Are women underrepresented in dentistry? Over half of dental graduates are female, yet only one in five podcast guests has been female.

And there is also an underrepresentation in academia, on the lecture circuit and in almost every walk of the profession.

Our new mini-series looks at the issues by revisiting some of Prav and Payman’s most insightful conversations with dentistry’s leading ladies.     



In This Episode

01.32 – Mahrukh Khwaja

07.16 – Zainab Al-Mukhtar

09.41 – Elaine Mo

14.12 – Linda Greenwall

20.58 – Vicky Wilson

26.37 – Jenny Pinder

29.15 – Rhona Eskander

32.45 – Sofina Ahmed

35.41 – Victoria Holden

42.52 –  Lucy Patel

44.14- Uchenna Okoye

[00:00:05] 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.

[00:00:22] More than 50% of Dental graduates are now female, and yet women are underrepresented in academia on the lecture circuit. Even as practice principles. Even on this podcast, I’m a bit ashamed to say that our co-hosts have been one in four women between one in four and one in five women. Is it harder to be a woman in dentistry? What are the reasons? Delighted to introduce a new mini series to you called Leading Ladies, where we’ve gathered some of the best bits of conversations that we’ve had on the Leaders podcast with women, and the lady leaders will be discussing some of the issues around the subjects that I’ve been talking about, some of the barriers, and also we’ll be celebrating some of their amazing achievements. And one thread that runs through it, listening to to some of these for me is the juggle that people have to do if they want to have successful careers and successful family lives. Anyway, let’s hope this goes some way to redressing the balance. Enjoy leading ladies. Thanks a lot. Mara al-Khawaja. Why aren’t there more women speakers at the conference? And I thought about it and you know, we had Slaney McGraw on and she was. From my point of view, probably the best speaker, the most useful content that we had on that day. But at the time, I didn’t appreciate the question. I thought, why should there be more women on until I kind of turned it around? And I thought, Well, what? How would I have felt as delegate if there was eight women and one man? I would probably have wanted more men. And so this question of empowering women in dentistry, which is, you know, your thing, your group and so on, where did it start and the history about it?

[00:02:15] So empowering women in dentistry really started from a feeling of frustration that women weren’t being equally represented in all strands of dentistry. So when I was looking at this in a practice setting where there are lots of principles out there that were female or even at conference setting, academia research, and I’d got to a point in my dentistry, I was in a bit of a rut and I was looking to upskill, but finding a real lack of mentorship and a feeling of disconnection from other women and feeling quite isolated, being in practice and just really wanting to connect more with positive, uplifting women. So yeah, that’s where the concept started.

[00:03:07] But what do you think is the reason why there aren’t more women role models? Do you think that they’ve been held back, or do you think that there’s something about women that doesn’t put themselves forward? Or is it about having children? What is it? Is it all of those things?

[00:03:20] I think it’s a really complex and interesting question. There’s lots of different strands and they definitely all interplay. I think for me, the biggest, biggest aspect is looking at fear, fear of failure, fear that women might have of speaking up and having a voice. Are they going to be ridiculed, criticised? So yeah, definitely. Are they putting themselves forward? Perhaps not so much. And why is that? Looking at the psychology behind that definitely being mother does impact your dentistry, especially if you’re not supported. So if your principal, for example, isn’t allowing for flexible working patterns, etc., that would impact things as well. So I think it’s definitely complex. I feel like it potentially could be a man’s club as well, where men in high visibility roles may not be giving the equal opportunities to women. But having said that, women can step forward and create that seat at the table. So I’d love to see that more.

[00:04:29] And you’ve been interviewing successful women then as yourself. Is there something about them that’s more masculine or is there something about them that’s a threat that you’ve seen go through those women? Are they the type who don’t care what people think about them or.

[00:04:46] Yeah, it’s been a really interesting journey talking to women and there’s lots of different things I’ve gained from that. Common thread I found was actually they’ve all been they’ve all experienced a difficult scenario. They’ve all been bullied or harassed at work, which was really surprising to me.

[00:05:07] All of the ones you’ve spoken to.

[00:05:09] Pretty much all of them. Wow. Yeah. Super successful. Yes. Yes, definitely. And so I thought that perhaps there is a. Faced as someone who might be harassed. But no, actually, it’s successful, really driven. Women have experienced some difficult situations but have flipped it around and have looked at self gross and used yeah, used that that situation and really grown from it. So I think that’s been the most surprising element actually coming out of of the interviews.

[00:05:41] Have you come across any sort of female speakers, lecturers, mentors in dentistry who’ve made it that haven’t had to sort of turn that negative energy around, have been harassed or bullied and just made it positive on their own own two feet from from the ground up.

[00:06:00] Yeah, definitely. I have come across a few women like that as well that I’ve had generally quite positive experiences. But I would say that the minority actually so majority have experienced some difficulty and it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the workplace, it might be in a relationship or just generally in life. They’ve kind of come from their own rock bottom and they’ve wanted to change things around.

[00:06:30] Isn’t that a human thing? I mean, or do you think do you think forget dentistry? Do you think it’s harder to be a woman in society than being a man in today’s society?

[00:06:40] I would say so. I’m not sure. But I think it can be because women have the expectations to do well in their career, but also to be a great mother, to be great wife. So it’s all these hats that they’re juggling and there’s more pressure to be the best in all of these areas. Not to say that men don’t experience this, but sometimes it feels like we’re being sold a dream that it’s very hard to achieve. You know, something has to give. So, Zainab al-Mukhtar and although we’re successful dentists, etcetera, we’re quite happy not using our voice. So there is this assumption that women don’t mind, but actually I think women have a lot to offer. So I think that does need to change and there needs to be more of an emphasis on what women can deliver in our profession.

[00:07:35] And do you think being a mother factors into that? I mean, Linda was talking earlier about being a mother, feeding the child, waking up early, waking up at night, running the practice. You know, eight days after giving birth, she was in the practice. And just balancing all of that, I mean, just just talk me through. You’re a mother. You’ve got one on the way in about ten days time. Just talk us through how you balance all that and how that factors in your future success.

[00:08:06] Yeah, it’s not easy. It’s really hard work and I don’t know whether I mean, I work really, really, really, really hard, but I don’t know if I would have if I didn’t really enjoy the work. And I think because I enjoy it and it gives me so much fulfilment, it’s become a part of my identity that for me to sit at home continuously for a whole year would be dampening down something that’s really there, like really wanting to do something. And I couldn’t do it. So I tried to, you know, I was at home for six months with my daughter. I really enjoyed it. She’s my number one. I it meant the world to me to have her. But that constant feeding, that constant nappies and so on and just literally just being in that routine and not being able to talk to a child, you know, at some point you just want to get out and do what you do. So seven months in, I was really trying to get back to work and finding a support network to make it work. And I just did it really, really gradually. It wasn’t easy. I nursed my baby for two years, but I still went to work. So I just worked around everything. And I think what’s beautiful about dentistry is that women have the option to work part time and then just build up and adapt according to your child’s needs so you can make it work. And some professions don’t allow that. And then women are torn and want to be at work, they want to be at home, and they have to then just choose. And not everyone can get the best of both worlds. But I think we’re lucky we can. But it’s not been easy and it’s definitely a struggle. The juggle is real. It’s definitely tough.

[00:09:41] Elaine Mot And at a young age, when I was thrown into that kind of atmosphere, it was weird because I was 16, 17, and I was paying the wages on weekends because my mum, my mum had the day off and I, if any complaints came my way, I had to deal with it when I was 16. So when you’re forced to do that at a young age, it really does imbed it into you. And I think the biggest I think now when I look back, the one of the biggest impact on my life is probably my schooling as well. Where I think back then it was like, Oh. School is so annoying. They expect you to stay behind. They’re doing this and that. But I went I actually now when I look back, I’m so grateful I went to a fantastic school where they push you to go further. And it’s interesting. I sat down with my a few of my friends every day and we could we said that we could actually see from a mile away the the people who came out from that school, majority of them are pushed to go further. It’s not that you’re doing it really, really well. That’s not the end of it. There’s always that next step, and it’s there very much into people’s skills. So I remember when we used to be when when we were in A-levels, we meant to have a lot of free time. They forced us every week to do some form of community service. So I did mine first. Yeah. Stroke association dealing with stroke patients and helping them recover every single week. So we never actually got time off. My second year was dealing with actually going back to my own primary school and teaching kids and but thing is, things like this, you don’t take you take for granted and then you realise when you look back on it actually.

[00:11:19] Yeah, we got to school, what was the name of the school?

[00:11:21] So I went to Merchant Tailors. It was a prep school in Liverpool. We have a branch in London as well. Very good school. And you know what that I think that is the difference in schooling is actually it’s not the education side of it, it’s.

[00:11:34] The things around.

[00:11:35] It’s actually everything around and moulding you as a person, which is what and the maturity that you get from it is what pushes you further. And sure, I think everyone was in a similar where the parents were doing quite well in business and everyone was in a similar vibe. So growing out with with the same kind of people around you.

[00:11:51] To perhaps point, how come you’re not saying, I want to open a chain of dental practices, by the way, by the way, by the way, you don’t always just because your parents are that way, a lot of people go the exact opposite of what I do. And I think you see the world through the lens of if you can be an entrepreneur, why wouldn’t you?

[00:12:07] Of course, but.

[00:12:08] Lots of people don’t.

[00:12:09] Don’t want to do. Yeah, right. Yeah. No, I see that. But I also see something in your personality and in you that makes you naturally gifted that way.

[00:12:19] For me, I think in my mind there’s always there is that leadership thing that I always want to take on. And I guess part of me is I’m heavily involved at the moment with Dentine or Tubules, as Payman knows, and since I’ve been involved with that, I think I’ve kind of taken over like the Central London Group. And it’s that said that at the moment gives me my fulfilment of the whole leadership and everything mentorship role. And it’s nice because when I was kind of in this rut of where am I going to be working full time? I’ve just kind of like getting out of NHS. I was, I was around eight practices in one year. Every single time I joined, I was ready to hand in my notice because it was just nothing that was promised. And you know what it’s like in London, you pick up the first private role that’s going, but then you realise that it’s never probably as green as you thought it would be. And you know what? I was kind of I knew what I wanted to do and what type of dentistry I wanted to do, and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less. So I kept on going and finding until I found my like kind of jobs that I’m really, really happy at. And they push me as well to do further. And that’s what I wanted. But it’s I think it’s that perseverance as well. It’s really easy just to give up. So I at this time, I was lucky I was in I met some good mentors, some really good clinicians around me, took up every one of their knowledges and kind of, you know, what took to my opportunities.

[00:13:43] Who are your clinical mentors?

[00:13:45] So when when I was after I had quite a few mentors I had I had physio who’s helping me with implant surgery work. I had Richard Porter who helped me with restorative and and Ontex. I met so many people like I can’t even Priscilla Osborne. I really can’t like name everyone. Sure. And then I met Drew through Tubules. And you know what? They gave that bit of confidence that you just need when you just think feel a bit deflated.

[00:14:13] Linda Greenwald So the day that I was there at Buckingham Palace, we met a lot of the police, we met a lot of people working in the health service, people working in the services. A lot of people give of their time unconditionally again, to create a better world to to to do good. And what happened with the seminar? What happened? It was announced in June. And then I went to the ceremony. My mum was invited, she was delighted and my husband and one child was allowed and when it was held at the Tower of London and the Queen, the Queen’s emissary, which is the Lord Lieutenant of London, gives out the medals. And he started by saying that at the me at the event he said this morning I was reading the paper and having my coffee while you’re all driving. Yeah. Or getting here and reading the news is very depressing, he said. But today you’re going to hear very inspirational stories of people that have really made London a better place. And so what happens with the medal ceremony is you go up onto the stage and they read out to. Citation citation about you and about what you’ve done in your life for about 10 minutes. And then you receive your medal and, and have a nice photo. But the stories of the other recipients was very inspirational. And it’s a regular person who has done good and taken it upon themselves to do good. And I I’m interested in that kind of story. I’m interested in somebody who wants to make their life better. They come from nothing with no no graduation, no nothing. But they have a determination to want to do good like the we watched Good Will Hunting this movie. It’s one of the greatest movies to see that process of a person to start, create something out of nothing, to do good for society. I think that’s really a key to making movies.

[00:16:02] Have you seen that Sugar Man movie?

[00:16:03] Yes, I did. So when we grew up.

[00:16:06] You know that.

[00:16:07] Music? Yeah, absolutely. It was, you know, it was band. Yeah. And so because it.

[00:16:11] Was kind of anti-apartheid.

[00:16:12] Yes. And all kinds of things anti. And when I went to summer camp we would all I used to play the guitar and I used to play it all that music that friends and yeah, it was quite, quite a big thing going forward.

[00:16:25] Linda I’m sure you got things that you want to achieve, like Prav were saying, but do you think looking back on your life, there were the things that maybe your family missed out on because of your your achievements, your your your ambition? Did Dr. Cohen take Henry to bits that you should have been doing? Or or were you no regrets? And you feel like you did did everything right? What would you what would you do differently?

[00:16:51] There’s a lot of questions in that.

[00:16:52] One I started with going forward.

[00:16:56] So basically, first of all, I think that one shouldn’t have regrets. Yeah, I think that every opportunity is an opportunity for the positive as well as the negative. And you always seek the joy. You have to learn to seek the joy and seek the positivity. So if a situation arises which could be construed as a negative situation, the experience that you’re going through, how can you turn it into a positive? So what did we learn here? What did we do differently? How did how did this happen? Now that we’ve learned this in terms of not the the buzzword is reflection. On reflection, I would have done this, this and this differently. So we now know the challenges that arise are there to make you grow as a person.

[00:17:41] So what would you have done differently?

[00:17:42] Reflection Of course, we had lots of stress in lots of things like coming here from South Africa and working as a new graduate and working for a boss who was extremely tough on me. And then I was thinking about, for example, I thought, I’m sure it’s not legal to sign a form when you haven’t done the filling, but the boss says, just sign the form anyway. So then I started looking and taking advice. Is it right you have to sign these forms and it says you’ve done ten feelings but you didn’t do any. And so those kind of things are realised. You have to stand up for injustice if in your heart of hearts you know it’s wrong, it’s wrong. And so speaking up, that’s when you ask me about what, what is left to be done and what did you learn. I’ve learnt as you get older anyway, you speak up more when you in your twenties you always want to do the right thing. And what would this one say about me and what this one say about me in your twenties? When you get to my age now you can actually it’s very liberating because you have to speak up. You have to speak up.

[00:18:44] Your biggest strength is you don’t really care what people think by now.

[00:18:49] But I’ve learnt that you have to speak up. You have to say when you’re bringing up four boys who are rowdy and difficult and the and the neighbours got a window has been broken five times in one week, then you have to speak up and talk to the boys and say maybe we shouldn’t be playing football or cricket next to the neighbour’s window again. And so you have, you have to speak up and you have to speak up a lot and you have to say what you have to say and bring up boys. We can’t skirt around the issue. You have to deal with it head on and it is what it is. But the speaking up and they’re not tolerating not tolerating the bullying and not tolerating whatever is happening. This is not right. What needs to be rectified rather than get stuck in the misery of the wrong decision and the wrong and you spiral negatively downwards, you think, What can I do to rectify, to get out of the situation in terms of a patient? If something has happened and it happens, stuff happens all the time immediately apologise. I really I really strongly believe hold up your hands and say, I’m so sorry this has happened. I didn’t expect it to happen. We were not we weren’t expecting this. This has happened. I’m terribly sorry. I want to rectify the situation or whatever it is. Appease with the patient if it needs to give the money back there. And then for the simplest thing now rather don’t let it fester and fester till it’s a major volcano.

[00:20:15] Just so. Sort it out as quick as possible. Now, when you leave it to fester, it’s very stressful for your own personal circumstance, but it’s stressful for the patient, it’s stressful for the entire practice if these things are going on in the complaints going on. So I think that speaking up quickly, rectifying as soon as you can as quick as possible and move on. Learn from it. Don’t dwell on it. Learn from it. This is what I learnt. But move on, move forward, proceed forwards without dwelling on the negative. If you spend too much time thinking about the negative, it holds you back and you spiral. So rather think about I learned from this. This happened. Stuff happened. I’m so sorry. Move forward. How can we rectify? Victoria Wilson It’s a juggling act, but I was just saying outside, Laura, you know, you have to be good as a mother, you have to be healthy, you have to be well in a great mindset to be great for the children and to be great for your business. So it’s constantly realigning. And I’m trying to always be true to myself as I feel the success of anything is really being true to yourself and being driven by what you really believe. And specifically, at this moment in time, I don’t feel I can be in clinic looking after or treating patients, caring for patients and, you know, not being there for the children. That’s cool. So this is right for me now. So I’m trying to create my.

[00:21:48] Optimal mean in my experience. You’ll look back on this time and you’ll you’ll only realise how, how significant the things you are doing are later. You know, once you’ve been around a little while, you suddenly realise that at that point, you know, you’re doing something now it’s kind of uncharted territory you’re going to look back on this time in six, seven years time and think, Thank goodness I did that. Then, you know, in retrospect it all ends up being a lot more significant when you’re doing it. There are so many unknowns that you sometimes feel like, you know, you’re not doing the right thing. And women, particularly, I’ve noticed, are really hard on themselves in this respect. You know, want to be perfect. Don’t be too perfect for everything. A perfect mum, perfect. This perfect, that perfect. You know, we’re not perfect.

[00:22:36] No, it’s totally. And do you know what I’ve learnt recently. You’ve got to give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself.

[00:22:42] Yeah. Well all of that stuff, all of that self-care stuff. Super important. Super important. Tell me about Dubai, because you were living and working out there for a while. How did that come about?

[00:22:53] Ten years I was there. Yeah. And that was a real journey. It was hard because I, I have to say, when I started working with James in Berlin, I would never have left that clinic, ever. But this opportunity came up. I moved to Dubai, I got a job out there and it was with an English guy. He opened up a practice and he actually knew somebody that my mum used to work with that was in Max fax at the Queen Vic. So yeah, it was a similar world. Yeah, I was working there for a while and not that much. And then I had a few gaps in work and and then I did find an excellent practice eventually to work.

[00:23:44] In the one with.

[00:23:46] Doctors and nurses.

[00:23:47] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Very media orientated.

[00:23:50] Yeah. And it.

[00:23:51] Suited you. Yeah.

[00:23:52] I really enjoyed it. He gave me the free run to create oral health promotional projects. I started working. This is where my work really began working with industry, where I worked with Philips. I created this program for schools with animal therapy, with an animal therapist from an autism conference. I went to it. It was really different. It really went down a treat in the schools. The children love the little show we put on to support our health there. So he was David Rhodes was very supportive of everything that I did. I started some seminars within the clinic, so I ran those of an evening and then I started being invited to lecture and tour, all.

[00:24:39] Kicked off in Dubai. Really, all of this stuff?

[00:24:42] Well, yeah. I mean, I was how many years into my career before leaving the UK, maybe three years into my career. So I was young. So, you.

[00:24:53] Know, I don’t really.

[00:24:55] Yeah. So then I built that in Dubai and in this time there was no one, nobody recognised dental hygienist. So we weren’t allowed to have really group organisation meetings there. There was no so we used to like have little meetups but there was a bit of I guess they frowned upon. It was limiting to create an organisation. But until I went to the government and well the Emirates Dental Hygiene, Emirates Dental or Emirates Medical Association or something like that under the government. And we said to them, look, you know, we need to set something up for hygienists. So then it was a process. It honestly took me nearly ten years working with colleagues there to get papers to convince me.

[00:25:44] Red tape’s a nightmare.

[00:25:45] There is so much red tape. And speaking to officials there and getting to speak to these officials is so challenging.

[00:25:52] They turn up.

[00:25:54] You know.

[00:25:56] I’ve had a few meetings like that in Dubai. The meetings the guy didn’t turn up to. But what about living and working in Dubai as a general? I mean, would you say it’s nice to go for a holiday? Right. What’s it like living there?

[00:26:10] I mean, I had a great time.

[00:26:12] Did you stay there during the August and all that? The killer.

[00:26:16] I used to travel back to the UK a lot. Pretty much because I was working six days a week and then I would have nearly two weeks off.

[00:26:27] Okay, so.

[00:26:28] That’s how I worked my time. So I was in and out.

[00:26:31] In the UK every six.

[00:26:32] Weeks. Not the UK, but I’d come back somewhere or go somewhere. It was great.

[00:26:37] Jenny Pinder So going back to applying for medicine, which is what you wanted to do, I guess rebel against the dentists in your family, the reason that you didn’t get in is probably because they had quotas back in the day. Is that the first time you kind of felt like you were discriminated against as a woman?

[00:26:57] Yes, I think it was. They had quotas because they could. It was not until the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act was passed that that it all changed. And, of course, now we’ve swung over probably to these slightly more women applicants for either medicine or dentistry as well. Then again, the second thing I found I was being discriminated against was I applied for when I went to work, I applied for permanent health insurance to cover me if I was off sick. Yeah. And I did it through Dentists Provident. And I discovered that to take on a sort of extra thing was through Friends Provident Life. And for that I was had to pay a premium of 75% more than men for being female.

[00:27:46] And was that standard practice back then? Yes. Women would pay more. And what was the reason for that?

[00:27:51] As I said, women were sicker more often. It didn’t cover pregnancy, didn’t cover anything like that. And I thought, well, this isn’t right. And for me, if I think something is is not right, I will stick at it and pursue it. So ultimately, I went to the Equal Opportunities Commission as it was then and said, what about this? So they agreed to fund the case. So we took the case to the court and actually we lost. We lost then. But, but, but little bit later on, things did change.

[00:28:32] So what was it about? I mean, I’m sure there were many women in your position who probably thought, okay, it’s a higher premium, it is what it is. And then you come along and say, I’m taking this to court. Sunshine, what is it about you that made you just sort of think that actually I’m going to make a difference and I’m going to, you know, I’m going to stand up for women.

[00:28:53] Well, there’s something within me that stands up for anybody or anything that I think is injust.

[00:28:58] Where do you think that comes from, Jenny?

[00:29:01] My grandma. My grandma, who had 11 children of whom? Of the four of the six brothers, she was determined that my grandfather was going to get on. And she was determined.

[00:29:16] Rune.

[00:29:17] I think that women should have a voice. I think that women should be empowered. But I don’t actually think separating men from women on any platforms is the way forward, because I think it’s all about diversity, inclusivity, and not about separation. Now, my two business partners are male. I work with males all the time. I get on with them. I have never felt intimidated or disempowered by men. So actually I don’t think that this whole wave, which kind of tries to display men as being the enemy and suppressing women is something that I relate to. And I think it’s all about integration, to be honest.

[00:30:01] Do you think it’s harder to be a woman than a man?

[00:30:03] Yeah, for sure.

[00:30:04] I mean.

[00:30:05] Yeah, for sure.

[00:30:06] Well, if that’s true, then, then there’s nothing wrong with empowering, you know? I mean.

[00:30:10] Yeah, but I think.

[00:30:11] No, but the thing is, it’s harder to be a woman than the man.

[00:30:13] I mean, for me personally, somebody that’s built their profile and career and has lots of dreams and aspirations that I want to fulfil, I’m also very much aware of the biological clock, for.

[00:30:22] Example, that I get that somebody outside of that, outside of that. Of course. Of course, having a kid. And but outside of that, I mean, you haven’t got a kid yet.

[00:30:30] No. Okay. My father keeps reminding me.

[00:30:34] So. So in your journey from, you know, from zero to now. Yeah. Do you think it’s harder to be a woman than a man?

[00:30:40] Yeah, for sure. I mean, I. I think that there has been elements of in my industry which I’m not going to go into in detail. There have been elements of also, like I’ve sometimes certain men have wanted to help and then it turns out they actually wanted to try and get physical. And then you’d go, No, no, no. This is like a purely business thing. And I’ve experienced some of that, and then they lose interest and trying to help you. So I think there’s definitely a little bit of that Harvey Weinstein culture that still goes on in every industry. But having said that, I think that if you assert yourself in a certain way, you can get the respect from both sexes, to be perfectly honest with you. And the reason why I say that is because I did assert myself and behaved in a certain way that gained respect. And I think women for some reason don’t feel like they have a voice. They don’t have the confidence to speak out. It’s not the men are saying you can’t speak out. It’s because they just don’t have that maybe that ego like men do. And I think that’s a problem with women. And trust me, more women have said negative things about me online behind my back and so forth than men. And I think that says a lot because I think that’s think that’s insecurity is projected. Does that make sense? You know.

[00:31:58] If you were born a bloke, would you be more successful?

[00:32:00] If I was born a bloke, would I be more successful? No, but I definitely I’d have no idea how to answer that question, but I definitely think that I would nail being a bloke. You know.

[00:32:10] It’s a strange question. Realism is a strange question.

[00:32:13] No, I understand what he’s saying.

[00:32:15] It relates to your question about.

[00:32:17] Yeah, I mean, it’s a strange one to answer, but.

[00:32:19] Yeah, but I mean.

[00:32:20] But tell me about these terrible things that these women have done to you. Are we talking trolling?

[00:32:25] And yeah, I think that so for example, I’ll hear from some of my peers that certain female dentists, for example, that have never met me, will say things about my persona or about my clinical work. And I find it very strange because I’ve never even met them. Safina Ahmet So the thing with me is I get the most work done that night still. I’m still nocturnal.

[00:32:53] And managers will get emails at 3.

[00:32:56] A.m. and this and that. And, you know, people commonly get the majority of the emails. And when I really get that sit down time, when my kids are gone to bed and I can concentrate on the real kind of things, where I have to think happened when the kids were.

[00:33:08] Asleep, you just can’t.

[00:33:09] And and the other thing is like one thing I think that’s happened from COVID.

[00:33:14] Which is.

[00:33:15] A positive from a really obviously a dark time for us is this whole working with kids in the background. Like I always.

[00:33:23] Work with kids in the background.

[00:33:24] My managers know I have serious conversations with a two year old jumping on me and everyone has to accept that I have a family and that’s my reality. So all my managers know, all my staff know that. And even when sometimes when I do my webinars or my dentist or with kids, they’ll come in and they’ll talk and they’re, you know, and I think I’m very unashamedly a mum. Like, I don’t have to be ashamed about being a mum and having my kids out there. I don’t hide that. And I do really. And I’ll take my babies to like clinic. And I remember, you know, having a serious meeting with one of the builders and having my two year old with me. And, you know.

[00:33:57] Those are.

[00:33:58] My realities and I will complete and I’m not ashamed or embarrassed or I don’t feel that women should be embarrassed. Even dads should be embarrassed about.

[00:34:04] Things like that. So I think that is really.

[00:34:09] Really important to me as well.

[00:34:10] Well, how much how much sleep are you getting? How much? What time to get to bed to wake up.

[00:34:13] I don’t sleep. I’m not slept for months. Honestly, honestly. Because my two old I go to bed late and then my two year.

[00:34:21] Old is like, why do I can dive bombs on me? And you.

[00:34:24] Know, that’s it. I have to wake up and I nap.

[00:34:27] When I can and yeah, that’s that’s.

[00:34:30] It really.

[00:34:32] Yeah.

[00:34:32] So going back to my question about trading in your business, certainly one of the things that I find is that with me working from home quite a bit more so obviously over the last ten, 12 weeks, there’s certain moments in time where my head is in the workspace and my three year old just wants a daddy. And so she’s having a conversation with me. I’m kind of having a conversation with her. I’m sort of trying to keep my head in work. And is that being in the room with one or the other? Do you have to struggle with that?

[00:35:04] Absolutely. Definitely. I mean, you know, my two year.

[00:35:06] Old does.

[00:35:07] He picks a laptop and takes it off.

[00:35:09] My off me.

[00:35:10] And then your heart just think like, you know.

[00:35:13] Yeah.

[00:35:14] You shouldn’t feel so bad about it. Look, look, look, look what you learned from your dad. Yeah, and look, when that three year old becomes a 23 year old, he’s going to say, I sat there and my mom looked after me while she built this empire. And what he’s learning by looking at you, doing what you’re doing is amazing itself. It doesn’t have to be either. All you know, like my kids know more about Enlightened than my kids. York Victoria. Holden So one of the arrangements, I mean, what, what’s your typical week like? How many days do you work?

[00:35:48] So I’ll be at the practice four days a week. And the way that the hours are structured is that I sort of have a little bit of time doing my clinical stuff in the morning. I have a big window in the middle of the day for dealing with work that I’ll be doing to tell a defensive says See patient scan in the afternoon and then pick up the kids. So the kids are quite lucky. They go to a nice schools private school. I can drop them off on the just down the road. They get a mini bus to school about 7:30 and then I pick them up at 5:30. So I mean, the biggest issue I think when you’re a working mum is childcare. So that sort of system, you know, I’m not particularly one of those people go on or my children must go to private school to get the best education. It is really something that’s driven out of a need for childcare because it’s quite difficult actually getting wraparound care when your children are at school. Yeah, and I also wanted to be person who drops the kids off at school. I want to pick them up from school. I don’t want to have to rely on on nannies. So I live quite close to the practice. That’s great. I’ve always got the job working with services where I literally just need my computer and a phone to do that. So those things sort of all fit in quite nicely, really. I limit the time that I spend on social media to about 15 to 20 minutes a day. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook for various reasons, so that part of it doesn’t take an awful lot of time.

[00:37:16] Really let you moderate that forum in 15 minutes a day.

[00:37:20] Yeah, well, I say that it’s not maybe a very well moderated forum. One of the criticisms that comes up with that’s maybe the reason why. But yeah, I mean, I’ve done a lot of moderating since about ten years ago, Toni Jacobs asked me to help moderate the GPC forum, so I’ve been involved in that for quite a while actually, and I think generally people behave okay on the forums. There’s not that much stuff that needs moderated. You might get a notification pops up that somebody is offended by a post or there’s something that’s inappropriate. Somebody that’s self promoting their own course is a bit too much or you know, whitening is being promoted and unfair, etc. And we tend to deal with those and then and then move on. Really. Yeah, it doesn’t it doesn’t take a lot of time. I’m not really one to sit in on Facebook scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through the threads. I’ll go on and have a quick look, see if anything’s been flagged up on the forums and then off.

[00:38:20] Do you think that being a woman in dentistry is more.

[00:38:25] Difficult being a mum?

[00:38:28] You know, no, I don’t think it does actually. I think dentistry is quite a good career choice if you run, because the main reason is that you get the option to work. Normal hours is a very sort of 9 to 5 job and then you might be doing a bit of admin or treatment planning or courses outside of working hours. It’s not as difficult as. You know, if you’re like a barista or something and you’ve got long hours in London or in court or a doctor where you have to work shift patterns, I think those things could be really difficult, but I think dentistry is it does lend itself quite well actually to being a working mum as long as it can get the childcare issues sorted out around school. Obviously we’re quite lucky in a situation that we can pace, put our kids into school. That helps with that. That might be a bit of a challenge for some, some people, I’m sure. And there’s been times actually in the past where before I moved the children to that school and they were in the village school I was having because we didn’t have any childcare, I was literally having to condense my working days into 9 to 2 so that I’d be the one that was having to pick them up. And that was where, you know, this is just ridiculous. You know, I’m having to do this. My my own staff managed to kind of arrange the childcare. I’m struggling with it, but it’s it’s just living in a little village out in the middle of nowhere. You know, there’s not an awful lot of childcare around really.

[00:39:53] This question of women in dentistry coming up quite.

[00:39:56] A lot recently. Yeah.

[00:39:59] I’ve noticed when when it comes up you look kind of vocal on the kind of the opposite side of the the argument saying look, I’ve never had any problems as a woman. I think what you just said, you know, that you think that it’s a good career for women, all that. Why do you think is a thing that’s coming up now and where do you think there are the disparities? I mean, certainly I can see it myself. There aren’t enough women lecturers. But do you think the way to handle that is to positively discriminate, or are you one of those who says that’s definitely an owner?

[00:40:34] Who would you know, I think this topic it’s so complex. Yeah. And I don’t profess to know enough about things really to maybe give the right view on this. But from my point of view, you know, I, I want to be able to be in a position to see my kids grow up. I don’t want to give over my whole life to some of the things that happened in dentistry. And I know you’re probably referring to sort of conversation as to why there are no females on the executive board, the BPD. It’s that is something I know that that they tried very hard actually to positively engage women into those roles. And I was asked, I said, look, no, I haven’t got time for this. You know, I didn’t want to do it for purely from putting the brakes on how many things I’ve got going on in my life. You know, there has to be a line drawn somewhere is the amount of time that you give up. And these things can be quite time consuming. I mean, I personally have never felt discriminated against as a woman. I felt as I’ve been able to do everything that I’ve wanted to do in terms of my career. But I do think women are under-represented in a lot of ways in dentistry, and that’s the question I think that needs to be asked is like, why aren’t more women putting themselves forward rather than looking at it from the point of view of saying, Well, these men are pushy, they just take over all these roles? I don’t think that is the case.

[00:42:00] I think a lot of men do want women to be more engaged and we need to look at the reasons why they can’t. And it might be, you know, same as me as go. No, I don’t want to spend my whole evening working on committees or preparing lectures. There’s a lot of work that has to go into preparing lectures. I want to be able to work hard. I enjoy being a dentist, you know. I really do enjoy the day job, so I’m not necessarily looking for ways to cut down my clinical time to be able to maybe do more lecturing. You know, I’m I’m pretty sort of happy with the setup that I’ve got. And it might be that that’s the case for a lot of women who maybe feel the same. I don’t know. It’s something that we don’t really talk about very much, and it often seems to descend into an argument, whereas there needs to be a bit more of a constructive discussion about it. Yeah.

[00:42:50] I agree with that. I do agree with that.

[00:42:54] I think.

[00:42:55] I think.

[00:42:55] Experience but also.

[00:42:58] Confidence having that confidence to just go for it. I mean, and just determination. I mean, when you look at Cornell’s life, he could have had it really easy in a way. You didn’t really need to graft as hard as he has even sounds crazy to just say, but having Keira so young, I could have just got a council house, right? We live in the UK. That’s what it could have been. But we’re two very, very determined people and we just want to bring out the better in every single one of our individuals that come through our clinic, whether it’s training the staff, but also for the patients as well. We want them to be the best versions that they can be. And I think if you read our reviews, everything comes down to the experience and the friendliness and friendliness, believe it or not, does come down to confidence in a way, because if you’re not confident, it’s very hard to become come across this. Friendly because if you’re shy, you can come across as very rude without realising completely unintentionally. So to have that friendly manner, that confidence, to be able to talk to people, the confidence to be able to speak about enlightened in depth, speak about Invisalign in depth. We train them in every aspect, isn’t it? But with that confidence that brings the experience. Uchenna Okoya So I think we have a profession where the majority know, even if you saw even that, my time in dentistry is 50% women. Now it’s probably more women are the key elements that’s going to keep things going. But you don’t see women up there on the podium. But you’re one of the few people that when I did a couple of things with you and it tends to be more you tend to have a few women’s matches in there, but a lot of times the women aren’t there. But I don’t think it’s necessarily because it’s just like not being aware. It’s like the Black Lives Matter thing. It’s not even.

[00:45:03] Listen, I’ve been. It’s been levelled at me. I think Bertie was the one who said it to me. We had a conference, the minimalist. I spoke, perhaps spoke. And there was nine speakers, and there was only one woman amongst them. And I hadn’t really thought about it. You know, I wasn’t really thinking about that question. And Bertie said to me, You should have had half and half. And I thought I felt a bit difficult, you know, because I wanted to make the best conference I could make. And I was thinking, I want someone from orthodontics. And it was minimally invasive, someone from orthodontics, someone from Crown and Bridge, someone from whitening marketing person. I’m thinking, who are the best people I know for it rather than trying to find a woman? So there’s that. But but the other thing is that I’ve discussed this before as well, is that if you really cared about women in dentistry, wouldn’t you look at nurses, hygienists, receptionists? They get a really rough deal in dentistry. Yeah, they’re the ones asking. Yeah, the fact that you you’re not seeing dentists on the podium. But that’s not the big issue about women in dentistry. The big issue about women in dentistry is that that group, the ones I said, the DSPs, are overwhelmingly women and their career prospects, what happens to them, the way they’re talked down to by their bosses, all of that stuff. That’s the real problem with women in dentistry.

[00:46:34] I know what you’re talking about, Mike.

[00:46:38] Don’t the hygienist for him see the way some hygienist is treated by their bosses?

[00:46:43] Yeah, but but that’s just I think it has to start from the top because part of the thing of having more women like on the podium, one is that from an inspiring perspective. But two, to reflect the reality of the profession, you know, even within dentistry, dental school. So I mean it’s a slightly off the cuff relevance this but I had I had this fall out with quite a well known journalist from a national magazine where we were talking about. I was like flicking through the magazine one day, stick with me that was relevant to this. And I was just like suddenly. So nobody in this magazine that looks like me, like, like I get this magazine all the time and I love it and I love the articles and all the rest of it. I’m like, and I just thought, flick through the whole thing. Where am I? And they were like about two adverts or something that had somebody with colour. And so I knew her and she was like, About midnight, I must have been quite grumpy or something. So I sent her an email, a message on like, and she replied, and so we got into this altercation. I mean, we’re friends where she was like, I can’t believe you’re trying to say that I’m racist. You know, I’m like, I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying I’m going through your magazine. I can’t stand anybody that looks like me.

