This week, Prav and Payman sit down for a chat with a dental and implantology leader from a short hop over the water in Northern Ireland. 

James Hamill chats about growing up in Enniskillen, NI, and how his entrepreneurial mindset led from practice purchase to eventual burnout. But it’s not all doom and gloom: James talks about how close relationships with patients and an inspirational figure provided a ray of light.

James also reveals how he blagged the NI distribution rights to innovative US implant guidance tech, Chrome, and gives the lowdown on how the system is making life easier for patients and clinicians.  

In This Episode

01.39 – NI frame of mind

07.36 – Discovering dentistry

16.52 – Dundee

20.19 – Business

26.09 – Starting with surgery

29.31 – Marketing the business

34.01 – Lows

42.02 – Highs

49.09 – Time out and 3D printing

53.44 – Chrome

01.19.15 – Blackbox thinking

01.26.08 – Work ethic

01.30.48 – Fantasy dinner party

01.34.28 – Last days and legacy

About James Hamill

Multi-award-winning dentist James Hamill is the CEO of Quoris3D dental 3D printing and design tech company. 

He is Europe’s leading Chrome GuidedSMILE guided surgery clinician and one of the foremost Chrome clinicians worldwide. 

James is a fellow of the International Team for Implantology (ITI) and a prolific implantology teacher and mentor.   

He holds a diploma in implant dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and is a member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery.

I would argue quite strongly that what we’re teaching at the minute and implant dentistry, we’re teaching the surgical principles, which is lifting flaps and managing soft tissue, all really good, important fundamental things. But the bit we’re missing is to make sure that we put it in the right place. If we put it in the right place, we will reduce our surgical complications and we will reduce our risk of complications. That’s the position, and that’s where guided surgery fits.

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.

Selling cake gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. James Hamill onto the podcast. James is a long time implant leader, is the way I would describe it. First came on my radar with blue Apple Dental. But things have moved on a lot for James. He’s a bit of a serial entrepreneur, teaches mentors, distributes near dental implants in Ireland, CEO, of course dental and recently doing a roadshow around the UK with his chrome product which is really taken off which is the implant digital workflow, which James you’re looking at now going across Europe. With pleasure to have you, buddy.

Welcome. Yeah, Yeah. Thank you. Yep.

So, James, do you grew up in Northern Ireland?

Yep. Correct. Yeah. Currently, Fermanagh, a little sleepy town called Enniskillen, which is over on the west side of Northern Ireland. So we’re, we’re, we’re known as border people. So we grew up on the border.

So Enniskillen to me, only the troubles. I remember Enniskillen coming up in the Troubles. Do you have memories of the Troubles being a feature of your childhood, or were you past that point when you were?

Very much so. Now you’ve brought that up. That makes me feel quite sad actually. But that that’s what you remember Enniskillen for? Yeah. Yeah. So Enniskillen was unfortunately made famous because of the Enniskillen bomb which happened which happened at the Cenotaph when when there was a group families, husbands and wives and kids there for the Remembrance Day period that took place there every year. And yeah, it was a very tragic time for me. Now that you’ve said that the memories actually of that flood back. Yeah. So we grew up in The Troubles. I suppose my generation was generation where we couldn’t we were restricted in where we could go. We went to Belfast. Everything was about. Was there going to be able was there going to be one of these calls that came in that you had to evacuate certain areas? But that’s what we lived with. So I suppose it was nothing unusual. It’s probably more unusual not to have it. And I’ve got two children, 18 and 16, and that’s amazing that they haven’t had to grow up in that environment. And thank God they haven’t had to grow up with that environment, you know, at. You know, I remember I stole so many stories, but I remember sitting in class and one of my very good friends being removed from the class to find out that his dad had been blown. Blown up. Right. But they are very close to the village that I lived in. And that still is a haunting memory of him walking out the door.

The normalisation of it, isn’t it? Because you could even say we grew up with it or I grew up with it because I lived across the road from Regent’s Park and there was the Regent’s Park Bomb, and I don’t remember thinking about this problem very much. So that’s all normalisation. I go to Lebanon a lot and it’s just been war and war and war. And it’s funny because you don’t think about it all day, but then sometimes there’s a big bang and suddenly everyone’s on edge. And it turns out it was some some opening of some garden somewhere that were firing, firing some sort of artillery thing to celebrate. But that sort of PTSD of of it.

You know, goes back suddenly. It does come back and. We live in a beautiful part of the world. Like Fermanagh is essentially the Lake District of Ireland and it is stunningly beautiful and that has just been emptied over the years. But Northern Ireland’s moved on. If we go more positive, you know, you know, it’s moved on massively and hopefully we continue to do that. There’s still the odd dinosaur in there who wants to keep harking back to the past, but we got to move forward and the scars have got to heal. And as a community, we’ve got to let things go, unfortunately. Or if we you know, otherwise we’re just polluting our kids and their kids. So I think it’s important that we got to keep, no matter how painful it is, we got to keep moving forward. And I understand that’s hugely difficult for for many, many families in Northern Ireland. But I also think we all are our next generation and the opportunity not to have that baggage.

James I spend quite a lot of time in Belfast in the last couple of years because we keep coming over for that many small make over course of us. And the the temperament of the Northern Irish seems to be sort of very self deprecating. Not not someone, not people who sort of shout out their their their sort of what’s great about them, sort of the opposite of kind of where I’m at right now, £1,000 down south. But in that environment, you’re a serial entrepreneur who entrepreneurs by their nature have to shout about what they’re doing. Are you an outlier compared to your peers in that sense?

Not Northern Ireland is full of people like me. And it is because you have to be you know, we don’t have chimney pots, you know, we don’t have masses of amount of population. And therefore there is innovative people and a not of businesses all over Northern Ireland. You know, if you look at Ireland as a whole, it’s the it’s the European leading medical device market, as I’m sure you’ll be aware of payment in your business. You know, and the side of Ireland, the innovation is incredible and that has been driven by governmental policies, but also because of the people that exist here generally, a very highly trained population, very good schools, like really good schools. So the education is is superb. And really what we have suffered from for many years is the dirty in a way the that is stopping and a lot of that’s been driven by cost of going to university in the UK versus staying in Ireland. And so I think we’re starting to see more people staying in house. An outlier amongst my friends, you know, a lot of people that I went to school with, lots of them are self-made business people. Lots of them have owned their own businesses at the time. Some have failed, some have been very successful. So no, I don’t think I’m an outlier in regards to that. Now.

Do you remember the first time you thought I was going to be a dentist?

Yeah, I do, actually. I was always going to be a vet, and I had absolutely no interest in the industry until I mess things up. So I at school loved biology, love geography, hated chemistry, and spent most of my time in chemistry. See, I never could hit the guy at the far side of the class with the what? I used to put the orange tube of the Bunsen burner onto the top and it made a very effective water pistol and it was amazingly accurate. And so I just masked in chemistry because I just couldn’t get on the subject. So unfortunately, I decided that I spent summers with vets. Very weird thing and rural part of Vermont. I suppose its normal enough and I always wanted to be a vet. So I guess the story as I got a D in chemistry the first time, so no veterinary school was going to accept me, although I would argue very strongly that it would make a good vet, but that wasn’t going to happen. So what what happened at that point was I remember sitting down panicking and I was going through clearing what can I get with two ears and the D what can I get with two ears and two.

A’s and what a combination.

Yeah, I know my dad. I was nearly signing up for marine biology. Like what? Where that came from? I have no idea. But remember my dad coming in and saying. Les, just hold on a second. You know, let’s not do anything Rush here. Typical of my dad. And he said, Why don’t you think about repeating your chemistry? So that’s what I did. I went to Belfast and my friends were going there from school to university, and I moved in with a few of them in the bottom of the Lisburn Road and unfortunately at that stage wasn’t mature enough to realise I had one year to sort myself out. So for the first six months I basically drank smokes, which is a wonderful drink from Northern Ireland. It’s a beer. We made Christmas trees out of the cans and I got another. Rd Okay, so at that point, at that point my mother and father extracted me from that and God bless them, they continued to pay their rent and move me in with my cousin Rodney, who had just started his accountancy career. So he was on down the road in Belfast. And, you know, I look back at Rodney still may account and a very dear friend, and he moved out of his bedroom, moved into a box room where the bed wasn’t long enough to cope with them. So he used to sleep with his feet up, you know, up against like this. And I got his bedroom and he said to me, If you don’t get a fucking falconer, he says, I’m brilliant. So I saw just the brilliant switched for me and I did every paper that ever existed in A-level chemistry.

And I got an A and came very close to the top band in Northern Ireland. So I switched it round and it was during that period that my mum suggested I think about dentistry. So I went and did some work experience with a dentist in Belfast. And the thing that struck me about that was the relationships between the patients and the dentist and that sort of thought, you know what, that appeals. I then went to see an orthodontist and then I gave the name of Henry Cassidy. You know, this is quite a while ago. No, but he ran a private orthodontic business. Beautiful. Ms. was so far ahead of its time. So he had four chairs, very American style. And then he had a consulting room. He was into bicycles. I liked bicycles. And I still remember the key moment for me was when he sat and he said, turn around to his nurse, and he said, 19. And I was wondering, what is he talking about? 19 And the nurse got up and plugged in 19 degrees into the air conditioning. And I just thought, Oh, that’s so cool, so cool. And then all the kids were set and playing with boys as he went round. So he just got up, put his gloves on, the gloves were setting, did his work, stood up, took his gloves off, went to the next chair and just went round the circle all day. And I thought, Oh, this is smart stuff. So at that stage I wanted to become an orthodontist and then grew to hate orthodontics. But that’s a good other story. So that’s when I realised I wanted to do dentistry at that point.

Either your parents involved in medical at all.

No, no. My mom is She taught special needs all her life. And my dad. My dad did lots of different things. So he he started in the military, much to his parents discussed. He left and then he went, became a sales person for oil. So he sold oil, distributed oil distribution. But that’s his whole that whole side. His father had an oil distribution business. He went and worked his and then his brother, he’s ten years older than Dad, took that business over, pretty much like going into too much detail. And Dad then ran the Enniskillen office. So he did that for many years and then he started his own oil distribution business. That didn’t go very well, but during that he bought a newsagents and we ran the newsagents as a family, all four of us. So he double jabbed, my mum, double jabbed, we went to school, worked on the shop, learnt how to chat to people, stocked the shelves, all that crack. And that was such a good thing for us, you know, when we look back and that the fun we had with that shop was absolutely brilliant. So we ran out and up, put us basically got us started in university and because my, my, my two sisters and me were all at one time, so I’m one of three, I’m in the middle. And yeah, so we all did that. And then he sold the shop. He then became a driving instructor and then he repaired dental offices. So you try and put that together. Make any sense?

The the entrepreneurial side of you are can he’s come from him.

Yeah it.

Has, it has to. Yeah. But me and Prav talk about shop. I mean you might have heard it before but but but I honestly I put the success of both Prav and his brother down to the relationships in that show. Yeah. Does that resonate with you?

Yeah, absolutely. And then we worked in a local hotel, and again, myself and my two sisters worked behind the bar. Pollen paint, half on the crack. And, you know, myself and my two sisters, there’s nobody that you could put us in a room to room with that we wouldn’t be prepared to have a conversation with. And I think, you know, part of my parents genius, if they had it, was that they in all the quiet confidence in us and that has worked out has been great for us as kids and adults moving forward from that, that that’s what they give us more than anything else. Like we were not a wealthy family by any means. I think we had two holidays and our time as one to France and one to Portugal. But we learned an ethic of work, I can tell you that. And we learned an ethic of how to deal with people and be fair with people. And I think I think that’s been good. Did you did you stick long shifts in James in the shop with with her late nights, with her weekends, cash and carry trips, that sort of thing. Weekends, you know, the newspapers. My dad got up every morning and done the newspaper to turn some days you were in before you went to school for an hour just to help out. You were in after school. You maybe come home from rugby training and you get off the bus at half sick. You did an hour on the shop and then you went home and then Dad would maybe come back up to lock up. And then the weekends, usually Sunday was your busy day with the newspapers. I knew to in to set it all up prior to people coming to church and chapel and then, you know, you in on a Saturday she’d go play rugby and then come back from rugby going into a couple of hours. So we just all mucked in really I suppose was the way it left the penny choos.

You’ve done a lot of work with Chris Barrow. You’ve done a lot of work with Chris Barrow, and I’ve heard him say, and he’s absolutely right, that sometimes when you’re hiring, if the person you’re hiring has got a history of family business, that’s a great thing because they understand the sacrifice that it takes to run a business.

I Yeah. You know, the guy that run anyway. Yeah, the guy that runs Quintus. There’s a guy called Ian and he’s an old school friend of mine. And Ian comes from family business, from rest, the restaurant trade. And, you know, these people can turn their hands down, I think, given their time, because it’s inbuilt that drive is just set within stone. And that’s not something that you can train somebody with. You know, we’ve all been there, we’ve all hired a few lemons along the way. But you know, those people that have got that core fight, you know, they’re worth their weight, these people.

So you then studied in Dundee?

Mm hmm. Yeah.

Explain to someone like me the nuances, the differences between Dundee people and Enniskillen people?

Not much, because half Enniskillen was there already.

For once, my generalisation would have been right.

Yes. Okay. Half of Northern Ireland was in Dundee when I was there. So that was a real big attraction. And I’ll tell you a really cracking story. So I was sitting in the restaurant and Dundee on my first night there with my dad not knowing anybody and who walks in through the door. But the guy that I had studied my repeat chemistry A-level with and Dundee Agave remarks live and he bloody walked in and I didn’t know that he was going to Dundee and the two of us lived together for five years. We bought a flat there. We sold the flat and you know, just such a small world. Dundee was a brilliant student city. It’s got a really good campus. It’s real good fun. There’s a really good social life to it. It’s very medical engineering related. They’ve got great facilities. So for me it was like a home from home payment. And on my floor there was 11 or 12 of a seven of us were from Northern Ireland.


And so honestly, I was like driving up the road to Belfast in many ways. So yeah, and the Scots are great. I love the Scots, you know, the old Celtic natures. And so there so it was really I had a really good time in Dundee. Really good time. Yeah. Great fun. Just about got past it but yeah that’s, yeah. It was a good place to be.

Yeah. What we like. As a student, Dental student. What were you like?

Oh, and my my mission was just to pass. Okay. We didn’t want to exhale because exhaling usually took away from the party. So we just wanted to pass. And really, all I wanted to do was finish the five years and get out. I’m not overly academic. You give me something practical to do and show me how to do a practical. That’s the way my body and my brain works. But academia lies. Not really. I did well in orthodontics for me, actually, but then grew to detest. But yeah, I was an okay student. I would have been, you know, if there was a party. I was at the party and, you know, yeah, I left, but I left the good student life. Yeah, I used to drive the night bus because I was good fun. So I used to drive the main bus for the last two years and basically drove around with vomit flying up and down the back of the bus.

Not during the driving Payman.

So I was very well crash, that one was. The buggers were sitting in the back of the bus and there were, I was, there were reverse of me out on the course. I trusted them to reverse me out and I drove straight into a car and so that didn’t go down very well and various investigations have to be followed. But yeah, I drove the bus for two for two years and it was great fun, but that was just to make money, That was just to pay for the car that I’d just bought myself. And that didn’t pass the smell test and I had to sell. But was business always in the blood? Was it was going to happen as a dental student? Did you go into dentistry thinking, knowing.


That. Yeah.

This was.

About business. Always. There was no way I was going to work for anybody. I am totally I am a nightmare. And there’s no way it was ever going to happen, really. But I to give you an example. To give you an example. All right. End on DH. As you come to the end of your your fifth year and you’re getting ready for your vet places, it’s a bit like a bunfight around Scott and Dundee. Everybody’s going for the same practices. So I took a view. Let that classic who move my cheese our book, I took it. Where else can I look here? So I found what’s called the GPT scheme and Bristol. I think it was the first year that ever run and I got in my £250 junior to five with the back wheels up like this. And I drove to Bristol. It was a total death-trap, but I drove to Bristol with two other guys from my class who had identified the same loophole and we went down and we had jobs organised for two years, hospital and practice before any before the jobs were released in Dundee. So basically what happened? All the jobs, or at least everybody went mad, but we had our jobs sorted out and the GPT scheme and Bristol and that gives you an idea maybe how the brain works sometimes. And then I went because I didn’t want to stay there. I wanted to see what there’s more to life than Dundee.

So I then went to Bristol and I had I was really lucky, you know, you meet lucky people or you’re lucky and people that you meet at different times in your life, aren’t you? And I had a first year in vet with a wonderful young dentist called Jordan House, who I owe so much to in Rural Croft and the Practice in Stroud. And this practice, this was 2001. He had a Sarich machine. They did implants. You know, he was a young principal with an old partner. I was sitting at. I was sitting at patients, seeing him place implants, restoring implants all in that first year, doing some private work. In that first year, I had a really experienced nurse. It was brilliant. I had a really good launch pad, whereas a lot of my, my, my compatriots and when they went out, they did not get that launch pad. And then second year in the hospital, baptism of fire, you know, Max, fire department people phoning you up and you’re not having a clue what you’re doing, but you just have to get on with it. And, you know, I just I suppose I just did that. I just got on with and I learnt on the job, you know, the very first clinic I had in hospital, just to think that this actually happened. Sister Jones was her name, a real buxom sister, classic sister with her blue dress on, used to run around like this and go come up.

And you know, I looked about for, you know, I don’t look much older now, but then I looked and so she brought me in and me white coat and she said, This is your first clinic. And it was a sedation clinic. And I goes, But I have never done a van flown on anybody before. I’ve treated somebody who’s sedated, but I’ve never done. She goes, Well, you’ve got five, six patients. It was and it was to take out wisdom. And I said, I don’t have a clue what to do. So she said, That’s okay. We’ll just get you through it. And I remember her standing over me in my hand, the goodness, you know, putting in the first floor. But by God, I learnt, you know, you talk about a learning curve on that job and I loved that job and the consultants were fantastic. I was hungry to learn, I suppose, and I had a bit of chat, which always got me through the difficult situations. And after that I went I had a decision to make which was go home. My wife was also my she wasn’t a wife at that point, but so I knew who I married to. She was with me in England. She was got a job. She was a teacher at that stage. And I had a decision to make, which was, do I come back home? I don’t have a job or do I stay? And really, I was going to have to commit five years back, probably in June and practice.

And we just decided we were going to come home to Fermanagh. And I remember meeting Steve Booth. Steve Booth often tells the story of Steve Booth from Australia and head honcho on stream. And I met him in a pub and I told him what I was going to go back to Ireland. I wanted to use him and implants and that I was going to own the largest implant practice in Ireland. And he still goes, What the hell are you talking about? Bollocks. You know, he obviously doesn’t know what implant from one end to the other. But you know what? I went back to Ireland and we weren’t too far away from that after a couple of years. But, you know, that was the drive. That was what we wanted to do. I went back, worked in a practice, didn’t have a job when I went back. Sonia’s dad, who sold furniture, was down delivering furniture and a dentist house, said a son in law was coming back. He’s a dentist, No job. I should come on shore, Send them down to me. I’ll give them a job. Like no interview, none of that. And I just started the start of putting implants in that practice, redesigned all their brochures and logos, tried to bring them up to the, you know, the 20th century. And after 15 months, lay off and start a album. That was what happened.

James. Seems to me there’s a couple of parallels here between your your chemistry days and at one point you decide you’re going to go for it and then you’re 100% in and dental school. You’re saying you weren’t the type of student who was really interested. And yet two years after dental school, you’re placing implants or whatever, that that’s the kind of person you are that when you decide you’re going to do it, then you finally go and do it, right? Yeah, because when I think back to my own time in dental school, I was like, you didn’t didn’t, didn’t really participate properly. I was just trying to get through. And yet. You know, I didn’t want to do implants like that would be the last person who wanted to cut. What was it? When do you remember a time when you realised I want to be surgeon? Yeah, it’s a big step.

Yeah. That was Paul Stone, actually in university. And Paul Stone, very well known implant dentist, came and we had one lecture and implant dentistry and university. And I remember him coming in and lecture and I can, I could bring you to the spot that he stood in and talking about implants and I remember going, oh that’s, that’s really cool. Imagine just sticking these things and they actually stick the bone like, Holy moly, this is cool. And I do remember at that point, God, if I get out of this place, there’s a future in that thing there that he’s talking about. You know, that’s where the future is. You know, this thing about do and fell into that sounds much more interesting. And so that for me was the first penny that dropped. And then Payman coming out and seeing it done and practice and implants being integrated into normal dentistry, should we say that was a big thing as well. And then the third thing then was building the surgical skills and in the house job, you know, getting that confidence, you know, the confidence, you know, at the time I did that, you’re in theatre, you know, you were working in one half. The growth in the Senior Edge was working on the other half. And, you know, you were just getting exposed to things that you just wouldn’t get exposed to nowadays.

So, you know, my, my learning curve in surgery was really sharp and rapid, but it was done with consultant beside me. And, you know, I’m eternally grateful for that. And I think they seen in me somebody who really wanted to have a goal and wasn’t scared to have a go and wasn’t intimidated by the situation. And I think I took advantage of that because they were quite happy to let me have a go with things I probably I should never have touched. So that really settled for me the surgical side of things. And literally as soon as I landed back in Ireland, I always wanted to place implants, the very first implant I placed. Steve Booth was stand beside me. You know, that was as much of the mentoring that you got. And no, there was no mentoring, you know, it was just do your day, let’s just get on with this. So, so you know, could you get people will do it. No, but it’s so much more restrictive now in terms of how you get started. So, you know, the first thousand implants I placed, I was out knowing, you know, I was just having a go, really.

And James, in terms of in terms of the number of people who could put implants in compared to the number of patients who were up for implant treatment, were you much more in demand back then as a as an implant surgeon or because the market grows, doesn’t it, In both. Both markets grow.

Yeah. You have to remember where I live. So, you know, I live in the west of Ireland, probably the worst dental health anywhere in the UK and in fact could challenge probably most places in Europe. So we have a massive dental caries problem, tooth loss problem. There’s no shortage of work where I live. You know, when we open blew up or, you know, we were doing 300 to 450 implants a year in the back of new. You know, nobody everybody thought Jim Hummel had lost his marbles. What does he do? You know.

You’re right. It wasn’t Manchester or London or whatever.

What we did have been opportunistic. We had cross-border trade. So so we were based right on the border and Northern Ireland. There was a town called Black Lion across the street. So basically I could take a stone and just throw up and I would be in Republic of Ireland. So we had two currencies and we had a trend of people travelling from the south of Ireland to the north of Ireland to get their dentistry. So when we set ourselves up, we took advantage of that. That was a total and utter business decision. And then 2008 hit and the business fell off a cliff because the Celtic Tiger was shot dead. And our job in that time was then to reorganise and remodel the business for the Northern Trade, but also to make the people from the South realise that no, you weren’t coming for value or coming for experience and knowledge and expertise. And, and so we had to pivot and change our message very, very quickly around that 2008 period. And that actually taught us quite a lot of lessons over that stage because a lot of other practices suffered heavily and because the cross border trade dried up.

When you say your message, were you actively marketing back then as well?

I was on the radio. I was doing radio shows. You know, one of it we, Johnny, when he falls and smashes from tooth, you know, what do we do with that? And we were very specific about what we did. You know, Payman Blue Apple. We started out 2005, 2006. And that practice, I look back at that. I was really quite unique at that point. There was very few branded dental practices around. You know, we had a clear idea of what we were doing in terms of what we wanted to deliver, which was a customer service orientated business, not a clinical orientated business, but customer service. And we were six months, six months booked in advance, within a few months of opening the door, you know, it was just mental, mental, and, you know, we weren’t the cheapest. We never set out to be the cheapest we charge what we felt was a reasonable price would be provided, a brilliant service. And that was and that was led by saw my wife. You know, we had we were totally party London, party, London to the hilt, you know, clean toilets, all of those things.

And we just created a really good experience. And we I think at that point where we ahead of the game, I think we probably were. But, you know, the downside of that business then was that it then became something that started Eat US, you know, and we had a great ten years, you know, we absolutely loved our song was raised underneath the reception desk, really, But we had a wonderful time and we met some amazing people. And, you know, those patients come and see me and the clinic and. No, but I sort of distract from your question. The demand is still there because they’re just not that many people to place implants in the west of Ireland. And the numbers are going up all the time. So in terms of the patients who have got a demand for it, and that coupled with the fact that there’s very poor oral health and therefore a lot of adventurous patients, it’s it’s a sort of a it’s a honeypot really to a point. And so.

Within a couple of years, you.

Left that job and then you went to open your the Blue Apple practice and fully box within a short space of time. What were some of the struggles that you had? In Ronin managing. Oh, and in that business, what were the.

What would you consider the low.

Points to be during that journey? Did you hit rock bottom at any point? Yeah, we did. Yeah. Yeah. So we had a real blast. And then two years after we had just won an award, how do you remember? What’s an award that we got? And it was that item from Chris Barrow. And I said, Listen, Chris, we have started this. Our timing has been really good. We’ve done some basics, but we have absolutely no Scooby in terms of how to run dental practice. We didn’t know what accounts were. It was all up, the laughed where we make the money, where we not making money, what are we going to do? And that’s what we started working with Chris. And then he used to come and spend a night in our house every quarter. Listen to us, argue in the morning time and then try and get ourselves back on track. And he was great. I think where the challenge was Prav was that clinical dentistry at that level as challenging, trying to provide that level of service all the time is challenging. And we ran out of steam, but we didn’t. We ran out of steam. Ten years down the line. So I remember the the lowest point. The lowest point was when I went up to Sonya’s office. I sat on the floor and I burst into tears and I said, Fuck where we have to get out of this business.

This is killing us. This is killing us. You know, we the kids, we had two kids. We had the business just eat us alive and try and maintain it at that level. And for me and Sonia and I think less than that level is not acceptable. So, you know, it started to eat us from the inside. And it was at that point I used to go in and, you know, I used to get start to get cross with patients, but not with the patient. That was me. Cross with staff. Why are we getting cross from my staff? My staff are lovely. What am I doing here? And, you know, when you look back on that time, you go the warning signs were there. And at that stage when I went into that chair and I looked and I worked in a beautiful surgery that I had designed myself, you know, most people would go, What are you talking about, James? You’ve got this lovely look. And I go, and I go, If I have to sit in this chair one more fucking day, I’m going to go and see them looking out the same window, looking at the same computer. And that was when I decided to sell it.

It was blown out. James Right.

Yeah. Total burnout. Total burnout, Yeah. When?

When you said it was killing you.

Are you talking.


Family, that work life balance, that dynamic coming home, being pissed off, not being the James or the husband, that you should be the father that you should be? Or was it just all centred at work? Well, try and just just sort of illustrate that to me in terms of what was going on at the time. Yeah. So you were being a rubbish husband, you are giving time to your kids and I was in the middle of doing triathlons and Ironman, you know, cycling from North, the most northerly point in Ireland, the most southerly point cycle. And John O’Groats to Land’s End, you know, you name it, I was stuck in the middle of it. And, you know, all of those things combined just left us in a situation where it’s just not a manageable proposition and we. We at that point, I suppose we even were thinking about expanding the practice. We bought the building next door. You know, it was a nice, profitable business, but it just got to the point where the upside of it didn’t outweigh the downside of it. And that for me was was the point where I said, this business will be sold. Now, Sonia, at that stage wasn’t there in her head. She just wasn’t at that point. But I had been, I suppose, building to that for probably 12 months because I could I stopped enjoying what I was doing. And, you know, that’s not a good place to be when you’re a dentist. And at that point, I could have walked away from clinical dentistry. No bother at all. No bother. And so the process of selling it.

James, did you did you sell it with the ability to walk away or tie in or what was the what was the whole narrative behind that? Because to me, it seems like you want to at this stage hand the keys over, walk away. I’m done. Yeah. So. Yeah. So I was in Dubai and actually Khan O’Brien, who, you know, works with me and introduced me to chop from Oasis, often named Julian. And Julian was looking to purchase a private implant practice and had heard about us. So he said, I’m going to buy your practice. And I said, No, you’re not. He goes, I am. He says, Right, as long as the money’s right, let’s get the deal done. And he came and seen me not long after I was in Dubai. And it took us a year to do the deal. It was a three year earnout. And what’s really you know, they I probably couldn’t have walked away from it. I didn’t want to, I suppose maybe at that stage, because Sonia still wanted to be there for a period of time. I felt bad with staff and all of those things, she said. Less than a three year earnout. And I remember Chris Biro telling me, and probably one of the most accurate things I’ve ever been told. He said, GM is your three year earnout is going to be like you’re running a triathlon. He said the first year is going to be like the swim. You’ll finish, you’ll get out of the water and you’ll go, Oh, that was actually quite nice.

I quite enjoyed that and I am looking forward to getting on to the bike. Second year is like the bike. By the end of the bike you’re ready to get off it and your goal and holy shit, and I have to do the run. And really the third year was horrific, absolutely horrific. I hated every minute of it, but I’m a stubborn bugger and I wasn’t going to stop. And I grew the business. We actually grew the business over those three years despite lots of increased interference. Because basically what I said to them, Prav was you said, I’ll sell you the business, but leave me alone for three years and you’ll get your money and I’ll get my money. But don’t interfere because I know this business and I know how it works. I know how we can continue to generate the high new patient numbers, high value of treatment. We had very high conversion levels, and I know I can do that. And basically I just switched my emails off after about six months and ignored everything that ever came in from them. I didn’t interact with them. I just got on with the job, which was let’s get the patients and less treat them, less, maintain the level of customer service and just keep going that way. And Sonya left after 18 months. She couldn’t stick it anymore. And I always joke with her that she abandoned me in the hour of need. But yeah, so I was left there and we seen it out. And after that it was six months off to recover.

Let’s talk about the highs of that business, too, because sometimes, you know, you talk about burnout, but burnout happens after the sort of the the thing the thing that’s amazing becomes normal. But the acceleration, when you go from opening a practice, not knowing exactly for sure whether it’s going to work or not, and then it works and you’re making loads of money. And give me give me give me some of the best times when what comes to mind when I say the best times of that, that period.

Probably the best times were the relationship with patients. You know, that was old was the thing that gave me the buzz. You know, people talk about, oh, the big reveal. That wasn’t what it was about for me. It was genuinely a patient coming in within 30 minutes. I would have them interviewed to death. They would know everything about them, their families, what their kids did, where they hung out, you know, all of that stuff. And for me it was that relationship building that I really, really enjoyed. And when you’re in a good mindset and a good mainframe, then that’s really easy thing to do. And therefore, I don’t think we ever sold a treatment. It was just listening to the patient and probably one of the pivotal things and it was Larry Brown who we named our centre after Larry Dental technician, probably one of life’s kindest, most generous souls ever. And we still miss him every day. He used to come to my practice and pretty much on a monthly basis, and we used to treat patients together. And that was always the highlight, was when Larry came into the practice and working together with him for the benefit of the patients. It was just such a total pleasure. And we did that for years. Larry used to come to our house. He basically helped us raise our kids. And, you know, he taught me so much about people and life and just being good and getting emotional. No talk of it. But, you know, he was a he was an amazing guy. And when he stopped coming, he just EJ, I think I probably lost a lot of them. Jewel there. Mm hmm.

You know, it’s funny. Those relationships at work sometimes. I mean, that’s a very personal relationship, right? Yeah. So someone. Someone that you were actually next to. But now you’ve been running these distribution businesses, and you’ll find sometimes it’s years and years of relationship with someone from some some supplier. And then this supplier will leave that company, and then you’ll still be in touch with that person and, you know, different person will come along. It’s a beautiful thing. But yeah, obviously this is a bit deeper. You named your practice after him. Wonderful one.

Yeah. Yeah. Larry was a it was a he was a very special man. And actually, it’s, you know, the I think the thing that he taught me more than anything was was the power of empathy. And he used to say one of his great lines was James. When a patient comes in and sits in your chair, they will tell you everything that you need to know. They will tell you their problems, but they will also tell you how to put it right. Now, James, you just need to shut the fuck up and listen. And that’s what he used to say to me. And, you know, just that lesson. He saw he was so right. You know, we as dentists want to get them in the chair and tell them everything that’s wrong with them without listening or not. Very good listeners. And I think you taught the lesson. And just that humility of that type of character was was a very special relationship. So I think, you know, as a high anytime Larry was in the building, it was a hey, the awards, it was a high. So we were we were in for awards at the very start of the awards before the coup. And that was a high hiring. We had a brilliant staff who just loved Blue Apple and everything about it. That was a hey and then treating patients and seeing their families coming in. And a lot of what we did was personal recommendation. It’s the best market I’ve had. Marketing expert as yourself. But for us, that was the best marketing that we did. Without question, price marketing we treated. And I think what we ended up doing was treating patients that we liked and we got the patients that ultimately I hope that we deserved that came into the practice because of the type of experience that we offered. So listen, Payman, don’t get me wrong. No, there were way more highs in that business than there were lows.

Yeah, which is why I ask the question. I don’t want it to sound like it was just not business.

Know, Demonstrate has been very good to us and our business was just 95% of the time. A pleasure to run. It was hard work. It was graft. It was a big risk at the time. I still remember buying the building. I was in the toilet in a restaurant. And so and you had given me a £90,000 limit on the building and it had gone beyond 90. And we were over in England and I was up in the toilet and the estate agent was phoning me and he was saying this 92 and I got, I got 93. And then he came back. And before I goes, I remember looking out the window and seeing Sonja Dean and where she was in a beer garden at the bottom. And I goes back and go for 95 and we got it. And then I have to go down and tell. So I knew we’d got it, but we got it for 95. So yeah, yeah, there’s lots of stories about that business. But yeah, that was good. That was good.

