I am slowly becoming fairly acclimated to the clinic lifestyle here at UIC. I feel pretty confident with basic restorative work (amalgams/composites) and full dentures. I still have had ZERO endo experience which absolutely blows because we have to do a case presentation this semester. As you might imagine, doing a case presentation when you have no case to present sort of makes things impossible. Hopefully I will get something soon..but I have been thinking that for the past 18 weeks now, and I still have seen nothing. I also have done zero fixed work..but I do have several patients on the horizon so that experience is on the way.
So this semester started out with a bang. I am currently on an Oral surgery/medicine rotation that lasts for an entire month. So half my days are spent extracting teeth now which is actually pretty damn fun. The rotation is great because not only do you learn the basics on extraction, but you also get a hefty dose of simple patient management skills, a crash course in pharmacology, and a great place to improve your local anesthetic techniques. I have no desire to be an oral surgeon, but I love this rotation. Outside of third molars, I plan on doing most of my own extractions in practice anyways.
You would be surprised just how much force you actually have to apply to get the tougher teeth out. It is pretty exhausting actually – especially for a tall fellow like myself because the chairs refuse to raise high enough for me not to hunch horribly. The oral medicine rotation is hit or miss. Sometimes I learn something, other times I don’t. The OM faculty do love to talk though – which is good in certain instances, but bad in others. I have seen a potential carcinoma (waiting for biopsy), a salivary stone, and about a million TMD patients (which usually have some form of myopathy rather than TMD). We meet in this clinic on Wednesdays and we meet in OS on the other days.
Now outside of the rotation things are going fine. We have way more classes than I thought we would which sucks, but at least we always finish by 10AM. The actual clinic itself is becoming almost like a second home. The faculty is getting used to us and I honestly feel pretty confident doing basic stuff at this point. I really don’t even feel like I need faculty supervision anymore for certain procedures which is great. Each composite I do looks better than the last, each prep is smoother, and everything is clicking.
Obviously there is MUCH to learn, but I love the feeling of progress – knowing I am inching ever closer the realm of competent dentistry and graduation….ahh graduation.