[00:48:04] What was it, fashion magazine or something?

[00:48:06] It was like a Sunday magazine type thing, you know, like style sell or whatever. And so she was so affronted that she went to all the trouble of getting all the magazines, sending me a PowerPoint of all the things that had pictures or articles of people. Of that people. And so I smiled. I’m like, Yeah, there’s Beyonce’s here, there’s Will Smith. That’s what I’m like, That’s so great. But I’m talking about people like me. I’m talking about doctors, dentists. And then that particular week, it was interesting that there was a feature about lipsticks and they put lipsticks on. It was like a whole page of different lips and there was not a single black brown lip there. It was just nothing. So I’m like, It’s about this. It’s about the fact that nobody has thought about this, that I’m not represented. I know that you’re all wonderful or whatever. You’re just going for that which you know and that which you’re around. So you obviously don’t hang around with enough fabulous women that when you put on your lecture, they didn’t even occur to you. Or maybe if you hung around them more, you’d know it was more of an issue. And you like.

[00:49:23] I do get it. I’m not rejecting it outright. I do get.

[00:49:26] You. Do I know? You’re right. That’s why I love you.

[00:49:29] I do get it. But what I’m saying is that, you know, I couldn’t find the best people. That was. That was my problem.

[00:49:36] That’s a load of rubbish.

[00:49:38] No, sorry. No, no. I didn’t engage even the best men. Yeah.

[00:49:43] No, you didn’t look hard enough.

[00:49:45] I look, I know.

[00:49:47] You just went to your buddies that you knew. Hey, can you like, you know, the guys that you hang out with, all the rest of that of, you know, and this happens so, so many times. And I will. No, I won’t. So go.

[00:50:03] Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead. We’ll cut it out.

[00:50:06] On I will go there with for example you did ask me before about BA and they’re doing analysis and I’m not going to go into it, but that’s a classic one of what you just said. So this group of great guys who I know, most of them like nobody, you know that picture, that picture where there was all these men that they’d had their conference when the organisation first set up. And I’m just like, there is not one single woman there and none of them saw that like and then you ask like what the hell happened is like, yeah, you know, we’re all buddies, we all hang out together and some of us just thought, Hey guys. And we just happened to have this conference call and nobody there was thinking about it at all. So that’s why the conversation needs to be had, because if you have a, you know, it’s scientifically proven that an organisation that’s got that diversity is so much better, it’s so much more effective. It just functions better than just people that old. Yeah. Anyway, so that’s all I’m going to say about that. So that’s why and even when you’re talking about the thing about some DSPs or hygienists or whatever, it’s again having the women there that will bring their problems to the front to the first. So that’s big. So I benefits Facebook what’s her name the the woman that’s always gone.

[00:51:44] The woman that what. Oh what’s her name? The woman the what? What does she do? I’ll tell, you know.

[00:51:49] Isn’t it? She won. The CEO is the Facebook now. It’s not Ariana.

[00:51:54] It’s the one that came from Google. Yeah.

[00:51:59] Anyway, I was looking about the fact that it wasn’t until she got she got pregnant that she suddenly realised that there was no parking, like she had to park for miles, to waddle to wherever she needed to be. And so she was it was something that affected her. None of the guys had thought about it. None of them had. It wasn’t there at all. And so that effected a change because she was there and she had.

[00:52:26] Sheryl.

[00:52:27] Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl Sandberg. Thank you.

[00:52:34] 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.

[00:52:50] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this file, 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.

[00:53:05] 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.

[00:53:15] And don’t forget our six star rating.


This week, Prav sits down for a heart-to-heart with his friend, colleague and implant virtuoso, Riz Syed.

Riz describes how he almost fell out of love with dentistry before discovering implants and recounts his journey through dental school and beyond to eventually becoming a leader in the field.

He talks about what it takes to build up the confidence to carry out complex cases, reveals some of his darkest clinical moments and shares candid thoughts about his upbringing, fatherhood, family life and more.    



In This Episode

03.50 – Backstory

10.04 – Deciding on dentistry

15.20 – Dental school

19.09 – Parenting, family and fatherhood

36.03 – The journey so far

45.23 – Skills building

50.31 – Blackbox thinking

01.05.46 – Complex treatment

01.23.16 – Last days and legacy


About Riz Syed

Dr riz Syed graduated in 1999 and spent time working in the oral maxillo-facial surgery department of Royal London Hospital.

He gained a master’s degree in restorative dentistry from the University of California and has also completed training in advanced oral plastic surgery in Dallas, Texas.

He is a prolific surgeon, lecturer, and mentor who often teaches on behalf of Nobel Biocare. 

Riz is a member of the Association of Dental Implantology, the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

[00:00:00] But, you know, I respect I respect people who do that, you see, because there’s some great clinicians who are doing these full arch reconstructions all day long, like like leech, like other people. And I see some, a lot of the people I work with, how people are doing, all of us, and they’re doing it to a really high level. And what I respect is that they turn around and say, Well, actually, can you come in and do this case for me and I’ll crack on and do what I did? I think that’s the most sensible way. It’s like things that I don’t do, like I don’t. This is my skill set doing full, which is doing implants. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. Yeah, I’ll do something else. I’m not going to give it. I’m not good enough. Even if a family member of mine comes to me and need something done, I will refer to the best person I know. It’s not me, of course. Why would I want to do that? And same with when it comes to Zigomanis, when it comes to, you know, if people are not doing all on force. The other thing is, is that people have really changed. You know, if you think about years ago and I don’t know if I’m sounding old now, so you can tell me I am. But you know what they say back in my day.

[00:01:01] But when I was a lad.

[00:01:03] When I was a lad, I used to be sitting there watching people I’d travelled to anywhere in the country and watch people do surgery.

[00:01:10] Because before me.

[00:01:11] I was hungry for it. Yeah, right now trying to get somebody to stay in the room while I’m teaching them how to do surgery free of charge.

[00:01:21] They’ve got better places to be, haven’t they? They.

[00:01:28] 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.

[00:01:45] It gives me great pleasure to introduce Dr. Risk side on the Dental Leaders podcast. Memories go back many, many years. Dr. Written Patel actually was probably my first client in the dental space. We started by designing a website for him, doing some marketing for him. But one of the things about.

[00:02:06] Ritson is he’s a.

[00:02:08] Bloody perfectionist and he wants the best for himself and he wants the best for his patients and nothing less than the best is good enough for written. And so when he decided to get an implant surgeon on board at the Mulberry Dental Practice, Risk was.

[00:02:25] His first.

[00:02:25] Choice. And I just remember having conversations with Britton at.

[00:02:30] The time.

[00:02:31] And he just used to talk about how skilled Riz was, how amazing he was as an implant surgeon. And then as I started losing my hair, me and risk started to have more and more in common. And Riz, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you on. And obviously, since 15 years or so past, when we first crossed paths back in the day, you know, I’ve seen you grow your career grow and you’re doing great things in the world of implant dentistry from speaking, lecturing, representing various companies, but also working in some of the top practices, doing a high level of implant dentistry, including including the practices that I co-own with my colleagues as well. But before we get stuck into all of that, something about your childhood, your back story where you grew up, just take us back to the beginning.

[00:03:21] May Well Prav Thank you so much for having me here. Honestly, it’s a great pleasure. I’ve seen the work that you’ve done and you’re right over the last 15 years, seeing what you’ve done in your career and how you’ve contribute towards the dental world, it’s it’s really nice to see and also it’s really nice to reconnect with you. And I think over the last few years as we have reconnected, I think it’s become a very personal thing. And I think away from dentistry as well, we have a lot in common and same outlooks in life.

[00:03:48] So same haircut.

[00:03:50] Same haircut, which I think, you know, not many people can carry off like we do. So it’s it’s a great pleasure to be here. Going back to my childhood, I grew up, I’m the youngest of four.

[00:04:03] And.

[00:04:04] I grew up in in Finsbury Park. My dad was an immigrant, came here in the sixties and he was around during the partition of 47. So he moved from India to Pakistan where they were relatively wealthy. But at the age of 15, he moved over and lost everything and he was the eldest of all his siblings and his mum was quite ill. He lost his dad when he was 15 during the partition time. So his aspirations of becoming a doctor had to be put aside and he had to do the best he could for his siblings. And he came here in the sixties and then we grew up in Islington. He wanted his children to do to do well, as any immigrant father would. And so it was always a case of studying and it was always a case of working hard. Not many extracurricular curricular activities. We moved in the eighties to my dad, thought Islington was quite rough at the time and then decided to move to Romford in Essex, which was a very bad sort of territory at the time. So you going from a rough area to then getting chased around by skinners, which I thought wasn’t the best move. And you know, we didn’t have money growing up.

[00:05:24] My dad used to be a bus driver and my mum used to sew clothes for a living and we went to a normal, comprehensive school, which wasn’t great, but my brother worked very hard. He was four years older than me and he went to med school. My sister then followed and then as being the youngest, I didn’t know what to do with my life, but it was almost a case of I was almost left to my own devices being the youngest of four. So with my brothers and sisters, they were very you know, my dad used to drive them around, make sure they had their fees paid, everything was done, you know, and they had a good upbringing. So did I. I’m not complaining with that. But as he got to the youngest of four, there was a point in our time where my dad lost a lot of money. We didn’t have much to spend. So I became very independent from a very early age and, you know, trying to finance my own self, trying to make sure I wasn’t a burden on the family. And I wanted to work when I was 15, but my dad made me go back and study.

[00:06:21] So going back to, you know, your dad couldn’t afford to go to med school. Obviously, circumstances were such that that.

[00:06:28] Life had handed.

[00:06:29] In that deck of cards where it wasn’t in his fate. Right. And do you think that’s what your your siblings were doing? Just sort of fulfilling that. That dream of your dad’s was that was that it was for me, right? So growing up. My dad was a shopkeeper, taxi driver. My mom was sewing clothes. So and and the constant message that we used to receive.

[00:06:55] Back then.

[00:06:57] Was the reason I’m working so hard. Right? The reason I do.

[00:07:01] I do is.

[00:07:01] I don’t want you to do what I do. I want a better life for you.

[00:07:05] Yeah.

[00:07:06] And for, you know. What did our parents know back then? It was. It was doctor, dentist, lawyer, whatever. You know, we all laugh and joke about this. You know, if you’re Asian and whatnot, there’s only a handful of careers for you. But, you know, that’s what they knew and certainly from their generation doctor came with a lot of respect. Yeah, there was there was not.

[00:07:28] Only the the.

[00:07:29] Career and that, but there was. It was highly regarded and there was a lot of respect. Right. So, you know, the reason I went into my career is I wouldn’t like to say I was pushed into it, but I was definitely encouraged.

[00:07:41] By my.

[00:07:42] Dad and and I wanted.

[00:07:43] To I.

[00:07:44] Wanted to.

[00:07:44] Fulfil his dream.

[00:07:46] Definitely did. Right. And so what what was the message growing up to you from Dad in those early years about education?

[00:07:54] It was exactly that. It was it was all about education. It was always it was always about, look, I’ve come over here to make a better life for you. You know, he’s shifts and double shifts used to do on the buses was the fact that he was saying, look, I’m working hard so you could get an education and you don’t end up doing what I do. And it was to actually please him. But also parenting was very different back then. It was your dad was your dad. He wasn’t your friend. You didn’t go and confide in him. He just told you what to do. And you pretty much got on and and did that. And also he was looking back, I mean, I sometimes have that where he was very, very strict, more so than necessary. And, you know, we joke about the belts and we joke about things like that. But that’s the way that’s the reality. You know, you’ve got to slap around the head or you got a good beating.

[00:08:44] I was I was going to tell you right. As soon as you said that, you know, parenting was different. You didn’t confide in your parents. Right. But you did what you were told, though. You got up. Yeah.

[00:08:57] Even if you did something, you still got a temper for doing it wrong. So, yeah, either way, you always got a beating. It was just constantly around the corner and you never knew which one you were going to get. Yeah. So and kind.

[00:09:10] Of.

[00:09:11] Being the youngest of the four I used to get, it sometimes works the other way around, but I got blamed for everything that went wrong to the point where I just thought, you know, at the age of 15 I was quite happy if I could leave home and and do something else. It’s only because I decided that I needed to do something with my life, that I wanted to do something related to, to medicine. And although people have this this idea that if you you want to go into medicine first and then you go into dentistry afterwards, it wasn’t that way for me. It was only because a friend of mine was in dentistry and said, Look, it’s a pretty good career. And I thought, Well, you know what? Why not? I got pretty decent A-levels, you know, I did chemistry, biology, physics, got good grades and thought, okay, well, let’s apply for dentistry. But it was almost like going into dental school on the first day and looking around thinking, I don’t belong here genuinely. I looked around, I thought, You know what? I’m I’ve come from that background. I shouldn’t really be here.

[00:10:04] You didn’t follow in your in your siblings footsteps and go down medicine right. You went for dentistry was when did you realise that this is what I want to do when I don’t want to do medicine for whatever reason. Right. And what was the general.

[00:10:20] Take on it? To be honest with you, I didn’t actually I wasn’t really thinking too far ahead if I’m honest. I was working part time in a shop when I was 15. I was making a bit of money. I was quite happy with that. It’s only because my dad gave me a good beating a couple of times and also watching my brother’s game. My brother was four years older, so he was already in med school and he said, Listen, do something that you’re going to enjoy. It doesn’t have to be medicine. Look at something that is science related and also potentially had the reputation of any good money. I’m working less hours, so there was that where you could do something medical related. So it’s still a prestigious job, something more creative. And I think that came from the fact that I was I was very hands on with DIY back in the day when when our parents were, you know, building things they never called builders in. They always expected you to help them. And, you know, there’s a great story where we had an uncle who I don’t even know where this uncle had come from and decided he was a conductor on a bus.

[00:11:23] But my dad decided he was going to change a gas metre as you do. And I honestly this is you think this is a weird situation, but my dad said I could smell gas and my dad had had his head. Under the stairs and my uncle lit a match and the whole thing blew and the hole. Honestly, I remember being thrown across the room and my dad came out with no eyebrows and this is what we were doing as Asians. We were literally doing things ourselves and I was very hands on with that. So it became a very practical thing. So because of a friend of mine, I said, Look, I’m there. It’s going to be good. I thought, Yeah, that would be a nice thing to do. So it wasn’t even a case of medicine or danger. I thought it would be a good career to get into. And that’s why I applied for for dental school.

[00:12:08] Moral of the story. Don’t ask your boss conductor to change your gas metre.

[00:12:12] Yeah, it’s. It’s a rookie mistake. I wouldn’t do that.

[00:12:16] So what was your first exposure to dentistry risk? Was it was it work experience somewhere during A-levels or college or whatever it was back in the day?

[00:12:25] Yeah, it was. So during the A-levels when when we had to do some work experience, I went to a local dental practice and saw them do some do a root canal and some fillings wasn’t wasn’t very inspiring, to be honest with you. I just sat in the corner and watch somebody there for an hour and a half, 2 hours doing something with the teeth. Yeah, exactly. It it’s like, okay, I’ve tick the box, I’ve done my work experience and I applied to do a work experience in a hospital as well. I thought I might try that. I ended up on a urology ward watching tubes being put in places that you don’t really want to see as a as a 16 year old. Yeah. So it was either that or dentistry. So I thought, you know, I’d rather work in the mouth. Yeah. And that was, and that was my work experience. Yeah. I think I spent two weeks there.

[00:13:13] And then so take it you did quite well academically back then. You needed I think we’re of a similar age. You needed decent grades to get in, right?

[00:13:21] Yeah. You need a decent grade. I mean I was predicted I think I was predicted three A’s or two A’s and a B and I ended up getting A into BS, I think chemistry, biology and physics. So I’ve got my grades because back then, remember when people talk about grades, my sister going to med school at UCL with three C’s, she was her offer, she got three A’s, but her offer was three C’s. And my brother for med school at St Barts was there being two C’s. So, you know, it doesn’t make him any less. And that’s why it’s always amazing when you talk about now A’s and A’s stars. I have no concept of that. But yeah, I got my grades, so I took a year, I got my grades and then I applied because it wasn’t the first thing I applied for. I just wanted to do my A-levels first and then I got my grades.

[00:14:07] So what happened during that time? So you took a year out. What happened? You you applied for something else and then, you.

[00:14:13] Know, I just I worked and and I went to college to do my A-levels did one retake. But the rest of the time I was working. So I was quite happy to have that year to actually figure out a if I get the grades because I to be honest with you, if you go back to schooling times, it’s not like now when I look at my boys and they go to a very nurturing sort of school and they’re very hands on, you know, and they very, you know, they have all these different people who help them get through, whether it’s their handwriting, whatever it is. Yeah. You know, and if you are because I was quite hyperactive as a child, my concentration span during that time, you know, I was intelligent enough, but I just I couldn’t concentrate on things for too long. So I remember being told, you know, you can’t do your A-levels, you can’t do maths, you should go and start working when you’re 15. You know, that was the kind of the way schools were. So I was told I shouldn’t do A-levels or I couldn’t definitely do physics. And because physics, you know, you need a good understanding of maths. And they said my math wasn’t great. So I thought, let me get my A-levels, see what grade I get, and then I can decide whether I’ve got good enough grades. And I did end up doing that.

[00:15:20] And then which dental.

[00:15:21] School did you go to it? So I went to it was the Royal London at the time that then merged with Queen Mary’s and merged with Barts. So it’s very much I think we were the last year the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry and then St Barts that then combined in the second year with Queen Mary’s and we all became affiliated together. But it was it was the Royal London I applied to.

[00:15:44] And so tell us about give us a potted history about dental school. What was it like for you? Were you were you one of these geeky students who who was always stood in a way, we love party animal. Just give us a give us a potted history of what university was like the royal.

[00:15:59] Risk for me, I think I went a bit crazy because it was almost and you see this a lot when you’re in a very strict household, when you’re not allowed to go out much, you know, it’s not like people would go arm going clubbing when they’re 15. So we weren’t allowed to do that. No, no, exactly. No. So you suddenly go to suddenly living away from home and you have this freedom that you’ve never experienced before. So you end up going a bit crazy. And I ended up, you know, I used to play a lot. We used to have a great club scene in London. So I still organise a lot of the club nights, you know, literally from Monday to Friday. I could tell you exactly what club was playing. Be sustainable clubs. So, yes, I was there, but I didn’t really, to be honest with you, go too much to too many lectures. You could get your friends to sign you in and at the end of the day, you could just copy their notes and then just get through. And that’s what I did for for the first and second year clinical wise, again, being on clinic, I wasn’t really the only thing I actually really enjoyed, to be honest with you, was over surgery. Everything else just didn’t really excite me. So trying to get my trying to get my figures done by numbers of how many root canals and how many I was well below par or surgery I’d finished. By the time I was the fourth year, I’d finish all my requirements. So, you know, it was dental school was great. I really enjoyed the freedom. I really enjoyed the game to kind of figure out what I want to do and kind of knowing myself. But you don’t get a chance when you’re in a a house, sort of, you know, many different personalities and you’re the youngest. It’s very difficult to kind of figure out what your what your own personality is about or it’s like.

[00:17:46] Even being brought up in that environment that I’m very familiar with. Right. That that was really strict. Right. It sounds like very similar to you. Right. And what was clear is that when I started university, I knew how to clean the house and I’d do the laundry and wash my clothes. I knew how to make my own bed. I knew how to iron my own. I knew all that like all of that was second nature. I knew it, but I didn’t know how to pass it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Bloody hell. Did I make up for lost time the day I arrived? Yeah. And similar to you, right? I went notes and I remember those, you know, I think freshest week carried on for a year for me. Right. And, and it was literally day in, day out. And I remember we were coming up to our end of year exams with all the medics, and I didn’t hang around with the medics because they were too busy working. So I hung out with the historians and the guys doing PPE and English, right, and partying with them. And I remember my my group just saying to me, they said that was going to fail, man, do you know what I mean? But I think, you know, I’m one of those guys that when the crunch comes to the crunch and you need to get your head down and cram. I was that guy, right, that I could just go nuts and then just cram at that point. Right. But being brought up in that environment. Right. And being restricted so much, certainly for me, I just let loose.

[00:19:09] Right, exactly. Exactly the same because we were so restricted. I mean, it was so grown up in this that household, honestly, even music and everything, it just wasn’t allowed to the point where you used to hide and listen to music and you said, Oh, Dad’s coming home. You know, I’d like to go even out with my friends on a Saturday. I’m going to a birthday party, get dressed up for a birthday party, and then just hang around. My friends, you just had to lie all the time. And then when you did get caught and the beatings were very I mean, severe beatings to the point where you just think this is just you know, I look back at it and it was just it wasn’t nice growing up in that environment.

[00:19:46] Do you know what? I look back now, right? And, you know, I’m very grateful for that upbringing. And I’ll tell you a few reasons why. The school that I went to was as rough as ourselves. Right. So if certainly I’ve got an addictive personality, right. If I if I wasn’t held back on the ball and chain back in the day. Right, I’d go in with the wrong crowd. I’d have been doing the wrong things. And I definitely wouldn’t have made it to where I was academically or where I am today. I’m confident about that. Right. Really, really confident that held us back. Right. And that’s all I knew back then. Today, I’ve got a completely different relationship with my father and he’s the grand parent to my children. Yeah, that should have been the father to his son.

[00:20:38] You know, that’s funny. That’s exactly the words I’ve used before, because my father, he’s passed away, passed away two and a half years ago. Now, at the end of his life, he had really, really mellowed out and it was unrecognisable. So, you know, and if I ever thought or discussed this with anybody, they’d be like, I can’t see how he would have done that. Because I think obviously they had a lot of pressure. There was a lot going on. And and I get that. And I and to a certain degree, yes, I agree that, you know, I needed that just like you have because we were very similar. I needed somebody to kind of rein me in. But then, you know, sometimes I think it was excessive and I think, you know, some things could have been avoided. And, you know, but yeah, near the end of his life, honestly, he was he was amazing grandfather. He was an amazing father to everybody. He was the head of the house. And when we lost him, it was just a massive void in all our lives. And having that seniority around, you know, suddenly he’s gone. It was really strange. But I agree. I think, you know. Parenting was a lot different. I look at the way I am with my kids now and it’s completely different.

[00:21:43] Totally, you know, totally different.

[00:21:46] But now I say something and they’re like, they respect the fact that I’ve said it. And I say to them, Look, don’t, don’t. Do I have to remind you to do something? No, sorry, I’ll do it. Because if I raise my voice a little bit. But I remember once my son, he was he was playing up to my head and it was getting to that point. So I picked him up and put him on the bed and it was like, Oh my God, you put me on the bed. It really I’m like, I put you on a bed. We used to get thrown downstairs and he still remembers me picking him up and putting him on a bed and.

[00:22:18] Really.

[00:22:19] No idea. So yeah, it’s a complete different type of parenting. But yeah, it did, you know, to a certain degree it did help me because how do you know. Oh pushed me going to go back and and study again. I wouldn’t be here. So I am grateful for certain points. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:22:36] And you know, as we as you alluded to right there, probably several different ways of getting the same outcome. Right. But it’s what they knew back then, I think. I think, you know, but it’s just let’s just take you back to the you mentioned you lost your dad a couple of years ago. Can you remember the run up to that? And sort of you mentioned that he’d mellowed out. You know, was that was that after he’d retired and stopped working on the buses when stresses and strains of like providing for the family and stuff like that parks themselves. What was it what was that transition for your dad where he where he became? Yeah. You know, it was, I think, a gentle soul, probably.

[00:23:16] If I go back, he.

[00:23:17] Was probably.

[00:23:19] The last 15, 20 years. He had really kind of just mellowed out. And I think that’s after he retired and after and after, you know, he moved from his house and moved in with my with my brother. And I think he was just the fact that the kids were all successful in their own right. And with Asian parents, I don’t know what was like with your dad. He would never tell me directly, but he would tell the whole world.

[00:23:40] And it was shared.

[00:23:41] From every corner. And even when he went back that everybody knew what oh, my son, this and my son. But he your face. But I really.

[00:23:48] Yeah, that’s nice.

[00:23:50] All right. And so he did. I think after then he had grandchildren. I think he had just kind of really just decided. And I think it was a he didn’t have to be that way anymore. And I think he realised that actually we’re all independent doing our own things. And this is a certain point when you look at we’re generally with kids as well. When you get to a point where they start becoming independent, you’re not as strict on them as you were before because they’re growing up into adults and they’re making decisions and you can support that by shouting. You realise that actually it’s not really going to make much of a difference, you know, especially later on as you get older when you’re married and you have kids and they go, well actually you’ve got your own life. All they want to do is see you then and spend time.

[00:24:31] Yeah. And you know, they get to that stage where, you know, my work is done.

[00:24:36] Right? Exactly. Yeah.

[00:24:37] Kids are doctors, dentists. They’ve done well for themselves. They’ve got their own career. They’ve forged it, they’ve got kids. And you’re right. What does my dad want now? 25 minutes with craft. Yeah, right. Just one on one time. Let’s go for dinner. Let’s do this. Let’s do that at the most. The most valuable thing I could do for my father right now. Yeah. Is to actually go to him and say, Dad, me and you, we’re going out for dinner tonight. Yeah, not even paid for it, right? Not even pay for it. Not. Not buy him a gift or anything like that. Right. The most valuable thing that I can give my dad today, it’s just my 100% dedicated time father.

[00:25:14] And you know what? You realise that now I’ve lost my dad. I realise that, you know, I wish I’d done more of that. And you always have that wish, regardless of how much you do, is always that void. And you think, Oh, I wish I’d done more, you know, and I can go back and tell you a million stories. And I remember one day this was after I graduated, I took him to shopping and he picked up and I saw him in the shop and he picked up a pair of shoes and turned it over, put it down and walked out of the shop. And I went back in. I bought him the pair of shoes and I said, Do this for you. And honestly, I tears in his eyes instead. Somebody said, I could never have afforded this. Yeah, but dad is okay now. And I sent him a mum to Singapore and Malaysia and I came back and I said to my mom, How was it? And Mom said It was brilliant, but I’m really annoyed. I said about what she said, Dad is Dad wouldn’t eat inside the hotel. He would walk five miles to go and find an Asian place to sit down and eat. And I said to Dad, why are you doing it? I said, Why, why? Why are we going to eat in the in the hotel? It’s going to cost more money. I said, Yeah, but you’re not paying for it. It doesn’t matter, you know. And then running up to that point where he literally was looked after, he had everything he wanted, you know, he’d see all the kids and we spent time with him and he’d always say to me, he’d always get annoyed at me, Oh, you haven’t called? Because he started by the end of his life.

[00:26:29] He had Parkinson’s and he had some memory loss. And he’d say, You haven’t called. I said, Down. I called yesterday. No, you didn’t. He said to my mom, Did he call me and be like, yeah, called yesterday. Okay then anyway. But to. How are you? You know, all he wanted to do was was spend some time. And the last time I saw him was when he was going to Pakistan. And it was running up to it was about November time and he’d go for four months and then come back because they have a house out there. And I took him to the airport and there was a six hour delay. So I spent some time with him at the airport and I remember him going to the bathroom and by that time he was slow to move around. We were in a wheelchair. You could walk a little bit, but we had a wheelchair for him. And I went to the bathroom and I said, Dad, are you okay? And then after I said, Yeah, I need your help. So I went in and helped him. And then I went to wash his hands and I walked him over to the sink. And as I was washing his only looked at me in the mirror and he said to me, Do you know? There was a point? I used to do that for you? And I was like, It’s okay, dad, I’ll do it for you.

[00:27:25] And then I’d finished on a Friday in December, the last working day, which my September to December is probably the most manic time I have because I’m double and triple booking myself. So it was so busy and I got home Friday night, went to bed about ten, 11:00, and then at 1:00 in the morning, I got a phone call from my mom saying, Your father’s passed away and looked back at that. That was the worst kind of the hardest thing you could ever hear as a as a son and for your mom to tell you that. And then it was in the middle of the night. It was about 1:00. My brother was at his house. His wife and kids were away. And he was literally just roaming the streets, running around, just crying. And I was like, weren’t there? Me and my cousin brought him inside, got my ticket and flew out. I had to get a visa at 3:00 in the morning. Ironically, we knew somebody who I’d met at the airport when my dad was leaving who worked in the embassy. I phoned him up and he was like, I’ll get your visa. And I flew out there and the minute I landed, I tried to bring him back because I’d made a promise that I would.

[00:28:32] So just just just going back there. When your dad passed away. He was in Pakistan. He’s in Pakistan?

[00:28:38] Yeah. He didn’t wake up. He just didn’t wake up. He went to bed and didn’t wake up. And he said to my mum a few days before he said, I’ve only got a couple of days left. My mom’s like, what are you talking about? And I’ve spoken to him a few days before and he said to me, If anything ever happens to me here, I want you to bring me home. It’s almost like he had a premonition that he knew this was going to happen. So I flew out there and I landed there on the Sunday morning, went straight to the hospital. And the worst thing is, you know, when you go to the house where your parents used to be, my father used to be, you can hear the sound of crying coming from the house, you know, you know, it’s just a horrible situation to walk into. And then I went straight to hospital. I went to the morgue in a makeshift, makeshift morgue and saw him there. I just thought, I need to bring him home. I just need to bring him home. And I spent literally for three or four days just out and about doing whatever I could to bring bribing everybody, as you do, you know, envelopes of money going, flying everywhere. And then Christmas Day, I brought him back and the funeral was on the on the Saturday, the 28th, something like that. So it was a hard thing. And it was I remember when we were in the cemetery lowering his body. And I just thought to myself, you know, all said and done. And as much as you run around, this is where you’re going to end up. Yeah. And then you always end it with regret. And I wish I’d done this and I wish I done that. And then it also made me realise I thought if I look back at my year, what do I remember the most? It’s not about the most amazing cases that I’ve done. I remember the times I spent my family, my friends, these memories that are much more important that stay with me than it does.

[00:30:09] The work is so true, you know? And even though people tell you that, right, sometimes you get caught in that rat race. Right. Of you. And I spoke about this at length in the past. Right. But, you know, you get caught in that. Okay. We do. Okay. Right. Successful and people define success in different ways. But, you know, let’s just assume we’re both doing okay, right? Running around busy feels like perhaps neglecting certain areas of our life or certain individuals because do you know what is the day you need to be lowered into the ground? Right. I promise you. Yeah. Those implant surgeons who got you into their clinics to do the psychometric cases or the all on for the complicated cases. Right. They turn it on. Yeah. It’s the people who are going to turn up when you’re lowered into the ground, the people that we need to be spending more of our time with.

[00:31:06] Absolutely right. Absolutely right. But then it makes you realise if you think to yourself, okay, I’m going to make a change and I’m going to do that. And then it’s easy to get called back into the same rat race and then decide, well, actually, okay, I’ll do it for another couple of months. And I do. And inevitably I give like I have a Friday off and I go get a book in my diary because that’s the fight I’m going to have. I’m going to have a long weekend, and then someone calls me up. I’m like, Okay, let’s just do that Friday. I do the following month, and then that never comes and you end up doing the same thing. But what it does make me realise is that actually I will take. More time out now, which is what I you know, after after my dad passed away, I tried to do that where I was having breaks every maybe three months, even if it’s just four or five days away. And I think that’s the way that I can balance my life out. But then COVID hit, and then after COVID, we thought, we’re only going to be working maybe twice a week, especially as a visiting surgeon. I thought, you know, yeah, everyone’s going to do basic dentistry trying to make everybody okay emergencies. And so nobody’s going to pay for implants right now. We went back and literally since we went back, from the moment everything opened.

[00:32:12] Up, how wrong was you?

[00:32:14] Oh, completely. I got that so wrong. I honestly thought I’m going to have so much time. But now I’ve been honestly, I’ve been probably busier than I’ve ever been in my life.

[00:32:24] If you could go back to, you know, perhaps a month, two months before your dad passed away, what would have you done? You know, I.

[00:32:34] Would have I would have sat down and had probably more of an honest conversation with.

[00:32:39] Him.

[00:32:40] You know, which I never think we actually I don’t think we actually ever had a honest, frank conversation. I think it was all you know, which was nice. And we spent a lot of time together just talking about how things were. And he’d tell me about his life, which ironically was after he passed away, somebody sent me a CD of him being interviewed at a radio station about his life during the partition, which honestly is still sitting on my desk. And I don’t have I right now. I don’t think I’m strong enough to actually listen to it.

[00:33:16] You still haven’t?

[00:33:17] I still haven’t because I don’t think I’ve probably grieved everything after everything that happened, I went on to just this autopilot, trying to get them back and do everything. And I don’t think I had a minute to. And every time I thought about him, I stopped myself. Which is not healthy, I know, but it happened in my own time. But if I had a chance, I’d sit him down and I kind of have an honest conversation about his life, how he thought, about how things were. Tell him that, you know, thank him for what he’s done because he did work really hard for us. You know, in amongst everything else, you forget that the life that they made for us, they sacrificed a lot of their lives for us. And I don’t think as children growing up, you know, we have that where we weren’t allowed to do this or we were beaten up. And you don’t actually take time out to say, well, thanks for the stuff that you have done for us. Yeah. And I wish I’d spent more time with him just sitting down and saying that to him, which I think I never got a chance to do.

[00:34:17] I think it’s important to reflect on these moments and times, right? We’re at that age where, you know, there’s people around us who are who are getting to that stage in their life, friends, family members, even colleagues our own age. Right. Leaving far too early and you start questioning your mortality. The why, the why, the what are you doing? The why are you doing it? You know. And then how old are your kids, Chris?

[00:34:44] 14 and 11.

[00:34:46] Well, in life. And so they start asking questions, right. I know. Even my youngest, my five year old. Yeah. Just say to me, Daddy, why do you work so hard? So? So what’s my answer? Yeah, so we can buy things, have nice things. We can have a lovely house. We’ve got this home, whatever, right. You know, and. And then she’ll say to me, okay, so we’ve got this. So so why do you work so hard? And I tell it because, you know, and she goes, So if you didn’t work tomorrow. Yeah. Would this house not be here? No, that’s not the case, Darwin. That isn’t the case. We’re okay, right? Okay. And then she’ll ask me the question again. So, Daddy, why do you work so hard? Right. And. Their innocence. Right. Is so smart in many ways. Right. Because they question everything. And actually, when you sit down and listen to them and give them a proper answer, you realise that actually they’re a lot smarter than you give them the credit for.

[00:35:51] Absolutely. And like you questioned why you do it. And, you know, honestly, I work hard. It’s not about I think at a point in my career now where I’m not thinking I’ll get every case, I’m going to get this money. I don’t think about that because I do enough cases. I think about, you know, I like what I do genuinely. You know, that’s one thing. I’m very lucky that every day I go in and operate. I actually really enjoy the position I’m in right now, you know, and I’ve but as as a friend of mine, Steve’s not close. He’s always says to me, you know, to get 20 years of experience takes 20 years. And that’s and he’s right. There’s no shortcut to that.

[00:36:33] But let’s say you’re an overnight success. It just took you 20 years to get there or whatever it is. There’s no substitute for experience. Right. So let’s let’s explore that conversation, risk that, you know, I know that when we were looking for somebody to do more advanced implant dentistry in our clinic, and we’ve got some skilled surgeons in our clinic who who do the the I say the every day all on floor or same day teeth stuff. It’s not every day for everyone. But I would say our surgeons are more than competent to do it, but they know that they know their limitations. Right. And when a patient comes in where it’s beyond the scope of that practitioner. Yeah, we call in the A team, right. And that’s us. And so if there’s an implant or a case or a situation where we can’t do it in our clinic, both clinics, right. We, our clinicians speak to you about the case. And then if you think it’s feasible, you’ll come in, you’ll do the surgery and and the aftercare and whatnot. Right. You’ll take care of all of that. Yeah. How did you get to that point where I guess how did you get here from from graduation to today? What’s been your education pathway? How did you get here? And then at what point do you decide, you know what, I’m going to get one of those really long implants and stick it in just below the eye. Yeah. And so so just talk me through that journey and then let’s talk about your first somatic implant you have replaced.

[00:38:08] Well, so going back to so after dental school, I spent a lot of time, like I said, at the oral surgery department, it’s something I really, really enjoyed. And early on I was going to the Max FACS Department and I used to hang around there a lot and try to do what I could, which I really enjoyed seeing what they were doing. So I remember then applying for the house job there and doing some Max Roach training at the Royal London, which at the time was a really busy and it still is a really busy max factor department, probably one of the busiest in the country. We had a tertiary referral centre, we had HEMS coming in, we had, you know, we had so much trauma going on. It wasn’t even based on dentistry, it was based on just facial trauma. So the exposure to that was amazing. And back then you could do a lot more than I suppose you could do now. So it’s been there at the right time, I think really helped. And I think during that time we were allowed to do we’re doing psychometric fractures, we were doing mandibular fractures, we were doing them, you know, we’d have an operating list.

[00:39:13] So after spending some time at the Max FACS Department, then it was a case of deciding whether to do medicine to do go to become a reg or do I do dentistry. And as much as I love being in the hospital environment, I really, really enjoyed that. I thought, you know what actually might be better to go out to dentistry, do my VCE, which I needed to do anyway, and then I’ll come back into hospital if I really want to. But during that time, honestly, I think what you learn in terms of hands on and bearing in mind we had no protected sleep, so it’s like the old school way of doing things. It was a case of right where you get on with it, whether you have a good night’s sleep or a bad night’s sleep doesn’t matter. We’re on call one in four, which meant normally one in three weekends. Every second weekend we were doing trauma surgery. So it was really, really hands on, very medical based, very surgical based. And then I came.

