Surgery for Dummies...

Being a dental student means you get to try all sorts of things that you would probably never do in your own private practice. In order to graduate, you must be at least competent in a wide variety of tasks and procedures that go beyond the scope of a normal "day in the life of a dentist." Even though my degree will be D.D.S (Doctor of Dental Surgery), I didn't think it would actually mean I would perform surgery. Well, I was wrong...kinda.

I did my first surgery last week that didn't directly relate to fixing teeth. In fact, instead of fixing teeth at all, we are going to rip them out and make fake ones. But first, in order for the fakes ones to be put in, we need to get rid of stuff that would stop the denturesfrom sliding on - and by "stuff" I mean HUGE lumps of bone that might look a little something like this:

Those bulging bumps with big red arteries in them are just chunks of jaw bone. Lots of people have them, maybe YOU do. Look in the mirror and find out, and then you can gross people out with them.

Step 1: cut up the gums, pull them back to expose the bone.

Step 2: take a drill and grind a channel.

Step 3: crack it with a chisel or pry it off.

Step 4: do the same thing on the opposite side, and sew it up!

This guy's teeth are quite a testament to the old adage: don't do crack. Seriously, DON'T.

Mandibular torus surgery is complete, of course not to be confused with the elusive Slow Loris.

By the way, here is what his new smile looks like after we
took out all of his teeth and made dentures for him.