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Showing posts from 2013

10 Mouth Healthy Treats

Happy Holidays everyone! Can you believe it's almost the New Year? I can't (lol)...this year flew by! Well, hopefully you had a lovely Thanksgiving. Currently, for me it's finals all next week so please keep me in your well wishes or prayer! Meanwhile, I'd recently come across a cool list via DenPlan that I wish to share with you.  According to their website, these treats maintain healthy teeth and gums:
Water - Essential for transporting calcium and other essential minerals in and out of the cell membranes for optimum dental health. Cherries, blackcurrants and blueberries - High in bioflavonoids to protect the gums. Low fat milk and cheese - Calcium-rich for teeth and bones. If you’re lactose-intolerant find alternatives made from ewe, goat or buffalo milk. Tea - The flavonoids in tea are thought to prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth and protect the gums, while tannins can inhibit bacteria growth. Apples - High in vitamin C and boron for strong teeth, as well as fib…

Happy Halloween 2013

Oral Health & Healthcare Reform

In light of the debate surrounding the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), no matter the opinion, I think it's safe to say that relatively all agree the American healthcare system has been inadequate for years. It's a system that had left millions of Americans under-insured, without coverage, or outright denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. In terms of oral health, adequate and affordable dental coverage is as equally elusive (if not more so) as healthcare coverage. In terms of healthcare reform, dental professional pushed the issue of oral health care and the need for better coverage in these discussions. Slowly but surely, policymakers are coming to understand how oral health/dental coverage is as important as that of general medicine. Now, "approximately 8.7 million children are expected to gain some form of dental benefits by 2018 as a result of the ACA. This will reduce the number of children without dental benefits by about 55 percent compared with 2010, ac…

Radical Radiograph

Panoramic on new patient today revealed this! No one in the office had seen a case like this before. Personally, I didn't think this was even possible. Double wisdom teeth. Ha! Go figure.


First Time for Everything

Exciting first day at the externship office. First oral surgery observation and assist. Patient receives extractions as well as bone graft.


Pictures taken during bone graft surgery, Thursday, August 29, 2013.
(courtesy of Dr. Rocio Lopez and Dr. Stephanie Voth) 

Cyborgs Have Dental Appointments Too

PAUSE. 
Isn't that one of the coolest things you've ever seen!?
Who's to thank for these cool gadgets? On second thought, perhaps calling a cybernetic robot a "gadget" is like calling an Alfa Romeo a "car", right? Lol. Well, it's no secret that on a global scale Japan pioneers in the realm of technology; specifically, the robotics industry. From the "tooth patch" (world's first flexible apatite sheet), Playstation (sorry, couldn't resist), to freakishly human-like androids -- such as the Simroid by J. Morita Manufacturing Corp., and the latest Showa Hanako II by Japanese robot maker, Tmsuk -- Japan has wooed the world again with yet another technological advancement.   "Showa University has announced Showa Hanako 2, a robot dental patient fabricated by robot maker Tmsuk. Compared with its predecessor Showa Hanako 1, this robot is designed to be more realistic, functional, and easier to use. Showa Hanako 2 will actually be sold…

Be-YOU-tiful

Many women (and especially our young girls) are killing themselves literally and figuratively trying to fit into society's standard of beauty. There's nothing wrong with enhancing our natural beauty. However, the root of the problem is when we hate what we see in the mirror to begin with -- and to the point of utilizing makeup, beauty products, and surgery to mask (completely change) our appearance. Discernment and moderation is key in everything we do in life. The way we treat and view our bodies is especially true. In example, it is one thing to whiten our teeth in order to enhance our smile and/or self-image. Yet, it's another to whiten teeth to the point it a) appears unnatural and b) causes erosion to tooth enamel and inflammation to the surrounding gum tissue. Out of shape? Under or overweight? Take time with yourself, and nurture your body: Consult a physician and start a healthy exercise and meal plan. NEVER purge, starve yourself, or consume risky diet pills. Bot…

National Dental Association Celebrates 100 Years!

"...the NDA has been a national forum for minority dentists and a leader in advancing their rights within the dental profession, the armed services, the government, and the private sector. Through scholarships and support programs, the NDA promotes dentistry as a viable profession. NDA goals and commitments are shared by its auxiliary organizations, namely the Auxiliary to the NDA, the National Dental Assistants Association, the National Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Student National Dental Organization. Together, these groups compose a membership of more than 7,000 strong, representing all 50 states and several countries abroad." --National Dental Association In a recent search to find organizations and resources specific to minority dental health professionals, I discovered a well established non-profit located in the heart of our nation's capitol. I found the National Dental Association (NDA). And that's not all... there will be much pomp and circumstance…

Community Health Awareness: VSU Cares 2013

Since embarking upon a new career in the dental industry, I've become increasingly aware of the importance of proper oral health and affordable insurance. It's no secret that a major concern for families today is the rising cost of insurance and the ability to maintain quality yet affordable health care -- which includes dental. Unfortunately, when "primary" health coverage alone is barely affordable many individuals and families forgo adding dental insurance. Not to mention, the collective belief that having and/or maintaining dental insurance is not as important as that of health care insurance. Slowly but surely society is getting away from the old notions but even today, seeing a dentist is commonly viewed as a luxury or add-on bonus to a person's primary health care needs and/or insurance. 
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Fact is, getting an oral health exam is no less important to a physical exam. Maintaining proper oral health is crucial to not just…

Happy Dance

This was me this morning (lol).
Spring 2013 grades are finally in...