Then he took six months. What did you do?

And. A lot of it was spent on the lake in a boat. Probably drinking too much beer and just spent time. The. De-stressing with the kids, and it was actually a lovely time. My wife at that point, Sonia, hadn’t worked in the business. And then she continued not to work in the business for another three or four years after that. And life was really good, but I got bored and we couldn’t test Dental was still progressing and still going forward. It had moved from that point from being a handpiece repair business, which I told you my dad had decided to do, and a stroke of madness. And we had at that point went on to we were distributing the event and at that stage and just starting and I had just employed Ian and that business was going on. So it was an interest for me. But the brain was working and I was going, What’s this 3D printing thing? All, all of it. And I was quite intrigued by it. But what I couldn’t find in Europe or anywhere at all, for that matter, close by, was somewhere that I could go and find out about 3D printing. So I ended up going to the States to a course run by Auguste Oliveira, and I’m sure you’ve heard of, and that was a printing party.

It was called, I remember. But the reason I went was because all the printing companies were there. And so I wanted in my head I was going printing, distribution, printing, manufacturing. Where could we fit in here? Obviously, understanding that guided surgery, all of those things in my head. So when I went there, it happened to be in Rodanthe Laboratory, which is where crew is manufactured. And after the first day I discovered a table down at the back of the of the lecture room with these metal gate surgical guides. And there was a bit intrigued by the second day I started to become more interested in the guards than it was in the actual printing lectures. And on the day three I got a private tour because I just had the man gaze tortured in the back. So I’ve got a bit of a private tour around the lab. And I remember I still remember the feeling of walking into this lab, you know, almost 200 odd technicians at that point, purpose built building, just mind boggling, mind boggling. And Alan, it was a family run business by the Kawasaki family. And there was a chap called Alan Banks, and Alan showed me around. And I said, Alan, listen, you know, I’m having issues with full artwork that I’ve done.

I can see there’s something in this, what you’re doing, Can I do a kiss? And he said, No. And I said, Why not? And he said, Because we don’t do it out of the USA. I says, Well, that’s stupid. Let let me do a kiss. And he said, No, I don’t think I can. And I said, Well, we need to speak to somebody to try and make this happen. And so the next day was the last day of the course. I went back in and I said, Doll. And again, I hunted them down and I said, Alan, listen, I’ve been really thinking about this. I need to do a case of this. So he says, the only person will make that decision is BJ, who’s the owner of the business. So I then went and got introduced to BJ Koskie, and between him and Alan, they decided that they would let me do a kiss. So at that stage it hadn’t been the people done in Canada and the States that maybe done about 8000 arches. So it was reasonably well dialled in at that point. And I came back and at that stage I set up a peripatetic implant business.

So I went around, set up about eight or nine practices it practising, it was around Ireland where I went and did peripatetic implants because that’s what I thought I was going to do for the foreseeable future. And then one of those practices is in Enniskillen. We did the first groom case outside of the US A. And I did it with my mobile phone beside me and Allen on the mobile phone telling me what to do. So probably not the most scientific way to do this, to do the first kiss, but it was done in two and one half hours. And I thought, you know, there’s some there’s really something in this. So I did a few more cases and kept in contact with the guys in the States. And this was 2018. And then a few more cases got a little bit slicker at it, started to see some of the challenges that it had. And it only at that point, then maybe it was 2019, then it became started to become a commercial conversation. So at that stage we got distribution for a printer called Invasion Tech, which started, of course, three. And in my head it was going to be a digital based business selling Android scanners and printers and all of that.

And had you invested lots of cash at this point? Most of no. Now, how are you getting these these distributions where you like having to buy minimum order quantities and distribute some of that?

It’s called chat.

Shopkeeper Talk.

Shopkeeper Talk.


Just don’t just don’t come see your office. But I promise you.

Tell me this before you go on. Before. Before the story goes on. Explain the difference. What was the difference between this chrome technique and guided surgery?

So what I was doing, which is what most most people do when they unfurl artwork, is that they either don’t plan it, which is what I was pretty much doing, or be the planet analogue. They made it a CT scan, but then they have analogue models. They maybe make an analogue. I’m going to say guide, but there are certain parameters that we initially that we should stick to and we’re doing this type of work. And so the problems that I was seeing were what are called transmission line problems where we have manage the smile zone correctly, breakages of the provisional and the final bridges, because we hadn’t given enough restorative of space and implant positioning, not being very good. So when we combined all of that, plus the fact the difficulty of getting the technician to come to where I was to do the technical work and the length of time. So it was basically a whole day on a practice to do a kiss. So it wasn’t very economical. It was bloody stressful. And we were starting to have problems three or four years down the line. And so it was that that was then putting me off doing any more full arch, immediate work. There was not an issue of the implant sticking to the bone. It wasn’t an issue in terms of demand in the market, but I could see that there was problems there. And so what the system does is basically systemise the record, right from the rector, taking the patient, coming in through the door, right the way to your very final restoration.

Every stage, a system that has a unique system, there is no other system just like it, to basically create this pathway to take you all the way through to the end. And the whole idea is to improve accuracy of implants, to reduce risks, to reduce problems, and to give you increased predictability. That’s pretty much what Chrome does. And that’s then what I started to see from a clinical perspective. So I went back to the States and I said, I want distribution for this. Can I get distribution? No way. Who are you to do distribution for this? And I said, Well, this is my plan. I have a plan mapped out in my head. It’s going to be based around education. We’re going to train people on their teams how to use this product. And I thought, right, I need to get mixes up. So I started getting more and more cases on them about start to get friends to do some cases. So it wasn’t really a commercial entity at that stage. And then in 2000, DA 2020, as we entered into COVID, I had, I suppose, that opportunity to have a conversation with Ken O’Brien, who I knew was leaving as MD of Bayer. And I thought, okay, Mab can be in Northern Ireland. He’s a commercial experience that I don’t have. And a chat again persuaded them to come on board to a business that didn’t really exist.

And so off we went and we he was there for two months. And then COVID hit me up the shop for 12 months. So I still blame him for COVID. So we did that. We had to shut the business and then we started again in 2021. During COVID, we bought the centre because at that point I was you talked about all in earlier on and actually he hit the nail on the head. For me it was all we were doing this or we weren’t doing this. And I decided, in fact, you know, I have a pension, a pension pot there. I reinvested in this building, bought the building, renovated it, and had a vision in my head that this was going to be a digital teaching centre, which is what it is, and that we would close all the businesses and get a lab to manufacture the product. So I suppose I jumped ahead a little bit, but I could see where it was going to go and understanding what was happening in the States where I have very good relationships now. And so we have now done 450 arches in the UK over the last couple of years, and we dominate that gate fully, fully gated market. And we have trained just shy of 150 dentists in our centre on that technique. We have had we’ve just had one of the big UK corporates in our building for a private course.

The fact that we can offer customisation to these big groups is a major push for us this year and because of somebody doing a full arch in Aberdeen and somebody is doing one in London, the process is the same because it’s totally systemised and I know that we can. The bet that we’re good at is the education. I think we’re good at the education. We know how to train people. To give you an example, one of our customers did 52 arches last year, and when he starts racking that into his EBITDA, that’s basically out of £4 million with the value to his practice. So if you do so. So this is a very powerful tool you can on an average and I’m not talking about the clinics, you do a lot of this type of work that’s a slightly different market. But I’m talking to people who do one or two arches a month. You know, we can reduce their chair site time by 66% in terms of the entire process. So I was approached by a practice in London who wants to increase from 12 arches to 52 arches in the year. That’s 40 arches doing a conveyance D that’s 90 chair side is that they have to find 90 chairs. I guess that’s not happening in the busy practice unless you put in more chairs and then you have to find more dentists. But with Chrome you can do it on 30 it. There’s.

So why is it so much quicker, though? Because you don’t have to worry about it. Systemised.

Start-up stage is probably the biggest. So surgical it keeps you on the tracks and surgery on it helps you. I can do most of the cases in about 2 hours from from local anaesthetic to the patient walking out with a provision of bridge. No need for a technician. So the conversion is about ten. That’s what it takes to do the conversion. But the big saving is when you come to do the final bridge, you can do that on two appointments. So you don’t need to go through the four or five steps that most people go through in their final bridge. So you save a lot of time in that final restoration. So for four practices doing this type of work, there is significant savings to be made. So on average, out about £1,000 tier net, I already have come down cruel move or conventional, even though the chrome increases the creases your your front costs a little bit, but not a huge amount.

James I work with quite a.

Few implant surgeons and still yet despite this conversation.

We’ve had. I really want to distil.

Exactly why it is who.

We all work.

For and.

The service and the benefits, because the.

Product and the name is popping up everywhere. Whether you go to a trade show, whether you speak to an implant then is to just started using it and it’s blowing his mind or whatever. I guess a lot of these a lot a lot of these dentists who do fall out to implant dentistry, you have to excuse me. I’m not I’m not a dentist and I’m not and I never took an implant in anyone’s head. But the general process that I understand it from from from my perspective is that a patient comes in, they have the consultation, you do the plan. Some people use different implant systems. Some people have like different guided surgery systems. Some people have like a stent made that goes over the over the gums, like drill holes, basically, you know, paint by numbers kind of job, you know, where to sit the drill and it’s going to be safe and the angle and the depth and all of that. And then come to the day you’ve got an on site or a technician on site who’s converting a denture that takes a long time adjustments to that. And then finally they cobble it all together. And after quite a lot of adjusting, they get they fit. The provisional.

Patient goes comes back six.

Months later, three months later or whatever it is. And then then, then they fit the final bridge. What want to wrap my head around is what is your is is it a lab service? Is it a stent? Is it both? Do you produce the provisional and the and the guided thing is talk me through that, knowing what I’ve just said and excuse.

Me if I’ve got any of that detail.

Wrong, but I just want to compare that to to what it is that Chrome does. Yeah. So? So first of all, it’s guided, fully guided search. It’s an open system. It can be used with any implant system that has a gate kit. So that’s the first thing. There’s no limitation in terms of the implant that you use. The very first part of the system is data collection. So we need three elements of data and we call it the tripod of data. These are photographs, CBC, TV impressions, or iOS. So once that so we ask each different type of case, we ask for very slightly different records, but they follow that pattern of that tripod. We then take that information and we do what we call a preliminary evaluation of it. And the reason we do that is because it has to be about the quality of the information going into the system. So if it’s not good, seven out of ten cases stop at that point because the CBC is incorrect. There’s movement in it. There’s bits of a cut-off. The impressions are shit. The iOS is rubbish, the photographs are rubbish. There’s something wrong with the data. So we stop it at that point. And until the data is correct, the case cannot go forward. And that is a learning curve in itself because dentists don’t really like being told that the information that they’ve sent in isn’t good enough.

And that’s just one thing that we have to be open and honest with them about, because what we put in is what we’re going to get out. Guided surgery is computer generated. Although a human is doing it, it still has to be very accurate at the start. So that’s the first step. So we’re systematising the record, taking the second. But then what happens is then it is then goes through internal planning process on planning software and the dentist is called to a planning meeting. And in that planning meeting they sit with the planner and these are dentists, CTS, technicians. Some of them are digital planners. These guys are planning maybe 50 or 60 arches a week. They know their onions. They really understand what’s going on. And what they do is they go totally from their start-ups They say, okay, this is our point. This is where we want our teeth to be. This is our bait. This is our smile. This is transition. This is how much space we need for the type of bridge you’re going to make. And then they work back and place all the implants digitally. And you start as a dentist and you see all of this happening in front of you and you input. Because ultimately, as the dentist, you are having the final say on what happens, but the planner will guide you. So it’s.

Over like a zoom call.

Or. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So it takes about 40 minutes for your first couple of cases per hour. Once you’re up and running, take time because the planner gets to know what you want. And then from that, then the case comes back to us and an STL files. We then manufacture that in-house. And what we’re manufacturing is a series of stacked surgical gates. So the guy that invented crew owns the patent for stacked and sequential pinned games. So there are two slate, different slate nuances in terms of types of guide, but basically strowman’s mail in the box. He owns the patent that they use. So this guy is a very clever guy. J Watson All right. And basically they’re going to start suing everybody who’s trying to copy them and everybody has to end up in. Now, that’s just the way is. And so what happens then is that the guys are physically we print and manufacture everything in house. We assembly it on or assemble it on models, and then we ship that out. And then that box, you’ve got your provisional bridge, you’ve got all your surgical gates, you’ve got what’s called a surge map, which is a summary of your plan that you stick up on the wall that you can follow. You’ve got maps to organise, your implants, your components, your temporary cylinders. We email the implant company. They know what implants you need to order. They send it out in a box. So basically we’re trying to systemise the planning and the organisation prior to surgery and then you go to surgery and then you follow the process.

Now you get clinical teaching from me. I go to the first case clinically pretty much have been to them all and early in the UK, so that’s a lot of you turn up at the practice. I go to the practice because I want people to have a good experience. What I don’t want people to do is go, Oh, it’s a load of rubbish. It doesn’t work. I know it works because I’ve done nearly 100 cases. All right, I know it works, but you got to follow the system. And if you then follow the system surgically. So what we’re doing is we’re systematising every step of your surgery. And at the end of surgery, you pick up the pre med provisional bridge. Your nurse converts in about 10 minutes. No technician required. You screw it into the marathon and you also. Do what’s called take a copy of that call the rapid appliance, that rapid appliance, and becomes your conversion for your final bridge three months later, which is just two points. So we’re estimating the surgery, we’re estimating your provisional stage, and we’re also estimating your final restoration. That’s what makes it unique. There’s no other system like it. And so what we can do is we can reduce all of your appointments down to about five. From start to finish.

And just a couple of quick questions on that piece.

So the bridge that you produce, does the dentist have choice of material? Aesthetics, fully print. Yet printed printed on on our printers in high speed and invasion tech. I use a print material called Flex era and America. They use car but use a product called Lucid. These products are very similar, but it’s a printed bridge. The final bridge that they get is full arch. Yeah, we do all that for a fixed price of 4995. And that covers everything right through to your final bridge, no matter if you’re placing three implants or seven.


Yeah. Including your final bridge.

So that you on. On, on your end. On your end. How many people did you say you have?

So. Oh. Working. So we have a team across in chorus. We have a team of nine.

That includes the planners.

Most of the planners are still in the States.

Oh, I see.

So we have technicians, we have technicians and admin and this and that for 995. Just just to put.

That into perspective, James.

What would they practice expect to pay? A lab or a lab technician service for that piece? If we’re going to compare apples with apples, which was important. Yeah. Your final bridge. Your final zirconia bridge. Most labs are going to charge you anything between two and a half thousand and £4,000 for a full arch average, possibly plus components. That’s the first part. The second. But to get a technician to see you, you’re probably going to be charged a thousand quid. Yeah, it’s going to be maybe 1200, depending on the job, plus the temporary bridge that they bring with them, which is usually just a denture. So maybe 300 quid plus initial bit of planning in the lab. So the way it works out is that doing a conventionally when you add it all up and go to the final bridge with an average price of about £3,000 for a final bridge is not awfully far away from the crown price. No prices, maybe a bit more. But then if you build in your Ayers chair site, time saving. So an average we’re saving 66.8, then that’s where you start to see your savings. Plus, I’m going to say it, you get your implants in the right place, you’re going to have an easier restoration period. You know, I’ve had technicians in our course. They’re pulling their hair out. These guys are pulling their hair out, solving dental problems. But you’ll get me go and I get a surgery.

But they’re solving dentist problems all the time because most implants that are placed in the UK aren’t in the right place. They’re certainly not in the ideal place. Yeah. Yeah. So as a profession, as a profession, we don’t plan our cases particularly well. And so let’s take Chrome aside for a second and let’s just look at normal gated surgery. Gated surgery has two main advantages. One is that it forces you to plan. That’s a good thing because you have to plan your cases. And secondly, it helps you put the implant in the best possible position for what you’re going to put on at the end. So it forces you to plan with the and and say, you know what, the fine restoration in the mind. And well, if we look if you speak to a lot of technicians, this is a stat that Larry gave me about 15 years ago, 70% of the implants came across his desk and his lab were in the wrong or less than ideal place. Now, I’ve spoken to quite a lot of technicians and they say that that number is not changing as the number of implants are going up. We got to ask ourselves a question as a profession, what are we training? How are we training dentists to put implants? And if that number is not going down. Okay on the way that you get that number two number, Don’t you force people to plan and you force them to use a guard because at least they’re going to be on the play Plain Park.

I remember Larry telling me when I started in 2000 and 3004 with him, GM’s I’m not restoring any of your implants unless you use a surgical gate. Last he told me back then, because he says, I’m not I’m not picking up your shit. Because that’s what technicians do and technicians are to plate. Larry was a great voice for technicians. You know what technicians? Typically what happens is that they’ll get working and they’ll phone the dentist and they’ll say, Well, what do you expect me to do with this? And the dentist will tell them, Do your best. And that’s got to be one of the common phrases between a dentist and a dental technician is do your best. Do your best that are out there managing the complications that exist from poor implant placement. So we’ve got to be realistic as a profession. I would argue quite strongly that what we’re teaching at the minute and implant dentistry, we’re teaching the surgical principles which is lifting flaps and managing soft tissue, all really good, important fundamental things. But the bit we’re missing is to make sure that we put it in the right place. If we put it in the right place, we will reduce our surgical complications and we will reduce our risk of complications. That’s the position. And that’s where guided surgery fits.

Not to mention not to mention that when you know it’s going to go in the right place, you can hand on heart, sell it. You know, you can you can sell it at a higher price. You can when you’re doing this kind of work where it’s full arch, it’s a complicated work. And if if there’s something that’s better that makes it more predictable health or an extra £1,000 or whatever it is, you would 100% do it. Because what I’m interested in is, does this go wrong, too?

I think it’s a really good question. Payment is like anything, you know, does, does and like know guided surgery. The first question I would ask is, does no one guided surgical? I can tell you just told you 70% of them. All right. So, you know, we have there’s this thing. All right? You have to do a guided. A term I really detest. I actually think that’s the illusory truth. Truth? The fact, you know, we say this thing you have to do a brain guided before you do it. Guided. And it’s just become a mantra in dentistry. It’s a load of tosh. All right. People aren’t really thinking when they say that. And I know that that’s a controversial statement, but I really do care because the challenge that I have there is that. Just because you use a gauge, you don’t turn your brain off. That’s a misnomer. That’s number one. Number two, you still have to have the same surgical skills when you use a guide as you do without a guide. It’s still the same fundamentals of surgery. So I’m not advocating flawless guided surgery. That’s a myth. Get it out of your head. All right. I still teach you left to flap. You still see what you’re doing? I’m using this guide to do is put you on the playing field. All right. That’s it. We’re not promising any more. We’re not promising any less. All right.

It’s not a it’s not a magic tool. It’s not a magic tool to avoid the basic surgical skills that you require. But what I see is what happens if something goes wrong during normal non guided surgery. What do you have to do? You have to problem solve. All right. What happens if something goes wrong during a guided surgery protocol? What do you do? You have to problem solve. It’s no different. So one shouldn’t exist in isolation of the other. They actually should both be coming together because there’s massive advantages to both to work together. So we got to stop thinking about these two camps where somebody goes, I’m only doing BrainGate or I’m only doing that, and never the twain should meet. That’s a major mistake in the profession, I think, going forward, because look at the numbers. All right. The numbers tell us that we’re not doing it particularly well. Okay, We’re not getting this right for a large proportion of our patients. And I had a technician on our roadshow who just is a he’s just like, you know, he’s really about to pull his hair out with a stuff because he feels that he can’t say it to the dentist because he doesn’t want to lose a customer. And all the companies are manufacturing weird and wonderful things to try to overcome. Poor implant position. Guys, let’s just put it in the right place to start.

Yeah. What’s the total?

That’s my message.

What’s the total Like that Tam? Total addressable market. How many, how many full arch cases are happening and what percentage of that do you want to get? I mean.

I don’t answer that question as I actually do know Payman. That’s a very hard figure to out because, you know, you can try and pull it out of some of the implant companies, but it’s a challenge. I honestly don’t know what the figure is. So we deal with between 50, probably 50 live cases in our lab every every month. So it’s live at the moment in the States that are probably with between 305 hundred every month. So you have to maybe look at the UK market versus the size of the US market and try and figure out what what the middle ground there is. But I think probably in the UK we could easily double that market without any great stretch. But a could well be bigger than that. I find it a very difficult thing to pinpoint, but one thing we would say is that the large market is growing. You know, again, you only have to look at what the company is concentrating on and also the fact that they’re also concentrated guided surgery. The companies understand this. They’re not so.

And is this not linked at all to stress and near-death? Separate.

Chrome is Chrome. As an individual product, we will use with any implant system that has a gated kit. And to be fair, to be fair to you. Australian and New Zealand actually there really started to click in that. That’s a very powerful product and it’s it’s a product that helps their customers and reduces problems. And they also understand that we that we educate on, I think well, so they are starting to know companies are just implant companies are just some of them are a bit worried about the fact that that I say on the other hand on the other side but I can say on the unit in the UK, you know, Chrome for me is always going to be a bigger market than our market by a long, long way. So our job is not to be a threat to anybody. And I know that Chrome helps sell implants, so implant companies really should see it as a bonus. And you know, the other thing is that the experience here so there’s nearly 18,000 cases done, though, at a mammoth amount of experience that these guys have that sit behind us. And we’re very lucky I call them. It’s like having a back office team. You know, these guys are unbelievable at what they do and there’s new stuff coming out payment all the time. They are a company that are very open to improvements. They’re they’re an open door policy pretty much. You can go and see them and speak to them and that’s something they like and it’s a family run business.

All right. Let’s talk about on this show. We’d like to talk about errors. Clinical errors. What comes to mind when I say clinical errors.

Yeah. So one of the scariest ones that has happened to me was I was doing an implant lower left six on a very nice gentleman from Galway direction was and I dropped the screwdriver and the screwdriver disappeared. And. He started coughing after he had swallowed, I presume did swallow that, I suppose, at that stage. But obviously the fear is that it goes into the right problem because his daughter was a solicitor and as all this happens. So I remember having to set them up, abort the surgery, stitch him up from the hospital and said, listen, you know, this is what’s happened for me locally. And thinking to myself at dinner stomach, you know, this in the stomach, it’s no big problem. And driving them into A&E myself and having a chest X-ray and then a consultant who I knew wagged me over with a big smile on his face, telling me it was on the right bronchus. And here we had a strowman screwdriver. Sharp thing that’s not small lodged in this gentleman’s right bronchus. So he then had to be transferred to Belfast City Hospital in an ambulance, which is about an hour and a half and 45 minutes from here. To get it removed. And I it was a margin and a big scar on his chest getting him to get it out. And I still remember the journey that the next morning driving up to go and see him and see his family, which I’d obviously kept in contact with that evening, thankfully, finding out that he had been able to get it removed and orally. And they’ve been able to fish it out. So that probably for me was one of the scariest things that have happened from a clinical perspective.

What happened, anything after that? Any recourse for no patient?

I’m going to go back to rapport and relationship building. You know, the situation. We handled it as well as we possibly could handle it. We did everything we needed to do. We kept everybody informed. We had a conversation with his family. We explained exactly what was happening.

Things changed. When I say when I say error, I feel like there was no errors in that.

Do you not? Well, I think there was an error because it didn’t have flow. Stayed right in the blood.

Oh, there you go. Good, good, good, good.

You know, and even to this day, sometimes just don’t forget to do it. But yeah, so that. That for me, that was me. I mean, there you have those consequences where somebody have to go to bloody hospital to have a job.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But error, error errors and when you reflect you think I would have done that differently man. Out the screwdriver. Floss for the scooter. Yeah. Give me one more, man. Cue. One more.

Man. Let me see. Yeah. So another big one was we went through a period of using and the early days of zirconia. So this was actually a really stressful period for myself and Larry. Larry had been involved in some of the early work with streaming under. And so we were doing loads of it and hammered did absolutely loads of it. We were doing large restorations in it and it was all not monolithic at that stage. It was a base with veneered ceramic over the top. And almost every one of them fractured.

And how long after you shooting them?

Probably about 2 to 2 and a half years, even earlier in a lot of instances. So we had and I mean, we had hundreds of these.

Oh, so you suddenly you’re thinking they’re all going to come back.

I’m they they bloody well nearly did. So the hours that I spent cutting zirconia off. And Larry, God bless them, replaced every single one of them. And I don’t think he was ever funded by a Stroman. But we remitted every single case at our expense. I give the clinical time. He gave the technical time. And I remember that period being horrendously stressful. You were waiting for the phone call every day to say, GM’s better. Two beautiful cranes from me and know the fractured. And we were just like, Oh, not another one. And yeah, so I was actually a really horrible.

That’s a biggie.

It was a big that cost a lot of money.

Also, Prav, you have no idea you’re drilling Serco Serco now. Yes. It’s like it just doesn’t. It’s so hard. It’s impossible to get the damn thing off. Yeah.

Yeah. So that when I look back, I tell that story to a lot of people.

That’s one of the worst I’ve heard.

Yeah, that was a really horrible, horrible period. Thanks for that actually pay. Thanks for. You know, I appreciate.

It. We should we should give a medal. A medal, shouldn’t we?

Do I win that award then?

Yeah. You’re definitely in the running for that one, man. What a nightmare. Patient of the patient. And did any of those go? Did anyone like a patient get pissed off or. No, Your rapport. So good. Oh, good, good. Tell us that story.

Good people. Common people. Come on and tell me. You told me this was the best thing since sliced bread. What? Why the hell is it broken? You know, I’m no back. Especially when you had patients that maybe had breakages at different times. So, you know, they had one repair that redid the crown and then you had another one maybe in a few months time, and they started to get annoyed. So.

So did you level with the patients and tell them, look, this is a problem we’re having?

What else did? Of course.

She did. No, it’s a problem we’re having across lots of nations.

It’s a problem. You’re not the only one that’s come in the door with this.

Oh, really?

Our. Our. What we are doing as a team is we’re putting them right because we feel there’s an inherent problem with the material. Although we’re handling the material at our site and in the way that we’re told to. We’re still having a fundamental problem. So obviously, it’s like a recall. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just have to be.

That’s a goodie, James. That’s a goodie. Yeah. I don’t know why I’m taking pleasure from it somehow. It’s another bad story. So you are? My pleasure. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I think we’re getting to the point where we come to the final questions, guys, But I’ve.

Got one thing that’s that I’ve been thinking a question I’ve been thinking about asking from right at the beginning. James. We were talking about the art of craft that you’re that your father instilled in you. Perhaps what my father instilled in me. And then and then we go on to this situation where we have our own kids and we want to instil the art of craft in them, but we don’t own corner shops anymore, and there’s no newspaper rounds to dish out. But you still want your kids to grow up grounded and understand, depreciate, however you want to put that the value of money or hard work or whatever that that is. Does that ever come up for you?

Look. Look how hard he’s working, dude. I mean, your kid’s going to get it. No, but you as well. You know, I get that. But James worked in the.

Shop, right? That’s where you picked up your. Your personal craft, right? Yeah. Obviously leading by example. Do you ever sit.

Down and have to.

Have those conversations on that piece? What’s your take? Because, you know, both myself and Sonya. And I think that we have we’ve got we have worked fucking hard for. Yeah, we really have. And what’s put a huge amount of pressure on our own personal lives as well as everything else. But, you know, I think that my both myself and Sonya would look back on that and not regret any of it. And when the most of it, I think. But as for I look at Oliver. So Oliver decided that just last week he started his own car, Violet in business, and I caught him outside with a couple of pallets and a screwdriver, making himself a freedom that he can hang all his violet and stuff up on. He created his own Facebook page, and, you know, he he has had a couple of jobs, but they haven’t worked out for him because Oliver is like his father. He’s almost unemployable. And so he has his own cross to bear.

How old is he?

18. Doing a. So. But I look at Oliver. Go on. He went and got himself a job in the local last over the winter time. He went. Then he got his own interview. He did all of that off his own. But now he’s starting this little business cleaning people’s cars. And, you know, so they have always been told, you know, this is what we expect. You know, we work hard. None of this is going to come easy and it shouldn’t come easy to you. Madeline at 16 just isn’t at that stage yet. She just wants to land self over the dog. But she told me she was going to marry a rich man, so maybe that’s her way out of it. I don’t know. But we’ll see.

What Oliver’s.


James So, you know, clearly he’s.

He’s been brought up in an environment in a home where he could be given and have everything he wants. Right? Do you. Do you hold things back? What have you done to instil in him? Go get a job in Asda if you want X, Y and Z or. And I guess the entrepreneurial spirit in him have said, right, I’m going to do my own car cleaning business because that’s a challenge and just talk me. Talk me through that. You know, I look at the kids and they’re so bloody lucky. You know, nice holidays, you know, But. But I think some of it’s a guilt thing for maybe myself and Sonya, because, you know, we probably have sacrificed time with them in the years gone past. And at the minute, things are just so incredibly hectic, you know, in terms of work life balance that is just not right. And we would be the first to admit that. But the kids are not given everything that they want. They have to understand the value of of what they have. And I suppose it’s just a. A persistent reminder of luck to them that things will come easy. But they’re good kids. Lesson, you know, proud of the really, really good kids and they don’t really give us too much trouble. So they’re not being troublesome, really. And they’re pretty good. Also not stood outside the off licence drinking side. That may happen the odd time. Yes. We have had the odd hiccup lesson that the 18 year old boy who plays rugby and has got that sort of circle of friends, you’re going to have the World Cup, of course, but that’s part of it. And I move different teams.

Let’s get let’s get to the final questions. Yeah, I think I think I think you’re going to be we can’t no, no one could listen to your story and not call you a serial entrepreneur. And you’re you know, I read this definition of serial entrepreneur. It’s something like highly optimistic and high pain threshold.

Yeah, we just whitewashed Haven. Yeah.

Just let’s get to the fancy dinner party. Three guests. Dead or alive. Who would you have?

Yeah. So first of all, without a shadow of a doubt as Mr. Larry Brown, Larry would have to be there to have one orderly, one more evening with Larry drinking too much wine, talking rubbish, putting the world to rights would be very special. So I think Larry would have to be there. He’s taught me more than I think anybody else has in my lifetime, bar my own parents. And we have a thing in our businesses where we refer back to Larry on a constant basis. And what would Larry do? You know what how would Larry cope with the situation? And so what they’d do, Larry Brown would be the first person at the table. Second one. This could be an interesting one for some people would have to be Queen Elizabeth. If this is a fantasy table. So our queen, the queen that has just passed away, I would absolutely. I think she was a wonderful woman. And let’s talk about work, work ethic and. Service and all these people go, Oh, well, it was easier. Bloody was not easy. You know, she, she put in some shift and she did it with such dignity. And I know that her and Larry would probably kill one another, which would be even better for them. But yeah, so just being able to have a conversation with her I think would be utterly fascinating. So she would be number two.

That’s a good thing. I’m surprised she hasn’t come up before, you know, That’s a goody.

Yeah. Number three. So I am named after my grandfather. So my dad’s dad and he died. Never met him. He died in his early fifties. As far as I’m aware. And. I’m told that I’m quite like him. I’m told that there’s a sharing of some qualities there. And I think ultimately the entrepreneurial side comes from him. And I would be really interested to know it’s actually a conversation I’ve probably not had with my dad too much. And we have discussed it at times, but not in any great detail. And that’s actually something I need to do, would be to find out a little bit more about what made him tick. I think I’d be quite interested in that and just be in meeting the person you’re named after. I remember I used to do carpet bowls. You guys probably have no idea of Calvados worthy. And it was a big thing. And I was given bowls with Jeff. And there were my granddad bowls when I was about 14. I used to play carpools and. Yeah, So I would like to meet him. So that would be the three. Raising. James, it’s your last day on the planet. You’re surrounded by your kids, the loved ones. And you’ve got to leave them with three pieces of wisdom. Life advice. Call it what you want. What would you say to them? So.

Number one. Something my mother told me when I was about. I reckon I was about 18 or 19. There was an incident that happened amongst my friendship group at the time, and I remember telling me, James, you get shot with the crew as your flavour. And. I’ll never forget her saying that at the time. And really what I’ve taken from that over the years, because I do think about it, is to surround yourself with good people and people that and these people can come and go at different times of your life. You might meet somebody for a short period of time that’s going to have an influence. But surround yourself with people who help you when you need help. Surround yourself with people who are good to you. Surround yourself with people who don’t say yes to you all the time, who can challenge you and help make you a better person. And surround yourself with people better than you. And I think if you do that, I think that that pulls you on as a person and that you learn more and that you’re more reflective and that you’re challenged. And I think that’s important. And the last bit of that one would be don’t suffer fools if there’s somebody in your life that’s taking more from the cup than putting in. Just get rid of them. Just stop.

You know, so I think surround yourself with good people. And I’ve tried to do that. So I think that’s number one. Number two, A is probably the only thing I ever learned in the history class. So there was a phrase or a little poem or whatever put on the wall. I keep on a serving man. They taught me all I knew. Their names are walked by. And when, how and where and who. And I use that all the time. And I think the core of that is to be curious. I want my kids to be curious. I want my staff to be curious. I want them to ask. I want them to challenge. I want them to explore. I do want them to accept the status quo. I want them to be interested in finding things out. That’s always been the way for me. When I put my mind to something, I’ve been curious to find out more. And actually that was also a big part of Larry Brown. And so I think being curious is really, really important and not just to accept things as they are. So that little poem sometimes when I’m presenting something or I’ve got an issue in the business that I want to solve, I’ll go through that. Like, I’ll ask the what, why, where and how you are and who to try to figure it out.

