Dental business coach Chris Barrow’s direct manner has earned him comparisons to a certain divisive fermented yeast spread.

In this week’s episode, Chris looks back candidly on a long career as one of dentistry’s proto-coaches and best-recognised speakers, reflecting on the profound personal transformation taking place as he approaches his seventh decade.

Chris also chats about dealing with practice politics and resistance to change and what coaches can learn from the stories of religious prophets. 

Plus, stay tuned to hear Chris give the most concise rapid-fire summary of the current state of play in UK dentistry you’ll ever hear!



In This Episode

02.21 – Marmite

19.25 – Self-actualisation

26.48 – Darkest moments

38.31 – Discovering dentistry

50.24 – Practice politics

01.03.34 – Getting results

01.14.13 – Key skills

01.24.23 – Blackbox thinking

01.28.56 – Coaching and karma

01.33.27 – Two Reds

01.40.15 – Public speaking

01.42.26 – State of the Nation address

01.50.02 – Health, wellness and longevity

01.55.30 – Last days and legacy

01.56.46 – Fantasy dinner party


About Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow is a prolific speaker and the founder and director of the Extreme Business Academy coaching and consultancy programme. 

Over a career spanning almost three decades, he has worked with some of the UK’s leading dental practices and organisations 

Chris is also the host of the dental business development podcast, Two Reds are Better Than One.

Over a 70 year lifespan. There have been innumerable mountain moments where I’ve just been so glad to be me, glad to be alive, glad to be in the world, so grateful. And just like everybody else. You know, a lot of those moments are around family and children and grandchildren and relationships. Some of those moments are about having the opportunity to visit some amazing places in the world. Some of those moments are about meeting some amazing people in the world. And then you look at the valleys and you say, Well, actually it’s the same thing. It’s places that you went to that were shitholes, but it’s places that you’ve been to and it’s people that you’ve met and it’s situations that you’ve found yourself in that have left you feeling very dark or isolated or let down.

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

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Chris Barrow onto the podcast. Chris could be probably the first business coach in dentistry in the UK. Definitely the first one I ever came across. One of the guys who I remember as a young dentist thinking, God, is this. Is this what dentistry is all about? You know, badly run practices that didn’t look great and poor customer service. And I remember the first time I saw Chris lecture, it almost was like a glimmer of hope. There was. There was. There was. There were new words mentioned, words that we now take for granted. Things like patient journey, things like ethical selling, words that loads and loads of people use now without even thinking about them. But Chris was definitely the the first one to bring a lot of those words to the vernacular, the sort of the the day to day of dentistry. And I don’t think enough young, young dentists know that Chris has spent most of his career helping dentists in one shape or another. And we’ll get to all the different things that you’ve done. Chris. Massive pleasure to have you.

Thank you. Thank you for asking me. I really appreciate it.

Chris. Normally we start with where were you born and how did you grow up and all that. But sometimes the question I want to ask actually gets lost before we get to it. And I’ve got this new way of now go straight to the question I want to ask and then and then we’ll get to the rest as well. So you used to call yourself Marmite. I remember. And I remember even at the time thinking, you know, why, why, why, why is why is he describing himself as Marmite? But at the time, marketing was sort of a dirty word in dentistry. So there was a group of people who, you know, as soon as the word marketing or sales or anything like that was mentioned would immediately be turned off. Would you say that’s changed now for you or are you more peanut butter now?

No. Do you know what?

I didn’t start calling myself Mr. Marmite. It was somebody else out there in dentistry that coined that phrase, first of all. And and I don’t know whether my memory is playing tricks with me, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion it might have been Nigel Jones at practice plan who may have been the first person to actually use that terminology. And we’re going back about 20 years now. And the interesting thing about that was, was that the very, very first time I heard that expression used about me, I actually took it as a form of flattery. And and I adopted it straight away because what I was trying to find out was a way that I could actually make sure that the clients that I was working with were the clients that I would enjoy working with and also the clients that would get the best benefit from the type of work that I do, but also the style with which I do it. And so having this Marmite tag was actually fantastic. It was a great way of triaging people. Um, because this accolade badge, call it what you will, has got everything to do with the fact that I’m a bit like Jim Carrey in the movie Liar, Liar. Which is that I just can’t help myself.

But telling what I perceive to be the truth about a situation that presents itself to me, or for that matter, tell him what I perceive to be the truth about the way that people perform and behave. And I would like to think that that hasn’t changed, that I’m still very, very, you might say, transparent and honest in the feedback that I give. I think that the only thing that has changed is that I look at recordings of myself 20 years ago and cringe with embarrassment because I was an arrogant, egotistical prick. 20 years ago. And nowadays I would like to think that I have mellowed. And I don’t believe that I’m as arrogant as I used to do, although I may have disproved that in the last 60s. Um, I’d like to think that I’m not as arrogant as I used to be. I certainly like to think that I’m not as egotistical as I used to be, and I would hope to say that I’m not as much of a prick as I used to be all those years ago. And I would like to apologise to everybody that knew me 20 years ago and and also say a huge thank you for having tolerated that guy.

Chris, can you just add some colour to that, please? So why do so? It’s very easy to say, well that was a bit of a knob back in the day. I can definitely hold my hands up to that. Um, and I’d be happy to talk about that, but. But what is it? You look back at yourself, you look back at your former self 20 years ago. Maybe there’s videos of you speaking or interactions that you had. What is it? Why do you look back at yourself and say, I was a bit of an arrogant prick back then? How did the ego manifest itself externally that makes you make that statement today?

Well, I suppose that I might be talking here about a journey that many, many human beings go on. And, you know, we go through various stages of life and one of the stages of life that we go through, I think, is that we become very committed to material gain. When you build a young family in a capitalist environment, then there’s a whole thing going on there about keeping up with the Joneses. I’ve always lived or I’ve spent most of my life living in the postcode where they film the real Cheshire housewives. And anybody who knows that part of the world kind of southeast Manchester, Northeast Cheshire will know that it’s a very, very materialistic postcode. And I’m a working class lad who was raised by relatively simple parents in a very simple postcode, and I managed to escape from the council estate that we lived on and managed to carve out a bit of a life for myself. So I suppose I’ve always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about growing up as a working class Manchester lad, and funny enough, somebody asked me a question the other day. I was down at the Dentistry show the other day and I was having a cup of coffee with somebody who said, What’s the what’s the driver? What is it that has kept you going and keeps you going all of these years? And I told a little bit of a story, which is unfortunately a long time ago now, which is when I took my GCSEs and before that, when I took my what used to be called the 11 plus exam.

Do you remember that from the 1960s? Yeah. And when you took your 11 plus, they decided whether you were going to go into a grammar school stream or whether you were going to go into a secondary school stream that was the one below the grammar school stream. I can’t remember what they used to call it in the 60s. And this is before comprehensive education was launched by the Harold Wilson Labour Government. So as a ten year old, I took my 11 plus exam and what I didn’t know at the time and, and my parents subsequently discovered later was that the grades I got as an 11 plus candidate were high enough for of me to have got a scholarship at Manchester Grammar School. And anybody in the north west of England knows that Manchester Grammar School is the premier grammar school in the north west of England. So I got the grades and my teacher didn’t put me through and my parents found out about this and I’ve got vague memories of being dragged along to a meeting by an irate father who sat down in front of my teacher and said, Why didn’t you put through my son for Manchester Grammar? And the teacher basically saying, I didn’t think that you were the right class of family to be going to Manchester Grammar because of where you lived and where you came from.

Now, probably not in so many words, but that was the message. And my dad was Apapa hectic with rage at the fact that this had happened and gave that teacher, who has long since drifted into the mists of time, a piece of his mind. And I have to say that I was very, very fortunate to be able to get a scholarship to go to Burnage Grammar School. Now, Prav all know that. But nobody else outside of Manchester, well, it doesn’t even exist anymore. But I got I got a scholarship to go to Burnage Grammar School, which was kind of second division grammar in the day. And thankfully I have to say credit where it’s due to those teachers who gave me a bloody good grammar school education, which kind of got me out of the stereotypical postcode that I’d been posted into. And it might well be that the whole of the rest of my life has been driven inadvertently by that teacher who didn’t put me forward to Manchester Grammar. And I’m still trying to. When to get it back. But also and I’m going to go off on a tangent here. I also know that my father spent the whole of his life feeling that he’d never escape from that trap. And I know that my father, who sadly passed away in 1998, but my father lived his life vicariously through my achievements as a teenager. He lived his life vicariously through my exam results as a 20 year old or as somebody in my 20s.

He was living his life vicariously through the fun that I was getting up to. And in my 30s he was living his life vicariously through me, getting married and starting to raise a family. And so a lot of what I was doing was trying to achieve material success. So that could prove to that teacher that I was better than he thought, but also so that I could prove to my dad that his faith in me, bearing in mind I was an only child, that his faith in me was justified and that I could actually achieve the things that he wasn’t able to achieve in his own life. So let’s get back to the arrogant prick. As a child of the 50s a baby boomer, as a teenager of the 60s, as a young man of the of the 70s and as a young family man of the 80s, I was all about the house. I was all about the car. I was all about the suit. I was all about living in Hale. I was all about putting my kids into Hale schools. I was all about having a Cheshire housewife and I was all about doing all the things, all the badges of materialism and capitalism of the 80s and the 90s that were the way of proving yourself to the world that you’ve made it. And that was the arrogant prick.

So, Chris, just really interesting. I’d like to pick up on on what you said about your dad actually buy.

Can I just say very quickly one thing, by the way. Go for it. Had it existed, I probably would have had an amazing Instagram account.

Brilliant. Chris. So you mentioned earlier on sort of your relationship with your father and him sort of living his life through your achievements or at least sort of being, shall we say, proud. And you mentioned that you wanted to prove to him that I guess he was he was right in his, um, you know, in what he was saying. Maybe he was telling his mates or, you know, my son Chris has done this, that and the other and whatnot. Was it to prove to him or was it more of a you wanted to make him proud, You wanted to do dad proud and that was driving you. And just the second part of that question, Chris, was there ever an overarching message from your dad that, look, I want you to do what I couldn’t do. I want you to whether it’s educated or anything, nothing like that.

There No.

My father never said anything.

Remotely like that to me, ever. And I think it’s important, perhaps, to make the point that there was never a moment where I ever felt that my father was putting any demands or pressure on me to achieve vicariously for him. That wasn’t the conversation. I was doing this all off my absolute own back. And you know what? It’s not as if I woke up every morning thinking, Oh my God, what can I do today to make my dad, you know, these these were thoughts that occasionally popped into your mind when you suddenly thought, Why am I doing this? You know? But there weren’t thoughts that were there all day, every day, all day, every day. You were just getting on. And, you know, as a child of those decades, you’ve got to put this in context. You know, I’m a baby boomer, but born between 1947 and 1957, and that’s the biggest explosion in the birth rate that’s ever been seen in the modern world. And US baby boomers have had a disproportionate effect on every decade that we’ve lived through. So in the 60s, we created a youth culture movement. We created rock music, we created the Beatles and the Stones, and we created the Beach Boys. We created Flower Power because there were more of us in the 70s. We created house price inflation because we were told that we could go out and buy a house for the first time. You know, as a working class lad, I bought my first house in 1975. It was almost incredible that somebody from my background could do that, but so was everybody else.

In the 80s, Margaret Thatcher told us that we could go out and spend money on credit cards and pay it back later. And so Thatcher was one of the principal driving forces between the rise of consumer, behind the rise of consumerism in the 80s and and behind the rise of consumer debt in the 80s, and then in the 90s realising that the materialism on which we’d built our lives wasn’t actually making us happy. We started looking for alternative ways of becoming happy. And in the 90s, US baby boomers, some of us started dropping materialism and looking for other ways to self-actualize. Abraham Maslow and others of us just decided that because we weren’t happy with our materialism, we were going to become alcoholics or we were going to become sex addicts, or we were going to drive even bigger cars even faster and so on and so forth. And a lot of baby boomers, a lot of people like me, burned ourselves out in the 90s. And when we entered the early 2000, we really realised that actually our lives, our materialistic lives were very, very shallow and that we had to start a search. And, and we, we started searching for the real meaning of life. And when I look back at the first decade of this century, it was a period where I was building my Dental business. It was going from strength to strength, but I was kind of weaning myself off materialism and I was starting to look for different qualities in my life, raising a family, taking on exercise, taking on activities outside of work, and looking for a more holistic existence.

And, you know, I’m looking from the perspective of being 70 years old in a few months time and I’m now looking back over those decades. And and I do look back with a with a cringing embarrassment at the of the versions of Chris Barrow that have turned up in those previous decades. But it’s been a journey and it’s been a journey of understanding where as life has gone on. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my work hugely. And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making a good living at the work that I do. But what I’m doing now is I’ve found a lot more meaning in the last 10 or 15 years than I ever did before. And I actually, with the benefit of hindsight, I actually grew up when I was about 60. Mm. And it was, and it was Chris Barrow aged 60 onwards. That was there’s a wonderful poem that’s written by a Canadian lady called Ariah Mountain Dreamer, and she’s written a poem in a book called The Invitation, which is one of my favourites. And I’m going to paraphrase Spoiler alert, I’m going to paraphrase a couple of lines right at the very end of the poem and the lines read. Are you happy with the company that you keep when you’re alone? And I had to reach the age of 60 before I was happy with the company that I kept when I was alone. And I’ve really enjoyed that guy’s company for the last ten years. But I wasn’t overly keen on that guy’s company in the first 60.

What does that actually mean? So happy with yourself as a human being and what you achieve or what or when you were sat in silence doing nothing. Chris By himself in isolation. You weren’t content and happy. Your brain was always buzzing away. Whereas now you can go and do a solo retreat or something and be What does that actually mean translating in your world?

Well, I think Prav you sum that up quite well, which is, which is that I look at the guy before age 60 and I think that I was always in some way kind of tormented by the need to achieve and tormented by the need to be a man tormented by the need to be a successful business person, tormented by the need to get the applause of the audience, tormented in the way that clearly some people are now tormented by the need to get likes and followers. And long before social media came along, I was searching for likes and followers, and sometimes it was the applause of an audience or, you know, the the the acknowledgement of an individual client. So I think that was it. Henry Thoreau, who said Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.

And that was me.

I was leading a life of quiet desperation on the outside, super successful businessman on the outside, successful family, five kids doing all the things that you need to do, running marathons, giving great talks at shows, building businesses, doing everything that we’re supposed to do in modern life. But on the inside, living a life of quiet desperation going, Is this it? What am I. Am I some kind of performing horse that’s supposed to get out there and prance around the ring every day for everybody’s benefit so that I can pay the school fees so that I can pay the mortgage so that I can change my car every now and then so that I can get the applause of the audience at the show. And you know what? If if everybody listening to this podcast is thinking what a plonker. Well, good luck to them. If anybody’s listening to this podcast thinking that sounds a bit like me and then I want you to know that you’re not alone. And I also want you to know that there comes a point in your life where you realise all this. You do realise that you’ve been tormented by this need to be the artist formerly known as Chris Barrow or whatever, and there comes a point in time where you can actually get to a stage where you say, Okay, I’ve got nothing to prove anymore. And a bit like that’s a bit like where the Marmite comes from, which is that, you know, if you like me and if you like my style and if you like the stuff that I do, I’m hugely, hugely appreciative that I can make a positive difference in your life. But if you don’t like me and if you think that my opinions are shit, and if you think that my ideas are shit and you think the way I communicate is shit, well, that’s fine. There’s plenty of room.

But Chris, I mean, it’s a brilliant story, right? I mean, this this sort of social mobility thing that you went through, which a lot of people didn’t go through. Yeah. I mean, back then there was there was a lot of, you know, do what my dad does kind of stuff going on. And Manchester was a totally different place in the 50s and 60s than it is than it is now. Yeah. But I think it comes down to a lot of times your biggest strength is your biggest weakness, you know, because, you know, you might say, Oh, you were on the stage for the for the adoration of the crowd or whatever, but you’re gifted on the stage. Gifted. Like, you really are very, very good at it. And so when you say I don’t mind when people don’t don’t like me, do you really mean that? Because that doesn’t that doesn’t tally with with what you just said before, that, you know, you were doing it all for the adoration.

What you what you learn is to turn the daggers into icicles and and in early life, when the daggers go in, whether it’s front or back, it hurts and it leaves a scar and it hurts for for ages. And then as you get a little bit older and a little bit wiser, you realise that it’s not a dagger, it’s an icicle and it still hurts like fuck when it goes in. But you go to bed, you have a good night’s sleep, you wake up the next morning and it’s melted and you get on with it and the Native Americans have a wonderful phrase that wisdom enters through the wound. And, you know, there are people I’m going to say like us, because I think I could say this about all three of us on this conversation that have got the scars to show that there have been plenty of daggers and icicles over the years and that that makes us really useful to other people. And I think, you know, that I get some really kind comments that people suggesting that I might be kind of at the top of my game at the moment after all these years. And and the reason for that is because of all of the scars. You know, I’ve had businesses that have gone under.

I’ve been bankrupt. I’ve had to give my house back to the mortgage company. I’ve had to walk around the supermarket with my wife counting backwards on an an old fashioned electronic calculator from the cash that we had in her purse to zero, knowing that when we got to zero, we had to go to the checkout. I’ve seen my car lifted onto the back of a truck and driven away because it’s been repossessed. I’ve been involved in business with villains who have stolen money and have lied and cheated. And I’ve done it all. And I’ve seen it all. And above all, I’ve survived. And you know what? The fact that I’ve lost businesses and lost my shirt and the fact that I’ve ended up in business with villains is probably an indicator of my own naivete that I’ve been taken in by people. I’ve been I’ve been seduced by serpents over the years who have promised me riches that have not materialised. And and I’ve been so desperate to get on and so desperate to win that sometimes I’ve been beguiled by serpents into businesses that have that have just been rubbish. And it’s cost me, you know, a lot of pain and suffering and money to learn from my own mistakes.

Chris During that those years of torment, the, shall we say the first 60 years and, and sounds really crappy.

Doesn’t it?

Um, what were your really, really deepest, darkest, melting down moments, would you say? You’ve just described a whole lot of situations where bankruptcy car being lifted off, walking round, whatever supermarket it was just counting the change down and whatnot. But, but if we were to just take all of those, there’s often one moment that just sort of strikes out as what was Chris’s darkest moment over those years, whether it was business, whether it was life, whether it was. Narration Whatever happened in your life, what would you say was the the darkest moment for Chris?

Gosh, that is such a tough question. Um. And we might have to kind of pause while I kind of think of an answer to that, because there are two things that I want to say. The first reason I’m finding it difficult to answer that question is because of the bewildering choices I’ve got. It’s like, you know, which one of these 101 moments would you would you would you choose? I’ve always had a bit of a catchphrase that I’ve used over the years, which is that life is a series of mountains, valleys and missiles. And the mountains are the moments when you feel on top of the world and the valleys are the moments when you feel that it’s black and it’s never going to get light again. And the missiles are the unexpected things that just when you’re either at the top of a mountain or in the bottom of a valley, another missile comes along that you weren’t expecting and it knocks you right off your feet. Now, over the years I’ve come to realise actually that that is the human condition and that if you’re not experiencing mountains and valleys and missiles, you probably need to ring for an ambulance because there’s something seriously wrong. So the first way that I want to respond to that question is by saying that over a 70 year lifespan, there have been innumerable mountain moments where I’ve just been so glad to be me, glad to be alive, glad to be in the world, so grateful.

And just like everybody else. You know, a lot of those moments are around family and children and grandchildren and relationships. Some of those moments about are about having the opportunity to visit some amazing places in the world. Some of those moments are about meeting some amazing people in the world. And then you look at the valleys and you say, well, actually it’s the same thing. It’s places that you went to that were shitholes, and some of them might have been holiday destinations, you know, but it’s places that you’ve been to and it’s people that you’ve met and it’s situations that you’ve found yourself in that have that have left you feeling very dark or isolated or let down. And there are so many of them I can’t actually pick. But but if I had to, I would go. And it’s very interesting how this is going to Segway. If you really, really forced me on the dark moments, I can tell you what it is. I can tell you, being on holiday in Barcelona with my wife and five children in 1998, having been given clearance by a doctor to say, I know your dad’s in hospital with cancer, but you’re going to take your holiday because you need it.

He’s going to be fine for another six months at least. And then talking to my dad and saying, is it okay if we go and my dad saying yes and then getting a phone call in Barcelona from my mum to say, you need to get home, he’s going. And I remember that getting that phone call at 2:00 in the afternoon and piling pizza into my kids and then piling the five kids and my wife into a car and leaving Barcelona at about 4:00 in the afternoon to drive to Calais in a Warner arriving at Calais at about five in the morning and driving up to a ferry terminal and saying, I don’t have a ticket, but I’ve got to get back to Manchester because my dad’s dying. And the girl on the booth saying, Drive onto the boat and I’ll never forget that. And then parking the car, getting out and walking up on deck. And as we pulled out of Calais, getting a phone call from my mum to say my dad had died. That was the darkest moment. And I will never forget driving the car from Dover to Manchester. I’ll never forget that. And getting back too late. So that will probably do.

Yeah, that works, mate. Yeah. Jeez.

But let me tell you another.

Story about that. Which is that precisely one year before that and before we knew that my dad had cancer, before he was hospitalised, I was working with my then business coach, a lady called Marlene Elliott. And she asked me a question which anybody who’s ever done any personal coaching will know is kind of a it’s out there, which is that if you had 12 months to live, how would you live your life? And if you had one month to live, how would you live that month? But if you had one day to live. Who would you call and what would you say? And I was asked that question in a coaching session in 1997 with Molly and Elliott. And my answer is was.

I would ring my dad and I would tell him that I loved him. And she said, Why did you choose that? And I said, Because I’ve never told him. And she said, make the call. And I said, What? And she said, make the call now. So I picked up the phone and I called home. And as had happened every day for the last 25 years, my mom answered the phone. Because my dad was a man of very few words and my mum said, I love. What you want. And I said, Can I speak to my dad? And she said, Why? What’s wrong? And I said nothing. And I heard her put a hand.

Over the mouthpiece of the phone, but she didn’t quite cover it.

And I heard her saying, It’s our Chris, he wants to talk to you. And I heard my dad’s saying, What about? And my mom saying, I don’t know. And my dad said, You better put him on.

And then I heard this rustling.

And this voice said. Hello. And I said. I need you to know I’m not drunk. And I need you to know. I’m not ill. But I also need you to know that I love you. And I’ve never told you before. And I thought I ought to. And he said. Well, I love you, too. And that’s very nice. And I said. Can you put my mum back on? And he said, okay. And she picked the phone up and went, What’s wrong? What’s wrong? What’s wrong? And I said, There’s nothing wrong.

I’ve just told my dad I loved him.

Why? What’s wrong?

I said, I just wanted to tell him.

And she went, Oh. Now, I wish I could tell you that the next time he came.

Round to our house, we kind of.

Ran in slow.

Motion down the garden towards.

Each other. But we didn’t.

Because when all them blokes.

And so say, all right. I said, Yeah, I’m all right. And not a word was spoken about that conversation. But I made the call. And a year later, he was dead and I missed it. So it leads me to a very important conclusion, and it’s one that I quite often share with people. Which is that if there’s any calls you need to make, get them made. For sure.

Thanks, Chris. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for sharing that one. Chris, do you end up overcompensating with your own kids and telling them you love them every day? And, um.

Quite the opposite.

My my kids.

Would tell you that I don’t see enough.

Of them.

And I’ve now actually.

I’m learning a new job at the moment, which is that I’m replacing guilty parent with guilty grandparent.

And, you know, the reason for.

That is that I am and always have been married to the job. I absolutely love it. I’m not a workaholic. I take 12 weeks vacation every year without fail. I have plenty of time off, but I’m absolutely shit at keeping in touch with my family. And you know, part of the reason for that is that when I when I get to the end of a day looking after my clients, to be honest, I’m usually pretty spent. And you know, the idea of finishing a day sat at my desk at home or the idea of finishing a day of delivering a workshop in a hotel somewhere and then getting back to my hotel room and 7:00 at night, 8:00 at night, jumping on FaceTime and talking about how the day went. I’m really rubbish at that.


Do I feel guilty about it? Yes, I.

Do. Is that the complete.

Contradiction of everything I’ve just told you about me and my dad?

Yes, it is.

Does it mean that I’m a gigantic hypocrite and I don’t take my own advice? Yes, it does.

You know, there’s a great thing about coaches were.

Brilliant at giving everybody else advice and pretty.

Crap at taking it.

And that’s why, you know, I see all these wannabe coaches and consultants who are up there on the Internet telling you that if we could all if you could all just be more like me, the world would be a better place. You know, get up at 4:00 and bake bread for the poor and then run a half marathon before I go to mass. And and I look at that stuff and I think, what a load of bullshit. We’re all in. We’re all dealing with the same challenges. And my particular style of coaching is to be very, very transparent about my.

Own strengths and weaknesses.

And hope that that in some way can help my clients to focus on their strengths and to actually accept and try and eliminate their weaknesses as well.

Wait. It’s amazing. With 39 minutes in and nobody said.

The word.

Dentist. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

We’re just getting warmed up.

Let’s go there. When was the first time you heard, you know, you thought you’re going to work with dentists? Up to that point, you were in financial services, weren’t you?

Yeah, I a couple of observations, by.

The way, about the introduction credit, where it’s due that I wasn’t the first Dental business coach in the UK. And when I arrived in the marketplace, Kevin Lewis was doing a lot of.

Of coaching.

But it might not have been called that, but it was. And I am also acknowledging or should acknowledge the fact that one of my best friends, Sheila Scott, was already doing plenty of coaching for dentists when I arrived, and Sheila and I have become very, very close, lifelong friends. But back in the day I was the new kid on the block. I was Luke Skywalker, Sheila Scott was Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kevin Lewis was Yoda. And I was definitely the new kid on the block. But to answer your question, as a financial planner, what nowadays would be called an independent financial adviser? And if I had clients in the business sector who were butchers, bakers and candlestick makers and in amongst them, I actually had a few dental laboratories. And because I’ve always grown business through word of mouth, whether it’s been financial services or Dental business coaching, one dental laboratory owner had led to another. And by the end of the 1980s, I had quite a lot of lab owners as clients, but no dentists. And in the early 90s, my very, very, very first dentist and I will not name names for reasons that will quickly become obvious is that I had a lab owner as a client who said, and this conversation is 1993.

And my client, my lab.

Owner said, I’ve got a dentist who owes me £30,000 in unpaid lab bills. 1993. And if he goes down, I go down as well. And I’ve told him that he’s got two choices. I’m either going to put the debt collectors in or he’s got to see you. And want you to go in and reorganise his finances so that I get paid and he survives. So the first time I stood on the doorstep of a dental practice in 1993 was as a pseudo debt collector. And I walked into this guy who was old school, white, middle class professional, and I quickly realised that not only did he owe the lab fees, I owe tax. He hadn’t paid his kids school fees and he owed everybody else in town. And he was one of those stereotypical English middle class professionals that thought that tradespeople should be should speak when they were spoken to and be paid when he thought it was appropriate. Perfect victim for a working class lad with a chip on his shoulder.

Well, as it happened.

I did help him to restructure his finances. I did help him to improve his business and I did help him not only to pay my lab honoree’s fees, but also helped him to pay the revenue and the school and all the other people that he owned. And I well remember getting no thanks for it from him whatsoever, because that was the type of person he was. There we go. But a few more lab owners started asking me to deal with a few more dentists who weren’t in as much trouble. And slowly and surely, between about 1993 and 1996, one became two, became four, became eight. It was it just grew organically. And then there were two turning points, one of them and credit where it’s due in 1996. On a Saturday morning, I got a call at home from a fella who said, You don’t know me, but my name is Paul Tipton and my lab owner has told me that you would be a good guy to meet. And I went over to Paul’s house, who lived literally less than a mile away from me, and we had a bit of a chat. And Paul, God bless him, hired me as a business coach. And I started working with Paul in those days, helping him with the clinic that he used to have in Saint Ann’s Square in Manchester, and also helping him on what was the early prototype version of the Tipton Training Academy, because back in the day he was he was doing his restorative courses and that was the big break.

Because Tipton said to me, Will you come in and do the Friday afternoon session on my restorative course? And I think it might have been so he could piss off home early on a Friday. But nonetheless, it gave me a platform and over a period of about two years I lectured to Paul’s courses and that was a turning turning point number one. Turning point number two. One of the attendees at that course said, We’re running a faculty meeting down in Birmingham. Will you come and do a Friday afternoon session? We’ve got David Cohen on Endo in the morning and Phil Green on Perio. And so we need you to come in in the afternoon and liven it up a bit. And I said, fine. And little did I know I was driving down to the motorcycle museum to walk in a room with 750 people in it because they’d not told me it was a regional faculty meeting for the whole of the Midlands. And so there’s every man, it’s every man’s 15 minutes of fame because I wasn’t fazed by the audience. And so I just walked out and did what I do and that and Typekit was the turning point. That’s what got me started. And the only other one I’ll I’ll make mention to because I wouldn’t want to miss him was the late, great Roy Morris, who used to sorry, Roy Higson, I should say the late great Roy Higson, who used to run talking points in dentistry.

If you remember in the late 90s, early 2000. And I remember Roy coming to a talk of mine and standing at the back of the room and anybody who knows Roy or knew Roy Higson knew that he was a he was a sardonic bugger. And I remember him coming over to me at the end of a talk about 1998, 99, and he said, very good talk that if you still here in four years I’ll have you on talking points. And to his word, he turned up four years later and he said, you’re on talking points now. Of course. Isn’t it sad in a way that talking points in dentistry is now history? Yeah, but those of us that are old enough to remember will remember that it was a huge gig. It was. And I think we had about 11 dates around the country. We had absolutely full houses and I think I did talking points. It was either zero 3 or 4, something like that. And and as if I’d needed another platform and another catapult, that was it. That was it. That really took off in a big way. So there you go.

That’s how tallies that tallies with what I said because I qualified in 95. And I think I must have seen you in 97, around around that time when you used to go into a practice back then, Was it different to now? I mean, I know the basics are the same in in all businesses, in human relations, but my sense of it was totally unprofessional back then. From the business perspective, is it better now or is that not the case?

Obviously, the business of dentistry has become far more complex than it was in the mid 90s. In the mid 90s. You qualified, you did some years as a whatever it was in those days, I can’t remember now. And if you had the entrepreneurial itch, then maybe you went along to the bank. The bank gave you 100% unsecured finance because you were a dentist and you went off and bought a practice and probably from a retiree. And can we just make a point, by the way, that when I arrived in, dentistry practices were changing hands at one times EBITDA? Or to put it another way, because we didn’t even know what EBITDA was in those days, the asking price for a dental practice in 19. 1996, 97 was 35% of turnover. Wow. So so £1 million practice make in 200 grand profit. In those days, you could buy it for £350,000. That same practice now would be valued at 1.6 million. And we haven’t got the time or the inclination to explain why the prices have gone up so much. But it isn’t that an incredible differential. Yeah. So a lot of young dentists could afford to buy £1 million practice for 350 grand and the banks will lend in a 100% unsecured to do it. So there was a lot of ownership, but when you bought it in 96, 97, you put your brass plaque on the wall. You took your box advert in the Yellow Pages. And you printed your trifold information leaflet and that was it. And then what happened.

Is you showed up.

At 9:00 on the first Monday and the and the great unwashed beat a path to your door for the rest of your career.

We didn’t have any websites.

We didn’t have any external marketing other than the Yellow Pages advert. And by the way, the number of procedures that you are delivering in an average day was very, very limited. We didn’t have any clear aligners We didn’t you know, there was only the hoi polloi were doing implants in those days. And of course your average patient was coming in for preventative maintenance and occasional filling. And once in a blue moon, a crown or a bridge.

And that was it.

Now, the interesting thing is.


20% of dental practice owners way back then got it absolutely right and made a bloody good living at it and 80% of them fucked it up.

And that’s what’s not changed. The only thing that has changed.

Is that is that it’s just become ridiculously more complex. But actually the same 80 over 20 rule is still in operation, which is that 20% of Dental practice owners out there would even ever consider using a coach, whether it would be me or Ashley or Laura Horton or any of the other coaches or consultants out there. That and for that matter, you know, Prav only 20% would would consider using the kind of marketing support services that you provide. Payman only 20% would get involved with your businesses because they’re the enlightened ones and 80% of them just want to bitch and moan on GDP UK all day and then go and sit in the shed with a bottle of beer watching YouTube videos of Dental procedures. So nothing’s changed in terms of the 8020 rule. The only thing that’s changed is that is that the business has become more complex, but hasn’t life become more complex than it was in 1997?

Yeah. Yeah, bit a bit. So, so, Chris, look, as a consultant, so I know a lot of management consultants, right? And they have to go into businesses and effect change. And when I speak to them, they say the biggest challenge in that is the personalities and, you know, trying to trying to work out the politics of a of a of a particular business. And, you know, you’ve got the actual, you know, the organisational structure and then they’re trying to find out what’s where’s the actual power in, in the practice. And it resonates with me. When I go into a practice. I’m often thinking that too, you know, And it’s almost like it’s a very simple thing of practice, isn’t it? Your principle, the associates and then those other key people. I’m very focussed on the receptionist myself for, for my purposes. And often, you know, you get, you you can’t within a day, you can’t tell exactly what’s going on. But as a coach who’s having to go in and actually change things, how do you handle the politics of it? I mean, you know, Prav has similar similar, but I should actually ask the same question from both of you because both of you have had these similar issues to get through.

Well, I’m in the very fortunate position of not having to play politics because Mr. Marmite doesn’t have to. And so, you know, quite honestly, please, please understand that it is never my intention to be ignorant or rude or intimidating with people. And and I will, as it were. You know, I’ve got a kind of an accelerator pedal and a brake pedal in life. And what I’m doing is I’m constantly working the pedals in order to make sure that the message and the messenger don’t offend anybody. It is not my intention to get up in the morning and go out and offend people or intimidate people. I really try hard not to do those things, but but it is my intention to get up in the morning and to be a catalyst for change, given that that change is going to be for the benefit of the people that are hiring me. And given that change is also going to be for the benefit of the people that they employ and ultimately, of course, for the benefit of the people they serve as patients. So I’m trying to do no harm in a Hippocratic way, but I’m also trying to be very, very direct in the way that I communicate. So with that in mind, I will drive a coach and horses through the politics that you’ve just described, the power politics that you’ve just described. If I see it within a practice and if I see somebody in a practice who is a terrorist or if I see somebody in a practice who is a saboteur, then I will use every weapon in my armoury in order to deal with the threat that those people represent.

Let’s give some examples. So, Chris. Uh, well, let me give you an example. Young guy. Young guy buys a practice. The team are still from the old guy. And, you know, the young guys are too impatient to get things changed. And, you know, there’s there’s a few people, the manager and the receptionist who not on side yet. What do you do?

What I will do in the first instance is that I will paint a very, very, very clear picture of the benefits to everybody of change. All right. So even if I’ve got somebody who is resistant to change and of course, a lot of human beings.

Have everybody and.

Our default position is resistance to change. We are creatures of habit. We’re hunter gatherers. We don’t like innovation. We like to know that we can go out, kill the bear, drag the bear back to the cave, skin it, cook it, eat it, and wrap it around us. We like that certainty. So any, any agent for change is is pushing against evolution in many ways. But nonetheless, when I’m presented with that situation, I’m going into a team. Their practice has decided they’re going to convert from NHS to private practice, has decided they’re going to implement a plan. Practice has decided that they’re going to change from an associate led maintenance model to a therapy led maintenance model. Practice decides that they’re going to bring in digital workflow for the first time. Practice decides they’re going to put the prices up 25%, anything like that. I’m going to go in there. And what I want to do, first of all, is to be very, very, very clear that the only.


That is sustainable in business is one which involves the formula win, win, win. Actually, I’m going to say win, win, win, win. So what do I mean by that? Win number one is for the owner. Win number two is for the self-employed. Clinicians win. Number three is for the employees and win number four is for the patients. So when I’m looking at anything, whether it’s a conversion, whether it’s implementation of new workflows, whether it’s embracing digital technology, whatever it is, whether it’s putting the prices up.

I’m asking myself.

The question is, is it a win for ways and putting your prices up by an appropriate amount in order to maintain the solvency and success of the business is still a win for ways because the patients don’t win. If the practice doesn’t put the prices up and goes bust, as some BUPA patients now realise. So provided we’ve got the four wins in place.

I believe that what.

I’m saying is right for everybody. I will explain that in the clearest possible terms. And I will then ask people to get on the bus.

Individually or do you make you do a little performance for the whole team?

It would normally be a performance for the team, and at that stage, people then have a choice to make. The self-employed. First of all, the owners got to make a choice, which is, do I want to follow Chris Barrows advice? Not every owner does.

And, you know, people fire me.

Because they don’t want to take my advice, and that’s okay. The self-employed clinicians have got to be the winners in all of this. They’ve got to have better remuneration and better working conditions. And I have never and will never suggest that a pay cut for self employed clinicians is a good business idea. It’s nonsense. The team have got to be winners because they’ve got to have better remuneration and they’ve got to have a better career pathway and they’ve got to have a better working environment. And ultimately the patients have got to be winners. They’ve got to get the best possible clinical care and the best possible customer service. So we’ve got all those wins in place. And then I’ve got somebody at the back saying, I’m not on this bus, so get off the bus. And I’m not in negotiation mode at that stage. I’m just asking the person politely to leave the bus. Because there is no other answer, is there? And as you know, as my friend Neil Harris famously says, it’s better to have a gap in your team than tolerate the continued performance and behaviour of somebody who is not on the bus. Lucy Simich has got that great pneumonic f i f o which is fit in. Or you can work the rest out for yourself.

