Dental Anatomy Course (intro-offer)

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A basic dental anatomy course includes important subjects like:

  1. Terms and definitions
  2. Histology and tooth development
  3. Tooth tissues and composition
  4. Numbering systems
  5. Eruption dates
  6. Anatomy details for both permanent and primary dentitions
  7. Basic occlusion and malocclusion

These are covered in the dental anatomy course offered here. There are six modules with printable flashcards and over 100 quiz and exam questions to test what you have learned. It is a self paced course that some finish in a week end and others take almost a month to walk through the information there.

Who can benefit from this course?

  • CDA
  • EFDA
  • RDH
  • DDS

Literally anyone in the dental field can benefit from the course and also those just wanting to “brush up” on their anatomy.

I’m offering this course at a nice discount to those that have given me their email address and signed up to get the FREE dental anatomy/EFDA quiz in “GET IT NOW” box to the right.

***On Black Friday you will get an email (if you have subscribed) with this offer but it will only be offered for 24 hours. Watch for it 🙂

NOTE: If you are already a member of the tutoring offered here, you have access to this course and do not need to purchase to review.

“Cathy’s teaching techniques were thorough and engaging. I felt very prepared when the State Boards rolled around.” Brandi B.

© 2017-present, DENTALTUTOR4ME.COM®, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Dental Assistant to EFDA Success Story

Hey everyone,

I passed not only my E.F.D.A class but I also passed my boards!

 

And I could not have done it without the help of Ms. Cathy M! I was struggling in class at first, making really low grades because to be honest, I just did Not have the sufficient time to study due to working two jobs and going to school.

So I reached out to Cathy who helped me tremendously! I APPRECIATE the fact that she would take time out of her day to answer any of my questions and give me pointers and tips when I needed them.

She was always so positive and as a matter of fact, I think she believed in me more than I believed in myself.

Not only did she get me through school and the boards but she also helped me rearrange my resume and gave me tips for my interview!

I really owe you a lot, Cathy and appreciate everything you’ve done for me.

To future students, I would recommend that if you’re thinking about becoming an E.F.D.A, Cathy would be the best thing that ever happen to you if you start to fall behind or struggle with comprehending the material.

I would like to thank you, Cathy, from the bottom of my heart. I only wish the best for you and your family. I will continue to do you proud.

Kelley G.

(Kelley, It has been my pleasure to help you through this journey and on to your next job. So happy for you, Cathy)

© 2017-present, DENTALTUTOR4ME®, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Tough Question for the EFDA Student

A few weeks ago, I briefly mentioned the topic I want to address today. It is an important question to ask yourself….

Are you teachable?

What do we mean by this question?

If I am a student, I want to be involved when my instructor comes over to grade my typodont restoration. I want to listen and ask questions. I want to see exactly what my instructor is referring to and understand what he or she is explaining. I will realize that they have been doing this a long time and have much to teach me and I am grateful for their instruction. Furthermore, I will recognize that the grade I earn is given to me to cause me to reach higher and work harder and is not reflection of my ability.

As an instructor, there are times when I wonder if the student is listening to my instruction or if they truly understand what I am trying to explain. The student may stand several feet away and seem uninterested in my instruction. They may mumble something and have a poor attitude. This usually has more to do with frustration in their performance than with my instruction and I get that.

No doubt about it, lab time is difficult. By the end of a 3 hour lab, you are likely to be exhausted. Maybe you are finding this time to be super challenging. You might have had a light contact three times in a row or not know how you will ever restore a tooth without “sub.”

Frustration is common. You are going to get frustrated. There are times when you might shed a few tears on the drive home and wonder if you have what it takes to become an EFDA.

I have said for years, that if becoming an EFDA was easy, everyone would do it. It takes a special type of person to make a good EFDA. A person that is detail oriented. A person that manages time well and has good people skills.

I have a short quiz for you to help you decide if you are teachable. Remember, we learn more when we are teachable and we can decide to become more teachable.

True or False

  1. When an instructor is looking at my restoration, I am looking and listening to their instruction.
  2. I take what they tell me and try new things to find the techniques that work best for me.
  3. I try my best to keep a positive attitude.
  4. I ask questions to make the most of this instruction time.
  5. I am open to trying something new.
  6. I have an attitude of appreciation for their instruction.

Hopefully, you were able to answer “True” for each statement. This means you are an active participant in learning these new skills. Skills that take time to master, but you will master them.

