If you’re one of the many listeners wondering where Prav has been hiding, all will be revealed in this week’s episode.

In this end-of-year special, Prav returns to let us know why the past three months have been the most stressful and intensive of his career.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a practice, or wondering how to start putting an exit strategy together, you won’t want to miss this one.



“The best deal on the table is not the most money, the best deal on the table is the right deal for you”. – Prav Solanki

In This Episode

01.52 – Where’s Prav been?

04.11 – The process and perfectionism

07.41 – Planning and goals

11.47 – Roles and responsibilities

16.47 – The exit process explained

22.25 – Options and getting the best deal

30.04 – Due diligence

39.15 – COVID, costs and practice growth

49.53 – Adapting to changing economics

57.37 – Fantasy dinner party

[00:00:00] There’s quite a few things that you need to consider when an offer is made for your business, and there’s a lot of due diligence in that process, you know? What does the offer look like? How much cash are you going to get on completion? What does your earnout period look like? Have you spoken to previous people that that corporate has bought or partnered with? And what’s their experience been like in terms of getting there now out? For example, was there any price chipping along the way in the negotiations? What did they look like? Speaks to an interview the lawyers and asked them what it’s been like dealing with buyer, a baby buyer? S. How did the deals usually go? Are they usually quick? And then, you know, how does the deal turn out in terms of the in terms of the year now? Are there any growth shares? You know what happens if you overperform for that business and in four years time you’ve increased their rear bit by a hundred K or 200 K? Is there any upside for you? There’s so many different things in the way in which all the offers end up on the table. They’re slightly different in many ways, and you just need to sit back and absorb what has been offered on the table and what every single element means.

[00:01:17] 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.

[00:01:34] Well, we’re coming to the end of twenty twenty one and I thought we’d have a little run through the year and look at what we’re looking at for next year. And it’s lovely to have Prav back on the show. Hey, Prav.

[00:01:47] Hey, buddy. Yeah, I’m good. I’m a good. I’m good.

[00:01:52] I’ve had quite a lot of listeners ask me, you know, West Prav. So where have you been, buddy? Do you want to explain to the audience where you’ve been all this time or? Yeah.

[00:02:03] So I crawled into a hole, right? And I’m just coming back out of it now. And, shall we say, over the last sort of three or four months, you know, I think I think let’s go back to the beginning of the podcast, right when we set up Dental Leaders Me and pay, we made a promise to each other that we were going to launch an episode every single week. I remember when we kicked off and I said one a month and they said, No, no, no. He he negotiated and he said one every two weeks. And then he said, Listen, buddy, we’ve recorded 20. Let’s just do one a week. Let’s just do one a week. And then and then the momentum we picked up the momentum. We have lots of listeners that get in touch with us who look forward to listening to this on their morning commute, their run when they’re exercising, whatever. So we promised we would not let the weekly sort of rhythm disappear. But, you know, I’ve had a project on that I’ve been working on and I’ve had to take some time out from the podcast. And this is where teamwork comes in, right? And and Payman has been there to, you know, do a lot of the interviews in my absence and then even me when my schedule’s allowed me to.

[00:03:10] You’ve probably noticed I’ve done the odd solo episode. I’ve interviewed a guest here or there without a. Now we’re back as the dynamic duo. So where have I been the last three months? I’ve been deep within due diligence in the process of exiting from my group of practises. So that’s probably been the most stressful and intensive three months of my working career. And there was a lot of preparation leading up to it and during the whole process, and I’m happy to answer any questions around that. But I had to step back from some of my duties and the podcast was one of them I had to focus on. Obviously, my agency, the fresh, my work with the Ace Academy and then the exits as well. And it has been like doing three or four full time jobs, burning the candle at both ends. Fitness goes outside out of the window, family life went on hold for a bit and I had to park that and we’re out of the other side.

[00:04:11] So, you know, it was a surprise to me how involved the processes of selling a practise by talking to you and all the conversations we’ve had in this period. But, you know, I’m quite interested to know, is it is it that this was a, you know, first of all, a complicated deal in that you had three practises and so forth? Is it that you’re one of these all or nothing kind of people and you are? This is true, but you jump into stuff and when you get into something, you fully get into that thing because I just can’t imagine that most dentists, when they come to sell their practise, have had to devote the amount of time that you’ve had to to this, you know, is it that you’re a perfectionist and is the process much more complicated than most people realise?

[00:04:59] Hey, this could have been done in several ways, right? And you’re right, I am a perfectionist and I need to know every single detail. Yeah, right down to every single line item in the zero accounts, right down to the process, right down to interviewing the lawyers that we were going to choose to move forward with. Reviewing every line in the heads of terms, reviewing every item in the lease, right? I am one of those individuals who has to absolutely understand everything. There are some people who sell the practise and they will just go through the motions. They will accept things. There’s things that will go over their heads. And it’s a bit like when I speak to some of my clients that I’m coaching, they don’t know how to read a profit and loss statement. They don’t know how to read a balance sheet. They don’t know. They don’t understand their end of year, but they just didn’t trust in their accountant and just sign the sign the thing at the end of the year, I need to understand and know every single detail and the process and journey that I went through. I wanted to document it. I wanted to make sure that everything was incredibly thorough. And let me tell you, when you actually sit back and and say to yourself, Right, you’ve been building this baby, and let’s not be, let’s not beat around this bush, right? This is a group of practises that I bought into four or five years ago.

[00:06:15] Ok, well, the group of practises was originally set up, developed and launched by Karl Beheira and his wife, Raha. Ok, it was their baby. They. Recline in mind for 10 to 12 years, and then I was fortunate enough to be able to be in a position to be able to buy in to that practise and assist in the growth development all the way through to exit. And the reason why I guess the process has been so intense is that I did want to understand absolutely everything and you only get one shot. Ok. It’s not like selling an Invisalign case. It’s not like selling an implant case. You sell one this week. It doesn’t go to, well, patient doesn’t go ahead or whatever you sell another one next week, you sell another one the week after you’ve only got one shot at partnering with the right business and selling your business right. So I wanted to make sure that every single decision we made was incredibly well executed. Thoughtful, thorough and cow is exactly the same as me. In that respect, he is insanely OCD about detail, and that’s where the two of us work really, really well together in the sense that we knew it was going to be an intense process. But I embraced that process and I saw it as a learning experience.

[00:07:41] I can talk to you about it, but when you initially got into this partnership that the conversation about exit start right at the get go, were you saying, you know,

[00:07:51] Right at the beginning, maybe in the

[00:07:54] Beginning you said that you’re

[00:07:56] So right at the beginning. So there was a lot of due diligence even before I came on as a partner. Ok. Both on from Campeche and Raaz perspective and my perspective as well. So there’s a there’s an amazing book called the Partnership Charter. And we both both both parties, we read that and there’s right in the back of that book, there’s a bunch of questions that you must, must, must act, ask each other as business partners loads are super uncomfortable questions. But there was a lot of business planning, forecasting and stuff that we did prior to me, even at the point of buying the shares. And one of them was the exit valuation of the estate and we said to each other and we agreed together that when the valuation of the business hits a certain number, that is the point that we both agree that we will target that value, that that exit OK. And so when we hit that, then we knew we had to start planning, unlike all of these things, right? You have these big, hairy, audacious goals, and I don’t really want to talk about numbers because I don’t think it’s appropriate.

[00:09:05] But let me ask you, did you hit the number

[00:09:07] Two two years into the into the project? So I guess the point what I want to make is that when we did end up exiting, we exited for twice the value of what our big, hairy, audacious goal was. I think we we both underestimated it. But at the time, I think we both felt we were overestimating right. That was our that was our big, hairy, audacious goal or whatever you want to call it. So. But you know, there were a lot of structured discussions about what my duties were, what car pressures duties were, what Raaz duties were, what we were all expected to do in this business. And forget about the exit. Forget about the partnership with the new team that we’ve just partnered with. There was one overriding factor in this whole business and that was maintaining exceptional customer service, maintaining an amazing patient experience, generating a sales, marketing and training business that was scalable, where Carl Peche could step back clinically and pick and choose the cases he wanted to do and where Raha could step back and focus on family and focus primarily on sort of coaching a lot of the team in terms of the the sort of day to day running of the practise and keeping them well motivated. So we all had our goals that we wanted to achieve. And part of them revolved around, you know, reducing clinical input and focussing more on the business and also the various goals and KPIs that we had in place to grow that business.

[00:10:41] The rhythm of the monthly meetings, the rhythm of the quarterly meetings, the rhythm of the end of year meetings, right? And what the various outputs there were of them when KPIs changed. What do we do, right? When things went up? Yeah. What were the patterns and trends that we were spot in when things went down? How did we deal with them? And then on the day to day, you know, I think it’s really, really important to stress here that, you know, without having the right team and I’m talking about me, Campeche and Rafa together, working as a team, none of us would have been able to achieve what we achieved. Ok, I’ll give you and I’ll give you a little bit of an insight into this if there’s a gap in the diary tomorrow afternoon. Kyle Pash will know about it. Not not in his diary, in an associates diary. If there’s a gap in a hygienist diary. Kyle Peche will know about that, and he will instruct the relevant team members to fill that gap. And it’s that micro level of detail and stress multiplied across multiple disciplines and areas in the business that drives the success of that business.

[00:11:47] So outline what was what were your responsibilities and what were his and what were rattled?

[00:11:53] Ok, so if we take it from a very simple perspective, I mean, I was the marketing person, sales and marketing person from right at the beginning, right when they launched. I remember meeting Karl Passion is one stroke, two bedroom flat in Birmingham and talking about this concept of the Dental suite that he launched and his baby and his ambitions. Right? And they grew that over the first 10 years, and Kyle Busch and Ray have worked their socks off, right? Then I came on board and my responsibilities were to drive business into the practise. As simple as that and my role focussed around sales, marketing and assisting with the customer service side of the business, right systems and processes. Another one of my key roles in the business was and still is putting together strategy working really alongside Carl Pash a lot of the time. But for me, my unique ability sits in document in that process. Am I to go to tools when running and managing any business? I Google Sheets, so essentially a spreadsheet and a tool called Lucid Chart. So I use Lucid Charts, a very simple flow chart and software, and a flow chart every single process in my business, whether it’s to do with how you answer the phone. Whatever it’s to do with delegation strategy, who’s responsible for what? And then things like if this happens, do this and if that happens, do that and having a visual representation on a flow chart for absolutely everything from people to management to out to marketing to, you know, campaigns and strategy, your sales process, your follow up process.

[00:13:35] I literally flowchart everything and anyone who works with me on a one to one basis knows that. And usually I work with clients on the basis of wheat up, wheat flowchart, everything to visually represent the process and also providing, I would say, a higher level of input for MeaCulpa Sharara to be able to bounce ideas off each other, right? And that was literally it. So what did I have to do? I have to generate the patients the enquiries and to make sure the sales team were appropriately trained and trained. Week on week, month on month. And we executed every single little detail right down to voicemail training, right down to listening to phone calls every time, right down to monitoring the emails that went out to patients and tweaking the language. And this started five years ago, and it still hasn’t stopped today. Is that constant quest for perfection, right? And then hiring new team members, onboarding them, having the systems, processes and delegation strategies in place in order to do that. So in answer to your question, pay. It was my responsibility, and it still is my responsibility today to drive patients into the business and drive the sales process.

[00:14:57] Caltech. And in that in that time? Yeah, in that time. But how did that? How did that play out between Cal and Raho? So one was clinical, one was operations.

[00:15:07] So Cal is focussed is primarily clinical. And also, I think on operations, he’s got his finger on the pulse, on many different areas. So on the clinical side of things, he’s got his WhatsApp group and I’m in that and you can see he’s helping clinicians treatment plan on a daily basis. He’s helping them with sales and that sort of stuff, right? And they come in and shadow him and spend time with him. But on the whole, he’s got his finger on the pulse, on numerous different aspects of the business. Yeah, rehab. She steps back from clinical and mainly focussed on the ground, working with our our amazing practise manager Kerry on, I would say, the easiest way to describe it. And I don’t know if it’s the right words, the touchy feely side of the team, right? Keeping the team happy, making sure that we’re appropriately motivated, giving them some personal coaching. Ok. And Roger is somebody who’s very much been in touch with the human side of the individual team members in the practise. And it’s all those things that generate that, that success that we have in the business, right? Without the patients being driven into the practise, there’d be no wants to do your sales training on your practise your treatments on, do do treatment plans, et cetera, et cetera. And without that, we wouldn’t have the team, et cetera, et cetera. You know, you know, so it’s been a fantastic partnership where we’ve all had our, shall we say, roles and responsibilities, and we’ve all played them out and fulfilled them to get us to where we are today.

[00:16:47] So then let’s go into the moment when you said, Right, we are going to exit and you know, what did you do from that moment up to exit? Because I’m sure there’s loads of people who have no idea what that process involves and doing that process. Of course, you can do that process well or you can do that process badly. You know, is it, you know, we were having the chat before. It’s not simply about maximising the value of the practise. It’s about, you know what, what you want to happen to your baby, right? From the owner from from an campus’s perspective, it’s something that they started as one practise single handed and just give us the numbers in terms of staff and all that numbers of people at the end of it all.

[00:17:33] So in terms of right, you know, right at the end, it’s three practises. And I think I think the easiest way to answer your question here is that, you know, you know, when we started looking at exit, what did we do, you know, there’s a few things mean me and Carl had discussions around the numbers. We did some research on what the market rates today, what kind of multiples are being played paid. How do you calculate how do we figure out what our value is today before we even start speaking to everyone, right? And we had discussions pre-COVID, right? And then obviously COVID put a spanner in the works. Yeah, but actually it was it was a blessing in disguise because what happened is, as we all know, in private dentistry, business grew. Right. And we’re still I still think we’re right in that post-COVID. I say post-COVID. Well, you know, we’re riding, we’re riding that success right where where demand has definitely gone through the roof, turnover has gone through the roof. Profitability has gone through the roof. And, you know, exit valuation ended up being a lot higher than, you know, than we’d anticipated had we gone through that pre-COVID, right? But you got one chance to sell your baby. Now this was my baby for four or five years. This was Shinra Peshmergas baby for 15 years. Completely different emotions for both of us, right? And a much, much bigger deal for for those two, and understandably so. Right. So we went through that process and you say, you know, you can either do it well or you can do it badly.

[00:19:09] Let me tell you some that the majority of people that exit won’t know whether they’ve done it well or badly. They won’t. Yeah, OK, because you’re blind to that, right? We did a lot of research, right? And the one thing that we wanted to do is engage a broker who had the same values with us, who is able to, first of all, open us up to, I would say, the the market give us some insight into what was possible and then give us lots of different options. Ok, so that we were able to see what was out there. We didn’t want to just go to one buyer, right and say, OK, well, there’s what we think your business is worth. We think it’s worth that. Let’s let’s play ball. So we engaged. We engaged the services of a guy called Max from flu told partners very, very early on, and we had numerous conversations with him. And I think when it comes to a broker. Number one, you’ve got to be able to get on with them on a personal level. But number two, they need to know their shit, they need to understand the market and you need to understand what you’re getting out of them versus doing this process by yourself. Ok? And what was very clear is there was a lot of value added, and I don’t think we’d have got to where we had had it not been for for this relationship that we’d developed with Max.

[00:20:31] So you knew that Max Max does it that way because you knew him from before we had it on the on the on the podcast, I we

[00:20:39] Don’t not really know. So so I think one of the things is that we we had we had a few conversations with Max and it was actually Kyle Busch and Ra who initiated the conversations with Max. And he said he said to me, Look, Prav, I’m going to stick you in front of eight to 10 buyers, OK? And then you can make the decision on who the right fit is, what the right deal is. Right? And what’s important here is that we have clear ideas of what we wanted out of this deal, not just financially who was the right partner. Ok, we’re going to be moving forward with this partner for several years to come working together. The team that got us there over the last 15 years, you know, their well-being and their future was just as important to us, right? And we what we definitely do not want to kill the brand in case we had we had certain things criteria that we wanted to meet. We wanted to know what life was like afterwards moving forward with this new partner and minimal changes. And we wanted to make sure we hit the right right valuation. So the best deal on the table is not the most money. I can tell you that for now, the best deal on the table is the right deal for you. So if you’re considering exiting or you’re you’re considering partnering with somebody. The most important thing you need to do is take a step back and ask yourself why. What’s the reason? What’s the reason you want to exit? And the buyers will ask you that anyway, right? But why is it that you want to move on now, OK? What is it that you want out of this? And what’s life after look like? Ok, get that clear in your head and then start speaking to the relevant people.

[00:22:25] There’s quite a few things that you need to consider when an offer is made for your business, and there’s a lot of due diligence in that process. You know, what does the offer look like? How much cash are you going to get on completion? What does your earnout period look like? Have you spoken to previous people that that corporate has bought or partnered with? And what’s their experience been like in terms of getting their earn out? For example, was there any price chipping along the way in the negotiations? What did they look like? Speaks to an interview, the lawyers, and ask them what it’s been like dealing with buyer a buyer? B Buyer C How do the deals usually go? Are they usually quick? And then, you know, how does the deal turn out in terms of the in terms of the. Now, are there any growth shares, you know what happens if you overperform for that business and in four years time you’ve increased their rear bit by a hundred K or 200 K? Is there any upside for you? There’s so many different things in the way in which all the offers end up on the table. They’re slightly different in many ways, and you just need to sit back and absorb what has been offered on the table and what every single element means. What we ended up doing is just producing a spreadsheet of each of the offers that were on the table and just trying to do a like for like compare apples for apples, right? You know, we know every day in dentistry, you know, someone goes and has orthodontic treatment in one place, another place and another place.

[00:23:55] Often the treatment plan is very different from this for the same outcome, and you draw the same analogies when you know, exits in your business. There’s lots of different treatment plans presented on the table. You’ve got to really break them down and understand what you’re getting yourself in for on what the future looks like. As part of that deal and how it shapes up. So Max puts several people in front of us, and it was a two way interview process. The first thing we did is we produced a prospectus that contained all the information about the business or the key USPSTF, all the key financial details. We did a lot of pre due diligence way before we even took it to market right and then presented that to all the potential partners out there, spoke to them, interviewed them, they interviewed us. And then it got to a point and we spoke to a bunch of people. We spoke to the existing usual suspects out there. You know who they are, the big corporates who go around mopping up private Dental practises. We spoke to private equity. We spoke to a business that we’re looking to get into the Dental industry, right? So they hadn’t they didn’t have a practise and they wanted to find a platform to invest in. Yeah, that was an exciting opportunity, right? But we considered everything. We looked at the risk versus the benefits and then decided to choose to move forward with one particular partner who you consider.

[00:25:19] Did you consider taking taking an investment and continuing and, you know, not not selling the majority share?

[00:25:28] We spoke about that possibility, right, but you know, if I’m looking at it from my point of view that you know what, my dilution would have been much higher. Ok? We felt that valuations that hit the appropriate level where we were all comfortable. Remember, we spoke about that magic number earlier. Yeah, we were at 2x that. So it just felt the right time. We looked at all different options, the partner we ended up partnering with. Yeah. And I might as well just spit it out now because I’m sure it’s on everyone’s mind right now, right? So we ended up partnering with Dental. And the reason for that, and without any disrespect to any of the players in the market, we felt their values aligned perfectly with ours and we felt that, you know, during the whole process when we presented the due diligence, when we presented what we wanted. We felt that they really understood what we wanted out of this, and we felt that life after involved minimal change and the change that it would involve was actually for the better. So reducing a bit of the red tape and reducing a bit of the headaches of running a practise and benefiting from the economies of scale. But actually in leaving us to carry on doing things the way we’ve always done them and actually supporting our growth. And I can honestly say during the whole process, when you’re buy buying a business or when you’re selling a business or partnering with someone, it’s you versus them. Yeah, that’s that’s how it is. Yeah, because you want the best deal and they want the best deal didn’t feel like that felt like we were both on the same team. Yeah, it was really refreshing to go through that. It was a lovely process and everyone on the team.

[00:27:16] The interesting, interesting thing about what you’re saying is, you know, you only get one chance to buy a practise, but some of these guys, they buy a practise every couple of weeks, right? Yeah. So they’re very experienced that you’re right. If you get the right fit, then you know, it’s going to have to be adversarial by its very nature to start with, isn’t there? That’s just one of those things. Tell me about the different types of groups that you met. Did you meet any overseas groups? So yeah,

[00:27:46] Yeah, we did. We did. And we met. We met a group, a European group that are looking to enter the UK market. They’ve got practises overseas and they wanted to find their first platform to invest into. Ok, really cool group. Exciting interest in for us. I think we felt it was a little bit too high risk because we didn’t have any structure here in the U.K. there’s no head office here in the U.K., there’s no support here in the U.K.. Ok, and we would be we would be their experiment. Yeah, yeah. We’re not selling our baby to someone who’s going to experiment on us, right? Even if even if the numbers stacked up to be better, right? It just and those were the type of decisions that we made, you know, consider it made it excel spreadsheet of pros and cons of each different partner. And then can you

[00:28:40] Choose can you expand on on the group? Like, how many practises do they have in which country?

[00:28:47] Remember off the top of my head, I can’t remember, but you know, it was 30, it was 30 plus practises, right? Wasn’t a huge group, wasn’t a huge group, OK? And I remember very, very early on we only had one meeting with them. We didn’t, you know, we had multiple meetings with with other people. And it was because we dismissed very, very early on that we felt it was going to be too high risk. Yeah. And then there was another there was another business that was purely private equity set up by somebody who was involved in setting up one or the other big corporates and splintered off wanted to set their own business up. And once again, another first platform, no infrastructure had the team on board. And, you know, really nice people. We met with them twice, but once again, I think we consider that to just be a little bit too risky. And we spent a lot of time interviewing them. Ok. You know, we grilled everyone really hard and, you know, they buckled a few times in terms of some of the questions, the detail was a little bit sketchy. And when you think when you’re ready to go into business or partner with somebody, if they’re sketchy on the detail, then you know, it’s just once again, it’s all about risk versus benefit, right? So we just we just stepped back from that.

[00:30:04] Ok, take me through some of the due diligence and stuff you had to get done in order for this to go through for the lawyers.

[00:30:11] All right. So one of the first things that we did is we did some due diligence on our lawyers. Ok, so what usually happens is you think, right, who’s the lawyer? We’re going to hire to do this right? And you ring your buddy up and you say, Hey, you sold your practise, which lawyer did the use? And then you say, Oh yeah, we used Bob Smith, right? It was really good. Ok, fine. We’ll just hire that guy. We will get in probably a half a dozen recommendations, both from clients of mine who have already exited. Yeah, and from Max, our broker. But we just decided we’re going to Zoom interview every single one of them, a couple of them twice. We had a list of questions we would ask them. And obviously, we wanted to know things like, you know, costs, investments, things like that. And we went through that whole process and we grilled our solicitors as well. And we wanted to hire a solicitor before we have the agreed heads of terms in place. So usually you might get your heads of terms in place and then hire a solicitor. I wanted to make sure our heads of terms were just a little bit more detailed. And so we hired our solicitor beforehand, so we did a bit of due diligence. We had a lady called Gemma from nights who was absolutely amazing. There were a handful of people that we interviewed who we thought were would have been exceptional. What sort of questions did we ask the lawyers? There are a few things like that might might not seem that important. But will you take a call from me at eight o’clock at night? Yeah. And some of those lawyers turned out to be not.

[00:31:47] Yeah, buddy. Well, listen, you know, I get it. I get it. I get it. I get it. You get it.

[00:31:53] Yeah. Will you take a call from me at eight o’clock at night? Do you work weekends? How many deals have you done with this particular buyer? Ok. What have been the things that delayed the deal? What was the biggest thing that delays deals with this buyer? Do you have a list of questions involved in the due diligence process that you have that could prepare us for this, right? And the moment I asked that question within 15 minutes, I got a list of questions sent to me by notes. I asked everyone else that. I asked everyone else that, and they said, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But what notes did is they sent me that list of questions and that I felt that was prior to hiring them and that I just felt that, you know, it was one of those little boxes that they tipped to say, This is nice, right? This is very proactive. Whether you proceed with us or not, you are going to need to answer all of these questions. So the first thing that we did is started working through those questions even before we’d we’d engage them. So we went through that whole process. And then, what’s the due diligence? It’s the worst 90 days you’re ever going to experience in any in business, right? It really is. It depends how detailed you go, right? But right down to every little financial detail, everything that every item that’s been through the business, right? Every little line item in your finances. Ok, I learnt more about my business in that 90 days than I did in the last five years.

[00:33:22] Yeah. Interesting.

[00:33:23] And had I known everything I knew about my business, our business in the last five years, we’d have done things slightly differently.

[00:33:36] Yeah, yeah. It’s just an example of one of those things.

[00:33:41] If I just take one simple thing which comes down to the way we the way. We pay our associates, OK, so we pay our associates on cash received and not work completed. Ok, so you might think, well, what’s what’s the big deal there, right? Patient comes along, pays us four grand for also treatment on day one. Our associate has done a bond. Ok? Ok, so have they completed foregrounds worth the work? Absolutely not. But why? Let’s say the wrong 50 percent. They get their two grand minus the lab bill or whatever, right? So they get their money upfront. Ok. Now, just just from that perspective alone, from a cash flow perspective, had we paid our associates or our team based on work completed rather than cash received, a cash flow game would be completely different. Ok? Tiny little things like that. The other thing I’ll tell you about is when you go through every single cost in your zero accounts and you look at every single invoice and you do it because you have to at this point, right? You don’t do it because it’s a it’s an exercise that you just kind of like scoot over and you don’t go into much detail. You figure out there’s a few standing orders there that you should have cancelled maybe 12 months ago. Yeah. Below the radar amounts a hundred quid there, 200 quid there or whatever, right? We could have probably had our finger on the on the ball a little a little bit closer.

[00:35:11] But because of the way the business was growing was scaling. There were other problems that we had to solve and fix those tiny details, probably, you know, didn’t matter as much. But but there’s a lot of things that we could have done during that whole process that would have made made running the business smoother. But here’s a point. Here’s here’s a thought Payman. We’ve been through this 90 day process of deep due diligence. Now imagine and this is this is a concept whenever we do anything like this or always try and cast myself into nature. Imagine you run your practise every day using the systems and processes, documenting everything in a way that you decided to exit tomorrow and partner with somebody that all your due diligence was done. It was done OK. And I mean, to the fact that the way you keep your records and all your team members right down to the hepatitis B vaccination, their passport details their CRB. Absolutely every detail documented to the nth degree. Yeah, every little bit of your insurance, your lease, this, that and the other, right? Had I known all of that, I would have run my business exit ready. Every month year, I’m not something that I want to sort of an interesting idea.

[00:36:32] Interesting idea. But you know, it’s it’s it’s not it’s not normality, is it? It’s not. It’s not what normal normal businesses do. But why tell me why? Tell me why. Tell me why did? But what’s the what’s the huge benefit?

[00:36:46] The huge benefit is every single month. You know what your business is worth? Number one, OK? You know that. And if you know that OK, and it’s the same with every KPI, let’s let’s go away from dentistry. Let’s go to bench press. Ok? So if I’m bench pressing every Monday, right, and tomorrow I start with an eight kilo bench press, OK, and I document that Prav bench press eight to kilos last Monday, and they three Mondays later is bench press in eight to five kilos any documents. And if you document that stat every single Monday, what do you think is going to happen to that number? It’s going to go up and up. It’s going to go up because you’re measuring it and you’re documenting it, right? And that’s the same thing with that. The other benefit is that if you ever got to the point where you said, right now, we’re ready to partner with somebody. Can you imagine can you imagine going to your potential partner and say, by the way, here’s the thirty five folders that you’re going to need for due diligence? Ok? It’s probably going to take you about 20 days to work your way through that, but I’ve just saved myself 90 to one hundred to one hundred and twenty days of hell. But during that whole process

[00:38:02] Is also also, I guess, you look better right to the potential buyer. You look like a much more professional organisation with without question.

[00:38:11] You know, there was a few comments that came back from Dental, which were the level and depth and detail of organisation and the way we presented everything to them. Yeah, they were incredibly impressed with the way that that was all handled. Ok. So there is that and you know, at the end of the day, they’re making an investment as well, right? They need to be clear that they’re choosing the right partner as well as us. Yeah. So, yeah, one hundred percent. Yeah, it looks better. But you run your business better. You spot these little issues better. And if there’s anything that’s going to come out of this experience, rather in addition to, you know, having achieved this goal that we’ve we’ve we’ve achieved during the process, right, is that I do want to put together some kind of education that allows practise owners a deeper insight into the process, the pitfalls, what’s involved in the due diligence, what they can do today to get their business ready for the next next stage and what sort of questions they should be asking themselves and thinking,

[00:39:15] Hmm, I study very nice. I mean, and I guess that applies to any business, right? And you didn’t have any NHS element in your. Nothing like this, did you? Nothing. No. So that complicated because that’s another thing that, you know, I know in selling practise that becomes a whole headache and time wasting

[00:39:36] A whole headache, right? And the reason the reason there was no NHS. And I believe there was when Kyle Peche bought one of his earlier practises. And he’s always been a believer of the fact that you can’t offer a two tier service in a single business. And look, a lot of people do OK. But it’s always been his vision that we don’t do two tiers here. There’s one tier and it’s that minimum high standard that we offer and nothing lower. Hmm.

[00:40:06] Yeah. Let’s move on, Duke, let’s move on to where we are today compared to this time last year, when we sat, Boris had just cancelled Christmas. If you remember the Delta variant, it’s just hit. And here we are again on on with the corona situation. I don’t know about you, dude, but to me, just anecdotally, I’m hearing about more people getting this than I’ve ever heard before. And yet when we look at South Africa, which is furthest forward on this, it looks like there aren’t as many hospitalisations and so forth. And I think, you know, if we it’s easy to worry about this sort of thing a lot and we should, of course. But compared to this time last year, when it was Delta, when we didn’t, we weren’t sure about all the growth that every Dental business must have seen in this period. I think we’re in a better place compared to that. I mean, it’s been an extraordinary year, as far as you know. Look at it from from my perspective, I see people are doing dead a lot more private dentistry and enlightens one of those businesses that kind of kind of tracks private dentistry. And you know, you’ve

[00:41:22] Got the money on the head there, buddy, because whenever I speak to a practise, you know what? One of the first questions I ask them, how much whitening do you do? Yeah. How much whitening do you do? Do you track the number of white things that you do a month or a week? Right? And I truly believe that it is an indicator of private Dental, almost like a KPI, a benchmark. We use it all the time, right? How many whitening starts do we do? How many fingers starts do we do? So if your numbers have gone up in lights, then that’s a benchmark for the industry.

[00:41:51] For private, for sure, for sure, for sure. And I think it’s a lot of a lot of NHS, Baxter said then. Let’s face it relatively well out of the pandemic and you know, they obviously had. They’ve got right now this question of heading the 65 percent. And I think that going forward, the NHS side is is looking a little bit ropey. No one knows exactly how it’s going to pan out. But I think one thing we can all say is there’s not going to be any new money for NHS dentistry. It’s very, very unlikely, isn’t it? I mean, people do kind of think there’ll be different versions of the core service, whether whether that’s government imposed or whether that’s just the way practise set themselves up to have NHS as a core service. Mm hmm. But what I’ve seen a lot of in this year is a bunch of ex, you know, very NHS practises trying to set up private sides, trying to increase their private revenue, both on the corporate and on the independent side. I see I see that going on the private side. It seems like people have been, you know, making hay. And you know, I’ve had some of our users come back and say, Oh, look, things have slowed down a little bit now. Yeah. And you know, sure, things have slowed down a little bit now, but we forget there was always seasonality in dentistry. We just got so used to just these massive growth numbers. Yeah, how about you? What do you see with your clients?

[00:43:19] So we’ve seen we’ve seen huge growth, right, not only in my own practises, but with my clients across the board. I don’t think I work with anyone who offers NHS dentistry as a mainstream service, if that makes sense. If anything, it’s it’s tacked on because it’s either historic or it’s children or it’s minimal or whatever that is. I’ve had a lot of enquiries for coaching from people who want to transition from NHS to private.

[00:43:48] A lot now

[00:43:49] A lot and just the unknown, the minefield. What what does their education need to look like? What courses do they need to book in? You know, everything ranging from, you know, how to start at the beginning and get there. But on the private side of things, the growth has been in say OK, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of it stopping and pay. I’m talking everything from from whitening and just a little bit of a white feeling here in there right through to, you know, ab type stuff, more complex restorative dentistry right through to those who have in sort of a full mouth of, you know, immediate loaded implant dentistry, you know, right at the top end of the scale where people are investing north of 30 40 K on their teeth, right? And we’re getting more people saying yes, yes, yes, right?

[00:44:43] Private does private kids also as well a few of your clients?

[00:44:47] Few of my clients, I mean, we we’ve run a few campaigns for just targeting mums, right? I think we’ve spoken about this in the past, right? And, you know, call me sexist or whatever, right? But when you target mums, you get a high conversion rate of kids ortho. But once again, a huge upsurge in that, well, you know, it’s probably down to the fact that, you know, similar sort of demand less of a supply. Ok. Longer waiting lists, maybe stricter criteria. And then the other thing that anecdotally here all the time for my clients is that they get a lot of patients coming through who are saying the reason they’ve decided to change their smile is Zoom. Yeah. And I’m not talking about your competitor whitening product here, mate. I’m talking about the the video conferencing, right, is on Zoom. They’re looking at their teeth all the time and they’ve become aware of it and then they want to change something. And this is so many of my clients who sign a reason for patients going ahead is seeing themselves on video.

[00:45:48] Yeah, well, you say you say you don’t see any signs of it slowing down, but we’ve got to acknowledge some of the concerns as well going forward. I mean, and you know, I think last year we all became virologists. This year, a lot of us are becoming economists, the economists, you know? Yeah. Well, you know, we’ve got this the inflation sort of situation, you know, there’s wage inflation, massive wage inflation. Yeah, loads of practises, not able to retain staff because staff are decided to go to other jobs that aren’t as difficult and pay paid the same. And I don’t think it’s only in dentistry. I think it’s across the board. We see it in our business as well, people, people asking for bigger pay rises and all of that. But but in in all businesses and then a shortage of skilled labour, there’s definitely a shortage of people willing to come and work. Yeah. Whether it’s Brexit, that’s caused that. But I do understand it’s the same situation in the US. Although, you know, Trump wasn’t exactly friendly to immigration, either, so I don’t know. Going forward, you know, we have to pay for COVID. Let’s imagine it gets easier from here. Who knows? Yeah, let’s imagine it gets the actual clinical medical situation gets easier. We have to pay for it somehow. And then on our side, look, we’ve had big issues with supplying product. You know that our supplier supplier can’t supply him some raw material. And again, across the board, you can see this. It’s the first time ever that Amazon problems they’ve ever had in my life.

[00:47:27] Look, we’re getting a little bit of work done at home, right and building supplies, materials, things like that, right? You know, we had a quote to have some work done at home. There was a bit of delay in getting the materials across and then and then our builder came and said, Look, I’m going to have to increase the quote by 20 percent, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do. It’s because the cost of materials have gone up. Yeah, and and he wasn’t trying to pull a fast one. You know, it cost the

[00:47:54] Cost of everything you. It was a

[00:47:56] Genuine, you know, sorry, Prav. But this is what it’s going to cost. You know, the labour had stayed the same and everything. And you know, we’re seeing it in practise now that when you’re looking to, for example, employ a nurse or a higher team member, the pool of people or at least the volume of that pool and quality of that pool is much, much smaller. Ok. Yeah. And some are going elsewhere into other industries. Some have had just sort of life changing moments. Yeah, you know, COVID has lockdown. Covid has given us all a chance to sit back and and sort of think what I want to do in my life. But do I really want to be socking spit for the rest of my life? Or would you rather do something, whatever, whatever that is, you know, you all have those moments where you think, you know, you reassess what you want to do even during this process where you know, I was, you know, thinking about the the other end of the reward that comes out of selling a business right is that you end up in a financial position that you become more stable. Yeah, it meant that I could afford to take less share of people. Yeah. Do you understand what I mean that that that you can you can actually turn around and actually turn more down, or you can tell someone to go take a hike and find another provider because because you’re a little bit more comfortable now, right? Same thing with with team members, right, is they have a reassessment of of what they want out of life, right? And what their priorities are and maybe flip over to other careers and things like that. And I think in dentistry, we are going to see certainly across the board a hike in overheads when it comes to wages, for sure, for sure. And it’s inevitable it’s going to come. And I think if we don’t talk about it, we’re just we’re just skirting around that issue.

[00:49:53] And I think around that you feel Prav because I think it may be high time for it. And I know it’s a strange thing to say. But but since the 2008 2009 recession, wages have really been quite stagnant. I know some practises give pay rises every year and a lot of that. I’m not happy about it to tell you the truth, you know, because it’s a pressure on on on employers, right? Yeah. But I do think that it might be high time and certainly your money just doesn’t go as far. There’s no way

[00:50:29] That we know that right. The money printers been going off like like the clappers, right? You know, we’ve got inflation. We’ve, you know, we’ve just heard from the Fed that they’re going to reduce tapering as well.

[00:50:41] And yeah, you know,

[00:50:43] Everything is just pointing to the fact that, you know. The cost of living, yeah, your bottle of milk, let let’s just take this down to brass tacks, right? What does it mean? Yeah. Is that your your bottle of milk is now going to be 10 quid instead of two? Right? It’s not. The money is not going to stretch as far. Yeah. And as a result of that, then people need to live and earn, right.

[00:51:07] And so I don’t think it’s going to go to ten quid. No, I don’t think I’m

[00:51:11] Overexaggerating here, right?