But okay. I mean, practically. You say you talk for an hour, let’s say some, some, some. Someone’s just looking down and pissed off. The principal says, I don’t think she’s on the bus. And then you advise advise the principal to lose that person, right? Is that right?

That’s exactly right. And what I would advise that what I advise my client to do is to get the best possible HR advice in order to facilitate a legal, timely exit of that person from the business. Yeah.

Prav You’ve been in this situation.

Plenty of times, mate. Um, and I think would you, would you do.

The same approach?

Similar. So if I go into a practice, the first thing is my priority is the people who’ve hired me, right. And what they want. And if we come to a mutual understanding of, you know, this is the way we all want to grow together, whether it’s a new practice takeover, whether it’s an existing practice, where there’s a bit of cancer in there and whatnot, the first thing that I do is and this you’ve got to bear in mind, this is quite recent and I think I’ll I’ll reflect back on what Chris was saying earlier, which is he’s done a lot of growing up in the last proportion of his life. And for me, I would say the evolution of Prav as a business person has happened like that, which is which is, you know, really steep post COVID. And it’s one we flipped over to Zoom and it was possible for me. Now as I go into a practice to say to the say to the practice owners, right, I’m going to do a 1 to 1 with every team member and I’m going to talk to them about change. I’m going to talk to them about the exciting opportunity that lies ahead. And we’re going to talk to them about what, you know, either the partners or the business owners want to do and ask them how they feel about that. Ask them how they feel about the role now, where they’d like to go in the future, what they love about their boss, what they hate about their boss and their job.

So I get a real understanding of, I think in Chris’s terms, who’s on or off the bus. I get a really clear idea and then I will have a catch up with the practice owners and I will pretty much tell them, in my opinion, this one’s a keeper. These ones are the other ones we need to tell them to F0, so to speak. I will never dish out HR advice though. I will tell them, you know, have a good, you know, most most have some kind of HR company on some kind of retainer, whether it’s your peninsulas or your citations and so on and so forth. And then then we’ll put a plan in place. And the number one goal is whatever that is, the growth objective, whether it’s the patient journey and creating that experience, embracing technology. And, you know, some team members may be resistant to, you know, speaking to patients in a certain way or embracing new treatments or whatever it is, we just push forward in that direction. And so I don’t tend to go in and do the thing that Chris does, which is in front of the whole team and say, you know, this is it. If you’re on, you’re on, if you’re off, you’re off sort of thing, but tend to be more one on one, I will address the team, but then I’ll put a plan in place with the with the principals. But you know, different but similar approach.

Yeah. And I think.

Just to clarify, I’m never going to stand in front of a team and say you’re either on the bus or off the bus. Make your mind up. I’m never going to do that on the team.


You’d love to sometimes, but. But I don’t think the owner would want you to know. But what I will do is that I won’t want to leave until I’ve made it 100% abundantly clear of the benefit of the change that we are proposing so that there’s nobody left in any doubt that it is. As I’ve said, it’s it’s a four times win.

Um, and.

Then leave people remember I’m not press ganging people onto the bus. I’m saying this is where we need to go in order to get the four wins and, and therefore.

I’m then.

Going to leave it hanging out there because it’s blatantly obvious at that stage that this is the way the business is going and we’re looking for I was going to use the word passengers for the bus. Well, of course, the last thing we need is passengers. But we need a crew. We need a crew for the bus because this is where we’re going. Now, of course, people don’t at that point put their hands up and say, I don’t agree with anything you said, because the saboteurs and the terrorists don’t do their work in team meetings. They do their work in the staff room at 5:10 when the owner’s gone home. They do their work on WhatsApp that evening. They do their work in the wine bar after work and so on and so forth. And so that’s when you then need to warn, as it were, the owners and the managers that that saboteur work will take place off the radar and out of office hours and you’ve got to be ready for it the next morning when you come back in.

So Chris, then the follow up process from that. I’ve just hired you. You’ve had a conversation with me, I guess one on one, and then you’ve had the conversation with the team. You’ve now got to follow up on all that to to make sure this change happening. Right.

So, no. Do you know? No, I’m a coach.

It’s not my responsibility to do the homework, you know. I was taught to be a coach by the late, great Thomas Leonard, who is considered by many to be the founder of modern day coaching. And there was one absolute key phrase that Thomas Leonard drilled into us in the early 90s, and that is that the client does the work. The coach doesn’t do the work. And if you as a coach, go home at night with homework, it’s a sure sign of the fact that you’ve got it horribly wrong.


So when I drive away from a client’s premises, I do so with no homework.

Okay, perfect. So then then that leads me nicely to the next question of how much is like how much difference does it make when the client is on message, on on it. You know, you put in processes and systems, right?


It’s more it’s it’s it’s mission critical. It’s not about making a difference. You can’t work. Well, I can’t work with a client who isn’t totally and utterly committed to the change process. Somebody once described the difference between a good client and a bad client being best illustrated by a plate of egg and bacon because the chicken is involved, but the pig is totally committed. And I need to work with the pigs who are totally committed. I don’t need to work with the chickens that are laying eggs.

But you know what I’m what I’m alluding to, Prav, is, you know, in your business, right, you have to bring leads to the practice. Then they have to convert those leads. And it’s a weird sort of tension between, you know, good leads and bad leads. And, you know, someone saying to you, oh, the leads are weak. And, you know, we’ve talked about it a million times on this pod that some practices follow up properly, some practices don’t. You know, all of that. And so in your world, it’s very clear that that you get blamed for the practices problems sometimes.

Sometimes we used to and we still do. And I think the thing is this me and Chris spoke about this at length on a on a trip to on a train journey. Yeah. We were on our way to central London and it was serendipity that brought us together because my seat was opposite Chris’s and I never travelled first class, but I just happened to be that day because apparently, according to my PR it was cheaper, so there’s no way I’d have been sat in the same carriage as Chris. Right. So anyway, anyway, we were sat opposite each other and we both flipped our laptops open and we knew we had a we knew we both had a plan when we got on that train and it wasn’t talking to each other, it was to blast through a shitload of admin before we got to London. And that’s what me and Chris would do when we’re on the train. But it did buddy up and did it because we just gasped all the way. Um, anyway, one one of the, one of the conversations, one of the talking points was about lead generation and sort of blame or shit leads, good leads, whatever. Right? And you know, I mentioned to Chris at that point was that we’ve evolved in that sense that I feel as agencies and look, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the way that every agency runs their business is that we need to take a degree of responsibility. 80 of what happens to that lead. And so I would say our values and our approach changed where we say to the client, if you’re not willing to invest in the follow up and if you’re not willing to invest in that process, then we will not help you.

And the reason for that is that I’m all about building longer term relationships with our marketing clients. Otherwise we become like a lot of agencies that will take a retainer to for 6 to 9 months and they’ll be having the same conversation with the next agency because something didn’t work. And so we like to figure out, you know, what is working, what’s not, who’s having the conversations? Are we recording the calls? Can we tap into 3 or 4 of those calls? Oh, shit. Right. Okay. This is why some somebody offered composite bonding instead of all on four implants. As an alternative, somebody needs some education and so, yes, payment. What used to happen as a marketing agency, we used to say you stuck a grand in the pot. We generated inquiries at £20 a conversion. What’s the conversion? It’s a name, email address, a phone number. And what the hell is wrong with you? Or It’s a phone call that lasted longer than X number of seconds. Right? There’s our stats We generated you. An ROI isn’t really an ROI. It’s just it’s not translated to money into your into your practice. And that changed for us. And it was only because I just wanted to sleep at night and, and, and I wanted to have a measurable impact on, on the clients that we worked with. So we do take responsibility for that now payment and obviously, as you know, we developed a piece of software that drives that whole process and makes that life sort of easier for our clients. But yeah, I think there comes a point where you’ve just got to at whatever point take some kind of responsibility for for what does.

It happen to you? Does it happen to you where you get blamed or I don’t know, you worry about someone says, Oh yeah, I got Chris Barrow in and my practice didn’t do what it was supposed to do. And it was, you know, their fault. They didn’t do the work. Is it? I think it must come up.

It Oh God, it’s going to sound really false when.

I say it doesn’t.

Come up. But now, but but it just doesn’t come up. And and, you.

Know, I think I’m in I’m in a very.

Fortunate position.

That that.

Coaching is about giving.

The clients the tools to get on with the job and then asking the client to get on with the job. It’s not my job to take the client from 3 million to 5 million in sales or from half 1 million to 1 million in profitability. It’s not my job. It’s it’s my job to explain to the client how to do that. And so I’m not delivering a commodity. What I’m doing is I’m delivering a system and it’s up to the client to use the system. So I don’t have that same degree of black and white accountability that Prav is talking about in the work that he’s involved in here, where the client’s turning round and say, I paid you for x Leaders I got X leads, but I haven’t got Y sales. And of course what Prav has done is he said, Well, actually if the client buys X leads and gets zero sales, I’m going to get fired. So I’ve got to give. If the client buys X leads, I’ve got to give them X leads and then miraculously turn into a coach and turn them. How to turn X leads into Y sales.

So do you see what’s happening? Is that at the front end of his business, Prav is being a commodity salesman, but at the back end of his business he’s learned that he needs to become a coach in order to teach the client how to turn the X leads into the Y sales. Now I don’t do the front end. I don’t deliver a commodity. What I do is I say I’m going to turn up and I’m going to work with you and your team to show you the systems and tactics and procedures and habits that you need to have in place in order to get the result. But getting the result, Mr. Client or Mrs. client is your responsibility, not mine. The coach doesn’t do the work. The client does the work. You could say that’s a get out clause. It’s not a get out clause because I’m very transparent about that. At the beginning of the relationship, I will show you what to do and how to do it. Whether or not you do it, I cannot influence or control. Now, getting back to the clients. People tend not to hire.


Unless they are ready to do the work.

But the interesting.

Thing is that sometimes people hire me in the expectation that I’m going to do the work for them and then get a nasty surprise and they leave within three months.

Yeah, Yeah. And I’m really I’m dead happy when that happens.

Because the client thought that Chris Barrow was going to be the next system. The client thought that Chris Barrow was going to be the next lead generation system or the next employee happiness system or the next associate development system. And all that they needed to do was to buy Chris Barrow. Chris Barrow was going to become their bitch. They could go home and watch the telly and Chris Barrow was going to make everything work. And they suddenly.


That that.

Isn’t going to happen. Yeah, and.

They’re the ones that leave and.

They always leave really, really quickly.

If they ever sign up in the first place, because you only have to go and have a look at my website or whatever else to realise that I am. The only thing I’m promising you is is a lot of hard work, but you’ll be doing the right work with me.

So, of course, we’ve had several of our guests mention you and the changes that they made with you helping them recently. James Hamill was one. And for instance, I remember him saying, you know, you used to come and listen to the two of them, husband and wife, fighting about, you know, fighting about their day. There’s a lot of husband and wife teams in in dentistry. And, you know, it’s an interesting question, right, that you’ve you’ve worked with corporates as well. Right. I remember when Boots were setting up, you were you were very involved in that. And you’re very involved in with practice plans. Is that right? Or were you?

I am still.

A practice planner, is still my number one strategic alliance partner. I do lots and lots of lecturing for them. Yeah.

Yeah. So. So the combination of skills that you need to to talk to a husband and wife who are fighting and, and then deal with a, you know, like a behemoth, like boots and, you know, the management structures and how, how slow they are sometimes to move in those big companies. Yeah. If someone wants to get into your area, what would you say is your key skill?

You mean get into my area as a coach?

Yeah. What? What is your key skill as a coach? What is your key skill?

Well, first things first.

Boots is the only significant corporate that I’ve ever worked with. And that was over 20 years ago now.

Have you not.

Worked with any other.

And I don’t I don’t work with corporates anymore, thank God, because even the boots experience, it was it was huge fun and it paid the deposit on a holiday home in Florida. I was at one stage considering having the Boots logo in the bottom of the swimming pool in ceramic tiles, but we never got around to it.

Um, but I.

Also realised that that experience working with Boots Dental Care was, was a great wake up call to the frustration of dealing with corporate clients and the bureaucracy and middle management and job preservation and inability to make decisions and aversion to entrepreneurial entrepreneurial ism that exists within those organisations. I’ve had ditched the corporates there. Um, so let’s move on. So, you know, the, the, all of my clients are owner managed businesses and many of them are family run owner managed businesses. Quite a few of them are man and wife teams as well. And sounding a bit like Bruce Forsyth, when I say that working with the man and wife teams might be my favourites because the the such great fun to work with.

And I have.

To say that James and Sonya Hamel, who I love dearly, are not the only married couple who have sat at either end of the dining table shouting at each other while I’ve been in the middle with my fingers. Um, you know, that’s a fairly common.

Scenario, really. Um, but I love it.

I love it because I’m working with decision makers and because there isn’t the bureaucracy of middle management and chain of command and, and all of that type of thing as well. I forgot what your question was.

You know, the key skills for for a coach.

Oh, thank you. Yes. So, um.

These are skills which I have developed over the years and may not have been apparent at the start of my career. Just want to put that marker in. The coach listens first and I have a golden rule, which is that whenever I’m talking to either a potential new client or an existing client, and whether it’s a Zoom call or a face to face, I always begin the conversation exactly the same way. In fact, I’m famous for it.

I’ve had today.

I’ve spoken to about 3 or 4 clients on Zoom, and every conversation has started exactly the same way. How can I help? And once you’ve once you’ve asked that question, you then need to remember the mnemonic STFU. Shut the fuck up.

And say absolutely.

Nothing about what you do.

How you do it.

Where you.

Do it, when you do it.

How much it’s going to cost, all the technology that you’ve got. Forget it. Ask the question, How can I help you? And then let the client start talking and do not interrupt until the client has stopped talking. And I actually call it the an another thing section of the conversation because the client you say, how can I help? And the client.

Goes blah.

And vomits all over you. And when they.


You then say, Is there anything else? And most people will then.

Back again.

And give you the secondary vomit about an another thing you’ll never guess. And another thing you’ll never guess what happened next. And another thing you’ll never guess what they’ve done to me now. And another thing. You’ll never guess what’s happened and then say, Is there anything else? Is there anything else? Is there anything else? And when the client has finally stopped talking and on average for me, that would be between 20 to 40 minutes into the conversation.

At that point.

Having perhaps made notes of the things that the client have said, you then respond with the following phrase and here’s me giving my trade secrets away. I’ve listened very carefully to what you’ve told me, and I’m very confident that I’m going to be able to help. And then start telling them how you’re going to help them. There you have it.

The key skill is listening.

The key skill is listening.


And by the way, by the way, any.

Rational, intelligent, reasonably well educated, numerate, literate human being with the power of reasoning can be a coach.

I like that. I mean, you know, Chris, you’ve done a few different businesses, right? You did that thing with the practices you were going to do and you did the thing with boots and all that. But I think, you know that your ikigai is it is that turnaround sort of going into a practice listening to people and and putting some common sense and, you know, things that come naturally to you might not come naturally to the next man here. Like when James Hamill said when he was selling the practice, you told him it would be like a triathlon. Yeah. And he was a triathlon runner as well. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know. You know what I mean? That to you, that might seem like like a very obvious thing. Um, but then you’ve been around a long time, and I think you’re sort of to you, you’re not. You don’t realise what you’re actually doing. It’s so natural for you, you know, it’s your ikigai.

One of the things.

That I realised, I think possibly quite early on I realised I’m not a particularly religious person. I do regard myself as a spiritual person. I don’t regard myself as a as a religious person, but I was brought up Church of England and I’ve had the wonderful opportunity I would regard myself if somebody said, What religion are you? I would say stoic, recognising the fact that stoicism is actually a philosophy. But but you know, if any anything to do with stoicism I regard as being a complete description of the person I want to be at this stage in my life. Nonetheless, I have spent hours and hours and hours in conversation with clients and friends over the years about comparative religions because it’s a subject that absolutely fascinates me. And whether it’s Islam or whether it’s Hinduism or Buddhism or anything else. I’ve talked to people in in East Africa about religion. I’ve talked to people all over the world about religion. And what I’ve discovered is that there is there are some common themes in religion. And one of one common theme in religion is that prophets use parables. Simple as.




You know, and.

Moses wasn’t.

Overly popular because he came down with Ten Commandments and it’s like, who.

The fuck are you.

Giving us? Ten commandments. Who do you think you are?

And how many more rules do we need? All right. But actually other.

Prophets and of course, I’m very familiar with Jesus Christ because I grew up in the church that revolves around him or one of the churches, I should say, that revolves around him. And what I realised earlier on was that Jesus Christ didn’t say, Well, here’s commandments 11 through 23 to add to the first ten. What Jesus Christ did was say.

I’m going to tell you a story.

And what I’m going to do is I’m going to use a parable to make a point. And hopefully if you enjoy.

The parable.

You might get the point. So when James Hamill says, I’m going to sell my practice and I’m going to have the money in the bank in three months, I sit down with him and I say, James, you’re a triathlete. You know what goes into training for a triathlete? And even more than that, you know what goes into delivering a triathlon? And what I need you to know is that this experience is going to leave you as tired, exhausted and knackered as a triathlon does. It was just a parable. And then the client goes right, because they get it. So whether it was deliberate or inadvertent, I’m not quite sure. But I’ve always been a storyteller, and that’s something that I’ve been since a relatively young age. And what that means is that I’ve always found it very easy to do public speaking because public speaking for me has just been about telling stories. Yeah. And actually, you.

Know, when.

I get to the bit in the talk where I have to talk about the practice and the system and all the rest of it, I don’t enjoy that as much as saying I work with a client in Glasgow and he was in this situation and this is what we did and this is how we solved it. And you know, it’s joyful to be able to do that. And of course, the great thing about parable tellers is that the older they get, the more useful they become because they’ve got more stories. Yeah.

We talked about some dark days before Croatia, but I’d like to know what you would consider your biggest mistakes because we ask all the all the guests, their biggest clinical errors because, you know, dentists don’t tend to talk about that. What comes to mind when I say that? What were your what were your errors?

My first and.

Biggest mistake was was failing my GCSEs when I was 16 years old because I’d discovered Player’s number six Bulmers Woodpecker, Cider and Girls and I flunked my GCSEs. And what that meant was that I wasn’t able to submit my application form to become a helicopter pilot in the Fleet Air Arm and to follow my dad’s early career in the Royal Navy. That was a massive mistake. But then again, I could have been shot down in the Falklands.

My second.

The second mistake or let me say my second of a million mistakes know if I was going to pick out another major mistake. It’s one that I’ve repeated three times in my career.

Now, many.

People say that making a mistake once is a mistake. Making a mistake twice is an unfortunate series of events. Making the same mistake three times means you’re an idiot.

So I’m clearly an.

Idiot because three times I have gone into business as a robin to somebody else’s Batman. And the reason I’ve done that is because the Batman has been rich and powerful and successful. And I thought that by becoming their Robin, I was going to become a little bit rich and a little bit powerful and a little bit successful. And each time those Batman shat upon me.

And yet.

I didn’t learn the first two times and I went ahead and did it a third time. But fortunately, I’m now cured.

So you wouldn’t. So if if if an opportunity came along now, you and the guy seemed okay and was powerful and rich and had an idea you wouldn’t do it again.

Not a bloody chance.

And when you say Batman and Robin, you literally mean, you know, a senior partner. Basically someone who’s calling the shots. Yeah.

And I thought that that would be my way to riches and power and glory.


And what I’ve discovered about that.


Is that the reason that they get to be Batman is that quite often they just shit on everybody else.

Chris When you went through those, those episodes and I’m pretty sure I know what they were and I don’t know whether you want to talk about them or not. What impact do you think that had on your reputation? And did you was there anything that you had to do after the event or time period to sort of, shall we say, redeem yourself or gain that reputation back?

One of the greatest.

Joys of my life is that even though that’s happened to me three times and it happened once in financial services back in the 80s and it happened twice in dentistry.

Oh, okay.

Even though that’s happened every single time, my reputation has bounced back within a nanosecond. And I’ve got nothing but gratitude for the people that reached out and said, We know you. We know who you are. We know what you are. We know you’ve made a bad choice. But we also know that you’ve got a heart of gold and that you’ll be back. And it’s been one of the most uplifting experiences of my life to have that feedback. Probably. I like to think that in some respects that’s payback for never doing harm. Yeah.

Absolutely right, man. Chris You know, when when you’ve got people who really believe in you and they you affected change in their business and now the business is doing really well. Yeah, there’s there’s one one branch of coaching that kind of is like a funnel that ends up now now trying to get more money out of them. And I’ve noticed you’ve never been that guy. Yeah. Um, look, I don’t. I don’t know. I’m not saying it’s necessarily the wrong way to go because, you know, someone else will sit here and say it’s the wrong way to go in the first place to pay a coach at all. Yeah. So, you know, who am I to judge what’s what? But coaching has that sort of reputation in itself, hasn’t it? You know, so I don’t want to call it like cult. I don’t mean cult. Cult is the wrong word. Yeah, but but that that notion where you’ve got the coach at the top and then the guys below and everyone’s kind of feeding into this, what are your reflections on on, on that? Do you, do you recognise what I’m, what I’m talking about?

I think that there are people in life who game the system and some of those people are dentists. Some of those people are accountants, lawyers. Some of those people are coaches. They’re just gaming the system and the gaming people. And and you know, there are plenty of people on this call that will know how a dentist can game the system and can take advantage either of the government or can take advantage of the patient. And those those people who game the system.

Where it’s a win.

Lose. Yeah, sometimes it’s a win, lose, lose, lose. Um.

That I just.

Believe in karma. I believe that those people end up sat on a pile of gold coins with no friends. Um, and I do genuinely believe in, in the power of karma to, to, to find a way of ensuring that those people meet their just deserts.

In a supernatural way. You believe in karma.

Well, can’t think of any other way.

Well, no, practically.

There’s a version of karma that is supernatural, and that’s the one I believe in. There’s another version of karma which is getting a few blokes from Salford and giving them £250 and saying.

Go and beat his brains out.

That’s not very supernatural.

But look, there’s being a good guy is practical. Sometimes. Yeah. You’re not always. Yeah. You put your trust in this, Batman, and sometimes that can mess it up, right? But being being a good person is a practical thing, right? Me and you’ve known each other 25 years. We’ve. You’ve always been a good guy to me. And, you know, somewhere along the line that might come back to you because you’re a good guy. I might tell someone, Hey, go see Chris. So what I’m saying is that it’s practical, but but the super sort of supernatural idea is like, you know, the world is conspiring to. And I don’t know that that’s real. I don’t know. I don’t know. Do you believe that? Is that the spiritual part of you think that?

Well, no. You know.

I’ve always my top subject at school is mathematics. And and, you know, I did recover from my exam failure in order to achieve some degree of academic success. And and and my core subject was maths. And again, in another life, I might have ended up as an actuary. You never know. But perhaps what I should say to you is that there is a statistical inevitability that somebody who is consistently bad is going to end up experiencing bad themselves. And I also believe that there’s a statistical inevitability that somebody who is consistently good will end up experiencing good themselves.

Now, I said statistical.

Okay, so a good person can get struck by lightning and a bad person can win the lottery. But statistically the balance of probabilities is that the bad people will end up having a bad life. That’s my karma. And it’s nothing other than mathematics.

Yeah, I’ve got two more things I definitely want to discuss. Your podcast. Again, one of the earliest podcasts, a bit of an early adopter. Chris I remember when Facebook first came out, you were definitely the big guy, like you were one of the biggest voices on on social media at the beginning. Yeah, coaching itself, you might say you weren’t the first, but you’re definitely very early on that. A bit of an early adopter. But tell me, number one, I want to talk about the pod and then later on I do want to also talk about the pandemic where I thought you really sort of came into your own at that point with those daily briefings and like something around when the going gets tough, the tough get going kind of feeling about you. Chris Am I getting that right?

Well well.

I am probably one of the most resilient people that I’ve ever met. And, you know, some some people call me Mr. Weeble because I just I don’t fall down. I just keep bouncing back up again. And when the history books are written.


About Chris Barrow, not that I think they will be, but if a history book was ever written about Chris Barrow, I think that that I would certainly be able to claim a title as a bounce back kid and forgive the pun, given we’re going to talk about COVID in a minute. But you understand bounce back in the sense that you can’t knock me down or just bounce back up again. So that that’s certainly true. And this business of being of being an innovator or what we’re going to reference is, is the lockdown lunchtime briefings. I’m going to go back to the question that I ask every human being that I ever meet in a professional context, and that is, how can I help? And the lockdown lunchtime briefings came out of me waking up on the morning of Tuesday after Boris did his stay at home speech. On the Monday night, I came down and I sat exactly where I am now, in the same office, in front of the same computer at the same desk. And let’s bear in mind that that night before my business had driven off a cliff like everybody else’s because I was all over the bloody map. I was doing workshops in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, India and was starting to get invites to go to all the places in the world as well. I had a global, potentially global coaching business, COVID stay at home, so and my business was predominantly based upon either delivering workshops or in practice physics. So I came down here the Tuesday morning and I sat here with a cup of coffee and asked myself a question How can I help? And that was all there was to it. And people frequently say to me, Oh my God, you were the guy.

You got the Facebook lunchtime.

You got lunchtime. Facebook Live broadcast. You got the business confidence forum going on the Thursday night. You were there. You were all over bloody Zoom. My kids were saying his Uncle Chris coming on the telly tonight, blah.

Blah, blah and and and and I.

Have absolutely no compulsion in saying that that 12 week period catapulted my business. Catapulted my business by an order of about 300% in terms of reach, turnover, profitability, purely that one event. And please God and thank God I haven’t come back down from that level.

But all I did.

Was the same thing that I do every day, which was to ask a question, How can I help? I just asked the question to the mirror in the bathroom.

That’s all there was to it. And it was, to me, total.

Utter, bloody crushing logic that everybody in dentistry was sat at home with fuck all to do. So why wouldn’t you jump onto Facebook, live at lunchtime and reach out to every other key opinion leader in dentistry who was sat at home doing fuck all and say to Jason Smithson or say to Martin Woodrow or say to my clients or say to Laura or Ash or anybody else, Come and join my lunchtime broadcast and let’s talk to people about what the hell’s going on and give them a bit of solace.

Yeah, it was a brilliant execution, though. A brilliant execution, because every day is not a joking matter. And it also at the time made me realise how connected you are to so many different people, you know?

Well, yeah. And that, you.

Know, that’s nothing other than, as I was remarking down in Birmingham over the weekend, you know, my first Dental trade show was.


And I turned up a bit like you turned up at every bloody show. And so you end up and so you end up knowing everybody. Yeah. So it was the easiest thing in the world to reach out to those people and say, Do you fancy coming on the live broadcast? They had nothing else to do. And and I will again, I’ve used go to my grave too many times tonight. I hope this isn’t kind of like, you know, John Lennon’s last interview.

But it was shot by an NHS dentist the day after.

But to my grave, I will. The thing that perplexes me. Why wasn’t every other consultant, why wasn’t every other trainer? Why wasn’t every dental supply company? Why wasn’t the acquisitions manager of every dental corporate? Why weren’t they all doing Facebook Live broadcasts and me having to compete with them? Everybody else sat on their arse and did nothing?

No, there was. There was some stuff, dude. Yeah, but yours was just strong. It was strong, that’s why. Because it’s difficult. But it’s difficult Things you take for granted, man.

So, you know, maybe the moral of the.

Story is, is that what you. What we all need to be doing.

More of.

Is asking ourselves a very simple question, which is, how best can I help?

And that is the secret.

Of the success that I’ve enjoyed.

And every time I talk.


I’ve replaced the question, How can I help.

With the question? How can I make a shitload of money?

And every time I’ve asked.

Myself that.


It’s gone so bloody. Pete Tong. You wouldn’t believe it.

Do you know what it’s. I know the answer to this question, but I want Chris to I want Chris to say it, which is your first gig with Paul Tipton. He asked you to turn up and give a talk and you probably knew very little in comparison to today. What on earth did you talk about? What did you say and what did you deliver on that day?

All right. Well, the.

First answer to the question is a fabulous quotation from Rudyard Kipling, who said that in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. And in 1996, I was the one eyed man. Perhaps to some extent, still am. But the second part of your question is that with back in those very first talks, I systematically said with the appropriate attribution, this is what Steve Covey says about the seven Habits of Highly Effective people. I wonder how much of that applies in dentistry. This is what Dave Allen said about getting things done. I wonder how much of this applies in dentistry. This is what Robert Kiyosaki said about rich dads.

And poor dads.

I wonder how much of this applies in dentistry. This is what Dan Sullivan at Strategic Coach in Toronto says about the entrepreneurial time system. I wonder how much this. So basically my speaking career in dentistry began by repurposing other you know, the Isaac Newton shoulders of giants comment. I sat on the shoulders of those giants. I repurposed that material into dentistry with the appropriate attribution. I never said this is my idea. I said, This is these ideas from giants that got me through about the first 2 or 3 years. And still until I started picking up some of the rackets that go on in dentistry on a day by day basis. And now what I do is I’m still talking about the Giants, I’m still repurposing that material. But I’m also saying and this is what Chris Barrow has observed over his 26 years.

Chris, what are the trends? What are what are you seeing out there now that’s new and what’s surprising you?

Well, that’s a different question. Let me answer the first question first. What’s trending? What’s trending on the 15th of May 2023 is that the corporates are tanking because the private equity boys are running scared. What’s happening is that the BBC are doing the best marketing job for private dentists. That’s been done in my lifetime by talking about dental deserts. What’s happening is that digital workflow is revolutionising not only the delivery of dentistry, but it’s also revolutionising the financial model for dentistry as well. What’s happening is a is a welcome return of the young dentist who wants to open their own private squat and doesn’t want to buy something off a retiree. And I predict a proliferation of private squats over the over the months and years ahead. What’s happening is that dental therapists have slowly been given access to their full scope of practice as defined by the GDC, and a few dentists are getting out of their own way and realising that BDS doesn’t actually spell God and that if they can train therapists to do the work properly, it’s a fabulous business model for them. I think that’ll do for a few trends. Yeah, that’ll that’ll do for now. What surprises me fuck all, mate.

Seen it all.

There is nothing that could surprise me.

Okay. Because it’s a bit unfair. I’m going to have to reference Stuart Campbell, but I’m going to say it because you were the one who who told him to do his podcast. Yeah. If if his famous Rishi Sunak. If you were Rishi Sunak, do you think what do you think the NHS is fixable? If so, what would you do to fix the NHS?

The the NHS.

Is eminently fixable and it’s about to be fixed and it’s about to be fixed by importing dentists from Kerala in southern India. And it’s about to be fixed by increasing the scope of practice for dental care professionals. And that’s entirely the right way to fix it. So all this dead language is is complete and utter bloody nonsense.

So you would keep it the same, keep the system as it is. As far as payments, for instance, I would means test access to NHS dentistry.

Well, you know, people have been talking.

About means testing access to dentistry as long as they’ve been talking about IR35 investigations of associates. And it’s all bollocks. You know, the revenue are never going to get round to testing associate tax status. There’s not enough revenue in it and there’s not enough people working at HMRC to have the time to do it. And similarly, I have to say that I think that the system needs to be replaced. I think that’s fundamentally broken. We need to run to we need to revert back probably to the system that was in place back in 1996 when I turned up.

But, you know, having.

Said that, there’s no reason why the system shouldn’t carry on in a similar format to that which it does, and means testing. Health care is is a political football that no party is ever going to take on board.

You’re not playing the game. The game is you’re the you’re the emperor of the world. So you can just do whatever you want.

Since graduating with a master’s from Eastman, Jurgita Sybaite has literally elevated the practice of aesthetic dentistry into an art form.

This week, Jurgita chats with Payman about how art school training inspires perfectionism and informs her work as a cosmetic dentist.

She reveals what it’s like to work and teach alongside the legendary Baz Mizrahi and plans a dream three-floor practice where morphology study is the order of the day.



In This Episode

02.14 – Choosing dentistry

06.23 – Who is Jurgita Sybaite?

17.08 – Dental school and teaching

27.10 – The Eastman Institute

34.32 – Dream clinic and leadership

41.34 – Strengths and weaknesses

44.36 – Blackbox thinking

01.04.12 – 10,000 hours and patient education

01.13.03 – A-ha moments

01.16.54 – Pricing and communication

01.20.24 – Teaching and evidence-based practice

01.27.39 – A day in the life

01.40.09 – Last days and legacy

01.50.59 – Fantasy dinner party


About Jurgita Sybaite 

Jurgita Sybaite completed a master’s degree in restorative dentistry at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute, graduating with distinction and winning the GC UK postgraduate prize for clinical and academic excellence.

She stayed at Eastman as a guest lecturer and postgraduate teacher in restorative dentistry.

Jurgita is a partner lecturer at Mizrahi Dental Teaching Academy, where she works with Dr Basil Mizrahi teaching aesthetic and restorative techniques.

Envisage this. You have a building. It has got four floors. The top floor is the lab where the magic happens or the ceramics happens. Then the third floor is the teaching centre, full of delegates learning morphology, probably. The second floor is the facial surgery and facial aesthetics. And the facial surgical aesthetics. And the ground floor would be the Dental Dental practice. How about that? So now found me that Find me that millionaire. Please.

No, no, no. Gym and hot tub.

Maybe it’s in the basement. If we do. Well.

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

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Yogita Sebata to the podcast. One of the nicest things about my job is I sometimes get to meet my heroes and Yogita definitely is one of them. Someone I’ve been following for years now and she doesn’t believe it when I tell her that one of one of the nicest things about you Yogita is that you don’t realise how interesting you are. Massive. Pleasure to have you here.

Thank you very much for inviting me. It’s a great pleasure to be here. And I must say that I was a tad nervous to come to the podcast because I thought, Oh my God, this is going to be Payman and he’s going to ask me all these questions about my personal life, about my upbringing, about my parents, where I come from. And and I think you know that and everyone who knows me a little bit, they do know that I’m quite a private person. Yeah. Because to answer these questions, it does require quite a lot of openness and vulnerability. And I’m an Eastern European. I do not do well with vulnerability.

Have you brought your vulnerable side? Today?

I did. I did, Actually, I did. So you’re going to be one of the very first people who’s going to probably hear the full story. Oh, amazing. So you’re going to get a very raw and very authentic yogita today. So treat me gently.

Absolutely. So Yogita you train other dentists now, It’s a big part of your your day, your week education. But you studied in Vilnius. You grew up in Lithuania. Do you remember the first time you thought, I want to be a dentist?

That is a good question. I do not remember the first time that I thought that I want to be a dentist the way I chose dentistry. It was very pragmatic and very practical decision. I do remember when I was thinking that I definitely want to be a doctor from a very early age, but when I passed my exams I realised that, well, I can’t really afford to spend 10 or 15 years in training to be a doctor. So I decided to become a dentist and I applied and here I am. So I guess it was not something that I really kind of planned out or it was my my dream. But this is a strange thing about some decisions in life that you make a decision and it turns out to be the best thing you’ve done. And I think that decision that I actually chose dentistry instead of medicine, it was one of the best ones that I’ve done.

Why medicine? Why were you even thinking medicine? Do you have doctors?

I don’t know. I really cannot recall why exactly. I wanted to be a doctor. Maybe it was the influence on all the, you know, TV programs like E.R. and everything. I really do not don’t know. But I kind of felt that I want to work with people. I want to help people. And I wanted a well-paid job. And I thought medicine would be kind of it. But exactly why? I don’t know. None of my family members are. They have nothing to do with that. None of them are doctors. I just decided, I think, that myself by by myself.

But you know how you you know, clearly when when I look at you these days, there’s a massive artistic influence on everything you do and teach. Were you an artist? Were you that way inclined as well? As a child.

Yes and no. Again, I think I will keep repeating that throughout our podcast and throughout our talk that a lot of the things that happen to me in the life happened because of a complete randomness and the complete accident and somehow things that are completely random things they happen to you in life, they somehow echo in later in life. Yeah. So when I was growing up, I was growing up in a very small town and a very small town in the north of Lithuania. And I was going to like a local school. My parents never, you know, forced me or guided me to be become anybody. I was really I had the full choice of full freedom to choose whatever I wanted to do. And I was going to a local school, which wasn’t really strong in the sciences, but it had a really strong arts curriculum. So every week for one day a week, we would have a full day dedicated to arts only and we would have like artists, painters, graphic designers, sculptors coming to the school, and we would spend time with them, you know, playing with clay or going to the nature and, you know, drawing bees and painting trees. And it was a lot of fun.

And I didn’t really think much of it at the time. So I spent I was going to that school up until the age of 14. And again, I was quite a mature, mature. I actually had, you know, I grew up with ten and 11 years older sisters, so I was quite mature for my age. And at the age of 14, I decided that, well, okay, so really, you know, if I want to do well in life, arts is not going to, you know, it’s not going to do that for me. So I need to go and to a better school and pick sciences. And that’s what I did. I applied to the school and and this is how art really ended in my life. And I think. I never thought about that a lot until I graduated from dental school and I started really working on teeth and I realised that, oh, actually everything that I’ve been doing before, I have this manual dexterity now. I have the visual perception and it really, really helps and I really enjoy what I do. So it was just a coincidence. The hands. I believe I have this artistic touch and feel to, to whatever I do.

So I mean, your parents, what did they do?

