If you’ve been busy banking CPD hours, you may be familiar with this week’s guest. Jasmine Piran is a self-confessed course junkie who’s made a move from pupil to teacher.

She lets us in on life as a lecturer and provides insight into how a psychology degree and NLP training have helped her understand and connect with nervous patients.

Jasmine also lifts the lid on her time with celebrity dentist Uchenna Okoye, her interest in art and music, and more.


“Isn’t it a privilege that patients come and see us for elective treatment? The whole mood changes when someone comes in and you have to tell them they need a root canal treatment or an extraction, versus someone who comes to you and says: ‘please help me, I want you to help me improve my smile’. Already, that’s a great energy space to be in.” – Jasmine Piran

In This Episode

01.42 – Backstory
05.08 – Study at Guy’s
08.19 – Psychology, NLP and nervous patients
16.21 – Into practice
20.16 – Dental nursing
21.21 – Uchenna Okoye
24.41 – Trailblazing and work-life balance
25.59 – Principals Vs Associates
32.47 – Minimally invasive philosophy
36.03 – Learning and teaching
40.27 – Invisalign and orthodontics
43.53 – Blackbox thinking
51.06 – Ethics
52.51 – Perfection paralysis
55.27 – Teaching SmileFast
01.02.18 – Art, music and travel
01.05.11 – Last days and legacy

About Jasmine Piran

Jasmine Piran qualified from Guy’s King’s and St Thomas’ Dental Institute in 2001. She has since gained a Masters degree with distinction in restorative and aesthetic dentistry from the University of Manchester and also holds a degree in psychology.

She is an avid learner who has travelled to the US, Switzerland and Italy in pursuit of continuing professional development and has also studied extensively in the UK.

In addition to dental training, Jasmine has also gained NLP and hypnotherapy accreditation.

[00:00:00] The other thing is, I’m a complete course junkie, and I never stop going on courses, and I think people sometimes tell me off, we’re going on so many courses, but I genuinely think you’ll learn something new from every single course that you go on and you get to a point where you don’t come away. Having learnt massive things, you might just learn tiny things like I remember going on Andy McLean’s course and I was probably one of the oldest people there, like it was full of people who were two or three years out of uni. But I admire his clinical skills so much and the beautiful work that he’s been like creating for years. So I was like, I’m sure there’s I’m sure I’ll learn stuff and I did, and I came away having learnt, you know, two or three kind of titbits that I then use. I still use. Sometimes I’ll, you know, I’ll hold myself, let’s discus an ankle and be like, Oh, that was that was how Andy McLean said, You should hold yourself like this. So I think sometimes people get a bit too kind of proud to carry on learning. And certainly I found it quite interesting. Like, I still go on courses even though I’m now involved. I’m privileged. I’m really lucky that I’m involved in teaching on some courses, but that doesn’t stop me going on courses and sometimes I’ll go on a course. And the people teaching, of course, are a bit shocked that I’m there and they sort of almost feel like I’m their spying. And I’m not. I’m just eager to keep learning. So I think keep learning and never be too proud to keep learning, I think is a key point. This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[00:01:42] It’s my pleasure to welcome Jasmine Piran on to the podcast. Jasmine, sir, actually, I’ve known her for 10, 15 years now, probably came to my attention when she became one of my good friends associates. Uchenna Okoye is associate. But since then, she’s she’s moved on and got her own private practise in the West End and become a lecturer and so forth. So lot’s happened since I first met you, Jasmine. But lovely to have you on the show. Thank you. You usually start these things with the sort of the back story. You know, how did you grow up? What kind of a kid were you? Why did you become a dentist?

[00:02:20] Ok, so I grew up in London, west London, Ealing only child. So no siblings. People always think that means I must be spoilt. I just think I just had all the pressure on me. I don’t think I wasn’t spoilt. But yeah, as as an adult, I’ve definitely got much better at sharing. So as a child, probably being an only child, I wasn’t great with sharing, but I ended up going into dentistry because my father, who is Iranian, was very kind of academically focussed, I would say. And he felt in his great wisdom that it would be a great career choice for me because it combines science and art. So he kind of decided that that was where my strengths were. So that was kind of the path that I took, and I think I kind of got into I worked with in dentistry, even as a teenager. I was working as a dental nurse while I was doing my A-levels just to kind of get into the the kind of profession, and it was going to help me get into university and things like that. So I kind of had a bit of a head start in that sense and without really knowing it at the time. That work experience throughout my kind of A-levels and undergrad years helped to kind of shape my career, I guess, and I ended up moving into private practise quite quickly as a result. I think

[00:03:37] So that dentists

[00:03:38] Know people always ask me that, no, he wasn’t a dentist. He just decided it was a good career choice. And what did he do? He was an engineer, so he was in mechanical engineering, and then he worked in I.T. and he did some lecturing at Imperial College and things like that. So he was very academic.

[00:03:55] And, you know, was there a tension with regards to doing what your dad said? Or were you always going to do that?

[00:04:01] Probably as a teenager, you know, you like to be rebellious. I think this number of years on, I have to I have to bow to his wisdom and realise that he was right. He obviously knew me much better than I knew myself. So, yeah, I think he was absolutely right. The combination of kind of science and art that we are privileged enough to kind of combine within what we do, I think is is very unique. And yeah, we’re very lucky.

[00:04:28] So what would you have done if he hadn’t have said that? What was your goal?

[00:04:31] I think I used to say I really wanted to do languages or I really liked drama like all of these sorts of things. But he was very much of the opinion that it’s a good idea to have direction and focus, and we used to play squash. So we were at the squash club quite a lot and all of the chaps at the squash club who used to be at the bar at 4pm or 5pm on Friday. They were all dentists. So my dad back then came to the conclusion. Sadly, it doesn’t apply to us anymore. But he came to the conclusion that if you were a dentist, then you’re going to have great work life balance. You can be your own boss, you can work great hours, you can go and play golf on Fridays, things like that. So.

[00:05:08] So you studied the guys I read. Yes. Yes. What was that experience like? How do you tell me about the first day you arrived at Guy’s hospital? Were you disillusioned or were you? How are you feeling?

[00:05:23] I was absolutely petrified and I was in the first cohort that was merged with Kings, I remember. So it was all really, really strange. And, you know, there was a huge year group.

[00:05:33] Yeah, how many? How many were you?

[00:05:36] I think it was about one hundred and forty five. And it was just they weren’t used to it. So the previous years had been 80 or 90. And then suddenly there were that many of us. So there was a lot of kind of, I guess, frustration amongst older groups because they didn’t want the merger. And there was a lot of kind of chaos in our year group because a lot of the kind of academic side of things was just it was just set up for smaller year groups and they were trying to send us a different sites, obviously. So we went to the Denmark Hill campus. We weren’t the guys campus, but we’d all applied to individual schools. So some of us had applied to guys and some of us had applied to kings. So that was all a bit interesting at the beginning. And guys, I’d say it was a really interesting place to train because you’ve got a lot of clinical experience compared to many of the other schools. But I actually found it really unfriendly place, and it was quite a hard place to be an undergrad. I would say

[00:06:27] Unfriendly how I mean, my brother studied there and he’s a medick, though, and he was he was a bit sort of taken aback by the sort of the. Rugby culture and this sort of thing was, is that is that the kind of thing?

[00:06:40] So it’s a definitely for medicks. I think it was. What year was your brother there?

[00:06:44] My 88 to ninety three?

[00:06:48] Yes. So my understanding is that in that area, it was very much kind of there was a very strong rugby culture. So when I went, there was still that strong rugby culture, but also so I would say, certainly for the dentist, it was very cliquey and everyone was in their little cliques and it was often determined by. And this is going to sound really strange. But ethnicity? Yeah. So people hung around with each other kind of according to where they were from, kind of in terms of their family backgrounds. And so I didn’t I never really felt like I completely fitted in on either side.

[00:07:20] Yeah, I’m glad. I’m glad you brought that up because that’s real. That’s real. We’ve we’ve we’ve actually never talked about that on this podcast, but in Dental School. Well, back in our day, who knows now, but back in our day, certainly those were the way the cliques were set up. It was along ethnic lines. And so so you didn’t fit in with the Indians and you didn’t fit in with the British. Is that what you’re saying? Exactly. So what did you do? Did you navigate both or neither?

