On the Home Stretch

January 23, 2014

Wow. Only three and a half months to go to receive my DDS degree! I can remember talking to a good friend about becoming a dentist about 5 years ago. His words were, “take the high road and you will come out on top.” Well it has been a mountain to climb for sure, but like any other mountain I have climbed, it is well worth it. I have worked the vast majority of my patients through phase I dentistry, and now I am completing my phase II dental requirements. It is amazing when you start to feel more comfortable performing dentistry. I can remember Dean Aksu saying how things usually gel around January of your 4th year, and I agree. It feels good. I am in the process of finalizing a contract to work as a general dentist associate with my dentist. If all goes as planned, I will begin working in June 2014 after I receive my DDS license in May 2014. It is nice to have such good classmates as we are all working together to ensure that we get our requirements met so we can get out of dental school on time and start our new lives.

-Eric


Snowstorms and Christmas Break

January 23, 2014

Well, it is Sunday night now and it has been snowing since Friday night and we are up to about 8 inches. Luckily I have been inside with my family and not having to drive downtown through the snow. Tomorrow brings the second and last final exam of this DS4 Fall semester. It is starting to feel like dental school will be ending soon. The doctors are subtly interacting more with us like colleagues rather than instructors. The requirements are slowly and steadily being completed. After next week, only 4 months to go! Last Thursday, I passed my restorative class II and class III MOCK NERB examination. Thanks to both of my patients for showing up, wearing a rubber dam, and walking to the other side of the clinic two times. This Christmas break I will be hammering out a contract to become an associate with my wife’s cousin’s practice 2.5 miles down the road from my house. I should have my license by the end of May and begin working in the beginning of June 2014. I haven’t heard of anyone that wanted to go back to dental school once they were out. So I am looking forward to learning even more dentistry in my first year out as a practicing private dentist. The rest of the break is for relaxation and family time. Happy New Year.
-Eric


November Is Cold

November 13, 2013

Well it’s 11-12-13 today, there was snow on the ground when I woke up and I am coming down with a sore throat. Dental school is now within the last 6 months. I have been working on finishing CODA competencies and finding patients for MOCK NERBs in December, put on by UDM faculty, and actual NERBs coming in March. I am starting to feel more comfortable treating patients in a variety of ways. I always enjoy how fast the day goes by when I am treating 3 patients a day three days a week and 2 patients a day for two days a week. Today I completed a prefabricated post and Amalgabond core on a new patient of mine. Much more phase 2 dentistry is coming to my patients in the near future and I am excited to be treating patients like a ‘real’ dentist.


Six Months to Go and It’s All Coming Together

November 13, 2013

I’ve heard from many people, including Dean Aksu, that feeling more comfortable and confident treating patients usually begins to gel around late fall to early winter your senior year. I am feeling on track and am enjoying the progress with my patients. The most important part of a dental school is the teachers and Detroit Mercy Dental has many doctors that bring over 40 years of real world experience in private practice and dental education. It is particularly great seeing patients at University Health Service in the Detroit Medical Center half the week. They have a streamlined clinic and a wonderful support staff. I am reaching the end of Phase I & II dentistry with many of my patients. Hopefully next semester will be a little less stressful so I can enjoy my family more.


4th Year, Implants and More

August 27, 2013

Well Fall semester of my final year of dental school is finally here! Only 8 months to go. Last weekend I spoke with my wife’s cousin and future partner about when he would send a letter out to his patients telling them about his new associate, me. That being said, there are a lot of things to do before then. Two weeks ago, I took my written NBDE Part II and NERB exams. I should have my results back within 1-2 weeks so my fingers are crossed. Last week I worked with an oral surgeon to place 2 implants in the mandible for one of my patients. Now, we just wait for osseointegration and will restore with prefabricated abutments and Porcelain Fused to Metal crowns in January. My confidence in performing dental procedures is growing and I always enjoy talking to my patients. I couldn’t be happier to have switched careers from engineering to dentistry!