So I think being curious is a really good thing to be. And the third one is definitely have no regrets because I see people living with regret all the time. I see it in my own family at times. And regret just becomes a weight on your shoulders that drags you down. And, you know, we’re here for a relatively short period of time. I don’t want my kids to grow up with any regrets. You know, we have a go. We’ve all got skeletons in the closet. We’ve all had things that don’t work out. But you got to just keep going forward and keep trying. Learn from your mistakes. But you want to be able to look at yourself at the end of the day in the mirror and say, You know what? I give that absolutely my best shot. I can’t ask anything more for myself or for those around me. And you know what? That’s a pretty good place to be. So I do think, you know, let’s get rid of the regret. It’s too harsh. It’s too big a baggage to carry. And there’s no there’s no need for it at all. The people that love you are not sure that you surround yourself with. They don’t want you to live with regret. They just want you to get on with things. So that would be my third.

So beautifully articulated, James. Lovely man. You know, dude, sometimes these you know, we’re 10:00 on a on a monday night. Sometimes you get drained by by these conversations because it’s tiring, Right? But sometimes it’s the opposite. They feed you, wake you up. This one. This one really did that for me. Thank you so much, buddy. Thank you so much. Thanks, JD. In talking to you, we really enjoyed.

That. Thank you both, both of you. I’ve been a fan of the podcast for a while and I love the conversations, but you’ve got to get more people in Ireland onto them. Come on, get the Irish contingent. Tell us, tell us.

Tell us who to have. But you happily send us. Send them over, James.

Send them over. Absolutely. Listen, keep up the good work and thank you very much.

This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts. Payman, Langroudi and Prav. Solanki.

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.


Imran ‘Imi’ Nasser has discovered his Ikigai—a sense of meaning and purpose. He sits down for a chat with Payman and Prav about purchasing his specialist-led practice in Cheltenham shortly before COVID brought UK dentistry crashing to a halt.

Imi also chats about his training endeavours with 15C, revealing where the course provider got his enigmatic name, talks about the trials and tribulations of teaching, and discusses the importance of creating supportive working environments where team members can flourish and grow.  



In This Episode


00.35 – The podcast quiz

04.03 – Lessons and surprises

10.27 – A specialist practice

13.09 – Treating referrals

19.24 – Ikigai

24.24 – On teaching

31.05 – Backstory

37.17 – Mum

41.35 – Dental school

43.32 – Long-term plans

48.10 – Putting skills into practice

52.18 – Finding and creating supportive environments

01.00.04 – Blackbox thinking

01.03.33 – Training pathways

01.10.37 – A day in the life

01.18.16 – Fantasy dinnerparty

01.22.24 – Last days and legacy 


About Imran Nasser


Imran Naser graduated from Bristol University in 2006. He was awarded a fellowship in dental surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2009 and completed a master’s degree in implantology in 2014.

He is a prolific implantology educator with AestheticProsthetic and 15C and has also written a book on cosmetic dentistry.  

Imi is the principal dentist and Cheltenham and Cotswold Dental, where he won the UK Clinical Award for Single Implants and the Multiple Implant Category at the 2022 and 2021 UK Aesthetic Dentistry Awards.

An associate was asking me, me How many practices do you think are actually good practices where you’ve got a supportive environment as an associate to minority?

I would say.

I kind of I couldn’t really pick out a figure that, you know, just somebody was explaining to me about some difficult scenarios when they’ve moved from practice to practice to practice. And I would hope, I suppose the people that we speak to, we hope that, you know, most people are supportive and good principles and try and look after people as much as possible. But invariably there’s always going to be good and bad in any profession.

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 selling cake.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Imran Nazir onto the podcast. Amy is a dentist, cosmetic and implant dentist who has recently started a practice in Cheltenham with lots of specialists at Cheltenham and Cotswold Dental. He’s also turned his hand to teaching with his brilliant aesthetic prosthetic courses that he does with Manish Patel and recently launched a new implant course, a rich preservation course called 15. See? Brilliant to have you, buddy. Thanks for joining us. Welcome.

Thank you for having me. It’s great to actually finally come on the the podcast after listening to you guys every morning at 5 a.m. most mornings at 5 a.m..

It’s nice to have someone on the show who actually listens. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

That’s when I do my commute. So it’s the best time to listen to all of this.

Here’s a test. What’s your favourite episode of me? Yeah. Nice. Oh.

Favourite episode. That is a test, isn’t it? Can I scroll to? Can I come back to you on that one?

Yeah. Yeah. I’ll tell you what my favourite episode is. Vishal. Vishal Shah. Yeah. Have you heard that one?

When was that one?

Ages ago. Yeah. This was the whistle blower. Hygienist Wasn’t. Wasn’t. Wasn’t disinfecting the instruments.

Oh, maybe. Maybe I did miss that one.

That’s the best. It’s the best. I’m going to have him back on as well, because he’s. He’s done really well since then. Class action lawsuit. All his patients. He was on the news in in China. What’s your favourite episode? That’s a good test. I think it’s still going to be a new right? Yeah, I think. I think it does, because. You know, I was very fond of the guy and and even listening back to that and I haven’t for a while. So many lessons, so many life lessons in them and whatnot. And such an inspirational guy, amazing teacher and a guy that touched many, many, many hearts and people’s education over the years. So, yeah, it’s still still stands strong as my favourite and then possibly my brothers, just because of the amount of swearing we had to come out of it, crying and crying.

If if you know the one the one actually more recently that I quite resonated with that I was telling the delegates on the weekend about was actually George is one a couple of weeks ago and you know the message I was telling delegates on the weekend was, you know, even someone as skilled as him with so much experience where he shared that story about putting the implant through the mandible without checking his implant motor and, you know, his background from his father medicine and now what he’s doing. I just found it a fascinating story, just a fascinating backstory. And he’s obviously, you know, he’s he’s done so well for himself now. And, you know, so many people look up to him in the implant world.

I mean, you know, how we normally start this podcast, but I’m not going to normally start it the way that we know I want. You know, I was looking at you today and I was looking at your you’ve done basically the sort of the funnel of a dentist. You qualify associate M.C. Squat practice specialist practice and now teacher. I want you to give me for each of those roles. One thing that surprised you. One thing you wish you knew before you did that.

For each of those roles.

Yeah. So before you became a dentist? Yeah.

Before I came. A dentist?

Yeah. What do you wish someone had told you before you became a dentist?

I suppose. I wish that before I became a dentist, someone told me that, you know, at the very outset of your career, try and make sure that a really good balance between your family, your friends and your dentistry. And I think now I’ve become much, much better at sort of being more conscious of my time and juggling all sorts of activities. But I think in the infancy of my career when I was an associate, certainly I would say that I was working so many hours in surgery and I probably missed out on things with my children that I absolutely regret. Whereas whereas now, when I yes, I’m busy in the week, but the weekends are solely, solely dedicated to being by the sports pitch, running my children around. And I wish I’d have known that a little bit earlier.

On that point, you were getting your 10,000, 10000 hours in, right? That made you that made you who you are clinically today. That puts you in a position to be able to teach and guide others and to be able to launch the clinic that you wanted to launch and deliver the patient journey that you wanted to do. And had you not done that and you were at the side of the pitch more or doing more, more family stuff, and I don’t think you’d be where you are today. And I think a lot of us go through that period. I definitely went through that when I was doing my 17, 18 hour days and wife and kids just got sidelined. Right? They were they were a secondary thought. And there are moments when I beat myself up about it. Right. But also I know very, very clearly I wouldn’t be the Prav I am today had I not been through that struggle. So knowing that, would you change anything if you went back?

You know, I don’t think I’m lucky. I have the most incredibly supportive wife who is a dentist as well. And you know, I wouldn’t change anything about my journey at all. I feel very privileged and fortunate to where I am now. And, you know, it’s been it’s been a passion of love, really. And I think even to this day, whether it’s writing new courses, whether it’s writing material for the practice, I love every single minute of it. So I don’t resent anything that I’ve done in the past at all.

I mean, what about before you started to practice? What do you wish you knew?

I started the practice in well, I think we completed on the first of 2nd of January 2020. I wish on the 2nd of January 2020, I knew that COVID was coming. That would have been brilliant. So second, 2nd of January 2020, we completed we started building work immediately. And I think I got into my surgery on the 1st of March. So I think we had 21 days before we shut down.


Wow. I think I was in a practice for quite a few years, a private practice in Gloucestershire, and I think sort of through that period, it was a really, really good practice. And I think I learnt over that period the things that worked with management of the team and things that perhaps didn’t work. So, you know, for me actually when I look back on that period with COVID, it gave me a real good chance to sort of galvanise my team around me and to look after them as best as possible. So when I reflect on it, actually I think it was a blessing in disguise because now they are just so loyal and they’re such a good bunch that, that actually I think it worked in my favour.

But did you not have cash crisis?

Oh, there was definitely a cash crisis. I mean, we had we didn’t have everybody we couldn’t put on furlough because people weren’t on payroll in time. Yeah. And cash flow is definitely an issue. And if I look back to it, I think when Boris’s announcement suddenly came that we could reopen, I think that we probably had I probably think we had about three more, about three more weeks in us to keep things going well. We went to the banks, we went to the banks and I asked for a holiday on the repayments. And the first thing that they said was, What was my pandemic plan? And I told them I didn’t have one. And the second thing was that they said the money was tied into the market, so we’d have to pay break fees. But the break fees were in the were in the numbers of tens and tens of thousands. So that wasn’t an option. So in the end, actually, without taking out any more finance or anything like that, we managed to make it work.

I guess you weren’t you weren’t even eligible for the coronavirus business interruption.

We weren’t didn’t have any accounts. We didn’t have any accounts or.

Even a bounce back. No, none of it.

Nothing. We could we didn’t have anything available to us. So so I was basically sat in my garden office from about 6 a.m. till about 10:00 at night, head in hands, trying to work out how we do this. And on top of that, I was trying to work out what we needed when we were allowed to open. And you know, you can probably remember at the time that there was about there was a limit to how much PPE we could buy number one per week. And number two, it was sky high in price. So all I was doing every week I was ordering what I thought we were going to need so that at least I had some stuff. And then as soon as we were allowed to open up, we did training with the staff for about three days, four days, and then we just got going. But I had the PPE, luckily.

Was it from the beginning a specialist practice? Was that the idea from from the get go or did it become.

Yeah, I mean, that was always the vision of it. So the background to the practice was that it was an NHS orthodontic practice and quite a well established one in Cheltenham. So beautiful building lots of space and they lost their contract three years ago. So essentially it was coming onto the market and one of my, you know, my business partner at the Practice, we were best friends at university and she was actually a locum orthodontist at the practice. So she ended up ringing me and said, Look, Amy, this is becoming available. What do you think? There was four partners who own the building and the business and I just thought, wonderful location, Cheltenham’s affluent area. My referral base was in the in the region. I thought it was just too good an opportunity to pass. So, you know, we immediately made the move and with a vision of turning it into a fully specialist practice.

Nice. So in terms of you said your referral base was there, so were you confident that you’d have enough patients to be sort of treating and seeing at the practice so that I guess marketing or new patient acquisition, those sort of things were less.

Of a problem? Well, obviously, you know, there was obviously an element of risk, no doubt. Yeah, but a lot of the practices that were referring to the practice in Gloucestershire that was previously at they were referring directly to me as opposed to the practice. So, you know, it felt I felt that it was a risk worth taking and it was the right step for me at the time. And from a marketing point of view, my vision with that was that there was still some NHS orthodontic treatment that was being finished at the practice and actually in the lead up I came out of the practice in Gloucestershire about six months prior to concentrate on this, this set up and you know, the previous owners were great. So in reception we were leaving out flyers, we were leaving our information, we were emailing to say about the change of the practice. So I knew that patients like the practice and parents were bringing their kids in for NHS. Also, that we were going to pick up enough enquiries to get us off the floor. So that’s basically where it started from. And even to this day we don’t, you know, we don’t do external marketing. Yes, we have a website, but every I would say on average we get about 100 new patient referrals a month into our specialists and then enquiries a beyond that. So I track it regularly. So and that started pretty immediately and that just continues to grow.

Just, just on a point of curiosity, you know, when, when a referral comes into the practice and I think one of the things when, when I speak to whether it’s a specialist referral practice or a practice that relies heavily on referrals because they’ve got a team of skilled clinicians, is this element of dropping the ball with referrals that have come in and you see a sliding scale of this, all different elements of it and part of it could be a referral comes in, but it came in via WhatsApp, but a referral came in and it came scribbled on a back of a lab note or whatever. A referral came in by email, but it got it went into junk and then let’s say it was the super smooth process and the referral comes in digitally. What’s your I’m going to call it the patient journey, right? But your patient is the dentist and the patient, right? And so what does your journey look like when when when a dentist sends a referral in? What’s your communication like with that? And if you experienced any of those issues that I’ve just outlined.

Yeah. I mean, when you’ve got a high volume of referrals coming in, it is so easy for one to go astray. Especially when you’ve got a big team and you know how, say, for example, my treatment coordinators would handle matters compared to, say, how one of our front of house staff would handle things may be slightly different. So, you know, the standard we have two treatment coordinators and the standard thing I’ve asked them to do, which they do, is as soon as we receive a referral, we will the treatment coordinator will pick up the phone and ring the referring practice and say that we we received it, thank them for sending the referral and then of course, communicate with the patient and go through everything for the appointment, what to expect, what the fees will be, send them a map, etc. etc.. Throughout the process, I mean, one thing I’m massively keen on is I track everything within the practice. So I’m a spreadsheet man. I like to know that everything is logged. I like to know how long it takes for the patient to be seen and actually what the outcome is. So I view that every month and keep an eye that everything’s been been sort of handled. And I think more often than not with my team, I don’t think many slip the net, but we’re human and mistakes can happen. Because like any referral practice, as I say in our in our monthly huddles, a referral practice is all about relations with our referrals, dentists, dentists. You know, it’s just absolutely key. Yes, we have to look after the patients, but we have to look after the dentists as much as possible.

When the dentist sends a referral to is that patient as good as sold? So they’ve got a clear idea of what your fee structure is and all the rest of it. Or do you start chasing that patient in the sense that your dentist is recommended you come in for an assessment for oral surgery or whatever. And our assessment fee is 250 quid we’d like to book you. And with doctors, such and such. Is that a given that they’re going to book in because they’ve been referred, or is it that the dentist has said, hey, this patient might need this, I’m send him across and then your TSOs are doing exactly the same as what you would be doing if that patient came in on a self referral where they’d have to follow them up, remind them, text them email and so on and so forth.

Yeah, I think I think for those that refer to us that they historically referred to us, I think that, you know, I would say 100% at a time, they will come in for the consultation. Usually, you know, 100% of the time they will already regularly communicate with the practices about like even at the end of the year, what our fees have changed to so that it’s accurate for their patient. So only, you know, in January I was sending those messages out to say, look, our consultation costs have gone up, our CBC costs some more are also fees and now this and that way it’s patients aren’t shocked when they turn up to see us. So I think from that point of view, we do we do relatively well. We have two incredible treatment coordinators. One lady who had knowledge base is superb and and actually she has like, you know, Prav, you know, people skills are everything in that position, right? And the patients just love her. Just absolutely love her. She will know about every pet their family member has and she just gets them on the right level and looks after them. And she will try and work out a plan with the clinician. If somebody can’t afford something, she will work out a payment plan for them. She will do whatever she has to to make sure that the patient gets the right treatment. However long the term is.

So in a normal practice where patients are self referring in, CO may see the patient for a consultation and then book the patient in with the the dentist. Right. Or the treating dentist or whatever. What role does the CO have in a specialist practice like yours? Is it similar. Do they meet with the patient before or are they having that rapport building conversation with the patient where they’re essentially selling them the assessment or the US piece of you or one of your colleagues to get them in and then help them along their journey?

Yes. So they will of course, they will initially build up the relationship on the phone. Yeah. And but when they come for their first new patient appointment, they will meet the CO and they will then go through be led through to the surgery by the TSO. And following the appointment they will go and sit in a room and just chat about things and ask questions that maybe they will find less comfortable asking us about.


So that’s usually the journey. And then the TSO will follow them up. They’ll get the letter at the end of the day and the TSO will then followed them up probably about a week later to see if there’s any questions that they want answered.

You usually get a letter out within the day or just.

So all the other clinicians usually will get also will go out within the day. My aim is always to make sure my letters are out within the week. If it’s a straightforward letter, not a nine page summary, if it’s a straightforward letter, they can get it within a couple of days. If it’s if it’s a vast treatment plan or I need to look at the CT scans, it might take a little bit longer.

I mean, you seem to me I mean, we don’t know each other that well, but you seem to me like you found your ikigai. You know about that Japanese thing, right? Do you know about it?

No, I don’t.

It’s like. It’s like the concentric circles. You know, that which you are good at? Yes, That which the world needs. That. That which you will get paid for. Basically something that combines your passion, your your, your mission and everything in the middle ikigai. You seem to me like, like one of those cats who’s got that all fixed. And it’s interesting in dentistry, right, because that which the world needs and that which the world will pay for is already ingrained in dentistry. And then it comes down to, you know, what you enjoy doing and what are you good at doing? So with your practice, which bits of it do you hate and hate to hate of anyway? Which, which bits of it is it that you don’t feel in flow when you’re dealing with and which bits of it you really feel like you’re really in flow you really love doing.

So if I could. So what do I love doing? I love driving the team forward and inspiring the other team members to take ownership. You know, we are so, so lucky that we have I mean, the team is now 30 and I can hand on heart, say within every member of that team, there is no one that I would never there is no one that I wouldn’t employ again. Well, and genuinely, you know, they they feel like, you know, we call ourselves a family and, you know, one of my one of my actual greatest worries, which sounds strange, is that I worry that in the future when we do sell, you know, I worry about who’s going to look after these guys. And, you know, so I kind of I love working with the team. I love inspiring them. Hopefully, I know that I push them hopefully in the right way. And I love that. You know, some of my favourite moments is that when we go and socialise together, you know, the most recent two we did, we had a, we had an evening playing darts and food and drinks and that was good. And then we went to, we went to an Indian afternoon tea session and gin tasting and you know, when you can mix the pleasure, you know, genuinely everybody just gets on right here. So that is probably the massive perk of running this practice. Of course.

You haven’t had to fire anyone yet.

I know I haven’t actually, which is which is great. I mean, along the way, there’s probably been people that perhaps I inherited from the previous practice that I realised we’re going to be an obstacle for my vision. But you know, luckily within a few months they realised that things may not work out how they wanted them to work out. And they, you know, they looked elsewhere and that was perfect. That was ideal. So, you know, I would say that we don’t have any bad eggs and there is only, you know, positive energy. That’s one thing I struggle to cope with, that if somebody is continually negative.


That is that is because that just brings you only need one negative person within the team to bring everybody down. Unfortunately, unfortunately, I wouldn’t say we’ve got any of those at the moment, which is great.

So which aspects of it don’t you like?

You know, it’s very easy for me to say that there is nothing within the practice I don’t like. I mean, I think I think we have we have two managers. We have two managers, which now over the last three years have come to grips with how we like to run things. So I would say at the infancy of the practice, too much was coming to us, to Sam and I. But as time is gone, you know, the managers take a lot of load off us. And for me that’s great because I get to get on with my clinical stuff. You know, we do we do a weekly meeting, a weekly managers meeting where for 2 hours we’ll go through all the issues. Anything may have come up and we we manage it immediately and give an answer. And that’s a really good way. So that way the rest of the week, it’s not eating into my mindset or I can get on with the things that I need to do.

And how many days are you clinical?

So at the moment I’m three and a half.

Well, that’s good.

So I’m three and a half and you know, give it probably a year. I’ll probably be down to I’m looking to get to three. So I do.

That’s good.

So three is three is about the optimum for me, the way that I operate. So I think that’s probably the perfect mix to have a date. I do a days admin from home, which is practice related or treatment planning, and then of course a day may be spent teaching and then weekends is about being a taxi for the children.

So. So I’m going to ask same question before you embarked on your teaching. What do you wish you knew or what surprised you about teaching?

And teaching was? A Yeah, teaching was quite a jump because, you know, even on the even on the weekend, just gone when we launched 15, see you kind of there are times where you still feel, you know, it’s that whole inferiority complex and you think, should I be stood here in front of these people? And there are times when I’m lecturing, when I think I’m talking about something so basic that I’m probably not giving value to the delegates. But I was amazed the first time that I taught that actually you can’t take anything for granted and you know, you need to the most keeping things simple is actually the best way to educate others and not to go to Complex. And I learnt that the first time very, very quickly.

What was the first time? Can you cast your mind back to the first time you got up in front of a bunch of people and said, Right, I’m going to teach these dudes some some stuff just how you felt, the whole impostor syndrome complex and nerves maybe. I don’t mean mean. Payman just spoke about this incredible length. We actually went through the journey together. But take us through your journey. I mean, what was that like the first time you stepped into or started thinking about teaching?

Well, I think I mean, it was just the most incredible buzz because during COVID we did I did a few webinars, and the webinars were fun. But, you know, interacting live with a with a group was just was just such an experience. And even even on Friday, you know, it’s a long day. You’re on your feet the whole day. You’re helping everyone. Everyone wants a piece of you. Lots of questions. And the day after you are so, so drained. But it’s just the most rewarding thing when you can see 22 people produced the level of surgery on a pig’s head that you would be proud of and you think, Do you know what? I’ve actually made a huge difference here to 22 people, and that that is just a feeling that you can’t really replicate. You know, we go we after the course we go for, usually I’m there showing clinical paces till we’re thrown out. And on them literally on Friday they were like, You’ve gone past your contracted time. We have you have to go. And I was still up there showing clinical cases. People wanted more. They want to see some soft tissue grafting. So I just started showing a bit of that and we go to the bar afterwards. I ordered the pizzas in and you’re just chatting. You’re just chatting about life, people’s practices, and you just don’t want that moment to end, you know, the course. Or we were just sat there till about 3 a.m. and, you know, and in the end you had to, you had to go to bed. And actually I was so gutted that we had to go to sleep.

Is there a one day course?

It was a one day course, yeah. You know, the second night you would just finished.

So how do you market the courses in me?

So we do it solely on, solely on our Instagram accounts. So, you know, with messages following and the followers that I have, we’ve just slowly, slowly drip fed it onto there. And we’ve been fortunate enough that it’s sort of attraction and people have been really interested in them.

I mean, it’s nice for you, I guess Menashe is a real. Of courses, right. So he could sort of tell you what to expect. And, you know, I remember when we first started doing courses, it was it was a nightmare. The first few times I found it so hard with hands on making sure every little thing was there. Just just just little operational issues like that. Do you not find those hard?

Yeah. So, I mean, his experience from running Focus is has been has been so helpful. And, you know, even when I put some slides together, just his gist his Yeah. Experience from that background has helped us helped us know and I think I think the jump for him has been going from doing photography to something that is different. Say for example, doing live hands on with pigs heads is is a completely different, completely different area. But no doubt from a from a website design, you know like our websites manage puts together from our marketing branding for our book that we put together for the boxes, the packaging, we already has the contact. So it’s made things so much easier. So with AP took us with aesthetic prosthetic, probably put us 12 months, took us 12 months to put it together with 15 C You know, we have the blueprint how we want to do things, we have the venue. And I think within four months we put it together.

What does it stand for?

15 C So 15 C is based on my favourite surgical blade.


So that’s, that’s kind of where we say the logo is, got the blade underneath it.

Okay, that’s funny. What I was trying to think to myself. 15. Yeah, I was saying the mix man because I thought was something dental that you guys probably know about.

So because you haven’t, I mean you haven’t picked up a surgical blade in many years, right?

No, 12 years.

Yeah, 12.

Years. And even then, I didn’t used to like blood at all. I mean, as soon as it was anything to do with blood, I would refer it even a not so difficult wisdom tooth. I just refer it. I just refer.

And that’s fine, isn’t it? Because if that’s if that’s not what, you know, your niche then it’s not your niche.

Yeah. I think what it was, I took a break from dentistry for five years, then I went back. When I went back, I was just like, This isn’t my main career anymore. I’m only going to do the bits I’m either really good at or really like. And that just left bleaching and bonding really was I was referring everything else, completely referring everything else out. And it’s a funny thing. Yeah. But knowing what you’re good at and what you should keep doing because if you ask the question I was asking myself this, it was a bit of a silly question really. Is there anyone who can do it better than me? And if you asked that question, you literally left with nothing because there’s always someone, right? You can do it better than you.

But the but the beating but the bleaching and bonding has taken you down this road, which is, you know.

Was already down the street when, when, when I was saying that. So. Yeah, yeah, yeah. All right, let’s, let’s, let’s get back to your back story, buddy. When was the first time that you had. I’m going to study dentistry in your head. Like, when did that first coming to endure radar, Do you remember?

So that was literally only the day before I handed in my A-level choices. There was there was. There was. I knew that science was always my strongpoint, Always, always. And so I knew that I wanted to do chemistry, biology, physics for my A-levels. But I think it must have been around that time. And when we were handing in the applications for university that I was marrying up medicine, optometry or dentistry, and I came to the conclusion that medicine wasn’t for me and I thought I would give dentistry a go with no reason. There was no family members that were dentists. And I always actually think back to that day and think how lucky I was that I actually chose something that I fell in love with. Yeah, it could have gone so wrong. It could have gone so wrong. So there was no reason why I chose dentistry, hadn’t really done me work experience in it. And I just got lucky.

And you were living in London? Yeah.

Yeah, I was. So family homes in sort of Purley I was at school in Dulwich and.

The school itself.

That one little college. Yeah. And that business was in Balam. So Dad used to drop me on the way to school and then head up the South Circular to Balam.

What does your dad do?

So he retired now. He would call himself a businessman. He is a man with fingers in many pies, but his main business. His main business. He had a Mott mott station in car garage. So, so, so sort of that that moved over to England when he was 16 and started doing engineering and an apprenticeship. And then he was working I think he was working in a petrol station, but at Night-Time he started a business. Mobile repairs through the night and then managed to save enough money to then set up his own garage. And, you know, we’re very it’s served me and my sister well and just, you know, he worked incredibly, incredibly hard to give us what we have today.

So reflecting on that Prav thing that he was saying about, you know, you not seeing your kids when you were putting in those hours. You didn’t see your dad very much, right?

I literally I did not see Dad at all.


The only mom used to do all of the stuff with us. Really? And Dad was. Dad was so busy with the business and working every hour possible that that. Yeah, we didn’t spend much time together, but, you know, through no fault of his own, I mean, everything that he earns or everything that he worked for was solely for us. I mean, I think back to a story that my mom sort of sums up what my dad is like, and my mom is the eldest of six siblings, and I remember he met my mom. They must have been about 16 and he wanted to take my mom out. And my mom was like, well, you’re going you’re going to have to go and ask Nana about it. As in my granddad. So, Dad.

Is this back in Uganda?

This was back in in England. And this is when they met in England. And about this was probably about six months after they came over from Uganda. And he went to ask my granddad whether he can take my mom to the cinema. My granddad said, Yeah, that’s fine, but you do realise to take her out on a date, you’re going to have to marry her first.


You know, so they got married and incredibly, you know, they’re in love, They’re still together. They make a great pair. But before he could take her to the cinema, he. They got married and Dad would work all week for enough money to go to the cinema. But he felt bad that all of Mom’s younger siblings couldn’t go, so he would save all of his money to take all six of them to the cinema together. So his first date with Mom was with five other younger siblings.

Oh, wow.

And even to this, to this day, he spends, you know, he really looks after my mom’s side of the family. His side of the family are in like Canada, America. And he has very few family in the UK that’s originally from Tanzania. So from Tanzania, they they went, they went America Canada way. But Mum’s family from Uganda being born there from Uganda, they all came here pretty much.

Say my dad was from Tanzania as well.

Oh. Whereabouts?

To borrow.

Right. So so we have similar heritages. We look the same background.

Colour, the same hairstyle.

I know, I know.

So listen to me. It sounds to me like you learned from your dad the sort of discipline, working hard, doing things for your kids, that sort of stuff. And I reflect on what I’ve said and, you know, the osmosis of that came through to you. Whether or not he spent the hours at the side of the football pitch or whatever. What did you learn from your mom? What kind of person was she?

So mom is a really unique, selfless person. I think one of the things I learnt from Mum is that well, I sort of learnt it in a in a roundabout way is that most of her life. She never used to say no to anyone about anything. And I’d say in the last couple of years she’s learnt the art of saying no. If it goes, you know, if it’s to a complete detriment herself. So Mum’s always been a giver. She’s been a feeder. You know, my sister lives around the corner from her in London, and I bet you every time my sister steps out the door, there will be fruit bowls and parcels for all of her children where Mum, Mum can’t go to the shops without buying groceries for her sisters, for her mum, for my sister. Recently we wanted to change mum’s car and she’s got a mercedes saloon and mum’s rationality that she couldn’t possibly change the car. Was that her Mercedes with the saloon? She could fit multiple boxes into the back of it, that she could deliver food parcels to the rest of the community. So, you know Mum. Mum has been. Mum has been the sounding board the whole way through. You know, I still ring mum and dad every day as much as I possibly can, you know, for, for advice or just to listen to things and just get their opinion of things. But you know, they’ve been, they’ve been a great support. Always. Always.

So did you not feel like coming back to London after you studied in Bristol, Right. Yeah. You’ve pretty much stayed on that side of the country.

Yeah, I think I think I’m quite I wouldn’t say say I’m the black sheep of the family, but we have we have so much family in London that actually I find it so claustrophobic that when I’m back, it’s like, you must go and see this and you must go and see this person. If you don’t go here, this person is going to get offended. And I just I just literally there’s too much going on in life that I can’t cope with that.

Yeah. Yeah.

So I think for me, moving out of London was was great for me. It just allowed me to grow up. And Bristol is a phenomenal place and we’re lucky. My wife’s my wife’s family’s in Bristol, so we have that support nearby. And, you know, it’s only, as I say to mum and dad, it’s only 2 hours to London. And now that they’re now that Dad’s retired, they can, they can come up at their leisure. But again, you know, from Mum’s point of view he has so many people that she must look after in London. So it’s difficult for them to free up their time as well.

So you still live in Bristol?

So I still live in Bristol. So the children are at school in Bristol. We’re happy and settled there. They’re settled in school, so I don’t see myself moving towards Cheltenham.

So I have like a city.

Yeah. I mean, Bristol is just we have so many friends that have stayed on from uni, so, you know, I can’t see anything changing for the in the near future.

My, my, one of my favourite restaurants in the country is in Bristol. Which was it. Pacos.

Yeah. Pacos is good. You must have gone with Alfonso. He must have taken you.

No, Richard took me. Richard Field. Richard.

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, yeah. But what a restaurant, man. What a great, great restaurant. And perhaps the best thing on the menu. The best thing on the menu. Go on. Brendan Olive oil. Yeah, but you wouldn’t believe it. It’s like a michelin star place or something. Yeah, and bread and olive oil. It’s like they barbecue the bread and then they’ve got some amazing oil they put on my water. I just. I just started watching something on Netflix where the I can’t remember what it is. And the guy walks around with a bottle of olive oil that his mum’s pressed and he just walks around eating this bread and olive oil and they pass it around and apparently it’s the best thing ever. So yeah, I’ll have to, I’ll have to get Alfonso to take me there the next time I’m in Bristol. He just.

I mean, the restaurants, we’ve got some I mean, there’s Michelin starred restaurants. There are Michelin starred restaurants that are so reasonably priced in Bristol as well. We’re actually the bill comes. And you think they’ve miscalculated? Actually, you know, I think the last time I went to one actually said to them, I said, you’re actually under charging here. I feel uncomfortable paying this bill. And it was like it was a it was and the service was just so good and it was like a nine course tasting menu. And it’s in cotton. I forget the name of it, and it’s not flashy at all. It’s got wooden chairs that you think that you just see in a cafe. But just the food was just incredible.

What will you like as a dental student? I mean.

I think I was a party animal. Yes, I was. I was diligent. What I needed to do my work. I did my work. I did well. I did well at dental school, but I was massively involved as well in the sports scene. So I played I played hockey at university, I played cricket at university. So with that came a lot of socialising, a lot of nights out. So I would say probably, you know, there would be events probably for four out of five nights in the week.

Nice. Did you meet your wife at dental school?

No. So we didn’t. So we met at. We met in VTE in Bristol. So she graduated from Cardiff.

All right.

And then we were on the Bristol scheme together.

Nice. Yes. So she’s a better dentist than you, then?

She is definitely the better dentist than me. He’s definitely the better dentist in me.

Because you work in the practice also.

No, she doesn’t. So I’m very what’s really important to me is that my. It sounds strange, but I don’t want my family life and my work life mixing together. So, you know, Kristina works a couple of days a week. She she unfortunately got meningitis ten years ago. So she’s been she’s suffered a lot of health issues. So she stopped working for about 9 to 10 years. So she she only went back probably about school probably about six months ago. And she does a couple of days a week at the at the practice where she did her vet. So a lovely practice down in Cheddar North Somerset. And she’s happy. She works in general practice and she’s a really, really good solid dentist, really solid dentist. So. So yeah, so but no, there’s no aspirations to work together. I mean, recently I asked her if we could go on a course together and she was looking at some courses, but she refuses to go on any courses with me because she said she finds that it would be too much pressure if I was looking at her work.

