Monday, December 18, 2017

a day in the life of a dental student: sleigh decay

So close to finishing up yet another semester of dental school (just a few more days!), but before I do, thought I'd share another day in the life of a dental student to reflect my current schedule before things get even busier next semester.

4:45AM Study Session: Not every dental student wakes up at dawn, but I'm a morning person. I have a final exam coming up in oral pathology and decide to spend the morning reviewing the material that I covered the night before. I'm not hungry yet, so I have a hot lemon ginger tea while I study.

6:30AM Getting ready for the day. I take the pup out for a quick 20 minute walk (it's still dark out), get showered, and dressed in my scrubs. I make and eat my usual breakfast of oatmeal with bananas, raisins, nuts, and almond milk. I grab two boiled eggs and a coffee to go on my way out the door.

7:45AM I'm at school and do the initial set-up of my clinic operatory for the morning. We're responsible for every part of our appointments from set-up to checking vitals to the paperwork to the actual dental procedure to cleaning up. 

8AM Class: We have a class on I don't know what (?) I hate to admit it, but I'm only there for attendance sake. I find it impossible to pay attention to the lectures that we have just before clinic. Instead I chug coffee and eat the boiled eggs I packed (because I'm already hungry again) while I scour through patient charts on my laptop. Only a handful of my classmates have bothered to attend and most of us leave early because the dispensary where we get the majority of our supplies for our appointments opens up around 8:30. Can you tell I'm not a fan of the timing of this class? 

9AM Emergency Appointment: I have an emergency appointment this morning, which I always dread because you never know what you're going to see and whether or not you're prepared to handle it. Thankfully, this is a super easy case, the patient just lost a filling due to recurrent decay. It’s a Class 3 MFL on #8, which means that its cavity on the top front tooth that starts at the back of the tooth and punches all the way through to the front of the tooth.
Since it’s a front tooth and esthetic, I’m going to of course use the tooth colored composite material. I get the patient numb, prep/drill on the tooth to remove the decay (cavity) and create a design that will hold the filling material. I ended up mixing 2 different shades of composite filling material to get the exact right shade I wanted. And it looked fantastic at the end. You can’t even tell there is a restoration there. Wishing I could show you guys a picture of the final product, but I can’t because, you know...HIPPA. 

12PM Lunch: I purposefully live super close to the school so I can head home for lunch instead of having to stay in the break room. It keeps to me sane to have a few moments to myself. 

1PM Restorative Appointment: Planning on doing several amalgam restorations (metal fillings) on my afternoon patient. I get along well with this patient so I put on music and we just groove our way through the appointment. For you dental peeps, I did a 30MOD and 31O. Also did the distal and mesial pits of 29 since the ridge wasn’t compromised. 

Happy to say I did anesthesia, placed a rubber dam, did all 4 preps & restorations, my note for the appointment, cleaned up all, and had the patient checked out by 3:45PM--all with no assistant. It sounds like a long appointment, but as a student, this is fast for me. I was relaxed, but also on edge the whole time pushing myself to move. 

4PM Nap: I should stay and get some lab work done, but nothing is pending. So instead, I'm more than happy to head home early for the afternoon (clinic ends at 5PM) and decide to use my stolen time for a power nap on the sofa because I'm already exhausted from the day. 

5PM Study: After my power nap, I have baked salmon & veggies for dinner, then pick up Starbucks as a treat. I spend what's left of the daylight hours and the rest of the night at my desk studying for my oral pathology final.

10:30PM Bed: The moment I’ve been waiting for all day...basically since I got up. 

Day in Review
Hours Studying: 7
Hours in Clinic: 6
Procedures Completed on my Own: 5
Steps on FitBit: 
Hours Slept: 7 

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