US News Best Jobs for 2013

And by best I mean occupations that offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance, and job security.

Guess who's #1?!

Yep! Sure feels good to know I chose a profession that has the right mix of components.

See the full list of best jobs here: Money- US News

D3 first semester round up

Based on my previous post, clearly there was no time to take much pics of any work I did this semester. It crossed my mind several times but when I thought about the time it would take to de- glove, take pics and don gloves again I quickly changed my mind. Time is money, or in my case graduation :)

Here are a FEW things I was able to capture from this semester:

dentoform preps/competencies, community service, Oral surgery...

Research presentation and some clinical work

community service, more preps and halloween!

One For The History Books

Phew! First semester of D3 year is finally officially over and it was definitely one for the history books. This marked my most challenging semester in dental school to date. With 7 classes, CLINICALS, my numerous other on and off campus responsibilities, CLINICALS, what's left of my life outside of dental school, and CLINICALS , I was in a tailspin from start to finish.

What made it challenging was the addition of clinicals to the schedule. From seeing sometimes several patients per day, running around in the clinics, chasing professors for signatures, consultations and follow-ups all while still carrying a full course load, left me totally spent at the end of the day.

On the bright side however, I'm excited to finally be seeing patients and doing some dentistry!!

See you next semester!

More Changes To Come For The NBDE

Just when we thought they have made all the changes that they needed to for the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE), it seems the recent switch to pass/fail was just the beginning.

I recently wrote an article for ASDA's blog "Mouthing Off" speaking of yet another change that dental students will have to adjust to in the future. According to the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) an Integrated NBDE (INBDE) is slated for the year 2017. This new exam will integrate NBDE Parts 1 and 2 into one comprehensive exam. Why the need for this change? 
Here is an excerpt from my article on ASDA/s Mouthing Off on the matter:

...The traditional 2 part NBDE exam will soon be changed to one comprehensive exam termed the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE). This will integrate aspects of both the NBDE Part 1 and NBDE Part 2. Though it will not affect those of us already in dental school and the incoming class of 2016, there is talk that this may be implemented by the year 2017. The changes come about as a more effective way to evaluate candidates for licensure as it will take on a more clinically relevant approach. It is stated that the basic Science portion that is usually tested in the NBDE part 1 will remain as such but the content will be integrated into a clinical context.
You can find the rest of the article here:
Find out more about the new changes, re: INBDE here 
Another 'Mouthing Off' post here

Teeth found in Tumor of the Eye

According to The Sun, two fully formed teeth were found in a tumor of the eye of a 23 year old woman from India. This tumor, known as a teratoma (which are known to contain hair, tooth-like and bone-like structures), and are not uncommon but was surprising to doctors as it is extremely rare to find fully formed teeth embedded in the tumor.

Read more here.

Loupes: The Choice For Me

I've tried many loupes from many companies out there. They've all been good, but I've never really found one I wanted to make a commitment to. This summer, while attending the Multicultural Health Summit in Boca Raton, Florida I decided that I was going to finally find and commit to a pair of loupes. This is where I came into contact with representatives from Rose microsolutions comes.

Up until this summer the only thing I really knew about Rose was that they were one of those loupes company that I see at every dental conference. Despite seeing their representatives at many dental  conferences, their products were uncommon to me.

After trying and fitting the loupes from this company, what I found were quality and value for your money. However, the loupes were a tad bit heavier than others that I've tried. Despite taking into consideration the pros and cons of these loupes I decided to commit. The value that I found with these loupes outweighed the minor concerns that I had.

Here are my loupes:


TWO (2) rechargeable battery packs!

What I got for the value of my money:
1 Flip up 2x magnification loupe
1 Power Pack LED Light kit with 2 rechargeable batteries

See their sight here for more info.

Check out my other posts on different loupes out there:

I've Been Nominated

...for the 2012 most fascinating blog award!!! 

click here

say whaaaat???

This is an award given by that supposedly "contains a list of 24 nominees which have been chosen by our editorial staff and were selected from a pool of over 200 submissions."

While I enjoy blogging and sharing my experiences in dental school via my blog, I've never really considered it "fascinating." Somehow a post I had written about a year ago entitled Battle Scars and All earned me this spot. Thanks to the editorial staff of accelerated degree for enjoying my blog and considering me for such an award.