[00:51:15] But you’ve you’ve never lived, you’ve never lived through or you weren’t old enough to remember an inflationary period, have you? Were you? No, I have. No, I do. I remember. It’s terrible. It’s terrible when it happens. And one thing I would say to inflation is very nice. If you’re a big borrower, you know, if you’ve got two million pounds of debt on your house or something, suddenly that number doesn’t seem as scary anymore when all prices of everything, all assets go up. You know, I do think it’s a potential worry. And, you know, I think we’ve been living kind of on this printed cash and and, you know, corona. Covid hasn’t yet played out financially, let alone. I mean, we don’t medically, financially, it hasn’t yet played out. And and I think we’ve been extremely lucky as a profession so far to be able to navigate it. As I said to you before, I’ve got friends who own pubs and nightclubs and all that say navigating it very easily at all. But going forward, I think you’re right that, you know, we need to soberly look at it. And then, you know, the questions have been going on the forums. You know, who’s going to pay this extra? Have you ever seen that? Who’s going to pay for this extra money? Is it going to be the principal or is it going to be the associate? And I think there’s going to be new models that, you know, whether it’s a therapist led, you know, we see that a lot in my area and composite bonding. You’ve got some therapists, you know who you know, that’s all they do all day, every day. And from a principals perspective, that’s that’s quite attractive idea, right? You can, you know, you can get the money that way, I guess, and the associate principal disputes that have been happening in the last year. I think for now, maybe that the pendulum swung towards associate. But we have to be careful because if you know, if a practise owner can’t make the thing pay, he’s going to try and find new business models, right? You’ve got to

[00:53:19] Adapt, right? The one thing about about being a business owner, right, is I truly believe that owning a business is just about solving problems. There’s nothing more to it than that, right? You just you just fixing things and solving problems all day long, right? And you know, if you’re hit with something that makes your cost base go up, you’ve got to fix that problem. Yeah. However, that may be either increasingly the end cost to the consumer or adjusting your business model or a combination of the two or whatever. That is right. You sit back as a business owner and analyse how you’re going to how are you going to solve that problem? Ok. And that may end up adapting itself as business models. I mean, I’ve got I’ll say this without without spilling the beans because I think could shoot me if I, if I, if I shared this information with anyone. But you know, he’s trusted me with with some information about how he’s going to change his business model in his practise, going from one to seven practises, how he’s going to scale up, and he’s come up with a really unique model of how he’s going to deliver the industry. Ok, and he’s thinking four or five years ahead, a real, a real maverick, really, in terms of how he thinks ahead. When I look at that and the way he’s thinking, Yeah, I think, holy crap, that guy’s got some big balls, right? He knows that I take some risks. Yeah, but if what he’s thinking plays off and I’m pretty confident if anyone can do it, he can. Yeah, yeah, he’ll monopolise in the methodology and he’ll be first to market in terms of the way he and his team deliver a certain type of dentistry. So business models will change because we’ll be forced to write and some of them, some of us are thinkers that think ahead of the curve and some of us are reactive who respond to that situation. But change is inevitable.

[00:55:12] How about of your clients? Prav is do you see a shift from big practises to smaller ones?

[00:55:20] What do you mean?

[00:55:21] You know, because, well, because the cost base of big practises just seems to be so difficult. I mean. Well, let me let me go back a little bit. I think there was there was some thinking that you needed the size to get the sort of the, you know, what they called economies of scale before, you know, corporates were looking at three three surgery practises as a minimum. But now I see a little trend more going towards sort of boutique practises, you know?

[00:55:46] You know what it is, pay a lot, a lot of it comes down to actually, you know, what’s your business model? What are you doing? You know, you could have a small boutique practise that just focuses on high Typekit dentistry. Ok. So that income, yeah, you don’t need the economies of scale to deal with that. And then I work with some practises who pride themselves on doing a lot of general dentistry. And from that general dentistry, they generate their cosmetic dentistry. About 50 percent of their income is general and 50 percent of their income is high. Typekit dentistry, right? So their cost base is much higher. Ok. They need the economies of scale, et cetera, et cetera. You set up a boutique practise and say, Look, I’m going to focus my business on AB Implant Dentistry. You can go down the route of like the equivalent of the Evo Dental, who only do same day immediate loaded teeth, right? We are that it’s a specialist centre in inverted commas. Yeah. The only focus on that one high ticket thing and we do it well, right? So you know, you don’t you don’t need that entirely depends on your business model. Yeah. And you know, there’s a lot to be said for these practises who do. Yeah, a lot of general dentistry. I tend to find myself that those practise owners that focus on doing a lot of general dentistry and a little bit of cosmetic dentistry is generally happier as human beings.

[00:57:14] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, whether it’s the you can see the lack of the

[00:57:20] Lack of stress associated with those with those bigger ticket or more demanding patients, or the fact that they’re comfortable and complacent with whatever it is, they’re generating and doing their general and minimal sort of high ticket dentistry. But generally, as human beings, much more content, much happier.

[00:57:37] Well, while you’ve been gone Prav, I’ve changed some of the final questions. Ok, so I want to I want to quickly throw one at you, all of the mother. Fancy dinner party, buddy.

[00:57:59] Fantasy Dinner Party,

[00:58:02] Three guests dead or alive. Prav who would be your three guests, please? Dinner for a dinner party.

[00:58:13] Who? Elon Musk, for sure, for sure.

[00:58:20] Why? Why? Because look after the winner.

[00:58:24] No, not necessarily.

[00:58:25] But anyone who is history, go listen.

[00:58:28] Anyone who’s crazy enough to say that we’re going to populate Mars. Ok with conviction and take life onto their right thinks in a way above and beyond and completely different to the way we do, right? And then the guy, you know? And then he reinvented electric cars, right? You’re not going to be having normal conversations with this dude. You see some of the stuff he puts out on Twitter writes a little bit wacky. Yeah, I like it. Of course it’s going to. Of course it’s going to be wacky. Do you expect normal stuff to come out of this dude? Yeah.

[00:59:03] So, yeah,

[00:59:04] He he definitely be one. Yeah.

[00:59:08] And number two, interesting, buddy. If you’re interested, Elon’s done a couple of Joe Rogan’s. Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen three hour Joe Don, who second.

[00:59:19] Arnold Schwarzenegger, you got.

[00:59:22] Yeah, because he’s got muscle.

[00:59:25] Well, childhood hero, right? And look, if you if you was, he was he was he God? Yeah, for sure, right? And you know, in my younger years, I was into bodybuilding and all the rest of it, right? Oh, good. So, you know, definitely would love to sort of catch up with him and just learn more about where he came from and from wisdom. Very motivational guy, right? For sure. Third, jeez, man, put me on the spot here, buddy. Hmm.

[00:59:58] I know it is. Go granddad, my granddad.

[01:00:03] You know what? The moment you said that? You arsehole, man. Sorry. It’s my granddad.

[01:00:17] Yeah. Finally.

[01:00:30] No need to say anything more, buddy.

[01:00:34] It’s a beautiful body. Listen, it’s who he’s

[01:00:38] Been and buddy. You’re not getting away with this man.

[01:00:47] Trying to get out of that man

[01:00:51] Who he was.

[01:00:54] It’s strange because I’ve asked this question many times already, and I haven’t yet fully worked out my answer. But the first guy is the guy whose name I don’t know who’s the guy behind Red Bull. Ok, you don’t, you know? No, I do that, dude. There’s a guy. There’s a guy. And I kind of like the fact that I don’t know his name. I wish I could google it right now and find out, right? But but I like the fact that I don’t know his name and that he’s got brand, the head of, you know, ego to get ahead of his own name. And, you know, often we think with, you know, who owns Tesla, Elon Musk, but there’s loads of massive brands. We don’t know who owns the Nike, you know, I mean, I know some some people do know that, but there are some brands where the brand takes precedence over the personality. And I really, by the way, I’m not even a massive fan of Red Bull, the product, but the brand, what he’s done with it and just the thought process to go into that market with the with the incumbent Coca-Cola and Pepsi to take them on with this little can and and the marketing, the marketing, you know that you don’t see a can of Red Bull in the marketing at all, right? You know that they’re riding motorbikes off cliffs and jumping out of space ships.

[01:02:19] Yeah. And then of late, I mean, you are not sports fans. Yeah, but he’s bought two or three football teams. And part of it is change the names of the football teams to Red Bull first and then the name of the football team. He’s got one in the American. You know that that thing they’ve got going on in America and in Europe, he’s got a couple of team and of course, Formula One F1 number one. I’m not a big fan, but just the thinking that those play in races. Yeah, yeah. So definitely him. Let’s go to your Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was my hero back then. I got the ice to love Prince. I was a massive fan. Yeah, I have friends, for sure. For sure. I’m. And my grandmother, my grandmother, your mother said my grandmother or my mother had a very special relationship with her. It is a bit of a copout, but but you know, it is, it is what it is. What do you remember? Oh, it is a really funny lady, really caring, but funny, funny. One of the funniest people I’ve ever come across. Do you know what was that cartoon show? Penelope Pit Stop.

[01:03:37] And that dastardly and morally wrong.

[01:03:40] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, and the get off that laugh that the dog might be like my grandmother, whatever she was say she was, she would laugh like that. Or, you know, she’d she’d be so funny that, you know, that’s what I always remember her as the laughing, laughing, laughing, laughing. It’s been nice, buddy. It’s been nice.

[01:04:02] It’s been good to catch up and there’s going to be, yeah, the resurrection of the Prav and pay again.

[01:04:09] We’re going to do this podcast

[01:04:10] Together this year, for sure,

[01:04:12] Right? Let’s hope.

[01:04:13] My focus, you know, my my focus is definitely is definitely changing for twenty twenty two. So, you know, they’ll definitely be more present. Anyone who knows that I’ve been online prior to that, I completely disappeared from Facebook and Instagram, right? Those who know me will know why I went into a hole and just went as I do, you know, 100 percent into this project. And as a result of that, against my best advice that I would give to others, put my health. Second, you know, and things like that. And so things are going to go into a different gear now and you’ll see more of me.

[01:05:03] It’s lovely to have you back, buddy, you know, and I think going forward, we’ve been working on a bunch of stuff that enlighten and I’ve been thinking, You know, why don’t I give something back to this community? Because, you know, a lot of times I’m on a course or something and people come up to me and say, I listen to every single episode. And, you know, if you’re listening to the end of this one, then good because I’m going to be making some announcements with enlightened and making sure this community benefits from those enhancements, giving some free stuff out there. Good. All right, buddy. Well, I’ll see you in twenty twenty two, I guess. I guess that’s the way it’s going to be. It is, but it is. We’re here.

[01:05:45] We’re at the end. I’ve signed off for the year. Officially, I haven’t. That’s all that’s me doing. I’ve got to give back to my family, right? I’ve certainly neglected them over the last three months, so it’s time to it’s time to kiss and make up.

[01:06:01] Nice. All right. All right. My lovely, lovely having you back.

[01:06:03] But 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.

[01:06:21] 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 had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you’ve got some value out of it.

[01:06:36] 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.

[01:06:46] And don’t forget our six star rating.


Alan Burgin is perhaps best known by his Instagram alter-ego, The Cornish Dentist, whose informative how-tos have earned Alan an impressive follower count among fellow professionals.

He sits down with Cardiff University alumni Payman to explain his journey to being one of the UK’s most promising young dentists and talks about life in Cornwall and early years in max-fax.

Payman also puts Alan on the spot about rubber-dam placement, suturing and composites.



“The majority of my career and progression has basically been a series of high-pressure situations that are sink or swim, and so far I’ve been swimming. But some of them – I think – were close to the mark.” – Alan Burgin

In This Episode

01.41 – Backstory

07.04 – Confidence

10.15 – Cardiff and dental school

14.09 – Max-fax and oral surgery

21.54 – Travel

27.43 – First job

29.28 – Implants

37.39 – Social media

44.40 – Cornwall

46.48 – Phobia and sedation dentistry

48.30 – Full-mouth dentistry and stabilisation

55.11 – Finding and teaching your niche

01.02.17 – Rapidfire top tips

01.06.39 – Blackbox thinking

01.17.18 – Future plans

01.19.20 – Last days and legacy


About Alan Burgin

Alan graduated with honours from Cardiff University in 2012 and took on a post as a senior maxillofacial house officer at Newport Gwent hospital.

He practised in Wales and bath before settling in Cornwall, where he practices at Pure dental, focusing on full-mouth rehabilitation.

Alan has amassed 10K+ followers as Instagram’s The Cornish Dentist,

[00:00:00] Phobic patients who basically just need time. So many of them, so I’ve done sedation training in the last few years, but so many of my sedation patients, we sedate them initially and I try and wean them off it. That’s kind of my goal, and that is life changing treatment. I have a guy who he wouldn’t let us take photos even in the waiting room. He cried, coming up the stairs the first time he ever came in and he wouldn’t sit in a chair. It was traumatic just for him to come in the practise.

[00:00:29] We did

[00:00:30] A fair amount treatment under sedation, and then a couple of months ago, we placed two lower implants

[00:00:34] With no station and

[00:00:36] Us and

[00:00:37] Fulfilling. Isn’t it

[00:00:38] So good? So, so good?

[00:00:45] 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

[00:01:02] Gives me great pleasure to welcome Alan Bergin onto the podcast, a.k.a. the The Cornish dentist. Nice to have you, buddy.

[00:01:11] Hey, Payman. Yeah, thanks for having me.

[00:01:14] It’s a pleasure to have you, buddy. I’ve come across your work mainly on Instagram, and I’ve got to hand it to you that that’s a great page. You’ve got going on the dot dot doesn’t matter. The Cornish Dental is what I love about it is that, you know, you kind of almost breaking the rules of Instagram in a way. It’s not quantity, it’s quality. Whereas, you know, a lot of people think I have to post every day and you’re not you’re not posting

[00:01:39] Anywhere near that that amount.

[00:01:41] But every time you post, it’s it’s a pleasure to go through what you’ve got there. And for me, I tend to break down dentists. I mean, it’s a dentist page, really, isn’t it? It’s not. It’s not a patient page, but I tend to break down dentistry. It’s almost like breadth or depth. And you it’s almost you’ve got both going on, which is really difficult to pull off so many different aspects of dentistry going hot on that page. But let’s let’s let’s get to the to the sort of the origin story. Where did you grow up? Why dentistry? What kind of?

[00:02:18] So yeah, I grew up in the south east in Surrey and pretty normal, normal upbringing. I went to a school in Reigate, played quite a lot of rugby. My dad was an engineer. He sort of worked his way up. He came out of out of school with pretty minimal qualifications and through hard graft and whatever worked his way up to doing well in engineering. And my mom actually was a dental therapist and talk therapy even in London, probably like thirty five plus years ago.

[00:02:54] Oh, and which is interesting

[00:02:56] Because, you know, my wife’s a therapist and, you know, they have the same discussions that they were having 35 years ago about their involvement and all that sort of thing. But you know, it wasn’t that classic of, you know, mums in the industry and you move, move, follow in their footsteps. I really wasn’t that aware of what she was doing and actually she wasn’t in dentistry when she had me. My sister’s three years older and she sort of finished finished that between the two of us. And then she had worked in a nursery in the nursery school for 20 odd years. So, yeah, I grew up in in and around Raleigh, in Reigate, and then went to university in Cardiff. Let me stay with you. Yeah, yeah.

[00:03:42] What made you do dentistry? How did it? Was it your mum was? It was that it really wasn’t.

[00:03:46] And actually, I didn’t didn’t even really start chatting dentistry until I was doing it with with her. And I think that was that’s kind of my sort of parents style of upbringing, I think the whole way through. They’ve always been there to sort of guide and help. But at the same time, in no way said, do this do that, they’re really been there are great in that way. And actually, it was I had a great dentist that I went to religiously every six months and there was never anything wrong. And you know, I can imagine my mum was pretty on top of our teeth and everything. So then I went to her braces and I kind of all of a sudden I was like, Oh, this is this is different. This is this is still teeth. And actually, to be fair, I walked up the orthodontist practise and I think there was like a BMW and Mercedes couple, the nice cars at the front. Oh, this is interesting. And then so I actually did some work experience in engineering because I was doing the sciences and whatever. My dad was like, Oh, maybe you know, you might like engineering and it wasn’t for me. So next door to our school was a really top private Dental practise just by a complete fluke. And I just I just went in there one day and said, You know, I’m kind of interested and I might be doing dentistry, just wondering if I could come and shadow you at this lady in there for a bit.

[00:05:22] And lady called Jill Nightingale just an incredible dentist, actually just the loveliest lady. And she said, Yeah, sure. So I went and saw her, I think, for like a day or whatever. And back then it was all about you, as it is now, I’m sure. But the UCAS application and trying to show your interest and something a bit different. And I had I think it’s like a double or triple free period every Friday. And I just I said to Joe, You know, can I? I’m literally next door. Can I come in for, I don’t know, a couple of months, just every Friday morning and watch you? She is. She’s totally on board with it. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I just went and observed her. Asked her loads of questions, probably got in the way of it, but she, you know. One thing actually, she said to me that I always remembered was, she said, you know, I reckon about 50 percent of dentists hate their job and about 50 percent love it. It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure you’re in the right 50 percent and that that kind of stuck with me all the way through, really. So that that sort of sparked my interest here.

[00:06:33] I remember Alan Gilmore in Cardiff saying something like that as well. Yeah. And yeah, yeah. So, so true, isn’t it? Because, you know, if you could bottle your enthusiasm for teeth and you know, I’m sure, you know, we’ll get onto that. You can bottle that. You can you can teach, you can, you can talk about it. But I guess it’s something to do with continuous improvement, though.

[00:06:59] Yeah. Yeah, I think absolutely, absolutely.

[00:07:04] And that’s what we all want to get back. I want to get back to your childhood quickly. It’s a pleasure. If you don’t mind. But you know, I listen to your podcast with jazz, and I think everyone should, because I’d rather not just covered the same, the same thing I’m glad to get. But what came through that podcast for me was your just confidence as a person, not not talking about dentistry, but as a person, total confidence. And have you got a kid?

[00:07:31] Yeah, yeah. 16 month old little boy.

[00:07:34] Ok. Early, early. But I’ve got I’ve got kids. And you know, in the end,

[00:07:39] What better thing can you do

[00:07:40] For your kids than give them confidence?

[00:07:43] So do you remember

[00:07:44] Being not confident ever? And then a moment of inflexion? Or were you just always naturally that that kid?

[00:07:52] You know, I don’t think I was that kid. I mean, in some circumstances, yeah, for sure. But my my dad, he’s one of his big hobbies. When he, when we were younger, was acting and he was at this local theatre group, that was great. And my sister went there every weekend and did this little workshop and quite a few of our little friends did. So I went along with them because they were doing it, and I just never really clicked for me. I just didn’t have that get on stage and be the confident guy. I don’t know if it’s confidence or just didn’t click with these people. I don’t know. But I didn’t gel into that into that group, so I definitely didn’t feel that. Yeah, confidence at that stage. But then, you know,

[00:08:43] Do you remember, when do you remember when you did? I mean, you’re definitely a very confident person, a doubt about that, right?

[00:08:50] You know, reflecting on that podcast with jazz was when we chatted all the way through. I sat back afterwards from that and thought, Do you know what? Actually, the majority of my kind of career and progression has basically been a series of high pressure situations that are sink or swim. And so far I’ve been swimming. But some of them, I think, were close to the mark

[00:09:15] Of,

[00:09:17] You know, actually actually getting through it. And I remember times in I did a maxillofacial year. I remember walking over to the ward once going down to A&E and I did it in Newport, which was

[00:09:31] There was, I think I’ve been to the hospital. Yeah, the hospital was a plenty of

[00:09:37] Plenty of trauma to work on there. Amazing place to work for a year, for sure. But I remember striding down the hallway with my staff grade and she said this is the vertical part of the learning slope. And so I would say, I say it probably initially stemmed from team team sport, you know, being in with the rugby guys. And yeah, as always, not the loudest guy, but I was having a joke and a laugh. And yeah, I definitely felt confident in those scenarios, for sure.

[00:10:15] When you when you pick Cardiff, did you pick Cardiff because you knew about the rugby?

[00:10:19] No, no, no, no. So I don’t know. So there’s that situation. I think it was like four or five universities and I put down Leeds, Cardiff, Sheffield somewhere else. And then my last one, I was saying to my mom was like, Oh my go. I like Manchester or Newcastle. And she went, You know, like my parents guided me, but they weren’t in any way push you on anything which was like, Why don’t you? Why don’t you think about

[00:10:53] Kings, which is like,

[00:10:55] You know, forty five minutes away? I was like, What? What she’s like? You basically picked the four universities at the furthest away from Surrey. Why you think about kings? I thought, Why don’t we go kings is like,

[00:11:07] Well, you know, they

[00:11:08] They look a bit more on personal statement. I think I was like, I don’t think I’m going to get the grades they’re. Thanks.

[00:11:13] Thanks for the service.

[00:11:17] And so I did put things down, I did put it, but yeah, I got I got, you know what it was actually. In all honesty, I went to the open day at Cardiff and I went and had the interview and I just really in the interview waiting room and all the other places. It was kind of like, no one’s talking to each other, just sitting with your parent you’re with and focus on the interview. Cardiff it was like all the young people sitting around a big table, just having a chat and getting on with each other. And I thought, Yeah, this is this is my mix of people, to be honest.

[00:11:55] It’s such a great city. I mean, the Welsh themselves and Nakumatt. I mean, I’ve travelled up and down the country and there are good people in a lot of different places to tell you the truth. I mean, there are different types of characters right in. In Liverpool, you get loads of funny Scousers. Everyone’s a comedian and everyone’s got some sort of side hustle going on. But in Cardiff, the warmth of that

[00:12:18] Community of of Welsh

[00:12:20] People and and you worked in Rhondda as well, right? Yeah, the whole other oh even more a deeper sort of family sort of situation. I just love the Welsh band. It’s stuck with me since, you know, I left long before you did, but just wonderful people.

[00:12:39] It’s one of those ones, though, that I’ve got so many great friends still that well, of course, they all still live there because none of them leave, in fact. So we went on, we went on a sports day once to Leeds. We at one of the boys, I think he was in the fifth year. He was getting a little panicky as we’re getting towards the bridge. Let’s see what’s up.

[00:13:03] He’s like. I got my passport.

[00:13:08] He never left way of getting to touch about it, but yeah, so. Brilliant, brilliant group of how

[00:13:16] Do you find Dental school?

[00:13:18] I loved it. You know, I wouldn’t say it was certainly wasn’t top of the class. It wasn’t bottom. I was just in the middle doing OK, trying to find a balance social, I guess with with education, and made it to most of the lectures, pretty much pretty much all lectures. But I think I definitely I definitely enjoyed it more when we got to the sort of hands on endowment, that was more me.

[00:13:47] Yeah.

[00:13:48] How did you meet your now wife there as well?

[00:13:51] Yeah, yeah, yeah, so she was I was in second year and she was first year. We had a couple of joint lectures together. And it’s yeah, she’s from Cornwall originally. So. So we how we ended up here.

[00:14:07] So then tell me what you did after you qualified.

[00:14:09] So when I qualified, the first job I had was in max facts, and that was through a situation of mishaps in applying for Viti and just went horribly wrong. Just a nightmare. Basically had no other option. Literally one job, probably probably in the country, because I couldn’t. I didn’t have a NHS number, so I couldn’t do any of the DfT posts that had community with them, which was pretty much all of them. But there was one one matt fact post where basically the consultant there, great guy. John Llewellyn, small but fearsome consultant. I think the past, however many years, he was on a Tier two scheme and he’d effectively every dentist that did the first six months. He would pinch them for the second six months, and they kept losing out on this beauty spot. So they in the end just gave up and made it at 12 months max back post, but kept it as deaf, too. So. So that was pretty much the only job I could apply for. And just by complete fluke, I had a two week placement there about a month before the applications for that place and and my my very good friend who was partnered with she, she basically went up to him and said, This guy’s not got a job. You know, she’s she’s born and bred Welsh and the confidence in her. She just just had my back and said, This guy’s not got a job. He’s going, he’s applying for this place and then sort of looked at me like,

[00:15:50] Oh, right, okay, let’s

[00:15:52] Let’s test him out. See how it goes. And I had a few sort of string of successful things in that post, just like us taking out our wisdom teeth and that sort of thing. And then I applied for it and got it, which he never let me forget for the whole year, really, that he gave me that opportunity.

[00:16:12] And did you enjoy Max? I did the max factor job too in Cardiff and I I I hated every moment of it and really did. It just wasn’t for me. Did you enjoy it?

[00:16:22] I loved it. I did love

[00:16:24] It. I think there’s a few things that go with that. One was the the home team. We had a great group of people all really like in it together, you know, and there was none of this lazing around, handing over piles of patients. I lived with two of them who were two years above me in uni, so that was a great shoulder to cry on at the end of a long, long shift. But the other was it four or five of them, just just a really tight group of house. But we kind of had to be because I think we had like three. But no registrars for consultants, I think three staff grades. Well, one of the staff grades went off on maternity. Then we’re down to two. One of them went and did medicine. And then I think later on the other one did. And at one point for about a month, we had seven hos and four consultants, and that was it. And so it was a combination of, you know, the consultants getting pissed off when we called them about something very basic combined with what I really want to call them about this. So probably one of those first single swims,

[00:17:36] I think I’d recommend anyone to do it. Because it puts you in these situations that puts you under so much stress that then nothing else seems to stress to you after that.

[00:17:49] But yeah, for sure.

[00:17:50] For sure.

[00:17:51] Unfortunately for me, the first few patients we had passed

[00:17:55] Away, you know, after the

[00:17:56] Operation and I’d come straight in that situation, and the consultant was understandably stressed by the whole thing. And yeah, I found it really hard, man. I found it really, really difficult. But I still think it made a man in me. I do. I do think that, you know, I remember fracturing a few porosity back and my nurse just going berserk and eating like it was like no, nowhere near as bad as the things I’ve seen.

[00:18:27] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, I think I think it’s so true. Yeah, it does make a man. I mean, I remember a couple of just horrific traumas

[00:18:37] Where, yeah,

[00:18:40] Yeah, like attempted suicides. And oh, I mean, I remember going down to this one that I got a call for. Basically, it was it was bad, and I phoned my senior when I was walking down there and he was like, they said, It’s this and this and this, and I could kind of hear him on the other end. Oh my God. And he just said, Alright, try and maintain an airway, stop the bleeding. And if he dies, it’s not your fault. I was solid, solid advice on best. And yeah, those moments really do stick with you, as is like a not not.

[00:19:23] I think

[00:19:23] You’re right. You know, you can get shaken by that and go, Oh my God. But but other times you look back on it and go, Actually, this this this little bit of left route is probably not too bad, you know?

[00:19:34] Yeah, yeah. And it puts you in good stead. So your next job, you ended up doing quite a lot of ore surgery. Yeah, I can get yes, one,

[00:19:46] Yes, dear one. When I did it in the Rhondda Valley and in a little town called Treorchy

[00:19:55] And in that town, I think I ended up there once at 4am after a big party.

[00:20:05] It’s on me. It was great, you know, relatively low stress, I would say for what you’re what you’re trying to achieve in patients, but were lovely. But at the same time, some of them just like happy to be seen. And. But it was a bit of a reality check. You know, you come out of uni and you think I’m going to do this. So I’m going to I want to try and do the really good root canal. And and I suppose that was a good place to learn that situation of, you know, not everyone wants a root canal. And and I remember someone saying to us, once, you know, try not to care more about a patient’s teeth than they do because you’re going to you’re going to be tearing your hair out. I mean, yeah, all kinds of hilarious characters there, but absolutely brilliant place to learn just so much exposure.

[00:21:05] And yeah, he’s still living in Cardiff at that point.

[00:21:08] Yeah. Yeah, I was living in the bay there with Jess, my now wife. And so it was a nice, little nice little commute. Just drive up up to the valley each day as. 50 odd minutes and living down in the bay was, yeah, good fun.

[00:21:23] So you know that life of straight off the university, you’re still a new university town, you know, you kind of still got your sort of community around you and network around you. Look, I found my next job after that quite quite a bit of change. I felt lonely as a as a, you know, real person compared to the student, you know, nice sort of mix of people on VTi with me. Where did your first real job?

[00:21:54] Well, actually, so do maths facts. I’m sure you found this. You don’t really have any time to spend any money or live a life, basically. So I was earning a little bit, not much, but a little bit more than that. And no time to spend it. And that did my vote year. And Jess basically said to me, which is I’ve never been travelling and I’ve always wanted to. I thought, OK, I said, Let’s go, you know, end of this year, you’re never going to have a break in your contract ever again. You know, if it’s one year, that’s the end of that. And I’m like, Yeah, alright, cool. Six months into the details, let’s do it. We’re going to when we booked it and then I got towards the end. And yeah, towards the end of Beattie, my boss was saying, You know, I’ll offer you an associate position. Yes, I’ve come up with was how many thousands of eda’s and whatever it good money. Basically, I was thinking, Oh, that’s tempting, but we’ve bought this ticket, you know, so. So we did it. We went and best thing we ever did. I remember I was a bit a bit concerned at the time sort of thinking, you know, how am I going to come back and everyone else is going to

[00:23:08] Be way

[00:23:09] Ahead? My stunting, my career progression and whatever. And you know, all these silly things you think when you’re when you’re young, you know, I think, you know, you’ve been uni for five years and whatever you’re fresh out, you want to get going. I certainly did. Yeah, yeah. But we did it. We went, And where did you go? So start off Borneo and Bali for about a month. And then we went down to Australia a couple of weeks, five weeks New Zealand and then month in Thailand and month in Vietnam. And it’s just amazing. I just loved it, you know, and I think that was really good for me to not be so like, I think if I just got straight into it, I don’t know, maybe got a burn out or something, but it was a good slow down a bit and have a think about things. And from there we got we were getting towards the end of our travels and just said, you know, where do you want to, where you want to live? And I said, Oh, maybe sorry. And she said, Cornwall. So we ended up in Bath.

[00:24:10] So many of us were happy then, but then actually just absolutely loved Bath. And I remember sitting in this bar. Oh, amazing city. But we had to sort out flat before we got back. And before we went travelling, we printed off a load of CVS cover letters, and I think I had a few photos put together and we had them all ready to send out. And a month before he went back, we sent them out to every practise we would be happy to work at. I spend, I don’t know, 40 odd in the Bristol Bath area, but I remember sitting in a bar in Vietnam. Just Jess’s parents had very kindly gone to view some flats for us, and they were FaceTiming us looking around the flats. But they appeared to like travel between them and whatever, and we had to keep the internet connexion going. So we were buying these twenty three beers and getting more and more pissed. Looking at these flats, like, that’s amazing. I think we nearly signed up to something on the Royal Crescent through honest, but we got.

[00:25:19] How long were you away for in total? Was it

[00:25:20] Six months? Just under

[00:25:22] Six months? Yeah.

[00:25:24] So you spent all your savings? I’m pretty much what was it, backpacking packing, what were you thinking? From the husband on the one to a six month holiday?

[00:25:36] Do you know, full on, full on backpacking? I don’t know.

[00:25:42] You think sharing with others is that was it was like because the beach is so cheap over there. Yeah, because

[00:25:50] We were to actually like a joint room or shared room with one bed in. It is not it’s not that much more expensive, really. We stayed in a few dorm rooms and oh man, all those places. All those places. But you’ve got a camper in New Zealand. It was

[00:26:07] Amazing. Oh, wow. To do that whole South Island stuff.

[00:26:10] Oh yeah, I did the whole North Island, South Island five weeks.

[00:26:14] Incredible. Incredible. I mean, did you did you think about doing a year off before university?

[00:26:20] No. No, because I think I was really, I wouldn’t say overwhelmed. But I was very aware that like five year degree is a long time and one time actually that it kind of hit me, whereas I came back to Surrey just after we’d had. I don’t know if you had this, but we had like a halfway meal at two and a half years to celebrate getting halfway through the degree of sort of like miserable reminder. And I came back to Surrey and we went I was on a night out in London with just like guys from school, and they’d all finished their degree. I think they’d all just got like their first and second pay cheque and they were like, Yeah, let’s buy this place up, you know, getting the rounds in like, Oh, I don’t know if I can afford the train ticket home like, you know, uni dry patch there and that I found quite tough, actually, because I was thinking, Do you know what? I’m halfway through this degree, and all my friends are like hitting the earning now, and how am I going to catch that up and whatever? And actually then I think that’s when I kind of like solidified into with all the Dental people and whatever, you know, before that, I was living with guys from outside dentistry, which is kind of healthy, I think, for the first few years. Yeah. And then after that, yeah, really sort of got in with the Dental guys

[00:27:43] And tell me about the top in Bath.

[00:27:47] So yeah, Bath, I I got a job we live in in Bath, but I work just outside in a little town called caution. Fairly standard mixed practise. It was like two three surgeries, two associates and the hygienist and I guess it was kind of

[00:28:03] Associate led really

[00:28:04] The the owner. He had a single surgery practise on the circus in Bath, doing pretty much all only implants. And it’s great, you know, it kind of left the Dorian thing. I think I just did enough to keep the boss happy. So ticking over and that’s where I did my implant, MSI, which I couldn’t. I was a bit torn where to go, you know, I think it was like Sheffield London or Bristol, and it’s an expensive course combined with all the time off and everything. I was like, I can’t really decide between them, so I might as well do Bristol. It’s the closest and it just so happens that like pretty much all the clinical days, which is eighty five percent of the course was in

[00:28:45] Bath, about 500

[00:28:47] Yards down the road. So I felt really jammy when some people were like flying from Scotland. I think this lady from like the Isle of Man or something, and

[00:28:57] Anyway, travelling all

[00:28:59] This distance today for one day to take a suture out, you know, and I was just nipping back for lunch. So that was massively convenient. And also because my boss was heavily into his implants, he could kind of he just had an agreement with me that he’d mentor me, which I only realised later was pretty an economical way of doing things because mentoring is pretty expensive. And he basically said, Look, I won’t charge you, but as long as you once you once you get the hang of it, I can leave you alone, basically. So that was great.

[00:29:28] When did you decide? When had you decided to go into implants? Was that something you always planned to do or was it the influence of this boss in that?

[00:29:38] Yeah. Yeah. In fact, I got a taste for it, and then in the vet practise, I was in the good mate of mine, get a good buzz. He was doing implants there and he was about, I think, for four or five years. Yeah, four years ahead of me and uni. And so I could just see what he was doing and whatever. And yeah, it just got a bit of a taste for it. And then I decided when we’re travelling, it’s, you know, when we’re travelling, it kind of gave you a lot of time to think and kind of decide on a

[00:30:09] Pathway, I guess. Yeah.

[00:30:12] And then, yeah, we were there for. About four years in Bath is kind of funny, really how the Cornwall situation came about from being on the MSC. One of the guys, Tim Harris, who teaches on it, is Friends with my now boss, Mark and Mark Davies said to him There are any implant people on your course that would be interested. So he just put out an internal email to the MSC Group just saying, you know, anyone be interested as an implant job, come up in Cornwall. And I was on holiday with my wife and her family, and I saw an email come through and I was like, Oh. I might just enquire, you know, so I put my name down and Mark got back to me and said, Oh, you know, I own pure Dental in Truro Hospital. Oh bloody hell, I know pure Dental like,

[00:31:04] I think very high profile practise, right?

[00:31:07] Yeah. And I thought,

[00:31:09] Oh God,

[00:31:10] What if I put my name in for? And if I’m honest, I just thought

[00:31:15] That’s out of my depth. I’m not going to get that,

[00:31:17] But I was like, Well, you know, you don’t put your name in, you never find out. And I had a bit of an interest in I just I liked taking photos. And to be honest, it was about the round, about the time when you know the sort of Facebook dentistry is really getting going and you could just see these high profile guys posting these cases. I just had that thing in the back of my head of. It’s a good thing to do, you know, build a portfolio. I don’t think any of my I didn’t know anyone else doing that at the time. And so I just sort of thought, Well, I don’t know if I’m getting anything out of these photos, really, but these guys say it’s a good idea, so I’m going to stick it out. And then when it came to it, when on holiday, you know, Mark said, Oh, send me a CV, send me some photos and excerpts of your work. And I was like, Yeah, here you go, ping. Half an hour later, you had it. And he was. I looked great. You know, it’s pretty much yours, but let’s chat in the week when you get back from holiday and which time? I hadn’t said anything to my wife and she’s like,

[00:32:20] Well, you get off your lap, you doing your laptop

[00:32:22] On holiday.

[00:32:23] And I hadn’t told her because I was like, she will be over the Moon to move to Cornwall, but I can’t. I daren’t disappoint her and say, you know, whatever. I didn’t get it. I just turned that around because, you know, I’ve been horribly rude on my laptop. And she said, I just got a job in Truro, pure Dental. But it was for 13 months ahead. So that was a bit tricky. Going back to work and being I got a job in just over a year’s time. Moving to Cornwall and my notice periods like three months, actually actually given four months in the end. But I got within. I was doing a little bit of short term, although then I remember getting within the six month mark, but turning us in case seeing cases like, Oh, it’s a bit complex and I’m going to refer that, refer that to my boss. My nurse is looking at me like, what are we talking about? Like, I could do that. So yeah, that was a bit tricky. But yeah, it was worth it.

[00:33:24] Why was he looking for someone so early? He just a planner. The one thing

[00:33:28] I think it because we may be lazy. I think it’s because because the guy Jeremy Harris has taken over from had, you know, he was retiring, it was a long plan. You know, it wasn’t. Yeah, quick notice. So he wanted to give himself time to to look around. And I don’t know, perhaps no one has applied and

[00:33:50] Was a bit like that. It’s hard to hard to persuade people to come, come and move there.

[00:33:55] So I imagine yeah, I imagine so.

[00:33:57] Yeah, yeah. Well, when you told me Jeremy Harris, I took a gasp because he’s known for doing some huge cases for years that he’s been doing implant ology and full mouth dentistry, right?

[00:34:09] Yeah. Did you feel the same?

[00:34:11] You know, did you did you know him or have you heard of him before?

[00:34:15] I knew who he was, but I had no. I had no idea quite the extent of what he was doing, and

[00:34:23] I knew he had an honour to take over that list. Really?

[00:34:26] Yeah, a real honour. Yeah, I

[00:34:28] Mean, sometimes now even, you know, oh, unclip a chrome dentro, just like, have a look for a bit, you know, and

[00:34:35] Sit down there and

[00:34:37] Was this attachment and then, you know, patient breaks the crown and they’re like, Oh, you’re just going to do, you know, sort this out and you’re like, Oh my God, this is this is complicated. And so, yeah, really real honour, real

[00:34:50] Honour and a steep learning curve, I’m sure.

[00:34:53] Yeah, for sure. But because I had such a long time knowing I was going to start there, I remember I remember halfway through Max being like, I’ve hardly placed any Canada’s. I’ve been bottling out of it and letting all the nurses do it. So the last six months of Max, I’m going to pace at least five years a week for the rest of this. And so when I got that one year, you know, ready to go scenario, I kind of was, OK, I’ve got this job that I can either just like bury my head in the sand and try and survive it, or I’ve got 12 months to try and just nail the basics. And so pretty much from then on, I was like, Right, I’m rubber damning. Everything I’m going to make, take all the time in the world and have it go all this and just upskill as much as I can. I’ve probably made hardly any money that year, but. A long time on treatments and just try to get confident in the basics, you know, and so when I when I went to Pure, I was like, Great, I’m just going to, yeah, I’m rubber dam and everything. I’m happy with my crown preps and whatever. But the one thing Mark said to me was, You know, I like your portfolio, but it’s a lot of single single tooth density or small cases. And to work here, you’re going to need to understand full mouth, which is kind of daunting. But he said, Look, you’ve got to go and do Dawson go to the Dawson Occlusion Academy. He absolutely lives and breathes Dawson. And so if I’m honest, I we didn’t. We didn’t have a lot of occlusion

[00:36:34] Lectures at uni

[00:36:36] Or if we did, I don’t remember them particularly well,

[00:36:38] But I

[00:36:40] Had no idea what I was getting myself into go into to Dawson. And when I looked at like four modules of like three days each night, what is going on? And I sometimes find when I talk to my friends, whatever

[00:36:54] Is, you know, how

[00:36:55] I got interested in occlusion. Like what? What do you mean? Like, tap together and look at the blue dots here? And was

[00:37:03] Like, Yeah, but I think I think a lot

[00:37:06] Of people that don’t necessarily or haven’t done those sorts of courses don’t link occlusion with being able to do format rehabs and big treatment. I don’t know. I think you’re right. And actually, you know, this like study of occlusion is not about nerding out over the TMJ. I mean, yes, you end up becoming that person because, you know, just do anyway. But it’s about treating a whole mouth. And yeah, that was a huge game changer, really. That course for me, Alan,

[00:37:39] I look at your content. A lot of it is that sort of biomimetic sort of, you know, the rubber dam, these sort of protocols and that aspect I’m keen to know about, you know, the role of social media in the development of dentists because it’s very it’s very sort of fashionable to put it down. But I’ve definitely noticed that since social media dentistry has come along, the standards of young dentists, which just gone through the roof.

