Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Dental Student

Stab Lab


If you read my January Review, you know that one of the things that I recently covered in dental school was how to numb a patient. When we learned how to do things like drill on teeth and make dentures, we practiced on mannequins with plastic teeth. The plastic teeth are actually harder to work with than real teeth, so it was a good simulation. But you can't mimic major arteries, nerves, or canals in a dummy head. So in order to get real life experience for numbing patients, we injected each other! Here's a peak at my day. 


5AM Study with Morning Coffee
I am a morning person down to the core. I get the most work done right after I wake up so I get up early to study, since I have class at 8AM. 

While I have reviewed the material several times, I just wanted to go through everything one more time to feel comfortable with everything. When it comes to medicine, you can never study too much.    

7AM Breakfast & Get Ready for the Day
This is one of my favorite snacks/breakfasts to have...nonfat greek yogurt with fruit and granola. 

8:00 AM Dental Lab


We do a quick review of the major anatomical landmarks. As an added bonus, it's being taught by one of my favorite professors. She is seriously a genius...she is a licensed physician (MD) and a licensed dentist (DDS). Plus she has a specialty in oral and maxillofacial surgery. I can't think of a better or more inspirational person to learn from.


Before today's injections, we practice loading the syringes and delivering the anesthesia on tangerines! 
It felt so silly to be puncturing the skin of the tangerine with a needle, but it's all in the name of higher education right! 


10AM Cadaver Lab 
For those of you that don't know, a cadaver is a deceased body that has been donated to science. Cadavers are utilized in medical schools, dental schools, and research facilities throughout the country for dissection and educational purposes. We worked with cadavers extensively during our anatomy unit and today's lab is to help visualize the areas of the mouth connected to major cranial nerves aka areas that you don't want to inject the patient. 

12PM Lunch 
After Cadaver Lab, I run home for a quick shower and to eat lunch. 

1PM STAB LAB ( I really wish that it had a friendlier name) 
This by far has been my most terrifying encounter in dental school because it's really the first time that I am working on a real live person. Entering a field where making a mistake could paralyze or kill someone can be overwhelming-to say the least. 
Thankfully, there was a dentist to oversee each group of students as this was our first time. I cannot express how very proud of myself I am for properly executing my injections. I gave one of my classmates 6 maxillary (upper mouth) injections and 3 mandibular (lower mouth) injections. I'm feeling pretty confident about being able to do this on my future patients. 
After I gave my injections, it was time to let my classmate inject me. Not going to lie-it was a little scary. Knowing as much as I do about what could go wrong, it was hard to let someone who had never done this before inject me, but I had a great partner so I survived. 

5PM HOME! 
I love coming home to this goober every single day. When I get home we normally cuddle on the sofa while I have some me time to catch up on emails, bills, and blogging. 

6PM Dinner & Study 

10PM BedTime

3 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're taking the time to learn how to do these dental procedures right. It is important that we are clinical and precise about this. Of course there's the social aspects of it, such as adjusting to the attitudes and dispositions of the patient, but that is rooted to how the treatment is applied. Thank you for your insights, and I hope dentists and patients learn from them.

    Merle Wells @ Gillum Dentistry

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