The long road through a professional school.
Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/

No rest for the wicked. On Monday (Canadian Thanksgiving) I spent from 10:30-7:00 @ school. This is the product of it all. One denture cast mounted into the articulator, one custom tray made for Crown and Bridge, one Stabilized Base for Occlusion Rim and one trimmed cast. I also did some operative work to practice for a practical this past Tuesday October 14th. These rims are what we use to measure a patient occlusion so the dentures that are fabricated seat correctly and don’t cause a mouthful due to proper measurements. We use something called Centric Relation, and Vertical Dimension at Rest (VDR) to use what the mouth is telling us about what is “right” when there is no teeth left. VDR is your natural rest position for your jaw since your teeth aren’t touching all the time (if they are, you’re too stressed out), and centric relation is a point where the condyles of your jaw are in their rearmost and highest position on the articular emminence on the skull. 

Wednesday Oct 15th- Today we got to have an interprofessional day and discuss the Social Determinants of Health affecting a mock case history about a recent refugee family from Africa coming to Canada. It was really neat to hear how Nurses, Dentists, and Physical Therapists (as well as other healthcare professions) can come together to address some of the reasons why health difficulties can emerge and devise plans to treat this vs. treating symptoms and management down the road (when it costs more).  Overall, I love how this value of looking at the Social Determinants of Health affecting people (in this case a family) truly reflects a Canadian mindset. We like to help people overcome a situation when they are at a disadvantage. Having half my family come from the U.S., I can see how Canadians depart slightly from the ol’ “pull your boots up and make a name for yourself” mentality. I feel we don’t agree with the principle that people should “earn” healthcare coverage if they want it. It brings me pride that I live in a society where people don’t go into the poor house because they break a leg. We like to ensure everyone has an equal playing field and understand health is necessity for thriving and ensuring this. The social determinants of health dissect the question, “why don’t these immigrants just get a job?” Well where do they live? Is it in a safe neighbourhood? If not, can they find babysitting to access classes to further their education? What’s their work like now? Is it minimum wage so they can barely support their family? How are they coping with that stress? Is their coping mechanisms healthy? What is their social environment like? Are they getting connected and settling into their new life? Do they have someone showing them how to access the healthcare system provided to them? Is the system working so people don’t fall through the cracks? Are their children being threatened by gangs due to their location? These are all social determinants that can influence personal health. Our healthcare system has lead us to dissect the intricate network of how all these factors influence each other and ultimately impact to health of an individual. 

Oct 5-12 2014 One Hell of a week or two

This has been super intense couple of weeks. We’ve had an operative prep and restoration over the past two tuesdays, we also had a perio midterm on the 1st, a dentures quiz on the 7th, a cariology midterm on the 8th, a major organ system midterm on the 9th, and a pop quiz in crown and bridge on the 10th. So that makes only a monday where I didn’t have an assessment of some sort. Last weekend, I had my Aunt’s memorial and got to see lots of family. However, I had to make up the study time somewhere and ended up studying from 6:30-11:00 every night this past week, and then getting up at 6:15 to do it again. One of my classmates said, “you know you’re busy when you brush your teeth at night and your tooth brush is still wet when you wake up and brush in the morning.” It’s not super difficult, just super intense. I slept for 10 hours on saturday. Definitely my body catching up to the lack of sleep that occurred over the past couple of days. I’m still kinda bagged. 

On another note, I’ve been the busiest I’ve ever been but still feel motivated to learn and to serve those around me. I decided to volunteer for two programs, Oral Health Total Health which is devoted to improving oral care access for those with disabilities/special needs and the other one is CAN u, which is a program that is bringing inner city youth to the Bannatyne Campus to experience post-secondary education. So I’m busy planning a wedding and facilitating these two events. It’s all good though and I’ve been enjoying it!

I can’t believe I’m past the half-way point in this semester! Good times! I actually have been making some stabilized bases for occlusal Records for dentures class and that’s what is featured above. I thought I was being smug and skipped at step and ended up breaking my cast. Now I had to start over. In crown and bridge, we did our first intra-oral crown preparation and I feel it turned out pretty good! Super intense work though and posture kind of goes out of the window. Overall I feel it went pretty well. 

Friday Sept 26th

Hard to believe that next week is the official half way point in our semester! Things are moving fast. Today, I’m using my morning off to study hard for Perio and oral pathology tests coming up this next week. Last night was our awards ceremony night. I got to make Honour roll and I’m completely blown away by some of my fellow classmates in dentistry and dental hygiene. Pretty impressive stuff! Before the awards ceremony I attended my first meeting with CanU University of Manitoba. This group is aimed at helping get kids from disadvantaged backgrounds in the inner city to come experience what it’s like to be at university. The Canadian government has made some strides to ensure that finances is not a hinderance to pursuing a post-secondary education.  The main hindrance is lack of familiarity. If your parents went to university or college, theres a strong chance you will too and vice-versa. This program allows kids to come and see what its all about. Also, University of Manitoba has now amalgamated all the health related faculties (Dent, Dental Hygiene, Medicine, OT, PT, RT, Pharmacy, and nursing I believe) under 1 large faculty called Health Sciences. Individual programs are now colleges so I’m attending the University of Manitoba Faculty of Health Sciences College of Dentistry program. Sounds fancy… However, the CanU program is one of the first programs that will unite us since every faculty will be giving a tour and putting on demos for these kids to come and experience. The whole community is really catching on as well! A local church has even stepped up and is cooking meals for every one of these events to ensure every child is fed. 

Even though I’m super busy with school, it will be worth it if even one of these kids gets inspired and decides to pursue a career in one of these fields because of this program. 

In our dentures class, we ended up taking a final impression with our custom trays. The green stuff is the final impression material is a polysulfide impression material. The scary thing about this stuff is that you have one shot with it. If you mess up, you’re spending at least half an hour picking out every little bit of it or building a whole new custom tray. This is what occupied our wednesday afternoon. Definitely a stressful lab. 

Monday September 22nd & Tuesday September 23rd 2014. In operative, we’ve been opening up our real teeth models to get an idea of what cavity preparations feel like on real teeth. Pictured above is a Class 2 composite prep on the 2nd premolar an (MOD) prep on the 1st molar (composite), an MODB prep on the lower 2nd molar tooth #3.7 and another class 2 composite prep on 1.6. I’ll be restoring these soon!

3rd attempted crown prep for Crown and Bridge. Needs a little bit of improvement for the test next friday. also, temporary crown can be seen in the background. Thank God for the Naelon technique to fix mistakes. Yay Second year!