You could say Shirin Ali has waited her entire career to answer Payman’s infamous question on worst clinical mistakes. The London-based associate says her black box moment happened while treating her very first patient.

But the experience did little to dampen a stellar career that’s seen Shirin spend almost two decades at one of London’s most prestigious practices.  

She chats with Payman about her start during the early years of cosmetic dentistry working alongside Chris Orr, discusses working with the legendary Eddie Scher, and reveals why practice ownership   


In This Episode

01.08 – Social media and anonymity

03.55 – Backstory and discovering dentistry

08.56 – First jobs

24.21 – Art Vs science

28.23 – Walpole Street

30.47 – Practice ownership

34.07 – Eddie Scher and Banning Dental 

45.42 – Curiosity and training and development

50.33 – Downtime

53.05 – Blackbox thinking and best days

01.04.00 – Alternative careers

01.09.18 – Fantasy dinner party

01.14.29 – Last days and legacy


About Shirin Ali

Shrin Ali s an associate with a special interest in cosmetic dentistry. She spent 17 years practising at Chelea’s exclusive Walpole Street Dental Practice and now works part-time at London-based Banning Dental & Skin Clinique. 

In this episode, Ahmad chats with Payman about his uncompromising approach to customer service that has earned his practices a reputation for providing the best patient experience in the industry. 

He tells how he turned Black Swan from an ailing clinic into the success it is today, discusses the importance of maintaining and passing on a strong work ethic, and chats about dividing time between practice management and his clinical and mentoring roles.


I think that’s it. I am still curious, you know, I mean, you carry on working and dentistry is that it is always evolving. And I think if you keep in mind every now and then you come across something that just makes you go, ooh, you know, and that that’s how it is with bonding. Bonding has really evolved over the years, you know, I mean, we must agree from bonding that look like chewing gum on teeth to that looks like ceramics now. I mean, you know, it’s it’s amazing. So and we have such resources now. There are so many people who are so good at it. I mean, it is amazing, you know, So to see what he can do and to, you know, just to get a little snippet is it’s incredible. It’s amazing.

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.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Shirin Ali onto the podcast. The reason I’m having shown on is because I met her at a training that we did in one of the enlightened practices, and I saw her bring out a patient from the room and just a consummate professional. You know, you could see a seasoned pro Shirin with with that patient. And then we did the training and I saw a brilliant team member. And then you came onto our composite course and I saw you do brilliant work there. And then we got talking and I kind of hit me that, you know, there are all these famous dentists and then there are thousands of brilliant dentists that people don’t know and people who choose not to be sort of out there. And I was looking looking for Shirin on on Instagram. Couldn’t find you. Are you on it? I am. I’m a massive pleasure to have you.

I’m just not Instagram generation. It’s never you know, I mean, I understand it. I do understand it, but it’s just not me sharing myself with people that I don’t know. It’s just not for me, you know? I get it. So.

Yeah, Yeah. Are you on Facebook?

I am. But again, I don’t post, you know, I keep in touch with people I know and that’s enough for me. I just I just think with these sort of platforms, you become someone that you’re not, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And sometimes sometimes you become a slave to it as well. I’m in that situation because I obviously have to use it for work. And, you know, we’re going to have a little snippet of this on, on, on whatever, on Instagram and TikTok and all of that. And you do become a slave to it. And I don’t really care at all about it, but I do become a slave to it. You know, sometimes, you know that thing where you’re on holiday and you’re thinking about the photo more than the situation.

Absolutely. And you actually miss being there. You actually miss the whole substance of it because you’re so busy trying to take a picture that you just don’t see what’s there.

Yeah, I remember. I remember, you know, with kids when when when you’ve got kids and they’re in in a little play or something, there’s always this massive pressure to record every second of it. And I remember thinking, I remember thinking, I’m missing this so that the kid can have it on video. And the kid the kid will, you know, still hasn’t seen it. He’s 16 now or whatever. But I get where you’re coming from.

Yeah. Yeah.

Tell. Tell me, Sharon, when was the first time you thought I want to be a dentist? How old were you? Do you remember?

Well, I’ve always sort of been in channel in this direction because, you know, my dad was a doctor and all this sort of thing, so I was always there. But I like doing things like using my hands, you know, And I like I like the people interaction I always have, but I like the Dewey sort of thing, you know? So I think from a very early age, I just wanted to go down this direction. And I think for women as well, I think you realise later on, I think it’s a very good profession for women because you can dip in and out. Yeah, yeah. I mean I haven’t had to, but in terms of working part time and all this sort of thing, I think it does have quite a lot of flexibility.

What kind of a doctor was your dad or is your dad a radiologist? Oh, really? So did you not want to be a doctor?

Well, my parents wanted me to be a doctor. Of course, Asian parents. But, um.

Are you the oldest or the youngest?

I’m the youngest. I’m the youngest. But again, it’s that. It’s that Dewey thing. And. And seeing, seeing changes and results was it was either going to be going down this sort of route or being a fashion designer, something like that. Like changing things. Yes. And, you know. Yeah.

Did one of your other siblings become a medic?

My middle brother is a doctor and my oldest brother is in business, he’s in property and that sort of thing.

So where did you grow up?

I grew up in London. I’m very much a Londoner. I can remember living in West London, in Shepherd’s Bush and going to the Shepherd’s Bush market and buying dollies and this sort of thing. And then we moved to North London. I went to Edinburgh University, which I absolutely loved. I’ll always have a soft spot for great.


Great, beautiful, beautiful city, beautiful people, you know. I wanted to come back home. Wanted to come back to London.

Do you remember getting to Edinburgh and thinking sort of what were your thoughts? Were you that sort of I mean, we’re talking someone turning up. I mean, a girl turning up in Edinburgh who’d lived at home all those years. Was it? Was there a feeling of I can go berserk? Was that was that something?

Well, it wasn’t the predominant thought, but I did want to get away from home.

I remember it being the predominant thought in my head, so I brought it up.

So no one to want to be on my own and try and do things on my own. Because, yes, I lived a very sheltered life. You know, I’m the only girl in the family and the youngest so very sheltered. And I mean, you couldn’t get further away, really. But yes, I did want to see what I could do and what I could be on my own.

Quite an independent thing to do, to even go to Edinburgh because loads of people just stay at home, don’t they? They stay in the same town and and all of that more than I thought. Actually. It’s quite a common story when I’m having people on here. But you went as far away as possible.

That does surprise me. Yes. Yes, it did. At that age. I mean, when you’re young, you think you’re so grown up, don’t you? Yeah. So I just you know, it was the first opportunity I had to actually be on my own and go out there on my own and see what I could be. And I’m actually surprised my parents let me go. So.

And so.


Yeah. What were you like? What were you like as a dental student? Oh, were you top of your class or.

You know, I was on top of the class. I wasn’t bottom of the class. I was, you know, I was doing what I needed to do, passing all my exams, you know, having fun as well, and just trying to make the most of everything, you know? So, yeah, I mean, I’m never going to cut a dash in anything, you know? But, um, but, you know, I’ve always done well, I think. Yeah.

