Monday, November 30, 2009

Last day of 1st semester clinic!!

Today was our last day of clinic.  We learned our "CA" duties for next year and different emergency procedures.  I can NOT believe this semester is over.  I remember feeling so overwhelemed in August and here I am; I SURVIVED!! semester is a different story but for now I am just focusing on today.  I have learned so much these past couple of months but I am so glad we have another year and a half to practice our skills.  I am in NO WAY ready to be released on my own!!  Until next year...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Real Patient Day

Yesterday I saw my first "official" patient.  Who was luckily, my husband. :)  Everything went okay...I was only able to scale 1 quad.  I felt really inadequate when I was scaling though.  Jeff actually had calculus, and I wasn't able to hand scale very well at all!  I ended up using the ultrasonic, which really helped me out a lot.  Indirect vision is SO hard!!  I just cant imagine EVER being able to get the hang of it.  I'm now nervous for next semester when all I do is clean teeth.  I'm feeling kind of stressed about it.  Oh least I survived my first patient.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So today I was the "patient" for Megan, on our LAST mock patient day!!  I am SO excited for Monday!  I can't wait to have my first "real" patient in the chair.  I am excited to see some calculus (possibly) and put my skills to use.  I am feeling sort of confident and am ready to start feeling like a hygienist!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's just began...

Today was my last "mock" pt day. I can't believe how fast this semester has gone! I'm very excited to see my first "real" pt (who is my lucky hubby Jeff) on Monday. It will be a good experience to work on someone who doesn't know what I should be doing! :) hopefully I will be confident and composed. See ya Monday!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Mock" Patient day #1!

Today we had our first mock patient (it was Jenny!).  We treated them just like we would a "real" patient.  Started with the whole HHX & OD.  We had to probe the entire mouth and let me just say, that took me 45 minutes!!  Its hard to think that I will EVER be able to do it, in under 5 minutes one day!  I then was able to scale 2 quads, one quad hand scale & one quad with the ultrasonic.  I still have so much to learn.  I feel like its taking me so long to get the hang of this, its kind of disappointing.  It takes so much time to learn how to hold the instrument properly & use your mirror & know how to talk to your patient about caries & perio, etc.  On Wednesday I get to be Jenny's patient.  And then next Monday I get to be the hygienist again.  I cant believe that I will be working on Jeffs mouth in 2 weeks!!  Crazy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sharpening Instruments

Today we learned how to sharpen our instruments and it was okay.  It sounds AWFUL - equivalent to nails on a chalk board!!  But over all I think I kind of got it.  I just want to pass off the rest of my PE's so I can just relax for awhile.  We only have 4 left!!  Today is also our last "regular" day of clinic - HOLY CRAP!!  From here on out we are just cleaning teeth...that is soooo scary to me.  I dont feel ready at all- I'm still learning adaptation! let alone scaling 4 quads.  I'm even scared to clean my families teeth.  I'm going to forget everything.  Anyway, next week I have my first mock patient.  We'll see how that goes.

HaLlOwEeN pArTy!

We had our Halloween Hygiene party on Friday (10/30) and the juniors & seniors partied together! Woohoo.  Enjoy the pics.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sealants & FL trays YUM

Today we got to practice sealants.  Luckily, I have done those 100's of times so it wasn't too hard.  We also were able to experience what it is like to have a huge fluoride tray in your mouth full of foam!  :)  Yummy!  I cant believe we only have one more day of "regular" clinic and the rest of the semester is "mock" patients and then REAL patient!!  The semester is almost over...I can do this...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Air Powder/Polishing aint for babies!

Today we learned 3 PEs!!  Selective polishing, Fluoride treatment, AND airpowder/polishing aka. sandblasting.  So, its composed of sodium which means as you are blasting the surfaces of the tooth clean, you are dumping salt into your patients mouth - pretty fun, unless your the patient!  Its pretty messy too.  There is currently salt ALL OVER my unit and pretty much the whole clinic.  Luckily, selective polishing is something I have done for years so its coming pretty natural, except I need to remember to slow down and keep the psi between 10-20.  When I worked at the pedo office I was used to using up to 40 PSI!  Thats way too fast, it could hurt a little kids tooth or take off way too much enamel.  And then the fluoride tx is just gross and clumpy, but its great for your teeth!!  Oh and note to yourself: NEVER be polished with chocolate mint prophy paste - SICK!!  I prefer the salt over that.  See ya next time!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shower Time

