Friday, December 3, 2010

Dentists are ______

What can I say?  Ouch.  So this is the general public opinion.  My theory is that people take out on dentists what they should possibly be directing internally.  I mean, seriously, if you don't floss, then you should be angry with yourself. Dentists are just a scapegoat for the people who don't take care of their teeth.  Ha ha! Take that, general public.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September Update

I downloaded an app for my phone that allows me to post to my blog, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I have survived the first round of exams, and am experiencing a very brief lull before things hit the fan next month. In October I have exams for every single class. It's going to be a great time...

Recently, I had exams for both Microbiology and Pathology. Both went decently well, so I'm off to a good start for the semester. Additionally, I took my first two practical exams for Restorative Dentistry III. I had to do a crown prep and make a provisional crown out of acrylic in a three hour time limit. It went about as good as it could have, and I averaged 95/100 between the two. I snapped a quick picture of the temporary crown (its a little yellower than the other teeth, fyi). I took a photo of my friend Rob's preparation, too, which I will upload so you can picture what it looks like under the temporary.
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Current Musical Interests

I just wanted to do a quick post about some of the songs I'm currently listening to.  It'd be too hard to list everything that I've been discovering here, but I wanted to offer a few suggestions.  

It's you know how you learn a new word, and then all of a sudden you hear it used everywhere around you?  The same thing happened to me this summer with a group called Florence & The Machine.  This video was the first instance, but since then it seems I can't turn on the TV without hearing one of their songs.  The band is pretty minimalistic, just great vocals, guitar and some percussion.  Anyway, the video below is pretty mind blowing, and has inspired me to try something similar here in Philly.

Moving on, I have a couple of songs that I consider hauntingly beautiful.  The first is Your Ghost by Greg Laswell.  It was featured on an episode of Dollhouse a bit less than a year ago, and has literally been floating around in the back of my mind ever since.  The next is Hawaii by Meiko.  There is just something about these two songs that I can't get over.  Creepily wonderful.  

Katy Perry's got a new CD out. She's pretty trashy, but I really like the song Firework.  It's catchy, and upbeat, and I've listened to it a bunch.  (The previous statement is largely understated.  I've listened to it a TON.  In addition to still liking the song, somehow my Zune got set to repeat with that song on, and it cycled for 20+ hours.  I don't think you can reset playcounts with the Zune software, so it's currently my #1 song.  It also appears it's going to be in that position for a very, very long time.)

I'd also like to bring up a song called Dice that can be found on the first mix from show The O.C.  The artist is Finley Quaye.  Run and listen to this song.  Run along...

Finally, I'd like to highlight a song that I lost.  But first, it's storytime...  It was sophomore year of high school, and I was taking Fitness For Life.  Linkin Park had just released Reanimation, an album of remixes of tracks from their first effort, Hybrid Theory.  Anyway, that CD was the one that was in the player in the school's weight room.  I remember hearing the song My December and absolutely loving it.  Another memory I associate with the song My December is having my best friend Thomas help me ask a girl out to Jr. Prom.  We were in his 4Runner getting all of the little folded stars together when it came on the radio.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Anyway, fast forward a couple of years later when I was in college.  I had bought my first (and last) iPod and I was building my music collection up.  I downloaded My December, and I recall feeling very disappointed because it just wasn't as good as I remembered it.  Well, last fall, I found the version of My December that I associated all of those high school memories with.  It was actually spelled differently, as in My < Dsmbr.  When I heard it, I all of a sudden knew I had downloaded a different version all those years ago.  It makes me happy to have found it.  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

D1 - First Year Summary

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I'm really bad at updating the blog.  I've scraped together some photos to share with you all.  Hopefully, this will give you a pretty good idea of what I've been up to for the past year.  

I don't really have much to say about the classes that weren't Restorative Dentistry, despite them being 75% of my class time.  You all probably don't care that much about Histology, Biochemistry, Neuroanatomy, etc.  Not to mention, I don't have any cool pictures to go along with this post. BORING.  

So, Restorative Dentistry is the most important class in dental school, so much so, that we have it every semester for a very long time.  As such, these classes are affectionately called "resto" (rhymes with pesto) or "RDI" (or RDII, RDIII, RDIV...).  The first semester is RDI, and I had such a great time.  We spent the majority of our time doing what is called waxing.  Waxing is a step in the fabrication of a crown, but it is really helpful when you are learning the shapes of teeth and how they fit together in the mouth.  During our first week, we were given a fractured maxillary central incisor and told to recreate the missing portion out of wax.  

Here is what mine looked like:

By the way, the fake mouth is called a typodont.  The teeth are interchangeable, so we can easily replace them if we mess something up.  Trust me, we replace a lot of teeth.  We waxed up all sorts of teeth during the first semester.  Here's a shot of the waxing instruments as well as most of the waxing projects before I turned them in:

We also got our first opportunity to work with amalgam during the first semester.  For those of you that don't know what amalgam is, it's an alloy consisting mostly of mercury, silver and copper that hardens when it is shaken together.  It's one of the most biocompatable materials we have available, and it is close to the natural hardness of teeth, which is important, too.  It is also relatively inexpensive.  

This was definitely one of my first amalgams.  Nothing special, anyone can do something this easy.  We also did our first provisional crowns during the first semester, but I have better pictures of my second semester stuff, so you'll just have to wait...  The following restoration is a bit more complicated, but it is still first semester material.  In fact, this one was supposed to get turned in, but I wanted to bring it home and take a picture of it and it never made it back.  I still got my A in the class, so I think I'm in the clear.  

