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Ever wonder what does a dentist do when you have a chipped tooth?

On 26 October 2017, 15 Secondary Two students from Bendemeer Secondary School took a break from the dreary monotony of school to attend a 3M Oral Care workshop. As Bendemeer Secondary School’s Applied Learning Programme (ALP) is in Health & Dental Sciences, the school was specially linked up with 3M’s Oral Care Solutions Division for this unique learning opportunity.

The Bendemeer group was received by Dr Melvina Leolukman, Senior Application Development Engineer, and four 3M engineer facilitators. The session started with the students donning lab coats to get into the feel of being a dentist. Dr Melvina then went through basic oral care concepts, such as the composition of a tooth, tooth demineralisation and cavity formation. Dr Melvina also demonstrated direct restoration by making an artificial tooth using 3M’s dental products and specialised tools.

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Dr Melvina explaining to the students about the cause of cavities.

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Aspiring student “dentists” in their lab coats looking all geared up to make an artificial tooth.

It was finally the students’ turn to “play” dentist and make their own artificial tooth. The aspiring student dentists carefully injected dental composite into a mould to form the shape of a tooth. They then used a LED curing light to cure the moulded composite before polishing it for a smoother, realistic finish. The 3M engineer facilitators were also around to help the student dentists when needed. Dr Melvina rounded up the programme with a Q&A session and one lucky student walked home with a plushie and stationeries sponsored by 3M.

The students had an enjoyable time learning about dental restoration and how 3M applies science to improve dental health and oral wellness. “I wish that the workshop was longer” and “more of this” were the general sentiments among the participants. Needless to say, everyone left the workshop with wide smiles on their faces, flashing their (not fake) pearly whites.

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Polishing work in progress.

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Students proudly showing their “tooth”.

Written by:

Nuraisha Mohamad