And the Scots, the Scots, they’re very like warm people, right? The different. I mean, did you feel that feeling, the fact that they were different to, to us down Southerners sort of.

Oh my goodness. They’re very mistrustful of Southerners. Oh, they were. And they probably still are. Yeah. And we felt that quite a lot because there were a few people from England. Um, but you know, it didn’t, it didn’t impact on anything. You know, we were still really good friends, you know, and just got on with it and had a great time.

So tell me about, okay, you qualified. What was your first Dental job?

I went from well, I was I mean, it’s a five year course, as you know. And by the end of five years, you know, most of us just wanted to get out there and just get on with it, you know? So that’s exactly how I felt. So in those days, you didn’t have to do. So I didn’t I went straight into into practice. It was a practice in Acton and this practice, it was owned by somebody called Peter Hunter, who was an older dentist in those days. But when he opened the practice back in the 60s, it was very famous. They had water beds instead of chairs. They had like the Beatles, John Thaw and all these celebrities. Wow. So I know by the time I went, they still had the beds, but not they weren’t water beds. They kind of looked like coffins actually, but they were bed. Their head was sort of angled so you could see properly. But he started a society with some of his friends. It was called Saad Saad, and it stood for Society for the Advancement of anaesthesia in dentistry.

Sedation thing, wasn’t it?

Yeah, exactly. So we were a centre for sedation, so I saw a lot of dentistry, you know, dentitions and various conditions. So that was an amazing start for me, for my career. And it was. Yeah, yeah. I was there for a good nine, ten years.

And then in that first job.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m a stayer. You know, I give things a really good go. And I was very lucky because. Because we saw such a variety of cases, I found that I really did like doing veneers. And, you know, that that sort of direction really impressed me.

It’s kind of kind of what you’re saying about fashion, designing and all that. So there was there was an element of artistry back then. But interestingly, I mean, veneers weren’t very common back then. I remember wanting to do a cosmetic dentistry course and couldn’t find one. There wasn’t one. There was. There was. There was one. There was. There was a guy. There was a guy called the. He had a he had a thing called adapt. Do you remember that as aesthetic dentistry and professional testing or something? I can’t remember the guy’s name, but that was the only one that was the only course that had anything to do with aesthetic on it. Or you could go to the US or whatever, but it wasn’t a common thing.

Yeah, yeah. So again, I’ve just been very, very lucky in my career because we, I mean, I don’t know what it’s like now, but in those days you did your dental degree and you left with, I think, just a smattering really, you know, and you just had to make your way and learn, you know, just get on with it and just learn. So I was lucky in that I did have veneer cases and I think young people are bold and I was quite bold. So I went ahead and, you know, I read, I tried and it worked out. And then I was very fortunate in joining dentists who were a group of practices, who mainly did veneers and was taught how to do them there and was able to practice there. And, you know, they were great teachers, they’re great commissioners there and I learnt from them. It’s fabulous.

Yeah. So, so and so dentists for anyone who doesn’t know, I mean, I remember, I remember dentists for the first time I saw dentists from the outside thinking that’s what dentistry should be because it was way ahead of its time. As far as the sort of the shop front sort of I mean, way before White Cross and all of these cats started doing and it was a partnership. It was Russell Wright, wasn’t it?

Russell Russell Craddock Who was the dentist? Russell Craddick Yeah, his partner was Jennifer Golden. So. Jennifer. Jennifer Yeah, yeah. Jennifer was the sales expert and Russell was the dentistry. And together, you know, they made this group of practices and it was, it was very, very forward. But I think Jennifer was a lot to do with that because in those days, marketing was advertising in magazines and papers. There was no there was no Facebook and Twitter and things like that. So it was.

Wasn’t it? It was PR, it was getting getting your story in front of Vogue or whatever. And I remember I remember the clinical lead was Chris Hall.

He? Well, at one time.

When you were there.

Yes. Yes. I knew Chris when he was a young he was only about 24 or so. He was a really young lad. He was just one of the associates. So my clinical director was Joe Oliver, who then, you know, and. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great guy.

Great guy.

Absolutely. So, you know, I’ve worked with really good people and I’ve been able to learn from really good people.

So. Chris Crystal, did he teach you as well in there or teach you? He was just a young guy like you. He was. He was one of you.

Yeah, he was one of us.

He was one of us. Can you imagine, Chris? All because because remember, we were selling a bleaching light back then. And I remember first having several meetings with Jennifer, and then she put me in front of Chris all, and he said, Where’s the evidence? And to this day, there is an evidence for light activated whitening. So, so, so I was having to try and persuade Chris or to put this light in there. And I remember thinking, I think we were maybe three, four years into Enlightened at the time. And I remember thinking, if I can’t get this bloody product into dentists, which is like cosmetic across the wall as all they do, then I’m not going to get anywhere with this business. So it was so strange because I’d put it down as if I don’t do this, I’m a total failure. And they weren’t biting. They weren’t biting.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

So. So then. So you were basically cutting veneers all day, every day. Yeah. Yeah. Dentists. Give me. Give me a sense of. Give me a sense of a day. There. Was it was it literally cutting in the morning, fitting in the afternoon? Was that not not the same patient?

But no, not no. Well, basically, yes. You’d have consultations, you know, you’d go through the same procedure of consultation that you would. Now that probably hasn’t changed much. We used to do smile simulations, which was lovely on the patient there and there, which, you know, that’s still going on now. But in those days, in the day of quick fixes, it was veneers because Invisalign was, it was in its infancy then Invisalign.

Didn’t exist, did it at that point?

Exactly. I remember somebody coming in giving us a talk about it and, you know, it was just it was just it just wasn’t happening at that time. So it was all about the veneers. And we used to have patients referred to us by dentists so they could have veneers and, you know.

Which year are we talking, Which year is this?

So we are talking qualified in 1990. So I joined dentists in about 2000 ish.

Yeah, because we started 2001. It was about 2 or 3 years before. So, so, So I guess you were making a lot of money, right?

Oh, yeah. Yeah. It was very it was a golden hat.

Unlimited number of patients because their marketing had just killed it, hasn’t it?

Yeah, absolutely. There was nobody else doing it. Yeah, there was nobody else doing it. And dentists didn’t feel comfortable doing it. And it’s like everything really, you know, you have it gets started and people are very sceptical, but then everybody starts doing it. Yeah, so you do have to move with the times, you know. But at that time it was very much dentists were the only people really who were doing it.

And just, just going backwards a second. Was the Acton practice fully private as well?

No, the Acton was completely NHS.

Oh, was it. Was it. Was it.

Yes. But it was in the days where you didn’t have these Udas and all this. Yeah. Still don’t understand. Don’t get it. I just don’t understand. You would get paid for what you did. You had a limit that you could quote up to and any treatment that went above that limit, you’d have to get approval.

For prior approval. Yeah.

Yeah. Which, I mean, that’s fair enough. I don’t understand a system where you have to you have units of dental allowance. I just don’t understand budgets, of course, but I don’t understand this.

