A glittering career as a bingo caller and entertainer looked like fate written in stone for Miranda Steeples—until someone dared to suggest she might be better suited to dental hygiene and therapy.

Miranda chats about the road from entertainment to therapy and the presidency of the British Society of Dental Hygienists and Therapists (BSDHT) via a near-miss as a Disney Princess. 

She also sets out her wishlist for changes and reform to her profession and tackles the often complex relationship between dentists, hygienists and therapists. 


In This Episode  

02.38 – Backstory

18.25 – Study and graduation

24.33 – Practice culture

28.22 – BSDHT

41.13 – Reform and challenges

53.41 – Career and training

58.53 – Smoking cessation and perio

01.01.47 – Hygiene and nursing

01.05.13 – Blackbox thinking

01.17.10 – Fantasy dinner party

01.20.05 – Last days and legacy


About Miranda Steeples

Miranda Steeples is the president of the British Society of Dental Hygienists and Therapists (BSDHT).

She is a hygienist and therapist at West Dental Dental Practice in Eastbourne and Bupa, Hastings and Hailsham.

Speaker1: Don’t let being scared of something be a reason enough not to do it. That kept me going through my undergrad at Leeds. It kept me going through my masters at Kent. So basically it’s when that little voice, that self-doubt, just being scared isn’t good enough reason. If you’ve got a better reason, then fine, but that’s not a good enough reason to stop. And then connected to that, we’ve got basically believe in yourself, because if you don’t, nobody else will. As we said, I’m someone as we know, as struggled with that self validation [00:00:30] and relied on it a lot externally. But then when you realise that it’s not coming externally and you can’t rely on it, always be in there. You have to have that belief in yourself and trust, because there’s too many people ready to tear you down and challenge you, that you have to just have that and then tied in with those two. I would say it’s just say yes and figure out the detail later, which has been most of my life choices.

Speaker2: Say yes to stuff.

Speaker1: Just say I mean, that’s why I’m chatting to you now. Payman. [00:01:00] I didn’t know what what was going to happen, but I thought, you know what? I’ve never done it before. Just say yes and figure it out later.

Speaker3: 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.

Speaker2: It gives [00:01:30] me great pleasure to welcome Miranda Steeples onto the podcast. Miranda is the current president of the BST, the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy. A wet fingered hygiene therapist herself runs an incredibly busy person, as you could imagine. She’s the host of the Miranda on the move series on social media. Um, which is really, really interesting. I’ve been following it around, you [00:02:00] know, it shows, it shows how busy you are really going up and down the country. And as well as being, you know, one of the busiest, busiest hygiene therapists out there, she’s an avid fan of football and a fan of Brighton and Hove Hove Albion. Unfortunately, I know nothing about football at all, so we’ll have to stick to hygiene and therapy. But massive pleasure to have you on the show.

Speaker1: Oh, thank you very much, Payman. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for inviting me. Sitting here in my Brighton and Hove Albion Christmas jumper.

Speaker2: Um, is that what [00:02:30] that is?

Speaker1: That is what I’m wearing today. Yes, because I figured you wouldn’t know. Um, yeah.

Speaker2: So, Miranda, we tend to start these things with sort of the backstory, and we had a little chat, and it was quite an interesting back story that you had even by, by accident, getting into dental nursing in the first place. Yeah. Where were you born? How did you grow up? What kind of kid were you and how did you get into the whole dental field?

Speaker1: Uh, so I was born in Hastings, which is in East Sussex. Um, [00:03:00] grew up there, went to school there. Primary school, secondary school. I was quite a smart kid when I was young, probably hot, housed a little bit by my mum. I think if I look back properly over school, summer holidays. Um, so when I was ten, she entered me for a scholarship examination for a local private school, which I didn’t really want to go to, but I was always keen to please and excel and do my best, so I did. So I got in. So I got a full academic [00:03:30] scholarship to a local private school, and that was quite a turning point in many ways, because it did lead me on the path to believing that I was as clever as everyone thought I was, but I was still quite unconfident. I was that little. I was quite small as well, till I was about 14. That small little geek sat at the front because I needed glasses, but I didn’t have them then, so I couldn’t read the board. So I did get picked on a little bit back then, but I was always the straight-A student, always very, very well behaved and [00:04:00] did really well. But my reports used to say things along the lines of a bit too reticent, needs to speak up more in class, and as you can see, that that’s really changed now. Um, so a big life change happened when I was, uh, coming into year 11.

Speaker1: Yeah, it is something that I don’t talk about a lot, but I think this is actually possibly a really good time to talk about it, because I do have a fear that sometimes people might look at me and think, oh, she’s white, middle class lady, public [00:04:30] school educated. But yeah, that was my background. But the other side to that background was that, I suppose, to be fair to my parents, it wasn’t. The economy wasn’t great. You know, there was had been many financial crashes and we were a victim to that coming into year 11. We ended up losing our house. We got evicted. We lived in temporary accommodation for a while, technically homeless. I think you could put it like that. Moved around a little bit, settled in the house that my dad’s still in now and that was [00:05:00] what I came into, going into sixth form. And so being at a public school with people with 2 or 3 cars, holidays every year, nannies and housekeepers, it was quite difficult. Um, and my mum was always one to keep up appearances, so I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody about that, but still try to maintain the outward appearance that everything was fine and still work really hard at school, which I did, but I guess with everything going on at home was distracted, was not the ideal [00:05:30] learning environment. And I did A-levels and I passed them, but not as well as everybody had expected.

Speaker1: You know, they certainly weren’t the A’s that I’d had previously. And then around the time boys came on the scene or in my case, a younger man, a young man, and he was an entertainer, uh, he was a comedian and a singer and an illusionist. He was multi-talented. And we met when I was doing a pantomime, which sort of came from a summer show, because I’d always been a [00:06:00] dancer. I’d always danced for fun. And he suggested, why don’t you come and work on Holiday Park with me? So I’d finished A-levels, had no idea how I’d done. I didn’t imagine I’d done very well, which yeah, was was correct. So I went down to the Isle of Wight to where he was working, and started a summer season as a dancer and a singer, and doing the magic act with him as well. And I loved it. I absolutely loved it. You know, I had people cheering my name every night, children wanting photos taken with me, asking [00:06:30] me for my autograph. Suddenly I was a star. You know, I’d never been the best dancer in the world. Not by any means. But suddenly there I was. And I had this. This new status, I suppose this, I suppose I was growing into the person that I am now on the way. Anyway, so then I got the results and yeah, they weren’t what they should have been. So I took a year out, much to many people’s disgust.

Speaker1: My parents, especially friends, were not happy, but I figured at that point [00:07:00] that I could be a dancer and entertainer and then go to university when I was ready. But, you know, biologically, physically, I thought, I can’t really go to university now for three, maybe four years and then try and be an entertainer. I became very much of the view of carpe diem, seize the day, right place, right time. And plus, I didn’t really want to do the course I was meant to do at uni. I picked it because I felt I should, and [00:07:30] I suppose that was one step along the way of breaking away from doing what was expected of me and doing what I actually really wanted to do, which at that time was perform. And so I did that for six years full time summer seasons, pantomimes, theatre shows, hotel hosting. And then I ended up back in Eastbourne after a stint in Cyprus, working as well. And I was working for Shearings Coaching Company in the evenings and [00:08:00] a bit bored in the daytime because I was used to keeping busy. So I took on a job in a bingo hall in the daytime, which kept me quite busy. Then they sold my hotel so I was full time at bingo. So by now I’m in my mid late 20s and then I did bingo call of the year competition twice. I was a twice finalist, so that was really good fun.

