Saturday, May 9, 2015

I laugh at my own dentist jokes

I'm going to tell you a dental joke. Here's why you should become an endodontist: no patient is gonna come to you and say, “I don’t like this color gutta percha.”

If you don''t get it, the joke is this: gutta percha is the rubber that goes inside the tooth during a root canal procedure & no one ever sees it. Color matching is an art in dentistry, especially for crowns and veneers... but not for gutta percha. 

Trying to convince your non-dentist boyfriend that you're actually funny- is one thing. Explaining specific dental procedures to interested patients is another- perhaps more real- challenge. 

try not to laugh when you find dental burs on the bathroom floor

I assume people know things: implants, fillings (simple versus inlays/onlays), and crowns. But to be honest with you, I didn't know the difference before dental school. What is a "prep"? (when you cut the tooth to prepare it for the filling). What is a "prophy"? (prophylactic cleaning, the usual 6 month visit to the dentist.) 

So when a patient asks me, "what are implants exactly?" I have to pause and consciously use those simple terms. Not too scary, but not condescending. Because sometimes, I am so darn impressed at myself using those fancy words: "sub-gingival chamfer needs to be more apical". Best thing: when you start using abbreviations like a badass. Sub gingival? Sub-G, dudes.

Everything becomes interesting in small pieces. For example, I'm learning all about the finance world thanks to my boyfriend and his roommate. I'm finally getting a grip on what seemed so hazy and mysterious to me. Analogies help. So do patience and humor.

my huge Texas grocery bag now carries all my dental lab goodies (and makes me smile)


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