[00:38:13] Mm hmm. Ok.

[00:38:15] You know, it could be self-selecting and the ones I’m meeting or whatever it is. But but the standards are high and I want to know,

[00:38:22] You know,

[00:38:24] The other side of it, you know, but it’s all it’s very easy to say it’s rubbish. And you know, all the things that we know is wrong with Instagram dentistry and all that. But but what role did it play in your development as a dentist?

[00:38:37] And so, Alice, I started my Instagram account when I moved to Cornwall because

[00:38:42] That before

[00:38:43] Then I’d been taking my photos to get that portfolio together to get the private job. And I’ve got this job that was, you know, a huge leap up in what I’ve been doing. And I thought, Well, I’ve got to take photos for now, but know I could just work this job. And so as I do, I’m going to start with these Instagram accounts and it would just make me take photos. I’m going to post the case a week or whatever I decided to do. And that’s literally how I got into it, just to try and keep myself accountable, really to to taking photos and sticking at something that I’d kind of decided was a good idea and actually what I found more recently with Instagram. And I think this is where Instagram and Facebook differ, is that if you are a dentist that posts for dentists and you’re trying to post quality content or educational content or

[00:39:39] Whatever, like, it’s pretty

[00:39:42] Hard to post a lot of content, even like one a week is is time. And you know, there’ll be cases where you take take photos and you run out of time to take any more photos or it just doesn’t go well or whatever, you know. So I think for me, sometimes I’ll be in work. I’m like, you know, I’m photographing in this case, it drives you to push your your quality, for sure. I think I feel on Facebook because you’re in a big group, you only have to post, I don’t know, one case a month or whatever to stay relevant. You just got to keep your name in the hat, whereas in Instagram on Instagram. Yeah, it’s a really positive platform. There’s a lot of back slapping, and that’s cool, but you’re the only person on your page, and so you’re the only one that can keep your content going and drive it. And I guess I guess more recently, I’ve kind of flipped more towards like posting more stories and trying to keep just complete quality for my page. And also, I really like that interactive story part where you can I talk people through a case and I find a lot of people really resonate with that. I get so many nice messages like, Oh, thanks for explaining how to do that. And you know, I I definitely learn huge amounts of social media, Facebook and Instagram. You just got to be selective and careful and like, learn kind of within your limits, you know?

[00:41:10] Yeah, yeah, so so that’s kind of what I was asking is, you know, what you’ve learnt, where you’ve learnt it, which accounts you’ve learnt it from, you know, for instance, for me, someone like George Cheatin, you know, I’ve learnt so much from that guy just by looking at his Instagram. This is amazing. Yeah, yeah. And you know, I’m not even practising.

[00:41:33] But for me, it’s actually

[00:41:36] I know it’s good content when it makes me want to try the damn thing. I saw one of yours. You were using the tool. Was it you the thing? Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, the Liquid Dam is reporting that this is so obvious, right of this thing. But but maybe I’ll call and try that now. And it’s a lot better than the kittens, right? But but it does get a bad name as well. And and I think a lot of the bad part of it is when it’s aimed at patients and people aren’t taking care of, you know, anything other than trying to track the patient to them. Hmm. Did you have the did you have ever wanted to do a patient facing page because you’re definitely isn’t right?

[00:42:27] Yeah, it’s not. It’s not. I’ve had I think I’ve had one patient

[00:42:36] And they

[00:42:37] They came in, you know, it’s hilarious. Actually, I treated them last week and I came in and I said, Oh hell, I always introduce people to the rubber down its first filling appointment, and I said, Oh, you see one of these before? And she’s like, Yeah, on your page,

[00:42:53] I was like, All

[00:42:54] Right, cool. So that’s fine. We’re going to do this. So you’re going to tie some floss around it. No, but I feel like I should know. So, yeah, I mean, you were asking about influential pages, and I would say for sure, you know, Lincoln Harris on the right page, just the amount of quality content that God puts out that I’ve learnt huge amounts from from him. But for me now, it’s more about the little tiny things that you pick up, perhaps on a case you you’ve already done or you know how to do. But they’re doing it. One little step is different. And that’s that’s where you can just tweak and refine and you make these tiny, tiny little steps. And then you look back a year later, you’re like, Whoa, I’ve come a long way. But combined with that, like the the networking is is mad, and that’s something I’ve never, I don’t know I’ve never been good at. I never really had any intent to be involved in, you know, not not chatting to people like schmoozing people, I suppose, you know, it just doesn’t come naturally to me. But on Instagram, you start chatting to people and all of a sudden you know your chatting to people around the place. And that’s how I got to know guys like Chris O’Connor, who owns its Dental and yeah, chat to Georgia dentists every now and again. I’ve spoke to him on the phone and stuff, and especially down in Cornwall. You know, I don’t get to meet, meet and greet and, you know, go to those nice parties that I see online.

[00:44:40] I’ve spoken. I’ve worked a lot with Jason Smith and I’ve spoken to him about the Cornwall as a as a place to work and live. And there are the obvious advantages, right? But but there is that thing of if you want to fly to

[00:44:54] Portugal,

[00:44:56] You’ve got that whole journey before getting to the airport and then back.

[00:45:03] That’s funny. You said Portugal. Portugal is pretty much the only place you can fly from the UK and it’s like 40. Is that right? Is that

[00:45:10] Right? Yeah, I know you’re going to Portugal a lot. Yeah, but oh,

[00:45:19] Do you know what are so, so naive to that? As naive to that because

[00:45:23] I,

[00:45:24] You know, I grew up in Hallie, which is a £5 taxi ride from Gatwick, and I had no idea. But even living in Bath, you know, getting to Bristol Airport, I like this. This is a pain. I can’t. I can’t believe people put up with this. You know, they’ve got a

[00:45:39] Commute to the airport as a ticket.

[00:45:42] But now I’m in Cornwall two hours to anywhere, you know, get back to the the rest of the world, you get to Exeter. It’s like God, I’m only just starting. So yeah, there is that. There is that. But at the same time, you kind of having this sort of slightly more isolated situation. There’s perks to it, even in in work as well. You know, you’ve got this little community, a dentist that you can easily interact with, but at the same time, you’re not you’re not all fighting each other. There’s a lot of people down here, a lot of teeth, not that many dentists. So there’s more than enough work for everyone. And and that makes for

[00:46:19] Sort of

[00:46:20] Quite nice work environment as well.

[00:46:22] And your patient group, I know Truro has, you know, both both sides, hasn’t it? It’s actually a lot of, you know, didn’t need down there as well. But your patient group? Is it is it that sort of typical person you’d imagine who’s like retired to Cornwall and this time wants to get his teeth right? Is that is that it? Am I talking rubbish?

[00:46:48] Yes and no. Yes and no. So when I when I moved into this, you know, it’s high end private practise, I was like, OK, I’m going to have demanding veneer patients all day, every day, and I’m just going to see how it goes. And actually, it’s just not the case, I would say. I say my patients are probably three different categories. One would be what you would expect in private practise. You know, they want the best, and that’s fine. Some of them are great. Most of them are great. Some of them a bit more fussy. Then you’ve got phobic patients who basically just need time. So many of them. So I’ve done sedation training in the last few years, but so many of my sedation patients, we sedate them initially and I try and win them off it. That’s kind of my goal, and that is life changing treatment. I have a guy who he wouldn’t let us take photos even in the waiting room, he cried, Come on up the stairs the first time he ever came in and he wouldn’t sit in the chair. It was traumatic just for him to come in the practise. We did a fair amount treatment under sedation and then a couple of months ago we placed two lower implants and with no sedation and us and fulfilling. Isn’t it so good? So, so good. So, yeah, phobic patients. And then lastly, it’s like people who haven’t been in 20 years and they just they just come in and go. My teeth are wrecked. I’m going to pay for it. Just do the do what you can or do you need to do, you know, because they they they get there’s limitations with the system. They know they’ve got a lot of work to do and they just want to get it done. And some of those are fantastically rewarding as well. So, yeah, it’s not all difficult.

[00:48:28] So, you know,

[00:48:30] The kind of work that you do now, there’s quite a lot of full mouth stuff there, right? And you’re actually carrying that out now. Yeah, the conversation for the patient that comes in with, let’s say, Problem X, I mean, he might do probably he might come in saying, my front teeth are looking short. Yeah, or or whatever it is, my back is broken. Yeah. And then and then you have a look. And when you’re looking at things from that comprehensive sort of mindset, you might then turn around and say, you need. Thirty thousand pounds worth of treatment. Have you have you sort of figured out some ways of breaking that news in a sort of a piecemeal way to, you know, how how do you communicate with the patient to give them that news? Because, you know, I’m thinking, I’m thinking of my brother. My brother has a mutagenesis imperfecta and he has a full mouth of crowns. He should know better, right? He should know that when he goes to a dentist, the dentist might say, you need a big dream. But I remember my brother came back and say, the guy said it would be like 10 grand. And I said, Well, he might be. I haven’t seen him myself. How do you how did you break the news? What do you do? Tell me about it.

[00:49:44] So a lot of the time I find those patients come in and they’re like, I know it’s bad. They’re really they’re really bad ones. Say, for example, I find I find actually just slightly that some of the tooth wear cases where they don’t really know they’re quite tricky. They are. Yeah. Okay, so those ones. So my standard new patient assessment, everybody gets a set of radiographs that they need, usually set by a full set of photographs. We do the assessment and then we get out the chair, go and sit by a monitor in the corner and we talk through their photos and even the people with the nicest teeth. You put their screen on a T on a 40 inch monitor and they go, Oh my God. And so you’re instantly getting them to see the problem because you think that sounds mad. They know what’s going on with their teeth, but they don’t. And when you can actually show them. So, so let them see what’s going on is my first thing to do. The next thing is, and this is new, I don’t haven’t always done it this way, but now it’s how I always do. It is our stage people are. We’re going to take this in two stages. We’re going to do a stabilisation phase in a definitive phase and stabilisation is get your gums healthy, fill things we can fill, take out anything we can’t and get your maintenance on board. And some patients, that is a six month journey. You know, it depends on how often they want to come in, but other patients are like, Yeah, let’s do it, let’s nail this and other patients that come in every week for two months and just, you know, tidied everything up. They’ve got caries everywhere and whenever and and and then I say to them, and that’s going to end with a planning phase

[00:51:32] And

[00:51:33] I say, Well, you know, if you’re going to build a house, you wouldn’t just start putting bricks down. You’ve got to get the architect in first. And that’s where we’re going to start. We’ve got to do a plan for your mouth and talk to them about their bias a little bit. And usually they start to, you know, they see what you’re doing, you know, for example, they come in for this first film. I never started anything major. It’s like a little clues or on a six or something to start with. They come in.

[00:51:59] You treat them

[00:52:01] As you would anybody but to your best ability. You know, given topical, we’ve got a TV on the ceiling. I’m using rubber. Damn, it doesn’t hurt. They don’t drown with the water. The filling looks nice. Sometimes they have a little snooze until the rubber dam. If you really winning and they sit up there like that was all right, actually. And then, you know, sometimes they’ll go, Oh, it’s so look like on the photo and you showed them and they’re on board. They’re sold. They they’re like, OK, I feel like

[00:52:32] This guy

[00:52:32] Gets it or whatever. And then you get to the end of the stabilisation and you say, Do you want to do the planning? You know, this is a treatment plan for that going. Record your, your teeth, your bite and your jaw position. And I’m going to go away for six weeks with the technician and we’re going to plan your case in the background and then I’ll tell you what’s involved and they’ll get a wish list from them. And quite often, I’ll ask them if they have a budget because by then they’re starting to get the problem. You know, you touch on it a couple of times and you can. By doing a stabilisation phase, I find that you can really draw out people what they think about their teeth or what they hate or what. And you can go back to that of this is what I want to do to your teeth to fix them. And this is how it’s going to achieve your goal. You know, that’s that’s kind of my approach, really, but it’s always difficult. You know, I’ve had people I’ve had, I’ve had several people. We get into stabilisation. We’ve even done the planning phase, which is not for free. You know, we sit down, we show them a full mouth wax up and they go, Yeah, yeah, I’ll think about it and never come back. That’s OK. I’m OK with that like good cause they’re stable. And that makes me feel good because I know they’re healthy. Like, yes, they haven’t got the perfect bite, but they’re a heck of a lot better than when they came in. And I think I would feel a little bit maybe uneasy if I went, OK, here’s the here’s everything it’s going to cost. Yeah, and 30 grand and then never come back and I’ll go back. I. Scott Carey’s everywhere, like we could have at least sort that out.

[00:54:06] Yeah, so I guess you’re saying you use the stabilisation phase number one to get rapport. And number two, to understand their goals. And I guess they’re all hygiene. And you know, you get to know her mouth in a way isn’t, you know, the person. I mean, I’ve had right here

[00:54:24] On this podcast and you

[00:54:26] Know, he told me he sometimes does three examinations before starting treatment. And much of it is for him to work the patient out and to know whether that’s, you know, someone he’s going to work on with him. Sometimes it’s two years of of work before that final fit visit. Yeah, yeah, yeah. What about the actual work? I mean, you’re doing so many different things. I mean, the only part of your work that I can kind of relate to is the composite part. I mean, I know you did maybe a little bit of bleaching too, but the the buzz, the buzz of, I guess, with the full mouth cases, the buzz of everything fitting together, right? Marcano sort of buzz. Yeah, that was it.

[00:55:11] Yeah, there is that there is that. I think I’ve had several times where I’ve thought, you know, you often hear people talking about saying, you know, niche down and, you know, find your area and nail that. And I’m like, Yeah, I’m going to do that, but I haven’t found my area. You know, I I keep enjoying bits,

[00:55:29] And I wasn’t that

[00:55:30] Sure about dentures, and I had a few that didn’t go very well. So I went and did a course with Finley Sutton and I was like, Oh man, this is so good. And so now that didn’t really help me, though, because it just meant I’m doing more stuff now. We’ve got a great practise. Graham, it does end, though, and so I might just not even going to bother with that. Why? Why try when he’s already nailing it? So but apart from that, I just enjoy it. Oh, really? And it’s yeah, it’s how it fits together. But it’s getting I get huge satisfaction when I’m doing a crown Prav. I’m like, Man, that’s that’s crisp, you know? Or, yeah, a few composites and even all the little bits, you know, not just pretty anatomy, but a good contact point and all the bits that go with it. Just I find it really like just personally satisfying. And I think that’s why I struggle to. Some people would say, Oh, you know, you can try and do everything. I think I just a bit of a dabble, really and and

[00:56:31] Just

[00:56:32] I can’t inside.

[00:56:34] I can’t decide. I think, look, the most important thing is that you’re happy that it’s the most

[00:56:38] Important thing now.

[00:56:40] So as long as you’re happy, that’s it. But but I think I don’t know. To me, it looks like you’re going down the route of being a teacher of some sort. I mean, you’ve done some courses anyway. And it’s an important question, right?

[00:56:56] Should you teach

[00:56:57] More than one subject? And I think you can do. I think you can. You could. You can teach isolation, you can teach composite. You can teach,

[00:57:05] I don’t know.

[00:57:05] Can you teach in parts that probably some aspects of it, right? And you know, I have this conversation with Dipesh a lot. You know, Dipesh Palmer, yeah, he’s very talented in lots of different areas. And then the question of, you know, is what’s what’s the someone like Newton file like at implants? I don’t know if you’re going to be a teacher, you’re going to be a year course teacher. It sounds like because there’s so many different parts of dentistry that you’re interested in, isn’t it?

[00:57:40] Yeah, I don’t, you know, I don’t know the teaching thing for me.

[00:57:44] Just like it just happened.

[00:57:46] I didn’t. I hadn’t. I have no desire to to to teach and, you know, show off my skills or whatever. I just I really enjoyed teaching, actually. And yeah, when we ran the course this year, the first one we did was in, well, we actually set it up to do the first one in Newcastle and then the dates so happened that it failed, that the Baath course was going to be a month before we were like, Oh crap, we better get a move on, like our start date just moved a month forward. And so we’re doing this, this composite course with myself,

[00:58:25] Chris

[00:58:25] O’connor, who owns Incidente. When a guy Olly Bailey, who’s a friend of his

[00:58:30] Works up

[00:58:31] In Newcastle with him,

[00:58:32] A fantastic clinician

[00:58:35] And I’ve never met either of them. I chatted to Chris, seen him on Zoom, Zoom and Zoom a few times and we were kind of on the same page or whatever. I sent him my lecture and he was like, Oh, put it all together, and I had never given a lecture. I think, I mean, yeah, I don’t think I’d ever given a lecture in front of like dentists. I mean, I’ve done, I’ve done. I’ve done a 30 minute presentation at uni. Imperio the I knew nothing about, and I did I did a rubber dam webinar in lockdown, which I just I really enjoyed it. I just liked that kind of just telling people like This is what I do, and this is difficult. This is how you can make it work. We went to this course and that’s like, I don’t actually know how you can practise a one hour lecture. You can’t practise two days. So I spent like, I know what I’m going to say, but I don’t know how long it will last. You know, is this enough for two days? Yeah. And I basically planned what was going to say on the first slide and everything else. I knew all the other slides, I knew all the pictures there. My case is a new kind of the topics I wanted to cover, but just pretty much freestyle the rest of it because it was just talking about what I did every day. It wasn’t like, OK, I’ve got to have all these papers to back up this, I’m saying and whatever and defend yourself. Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. And yeah, I really enjoyed it, and it seemed to go fairly well. So that was my like kind of first experience with teaching, really. And yeah, happy to continue it. It was really good fun. But yeah, I’ve got no major plans to set up the HILLENBURG in one year course in, you know, whatever you want to pick out my Instagram page.

[01:00:29] But do you see this? You do see what I mean by confidence, right? I mean, the next man would have said, Well, I’ve never talked before. I’m not up for this. I’m not going to do this. Or, you know, or or it wouldn’t have gone so well, but it just jumped into it and did it.

[01:00:43] Yeah. But the thing was, I was a bit like, if I don’t say yes to this, you know, when am I going to get an opportunity to teach a course like this? It’s just not. It’s just not going to happen, so I thought I

[01:00:53] Heard they picked you up from your account, your Instagram account. Is that how it happened?

[01:00:58] I think so. Yeah, kind of be kind of. Yeah, so I mean, I got chatting to Chris on on Instagram. I asked him a question. I think that like drew us into this funnel of nerd occlusion chat that he’s like, I like, he’s like,

[01:01:15] This

[01:01:17] Is guys as sad as I am, it’s Saturday night and he’s still messaging me. And then actually me, Chris Jaz Gulati. A couple other guys, my buddy Vijay and Richard McIndoe just started a

[01:01:32] Little online study club

[01:01:34] Just out of the blue, and we each that was it. Actually, we each gave a lecture on that and I said I’d go first and I gave a lecture on suturing, which I just wrote from this sort of advanced soft tissue course I’d done, and they had this really amazing bit on suturing. And so I told everyone, Right, you’ve got to bring you’ve got to you’ve got to bring a suture kit, some some sutures and a banana and a scalpel. And we did this suture lecture. And Chris, he’s like, I don’t do any suturing, but I’m so into this now. And that was basically that’s what I think where he went, Hey, let’s do. That’s what he basically said. Let’s do something together. It just came from there.

[01:02:17] All right. I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to try it this time. Yeah. I want your Altenberg in three top tips. I’m going to I’m going to fire the subjects. Okay? And I just want you to just think too much about actually to fire out your three top tips on rubber down

[01:02:32] Through a rubber down start. Easy. Don’t throw yourself in at the deep end. It’s just stressful. Give yourself time. Plan a little bit of extra time and

[01:02:46] Something practical and practical.

[01:02:48] Give yourself space when you’re isolating. So if you’re going to treat a lower six isolate camp, the seven and isolate, at least to the four 14th isolation is like my standard quadrant.

[01:03:00] I mean, suturing three top tips

[01:03:02] On suturing,

[01:03:06] You

[01:03:08] Get careful.

[01:03:15] Take your time to get in position. Don’t be bending over backwards with your arm twisted just to try and get the suture in place, move around, get comfortable and move the suture within the holder to get it in the right place so you can sit comfortably with your first throw. Get the not to lie flat and then what?

[01:03:38] What, what? What’s going on? Say that?

[01:03:43] Explain that. Okay, so when you’re tying your suture, they say you’re using a four 000 vehicle resizable suture. You’re going to throw the needle by. So wrapping around the suture holder and then you going to pull tight. That’s your first throw. You’re going to pull in the direction

[01:04:03] That the needle

[01:04:05] Went through the tissue. And if you’re not sure what if what you’re supposed to look like, the knot should lie flat, okay? And if you have it flat against the government and if you’ve ever done this, it will look like it’s wrapped over each other. Not like a little ball. Yeah, that’s how you get your suture tight. And then the second throw ties tighten that locks the first throw and you can’t rectify it with the second throw. You can’t do a crap job on the first one and then save it on the second one, pulling it really hard. That’s that’s basically the

[01:04:37] Crux of it. And much of much of successful implant ology

[01:04:42] From the aesthetic sort of

[01:04:43] Perspective. Suturing is a massive part of that, right?

[01:04:46] Oh yeah, for sure. That’s why I love it. I just I find it really quite sort of relaxing, you know, at the end of the procedure. I used to I used to be like, Oh man, get this wound closed down stress. This was a hard case. Now, like, OK, let’s chew. Let’s close this up. Let’s put some nice sutures in and relax a bit.

[01:05:09] Three top tips on composites. How many top three they it’s your fault for being good at everything. So, so

[01:05:21] Good. So one comes by Oh man, so many of them. Yeah, yeah. I would say take if you do a class to take your time to get your matrix, whatever you’re using, set up in place and the rest will be quite straightforward. Don’t just rush that bit and then be like, OK, now I’ve got to sort this mess up. Use a good bonding system, so I’m an optic bond AFL fan. You know, there’s decent self etched pieces out there, clear feeling that sort of thing. But do you use a decent system and know how to use it? So we do a little seminar in the course. It’s like an hour section, which Chris does, and it’s

[01:06:12] I’ve seen him to

[01:06:14] Four times down, I think, and it’s just brilliant. He goes through how, you know, basically what you’ve got in the drawer and how to use them differently.

[01:06:23] Yeah.

[01:06:23] And and isolate it.

[01:06:27] Yeah. Read the instructions, right? So many people don’t read the instructions. Yeah, sure. It’s interesting for sure. I wouldn’t worry

[01:06:35] About running out and running.

[01:06:39] I want to. I want to move on to darker days. We ask everyone on this podcast this question. It’s around either something you did that you later on regretted doing clinically or, you know, your most difficult patient, the most difficult management patient, something we can all learn from that. Hmm.

[01:07:03] I would say and this is so earlier I said about my sort of stabilisation and definitive phase, and I said, I haven’t always done that. And I got a little bit burnt once with a tooth wear case. There’s a composite rehab. And I did the full wax up. Lovely lady and plan the case. And I said, Look, you’ve got these two crowns on your Prav molars on the left. It would be ideal to replace them at the same time to get your bite right and to make everything look the same. She was like,

[01:07:44] Ok, well, I get that.

[01:07:45] That’s ideal, but it’s a bit out of my budget. So that’s fine. I can make it work. That’s no problem. But we just needed to, like, discuss that first. There’s a few other little bits. So we did the composite rehab and there was a situation. I can’t think what it was, but basically she saw a colleague of mine at a review and she she said a few strange things throughout. But she she said to my

[01:08:12] Friend Alan tried to

[01:08:13] Scratch these crowns on purpose when he was going around the composite because he wanted me to replace them because he wanted me to spend more money.

[01:08:21] And, well,

[01:08:24] The guy I was working with, he’s a legend. He doesn’t, he lacks a filter. And he said, OK, so

[01:08:37] So crowns

[01:08:39] Are crowns are glazed in a furnace when they’re made. And that’s the only way to get a glaze on them. So I’m going to have a look at your mouth in a minute and. If the guy is damage, then then Alan, scratch those crowns, but that glaze is in intact, then then you’re lying there like, just check it. Yeah, have a look. So we had a look just he struggled with. I don’t know what to say, but that glaze is fine.

[01:09:19] And he just sat in silence and stared

[01:09:23] As she said she went, she she didn’t lose it, but she was

[01:09:27] Like, No, he did it. He scratched them.

[01:09:29] He tried to do so. She complained. She went to the boss. So now she’s requested to see, see the boss. And you know, I’m thinking, Oh, did I? The polish that margin perfectly on the concept, you know, we see each other’s work, but you know, it’s not common that he’s going to like, inspect it like that and pick it apart. And he had a look and he just said, really sorry. Like? I worked, it works great. There’s nothing wrong here. He said, I’ll

[01:10:00] Pay for you to

[01:10:01] Go and have a consultation anywhere in the county. We’ll pay for that. Get a second opinion. And it went on and on and

[01:10:10] She kind of

[01:10:11] Came to see me and I was like, Oh, got some alarm bells going here? This is just getting out of hand. And in the end, I just sat down, had a chat to my boss and he’s like, Look, I think we should just refund her and cut our losses or whatever. And you know, it was a five to five composite build up case upper and lower. It wasn’t a quick fix, cheap treatment. And I said, Yeah, let’s do it. Which gave all the money back and said, Don’t come back. And that was like afterwards I was reflecting on it with my nurse. I just said, You know, how do we how do we avoid that? You know, how do I? I didn’t see that coming. And it’s because I didn’t know I didn’t know her, and I probably would have picked that out of her in a stabilisation. The tricky thing is, I know everyone needs stabilisation. You know, if they’ve got a clean mouth and a bit of teeth where there’s not like you’re going to do a load of, you know, composite. So in first, maybe do a bit of whitening and slow things down a bit. But yeah, now I I definitely have a more like if I get a gut feeling or whatever. Yeah, I try and slow it down a little bit, get to know the patient for sure. And some of the some of the former rehabs now that I’ve finished are just on the loveliest patients and I’ve got one in next week that we’re nearly finishing. I’m I’m looking forward to seeing her. She’s such a good patient and we’re super busy at the moment. Hopefully remains beer and I just feel like, you know what? Life’s too short to ruin your day with those patients. I’d much rather

[01:11:46] Say I’m sorry, and sometimes I

[01:11:47] Just sometimes I to say this is too difficult for me or

[01:11:52] Whatever. It’s a difficult it’s a difficult one, that one, because when you explained it to me, I thought, Well, there must be a juicier story than this, but she’s questioning your integrity there, not your not your actual work. And so I could understand how that must have felt very strange. Hmm. And you’re right. You know, not not knowing someone is is the best. I mean, for all we know, she’s a paranoid person and questions everyone’s integrity, right? But but you know, when when you look back on it, that’s that’s where you figured things could have been improved insomuch as you didn’t know her long enough before going into something?

[01:12:31] Mm hmm. I think that’s one of those one of the things. It’s probably one of the sort of my weaknesses, I suppose, like I was really disappointed in that, you know, I was really sort of like, Oh, I would never do that. So it was disappointing that someone would think that. But you know, you live and learn and hopefully dodged a few of those since then.

[01:12:53] What about with implants? You must have had some situations with implants.

[01:12:56] No, actually. Yeah, yeah, I had one. I had one where I was doing a sinus lift, and it’s like it was annoying. It was six and a seven, and the seven needed just an internal sinus lift like some style. But, you know, just crystal and. I’ve done the six, I was really happy with the position of it, and then the seven I went to do, I perforated the sinus. So annoying. And then I looked at it and I sort of weigh it all up and I decided to close rather than do a lateral window and try and fix it. I think I’d already placed one implant in the procedure was getting on, and it’s quite a big toe. I’m going to close. And then I left it to heal and then went back to it and it just had real. It is just impossible to then get those two implants parallel in the right place. And I know it sounds really minor, but it’s just it was. It was a. The patient didn’t really notice and it was compromised. But that’s something I find really difficult with implants is that, you know, composites, crown preps. You can like, tweak and tweak and refine. And and if if it’s not perfect, well, you could do it again. Implants, I really find the I think, you know, that sort of perfectionist side.

[01:14:26] I find that

[01:14:26] Difficult to when you get not even complications, just like, you know, someone doesn’t heal as you’d expected or you do a roll flap, you don’t get as much tissue out of it. Why didn’t that work as textbook? And that I find really frustrating. But maybe that’s just an experience, and I’ve only been doing implants right now for four or five years or so. Yeah, that’s that’s one of the difficulties in implants for me.

[01:14:56] Yeah. Well, it’s much less predictable is there. And as soon as you bring soft tissues, then it’s much less predictable. And you’re right, the finality of that placement, you know, once it’s in, it’s just full.

[01:15:08] Yeah, yeah.

[01:15:09] I mean, I had another one, I had another one. There was another central.

[01:15:13] She’s a smoker, but she quit.

[01:15:16] And I don’t know, just the tissues just did not hear well. It’s slightly slightly opened up a little bit on healing and she got she got more recession that I’d anticipated. And after I was like, Oh, maybe I should have done different flap design and blah. And she came from London and she’d seen some. She’d seen Richard Lee in London, top guy who actually went to go see actually a few months back before he moved to New Zealand. Just the loveliest bloke. Top, top dentist. And she used to be seen by him and she said, Oh, look, maybe Richard. So you basically had the implants fine with grafting and stuff. But she had some recession said. So maybe, maybe Richard can do something about it. I was like, hopefully.

[01:16:09] So I messaged

[01:16:10] Him was like, Hey, man, do you recommend it? He’s like, Yeah, go and see Sanjay down the road. So I messaged Sanjay, and it’s difficult. And I I don’t know. Yes. And he said, Yeah, yeah, and I don’t know. I don’t know these guys. Okay, yeah. But I didn’t know him, and all I had was on Richard’s word that this guy’s a good guy. And he end up calling me and I sent I sent the case over and all this. I sent the radiographs over and he called me, Oh man, is he going to say, like, you’ve really balls this laugh or whatever? And he’s like, Mate, I think you got unlucky. He’s like, It looks good. Your implant positions nice and blah blah blah. I think you’ve gotten lucky with the healing. I’m like, So glad you said that. But it doesn’t really help that he’s like, Yeah, I can sort this out. Like, don’t worry, she didn’t go and see him in the exit. It cost him whatever she want to go down there. And actually, I’ve been trying to get back in to finish it and put this

[01:17:06] Permanent crown on.

[01:17:06] But she’s she’s like, she’s so she looks like, Yeah, it’s cool. The temporary looks great. Yeah, but it’s not meant to be on as long as it is. Just come back and finish it. So I don’t know. She’s not too upset about it, which is kind of unfortunate.

[01:17:18] I’ve we’re at to close it out soon, but I want to find out your plans

[01:17:24] For the future.

[01:17:25] Is there going to be a dental practise down the line? Are you happy as an associate? Are you thinking that way?

[01:17:33] I think I’m happy as an associate. You know, I just I don’t think you can do it all. And for me, like the move to Cornwall, so I don’t work Mondays and that work life balance is like everything, really. You know that not working the Monday? Yeah, sometimes I’ll work like do some lecture staff and whatever, and I do stuff in the evenings and

[01:17:59] Yeah, whatever.

[01:18:00] But like if I had a practise, something else would have to give.

[01:18:04] And and I don’t know,

[01:18:08] I love people, but doing it for like dealing with people, you know, I’m not very good in conflict. I think I’d be too soft. I think I’d just be like trying to be the one’s mate.

[01:18:22] Yeah, that that is me too. I’ve got a partner who handles. Yeah, you don’t have. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. You could have a partner. Yeah. Practise manager or whatever. You know,

[01:18:34] Maybe one day, I don’t know.

[01:18:36] So, you know, you’re one of the sort of the people I look at and how many years post-graduation are you now?

[01:18:42] Nine, twenty twelve. Ok, just come up to ten years.

[01:18:47] Yes, if the way you’ve.

[01:18:49] It’s so funny, isn’t it, because if as a as a Dental student, if I told you, yeah, 10 years qualifying, there’d be a guy sitting here saying, you know, for your early stage in your career, you’ve done really well. You think you think, what the hell is he talking about? But then once you get into it, you realise stuff takes years to learn, right? Yeah. But yeah, so for you, for where you’re at 10 years out, it really it’s impressive to see what you’ve achieved. Thank you.

[01:19:15] I appreciate that.

[01:19:17] No, it is.

[01:19:19] Listen, let’s

[01:19:20] Finish it off with Prav know not with us, but perhaps final questions. It’s a bit it’s a bit dark on your deathbed. Yeah, your nearest and dearest around you. One of three pieces of advice you’d give them.

[01:19:39] Um. I think I’d say don’t chase the money. Like. I know a lot of it and a lot of times people say about, you know, you’ve got to enjoy your work, but also like not I enjoy it, but also just do it to your best. And that’s that’s I don’t know. I’ve tried to do that. I think just try and just do the best and the money will sort itself out eventually, hopefully. So, yeah, don’t don’t don’t chase the money and make

[01:20:13] It a quick buck.

[01:20:16] I think just also be to be honest with people like, you know, I think life gets difficult if you’re trying

[01:20:24] To

[01:20:26] Cover things up or, you know, just just be honest with people throughout, and things should be a bit easier. And and I think maybe like, yeah, something that’s fairly new ish to me, but just try and try and get a work life balance like it’s not all about about the work. And I guess looking back about like when I came out of uni and max backs, I’m like, Yeah, let’s hit the ground running. And my wife is like, Yeah, let’s go travelling, chill a bit. Yeah, great. That worked for me. And now we’ve moved to Cornwall and

[01:20:57] I’ve got to got that extra day

[01:20:58] To spend time with family

[01:21:01] Just to get that

[01:21:01] Balance. And and you know, it’s all about being happy, isn’t it? Really, it’s not about

[01:21:07] How do you find it as a dad, as a new dad? It’s tough, isn’t it?

[01:21:12] I love it. Do you know last week was 16 months old, my little boy, Jamie? And last week was the first time I opened the door and he just said, Oh, daddy’s home. And he came running to the door like with his arms out, like, Oh,

[01:21:28] This is so good, you can’t be that. Yeah, yeah. The final final question. It’s kind of like a fantasy dinner party, though. Okay. The dinner party, three guests that are alive. And.

[01:21:52] I think the thing I have, James, that he Castor, I really love that guy is so funny. James Acaster, he’s a he’s a comedian and OK, oh, you should check him out. He’s just the American knows he’s a Brit. He’s a bit like 8:00 a.m. Yeah. He’s like a friend is like a bit like Josh Widdicombe. He’s just like an awkward Brit.

[01:22:14] Secular sickens

[01:22:16] Me. Who else? Maybe Clarkson, I reckon he’s an eagle, he’s got some stories that you know, are not allowed to be aired on TV. Yeah, yeah. And oh, good, three, maybe I should have something a bit more serious. I don’t know. Maybe like. Maybe Jordan Peterson, he’s pretty. Oh, wow. He’s got some good, some good stuff to say every now and again.

[01:22:59] Yeah. Like you said, Michel. Brilliant minds. It’s been wonderful having you. Yeah. Thank you so much for doing it. I’ve really enjoyed that. And you know, I’m sure

[01:23:10] We’ll see each

[01:23:11] Other if we can get you out of Cornwall sometime. I’ll be there. I’ll be there. Sure. Sure. All right. Thank you so much for doing this. Thank you.

[01:23:21] Thanks for having me. Thank you.

[01:23:24] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry.

[01:23:35] Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[01:23:40] 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 had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you’ve got some value out of it.

[01:23:54] 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

[01:24:05] Our six star rating.


General dentist Victoria Sampson followed her big sister Ariane into dentistry but each has since walked their own path through the profession.

Ariane is an orthodontist, while Victoria is using the microbiome found in saliva to unite dentistry with general health. 

The pair talk about their shared journey, discuss their passions and assemble the unusual guestlist for a fantasy dinner party.



“I want world bacterial peace. That would be the dream.” – Victoria Sampson 

In This Episode

02.20 – Backstory

06.38 – Dental school

13.24 – Next steps

17.53 – Victoria talks microbiome research

27.42 – Ariane talks orthodontics and social media

41.00 – Blackbox thinking

54.49 – On regrets

58.05 – Ortho skills and ABB

01.02.59 – Invisalign

01.05.09 – World bacterial peace

01.08.49 – Last days and legacy

01.11.29 – Fantasy dinner parties

About Ariane and Victoria Sampson

Sisters Ariane and Victoria Sampson are perhaps best known by their Instagram moniker, thedentalsisters. 

They practice at London’s 38 Devonshire Street where Ariane is an orthodontist and Victoria focuses on general dentistry.  

[00:00:00] He was a dentist, and we were talking about what we like to do, and he was just like to slap on veneers and, you know, like, that’s my my thing and I’m making loads of money at the moment. What do you like to do? And I was like, Oh, I like to modulate microbiomes. And he was like, Where’s the money at that? And that is a problem. I mean, it is expensive for me in the sense that we have to do microbiome testing and we have to do some of this.

[00:00:26] Definitely money.

[00:00:27] There is, but it’s

[00:00:29] There’s no doubt about

[00:00:30] That. We need to work on. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s never going to be the same as doing a smile makeover. And that’s the problem and also with the microbiome because it’s non shedding and because it’s essentially quite stagnant. Once you get the bad bacteria out, that patient could be actually good for the rest of their lives. They might just need some modulating treatment for like six months and then they’re good.

[00:00:55] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one

[00:01:01] With emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts

[00:01:08] Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki

[00:01:12] Gives me great pleasure to welcome two sisters onto the podcast. We’ve had lots of different family combinations, but I don’t think we’ve had two sister dentists on the podcast. Ariane and Victoria Samson. You couldn’t look them up on Instagram as the Dental sisters. That’s correct, isn’t it? That third Dental sisters and interesting? I’ve known these guys for a long time, but both have lots of interesting stories as far as their career go. Guys, welcome to the show.

[00:01:40] Thank you so much for having us.

[00:01:41] Thank you. It’s very exciting to be here.

