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The last semester at University of Louisville Dental School was full of “final stretch” stresses, including finishing our graduation requirements and taking the final portion of the national licensing boards and a series of proficiencies and exams to demonstrate that we were qualified in all areas of dentistry.
Board exams—a combination of written exams and patient-based clinical competencies—were by far the most stressful part of the semester. At that point we were used to taking written exams, but the patient portion was a killer. We had to find our own patients and they...
- November 2012
After three long years at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Eric Nunnally begins his countdown to graduation.
Junior year was tough, but it's over. Part II of the written National Boards was a horrible two-day, 12-hour exam but I passed, and now it's history.
Looking back at my time in school, junior year was very valuable in terms of my development as a dentist. My rookie jitters lessened, patient care was much more fluid and the stress of working in the mouth slowly disappeared. Clinical work became much more enjoyable once I gained confidence with the handpiece and competence...
- February 2012
Technician-turned-dental student Eric Nunnally details why dentists are so apprehensive about new products and procedures-and what you can do to help them get on board.
When it comes to new porcelains, substructures, materials, impression trays...you name it, I've heard this statement countless times from technicians: "Why won't our doctors try this new product? If they would just give it a chance, they would see how great it is!"
While I only have seven months' experience as a clinician, the reasons why most dentists are so late to adopt--or even try--new technologies are becoming increasingly...
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- October 2011
A Technician Goes to Dental School: the Exciting, Terrifying and Rewarding Experience of Working With Patients
Now in his third year at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, technician-turned-dental student Eric Nunnally has entered the clinic phase of his education—and he's loving it.
It's time to do some dentistry! Real dentistry. No more cutting textbook preps on plastic teeth mounted in fake heads. No more sitting in lecture halls 30-plus hours a week. National Boards Part I, passed. I'm a junior now, and finally treating patients in clinic. I have waited years for this moment, and now it's time to step up to the plate.
For the next two years, our major focus is to become...
- May 2011
Everything changes; it's unavoidable. In the dental industry, it's the ever-present battle of new school vs. old school. Throughout my experience in the laboratory world, I've seen a noticeable difference in the mindset of new technicians compared to those that are more seasoned. And the more I experience the dental practitioner world, the more I see that this phenomenon exists here as well: today's dental student is different than he was a decade ago and changing more and more every year.
As you know, dental students are learning less about laboratory procedures than ever before....
- April 2011
I'm no longer the lowest on the totem pole! A new class of freshman has started school and I'm now a sophomore. As I transitioned to my second year, I felt like a battle-weary soldier watching replacements fresh out of boot camp joining the fray--but wearing new scrubs instead of camouflage.
Looking back at my first year of dental school, I see that my lab background helped me greatly. Dentistry was a second language for me; I was rarely lost in my classes. On the other hand, I knew almost nothing about operative materials and preparation techniques. With more knowledge about the...
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In Part III of his ongoing column, Eric Nunnally, CDT, finds that technicians and dentists have more parallels than he thought, and that his technician background is finally giving him a leg up.
We dental lab people love to worry. Offshore competition, lab school closures, increased FDA involvement, lack of workforce, denturists and the cost of CAD/CAM systems keep many of us up at night, sweating.
Rest assured that dentists also have their fair share of threats and worries. Labs and dental practices have a lot more in common than I realized--both are minimally regulated businesses...
In Part II of his ongoing column, technician-turned-dental student, Eric Nunnally, CDT, chronicles his experience at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.
People kept telling me that dental school would fly by. Liars.
It has been a great experience so far, but by no means is it going quickly. People also told me that getting accepted to dental school was the hardest part of dental school. Liars.
The coursework is difficult and, at this point, I feel more like a physician than a dentist. I could diagnose a systolic heart murmur more quickly than a cavity and I know more about...
A year ago, Eric Nunnally was working in his father's laboratory. Today, he's a student at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, wearing scrubs, dissecting a human body and learning to drill a cavity prep.
Life can be a crazy ride. A year ago, I was 30 years old and an implant/quality control technician and administrator of Derby Dental Lab in Louisville, Kentucky, owned by my father, David. Now I'm in dental school at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, surrounded by 22 year olds, wearing scrubs every day, dissecting a human body and trying to figure out how to...