Speaker1: If you Google it, it’s still out there. Thankfully no footage, but the press releases are still available. And so [00:08:30] it was around that time that a friend of mine from school who’s a dentist, she still is a dentist. She said basically, stop messing around. That’s not her words, but you can choose your own words. Stop messing around. Stop wasting your life. Do something sensible. You’re really smart. What on earth are you doing? And she suggested I try dental nursing now, even though I could stand in front of a thousand people calling bingo, playing for thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of pounds, and I could run [00:09:00] that room. I could single handedly run a hotel. Entertainment. I still didn’t think I was clever. I still didn’t think that I was good enough. And it was only then when customers started to saying, what’s a nice girl like you doing working in a place like this? Surely you could do better. You’re thinking, wow, but you’re here. Um, but it was almost that, you know, the stars aligned. And I’ve always been quite a fatalist, I think, although I’m a scientist, but quite a fatalist and think, well, you know, things come into [00:09:30] place. People come into your life for a reason. And so when the customers started to say it as well, I thought, well, I’ve got nothing to lose. So I found a trainee dental nurse job was on a Wednesday, which was my day off from the bingo.

Speaker2: Can I stop you? Can I stop you? Yeah. Can I stop you? You can. Because it’s a brilliant story. I just can’t let it go into dentistry without asking you some questions about it. Okay, sure. So number one. Why? Why is entertaining people not a great career? You know [00:10:00] why? When that dentist said to you, stop fucking around and go get a real career. Did you have that feeling yourself that you’re not going anywhere with your with your career in the entertainment category or what? I mean.

Speaker1: I think that’s a really hard question, because my natural default would be to say, well, yeah, I wasn’t going anywhere because I wasn’t good enough. But then was I? Yeah. Um, I think I was good at what I did. I was basically a redcoat, although I never [00:10:30] worked as a red, so I was many other coloured coats. I was a good team player. I was a great number two, a great assistant entertainments manager. But I never had in that sort of world where depending on which which avenue you’re going down. But in that world, in the holiday park world, in working in hotels, you need to have a cabaret. And so I was a dancer who could sing and dancers have a shelf life. Um, I’m sure there’s niche markets that would have the auditors, but I [00:11:00] think the turning point for me came when I realised that I think I was about 25 or 26 and, um, instead.

Speaker2: Felt that way yourself. You felt that way yourself that it was time for a change.

Speaker1: Well, I realised that I wasn’t going to the older girls for help and advice. I was now the older girl and the young ones were coming to me and asking for my advice and guidance, so my shelf life as a dancer was up. I was an okay singer when I worked in a hotel. [00:11:30] I did a short spot, but I was never great. I was never good enough for West End. I had one opportunity to cruise ship it, but I bottled that, so I think I’d exhausted it.

Speaker2: That’s fine, that’s fine. And then. And then this sort of I’m not good enough external validation thing that you, you seem to be saying you needed at this point. At what point did you conquer that? Because you must have conquered that by, you know, to become president of the Bsdc. [00:12:00] There was there must have been an inflection point where, you know, you said you were the geeky kid, and then this thing happened with your family circumstances and, you know, not feeling good enough. And just then I said to you in the entertainment industry and you said, well, I wouldn’t have even known if I was or if I wasn’t. At what point did that change? And you become this ambitious person who is good enough and is speaking on stage and all of those things. What happened?

Speaker1: I think it was actually going to university. [00:12:30] It was getting my place at Leeds, which I only did to shut people up to get people off my back. Yeah.

Speaker2: How many years had you been a dental nurse before you decided to do that?

Speaker1: Um, it wasn’t two years. It was, I don’t know, it was probably about a year before I made the decision. Oh, really? Um, I was working part time, one day a week with the dentist, and then a short while after, I was doing half a day a week with the dental hygienist. And [00:13:00] then I’d started the course that the national course, and the tutor started saying, oh, you’ve got A-levels, why don’t you go and be a dental hygienist? I was like, oh, don’t be silly. I’m not clever enough, can’t do it. And then I obviously must have mentioned this at some point at lunchtime at work, because then I had the dental hygienist coming at me saying, of course you can do it, you can talk to people, you’ve got biology A-level. So yeah, but it wasn’t very good. Yeah, but you’ve got it. No one cares what grade you got. You’ve got it. And then my dentist. Well of course you can do it. You can talk to people. Your job is about talking. Um, [00:13:30] and in the end I said, okay, look, fine, fine. I’ll apply. Just leave me alone. I’ll apply. And yeah, I got accepted at Leeds and then right at the last minute got accepted at King’s. But by then I’d already said yes to Leeds and I was happy with that decision and I think, well, I was 30, I was 30 within freshers week. And I think because it was finally that you asked what the turning point was, I think it was doing it on my terms. I think in the first couple [00:14:00] of weeks, we had to do an exercise where we had to do a PowerPoint, which I’d never touched a PowerPoint in my life, and you had to do a thing about all about me.

Speaker1: So you had to talk about your background and where you’d come to to that point, and how you thought your previous skills would help you in dental hygiene and dental therapy. And so I told my story, and I can now see it was to help you create a PowerPoint and to stand in front of people, which of course was pretty easy for me. And I remember there was one tutor who just sat there, [00:14:30] arms folded, lips pursed, and she just said, well, I think you’re fine, that dental hygiene is very different to your entertainment. Miranda and I just said, well, I think you’ll find it’s rather similar, actually, because in entertainment you walk on that stage, you’ve got about three seconds to get that audience on your side. I don’t think it’s going to be any different with a patient. You’ve got about three seconds before they decide if they’re going to listen to you like you let you do stuff. And equally in entertainment, if something goes wrong, the audience don’t need [00:15:00] to know that. You just have to keep a smile on your face and carry on. And dentistry is the same. If you’ve had a bad day, you’ve had an argument with somebody. Your patient doesn’t need to know that. And obviously they do need to know if something’s gone wrong, but not by you sort of going, oh, and falling apart. You know, you have to calmly tell them what’s gone wrong. So I think those skills, yeah, they’ve really, really helped.

Speaker2: But that doesn’t sound like Miranda. I’m not good enough. That sounds like, you know, confident. Miranda. So was it in that [00:15:30] moment?