[00:01:44] This would normally start with the sort of the back story. Where were you born? How did you grow up? What kind of kids were you? Who’s older? You guys twins? It was a story. Yeah, your twins are.

[00:01:57] You’re going to have to guess.

[00:01:58] Are you twins?

[00:01:59] No, but a lot of people think that a lot of

[00:02:01] People think that, oh, I see. Ok, I’d say Victoria’s all. Oh my God, I’m going to leave the podcast now. I’m done

[00:02:09] Already. I mean, the podcast is going to be being you now.

[00:02:13] Look, we’ll cut that out. I’d say, I’d say, Adrienne

[00:02:18] Barrie, go, I’m back, I’m

[00:02:20] Back now. So yeah, the back story, how you grew up, why you became dentists, why don’t you start off victory?

[00:02:29] So I’m I’m the younger sister. I didn’t ever really actually want to be a dentist until I was older. I would say the Aria definitely had an influence. And we have a lot of other family who are dentists, too. But I originally, when I was like 14, 15 years old, I literally just wanted to be a businesswoman. That was literally my idea. I don’t know what that meant, but that’s what I wanted to do. And then as I was growing older, I just I realised I was very good at science. I quite like talking to people. And then I decided being the classic Iranian kind of route that dentistry might be a good option for me. Seeing our younger go through it to, I realise that actually it’s quite a nice profession and you can really do a lot with it and it’s quite flexible. And I started, Yeah, I became a dentist, and here I am now.

[00:03:19] But where did did you guys grow up in the US?

[00:03:21] So I was born in Luxembourg, and then we moved to the UK and then lived in the US for a little bit and then back to the UK again. So that’s why we’ve picked up an accent along the way.

[00:03:34] So how old were you when you left the U.S. the final time?

[00:03:37] I was, I think, like eight, eight years old.

[00:03:41] Ok, you’ve been here since then?

[00:03:43] Yeah, yeah. So it’s been ages, but I just never, I don’t know. The accent just never left,

[00:03:48] Although I think a lot of people think my accents stronger, so I think between the two of us. You don’t sound as American,

[00:03:56] Did you guys go to the American school in London? I did. Oh, that’s why. Yeah.

[00:04:01] Ok. So I was in the American system until I was 13, and I definitely didn’t lose very much of the accent.

[00:04:11] So tell me, what about your story? I mean, you enlisted dentistry before so. How did you end up going to dentistry

[00:04:19] When I was at school? I was one of those kids. I was pretty good at everything. I didn’t particularly excel the entire subject, but I was OK at everything, and there wasn’t anything that that spoke to me, particularly except for art. I was such an art kid, and because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, our mom took it upon herself to organise a lot of very varied work experience opportunities for me. And so I did dentistry and orthodontics. But then also I did reinsurance underwriting. I did corporate law. I did so many other bits of work experience and really random industries just to try and get an idea of what it is that I liked. And all of it was really boring for me at 16, except for dentistry, which was marginally less boring for me because observing. No, it’s not fun and you don’t really get a proper sense of what it is because you don’t even understand what’s going on.

[00:05:29] Do you remember which dentists you observed?

[00:05:31] Yeah, it was a more odd Milani affair. Oh, and I spent two weeks with him over a summer break and he looked at me standing there in the corner, trying to be polite and not get in the way. And he was like, You’re not going to learn anything standing over there in the corner. Get stuck in. Hold the suction. And I actually did something during the work experience, which I think a lot of people never have that opportunity to do. And so I did really enjoy it. The orthodontic work experience that I did with Siamak Bagheri, he was my orthodontist, so he did my teeth and I did experience with him and Paretta also. And from a personal perspective, the massive change that happened to my face and my own self-confidence with my own orthodontic treatment made me within dentistry, particularly interested in orthodontics. So when I finally did decide to do dentistry, I did it to do orthodontics

[00:06:38] Really like in the third year of your dental school thinking I will be an orthodontist.

[00:06:42] You knew I hadn’t started dental school yet and I thought, I will be an orthodontist.

[00:06:47] Oh, I see.

[00:06:48] And then a lot of different things throughout the training reinforced that. And one of them as as superficial and vapid as it sounds, we had our first ever orthodontic lecture in our first year just as an introductory lecture by Professor Almagro Hall. And he was so cool and I was like, I find orthodontists very cool and I want to be part of this cool group. And and then I realised when we actually got into stuck into the clinical aspect that I do really enjoy it.

[00:07:20] When you say he was cool, he wasn’t like Harley Davidson and guitar, he was. No, I get it. I get it. I’m joking. So YouTube, did you both study in the same place?

[00:07:35] Yeah. Yes. Parts of London.

[00:07:38] Oh, really? I didn’t get in there.

[00:07:41] We weren’t there at the same time, though.

[00:07:44] We just missed each other. So a lot of people mistake us or they think we’re twins or we kind of look similar. And so when I started and Brian had just left, a lot of professors would get really confused and they would like I would literally walk in like five minutes early to my lecture and they would just be shouting at me and be like, You’re late again. Like, How are you always late? I’m like, What are you talking about? This is the first time I’ve ever met you and was because lovely Ariane had left and left a really nice mark for me. But with that being said, she also did get me into the good books of some of the professors, too, so some of them loved me as well.

[00:08:20] Exactly. You got automatic friends because of me.

[00:08:23] Yeah, yeah, I bet. I mean, did you did you did you advise her to come and join, you know, to go do it at the same university and all of that? No.

[00:08:32] Oh, I. I didn’t particularly love my time at university, especially at the beginning. And in fact, I wanted to drop out of dentistry after the first term or second term. Like Christmas of my first year, I knew I wanted to drop out and quite a lot of different reasons. I didn’t like dentistry at the very beginning. It was very science heavy and I was the art kid. The science didn’t appeal to me that much. I could do it, but I was not interested in it and I didn’t love the the commute to university. I didn’t get halls and from a social aspect, it was a bit difficult and I just wasn’t enjoying it and I decided to apply for law. So during my first year of dental school, I I reapplied through UCAS to do law.

[00:09:28] Oh wow.

[00:09:28] And I got into Durham, which was the university that I wanted to go to for that. And my mom, I don’t ask me how this made any logical sense. My mom said, Sit your first year Dental school exams so that you can tell your law friends next year that you sat first year Dental school exams. I was like, Yeah, that makes sense. I’ll do that. And so luckily, I sat first year dental school exams a bit half arsed because I knew I was leaving and I passed by one point six percent and they sat me down. The professor sat me down being like, We’re really worried about your progress and Dental school because you only pass by one point six percent. I was ecstatic. I was like, You have no idea how little work I put in, and I passed by one point six percent. And at that point I was like, You know what? I’m a year end. I managed to pass without doing that much, and I might as well see it through because towards the end of that first year, it started getting better for me. And I’m so glad that I did, because I think actually law is not the profession for me.

[00:10:36] What were you like at that school, Victoria?

[00:10:38] Yeah, I was. I mean, actually, for the first three years of Dental School, I was not very involved with anything. I literally would rock up to lectures, sit in the back, leave. I wasn’t, you know, into any societies or applying for any awards or prises or anything like that. And then in my fourth year, there was an Erasmus. A Stockholm, and they were doing like applications, and you had to be active in the societies and and actually be doing quite well, and I was quite at that point. I was quite arrogant, like I would just walk in and take my exams leave. I wasn’t very into the university, if that makes sense. And then because I really wanted to go to this Erasmus and Stockholm, I started just working like a madman and I was in every society I was trying to like, you know, be friends with everyone and just really, really, I really wanted to go. And so thankfully, I got in, did my Erasmus and Stockholm and met some incredible people there who were all very like minded to me. And I think that really had a massive effect on me making friends with people from around the world who were so similar to me, but also just loved dentistry. And then in my final year of uni, I just became like the complete opposite, and I was just an absolute like. I was just working all the time, like I was applying for every single award, like I just wanted to just finish with a bang, if that makes sense. So I think I made up for it in my final year. But the first three or four years I really did nothing.

[00:12:10] I bet. I bet arriving on the Whitechapel Road from St John’s would be a bit of a bit of a culture shock. I bet it was. Was it the first time you saw that? Do you think, what the hell is that? Yeah.

[00:12:25] I love it. And I was at the old Dental School, Victoria. Did you go to the old

[00:12:28] Dental school where you were building and it just closed when I came at that point, it was just like, All right,

[00:12:35] That was beautiful.

[00:12:36] But it was. Yeah, yeah, I was quite lucky.

[00:12:40] I remember the first I didn’t go to the to the what do they call it, the where you show around the university open now? Yeah, I didn’t go to the open day. And so my first day in White Chapel was my first day of university and I came out of White Chapel Station and there was a man and it was such a comical situation. There was a man in this big raincoat and he opens his raincoat and he has gold chains and watches. I was like, I thought this was just in movies. I didn’t think I’d ever see this in real life. And that was such a significant sign of of the area at the time because actually, it’s such a cool area now. Yeah.

[00:13:24] Yeah, that’s right. So, OK, both of you, you’re qualified five years ahead of Victoria. Is that right? Yeah. So then you then went in, became what did what do you do next? What was your next move?

[00:13:38] Because I wanted to do orthodontics, I had to do go through the motions of for the application, which the first part was to do a year of Max Fox, which I did at Northwich Park and the Northwest London hospitals. And that was actually the first time that I really veered off course in terms of my ambitions to be an orthodontist. That was one of the best years of my life. And the stress of it, the terrible hours, the on call, the gore, the emotions of that year of Max Fox. I loved every second of it, every second of it. And I very seriously thought to myself, I think I might not do orthodontics. I think I’ll do Max Fox. Wow. And after that year of Max Fox, I did two months more of Max Fox in Cambridge at Addenbrooke’s. Then I got a pedes post at the Royal London, and Pete’s posts were like, I think they still are there like gold dust. They’re so hard to come by. So as soon as you hear about one, you have to go. So that’s why I left Adam Brooks only after two months started the post at the Royal London, and I still had Max Fox in the back of my head. And so I applied for medicine while I was doing pedes, and sometimes it takes just writing and sending off your application for you to really realise what it is that you want. And as soon as I put my application for medical school through the post I was, I actually I don’t want to do it, but I needed to go through that motion to know that I’ll never regret the decision of not having tried for Max.

[00:15:19] I mean, the fact you enjoyed all 30 house jobs is amazing to me. I did an oral surgery hassle and hated every second of it. I did not like it. So, you know, I guess you in that sort of in between. So do you now? Do you now think, you know, if life had turned that way, you do you regret it to some extent? Or are you fully happy that you never went that direction?

[00:15:43] I’m fairly happy. I never went in that direction. I think if I weren’t an orthodontist but I was still in dentistry, then I would have done my X-Box. But I really feel like an orthodontist, so I’m happy with it.

[00:15:57] What about you, Victoria? What was your first move out of dental school? What was the first thing you do?

[00:16:03] So I did my bit and in London, so I stuck around and then I wasn’t sure if I wanted to specialise or not, a lot of people told me I should follow my sister’s footsteps and specialise. And I was very interested in ended on text, and I just loved to get Root Canal. So that was actually where I was going to go down. And then when I finished, I was finishing up my year and I started to shadow other dentists because I wanted to see what other types of dentistry were like and what I wanted to do. So I was shadowing. I was taking a day off of work to go and shadow other dentists, private NHS specialist, general dentists, everything. And I kept on shadowing them and realise that actually, I love general dentistry and I love the fact that you can walk in and you can see anyone and you can be treating a six year old child and then treat an eighty five year old for a root canal straight after. And I found it very exciting and just kept me on my toes, and I was meeting all of these amazing people like, I mean, obviously I Ariana’s job is amazing, but for me, I wouldn’t be able to just see a certain age group or do a certain treatment. I like the fact that I can do so many different things, so I decided that I would become a general dentist, but I would kind of explore everything. And I’m one of those people who likes to kind of learn everything and then and then decide what I want to do afterwards. So I was doing a ton of courses and I went into the general dentistry. I started working part private half the week and then part NHS. And then about a year ago, I made the shift to fully private and now I. I still do general dentistry, but I have a few things that I kind of don’t want to say specialise in, but things that I focus on and that I really like doing well.

[00:17:53] I know you’ve got this role research interest in the oral microbiome, but that’s not what you’re referring to. You’re referring to it as dentists. What kind of things do you like doing?

[00:18:03] Well, actually, I do do a lot of work on the oral microbiome, but on my patients. So yeah, so I’ve started to when I was doing my research, I was realising that it’s not necessarily the quantity of plaque. That’s the issue in terms of gum disease or decay, but it’s actually the quality and what bacteria you have in your mouth. I’m sure we’ve all had patients who have what seems like a very clean mouth, and the patients got excellent oral hygiene, but somehow they’ve just got raging gum disease and you kind of blame it on like their immune system. You’re like, Oh yeah, it’s probably your body’s not reacting very well or something like that. But what I was finding was I was starting to do microbiome tests on these patients, and I would screen their mouths for the top 20 kind of pathogenic bacteria. And I was finding that a lot of these patients would have residual bacteria in their mouths from maybe bad habits 10 years ago. And if we were able to modulate that bacteria and basically kick out those bad bacteria with specific antiseptics, antibiotics like everything. So we do a lot of different things and then monitor them, we can. Then afterwards, we redo the microbiome test and see that we’ve actually kicked out that bacteria and the patient often actually not often always stabilises and their gum disease leaves and they, you know, it’s amazing. So that’s something that I it’s kind of my niche at the moment,

[00:19:25] Is that is it? Did it start with your interest in this start with you?

[00:19:30] Yeah. So and it started with so Arianna and I rewrote a paper on the link between oral hygiene and COVID 19 severity about like, I think a year and a half ago now. And it got me understanding more about the oral microbiome and kind of the invisible inside the mouth. And as you go through dental school, you’re taught a lot about how to treat Dental disease, but not necessarily how to diagnose or how to monitor treatments. And so I kind of think of the mouth now and the saliva as the like, as blood. So you go to your doctor and you get a blood test, why can’t you go to your dentist and get a saliva test and look at different inflammatory markers and bacteria and enzymes and etc.? And that’s where it all started for me, and I started working with the microbiome company straight after we published that paper and help them basically create a microbiome test, which I now use on my patients.

[00:20:26] Oh wow. So so let’s get let’s get into it. Then what? What can we what can you learn from someone’s saliva? I mean, OK, we understand there’s a link between, you know, gum disease and heart disease. There’s a link between gum disease and diabetes, right? But is there more than that? Is there a whole lot of other stuff that outside of the mouth that you can tell by testing some saliva?

[00:20:54] Yeah. So a lot of the kind of systemic like the chronic inflammatory diseases, so rheumatoid arthritis osteoarthritis. It’s those types of things, we’re seeing amazing results with our patient, so I’ve been working a lot with a couple of functional doctors near my practise and they refer their patients who they’re treating for rheumatoid arthritis, and these patients are, you know, drugged up on steroids. They can hardly walk. The disease can be very debilitating and often because it’s to do with inflammation, with collagen degradation, which is very similar to gum disease in the mouth. These patients with rheumatoid arthritis often also have gum disease, and it’s not their number one priority as unfortunately, most people, their oral hygiene is not the first thing they think of when they have other ailments. And so these patients were being referred to me, and these doctors are just like, Oh, can you just stabilise the gum disease and just make sure everything’s OK? And so we started to do that again, modulating their microbiome, checking their inflammatory markers. And what we were finding was that their rheumatoid arthritis was improving when their gum disease had been settled and there was a direct correlation between the two of them. So there’s a lot more systemic diseases where we can see that there’s a huge connexion with the mouth. I mean, Alzheimer’s is the kind of the hottest one at the moment. There’s a lot of the gastro kind of diseases, Crohn’s, all sorts of colitis, even deficiencies. So there’s so many. And I think that because of COVID and the fact that people are more understanding of their systemic health and they want to be the best kind of person they can be in as healthy as possible. It’s a great time for dentists to also show patients that there’s a strong connexion with oral health.

[00:22:41] But so, so is this field of research out there, and you’re part of it now or are you saying, you know, has anyone else said this? I mean, is it anecdotal what you’re saying or is there more more to it than that?

[00:22:56] I know there’s a lot of the there’s a lot of research which has already come out about it. I think the problem is is that dentists don’t often actually they’re not going to do anything different on their day to day like treatments for patients. So yes, we can say there’s a strong connexion with rheumatoid arthritis, but the dentist isn’t going to necessarily change their treatment plan because of that. So another problem is that I have been I mean, it’s something that I’m very passionate about. So I’ve been speaking to a lot of, you know, board of directors for these massive companies, and I’m showing them all of the the data. And this isn’t my anecdotal data. This is, you know, actual systemic, systematic reviews and our cities and everything. And I’m showing them all of these results. And a lot of these dentists are kind of like, well, the way that we’re doing things works now. So why do we need to change it? And there’s no. A lot of people are quite resistant to the change, and they need a lot of evidence before they can kind of believe it and trust it.

[00:23:54] Yeah. You’ll look you’ll find that in general, we’re trained to be sceptical. Yeah. And a lot of, let’s face it, rubbish has been marketed at us. I mean, you know, mean, you know, and also every other week, there’s a there’s a new thing that’s going to speed up orthodontics is, yeah, there’s a new bracket that’s, you know, less less friction and. And so what happened? The problem with that is that we’ve been lied to so many times our in our careers that if a breakthrough comes along, it’s much harder for that breakthrough to breakthrough. Yeah, because so many people are sceptical about it. I went through a phase of thinking, you know, maybe we can do a period product, and then I spoke to a bunch of periodontist. I just thought, no way. Because as a as a business proposition, change in the mind of periodontist is that night. Same thing with orthodontics. I sat with some orthodontist. None of them could agree with each other on anything. Yeah. And you know, we were looking at something, but it it’s very interesting. I mean, to where you can take this from the from the research perspective, you can. Are you going to bring out a product or what’s going to happen? It sounds so interesting. There should be something.

[00:25:12] There’s a few things in the pipeline. Why did you come

[00:25:14] To me with this?

[00:25:19] There’s a few I I have a lot of ideas and a few of them are kind of developing the diagnostic side of dentistry, digitalising the diagnostics as well, making what we do quantitative as opposed to qualitative. So for example, at the moment when we’re diagnosing gum disease, we’re sitting there and poking someone’s gum and seeing if it bleeds like that is our diagnosis of inflammation. And that, to me, is just nuts. Like, you know, you don’t go to a doctor and they tap on your knee and they’re like, Oh yeah, looks a bit off like they do something about it. So that’s one side that I’m working with a couple of companies at the moment, and I’m kind of advising them or I’m on their scientific advisory board, helping them develop kind of diagnostic tools to help dentists. And the idea is that if you can diagnose Dental disease better, you’ll have better communication with doctors. You’ll be able to speak to them better and say, Hey, this patient I just saw has very high levels of inflammatory markers and they have no gum disease. It may be indicative of another chronic inflammatory disease, or they have really high levels of this bacteria, and this is a bacteria which is usually found in the gut. So maybe this patient has dysbiosis. So that’s where it’s going at the moment. And then also just at the moment, I work on a lot of referrals, so most of my patients are referred by functional doctors and medicks who want to have a different type of dentist to who sees oral health is a much bigger picture.

[00:26:47] My advice to you is to get go back to Barts and get one of the big guns there and get him to front your thing a little bit, because I’ve seen I’ve seen many times great sort of innovations go nowhere because because of the wrong sort of access. But look, it sounds like you’re making waves. So really, considering it’s so new to you, it’s like since go we go, Yeah,

[00:27:15] Yeah, yeah, it’s been about

[00:27:16] A year. It’s amazing how much progress you’ve made. I mean, are you spending loads of time on this? Is it every day and every weekend?

[00:27:24] I may have a cheeky obsession with bacteria now I do a lot on. Yeah, it is. That’s why I had to take a day off of clinical work to focus more on the research side and to kind of help with these with developing some of these diagnostic tools with these companies.

[00:27:42] I mean, tell me about your story in orthodontics. You know, OK, you always wanted to be an orthodontist. Where did you train finally for your specialising?

[00:27:50] So I did the backpacks and then the pedes, and then I worked as a general dentist for a while, which really reinforced my desire to be an orthodontist because unlike Victoria, I hated general dentistry. And so it was a little bit of a drama getting into orthodontics. And it turns out that I got in, but they had ranked everybody that year incorrectly, and so they didn’t realise that I’d got it gotten in for that year. And then to try and rectify the problem, they told me that I would have a space for the year after it was just a huge drama. So essentially, when I did start orthodontics, I didn’t have a choice with where it was that I was going to end up. They were just going to give me whatever. And so I never had the opportunity to rank any of the positions, and I didn’t even know where the positions were. Having said that, I think I probably got the best position I could have ever asked for, which was at Kings for academic only. And then my clinical outposts were at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge and Luton and Dunstable hospitals. And the reason why this particular post, it comes about once every three years, you are the only one in that post. So from a social perspective, it’s pretty isolating and it’s a ridiculous commute because every other day you’re in Cambridge or Luton or London Bridge.

[00:29:20] So from that respect, it was really difficult. But I had five six consultants looking after me and only me and I had such an intimate training. I had all the patients that I wanted. I had. I didn’t need to compete with other registrars for patients, which was the case in a lot of the teaching hospitals. So I found it extremely valuable, and each consultant who helped with my training was so vastly different from each other that I got an amazing, amazing experience. So I’m so glad that it worked out this way and that I didn’t get in the year I was meant to get in. And after the three years, so part of the three years I had to do my my dissertation for the Masters, and I did it on the impact of social media on facial and smile confidence. And it was a randomised controlled trial that we did using Instagram, and I was pretty blown away by the results, by how unhappy social media makes people about their teeth and about their smiles. And it’s kind of something that we all would guess. But we finally put figures to it, and part of the questionnaire in the study was whether or not you’ve had orthodontics and whether that affects the impact the social media has on your self-confidence.

[00:30:47] And it we found out that it doesn’t make a difference, which is a little bit disheartening for orthodontists, but I guess it shows this sort of detrimental power of social media and that got me so interested in the impact of social media on dentistry as a whole. And so I’ve done a couple of studies ever since Victoria and I have also done some studies together using Instagram using we did one on Tinder also just to evaluate the different types of effects that social media can have on teeth or vice versa teeth have on social media. So one of the Instagram studies that Victoria and I did together was to see if you’re smiling with a large Duchenne smile. So showing all your teeth, a genuine smile, whether that has an impact on social media engagement and followers. And we found that if you’re smiling a really big, broad smile, you will get less engagement really on your social media, which was kind of disheartening because we want to promote people smiling people who do smile. Really large smiles are scientifically proven to have better. You know, initial

[00:32:09] Interactions, right,

[00:32:10] But our social interactions matter dating.

[00:32:13] I don’t know. But not on social media, you’re saying.

[00:32:16] No. And I think part of that, which we discussed in the study, part of that is to do with trends. We find that things are trendy or not trendy on social media. And I think right now it’s just not fashionable to be smiling. You just it’s more fashionable to be a bit

[00:32:33] Serious, but also I think countries have as a have an impact on that too. And what like, for example, in Sweden, it’s not cool to smile as much in America, like they smile a lot more in their photographs. That also has an impact, I’m sure.

[00:32:48] No, you’re right. I went to Russia for for work once, and one of my friends had been there a lot. He sees that they don’t just smile. If you said they they they say, if you’re smiling without something funny going on, you’re a fool or something, you know? Yeah. And then and then interestingly, we had a Russian manufacturer of toothpaste manufacturer was trying to sell his stuff around Europe in the UK, and the two reps from from Russia were over smiling when there was. It was a ridiculous amount of smiling going on from them, and it’s like, obviously someone had told them, You’ve got to smile a lot when you’re in the UK, but you’re right. I mean, all the sort of cultural issues are there, aren’t they? What kind of orthodontist are you? Like traditional or do you do more of the, you know, clear aligners, or do you do it all or do you do mingle?

[00:33:41] I split my time between NHS and private, and that changes a lot. How I am as an orthodontist with the NHS. It’s your standard metal train track braces. So I do a lot of that and I really enjoy just the standard bread and butter orthodontics. I think it’s highly effective, highly predictable and it’s nice to work with. I do in the private sector, a lot of ceramic and a lot of liners, the lingual. I find

[00:34:11] It breaks your back right,

[00:34:13] Breaks your back. Yes, I find it’s a difficult sell. If I’m honest with you for me and I probably don’t sell it that well because I don’t do enough of it. So I’m not, you know, trying to sell it. But when I provide a patient with all of the options, I have never had anyone say lingual sounds good to me. They’ll either go for the ceramic or they’ll either go for Invisalign. So I don’t tend to do much lingual. I have a huge interest in many screws or Tad’s. I love them and I really want to incorporate more of that in my clinical work.

[00:34:49] That’s little implants that go in the bone. Yes. Extra anchorage. Yes.

[00:34:55] Ok. Yeah. And so when I was doing my orthodontic training, there was a prise with the British orthodontic society. It was a research fellowship. And I mean, this is the power of social media. I feel like we sound like we’re obsessed with social media. I applied for it and wanted to study the impact of social media on patient acceptance of treatment with Tad’s. And I randomly deemed a bunch of international orthodontists so too in Brazil, one in Taiwan, one in Japan and one in the U.S. And I was like, whoever answers me first will be the person that I do the study with, and I’ll put that with my application for the the research grant. And it was a guy called Daniel Figure Figaro in Belo Horizonte. And Brazil, who responded to me first and his Instagram is orthodontic world, and he’s hugely popular because of his use of tats. And so I won the fellowship, went to Brazil, did a mini school course, went to the Brazilian orthodontic conference, and then he and I did the study together to see sort of a cross cultural divide on how patients use social media to check their clinicians to get their information on treatment options and to make their decisions on treatments. And again, I thought this was even more profound than the findings I found in my my master’s research.

[00:36:29] It was 76 percent of patients want to see their clinicians work on social media, which is huge. And seventy six percent of patients get their treatment information on social media. So people in Brazil, there are slightly different rules in Brazil about how you can advertise yourself as a clinician. Then there are here. They are not allowed to advertise themselves as clinicians. They can’t pour before and after clinical photographs for the purpose of attracting patients. They can put it up for the purpose of teaching fellow clinicians. So it’s slightly different in that regard, but they use social media very, very, very well to put out good quality information so that patients understand their treatment options and understand their own treatment plan a lot better, therefore reinforcing a little bit of that trust in their clinician, the trust in their own treatment. And it ends up with providing better treatment outcomes for those patients, and I think it’s something that we in the UK are not that great with. We’re slowly getting there. There are a lot more clinicians, particularly in general dentistry, who are using social media to put out good quality information to teach fellow clinicians and to teach patients. And I think that’s so important.

[00:37:54] Yeah, I mean, we’re naturally educators, aren’t we as Dental? Yes, we’re much more naturally in an education sort of role than in a sales role. And you know, I talk about this all the time with whitening, you know, your average. Did you work today? Victoria, did you work as a dentist today? No, no. Your average dentist in a day? I don’t know. I don’t know about you guys, but I was a dentist. I used to talk to at least half my patients about dental brushing, right? I wasn’t. I wasn’t doing that. To sell into Dental brushes was I. I didn’t care about the. Sales, but I was busy doing it, I to talk to lots and lots of patients about it. You know, somehow we’re good at it. You know, it’s our role, isn’t it? One of our major roles is education and now in the social media age, it’s just another tool to educate. Right? But the funny thing about social media, I find, is, you know, I’m not very good at it, at all myself. I could see you guys are pretty good at it, but I know how important it is. I understand how important it is. So I’ve got a team of people who do ours. You know, when we have our courses and we have a section in the marketing section of the course and the guy, we’ve got different people do it. But generally people are very savvy on Instagram and all that. They say who in the room has has a social media account for dentistry, generally less than a third of the room does. And so, you know, we’re slow as dentists, we are slow to catch on to these things. By the time everyone has an Instagram account, TikTok will be the place to be. And it’s just the way it ain’t. So all right. They’d tell me this. I wanted to go back something. The sad thing, Arianne, what does it mean to me as a patient? If you’re using that, does it mean you’re more accurate quicker? What does it mean?

[00:39:47] It can mean quicker treatment times. It can mean we can make some progress with certain with certain movements without needing to put the full brace on. So, for example, if I want to disinfect a canine, I can start disinfecting it with just the tide and not have the fixed braces on, and that’ll drastically reduce the time in fixed races, for example.

[00:40:16] So literally, there’s there’s an implant stuck to the next to the canine and an elastic tuck from that to the canine and no brace.

[00:40:23] Yeah. Oh wow. Because that’s your Anchorage point. Whereas normally when we disinfect a canine, our anchorage is derived from the rest of the teeth bound together by a fixed brace. But until you get to a point where you can bind the rest of the teeth in a fixed phrase with a rigid arch wire, you’re already quite a few months into treatment

[00:40:45] And you go straight through the gum, which you raise a flap. How does it work?

[00:40:49] You can. Yeah, you can go straight through the goggles. Sometimes you might do a punch. If you’re if you’re putting a tad in the pilot, you might do like a punch incision just to if the pilot is really thick.

[00:41:00] So I want to get to this question, which is sort of this is the darker part of the conversation. What’s been what was your darkest day in dentistry? Let’s start with you, Victoria.

[00:41:18] I’m going to go dark and deep. I go to GDC complaint three months into qualifying in my year, and that was probably the darkest day of dentistry I’ve ever had.

[00:41:31] Was it about what was it about?

[00:41:33] It was.

[00:41:34] I hadn’t actually treated or touched the patient. She’d come in for a check-up. Obviously, this was fully NHS practise. The patient hadn’t come in like 10 years, and she needed a ton of fillings, root canals. She needed a few teeth taken out cetera. So I was telling her all about her treatment plan. She was like, Oh, why? Why are my teeth like this? Why do I need so much treatment? I was like, Well, you haven’t come in 10 years, but also I can see that you brush your teeth, but you’re missing certain areas, you know, trying to be nice about it. And then she was like, Why can’t I have all my fillings white? And obviously I wasn’t able to, and I said, You know, clinically, you don’t have the indications for it. I thought it went, OK. She then started shouting at me and saying that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that I was just a small young girl. Long story short, a couple of weeks later, I get GDC complaint saying that I was being racist, sexist, treating her differently based on her religion as well, and her the fact that she was wearing a hijab. So it was pretty big. I mean, I literally I’m talking like, I’m not like three months into my vti. And it was it was a horrific time. I hope no one ever has to go through that to the point where I nearly left and I was very close to leaving.

[00:42:54] And yeah, that that was that. I mean, obviously, it’s all been settled. It came out that she was actually doing the same thing with a lot of her other health care professionals and just basically suing them all on these grounds of racism and sexism. And it’s taught me a lot, and it’s definitely made me a very different type of dentist. But it’s also made me very sensitive and passionate about GDC complaints and the fact that I think that there’s this real taboo around it. And people think that if you have a GDC complain, it means that you’re a bad dentist or you, you must have done something wrong. And it took me quite a long time to realise that actually, I think that we should be taught differently at Dental School. It’s not how to avoid a GDC complaint, but more how to kind of how to deal with it. Because these days, I think that most dentists will have at least one GDC complaint and the fact that it’s become such a scary thing and and dentists are scared of telling their colleagues because they think that they’re going to be judged differently. I’d probably say this is the first time I’ve ever said it out loud, like on a podcast or anything like that that I had a GDC complaint. But there we go. Here’s the darkened and dirty.

[00:44:09] But what did you learn? I mean, what would you have done differently? Because it sounds like she was, you know, she was an outlier.

[00:44:17] Honestly, I don’t think I would have changed anything in terms of the way that I had treated her in terms of the check-up I diagnosed correctly. Maybe the way I’d said things was incorrect. I think that I’ve also over the past few years, I screened patients differently and I can kind of gauge what type of patient they are. And some patients, unfortunately, they come in wanting a professional opinion, but they don’t want to hear the professional opinion. And I used to be very like, Oh, I’m going to have to. I have to teach you all, and I still want to. But there’s different ways of doing it, and that’s something that I learnt. And I think three months in Fresh New Dentist, I thought that I was going to change the world and I was going to, you know, filling by filling. I was going to do something. And I think it’s it’s slow and you need to treat patients differently, engage them very differently.

[00:45:06] And you know what I mean, I’d expect with also you’ve got the mum who thinks you didn’t do the didn’t make the kid beautiful or something like that must happen all the time.

[00:45:21] Actually, you know, so I see an acupuncturist and he said something really funny because I’m only two years qualified as an orthodontist. And he said about how long does an orthodontic treatment last or take? And I was like, Oh, it can vary one to three years. He’s like, OK, so you won’t actually know if you’re any good at your job for quite a few years.

[00:45:45] I was like,

[00:45:45] Thanks for that. I didn’t think of it that way. But yeah, you just have to be right. So I I’ve actually bonded a lot of patients. I haven’t reached that stage in an orthodontists career where things start coming out the woodwork, which I think happens to. A lot of orthodontists, so they’re like 10 years bonded and they come out and they’re like, why did this tooth move, which is such a common complaint in orthodontics? So like, I’m not there yet. I think while Victoria was telling her story, I was trying to think of the darkest moment, and I don’t think I can pinpoint like just one. I’m just there was so many dark moments in dentistry. I tried to think twice. I felt I was like, definitely verbally, but also physically threatened by a patient’s parent. Once, when I was working as a general dentist because I was doing a root canal on a young kid. And it was one of those situations, you know, the kids really young. You could have thought about taking the tooth out and incorporating it into an orthodontic treatment plan, but then you’re going to try and be a hero and do a root canal and a crown to to avoid that. So I was doing that. And then the kid, like, stuck his tongue and I cut it with my fast handpiece when I was doing the Crown Prep. It wasn’t that bad, but there was some blood, and the mom literally tries to corner me in the room and is shouting at me and is threatening that she will personally see to it that I never work as a dentist again.

[00:47:21] And when you’re in Veatch, I mean, that’s scary at any point in one’s career. But when you’re in VTi, you’re just, you’re like, That’s it. My working life is over. And similar thing happened with a patient’s dad. When I was in my second year of orthodontic training, I was running an hour and a half late and I managed to see this kid finally during my lunch break, and the dad just got really angry. I think he was really fed up from waiting, which I understand it’s it’s never pleasant, especially to wait that long. And so he also tried to corner me, and then my consultant heard him shouting at me from his office and comes running through. And it was this weird situation because then it was my consultant, this patient’s dad, you know, standing up to each other. It was really scary to watch, but it’s one of those like autho, not orthodontics. Dentistry, I think, can put you in some really, really challenging positions and sometimes some dangerous positions because you see so many people and in so many different circumstances from so many different backgrounds. And it’s it’s a difficult, difficult industry to to navigate. But at the end of the day, we still love it despite all of this.

[00:48:37] Yeah. Well, I’ve had the the privilege of stopping dentistry and then and then going back to it. I stopped for five full years when we started enlightened and then I went back to. And when you’ve done that, you sort of get a different outlook on what it is that dentistry is, you know, and I don’t know. When I went back, I realised all the good things about it. All right. We see we meet a lot of people. Yeah, like you said that as almost like a negative because you’re right, though, you know, once you meet enough people, you’ll come across a few nutters or a few of you, few difficult people. But that that social side of it and I know, I know you don’t sort of skip into work thinking, I’m going to meet a bunch of people today, but you should. Yeah, because most, most jobs, you don’t meet a lot of people. Yeah. And then from the financial side, it’s pretty easy to make money in the industry. Let’s face it. Yeah, of course you’re going to break your back and all that and you’ve got these issues that we discussed. But but when I say easy, you don’t you don’t have to do tax right, you could keep it very simple. Yeah, it’s possible to keep it simple and earn and earn your crust, you know? And so I don’t know. It’s one of those things that it’s very fashionable to say you want to leave. And on the other hand, there’s plenty of people who love it, and it’s clear with you do. You definitely both really passionate about your work, right?

[00:50:13] Yeah. In my second year, it was around March and I cut my finger really badly with some gloss and it was my index finger and I had to get it glued and fur. I lost the sensation in my finger and I wasn’t able to bend my finger for four months or something. And at the time, because with orthodontics, you’ve got wire bending. I had my wire bending exam, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t practise for it. So then it was an automatic fail. And then because I’d lost the sensation it was affecting, I was trying to tie modules with my finger sticking up and it was it was impossible and I was. That was a dark period for me because. Has a genuinely trying to do orthodontics with this finger. I really struggled and I was like, I won’t be able to do a career in orthodontics with a finger like this. And I spoke to all of these surgeons and doctors who said, you may not get the sensation back in your finger. And I was so upset and I was in hysterical tears. And one of the other registrars at Kings saw me crying one day in the bathroom and she was like, Why are you crying? If you can’t work clinically as an orthodontist, you can always treatment plan and diagnose and then maybe work with orthodontic therapists. And I was like, That doesn’t help me. I enjoy doing clinical orthodontics, and I really want to do it for the rest of my life. So luckily, I got the sensation of my finger and I’m able to bend it now.

[00:51:51] You know, that thing about all the therapies is beautiful, though. My son’s going through orthodontics right now, and he doesn’t see the orthodontist much because he’s a little bit. But considering we’re right at the top end in Harley Street and all of that, well, much at all, man. Not much at all. The therapist?

[00:52:11] Yeah, I don’t use them. Yeah, actually.

[00:52:14] No, not yet. Victoria, what were you going to say?

[00:52:18] Well, I was saying that we, you know, even though we’ve gone through, I mean, for me, that GDC complaint, I mean, it came with quite a lot of depression afterwards, like I wasn’t in a good place. But even so, I still continued working. And I’m grateful and I’m really happy that I did because I actually really enjoy my job. And like you were saying about meeting people. Covid made me really realise that like our jobs are very special because I was seeing all my friends and they’re working from home and they’re sitting on their laptops. And just like just doing nothing, I mean, they’re working, but like they’re just not leaving their beds all day. And I was, you know, walking to work every day, and then I was like meeting, you know, 15 new people and making new friends and I’ll come home. And I had something interesting to say. And you know, you meet some crazy people, but also you meet some. I’ve actually made friends with a lot of my patients, and also one of the beauties of social media is that you can actually continue to to speak to them. You know, it becomes a friendship. And I really enjoy that and I’ve made friends with the most ridiculous people that I would have never met in a normal environment. And now I get to speak to them and learn new things. And I think that’s really, really special. And you don’t get that with many other professions.

[00:53:33] Yeah, I mean, both of you guys look at 38 definition and you meet a bunch of interesting people that like Gaynor’s practise.

[00:53:42] Yeah, yeah, we meet. We meet some fun people, some very interesting ones. And it’s nice. I mean, so I work in two practises and the other one is it’s an art gallery meets a Dental practise. So we we meet. I treat a very different bunch of people who are a bit younger, a bit more. We see a lot of like models and actors and creative DJs and those types of things. It’s actually amazing. I have the week I get to pretend I’m cool and the other half the week I get to, you know, it’s nice.

[00:54:13] Where is that gallery one in London?

