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Ways to improve manual dexterity?

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Mangocat

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Hey,
I was wondering if you all had any suggestions for how to improve manual dexterity before starting dental school in the fall? I never played an instrument so I don't have that experience. +pity+
I just have experience with delicate dissection. Suggestions welcome! Thanks.

--M--
 
W

Woodsy

i took the more difficult Canadian DAT and they had a soap carving section, that's how i prepared. Just see if you can find some practice books taht prepare you for the CDN DAT. In my opinion though you don't need to do anything because my buddies in dental school did crap on their carving, got into U of Toronto coz they don't look at carving and they are killing dental school.
 

BigJake

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There are a lot of things you can do. Buy some cheap plastic models and do the best job you can on them. Carve chalk, try origami or any other activity that demands accuracy and precision. If you do some of these things you will see what your problems are. If you keep doing these things you will improve.

BigJake
 

toothache

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i just went to a local mechanic and decided to work part time and it greatly improved my manual dexterity
 

blankguy

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I remember in the website for Columbia mentioning something about working with jewelry too.

I happen to be working with jewelry putting together charm italian charm bracelets.
 

Mangocat

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Thanks for the suggestions-the jewelry one is especially interesting. Keep 'em coming! :thumbup:
 

blankguy

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Originally posted by Mangocat
Thanks for the suggestions-the jewelry one is especially interesting. Keep 'em coming! :thumbup:

I think they meant as long as you are involved in things like say cutting diamonds that will be very relevant. However an average person doesn't have say the clearance to do that kind of job since it requires being trusting and very skilled(don't want to lose expensive diamonds).
 

Mangocat

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Well I understood it the sense of making smaller jewelry using tools-I've seen it done by friends and it takes a lot of dexterity and precision. :) And that can be done by the average person if they know how to and have the materials.

I agree though with not messing with diamonds haha. :laugh:
 

Mo007

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I worked as a part-time Barber before, and I enjoy cooking most of the time - maybe that works for Manual Dexterity!
 

marshall

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An interesting aside to this is that I've heard from people in dental school that if you try to mimic doing dental things (mirrors, hand tools, etc) that you fall into bad habits unless you are being guided by a professional. Apparently it's hard to break these habits, depending on how long you've used them... so you may end up doing more harm than good if you are practicing holding a handpiece or something.
 

critterbug

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just play lots of golf :D At least thats my strategy :thumbup:
 

ziptree

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I took a ceramics class to help with my manual dexterity.

I've also worked at a dental lab for about a year now. I think the metal/porcelain grinding helps a lot. Waxing up the teeth doesn't hurt either. You can try to observe at one, if they have any spare models or whatnot, you can ask to cut into some stuff just for fun.
 

blankguy

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Originally posted by critterbug
just play lots of golf :D At least thats my strategy :thumbup:

Am I the only one here who isn't interested in Golf?
 
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blankguy

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Originally posted by marshall
An interesting aside to this is that I've heard from people in dental school that if you try to mimic doing dental things (mirrors, hand tools, etc) that you fall into bad habits unless you are being guided by a professional. Apparently it's hard to break these habits, depending on how long you've used them... so you may end up doing more harm than good if you are practicing holding a handpiece or something.

Good point. So at this point all it is for me is finger exercise.:confused:
 

trypmo

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Another way to practice manual dexterity: PM me if you might be interested in buying one of the motorized chalk carving tool kits I make, and help send me to my interviews! ;)


About practicing in mirrors: I never stopped to think I might be falling into bad habits by practicing on my own. Ack. Maybe I'll ask the DDS I shadow about tips on how to hold the instruments, because I'd really like to be able to keep practicing with mirrors...
 

UBTom

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Try and build something like this:

zachchandler.jpg


How's THAT for working in a confined space! :D
 

Mo007

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^^^^

Isn't that going to take 4 years to build? :D

Anyone who can, is ahead of the game.
 

preludexl

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How to improve manual dexterity?

Go chase a chicken? It worked for Rocky Balboa in Rocky I.
:D :D
 

marshall

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Sculpting it also a great way to do it. You use a lot of tools that resemble dental tools for fine details (faces, etc). I've sculpted in plaster, wood, and clay (for the face) and all mediums were excellent ways to work with my hands. I don't know if I'll be a better dentist because of it but sculpture was specifically recommended to me by UCLA dental admissions.

Cheers,
Marshall
 

Midoc

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The sculpting of fine details should definitely help you for when you learn to carve amalgams and finish composites.
 

Thaxil

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buy a piece of $hit car and be force to work on it every week when it breaks down.
 

the big wand

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I enjoy pottery. At least it gives me something to do when I don't feel like studying....speaking of my laziness.

Well, the most important thing is that I can make whatever I want and let my imagination go wild.......the big wand? :p
 

mobius

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I work in maintenance in a dairy and do sanitary welding. I work on my own car and I used to work on laser systems, aligning mirrors. one of my hobbies is racing 1/8 scale gas cars. I think I have the manual dexterity down.
 
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ItsGavinC

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I've come to the conclusion that manual dexterity and psychomotor skills are two completely different things.

Many a student in my class has fair to good manual dexterity, but their psychomotor skills are lacking and therefore their preps are atrocious.

Good manual dexterity may be exhibited by be a fabulous baller, but said individual may not have good psychomotor skills, or fully developed skills.

Psychomotor skills are building muscular movements that are smooth and precise. Psychomotor learning involves both cognitive learning and muscular movement. The goal of psychomotor learning is to develop smoothness, ease and precision in the physical movements. Until the goal is reached, "thinking" about each movement is required. Mastery of psychomotor skill is obtained when the learner no longer has to think about what he is doing because the motor responses have become automatic.
 

TyLawInt

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What about typing? For example, does the ability to type 60 words/minute, demonstrate manual dexterity?

Just a thought.
 

trypmo

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Originally posted by TyLawInt
What about typing? For example, does the ability to type 60 words/minute, demonstrate manual dexterity?

Just a thought.
Hey, I never thought of that! :cool:

Typing seems to fit the description of a psychomotor skill -- and if it does, then so does playing the piano, flute, etc.

The only difference I can see is that it's more of a "reaching & pressing" movement rather than a "grasping & manipulating" movement, but I think you've got a case there! :D
 

FowlersGap

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bump....bump bump it up....
 

Mo007

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I play a lot of video-games - Mario Kart King :D, how about that for psychomotor skills? - I wonder if the adcoms can buy that one?
 

Mangocat

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Thanks for the suggestions...I'm trying out acrylic paints for fun. Let's see how "wonderful" these paintings turn out with my abismal artistic skills :scared:
 

UBTom

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Originally posted by Mo007
I play a lot of video-games - Mario Kart King :D, how about that for psychomotor skills? - I wonder if the adcoms can buy that one?


Except the only thing you use when playing video games is your thumbs! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 

Midoc

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Originally posted by Mo007
I play a lot of video-games - Mario Kart King :D, how about that for psychomotor skills? - I wonder if the adcoms can buy that one?

Actually Mo007, playing video games has been shown by research to increase your hand-eye coordination. This is definitely helpful in dentistry.
 

mochafreak

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How about phlebotomy...sure you get called a vampire and not too many people appreciate your skills, but it gives you a steady hand, flexible hours, and health care experience. I have an ER doc saying he'll write me a letter too :D Not sure how much that'll help for dental school though. I'm also getting ready to start some wax carving. It looks like a lot of fun.
 
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