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!


  1. One year down, three to go is it? I think being a dentist would be a kick-ass career, but I am glad that I am not in dental school, yet you seem to be enjoying it. The photos and teeth all look very good though I'm no judge: I couldn't tell which ones were the temporary crowns.

    Has your second year already started?

  2. hi there... you left a comment on my photography blog. Just wanted to let you know i appreciate your opinion... i always wonder what people think of my work and its hard to get an honest opinion or critique sometimes:) so thanks and i will def keep your suggestions in mind while editing... i just removed your comment though because i didnt want anything to offend the client. nice teeth by the way :)