Speaker1: That’s. It’s really hard to say whether it was in that. I think she just really annoyed me. Yeah, I think she really annoyed me. I think because I’d. I spent years defending being a bingo caller to people who were a bit like, oh, you’re a bingo caller, when actually it’s a really highly skilled role. It’s really difficult. Um, and I think I just felt really diminished and belittled, whereas I was really proud and still am really proud of of what I did. And so it was partly [00:16:00] that and then, yeah, that 27 months of. Yeah, scoring really well coming away with a merit, having people that I really liked and respected saying, yeah, you’re really good at this, you can do this. But I think it was because I’d made that decision. It was, yeah, the suggestion of other people. But, you know, I’d funded it myself. I’d travelled six hours up the country. Yeah, I fully owned it. Nobody gave it to me, you know. You know. Yeah, I did that.

Speaker2: Before we move on again, I’m just going to finish [00:16:30] finish the psychotherapy piece. Right. Because you haven’t got kids, have you? You tell me. No. Yeah, but I’ve got kids. Right. And and so what do you put it down to that that person that you were sort of lack of confidence or needing validation. Do you put it down to what your relationship with your parents or what you were you were you just that way, or are some people just that way.

Speaker1: Possibly just that way? But I think I think it [00:17:00] was probably and you know, she’s passed on now, so I can say what I like with no attribution. But, um, I think it probably was the maternal influence. And we had talked about it where I will never forget, I think I was in year 8 or 9 at school, where I got 97% on a history test at the end of the year. And my mum said, well, what happened to the other 3%? And I was absolutely devastated. Um, and I think latterly [00:17:30] when I, I sort of questioned her on that and she said, well, I always wanted you to strive to be better. It’s like, well that’s, that’s great, but you can still pat someone on the back along the way. So I think it comes from that.

Speaker2: It’s so interesting what you’re saying here because I’ve, I’ve said things to my daughter out of love that later on I realised I really shouldn’t have said that thing. Yeah. And it’s a really interesting point that you can say something out of love and, and certain small 1 or [00:18:00] 2 words can hit someone as a kid so hard that can shape who they are for years going forward. And it’s a strange thing because, you know, it’s difficult to know, you know, what got you to that 97% was probably when you got 84%, she said. What happened to the other 17? You know what I mean? So she was doing what she was used to doing. Yeah. Anyway, let’s move on. Let’s move on. How did you find leads?

Speaker1: Oh, I loved leads. I really, really loved it. I mean, yeah, cracking [00:18:30] city really, really, really good. I mean, I think I liked it because it had everything. Well, everything that I liked had football, theatre, good shopping. As it turned out, one of my school friends that I’d, you know, we hadn’t fallen out, but we’d lost touch just because of different lives. She was living there by then, and I had really good. Classmates, I would say we were really, really close.

Speaker2: It’s a very intense course.

Speaker1: Really intense course. So I did the graduate diploma. So it was 27 [00:19:00] months, so we didn’t have the long summer breaks. We only had two weeks at Christmas and Easter. We didn’t get reading week. It was drummed into 27 months. So yeah, it was pretty full on and I was working.

Speaker2: I remember when I was in dental school, I remember the hygiene students being very serious. You know, we weren’t because we were just 18 year old kids. Yeah. You know, just came out of school and still a child and trying to party. And I remember seeing the [00:19:30] hygiene students, they were they were on another level and they were very busy. But therapy didn’t really exist back then. So explain the therapy piece to me. Like, at what point do you start drilling? Just just give us a little, you know, for someone who wants to know or maybe someone wants to get into therapy, well, what does it take to at what point do you do what in a therapy course?

Speaker1: Gosh, that’s a really good question because it probably is different now, uh, because it’s the BSc. But I mean, I remember being quite shocked [00:20:00] that it was the January. So we started in the September, and it was the January that we started, um, doing sort of no, no, no, just sort of phantom phantom head and then doing some hand scaling on each other and ultrasonics on each other. And I think it was about the May or June that we did local anaesthetics, because I remember being partnered with a Bchd that’s the Dental course they do their student. We were one of the first groups, and I wouldn’t say I’m needle [00:20:30] phobic, but I certainly don’t enjoy local anaesthetic. I’m not sure many people do, but he was he was going in for an ID block and he was just sort of waving this syringe around my face and I was like, right, stop, stop now get a shooter. You are not coming near me with that because I don’t think you know where you’re putting it. And then I remember telling the rest of the people in my group, because you did all the theory stuff in the morning and then the practical in the afternoon. And I said, right, watch the students who are paying attention, watch the ones who are putting their hand up and answering the questions. [00:21:00] That’s the person that you want. Idea. Good idea. So that’s my top tip for that. Um, although I don’t think you’re allowed to inject each other anymore. Um, and so yeah, I can’t remember what the first time I actually put a handpiece like a drill into a patient’s mouth, if you like. Remember, were you were you.

Speaker2: Like, at this point now, were you, like, seizing this opportunity and giving it 110%?

Speaker1: Oh, completely. And I was it’s funny you say about being serious because my initial reaction was, well, yes, I think that’s because often we [00:21:30] feel like we have quite a lot to prove. Uh, some, some not all of the dentist students were a little bit sneery back then and would say, oh, did you not get on to dentistry then? And we’re like, no, we wanted to be a dental hygienist and dental therapist. We’re quite happy with our life choices.

Speaker2: Well, I meant seriousness. And they were they were they were older than us. Some of them.

Speaker1: Okay. Oh, yeah.

Speaker2: But but also the course was serious. I mean, it was a full on course. There were they were constantly studying, you know, that [00:22:00] more than we were in the first year, you know, because first year was just like just come out of school knew nothing about anything.

Speaker1: Well, yeah, I mean, I was 30, say, in freshers week and I was the fifth eldest out of there was 24 of us. But I think by then and maybe again because I was in my happy place, I was a a regular B grade student, which I was quite happy with. That got the odd a, but I didn’t want to stress myself. Plus I had to work. So working at the bingo hall, funnily enough. Or in Leeds as well. Yeah, yeah. So nice because I needed money and they, [00:22:30] it paid much better than bar work and it was better hours. So I was quite often the one who, if we had an exam on a Monday or Tuesday, I’d be out on the Friday night and the others would be stressing and I’d be like, look, come on, if you don’t know it now, you’re not going to know this by Monday. Just by cramming tonight, come out and have a drink because I was yeah, I was living that 18 year old dream of not having been to uni at 18, um, and was leading the charge to go out. That was quite a bad influence I think.

Speaker2: So. So then you finished the course? Yeah. [00:23:00] What was your next move? What was your first job? Is there a is there a equivalent in therapy.

Speaker1: Well there is foundation therapy courses. There are them now I think there might have been back then, but certainly not in my area. So I’m down in East Sussex on the coast. I think my nearest one is Thames Valley, which is still running now. Uh, but yeah, there was nothing like that for me. So again, I was really fortunate. Most of my good life choices I’ve sort of fallen into. So, um, my very first job [00:23:30] was courtesy of my dental hygienist, who I had nursed for. So that was back when everybody’s address was published by the GDC. And there was a practice in Bexhill, and they’d put they’d written to all the dental hygienists in the area because they, they needed somebody and they needed them for two and a half days a week. And so my friend was. You know, she was fully, fully booked, but she sent it to me and she said, look, this is local to you. If you know, if you’re coming back to Eastbourne, why don’t you go for it? They’re happy to take newly qualified. So [00:24:00] yeah, I came back down south for a two and a half day job in Bexhill, as it was the half a day they did let me do some dental therapy. Not a lot, but I did start doing a half day a week, sort of doing some fillings and then the other. No. And both and adults, adults and children. It was a fully private practice. Um, so I think they struggled a bit sometimes with the idea of explaining who I was, what I was. Yeah, what I could do. And that did sort [00:24:30] of tail off a little bit, which is a shame.