[00:07:48] I guess I try to navigate both. I ended up into collating actually. So in my third year, I left that year group and I did an escalated B.S. in psychology, which was fascinating and life changing for many reasons. And then I joined. So then I ended up joining a completely new year that was already established. They’d already spent the first two years of their degree together. Yeah. But there were lovely people. It’s just that. I think because it was such a big year group, you ended up feeling quite isolated if you weren’t already part of a big group, I would say.

[00:08:19] Yeah, of course. And how did the psychology work sort of give you sort of insight? Did is it, as you would imagine, from from an outsider?

[00:08:28] I did my research on dealing with nervous Dental patients and communication styles and things like that. Yeah. So it was kind of relevant. And then I would say I probably used a lot of that learning on a day to day basis in my practise. Now I do see a lot of nervous patients and a lot of nervous patients refer their nervous friends and family to me as well.

[00:08:48] So I would say it helps for me. You know, if you’re good with nervous patients, that’s for me more important than if you have an MSC in restorative dentistry, from the from the from the attracting patients perspective, and I really don’t think enough people realise it. How important a painless injection is. I think as a dentist, if you can give painless injections and you can talk to people, you’ll be OK. He really will. And although they emphasise how to handle nervous patients in uni, I don’t think enough people realise how important that aspect is until, you know, when it comes home to you, when you need something done yourself. I don’t know about other people, but I’m a little bit needle phobic. It turns out I’m very happy to give injections, but I don’t like getting them, and I remember my wife’s very good with nervous patients. People travel from distances to see her, and once she gave me this ID block that I did not feel at all, at all, and I’d be in a Dental at that point, I’d been a dentist for 15 years or something and it suddenly came home to me, right? All those times do I push that plunger in and the amount of damage psychologically I’ve done? And I was one of these dentists who wanted to give the very best service and and make sure people tell other people about me and all of this. And I hadn’t realised that all I had to do was figure out how to give a painless injection, and loads of people would have told other people about me. It’s not emphasised enough. Did you go on a call or you went to hypnotherapy? Course I.

[00:10:29] Yes. So OK. So so I did my psychology degree, and then I qualified from dental school and then I, you know, became a self-confessed Dental course post-grad junkie. But then I came across something called NLP, which is neuro linguistic programming. And I found that fascinating, and it kind of linked up really well with my psychology degree. And then I did NLP and hypnotherapy, and I did a separate course in it with hypnotherapy as well, which is again, it’s just another kind of string to your bow, really. It just helps. I think it helps with your communication style, even if you’re not using kind of actual hypnosis, which I don’t tend to in my Dental appointments. But I probably use hypnotic sort of speaking patterns in terms of making people feel or helping them to feel really kind of comfortable and at ease. I would say so. It’s about a communication style.

[00:11:20] If you’re not, you’re not. You’re not saying to someone, Oh, I’m now going to hypnotise you. It’s just it’s just the rhythm of your voice.

[00:11:27] Yeah, just because a lot of it, a lot of what you learn when you’re studying hypnotherapy is communication style. So it’s language patterns and sort of tonal patterns within your voice. So those sorts of things can have a huge impact on how the person is feeling when they’re in the chair. I find anyway, so it really helps.

[00:11:46] And look, I’m no expert, but from the NLP part of things, my understanding of NLP is that some people are auditory, some people are visual, some people are. Is it feeling kinaesthetic? So that’s one thing. And there was this sort of weird thing about mirroring each other. And if you lean forward or lean forward and yeah, and your eye movements, you know, up into the right, wow. So, you

[00:12:10] Know, loads Payman. Yeah.

[00:12:12] Oh yeah, that’s quite not that. That’s all I you. I’ve just told you everything I do.

[00:12:17] So it’s about so people take it to all sorts of lengths and they do all sorts of weird and wonderful things with it. And some people are a bit unethical with it. And some people become a little bit, I would say, over the top with it. But actually, if you just take the good little bits from it, it can really, really have a positive impact. So what you’re talking about mirroring, that’s about achieving rapport. Yeah. So it’s how you can help someone to feel completely comfortable and at ease very quickly is by getting into rapport with them. And one of the ways that you can get into report is by matching and mirroring. Maybe their stance, maybe their kind of their body language, things like that, understanding how people kind of receive information from the surroundings. That’s the other thing you mentioned. So in terms of do they receive things more visually? Do they receive things more by sound or they kinaesthetic, which is where they’re, you know, for example, if you give someone explanation about things like, for example, having a line of treatment, Invisalign, right? Do they need to see a photo of how it looks on a person to understand how it’s going to work? Or do you need to give them an eyeliner so they can actually physically hold it? And is that how they then kind of like get in touch with the process and kind of start imagining it in their own body? Does that make sense?

[00:13:29] So it makes sense. But how do you how can you tell what are the clues?

[00:13:33] Oh gosh, there’s so many clues, so words that the people use. So do you see what I mean? Yeah. Solanki says that would be quite visual. Does that sound quite logical? Yeah, they might be kind of more auditory. Do they ask, for example, is the first thing they asked me, How does it feel when you’re wearing the aligners? Does it hurt? They might be more kinaesthetic. Are they visible? Is it going to show or am I going to look like a schoolgirl wearing braces at the age of 40? They’re probably more visual. So all of those things, but also I think one thing that really, really is so important with these things is not to pigeonhole people, because so often when you have a psychology background, people kind of when they find out they just think that you’re constantly analysing them. And I think the key to these things is not to be that person, so not to be constantly trying to pigeonhole and analyse people, but just to have an understanding of the fact that everyone’s different. So if you only ever use your own preferred kind of communication style, you’re only really going to be speaking to about a third of the population. You have to mix it up a bit and appreciate that people receive messages on different levels, and then you have to kind of be able to, I guess, moderate how you communicate accordingly.

[00:14:48] Well, it’s interesting. I mean, some people take it to the next level of having the the team. The staff work out the answer to that question before you even meet the patient. And I think Barry often will say something about that, which is which sounds good. But but it does. It does ring true in a way, doesn’t it? For me? I mean, this has nothing to do with it. But you know, when you read a book twice or you watch a movie twice and on two different occasions, the same person, same content, but you take them totally differently based on what you’re where you’re at in your life at that particular moment. Yes. Yeah, I can see that that that can be a big factor. All right. So you’re good with nervous patients, you’re good with people. Yeah, I know.

[00:15:34] I like to think I’m good with people. I think it’s probably one of my strengths is that I’m relatively good with people. You mentioned Barry. Barry was my vet trainer. Yeah. So he had a he had a big impact on my, especially my early career. But I still I still consider him a really good friend and mentor. He’s my patient as well, so he comes to see me through treatment. But also, like I massively respect him both clinically. He’s a fantastic clinician, but also personally, I’d say he’s a really good guy and I love. We came across an op together at the same time, so we did our early NLP training with the same trainer over here. And then later we both ended up going to the states to do our later training with the same trainer there as well. So.

[00:16:21] Wow. Yeah. So I’ve always thought your first boss is such an important thing because it really puts you on a on a particular trajectory. We had my first boss on about four shows about a goat, Nick Mahindra. He’s a great friend and he really had a massive influence on the way I look at different things now. All right, so that was your vet. What was your first real job after that?

[00:16:44] So that was beat. I stayed on part time with Barry, even though it was miles. So the funny thing is, I’ve always been very London centric and everyone makes fun of me about the fact that I’m quite London centric.

[00:16:55] So I’m proper Iranian Iranian girl, isn’t it?

[00:16:57] That’s why I don’t. Maybe, yeah, I just I don’t get a very long contract. My So Barry’s clinic was in Hazel Meir, which was a whole like 50 miles out of London. So I used to live there like four days a week Monday to Thursday. And then by Thursday I just had to come back home. So I’d be back in London. But I stayed on like a couple of days a week just because it was such a lovely practise and he had such a great team and it was just amazing. So I stayed there and then I also got a job in Bayswater, so I was working a few days a week in Bayswater for a lovely guy called Ron Dunn. He’s retired now, but he’s such a nice man. I learnt so much from him. So, yeah, I worked for him and then within a year of finishing my vet. In fact, six months after finishing Beatty, I somehow landed an associate’s position with Uchenna.

[00:17:47] So how did it come about? Did you just apply it or did someone know someone or how it happen?