So, Amy, when you look at this business of yours now. And I mean to you. It must feel like it’s you’ve gone through so many different stages already. But to me, you know, when Prav, I’m sure from the outside you’re just at the very, very beginning of it. I mean, it’s very, very early days. What’s your aspiration? Do you feel like you’re going to repeat this model? Do you want this perfect one site where you’re just going to keep on perfecting it and keep on perfecting that one site? Are you thinking anything about the future, long term future? Do you want to sell it and do another one like you said, sell?

Yeah. You know, there are times where I. I think I think this one would stay as a hub for sure. And, you know, this is the baby. This is this is where it sort of started from. And, you know, Sam and I are so Sam and I Sam, being the business partner and one of my best friends from university. You know this. We will always keep going. I think my one worry is that if there was any expansion, I think that, you know, there’s an element where you have to start letting go of certain things a lot more. And I think either you can I think it’s very difficult to be a teacher, clinician style individual and to have multiple practices potentially. And I feel that for me, I think that I would struggle to cope with multiple practices. I think there is that whole thing where, you know, only about three or four months ago I said to Dad, I said, You know what, I would love to potentially start a school in Bristol and go again. That doesn’t mean getting rid of getting rid of this one. That just means trying to learn something else. And, you know, one dad’s advice always to me is that, you know, slow and steady, you don’t have to do everything at 200 miles an hour.

But I think that’s where dad, in my opinion, slightly deferred, because I’m always thinking I’m always thinking about exit and trying to, you know, not exit, always thinking that I don’t want to be working, you know, at this level of dentistry. I don’t think I can be doing it at the age of 60. So I kind of need to have a strategy in place for the age of 50, you know, something, something along those lines. And then there’s this burning desire of what a challenge of what a new practice would bring. But I think there’s nothing on the horizon. I think I’m fully, fully content. I am fully content with this one. There is room for expansion. There is room for further growth. You know, we’re just starting a sedation service. We’re starting inhalation sedation. There’s a few other angles that we’re working on as well. So I think really that this is this is just what we’re going to focus on for now. On the other side of it, you know, with 15 C, there are lots of exciting ideas that we have coming with that that we’re already working on other projects around the 15 C sort of brand and between the practice and that, I think that’s enough for me to chew on at the moment.

Go on, Amy. Tell us what you mean by that.

Well, I think, you know, I think when I think back to my MSC training and implant ology and what I think to the questions I often get asked, I think within implant dentistry varies. That could be an improvement to the training programs that have been there in the past. So, you know, with this within this umbrella, you know, we’ve been working on. Yes, we’ve brought rich preservation to it. But, you know, I firmly believe that it would be nice to have one day courses for each discipline within implant dentistry where, you know, with a hands on element. And that way people can pick and choose what part they want to dip in or dip out at, you know, and that might be rich preservation, that might be soft tissue grafting, that might be hard tissue grafting, that might be immediate, that might be sinus lifting. You know, So all these things are going on behind the scenes to hopefully put together a program that if people want to do the whole program, that’s great. If people want to do one bit, then that’s also fine. But it’s taking time to develop it because I want to we want to make sure that it’s absolutely perfect before before it comes out.

I wouldn’t wait till anything is absolutely perfect, though, you know, because you’ll never get it. It’s one of those things it can get better on the job. Yeah. But I think, I don’t know, with implant training, there seems to be quite a lot of implant training around, lots of different sort of people teaching. But I still think it’s underserved. You know, one, one thing you don’t realise when you’re in it is that the whole market is growing. You know, when when we started bleaching, there was literally two of us right at the beginning, and then it became three of us. And then now there might be, I don’t know. 23 bleaching systems on the market. It doesn’t mean that now we’ve got 1/23 of that market. The whole market grows at the same time. And when I’m calling, I’m not calling it a market. I don’t mean market as in business opportunity market, but dentists, we need to get trained on implants. Now, talking to others, it seems to me and by the way, we have this problem in composite two people who come on the course and don’t implement. Have you got any sort of ideas on that? You know, there’s I mean, of course some people come on the course realise it’s not right for them. Others will come on the course. Think I’ll just restore implants? I won’t place them. But around that issue of implementation, can you think, you know, why were you the kind of cat who learnt it when on the MSC comes out, treats loads of patients now wants to teach it and then they other people who sit through long courses and not implement? And why are you doing anything about that?

Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. There is with implants. There is definitely you see a lot of that. You see people that have done the MSC and they have not placed an implant in like five years. And I find it really hard to understand why people don’t just get going with it. I think nowadays there is good access to mentors, and I think that’s crucial. Finding a good mentor that can assist you, that you can take patients to them and under supervision, you know, you can build some confidence. But I think really, I think if an individual is that way inclined, I think you need your own individual get though, to to push yourself to take that leap of faith. I think whether people are scared about litigation may be a part of it. Or also I think sometimes people are so people are caught in a rat race where somebody within an NHS practice may have gone and done an implant course and their diary is just so, so full of check ups and things like that that they can’t work out. How do I make time in my diary to just do implant work? And sometimes it takes a leap of faith or vision to think, Do you know what? Even if for the first month there is, I’m empty in that implant clinic on Friday morning that I’m going to go, It’s okay because eventually I’ll fill it and allocate.

The space anyway.

Just allocate the space to it. So I think, number one, that’s the barrier. And I think number two, I think it’s start up cost potentially to people. So if they’re an associate and they’re worried about the equipment that they have to buy. So I think I think within that remit, whether actually implant companies could help to get people going and to give them some implants or I don’t know how they would recoup it in time. But I think if you could take the the barrier away of having to buy everything initially, then people will just get going with it. And in the end, for those companies, if the if the clinician is using their implants, they’re going to do well out of it anyway.

It’s a very good point. I mean, there’s loads more barriers in implants than in other sorts of practice because like you say, you’ve got it’s one of those disciplines. You’ve got to kind of go all in on, isn’t it. You do, you can’t dabble.

You can’t dabble. And you know, you also have to be careful because you can’t do you can’t take on procedures unless you know how to deal with the complications. So, you know, and how many implant sites do you deal with where everything is pristine with lots of bone? I mean, it’s just not the case because you’re dealing with failed teeth. So, you know, I think if you’ve got a supportive principal that can that can help you, that obviously makes a huge difference. But not everybody has that. I mean, what would you say, pay in private? I mean, within the I was having this discussion on on Friday. And, you know, as a percentage in the UK, an associate was asking me in me how many how many practices do you think are actually good practices where you’ve got a supportive environment as an associate.

The minority?

I kind of I couldn’t really pick out a figure that, you know, just somebody was explaining to me about some difficult scenarios when they moved from practice to practice to practice. And I would hope, I suppose the people that we speak to, we hope that, you know, most people are supportive and good principles and try and look after people as much as possible. But invariably there’s always going to be good, bad in any profession.

You know, although when I say minority, I don’t mean I don’t mean that most people are bad. I mean most people are too busy just in the rat race of of running the business. You know, you seem to have this sort of very calm situation where you love your staff, you love your job, you’re running a very successful business from the get go. And I guess you had 16 years of training before you set up your practice, right? You didn’t jump into it on day two. So so but I think most most practices when when Prav visits them, I visit them. And you’re right, these are self-selecting group of like enlightened user is going to be a different type of dentist or the type of practice that’s that’s employing Prav is going to be a higher end kind of practice. And yet we see. I see. I don’t know about you. Tell us now. I see quite a lot of dentists and practice owners who are just running, running and not stopping. I mean, this idea of he’s working in me, he’s working three and one half. At the beginning. It’s rare to see. Yeah. Look, I see a whole mix. Those who want pay. Same, right? The guys who are. Who are just head down in the sand, just getting on with. Just trying to keep their head above the water, shall we say. Then you’ve got those who want to take all the juicy stuff for themselves, right. And so they don’t give the associates the support or the cases or whatever. I’ll take all the juicy implants. I’ll give you the more troublesome cases or whatever. Right. There’s that piece. And this is the whole thing.

The question that you asked earlier in me, which is when we get back to implementation, what do we need to do? You need volume, right? You need to get you need to get your miles in. And if I go on an implant course and the opportunity for me to place an implant is a month apart each time, I’m not going to have the muscle memory, the time, the the repetition and getting those reps in to be able to get better at placing implants. Right. Same with when we’re teaching the orthodontic courses, right? The first thing we say is before you come on the course, have three patients lined up. You know, your mom, your sister, your best friend who’s got crooked tooth nurse, whatever, right? So you’ve got your cases lined up and then start identifying those patients straight away. Make sure you’re in a supportive environment. So it’s really hard to answer that question. What percentage is supportive? I mean, we’re seeing in the high end practices we deal with combination of what case saying. But what I’m saying is that the greedy principle, right? Not necessarily the greedy principle. The principle is thinking, look, I’ve got to get the money in for the business rather than for the associate so we can pay the bills. Yeah. And Amy, what I’m seeing with you is definitely not the mindset of somebody who’s been running a business for three years. Yet, to me, if we were to summarise the conversation we’ve had at the moment, you just floating through life. Yeah. And I mean that with the greatest respect. I’m not saying it’s been handed to you, you just floating through life, right? Like you’ve put, you’ve put the miles in but weekend with your kids.

Right. Three and one half days clinical doing a bit of teaching. Yeah. If you came to me for advice and said practice number two, I’d be like, life’s beautiful right now. Yeah, life is beautiful right now. Scale what you’ve got right now. Yeah. In that location where you can be more regularly. Yeah. Grow the teaching side of things and put an exit strategy together. What does that look like? Forget about volume of practices. What’s the magic number? Yeah, what’s the magic number? That you need to walk away from it all and say, You know what? I’m done, guys. I’m out of bag of material, right? And figure out what that is and then just work backwards from there and you’ll have your answer right as to do. I do practice number two, practice number three. Or maybe you’ve got those ambitions right. But it seems like you’ve got your shit together. Make it really, really does. And I really admire that for somebody who’s three years into business such a short period of time, very calm in terms of not have to fire anyone. Everything. All those members of staff, you’d hire them. Again, there’s not many practice principals that can say that, I promise you, because it’s a daily conversation. How are we going to get such and such out of the business? We’re dragging them along. We’re doing this, we’re doing that. There’s problems and stuff. The systems, processes that you’ve put together, the follow up that you’ve got for your inquiries, just the way you’re talking about that is super, super mature. And it’s that’s your next course, mate.

Well, you know what I think of when I think of that sort of the team and what what makes them so good. I mean, even my interview process, most of my practice, the so recently when we’re been looking for another front of house stuff or the front of our staff said that they were just too busy dealing with all the inquiries and they didn’t have enough time. So I said, okay, so what’s the solution? And they said that they wanted another team member to help in the afternoon with answering the telephone and dealing with the Invisalign lab work, etc. So I said, okay, fine. So we advertised for another position and part of the interview process, yes, the managers will look at the applications. I, Sam, and I won’t get too involved at that stage, but actually we then bring in we might shortlist to six or seven applicants and they will come in and spend time with reception with the other team members and then the other team members will give us feedback and decide who moves through to the next stage. And then of course at the end of the line they will meet Sam and I and we will do the final interviews. But by then, you know, the staff have kind of already made their decision and, you know, and if there was a disagreement, we would have to decide whether we want to go a different way or if we’re going to follow the staff. But actually, more often than not, we all come to the same conclusion. And I think. I think I think that’s the main thing with bringing people in. I’ve just been very conscious that I think anybody is you can teach people some skills, but actually personality, you can’t change somebody so you know more. All I want is a good person in the practice. The rest I’m not so worried about because we can work on it.

That’s lovely. Really, it is. And and you know that the the first time you see that that person, once the staff have whittled it down to two or three.

Yeah. I don’t see them until, until the very end.

And who looks at the CVS in that is you is that still.

The business manager will look at that and that’s Sam. So Sam and I cover different parts of the practice of Sam will usually have been looking at the CVS when they come in on indeed or what have you. And then between her and the business manager, they’ll whittle it down to six or seven guys. And then. And then. Yeah, I’ll come in. I’ll come in on the final three.

I mean, you’ve listened to this podcast before. We like to dwell on errors. Tell me about clinical errors you’ve made that someone else can learn from.

And. I once did a. An extract. This was an ortho extraction. And there was absolutely no issue whatsoever. Tooth came out straightforwardly. It was the right tooth as well. And I went to just irrigate the socket slightly. And as I irrigated, the face completely blew up.


So my finger must have just touched the air at the same time as touching the irrigation. So, you know, immediately we had an emphysema. And. You know, reflecting back on that.

Did you know what it was when it happened? You understood?

Yeah, I understood what happened. You know, I immediately sort of I immediately pressed on the patient’s cheek, expressed as much air as I possibly could. And I’d done my couple of years of Max. Max right back after beat. So I expressed the air, obviously explained to the patient what happened and talk through the management process, ran the hospital, discussed it with them, discuss whether they wanted to see the patient or not, and and just so innocuous is so innocuous, an intact extraction socket. There should have been no chance of the surgical emphysema there because I hadn’t even separated the gingiva from the bone. So my take home message for everybody is be aware of those scenarios. All I can think was possibly happening was that at the apex of the tooth, it must have just been communicating outside the buccal plate. And then just that tiny bit of air must have gone up through the tissue plane and just blown the face up.

A pre molar. Did that.

It was a pre molar.


Yes. So innocuous.


And you know, I remember looking at my nurse’s face and obviously, if you’ve never seen that for the first time, it is so worrying. The patient’s eyes closed. The patient thinks they’re going to die tomorrow.

I’ve never seen it. What does it look like? Like a swelling.

Yeah, it’s literally like it’s literally out here within within seconds. It’s just blowing off, you know? And the risk the risk with something like that is that there’s an infected process that goes to the brain. So you expel the air as much as you can, but you won’t get rid of all of it. And then you’ve got to put the patient on prophylactic antibiotics with close monitoring and review that they don’t get any sort of pyrexia systemic issues that you could then be worried that it’s going north.

So this was an adult, not a child, right?

This was on a this was on a probably 29 year old that was happening. Simple extractions for ortho.

And so was the patient.

Calm the patient. I think the patient was calm because because.

I was calm.

I knew I knew what was going on. Right. And actually, I thrive on things like that because I love when something happens like that. It’s just another experience or something to document, something to share with somebody. So I don’t really I just look at it as an opportunity, really.

I think I think when you’ve done max facts, it’s hard to get fazed by that sort of thing. But tell me about one time you did get fazed. You know, it doesn’t have to be that sort of thing. It could be a patient who lost confidence, whatever, like something something that really affected you.

And I would say, oh, I reckon about two years post qualifying, I was doing a root canal and quite a difficult, difficult patient who I would say definitely litigious in nature. And I think there had been a history of stuff in the past and everything was fine. The rubber dam was on and I decided to I was irrigating the tooth and of course she started getting burning sensation in her cheek. Commonly hypochlorite. Hypochlorite had gone straight through the apex.

I realised.

Yeah, I did realise that the mistake was that my my gauge of my needle was way too close to the orifice of the opening of the canal. And yeah, I must have just been irrigating to vigorously and it just went straight through.

Through the situation. Really.

Pardon. Yes. And actually I’d say in clinical dentistry that is the only time I’ve been worried.

Why? Because your relationship with the patient wasn’t great.

Well we had a good relationship. We had a good relationship. But she is just unpleasant in nature. And probably now I would handle her differently. I suppose with experience and knowledge and controlled confidence, you talk to patients in a completely different way. But at that stage, you know, I was really worried afterwards because obviously I knew what happened. I didn’t know what was going to happen was the tissues gone and the crows on top of it. Fortunately, everything healed absolutely fine. There was no ramifications. I saw her every couple of days to check it. I did everything that I should have done, but God, I shat myself at the time.

So when you say litigious, you thought she would be the type?


So what you mean?

Yeah, absolutely. You know the mess.

With your mind, can it?

Yeah. The sort of lady she had, I think she’d had. She was just. She’d had two divorces. She’d had two divorces to two very, very wealthy men. And there was a lot of resentment to life in general because I think the things were she was finding things tough financially. And, you know, of course, in the back of my head, I was thinking, well, actually there’s probably there could be a claim here.

Yeah. Then hopefully.

Hopefully she’s not listening to this and and acclaim doesn’t come through my letterbox tomorrow.

It’s funny, isn’t it? As a as a professional, you’re always looking behind your shoulder.

Is there a time frame where they can’t come up, come after you? Or is it just indefinite?

No. There is a time frame after the time that they know there’s a problem, that they find something like that. But this is two years after you qualified. It’s been a while.

This is years after I qualified. Yeah.

Yeah. It’s hard talking. 12 years ago, though, probably I’d have had me.

I literally had so much hair I used to use. I used to use hair straighteners. I that much hair, really. I used to have some hair straighteners to do my.

Mohawk when I was when I was at uni. The barber said to me because my hair was so thick. Used to use these scissors to thin it out, to control it a bit more. Right. And he said to me, One problem you’re never going to have. You’re never going to go bald. Hmm. Yeah.

Famous, famous last word.

Famous last words. Yeah. Yeah. You did the messy. Now, if someone wanted to get into implant ology, would you recommend they do a sort of a course like that, an MSC type course, or would you say to do more like your kind of course or both?

What would you say? I think you need to do both. I think what you learn scientifically from you get you get pretty much no, I would say no clinical experience with them. What you do get is a really good foundation of knowledge and the ability to critique papers. And that even to this day when I’m looking at studies and papers, is a skill that I still have. But I think you can’t expect to come out of doing a four year MSC and think you’re the finished article because it’s just the beginning. And then you need to supplement it by clinical experience and then fine tuning on the right courses.

So where did you do your MSC?

I did it in Bristol as well. So it was back. I did it in 2010 to 2014. So it was four years, four years back then.

And how many how many implants did you place? Very few.

In the MSC. I place.


Two two cases. Yes. So the first year was just one case, simple case. The second year you had to do a complex case, which was a block graft, and that was it. And then two years of dissertation.

And what was your research area?

So my research area was all for.

Oh, well, what about?

So I did I read all 970 papers back then on all on four. And you know, it was, it was, it was topical at the time. So I thought, you know what? I want to find out more about this. And it wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. So it was it was a really valuable review that I put together.

Do you do that kind of work a lot?

So I don’t do I don’t do all on four. I think there’s plenty of guys out there that do it all day, every day that are better served doing it. And you know, most of my referral work is I get referred high aesthetic cases mainly. So I just focus on what I do and let the all four guys do the oral four stuff, you know, because these guys, when things go wrong, they’ve got options to sort it out. They can put Zigomanis in, they can put Terry Goines in, you know, and that’s what I advise my patients when people come asking me to do an all on four, I say, Look, there are clinics that just do this. Just go to one of them, you’re going to get looked after and they’ll know exactly what they’re doing.

When you say high aesthetic case from an implant guy does that, we’re talking soft tissue.

Yeah, it’s a mixture. So it might be you know, my common referral is for a single central incisor. So and so most of my every implant case that I do, I would say 95% of my cases get a soft tissue graft.

Oh, really? Wow.

So, so every pretty much any anterior case gets the soft tissue graft. If I do any bone grafting, it gets a soft tissue graft at the same time. So, you know, I firmly believe that when we get volume loss around a ridge, 60% of that is actually bone and 40% of that is soft tissue. So I build the bone bit, I build the soft tissue bit, and my implant goes in.

Well. That’s not normal, is it?

I think it is different.

Yes, different to the to the sort of normal orthodox normal mantra.

Yeah. So I think it is quite different because in my eyes, I want I want at least in height of nice tissue, I’m looking for about five millimetres. So if we think if I’m thinking technical terms for the dentist that are listening, if the biologic width is three millimetres, I want a good good trans mucosal seal there. But then also I want that characterised tissue on the first two millimetres of bone so that we don’t start getting bone loss. So for me that five millimetres is key and there’s not many cases where you have five millimetres there. Hence why I tend to augment at the same time.

What does it mean though? Like surgically a soft tissue graft, right? What does that mean?

So soft tissue graft y. So technically there’s lots of different ways of doing it. If I’m doing it simultaneously with implant placement, it will be harvesting a free gingival graft from the palate and then the epithelial using that outside the mouth and then transferring the connective tissue site to the area. And I’d say predominantly, I use a connective tissue graft. I am doing more and more work with substitute materials. And that’s that’s probably more so from a teaching perspective. So I can give delegate a really good sort of description of how I find things working in my hands, all the various different materials. So if I think I’ve got a banker case, I will I will use a substitute material if I don’t need to harvest from the palate, if I’m really pushing the boundaries, I will always harvest from the palate and use the patient’s own tissue.

So you your personal clinical work, is it all implant based or do you do that?

I still do. I still have a handful of general patients and my standard make up for my day. I do my surgery in the morning and in the afternoon I do my consults a little bit restorative. I might do like my last patient just now, I just did a Crown Prep, so there were some patients that followed me from my previous practice. So those guys I feel that have been so loyal to me, they’re the ones that I keep. And, you know, there’s not hundreds and hundreds of them, but I like to look after those. And actually for me that makes a great mix from the surgery that I’m doing. So the case I’m doing tomorrow morning will be, I think I’m taking out single Central. I’ll be placing the implant bone graft, soft tissue graft, custom provisional, and that will take me most of the morning. But then in the afternoon, I don’t want to do another surgery. So I will just do I will do a composite, I will do this. I will do that just so I can slow down a little bit. So it’s the stage.

That you said you listen to this podcast at 5 a.m.. So is that what’s your day like? I mean, what time are you waking up and what’s your morning routine and all the.

So my morning routine. So I’m up at five. The bags are already packed downstairs. I jump in the car and work on the podcast. And if you guys haven’t released another one, then it’s usually the high Performance podcast with Jake Humphrey or Diary of a CEO. So I rotate between the three of you. And then and then I’ll get to I’ll get up to the gym and Cheltenham about at six. So I will train till seven every day, every day, every weekday. So I train till from 6 to 7 and shower out the gym by 730 into the practice. Four eight first patient, then I’ll chat to everyone 15, 20 minutes, have a little huddle with my nurse for the day and then 830 get going and then usually last patient finishes at five and then usually I’ll hang around for probably hour, hour and a half doing odd jobs, doing a few things. And I’ll usually set off from the practice about 630 and get home at 730.

Long day.

And then then usually usually then 730, there’ll always be there’ll be stuff to catch up with emails. So every day I’ll go through all the emails then so that I’m up to date ready for the next day. So usually I probably switch off about nine 930 as Cristina puts on Love Island and, and then up to bed for about 1030.

And the kids it’s that 730 to 830 piece right.

Payton says. The kids, The kids, the kids in the week, I do not see really a part. Yeah. So they’ve gone to I’ve left before they wake up and I’m back after they’ve gone to bed the only day that I’m there for them. So in the weekdays Thursday is my admin day. So I go to the I go and do my blaze gym class at 6 a.m. I rush back home and it’s my day where I drop them to school and I pick them up and then I do my meetings in between. So Thursdays are a dedicated day to drop off and pick off, which I absolutely love.

Let’s, let’s imagine, let’s let’s dream a little bit. Let’s imagine you’ve got a weekend to yourself. Wife and kids have gone somewhere and it’s just you weekend by yourself. What would you do?

I probably write more coarse material. Probably. I guess I probably do a mixture.

I think this guy’s got yeah.

I would probably do a few practice things. I would definitely write more coarse material.

Yeah, I did that yourself, man.

I know a little bit of that. And then I would message the boys and and make sure that we go out for drinks and a catch up that evening, lads.

The lads.

The lads.


And I’d definitely message the lads there would be a gym session in there somewhere. There would definitely be a gin and tonic in there somewhere. And I’m just, you know, genuinely speaking, just really simple stuff. You know, I’m not.

Just tell me that. Might you go to bed a bit later than ten? Come on. I probably.

I, I probably would. I’d probably be watching some sport or something.

Do you like watching sport?

Yeah, like I am sport mad. So, you know, whether it be whether it be Formula One, whether it be rugby, hockey, cricket, everything, you name it. You know, I am the one, the one thing we commit to every year is that we go to Silverstone to watch the F1 and we take my dad and my middle son who’s Formula One crazy as well. And we get great seats right by pole position. And but this year we’ve held off until we know whether the Mercedes is quick enough to compete because if Max is going to run away with it, we’re not going to go this year.

Like I said, maybe and perhaps they know what you’re talking about. But but, but I went but I did. I went to Silverstone last year, actually. It was raining like hell. And I was like, I was telling my son, who loves it. I was telling him, Come on, man, let’s just get out of here before the crowds. And he was like, Are you crazy? Yeah, our time’s coming out. Coming to an end. Time’s coming to an end. It’s gone quickly, man. Let’s. Let’s. Let’s finish with the usual questions. Let’s start with mine. Fancy dinner party. Three guests, dead or alive? Who would you have?

So. Of course. Of course. Guys, I knew you were going to ask this, so I’ve sort of been thinking about it. I’ve been thinking about it for the last hour before we came on. And the first one that I want to invite to this dinner party is one of my biggest, biggest regrets. And that biggest regret was, well, the person I want to invite first is my maternal grandfather, because he passed away when I was just in my first year at uni. And of course, he set up his whole life in Uganda and he was doing so, so well and he sacrificed everything. He had a lot of siblings, he had lots of children. And, you know, he was going through he kind of went into hiding for six months because the soldiers were trying to get him and kill him and he managed to get the family out of the country. And he eventually got out to Switzerland. And, you know, when we were actually at my nan’s house, as I was growing up, I was never old enough to know about or understand it properly when I was ten, 11. And I never, ever had the discussion with him about it. But the whole story, how he got away, what was going on, what was going on with his neighbours, how we managed to start with nothing and basically now have a generation where all my cousins have really a jobs started from him and I never had the conversation. So I would just I would love to spend the evening knowing more about it because even when I ask my mom, mom doesn’t know it in the detail that he knows it. So he would be number one.


My second guest is going to be from my childhood. This is a strange one, and I don’t know if anyone’s ever invited this person to the dinner party is that I was a huge WWF fan and I believed for many years that it was real. So I really want to be the rock Dwayne Johnson, because I think he would be phenomenal at a dinner party. And, you know, he’s obviously gone on to do so well and have many different careers. So he’s number two for me.


The third one, who is now unfortunately passed away, is someone that I’ve always been inspired by. And being a keen cricketer myself, I thought no one better to invite than Shane Warne, who I think I think he was the one guy that had such a influence on the game of cricket. Length in bowling, the character that he was, he was always in the media. He was probably had the greatest cricket mind, but he was never Australian captain because he was he was a complex character or he wasn’t conforming to the norm. But I just think that he would be he would be great on a night out. So he’s going to be my third guest. Nice.

That’s a nice combination you’re going to have. You’re going to have to explain to the WWF guy what cricket is.

He might have the other two in a headlock.

So how.


That? Well, while you and your grandpa put the curry on.

I know he’ll be he was a chain smoker, so he’ll literally just be smoking. Shane Warne will be smoking and the Rock will be doing press ups in the corner.

Probably the shade won’t smoke. Is that what happened to. Is that did he die of that.

Yeah, I think I think he’s been I think there’s definitely sort of been some incidences of being caught smoking and smoking other things and, and various substances.

So, Amy, it’s your last day on the planet. And you’re surrounded by your loved ones, the kids. And you’ve got to leave them with three pieces of life advice, wisdom. Call it whatever you want. What would they be?

So I think I think my first one to all three of them would be that there is no substitute for hard work. Do not expect anything to come easy. Do not expect anything to fall into your lap. You have to go and grab the opportunities. That would be the first one. The second one would be to be. To be kind to everybody. To treat people how you want to be treated. Because I’m a strong believer in karma. And I think good things happen to good people. So I want them to continue to be good people always. And the third thing I would say to them is to try and sort of give them the confidence to say that it’s okay to make mistakes, but never, ever live with regrets. And that those would probably be some of my final words to them.

Very nice. Nice. I’ve got a question around number one, which is no substitute for hard work. It’s not handed to you on a plate. And, you know, coming from a generation now, who’s sort of, shall we say, we’ve you’ve upgraded your life from the melt station, Right. So so be that, be that. Whatever. Right. So your dad gave you everything he could give you within his means. And now you’re giving your children everything that you can give them within their means. But but there’s a certain amount of graft and hard work and, shall we say, struggle that you’ve fought through to get to where you are. Right? Because I don’t know whether whether you went without or you had less or whatever, but I’m assuming you can give your children more from, let’s say let’s say from a financial point of view than than let’s say your father could give you. Certainly that’s that’s my that’s definitely my situation. And the thing that I battle with quite a lot is how do you strike that balance of holding back and not giving them everything so they can learn the value of things? And with the thing that you always want the best for your children, you want to give them everything right. Do you ever have that conversation with yourself?

Yeah, I think, you know, luckily, Christina and I sing off the same hymn sheet. And, you know, we firmly believe that as the children are growing up and even when they’re at school, that they will go and do paper rounds and they will do jobs. And, you know, they they very, very carefully at birthdays, they have been collecting money that family members would give them. Sometimes when we’re out shopping or something like that, if they want something, I will say to them, that is absolutely fine and you can pay for it from your piggy bank, you know, on certain instances. And I think that’s our that’s our way of making sure that they understand the value of money and they realise that actually, yes, you don’t want to drum it into them, but how lucky they are at the school that they go to the fact that they get beautiful dinners, the fact that they have every sport possible under the sun given to them at school, you know, and that they’re they’re fortunate in that way. And I would hope that they’re really well grounded children because, say, for example, Christina, she was never afforded the luxuries as a child that I was afforded. So we had quite different lifestyles back then. So Christina wasn’t having many holidays with her family. And we were having holidays just just small things like that. So I think that you’re right, it’s always the forefront of our minds that we want to give them everything. But absolutely, they need to know that that. That there is that money doesn’t come easy and that they have to work hard for it.

Nice. Yeah. So. So is is always an interesting topic of conversation at home for us. My two younger girls get pocket money now. Your four year old? Yes, 70 a week. So we’ve created this. We’ve got this little sheet that goes through doing their homework, playing their instruments, blah, blah, blah. The seven things in the week. Right? And they get $0.10 for each thing.

Okay, that’s good. That’s a good way.

And every Sunday, they’re so excited. We sit there and sit around the dinner table and go, Right, we’re going to do pocket money down. And then if they I mean, if the little one goes batshit crazy at any point during the week, like she loses one of the ten B’s. Right. So we sit down around the table and both of them are really excited because we talk through the week and we say, how many that time you smacked your sister. That wasn’t cool, was it? So on and so forth. And she sits down, maybe she’ll apologise, reflect or whatever. Right. But we, the four of us, sit around the table and we have that conversation with the girls. And you know, my, my youngest is one of them is like, take your plate, pick your plate and put it in the sink after dinner. Now, my youngest is so good at that. She’ll grab hers, she’ll grab mine, she’ll grab her sisters. Right. And it’s so cute to see see this. Right. But, you know, sometimes we sit there and think, are we doing the right thing here? You know what I mean? Because there’s often that thing that, you know, should you have to should anyway. It’s always a conversation that, you know, whichever way you look at it and whatever you do and however you mix it up, you can always see two sides to the story, Right? But the motive is we just want to do our best for them to be grounded and learn about the value.

Absolutely. I mean, we’ve done those charts for exactly the same thing. And at the end of the week, it’s on the inside of the larder cupboard. And, you know, when we started off, their behaviour is so, so good, so, so good. But then as things get busy and things waver, you know, and then, and then they start getting to the age of ten and 11 and they start getting very smart with their answers and you know, their answers are correct. Yeah. Yeah. And the arguments become a little bit challenging to work around.


But but you’re right. That’s all we want. That’s all we want for them to grow up, to be good people, to have the value, money. And that question that you asked before about, you know, an exit strategy or or a point where I want to stop, a lot of that revolves around me continually thinking about multiples of three in the sense that if I have to do this for one of them, I have to do this for the other two of them. And, you know, you just always want none of your children to feel that you love that one more and you love this one less. You just want absolute equality the whole time.

Because you think like Prav like you’re so different to Kailash when it comes to money. Yeah, I’m. I’m totally opposite to my brother when it comes to money. We were brought up the same way. Same parents, same same reward system. And I feel like I’ve got the opposite problem to what you’re saying. I feel like my dad gave me more than I’m giving my kids, and that’s a real head fuck. Do you feel like a failure and this sort of thing, But this question of value, of money and so forth, if it was that easy to to fix that, surely you and Kailash would have the same outlook. Yeah. Look me in my head. Look, I don’t even know if I’m approaching it the right way or. Or the right or I’ve got the right answers. Right. What I’m doing is going to end up with my children being totally grounded or not. It’s important to think about you, right? Go ahead. Me. But me and my wife have this conversation a lot of the time, right? You know, even when we’re away on holiday. Right. And you just you know, I think back to when I was a kid, right? We used to go to a place called Pizza Land twice a year. Twice a year. Yeah. And those are the only times we went out for meals. Yeah. Now we meet the wife and the kids, like, a couple of times a week, we’ll go out for dinner or whatever, and. And that’s just for shits and giggles. It’s not a birthday. It’s nothing. It’s. And I’m sure a lot of people do, right? And sometimes you sit back and reflect and think, Do you know what we’re really looking for? For the following reasons, Right? You know what? When we when we go round the supermarket, we never look at the price of anything we put in the trolley.