Um, my parents. Well, I come from a very humble background. My upbringing, I must say that it wasn’t very conventional. It was probably far from that. I was born in a family. My both parents are Lithuanians, and I cannot tell that my upbringing was full of love or support or my my my parents were educated. They were good people, but they didn’t really, you know, give me any directions at all. But one thing that they did really, really well is that they allowed me to do whatever I want to do. They taught me the accountability. If I chose to go to another school by myself, they would say, okay, fine, this is not very convenient. But you know, if you want to do that, you have to make sure that you will be able to get yourself to the school and you will be able to, you know, come back to the school on your own because you know, it’s your own thing. So I think what I’ve learned from my parents the most is it gave me a really good notion of how I don’t want to live my life. I understood that if I want more meaningful relationships, if I want to do better in life and they must be better than that, whatever I was experiencing, I have to go and get it myself. Nobody is going to give that to me. Nobody is going to present it to me on a silver plate. So if I want something, I have to go and get it. And I think this is what I understood very early in my life, and that’s how I live up until this day. And the greatest gift that my parents gave is that they never stopped me.

So a lot a lot of times people say you’re formed by your hardships. And, you know, I think we talk about this quite a lot on the podcast. We have these dentists, they’re doing very well, and then the children end up being quite soft. I’ve got, you know, the similar problem with my kids wondering, am I making them too soft? I can’t even bribe my kids to do anything. It’s like they don’t want anything.

Don’t bribe. It’s not going to work out.

But they don’t want anything. So but but I understand what you’re saying about the sort of the independence side of that, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to ambition. And yet you’re quite an ambitious person. It’s obvious talking to you and seeing what you’ve achieved. Where do you think that came from? I mean, was it from similar from from that fact that you wanted to break out of this situation?

And I think a lot a lot of that contributed to me not wanting to live in the circumstances that I was born to. But you know how we always say that, you know, how we achieve things. We achieve things because we set a goal and we actively pursue the goal. And in my opinion and in my experience, the reason why am I am ambitious and why I achieve things is because is of not having something. So I realised that this is what I don’t have. So do I want it? I do want it. So this is where the ambition comes from, comes from. Because if I want it and I don’t have it, it’s the mathematics is very simple. You have to go and get it. And also it’s a great what is it?

Security or a thing or a house or a car or a what is it?

There is no one thing. Yeah, there is no house security. Yes, there are many, many attributes, I guess, to what? Why the life is meaningful. So I do want to have meaningful relationships. I do want to have the variety of the experiences in life. I do want to have a fulfilling career. I do want to have a relatively comfortable life. I want to stay curious. I want to experience and get to know people. I am you know, I come across as quite a shy person, but I really do love people. I love listening to the stories and I love learning from the people because this is one of the things that also brought me forward a lot is I was listening to people and learning from people and I was thinking, Oh, this is a great mindset or This is how I would want to to be like when I grow up. I still think that to this day, sometimes when I meet somebody, okay, I want to I want to be this person or like this person when I grow up. So that’s, I think what is the meaningful thing for me. This is this is it for me. The experiences are not material. Things.

Okay, So you, you you said that you come across as a shy person and you do. You do. I mean, we’ve met maybe twice before, and both times I thought, you know what? Why? Why isn’t she acknowledging me or something? Yeah, that’s.

Not being shy.

But you you do come across as a shy person. You. You in a way, you almost speak when you’re spoken to in a like a social, social setting. And I’ve noticed as well, you’re good at throwing out a joke to, to sort of, I don’t know, to give yourself time to think about the answer to the question. Something.

Something like that. Oh, Eastern.

Europeans are known for their jokes. That is.

Nothing new.

But but where I’m going with it is that, you know, we all want to be something, right? I want to be my best friend. I’ll never be him, you know, because he’s just different. Totally different to me. Now, now that you’ve gone past the point of security and and ambition wise, I mean, you’ve achieved so much in your career already. No, I haven’t. You have? You have. In my world you have. Um. What? The question I’m getting to is, have you found something that is truly you, that you feel like, Oh, this is actually who I am?

Absolutely. And this is, I think, why I am absolutely comfortable in my own way of being. It might come across as shy. It might come across sometimes as rude, maybe.

Oh, well, I wouldn’t go that far.

I’m an Eastern European, so I’m really, like straightforward and direct. So it does come across as rude sometimes. So I know how I am. And I my philosophy is that, you know, I’ve spent years in self-development and self-growth reading about it and building myself up, and I still do. And it’s not a completed work and it’s not a completed task. And I am absolutely comfortable to be my authentic self if it comes across as shy. Yes, I do not. I am not loud. I do not you know, I speak up for myself when I have to. You know, I am a tough person. You know, you you mess with me. I will. I will speak up for myself. But I don’t need to be loud to be heard. I don’t need to be out there all the time. I really I am an introvert. And I also this is a great discovery that I found that, you know, the introvert doesn’t mean that I do not like people, that I don’t want to be with people. It’s just people drain me and I need to recharge the energy by being on myself and working on myself and building myself. And I’m absolutely comfortable with that. So, yes, maybe, perhaps I’m not I’m not a very loud person, but I’m happy with that.

On this question of introvert and extrovert, I know that basic thing that says, okay, extroverts are fed by people and introverts are drained by people. For me, I find I’m fed by seeing old friends and drained by meeting new friends, you know? And I think it’s more complex than that. Simple binary. No, of course, binary thing.

There are so.

Many types and the subtypes of the personalities, it’s just, you know, just a very generic, you know, two pods. So then how.

So Then on the recharging point, what do you do? Do you go away on holiday by yourself? Do you meditate? Do you?

I would love to.

Sometimes attempt to go on holiday by myself, but it never works out. I, I spend a lot of time on like being by myself. I would go back home. My my best companion is my cat. He doesn’t talk. He doesn’t ask things. I would read, I would paint, I would go for walks. I actually do like doing a lot of activities by myself. You know, if I decide that I want to learn, you know, scuba diving, scuba diving, I would do and go out and do that by myself. If I want to do the skydiving, I’m absolutely fine of, you know, not having people around me. And and I do enjoy my own company.

I really admire that, you know, because not enough of that. There are too many people want to be surrounded by loads of people all the time.

And and it’s good.

It’s, you know, listen, in my in my world is whatever works for people, I really do not judge. And if they need that and some people do really need that I’m not one of those. So my friends know me that, you know, I’m doing my own thing. And when I really need them, I will call out and I will. I will I will go out with them. But, you know, I go out with them. And there’s a point in the night at the time when I say that I disappear, I need to go. I said, I need to go. Don’t ask me. I just need to go. I will go and I will go actually, and I will not pick up the phone tomorrow because I need my time. I like that.

So tell me about your Dental school experience, because I’m about to go lecture in Vilnius and good luck. Yeah, I’ve noticed that. That Lithuanian dentists are all women. Yes.

What’s that about?

This is quite unique. Medicine. I think, again, my country, as you know, Lithuania, it got back its independence in the in the 90 seconds. So it was under the occupation of Russia. Right. So it was a completely different different culture, different mentality. And health care generally, including dentistry, was regarded as something that is a very feminine profession. So majority of dentists, majority of medics, they used to be women. Even in my dental school it was I guess it was 20 of us. It was a very small university university. And I guess from what I remember from I recall we only had like maybe four guys and the remaining were where where girls.

But why is that? Are you saying it’s a Russian thing?


That’s a good question. Not sure. Not sure. Really? Yeah, I don’t know. But it used to be like that. I know that the things are changing now. It’s becoming a bit more like 50 over 50, but, um, health care care of people, I suppose it was regarded as more of nursing. Yes, it was more regarded like. Like not.

Man’s work. Not man’s work. Yeah. Man’s work.

And how were you? How were you in dental school? Were you top of your class?

Not at all. Really?

Makes me so happy to hear that. Why is that? Because I wasn’t nowhere near.

No. It’s a very interesting experience. Now, having experienced Eastern European educational system and is Western Europe’s educational system now, I realise how different they are and the Lithuanian educational system in my undergrad years it completely demotivated me from dentistry. I really did not enjoy dentistry at all. And there were times that where I was thinking to drop out, in fact, seriously considering that because the educational system was based on authority and unquestionable authority, almost like dictatorship. So you are not allowed to ask questions. Well, you are allowed to ask questions, but the minute you ask the question, you, you, you regret that. So I kind of surfaced through the five years of dental school in the undergrad, and I thought, you know, the only thing that I want to do now, once I graduated, I want to graduate and forget about it. And I will never want to specialise. I don’t want to have this experience again. It was only in the UK when I moved to London when I had no choice also but to go and specialise where my experience changed completely. I went into I did my post-grad training at Eastman Dental Institute. I was studying restorative dentistry and I went in and that was something completely mind blowing because I met people and all the tutors and all the lecturers and the teachers who were genuinely interested for you to grow. And as long as you show a little bit of effort, they would support you 100%. And I remember those, you know, times I was completely clueless about, you know, what I was doing. But they would allow me to bring the cases and discuss the cases. So I would bring my case. And actually several tutors would stay after working hours. They would, you know, look at my case. They would write down the papers that I need to read to do this case. They would actually help me to wax up. And I was thinking like, Wow, this is such a different mindset. And I think this is where my passion for dentistry really was reignited. And I started enjoying going a little bit more in depth. And I thought, Well.

I mean, you.

Recognise it yourself now, right? Because you’re a teacher and you can see different students coming to the classes and you recognise that, don’t you? Sometimes you see 1 or 2 delegates who just really want to know more.

Yes, I always say that, you know, in any group of people that you take, there’s always this a standard bell curve distribution. You know, you got the group that majority of them, they are more or less okay. They they they’re not brilliant. They’re not too bad either. You always get like 1 or 2 that are well challenged, challenged, challenging for you as well. And you always get like 1 or 2 that get really, really bright people who are so interested and you want to support them. And this is actually the biggest pleasure that I get from the teaching is not so much, you know, standing in front of the audience and, you know, being there, shining, you know, light. But it’s seeing the difference that you make for people who maybe, you know, finished your course a year ago, but they still kind of ask you questions and you watch their cases and you see how how much they’ve grown. This is the biggest this is the biggest reward. Your reward for me.

And your teaching. You know, I always think about dentistry. It’s like concentric circles. You’ve got your eyes right, seeing what’s there. And I know that’s definitely the way you’ve chosen to be this specialised at pushing that piece. You’ve got the brain that the evidence base, the treatment, planning, all of that. Then you’ve got the hands piece, right, which I’ve seen in some of your writing. You’ve said that, look, the hands part’s easy. That’s the most people can do that. But it’s the seeing and the knowing what to do part. And then you’ve got the sort of the heart, you know, the talking to patients and making people feel comfortable and doing the right thing. And all of the all of those things you’ve chosen. I mean, I’m sure you’re very good at all of them. I’m sure you’re very good at all. But you’ve chosen to really zoom in on that, the eyes, seeing what’s there, drawing the teeth and so forth. Do you think that’s a deficiency in most dentists outlook? I know it’s the first step, isn’t it, Seeing Do you see it?

It’s interesting that you kind of excluded the eyesight as the thing that I’ve chosen. I don’t think.

You don’t believe that.

I don’t think this is my sole focus. There is no one particular skin that can excel. You propel you in your profession. I think everything needs to be connected and everything needs to be linked together. I perhaps is the very first step where everything begins. You know what you see, You can no longer unsee and if you cannot unsee it, you know you everything that kind of switches on your brain, your hand and you read and you try to repeat and you try to to work on that. So it’s perhaps the very first step, but it’s not the only one.

No, no, of course not.

Of course. But maybe I’m just being confused by seeing those pictures of people drawing teeth on your course. Maybe. Maybe that’s why I’m thinking that you need all four of them to be. Exactly. By the way, throw in another one business, which itself has another 5 or 6 concentric circles to to look at. But but you know, that question of seeing we see it on our composite course with Depeche that some people can see and some people can’t see what we’re looking at. And it’s difficult, isn’t it? We have quite a large class of 30 people in the class. And to make sure that everyone can see in the first instance and then but then where where I worry about your approach compared to Depeche, for instance, is that we get a lot of we ask at the beginning, what do they want to get out of the course? And often the thing that people want to get out of it or the thing they’re worried about isn’t the main problem with dentists. So for instance, they talk about secondary anatomy or colour or layering, whereas we find primary anatomy is often absolutely often the problem, you know? Absolutely. And then the number of people who come out of dental school not knowing what a line angle is, how.

Does that and I was one of those people was everyone is actually.

Why is that? I mean, you know, I was thinking about this. I was thinking, well when we discuss tooth morphology, we hadn’t even seen a tooth. It was in our course. It was in the first year before we’d even seen a patient. They started saying, Oh, these are tooth morphology. It was all gobbledegook. And, you know, maybe you need to have seen some teeth and done a few composites and then start talking about tooth morphology after that.

Isn’t that funny that, you know, we are dentists. Yeah. What it means that day in and day out, we are restoring the teeth. We are recreating teeth. Yeah. And isn’t that funny that we don’t even know how the tooth looks like? Yeah. And I do remember that we have been taught morphology in the dental school somewhere in the very first years where you have no clue, you know, and to from what I remember from my teaching, you know, for me the most important thing that if I knew how to, you know, distinguish between the upper premolar and the lower premolar, that was already good, right? That was massive. That’s it. Right. And I guess, you know, there are so many things that needs to be covered in a dental school that it kind of falls in the background. And and people graduate the dental school thinking about evidence based dentistry, about the bonding and the best bonding system. And they really don’t know the foundation. So they know a lot of details about it. But the big picture disappears. And this is what I found. This is how I was myself and this is what I found, that it’s quite a paradoxical thing. And at least in my world, you know, I was always very focussed on the aesthetic dentistry again, by accident, you know, since I graduated and the practices that I worked, I also did a lot of studying and you know, the feeling when you go to the courses, you do the studies, you read the papers, you buy expensive kits and you buy expensive, you know, all the materials and you go to the practice and your dentist really doesn’t elevate that much.

Yeah. And I think for me, the penny dropped when I realised that. Okay, so it doesn’t look good. How about I learn how to actually shape the teeth? And I started looking into the morphology again by accident. I went to Pascal Magnet schools and he started talking about drawing the teeth and how it really changes your perception and mindset. And it resonated with me just because I was going into that art school and I thought, Well, actually, let me try that. You know, I have all the equipment, I have the skills. So I started doing that. And slowly, slowly things started shifting and it made the world of the difference. So now you give me any material, any material, you give me any treatment to plan the treatment to execute the treatment. I’m comfortable because I know what I need to shape. I know the basic concepts. I know you know how it needs to look like. So for me, I really don’t like to be called like the aesthetic dentist. Aesthetic dentistry as opposed to what? An aesthetic dentistry. Like what is the other alternative? Right? To me, you know, aesthetics is a by-product of doing things properly. Yeah. And that’s why I think the morphology, why I’m so passionate about it, because to me it just changes absolutely every discipline, not only direct restorations like composites, not only interior composites, not only posterior, but everything the occlusion, the crowns, the planning, the communication with your patients, everything.

And, you know, form follows function, you know. Absolutely. Of course. So you say you went on Pascal’s course by mistake?

Well, not by mistake. By accident, by.

Accident, by accident, but.

Oh, you trained at the Eastman? No, no, that happens by accident. Does it? I mean, you know, you arrive in London as a foreign speaking. You know, you didn’t grow up here, so you don’t necessarily have to be that person who goes to the Eastman or goes on courses or.

I knew about Pascal Magnier before I went to Eastman because I was one of the those people, you know, Pascal, he published his book, Bonded Restorations in 2007. And I had those and I had that book and I read that book. And, you know, it happened way before I went to Eastman. And I think, okay, so it happened by accident, as I said. But nothing truly is an accident when you think about that. Like when I was doing my Eastman course and I had this, you know, passion about dentistry reignited. Yeah, I was called, you know, all my tutors and my classmates. They used to call me the course junkie because not only I was doing the Eastman course every week, but I also used to book, you know, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this. And I went to see Newton fall, and then I went to see Daddy Dadhichi, and then I went to see Pascal Magny and so on and so on. Actually, my accountant, he once said, Oh my God, you work, you study and you are the poorest dentist that I know because I used to spend a lot of money. Everything that I earned, it went for my for my education. And I think this is how I ended up, you know, going to Pascal’s because coming from where I come from in Lithuania, you know, people like that, they do not come and visit your country very, very often, right? So now I’m in London. I’m surrounded by all these opportunities and I can travel and I can go and listen to people that actually travel to where you live. So it was quite unique experience and I actually grabbed it and I enjoyed it for some time.

Perfect. Although, I mean, now you’re being paid to be alongside Basil Mizrahi, who I mean, I don’t know. The people would pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to get the education you were getting daily with the great man as his associate as his case. And I remember him when I when I had him on this podcast saying, you know, one of the future stars is going to be your G2 and so forth. What would you say the difference is between someone who goes on the Basil Mizrahi course and someone who spends day by day by day next to him? You’re the insights you must be giving you. Tell me about what it’s like to work in that practice. You know.

I have been working with him for quite some time. He was actually one of the first people who grabbed me from, as he likes to say, cherry picked you from from Eastman. He was my tutor. He was one.

Of the teachers.

Yeah, he was one of the teachers, Yes. So he was the first one to ask me to actually come and lecture at his course. And I didn’t start as an associate first. I went to teach on his course first, and only after he invited me to join his practice after his previous associate, Mehul Patel, left. And so we’ve been together for quite a long time and I have grown a lot and I’ve learnt from him a lot and it was an absolutely amazing opportunity to to do that. And I’m so grateful. Now we’re at the stage where and I’m so grateful for him and I admire him a lot. A lot of people warned me, you know, you’re going to go to work with him. It’s going to be very difficult and you’re going to be so nervous. And the patients are this and the patients are that. But one thing about me in life is that I do enjoy, not I do enjoy, but I really embrace the difficult situations easily. I do not crumble under the stress easily. So I you know, I thought, okay, fine, if it’s going to be difficult, I’m there for a reason. I’m going to learn from the man, right? And I go in there and I never you know, my hands do not shake.

It’s not that I’m super nervous. So I was, you know, given this opportunity to learn from him and where we are now is, um. Well, he allowed me to thrive, really, in this practice. He gave me, you know, he taught me what he could, and. And he allowed me again to choose my own path. So, yes, we do work together. We. But we have developed our niches, separate niches. So, you know, I call him your like, traditional prosthodontist. And he calls me your a traditional bonded dentist. Right. And so we are good at very different things. And and I’m very grateful for him because usually now your people that, you know, that take you under their wing, they kind of want you to follow their footsteps. Yeah, but he’s given me a complete freedom to choose. You know what I really want to do? And he supports me to that. And in fact, he sees he sees that as a strength. And I see that as a strength that he does one thing that I don’t like doing and whatever he doesn’t like to be doing, I am really loving this thing. So it’s a really good, I think, symbiosis between the two of us.

So I remember when I spoke to him, he said on the digital side, that’s really you leading all of that. And he himself is he’s wondering whether he’ll really ever get into the digital properly.

Yeah, I’ve pushed him to get a scanner a lot. Yeah.

But, you know, I.

Get it as well, because if you’re Basil Mizrahi and you know what you’re doing to to completely take something super predictable and then take something else, a new thing, which is, you know, a little bit unpredictable, it’s going to be difficult change, but that’s always the challenge, isn’t it? Because he was saying, telling me himself that he’s worried he’s becoming a dinosaur and he can’t believe it because when he was that young guy, you know, he used to think others were dinosaurs. But, you know, I know this doesn’t the comparison isn’t real, right? You had Larry Rosenthal sold his practice to Mike APA, and then Mike went on and, you know, expanded this thing and grew it. And Larry was already the top cosmetic dentist in America. And then Mike’s gone on that. So if on a, on a if we just put ourselves in that situation that let’s say Basil comes to you and says, listen, I’ve had enough, I’m out and you can have this practice for free, give me, you know, where would you take it? What would you dream? Dream big. Tell me and tell me how would you develop that?

I don’t think I.

Would take it really, because, you know, his practice is his baby. It’s he was always a man of of one of a man of one band.

One man, man.

Yeah. One band. Man. Yeah. And he built it, you know, around.

He built it.

Around his name and around how he does things and what he does as well. And as I said, it’s not necessarily what I do and where I do not envision envisage myself maybe growing. So the question about, you know, taking the practice and, you know, turning how I would turn it, I it would be completely different, completely different. It would not be like traditional, you know, prosthodontics I would not be doing, you know, the cases that he does just because I don’t really enjoy that. So it’s not really beneficial, neither for him or for me to take a practice as such.

Okay, then. So I wouldn’t.

Take I bounce back. Your question wouldn’t.

Wouldn’t, wouldn’t take Basil Missouri’s practice. I never thought I’d hear that.

But he knows that.

Yeah, okay. I mean, you’re right. It’s a very it’s a very specific kind of dentistry. Is it sort of full mouth dentistry, a lot of prepping and all that. How about yourself? If. Billionaire came along and said, listen, I want to back you. I want to I want to give you backing to open your dream business. What do you envisage it as? I mean, in a way, I’m talking about if you had a magic wand and you could set a place up and what would it what would it look like?

For a very long time, actually, I was absolutely certain that I don’t want to have a practice or a business. I thought, you know, I just want to be really good that it gives me freedom to go and work in any country that I want in any practice. I just want to be really highly paid. And I do not want to have the headache of, you know, running a practice which is a completely different, you know, side of, of, of the business. But now I’m thinking that, well, it cannot really be that I will end my career without having tried that. I probably would regret that very quickly, but I probably want to try that. So if you really, you know, ask me, you know, if I had a magic wand, what it would be like. And, you know, I like to dream big sometimes. So envisage this. You have a building, it has got four floors. The top floor is the lab where the magic happens. All the ceramics happens. Then the third floor is the teaching centre, so full of delegates learning morphology. Probably the second floor is the facial surgery and facial aesthetics and the facial surgical aesthetics. And the ground floor would be the Dental Dental practice. How about that? So now found me that Find me that millionaire.


No, no, no. Gym and hot tub.

Maybe it’s in the basement if we do. Well.

No. But then to be serious, are you thinking of opening your own practice someday then? Now? Probably, yes. Good. I think. I think a lot of times it’s about control rather than anything else. You know, if you’ve got a particular thing in your head, the only way to realise that is to create it. On the other hand, I come across a fair number of people where education is their focus, who don’t want to open practice, you know, people like Jaz Gulati. Yeah, he’s 100% sure he doesn’t want to open a practice. He wants to do the podcast and the shoot offs that come from that. The courses that he’s just done that whatever it is, the occlusion course and all that. I had Millie Morrison last week saying 100% doesn’t want to open a practice and I feel like it’s a shame, you know, someone who’s so good with patience doesn’t want to open a practice. So so, you know, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

Exactly as you said, you know, we all have to live our own authentic life. And if be true to yourself, if you really want to do that, do whatever comes, you know, the easiest for you and whatever you want to do.

Kind of a boss. Do you think you’d be Eastern European?

Strict? You know, there is a really good saying about, you know, what is the difference between Eastern Europeans and Westerners. Yeah. So Westerners, they could be compared to the peaches. So you take a fruit, the peach is soft. It smells nice, right? It’s so juicy. You bite into that and it’s so easy to bite into that until you hit the, you know, the pit.

The hard bit.

Right? The hard bit. And you break your tooth. Come to the Dental your visa. So these are the Westerners. The Eastern Europeans are a bit like an egg, right? Really hard shell, really not attractive. But once you break through, they’re so gooey, so nice and so runny and so soft. So this, this is how I am. And I know that a lot of my colleagues as well, you know, the first time they meet me, my nurses or other associates, they always think that I’m quite tough and I’m quite strict and I am in certain situations that require that. But I’m quite a nice person. I do get all get along with people. So somebody who thought that I’m too strict and I’m definitely not going to, you know, hang around with her, they end up, you know, being my really good friends. And we have a good laughter and we have a good, good banter.

So what What’s the answer to the question? You be.

Strict when you need both a.

Bit, probably towards the stricter side. But there is a time and the place for everything. There are times where you need to be focussed and I absolutely would not accept anything less than that. And there are times where you are just a human being. Yeah, and you can talk to people and I really admire, you know, one of the reasons, you know, why I really, really like working with, with the, with my principle. One of the practices that I worked for a very long for many, many years, Ahmed Patel is because I think you really mastered this art and I really admire him for that because he’s he’s really forward thinking. He’s a really good boss. He runs a super, you know, good business and he’s quite successful and he is really good with people.

As well.

Yeah, he’s super good with people. Not in a way that, you know, people are so relaxed and chilled around him and that they don’t end up being, you know, doing the job that they need to do. But he somehow manages to get the maximum out of them and makes them feel proud to do that and makes them feel, you know, appreciated. And he values for those people. So I think I would like to be that kind of boss.

He’s strong. He’s strong. Amateur Sardinia.

Sardinia. Dental. Yes. Yeah, for.

Sure. And it’s a funny thing because, you know, there’s of course, there might be a sort of a basic middle point, but you can be double strict and not get the most out of people or you can be too soft. I’m more on the too soft side. Don’t fire people.

That’s why you need a business partner who’s a complete, complete opposite.

I’ve got a business partner who is the complete opposite. Yes, but. But you know, I almost treat my team like. Like best friends. And then when it comes to telling someone off, I’m not really into that. I don’t like doing that.

But you don’t like to be.

A bad policeman?

Yeah. Yeah, I’m a people pleaser. But on the other side of it, then I get a lot out of people as well because we feel like we’re all in it together and so forth. People stay for years and years and and so forth. So there’s no perfect answer to this question. I think one thing, too, in in work in general, one thing to look out for is that to have a partner, if you’re too much on one way or the other and, you know, business is very lonely sometimes. I know you like being by yourself. I like being by myself. By the way, I adore going to a restaurant by myself. I cannot believe that my favourite thing and I end up doing it all the time because I travel the country a little bit, seeing dentists and all that. I love going to a restaurant by myself and ordering. It’s amazing.

It’s the best. Yeah. And people feel.

Sorry for you and you’re like, What you’re on about is, I mean.

It’s a really good time. I do need.

Headphones. Yeah, I do. I do need headphones. I can listen to a podcast or play with the Internet or whatever, but I prefer going by myself than going with anyone else. Um, nonetheless, my point is that if you’re one way or the other, it’s sometimes makes sense to have a partner which is the other way. True at work? True. What would you say is your biggest weakness? Um, it’s an interview question.

It’s an interview question.

You’re a perfectionist, that one.

No, it’s not my weakness. You are a perfectionist, aren’t you?

I am a perfectionist. Yes. Again, in certain areas, you know, at work. I am a perfectionist. At my house, maybe not so much. Uh huh. Um. So there is a time and a place for everything, right? My biggest weakness. I do get complacent. If I’m comfortable in my life, in my career, my personal life, if things are easy. Why changing them? Right. And this is where complacency really does. It stops propelling you and and you stop progressing and you find yourself, Oh, I’m a bit behind. Oh, I need to I need to really start moving now and I need to really doing this and that. And I do end up doing this and that, but it becomes really stressful and a bit erratic at times. So I think that’s my biggest weakness so far.

So you don’t like to get out of the comfort zone?

No, I do. I.

Well, you just.

Have to look at what you’ve done, though. You must. Have you changed countries a couple of times? You.

That’s true. Yeah, I do. I do.

Get out eventually out of my comfort zone. But these are really, you know, the comfort zone is a rare moment. And when you are in it, it’s so nice sometimes to be to be there. But then again, you have a wake up call. Okay. It’s not good. I need to do something. I need to do something else.

So complacency.

Complacency. What else? Oh, only one. I’m perfect.

I don’t like those little jokes we were talking about. You were right. Actually.

Um. No, There are many, many things. You know, we all try to work around our weaknesses.

I feel like. I feel. I feel like around is the right word. You know, I’m disorganised. Yeah. Really disorganised. Um, now you can buy me the best diary in the world. I’ll still be disorganised. Yeah. So for me, I need people around me who are organised. That’s, that’s the correct thing. But if I try and change, I’ve realised if I try and try and become more organised, I’ll waste quite a lot of time. You know, I definitely with my kids as well. I believe in like working on their strengths, not their weaknesses, you know, And this working around the things that you’re bad at is a nice way of putting it for sure. Um, let’s, let’s move on to darker questions. Um, we like, we like to talk about mistakes.

Yes. On this.

Podcast, you know.

About this, you reiterated that a few times. I quite enjoyed this bit.

Yes. We like to talk about mistakes because in, in dentistry, in medicine, we don’t tend to share our mistakes enough. And so we all have to end up learning from our own mistakes instead of learning from other people’s mistakes. When, when, when I say that, what comes to mind? What kind of clinical errors, management errors come to mind that hurt when you think about.

Oh my God.

Payman So many, So many. Um, I was thinking about that. And I think when I think about my mistakes retrospectively, which I always do anyways, there are three categories of my mistakes. Oh, nice. So these are, you know, there’s the first category. These are the mistakes, clinical mistakes that happened quite early on in my career where I was absolutely clueless of what I was doing, where I really bit more that that than I could chew and I shouldn’t have been doing it. So, you know, and those mistakes they when I look back, they are relatively small mistakes but they gave me a lot of headache because I completely did not know what was happening and how to manage that, such as like, you know, you don’t breach the teeth with, you know, heavy posts and you don’t do the distal cantilever. And, you know, if you have a really big core, maybe check the vitality before you crown that you things like that.

Stuff that feels very obvious to you. Yeah.

Now you know, like, what was I thinking? Why? Why I was doing that? It’s just because I didn’t know better, you know? But I think now where I am now, I am a bit more clever because I’ve learned these things. I’ve trained myself, You know, I did the courses, I did the postgraduate training. And I’m I’m a bit better with that. The second category of mistakes happened. In the NHS practice at my very first job in United. Did you work in the NHS? I did work in the in the NHS.

How did that feel? Did you like did you did you think.

Did you think I’ve come from from Lithuania where people don’t think of it as a, you know, first world country. I’ve come to this supposed first world country and I feel like I’m in a third world surgery.

It was the second time.

In my life, the second time after my university where I didn’t have a lot of passion for dentistry. It was the second time where I was thinking like, if this is how my life is going to look like, if I’m going to have to do that for the rest of my life, I really don’t want to be a dentist. And I was thinking I will become a florist, you know, introvert, florist. They don’t talk, you know, flowers don’t talk. I’m just going to be, you know, surrounded by flowers. So these were quite dark and gloomy days. And I’m glad I did it because everything you do in life, it.

How long did you do it for?

Uh, 2 to 3 years.

Oh, really?

Two. Three years? Yes. After the first year of doing that, I decided that, well, I either quit or I need to change something. And this is where decision came to. To go and study, get better, get better and get better, to create, you know, the social connections networks. You know, again, I moved to the UK and and I was pretty much in Hireable. Nobody really wanted to hire me because I come from Lithuania, Lithuania. Most people can’t even show where Lithuania is on the map. And then before coming to UK, I had a sabbatical year, so I wasn’t even working at all. I was travelling around the world, right? So I was really on my CV, did not really look well at all. So I didn’t even, you know, I couldn’t even land a job in London. So my first position that I managed to secure was in Somerset in a town called Taunton. So I was working for a year and a half there in Taunton because that was the only, you know, beautiful place.

Beautiful place.

Yes, a really good cider. Um, so, yeah, these were the very gloomy days. And I it was a really, really stressful time. And that is where my second category of my mistakes happened is because I was doing the dentistry that I did not do before because I was coming from, you know, after graduation in Lithuania, I was working in a in quite a high end private practice. Then I moved to France and I was working in France in a private practice. So I was doing I never did, you know, very complicated, complex dentistry. It was single tooth dentistry. But whatever I did, I did it well, yeah, right. And then I moved to UK and then there was this NHS environment.

And as the third.

Party telling you what you can and can’t do.

Right, Exactly.

And I was all of a sudden supposed to be doing everything and very quickly. So that pressure and you know, I did so many mistakes and I had all the complaints that I had, all the complications that I did happened in those early days in the NHS practice because you’re constantly are rushed. You have.


Materials, not enough time.

Not even that, I would say terrible materials. You know, as I said, you give me any material, you know, you can do, you know, a good, a a very decent clinical job, maybe not necessarily aesthetic with any material, but I was not given a chance, you know, to establish a relationship with people. I was not being I was not given the chance to I couldn’t have a choice, you know, to spend time to talk to them, what they really want, what they really need to actually listen to people to explain what is going to happen now, what we’re going to do and why we’re going to do this and not the other way. So it was constantly rushed. And of course, mistakes happen. You know, all of a sudden, you know, I used to take like an hour to do like an occlusal composite, you know, previously. And now I have like 20 minutes to do that. It was absolutely crazy. And of course, you get complaints and of course, you know, you sometimes you hurt even people, you know, by rushing. And this is where where I, I wasn’t happy in my professional life at and the last I think category of my mistakes these are the current mistakes. They are much more serious now. But I’m so much more relaxed about it because I think the the main factor is because now I know my my patients and I know myself.

I really know what I’m good at and I know what I’m not good at. So things that I’m not good at, I’m not comfortable with, I would not do it if I. Now I know, you know, I spend time with people and if I know that that person is a red flag, I know how to politely and gently, in a subtle way to say no to this and not to take the case. If I take the challenging case or the challenging patient, I know that I will be able to manage that patient. So a lot of, you know, patients nowadays, they, you know, I guess you could call them very demanding patients, you know, very. Aesthetically oriented, really picky patients, and I don’t mind that at all. I actually do enjoy working. I enjoy that challenge. I do enjoy that challenge because I believe that, you know, I like growing myself. I grow with the patient and the patient grows with me and then we end up creating, you know, something perhaps you refer to as artistic because it, it takes it takes that and it, it takes two people. And there is one case that I always show in my teaching. It’s the aesthetic case and the complication case. And majority of the delegates when they listen, you know, to that lecture and I can I can see them sweating, you know.

Like like why do you do these cases? Why do you.

Have these patients to begin with? Why didn’t you say no to those patients? And and one of those complications was that, you know, I had a lady very, very picky, demanding lady who came in to change her old veneers. So ten upper veneers. And she was quite specific and prescriptive of what she wanted. And she came to see Basil first. Now get that Basil said, I can’t do better. Your veneers are good. And he turned her down. He turned her away, so she went away. A year later, she comes back and she says, I still want those veneers changed. And Basil says, I still can’t see, you know, what’s wrong with those veneers? So you need to go and see your guitar. So this is well, this is how we work now with Basil. He knows that, you know, the aesthetics and, you know, visual perception is my forte. And he said, Well, go and see her and speak to her. And, you know, the way now I work with people is that I know that they all want something and I need to really listen and to be able to see whether whatever they are saying, it makes sense. Can I see what they’re describing to me? If I can see, you know, what they’re describing to me and what they want. And it is realistic and it’s safe and I can deliver that, I will take the case.

So at the risk of a body dysmorphic situation, right.

No, but this is body dysmorphia is a different different thing.

So it’s a thin line, right?

It’s a very thin line.

That’s what you’re saying, if you can see it.

If I. Yes, exactly.

You can discuss it with a patient and understand what it is they’re after. If that makes if you can’t, then you class that as a body dysmorphia situation or a psychological.

I’m not the person, you.

Know, to put the labels, I suppose dysmorphia. I would say that I’m not the best person for you, you know, for you. And I will not, you know, offer.

Any other time.

So let’s get to the mistake. There’s been times where you’ve made an error in this judgement.

Oh, yes. Many, many. You know, you just.

Let’s talk through one of.



Which one? Which one? I’m thinking.

Um, you know, the, the good thing about those mistakes is, as I said, you know, it didn’t really happen on major scale. Like, you know, not like the full mouth, you know, the ten veneers. It was maybe one tooth, maybe one crown. And yes, I did the crown, you know, I took up the patient where, you know, she was extremely picky. I needed to replace the crown. And, you know, I was quite good. It didn’t happen that long ago. It probably like six, seven years ago. And, you know, I replaced the crown. And in my opinion, it was a good crown. And she said, no, I still can see the difference. And she’s right. You know, I’m using a completely different material to the tooth. And there will be this effect called metamerism that, you know, whatever lighting you’re going to, there will be times that it will be visible. Right? So she said, and I do not accept that and I missed this, that she’s going to be this person, you know. So we ended up very kind of amicably. I returned the money. I have no problem. You know, if if the person is not happy, whatever it is, I it’s my mistake that I didn’t really realise that she’s going to be one of those. And I didn’t manage her expectations that well. So I returned the money and that’s it, Right.

And is that the one you’re giving me? That? That’s the mistake.

That’s the mistake.

I was hoping for a more juicy one than that. I would like the patient didn’t didn’t accept the money and said, you know, I want it, I want it fixed. I want something more than the money or.

Lost lost lost.

Confidence or some something.

More than confidence.

Yeah, confidence. You know, obviously she never came back to not only to see me, but she never came back to the practice. But I.

Okay, okay, let’s.

Let’s talk about this sometime. You’ve got this wonderful eye. You’ve got this amazing hands and brain, right? So sometimes you get a patient who’s who says, you know, the last dentist couldn’t see it and you can and picks you up and you think, well, you know, I’m pretty good. And you take something on. And then when you’re when you’re in the middle of that thing, you realise, oh, this is why the last dentist couldn’t do it or see it, you know, I don’t know. The patient couldn’t open their mouth enough or, or they were ultra picky or something about the bite or something. Surely it’s happened because the kind of patient who gets referred to Basil, who often ends up with you a lot of times the reason why the dentist is referring is that there is this thing that’s in the way, and that’s why they just go and see the best guy. He will take care of you. So you must have come across that where some some things you’ve misjudged the situation and it’s gone wrong.