Though it baffles me that my blog is that fascinating, it would be nice to be the winner. The winner gets rights to display the prestigious "winner" emblem on their site AAAND a $100 restaurant gift card. That would sure come in handy fora poor dental student :)

This is where you, my fascinating readers, come in. Help me win the award by getting the most votes!!

Here's how to vote:

  • The voting is done via Google+
  • Click HERE to get to the voting page
  • All the nominated blogs are posted in the comments section
  • Scroll down until you get to my blog 
  • Hover your cursor over the end of the URL until you encounter +1 icon 
  • Click on it and voila! you've voted for my blog

Vote! Vote! Vote!
Thanks so much!!

First Week Reactions

It's my first week  back to school from summer vacations. The below pretty much sums up my week so far...





What I tell my school’s faculty it’s like:
What it’s really like:





:) just for laughs!

All gifs taken from

Brush Timer app!

According to research, the recommended time for brushing your teeth is 2 minutes! How many of us actually brush that long? You'd think I, being a dental student and all would do better. I did a little experiment this morning where I timed myself to see just how long I do brush for. I brushed for all of 48 seconds, sad I know.

Determined to improve this I ventured out into cyber space for a little help. That's when I happened upon a cool little app - BrushDJ. It's a toothbrush timer app that plays exactly 2 minutes of music taken from your device's iTunes library to help you brush for the amount of time you are supposed to! It also allows you set set reminders to brush twice per day, floss, when next to see the dentist, etc. It's a pretty cool app., and the best part it's FREE!

Restorative Comps

Third year of dental school started a couple weeks. It's the summer months so it's a bit on the slow side BUT we do have competencies and rotations to keep us busy!

Here's a tiny bit of what I've been up to:

PS: This is my first time posting from my iPhone so disregard any typos and irregularities :)

New and More Affordable Dental Loupes!

I am excited to announce the official opening of Zoom Optix. They provide high quality innovative dental loupes that are comfortable, stylish, and most importantly affordable. They have combined their high quality optics with a top of the line frame by Smith Optics. The PivLock V90 Max is one of the lightest frames on the market and is offered in over six different colors.
Zoom Optix currently offers loupes in 2.5x, 3.0x, 3.5x, and 4.0x magnifications. All of their loupes are backed with a LIFETIME WARRANTY on both the loupes and frames. This is unmatched by any of their competitors! In addition, they offer a 15 day no hassle trial period. The trial period allows for their customers to try the loupes out and return them if they are not satisfied with the purchase.
You can check out their current pricing on their website at They offer great customer service and make a fantastic alternative to the big brand names!

Who is behind Zoom Optix:

Hi, my name is Jerry Westover and I am the founder of Zoom Optix. I am currently finishing my 2nd year in dental school at Indiana University School of Dentistry. For the past several months I have spent my time studying for exams, doing lab projects, and developing this company. I began developing this company because dental loupes can be frustratingly expensive, especially when you know the companies are making a large profit. So, I decided to build a loupe company that offers a high quality product with an exceptional warranty. I can now proudly say that I have developed a high quality product at an affordable price for everyone, especially for my fellow dental students. 

Check out Zoom Optix today for high quality, more affordable dental loupes!!

D3: Let the good times roll

I started my third year on Monday! I am nervous, but super excited to start clinics and to have made it one year closer to my goal of becoming a dentist.

My life will become more hectic but I will certainly try to update as often as I can.

Let the good time roll!

Revenge is a dish best served with...Novocaine?

Did you hear about the dentist in Poland who extracted all of her ex-boyfriend's teeth because he dumped her??

Olszweski, who was having a tooth ache and needed an extraction consulted his ex-girlfriend who he had recently dumped - and who happens to be a dentist, with the problem. When he woke up from his anesthesia, his mouth was empty!

I say serve him right! lol  As for the dentist, she could face three years in jail and a malpractice suit. Yikes!

Read article here. What do you think?

PS: to my present and future dentists, remain professional at all times. Some nut is not worth all the money you spent on dental school, all this hard work and most definitely not your license.


Enough said....

BUT, after next Wednesday I will no longer be a D2!

The Making of a Three Unit Bridge 1

I worked on making a three unit bridge from tooth #19 through to tooth #21 earlier this semester. Tooth #19 and #21 were prepped for PFM crowns and served as abutments for pontic #20.