Speaker2: I’ve seen I’ve seen therapists in different situations and I’ve got a sort of a, I don’t know, love. Hate’s the wrong word for it. It’s a there are some therapists doing fantastically well, fantastically well, earning loads of money, really happy with their lives, doing the work they want to do. And then there are some therapists who never, ever drill a tooth because they’re just hygienists. They don’t get the chance to to to even drill it. And [00:25:00] then at the very other end of it, I read on some, I’m on that hygienist, um, Facebook group hygienist and therapist, Facebook group. Some of the stories you read on there about the way some, some bosses treat their, their hygienists and and hygiene is is kind of a it’s kind of a weird position in the practice because often you’re working in several practices so you don’t feel a part of any of them. Um, I remember when I was an associate talking to the hygienist in our practice about this, you know, she was saying at the [00:25:30] Christmas party, she goes to a lot of people don’t even know her name or whatever it is, you know, like, so give me some reflections on this.

Speaker1: Yeah. You’ve hit the nail on the head. There’s quite a lot there in that last little piece. But certainly yeah, it’s Christmas party season. And you’re absolutely right. Because as a, you know, dental hygienist or dental therapist, you’re not a dentist. You’re also not one of the girls, which I hate that as a phrase, but as the dental nurses and the reception team, you are in this sort of no [00:26:00] man’s land. And yeah, if you’re only there one day a week, you don’t know what’s going on, you don’t know what’s going on. There’s people that you don’t even meet. You don’t see them, you only see them, you know, once a year at Christmas. Um, and and that’s if you’re invited, which, you know, I’m. Well, I was about to say I’m lucky, but it shouldn’t be lucky. It should be the norm. I’ve always been invited to my Christmas parties, always been included in the Secret Santa. If the boss is one of those principals who buys everyone a gift, I’ve always been included in that. But yeah, as you say on [00:26:30] the forum, and we get inquiries coming in to be searched, it’s obviously not so much an inquiry. It’s more of a they need a virtual hug. Um, where? Yeah, we’re left out of those things.

Speaker1: There’s some practices that don’t include their dental hygienist in those those events, and they’ll come back and they’ll say, oh, it’s because they’re self-employed and you’ve got to be careful with HMRC. But that doesn’t seem to apply when it’s an associate because they’re included in those things. So yeah, there very much is that. And [00:27:00] as you say, there is a very, very broad reach of what we’re our primary qualifications are. And then yeah, what we end up actually doing. And some of it is through choice and some of it is through circumstance. Some of it is through work choice as in financial limitation as well. You know, I’ve been in a lot of conversations recently about the push to get dental therapists doing some NHS work. And, and I’ve said, aside from all the other sort of political stuff, [00:27:30] if you’ve got someone who’s used to an income of five days of doing private hygiene, even if they want to do some dental therapy on the NHS, they might not be able to afford to. Um, so it’s it’s tricky, it is tricky. And there’s always going to be a compromise somewhere that either you can or you can’t afford to do or you do or you don’t want to do.

Speaker2: And as as president, you I guess you’re representing every hygienist and therapist, which is like a massive [00:28:00] spectrum of lives, isn’t it? I mean, you’ve got, I don’t know, military ones. You’ve got people who have to go into prisons, you’ve got private practice, NHS, you’ve got very happy therapists. I mean, we have therapists on our composite course. They’re doing anterior cosmetics all day long. Um, you know that, that very happy therapist. And then you’ve got people. How do you manage all that? I mean, tell me a little bit about the organisational structure of, of bchd and, [00:28:30] and there’s just going to be stretched for a second.

Speaker1: Yeah. So okay, we’ll think about Bchd then the simple answer is, is to talk about the structure, which is that, yes, there’s me, there’s a president. There’s a president elect, um, which is currently Rhiannon Jones. So you hold the position as president elect for two years, I prefer. President in waiting. I think that makes more sense. So was that.

Speaker2: You two years.

Speaker1: Ago? Yeah, yeah. So I did that role under Dianne Rochford. She was the president at that time. You [00:29:00] know Dianne. Yeah, yeah. Um. Hi, Dianne. Um, so you’re basically president in waiting. President in training for two years. So you learn that, and then you come in. So alongside those two positions, there’s director of operations. So currently that’s Sharon Broome. She’s she calls me her boss. I think of her as, as my boss. She’s the brains of the operation. She’s the person who keeps the wheels turning in the background. Very much so. We couldn’t do it without her. And then we also have honorary [00:29:30] treasurer, who currently is Simone and honorary secretary, who is currently Juliette. So all of these.

Speaker2: People are hygienists, right? And they’re wet fingered. They’re not working full time on the.

Speaker1: Sharon is not she’s she she is not. Um, but we poached her from the Oral Health Foundation. So she had years of dental experience and yeah, she she’s been with us for a very long time now. So she very much father. Well, so we’re the five directors. Yeah. Of the of the organisation. [00:30:00] There’s another 4 or 5 that sit alongside us within the executive committee. So that includes the editor of the journal Sales and Marketing. We have a student representative coordinator who takes care of the students in all the schools. And then we have two people who come from the council. So they’re elected. They’re council members elected to exec, and they are basically the voice of the membership, if you like, at exec level. Then we also [00:30:30] have the council. So that’s all of those ten people in exec plus a representative from each of the regional groups. We have a tutor representative who takes care of the tutors and all the dental schools for us. And we also have two student representatives to give us the student voice. So the whole council will meet twice a year. The council will meet six times, sorry. The Executive Council will meet six times a year. And then alongside that, people in the office who again make the magic happen. [00:31:00] We’ve got Tracy, Selina and Louisa. So Selina is responsible for all the beautiful stuff that goes out on social media. She does all our job adverts plus 101 other things that I can’t even list. Tracy takes care of the membership a lot of the time and Louisa takes care of the finances.

Speaker2: And so, okay, you’ve you’ve obviously kind of navigated your way through some of that, some of that. Right? Yeah. Um, what difference does it make, like does the president make the biggest difference? Like [00:31:30] do you, do you, do you come in and say when you’re when you’re, when you’re about to start being the president, do you say, look, my agenda for the next two years is X and we’re going to the, the ship is going to sail in this direction now or is that not the case? Is that not how it works?