[00:54:15] Where is it? It’s in St James’s Park.

[00:54:18] Oh, nice place. Yeah, I think to see that, I’ve heard a lot about it, I have to go there one day and actually see it. I’ll come and I’ll come and have lunch or something.

[00:54:27] Yeah, come round. Yeah, it’s an

[00:54:28] Amazing kind of art, is it? Yeah, they have so much Dental memorabilia.

[00:54:34] Yeah, yeah. I think we have the most Dental memorabilia in the world or something like the oldest Victorian like Dental. I know forceps or something.

[00:54:43] Who’s the principal

[00:54:44] There? His name is Jerome Siba. He’s a he French dentist.

[00:54:49] Amazing. Yeah. So listen, we talked about dark days. Yeah, I want to talk about regrets. What’s what’s your biggest regret in dentistry?

[00:55:01] Oh, it’s a really tricky question. Do you remember The Queen’s Gambit when it came out and she sits there lying in bed and she looks in the ceiling and she sees the chessboard? And yeah, I feel like I do that all the time with orthodontics, and I’ll lie there in bed feeling like if I put in the last americ chain over here, it’ll drag the canine out this way and then the anchorage, blah blah blah. And I, it sounds ridiculous, but I feel that. And then some so often some of my regrets are like, Oh, I should have put on a No. One, six nine and I don’t know, one four. And I tie in that case. She’s a real

[00:55:38] Party to be around sometimes.

[00:55:43] And so I get that a lot. But in terms of like a big regret, I’m just trying to think. In terms of my career pathway, I

[00:55:53] It’s kind of it’s kind of what would you have done differently if you could like, if you could rewind? What have you done differently?

[00:56:00] I’m not sure I would have. Oh, OK. No, I do. Ok, so when I didn’t get into orthodontics that first year that I applied and then it turns out that they were wrong about not getting me in. So that year I worked as a general dentist and I worked in three practises at separate times. So I did a stint in one and then a stint in another because I was so unhappy at all of them. And part of the reason with that was because it was my first time really working as a general dentist. And you don’t value yourself that much as a clinician when you’re starting out and when somebody offers you a job. Or at least this was the case for me. When somebody offered me a job, I thought, amazing. They offered me a job. I have to take it. And so I was not discerning about the job offers that I was receiving at that time. So that was my biggest regret was, I think, undervaluing myself as a clinician. I’m not saying I was an amazing general dentist or anything, but to find a job that worked for me with a team that I would enjoy working with in an area that I wanted to go to. I just thought I got a job. I got to take it.

[00:57:13] Yeah, I see it quite a lot. A lot of people ask me for advice. Younger dentists ask me for advice. And I hear people say stuff like, I’m I’m 10 years out of dental school and I’m not sure if I’m ready for private yet. And I’ve been by, so I did vote and said, I want to go private. That was that was just, you know, I didn’t even think about, am I ready for it or aren’t you ready for it? I was a bit the other way around. I was I don’t know that I could manage the NHS. And isn’t that what you’re saying about? You could call it valuing yourself or whatever. But those decisions that you make that you have to sometimes sit with people who say, you know, you can do private land. There’s no there’s nothing. There’s not a magic to it. The main magic to it is empathy or, yeah, not hurting people or whatever. So what would you say? What would you say, Ariane as an orthodontist? One of the main skills outside of those patient management skills, like you sounds like you are looking at things in a sort of a 3D way, whereas I wouldn’t I kind of see teeth. And so, you know, a lot of general dentists are taking on Dental taking on orthodontics. Tell us, tell me a couple of things that you know, they’re not they’re not aware of or they they should be aware of or mistakes that you see people do.

[00:58:38] I think one of the most important things about sort of dealing with orthodontics as an orthodontist or as a general dentist is being very creative. That’s what I love about orthodontics is that you can be so creative when you come across a problem. There are so many different solutions for that problem, so you have to keep a very open mind. There are so many materials that you can use, so many different appliances that you can use, you can mix and match. I mix and match so much. And since qualifying as an orthodontist, I do it so much more. And you know, you might put a segmental fixed race in one half and then something else in the other half. You’ll use different appliances over different courses, different parts of that same treatment and things like that. And that’s what I find some people lack, especially people who don’t have that much experience. And for example, with Invisalign, I heard that there are a lot of people who get a clean check and they think, OK, clinic told me to do this. So I need to do this and I need to accept it. And that’s problematic, because why are why is the eye better than you? It’s not. You need to challenge and question the treatment plan that’s suggested to you and think about the other options. There are so many other options outside of that. So it’s that creativity and keeping an open mind that there’s always something out there and it might be something that you don’t offer. You’re not good at. There’s plenty of that. I, as an orthodontist, refer to other orthodontists all the time because I think, no, actually you need to see this guy because he’s better at that.

[01:00:19] What about what about those of the composite bonding piece at the end of Ortho? Do you take that on yourself or do you pass that on or

[01:00:26] I don’t do it. I will pass it on. Victoria sometimes does it or a patient who has their own general dentist, they’ll do it. And this is kind of an issue, actually, because especially if patients are seeing before and afters on Instagram, and then you see this beautiful case with alignment, bleaching and composite right done, say, by a general dentist, and the finish looks stunning. My finish won’t look as good because I’m not doing the composite and the bleaching afterwards, so I’ll finish to a beautiful orthodontic result, maybe. But the shape of the teeth and the colour of the teeth isn’t that great. And that’s something that I think is a slight issue in terms of patients because they’ll be like, Oh, like that, other dentist is so much better. But actually, no, we’re both good. They’ve just done a little bit more at the end of it.

[01:01:18] But I mean, in your training that the idea of aligning each born, you know, was that was that discussed at all or never? Because in many ways you could get the gingival part right as the orthodontist and leave the incisal to the restorative guy, you know?

[01:01:35] Yeah, which which we do. So we did train a lot with working with restorative colleagues. When I was at Addenbrooke’s, we had an amazing restorative consultant who did that stuff, particularly for hypochondria patients. So that is part of the training and it is very valuable. But when you’re working, say you’re working at an NHS orthodontic clinic, you have so many referring general dentists. And I don’t know some of them that well, and I don’t know whether they’re happy doing the composite.

[01:02:08] I guess I guess I’m talking about more adults also, aren’t you? Because, you know, by the time able to just relax. But but by the time you’ve worn these teeth down, you’re an adult like most kids haven’t yet worn them down. So that might be why you’re not coming across it as much in kids. But but how much of your work is? How much is that? So it’s all your NHS kids and all your private adults, it kind of bands

[01:02:32] Up all my NHS kids, then my private is probably. Forty per forty to thirty five percent kids. Oh, really? And the rest adults, yeah.

[01:02:44] And a kid’s asking for Invisalign now.

[01:02:46] Yes, surprisingly because I think for a kid, it’s it’s OK to have braces. Everybody has braces, but I’m getting so many more saying, no, it has to be ceramic or no, it has to be Invisalign.

[01:02:59] And it has Invisalign improved, in your opinion, to the point, I remember 10 years ago when I was doing Invisalign, every orthodontist would say it’s not as good. You can’t move the teeth in the direction you want to, whereas now I’ve come across a couple of orthodontist who only use Invisalign. So was it improved, is it is it?

[01:03:22] I definitely think it’s improved, I think it is excellent and the eye is very strong and it’ll only get stronger. Those treatment plans in the clinics that are coming through will only get better the more and more we use it. But I don’t think it’ll replace fixed appliances. There are certain situations where you have to have the fixed appliances. I just I can’t see a situation where an airliner can do as good a job as a fixed appliance in certain clinical cases in the majority of cases. Yeah, I think it’s a viable alternative option. But if you’re disinfecting a canine, I should think it would be so difficult for you to do with an airliner. It’s not impossible, but you’ll just be wearing Invisalign the whole time. I just finished my Invisalign done by Victoria. Victoria’s just started her Invisalign that I’ve put for her. And now that we’re seeing it as a patient,

[01:04:16] It’s a tough dream that,

[01:04:17] Yeah, yeah, the compliance is so difficult and we finally understand it from a personal perspective. Victoria was making fun of me being like, You’re the worst patient ever, you’re not compliant. And I was like, No, I’m every patient. I’m just being honest with you about it.

[01:04:32] Yeah, it’s a tough, tough, tough treatment. But you know, we were talking about we talk to our dentists about whitening after Invisalign. And, you know, a lot of people sell this sort of free whitening within this A-line thing. And obviously in life, it’s never going to be free. And so the time to have that conversations at the end of it, Invisalign online, not the beginning, because at the end, they’ve just been through the hassle that is Invisalign. And once you’ve been through that hassle, sure, you’ll finish it off properly. But at the beginning, you know you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, right? Yeah. Victoria, what’s your what’s your dream come true with regards to the whole microbiome stuff? I mean, if I was a Russian billionaire and I was like willing to fund you to the hilt, what would you say? What would you say would happen? Go hit me

[01:05:25] For everyone to have symbiosis and everyone’s bacteria to all be balanced and equal?

[01:05:33] Well, obese. Yeah, exactly.

[01:05:36] I want world bacterial peace. That would be the dream. I mean, real talk, I would say from a dentist perspective for more dentists to understand the oral microbiome. I mean, when I was at university, I we had maybe like, you know, a few lectures on the microbiome and I just memorised some bacteria and then I just spat it out on my exam. And that was the end. And I never thought I was going to have to know about this bacteria ever again. So the dream would be for dentists to actually like, appreciate, understand what the microbiome is, what bacteria is, how important saliva is, and then to use it to their advantage by checking the saliva for certain things and trying to modulate the microbiome. And then from my side, it would be to hopefully create like a protocol. So I am thinking of maybe teaching other dentists about the microbiome more and how to modulate it. There needs to be a lot more research that goes behind it first, but it’s it’s in the in the working at the moment.

[01:06:37] It’s a fascinating subject. I’m sure people will want to learn about it. Yeah, the thing that seems to drive these things is a kind of a use case, a sort of a how am I going to make money out of this kind?

[01:06:49] Well, that’s the problem. I had a discussion with someone actually recently who not a very nice person, actually, but they I was talking, he was a dentist and we were talking about what we like to do, and he was just like to slap on veneers. And, you know, like, that’s my my thing, and I’m making loads of money at the moment. What do you like to do? I was like, Oh, I like to modulate microbiomes. And he was like, Where’s the money at that? And that is a problem. I mean, it is expensive for me in the sense that we have to do microbiome testing and we have to do this.

[01:07:25] Definitely money there is, but it’s there’s no doubt about

[01:07:29] That we need to work on. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s never going to be the same as doing a smile makeover. And that’s the problem and also with the microbiome because it’s non shedding and because it’s essentially quite stagnant. Once you get the bad bacteria out, that patient could be actually good for the rest of their lives. They might just need some modulating treatment for like six months and then they’re good. So it’s it’s great for patients, though, so the

[01:07:52] Dental model needs to change a little bit. But you know why? Why do we only get paid when we cut? Yeah, it’s it’s it’s one of the things I guess, you know, in shorts and then bland capitation was trying to look at that. But you know, I see that if every dentist in every exam did a microbiome test. Yeah, it’s a gigantic market, right? It’s much more of a market than than.

[01:08:18] Hear cases and they’re loyal, the patients who see me at the moment, who I’ve been working on their microbiomes and getting them back to a place of health are the most loyal patients I’ve ever seen.

[01:08:31] I think you’ve got to stick at it because the gut microbiome is so, so, so fashionable. Yeah, yeah. Everyone’s talking like it’s become a thing everyone’s interested in. Yeah. And at the end of day, this is just this is the beginning of the gut, right? Exactly. That’s the way it used to be. Yeah. Guys, it’s been a pleasure having you. We normally end with this sort of end of life type of questions, how know legacy type of questions? Let’s listen. Let’s go there. Let’s go there. You’re on your deathbed. Great. You’ve got your nearest and dearest around you. What a three pieces of advice you would give them.

[01:09:13] Arianna, you can go first.

[01:09:15] Oh, dear. Ok, three pieces of advice, I’ve never thought about this. Don’t worry too much. And Max Fox taught me that. Stay humble. And smile,

[01:09:35] Enjoy, enjoy, right? Yeah, I. Go ahead to.

[01:09:41] I’m. Can I give you my mantra, like how I, how I live my life, if that makes sense? It’s not like three things. So when I was younger, I had this idea that our life is only truly happy when we it’s called the four corners of Life. So you’ve got friendship on one corner, family on the other corner, and then you’ve got your academics when you’re a child and then that will transcend into work or business or whatever. And then relationships on the other side, which eventually might become your husband, wife, etc. And then the centre of it all is your health and in life. We always want all of those to be perfect and they never are. And what we all have to remember is that, for example, you’re really stressed out with your exams or you’ve you failed an exam and you’re really upset about it. You need to think back and be like, OK, well, fine. My academics aren’t doing so well right now, but I have a family I love. I have friends that are great and my health is good and to kind of always be grateful for the other things in your life. And whilst we’re always trying to achieve this perfect four corners or et cetera it, you need to also be happy with where you are at that moment in time.

[01:10:56] Did you come up with this yourself when you were a kid? Yeah, it was

[01:10:59] The little baby philosopher. I had this.

[01:11:01] She was very

[01:11:02] Wise. Yeah. It came off and then I used to draw a little square on my wrist when I was upset about like, if like, for example, I had a really big falling out with a friend or, you know, I was upset at someone or something like that. I would draw my little square on my wrist and before every exam as well, and it would remind me that my life is still good and there’s so much worse that could be happening right now that just be grateful for what you have.

[01:11:29] That’s lovely, man. The next question, the next question. People worry about, but don’t worry about it just to I don’t know why people worry about such an easy question. Just just say whatever comes in your head and it’s Victoria first, this time dinner party. Three three guests dead or alive. Is it going to be, oh, to say one? And then I will say the next one. Oh. This is a classic classic perfectionist types who can’t can’t say an answer, this is the perfect answer.

[01:12:03] Can I guess what a guitar is, Gus? Well, yeah, I think Victoria wants somebody from Russian politics to Putin. Yeah, probably Putin. I’m going to go back.

[01:12:16] I want Stalin.

[01:12:18] Stalin, OK.

[01:12:19] I want this weird fascination with Russian history and communism. When I was like 18 and I was obsessed, like, not in a weird way, but I just found the the head of Stalin and everything that he did just insane. So I would love to, you know, have a chat with him, understand what he did.

[01:12:37] I look, can we do that era, you know?

[01:12:41] Yeah, yeah.

[01:12:41] It’s just it’s just can I guess Victoria’s three and then you guessed mine. That’s interesting.

[01:12:45] That’s OK. Let’s do it.

[01:12:47] Ok, so Victoria wants Stalin. I think like a really big businessman. So like Gordon Selfridge or something, somebody like that could do that. And then the third one would be Henrietta Lacks.

[01:13:02] Oh, I would love Henrietta Lacks.

[01:13:04] Who’s that?

[01:13:05] That is so Henrietta Lacks, is she? Her cells were the first immortal cells to ever be found, and this was, I don’t remember the year, but they’re basically HeLa cells, and that was what penicillin was made on. And it was the she basically had cancer. They found some cells, which were just constantly keep on dividing and replicating, and they took them from her and they spread around the world. And now they’re used constantly. But at the time, because she was African-American, they didn’t treat her correctly and they just stole her cells and she died. And then, like, 50, 60 years later, her family realised that, like so much of modern day medicine, was created based on their mother’s cells. And it was this huge legal issue of like, do they have any rights to these cells and and do African-Americans have rights and medical rights? And yeah, so we’d love to meet Henrietta Lacks as well. But I don’t think Gordon Selfridge, I’m going to go for like a like Solomon, like I want to, you know, let’s make it. I want to have like a little bit of a party whilst we’re having dinner.

[01:14:14] And that’s a good guess. Go ahead, Ariane. What are we going to? Victoria’s going to get to give us some clues about Ariane?

[01:14:19] Oh, I’m going to be the worst of this. Ok, she’s going to want like an artist of some sort.

[01:14:25] What’s your favourite kind of author?

[01:14:27] Post-war, contemporary? I’m particularly figurative, so I’m going to answer. You’re right about the artist. So one of the artists that I would, the woman with the wax. Now, never mind. Yeah, yeah. No, I don’t want her, I would want Pietro Mazzoni, who is an Italian artist. He was part of the Italian movement called Arte Povera, where they couldn’t afford artistic materials, so they would make art based on what they could find. And so he made a lot of art with bread rolls and cotton wool and just really random things, and

[01:15:04] He became his art. Hmm. Yeah, it’s very interesting. It’s very interesting.

[01:15:10] It is. I mean, he he was famous in his lifetime, and as a famous artist, he thought, I’m an artist. I so whatever I touch and produce is art. So he started putting his thumbprint on eggs. And then he also filled a tin with his own excrement, sealed it and sold it for its weight in gold.

[01:15:31] Yeah, and I was looking at that right now. Yeah, it’s artist shit. Yeah. Is it was. It was very good. Yeah.

[01:15:42] And I love that. And it says somewhere that if you open the tin, it will no longer be worth its weight in gold. And so nobody dares open the tin.

[01:15:53] Ok. Piero Manzoni, who else?

[01:15:56] Who else would are good?

[01:16:00] So would you want a musician? Meet who a musician. You know, that means take it. No politician, no, I don’t think you’d want a politician. I don’t know. Give me a guess,

[01:16:14] And if you know yourself.

[01:16:16] Obviously, I don’t really know. I’m trying to think only bigger. Maybe Timothée Chalamet, who? Google, that Google him, the actor.

[01:16:27] He’s very good looking because he’s good looking.

[01:16:30] Yeah, basically

[01:16:33] Who I know, either someone from Schitt’s Creek or from Family Guy or from one of those TV shows that you love.

[01:16:44] You’re making me sound very superficial, I’m not I think it be, I’m making myself sound very superficial.

[01:16:50] I sound like a psychopath. I want Stalin and Solomon in the same room at the same time.

[01:16:54] I’m not any better than you. That’s one hell of a party you got. Yeah, go and hit us. It doesn’t, you know, it’s not about how you sound. It’s about who are the three people? Yeah.

[01:17:07] Oh. God, I can’t possibly think, Candy.

[01:17:17] I’m getting a lot of Gandhis, so, you know, I love candy.

[01:17:22] I feel like that’s like the PC. Yeah, exactly.

[01:17:24] Yeah, no. Like one of the guys at my dinner party, I don’t even know his name. Yeah, it’s the guy behind Red Bull. That guy. Why? Oh, I just love. I just love what he’s done. I just love war. I want to stick with that guy and say, Well, that

[01:17:40] Was that jeweller

[01:17:41] That you really like in.

[01:17:44] Nadine Goss. Yes. Her in there. Nadine Goss is one of my favourite jewellers.

[01:17:51] Okay, so you win the prise, but I didn’t know any of your three guests the first time that’s happened. We’ve only got to now. Yeah, because because Stalin and Solomon might do well, those three, I’ve just I’ve just learnt something.

[01:18:10] I feel like you don’t want to come to my my dinner party and you’re invited.

[01:18:17] Guys, it’s been a real pleasure to have you. And I know, I know in these things when there’s when there’s two people on, it sort of feels like we only just touch the surface. But with you two, you kind of know each other so well, it’s interesting you. Three questions for each other to connect with you guys. As I said, the Dental sisters and your papers and things. Where can people pick up your papers?

[01:18:42] It’s on orchid, right?

[01:18:43] Would you submit?

[01:18:45] Payman just sticking to its collar, yeah,

[01:18:48] Yeah, yeah, yeah, should be up there.

[01:18:51] Yeah, well, it’s been really lovely to have you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this

[01:18:55] And thank you for helping us. This was really fun to see both.

[01:18:59] Thank you.

[01:19:00] Thank you. Bye. This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry.

[01:19:14] 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 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.


No one could accuse Jenny Kabib of being anything but quick off the mark in finding success. She purchased her first practice just six months after finishing VT and was considering retirement by the time she hit her mid-20s.

Jenny takes us through her impoverished upbringing in York, where she became a full-time young carer after her mother sustained life-changing injuries. She describes how she dealt with a shocking violation of trust from an associate, reveals why she often hesitates before treating lawyers and much more. 



“If you’ve heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I really feel I’m at a point in my life where I’ve got enough…I want to give back and empower other people in whatever capacity I can.” – Jenni Kabir

In This Episode

02.52 – Backstory

08.49 – Into dental school

11.29 – Adversity and confidence

14.02 – Leaving mum behind

17.17 – VT, first jobs and practice ownership

24.26 – Starting again

27.30 – North Vs South

29.27 – Building Fresh Dental

33.32 – A violation of trust

41.08 – Blackbox thinking

50.49 – Women and implantology

53.14 – On mentors

56.15 – Teaching, B&Bs, car washes and diversification

01.04.27 – Motivation and leadership

01.06.59  – Future plans and pride

01.09.36 – Last days and legacy

About Jenni Kabir

Dr Jenni Kabir studied in Manchester, where she ran a chain of successful clinics before returning to her hometown of York to set up Fresh Smiles Dental Clinic.

She is one of the youngest dentists to be awarded DPDS postgraduate diploma from the University of Bristol and holds a diploma in implant dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons. 

Jenni was selected to be the dentist for the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2001 and the London Olympic games in 2012. She is currently undertaking a masters degree in implantology.

[00:00:00] I’ve done the growth, the learning, the journey, the business, the practise set up, the private practise, female kids. I feel if you’ve heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I really feel that a point in my life where I think I’ve got enough, I’m really content financially and I want to kind of give back and

[00:00:21] Empower other people in whatever capacity I can.

[00:00:25] And when I was younger, money was important. And it’s a natural tendency to want to show that money off, be it by a car, whether

[00:00:32] It’s because you enjoy driving it or whether you want to show it or designer clothes or whatever,

[00:00:37] It might be adversely for me. Conversely, for me, it’s I’ve gone the opposite. I feel that I don’t really have a desire to kind of exhibit wealth.

[00:00:48] My needs have become a lot more modest.

[00:00:51] You know, I’m on a dieting programme where hardly anything now, so I can’t even spend it on fine food. So for me, the driver’s isn’t money in finances anymore, but more connecting with people, giving back teaching, empowering networking. And I really love people.

[00:01:17] 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,

[00:01:34] It gives me great pleasure to welcome Jenny to be able to do podcast. I’ve known Jenny for years. One of the original enlightened users when one from my era gin is more more from my era than the younger guests that we’ve had recently, Jenny, for me, is someone I keep seeing on the, you know, the post-grad circuit, someone who seems to have a sort of insatiable sort of desire to learn, and it’s really done really well with it. A veteran of general practise implant Ology Orthodontics, Facialist Ethics, Super successful practises. Lovely to have you on the show, Jenny.

[00:02:12] Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be speaking to you.

[00:02:15] So, Jenny, these things start normally with the back story. How do you grow up? Why did you become a dentist? Where, where? Where did you grow up? All of that?

[00:02:23] I grew up in York. I’ve lived in New York most of my life. An unusual place for an Asian, I guess, to grow up because there’s not many Asians in New York. It’s not very multicultural. My dad kind of landed in York as a restaurant back in the seventies. So yeah, I grew up in New York.

[00:02:43] Typical story. Immigrant parents.

[00:02:46] My parents were uneducated. They came here for the prospects of a better life. So in turn, I had a bit of an impoverished upbringing. My father was a bit of a failed businessman, actually. He never quite succeeded despite being wanting to be ambitious and be a successful businessman. Which left me seeing my mom having to work extremely hard to pick up the pieces around him. I recall my childhood being quite difficult because mom was always working subsequent to was always going bankrupt early and losing our home. And from a pride point of view, that was massive. My mom was about to feel and she started taking on a lot of jobs just to try and keep the mortgage payments going. As a child, what I realised is, you know, I’d come home from school at four o’clock secondary school. I was about to primary school. I was nine and I’d be left to look after younger siblings. There’s a big age gap between me and my younger siblings because I had a brother when I was five, he was two and a half and he got knocked down by a car hit and wanted to buy a house, actually. So it’s quite tragic. Subsequent to that, my other siblings are a big age gap, so I was often the one looking after the children.

[00:04:08] My mum would then go to work in countries Chocolate Factory, which is now known as Nestlé, and she worked from about four to half nine. I’d kind of gotten clean for her. She’d come home, have a quick bite to eat, check in on us and then off she’d go to 20 miles away to a remote location to help dad out with his takeaway business and either in the kitchen working away to about 2:00 in the morning and then come back home. So it felt like I never saw my family and never saw my parents. I didn’t really think much to it until other people would comment that, Oh, how come your home’s not so nice? So you’ve got red carpets or interior décor is not as nice? Or how can you wear the same clothes all the time? And that hurt a bit as a child growing up because all of a sudden we feel quite inadequate and we recognise that you’re not wealthy. I remember mom instilling the values of it’s very important to pay your debts and get your mortgage cleared, irrespective of what food you’ve got on the table or what luxuries you have prioritised. She just didn’t want to be in debt,

[00:05:17] So it’d get to a point where, you know, I’d go shopping and I’d want chocolate coated digestive

[00:05:21] Biscuits, which were five times more than the ordinary ones, but we couldn’t really afford it and I’d go without. So, I mean, that was OK, I got used to it. That’s the lifestyle I grew up with when I got to about 15. However, tables really changed. It became very difficult, just as I thought life was getting a bit easier on an even platform and we were getting some financial stability. Having mom around a bit more, we decided to buy mom and I decided to get a bike when we decided to learn how to ride a bike. And one August evening she went out on the bike. I was out with some friends. I come home to some crying siblings and the thing Where where are you? Where were you? Where were you? I said, Why? What’s up? My mom’s had an awful accident. She’s in hospital, so I kept calm. I thought, OK, she’s had an accident. She’s in hospital. And I then found out that she had a broken ankle, broken arm and a broken neck. Bush is alive and well in hospital and as far as I was concerned. Great, that’s good, because as long as she’s alive, she’s she’s going to be OK and people heal and everything good

[00:06:35] Until a neighbour

[00:06:37] Kind of broke the news to me. I was 15 and said, Your mom never going to walk again? And I was quite angry, actually, I was like, how dare you say that, how dare you make that judgement and what do you know? And he was actually a nurse, so he had some medical background and said, Well, in that country, she’s got a spinal injury and she’s going to be paralysed neck down and my world just came crashing down. I just couldn’t comprehend what life was going to be like. She was a specialist spinal injuries unit for about eight months. I was really left looking after the kids, then taking myself to school, bringing them home from school, not having a mom at all. And she was in an awful, awful state, mentally, physically. And eventually, when she did get some degree of rehabilitation and brought back home, life really was was never the same. You know, I was a full time carer for her.

[00:07:35] He had choice, you know,

[00:07:37] Simple things like just turning in bed or feeding her a glass of water. Everything had to be done. She could just move her head side to side. And tears would roll down horizon. She couldn’t even wipe them away. So things became very, very difficult. An age where, you know, I was only 15, but from that point I recognised that. I took it upon myself to think, gosh, I’m going to have to be the breadwinner of the family now. You know, I’ve got younger siblings, I’m going to have to raise them. I’m going to have to get money to look after my mom. So career choice became pivotal. And I remember sitting in the Careers Library looking through the Book of Career Jobs and. To put it bluntly, looking at the ones that made the most of which I recall there being stockbroker and dentist and I didn’t quite fancy being a stockbroker because it was not predictable. So I went for dentistry, so that’s why I chose dentistry, really.

[00:08:49] I think from a young age, my

[00:08:50] Dad had instilled into me Be a doctor, be a doctor. Just the typical Asian thing. Coming from York, it was quite conservative, predominantly Caucasian, and I felt some of the teachers did have a stereotypical prejudiced view against me. I was kind of the only Asian kid in school and they weren’t very supportive of my application, which was quite hurtful, so I felt quite alone on my own. And this perhaps, you know, I teach my kids to take risks, challenge authority, push the boundaries, don’t listen to what people always tell you. And I think it started from here. When on the UK’s bomb, there were six spaces and it was recommended that you should only put down five to be medicine or dentistry. The sixth should definitively be something a completely alternative career, because if you’ve not got into five of your applications, it’s highly unlikely know it’ll be wasted, so they have another career option. So I filled in the form my my grades predictions were not so great, so I went with the lowest grade requirements one to five and then six choice. I put down Manchester, which was the highest grade requirement, and I didn’t expect to get in there at all. I remember being very belittled and reprimanded by the head of sixth form saying Almost a stupid girl. Why have you not listened to one to put the six chances Manchester in the school? There’s nothing else I can see myself doing and she kind of touch it and the application went off and I remember waiting for UCAS to get back to me and I heard nothing. Everyone was getting offers and interviews left, right and centre, and one day the mail dropped through the post

[00:10:34] And I put it down to them, saving on postage and

[00:10:38] Giving me the results of five of the applications in one go, which were the first five of rejections. So I really didn’t know what to think. That was obviously the sixth choice remaining, which was Manchester. That’s bound to be a rejection of the first five have rejected me and miraculously, I got an interview from Manchester. I went to it and I recall being surrounded by other candidates who had come from quite supportive backgrounds, parents in the field or they’ve had several interviews, private schools etc. And I was quite unnerved and I thought, Let me just give it my best shot. And unfortunately for me, I got through. Manchester was the place that gamble about sixth place that I put down, and that’s where I got into doing dentistry. So yeah, that that was pivotal to me.

[00:11:27] I became a dentist.

[00:11:29] Wow. So, you know, people go through adversity. I mean, you’ve been through more than most from the sounds of art and tragedy as well. And you know, it’s a cliché to say these things to define you and shape you in it, but they do. Do you do you remember being a confident person all your life? Or did you have to sort of rise to the occasion that you were the only one that people were relying on? Do you remember that moment of deciding that or?

[00:12:05] Yeah, I think I lacked confidence as a child simply through the experiences of feeling inferior through poverty and feeling inadequate. And it kind of leads to even in later years and imposter syndrome kind of thing where you think, Gosh, you know, am I accomplished? You know, how do I compare? Have I really achieved something? Is it true? You know, so but then I think I’ve started doing a lot more introspection, self-reflection analysis and trying to dig deep and understand myself simply so I can also shape my children going forward as well. So that’s been quite an interesting journey for me in recent years.

[00:12:52] And your your kids your natural instinct with your kids is to try and make life easier for them, right? So have you found a way of building in adversity or somehow challenging them to build their confidence? Or or is it is it that I mean, I hope this is the real answer here that your kids will, you know, take on the world on a whole other level then than you did because you know where they came from?

[00:13:19] Yeah, I mean, I

[00:13:21] Wish I could build in adversity, but I think a parent’s natural instinct is to kind of give them everything that one never had. And in doing so, I’m beginning to realise perhaps disappointing them. But I do remind them that had I had the springboard that I could potentially give them now, you know, I would have, you know, gone to crazier heights, you know?

[00:13:42] They’re still young now.

[00:13:44] And you know, let’s let’s hope the take on board some of the messages. But I think building in some degree of adversity is certainly important at the right stages. Quite how I’m going to do that. I don’t know, and I think a lot of these professionals are suffering

[00:13:58] In the same scenarios with our pampered

[00:14:01] Kids, you know?

[00:14:02] So then, Jenny, you you decide you want you get into Manchester and you’re going to go there. What happens with your mum while you’re off at university where your younger siblings, they’re old enough to look after?

[00:14:14] No, they were quite young. So my interesting story. But my younger sister she was for the mum had her accident and now I’m a mum and I have a four year old. But I just think it’s harrowing to lose a mum and what mum must have gone through, just visualising seeing her kids for chaotic manner quite dysfunctional

[00:14:36] Around her mum. We had to get carers. Dad had to pitch in, so I just had to get my head down. I think I’ve got a very laser focussed attention and a determined set drive as a result of having that kind of adversity.

[00:14:54] And that’s perhaps what’s allowed me to

[00:14:57] Kind of be who I am today.

[00:14:59] So what happened, I mean, you left her, did you feel they were going to look after her? Did you feel they were going to have trouble? What was what was the story? What was going through your head?

[00:15:08] Immense guilt, heartbreak, upset. Continually thinking about her emotionally weak. Having to drive down the M62 back to York frequently at the drop of a hat. When issues happened at

[00:15:22] Home with

[00:15:24] Carers and the kids squabbling

[00:15:26] And dad playing up and things

[00:15:27] Like that. So it was very turbulent for me at university, actually. However, I never really let on. No one really knew where. At the same time, it was very hard to get through the exams and ensure I kind of passed at the end of it.

[00:15:41] Did you feel like you were now able to sort of live your childhood when you got to Manchester because you know you’re from from the age of 15? You were, you were kind of an adult? Did you feel like now you could actually go a little bit crazy, live a little bit for you?

[00:15:57] I think you know me pay. I’ve never really been a naughty girl. From my recent weekend meeting, I didn’t have the desire to actually, I think I was mature above my years and I didn’t have the mindset to kind of lift my youth because the reality of the situation was

[00:16:18] The home situation was still the home situation.

[00:16:21] What about Manchester as a city? I mean, you know, York is a beautiful place, but a small place. Did you? Did you not see bright lights, big city sort of feeling?

[00:16:31] Oh yeah, it was a culture shock to me to see people from so many different backgrounds and shops that are open rush on the Curry Mile. So it was vibrant. It was alive. It was very, yeah, it was very nice. It was a good contrast to York, actually.

[00:16:47] How were you the Dental student when you were? You determined to kill it, you know, because you were so responsible and you were going to you were going to do well at everything? Or were you more like me?

[00:16:58] No, I

[00:16:58] Was like, you. I think I really struggled. I doubted myself. I had to study harder than most. And yeah, I don’t think I found it easy at all. We were the bulgar the problem based learning experimental year at Manchester, so it was quite fiercely competitive at the time.

[00:17:17] So then you qualified. Then what was your first job as a dentist? Where was that?

[00:17:24] I’ve been lucky. Or maybe I’ve been perceptive because I’ve learnt a lot from the people that I’ve met along the journey, from the unsung heroes to people who have, say, larger than life profiles along the way. I feel I’ve picked up important lessons, so I did my bit in Manchester and my vet trainer. You know, he wasn’t a massively big personality, but he taught me a lot. So I picked up sedation skills from him. He encouraged me to sit the Ph.D.s at Bristol, which is registered for qualifications after my name, so I got into that straightaway during my year. He also taught me a lot about practise running a practise and business management. Subsequent to that, I then worked for an interesting man called Alan Siegel, actually, and

[00:18:11] He was a prominent businessman in Manchester at the time.

[00:18:14] He actually developed what they call the alma gauge, which is a take on the Willis height gauge and pro Dental matrix matrices, apparently his invention. So it’s a bit of an inventor and an entrepreneur. So I worked for his group of practises and shortly after, I think within about six months of working for him for six months post Viti, I decided to buy my own practise.

[00:18:39] Wow.

[00:18:40] I think that takes some some balls, isn’t it? Six months after VTi. I mean, would you say you’re sort of a pure bred entrepreneur? You’re that person? Or would you say you’ve learnt along the way?

[00:18:55] I think a lot of it was naivete.

[00:18:57] I think I’m quite sensible with finances and from my childhood I’ve learnt not to be overleveraged, which I think has acted to my disadvantage.

[00:19:06] If anything, because I think those that take risks and leverage themselves to a great degree have had great opportunities over the last 20 years, whereas from

[00:19:15] My experiences as a child, I’ve kind of been quite frugal with with my money and expenses. But for me, at that time, it was a simple equation. The cost of a property, a home versus the cost of a practise was very comparable and I thought, Well, the practise is going to give me a greater return than a home. So I did the practise first and then the proceeds from that invested into getting a home.

[00:19:40] So, you know, the mistakes that people make, especially when when you start. I remember when we started enlightened, we got our loan from the bank. Was that 80 grand, and I think I spent it in the first three weeks of it. So did you did you make some? I bet you made an. Mistakes at the beginning of it

[00:20:01] Financially, I don’t think I did that the mistakes I made were more on a air point of view managing staff. I found that a very difficult challenge the practise I bought had been in. It was an NHS practise. It was in the current ownership of the previous owners for the past 40 odd years. And here I was young, new and the existing staff just didn’t like change. And it was managing the personalities being significantly younger than, say, the 40 to 50 year olds than I was. Twenty four. God, you know, that was challenging. Managing people that I’ve never even recognised

[00:20:36] Was something to be overcome. I just thought business of dentistry was,

[00:20:41] Was the finance, the mask, the running, the practise and doing the dentistry. I didn’t understand the the human personalities that had to be managed as well.

[00:20:50] And now now is a seasoned practise owner. Which he put people skills as the number one skill.

[00:20:59] Hundred percent, I think.

[00:21:03] It’s all about the people, I think life’s journey, it’s about the people you meet, the the people you connect with and attracting the right kind of people into your life and bringing out the best in people to work to your advantage. That’s what I’ve learnt over the years to take a step back and try and understand people to bring out the best in them as

[00:21:25] Opposed to meet someone, make judgements and try and change them. There’s no point. I try and move on.

[00:21:32] What was the story of that practise? How many years did you have it for and why did you sell it? And that’s overall.

[00:21:38] Yeah, interesting. I think I made a lot of mistakes on that one. What they call Buster Nash at that time. So as a high grossing NHS dentist for a free meal, which is quite rare, I think once again pivotal character many of you may have heard of or know Vijay from Ivo Dental now. I met him very early on in my journey, actually, and I class him as

[00:21:59] A good friend who you know is an incredible man, very generous with his help and knowledge and assistance.

[00:22:06] He guided me on how to kind of understand the NHS

[00:22:09] System and the workings.

[00:22:11] So I was a high grossing dentist. I think I burnt out. It was that initial euphoria. While I’m a dentist, I’ve

[00:22:18] Got income coming in. Let’s just work every hour I’ve got and maximise on the potential which I did.

[00:22:26] I didn’t understand the significant

[00:22:29] Damages of being burnt out.

[00:22:32] I ran it for about five years. I actually took it from the fee per item system to the then PBS contracts and I negotiated with the PCT. And I think I was quite confident. I was quite good at negotiations and I got a really good contract in that era, which was at that time. Back in 2006, it was £42 per ooda. Wow. Can you imagine that and what they’re paying associates are now, so I know what was available

[00:23:02] And what maybe many principals have managed to get as the true value.

[00:23:09] But I hit a point in in life where I was exhausted and my perceptions of money were quite simplistic. Actually, by that time, I had a few properties that were all paid off. I paid off my practise. My wants and desires were very simple. So, you know, living in a I feel embarrassed to say this, actually, but maybe I shouldn’t. You know, at that time, for example, I lived in a three bed end terrace house. I had a Toyota Corolla car that was paid off brand new

[00:23:38] And the house was all paid off. And I had a few other investment properties

[00:23:42] And I thought, You know, I’m happy, I’ve got no mortgage. I’ve got nothing. I can sell the practise and I can have a decent amount in the bank. I’m happy to retire now. That’s it. I’m done. And I was about twenty six, twenty seven and being a female, my biological clock was ticking and I thought, This is it.

