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Support for dental students from Dental Protection

in this issue Hello from DPL and ADSA 2 News from DPL 3 Just relax 4–5 Quiz time 5

School reports 6–8 The good, the bad and the ugly 9–10 Up and away 11 ADSA Convention 12

DentalStudent Australia

Dressed to impress at the ADSA Convention 2009


Hello from the DPL team!

Welcome to the third edition of Dental Student Australia magazine. Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed, and helped to make it another packed edition of news, events and photos

During March I was in Australia and held a number of events at the dental schools. It was great to meet up with so many of you during my trip. I had a particularly memorable experience during my time in Perth, when I was caught up in a freak storm, whilst visiting UDSS. The dental school was flooded, cars smashed and students stranded - all in a dramatic fifteen-minute downpour. I hope you’re all fixed up and dried off! We now have over 6,000 dental students as members with Dental Protection, with over 700 student members in Australia. If you’re already a member with DPL you will have received this publication through the post. Remember to update us of any changes to your contact details, to avoid missing out of future editions. If you would like to join DPL for free as a student member, simply visit our website You’ll see that this publication includes a range of competitions and award information. Remember to check out the different competitions as you can win anything from gift vouchers, right up to $3,000 and an allexpenses-paid trip to London! Good luck to everyone who will soon be entering exam season I hope you find the ‘Just Relax’ article useful. Remember we also have a range of articles on our website, which you may find useful during your course and as you approach graduation. Best wishes and enjoy! Rebecca Lupton Dental Marketing Manager


Get involved

Welcome to the third edition of Dental Student Australia! As you know by now, Dental Student Australia is a biannual publication produced by Dental Protection Limited (DPL) in conjunction with the Australian Dental Students Association (ADSA). ADSA is the only national body to represent the dental students of Australia. We aim to foster communication between the schools, support you through your course and inform you of exciting issues. Our website is up and running, and is the best way to keep updated with ADSA. This is a really exciting edition as we update you on our forthcoming convention this 6th-11th July in Melbourne. A long-standing tradition, the Australian Dental Students Convention is an amazing and inspiring six days. Even our greying lecturers will recall fond memories and lasting friendships from conventions past. The week provides an exceptional chance to broaden your academic horizons and answer such questions as: Where in the world can dentistry take me? What new techniques should I know about? What issues is dentistry facing? What will I face when I graduate?

Our academic programme will be nicely balanced by a social programme which will include plenty of costumes, lots of new people to meet, a river cruise, laser force, the Melbourne nightlife, a sports comp, gokarts, a cocktail evening and more. The convention will bring together students from first to final year, from Perth to Townsville. We can’t begin to describe the opportunities for friendship, networking and learning this convention provides. Of course, none of this would be possible without the students who form our committee. The committee is responsible for networking between dental schools, supporting and informing students, developing the scope of ADSA and running the annual conventions. We are always looking for fresh faces and ideas, so take a look at our website to see how you can be involved. See you in Melbourne this July! The ADSA committee

News from DPL

The Photo competition is back! What photo best represents your time at dental school? Thank you to everyone who entered the DPL Australia Facebook photo competition. We’d love to see your photos and we know other DPL student members would too! Simply email us your best photos from your time at dental school and we have $500 worth of gift vouchers to give away to our favourites! Your photo doesn’t need to be a clinical snap, just your favourite photo from your time at dental school. You can view the gallery of photos through this page and we’ll update the gallery as the photos come in. We had some great entries last year. Congratulations to Danny Demosthenous from Sydney whose winning entry was on the cover of Dental Student Australia 2. Simply email your photos to or get in touch if you have any questions. Good luck! Closing date: 12th June

Are you a budding journalist? Dental Student Australia is a biannual publication and we’d love you to get involved and submit an article. You may like to write about your elective, or experiences during your course? If you would like to write an article for future publications please email:

The Premier Awards Fancy winning a share of $12,000 and an all expenses paid trip to London to collect your prize? Then why not enter the Premier Awards? There is an undergraduate, postgraduate and DCP category. You simply need to enter an assignment relating to risk management. You may have already completed a suitable project during your course. For more details visit:

About to graduate? Graduation may seem some way off but we just wanted to remind you that we offer a great graduate membership so you can get your membership sorted before you start work. 18 months indemnity insurance is only $55. This gives you DPL membership and indemnity insurance from when you graduate up until 30th June 2012. As a member of DPL you are able to apply for a Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy with $20m of cover underwritten by MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd (MDANI). For more information about graduate membership with a difference simply visit the: ‘About to graduate’ section of our website.