[00:17:52] So Barry, being this amazing, forward thinking person that he was, we were on a we used to do loads of courses. We did Chris Barrow. We did actually later. So we were on a course that was being run by an American guy called Bill Blatchford. And so our whole clinic was there. And then you channels clinic was there as well, and someone on my table from my clinic said to me, Oh, I think Uchenna was looking for an associate a few months ago. There was there was an advert within the Chris Barrow Group. So I just went up to her and said, Hi. I heard you were looking for an associate. I’m not sure if you still are. Can I send you my CV? And then I did. And it just it was just fluke. It was luck. She needed someone a day a week because she was taking like reducing hours for a couple of months. So I just started one day a week and then I stayed there for 13 years.

[00:18:37] Wow.

[00:18:39] Obviously, not one day a week. Yeah, full time. But yeah,

[00:18:42] I mean, look, one thing I never did when I was an associate was applied, you know, send us TV or a letter to someone who wasn’t looking. And I think now when I’ve been talking to loads of dentists about it, that seems like that’s quite a common sort of I wouldn’t say common, but for the for the high flyers, anyway, quite quite a common M.O. to just contact places where they want to work.

[00:19:05] So it’s funny you say this Payman because I had a really funny chat with someone on a on a case coffee session literally an hour before this call. So I remember when I was looking for Dental nursing jobs, I remember going through the Yellow Pages. I’m going to make myself sound so old, but the actual physical yellow pages and literally cold calling every single like dental practise that look nice on the yellow pages, especially the ones that had a big advert, you know, the ones who paid extra to have an actual kind of, you know, three line out. I remember cold calling all of them, and that was how I ended up with really good jobs. I was like in private, high end cosmetic dental practises way back, you know, in the late 90s, which was brilliant. So an hour ago, I was on a call with some dentists and this guy said he was looking for an associate position. And I said, Oh, right, how are you going about that then? And he said, I’m Googling and I’m looking up for I’m looking up local clinics that have got five star Google reviews, and that’s who I’m contacting. And I thought, Gosh, how times have changed. I went with yellow or yellow pages, and now they’re just looking for Google reviews. But yeah, it’s a good. It’s a good way of doing it. I guess it’s nothing to be lost there. I think you’ve got to there’s got to be a little bit of hustle factor.

[00:20:16] I think, yeah, you’re right, you’re right. And I guess, you know, working in Dental practises before even going to dentistry, you’ve got a good understanding of what’s a successful place, what’s what’s what are the things you should? I bet you learnt things that you shouldn’t do even before you became a dentist, right?

[00:20:35] Yeah, probably. I think I was probably a dreadful nurse. If I’m honest with you, Payman, I don’t think I was a very good dental nurse.

[00:20:41] But why? Why? Why? Why would you, sir?

[00:20:43] Well, because I never had back then you didn’t have to have formal training. Yeah, it wasn’t like now. So I just got dropped in at the deep end. So, yeah, I was probably the nurse that used to just leave the room at the most inopportune moment, exactly when you need that person to be there and things like that. But no, yeah, it was. It was a great it was a great learning curve. And I know certainly when we because it guys used to start seeing patients from the second year and none of us really felt ready to be actually seeing patients, it was all quite kind of scary. Yeah, but at least I’d been in that kind of chair side environment a lot already. So that helped, I guess.

[00:21:21] And then working with Uchenna, I mean, she’s she’s one of my favourite people I spend. We have a pre-lockdown menu changes to have dinner a couple of times a year just to just to catch up. I really like it, but we’re very, very different as employers. And actually, you know, it’s one of my favourite subjects. Talking to her is and if this situation came up with you, what would you have done about it? Because she’s quite a tough boss, right?

[00:21:49] I’d say she has high standards.

[00:21:52] And and so do you first call? Let me say she has astounded me

[00:21:58] And she always inspired me. She had a massively positive influence on my career and my career pathway and the things that she’s striving for are I agree with, you know, what she wants people to do. I completely agree with whether it’s always easy to find people who will hit those standards. Unfortunately, that’s another story. It feels like they manage it really well in the states, actually, when you go over and do courses in the states and speak to the clinicians over that. They seem to be they seem to manage it. But yeah, I think I always felt really lucky. I think I spent the first few years working there kind of pinching myself that I had that opportunity to be there and I was always waiting for something to happen. I had that real imposter syndrome or, yeah, yeah, she’s going to

[00:22:43] Realise I was she. Was she peaking when, you know, as far as her, her profile back then, there was a moment there where she was the most famous dentist in the country.

[00:22:54] Yeah. So I was there when ten years younger, the first time around when ten years younger was happening. Yeah, yeah. And actually, you know, watching her do that was really inspiring because, you know, people don’t often realise that she has a very, very soft heart and she’s very sensitive as well. So she’s very driven and very focussed, but she’s very, very human and kind of sensitive as well. So I think seeing that happen and watching her be, I think, very brave in putting herself out there to do that was, yeah, it was very inspiring.

[00:23:28] But it was a bit awkward. And every time I’ve been to one of her clinics to that idea of they call them guests, then they didn’t call them patients and the huddle and the way they talk about their patients not knowing so much about them. You know, it’s she was doing that before it was properly fashionable to do. Yeah. And there’s something about her which I don’t know whether you picked up from her or not, but she kind of wants to be different, you know, like her, her angle is if everyone is using these people for their website, I’m definitely not going to use those people. You know, I’m going to use someone from completely outside dentistry, and it’s actually a good way of making progress because, you know, if we just all do the same thing, we’ll end up the same way.

[00:24:14] Definitely. I think Newton is a trailblazer.

[00:24:16] Yeah, exactly what I was looking for.

[00:24:18] I’m not a trailblazer.

[00:24:20] What makes you say that?

[00:24:23] I just I play it safe a bit more, and I’m not quite. I’m not. I can honestly say I don’t think I’m as ambitious and I don’t. I’m not seeing that to put myself down. I’m really happy with where I’m at and what I look for, but I’m not in need of that level of of achievement or kind of constantly progressing. I’m happy, probably. I’m happy aiming for perfection with within my own little world, I think.

[00:24:50] Yeah, I guess it goes down to that sort of lift to work, work to live kind of breakdown.

[00:24:57] No, yes. No, you’re absolutely right. It should do. But if what I’ve said gives you the impression I have good work life balance, then I’m not representing myself well, because I have no work-life balance. So yes, I think you’re right, it does come down to work to what

[00:25:11] Do you mean? What do you mean? What do you mean you’ve got you work too much? Is that what you mean?

[00:25:14] Yeah, definitely. But I don’t know. I think we all do at the moment. I think especially since the pandemic. I think as a profession, we’ve just all entered this crazy world of just constantly working.

[00:25:27] And thank goodness for it, right? I mean, it’s

[00:25:32] Coming back to work and we just felt so lucky. I think it was a combination of we felt really lucky to be back at work. We felt kind of quite shocked. There was probably a bit of PTSD on a mild level of having been stopped from working because we could never have imagined a situation where that could happen. And it felt so precious that we and and we felt like any minute the rug could be pulled out from under our feet again. So make hay while you can. Yeah. So and I think, yeah, that’s probably how it’s happened.

[00:25:59] Going going back to that, your dad thing. So did you ever live in Iran or no? I visited, but I’ve never lived there. Yeah. So I remember when my parents kind of I don’t want I don’t want to sound bitter about it when they made me become a dentist. Yeah, they didn’t. It wasn’t. It wasn’t like that.

[00:26:17] But they have is, though, is it? But it is.

[00:26:19] But it is. Yeah. Well, you know, the argument they used was, look, if we were back home, then we wouldn’t be saying this because back home we were fully stable. We knew what we were about. We we were fine. But now that we’re here and I guess it goes down to the same immigrant sort of culture, the notion that people will always need a doctor or dentist or whatever it is. And it’s interesting because I always used to think that, OK, that that didn’t play out in my life until the pandemic when the pandemic happened. Then, 40 years after they. Suggests that it actually came home, that people do need a dentist more than they need a dry cleaner. Yeah, yeah. Or whatever else I would have become. But you know, it’s a funny thing because what you choose to do. What would you would you would you have any kids? But would you tell your kid to become a dentist?