But then how did you how did you pull off getting that job in dentists coming from that NHS background, Did you what did you do? You just apply for it and turn up for an interview? What happened?

Absolute chutzpah. Um, I yeah, yeah. Basically. So I rocked up, you know, I really liked doing veneers. Give me a go, you know, and. Yeah. And I don’t know, they must have seen something in me because my CV was an A4 sheet of paper. Um, you didn’t take pictures in those days, so I had no evidence. So, yeah, I think you know what it was.

I remember at the time, even cutting teeth for cosmetics was a kind of a strange thing to do that that hardly anyone did. And I remember. I remember I don’t know if it was Joe Oliver or one of them telling me that, you know, that that’s the main thing that they’re they’re talking they’re looking for someone who’s happy to cut teeth.

And I know that.

Um, but, you know, at the time there was that’s, that’s what cosmetic dentistry was, right? So, so then and then they kind of taught you on the job as well. Yeah. And then it got sold right?

Yes, yes, yes it did. So they so I think that Russell had had enough. So and without Russell you know, what was Jennifer going to do. So I think then care bought it first and then they sold it and then eventually it ended up with Oasis. And it’s just it was a shame really, because they they didn’t really understand the animal. So it kind of, you know. Yeah, yeah. It just yeah, there are a lot of issues, a lot of issues. So in the end, it just didn’t work for me.

Go and expand on it. What were the issues?

Well, you know, they just they didn’t understand what we were doing. I mean, for instance, there are corporations, so of course, they they look at the money and it’s always about the money. So, for instance, we would have huge lab bills because we did. Is all the time. And they didn’t sort of correlate that. You know, these guys are doing veneers. That’s why their lab builds are so big, you know, so that sort of thing going on. And there was a flagship clinic in Selfridges for a very short time, and they had the most inexperienced dentists working there. And it just it absolutely caved. It costs such a lot of money. It caved. And then it just they just wanted they didn’t understand the whole cosmetic dentistry thing. They just wanted the practices to be general dentists, you know, they thought they forward waste. Yeah, Yeah.

It was just correct me if I’m wrong. I remember the first dentists was Kings Road, right? And then there was Church Street in Ealing. Oh, there was the original original one that Russell. But it wasn’t called dentists or something. It was it was called something else.

I thought it was called dentists. But, you know, that was before my time. Yeah. Yes. They had the they had the one in the Kings Road. I worked in the one in well, I worked in most of them actually. But there was the one in Kensington on Church Road.



That’s it. There was one in Hoban on High Hoban. Yeah. There was one in Soho.

Soho as well.

And there was later on, there was one in the city in Throgmorton Street. So at some point or another, I worked in all of those. But not not the King’s Road one that was closed by the time I got there, as was the one in Ealing.

So what were the.

Outside of porcelain, outside the prepping and the fitting? What were the key lessons you learned in that job?

I’ve actually you know, the key lessons, I think, was customer service, really, because the dentistry, all dentists can do the dentistry. But you you never get taught how to treat people. What people think, you know, the selling side, as it were, you know, and that’s where Jennifer was, was great, you know, because the dentistry everybody can do. But you need to treat people like people like people they buy into you. They don’t know what your margins are like and, you know, and all this sort of thing. But they want to go in and they want to trust you. And for instance, you know, we were taught to go and get the patient, you know, and that time you have on the waiting area to the surgery is just so important. Before you’ve even picked up the probe, you’ve sold that patient. You know, it’s just an important piece of time. And it’s just it’s such a small thing, you know, So just treating people like people and making them feel good, you know, is a huge lesson.

Of course.

Of course. Yeah.

And what about on the sort of the the did they share with you the sort of the tricks of getting patients in the first place, the marketing side of it? Or was that not nothing to do with you guys?

We just did the dentistry. We just did the dentistry. So yeah, so the marketing was that was all. Jennifer And you know, and she had her little team so they would get the patients in and then like anywhere it’s up to you to, to sell the treatment really. You don’t really want to call it selling, but it is really.

Just face it. Yeah. Especially. Especially when it’s a want, right? I mean, it’s a totally different conversation. So. And then what do you think about these days? I mean, you see these people sort of have their kind of artistic signature. Mean, I don’t mean literally, but. But. But, but but. I mean what I mean is. What I mean is small design has now become a kind of a science in a way, whereas back then it was more of an art. It was more of a and today you still see it, you see it, you see a doctor, a patient, and you can tell it’s not even just the dentist, it’s the technician as well. Yeah, but, but but that, you know, I think what we didn’t appreciate back then or maybe you did I didn’t was, you know, the way we would make the case beautiful was by prepping more. Because you could make space for the porcelain, that the porcelain wasn’t as contact lens thin as it is today. So if you didn’t prep more, you’d have big teeth, right? It would look slightly unnatural. And and back then, this unnatural look that suddenly become very, very, very fashionable today wasn’t a thing. And so we used to prep more and we weren’t really aware of the loss of bond strength when it got into Dentine. And I remember looking at the prep sometimes and they were basically sort of these three quarter crowns. I was in the I was in the dentist’s lab. I was I was looking at the cases and I was thinking, oh, I guess that’s a veneer, not what I’m doing. But it turns out, I mean, because I was doing not many if you’re doing them all day, you learn how to make things pretty. Right now what I want you to do is contrast what you had to do then with what you do now for veneers.

Well, I hardly ever do veneers nowadays because people. Yeah, they just don’t want it, which is absolutely fair enough. You know, there are so many other treatments now and they’re so conservative, which is wonderful, you know. So I haven’t done a veneer case. Oh, gosh, in a good couple of years, I’d say. And they just come. Yeah, yeah, they come. They’re very few and far between now because even with no prep veneers, people go for bonding now rather than veneers.

Interestingly, do you know.

How I think I feel like I mean, look, we do a bonding course, right? But but I feel like it’s kind of going the other way now where I was seeing quite a lot more aligned bleach veneer cases. Right.


And you know, the rights and wrongs of it. Because let’s let’s leave it to one side because I don’t think I’m qualified to to tell someone whether they’re doing the right thing or the wrong thing. But but we know composite isn’t long lasting. Yeah. Yeah. As I mean, it can be, but but it’s not as long lasting as porcelain. And so I’m I don’t know about you. I’m seeing more of those sort of cases. And and when I spoke to someone about it, he was saying, well, look, why not? If you can get the teeth in the right position, bearing in mind you’re going to veneer things. And it’s kind of a different way of looking at it again, you know, it’s yet another way of looking at it. And funny how in dentistry we go in these sort of weird circles, like fashions come and go and then they come back again. So what are you doing mostly? Are you doing a line bleach bond?

Yes. Yes. Basically, to cut a long story short, yeah.

So and but you’re not only doing cosmetics, are you doing or are you General.

General as well. General as. Well. The only thing I don’t do is treatment and dentures. So like it’s nice to see. Take the patient from beginning to end. Oh, and implants. Of course I’m not doing so It’s nice to actually make the plan and, you know, see them through, get them healthy, get them aligned and then, you know, get them to their end point.


