Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 03: A Day in the Life

Back in the days when I was a wee pre-dental student, I was always intrigued by the day-to-day happenings of dental school students. All I wanted was a window into the daily life of dental students, as mundane as that sounds. No such windows were provided.

Well, now I'm here to remedy the situation.

My alarm goes off at 7:45am. I roll out of bed and attempt to put the finishing touches on my learning need before emailing it to my facilitator. Each Monday and Friday, we meet with a small group of our peers to discuss a case under the guidance of a faculty member. At the end of each session, we come up with a list of learning needs - topics that we need to know more information about in order to better understand the case. This week, my assigned learning need was on "pain". 

9:45am: leave for school. Today is one of the days where we don't have an 8am start time. It's great because we get to sleep in but not great because it means that all the parking spots at school will be taken... As a result, we leave for school 45 minutes before the start of our first class. 

10:30am: sitting in the lecture hall for our first ever morphology lecture. Our professor gives us an overview of all the cool things we will be learning and doing over the next year. Very inspirational! 

12:14pm: morphology lecture goes overtime. We run up to the sim lab to buy a pair of scrubs from an upperclassman since our scrubs won't arrive for the next few weeks and dressing in business casual attire sucks. 

12:30pm: inhale lunch in the first floor lobby.

12:50pm: run up to the sim lab and begin setting up for our first morphology lab. We finally get to bust out our spatulas, mixing bowl, vacuum mixing bowl, metal impression trays, alginate, and Fujirock powder.

1:00pm: we sit in the third floor sim lab awaiting the start of our first morphology lab session. Today we will learn how to create alginate impressions and make diagnostic casts.

  • Attempt #1 (FAIL): alginate set before I even had a chance to place it on my typodont. 
  • Attempt #2 (FAIL): my anterior teeth have gone through the alginate and are touching the metal part of the impression tray. 
  • Attempt #3 (FAIL): impression was off-center and missing the margins of the third molar. 
  • Attempt #4 (FAIL): impression was still missing the back margins of the third molar. 
  • Attempt #5 (FAIL): impression had bubbles on the occlusal surface of the posterior teeth and distorted third molars. 
  • Attempt #6 (FAIL): impression still had bubbles on the occlusal surface of the posterior teeth. 
  • Attempt #7 (PASS): still had minute bubbles on the occlusal surface of the posterior teeth but the adjunct faculty was kind enough to pass me. 
Finally, a passing alginate impression!
So we cast the stone models, waited an hour and....


There are a few positive bubbles, but this is that first diagnostic cast that I made! I'm proud of my diagnostic cast despite the fact that I nearly used an entire bottle of alginate to make the impression.

5:50pm: Finally done with lab! Dropped by the Korean Dental Student Association (KDSA) meeting to network and meet upperclassmen. (No, I'm not Korean). 

6:30pm: Exiting the dental school and heading over to one of the dental fraternity houses for a back to school BBQ. Stopped by the gas station on the way and picked up some Choco Tacos. I never knew that these existed! 

7:00pm: arrived at the dental fraternity house for the BBQ and mixer - a great way to relax after a long day in school/lab. After two weeks, I'm still having a hard time deciding which dental fraternity I want to join 


  1. This was super helpful and interesting to read!! I'd love to see more of these "a day in the life" posts :)

    1. Thank you! I will try to continue posting more "A Day in the Life" posts