So, that's pretty much all of first semester.  I personally felt that it was a very easy introduction to the shapes of teeth and a few common dental materials.  Oh, yeah, this was also in December:  

Second semester (RDII) was much more difficult.  Dr. Boberick pushed us very hard and I always felt like I was behind on my labwork.  The course focused primarily on restoring decay i.e. drilling and filling as well as fixed prosthodontics (crown and bridge) and boy was is long.  We had class from January to June, for a total of six months.  It was intense, but I learned a lot.  Most importantly, I had a great time doing so.  I've definitely chosen a great career.  

Anyway, getting back to pictures, here's some of my first cavity preps:

Here are a couple of shot of large amalgam restoratations.  We did a lot of these, but a bunch of upperclassmen have said that these types aren't very common. Good practice, I suppose.

Once we moved onto crown and bridge, we spent a lot of time doing crown preps and then making provisional crowns out of acrylic.  Acrylic is basically a polymerizing plastic, which is also used in fake nails.  You've probably smelled the inside of a nail salon.  Imagine how it would smell to have 128 people in one big room mixing their own acrylic.  It was awesome...   Can you tell which of the two teeth below are temporary crowns? One is much better than the other one, but I'd bet they are both clinically acceptable.  

The final project for RDII was quite intense, but left me very satisfied once it was competed.  We were required to to turn in two preps for a bridge, as well as a provisional bridge for those preps, a crown prep, and a provisional crown and gold crown that fit on it.  Here's the three unit bridge:

For the gold crown, we didn't use gold because it wasn't going in a patient's mouth.  That said, it still polished up quite nicely.  I was very proud of the quality of work I was able to turn in for this project.  The first picture is my roommate Chris polishing his crown.  The next two photos are my finished products.  

That's it.  Let me know what you think.  If you have any questions, ask!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Sister, The Scientist

Despite claiming to not enjoy science, my youngest sister entered a few science fairs this year. She did quite well, and I am proud of her. Her project had to to with the chelation of metal ions by insulin to increase its shelf life. She was awarded a $20,000/year scholarship to Westminster, and the honor of representing Northern Utah at the International Science and Engineering Fair sponsored by Intel. At that fair, she received an $8,000 scholarship from the United States Army. Please join me in congratulating Frances for her hard work, and my parents for their continued support.

I took this photo last summer, but never got around to editing it until now.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

P-Chem Throwback

So, I've been pretty bad about this whole blogging thing, and I want to get back to it. I've taken a whole ton of pictures from my first year of dental school, mostly pertaining to the things we have been up to in our restorative dentistry class. I hope to get those things up in the next couple of weeks. Also, I've got a few scanned items that I want to put up, hence this post, which I am dedicating to my senior year of college. Being a chemistry major was pretty demanding, especially the last two semesters. Even though I had spaced out my generals, I still had a ton of upper division chemistry classes to take. Physical chemistry almost did me in. I was a bit rusty on my calculus, since I had taken Calc 3 in my first semester of sophomore year. All things considered, I made it though P-chem. However, I ended up having to take biophysical chem in place of the second half of P-chem. The class was relatively small (no more than 25) and apart from two other chem majors, was entirely populated by Bioengineering hooligans. There was no TA, the lectures were exceptionally dull, and although the professor was quite brilliant he was very much interested in making the class as hard as he remembered it. Our homework assignments were all doozies, and I remember being at or slightly below average on all of them.

This is why this scan of the first page of one of those assignments is such a gem. You might look at the score, shrug, and think it's not that great. But, when I found this paper in a hidden pocket of my backpack last semester, I was quite pleased to recall how proud of this score I was at the time it was handed back.

So, here's to all of those science majors, who struggled through some tough classes in the pursuit of their educations. Being a chemistry major really prepared me to continue my education in dental school. I'm glad to be a part of the next generation of health care professionals.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tidbits of Life

I got a call from my mom on the 4th telling me that my grandmother had died. Over the weekend, my dad sent me an email with the obituary and some photos. I found the above portrait to be just stunning, however it was in desperate need of some help. It had been scanned in at a low resolution, and never properly processed afterwards. There was dust evident, not to mention the desperate need for some color correction. And just to prove how picky I am about photography, I took issue with some of the shadows. I opened up photoshop earlier tonight and spent about a half an hour cleaning the picture up. I'm so pleased with the result, I thought I'd post it here. Blogger seems to have butchered the photo, though.

I did actually make it out to Montana for the funeral. It was really great to see the family, even though the circumstances weren't the best. I decided to try and make the best of the situation, surprising everyone by making it to Billings. I ended up getting to spend an extra day with my Grandpa when my flight back to Philly was canceled due to the 'Snowpocalapse' as it is being called on the east coast. I have seriously never seen so much snow. Ever. Check out what the car looked like, even after a day of melt.

In other news, Angels & Airwaves released their third (and hopefully not last) album, LOVE, over the weekend. It's a free download. I think it is definitely worth your time to do so. On some of the tracks, their sound has changed a bit going back to the Blink-182 roots, but on a majority of the album, they sound very much the same. I like the songs Shove, Hallucinations, The Moon-Atomic, Clever Love (which is perhaps my favorite track), and Soul Survivor. Awesome. It made my weekend, and laundry more enjoyable.

Oh, and last but not least, I think I nearly aced my Dental Materials II midterm. Unless something horrible went down, I think I only missed one of forty-one questions. It's actually kinda funny how it came about. Last night when I went to bed, I wasn't super confident with my knowledge of the material, so I ended up getting up at 6:30 am to get a couple of hours more. I can't remember the last time I got up to study before an exam. I am not a morning person, so when I go to bed, I'm usually not getting up until I HAVE to.

That's all for now.