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Charmi conquers the world one smile at a time

Growing up in India, Charmi Darji always had a fascination with people and how everyone had a different perspective on their aesthetics.

"Everyone is different and unique, and I've always enjoyed meeting people and finding out what makes them tick," said Charmi.

This fascination led her to become a dentist, igniting her passion for helping people - one smile at a time.

A qualified dentist, Charmi wanted to extend her dental skills and ability and sought out a specialist prosthetics qualification, bringing her to TAFE Queensland.

"I researched prosthetics courses from the United States, Canada and Australia and decided to move to Australia to study the Bachelor of Dental Prosthetics (HED004) with TAFE Queensland."

"This was the best bachelor course for me because it has an intense focus on prosthetics and a high level of detail which is enhancing my existing dental skills," she explained.

In her third year of study, Charmi is learning how to issue, maintain, and examine dental prosthetics, to take impressions, produce custom-fit dentures, and undertake other technical prosthetic work.

"Working in oral health gives me immense happiness. Every day I get to meet new people, use my skills to help them and then get to see them leave surgery happy; it fills me with great pride."

Enhancing her professional dental prosthetics skills even further is her work placement with TAFE Queensland's partner West Moreton Health's dental clinic in Ipswich.

"I spend one day each week working at a real dental clinic, meeting real patients and working alongside clinicians, admin staff and other students," she continued.

"It has been an invaluable experience and has complimented my studies perfectly, and I can feel my skills improving as I get faster at making impressions and sharpening my overall accuracy."

The combination of her placement experience, learning in the classroom, and the guidance she receives from her teachers is building her confidence and capabilities.

"My teachers are so friendly, and under their guidance, we learn how to use state of the art equipment that you'd find in any clinic in the industry."

Enhancing her skills event further are the facilities and equipment that she uses each day at TAFE Queensland, which allow her to transition from the classroom to the clinic seamlessly.

"We use the same chairs, tools and materials to help our patients in class as we do in the clinics, preparing us for the real world."

Rounding out her education is TAFE Queensland's association with the Australian Dental Prosthetics Association (ADPA), which offers prosthetics students' access to study groups and mentoring programs.

"Through the ADPA association, I attend study clubs and network with industry people to build professional development, further expanding my knowledge."

After graduating, Charmi wants to use work in oral health to keep the world smiling and continue her education by studying for a Masters.

"This course was exactly what I was looking for, and it is perfect for getting me to where I want to be professionally and an excellent way to enhance my existing knowledge."

"I'm learning the technical skills from knowledgeable and supportive teachers in an industry environment with real patients who present a different challenge every day," she concluded.