1. Impression was taken of the maxillary and mandibular arches, then mounted
2. #19 and #21 were prepped (not pictured)

Mandibular cast  showing #19, Pontic space (#20) and #21

Pontic in place

Pontic in place - #20

Cast of the lower arch with pontic in place

Ellmann Shell was made for fabricating a provisional

Ellmann Shell

Ellmann shell made to fit

Provisional 3-unit bridge

Exciting News!

So I'm at home yesterday... I made dinner, took a shower and got settled to start my study routine. Right as I was about to start I received a phone call from my mom, "Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh" she's screaming. At first I'm terrified, then she starts to say "I'm soo proud" then I'm excited. "What is it?" I say. Turns out...

I passed my National Boards!!!!!!!!

She received that wonderful piece of paper in the mail when she got home from work. Such exciting times! Needless to say, no studying was done yesterday. 

Happy Happy Happy!!

I've been featured!

I'm so happy to be featured in's Top 50 Blogs for College Students. I'm happy I can be a great resource for those looking for information on pursuing a career in health care, particularly dentistry, and I'm happy I can give a glimpse into the life of a dental student.

Here's the top 50 list. Find me under Education. There are so many other cool blogs out there too!

Just call me Super Woman

Like I said - it's a busy semester! Somewhere between my 13 classes, labs, studying for the National Boards, my other academic extracurricular activities, I found time to do a little work on my research project (that I did the bulk of last summer) and present it at the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), this weekend.

Me, presenting my research at the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) annual meeting this weekend.

Shifting Focus

I finally took the boards and I'm half way through a very busy semester. I'm now awaiting my scores but in the meantime I can go back to life as it was, before the stress of studying and sitting the National Boards.
It was a pretty grueling couple of months, trying to manage a million and one classes and labs, going home beat and still mustering some gusto to go through a couple dental decks, a couple pages in the First Aid or a practice exam. I pray all my hard work paid off.

The exciting news is... I get to focus a little bit more on blogging! I haven't been documenting (taking pictures) of my lab projects since my last post but I can't wait to start again.

Hope you guys are having a great semester. Congrats to those who sat and passed the boards, and good luck to those who have yet to take them!


Wow! It has been about a month since I last posted. This semester has been really really hectic plus I have been arduously preparing for the National board exams. I'll take them soon so as soon as that is over with I'll start posting again.

Thanks for your patience, and send up a word of prayer for me for the boards!

Enjoy your Spring Break!

2 Ways the “Paper Clip Dentist” Scandal Affects Dentist-Patient Relationships

A Guest Post from Robert Milton

Wow. If people weren’t already afraid of the dentist, they’re going to have a tough time now. Or rather, practicing and future dentists will have a harder time convincing patients they’re trustworthy thanks to the latest dental lawsuit making waves in the media.
On Monday, Dr. Michael Clair of Massachusetts was sentenced to one year in jail because he used paper clips instead of stainless-steel posts for root canals and then fraudulently billed Medicaid the full price. One of the patients involved in this particular case, Joshua Almeida, suffered toothaches and eventually lost his tooth from the botched root canal.
What can we take away from all this?
I think there are a number of lessons to be learned from the “Paper Clip Dentist” scandal, but two things in particular stuck out to me.
Safety Over Cutting Corners
The paper clip post and core method for root canals may be familiar to some dental students. It’s not unheard of for a root canal project in a third year Restoration course to use a paper clip for the temporary core of a provisional crown. Even one of the most frequently cited textbooks on the subject, Fundamentals of Fixed Prosthodontics by Herb Schillingburg, DDS, includes this less than optimal material where you would expect a stainless-steel post to be used. However, it’s important to note that it is considered only for temporary use.
Clair acknowledges he used the common office supply because it was cheaper than the $50 a piece stainless-steel posts. He might have gotten away with it for the temporaries, but he kept them in permanently leaving unaware patients with structurally unsound teeth and vulnerable to infection.
It’s no secret that running a dental practice is expensive. Of course you’ll want to look for a way to cut costs when you’re dealing with massive student loan debt from dental school, keeping equipment up-to-date, and the everyday business expenses of rent, utilities, and payroll. But safety should always trump cutting corners financially. Granted, Clair may be suffering from some sort of mental issue that impairs judgment, but I believe his extreme case serves as a reminder not to cross ethical boundaries when under financial stress.
Easing Dental Fear
An estimated 75% of Americans are fearful of the dentist with up to 10% of those avoiding dental appointments all together. Much of the anxiety associated with dental work is a result of previous bad experiences whether it was a painful procedure or a poor relationship with a dentist. However, news stories such as this most recent lawsuit can horrify patients indirectly.
There’s a good chance that you’ll be faced with even more challenging dental patients than before. After all, root canals are already one of the most feared procedures and now they’ll shutter every time they reach for a paper clip at work. It may be time to boost your chair side manner in regards to this heightened anxiety.
Communication is everything. Keep your ears open and the conversation going with each patient. Some may not want to know what’s happening at all, but many relax when a full explanation of the procedure is given. Perhaps now would be a good time to start showing them the materials you’ll be using so they know you don’t shop at Office Depot for dental supplies.