There is always more to learn…

I was listening to a podcast this morning. Some of what the speaker was saying was about trusting and training the dental assistant well. Dental assistants are trusted by patients and they count on the assistant to be honest about the recommended treatment and they have confidence in you. More on this soon…..

© 2017, DENTALTUTOR4ME®.COM, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Common Mistakes for the EFDA Student

Many past students have agreed that accomplishing a successful restoration on the typodont is more difficult than it would seem. Some have said that working on a real patient is easier than working on their typodont.

I realize that the typodont in the picture above isn’t what you or I use when we learn these skills but the point is the same. Here at dentaltutor4me, we specialize in teaching you what you need to know to pass your boards and working on your typodont is the key.

What are some mistakes that the EFDA student can avoid? Three weeks ago I made several points that I will mention again with bullets below.

  • We may not condense properly over the marginal ridge next to the band. This causes the marginal ridge to break or flake apart when we carve the ridge or floss.

I was working with a student recently and as I sat to evaluate the amalgam restoration that she had just finished, I picked up the floss and as I flossed the interproximal area to evaluate the contact, I discovered immediately that the marginal ridge was flaking apart. We see this often and it is usually a problem with our condensing.

Sometimes a student doesn’t quite get the amalgam condensed thoroughly enough. Pressure is the key here. 8 – 10 pounds of pressure is more than you might think. The nib of the condenser must thoroughly make one more walk around all surfaces including just inside the band at the marginal ridge. Be sure to use overlapping strokes with enough pressure while facing all inclined planes.

Your surface amalgam should be very “soupy” because it is mercury rich. This is the weak amalgam that if not carved away, will invite corrosion later. Condense well…

  • We may condense too long. There is a short window of opportunity and if we continue to condense after the amalgam has begun to set, we are weakening the final set.

Not only do we need to use enough pressure, but we also need to check our timing. There is a point at which the amalgam is setting up and if we condense longer than that time limit, we could microscopically break the structure underneath and we may not realize it until we floss.

  • We may check occlusion too firmly the first time. This is an easy fix.

Just like condensing too long, checking occlusion too firmly may break the structure of the amalgam. Be gentle at first and get more and more firm each time you check. How many times do you check? You check until you see no more marks for centric or excursion. Remember, to check very firmly that last time with even pressure under your mandibular arch.

I’ve had many students over the years say that, “everything was fine until I flossed.” If that is the case, something else happened prior to flossing. Watch your steps closely to catch what might be happening.

  • We may floss too early. This can shave a microscopic amount away from an already light contact. Be careful.

If your contact appears light, don’t floss at all. Let’s say that there are 36 steps to completing an amalgam from start to finish. As we improve our skill, we will get these steps done a little faster each time and if we floss too early in the process, we can cause the contact to be even lighter. There might be just enough there when the board examiner flosses, to get a snap so leave it be.

If the contact looks tight, however, floss at the very end of the procedure to be sure you can get floss through. If you cannot get the floss through, re-wedge carefully and try again.

One of the instructional videos I am working on right now deals with the issue of flossing. When and how to floss the interproximal area. In my opinion, this is very technique sensitive.

  • We may take the band off too early. This may cause the marginal ridge to break.
  • We may wiggle the Tofflemire too much as we loosen the band, breaking the marginal ridge.

The last two points that I made in a post 3 weeks ago are closely related and don’t need much explanation. I deal with this in some of my videos as well. Wiggling the Tofflemire or trying to separate the band from the Tofflemire and accidentally slipping in the process can break a marginal ridge. Also, holding the band too firmly with your finger can break a ridge. You will want to be extra careful during the initial set phase.

Watch your timing. Know your product. 3.5 minutes is usually safe for condensing slow set amalgam unless there is humidity. (this is for one spill) If you plan to mix another spill, your timing on this will need to be well thought out. Do so quickly. (at about 2 minutes, mix another spill and condense within about 5 minutes total.) More on this in the member’s area….

© 2017-present, DENTALTUTOR4ME®.COM, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Amalgam Placement #3- MOD-A

Do you have 3.49 minutes to view an amalgam placement video?

In this video you will see a “sped up version” of how to place an amalgam in a typodont tooth. The instruments I use are not always the best but I make do with what I have for now.

Remember, if your band isn’t placed correctly, your end result could have big problems. The secret is in your band placement. I have some suggestions for band placement here and in the members area.

