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

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!

1st pic- Real teeth embedded in cast for our operative class. This is preparing us for working with real teeth. Only a single tooth in the upper arch is plastic. 

pic 2-view from the front with cast material still on them.

pic 3-Custom tray for dentures completed

Pic 4-Nissin edentulous mannequin teeth (pink) our stone impressions of them,and custom trays all in one. 

Pic 4 &5- Mandibular and maxillary arch of teeth ready for use in operative!

End of a long week

Another week draws to a close. It flew by but I’m glad it did!

Monday & Tuesday-Operative dentistry was interesting today. One part of dentistry I get a kick out of is collecting extracted teeth from local dentists and showing up with them at school in jars full of formalin or bleach. People would think this idea is crazy and get grossed out by it but for us, its the norm. This is how we practice working on actual teeth. There is a difference (obviously) in the texture between the plastic teeth we practice on and the real deal. I always wondered how we’d work on real teeth, to make it realistic in our mannequins, but now I know. We loaded the extracted into a rubber molding and poured a cast around them. Once the dent stone cured, we had an actual model of the teeth in the jaw. On the bottom of the mold we inserted a metal bushing with a thread so we can attach them to our mannequin. Now we start the second chapter of transitioning onto real teeth before heading into clinic to work with real patients.

Wednesday- Another day of lecture. After a riveting lecture in electronic health records (something we won’t touch consistently until next year) we got out early and I went to the gym. the evening consisted of studying Dental Public Health

Thursday- Oral pathology! good times! After that we went to our anatomy lab for a major organ systems lab. We did dissections of the thorax on donated bodies and removed the lungs. This section of the course is on the pulmonary system, something that’s been taught to me since grade 11 biology. However, this was the first time seeing it in real life and it was really cool! On another note, the surgeon residents opened up the abdominal cavity so we could see the liver and colon. This really put my Dad’s colectomy surgery to treat his stage one colon cancer into perspective. Hearing that 9 inches of your transverse and descending colon has been removed is one thing, seeing first-hand what that involves is another. 

We finished the day in crown and bridge and it was really cool! Completing our first 3 unit bridge. More pics to come.

Friday- We had our Dental Public Health exam today. One of the most difficult exams i’ve written in my life. Lots of stats, and essay questions worth 40 marks regarding how you would make dental care more public (like Canada’s health care system) in 2 pages. Good times. We finished the day in crown and bridge and we’re all gassed at the end of it all. 

Signing off.

Another day comes to an end. Long day of classes all in the same lecture theatre. We’ve started calling it schwartz wednesdays. I made it though the day with an ample amount of gum chewed, caffeine, and spring rolls from the hospital cafeteria which are amazing. Studying hard for a final in path and micro on friday, because thursday we have a mentor meeting. Its cool how dentists in the community come out to mentor us and to help us through school and the transition into the career. I wonder how they can help me get out of Manitoba and into Kelowna ha ha!

On another note, Del and I decided were going to get our longtime friend who’s become a youth pastor to marry us. I’ve also got a string quartet quoted out and ready to rock!