What I Have Learned During My Dentist Practice

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My initial introduction to dentistry as a profession came when I was told by my dentist that I potentially had periodontal disease. As this made me slightly apprehensive, I started researching this specific condition and analysed its implications. Furthermore, it made me aware about the importance of oral health and more appreciative of the dentist’s role. Fortunately, it turned out to be merely false pocketing, but the entire adventure/event initiated my passion for dental health.

The dentist’s way of explaining this to me on a level of my understanding made me realize the real extent to which dentistry is an expanding sector and a worthwhile career that can truly improve people’s lives. In addition, I have closely observed the relationship that a dentist builds with their patients during a placement I had in a dental practice. I sat in on everything ranging from root canal fillings to tooth extractions and discussed the different techniques and methods used, as well as the different anaesthetics available. I found that the combination of meeting and working with new people and diagnosis very stimulating.

Outside of my academics I write poetry to express all my thoughts and feelings in a lyrical format. I write about my inner mental conflicts and controversy. Writing poetry has taught me to dismantle elements of writing and examine each part for its uniqueness. I have learned how a small detail can critically affect the complete picture, and I hope my eye for detail would be beneficial in a dentistry setting. For instance, during my work experience I couldn’t help but notice the crucial part x-rays played in a full diagnostic picture. As this was highlighted to me through a case where a patient at the age of 10 had constant toothache.

This patient was previously seen at the clinic by another dentist who unfortunately didn’t use x ray images at the time to identify the problem so this dentist ended up treating and assumed the pain was coming from a baby tooth since it had a big hole. When the dentist I was shadowing/on a placement with took an X-ray scan she had identified that the problem was coming from an adult tooth that had decayed most of it. The parents felt distressed and angry that this issue wasn’t identified earlier but the dentist kept calm and apologized for the inconvenience even though it was another dentists fault.

In addition, this made me aware of the benefits of a good “bedside manner” since I had previously read a systematic review outside of my psychology classes that was used to determine if a good doctor-patient relationship had a significant therapeutic effect. Using a search strategy 11 medical, psychological, and sociological electronic databases was developed. The quality of the trials was assessed by two reviewers and the trials were classed as either cognitive or emotional.

The cognitive care purpose is to influence patient’s assumptions about the illness compared to the emotional care which refers to the way of the consultation i.e. being empathic and to overall reduce negative emotions and feelings. One consistent finding was that physicians who adopted a caring and a reassuring manner were more effective than those who kept consultations formal and did not offer reassurance.

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