Problems we face when the band was not placed properly:

  1. No/light contact
  2. Marginal ridge breaks
  3. Marginal ridge is too low
  4. Overhangs

Next week I will discuss more about common mistakes we make when we are first learning the art of placing amalgam on a typodont tooth.

Also, for members, I have a new exam in the members area called “Fall Middie.” I recommend that you take that 50 question exam to check your text knowledge.

© 2017-present, DENTALTUTOR4ME®.COM, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Always Be the Student

Life is a lesson that we never stop learning. Class doesn’t end and we don’t get a “do-over.” We make the choice to continue our education throughout our life.

As children, we look forward to spring break, summer vacation, and graduation. We may say that we’ve never read a textbook in it’s entirety and we only read for pleasure but this is also a choice.

My dad has always said, “Leaders read and readers lead.” This is a great concept and can inspire us to read more and learn more.

The choice is simple. We can choose to always be the student whether we are in college or whether we have retired. There is always more to learn.

In the area of dentistry this is certainly true. I have learned so much as a dental hygienist and EFDA but there is much more to learn.

So here is a question I have for you. Are you teachable? Do you have an attitude in class that is positive? Over the years I have found some to be difficult to teach and others to be easy to teach. I feel that we learn more when we are teachable. (More on this soon)

I know we can become stressed when our contacts are light or our marginal ridge has broken. Sometimes stress gets the best of us and this is to be expected. I encourage you to stay positive. Keep a “can do” attitude and you will do fine.

If you are new to the website, welcome. We have courses here that can help you learn material that is difficult and will put you on the path to passing your boards. Whether you are struggling and really need a tutor or just want to improve retention of the information, this site was created with you in mind.

Come in and look around. New content is being created regularly.

This week I am working on some amalgam placement videos to add to what we have in the member’s area.

Your questions are always welcome. Comment below.

© 2017-present, DENTALTUTOR4ME®.COM, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Getting Contact?

How do I get great contacts on my typodont?

I hear this question a lot. Students sometimes don’t realize how important it is to put the band on properly. I talk about this in a 10 minute video in the members area called “Tips for placing the band- for members” (under EFDA review 5 of 5)

Briefly: I have five tips for placing the band.

They are:

  1. Be sure your band is tall enough. (.5 to 1.5 mm tall) This will allow you to overfill and carve away the mercury rich surface.
  2. Be sure your wedges are tight and fill the interproximal space. Do this to hold the height of the band.
  3. Tighten the circumference of the band. (Is the band still tall enough?)
  4. Check the boxes to be sure there is no space. (to avoid overhangs)
  5. Burnish the band in the area you will need to restore contact.

I go into detail and tell you HOW this is done in the members area. There are also placement videos added weekly. That page is called, “Amalgam Placement Videos Here” (under EFDA review 4 of 5) in the members area.

Six Mistakes we make when we are learning:

  1. We may not condense properly over the marginal ridge next to the band. This causes the marginal ridge to break or flake apart when we round the ridge.
  2. We may condense too long. There is a short window of opportunity and if we continue to condense after the amalgam has begun to set, we are weakening the final set.
  3. We may take the band off too early. This may cause the marginal ridge to break.
  4. We may wiggle the Tofflemire too much as we loosen the band, breaking the marginal ridge.
  5. We may check occlusion too firmly the first time. This is an easy fix. Be gentle at first and get more and more firm as you evaluate the occlusion.
  6. We may floss too early. This can shave a microscopic amount away from an already light contact. Be careful.

More on these common mistakes soon…..

© 2017-present, DENTALTUTOR4ME®.COM, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Fall Semester for the EFDA Student (part 2)

Last week in my blog post, I mentioned that this site was created with you in mind. If you are a student taking an EFDA course and you need or want a little help, be sure to sign up for our emails.

I have been tutoring since 1986. At that time, I graduated with both an associate degree in dental hygiene, plus the certificate to allow me to place restorations. Three months later, I received a phone call from one of my past instructors. She explained that there was a student that was struggling and if I would be willing to tutor her, she would probably do well and be able to continue in the dental hygiene program. So I decided to help her.

The student came to my home once a week during the fall season that year.  As a result, she passed her dental anatomy course in dental hygiene. I was extremely proud of her AND dental anatomy happened to be a course that I used to dream of teaching one day.

