It’s the moment Ben, Dan and LaShonda have been anticipating ever since they began dreaming about becoming dentists: the first time they treat real patients. The summer between students’ second and third years at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry marks their initiation to the school’s dental clinic. After two years of gross anatomy and mastering the fundamentals through simulation labs and lectures, the now-third-year dental students are finally getting to treat real people with real teeth. From administrative duties and radiographs to developing treatment plans and executing procedures, this is what they signed up for.