So far I've earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and that much closer to my goal of graduating with honors. There's a saying my grandma passed onto my mom, and my mom passed onto me: "When you take the first step, God WILL take two!"

Finals

...special shout out to Starbucks for seeing me through...

Memorable Moment

I was fortunate to attend one of few dental assisting programs which offers a coordinated internship program with a four-year college/university. 
I had the opportunity to assist with restorations, fillings, extractions, and root canals; it was a unique and rewarding experience to intern alongside fellow dental career students (dentists and hygienists). Meanwhile, we had a wonderful internship coordinator/liaison whose been working with dental, hygiene, and assistant students long before many us were even born! As a former dental assistant, she was well aware of the specific challenges we face as dental assistants and has been a "mother hen" to us all...giving advice and helping each of us feel comfortable and informed as we transition not only into a new environment but career. Well, on the last day of the internship program, my classmates and I surprised her with a small gesture of appreciation. It was the least we could do for a person so dedicated and kind. 

SURPRISE!!!

Practice Makes Perfect

...this is harder than it looks. Well here goes LOL...learning how to create alginate impressions for the first time... Yay! So, after a few attempts I was able to get the alginate loaded into the tray, and onto the typodont before it began to set. 
Wallah!!!

Practicing with HVE

Classmates and I had fun during the first day of clinical practice; here we're learning how to suction on each other with the high volume evacuator (HVE) and air-water syringe.

How to Choose a Dental Assisting Program

Individuals interested in a career in dental assisting will find programs offered through colleges, vocational, and private institutions. And it is important to consider the differences between these programs in order to get the most out of your education and money. With that in my mind; I'm writing this in hopes it may help you because depending upon your needs, certain programs may or may not serve you.
Today, working adults and career-changers alike seek to further their education around a budget and a busy schedule. Academic institutions have since recognized this trend and support student demands by implementing night classes, online courses, and accelerated degree programs. Accelerated and/or "fast-track" dental assisting programs courses are generally offered through private programs or institutions. However, these schools tend to cost on average two to three times more per credit hour than a traditional community college or university. Furthermore, accelerated pr…

NO Laughing Gas Required

Remember this little guy? LOL. 

Confessions 101

So far it's been six months since starting the Dental Assisting course, nearly two weeks since starting this blog, and four days into the 2nd semester and counting. From the onset, I told my instructors about my dental prosthesis so there would be no surprises on their behalf. However, I was mortified by the idea of "going public" a.k.a everybody else finding out! Emotionally, I just wasn't ready for that...

In my mind, it felt like I'd be faced with reliving my school days all over again; and the fears and insecurities from my past reared it's ugly head more now than ever. I simply did not want to be ostracized and/or treated differently by my peers. Often, fear itself is worse than the actual issue.  It's funny how hard we can be on ourselves. We fear people will judge and/or mistreat us based on our real or imagined shortcomings. We fear not being accepted for who we are -- and yes, at times this is the case. It's life. Not everyone is going to lik…

Got Scrubs?

Scrubs are easy to find and usually sold at department stores. I found a white, lab jacket at Walmart today for about $16.00. Just too bad they didn't sell the long ones. Of course, Amazon.com has an array of styles and brands. Luckily my mom (whose now retired) had tons of cute scrubs she no longer needs. So, the Dental Instruments pocket guide finally arrived today! And by way, actually cheaper online via Amazon than if I'd purchased it through the college bookstore. The book is as small as a Kindle fire but sturdy, and has 717 pages. The info is concise with detailed, high resolution pictures of the instruments. It even has a cutesy, Velcro button to help secure the book when you close it.


New Year, New Career!

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WELCOME!!! After a tumultuous year filled with uber highs and lows that left us all reeling...I think it's safe to we're happy to count our blessings and get on with the business of life...fiscal cliff or not.


The holidays provided much needed R&R but I'm simply ready to hit the books! In about a week I'll return to campus and quite literally "fake it 'til I make it" during my internship this spring. I can't wait to begin working with live patients and gain hands-on experience. As part of a CODA accredited dental assisting program (beware of bogus programs), my first semester began with introductory/lecture courses where we focused on the history and philosophy behind the dental industry and related professions, oral and facial anatomy, practical infection control, dental terminology, and diseases or the mouth. Flash cards are my best friend! There's so much detailed information to acquire, at times I thought "what hav…