Thursday, December 7, 2017

dental school lately: vol. 2

From oral cancer biopsies to fungal swabs to extracting teeth to seeing my first pediatric patient, dental school lately has a been a bit of a whirlwind. And when I think back to how busy I felt during years past, I kind of laugh a bit at the thought of it all. Each year, each month, each day is tougher than the last. But I'm learning so much on a daily basis and moving that much closer to becoming a dentist. 
dental school lately volume 2On that note, I think a little dental school update is long overdue. 

Brushing Up On
  • All the paperwork. For each patient that I diagnose/treatment plan, I have to write up a report and it feels as if I'm always doing paperwork. I tracked everything in a day in the life of a dental student and was shocked to find out that I spent 4 hours of my day doing paperwork compared to only 7 hours of dentistry. 
  • Constantly looking things up for each case and patient that I see. Really can't wait to get to the point where I just know these things, but for now it's kind of interesting to be in a place where you learn something new from every single patient encounter. 
dental school lately volume 2

In the Classroom
Thankfully, the majority of our time is spent in clinic with patients, but I still have a few courses that I'm taking and they are advanced.  
dental school lately volume 2
  • I cannot express how thrilled I am to be done with the classroom component of our partial denture course. I submitted the rest of my projects last week-I've only been working on them since August! 
  • Our main course right now that's kicking my butt is oral pathology with differentiating between all the minute details that separates related diseases. Thankfully, its almost over and our final is happening today. Wish me luck. 

In the Lab
  • I have a love hate relationship with lab work right now. Some of it can be creative & artistic, while other parts are intense with requiring saws and blow torches. I was struggling with passing my practical on fabricating dentures and failed my first attempt. Then, I worked my butt off and was able to pass the second time around. The timing couldn't have been better as I'm planning to start for first denture patient case in the clinic. 
  • After a few rough days of dental school, I also found out that I passed my practical on partial dentures as well. Officially done with all preclinical practicals! 
dental school lately volume 2

In the Clinic
dental school lately volume 2
  • Have been spending lots of time in the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic lately…here's a glimpse of a week of dental surgery  
  • Crossed another clinical skills assessment off my list with acing my exam on exodontia-pulling teeth. Did I mention that our clinical practicals are on live patients? More details here
  • Guess who stopped by? The husband has been my patient several times now and the work I've done has helped me qualify for one of my clinical practicals! Gotta love it when your spouse supports you enough to be your patient. 
  • Spent a Saturday volunteering at a free dental clinic and couldn't be more grateful for the experience of providing dental care to the underserved. A local clinic donated supplies and some of my fellow classmates and I donated our time. We are all so thankful for every opportunity to work with patients.
dental school lately volume 2

It was so surreal to share this little update of dental school and realize how much and how quickly things have changed. I definitely still remember feeling nervous about things as simple as doing a dental cleaning and now I don't think twice about pulling teeth, drilling, and grabbing a scalpel blade when needed. And it's even more surreal that this semester is coming to an end. In case you've missed anything, some of my recent dental school posts can be found below: 

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