So this was, you know, that same lady that I started talking about, You know, we’re kind of, you know, misjudge how picky she was and how actually she you know, you say, I have a good eye. I think you need to take her.

To you had even a better she had a better eye.

She had a better eye. So, you know, I took I took her case and I thought, well, okay, whatever she’s describing, I can actually, you know, I can see and I can do better. So we go through all these ordeal, you know, of planning the case and mock ups and whatever. And she writes me emails and she sends me the pictures of celebrities of how her teeth are looking. And I, you know, I’m thinking, oh, my God. And go, go and get the different head then, you know? So nevertheless, we finally, finally agree on on, on, on what where we want to end up with. And we proceed with the case. And I take the veneers off and I do the temporaries, you know, the complete exact copy of what we agreed to do. She goes away. She thinks about that. She’s one of those that she needs the approval of all the families and, you know, and the husband and everything. And she sends me finally an email saying it’s absolutely perfect. If the technician can copy that, let’s copy that. So I send everything to the technician and I say, This is what you need to copy. And I receive, you know, the case back. I kind of look at it and look, Yeah, well, look looks really nice. It looks really good. You know, I do the tri in and I take the pictures. We both look at the pictures and I think, yeah, it looks looks really good. Are you happy? Yeah, I’m happy. So I cemented everything permanently.


You know, it was her wedding as well after a couple of weeks. And, uh, you know, she’s very happy. She goes, she goes away. And then I see her name in my books, you know, the consultation.

I’m like.

Okay, what’s. What’s going to happen now? And then she comes back and and again she comes back and she by, by then, you know, with all these appointments and back and forth, we are in really good terms. I do establish really close relationships with my friends, with my patients. So she comes back and she says, You probably are going to think that I am crazy. My family thinks that I’m crazy, but there is something wrong with those veneers. I cannot really tell you what exactly, but there is something wrong with those veneers. And I look at those veneers, they look perfect to me. There’s nothing wrong with those veneers. Go away. And she says, No, I think my smile has changed. So I take a picture again and I compare the temporaries and the veneers and I look and I compare. And I look and I compare. And then she says, Look, there’s something wrong on the sides, on on my premolars. There’s something not right on the premolars. And I do compare and I see that, you know what my technician did? He made them made them a little bit thinner than what the temporaries where. I didn’t pick that up. I didn’t notice that.

You know, it was right in a way. She was right.

Yeah, she was right. And then she, you know, and I’m like, okay, ten years reading, ten years, you know what’s going to happen now? So we have a conversation that I and I have to admit, you know, she’s right. You know, I said, well, yeah, the technician did make them a little bit thinner. And that’s why it looks like your your smile is a bit narrower to what we planned. And so the question comes, so what we can do about that And I am saying, well, there’s no easy way to, you know, to to go around that and we need to redo all of all of that.

Why couldn’t you just redo those two?

It’s not two. It’s four premolars. And also, you know, you need to.

Have a nice transition.

From the canine. So it’s kind of all or nothing.

Yeah. Yeah.

And she is really to redo all of that. Um, yes, that’s the only way. So basically how we left at that time was that she I really had a very honest conversation with her. I said, I agree that there is this discrepancy from from your provisional restorations, but to redo that, it’s quite, quite a difficult job. It’s aggressive. And we and, you know, your veneers were quite aggressive to begin with. Are you really that unhappy with them? And she says, I think I am because you know me, I once I’ve seen it, I cannot unsee it. And I know that are really beautiful veneers and I know that my smile looks so much, but much better. But I think I will redo that. And she goes, But I’m happy to pay for this again.


And this is, I think, where, you know, the benefit of establishing a good communication comes from. Yeah, I don’t think I would be charging her, you know, if she decided, you know, to do those veneers. Yeah, I don’t think I would be. But she was, you know, we were on that on those terms. So where we left it and it was last year I took the impressions and I said, well, I’m going to, you know, if you. Really show that you want to redo them. I’m going to do the wax up again to copy your, you know, first set of temporaries and we’re going to go ahead. In the meantime, I said, I want you I just want to ask you, you know, can you actually have a think about it again?

Do you really live with them for a few months? Yeah, Yeah.

Not even for a few months, because she was living with them for like a couple of months before she came back. But just think about whether you really want to redo that. And she says, I’m pretty certain, but okay, I’ll think about that. So that was last year and she hasn’t come back. I still haven’t got that, got that wax up. And I’m pretty sure that at some point she will return. Oh, you think so? I think so. That she will return, but she hasn’t come back yet. So we’ll see where that will go. So it to me, you know, it was.

Again, it.

Seems like a success, not a failure to me.

Turn every failure into success.

That seems like I want to hear about failure. That seems that seems like a successful outcome.

Okay. Let me tell you know, one of those categories that I said you shouldn’t be doing things that you’re not really comfortable with. Yeah. Good. Yeah. So once. Oh, actually, no. So one thing I’m really good at restorative, but I really suck at surgical. You know, I really don’t like surgical anything. Don’t like blood. And I haven’t taken the tooth out for many, many years. And I was doing some restorations. I was doing a quadrant dentistry, I think on the top left or whatever. And I, you know was polishing the distal of seven. Yeah. With the.


Oh right. And I was so focussed on polishing that like really, really well that, you know, I don’t know, where’s that blood coming from? Okay, so I did a bit of a cut, right? So I did cut and I. Oh, hang on. It’s not blood. What is this yellow thing that’s coming from? So basically I cut the buccal pad open that it really started like, pouring into the mouth.

And I’m like, oh, my goodness.

First of all, what is this? I have no idea. What is this? So I said to my nurse, will bring the sutures. I don’t know what to do. I’ll bring the sutures. So I tried to stay cool and I somehow sutured. I remembered how to suture it, and it took ages, but I did that. Well. I sutured. She healed after that. I said, What happened? And she wasn’t particularly happy, of course. Right. But it didn’t really escalate or, you know, when I gave a call for the next four days every day to see how she’s doing and she was okay, She, you know, so I think that was the most recent stressful thing that was that threw me off completely off, you know, my comfort zone.

That qualifies somewhat.

Finally, somewhat, finally, finally.

I’ll accept it. I’ll accept that. But let’s stay dark for a little bit longer. Would you regret in your career?

I regret not finding mentors. Earlier in my career, I think I wasted about eight years of really just thinking that dentistry is the source of income, and I’m just going to go into the practice and I’m just going to, you know, do simple dentistry. I’m going to take money at the end of the month and then I’m going to just go away. And I didn’t have that passion. So and I think mentors, having mentors, people who support you, people who help you and who enlighten you, it’s super important. So you can’t choose the family, but you can’t choose the mentors. And I wish I had this wisdom to find a mentor earlier or to look for one.

I think, you know, the vast majority of dentists are in that category of doing it for the day job. Probably not people listening to this because if you’re in that category, you probably won’t even bother listening to a dental podcast. Right? But, you know, life is a funny thing because, you know, at which point do we get to our potential, you know? Now you said mentors. I’m thinking I don’t have enough mentors in business. You know, I haven’t got a guy to call about, I don’t know, Amazon sales of toothpaste, you know, I should have someone for that. And, you know, it gets back to that comfort zone kind of question. But you did it right. You broke out of that. Not only you broke out of that, you went on and you went on and did everything that you’ve done and then become a teacher. What do you think was that inflection point? But what pushed you was it was it was it as random as you bumped into Pascal at that at that course and thought, this is it, I want to be good at something? Or what was it like? Was it a time in your life that, I don’t know, boyfriend left you or whatever? Like, what was it?

As I say, you know, we like to attribute ourselves, you know, all the success because of our hard work, Most of the things that happened in my life, 60% of those events, significant events happened by accident. I was just being in the right place at the right time. The remaining 20% happened because of the right choices. So if you’re given that opportunity, if you recognise that, okay, this is the chance you grab it, Yeah. So you make the right choice and the remaining 20% is because of hard work and determination. So yes, you know, the fact how I left my country and I moved to France, it was again, nothing that I’ve planned before or wanted. It just happened by accident. I ended up in London by complete accident. I didn’t want to move to London, but I just happened so that I moved to London. But I realised that once I’m in here and this is how my life is like now, I need to make it work. So this is where you make the right choice. And then you put the hard work and you get where where you get.

Okay. But I mean, I get that. I understand that. I understand that. But something inside me telling me that you don’t become yogita CBT by accident. You just don’t.

Do you think I’m that unique? Yeah. This is an absolute nonsense.

Okay, so there is very modest.

You’re very modest. You’re very.

Modest. There is a thing.

You know, that we all say about, you know, 10,000.


Are very modest from what I’ve noticed.

Because so many Lithuanians that are good.

Right. Agreed with that. So we have.

A very high competition. But okay, so we have this rule about 10,000 hours and everyone keeps keeps, you know, keeps saying that. And I agree to the vast majority. But there is such a thing as talent, you know, you can’t really disregard that. And I’m sure you know that if you give the 10,000 hours for the talented person versus the untalented person, it will make a world of a difference. So, yes, you know, I do. I guess I do have certain strengths and some talent that allowed me just to get where I got a little bit quicker. So, yes, you know, again, talent or maybe this very irrelevant training of the art school that I went to. And, you know, the fact that, you.

Know, it resonated at the right place.

Resonated at the right time. So the penny just just dropped at the right time. And I am what I am. So how do you call that? Is that the determination is that the success Was I born like that? I doubt so maybe there are certain traits that I have that, you know, I was born with and is given for me and then certain traits that I picked up somewhere randomly that helps me.

Now, I take your point.

You know, I work a lot with Depeche Palmer and he one of the few people he really reveres is you from the work perspective. And I look at your work and the thing, the thing that gets me about your work is it doesn’t look like work. It looks like it looks like teeth. And it’s so rare to see, especially under photography conditions where it really exposes the you know, like like you said, porcelain is not enamel. So when a camera flash and everything is involved, then it really exposes it. And yet your work is so subtly natural. What do you do when a patient comes up and says, I don’t want it to look natural? Do you then change to unnatural looking teeth? Or or do you do you pass them along to someone else or.


I’m not in the position to, you know, to pass along the patient that pays me money. No, I think this is what I always say to my delegates that once you find that what you love doing and what you’re good at and you keep doing that, it the dentistry that you do, it starts attracting the patients for that day for for that dentistry. So I’m quite lucky, you know, that the more I’m like, you know, posting or teaching, I get the patients who come in for this. However, it does happen that, you know, I have patients who walk in through the door and they said, you know, I, I want extra, extra, extra bleach white, you know, forget the translucency. I want like really, really, you know, bland, really scream ing, unnatural restorations. And of course, I will try to have this conversation. And this is again, it comes down to communicating to the patient. And to me, you know, I try to understand, you know, do they want that? Why do they want that? Because they are uneducated. They don’t know that this isn’t really a sign of a good taste. Or perhaps, you know, sometimes you get the patients that, you know, they come in like bleached hair, for example, super tanned, right?

Orange, orange skin, orange.

Skin, super big lips, you know, And you try to put the very naturally looking teeth into into that personality. Of course, it’s not going to look right because they are not like that. So I kind of try to find, you know, whether why they want that and whether I’m comfortable to deliver that and whether they do understand the consequences of that. And if they do understand that, I have no reason whatsoever to reject them. And I will do that. But I will never post it.

On my social media.

That’s what I was going to ask next.

Yeah, no, because I don’t want to have many of those patients coming through the door because I don’t enjoy that dentistry and I want to keep doing what I enjoy doing.

You don’t find.

Patients don’t really appreciate secondary anatomy or do you do you educate them on.

That? I do.

Educate them.

On secondary anatomy, on.

Secondary anatomy. Yes. And there would be, you know, some people who are quite specific, they say, yeah, I get that. You know, I get what you’re saying. Maybe. Okay, let’s do a little bit, but maybe not too much. And I would agree with that. You know, you know, at the end of the day, you know, the beauty perception of beauty is very different. Yeah, How I see things is not necessarily the same how my patients see things. And if we are able to find some middle ground where we both happy, I think this is the best thing because this is how it happens with patients, right? When they come in for the treatment, they always try to push you to and pull you towards their side to what they imagine as as was is ideal. And the dentists are always trying to push the patients to their side, thinking, you know what, this is the ideal. And I think in real life it does. It rarely happens that, you know, one gets. Everything and the other gets nothing. Most of the times you have to meet somewhere in the middle. And, you know, I’m quite a flexible person. So if I can see the reason why they want that or they don’t want that, I will. I don’t have a very big ego, so I will not be pushing them, you know, to necessarily accept the my perception and my vision and my understanding of the beauty.

Let’s talk about beauty. What was your sort of aha moment regarding cosmetic dentistry? You know what? If I come to you, I’ve just chipped my knee. If I come to you and ask for a smile makeover, what is it about the way you’re going to look at it? Or what was it about a particular insight? And that’s really unfair question because it’s a bunch of things, right? We could sit here and talk about it for, you know, one year. Course. Yeah. But just just to give you an example, I asked Sam Jethwa, who does a lot of veneers, what was his aha moment, and he said something about the occlusion being from the outside in instead of the inside out for him was an aha moment for for the sake of the argument, can you what comes to mind when I say that to you.


Aesthetics is a by-product of a good function? That was my aha moment. And actually I did realise that very early, you know. So when I was like after like dental school I was working in a practice and it was like practice of two chairs. And I didn’t have like any specialist or anyone to really consult. But I had a colleague who was doing a lot of composite bonding and we’re talking like 20 plus years ago now. And because composite bonding was very, very big in Lithuania. And so I was exposed to that quite early on. And, you know, there were two moments, not the aha moments, but where you start thinking about, you know, that something might be related to that, right? So you do a really beautiful restoration that you’ve been taught and it starts chipping and the same happens to porcelain crown that you’ve placed and the same happens to the bridge that you’ve done or even the denture right? And same thing happens and you can’t really, you know, understand why. And then I was thinking it must be something to do with the bite. I used to call it the bite. The occlusion came a little bit later. So that was, I think, my moment when I started, you know, thinking about that and when I’ve learned the occlusion and I started doing aesthetic cases, that was where it was the light bulb. So the patients that come to the and I have them so many, they come and do the practice and they say, I just want those veneers changed or I just want to have the veneers or I just want to have the crowns. And you look at their teeth and you think that, well, you actually can’t have that. You need a full mouth rehabilitation because you know, you can’t you don’t put the roof on the burning, burning house. So to me, this is, I think, what gave me a really in-depth understanding of what the aesthetics is and how to deliver and how to deliver that safely and how to sleep at night well.

So just to explain it to me, they’re kind of collapsed bites and you need the extra space, so you have to open them up first.

Yeah. So, you know, the war on dentition, which is like the disease of the century and the upcoming centuries and majority of people, you know, why do they want those veneers to begin with is because they are some they have something collapsing. But it’s very rare that it’s only No. Two teeth or six teeth are collapsing, collapsing. It’s usually all or nothing. And it’s a very difficult conversation to have with those patients because they come in again with a very clear mindset. I want six veneers to be done or the six composites to be done, and all of a sudden you’re saying, well, instead of six, not only you need 12, but actually you need a full mouth rehabilitation because this, this, this and that X, Y and Z. And that’s what I think gives me most of the comfort, you know, why I would be comfortable to say no if we can’t agree on that and and why I would be comfortable to send the patient away. If we cannot find like a middle ground, it will not go ahead.

So if I remember correctly, Basil told me that one of his treatment plans ran to £200,000. I guess your prices aren’t quite.

As I wish, but no, they’re not that expensive. No, but.

But you still have to for that patient. You have to break it to them that rather than 20,000, it’s going to be 40,000 or something. Yes, exactly. And so do you take several appointments to do that like he does?

Yeah. What’s your process?

His student. And I think the way he taught me and this is one of the biggest things that I think the most important things that he taught me, you know, the way to to talk to the patient and how to kind of gauge whether you whether the patient is willing to engage into that further conversation, whether this, you know, some that all of a sudden triples or quadruples sometimes, whether it’s within the scope of the. What he’s willing to spend. It’s a tough conversation. So, yes, I do approach it the same way as as Basil does. I do not like also Zoom calls like what is very.

Popular now, Zoom consultations.

I don’t really like them because I find that you can’t.

Connect to the person.

You can’t connect to the person. There’s a body language. There’s there are so many other things that you can read within the person. I think Zoom doesn’t really do that. Yes, I would do occasionally like a Zoom consultation. I’m going to have one next week just because the patient is away and we need to make a decision now. But it would be the exception and not the rule. So I think, yes, I do approach it quite a similar way.

Very interesting. Right. The the latest version of the Oculus, you know, the virtual reality glasses, they can. They’ve they’ve managed to make it so that you can look into someone’s eyes. Whereas with Zoom you can’t you know you’re in Zoom. If you want to look at someone’s eyes, you have to look into the camera. Yes. And I heard Mark Zuckerberg talking about what is it that that’s missing on Zoom that they’re trying to get on the virtual reality thing. It turns out that’s a massive one. And the other one is hands. But they they realise that it’s only from here to here, only the hand, not the arm. And getting the arm right is a disaster. It’s very difficult to do so they just have hands instead of instead of arms. And, and he was saying those two things make the virtual reality. Now we know that there’s a whole lot more to it than that, right? It’s like that said, though, it’s always been my ambition to go to Jerusalem. And then I went on virtual and I don’t really want to go there anymore.


Like like I.

Still I wonder.

Whether you would feel the same if you actually went now. Yeah, of.

Course, of course.

And I think you probably would change the mind.

I mean, I do want to.

Go there, but. But in a way, I feel like I can’t. I can’t. I can’t with my passport. I can’t go. Yeah. Yeah. But it’s it’s an interesting thing that you bring up. Now, tell me this. So patients come to see Basil sometimes. Is it that cost drives them to you from Basil?

Does that ever happen? Could be, yes. Yes, of course.

And sometimes it’s treatment modality that he ends up. And do you get referrals now in his practice? Is that how it.

Works at all? Yeah.

So I would say, you know, looking at, you know, just doing the assessment of, you know, how the year was, I would say this interestingly, I don’t know for what reason, but I get a lot of patients from my Instagram. Do you? I do. And I don’t know why because I don’t.

I don’t.

Really do anything so active. A lot of like Lithuanian community patients.


So it’s more probably like word of mouth and then the Instagram and then they come to see me. I do get because I teach also at Eastman.

Which course do you teach?

It’s a restorative Dental practice.

Which is a what? How long is that course?

Is it a year course. So this is.

A part time program. So you can do, you know, you can do the full masters in three years. Now, when I did it, it was used to be four years, but now they condensed it into three years. So it’s three years, but you are free to exit after every year. So if you exit after the first year, you do get the certificate. If you exit after the second year, do you do you do get the diploma? If you stay for the third year and you write your thesis, you will get the the Masters, the MSC.

And on the Mizrahi Dental courses, which bit do you do?

So we’re always.

There, both.

Of us.

Oh, the whole time. The whole time. So we both are there. Well, it allows us to have more, you know, delegates and and also we kind of you know, we do have our own topics what we teach. And I would be, you know, running my day and then he would be running the next day or we would be splitting the day where, you know, he does.

So which are your bits? My bits is morphology, of course.

So I do morphology. I do everything related to adhesive dentistry, like adhesive posts. I do the composites, I do the occlusion days, I do, you know, adhesive like kind of crowns. They do the veneers. They do veneer temporaries. Um, but it’s the process in the making.

That’s a lot of.

The course you teach.

Um, I will say.

That, you know, 70% of what he’s teaching is, you know, it’s his, it’s just, you know, I’m trying to bring what I really strongly about about and what I can stand for. And it’s, you know, the process in the making, you know, so, you know, none of our courses, you know, we ran like the previous six months. It’s not going to be the same of what we ran. We will run in the next month, in the next six months because we are changing. The trends are changing. I am growing a lot. I discover new things. I decided, okay, now I don’t want I want to do these things. I don’t want to do this way. So it’s yeah, it’s it’s it’s process in the making.

Tell me, tell me what you think about this idea that if you’re at the tip of the spear. In something In your case, let’s. Let’s just call it. Adhesive dentistry. Yeah.



Bonded system. So if you’re at the tip of the spear, then sometimes you do things that are not. Evidence based?

Yes, absolutely.

Because because if you wait for the evidence, you’re going to be five years.

Behind the thing.

Called common sense. Yeah. Yeah. Experience and practice. Yeah.

Yeah. And by the way, you know, the guys I think about this with with the products, right? The way we’ve we’ve done these products if we stuck to the evidence. Yeah. The evidence is you know in fact I.

Quite evidence is always too.

Late to the party. Yeah exactly.

Always exactly.

But there’s an element of risk there isn’t there? So you’re doing something that’s I mean, on one side from the from the patient side, you know, you’re doing it with the full knowledge of what you’re doing. But sometimes, especially in adhesive, you might think to yourself, Well, I wonder if it’ll stick or not. You know, sometimes you do this flat person. Tell me about that. Do you do you, do you get there? I mean, it’s for me, it’s it’s your responsibility to do things outside of the evidence. You know, if you’re at the tip of the spear, you know, you might say, okay, Pascal’s at the tip of that spear, right? Quite right. Quite right. But nonetheless, you know, on on the practice side, you’re there.

And I do try that. But, you know, what is the beauty of the adhesive dentistry and trying these things that the first rule that everyone I think should follow is that do no harm. Yeah, do not harm anyone. Sure. And this is where, you know, the freedom and the liberty to do mistakes in adhesive dentistry is really like wide and big because how you will harm if you’re doing additive approach. Yeah, you’re not really releasing the tooth. Right? So you’re the whole point why you’re doing adhesive dentistry because you’re trying to preserve. Well, to a certain extent, of course, you know, but you’re trying to preserve. So even if it’s going to fail, what’s going to fail is not the tooth, it’s your restoration. And I’m completely happy with that. So I will go, you know, and I would bond things maybe in the protocols that I would, you know, wouldn’t necessarily do that every day to everyone. But I would try things not very often, but I would try them.

And then, you know, it’s you’re imperfectly placed, aren’t you, for, you know, the difference between the fully minimally invasive dentist and the traditional dentist. But what Basel does a lot of and so and you know there’s that moment right where you know maybe you should prep.

And I do prep.

Yeah but but but that moment you know at what point is it right to do some sort of circumferential prep at what time isn’t it right to do that. And what is the is that is that changing for me?

I don’t think the rules when you should prep or shouldn’t prep, that’s strict to be fair. A lot depends to me is the patient the age of the patient and what I am able to achieve if I am prepping something a little bit more aggressively to the older person, for example, and I know that, you know, my restoration, the traditional crown maybe will hold for 20 years, I will be happy to prep that. But if I will be doing the same for like 22 year old, that in my opinion would be a mistake and I would never do that. So it really it really depends on the case. It really depends on on on on the patient itself and so many other factors.

True. But but nonetheless, there comes a there comes a moment where my my point is, is that is that changing or not that that moment when you think I should prep or not because of the technology, because of the bonding systems, because of whatever your understanding of occlusion.

But of course it’s.

Changing for you.

Yeah, of course. Yeah. The the target is always moving. Is moving. Yes. And and you know how sometimes you fall into your own beliefs, you know, the fact that you are completely unbiased, it just doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist. Right. And you, you read a certain paper and you think like, right, I this is what I should be doing. And all of a sudden, you know, you, you start doing more cases like, like those cases and then you learn maybe that something else or you’ve learned that actually it doesn’t work the way I expected. And you come back to the old one or you start looking for the for the other evidence or the other new technique or other new material. So the target is always moving. But again, in my in my views, you know, I’m I’m comfortable to try whatever as long as I know I’m not doing harm. And you will never know whether it will work 100%.

Yeah. Because you never know what would have happened if you went in a different direction.

Yeah, exactly.

Because, you know, you always believe that you do the best to the patient. You to to the best of your ability at the time.

Tell me about your week. How many days, How many days are your dentist? How many days are you a teacher? How many days are you a, you know, meditator?

I do not meditate. I am aspiring to meditate.

I do.

Not meditate.

I mean, do you work five days a week? What do you do?

I did for many, many years. And. I was really focussed on dentistry and the teeth and all I ever did was was teeth. So I used to do five days a week and then one of those five days might be, you know, let’s say on average one of those days would be for dedicated for teaching. And then you know that you have a teaching the next day. So what do you do on your weekend? You prepare for the next week and you do your lectures and you come up, you know, with all the presentations. So I did that for many, many years. And now I think that I’ve learned my lesson that I’m not really productive when I do this. I do not really enjoy that. And life is so much bigger than that than just teeth. So I am cutting it down. So my goal now is to work, you know, three maybe clinical days and one teaching, and that would be, I think, ideal.

Yeah, four days is about right, I think. Yeah. And three clinical days is about right. I always think three is kind of your job, whereas two is kind of your hobby, you know? And there’s nothing wrong with that. Right? You know, you can do that too. Um, what about mental health? Do you? So when when you tell me, you know, you were pushing too hard in those times, did you suffer with sort of the stress, the mental health questions that people suffer with? I mean.

I didn’t I didn’t really suffer from mental health, but I really suffered from the lack of social connections. Oh, you know, I didn’t really I didn’t really see friends, you know, as often as I should have. So that means that, you know, my relationships were not maybe as close and I didn’t have that many friends. People do forget about you if you’re not around, right? You really do need to invest in your in your friendships. So I know, you know, because I probably I do enjoy my own company. As I said, I never suffered from like lonely loneliness or anxiety or things like that. But my social life did did suffer at some point. And and then I decided that, okay, I need to change that. But then again, I’m a person of the extremes sometimes, right? So if I am on to something, I will give everything I have until I get what I want. And then you realise, okay, time to leave that. And now, now it’s time to focus on something else. And then it was last year where I, you know, probably turned the table a bit too swiftly and I focussed on my social life quite a lot. So, you know, my profession, I started realising it towards the end of the year that actually I didn’t really progress that much during the year just because, you know, I lived a very fulfilled life. I had so many experiences and I was enjoying myself a lot. But life is all about balance, right? Yeah, I really hate that saying.

But it’s so true.

I mean, balance can be, you know, the traditional thing that people think or it could be the balance of two extremes. You know, if you’re an extremist, then why not balance it with extremes? Go, go berserk sometimes.

Yeah. It’s just not.

The thing about me is that it’s only two extremes that I’m interested at the same time is everything. And I want to do this and I want to do that. And I want I want to have everything. And, you know, you can’t. Master of all Jack of all trades is a master of none. But the full sentence. I think that the jack of all trades sometimes is better than the master. Yeah, there is a full sentence, actually.

Do you want.


Such a tough question. You’re not sure?

I’m not sure. I’m not sure.

I’m not sure.

Nothing wrong with that.

Probably I do at some point. And again, you know, it’s a bit irrelevant in my mind whether I want kids or not. It all depends on the relationship that you have. Yeah, right. So I only want kids in a right relationship.

Yeah, of.

Course. So up until recently, that didn’t happen. And I never was, you know, feeling bad about it and or left out or anything. I was living a very, you know, life that I really wanted to live. Now I’m thinking that, well, perhaps there is a maybe that door is not completely closed just yet, so I don’t know.

I mean, I don’t know if it’s an unfair question in so much as if there was a man sitting in front of me, would I have asked him the same question? But for someone who says they want everything, number one, kids tends to be for women part of everything. But number two, kids tend to be the thing that stops you having everything.

Oh, yes, absolutely.

And I think when you’re a woman.

But it’s true.

That I think, you know, it’s such a big myth that, you know, that if you’re a woman, you can have it all. You cannot write, you cannot have it all. So when I think a lot to a lot that I’ve achieved is also because of the fact that I don’t have kids. Yeah. Because I had all the time and I had all the freedom to choose whatever I felt like choosing, and I did that. So it’s it’s a reality.

What would you do if you had. I don’t know. Let’s let’s, let’s call it a day. Because if I say if I say two weeks, you’ll say, I’ll go off to Vietnam or something. But if you had a day where nothing is expected of you from anyone, what would be your ideal? What would be the ingredients of a happy day for Yogeeta? Mm I was thinking about this a lot because we spoke to someone here and he said once you’ve got that clear at the end of every day, you can say, Well, did I get those ingredients in my day? And, and I had about four days. My wife and kids went off and I was really trying to think of it.

What did you end up doing?

Well, you know, crazily, I cooked every day.

Oh, yeah. For yourself.

For myself and for other people. But. But a cooking. The actual act of cooking. I really wanted to do that every day. And I quite liked the, you know, the e-bikes that that little, that little push you get from the electricity as it kicks in.

So lazy.

It’s all about, well, I am lazy, but, but I like the I like it gives me that feeling that when I was six years old, the first time I got on a bicycle where it’s you’re a bit out of control with it. So I was riding the line bikes every day and then I wanted to see my friends. I wanted to see my family, my my parents. They’re getting old. And what would it be for you? What would be the constituency ingredients of that?

So one thing for sure that I would be doing a and I stick to that. I still am doing that every day. So I wake up very early and I have coffee in bed. What time I wake up at 6:00 in the morning, Um, I do the tasks that I need to do that morning and I have a peace and quiet. I cuddle with my cat and after an hour and a half or two hours, I’m ready to start the day. So I think this is definitely, you know, it’s so important to me, this ritual of mine. I would stick to that.

That’s your me.


That’s my me time. That’s my me time. Me and my cat time.

Yeah. Um.

Um. Then if I had no pressures, I would go out in the morning to absorb the sunlight, to walk in the nature. I really. It’s so paradoxical that I live in one of the biggest cities in the world, but I really like nature and I like tranquillity and the peace and.

The quiet.

Lithuanian, very Lithuanian thing. Very Lithuanian thing, yes. So I would go out, you know, that’s the reason why I live very close to the parks and any green area and the greenery, because I can do that. I could do.

That. So the Japanese.

They say bathe, bathe in the forest.


Yes. That kind of resonates with me. Yes, that’s true. So this is what I would do. I would go out, absorb the sun.

By yourself?

By myself? Yeah, by myself. Then I would not cook. I definitely would not cook. I don’t like really cooking.

Cooking to me is dentistry to you, you know that that creative and, you know, going going above and beyond like for you for you you might you might make six veneers or some prep where I could imagine basil style. You just keep on going, keep on going until it’s perfect. Yeah. Whereas for me that might be a Bolognese sauce.

Well, good for you. As long as you know.

What you like doing.


Your perfect day. You wake up, cats.

Go for a walk.

Go for. Yeah, go for a walk. I definitely would need to go and exercise. I would definitely need to go to the gym. Oh, really? Something. Yeah, something for myself that I would be doing if nothing really pushed me. And then I would probably go. Invite my friends. Not many. A couple of friends for lunch and then come back to my house.

Not to.

Cook. Obviously in a.

Restaurant? No.

In a restaurant? Yeah. In a restaurant? Yeah. I would never cook for myself. I would cook for people, but not for myself. And I would go to bed early. I am one of those boring people that goes to bed early. Oh, God.

I know, I know.

It shows my age.

Have you always gone to bed early? You just.

Love. You love sleep. This is.

Something. Yes. I always say that, you know, I can go hungry for hours and days. That’s not a problem at all. But I need to have a good night’s sleep. But nevertheless, I was not going to bed very early up until probably like two years ago. And I decided that, you know, it makes a massive difference. Now, the fact that I had a good night’s sleep, I function differently. I think differently. My emotional status is completely different if I have a good night’s sleep. So this is something that I try to prioritise now.

So what gives? Let’s say you’re under massive pressure. What gives? Do you end up not sleeping? Not eating? What do you end up?

Probably not eating. I would sleep. I still sleep well. Yeah. But yeah, I then forget probably to eat. I don’t feel like hungry.

Um, so if I’m. If I’m massively.

Stressed, I.


Oh, really? No, never. It’s the complete opposite for me. If I’m stressed, I’m so lucky.

I’m very stressed. I need to be more stressed before summer. Maybe I need to screw.

Up some more of. In your.

Cases. Yeah.

Few more of those challenging patients. So what’s your. You said you talked quite a lot about travel. What’s your favourite place to travel?

One single place.


Before there was only one. There is only one country that I went twice to and it is Iceland.

Oh, do you like it? Oh, actually, I’m lying.

There’s two countries now that I went twice with Iceland and Mexico. Mexico. More for like a company and the friends. But. But Iceland was because of the nature and it was so outstanding. And I would definitely go there again.

It does look.

Beautiful, actually, in from our office.

Just came back from Iceland. Oh, really? Yeah.

It’s such a beautiful place. This is so unique. And there’s nothing like it. Nothing that I’ve seen in the world.

Did you take one of those 4×4?

I did.

I did that. And I also did the, um. I like trekking trips as well. So I did the tracking trip in Iceland. So you just being dropped off like in the middle of the island, Really harsh conditions to go through, really harsh weather. But then you see things that are so spectacular.

Waterfalls and things.

Waterfall, ice, snow. The, uh, volcanoes, the black volcano, ash on the ice, the gore. It’s just so fantastic you can’t get to these places with a car.

Yeah, definitely.

And the lights. Quite interesting, though.

Yeah, the light is quite interesting.

So I went to Iceland. It was very, very funny. So I went in Iceland in July and we were landing in Reykjavik in the in the capital city. And the pilot, he had a really good sense of humour. He said, Well, you’re so lucky because you are landing to Reykjavik and the Reykjavik is experiencing the heatwave. It’s 13 degrees. It’s as hot as it could get, probably. So I went there in the summertime, so there was barely any darkness. So you sleep in the constant daylight? It’s quite, quite weird. Quite weird.


So do you like skiing as well?

No. This is something that I don’t like. I’m more into water sports and scuba dive, but I don’t ski.

Oh, that’s interesting. So you wouldn’t expect Iceland to be your. It must be a super beautiful place.

It is a very.

Very, very beautiful place. Yes.

Amazing. Um, I think we’re coming near the end of the podcast, so I’m going to ask you the traditional final questions that we asked.

Oh, the depressing one.

I don’t know why you find that depressing.

It makes me feel.

So old when you ask. Deathbed Yeah, the deathbed and you know, the advice that you would give.

Like, okay, I’m.

Not dying yet.

You know.

It’s funny you should say that because I’ve got a few messages from people saying, Hey, why do you ask that question? And so on. But I don’t know. Number one, I think we should talk more about death, not less. But But number two, hey, imagine it wasn’t deathbed. All right? Just advice.

No, I’m happy, actually. You know, I will bring something quite personal since you’re going to get me all raw and everything. Um, I probably wouldn’t be comfortable to give the advice to anyone because, you know, my living is a constantly learn. But I did experience. I did have that experience of a deathbed and it was my father that passed away. And, um, it was quite a profound experience that did change my perspective quite significantly. And I think this is where my advice, you know, what I would be telling to other people. It came from that moment at that very moment or that that time. Um, so the first one I would. Say that cherish your relationships. There is nothing more important than it was that moment where I realised, you know, how we chase our goals. We want to have successful careers, we want to have a certain house, a certain car. We want to, you know, to experience, to travel a lot, to own things or to achieve something to be acknowledged. None of that really matters in that moment of death.

And were you thinking were you thinking.

About about him or were you thinking that about your relationship with him?


Both ways. It was it was the experience that, you know, I was thinking that, you know, I’m glad that he has got me besides him. And it really, truly probably means a lot to him. But it also it meant a lot to me. It you know, it taught me many, many lessons. And I think that’s why, you know, probably in my in my experience, death exists for the living people. That experience teaches the lesson for the living people, not so much for the person who’s, you know, dying. And that’s I thought, you know, that the cherish the relationships spend time with your loved ones and build a relationships with your friends, have significant people in your life and really make time to to to your friends and for your loved ones.

How do you manage relationships with people back home? I mean, do you manage to get home a lot or not?

I do not. As I say, you know, I’m not very close with my with my mom. I’m very close with my sisters. And one of my sisters lives back in Lithuania and the other one lives in France. So I do see my sisters quite a lot.

And are you just three girls?

Yeah, we’re just three. Three girls? Yes. Um, so I do see them a lot, but other than that, I do not really travel to Lithuania that often. Maybe as I should.

Do you not have friends?

I do. But again, you know, my childhood friends and my uni friends were all so scattered all over the world that, you know, some people live abroad and some people live in the islands and people live in in Europe and people live in South America. So we tend to organise, you know, trips or meetups that not necessarily happens in Lithuania.

So the relationships you’re referring to when you say, you know, cherish them and nurture them, who are you thinking of when you when you say that? Friends.

My sisters, my.

My other half, um, my friends. Friends that I created here in London. Friends that I have since very young early days since childhood, um, people that I work with. This is very important as well. You know, we spend ten hours, sometimes more. It’s massive. Yeah, It’s so we, we spend so much time at work, and to me, it’s really silly not to have good relationship with your co-workers and your colleagues. Mhm. So I am that kind of person that, you know, after this experience I did change my, my point of view and I stopped being, you know, overly focussed on teeth like Depeche. I know he always says that, you know, the teeth come first, you know, no matter what, teeth come first. And I used to be like that. But then I changed and I realised, you know, at that moment when I’m dying is the fact that, you know, I did teeth and I was solely focussed on teeth. Is that important? It meant nothing at that point. So I thought, life is just more than that.

And were you.

Closer to your dad.


Yes, I was close to my dad. Yes.


Okay. That’s the first piece of advice.

The first piece of what is the second piece of advice? Be true to yourself. Live the life on your own terms. Do not ever compare like, well, it’s a piece of the same. It feels like I’m giving the same advice, same advice again, or multiple advices in the same. But be true to yourself and live your authentic life. Do not compare you know to everybody else. Do not feel like you need to do that and you need to be successful or you need to be achieving these things because other people are doing that. If you want to live in a countryside, go live in a countryside. If you don’t want to do dentistry, don’t do dentistry. If you really want to have a successful career, go and do the successful career. If you don’t want to have kids, don’t have kids. If you want to have five of them, have five of them, and don’t compare yourself to anybody else. So just be your authentic self.