In fact, now we don’t even go around the bloody supermarket because a van turns up and delivers it through the kitchen window. Yeah. And, and you know what? Last week I spent, I spent a few days in hospital. Right. And I was on a ward surrounded by people. And there’s one guy across the way from me, and he said to the nurse, Can you ring my wife? Because I don’t have enough credit on my phone. Hmm. And you know, those those little moments, right, where you just think, fucking hell, you know what? Sometimes you’ve just got? It’s the little things that you take for granted. You’ve got a bloody pinch yourself, right? And whether it’s through your hard work or it’s been given to you, gifted to you, whatever. Right. It’s just sit back and reflect and appreciate the fact that you know what? I can stick some jammy dodgers in the basket and not look at the price. I can. I can say to my daughter, let’s just go. Let me you let’s just go out for a meal. Nando’s, whatever. Super nice restaurant, whatever. The thought or the cost aspect of it doesn’t even enter into the thought process. Right. And, you know, it was that guy who was in the bed across the way from me in hospital credit. I don’t have enough credit to ring my wife and I’m ill in hospital. That just blew my mind. So I think it’s important to sit back and reflect and appreciate what we’ve all got. Amy, It’s been so lovely to me. If you’ve got if you’ve got something to say on that. Go ahead and say it.

You’re absolutely right. I mean, I’m speechless that something that we are so we are so lucky and. You know, you’re absolutely right. Not genuinely really having to look at. What is the price of food that you’re having or however many starters you want or the main course? And yeah, it’s a very fortunate position to be in. You know, hard work or not, there is a fortune element to it.

Yeah, there is. But that practice of, of, of gratitude that you’re doing there, you’re definitely one of the, one of the cornerstones of happiness, right? Sure. For sure.

How do you do it? Do you do any journaling, Prav?

I do. So I’ve got a it’s called the five minute Journal, right. Say that, too.

So, yeah, I do that, too. It’s on my bedside.

So my young my my six year old also has a kids journal and gratitude journal, and it’s written in a different language. But she’ll sit there and she’ll write in it every single night after she’s done a reading before she goes to bed. And about a week ago, she got a piece of paper and she cut out loads of love hearts from the piece of paper. And she got a flask in all these hot thermos type flasks, right? And she got a piece of paper and she stuck on that piece. You stuck the piece of paper on with Sellotape and on that thing she wrote Gratitude Jar. Write down one thing that you’re grateful for and put it in the jar. And she put all the love hearts on the windowsill around it. So what she asks us to do is write something that we’re grateful for on the love part. Put your name on the back and pop it in the jar just once a day. She wants the whole family to do it. Her own bloody idea. She’s 50 years in front of me, man. Yeah. Her own bloody idea. I was blown away because my wife said, Look at what my hand is doing. Right? And I’m like, What the.

Can I suggest one thing? I think. I think she deserves more than $0.70 a week. Especially especially with current inflation levels. I mean, that.

That is at least 85. I’ll give a $0.10 bonus this week.

That is just that is like ultimate proud dad moment.

Right. Do you know what? I just I couldn’t believe that she came up with the concept herself. So I sat there, quizzed my wife, said, Have you told her about this? How does she even know about gratitude? Yeah, etc.. Except blew my mind. Thank you so, so, so much, Jimi. Thank you. Really, really enjoyed that, buddy. Really enjoyed that. Please stay in touch as well. But it’s so nice to see someone so at peace. Successful, you know, ikigai. I’m going to call this one or your your your copywriter is going to call this one ikigai guy. Thank you so much, man.

This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we 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.


It’s Friday night. The big Mini Smile Makeover (MSM) party is in full swing, and Payman is armed with his podcast mic.

Join him for this unique collection of conversations with delegates attending Dipesh Parmar’s legendary composite bonding training course.

Guests discuss life in dentistry, share their insights from the course and reveal what it’s like to train with Dipesh. Stick around until the end to hear a guest appearance from the man himself!       


In This Episode

02.08 – Tuyab Shaujhat

14.23 – Busola Owaru

25.48 – Georgiana Bala

35.51 – Jazz Battu

43.07 – Martina Hodgson

53.58 – Matty Parsons

01.15.43 – Sarah Ansaldo

01.31.28 – Dipesh Parmar

Hi, guys. Payman here. It’s kind of a special episode today. There’s going to be one from many Smile Makeover. That’s the composite Hands-On course that we’ve been doing now for six years with Dipesh Palmer. He has a one of the sort of genius teachers out there. His presentation is just awe inspiring and the system that he’s developed in. You know, it’s a step by step approach that so many people are talking about is he’s really, really taught me loads and loads and loads, which feels weird for someone who’s 15 years younger than me. Many small makers have been something that we’ve been doing now with him for four, four, six, seven years. But obviously we’ve been distributing Cosmoland products and the enamel composites now for around 12 years. So before that we’re working with people like Jason Smith and amongst others. I think you’ll enjoy it. I managed to speak to as many people as I could across two different events. Most of them are delegates who’ve been on the course before and were visiting for a second time to brush up, which is something which we really encourage on that course. It’s a funny one. I love going to this course. It’s very, very tiring for us and for the telecasts, I’m sure. But when I spoke to Dipesh, it was at the end of the day and you can hear the guys and they had spent if, if, if anyone’s ever lectured before, you know, after 40 minute lecture, it’s it’s so draining and, you know, to, to lecture for two whole days with hands on. I take my hat off to, to all the educators out there anyway managed to speak to Matty Parsons who’s one of the demonstrators, and Martina Hodgson who’s been on this podcast before and and several of our delegates who did come for a second time. It’s this it’s a fun event. We do two days and a big, big sort of party in the middle on the middle night on the Friday night. Enjoy.

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.

So I’m here on day one of list Makeover with type show who’s come for the second time. The first time you came were in Newcastle, Newcastle, Newcastle. And how long ago was that?

Oh, that was best part of nearly a year. Well, just. Just yeah, about a year. November last year in Newcastle.

And so. All right. Tell me about what you did after that. Did you start doing some cases?

Yeah, I started off with some really quite simple cases. I also applied it to a lot of just my general dentistry. I had full frontal fillings to do and I found a lot of the principles that Depeche goes through. You can just apply straight off the bat. You don’t have to wait for specific cases. It’s really, really useful in that sense.

Kind of teaches you how to do general dentistry, right? It’s not only for composite.

With exactly the principles you just apply everywhere and anywhere you can find it.

But how far are we taking it sort of thing?

So I started doing six canines of canine from two composite end cases. I’ve got one tomorrow, actually, which is going to show my case of today. But yeah, really, really good. I’m just using all the materials familiarising myself. I’m only a year and a half into my career, so yeah, I’m just looking to push the limits with it. Really.

What kind of practice is it?

Predominately NHS. I do work in a few private practices, which I do apply a lot of emergency dentistry as well. It’s very, very useful if a patient’s chipped front or veneer or something like these and these patients are quite they’ve got very high standards. So you need to do something a little bit more than your basic dentistry to keep them happy.

How did you get the private job.

Have a job? Generally just networking with a lot of people, telling them, I’ve been on a lot of courses such as this course and they were really impressed by that and really.

Was it something you used to get the job?

Yeah, 100%. You have to let them know that you’re willing to learn and you’re always looking to develop further. So they were generally very impressed with that. And they obviously know the patient, they know they know about Enlightened. So yeah.

So but when you say networking, so you’re in an NHS job. Yep. So what did you do? Literally what did you do? Did you turn up to dental events.

And dental events, Congresses, wherever I could, because I’m quite passionate about the industry. Whenever even I’ve got a day off, I don’t feel like it’s work if I’m attending a dental event. Even sometimes something as simple as sending someone a Facebook message, if you’ve seen some good work and going from there or we’re showing interest and yeah, and just kind of went from there and it kind of went from then onwards, there is skills I want to develop, such as photography and these kind of things. But I think first step first is just kind of putting yourself out there, not not being afraid to have a conversation.

And are you building an Instagram?

Yeah, well, I’m trying to. That’s something I need to work on and feel like I probably need to go on a photographer course, but I have started, so I’ll go from there.

Who did the marketing when you when you did your smile maker?

So we from your sales, we got the enlightened whitening, the whole pack, the practice pack. So that started a lot of conversations with patients. One good thing I’ve done, I got my principal to buy me a television into the practice. So I have that. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So I have a television. I mean, sure camera, but more so. So when the patient sits in the chair, when I need a couple of minutes normally to sort it out and stuff, it’s kind of loophole. There’s a loop of advertisements and just cases of done and I’m just playing and nine out of ten times patients will at least ask me a question about it. And it just goes from there. And it’s all about how you can kind of lead.

The conversation because it’s constantly looping before. Yes, yes, exactly.

I have different different things whitening, even some some of the treatments I don’t do myself, such as Botox, one of the associates do, and kind of look after each other. And I think whatever you put out there in the universe kind of finds its way back to you.

So. So what would you charge now for a composite veneer?

So composite veneer, I’m generally charging between 180 to £240 per veneer, depending on where I am. So it does make a difference. So generally up north, when I work in Leeds, Bradford area, it’s closer to £200. And if I’m working towards London you may be looking close to £300.

And you live where?

Oldham, Manchester.

I live in Oldham, Yeah, but you’re just going to call the whole time.

Of work a little bit between. So I spend most of my life on the 62 working between Leeds, Manchester and Bradford and occasionally I do. Once a week I’m travelling down to London.

So you haven’t even got a job in Oldham? No, that’s crazy.

It’s a hard job to do in your hometown. No pavement. I think everyone will be your mum’s best friend.

I, in a way, your hometown where you really know the people. Yeah. I found this. I did a job in Kent and the boss, he was an experienced guy, was an older guy, but he used to say he thinks the patients. I sometimes. I can’t believe you just said that. But because he was from the area, he got away. He got away. He knew. He knew what to say. So I wouldn’t discount it. Like when you end up. Might have to be older.

Sure. I think up there as well. Yeah. I grew up there. I studied in Nottingham. I did undergrad. In biomedical science. And then I found myself in Eastern Europe studying the industry Bulgarians.

Which was also how was it?

Which was absolutely awesome. A lot of people, I think when I mentioned Bulgaria like who are think 101 thoughts but it was amazing skied in the winters beaches in the.

Summers, so amazing.

Country 100% so I was very very and European dentists are generally I think they’re very very good stands.

Of the high.

Very high.

Was of course taught in English.

Yeah totally in English. The only thing what you needed to learn Bulgarian for was had communicate with patients, which was a hustle in itself, because the biggest challenge there was you had to find your own patients. So now where you’ve got to do 30 root canals in your final year, you’ve got to go out and find these patients.

How did you do that? Talk to people in bars. Simply talk to people. Talk to taxi drivers.

And talk to grandmas that look a little bit lonely. The street and of course, just strike up a conversation. And obviously dental care is needed wherever it is in the world. So and fortunately I didn’t find it a huge problem.

So when you got back to the UK, when you told people you studied in Bulgaria, did that count against you, do you feel?

No, I think to be honest with you, when I talked about the experience that had out there and clinically what we did, they were quite open to it. And I think the dental field is just one where there’s such a lack of dentists that it wasn’t it wasn’t a big issue. There were certain things that I felt like studying abroad maybe didn’t shine a light on certain factors, and that was a lot of the medical legal side of things and the clinical notes and the defensive dentistry, as people call it, that wasn’t shown.

And that’s what I was saying. We were saying before in a way that’s been an advantage for you because you get a lot of new graduates here who are so scared of getting sued and and, you know, that whole regulatory side. And if you weren’t sort of brought up on that, you couldn’t I mean, you could tell who’s a good friend of mine. He studied in Czech Republic and he puts all his success down to having not studied in Britain because he just goes there and does things without worrying too much about them. I guess it’s a balance, isn’t it, between that and yourself and only.

Time will tell.

Did you go on any of that sort of that kind of course, risk assessment or something?

No, I think the most eye opening thing for regarding that was conversations I had with my mentor about that, who was really caring and generally just gave me a heads up that certain things are acceptable. And generally it is a standard that you’ve got to meet up to and just don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you even had some fun with it. That’s exactly what he said. Because these things will happen. It’s just the nature of the game. But yeah, let’s go from that. And speaking about practising in your hometown, for example, the principle where, where I’m working my NHS job is strictly private. And he came in one day and I was showing him a case where a patient had quite a protruding tooth and I was being very like cautious around the whole thing. I just because you look like Nanny McPhee, I was like, I was gobsmacked, but.

That was the thing. That was the thing.

And she left it off and from day went on and did quite a lot of treatment on the lady. So I think you got to see the funny side in life, isn’t it always?

So you now to even some work in London as well?

Yeah, I do. I do do a little bit of mostly, mostly emergency dentistry but from within that as well. I do have patients that I really click with and I do decide that, you know what, I don’t mind treating you. Maybe I’ll see you every other week and we go through that.

So you do one day.

One or two, and I do two days a week on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday. And we’re normally working in London.

So how many days a week, You.

Know, so I work four days NHS and primarily I do every other week in Leeds and most weekends. So if I’m working Saturday morning in Leeds in the evening I I’ll be working in London.

I know that’s a bit too much, man. Do you think so? Yeah, Yeah, I do. You know why? Because I don’t look like Who am I to tell you what to do? Do you like? Right, But yeah, the dentistry takes it out of you. Yeah. And so, for instance, there would be no enlightened if I was a five day a week dentist even then. Back then, I was a four day a week dentist on the fifth day. The whole idea of Enlightened and everything came then. Yeah. Now I’m not saying you have to start in like you have to do what you like in your in your life and you need to get as much experience as quickly as you can and all that makes sense. Yeah. And I bet you’re meeting people in London and meeting people networking. Yeah, but don’t discount the fact that a day off could be beneficial to you. You know, there’s that classic cliche for less. If you work for days, you make more money than if you work 5 hours, because in the four days you’re super focussed.

You’re very right. You’re very sometimes they say you need to be a little bit bored to get them bright ideas.

Yeah. So in your situation it’s of four days NHS. I did two days. Nhs Yeah. And even if the other two days don’t get filled up straight away and the other two days work on getting a private job right?

Don’t know. It’s something I’m looking into right now. I’m looking for the exposure, but I’m also understand I don’t want to burn myself out. We all like to. A different anomaly than everyone else. But I think is so.

Easy when you’re young. It’s easy when you’re young, but you can easily fall into these traps and just keep on going like this. I remember I used to do six days a week and 12 hour days for ages and ages, and I just kept on telling him that you’re making a mistake here. But, you know, it’s not necessarily the more you work, the better you do necessarily. It’s that work smarter. But tell me, did you get the materials when you came on the Inspire Makers?

Oh, yes, I did.

Did you buy them yourself or did you pass practice?

My practice is very understanding.

And did you find that easy to persuade your practice to get them?

Generally, I think principals generally, if say to them, you’re going to make them money, they’re not going to say no, are they?

Is that how you framed it?

You got to say, I’m going to I’m planning to make X amount this how much cases I plan to do a month. I haven’t really stuck to you as much as I look. But I think that’s kind of coming into fruition more so now. And they’re generally very small. They’ve got insurance because I told them it’d be a good thing for us to do. So I think as long as your principle here that you’re looking to get some sort of return out of it, the quiet for it.

How uplifting, how much preaching do you do?

Well, I try to do in terms of with writing. And we’re trying to do at least I’m trying to do myself is six, seven cases a month. That’s why I get to.

Talk to my patients about the of teeth.

I’m trying to implement it a little bit more. I think the visual tools are very good, so I prefer to start the conversation themselves by also just kind of take one of them off a patient anymore. So that’s what I’m trying to implement first stuff because I always let them know that first thing that we need to do need to get your bones and teeth free of all the bad bacteria, and then we can talk about cosmetic stuff. They are very, very open to it. People are finding just conversations are much more easier to go this time.

Watching the course for the second time, Are you picking up things from it that you didn’t pick.

Up the personally? Definitely. I think the first time I was at the course, I was only a year into my career and a lot of things I wouldn’t say they went over my head, but those terms I wasn’t familiar with and stuff like that. So now it’s very much all these questions are getting answered. You only know what problems you have until when you actually try to apply and you realise, Oh, I’m having an issue here, maybe I’m getting a bit of lip on the composite here. How do I fix them depression? To be honest with you, he’s very responsive even on Instagram. So awesome.

Amazing. Well, of course, all the worry with me, another second timer on Smile Maker. But last time it was London. I remember.

It was. Yeah.

Do you live in London?

I don’t know.

What you.

Do. So I live just outside Manchester.

Oh, so when you come to London first, I just survived.

Just for fun.

Which one was.

It? It was about this time last year. December 2021.

Which hotel was it?




Where do we go? Out.

We went to I think the w.

W that one. That was a good one. That was a good cause. It was a messy one. So what made you come again?

Oh, so I think after the last course that we went to, I left feeling very confident. I think the course is quite empowering in the sense that you go away with a sense that you can assess and correct your own work very easily. Even within the first hour of the course. We’ve gone through principles of smart design. And for me, that’s like the foundation of being able to understand and correct and look out and assess and really sort of like understand where you need to make the small adjustments to go from an okay composite composite case to it looks you deliver what the patient is expecting and what they like.

So did you start doing some concept? How soon after the course of you.

Started doing that much? When I first start the course, I had a couple of cases lined up just after I booked them and I sort of planned it that way. So it’s used in the course. I had like three or four cases ready to go to do that. Yeah, and honestly, just the level of confidence going into it. And then I, I even recorded on my phone afterwards like a little mini podcast and myself. Okay, so I did this. Well, I don’t post it anyway. So it was just for myself to listen back to you, to then have that confidence of like, okay, I’ve reflected. And then going into the next case, what I do that I liked, what can I do better? And then just going from that, I felt like, okay, I really feel settled and I just wanted to come back to the course. Just as a refresher for the little things I didn’t pick up last time to go over the foundations again and just sort of like consolidate what.

Kind of job you got.

I work in a mixed practice, so it’s mixed NHS and some private most of the private that I get is off of my NHS cohort patients. So it’s really just about delivering like the holistic general dental care and then also offering additional options to the. People who have already built a relationship with. And I feel like that’s quite a nice way to go by, especially for young associate.

How many years out of you?

I graduated in 2014. Okay, So yeah, and then I did a couple of hospital years as well. So I did Max and periods.

What did you think of it?

I enjoyed it. I had a really good I.

Went to Manchester.

I was in Liverpool, I went to graduate level, I did a year in hall and then I did Aintree and Alder. Hey, I loved the years that I was in hospital. I knew I didn’t want to stay in hospital indefinitely. I think for me personally, it gave me a lot of confidence, not even necessarily with clinical things, just like the soft skills, the decision making, the communication.

What’s it been through, a max factor job? Nothing. Nothing fazes.

You 100%. So you do get that sort of like just general confidence I feel like is invaluable.

Get that sort of. Oh, shit.

Oh, I don’t know what the hell to do. 100%. Yeah, 100% to.

Scare the hell.

Out of me. Yeah, 100%. Well, luckily, the year that I did it, we were in a really good group and we all felt exactly the same at the same time. Support consultants in the registrars we used to for people feeling like that. It was a very good year in that they were very supportive. You’ve got a lot of hands on experience and you would literally have a consultant over your shoulder watching you to be like, Do this, don’t do it like that, doing this. And you would have so much confidence in independence by the end of it. You feel like I can run a list.

But did you not have like one call in casualty cancer patients and flaps and all? Yeah, absolutely. I felt so.

I was.

So out of my depth.


So other than X commander. But I found the nurses were teaching me.

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. You go on the ward and people would look after each other. It was kind of like a pay it forward thing. You’d be having a really bad day. Someone would look after you and see someone else having a bad day. You look after them. I had a great first year doing that.

So now you’ve been qualified, what, six, seven years? And you’ve you’ve got these like these experiences doing that stuff. Doing this is your vision, your goal now going forward to go into private dentistry or is it not you happy?

I mean, definitely. I think that off the back of the experiences that I’ve had doing the hospital, doing different courses and investing in myself, I think that I think that’s most dentists trajectory to sort of like start increasing the level of options and things that you can do for your patients and really sort of like just building on the skills and the knowledge and the scope of practice that I already have. That’s I think, what everyone’s goal should be.

So that is your goal? Yeah. Yeah. But do you think that there’s going to be like an avalanche or there already is starting an avalanche of associates who want private jobs?

Of course.

Yeah. And so the sooner you get one, the better. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, you know, I’m not saying you’re taking too long of it. You’re not. You think you’re doing what you do. You look happy and you’re doing a great job. But I know in two years time the competition for private jobs is going to be even more than it is now.

Yeah, I definitely agree with that.

I think the way to associate your principles going to listen to this.

I mean, for me, I think that if I’d have gone straight into a private job, straight out of vet and or vet plus one.

There’s loads of experiences, you.

Know, now I feel like a completely different person to who I was then. And I feel like I can bring so much more value now, having already built. I mean, people have different learning.

Quite ways of learning.

But to me that experience formed the way I practice now, and I don’t know how I could have done without it.

So fair enough. But going forward, that is your goal, you’re saying?

Yeah, definitely. I want to be able to, I think, just personally go into dentistry. You want to do your best to provide the best and the best vision practice ownership.

Is that on your horizon?

Yeah, it’s funny you ask about that. I think that I longterm I would love to. I think that they and probably a lot of people can relate to this in the sense that as an associate you don’t have control over everything and how things are done. And that can be frustrating at times, especially if it’s sort of person who is very much like, I don’t necessarily follow or do things just because someone tells me to. I like to question things and be like, Why are we doing this? Or could we do this better where we see inefficiencies and think we’re wasting time here? This could be a much better version of what it is, and practice ownership would be a dream. I would honestly love to do that down the line and it’s one.

Of the main reasons people start practices isn’t to make more money, it’s to get full control. Yeah, And and then as a principle, I think one of the best things you can do is to hand over more control to associates. So that they don’t have that feeling. And sometimes the smallest thing can can piss you off. Not being given a nurse or getting the agency nurse or something, whatever it is. For me, I used to have a bugbear about intraoral cameras. Like, why wouldn’t the principle get into all cameras? It just makes sense. I went and got my own after a while. But nowadays I’ve been practising for ten years. Nowadays, associates are expected to buy a lot more of their own equipment. So if you’ve done that, have you bought your own stuff? Did you buy our composite?

I have not got the composite yet. And part of that is exactly because you realise that there are things that you can’t do with a composite. It is literally the only microfilm. So.

Yeah. So are you going to have to buy that yourself, or is it possible?

I mean, I could approach my principal and all the management and ask them and have a conversation about, okay, well, I’m willing to talk. This is why where I work is, is more corporate. I could definitely I mean, are flexible in terms of buying materials. For me, I like just independent. I don’t really like if I’m going to have it, I’m going to use it. I’ll get it myself and I’ll charge for it. And that’s just the way I work. Yeah. And then it’s mine. I’d have to share it. I don’t have to.

Pay a nurse. Is your nurse always the same person as that person?

Change? Yeah. I mean, so when I started the job I have now, me and my nurse, who is a trainee, we both started at the same time. And so I very much felt like we’re a little team sort of trader, and she’s just about to qualify at moment. At the moment we do have a little bit of a mix where we work with different people, especially when you own your own equipment. That can be frustrating. If so, you’re very like, okay, when you go to Datacom, make sure you bring that back, match how you do this and then bring it back. You don’t want things disappearing and going on. So it’s just you have to learn to work around being in a mixed practice and having different nurses and everything’s work around me.

So how many days a week you work?

I work full time. Five days, five days.

Long days.

I mean, it’s 9 to 5.

So just I was just talking to someone else about this. Why don’t you work four days?

I did. Well, I’m contracted five days and they want me. Well, yeah, to me, full time really is four days. And I found that when I did four days, I wasn’t any less productive than it was in five. And if anything, I’m coming to work a better version of myself and more refreshed. I’ve had my own personal time to myself and I think really four days is enough.

Yeah, no, I’d agree with that. Are you coming tomorrow as well? Yes. Are you coming tonight as well? Yeah. Amazing. Amazing. So I’m so glad that you decided to come again.

Yeah. No, honestly, it’s been good.

To have you watching it again. Watching it a second time. Have you learnt other stuff?

Definitely. Definitely, yeah. Last time I came, I sat thinking, Oh, I’m going to take notes, I’m going to do good. And I think actually that makes you miss things. Whereas now I’ve maybe a couple of things on my phone, but it’s really just listening. I’ve got more context to be able to apply things and I’m picking up the little bits and things, and especially after having done a couple of cases, it’s like, Oh, that’s why I do it like this, or This is something I could do slightly better or make it more predictable and consistent and get a better result.

Have you ever read a book twice? Yeah. So if you read a book twice, you’ve just got two different frames of mind. That’s true. Yeah. And you get different things out of the same book.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

And repetitions. Huge repetitions. You I’m, I’m thick. I’ve seen this 100 times. I still learn. Still learn every time. Anyway. Brilliant. Have you? Yeah. Thank you so much for.

Having you back.

I’ve got with me Georgianna, who’s our head of sales. Been with us for 11.

Years in January.

Ten year.



We should have a key.

So you. Do you remember your first mass of needed?

Yeah, it was a long time ago, and it was a one day format. We were doing the time. Yeah, the enamel sessions. And it was in Birmingham Dental School.

With the.


In the in the new dental school. Now the old dental school before they built the new. Yeah.

The first one was in the old one.

When the first time you saw it. What did you.

Think? I believe it was 13. No, because we’ve done some some Hands-On courses before with.


With Jason Smithson and Corky Willhite. Yeah, but I was surprised of the level or the Depeche was teaching, considering how young he was.

Yeah. Yeah, he was younger. It was. I think back then, he was like four years out of dental.

Yeah, exactly.

And I remember I remember at that time people contacting me saying, I don’t want this kid to teach me, you know, someone younger than them teaching him. But that needs to be our challenge at the time.

It was really fun that people that did both courses were surprised by the quality of the lecture as well. They didn’t feel like they were losing anything, although he was like one of his first lectures.

Yeah. So you’re more in touch with the delegates than than I am because, you know, you call them before and after and all that. And what do you see? Is that the main thing they get out of this?

Oh, they get a lot of confidence, first of all. Especially if they’re younger dentists or a lot of therapists just run with it. So after therapists attend the course, a lot of them become users of the enamel of the cosmetic products. And they it’s a reoccurring order. So they’re doing very well for themselves. They get the confidence of just going out there and doing composite work.

Yeah, but for me, like the motivation of people coming mean we look at the crowd and generally it’s about three quarters associates and a quarter principles. The motivation for coming to this cause. Generally when I talk to people, a lot of it is about getting private jobs. And, you know, wanting to progress their careers forward. So. But you’re very much responsible for the whole experience side of the thing as well. But when when you call people up afterwards, do they do they say they have a good time? Do they think it’s too heavy? Because sometimes it is heavy.

The first day it’s a bit it’s a bit challenging because it’s a long day. But they never say, oh, they should have made the lecture shorter or easier. They are just saying it’s a lot of information. And because we do offer people the chance to come back again and watch the lecture, they feel like it’s a gain for them. So they are happy. It’s better to have more information and have less and they can always come back and just refresh my memory. So they do like that.


And I like everyone. Everyone else I’ve interviewed has been someone who’s come again for the second time and I think it’s valuable because you do the treatment a few times and then you’ve got new questions.

Exactly. Exactly.

But, you know, the thing I find interesting is that we’re so familiar with the terms, but you’ve got to keep reminding yourself that when someone arrives for the first time, the terms, the concepts are all brand new to them, and because we’re so familiar with them, we kind of take it for granted and for someone to come again another time seems like a big commitment to get a second weekend to it. And when I think back to when I really internalised it, I might have come 20 times before I fully understood what was going on. But for someone with a non dental background like you, you now know more about teeth than a lot of people. What’s your reflection on dental world?

It has changed a lot since I’ve been with you guys for ten years and it has changed a lot in the last ten years. Yeah, because I feel like the competitiveness of dentists, it’s more. Is the primary focus of of then then this. Today, like Kunal says in the lecture, a lot of dentists are competing with each other and they’re doing work for other dentists to appreciate rather for them than their patients. So they do focus a lot on getting appreciation from from other dentists.

Because of social.

Media. Yeah, exactly. And some people don’t put themselves out there because of this, because they are thinking other than this are going to to judge their job and they are missing out on marketing opportunities. They can attract more patients to their practice and put them on on the market more for the specific cosmetic work that they are doing.

Yeah. And what about with when you we give each of the delegates that enlightened kid when they they do their first enlightened treatment, you find that they’re surprised, pleasantly surprised. What are they what’s the story when you follow up on that first kit that they’re using?

It’s usually the surprise is when they actually get the kit, not when they actually use it, because they know enlightened works and the light never disappoints and we always deliver results. Is the surprise that they have that free kid to either treat themselves or treat a family member. So that’s the nice part where they can offer somebody a bit of joy without.

Either, Yeah, if it was me, I would treat a patient, not a family member, but I feel like most of them treat a family.

Or themselves.

You know, we have this issue that sometimes we get. We get How often do you think it is we get? Dentists call us up and say, I want to get enlightened kit for myself, and then they’re not using it on their patients.

It happens quite a lot. Yeah, and this frustrates me a bit because if an item is good enough for you and if life is good enough for your family, it should be good enough for your patient as well, rather than you being focussed on how much or how little you’re spending on a product you should be focussed on. What’s the best product on the market for your patients and to offer the best product that you can for your patients, not the one that makes you the most money and or it costs you the least.

Yeah, but I mean, look, some some practices that the profile of the patients different. But some some practices are fully NHS practices for the sake of the argument. And so people might think what my patients wouldn’t want. Hi. Hi.

How do you.

Know what I do?

How do you know?

So when I’m with you, I basically agree with you.

This is just making assumptions and projecting your judgement on what people want and what people can afford. So. Exactly. So you shouldn’t make this assumption then you shouldn’t project what your beliefs are on your patients because your patient, a patient that you might think would be willing to spend £10,000 on a mouth rehab, maybe it’s not there yet, or a patient that you think 2000 £3,000 for a treatment is a lot. He would make an effort to finance going to a finance program and have that thing done for him or her.

Plus, most a lot of our big users are NHS practice’s anyway.

Yeah, exactly. So you never know. Don’t just make assumptions.

Yeah. So now last night we went to this flesh and buns and we tried hard on the social side. But Johnson, my frustration when sometimes someone doesn’t turn up to the social side. But I feel like the social side is just as much education as the more social side.

I totally agree with it, especially because it happens a lot of these courses where everybody comes to shop around the bit as well. Associates come to shop around for practices and jobs. Exactly. And principals come to shop around for associates because if the associate comes to these courses and invest time and money in themselves is the kind of person that you want to have in your practice working for you. So this social part could be that extra boost that your career might need or your practice might need.

Last night, I feel like most came last night. Yes, there’s maybe three or four. Yeah.

Everybody, I think like very few people didn’t come just because they were or had to go home because they were living far away. But most people did come last night.

Maybe. Maybe we need to emphasise the social side even more. I think that we kind of do already.

I think it’s just time and location that that makes a difference.

I don’t mean I mean there was one couple, they came from Wales and then they said we’re in London and we want to go and see Soho and all that.


So I get it, I get it. Come to, come to the different town. You might want to do something else, but I don’t know, like last night I, I put a girl in touch with Kunal and he pretty much offered the job last night, so.


This is what I mean. Yeah, exactly. So. And today another, another guy. And of course he’s got lots of practices. He said, Oh, is it okay if I go on the forum and ask people on the forum if they want jobs. Because like what you said is right, it’s a self-selecting group isn’t it? Someone comes invest time and effort and money into something like this. That’s the kind of associate you want.


So I’ve got just by two years and years and years you’ve been with us Enlightened, and I think you came to one of the first ever really small makeovers.

I used to run it in some practices. I think I came to someone’s dental practice somewhere in London. Nothing you did.

Oh, we did. One a year practice.

Maybe. How was.

That the one you.

Came to remember the area? Yeah, I was in a.

Practice part of town. People can tell.


Three of those. So course you practice is one. When I. When I hear the name of your practice, it just reminds me of years ago Enlightened and a practice that came out of nowhere. And suddenly you guys were doing loads of Enlightened. But what is it about your practice? What is it about what you do that makes? Where is it?

Yeah, yeah, I think obviously so. People want six now though.

Yeah. 6 to 10 years ago.

You know, I personally have always done whitening for myself. Like as soon as I qualified, I remember one of the first things I did was whitening. And so I believed in it, my staff all following me or did whitening. So we all believed in whitening. And so we were happy to to sell. I mean, nowadays with social media, like, oh, I qualified in oh six, things have changed with social media and now everything is about selling. But back then people didn’t want to be sold to as much, so it was more.

Comfortable talking about it. I was cause you were instructors.

I believed in it myself and the maintenance was low and you know, your support once I started doing Enlightened made me feel so much more comfortable treating the patients, knowing that if something wasn’t quite right or wasn’t as good as what the patient wanted, I could call you, and which I did. And, you know, I had the backing to do this or do this. And so that just gave us the confidence. And then slowly, slowly, like now, I’d say I don’t really do any composite or bonding on anterior teeth without whitening. I can’t remember the last time I did Invisalign without whitening.

So how much of your practice is now cosmetic? Is it a lot of it.

I’d say 50 to 60% Is is cosmetic. Yes. So a fair amount.

The position bit is that in the town?

