Full disclosure

December 5th, 2014

02students-disclosing-tabsThe first time in clinic can be an intimidating experience. Adjusting the dental chair, stool and operatory light takes practice. Figuring out the technique for holding the dental mirror takes even more time. Luckily, first-year dental students have each other. And thanks to plaque-disclosing tablets, a clinic full of pink teeth.

A Dec. 4 exercise allowed students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the dental setting while learning more about problem areas for plaque buildup. One student chews the pink pill, similar in color — and taste — to Pepto Bismol. Another student examines the “patient” while a third completes the charting portion of the dental record.

“This is their first time to open a mouth and be a dentist,” says Dr. Amal Noureldin, assistant professor, who encouraged students to skip brushing that morning to enhance the disclosing tablets’ effect. “Some of them didn’t brush last night for the fun of it,” she adds.

02students-disclosing-tabs-2Jacob Keller and the two classmates in his operatory were not among them.

“Dirty isn’t the best word,” says Keller, describing the experience of skipping a morning brushing. “Unsanitary, gritty.”

Luckily, there was more to the experience than pink and plaque.

“You’re not used to seeing everything in your teeth,” says Sebastian East. “It helps to see what you need to work on.

“It was different because we haven’t had much exposure [to clinic] yet. It’s about getting used to those minute  details.”

View photos of the disclosing tablets exercise on Flickr.


— Jennifer Fuentes