[00:24:01] I’m happy to be a housewife and have some kids now and I’ve done my bit.

[00:24:05] I’m retiring early and I moved down south to be

[00:24:09] With my husband, who had always commuted to his. His work was London centric.

[00:24:15] And I started a family and had a couple of children. And this will maybe resonate with some of the female listeners. The challenges of

[00:24:22] Work life balance, family, children.

[00:24:26] What I found was incredibly hard being a driven, intellectually stimulated person was that once you become a mom, it’s like you lose your identity and your self-esteem and you lose your sense of purpose. Almost, although being a mom is a wonderful thing and I lost my confidence. And it takes it can take its toll on your marriage,

[00:24:48] Where you’re more

[00:24:49] Demanding of your husband and you want them to be around and you want them to be tied to the kids as much as you are. And I felt I had no purpose. Actually, I tried to apply for some associate jobs in and around London, and I found the London circuit quite challenging, actually. There’s a wide range of principals who there’s a lot of sharks out there. Let’s put it that way, and I struggle to do the kind of dentistry I wanted to do. Pair that also with my eyes opening up to people’s financial earnings. My peers and people who are smashing it on a private circuit. And I thought, Oh my gosh, what I have perhaps is inadequate. Perhaps it’s not enough to sustain me through the needs of my family and children going forward. And that then gave me another drive to to start again. So, yeah, I was down in London and my husband was in quite a high profile job and I was hardly seeing him, and here I was lumbered with a couple

[00:25:52] Of kids and

[00:25:53] I felt I wanted to be back near Mom York. Then the leafy greens suburbs of York became very appealing from a school’s point of view, from a safety. Just a nice place to live, really. It was home. I was familiar with it, so I decided to gravitate back up north. And it was a massive risk because a friend advised me, If you’re going to do private, make sure your dentist is spot on, you know, as good as it can could possibly be. And in that time there weren’t many courses available, so I ploughed an incredible amount of money into

[00:26:31] Doing all the courses I possibly could. The ones that I deemed were quite credible at the time

[00:26:36] Simultaneously without a job to put the knowledge into practise. And then I set up a squat in New York.

[00:26:44] So let’s start, you know, I want to go back to a few things. Number one, in five years you had that practise, you pay the practise of your house of a couple of investment properties of did I get that right?

[00:26:58] Yeah, I had about four properties paid off on the practise. I owned the freehold of the practise as well.

[00:27:05] Bloody of that. Okay. And I guess you were also supporting mum in that period and some of your siblings as well?

[00:27:13] Yeah, I helped Mom buy some kind of investment property as well, so I made sure she was kind of financially secure with some passive income.

[00:27:20] Oh, how hard were you bashing the dash? That’s why?

[00:27:27] Well, I’ve told you my UDR contract value. So at that

[00:27:30] Time. Okay. And then dispel this one for me, the north and the south. You know that you said there are sharks down south or they’re not sharks up north.

[00:27:42] I don’t think the sharks

[00:27:42] Everywhere, to be honest. I’ve learnt that with time. A friend of mine terms some people smiling as Huffins. You know, there’s a lot of people out there, but you’ve got to be careful and and figure out the authentic people, the person.

[00:27:55] That’s a serious matter. The serious question. Do you find it easier with northern patients? And I mean, I found London quite a difficult town to be a dentist in. I was I was a dentist in Kent, and that was, you know, people were respectful. Maybe there were an older group of patients. It is always the better group, I think. But you know, what are your what are your reflections on London patients versus northern patients? You know that banter thing that people talk about from the North and how you know we see it as it is that whole thing is it is it rubbish or is it real?

[00:28:28] No, I think it’s real. I think people up north are more friendly horror of the Northerners, see? And it’s simple economic fundamentals. I think in London, the cost of living is high. You’ve got to travel. You’re more fatigued. People are just a bit more down in the dumps. They’re not earning as much irrespective of the London weighting, and the money doesn’t go as far. So in terms of disposable income is likely to be a lot less for the majority of the population. Yes, there’s the upper echelons who have got a

[00:28:57] Phenomenal amount of money and you can tap into that market, but that’s

[00:29:01] Few practises. You know, the general practise, what I found from

[00:29:06] Principals over there were

[00:29:08] I struggled to find a practise who was prepared to invest in the right materials and the tools. I was buying my own gear to try and deliver the right dentistry. People were reluctant to pay you properly, you know, making excuses, you know? So I found it. They think, Well, these

[00:29:27] Hard going from principal to associate, though?

[00:29:30] Yes, but no. Even today, I would love to be an associate if I was an associate in the kind of practise set up. I have a nice practise. You know, it’s about mutual respect and having the right set up to work and to be productive, really.

[00:29:48] Ok, so you know, we all know how well we don’t all know, but fresh, fresh Dental, you know, right now, massively successful practise. But tell me about the beginning. So it was a squat one. You had no patience. Fully private. Is that right or all?

[00:30:02] Yes, it

[00:30:03] Was. I mean, everyone talks about location, location, location correctly. So, but my location was based on wherever I could acquire a freehold and it had to be quick. I had a a two year old and a four year old around my ankles, and I was scrubbing the floors, cleaning up the plaster project, managing it, and it was at the back of beyond. There is no footfall where I’m based. It’s, you know, in a village kind of T-junction end of end of the road kind of Jungle Place. Which year was it

[00:30:37] That you started?

[00:30:39] Started 2009

[00:30:41] 2009. So no patients. What do you do,

[00:30:46] No patients, so I made sure my cost was minimal, to be honest, I had several quotes and I project managed it myself in the end with local builders, from plumbing to plastering to building walls, everything. And I got the cost down to a fraction, say one fifth of initial quotes. So I knew at the end of the day that I’d refurbish a derelict building. So worst case scenario, my exit was I could sell that and it would have really appreciated compared to what I paid for it. So I knew the risks were low in that sense. And then it was truly about customer service and delivering outstanding care and treatment so you can grow organically through word of mouth. I don’t believe there’s any anything as get rich quick and you know you could do a treatment modality. I don’t know, let’s say composite bonding. And if you’re not good at executing it well. For example, I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who do it exceptionally well, but let’s say you’re doing it very rapidly to slam dunk it and get the cases in your work will soon fall apart and your reputation will become tarnished. And you can’t build a sound future on Rocky Foundation. So I think generally your dentistry

[00:31:53] Has to be good and your ethics have to be right.

[00:31:58] Yeah, no doubt about that. But but I really am interested in day one. No patients. What happened? What did you do to get patients

[00:32:05] Websites pay per click in those days? And that was it.

[00:32:11] That was at least what were

[00:32:12] You running that yourself? Were you running the ads and things yourself? Did you learn that that skill as well?

[00:32:19] No, I had someone doing doing it for me that you probably know very well, and he was very good. But I think that person also was on their journey of progression and things can go up and down. And then once I realised that how frail things can be, I started studying it for myself to understand the voodoo black hat. You know, the like what black magic, the black magic behind SEO and everything? Because I thought, Damn, I need to study this because everyone’s pulling the wool out of your eyes and charging your fortunes. I need to understand

[00:32:52] The fundamentals of what goes on because there was never

[00:32:55] Any guarantees

[00:32:55] Of anything, which is understandable.

[00:32:58] So you were single handed at that point.

[00:33:01] Yes, I was.

[00:33:03] So then what’s the progression? How did it go from there? How did it get to this? I mean, you know what? Give us the full story now. Where are you? How many members of staff? How many specialists? What have you got right now?

[00:33:14] Yeah. Now, thankfully, it’s really turned the corner and we’re

[00:33:18] Doing really well. We’ve got a great team

[00:33:20] And we can offer all treatment modalities at an exceptional level

[00:33:24] Because I believe in investing in the practise and all the mod cons

[00:33:27] And empowering your team to deliver the very best. But it wasn’t smooth sailing. I think I’ve had

[00:33:32] Some bad luck. I took

[00:33:34] On an associate who was straight out of vet that kind of failed the final

[00:33:39] Year exams and missed the vet tranche, so I paid out of my own pocket. I think twenty eight thousand at that

[00:33:45] Time to pay them to watch me work and learn private skills, you know, which is a great opportunity. And maybe I was a bit naive and I wanted to kind of whet the appetite as to what was possible. I kind of mentored them in implants. Small makeovers. Also, everything that I’d learnt, I said, Let me give you an introduction to it. However, you

[00:34:08] Must augment all of this with proper training and courses.

[00:34:13] I don’t know how much I should say, really, but this person was was phenomenal at

[00:34:17] Learning and taking on board things.

[00:34:21] And I felt confident in a few years to kind of have my third child. I hit 40 and it was a bit of a birthday party challenge. You know, I’d got back into fitness and someone said, You know, how dare you? Can you? Can you have a child? Yes. So, so I did. And when I went off on maternity, I remember, you know, doing implant surgery the day before my C-section and putting ortho a couple of days beforehand and patients saying to me, But Jenny, when are you going to be back as a don’t you worry, I’ll be back for your eight week review, you know? So I had the C-section planned and I was still hopping in and out of the practise, the bare minimum that I could. I needed to take time off. So things were in charge of this associate who, you know, I trusted. And then all of a sudden one day I get an email and it says, dear so-and-so further to your email. We have transferred X thousands into the BACS details given, and the email was from a patient CC to the practise. And I thought, that’s strange. Why is the patient ceasing the practise

[00:35:32] Of not emailing the practise direct

[00:35:34] On a scroll down the chain of emails? And we used to take BACS payments for large payments because it’s easy for

[00:35:40] Them to deposit straight into the person’s bank account.

[00:35:43] When I scroll down, it was the associates BACS details. Wow. There was a chain of communication that was kind of almost grooming the patient

[00:35:52] Into believing that this was the done thing and

[00:35:56] An intention to deceive by saying, Please don’t email

[00:35:59] The practise. We’re having problems with our email. Email me direct. I’ll be able to look after you better and give you a more customised service. Here’s my personal contact number. Blah blah blah. And I couldn’t believe it. I was like,

[00:36:11] Is this really what I’m saying?

[00:36:13] Did you? Did you consider the guy honest and a friend and, you know, mentee and order

[00:36:20] To be given the opportunity? And I did consider him honest.

[00:36:24] But I think there’s a real danger of putting a Ferrari in the hands of someone a bit young and naive, and perhaps greed, perhaps complacency and not appreciating what one has. When I read on the forums now of other dentists say on Dental Dental forum, you know the anonymous posts of this real struggles people are having. And I think, gosh, where were these people, you know, you know, there’s a lot of good people out there who just don’t give them given the opportunities. And here I was, I gave the opportunity

[00:36:54] To someone who completely trashed

[00:36:56] It. Yeah, but looking back on it? Were there maybe some signs that you didn’t see or you chose not to see? Or was it completely out of the blue?

[00:37:07] Yeah, I think there were some signs on reflection now they were coming in late to work. They were not doing their clinical notes. I was saying, you know, will you please do your clinical notes? Yeah, yeah, I’ve done it. And then I print out a list. Look, all these notes have been done. Please do it before you leave and they’d leave the door and say, Have you done any clinical notes? And they’d say, Yep, all done bare faced lying. And then a week later, I’d go and check nothing had been done. And then I’d say, Look, if you want to take time off, that’s fine. As long as we’re not rearranging patients, you know, in short notice. And then they’d call me up and say, Oh, you know, Jenny, can I just have this Friday off?

[00:37:43] There’s only two check ups. And I was like, Oh, OK, I’m just rearrange it.

[00:37:46] But later they’d been calling all the patients and moving things. So there were telltale signs.

[00:37:53] What did you do?

[00:37:54] What did I do? I was in shock. I called my indemnity first and I said initially to me, it smacked of theft, you know? And the indemnity said, you have to involve the police on this and you need to tell the GDC. And I was reluctant to kind of tell the GDC, but I had to involve the police to kind of get to the bottom of this. What was uncovered was far worse because when I went in, it was no longer theft. Although there was, you know, I had to take over the patient list with immediate effect and review all the patients. There were no clinical notes and there were no accounts, and I had to kind of tactfully speak to each patient, know what have you had done? Where are you up to new treatment? Can you remind me without me having to checking your notes? You know, how much have you paid so far, what you quoted? And then it all unnerved. Oh yeah, I gave nine hundred pound cash and you know, to did you give it to front desk? No, I gave it to this person, and I thought it was a bit odd because it put it straight into his back pocket. And I was like, Did you not think to mention it to reception? And they were like, Well, no, they said they were like a self-employed hairdresser and this was the done thing, you know, I deal with them direct.

[00:39:03] So Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, so sorry to interrupt you, but is that is it possible to pull that off without the nurse being on side as well?

[00:39:11] I think it’s yeah, I did question this, but I think people trusted in him implicitly. They thought he was just a really lovely person, very humble, duped us all. And I think it’s easier to seek that opportunity whereby they were liaising directly with patients via private email, communication, phone calls. And it’s very easy to say to the nurse, Oh, can you just nip down and, you know, get that from the printer or, you know, just a couple of minutes in the room, you know, it’s confidential. I don’t know. I don’t know what went on, but I mean, initially it was theft. But then what hit me afterwards and the theft completely paled into insignificance was the amount of neglect, clinical negligence. Oh no. And that was heartbreaking. You know, I was faced with an aftermath of implants placed into peril mouths the fast track. I’m not naming a system, but a kind of fast track ortho donor whereby a quick kind of offered an whereby teeth were not correctly aligned and composite bonding was very badly slapped all over without patient consent. They thought they had straight teeth.

[00:40:18] They were then coming back in retainers, not putting teeth, continuing to move, composite chipping off

[00:40:23] And a whole lot of vicarious liability issues. So something which had painfully built up over a long period of time was was really burnt to the ground and trashed in a bad way.

[00:40:34] What happened to him?

[00:40:36] What happened to him is still going on. It’s yeah. Yeah, it’s it’s all in the pipeline at the moment. Let’s see what happens. Yeah.

[00:40:45] So, you know, I was going to ask you, what was your sort of worst moment with a with an employee or a member of staff? But I guess that’s that one is that

[00:40:58] Mean the

[00:40:58] Worst really is when I was recovering from a C-section, you know, and not so well, baby as well. That was that was very difficult time.

[00:41:08] What about clinically was what was your hardest case clinically or your most difficult patient or something that went wrong that you know, you can, you know, we do it from we ask everyone this question, something people can learn from

[00:41:22] Clinically what I’ve learnt over the years, it really is down to patient management. It’s down to communication, it’s down to managing expectations before you do anything. And it’s the relationships and the rapport that you build with patients. I think if you get that on a firm footing. Fingers crossed you tend to be OK. Just a quick reflection back on you’re saying, you know, is it any different north to south and dentistry? I get patients travelling from from London and abroad and wherever as we all do, I’m sure. But patients often comment, Gosh, you’re more expensive than Harley Street, you know, but the pay, it’s fine, you know? So the opportunities are there, so going back to a bad experience, I remember when I first started on my implant journey, it’s quite a male dominated circuit and people say, Oh, you can, you know, shoot and implant in from across the room.

[00:42:13] You know, these egos

[00:42:15] That Typekit the same rights with anything and it’s dead easy and you just bang them in and Wasserman blah blah blah blah. And that kind of gets into your mindset and you think, Oh, OK, let’s just was it in. So I remember putting a 12 millimetre implant into mandibular region, and at that time we didn’t have CT scanners.

[00:42:34] It was OPG with

[00:42:36] A ball bearing and I’ve popped it in and right. Let’s just talk it right down. Get it one millimetre of crystal. None, the patient. I’ll give them my personal number. This was a Friday, Saturday. I’m at the gym doing a class.

[00:42:51] My phone rings, it’s the patient.

[00:42:53] And she said, I think she’s just going to talk about soreness or some antibiotic regime or something, which says, Jenny, the numbness is still there. My heart just sinks. Yeah. So I was like, Gosh, what do I do? And I was quite early on in my journey then.

[00:43:18] But she

[00:43:18] Was it.

[00:43:19] It was a lower right.

[00:43:21] Six Yeah. So then what happened? What do you do next?

[00:43:26] Yeah. So I thought, that’s really done for my career’s ended. She’s going to sue me. What do I do? So it was about conscious management research, and we cannot always look after the patient being honest with her and just managing her every step of the way that patients subsequently is a very good friend of mine. She gives me birthday presents. She’s brilliant. She’s great. So it just goes to show that I think it’s down to patient management can make a massive difference as to how you can navigate.

[00:44:01] Yeah, that sounds like something that went right, really.

[00:44:05] I’m more interested in something you do get rid of. There’s no doubt about it.

[00:44:09] Yeah, but I’m interested in something that went wrong from the management perspective. I mean, you’ve managed that one very well. I’m I mentioned something that went wrong

[00:44:17] And a recent lesson I’d say, and I don’t know whether it’s gone

[00:44:21] Wrong. I’m very cautious about treating lawyers.

[00:44:26] I think I’ve treated loads of lawyers, you know, I found them brilliant, but go on.

[00:44:31] Yeah, I’ve got a couple of lawyer patients who were

[00:44:35] Clearly quite clever.

[00:44:36] Yeah, and so there was a patient I treated with eye treatment, plant him for a two unit cantilever and a single crown on the roof.

[00:44:50] And it was a central in size and a lateral cantilever and a single crown on the three. And that’s what he’d been treatment planned for, sent it to the lab and had a discussion with the technician. And this was about 10 years ago and the technician said, No, Jenny, you need to just make it a three unit bridge, which I said, Yeah, fair doesn’t make sense. No. So I made it through Unit Bridge, fitted it, you know, didn’t really discuss it with the patient because I thought, Well, it’s insignificant to the aesthetic outcome,

[00:45:16] And the cost is the same for you. So it’s kind of irrelevant. The outcomes are the same.

[00:45:21] And then 10 years down the line, obviously, there’s a lot of occlusal factors in this patients in a

[00:45:27] Regular attender as well.

[00:45:29] There’s a fracture in the bridge between the the two and the three. The the bridge is fractured. And, you know, I said to the patient, You know what? Ordinarily, I’d kind of let’s plan a replacement for this. However, the prognosis of the three isn’t so great

[00:45:46] Anymore, and you’re better off looking at some sort of implant solution.

[00:45:51] But what I will do for you is kind of re

[00:45:53] Credit half the cost of what you’ve had done towards the implant treatment plant

[00:45:58] And they went away to think about it. I didn’t hear anything. Eight months later, they asked for all their records.

[00:46:05] But I think here we go and give them the records didn’t hear anything. I thought maybe they’d just gone to another

[00:46:11] Dentist and then another. Eight months later, I get some medical legal letters.

[00:46:17] And what they feel aggrieved about is I didn’t consent them properly for doing the three unit bridge as opposed to what they’d initially agreed to. But they’ve written in their letter of complaint that they’re happy not to press further charges as long as I personally continue to treat them and do all their implant treatment free of charge. And what did you do? I said on I said, let’s

[00:46:47] Take this all the way to

[00:46:48] The lawyer. You said that, right?

[00:46:50] Yeah, yeah. You know, because I think it’s incredibly unreasonable. Personally, I think about 10 years use of that bridge.

[00:46:59] So then what then?

[00:47:01] Well, then this is going through the motions. Oh, is

[00:47:03] That is that happening right now? You’ve got both issues that

[00:47:09] I why pick on lawyers?

[00:47:10] I was eating an implant the other day and it was on a lateral with very little bone. And I’d seen this person pre-COVID and then COVID hit

[00:47:20] And there were a lawyer and there were being very kind of frugal about money. And my gut instinct said, you know, I’d really rather not treat this. And then COVID hit. We kind of cancelled all the patients and didn’t end up kind of touching base with this patient again. We left the ball

[00:47:38] In their court to get

[00:47:39] In touch and cope. It’s been two and a half years. This patient’s back in the diary, what’s it doing? And I think, Oh, well, there’s this fate.

[00:47:46] Clearly, we’ll do it. So I’ll look in the mouth

[00:47:48] And say, you know, you do realise you’ve got quite

[00:47:51] A few units that are missing just generally around your mouth. But we’ve comprehensive treatment planning.

[00:47:57] This is just about before I’m about to do implant surgery. And he says, Oh yeah, that was my old dentist. You know, he did a root canal and it it done x y z. And, you know, after about six years, it failed. And he did a botched job and blah blah blah just really slamming his own dentist. And I just kept quiet and I gulped and I thought, This doesn’t sound right. And then I just said to him, So did you. Progress matters. I said, Did you pursue him? I just said, How did things progress? And he goes, Yeah, sued the bastard. I got a huge payout and it’s paid the deposit for my house, and I was like,

[00:48:37] Oh my God, the

[00:48:39] What happened? Did you treat him?

[00:48:41] Yeah, because I had to.

[00:48:43] I never went Well,

[00:48:45] Yeah, thank God. Well, let’s see. We’ll still trying to set two years down the line. Who knows,

[00:48:51] He’s actually doing the kind of work you do. It’s it’s high risk workers there. I mean that I’ve had a bunch of very high-profile implanted artists on this show, and all of them have a story to tell. Do you? Does it get easier? Do you know as the years go on and your experience gets more? I know it’s never easy. It’s never easy to get a complaint, is it? That’s never

[00:49:18] Easy. No, it’s not easy. But I think with the associate issue, I got used to handling about 30 complaints that were quite serious complaints. I’m quite seasoned at that. I think with Time Warner becomes a bit more humble and recognises how much more we’ve yet to learn.

[00:49:36] I think people don’t talk about their failures and issues as

[00:49:40] Much as perhaps we should, because it’s it’s a great learning opportunity. I think the

[00:49:45] The implant circuit is certainly male dominated and it can be full of some egos. There’s some very nice personalities out there as well, and that kind of makes one shy away from maybe discussing

[00:49:58] Failures and shortcomings.

[00:50:00] I used to lose sleep. I used to want to give up almost. But then implant dentistry is something that you invest more and

[00:50:07] More in, and the more you invest, you’re in at the deep end and you’ve got to kind of do or die and make it work and just go for it, really.

[00:50:15] So I kind of forced myself to do

[00:50:17] A lot of training, try and get some qualifications. Even when I was pregnant, I made use of. It’s all about efficiency for me, making use of that time and the Royal College of Surgeons exams was sitting was in Dubai at that time, so I flew out to sit my exams there. I remember the being at that time, it was quite tough set of exams to get through. I think we were the second cohort for Edinburgh and 11 international candidates and only three of us passed. Luckily, I was one of them, so that was good. So you just have to push yourself, really?

[00:50:49] What’s your advice for for a woman who wants to get into implant ology? I mean, tell me about it. When you say it’s male dominated, is it is it that the sort of the back slapping gung ho not admitting to your failures male domination? Is that what you mean by male? I know it’s more men than women, but but but but culturally, what does that mean culturally?

[00:51:12] I think along the lines of what you said, that’s the impression I think a lot of us females get. And I think the bottom line is that there are not many females in it. I think the cost entry points to a high considering what females tend to have to do with the family life and the work life balance is much harder to kind of get into that realm of work.

[00:51:34] Yeah, but but if there were loads of women implant managers out there? Are we saying what would be different, would would are you really saying people would be discussing their failures more?

[00:51:45] I don’t know. I don’t know. I think it’s a human thing discussing one’s shortcomings, failures, issues, insecurities, whatever you want to call it. I think people tend to be quite guarded in whatever capacity I think we should change up.

[00:52:03] I mean, I can imagine the men will say, you know, my implant drill is bigger than yours. Sort of, you know, men men have a way of do it, particularly surgeons, you know, surgeons in general, they’re that way inclined. What would you say to a woman who wants to get into an implant, ology now? What should she do?

[00:52:24] I think you should find mentors that you’re very comfortable with, people that are going to kind of build your confidence, empower you and kind of help you in your journey. I met a woman called Karen McDermott. She’s an unsung hero. She’s retired now. She was one of the first females in England doing implant dentistry. She’s on a par and good friends with Ashok Sethi and Sharma, so she’s of that generation and she mentored me and she really

[00:52:53] The times when I had down days she’d rock up at the practise and be there just to kind of support me. She was brilliant, you know, and she’s not one that’s kind of in-your-face and showing off and exuberant. She’s just an unsung hero. So I think you need to come across the right kind of people that are going to be supportive of you.

[00:53:14] But, OK, listen, I don’t know enough about it to explain it to me. When you say find a mentor is a mentor, someone who out of the kindness of their heart is helping you or is a mentor someone you pay to help you, or it’s going to be both.

[00:53:27] And I never found any.

[00:53:30] I think, well, I think there’s people that are generous with their knowledge to varying degrees and whether it be a phone call, a discussion or. Watching them and then there are people you’ve got today as well, understandably so, because they’re taking the day out to come and assist you and you pay fees to varying degrees, and that’s why the entry level costs are quite high. To kind of understand the game and the skill, I used a variety of mentors and people in my journey because I think as opposed to using the same mentor all the time, you can learn different skills. Everyone does it differently. Yeah.

[00:54:08] So break it down for me. What do I do? I’m a twenty nine year old associate. I want to. I want to become an implant ologist, find someone who’s very experienced and say, Can I watch? And then what do of course you do?

[00:54:24] I probably say, Don’t do implants.

[00:54:25] I’d say,

[00:54:28] Yeah, why? Because I think everyone’s jumped onto the implant bandwagon when

[00:54:32] You say everyone, but it’s very everyone jumped on to a line bleach bond, right? That’s what everyone jumped on to implant.

[00:54:39] There’s a greater volume of people that need B as compared to implants. I think there’s I think it does great. I think to where is

[00:54:49] Great, I think lost. Should I say there’s lots of other modalities and I think implants, there’s a lot of people teaching it and they’re making money. It’s a business of teaching Dental implants, so it’s in their interest to get more people doing it. But I think the risks are quite high. The learning curve is steep for an associate, is difficult investment and getting your structure and set up with the nurses and the sepsis and everything. There’s a lot to it and a lot of stress. So you have to be passionate, you have to be determined and you have to be carefully considered and sure that that’s something you’re going to do. What I have heard is there’s a lot of people that Double-Double done training and implant dentistry and haven’t continued it forward. There’s many people who’ve done it but not taking it any further, which is understandable as well.

[00:55:33] Yeah. Well, I definitely wasn’t expecting you to hear you say that. I mean, one minute you’re saying male dominated. I’m saying woman wants to get involved, ask for your help and you’re saying you would say, Don’t do it, let’s be.

[00:55:46] I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I thought you said

[00:55:48] What we say to anyone wanting to do it. I didn’t realise, well, OK.

[00:55:51] But it’s an interesting response here. You’re saying, really don’t do it unless you’re very, very serious. Yeah, yeah, that’s what you’re saying.

[00:55:58] Ok, I think you have to be you have to consider it carefully understand. I think a lot of people are misconceived implants to be a big, big money spinner. Let’s get into it because I’m going to make a ton of money. I think you have to understand that the learning curve is steep and it’s long.

[00:56:15] And now you kind of teach on some of these implant courses to yourself.

[00:56:20] No, not not most of it, I think now where I’m at. Interestingly, in my

[00:56:26] I’ve done the growth, the learning, the journey, the business, the practise set up, the private practise, female kids. I feel if you’ve heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I really feel a point in my life where I think I’ve got enough. I’m really content financially and I want to kind of give back and

[00:56:49] Empower other people in whatever capacity I can.

[00:56:52] And when I was younger, money was important. And it’s a natural tendency to want to show that money off beat by a flash car, whether

[00:57:00] It’s because you enjoy driving it or whether you want to show it on designer clothes or whatever,

[00:57:05] It might be adversely for me. Conversely, for me, it’s I’ve gone the opposite. I feel that I don’t really have a desire to kind of exhibit wealth. My needs have become a lot more modest. You know, I’m on a dieting programme where hardly anything now, so I can’t even spend it on fine food. So for me, the driver’s isn’t money in finances anymore, but more connecting with people, giving back teaching, empowering networking. And I really love people. I think I like understanding people, and I feel that from a business point of view as well, I create synergistic partnerships, so I connect with people, try and identify their strengths and go into business along those lines. So if I tell you, you know, I’ve had a chicken and chip shop, I’ve had a car wash bed and breakfast holiday lets HMO student bills, property development. Wow, just various things. And it’s diversification. It makes life quite interesting.

[00:58:12] You mean you’ve partnered with people to do these these things?

[00:58:17] Yeah, I’ve been the majority shareholder. I’ve kind of had them running the business at the front end,

[00:58:24] So I’ve kind of vested in them.

[00:58:26] But what was your advice for someone who wants to do that? I mean, I find there’s a big trust issue there. Do you find do you find your finding your sort of buying into the person rather than the business? Is that the key thing?

[00:58:41] Yeah, you’re buying into the person. You’re trying to read the strengths of the person and you’re playing to their strengths and harnessing them on a platform that

[00:58:50] Can make it work for you.

[00:58:52] So, for example, the car wash business, you know, I had a bit of land, nothing was being done with it and had the adequate drainage new. An Eastern European guy was

[00:59:01] Really hard working, really wanted to do something, but just didn’t know what helped set him up. He runs it

[00:59:07] Off. It goes and he’s happy forever and a day, and then he’s got his team below him doing what they do best.

[00:59:14] How much does a business like that make?

[00:59:16] I shouldn’t go into figures, but

[00:59:18] I won’t say exactly, but I’m interested, I mean, there’s a chicken. Chicken and chips place make more money than a car wash, please.

[00:59:25] Depends how it’s run. Depends how it’s marketed. You get peaks and troughs. Ultimately, they are very profitable businesses. And for me, the main thing is it’s hands off. It’s passive income, you know? So, you know, there was a book that said, you know, if you invest in a business and it only makes you a pound, it really doesn’t matter because invest in ten thousand of those and you still don’t. Ok. You know, but it’s simple business models that are easy

[00:59:49] To

[00:59:50] Recruit for chicken and chips, for example,

[00:59:53] There’s not much on the menu, so not a lot.

[00:59:56] No, no, Jenny. Let’s be serious here. How many hours a week do you spend on the car wash business? Is it not even one?

[01:00:06] No. I just go and pick up the monthly money. That’s it, really.

[01:00:11] I just, yeah, I’m fine.

[01:00:13] But to be honest that that that is very much a side hustle. I think what I prefer is the holiday lets the bed and breakfast, the HMOs, the student lets. I think that’s that’s much more interesting. And there’s one guy in particular partner with

[01:00:26] And he runs all of that operation and we have weekly meetings.

[01:00:30] And I find that really interesting. Different.

[01:00:33] I mean, I was going to ask, you know, with that five years of the NHS, you did all of that. So what are you doing with all the money money now? I guess that’s what you do. What are your plans for the future, Jenny?

[01:00:44] Someone said to me, I’m very modest myself. I drive a very basic car. I wear very simple clothes for those that know me. I don’t want to think about what I have to wear on a morning. I’m quite petite, so I find clothes quite difficult to fit. So ironically, you know, I don’t have time and I went into Sports Direct and there’s a pair of track bottoms that fitted fine. So I went and bought

[01:01:03] 20 of them.

[01:01:04] So. And I thought on, I odd until I looked at, is it Mark Zuckerberg? He has kind of like 50 white t shirts and hoodies and just thought, Hey, that’s not bad at all. So, you know, when people see me in the same truck bombs, they do get washed different pairs. But someone said to me, You know, for me, the focus is my children now bringing them up right as good human beings. They will be my Gucci handbags and shoes, you know, that will be my desire. Designer adornments, my focus is, is giving back. And when I’ve looked for fulfilment in the journey of my life, initially, it’s been, you know, I want to be recognised for being successful or a business

[01:01:48] Owner or I want to be recognised for being wealthy.

[01:01:52] And I’ve realised for me a lot of that’s fickle and it doesn’t bring me fulfilment, and I couldn’t think of anything more

[01:01:59] Obscene than I think. It just wouldn’t be

[01:02:01] Fitting me if I was to drive around

[01:02:02] In an exuberant car or bling bling. I just feel very awkward and uncomfortable because

[01:02:09] That’s not me. And would it? Would that bring me happiness? I don’t know. Yes, I’d get attention. Would it be the right kind of attention of people really happy for you? Or does that elicit feelings of discontentment in others, inadequacy in others? People feeling jealous? Is that really what I want to be doing? So I’ve kind of reflected, and it started off to be honest, where the time when I had real struggles with my business and the associates shenanigans. There was one particular staff member and she’d only been with

[01:02:42] Me two years, so she was 60 years old. So she’s kind of at the end of her career

[01:02:46] And she’d had a hard life. She had three kids that she’d raised on

[01:02:49] Her own, and

[01:02:50] No one had ever kind of helped her out. She was made redundant from her previous job. She’d only been with me two years, and she had this old clapped out banner that finally failed its MOTY. And she kept saying to me at that time I drove a Kia Picanto

[01:03:05] And she said, Jenny, would you really please tell me your your car? I’d love a small car like yours, and I said, I really can’t sell you it because

[01:03:14] If anything goes wrong with it, I’d feel guilty. So she’s about to buy a second hand

[01:03:19] Used car, and I think, Oh, here we go, because this is going to give them nothing but trouble, potentially in terms of financial costs.

[01:03:26] And I went out and I spent £8000 on a brand new, well, a one year old Kia Picanto, and I gave her the keys. I said, Here you go,

[01:03:37] That’s for you. And I think many other people would have kept the new one for themselves and given her the old one.

[01:03:42] But it felt great. And to this day, you know, she’s still with me. She’s phenomenal. She cares for me so much and the business. And when I calculate it back, actually, it’s nothing

[01:03:54] More than having given a pound pay rise over so many years, you know,

[01:03:59] But that impact and that definitive difference it made in her life was incredible, and that fills

[01:04:06] Me with happiness, warmth,

[01:04:09] Fulfilment and what I’ve realised the act of giving, whether you’re giving

[01:04:13] Knowledge, support. Confidence to others, empowering others, it is very fulfilling for me.

[01:04:21] So, yeah, that’s where I’m at, really. I want to kind of give back to others and happy to help.

[01:04:27] Yeah, I mean, it’s one of the joys of work, isn’t it? Especially owning a business has so many difficulties, but that’s one of the lovely things about it is watching people grow and watching people be happier. Work for me is the most important thing for me, the team, my happier work. It has over the years. For me, it’s gone wrong as well, though, you know there are things that go wrong at work. Would you give some top tips or top tips that you would say for keeping staff happy, motivating people? I mean, if that’s true, it’s difficult. There’s no there’s no career pathway or not much of a career pathway for nurses and receptionists. How do you keep them motivated?

[01:05:07] Yeah, I think it’s it’s Dental leadership. It’s down to what you’re like as a boss. I think for me, I truly care. I’m sincere about my staff. I’m flexible with them. And yeah, there’s not career progression. But you know, as I grow financially as a person, they get remunerated very well as a result in time, and they’re aware of that. They understand that we grow together and the way I look at it is, you know, I’m very comfortable now and my kids don’t want for anything. But I was once in that position where, you know, I did desire and I didn’t have those chocolate, McVitie’s or whatever it was. And I look at my stuff and I think they’ve got kids, you know, their kids will desire these, you know, little luxuries and they deserve to have it. Why not? You know, life is short and we have so much as dentists. We are well-to-do relative to other professions. So I kind of definitely do remunerate them in in many ways, not just financially, and they feel loved and looked after. So, you know, they’re doing very well within the remit and the restrictions of their career pathways. And one has to accept there is a level of blue collar workers that will always be blue collar workers, you know, so not everyone that stacked shelves can kind of climb up sky high and not everyone wants to, either. But it’s making life as as as comfortable and pleasant and a joy to come into work, really. That’s what I like to do.

[01:06:39] Well, I know I know that that’s you know, what drives you. Speaking to you at Vietnam time, we saw each other definitely do the bit on connexion. I could just see your eyes lighting up when when people were asking questions and and with team as well. I’m sure you’re very strong on that side. So what are you going to do with this practise? Are you going to do more of them? What’s your five year plan?

[01:07:03] Yeah. Should I say, I don’t know. Yeah, I’ve got some plans, and I think it involves teaching others, empowering others, connecting with like minded individuals and creating win win situations, creating opportunities overall. You know, creating a legacy so that, you know, we’ve all got to go at some day. But you know, I do want to be remembered, you know, impacts, say your family or your kids for people to come up to my kids. I remember your mom. She was wonderful. She really helped me when I was down. She really changed the course of, you know what I’m doing now? Or, you know, I think that that’s really important to me.

[01:07:44] Look what bill of that 15 year old is still there now because, you know, at the beginning of the conversation, we were very much it was that sort of pressurised pain and tragedy. And and then there was a moment in the conversation when we’re talking about growing. And you know what? What Bill of you is still that same person I know we do. Most of you is, yeah, but you know the difference between the person you can’t buy the chocolate biscuit and the person who’s got, how many businesses have you got a good ten businesses on the go? All of all of this stuff going on that you’ve got going on now, do you feel pride when you look back on that story? Is your mom still with us?

[01:08:28] Yes, she is. She’s proud.

[01:08:31] She’s she’s proud. But oh, I should just interject my younger sister, who was four. Yeah. And this is why I mentioned it can be part of your DNA, perhaps, as well as necessity being the mother of invention and circumstance kind of pushing you

[01:08:48] To be the very best you can be. Would you believe she’s the owner of? She set up a vegan condom company called Hanks’ that stocked in boots globally everywhere.

[01:09:01] If you Google Hangouts is sold everywhere. So she’s done phenomenally well, and then she’s been offered

[01:09:07] By a major kind of

[01:09:11] Condom on the

[01:09:15] Phenomenal, eye watering amount of money to

[01:09:17] Buy out. So it just goes to show, you know, my mom being proud of me, I think she’s proud of all of us. We’ve all kind of landed on our feet and done well. And I think there’s something to be said for just being a really good human being and meaning well for others

[01:09:32] And connecting and giving back because I think it comes back as well.

[01:09:36] Prav is not with us for his final questions, but I’m going to ask them. You’re on your deathbed. You’ve got your nearest and dearest around you. One of three pieces of advice you would give them.

[01:09:51] Gosh, this is hard, isn’t it? I think live life to the fullest, enjoy each day because you just don’t know

[01:09:57] What life can throw at you and how the course of your life can change.

[01:10:01] Really appreciate each day the fact when you get out of bed,

[01:10:05] You breathe the air, you’ve got a fridge full of food. Be happy. There’s a lot to be happy for.

[01:10:10] Be good, kind to others. Help others and

[01:10:14] You’ll be surprised how much that kind of benefits you in multiple ways. For me, it’s been financial. It’s been fulfilling

[01:10:23] In every capacity, any good deed I’ve done. It’s kind of come back tenfold

[01:10:26] To me

[01:10:27] And. We have the third piece of advice is. Is definitely try and do something good for others.

[01:10:35] You know, that was the second piece of advice,

[01:10:38] Is that the second piece of advice study hard at school

[01:10:41] Become a really. And one final question. We’ve been experimenting this with this one at the OECD, and I appreciate this coming out of the blue. So don’t worry to relax, you’ll get the answer. Dinner party. Three, yes. Dead or alive, who are they going to be?

