Experiential tool Dentistry Personal Orientation Project (pop) Dentistry

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To learn more about using indirect vision while working in a patient’s mouth, visit the POP Links website at http://liensppo.qc.ca and click on “Dentistry.” Scroll down to the “Other Recommended Websites” section and click on “Using Indirect Vision and Using the Explorer” to watch a video demonstration of the indirect vision technique.

Note that the explorer refers to the dental instrument used in the video. For more information about dental instruments, go back to the “Dentistry” section on the POP Links website (http://liensppo.qc.ca) and scroll down to the “Other Recommended Websites” section again. Click on “About.com Dental Care: Dentist Office Instruments Photo Gallery 1” to see photos of various dental instruments with explanations as to how each of them is used.



I nstrument transfer techniques
This activity simulates the type of teamwork that occurs between a dentist and his or her assistant. It requires good manual dexterity. While a patient is being treated, the dental assistant transfers instruments to the dentist using specific techniques.
What you will need to complete this activity:

  • Two pairs of disposable gloves (one for each student)

  • Three pens or pencils (optional)

  • Three carving instruments


Ask a classmate, friend or teacher to play the role of the dentist. (You will later switch roles.)

Step 1
Visit the POP Links website at http://liensppo.qc.ca and click on “Dentistry.” Scroll down to the “Videos” section. Watch the “One-Handed Instrument Transfer Techniques” video clip, which explains how dental professionals exchange instruments while working on a patient.
Step 2
Sit on either side of a desk (representing the dental chair and patient). You each need to put on a pair of disposable gloves before you begin. (Set yourself up near a computer, as you will probably want to watch the video again while you transfer the instruments.)
Step 3
Place the three instruments to be exchanged on another desk (representing the dental assistant’s workstation) within reach of the dental assistant. (You may want to practise initially with pens or pencils.)
Step 4
Practise the transfer techniques demonstrated in the video clip.

When working with a patient, it is important that you pass instruments within the transfer zone, which is over the patient’s chest, just below his or her chin. Instruments are exchanged in this zone to avoid accidentally dropping them on the patient’s face.14

Step 5
Reverse roles and repeat this exercise.
Step 6 (optional)
To watch another demonstration of instrument transfer techniques (including a four-handed transfer), visit the POP Links website (http://liensppo.qc.ca) and click on “Dentistry.” Scroll down to the “Other Recommended Websites” section and click on “Instrument Transfer.”
How did you find this activity? Again, this is a skill that will improve with practice!


As mentioned before, dentistry is a vast field offering many career opportunities. To become a dental professional, you can either complete a two-year vocational program (in dental assisting), a three-year CEGEP technical program (in dental hygiene, denturism or dental technology)15 or a university degree (in dentistry). For more information about becoming a dentist, visit the Canadian Dental Association at www.cda-adc.ca.
Now that you have completed this guide, you may want to explore other careers in the health care field. Keep in mind that there are many other options available: doctor, pharmacist, paramedic, nurse, medical radiation technologist, respiratory therapist, medical laboratory technician, orderly, personal care attendant, etc.16 The tools under the “Health” field of interest on the POP Index at www.repertoireppo.qc.ca/en can help you discover these related trades and professions. You may also want to visit the “Health Services” category of the Heading for Success website at www.headingforsuccess.com.

Appendix A

Universal tooth numbering system

Appendix B

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