Dental School Diary Quarantine Edition

Well, the year 2020 has been a real doozy, huh? As of March, we’ve been completing all our assignments online and lectures via Zoom. There isn’t much going on right now, but let’s catch up on some of what we’ve done this year before our social distancing shutdown:

Girl boxing
Girl boxing
  • I took a self-defense class

 Not exactly dental related, but I did it with my dental gals! I recommend every woman or young person take the time to sign up for one of these classes (when things open back up). It was empowering to have a few extra tools in my kit if I ever find myself in a bad situation and it was a fun bonding experience

  • We learned how to do root canals and make dentures
dental dentoform with missing teeth
  1. The goofy looking dentoform you see here has human teeth mounted in it. This is the best way we can simulate what we’ll see in the real world when it comes to endodontics (root canals). A root canal is basically taking out the inside portion of the tooth that houses the nerve and other living tissues (pulp) when it has become infected or inflamed. It’s a common misconception that your tooth *has to hurt* in order to need a root canal, but often times we do root canals t prevent patients from experiencing the pain to begin with, which if left untreated, can lead to abscesses and some pretty nasty infections. We determine the health of a tooth and the tissues around it by evaluating your x-rays and running some tests (placing cold on the tooth, using an electronic tester, and tapping on the tooth).
Tooth decay
Tooth decay
Central incisor root canal
Central incisor root canal

2. As for dentures, that was a whole different beast. I did not realize how much time and effort truly goes into making the perfect denture. In the “real world”, a dental laboratory does a large portion of the work for the dentists, but having excellent impressions and records as well as knowing how each detail is supposed to look helps us ensure the patient is getting exactly what we expect. It gave me a brand new appreciation and respect for dentures, the labs that help create them, and the patients who wear them.

Artificial jaw mold
Artificial jaw mold
  • Stab lab
I see numb people dentist infographic
I see numb people

Despite the daunting name, “Stab Lab” was a super cool experience. Before we subject
our patients to anesthetic injections, we practice on one another. It’s a hands-on
approach to understanding the proper techniques and what our patients feel. We
practiced numbing up multiple areas on
both the top and bottom teeth. From
experience, the injections in the roof of
the mouth tend to be a little unpleasant
but partner did great, and UF teaches us
the best methods for making the
experience as gentle and comfortable as
possible! Unfortunately, we couldn’t take
any pictures of our silly feeling faces, but
I assure you it was quite the sight.

  • I took and passed NBDE Part 1

The big exam I spent all of January and February studying for is finally over! When I finished the eight hours of Gross and Dental Anatomy, Biochem, Developmental Biology and… honestly I can’t even remember what else… I felt like I got hit by a truck. Seriously, I thought I got about 50% of the questions confidently correct so I was preparing myself to have to take it again. I think the exam is an important evaluation of dental student knowledge, but I also felt there were so many random and detailed questions about the abdomen, thorax, reproductive system and other topics that felt like a far stretch from the traditional dentistry “must knows”. Anyway, I’m stoked that I got a “PASS” and the exam is behind us!

Book with human anatomy and cup of coffee
Book with human anatomy and cup of coffee

passed exam notice
passed exam notice

Hoping everyone is staying safe and we’ll be back in school soon!

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