[00:40:03] Out.

[00:40:04] And I remember my first day at Vet and seeing somebody and they were like, Oh, it’s an emergency, what’s that? And they were like, It’s a fractured feeling. So this is not really exciting to me right now. So yeah, you got to do so much with doing in fact at the time so you know our on calls and it was very hands on we had Friday list where we got to play a lot more and let’s say we didn’t have protective sleep so we were doing tons of surgery, came out, did my vet and wasn’t as exciting as I thought.

[00:40:36] And then when did you do your vet?

[00:40:39] It was in Hornchurch and in Essex, and it was an oral surgery based clinic which was good for me. So I got to do wisdom teeth and sedation, and I learned sedation during that time, but it was the case. Then I thought, You know what? I don’t think I can do this as a full time career, honestly. So I applied to do an MBA and that was for the following year. So I had a year to kill during that time because I was quite happy to leave dentistry at the time. And during that time I was waiting. Somebody phoned me up and said, Can you do me a favour and can you come and do some surgery while you’re waiting? So I started going out and doing some surgeries or actually is not a bad thing to go around doing some surgery. I need a bit of money.

[00:41:26] Quick question me do you fallen out of love with dentistry? Is that why you decided to do the MBA? You wanted to do some.

[00:41:32] So yeah, I thought not love it just couldn’t see myself in all. Honestly, sitting in a practice doing feelings every day. I just couldn’t see myself. And I know people like it and I enjoy doing that. But for me, it just wasn’t right because I’d come from this hostile environment which was really high powered, you know. So in the case of going back to hospital, but I just thought, you know what, I just can’t see myself in practice it just for the rest of my life. And yeah, pretty much I don’t think I’d fallen out of love. I just couldn’t see myself doing this same job every day. But during that time when I was doing surgery, I’d seen implants were on the scene at the time and I’d seen people place implants and I thought, Well, let me explore that a bit further. And I remember then applying while I was waiting was to do an implant course and I deferred my MBA entry for the following year. So that was then two years later. And during that year I did a Tipton course in Manchester and while I was there at the Tipton, of course, I remember it was Richard Butcher at the time there he was doing these implants as well. And I remember thinking, this is a great career, but people have always said to me, listen, if you don’t do implants, you can’t make a full time career out of it. You can do it as a kind of add on, but you still have to do dentistry. And as I was doing that early on, I thought, you know what? Actually, I really enjoy because it’s all aspects of surgery based into doing implants that I’m allowed to do and practise. And it was quite a new, new kind of skill or new kind of technique that was coming in.

[00:43:02] The implants weren’t that popular, and after spending a year doing the Tipton course, I remember having a few patients lined up at cost, so we weren’t charging the patients any more than it cost us. I think we were doing the implants plus the at 500 and £600. Wow. You know, just and the only reason why I was doing that was because I just wanted to get the experience. So we’d line up the patients and I’d place one or two implants. And it was a very difficult sell back then, trying to convince a patient to have even a single implant. You’d have to see them three or four times and convince them to part with even five or £600 just to say having an implant. And I look back at it and I think, you know, I started very early on and maybe I had some mentoring, but generally I took a patient in place, the implant. And after doing that for about a year I realised that there was a massive gap in my knowledge, a huge gap in my knowledge. I mean, I was seeing my own, my own disasters coming back within the year, you know, not all of them, but I was seeing some of them and I think what’s going on here? And then you realise actually well I don’t know anything about Bone and I don’t know anything about sinus grafting because inevitably you’re going to come across a situation where you go, I have to refer this patient out and I’m like, Well, why should I refer out? So during that time, funny enough, a practice was up for sale and I bought a practice, a private practice.

[00:44:22] Oh, yeah. You’re a practice owner at one point.

[00:44:26] Yeah, it was as a practice owner. And this was in Harrow, and it was a private, fully private practice. And I’d literally just come out of it and bought a private practice. And so I use expensive materials and tried and sent it to a good lab and I charge triple the price. That’s what it’s all about. But what it did make me realise is that actually and it did help me because I could these patients could afford to have dental implants. So I started lining up. These patients have maybe more advanced surgery. And I remember thinking about sinus grafting, thinking, okay, I know my way around a sinus, but I don’t know how to do sinus grafting. So I flew over to Grasso’s, of course, and sinus grafting there was on the same course.

[00:45:07] Oh, really?

[00:45:08] Yeah, he was. That’s where I first met Kadish, and we both learned on cadavers. And I came back and I remember coming back on a Sunday and having a patient lined up on Monday morning to do the surgery.

[00:45:23] Do you know what? I’m going to stop you right there, because that is probably the most important part of learning anything, is putting it into practice the very next day. Right, is that you talked about in the early days learning how to do basic implants and then go in and firing them in at 500 quid a pop. Right. But you were you were really you were getting your miles in your early miles in in those days. And then you go on the bone grafting course. There’ll be a lot of people who went on that bone grafting course. And it’s probably not never grafted since.

[00:45:55] Doing it on the cadaver.

[00:45:57] And we see a lot of people at the ice academy. They come on they also courses. Right. And the piece of the one piece of advice I give them is half. A few patients lined up to practice. Especially when it comes to awesome. Right. Your nurse, your wife, your husband, a family member, a best mate who’s got that.

[00:46:17] Crooked tooth.

[00:46:18] That has never got. Do you know what I mean? There’s a whole bunch of people and do it for free. Do some tea or whatever. Right, and get those miles in. Otherwise, don’t even bother booking on the course if you’re not lined up. So you came in, you did the graft the next day and was that it? You you’re off to the races from that point or.

[00:46:38] No, but but going back to your point, you’re absolutely right. And the funny thing is, I’ve called these people cause junkies they keep now I’m on the other end where I’m teaching. I’m exactly like you. And I say to them, Have these patients lined up, have things done? So when you go back in there, you’re ready to do it. What happens? You go, you run another course a year later and they come back. I don’t think now I haven’t. You’re like, Well, why are you here? Just want to refresh my what’s the point? Refresh your memory that you haven’t actually used the skills. Yeah. I mean, after the grafting course I remember doing the sinus graft and I remember walking out the whole morning and this is the biggest procedure in practice I could do. And I remember going did this sinus window and it took me about nearly 2 hours just to get to the sinus because I was that nervous that was going to perforate. You know, if you perforate, that’s the end of it. You think you’re going to kill the patient.

[00:47:25] And after the sinus graft caused, you know, place in the first the first sinus graft, I realised that actually a patient survived. I could do this. And then you try to get another patient in so you don’t lose the skill. So it’s not only the case of, as you say, practice to do the first one after you’ve learned it. It’s also a case of then actually then reinforcing your skills and continuously reinforce skills, because only through that would you realise where you’re going to make the mistakes and the different types of anatomy or things that are not going to be as straightforward as you think they’re going to be. And how do you work around that? You know, you might get a septum coming to the sinus, you might have a perforation. How do you deal with that? Those are things when you have those sweaty moments when your heart’s racing and adrenaline’s kicking in and thinking, sure, what we’re doing now is that you learn and that’s where you then don’t make the mistake again, because you’ve done it once before.

[00:48:17] And it’s funny, right? You talk about like making mistakes and things like that. Right? And I remember I was on I was on the I was on a zoom call with Hassan McGwire the other day. Right. And he turned up 5 minutes late for the Zoom call. So whatever. Right. And he goes, Oh, crap, I’m sorry I’m so late. I’ve just had the fish and implant out of the sinus. And I said, What? And he goes, Yeah, it happens. Right. Well, there was the one guy he’d done it. Then I had to go in and I said, What were you doing? Like tilting the patient’s head this way and that when he goes literally that literally that. Right. But, but the way he spoke about it was a man who saw no issues with it. It was just a problem he needed to fix. He’s done it. And now he’s chatting to Prav about marketing, right? Literally minutes later.

[00:49:07] That’s exactly the case. And I’ve done it so many times where I’ve got the phone call and said, I need your help and I’ve seen the x rays come up on my phone and there’s this implant stuck in the sinus. Yeah. And I’m like, right, add it onto my list and I’ll wherever I am. Yeah. And I remember somebody saying that to me, it’s like, when can you come over? I was like, No, it doesn’t work that way. You bring a patient to me, I’m travelling halfway across London, stick onto my list and I’ll do it for you and that is it. And they go, Right, do you need anything else from me? Like, No, I don’t. Just bring the patient and you get to a point where you’re doing your normal list and at the end of it you open up the sinus and literally the search searching. You wash it all out and you pick it up and done and it’s done. And they’re having sleepless nights, you know, because this implant is stuck in the sinus. But I know I can fish it out. I’m so familiar with that sort of work now, and especially now that I’m the kind of people who always see it. When something happens, they give me a shell.

[00:50:02] And and literally 5 minutes ago, you were talking about doing your first procedure where you were scared of killing the patient. Right?

[00:50:10] Initially, you’re told you touch the scientist and that’s it. It’s all over to now exploring the sinus. I’ve got some great x rays and honestly, I wish I could show you. And I will do when I see you with the sign. The implant stuck up here and I’m trying to fish it out. Yeah, it becomes a normality, but I mean, that took a long time. So many, many sinuses later, you know.

[00:50:31] So just on that point, while we’re talking about mistakes and what can go wrong in implant dentistry or dentistry in general. Right. I’m a big believer in the whole black box thinking, you know, concept where if you’ve read the book, it’s the it’s it’s about the airline industry. Right. And how the black box in the airline industry is the keeper of all information, all good or bad and all the mistakes. Right. But the great thing about the airline industry, whether I’m flying for Emirates or BA or whoever it is. Right. If I make a mistake, I share that with the world, no matter how tiny it is. Well, the whole industry benefits from that mistake. So the airline industry becomes the safest method of travel because we have that open community where we share every. Be seen with the world, but in medicine. Right. We cover up our shit, right? We all the time. We hide our mistakes. Right? It doesn’t go into a central database or that black box where everyone gets to see every mistake that Riz has ever made. So if they can learn from it and they start their implant journey, they say, okay, this did this, this, this, this and this. So I should avoid this, this, this, and this, and this will give me a better head start. We don’t do that because we we don’t share. Right. So on that concept. Yeah. On that fall. And what’s your biggest clinical mistake that you could share with us, where you’ve where you’ve learned something and when? I mean, biggest clinical mistake. You know, some people say, oh, I chose the wrong patient I shouldn’t have treated. Right. That’s cool. I get that right. I’m talking about the no shit moment. Right.

[00:52:13] And I’ve had I’ve had a few. I’ve had a few. And you’re right, I have no issues sharing my mistakes. And even now, when I say people sometimes probably look at my saying and go without the shit and I agree, it probably is.

[00:52:23] Yeah. You know.

[00:52:24] When you do this and I think I do things to a very high quality, I’m very, you know, I obsess over certain things and that’s my personality. Like you said, I obsess over things. So when I finish surgery, I go home and I think about it and I always think to myself, I was okay. I could have done better. You know, I don’t go away a lot of the time satisfied. And I look at it and yeah, the x rays might look good, but I know there’s certain things that I could change and I’ve had it, I’ve had a few and I could be ranging from I remember the first time Teeth in an hour came along, which was the concept from Nobu by Kodak. I remember this private was Nobu by kid came up with this concept that you could literally do surgery and fit teeth in an hour. So it wasn’t even teeth in a day. Yeah. Now we’re going to teeth in 2007, I think it was it was launched in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Massive Show, all of this stuff. We came back. It was a guide you put into the mouth. You place your forehead for implants and you had a prefabricated bridge that was made that you fitted on at the same time. And I remember doing that two or three times and it was great patient came back after three months and I took the bridge off and all the implants were attached to the, to the bridge and you realise in the patient sitting in a chair they’re going is everything all right? And thinking, shit, you’re looking down, you’ve got all the implants attached to you.

[00:53:40] And it just made you realise that you’ve got to trust in your own hands and your own ability to raise flaps and see bone and see things and feel for that stability of the bone. Which made me realise and I know I just said just taking a complete different turn now and it’s much more predictable. But still the skill set, I think the skill set of raising the flap and doing traditional surgery, you have to master that before you go on to guide. And so, you know, guided surgery being the easiest way to do it without learning the surgical skills that you need and other ones are. Yeah, you talk about I should have chosen the right patient. It’s very difficult because as much as sometimes you say, well, a patient can be difficult and do you really want to treat that patient? And there are patients like that who come along, who shopped around, and all they’re doing is saying, right, okay, well, I don’t agree with so-and-so on, I want a cheaper price, then I’m not that person, so I don’t want to treat that patient. But at the same time, you know, certain things, especially the way things are right now, you’ve got to be very careful, not only the patients that you choose, but also you’ve got to be prepared that some of the patients are going to treat, some of them are going to come back and bite you regardless of how well you’ve done the surgery. So it might not necessarily be your surgical skills that are lacking. It might be something that’s happened that could could be could happen to any patient.

[00:54:59] And you get caught in the middle of it. But going back, I remember once when I was first initially doing sinus work and I remember placing an implant around a molar site and as I was putting the implant in, it was feeling really soft. There wasn’t much stability and I was near the sinus and I went back to get something to remove the implant and the patient took a really large kind of sniffed in and I look around and the implant had gone into the sinus and this is my own mistake and I thought, I’ve got efficient and there’s the first time I had to fish out my own implant. And I’ve created a window and I’m pouring whisper to me hours and hours trying to get I opened the window and I couldn’t find it and I thought, where’s it gone? Look for it for ages and finally managed to get the implant out. So now when I do it for everybody else, I know because that’s how I first learn how to do it on my own implant. And then it made me realise that I don’t want to make that mistake. Yes, I’m very, very careful with that. You know, I’ve had bleeds when the first time it’s happened, but the patients really bleed and then you realise actually I need a cauterising kit and you know you, you do these things almost reaction. Yes, things happen and you start getting the right equipment and start building up the surgical skill set because of the mistakes that you make.

[00:56:11] Going back to those mistakes, the bridge coming out with the implants or the first time you lose the implant in the sinus or whatever. Right. There’s a patient on the end of what’s the communication that happens with the pain? Right. First of all, you have that moment where you’re dripping in sweat. Right. And you think, oh, shit of it, or What have I got myself into this time, right? But once you’ve got over that, like, what do you do in that situation? What’s the communication with the patient, assuming you can communicate with them and they’re not away with the fairies at this point?

[00:56:42] Yeah, you can. I mean, when you communicate with the patient and you say to them, look, and you explain, I think in the beginning you try to make it out that, you know, it’s not as bad as it looks or you try to kind of dampen it down or you try to kind of skirt around the subject, say, well, the implant moved out to just take it out. I think the more experienced you get, the more honest you become with it. I personally and now I have a very frank conversation, whether it’s psychometrics or whether it’s anything else. And I say, look, these are the points that can happen or this is what’s happened and this is what I need to do to rectify it. You know, even now, out of the thousands of implants I place a year, not all the implants are going to integrate. And if they don’t, I think I’m very honest with the patient. This hasn’t worked for whatever reason it is. And I’m going to remove it and I’m going to then replace it or, you know, whether the patient’s going to end up with lots of bruising, whatever it’s going to be. I’m very honest and very frank with the patient now. And I tell them categorically, categorically about what kind of risks are involved with the procedure, and they have to be aware of it. I don’t think in the beginning you just want to do the work. And I think if the patient says yes, you try to not put the patient off. But I think the more experience you get, the more you have to realise that communication is key.

[00:57:55] And so ever been in a situation where the patient said to you, Right, I’m coming after you? Sure.

[00:58:00] Yeah, I’ve had that a few times in my career and I think anybody’s been in this career long enough. Will tell you they’ve been there. Yeah, and being honest with you, I remember the first time, 2015, which I had letters of complaint that literally was solved. Patient came in and we discussed it. We did the crown for free or whatever it may be. Everyone’s done it like that. But the first time somebody really went after me was 2015 when I was an all awful patient place, the four implants and we lost one of the digital implants. We put the patient on a temporary and replaced it. So the four implants were there, which happens. The patient had a temporary bridge which broke a few times and we made the patient a few temporary bridge. I think we made three bridges and we said to him, If you’re abroad, it’s a travel abroad alert. If anything happens, we can replace the bridge free of charge, or we go anywhere and we replace it for you. That’s why we’re giving you spares. Anyway, we finally gave his final prosthesis and I remember him saying to me, he stopped me in the corridor, said, If you give me £20,000, I won’t complain to the GBC. And I said to him, You haven’t even paid for the final bridge yet. I’ve made you a few temporaries and my implants are still in your mouth. What’s the problem? Yeah, he said. Right, and he wrote this letter of complaint to the GDC. Now this is 2015, so this is when they were really, really going after everybody. 27 charges were drawn up and 27 charges included. Things like I remember bearing in mind the patient had three or four mobile teeth in his mouth and the charges were not doing a decent ended assessment.

[00:59:34] And we’re talking the three or four mobile teeth carrier assessment. The CT scans are proving that there’s only like maybe a few millimetres of bone left around the apex of these teeth anyway. And bearing in mind patients are seen by the dentist before anyway, medical issues are done and I just reaffirm, go over everything on the day and say everything’s checked as previously seen by the dentist, which was only maybe a month before. Yeah, yeah. 27 charges. And then it goes to an interim orders committee, the IOC, and that is in between the main hearing and that decides whether you’re going to work from that point onwards or whether they deem unfit to work or dangerous. So had the IOC that was like find you carry on working and ironically one of the members on the panel he got up when he saw me, I walked off and had to replace him and I saw him in the corridor afterwards and he said, You don’t remember me, do you know you you taught me how to place implants and I’m he said, I don’t know why you’re here. And I said, I had no idea. Then a year later it went to call Six Days of Your Life every day defending. And the irony was not once did they question my surgical placement of implants. So the whole thing wasn’t based on my surgical skills. The patient was in no pain. Patients still had my implants walking around with my final bridge. But these stupid charges and by Friday they had to charge. From Friday afternoon, all charges were dropped.

[01:01:01] Oof! And the sleepless nights. Right? Unbelievable. Can you explain? I, I think in a particular month, if I don’t get a phone call from a client of mine to say they’ve received that letter right then it’s it’s odd that that doesn’t happen. Right. But I guess I’ve got the experience now to understand I can’t advise them or at least advise them on how to keep a cool head. Right, and not let that get to them. But at the moment, that happens for the first time and it becomes all consuming. Just just talk us through that like, you know, what the thoughts going through your mind. This is my career over with the last. No, absolutely.

[01:01:45] You don’t. Yeah, it’s. It hits you like a ton of bricks. It really does. Because you think, you know, genuinely. I don’t think. I think majority, I’d say. But you all don’t we’re not there to be malicious. We’re there to look after our patients. Shit can happen. And whether that shit could be a small or large, but it can happen and you genuinely are. I know that most of the time you genuinely are doing it for the right reasons and for the best interests of the patient. Yes, there are cases that rightly so, you know, has to be flagged up, but the majority of cases, no, they don’t. And I think they can be dealt with at a real basic level. But when that letter comes through, you think your world is falling apart because it’s a scary place to be trying to then stay focussed. That as much as your interpretation or whatever or tell you just you have to carry on with your normal life. We will deal with this. We will help you through it. You think to yourself, this is my career that could be potentially over. And people were asking me, my hearing was in November and people saying, Oh, I’ve got a couple of cases in December. And I didn’t want to say to him, I don’t know whether I’m going to be working, but I genuinely didn’t know whether I was going to be working.

[01:02:54] I was looking at my mortgage. I had to pay the kids that were young and I’m thinking, and then you question everything you do and you think, I am actually not a bad surgeon, but it makes you question everything you do. But I think the only way to get over it, the only way is to actually then think to yourself, there are many, many people who’ve been in this position and you have to believe in the fact that there will be a process that you have to go through, however, to be struck off. If you would have had to do something really, really bad things, restrictions might be put in or something might be done. However, your career is not over and you can get you can come back from this. And I think that’s the only way you have to keep yourself going. Yes, it’s going to be shit. Yes, you’re going to have sleepless nights, but nothing is worth, honestly, your mental health. And, you know, you’ve seen it as well as I have. We’ve lost loads of dentists through through things like this that give them the sleepless nights and they think, I can’t carry on, but tomorrow is another day. Things will get better.

[01:03:56] Yeah, for sure.

[01:03:57] We have to believe that.

[01:03:59] And it ain’t over till it’s over. I think that’s the that’s the sort of thing that I saw for the last sort of 15 years. I don’t know how many dentists I’ve spoke to about this situation, and I’ve yet to have worked. Probably works with one or two who sort of it’s terminal for them, right. In terms of end of career, right. Well, they were doing bad shit anyway. Right. I think I think the important thing here is that, you know. You know, and only you know within your heart of your heart and your deepest sense of self that whatever you did was with a positive intention, with the right intention, as long as you confidently can support that and sit comfortable with that.

[01:04:45] I think so. I agree with you.

[01:04:47] I think you’ll be okay.

[01:04:48] I think I agree with you. If you know that you haven’t done anything seriously wrong and shit happens. Yes, you’ve made a mistake somewhere along the line. Something’s happened. But if you know, it’s all in good intention for the patient. Chances are you’ll be alright. There might be something that might restrict you a little bit, but inevitably you’ll be back to work. So I think that’s what has to keep you. Keep going, keep you going. Otherwise, if you dwell on that too long that this is the end of your career, then I think serious outcomes for that.

[01:05:16] And I think the process, right, you can either go to hell and back during that process or you or you can try and be mentally strong about it and accept the fact that there is an outcome. Yeah, you kind of know that what your intentions are and the only thing that you can control is your response to that situation. That’s the only thing you’ve got control of because absolutely the guy sitting on the panel or what the patient’s going to say, you’ve got zero control over that, you know, but take us to risk. Take us to the point where you first when you started doing because we got you in we got you in as our somatic guy. Right. You know, it’s funny, right? Because we just give you the tough stuff, right? So we’ll never get rizin to do a like a closed. I throw it out and from across the room kind of case because we just don’t. Right. So we just you just do the really complex stuff for us, right? It’s not the case on the whole, are you? Do you spending most of your time doing complex implant dentistry or do you get a chance to do the quick wins every now and then as well?

[01:06:20] So now it’s nice to do every now and then have the quick surgeries where I can I can be home by 2:00 after the full arch. Yeah. Pretty mind. My first full arch was 15 years over 15 years ago. So did this for a long, long time. No more so than most people when they talk about wooden floors. I know I remember doing the concept, placing for implants and going, okay, how does this work? Figuring out as I went along. Yeah. And then concepts changed and I changed. I evolved because you see your own case and think I can do better. And then the complex stuff came along and I tell you where design psychometrics came in. And I remember having patients where if you know all fours, then that’s all you going to do. And every case becomes a limited all and four. So I’m going to try to squeeze this for implants in the bone as much as I can. But then you look back and you go, Well, I’m only giving them a tiny bridge. Is that really the best I can do for the patient? And I remember looking at psychometrics and I remember thinking and I remember being in Canada where there was some training going on there. And I remember doing some psychometric work there thinking, you know, this is phenomenal. The fact that we can use this and psychometrics have been around for a long time. It’s not a new concept. Branham was doing this for a long time, but it hasn’t been mainstream because it had a real negative connotation, because it was very politically placed. Things weren’t. It was just a case of giving something to the patient, not necessarily an aesthetically more the case that this is functional.

[01:07:48] You deal with it, you should be happy to have something. And it was a life changing surgery. So after getting to a point where I was thinking, well, actually I don’t have enough bone here. Now, remember looking at the zygote and the concept and then starting to place like Ms. tentatively under mentorship. And as I was in the Zygote and you think actually you look at the spread of the brain and you think this is getting this is what I want to do. More cases were coming along and I was finding as a visiting surgeon, bearing in mind it’s not like as if you’re sitting in a practice. And one of the things people say to me, all I want to do is like might it seems, almost becoming a trend now that they can take it off and say, I’ve got the big balls, I’ve done the surgery as I can. I think surgeon problem I have and I’m going to discourage people. The problem I have is if you’re in the practice and you’re seeing maybe one or two them a year, how skilled are you going to become at doing the like met again the complications involved with that? Is it worth doing? And I see that more and more because if you’re doing one or two honestly I’ve I’m done how many I do and I do them a lot. We could do hundreds and hundreds of these items. And every one you learn, you think to yourself, well, actually, I can improve the soft tissue, I can improve the bone, and that’s where the skills come in. And I genuinely think over the last ten or years of doing it, we’ve got it down to a predictable art form.

[01:09:11] I see it as, you know, every time you do a zygote. Right. There’s marginal gains, right. The tiny marginal gains that you’re making, right? Yeah. You know, I’m not I’m not a dentist. I’m not clinically trained in that way. Right. So, you know, for me to pass comment on this, but the one thing that’s really clear what you’ve just shared with us is this, that why even take the risk, right? If you’re going to do three cases a year, two cases a year, why take the risk? Right. Because you’re undertaking a procedure that you’ve probably got limited experiences. The chance, like if something goes wrong, are you going to know what to do? Right. The marginal gains that somebody like you was made over doing, God knows how many of these procedures that you you made, the mistakes you figured stuff out along the way. And I see that a lot. There’s this new wave of, you know, same day, guys, girls, whatever, right? And then the odd one saying, oh, I’m going to going to give Z goes to go now. Going to give XYZ goes that go. Right. It’s a bit like, you know, learning how to do bunny hops on your BMX and then say, Right, I’m going to move on to the next trick. Now, do you know what I mean? That’s how he feels and that’s how it sounds at the moment. But but we are dealing with patients who are having complex, invasive surgery, right?

[01:10:32] It is. It really is. You’ve got to know your anatomy. You’ve got to know the skill. Your your surgery has to be on point. And honestly, you know, and the reason why I say it is because I remember first as I goes and thinking, I have no idea what I’m doing in terms of landmarks. I was mentored and I was like, okay, opening up the sign is knowing where to drill, how deep to drill, where the angle, the position. Now I’m lucky I’m in that position where I can mentor. I can mentor people. And also people give me new implants to try me to test, see how they go. I’m developing my own way of doing things. We look at our soft tissues just to because I’ve seen after five years when things go wrong. Now, that’s the other thing. When people start doing this work and they go, Oh, it looks perfect, fine, you won’t know until five years. There’s not going to be a six month follow up. And I’ve you’ve seen it over people go on the on Facebook or instant they go six months review. Yeah and since anything will work in six months.

[01:11:30] Yeah. Or straight after placement all those went in parallel. Exactly. Give the guy a give it right.

[01:11:37] Yeah, exactly. Give it five years. That’s when you know. Yeah. And I think once you’ve seen your own cases come back and Yeah. And you know most of the cases work out well but then you get that failure. When you think soft tissue has receded or something’s happened, you think to yourself, What could I do to enhance that soft tissue? What can I do to do that? So now I think I’m lucky I’m in that position now where a lot of people do know what I kind of what skill set I have, that I offer this full arch treatment. And the thing is, the thing is I was one of the early ones to actually go to do visiting surgery. So I bring my technician, I bring my nurse as a practice. Only you don’t need to do anything to supply the patient in a CT scan. And I’ll do the rest. You do the rest so it makes everybody’s life easy. You don’t even have to give me a nurse. And the fact that we’re doing complex surgery means that for the for the clinic, it’s less headache. You know, relatively quick. We come in, we do the surgery, and our aftercare is good for the patient, and we know what to do if something happens. So a lot of my work now, if you’re asking me about majority of the complex work, I think I would say the vast majority of my work is complex, either reduce of all of those that have gone wrong. So one of the things that I do do is when young dentists or inexperienced dentists do, all of those things go wrong. They give me a call and we do that. And I do lots of diagnostic work now, more than simple cases.

[01:13:06] You know, the point you made there about why, why, why, why get in the zygote game, right? And unless, you know, look, you’re going to have loads of these lined up and that’s your that’s your ambition, that’s what you want to do as a career and then go for it. Right. You know, you know, my brother, you know, he places probably six, 700 implants a year. Right. I’ve asked him about zygote matrix. And let me tell you something, you know, Kailash is a big risk taker. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s got big. Cahoon is right. He takes risks, right?

[01:13:36] Yeah. Yeah.

[01:13:37] But let me tell you, I asked him, would you ever he said to you absolutely mad. He said, why would I ever dream of ripping the patient’s face open and placing enzymatic implants for those 2 to 3 cases a year? Yeah, that’s that’s coming from the biggest risk taker I know in dentistry. Right? I agree. So, look, if Cayley says that, then, then, then it must be. It must be. You know, I.

[01:14:03] Respect I respect people who do that, you see, because there are some great clinicians who are doing these full arch reconstructions all day long, like like leech, like other people. And I see some of a lot of the people I work with. People are doing all of this and they’re doing it to a really high level. And what I respect is that they turn around and say, Well, actually, can you come in and do this case for me and I’ll crack on and do what I do? I think that’s the most sensible way. It’s like things that I don’t do, like I don’t. This is my skill set. Doing full arches, doing implants. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. Yeah, I’ll do something else. I’m not going to keep it. I’m not good enough. Even if a family member of one comes to me and need something that I will refer to the best person I know. It’s not me, of course. Why would I want to do that? And same with when it comes to Zigomanis, when it comes to if people are not doing all on force. The other thing is, is that people have really changed. You know, if you think about years ago and I don’t know if I’m sounding old now, so you can tell me if I am. But you know what they say back in my day.

[01:15:04] But when I was alive.

[01:15:06] It would also like me. I used to be sitting there watching people I’d travel to anywhere in the country and watch people do surgery because for me, I was hungry for it. Yeah, right now, trying to get somebody to stay in the room while I’m teaching them how to do surgery free of charge.

[01:15:25] They’ve got better places to be, haven’t they? Yeah, I remember. I remember Kailash. For the whilst he was a vet. On his weekends he would go and shadow a guy called Timmy Allegretti, who was a oral surgeon or whatever, right back in the day in Blackpool. Right. So he would drive to Blackpool and he would just sit there and observe. He would nurse and he couldn’t get enough of it. Right. And then he travelled to Leicester and spent some time with some other dentist who was placed in implants or whatever or doing serac or whatever. Right. But I remember back in the day like he would spend every spare hour weekend, whatever, right, whatever opportunity presented itself to him. Not only did he accept it, but he bloody milked it for every moment that he could. Right. And so today, if that opportunity exists flipping grab it and make the most of it. Right.

[01:16:28] Yeah. I just, I don’t know, I don’t see it as much. You know, there are the odd exceptions, but and I don’t want to sound that kind of person to say, well, you know, it’s different now, but I genuinely think it is. I think, you know, and I think that’s a lot to do with the fact that people see the social media and say, well, actually, I want to be like that, but they want to do it very quickly. And also a lot of people that don’t like the idea of somebody else coming in and they don’t like the idea of like, you know, if you think about it, the investment sort of by investment. So if someone calls me into their practice and wants me to mentor them, but obviously I’ll pay for my they’ll pay for my fees. But I wouldn’t care if that was me learning from somebody who’s got so much experience, I’d be like, Come down and teach now. But they’d rather then not spend that money and do it themselves. But the result of that is they’re doing something that maybe I’ve gone through those mistakes over 20 years that I can help them avoid, but they would rather make those mistakes themselves. So really, why would you?

[01:17:25] Without question. Without question. And, you know, there’s something that I learned from Dan Sullivan, business coach many years ago. It’s not about the how. It’s about the who, the who, not the how. And so you can either figure out you have a problem that presents itself to you in business, in dentistry, clinically or whatever. Right? You can either sit there and try and figure out how how to do it or you can find out who can do this for me. Who can fix this problem? Who’s the best person? Right. And as I’ve matured as a person, right, a lot of my business decisions have revolved around the who and not the how. I have a broad understanding of the how, but I don’t need to know the details.

[01:18:10] What I see that’s working smarter. And I think it is about working smarter. Why would you want to put yourself through this? Try to figure out yourself and waste that time that you do have, rather than develop your own skills or help somebody who can help you get to that point. So, I don’t know. I do things. I do see things changing a lot. And I think a lot of my work is going to be now. A lot of rescue cases, redo cases. And I think that’s becoming more and more common now, which wasn’t there before.

[01:18:39] Yeah. And just on that other point that you made about, I do think we’re losing the art of graft. Right. That’s true. Out of graft, we don’t graft as hard as the bus drivers and the shopkeepers did back in the day, right? That’s for sure. Yeah. You know, back in the day, you know, my dad would be doing, you know, be out in the taxi at six in the morning, come home, have some grub, go back out, do a night shift, come back at 6:00 in the morning, rinse and repeat. And a seven day week was a seven day working week. It was no such thing as a weekend. Right. And that’s all we knew. We were seven days. Right. And do you know what? When I started out in my business, I put the hours in, I got my 10000 hours miles, whatever you want to call it. Right. And I still work incredibly hard, but don’t even scratch the surface when I look at my dad. Right. Don’t even scratch the surface. Right. And I’m seeing a new generation of either business owners or clinicians or dentists. And it may be it maybe it’s the social media thing.

[01:19:41] I don’t know. Right. Is that it paints a picture of the perfect life. Yeah, right. If I put something on Facebook, I ain’t going to put stuff up there. Like I’m having a bit of a shitty day today. Right at a bus stop with my missus this morning. Yeah, my son called me, and I’ll bet, you know, I, you know, I asked for rounds of toast and some pistachio biscuits and a cup of tea. Yeah, and I’m about to talk into my lunch now, right? I mean, there’s nothing inspirational about that at all, right? So I don’t post that on social media. And then what I do later on that afternoon, I go to the gym. Yeah. And then I take a picture from an angle or just take a picture of the equipment and say, well, working out, having an amazing life. Yeah. Or whatever. Right. And then take a picture of my car or whatever and you paste and paint this life, whatever that life is. Yeah. It took, it took several years to get there or whatever. Right. But you don’t, you don’t see all that blood, sweat and tears. You just see the outcome.

[01:20:41] You know? Absolutely. And I remember it’s sorry to cut you off, but I remember once I was lecturing and there’s this young chap, he put his hand up so he could ask you a question. I said, Yeah, it’s in front of an audience. He said, It’s okay for you, but I said, Sorry, can I stop you? I said, What’s okay for me and it’s okay for you because you made it now. I said, But you don’t see what I’ve done.

[01:21:01] No.

[01:21:01] And what I do now, I still wake up at 6:00 in the morning. I still come on 8:00 every day. I’m still grafting, I’m still doing all of that to said, which allows me to be here and discuss this with you. It’s not just it’s okay for you because you’ve made it. There’s a reason why these people who lecture or who are travelling around or people listen to, it’s because we put the hours in and we’ve done those 10,000 golden hours. Yeah, yeah.

[01:21:28] It is so true. And so I’m seeing this new generation of, let’s say, business owners or whatever. Right? They a lot of them are looking for that shortcut. Right. How can a how can a squeeze my 10000 hours into five? Right. How can I do this? How can it do that? You’re saying to me that sometimes there’s an opportunity to sit there and shadow is flipping. Heck, I’d be turning up before you get there. I turn up at the practice. I’ve spent some time talking to your nurse and learning a lot from her. She’s obviously done every surgery with you and I’d be hanging around, hanging out with you at lunchtime. I might even go and buy you lunch. So you don’t. So you can spend more time having lunch with me and talking to me, right? I think a bit smarter about it, right? Until the point you walk out that door, I’d be grasping on to every bit of knowledge, but I’ve seen the same. You know, we’ve had dentists come in and Shadow Suresh at changing faces and they turn up for like part of the surgery. And then the fit’s going to happen in the afternoon and they go at lunchtime, right? Oh, thanks for that, mate. Cheers. Nice. And I’ll see you next time. Exactly. Wow. Yeah. Is that it? What’s that about?

[01:22:33] Yeah, why? Why not stick around for the whole. You’ve got to learn the whole process. And you would be like like you said, I would be doing the same thing. I’d be there all day until the dentist walks out that door and I’ll be like, Thank you very much. And I’d be on their case all the time. But it’s not like that anymore. It really isn’t. Yeah. And I don’t know. And it’s a dangerous thing because everybody, their full arches are now very common and everybody’s getting into it, which is fine. But I just think, you know, I don’t know, we’re going to be seeing a lot more problems than happening later on. Yeah, we’ll be taking up a lot of issues quite possibly.

[01:23:09] Listen, mate, we’ve been talking for about an hour and a half and the time has flown.

[01:23:13] By and done even.

[01:23:16] But that leads me to ask my final question. So if you haven’t listened to this podcast, you won’t know what they are. Or if you have, you might prepare for them. But it’s better if you haven’t. It’s better if you haven’t. So a couple of questions. And one of them is. Imagine it’s your last day on the planet, risks, and you’re surrounded by your loved ones. And I think we spoke about it earlier where where you were saying to me before, before the podcast that, you know, when you when your time is up and when you think you’re going to go the you know. But you don’t say you don’t you don’t say explicitly, but you kind of let people know what’s happening. And, you know, we’ve both crossed paths, paths with people who have had their final moments, weeks, whatever. And there’ve been subliminal messages that we’ve kind of gone back and looked at and sort of thought, Is that what he or she was trying to tell me? Was that the message? But imagine it’s your last day on the planet and you can say whatever you want to your loved ones, right? Your kids. And you were to impart three pieces of life advice to them. Right. What would you say to them?