So then when you left dentists, you went on to the legendary Walpole Street practice with Eddie Share.


What a career you’ve had, man. Amazing.

I know. I’ve been very, very fortunate. I’ve worked with wonderful people.

And you say you say you were a stayer. And I noticed on your on your LinkedIn you stayed there for 17 years.

No, gosh, 17 years.

I love that. And it made me it made me think about this sort of idea of, you know, associates and principles. Yeah. So I take it, I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I take it that you you don’t have the ambition of owning a practice that’s not that’s not in your outlook. You don’t want to own a practice.

I did think about when I first qualified. I did. You know, I did want to. But then I just just not the business aspect is just not for me. And as much as I really do like dentistry, I work to live, you know? And I just think if you’ve got this, you know, you’re on it the whole time. You just cannot switch off from it and, you know, just smell the roses, you know? So.


And the number of the number of associates who become principals and suddenly hate their lives, it’s real.

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

It’s a real thing. But, but I’m quite interested in this idea of, you know, almost the, the there’s a, there’s a thing in dentistry that almost says you can abuse your associate. And then when that associate becomes a principal, they can abuse their associate. So it’s almost like you’re doing your time.

You know.

I’m not saying that’s written down anywhere. Right But but, but, but, you know. You know what I mean? Insomuch as you, me and. You have seen the loss of an associate get harder and harder and harder and harder. I mean, back in the day it was 5050. You know, there was a the associate had a lot more autonomy than they tend to have today. Give me some of your reflections on that, because the weird thing is, if you’re never going to be a principal, then you end up just just getting the the bad side of that deal that you don’t get the other side of the deal where you’re the one. Exploiting.

Exploiting someone.

Well, give me your reflections on that.

Yes. I mean, for me, I’ve just you know, I’ve just really enjoyed it because I’ve just I just want to treat patients, you know, And I just want it to be I just want it to be a happy situation. And that’s that’s what it’s been. You know, I’ve been very, very fortunate. I’ve worked in good practices. I’ve had lovely patients. And that’s one of the thing that keeps me somewhere for so long is that you have people coming back to you time and time again. You form relationships, which is. Yeah, which is lovely. So, you know, and I think I’ve been in bigger. I mean my first practice is quite a big practice. Local street was quite small, dentists was quite big and but they’ve been you form relationships within the practice as well and I’ve been treated well so I don’t know I’d be really lucky I guess.

So. Yeah, so.

But but, but. Okay, there is, like I said in my introduction, right when when I was in Banning, I could see you were, you know, you were you were a good team player. You were you were still like enthusiastic in the training and all of that. Yeah, but is there an element is there an element of you’ll just like keep the peace and, you know, you’re that person that you’d rather you’d rather keep the peace than cause the situation or because 17 years, somewhere a long time.

I just don’t want to you know, I hate rocking boats and all this. I just want to go in. I just want to have a peaceful time and come away and think, think working part time really helps. I think dentistry is very, very intense. You know, I think the days that I work, I come home and I’m exhausted, you know, and and I had good days, you know, So but it’s so intense for me working part time really helps. So I can work, I’ll be tired, I can recover. I do nice things and it’s a balance. I think I’ve hopefully I think I’ve achieved the balance and that that works for me. You know.

We always part time. Were you part time in dentists as well?

Yes, Not as part time as I am now, but it’s only when I was in Springfield, my first practice that was very full on, that was six days and evenings and all this sort of thing. But I was younger. You can do these things and you can you can still have a life, you have the energy. So yeah, so yes, I have been part time dentists. I was working, I think four days a week, Walpole Street. I was working three and a half days a week and at Banning it’s 2 to 3 days a week.

It’s going down.

With every with every move. Good on you. Good on you. Because. Because I think three days is perfect in dentistry. Absolutely perfect. I’ve done it. I’ve done it all I’ve done I’ve done one. I haven’t done six. I’ve done 1 to 5 though. I’ve done all of them in between and three days. I think if you want to call yourself a dentist, I think three days is good If you want to call yourself something else and a bit of a bit of dentistry on the side, then two days, you know, it’s better. Yeah, but but three days is good. So what did you learn at Eddie Shares place. I mean, tell me a bit about him. Why. Why is he so high profile. What’s what’s what is it about him?

How much he. Clinically he’s a perfectionist. Yeah. So I learned so much about, you know, record keeping, communication, treatment planning. I learned so much from him. And, you know, he’s I mean, he’s. He’s top of the tree, really, isn’t he? And he’s still well, you know, he’s quite humble, I’d say. So. You know, I learned a lot from him.

But. So did you learn implants at all? I mean, forget the implants, the placement side, the restorative.

No, no. It just. Well, he wanted to do all of it. He was. Well, he is sorry. I shouldn’t say he was. He is he is very, very careful in terms of litigation and all that sort of thing. So he just felt that you were implants are concerned. You should go from the beginning to the end. So if there is a problem, you’re dealing with one person and one situation. You know, the waters aren’t muddied at all. So he preferred to take it from beginning to end anyway. Um, that being said, you know, I’m just the whole implant thing. It just. It’s just not my bag.

So he’s, he’s.

Also, he’s also sort of massively connected, right? I mean, he, he, he was, I don’t know the head of everything, wasn’t he the editor of everything. Did he, did he, did he sort of introduce you to, to, to different sort of courses people, that sort of thing.

Yeah. Yeah.

He was he was completely up for that and education and, you know, just learning. So that was it’s it’s great just in terms of going forward and seeing what’s out there, you know, he was right at the forefront. So, yes, again, luck very lucky.

And in that in that 17 years. Right. You must have seen whole families, right? You must seen families become real. Yeah. Good friends.


Yeah, yeah, it was lovely.

So. So then so then the difference between authentic patient and a Walpole street patient. I expect the dentist patient was more transient.

Yes, absolutely. So they would come just to have their smile make over, whereas they were. Yes, exactly. It was walpole’s patients. They were there for the for the full, full treatment for everything to be looked after.

So they’re opposed.

By referral as well. Right?


That is a different type of. And Walpole Street is. Where is Chelsea, right?

Yeah, Yeah.

Sloane Square.

Sloane Square. Sloane Square. So. So that, that, that type of patient. I mean, do you now you work. Remind me the area. Sorry. Was there. What’s the area called? Blackfriars.

What now?

Okay, now, Now. Yeah.

Yeah. So, Blackfriars.

Yeah. So different again. Totally different again. Because. Yeah. What I saw. I mean, I don’t know that area very well, but what I saw, what I was waiting to come to talk to the team, was kind of a mix of professionals and young families sort of thing.

The absolutely. The whole spectrum. It’s, it’s, it’s very interesting. So, yes, you have professionals. You have white collar, blue collar families. You know, it’s very, very interesting demographic. But you find that in London, wherever, whichever area you go to, you have a type of patient. So the people I had in Holborn, you know, you had the lawyers and all this sort of thing, they were one type in the city. There were city types. There were different on the Kings, not the King’s Road in Kensington. Again, there are different type of people. And the Kensington folk were different from the Chelsea folk. So in London, it’s interesting. Interesting, Yeah, yeah. The different areas, they are like little. They’re like little planets.

