First time injecting on one of my closest friends in dental school, Glo 😀 So happy that she trusted me enough to let me do this to her. 6 injections to be exact. And in case you were wondering what they were:
- Posterior Superior Alveolar (PSA)
- Middle Superior Alveolar (MSA)
- Anterior Superior Alveolar (ASA)
- Greater Palatine Nerve Block
- Inferior Alveolar Nerve Block (IAN)
- Buccal Nerve Block
This was probably one of my most feared days in dental school since acceptance day. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Especially since Glo was an excellent patient. I have no idea how she was so chill throughout the whole thing especially knowing that this was my first time injecting anyone.
Fortunately, we also had a great instructor, Dr. M, who was extremely patient and helpful and who made sure we understood what we were doing rather than a simple point and inject. At the same time we had to get used to hand skills involved with aspirating twice before injecting because an easy way to kill someone would be to accidentally inject into a vein. Which is why aspirating blood into the syringe would make it pretty obvious that you hit a vein and should reposition the needle. And of course, we did use real anesthetic (lidocaine) but in very very small doses so Glo wouldn’t be numb for long but so we could also tell that it got to the right place.
I felt like this was such a big hurdle to finally get over. It’s amazing that now we are technically qualified to start injecting patients in clinic with the D3/D4 providers. One of my goals will definitely be to inject as painlessly as possible. My family dentist does an amazing job at this and I think it’s because she makes sure to take her time while injecting so that the tissue distention doesn’t occur too rapidly which can result in pain.
I think it will be a while before I feel completely comfortable single-handedly injecting patients. So this year I will get as much experience as I can beforehand. That’s the nice thing about D2 year, we’re a bit more hands-on now and assisting in the clinics feels a lot less like shadowing but more like actual assisting.