[01:24:32] I would say. First thing is, you have to make more time for yourself without. Apologising for. And I truly believe I think we hold back and we try to conform. We try not to be ourselves. And I think, you know, and I think as the older you get, the more you realise as you’re being yourself, as okay and who you are. Be comfortable in the skin you’re in and do things for yourself. Nothing is out says. To spend more time with people that you love. Who make who are always there for you. I’m not talking about friends that come and guys that people who are who are truly there for you. You have to take time out and make an effort. Enjoy yourself more. With the people that you love. Surround yourself with people who are positive and don’t regret not spending enough time with them afterwards. Which I think we all do. And I know that from my own personal experience that, you know, with my father, I wish I’d spent more time with him on the situation than I was. And I just think I wish I had done this and I wish it. So if you want to do something, do it. Enjoy yourself, spend more time with the people you love and just create more memories and be kind to each other. I think they’re my kind of. Really, as I’m getting to this stage now is what I truly believe.

[01:26:07] And so what would your. What your tombstone read risk was.

[01:26:17] How people remember me honestly as just being somebody who was. Kind to others. It was. It’s an interesting one. It’s difficult to actually put it into words, but I’d like people to remember me as being. Overall, just somebody who would bring some sort of happiness and joy and some hopefully some positivity, maybe some inspiration to to the younger ones, whether it’s through work or whether it’s through through life in general. You know, some positive inspiration to the mike might make their life a bit easier.

[01:26:57] Yeah, mostly. Notice that none of none of it had anything to do with dentistry, which is beautiful, is lovely because we do what we do, why we do it for the ones we love. Right? So some of us do anyway. And that’s certainly the message that came across from your dad in the early days when he was grafting for you to give you a better life. And then we do things for our children to give them a we call it a better life, whatever that means. Right? Whether it’s, you know, educating them, making them play an instrument and jump up and down and do gymnastics classes, private tuition, lifestyle, whatever it is. Right. We just want the best for our children and whether we’re doing the right thing or not. Only time will tell. Final question is fantastic. Dinner party. You can have three guests. Dead, dead or alive. Who would they be?

[01:27:51] Wow. And. It’s a tough one. I am. My great grandfather. Because I would like to know where I’ve come from. It’s one thing to I think you have to know your past to move forward. I would have. I know we talked about it, but I’d like to be my father.

[01:28:18] Yeah. Yeah.

[01:28:20] The things I said earlier, you know. Um. Third one. Now? I think it probably be. Maybe even Brannaman, to be honest with you.

[01:28:35] Yeah.

[01:28:36] Because to be honest with you, I know it sounds it’s not it’s not it sounds cliche, but it’s because of him. Yeah. That I’m doing what I do today. Today. Yeah. And I honestly I still have private if I showed you I’ve got a book signed by him. Yeah. I met him before he died. And that book still rings true today. And. Just his vision of what he’s what he was thinking then was well, well ahead of his time. And the fact that we go for certain objectives, original principles makes me think that I wouldn’t. It would be lovely to have a conversation with him around the dinner table. Because he is literally inspired me to do what I do and it made me carry on and made a career of my life through the work that he’s done.

[01:29:23] Beautiful. Brown about your old man and your great grandfather. Yeah. What would you be eating, man? It’d have to be up in style, wouldn’t it?

[01:29:33] Of course it would. My grandfather probably reach over and slap me if I wasn’t making this.

[01:29:37] He’s going to say. He’s definitely coming with a ball or something.

[01:29:40] Right out of the sand. Like if I say too many other food, he would slap me over the head with it.

[01:29:45] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely it is. Thank you for your time. It’s been an absolute pleasure. The time’s flown by. It’s been a great chair.

[01:29:53] Perhaps. Thank you so much. It’s always a pleasure to speak to you. Thank you so much.

[01:29:59] 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.

[01:30:15] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this file, 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.

[01:30:32] And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of.

[01:30:37] It, too.

[01:30:37] Thank you so, so, so.

[01:30:38] Much for listening. Thanks. And don’t forget our six star rating.


In a special solo show this week, show host Prav sits down to talk broadly about practice growth and the techniques to achieve it.

He discusses why patients spend up to a couple of years considering whether to go ahead with big-ticket treatments and what systems clinics can implement to nurture potential patients over the long term.

He also reveals why most practices aren’t ready to scale when they think they are and discusses some of the low-hanging fruit owners can grab before upping their marketing spend.



In This Episode

02.19 – Two questions

12.14 – Digital patient journeys and the buying cycle

25.14 – Follow-us and low-hanging fruit

36.47 – Marketing strategies

42.40 – Creating ambassadors

46.38 – Social media

50,42 – Team training

55.29 – Digital marketing


About Prav Solanki

Prav Solanki is an entrepreneur and dental marketer who has purchased, developed and exited a successful group of clinics. He is the director of The Fresh dental marketing and growth agency and founder of Leadflo—an advanced lead management system for dental practices.  

[00:00:00] Let’s say the nature of the inquiry is something like this. Hi, my name is Prav. I’ve been suffering with these loose dentures for the last 20 years. I’ve been wearing the same dentures for that period of time. I’m walking around with a stick identity glue. I can’t eat the foods I love. I’m embarrassed and I’m absolutely terrified of the dentist. But I know I need to do something about this. And I’ve just read about implants on your website. Can you help? And after I send that inquiry to your practice, how do you receive the inquiry and how do you respond to it? The answer is I get a massively varied right from the principal not having a Scooby-Doo. What happens next? Because they’ll say something like this, Oh, yeah, we give him a call and we follow up with them. But the depth of the answer is not much further than that. Okay, so they inquire at ten. When do you call them? 1005 11:00 that day. Do you leave it till the following day? During them in the evening? Do you try them in the morning? You try them at lunchtime. Do you send them a text message? What are the words that are in that text message that entices that patient to say, Yeah, this is the first choice for dental implants in my area. This this clinic has dealt with me in the right way. Do your team have the emotional intelligence to tap into the fact that perhaps a dental phobic hadn’t seen a dentist in over 20 years and would respond to that inquiry by saying, Dear Prof. Congratulations on taking the first step in 20 years to getting your smile back on track. We’re here to help you, and I would be absolutely delighted to speak to you about your dental implant journey and how we can get you eat in the foods you love, throwing away that denture glue and smiling with confidence. Once again.

[00:02:02] 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.

[00:02:19] Welcome to the dental latest podcast. Today’s solo episode with me and I thought we taught marketing rather than giving you my top ten marketing tips or Top ten communication tips, how to convert patients, you know, or whatever those topics might be a thought. What might be more valuable is to take you through the process. That we go through, all that I go through and potential clients go through when they inquire to engage my agency in helping grow their practice or business or help or engage in just me to help them. Right? So that me or me and my team, either through my agency, the fresh or through my personal website, Ofcom, the nature of the inquiry is often something like this. I want to carry on earning the same amount of money, but work less, spend more time with my children. It might be I want to do another 50 Invisalign cases a year so I can chase that apex target. It might be that they want to place another hundred or 200 implants a year, grow the bit of their practice, get their practice ready for sale and exit by leveraging and improving the profitability of it and get the structure of the business right or exit whatever they want, whatever it is they’re looking for. I pretty much do the same job as you that you would do as clinicians, and they assess the foundations. I assess the landscape and ask a bunch of questions that are not only thought provoking for my clients, but also help us get to the answer of, well, is that what they really want? Why do they want it? And How are we going to get there? So just as a patient would walk in your surgery and say, well, you know, they want the beautiful new smile, or they’ve got loose dentures and they want implants and whatnot.

[00:04:17] You’d need to carry out comprehensive mouth assessment. You’d need to look what’s going on under the bonnet. So you take x rays, you do scans and things like that, and then only after then you could put together a comprehensive treatment plan which would detail the work involved, what the potential resource would be on, what the risks would be. And that’s exactly what I do day to day. So a client comes to me and they say, I want to grow my business. And the questions that I come forward with are the ones that help my clients think about what it is they actually want, but also make them think, have they got the infrastructure? Have they got the ability and the bandwidth to do? The level of dentistry to convert the number of patients and have the team behind them to deliver what they’re asking me for. So it’s all good and welcome into me and saying, Hey, I need another new I need an extra 100 implant placements or need an extra 150 Invisalign cases, whatever it is.

[00:05:32] Have you got the space in your diary? Have you got the team to process the leads and the enquiries? Have you got the follow up systems in place, etc. etc.? Right. How much clinical time do you have? How much whitespace is in the diary? Are you willing to put more hours in? You know, there’s loads of questions that revolve around infrastructure. Is that infrastructure there? So if you’re sat there as a business owner or an associate and you thinking, I want to grow, I want to grow my business, just take a step back. Think about your infrastructure. And what I like to do is just draw a flow chart of my patient journey and start with just one patient a day. Imagine you have that one patient and you wanted to give them the perfect patient journey. What would that look like? And then multiply that up. Have you got the bandwidth? Have you got the nursing capabilities? Have you got the people, the concierges, or the people who lead ninjas, as I call them? Right. Who follow up those patients in terms of the inquiries, follow those treatment plans that don’t convert. Keep in touch with those patients during their journey. Is that infrastructure in place? So there’s two pretty powerful questions that will ask a client, depending on the timeframe that we’re thinking of and depending on their goals. I will ask this question in one or two ways. Say Prav. If we were to look back three years from now.

[00:07:04] What must have happened both personally and professionally, for you to be really happy with what you’ve achieved. And I’d ask the same question, but say in 12 months time. Right? Now, the key thing here is that by asking that question, you can open up a whole conversation that could go on for at least an hour, if not longer. What must have happened personally? What must have happened professionally? Because those two things go hand in hand, right? We’re not robots. So this things in your personal life that have to give these things in your professional life that have to happen, and where do you want that balance to sit? So it really gets you thinking about what does that look like in three years time? If I was only doing this, I’d consider myself an absolute failure, right? So this is what must have happened in three years time or 12 months time for to be a success. And in their own words, my clients will tell me what must have happened. So I implore you to do that. Get a piece of paper and just scratch down what needs to happen. In the next three years. Looking back. If me and you were having this conversation. For you to say I’m really happy with my success personally and professionally. Once we set the landscape with that, we start looking at the infrastructure of that client’s business. What’s the staff or the team makeup like? What’s the bandwidth for handling more inquiries? What’s the systems and processes in place right now for the way they handle their inquiries? What capacity is there to grow within the practice clinically? How much clinical work are you doing that’s similar to what you want to do? How much of your diary spend doing everyday check-ups where it could be spent doing higher volume work? How would you get rid of the check ups out of your diary? Because these patients have been with you for 510 years and they don’t want to let you go.

[00:09:17] What’s the process of letting that go to make more space in your diary? These conversations will weave in different directions, depending on who I’m speaking to, how long they’ve been a business owner. Are they a squat? Are they a, you know, a long established practice on what it is they want to achieve? The other question, which I think is probably one of the most important questions, if you answer it thoroughly, is if I was to inquire as a patient tomorrow and let’s say the nature of the inquiry is something like this. Hi, my name is Prav. I’ve been suffering with these loose dentures for the last 20 years. I’ve been wearing the same dentures for that period of time. I’m walking around with a stick of denture glue. I can’t eat the foods I love. I’m embarrassed and I’m absolutely terrified of the dentist. But I know I need to do something about this.

[00:10:20] And I’ve just read about implants on your website. Can you help? And after I send that inquiry to your practice, how do you receive the inquiry and how do you respond to it? The answers. I get a massively varied right from the principal not having a Scooby-Doo. What happens next? Because they’ll say something like this, Oh, yeah, we give him a call and we and we follow up with them. But the depth of the answer is not much further than that. Okay, so the Enquirer ten, when do you call them? 1005. 11:00 that day. Do you leave it till the following day to ring them in the evening? To try them in the morning? To try them at lunchtime? Did you send them a text message? Do you fact you try different methods of communication? How many times do you follow up with them? How many voicemails do you leave them? What language do you use in that voicemail that you leave when you send him a text message? What are the words that are in that text message that entices that patient to say, Yeah, this is the first choice for dental implants in my area. This this clinic has dealt with me in the right way. Do your team have the emotional intelligence to tap into the fact that Prav was a dental phobic, hadn’t seen a dentist in over 20 years. I would respond to that inquiry by saying, Dear Prof.

[00:11:50] Congratulations on taking the first step in 20 years to getting your smart back on track. We’re here to help you, and I would be absolutely delighted to speak to you about your dental implant journey and how we can get you eating the foods you love, throwing away that denture glue and smiling with confidence once again. And so the response and the conversation that sort of twists and turns from that is essentially what I would call my digital patient journey. And your digital patient journey should take into account that a lot of these patients who are spending, you know, north of let’s say north of three grand, right on any kind of dentistry. Many of them will have been making or will be in the process of making that decision over a long period of time. So when I asked that question, what happens next? And they say we call them and we text them and we email, and then I’ll say, What if it goes to voicemail? What if they don’t respond to the text? And what if they don’t respond to email or call them again? When? A week later. What if they don’t respond? And the answer is often that, well, if they’re interested, they’ll come back to us. The really good practices might follow up for a week, maybe two weeks, and then we’re dead in the water. I’m just going to digress for a moment and I want you to really think about.

[00:13:33] The last really expensive thing. You build a house, a car, a watch, a luxury item, something where perhaps you need to think hard about. Do you really deserve it? Can I really afford it? And do I need to take a loan out of finance, out to pay for it? Most of us are not impulse buyers under this situation. Right. When I ask clients this question that, you know, how long did it take before you decided to buy your, you know, your super car or this new home or even that, you know, the holiday of a lifetime? The answer to that question is often months, if not a couple of years. And I think we need to step into our patient shoes is when they’re inquiring about treatment that is considered in their mind to be expensive, to require finance, to require taking a loan. They’re not most of them are not going to make that decision in a week, in two weeks, in that time frame under which you’re chasing them. Okay. And so, you know, in my business, we’ve been building a CRM system for the last 15 years. And for those of you don’t know what CRM system is, is a piece of software that allows you to manage the digital patient journey and follow up patients over a period of time. And, you know, there’s all different shapes, sizes and flavours of CRM systems, right? I’ve created my own that revolves around my journey.

[00:15:19] But the important thing here is that what length of time is your follow up journey? Are you following these patients for two or three weeks or you follow it up these patients for two years? And I would implore every single one of you to think about all of those patients who you only followed up for, let’s say two weeks, three weeks, even four weeks, a probably hot to go ahead with treatment six, nine, 12, 18, 24 months later when they’ve actually made the jump and decided to go ahead with treatment. Out of the hundreds of thousands of inquiries that have made their way through our CRM system. We believe from the data that 3% of the inquiries that land today are what I consider to be fast lane buyers. So they’re ready to buy today and there’s nothing you can do to stop and buy into. They either walk in with their wallets wide open and say, I want you to fix my teeth. Another 15% of those buyers are going to buy or those inquiries are going to buy some time between today and the next 90 days. That could be in five days time. It could be in ten days time. It could be in 30, 60 or 85 days time. Right. But that block, a 15% of your potential inquiries are buying between now and the next 90 days. What’s really interesting is that cohort of patients who make up the vast majority of those patients who are going to go ahead by some point between today and the next 18 months.

[00:17:17] And that comprises over 50% of your audience. And the remainder go in and buy two plus years later and you might be sat there thinking, well, perhaps chat in a load of shit because, you know, we convert loads of our inquiries, right? And we get loads of patients coming through the door and we convert most of our inquiries. I’d like to challenge that. And it also like to like to think about the following if you ever had that patient that comes in for a consultation. Disappears into the woodwork 12 months, two years later, pops up out of nowhere and says, Let’s go ahead with treatment. Oh, that treatment plan that you sent me a year ago. Is it still valid? I’d like to go ahead. Circumstances change. They move from the slow lane to the fast lane. They transition from being a buyer who’s going to take 18 months to make a decision to a fast lane buyer, who’s going to go ahead with treatment today. And so the point I’m making here is that if you’re following up your patients in the right way, make sure you follow them up for 18 months to two years after they’ve made their initial inquiry. Have a robust strategy for doing that. Have a strategy that’s not going to piss them off and annoy them because you’re following them up too frequently and too often.

[00:18:46] But I have a strategy in place, so they know you’re here, and when they’re ready, they know what need to jump back on Facebook or Google. Because you’ve been in their inbox, you’ve been on the end of the phone and you’ve just been trying to help them during that period of time, nurturing them, sending them content that they find is helpful and useful during that journey. So what do we do in my practice? Well, ordinarily, when an inquiry comes through the door, we call them straight away. But the first thing we do for every single inquiry and it’s automated. So no one actually does this, it’s all completely automated by the CRM. This will send them a text message. They’re Prav. Thank you for inquiring about dental implants. When’s a good time to talk? Text messages. We keep them brief. We keep them micro conversational. Emails have a little bit more depth and volume to them, and all we’re looking for in response to that text message is a time. Tomorrow at 2 p.m., tomorrow at seven. Next Wednesday at four, I’m on holiday. Approximately 30% of those automated text messages that we send out to new inquiries get a response. If you get a response, you’re one step forward to getting closer to a consultation. If you get a response to an email, you’re one step closer to getting a patient in for a consultation. So we send a text message, we send the email.

[00:20:27] How do we prioritise who we get back to first? Well, naturally, those who’ve texted us and ask for a specific callback say we’ll call them back first. If you don’t respond to that text message, when someone says tomorrow at 2 p.m. and you try and call them at 2 p.m.. What do you think the likelihood of them answering this next to Slim because you’ve not confirmed that appointment and it seems like such an obvious thing. The text that patient back and say I’m going to call you tomorrow at 2:05. I’m really looking forward to speaking to you. Prof. So confirm that respond by text message. We’ll have emails going out to those patients, but imagine I didn’t get a text message response. What I’d then do is follow up with that patient and call them. 4 to 6 times. And that follow up with an ethic and if I keep going through to voicemail right I ring them on a different day of the week, the different time of the day when I’m following up. So I might ring them at 10:00 one day I ring them at lunchtime, the next day I ring them after hours, another day between the hours of five and eight. Another day I might follow them up on a Saturday morning. And why am I following them up on different days of the week and different times of the day? Because I’m trying to increase the probability of getting hold of that patient.

[00:21:55] And what am I trying to do when I get hold of that patient? It’s really simple. I’m trying to sell them something, and sales is simply earning the right to make a recommendation based on trust. Right. So all I’m going to do is speak to that patient, have a conversation with them, build some trust with them. Convince them that we’re the right clinic for them to at least come in and have a consultation, have a conversation with one of our clinicians, and then see if it’s the right clinic for them. And that is all I’m doing. When I get hold of that patient during that journey, I’m trying to increase the probability gain hold of him. I will send out spaced out emails to that patient during the period of time, trying to book them in, following up by sending them relevant before and after cases. Video Testimonials. I’ll take screenshots of Google reviews that patients have left me. And I’ll send them in an email if I get to the end of that period. And let’s say it’s been, I don’t know, 20 weeks, 25 weeks, something like that. And that patient has not responded to a text, an email, a phone call just dead in the water. Then it’s time you break out or we break out what’s called our Break-Up email and I’ll send the patient an email. So the general sentiment would be something like this.

[00:23:21] The subject line will say, Sorry, Prav. So we’ll have the patient’s name in and I’ll say, Sorry. You see that in your inbox? You’re going to think, What the heck is this? And then the body of the email will say something along the lines of Dear Prof. Over the last four or five months, I’ve tried to call you. I’ve tried to text you, and I’ve tried to email you several times. I was only trying to help you if you Dental inquiry. But for some reason, you never got back to me. I’m guessing. That of offended you? And for that, I’m sorry. But if there’s anything that I can do to improve my communication, please help me understand why I did wrong. 40% of non-responders now immediately respond to that Break-Up email. About half of them will tell you they’ve gone somewhere else. Or it’s not for them. That’s cool. At least we got closure on that. But about half of them come back and say, Hey, you know what, Prav. I’m ready to go ahead with treatment now or. It’s not me, it’s you. And I’m just not quite ready yet. But don’t worry. When I do decide to go ahead with treatment, you’ll be the first to know. So we’ve got a structure for that follow up process when a patient inquires. And then what about when you eventually book them in for a consultation? What communication goes out to your patient at that point.

[00:24:58] Just send him an email explaining what’s going to happen next. Or do you just leave it to chance and say, we’re looking forward to meeting you? Always take this back to the day that I went for my. Actually, I’ll come back to that in a second. Think about your own practice if it’s a private cosmetic practice or wherever your practices. And let’s assume this patient’s going to be coming in to your practice because their own dentist doesn’t do this implant procedure or whatever it is, and they haven’t stepped in a practice like yours before. They haven’t experienced what your experience is, so to speak, and they used to a different level of service. Do you think it would be helpful to explain to them what to expect next? Give them an idea of who they’re going to meet when they step into the practice. What’s going to happen? They’re going to fill out a medical history. They’re going to be greeted by this person. They’re going to be offered a drink. They’re going to be taken to a private waiting area where then they’re going to meet a smile expert or a TCL. Following that, they’re going to meet the dentist. We’re going to take some photographs. We’re going to look inside your mouth. We might take some X-rays, etc., etc.. This stuff that happens in a consultation or an assessment because you’re doing it day in, day out. It’s like child’s play. It happens all the time.

[00:26:22] But in their world, it’s completely foreign and it’s part of your customer service experience. I feel that we should be telling our patients exactly what’s going to happen next. And I was just going to go back. So I was going to circle on to this point earlier and I’ll mention it now. I remember when like the pandemic kicked in and we could first get our COVID tests. And I remember booking it on my phone. I was anxious at the time. I remember that. And we were you know, we were all fearful at different levels, at different times during the pandemic, for whatever reasons. Right. But I turned off my COVID test, and I’m told to rock up at this car park. And as a signal, it’s a bit like the car wash, right? The dudes waving me on drive to the line. It’s quite aggressive. And then he gives me the sign to win the window down and then he says, No back window. So we’re watching the window and he launches a COVID test through my back window. Now, at this point, I’ve got to leave my foot on the brake, reach to the back of my car, grab the COVID test, and then he’s pointing to go to another car park and slope. Some dude comes and bangs on my window and says, Do you know what to do? And I’m like, I ain’t got a clue. I was you know what? I was anxious at this point, right? So he says, Read the instructions.

[00:27:43] We all know how to do a COVID test now. But you remember the first one you did. You don’t know how far to stick your nose. You need to you’ve got to do it till it hurts, you know? Anyway, it was it was an experience. Had I known what was going to happen, I would have been more comfortable. Now, I know it’s not as terrifying as going for your first COVID test, but I like to draw that analogy because these patients don’t know what they’re about to experience. But as part of good customer experience, I think we should be informing our patients what is going to happen next. One of the best ways I’ve seen this done is actually to record video from the patient perspective of what is going to happen next and send that out in an email or potentially a WhatsApp or a text message. So the patient comes in for the consultation and you deliver that amazing consultation and you say to the patient, Right, here’s your treatment plan and I’m not going to know the ins and outs of all the questions and how deliver the perfect consultation in this podcast. Other than to say it was a great consultation, patient leaves with a treatment plan and says, I need to go away and think about it. What I want you to think about is how many open treatment plans are in your clinic right now.

[00:29:04] Do you know over the last 12 months, how many patients have you consulted with that didn’t go ahead with treatment? Out of those patients that didn’t go ahead with treatment, how many of you reached out to beyond a three month period, a three month wait, six months later, nine months later, 12 months later, you see when clients come to me and say, Hey, Prav, I’d like to grow my Invisalign book, I’d like to grow my implant book, I’d like to get more patients through the door. There’s often this low hanging fruit that is sat there waiting to be picked and me throw in more leads or more inquiries in at the top end is just going to rip these leaky, bookish right open. So it’s really important that our follow up process, even post consultation, is super robust up to two years. Again, these patients are going to take a long time. Some of these patients didn’t take a long time to make this decision. And you want to make sure that these patients are choosing you to go ahead with with that decision and convert. Right. I know in my clinic, probably one of the most emotionally intelligent human beings I know, Marc NORTHOVER, who’s my business partner in in a couple of my practices in the Midlands area, I’ve known him to pick up the phone himself, not the CO, not the lead ninja for him as the clinician to pick up the phone three, six, nine months later and go, Oh, Mr.

[00:30:37] Smith, it’s Mark. You came to see me six months ago. Nine months ago. How are you doing? Me? Just ringing to see how you getting on. Have you thought any more about it? See if there’s anything I can help you with. Would you like the opportunity to come in and see me again? And, you know, when he does those cheeky little calls in between patients at the end of his day, at the start of his day, and he’ll just eyeball. It’ll keep his eye on these patients and then go. He’ll go as he says his you know, in his own words, I’m going special ops now. I now sit there and eavesdrop on the conversations that Mark has with our patients. And that coming from a clinician and all we can say, okay, well, we don’t have the time or we don’t have the energy to do this. In fact, another client of mine who who I think about and he’s since sold his practice a long, long time ago, a guy called Anthony Coyne in the Liverpool area. He used to follow up his own patient inquiries and his conversion rate was phenomenal. Now, I am not for one second saying that as clinicians and dentists, I want you to turn into treatment coordinators. Right. But let me tell you, if you’ve got that high ticket patient, that special patient you’ve made a bond with and you think, you know what, I just need to pick up the phone to get them over the edge.

[00:32:02] There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And it will provide an additional layer of service and communication that they will be unlikely to be getting from somewhere else. So just think outside. Think outside the normal realms of what you would ordinarily do and perhaps make it a thing. And so you follow up your enquiry. Follow up journey is really, really important and this numerous ways you can do this, you can use spreadsheets, you can use a CRM system and there’s loads out there. But whatever it is that you’re using, make sure you’re nurturing these patients for months, make sure you use them. Multiple communication methods, text message, email, WhatsApp and you’re communicating with them along their preferences, right? The younger kids these days, they prefer to communicate on voice notes and perhaps that’s the way to communicate with some patients because they prefer that type of communication. So let’s imagine we’ve got all of our. How should I put it? Communication strategy in place. And there’s one more thing I’ll add to that. The point in the patient journey where that patient is taking the biggest risk and making the biggest decision is when they say yes, and that’s the moment we really should be celebrating. So no, at the end of treatment, some of you might give your patients flowers or a gift or take these selfies and whatnot, right? I think the moment for celebration is when these patients put their trust in you and they commit.

[00:33:51] And at that point, they say yes. Because as we all experience buyer’s remorse when we’ve bought something that we think perhaps do I really deserve that should have I spend that money on myself, right. For me, you know, I might walk into a walk into a store and buy myself, I don’t know, an expensive hoodie or t shirt or whatever. Right. I guess I step out there because it took me ages to decide which one I was going to get right. And as I step out there, I’m thinking to myself, I should have bought this. Do I deserve it? Should I go back and get a refund? Well, guess what? The stakes are much higher with high ticket dentistry. And I think at that moment when they say, yes, it’s time to celebrate, to give that patient a gift, at that point, celebrate and say a thank you is going to have much, much higher impact than at the end of treatment. Why advise my clinicians to do it? Take some time out and write in that patient personalised notes, a thank you card and in that thank you card, something along the lines of Dear Prof. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you today and thank you so much for putting your trust in me. I am really looking forward to the first time that you bite into an apple again.

[00:35:25] Prof. Well, the dentist. Prof. Right. It’s a prof. Right. But you get the idea. You fill out that card and you pop it in an envelope and it goes into the post and arrives at that patient’s house a day or two later. But what’s really important about the envelope that you send that card in? As it shouldn’t be a white envelope and it shouldn’t be a brown envelope. It should either be in a bright brown colour or what I like to call it is the golden envelope, a gold envelope. And as that lands along with their whites and browns, they’re going to spot that straight away. It’s the first thing they’re going to open. And when they open, that’s a heartfelt letter. Notes from their dentist saying, I’m just looking forward to helping you and thank you so much for putting your trust in me. What do you think will happen to the buyer’s remorse at that time disintegrates? What do you think the first thing that they will be saying to their patients, sorry, what do you think the first thing that they will be saying when they walk through the door? Going to be talking about that letter. They’re going to be talking about that now. And you’ll have built an additional depth of rapport and trust with that patient. So moving on to marketing strategy, now, you’ve got your follow up process in place.

[00:36:47] You know how you pay. You know how to give your patients that ready black Breck glow where they feel absolutely amazing. Right. What about your marketing strategy? So we say start with the lowest hanging fruit. How many consultations are you doing a day? How many of those consultations or you know, what should we say at Check-ups? How many check-ups do you do in a day? Right. How many check-ups do you speak to them about cosmetic dentistry or the state of their teeth, or how you could improve them once it that came from payment? My co-host on this podcast, he always tells me, Do you know what? If you want to double your whitening, just start taking the shade of every patient’s tooth that walks through the door and just say to them, This graph today, we’re going to do something new. We’re going to document and we’re going to take the shade of your teeth today. And here’s a shade guide. And the dentist issued a mark on this guide where you are. We’re doing this because we’ve realised that over time as we all age our teeth get darker and some patients want to do something about that. So let’s see where you are and how your teeth change over the next few years as you’re with us. And we’ll keep that on your record. So we take that through, we document it. We’ve already said if you want to do something about it, you can double your whitening results overnight.

[00:38:06] Yeah, double the amount of whitening you can do overnight. What about scanning every patient? You’ve probably heard it 100 times, right? If you’ve got an INTRAORAL scanner scan, every patient that walks through the door, you will definitely do more orthodontic treatment. But how practical is it? How many scanners have you got? Is that scanner free when someone else is getting scanned and there’s a there’s another patient who needs to get scanned. It’s not always practical, but we can set micro goals. What about in the morning huddle? Identify it every day. We’re going to scan three patients that we would not have otherwise scanned today and then change that to four or five. See how far you can stretch it, right. We’d have to start by scanning every patient, scan three patients a day, scan four patients a day, scan five patients a day. Identify which patients you’re going to scan in the huddle. Tell that patient when they come in for their assessment, Hey, we’ve just got this new scanner and we’ve decided that we’re scanning our special patients. Normally 150 quid for this scan, but you’re getting it completely free. So we’re going to scan your house, scan your mouth, and we’re going to document the position of your teeth, where they are and how they move over time. And look at this simulation. It shows how easy it could be if you ended up having orthodontic treatment. If that’s something you were interested in, you’ll do more orthodontic treatment.

[00:39:39] Tiff Qureshi spoke to me about how he generates his pipeline of a line bleach and bond patients, but is fortunate to be in a practice where he’s been seeing patients for probably around about two decades now. And I think what he does is he takes a photograph of every tooth using a intraoral camera, not just one of those basic cameras that you can wave around and take a photograph of each tooth. And then he talks to his patients about the concept of continual tooth movement and how the majority of patients in their adult lives, their teeth, are going to move over time. And as they move, their envelope of function will get constricted. And that will lead to chipping of their teeth. The edge cases patients. Believe it or not, these patients walk through the door for their consultations. Then they ask if what’s my envelope of function looking like today? Because he’s educated them in a really simple way. But as he’s done that over the last ten, 15 years, his orthodontic patients, his aligned leech and bomb patients have been generated not through Facebook ads, not through Google ads, but through just having structured conversations with patients. You know, and I can sit here and say, look, I’m in the business of running Google ads and Facebook ads for clients. Right? This is what we do. By advice. All of my clients get the basics done first.

[00:41:15] Squeeze everything you can out of what’s already in front of you, and then elevate it with the other bells and whistles that are open to you. Okay, so we’ve talked about patient conversations and what you can do to increase your mind, increase in ortho and those sort of things. Structure your conversations, what’s in your waiting room or your or your patient lounge? Have you got pictures on the wall of patient smiles that you’ve transformed? Have you got a photo album or a book? Have you got points of sales literature about orthodontic treatment? Do you make the most of it? Do you talk about it, or is it just stuck on the wall for your patients to ask? All of these things are talking points. So training your reception team, training your front of house, how to feel comfortable about engaging in conversations where these patients are going to feel sorry, engage in conversations where these patients are going to feel comfortable, and where your team are going to feel comfortable selling to these patients and feeling confident. Funnily enough, I was running a I was running a business course, the business mindset and mastery course at the Ice Academy a couple of months ago and was a couple about a month ago. Anyway, one of the questions that came up, but it wasn’t the topic of the course, one of the main topics. If somebody asked me, how do you ask for Google reviews? Right? What’s the structure and the strategy of that? That’s another marketing strategy.

[00:42:49] How would you create ambassadors? Because what’s the reason that patients choose you? Often they’ll go, they’ll Google you, they’ll look at your reviews. Sometimes your reviews find them, your reviews improve your Google local rankings, all of those things. So how do we increase the quality and the volume of Google reviews? Sure. This software out there that can automate this for you, right? I truly believe there isn’t anything that replaces the human touch and software can supplement that human touch, but actually genuinely asking makes all the difference. How should you ask? Well, I’d hate to ask in a way that was saying it’s all about the practice. So if I said to the patient, Hey, guess what? Our business grows because people like you leave reviews for us. So I’d like you to leave me a review so we can grow more. What’s in it for the patient? Absolutely nothing. So the way we twist that, twisted that round on that course that day is when I was asked and it was Neera who asked me, I believe I said, Well, look, you’ve got to look at it from the point of view of the patient. What’s in it for them to just slightly tweak in that conversation and say to that patient, look for us. So let’s say let’s look at the structure. You can only ask a patient for a review once there’s been a positive conversation.

[00:44:20] Right? Ask for some feedback. Wait for that moment in their journey and you’ve not got to wait until they’ve completed their smile makeover. You’ve not got to wait until the bond appointment. Right. There’s probably loads of patients in your practice who are having hygiene on a six monthly basis who’ve been coming in for their routine check-ups. They’re all game for leaving reviews as well. And so you identify who you’re going to ask for a review. You identify who’s going to ask them for review. We usually do that in the huddle, and then we task ourselves of asking, let’s say, half a dozen patients a day with the aim of getting one review a day. So we task ourselves with that. Let’s say you set yourself a goal, right? And the structure is this you have a positive conversation with the patient. How’s it going? Prav are happy with you. Smile on May. I’m over the moon. What’s the level of service bid? Oh, Kelly’s been excellent. She’s looked after me. You’ve all been great. Do you know what, Prav? I think your story and what you’ve got to say about your journey could inspire other nervous patients just like you were before you came to see us to take action and pluck up the courage to get their confidence back, just like you did. Would you feel comfortable writing your story or documenting your story in a Google review or a Facebook review? You see saying to that patient that they can do something for someone else, they can inspire someone else, they can help someone else to understand the service that we deliver or whatever it is.

[00:45:58] Not only does it help them make that decision and make it more comfortable for them, but it’s easier to ask, you know. And shortly after that, of course, I did. I got a text from near a WhatsApp from Nero Manian and she just said, You know what, prof? Our reviews have gone through the roof. And you know what? For the first time in whatever it is, two decades of being a practice owner, I now finally feel comfortable asking patients for reviews. So go ahead and do that. And if you do, go ahead and do that and it works for you. Message me and let me know. So we move on with our marketing strategy. We know we’ve covered all of the low hanging fruit. We’ve got a great communication strategy in place. We know what conversations to have with our patients. Are we creating content in-house? Right? What do I post on Facebook? What do I post on Instagram? What videos do I record? What photographs do I take right? Do I need to get a company in to record some professional video testimonials? What would say again? Set yourself some goals and start creating content. Try and find that person in your practice. For us, it’s usually a nurse or a treatment coordinator or reception team member, usually younger side of our age brackets of the people in our organisation who are a bit more social media savvy, comfortable posting on Instagram, creating real stories and all the rest of it.

[00:47:31] But we’ve got to produce the content and what would the content that I feel works best and resonates best with patients, obviously, before and after transformations, right? That works incredibly well. But just taking a document in the every day pulse of the practice selfies with patients where we’ve got clinician and patient together. Selfie in a dental environment works incredibly well and it works so well that we use these images for sponsored ad campaigns. Well, these images also attract other patients by themselves. The patients that we take the images of, post the images on their own feed, share the images we tag them in. And creating that content is really easy. What you do, you set yourself a goal and you say, I’m going to take one photograph every day and post it on Facebook and Instagram. Then we’re going to move on to two. Then we’re going to do a video a week and move on from that. But just one step at a time. And the one thing I learned from posting selfies with patients on social feeds is those selfies attract patients, more patients who are like those patients that you have taken selfies with and without putting too fine a point on it. In our practice in the Birmingham area, we had a lady who came into the practice, a Pakistani lady in traditional wear, a headscarf, silversmiths, you know, just just traditional wear.

[00:49:15] That’s the easiest way to describe it. And we took a selfie with her and we posted it and guess what? Her tribe came in and we started attracting more females like her in traditional dress. Why? Well, perhaps because they felt that one of my tribe go in there. One of my lot. I go in there, and from that they felt comfortable in that environment. And similarly, if I saw a short, fat, bald bloke having a selfie done in the practice, that might make me think. Do you know what that place welcomes? People like me. I’ll go in there to work the tree. Moral of the story as many selfies that are as diverse as possible in age, race, religion, breadth, depth, colour, skin tone. Beautiful. Not so beautiful, you name it. Blonde, brunette, whatever. Right. Make sure that your caption are wide, diverse range and you will attract that diverse range of patients as well when it comes to content creation. And then the next thing. Once we’ve covered all of that, we’ve ticked all the boxes. Communication. Internal Marketing’s on point. Patient communications on point. We’re squeezing our leads for 18 months, 24 months. We’ve got a great CRM system in place. My team have had great training. I’m going to digress again now. Probably one of the best ways in which you can learn about your business is by listening to the phone calls between patients and your front desk, or leads to both inbound and outbound calls.