But then but then, I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, the Walpole street patients probably had more more means than your current patients. Is that right?

Yes. Yes, they do. But they they’re kind of too posh to care about how their teeth look, you know. So. Yeah. Yes, it’s yeah, yeah. It’s, you know, very, very different, very different people.

So then, for everyone who doesn’t know, explain Banning Dental where you’re working now, because I’ve been to for 3 or 4 of them and some of the most beautiful practice, I mean, from the design perspective, they’ve really gone for it. How many are there?

Well, I think there are about five, aren’t there? The solution? Canning Town.

There’s more than that. There’s more than that.

Oh, there’s Leighton Buzzard. I have no idea.

So, I mean, I think they’re going for a large number. Right. That’s. That’s. That’s the plan.

Seems to be.

Seems to be.

But, but I mean, number one, they get these gigantic sites. I mean, it’s one of the biggest practices I’ve seen.

Yeah, Yeah. My jaw dropped the first time I walked into the practice. I couldn’t believe it.

And then done up to this superb level, like very high level sort of interior design. And then to boot, on top of that sort of pricing, sort of fair pricing kind of idea like the cheapest Invisalign in town or whatever.

Yeah. What do they.

What do they tell you? I mean. I mean, it’s obviously working for them. I can see their enlightened numbers right through the roof as a group. Yeah. And what do they tell you? What do they tell you about it? Do they say what we want? I mean, I’m going to have I probably have them on the show, Honour and all those guys. Right. But what they tell you, do they do they say we want fantastically brilliant service and low prices or are you just giving fantastically brilliant service because that’s you?

Uh, their pricing, it didn’t really come up. I was when I was, I was when I was looking for a job. I was actually in Portugal, and I just did this zoom meeting with with honour. And it was, it was basically what we talked about really is.

You make it.

Sound so easy to get these jobs. Can’t remember how I got them.

Ticks bloated. I have no idea. But yes, we just. We just had a chat and, you know, and it just it just looked like a really nice, nice place to to work. I liked what they said in their in their advertisement about, you know, providing nice treatment and good treatment and looking after patients and on working as a team and, you know, and learning things and all that sort of thing. So yes, the actual, you know, the pricing and all all this sort of thing just didn’t come into it. It just seemed like a a really.

Well, I’m not specifically talking about the application process. What about within the training?

Yeah, Yeah.

Listen, there must be training going on here because I sat in the waiting room for about 15 minutes waiting for everyone to get ready. And three times, people offered me coffee. Yeah, three times.


So there’s someone’s training people. So. So what are they saying in the training?

So I don’t know really. That part of it. I haven’t been. I don’t know. I just know that they do it. So I suppose when they become initiated they must go through a training process. You know, this is what you have to do and this is what we want and this is our brand and all this sort of thing. Well, the dentist, we’ve just been, you know, off you go, off you do your dentistry. And that’s where I stand, really. I mean, there is a culture that, you know, of, of pride and pride in the practice and look after the practice and, you know, and because everything has a knock on effect, if you don’t look after the practice, then if you don’t care, then your patients, you’re going to lose patience because you’re going to lose their respect. It’s a it’s a broken window scenario, isn’t it? Yeah.

Yeah, yeah. And what about I mean, I noticed they had all those different sort of skin treatments and things. Do they do they encourage you to cross-sell into that as well?

They do. But that I need training on because that is something that I haven’t had to incorporate into my work so far. I mean, I know about Botox when it comes to grinding, you know, and I know about the gummy smiles and this sort of thing, but they do far more. And the last thing I want to do is, is put a patient off because I’m being salesy. You know, I wouldn’t like it. It’s not professional. And I think I would lose credibility. So I need training as to how to how to not sound salesy because, you know, I want the practice to succeed. And that is a big part of the practice. But at the moment, I’m not really talking about the skin aspect of it. I’m just I’m letting reception do all that because.

It sounds it.

Sounds like they’re letting you get on with it, right? It doesn’t. They’re not particularly telling you what to do.

No, No, they’re not. I am being left to just literally get on with it. So. Yeah, which is lovely for sure.

For sure. I mean, look, I mean, in a lot of ways that that is one of the best sort of sort of formulae for success. It’s just that when the reason I’m asking you these questions is because I’ve been to a few of them and they all look the same and they all look very like on point and so forth. And so it made me think, Oh, maybe they’ve got like a way that they make you do dentistry as well. So I mean. I mean, I mean it would be it would be funny wouldn’t it, if you turned up and they said, look, you’re not allowed to use this lab, but you have to use that lab. That would piss you off a bit, wouldn’t it?

Well, it well, it didn’t because, I mean, I was using the same lab for over 20 years and now I have to use the banning lab, which, you know, I understand. And it’s nice having the lab in house, but that’s a little bit of a transition because when you’re talking about handwriting, you know, you get with your lab, you have a particular way of doing things. And they they when you’ve been using them for a long time, they know your work. You know, they’re. And that is something that grows. So that’s something I’ve had to give up, so. Ho, you know, it’s all part of the show.

But now you’ve got the technician in the house, so you can literally talk to the technician. Is that right?

Absolutely. And that’s something that’s lovely for me as well. We had that in Dental. There was a the lab was in the Holborn branch, so that that was really handy. And they know so much, you know, technicians know so much. So it’s wonderful having them in house and they’re always kind. And, you know, if you just need to just get away from from surgery and people, you just sit in the corner in the lab just for five minutes and it just, you know, it just centres you a little bit. So yeah, it’s great having the lab in house, but I do miss the people I’ve worked with for so long. They made me.

Yeah, I bet she didn’t tell me this. You know, you turned up to many small makeover. Yeah. We don’t get many people our age on many small makeover. Yeah, we get. We get mainly people much younger. You know, people want to leave the NHS and find a private job or people who’ve started doing Invisalign and now they’ve realised that they’ve got to do. We don’t we don’t really get older. We do, we get some, don’t get me wrong. But we’re not many. Not many. What is it about you that you’re still curious to go and go on courses and do hands on and that sort of thing?

I think that’s it. I am still curious, you know, I mean, you you carry on working and dentistry is that it is always evolving. And I think if you keep in mind every now and then you come across something that just makes you go, ooh, you know, and that that’s how it is with bonding. Bonding has really evolved over the years, you know, I mean, you must agree from bonding that look like chewing gum on teeth.


That looks like ceramics now. I mean, you know, it’s it’s amazing. So and we have such resources now. There are so many people who are so good at it. I mean, it is amazing, you know, so to to see what he can do and to, you know, just to get a little snippet is it’s incredible. It’s amazing.

But but what I’m saying is, how do you have how come you’ve still got the enthusiasm and so many others by by by your period, by our period in their profession, they’ve sort of they know what they know. And that’s that.

