Friday, September 13, 2013

placing dentures

At Penn dental, the first and second year dental students assist upperclassmen in clinic.

This week I got to place final dentures on a real patient! I didn’t make those dentures and it wasn’t my patient, but I got to put it in the patient’s mouth for the final fitting. It’s like I skipped all the difficult steps and went straight to the happy ending.


The patient spoke differently (so much better “fifty-six” and “Mississippi”) & the patient was just SO happy.

It helps me so much to see the bigger picture. We are spending hours upon hours in lab learning how to do these procedures. The casts above took me six hours to do: take the alginate impression (multiple times), pour the stone on the impression (just twice!), trim it up to correct width and height. I get lost in the small details and frustrate myself in the process too often. It gets hot in the lab with all the flames and I emerge covered in dust and impression compound, exhausted, defeated even.

But remembering that we are doing this for some happy patient in the future, that’s what really matters. And reminding myself that I’m a beginner at this whole denture thing! (or even this whole dentist thing)! Everyone has to take baby steps starting out. It might take me a while but I’ll get there.