Your future starts here Check out the new ‘Your Future’ section of our website. It’s packed full of useful articles, top tips on the job application process, information on working abroad and other free educational resources to help during your early years in dentistry. Simply visit the Young Dentist section of our website:


Just relax A dental student’s guide to stress free exams

‘Well if you don’t know it now, you’ll never know it’. Doesn’t that little voice in your head drive you crazy as you are sitting there in a state of panic, heart thumping, legs like vegetable soup, trying to cram in everything you’ve learnt over the last five years into the next couple of months? Don’t you just regret all those boozy parties, hung-over days and ‘slob-out’ nights? All those opportunities for further studying are gone, fading into the dim and distant past. Stress management is all about being organised and prepared for any task. The lifestyle of the average dental student is simply not like that. So we’d like to share some ideas with you to help you through the forthcoming weeks in a relatively calm and relaxed manner, before you reach that final coffee and chocolate filled night of last-minute revision.



If you are aware of how you are thinking, feeling and behaving, it is a step towards bringing balance and control into your life. If you are hard at work, feeling stressed-out, bent over your desk, computer or patient, are you aware of the tension in your body? Do your head, neck and shoulders ache? If so, be aware of the fact that your body posture is incorrect and do something about it. Try the sequence below to release tension.

Relaxation is fundamental to managing of stress and the more you include it in your daily routine, the better. Relaxation energises you and can actually aid study by increasing your concentration.

Quick tension release • Release shoulders by pulling gently down away from your neck. • Release the jaw by separating your teeth slightly. Feel the tonque loose in the floor of your mouth. • Release tension in your forehead by thinking of it as higher and wider than before. Eyes should feel relaxed. • If your hands aren’t full of dental instruments, give them a shake.

How about changing your study routine to incorporate some relaxation. Try starting your session on the hour and finishing on the hour; for example, work for twenty minutes and have a five-minute relaxation break. Continue working for another twenty-five minutes and have a ten-minute break. It has been proven that working in shorter bursts is actually more effective than sitting without a break for long periods of time. If however you are doing work that is slightly less demanding, perhaps work for forty-five minutes and have a fifteen minute break. Choose whichever combination suits you best.

Start with ABC Awareness brings Balance and Control


Quick sitting relaxation you can do in study breaks • Sit in a chair with your back well supported. • Breathe in and stretch. Breathe out and snuggle back comfortably. • Make sure your feet are flat on the floor in front of you and your hands are resting palms downwards on your thighs. • Close your eyes and focus on each part of the body in turn. Let your thighs roll outwards ankles and legs feel loose and relaxed. • Fingers feel limp, curved and still. • Abdomen moves easily as you breathe.

• Arms feel heavy.Face cheeks feel soft, lips are hardly touching, forehead and eyes feel relaxed. • Stay relaxed for the remainder of the five-minute break and become aware of the whole body’s sensation in muscles and joints. Slowly open your eyes, stretch, look around and return to your work refreshed.

Quiz time Why not relax and try our dental quizzes All correct entries will go into a hat to win a gift voucher. Simply email your correct answers to Good luck!

C If work is causing you problems, and you feel confused, uptight or anxious do something to release your pent up energy. Dance around in your room, go for a jog or even run up and down the stairs, then follow the quick sitting relaxation sequence before resuming study. Incidentally, there is another technique you can use when you start to feel panicky. It is called the ‘stop technique’. This could be particularly useful on the morning of a written exam, or just before you start your assessment of the patient in your clinical exam. The Stop technique • Mentally say ‘Stop’ to yourself. Let your breath go. Don’t breathe in first. • Take a slow gentle breath not a big one. • Let it go slowly with a leisurely sigh of relief. • At the same time, drop your shoulders and relax your hands and face. • If you have to speak, do so more slowly and in a lower register. If you have to walk, do so at a slower pace.