Live on your own terms.

Yeah, live on your.

Own terms, which I think.

You know, I don’t know if you ever saw that article. When they talk to people on their deathbeds, did you ever see that? No, I don’t think I did it did the rounds to she was working in a nursing home or an end of life place. And she asked. She was asking. And that was the thing that most people said that really they regretted that they were living on other people’s terms rather than their own.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Amazing. So what’s the third?


The third one. And I have to stop after that.

No, no, keep going.

I know you have to be at work day after tomorrow so we can keep going.

What’s the third? I’d say.

Practice. Gratitude. We very often forget, and I am very guilty of that. To appreciate what you have achieved in life and what you are surrounded with and by whom you are surrounded. So practice that every day because you will be surprised how rich your life is already. And you there’s so much, you know, discomfort and so much unhappiness and suffering coming from chasing something that you already have that is at your doorstep already.

Give me an example of that. I mean, it’s beautiful. I get it. But give me an example of how that resonated with you.

Wanting to have a better family, better partner, better job, better paid work, better car. You already have it. It’s. It’s given for you. Yeah. Just be grateful for this. That doesn’t mean stop, you know.

Achieving it. You know.

How much you have to earn to be in the top 1%.


In the UK? The top 1% of earners? No, I think it’s £250,000 to be in the top 1%.

Yeah. So what are you chasing?

And you know that that that’s the UK. Yeah. To be in the 1% of the world. It’s like £28,000 or something ridiculous like that. And it makes you realise that the chasing point that you’re making. Um, absolutely right. Absolutely right. I’m happy to take a fourth if you’re willing to.

Really? Okay. We can carry on like that. You know, the whole that.

You follow your passions.


Follow your passions. Do what you really like to do.

Do not look.

So maybe look from the outside. I think of you as very much in that sort of ikigai. You know what I mean by that? Oh, it’s this, like, Japanese thing. Like it’s the four circles. It’s like what you love doing, what you’re good at, doing, what the world needs and what the world will pay for or something. And right in the middle of that is the, is the sort of that perfect. And I’ve always thought about you like that because you seem to love your job a lot.

I do. Honestly, I.

Do. Yes.

Yeah. And now, having talked to you, it’s not only the teeth, it’s it’s the relationships you enjoy. It’s, as I said, dentistry seems to be there’s more than the teeth to dentistry is absolutely. If, if, if you put it in my way, the head, the hand, the heart, the whatever. Yeah.

People don’t think that about myself when they meet. But I am quite a spiritual person. Are you?

I am. Do you believe in God?

No, I am not religious, but I’m. I’m very spiritual.

What do you mean by that?

It means that there is. I am quite interested in human consciousness and human experiences. So it’s not about, you know, the God, but the principles of life, how we people are, how we interact. But it is a meaning of. Of everything, I suppose.

Okay. But spirituals are such a funny word, isn’t it? Because you see it by its very nature, it’s difficult to pin it down. But do you mean philosophical and sort of. Why are we here? Why are we here?

No, not so much in a philosophical sense, but it’s more about, you know, human human relationships. You know, what what is what is the point of living this life and how to live this life?

Well, do you believe in karma?

I don’t know. Maybe in some ways.

But I think.

It’s I think karma is practical. There’s a practicality to it, right? If I. If I’m nice to you, eventually you’ll be back. Nice to me.

Yeah. To me, it seems very transactional.

Yeah. No, but the people who really believe in karma, they believe that the universe is doing that. Which I don’t believe that. So then tell me, do you mean. Do you mean in a in a like a self-development way?


Self self-development. It’s all about, you know, the human relationships and how we should live the life and what is important and what makes it meaningful to to live the life and what is worthwhile. Um, so that’s to me is the spirituality, how we connect to people.

And so how should.

We live life and what is worthwhile.

And the good.

Question when I will no, invite me to the podcast on my deathbed.

Okay, let’s move on to the fantasy dinner party.

I hate this question. Thank you, Mike.

My question. Thanks a lot.

Oh, three guests.


Dead or alive?

I have to.

Okay, maybe I’ll think of a third one. Well, let’s see. Let’s go. Let’s start with the first one. So I’m a very big fan of Renee Brown. Renee Brown. She is a research professor in in states in Houston, I believe. And she spent probably like last 12, 20, 20 years researching vulnerability and. Courageousness and shame and, you know, vulnerability. As I said, you know, I’m not a very good, you know, person to open up and be vulnerable. And I’ve listened to, you know, if you’re ever interested. It’s a great, great talk. Ted Talk. And you can watch it on the YouTube. It’s called Daring Greatly. So I believe that, you know, and she’s a very, very funny person as well to the way she presents herself and the way she presents the very subtle, what’s it called? Subtle. Subtle topic. Daring. Daring. Greatly. Oh, nice. So I’m daring greatly here with your podcast.

Now, you’ve done well. You’ve been very open.

You’re in your element.

I told you. Yeah.

So I would like to have her as a guest. The second guest would be. I’m a big fan of a complete nerd called Sam Harris. I know Sam Harris. You know Sam Harris, right? So he’s a philosopher and a neuroscientist, and I really admire his way and his podcasts and the way he sees the world and the way he looks into consciousness and human experiences and the relationships and how versatile he is and political. Sometimes politics is not my thing, but, you know, I admire how versatile he is, so that would be quite a geeky dinner, right? That would.

Be quite.

That’d be interesting.

That’d be interesting.

I know, I know. Actually, who I invite the third one to break this, you know, geeky dinner party. I would invite Ricky Gervais.

Ricky Gervais. Ricky Gervais. Yeah. Ricky Gervais.

I would invite him. Funny. Why it popped into my head is because. Well, Ricky Gervais is known for being a comedian. Right? But he’s a really smart person.

He’s a serious guy. He’s a serious.

Animal. Issues.

That sort of thing.

Not only that, he’s a really conscious person. Yeah, he he, you know, he graduated, he went to uni and he graduated from philosophy. You know, he got the philosophy degree with honours. So he actually runs the podcast with Sam Harris called absolutely Mental. It’s so funny because I was really fascinated. You know, there’s a comedian and a real geek and they run a podcast and they, you know, Ricky Gervais is able to kind of keep up with Sam Harris and he kind of breaks this like, really dull conversation. So and he’s really funny as well. He makes really good jokes. So yeah, probably if I would invite him as a third person, I would be quiet. I would just be listening to, you know, how they geeking out, but probably laughing at the jokes.

I like that. I like that. But maybe I should introduce a new question that’s that you have that they’re all alive. What about three dead people?

Oh, gosh. You really are morbid, huh?

No, but.

But, you know, like you can say Einstein. And, you know, in history, there’s been more interesting people than Ricky Gervais for the sake of the.

Oh, thanks. Thanks. No, no demolishing. No, no, no, no.

It’s beautiful. Your choice was beautiful. But what if what if, like, historically, who would you who would you want to talk to?

Like, if the first person that came to my head is still not going to answer your questions, I probably would want to talk to my dad. Yeah. You know, very personal, obvious reasons. Um, who else would I bring alive?

I think I would bring.

Yeah, you mentioned the Einstein, but I would like to actually look into his eyes and to see what is wrong with you. I mean, how. How did you come up with all of that?


Um. Whom else? Huh? What is it? Another great invention that I don’t understand to this day.

Who invented.

The telephone?

No, actually, who.

Invented the iCloud? I still don’t understand how iCloud works.

I think of. I think of. I’m quite. It’s in politics. I think of JFK. Like. Like I’d like to know, you know, what is it like to be the president of the United States? You know, like, who killed you?

Yeah, that too. Who killed you?

Who gave that order? You know that. You know that those sorts of things. But unfair. Unfair of me to ask you on the spot a second set of guests. So it’s been a massive, massive pleasure to have you. And I do want to have you again. Maybe like maybe.

Don’t wait until the deathbed, as I said.

No, no, no, no, no.

Like like I feel like you’re going to be doing a lot in in dentistry and in your career. And so I feel like it’s one of those podcasts that if we come back to it in two years time, a whole lot of stuff would have changed in two years time for you. You’re that kind of person, so maybe we’ll.

Have three kids by then. Yeah, yeah.

In two years. Yeah, triplets. But thank you so much for agreeing to do it and actually coming here to do it. That’s a massive honour. It’s been a great pleasure. Looking forward to this for such a long time. Thanks.

Thank you. Thanks again.

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. Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Make sure you tune in for future episodes. Hit subscribe in iTunes or Google Play or whatever platform it is. And you know, we really, really appreciate it. If you would give us a six star rating. Six star rating. That’s what I always leave my Uber driver.

Thanks a lot, guys.


In Episode 182, Payman sat down to chat with Stuart Campbell and Hatem Algraffee—hosts of the fantastic One in the Chair and Two Waiting podcast.

This week, Payman reconnects with Stuart to turn the tables and find out about Desert Island Discs, ideas for NHS reform and Stuart’s motivation for running gruelling ultra-marathons.

The pair also touch on politics, socialism, and Scottish independence.



In This Episode

01.58 – Vintage football shirts

11.59 – Backstory

15.55 – Dental school

24.40 – Specialising and practice ownership

31.06 – Excellence

35.03 – Teaching and communication

46.20 – Referral work

49.42 – Management, strengths and weaknesses

56.01 – Practice marketing and podcasts

01.04.24 – Best and worst days

01.07.38 – VT Trainer

01.09.45 – Determination, marathons and ultra-marathons

01.23.29 – NHS reform

01.29.48 – Scottish independence

01.46.43 – Dental influences

01.39.11 – Desert Island Discs

01.43.41 – Fantasy dinner party

01.51.06 – Last days and legacy


About Stuart Campbell

Stuart Campbell is a specialist prosthodontist and principal dentist at an Edinburgh-based multidisciplinary referrals clinic. 

He is an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, an expert witness for the GDC and co-hosts of One in the Chair and Two Waiting dental podcast.

You could be the best dentist in the world with your hands. But if you can’t communicate effectively with confidence to your patient, if your patient can’t sense that you as a clinician are confident to carry out whichever plan you’re advising, then guess what? The patient will not go ahead. And that’s a disservice to the patient because you you have your heart in the right place. You’ve trained for this. You’ve been on additional courses. But if you can’t convey that to the patient, then it’s an absolute waste.

In today’s episode of the Dental Leaders podcast, I will be the guest Jaz Gulati, the host. This was a podcast recorded for the Protrusive Dental podcast where me and Jaz spoke about essentially how you can increase treatment acceptance. We talked about sales and how to elevate sales and utilising some unique tools that are working really well in our own clinics. And to elevate, I would say, the patient communication experience. I’m not going to ruin it for the intro and in the intro, listen to the rest of this podcast. There’s tons of value that anyone involved in the patient consultation process or sales will get out of this episode.

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.

I’m joined today by Prav. Solanki is now a good friend of mine. He helped us to put together the occlusion course. Occlusion Basics and Beyond. We’ll talk about that a little bit later. So I’ve got to know him a lot more in the last year. And I can say this guy is an absolute genius now. He’s come on the podcast before on 23 where we talk about non-clinical growth, your relationships, time management, all these wonderful things. So if you haven’t listened to that, do check it out. But today is about you as a clinician, how you can become more confident in communicating with your patients about what is the best plan for them. And what I love about this episode and some key takeaways shared and you put together a one page summary for all premium members of the podcast. So Protrusive app his website or download the app on the play store or app store become a premium member for the cost of a Nando’s per month and you get access to all these premium summaries and questions. Et cetera. Et cetera. But Prav talks about trust, right? Like we make a recommendation. We’ve earned that right. And it’s based on a relationship of trust between you and the patient. Now, when I listen to this episode again, to come up with this intro outro and guide the team on how we can deliver a really educational experience for you guys, listening and watching.

Thank you so much. Now, when it comes to trust, Prav was referring to a trust between you and the patient, but I want to introduce one more facet into this. Right? I want to introduce the concept of trusting yourself. I feel like a lot of young dentists, they doubt themselves and therefore they don’t trust themselves to give the best treatment plan available. So I want to extend this definition. So yes, sales, we’ll talk about dirty word sales and whatnot and why we need to embrace it when we’re recommending treatment plans. But it’s not just the patient trusting you, but it’s you trusting yourself that with the information that you had available at the time, with the training and knowledge that you have, that you really genuinely chose the best plan for the patient that you could and recommended their options. But ultimately you want to make a recommendation. I cannot stress this enough. And so a big part of this episode about making recommendations, if you just literally start making recommendations, if you’re not already making explicit recommendations to patients, you will see your treatment plans skyrocket in terms of acceptance. And this podcast will be worth this, you know, 4 or 5 minutes.

So you’re in already. Just the whole five minutes of this podcast will be worth everything and more. And maybe this introduction will be all you need from this podcast to really thrive and grow as a clinician. Now the other themes that we cover in this episode are you need to write letters to your patients and if so, what should that look like? There’s a specific format. Those who like to do letters, you know, Prav is very clear on, okay, if you’re going to do letters and make sure you do this one specific step. So we talk a lot about that, as I’ve already touched on, how can you give the patients all their options without choice, fatigue, without overwhelming your patient and just confusing them? We discussed the choreography of the ideal consultation and the treatment plan delivery and lastly, how we utilise something called loom. Loom is a software that we use that me and Prav are both passionate about and how I use it a lot in my communication with my patients. And it’s almost replaced letters or is the precursor to letter. Because think of it this way write letters take a long time to do if you can do it properly. They do take a long time to do but a video for me, I just hit record. I go through my patients photos and whatnot, and then once they’ve seen that video and they want to definitely go ahead, then I can send them their letter.

I haven’t wasted my time creating this beautiful letter. And then the patients are, yeah, I’ll think about it kind of thing, right? So by making this video, it’s a wow factor. Patients like, Wow, this dentist sent me a video and this dentist was highlighting all these things and this is amazing service. And then when they go ahead with the plan, it gives you the reassurance that, okay, you’re going to spend a bit more time now to put their letter together, but it’s worth it because now they’ve accepted the treatment plan because you’ve covered everything so beautifully in your loom video. So in the last part of the podcast, we talk about that as well. Now just before we join Prav Solanki in this killer episode, I just want to make an announcement that me and my wife have had baby number two. We’ve introduced to the world Cihan Singh Gulati, and we’re just so, so made up, so happy. You know, I always worried that will I be able to love my second child as much as I love my first child? Right? But the moment I saw him, the moment I met him, the moment I held him in my arms, it was just so euphoric and like it’s like your heart gets split into two, so each child gets a piece of you.

And so it’s a very, very happy time. And the Gulati family and thank you so much for your well wishes. I just want to share this news as a as a personal thing, but I just want to share it with you guys because I know many of you were with me over three years ago, almost four years ago now, when my firstborn was born. I talked about him on my podcast in the early days, and now there we are. Baby number two has come along. So Sujan Singh Gulati is entered the world and I’m just so happy that I just want to share that with you. Anyway, let’s join the main episode with Prav Solanki Prav Solanki. Welcome back to the Protrusive Dental podcast. We last had you on non-clinical growth for dentists, and I tell you Prav, I’ve had so many messages saying that this was. A brilliant it’s really opened their minds to all those things. And you actually influence me so much. I get now quarterly blood tests done to check my own personal dashboard of my health. So welcome back, my friend. How are you? I’m great and thanks for having me.

Jazz, It’s always a pleasure to come back and talk to you. And yeah, it’s always a two way learning experience whenever I speak with you, whether it’s about this or something else, right? Whether, you know, we’re talking about the best occlusion course on the planet or we’re just talking about patient communication, right? There’s always learning points, but today is going to be a topic I think is very, very close to my heart. And it’s how we can influence the decision making that patients make in a we’ve got to preface it with this right in an ethical way. I don’t think anyone listening to this would ever do it in an unethical way, but it’s how we can feel ethical from a from a mindset perspective which is important.

Prav I get messages from young dentists all the time, and when I cast back myself, you know, six, seven years ago and I was like 2 or 3 years out and the biggest dilemma I had was entering private practice and just not feeling confident enough in my own skill sets or my mindset to to charge patients. And I often I went through all these dilemmas that young dentists go through, which is a lack of confidence because of lack of experience. And that feeds into it. And also which I think would be great actually literally had a message yesterday from an Australian dentist asking about how to tackle that. So at the end, maybe we can get your advice, but if you’re not very experienced, how can you actually then be confident enough to, you know, in inverted commas, sell a treatment plan? So we’ll talk about that. But I also fell into the the really bad habit or just really bad zone of diagnosing someone’s wallet. Right. You never want to do that. So and I know dentists do it all the time. I speak to dentists all the time and say, well, yeah, I didn’t want to give this more expensive plan because I didn’t think the patient might be able to afford it. That’s I think we can agree. Everyone’s probably nodding their head, right? Yeah. That’s the worst thing you could do. Every patient deserves the best. So we have so much to talk about because you could be the best dentist in the world. But if you can’t communicate your ideas, you can’t make a recommendation. Key word there, which we’ll talk about. We were just talking before we hit record. You know, you won’t do that beautiful dentistry if you’ve got the best hands ever. So there’s a there’s a lot to be said about this. So I guess where to start Prav is we were talking before we hit record is sales is a dirty word and I think we’ve covered the theme, but filthy, filthy, disgusting. So how, you know, should we are we selling to our patients or you know, in health care is selling allowed jazz.

I think it comes down to what you believe selling is right in your head, in your mind. If you believe that selling is a dirty word, if you believe talking about money is one of those things that perhaps you know, you’ve got an idea in your mind what the value of what you’re going to deliver is, but you’re making preconceptions about that patient that, Crikey, if I recommend this and I recommend that, what’s it are they going to be able to afford it? And you’re making judgements on their behalf, right? And I think as health care providers, as professionals, as we’ve got a duty of of care, but also clarity of communication to be able to explain all the options to the patients, all the price points to the patient and guide them on where we think the best solution is for them. You know, the old, you know, if you were my daughter, if you were my son, all that sort of stuff. And because they’re looking for a recommendation. Right. And so Jazz, we were talking earlier and I talked about a mini course I delivered for for a group of full mouth reconstruction dentists, Right. And they all came to this course. And then one of the delegates from the course went away. And it was very clear in his mind that he was he was going to go away and execute. Right. I met him two days later, a near-death event, and he said, Prav, I’ve sold two cases north of £15,000. Right? I’m scratching my head thinking, W.t.f, Right. What? What happened? Yeah, because I’m trying.

But this is someone this is someone who has never sold treatment plant. I mean, let’s just use that term. It’s a dirty word. Selling and treatment plan. But let’s just accept once you change your mindset that it’s okay to say that. But he’d never done that before.

Predominantly NHS dentist who was up selling to a patient who’d come in for essentially an NHS check-up He’d done a discovery process in this patient’s mouth, presented what the options are, and sold to plans north of £15,000 inside a week of us having that little course together. Right. So I was intrigued, right? I was like, What the hell went on here? What did you take away? I really wanted to know what he walked away with and he said, Prav, it was really easy. Your definition of sales changed my mind about everything. Gave me the confidence, he said The other 7.5 hours of the day. Yeah, it was good. But it was just that one pivotal moment when you said to me, It’s what your definition of sales is, right? And we all know that. Like we go to a course and we have one take away moment or one thing we want to take away, implement and go and execute. And he did that beautifully. And so the definition of sales. Let’s hear it.

Let’s hear it.

Drum roll say to us is the definition of sales is earning the right to make a recommendation. Okay. So when you’re selling to a patient, you’re earning the right to make a recommendation to that patient and that recommendation and that right to the right that you’ve earned is based on a relationship of trust. That is all sales is. So if you sit back and tell yourself that mantra now that sales is earning the right to make a recommendation to this patient and that recommendation is based on a relationship of trust, and there happens to be an exchange of money that happens when you take my services off. Right? Okay. But you trust me. We’ve built some trust. I’m making a recommendation. And by building this trust, I have a right to give you this recommendation and give you my opinion. That is it.

Can we break it down? Because I love that. And I think my enthusiasm, when you first shared it to me was like, yes, I love this, I love this. We need to get this out to everyone. But one thing we didn’t do is let’s break the different components of this, right? So earning the right is that are you earning the right by just doing that examination? You’ve you’re the dentist, you’ve got your BDS, right. Or, you know, whatever you’ve done, the Check-up, you’ve got the expertise, you are the one with the expertise, you are the one with the expertise of their mouth because you’ve done a thorough examination and you’ve diagnosed. So is that what you mean by earning the right?

It’s a really interesting question. You know, I’m going to digress and I’m going to come back to it. I’m I do this a lot. You know, I always say my own practice patients have to earn the right to get a free consultation. In my practice. You can’t just walk into my practice and earn a free consultation. You have to earn you have to earn the right to walk into my practice for a free appointment. Right? I know a lot of people don’t even do free consultations, whatever, right? You know, it works for some, doesn’t for others. And. But what is that? Right? How do you earn that? Right. And there’s certain criteria that you need to meet.

Okay. I’m thinking I’m going to second guess you. They need to send you the photos. They need to fill in some forms. They need to give you their email. They need to follow you. I don’t know, something like that to, to make it, you know, some sort of return for us.

It’s really simple, right? Patient comes in for a free consultation. We have a conversation. They walk out and they thought they could get their teeth straightened for £1,000. You doing nobody any favours. Nobody any favours. Right? Because my time as a clinician, I’ve just given it for you when there was definitely a mismatch of where the value is. Right. It’s not the patient’s fault that they thought they could get the strain for £1,000. Don’t don’t blame them. So whoever’s passing that information in between so somebody gets to book into my clinic, they need to hit minimum criteria. Number one, they need to know the price really, really important. They need to know the price and they need to know the range. Okay. So we always say, look, if you’re coming in for Invisalign treatment, our prices range from 3 to £5000. Most patients sit slap bang in the middle. But that’s what you’re looking at. Okay. Then they need to get an idea of who they’re dealing with. So maybe 1 or 2 little usp’s about the dentist, right? With Invisalign is becoming a commodity now, right? What is different about having Invisalign our practice or price point? A little bit about us. A deposit? Yeah. So even though it’s a free consultation, I’ll take £30 off you and the first thing that’ll happen, I’ll lock it straight back on your card when you walk through the door.

Right. So if they’re willing to put you want to up the state to of quality, just increase the value of that deposit. You know, if you want to take £30, take £100, £50, whatever. Right. And you’ll increase that filter of quality coming through your door. And then finally, you want to understand what they know about that treatment. Okay? Now the whole other stuff about, you know, building rapport, learning about learning about their why now, what’s the pain points, What could they do before? What couldn’t they do? What would they like to do, wave a magic wand and all that razzmatazz. Right. But what do they know about this treatment? And often when you ask them that, you will get an idea of have they been through the consultation somewhere, if they have a bit of a red flag, but also an opportunity for you to say, so what is it that Doctor Smith didn’t deliver to you that you want from me? Okay. Why didn’t you proceed with treatment there? And by the way, that’s a.

Very fair question, which I think many dentists might shy away from, but they come this far now, you know, it’s worth asking, but all this while you’re saying all these wonderful things Prav and everything, every piece of information you get from that patient serves a purpose and a value. And especially, you know, them knowing the fees is so, so important before they come on. But what does this look like? Is this from a email questionnaire? Is this your treatment coordinator going on Zoom? How? A phone call. Okay. Right. So making the phone sign, the universal sign for the phone. First phone call me telephone conversation.

You know, often and it’s not always the first point of communication, right? Because in today’s day and age, sometimes we’re having conversations over voice notes. Sometimes we’re having conversations over. Social messages, this, that and the other. Right. What’s really important, depending on who you’re communicating with. I think it’s important for us as businesses today because, you know, as well as health care professionals, we are running businesses. If you’re an associate, you’re running your own business within a business. I truly believe that. But we need to adjust our communication style and methods of communication in line with what your patient or your client wants in terms of their communication preferences. So if I let’s say I get someone who gets in touch with me and they message me on Facebook, I will message them back on Facebook. We’ll have a little bit of it, but then I’ll bring them into the fold of what our onboarding process is, right? Whether it’s email or whatever, they’ll share email. If someone sends me a voice note, I’ll voice note them back. Yeah, if someone says me a voice note and I want the detail of that voice note to sit on the screen, Yeah, I’ll request that and I’ll tell them why I need it on the screen. Yeah, because sometimes I might be going back and referring to that. Yeah, but our patients. So this is receptionist.

Or treatment coordinators who are doing the phone because essentially this is prequalifying someone. Yeah.

So we have a given, given whatever title you want, every practice. Once again, different business structure, but I’m not going to dictate here. It needs to be a receptionist, it needs to be a TCO. Some practices don’t have tkos and the definition of a TKO is far and wide as far as I’m concerned as well. But in my practice it’s carry a lead ninja. And so her responsibility is overall patient communication to get somebody to come in and attend a consultation or an assessment, whether that’s a paid assessment or a complimentary consultation. Her job is to get someone through the door that hits a certain level of criteria, all those different points that we discussed. And so earning the right to make a recommendation based on trust that we went on earlier. Kerry starts that relationship. It’s not just the dentist, right? And so part of that course that we spoke that we that I delivered that day and one of the questions I asked the associates is how many of you have had a conversation with, I call it receptionist lead Ninja or whatever, right? How many of you have had a 1 to 1 with the person that answers the phone on your behalf, speaks to your potential patients about you and your services and what instructions have you given them about what you want delivered when that patient lands in your chair? And it was at that point, you know, that was a real rabbit in the headlights moment. Okay.

Huge Prav I think most dentists are completely guilty of this, especially when they go in the course, right? And we do it to our nurses as well. We go on a course, right? We’ve learned all these techniques, which is completely fundamentally, you know, switches everything on its head compared to what you used to do. And we start doing it. And then the nurse is like looking at us like, wait, this is completely different to how he’s been doing it the last five years. When did this happen? Why did this happen? Because nurses, they they crave consistency. And so we owe it to our nurse to say, actually, I’m doing it this way, because some studies have shown that this is a better way to do it or this is more efficient way to do it and get them involved. But yes, reception if you’re starting to offer, you know, orthodontic solutions, which you weren’t before, you need to really owe it to your front of house team. Let’s call them to to to have that sort of, you know, enthusiasm that you have basically that that needs to be passed on to the front of house team. And I feel embarrassed that I’ve been treating TMD for a while. I get referrals from all over the country to treat it. And because we have we’ve got a morning team and an evening team, right, Because there’s a shift pattern. Yeah. Next week is our first ever joint meeting. Every single receptionist, even who’s not supposed to be usually be there is going to be there. So we can just talk about how to handle these queries and what actually happens in a console. And they’re desperate for this.

Don’t wait for the meeting. Right? So this is this is the one have the same thing, right? So the next rebuttal I get when I when I when I release that statement is, oh, senior management, we don’t have meetings, we don’t all get together, blah, blah, blah, all the rest of it. Right. Is there a moment during the during the week where that team member and you are on the same lunch, could you take that person out for a coffee? Do you have to wait for that official sort of meeting box block whatever to to appear? That’s never going to happen. Hasn’t happened in the last three months. Isn’t going to happen in the next three months. Or do you do you create that? Yeah, absolutely. And and so there are pockets of time and opportunities in which and they will get so much value out of that that the other thing if there’s four other dentists in that practice and you’re the one giving the time to that person. Yeah, preferentially you’re going to get the patients.

That is so true.

That will have it will happen. I’m not saying that that’s, you know, an ethical way to influence things or whatever, but but it will happen, right? They will have their favourites and whatnot. But what’s really important is that, you know, if you approach your your receptionist person answering the phone and you say, Right, okay, so there are three things I’d like every patient who potentially wants to book with. Me to know about Jaz Gulati. Yeah, He runs the most educational world’s best podcast in dentistry. Okay. That’s listened to by several thousand or tens of thousands of dental professionals, whatever that number is. Right. He also teaches other dentists. Right? So this thing, what you’re coming in for. Yeah. Hundreds of dentists have learned these techniques from jazz. The great news is you’re coming straight to the teacher himself. Right? And then whatever the third thing is, right? He’s really gentle, caring, And you don’t you don’t need to be nervous about anything. Everything’s going to be just. All right when you meet jazz. Yeah.

And what was the response like from the delegates? Because you taught this on the course. Listen, you train your reception team to give some information about you. Yeah. So, look.

I hate to say you get two different types of delegates, right? But you get you get those who just sort of like, that ain’t going to happen. And you get those who are furiously scribbling notes and saying, I am going to there’s a there’s a lady called Sonia on, on, on the course. And she was very clear about what she was going to do and go and execute that part. Remember, we spoke about people choose what they’re going to execute and some chose that they were going to go and do that. Right. But the other thing is that that boils down to the next element when we talk about sales, right, which is concise communication. If you’re if you teach your receptionist how to speak about you in three points, okay, you are delivering and you are learning the art of concise communication, without question. You’ll you’ll have to think about that and you’ll have to think about how you articulate it. And you have to think about how he or she will articulate that back to you before they go and articulate it to a patient. Right. And then that comes down to if we if we think about sales, I think one of the biggest areas of failure that I see amongst dentists health care professionals is the waffle. It’s literally falling over your feet talking about the detail, the material, the tooth’s made out of justifying which lab you use when they don’t even really need to know.

The process for teeth whitening Payman bangs on about. It’s like you don’t go through the entire sequence of teeth whitening. They don’t need to know the name of the technician making it what the trays made out of.

I do a little bit of business coaching for for some clients for their practices, right? And I talk about front stage and backstage. Okay. So in business we have front stage processes and backstage processes. There are backstage processes that that patient should never, ever learn about. Yeah. And backstage and front stage processes and stuff that you need to shout about, Right? So just, just take, take one example, right? Is that jazz only works in this practice on a Tuesday and Thursday, so you can only book him on a Tuesday and a Thursday. So do you want this Tuesday or that Thursday. Oh, and he’s getting he’s getting married next week and he’s going to be off for for a few weeks. And so that’s the reason he can’t see you. Right. Nobody needs to know that. And there’s loads of examples of backstage conversations that I’ve heard that do not need to be delivered to that patient. Right? Yeah. Jazz is incredibly busy. And over the next couple of months, I’ve got these couple of dates available. Which one would you like so much more?

Powerful and concise and yeah, absolutely.

And we’re cutting out the waffle and that happens on the phone. That happens in consultations. We want to make the communication concise. So one of the ways in which you can do that is to remove all the backstage processes, how the tooth is made, what the whitening process is, all the rest of it, right? You’ll get those patients who want to know, but they’ll let you know. They want to know or you’ll figure it out in your people skills. I’ve got an engineer in the room. Yeah. They want to know how the springs and the cogs and all the sprockets fit together. Right. And you can you can deliver that, but get the essence of, look, this is your problem. These are the three ways I can fix it. This is the way I would recommend that would work best for you. And this is the investment level involved. Okay. And you build the trust and everything and then go into the detail if you want, afterwards. Right. And then reiterate that. But but just your thoughts.

Hey, guys. A few weeks ago, you may remember we launched OB Occlusion Basics and beyond the online course, and I’ve just been blown away by the feedback we’re getting. I’m just going to read a recent one out to you on April 23rd, 10:39 a.m.. One of the reasons that I worked with Prav Solanki and the IAS Academy is I wanted to work with the best in the business in delivering an educational experience for delegates. So what I love about is they already have mentorship forums already built up because what we don’t want is to put on a course and not have anywhere a safe place, encrypted place, and just generally a safe environment to discuss cases, Right? So is have this infrastructure set up already for all their orthodontic courses And so now they’ve got the occlusion board. So when you join the course and you have a case to submit, you can submit it and we can mentor you throughout. So mentorship was really important to us and the way that now underneath each lesson there is a comment section so you can actually comment and interact. Me and Mahmoud daily are applying to the comments as we all learn together. But just want to share this one comment by Dr. Casey. This is brilliant, right? She said, This is so great and why I’ve been craving for a long time. How weird am I? Back in dental school in the early 90 seconds, occlusion was shrouded. Shrouded. Gosh, didn’t know how to say this word shrouded in mystery. Everything went quiet and cons when a face bow came out in a special cushion. It’s just brilliant to have things explained to us as a dentist rather than engineers or physicists.

For me, envelope function was always mysterious, as was guidance, but I feel really excited to get to work tomorrow and start seeing all this. Thank you guys. Fantastic. So that’s the feedback we had at the last lecture of module one. So module one is our introductory module. We have five modules of OB, so it’s just amazing. So thank you so much, Dr. Casey And there’s loads of feedback and comments that we’re getting, so I just want to share that with you guys. So if you guys are ready to learn occlusion online with me and Mahmood and the Academy, head over to Occlusion online, I think it’s spot on because we don’t make a recommendation enough or a classic example that a young dentist or lots of dentists doesn’t have to be young dentists. It’s just the ones I speak to on Instagram nowadays. They say my patient needs a crown. They actually say to me, you know, patient really needs a crown here because it’s all all the textbook features of thin cusps and it’s broken down. There’s only, you know, there’s only a certain size of filling A restoration can be before it’s really not appropriate for that tooth anymore. It’s a simple thing to grasp. Most dentists know this, but when they’re communicating, okay, we can do a crown which can cost X, or we can do a filling which can cost X. The filling involves this this process. The crown involves that process. Which one would you like? And really what you’ve skipped out, what you missed is a good comparison would be if someone’s got caries in their teeth decay, tooth decay.

And so most dentists are very confident to say that, okay, you need a filling, right? And then you’re not going to say, well, you need a filling or we can just, you know, put some fluoride varnish and see you in six months. Right. We don’t say that because we know that’s not appropriate for that tooth. It is technically an option, right? Very minimally invasive, negligent kind of option, maybe, but you don’t say it. So in the same way dentists lack confidence. Actually, this is my recommendation. You need this because X, Y, Z. And a great tip that Lincoln Harris gave me, which really echoes what you said as Prav in terms of being concise, is the three sentence treatment plan like you need. Okay, first we’re going to whiten your teeth, then we’re going to lengthen them using invisible filling material, and then we’re going to protect it with a splint. This is the way we’re going to treat you. It will take four appointments and the total fee will be this and that covers everything. Pause. Okay. And then suss out the patient in terms of how much detail. Obviously, you’re going to back it up with your written estimate because you know, anything over a certain amount, you need to really give them more information. Patients deserve more information, but that doesn’t have to happen in the surgery. So that’s what I’m thinking. Make a recommendation. In fact, the GDC, no matter of which country you’re in, your regulatory body says make a recommendation. People skim over that. But we can and should be making a recommendation. Yeah, it says it in the GDC. You should make a recommendation.

And it is. And we go back to, well, how do you earn the right to make that recommendation? You earn it by building trust with that patient. Okay. And lots of us, lots of practitioners have been building trust over many years and months and decades for some some dentists, because they’ve been seeing the patient every six months, every 12 months. And so the level of trust is way up there. However, a patient that walks in off an Instagram inquiry, the level of trust is way down there. And you’ve got to build that trust before you make that recommendation. And then how do you build that trust? Right? It’s that rapport building. It’s understanding their situation. It’s what Kerry did for me beforehand. It’s me articulating to the patient that Kerry’s passed on this information for me and I. Understand that you’ve been for a consultation here, and one of the things that you didn’t like is whatever, right? And I’m going to make sure that that isn’t an issue here for you and so on and so forth. Right? You build that trust. There’s usually a human connection on that in that point there. Social Proof. In the last podcast we talked about inviting our previous patients into the consultation. Right? Be that before and after, be that a Google review that you’ve printed out or be that a video testimonial that you print out and say, Hey, you know, John, I’d love you to meet Mike. Now, Mike was one of my patients who same situation like you, years of unfortunately not looking after his teeth, lost him.

They become loose. He ended up wearing these these partial dentures and he wouldn’t go out, he wouldn’t socialise, you know, And, you know, he felt very, very, very upset about his situation. He was in pain. He couldn’t eat the foods he wanted. And just just just watch his video and see what you think and let me know if there’s any similarities with you. Boom. That video is dealt with. The objections it’s built the trust that there’s a connection between me and that patient because I treated that patient. I can do the same for you. So we’ve built that trust. Now it’s time for me to come in and make a recommendation for you. And I’m in your situation. Look, there’s very little we can salvage here. And, you know, all things being being equal, you know, I recommend that you go for this option. And that’s what the level of investment that you’re looking for is. And yet, you know, with different patient groups or jazz, you spoke about values. There’s a certain value you need to go up above, and then they need a written treatment plan and they need this letter and all the rest of it. There’s probably a regulatory reason as well that you need to document everything and put everything in writing, right? Absolutely. But once again, you know, the way I’ve spoken about how do you deliver the communication now? Right. It’s the same thing in the written word. Okay. How do you deliver a letter? Does your letter go into so much detail? I’ve seen treatment plans this thick.

But you know why that is. Write the letter. And this is something for an taught me he’s prolific for doing like the best letters ever like you know he’s the best. Very detailed, very thick wads, basically. And I don’t know if he’s changed his process and hat tip to to care for for all he does in dentistry but he says that look this letter the patient I want them to read it and understand it. But really it’s for the lawyers, it’s for the patient, but it’s also written for the lawyers as well. So everything is foolproof. So that’s an element of, you know, the regulatory body being satisfied. And then you leave no stone unturned by listing all the risks and benefits, because technically, you know, we see the charge sheets of dentists in trouble. You did not say all the risks and benefits. So we feel dentists like, okay, it will take five hours in the chair to do it. But if you just print off this 25 page booklet that that covers to some degree of it. And you know, we know consent is very complicated. Consent has layers like an onion. You know, we talked about that in a previous episode. But but but I think that’s why we’re satisfying the regulatory body as well.