You know, I think maybe it is because I work part time because, as I said, you know, it’s exhausting. It really does help. So I think you need to give yourself a break so you can still have a little bit of energy for for this for this job because otherwise it crushes you. It’s so intense. If you don’t recover from it, it crushes you. So I think maybe that’s part of it. So I do have time to to to find things that. Yeah. To recover. Yeah. Yeah. Literally.


How have you got on with digital with with scanners and things. Have you, have you started that journey.

Absolutely love it. So we had three because it was Eddie share so you know he has to have the latest things and we have to because he’s teaching all this sort of thing. So we were lucky to get three shape. Everything new is scary, but you know, you just go for it, haven’t you? So we had three shapes and I loved it. And it’s all digital here in Benning as well. So but we have Itero here, which is different from three shape. Yeah. You know, you’ve just got to just keep plugging, keep trying, and you get better.

And get comfortable with the fact that you’re going to be bad at it for a while, right?

Yes, of course you are. Of course you are comfortable with it.

I remember. I remember. Cerec Did you ever use Cerec back in the day with the powder and all that?

No, no, no, no.

I remember that. I remember doing my first one and thinking I could have done that so much better without Cerec with, you know, with with gum or whatever it was. And. And it was powder, man. You had to put the silver powder over everything. And then the camera was black and black and white and not very good and huge. And then it, it, it printed the, the filling or inlay or whatever it was. I design and it fitted surprisingly well. You know, I was really shocked at how well it did fit, but it was ugly. And I mean, really, it wasn’t pretty at all. Now, maybe that was all it was all my fault. Of course I’m sure it was. Yeah. And and I remember thinking, how many more of these have I got to do badly before I get back to the standard I was at with Emperor Gum and my technician. And thank goodness soon after that I gave up dentistry. Of that. But what I’m saying, my point is you’ve got to get comfortable.

Yeah, that’s the thing.

You know, that’s. That’s why it’s called practice, isn’t it? Because you have to just keep practising.

Yeah. So I saw.

I saw this robotic arm yesterday. I don’t know. Have you come across that? It’s this thing for placing implants and the is talking to you and it’s saying locked on. And it goes like you’re kind of holding it, but you’re pushing it near the right place, and then the robot’s putting it in exactly the right angulation.

Um, yeah.

I mean, the future’s bright. Yeah.

Yeah, it is.

What you what do you do on your days off?

Well, one day I have to just spend just doing absolutely nothing. So I do that. And then I just. I see friends, I see family. I go for walks. I anything I want to. Absolutely anything. Or I might because I have days, consecutive days off. I might go somewhere for a few days and. Yeah.


All good.

But. So there’s no there’s no rhythm on your days off. Like you don’t play tennis on a Tuesday and whatever on a Wednesday.

No, no, no. I mean, am really into training and I make sure I do all of that. That’s part of my lifestyle. But no, it’s not rigid.

To what do you train every day?

I train 4 or 5 times a day. Yeah, I trained. Yes, sir. A day. A week? Yes, a week.

But if I said if I said, look, you’ve got half a day to do whatever the hell you want and you’ve got no one. You’d have to be anywhere for anyone.

What would you do?

Anything want. Am I going to see my mom? Is that. What do you mean?

What would you do?

Well, if.

You just gave me half, if I was working and you said you’ve got the afternoon off because. Yeah.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And no one and there’s no expectation there’s no, I don’t know, I don’t know. Do you have children or anything. But, but there’s no family expectation. There’s no children expectation. There’s no expectation from anywhere. What would you do with yourself?

I love it. I would. I love that if I’m just working in the morning, I’ve a random afternoon off. So, I mean, I’m in the city. It’s a nice day. I might go to the river to see how I feel. If I’m tired, I’ll go home. I’ll. If somebody is free, I might go and see them. So, you know, I’m just I’m very fluid. I might go and see, go to an art exhibition or. Yeah, anything.

Are you comfortable?

Are you comfortable in your own, in your own sort of company by yourself?

I love it. I love being on my own. I just.

Love it. Yeah.

Not enough. Not enough people are. There’s loads of people who’d hate that.

Yeah, Yeah. Oh, many, many people. But no, I love it. You know, nobody bothers me. I watch what I like on TV. I just. I love it. Yeah. I mean, having said that, I love company as well. Of course. Yeah. But I love being on my own. I love it.

Let’s move to darker parts.


Let’s talk about errors.


What have been your errors? Both clinical and non-clinical.

Okay, clinical. When I first started working and it was an I had an evening shift to do and I went in and I had to do a root filling on a floor on a lower floor. That was my first ever patient. And he complained about me to the GDC.

First ever patient.

My first ever patient.

What a nightmare. But what have you done? What have you done wrong?

Everything did. That was clearly. But I.

Hadn’t. But in those days it was the GDC. I’m face think they still kind of are. But there were very, very ticked towards the patient. So he went straight to the GDC and they threw the book at me and he went to hospital and I hadn’t done anything wrong. You know, it was the right tooth, you know, But nothing, nothing came of it. But in those days, my goodness, you know, whatever the patient said went. So that was that was not a very lovely start. And oh, yeah, yeah, that was awful because you can’t forget it can you? When you’ve got somebody pained about you, you just it’s all in the back of your head and it just takes so long to resolve, you know. And 28 days to reply and 28 and this 28 and it just goes on for ages.

So I bet you were scared, right?

It was bricking it. Of course. That was my first ever patient. I was. 20 something early 20s, you know, and it was just What a start, What a start.

With all the veneers you fitted, there must have been a patient who was a nightmare. Like someone. Someone. Someone who said. Someone who just said, I don’t like them. I mean. So what happens there? What happens there? Give me an example of what did you do?

It’s a it’s a learning curve. It’s an absolute learning curve. And you do get better and better because patients who just want cosmetic treatment, they have such a lot going on in their head. And I’m getting better at at knowing whether it’s the teeth they want changed or whether it’s something that’s going on in their head that they want changed. But, you know.

Would you say would you say there are telltale signs or would you say it’s just an intuition, like a sixth sense, that you’ve got.

A sixth sense?

It comes with experience. You know, you don’t get this is it. When you go to university, they don’t teach you. They don’t. I really do think they should be a psychology module, you know, as well as marketing and all of this sort of thing, because they they send you out there and it’s not. Then you treat people, you don’t treat teeth. And I just think very ill equipped to deal with people. You’re dealing with people, you know, and they come in all shapes, sizes, forms, whatever, and think that is the tricky part. You know, think.

Do you get do.

You get you get I mean, as I, I know you said this is sixth sense and there’s there’s no clear, clear pattern. But when I’m I was listening to a podcast, the guy was a doctor who did lips and and the lady was his patient on the one interviewing him was this was his patient. And she said, yeah, I saw this picture of Naomi Campbell and I didn’t know what it was about her, but I just wanted more of that. So I came to you and I said, I want more of this. And I said, You know, that’s one of the most beautiful women who’s lived in the last 30 years, right?