[00:51:17] In modern day practices, we should be recording both ends, both incoming and outgoing calls. You sit down and pick 20 calls at random. As a business owner now, if you’re a business owner and you want to work on your business today, this is probably one of the most powerful things you can do in your business. Download. 20 phone calls. Ten inbound, ten outbound at random perhaps self select anything that’s over 60 seconds and listen to them. You will learn so much about your patients. You learn so much about your team, but you’ll also learn that you’ve got so much work to do because there isn’t the practice. In my 16 years of doing this, does it matter what communication courses they’ve been on, who’s school of training they’ve had, what TKO calls, they’ve been on every practice team that answers the phone has got room for improvement. You listen to those 20 calls and you put a plan together for your team. In my practice, when we grew, before we exited, right, we grew the valuation of the business tenfold. And I would say one of the contributing factors to that. Was every single month we would download those calls. We would play them back to the whole team. We would coach the team and we’d rinse and repeat every month.

[00:52:54] Eventually they started coaching each other and we became amazing on the phone, and that’s what helps us convert more and more and more. What did we do? We tweaked the conversation. Yeah. Don’t call Mark, a clinical dental technician. Nobody knows what clinical dental technician is. Let’s call him a denture expert who’s been handcrafting dentures for the last 30 years. And what’s great about the work that Mark does is he makes teeth look unbelievably natural and fits perfectly. And so we tweet the conversation, we tweet the narrative as we got better and better and better. And what you find is that over time, if you listen to your calls, make that habit, make that part of your business process when working on the business is that you just elevate the nature of your conversations, improve your conversion rates, and grow your business massively just through improving your communication. Going back to the last part of when a client comes to me and says, okay, so can you help me with Google and Facebook? Can you help me grow my business? Okay. So why is it that the majority of clients or potential clients that we consult with, you know, we kind of what we say to them is if your sales process isn’t up to scratch, we won’t work with you because we know that the results of what we deliver is highly reliant on what your team does and know. I know that and I can say that as both an agency owner and a practice practice owner, I know what happens on both sides of the fence and so often we send potential clients off to do their homework, find a lead manager to manage the inquiries.

[00:54:45] They don’t have the infrastructure in place. They don’t have the team in place to handle inquiries. So they come to me looking for inquiries. I ask them what they’re going to do with the inquiries, and they sit their rabbits in the headlight and say, I don’t know, pref, go and hire that person. First piece of homework. Whether you engage yours or engage someone else, go and hire that person. So you foundations get your infrastructure right in a couple of months time. Come knocking on our door again and let’s see if we can work together. It’s really, really important. And the vast majority of people we speak to, we can’t work with simply because their infrastructure is not in place. We want to be we want to make sure everything that we deliver is powered by a team that can deliver on the other side. So we get to the external marketing piece, right? That’s the easy bit. Okay. Because your external marketing strategy revolves around a few different things, increasing your reach locally through search engine optimisation, Google reviews and that sort of thing, increasing your visibility in the Google local part, local search terms when someone’s looking for a dentist near me or, you know, dental implants in whatever town or teeth whitening or invisalign or teeth straightening and whatever.

[00:56:01] And then you’ve got on your actual website, there’s quite a lot that you can do without actually spending any money in driving more traffic to it. So before you start driving paid traffic to your website. Have a look at this. Things that you can do to increase the conversion rate. Right. Perhaps you can install a chat bot on your website. Right. You know, and have that chat bot built in a way that supports your business. You know, whether it’s whether it filters patients out based on price first or whether it asks relevant questions along the way. Having a structured chat bot on your website can make can make a big difference to conversion rates. What the Call to Action Sale on your website? Is your phone number clickable? What’s the mobile experience like? The vast majority. The vast majority of patients going on your website will be on a mobile test out on your phone, click the buttons, navigate around, go on your Invisalign page. What do unique selling points say about you? If you just got a page that’s quite generic about Invisalign on your website, or does it sing about you? Does it contain before and afters your best before and after? So has it got video testimonials on their Google reviews from patients who’ve had that treatment? They’ve left them for you. Just critically analyse your real estate, your website, and see if you can squeeze a bit more out of it.

[00:57:27] Then we go to pay traffic to main sources of paid traffic that we utilise today. One of them is Google ads and another one is I think I should be calling it better ads, but we know it better as Facebook ads and that covers obviously Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. In terms of ad platforms. Right, or placements. And on those platforms, the simplicity behind them is this you produce an advert or a piece of creative that talks to your audience who is suffering from some sort of pain. And either your copy or your imagery screams out to them and says, We can fix your pain. You then exchange. That advert that patient exchanges their contact details with you through a landing page or a contact form on Facebook or Google or whatever that lands in your CRM system or your inbox. And the whole follow up journey kicks in where you follow in that patient for, say, up to two years. Right. And there may be the early discovery phase at that point. Key differences between Facebook and Google ads or meta and Google ads. Google ads have a much, much higher intent. Right. So if I jump on Google and I’m looking for, you know, all on for dentist in Manchester, I know for a fact what I want the web page that comes up attracts me and I’ve got a high level of intent.

[00:59:05] If I’m on Facebook and an advert jumps out to me, says we do same day teeth but free consultation. The intent is totally different. You’ve just jumped out at me, right? It’s like reading a newspaper and seeing an advert. I didn’t pick the newspaper up to read the adverts. I picked the newspaper to read the news but jump on Facebook to see what my mates are up to or other nosy on the stories. However, I’m not going on. They’re looking for ads while I do because I’m a marketeer. But you get the point. That’s not our intent. And so the quality of enquiries when we’re looking at Facebook versus Google a like night and day, in my experience, well, there’s certain things that you can do to tweak that quality right by the message, by the copy, by being more discerning. So, you know, a lot of people talk about getting a high volume of low quality leads from Facebook. There’s things that you can say in the copy that deters impatience. Put the price in there. Some people put the price in there because they want to be known as the cheapest provider in the area. Your copy may say something along the lines of, Do you know what? Discerning patients come to our clinic because they’re looking for somebody with over 20 years experience, somebody who doesn’t cut corners, doesn’t compromise on technology, and wants to deliver world class results for their patients.

[01:00:34] And if you’re interested, we’ve got a few consultations available where you can come in and meet our dentist and away you go and you may offer a complimentary CR. It may be a paid consultation, right? The people who are on Facebook are the same as the people who are on Google except to one group. They’re looking for you and the other group you’re looking for that. And those are the two key differences between them. There’s loads of people out there who run successful Google and Facebook ads for dental companies. Right. And there’s loads of really, really reputable people out there who do it. But my advice to my closing thoughts are this, that before you even decide to dip your toe in the water and start spraying your money into the Mark Zuckerberg Fund and fuelling Facebook or funding Google, start with the low hanging fruit. Get your foundations in place, get your systems and protocols in place. Invest in a good CRM system whereby you can follow up your patients for 18 months. Two years. This easy for you team to follow up with. Make sure your team are well trained. Listen to the phone calls. Download those 20 calls today. Listen to them. I promise you learn so much about your business and if you’ve got any value out there today, share this episode with someone who you think might get value out of it today as well. Thank you.

[01:02:12] 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.

[01:02:28] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this file, 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.

[01:02:43] 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.

[01:02:53] Thanks. And don’t forget our six star rating.


Since landing in London via Madrid and New York, Sandra Garcia Martin has made a name as one of cosmetic dentistry’s leading lights.

Sandra chats with Prav about the challenges of learning a new language to study dentistry, training with some of dentistry’s greatest in New York and why engaging with good causes should be on the curriculum for every clinician.



In This Episode

02.05 – Technics and artistry

11.50 – Cosmetics, composites and kudos

18.48 – Deciding on dentistry

26.34 – New York

32.51 – London

42.37 – Promotion and pricing

49.40 – Charity work

01.05.12 – Happiness and holidays

01.13.34 – Launching a course

01.22.55 – Women in dentistry

01.28.34 – Connecting with Sandra

01.30.34 – Blackbox thinking

01.36.12 – Fantasy dinner party

01.39.35 – Last days and legacy


About Sandra Garcia Martin

Sandra Garcia Martin graduated from Barcelona University in 2007. She completed master’s degrees in periodontology and dental implants and later in aesthetic dentistry at New York University. She has also trained with Larry Rosenthal and Mike Apa.

Sandra now practices in London, where she recently launched the Veneer School cosmetic dentistry course and online community.   

[00:00:00] SIf I could ask for a wish or a Dental wish, I would say every single university obliged. You know, if you think about how many dental schools we have in the world, and if every single one did, like, you know, one of the they would be called a charity. But everyone is obliged to every single year and divide it into the months that we have to do charity. It would be a different experience because we would be educating people. We wouldn’t just be treating. It’s all about prevention.

[00:00:36] 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.

[00:00:54] It gives me great pleasure to welcome Sandra Garcia martin onto the podcast. Sandra is an old friend of mine, one of London’s most prominent cosmetic dentists. Maybe known better to some as Sandra Big Smile, which she goes by on her social media where you can pick up and see her beautiful natural smile makeovers that she delivers. Sandra’s embraced fully. Dsd become a teacher on that, I think, and trained in Barcelona and did post-grad studies in New York, both formally in an MSC sort of setting and also with the famous Dr. APA and Rosenthal as well as that. What’s really lovely to see with Sandra is a natural way that she she sort of glides across the social scene of London into charity work. You know, a lovely to see both sides of that coin and one of for me, one of the most successful humans I know. Lovely to have you, Sandra.

[00:01:56] How much how much do I pay for that intro? The pleasure’s all mine. The pleasure’s all mine.

[00:02:05] Very nice to have you. Sandra, we know. Sandra, we tend to start these things with with where you’re born and all of that. But I want to sort of just start it with because I know you’re strong on the cosmetic dentistry, and I want to just go straight into something that I’m interested in as far as cosmetic dentistry is concerned, is the relevance of how important is the clinician, how important is the technician and you know, which bits of that can be taught?

[00:02:34] That’s a great question. I think that’s the dentist can be taught. Can better. Absolutely. And so can the technician. But the technician is an artist and I think is very difficult to develop. You either have it or you don’t. It’s like a music singer, right? You have the voice. You can improve your voice. But these incredible voices, you either have them or you don’t. Whereas I think as dentists, we have so many different ways of improving and the hand is a muscle at the end of the day, you know. But I think that’s the main difference when it comes to technician is all art from my point of view.

[00:03:15] But you know, you see some of the work of, I don’t know, Dr. Duval or someone.

[00:03:20] Yes. And it’s.

[00:03:21] So stunning. It’s so stunning. Now, I know it’s a silly question because it’s a combination of all things. It’s like someone saying to me, what’s more important in whitening the gel or the tray? Well, both of them are very important. So it’s not it’s not it’s a silly question in that sense. But but, you know, to what extent can I get the basic skills and then find out who Dr. Duval’s technician is and get results like him? You know what I mean?

[00:03:48] It’s I think it’s as a technician or as him as a clinician.

[00:03:51] He is a dentist, let’s say. I want to I want to produce work like him.

[00:03:55] I think you need if I.

[00:03:56] Had access to his technical team, would that be it or has he is he an artist who has an eye and he can’t be.

[00:04:02] Taught? Obviously, he has an eye as well. And it’s all you know, it’s teamwork, right? It’s all. I’ve spoken with many successful dentists and I say how and something that they can create that in their technicians. But I think it’s a teamwork and them understanding what you want because sometimes you can have it in your brain, but it’s so difficult to to try and create it. Right. But I think it’s possible 100%. You need the basic skills, you need the basic skills. And not everyone has soft hands and not everyone. I think that the big problem in the cosmetic world is that over prepping, I’m totally convinced this is this is a big issue.

[00:04:42] It makes life a lot easier, doesn’t it, when you have a prep to make beautiful teeth.

[00:04:48] Also can make things much more complicated with root can.

[00:04:51] Later on.

[00:04:53] Later on, as we know, every time you remove one of the restorations, you you touch again the teeth underneath. So if you have to and the less tooth structure there is, the worse, right? So so yeah, there’s no I think this you can’t overprepare nowadays. You have every single tool to plan things ahead. So if you do, it’s because clearly you don’t really care.

[00:05:19] I was I was. Well, if you if you’ve got the skills that is I was talking to Neil Gerard a couple of weeks ago and he was a technician and now he’s a dentist. And I was saying to him that, you know, as a dentist, you always want to cut less, particularly with with with porcelain. Let’s say you want to stay in enamel because you know the bone strength of enamel so much more. But as a technician, you always want your dentist to cut more, to make space for all the beautiful things you’re going to do, to make clearer margins and all that. And, you know, is there a sweet spot when you when you are a technician and you’re a dentist?

[00:05:54] Is this is.

[00:05:55] It you know, what? It where is that? And he said it’s very hard to explain it very hard.

[00:06:01] But let me tell you, like probably some of the best dentists I’ve met were technicians.

[00:06:07] Yeah. Christian, right?

[00:06:09] Yeah. Yeah. And then back home where I’m from, from Tenerife, my, my, my dentist, he was a family dentist is very successful and he’s incredibly talented. And he was he started as a technician, but he had the vision. It was for him, it was so much easier because, you know, sometimes we have doubts and we’re like, oh, they’ll figure it out. And he’s like, No, he’s like, The work will come back and it will not look like you wanted to look, you know? So maybe we should go back.

[00:06:36] And I wonder if there’s any dentists who who became dentists first and then became technician second. It’d be a very interesting person, that.

[00:06:43] Person I want to get to one maybe one day when we’re done with with interactive beings in the practice. I just want to talk to you.

[00:06:55] One other question, which I was talking to, actually, same to Neal about, is, you know, DSD. You’ve embraced DSD completely.

[00:07:01] Yes.

[00:07:02] How do you see DSD as a diagnostic thing or as a marketing thing?

[00:07:08] A bit of both. A bit of both. I think when it comes to incorporating implants in a small makeover, it’s definitely diagnostic. Definitely. When is to plan veneers? It’s more marketing, right? Because you’re doing your mock ups, you’re doing everything, but you don’t really need to go and plan it that way. You know, like the technician can do wax up and you can and you can you don’t have to do it the DSC way. It’s a method. It’s like a.

[00:07:36] Spell out the implant thing to be because you want to know where the bone is and all that.

[00:07:40] Exactly. Exactly. And the gums that you want to know how, how much grafting you’re going to have to do where because they were DSD, you work around a CT scan so you know exactly what you’re working with. Right.

[00:07:54] So you can you can layer the CT scan into the facial.

[00:07:57] Exactly.

[00:07:58] Is that right? I didn’t even know that.

[00:07:59] Laser implants. Amazing. Like like that. They will end up being with a smile that you’ve designed from the beginning. It’s amazing. That is amazing. Again, I don’t do implants, but the cases that I’ve seen, they take forever. That’s also true. But the results are outstanding. Yeah.

[00:08:17] And then this new thing that’s come a long way, they put the jig, the prep jig on the tooth. What’s that called? Sure, sure. Smile. No.

[00:08:25] What they jig on the tooth. Yes. And then what’s that called. The company will come to me. Will come to me. The thing is that I find that. That that’s for people that. Don’t they’re not comfortable with prepping, you know, because it is a guide so that you don’t over prep. So for people that are not comfortable, definitely. Yes. You know, but it’s the same as using a guide. The preparation guide is the same. It’s just silicone prep. It will not allow you to go any further. Right. So it’s yeah, it’s a way of prepping and so.

[00:09:01] Have you tried it? No.

[00:09:03] Yes, I’ve tried it, but that’s why it was really uncomfortable for me. It was like, you know, I’m faster prepping my way with with the guides and then with with the reduction handpiece that to control the margins and to control the final.

[00:09:19] It’s a funny thing.

[00:09:19] Is it’s a.

[00:09:20] Funny thing where you’re at the cutting edge of something and you know, you’ve been doing something really super successfully one way. And then a new way comes along. And maybe the new way hasn’t quite. It’s not quite there like scanning, for instance. And you think, well, I’ve been doing something perfectly up to now and that leap and and when to leap you know, because you were quite early on the DSD thing for instance. Right.

[00:09:49] Very early. I met Christian. I mean, he was working for the Salama Brothers. So, so. And it was all an idea. And I remember his presentation at the OECD in which was in was it Boston? Can’t remember. I think it was Boston. And I was like fascinated with this guy. And he was a technician and he started with his video camera recording things and talking a little bit about the whole concept. This was like when no one was really paying attention and then to see everything that he’s developed. You know, when we used to go to the courses and used to paint the things and with the teeth and and to see what he’s created now, it’s like, wow, you know, made.

[00:10:33] Me so happy. If you could tell me that he wasn’t as polished as a speaker back then.

[00:10:38] It probably his English wasn’t because.

[00:10:41] He’s so polished.

[00:10:42] Now, but it was very good he would engage with people straight away. I remember that that that main room was packed and and it was Morris presenting and then he came after. And of course it was packed because of the Salomon Brothers, but everyone stayed and. Yeah, and we were all fascinated, you know, so, so yeah. That what you were saying about, about trying new things. Yeah, I used to. I haven’t played for a long time. Every now and then I play golf, but I used to play with my, with my dad when I was little. And I remember once the teacher telling me, because I would say, no, I want to do it this way. And he said, you know, Tiger Woods when he was number one in the world. Right. That he was ready, number one. And his coach made him change the grip completely because he was getting I can’t remember what it was. It was some extra something. Yeah, something. And he had to start from zero and I was like, but why would he do that when he’s number one? And he said, Because he wants to continue being number one. And he went back to, you know, like losing everything. And because the grip had changed and I thought, wow, yeah, it’s one of those things.

[00:11:50] Tell me, tell me about when a patient comes to you, are they how often is it that they’ve looked into the work and thereafter the kind of smile that you make? Because we we hear it a lot nowadays with people wanting big teeth. I think it’s more in the in the north than than in the south. But, you know, the the trends for big teeth without embraces and I don’t see you putting any of those out. Now, have you ever had a patient that’s asked for that and, you know, you’ve talked them out of it? Is that how you do it?

[00:12:20] Well, I don’t talk them out of that. I just send them somewhere else. I don’t talk of the day. I think that people, you know, a patient wants something they might give in. And if I give something else, they’re still not going to be happy. So I think it’s important to to have that conversation where you go, okay, listen, this is not my style, like the really white teeth. I remember years ago I had this thing with the production company of All the Way Essex or one of these programmes with Chelsea. I don’t I don’t watch TV. Everyone that knows me knows I don’t watch TV, so I never watch these programmes. But it was one of these programmes and this girl came and she, she’s like, No, but I want this colour. And I said, it’s going to look terrible. I mean, you know, you’re going to walk out and you’ll smile and everyone will stare you not because you’re beautiful that you are, but because of the smile. And I was having this conversation and then it was like talking to a wall. I said, You know what? I said, experience gives you that in years, right? Because part of me was like, okay, let me do it. But then I said, No, it’s against what I believe is right. And when she goes somewhere else and they say, Who did this for you? They say, my name. I’ll be horrified. So I said, I’m so sorry. I’m going to refer you to another colleague. I will not do this. So so I think. Yeah.

[00:13:35] So who did you refer to? I don’t mean give me the name of the dentist, but like what? How did you decide who to refer to for that?

[00:13:42] Well, she had a list of people.

[00:13:44] Referred to someone up north.

[00:13:48] You would be surprised. You would be surprised. But they did it. They did it because that’s where where.

[00:13:53] Sandra, you know, you couldn’t survive up north with that attitude, though. You could you couldn’t. Listen, I’ve got I’ve got I’ve got direct experience of Liverpool and Manchester because, you know, enlightened cells up there.

[00:14:05] Yeah, of course.

[00:14:05] More than it sells down here and.

[00:14:08] They know normal.

[00:14:09] Well our biggest users were always from the north west. Never, never from London. And also we do the composites now and the super bright composite that one sells up up there. And when you go up there and you meet the people, that that question of people will be looking at your teeth. They want that. That’s what they want. They want people to know they’ve done something.

[00:14:30] Wow.

[00:14:31] It’s part of the. That’s what I’m saying. It’s part of the culture. Of course, we have we have the same types of people down here as well. And by the way, the US, I’ve noticed it’s kind of like a kudos thing. I’ve had my teeth done and in a way want people to know that they’ve had their teeth done. But that’s definitely not the work you’re showing at all. It’s it’s beautifully subtle.

[00:14:56] In aesthetic respect, comfortable with that. Right. So I think that’s yeah, that’s and I always get asked Do you have an ear? See you. And I said, no, I have, you know, I have some bond in the tooth that I that I broke but I don’t have I think yeah. Natural is, is the best way forward. This is what I believe. By the way, how good was that course that you guys do the mini or do you still do it?

[00:15:21] Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re busy.

[00:15:22] With it. I love it. I love it. I love that.

[00:15:25] It’s a problem. It’s a problem, though, that composite composite is becoming an issue now because you see it everywhere, pasted on everyone’s teeth. And that same question. Right, the same question as we’re saying right now with composites, even a bigger issue, because, you know, you haven’t got the technicians artistic time to make things look more natural. But at the same time, this is what I’m saying to you about about certain certain cultures when I think, you know, the North and the south or wherever certain people want super, super white. And then and then we come to this question of how much of it is is the dentists sort of reputation on the line? And how much of it is it that we do what we’re told as dentists, we give the patient what they want? You know, I think it’s an important debate.

[00:16:11] Yeah. I think if you if you want to become rich, being a dentist, probably you have to you have to say yes to every single case. But for me, it’s about sleeping at night. You know, with my conscious.

[00:16:27] You’re talking about an aesthetic conscience. It’s a weird thing. It’s a weird thing because, you know, the prep could be the exact same prep.

[00:16:33] Yeah, totally. Totally. And the thing with composites, I think there’s a lack of information as well. People think that they’re going to last forever. And like you were, you were saying at your course. I remember you said, you know, you have to put the fees up because that person will break it, it will stain. And then they expect, you know, to be seen for free. So where do you draw the line?

[00:16:57] If we spend a lot of the course talking talking about how you talk people out of out of composites as well, you know, that’s a there is compound. With composite more than they do with porcelain. You know, when you’ve put a small, you know better than me, right? If you put a small little step in a composite, that’s definitely going to stay. There’s no doubt about it. Right.

[00:17:21] That’s the thing. That’s, again, down to technique, right? Yeah. And yeah, like you need to and you need to know who can do it better than you. And if it’s like a case where they want to do the whole smile and, you know, and then you’re not comfortable, just don’t do it because it will look great. Three months and then it will start. Like you say, if you leave those little edges, it will start staining.

[00:17:43] And and what about you? Are you ideological about pressed or telepathic?

[00:17:50] It depends on the case. Totally depends on the case of the occlusion. Yeah, 100%. Then then obviously talking with the technician, you know what they say? Because for example, sometimes it will be a case that I say, okay, let’s just sue everything else, and the technician will come along and say, Well, why don’t we do this one and here and this one? So it really depends. It really depends on the case. So I use a lot of zirconia as well.

[00:18:16] For composite?

[00:18:17] No, not for veneers.

[00:18:18] For veneers, sorry.

[00:18:19] But not for veneers, but for crowns.

[00:18:23] Let’s get back to some of your back story. So you grew up in the Canary Islands?

[00:18:27] Yes. Vanity Fair, Tenerife? Yeah. I have to say correctly.

[00:18:35] If I remember you, your mum’s a doctor?

[00:18:37] Yes, a gynaecologist. Well, she’s retired now, but yes. So she comes from a family of doctors and her side was only dentists.

[00:18:48] Do you remember when dentistry was on your on your sort of radar? At what age was that and why?

[00:18:56] To be honest, it was never on my radar. I was just always fascinated with the first thing I look at. People are the smiles always. Since I’m little, I would be fascinated with it with smiles. And it wasn’t until I was coming close to having to decide what to study. And then I said to my mum, Look, I’m not sure if I want to be a doctor, a vet, a dentist or a movie producer, a music producer like Och. So she said, Okay, how about you do a month and everything, you know, into shape and everything that you that you like. So of course, you know, being in a hospital and seeing people die, it was like a horrifying story. So so I said, I can’t do this. You know, this is too much responsibility. No, I can’t do this. And then I started doing all these things. I still love music. I love movies and production. I love production. But I went to I would dentists and I’ll never forget there was this lady in the waiting room and she came in and she was like, hardly, you know, she had learned how to not smile. And then, like not long after, she came out smiling and I was so fascinated. And then I started working with him, which is watching, doing over the shoulder and and the cases that he would do. He’s an immunologist as well. But I was just fascinated and I thought, wow, I want to be able to do this, you know? So I was just attracted because I said this has arts, this has teeth that I love and the power of being able to to give a smile. So this is everything together. So yeah, I hated it at first, the first probably year. I really.

[00:20:35] Dental.

[00:20:36] School. Yeah. I said I’m giving up. This is not for me.

[00:20:39] Is there? Is there a dental school in the Canary Islands?

[00:20:42] No, no, no, there isn’t.

[00:20:43] So you knew you were leaving home and.

[00:20:45] Yeah, yeah. Which I was very happy about and.

[00:20:50] Why Barcelona was was it was Barcelona for the fun of it or was it the.

[00:20:55] School I was the fun is in Madrid. I wanted to go to Madrid, but my brother, he’s an architect. He was studying already in Barcelona. So it’s just two of us. And my parents said no, both together and I was. And then I got there and I had to learn Catalan, which I didn’t even know I had to learn another language. Right. So it was like science, you know, you get always the first two years of anything you get, the worse you get the chemistry, the maths, things that you don’t really you’re like, I don’t need this become basics, the basics. And in a different language. I was like, What is this? But yeah.

[00:21:33] So it’s actually taught in Catalan.

[00:21:35] Yes, yes. They were not meant to legally. They’re not meant to write. But what happens that many people don’t know? Once you’re there, it’s their rules and that’s it. So it depended on the faculty. So the first day when they started, it was the biology teacher. Biology teacher and I literally could not understand a word. So then I put my hand up and I said, Sorry, you know, I’m from Canary Islands, I have no idea of Catalan. And he said, What’s your name? And everyone kept like, Ooh, you know, he’s going to fail this one. So I said my name, I gave him my name and he said, Och, where September, I’m going to give you till January. Whenever, after Christmas we would go back these months for you to learn Catalan. He’s like, After in January I will start again teaching Catalan. And I was like, Och, you challenging me? So I had no other way. But because it wasn’t just him, there were many other teachers and they would start talking Spanish and that they would. It’s the nature and they would.

[00:22:36] Switch in.

[00:22:37] Switching. So at the end I ended up like getting notes in Catalan because it was easier than translating, right?

[00:22:43] What did you do to learn? I guess when you’re immersed in it, you learn quickly anyway.

[00:22:48] Not so quickly because I don’t know French. I can’t speak. I can speak Italian, but not French. And it’s a mixture between French, Italian and Spanish. So. So I just had to start reading press, watching TV and Catalan going to classes of course. And it was not easy. It was not easy, but I said, I can do it. But the funny thing is that I lived with my brother and the building knew we were from Canary Islands. And no one would speak in Spanish to us. No one said. But you got to understand. So, yeah, this is this is how it is. But it’s an amazing city. And my best friends are there.

[00:23:28] Did you consider did you consider dropping out at that point?

[00:23:31] I did. But then I called my mom, I think not not there, but probably two months in because it was a lot. It was a lot. All the classes and having to translate everything and getting, you know, the Spanish person that new Catalan. So it was a lot. So and then studying on top, right. But I called my mom and she said, och, she said, But you need to have a plan B, C and Z before you quit. And I didn’t. So I said, okay. She said, What did you say.

[00:24:01] International superstar?

[00:24:05] Well, my brother was doing a lot of that behind my back. He was partying every day.

[00:24:11] And he had the same problem. He had to learn Catalan, too.

[00:24:14] Yeah, he did. He did? Yeah. That’s why it took him so long. Yeah, but we had a great time. And it’s. I mean, it’s a beautiful city apart from from that little language issue.

[00:24:28] So, you know, I’m kind of a believer in the idea that you are the same person as the kid that you were, you know? What kind of a kid were you? One of these.

[00:24:39] Never give up.

[00:24:41] Responsible?

[00:24:42] Yeah.

[00:24:42] I was the oldest.

[00:24:44] No, I’m the youngest. But I’ve always had this role of being mothering. So I was very conscious of my parents were spending. We’re working really hard to spend the money that was spending for us to study abroad. So I was not one of these that would go crazy and like spend all the money and party and not I don’t say me wrong, I would have fun, but I was very much into doing the right thing all the time. But as a kid, the same I was always, you know, and it was a later that I had to let go of that. But yeah, because I would always if something bad was done, I would feel like awful about it, you know? And I’m the youngest of both sides of the family and of course the ones above are all male, and they would always be up to no good. Well, you can’t say anything. This is really.

[00:25:36] The funny thing is stress has a way of finding its way to you, isn’t it? Because let’s say you’re you’re you, that person who needs everything in its place and discipline as soon as something goes out of place now stresses in your life. Whereas if you’re me who just let stuff slide, eventually something slides too far and stress comes in. At that point, it’s kind of like a timing issue, but stress will come in life, whoever, whoever you are.

[00:26:04] I think that’s how I started meditating, to bring the to take the stress away so nothing would bother me.

[00:26:09] How long have you been meditating? A long time or recently?

[00:26:12] No, no, long time. It’s been probably seven or eight years. Yeah. Really? Yeah, but that’s what it brought. It brought peace. I would stress a lot at work. And that’s like, it’s okay, you know, unless they do something like really, you know, there’s a big mess up or Yeah, then definitely.

[00:26:34] So then you qualify. What stopped you? Just going back to Tenerife and setting up a family practice. What made you then start looking at New York and all of that?

[00:26:44] I’m just not that person.

[00:26:46] You’re not that cat?

[00:26:47] No, I definitely I definitely wanted to go to New York. It was a city that the first time I went, I was ten, I think ten or 11. And I was fascinated. And I said at one point in my life, I’m going to live here. And then, funny enough, two of my very good friends from a different island from Canary Islands, they’re both very successful dancers now. And they they’re older than me. They’re my brother’s age. But they went to NYU and they told me, you know, they have amazing programs. You should come. So, yeah, I was I was this is what I wanted to do. So I did go back to work for like six months, more or less while I was doing my paperwork. But I also knew I had two options. I said I wait and make the money to then pay for it. But everyone kept saying, once you get into that dynamic, it’s very difficult to come out and take two years, three years off, right? Or I work for a little bit, do all my paperwork and just go and ask for a loan. So that’s the path. And then it was interesting because those six months I met my now sister in law, she was a dentist at the clinic I was working. So she always says, you came back just to introduce me to your brother.

[00:28:01] Is she an American?

[00:28:03] No, no, no, no. She’s she’s from from Tenerife. I went back.

[00:28:07] Oh, sorry, sorry. Yeah. Yeah. And the programme that you joined in NYU, what was that?

[00:28:14] So I did. I did period. And plus with Tana and then I did aesthetics after that. So it was a very expensive I ended up I don’t know how long it took me to pay for all that. A lot people were buying flats and I was paying for for my my programmes but I don’t which.

[00:28:34] You was this.

[00:28:36] This was 2006 2007.

[00:28:41] Yeah so but interesting time right for for young Sandra in New York. I guess that that was the time when actually it was after 9/11. So New York was in a bit of a down.

[00:28:55] Down trend. Yeah, yeah.

[00:28:57] Yeah, yeah. But what was your feeling? What was your feeling in New York? I mean, apart from the obvious excitement of seeing these big, big, big buildings and all that, did it live up to expectations or no?

[00:29:08] Yeah. Yeah, it was every day was was full of energy and you didn’t know where you would end up. I mean, the programme was very intense, so you would start like 730, you would start and you would probably leave at 8 p.m., you know, it was like full on, but then everything was possible. I mean it’s a city where everything is possible. The people that you meet, I had something very like I said, I don’t want to hang around. I mean, I went to hang out with Spanish, but not so much. I want to really experience what New York is. And every day, every day, I mean, many of my colleagues were there would party and then show up at the clinic without sleeping and this kind of stuff. Physically, I’m not that kind of person that can do that and then have my brain functioning. But yeah, you would all the stories and then you would get invited to this incredible place. And then with people that were your best friends and then you’ll never see them again. You know, they had a lot of that. A lot of that. Yeah. On the go. Always on the go.

[00:30:10] The Hamptons. Did you go there?

[00:30:12] Yes, yes, yes, yes. Now, every every faculty at NYU had a house in the Hamptons, so. Yeah. And they were really they’re really nice international people. So they would always invite you for weekends and everyone’s really open. Like, really. Yeah. And they all invite you to their clinics to, to, to, to watch. Everything was very, very open. They, they not as that’s what I love. American Idol. The other day with Christian, I was saying the same thing. It’s the teamwork. It’s not about you be an individual and you not sharing. It was all about sharing. It was a total opposite and and having fun while you while you work. So yeah, I loved it. I would have stayed. I would have stayed. To work. Why don’t you? My mum got ill at the time, so I had to make the decision of coming back to Europe. Otherwise I would have said. I’m pretty sure I would have. Yeah.

[00:31:05] Oh. So. So was this before, during or after the whole Larry?

[00:31:12] No, this was before. Then I. Then I came back and then I started going back to do. To do. Volunteer after the idea that that was that was interesting because at the time when I met Mike, he was no, he had finished, but he was like, you know, it was the beginning. So he was just a faculty that would just be watching around and like helping out. So another thing to see what he’s created now, it’s outstanding.

[00:31:44] It’s nice to see. It’s nice to see. I was I was talking to Larry about that. And he was saying how proud he is that he’s taken something that Larry started and then made it even more. And I remember when when when Mike was going to do that, was going to buy in, I remember thinking, you know, that’s quite a quite a big thing that he’s bought into and must have paid whatever amount that big thing was worth and whatever they did a deal. But, you know, that’s that’s quite a big thing to try and grow and look look what he’s doing.

[00:32:18] He had a vision. He had a vision. And his vision is wait, wait till you see what the next step is. It’s going to get even bigger. But yeah, he has a vision and probably everyone thought he was crazy for what he was doing. And I think he was the pioneer in all the social media, having a camera crew, like following him and all this kind of stuff. He started all that. So all the credit, you might like it a little. You might like it or not, but you have to give the credit for what what he’s achieved. Definitely.

[00:32:51] For sure. For sure. So then tell me about your move to London. Why London?

[00:32:59] Good question. So it was basically the faculties at NYU. Spain was in the big crisis when I was coming back and they said, Why don’t you try London? Cosmetic dentistry started to be. I said, London, really bad weather cloud. This is all white cold. But then I came without a plan. And look, it’s been I don’t know how many years. Many.

[00:33:22] When was it was it post-financial crisis? When Spain was in a state.

[00:33:26] Yeah.

[00:33:27] Yeah. 28.

[00:33:28] Nine around then. Yeah. No, later. No, I came later. I came 2000. It’s 2009. At the end of 2009, 2010.

[00:33:39] We come to London. Did you know anyone?

[00:33:42] Did I know anyone? I knew the ex of a very good friend in New York. Iranian guy. That he was lovely. He is lovely, gentle, wise. I knew one lady that she. I can. I can say her name and Monica Bijlani. Maybe you know her.

[00:33:59] I know Monica. I know.

[00:34:00] Yes. So Monica had found me through I don’t know who and contacted me and said, I know you’re doing you know, I know you’re studying. And I would love to come and see how it works. So I invited her to to join us the whole day in the clinic. She was exhausted. I was doing I think I was doing a graft. I think it was my first tunnel technique or something. And it took hours. I mean, what we would do with the patients for poor people. And she was like, she came to just hang out. So she was horrified after, I don’t know, 5 hours. She said, I’m going to leave now. So. So, yeah, I knew her. I knew her. And she was already I think she had her practice in Harley Street already by that time.

[00:34:48] And so but still, that’s not many people. And Monica is a very connected person herself. But that’s not that’s not a lot of people. Did you have a feeling of, you know, for me, it takes five years to settle into a new country? Did you did you have that five year bit or did you feel at home quicker?

[00:35:06] Let me tell you what I struggled. I struggled a little bit with getting used to London, getting used to the people, the things, because it’s a complete different. So that’s what I struggled with. No, I was never scared of making friends or I never do. You know, my problem many times is I don’t think I’ll just go. Let’s go. And then sometimes it’s great, but sometimes it’s like, why didn’t you step back, count to ten before you did that? Right.

[00:35:33] So because you trust your instinct maybe, huh? This is quite instinctual.

[00:35:38] Probably. I just said, yeah, fine, we’ll go. And it was a bit of a especially the energy I remember getting in the tube and no energy, no energy, nobody talks cos too loud and everyone stares at you and it’s like, whoa, this place. Not sure if I’m going to connect with anyone here. And that, that rhythm and I always had like a foot in, a foot out, know I wasn’t to. I wasn’t too sure to commit it to the city. Until until that changed? I think it was three years, probably.