[00:27:16] Oh, that’s a really tricky one, because I really want to say yes. I really want to say yes to that question, and I have to be honest, I think I would say no because I. Shame. I feel like and I hope it passes. I feel like we’re we’re going through a period in our profession, which in some ways is incredible. I think we’re so privileged to be in a situation where we’ve got great technology. You know, digital dentistry is phenomenal. We’ve got great material sciences. You know, the things we can do artistically, aesthetically for patients without, you know, very minimally invasively. I, you know, I get such a kick out of that side of things. I absolutely love it. So that side of things is amazing. But then you look at the kind of the litigious ness of the population that we’re living in. You look at the lack of support that we get, I believe from our regulators the way that that all plays out. I just think it’s become quite difficult. And certainly, I feel so lucky that I managed to kind of pave the way for myself within dentistry into the types of clinics that I worked at. Because, you know, I read on these forums that the kind of the situations that a lot of associates working in very busy NHS practises are going through, and I just think that must be so hard. And we we need that to be going on because we need the NHS Dental system to be working and we need patients to have access to that care. But working in that way within that system, I think, is really hard. And if somebody came into the profession now, they’d have to work through that first before they could get to a point where they’re not having to do that anymore. So that’s probably why I would have reservations, I think.

[00:29:00] I don’t know if you’ve seen that British Dental Action Group

[00:29:04] Have, and it’s it’s a little bit soul destroying. And I read the post and I sent this such a kind of there’s a bit of a seminar between associates and principals and. Both sides seem to just so often see the worst in each other, and I’m sure there’s reasons for that, but I find that really sort of disappointing because ideally if you’re in a situation where you’re either a principal or you’re an associate, it should be based on a place of trust for either your associate or your principal. And I think not being able to have that and feeling like. You’re kind of constantly being screwed over for want of a better word. It’s just really sad and it’s a horrible kind of environment. It’s a bad energy to be working in. I would say

[00:29:52] Stephanie got worse since the pandemic, for sure. But you know, the funny thing is, you know, it feels like now the balance of power has shifted towards principles. Well, I guess now there’s a shortage of associates, and so it might come back. But you know, if you could someone someone somewhere could make the argument for, listen, you’ve got to put in your years as an associate and eventually you’ll become a principal and your benefit from all of that. But it misses a whole massive group of the profession who don’t want to become principals. You know, they want to just be associates.

[00:30:27] So interesting. So I was an associate forever.

[00:30:31] Thirty years. Yeah.

[00:30:32] Well, I became a principal sort of by accident. When you’re an associate, you have your own set of kind of things that you’re aware of that feel quite full. You’re full up, you’re your day is full of the things that you are fully aware of. As an associate, you already feel like you’re having to take on quite a lot of responsibility and you know you’re having to do a lot. So it’s quite easy as an associate to completely miss an entire kind of dimension of stuff that you’re not even aware of that the principal is having to think about. And I think it’s that’s where the problem is. There’s that lack of understanding between the two sides, I think.

[00:31:11] Yeah, yeah. And look, we see it on the courses where it’s time, you know, obviously more associates come to the courses than principals. What’s the reason for that? But there is that when it comes to, OK, what are you going to buy? There are some people who will not buy anything because that’s the that’s the principal’s job. And although I even though I get that, you know, when I was an associate, I were buying whatever the hell I wanted. That was, it was. It was a one thing. I wanted a control camera when I bought it. You know, I was going to go ask the principal for it. That said, that said, when you’re getting screwed over, the last thing you want to do is put your hand in your pocket. And my advice to young dentists who are in this situation tends to be think of your associate years as education is not as business is. You know, of course, it’s your livelihood and you’re, you know, you could be paying for your kid’s school or whatever it is. But think of those years as education, but it still misses the point that there are plenty of people mothers who want to work part time, just people who don’t want to be business owners. You know, not everyone has to be a business owner. Plenty of people who will never be principals. And if we have it skewed too much against associate, you’re going to have some people whose their whole working lives will feel like they’re being screwed over. And that’s a real shame. Real, real shame. I agree with you.

[00:32:36] I think in reality, you said, you said you wonder why there’s more associates that come on the courses than principals. It’s because there are more associates than principals. That’s true in number. And I think you need both.

[00:32:47] There’s kind of a scramble for private jobs as well as in there. So there’s people going on courses to try and get the good jobs and so forth. So let’s move on and talk about some clinical bits. So you’re a great proponent of minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry as well as, I guess, eugenics practise was a lot to do with veneers for some veneers, right?

[00:33:14] So you tend to famously doesn’t like prepping tea, so she’s always been minimally invasive from that perspective. So we were never a heavy prep type clinic. I also worked at a clinic which ended up closing down, which is why I ended up starting my own clinic. But I worked at another clinic that did a lot of cosmetic dentistry, and it was all we did. So we did lots of veneer cases and lots of Invisalign and fixed race cases. So I would say that it’s about you can still be minimally invasive. It’s about how you plan your treatment. It’s about kind of designing the small addictively so that you can be minimally invasive in your approach. And it’s about doing pre restorative alignment wherever it’s necessary. Whenever you can kind of educate the patient to understand that that is a much better way of kind of moving forwards in that in that kind of treatment phase, if that makes sense. So yeah, I would say I’ve always been a fan of minimally invasive.

[00:34:13] Yeah. Although some people will argue that there’s a there’s a time for not being minimally invasive and, you know, prepping properly and all of that. But give me one or two tips one one one one tip from the sort of the patient management side when you’re treating cosmetic patients and then one sort of clinical, you know, Yasmin tip. Jasmine. So Jasmine gets hit on whatever aspect of clinical dentistry, something that you can sort of.

[00:34:42] Yeah, I think one thing I’ve learnt is that communication is so important when you’re dealing with patients who say, OK, so one thing is, isn’t it a privilege that patients come and see us for elective treatment? So the whole the whole kind of like mood changes when someone comes in and you have to tell them they need a root canal treatment or they need an extraction versus someone comes to you and says, Please help me. I want you to help me improve my smile. So already, that’s just such a great energy space to be in. It’s wonderful, and it gives you the opportunity to kind of achieve something wonderful for that person and actually really see how it’s going to change their life for the better. So I think it’s a huge honour that anyone that’s able to do that sort of work, I believe is very lucky. And I think one thing I’ve learnt over the years is all about communication because you have to understand what the patient wants and try and avoid yourself from kind of prescribing what you think they should want. Because when you look at their smile, that’s what you see and stay focussed on what they don’t like and what they’re trying to improve, because then you’re much less likely to end up over treating or overpaying or, you know, complicating things, I would say. So from that perspective, I think that has a huge impact. The other thing is, I’m a complete course junkie and I never stop going on courses, and I think people sometimes tell me off. We’re going on so many courses, but I genuinely think you’ll learn something new from every single course that you go on and you get to a point where you don’t come away having that massive things.

[00:36:18] You might just learn tiny things like I remember going on Andy McLean’s course and I was probably one of the oldest people there, like it was full of people who were two or three years out of uni. But I admire his clinical skills so much and the beautiful work that he’s been like creating for years. So I was like, I’m sure there’s I’m sure I’ll learn stuff and I did, and I came away having learnt, you know, two or three kind of titbits that I then use. I still use. Sometimes I’ll, you know, I’ll hold myself Lex disc at a certain angle and be like, Oh, that was that was how Andy McLean said, You should hold yourself like this. So I think sometimes people get a bit too kind of proud to carry on learning. And certainly I found it quite interesting. Like, I still go on courses even though I’m now involved. I’m privileged. I’m really lucky that I’m involved in teaching on some courses, but that doesn’t stop me going on courses and sometimes I’ll go on a course and the people teaching the course are a bit shocked that I’m there and they sort of almost feel like I’m their spying. And I’m not. I’m just eager to keep learning. So I think keep learning is and never be, never be too proud to keep learning. I think is is a key point.

[00:37:28] Sure, sure. And you know, I remember when you came on on ours as well and you’ve been on a cheese course, I think you said, was it? Yeah. And I would say to you, Well, OK, hopefully we’re going to make you happy.

[00:37:46] But Dipesh is a fantastic clinician and you guys won an amazing course, and I’m always advising people to come on your course. That doesn’t matter. I teach composite bonding courses. That doesn’t mean I don’t think that your course was phenomenal. And some of the things you know that you guys teach on that course are brilliant. And you know, the other thing is a lot of people will say the same thing, but it’s like you said about watching a film or reading a book for a second time. Like I’ve been on many of today’s courses, I’ve been on many of Newton Files courses. Sometimes you do the same course twice and you get different things out of that time. So I think there’s there’s no harm in in hearing something twice and hearing something twice from two different people just reinforces that it’s the right thing to do, right.

[00:38:31] So I think it’s a good point. You know, we encourage people to come back and observe on us for that very reason. You know, when you try and put it into action, then you’ve got totally different questions to before you’ve even properly tried to put it into action. Tell me about teaching. I mean, you teach on Invisalign and you line a line of consulting and you teach on the brilliant small parts of the programme. Give us some clues on Invisalign to start with. I mean, are you a super duper diamond plus plus whatever?

