Friday, November 27, 2009

Full of turkey and all Xbox'ed out with my brother - it's good to be home. Finally was able to submit the Eportfolio (read earlier posts about my woes with it).

Now I'm bored, laying in bed thinking of class II preps. So I found this video. I have a couple of problems with the lingual and facial extensions of the box prep, as later resulted in a weird restorative techniques...I bet that composite is all kinda bulky towards the gingival interproximal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pre-turkey pokey

Nothing builds comradeship like local anesthesia. Truly, there is nothing that can describe a feeling, when you lie in that chair with a gaping mouth as your friend (who you owe money) stares at you with a shining 25 gauge needle. Today the feelings were even stronger, as we were graded for our competency exam (CE). The task was actually quite simple - IA, Lingual, and LB blocks. Easy as pie. You'd think. But then you factor in hitting the bone prematurely and positive aspirations, and Axium, which crashed on me, as usual, and the CE turned out to be quite a labor intensive hustle. Ultimate outcome of this ordeal - I can now perform local anesth on patients in the clinic - scary thought.
The afternoon was as mellow as a pre-holiday afternoon can be. After yet another before-after clinical scenario from what I call "true life series" by the instructor, we were told to make a direct composite restoration on #8...or was it #9... Here's where i began to wonder. We are taught that composite restorations are easy to place/adjust, require less time (single appointment) but are less durable and stain resistant than porcelain veneers. But how much so? Believe it or not, I actually liked the look of the composite over the veneer. Plus, factoring in overhead and chair time, composites are a LOT more profitable. In my opinion, when restoring a single anterior tooth, it's much more efficient to do a composite.
Anyway, I'd love to rant more, but it's close to midnight, I have a flight home tomorrow, and I haven't even begun considering packing.

-Because I can.
As I took my Anesthesia CE, a classic by Cosby came to mind.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

To be a dentist, one has to pay dues along the path towards those three capital letters. One form in which these dues come is full removable prosthodontics, more specifically full dentures. There are lots of things, which I enjoy in life (great sunrise, ice cream, FVC prep on # 3, etc. However, setting teeth is NOT one of them. Thus, my Tuesday mornings are not the best of times.
To aid the already wonderful day, which thus far consisted of waking up 15 min before class starts (also known as afro day, referring to my cranial pelage), forgetting to mount my mandibular model cast, only 3 instructors were present, instead of the usual 7. To put this into perspective, there are 85 of us, and none know what the heck we are doing. The scenery reminded me of a bird mating ritual, as 30 some students attempted to gather attention of a row instructor to review their work.
Finally getting through a half-assed job of setting a full Max arch, I packed my things and headed to the end-of-the-quarter PhD journal club meeting, which was more of a "how you doing" meeting. As the current program director is retiring and passing on the torch to someone else, the T32 NIH grant expiring at the end of year, and a major revamping of the curriculum, I stand with little more than a somewhat clear idea what my research project will be. I still have no idea how I am going to fit in my 3rd and final lab rotation while basically working full time in the clinic, not to mention the grad courses, which start next year as well. All I can do now, though, is to keep seeing the big picture - no matter what, I will graduate...eventually.

On this note, I bid you adieu until tomorrow.

-Because I can.

Monday, November 23, 2009

If dental school could be described with only ten words, two of them would have to be "busy work". I've been at UCSF for over a year now, but it still hasn't stopped surprising me with new ways to waste my time and cause further delay in studying for the boards. This time, as a special pre-Thanksgiving treat, the school has graced us with an E-portfolio assignment.
For those lucky few who still haven't (or never will) experience it, let me give you a brief overview of what that tedious process entails. One gets assigned a restorative procedure, say an MO composite on #19. The task is then to record every tiny detail of that procedure with pictures and submit it in a Powerpoint presentation. So, for the 37th time, I need to explicitly state that I indeed understand the principles of a prep design...instead of doing that I'm blogging.

Until later,

Ever since I was five there was something weird about me. I wanted to be a dentist. While all of the other kids dreamed of space ships and ninja turtles...I did too. Except I also wanted to be a dentist. Don't you find it weird? Well I do. Anyway.
The purpose of this blog is to guide you through what is feels like to be in a dental school. What it feels like to be 22, single, living in a big city where you didn't grow up, surrounded by classmates with whom by the work of fate you have to share every aspect of your life, and who inadvertently become your closest friends.
Another purpose of this blog is to inform you, the future dental student, of what it feels like to be in the grind. Thus, should you have any questions, concerns, comments, or senseless accusations, please, do comment! I'll reply as soon as humanly possible (and trust me, I've grown to stretch the boundaries of that term beyond imaginable).

I will try to post daily, or thereabouts, so keep your wits about ya and keep up ;)