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dental lab

Discussion in 'Dental' started by dental, May 13, 2002.

  1. dental

    dental Member

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    do you recommend working in a dental lab before attending dental school?
    how did you go about finding openings? i've called about 10 labs and no luck.
    are there volunteer positions or just employment positions?
     
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  3. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    Two sides to this one. While working in a lab will help you with a better understanding of dental anatomy and tooth morphology, as well as an understanding of materials and shades, is it something that is imperative? No. Sure depending on the type of lab (crown and bridge vs a denture lab) it might help with some aspects of dental school, but the current trend in alot of dental schools is to not have students due their own lab work. Sure you'll do a couple of denture set up, and process a set of dentures or two for experience, or you may have to wax up a crown or occasionally do a full gold casting or stack some porcelain, but most of that is a 1 time thing for the understanding and experience of doing it.

    In private practice, the almost all dentists will send out all their lab work to be done. Simply put, it takes the lab techs alot less time to do the work than most dentists can, and when it comes to dentists doing lab work at the end of a full day of patients verses going home and paying a rather small amount for someone else to do it, almost every dentist is in the car heading home. About as much lab work as I do on a regular basis, is I'll "tweak" a couple of teeth during an esthetic wax try in during denture fabrication. I can honestly say that the last time I did a full denture set up on my own was in dental school, the last time I waxed up a crown was also in dental school. Could I still do it, undoubtedly yes, would it take me 2 or 3 times longer than my lab techs, undoubtedly yes.

    The big positive for working in a lab before dental school is that admissions committees would definately look favorable upon this!
     
  4. wasabi007

    wasabi007 Senior Member

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    i heard from some D-1 friends that the lab work in dental school is what's most time consuming. they would easily be working on crown wax ups and such up to 10pm at night.

    so i was thinking along the same lines as dental, in that exposure to such lab techniques might make those lab classes easier? do you think that it'd be a good investment to learn in a dental lab during the summer prior to school just for the trade off of being more efficient/effective in your lab classes, so you can focus your time on studying for other classes? what i mean to ask is, if you had the opportunity to be able to breeze through your dental labs and have more time to study other materials--or just time to lounge and relax, would you invest the time to learn those lab techniques prior to entering school? is it worth it?

    -wasabi007
     
  5. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    My personel experience on this was the after hours time (maybe a couple of hours a week during the appropriate courses ***Not every day or every week of dental school*****) was a very goood bonding time with my classmates. This was very important since most of this lab time was either just prior to entering the clinics for the first time or while we were in the clinics. It became an advantage in that we could share our experiences, and lend a hand or two to each other when needed. It really became important around Board time when while you and your classmates were doing lab work, you could inquire about potential board patients that you may not have yet! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> Additionally, with a broader base of folks to ask questions too about lab work (your entire class verses just a couple of professors), you can actually learn a couple of tricks that a specific instructor may have told one of your classmates, but not you.
     
  6. wasabi007

    wasabi007 Senior Member

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    thanks for sharing your experiences dr. jeff...i never considered thinking of the extra lab time as quality bonding time with fellow classmates. i'm glad to hear that these long labs are just a 1 or 2 time occassion per week...that doesn't sound quite as bad now...taking that in consideration, i guess i won't worry about scrambling to get into a dental lab this summer...and enjoy my summer off before school starts~ :D
     
  7. cusp of carabelli

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    Hey DrJeff....I was just wondering you mentioned that the trend for lab work in dental schools were to have the lab work sent out to privat labs to be done...do you know which schools are heading in this direction. Also it seems like it is a disadvantage for students to have their lab work sent out b/c by doing your own work, you would know more of how to fix any defects that there may be. Just curious on what your opinion on this is. :confused:
     
  8. gryffindor

    Dentist

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    We have just began seeing patients on a regular basis and will continue in the fall (third year). After a hellish second year where we had to wax and cast several crowns & a bridge (that would be after doing all the impresions, casts and mounting just to get to that point), I am looking forward to sending out the lab work for my patients in clinic. The option is always there for students to do their own lab work in third and fourth years, but ONLY RARELY would anyone do that (ie - they miss a deadline, absolute emergency). Why? Because dental students are way slower and more prone to mistakes during the whole crown and bridge and denture making processes. One of our students was a lab tech for a long time b/f coming to dental school and this student was always done with Fixed assignments and waxing practicals WAY before the rest of us. His wax-ups and crowns always looked a ton better than ours. Of course, this also means that if the lab makes a mistake, you are set back while you wait for a remake. We still have to do our own denture set-ups, but no more castings! Believe me, when your onlay refuses to seat during your pre-clinic course and you have to re-do it from the whole wax-up stage, you will be glad that you can send your labwork out when you get to clinic.
     

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