Denture Delivery and Board Exams.

August 27, 2013

Happy Mid July. That means 2 more weeks before the coveted longest break of the year…3 week summer break. I am proud to have delivered a set of complete dentures to my loyal patient who was pleased. I have many partial and complete dentures in the pipeline that should begin in the Fall semester. My implant case has been slowed due to insurance issues, namely, I was naive and didn’t check to see if implants were included in the rather large deductible, and they weren’t. So we are going to proceed 2 at a time. I am planning on taking part 2 of the NBDE board exams over August break. It was nice to talk to a recent grad about his experiences working as a private dentist and him reassuring that there is light at the end of this tunnel. With that said, my patient is here, so I am going to get back to it. Enjoy the rest of your summer.


Picking up Speed

June 18, 2013

4th year of dental school is flying by as we are treating patients all day every day. This has forced us to work faster to get more done in less time…exactly what we will need to do in private practice. I finally have a surgery date set for July 11, 2013 to work alongside an oral surgeon to place 6 implants in one of my favorite patients. It has been great taking the case from an initial oral diagnosis, to treatment planning 6 implants all with single crown on abutments, instead of upper and lower removable partial dentures that the patient was expecting, to making the surgical stents myself. If all goes well, I will get to place some of the mandibular implants myself. Additionally, I have about 11 new patients in my patient pool at Detroit Receiving Hospital and our main Corktown campus. We also have additional rotations at nursing homes and childcare centers in the Detroit metro area. All this means that the semester is flying by at light speed and it is bringing tons of knowledge about dentistry. I couldn’t be loving it more.


4th Year Begins with a New Son

May 28, 2013

Hello from the DS4 side of the clinic. My son Jude was born May 3, 2013 so please pardon my tardiness on this post. 4th year began last week and it does feel good to be within a year from graduation. I am scheduled to be in the Emergency Clinic tomorrow and it has me reminiscing about my first day in clinic ever last year in emergency. Actually, my first patient ever, vomited into a garbage can that I handed him while in the chair. So I am not jealous of the third years entering clinic, but there is still a lot of work ahead of me. I have 4 denture cases going on simultaneously and am getting used to seeing patients at the Detroit Medical Center half of the days of the week. I have a lot of “problems” in my life, but they are all good problems. I am really looking forward to all the experiences that are upcoming this year with rotations and the many phase II dental procedures that I will be treating for my patients. It will definitely be an exciting year. Go Wings in Game 7 against the Blackhawks!


Implantology

April 23, 2013

4/22/2013

Well last month brought me a gift from God. Namely a wonderful and dedicated patient that decided to come down to our dental clinic after his former hygienist told him that he was a good learning case for a dental student. Come to find out he has great dental insurance to boot. So instead of a removable partial denture over a removable partial denture, I treatment planned six single implants to be restored with abutments and PFM Crowns. Today I finished fabricating two surgical stents working in conjunction with a Prosthodontist and Oral Surgeon. The whole process has been a great learning experience and I look forward to placing 3 implants myself after watching him place the first 3. But first, I must read up on implant surgery, particularly bone graft placement, and raising papilla sparing full thickness surgical gingival flaps. Until next time.


DS4 is in Sight, But Baby Boy is Not…Yet

April 23, 2013

4-8-2013

Well another week begins here in early April. The fourth year dental students are getting excited to finish up their requirements, the third year dental students (at least myself) are itching to move up another rung on “the ladder”, and the second years are anxiously awaiting their time in the clinic. My wife and I have been “nesting” all weekend getting our house ready for my son, still due April 30. In the meantime, I have enjoyed my alma mater, the University of Michigan, basketball team making the final game of the NCAA tournament, the Detroit Tigers beating the NY Yankees on the home opener, and a University of Detroit Mercy basketball player winning the dunk contest. All this on top of the usual tasks of finishing up a semester in dental school including papers, exams, and clinical requirements.