[00:39:05] No, I’m so, I’m not. So I work. I don’t. I’m not involved in anyone else’s account. I just take my own account. I’m a single handed practitioner, so I’m platinum elite. And for me, actually, I limit the number of cases I do because I don’t want to be overwhelmed with cases. I want to have complete control over my cases and my case planning. So I first started Invisalign back in sort of 2008, 2009, and back then it was a great idea, but it wasn’t anywhere near as phenomenal a system as it is now, and the teaching wasn’t as structured as it is now. I mean, the way that we teach the programmes now, it’s so kind of structured and methodical and. Safe as well. Rahman Rahman Olark is an incredible specialist, orthodontist. He’s amazing, so he’s incredible clinician and an incredible educator. So when I did his post-grad diploma programme on clearer line of therapy, that was where I kind of suddenly thought, Wow, this is amazing. This is an amazing system and you can use this within your kind of small design principles and your veneer cases or bonding cases to really get great results completely, minimally invasively. So I think it’s that’s another thing that we’re so lucky to have in our industry right now is these kind of systems that we can use and work with to achieve such great results for people, you know, without having to take a bar to their teeth. It’s brilliant. Yeah.

[00:40:27] Do you do you plan the Invisalign, the clinics yourself or do you

[00:40:31] 100 percent, 100 percent, I think. I think that’s really important. Yeah. I know lots of people outsource and you can outsource, but it’s half the fun for me. I actually love planning clinics. That’s what a lot of a lot of the time that I spent helping other dentists is, you know, doing case cafes and things like that, you know, helping to plan their cases. It’s great fun. You know, you’re looking at the smile within the face and then looking at how you want to move the teeth safely, you know, within the kind of the biological parameters that that individual has. It’s brilliant.

[00:41:03] But where did you learn that? I mean, was that on Roman’s course? Because.

[00:41:07] Yes. So yes, I learnt I probably felt way out of my depth for many years before I realised that there was a system to use. And then, yeah, I learnt it via the diploma, and then I just carried on learning after that. Really, that just kind of sparked a huge interest for me. It must just play into the way my brain works. I might. I think I have quite a mechanically minded brain. So the concept of the fintech and planning just sits quite easily within my mindset, I think.

[00:41:34] It sounds like you enjoy it. But but if it was me, if it was me and I haven’t got the skills you’ve got in orthodontics, but if it was me, I would think, well, I could outsource this to an orthodontist. And you know, that would be the safest thing would be a real proper orthodontist doing the the planning part.

[00:41:57] I think it’s about case selection, isn’t it? Because you’re absolutely right. You touched on a really interesting point there. So there is definitely a very important place and need for specialist orthodontics. And just because general dental practitioners can do alignment treatments doesn’t mean that orthodontists are obsolete. We have to know our place and we have to know our limitations and our safe parameters. That’s probably I think that’s why Invisalign developed the Invisalign go system, which is kind of more restrictive in the types of movements and the number of teeth that can be moving things like that. So that was all brought about, I think, as a result of, you know, wanting to kind of rein things in a bit and make things as safe as possible. But as long as you’re working within safe parameters, I think I don’t think it’s purely orthodontics because you’re doing small design, you’re looking at the full face and actually planning that person smile within that facial kind of set up. I think so.

[00:42:51] Is that orthodontic?

[00:42:54] I mean, it is orthodontics, but it’s also aesthetics and cosmetics, isn’t it?

[00:42:57] So everything. Well, what I meant was what I meant, though, was if I was a general dentist carrying out Invisalign, I would outsource the clean check to an orthodontist.

[00:43:07] I think I’m too much of a control freak Payman. I don’t think I could do that. I would want to know what’s happening in the city. Yeah, but the thing now is that there’s so much support available that anyone that needs that support or wants that guidance or wants to understand things, they can access that support quite easily. Yeah, there’s all sorts of forums and case cafe support that they can access. So I think the help is there. It’s just about making sure that I think people need to stay within their comfort zone and within their scope of practise. And things go wrong when people start stepping outside of that. I think, are you?

[00:43:42] Are you a control freak? Generally. Probably.

[00:43:48] And I think my my good friends and colleagues at small force would say, yes, definitely.

[00:43:53] Maybe. Yeah. Well, it took took it about talking about things that go wrong. We ask every guest this question. It’s a question around clinical errors. Can you think of clinical errors? You’ve made something something that the audience can learn from some people can learn from. Can you think of a situation?

[00:44:13] I think if I if you asked me for it to remember my most stressful ever clinical situation, it would be a case where the lady came in. She’d had veneers, so she had up to 44 veneers. She’d had them done by her previous dentist and she was in tears. So she was in tears on the phone before she even came in. She was in tears on the day that she came in. And, you know, she was in an absolute kind of state about these veneers that she’d had done, and she was literally begging me to help her, begging me to help her, begging me to change the veneers. And you get drawn in because there’s a human being in need crying and you look at the veneers and you think, I mean, they’re not awful, but they’re not great. And I think you just get dragged down this awful path where you’re kind of being dragged along by the patient and the patient’s putting all this pressure and demand on you to do things that you perhaps don’t necessarily think are right, or they might be putting time pressure on you to kind of get things done within certain time frames that aren’t relaxed enough or realistic enough to allow due diligence and due planning and everything. And. And so this particular patient managed to convince me that her veneers had to be changed and it was affecting her life. And she was in an absolute state and she’d got the previous dentist to give her a partial refund. So she was, you know, she was getting me to kind of supply the treatment plan so that she could get the other dentist to contribute. And all of these things, and

[00:45:47] You get

[00:45:48] This feeling like something doesn’t feel right from the absolute outset. It doesn’t quite feel right, but you get kind of railroaded into it and you get guilt tripped and emotionally blackmailed and you just get drawn in. And I think it turned out, you know, we gave her some veneers. She was absolutely adamant that she wanted a particular shade. We tried to talk her out of it because it was a ridiculous shade. We tried it. So we were like, Sure, this is too bright. You’re not going to like it. What about the lower teeth? It’s not going to match blah blah blah. No. Absolutely adamant. Signed off on the consent. Absolutely adamant. Explain to her at the time. Once you choose the shade, there’s no going back. You can’t suddenly change your mind. If you want your veneers, you’re going to have to pay again. So she picks that shade and then of course, she signs off on having them fitted before they’re fitted. She looks at them. Yes, I’m happy. And then of course, she comes back like three weeks later in tears, begging ask, No, they’re too bright. Everyone’s making fun of me. You’ve got to change them. For me, they’re affecting. When I’m having a nervous breakdown, you’ve got to help me, please. You’ve got to help me. So of course, what do you do? You change them again, even though you try and convince her not to? You tell her she has to wait a period of time because she’s going to potentially damage the nerves of her teeth, exposing them again. So this whole drama, this long, drawn out drama is like going on for about six months. Eventually, you replace the veneers again and you go for the shade that she should have gone for in the first place.

[00:47:05] Without without charging her more without you paid the whole second lab for yourself.

[00:47:11] Ok. And of course, I was working at the time from many corporates, so I paid that now and then, so we fitted them, she said. She loved

[00:47:19] Them. The second, the second one,

[00:47:21] The second time she gave me a bottle of Chanel perfume, she gave me a card saying, I’m finally happy. Thank you so much. And then a month later, I was actually at Leaders Clinic in Geneva when an email came through, and she said, I’m just not happy. I’m still not happy. I’ve been to another dentist and I want I want a partial refund from you so that I can get a couple of them replaced. I know you’re going to tell me to come and see you and you’ll do it for me, but it’s just too far for me because she lived like 100 hundred miles away. So she was like, I’m just going to go somewhere local. After all that,

[00:47:56] Well, do I have to stay for a full refund?

[00:47:58] I gave her a full refund and I said, Don’t don’t, don’t ever contact me again. I’d do anything to do it like the full refund. But my point is I knew that first, that first, that first phone contact with her was so erratic. And so, you know, extreme emotions that I had that gut feeling then. But I got drawn in and I think my biggest learning experience from that and the biggest take home and the biggest thing, I want to help other dentists avoid, especially younger dentists who were likely to get sort of taken on that sort of minefield is trust your gut. And when you when you see red flags at the very beginning, stop their red flags for a reason. Passed the person on, you know, refer on to someone who’s more experienced or somebody who, you know, maybe won’t get as emotionally drawn in as you might. But yeah, that would be that would be my biggest kind of learning point because that was so stressful and unnecessarily so.