But okay. Have you what? Okay. But the first two pages. Yes. The executive summary should be a thing of beauty.

Yes, agreed.

That’s lovely. Conciseness, bulleted information, whatever that is. And look, I’ve spoken to one of the things that I’ll speak to a new client about is take me through your patient journey. Right. And part of that patient journey. Let’s let’s get to the point where you’re delivering the consultation, right? So everything’s happened before that, the patient journey, you’ve delivered the consultation and now that patient needs a treatment plan. Can you explain to me how you deliver the treatment plan to the patient, the differences between how dentists deliver treatment plans? And I’m not just talking about their verbal skills or their sales skills, but actually the methodology of delivery, the means of whether it’s a FedEx or a DPD or an email or whatever. Right? The method of delivery is very different.

Inconsistent even amongst the practice. Every associate will do it differently. Right?

And even that dentist himself or herself will do it inconsistently.

Right? Guilty as charged.

Yeah. So. So. So then we then we look at, okay, well, let’s just forget about inconsistency within and think about inconsistency across the industry. Right? Some dentists will do a PDF and email it to the patient and cross their fingers and toes. Some dentists will get the patient back and present the treatment plan to the patient and book in what’s called a letter chat or a treatment plan.

That’s something that I do quite a bit with my bigger cases. Yes, some.

Will ask another team member to just, you know, just just just get this over to the patient some. It will go out by, you know, Royal Mail or whatever in the post. Yeah.

To the in a gold envelope with the perfume on it.

Wax seal, whatever. Right. And so there are numerous different ways in which treatment plans can be delivered. But the interesting thing is when I sit down and ask that dentist and say, So you’ve emailed that treatment plan, what if it went into spam? What’s your contingency for that plan? And then that same rabbit in the headlights moment, right? And some will say, Oh, but. We phoned the patients afterwards to see if they’ve got it. Okay, cool. We’ll see if it went to voicemail. How many times would you phone that patient? Would you text that patient? Would you email that patient? Have you told the patient you’re expecting? I’m going to write to you and it will be on this day. No, because your life is so busy that you actually don’t even know when you’re going to get that treatment plan out. That’s a common, common problem for for dentists That I see is that on Tuesday nights, I’m doing my treatment plans, doing my treatment. I haven’t quite got round to this. Right. I’m going to get this treatment plan out tomorrow. I’m going to do it the next right. I’ll do it next Tuesday. Now and time passes, right? You’ve done all the hard work in building the trust and everything. You just need to get this out. Patient gets cold. And then. And then. Where do you go with that? One of the most successful ways I think of delivering treatment plans in the easiest way to explain this is is maximising your output but minimising your time. So I’m.


I think the goal I think I’ll tell you where I’m going. The gold standard is you get the patient in and you block out time in your diary. Okay? Yeah. And you get the paperwork. But that requires a lot of time and energy. Right? But recording jazz, I know you’re a you’re a lume fanatic. As I. As a man. Yeah. You know, I record probably about 20 to 40 lume videos a day. And I know you do it. You do a lot as well, Jazz. And I find it an amazing way of communication. And for those of you who don’t know what Lume is, it is a piece of software that is essentially either free or if you want the premium version, it’s £10 or something like that. It’s so.

Cheap. You know, the the website, I love it so much. I actually bought Lume Dental and basically it’s my affiliate code basically because I recommend everyone. Let’s go to Lume Dental. You know, I think every dentists use it.

Lume Dental There you go. Right. And, and buy it and try it out for free first. Right? Try it out for free. I don’t think there’s a single reason why you wouldn’t buy it, but but you’ve got to execute, right? So just explain.

For those dentists who. Yeah. You’re going to explain what it is, right? How it’s actually used. Yeah. Yeah.

So what Lume is, is a piece of software. You press a button on, on, on your browser, chrome or whatever it is, and it records your screen at the same time. It records your voice. And if you’ve got a webcam, it can record your face and you can put your face anywhere on that page you want. Yeah, you can stick it in the corner here, there, wherever you can make it big or small or whatever. Right? And I think when you’re delivering a treatment plan now picture this, your treatment plans there, you can wave your mouse around on the screen. You could annotate the screen and you are there in your just sort of your personality. Right? And you’re saying to that patient, okay, Prav, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you a couple of days ago. So from, you know, the conversation that we had and the problems that you’re experiencing, the key problems being A, B and C, and I’ve got three key ways in which I can help you. And here’s option one. And you’ve got a picture of their teeth on the screen. You wave your mouse around and go, Oh, well, this is what we can do with this and this is what we can do with that. And you say, for this solution, this is how many appointments and this is what it’s going to cost for this solution. Now, I’m going to send you the rest of this document as well, which has got all the detail about the risks and the blah, blah, blah and all the rest of it. Right. And I’m going to send you a PDF of that. Once you’ve received this video and watched it, just tell me that you want the PDF. So I know you’ve, you’ve received this video and I will email the PDF to you.

It creates a touch point, it creates an interaction, creates an interaction.

And why am I not sending the PDF directly? A I want engagement B I want to know. They’ve watched the video. The lume will tell me that.

So that saved me before. You know, I love the fact that, you know, when someone, when a patient watches my lume I’ll get an email saying you know Mr. Smith has opened has watched your video and for imagine if you start doing it in the way that I do it, you know by consent process is like you know you need to know this really important for consent. And I’ll talk a little bit more about consent in a moment. But like if they haven’t seen that for me, they haven’t consented because sometimes I go a compromise option. Okay? What we’re doing is very fringe, very compromised, and therefore you need to understand everything. So if they haven’t seen that video, I know that that doesn’t satisfy my consent level. So I like the medical legal, so aspect of it. And just like you mentioned, Prav with with consent, how you said in your lume you to pretend lume to the patient as you were describing it, saying, I’m going to send you this pdf. I think consent has to be individual right for that patient. Okay? Your individual risk. So so there might be 50 different risks of a line of treatment, but there’s 1 or 2 which is really significant for that patient.

And the lume allows me to go, okay, there’s about 50 risks, but number 24 and number 48 are really relevant to you because you’ve bashed your tooth before. There’s something called resorption which can happen. And so that’s really important. And your tooth could discolour, blah blah, blah. And you really, really now individualised consent. So you’ve got to bear that in mind. So that’s why I love Lume. Hey guys, if you want to see an example Lume video that I’ve sent to one of my patients if you’re protrusive premium member. You can find it in the premium clinical video section, because when I was editing this episode, I was thinking, Hey, wouldn’t it be useful for you guys to see an example loom video discussing the patient’s treatment, suggestions, recommendations. So I’ve got that available to you. I know some of you asked for it on Instagram as well, so it will be available for you in the premium clinical video section of the Protrusive app. Obviously you can access it by web, by Protrusive app or the App Store however you like, but it’s all there for you. So if you want to check out an example, go ahead.

Some of the features that we’ve probably not dug into that I love about Loom, right, is that when you send that link to the patient, they click on it and out pops a video and it plays your recording. The moment they play that recording and they stop playing that recording for whatever reason, you get an email saying your loom video has just been watched by such a body, right? If they’ve got a Google account or they’re logged into it, you get the details of who’s watched it. The other important thing that you get is you get details on how much of it they’ve watched. Have they watched? Didn’t know that 100% of the video or if they watched 60% of the video. A habit that I’ve got into is I label or rename all my loom videos.

You’re so.

Anal so that so that I know when I get that email notification. So if I send you a loom, I’ll put Jaz Gulati Dash o Bab Course landing page Right. So as soon as I get a notification pop up, I don’t even need to know, right? I know straight away with a notification to get Jaz has just watched that video about this that I sent him Bosch done because I’ve labelled all my video the moment I the moment I record the video, I retitle it. So the notification I get back tells me a story. Right? Really simple. The other thing with loom videos is if they watch it a second time, a third time or fourth time or a fifth time, you get that data. If somebody else watches it, it will tell you this Loom video has been watched by two people. Three people, Four people. What are they doing now? They’re sharing it with their friends and family members, getting an opinion, whatever that is, which is.

Key because you’ve essentially, you know, one of the things that was taught is that, you know, if you if you see a lady and you present a treatment plan and the lady happens to then bring her husband to the next consultation is a 99% acceptance rate. When the partner is there, it’s just going to happen because there’s a they’re serious. The partner is giving up their time. There’s two people’s time now and they’re dead serious. They just want to iron out the details. Right. So you’re now inviting that other significant other or their family member or a friend to that consultation. And I think it’s powerful. The Shareability, you’re totally right.

And then once again, I think we could run an entire course on on the Art of loom presentations. Right? But but another little sort of hack or a trick or call it whatever you want, right? You know, all of my I call it treatment plans, right? But marketing proposals that I send out, they’re done via loom. Okay. Now, if I’m speaking to one of the stakeholders and there’s another business partner who couldn’t make the initial sales call. Yeah, do you know what I mean? And by the way, please do share this with jazz. I know he wasn’t here, but what’s really important that he understands the other things that we discussed so you can add colour to your treatment plan. You can add colour to the words by voice, right? Yes, but. But just talk about them. Invite them. And by the way, Jazz, you know, if you want to jump on a separate call with me, if anything’s not clear in what I’ve described today because you didn’t have the context, I’d be delighted to jump on a separate call with you. Right. And so in the same respect, look, I know you’re going to be sharing this with your with your other half your husband, Mr.

Smith, if you’ve been smart enough, you’ve got the name or whatever. Jack, Bob, whatever. Yeah. And Bob, look, if anything here doesn’t make a sense or you want a little bit more detail, why don’t you come back in with Brenda and we’ll sit down and we’ll go through it, right? So that’s sort of little nuances and how you can tweak and optimise the use of language in loom. But I think it’s a it’s a wonderful tool if you’re worried about secure authority, you can password protect every loom video with a separate password. Okay. So all my proposals I send out, I password protect them. I tell them what the password is. And so why do I do that? First of all, they’ve got to jump through another hoop to access that loom video. Okay. And the other thing I think about is if somebody accidentally just clicks on the video, starts playing it, but they’re not in the mind frame or the the head space to watch the whole video. They’ll watch 60% of it. Right. But if I put a password in there and one one last bit of advice is I tell them how long the loom video is in the message.

Here’s a four minute video I made for you. Mrs.. Smith Yeah.

Link So they know how much time they need to invest in watching it. Find the headspace, put the password in, or if they go and you know who’s watched it.

This is a very personalised way to do a letter. It’s a video letter. It’s very. Personal. It’s very shareable, it’s very unique. And every single patient I’ve sent this to have always commented like, Wow, you know, thank you for your thorough explanation. I really understand. No one’s ever communicated with me in this way. That’s why I’ve been I’ve been hooked on Lume. It’s brilliant. Before we summarise this episode because I want to Petrus Sarathi messaged me saying we like it jazz. We just go with the bullet points because because sometimes there’s so much information overload. So we’ll do that in just a moment. But is there any other point you want to make on the follow up conversation? Because you mentioned, okay, things get lost. They don’t listen to voicemails and stuff. And and that element is important no matter how you communicate that follow up sequence. Any other comments you want to make on that?

We’re talking specifically about treatment plans. Right. And how how how we can be following up with that or how we should be following up with that. Right.

So once we’ve earned the right and the trust to make a recommendation, we’ve made a recommendation, that recommendation is going to be concise. And it’s also a treatment plan that the nurse and the nurse and the reception team are very familiar with. You are known in your practice for delivering that treatment plan because you’ve had those conversations with the front of House and now you send that treatment plan out via, let’s say, a Lume Dental or any other way that you want your written one, any way you like, basically. And then so what other tips and advice perhaps I haven’t mentioned here just now that we’ve glossed over or the microphone is yours, my friend. Well, I.

Think, you know, we could we could talk at length. We could do a whole another episode about the nuances of the conversation that happen when you’re delivering that treatment plan, how to talk money, how to break money down into lowest common denominators, how to talk to them about access, accessing funds. Right. Really important. I’m going to mention this and I might get a bit of stick for it. Right. But my colleague Mark Northover is probably one of the most emotionally intelligent human beings I have ever come across in my life. Right. And he’ll be embarrassed about me saying this. Most of the communication stuff, I learn a lot of the communication stuff I learn is eavesdropping on him speaking to patients in our clinic. Wow. And the words that come out of his mouth are a thing of beauty. And it’s not through any sales training.

It’s nothing like NLP, nothing like that. It’s none of that crap.

I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say that, but. But. But none. None of that stuff, right? Yeah. It’s none of this contrived. I need to do this. They’re locked up to the right. They scratch their nose. They did none of that nonsense. Right? It really does come down to the fact that he is just a people person. He communicates concisely and he connects with patients in a way that I have not seen other health care professionals connect with patients. Right? It’s just purely that. And in our clinic, we do a lot of same day teeth, full arch implant, dentistry, call it, that’s placed on the same day and it’s very high value stuff. And so I listen to him talk to patients and we had this patient who had failed finance and we had another one who had a deposit and they had the means to pay the finance, but they had failed or whatever. Right. Max, a problem solver, He really is. So you think at this point I’m going to give you the solution now and then then you’re going to think flipping eck But then then we’ll go back to the definition of what sales is, right?

And now you can say, you told me a story before, so everyone get your mandibles ready because we’re going to drop.

Mark asked this patient to remortgage their house to pay for their implants. Okay, but that’s the shock statement, right? Yep, yep. But actually, when I asked Mark, I said, Mark, I’ve never, ever heard anyone ask a patient to remortgage their house to pay for their teeth. What, like, where did that come from? And he said, Prav, this patient really wanted this treatment. They just needed to understand where their possible sources of funding are. Yeah, so we have finance. We have money in the bank. I asked, Are you a home owner? Have you got equity in that house? I think the cheapest access to money maybe you need to speak to your broker would be to perhaps just take some money, some equity out of your house and that could be a way. And should what? The patient was absolutely delighted and over the moon that he’d made that suggestion because neither another dentist nor that patient would have ever thought about that solution. And that patient is super happy eating their steak, smiling, integrate.

They’ve seen the video testimonial of this patient. He looks great and he’s so happy. You could tell.

So look, you know, access to funding. I think that’s where we’re going. But we spoke about follow up and what’s really what’s really important about follow up. Right, is that the patient who comes in and has a treatment plan from you today, Jazz may be ready to proceed with treatment tomorrow, may be ready to proceed with treatment in three months, may be ready to proceed with treatment in 12 months or two years time. And that’s the long and short of it, right? We have slow, middle and fast lane buyers in my dictionary, right? And so those patients who are ready to transact in two years, but not today, we can either view them as. Time wasters or we can see them as patients that are not quite ready to transact yet. But let’s stay in touch. Right. And so there’s numerous different ways in which you can do that through emails, newsletters, sharing case studies and success stories every couple of months, giving them a quick call and saying, Hey, Prav, I know now’s not the right time. Do you know what level with that patient? Right? Because if you have built that trust and you have made that recommendation and that patient feels comfortable enough to tell you Prav not now, but when the time is right, I ain’t going anywhere else. I ain’t going anywhere else. Right. And then you turn around to that patient and say, Is it okay if I just give you a call every couple of months, see how you’re doing, share a few case studies with you that we’ve completed that we’re proud of. Would that be okay? Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve got our follow up sequence and then you can either do that through some kind of CRM system, you can have a spreadsheet, a Google sheet, whatever, right? You may be asked Chatgpt to tell you the best way to do it, but yeah.

I’ll tell you something I do actually, which is very on that same vein, is patients who have made a treatment plan for that. In my heart of hearts, I think they’d really benefit from, but it’s a lot more than what they expected and they’re interested. But maybe this is not the best year for them. I you know, I see them for the check up six months later. And I said, oh, remember we had that conversation. Is that something that you’re still interested in? And they say, yes, but, you know, maybe now’s not the time and say, Listen, when you’re ready, I’ll be ready. And then this one sentence, which I think dentists should be saying we don’t say enough, is that I love doing this kind of work. I let them know I love doing this kind of work, that one sentence. And I know that’s not a tactic. That’s not a thing. No, no, no. I genuinely do love that work. And, you know, when they are ready, then, hey, I’ve been sympathetic to the scenario. Empathetic. Okay, when you’re ready, I’ll be ready. But also, you know what I bloody love? And they want to go to someone who who loves doing that kind of work.

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think we’ve covered all the all the key elements that we wanted to. I’m sure there’s a few missing pieces to the puzzle that we we.

Obviously need to learn more from you. You did a one day thing for these reconstruction dentists. You also did a one day just, you know, the elevator pitch for the dentists and how to get the change their mindset, because ultimately everything we talked about is underpinned by mindset, right? And so the way we think about sales, the the workflows in your practice, are you doing any more of these training days?

I do have some coming up. So with with in collaboration with the Ice Academy, I’ve got two courses coming up this year. I think the dates for one of them has been set, but they’ve not gone live yet. So one of them is a TCO course. And I think, you know, what I wanted to put together is a course that’s non clinical. I ain’t going to teach you how to take photographs. I’m going to teach you how to scan and I’m going to teach you how to look in a patient’s mouth. But I’ll teach you how to communicate in the best possible way to get that patient over the line. Right. And call that, you know, let’s just call that sales. And then another course that we were speaking about at the academy that will go live this year is one called phone school. And phone school is is the name. It’s a ronseal statement, right? It does what it says on the tin. And it’s the art of conversations on the phone, what the ideal sales call looks like, what the ideal customer service call looks like, what the objections sound like on the phone. And then we’re just designing now sort of the workflow of the course. But one of the things we’re talking about is the delegates that register. Some of them will have the opportunity to allow us to record calls coming into their practice library. And but instead of a mystery shopper, we’re going to play those calls back in front of the whole audience and coach them on them. And and and we will also probably do a couple of live calls to some of the delegates practices during the course to get some instant sort of feedback.

Instant red faces and.

Yeah, but do you know what those that this is the way I look at it, those that volunteer to have their practices call it exposed. Right? Because look, if you call my practice today, I guarantee you that will make some mistakes as well. Yeah, we’re all always improving, right? They’ll get the most out of the course. They’ll get their personalised direct advice. Right. And you know, what I like to say is that the environment in which I do this will be a safe environment, you know, where everyone would be encouraged to share and learn and whatnot, you know, and like minded people in a room for one purpose, which is, you know, to get better at communicating. Right. I think that is, you know, it it certainly communication, you know, as well as having the skills to, you know, stick the drill in the right place and all the other bits and pieces is, you know, it’s the thing that’s going to get you out of trouble is the thing that’s going to get you the patient to say, yes, it’s the thing that’s going to get. Our patient to bring the friends and family members and and all the rest of it. So, Well.

I’ll put the links and the dates in the show notes, but you need to do something again for dentists. I don’t think you do that enough. I know you’re a super busy guy, but if you’re up for it, let’s let’s get something organised for for dentists loom school. I love that. Actually people will actually find that really valuable. We should consider that.

I think I’m evangelical about loom because I think it’s it’s one of the tools that has in my even my agency has saved me days every month because when you’re recording a screen and you’re pointing at something and you’re saying move this here, do that there, or even communicating via voice rather than typing saves me a ton of time. I also have accountability because I know that person’s watched it.

Prav I said, No, no, no. We all love loom here. So for those of you who haven’t discovered Loom before, now’s your time to check it out. We covered a lot of ground here. Thank you so much. Prav We talked about being concise. We talked about doing it in a way that the patient will understand. Do do it in a way that that your team are on board, different ways of communicating and just changing your mindset about the definition of sales. So I will reach out to you, try and twist your arm to actually do some live training for dentists. Again, I will get you get you back on that. I know you’re busy, but man, thank you so much for for making time. I really appreciate it.

Pleasure Jess. Thanks for having me. Really enjoyed it today.

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. Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Make sure you tune in for.



Hit Subscribe in iTunes or Google Play or whatever platform it is. And you know, we really, really appreciate it. If you would give us a six star rating.

Six star rating. That’s what always leave my Uber driver. Thanks a lot, guys.


In Episode 182, Payman sat down to chat with Stuart Campbell and Hatem Algraffee—hosts of the fantastic One in the Chair and Two Waiting podcast.

This week, Payman reconnects with Stuart to turn the tables and find out about Desert Island Discs, ideas for NHS reform and Stuart’s motivation for running gruelling ultra-marathons.

The pair also touch on politics, socialism, and Scottish independence.



In This Episode

01.58 – Vintage football shirts

11.59 – Backstory

15.55 – Dental school

24.40 – Specialising and practice ownership

31.06 – Excellence

35.03 – Teaching and communication

46.20 – Referral work

49.42 – Management, strengths and weaknesses

56.01 – Practice marketing and podcasts

01.04.24 – Best and worst days

01.07.38 – VT Trainer

01.09.45 – Determination, marathons and ultra-marathons

01.23.29 – NHS reform

01.29.48 – Scottish independence

01.46.43 – Dental influences

01.39.11 – Desert Island Discs

01.43.41 – Fantasy dinner party

01.51.06 – Last days and legacy


About Stuart Campbell

Stuart Campbell is a specialist prosthodontist and principal dentist at an Edinburgh-based multidisciplinary referrals clinic. 

He is an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, an expert witness for the GDC and co-hosts of One in the Chair and Two Waiting dental podcast.

Know, dentistry is expensive to deliver. There’s there’s no two ways about it. And equally, I think the one the one thing a dentist can do, the probably the most important thing any dentist can do is the relief of pain. And I think that’s probably our most important skill we have, is to be able to relieve somebody of pain. And I don’t think that should be denied to people that people must be able to access that. So I do think there has to be an NHS dentistry for that reason. Now does it need to extend to things like cosmetic dentistry and, you know, different types of cast materials? I think it probably doesn’t, but equally in terms of those things might be appropriate for somebody to prevent a problem.

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

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Stuart Campbell onto the podcast. Stuart is a practice principal at Loanhead Dental Practice in Edinburgh. He teaches on the MSC in Edinburgh University. He’s a specialist in Prosthodontics, someone who came to specialising a bit later and fixed brows and an avid collector of football shirts. Stuart lovely to have you, mate.

Great pleasure, Payman. Thank you very much for having me on. I’m thoroughly looking forward to this. You and I have had a recent conversation on my podcast and I’m thoroughly looking forward to another long Ramble chat with you. So I’m excited to see where this might go.

Yeah, I should. I should have mentioned the co-host of One in the Chair and two Waiting podcast. I’ve just been on and we’re going to do a simulcast of that podcast with ours. Go ahead, Stuart. So welcome to the to the show. Tell me about your hobby, your your football hobby.

Well, yeah, you probably see here I’m wearing one of my my football shirts. This is a Bayern Munich shirt from 1999 I’m wearing. So, yeah, I’m an avid collector of vintage football shirts. So one of the many things that brings me enormous pleasure in life, and I’ve been collecting them probably, you know, since I was probably a teenager. I used to get them when I went on holidays with my parents and things, and they were probably the naff ones that were all fake, you know, the ones you get that, that look like they’re made out of polystyrene bag. And then it went. When I went on holidays myself, I would whatever I was, it might be, let’s say a weekend in Munich. I’d buy the Bayern Munich shirt. Weekend in Amsterdam. I would buy the Ajax shirt, that type of thing. And then I just started getting more interested in buying more obscure shirts and an older shirts. And this became a thing. And this is now, you know, because of e-commerce, this has become quite easy to do. Whereas maybe 10 or 15 years ago you couldn’t do that. Know, you were limited to what was in the shop. And it’s I suppose it’s a way of of recapturing those fond childhood memories about things. It’s not the shirt so much as the memory that almost brings and probably up to about 300 shirts. Now, if my wife’s listening, sorry, I’m up to three shirts now. Um, but it’s very addictive, but equally very satisfying. It’s the thrill of the chase as well when you think what I want to do is get the Fiorentina 1999 shirt with a Nintendo sponsor and the Batistuta name set and trying to find that in mint condition in your size at a price that’s reasonable.

Is it important that it’s in your size? Do you have to be able to wear it for.

Me, I have to wear it, Yeah. Yeah. A lot of people say they don’t wear them, so I’m now I’m now involved in the football shirt community. Yeah. And a few of my football shirt co collectors. Some of them would never wear them. They say no, absolutely no, you should never wear it. You should keep it pristine, hang it up, put it in a frame, whatever. I don’t agree with that. I think they’re meant for wearing and I enjoy wearing them. You know, my wife says all our holiday photos are ruined because I’m standing there in a, you know, a fluorescent yellow Borussia Dortmund shirt or something like that or or a or a bright orange Dundee United shirt. And but, you know, I enjoy wearing them. And it’s a little bit like in the States when you go to Hawaii, the minute the plane lands, you see all these guys. I don’t if you’ve been to Hawaii, I was there on honeymoon. And you almost see as the plane lands, it’s almost like the entire plane throws off their clothes and puts a Hawaiian shirt on. And that’s the mentally that’s them. I’m on on vacation. And for me, it’s a football shirt. As soon as I get on holiday, I put a football shirt on. That’s me. That’s my Hawaiian shirt.

I bet you get I bet you get quite a lot of love, right? Like you probably get some Galatasaray fan coming over to you and shaking your hand if you’re wearing that shirt in some way.

It drives my family mad. I’ll tell you, we were just in the States last week. It was in Chicago, which is a favourite place of mine. And I was wearing a Roma shirt from 2019. And it’s a it’s a quite a some of these shirts, even the recent ones can can become what we call in the community Grail shirts. So Holy Grail shirts. And you would think that that’s going to be limited to say, for example, a 1986 Maradona shirt. But no, no, it depends on on demand and scarcity and things like that. And there is a Roma shirt was produced by Nike, which is a beautiful shirt, Navy blue, almost looks like a polo shirt. I convinced myself you could wear it out. My wife says you couldn’t, but I convinced myself you can. And it was wearing this in Chicago, and I got about three compliments. Guys, love your shirt. That’s amazing. My wife just said, Look, I didn’t say anything. She was looking at me as if to say, you set that up. You encouraged him to. To to give you a compliment. But no. And it is a conversation starter and you get the knowing nod from people and, you know. But that’s what makes it all worthwhile. That and the thrill of finding one to the specifications I’ve made mentioned.

And if there was a if there were, God forbid, a fire in your shirt cabinet, which is the one you would jump to first to save like the one you’re most. When I say valuable, it doesn’t mean price value, but you’re the one that you value the most.

Only 100. Only one. The one. Two. Oh, right. I would say then I’ve got a Bayern Munich 1999 shirt that they wore in the Champions League final where they were cruelly robbed by Manchester United and it’s a silver colour and it was only worn in the Champions League. And this particular one I have has is a player issue one and it has the felt Lothar Matthaeus number ten name set on the back and that’s a I would struggle to get that ever again. I think so that’s a real favourite. The other one, the Roma one I mentioned, is certainly up there, but I think the other one would probably have to be a USA one from 1988, which uses what we call in the shirt community the Ipswich template. Now I don’t know if you know this, but football shirts, designers, they all use templates. So there’s a number of designs per season and they just alter the colours. If you happen to be an elite team, you know, In other words, if you’re likely to sell lots of football shirts, say like Bayern Munich or Real Madrid, they’ll design, you’ll have your own template.

But if you’re a team, let’s say like, I don’t know, let’s say like Crystal Palace or Norwich, you’ll be given a template that’ll be similar to another team’s template. Just the colours will be different. So the Ipswich template was a famous template that was created in the 80 seconds for Ipswich football team, but it was never used by them because they changed their sponsorship. They were with Adidas who designed it and Adidas had designed this template for Ipswich, and Ipswich then decided they didn’t want to use Adidas anymore. So Adidas gave the Ipswich template to Holland. So if you can imagine 1988 Holland won the European Championships. They beat the USSR in the final and they had Hewlett Van Basten right guard. That shirt was actually designed for Ipswich and they just changed the colour and gave it to Holland. And so the USA actually used the same template that you could imagine that template but in blue and it’s a beautiful shirt and you know, I’ve worn it in the USA twice and I’ve received zero compliments, zero. Very disappointing, very disappointing. But that would be the second one. I would say.

It’s getting in America. Soccer is getting quite big, but nowhere near as big as their own sports. Right. You just came back from Chicago. Did you go on business or pleasure?

Pleasure. Pleasure. So Chicago is a is a one of my favourite places. The reason I originally went to Chicago was that a friend of mine growing up in Dundee, his dad was a lawyer and he ran a fairly big law practice. He was a great guy, larger than life, and he was involved in the Law society, and the Law Society had said to him, Look, we’re looking for hosts for law students from the United States. Would you like to be a host? This guy is going to come over and just observe our practices and whatnot for for eight weeks. Would you put him up? Would you would you have on your practice? I’ll do better than that. I’ll put him up in my house. So he had this guy who was a Harvard Law student who came across a lovely guy, met a number of times because my friends and friend’s dad, we went out with them. He was a great guy and this guy had a great story. His story was that while he was in his latter stages of law, Tom Cruise was in their dorm because he was filming the firm. Tom Cruise is a method actor, and he wanted to spend time seeing what a Harvard lawyer would do. So they met Tom Cruise and all the rest of it. There’s some great stories. But anyway, this guy was from Chicago and he he really should have been the tourist officer for Chicago because he really painted a great picture.

And I kind of thought Chicago is a bit rough. Is it not A bit. Kind of. I don’t know. Um, I don’t know if a fancy kind of anyone going there and and when my friend Gordon then in 1994 he went to the World Cup with his dad and Scotland didn’t qualify, but they went anyway and they booked the trip and they were going to New York. All the greatest hits, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami. And this guy said, You’ve got to come to Chicago and visit me. All right. Okay. We’ll go to Chicago. So they went to Chicago and when he came back was saying, how was your trip? You know, it must have been amazing. And the place he just couldn’t stop talking about was Chicago. So have you been to New York? You’ve been to Miami, Chicago, Chicago, Chicago. So anyway, when I went to do I did my elective at Dental School. We arranged to do it in the States. We did a bit of travelling around and we arranged to and Gordon, my friend, was saying, You’ve got to go to Chicago. I said, We’ll go in December. It’s freezing. So I’m telling you, you got to go. So we went and I absolutely loved it and I’ve been back. This is the. Visit number four. 4 or 5 now. Absolutely. Love it. Great city. So friendly. It can get.

Brutally cold, can’t it? That’s the thing. Have you been during mid-winter, Chicago? Mid-winter. You’ve always been on pleasure.

I’ve always been on pleasure. I’ve been there in December. And I’ll tell you, the cold freezing. It doesn’t mess about, is it that wind? Yeah. But yeah, it’s interesting, though.

Because I’ve been that’s the city I’ve been to the most in America as well. Why? Because two of my suppliers are based there and and the Chicago midwinter as well. And in summer it’s lovely. Beautiful. It’s the weather weather wise. And then I don’t know if you’ve ever been outside. I used to go to a place called Naperville quite a lot. Really, really beautiful. Totally different to to the feeling of Chicago. But you’re right. There’s something special about that town of the US cities. Each of them has their own little twist. Right? But I find it one of the easier ones to like in America. Yeah. So tell me about childhood and, you know, in Dundee and why you decided to become a dentist.

Yeah, it’s. Yeah. So Dundee’s, if you don’t know Dundee, it’s a small city. It’s about an hour north of Edinburgh. It’s on the East Coast and it is about ten miles from Saint Andrews and about five miles from Carnoustie. Two world famous golf courses. It’s big university town in the sense that they have a large student population and, you know, small city with a large student population, essentially two universities there. So growing up, there was, you know, as a kid, absolutely fantastic. We had a great lifestyle and great, you know, safe place to grow up, lovely part of the world. My parents lived in Dundee, beautiful views over the river and my dad saying, this is as good as it gets. You know, we’d be saying Dundee, as good as it gets. Geez. But it just doesn’t have. What it doesn’t have is a young professional population, You know, it doesn’t have that wealth from disposable income because the young professionals finish university, then they go to another city, you know, so it doesn’t have that. So it doesn’t have your restaurant culture and your cafe culture. It has a pub culture, which is great when you’re a student. But in terms of growing up there, yeah, it was great to go to school there, but it tends to be a dentist and things. To answer your question, I probably came to that fairly late about maybe about 15, before I decided I wanted to do that. My wife is a dentist and she knew from the from primary school that’s what she wanted to do.

I wanted to be a journalist and my school in Dundee was right opposite DC Thomson and you’ll know DC Thomson because they published the Beano and The Dandy, but they also published some some newspapers, some local newspapers. And that’s what I wanted to do. But I was given very little encouragement to do it. Teachers at the time had said, There’s only so many jobs there. These are life or jobs. You’re not going to get in very easily unless you know somebody or, you know, obviously they didn’t predict the Internet coming along and it was kind of pooh poohed was, you know, at school, I was good at writing essays. It was good at English, it was good at history. It was good at, you know, those kind of documentation style subjects. So I was kind of put off that. And my parents are both medical. My dad’s are he’s still working actually. He’s a professor of surgery. He doesn’t operate anymore, but he’s still actively involved in research. My mother was a was a nurse, a sister in a ward. And they were dad was very pro medicine. You should, you know, great job. He loved it. Getting paid for him is a bonus. You know, he would done it for free and quite often did you know in terms of number of hours he put in quite often did but loved it. It’s like a duty a calling for him, you know.

And I just thought there just he doesn’t he just has no balance. You know, There is no balance. It’s all one way and not the other. And I just don’t want I want to balance and I didn’t see medicine through the prism of looking at what he did as having that balance. So it didn’t appeal to me. So my mum set up by this time she was working at local GP’s practice. She set up a, you know, a work experience there. I just didn’t find it very exciting, you know. And then she set up one with the local dentist and local dentists seemed to have the balance. You know, his practice was essentially separated by his house, from his house, by his back garden. And, you know, he was popular in the community. And his waiting room had loads of pictures of various exotic locations he’d been to, and he seemed to have a 9 to 5 job, seemed to probably didn’t behind the scenes, but it seemed to and seemed to run a successful business. And you know, as well as doing the clinical aspect, I quite like the fact you had some involvement in the the business aspects that then appealed to me. So that was about 15 going on 16 when I thought, yeah, this, this kind of seems like quite a good option. And that was really when I decided I wanted to, to be a dentist. So quite late, really.

How did you find Dental?

Loved it. It’s fantastic. I went to school, which was pretty strict, actually. Private school. Private high school. Went to state primary, private, high school. Pretty strict. There were, you know, I was pretty cheeky. I, you know, like to make, you know, jibes and jokes and have a laugh. And it just it just didn’t didn’t appreciate that really at the school I was at it was not encouraged but it that way at Dental school it was just so you were very much not so much pigeonholed, but you were you were your wings were clipped a bit in school whereas university you it was the complete opposite. So absolutely loved it. Absolutely loved it. And at Dental School in Dundee, it’s a bit like just being in school again with small class sizes. 40 I think we had and the Dental school is kind of skyscraper building. It’s in the university campus. But all your all your lectures are in that building. You don’t leave that building. So it’s almost like being in high school again. You don’t really see an awful lot of other students. You don’t have the free time the other students have, so you’re always together. So yeah, I thought it was great, loved it.

But did you love it as well as from the social side? Did you love it from the, you know, learning the clinical side? Did did you find it easy? Were you one of those types who passed everything with flying colours or did you struggle with like me with pass fail? Vivas And how about the technical aspect? Did you take to that quickly or No.

No, I found it very difficult, I think in pre. So we did six years. I did pre Dental, which was essentially a repeat of the end of school exams you just done. So that was, that was, you know just rocking up to sit the exam, basically a year of a year of partying. So that was fantastic. First, and I still maintain this. All the exams I’ve done in my life, I don’t know how many it must be well into God knows how many, but the hardest exam I have ever sat is physiology for speeds. It doesn’t get any harder than that. And you come to that as a teenager and they’re talking about starlings curves and all that. You know, what the hell is this? And the textbook is bigger than a Yellow Pages. You know, I’d have to probably explain to to younger listeners what Yellow Pages is. But, you know, isn’t it? And you’re like, this is just how can you you’re starting in September and you’re thinking, how am I ever going to learn this? And you know that I found very difficult. I had a reset in that, and I still don’t know how I passed that reset, to be quite honest with you. Payman But I got through it. And then second was, okay, I worked I worked a little harder on that because I was so scared by having the reset and actually got a bollocking day one back by one of the the she was the year the head of the year called me in for a meeting day one and a bollocking you got a reset last year you know and and that that kind of gave me a kick up the arse and yeah.

Past that no problem. The second year you know I wouldn’t say no problem but I passed it, you know, I got through it there was no resets involved and the clinical stuff I found difficult, you know, I found it difficult. I think it’s hard to explain it clinical concepts to people who know what they’re doing. You know, I think what you’re trying to explain clinical concepts to people who have never done it before is it’s difficult for the educator, but for the person trying to grasp it, you just don’t you don’t have the experience to allow you to say, well, that’s what this is. You can’t relate it to anything else. In dentistry, you haven’t done any dentistry. And there is, you know, from some clinical, you know, guess the way it’s taught. They are some assumed knowledge and rightly or wrongly, I think, well, no, you must assume no knowledge. So I found it very difficult, actually. And I think, you know, I became a trainer after dental school and I don’t think it was just me. You know, I think a lot of the young graduates do come out and think, I just never got that. I never understood this. I never understood occlusion. How many people have said that I never understood dentures? How many people have said that, you know.

Boring, boring. From your podcast, you asked me the question about Rishi Sunak and how you would change the NHS. Let’s let’s ask the question of how would you change the Dental course, the undergrad course? What would you do? Because I’ve got a few ideas. You know, I think the number of hours we spent doing things that didn’t end up being important in at least in general practice. What do you think? Yeah.