[00:36:09] It’s just London’s a slow burn. Man, it is. Because especially compared to somewhere like New York, for sure. Although what you said is very true about in America, you do get sometimes someone who you think is your best friend. And then it was just a conversation they had.

[00:36:26] Here you can build community and you can build.

[00:36:29] But it’s funny because you’ve got a very, very unique perspective. You’ve got kind of the Latin perspective, if you want to call it that. The American and now the London. I’m not going to call London European at all because London is very different to other European.

[00:36:42] Yes, of course. But that Latin thing is what you see. You have that in New York and here you now there’s so many Spanish people and Latinos here. But but when I first came, it wasn’t like that. So I think that was one of the biggest struggles that I was like, I need my people. Where are they? You know? So how would you assess.

[00:37:00] How do you assess the three different societies? And I don’t mean you need to rank them or anything, but because you’ve got this kind of, you know, brilliant, you’ve lived and worked in three totally different societies. What are the what are the pros and cons? I mean, let me give you an example. I just got back from Spain myself, and I’ve been going to my parents have a place in Marbella, so I’ve been going a few years in a row. The lady who works in the cafe down the road from our house, when I was leaving, she, you know, she hugged me and kissed me and and said, boy, and, you know, see you next year and all this. And I turn around to my dad and I said, I’ve been living in London for 42 years or something. No cafe person ever hugged me.

[00:37:43] That’s my that’s my biggest struggle always, because I am a very warm person because of my background. So my biggest struggle is always that. And sometimes I’m so used to the dynamic here that when I go back home and I’ll be walking in the street and imagine there’s no one in the street and you cross someone, they’ll be like, Hi, how are you? Have a nice day. And I even get shot from it. I don’t know, you should imagine that. But that’s that’s how I grew up. So I think going back to New York, that community of Latino, they struggle so much as well because every Latino in Manhattan, for example, they either have a really awful job or the ones that made it, they kind of want to forget where they come from many times because they want to be accepted. And what do I take? I mean, they’re amazing people, but probably not the most hardworking, I must say, because of the culture. Everything’s relaxed, very relaxed. Whereas Americans are on the go, you know, you think you wake up early and it is always like thousands of people that woke up before you. They do have the teamwork that I love. And I think, as you know, to get further, you always need people, you know.

[00:38:55] The can do the can do that, the never.

[00:38:58] Ending. They’re reinventing that. Everything is possible. It was, you know, when I went there, I said, wow, I can also do like my music stuff and I can do photography or anything I want to do. Because in Spain, for example, you study law, you die being a lawyer, you study medicine, you die being a doctor, and it’s like there everyone reinvents himself all the time. Oh, no, I’m done with this. I’m going to be a painter. Great. And everything’s possible. So they really they inject that. But then.

[00:39:28] Look, basically based on what we’re saying, then on paper, you’re making America sound to be the kind of the place to be. But I’d rather live in London than.

[00:39:36] In.

[00:39:37] America.

[00:39:38] That’s right. So what are the things?

[00:39:40] Yeah, what are the things that.

[00:39:41] The downside is? It can be very fake. It can be very fake.

[00:39:47] A little bit aggressive. A little bit aggressive, too.

[00:39:50] Yes. Especially in New York. So so then, you know, it’s difficult for you to to to connect to true level with people because you never know whoever like you think is your friend. And then you turn around and they stab you in the back. So that’s that’s the they’re very friendly, very open, very this, very that. But then there’s another side. Again, this is being generalising, right? There’s another side that you’re like, whoa, I did not see that coming, you know? So obviously I don’t like that. I rather you’re cold and honest from day one that you’re really nice and then, you know, dishonest. 100%. 100%. Yeah. And then London’s mixture, I mean, of course it’s not it doesn’t reflect the UK, but in the UK there also, it depends where you go. You know, there are also people that I think the people get warmer towards towards south, maybe north like north.

[00:40:44] Oh, south London, you mean.

[00:40:46] No, no, no. I mean it. South of the country. It depends.

[00:40:49] In the north are definitely warmer, the north are definitely warmer. And in Wales I studied in Cardiff.

[00:40:55] Yes.

[00:40:55] In Wales I’m sure in Scotland there’s more of that sort of family warmth than you get in London. London is a funny town, man. I mean, it’s probably closer. Such a New York than it is to Wales national people.

[00:41:09] You know.

[00:41:10] It’s a funny town. But what I love about it is that sort of it doesn’t matter. I go out in the street, it doesn’t matter if I’m dressed up or shaved or.

[00:41:19] Yes.

[00:41:19] No one gives a damn how I look.

[00:41:22] Slim. Totally.

[00:41:23] That no one cares. And I got that feeling in Berlin, you know, it was like no one gives a damn what you look like. No one’s paying attention to you. Whereas I notice in in Spain, for instance, you know, when the families, families are gathering around in the squares and all that, which is beautiful, it’s a lovely thing, right? You see the grandparents and and the little babies and all that in the evenings. And it’s a wonderful thing, but people are kind of dressed up and people are talking a lot. I’m sure a lot of the talking is about each other, right?

[00:41:57] This is, of course, the gossip. The gossip. And if people love gossip, you know, I go back home and I and I laugh because my my friends from my childhood, friends from school and it doesn’t matter. It’s like watching one of these series that it doesn’t matter if you start an episode three or 300. Not a lot has happened. So the same thing they’ll be talking about the same neighbour, they’ll be talking about, you know what, who did this to that? And it’s like, Oh my God. That’s when you realise you say Clearly I’ve changed because you know, people just living the same way they did. It’s me that’s changed, right?

[00:42:37] So tell me about look, becoming a successful cosmetic dentist takes a lot of things, right? It takes it takes the clinical skills. It takes a bunch of psychological. So IQ things where you understand people and you have to it’s a big thing with cosmetics particularly, but then it takes some promotional skills. And I noticed, you know, I remember I don’t necessarily say, oh, that’s the year you arrived, but but I remember pre Sandra in in London and it feels like you’ve come and you’ve ingrained in society and you know, a bunch of people and you do a bunch of fun things and, and all that. And then on the social side, you’ve got a reputation for, for really beautiful work and all that. So let’s talk a little bit about the promotional let’s call it the promotional side of becoming a successful cosmetic dentist. I mean, would you say someone introverted could become a successful cosmetic dentist or or not?

[00:43:37] I’d say it’s difficult. Well, the.

[00:43:39] App is introverted.

[00:43:42] Yes and no. Yes and no. But I think you have to be extrovert to meet people. It depends what? It depends why people come to you if it’s because you’ve paid for the marketing or if it’s word of mouth. In my case, it’s always been word of mouth, which I’m grateful for. Right. So then it’s yeah, it’s it’s just it develops. And then, of course, I was lucky to have one famous person that was happy and then brought another famous actress singer or whatever it was. So then you start with that, you know, and then you meet the production company and then you meet the. The football agent. And. But but you have to. You have to interact with people. If you sit and you do nothing and expect for them to come, it’s very difficult. That didn’t work for me. You know, I had to get out there. The first thing I did when I when I moved here was get in touch with the Spanish Embassy, because I said it must be a lot of Spanish people. So, you know, Spanish people, not everyone speaks English very well, so they’ll be more comfortable speaking Spanish. That was a good way to to get in, because then they have a lot of big companies with a lot of workers and then you just you just create a contact there.

[00:44:58] Did that work? So that worked out well? Did it?

[00:45:00] That worked well. The problem is that Spanish people, when it comes to they’re quite stingy, even though they’re getting salaries from, you know, getting salaries from the UK, they’re still they still think in their back prices. Spanish prices. Yeah. So and of course when you’re not the owner of the clinic, there’s only so much you can do to help. Then the companies that were based here, even though there was Spanish, that would help them pay or have like a health insurance or something like that, then it was much easier. It was definitely much easier.

[00:45:30] And let’s talk about price objection. Then if you present a case to a to a patient.

[00:45:37] Yeah.

[00:45:38] And you can feel that they trust you. And they suddenly say, Yeah, but it’s too expensive. Do you ever do? Shift on price? You do them a deal.

[00:45:48] I should my nurses all the time. They tell me off. They like Sandra. When it comes to that, I always want to. I have this thing. I’ve always wanted to help people. I’m like, I want you to get this done. You need this. So, so I’m terrible. With the years, I’m learning to be more inflexible when it comes to price. It all depends. I think you always have to to work backwards. You have to say, okay, how much is the laptop going to be? How many visits is this person going to take? How much can I do this for? You know, and but yeah, if it’s someone complicated because as you know, there are many complicated human beings around that it’s going to take is going to be emailing you back and forward is going to take a lot of your effort then these kind of people like I’m less flexible with because I already know it’s going to be a stress, you know, but if it’s someone that yeah. That and I also depend on what it is. If it’s someone that says, oh, they need three implants and I know they’re not going to make it and they’re from another country, I say, I’m happy to refer you to your country if you go on holiday and then I’ll do, for example, an implant and I’ll do the crowns. You know, you try to help you try to help in that way. But as you know, a practice in in London and it’s expensive materials are expensive, especially now after Brexit is even more expensive. So there’s only so much you can you can do.

[00:47:12] I think working in you work in homemade and payments.

[00:47:16] Sarbanes practice it’s, it’s, it’s almost practice. Yeah.

[00:47:19] Oh it’s practice. Yeah. And I remember talking to Payman and he was saying they don’t even have a website and you know, they’re all about sort of making people happy and getting word of mouth referrals and all that said that that setting must be sort of the right setting. They let you let you do surprise and delight. Fun things for patients, I guess, right?

[00:47:41] Yeah. And he’s a wonderful he’s been like the best present I could have received being in London from from a mentor point of view. He’s just learning, watching him interacting with people. Yeah, he’s strong. He’s a great human being. He really is. And then his work is fantastic and you learn a lot from him. And he’s a person that always wants to learn from others as well, you know, and always sharing. And, and he’s yeah. Really humble. I absolutely adore him. He’s like family. I mean, it’s like family to me. So, so yeah. And I think we’re I’m very privileged because I’ve worked in other dental practices and and now I know what’s good and what’s not when it comes to to people and how they treat you and what they do to you. So having someone that just says, listen, whatever you do, I want every single patient that walks out of this clinic to have a Ferrari in the mouth. That is that says it. All right. That says it all.

[00:48:42] That’s the dream. And and the practice itself is super nice.

[00:48:45] It’s beautiful. Yes. We change location. We were at 100 for an hour, 107. And it’s beautifully done. It’s really, really nice here. And I forget. And then I’ll get patients in and they’re like, Oh, wow, what? And I keep forgetting that I’m so lucky to work in a place like this, you know? Yeah.

[00:49:04] Even the previous one was one of my favourite practices that were the movie posters and all that. It was stunning, stunning.

[00:49:10] Place had the movie places, the thing is right, which is something that, as you know, in New York, it shocks you the most famous dentists, and they’ll have like really small rooms where, yeah, they can hardly fit with a system there. And I think the experience changes a lot, especially we have a profession that the majority of people that come, they have fear of dentists. So creating a place with space and an atmosphere that is non dental, helps a lot. Helps a lot, definitely does. Yeah.

[00:49:40] Tell me about the charity work because I love seeing you with Lenny Kravitz, helping children. You know, how did that come about? What did you get out of it?

[00:49:52] Wow. What I get out of it is to. To love my profession again, that’s for sure. Because doing the majority.

[00:50:01] Difference, isn’t it? Cosmetic dentists in London.

[00:50:04] You know, helping kids, it it grounds you. I think that especially the last mission that we did hopefully this year will do one. It was I was coming to a point where I wasn’t happy anymore doing what I was doing because, you know, you treat a lot of vanity and it was like, is this really what I want to do? I love doing it. But then, you know, I’m really making a difference. And then you go to a place where, you know, you people live with pain. People you walk around people with swollen faces because they have an infected tooth that’s been there for years, you know, and the perspective just changes. And they’re so grateful for every single thing you can do to relieve that pain that you’re like, Wow, you know, with my hands, I can actually make a difference. And then I then I say, okay, this, this is what I’m meant to be doing. I want to do more charity 100%. I want to do more throughout the year because it’s my I’ve realised it’s my really happy place. And the thing with Lenny that you were saying, my mentor from New York is Dr. Jonathan Levin. And Lenny has been a patient of his for many years and they’ve developed a friendship. And he was the one that said, you know, I have a house in this little island and it’s really poor and people don’t have access to dental care.

[00:51:22] And, you know, if someone says the Bahamas and you’re like, yeah, right. Because you don’t know that there are many islands in the Bahamas and the majority and fortunately, really poor, really poor. There might be one that you can see from here and it’s like full of billionaires. And then this one is really poor. So. Yes, so he he was the one that said, you know, why don’t you bring your team? And at the beginning, it was like just a small team. And then the team has got bigger. And every year you invite like a guest. I took last time a dentist from here. He’s Spanish, but he works here in London. And my nurse, Nasim, she worked my God, she works so much. I did tell her, I said, You’re ready for this. She was like, Yeah, but she was. It makes such a difference when you work with someone in the heat. No. Ac, you’re sweating. You start really early. They were queuing up from like six in the morning and to have someone vibing in a positive way and say, yes, come on. And when your back is killing you, because obviously, you know, imagine the chair. It’s like two positions sitting and, you know, completely flat. And she made it. She made the trip. She made it worthwhile, honestly. I mean.

[00:52:37] Jonathan Levine, one of my one of my heroes with actually not not for this reason, because of the ghost smile stuff that he did with his wife. But it’s nice to hear that he’s got this side of it as well. So how does Lenny Kravitz fit into that?

[00:52:51] Well, because he’s from not from there. He has a house there and. Oh, I see. So at the beginning, it was all very under the radar. He didn’t want any publicity of him. But now they have they have a toothpaste brand, which is obviously from Jonathan, but it’s his kids with him. And now they’re trying to because every time you buy one of the it’s called twice. So every time you buy a tooth, nice percentage goes to to the charity. So now he’s much more and he just comes and hangs out. I mean, he he loves it. So that’s why it’s always very difficult because he’s either on tour or recording or and we also need a physical space because all this was done in the church. So the church was everything was removed and the dental chairs come in and and that’s why it’s quite limited, I think. I’m not sure if I told you the story that the last the last mission that we did, the last patient, everyone was wrapping up already and Lenny was hosting us at his house and I was the only one working. And then all of a sudden, the music is really loud because obviously the louder the music, the more you’re awake right after so many hours and in the heat and all of a sudden there’s this. This lady walks in and she needed five root canals mowed. And every single anterior tooth, she she couldn’t smile. She had a smile for years. She was in pain, mean one of these massive cases. And I looked at my nurses and she said, We can do this. Come on, Sandra, we can do this. I said, okay, anyway. And every time I was remove and decay, it was everything was a mess. And all of a sudden power cuts. And I thought it was a joke. I thought the lights went off. I said, okay, the.

[00:54:28] Third welcome to the third world.

[00:54:30] I said, Come on. Right, put the lights back on the light. No, there’s no power in the whole island. Once and I had just removed all the decay and the root canal, so I was ready to restore. I said, No, no, no, no, no, no, this is not happening and it’s pitch black. So everyone gathered with their loops. Everyone was giving me light, I. Really like. It was hard. It was really hard. The position I have a lot of back problems. I was, I was. And then all of a sudden when I finish, I’m like finishing polishing with a disc. All of a sudden the light comes back on. No. Seriously, we were all. I said. This is like a movie. And then. Yeah, then of course, the patient started crying. We were all crying. And it was it was one of the most beautiful moments. And she came the following. This lady had come three days in a row and she didn’t get the chance to be seen. And when she was told, Oh, sorry we missed you, we didn’t write your name down, she came from three different boats and I am really far away. And the following day she came to say goodbye to the airport. And when I saw her, oh, I started crying because I knew how long it took her to get there. The journey. She was so grateful. Yeah, just beautiful.

[00:55:52] It’s. It’s beautiful stuff. Right. But I want to just ask you about this idea that, you know, the pleasure you get from doing this work. Yeah, pleasure is a funny word, but. But the feeling you get from from doing this work, the high, you’ve got the obvious appreciation of that patient who’s, you know, it’s a different level of appreciation than a regular UK patient, obviously. Is it easy to get high on that high and then to go there for that high? And if we’re talking, you know, the benefit that you could be doing in that country, you could train ten dentists to do ten times the amount of work, but actually get there for the high. You know what I mean?

[00:56:42] This idea I 100% I agree with you.

[00:56:46] Not that I’m telling you to go train ten, ten days because you’re a dentist. Know, you go and do what you do there. Right? It’s like you need to organise a charity or something. But. But do you hear it? You hear me?

[00:56:56] Yes. Yes, I do it for my for definitely. It’s part of my mental health routine and it’s good for me. Of course I could. I don’t have to go, you know, but. But I need it. I feel like I need it. And it brings me down it. It grounds me again to to why we do this. So but yes, I 100% agree. You get the high from the high and you see it the best indigenous in New York, best dentists. We flew last time there was a technician from Brazil. He was doing denture to denture denture like I wouldn’t put his head up for hours and everyone is there just for the love of doing it. And there are people that they charge thousands and thousands. They don’t need to be there, you know.

[00:57:38] But you hear my point. My point. My point is, you know, the five of you go there and get your little high from from helping these people. But if you really wanted to help these people, you could do something other than this. You could. You could. You could pay give money. You know what I mean? I’m not I’m not saying do that, by the way. I’m not saying to do that. But but the fact that the fact that you can one can get higher from the power if, for instance, if I’m driving a truck to deliver food to a village where there is no food, I can get a high from the power of doing that. That isn’t necessarily come from the best place in my head, you know. Has that ever crossed your mind?

[00:58:19] No.

[00:58:21] Okay, then don’t let it. Don’t let it. Don’t let me pollute your beautiful mind with my disgusting thoughts.

[00:58:27] Yeah, it has. It goes on mine. Actually, I never saw it that way. But for me, what I would love is that we don’t have to. That we educate. That’s what I would love. That there’s not like, oh, I come here, extract a bunch of seeds, get rid of the pain for the majority. No. Because to extract first molars on a six year old, you know, knowing they have the whole life ahead is something that sticks in your mind. So what? The whole it’s happening. It’s already been happening for some years now. There’s there dentist from Boston University flying there and going through schools to Ed to give education. So I see it as a I don’t believe in chances it just go to the work and leave. And then the next year the same thing there has to be there has to be education because a place where a Coca Cola is cheaper than water, you’re fighting with with culture and you fight it, you know, it’s yeah. And obviously it’s cheaper to get like a burger than it is to get fish when they’re surrounded by fish. So so it’s all education. It’s all education. So I think that’s where I mean, it would be amazing that every month we could get a bunch of students in my in my ideal three. That’s how I.

[00:59:43] Should look at you should you should publicise at least the idea so that even if you haven’t got time, someone else who has got time puts it together. But but for instance, my, my, my thought is, as a young dentist, I always thought, hey, be good to do a bit of charity work. Yeah, but didn’t know where to go, what to, who to call, what to do. Okay. It was 25 years ago when it wasn’t so, so easy. Whatever. But I bet you that if we brought 100 young dentists into the room and said, Would you give a week? I bet you more than half would say yes. And so if there was a website, an organisation where and I say Young, then this doesn’t have to be young, but it’s that sort of ideal idealism of youth. If there was a place where people could go and say, okay, I want to give a week, the week of February, the second to the ninth. And the organisation could then put people in it would, it would help so many different ways it would.

[01:00:39] I tell you, if I could ask for for a wish or a Dental wish, I would say every single university obliged. You know, if you think about how many dental schools we have in the world, and if every single one did, like, you know, one of the they would be called a charity. But everyone is obliged to every single year and divide it into the months that we have to do charity. It wouldn’t be it would be a different experience because we would be educating people. We wouldn’t just be treating. It’s all about prevention. And a country like Africa did a lot in Africa as well, where a family of six shared the toothbrush. Well.

[01:01:21] Where was the.

[01:01:22] That was in Malawi. Well, yeah, and Senegal wasn’t better. But then. Then the problem with these countries is also then dealing with the politicians of the country. Right. In Senegal, we were we were stopped and they came. And because the government had changed that week, we have obviously we have no idea. But they change president the president is killed or whatever happens to the president is crazy things that happen in these countries. And then, you know, there’s a new government and they were not aware that we were there. So imagine we’re helping their people for free and they almost put us in jail, in prison.

[01:01:58] You know, unfortunately.

[01:02:00] Unfortunately, coming. Derek went to prison for one day.

[01:02:03] So coming from a third world country, myself, unfortunately, a lot of times in a in a place like that, they see a bunch of foreigners. They they just the first thing they’re thinking is, is there any money to be made out of this situation? You know, so they immediately put some put some barriers in place. And in the Third World, particularly, they’re very good at stopping stuff, you know, and very bad at starting stuff up again. You know, you should see in Iran, it’s people there’s 100 ways they can stop you. They can stop you from leaving the country. They can stop you from doing a deal. They can stop you from doing it. And then undoing that is so difficult. So it ends up, unfortunately, that the corruption of of of power I think, by the way, there is corruption of power here too. Let’s not.

[01:02:49] Of course it’s.

[01:02:50] Much more organised. Yeah, it’s much more. The numbers are even bigger.

[01:02:56] Sometimes you see resign. You see in a country everyone steals money. No one gives money back. If you’re really stupid, you go to jail, but you don’t have to give the money. And then you do it again and it’s insane. And no one resigns, you know.

[01:03:13] Even here. Even here. Test and trace. Right. You know, it’s not being talked about. Right. But billions, billions went billions went somewhere that we don’t know where it was.

[01:03:22] You like talking about that? The charity. We got our anaesthetics stolen at the airport, so we arrive. And the thing is that because many things are you either buy it because of the donations or you get you get donations from like Henry Schein or wherever the donation comes from. So we have the batch numbers and we arrive and then a setting is gone and we’re there for an hour and a half and nowhere to be seen. So then we get to the place where we’re staying and all of a sudden this guy comes up to me is his doctor, because I said, Well, tomorrow we can start working with. And the first day we worked we extracted teeth with no anaesthetic. Can you imagine? And people were putting up with that pain that was like so. So then he said, you know, we can find anaesthetic for you. And I said, Oh really? It’s like, yeah, it’s in the black market, but and then we all looked at each other and I said, You know what? Bring one of them, just bring one. And he brought it and I turn it, we check the box. So of course, because we were a bit protected, we knew some of the of the people there. I was like, tell the guy where this is from that if it’s not here by the end of the day tomorrow, you guys are going to be a big trouble. And he was shocked. I said, Because this is ours, you stole this. It was like, Oh my God, I can’t believe they’re doing this for you. It’s, you know, they need the money, so they’ll try everything. Yeah, we made them, right.

[01:04:53] Yeah. You like I say, you know, there is there is something about a developed democracy, right? Where that sort of level doesn’t happen. But it happens. It’s unfortunate. You know, Sandra, you’re such a good person, right? I feel like you’re one of the sort of people trying to be a really good person in the world. I don’t know.

[01:05:10] Why.

[01:05:12] You are. You really are. What’s. What’s what’s the key? You seem. You seem happy. Are you happy.

[01:05:17] For number one? I am. I am. What’s the key for you? Living the present. I think living the present is a big one. I think I used to not. I think I know I used to always plan and. Yeah, and then but Friday I’ll do this and then next month I’ll do that. And forgetting the most essential thing which is live the present and and be grateful for what you have, especially talking about these countries that don’t even have a piece of bread. So. So, yeah, living the present. That’s.

[01:05:50] It’s easy to say, but. But. Did you read a book like. Did you go.

[01:05:56] If you go into my house, I mean, you can have 100 different books. So, you know, gratitude. The present. The power of now. Yeah, yeah. Big books. I think meditation does a lot.

[01:06:09] It does that.

[01:06:10] It does a lot. Yes. And I always tell everyone some meditation. I mean, I’m not the best meditator. I don’t meditate every day. There’ll be days that I ran out of time, but I’ll feel it. The days that I didn’t meditate today doesn’t go the same. I can tell you that it doesn’t go the same. But yes. And and unfortunately, I’ve lived quite a few horrible personal situations, family situations. So it makes you even more like want to enjoy every moment, enjoy every moment. Yeah. So because tomorrow is not granted as you know. So, but.

[01:06:46] But if I want to live more in the present now, right now, what is it about not thinking about stopping yourself, thinking about tomorrow.

[01:06:55] Yes. And it’s about because the power of the thoughts, what you think you create. Right. So you just have to be you just have to be. And if you’re in my mum, one of the things that she does and she’s right at the beginning, we would get a bit upset with her whenever we’re, we’re home and we’re about to have breakfast, lunch, dinner or whatever it is we gather she gets a basket and everyone has to put their phone down and I and I’ll be, you know. Yeah. And everyone’s like, We’re missing something, but I’ll be at a dinner and all of a sudden I’ll be checking my phone and that’s rude. And we forgot about what manners are. And maybe many times one of them, you know, and if you’re talking with a person, you have to interact with that person. And but it’s you have to practice every day. It doesn’t you know, it’s not a formula of, oh, yeah, I’m happy. No, you have to practice as well. You have to practice. But I’m very positive that I would say I always see and if I work with, with a with a nurse, for example, I was fighting with them. They are like, oh, this hurts, that hurts. I’m not feeling well. I’m always like, Change that, change the way you’re thinking right now. I can’t have you like this. I said all the problems outside of the door here. We’re here to give that 100% that I learned a lot from Jonathan. From Jonathan Levine. I mean, he’s you know, he’s like a tiny positive. Yeah, he is. So do you do you do that a lot as well? Sports keeps your mind like this. Yeah, yeah.

[01:08:26] Like you said, like, I don’t know, when you’re skiing down a mountain, there isn’t much time to think about the past or the future is going to stay alive right now. Right?

[01:08:36] It’s the only sport I am. Resist. I had this resistance to skiing. Yes. What is the problem? Skiing in the mountain. I have fear of the incline.

[01:08:47] Yeah, but by the way, it’s not my favourite holiday being cold. Just. It isn’t.

[01:08:52] Exactly. I’ve always, always. I’m like, if you give me two days, it will not be to go to the mountain.

[01:08:59] What is your favourite holiday?

[01:09:02] Well, definitely the beach. A good book, good food, good wine and people definitely surrounded by fun times. Bye bye.

[01:09:13] Good. Do you go to the same places or do you go to different places?

[01:09:16] I go to many different places. Oh, of course. You know, back home is always a must have been going to Ibiza since I’m 17 formentera I love love a beautiful place for me is Gabby’s that here I just got back from.

[01:09:34] I just got back from Cadiz.

[01:09:36] But I love how to say Cadiz. Gabby’s just like Ibiza. So so Cadiz is, is.

[01:09:46] A fish.

[01:09:47] Market here. Yeah. You went to the town, right? So I go to this. It’s called Sora. It’s in the beach, but the beach are like kilometres and kilometres and kilometres and it’s all wild. Like I’ve never seen horses in the beach on their own, you know, it’s yeah. It’s that really grounds you that kind of holiday and it’s raw, it’s zero sophisticated. You know you go to the bar that. And it’s not like there’s zero sophistication there, but I love it. I love it. Yeah.

[01:10:17] I went to a little town outside. It is like something. De la Frontera.

[01:10:24] De la Frontera.

[01:10:26] Oh, my goodness.

[01:10:28] 15 minutes.

[01:10:29] Spain’s got so many of these little towns that, you know, you might not have heard of. Yeah, my my my marketing manager. Spanish. And she sent me that round, this little trip of the North Santander and around there. Places you would never end up in, you know. And suddenly I end up this 1000 year old village in the mountains by the. By the sea somewhere. Just. Just beautiful places.

[01:10:52] San Sebastian. I discovered San Sebastian this year. I had never been. My parents go every year and it was my first time and I was like, Wow.

[01:10:59] It’s not. I’d prefer Bilbao when I went.

[01:11:02] Yeah.

[01:11:02] Did you like Bilbao? Have you been to Bilbao?

[01:11:04] Yes, I liked it, but I just found San Sebastian like that beach is so beautiful. The food. The food. And I’m a.

[01:11:12] City guy, I think, like big city.

[01:11:16] We’re very lucky. I mean, we have a great country, but so is Italy. So is Portugal. You know, I mean, Greece, although those. Those countries are. Yeah. That I love because I love food. Again, going back to the Mediterranean thing, we just you know, I was having this conversation with a friend of mine over the weekend and he was thinking of buying property in Santo Domingo. And I said and then he was looking at the Caribbean and I said, This is the Caribbean. Only Mexico has good food. The rest is awful. Even Santo Domingo, I said it’s it’s crazy to think of a place that they have good fruit, good vegetables, but then what they serve because American, you know, it’s all full of Americans everywhere. And the cuisine is awful, like full of sauces. And I’m like, just leave the fish, leave the meats, don’t add anything to it, you know? So, yeah, I’m a foodie.

[01:12:09] Me too. Me too. So, for instance, I want to badly want to go to Philippines looking at the Instagram, but I hear the food’s not all that. Whereas Thailand.

[01:12:20] I wow, I.

[01:12:21] Love time, but I love the food in Thailand you cannot beat the food in Thailand. So when I go that way, even though I know Philippines has got these beautiful places or even Cuba. Have you been to Cuba? I heard the food in Cuba isn’t all that so.

[01:12:35] I don’t have that. They don’t have. You have to go to black market. Right. But Cuba’s very similar to Canary Islands. Very similar, but just poor really. It is like, you know.

[01:12:47] Which being culturally similar.

[01:12:49] Oh, the culture is the same, it’s the same. But I’ve never I’ve never been to a place with so much talent, dancing, singing, painting, everything, writing the just pure talent. But they invited us to this choreographer and he he’s actually he lives here. And it was quite interesting because all of a sudden in his house, the lobsters arrive. And I said, Where are these from? Oh, they’re illegal. I’m like, What? Oh, yeah, yeah. We have to close everything the house is. Because if the police sees a dinner party, they suspect they can come into your house and you get fined. What? You can’t fish? No, you’re not allowed to fish. It’s ridiculous.

[01:13:31] Contraband, huh?

[01:13:32] Think of it. Yeah.

[01:13:34] So you’ve. You’ve recently put out a course, which I’m really happy that you’ve done, because I always thought you should. You should teach. It’s an online course, right?

[01:13:45] It’s an online course here. Agnus actually that she was at your one of the teachers at your course. She sent me a really sweet message about that.

[01:13:53] And she’d been in agony.

[01:13:56] She saw the videos and yeah, so she was very happy that I did it. So it’s an online course. It’s how to do veneers from the beginning, from it’s a live patient. Everything was recorded. So from the moment of the consultation, what questions to ask red flags were to say no and then goes through photography, videography, the DSC, all the process of lab communication and the bits that I felt were missing because obviously recording everything in like in two weekends there was from like the preparation and then the fit. There were many things that I felt that were missing. So then there were bonus. There are bonus videos, everything I felt was missing, but obviously I’ll keep updating stuff as well. So of cases and it’s to build a community. This is this is mainly what it is. You know, everyone that signs up will get bonuses of what it feels to be part of a community. Because for me, I’ve done many courses and what I always found it was challenging was implementing and the and the support more than the more than implementing the support. Then you come back and you’re pretty much on your own. So then you develop all these fears and you stop doing things because. Lack of knowledge, basically. Right. So I think that’s where I want people to. Don’t be scared. Every person. That’s because we have several tiers. The tier one is just a course for the Tier two. You get access to me, to my to my WhatsApp and they don’t even I send them a message and I’m like, Hey, Sandra, if you need anything, please. And you’d be surprised, everyone. So people that are scared of asking and I said, What is it of the course that you don’t understand? Because it would be many things that you don’t ask and they’ll be scared of asking, which is fascinating.

[01:15:45] Did you I mean, this is the first time you’ve done it like a course with your name on it. Did you suffer with sort of that perfection paralysis that a lot of people suffer with?

[01:15:55] A hundred. That’s why it took so many months to launch. Yes, it was. If I go back and I’m and I’m 100% honest, I think it was the judgement, the judgement that others would have. But I’m the one judging myself more than anyone else. So I thought, Oh my God, what if people don’t like it? And this is like, Oh, this is rubbish, this and that. And commenting the comments. I remember the day we launched my, my business partner in the project. He said, Are you ready for the negativity? And I said, Really? I said, I don’t think so. He said, Well, you have to build thick skin because it will be people that know that. And I remember I yeah, I hadn’t thought about that. But yeah, it is what it is. Once you can I tell you, I haven’t watched any of the videos because he’s doing all the, the marketing aspect of it. I haven’t been able to watch any of the videos of promotional videos because I’m so embarrassed. You don’t.

[01:16:55] But I know the feeling. No, I know the feeling. I know the feeling. But I tell you, I would I would watch them, though. Yeah. Because someone that’s analytical as you as well, you’ll gain a lot by watching.

[01:17:06] Them as well. I watched it all when it was recorded. Right. And that’s why the way he’s framed them and stuff, I haven’t I said I did my part, which was a Dental part. You do your part, which is a marketing. So that’s why I didn’t want to interfere, you know, also in the ideas.

[01:17:25] But I mean, look, the the buzz, you know, the buzz you get from charity work. There’s a buzz in teaching as well that I guess you’re going to have a live element to it as well. Are you part two or three or whatever?

[01:17:39] Yes. Yes. There’s a buzz. There is. There is a buzz. There is a buzz. I think it all started I was I was with Maxime from Belgrade Academy, and I went there to hang out and see one of the courses that he did. He’s he’s a talent man. And and I was sitting down in one of the microscopes and then the person on my right, on my left. They had no idea prepping. They had no idea of nothing. And I spent the whole weekend basically teach them both. And then I thought, wow, I really liked doing this, you know? And there was super grateful because of course, when you’re in a hands on, you have to wait your turn until you know the faculty is there, helps you out. So I said, oh, I, I really liked him in this. I really like helping out and give him the mistakes, which is something that in the course I did and I was not too sure about doing, which was sharing what went wrong, it took me a second, but then I said, No, you know what? I want to show everyone how I really am. I need to show the mistakes so that they don’t they don’t do the same things I did. Right.

[01:18:48] I think that’s the most important part of a course, isn’t that the the mistakes. And, you know, and you take a lot of photographs where Dipesh does this a lot, where he’s got the final result. There’s something about the final result that isn’t perfect. And then you go backwards in the photos and and get back to the point where that error was made. And, and then that’s the learning that he had. But then but then sharing that so important. Right, because.

[01:19:18] He’s a great.

[01:19:19] People remember. People remember, don’t they. From from a story they’d remember from something like that. It’s so important. Did you go to Ukraine for the course?

[01:19:28] Yes, I did. Kiev. I did. I went before last November. Yeah. And then he invited me to to to help him in May this year. That obviously never happened. So yeah. He’s moved to Czech Republic now.

[01:19:45] Yeah. Yeah, I saw I thought.

[01:19:47] To think about how did.

[01:19:48] You feel that day when you saw the invasion of Ukraine? You must have felt that.

[01:19:52] His clinic got bombed. I just could not believe it. It is like now the parts part of it. Yeah. The building. Like he sent a picture to, to, to on WhatsApp, but I just could not believe it. But also the amount of because what we said we asked him, you know, there’s a big problem with nurses going on in well with staff in general in the UK. So I said I sent him a message and I said if any of the girls that worked for you, the work for you, if they’re willing to come to the UK, please, we’re willing to help them out because we had a problem with staff at time. And anyway, what he did, he just spread my mobile phone to everyone that asked him. So I started getting bombarded by it by dentists, some that I’ve actually met. They came to the practice and it’s shocking stories. You know, how they just walked away of everything they had, they owned and just got in a car and came here and it’s like, wow, I don’t think we I don’t think we we understand what this means and what we’re going through at the moment, you know, but that’s I think that’s humans for you. No one remembers Afghanistan now. It was this big shock and now no one remembers. Right.

[01:21:09] You also Afghanistan. I mean, obviously coming coming from the country next door. I’ve felt it a bit more than than, I guess the guy sitting in the town in Britain. But the idea that you could be an educated person with a life and and everything going for you yesterday and then today, not have a house, not have a a life and have to run away overnight. I think it resonated with with the public in a way that I’ve not seen before. And I’m not sure whether I mean, some people say, oh, it’s because the Europeans and their whites and people can I don’t know whether whether it was some sort of a social media campaign. You know, there was something behind it in terms of they wanted people to feel that way so that they could put whatever sanctions or whether it was a completely organic thing. Either way, it was the first time I’ve seen it where the public really felt it. And then now you’ve got recession and the price of oil and suddenly people remember their own lives more. And and all of those thoughts were quickly disappear as well. Yeah.

[01:22:17] Exactly. Exactly. But even your country, I mean, Iran, we are the most powerful country in the world. And how is it possible that. It is where it is now. It’s so backwards.

[01:22:26] I just. I heard last I heard malnutrition in Iran. Malnutrition, it is you know, it’s unbelievable. You know, there’s never there was always in Iran. It was way too much of everything. The idea that some people can’t eat.

[01:22:43] It’s taking it. Someone’s taking it for sure. That’s the thing. And then towards women more the fact that now you have to be completely covered. It’s like in this day and age that this thing.

[01:22:55] Let’s talk about women. Let’s talk about women in dentistry. Have you felt it if you felt outside of the obvious? I’m sure you’ve had some patient fall in love with you and say, Oh, will you marry me? Or whatever outside of that? Sort of outside of that sort of thing. Have you felt subtly that it’s more difficult being a woman than a man as a dentist?