[00:48:52] Yeah, I think you know what it is that some people have this natural ability to trust their instincts and they know something feels right or doesn’t, and they can’t even articulate why that is. But they trust their instincts for other people. People like me, I don’t know if people like you, but it takes some years of living and experience before it gets proved to you that you should trust your instincts. You know, I’ve had that situation as well with, you know, we used to do this thing. We were say, refer your very hardest whitening cases to me so that we can try, you know, the next version of Enlightened on them. And you know, there’ll be some really proper difficult cases of cases of patient would put the tray in the mouth without any gel and massive sensitivity, you know, patients with severe tetracycline staining, very thin enamel bruxism. And then there what they thought they could get out of it was totally unrealistic. And as a younger dentist, I’ve fallen to, I’ve fallen down that trap as well. But you know what interests me about that story that you just told is the psychology? What do you now think was going on? Do you think that she was putting, you know, like she had a psychological issue and she did. She’d given the name to her pain was her teeth.

[00:50:20] Yeah, I think I think she was unhappy and she felt like the teeth were going to be the secret to make everything better. And they weren’t. And she had other issues. And I think also I was at fault because I allowed her to kind of manipulate me. And I’m just sometimes I especially I used to be a little bit too soft hearted. So I would kind of, you know, feel really bad for this person. That’s crying. And I guess I used to feel bad for not helping people because I thought, you know, we have this, we have this skill and we’ve, you know, we we have an almost like a the Hippocratic kind of oath and, you know, a responsibility to help people. So I should be helping this person. And in reality, you’re probably helping them more by not getting involved, but you’re definitely helping yourself move on, for sure.

[00:51:06] I mean, out of your content, I’ve noticed over the years that there’s this sort of ethical dimension to what you say online and on the forums and all that. Am I right? Yeah. Well, I mean, look, I mean, so everyone says I’m ethical, but but I’ve noticed in your in your content there’s a there’s a focus on the ethics of kind of kind of the thing you just said that the the privilege of treating a patient and and helping people. Where do you think this comes from?

[00:51:38] It’s my upbringing. I think that I have a very strong sense of, I guess, right and wrong. Yeah. So I didn’t grow up with a religious kind of upbringing at all, but I think it was the obviously having a Middle Eastern father like the principles of his own kind of upbringing as well as very strong. So I think I have quite a strong sense of right and wrong, and my values probably are quite strong in that sense. So I probably from there, I think,

[00:52:03] Well, then you find yourself constantly judging people being disappointed by people. What’s the downside? What’s the downside of that?

[00:52:12] I don’t judge people at all. One of the things we say in NLP is that everybody’s doing their best. And honestly, that’s one of the core principles. And it really helps stop you from being frustrated by people or disappointed in people is that everyone’s doing the very best that they can with the resources they have available to. At any given point in time. So, yeah, if they’re not doing something well enough, they’re doing their best for whatever reason, they might have all sorts of limitations on them at that point in time that you’re completely unaware of. So they’re doing their best. So except that that’s their best, even if it’s not as good as you want it to be. Yeah. And then, you know, go on from there.

[00:52:51] What’s been your darkest day from a network perspective? Was it was it that patient

[00:52:58] That that period of time because I take everything so personally? That’s one of my downsizes. I take everything personally. So if something, if someone isn’t happy, I kind of tear myself up inside thinking, what could I have done differently? What should I have done differently? How could I fix it, which in some ways is constructive because it means you can move forwards and think, OK, how would I do that differently next time? But equally, you can kind of tear yourself up inside thinking, taking full ownership for things, I guess in that sense. So yeah,

[00:53:28] But this combination of high ethics? Control freak. It was. It must be a nightmare for you. You know, I noticed on my husband the book when I was going to say was, you know, like that perfection paralysis that some people sort of suffer with. I notice on your on your Instagram, which is a lovely kind of page. You’ve got, you know, before and after whatever. And then before and after somebody else. I up before and after there’s loads of cases on there. How how do you deal with worrying? You know what, you’re going to think about these cases?

[00:54:03] And so I have massive issues with that. And what I have to do is someone has to post it for me and sometimes. So I have a lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely colleague called Rachel. She’s actually Chris Burrows daughter, so she manages my social media for me. So I send her cases and sometimes she’ll post them and I have a complete freakout and I go on and delete it. And I’m like, Sorry, I just I can’t. So, yeah, it is an issue. I think the thing with Instagram is you have to decide if you’re patient focussed or dentist focussed, and mine’s always been more directed towards patients. I never intended to kind of end up being in the educational side of dentistry. I love it, but it was never my plan. So it wasn’t how I set my Instagram off or anything like that. So the thought that other dentists look at my case is actually fills me with dread if I’m honest with you. But my wonderful team and Rachel just kind of push me through and go, Nope, just post it, just post it. It’s fine. And to be honest, it’s it’s it’s kind of business, isn’t it like you get patients kind of contacting you via Instagram or because of what they see on your Instagram? So it kind of it’s practise building at the end of the day. So I have to it has to be about more than me or my kind of insecurities or my ego has to be about the the bigger picture, I think.

[00:55:18] So you’re saying because it’s a necessary evil, you just make sure it happens. You don’t enjoy doing it.

[00:55:25] No, and I don’t do it, she posts it for me.

[00:55:27] I mean, you said you said you had you were interested in things like arts and performance and all that. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

[00:55:37] I think I was an extrovert as a teenager, and then I became quite introverted. And now, since I’ve started teaching and stuff

[00:55:45] That sides come

[00:55:46] Back, I’m rediscovering that extrovert side.

[00:55:49] Tell me, tell me about teaching on the small first thing because you know the number of courses those guys are running. Yeah, it’s just insane, isn’t it?

[00:55:59] It’s been amazing. I feel so

[00:56:01] Lucky. Was it like they did 15 in a row or something? No more

[00:56:05] Than that. So in March? Yeah, March or April, from March to April, we had, I think, twenty eight days. I was at like 14 of them.

[00:56:16] Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:56:19] Yeah, it’s been. It’s been amazing. It’s been an incredible journey.

[00:56:25] Yeah, they were a great team. I was going to say that, you know, Thomas Thomas, obviously clinically excellent. You know, I don’t know. He sees himself as me in the mini smile makeover scenario. I don’t know. I’m not sure what think. I don’t know. Is he the? Does he give clinical input or not? Or who is he

[00:56:46] An amazing clinician?

[00:56:47] I know he is, but in the teaching and the teaching of it?

[00:56:50] No. No. Massively. Yeah, he’s like, Yeah, he’s like clinical lead. He’s he’s very, very involved. Very, very much so. So we just launched the indirect course a couple of weeks ago. And yeah, we would we were doing, you know, lecture slides, obviously, Tom being the clinical wizard that he is massively involved. And then Mindy and I were kind of going over slides until one a.m. several nights over the last few weeks on Zoom. So no, he’s very, very much so. He’s they’re lovely, lovely people, actually. So the interesting thing is that I’ve always kind of used to drive you mad, but I just used to always kind of shy away from Dental circles. I never really mixed with dentists and I never put myself forward for things. I just kind of on purpose. Yeah, I just kept my head down. I used to find, you know, like the Facebook forums and things where people post things and then everyone kind of erupts. And there’s all this kind of, you know, not very nice behaviour, to be honest with you. I just used to stand back and just kind of avoid it all. I wasn’t even in a lot of the groups, to be fair. And so I’ve always kind of avoided mixing with other dentists and doing anything kind of with other dentists professional, really. So this kind of came as a surprise. But yeah, they’re such lovely people. The smart fast guys are just lovely. It’s a lovely, lovely team of people and it’s been a real privilege.

[00:58:04] Yeah, and are you wish? Which bit of it do you do? Do you actually stand up and be the lecturer or are you also? Yeah. So what piece do you teach?

[00:58:12] So the on a small, fast direct. Yeah, I teach on that and I’m not teaching on the indirect as well. So yeah, I’m one of the main speakers. Oh, nice.

[00:58:22] Yeah, it’s fun. And how often are you doing that now?

[00:58:26] So probably a few days a month, a few days each month, like weekends and stuff? Yeah.

[00:58:31] Would you say funny to me?

