Friday, February 7, 2014

Drilling & Amalgam

This quarter, we've leveled up from wax-ups to drilling, which presents its own set of problems and things to get used to. Within this quarter, we've started using our nifty loupes, handpieces, and all of these different condensers/burnishers to place the amalgam. Amalgam is the material that makes "silver fillings" if you've ever seen those in people's mouths.

Honestly, our school isn't the best about instructing you in exactly what to do when you enter lab, so the first time we drilled was kind of a disaster, lol. Everyone was burning through teeth (basically drilling straight through the plastic), and it just smelled like burnt marshmallows throughout lab. When I first tried to use my drill, I thought I placed the burr correctly (the little metal tip that goes in the drill), but apparently I didn't because it flew out and hit me in the face!! I then spent the next 5 minutes crawling around on the floor (which happens to be the most unfortunate pattern because it's basically tooth colored with markings that looks like burrs all over it. How convenient.)

Anyway, here are my first couple of projects from this quarter! The part that I did is basically the little squiggly shapes that are drilled out of the tooth. These are called "preps".

It's funny because when you just look at them, they look so silly and easy to make. If I just saw these, I would think to myself, "Don't you just stick the drill into the tooth and go?" But there's seriously so much to think about!! Is your pulpal wall flat, does any part of the prep catch when you run an explorer over it, are the cavosurface margins smooth, is it deep enough, is it TOO deep?!, is your isthmus too wide, ARE YOU EVEN DRILLING ON THE RIGHT TOOTH? 
and the list just goes on.. lol. 

Anyway, after that, we have to fill our preps with amalgam, which is what we started working on this week. These are the supplies we use for our amalgam fillings! 

 And here's my finished product (the tooth with the silver stuff, aka amalgam, on the inside)…

Haha, this has a lot of problems, but hopefully I'll get better by the end of the quarter! At least things can only get better from here. I know there's a lot wrong with this, but I don't really understand how to use my condensers/work with the amalgam material yet.. It's weird and crunchy, and squeaks like a door, and has a strange pace of setting. You have about 15 minutes where its workable, before it's too hard to carve any anatomy or pack it anymore, and using your burnishers only makes the surface shiny.. Oh well, I'll figure it out haha.

Now, back to studying… we have our first Systems midterm on cardiology this Wednesday, with over 50 hours of lecture material to study.. There are only 24 hours in a day!!!!! Oh goodness.

So what am I doing blogging? Beats me.


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