Dental Student Discovers A Surprising Skill Required For His Profession

Published by Afterschool.my on Aug 29, 2022, 02:23 pm

To be a quintessential artist like Picasso, one must learn how to master perfect brush strokes; similarly, dentists must learn how to create the ideal set of teeth. When Irfan, a 23-year-old dental student got into Dentistry, he was surprised to discover that being artistic and exploring his creative side are prerequisites for a career as a dentist. "I was pretty surprised at how many artistic skills you would need to be in a dental course. I'm glad that I took Pendidikan Seni Visual in my SPM and that I have a passion for arts to guide me through." 

With science being his forte, it’s only natural that Irfan picked Dentistry as his chosen course

An artistic flair is particularly useful in the field. Working in detail to bring your hands into a skilful unison is necessary for dental carving and creating the perfect teeth alignment. Skills can definitely be developed over time, and it can be sharpened through practice. As cliche as it sounds, practice certainly does make perfect. 

According to Irfan, pursuing dentistry is much more appealing to him than becoming a doctor, seeing how his two older sisters have to attend to on-call duties in the middle of the night. He digs the idea of having more interactions with patients, standard 9-5 working hours and, of course, being able to fix people's smiles and instilling confidence within them is just the perfect cherry on top.

Being the true Gen Z that he is, Irfan enjoys posting before and after shots of restoring tooth cavities on social media from sessions in his 'Conservative Dentistry' class. "My favourite is the more hands-on subjects. Apart from Conservative Dentistry, I also enjoy 'Oral Biology' where we had to carve the morphologic structures of 6 different teeth; there's just something so satisfying about it."

During a session for tooth extraction, injecting the Local Anaesthesia near the roots to lessen the patient’s pain

For dental students in Malaysia, the first 3 years of learning Dentistry is the same as Medical students, with the addition of dentistry-based subjects integrated to ensure a solid foundation in becoming a doctor. The next final two years are when students need to buckle down to the remaining dental topics and train until they become well-seasoned professionals. Starting their 2nd year, students will have their dummies to practise all their procedures on until 3rd year rolls in, and they'll be able to work with real-life patients.

Currently pursuing his Bachelors in Dental Surgery at MAHSA University, Irfan appreciates that the course covers the topics in depth with everything related to Oral Health and treatments. "The university does not over-schedule the lectures and it provides a practical simulation to balance the classes and hands-on work." Irfan shares. "There are lecturers from my course that I love and cherish. I can tell that they genuinely want to educate and make you understand the knowledge they're sharing, and for that, I owe them the world."

As a student, Irfan prefers being laid back than studying rigorously through the hours. He cheekily added, "Despite being quite last minute with my studies, I do feel like any lack of knowledge in myself can be made up by my sharp, practical skills as I am quite quick in completing all of my clinical requirements."

Apart from studying, Irfan participates in a student-based society called the "Dental Students' Society", where they hold events including sports competitions, dinners, and fundraising throughout the academic years. He finds that being part of this organisation is the key to balancing out his student life.

An active participant of the Dental Students Society, Irfan sets up a booth with his during a convocation & open day weekend for fundraising

When asked why oral health is essential, Irfan explained, "For several reasons actually, but mainly about masticatory functions (eating & drinking), that is how we usually get our daily nutrients from the food we eat. So if your oral health is impaired, you won't be able to take certain foods and will halt the digestion of important nutrients which could cause other ailing effects to the body."

The first pathway to your digestive system can also flash a red light to the state of your overall health. "A lot of systemic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, HIV/AIDs or any vitamin deficiencies can present their signs and symptoms in the oral cavity," Irfan cautions. "That's why routine checkups should be done at least twice a year to ensure the overall wellness of any patient."

Do you intend to pursue a career in dentistry? Check out MAHSA's Dental Surgery programme to learn more about the course. 

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