Retainers? No, not talking ortho here. Rubber dam retainers. (Or clamps, if you prefer less friendly terminology.)
Second-year dental students have not administered many injections when they begin seeing patients in operative clinic. There are so many things for them to have to think about during their appointments. The question of which injections need to be given should be simple to answer. Answering it will become second nature with time, but until it does, it's good to keep helpful information handy.
Personally, I find it easiest to understand information arranged in a visual format. Graphics such as charts and diagrams are convenient for referencing at a glance. I used to refer to this particular diagram of the structures numbed by the various nerve blocks all the time.
(I'm usually really good at finding the original source of an image, but I'm having trouble with this one.
If anyone knows where it came from, please let me know so I can give credit appropriately.)
I also think it's helpful to break complex ideas up into steps or bullet points whenever possible.
So when thinking about the anesthesia needed for operative dentistry and rubber dam isolation...
Take care not to cause gingival trauma by the placement of the retainer, especially since the patient will be numb and won't experience discomfort until the numbness wears off. Remember, the retainer can retract gingival tissue, but the prongs should always contact the tooth (at the line angles for greatest stability).
A dentist and educator, sharing resources and experiences with her colleagues and students.
Side note - whenever I refer to Sturdevant or Summitt, I'm citing one of these two electronic textbooks:
- Heymann, Harold, et al. Sturdevant's Art and Science of Operative Dentistry. 6th ed., Mosby, 2012.
- Hilton, Thomas J. Summitt's Fundamentals of Operative Dentistry: A Contemporary Approach. 4th ed., Quintessence, 2013.