Speaker1: Um, well, it possibly should do or could do. Um, again, like I say, I sort of fell into it, really. I’d always been a member of Bchd. I’d been what I would call a passive member. Um, and that’s that’s one thing I would like [00:32:00] to get out to people who are perhaps not members, because I had a conversation with somebody like 20 years younger than me, who’s been qualified for two years, who’s not a member. And part of the reason was, she said, that she felt she’d have to do something. And I was being a member. Yeah. And I was like, oh no, no, you can if you want to, but you don’t have to. You can just pay your subscription, take the journal and that’s it. You don’t even have to read the journal. Well, I would because it’s really good. But yeah, just pay your subs, be one of one of our members, be one of our collective and help support [00:32:30] us just in that way. So I’d been a passive member for a really long time, and then the Southeast regional group needed a treasurer. They couldn’t get somebody in and they were saying, you know, if we can’t get someone, we might have to fold. And I thought, well, that’d be dreadful. Somebody really needs to do that. And I sat on that for a couple of days, and then I decided that I might as well give it a go. You must.

Speaker2: Be attending. Not even there.

Speaker1: No, no, she just heard.

Speaker2: On the grapevine they need a treasurer.

Speaker1: I’d seen it on Facebook. Wow. Because their [00:33:00] autumn meeting was always the weekend of my birthday, and, well, I’m not going to go and do CPD on my birthday.

Speaker2: And was this really the first time you’d gotten yourself involved in an organisation with meetings and boards and council members and. Yeah. How interesting.

Speaker1: Yeah, again. So I sort of fell into that. And then I was invited to stand for honorary treasurer when my predecessor wanted to stand down. She’d done it for five years, so that she said she spoke to a couple of us. And so I went for it and got it. And then it was one day travelling home on the train with Diane [00:33:30] after a meeting. We were just chatting about when she became president, and I just said, you know, who’s going to be your president elect then? And she said, well, I kind of thought you might be, so don’t be stupid. Once again, I can’t do that. I can’t be president. That’s not me. I’m a great number two. And then other people started to say, are you going to stand for. And so again, I thought, well, you know what? These other people think I can do it. So if they’ve got trust in me, then maybe I should. And so then, yeah, [00:34:00] when I’d said yes, people started to say to me, what’s your plan? What’s your direction? What’s your strategy for the two years you’re president and really the best I can come up with, which I hope I’m on the way to doing, is just to make stuff better. And that’s that’s that’s it’s really woolly. But, you know, for my members, for the members of the profession because, yeah, there’s I think currently there’s about 9000 9500 dental hygienists on the register. And yes, to make stuff better, like you say, for that [00:34:30] whole mixture of demography of what I call the high street of hygienists, those working in community, those in the military, those in academia, those in research, you know, we’re we’re everywhere. You know, we’re great dental hygienists and dental therapists are getting it everywhere now, you know, we’re unstoppable. And so to try and consider each of those groups is difficult. They’re not mutually exclusive. But the bulk of my membership [00:35:00] is the high street hygienist, which again, I don’t like that.

Speaker2: Terme, have you got a breakdown of the demos? Like like what percentage are actually in practice? What percentage.

Speaker1: Are not? I would do but not to hand.

Speaker2: But the vast majority are in practice.

Speaker1: Absolutely a good second, if not more.

Speaker2: What’s the second biggest group? Would it be? Academics?

Speaker1: I guess yeah. Academics, teachers, tutors. Yeah, probably. But I know that there’s yeah, there’s a good few in the military [00:35:30] in community. But again, at the same time we’re not solely in one area. Yeah. Even those who are in academia will still be doing some clinical work in practice as well. Yeah. Yeah yeah.

Speaker2: Yeah. So that’s that’s what makes it more complicated and diverse. What about the sort of male female? How many men are in it? Is it tiny?

Speaker1: It’s small but growing. Um, I think in terms of I think the last check, I think on the register, it was something [00:36:00] like between 8 and 10%, 10%. It’s getting more. That’s possibly in Dental. Or maybe that’s what we had as a proportion of members who were men who were on the register. I can’t remember now because it’s a little while back. But the numbers. Across the board of dental hygienist and dental therapists. They’re now being grown by our colleagues from overseas who are registering as such. So a lot of them are dentists qualified in their country that have now joined the register. So [00:36:30] that will skew it slightly potentially. And then I think as well, now that there are more men rightly coming into dental nursing and coming into dental therapy, which then also dental hygiene, I think it’s growing. I think it’s a much less feminised profession than it was. But we’re a long way off being 5050, I think.

Speaker2: Has there ever been a man president?

Speaker1: Yes. Mike Wheeler yeah. Michael Wheeler, we have our male. Yeah.

Speaker2: It’s funny having [00:37:00] it the other way around, isn’t it? Like these questions get asked in every other society for for women.

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker1: And back way, way, way back in the day Gerald Leatherman was also a president, you know, way, way, way, way, way back. Uh, he was a really important man. But yeah, Mike Wheeler was president when we changed. He had he had quite a tricky time of it, but he was president at the time when we changed from the British Dental Hygienist Association into the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy.

Speaker2: And of the 9000 [00:37:30] potential members, how many are.

Speaker1: Off the top of my head. I think we’re currently about a third.

Speaker2: Still two thirds of conscientious objectors.

Speaker1: I don’t know if I knew that answer might be out there getting them in.

Speaker2: Is it is there another association that they’re members of or not?

Speaker1: Well, yeah, there’s we do have another organisation. There’s the British Association of Dental Therapists.

Speaker2: Yeah. Yeah. No I know about them.

Speaker1: So yeah, they also take [00:38:00] care of both our groups. And yeah, we can be members of like BSP, Bspd and all the other bees that are out there. You can be a member of any of them.

Speaker2: If you want hygienists or therapists. Right.

Speaker1: So we’re the only two.

Speaker2: The only two. Yeah. And and the budget was like what kind of budget are you guys managing? Is it like, does it run into many millions.

Speaker1: No.

Speaker4: Does it not not.

Speaker1: Not to that degree, no. I wouldn’t have said so. I mean I’m not treasurer anymore. So [00:38:30] I haven’t had sight of many numbers and I don’t keep numbers in my head very well anyway.

Speaker2: It’s a massive responsibility isn’t it? It is. It’s because it’s such a fast growing area. And I’ve always thought, you know, with hygienists, I’m just going to say hygienist because hygienist, the therapist, the the angle on the trade is massive, isn’t it? Because the people who supply you guys are the biggest, some of the biggest companies in the world, not just the biggest companies in dentistry, [00:39:00] the biggest companies in the world. And so, you know, trade relations is probably a huge, huge part of it. And, you know, potentially you guys can be a very powerful force, right. So how many people turn up to the conference?

Speaker1: Uh, well, at the last conference, uh, just a few weeks back, we had about 350, which was good. I think back before Covid, it used to be higher. Um, and it’s, it’s grown each year since the pandemic. I think I’d like to see more. [00:39:30] And I really would like to encourage more people to come because, you know, the bigger the better. And yeah, we do get a good trade support. In fact, a lot of what we do, we struggle to do without the trade support. Um, and that’s everything from people who just advertise with us to sponsor courses for us. Um, you know, they support all manner of different things. So, yeah. And we are, I suppose, part of the block that some people would consider is that we don’t have purchasing power. But I would say, [00:40:00] well, a lot of us well, not a lot a good number own practices. And I think we have influence and being that most of us and that is that’s a fact. Our self-employed quite often we’re buying our own kit and our own things anyway, so we do have a fair bit of buying power and influence. And so yeah, certainly the big companies are always really supportive of us.