Providing quality care and squashing fears make for a successful dentist. If you win them over while they’re in your chair, they’ll return frequently and brag about you in between appointments. As a bonus, you’ll get to feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Does anything else strike a chord with you about the Paper Clip Dentist case?

Robert Milton writes for Austin Dental Center, an Austin dentist that’s dedicated to making patients feel comfortable while providing a wide range of services from mercury-free fillings to dental implants. You can find them at 2304 Hancock Drive #1, Austin, TX 78756 or call (512) 454-0414.

10 FAFSA Tips for Health Students

A guest post from Casey Roberts

As any student can tell you, paying for school can be the most difficult part of all.  But luckily, there are literally millions of students each year who have the same problem.  No matter if you are studying dentistry, radiology, or becoming a brain surgeon, there are financial aid options for you.  To prove it, we have included just ten tips every health student should know.

1. FAFSA – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid should be the first item any student attending any college should take on.  A copy can easily be obtained online, at your high school, or at the college you are considering attending.

2. Correct FAFSA – The rules to financial aid are always changing and so are the FAFSA forms.  Before you fill yours out, make sure that it is for the current year, as last year's form may not apply.

3. Early is better – Because the FAFSA is such a lengthy form, be sure and get started as early as possible as it will ask for all your information, your income, your parent's income, and much more.

4. Do it online – If you have an internet enabled device at home, use to fill out the FAFSA.  It will take all the usual hassles away from filling out paper forms and even has tips as you fill it out.

5. Dependent or not – If you are still living with your parents, chances are you might be a dependent.  However, those who don't or who do live with their parents and pay for their own school might be classified as independents.  Know which you are and which you should be to ensure the best results.

6. It's all free – If you have questions about filling out the FAFSA or any financial aid form, don't pay someone to help you.  The counselors at your high school or future college are paid to know the answers and can help you at no charge.

7. Deadlines – As with most things, there are deadlines for the FAFSA.  There is an early, on-time, and late deadline.  Getting your FAFSA in by the early one has many advantages including the option to reapply if your first application is wrong and the option of seeing how much financial aid you qualify for, which can help you decide between colleges.

8. No blanks – Even though an item on the FAFSA may not apply to you, it is important not to leave any line blank.  If you are positive the item does not apply to you, put in a “0.”  If unsure, ask a counselor.

9. No lying – It may be tempting to lie about something like income to get better financial aid results, but FAFSA will use you and your parent's income tax information to confirm your answers, so be sure and do it right.

10. Repeat – Most students plan to attend school for at least two years, and the FAFSA and financial aid process should be repeated for every year of school.  This is doubly true for students whose financial circumstances change, as the amount of financial aid can change too.

Bonus! Beyond FAFSA – FAFSA is the standard for financial aid, but many schools have their own forms as well.  These are also to be filled out for every school you plan on applying to.  The best part is if you fill out and turn everything early enough, you will know how much the school will cost out of pocket.

Casey Roberts is a student and also writes for Radiology Assistant which helps students find the right radiology degree.

Access Opening on Molar Teeth

You may have seen my post a couple days ago when I started access opening on anterior and premolar teeth. (if not, see here). I have continued this process with accessing molar teeth.

Real Human Teeth embedded in a plaster block
The tooth at the very right is actually a pre-molar

Molars accessed

If you look really closely, you may be able to see a couple canals

Filing and measuring

See access opening on anteriors and premolars here.
Here's a handy guideline on access cavity preps.
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