[00:58:32] Are the dentist as well? Yeah, it’s actually really fun meeting all the dentists and kind of sharing knowledge and sharing experiences you learn from each other. I would say I

[00:58:42] Enjoy it a lot. I enjoy it a lot. But there’s an aspect of I don’t get out enough with, you know, as a dentist, you don’t realise it. You meet loads of people as dentists. Okay. It doesn’t quite feel the same as meeting someone in a non-clinical environment. But you know, when we go on slameka or whatever. I love being out and meeting people because I don’t meet that many people because we’ve got the same 40 people in my office. You know, what do you prefer? Do you prefer a day of teaching or a day of clinical?

[00:59:15] I’d say I love both. You know, like in the second lockdown, like in January to March, April when everyone was locked out, yeah, I felt so lucky that I was seeing human beings every day at work and I was watching my patients come in and sort of especially like Invisalign people that you see once a month, I was kind of watching them kind of just disappear into themselves each month. So just that 10, 15 minute chat that we were having, I could really feel it was helping them. So I feel I love that. And then I love teaching. I don’t know. There’s there’s just something about the energy in the room that you get when you’re teaching and watching people learn, especially, you know, like you’re passionate about composite bonding, like, you know, when you watch people and you know, you’re looking at, I don’t know, we’re showing them how to do line angles, let’s say, and suddenly that light bulb moment when they get it and you’re like, Wow, you get it. Like, I remember how long it took me to grasp the concept of line angles and how many different people. Maybe I was just thick and slow on the uptake, but how many different people had to teach me that for me to finally grasp it and to be involved in that? I just, I don’t know. I just it’s the simple things. Maybe I’m a geek, but I really enjoy that.

[01:00:25] I think it’s fun. No, I think you’re right. I think you’re right. For me, it’s the key thing. And you know, I do this in my time of my training, which is, yeah, you did mine. I did. I did. Yeah. So yeah, I do that a lot. Yeah, I do that. I know sometimes three times a week, four times a week, sometimes depending on, you know, my my movements. And, you know, if we’re totally frank about it, if we’re really being honest about it, there’s an aspect of that which is sales. Yeah, but if it was sales and I thought it was sales, no way would I do that three times a week. I mean, I would spend my life being a salesman. I just, you know, I’ll hire salesmen salesman to do that job if you want.

[01:01:07] But it didn’t feel sales when you were doing it, if education.

[01:01:11] That’s what I mean. That’s what I mean, because it feels like education. I’m happy to do it again and again and again and again and and not get bored by it and be energised by it. And in a lot of ways, these sort of things end up being how you feel about them, don’t they? Because I was honest with my brother, he was having a rough week. He’s a he’s a hospital consultant radiologist. He was having a rough week and he was saying, Oh, I hate this hate that, you know, they have a lot of internal pressures amongst between doctors themselves, right? And and I said to him, Well, what if I told you you were being paid a million pounds to do this? And and he was like, Well, then if you write it, then it would be OK. And I was reflecting on the idea that it’s actually the same thing would have happened to him all week. No different. But now, because there’s this million pounds, suddenly, suddenly it’s all good and it’s understandable. I get it. But the way, the way you look at things, it really changes your experience of them. You know, that’s that’s the take-home message, I guess.

[01:02:13] Hundred percent. It’s about how you frame it. Yeah, yeah, definitely.

[01:02:18] What do you do outside of work? If Jasmine had a weekend to herself or whatever, what would be your

[01:02:24] What’s one of those Payman?

[01:02:26] Well, we were like, All right, good morning. Good morning to yourself. What would you? What would be? Yeah.

[01:02:32] Well, like one of my hobbies, I like art. So I was when I when I had more free time, before I started my clinic, when I when I had that, the work life balance, I would say I used to do painting classes. There’s a lovely guy that does. It’s called cheese in one painting club and you go along in the evenings and there’s a nice group of people and you he teaches you how to paint a painting so that I quite like painting. I used to do a lot of music, so I used to play the piano. Oh yeah, I know. And but classically so my my main thing I’m trying to learn is jazz piano now, because growing up I did classical, which is great. It’s lovely, but I’ve always envied the kind of the freedom and the creativity. I feel like I’m not creative enough. So I think if I was to learn jazz piano, that would open up that channel of creativity, maybe. So, yeah, I dabble in jazz piano, I would say.

[01:03:22] Have you got a piano at home? Yeah, yeah. It’s similar. I’m in a similar situation with piano. I never got very good at it, but my brother did get into jazz, piano and wow and the beautiful bit about just making it up on the spot. Yeah, and it’s actually all only about the scales. You know, it’s only about understanding which notes to avoid

[01:03:42] When you’re when you’re cleaning, when you’re classically trained. Yeah. So I did great. I did. I did all the grades. Did you? When you’re classically trained, you don’t think in chords.

[01:03:50] Yeah, yeah.

[01:03:51] So you think in kind of daunting chords and that’s what you need to be able to do is thinking chords to do jazz. So it’s a complete paradigm shift. It’s different.

[01:04:00] So, OK, art and jazz piano? Ok, what if? What if I said you could? You could go anywhere. Money’s not an object, and time is not a problem.

[01:04:12] I’d love to go to Cuba. I haven’t been to Cuba yet, and I’d love. You go to Cuba.

[01:04:15] Yeah, me too, me too, although I hear the food’s not great. I’d only go places where the food’s great. What’s the best place you’ve been to? What’s your favourite place you’ve been to? Some of them, some of them I’ve

[01:04:29] Been to, I really liked Mexico. Oh yeah. I enjoyed the Maldives, although I is going to sound sacrilegious. We went the Maldives for like four days and I felt like that was enough for me.

[01:04:44] People say that it quiet. People say I’ve never been there for

[01:04:48] Four or five days. I think with that five days. So yeah, they’re probably my two most favourite places. I used to love visiting Iran, actually, but I haven’t been for over 10 years.

[01:04:57] Me too. It’s a bit of a mission.

[01:05:00] It is. But then when you’re there, I don’t know. I can’t explain it. I’ve never lived there. I’m only half Iranian, but there’s something about like you just the air, something. It just feels like home. I can’t explain it.

[01:05:11] It’s strange. All right. Well, we tend to finish these things with the same questions, and I don’t know if you’ve heard them at Prav. Prav can’t be here today, but they called Prav final questions. And the first one is you on your deathbed? You’ve got your nearest and dearest with you. What are three pieces of advice you would leave for them

[01:05:37] And for the world?

[01:05:41] Um, I would say don’t stress about the small things.

[01:05:46] Even though retired, even though you do, even though you do know,

[01:05:50] I wish I didn’t. Yeah, there’s just about small things because they actually don’t matter. I would say always be honest. And always be kind.

[01:06:02] Yeah, very nice.

[01:06:04] I think if you can do those things, then you’ll have a an easier life.

[01:06:09] Very nice. Very nice.

[01:06:11] That’s what I would say.

[01:06:13] And what about the Prav next final question is how would you like to be remembered? Jasmine, was it doesn’t have to be one word doesn’t work well.

[01:06:24] Kind. I guess kind and honest. And kind, honest, strong. Capable. That’s probably a kind, honest, capable

[01:06:37] Are you to, for instance, what kind of a boss are you in this practise?

[01:06:43] Oh, I mean, I would hope I’m kind and fair.

[01:06:46] Yeah, yeah. But, you know. Yeah, I mean, I mean, you try, right, everyone tries to be kind of no

[01:06:52] Pushover like I want things done correctly. I want standards to be, you know, at a certain point. Yeah. But I’d like to think I’m fair and kind. So when I see the human being, you know, like I try and be really try and be reasonable and I try and put myself in their shoes.

[01:07:07] And how do you navigate the question of, you know, you want to be best friends with you, nurse, but you can’t be best friends with your employee? Well, can you?

[01:07:19] I don’t try and be best friends with my employee. I think the only time I almost got too close to my nurse was when I was a vet and I just had an amazing nurse. She was incredible and we were very close in age and we were just really good friends and I used to find it hard to ask her to do things because we’d become friends. So I think I think with experience and with age, you grow in confidence and you grow in your ability to be assertive without being bossy or mean or overly demanding, I think is the key. I think the thing with us is with dentists, we couldn’t do what we do to the best of our abilities without a really, really good nurse supporting you. And it’s, you know, there’s two people involved. And I think that’s the key is to always remember that fact and to never think that you’re better than the nurse because you can’t do what you need to do without them.

[01:08:12] Well, you lived all those years as a nurse yourself, right? You know, for me, I’ve never been a Dental nurse, but I feel like the Dental nurse is having a rougher day than the dentist on most days. Am I right or wrong on that?

