Sunday, September 7, 2014

not quite a dentist yet, but dentist lite

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! It was so hot in Philadelphia this weekend. Low 90's with an unbearable humidity. I felt like I was back in Houston. No need for saunas, just step outside.

I spent my Saturday night talking dentistry with strangers. I was volunteering and as soon as my co-volunteers found out I was a dental student, conversation began flowing. In my experience, people respond in one of three ways when they found out I'm in dental school: 
  1. Don't judge my teeth! I haven't been wearing my retainers/been to the dentist/have to go soon.
  2. I have the worst nightmare story about my dentist experience.
  3. What made you want go to dental school (and not medical school)?
Don't get me wrong, I love talking about teeth, occlusion, braces, dentistry, prophys... But we have this golden rule in dentistry: thou shalt not talk ill of other dentists. So when my new friend told me that she went to the ER with intense pain and her dentist completed root canal therapy on her tooth the next morning... and the pain didn't go away at all, I was all o_o .

She wanted to know what had happened. And what has to happen now. 
I've been learning everything dentistry for the last two years. Penn's taught me well. It's crazy to me how much I know. Like when Enstin was considering third molar extractions or Mark was having occlusion problems, I was able to answer many of their questions. But I have limited clinical experience and most of my knowledge comes secondhand.

I have neither the years/decades of experience or hundreds of patients or study club discussions to back up what I only know theoretically. Here's something Dr. Kohli (whose endodontics office is just GORGEOUS) said this in class last week. It really hit me hard.

Every case is different because dentist's clinical expertise and patient's needs/preferences differ. I intuitively feel this is true but I have to get out there and see for myself all the different cases- so I can know this.

So while I'm excited about how many coins of knowledge I've saved up in my piggy bank, I know there is a long ways to go. Clinic starts up again this week! The neon blue scrubs life.


  1. Just wanted to say love your blog! I'm currently in school for dental assisting then will go for hygienist. We also happen to live in the same area. Maybe I'll see you around some time and we can talk teeth!

    1. Thank you for reading! Sounds like lots of schooling ahead for you- I'm always up for talking teeth and occlusion. ;)