Not really, to be honest.

Well, you positioned it as a family practice.

A family, definitely a family practice, I believe really take care of patients and people. They’ll send other people to you. So and also I find that the cases where someone comes in free consultation, Invisalign whitening bonding, fine, they’re good. But the ones who I’ve known for three or four years and now they want that treatment, it’s just so much easier. Like sometimes the.

Trust is already there.

Trust is there. But also I find some principles will go against this. But I’ll sometimes call a patient, you know, can you can we move you a little bit early or maybe tomorrow life If the baby is not well or have an appointment, it just means that it’s so much easier for me. Those patients like me, I like them. And likewise, if they call me and say, You know what? Can I move to another day? Yeah, sure. I’ll move them to lunchtime, the day after or whatever, for the short term appointment. So in both ways it goes. So I think that’s why I keep it as a general practice, because I like those general patients, I like looking after them and when they do have the cosmetic work, I think it’s just so much nicer and easier to.

Work with it. So is Epping the part of Essex that you imagine as like the sort of the classical Essex, or is it.

I think it’s a little bit we, we try and pitch it as a little bit higher or higher in. So you’ve got like Chigwell out there, they’re very well known words that you see on TV and things like that. Yeah, exactly. So but Epping is just outside of those areas, historically a slightly older clientele, which is changing now, but so it’s kind of a bit of both. So we get those patients from those areas coming into us as well, but we try and pitch it as though we’re a little bit different from that kind of billing practice.

And how about bonding, if you know, bonding, increasing, people ask you to load.

Yeah, so much. I’ll do two or three cases a day or bonding now after the course, probably to spend a bit longer, charge a bit more. But yeah, everyone is wanting bond even older. But I’ll do patients 80. I’ve known patients in their nineties, I’ve done bonding for age one day with chips and wear and and it you know just cosmetic as well not even functional I’ve done whitening I’ve got a 96 year old guy I did my life whitening. Yeah. Yeah. And he had three teeth he wanted to denture whitening so we did a lighting case for him. So again amazing. Like, I think that’s brilliant. Like it’s still taking care of yourself.

You came to Depeche about six years ago and now you see him today. Did you notice any difference in style?

I think the self assurance you can tell you listen to him and even then it’s amazing knows this stuff. But now obviously with his accreditation and stuff as well is that name is authority. You listen to him and he just automatically whatever he says is is right and you can. Yeah. Just the way he talks is Yeah. He says you can see the change, you can see that confidence which, which is great.

So listen I’ll better let you get back to that shame. He didn’t make it last night. I know. You should come again.

Just for the next time. I will all come again. Hopefully, I’ll appreciate the day. Appreciate the weekend. Nothing to.

Do. The way I think about it is if someone gives us their weekend. Yeah, that’s all we can do. Give it up here. Then it’s up to us to make sure that was worth it.

It shows. I learn from you not just the dentistry, but also how. How you are with us. Right? I was saying to you yesterday, the lunch that you put on yesterday was the best lunch I ever had. And of course I left the breakfast and everything is just that. You go out of your way even yesterday, like 530, and I’ve still got an hour’s lecture and it’s just like, you know, nothing’s too much as you go out of your way, which you do. And I learned that and I, I try and do that for my patients. Obviously, sometimes it’s hard with lots of patients. I do try and try.

And do you plan to put more practices or you you just have that one that you make amazing.

I think I’ll be 14 January looks like think people say I don’t feel it sometimes my plan would be I think I would like it within the next five years. I’d like another practice closer to home where I would work a little bit more, maybe go and pick up the kids after school, drop them off and go back to work or whatever. Yeah, slow down or you just be that I’m about 40 minutes from home. Oh, yeah. So if I was five, 10 minutes from home, like I’ve set up a school. So where do you live? I live in just outside of Brentwood, Sheffield. So. Yeah, and that’s a kids get a bit older. I think it’d be nice to to be a bit closer. So that would be the plan. Let’s see how it goes.

Hopefully you’re going to get back. You better get there before you miss the next bit. Thanks so much for doing that now. So I’ve got Martina Hodgson from the dental Architects at MSN. Finally, it’s been it’s been a long time coming.

I know. Yeah, it’s great to be here. It’s come for so long.

Why did you come to London? Not Manchester.

I got in the dates. Nothing particular.

But you had something last night with the fancy.

So there was a future of dentistry with FMC on Thursday night. So this is like the who’s who of dentistry.

That was just for the young ones that I know.

Well, I’m not a young one. So.

So was it not full of just like.

It was.

Two year qualified people.

No, no, no. There was like, was there really Rona and. Oh really. Yeah. So it’s good. Yeah. Yeah. So we had like round table panel discussions fuelled by lots of prosecco and like constant nibbles. So that was.

Fun. So you do mostly Invisalign? Yes. Yourself as well? Yes. It’s not just your everyone.


Yeah. So what do you do about the bonding at the moment?

I do a lot of bonding. Oh, do you? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that’s why I’ve come, because I do a lot of bonding, and I think it’s really. You need to constantly up your skills. Yeah, And it’s great, because if you come to something like this, even though I do a lot of bonding, you you just pick up those little tips all the time.

But, you know, in your set up on our podcast, you said you’ve got one clinician who’s in charge of the case.


You’ve got one clinician does the IPR. Yeah. And what else?

One attachment.

Is that different person to the idea.

They can do the iPod touch phones, bonded retainer fit and.

Then who does the bonding? The one who’s in charge of the case?

Yeah, the one in charge of the case would do the bonding.

Yeah. So that’s interesting. So how what percentage of your cases end up with bonding? Most of them.

I would say probably 90%, because when you’re doing adult orthodontics, you and the reason that you’re doing the orthodontics is because there’s a problem with the occlusion and it might be causing tooth wear and you get a lot of tooth wear sort of cases come through. So nine out of ten need a little bit bonding at the end. And, you know, that’s I think sometimes people think it’s because you’re not straightening the teeth properly and it’s like a mask for that. To me, you know, I have such high levels that we need to achieve with our orthodontics, and it’s not there at the end to make the teeth look straight because you can’t straighten them properly. It’s there because you have got this tooth wear or sometimes there’s this trend. Now patients don’t like the shape of their lateral incisors or.

The more.

Square. Yeah, or the canines are two points here. This is dentists. We think they’ll actually is beautiful and we like their pointy canines. But you know, there is this trend out there now that people want to change the shape of their teeth.

When did this cosmetic revolution happen in Yorkshire?

In Yorkshire?

Like it’s a new thing.

And I don’t know. I mean, I’m 20, there’s so.

Many new practices opening in Leeds.

Yeah, there is a lot opening in Leeds I think. I don’t know why there’s, there’s a lot of good practitioners in Leeds.

Yeah. I mean it’s a big population and I just even have thought of Leeds as a like a cosmetically orientated town. But it is.

I think it’s very much Yeah, yeah. My patients, you know, like, you know I’ve got two very different practices so.


One is this old coal mining village, a few terraced houses not together and what is it? Leeds But the patients are the same. They want the same things. They want the same outcome out of their treatment.

I mean, maybe. Maybe I’m talking like old school before the internet world. Yeah.

But when I qualify was 2001. Yeah. And there wasn’t composite bonding. Yeah, it was just putting composite on a tooth. It wasn’t a thing like it is now. Yeah. So I think, you know, when I started doing a lot of Invisalign, that was the time when I thought I really need to upscale on the bonding because it finishes the case of so beautifully. And that is the wow moment at the end of the case.

What can I say? This is very true. Yeah. And you know one thing, he does this thing where you pay for the Invisalign, but you get the bleaching and bonding as part of the Invisalign and his the whole thing about it is he wants everyone to have bond, doesn’t want people not to have the bonding.


What have you picked up from depression. What’s been your sort of thoughts on the course itself.

I think I think with these courses that you pick, it’s great to see the gold standard of everything that should be done. And you know, every dentist is different and every dentist wants to be a different type of dentist and it can be confusing. And the lecture he’s just given was, you know, yes, you can do ten composite veneers in 2 hours if you want, but the results aren’t going to be same as if you spend four or 5 hours on that patient and you’re treating them to a gold standard because you can’t treat in 2 hours five, ten composite veneers to a gold standard. You just can’t. But young dentists see this and they think they have to achieve this. Yeah, that’s fine, if that’s what you want to do, if that’s the kind of dentistry you want to carry out, but you need to decide where are you on that spectrum? Where where are you happy to sit?

The other thing is it’s a very unforgiving material. That’s the problem with it. You know, it’s something that looks like nothing ends up being a massive issue not long later. And it’s been a it’s a funny thing because he spends a lot of the court kind of persuading people not to do the treatment as well either. And I think I think what you’ve got to get right is the right thing at the right time with, you know, dare I say.

Consent for the right person? Yeah, because it depends on consent.

I mean, your patient needs to understand what they’re getting themselves into. Absolutely. And I never thought I’d be a stickler for consent. Right. But actually. It’s real, isn’t it? It’s something that isn’t going to last forever unless it’s done very, very well. And even then, it’s not going to last forever.

Exactly. But consent is not a checkbox exercise. Consent is what builds a good practice. You know, a really thriving practice. Is that conversation that you have right at the beginning and you’re not surprising your patient at the end by saying, oh, by the way, this is only going to last 3 to 7 years and it’s going to chip and it’s going to stay, you know, you need to it’s about educating your patients. That’s what consent is to me.

It’s one thing to look, you’re you’ve got a bunch of sort of superpowers. Right. And and I know, I know it’s sort of an unfair question to say which is your key superpower. Right. Because I’m sure the treatments are brilliant. I’m sure the environment’s delicious. I’m sure the people you pick and motivate. But what would you say?

I know what my superpower is. My superpower is my ability to create an amazing team. Really? Yeah. I think. I think if you can do that and get the right people in and inspire people, yeah, I think the rest follows. You don’t have to be the most brilliant dentist in the world. And you know, and I saying this to some of the younger dentists and they’re like, I’m not good enough to do private dentistry. My skills aren’t good enough to do private dentistry. And I’m saying to them, private dentistry is not just about the materials you use and the skills that you have with your hands. Private dentistry is about the way that you treat your patients.

How you make them feel.

Exactly. That’s exactly what I was saying. It’s how you make your patients feel. That’s private dentistry. They don’t know how good your posterior composites are.

So let’s break it down. If your superpower is recruitment and sort of making people sell, selling the dream to your team. Yeah. What is it about? I mean, is it just that the kind of person you are or like, you know, let’s say I’m a I’m someone that you want to hire. How is it that you can persuade me to do what you want me to do?

Yeah, I think it’s explaining. It’s. It’s knowing who you are as a person. So me understanding what my values are, defining those values. And these are my values. Do you want to come along for the ride or not? Because if they’re not your values, you’re not. We’re not going to align. It’s never going to work. So my values are excellence, growth and to have fun. So if you want to come and do that with me, that’s fine. If you don’t want to be excellent, if you don’t want to grow, if you don’t have fun, go somewhere else because you’ll fit in better there.

It’s interesting what you’re saying. First know yourself and then number two, put that over in a sort of a simple way. Yeah. And then I guess number three, deliver on that, right?

Yes. Can deliver.

It’s a big piece, isn’t it? Because some people are really good salespeople. And when I say sales, I’m selling dentistry. Just good with timing, good with talking, but not good on execution or delivery. It takes both sides to build trust and a long term team.

And all that. And it takes a lot of hard work to get those systems in place. Yeah.

But we were talking yesterday about that tech hitting the ground running and whether you were going to do more and you were saying you just want to take a little breath. Yeah, but I see a dental doctor in every, every big city for sure. For sure. I really mean that. And what we were saying yesterday was, whatever, whatever you’ve managed to do with this team, you could do with a bigger team, with finding the right. If you if your superpower is finding people and motivating them, I think you should go like a scale on me. I really do. Really. And sometimes it takes someone else from the outside to tell.

You that I took your words on board what you said to me. I said, I have really thought about them. And I think my personality, as we discussed before on the podcast, is very much like, Go, go, go. What’s next? What’s next? What’s next? But actually, sometimes to achieve something like the dental architects, I do actually want to sit and enjoy it and I want to make it as good as it can be, and I want to get all my systems and processes so we find the way that we team the track and train the team, the way we train the dentists there, the way that they grow. And once you’ve nailed that in one practice, then yeah, of course it’s.

Dead easy to.

Replicate, but you’ve got to get.

It right. Anything. It’s very, very, very. The funny thing is most other practices will take three four years to get to where you’ve gotten to already. So in a way I’m sort of accelerating that organisation.

But remember, it’s 20, 21 years to get to that point. I know how long. It’s nine months.

Okay. But it’s.

Having the experience of the other practice and learning and seeing what works and what doesn’t.


I get it. So it’s people, if they think it’s overnight, it’s. It’s not.

Overnight. Of course not. I think it’s nothing worthwhile. Is is it? I’ve got Matty Parsons with me at Milli Smile Makeover. Matty. You came on this one. Makerbot. When? 26,080 September. Yeah, well, that’s pretty much pre-COVID. And you told me that was the first time you did a composite course. Yeah. And since then, if you fast forward to today, how much of your work is composite that all of you know and cost? How did you do general dentistry? Yeah, but the composites been the springboard to the rest. You know, a lot of patients come in wanting composite and with also Boston or whatever. So it’s like the compass is always the first step. It’s almost always what the patient is asking about this being the composite or maybe ortho on composite. So Matthew and I have found the Iran Wales game. We’re we’re a sports bar by ourselves because I think anyone else in Manchester is interested in Iran versus Wales. But I’m looking out for Will. Will they or won’t they sing the anthem? It’s just started. The Welsh are singing in their traditional Welsh voice choir sort of tradition. So while we wait for that, you’ve been on loads of composite courses now. Yeah. Yeah. First of all, do you continue to go on? I mean, you went recently. You went with Monique and Aretha. Yeah. So did you, like, go you continue to go on courses, even though I feel like you’ve nailed it. You never. You learn something new for everyone. Yeah. Jan Needham and Monica.

Tabitha, you know, learn lessons, learn how to party in the beta. Yeah, a little bit. But learn. So what’s. And he’s, he’s fantastic. And he’s a brilliant teacher and learn a lot when to Barcelona and so on. Yeah. Fantastic. And everyone does things so differently. So but so yeah. Speak up. So everyone does things so differently that you, you pick up tidbits from every person that you then implement and you make improvements to what you do. Yeah. So it’s funny because we get this call quite often. Quite often someone calls the office and says, Sell me the course. Yeah. Like I’m picking between you and this. Yeah. Tell me. Tell me why yours is better. And I think, like, look, composites, the material you use on every single patient, but by a long way, the material you use the most right, most versatile material we’ve got, it’s the most important. It’s the one we use on everyone. So if let’s say you’re now saying you want to get good, they’re not singing the anthem and that guy is that guy is that guy. Let’s say let’s say you want to get good at good at 5050 some awesome. Yeah, some of them are. Let’s say you want to get good at composite, right? If I was a dentist now, if I was a practising dentist now, I would, I would, I would go on every single composite course going because, because, you know, like you said, you learn from everyone. So tell me how what would you say to someone about dips is make a naturally talented you know he’s been probably earmarked as a superstar in this world from early on at dental school so things and I think that’s probably you know completely honestly that’s a double edged sword because in some ways he’s not rehashing what he’s been taught.

You know, he’s kind of wired in a way that he can actually do this. So he figures out a way to do things and then teaches up is quite novel. The double edged sword lecture is that because he can do it? It’s probably a call with other educators who may be weren’t as much a natural and gone and learn these skills with obviously some natural ability. They know how it feels to not be able to do it and they’re able to step back a little bit. So and this is exactly why everyone teaching is so different because in different places and and that’s why you learn such different things from different people. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And there’s no great when someone comes up and says, Tell me why your course is better. It’s not better. It’s different. Yeah, it’s a really difficult one. So I’m sorry. So I taught, I taught our team to say to that person, they’re all good. Go and gone. All of them. Yeah. Yeah. And you see, we have people come again and again. To many small makers, I think it’s, you know, there’s a lot of information and then you’ve got to do the work and then you’ve got new questions, right? And I’ve seen it 100 times that you’ve been at least ten times.

Yeah, Yeah. I still learn it. Still learn when that’s when I look at it. Because you’re in a different mind frame yourself when you know when you’re watching. Tell me about your work now. Is your patients your social media? Are you happy with the fact that you’re bringing in composite work and composites the beginning of it? Because Depeche himself, he’s moving more into like full mouth stuff as a dentist. And are you going to stay at this sort of at this point or are you going to move move it in different directions? I’m way beyond what I ever thought I would be. Really? Yeah. God. Yeah. And if he again, he probably knew or thought, especially from a really Dental family. Yeah. He’s got elder brothers who are dentists. And my only experience with dentistry was my own dentist as a kid. So that for me was the pinnacle. And I didn’t even really know there was private dentistry, cosmetic dentistry until I got out there. And so for me, really seeing it on online, it’s funny. It’s like my, my, my dentist was on Harley Street. Yeah. So I didn’t move, but my dentist was on. I knew he was. That was a kid, right? I know. I just thought that’s what a dentist is. Yeah. Then I went in for my first job. I was like, What the hell is this? I couldn’t believe it.

I couldn’t believe it. This was like, what a dental place. Polar opposite. My job was amazing. Practice. Roughest practice. Doing the course today. Yeah. Well, it’s great. Looks like such a fun game. I’m going to talk to the nicest guy. But look at this lovely mixed practice. And for me, it was a big seventh surgery outfit that had been relatively recently done. My practice growing up was the three surgery number that, you know, the waiting room was like a bit dated when I was going there as a kid, and it’s changed since and left. But for me, I thought, Oh, this is nice and you probably won’t get it done. What is this? I hate it. I couldn’t believe that that was that was my life. And then the ideal is the NHS itself. Yeah, it’s third party like, you know, you’ve got you, the patient, someone telling you someone else, a third party telling you what you can and can’t do. It’s just changed recently. I know, but there’s still rules and regulations, right? Yeah, it sounds like it’s improved. Oh, really? That’s been split into three. Oh, yeah. Sounds. Sounds better to me. It’s amazing the number of people we just. We just ask the room, like, why are you here? And the number of people who come on this course and tell me the reason they’re coming on this course is to find a private job. Yeah, Yeah. And we know we’ve got it’s almost a bad situation in dentistry now where none of the young dentists want to work in the NHS.

It is. Yeah. And so, I mean, has it changed since you were a young associate as far as did you have those lofty goals? I mean, you’ve ended up as a fully private, super duper composition guy. Do you remember the transition from thinking, Oh, this is my lot NHS to I’m going to look at other things? Yeah, like how did that moment have a ring to it? And I’ve never thought about this. I was kind of I, I was really scared of jumping too early, I think. And I, I was mixed about this and I, how many years we had mixed practice and pop out of 13 stopped seeing NHS and it was about COVID, you know, it was just before COVID. But when I say COVID, I mean that three month closure, because it was not long after I’ve actually been in the NHS that then binned off. That’s a terrible time. But it stops in many patients that I that then. And the only way of making income for three months is NHS. But I just. But did you, did you say right I’m going to upskill now. Yeah. It was so it happened naturally and I hate the word but organically and it was never an intentional thing. It grew and it developed and it became better and better. And what I wasn’t ready to stop seeing NHS until I had like 6 to 12 months of patients.

And from that security point of view, and then I wasn’t ready to stop seeing kind of general private work until I had again take the NHS out of the equation, build up again so that you have a fully private and still 6 to 12 months in demand. And then you got the general as in Instagram. Yeah. So I think that probably the the fact that I wasn’t in a rush to become this cosmetic and still as private dentist is probably what allowed me to build up the buffet, which allowed me to go to the perfection. So when did you when did you decide you were going to be, rather than a consumer of Instagram, a producer, like a creator on Instagram? Because that’s a decision that’s a big decision in itself to put stuff out regularly of a high standard. It was my first my first set of souvenirs I did after the course I took before after is just, you know, what makes mommy. Yes. She hasn’t started Instagram until that point. So. Really? Yeah. For after like a written, like a ring flush camera. Who did the dairy? Dairy did the marketing? Yeah. Yeah. So he didn’t mention that he was telling us about, like, his reception, like psychologically profile patients, which is just from Australia, was in town that particular day. And I just said, Me, you want to do the marketing. So on the Instagram, did someone, did someone tell you, was it obvious? Was Mike and Maxim a brother and the wife? Because so the Practice had an Instagram page.

And so I think for after we were out with Dentist that night, what it was might have been a couple of my ended on sister can’t remember exactly what it was. But anyway, I had the before and after on my phone, you know, patient conference out the window showed a couple of the people I was here for uni and one of his colleagues is doing invites and the feedback was good, which surprised me. Normally you’re a bit scared to show people your work. Yeah, I was when and it was more along the lines of because at the time as well, Consequences had a bit of a bad rep because a lot of people were mass producing them and doing just, you know, no matter what the patient presented us, they were getting ten times it. Yeah. This like stigma still goes on a little bit. Yes. Yeah. And you know, to show a case where it was I think eight, seven days and it’s justifiable on a patient who had cirrhosis and a bit of modelling and said listen tunes and she tried writing in but really couldn’t hack it. So the back story there was like, you know, a good case for composite and generally good feedback. So it kind of gave me the confidence to ask, Well, I think all of this is like is remote Instagram to post it. And then I posted it onto my own, just like it’s going to up with like 500 followers, friends of family.

And so I never post it myself, but I kind of read, shared it, and then did the same again with another case and then the same again, I think a third case. And then my my brother and Meg were both a bit like, Why? Why don’t you do it? Sets up a new account. And I say, I don’t want zero followers and it’s really tough and that no, can’t do it. It’ll be worth it. So I did, and that was it. And I started and then those first few cases that I got posted on to this new page and I started going from that dude. Every time I ask you a question throughout all our conversations here, you make it sound like everything happened by mistake. And I don’t know, man. It’s like maybe you’ve been just Mr. Lucky. Yeah. Well, maybe if there’s this, like, some some people have, like, the decision making process isn’t conscious. There’s a subconscious decision making process, right? But, you know, you make everything sound so simple. But, you know, other people are sitting pretty, doing composite work all day and and executing on the social media. If everyone could fill up their books for six, like your book is more than six months ahead. It’s because of your work on social. Yeah. Yeah. So. So like. Or is this just for delivery or is this like your Mr. Modest? No, I want to be Mr. Modest Garfield. Stuff’s just happened to me.


It’s. It’s imposter syndrome, but different ways. Yeah. I don’t. I’m not doing anything. You hear stories of people who have done these brilliant things to become super successful, and I don’t feel like I have any. Do you set goals like that? Well, I was speaking to Simon. Simon, and he said when he was one year out of university, he set a goal to be the president of the BCD, and nine years later, he became the president. But then but then you you were president of your university thing. Yeah. What do you call that? Student society. That wasn’t like that didn’t happen by mistake, did it? Or did it? No, it just got to put forward a text. No, but winning it. Winning it. And it’s I think it’s so my opinion is that if you if you overthink things, then sometimes you have to make the decisions on without trying to sound to defeat the truth to yourself. So you see, then you’re told in order to succeed on social media, you’ve got to do X, Y, Z. So to do it, but it comes across as.


Come across as genuine to them and it’s not their personality. And whereas if you just go along for the ride and try and make the best decision you can at each point, so do the best you can, you know, lay those foundations, look after your patients properly, try and get good at your job. Don’t don’t rush to chase the money. You all these things, if you if you try and make all the little decisions. Right. And they add up to to bigger opportunities and people also small gains. It’s like people die. The cycling team. Yeah. The British, I can see. Yeah. Yeah. They said right. We’re not going to reinvent cycling. We’re just going to improve every little element of these bikes and these cyclists by marginal gains. All of those added together made them just unbeatable. You’re naturally a kind of person that people warm to in every situation, whether it’s in University of becoming the guy or when I met you with do 30 people in that room in many small make of you? But we kind of had some chats and people want to you? Yeah, people want to. Sure. I’m sure your patients won’t do you 100% sure of that. But so you that comes naturally to you. Like for someone who that doesn’t come naturally to. How important do you think those soft skills are compared to the hard skills of the dentistry itself? Because I’d say that it’s bloody important.

More important than people realise. Yeah. And I’m not going to ask you to give me tips on how to get people to like you, because you just it’s a natural, right. But, you know, what I would say is making sure your patient gets a memorable experience, memorable feeling, just like when you go to a restaurant and get it really good. So that’s as important as the tea. Yeah, I think if you’re exceptional one way or the other, you’ll be all right. If you’re if you have the best soft skills on earth, you can get away with me on the best clinical skills. Or if you are the best person on earth, you can get away. You know the soft skills. You’ll be alright either way. And for most of us that in the middle, you know. Yeah, I think it doesn’t really matter if you’re, if you’re a, an extrovert or an introvert or you’re quite confident speaking or if you kind of stumble over your words a little bit or whatever it might be wherever you are, not spectrum, I think if you genuinely it’s such a cliché, but if, if your patient feels like you care about them more than you care about yourself, and you actually listen to them and you look after them, if things don’t go too far, which they don’t, you put them right.

You don’t put that blame on the patient the amount of times you see. So people on the show your case and they say, Oh bloody hell, this patient’s moaning about X, Y, Z. Such a nightmare patient. But you look at the case and you kind of say, No, I can see what. They’ve got a good eye. And, you know, it’s not a terrible case. But those sort of things that they’re saying, I feel like that if they were mighty so. And I have patients come back and they say, you know, I like the tea, but listlessness, you know, is this a bit is not quite symmetrical here or is this not right. And and I think we’re it’s it’s taking that super seriously, listening to what they say is in a serious way. So is it unique to you know and this patient’s going to see this patient right straight on to defensive mode? Oh, no. Well, the reason for this is this and this and this and try and bullshit the patient. Yeah. And when actually, if they say I’m going to say that I’ll look and I’ll say don’t you. Right. Yeah. Spot on. Good spot. Sorry, that’s me. Let me source it for you. And it is rather than getting defensive. Yeah, exactly.

It’s never been an issue, ever been an issue. Like even the slightly bigger ones are the common and they don’t like the colour. You know, it’s not just a little change. And I have the chart and say this is a subjective thing and you’re as right as I am and if what they’re in your mouth. So if you think this and this and this isn’t right, then that that means they’re not right because what you think is the important. But yeah you know communication skills we we think of as like this polished person who delivers information in the right way. And I think it just comes down to actually treating patients properly and listening to them. Yeah, that cliche that people say about this, they call it empathic listening or something where, you know, there’s one thing where you’re quiet, you’re listening, but actually you’re thinking of the answer. But there’s nothing to fully understand what that person said it was, you know, Is it a goal? Yeah. Is a goal is your side? Is your side was Oh, yeah, it’s a go on one ear on raising the ear. This issue with whitening. Why is that so? Because. Because, because right in your lectures a.k.a whitening. Seriously, I’m interested. I spoke. I was speaking to a dentist recently who maybe should have known better. Yeah. He doesn’t. Doesn’t use a license.

Why? Why aren’t you using a lighter? And he said because you’ve never given me a free one. So I never tried it. So I got free one and I tried it. No way was it, was it. Sorry. Got them. Yeah. I’m going to have to start handing out more. Yeah. It was on the course and mean. Felt like a free kick and I took a shot at in the fridge. I don’t quite get it, so forgot all about it but the wife does. So she just said to me one day because I’ll just stick white and gels in the fridge. And she said, What was that green gel? Because it’s difference, It’s green, so it’s a green shell. So I got it from that course I did. And she said, That is so much better. Really? Yeah. So I’m going to we did an analysis of the free free kits that we give many small makers and many of them go on to become users. Maybe I should start giving more free kits. And that whole thing is that we are the premium product, so it makes sense for people to try the bottle and see for themselves because everyone says that the premium, if you, if you actually are, then show it. Yeah. So I’ve got Sara and Sadhu with me. Second visit to Amazon.


What was your first.


August this year. Yeah. Oh was it in Manchester.


So did you when you, after you did the course did you start doing some cases.

Only a few. I’ve not done that many. I have done a few. Get a bit more confident with it now.

So did you feel like you weren’t equipped to start at the end of the course or did you not have any cases or what was the reason why you didn’t like jump in?

It was more cases. I think it’s more like not selling it, but just having the right patients that are coming in and asking for it.

Yeah, because they think that with this sort of work, it’s it’s once work, it’s not needs work. And so as dentists we love talking about needs and needs are like, if you don’t do this, this bad thing will happen.


Yeah. If you don’t have the crown, whatever, you break the tooth, you don’t have the filling, you need to go. But with once it’s kind of the opposite and it’s like if you do do this something good or happen.


And that we’re not very good at we’re not very comfortable with it.

No, that’s.

True. But in Manchester you work in Manchester.

Like in the world.

Okay. But you must have people asking about family bonding now.

More now. Yeah. So more recently.

And. I’ve had a couple of.

So recently, I’ve had a couple of patients and they’ve just had their braces off and then have high blood draw or something.

Yeah, and.

I kind of used them as not practice. Practice is the wrong word of cases to, to use and to. To kind of show off.

Was it Invisalign?

No. So I’ve had one in particular. She was 60 and she just had a braces off. And from the orthodontist.

From your authority. So is it possible? Is there an in-house orthodontist?

No. No.

Oh, I see. You say it’s your patient who’s gone out? Yeah. Yeah. So, look, if you want to do more cases, do you feel like why become again? Have you thought like, now you’re ready, you’re more confident to do it?

Yeah, I do feel more confident. I feel like I’m one of these people that needs to know. I like watching things, so I watch it about ten times before. It’s. I feel like it’s fully sunk in.

Yeah. Some people just jump in and then they learn on the on the job. Other people have been a bit more cautious before, starting with a.

More cautious.

Person in dentistry. I am too. I feel like I’ve seen some people like they within two or three years they go and do implants and sinus lifts and yeah, it’s just not me, it’s just me. But you know, there’s different people, isn’t it? There’s different types of pros. And I don’t know about you, but once I figured it out, then I’m really good with it. I’m just slow to figure it out. So how many days a week you work.

For at the moment? Yeah, quite like four. Through uni. I worked in uni five days and then worked every Saturday and Sunday. So it’d be like I’ve done seven days at one time.

So what were you doing the weekends?

I worked at a travel company about a public transport company and answered the phones and also on the tolls on the tunnels.


Liverpool. Yeah.

And the Mersey. Yeah. So you studied Liverpool?


Liverpool screw up there as.

A real fun girl.

Okay. And so are you planning to open your own practice at some point? Is that not.

What everybody was asking? The nurses that I work with who said you should have your own practice? I don’t think I ever would, because. Well, never say never. But I just. I don’t know, like that you can go into work and then go home and not have to.

Worry about running.

A business. But I can never say no.

You don’t have the frustrations of being an associate where you have things aren’t your control, things aren’t done the way you want them to be done.

Honestly, at the moment, no. I’ve got a I’ve got a really good boss at the moment.

He’s. He’s just brilliant.

Yeah, he is. He’s really, really good. He’s like. He’s like a good mentor as well. So if you’re ever stuck on anything, he’s always there ready to help.

So it’s an example. As an example, last time when you came to him, did you buy the materials?

Well, no, that’s true, to be fair.

But did you ask did you ask him? Well, you didn’t ask.

I’ve asked for a few things, but I also brought Heidi with me today. So she’s my colleague so we can go back and decide.

I is your colleague at the same practice you need to you to be asking here. So that’s what I mean. As an example of control. That’s what I’m talking about. Yeah. What kind of practice is it?

It’s a mixed NHS and private.

So are you thinking. Go. Go more private now? Because that’s what I’m hearing from your associates.

Yeah, I do like I do like my NHS patients. But private is I think a 5050 would be a nice one.

Why not 100%?

I don’t actually. I think the NHS is good and my clients and the like. But it’s access. Well, so it’s, it’s because some people can’t afford dentistry and can’t afford to go and see a decent dentist. So I like that.

You want to be that care.

Yeah. I want to do, do still like the NHS in that way that you can help people that can’t afford private industry and genuinely want to help them.

Yeah, but of course I understand that. I understand that. But how about the fact that you’re doing it at a cost to your own career? Does that not bother you?



Yeah, but there’s a balance, right? Yeah, I get it. I get it. I know. It’s interesting. Are you sort of left leaning to believe in state or you think of it that way?


Just about the people.



Listen, I’m kind of left leaning. I kind of believe in socialism. Kind of? I do. But where it works.

If it’s.

You know, like in France, it’s amazing health system. It’s free, but it’s amazing. Yeah. If it works, if it’s working correctly, of course, I’m really up for it. Yeah. But here I feel like the NHS isn’t even sorting out people who really need it badly. Because. Because the amount of time and money that they allocate for the dentist, it’s near impossible to do things right. No, it is. It is. Yeah. So then you get you get that feeling that sometimes you’re not doing it to the best standard because you can’t.

Sometimes I think again, I’m quite lucky in a practice where we’ve got, we’ve got an D so anyone that needs a lot of work. 454 I think. But again, I was in that position because I was an employee at that practice. Obviously you get your experience in, but in if I worked in a practice where there wasn’t an FDA or wasn’t left in our practice, yes, then I would be really frustrated. And I’m just really lucky that I do every practice where we have in an area where it’s it’s got two sides to it. We’ve got a really.



And a high.

Needs, but really it’s split 5050. So again, really lucky in that sense. So I think it just depends on what area you work and what practice and if you’ve got access to an FDA. And I think I’m just got lucky in my practice.