Speaker4: So Miranda, if I.

Speaker2: Know that organisations are quite slow to move and you know that a lot of times you find out, [00:40:30] I mean, I’ve only ever been on 1 or 2 sort of boards of things and I’m just a bit ADHD bad in meetings, you know? Um, but whenever you get into a situation like that, you realise how slow it is and what a sort of massive tanker. The thing is that you have to turn and the number of people you’ve got to consider and all of that. And for me it’s kind of demotivating, but but I guess, you know, you could be the kind of person who says, I’m going to try and speed up that process. Right. But but the question is this the [00:41:00] question I’m getting to is, if you could wave a magic wand and change 2 or 3 things about hygiene therapy in an instant without having to bother yourself with any of that, what comes to mind when I say that? What would you change?

Speaker1: Oh gosh, I think currently that the biggest thing that really has been dragging on for far too long is the exemptions legislation. What does that mean? So basically that’s to permit dental hygienist and dental therapists to administer local anaesthetic and high strength [00:41:30] fluoride products without the need of a prescription from a dentist, you know, which we always did. And then there was a name change and legislation changed. And anyway, it’s all a bit complicated, but we’ve been fighting to get permission for this since about 2014, 2015 now, and I believe it is around the corner. And that’s what I’ve learned. Exactly. What you’ve said is that things do take such a long time. And before I was in these rooms, round these tables, having these meetings, I never understood that. [00:42:00] And so, yeah, we see it a lot on social media. We get emails coming in saying, when is this happening? We haven’t heard anything about this. And now I can understand the frustration from the outside because now I’m on the inside of those rooms. Yeah, it’s a lot of these things are out of our hands. So I would get that done. Definitely. Another thing that would help, again, only a small proportion probably of my membership and of the profession, but nonetheless it would mean a lot to those people [00:42:30] and that would be to sort out an NHS pension. So those who are working in the NHS sector. But I would extend that across to all team members, I think. Anyone who’s working in an NHS practice, offering dental care in that way should be fairly rewarded for that. I think that would help with retention of team members across the board. So if I have my magic wand, I’d do that. Um, they’re probably the biggest the two biggest things in my mind at the moment. And [00:43:00] yeah, I’d magic all of the registrants to become members because that will help ensure the longevity of the society. It will help with succession planning. It will help us to do bigger and better things to better the membership, you know, conditions for the membership.

Speaker2: But what about like a qualitative change, as in, what I mean is, if you could, if you could, for instance, click your fingers and, uh, I don’t know, dentists, dentists would, would respect hygienists [00:43:30] more.

Speaker4: Some.

Speaker2: Something like that. But by the way, by the way, yeah, every time I’ve had a hygienist on here, I’ve had this, this thing come up of we deserve more recognition sort of thing. And I never knew it was a problem until I spoke to a few itchiness here. I didn’t, I really didn’t think. And I was talking to some of the, you know, highest profile hygienists in the country. And, and, and I was shocked even that hygienist was saying something about it, you know, so I thought, you know, wave a magic [00:44:00] wand, something like that, or wave a magic wand. And patients would know that, you know, the diet’s as important as, uh, their brushing, you know, like, you know, whatever, those sort of. Okay.

Speaker1: I suppose I was going for something that I thought might actually happen. Um.

Speaker4: Oh, brilliant.

Speaker1: No, I think, well, yeah, I mean, I could tell you some stories, but I know we’d probably run out of time, but. No. Tell me story.

Speaker4: Tell me a story.

Speaker2: No, really, I mean it. I mean, tell me a story.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker1: I [00:44:30] don’t know. Well, I suppose just stories of practices that I’ve left. And I look back and I think, gosh, if I’m struggling and yeah, I’m president. How is your average high street hygiene is coping. And I should say it’s a bit like the not all men argument. It’s not all dentists. Some dentists are great. In fact, many of them are great. Um, and I’m lucky enough at the moment now, you know, to work with a lot of those people. But I think it’s I think it stems from a not understanding and are not trusting [00:45:00] what we can do, sort of a protectionist attitude from some who feel threatened by us. And that message doesn’t really change for the last 100 years, when in fact, you know, there’s loads of diseases, loads of patients around for all of us. But in terms of specific examples, a job that I ultimately left was when my light wasn’t working in my room, my chair light, and we tried. We changed the bulb and it still wouldn’t work. And no, I didn’t have loops back then and there wasn’t a room [00:45:30] I could go into. So I took the decision to cancel my day. I rung my patients myself and explained, you know, my light doesn’t work. I don’t feel safe to poke about in your mouth or sharp pointy sticks. They are all absolutely fine. They all rebooked for another day. And then I got a letter from the principal telling me that it wasn’t my place to be cancelling my day of patients, and I should have seen them regardless. I’d lost my day of money. Yeah. What? Yeah, yeah. So I mean, that was just one of many things that [00:46:00] happened at that place that I ended up leaving. You know, going in there wasn’t appropriately sized gloves.

Speaker1: Never mind enough gloves. There was no masks. Yeah, I left there and then, I suppose more recently, being challenged on how I treat my perio patients or patients that don’t have perio, but just my dental hygiene patients battling with one dentist who didn’t want to refer, uh, plan patients to me because they were he would have to pay me [00:46:30] to see those patients, and therefore it would come off his monthly take home. And he said, why should I pay you to see my patients when I can do it myself? And I said, because I do it better. That wasn’t the answer that was required. Um, but yeah, so there was that. And then, I don’t know, just a current thing is sort of telling me that dentistry should hurt. And don’t worry if the ultrasonics, two powerful [00:47:00] patients will just deal with it. And I’m like, no, no, patients shouldn’t just deal with it. We should be able to turn the power down and make it comfortable for them, you know? And probing should hurt. No probing shouldn’t hurt. It shouldn’t hurt. And so this I feel quite often almost gaslit by some people that I I’m pretty sure that I know that I’m right. You know, I’m a member of BSP. I go to there, I went to their conference, I do my CPD. And yet [00:47:30] sometimes some of these dentists that I work alongside are so adamant and set that they know what’s right and that what I’m saying and doing is wrong. I then start to question myself. So then I have to go and talk to my mentors. And they’re a good sounding board and they say, no, no, you’re fine. Just keep your head down. Just carry on. Just keep trying to push back. And ultimately I’m doing the right thing.

Speaker4: Comes, comes, comes down.

