A Displaced Wisdom Tooth

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Saw this amazing and somewhat terrifying case today during my external rotation at the oral surgeons office. The wisdom tooth can be seen in the X-ray just floating above all the other teeth. Apparently it was pushed up there by an abscess into the maxillary sinus which is why it didn’t cause any pain but just congestion for this poor man. But this doesn’t happen overnight. This man hadn’t seen the dentist until he was 19 and it was an easy spot for his dentist to overlook…although it should have been caught early on before it got this bad. I think the patient was something in his late 30s. The doctor said that the abscess would have a grape-like feel to it as it pushes into the sinus space with epithelial tissue growing inside it with nowhere else for it to go.

About two years ago (wow I can’t believe it’s been that long!) when I was working in another oral surgery office before dental school we saw a case just like this and the oral surgeon went in, drained the abscess, and removed the tooth. It was kind of a mess with black and brownish colored pus coming out of the abscess. Shadowing today was very eventful and reminded me of the days before dental school when I worked in the office. Plus, I’m starting to get to know specialists in the area to whom I may eventually refer patients out to if I ever join a practice in town.

I also asked the doctor what he would suggest in terms of making it easier for the oral surgeon. He said to be proactive. For example, he said many kids who need their wisdom teeth removed don’t get them removed until they have pain or when the surgery would be more drastic due to more developed roots, etc which can lead to a higher risk of complications. He said it’s much better to tell the patient that the surgery could wait rather than telling the patient that it’s too late.

Procrastination and Temps

I have been procrastinating so terribly for my exam tomorrow. I went through all the lectures yesterday and today, there were only 8 this time (which is probably why I have been taking it way too easy), and it’s in pharmacology, a subject that is interesting and actually applicable. But going over everything and getting things to stick has been a hard thing to try to make myself do when all I want to do is everything except that. In general, I think I need some sort of panic in order to make myself study. I am just not disciplined enough. I wouldn’t say I “thrive” on panic, but it definitely makes me a much more efficient person.

Anyways this morning we worked on making “temps!” A temp is a temporary “tooth” that we make from a plastic stent to place over a crown prep. So for example if you had a bad cavity where we had to remove a lot of the tooth structure including all the cusps, we’d carve the tooth in a way to fit a crown, take impressions and send them to the lab, but since making the crown takes time we have to place something over the prep to protect the sensitive dentin in the meantime aka a temporary. We have a practical coming up Monday that involves both the prep and the crown so we’ve been working on these for the past week.

Honestly, temps have been kind of fun. It’s functional art and we get to use tools to carve the temp to look like a real tooth. Interesting, one classmate told us that his mother, a dentist, had told him not to make the temps “too good” otherwise patients won’t come back for the crown! Interesting advice, but I’ve definitely heard stories of temps lasting a lot longer than they were intended.

A Walk in the Park

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In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

We finally got a short break (although I guess you could call this “the calm before the storm”) since our next set of exams is in two weeks during which we’ll have 2-3 exams each day straight for a week. Taking around 14 classes doesn’t always give us a ton of time to relax and do other non-dentistry related things. I used to write A LOT and admittedly, at times I feel like a brainless, studying machine with most of my energy allotted to wrought memorization rather than critical thinking and analysis. Continue reading “A Walk in the Park”

Behind the Scenes

Decided to surprise everyone with an impromptu photoshoot. We’ve been working on Class I’s and II’s on our typodonts and some extra credit caries removal on real, extracted teeth. This semester has generally been a challenge because we have some many projects and so many deadlines. Here are some of my happy classmates during a slightly less stressful week plus a couple of our row instructors:

The Immigrants’ March in Ann Arbor

Coming from a family of immigrants, it was an honor to be able to march (and take photos!) in solidarity with everyone yesterday (March 25, 2017). The march was amazing. So many people had really creative and witty signs and of course I tried to capture every single one of them as well as the people behind them.

The group started at the federal building and made their way to the diag and the famous steps of the Hatcher grad student library where a countless number of other protests have taken place throughout history. Continue reading “The Immigrants’ March in Ann Arbor”

An Escape to Paris

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Warning: This is a long one (with a ton of pictures)! But if you’ve ever been to Paris, you’ll understand why ❤

Over spring break I went to Paris! E and I made the decision to visit during break since one of his housemates, Mireille, is an architecture professor at UM and generously offered to let us stay in her apartment in Paris during the week. She’s usually there during the spring and summer so during these cold winter months, the apartment remains mostly unoccupied. One of the things she shared with us before our visit was a piece she wrote for an architecture journal published here called “Postcards from Paris” where she depicts the past and present of her neighborhood and the surrounding areas in both a critical and informative narrative.

Apparently E and I didn’t get the memo that for Americans, Paris is simply a place to propose to your girlfriend. Being in a 2 year serious relationship, we
Continue reading “An Escape to Paris”

Life After an Exam

I wish I could trick myself every day that my next exam was tomorrow. I don’t know what it is but as soon as I walk out of an exam I cannot focus for the life of me despite having another exam coming up (or three next week actually). In fact I ended up spending about 2 hours deciding which pairs of shoes (specifically, 6 various pairs of black leather booties or boho-looking beige booties) I would buy. It was a wonderful waste of an evening (and in case you were wondering, I decided not to buy any because I realized I don’t look very good in booties).

The nice thing about this semester is that there is a lot less busy work. People say that D1 Winter term is supposedly harder than the Fall term but so far it seems to be a lot more manageable probably in part because I’ve gotten used to the course load as well as learning how to study for so much at a time (like what did I ever complain about in undergrad). Also, I think I do a lot better when I can concentrate on just a test rather than a bunch of little quizzes and homework assignment. I never thought I would say this, but I would much prefer to have 2-3 big exams (non-cumulative) for each class than a bunch of little homework assignments that distract me from studying.

Anyways, I finally did get a few slides of Nervous System in and a good late night workout. Goodnight!