Keep up with the exercise. Make sure you do some physical exercise at least twice a week and have a social life. You can do it all, if you remember to pace yourself properly. Equally important is your attitude to your work. Have a positive outlook - don’t waste time and energy worrying about what you haven’t done concentrate on what still remains to be done. If you are not sure of certain points, ask someone. Don’t keep worrying on your own. Hopefully all these ideas will help you to approach your exams in a calmer and more confident manner. But if, after all this, and when the day of the exam arrives, you’ve been up all night cramming your mind with facts and your body with chocolate, coffee and Lucozade, don’t worry. There should be another little voice in your head that says, ‘You always know more than you think you know’. Trouble is do you believe it?

Anagram competition We’ve jumbled up some common dental words and phrases: 1) Hideout Duct See 2) Raincoat Curl Less 3) Anteater Slur Dip To be in with a chance to win a gift Westfield gift voucher, email the three correct answers to Please add the subject title DPL competition and include your contact details so we can send you your prize.

Whose teeth? Can you spot the famous person behind these smiles? To be in with a chance to win a Westfield gift voucher, email the four correct answers to Please put ‘DPL smile competition’ in the subject line of the email and include your contact details so we can send you your prize.


Good luck During this stressful period, it is especially important to keep yourself as well and as healthy as possible. Pay particular attention to eating well. It is very tempting to fill up on junk food, fizzy drinks and coffee, but remember these foods are very low in nutritional value and provide limited energy. It is much better to eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible. Also eat balanced meals and snack on fresh nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc. Drink plenty of water.

Ros Edlin Ros Edlin is a freelance stress management and relaxation trainer B




School reports

Adelaide: AUDSS

Griffith: GUDSA

Our Semester 1A has been busy with the AUDSS O’Week and Beyond Program which ran through February to March, and included events such as the AUDSS Membership Drive Week, Freshers’ BBQ, Freshers’ Basement Party and Dean’s Welcome. In addition, the AUDSS Dental Camp served as an opportunity for vertical integration among year groups, while the Recent Graduates Event provided a fun casual night of ten-pin bowling for students and young dentists.

We kicked off 2010 by meeting, greeting and eating with the new first year cohort at our annual GUDSA Pizza Night. Once again the night was a success and the bar staff were kept busy. Too much pizza was eaten and lots of socialising and mingling was done. It is always a great way to meet our newest GUDSA members and I think we are in for a treat with the new comers!

Student affairs The AUDSS Academic & Professional Development Programme (AAPDP) began as a new initiative of the 2010 AUDSS, consisting of approximately 20 seminars throughout the year focussing on recent advances and technologies, notable case reports and professional practising tips. The Semester 1 programme started off with an impressive turnout of students to debate the controversial issues surrounding Denticare and the proposal for Dental Internship. Community aid This past term we have been involved in Community Outreach Dental via fortnightly visits to homeless shelters, supported residential facilities and nursing homes. Students have been involved in oralhealth promotion, or on-site assisting roles for clinicians or the screening team. Jennie Han AUDSS President


Once we had all got into the rhythm of uni, it was time to chill and gear up for the next social event of the year. A new event in the calendar is the GUDSA Member’s Keg Party. Hosted by our ever-so-generous fifth year representative Scotty, the night was a massive hit. We had a great turn out (which probably had something to do with the complementary kegs!) and all had a very fun night. A lot of photos surfaced from the event and a lot of amusing stories also! I definitely think this event will resurface on the GUDSA calendar again and possibly another later this year. A couple weeks back Dental Protection provided us with a pizza lunch. This was then followed by a helpful information session which provided us all with some much needed knowledge. Everyone got very excited when we were giving funky highlighters! Well it’s time to start training for