[01:23:15] I’ve been asked this several times and I always say the same thing. Either I was very like in my own little world. I just don’t think that way. So whenever but now looking back, I, you know, situations I’ve gone through, I said, Oh, that was probably because I was a woman. But at the time I never thought about it that way. I never I’ve never seen the limitation. I just again, because of this way, I just went for it. Right. So I remember once I was asked if I had got the job because I had I had had something with the practice owner and I thought, what? And then, you know, and then the next thing that person said, well, you know, as a woman. And I thought, that’s a strange comment to make. And now looking back, I said, wow, a lot of people thought that way, but because you’re a woman, clearly you have less power and you’re not as capable as doing as doing things. In Spain, for example, male doctors are more popular than female doctors because it is a very sexist country when it comes to that. So not now. Things have changed. But, you know, the older generation, they’d rather be seen by a man, by a woman. So. So I guess, yeah, it’s everywhere. It’s just that I’ve never thought about it that way.

[01:24:35] Rather be seen by an old man in Iran. In Iran, the older your doctor is, the better he is, you know? So, like, there are some guys walking around 85 year old doctors, right? People think they’re the best doctors they must be. There’s it’s that way of thinking. But so you’re saying you’ve never felt the limitation, but looking back on it, there were some comments made or or whatever. But do you see that more as a societal thing or as in dentistry, we have a problem because there is you know, people say the industry we have a problem with not enough female role models.

[01:25:10] Which might be I think it’s I think probably as a society thing a little bit not so much in this country that it’s it’s very equal. But definitely when I go to conferences, there are not enough women. And I don’t know if it because we’re scared of lecturing or because it’s just don’t call us, you know? But it is true. Like you go to big conferences and there’ll be one female speaker and that’s it’s shocking, you know, because I can tell you several now that are amazing and they’re doing fantastic work and, you know, they’re hardly ever invited. So so yeah, I don’t know what it is. I honestly don’t know what it is. Well, but we make.

[01:25:47] This this fuel to pick from.

[01:25:51] But do you think it’s because we’re scared of just putting ourselves out there? Because, for example, for me, it’s been throughout the years that I mean, many times I’ve been asked, Why don’t you lecture? Why don’t you do this? I was always like, Oh, I’m not good enough for that. So it was coming from a place of fear.

[01:26:09] By the way, there’s many men also scared of putting themselves out there, too. But but I think you’re right. I think I think there is part of. There are some women who are eminently capable. And, you know, I noticed it. I went to a practice of one of our one of our customers. And in the practice, she was she was very strong, you know, like she said, she was saying exactly what she she she thought. I thought, you know, she was she was the boss and she was saying it. And then and then I spoke to her on on the podcast, and I found a much more reserved, much more reserved. And I wondered whether, number one, is it you know, it’s a strange situation being on a podcast, right? Or number two, is there that thing in society or as a as a woman you feel in society that you can’t be loud and and out of what’s the word, you know, like not not out of control, but, you know, like stand out outside your box, you know? But I’ve always noticed you’ve never really had that issue. But I’m I’m interested that you’re saying you do feel that and you haven’t lectured because of it. It’s interesting.

[01:27:15] Yeah. When it comes to lecturing. Yeah. When it comes to work. I’ve never had fear of being a woman at all. But when it comes to being in a public where where people can can judge. Yes, yes. Not because I’m a woman, but clearly because it’s because it’s me that is scared of doing that. Because I always feel like, oh, my God, they’re going to say this, they’re going to say that, which is a silly thing because, you know, no one’s perfect in this world.

[01:27:40] So when I think about myself or my wife in a social setting, she’s 100 times more capable than I am. You know.

[01:27:50] I’m really.

[01:27:52] Socially. Yeah. Like and like if we go to a dinner party or something, I’m a little bit awkward. I’m very shy. Very, very, very shy. And she’s not she’s she’s she’s very strong, you know. And what she’ll do is she’ll find the one person in the room who isn’t talking to anyone and go and talk to that person and, you know, be very nice and understand everyone. And but then if you ask her to stand on a stage and talk, you might as well ask her to do something. You know, to her, that’s the most difficult thing in the world. And I wonder if I tell her if that’s a man woman thing or what. You know, by the way, I don’t like standing on stage. I like this format because I don’t have to be seen. You know.

[01:28:32] You can hide.

[01:28:34] I can hide. So tell me this, Sandra. If someone wants to download your course. How does that work? To get it, let’s say I want it. What do I do?

[01:28:44] We’re has to. Yes. Veneer. Veneer, school. That’s where all the modules are. Is there a taster.

[01:28:54] Of it somewhere? Like if you want to taste it before you buy it?

[01:28:57] On my Instagram, which is. Sandra Briggs Well, there are loads of videos of like little I think there was one today about preparation. So yeah, a lot of a lot of videos where you can see the formats. It’s an interesting format because it’s a bit like a movie, you know. So it’s, it’s nice to show it. They did a great job. They really did. And the patient was was amazing because, you know, it’s not easy to be there hours and hours of recording and the mouth open and then the rubber dam. I mean, you know, because we did everything under the rubber dam as well. And then we did like a bonus of mini rubber dam course with the course. So she was the one that I picked to do everything. So and I have a funny thing halfway through the fit, isolated every single tooth. And she’s a makeup artist and she says, You know what? I have a client that really needs a makeup. Can I can I go? I said, you must be joking. Right. And this is 9:00 pm on a Sunday. No, but what do you mean you could go? She’s like, Oh, but it’s I can’t say no to the job. So I dumped her, removed everything that you know, how much it takes to rub a dam? Everything. She went to Knightsbridge, to the Mandalorian, to. To do her stuff. Then I said, okay to me, do some some food for for the the camera crew and stuff. And she came back and we finished. So it was like, wow, seriously after we put there. Yeah.

[01:30:34] I’m going, I’m going to wrap it up soon. Sandra But we always have a dark part of this podcast and it goes around the question of biggest mistakes.

[01:30:45] In dentistry, the biggest mistakes that I’ve done, like.

[01:30:50] It can be clinical, it can be tactical, it can be management or ideally something I’m going to give people something people can learn.

[01:30:57] From. Yes. Clinical. Not checking on a full composite case like veneered composite veneers. Not checking what my nurse was given to me. The shade. So I did a bit of a mismatch.

[01:31:15] Different colours on different teeth.

[01:31:17] Colours and different teeth.

[01:31:20] That was only realised after he’d finished everything, right?

[01:31:24] Yes. I said, wait a minute. Strange. That was like, whoa! Once and no, never again.

[01:31:32] What did you do? Repeat the work.

[01:31:35] I couldn’t because it was already so many hours in. So I called I called the patient to come back.

[01:31:40] And removed it all, removed the bits you had to remove, I guess.

[01:31:43] Because it was it was this bad. It was like b one against a two, you know, two or three. It was like really, you know.

[01:31:52] It was obvious when you told the patient when you when you told the patient what had happened.

[01:31:58] You know, the patient might not even realise that’s a funny thing. Yeah, probably the following day. But there she was like, Oh yeah, I can see, I can see. But it was so late as well that she was like, It’s okay, they look beautiful. And I’m like, Yeah, the wrong colour situation when you might not be. Thank God the essentials are the same. You didn’t get that wrong. It was a lateral premotor and then canine premotor as well. Yeah.

[01:32:32] And the patient was understanding.

[01:32:34] Yes. Yes. And I said, listen, I didn’t check. I must we must have run out of this. And I’m so sorry. Something else thing. You know.

[01:32:44] I’m interested if you’ve got a story where the patient wasn’t understanding, even if the mistake was a smaller mistake. Did you have any time like that?

[01:32:51] I’ve had. And now I’ve learned from this, whenever you do, of an ear case, given the expectation that it was, it was always going to be perfect in the fit. Not saying, listen, this can go wrong several times. It’s like a central right. This can go wrong several times. Many times is the most difficult truth of the matter. You have to put it on the really negative side. And if we’re so, so lucky than a second next appointment, everything’s perfect. Then we’ll fit. But it’s unlikely that that happens. That’s my talk now. My talk back then was like, Oh yeah, two weeks of fit and it was sedation case. None of the patient remove everything. Nothing fits it. Nothing fits it. Because when I took the impression, silicone impression, the patient opened a little bit and then I, you know, and then I positioned it again. So obviously it wasn’t my fault. They work on a model that had a different like the reference was completely different, not one fit that was like that patient. So my patient today what he was yeah imagine sedation and the whole trauma of having every single tooth removed temporary removed and yeah that was yeah.

[01:34:07] Was he not understanding why he was sedated so you couldn’t really argue.

[01:34:11] No. But when he when he obviously has sedation and contemporaries and he’s like, what is this? I had documented everything. What happened? He was like, What? You know, he was at the time he was was a CEO of one of these big supermarket chains. He was not having it. So he had very limited time.

[01:34:32] And so what happened?

[01:34:33] He well, I took everything, all the screams and all the nastiness. And then I said, and we have to we have to redo it. I’m really sorry. But, you know, did you like the colour?

[01:34:51] Colour was right. So. But but he didn’t take any further or anything. He didn’t?

[01:35:00] No, no, no, no. Well, he could. And he was in temporary. There was nothing I did wrong, right? Yeah, right, right, right. But but, yeah. Funny stories. Funny stories. But thanks for sharing them. Yeah, thanks. The older you get, the more cautious you are. That’s right.

[01:35:17] And thanks and thanks for sharing about. I can tell you’re uncomfortable talking about about the cause. Like, you know, you’re that kind of person who’s not a self-promoter. I can I can see that. I can see you’re uncomfortable in the self-promotion. And for listeners of this, I’m such a massive fan of Sandra’s right that I contacted her and said, Please be on the podcast. When I saw that she had a course because she she’s not the type of person to push at all. I know your your business partner looks like he knows what he’s doing. As far as pushing the opposite, the total opposite. It’s good, man. You need someone like that. You need to. You need both sides. But I could see you were uncomfortable talking about your course, and so I’m happy you shared about that. Yeah.

[01:36:01] It’s you know, I’m the kind of person that that struggles more receiving a present than make it presence. I love it so.

[01:36:08] I can see.

[01:36:09] You know, it is.

[01:36:12] So we finished this podcast with the same two questions I start with with mine fantasy dinner party. Three guests. Dead or alive. Are you going to have?

[01:36:27] They have to be famous.

[01:36:29] No. Be your grandmother’s grandmother?

[01:36:32] Yeah. Funding Whitey. I would probably sit down. My grandmother with my grandmother from my mom’s side. She was she died with 102. Say no more. How much history?

[01:36:52] Were you close?

[01:36:55] Very close. Very close. She was she was she was crazy. But she was a lot of fun. She was not for what I understand. She was not that great of a mother, but she was a great grandmother. So she was, you know.

[01:37:09] Maybe that’s why maybe that was the reason.

[01:37:11] When she was not very present with them. Because she was. Yeah. But as a grandmother, she was hilarious. I mean, she wasn’t the one that would come and my parents would go out and she would stay with us. You know, it wasn’t that kind of person. It was a person that you would just have fun. And the story she had were unbelievable. And we would learn from her every day. But she wasn’t the kind of grandmother that would cook for you and, you know, and babysit. No, that was that was the other one I had. I was lucky enough to have one of each but her 100%. I feel her very presence. She died many years ago, but I still feel her all the time. Oprah. Oprah Winfrey, I think she’s a total fan of her. And Nelson Mandela, which is another of my big idols. Big item. That would be an excellent. With a lot of amazing red wine.

[01:37:59] Yes, sure. So why Oprah?

[01:38:03] Because I. I know her story like and she’s a she’s a perfect example of everything in life is possible. When I did the Tony Robbins course, he started off by talking about this, this little girl. And he didn’t say, was Oprah. Right? And he said, you know, she was from I don’t know if you know, but she was very poor background and then her uncle raped her and then someone else in the family and she went mental. So she was sent to a mental hospital and then she got pregnant with the same age her mom had got pregnant with her, which was not wrong. I think it was 15. Well, he had an abortion. Obviously, her mom didn’t. That’s why, lucky enough, where we have, you know, so so Tony Robbins was putting you in context of how horrible this human being’s life had been. And he said and today she’s the richest woman in the world and her name is Oprah. And everyone just went, whoa, you know? And I thought, imagine. I mean, she’s she’s she’s done everything. Everything is possible. And she’s done it. And she I think I don’t know her personally, but from the outside, it looks like she’s she’s grandiose. She’s very mindful, super smart. And she keeps going. She keeps going. Has all these schools in Africa for for girls. Yeah. I really admire her. And Nelson Mandela. I mean, what person goes to jail for 20 something years and comes out and wants to make peace with white people?

[01:39:35] Sure. No, I understand. I understand. Now I understand. You want to. You want to get to know her, right? And Prav isn’t here. But his final question is.

[01:39:47] I know. I see his little thing.

[01:39:49] Yeah. The little cartoon of his final question is your last day on the planet.

[01:39:57] You go, you’re in the beach.

[01:39:59] No, but you’ve got your nearest and dearest on the beach with you.

[01:40:03] Yes.

[01:40:04] What? Three bits of advice would you give?

[01:40:07] Would I give to them?

[01:40:08] To them in the world? Yeah.

[01:40:12] 100% live the present. Yes, it would be in the beach. It would be amazing. Food, wine. Again, it sound like there’s a pattern here. I don’t do any service right away. Yes. And definitely by the sea and with my family, my loved ones. And yeah, live. The present will be one. Never hold back, always try to achieve everything because again, everything is possible. It might take time. It might take many, many skills to get wherever it is that you want to go. But I’m I’m a dreamer. I always believe everything’s possible and try not to do to the others where you don’t want to have done to you. Try to be a good human being. Yes.

[01:41:02] Very nice. Are you religious, Sandra?

[01:41:06] Well, I was raised as a Catholic. Do I go to church Sundays? No. Do I practice? I talk to God. Call him Jesus, Allah, Mohammed. Whatever you want to call him, you know. I think it’s the same. It’s the same. I think we’re all God, everything’s God. But I do believe there’s a force above us and that I talked to.

[01:41:30] What you say when you talk to do what you do, you ask for stuff.

[01:41:34] Well, me, I ask for stuff and I give thanks. I always start the morning giving thanks to just being alive. That my family’s healthy. That everyone’s healthy. Is that part.

[01:41:44] Of is that part of Catholic upbringing that most most people do that every day?

[01:41:48] Yeah. You it’s at night that you pray and in the morning you give thanks. Yet at night you pray. I sit with my grandmothers and always pray. But again, you know, it’s like Catholics, the same thing. I don’t believe in limitation. I don’t believe in dividing. So something I learned being in New York and going to I had a patient that was a priest and he was a Baptist and Baptist church. They celebrate life. They celebrate death. Yeah. Yeah. For example, you go to a Catholic, it’s very serious funeral and it’s all bad energy. Like, everyone’s sad, everyone’s crying, everyone’s in black. If you’re a widow, you have to be in black for like a year, at least. And and it’s like, this is not how it’s meant to be. Right.

[01:42:37] So how old were you? How old were you when you when you sort of saw through the I’m you know, I’m not saying you had to see through it, but know the Catholic teaching and ways of the guilt and the that sort of thing. How old were you when you when you figured, you know, I don’t know about all this, you know, organised religion as opposed.

[01:42:56] To probably when I when I moved. Yeah. When I moved out of my house probably. Yes. 17, 18.

[01:43:03] So at that point you were fully in it like when you were 16, you were like you really believed in.

[01:43:08] I did. I did. Yeah, I definitely did. And but then then it was like an eye opener of, no, this is not religion that divides, say, because you’re gay, you don’t exist because you’re you know, this race is inferior to this one. No, just just like people that kill in the name of God. I mean, what is this? You know, again, limitations. So, so and then I love studying other religions. And I asked people and I said, why do you believe this and why do you believe that? When I moved to New York the first week, there was a muslim in my class and I was never exposed to Muslims. That’s the truth, because coming from a Catholic country and all my friends were pretty much raised the same way I was, and it was Ramadan. And I remember we sat in a table and he’s like a brother to me now. But at the time I started having breakfast and then he said, How dare you have breakfast? So. So what did he say? I can’t remember what he said exactly. But but he said, this is very rude towards me because, you know, I’m fasting. And I said, Why are you fasting? And then he started explaining and I was like, Well, that’s your choice, but it’s not my life.

[01:44:22] Why do I have to, you know, but and I clashed so much with him in the beginning. And because it was all he would say, what you couldn’t do and what you could do. And I was like, Wow. But then you come to a respect, an understanding, and he’s one of my dearest friends. And then you say, okay, maybe what I believe or what I think. I believe the story I’ve been told that I believe is not a right story. And there’s so many other people in the world. And why do I am I judging everything? I’m seeing everything with my glasses. That was the first wake up call with the Muslim world. And then because it’s true, it’s in Spain, it was very racist towards other religions, you know, and you would see a guy like especially after what happened in Madrid, the bombs, you would see a guy that he was clearly Arabic with a backpack and everyone would walk away. That’s crazy, you know. So the world terrorists, you know. Yeah. And that’s that’s why I believed until I was exposed to other things and I said, okay, how come I was such so narrow minded?

[01:45:30] It’s a powerful thing. You know, what you what you get told and the way the way things are, it’s just a powerful thing. Every every country has it as well. You know, the Arabs have it, too. They have their own problems in that same respect. You know, people tell you the story I’m quite interested in, you know, the the national myths. Like, I’ll tell you, in Iran, we have a national myth that something around great civilisation from thousands of years ago and then every Iranian knows. The story. Right. And it’s I’m very proud of the story at this one, this taxi driver taking me from the airport to thing he was telling. He literally was totally believing it, saying, look, we’ve got America, you’ve got China and you have Iran. He was he really meant it. He really believed it. And, you know, the national myths of different countries. And I remember I was in Portugal and they were talking about, oh, we discovered the whole world, you know, Christopher Columbus and all of that. Which which which they did. Right. You know, if you want to look at it that way.

[01:46:34] Every virtually every country has its own.

[01:46:38] Every country has its own story. It tells itself right, its own lie. It tells itself. It’s interesting, though, to find out each country’s lie that they’re telling each other, telling themselves, you know. Anyway, it’s been such a pleasure having you, Sandra.

[01:46:52] Thank you.

[01:46:53] I do hope the course goes well for you. And like I say, you’re not the type of person to push yourself at all.

[01:47:01] And I really appreciate that message. And I really loved it. I thought, oh, man.

[01:47:07] I really hope the charity thing works out. And I really I think between us and whoever else is listening to this who thinks it’s a good idea, we should try.

[01:47:15] And reach out to.

[01:47:17] That thing, organise that thing where people say, Hey, we should get someone like someone who knows about computers. Prav, you know, to make a little website that says, Hey, I’m available this week to This Week and connect. It’s such a, it’s so it’s so it’s so what you said it’s so beneficial to the dentist, let alone to to the to the person being treated. Real pleasure to have you. Sandra, thank you so, so, so much.

[01:47:41] Oh, darling, thank you so much. Have a great evening.

[01:47:45] 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.

[01:48:01] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this file, 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 sees the return of dentist, educator and breakdancer extraordinaire Shiraz Khan. 

Shiraz reveals how he almost chose a career in medicine before setting on dentistry. He describes starting on the first rung of the ladder as a receptionist and the joy of discovering he’d been accepted at dental school.

He also chats about family life, overcoming career challenges, and the inspiration behind his trademark sartorial elegance.



In This Episode

01.11 – Backstory

09.32 – Discovering dentistry

13.48 – Break dancing

19.28 – Dental school

22.38 – First job and taking off

36.13 – Family life and work-life balance

58.35 – Fashion

01.04.41 – Teaching

01.08.10 – Blackbox thinking

01.11.00 – Last days and legacy


About Shiraz Khan

Shiraz graduated from Birmingham Dental School in 2013 and went on study restorative dentistry at Croydon University Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas.

He has won various awards, including Best Young Dentist 2017, Rising European Star in Dentistry 2018 and best restorative case at the Aesthetic Dentistry Awards 2019. Shiraz has also won the Fast Track 4 award, recognising the profession’s future leaders. 

He is director of the Young Dentist Academy and a prolific trainer and lecturer with IAS Academy, whose appearances include EXCIDA’s 75th national congress in Tehran, Iran. 

[00:00:00] I went into this practice, did some experience, and I was like, Listen, I’d love to work. Like, I’d love to work here in any capacity. So I started as a dental receptionist. How interesting. I started as a dental receptionist. So in 2008, they introduced GDC registration for nurses. So up until I’d finished, I worked as a nurse. What was it? So now I’m being exposed to all of the clinical stuff. And you know what? I was thinking about this the other day, that that’s exactly what I’m like. Like, if I want to do something, I throw myself so that I’m totally immersed within that subject so that I can become the best at it that is in my ability. So then I was working in a dental practice five days a week as a nurse, as a nurse receptionist for nine months before I went to dental school.

[00:00:53] 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.

[00:01:11] Just tell us about your upbringing. Yeah. Where you grew up, what growing up or what life as a kid was like for you. Just give us a potted history. So for those that know me quite well, I have no medical background in my family. So very, very simply, my parents very much worked working class for their whole lives. Education wasn’t a prospect for them, and they worked incredibly hard to be able to provide for three kids myself, my sister and my brother. But education was quite an important thing for them, so that, as we’ve said before, they didn’t live we didn’t live the life that they had to go through to provide for us. And it was difficult, you know. There wasn’t you know, there wasn’t, you know, new clothes or trainers or phones or whatever it was literally means to getting day by day. I was in an area that wasn’t hugely populated with my ethnicity, so that had its challenges, too. He had grown over the over the last couple of decades, but I was one of a few Asian, Asian, Arabic, whatever you want to call it. Kids in my school, which had its challenges. What do you mean by challenges? Very openly. And he’s your darker skin than everyone. And all of a sudden, as children, which can be very, very mean, a difference is an opportunity to get one over on someone. So whilst a lot of my friends were really lovely, there was definitely a crowd that that weren’t fans, if you can call it that, without any reason for it.

[00:02:44] If we just dig a bit deeper into that Shiraz and just take the lid off it. All right. They weren’t fans, but what was the was day to day? I mean, there was was bullying. There was not getting picked for a football side. All of this stuff like that means so much to you as a kid. You know, like when you when you’re on the line and you’re choosing teams for football, you just want to get picked and then everyone’s like, alright, well we’ll have, we’ll have Shiraz as the goalie. Yeah, yeah. Not even the goal. I was like defending behind the goalie like, you know, I mean like it wasn’t even actually getting to play and there was a couple of years of that and it was and it was. It’s hard. The funny thing is, is I think that can put you in two directions, can it? And I think that’s applicable to adults. You can either spiral away or you can say to yourself, Now I’ll prove my worth. I’m as good as everyone here. And that’s what it does for me. If I get challenged, even this happens in modern day, I get challenged. I think, right. What can I do to better myself, to not be challenged for that same situation again or be able to come out on top and any name call it? Loads, loads.

[00:03:52] Four letter word that begins with P. You’ve probably heard of it. Yeah. All of that. And hearing that as a kid and then going back home, I guess you and your brother and sister get in a bit of that. I know as an adult you can sit there and say, Oh, well, you know, if that happens to me, I rise to the challenge and all the rest of it. Is how you felt as a kid? It’s quite it’s really demeaning. The thing is, is that sometimes you have to put ourselves back to being children because now we’ve got children and you don’t want them to feel these things. But at the time, you just sit there, think, what’s wrong with me? You know, you really delve inside, but what have I even done? And I think the real fruit of that is going through that journey to realise that nothing’s wrong and you can be a great human being. But of course you go home at days, you know, and that’s another day. And obviously because I wasn’t from a necessarily wealthy background, I wasn’t in with the cool kids because I had like cool stuff. It wasn’t even that either. It was just, Oh yeah. So it’s charades. Yeah. So then, then moving on from there, growing up, being exposed to all of that, what type of a student were you? What sort of grades were you getting and what was the overlying message from from your parents in terms of academic and what you should be doing? Was was was there a posture of strive to do to do better academically? And and that was for a better life? Was it anchored to that? What was the message then? I mean, I think there’s a lot of parts to that question.

[00:05:26] So to start with, I was never a bright individual. I wasn’t someone who would naturally perform well in exams. It did go through fluctuations. So I was a very average performer. I always wanted to play and it wasn’t play sport, it was always sport. And God bless my grandfather who died in 97. He used to say to my mum when I was like ten years old, Listen, he needs to stop playing all the time. He needs to do some work. All he wants to do is be outside and play all the time. And it was cricket, football, basketball, any sport I was up for. But invariably going to the next part of the. Question. There was a push from my parents to achieve. And the reason for that was very, very clear. They just wanted better for me. Now, the funny thing is, at the time you think people are on your case, don’t you? As a kid, you don’t think, oh, the flower that is going to blossom in the next ten years time or 20 years time, you’re like, Could you just let me go and play cricket, please? And I think not that I can give parenting advice to anyone, but I think one of the key messages is actually how frustrating it may be.

[00:06:34] Having saying the same message again and again is that message that gets repeated and repeated and repeated that will lead to great things for them in the future. And sometimes as children, maybe we think we know, but there’s a reason we have grey hairs and that experience will pay dividends for the future. And so moving forward, GCSEs, A-levels and all of that, were you hitting top grades started to ramp up then? Because frankly, I was quite tired of being told off. Like, you know, since year four, I was being told off that don’t say stop right now. I need to put my mind to it. I did. I got A’s and B’s in GCSE, so I picked myself up. I think I had the ability to know how to work hard. I just wasn’t necessarily intelligent or whatever the definition of that is. So then I put a draft in, did my thesis, A-levels, got the grades I needed to as a B and two C’s. So I did five, so I did extra. So I got all the grades that I needed to get into university. But my parents want me to do medicine, and I kind of didn’t feel like I want to do medicine, frankly.

[00:07:43] But you’re a 16 year old kid in your parents or 15 year olds personally. That’s what you’re going to do. You don’t really have the the backbone to say no at that time, do you, really? So I went ahead, applied for medicine, didn’t get in, had the grades, have anything on paper. I played sport at a level that was required. I’d done lots of things but didn’t get in, and it was really, really confusing. Did you did you get interviewed for medicine? Who went through that whole process? I got to the interviews and it’s really funny because, you know, my whole life people have told me that I interview well as an example. But it’s just like, you know, I understand when I don’t interview well and it’s when I’m completely passionless about the subject because you can’t show passion when it doesn’t exist. It’s like you can see through it. It’s like a glass glass block, isn’t it? So I’d gone to these interviews and you tell us why you wouldn’t do medicine, so seems like a good thing to do. Mum and Dad said it was a good idea. Yeah, I may as well have said that, frankly speaking. Yeah. Because it was just so unmotivated. And then what happens is you then question your own ability because getting it, getting a rejection actually is quite deflating. And when you get it multiple times, you’re like, Oh man, I’ve got everything they need.

[00:08:55] Why I’m not getting it. It’s because the choice was not truly my choice. So what I then did was I did medical science is a happy medium medium for my family, so I did it. B.s. in medical sciences. Court. You did that for three years. It was like you could apply for medicine afterwards. Finished it. And I was like, right. I’ve seen a bit of the world. No. And when she’s my own life. So and I think I’ve mentioned this to you before, I did all the different experiences that were medical health care, because that’s what I kind of wanted to do. Optometry, physio, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry. And it was dentistry that really, really took me by storm. Tell me about that dentistry work experience, because that must have been influential, right? Yeah. I mean, it was it was everything. It was the fact that you established relationships over a long time. So one thing I couldn’t get over in medicine like I didn’t want to be a GP because all I mean this is are very important people and I’m not questioning that at all. But my experience shadowing was print go, print, go. And I thought, that’s not I want to be more involved clinic like I won’t use the hands. I love that stuff. The problem with hospital side is that you don’t necessarily look after people for a long period of time.

[00:10:10] You’ll do the OP, see them for a review, then they’re done. Dentistry, you’re seeing patients. You’ve see their kids. You’ve seen their kids. Kids. You build up these relationships over a long period of time. You’re doing very manually creative work and it’s like the dream. I was like, Oh my God. Like, why have I not even thought about this before? And so tell me about the working spirit. Who was it with the work experience? Fairfield’s dental surgery in Staines. Incidentally, not all that far from from a good friend of ours practice, Rothley Lodge, which isn’t that far away. Okay. And I’d finished my medical science degree and I said to myself, Right, I’m going to I want to get a job, but I’m not going to get a job with GSK, which I had on the cards, because I don’t know how to say this without sounding inappropriate, but I don’t want to earn real money and get a taste for that and then have to leave that and then go back to eating beans on toast again. I’d rather just graft in the field that I’m going to try and achieve and just stay on beans on toast until you’re ready. Yeah. And the whole year was beans on toast. But actually I was quite lucky. I stayed with my mum and dad. Yeah, I had some cheese and eggs, mate. You know, when you’ve got eggs, cheese, beans all mate, that is gourmet cheese on toast.

[00:11:30] But I went into this practice, did some experience, and I was like, Listen, I’d love to work. Like, I’d love to work here in any capacity. So I started as a dental receptionist. How interested? I started as a dental receptionist, and this was prior. So it was 2007. So in 2008 they introduced GDC registration for nurses. So up until I’d finished. I worked as a nurse. What is it? So now I’m being exposed to all of the clinical stuff. And you know what, Prav? I was thinking about this the other day. That that’s exactly what I’m like. Like, if I want to do something, I throw myself so that I’m totally immersed within that subject so that I can become the best at it. That is in my ability. So then I was working in a dental practice five days a week as a nurse, as a nurse receptionist for nine months before I went to dental school. Had you already got your place at dental school when you were working in there? So. After three months, I had my first interview while I was working there and I got an offer letter within four days. And why was that unconditional? When I say unconditional, I already had all of what they needed. So you were in. But I was you know, I had asked the question that the interview was like, oh, you know, and he was like, you know, usually it takes about two months to find out whatever allowed.

[00:12:50] You got four days. And I remember the day, you know, that comes in, it’s like you got a letter. And obviously in those days you don’t get letters, do you? Really? It’s only if you work, you apply for university and that opens it. And I open it and I’m like, that opens it? No, no. I was like, Give me now. I’d let him open it, to be fair. And I remember opening it and I said, Dad. And he said, Oh, no. So I got in and like the elation, he jumped. He hugged me and I was like almost in tears. I was thinking about it brings it back, you know, because having gone through medical interviews and not being successful, you believe that you’re not good enough. But later on in life, it teaches you that not achieving something will make you push you to become stronger and be better, to be able to qualify and get those things or make that achievement whatever it was. And that’s an episode that’s repeated itself in your life a couple of times, doesn’t it? I’d like to think so. But I mean, you know me, I don’t like looking back at what I’ve done, but yeah, I suppose it has. Just before we go further into your dental career, when did the dancing start and was that something that was a part of your youth and then you brought it back into what you’re doing today? It’s really about that.

[00:14:01] And that was something you and your brother do. Yeah, me. Me and my brother did both of us. But no, it was nothing like Parvati left me really openly. I had, you know, I was that guy that if there was ever a dinner and dance type thing over that. No one’s looking. No one’s looking. No one’s looking. 27. I went to university for dentistry. I saw some guys dancing in a local town. I was like. That’s amazing. How did you do that? Like what? Where’d you learn to do that? Right. So I found out through some local people as class going on and I just typical Shiraz now that I’m saying it it makes sense. Beg pardon? Typical me is that I’m just going to go I’m just going to a class like well, I’m going to pretend to learn it on some YouTube tutorial and we’ll go to a class. And I do this all the time, like you said, repeats itself again. I throw myself in as deep as I can go and I want this class and you know, you’ve got a dental student and you’ve got all these quite hip hop, quite sort of people that look quite intimidating. And they’re like, Who’s this guy that’s come over here? So. And it’s simply based on. You go and get that on the footage. Look at this guy.

[00:15:23] He’s trying to look young. Come here. Let’s go. Look at this. Look at this guy. I’m having a positive response. Look at this. This guy up here. I knew he was standing there. I was like, I’ve got to cut this one short because he’s going to do some funky Newsome’s. Yeah, so we will. So. So the dancing took me by storm. That’s what I was asked. Yeah. And did you go with your brother at that time? I went to a class. And typically, as you do. Do you have brothers? Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, when you’ve done something new, the first thing you do is you go home and you’re like, Look what I can do. Like, my dad was mortified and I thought, This is like, what is that rubbish you’re doing? Where did you learn this? I told you we shouldn’t send them to Birmingham. So the first thing that came my brother and he was like, Oh my God. And then obviously. Is your brother younger? Yeah. Right. So the younger brother always comes out like a 2.0, don’t they? Like you were the test dummy. And then you get this really slick looking younger, much more handsome, much more, much more. But all of that lighter skin, like wherever he picks up everything, like in 5 seconds. So it’s taken me three months to do this one move. He’s literally like 10 seconds in front of you, and a part of you is like, why did you get that so quick? Like, you know, and, and then, but then we were doing it together and I went went to Korea, taught English as a foreign language, went out there basically, so I could learn off the the pioneers of breaking in that country and stuff like that is amazing.

[00:16:58] Amazing. And has that been something that stayed with you over the years or something that you’ve dropped and come back to? It stayed with me throughout up until I would say about COVID, really. Covid obviously was a hope for everyone’s lives in every industry, but a big part of what I do, there’s two sort of ways you can do this, this dance side of things. It can be performing, arts based, theatrical, and we’ve done that. We’ve done theatre shows at Sadler’s Wells and stuff like that, or it can be competitive based and it was always competitive, so that really got me. And so how do you compete in the type of dancing that you do is I assume this judges score you on certain moves or the routine. Are you competing as part of a team, as an individual? How does that all work? Almost all of the above, actually. And what’s really funny, I’m not sure if you’re aware, but in 2024, breaking is going to be in the Olympics, right? Paris, 2024. Wow. There are going to be Olympians that will win medals.

[00:17:56] Right. So what’s really interesting is part of this process and I’m on various committees for breaking and advisory boards and stuff and we’ve been talking about how to make a clear system to be able to judge this stuff because you’re instantly accountable at this level. Now, you know, when it’s like a couple of mates and like, Yeah, I think you won. That’s all it was. Now it’s becoming much clearer and much more recognisable and recordable. In answer to the question about teams, I’ve got a team that we in fact were world champions. We won just four weeks ago. We won the world championships for breaking. I mean, I’d be very open about this. My role within the team was relatively nominal, right? But I was still there. We still did some stuff, we did routines and all of that. And some of the people that are in my team, I mean, they’re sponsored athletes by like NAC and stuff like that, like proper, you know, they’re amazing. In fact, they’re the best in the country. So I do team stuff. They do two and two with my brother as a partner, two and two with my crewmates. I do solos, so all genres actually. But I think if we make a parallel within dentistry, I think the best way to become a team player is to work on yourself to start with, right? And if you can understand what it is that rocks your world or makes you better or makes you perform better, if you explore that, you understand how you can work in a team environment better.

[00:19:19] So I think there’s a lot of parallels actually. Dentistry and I mean infinite amounts. Yeah, we could do a whole podcast on that, to be fair. And so just taking us back to your dentistry, so you done this work experience, is it fair fields to do special dental fairfield’s dental centre and then dental school in Birmingham? Tell us about dental school. What was it like? What sort of student were you? Well, student life like back then. So it was important to me to not go to university in London because I still want to have the experience of living out and becoming your own person and all those sorts of things. Again, it’s history repeating itself because I wasn’t a sparkling student in any way academically. I’d do very, very average. I’ve always passed, I’d always pass. But student life was really cool for me because I then started to get immersed into the Birmingham. Like town breaking seen, not just university, like being in university clubs. So I’d be going to competitions all around the country. And in fact, I’ll tell you one really interesting story, and I’ve got so much time for this lady. Her name is Deborah White. She was the head of school at the time. And my team, the team I was in at the time, had got selected to represent the UK in Slovakia in an international breaking competition.

[00:20:41] I had an oral surgery exam right on the day that was supposed to be travelling back and I just went to a really openly and I was like. Professor White. I don’t really know how to talk about this because it probably sounds so far fetched. My team is selected to represent the UK and is at the same time as sort of surgery exam. I want to say exam. It was like a test. Like a progress test. It wasn’t a final final. And she’s like, Well, you have to make sure you go then tell me right what I’m going to do. I’m going to go upstairs, call up all surgery elite. You can speak to him and we’ll get you a private sitting for the exam afterwards. So, like, like, just think about that for a minute. You’ll give him a pardon to reset an exam at a later date, which is an inconvenience for a lot of people. So I can go and pretend to spin on my head. I mean, that as a principle sounds pretty weird, right? Yeah, but just a sentiment to the institution that they were really about people flourishing as people as opposed to becoming robots to assist them. And the irony of that was that all surgery exam that everyone end up sitting, they got given the incorrect paper is the paper they had already done.