So now that you’ve come a second time watching him lecture, you’re taking different things away, more things away. Or do you remember every bit that he did?

Every bit.

But yeah, it just sinks in a little bit more in that, you know. So we’ve gone away and done a few things that I’ve thought I remembered. And then and then he’s done it again today. And I thought, Oh, actually I didn’t do that quite right. So and I can improve on that a bit better. I can just listen a bit more rather than sitting and trying to take all it at once. I can listen to the parts that I may have missed last time.

Yeah. Yeah. Are you here for the whole two days?


And tonight.

And tonight.

Where do we go? And last time you came, was it 20 stories again? Well, it could be chilly this time. Yeah, me too. Tell me about your enlightened kit. Did you use it? The one we gave you?

Yes. Why not? For me, I think. I don’t wait for a good case to come along so I can.


Any patient. Yeah. Do you do much whitening?

You do a bit whitening? Yeah.

It’s the world centre of whitening where you are, right?

To be honest, I think there was a more a few years ago. I think when you think of everything, how everything is, I think a lot of people because you found like a lot of patients, I mean, you’re not cancelling their appointments and saying, Oh, come in after Christmas again, it’s money.

So you referred to that cost of living crisis and all that. You actually feeling that right from your patients?

You’re definitely.

Much more cautious about going ahead with stuff.

100%. So usually we’d have four books, all dentists and practice, and it’ll get to the week before. And so many people are cancelling. Or when we bring people up to say, oh you, you due to come in now they’ll say, Oh can I book in January after Christmas? And I’m just a bit strapped for cash to do. Yeah, definitely.

Thing is reckon next is going to be even more problematic. Unless you do you do much work on finance.


That’s good. Because. Because from what I remember, last recession, you weren’t even a dentist in 2008. But how old were you in 2000? Eight. Oh, no. So what I remember was finance dried up completely, whether it was for mortgages, whether it was for dental finance in a treatment finance, Finance completely dries up in the recession. And I feel like we’re not there yet. I think we’ve got a bit of an acceleration compared to the rest of the world because of the whole mistrust thing. But next year, I feel like the whole world is going to be going in. Now, the good news is, having been through two other recessions in history, then she doesn’t get hit as hard as you might imagine. It just doesn’t. It just doesn’t. You know, people people start cancelling other stuff, like people they won’t buy the sofa for their for their lounge that they were thinking of buying. And you’ll notice businesses start going bust. Those are the first ones that start going bust. And then people have one less holiday. Maybe by the time it comes to cutting health care, it’s going to be a pretty deep recession. So I wouldn’t worry about it, but I would worry about it. That’s the interesting point. The point is I would worry about it. I would make changes or whatever changes that you think are right. And it sometimes ends up being more in the go more to needs than once. Category.


Yeah. But then she generally gets through it quite well. That’s good. What does your husband do? She shouldn’t.


Oh, I don’t know.

He’s a data analyst.

Oh, amazing. Amazing to see what kind of tech company he works.

He’s recently changed jobs, but he. He works from home, so he’s nicely tucked up in bed, and I leave for work.

So what’s the worst thing about the is actually turning up? You’ve got to turn up. Put no choice but to turn up. I stopped ten years ago, and the best thing about not being a dentist is not having to be there.


And I still have to turn up to lots of places. So having to be.


Every day it wears you down, right? That’s what I feel.

Yeah. Yeah. If for some days it does.

Yeah. What would you say is the best thing? It’s.

That’s a really hard question. I actually don’t know.

It depends on what you love, right? Because if you love the problem solving part of it.


Some people are really into that. Dipesh really loves that idea. Some people are into like the carpentry of it, you know, cutting and fitting and all of that. And for me, when I stop the thing I miss the most people.

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I do have. I think I would miss people. Hello. If I stop dentistry.

For these while you’re a dentist, people are kind of in the way. There’s too many people. If you stop being this sunny, realise people you’re not in touch with people in general.

Because you have only conversations with everyone and you get to know them, don’t you? And I’ve had a few lately and they go, Oh, how was your holiday? And it was six months ago. And I’m like, Oh, it was really good. Thank you. I remember it. And lots of people are really appreciative more than I think you realise, because they come in and bring you like your presents and things and it’s.

Because that thing is it that you’ve got many patients but you’re their only dentist sort of thing. Yeah, know. But let’s talk about private and NHS. The main difference is that these social piece talking to people, Listening to people.


The main difference, you know, the teeth. The teeth in the end. Yeah. But you know, you need to. For me I used to love the fact that there was time to have conversations about people’s lives and just there was no time for that.

People wait in the waiting like, Oh, and you try not to rush through, but you kind of need to because you’re, you know, you’re running 20 minutes late.

And something’s got to give, right? So it’s not going to be the lay or the treatment that’s going to give. It’s going to be that conversation that ends up being missed. And so for me, I only did NHS for one year, but in that year I realised I do not want to do this because I couldn’t talk to anyone. It was just rush, rush, rush, rush, rush. Yeah. Amazing. Well, thanks a lot for taking your time. Finally, I’ve got the man himself throughout. Throughout the course. It was very difficult to get any time with the person because obviously the busiest man in the room. But I’ve got you now. So how are you feeling?

I have a good buddy. It’s Saturday evening. First day was one intense starting line, two hands on exercises, clinical cases, lectures. Very good chat with many of the delegates.

Nice to have.

Mattie. Nice to have Mattie. Nice to have the football. Football’s on as well at the end.

Iran one.

Iran one.


Oh, nice. Yes.

Against Wales. But England, Drew.

And yet today, another hands on exercise.

Blessed to meet those people from the chorus who came again. It’s always nice to see them. Yeah. And they’re the only ones I managed to talk to as well because everyone else was busy doing their teeth on this podcast. People have been before, but it’s nice thing that I always feel like when someone gives a weekend over to you, it’s a it’s a humbling thing. Yeah. And we’ve always thought that. We’ve always thought the pressure of that, making sure that that weekend’s worth it for them. Then when someone goes to you can hear that chooses to come again. Yeah. And we don’t charge the second time or whatever. But it’s the time, isn’t it.

Yeah. And you know what? I’ve noticed. Yeah. The. The type of questions that a second time or second time comes is completely different to the questions asked by the new delegate.


So it just shows you that they’ve come on the course, they go into practice, they’ve tried a few cases, put things into practice, come across some hurdles, and then when they come back, there’s a higher level of thinking. Yeah, the questions are like, yeah, this is a.

You know, sometimes I speak I never ever speak for more than an hour. In my whole career, I’ve never spoken more than now. But every time I speak at the end of the hour, I’m just like, shattered. Completely shattered. Broken. Yeah. Because it’s kind of it’s much higher stress than it looks, being a lecturer. But then when you do this course and you’re speaking for like an hour and a half, then 2 hours and you’re on on show for basically two whole days and you’re having to do the hands on as well. And I know you could probably do the hands on these days without much trouble, but you still have got to do it. Does that does it tie you basically are you more tired than I am at the end of all this? You must be you must be shattered. Course I.

Do. It is. It is taxing. But the thing is, is the way the course is structured, there’s a story being told from the beginning to the end. And so for me, I need to tell the complete story. And it’s that journey.

So basic, sort of monochromatic and then polychromatic.

And the way this, of course, is structured, where we basically. It’s exactly what we do clinically. It goes through diagnosis, treatment, planning, share, taking, processes, isolation, tooth preparation. But at each stage we’re then going through clinical cases, going through the pros and cons of those different steps. And so I want I obviously want to share all the information and what I want to complete each step to a good standard. So it’s nice to be able to give them all the information.

Yeah. And it was pretty nice though, Matty, because it was like his first ever composite course was, was this that and only four years ago. It’s not that long ago. And to see him now, the way he’s like, doing composites all day, every day. And, you know, I’ve been asking that question of why does one person end up like Matthew and one person doesn’t do it. So if I was to speak to him on this podcast about that and how I got here and, you know, he was saying there’s different things now. Invisalign makes you have five cases ready before you can even do the course. Yes. Did you know that? Yes. I think it’s a good move. It’s a pretty good idea. Yeah. Because it means people are committed to starting. Yeah. And then he was saying that they teach, so you can’t really do the same thing.

You know, these dentists we’ve been do composites since third year universities. You should have.

Yeah, but this is a business that’s hot in which thing they teach their course by showing the cases of all the delegates. This idea is an interesting idea because it makes delegates realise it is possible. Yep, yep, yep.

Rather than seeing.

But there’s a bit thing too. This is the danger with you because you start your presentation so beautiful that the people just think, I can’t do that. I’ll never be able to do that. Whereas they don’t fully sort of understand the idea of, like, the first time you did it, you were a newbie to it. And it’s not like you’re the old guy, right? You’re 34 or something like 35, 35, 35. And the first time I met you, you already done beautiful work with 24 or something.

In your third year.

Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, it’s one of those things. Like anything else, like the first time you do something is it’s a bit stressful and you really keep on doing it.

But it’s nice that I understand what you’re saying. It can get overwhelming. But the nice thing is, is every single step, the photograph just or the videos demonstrate the step perfectly. Yeah. So after they’ve seen the sequence of that particular case, they’re like page drops and it’s like.

I think this cause can be a bit overwhelming in terms of the amount of content in it, but I reckon you could have made two courses out of the content you’ve got in this course. You know, and I love I’m proud of the fact give me I’m proud of the fact that you give a lot in this course, but sometimes some people think they get overwhelmed by that, I guess.

Yeah, I think two days is something you. We’re pretty cool working from 9 to 7 on day one. For some. That’s that’s that’s a fairly long day. There is a lot of information to take in. I guess if we were to do another two days, it would be focusing on treating for large, multiple composite veneers, treating cases that involve different types of restorations or class for veneer to that kind of complex case, which typically most people say is easier just to stick a ceramic on top. But I mean, as you saw, Friday is the main day where we’re focusing on the operative side of direct injury. There is so much to it. There are so many steps that I too overlooked. Right. And then when I started to audit my processes and then start to ask myself, why am I using this wedge and not why I’m aware of using a wooden wedge as opposed to a plastic wedge? Why am I using a curved matrix and not a not a flat acetate matrix? You know, why do we keep. Why do we use a different shade for the plate or shell? When most educators will suggest using the same shade of enamel on the label surface incisal and palatal. So all of those things are quite easily overlooked. And what we’re doing now is breaking everything up and looking around.

A couple of years ago, you started this. You changed it slightly. A couple of years ago, you started this idea of you, you fit the solution to the problem. You know, what’s the situation? What’s missing? Where’s the problem? So bearing that in mind, so what’s the material that we need to use and what’s the shade that we need to use? And where is it? Is is it, is it chromatic? Is it a chromatic, is it near the gingival, is it near the incisal and sort of working through what the answer should be so that then they can tackle any type of case. Yeah. That’s and that’s important.

Which is important because the alternative was. Read a textbook.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah. But the thing is, is this is just like cooking. You read the the manual, the book. Yeah. And, you know, it doesn’t taste the same. Yeah, every time. It’s about application of knowledge. Understanding the why. Yeah.

What about the. The social. Do you have that feeling that I have about the social education as well? Oh, yeah.

I learned so much. I mean.

Different type of.

Educational specialists coming through associates. You’re getting therapists, single practice owners, multiple practice owners.

There’s a lot to learn from each other. Yeah, from each other.

It doesn’t have to be that opposite.

Yeah, it.

Can just be about life in general. Somebody speaking to me and saying, Hey, you know.

I’ve had some amazing people on this course, but yeah, absolutely.

Yeah, there are delegates are fantastic and I love spending time with them.

All right. Well, we we sound a bit tired because it’s been a long, long day. But I’m grateful for you for for having this chat.

But it’s been a fantastic two days. We’ve got it again two weeks time.

So back in London. Back in London. Well, thought it was a lovely performance this time that you need to do well in amongst the football. Well you have the football on the big screen. Very easy. Thanks, my buddy. Thanks for doing it, guys. Well, if you listen to the end, thank you so much. If you’re interested in attending the course or finding out more about the course, it’s on Mini Smile Makeover. Com. So mini smile makeover dot com. Obviously Mini smile makeover on all the social platforms as well. Thank you so much for for taking the time guys. See you on the other side of the next one.


This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts. Payman, Langroudi and Prav. Solanki.

Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we 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.


Prav and Payman finally reunite this week for a chat with digital dentistry proponent and new practice owner Dora Lengyel.

She describes her journey from Hungary to Bristol via Kuwait and a career arc that has recently seen Dora purchase her first practice.

Dora talks about brand positioning, plans to bring the practice into the 21st century with digital smile design, and much more.



In This Episode

10.48 – From associate to principal

16.53 – Brand positioning and measuring patient experience

38.53 – Backstory

43.27 – Dental school and first job

46.30 – Riding

54.09 – Practice purchase and digital smile design

01.06.17 – The five-year plan

01.13.25 – Last days and legacy

01.14.26 – Fantasy dinner party


About Dora Lengyel

Dora graduated with a degree in dental surgery from Peninsula Dental School in Plymouth in 2022. She has undertaken further study with the Dawson Academy and trained in digital smile design.

In 2021, Dora purchased her first practice, Dental Health for Life, in Chippenham, Wiltshire. 

But it is a communication tool largely. But I think what is a big deal about it as well is when you sell like patient to mock up is the fact that you can import the DSD mock-up into Invisalign because they’ve got a partnership. So you can actually then move the teeth to the position you sold the patient to.

So it’s that.

You? Yeah, that is the actual biggest thing about it because you can otherwise patient can try on the teeth. But how are you going to move to that position exactly. If you can’t import it into Invisalign.

Now now I can now I can.


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 selling cake.

Hey, guys, This is our first recording of 2023, and we’ve had a little technical flaw after 100 plus episodes of Dental Leaders and for some reason the recording switched off just on Payman partway through the podcast. But Dora’s still answered the questions, so as pay would say, super duper. Unless Carry on, you’ve lost 15 golden moments of pay. We’ve lost 15 golden minutes of pay. And those were his best 50 minutes of 2023. Let’s go. Let’s carry on. It gives me great pleasure to welcome everyone to the New Year at Dental Leaders. Well, this was probably going to go out six weeks time, so it probably won’t be as as as as current as I thought it would be. But the lovely bit of it is we’ve got Prav on the podcast together. We’ve done several on our own path we have, but together for the first time in a while. How you doing, buddy? I’m good, buddy. I’m good. And just so everyone knows, it’s the 2nd of January today, right? It’s the day before we go back. I’m doing well. I guess the reason why we’ve been doing podcasts separately with various guests is just the hour. You’re an efficiency freak, but that’s buddy. That’s efficiency. Let’s not let’s not sugarcoat. You’re an efficiency freak. That’s what you are. And pays the kind of guy who’s available anytime, any day, any place. Right. So I’ll tell you that story. I could be seeing a client in London at 3:00 next Wednesday and pay won’t even know I’m in London. And I’ll say, Hey, buddy, I’ve just finished with a client.

You free for lunch? And the answer will be sure. Sure. Yeah, let’s do it. And it doesn’t matter what day of the week is, I wouldn’t have, unfortunately. I just wouldn’t be able to do that for you. You should know, not everybody gets that service for me either. And so and so I guess I’ve just been busy and so I’ve squeezed in some guests myself. Pay You’ve been doing your own thing and here we are back again. And it’s an interesting time of the year, you know, Christmas, New Year, that sort of thing is the time I really get to switch off. I mean, truly switch off. We get summer holidays, go away with the family, all the rest. But this time, I don’t know what it is about this time. Right. Is that first of all, all of my team are off and I actually forced them to take time off between Christmas and New Year’s. We don’t operate during that time. We don’t come back. I think it’s great for them to switch off as well. So that that’s a must. Although one or two of my team members will still put a stint in in between Christmas and New Year just because that’s the way they’re hardwired. But for me, it’s that time to switch off and then it takes me a bit of time to get back into the groove. Buddy. You know, I’ve done I’ve done half a day in between Christmas and New Year, I think was a couple of days ago.

I did a couple of hours this morning just sort of pruning my inbox, and then tomorrow would be my first day. But that first day will be an easy day. You know, I’ll ease myself in. I’ll have one or two client calls and then ramp things up during the week. It takes me a bit of time to get stuck in. I don’t know what you guys daura pay what it’s like for you between Christmas and New Year and what that time of year means to you from a work perspective and switching off. Well, for me it’s, it’s, it’s normally I’m away. Usually I’m in Beirut for Christmas and this year I haven’t been and last year actually. And it’s really lovely not going away you know because when you go away, I mean it’s a different thing going to the Maldives or something. I would do that. You know, Father Christmas on the beach sounds like amazing, like an amazing idea. But when you go away to the same place and to our in-laws and, you know, up to Christmas, the dental calendar seems to speed up. Now, these days, I’m going to a lot of events and then to then straight away, pack your bags and get on a plane. Busy airport, customs Beirut or, you know, it just seemed like a lot of hard work. Whereas this now I kind of get that slow down feeling and I’ve been able to catch up with some of my school buddies and and, you know, just do the usual thing people do Christmas.

But when you say I’ve done a bit off work. Prav Yeah, like I spent the four nights ago between sort of midnight and 4 a.m. only thinking about Enlightened. But I was thinking I now I see that as work. Yeah. Because so when I say I truly switch off buddy. Yeah, it is literally so. So So you said you go away during Christmas, right? I do the same. Right. So the kids. To Lapland and thought I’d get that in. Whilst they still believe Santa exists and sorry for our younger members of the audience who still believe that sorry, Depeche Mode. He doesn’t miss it, but I’ll go away on holidays. Summertime, right. I’ll still be thinking about Christmas New Year. I don’t know what it is about that time. It’s the only time of year where I totally don’t think about work. It’s actually healthy because that’s when you come up with the best ideas, when you stop thinking about it. But for me, I wasn’t thinking about it, except I did three nights ago, you know what I mean? And then the crazy thing that the one thing I do, it’s like my annual clean up, right? I go to my downloads folder on my Mac. Yeah, Yeah. And I delete everything that shouldn’t be there. I clean my Mac up, I purge my files, I go through this. It’s almost like a spring clean on my computer and my files and stuff. It’s like a ritual I do. And that’s what I’ve been doing today, right? But then I find stuff that little projects like Think I forgot about that forgot about this little idea here or there or whatever.

Right? And I start organising things and start planning and stuff. And the one thing that’s going to change this year is I’m going to tell my team this first week back, it’s all about getting organised, It’s not about doing, it’s about getting organised. And then after that we go go full steam ahead. My, my, my moment of clarity was your big tip that I, we’ve listened to phone calls and enlightened before, but, but I happened to hear again some bit of a podcast that came. You know what happens? I could, I could sleep with a head with a headphone in my ear and sometimes wake up to the voice of Prav talking about listening to phone calls. Beautiful, beautiful. And and the point about once or twice isn’t enough, you know. And so my my sort of New Year resolution at Enlightened is once a month we’re going to listen to phone calls together with the sales team. And you know, just on that one, Dora is a new practice owner. Right. And if I could give her one piece of advice for the growth of her practice and ongoing consistency in Dora, we’ve we’ve you know, we’re engaged to introduce door to door at places. Great pleasure to introduce Dora Lengyel to the podcast. So there is a new practice. So know she’s worked with Prav and with me a little bit as well. But lovely to have you, Dora.

Thank you. Well.

Dora, welcome to the podcast. I said to my daughter today because now it’s back to work, right? So my youngest daughter, who’s who’s I guess I’m her favourite and she’s, she’s my favourite of the favourite flavour at the moment of child because she’s because she’s always in love with me, right. And always like Daddy, daddy that right. But she goes what are you, what are you doing today Then I said, Oh, I’m interviewing Dora. And straight away she said, Dora the Explorer. I’m sure you’ve heard. I’m sure you’ve heard it.

Dora the Explorer.


I know.

It’s lame. Excuse it. With the kids, the kid, patience.

Yet one of the parents said once and I was like, I’m so using that. Yeah. So I’m from Hungary and talking about Christmas. I go home to Hungary every single year, take at least one week off, and I’ve done that this year as well. It’s the only time I see my family all together, so it’s very important time for me. So where I’m from in Hungary, I was I was brought up in Budapest, but my family’s all over the place, so my uncle and aunt, they live in Germany, my parents live in Kuwait, and my sister lives in a states and I live in England. So it’s the time when everybody meets. So it’s really important time to see the family.

You all go back to Hungary, everyone congregates back.

There except my sister couldn’t because it’s something to do with Visa and also because in America they only have two weeks holiday and it’s just really tight.

So do you switch off between Christmas and New Year, especially being a fresh new practice owner? You know, it’s not quite a squat. We know that, Dora, But but but you can tell us more about that later. But as someone who is in their first year of practice ownership, what was that like between Christmas and New Year for you?

Oh, well, to be honest, I did switch off because because I normally don’t, even though I’ve been to a business growth course and you said like, take time away, but I don’t normally switch off. So I did this time because I was like, I need to switch off sometimes. So I did get to focus on my mom, mainly good at my grandma.

But the change Dora from being. Associate to being a principal. What surprised you the most?

That things just keep coming at you. That you had no idea that. I don’t know. I never even expected that. Being a practising lawyer, is this stressful? Like, do you want to hear the story? Basically, like on my first day, the x ray machine stopped working. My brand new scanner stopped working the week before. You know, like a few weeks ago when it was like, minus six, my boiler broke. Like, just keep things keep on, like, coming at me, and it’s just never ending. So it’s a lot more than dentistry. I thought it would be dentistry, but it’s just all these other things that you don’t expect. And being a practice owner is so much more than dentistry. I had this kind of idea that, like, if I have my own practice, I can do like, my own sort of dentistry. It’s kind of true, but it’s also the fact that, you know, if you’re in the surgery working all these other things going on that you need to focus on.

But I know when principals say that and you hear principals saying that all the time, did you not believe them?

Well, it’s more like it was a well-oiled machine. You know, by the time I was in any practice, it was a well-oiled machine. But when it’s not kind of a well-oiled machine yet and you already have to be in a practice and you have to build your line. Right? Exactly. The building of the machine is the hardest.

We often ask practice owners, especially those who’ve been been in the game for many years, If you could speak to your younger self and give yourself some advice or do it again, what would you do? I guess if you could rewind the clock even six months or just before you bought in and look at what’s happened now? What would have you done differently?

Maybe look at the due diligence more because I’m quite an emotional buyer and it’s a bit like I’ve just been on a course. What maybe we can talk about that the DSD course as well, which is all about emotional dentistry and people buy big things emotionally. I kind of bought the practice like that and you know, not not what was it?

Was it about it that you fell in love with? Was it the building?

Well, there’s a lot of things. It’s close to my house. It’s small enough. It was already doing the sort of dentistry that I wanted, the building that every time I was there, I just loved being there. I just just had this vibe about it and I was just like, Yeah, whatever. I want to practice, and that’s it.

And so what would the surprise is when you say due diligence, what was going through? Give me the top three surprises that you absolutely weren’t expecting. Due diligence wise.

Well, I mean, maybe how up to date the books were because like, there were active patients on there who haven’t been for like four years or three years or, you know, that’s not really active patients and, you know, like not looking into the fact that, you know, oh, yeah, the fire the fire risk assessment is in and it’s not expired or anything, but actually it’s all read and nobody done anything about it, you know, things like that. But you know, you don’t.

Or if you knew all of that, Yeah, the number of expired patients or the number of active patients X, Y and Z, what do you think would have happened? Do you think you’d have still gone ahead and bought the practice? Do you think you’d have been able to negotiate harder on the buying price? What would you have not bought it at all?

And I guess I would have negotiated on the price a bit more. I still would have bought it.

But it’s not. It’s definitely not worth losing any sleep over because because in the long term, when you look at where you’re going to be in five, seven, ten years time. Right. Having paid whatever it is more right, it will pale into insignificance. And I promise you that many of my clients who are who I speak to today or who have bought Grown and then sold it the other side, what they paid at the beginning, whether it was ten, 15, 2000 K more or even more than that, right. It becomes irrelevant. It really does. It’s not worth. It’s definitely not worth beating yourself up about, that’s for sure. So you definitely made the right decision, that’s for sure. Right. Because you would have done it anyway.

Well, so far, I think so. Good.

You weren’t there at all. Had you worked there at all before you bought it?


So when you got there on day one, did you make a speech to the team like what you liked about the direction of travel? About what or not?

I actually made a little speech to the team before that. We went out for dinner in advance.

Before you bought it?

Yeah. And I. We kind of talked about the core values. And to be honest, I was kind of involved in the interview process, and I kind of set out like, this is what I want my practice to be. It’s not there. You know, you guys know this is going to be a journey. And I only want you on if you are happy to go on this journey with me. And it’s going to be hard work.

What did you say? What core values? What was missing? What did you.

Say? So I feel like in in health care, generally, dentistry included, we became a bit like, you can’t get hold of a GP. You might be able to get like an appointment on the phone like in six weeks time and dentistry the same, like in and out. You can’t get an appointment. And people, I feel just really hungry for someone to really care about them. And maybe I’m thinking about it still quite naively, but I just really wanted to kind of do more patient centred care and not just like Tesco checkout sort of dentistry. I just didn’t want to be involved with that.

So were you thinking more Marks and Spencers or were you thinking more like Selfridges or were you thinking more like Harrods or Fortnum Mason or Lidl? Or were you thinking.

Probably Marks Marks and Spencers? Yeah.

Because that’s an important point. You know, the positioning of your product, right? You know, I’d say perhaps product is marketing product that’s at the higher end. It’s more I’d say it’s higher, higher up than in Marks and Spencers. We do more than madagascan vanilla in our. I know. Yeah. And same with Enlightened. I’d say enlightened is of the higher end although although there comes a thing happens in in any business year where you start off with a sort of an early adopter and then the mass market comes in after that, but you position it when you say Marks and Spencers, I guess you’re not talking about sort of the teeth are you, You’re talking about the service element.

Yeah. Give the people the time they deserve and really listen to them. I listen to a kind of web thing that Christian Coachman did with the line and that was quite kind of life changing in my head, like comprehensive dentistry and things to look. And I just felt like I want to be part of I want to be part of something bigger than myself, if that makes sense. I know it sounds a.

Bit going life changing.

Go on well in life changing in the fact that I wanted to have my own practice, whereas beforehand I never did or I didn’t think I did. Although when I said it to the treatment coordinator I’ve been working with last couple of years, I said, Oh, by the way, I’m going to leave. I’m going to have my own practice. And she said, Oh, well, it’s time now. I knew this was going to happen. I was like, Really? I didn’t. She’s like, No, I could tell that’s where you’re going because I’ve got so many associates here. I knew that was going to happen, whereas I didn’t realise that until, you know, everybody has like something that pushes them to.

Yeah. So sometimes in life it takes an outsider to tell you who you are. You know, I found my, my, my 12 year old daughter sort of asking me who she is. You know, she wasn’t saying. She said, Hey, you tell me who I am. But that’s what she was saying. That’s what you were saying. She wanted feedback on what kind of person she is and all this. And and in life, generally, sometimes it takes an outsider to tell you who you are. On the other hand, you do get the people who are planning and all of that. And and they’ve got a very clear sort of way forward. But I think, you know, I think all of us have these three or four different brains in our head, and one of them is the clear planner, and then the other one is is the dreamer and all that I wouldn’t worry about. That, although. Are you saying that you sort of weren’t ready? I mean, who’s ready? Who’s ready for their first practice? No.

Well, that’s the other thing I was thinking. Who’s ever ready? I just wasn’t happy where I was. And when I looked at my evaluated my options, I was like, do I go to another practice and start from the bottom again? Or do I just and, you know, it’s like the third time, or do I just go for it and build something? The things I the way I wanted them to be.

So in your in your existing practice that you were in, was there an element of customer service, listless focus on that for now that you wanted to provide, but you couldn’t in that setting?

Well, the thing is, I could want to first went there, but, you know, as as the practice was getting busier and busier after COVID. And then also my as I developed as a dentist, then I was doing more complex stuff. I changed to who I was and what suited me. And I was like, I can’t like have, I don’t know, wisdom, tooth extraction and then like a Botox and then like, I don’t know, a full mouth rehab in the next appointment, you know, it’s like just too much, you know, like I need to be in charge of what’s going on a bit more. I just I don’t know if I’m explaining this Well.

Yeah. I mean, you’re kind of talking about the way that they do your scheduling, right?

Yeah, exactly. Because every time there was, like, a ten minute gap, they’re like, Oh, you can see a patient in here. I’m like, not really, you know? So you see what’s it like in front of it and behind it, You know, I’m going to need some space. Can we just greyed out? And they’re like, No.

Yeah, but I see, I see, I see, look, I see that sort of thing. But but going back to this patient experience that you want to provide for your patients. Yeah. And I know, by the way, I know you’re probably nowhere near providing the thing that you want to provide. Yeah, but. But let’s just sort of project, know, two years forward and say now you’ve managed to sort out that member of staff who wasn’t quite onside and you’ve managed to carve out that time and done that course where you’ve got this new skill and give me a little sort of forward looking. What would it look like to be a patient at your practice? What would be those elevated sort of bits of it that would stand you in a different situation to go into another practice?

So exceeding expectations. So the practice, like the patient comes even sometimes we offer them a glass of water. They’re like, Really? And I’m like, Is this a big deal? You know, someone to be like hosting at the front and having a chat with you? I mean, at the moment I’m looking at reception desks and I don’t want ones that like cover the receptionist so they can’t talk to you because the whole point is like, I want the receptionist to talk to the patient, like put them at ease, and then they go into another room that’s not dental. It’s like with the TCO, the TCO, having like, sometimes patients get surprised if I ask them about like to get to know them and they’re like, What do you want to know about me? What what was this new thing? What do you want to know about me? And they’re surprised, but they obviously like it. And then I already scan every patient. But in the future, like I want to scan every patient and then kind of it’s getting quite popular in dentistry at the moment. But this kind of like get to know the patient, build trust with them first, scan them, give OPG or, you know, thorough radiographs and then give them all their options and let them choose what they want.

No shortcuts. Don’t cut do shortcuts for them because they they need to own their answer. Like, do you need to know, like, what happens if you don’t provide if you don’t do something properly or you know, everything? I don’t know how to explain it, but everything in dentistry is related to another thing. If you think, Oh, it’s just this one too. So I’m like, No, that one tooth is a problem because of the other tooth. And you know what I mean? Just a more comprehensive approach is what I’m trying to say. Yeah. So that’s basically and then what I’m thinking about for the patient experience. And so far so far, to be honest, I’m pretty happy with how my practice is going because every new patient is like, Oh my God, I really feel like I’m listened to and, you know, like it’s the most thorough check-up I’ve ever had. And I understand all my options. They may not go ahead straight away, which is not a problem, as long as they understand that somebody actually listened to them and have their best interests at heart.

How do we measure that? I was just about to ask a question. It probably in and around that. Right. But but the one question I’ve got around that is Dora, this patient who you’re talking about, who’s like, Wow, I haven’t had a check-up as thorough is this. And then you said, Oh, they just go ahead. Right? Are these existing patients of the practice that have now had a better experience and. Now saying, Do you know what? I didn’t know that you offered this, this and this. Less rock and roll. Or is it completely fresh blood?

Mainly new patients. Because the dentist I took over from, he he did like comprehensive dentistry and he kind of did most of them. There’s a few existing patients who who were kind of saying, I know what you you know, you said to the old owner that I know that I need this stuff, but I’m not ready. And now they are ready. Mm hmm.

But the conversation that you’re talking about is a new patient experience, what I refer to as. And maybe I shouldn’t call it fresh blood.


And it’s when. When someone completely new comes into your business that has never stepped into your business before, and they’re saying, Wow, what an amazing experience. And then they take treatment and patients question is, well, how do we go about measuring that, Right? No, no, no, no. I wasn’t saying that I was She was saying patients were really happy. Yeah, there was it was a new experience for them being listened to and all that. And my, my, my thought was, you know, we go around measuring KPIs, but that’s not the KPI is interested in. Yeah, the numbers one’s the KPI she’s interested in is this satisfaction, satisfaction or love? It’s above satisfaction and it’s exceeding the nearest thing that we’ve measured to that and stuck a number on it with no net promoter score. So Net promoter score, something like this, you know, patient comes in, has a consultation, patient comes in, has treatment, whatever it is. At the end of an experience, you send a two question questionnaire to that patient and the first question is on a score of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our service to your friends and family or whatever, based on the experience that you’ve just had on a score of 1 to 1010 being like, Absolutely, yes.

And one being not a chance sunshine on your bike. And so what Net Promoter Score does is it allows you to to to put an aggregated score for that. So a lot of the big companies, the Googles, the Amazons, or they they measure satisfaction, engagement, whatever you call it, by net promoter score. But the second question for me is more powerful, right? And the second question is why did you choose that number? So why did you choose seven? Why did you choose ten? Why did you choose three? For me, Net Promoter Score is less about actually getting a metric or a KPI on how well your patient satisfaction is. It’s a great tool for being able to deal with complaints before they happen and a great way of being able to share with your team the eight, nine and ten is that your patients have given you and the whys they they’ve given you eight, nine and ten. It’s almost like reviews, right? But they seem to give you a lot more in this little two question survey. So a lot easier to respond to an NPS than it is to log into Google, put your account details in, blah, blah, blah and all the rest of it.

