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Scared of failing Dental School? Upcoming D3!! NEED ADVICE!!

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DDS
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You will mess up, you’re new to dentistry. That’s the point of D3/D4. It’s better to mess up in dental school when there’s faculty to bail you out. The real world isn’t as forgiving.

Your feelings are normal. You will be fine.
 
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knewstance

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As my question states, I am freaking out!! We will start seeing patient's in August, and I get so shaky and nervous, I am scared I am going to mess up somehow!
I'm in the same boat, just transitioned to D3 and started seeing patients. The first procedure is pretty nerve-wracking, but you'll get through it. As much as it's not like working on typodont teeth, it's also the same. You'll be fine, the hand skill and principles you've been learning still apply.
 
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fayevalentine

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This is a normal feeling when you start seeing live patients. What specifically are you nervous about? Run through the entire procedure in your head the night before. Write it down if that helps you. Go slow and you'll be just fine.
 
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oralcare123

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Be prepared for the procedure. You need to know what and how you supposed to do. You don't have to have perfect skills, this is what your instructor supposed to teach you over time
Another very important thing. Think how you will be interacting with patients. Be polite, but firm. Make sure you look confident. Be gentle, pretend how would you feel if you were treated by you
Don't waste your time on disrespectful people and the ones, who are not serious about going through treatment. You are paying a lot to get experiences and with reduced opportunities now with COVID you must become even more efficient
 
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As my question states, I am freaking out!! We will start seeing patient's in August, and I get so shaky and nervous, I am scared I am going to mess up somehow!

Don't worry about it. Take patient care seriously and the chance of you screwing up is lower. Better to screw up now than screw up in actual practice.

Rarely anyone fails as a D3/D4 unless you get caught doing something really bad or aggrevate the wrong faculty. It's all about choosing which faculty to work with, and as always, stay under the radar.

When you walk in the clinic, you need to believe you've done this procedure several hundred times even if it's your first time. Mental preparation is key. When a patient asks you if this is your first time, the correct response, without hesistation, is yes, I've done this at least 40 (or some believable number) times. Believe it and you will be believed. Confidence in yourself will bring confidence in your patients. Also, go above and beyond. Know how to be more efficient in clinic. I have a guide of that somewhere around here.
 
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yappy

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You will be fine. I was very stressed to begin D3 year too but after a few weeks you'll adjust to it.

The best advice I can give you is to let your patients know that your clinic is a learning institution and all appointments take longer than private practice. Ask if they are okay with that. When I was in dental school I did this; if they told me they were not okay with the time commitment I ended that relationship before either of us wasted too much time. Your time as a student is precious and you are paying a ton of money to be there.

I will diverge from the other posts on here and say that you should never, ever, EVER, lie to a patient. No matter how small. Don't start your career off as a lair.
 
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frozenicecreamDMD

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relax, if your school has a sign that says XYZ dental school the patients know they are being seen at a dental school and by dental students unless you have some oddball patients who demand to be seen by faculty.

most if not all patients are extremely nice and patient and cooperative as long as you are being upfront with them (you are a student, this takes a lot of time, you pay for the time hence the fee is lower, etc etc) as long as you get them on the same page as you, many will stay with you to finish their full treatment plan unless they have money problem.

My suggestion is this. First meeting with them, sit and look at them straight in the eye and say what you plan to do with them with confidence, tell them the possible complications and the bad things that may happen (most of the time they won't happen and you will look good), ask if they have any question, then begin. They know you are a student. being psyched out and being nervous wont help you.

Don't lie just say you practice this procedure on plastic teeth on mannequin many times before 30-40 times or up to 100 times but this is your first real live patient experience. Patients just get it. My first ext patient ever asks me if I am nervous, I say I am. He puts up with me and then completes his whole treatment plan with me which takes my whole D3 year.
 
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deleted925864

As my question states, I am freaking out!! We will start seeing patient's in August, and I get so shaky and nervous, I am scared I am going to mess up somehow!

If you get more shaky and nervous than you feel is normal, maybe talk to your doctor. I take beta blockers (propranolol) for high stress situations because I can get very shaky. It can make you sleepy, so make sure you discuss with your doctor and take them on a non-patient day first to see how it affects you, but I have no issues with drowsiness. It isn't for everyday jitters, this would be if you get excessively nervous and experience physical symptoms like shaking and rapid heartbeat.
 

frozenicecreamDMD

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If you get more shaky and nervous than you feel is normal, maybe talk to your doctor. I take beta blockers (propranolol) for high stress situations because I can get very shaky. It can make you sleepy, so make sure you discuss with your doctor and take them on a non-patient day first to see how it affects you, but I have no issues with drowsiness. It isn't for everyday jitters, this would be if you get excessively nervous and experience physical symptoms like shaking and rapid heartbeat.
be careful of this as well as this medication will show up later when you buy life insurance, having a history of continuous refills of beta blockers can be hard to explain and can cause a premium hike.
 