Today we learned how to use the ULTRASONIC! :)  Which means, we pretty much got to give each others face a shower.  It uses a LOT of water.  Sure, you can turn it down, but your still going to get wet.  It was a different fact, it kind of felt like I wasnt doing anything at all, just holding it.  I'm sure if my patient had a lot of calculus then I would be able to see its affects.  I was also able to pass off 2 PEs today (intra oral camera & OHI), which is very stressful to do when you learn a new technique AND when there are only 2 cameras for the whole clinic.  Overall, it was a good day.  I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of things...but I'm really nervous for a REAL patient...I probably will forget it all.  I took some pics today, Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More practice

Today we were able to practice all of the skills we have learned so far. I was able to pass off my posterior scaling PE. I also got a lot of help on would think I would have this down by now but I really don't. Getting into the "col" area is hard!! Anyway, I think we get to practice scaling more on Monday, which I need!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect!

Today was a "practice" day...even though I felt crazier then ever!  I guess this is WHY we practice.  There is SO much to learn about charting etc.  I'm almost more nervous to chart then scale!  I did get to practice probing again and...I did ok.  I measured a 4mm pocket and was right so...I guess thats a good sign.  There has been so much shoved into my brain these past 9 weeks, its INSANE!  We did learn about the intra oral camera today, but that was really easy and fun.  I think Wednesday is another practice day and I will need to pass off my universal, posterior scaling.  I wish I was ahead but I like the TAs on Wednesday to pass me off anyway.  See ya Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dental Screenings

Today we learned all about dental screenings.  We learned what the GREEN sheet is really for.  We had to go through our partners mouth and access if they have fillings/crown/sealants/decay etc.  We then had to chart it in their actual charts.  We also learned what to mark in blue/red PENCIL and the different "codes" to use (ex.tornado for implants).  I also was able to pass off my Eaglesoft PE and instrument PE.  We have a lot of different instruments but I am getting used to what they are named and what they are for.  Its amazing how much "easier" clinic the same time getting harder...confusing, I know! 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Disclosing agent!!

Today was TOO much fun.  We got to "disclose" each others mouths...which means it turns purple wherever there is plaque! (gross) SO we were able to see how clean (or not) everyones mouth is...and how good they brush.  We also learned how to find gingivits (which isn't the bright, flaming red gums you normally would think of).  We then learned about OHI (fun) and how to teach proper brushing technique.  After I turned Brookes mouth purple/pink, I then proceeded to scale the anteriors..which I really enjoy doing btw!  I am still worried about charting...I think this is going to take awhile to get down.  OH, we also learned all about PFI%.  "Plaque, Free, Index".  This way we can share with our patient how "good" they are brushing (or how BAD).  I cant say I scored too great, I need to floss WAY better!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

PoSteRiOr sCaLiNg

Yesterday we learned how to scale the posterior teeth with the berndhardt and colombia scalers.  The TA's & instructors make it look SO simple during demo, but when I actually get in there to do it I mess it all up!  I was getting the correct angle most of the time...but then I would over think it and mess up.  I really enjoy scaling though, I'm excited to learn about the other instruments.  I am nervous thinking about going sub-gingivally though!  For now, I will take it a day at a time.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today we learned to scale the anterior teeth.  I think its easier then probing!  It was very exciting learning to feel for calculus.  I still need to practice to get my fulcrum right and my stroke angles correct.  I am excited for the day that I dont even have to think about what I'm doing, it just comes natural!  I think I am starting to catch on to adaptation and correct sitting positions.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SoOoO MaNy InStRuMeNtS

Today we familiarized ourselves with ALL of our instruments.  This included a ton of different scalers.  It was cool to be able to learn about the scalers & where they are used in the mouth, etc.  I cant believe we are going to get to use them so soon!  Scary.  I am excited but nervous.  I am hoping I will be getting a pair of loupes for my birthday, which will really help with seeing clearer.  On a different note, it snowed/hailed today during clinic! The first "snow" of the season, how exciting! :)  I was also able to pass off 3 PE's today - my intraoral (so glad that ones out of the way) and my probing/explorer PE.  It feels good to be ahead  in clinic. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Today we learned all about how to correctly use an explorer and WHY we should use an explorer.  I found this to be much easier then probing!  It was cool to be able to feel calculus subgingivally with the explorer tip.  Exploring is very useful for finding calculus so you know which areas to focus on.  Clinic is going by faster and faster every time and I honestly cant believe that we will be cleaning a real patients mouth by the end of THIS semester!  I sure hope I can remember fulcrum, probing, exploring, positions, mirror positions, etc!!  Its all very stressful.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Today was the funnest day so far!  We got to practice probing on our pod partners...and I'm so thankful for how patient Linda is!  I am having an extremely hard time understanding the different angles and how to get into the "col" area...but I'm sure it will come with time...right?  Or maybe I will need to tell the dentist I work for that I dont probe...JUST KIDDING!  After the hour passed I had kind of gotten the hang of things but its a little stressful when you want to be perfect at it.  Hygiene is very involved, its just not scraping teeth.  I'm happy to be doing hands on though, it helps me learn better.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 5