Western Australia: UDSS the gruelling Halas Cup soccer match against our friendly rivals UQ. This year it is essential that we reclaim our trophy from last year and make Griffith proud one again. UQ are going to be looking to win after their defeat last year and the end to their five-year winning streak. Little do they know we want to stay on top! With plenty of interest from our newest fellow pupils, I think our success this year will be a cinch! Watch out UQ... we’re coming to get you! This year we are looking to add a couple more events to our calendar. There has been talk of an inter-year touch contest, which has drawn much attention. Playing year against year is sure to stir up some competition! We look forward to this highly anticipated event later this year. Of course, everyone is forestalling our highly anticipated GUDSA Faculty Ball at the end of the year, especially after last year’s huge success. Word has also spread to the first years that the night is an enormous hit, so we expect a massive demand for tickets. This event seems to be getting bigger and better. Details have yet to be revealed, but we all expect a night of glitz and glamour. Now it’s time to get our heads down, study hard and then play hard. We are looking forward to a fantastic year being part of Griffith University Dentistry and GUDSA, and will keep you all posted! GUDSA Committee

Dentistry, the course of dreams. It’s still a controversial statement until UDSS steps in and changes dentistry from a degree to a lifestyle! Corny, but catchy. Our first lifestyle-changing event of the year was the annual fresher camp which was held out in the bushes along with our extended family within Medicine, Podiatry and Health Sciences. This year the dental freshers proved they are by far the loosest we have ever witnessed by winning both the boat racing competition and ‘iron guts’. Following the now cool reputation of dental kids, UDSS threw the biggest party ever, out on the dental school lawn, with over 500 people rocking up to welcome the latest flock of baby dentists. This allowed them the chance to meet the upper years, post-grads, tutors and staff of OHCWA under the encouraging setting of disco lights and sweet sweet tunes. But wait! Slow down! Don’t dental students study 24/7? Why no! Not if UDSS has anything to do with it. Straight after most students’ cars had been destroyed by the freak storm, UDSS decided to hold the annual car rally, North Nogga. This saw both the physical and psychological temperaments of participants pushed to the absolute limit. Race to see who can drive to the top of the hill and then scull down an Oyster sauce flavoured milkshake? Don’t mind if I do!

In a couple of weeks we plan to hold our nautical-themed Nobote the ingenious pub-crawl solution to not having enough students to justify hiring a real boat - which ends up being a great opportunity for tutors and students to bond. Next on the Calendar of Cool come more adventures in the form inter-year soccer, net-sketball (don’t ask), beach volleyball, GV Black’s Birthday Party, Staff/Alumni vs. Students lawn bowls, and the pinnacle of the social calendar, the Annual UDSS Dental Dinner. Bring it on! Kavindu Caldera UDSS President

Charles Sturt University: CSU SDA

James Cook University Dental Student’s Association: (JCUDSA)

Hello all. We kick started the year here in Orage with our first commencement ball held at a lovely winery; a perfect setting to formally meet the first year students. The event had a cocktail theme with delicious food and alcohol provided with the backdrop of the sun setting over the surrounding vineyard. As we now have 80 students the social scene is gaining momentum and for future years this event should be even more fun. Our new committee was announced during the evening, and the planning of future events has begun.

Greetings from tropical Cairns! This year has started off with a bang and a load of excitement for anyone involved in JCU Dentistry. First off, we welcomed our new intake of first-year students. There are some second-years who have been selected as mentors for a small group of first-year students each. Needless to say, the mentors have been doing a wonderful job with guidance and motivation for their mentees.

The next big social function is pub golf. Orange is a great country town and there is a pub on almost every corner and we plan to make full use of them. Whilst it will only be a par three nine-hole event, I’m sure the avid players will demonstrate that it isn’t such a difficult course provided that it is played in the correct spirit. We also hope to invite our colleagues from the bachelor of oral health course in Wagga Wagga to a conference here in Orange. Both first and second year dentistry students are fielding mixed touchfootball teams in the local university competition. Currently both teams are sitting at the top of the table, although the second year team have bragging rights due to a 7 to 3 victory in their only encounter. The winning team at the end of the season walks away with the cash prize of over $200. We are looking forward to meeting fellow students from all the different universities at Melbourne this July. There should be a fantastic turnout particularly as we anticipate that almost half of our students will be attending. We’ll see you all in Melbourne. Adam Barrett CSU SDA