[00:21:56] So they cancelled that mark altogether. So didn’t even have to sit it in the end. Would you believe it? You believe it. What are the odds? But a real big shout out to the University of Birmingham, because I think that was in fourth year. And by that time they had realised, I’m a serious student, I’m not I’m not failing things. I work hard, but big shout out to them because a lot of people would say absolutely not. Yeah, yeah. And then so moving on, you qualify as a dentist. What was your first job? First job was in Gravesend Kent with a lovely gentleman call akin to Corrie. He was my first supervisor and it was a wake up call. You know, you there’s a subtle pride when you get that badge. It says Dr. Shiraz Khan or Dr. whatever. And you think, yeah, I get it now. And then you go out into the world and you get absolutely nothing. I mean, you got how to read a book, in essence, and maybe do a few procedures, but people very, very quickly work out that you’re very inexperienced and that they can probably make you do what they want they want you to do. It was in a relatively high needs area, so it’s just quite comprehensive that you should start with, which is good. But acting himself, I mean, he was he was he was a champion to me because he also had realised that I’ve got this underlying passion and drive and he just, he just you just pushed it.

[00:23:20] You just, you just kept pushing me. I’d never done a surgical extraction. Like, he was like, right, let’s do it. This one’s coming in, right? You’re going to come in? I’m going to hold your hand. We can do this. This is job done. You have done this, right? We’re going to do this. And I think the way you become in terms of the dentistry that you want to do that first year is quite critical, isn’t it? Because you can inspire the way that you work going forwards. And he was an oral surgeon by trade. Nothing to do with what I ever wanted to do, but actually just a very nice human being. And when you get that vibe of nice human beings, you just become a better person yourself. So yeah, shout out to Akin to Corrie. Dr. Akin to Corrie from eight to Corrie and Associates legend. And then so what tell me how your career moved on from from Athens practice to what what happened next? I know you worked with Nick and Martin. Yeah, yeah, quite some time. So you guys have got a lot of respect for. Yeah. In the industry and what they do. But just talk me through your journey and I’m going to come to them in a moment because I owe them a lot, actually.

[00:24:27] Nick and Martin. So after I finished that year, I did a job, so a DCT, it’s called our Dental Corps trainee, which was an oral surgery restorative, max FACS, ortho special care dentistry. So it’s a broad base of subjects went really really well I then you have to sit interviews for the next stage and on the day of the interview I was walking down the road, my trousers just ripped out of the blue, so I ran back, changed my whole suit. Everything that you’re planning to say went totally out the window, started raining on the way. They get there totally dishevelled, like not looking presentable in the slightest. And luckily I still came within the top 30 to get a job for the second year, but it was probably not the job I was hoping for. And in 2015 I decided to get married. So I thought living in dorms with my wife wasn’t a good shot. And we I decided to get a practice job. I worked in the area of Clapham. Now the interesting story about Nick Martin is that Martin, one of absolute gentleman, we were at private dentistry awards and he was looking rather dapper and everyone does as you’ve been to them a couple of times. And he comes up to me, he’s like, You’re sure? As you’re sure has called on you. Yeah. He’s like, Can I just say I love the way that you dress, that everyone’s wearing black tie, which means he’s like, no know.

[00:25:50] Senior about. I just want to say that. Have you ever read that book? What book is that? And apparently it’s a book where some really famous actors and very wealthy people had lots of Gucci and this and whatever. And what they did was they sent that all to Africa. There’s AIDS. So you’ve got these people that have got straw houses that have got the most amazing clothing, right? Like 4000 Gucci suits or whatever they called. There’s a specific name. I can’t I’m trying to remember the name because there is a name. Yeah. It’ll come back to us at some point, but there definitely is a name for and they, they the level of pride. Yeah. That they have in the way they dress and present themselves and they’re walking through. The slum streets literally head to toe looking immaculate. Right. And and their clothes are worth more than their house and their families put together, like it’s unreal. And we established a discussion about it, and that was great. And I was like, oh, he’s like, Oh, but you you work in Birmingham, don’t you? I was like, No, no, no, I live in London. You live in London? Where do you work? I was like, clap, clap, clap. We need to have a chat, son. All right, then. That led to an interview where I met Nic as well, and they offered me a job.

[00:27:06] The rest is history. And the thing about them is that I really owe them a lot because they converted me to be a dentist from just running a system or running in a system to planning cases, aesthetic, restorative, all these different aspects. So I owe them a lot. They really converted me to a what if you can call it private practitioner. And so your career there, how long were you there? Quite long. Quite a long time mentor you during that process? Clinically, yes. Soft skills, all that sort of stuff. Just talk us through that. What was it like working at ten Dental for Nic and Martin? Ten Dental is a fantastic organisation, a brand that they’ve done exceptionally well to establish himself in an area where there’s actually quite a high amount of competition. They spent a lot of time mentoring me, whether it’s understanding orthodontic aspects of treatment, there’s restorative aspects. They’re the people who ask me to start restoring implants. So they mentored me through that whole process, but they’re all around just really good people and they just want to see people succeed. And the reason I really love that practice and I always would hold it highly in my heart, in my regards, is that they really invest in everyone that goes through that surgery, everyone. And they understand that, you know, if you’re attracting an aspirational individual, maybe they’re going to want to go on and do their own thing in the future.

[00:28:30] And they certainly don’t hold people against that. You know, you know how there’s leaders that want you to stay in your lane. They’re not like that in the slightest. They want you to blossom. And, you know, when I see Nick and Martin at conferences and Congress, we were barred this year. We are we were having jokes like I was there at this clinic still. It was amazing, fantastic human beings. So moving on from there, what happened next? So I finished at ten Dental and I was working at other clinics in between whilst because that was only a couple of days a week, I had gone for an interview to work with Koori and at some stage because I felt that I had got the understanding of that level that I that I wanted to achieve. And in essence I entered a master’s program, so I entered a master’s in restorative dentistry and I wanted to be in a place where that might be more applicable day to day. And maybe it was at ten, maybe it was, maybe I didn’t see it. And I phoned the same time, roughly put up a job advert, website advert where. Yeah, well actually it was like every dissemination you can ever imagine, but I saw it on Facebook. So you put a job advert on Facebook. 5000 word job summary. What was he looking for? Everything that I wasn’t.

[00:29:47] Incidentally, he wanted more than five years experience. He wanted at least one teaching master’s degree. He wanted copious implant experience. He wanted I mean, the list of of key skills required was far beyond whatever I could do. Very specific about what you wanted. And I was absolutely not the bill. So I threw my CV in anyway. But again, see, the theme just chucked myself in, see what happens. And I was like, I’m not gonna get anything but whatever. Then I get a call for an interview and I’m like, Oh, all right, go along. The first stage, getting on like a house on fire, huh? What are the odds of this? Get called a second stage? Three people left, two jobs. Odds are in your favour. You get inside. At this point changed me. I mean, you believe that you weren’t going to get the job and now you’re plotting your route to work, you know, I mean, even though you haven’t got the job, you’re like totally in. And I didn’t get the job. Craig gives me a call rather than sending an email. It’s like, you’re a fantastic young man. You’ve got a great future ahead, but I’m not giving you the job yet. And then two years later, we can have a chat. Yeah. What’s going on? I’d love for you to come with me. What would you mean? So he rejected. You rejected me, and he said, you know. You know, I’ve said this to you before.

[00:31:03] When people sometimes deliver bad news, they like to put a nice sugar coating on the top of the bottom so you don’t feel so bad. And I thought I was doing this because I didn’t know right at this point. Shit. Sandwich. That’s exactly what it’s called. Yeah, yeah. See what I mean? So we’ll leave it to bring out the good stuff. But I was like, he’s probably just being nice. He’s probably just being really nice because he doesn’t want to doubt it. He’s a good human being. But we slowly realise is that some people, whether you met them. For a long time or a short amount of time. They just they don’t need to feed you the rubbish. They’re just telling you how it is. And then all of a sudden, two years later, he’s obviously been following what I’ve been doing, lecturing with, with me myself. Him and Asif Tatou. Yeah, we. He invited me to go and open a farce together. So it was Ramadan going over the fast together. And then we did this like biannually meet up and lunch dinner. So we still keep in touch, but, and I’ll make myself very clear on this, I wasn’t trying to force myself into his world. He instigated for us all to be well, go it, go him. But I want to just dig deeper into that rejection. Yeah. What? You know, we said I’m not going to hire you yet.

[00:32:21] What did that mean to you? And did he give you some criteria? Did he say to you, I’m not going to hire you yet, but if I do, how you in the future? No, this is what did that mean at that point? Did it give you hope? No, it genuine. The typical response for me is he’s just saying it to be nice. There was no hope. I mean, I didn’t I didn’t suspect that one day I would get there. I didn’t think not and not in any way to be discrediting to him. I just thought I’m you know, I’m from a vein of life where, you know, you sort of believe that good things don’t happen to you. Like we never get, like, lucky or whatever that means. Right? So I was just like, Oh, he’s just saying it to be nice. Oh, what a shame. I was heartbroken about it. The thought process about it, you kind of wanted it to happen, didn’t work out. Maybe they’d just be nice. So there was no there was no belief that it was going to happen. But what it did instil in me is how important that felt. So it made me think being going to the clinic, seeing how beautiful it was, seeing the waiting room, seeing the sorts of cases they’re doing, that it made me understand that that is something at that point. So that’s 2017, 2017.

[00:33:36] At that point I realised that’s something that yes, I do possibly want to achieve that in my lifetime. And then it came about as it did. It just came as we rang you randomly, but you’d been connecting socially. We had been connected. Yeah. It wasn’t like a out of the blue situation. Yeah. And I think he had certain people leaving the practice to start their own clinic. He had other people that he may have employed that didn’t work out with. So availability came up. That was a steep curve going from where I was to go into the that was I mean, COVID as much as it was the worst thing that’s ever happened in the world. There’s many beautiful things about it too. Silver linings and that break that for three months kept me going. It kept me going because, you know, you entered at 20th January 2020. You think you kind of know it and then you’re like 5000 processes extra and you’re like, Well, what was the shift in going from working where you were to working for Cory? Yeah, what changed? One thing that was really lovely was the way that his consultation process existed was still very, very much aligned to his what I trained to do, the things that changed is were genuinely the process is now. The great thing for for my career is that I was already very on top of clinical photography and that’s quite a big part of that clinic.

[00:34:54] So that was a bit that I was already ready with. Yeah, I already had that. It was just things like occlusion that I probably didn’t have the understanding to the amount that I should have. It was things like implants. I didn’t have the amount of understanding it should have. It was the level of documentation. Trial is the level of letter writing that we have to send to our patients that I was not doing anywhere near as much. And slowly but surely that starts adding up quite significantly to hours, days, weeks, months of being behind. So when you go from not doing that stuff to then start doing it, I had three months and then all of a sudden I really had time to get my feet under and understand how to do the processes. But it was it was challenging. There’s no there’s no denying it. But I don’t know if this is, again, a personality type thing. But if there’s a challenge set in front of me, I want to be able to overcome that. I think that’s just who I am as a person. If I’m not good at something, I want to become better at it. I understand you can’t do everything. I’m not I’m not trying to pretend to be that. But if there is a situation that requires me to perform and I don’t perform, I look at why. I look at what I can do to get better and then push myself to be better.

[00:36:13] So at what point you mentioned you got married. What was it about 2015, 2015, 2015? Unfortunately for my wife, she’s wonderful. Testing has been a huge support, by the way. So tell us tell us about your wife and then and then one kid to the kids. To the kids and your children. And you often sort of post on social media about what a rock you’re what your wife is and by side. And, you know, we all know the old saying behind every successful man and all of that. Right. Tell us a little bit about her. Tell us about your kids and what fatherhood is like. Okay. So so first things first. My wife is a very beautiful young lady who stumbled across my life in a way that you wouldn’t even expect. And we hit it off from the from the first day we met. What do you mean? It’s a funny story, Prav. Okay, so in my younger days, I used to do fashion modelling. Hard to believe. I know. Without the beard. Right. Without the beard. Yeah. And I’ll tell you a funny story. When I started growing the beard, the amount of booking requests quadruples that. You wouldn’t expect it, right? You’d be like, Oh, no, he looks a bit rough. It went up because he started becoming a trending thing. But we were doing the Asian Wedding Exhibition Show.

[00:37:38] Who’s we? Me testing. And there were like ten other models there. Right. So Tassie was another she’s another model there. Did you meet her there? And I’ll tell you a funny story. So we I walked in with another bloke who was quite well known within the scene and he obviously knew testing there on a high. And he went and said hello to her and I was like flipping eggs. She is absolutely beautiful. I’m not going to let her know that in the slightest. And she was. I just ask you. Hi. Sure. As lovely to meet you. Walk off. I’m not even going to give the time of day, not even cool as anything. But obviously I was like, she’s not even trying to pretend that she was absolutely the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. And we’re doing rehearsals. I didn’t plans or whatever. We have a few exchanges, but I’m quite I thought maybe this is also a personality trait thing. If someone gets loads of love in like a and this is not a social media related at all, this is physical. Yeah, I’m not going to go and feed that. I’ll speak or converse or exchange in my own terms. Create a mean keep it key kind of. Well, it’s not intended to be that way because frankly, I didn’t think I had a chance, mate. I mean, if you saw the blokes that that show, I was definitely the lower of the pecking order.

[00:38:56] There were some pretty sharp looking people there. And then we all went to Nando’s together. We all ate and she sat across from me and then a vibe side. Like it was just we were catching so much jokes. Another really pretty girl who actually is she’s a presenter for an Indian sports channel. She’s like millions, millions of followers of whatever she’d like. Really famous. Now, she had accidentally not known that they were her fries, whatever. Me and her, we’re both just eating her food, not knowing. And they’re, like, away for us. I think you just take them. Oh, so sorry. We just. Just totally lost about the world, and we exchanged. At the time, it was Facebook obviously was a big thing. Then obviously like Instagram, exchange, Facebook, keep talking, talking, talking. And the rest is history. Your relationship with your wife started over a cheeky Nando’s, cheeky Nando’s mate, and it wasn’t even a cheeky Nando’s, just the two of us. I mean, there was like three people on this long table. Yeah, yeah. Serendipity put you in front of each other completely, completely, completely. I was like, Oh, I’m going to sit across from not even. Not even so. Yeah. And, and, you know, I think talking about it because obviously we got married in 2015. 2022 now. So we’ve been through some great times, been through some tough times. But one thing I’ll say about that lady is that sometimes when you’re a driven individual and I’d mentioned this recently on something else that was on that you make a decision to do something and you’ve got to work hard for it, right? So I decided to do a masters.

[00:40:35] I have to do that work. It’s me I’ve got. I’m going to fund it. I’m going to pay for it. I’m going to do all of that work. It’s not just you. You’re impacting your other half’s life at the same time. And I think perhaps in my earlier days of being married, I probably didn’t really realise that properly. Every decision I make has generic repercussions, not just on me. I always used to take it on me and she has been so fantastically understanding in all of the aspirations, you know, applying for awards. I mean, that’s like days and days of work, writing a dissertation that was. So black going up to Boeing and doing lecturing, going abroad to do lecturing, being invited to do all these things, in essence, breaking it takes time away from us. And she’s been such a fantastic support to that because if and you know, you’re right, it is kind of just candid commentary nowadays that I’ll find every good man. There’s a really amazing woman. But actually, if she started pulling me and saying, Why are you not spending time with me? Maybe some of these shootings wouldn’t have happened. Maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe the relationship might break.

[00:41:42] A number of things can happen. So she’s been aggressive. She tells me she must do right. I think. I hope she does. I hope she doesn’t. Listen, I know him from my relationship, right? That you know, the only thing that my wife wants more of is my time. Yeah. Yeah, the one currency. And. And I’m sure that your wife would want more review. Right. Or is expressed that to you has definitely but now when she talks about which is kids yeah so now and strangely you now start having the guilt that may maybe should have existed before. Right. But now it’s no, I need to go and see. I need to make sure that I’m home before they sleep or you kids called. So I’ve got a girl who’s now going to be three next month. Her name’s Iya Iya. And I’ve got a boy who’s ten weeks, 11 weeks old now. His name’s Xavier Avila. Xavier Xavier said av y. So can you take yourself back to the day that I was born? Yeah, man. It has gone up on your arm and you’re thinking about it was just. You know, like. You start to think that the amount of children that are born per hour and every one that comes out is nothing short of a miracle that organs move out the way, like bodily changes, like it’s just like bizarre how that happens. And by and large, most of them are healthy.

[00:43:18] I mean, it’s just yeah, man. I mean, pictures on that day and obviously it was a girl as well. So there’s an extra soft spot. I mean, I love my son to bits. There’s a lot of a lot of love for him because he’s just something amazing. But daddy’s girl, mummy’s boy, that exists for a reason, right? Of course. Of course. And are you one of those guys? The moment she came out, you were just besotted and totally in love. Yeah. I mean, weirdly, I was in love before. Like we do these city things. Like, if you can hear your daddy make, just do a little kick and you hear it and like things like that, you know, like you’d already become really attached. But yeah, of course, when you see it hold when you hold it, it’s it’s amazing. And, you know, we should never take for granted that a lot of people may or may not be able to have children. And it’s such a blessing. It’s a blessing. What changed for you when you became a dad then? How did you or life change? I think the things that I would ordinarily commit myself to. I had to start thinking twice about stuff like that. I think my empathetic nature really, really grew because ordinarily I’m quite talking about let’s just get this done. But all of a sudden I’m a bit more. How do you feel about this? I started really trying to understand those things and invariably the respect for my for my misses.

[00:44:48] I mean, it just goes up astronomically, doesn’t it? The fact that you can grow a human being, you can carry a human being. I mean, it’s just insane. Men could never handle that, right? Wherever anyone says, no man could ever handle that. So for me, just my whole outlook on life and priorities changed, right? So for me. I’m sure it’s different for everyone. Right? But prior to that, I was I was certainly a lot more selfish. And then they give you purpose. Yeah. You know, whatever. Whatever that is. Right. Whether it’s those little micro challenges of, you know, they’ve just read the first word or two steps, all these little things. And what I find hilarious, right, is she just spoke a word. Oh, my God. Do you remember the simplest? Human communication tools, things. Right. And you and your wife are blown away by that, right. And then you think it’s it’s your right to then announce it to the world that my kid just spoke. Right? Like no kid’s ever spoken history. Right. And those are special times, I think, for any parent. And there’s no there’s no there’s no other times like it. No, like, you know, your first big achievement through work or your first sporting great opportunity. Nothing. Nothing touches those moments. Nothing. Yeah. And what are they both like in terms of personality? Is one more like mom, one more like dad? Just it’s quite vocal.

[00:46:23] Certainly has dual personality types. So she has a very methodical type thing, which is 100% my wife. Like, what was it we’re trying to clear, not doubt, trying to help out clearer stuff away and I’m just chucking it in the different box. No, no, no, no. And puts that one into that box because it goes in there and she’s not even three she’s not learned that that’s ingrained from some genetic code right. When she’s sleeping is like, you know, proper start. That’s totally me, like throwing shapes in the night, you know? Like, there are definitely traits of us both. She’s. She’s special. Really special. Any son? Xavier. Xavier? Yeah. Xavier. He is. He’s a wonder child. So 14 weeks taslim was rushed to hospital because there may have been a breach. And we it was. It was. It was my brother’s wedding. But they got married at the registry office. Something changed. We got rushed to Annie, and we got told he wasn’t going to survive. So I cancel work for the week, we’re being told. On the procedure. And they come in to have the chat to say, well, look, if this is the case, we may need to instigate the the loss of of your kid. And we didn’t even look at each other. It’s like. No, not really. And of course, it was completely emotionally filled at the time.

[00:48:06] But it’s that no, let nature take its course. It’s like, yeah, you do understand it’s harder the older they are to lose and all of that. And with iron. So with I, we kept her, we kept gender neutral. We didn’t know what it was until she was born. You just kept it a secret. We didn’t even want to know. You didn’t want to know because we were just grateful for whatever it was. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Obviously that drove our families insane. Yeah. Particularly Asian families, because they’re OCD about wanting to get the colours and the themes and the schemes. And Aunty coming up, she’s like, I know what you’re doing. It’s very, very nice, but it’s a huge inconvenience to me that we don’t know the gender. And it wasn’t so, so eloquently said either. Hey, tell me what it is. I don’t know. Yeah. So we didn’t do a reveal or any of that? None of that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then at the time, 14 weeks, they were like, he isn’t going to survive. So that’s when you found out? That’s how we found out. That’s how we found out. And I was really upset because even want to keep it secret but also surprise or. Yeah, well, we always wanted we always wanted to keep surprises. If we did it for the first, that was the way we were going always. Yeah, but the point was you weren’t mad, isn’t it? You weren’t attached.

[00:49:25] You had Archie, and now you’re attached. It’s a really difficult thing. And I’ll tell you about it, because I spoke to a mindfulness coach and who’s a patient and the because I don’t share my personal circumstances with with patients or whatever. But she had to get cancer and she’s really lovely lady. And we were getting to the end of a big treatment and she had to get cancelled. So I sat down to explain to her why and it turned out that she’s a mindfulness coach. And I said, Oh, you know what? And they told it, this is him. And we have no idea, because at the time I came back to work, we had no time. We had no idea about how long it was going to any day we could then rush to hospital. So I said, Yeah, and they told it it was him. And you know something I don’t want to know because don’t wanna get attached. And she’s like, That’s exactly what you need to know, because now you’re not fighting for it, now you’re fighting for him. And it was so powerful and so like motivating. Like, I was like, Yeah, yeah, we are fighting for him. And you know, again, I’ll repeat the credit to my wife. She was jabbed two times a week to check that she wasn’t getting infections or anything. She’s having to go in to get tests done, scans done three times a week.

[00:50:48] It was impossible for her to work. She was at the hospital back and forth every two, three days for six months. It’s a long time and 25th of April. Outcomes my son. So then how does how does work life balance fit into this whole, whole mixture? You’ve got two children who you obviously absolutely adore. Yeah. Your wife. You’re raising your teaching. You’re learning your dentist doing dancing. Dancing. Yeah. All of that family thing. All of it, yes. Well, what does work life balance like? Give me a typical week in the life of Shiraz, not blow by blow, but like what would your typical week look like in terms of work, teach to being taught? And then so up until recently, I stopped working Saturdays because I think that was really important for me. But in essence, I’m clinically committed Monday to Monday to Thursday practice, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Corey’s Chelsea on Tuesdays. I must admit the difficulties with those days. I don’t often finish before seven, which is very challenging. So what should what’s your clinical day like? So from what time? So I’ll be in probably 8:00. First patient. First patient is usually nine an hour before. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I want to be in the right mindset, mind frame, everything so we know what we’re doing if there’s no love. I just want to be in the zone and physical fitness is quite important as well.

[00:52:31] Before we go into physical fitness, you get an eight, you start work at nine. And what happens in that hour, if you’ve got a huddle, do you check your day list? So incidentally, I’ve tried to include a huddle because of course practice isn’t the huddle, but usually there are treatment plans, photos, daily lab work. I mean, the amount of stuff that goes on and on and on that we have to do, it just continues. There isn’t a huddle. As such. But I’ve actually made the recommendation that we do that in the morning to get team spirit up. I think I think this is really important for practice. I touched on physical fitness, so obviously it’s not time for the gym usually. So whether I leave at 645 to get to work or seven. Yeah. Or I leave at 615. It makes no bones about me seeing anyone at home makes sense. Everyone’s in bed anyway. It was in bed anyway. So I get myself up earlier so that I can get a gym session and usually before work at the gym, at home, at the gym, which is 3 minutes away from work. So I’ve signed up at the gym, which is in Marylebone Monday to Thursday, Fridays, often teaching Friday, sometimes Saturday. So Monday to Thursday you’re in work. You work of 7 p.m. gym in the morning before that if I can if you at least three times a week.

[00:53:52] Yeah. And so at seven you finish work at home. At home and then we’ll sit down for an evening meal. What’s your routine from seven onwards? It is so ad hoc Prav because it completely depends on children. Tassie may have had to catch herself eating while she was sorting one out and then sorting the other. Often she hasn’t eaten by the time I get home. I try to get home just before it’s Aya’s bedtime, which is 745 8:00. So you look at, what, 35, 40, 50 minute commute. Usually at that time on the way back, it’s quite, quite 40 minutes, I’d say. And incidentally, if I leave at six, it’ll take me an hour and 40 minutes. So get home. Same the same time. Yeah. 10 minutes apart roughly. So yeah, I’ll leave then and get home and try and at least try and get home to put my daughter to sleep. That’s non-negotiable. I’ve established a few non-negotiables, so just toy with this idea because when I was or when I’m working away and if I get home just before the little ones are due to go down. Right. I get a bit of grief. Because my kid hasn’t seen me all day. It’s a wind down time and they’re not absolutely dilated anything. Right. Do you get that as well? Sometimes. Sometimes, sometimes. And then you get the. Oh, yeah, you know, just leave him to it. Now you saw it.

[00:55:24] But I’m cool with that. Like I’m very in the sense I’m very hands on dad. I’m not like, Oh, I don’t do nappies. None of that rubbish. That’s my kids. I’m doing everything. I’m not letting anything I can bastard do whatever Mr. Best time. It’s the time that soul heals, isn’t it? You’re with your kids and then usually I try and keep a so I’m not always teaching every Friday and Saturday obviously. So that’s usually as a family time. I go to congregational prayers which are on a Friday, and then we’ll either try and plant it with the family, or if there are other activities which you’ve mentioned, it’s your home. You put it to bed. Yeah, no more. Then often it’s a scramble to either sort out what’s food or if my wife’s been able to prepare. And when I sit down, obviously my son’s very young. So usually just as soon as one is put to bed that are we never manage in that one getting him so it it’s that’s what I meant by so fluid at the moment but the aspiration is we have a meal I mean me and my wife having a meal face to face is quite an important thing to me and to her obviously. But I’m not always guaranteed. It’s not. It’s not. And sometimes it’s because of me, sometimes because of the situation. Family are both always. Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard the term passing ships.

[00:56:55] It’s a bit frustrating because. Yeah. Cards, anything. Shiraz. Shiraz, Shiraz. Wow. Okay, we. Right then see loads of people. This generation won’t even get what that was. It’s totally lost in a generation. Right. But yeah, it’s interesting what you’re saying there because, you know, we’ve had that at home where especially when the kids were younger. Right. Is that you don’t get any husband wife time. Right. And it’s for a couple of years. Right. You’re 12, ten, 12 weeks. Did you say 12 weeks, 11 weeks, ten, 12 weeks. Yeah. You got you got a good couple of years. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And you know, I find it so important to if you can, if you’ve got the support network around you to get that time where it’s just the two of you. Yeah. And remember why you fell in love. Yeah. You know, sometimes you forget and and we’re lucky that actually my parents are 10 minutes away. 20 minutes away. Her parents are in Birmingham, which is far. But in fairness to them, I mean, huge crowds of them are there. They’re down as often as that can be. You know, 120 miles isn’t anything as far as it goes to. But obviously when your grandparents like that’s that’s a drop of drop a hat 120 miles. Not much stress, is it? They’ll do anything. And they’re great with my kids as well. Both parents, both both sets of parents are just absolutely wonderful, my kids.

[00:58:20] But yeah, I think one thing that we’ve reflected on constructively over the Christmas and beginning first quarter of this year is we need to have more of that time. Yeah. And date night exists for a reason. Like, sure, it’s a thing. Yeah, absolutely. And just moving on to other topics. Yeah, yeah. You dress up. It’s obviously questionable on the best of days, whatever that is. And it’s it’s out there. It’s striking, you know, whether it’s the suits that you wear, the colour of the socks, whatever it is. But you obviously take a lot of pride in the way you present yourself. Is that something that’s been with you from a young age or is it something that you just sort of thought, you know what, I’m going to give this a go now. Like it gave my dad industry a go and like I tried to apply for medicine. Or do you know what I mean? Like all these different things, do you think, right, I’m going to get deep into fashion now. Like I’m going to get deep into breaking and and where did that start? So God bless my grandfather who died in 1997. He’s my dad’s dad. He would like wear a three piece suit to the park, you know, a three piece suit to Tesco or like he’s just immaculate. And it didn’t really at that point. It makes no difference to you, is that right? Yes.

[00:59:45] And then I started my first job was at Debenhams on a weekend. So sales system, whatever you call it. And so I was in the shop there and then I’d done that whilst I was at A-levels and then when I went to Birmingham, I need to keep up some form of work and then it from Debenhams. I went to USC. Yeah. Do you guys see? It’s sort of. I mean, it’s basically a failing organisation really, in my opinion. But it was a big thing then, wasn’t it? Like if you got some money, you’d go to USC and get some stars or whatever it was, right? So I got a job there. Then I went from there to House of Fraser. Then I worked at Ted Baker. Then I went to Selfridges throughout my university time when I when I was at Ted Baker, I got inducted and formalised for the measuring and adjustments for customising people’s suits. So I was the formal specialist, specialist, whatever, whatever you call it. And what was really interesting is I started then my whole creativity duties start flowing because I’m in a work, an educational process that’s really scientific. There’s not really any space for creativity. Frankly speaking, you need to learn and apply end of. So then I get the chance to put myself out there and start putting things together and I start putting bits of shoes together and clutch and yeah, yeah, all of it, like.

[01:01:12] And I was like, Oh, this is really cool. And very quickly, I started getting identified as being that weirdly weird guy puts dress together in a weird way, but for some reason it works for some reason. So, I mean, one of the best things about Ted Baker is that if you’re formal specialist, you get one suit at 90% off the season. So if you work there for five years, there’s two seasons a year, ten suits at 90% off. So I had a fantastic wardrobe of stuff that was ready to go and qualifying dentistry obviously started going to conferences and I was like, Oh, I’ve got some, I’ve got some pretty I’ve got some bangers in that closet. Let’s go. I must stop not using them excuse to get dressed up and excuse. Well actually everyone that goes, some of the people that I would go with would go quite formally anyway. A lot of people go casual and that’s cool, but I love the formal thing. And then it just became just started rubbing off more and more. And the funny thing was, was that I didn’t do it. And this is a really common misconception. I think people think you do it to get attention. It’s exactly the opposite. I do it because I don’t care about the attention. Quite frankly, if people like it, they loathe it. That’s entirely up to them. I’m cool. Yeah, I’m cool.

[01:02:30] And because we’re in a relatively conservative field, it happens to stand out. You know, I’ve had people say to me, Oh, what you done there was really clever. That’s not what. Yellow socks. That’s clever. That’s really smart, is it? You know, anyway, so it’s not something that I aspired for, it’s something else surrounded by. So the outfits that you put together. Are they are they outfits that you can just walk into a shop and get off the shelf? Or have you just put have you just got some combos and said, do you know what? That jacket with those trousers and that shirt and them shoes. That’s my stamp on what I bought in the shop. You see these? You’ve probably seen it on Instagram. Yeah. You buy these five shoe suits, you buy a pink shirt, blue shirt, blah, blah, and you’ve got 75 suits. Right. And you’ve seen that. Right. Is that you’re obviously not that combo, but do you sort of mix and match like the trousers from one to with a jacket from another? Sometimes, yeah, sometimes. I mean, it depends on. It’s funny, I was talking about this with an actor and I think I’m quite well write about you create your own formal style weirdly because certain certain requirements there are I need to wear the same combo because it’s quite a formal occasion. So I’ll jazz up with a particularly different pocket square and tie in different coloured socks or whatever.

[01:03:56] But if it’s like smart, casual, then actually I’ll start doing a bit more mix and match something I got into recently. Well, not recently. It’s about five years ago, really. So I think I got into his double breasted waistcoats and I love the way they look, except for the fact that every time you go out, people are asking you for their reservation or dinner requests for dinner. And I’m like, No, I’m not the waiter. But yeah, if I find a particular piece, it doesn’t have to match anything I’ve got because I know I’ll be able to make it work with something. So but I do have very, very formal like pinstripe suit and beige suit and grey suit and. But usually there’s a little twist. Yeah. And moving on to teaching. Yeah. How did you get into that? Do you remember the first time you taught, got up and spoke? Yeah. How did that feel? Felt really easy. Weirdly, the first one was really straightforward. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I had finished my foundation. Training Should Be a chef who’s the training programme director for cancer. Ssx had asked me to come back to speak to the delegates from the year the following year. What was my PhD like? And I did a very, very simple, straightforward PowerPoint times. New Roman. Yeah, very simple. And everyone had a great time and it was very much when I, when I present, it’s very much of this style.

[01:05:29] I’m trying to keep it relatively conversational. It’s got it’s packed with information. There’s formal aspects to it, but it’s not meant to be a formal proceeding. I want it to be relatively jovial. I want it to be conversational, and I want people to be engaged. That was the key should be I thought it was great. And he said, You’ve got really natural affinity for it. Let’s get you back to the whole scheme. So went from 15 to 100 people or 90, 90 people, and then I got invited to do things with the Young Dentist Academy. Remember that about in 20 1516? And they were just asking me to do more and more and I was like, and I haven’t said this before. There were opportunities that I got asked to speak that I declined and I sent to some of my mentors because I wasn’t qualified to speak at that time. I didn’t have enough information, I didn’t have enough cases. I didn’t have the understanding. And I think if I’m going to give any sentiment to anyone that maybe would like to teach or whatever, it’s okay to say no rather than go up and look like an idiot very openly. And I passed on things to Andrew, Pal, Tiff, whoever it was, because I think they were better suited to those opportunities. Yeah. Because I think it’s a really big everyone thinks it’s the high life you’re in the limelight and all that.

[01:06:50] It’s not, it’s a responsibility if you go, if you, you teach prep all the time, if you teach and you get someone that just doesn’t get it, you take that quite personally. You need to make them understand it before they leave. You give them everything. Yeah. Whereas people just want to do the thing. Get paid to see you later. That’s not how it is for me. So if I can’t make you understand, I’m not a good enough teacher. Yeah. Something wrong with my communication? Exactly. Exactly that. Yeah. And what you enjoy more the teaching or the dentistry, but definitely the dentistry without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve got a very natural ability to talk in public places and with people and try and break things down. But I don’t like talking for no reason. Yeah, and even if there was a day and age where I didn’t need to do dentistry financially anymore, you still have me there because I love the clinical and it’s what I talk about. So I never want I never want people to ever consider that actually we didn’t train as teachers. We changed as clinicians to keep that your primary and make it a fantastic secondary. Yeah, but it will always remain that people don’t want to listen to people that aren’t doing it anymore. You don’t listen to the people that aren’t on the front line anymore.

[01:08:04] You know, technology and techniques keep changing so you can’t have to be up with it. Then what was your biggest clinical mistake? Its biggest clinical mistake. Like a massive oh, shit moment. Did I just do that? I’m aware I’m at. That’s where. Well, my experience I’ve just done something wrong. There’s obviously been a few. But one thing that has happened in the past was retreats from theif they’ve been retreat necessarily. They’ve been retreated and restored, but the crown is really, really loose and the only way to keep the teeth was to do post crafts. And I think at the time, quite a few years back, there’s disgruntlement between someone and someone at the practice. And I got involved and they want to be involved. And it’s the first time that the political situation leaned into the clinical. And I was thinking about it while I was doing the procedure and I was getting more and more irate about the situation. And you tend to lose focus. And I was doing a post preparation and this perfect root canal got perforated. What did you do? I didn’t even realise this is the bad thing. I didn’t realise until I took my X-ray and sat the patient. And the only saving grace in this situation was the patient was very well aware that these teeth might not survive. So the patient took care. So let me see how your X-rays and I saw the X-ray and I’d seen that the post was at the wrong angulation.

[01:09:37] So that set the lady up and said Hi Mrs. X today gone relatively well. However, it hasn’t gone as good as it could have and there has been an error which has led to the fact that this post will not survive and the tooth will not survive. I know that we had already talked about the fact that this tooth was questionable survivability wise, but this is compromised the tooth further. I’ll tell you what we’re going to do to solve this situation. I’m going to refer you to a specialist to see if the tooth is repairable and then we will re restore the tooth. But I think we need to have that very frank discussion about replacing and replacing the tooth because there’s a risk for it. And it starts off and then you see a bit of tension and stress and then a bit of thankfulness for the openness. Because you know what it’s like if you’re telling someone you’ve done something wrong. It’s a really awful situation. Yeah. You feel embarrassed. You feel right thing to do. Yeah. No, you have to, though. I can’t. I can just say to her. Oh, everything went really well. Cheers. On your way. I won’t be able to sleep at night, perhaps. What good is it doing? Charity work if you’re going to treat people as they come before? And yeah, so I was very, very open about it.

[01:10:50] She’s really thankful for my openness and honesty. Obviously, any specialist fees that were incurred I, I covered and incidentally, we were able to save the tooth. Now she understands, but she understood from before that the chance of survivability long term is still questionable. So far we’ve been alright and I know we’ve probably asked these questions before on the podcast, but let’s, let’s get them out again, right? So imagine it was your last day on the planet and you had your loved ones around you. What three pieces of wisdom would you leave them with? The three pieces of wisdom that I’d leave people with? Always remain humble. The world has given us a lot. We need to give a lot back. If someone’s having a bad day, don’t tend to try and make their bad day worse. So if someone’s come at you with something, then go back because you have no idea about the mentality in the situation they’re in. And so I’m going to say four enjoy every day. You lost. Go for it. If there are things you want to do, take the chance. Finally, always give charity. Because that always makes you richer. And not financially. The soul, the mind, the body, everything. So always give back. Just don’t. If your success happens, don’t forget where you. Where it all started. Charity is a really big part of my life, and I want it to stay that way.

[01:12:13] 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.

[01:12:29] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this file, 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.