For myself and my fellow third-year dental students, this summer was a time of great transition from the simulation lab to clinic. We donned face shields and nervously stepped into the unknown world of patient care.
Dental school can be busy. Honestly, busy might be an understatement. How we survive that busyness, though — that’s the key. For me, that’s playing and teaching the sport I love: tennis.
In Burlington, Vermont, I played four years of NCAA college hockey at the division three level, and although I wore a mask for my entire hockey career, the link between dentistry and ice hockey became a life-changing realization for me as I decided to pursue dentistry as my career.
Preparation, proper form and good hand skills – we must be talking about dentistry, right? Well, not quite: we’re talking about sports!
Sports and dentistry have more in common than you might think. If you’ve ever played high school or collegiate sports, you know that success on the field begins before the game even starts, with late-night practices, team huddles, proper coaching and of course, hard work. Similarly, as dental students, we know all too well how pre-clinical practice and adequate preparation before appointments are crucial components to being successful in clinic.
Whether it be football, basketball or baseball, they are all sports that require top notch athletic abilities. It’s not just about the ball handling skills or how many yards the QB can throw the ball. It’s also about the nutrition and the healthy lifestyle of the athlete. Tobacco is one way an athlete can detriment their abilities. It is for good reason that the NCAA has placed a ban on the usage of tobacco for any student-athlete, coach, or game official.