O-Week was a grand success with many enjoyable social nights and a party bus! However the routine of study quickly commenced; first-years settling into their new degree and study load, and secondyears experiencing more time in practical sessions in our worldclass Sim Labs. The secondyears are also doing community placement this semester in primary schools that are situated in low socioeconomic areas throughout Cairns. These placements involve building a rapport with primary school students on the importance of good oral health and laying habitual oral health foundations for life.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited our dental school recently to see the progress of our new building during his health agenda trip to Cairns. For me and the other students who met him, it was a memorable and honourable experience to discuss with him health issues and dentistry in Far North Queensland. Plans have also started for our end of year dental ball to be held at the Cairns Casino. This was an epic way to celebrate the end of last year and will be much the same again. All in all, Semester One had many memorable moments and events and I am sure there will be many more to come! Sarah Bosnic JCUDSA

So far this year, JCUDSA has sponsored students to attend a specialist dental course in Townsville. On May 1 we are also sponsoring ten students to attend the North Queensland Oral Health Convention. JCUDSA is also in the process of organizing a formal shirt for all students; a blood and plasma collection drive for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service; and a dentistry camp. Students from JCU Dentistry will also be at the Australian Dental Students’ Convention in July. 7

School reports

Melbourne: MDSS The year traditionally started with O-Week festivities. The inaugural Pub Crawl was a great success with a large number of students littering the streets and pubs of Melbourne wearing dental gowns, masks and gloves. With plenty of games including the limbo and interyear level Boat Races, the night was a great way to reunite everybody after the summer holiday, as well as introduce the new BOH intake of 2010. Dental camp was also a funfilled and intimate way to spend the last weekend of holidays. With a beautiful camp site, great bunch of students, flowing alcohol and a toga-party at night, many stories would be circulating for the weeks to come! We’d love to tell you more but what happens at dent camp stays at dent camp... The Charity Talent Show will be a greatly anticipated event, showcasing the talent (or lack thereof) within the dental school. Previous years have allowed musical prodigies, singing starlets, rock bands, hiphop dancers and comedians come into the spotlight! Not to mention it was also the birthplace for Melbourne Dentistry’s own boy-band, The BackTeeth Boys (can be found on YouTube, available to perform at 18ths, 21sts, weddings and other private functions).

2010 is a particularly exciting year for Melbourne, as we will be hosting the 2010 Australian Dental Students’ Convention! The prestige of the Melbourne Dental School and the liveliness of the nightlife of the Melbourne City will undoubtedly keep you informed and entertained through a week of mayhem and madness! Whether you’re a Convention Veteran or attending for your first time, MDSS and ADSA have planned a week that will change your life. Promise! We also look forward to organizing the usual events such as sporting competitions, mentor/industry nights, booze cruise and of course the Grand Dental Ball! To keep updated with event information and photos, visit our website on See you all at the Dental Convention! Leighton Phu President, Melbourne Dental Students’ Society and BackTeeth Boy

Sydney: SUDUA

La Trobe University: BOHDS

Nearly four months have gone by this year and we have accomplished so much. First years are questioning what they got themselves into, second years are recovering from first year, third years are in the middle of planning their 4 week elective requirements and fourth years are organising their clinical times around their 4 week rural placement.

In Bendigo we have kept our students active with a ‘jampacked’ start to the semester of 2010! The year commenced with a full O-week calendar including an official welcome. We then moved on to our rollerblading night which saw over 60 students car-pool to the venue to try out their skills in the rink. It was a great introduction to the year for all our members, complete with plenty of stacks and whacks, games and prizes, and friendships formed.

While all this is happening the Sydney Dental Faculty is preparing their new curriculum for the new DMD four year program, and SUDUA is preparing the launch of their new community awareness program, goody (give only one day year), and we were still able to find the time to have a dental cruse. Thanks to all our partners - the ADA/NSW, and our many sponsors for making these events possible. Kendall W James President, Sydney University Dental Undergraduate Association

Next up was our annual ‘Thank Doc you’re here!’ This is a night of theatre sports and impromptu acting. There is hidden talent amongst our peers which could leave you wondering why sometimes they don’t pursue an acting career instead! Lunch and Learn is an initiative by BOHDS to introduce dental companies to the students. So far Oral B and Colgate have presented to different year levels of dentistry and oral health students. An interclub soccer match is also currently being organised before we reach the highlight of the year with the Annual Ball in mid May. Students and staff will enjoy an elegant dinner, share a drink and hit the dance floor James Bond style! Alison Sahhar BOHDS