[01:11:04] Oh, my gosh. Who would you like at a dinner party?

[01:11:09] Yeah. Dead or alive? Three gets.

[01:11:11] I think Payman, you’ve got to be there because I think you are

[01:11:15] Go of it.

[01:11:16] Great fun.

[01:11:21] Oh, three’s quite hard. I think I think Mukesh is a top bloke.

[01:11:27] But what I like that, but is, is he better than, you know, Gandhi? Oh, well, I’m right. I mean, OK, me, Mukesh and Gandhi, it’s a good one.

[01:11:44] Yeah.

[01:11:48] All right. Thank you so much for doing this, Jenny, and what a what an inspirational story. I mean, you know, one side of me says, you know, a little small lady who who’s you know, from from an ethnic minority and look what you’re to see. But there’s another side of me that just says, just, you know, it doesn’t matter who you were or who you are and they’re going through what you went through, doing what you’re doing now. It’s just proper inspirational. So it’s it’s really nice to have you on on the show. Thank you so much for doing this.

[01:12:22] Oh, thank you. Really appreciate it. Hope it’s been an inspiration to others and free for anyone to reach out in any capacity for help or advice.

[01:12:30] Yeah, I think there’s going to be a bunch of ladies asking for mentorship now. All right. Thanks a lot.

[01:12:39] Thank you.

[01:12:42] 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.

[01:12:58] 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 had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you 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.


This week’s episode starts with a content warning: When brewing tea, Tej Mell pours the milk first.  

It’s just one of many tidbits the Yorkshire-based dentist lets us in on in a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from managing and motivating teams to the appreciation of clockwork and watches.

Tej tells us about starting his journey into implant treatment and why the third time was a charm when it came to finding success as a practice owner.

He also lifts the lid on his decision to stand in the upcoming BDA elections.



“Why dentistry? I’ll be honest with you 


In This Episode

02.27 – Backstory

05.48 – Superpowers

07.01 – First job, first boss, first practice

09.25 – Selling up

17.20 – Lessons learned

19.12 – Practice number two

23.35 – Third time lucky

26.51 – Time, peace and limitations

27.46 – Starting with implants

35.39 – Advice for new practice owners

41.41 – Firing

45.32 – Career progression, bonuses and motivation

53.28 – BDA elections and the future of NHS dentistry

01.04.20 – Watches

01.11.18 – Tea

01.12.30 – Last days, legacy and dinner guests


About Tej Mellachervu

Dr Tej Mellachervu (Mell) graduated from Leeds University in 2001 and went into practice around Yorkshire before purchasing and selling two practices. He is now the principal dentist and owner of Crigglestone Dental Care in Wakefield, Yorkshire.

[00:00:00] And the one thing I do with my team is you’ve got to find out what motivates each person. For some people, it’s money, it’s overtime. They like a bit of overtime. Some people like a bit of a night owl, the like a night owl to meal a day. So foster the culture, foster a bit of everything in your team.

[00:00:15] You know, try and sort

[00:00:16] Of get everything that people like, try and touch upon a little bit of everything. That’s what I try and do. I try to keep happy, so stand back from it because working with the same people every day can get quite sickening and start to you start to despise the people you work with. It’s part of a burnout process. You go in every day to the same small surgery and you see the same people. But look at look at the overall good. Are they working hard? Are they coming on time? Are they working? Are they working for the practise? You know, trying to do what’s best for the practise? If you see these things in your staff, give them a little bit of leeway. Yeah, if they’re sick one day just off six, I’ve got a nurse who’s in every single day she’s in no matter what. She’s the one I rely on. She’s a pair of hands. She’s in every single day. If she’s off sick one day, I’m not going to because I don’t pay sick days. I paid her. I’m not. I’m not going to not pay her. I paid her. You know, it’s not a big deal.

[00:01:06] 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 gives me great pleasure to welcome TJ Mel onto the podcast. I’ve come across a on the Dental scene a few times in real life, but where I come across in the most is somehow on the Dental boards, where he’s a regular contributor and I’ve always liked his his angle on the things that go on in general. Practise is super experienced. General Practise Guy said three practises NHS private and mixed right now, practising out of Wakefield. And the reason I wanted him on is because he’s put himself forward for election at the BDA, at the IPC level, which I’ll get him to explain what that means to everyone. And you know, for me, people who put themselves up to get involved, they deserve a platform. And I know there are many others who have put themselves up. But since I know tech, I’m going to encourage people to put themselves up and get a platform to talk about. But you know, this podcast, which I hope you lovely to have you.

[00:02:26] Yeah, thank you. Thank you for having me on.

[00:02:27] Yeah, it’s a real pleasure. It’s a real pleasure. We’re just going to try and get to the sort of the person behind the persona, really. So just to tell us a little bit about where you grew up, how you grew up, why you became a dentist,

[00:02:40] Why we did this. Well, I grew up in basically all my life in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. I haven’t really moved out, had some great vision of going to London. Never really happened. Kind of settled here. Qualified from

[00:02:53] Leeds Dental interview

[00:02:55] 2001. I kind of like Derek. I like West Yorkshire. It’s nice. You know, it’s people are friendly, all that kind of thing. Why are they going to dentistry? I mean, I’ll be

[00:03:03] Honest with you, I was

[00:03:04] Thinking two planks of wood. I had no idea what I want to do. I was 16, 17, 18. My father was a doctor

[00:03:12] And he was like, Ted, you know, you

[00:03:14] Want to do something and do a profession come from an Indian background. It’s very much a case of, you know, it could be a be a doctor or whatever, and you go do something. I had no great passion for anything. I was not very good at a lot of things. So, you know, my father, just like getting something that’ll get you a job at the end of the day, which which is fair enough because I think it’s an honest answer. Nobody, nobody grows up wanting to, you know, liking teeth, you know, so it’s one of these things you just end up being. And as an eighteen year old, you just get into dentistry. No, you have to get through it. And that’s it. So you end up there and that’s it’s actually after you qualify it, when you start to like it, hopefully for a lot of people is when they develop plans and start to enjoy the job, enjoy the profession.

[00:03:57] Did you not enjoy Leeds studying in Leeds?

[00:04:00] I love Leeds is a place. I hated the course. I hated dentistry. Of course, I was not very good at it. I was always at the bottom. I was not. It was not very good. Like I said, I was very thick. I couldn’t really process things very well. Even now, I’m a slow learner. So as of now, I’m in my 40s. I often, you know, you know, yourself a lot better. You know what your limitations are. So I often tell people, I’m a slow learner. I need to work on things. I need to spend a lot more time like mentoring. So I’m just doing implants and a lot more mentoring and a bit more time than some of the people. So they’re always in our professions are always high flyers, always people who pick up things early and one way or another. I knew my limitations. I work with them to my advantage, I think to an extent. So, yeah, that’s where I’m now.

[00:04:40] Really, I love that. I love that. I love that because, you know, self-awareness, right? Is maybe the biggest skill you can have. The biggest talent you can have is absolutely, absolutely where you stand in the world. And you know, I’m disorganised. Yeah, yeah. And I had a thing in my head saying, you know, a disorganised person will never do anything really amazing. Yeah, yeah. And then and because I’m disorganised, I sort of surround myself with organised people. And I was I was at an event a couple of weeks ago and I met a guy. He said, Yeah, I make rockets.

[00:05:18] I was like, Yeah, I was like, I was like, What rackets?

[00:05:21] And he was like, he was the rockets. And he was he was telling me he’s disorganised and it was so empowering. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:05:30] I love this. I think we all have our own limitations, and I think it’s recognising them. So through schooling, through school, Dental school, I was I was slow. I was a slow learner. I was never a high flyer academically, so it was working with limitations. Even now, it takes me a long time to grasp concepts, but that’s fine. I work with it and you.

[00:05:48] What would you say? You’re your sort of superpower is, though was you good with your hands or you could be people or what’s your I think the people.

[00:05:55] I think it was the people thing. I think that’s what I picked up was good with people. You know, all the practises I initially worked in earlier is a very sort of typical NHS practises around Yorkshire. These mining towns I like the sleeves of have a good banter with the patient and I could really sort of gel with the patients really well, and that’s sort of worked in my favour. You know, and that’s what I enjoy doing, to be honest with you. I mean, I’m never going to be one of these guys. High end Dental Spa. It’s just not me. I almost Leaders I would like to

[00:06:22] Get on with it. I like to do all

[00:06:23] Different aspects of

[00:06:24] Industry. Yeah, I beg.

[00:06:25] I beg to differ, Matt, because the main skill you need to be in a high end Dental spa is the communication skill.

[00:06:31] Yeah, yeah, probably. Well, it may be. It might be. It may be a little different. Yeah. I said, if you know, I like the Yorkshire folk, I’m a Yorkshire bloke. I like to talk, you know, with Yorkshire guerilla sleeves that we get on with, they have good banter. Talk about the football sport, whatever you wanna talk about. We we just have a laugh and that’s me and the whole team as well. We all get on and that’s the way I do my practises and it seems to work for me to an extent. So yeah, that’s that’s a nutshell what I am really like being. I’m down to earth.

[00:07:01] Yeah, go on. Take me back to your first job, first job.

[00:07:05] If it velvety, I guess it’s current county, all vocational training that was in, that was in Grimsby. Yeah, because the

[00:07:13] First boss really, I’m looking for.

[00:07:15] Who was that person? My first boss was a great guy. A trader called Nick Samson in Grimsby. Greg, I can make Samson. He had his moments, but he was a he was sort of so ethical. It used to stress him out almost, I think, to be honest. But he really instilled me, instilled in me a few few of the ethics along the way of what to do, what not to do, blah blah blah. We’ve got to say and how to get out of situations and all that, which helped me a lot in my early years, a lot. Then second job, I’d say, sort of, you know what I mean? But then second job, I started working for John Milne in Normanton on a part time basis, who was a bit of a mentor really as well at the time. So, you know, got a lot of, you know, a lot of experience working with him in his team. I was only doing two days a week there, but whenever I bump into him, I always used to sort of pick his brains on there on what’s going on.

[00:08:08] First, couple of bosses are so influential, I find.

[00:08:11] Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. The first first few shape shape your career going forward and you, you know, you pick bits. You sort of see how they’re dealing with their team and how they deal with their patients and what to say. And oh, I can get away with this and you can’t do this and you can’t say this, and it’s just fantastic. Yeah, absolutely. I think you kind of sets you up.

[00:08:31] So then your first practise at NHS one, you said yes. Yeah, yeah, back

[00:08:37] When two thousand five, I believe

[00:08:41] 2005. Yeah, I was working there part time. I knew the gentleman wanted to sell it and I thought, Look, you know, I was getting fed up of sort of being told was surgery to work in which the nurse you get. And I will sort of wanting my own place really with my name on the door and and thinking. So it was a case

[00:08:58] Of, yep, we did a deal.

[00:09:00] It was up for sale. It was a deprived practise in one of the poorest areas of Bradford. Looking back, was it the right practise for me? Probably not. I’ll come onto that later.

[00:09:09] But at the

[00:09:10] Time it seems to work, you know, seemed to work. I knew the team. It just seemed to work. I could just get on with it. I was already there, working there a couple of years. So yeah, all fitted in. I took over and I had that place about seven years before I sold it.

[00:09:25] What was the main driver to sell it? That you just felt like it wasn’t you?

[00:09:28] It wasn’t me. There was, uh, there was a big a bit of a story behind it, which is interesting, which I’m happy to just sort of go over it. It was. He was all going well. It was all going well. 2005 2011 is all going really well hunky-dory. We used to go out with the staff, have a good laugh. Everything was fine. And then August the 19th 2011 Friday evening, I get a letter from the PCT asking for about 20 record cards. So I get this record asking me for 20 record cards. So I said, Right, OK, I know. In fact, sorry, it was earlier in August, it was August, around August, the 8th August the 6th asking for 20 record cards. So the Dental advisor came in, took 20 record cards the following week and went away with them. I said, fine, no big deal. I might just get a little bit of advisory. No, to what? You know what it should be writing. My notes, blah blah blah didn’t hear anything. Friday, the 19th of August. This is the evening I received a letter and it went to my old old address, my old home address, actually. So I had to go there and get it. I get a letter saying that we are calling you for a meet for a hearing on the following Wednesday. So I had

[00:10:41] Basically for Friday

[00:10:43] Evening already. So I had three working days, two working days, Monday Tuesday to prepare. We’re calling you for a hearing to decide whether we’re going to suspend you from front of the performers list. Wow. I don’t the blues

[00:10:54] Out of the blue.

[00:10:54] So I was like, Where did this come from? They felt my, you know, my notes. I was working very hard to get. My notes weren’t good enough. I was seeing a lot of urgent cases. It was, it was. It was pretty much overkill. So anyway, this this this is a turning point in my career because up until that point, I had been pretty much self-reliant, said nothing will really. Happened to me because I’m pretty good with my patients, my dentistry is not bad, I’m pretty good, my patients who cannot touch me and I have my indemnity or who are with that ring of help and how wrong was I rang them up Friday evening. Someone on Cold Person Evening takes the phone call and says, Send everything through to us. We can’t sending anyone to the hearing with you. You have to go on your own. It’s too late right now. So you’re on your own. But basically send us everything through. We’ll try and defend. It will look through whatever’s what. So there was me on a Friday evening worried sick, not knowing what to do, who during. I rang one of my old bosses who said he wasn’t really experienced enough to come to the hearing with me. And then I remembered I spoke to one gentleman, and I probably probably shouldn’t name him right now. I probably shouldn’t name him, to be honest. But he was very high up in the media in the past, and I remember having a conversation with him over a pint at a CPD lecture once.

[00:12:15] So I just tried him and it’s 19th of August 2011 and everyone was usually on hold the day at that time of the year. So try it on his number because that’s still at his mobile number. And I pick it up and he says, and I said, It’s Ted, and he says, Ted, yeah, yeah. I remember. Yeah, blah blah blah, you know? And I said, Look, you know, I’ve got this letter calling me to hear hearing on the Wednesday blah. You know, I’m worried sick. What do we do? And he said, Ted, you were going to get these guys. He said, that is absolutely out of order. We’ve got an action plan. He goes Saturday morning, we’re going to sit down. He goes, We’re going to go through it all by email. Let’s prepare an action plan. Let’s get this sorted. And by the Sunday, I was getting a little bit confident I could fight this. By the Monday, I was collecting record cards. I was collecting testimonials from patients I treated and everything. And on the Wednesday morning, me and this gentleman walked into the hearing. This was 24th of August 2011, so well over ten years ago. Now we walked into this hearing and as soon as this gentleman came to the hearing with me, the medical director, the Dental advisor

[00:13:21] Sort of just

[00:13:22] Smiled and said, Oh, hi, yeah, we know you. He was that revered in the profession. So the way he did it with me and sat down, we asked each of the questions and he asked me what my area was like, and it was a deprived area in. Most of the patients don’t come back for exams, they come for urgent treatment and disappear and et cetera, et cetera. So I didn’t get suspended, they gave me an oxygen plum for a year, which was pretty much hellish anyway because it involves sort of going back

[00:13:48] To like

[00:13:49] A Dental school way of working on haze in a deprived area, which was putting me more and more behind. So that led to be, I mean, to sell the practise, which is the best thing I ever did. Moving on from the practise. So I work there as part of the year as an associate, you know, under the new owner. But that was a turning point, really, which sort of got me into mentoring and helping the dentists. And the fact is that, you know, there’s the help out there, and I’m glad now we’re in 2021. There’s a few organisations out there that you can speak to. It’s not just you on your own and your indemnity. It’s there’s other organisations like Confidential. I became a mentor for the Yorkshire Deanery at the time, and they’ve just set up a pass through the LDC, the set of Practitioner Advice and Support Service Scheme, which I’m also one of the members of.

[00:14:36] It occurs to me that, you know, if you hadn’t have had made that call. Yeah, things might have turned out very differently.

[00:14:44] This this was the thing. This was the real key turning point. It was about nine thirty. I remember I was absolutely, you know, I mean, this is the dangers out there that probably this position with GDC hearings or whatever, but when they get a letter. But I was turning, I was just ripping my hair out, just absolutely thinking, This is it. Everything’s coming down to me now. It’s a 20 page letter saying, you’re going to call for a hearing because you’re a safety problem to a patient. You’re it’s a safety issue. So I made this one phone call to this one gentleman and the confidence he instilled in me and the action plan. He said that you have to do defy these guys looking at the demographics of the population and going through it all in detail, getting testimonials and all this. And we went in there and we did it or we did the job and I showed them that, look, I’m a safe dentist. My patients liked to see me. I’ve made some mistakes in the notes. Admittedly, I admitted where I went wrong. And you know it one of those things, and it’s fine, they said. I find it’s an action plan given and they said, Just do this action plan you fine.

[00:15:45] So why don’t you want to name the guy?

[00:15:48] Uh, I don’t know if I should put him in it, really. I mean, I can’t do it, actually. I mean, I mean, I don’t know if I should do. I don’t know if it’s my if I should do, whether he is in that role anymore or not. I’m not sure, but

[00:16:02] It sounds like a great guy

[00:16:04] Is very well revered. He’s very well revered, very well known in that industry. So that was really a turning point, to be honest with you. It ended me selling the practise, paying the PCT back in the realm of a barrel. They find me through thirty two thousand pounds anyway for inappropriate claims. And then I will seventy thousand pound behind on OODA. So I think I paid back about a hundred on ground in the end. By the time I sold the practise just to the PCT just a day ago, go take the money.

[00:16:30] You didn’t know you were doing anything wrong. Is that right?

[00:16:32] I was just working very, very fast on a lot of patients seeing a lot of virgin patients. I didn’t realise that you needed to do all these exams on everyone as well. And I was a bit of an outlier in certain areas. I didn’t realise all this, but I was doing what I thought was in the best interest of the patients. The patients were very happy. There was no issue, so I thought that was eight. I didn’t realise you had to work within parameters of being your averages. This was something because it comes on to something else. I was doing at the time managing the practise. I was doing everything myself. I was doing all the management myself, all the audits, everything myself to the point where I took my eye off this one area, which was keeping an eye on on the parameters of what we were doing. You know, we were doing too many of these, too many that too many agents, et cetera. So that was a steep learning curve.

[00:17:20] That’s what the biggest, the biggest thing you learnt about that dude was it like, you know, to not do everything yourself

[00:17:25] Going, not do everything yourself. Yeah, there are some things you can let go. I was I became OCD almost about like having every policy underwritten and signed by everybody, and everything had to be right, the policies and they all to be filed correctly. And everything that took my eye off the actual fact that I was building up all these so-called inappropriate claims that would trigger and go red flags to the PCT.

[00:17:47] So then so then going forward, did you learn that lesson or did you put it into action?

[00:17:51] I mean, I think actually we we thought the claims out. I delegated a lot more to practise, man. No, no.

[00:17:56] But I mean, I mean, the next next practise along. Yeah, you moved on. Yeah. Did you stop trusting people? You know, in a way, it’s a bit of a control freak way of doing it. It is.

[00:18:05] It is. It’s a lot of what it’s what a lot of dentists suffer from. And I basically now I’ve started focussing more on the claiming the clinical aspects of the practise. I’m saying to my manager, Look, you know, you’re dealing with this bit, I’m not doing it. This policy, this is not for me to do. You know, you’re doing the wages, you’re doing the policies. I’m going to look at them, that’s fine. But I’m working on the clinical aspects. That’s what I’m focussing on now. So, yeah, I think it’s down to delegation. I know it’s probably suffering at the time in Bradford as well, something that a lot of us suffer from it. We’d always know it at the time, so was probably suffering from burnout as well. And I didn’t even realise it. I was doing far too many udas. I didn’t even realise it.

[00:18:44] Yeah, you get on the treadmill, don’t you?

[00:18:46] You get the treadmill, you get the treadmill. It produces endorphins. You think, Oh, I need to do this Friday evening, do a Saturday and you do this and they do that and there’s a gap. Get the gap filled and you do this and you don’t really switch off.

[00:18:57] So and it’s burnout

[00:18:58] Without realising burnout creeps up on you very slowly and it and you start faltering in other areas. And I think that was my problem at the time, to be honest, trying to do too much.

[00:19:08] So then the second, the second practise, what was that? Where was that?

[00:19:12] The second one was actually I had it the same time as I had the Bradford one. Towards the end, I bought a small

[00:19:17] Private one

[00:19:18] Again, again, a mistake thinking that I need a second practise because this is what you meant to do. Yeah. Hmm. Oliver made such second practises. I was meant to have a second practise, so I went and bought one forty miles away in a partnership, which is a very small practise. I need a building up. So I was losing money of the Bradford practise, travelling 40 miles to this smaller private one, trying to make money off that one and sort of tearing my hair out again. Another lesson I learnt was don’t buy something because it’s cheap. It is very cheap. So I think it yeah, it’s really cheap. Let’s buy it. It was cheap for a reason. Took a lot of work and I lost money. I was losing Udas at the breakfast practise. Yeah. And so I was working between the two, so I didn’t get the management rights again. Second mistake. It was very far away from home. Cheap practise. Just, you know, for me personally, I’m not saying

[00:20:14] This would be perfect this way.

[00:20:16] It has a small contract. About 3000 Udas wasn’t much, but it wasn’t really worth buying and leaving the Bradford one. You know, it wasn’t really didn’t really make sense. But somehow I felt at the time I needed, I know the practise. I think it was a bit of an ego thing because I had this Bradford one, which is a very deprived, poor area. I felt I needed a bit of a higher end sort of private kind of practise. And again, it comes down to this reason of why you want to buy a practise. You need to have a compelling reason to buy a practise. And I tell a lot of young dentists this. Don’t just buy one because your mates are buying one or whatever, you know, I need to buy a practise, need to buy a practise. What are your specific reasons for buying a practise? And if they don’t really have a specific reason, I’ll say, just wait. Wait for the right one. I just just don’t buy one. You know, carry on an associate. This is the problem. It’s when I bought the first practise Bradford one. The thing was the difference then was I was very clear why I wanted to buy it. I wanted my name on the door. I wanted. I wanted the change, the wallpaper. You know, I wanted to do my way. I want to control. I wanted. I wanted that aspect with a private wall and it was an ego one. He was an ego trip. I want a second practise. Yeah, yeah, I want to. I’ve got two practises. Second one as well. It’s a private one. Yeah, no real reason for buying. It didn’t really look at the figures. Didn’t really think what I’ve been losing in UDS is this practise by going and working for lower private fees and the other practise.

[00:21:39] And you know, it’s quite difficult. It’s quite difficult, isn’t it? I mean, we’re not trained to read balance sheets and, you know, properly understand profit and loss and all that. I don’t know whether you did or you didn’t, but but there is that aspect of it. And yeah, running, running, running a very high needs NHS place and then a private place, two totally different skill sets, two

[00:22:01] Totally different skill sets. So I’m going across similar power to the private one. Yeah, do some nice private work. Do Masaryk, whatever they’re doing, all that kind of stuff, then you’re coming back the next day and it’s just practise with 10 toothaches. Book 10 and, you know, until a totally different mindset. I think I think I think the key factor with the private one was it was too far away if it was close, so we could have made it work. But the fact it was 40 miles away were just ridiculous. You know, we could have turned it around a bit more, but it’s one of those life lessons. It didn’t work for me, so we sold out after four years and I went back to being an associate.

[00:22:35] Wow, what a it is. What a big change. And did you lose money on on the private one?

[00:22:42] I did it well. If you look at the fact that I lost money on the Bradford one because of the private one, yes, I did. I think I made about 3000 pounds in the private one in the end when we sold it.

[00:22:54] You know, we bought it for

[00:22:56] 20k and I made about 20. I mean, it was it was ridiculous. I paid for my service when he came. I don’t mind talking figures. I paid about £20000 for it and my partner paid of 20k. And in the end, I think I made about 3000 by the time I’d take the money out. But in fact, I’d lost more because I was losing money money that Bradford practise. It was falling more and more behind.

[00:23:14] Yeah, yeah, opportunity cost, right? And all that headache, the headache of buying and selling a practise, right?

[00:23:20] Yeah, exactly. It was a buying and selling it all that. So.

[00:23:23] So then when you got an associate job, did you resent that fact or was did you do this sort of thing? Nice to have a breather. Nice not to have the responsibility for a while.

[00:23:35] Yeah, it was nice. It was a nice break, actually. I worked for I worked for a decent guy, to be honest. The guy who bought my Bradford one, actually. I said to him, Look, I can’t work in Bradford anymore. I want to work in one of the two practises. He gave me a job. One of his other practises. And you know, he was he was a fair guy, actually, to be honest with him, still in touch with him now and again. He gave me a job in his hotels, full of practise. I worked there for about a year or so, but there was there was that deep down saying, Oh, you know, I was getting moved surgeries and come in the morning and suddenly say, Look, you know, you’re giving a trainee nurse going to move to the surgery. And I was getting over the trauma of the whole events of 2011. Yeah, I was just getting over them slightly and I thought, Look, you, you know, that’s in the past. Now it’s time to move on. Don’t dwell on the past. And you know, I was only 36, 37. I said, it’s time to buy into the practise and learn from your mistakes.

[00:24:26] So I put

[00:24:27] Feelers out there and all that. And then this practise close to me 20 minutes away came up and it was just it was just bang on. I mean, he couldn’t have come at a better time, the perfect number of Udas 8000 Udas. I don’t want a single mall. I’ve got some therapists in there now and we’re doing a bit of private, which is good. So yeah, it kind of works. You know, it’s it’s a nice area. It’s all fee paying patients, lovely patients. And I actually like doing this like a second home. I love going there every day.

[00:24:54] That’s always a nice sign, man. It’s always a nice sign. I mean, it’s it’s never going to be like this in dentistry, exactly right. But you know when for me, when when you don’t really know whether it’s a weekday or a weekend for me, then I know I’m enjoying my life. I’m enjoying my job. Yeah, yeah, I’m looking at, Oh, it’s Thursday. Tomorrow will be Friday. Then I’ll be the weekend that I can relax.

[00:25:20] Yeah, yeah, yep. Yep, yeah.

[00:25:22] When the job’s not right, the weekend becomes this gold and it becomes the gold.

[00:25:27] Absolutely. When the

[00:25:29] Job is right, the weekends, just the weekends, just another

[00:25:31] Day. I think it’s great. I don’t mind doing the old Saturday morning. I was in there today doing some paperwork because it’s near my house. It’s like a second home to me. Yeah, yeah, you know, I’ve got it set up in the way I like my house. It’s like, I’m not saying it’s a well decorated, but it’s nice. It’s nice inside. I go in there. If you referral letters, as soon as I’ll have a Monday morning off, so I don’t get the Monday morning blues every Monday afternoon, short week, Wednesday half day, short week, it’s nice. You know you can put these for these little things in there to give you a nice working life. And like you said, you know you’re not looking for the Friday, you’re not looking for this thing. And I think a lot of people, they’re looking for peace and industry. They’re looking for peace. You know, you come in at eight, you do your Dental, you know, you do your five years, you come out in a job and they’re looking for peace. And the moment they get a complaint to get this ticket that it just rattles them. A registry is not a peaceful profession. It’s an adrenaline pumping profession. You know you’re on this, you’re on this treadmill from the word go, whether you like it or not, whether it’s NHS, whether it’s private, you’re on this, you’re on this sort of treadmill rollercoaster where anything can happen any time. Yeah, yeah. And there’s no peace. You know, you’re not going to any peace in the industry. It’s not it’s not getting all that kind of job. So I realise that I realised that I stood up for 2011. I realised it very well in a very harsh way. I realised it. And since then I’ve been I’ve been trying to sort of work within that, knowing that things can come up.

[00:26:51] So it looks, it sounds. It sounds like you’re kind of at peace now, don’t it?

[00:26:55] Yeah, I’m at Peace Now and a Peace Now. I like I said, going back to being a slow learner, slow thing. I am working at probably 70 to 80 percent of my capacity now. Yeah, yeah. I’m like, I’m like, I’m not. I’m like a boxer with his guard up with his back leg, ready to move back because I know things can happen any time. So I’m not pushing the envelope like you used to do before I used to try things. Oh, we’ll try this. We’ll try that. Do some crazy wisdom surgical. We’ll do that. Nope, I’m I’m defensive now a lot more and working, you know, probably 80 percent of what I should be working at. So I’ve just started doing implants. Now I’m making sure I’m getting the right mentors in something very slow. You know, single implants, blah blah blah. I’m not going crazy. I’m gonna take my time. You know, if I don’t know something, I can’t stand it. I’ll ask again. I’ll ask again, make sure I know

[00:27:40] It because I know

[00:27:41] My limitations. And that’s not to say it. So yeah, yeah, I’m a piece of myself now. It’s good.

[00:27:46] I’m a big step going into implants. Are you that it is vertically minded kind of dentist? Yeah, I mean,

[00:27:54] The thing is, I always enjoy certain surgical aspects. I was always taking teeth, doing surgical, raising pull ups, bone removal. But somehow there was a mental block of doing implants is high risk demanding patients blah blah blah. Again, it put me off. I was, Oh, I shouldn’t do it, but I’ve got to a stage now where, you know, forty four, I’m thinking looking at it. Just get on with it. Just do some simple implants. Even if you’re just doing singles and just doing a couple of areas, they need to get into it. So, you know, I did the PG Cert and again I did the Tipton Training PG Cert. Oh, the Tipton training, which is quite good. So I did that. And then actually, interestingly, exactly with Facebook again, you come across a lot of nonsense on Facebook, but also you come across some real gems, some real people that reach out. Yeah, and a guy called Amit Patel, Specialist Periodontist and Birmingham. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He reached out just on social media through my watch group and all these other things to do. And it’s a message and I say, Yeah, you know, I made him doing this and that, and we’ve been talking for two years and he said, Look, I’m going to help you with your implants.

[00:28:54] And I was like, OK, really? And he’s like, Yeah, yeah, yeah, don’t worry, I’m going to help you. I’m going to come up and all this. And I was like, OK, I was a bit dubious and we got chatting a lot more messaging, and it seemed like a really nice guy. So funnily enough, two weeks ago, I went down to meet him for the first time. It’s practise nice, you know, lovely guy. Lovely making these connexions and I made so many of the connexions through Facebook. I met people in real life and for me, he’s been a positive, to be honest. It’s been. It’s been great. Yeah, so he’s coming up to my practise December 3rd and 4th and we’re replacing about sort of ten 15 implants of the two days, which can be fantastic. So looking forward to that. What more can I say? Yeah, I’m sort of, you know, pushing myself. I should have got involved in the implant industry a lot earlier with the experience I’ve had in surgical dentistry. But however, it’s still happening. I’m doing it now, so it’s fine. Everyone’s journey is their journey, right?

[00:29:44] Of course. And so tell me from the moment you decide. I’ve never done it right. The moment you decide, I want to do some implants to the moment you place your first without someone looking over your shoulder. How long? What is that timeframe or how old is it for you? Well, a few.

[00:30:02] I haven’t placed any on my own without someone looking over my shoulder yet. I’m moving to that. I’m going to that. Yeah.

[00:30:08] How many? How many are you going to do with someone looking over your shoulder before you do your first one?

[00:30:12] I’m going to do with our mate. I’m going to do about 10 to 12 implants. Mm hmm. And then I’ve got a very.

[00:30:19] Did you do any on any patients on Tipton?

[00:30:21] Yeah, I did about eight implants on the Tipton course. I placed about eight implants and then COVID struck.

[00:30:27] Yeah.

[00:30:28] And then I went back to my kind of registered negative way of thinking, Yeah, when the clinics open back up, I thought, Oh, you know what? I’ve lost touch with this. I’ll just finish off those patients that I had in. I just restored them. I won’t place any more implants. I became quite negative for a while. Yeah. Ahmed said, look, get a move on, let’s get going with this, yeah. You’ve done the calls, you’ve placed implants. It’s easy. Let’s do it. So he’s got me really fired up again. So so I’ve got all these patients

[00:30:56] Booked and we’re going to do it.

[00:30:58] Yeah. I mean, from your experience, obviously, you know where you’re at at the moment. What’s one thing about implant ology that you’d like people who are not in it to know, like one thing that you now know that you didn’t know before something surprising, something, whatever.

[00:31:12] I would say it is. There’s quite a few elements to it, which I thought it was pretty much you drilling putting an implant

[00:31:20] Into a Jawbone. As long as

[00:31:21] You’re not hitting anything, you fine. It was the software learning a software to plan. The implants took some time for me to understand because again, I’m a slow learner. I don’t get it very well. So learning this software, learning the implants and then looking at the implants in a three dimensional view on different scans was something new to me, and I was like, Wow, this is not really dentistry. This is different to what I know. Yeah, you know, you’re looking at a sagittal plane. You’re looking at looking at sideways, looking at this, looking at that and and then you’re thinking, Do I need to graph this or not? You’re looking a lot of things at the same time and then you have to sort of put all that clinically onto a page into a patient. And I kind of had a little bit of a mind blog doing all that. And that was my mental mind block stopping me from going ahead with implants for a long time. So even after even after placing the calls in January and February 2020 and after lockdown, I sit in it all. I’ll just get somebody in to do with them because I had somebody prior in the practise placing them.

[00:32:17] And it’s so much easier just getting them to do it or you just take a cut. Yeah. The problem came when the people leave those implants and eventually leave or whatever they do, they go on to do their own thing and you’re stuck with these implant patients. And now we’ve got vicarious liability as well. I don’t know what I’m doing. And inevitably, issues do arise. I don’t know what I’m doing with implants, and they come in and say, Oh, this, something’s loose here. The screw is loose or whatever. I’m thinking we don’t know what to do. Go back to the dentist and they’re saying, Well, I paid your practise. Can you sort it out? So I thought to myself, at least I need to know how to restore implants. I need to know something about them. So hence, I enrolled in the course and sort of learnt about, there’s a lot to it. And I think it’s one of those cases again, where you know you walk before you don’t run, you do your single implants with lots

[00:33:00] Of bone, lots of space. You know, if there’s anything else

[00:33:03] Sure about after somebody get a good mentor on board, ask them so willing to help you. You know what I mean? Not someone who’s going to put you down as someone to help you and take you through it.

[00:33:11] I mean, I know nothing about it, but but I do know that the soft tissue side of it is really complicated.

[00:33:17] Another aspect? Absolutely, really complicated. Yeah. You can see you can see how many, right? I’ve seen some cases I thought, Yeah, let’s do go for this. And then suddenly it’s a thin bio type, higher lip line and you think,

[00:33:32] I need I

[00:33:32] Need someone for this. And I mean, so it’s like you start learning more and more, I think, and you have very good patients. The first few patients you work on, make sure they are your best patients. They are the ones that will really, you know, worst case, you can just give the money back and say, Hey, it’s sorry about that. Let’s get it done. You don’t. You don’t want to have difficult patients. I mean, it’s like that with anything. But, you know, it’s a funny thing because in restorative dentistry, et cetera, we don’t really have the mentoring as much. But with implant dentistry, it’s very much mentor based with restorative. You just expected to get on with it. But I think the implant industry, there’s so many components to it, the soft tissues that it’s it’s it’s quite different. And again, some people might hear this podcast later and just be laughing, saying, Ted, you just you just be thick.

[00:34:14] But there’s a lot of people out

[00:34:16] There like me. There’s a reason. There’s a reason why a lot of people do implant courses and don’t go on to place implants. There’s a there’s a reason why because the cost, the start-up costs are expensive. You get a mentor on board. They’re expensive. You need to get the patients and it could all be very off-putting. And end of the day, there’s no the general dentistry out there that can get you the same kind of money, to be fair. So, you know, this is the reason you could have a specific reason why you want to do implants.

[00:34:42] Yeah, I mean, it’s a massive like a barrier, isn’t it? A lot of people never crossed that barrier.

[00:34:49] That’s something. Yeah.

[00:34:50] But I’m impressed that you’ve done it and you’ve and you’ve pushed through, you know, for instance, I would I would never, ever look at implants. I mean, I was just never that. That didn’t inspire.

[00:35:02] Yeah, no.

[00:35:04] It’s one of those things. It was it was never me. But end of the day, you know, I’m taking teeth out left, right and centre, my my Folmer PhDs or vets who I taught them surgical dentistry to the surgical zone and now doing implants on their own and doing much better than me. And I’m thinking, I’m going. I was teaching you guys how to dress flaps, divide routes, you know, doing all this and I’m now scared of implants. What’s going on, Ted? You know, get a grip. You can do

[00:35:27] This, you know?

[00:35:29] So it was almost I meet Ahmed Patel. We fail. I give him a shout out. He’s giving me a real kick of the backside to get on with it. I’ll be honest.

[00:35:37] So yeah.

[00:35:39] Well, Ted, you’ve now had three practises. You’ve had a bunch of staff. I noticed your. The wife is involved in the current one. Is that right? Yeah. Running a practise has a whole lot of, you know, sort of issues around hiring and firing staff, keeping keeping people happy working.

[00:35:58] Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

[00:36:00] You know, give us a couple of nuggets of things you’ve learnt. Maybe someone’s thinking of going into buying their first practise now. And and yeah, it’s something that you could someone could learn from a little hack. Yeah.

[00:36:14] Is a quite a few. I’ll tell you one thing is you take over an existing team and you try and as as a young, as a new or young practise owner, you try and impress them to keep them happy. Yeah, they’re looking at you. And even if you’re treating them better than the last guy, they’re looking at you with suspicion. Yeah. On the always ends up, it’s the same story over and over again. That team will end up leaving major. Not all of them, but the majority will end up leaving. And you will have to recruit your own team that are aligned, that are aligned with your values and your ethos and the way you do things.

[00:36:52] How interesting. So you say you’re saying if I if I, if I’m a young associate and I buy a practise with 12 people, it’s likely as the years go on, the incumbent ones will filter out. And new people that are more like your way of thinking will start to come in

[00:37:08] That there will be sabotage in that team that will make life very difficult for you. Yeah, cause problems were not exist to create, create problems and you’ll be trying to initially, as a young practitioner, you’ll be trying to think, Oh, there is a problem, I need to put a fire out here. I’ll put a fire out here. As you go by, you realise that actually there’s nothing going on. It’s actually these people are just trying to cause problems and not the right people. Now this applies equally to. If you take on new members, staff and this member of staff is causing problems, say the day you’re off on holiday or the afternoon you’re off, everything is wrong with the practise. A member of staff, for example, a new member of staff article and the one half day I was off. Yeah, the one half day the one, Wednesday I was off. Everything will be wrong with the practise. I would get reams of text messages in capital letters. This is not right. This is not right. This is not right. And walk in the next day and ask my existing staff what was going on and say everything was fine. That’s really the goal. Yeah, yeah. She just had a bit of a bit of a wobble. You know, she, he or she just had a bit of a wobble. I’d be like, OK. And then again, the next day, I’ll be off again. Something else again. Then I realise it’s not actually what she’s talking about.