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schmoob

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relax, if your school has a sign that says XYZ dental school the patients know they are being seen at a dental school and by dental students unless you have some oddball patients who demand to be seen by faculty.

most if not all patients are extremely nice and patient and cooperative as long as you are being upfront with them (you are a student, this takes a lot of time, you pay for the time hence the fee is lower, etc etc) as long as you get them on the same page as you, many will stay with you to finish their full treatment plan unless they have money problem.

My suggestion is this. First meeting with them, sit and look at them straight in the eye and say what you plan to do with them with confidence, tell them the possible complications and the bad things that may happen (most of the time they won't happen and you will look good), ask if they have any question, then begin. They know you are a student. being psyched out and being nervous wont help you.

Don't lie just say you practice this procedure on plastic teeth on mannequin many times before 30-40 times or up to 100 times but this is your first real live patient experience. Patients just get it. My first ext patient ever asks me if I am nervous, I say I am. He puts up with me and then completes his whole treatment plan with me which takes my whole D3 year.
I had some very demanding patients. Some wanted the champagne and caviar treatment at beer and pizza prices. I had others that would come to the dental school and refuse to be seen by a student, only a faculty member. I kindly showed them the door.


If you get more shaky and nervous than you feel is normal, maybe talk to your doctor. I take beta blockers (propranolol) for high stress situations because I can get very shaky. It can make you sleepy, so make sure you discuss with your doctor and take them on a non-patient day first to see how it affects you, but I have no issues with drowsiness. It isn't for everyday jitters, this would be if you get excessively nervous and experience physical symptoms like shaking and rapid heartbeat.
Be very careful with providing medical advice on here. You are not qualified to give medical advice and SDN is not the appropriate place to do it.
 
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deleted925864

Be very careful with providing medical advice on here. You are not qualified to give medical advice and SDN is not the appropriate place to do it.

For sure, definitely why I suggested consulting with a doctor. I didn't know such medications existed until a friend mentioned it to me, so it may be an option for OP to look into if they're interested. Severe anxiety can be a medical issue that requires consultation with a doc.
 

frozenicecreamDMD

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I had some very demanding patients. Some wanted the champagne and caviar treatment at beer and pizza prices. I had others that would come to the dental school and refuse to be seen by a student, only a faculty member. I kindly showed them the door.

I have seen/heard of these but have not personally dealt with any, I am probably too lucky.
 
Jul 21, 2004
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relax, if your school has a sign that says XYZ dental school the patients know they are being seen at a dental school and by dental students unless you have some oddball patients who demand to be seen by faculty.

most if not all patients are extremely nice and patient and cooperative as long as you are being upfront with them (you are a student, this takes a lot of time, you pay for the time hence the fee is lower, etc etc) as long as you get them on the same page as you, many will stay with you to finish their full treatment plan unless they have money problem.

My suggestion is this. First meeting with them, sit and look at them straight in the eye and say what you plan to do with them with confidence, tell them the possible complications and the bad things that may happen (most of the time they won't happen and you will look good), ask if they have any question, then begin. They know you are a student. being psyched out and being nervous wont help you.

Don't lie just say you practice this procedure on plastic teeth on mannequin many times before 30-40 times or up to 100 times but this is your first real live patient experience. Patients just get it. My first ext patient ever asks me if I am nervous, I say I am. He puts up with me and then completes his whole treatment plan with me which takes my whole D3 year.

That assumes that your patients are that understanding. After the nth appt for something mundane, patients will lose their faith and confidence. Especially for valuable procedures such as an rpd, I would advise the opposite, but execute efficiently... i.e 3 to 4 appt dentures. I would never ever tell a patient it is my first time doing something. That's a confidence crusher right there. I guess I was more pragmatic back then.

Another way I like to frame the situation in dental school to patients... its us (me/patient v. School/ faculty). I'll get it done for you and bypass as much of the bureaucracy as possible if you follow my lead. That built a lot of confidence with patients too.

If you get more shaky and nervous than you feel is normal, maybe talk to your doctor. I take beta blockers (propranolol) for high stress situations because I can get very shaky. It can make you sleepy, so make sure you discuss with your doctor and take them on a non-patient day first to see how it affects you, but I have no issues with drowsiness. It isn't for everyday jitters, this would be if you get excessively nervous and experience physical symptoms like shaking and rapid heartbeat.

A bad side effect of beta blockers - impotence/ED.
 
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Alpha Centauri

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My first patient was a mess. Honestly my whole week was. Not that I was doing anything bad, I just had no idea what I was doing ,the administrative work, perio probing, how to use Axium. It is completely normal. Seeing patients is 10x better than what I experienced D1 and D2 year. The most important thing is to connect with people and refine your social skills. Your manual dexterity will come, I promise you.

be careful of this as well as this medication will show up later when you buy life insurance, having a history of continuous refills of beta blockers can be hard to explain and can cause a premium hike.
You really think someone who tried to cheat their way out of the first patient "hump" thought that far?
 