[01:08:27] I don’t know. You know, Payman. I think we have a lot of pressure on us. I think when I was a nurse. The things that I thought were really difficult for me. It’s a bit like the associate and the principal discussion, isn’t it? Like you always think that you’re having the hardest time, but then the other person is having a hard time for their own reasons, I think, you know. Yeah, I wouldn’t say they’re having a harder time, necessarily. They shouldn’t be. And if they are, then something’s not going well, like you should be working. I think in such a way that they’re not having a harder time than you. You should be sharing the load, even though you can’t share it necessarily completely equally because you have different responsibilities. But I always think as well, especially with nurses like they’ll be one or two small things that if his dentist, we just did it slightly differently would make their lives so much easier.

[01:09:11] Like what? Simple things like make them a cup of coffee,

[01:09:14] Putting things down in a certain

[01:09:16] Way. Oac little thing making clear up easier.

[01:09:20] Yeah, but that’s such a simple thing. But when you’re rushing through the day, if you always make that effort and I’m not suggesting for a second that I always remember to do this, you know? In fact, I’m glad you asked me this question because from tomorrow again, I’ll remember this, that I’ve said it. So now I have to do it. But you know, I think it’s about making things simpler for each other.

[01:09:40] But yeah, I was always used to make make coffee and tea for my nurse because I always used to think that I had time to and they didn’t, you know, people used to get very surprised by it. Sometimes I couldn’t believe it. And then I say thank you to my nurse and the get surprised by that as well, like the number of dentists who don’t say thank you to their nurse. Amazingly, you know, I just couldn’t couldn’t understand, why would you not? At the end of the day, say thank you.

[01:10:13] I’m so lucky at the moment. I have such a lovely nurse. She’s wonderful, she’s amazing and I couldn’t do what I do that her. And yeah, I feel like I’m very lucky. But yeah, you’re absolutely right. You have to say thank you.

[01:10:26] I said, obviously, but but I do suffer with trying to be the best friend of all my people. And, you know, maybe it’s just sort of, you know, we’re all living out different sort of ideas of who we think we are, right, the lies. We’re telling each other ourselves, you know, Oh God, I want it to be like enlightened to be like a Google place where everyone’s having fun. And where’s the reality of it? Probably is that no, you know, people are working their butts off in Google. Yeah, that’s like, you know. But I’ve got it in my head that everyone’s playing ping pong and being creative. So, so I’ve always wanted that for for my office. Along with that goes. I sometimes do get too close to my team, you know, and then when there’s a disciplinary issue or something, it causes a problem. I’ve got I’ve got a partner who’s who’s very good at that sort of thing, but it must be lonely as a principal of a small practise, insomuch as you’ve got all the decisions on you and no one to, you know, talk to you. So have you got a group of people that you do talk to people like, you know, or.

[01:11:28] Yeah. So I talk to Janet. In fact, Barry’s great. I still hear Barry. Barry recently came as a patient, and then we ended up going for dinner offers, and I felt like it was a therapy session. It was brilliant. He just gave me a full on unscheduled coaching session in like 20 minutes, and I was like, Wow, this is what it’s like to kind of share things, but I probably share. I talked to my small force colleagues as well. Like, I talk to Mindy quite a lot about clinical staff and clinic stuff. We’ll we’ll share kind of experiences and kind of war wounds, I guess in that sense. So that’s quite nice because you’re white, you can get quite insular, but I’m in a building with other dentists. So there’s a there’s a partnership within my building that separates me, but they’re lovely.

[01:12:09] So I talk to them and they say, What’s that?

[01:12:11] Call and ploughman and partners are in my building.

[01:12:14] So whereas it now? Yeah.

[01:12:17] Yes. So that lovely. So, yeah, they use enlightened, I think.

[01:12:22] Ok, one final question. Dinner party. Three other guests. Dead or alive?

[01:12:35] Tony Benn,

[01:12:35] Tony Benn got a great answer.

[01:12:38] I treated him once. No. He’s the only famous person I’ve ever treated and I just couldn’t contain myself. I was like, Well, giggling. Yeah. So definitely Tony Benn.

[01:12:49] Have you got a left wing bone in you? Yeah, a big bone. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[01:12:55] It’s a bit challenging when you’re working in private practise.

[01:12:58] Well, Bollinger is right now.

[01:13:00] I don’t charge enough. That fee setting is an issue with me. Everyone always tells me off. But anyway, yeah, so Tony Benn. Chandler, as Chandler

[01:13:14] As Chandler, yeah, definitely,

[01:13:18] Chandler, who make me laugh, um, I’ve heard my third person be. I’m inspired by can I just have her to sing? Of course, Amy Winehouse.

[01:13:32] Oh, nice. Well, you don’t talk to her.

[01:13:36] Maybe, maybe if she’s like a bit older and yeah, maybe, maybe. But more to sing. Have you seen the movie? Amy? Yes. Yeah, multiple times. Yeah, I found

[01:13:47] I found it very interesting.

[01:13:49] She is. No, no, no. You’re absolutely right. She’s very interesting. I guess I would want her to talk. Ok, so it just not high on stuff like just her as her. I’d find her interesting. And as long as she could sing for us a bit as well, that would be good.

[01:14:02] What about if we had to throw in three dentists?

[01:14:06] Oh, three dentists for dinner, yeah.

[01:14:10] Dead or alive? Hmm.

[01:14:14] It’s hard to pick three Payman why? I don’t know so, but do I want to have dinner and talk about teeth?

[01:14:22] Not to, you know, so I’d have Larry just because he’s so much fun, not because I want to talk about teeth. Ok. I mean,

[01:14:30] I’ve never like. Present company excluded. I’ve never really thought of dentists as being like fun people to hang around with. It’s a recent thing for me that I’ve started having fun with other dentists.

[01:14:43] All right. Well, you know, give black. Professor Brennan, Britomart was incentives, was he? Well, you know what I mean? Doesn’t have to be.

[01:14:53] I’m drawing a blank. I’m actually thinking, Dipesh, because he seems like a really lovely guy.

[01:14:58] Tv black dipesh.

[01:15:01] No, I don’t give you black at my dinner table. Gary D-word is really lovely, and I haven’t seen him in ages. Gary DWORD from SPIR, he’s lovely. Excellent.

[01:15:12] Excellent. So the post, Gary didn’t do it and

[01:15:16] But they’re a random combination. I’m not sure they’d be great. I’m not sure. But yeah,

[01:15:21] I see your control freak this coming out in full effect right now. Right? Why? Because you just want to get this right? You don’t. Yeah, yeah.

[01:15:29] Because I love throwing a dinner party.

[01:15:31] I love cooking.

[01:15:32] I love. I love entertaining. We like we throw great parties. So I like having a good party. But you have to get the mix right. It’s got to be wine.

[01:15:40] Yeah.

[01:15:41] So I haven’t seen Gary do it for years. So maybe him and Diddy is very interesting, did you? She’s very interesting.

[01:15:49] Is he funny?

[01:15:50] He is on his partner’s lovely. So there are lovely. They’re a lovely pair. So yeah. Because I’m guessing they’re couples. They come as couples, right?

[01:15:57] No, I wasn’t thinking that. But you can have that if you want it.

[01:16:01] Because Gary David’s got a lovely wife as well. You see, this is what I’m thinking.

[01:16:04] So you can have it that way if you want. But I wasn’t. Ok, OK. I mean,

[01:16:08] I’m thinking about the table setting Payman and like, And

[01:16:11] What would you cook Iranian food? Oh, really, you could Iranian? Good on you. Yeah, like, that’s hard. It’s hard, isn’t it? No, it’s much

[01:16:20] Easier for a party because you can cook en masse. Oh, and then when you cook and then it just, you know, it works out easier, I think.

[01:16:26] Nice. Well, it’s been an absolute pleasure to speak to you today. Likewise. Thank you so much for taking the time. And you’re going to be at backhed.

[01:16:36] I am. I will see you there.

[01:16:37] Oh, amazing. I’ll see you at my party Thursday night. Well done. Perfect.

[01:16:40] Looking forward to it.

[01:16:41] Thank you so much.

[01:16:42] Thank you, Payman, John. Thank you so much. This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[01:17:02] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and

[01:17:08] Pay for actually sticking through and listening

[01:17:11] To what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you’ve got some value out of it if you did get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks. And don’t forget our six star rating.


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