03 Mar On the other side of the dental chair
My name is Sabrina and I am a first-year dental hygiene student at the University of Portsmouth. My interest in this profession sparked when I was a child. Unlike most children, going to the dental hygienist for a regular cleaning was an exciting adventure for me. The atmosphere was relaxing and intriguing, I even enjoyed the sound of the ultrasonic scaler. Therefore, for my school work experience, I choose to shadow a dental hygienist. This experience fueled my motivation to pursue dentistry as a career. However, it was the four years I spent living in the Azores, that my interest was solidified. Whilst living there I became conscious of how poor hygiene was amongst the local residents and its impact on their overall health and wellbeing. I began to think about this as a global issue and became captivated by the idea that I might be able to make a difference in people’s lives by following my ambition. I concluded my ambition during my placement as a summer intern at a local dental practice in Bermuda. Now I am here.
We learn so much in this course, from the anatomy of the human body to how to pick up different types of instruments! However, my most anticipated lessons to attend are with the phantom heads because that’s where my hunger to learn grows even more. In these lessons, we learn the concept of careful and thorough instrumentation necessary before undertaking clinical work on real patients. This includes assessing the mouth for any disease or abnormalities, doing supragingival and subgingival cleaning, applying sealants and moisture control, recementing crowns, performing temporary fillings, and providing oral hygiene information. It can seem a bit intimidating at first, though once you start getting involved and understanding the concept of everything it becomes really rewarding. Now that I have passed my threshold assessment, I can start seeing real patients!
I consider myself very fortunate to have achieved a place on this competitive course as I work towards my goal of becoming a dental hygienist. This was the best decision I have made for myself and every day has been amazing. The teaching is of high quality and all the staff here are absolutely outstanding with such patience. When I qualify, I will make my family and friends very proud but most of all, I will make myself the best version I can possibly be thanks to this degree.