Friday, October 14, 2011

Like pulling teeth

This month I'm on an Oral Surgey elective rotation -- and having a blast. One of my main goals is to get experience extracting teeth. Of course, we deal with a lot of oral and dental trauma in the ER, but when it comes to teeth this usually means temporarily putting them back in after they've been knocked out. In urban ER practice we don't usually take them out, since there will be an oral surgeon or dentist available for referral. But in isolated rural and international settings there are often no dental resources available, so I'm trying to get some experience with the basics of tooth extraction and other dental and oral prcedures that I don't usually get to do in the ER.  

On top of getting to perform all sorts of interesting procedures, the oral surgery residents that I'm working with are all-around cool and pleasant folks. I can't even conceive of the training they go through: dental school and medical school plus residency. And they come out of it loving what they do. Kudos to my Oral Maxillofacial colleagues.