Monday, February 9, 2015

Next up? Phase II.

Hello lovelies! Many things have happened since my last post, but the most exciting thing is... drumroll please... I've moved onto Phase II treatment for most of my patients! Dental treatments are usually divided up into two phases. The first, Phase I, is disease control, to take care of the ongoing active infection. Then Phase II is to build up the teeth to make them look perfect and dentoform-ish again (crowns, bridges, implants, dentures).

There are many things to learn, both in forms and procedures. I know the individual bits but not yet how to put everything together. How do I schedule for implants while I am completing root canals? When do I put on the temporary (and when will it get drilled off)? Can I put on one crown while waiting on the other? It's a huge masterpiece I'm weaving from different yarns and threads.

Speaking of which, the first year's are starting preclinic: GRD, lab, the dungeon, whatever you want to call it, I know they've got a lot of growing to do. I scared off a first year by telling her to add a waterproof mascara to her GRD-prep shopping list (sorry H!). But it's kind of true. Because some days you'll be so overcome with joy, gratitude, and excitement that your eyes will water and only the most stubborn waterproof mascara will keep you non-panda'd.

First years, get ready.

Here's confession time: I heard about someone taking time off from dental school and my first reaction was envy. And that caught me by surprise. Sure I can think of a thousand things I'd rather do but do I actually want to step away for a year?

I thought about this long and hard this past week. To be honest, I don't think I have the guts but the immediate jealousy I'd felt was alarming to me. During long walks my brows were furrowed and my face so very sober. I needed to come to a conclusion so I wasn't fuming with uncomfortable cognitive dissonance every 8AM walking into class. Here's my current thought: I would love to spend my time doing other things but I want my everyday's overarching theme to be dentistry. And since I've made an active decision to stay (rather than one to "not leave"), I feel more engaged in my every day clinic/class life.

A classmate posted this Play-doh trick for custom trays (via ASDA's Mouthing Off blog). It's genius. It makes lab time super fun when you smell that familiar fun-associated smell. It seems I'm making custom trays every week and this has majorly cut down on my prep time.

Another big news is that I am most definitely going to do a general practice residency. We began a new class called Practice Management and I learned that I know nothing. But that's a decision I'll slowly flesh out with future posts. Night everybody!


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