After two weeks of luxurious days spent sleeping in and filling ourselves with our moms’ homemade cooking for Winter Break, we were dragging our feet back to class with some hesitation on January 2nd. Who really wants to get back to studying, even if you’re excited to see your friends?
Nevertheless, we got back into the swing of things and I’m all smiles to be back!
We had our very first clinical experience! We were split into groups of three, and took turns being “the dentist”, “the assistant”, or the “the patient” to perform three procedures:
- Check saliva for the level of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that is a main contributor to dental decay
- Determine the quality and quantity of stimulated or unstimulated saliva
- Use a plaque stain to observe plaque accumulation on the teeth
For the third procedure, each group had a poor sacrifice… er, volunteer… who had to go 24+ hours without brushing his or her teeth before performing the plaque stain. The point was to see how quickly biofilm (plaque) can accumulate, even for patients
who are as ritualistic about their oral hygiene as a dental student. My group is forever indebted to Emily, who let us use her teeth for the sake of science!
Oh, About those Power Tools:
If our first clinical experience wasn’t fun enough, I also got my loupes and handpieces! It was pretty much “Dental School Christmas” as we unwrapped our shiny new burs, polishers, motors and instruments. Our first assignment was to carve our UF identification numbers on our dentoforms. I really wish we could have practiced on something less valuable first, but fortunately there is plenty of practice to come. I’m definitely happy that we are sticking with plastic patients for a while, because my hand skills aren’t too pretty yet!
6th Annual Health Woodser:
When dental school throws you off the bull, you gotta get back on (literally). Every year, the upperclassmen host fundraisers to raise money for an event called Super Sealant Saturday. One of the most well-known fundraising events is a huge barn party with a band, a bonfire and…you guessed it… a mechanical bull! It’s an interdisciplinary party, so we got to meet students from the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy and related health programs. We had a BLAST, and I can officially mark riding a mechanical bull off my bucket list:
Let the 2018 and 2nd Semester adventures begin!