The good, the bad and the ugly Cosmetic dentistry can be hugely rewarding for both dentists and patients alike

But at the same time the potential for problems is huge and when problems do arise the costs involved and elective nature of the treatment can make it very difficult for the dentist to control the situation which can arise if you fail to meet patient expectations

Figure 1 BACD photographic views

The key thing is to ensure: 1) Both dentist and patient agree on the end result. 2) Patients are aware of all the treatment options. 3) Patients fully understand any potential short and long-term complications. 4) The dentist is working within their skill and experience level and working with a suitably trained technician. 5) Valid consent is obtained and meticulous records are kept. It’s beyond the scope of this article to discuss specific clinical techniques, but the main message is, ‘know where you are going and how to get there before you start.’

Dr James Russell is a Director of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Many of the problems in cosmetic dentistry arise from a failure to understand the patient’s expectations and to accurately communicate the intended final result. There are several tools that I use with every new patient to help ensure dentist and patient are on the same wavelength:

He lectures on cosmetic dentistry and has helped develop new techniques for the ethical provision of cosmetic dentistry.

His opinions and skills have recently been featured in the press and on TV

1) High quality digital photography Aside from their use as legal records photographs are essential to enable co-diagnosis as most patients find it hard to communicate their cosmetic concerns verbally. Digital SLR cameras are easy to use and provide amazing detail. The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) recommends twelve views that, taken properly, will allow a thorough evaluation of all the teeth. See figure 1.

Figure 2 Computer imaging

Figure 3 Pre-op smile


The good, the bad and the ugly

Figure 4 Wax-up

Figure 5 Trial smile

Figure 6 Temporary veneers

2) Computer imaging Digital manipulation of photographs to show what results are possible is one of the best techniques a dentist can use in the early stages of potential treatment discussion. This is not pasting library smiles but accurately altering teeth and tissue to ensure that the image is highly realistic in terms of what can be achieved. This predictable and inexpensive tool can prevent communication and expectation problems from an early stage - either confirming a chosen plan or stopping treatment before it starts. You don’t need specialist dental software, Photoshop Elements with a graphics tablet is more than enough. See figure 2.

3) Diagnostic wax-up Once a treatment plan has been agreed then impressions and bite records (in CR if indicated) should be used to create a highly accurate aesthetic and functional diagnostic wax-up. Putty matrices of the wax-up can also be used to create a trial smile by injecting a temporary crown material into the matrix and seating this over the natural teeth. Once set, both the dentist and patient can visualise the intended result in the mouth and, if required, make any adjustments at this completely reversible stage. The wax-up should also be used to make preparation guides to allow the dentist to accurately remove the minimal amount of tooth required, allowing for thickness of material and the position of the final restoration. A further use of the wax-up is that temporary restorations can be made from the matrix after tooth preparation allowing easy fine tuning of the aesthetics, function and also shade evaluation. See figures 4, 5 and 6.

Case study The case illustrated in figure 3 is a great example of miscommunication, followed by poor execution by both the clinician and technician. The result was an unhappy patient and legal proceedings.

Figure 7 Post-op smile


The patient had asked for a whiter, wider smile but the end result was highly unnatural due to improper axial inclinations, bulky teeth and highly opaque ceramics with poor surface anatomy but the main issue that lead to this case turning nasty rather was that no wax-up was created before preparation and therefore the patient had no idea of what her final result would actually look like. If this preparatory stage had been included the dentist would have had an opportunity to put things right, before any tooth preparation was performed. The corrected case in figure 7 shows a much more natural smile and a happy patient. The final facial surface was a full 3mm more palatal than in the first set of veneers. Figure 8 Minimal preparation of a diastema case following orthodontic pre-alignment

Summary Following best principles in the early stages of a case will always make the treatment more predictable and less stressful. Some key factors to always bear in mind are: • Don’t ignore the basics: Chart, perio, radiographs, study models. • Have the knowledge and information to make an accurate cosmetic diagnosis. • Present all options (bleach, orthodontics, composite bonding etc) Sometimes a combination approach will have benefits. See figure 8. • Make the patient fully aware of all risks/benefits. • Ensure all patients concerns will be met or any limitations have been understood. • Make sure you can provide the treatment with confidence. • Understand the material science involved. • Charge enough to choose a good lab. • Never compromise clinical perfection for cosmetic goals. • Be prepared for aftercare. And most important - if you’re not sure, don’t do it. If you want to learn more about cosmetic dentistry then find a mentor and go on as many courses as are needed to create a zone of confidence based on proven skills.

