Monday, October 20, 2008

Surgical Telescopes

Today we finally received our much anticipated surgical telescopes/loupes. I decided to go with the "Buddy Holley" style frames, initially as a joke but they just fit my face so much better than all of the other styles. I'm not sure anyone else in the class went for this style, I don't know why. They are 2.5x and make a huge difference in seeing all of the little blemishes in my lab work. They are the Designs For Vision brand and I also bought the light that fits on top. I look like super-dork with them on but I don't care, in dental school we always get new gadgets to play with, mostly because I am in the inaugural class and we seem to be receiving new things every week up in the sim lab to play with. I'll be excited to use these from now on to make my wax-ups and preps perfecto. We get lots of toys but dental toys are pricy. These bad boys run for about $2,500.00 but we got them at a discount because we are dental students and bought up 110 sets as a class, they cost me about 1k out of pocket.


I have decided to deviate slightly from dentistry although not totally. I thought I would share one of my favorite youtube videos. This video is of a guy who knows what persistance is all about. Some measure success in life by how many degrees they have mounted to the wall or how much money they have tucked away in the bank. This earthy guy finds joy in stacking animals that you won't find stacked in nature. This guy spent one and a half years training a dog to let a cat ride his back and to train a rat to ride the cat's back. It is like a big piggyback ride of juxtaposition-ness. I figure if this scraggly guy in Santa Barbara has the patience and persistance to accomplish this mighty feat, then surley I can push through dental school with a brightness of hope. I bet dental school is easier than what this guy did. I admire his ambition and creativity to promote get-along-ization with his metaphorical animal tower. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Number 6

I thought I would dedicate this post to tooth number 6. Tooth #6 was the tooth of focus in our dental anatomy course last week and we were tested on it Monday. The "long-hand" name for this tooth is "Secondary maxillary right canine", I prefer the short-hand versiou, "#6". The canine is a very important tooth. It is the "fang" for all of the vampires, it is the sharpest anterior tooth and it is designed for thrashing and shredding wild beasts (maybe when we were all cavemen). Besides being a sweet looking tooth, it is unique in several ways. It has a unique lingual surface in that it has an additional ridge (when compared to the lateral and central incisors) right down the middle which also creates an additional lingual fossa, mesial and distal. It happens to be the longest tooth in the secondary dentition, this sucker is 27.8mm long and has the longest root with an hourglass shape (transverse section) which aids to keep this sucker in. This tooth is important for aesthetic reasons (canine eminence) and is a great tooth for anchoring in any sort of prosthetic device. I am a fan of the canine. *Disclaimer: Tooth in image is number 22, the lower left canine.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week 6 Time Management

This image represents dental school.

Just as every imbalance in life needs adjustment for survival, so has been my experience with dental school. I've been making coarse as well as fine adjustments to try and calibrate my time to handle the course work being flashed before my eyes in the form of never ending power points. The inaugural class of 2012 has been bounced around like a pin-ball in basic-science land for the past several weeks and I am starting to figure out how to handle dental school. It is probably safe to say that I reside on the far left of the bell curve of dental students with time management skills but I am figuring it out and have increased my studying capacity thanks to the sweet nectar within every can of Rock Star. Although the stock market is taking a dump, the number of dental students is increasing as is the need for "study juice". Rock Star is the new gold. If I had any money, I'd definitely invest. If only dental schools would budget the yearly expenses of this stuff into our student loans....

Don't worry, I drink the zero-carb version so it's all good.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Office

Well I took my camera to school and snapped a few shots. I am really impressed with the facilities at Midwestern University. The sim lab is located in a new building with lots of room for growth. I think the second floor is dedicated to dentistry. It is usually only dental students I ever see up there. Here is what the sim clinic looks like. We spend about 4 hours a week up here working on small projects from sealing teeth to waxing up tooth preparations.

You may be asking yourself, "what are those things tucked under the desk?" Well here is what is stuffed under all of our desks.

These are our maniquins made by the wonderful people at Kavo. This is what $15k will get you now a days. We can pull him out and extend him out and throw in some fake teeth and drill away.

Well, our latest project is waxing. We are waxing up the mesial half, lingual and labial, of the secondary maxillary right central incisor, tooth #8. This tooth is a prepared ivorine tooth (plastic tooth). It is basically a project to learn tooth anatomy. It is useful to learn such things like the crown length is about 10.9mm, root is 13.4mm, cervical width is 6.6mm, width at crest of curvature is 7.4mm and so on. There is alot of dimensions to know, I have only scratched the surface. The tooth started out with half of it shaved off, about 1mm. I used a few different colors of wax as instructed to represent different anatomical landmarks such as incisal ridge, marginal ridge, cingulum, and mesial contact point. I will say that waxing teeth has been great practice on developing our manual dexterity and appreciation for lab technicians. I'll throw up a picture of what I'm talking about.

Now for all of you looking at this saying, "wow that looks crappy", don't worry, I'm not done yet. It is very hard to get the surface super smooth with hollenback carvers alone so I will clean it up a little more next time and polish it with a nylon stocking to get it looking sharp! You have to admit I nailed that mesio lingual ridge and lingual fossa (it looks a little over contoured on the photo)! My friends at Ahwatukee Dental Lab would be proud!