts chairside with the procedures.
Each procedure varied and throughout
the semester I assisted with fillings (both
composite and amalgam), crown
preparation, extractions, and impressions
for dentures, night guards, and whitening
Assisting also included charting; After
each patient I would have to chart their
notes into the Eaglesoft program to note
exactly what was done, what materials
were used, and other important
information that may need to be
referenced in the future.
11. Tasks Cleaning and Preparing Rooms
Another one of my tasks included
sterilization of the tools and exam room,
along with set up of the exam room for the
Sterilization is an important part of any
health profession, but extremely critical in
the field of dentistry due to the high risk of
Preparing the room for the next patient was
also a critical part of my job, and a great
Based on looking at the schedule, I would have
to set up the rooms with the proper tools
needed for that specific procedure.
Learning the names of the tools, the types of
material used for the different types of fillings,
along with learning the proper way to set up
anesthesia was a great experience, and I feel
will give me a leg up when I get to dental
12. Projects- Laboratory work
I was lucky enough that at my internship site, there was a
functional laboratory. As one of my projects, I created two
custom night guards (one thin, one thick) along with custom
whitening trays for myself.
This hands on process from start to finish gave me a true
understanding of the step by step process that goes into
creating what most would consider a simple night guard. There
are many intricate steps involved, and I was able to perform
each of them correctly to get a perfectly fitting night guard and
13. Projects- Laboratory work
Step 1- The first step in making any dental appliance is to take an impression of the
mouth and teeth that you will be working with. The material used to take the impression
was alginate. This material has to be mixed by hand, and then poured on the impression
trays immediately. An impression of both my upper and lower teeth was necessary to
make my night guards.
Step 2- After the impression was taken, the cast stone setting material was ready to be
made. This was a critical process as the thickness had to be perfect or else it would be
to “runny” or to “chunky” and would not set right in the impression. When mixing and
pouring into the impression, a vibrating machine was used to knock all as many air
pockets as possible. Once poured, it was left to harden and set for about thirty minutes.
14. Step 3- Next, the model was trimmed so it was easier to work with and
would start to look like a mouth. Careful trimming was necessary in order to
make sure no teeth were cut off that were needed for the appliance.
Projects- Laboratory work
15. Projects- Laboratory work
Step 4- The next step
is to cut away air
pockets and excess
anatomy that so that
the night guard will sit
tight against the teeth.
The tool used to cut
air pockets and
excess anatomy is
just a sharp 25mm
Step 5- Once the model
is prepped and ready,
heat pressing can begin.
Alignment of the model
against the heat press
machine is critical to
reduce the amount of air
pockets that will be
16. Projects- Laboratory Work
Step 6- The final step in the process of making a night guard was
to finish trimming and smoothing out the edges so it fit comfortably
in the patients mouth without any irritation.
Carefully following the steps in the correct order is critical when making a
dental appliance. Not following the correct order, or performing an action
before it is ready to be completed, will not yield the correct product.
17. Projects- Office Organization
Another project I completed
while interning this
semester was organization
and labeling of binders in
storage for Clemson Family
Dentistry. Dr. McRoberts
had stated that his personal
office was becoming to
crowded and cluttered so I
suggested I clean it out and
organize everything by
This project took about
three weeks to complete.
18. Internship Outcomes
Through my internship experience I was able to:
Detect cavities and decay on patients’ teeth based on
physical observation as well as x-ray examinations.
Develop a full comprehensive treatment plan for those
patients suffering from tooth decay, periodontitis, and
Determine the best treatment methods for cosmetic
and restorative dentistry.
Improve my knowledge of the types of materials and
tools used for specific procedures.
Confirm that I want to pursue a career in the field of
My experience at Clemson Family Dentistry has been incredible.
Words and pictures cannot explain how much I have enjoyed my
time here. Dr. McRoberts, along with his staff have taught me an
incredible amount of information not only about different dental
procedures, but about business, patient relationships, interview
techniques, and application tips for applying to dental school. The
numerous number of hours I have spent observing, working in the
lab, and chairside assisting are things that I will remember forever.
The lessons I learned during my internship are far beyond tooth
structure and the names of tools. As Dr. McRoberts always told me,
“You can train a monkey to fix a tooth, its the importance and
understanding of the well-being of the patient that’s attached to that
little tooth, that makes a dentist a doctor.”
The time I have spent with at this office has truly prepared me to
take the next step in achieving my career goals.