Yeah. So and then he had to he had to sort of figure out what did she mean by this. Yeah. Now, now, that doesn’t mean she was wrong. That doesn’t mean she was one of those body dysmorphia types. Yeah. Does not mean that she, she, she, she just couldn’t put it into words. Yeah. Yeah. The thing that I mean, not necessarily, but the thing that you’ve described is that patient that it doesn’t matter what you do to the teeth. Yeah. The teeth are not the problem.

The teeth are not the problem. They used to all come in with pictures of Britney Spears in my day. Dentists, you know. And what do you do with that? You’re not going to turn into Britney Spears, you know, So you just have to you just have to be very clear that all you’re doing is treating the teeth. You know, this is what I can do for you. What you do with that is your business, you know, and doing diagnostic wax ups and all that sort of thing. And smile stimulations are very, very helpful. But I think you just have to be very, very clear that you’re just treating the teeth is I’m just going to change your your teeth, that’s all. You know, what you do with it thereafter is your affair.

But on you must have got it. You must have got it wrong once. So tell me, tell me, tell me a story of that where the patient was so I don’t know much more pernickety than, than than you realised or that a patient said I don’t like them. And you changed the veneers. And then they said, I don’t like them again. You change the veneers. You know what I mean? You must have got yourself in that hole when you’ve done the number of veneers that you’ve done.


I’ve probably blanked them all out.

But, you know.

I love that.


Because you know what? Cosmetic patients are bonkers. They are absolutely bonkers. So I’m sure.

I have cause I have.

You know, but in that sort of situation, I think I try and I try and get them to tell me specifically what it is they don’t like. You know, you can’t just tell me you don’t like the teeth. You have to tell me what it is that you don’t like so I can change it for you. Otherwise it does. It goes on forever and ever. And you’re they they don’t come in wearing a flag, you know, waving a flag, wearing a sign that I am mad. They come in and you mistake them for a normal person. You know, it’s only after you’ve started treatment that you start seeing signs that actually they’re not quite right. And then by then you’re in it, you’re knee deep in it. And that that’s difficult. And I know I have had cases like that. I know I have, but I probably have so many that they’ve all homogenised into one person. Um, but.

So I get it. I get it. I get it. I get it. I get it. So, so, so, so the way you’re you’re telling me is there’s a there’s this kind of a spidey sense that gets sharpened. Sharper the longer you’ve been doing it. And then what about the conversation when you when you kind of see you feel a red flag and you don’t want to treat this patient, how would you say how do you break it to them?

Or refer your case is too complex to refer refer, refer.

You know, they say dentists end up attracting patients that are like them. You know, I mean, look, let’s look at it like this. Let’s look at it like this, especially in the 17 year job. Yeah, let’s imagine. I’m a really very technical guy. Yeah. And I love the whole meccano. I’m not like that at all. But let’s imagine I was. Yeah. So. So if I. If I’m talking to a patient and I and I say porcelain bonded crown and I start going into the the way the porcelain is bonded to the crown and the amount I have to drill. And now that it’s completely the wrong way for any younger dentist to completely the wrong approach. Right. Much better to talk about the outcome than the process or whatever. But let’s say I’m that cat who likes talking about the process. Yeah, there’s going to be some of my patients who that resonates with. Yeah. And that group will think I’m amazing and they’ll tell people like them to come and see me. And so over a period of 17 years, your patient base ends up being more like you than someone else’s.

Yes, I suppose. Yes, absolutely. I guess I’ve never thought about that. I’m a very human person rather than a very technical person. So I was. Yeah.

But artistic. Artistic, right.

Yeah, Well, I hope so. I hope so. I suppose I. I’ve never thought about it. I, I attract the people, people I enjoy treating the people, people rather than the ones who I can’t think of anybody who who was so into the process of it.

So. So someone like Eddie might be, you know, that that cat. Yeah.

Even then I don’t think he’s he’s so much into the, the, you know, the technical side.

I kind of, I overegged it a bit, I overegged it a bit. Right. So you know I was, I was trying to.

Make a point. Let’s, let’s, let’s let’s.

Let’s let’s talk about your best day in dentistry. What would you say that is what comes to mind when I say that.

Oh my gosh. I had a really good day today because I just like everything to flow. It just flows. You know, You have nice people. Everything that blows my nerves from Eddie’s practice just joined today. I’ve worked with her for ten years. She. She reads my mind. She is.


That is gold. She is way ahead of me in what is going on with the patient. So, you know, so I can just concentrate on the patient, you know. And she’s, you know, she interacts with people well, all of this. So, you know, the good days when everything just flows, everything is organised, you know, you know what you’re doing. And, you know, we we think it’s the same for all dentists. That sort of day is the best day when everything is all your ducks are in a row, all your lab work is in, everybody is nice.

You’re right. You’re right when you, when it seems easy, right?

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Um, so, you know, leave me with some final thoughts around. If you if you weren’t a dentist, what would you be?

When I was younger, I really liked numbers. I used to like teaching. Um, so I was very interested. I was always good at and I really liked maths. So maybe something down that that sort of field. I’ve always been creative as well. So design, I’ve always liked maybe design, that sort of thing, you know, I like physical effort as well, so maybe, I don’t know, that sort of thing. I don’t know.


But, but don’t you have, like you said, fashion designer? But don’t you have this, like, secret sort of profession that you wish you were? You know, like that sort of thing.

And not really, because I think although I do, I really do like dentistry. I’ve always enjoyed being a dentist. It’s work. And I think even if it’s something that you absolutely love, once it becomes something that you have to do in which to, you know, to earn your living, it turns into a job. And I think that takes away from it. You know, it stops becoming something that you really enjoy and you do just because you enjoy it and it becomes something that you have to do.

It’s funny, someone else said that to me, and I thought I always thought that was the goal. Right. But someone else said that to me recently. Yeah, but I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe I’m some sort of a bit ADHD or whatever, but I hate doing anything that I don’t love. You know, I hate it. I procrastinate. I do all sorts of like, you know, I’ve got this particular thing I’ve got to write, you know, that I’ve been I’ve been procrastinating about it for the last ten days. And my team keeps saying, my team keeps saying, Is it ready yet? And I told them, listen, I’ll do this bit now, not you. I will write this thing. Is it ready yet? Is it it? And I’m procrastinating and yet, you know, I can sit on this pod and talk to you for an hour. And by the way, this is this is work in the end. In the end, it’s work for me.

Right, Right. Yeah.

And and so I always thought that was the goal. And I said to someone I was on holiday and I said I said to the it was a kid and he was really good at art. And I said, hey, maybe, maybe you want to do something in design or movie set design or whatever. And and he went, But that that would mean having to do it for a job and that would take all the pleasure away from me.

Imagine if you.

Well imagine this evening, you know, and you’ve had a really hard day and your car’s broken. You need a new car and you really don’t feel like talking to me. You just don’t feel like it. You want to sit on your sofa with a glass of wine looking at the telly. What would you think of that? And you have to talk to me because you’ve arranged it and this is work.