I think at the end of the day it is a practical job. It’s a skills based job, isn’t it? There’s no doubt about that. And I think there are various things you can do in dentistry, and there’s no doubt about that as well. You can become a teacher, you can become a writer, you can become, you know, in a non-clinical managerial type position. But I think fundamentally most people go into clinical dentistry and that is a skills based job. Therefore, I would say it has to be skills based from from day one. Now, maybe some dental schools are doing that, but in my time it was non clinical, non clinical. Non-clinical at a pre Dental. So three years of non-clinical then clinical, you know, and I think it has to be clinical from the outset. Me Why not get people doing phantom head work from day one? You know, you’re not going to do any harm in a phantom head. So I think that’s what I would change. That’s the fundamental thing. I would change, number one. Number two, what I would do is I’d have younger students on the clinic from day one as well. Why not have them assist Dental students who are clinical? You know, why not have that? Let them look at you know, let them see how things work. Let them see how our fillings done. Let them see how people interact with patients and so on. So those are the two things.

But then obviously, you know, it was a busy course. Something is going to have to give. What would you not do to make those time for the things you just said?

Yeah, I.

Don’t think we any longer have to make full dentures out of wax. Or do we? I mean, it’s a skill that needs, um. What do you think?

I think I think of all those things, I think. Yeah, I see your point. Feel dangerous. But in reality, you know, I understand that the pre-clinical stuff is quite important, but do we really need a full year on physiology and biochemistry? Do we need that? You know, how many times have you used physiology and biochemistry? You know, probably never a sense I’m making that assumption, but I can tell you I’ve used it in some exams. You know, I’ve had to relook at some of the stuff, but not in great depth. And I just wonder a full year of that. And you think, is that just because it’s easier to house the students that you need to house in a non-clinical lecture room than it is to accommodate them in a Dental school? So I think those subjects can be trimmed. I think, you know, I can understand their importance and certainly they they they become important if you’re going to become a Dental scientist, but maybe become a Dental scientist after your dentist.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, funny you you say that. Yeah, I’ve been thinking. I was talking to my son about this. He’s just doing his GCSEs, and I was telling him I wish I paid more attention in chemistry, chemistry, A-level. It would have helped me a lot. It would have saved me a lot of money. It would have helped me a lot in my job, right? In my job, I did Chemistry A-level. And it’s just interesting, isn’t it, that if we took out that stuff about, I don’t know, those experiments in biochem that we used to do. Yeah. What would be the, the push on effects of that? Are they going to be some, some cat who doesn’t become an or a maxillofacial surgeon because he didn’t have that. I mean I think I think you’re right. I think you’re absolutely right. I mean, we only have to look at therapists, right? They teach them quite quickly, quite quickly how to do some, you know, operative dentistry that that could be taught to first years and second years.

Well yeah, I suppose. Yeah, absolutely. And statistically I suppose the numbers how many people will go into clinical practice after they finish. It’s 100% you have to do at and if you want to become, you know as I say a researcher and that’s, you know, fair play to you, you need to know statistics and things. But I’ll tell you, you know, when I was doing Mscs and Specialist, I never looked at the statistics. I was taught at Dental school. I didn’t remember any of it, you know, to go and relook at it all again. And it still didn’t make any sense. So you kind of wonder, is that absolutely necessary? Is it just box ticking and. Yeah, okay, I understand you need to know a bit so you can make decisions on articles and things that you read. But yeah, I think sacrificing clinical practice for those things is, is a difficult one. I think it should be heavier on the skills base.

And then you eventually went on to do MSC specialist training, but not in the, in the usual way where people do that sort of sort of soon after qualifying, you bought a practice and was there a moment where you suddenly decided, No, I’m going to get really, really good at something after being in general practice for a bunch of time, or was that something that you were always going to do? What switched that on for you?

Well, when we bought the practice, very busy practice. It was actually my wife’s wife was a patient at the practice. It was her own dentist and they were a really huge number of patients. And the dentist, lovely guy, was kind of NHS dentist, you know, good guy, did his best for the patient, just kept things going. And then we took over and you started to see things. At the point I actually thought, I just don’t know how to fix this. I just don’t know how to do it. I can see what needs done, but I don’t know how to approach it. Don’t know what sequence to do it in. I just don’t know. So I thought I’d go in some courses and from there just sparked an interest and I went on Paul Tipton’s courses. That was the first kind of cluster of courses I went on and I just thought he was a brilliant speaker, you know, brilliant, brilliant speaker, and could explain things that I thought, Wow, I’ve just never been explained in that way before, you know, I get it. And he often referenced the guy called Mike Wise. He talked about Mike Wise being an influence on him. So I thought, I’m going to go and do as Mike Wise still around.

So did you do the Mike? Wise Course.

I did. Mike for it was with Mike for about 3 or 4 years. Oh, wow. And he was just absolutely brilliant. Really enlightening guy. Inspiring guy. Yeah. And I got chatting to Mike said, you know, I’d love to have done Prosthodontics. And he was like, Well, why don’t you? I said, I’ve got a practice. He was like, So go and do it. I said, I don’t know. I’m not you know, I’ve been out of it a while now. And he was very supportive, you know, you know, big, well-known guy like that. And he took time and he made I spoke to him on the phone and he sent me a couple of emails and he said, I really think you should do it. And he kind of, you know, was that encouragement from someone like him thought, well, you know what? I’m going to go for it. And yeah, that then led to me to start looking into it and start applying and getting rejected and applying again and eventually getting in.

And when you got in, were you older than everyone else in the class? Yeah.

Yeah. So I was funnily enough, I would say I was older. It was quite, quite bizarre. I was older than a couple of the consultants that were on the team on, on air. So that was a bit difficult. But yeah, it was fine. It was good. I did it in Edinburgh. Great bunch of people there, you know, all of whom have become friends. And you know, it was, it was. And you know what? They didn’t make anything of it. It was just you were treated, you know, as a peer. As a peer. Yeah. Yeah. So it was great.

And did you do it full time?

I did it full time. Yeah. Yeah. Wow.

Full time.

Yeah. There wasn’t the option to do it part time. So three years, full time, and you kind of look back and think, how on earth. But yeah, we had. How did you fund.

It and all that? Like, you know, obviously the loss of earnings beat your wife wasn’t too pleased about you deserting her at that moment.

She was pretty supportive, actually. Was she? She kind of initially was, because I think because I was chatting, because I was chatting to Mike and Mike was like, just go and do it in the Eastman. He’s the Eastman. Would you go and do the Eastman? And I was like, Yeah, I’ll do the Eastman. And I say to her, If we could just rent a flat, you know, above a shop or something. And she was like, What? And then got, got an offer for Edinburgh. So that was an upgrade on, on renting a flat above a shop and, you know, middle of nowhere in London. So she was actually you know, when you paint the picture of how bad it could be, you know, when it’s not quite as bad as that, it’s an upgrade.

So that’s called anchoring.

Correct? Yeah. So she was she was pretty supportive, actually. So we had the practice. I worked in it year one, I worked in it and I went Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night after I finished in the hospital. And then a Saturday morning. And you look back and think, what the how the hell did I do that? And as the as time went by, we managed to I managed to negotiate a little bit of compressed time in the final year so I could go and work a day in the practice. But it was tough. It was.

Tough. But is there an aspect of, you know, your dad’s a professor, so you wanted this sort of these these letters after your name because, you know, three, four years of Mike Wise to me seems like more. Complicated. More, more, more learning than than an MSC or a or specialist training. Am I wrong about that? Am I?

No, no, I think I think Mike is is is and was absolutely superb. And, you know, his textbook, which I remember, failures. I feel you’re in the restored dentition. Um, brilliant. Brilliant. What a great textbook. I think I spent about a month salary buying that when I was when I was going through the training. And it was worth every penny, I’ll tell you. Yeah. And I used that and everything he had taught I used in the specialist training. And you’re quite correct. You said, you know what, you know people who’ve done Mike for 3 or 4 years and do a good standard of work would sail through it. They would sail through it. And no, there wasn’t really an aspect of of kind of becoming a professor or, you know, doing what my dad did because I just always thought I would I would it would just allow me to do clinical work as well as I could possibly do it in in a practice setting. That’s what I wanted to do. And just do a high standard of care for people. And knowing you’re doing the best thing, knowing you’re doing the right thing. Yeah, that was really the reason for doing it. And it was Mike. My dad didn’t really have, you know, he was encouraging. He’s great. If you want to do it will help you. But, you know, he wasn’t like you Think about it, you know, it’s not, you know, you’ve got to practice. Do you really want to? My dad was pretty much. You’ve got to practice. That’s great. You, you know, fair play. But you know, coming out to that to do this, he was like, you know, not sure. But then when he was maybe he could be a hospital consultant. That’d be good, you know, like me. But I didn’t I didn’t really want to do that.

And what’s one thing that stuck with me when I saw Mike Weiss lecture was this notion of excellence not being a technique or a product, but a but a state of mind. Yeah, And so very true. You know, so very true. Especially these days with digital. We all jump at, you know, a new way of doing something, you know, a brand name or a protocol or a course you’ve been on. And I was lucky to see him when I was just one year out of dental school, I think. And it always stuck with me that that notion, especially in dentistry, where most of the time no one’s looking over your shoulder, right? Yeah. And that doesn’t mean that, you know, we’re going to do something we’re not supposed to do. But, you know, since we know about failure and we know it’s I think we’ve been we’ve been doing this series on mental health with dentists. I think it’s actually one of the reasons why dentists suffer with mental health issues and have always suffered. You know, people say, oh, it’s the GDC. But, you know, dentists 50 years ago in Kansas were having trouble with mental health is because of this sort of failure of the work and having to keep on thinking In 15 years time when this fails, how will it fail? Yeah, it’s a stressor. You know, it’s a stressor. I don’t think surgeons have that same mindset. You know, you do better.

No, I think you’re right. Um, yeah, My dad’s a professor of surgery, and.

You know.

Everything has to comes across. Certainly everything has to be perfect. No corners should be ever cut and everything has to be absolutely just so. But, you know, he does kind of think, you know, I’ve done my best here. I’ve done my best. There’s nothing else we could do. That’s I’m satisfied with that. Whereas at a case today, Phil Arch case five implants in the maxilla, two of them didn’t get the talk, wanted to load so didn’t load them. And I gave the lady a denture and it’s about the lowest I’ve been for about, you know, I don’t know. Just couldn’t believe it. I just, I just was so upset that I couldn’t let her walk out with a fixed bridge. And she was okay about it. But you just think, you know. And looking back, is there anything I would have done differently? No, Just, you know, we just didn’t get insertion talk into the implants and it wasn’t really scoped to to to change the size particularly and thought. And my dad would be we’ve done everything. Nothing has gone wrong here. We’ve done everything right. Um, why beat yourself up and you do beat yourself up. I don’t know what it is. I think it’s because. Is it because it’s a small team? Because you’re in one room, you kind of feel you’re solely responsible because, you know, I guess with a surgeon is a bigger team involved. Sometimes the surgeon doesn’t have that close connection with the patient because they’re rocking up for the procedure. They haven’t maybe done the consult or someone else has done the consult. You know, dentistry, you’re you become more connected to the patient? I think so, yeah. It’s you’re absolutely right, though. And you tend to, you know, these these these little hiccups tend to, you know, you dwell on them and you overthink them.

Yeah. And here we’ve got a situation where no one complained. Yeah. Then you compound on it. Let’s, let’s compound a complaint just to make things really uncomfortable and then a breakdown in relationship and the patient sort of when you were doing your utmost right, you were you you were working so hard to get it right that you’re depressed that something hasn’t gone 100% perfectly. And then someone implies that you were doing something wrong. Yeah. And you can you can see how the stress is compound on each other. And it’s actually giving me PTSD thinking about this stuff because I haven’t I haven’t treated a patient for a long time. Let’s move on to teaching. Yeah. Tell me about teaching and the buzz you get. And, you know, is it is there an element of paying it forward? You know, what people taught you and, you know, that sort of thing.

I think absolutely. Yeah. I think I think you take a little bit from everybody who you’ve you’ve influenced you. Certainly. Certainly I do. And the way that Mike Wise will go back to him again, what a brilliant teacher he was. And I remember amazing, you know, Dental school, you might ask a question and it would some ways you might be ridiculed for asking it, you know, why are you asking that? Come on. Everybody else knows or Mike would never do that. And if somebody he wouldn’t stop until you understood and he would say, look, I’m going to explain that a different way. Do you need me to explain it a third way? Because I’ll explain it a third way. And you’d say, you know, but you wouldn’t be doing that in a in a derogatory sense. You’d be like, you know, you need to understand this concept. And does everybody understand? Because it can’t just be one person here. He’s obviously the bravest one that’s asked, but everyone else, you know, is anyone else on? Sure. So he was very inclusive and I thought that was a great way to teach. So certainly taking those things from him and, you know, the terms of teaching. Yeah, I do. I do really enjoy it, you know, really enjoy it because it’s interacting with people. It’s, I suppose it’s being a wee bit of a showman as well, isn’t it? And it’s testing you, you know, you’re testing yourself as to what do you, you know, so real measure of what you know, your knowledge and your, you know, clinical skills and hands on course. And some of the courses we run, we have a live implant patients.

I’m placing the implant in front of 10 or 12 dentists. So you kind of think in my head could be in my hands in about five minutes time here, you know, But it is a good way of testing yourself, I think, you know, not, you know, showing that you don’t cut corners, showing what you know and explaining it in a in an environment that is conducive to learning. You’re not one that’s conducive to speaking at people, learning you want everyone to because you might learn from the people you’re teaching. You know what they must know. You know, there are things that they will know that you don’t that they can bring to the table. If you have that that that environment in place and a lot of courses we’ve run, people have come up with things or said things or given you tidbits. So that’s a good point. Yeah. And Mike was like that as well. You know, people would ask questions or they would challenge him on things. You’d have to know your stuff. Are you going to challenge Mike Wise? But sometimes they would challenge him and they’d be absolutely right. And he would then change his viewpoint and said, You made a good point there. Have you got some evidence to back that up? And they would and he’d say, Right, okay, I’m going to look at this. And then he’d come back to the next meeting and say, You know, I’ve looked at that. You’re absolutely right. Now, that’s very interesting, You know, and that’s you have to do that as a teacher. You have to, you know, you know, your students can teach you as well.

100%. I think a large part of being a teacher is that you’ve been asked so many different questions and, you know, you’ve learned yourself from answering so many different questions. That ends up being an expert, right? So it’s one of the ways you get expertise. Yeah. So you teach both highly sort of clinical subjects and then some of the sort of more soft skill subjects as well. Yeah. Which do you prefer teaching?

Um, I think the, the clinical stuff I think is, is probably easier to develop a framework for. Yeah. Because you know, it’s a well tested framework isn’t it. It’s a little bit of theoretical knowledge, hands on, supervised hands on feedback, you know that that works very well. So the framework for that is tried and tested and it works well and, and I enjoy doing that. The communication skills stuff that I teach is I think can be more difficult because it doesn’t have the same type of framework. If to create that framework, you’re right in a in a soft skills in that type of if you want to call it soft skill, it can go off at tangents. And the communications course that we do. I have an actor that comes along and we do mock consultations and things. Sometimes the actor will go off on a tangent and sharp and and you really have to be on your toes for that. So yes, I find that I enjoy them both, but I think that, you know, both have different challenges. But I think the soft skills and particular communication, one can put you a little bit more out of your comfort zone, but and you try to develop a framework for that as much as is possible and I think have that down now. But it is a good one as well.

What’s the basis of your communications course? Give me some some highlights, because we all we all suffer with not all of us. But but, you know, as a profession, we tend to have trouble on the communication side. I find my personal bugbear is the dentist speaking out loud. Everything that’s in his head. Yes. Yes. Yeah. And you know, your patient’s not interested or needs to know everything in your head. They need to know another thing, which is, you know, the bit for them.

Yeah. So a lot of the that you illustrated that as a fairly common thing that we see. And when I was a trainer, you would you would sit in on the consultations or, you know, doing these assessments for your vet. And that’s exactly what they would do. They would almost exactly just splurge at the thought process like they were splurging at an exam answer and you’d see the patient becoming confused and the basis for it really is something called patient related outcome measures. And of course, to make that’s an important thing. And we know it’s important because it has its own acronym, and everything with an acronym must be important. So it’s proms and proms are the way the way I would approach proms is I might say to the patient, Payman, nice to see you today. Um, are you in? You’re in to see me for an oral health assessment. Is there anything you’d like me to look at in particular? And if you said, Well, yeah, you know, I’ve think I’ve got broken tooth rather than launching into any options, I’d say, okay, you know, examine your mouth. I might say, look, can I just ask you out of ten we’ll come to deal with that. Can you just give me a list of your priorities? I’m going to ask you to score this out of ten for me, if you don’t mind. Longevity of what we do, you know, invasiveness of what we do, cost of what we do, the time and how good it looks, something like that. And you might then give me some scores out of ten. That’s okay. Based on what you’ve told me. Sounds like the appearance and longevity are important to you. If I got that right and you say, Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Cost is less of an issue, you might say, Well, cost is always an issue. Okay, well, but it’s not as high as those priorities. Am I right in thinking and scoring out of ten and getting a priority list, I think are really important ways to to essentially create a shared treatment plan with your patients. And when we were doing a specialist training, they brought up a consultant from London called Peter Briggs, who came to speak to us over over a couple of days and he was absolutely fantastic. Speaker Have you ever heard him speak? Be really first rate speaker And he was talking about just this, the communication. He spent about half a day talking about proms and how we communicate to patients. And really it’s a combination of things, like I’ve just said, but also having a database in your head of survival data. So if someone says, I want to last as long as possible, okay, well, you know, you don’t have to quote the paper, but you might say these you know, given the condition of this tooth, you might expect this. The last X amount of time given the condition of this too. So given the condition of the environment in your mouth for a resin bonded bridge, you might expect this to last, you know, 80% of these last five years. So there’s a four out of five chance this will last for five years, you know, and so on. That’s the way they want it explained rather than, you know, getting really boiled down to nitty gritty. And, you know, that’s what we try to instil on these communication courses and it works well.

So when you ask for these out of ten scores, do you not kind of get the same scores from everyone?

Not, not, not always, no. Or some people might be hesitant. They might say, oh, I don’t know, but you just use.

It as a framework to get that feeling of both parties being involved right.

Out of ten is an easy thing because you don’t have to say how is important? Is this to you? I don’t know. I’m not sure. Give me out of ten how important. And they might say, look, most people will actually will will play. We’ll play along. They’ll say seven, nine, whatever. Um, or they might say, look, I don’t know but that’s important. That’s see, So you then stratify it for them and say, look what you’ve told me. The hierarchy appears to be this. Have I got that right? And based on what you’ve told me, the important things to you, this is what This is how I plan your treatment. Because you’ve told told me these things are important to you and I’m giving you a solution to make sure you get those important things that are important to you. And that then means they’re like, Well, yeah, that’s reasonable. That’s not like you’re trying to convince me to have this treatment done that I don’t need done.

The other thing, dude, I think gets ignored quite a lot is that an expert talks about things in a different way to someone who’s not an expert. And by the way, an expert doesn’t have to mean, you know, Mike White. You could be an expert at Invisalign. Yeah. When you when you talk to the patient about that because, you know, you can deliver you talk to them with authority in a relaxed way, in an in an educational way. And the link between clinical expertise and communication expertise, we haven’t really we see them as almost two separate things. I mean, the way I framed the question was exactly that, wasn’t it? Do you prefer the clinical or do you prefer? But actually, when you know you really can deliver, you can relax in the communication piece? Yeah, for sure. And it’s a good point because, you know, when when I was thinking about what you do, it sort of felt like they were opposites. But in many ways it’s one in the same thing, isn’t it?

Absolutely. I think you make the point very eloquently there. Yeah. And of course, you’ll you’ll communicate confidence when you’re confident in what you do. You know, you will. That happens at any walk of life isn’t it? You know you will and you’ll have doubts and things like that. Everyone has doubts. I was listening to if you’ve seen that Boris Becker documentary, it’s on Apple TV right now.

I’ve heard about it. No, haven’t seen superb.

Yeah, but Novak Djokovic is interviewed on it. He was coached by Boris Becker. And, you know, Novak Djokovic looks like this kind of tennis cyborg. Completely unstoppable, isn’t he? But he basically talks about having doubts and he says basically, you have as long as you’ve done something enough and you’ve got the expertise, your self-belief overcomes the doubts. And that’s kind of what you’re describing. And you’ve done things enough, you know, the ins and outs, you know the pitfalls, you know what can happen. That then comes across as confidence and in your communication. So yeah, you’re right. It does go hand in hand.

How much of your work is by referral now? Fixed pros is a funny it’s a funny thing. You don’t get enough referrals because everyone thinks they can do it themselves.

Yeah, it’s. Yeah, I know you should have gone into Endo or you know, probably the vast majority of it is referral. Is it? Is it? We do, you know, work hard with local practices to support them. And you know, we put on various courses and educational events and and whatnot in an effort to do that and that, you know, they don’t send us everything, but they’ll send us some things. And that’s that’s usually enough. And then those patients that come through word of mouth, you’ll get other patients. So in a referral you get and it might be safer, let’s say make a michigan splint. You’re like, Oh God. But actually, you know that Michigan splint, you deliver that well, you know, communicate well. Patient has a good experience. They’ll tell somebody and someone else will come to you for something else. And we’ve seen that time and time again. So, yeah, we do work hard. You’re right, it’s harder to get the fixed prosthodontic referrals because as you quietly say, you know, Prosthodontics is probably a little bit like it’s like a it’s like a like a general practitioner on steroids a little bit, isn’t it? You know, it’s like it’s probably the speciality most connected to everyday dentistry in a way. That’s probably why I went into it, because it felt like, you know, the problems I was seeing the. I wanted to be able to solve in my own clinical practice.

And do you do you sometimes I bet you sometimes get sent patients who are just difficult to manage from the psychological perspective.

Yeah, without a doubt. Yeah, you do get those. And they’re challenging. There’s no easy answer to those patients. And sometimes you you think, Oh, I don’t know what the problem is here before and you’re halfway through the treatment before, you know, flags are the flags are hoisted and you think, oh, God. But yeah, you do get the challenging patients and all you can do is, you know, communicate well and offer solutions. And if they want the solutions, do the best you can. And if you don’t feel you can help the patient, then I think it’s important to say that I think a lot of people are guilty of that. You say, look, I don’t think I’m the best person for this because of X, Y, or Z. And, you know, people might get upset with you better getting upset at that time than than, you know, once you’re you’re in there in the midst of treatment, you know, and often yeah, we’ll have that conversation. So like you know your particular problem is this and I just don’t think I’m the best person for this and the best person for this would be Payman a great job.

You know, and you’ve got guess you’ve got a couple of guys who you can send those to. Yeah, the hierarchy of body dysmorphic syndrome.

We have a local, a local network where we helpfully, you know, send a pre-warning text. Listen, I’m sorry apology first, but I’ve just let you know I’ve sent you this patient. Um, but yeah, yeah, we have a little, a little a local group who could probably, you know, probably call my colleague up and say, Would you help me out with this or would you be keen to see this person and go from there? Yeah.

So you seem like a bit of a super dentist, dude. You know, you’ve got the clinical side all sewn up, but all sewn up. You’ve got a lot of a lot of experience and qualifications in that area. You’ve got the communication side. Tell me, tell me what you’re really bad at. Are you bad at running a practice? Are you bad with people? Tell me. Tell me you’re bad at something, right?

Yeah. No, I’m well and I’m about to end. You would not want to see me, Fernando, The.

How do you how do you like employing people that whole running a business?

I find it difficult. I don’t think it’s an easy thing. I think it’s a very challenging thing. We do some work with Chris Barrow and he’s he’s helped us out enormously. And the reason that we need Chris Bowers, we needed help. And it is difficult because, you know, it’s a busy job and you’ve got to spend, you know, running the practice’s a busy job and working working. The clinic’s a busy job. How do you do both? How do you do them both? Well, So it is it is a challenge running a practice. I would say we we do our best. We try to follow Chris’s guidance. We implement his things. But, you know, it’s not it’s not it’s not plain sailing. Anyone will tell you who runs a practice, runs a business. You all know yourself, you know, managing people, you know, managing everything. Seems like it’s going smoothly. And some, you know, suddenly, you know, you get a unexpected blip on the horizon occurs and that’s you could be it’s like the Baz Luhrmann song you could be sitting on set. You’re worrying about what’s going to happen. And then on a Tuesday, I don’t know where you get blindsided by somebody crashes into you. You know, that’s that’s kind of what it’s like, isn’t it?

But you’re right. You’re right about the question of working in the business and working on the business question, because it’s very skewed in the industry. You’re very much not working on the business. If I think about my day, it’s very much the opposite way around that I’m working in the business for a very minority part of it, but on the business much more. It’s problematic in the industry, but it’s not the first time Chris Barrows come up, did you did you find yourself thinking, We’re in trouble, we need help? But what was it like that, or was it an optimisation story? Like was there something that was really culturally wrong or, you know, can you do you want to tell me about that or no? Was it like trying to make yourself the best you can be like you’re doing with your pros?

Well, it was actually just after after we finished Pros, I kind of thought, well. Just on this training, I think we’ve got a decision to make. We’ve had a practice that, you know, as I’ve been working in bits and pieces while I’ve been doing my training, and if I want to make it a specialist practice, I’m going to spend a lot of money on it, you know, buying the equipment that I’ll need, refurbishing it because it would need a refurb at that time. Or I could just sell it and I could just go and work in a referral clinic. And that’s kind of what I wanted to do. So we brought Chris on board with a view to doing that, and I did work in a referral clinic and had a great time there, fantastic bunch of people. And Chris just kind of said, okay, here your brief, your brief is you want to sell this, you want to go and work in the field, that’s fine, you said, but have you totally lost interest in having a practice? Well, no, no, I quite like the idea. Well, why not grow the practice, you know? And then his his advice to me was, you know, the best thing you can probably do is grow this practice yourself. And then, you know, the, the remit we gave him was, you know, something he said he wouldn’t recommend. So we kind of changed that and we decided to, you know, develop the practice and go from there.

And so that’s kind of how it how it went. And, um, yeah, running the practice, having Chris on board. Yeah, it’s you just don’t really, you just don’t know what you don’t know. It’s one of those isn’t it? And he comes out, you know, he’s got all these frameworks and he’s probably the market Leaders and he for Dental business coaching and you just think, my God, you know, this, this is just, you know, we haven’t been doing any of this. This is horrendous. No one teaches you any of this. And then when we started implement it initially, we implemented it with a view to saying we are going to sell this, but then we start implementing it and putting sweat and energy and, you know, money into it. You think, well, actually I don’t want to sell it now. Um, and Chris’s advice was, No, I don’t think you should. And my wife still wanted to and was still really keen to have this job at the other clinic. And it was a good job and a great team there. And um, but then you start putting all the effort into that, your, your original practice, you’re to get it into a position where you think we could sell this now and then you think, well, I don’t know now. And I’ve spent all this energy and time.

Now. It’s a much better business than the one you wanted to get rid of.

Yeah, absolutely. And you really enjoy working there. We’ve got a great team, lovely people.

Is it no longer a mixed practice or is it still.

It’s a little bit of a mixed bag. So we’ve got we’ve got meself we’ve got a clinical dental technician. We’ve got one of my associates who’s does a lot of implant work, and we’ve got two general dentists and a hygienist. So you have a busy little team.

Are you doing all on floor as well?

Yeah, Yeah, we do.

Oh, nice.

So, yeah, it’s a it’s a busy little team and it’s a it’s a good team. And we do, you know the approach we want to we hope we have is open door. You know we work as a team. You know, like today, for example, this case myself and my associate both working together as a pair. And we do that a lot and it’s a nice way to work. It feels a bit more like a hospital, you know? Kind of. Yeah. You’re not stuck in one room with one person, so we’re kind of in and out of each other’s rooms. One of our new dentists that’s joined us semi recently, she was actually a delegate, one of my courses and she does she’s a general dentist, but two days a week she just comes and sits with me nurses or carries out some some stuff under my supervision sheet. And that’s you know, she’s enjoying that I think. I hope. And but it’s a nice way, you know, you kind of working you’re doing a bit of teaching as well then, you know, so you can have it. I guess you can create the practice you want. And that’s kind of the environment I want.

And do you bother with marketing or not?

Do we don’t we don’t spend a lot of money on it.

Consumer marketing. I’m not talking about professional.

We don’t spend an awful lot of money on it. Chris Barrow’s approach is that he’s he’s a big advocate of low cost marketing, you know, market to your existing client base market to your, you know, social media. Yes. Newsletters. Yes. You know, business cards. Yes. Ask for referrals. So we do all that, of course, in terms of like a marketing campaign on the side of a bus. No, in terms of TV adverts, radio adverts. No, we don’t do that. We’ve never done that. Chris You know, as I say, you have to take you know, you’re paying an expert to listen to the experts advice. His advice is it won’t give you a return in his experience. So we don’t do it. And his view is very much you market to your services to referring dentists and you do those things that we’ve previously described study clubs and engage with them and newsletters and help them out with things that they don’t want to do, do those horrible stuff that you don’t want to do either but do to help them. And we do that and we do the other things. I mentioned the low cost marketing, but we don’t do big campaigns.

What about the podcast? How did that come about? You seemed like a busy guy.

I tell you, it came it came about because of this low cost marketing. I read a book called Dental Practice Hero by an American guy actually from Chicago called Paul Aitchison. And it’s, I don’t know, Paul Aitchison. I’ve never met him. I like the fact he’s from Chicago because I love Chicago, but he’s a what a brilliant book that is. And he has a podcast as well. And he has struck home with me, was doing these little talks. And actually I would encourage people to do this. I did a talk to the local Rotary Club, okay, but 25 people and just went talked about implants and some of the digital stuff we were doing and they’re all kind of sitting there. I thought, God, I’ve bored the you know, they’re really bored with this. And it was just kind of open mouth. Any questions? They were like, Yeah, it was all about cost, you know how much it cost, how much. Out of that meeting, we probably got about 4 or 5 full arch cases. And then from that, the friends and family of those patients 100% worthwhile. So I kind of thought, yeah, this is a great idea. And I was reading Paul Aitchison’s book and he said, You know, one of the biggest things you can do is public speaking to boost your business. He said, Just think about it. You give a good public speech or you do a good lecture. What does everyone want to do at the end? They want to come and speak to you and chat to you, you know, in private say, Oh, that was great, thanks. You know, exchange details, that kind of stuff.

Yeah. And he was saying the best way to do that today to a large audience is a podcast. So from there I thought podcast, I’m going to do a podcast and Chris Bauer did one. So I asked Chris and said, You know, you do two reds and how do I how do I start this? He’s like, You got a laptop? Said, Yeah, you got a microphone? Yeah, that’s it. It’s all you need. I said, Well, how do I even edit it? Is it just, my daughter will do it for you? So Rachel did it for us and yeah, we just started from there and it was basically we just thought, you know, and Paul Aitchison was chatting about what do you want to do your podcast on, you know, and his view was do it on anything, just do it on something Dental But don’t you know it doesn’t need to be groundbreaking, just be a chat. But it’s, it’s, it’s you being a good speaker and getting your, you know and, and. Hopefully entertaining people that they might then think, yeah, quite like that. Wouldn’t mind chatting to this guy or whatever, you know. So that’s how it came about. And I found a good friend, Michael Tang and I were actually at Hattem. We were at Chatham’s Perry Academy. Course we all started chatting about it. I said, Gonna do a podcast? I need a co-host. Michael’s our co-host. And we’re like, Who? Who gets guest one atom? So, yeah, that’s how it all came about. Yeah. So now, so. So Michael is currently taking a bit of a sabbatical from it, so Hatem is now my co-host.

Yeah. So how many episodes do you do with Michael before you start?

We we did about 25. And then with Hatem, we’ve done about five now. I think so, yeah. We took a break and the reason for that break was, um, I did a big, big running challenge so that, that kind of, that, that resulted in me taking a bit of a sabbatical off the podcast by the time I was ready to redo it. And Michael was, was, was up to his eyes in various ventures he was in. So he’s going to come back. But um, yeah, we’ll get that sorted out at some point soon.

And so now, okay, I understood the reasons why you started the podcast, but has it evolved from that now? Because my, this, this podcast certainly has. I mean, yeah, I started with similar, you know, selfish intent. Yeah. And, and now it’s the closest thing I’d put it to is like a hobby. Yeah. You know, like. And what is a hobby? You know, something you enjoy doing. Yeah. Something you’re trying to kind of get better at, you know? Um, and whatever comes from it after that, it’s almost like saying, Hey, let’s, let’s play. I played tennis for a hobby. Nothing needs nothing else needs to come from that. I can just enjoy playing tennis. So, you know, I’ve always thought that, you know, you mustn’t even think that the audience I’m talking to the audience at all. Me and you are having a chat. It happens to be recorded. Yeah. And of, you know, simple. Simple as that. It doesn’t always turn out that way, right? Because, you know, sometimes you have chemistry with with a guest and sometimes it’s harder. It’s harder. I find the situations where I’m absolutely sort of love stories of people who get up and leave one country and go to another country and set up practices in those countries. But talking to those people on Zoom is not necessarily as easy because often English isn’t their first language. And so, you know, even though I can connect with someone like that really well, I found on Zoom where you lose that slight, you know, you know yourself, they’re never as good remotely as they are in real life, right? No, that’s a challenge.

Yeah. We our first cluster were all done live. Actually we, we got some, some really decent, some nice equipment actually kind of mixing deck and all this kind of stuff that I have no idea how it works. Michael sort it all, kind of plugged it in and set it up, just spoke into it and it was great because you had the person in the room and as you say, you forget you’re doing a podcast because you’re just having a chat with someone in the same room as you, and then someone will say, Listen to your podcast with with Payman. Did you? Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Um, so we’ve never done it for any commercial interest. It probably would never be any commercial interest in it anyway. Although I did get a message from Buzzsprout, our hosting site, to say you now qualify for advertisements paid. Would you like to? But I don’t think that’s for us. But yeah, you’re right. It’s just part of the attraction. It is a hobby and part of the attraction is you’re chatting to people real. I love chatting to people and getting to know people and just, you know, chatting to anyone. And, you know, I that’s probably why I love America so much because there’s so yeah, people are so willing to talk, aren’t they? You know? Yeah. Everybody is happy to have a conversation so it seems and there’s I love that forward aspect to the states. You know you can just start someone will like you were asking earlier about football start telling you a bit of football shirt here you’ll get a knowing nod which is good as well. Yeah but they’re they’ll say nice shirt is that the and you’ll have a chat and it opens up a conversation which I just love that and that’s really the attraction to the podcast for me is chatting to people, getting to know them, having some banter and, you know, get to hearing their story because you think, Oh, that’s interesting. That’s kind of inspiring what they’ve done. I might steal a bit of that for myself, but, but like your teachers, isn’t it? You know?

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, we’re on the subject. I need to ask you the questions you ask everyone. Oh, yeah. On on your podcast because I’m sure everyone wants to know your answers, the classic questions. Let’s. Let’s start with your favourite movie.

Yeah, that’s.

Hold on. Hold on, hold on, hold on. We’ll leave that to the end. We’ll leave that to the end. Let’s let’s ask about your best and worst day in dentistry.

Best and worst day in dentistry. Um. Yeah. I think my best day in dentistry was probably when did the exam finished it, and I met one of the examiners in the hallway who was actually a local specialist exams all finished at this point and she said. I don’t know if I can I’m not going to say anything. But you absolutely nailed That was brilliant. Thank you so much. It just felt good. You know, just it was a culmination of all that, you know, meandering path I took towards specialist training and, you know, the apogee of of all of that and what it involved. And then I felt I did well. But sometimes you always have a little bit of doubt, don’t you? But when somebody else and this person I really respected when they came out and said that it was on top of the world. So that was that was a great day in dentistry, lowest day in dentistry. I’ll tell you, it was probably not long after I qualified being in vet and just feeling totally out of my depth, just thinking. I’ve just spent six years in dental school and actually came out in final year with distinctions in my final kind of thought, yeah, I must, I must know all because I got distinctions in my finals and got into practice was just out of my depth. And I just thought, this is this is when you’re out your depth, you.

Weren’t comfortable with that feeling really.

Painful. It’s miserable and you’re also lonely because it was a, you know, you’re in one room with a nurse who probably hates you because you’re running late all the time and you think, I’ve got there’s nobody around me here and I’m out my depth that that was my worst day in dentistry. And yeah, that was it was a fairly shortly after I think I had. A relative of Sean Connery. Happened to be a patient at the practice, and he came in with a lost post crown, and he asked me if I’d re cement it. And it was obviously a root fracture or something, and I put it back in for him. And, um, but 30 seconds later, he came back with it out again. People waiting like, Oh, my God. And this guy is probably VIP and what have I done? And you know, Truman wasn’t there and it was just a two surgery practice. I just actually thought at that point, this is I’ve had enough. This is not for me. So that was that was my lowest day.

It’s a very difficult year. That first year after or I suppose you were in. But when as you say, you’re very inexperienced and you’re you’re thinking to yourself when things like that go wrong or something happens with the nurse, you keep on questioning whether this was the right career or not because you’re just there. You just got there. And people, people you know, they underestimate that pain. Every I’ve spoken to says it to You were a boss for years, haven’t you? How long how many vets did you have for?

