Tuesday, May 26, 2009


So one of these teeth is not like the other..... What is it?? Fusion of the mandibular right lateral incisor and canine (QR fusion). This picture is of my cousin's little girl. My cousin came up to me at a family party and said, "Look at her teeth, I can't floss between them!" I was excited the moment I saw it because I had just had a course on dental anomalies and I knew what it was. It is pretty cool when you are a first year dental student and you get opportunities to apply what you learned in the class room to a more clinical setting. Street Cred....

Anyways, "Fusion" is the union of two tooth buds during their development way before the teeth poke through the gums. You can see in the image how it appears the lateral incisor and the canine kind of grew into each other during development. This should not be confused for "gemination" which is when a tooth bud partially splits during development resulting in a large/wide tooth, frequently with a vertical line running inciso-apically. The two anomalies can look very similar. To determine if it is gemination or fusion, you need to know how many teeth should be in the mouth, you can tell how there should be a canine and a lateral incisor between that molar and the central incisor. This tells us that two teeth merged. Pretty cool huh? Well I ran this photo by a professor at school and he did not think there were any implications of abnormalities that would present in the permanent dentition. In otherwords, she'll lose the tooth, permanent teeth will grow in and everything should be good. So the real question is when she looses the tooth, does she get double payment from the tooth fairy? You decide...

1 Year Down

So I must first apologize to all of my closet followers who check my blog from time to time because I have been really lazy at updating. A lot has happened since March when I last posted. In a nutshell, we finished up the most intense quarter of the year which included a lot of head and neck anatomy, cadaver lab, basic science classes, NBDE prep, and a few waxing projects. We had some awesome weather and had a Luau, lots of pork prepared by authentic Hawaiians.... from Utah! (thanks Pono and Martin).
I'll admit I did get pretty burnt out at the finish, I'm very glad first year is over although it did fly by. I am glad that at MWU CDM we have a very tough first year. I think that by doing this, we set the bar high in the first year and get us ready for the next three. At glancing at next years schedule, we will have A LOT less time in the much-loved "Auditorium 5" and much more time in the sim clinic doing a whole slew of operative projects. Being in the inaugural class, we are punching through many barriers, the one that is always on the forefront is time. We need our clinic to be finished so we can do some of our operative work such as "shooting each other", and by "shooting" I mean shoving needles into each others faces and trying to block all them maxillary and mandibular branches of our beloved Trigeminal nerve CN V. I won't lie, I'm a little nervous but strangely excited at the same time. So our clinic is scheduled to be completed early to mid March. I think that the accreditation committee is scheduled to come mid March to do a walk through and give us the "OK" to start doing some dentistry in the clinic. Hopefully building goes as planned and we finish by the deadline.

By the way, did you know that MWU Glendale campus is a sanctuary for all sorts of wildlife? I'll have to make a post about this some other time but we have wild javalina running willy-nilly around the western part of campus in the evenings, ducks that migrated in from somewhere, coyotes, and a strange black one-eyed ferrel cat that lives around the on-campus housing. This all has nothing to do with what I was shooting for originally by this post but I just wanted to throw that out there for all the students coming here next year.

SO....... now what do I do that I have been DONE with school for the past 5 days? I'll tell you what I should be doing, studying for boards. I thought I'd give myself somewhere around 5 days off to do whatever the heck I wanted (which included putting lots of miles on the road bike, catching up on my favorite shows via Hulu.com, mid-day naps, enjoying a study-free weekend and sleeping in). I have been somewhat surprised that I am getting a little bored though, not having the intense structure that I just left. I thought I would at least take a full week of therapy to "detox" from the hyperstudyoma that had metastasized beyond regional lymph nodes (bad joke). I am going to hit the board prep HARD starting this afternoon.

I cannot believe how fast the fist year flew by, it was crazy. It's great to have finished the fist year with so many awesome classmates. MWU CDM students and faculty are pretty cohesive and I feel that after a year of being together we have all become like family. Excited for next year!