Grrr! Fulcruming is so hard!  Nothing seems to feel natural to me.  I have to think and think about where to put my fingers to support the instrument.  I'm sure next year I will be looking back and thinking how silly I was for stressing over this, but its coming very slow!  I understand the importance of it which is why I'm getting frustrated.  I have to be able to have a secure instrument so I dont cut/or stab my patient...thank goodness for pod partners to practice on :) 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Today I learned all about holding a proper fulcrum. It was awkward at first because I am not used to being the "primary" provider for the patient, but its really important to make sure you hold the instrument/mirror properly and have the patient face you properly. I learned about making the mirror work for ME :) I'm not used to looking through a mirror to illuminate what I'm trying to see. Overall, I thought it was a very productive day and I learned a lot.

Vital Vitals

I learned how to take vitals today. It was a little difficult because I have never done it before. It was fun once I got the hang of it. We practiced on everyone in our pod and learned the normal and abnormal ranges for BP and pulse & breathing. Its important to do it for every patient because they usually see their hygienist more than their regular doctor. Its possible we could catch someone with high blood pressure without them even knowing its a problem.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Today in clinic we learned all about taking health histories and why they are so important. I learned how to properly write the health histories into the chart and how to look up the medications that the patient is taking and see how they might affect them orally. I understand the importance of making sure the health histories are accurate.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TIME to blog :)

Today in clinic we learned how to properly sit and position yourself and the patient. We learned about the invisible "clock" that is around our chair. We use the 8:00 position and 12:00 position to clean anteriors, both facial and lingual. We use the 9:00 position (which is meant for a man not a woman...and if you know what the 9:00 position is you know what I mean) to clean the bucal and lingual surfaces and then the 10:00 and 11:00 position also cleans the lingual, bucal surfaces. We also learned about proper posture, which is going to be important for me to do correctly because I already have neck problems! I also learned the importance of HHX for patients. I hope I remember everything I am supposed to do when I actually start seeing patients because there is a lot of writing to do. Overall, very education and good clinic day!

Monday, August 31, 2009

2nd week of clinic

Today I started my second week of clinic. I was able to pass off my Basic Eaglesoft PE and PPE PE. I have learned that PPE is VERY important in the dental clinic. I knew this before but I have learned a lot more about it and understand the importance of it even more now. (If I wasnt a germ freak before, I am now!) I have also been learning how to propery place barriers and take them down in my unit. I think that if I can get these first few PEs ingrained into my brain that everything else will follow accordingly.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of Clinic

Today I got to experience the clinic and find out my station (I'm by the East windows which is AWESOME and I totally love my "pod" group already!). I, however, realized that we were supposed to take our instruments home over the weekend and label all of them (approx 100 things) and OF COURSE, I didn't do that. So I was frantically labeling instruments this morning while we were getting familiar with our station (I did get them all labeled in time, PHEW!) It was a lot of fun getting to know everyone and I am looking forward to clinic on Wednesday. I cant wait to start learning the basics of scaling teeth!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Orientation Day

Today I got to dive RIGHT INTO hygiene 101. We received our lockers (I'm on the bottom because I didnt know we were choosing lockers)...oh and did I mention I was 20 minutes late on my ORIENTATION day!?! I want EVERYONE to know I am extremely punctual so this is completely against my nature to be late...especially on the first day...but that is ENOUGH about being late because its not happening AGAIN! Second; we got our instruments, and I don't mean we got a tiny basket full of instruments you see the hygienists use in a dental office, we got a BOX of instruments and I even got my own syrynge...yes that means I will be recruiting (in the future) for volunteers to anesthetize. hahaha. Anyway, I'm excited for Monday to get in to the routine of things and get to know the girls!