But that’s what I’m saying. I feel super lucky. I feel super lucky that my work is enjoyable and. And by the way, I at work work because this isn’t. I sell teeth whitening products right at work where I really, really try and hire in people for all the bits I don’t like. I just I just made an error. I mean, look, we we met each other at Mini Smile Makeover. I genuinely adore being at Mini Smile Makeover. I love it. Love it. Really, really love it. I mean, I don’t have to be there. Really. It’s not me, is it? It’s the. It’s the teaching. And it could be someone else there. But I.

Love it. You see?

Don’t have to be there, do you? Nobody’s telling you that. You’ve got to be there.

You’re right. You’re right. I mean, when you when you say job, you’re implying there’s a boss. And then once you once you bring your boss into play, then you’re being told what to do. And there’s a difference.

Yeah. No, I mean.

I think that there are just days when you just don’t feel like it.

Oh, I get it. I get it.

Do it.

I think.

So then. So then would you stop?

Well, dentistry, Yeah. Eventually, Yes. I’m not ready now, but probably will come a day when you know, when I’ll think I’ve had enough now, you know, and hang up the drills and just carry on. So.

So going forward, like what are you planning going forward? Like, what do you think you’re going to be doing in five years time?

Not particularly. You know, I’m enjoying the moment now and I’ve got a nice balance going on now. When that balance is is is not it’s become an imbalance, then I think I’ll have to rethink. What’s happening, you know, But I’m just I’m in a good place at the moment, so, you know, I’ll go with it.

Yeah. You seem to have mastered yourself. You’re very comfortable. Comfortable in your own skin. It’s nice.

Yes, I’m in a good place, you know, And I’m not that good at planning very far ahead because things you just don’t know what’s around the corner. I think it’s really I think it’s really important to get the present right.


We’re going to end it. We’re going to end it with our usual questions. Don’t know if you had a chance to have a look, but the fantasy dinner party.

Oh, okay. Yes, I have thought about this. And do you know who? Absolutely.




One of them is dead. My first one is dead. And this person has always absolutely blown my mind is Anne Boleyn. You know, of.

Of Henry. The eighth.

Of Henry. The eighth. Order. And this woman at a time when women had no power. She told the boss, the big boss, what she wanted, you know, and because of her. Probably the whole religious infrastructure of the country changed. You know, this country probably would have been a Catholic country if that whole thing hadn’t happened. So. I mean, the the the audacity, the you know, it just absolutely blows my mind. And I would love to know how somebody of her age would have that that sort of temerity really. I mean, was it was it bravery? Was it stupidity? I don’t know. So I’d love to know. So that whole whole thing just blows my mind. So.

Well, she she was.

One of the ones that got executed.

He was. So she came a cropper in the end. But, you know, she.

What was the story that she she couldn’t have boys or something?

Well, basically, yes. So he was married to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. And then his Anne Boleyn caught his eye and she said that she wanted to you know, she she she’d only be available if he would marry her at that time when divorce wasn’t a thing. Yeah. Yeah. And he he had a queen and all this sort of thing. But then there was, you know, the question of succession and the Tudors and being, um, being on a on a strong footing and all that sort of thing. But anyway, that’s, that’s all boring.

So she was kind of the Camilla Parker Bowles of her time.

Oh, my gosh. I mean, I suppose the push for feminism.


Okay. Okay. Okay. Anne Boleyn. Anne Boleyn. Who are we having next? Who are you?

Kelly Holmes. I love Kelly Holmes because she just.

Who’s that? The athlete.

The athlete, you know, who won the 800m, 2004? Yeah. So she was a soldier and she, I mean, people who break the mould, people who are told they can’t do something and they do it and they absolutely smash it, you know, and she, she was, she was told, you know, you’re too short, you’re too old, you’re this, you’re that, you can’t do this. And she did. She did it. And she won an Olympic gold. I mean, that’s just, you know, amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Yeah. I’ve got I’ve got I’ve got faint memories of her, which was suddenly, like in the limelight a lot, wasn’t she?

Yes. Suddenly.

Because she won Olympic gold, I guess that’s what did it. Yeah.

Yeah, it is.

Because before then, you know, people didn’t take her seriously, you know?

So is she still around?

He was absolutely around. Um, yeah, but she had mental health issues and all this sort of thing, so, you know, a little sad.

But so, so.

The Katie Holmes from the 2004 sort of period, wherever it was.

When she won.

And you know that look on her face. That look.

I remember.

I do remember that. With the flag and all that.

Yeah. Oh, my. I do remember.

Yeah. People. People who break the mould who just who aren’t afraid of going for their dreams, just pursuing their dreams, no matter what anybody says. You know, that’s that’s a that’s a wonderful thing to have. That sort of courage is just wonderful. So, yes, she is a nice lady as well. You wouldn’t want her. Well, you know, um, and my parents, you know what they did and their story is not unique. People who have left their homes, left their countries to seek a new life. You know that. That’s so brave. And they were so young.

Where did they move from.

Though? Bangladesh. My family are from Bangladesh, so and they had more than a sack on their back, you know, and to make a life, you know, so that we could have a better life, you know, So for.

Sure, I.

Really, really admired that.

Do you know which year they moved?

Uh, they came over in 1966, I suppose.

Crazy time to come over as a Bangladeshi.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

And was your dad a doctor before he moved?

No. He came over here and studied.

Oh, that’s a really young.


Yeah. Amazing.


Amazing. And then the final, final question is it’s kind of like a deathbed kind of story.

A way to end your dying. You know, you’ve had a lot of time. You’re dead.

It’s funny because I’ve stopped even saying it now because like a couple of people have told me, oh, it’s a bad way to end it, saying death.

But I feel.

Like you need to talk about death as well.

Yeah, I mean, it’s a fact of life, isn’t it? So.

Yeah. So.

If you are surrounded by your friends and family in any any of your loved ones and 130 years old, what what are three pieces of advice you would leave?

So I would say make the most of your time, you know, because it is very, very fleeting. So look back and make the most of it. Surround yourself with positive people. I’d say no naysayers. Um. What else would I say? I did have another one. I’ve forgotten. It’s near my bedtime. Travel, I suppose, you know, and. Uh, just don’t be afraid to try things and do things.

Be curious.

Be curious.

Curious? Yeah, yeah, yeah. But the time thing, you know, make the most of your time and just. Just surround yourself with positive people.


Really, really beautiful. Thank you so much for doing this. I know you were very, very reluctant when I asked you.


You might go two minutes. I don’t know. Might be enough to warm up somebody else’s.

No, no, no.

You’re not the only one. I mean, there are other reluctant types, but. But you’re particularly reluctant. Made me feel like I even wanted to get you on more then. But. But but I mean, what I said. I mean, what I said at the beginning that, you know, in a way you, to me, represent the unsung heroes of dentistry, the thousands of brilliant dentists out there who, you know, look after their patients and and look after their teams. So thank you so much for doing this. And I know it was hard for you.

I just I just don’t like being the centre of attention. I’m just I’m the one behind the plant. You know? That’s that’s.

Me. I’m the same.

I’m actually the same. I know what you mean. All right. Brilliant. Thank you so much, sir.

Thank you. Thank you for your interest.

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.

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 pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say. Because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

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