Third-year School of Dentistry student Maria Contreras’ hands-on clinical experience is being sharpened daily in the new IUPUI Fritts Dental Care Center.
The San Cristóbal, Venezuela, native now living in Indianapolis uses an array of tools to make the city’s smiles shine. Most of the tools synonymous with a visit to the dentist are checked out each day from the clinic and returned — scaling tools for removing plaque, resin guns for filling cavities, impression materials and plates for mouth X-rays.
Still, Contreras carries other vital pieces of equipment that have helped her become a regent for the Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry.
“I only have one-and-a-half more years to go here in the clinic,” Contreras said, “and then I’ll be able to graduate and hopefully go into a general practice residency and then start practicing.”
Contreras and her fellow students utilize Axium software for patients’ charts. She calls up the data in the clinic, and she uses the machine for studying outside of clinical work, too.
These high-tech glasses are used for magnification and additional light. An orange screen that can go over the small light on the glasses gives her another view for detecting cavities.
The high-powered light is used to cure resin when filling a cavity.
Blood pressure cuff
Contreras checks her patients’ vitals — blood pressure and pulse — before working on their teeth.
Dentistry students like Maria Contreras must master tools and other equipment during their clinical studies before they graduate. Video by Tim Brouk, Indiana University