I believe all life experience, good and bad, prepares us for our next step in life’s journey. I like to think that this website is my next step. I am providing a tutoring service for anyone that needs help in the EFDA course OR dental anatomy.

How do we learn the material? It isn’t by cramming the night before the test. Only a small portion is learned this way and much more is forgotten. I believe we have to spend a little time studying each day in order to retain information.

For example: Students in the past have struggled to remember the difference between the definition for CREEP and PERCOLATION. When an amalgam is placed, we condense the amalgam to push the mercury to the surface. We overfill the prep because it is the surface amalgam that is rich with mercury and needs to be carved away. IF we do not do this properly, there can be problems with corrosion and a negative reaction with the mercury and tin known as Gamma II; a very undesirable result.

As the amalgam ages, it begins to expand slightly and can actually grow out of the prep. This is known as CREEP. The change (flow) of an amalgam under force (or pressure) over a period of time (years) can cause it to creep out of the prep.

Percolation is a little different. The fit of an amalgam is locked into retention grooves put there by the dentist. We line the prep with varnish and condense well, but there is still a microscopic space between the tooth and the amalgam. We eat food that is cold and hot which creates temperature change. Not only does the amalgam expand, it can also contract. That space between the tooth and restoration over time invites the flow of bacteria and fluid in and out of that space. That is PERCOLATION.

Knowing the difference can help so much as you learn the material. I am creating flash cards now to help you with memorizing facts like the ones mentioned above.

I know you don’t have a lot of time to create your own flash cards. You may have children. You may have a full time job and need to prepare dinner and pack lunches. My job is to provide tools for you to use. I invite you to check it out.

This is for you. Let’s get busy. C

© 2017-present, DENTALTUTOR4ME®, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Fall Semester for the EFDA Student

You’ve decided to go back to school and become an EFDA. Nice job. Deciding is half the battle. Now you will want to make the most of it. You will want to do well and pass your boards next year.

I know you can do it. Some may need a little help and that’s why this site was created. I have many short instruction videos and quizzes for you inside the membership community.

Remember, the higher your grades, the more confident you can be when you go to the board exam. You will want to learn as much as possible between now and then.

5 Tips for Success

  1. Decide when you will study and stick to that time. It will be hard work to learn all the material so don’t let anything take that designated time. Procrastination and a favorite TV show can ruin your plans to study.
  2. Flash cards have helped many. I highly recommend that you keep your flash cards with you at all times. Instead of playing a game on your phone or checking social media, pull them out the next time you are in a long line, on your lunch hour or waiting your turn at the doctor’s office. Take a pic of each card if that would be easier for you. Then you can go through your pics instead of physical cards.
  3. No distractions while you study. This can cause you to read something over and over and still not understand what you are reading.
  4. Study groups can be helpful especially when you don’t understand something. Helping someone understand a concept by teaching it can actually help you too.
  5. Repetition is the key to remembering the material. Cramming for a test is material we will not retain so study often. About 30 minutes of review each day is a great place to start. More on this next week.

This will be a challenging year for you. Some things will have to take a back seat to your decision to become an EFDA. Know that when you have accomplished this goal, it will make you feel more confident and successful in the dental field. Imagine how you will feel when you are a new EFDA. Picture yourself doing well at the board exam.

Now, let’s get to work…

© 2017-present, DENTALTUTOR4ME®, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Dental Assistant to EFDA (another success story)

“I Passed the Written and Clinical Board Exams”

I have been a Dental Assistant for 5 years. I am 43 years old and going back to school for me has been a roller coaster of emotions.

Cathy has helped me in so many ways. Cathy is not just a tutor but a person that really cares about her students and has a passion for teaching.

DentalTutor4Me has been a go to site for me. One of the great things about the site is convenience. I would get on the site in the mornings before I would go to work, in the evenings before bed and on my lunch from my workplace.

Passing tests was made so much easier. Cathy made sure I was prepared.

It is nerve wracking enough to go back to school after years of being out. If I had a hard time understanding something I could rewind and watch as much as needed.

I am so EXCITED!!! to say I passed the Written and Clinical Board Exams at OHIO STATE !!! Thank You, Cathy, for all your help with becoming an EFDA. Sincerely, Becky S.

(You have been a great student, Becky. I wish you much success in your EFDA career, Cathy)

© 2017, DENTALTUTOR4ME.COM™, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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