After loving job shadowing a dentist I decided to shadow a periodontist, Dr. Weinstein. A periodontist is a dentist who maintains gum health and the placement of implants.
The day began with a few appointments and then a few surgeries. Dr. Weinstein checked how a patient’s implant was going and made some adjustments to her teeth. The patient came into the office uncomfortable and left feeling great. During the next appointment, Dr. Weinstein used up to ten needles to numb a patients gum and then did a little procedure. This was cool but I was really waiting to see the surgeries later in the day which is the bulk of his work.
Dr. Weinstein’s first surgery was on a middle-aged woman who was very nervous for the surgery. They gave her a pill that pretty well knocked her out completely and then they prepped for the surgery. They hooked her up to a machine to show vital signs and gave her headphones to listen to music. The patient needed an implant done and it was her first one. After cutting the gums and other pre-drilling procedures, Dr. Weinstein used progressive drilling technique. Basically, he progressively used larger drill bits and finally got to a hole that was large enough for the implant to be screwed in. Once the hole was at the correct size he screwed the implant in and tightened it with a wrench. Although that sounds gross it really wasn’t all that hard to look at since there was pretty well no blood and it was actually really awesome to watch. The implant went well and the patient will now go to a reconstructive dentist to cover up the implant.
After this surgery I watched some more, sat in on a surgery consultation where Dr. Weinstein explained everything he was going to do to a patient, and learnt how the administration is done. I really enjoyed it and could totally see myself being a periodontist.