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LaughingGas

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Mess up as much as you can. learning how to recover from those mistakes will serve you more in real life dentistry. I was one of those that never pulped out in school, my bur didn't fly or had cut soft tissue while prepping. Not that I wish I would do unintentional harm to patients but having gone through those situations probably would have diminished my anxiety when I ran unexpected situations by myself. Do tougher cases, take medically complex patients.
 
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AONLINE

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Choosing the correct faculty is key. At our school we have to take competency, a faculty failed me on my diagnosis competency over a tiny nomenclature mistake that I'm sure any faculty would have passed me.
 
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Faux

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You will mess up, you’re new to dentistry. That’s the point of D3/D4. It’s better to mess up in dental school when there’s faculty to bail you out. The real world isn’t as forgiving.

Your feelings are normal. You will be fine.

.

I pierced the lingual floor with a high speed chamfer on a patient during D3. Wasn't pretty being on blood thinners and all.

Since then, I did four crowns on her, six veneers and I did my first implant ever on her and did my last two of my AEGDon her too. She's practically a family friend now :D
 
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Sweet_Tooth

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You’ll be fine. Remember you won’t be cutting ideal preps on typodonts. You won’t get in trouble if you’re “2 degrees overtapered” or if your “axiopulpal line angle isn’t rounded enough.”
Focus on function, retention, and OCCLUSION.
Our school is big on cadcam and I have the opposite feeling...how perfectly discernible the margins have to be and how smooth the prep has to be, seems like it's even higher of a standard than what would've easily passed if it was graded just by a normal faculty member...I appreciate the conveniences of technology but it's definitely not as forgiving as doing things the old school way
 

schmoob

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Our school is big on cadcam and I have the opposite feeling...how perfectly discernible the margins have to be and how smooth the prep has to be, seems like it's even higher of a standard than what would've easily passed if it was graded just by a normal faculty member...I appreciate the conveniences of technology but it's definitely not as forgiving as doing things the old school way
You’re still going to have to take PVS impressions and pour your own Die-Keen. You’re still going to be fabricating PFMs and porcelain metal crowns, not everything will be ceramic.
 
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Our school is big on cadcam and I have the opposite feeling...how perfectly discernible the margins have to be and how smooth the prep has to be, seems like it's even higher of a standard than what would've easily passed if it was graded just by a normal faculty member...I appreciate the conveniences of technology but it's definitely not as forgiving as doing things the old school way

If they are going to judge you on traditional prep styles with cadcam, then yes, it'll definitely be harder since they'll see every scratch, ditch, and irregularity. CEREC preps tend to be a lot easier since everything needs to be rounded. If it's smoothness they are looking for, you'll have to use end cutting diamond burs, fine carbide/diamonds and sanding/polishing discs to make your preps look typodont smooth. Might end up killing to pulp though if you generate too much heat.

Work with easier faculty. The keyword for rough preps is "micromechanical retention". If they ask why it's not sharp, the right answer is that your mill needs rounded preps to prevent undermilling/overmilling resulting in a less accurate restoration (depending on your CAM software) + reduce concentrated forces on the intaglio of the restoration thus preventing fracture, etc... A good/easy faculty member will usually accept those answers.
 
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AONLINE

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As a public school student I would be lucky if I get to do one CAD/CAM crown. On the other hand at an expensive private school on the East Coast my friend says they are barely learning PVS impression as 90% of their crowns will be digital CAD/CAM.
 
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As a public school student I would be lucky if I get to do one CAD/CAM crown. On the other hand at an expensive private school on the East Coast my friend says they are barely learning PVS impression as 90% of their crowns will be digital CAD/CAM.

Back in my days, we had no CAD/CAM. Don't worry about it, with the money you save from public school, you can buy a CAD/CAM system and run circles around those that learned about CAD/CAM but have no money to buy it due to the debt they racked from private school. Especially with a CEREC system - it's idiotproof. My staff and I had no formal training or courses on it and we're cranking out crowns with no problems. I was given a training voucher that I never used since it didn't fit my schedule. It's that easy and doing it in school is probably going to be an exercise in bureaucracy and how not to do things. I also have a Ceramill Motion 2, but I regret getting it since I can't monetize it as easily as a CEREC Omnicam/Primescan (Finally took the plunge and got a primescan/primemill). The Motion 2 is now relegated for 4-6 unit bridges only or if there's multiple 3 unit bridges during the same appt slot. So, with the CAD/CAM systems out there, I'd say stick with the CEREC ecosystem. It just works.
 

Wildsheepchase

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The hardest part of dental school is getting in...imo. At the end of the day, it's all about your attitude. If you go into clinic with an attitude that you're willing to learn and being aware that there's a lot of gray in dentistry, your experience will reward you. Remember, take a deep breath. Take a minute or two to run through your head of what you've learned and know then proceed ahead (your patients have no idea if you're brain-farting or not).

I know peers who literally do not want to see patients and have a terrible time in dental school.

I can relate to this feeling of uncertainty. You are not alone. Embrace the uncertainty.
 
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