So, so so how you would measure it? Nps for sure, but for me, I would rarely use NPS as that sort of measure of satisfaction or rely on it too much, but more actually, if someone’s giving me a three, why did they give me a three? Holy shit, right? What I need to do is jump on the phone and get this three sorted out and that may be that three may involve you converting another patient, right. Who for some reason scored you differently and it might have been something totally obscure. And then the ten share with your your your team and we’re talking about your monitor that you bought from Apple. And the one reason you bought it was the camera that follows you around. And then you probably bought this like £6,000 on it, how much you paid. There’s a cheaper one in it works. But, but either way they’re all very expensive monitors. Yeah. And the reason he bought it was because the camera moves as you move. That’s it. I mean, of course it’s an apple. All of those things. Yeah. And then he’s always talking about the cookie he gets at his Doubletree crappy hotel.

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Lovely, lovely biscuits. Right, But. But then I was telling him this. You know, sometimes we should. We should find Fedora. Like, what is the cookie that, you know, that’s really the key thing, isn’t it? These people who are overjoyed to see you and that never been talked to like this, what is what does it come down to? Because Net Promoter score idea how likely I am to tell someone else to come and what’s the reason that really is that right? I guess you could be like profit and just be scientific. Just ask, right?

I think. I think. What do you think? I’m. I find at the time, the time and the care, you know, like when you really care about someone’s answer and, you know, like someone is really, like, worried about that.

We can talk. We can talk to 100 dentists or 100 of them will say, I’ll give my patients time and I’ll give them care. But you know. But what do you mean by that? Because what do you.

Mean like that? They’re not just booked in for 10 minutes where you’re like, I’m running late. No, no, no, no, no. I have, like, my 2 minutes to talk to you.

Super private dentists. Yeah, all of them have the time, and all of them want to care, but. But each one is different. Like to you. What does care mean?

Like get to know the person. And I think I think also this scanner, since I’ve started scanning everyone, I don’t know how I was a dentist without scanning everyone.

Really? Yeah. I feel like I can.

Yeah. I love the scanner. Like, I love like, showing it to them and they are like, Oh my God, I’ve never seen anything like it. And it’s just I can really explain like what’s going on in their mouth and I can feel like they don’t have to just, you know, some voodoo I’m doing in there. And, you know, you have to, like, guess or take my word for it. I’m like, You build trust because you’re like, Look, I said, it’s here. You can see it even say to them, like in black and white, but actually it’s in colour. It’s there as clear clearly. So I’m not making stuff up.

Let me trust us. Huge in dentistry, isn’t it? It’s gigantic. That’s why I kind of like the idea of those digital x ray, you know, diagnosis tools. I the x ray diagnosis tools that are around that, you know, of course it helps as well, Right? You’re not going to miss any miss. Do you miss things less? But the main thing for me is you show the patient, the computer said you need a filling there and you need a filling there, you know, and, and and it’s a big thing. But I think the combination of you’re saying what I guess what you’re saying there is the combination of being a really sort of caring human plus the tech that that’s helping you both look high tech, but also to explain things to patients and give you trust that that’s what you’re enjoying right now. Did you not have scanner in your previous practice?

I did, but I didn’t have time to use it.

Oh, you were. You were scanning the ortho cases only.

Yeah, only like. Yeah, exactly.

It’s interesting. Just thought back to, first of all, the, the thing I was going to share at the beginning of this podcast, but also just thinking about, well, how do we summarise what, what, what door is saying here and wrap it up into what does it revolve around. Right. And the cooking. And it’s, it’s just, it’s just communication. It really is. It’s just communication. The level, the type, the detail, the nature, the voice, the tone, the care behind that communication, all of that sort of stuff. Right. And how do you measure that? Right. Well, Dorie, you’ve got your own measure of that because you set your own standards. You’ve already said coming from the practice I came from to open my own revolved around delivering better communication, giving patients more time and delivering them treatment options that they that I feel that they should be allowed to explore given the time that you’re giving them. Right. But how do you ensure that that communication or that level of depth, detail and quality is happening? Your team because before they get to see you. Yet there’s a gatekeeper in your practice, and that’s the person who’s answering the phone, either outbound and picking up the phone and speaking to potential patients, essentially selling to them or pitching to them or inbound. When a patient calls and is interested in booking in a check-up or consultation or whatever it is. Right. And that for me, that piece, that little piece of communication there, your person on the phone, whoever they are, yeah, it’s that communication that you need to keep your eye on, that you need to measure.

And it’s the one thing I’ll tell any practice owner either experienced, inexperienced, new squad, whatever. Monitor that. Measure it. Review it. Listen to it. Do it on a monthly basis and you will learn more about your business than than any coach could possibly teach you. Because you learn about your customers, because you learn, in their words, the type of questions that they ask. The communication that comes. And then you can arm your team with the answers. Every patient doesn’t have the standard. I can sit here and do you a session on the ultimate sales call or something like that. Right. But that is following a logical pattern of what a patient would say and what a receptionist would say in the to and fro. Right. But the reality doesn’t present itself like that. The reality is that we patients throw different questions, different tone of voice, receptionist having a bad day that day and her tone of voice is off or whatever, right? So my, my biggest tip to anyone is that take 5 to 10 phone calls inbound and outbound 5050 mix, pick them at random, download them, make sure you’ve obviously got a recording platform in place and then listen.

To them.

With the team. And share your feedback and allow them to share their feedback. And if you did that every single month, they end up coaching each of them. The first time you do that, they absolutely shits a brick and there’s every excuse under the sun. But what’s really important is the way you present this, right? And if you present it to the team, look guys, we’ve got this cool recording place. We’re listening to it because we want to improve. And the reason why you’re not at where I want you to be is mindful. And I’m going to change that now. And we’re going to listen to this together and I’m going to help you get better at doing what you do right. And really, really appreciate that. If you take it from the view of hell, what the hell were you thinking when you said this to a patient? You’ve just lost us X, Y, and Z, right? Takes a different different do that. Although, although I would say you say. You say what you just said. Yeah, but I would say that if Dora has a thing for her practice that’s built on. I don’t know. Let’s, let’s just say for the sake of the argument, respect for people. Yeah, you hear disrespect for people on that call that needs to be brought up and and and come down on to to set as a new owner, as a new owner provider, as a new owner to set the culture for what what what you’re saying as a as a as a new owner you do, if you do hear something like that, you do need to point it out.

Point it out. Yes. But it depends on what type of leader you are. Right. So come down on. Yeah, well it depends on what’s said doesn’t it. Depends what was said. Yeah it depends. It depends. I’ve heard it all, mate. All right. I think, I think we’ve listened to in excess of 10,000 calls over the last 13 years or whatever. Right. We’ve heard it all. But so yeah, I mean, maybe come down on it. It depends what was said. Right. But that is you want to try and get your team on your side through, of course, on this piece. And when you do they go from a from a point there’s a switch and it usually happens by about session four or five where they go from fearing that session and feeling anxious about it to actually looking forward to them and the fact that they know they’re being recorded. And you’re going to have a session soon, they’re on their A-game. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They are on their A-game. And the other thing is when it comes to the training sessions, they start thinking, I wonder if that amazing call I did on Wednesday, the 23rd of January is going to be in the training session because I smashed that call.

And, you know, and this is something I used to do for for my practices. I still do for a couple of the practices that I own. And my team are always saying to me that I did it. I hope that all I did on that day, I really want to listen to that because that was amazing. And what’s really important is when you get down to it is that you you say to those team members what went really well about the calls as well as what didn’t go so well. And it’s really important to point out that, oh, well, you answer the phone really clearly, really succinctly. You dealt with that objection really well. The way you talked about money was brilliant, Right? But at the beginning it sounded like you didn’t care. And this is what I got from it. Right? And so if, like what they call a shit sandwich is something like that, Right? Just just, just some good stuff on either side and the bad stuff in the middle. But really point out what what the good and the bad was in the call. I cannot recommend any other strategy beyond that. This is powerful as that for growing your business and learning about your patients. Excuse. Move. Should we move on? We should. Let’s go. Let’s. Let’s. Let’s now go to the way we normally start this podcast. So tell us about your upbringing. Where were you? Kuwait. Where else were you?

So. So I grew up in Hungary, and when I was 15, my parents took me to Kuwait against my will. And, you know, not ideal time to go to Kuwait, which is completely different culture and go to. But I couldn’t really speak good enough English like, you know, just land in English school where you have to learn everything in English and GCSEs, A-levels and, you know, it was just really hard. The first, like in the beginning, I didn’t understand anyone. I was just like, they always thought I was the quiet person and I’m like, the quiet person. I’m just stuck inside my body. So I say, Yeah, that was like my experience of, of being in Kuwait. And then as I was in a British school, I applied to England because they said, Oh, who wants to UCAS forms? I’m like, Yeah, me too. Me, whatever. And I was going to go back to Hungary, but when I got I got into university at Kuwait. I mean, in England, I was like, okay, well, I guess I’m going to England, but I wasn’t going to I never planned to stay here. It just happened.

How did you feel? How did you feel when you got to the UK from Kuwait? What was your sort of first feelings? Was that as you expected, it was better or worse? Was it?

Well, first of all, I did zoology first as well as a degree, But how I felt is again, it was another culture shock. I was like, Everybody is drinking so much, not wearing much clothes. I’m not used to it.

Because of.

Kuwait. Yeah. And what else was weird?

Where would you come? That was. Was it Bristol?

Bristol. Yeah. Bristol Uni. And it was quite hard, you know, just like I didn’t really know anyone and just be pushed into like you’re in a different country. I’ve never even been to the UK before. Actually came to say. Wow, Quite tough. I made a friend on a plane and she kind of supported each other. She was also Hungarian and she was doing a PhD in English. So kind of, you know, she was feeling the same way even though she was older.

So was that a three year degree?

Yeah, three year degree. The reason I don’t know I wanted to be is I wanted to be a vet originally, and I wanted to I didn’t get in. And then I thought after zoology, I can get into veterinary honest. I don’t know why I even. Anyway, I wanted to go into veterinary and then I found that if you already have a degree, you had to pay international fees. I was like, okay, well, I definitely can’t be doing that. But as I was finishing zoology, it was time like, you’re going to have a job. And I’m like, I have a job. I haven’t learned to do anything. And also, I always like horses. I always wanted horses. I’m like, I can’t see what job I can do with this that would let me have a horse. So I heard about this graduate entry program, and I did work experience as a dentist and I loved it. I just from the start, like I as I look at the work experience, I was like, please let me do it. I loved it. I loved everything about it.

So did you have to pay for an fees?


Well, how come? How come you did? How come you did for a vet, but not for dentistry?

Well, because I don’t know. It was just like that at the time for veterinary. Even British people had to, if they already had a degree. But I think they changed that since. So yeah, that was the difference. And also because I got into graduate program, it was a brand new university Peninsula. I was like the first ever cohort. So I’m like, I’m not shy to start things that are new.

And I heard you found as you found your feet, that you found your feet in Britain a bit more by that time, surely, right?

Yeah. In fact, I really wanted to stay in Bristol for Bristol, but I really liked Peninsula’s course. Yeah, but as I didn’t get into Bristol, I actually had to go to Peninsular India. And anyway, so yeah, I really felt like I wanted to stay here and yeah, I really liked it.

So what were you like as a dental student?

I kind of separate, I guess we.

Were you Miss Kuwaiti or were you Miss Liberal British? Pretty like what had you had you brought the culture from there or had you adapted to the culture or were you conflicted in.

Probably conflicted. To be honest, I was probably just pretty quiet to start with because I was just shocked. But then pretty quickly by the second year, I was like, Yeah, I’m I’m European, I know how to do this. You know? I was like, I could pretty quickly got into how to be British student.

And so what was what was the university like for you both, both studying? Were you quite studious and diligent where you do have an active social life? What was, if you could summarise, door at university? What was that experience like?

So in my first degree, I was involved in scuba diving club. Mm hmm. And I was like, social secretary and vice president and that sort of thing. And that was my. I’m kind of not none of them. Like, I wasn’t too studious and I wasn’t to partying either. Like, I went. I went out. But yeah, balanced, I guess. And the only problem with me still is the problem. I’m quite last minute.

Last minute.

Yeah, Like studying this stuff.

Yeah, me too. So then what was your first job like? Did you.

So. Yeah, I did the two year bit in combo because best friend I made at Peninsula was going to combo. So I was like, Well, I guess you’re going that way. I’m going to go that way. And also we had a peninsula. We did some. We were at Truro for a while and I really liked it. So I was at trial and I worked at the hospital afterwards for Royal Cornwall Hospital for a year.

So then so then you’ve lost the university bit. You’re out in the big wide world. Did you feel that loneliness that many feel at that moment? You’re like, Is this it? You’re in that room and you haven’t got the sort of university life? Or did you really take to it?

I didn’t feel that straightaway because, you know, like there’s 12 people in one group and in Cornwall it was pretty much all my uni mates for the first year. It was like extension of university. I’m like, Oh, this is great. All my friends are here. We can go to the beach. Oh, cool. And as they were like slowly leaving Cornwall, that’s when I was a bit like, Oh, wait a minute, everybody’s left. I’m almost the last one standing. And that’s when I kind of started feeling like a bit lost. And that’s when I moved to Wiltshire.

Wiltshire? That’s where. That’s where you are now, right?

Yeah, that’s.

Right. So, you know someone who grew up in Budapest, was it.


And then Kuwait. Did you not feel like being closer to like the big towns, big cities, or is the life of life with horses sort of override all of that?

I actually really loved the countryside, the country living in the UK. That’s like the main thing. In fact, especially after Kuwait, like everything was brown. As soon as I come here, I was like, Oh my God, it’s all green. Everywhere is green. And I can go out. Like, especially as I had a horse, I knew I can’t be in like a big city. Truro. It was pretty ideal actually, because it was a city and there was stuff going on, but I could easily go and see my horse, which was not that far.

So you actually don’t just ride. You don’t just ride sort of leisurely. You just sort of compete.

With, Oh, well, I did, but I did. My horse is got arthritis and isn’t right at the moment so I’m currently not competing her but low level competing. Yeah.


And that kind of gave me like an extra purpose I guess. I’ve had my same horses like for eight, eight or nine years. She’s like my friend.

I mean, when I, when I spoke to you, I got the feeling horses were like your absolute sort of passion. Yeah. Did you have a horse when you were a kid as well, or was was UK the first time you had a horse? Kuwait. They’re into horses too.

I’ve been riding in Kuwait and I started when I was eight years old, but because my parents were doctors, they were like saying, well, you know, we understand you want a horse, but we don’t want a horse. So I guess you’re not going to have one because we don’t want one. But they said as soon as you have your own job and you can afford a horse, you can have your own horse. So that was kind of like as soon as I finished university, I went into like a horse sharing the first year. And then and then I had a horse after that. So I’m really into horses and I had to at some point. But that was too much.

Was it involved? Wasn’t like, I mean, the logistics, if I want to buy a horse, would I have to do.

I don’t I wouldn’t I wouldn’t straight away buy a horse. I was learn to like, know them a little bit and listen. Right.

What’s involved in owning one? You have to have a you have to rent a stable. What do you have.

When you’re a busy dentist like me? You obviously pay for full livery, which means that the horse is looked after and taken out to the field and all that stuff. But if you like want to do competing, you still have to have a training plan, you know, like the horse has to do, like packing this day, the next day like training, and you take them galloping and you go and do this competition and you know, it’s a lot of thought around it. It’s a bit like if you if you like, train yourself for competition or for marathon, you have to go out week after week and several times.

And do you do that or do you have somebody does part of that prep for you when you come and do the fine tuning or how does that work?

I tried getting someone else to do it for me, but the problem is, if you are going to compete a horse, you have to kind of not become one with the horse. But, you know, they’re kind of, yeah, born with the horse. Like if someone it can’t be done by someone else. Even though like looking after the horse it can, but nothing is replacing you in this. And also, to be honest, I find it quite a good like going riding and focusing on competing or even just going riding. It’s like I’m in the countryside, my mind is clear, I’m enjoying being here and I just feel like I really need I need it. When my horse was off for a while, I just felt like my health was going downhill, my mental health was going downhill. I just I don’t know. I just need.

It. It’s so interesting, isn’t it? Because Dora gets that from her horse. You get that from the gym or whatever. I was just you. What? You just took the words right out of my mouth, right? Is that this whole. We all have our thing right? And for me, definitely, I have a love hate relationship with the gym. Yeah, but. But when I’ve got that love relationship with the gym, I’m in my. I’m in my happiest place. Mentally, physically, work wise, everything right? And when I’m out of love with the gym, mentally, physically, everything. I mean, I’m in my darkest place right now. I’ve got friends who who have horses, who have described a similar sort of relationship with their horses. And, you know, and some of them are more involved with, you know, you have to excuse me. Right. But but the but the jumping thing, the showjumping is is that what it’s called?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So jumping this one.

Is that what you do or is it, is it.

I kind of did everything I do fun rides, which is like going on these organised rides and there’s just jumps you can jump. Then there’s eventing is like the ultimate where you have dressage. So jumping cross-country.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So I started. Yeah, sorry.

Go on, carry on. Sorry to go on.

So you started going to say like I started with dressage to start with, but actually dressage is quite I know this is not a horse show, but it’s quite self when you get to know yourself, you know, because you want to get better, but you can’t because your body is not listening to you and you can’t tell the horse. You know what I mean? You get frustrated with yourself. It’s a real self-discovery.

Okay, okay. But but yeah, irrespective of which type of horse thing that my friends have done, the one thing is that they describe as that relationship and that bond. And a lot of them say to me that they wake up early in the morning before they go to work and do the they describe it as the mucking out. Yeah, I don’t do that. But but yeah.

I did at some point. But yeah but it’s.

That whole I think is whatever you’re doing right, it’s that ritual of going, waking up doing that thing, having that time with the horse, you know, doing whatever it is you’re building routine in your life, right. That gives you some kind of mental stability. And it’s the same with me in the gym and training and stuff, right? Just similar to that. It’s really interesting. Where are you at in your horse world right now with practice ownership?

And to be honest, I bought a practice now for a reason because I had two horses last year. Yeah, and that was too much. And then I decided that I’m going to sell the one that was taking the mickey out of me and. And just focus on the horse that I’ve had for a while. And I really have a good bond. And now I’m going to focus on practice instead. And that’s why I’m not competing at the moment.

Do you get patients? Do you get patients from the horsy world as well?

To be honest, no. But in wheelchair, like if I have a picture of my horse or start talking about that like any nurse like who works with me, they’re like any patients, like coming in. They were like, writing. Like, Dora is running late because she’s talking about the horse. What we’re talking about is the horse holding or like horses in general. Like, every patient knew that, like, Oh, how is your horse? And I used to do this like everybody in Wiltshire, like, had something to do with horses. Well, not everybody, but it’s quite common.

Yeah. So it’s helped.

In that sense. Yeah.

Yeah. So now. Now practice ownership. I want to know about the moment before you decided to buy this practice. Yeah. I want to hear the sort of the fears. I want to hear the process of getting the money. Did you save up? For how long did you save up? Did you know how much you had to save? To buy what? These sort of questions.

So it was only a year ago, actually, that I decided to buy this. Well, no, I know. Not true, because I’ve been looking at like, what was an offer like for last couple of years, but there was always a breeze around.

And you decided you were not going to move for the practice. The practice had to be near you. Yeah, that. That was decided because I.

Yeah, well, because I like this area. I like. I like the area. I like the people here. Yeah. I loved. Yeah. I didn’t want to move for so I had to, I was kind of waiting around to see if the right practice came. But also it kind of coincided with, like, too much pressure being put on onto me, and I just was working too much. Okay, this sounds a bit bad. I didn’t buy a practice so that I work less because it’s actually not what happened. That’s what’s happening. But it’s different sort of work that’s.

Been control of the work here. But go on. Were you aware of how much practices cost? Were you aware of how to look at books, profit and loss when you like? Did you understand the profit and loss statement? Did you know what percentage of the cost of the practice you needed before you got a loan? All of this stuff?

Well, basically, like all these dental companies, when you like, inquire, they will get you in contact. Yeah, they get you in contact with the finance person who will tell you who will look at your health or your savings and what outgoings have you got and see if you can afford a practice. That’s kind of all I’ve had.

So you you say you kind of knew the value. You weren’t going to buy a seven surgery practice. You kind of knew the value of practice that that you wanted to buy. Yeah. And then and then just before doing it, Just before doing it outside of, okay, should I buy this practice or that practice? Did you have fear?

Oh, yeah, all the time. Like, all I knew is I didn’t want to do NHS, which meant that I didn’t want to buy in any practice, which kind of cut down practices quite a lot. I only had to be close enough so that can’t cut it down even more. And then I even thought about doing a squat completely, But I didn’t. But I did kind of look into that, and I didn’t have enough money for that because they don’t loan you as much money. If you can’t prove that you’ve either been a practice owner or or that’s what I found anyway. Or, you know, you had to show, like, somehow you’re going to make it work, if you know what I mean.

So, Dora, I’ve been looking at your cases, and they’re nice. I like your hand, if you like. I like. I like what you do to smiles. But most of it looks like Invisalign based sort of line bleach type work is that if I was to characterise your practice or your ideal practice, would it be mostly AB and then some Botox? Is that is that how you would see it? As if you could fill up, fill up the day with that? Would that make you very happy?

Yeah, mostly around Bridge Bond and I recently started a digital smile design as well. Pretty much a month ago, which is what I’m starting to focus as much as on as possible and going to the course to Madrid. I feel like it’s really transformed my way of looking at dentistry and teeth and my stupid question Do guys know what DSD really involves? Because I have heard you talk about it before, but most people think it’s just lines and stuff, but it’s so much more.

Lines and curves right.


I would say to you, what stresses you.

Is basically showing the patient the ideal treatment plan of how their smile would look best or function best, because whatever looks that functions best. A lot of people think DSD is actually like aesthetic, but well, there is a aesthetic element in there. But DSD is mainly about function. It’s a it’s a full mass rehab digitally, so that whatever you show to the patient and they kind of have a trial experience as well, which I really enjoy your 3D print their outcome. So you’re 3D print like how they’re going to look like after Invisalign and bonding so that they know like what they’re going to look like themselves. So you video them before and you video them with their mock up and it’s called like emotional dentistry. So Christian Coachman calls it, and then you tell them how you’re going to get them there. And the DSD lab or DSD planning centre kind of follows you, kind of helps you get there as well. So they have specialists, orthodontists and all sorts of specialists, really periodontist, and they will tell you all the things you need to do to get the patient there. So you kind of get as much out of DSD as you want. You can ask not to get their opinion, but it’s extra. Basically.

That’s what practically when, when, when when you say I’m doing more DSD, does that mean you’re doing more sort of indirect work? Or what does that not mean?

Well, I mean, obviously, as having started my practice a few months ago and still just sold the cases. But it’s basically, as you are right, it is more Alan Bond, but it’s more the fact that the patient can really see where the end point is. I always tell them like it’s a bit like if I build a house, I don’t just start putting bricks down and see what happens. You want to know exactly how you’re going to look like. You want to know what the end product is, because most of the time the end product is only in our head.

So do you feel like there’s an element of diagnosis in it as well as communication?

It often is actually diagnosis, so it kind of like I find it really helpful doing Dswd because sometimes like the way I would set up an Invisalign case, they they kind of already say they kind of give me different ideas and be like, Oh yeah, I never thought about doing that. You know, like you always show the patient the ideal and if they want to compromise, they’re happy to compromise. But what I’m learning at the moment with this DSD as well, but they keep on reminding me, like Dora, remember, this is what they show the patient the ideal, if they don’t want the ideal will replan the case for you, but just show them the ideal so that they have their option.

So was it a one weekend course? What did you do?

Well, it was three. Was it three days or four days in Madrid? Residency one. It’s called With Christian Coachman. He does it kind of all around the world. But Madrid is where the planning centre is, and he talks about why dentistry is where it is, if that makes sense. It’s a lot more than just it’s not it’s not technical course. It’s more about how to think about the patient, how to elevate the patient experience, and how like when we buy stuff like I talked about, buying the practice is when it’s a big deal. It’s an emotional decision. That’s how people buy things and that’s how then you have to kind of make the whole buying experience more emotional. And he talks about how a lot of there’s a lot of like aesthetic dentistry that actually isn’t improving function. And any dentistry that you do, you should kind of think about how function has to be better, not just how it looks and things like that.

Sounds like it really changed you.

Yeah. Yeah. I really want to build my practice on this concept because I feel like, I don’t know, I just feel like everything Christian Coachman says. Like, it just makes so much sense to me.

When he says it in such a lovely way. Doesn’t he say it’s easy? You could say whatever. You’d be into it, right? Because. But. But, but, but, but, but. But he’s been. He’s been doing it a long time, and he’s the pioneer. So you’re not. You’re not, by the way, you’re not the only one who has been sold on the idea. Although when I speak to I don’t know if you heard my talk with Sandra, who’s Garcia, who’s a dswd person, or who else was I talking to her about it? Neil Gerard, Neil Gerard. And both of them both of them were saying it was it was a communication tool, not it didn’t particularly. Now maybe they’re very experienced and we’re all at different stages in our dentistry, right? But I remember Neil being very pretty sure that it didn’t, it didn’t help him in his diagnosis. It was just it would have helped him in talking to the patient, but it wasn’t helping him as a dentist. But that’s not your expertise actually helping you as a dentist.

Well, sometimes they come up with things that I didn’t think about and I’m not. I feel like because I’m on my own in the practice, I feel like it’s a it’s like an extra, extra thing like that. Another specialist looked at my case and how it helped me looking at it differently. But it is a communication tool largely. But I think what is what is a big deal about it as well is when you sell like patient to mock up is the fact that you can import the DSD mock up into Invisalign because they’ve got a partnership. So you can actually then move the teeth to the position you sold the patient to. So it’s not like, you know, either. Yeah, that is the actual biggest thing about it because you can otherwise patient can try on the teeth, but how are you going to move the position to that position exactly. If you can’t import it into Invisalign.

Now now I get it. Now I get there’s a big difference. That’s a big difference.

Exactly. Because before this method, I sometimes have done like some format cases and then and the patient said, well, it’s not exactly like the mock up. And I’m like, Yeah, you’re right. It’s not exactly like. Why isn’t it? And now that there’s a better way, as I said, this Invisalign collaboration with DSD is, I think, the big thing that sold it to me.

Stork patient journey. Why did you manage to do anything new that you you can definitely do going forwards? For me, for me, it would be like calling my patients after a day of dentistry. I find that really nice. Lovely for me. And then very quickly, I outsourced it to my nurse to call three, four patients every day. Have you done that?

No, I haven’t done that.

It’s a stunner and it’s an easy one to do. And me and Prav went on a course once, wasn’t it? And the guy was calling his patients before they were coming in and saying, hey, this is doctor. Whatever. Just just want to just want to say. And it wasn’t even a dentistry course. It was it was a marketing course. There was he was still calling his patients. Yeah, he was calling patients before they’d even come in to new patients and saying, this is doctor, whatever, but just want to see if there’s anything you needed before you come. Anything in particular you want me to do or want to be aware of before you come in? It’s massive. It’s massive.

I mean, I get my DCO to call them, but it sounds like this sounds better.

Listen, there’s a guy in. You know, the name escapes me completely, right? But there’s a. Do you know what I. You know what I think it is? It’s that guy, you know? It’s the same name. I’m bringing up the same trick. You say talk triggers. Yea. Yea. Yea. Yea. Yea. Forget it. Let’s move on. What’s your what’s your what’s your ideal In five years time? And then in ten years time, what would be your future plans in dentistry?

Um, so one thing that I want my practice to do more is, as I said, to change a patient journey, as Christian Coachman said, so the patient doesn’t go straight into surgery, but you kind of do the first appointment in a non dental environment.


And then I want to empower more nurses and more of the support staff to be more involved. The therapist like I want to get like a therapist to take things off me that are more routine so that I can do more things that I want to do and I want to get my practice to be known more for comprehensive dentistry, although I don’t think people really know what that means. No. And but more like, well, we’re going to look more holistically.

But do you think do you think you’ll always keep it as this very small sort of boutique setup? You therapists like that, or do you think you’re going to bring on associates grow?

Oh, I definitely need I definitely need to bring in an associate, which is a challenge.

But each of these is a nightmare, right? Growing three associates is a whole other management nightmare. You know.

Sometimes I.

Say no.

Yes, no, I need to get one associate. But what’s going to be really difficult is getting someone who who’s really bought into the practice ethos, which is why I don’t want to take on an associate at the moment because I need to build with a threat to is first. And once I kind of got the winning formula, then it’s time to replicate it. That’s kind of my idea.

Are you thinking Replicate as well? Are you thinking more than this one practice?

Possibly. If it works, Yeah. Yeah. Probably more than one practice. I don’t want, like, too big a practice. I’d rather have more than one small that has the same ethos. That’s what I’m thinking at the moment. But it’s early days.

I mean, you’ve got to examine why that is, right? Why are you thinking more than one practice? You have to think about that. Why? Because if if it’s a if it’s a case of access to the brand, that the guy lives in Chippenham and lives in Bristol can’t both get access to that brand, then. Okay, But the brand has to work in both locations without you there. And as far as running a business right, one big centre is way easier than for small ones. Like way easier. So be careful of that idea. See.

It was access to the brand. That was my idea. It’s quite difficult to scale businesses, especially if the principle isn’t there. I guess the principle would have to be there. You see.

Sometimes I see this all the time and I often have excited, excited phone calls from clients of mine who’ve got, say, practice number one. And it’s almost like they’re about to announce that they want to marry me because they say, Prav, I’ve got some really exciting news for you. And then there’s a bit of silence, and then they say, We’ve just found a practice and we’re going to buy it. And and I’m usually the the guy who talks them out of doing it. I’ve talked more people out about setting up practice number two than I have given my blessing to say go ahead and do it right. And the question that pace is really important, why it’s really important, why you’re doing this right. And then we get involved in the conversation. And the why sometimes often revolves around not necessarily access to brand, but money building business and building the value of the practice to whatever the end goal is going to be. Right. So then we talk about all the different areas they have not explored with practice, number one. And I can see that with a client of mine who’s done incredibly well. We look to first of all, you’ve got a dental chair that’s open from 9 to 5, right? What’s happening? What’s happening with that chair between five and nine and what’s happening with that chair on weekends? Could that be optimised? What’s happening with everyone’s hourly rate or the type of treatment or whatever, depending on what your goal is? Right? You have the same the same doesn’t apply to everyone.

So it depends on what their why is. But let’s say it’s the money thing. But what this client did is they changed their pattern of operating to shift work. So eight till to two to late. So they’re open from 8 to 8 every day now and that’s how they manage to stick another X number of 100,000 on their turnover without practice. Number two and 8 to 9 months later, we’re now having the same conversation, you know, hey, private practice number two, And I’m like, with my blessing, my friend, let’s go for it, because now we know we’ve hit maximum potential. But the other thing is, I know a lot of practice owners, I know a lot of multiple practice owners and practice owners have gone from 1 to 2 to 3 to 2 to multiple. And the one thing that’s really clear is practice two does not mean to X and practice three does not mean three X immediately. And just because you’ve had roaring success at practice, number one, it’s a lot harder to replicate that. And a lot of what you’re doing, whether you’re delivering the dentistry in doing it or not, it’s your presence that drives that growth is your presence is your leadership, it’s your direction, it’s that that drives the growth more often than not. And that’s something that’s really important to consider when you’re thinking about location number two.

Yeah, So, yeah, I have. Thought about this shift work situation. And you’re right, that’s probably the first step. But because the building is smaller, I have thought about the fact, like at some point I will hit capacity and that’s the time when I need to make a decision whether I’m going to move it somewhere else or or have another location or just be like, No, this is it. I don’t know. I don’t know this to anything.

Of course. Okay. Well, it’s been it’s been a fascinating chat in between the technical troubles with this, but we finish it on the same questions. Every time. Sidora. Imagine it’s your your last day on the planet. And you are surrounded by your loved ones and those that mean the most to you. And you had to leave them with three pieces of wisdom. What would they be?

Find your passion and follow it. Believe in yourself because you can do anything. I believe in that. You need to believe in yourself and you can achieve great things and then always be genuine and treat people like you’d like to be treated.

Brilliant. Brilliant.

Okay. And we also have the dinner didn’t dinner party. Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, of course, of course. See, now she knows they match, you know, Fancy dinner party. Sweet. Yes. Apart from apart from problem payment, who else would be there?

Elon Musk would be one of my number one. I’m a huge fan of Elon Musk and everything he does for us. I think he’s like, super human and I’d love to meet him. How he achieved what he achieved. And I guess number two is David Attenborough. Because again, same thing like what he’s he’s seen and and at his age he still wants to help us save the planet.

You can he must be the most loved person. Genuine person.

I know. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I want I wanted to be David like. Like David Attenborough since I was a child. That’s why I did this degree.

I Yeah.

But then the third one, although it’s Christian encroachment.

Christian, Christian, Christian could be the answer to my, my third question, which I’ve got a new question. Go on. Your dream guest on this show. You can have him as Christian coachman as that as that if you want, unless you have a different guest.

Oh, me?


Oh, yeah. Christian quarter.

Okay. So that’s going to be your third. Who’s going to be your third dinner party guest? We’ve got we’ve got Ellen and David Attenborough hanging out together.

Mm hmm. Someone like Leonardo da Vinci or someone who’s, like an inventor who sees a world differently by. I love people like that.

Excellent. Excellent. It’s been a real pleasure. It’s been a real pleasure. Thank you, Dora. Thanks. Thanks for doing it.

Thank you for inviting me.

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.

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