I think the economy has taken a bit of a toll on the dental school. It has been harder to get patients in (people are no longer willing to make a 2 or 3 hour drive for 1/2 price dental work) and many are choosing cheaper work over ideal care.
I am currently working in the admissions clinic which is the emergency filter clinic for the school. While I get no points for the time I am in there, I have learned a lot. For one, it is interesting to see what different people classify as an "emergency." Some people come to the EMERGENCY clinic to request a cleaning; others are clearly in so much pain they can hardly move, talk, eat, sleep, think, etc. I have learned a lot about diagnosing tooth pain and learning just how awful mouth pain can be.
One of the hardest requirements to fulfill this year is molar endo (a root canal on a molar). I found one such patient last week. She was young and after talking about options, she decided she would let me do the root canal instead of have the tooth taken out. I was so happy! Her appointment is this wednesday. Today I got a message from the clinic clerks saying she wants the tooth out. I am hoping it is the pain talking. ...I wasn't happy. And you can't just go from Family Dentistry to Surgery without notice.
Does anyone need a root canal? It is only $190 for a molar and you get my beautiful company.