[00:38:19] She’s just creating an issue because you have this two year thing now where you can get rid of people within two years, as long as you don’t discriminate against the protected characteristics which are sex, race, religion, blah blah, blah gender. You can just say sorry. See you later. You know you suitable. So that’s that’s the new members coming in yet. With with with, like you said, going back to what you’re saying about taking over a practise with staff. Yeah, inevitably they will leave and it always happens. I hear it time and time again on Facebook. They will cause problems. They will leave, they’ll kick up a full or whatever because they don’t like the new owner. They don’t like change. People don’t like change. Yeah. Yeah. So just as patients leave, stuff will leave and you will have to recruit your own team and get them on board. And the one thing I do on my team is you’ve got to find out what what motivates each person. Yeah, yeah. But some people, it’s money. It’s overtime. They like a bit of overtime. Yeah, a bit of overtime. Some people like a bit of a night owl, the like a night owl to meal a day. So foster that culture, foster bit of everything in your team, you know, try and try and sort of get everything that people like, try and touch upon a little bit of everything. That’s what I try and do. I try to keep happy, so stand back from it because working with the same people every day can get quite sickening and start to you start to despise the people you work with.

[00:39:34] It’s part of a burnout process. You go in every day to the same small surgery and you see the same people. But look at look at the overall good. Are they working hard? Are they coming on time? Are they working? Are they are they? Are they doing? Are they working for the practise? You know, trying to do what’s best for the practise? If you see these things you know in your staff, give them a little bit of leeway. Yeah. If if they if they’re all sick one day, just off sick, I’ve got a nurse who’s in every single day she’s in. She is in every single day, no matter what. She’s the one I rely on. She’s a pair of hands. She’s in every single day. If she’s off sick one day, I’m not going to because I don’t pay sick days. I paid her. I’m not. I’m not going to not pay her. I paid her, you know, it’s not a big deal. You know, she had one day she had to. She had a hospital of Payman. She works five days a week. She had to come in late, you know, just pay it. It doesn’t matter. You know, it’s two hours. Don’t penny pinch, you know, almost two hours. Look at the big picture.

[00:40:26] Yeah, I like I like that. But then, you know, someone else will say, if you do, if you do that for that person, you have to do that for the other person who’s not pulling their weight in the same way. Otherwise, it’s going to be seen as unfair. You know, like these things happen as teams grow, isn’t it?

[00:40:41] There are. I mean, this is purposeful. I’ve got a small team. This is this is this is the reasonable application. Yeah, yeah. This is why I’m a very small team person. It’s like a family to me now. This will not resonate with a lot of people because all of our bigger, better growing and all this, you know, for me, when I see these 20 staff, I just see problems, you know, when I see these dentistry awards and I’m not looking at dentistry was, I think they’re fantastic. I just don’t go to them. I think they’re fantastic. I think they’re great. But I see these 20, you know, big, massive teams. I just think I just see problems everywhere. Personally, for me, that’s what I see. Again, it’s a negative attitude, you know, maybe and maybe a practise on who’s got more stuff can maybe fill me in. Maybe, you know, give me some insights on how to deal with it. But for me, it’s a small team. We all work together. There’s there’s no there’s no fallouts we saw to issues out in house.

[00:41:27] It goes back to self-awareness, isn’t it? It goes back to that self-awareness.

[00:41:33] Yeah, yeah. I know you like anyone who’s a bad apples. I like it.

[00:41:36] Small. Keep it small.

[00:41:37] Anyone who’s a bad apple, I get rid of them. I hire an attitude, not competence.

[00:41:41] Yeah. Are you good at firing people? I don’t mean the act of firing because the act of firing no one’s good at. It’s it’s a nightmare, right? But I’m saying, are you good at saying this person’s wrong and we don’t need her anymore and getting that person out quickly? You get it done.

[00:41:56] Yes. Yes, I was rubbish at it, but I had to learn to be good at it very quickly because I was. I once kept a person on thinking she will change and every meeting should be, yep, yep, edge. I’m going to change. I’m going to do better. I’m going to do that for you. She’d have a written warning and then she would work well until the really warning lapsed and then go back to her old ways again. Yeah, sorry. Her verbal warning. She’s got a verbal warning. She knew exactly the time scales work really well and then go back to her old self again. And then the the verbal warning starts again, and she made sure she went over the two year period, and it’s very difficult to get rid of it. You know, I won’t say what a date, I won’t say what I did in the end, but that’s for another time, but I wouldn’t say how we managed to.

[00:42:43] Somebody tells me you took care of business.

[00:42:45] I took care of business in a way that is not a conventional conventional, but is a way that I will tell people quietly, there is a way and you have to have everybody else on board and there is a way. But I can’t say that on a podcast. There is a way. There is a way, and it’s risky. It’s risky, but

[00:43:06] There is a way. The funny thing is, but everyone listening to this is now thinking of all sorts of things which are much more crazy than what actually happened.

[00:43:14] It’s not. It’s using a legal process. Oh. But but it’s it’s it’s a bit convoluted and it’s very risky. If it goes wrong, but it’s not as risky as doing a bad firing. That’s the difference.

[00:43:28] Yeah, I’ve done it before, but I’ve made excuses for for the member of staff. I’ve had them linger for much longer than they should. I’m trying to get Sanjay my partner to to have a look at an idea of we. If we if we want to fire someone, we’ve got it now in our business. We’ve got a one month notice period. Yeah, yeah. And I’m telling Sanjay turned that into a we’ll pay you three months of salary. Yeah, just go. Yeah. Because if you do that first, it makes it easier to say it and fire people, right? Because you’re giving them three months, right? And they’re not going to not be able to feed their kids and all that. But secondly, most of the time, whenever we’ve wanted to fire someone, we’ve procrastinated for at least three months before doing it. So we’ve paid that money anyway. Yeah. For for an ineffective person. Yeah, yeah. And he he does not want to do that. I get it too, by the way. I get it too. Yeah.

[00:44:24] Yeah, no, no. It’s it’s very difficult.

[00:44:27] The problem is

[00:44:28] Is, you know, once you’ve got a good team, yeah, you’ve got a good team and you get this bad apple in there. And again, it’s usual you’ll get the red flags. As usual, there’ll be issues constantly cropping up when there weren’t before the issues. And sometimes these people will make out that they’ve got higher standards than everybody else, you know, Oh, this isn’t clean and this is not right. You need to be doing this, need to be doing that, creating little little things here and there, and disharmony mosques are whispering and you’ll see the red flags and you just cry. Rather than trying to put out each little fire here and there, you realise at the end this person just needs to go. Yeah, because there are sabotage. That’s just their personality. That’s the way they are. And you need to get rid of them. And I say this, a lot of people, I’d say, just get rid of the message me or people message me on Facebook Messenger and saying, I’ve got this member. She’s doing this, she’s doing that. And I say, how long you had to say three months to just get rid. So, oh, but then I go to the disciplinary. I see. No, you don’t need to go through the disciplinary. Just been there three months as long as you don’t, as long as you don’t discriminate against especially, you know, against the protected characteristics you’ll find. Just get

[00:45:32] Rid. It sounds like you’ve got that side fixed. What about the other side? If someone’s doing really well, do you? How do you manage in a Dental practise environment to provide them fulfilment? You know, like job satisfaction, people. What I found very difficult in dentistry, not that I spent much time in practise, but at the time the idea that someone can progress in their career is quite hard in dentistry and especially in this very practise, right?

[00:45:57] Yeah. Yeah, yeah, it’s very it is very, very difficult. It’s a tough answer. This one in my in a way, in my practise. And I shouldn’t say this, I suppose, in the small practise that I’ve had, if I had somebody too ambitious, they would probably believe, yeah, if that makes sense because there wasn’t much of a great career progression. So I’ve just got my two nurses on the implant training course to be Dental, you know, implant nurses. Yeah, which has helped them. But I can’t give them the whole wow factor of the radiographs putting fluoride varnish on doing this, doing that, we’re too small, you know, we can’t afford it. So in a way, you kind of want people who are sort of happy to come in, enjoy repetitive work, know where they’re getting each month to live nearby. They’re comfortable. You need, you need to give that kind of security. Of course, you know, do all the bonuses and all that, that’s all fine. So part of it, but when it comes to career progression, it is very difficult and don’t have an answer for that necessarily.

[00:46:52] Tell me about the bonus structure.

[00:46:54] I don’t have a structure. I don’t have a structure. I give a great Christmas bonus. I will. I’ll give a great Christmas bonus. I will give bonuses as I go along if someone’s doing well. I give bonuses for recruiting implant patients. You know, they’ll get five pounds to implant patient. I’m trying to give them something. I’m trying to work on something I’ve been quite model as well. But for my receptionists who

[00:47:17] Who keep those

[00:47:18] Dental patients on the plan by ringing them up regularly and saying, How are you doing anything we can do for you? Blah blah blah. I’m always giving them their own list of implant patients. I said, These yours, you have to manage these, make sure they’re on the system paying every month. I’m trying to remunerate them something for each having each patient on, rather than just forgetting a new patient on. I’m trying to give them. I’m trying to work out a system of a monetary system of somehow, you know, giving them something for keeping that list of patients going active, saying it’s your responsibility as well as well as mine. Keeping them on so they don’t fall off. They don’t fall off a list and say, Oh, I’ve not heard from that practise for a while, I’ll just cancel my membership. You know, what can you do extra?

[00:47:59] My feeling talking to them is there isn’t enough performance related incentive in Dental practises. There is. There is a reason there is a but but from from from someone who does a lot of it in our business. One thing I’ve noticed is that even when, like you’re saying, you’re trying to come up with something for your receptionist, right, even when you come up with something that you think is perfect. Yeah, there’s always you’ve got to look out for. There’s always going to be an unwanted side effect of that of that scheme. Yeah. Like whatever it is, I can’t tell you how it can end up in your practise, but you know, they’ll sign up these patients who are not big spenders or whatever. Well, we found we found when we were doing monthly targets for sales, we were comparing to the same month the year before to January. So what ended up happening was they would just switch and, you know, they would take their foot off the pedal in February. Next February, put their foot on the pedal, you know, and it’s not their fault. You can’t you can’t blame them for it because you set up the system. There it is.

[00:49:02] Yes, there it is. That’s right.

[00:49:04] And and then you go and change the system and then you get another unwanted side of it. But having said all of that, I do think there’s not enough of it in dentistry, you know, because there’s not because there’s not career progression in the normal way that people would expect it in careers in a lot of dental practises. I think at least if the practise is doing well, the staff should do better. You know, if the banks are doing better, the staff should do better, more than happens at the.

[00:49:30] Yes, I agree. I think I think you’re absolutely right. I think the same has got this really well. I haven’t. I’m a little really poor of this because I’m I’m I don’t like to share the figures with my staff why I don’t think my staff. Again, it’s confidential. I don’t think that they’re ready for it. I think they can digest the figures and understand the profit or loss because I don’t want them thinking, Ooh, teachers make it take X amount or this is what we make.

[00:50:00] You don’t need to discuss profit and loss, but no, no, no, no, no, no, no. It should be, I think, dervish be like generators.

[00:50:08] Yeah, turnover is a skill centre skills ghost. I’ve talked about why profit is why we need to be getting money ahead. I’ve talked about why we need to have a profit so I can invest back in the practise, which is what I have to do. I said if we’re only looking backwards, then I’ll be saving on, Oh, we can’t buy fax paper this month or we can’t buy, you know, we can’t buy printer ink this month. I said, that’s the negative backward attitude. I need to be looking at why we can buy this, why we can hire more staff, why we can do this, invest in the practise. We can have a better, better Christmas. Do we can do a better events. We can, you know, the bigger,

[00:50:36] Well, go thing that you should pay attention to. This is that I’m not saying open up all the numbers because as a business owner, that doesn’t make massive sense, right? But but in general, I’d say in general, your nurse or receptionist who doesn’t know how much money you earn? Yeah, thinks generally you’re earning a lot more than you’re earning. Would you say to that? I don’t know, really, you know what, I don’t know.

[00:51:04] I I try, I see. I’m very much low key with it, with him, with my staff, you know? Yeah, I’m very low key and we’re not a high turnover practise. Anyway, I never have been. I’m not that kind of dentist, so we’re very much low key. You know, I drive a 10 year old car and this and that, and I like watches, but that’s fine. Okay, it’s one of those things, but I’m lucky I eat in the same places they eat, go to the same places they go to. So I’m hoping they don’t think I’m sort of, you know, making a ton of money. But I hope there is. It’s it’s it’s hard to explain. I don’t want them thinking I’m ripping off patients and have a negative thing because, you know, I want them to sort of think that I’m giving your patients a fair deal, that I’m worth my weight.

[00:51:45] I get it, but I get it. Listen, what you’re saying is the norm. Yeah, but I’m saying that.

[00:51:51] Yes. Yes. No. You’re absolutely right. I want to. I would like to have that business manager who says, Ted, you know, we’ve we’ve only made we’ve only we’re really turning over 300k this year when we only get to 400 by next year. I want to get you to five hundred and I want to make sure we’re doing this as this. Yes, I like that kind of

[00:52:07] Person, but

[00:52:09] I can’t pay that kind of person who has those qualifications to understand that. So actually, my wife understands that. So the other so it’s a small practise. So I’m just saying I’ve got a solution to everything and I appreciate your advice as well.

[00:52:20] And oh, dentists have

[00:52:22] Messaged me and giving me advice on how to sort this issue out and things, and I’m constantly learning. This whole thing about me is being a slow learner and having my experience. I’m constantly learning from other people, people younger than me who set up, you know, got five or six practises and said, Ted, you think you look like a shopkeeper?

[00:52:36] Yeah, yeah.

[00:52:37] I’m thinking like a corner shop guy. You know, just standing, standing there, counting my pennies. Think of the bigger picture. Start bonus. Start giving these people bonuses. Start incentivising them. Save yourselves. But then you’ve got the staff who are not financially motivated. That’s the problem. So I mentioned this thing about this five pound butt implant patient, and one of the receptionists said, I’m not interested one bit in that. She’s a great, she’s a great receptionist. She’s fantastic, but she’s not interested in any bonuses to whatsoever. She wants to do a work, get paid and go home. That’s it.

[00:53:04] So there are people like that. There are people, you know,

[00:53:07] And they’re and they are what I classed as a pair of hands. You need them. They’re very reliable, very reliable. They’re in every day on time. They like coming to work as close to work, and they’re a pair of hands and you need a pair of hands as well. Yeah, yeah. And you need more ambitious people. But then ambitious people can leave because they outgrow your practise. That’s the problem,

[00:53:28] Because let’s get to this PDA thing that you’ve put yourself up for.

[00:53:32] Yeah, the PDA. Yes.

[00:53:34] And I take my hat off to you. I do. Yeah, anyone who puts himself up for anything like this, you know, I’m not yet cynical enough to think that, you know, it’s a power trip or whatever. No, no. In the real world, I think that, but not in Dental politics, it’s such an unsexy thing to go into. But I always give the benefit of the doubt to the person doing it. Why don’t you just just tell us, explain what is the committee? What does it do? Why are you thinking about?

[00:54:01] Well, I’m actually I’m actually fairly inexperienced. So for me, I’ll give you a bit of my story in the background is I’ve been on Bradford LDC Local Dental committee. Yeah, I’m now in Wakefield Local Dental Committee. Now, obviously, you know me on social media. We’ll all have a rant. Every now and again. There’ll be this big thing. Everybody sort of pulls the big thing. We’re going to do this, we’re going to do this, and let’s set up this union. Let’s do this. And half of them don’t go anywhere.

[00:54:27] Yeah. And then I thought, Well,

[00:54:29] Where does where does the real work happen? Who’s really negotiating with the government NHS and who? It’s a it’s a GDP arm of the BDA. Yeah, the General Dental Practise Committee. This is where the action happens. And I thought, You know what? I need to put myself up because I’m kind of shy or reticent guy and I’m pretty much like, always want somebody else to do it. You, if somebody else does it and the outcome is not in my favour, then I’m, as you know, I should be the one that should be going out there. Yeah, if I want to change things, you’ve got to put yourself out there, you know, go outside your comfort zone. So, you know, there’s a lot at the moment and at the moment, a lot of older, experienced dentists on these committees and they come in to the end of their tenure and stepping down. So I think we need some fresh blood in there to take take things forward. So I would say just just to anyone who wants to make a difference at the very minimum, you know, you have a rant on Facebook, everybody has a rant on Facebook, but go to your local Dental committee meetings. Anybody is welcome to them. It’s not daunting. It’s not. It’s not a it’s not a members, only club or some boys club go along. They sit there, see what’s talked about. Yeah, it’s a bit dull. It’s in the evening, but this is where the action happens. You’ll find out what’s going on. So I’ve always been interested in finding what’s going on. Yeah, there are seven pm on an evening, go along to them, sit around, meet at the dentist in your area network. So I’ve been doing that for years, but I’ve always been at a very low level. I’ve always been ranting on social media and just blah blah blah and giving advice and now involved the past scheme, the Practitioner Advice Service Scheme.

[00:55:55] So, so you know, trying to make a difference. Where do you? Nhs dentistry going

[00:56:01] Wait was initially dentistry going interesting question, actually, it’s well, what’s happening right now right now and it’s just dentistry is in freefall. There is no NHS access anywhere

[00:56:14] For most

[00:56:14] Practises is struggling to even hit the 65 percent target we’ve been given and morale of staff is at the lowest point ever. The dentists, I think that was sitting on the fence previously about whether to go private and whether that’s a full private practise conversion or a principle only conversion, I think are now making them move to private practise. I think the trust or relief we all had last year during the start of the pandemic, when the NHS announced full support to providers, has now mostly evaporated. It is a difficult period right now, but I think things will stabilise. I think things will stabilise in NHS. And the one thing I found personally, it’s my personal opinion. This is that whenever, whenever the government have been embarrassed by NHS dentistry as they are now and going back to sort of early 2000s when you had the oldest photographs of the queues outside practises people waiting outside the whole of Lincolnshire, massive queues, outside practises and all that kind of thing. A bit of money was pumped in and access was improved. I’ll be in the short term. Access was improved, so where it’s heading right now don’t really know. I think they’re talking about a call service coming in. But does a call service mean core funding? That’s the issue because the government, the NHS right now thinks this funding is providing a fully comprehensive service. When we all know it isn’t, it’s only providing it can probably only service 50 percent of the population at best. So will the NHS have to accept mixed practise? And finally, will they have to let us know what is and is not available on the NHS rather than than this current situation of where we’re meant to provide whatever is clinically necessary, which leaves us dentists in a trap, really, you know, just waiting to be tripped up. So, yeah, I think things will stabilise.

[00:57:58] But OK, but in the role, let’s say you get elected in the role, you’re going to be actually one of the people having these discussions with government, right?

[00:58:06] Is that is that right? Well, I be feeding in. It will be the chair of the GPC. It’ll usually be the chair and vice chair of the GPC who might have these direct negotiations. We’ll certainly be feeding in much more, so I’ll be a much more higher level if I get on. I built a feeding and feeding the thoughts of associates and other dentists and sort of what’s happening on the ground really and will to effect change. So I’m hoping I can, you know, I can make some difference. Collectively, the GDP scheme can make some difference. I mean, the wheels that there’s a lot, this is the thing that a lot of people don’t understand is one change very quickly. There’s the wheels of motion, a very slow with the government. You know, there’s a lot happening in industry, but the way the government act and they come back is very, very slow. So you get you get a little bit of change now and again here and there, and that takes a lot of time so people don’t fully appreciate. But the work the GPC did in securing the funding during the lockdown, pernicious practises. People don’t really appreciate how much work went into that. So it’s things like this that are often ignored.

[00:59:05] Yeah. A PDA gets a kind of a mixed bag of sort of rep, doesn’t it, from people? I mean, they

[00:59:12] They’ve got a very, very hard job. You can think about it. Payman Yeah. Bda represent. They’ve got to represent. Yeah. And dentistry is so fragmented. We’ve got purely private practises. We’ve got mixed practises. Yeah, we’ve got pure NHS practises and then we’ve got associates in the middle of all this who are having their own hard time of it all. So they’ve got to represent three different types of practise owners.

[00:59:38] But I think a lot of people have thought that, you know, they’ve been really representing one of those three more than anyone else.

[00:59:46] Possibly, possibly, possibly because there’s just more of those to represent.

[00:59:50] Well, there’s more to it than anything else, right? If you want to

[00:59:53] The more associates as well as those the

[00:59:56] Problems?

[00:59:57] No, no. Yeah, I think the problem is. I mean, I’m not experienced enough to answer this. And guys, Eddie Crouch probably are. They’re the top level. The problem is, I think, is the way the contracts of the NHS are done with the provider. I think that legality is that the divide, a contract subcontracts to the associates. That’s right. So I think that is the key element, which is the GDS contract, which I think is hard to bypass. So any any sort of Payman disputes than that really will have to go legally. That’s the problem you’ve got.

[01:00:32] I think that’s been this.

[01:00:32] I think that’s been the tricky part for for the media to resolve the country’s resolve disputes themselves directly without involving legal teams

[01:00:40] And who can vote. Is it like Luke or you can only people local to you?

[01:00:45] I think I think it’s only my local. I think at this particular election, it’s so the local guys that can vote in West Yorkshire.

[01:00:51] Yeah, yeah,

[01:00:53] I try to canvass everyone. I think I’ve realised lately in the local people I can vote. But yeah, I tried. I think I tried to get on JTBC four years ago when I was a relatively unknown. I wasn’t even on the LDC, so I didn’t get on. And I’ve got tough competition to Wakefield. And to be fair, the competition is excellent. Whoever whoever gets on to West Yorkshire, you know, Joe Henderson or somebody else, someone like that is absolutely brilliant. So I’ve got no issues. I really hope I get voted on. But if I don’t, then I know it’s in safe hands anyway.

[01:01:19] That’s nice to hear that. It’s nice to hear that. Yeah, you. I mean, you would come back to this self-awareness question what makes you be the kind of cat who wants to put yourself up for election? I mean, it’s like life, I would never, ever try that.

[01:01:38] Yeah, I think I represent a fair few general Dental practitioners who are a little bit negative, a little bit reticent, a bit shy to get out there. Yeah, possibly slow learners as well. We’re not all high flyers, we’re not all Instagram stars. And they want change. They don’t have to go about it. They feel a bit, you know, when you go to the local Dental committee meetings and you’ve got three or four senior dentists on there who are already on GSPC C or Dental practise advisors for the NHS. You feel a bit, you feel a bit sort of, you know, it’s quite sort of intimidating. And this was me earlier on, and like I said, I think they just need some fresh blood and I think people like John Milne, certainly it was now the national secrecy at Dental advisories, as always, encouraged me to get involved, which, you know, I don’t think you need to be clever. You need to be a you need to be a high flyer. And I never was. I was like, I said, to slow learner self awareness and all that. And I think you just put yourself out there and have a go at it. I can’t even I mean, public speaking, this makes me anxious talking to you.

[01:02:36] Like this is like public speaking. It makes me nervous. I’m awful at public speaking. You know, I did that. I’ve got a stammer. I had a stutter. I had speech therapy as a young kid, you know, for about two years, I had speech therapy. I sang my old name. The word ts. Very difficult to say. Tej doesn’t always come out, so I can’t speak. I can’t stand up and speak. So, you know, but these are all things that other people have had. And another thing, another point which which was very, very interesting to me. It was going back to my events in 2011 when I was involved with the PCC hearing and all that. The Path Advisor at the time, the Practitioner Advice Support Service Advisor at the time, told me 20 years prior he had a performance issue and he said Everyone’s got a story. She said, Don’t worry about it. Everyone has a story. And I was like, Oh, wow, you’re the LDC chair and adviser, and you had a performance issue 20 years prior. And then the workforce Deanery adviser told me about GDC referral he had, which was thrown out. But somebody referred to the GDC and I said, Oh, wow, OK, so these things happen,

[01:03:41] You know, I mean, some really, really good people have had these

[01:03:44] Problems. So I thought I thought maybe going in was

[01:03:47] That if you are crap,

[01:03:49] You got these issues. If you’re crap, you into confident the high flyers are just fly through the career and they don’t get any issues. It’s not true. Everyone’s had a story. Every sort of complaint, everyone’s been rattled. Everyone’s been rattled in some way or another. So they just don’t say it doesn’t get spoken about enough. So I’m happy to say it. And other people now come out with their things and I’m happy and you know, it’s fine. You’ve had issues. You learn from them. You, you move on from them. And like we say, it’s not. It’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how you get up, right? You’ve got to get back up and get on with it. You know, so

[01:04:20] A couple of other things I want to talk to you about. Yeah, the watch thing. Oh yeah. So number one, I don’t get it right. I don’t get watches. No, no, no. You know, you don’t have to. You don’t have to know. My friends have tried. No.

[01:04:35] Yeah, absolutely.

[01:04:36] But tell me what it is about, which is for you. I mean, you’ve got this watch Dental group. Is it the collection side of it? Like, what is it?

[01:04:45] It’s it’s the number of things for me. Ok, I’ve been into watches since I was five years old. My dad used to collect Seiko watches. He had about five or six. He was a South Indian doctor. He was never going to spend big money on big watches, conservative guy, you know, but fo four or five Seiko watches and every day I’d see him and he’d have he’d get his watch on. He’d rattle his wrist and it would be part of his day getting ready. So I was I’ve been watching this five years old. I had the little Transformers Watch and the Casio game watches. So now I mean, you know, since I’ve sort of qualified since I been able to buy some nice

[01:05:19] Watches, it’s the mechanics.

[01:05:21] It’s it’s having this thing ticking on your wrist made from cogs and gears. Yeah, that just is ticking away all the time. A glance to the wrist and it’s the only jewellery a man can really wear, you know? I mean, it’s something you wear.

[01:05:33] The reason I hate it, right? Because, yeah, yeah, that’s really.

[01:05:37] Yeah, yeah, it’s fine. I love a watch. I mean, I like the watch. I get up every day, but look at the look of the watch and I just think, yeah, that is a nice watch.

[01:05:43] So I was really keen to ask you this question. Yeah, I can see you love your watches.

[01:05:49] Absolutely. Yeah.

[01:05:50] But do you know about NFD watches?

[01:05:53] Nft watches. Yeah.

[01:05:57] Tornado watches, no watches, no so no Rolex, Rolex. Have have just come out with something that they reckon they’ll be selling more virtual watches, more money in virtual watches than actual watches in five years time.

[01:06:14] Ok, so this is where I’m a really thick guy. Tell me what a virtual watch is,

[01:06:18] Solanki we’re doing this over Zoom or whatever. You know, this platform that we’re doing it on, right? Yeah, it’s called Riverside, but this is the platform we’re doing. Pretty soon, we’re all going to be wearing glasses. You know, virtual reality meetings will be like that. When we go to the meeting, it’s going to be in a really, let’s face it, really cool room because it’s going to be it’s a graphic, right? You’re going to just the metaverse.

[01:06:39] Is this the metaverse thing?

[01:06:40] Yeah, you’re going to be sitting there. Ted is going to be sitting there. I’m going to be sitting here. When I see you, I’m going to see a graphic of you.

[01:06:47] Yeah, right.

[01:06:49] That graphic can be wearing a Rolex. Yeah, right. Rolex are saying they’ll charge the same amount for the virtual watch as they do for the Watch Watch.

[01:07:00] Are you having me on here? Payman No,

[01:07:01] No. Because what is it do? It’s not a

[01:07:03] Watch. It’s a lot of watches.

[01:07:04] It doesn’t tell the time. It’s not about telling time.

[01:07:07] It is the other side chuckling to himself if he Tetris buying Tetris buying this. But this is true to just buy this nonsense. Literally. Is it really? Is it true?

[01:07:16] It’s true. What’s the Chanel bag? It’s not a bag, is it? It’s not a bag carry. A bag is a bag. Yeah, it’s it’s nothing to do with being a bag. It’s a status symbol. It’s design, it’s art. Whatever you want to call it, call it.

[01:07:28] Ok, so so OK. So the thing is, OK, the part of the watch thing is, is the feel winding and winding? The thing I’d say I’ve been I’ve been to watch, for example. Yeah, OK. You don’t you don’t know, but you don’t know much about watches yet. I mean, what the one thing for me, what I don’t like about the watch thing is when someone just shows it with a time only watch and I don’t mean to blast Rolex. I love Rolex. I think they’re a great brand, and I’ve always said this. I respect what they do. The brand just shows up with a brown watch that shows the time. And you’re a layperson. It’s Oh, you got a Rolex. Yeah. Two hands shows the time Oh, it’s a Rolex for me. I love. I like the complications. I’ll say, Well, you know what watches can do and the like? Yeah, the tell the time go. Yeah, but I’ve got to watch, for example, shows the day, day, month, full year moon phase and count leap year as well, so it never needs a date changing. It counts leap year automatically and we’ll flick through Leap Year, so it gets to January 31st because it’s February 1st, February

[01:08:24] 28th, goes to March the

[01:08:26] 1st blah blah blah. It’ll keep doing that. Yeah, yeah. Tells me the same year because it’s got the full year and at twenty twenty one it December 31st, 2022. The mechanics involved in that is what I like, and if I want to show somebody else, look, this is proper watchmaking.

[01:08:39] Yeah, that’s what it’s going.

[01:08:41] That gets that’s what gets me got the complication,

[01:08:44] Making it more complicated than it has to be.

[01:08:46] Yeah, yeah. I look the fact gears and cogs. So so it’s like it’s like the old Sinbad movies gold of Zimbabwe with the bird. Was it the bird or was it there? It was like the carpet. Plush, plush, the tightest clash of the Titans, the with the mechanical bird and the wind up things and all the cogs and gears. All that used to fascinate me as a kid and the watches I get, I get it. I can look at what’s your favourite watch brand?

[01:09:08] What’s your favourite watch brand?

[01:09:10] I would have to say this to probably IWC in Audemars Piguet.

[01:09:14] Yeah, so so that’s the thing. Do you do you like if you love that brand? Yeah. When we meet in the Metaverse, you might pay IWC money to have an IOC on your hand when we meet in the Metaverse.

[01:09:30] Why? Why can I have a reader? I see my hand instead for the same price. Did you? Why wouldn’t

[01:09:36] I? You can’t put how many people are going to see that.

[01:09:38] I see. I’m not bothered by who sees it.

[01:09:40] Yeah, yeah.

[01:09:41] Yeah, it’s sort of a status symbol. My my watch. I’ve never owned a Rolex. I’ve never owned a Rolex. Yeah, I’ve never owned a Rolex. My watch is a bizarre watches. I’ve got one that looks like a spaceship. I’ve seen that. Yeah, yeah, I see that on the hour. The hour jumps along mechanically like a typewriter. You know the old typewriters. It’s got to lever. The hour jumps along to the end and then flicks back to one. That’s the mechanics I like. Nobody else knows about it.

[01:10:08] Tell me, tell me. Tell me, tell me there’s something called something something in friends. Which brand is that something? Something in friends? It’s like a famous

[01:10:15] And B and F

[01:10:15] And B and some of the stuff they come out with. Exactly. So that stuff, even like even I who don’t like watches like them, it’s it’s

[01:10:25] It’s it’s it’s kind of steampunk.

[01:10:28] Yeah.

[01:10:28] Yeah, yeah. Twenty thousand leagues under the Sea, Jules Verne weird kind of stuff. Yeah, it’s yeah. Yeah, yeah, crazy money. Crazy money. But it’s a whole different world. It’s it’s interesting, but like for me, I’m not. I’m not into cars anymore. I used to be into cars and I’m not into cars at all anymore. I’ve just gone off them. I bought a Renault twisty, a little twisty.

[01:10:47] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[01:10:49] That is giving me the best bit of fun ever. I’m so happy with it and I’m so comfortable at my age and I twist it to ask for. Ten years ago, I just said no way. Obviously they’re dead in the car, because

[01:10:58] Does that manage all the ups and downs of Yorkshire or the hills?

[01:11:01] It gets me to work at eight mile commute and is perfect. I love it. The summer is great. 52 mile an hour seems like I’m going in about 90 mile an hour. It’s great. I love it. I just I just I looked ridiculous in it, but I actually love that car. I think it’s fantastic. So I’m done with the cars. I got twisty. I’m happy with it.

[01:11:18] And I did want to bring up the subject of your tea making, but I don’t want to embarrass you, but I don’t embarrass.

[01:11:23] You can’t. You can’t actually make this.

[01:11:26] I don’t embarrass you, mate, because you I believe I get, but

[01:11:30] I am completely wrong. I almost feel like apologising. But but I will still say that’s how I make my tea and I love my tea that way. And that’s what makes it so different.

[01:11:41] So you like your tea? You thought your tea week is that? Is that?

[01:11:44] No, no, no, no. This is the really got it wrong. It kind of went off

[01:11:46] Tangent I put.

[01:11:48] I put two tea bags in. Yeah, and I put and I put a little bit of milk in a little bit of milk, maybe about, you know, I can’t I can’t describe milk, but maybe about half a centimetre of tea in a milk offset to me, the milk

[01:12:01] To tea back

[01:12:02] With two tea and then the tea bags around

[01:12:04] The OK, that’s different. That’s different, right? And they.

[01:12:07] No, no. And then I put a load of water in top.

[01:12:10] You didn’t explain it.

[01:12:11] Yeah, I just put a little bit tea I always showed with Rosie was that with a bit of milk. But then that itself, I think it kind of wrote, really, I lost a lot of votes on that, so I probably won’t get I probably won’t get elected on GDP c now because this big thing, this guy’s weird, you know, but I think it’s just you, I guess.

[01:12:30] Yeah, so Prav is not here. But Prav final questions about whether that if you know them, but they kind of all sort of end of life sort of legacy type questions. You’re on your deathbed, you’ve got your nearest and dearest people around you. What three pieces of advice would you leave to them and to the world?

[01:12:53] That’s really interesting, actually. I would say three pieces of advice say, I don’t have these massive things because I’ve done everything I want to do. I’m really happy as I am. I would say three devices, if you really if you’ve got to go to someplace you want a holiday, you need to go to someplace, just do it because you never know what you’re going. Get the chance to do that. That’s a massive life advice. If you really like something and you want to buy it and it’s not going to break the bank, but you have to get it even on a credit card. Go get it because if you really love it, go get it. Life’s too short not to get it here. Yeah, just go get it. And the other thing is is is free time. That’s the one thing you forget to have. You think you’ll get all this free time later on in life. You never get the free time. You got to make the free time now. So forget this free time at 60. My dad passed away very, very suddenly on a phone call from a massive heart attack at the age of 53. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So no, yeah, no, no. This happened in 99 was a 30 Dental school, so I know what it’s like because he planned to go to Dallas to see his sister. He planned to do these things, trying to get himself in a mega what she wanted to get a Merck because he had all his Volvos. He had a few plans because at 53, you still have a few plants left here to get a bit of indigestion one day, and he’s on his phone to his friend, and he just collapsed and died.

[01:14:06] So I had to give him mouth to mouth did happen. Obviously, that was that. So that really is a turning point. I mean, I’m nine years younger than my father was now. That’s scary because he looked to me like an old man back then when I was 21. He seemed like an old man, but I’m nine years off and, you know, fifty three is not very old at all. No. So the one thing is a free time. I mean, my dad was used to work like crazy, working hard. So the one thing is, you know, keep your expenses down. Enjoy the free time, you know, because you never know when it might be taken away from you. I don’t mean that in a negative, nasty way. But no, no, that’s free. Free, free times. It’s free time is the main thing. So you get to a certain age when there’s only so much industry can do. But my my last bit of dentistry I’m doing now is employers. That’s it. And then I’m done. I’m not going to. I’m going to keep going on because it’s sad, but I’m not doing any more year long, two year long courses that I sort of refine what I’ve got now. The skills, keep it going. Work a four day week, and that’s it. I’m done.

[01:14:59] I’ve been asking a new new question dinner party. Three people that are alive. Who would you invite?

[01:15:07] Oh, you know, that’s a tough one. That’s a tough one. I’m never very, very good at these. Abraham Lincoln. I don’t know why, but I like Tammy Abraham Lincoln. I don’t know why. I don’t know why. I just think things, he said, sounded pretty cool. Wells, in the past, uh, Martin Luther King. Probably Mahatma Gandhi actually is well,

[01:15:29] Yeah, nice, nice.

[01:15:31] Yeah, I probably say them three. There there be cliched to an extent as well. But again, they are for a reason, cliched, you know, so there you go.

[01:15:40] You’ve come for serious, you know, political figures there, man.

[01:15:43] Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

[01:15:47] Well, it is. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you, but and

[01:15:51] Thank you for having a simpleton like me on because. No, no. Normally I see the stars on and I’m thinking, Oh, you know what? In fact, he invited me on. I appreciate it. So thank you for having me on.

[01:16:01] It’s been. It’s been a lovely conversation and you.

[01:16:04] It’s very nice. Thank you.

[01:16:05] As well as you’re pulling yourself up for election. You know you’re a general practise guy, proper general practise guy, right? And you’ve been through it with that story.

[01:16:15] And I’ve been through it. I’ve been through it. I still get the same stuff everybody else gets. I keep messaging people. They message me. I’m in touch with a lot of general Dental practitioners. We talk, we converse. It’s so much better now than it was when I had that all that issue years ago. There’s no communication. You’re on your own in practise. What dentistry is in a good place right now? In that sense, the communication between people is fantastic.

[01:16:37] I’m really, really, really happy that you shared the way you did, but you didn’t have to give.

[01:16:42] No, no. I told all the people about it.

[01:16:44] I said a lot of people about it. And you know, so many people will learn from from those stories that you share. If people want to vote, when is it? How is it? Is it by

[01:16:53] Starting on November twenty third to December 3rd? If you’re not a BDM member, you’ve got to request. I’ve got to request the ballot papers from them, so it’s a little bit of work involved. So unfortunately it is off putting. A lot of people probably won’t vote because of this reason. You got to request the ballot papers from them. But I would just say anyone, if you want to make some change, even if you don’t vote for me, don’t worry, the other guys are on in Berlin as well. They really are. Just get your vote on because that’s the only way change will happen. There is not much happening on Facebook. Just granting all day long on Facebook is not going to change things. It’s it’s getting out there and making make sure the right people who can do the change are voted on to the GDP. See, that’s how change will happen.

[01:17:32] What if you are a BDA member, how does it work?

[01:17:35] Well, you’ll get the ballot papers immediately. Oh, really, you get the ballot papers in an email, so it’ll be fine and you can vote.

[01:17:41] Fantastic. Yeah. Thank you so much for doing this. But.

[01:17:44] No, no, thank you for having me on, I really appreciate it, and it’s been it’s been a pleasure. Absolutely a pleasure being on and I hope some people are chuckling away. Some people might take something away from it. Yeah, it’s good. He’s been good. Thank you. Thanks again, Payman. Appreciate it.

[01:18:00] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry.

[01:18:11] Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[01:18:16] 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 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.