Speaker2: To hierarchy in a way, doesn’t it? Because. Oh yeah. Because I’m [00:48:00] not sure that that what you said about the guy feeling threatened by you is necessarily. I mean, I guess it’s all part of the same thing, right? It’s part of the same thing. But the, the hierarchy that says even if the dentist doesn’t know the answer to the question, he’ll have to pretend he does. Or even if he’s way like, you know, if I’m a newly qualified therapist, my knowledge is going to be much, much, much more up to date than a dentist who hasn’t looked at period for the last 25 [00:48:30] years, you know? Um, but but you can’t admit that as a dentist, it’s such a difficult thing to admit that the hygienist or therapist knows more than you about something. And, you know, it’s interesting because your job to make the lives of hygienists and therapists better. At the end of the day is going to be about, I think, about making them more financially viable. Because I think I told [00:49:00] you a story. We had a Canadian hygienist who used to work at enlighten, not as a hygienist. She was working in sales at enlighten, and she would tell me that in Canada, the hygienist earned way more than the associates in her particular state because of whitening and fluoride treatments. And, you know, they go a bit crazy on fluoride in North America. They almost every single patient gets a fluoride treatment. And and she was telling me that, you know, whatever she wanted, whether it was [00:49:30] a nurse, whether it was a, you know, a piece of equipment, that the dentist would immediately get that for her because hygienists and therapists are so, so hard to get, let alone good ones who make clothes. And, you know, the way she said it to me was, was that they’re absolutely necessary for the business. You know, they bring in loads of money and that needs to be the thing. Like you need to, I guess, lobby for that change. For instance, the giving the injections without a prescription will make things, you [00:50:00] know, more viable. You know. Yeah.

Speaker1: I think I.

Speaker4: Would say.

Speaker1: Yeah. Having a dental hygienist within your practice is it’s good for reputation. It’s a good practice builder, especially if they’re happy to work under direct access. So it’s a nice way of attracting patients into the building, especially sort of reluctant patients that don’t like don’t like dentists, but they want their teeth cleaned. It’s quite a nice reintroduction back into dentistry again and again. I think there’s plenty of practice owners principles [00:50:30] out there who do get that and who do value their teams. And and I think we are very much respected and valued and needed. But I think you you mentioned recognition and you mentioned ways of, you know, becoming higher earners. And I think it’s that is something that does come up when I talk to members and colleagues, for example, those of us that have done a master’s, you know, we can never currently call ourselves specialists. You know, you might have done I haven’t, [00:51:00] but you might have done a master’s in Perio Essex, for example. But you can’t ever be a periodontist because you’re not a dentist. You can’t unless you set your fees yourself. You know you’re not going to get more pay. But and if you’re in the NHS, you know there’s no career progression in that way. So I think if those things could change and if there was more recognition of that, say, the extra courses, like you mentioned, the dental therapists that have, you know, done your courses and who are doing all this [00:51:30] fantastic composite work, you know, there’s some really highly skilled clinicians out there.

Speaker4: Yeah, by the.

Speaker2: Way, they they always win the prize when we do a we do a thing for the best the best work. And they, they, they very commonly win the prize. And then normally we’ll have 1 or 2 therapists and 28 dentists in the, in the room. I wonder whether it’s like a self-selecting group, you know, the kind of person who bothers to come on a composite course and pay 1500 pounds for a two day course, might be the kind of person who’s [00:52:00] really, like, gonna gonna do the work well and practice or whatever. But, you know, it’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Um, the other thing is, I’ve always been I’m sorry to keep beating my own drum here, but I’ve always been surprised at how few hygienists and therapists are onto whitening as talking income source. Right? As as an income source, you know, everyone’s onto the idea of, oh, tell the patient to buy an electric toothbrush, but no one’s making any money by that. By selling electric toothbrushes, I mean, there’s [00:52:30] just not enough money in one, you know what I mean? How much do they cost? But whereas if you if I was a principal, which I’ve never been, but if I was a principal, I would always tell the high achievers to spend extra time, any extra talking time on whitening for sure. Because such a high value treatment. Yeah.

Speaker1: I mean, I’ve done Diane’s course the last year. I went to her practice and did that because I was interested and I wanted to know a little bit more about it because, yeah, I do talk about it. But in my position in the practices [00:53:00] I work in, there’s not a massive take up of it. The dentists all do it. And the fact that still there’s a situation where the patient would have to see the dentist first to have it written up to be done, the dentist just ends up doing it.

Speaker4: Yeah, but you can work that out.

Speaker2: Surely you can work that out, right?

Speaker1: Well, possibly, if I was more driven to do it, I possibly could. Obviously I can’t speak for other people. It depends what the situation is. So at the moment, I’m not keen to rock the boat anywhere I work because [00:53:30] they’re being really flexible with me. Um, but yeah, I guess if one was driven enough you could. But while that barrier is still in place, it is harder.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker2: Let’s get back to your career. So you did that first job?

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker2: What happened next?

Speaker1: Oh, crikey. Um, well, it took me about a year before I got up to five days a week. Um, that was one thing that my dental hygienist friend said to me. She said, don’t panic, don’t rush. She [00:54:00] basically said, you’ll be absolutely knackered. And she was right. My hands used to really hurt by the end of the day. So for about the first three months, I only did two and a half days a week. And yeah, I was richer than I’d ever been and I’d been a student for two and a half years, so financially I was, I was fine. And so then I slowly built up to doing a five day week by the end of the year. And then yeah, just sort of worked in practice. Been bored along for four years or so. So then got involved with start.

Speaker2: Was [00:54:30] this all in um near in East Sussex?

Speaker1: East Sussex yeah, sort of around.

Speaker4: She went back to Hastings East after Leeds.

Speaker1: Yeah. I would have stayed in Leeds. And I’ve got a friend up there who’s desperate to get me back up there, but I just couldn’t get a job. All of the jobs at that time all wanted two years experience. So I ended up going where the work was. So I’ve sort of stayed down south. It’s where my dad still is, and my sister’s down this way as well. So yeah, did that. And then it was [00:55:00] it was 2016. I was at the dentistry show in, in Birmingham wandering around and, and I bumped into Debbie Reed from University of Kent and she was quite persuasive, tried to talk me into doing her master’s program at Kent. But barrier number one, of course I wasn’t clever enough. So there’s no there’s no point me even trying to do that. And barrier number two was I couldn’t afford it because you had to pay up front. So then if you fast forward a year, sort of early January [00:55:30] 2017, that’s when my mum passed away. Back at the dentistry show in the May, Debbie Reed is there again. She says, I remember you. I spoke to you at length last year, why didn’t you come and sign up? So I did my bit about how I’m not clever enough and she said, well, I’ll be the judge of that, come in for an interview, we’ll have a chat. And then I said, oh, well, I can’t afford it anyway. And then she said, oh, well, now there’s postgraduate loans available. So that’s not an excuse. So I said, okay, fine, fine. Um, [00:56:00] so I went in, had an interview slash chat, and by then I kind of thought, well, mum was an educationalist, she was a teacher and it fitted in quite nicely with my thing of proving to myself that I was clever enough and I was good enough. So yeah, I started that in the September of 2017.

Speaker2: And was a master’s in hygiene.

Speaker1: No, it’s advanced, sorry, advanced specialist healthcare and then brackets applied dental professional practice. [00:56:30] So yeah. So basically not a clinical one, not a hands on one. What I loved about it was it sits very well with my personality in that I’m the why child. I am the original why why I need to know why and what I’m doing and why am I doing this. And so this master’s was essentially the theoretical underpinning, the why of the what that we do. And what was clever is you could, you know, it was open to all members [00:57:00] of the dental team. Within my group, there was three of us who were dental hygienists, and we had one dental nurse. But, you know, across the board it was open to everybody.