Up and away

Dr. Giancarla Graneri discusses her experiences of working in the Aboriginal Health Services

Hi! My name is Dr. Giancarla Graneri. Yes that’s right. Doctor. You’ll get there soon kids – it’s all worth it. I graduated last year from UWA with a BDSc (Hons) and this year I have taken a job with the Centre of Rural and Remote Oral Health of UWA... finally, uni’s paying me! The towns I visit Basically I fly into five WA towns and work in the Aboriginal Health Services (AHS), which are primarily governed by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people. Most AHSs have visiting specialists like paediatricians, cardiologists, dentists etc, and if it’s Warburton, a visiting GP is a luxury too! The other towns I go to are Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Wiluna and Roebourne. The patients eligible for treatment are Aboriginal people with a healthcare card (Centrelink pension card), and the treatment they receive is free. The service is great as it aims at reducing barriers to treatment for Indigenous Australians like cost and accessibility.

The treatment So far I’m having a great time cruising around the countryside - normally with a final year student to hang out with me and help in the kitchen. The patients are always interesting and everyday is guaranteed to be different. It’s very humbling, and not very glamorous. Most treatment is emergency work; this week I did two fillings and what seemed like one million extractions. Crown and bridge kids wouldn’t survive out here... you’d cut a lot of beautiful shoulder margins with 6 degree tapered walls but probably never see the patient again to cement your shiny all-ceramic, shade-perfect crown... oh and there’s no impression material out here! The benefits I am very lucky to be able to see so much of WA’s beautiful, albeit stark, countryside and especially privileged to be allowed into some of these very small communities and treat some very lovely people. The cultural differences vary from one place to the next – for example those in Kal and Gero are very urban, whereas English may be a second or third language in Warburton. This of course proves to be an added challenge to communication. Also, dental school gives you a great idea of what ‘ideal treatment’ is – ‘save every tooth at all costs’. Well boys and girls, cost becomes a very real consideration that you learn about very quickly when you start working. I don’t mean just the financial cost, but also the time and other personal costs to the patient; not all patients place the same life-or-death value on teeth that you may have after completing your schooling.

A challenge One of the most confrontational things that I’ve had to do was to extract two untreated traumatised upper centrals that had become infected on a gorgeous young woman because she didn’t want RCT. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t convince her – I drew pictures, I used props, I even offered to colour in her teeth black so she could see how ugly it would look but she didn’t want a bar of ‘saving them’ – she just wanted them ‘knocked out’! Some of the more traditional communities still practice Tribal Law – and part of the Men’s Business is to have one of their central incisors removed... normally in the bush (and I can assure you it’s not done with LA and the gentle hand of a nice dentist with sterilized instruments). So there I was, taking out completely healthy centrals for these young guys (some only 14) sweating bullets at the sight of the instruments! Even though my teachers at dental school would probably be cringing, I had to respect that this is what they wanted and if I could help them I should. By the same token, I get the opportunity to fix people’s teeth so they feel comfortable smiling again, and get them out of pain so they can eat again - which is such an honour.

On your own I could say the worst bit of this job I had was the need to figure out at lot of things on my own – but that’s also the best bit. My boss KD is always there as a mentor to help me through any difficulties that I find myself in – be it trivial (‘Carla, try turning the power on at the compressor to make the drills work’) or, complex (see ‘one hour phone conversations’). To sum up This is a great job - and you’d like it if you like travelling, like meeting new people and trying new things (like goanna). It’s a job for new grads so if you’re graduating, interested, and you want an awesome unique experience – apply!


