Apr 24, 2013
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I've been thinking a lot lately about how I can improve my manual dexterity skills and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions?! I'm not one of those who is an artist or plays an instrument and I'm slightly freaking out because I don;t want to get into school and be bad at it! I might sound dumb but I'm not sure if I should expect to just learn it from dental school or I should already have some sort of talent to be a good dentist.

Thanks!!
 
Dec 7, 2013
40
24
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Pre-Dental
Learn how to do that thing where you spin a coin or a ring between all your fingers. It's frustrating and takes a while to get down, but it might help with dexterity and it's a cool skill that you can show off at parties!
 

LogOff

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Nov 6, 2012
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When you do get to school the best advice I have is to try and make your lab time productive even if you don't finish a project. What I mean is don't just mindlessly drill away and when you mess up think "great I wasted two hours." You have to be learning the whole time. Think "Oh I never noticed how I tend to tilt this way" "I'm tending to go overly deep here but too shallow there"

Also watch your classmates do things, I've probably learned just as much from classmates as instructors.
 
Jan 2, 2014
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Manual dexterity is adroitness in using the hands. A person with manual dexterity is very skilful and proficient under pressing conditions. For instance, a dentist must have fine motor control and excellent hand-eye coordination skills in his line of work to be efficient.
 

jeffity

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Oct 23, 2009
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Manual dexterity is adroitness in using the hands. A person with manual dexterity is very skilful and proficient under pressing conditions. For instance, a dentist must have fine motor control and excellent hand-eye coordination skills in his line of work to be efficient.
Interesting. I never looked at it from this perspective.
 

KittySquared

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Apr 6, 2010
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No one's going to believe me when I say this, but go work at a nail salon for a few months. You will be waxing like a champ. Playing the piano or whatever musical instruments don't really help that much, in my opinion. You need to be able to do fine scale manipulations of wax and having the agility to remove a fraction of a mm of wax here and there.
 

Illfavor

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Jan 3, 2012
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No one's going to believe me when I say this, but go work at a nail salon for a few months. You will be waxing like a champ. Playing the piano or whatever musical instruments don't really help that much, in my opinion. You need to be able to do fine scale manipulations of wax and having the agility to remove a fraction of a mm of wax here and there.
Playing a musical instrument at a high level requires an expert level of "fine scale manipulations" and literally requires levels of control down to the millimeter :D

And here's some badass dexterity
 

NMC2010

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Jun 5, 2013
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^ That's pretty sweet, looks like the dude is using a letter opener at first

No one's going to believe me when I say this, but go work at a nail salon for a few months. You will be waxing like a champ. Playing the piano or whatever musical instruments don't really help that much, in my opinion. You need to be able to do fine scale manipulations of wax and having the agility to remove a fraction of a mm of wax here and there.
I guess being a noobie at piano (just started lessons for fun this year) isn't gonna help me any. Took me the first 2 weeks of break just to learn to play the solo/song version of "O Holy Night" for Christmas. As a man, working at a nail salon wouldn't float my boat so well lol
 
Jun 3, 2013
92
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Well... if you are worried about manual dexterity at dental school, your best bet would be to find a dental lab willing to teach you how to make a crown from impression to the final product. That way you learn the "real thing" early on and don't have to worry about improving "manual dexterity" through different activities.

Now, if you want to learn a new skill before school while you have some time, more power to you. I'm on the same boat trying to finally get down guitar and started a new hobby on fountain/dip pen calligraphy.
 

AFlo1770

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Aug 27, 2011
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I'm pretty sure dental school makes sure you have your manual dexterity down before you graduate, so I wouldn't stress about it too much. Only learn piano, guitar, or paint nails if it is what you want to do--not just to improve your dexterity. Use your time before school with hobbies that you enjoy doing. :nod:
 
Aug 21, 2013
73
45
Mount Doom
Status
Dental Student
Well... if you are worried about manual dexterity at dental school, your best bet would be to find a dental lab willing to teach you how to make a crown from impression to the final product. That way you learn the "real thing" early on and don't have to worry about improving "manual dexterity" through different activities.

Now, if you want to learn a new skill before school while you have some time, more power to you. I'm on the same boat trying to finally get down guitar and started a new hobby on fountain/dip pen calligraphy.
I do the fountain/dip pen myself and I love it. Have you started exploring the different types of Inks yet? I recommend Noodler's myself. I've also been trying to teach myself to write with my non dominant left hand. They key is to using your forearms and not your hand muscles or you will get very tired very quickly.

http://www.paperpenalia.com/handwriting.html
that may help good luck.
 
Dec 21, 2012
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What about origami? I feel like piano/guitar will help give you control over individual fingers (which some people have problems with). Nail painting sounds interesting, probably more focus to detail (and social skills?). My mom was trying to get me to do this type of stuff in preparation for dental school - will it actually make a difference?
 

Dr. Dai Phan

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Try to enjoy before you start DS because you won't have time to do anything else once you're in it. Trying to improve your dexterity by painting or making origami is futile because preparing a tooth in millimeters requires a completetly different skill set that can be ONLY learnt while in DS. DP