Two class Vs, two class IIIs, one anterior class I, and two anterior veneers in just two days of SIM clinic… A hell of a way to start our second year at Midwestern! Pile on some pharmacology, a dash of oral health science, a hearty side of radiology, and well, you get the idea. Our second year is baptism by fire. We are only one week in and I can already tell that we are not going to be coddled.
Next week promises to be even more demanding, with three class IIIs, four class IVs, and a diastema closure over two days. I spent a couple of late nights in the SIM clinic last week and expect to do the same again next week. How I’ll find the time to also study for our weekly dental exams I don’t know, but I am sure I will. When all else fails, you can always sleep less.
Last year was heavy on the basic sciences and this year promises to be heavy on dentistry. Yes, it’s a lot of work and stressful at times, but I think we were all ready to move beyond the sciences and into our future profession.
Our second year consists of many rotations through specialty areas such as radiology, periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, and oral surgery. We will also be learning how to place three types of implants, more than any class before us at Midwestern.
Don’t forget the didactics!
This first quarter is also heavy on dental materials and bonding. Midwestern is trying to build a respectable research program as well as integrate the science with our clinical training. Drs. Mitchell and Pulido are training us to be critical thinkers with sufficient knowledge and science to back our clinical decisions.
Just yesterday we spent an hour learning about curing lights, how they work, what factors affect their performance, curing spectrums, etc. And here I thought they were just miniature UV lamps… it turns out they don’t even operate in the UV spectrum anymore!
My first crown
Over the summer, Midwestern offered a CAD/CAM clinic to the first 60 students to sign up. I was lucky enough to grab a spot and spent a day learning about CEREC and E4D scanners, software, and mills. Fortunately, we will be diving right back into CAD/CAM in the next two weeks so I won’t forget too much from the workshop last month.
I scanned and milled my first tooth, #30. I got the hang of it quickly, both the E4D and the CEREC seem intuitive. Although my exposure to both technologies was rather limited, it seems that CEREC is more like the Mac of the CAD/CAM world and E4D is like PC.
I look forward to learning more about both technologies going forward. Of course, there are more vendors on the market than just those two, but we will not work with them during our time at Midwestern.
This year looks to be busy and exciting. From implants to teeth cleanings, we will be acquiring all the clinical competencies needed to move into the clinic next year. Midwestern’s approach to our education is to prepare us for clinic during the first two years and then let us work as dentists with only a few classes during our third and fourth years. This requires us to jam a lot of information, techniques, and hand skills into our first two years. In only eight short months we will be treating our own patients in a clinical setting!