A new year in a new decade and you’re still at dental school. Do you want to escape the hum-drum of block teaching? PBL? Lectures in general? Do you feel like you need a break? The solution The Australian Dental Students Convention is the only way to spend your winter break. This year’s edition offers a conglomeration of evening soirees, sports, sausages (yes sausages!), wine, boats (I’m on a boat!), serious adventure (very serious), cocktails, a trade display and exciting lectures. Did we just say exciting? Yes! We did. Fun lectures on fun topics that you didn’t get at dental school. And if you buy now, we’ll throw in breakfast! Where? This year’s convention is set in the great city of Melbourne; geared up with its secret laneways, wacky weather and copious amounts of Tooth Mousse, we can assure you it’s going to be a mischief making, academically inspiring, cracker of a week! You’d be bonkers to miss it.

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The six-day extravaganza begins on Tuesday the 6th of July where we’ll meet at the Ibis Hotel in Melbourne, a fiveminute walk from Melbourne University and a five-minute walk from the city centre. This is the time to become acquainted with your fellow roommates, LCD flat screen, internet access and hairdryers. From the Ibis we will make our way to a secret location. Attendees will arrive in their tribes, all displaying unity in their dress (a camouflage theme will give your school an advantage, so will light aircraft but we don’t recommend those) to engage in an adventure to prove your dominance over your unsuspecting peers. The night will be filled with friendly competition and mingling with other convention delegates. Starts here Enter Wednesday. The morning will include a set of exciting lectures, salutations and a tour of the Melbourne Dental School. Following the mornings’ activities we will make our way to the Melbourne University Sports Ground for a sausage sizzle (yes sausages!) and a sporting afternoon. The afternoon presents a chance for you and your team to prove your agility, redeem yourselves from the previous night and have a good time! The sports will continue into the night with an orienteering-style event. This will have you twisting your maps sideways and navigating your way through Melbourne’s cobblestone laneways and labyrinthine alleyways. Keep your watches handy, can you reach all the watering holes at the right time?

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Take the tour The third day will kick off with a merry road trip to Bendigo, a now famous town named after a bank (the town’s people may tell you otherwise). This is a great opportunity to check out one of Australia’s brand new dental schools. We’ll take a tour of the La Trobe University school and sit down to a few exciting lectures. After the excitement we’ll be back on the road, ready to sample some local wines, ciders and other produce. The excitement doesn’t stop there ladies and gentlemen. As our road trip comes to an end, we will prepare for a night of unknowable adventure. The night’s activities are likely to involve lasers, may involve sumo wrestling, go-karts or even horses on roller skates. We don’t know. But you’ll find out! Grab the opportunity Friday will kick off with a gourmet buffet breakfast and the trade display! Upon graduation, we are no longer limited to the techniques, instruments and materials that our dental school chooses. The trade show is the perfect opportunity to learn about what companies are out there and become familiar with names and products. It may or may not also be a great chance to loot some prime booty. Meet the sponsors, enjoy the food and stock up on a year’s supply of stationary!! More exciting lectures will follow and some free time will be available to explore Melbourne-town.

Weekend Rise and shine its Saturday morning! We kick off with some prime lectures and culminate in the most highly anticipated social event of the convention: the Cocktail Party. Set in the magnificent heart of the CBD, overlooking the majestic creatures of this culture rich city, the cocktail party will include a delicious drinks, tantalising food and exceptional music and company. Ladies will be dressed to the nines and the gentlemen will be looking very suave. This promises to be a fun-filled night where we dance together one last time. The final day of convention involves a farewell breakfast where we all lament and say goodbye to our new-found friends, our old-found friends and lovers alike. Following the tears, we will hold our Annual General Meeting where all are invited to attend. At our AGM we will be electing the new committee for 2010/2011 with some exciting new positions. So come along and get involved! For more information about how the new committee, convention, or ADSA in general, check out our website at As you can see, convention is geared up to be an absolute cracker of a week that you’d be bonkers to miss. Hope to see you there. ADSA Committee

This exploration will lead to the discovery of a boat (I’m on a boat!). The mystery-themed river cruise will depart from Docklands and promises to be a night filled with piracy and commandeering of larger boats. Either that or partying it up on our original boat.

Membership Representative Vicki Biddle Operation Manager Ken Parker Editor

Dental Protection Limited (DPL) is part of the Medical Protection Society (MPS) providing discretionary benefits for dentists and other dental care professionals. These benefits are set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association published on our website. Neither DPL nor MPS are insurance companies

© Dental Protection Limited May 2010

ADSA Convention 2010

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