I did. We had a scheme locally called LDF. I’m not sure if that’s across the UK or not. Probably is or something similar will be where I had two trainees at the same time and they both shared the week. And there are other they did half the week with me and half the week in the hospital and we had some exceptional people. We had four of them. There was one girl. She was exceptional, her dad was a dentist and she had done lots of, you know, kind of work shadowing with him and worked in the practice. And she was just brilliant. And it gave her a real head start, I would say, really, because she she knew things. She could visualise things. And that’s probably going back to what we were saying about dental school, how you can’t visualise those concepts and you’ll be asked to understand really complex, complex concepts without any prior knowledge of them. And I think because she was in a dental practice from probably God pro from a toddler, she really got it. And she was really ahead of the game and she was fantastic. And another chap from Northern Ireland, equally brilliant, really good guy. He’s now an oral surgeon down in Bristol. He was brilliant, great guy, really good laugh. Go for a beer with him.

Really got it as well. Just just got it. And the other two I had were, you know, I would say were also very good, not nice people in different ways and have different skill sets and so on. But I enjoyed it, you know, I quite enjoyed it. And they were they would push you, you know, these I would always try and go for the best people, you know, who I thought would get on with, but equally who I thought, this person is going to be pushy. And I thought a lot of people say, why are you taking them? They’re a nightmare. They’re going to be a nightmare. I said, Actually, I kind of want them to push me a bit. I kind of want that challenge. And, you know, they did push. It actually does make you better, you know, for sure. So yeah, I usually went for the ones who the other trainers would say, I’m not taking that one. They’re going to be you’re never going to be at your room and never going to be out. So that’s kind of what I want. And maybe, maybe not, you know, But three months in, you think maybe not. But actually, no, it was the right decision and it was good to do that.

And the there’s a pattern emerging here for me of sort of pigheaded determination coming out of you. We haven’t discussed ultramarathons yet, but when I first heard that, I thought this is a special kind of person whose hobby is ultramarathons. And then I ask you, what’s your favourite day in dentistry? And, you know, qualifying, getting, doing an exam well is good, but you know, it’s that pigheaded determination to get that done and get that guy to say and now this, this that you’re telling me.

Yeah. No yeah the, the old I suppose there is a bit of that bit of self-flagellation, you know, make it difficult, you know. Um, I don’t know. It’s actually funny. Again, we spoke about it earlier, that Boris Becker documentary, he was talking about the same thing. He was almost saying that, you know, he would be playing a match and he’d be playing an opponent who was probably ranked significantly below him, and he wouldn’t kick into life until things got difficult. And you’d be two sets down or you’d make life hard for himself almost to spur himself on. He couldn’t get the adrenaline rush until it was difficult. Yeah. And yeah, that kind of chimed with me a little bit. Sometimes you need that push or that challenge because I just go for an easy life and I just I’ve tried it. I just can’t do it. I can’t sit by a pool for two weeks. It’s just I just can’t do it. It just get annoyed or bored or just irritable, you know? It’s got to be challenging. Then when it’s challenging, you think, Oh, God, if I could only just sit by a pool, love it, you know, can’t win. Um, but that’s probably where the ultramarathon thing came from.

Were you running a lot before you started doing your first ultramarathon, or did you suddenly decide I am going to do ultramarathons?

No. Um, I didn’t really know about ultramarathons. I started doing it was 2008. I taken over a practice in 2006. I was not a fit person. I would probably struggle to run a mile and my dad had taken up marathon running some marathon running about five years previously and he was looking really fit and he’s, you know, 25, 26 years older than me. On November. Obviously I’m going to be staying with me came across for a weekend or something, he said. He said, I’m going to go for a run. I said, All right, I’ll come with you. He’s like, you, you won’t manager. So that was it. I said, Really? Um, and I said, Right, okay. So I went out for a run. He was right. Didn’t manage it. And then I said, Look, when’s the marathon? He’s like, It’s me. I said, I’m going to sign up to that marathon. He said, No, I’m not joking. You won’t manage it. So I then just got myself in shape and did the marathon and beat him, which was great. Um, and people say I met my nurse at the time. She was from Berlin and her brother had just done the Berlin Marathon and she said, Oh, my brother did the marathon. And as soon as he crossed the finish line, he said, Never again. She said, she’ll do it, do it and that’ll be it. And I crossed the finish line and I thought.

Is. I am not seeing that to be big headed here. I just thought I need, you know, enjoyed it, but want to do another one now? I want more. And it was people kind of running around with their medals on and stuff. I don’t know. I just thought I’d put them. I just put the medal in a drawer and I don’t know. I’m not saying that in any way. It’s just what I did. I’m not saying it. I don’t know if it means anything or whatever. I just put it away in a drawer and I want to do the next one. Now I want to sign up to another one. And it’s probably a fear. I think it’s probably a fear of going back to being unfit. That spurred me on. I thought, I’ve done that now. Feel good being fit. It’s not so much the marathon. I don’t want to go back to being unfit, so I’m going to sign up for another one and then another one and have them in the diary and keep doing them. But how often? At least twice a year to like big city ones. And I kind of thought that was the distance. That was it, you know, that was the that was the benchmark until I started hearing about these ultra marathons. I was like, well, that’s that’s madness. That’s not really, you know, which is how.

Many miles.

Technically, it’s anything over a marathon. But in reality they tend to the entry level ones. 50km would be if you’re going to an organised event, 50 k’s would be an entry level and you’ll go 75 k’s will be quite common, 100 k’s, 100 miles, that type of thing. 100 K Yeah. And you think it’s you actually think what you say out loud. That is insanity. You know, how can people do that? Is it even possible? It is possible.

So what’s the longest you’ve done 100 K one?

Oh, I’ve done 100 K one. Yeah. And that was it wasn’t supposed to quite be a hundred K, but I took a wrong turn. And this kind of happens in ultra marathons because a very niche events, there’s sometimes nobody around and it’s not like the London Marathon, you know, the guy putting all the signposts out. And one of the ones we did, I overtook him. This is a guy who’s putting the markers out. So I’m like, where do I go? You know? And you’re asking people, Oh, go left. So he took a left. And then of course, you’re like, Wait a minute, I’ve seen that hill before. They’re like, No, you must go to go, right? Oh, my God. So yeah, it’s full of pitfalls like that. But it’s, um. How long does it take? 100 K one took me about. Oh, I think it’s about ten hours, something like that. Oh, my.

Goodness. Yeah. And what do you do? You stop.

Well, you’ve got to. Yeah, you have to. You have to. Yeah. I mean people have said it’s like an eating contest as much as a running contest. So there are food stations and you have a meal I you properly pasta, lasagne, pan of chocolates I love. I stuffed them down my face as I’m doing ultramarathons. Um, so I did three events like that after COVID and I’ve got chatting to a couple of dentists who kind of did a couple of things with me and I said, Why don’t we? I said, I’ve been watching this documentary on Amazon Prime. This guy called I forgot his name. Sean. Sean Conway. Sean Conway is a guy I think he was a comedian or something, but he became a kind of endurance athlete. And he did this run across Britain and it was Amazon filmed it. It looked like it was good fun, but the Scottish bit looked amazing. I said, I’d love to do that, run across Scotland. So I set up a zoom call with these guys that run with and I said it was this was during lockdown. I said, Who are you? Fancy? And I was actually half hoping they would say, You’re off your head. So I said, Guys, what I’d like to do, who would like to run the length of Scotland? And then the I’ll give you a minute.

So we did a few of these ultra runs, a couple of other dentists. I’ll give a shout out to them. Derek Marner. Ryan Stewart, my associate, and Patty Watson, good friends of mine. And we set up a Zoom call and I said, Guys, do you fancy doing something a bit different? They’re like, And I’d watched this documentary with this guy called Sean Conway, and he’d done a run the length of Britain, John O’Groats to Land’s End and Amazon had filmed it, and it was over two episodes and actually looked actually the Scottish part. Episode one was Scotland and it looked amazing. The English part is probably the route, just didn’t look that good. He was running on motorways and past service stations would look terrible. But the Scottish part, the bit they captured anyway in the film, I thought, that looks immense. So I said to the guys, Look, I’ve been watching this. Who fancies running the length of Scotland? And I expect them all to say, beat it. But surprisingly, nobody said anything. So I thought, Well, that’s a good sign. And before we knew it, we did it. We announced it on social media, we got sponsorship and we we did it. We got coach and we got these guys who supported us, a company called Sandbaggers.

And these are guys are survival experts. And just by luck, they happened to be available because normally these guys are involved with high profile things. For example, the comic relief did the trek across the Gobi Desert. They they organised that. So that’s the kind of level these guys are at. And because COVID had happened, they were available and because COVID had happened, they were also cheap. They were like, Yeah, we’ll do it. We’re free, we’ll do it for you. And they’ve become lifelong friends. And so we did this run from John O’Groats to Gretna Green over ten days, and that is the toughest challenge I’ve ever done. And it was the best challenge I’ve ever done as well. Just, you know, the funny thing was actually when were the times I tell you when the times were getting difficult, when we were really under the cosh, you know, legs falling off, knees exploding. I had to go up two sizes of shoe. You know, I’m a size nine. I had to go up to a size 11 to fit my feet in. And so to buy new trainers size 11 and despite swollen it was so swollen it was the swelling was incredible.

You just carry on running, huh?

It’s funny. Your body is a remarkable machine. You know, you kind of think there’s a threshold, but actually the threshold you think there is, you can go way beyond that, you know, way beyond it. And there were many times we wanted to quit. Many times we thought, this is it. We’re done, all of us individually. And, you know, the rain chucking down on you and then you suddenly get a second wind, You get this kind of endorphin rush. And the last day, which you probably thought would think would be the worst day was the best. We all ran. Well, you know, I think it was our quickest time. And we were all strapped up with tape and bandages and knees all taped up and ice packs. And we we were like greased lightning in the last I don’t know quite what happened, but it was funny. And I’m not saying this to be negative in any way, but when it got really tough, all of us said, You know what? It could be worse. You could be working in a dental practice. But you know what? That that did get us through because it is a tough job. It is a tough job. And doing that run actually, when you come, it teaches you so much about adversity because when you come across a tough time, tough challenge, be it in life, in your clinical practice, whatever, you can draw on those experiences and use them. And that was really why it was hugely worthwhile for for me. But yeah, it was a it was a fantastic thing. I’d love to do something like that again. So if any of the guys are listening to this, I would suggest running Holland next because it’s nice and flat. So we’ll do that next running.

Holland But you are. Nutter You are Nutter Like, I get that from my two minute cold shower. Yeah. Honestly, it’s been difficult to build up to two minutes in a cold shower, but get some sort of resilience out of that. Yeah.


You’re running How many miles? How many miles? I’m sure you’re more resilient than I am, but how many miles did that come to? Ten days, more or less.

500 miles. Oh, my God. So, yeah, more or less. 500 now. But it introduces you to people who are I mean, these guys sandbaggers. Just these guys are unbelievable survival experts. Some of the stories they had, you know, digging out snow holes in the Antarctic, you know, they were both ex-military. And you think these guys have really seen some some action in life. And we were also coached by a guy called Donnie Campbell. He’s no relation to me, but we were put in touch with him. He was in the mainstream media because during lockdown, I don’t know if you know, in Scotland there are hills called Munros. Monroe is a there’s about 4 or 500 hills in Scotland, and they’re measured to a certain height. And if you reach that height, you become a monroe. And people make a lifetime’s ambition to try and climb all the munros. There’s there’s hundreds of them anyway. Tony did every single Munro up and down and he got between them on his own steam, either by bike, by running or by kayaking. He did it in 30 days. Wow. Unbelievable. This man is a. So you’re trying to talk to him about your running across Scotland? And he’s like, Yeah, come on, guys. This is a, you know, a piece of piss, you know? And that’s kind of what you needed someone like that to say, This is a piece of piss. Get your ass in gear, you know, and would say, I can’t fit into my shoes here. I’m going to get you a bigger size. Shut up. Put the bigger size on. Just get going. Yeah, he was it was great. Great to be around these kind of people, you know, just. Yeah, totally different, you know, into what the type of people you encounter in your day job, you know. And it was a great, great, great adventure. I’d love to do it again and probably will do it again, but I’d like to do it with a group again. The same guys would be great if I can convince them.

I think the closest I’ve come to anything like that is, you know, skiing when you go off piste and all that. And there are moments where it’s dangerous. There are moments where you’ve hurt yourself and all that, but at the end of it, it just feels so great. Absolutely. It just you feel alive.

You feel alive. You a sense of danger. You need that to make you feel alive.

Yeah, I ride the electric bikes in London for that reason. Because it’s funny. You risk your life quite a lot. Yeah. Yeah. And. And it’s the only time I’m fully alert is when I’m on an electric bike. During a normal day. You know, a normal day. I’ll take an electric bike anywhere or sometimes in a circle. Just that feeling. Yeah. There’s a bus coming, there’s taxis going, and then the acceleration you get from it. I don’t know if you must have ridden them when you, when you the little bit of acceleration you get from it just reminds you of when you were six, when you know a normal bike was exciting.

This could go anywhere here. Yeah.

Let’s get back to the let’s get back to the Rishi Sunak question then, which we should give. We should we should give a history of what that means. Go on, mate. Explain to the listener what that means.

Yeah. One of the questions that Hatem and I ask in our podcast is that we are not blowing our own trumpet, but Rishi Sunak is a is a huge fan of my podcast. And he often he often calls me up and says, Listen, can you ask your guest, you know, payments coming on? Can you ask Payman how he would fix NHS dentistry? So that’s that’s the Rishi Sunak question on our podcast.

How do you do it? What I do to.

Fix NHS.


So my answer on your podcast was give everyone a money voucher that they can use at any dentist. Not everyone means test that.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

I think it has to be means tested. You’re right. It does have to be means tested because dentistry is expensive to deliver. There’s no two ways about it. And equally I think the one the one thing a dentist can do, the probably the most important thing any dentist can do is the relief of pain. And I think that’s probably our most important skill we have, is to be able to relieve somebody of pain. And I don’t think that should be denied to people that people must be able to access that. So I do think there has to be an NHS dentistry for that reason. Now does it need to extend to things like cosmetic dentistry and, you know, different types of cast materials? I think it probably doesn’t, but equally in terms of those things might be appropriate for somebody to prevent a problem such as, you know, it could become a more expensive problem. So I think you’re right. I think a means testing thing is certainly going to be important. I think having the relief of pain and the prevention of disease as the two core principles are also things that should be the pillars of it. But I do think it needs to be stripped back, and I think it’s going to be very difficult to keep pace with the technology. I mean, you look at the way the industry is going, you know, who’s the biggest player in the dental industry? Is it struggle? Is it is it reshape? Is it Invisalign? It’s probably one of those, isn’t it? It is.

None of that. None of them. Yeah. And none of them are going to be involved in the NHS any time soon. And if they’re the biggest players they’re going to drive the technology. And if they’re driving the technology, that’s what people are going to use to deliver the care. So how do you then, you know, provide care using technology that’s been driven by the private sector? In a state sector, it’s very, very difficult unless, as you say, you means test it and unless you stratify it to to being principle based, it’s relief of pain, it’s prevention of disease. Anything up and above that? Well, you know, it’s either, you know, apply on the basis of exemption or, you know, it’s not available. And in Germany, you know, they have to have their check up passport signed. So I had a number of German patients and also Japanese patients and they would have to get a little book signed like a little passport. And I said, Why do you need this signed? You need to sign this to say that I’ve come for my check-up and I’ve had my teeth checked and you say it’s okay and it’s because if I need to make a claim, I can show that I have done all my everything I can to prevent disease, not just rocked up when I have a problem. And I think that’s also something we should implement.

What do you think, though, Stuart? I mean, maybe, maybe I’ve got this wrong, but you tell me. Scotland people are more sort of socialist is the wrong word. The sort of more aware of their social benefits, more more up for preserving their social benefits than we are down here. Yeah. How do you think culturally this country, Scotland, the UK people are going to be persuaded to save up for their teeth? The ones who are not not going to get the means tested? Benefits of your Rishi Sunak NHS system. You know, like how dear do do people hold their rights and how easy is it to explain to people that it’s actually doing harm?

Yeah, yeah, it’s very difficult. And you’re right, it’s it’s.

It’s a belief. And when something’s a belief, it’s very hard to change that. And yeah, you’re also right. Scotland does have a fairly strong socialist kind of background and there is that.

Good too, right? Good. You get your good university for free or whatever it is.

Yeah, you do. If you’re Scottish and you go to Scottish University, you don’t pay anything. But equally that’s harmful as well. Because where I live in Edinburgh, we’ve got a world class university here, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh doesn’t admit it emits significantly fewer Scots than the other ones, the other universities in this country. And why is that? And it’s because you want to get paid. They want to get paid. Yeah. You know, you’re not, you know, and that’s the danger, the situation, if that’s what the universities are doing. And then you then can’t get the education. You have to go somewhere else to get it. England or and you have to pay. How can you then once you’ve paid into it, how can you then come back and provide this, provide a service for, you know, government issue fees if you’re out of pocket significantly by carrying out your training, it’s going to be quite difficult to reconcile that, I think. But yeah, I mean, I think explicitly, if the University of Edinburgh said we’re no longer going to accept Scottish students, there would be uproar, of course, but.

They’ve just you know, it’s.

My daughters go to a school right opposite. And we see the figures. We see the statistics. How many people get to the university across the road from you. And it’s in the it’s less than double digits, you know, from that school is across the road from the university. It’s a good school. To be fair.

We have that problem with any university that’s got a global name ends up going a little bit in that direction. My friend works at LSC. It’s more than half foreign students now, so I hear you. Can we stay on the Scotland point for I don’t want to get political.

Yeah but.

Brexit. Yeah. And Scottish people and the latest thing that’s happened with the with the whole SNP thing.


Do you see Appetite for Scotland that’s actually an independent and do you see it as as I mean I see appetite for it and listen listen to people but do you see it as something that could actually happen or is it more like a historical sabre rattling I think.

I think it was pretty close.

The last time. Pretty close. Personally, I wouldn’t have been surprised. I actually thought it would have happened personally. I just think it’s, you know, the credibility has been undermined by the fact that we’ve had a number of scandals now associated with the the the SNP who.

Are the ruling party.

And that certainly, you know, from my point of view, that’s that’s tarnished the credibility of them. I’m not a supporter of Scottish independence at all. I think far better being part of the UK, far better being part of the EU as well. But is it close to happening? I think no, I think is the answer. I think it will. You’ll still get there’ll still be a significant minority that will vote for it. But you might be looking at I think last time it was 46% or something that said yes. And I think it’s going to be less than that this time around. I think Nicola Sturgeon is was a very good politician, you know, spoke very well, you know, presented herself on camera very well. But things that put me off a little bit were it was Andrew Marr she was talking to and she said, I despise the Tories. Well, wait a minute, don’t you despise them? You just do. You despise, you know, Rishi Sunak, who gave us furlough payments, You know, that was pretty helpful, actually. Do you despise Winston Churchill, who guided us through a world? You know, you can’t say you despise them. And equally, if you say that your job is to negotiate with them, you know, as the as as the leader of Scotland, you’ve just come out and say in a public forum, you despise the people you’re supposed to negotiate with. So I thought that was poor.

Were you alive? Were you were you awake and alive to the Thatcher years?

Yeah. Well, yeah, yeah, yeah, I was. Yeah.

That’s really when the Scottish and the Tory party ended up having their sort of massive rift where it felt, it felt like or think the charge was that Scotland was being used as a sort of a testing ground for, for, for policy.

Yeah, I think.

But I’m interested in the conversation that happens in Scotland. In Scotland. Do you do you guys is the conversation saying that I mean there’s £600,000 thing that they’re talking about, right? It’s nothing compared to some of these scandals that’s being I mean, government is about corruption in the end.

Yeah, that’s that’s.

True. Yeah. I mean, compared to me But I suppose it’s it’s been that’s one aspect. But then you had Alex Salmond who also a great politician and a good public speaker and probably very entertaining on something like Have I got news for you that’s kind of what I see him but you know some you know some fairly strong accusations against him which tarnished his credibility and then their fallout. The trouble is, I just don’t think they have anybody credible beyond those two. You know, you look to the wider parts of the SNP and I just don’t see any real statesman there, I have to say. So the other arguments that you often had were, you know, this this stats that got bandied about that we should be the same as Norway, you know, or we should the same as Denmark or Denmark just across the North Sea. We should be Denmark. And the reason we’re not Denmark is because of England. The reason we’re not Denmark is we don’t actually manufacture anything. Have you seen all the things Denmark manufacture? You know, and it seems that the economy here is based on you work for the state, it’s service provision. And if you’re going to be a successful small country, I think you need to manufacture or have some form of investment coming in, not be you know, the economy can’t be state, you know, state services, which it is largely. And the other aspect is my mum’s Irish. And if you look at Ireland, I think there was a similar situation with the history of Ireland whereby they wanted to remain.

And despite the fact they.

Are independent, they wanted to have some connection to the crown. You know, in a union of sorts. And they would they were they were essentially denied that the ruling powers didn’t want them, so they had to go off on their own. And now Ireland is a pretty successful small country now, but it’s taken a hundred years from the time they were cut off. Really 100 years and 100 years is quite a long time.

But dude, how how does it break down? Does it break down in families? You get one brother who does want independence and one brother doesn’t. Or does it break down along political lines or social lines or like how like, what’s the inside track and what’s the conversation going on? Is it like Brexit was here where you literally get arguments over the dinner table? Because I’ve never met a prouder nation, you know, of people than the Scots. The Scots are proud. And so in my head I would have thought, you know, that they would be going for independence. But but it’s such a it’s such a the thing is, it’s such a a bond that breaking the bond is going to be so painful.

Yeah, Yeah.

That’s the narrative that’s portrayed. I mean, the SNP, to my mind, have used some fairly aggressive tactics, these kind of rallies they host. And if you’re not an SNP voter then you’re not, you’re not real Scots.

You’re is that is that is that is that like a subtext?

Yeah, it is a subtext.

You know, and people carrying signs to, you know, I don’t know probably blown out proportion a little bit but the media was covering these these SNP voters who were standing at the border and telling people to go back to England, all this kind of stuff. You think that’s almost Trumpian? You know, I don’t want to be part of that. That’s not acceptable. And, you know, I’m Scottish. Like Scotland, patriotic, you know, ran the length of the country. Love it. But you kind of want what’s best for it. And I just don’t think that being governed by the SNP is a separate country is best. I just don’t think that. But yeah, to answer your question, there are arguments over dinner tables. I mean my uncle is a believes we should be independent. You know I’m very close to my uncle. Good guy. We meet up a lot. I can’t talk to him about it. He’ll just argue with me. So we don’t we don’t talk about it. And he knows I’m totally opposed to it. And, you know, equally, you know, he’s a bit like that. There is a bit of a division, but I think now it’s it’s probably getting to the stage where it’s it’s in favour more of of union I hope. But I think the thing is the union, the people who are in favour of the union don’t shout and scream about it. The people who are in favour of as much as loud.



Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. We should bring it to a close. I still got some questions. Your questions that need answering. Oh, we have. So who’s your biggest influence in the industry?


Yeah. Um, I probably have to say in terms of. Yeah, we’ve talked about Mike Wise, I think Mike was a huge influence because the, you know, I mean, I was just, you know, I went to, to do Mike’s courses really, I was just a. Gdp from from from nowhere, really. And, you know, I was saying I’d love to have done specialist trainings first thing in the past and. He was like, You should do it and you could do it and it’d be very encouraging and just give you a belief and was gave up his own time. He wrote me a letter of recommendation, had a couple of phone calls and a couple of emails with him. Hugely helpful guy. And you kind of think when somebody as influential as that tells you you could totally do this, you believe it. You know, before that you think times past, I can’t do that. It’s not, not for me. So he Mike was a real huge for younger for.

Younger dentists who might not have heard of him. You know, arguably the best dentist this country has ever produced.

Credible, credible. Some of the work he.

Was doing, just the attention to detail. And, you know, the fact that, you know, just, you know, everything, he just he just everything was connected and you had to do it all. And he was a specialist in restorative and a specialist in oral surgery, for goodness sake. I mean, to.

I didn’t know that. Yeah. Yeah.

And, you know, the work he was carrying out was just ahead of its time, wasn’t it? It was mind blowing stuff. But equally he would put the same effort into doing a simple filling. Yeah. You know, and he would talk to you about how to do this properly and you’re not, you know, because I’m doing an occlusal composite, I’m still going to do it properly. I’m still going to understand the bonding. I’m still going to research it. I’m still you know, he was unbelievable, really. And his knowledge of all the studies, his knowledge of the, you know, up to date stuff, the classic stuff, really phenomenal. So, yeah, he was he was a big, big influence. And during the specialist training, yeah. A lot of the guys have mentioned there, you know hugely helpful to me, big influences and chuckle Graham Lillywhite, who was a consultant that supervised our training, again, hugely knowledgeable, hugely skilful, but took the work seriously but didn’t take himself seriously. And that was, you know, great guy. Yeah, brilliant. Um, so yeah, they were, they were big influences on me.

Your favourite movie.

Favourite movie. I’ll tell you what it is. Would just come back from Chicago. So I’m going to give you this. This is probably my favourite movie. Changes a lot, but always come back to this one. It’s called Hoop Dreams. It is a phenomenal film, great film. It’s a documentary and it’s incredible how they made it set in Chicago. And it follows two young high school students from fairly rough neighbourhoods in Chicago. One’s called Arthur Agee and the other chap, I forgot his name now, but they are budding basketball stars and they’re their documentary filmmaker follows them from at the age of 9 or 10 up until they’re about 20. And, you know, they both have the talent to become basketball players professionally or at least get to college on a basketball scholarship. And essentially, it’s about that journey. And despite the talent, despite everything, if the environment is not there to support you, you can become, you know, chopped down to nothing. It’s a great movie. As I say. It’s incredible how they managed to have the, you know, I guess persistence and discipline to follow those guys over over almost a decade and make this film, which is it’s a great movie. Hoop Dreams.

A beautiful movie. Last time we spoke, you were talking about the Muhammad Ali one I forget the name.

Yes, I do like documentary films. I do like sports. Sports documentaries? Yeah.

When We Were Kings was Muhammad Ali. One When we were kings.

When we were.

Kings. Again, just could watch that every day. Great film. It’s essentially about Muhammad Ali in the lead up to his famous world title fight against George Foreman. And if, you know, people wonder about other people having doubts and they wonder about the best people having doubts, I mean, this guy was called the greatest, Right? And this captures the doubts and almost how he talked himself out of the doubts to achieve probably to my mind, what’s the greatest sporting achievement of all time? Because George Foreman was unstoppable and Muhammad Ali was past his best and he just spent three years in jail, you know, because of his you know, he wasn’t he didn’t he didn’t want to go to to Vietnam, quite rightly. And he was jailed for it. And he came out of jail having not fought a fight. And this is not the same fighter. And he was beaten up by, you know, the guys who George Foreman had eviscerated. And it was, you know, just the magnetism of Muhammad Ali, the lead up to it. You thought you could see his camp. They thought this guy is just the most magnetic personality and we’re actually sending him to his death here. They feared for his life. Yeah. And he had the belief and the you know, what he calls the repetition of positive affirmations to believe that it doesn’t matter, I’m going to beat this guy. And equally in the ring, his tactics went out the window because he tried to go for a quick knockout. And George Foreman just kind of looked at him to say, is that all you got? And he said, right, I’m going to have to just get this. This guy’s gonna have to punch me now. I mean, he must have taken some punishment in that fight. My God. But what a great film that was. So, yeah, when we were kings, Fantastic.

The favourite album.

Favourite album.

Yeah. Should have the answers to these on the tip of my finger. Shouldn’t I tip my tongue? Right. And probably the first album I bought, which I convinced my mum to buy me, which was Appetite for Destruction by Guns N Roses. And I still listen to that and I can still play it all the way through. And it’s one of those ones that you just think brilliant. And I remember playing at the primary seven disco and the teacher sort of agreed because Welcome to The Jungle was in the charts and that was okay. And then the second song came on, which is called It’s So Easy, and it has an F word in the in the in the chorus. And everybody in the class is like inanely giggling. Mrs. McIntosh, my teacher confiscated the tape. Oh, got it. Um, but yeah, that’s certainly still a favourite album. But alongside that, I do like, um, Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street. I could play that start to finish, um, quite like a bit of bluesy music. And also Ice Cube, the Predator is another one could play Start to finish. Got into a bit of Ice Cube when I was in high school and I do like him. Um, that’s a good album, that one.

Very nice man. That eclectic choice. Our final questions. Fantasy dinner party.

Oh, free game. Yeah.

Dead or alive?

Dead or alive? Yeah. No, I kind of thought you might ask me this, so I decided I would. I did think about it, so.

So I’ll tell you.

I’ve just come back from Chicago, so I would have Michael Jordan there and I’d have Michael Jordan there. Just because you’ve probably seen The Last Dance, which is the documentary on Netflix about Michael Jordan’s last season.

I’ve heard. I’ve heard.

Phenomenal. But I just love to ask him just to chat to him about his essentially discipline. You know, this guy was he just he never let up, even when he was so far ahead. He just didn’t let up and practice games. His team-mates kind of hated him because he was so tough on them in practice. And as well as that, just the foresight of the guy. I mean, Nike, Air Jordans for a start. I mean, he negotiated that. And you know, if you read about how he negotiated the Air Jordan thing, he knew what he was doing, you know, and he knew that was going to be successful. And equally, the other thing I’d love to ask him about is at the height of his fame, at the height of his success, he took two years out to go and try and play baseball.

You know, I wasn’t aware of that. He sacked it off. He went to play for the Chicago White Sox and.

He he wasn’t Michael Jordan in basketball. He was not the Michael Jordan of baseball.

I’ll tell you. So, yeah, to have the.

You know, the, I guess.


The determination.

Or humility.

Humility. Right. Humility to start again in another sport.

And he was playing in what they call the farm leagues at the time. And I remember it because I was into basketball and I would read we had actually basketball on Channel four, if you remember that NBA stuff we had on Channel four. And as a result, you get a bit of coverage in the paper. And remember, Michael Jordan quit the Chicago Bulls after they won what they call the three peat. They won three NBA titles in a row. And they said, oh, Jordan, just unstoppable. And he quit to go and play baseball and was what? It’s insane. And because he thought he could be a he at one time, he thought he could be a professional baseball player or basketball player. I wasn’t sure which. And as you say, to go from the heights and the fame to essentially taking the Chicago Bulls actually kept his contract going. So they still paid him. So he was still getting paid. They paid him in the hope he would come back, but he said he wasn’t going to come back, but he was playing for a farm league, you know, with guys who were, you know, part timers who were actually quite keen to injure him and show this guy, you know, and as you say, interesting just to know about that that that get a bit of chat about that and I’d love to ask him about all that And then the comeback after a bit like Ali after two years he was out you know the bulls had been overtaken, other teams had won. And he came back and said, we’re going to win again. And it was a bit motivating himself and the team to do the same thing again. So, yeah, Michael Jordan would be in their second, I’d have to say Barack Obama. Yeah. Chicago guy again, my cousin. Hello, Ollie, if you’re listening, is my cousin’s American. He lives in Seattle and he worked for the Obama administration.

Oh, really? Yeah, he’s got some fantastic photos.

Yeah, my aunt has a great.

Our Facebook profile is her meeting Obama.

It’s brilliant and all. He just tells me what a guy you know, he’s he also has done some work for the Biden administration currently and he worked a bit for Gore. But some of the things he says about Obama, he’s just, you know, just a great, great guy. And I just love to love to chat to him. No, you’re right. So I think I think he’d be a good dinner guest.

What an orator. Have you heard the podcast of Obama and Bruce Springsteen?

No, I have not.

Oh, excellent. Dude, it’s Spotify only. It’s called. It’s called Born in the USA. It’s like seven episodes. Yeah. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Obama just talks the best. I think he talks better than anyone else in the world.

Yeah, he’s amazing. Amazing. And, you know.

His knowledge of history.


I know he obviously history.

And you would.

Think the knowledge of history and geopolitics has probably comes with the territory, but probably doesn’t, you know, we’ve seen that. So yeah, he just came across as so knowledgeable and love love to chat to him. So he’d be number two. Number three, if we chatted about Muhammad Ali and what an enigmatic personality. And I think, you know, we’d love to have Muhammad Ali there, but the problem is I’d never get a word in edgeways. And so instead of Muhammad Ali, I would say Larry David kerb your enthusiasm.

Oh, he’s.

Emma’s number three.


Because don’t you don’t you find yourself.

Nodding in agreement with Larry?

All the scrapes he gets into, You kind of can’t help but think he’s quite correct.

Um, so I’d love to actually be the guy that says, You know what?

You’re quite right, Larry. I agree with everything you say.

So, yeah, I’d love to get Larry David.

On and.

He’d probably fall.

Out with Obama and.

Fall out with Michael.

Jordan in quick succession.

But yeah, so I’ve just realised all the guys have given you a live. So maybe that dinner party could even happen.

You’re a massive fan of Americana, it seems, huh?

Yeah. Love it. That’s my favourite country. It’s just, I suppose.

Growing up in the 80 seconds, America just seemed like the epicentre of everything. And my cousin, who I’ve mentioned, grew up in Southern California in the 80 seconds, and he said to me, It was as good as it sounds.

Um, and you know, you grew up with.

All the movies and all the culture was American and, you know, all the things you coveted, like, you know, Nike, Air Jordans and, you know, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar.

Chicago Pizza Pie. Exactly.

It was all from the States. So, yeah.

Absolutely Love America. And I’ve got some good friends now who are American that I visit regularly. And I just never had a bad time there. It’s such a great place to be. And probably, as you can probably gather, because we’ve been chatting for ages. I love chat to people and.

Yeah, they’re good at that. They love it. Yeah, and it’s great. You know, my.

Understanding, my understanding of that, talking to my American cousins is that they’re very quick to get to a certain point, but then very slow to get past that point, whereas we’re the opposite. We’re very slow to get to that point. But once we decide he’s all right, we’ll talk. We’ll throw everything at it. That’s the way she was explained to me. And that’s a good.

That’s a good.

Explanation. I like that you think you’re quite spot on with that. Yeah.

And I’ve sometimes I’ve been sat on a plane and talked to some guy sitting next to me and. And like, you know, in America it could be a 6 or 7 hour flight. And I think I’ve broken new ground, found a new friend for life because, you know, we just spoke for seven hours here. And then the guy will say, okay, see you later. Bye. Just walk off. You’re like, what happened then? Because we’re so not used to having those conversations so quickly with a stranger, you know? Yeah.

That’s fine. Yeah.

Let’s get to Prav final deep question. Deathbed. Surrounded by your loved ones. Okay. Three pieces of.

Advice. Three pieces of advice I’d give to my loved ones.

On my deathbed. Okay. I think when it comes to a challenge and I think this is the greatest.

Slogan in marketing.

It’s just do it. You know, think Nikes. Just do it. When it comes to anything that you.

Find a challenge.

Or you think is going to be a challenge. I think just.

That’s what I would say. Just do it. Jump.

Go for it. Yeah. The number of times.

The things I’ve done that have been most.

Worthwhile have been, you know, things I could.

Have quite easily.

Avoided and no one would have criticised me for.


But because I’ve done them, you know, I think the hardest part is doing it is is just doing it. Once you do it, you’ll do it. I think generally you’re right.

I find that the cold shower, the longer you think about it, the less you’re going to do. You just jump in. You just do it. You’re quite right.

And it’s like going for a run. The number of times I walk past my trainers in the morning for, I physically have to actually put them on myself and push myself out the door and lock the door behind me with no key. And then once you do it, you’re like, you know, you never come back and say, that was a bad idea. I’m glad I did that, you know? Um, yeah. So just do it would be that would be one.

And I think the second thing I would say is I think you have to practice.

Practice and practice some more. And I think the.

Reason for that is that, like we alluded to earlier, everybody has self-doubt. And to make sure that your self-belief.

Outweighs your self-doubt, you can only do that by practice and practice and practice and practice.

So there can never be.

Enough practice or whatever you choose to do.

And that can be an.

Expert for sure. For sure.

Yeah. In anything, if you want to get good at anything.

Whatever it might be.

Practice. And I suppose the last thing would be.

And I wish I would do this myself, is. In the good moments that you have not only enjoy them, but be present in them. Don’t think about the next thing you’re got to do. Don’t think about once I’ve got this, I don’t want to think about the next thing. Just enjoy the moment which I’m guilty of not doing.

So yeah.

That would be my three bits of advice.

Have you read The Power of Now or listened to it or anything?

I have not. No. No. Very good. Very good.

Very good. Very good for that. Really. But I know what you mean. I know what you mean. I mean, I don’t really suffer with looking backwards, but I just can’t stop myself from looking forward. Yeah, that’s my problem. And you’re right. It does ruin now.

Yeah. Yeah, it does. I think I’ve just got myself this 1999 Bayern Munich shirt and I’m already looking for the.

Next thing I can.

Buy. Then I’ll be happy. No, you won’t. That’s.

That’s the nature of dopamine.

Yeah, very true.

Buddy. Thank you so much. It’s been a massive pleasure. Really, really enjoyed it and enjoyed it. Great considering we had a two hour conversation a week ago. Yeah, it was. It was refreshing. It was refreshing being on this side of it. Really, really very much enjoyed it. Yeah.

Next time you book a transatlantic flight, I’ll.

I’ll book the seat beside you. And we.

Can. We can. Yeah. We can get a seven hour one.

Thank you so much for doing this, man. Pleasure. Pleasure. Inspiration. Thank you. My pleasure.

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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