I have to tell you quickly. Because these sort of feelings are always fleeting. But today was a great dentist sort of day.
1st - I had my implantology class. And my professor is amazing. He actually explains things to us and encourages the class to ask questions. And he actually directly answers the questions we ask! (You have no idea how rare a quality that is... my least favorite thing is people who answer questions with more questions... cause obviously if I knew the answer I wouldnt be asking the question). Seriously he's one of the most amazing lecturers we've had this semester.
But while we're in class, I'm sitting next to Robert (who is a shameless flirt on occasion). And the lecturer was having issues with the lights. So he hits the lights and slowly the lights in the auditorium all dim. And so he turns the lights back on. And hits another button - and all the lights slowly dim again. To which he goes "Ok fine. Its close to valentines day so you can have your romantic lights." To which Robert turns to me and goes very earnestly "Melissa, we cant do this here." I just rolled my eyes and shook my head. Good one Robert.
2nd - Lucinda, Aaron and I decided that we were going to do our Homecare Summative (aka instructing people on how to take care of their teeth when they are away from the dentist... brushing, flossing, mouth rinse) today. Lucinda booked me as a patient with Ms. Loadholt and things were all set for it to be perfect. We read up on a few things so we were prepared. And Ms. Loadholt is so super chill. But truthfully, even if she wasnt, I felt prepared. I felt like I knew what I was talking about. And it was pretty awesome.
3rd - Lucinda and I also had an appointment where I was the doctor and she was the patient. I wont pretend I wasnt nervous. Lucinda is my best friend and I can think of nothing worse than her believing I'm a crappy dentist. So ya. I was nervous. She was pretty sure that it wasnt a real cavity, but just a poorly done sealant on the occlusal surface. So we went sans anesthetic. I made sure to be very gentle and went nice and slow. But my dang explorer kept sticking (aka a sign that the cavity was still further). Finally, after awhile of following the decay slowly, I decided that I should numb her up so that I could continue without causing her pain. Which was also nerve wracking, because I dont always feel super confident in my injections. But I prepared the syringe, found my landmarks, injected her and IMMEDIATELY got the nerve block. I totally nailed it. Honestly, despite her request for a crappy block (so she wouldnt be frozen all night), I was really proud of myself. I finished drilling her tooth and then I filled it.
Honestly, there arent many days where I feel capable. Thats kinda the nature of dental school (and my personality I'm discovering). Its there to tell you, show you and occasionally scream at you, how little you know. But today, I felt able. Yes, I had a perfect patient who knew the little things that help me be a better dentist - but with that comes a lot of pressure to perform - because she also knows what constitutes a screw up. I felt like the knowledge base I've been building was actually available to me. Like I've actually been learning and improving. It just was a really great day for being a dentist.