Speaker2: A part time course.

Speaker1: Yeah. So it was that was the other thing that was key was that it was part time over three years. So the first year was roughly six weekends, second year was five, third year was four. And then it finished off with your bit of research research project and a dissertation at the end. So we were really lucky that we finished that in [00:57:30] the May that the pandemic had started. So when we all shut down, that was about two weeks before my final dissertation was due. So I was pretty much ready. But I was like, wicked, I’ve got two weeks of writing time now, so I made good use of those first two weeks.

Speaker4: Was it on?

Speaker1: Um, I spoke to smoking cessation advisors about what? They talk to their clients about the relationship and smoking and tooth loss. And I can distil 12,000 words down to two, [00:58:00] and it’s basically they don’t.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker2: Excellent.

Speaker1: Uh, but yeah, smoking cessation is something that I’ve always been quite passionate about, quite interested in. And it just struck me as strange that within dentistry, it’s one of the first things. We’re taught, you know, second to clean your teeth. The second thing is stop smoking. And having had a number of patients over the years that have stopped smoking because I’ve said to them, you could lose your teeth. I thought it would be interesting to find out what the smoking [00:58:30] cessation advisers are telling their clients, because I thought, you know, this might be the button that that individual needs pushing. That might be the key to get somebody to stop smoking. But I eventually found that it’s it’s within their training, but it’s sort of seen as secondary training. It’s not in their their primary training, if you like. So you may never ever find out that it could happen. I mean.

Speaker2: On that subject, yeah, the question of behaviour change must be huge for hygienists in general, right. [00:59:00] Well is there is there much of the course devoted to that sort of the psychology of that, getting someone to change what they do?

Speaker4: Oh, crikey.

Speaker1: This was 14 years ago. Payman. I really I don’t remember.

Speaker4: I mean.

Speaker2: Look what you just.

Speaker4: Said. What you just said there, what you just said there.

Speaker2: Yeah. Using the teeth to get someone to stop smoking. Like, for instance, just for the sake of the argument, if you had a intraoral camera and you could see if a patient could see the plaque and see what we see, they would they they [00:59:30] they would definitely not. Definitely. But they would they would more likely change their behaviour. And so that’s you know, that’s a very obvious way to show them what you said is another is another is another way. But behaviour change is such a big thing in dentistry in general. Right. Because you know like we were talking about diet. Um, it must be the hygienist must, must have to get taught or look into that, you know that. What is it? What are the things that make people change their behaviour?

Speaker4: Yeah, I remember.

Speaker1: Doing [01:00:00] a small amount around smoking cessation when I was in Leeds, and I remember having to talk to people about alcohol limits. But it was very much just around the. What are you doing? This is what you should be doing. And that was it. I think because there’s so much to learn in such a short space of time, you’re basically sent out as a safe beginner. And I would say the bulk of this is what I’ve picked up subsequently doing CPD and just [01:00:30] life. Just simply life. Just talking to patients, what works, what doesn’t, and obviously being aware that what works for one person might not work for another one. But I think that’s just yeah, I don’t think I’ve really been taught that. I think that’s just intuition. I think that’s years of working on holiday parks, working with people, knowing people when you can be a bit cheeky, when you have to be quite proper, you know, you can do all these tests, can’t you? You can give your patients colours and stuff. I don’t do [01:01:00] that sort of stuff. I just sort of listen to how they talk and sort of go from that. The words that they use a.

Speaker2: Feel for it.

Speaker4: Yeah. So, you know, I always used.

Speaker2: To surprise me, I haven’t been a dentist for, for, you know, 12 years now, but but what used to surprise me when I was a dentist was that the relationship between dentists and hygienists was purely period based, although it sounds like that’s what it should be. I used to think, what a what an opportunity. You’ve got someone who goes at every single patient you see goes and sees this [01:01:30] other person and and why isn’t there more? By the way, I used to try. I used to try and make it more like this, but why isn’t there more sort of talking outside of how the gums. Yeah. Like you know, what’s what does this patient’s goals, what are they likely to do. What aren’t they likely to do. And you know, you’ve got you’ve got two different touch points there. Dentist hygienist and of course reception. Right.

Speaker1: And the dental nurse.

Speaker2: Well of course, well of course. But the.

Speaker4: Patient’s in the.

Speaker2: Room. Dental nurse was in the room. And [01:02:00] I felt like with the dental nurse you could set up whatever you wanted. So. So I was very happy to let the dental nurse do everything. Everything she wanted, like, you know, pick shades, call up patients. She used to really enjoy calling up patients, you know, to make her feel like she’s doing worthwhile job. But I always stand by this dental nurse is a running the whole show. Like they don’t even get to stop when you stop, right? They keep on going. Right? So they’re very, very, very busy. Um, what’s the [01:02:30] story? What’s the latest with hygienists and nurses? Is it now, is it now like a common thing or is it still. Are there still hygienists working without nurses?

Speaker1: I would say yes and yes. Um it is. Yeah. It is a lot more common. But there are still people out there who are working unsupported, some of them happily, some of them willingly. You know, they’re they’re quite content with that. And they feel that they can do a good enough job as they are. And then there’s others that are doing it sort of under sufferance and with difficulty. I [01:03:00] think one of the issues, you know, we’re quite often asked our stance on this, and I think we would hesitate to push for it to become mandatory. Some would like us to push for it to be mandatory, but I think I sit on the side of it should be best practice. It should be the gold standard, but I would stop short of must because there is a large Dental group who went through a period where they did give all of their dental hygiene as a dental [01:03:30] nurse, but then on the day that the nurse was sick, or somebody else’s dental nurse was sick and they were borrowed, they then had their day cancelled and then they were on a, you know, a Facebook forum saying, my day has been cancelled. Can they do this so well? Yeah, they can if you mandate it that you will not work unless you have a dental nurse, then yeah, your day will be cancelled. And that would be my hesitation, is that people would end up losing money. They’d end up losing a day’s work.

Speaker2: But why wouldn’t they get [01:04:00] a supply one?

Speaker4: Well, sometimes.

Speaker1: You can get locums, sometimes they’re simply not available, and sometimes the other practice won’t pay for them.

Speaker2: So it’s surely a practice that has a hygienist, has a nurse, makes more money than a hygienist that doesn’t have a nurse, surely, because in the time it takes her to to clean this room, she could be talking about whitening.

Speaker4: True.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, they could certainly be having more conversations if they weren’t stressing about.

Speaker2: I’m saying whitening, but they could be talking about, [01:04:30] you know, oral hygiene. They could be about anything. They could be talking about anything.

Speaker4: What is that.

Speaker2: Genius thing EMS have come out with, uh, guided?

Speaker1: Oh, the guided biofilm therapy.

Speaker2: I’ve got a I’ve got to take my hat off to the marketing man that came up with that man.

Speaker4: It’s very smart, beautiful. But yeah.

Speaker1: They have. Yeah, they’ve reinvented biofilm and Toothbrushing and. Yeah.

Speaker2: They’ve made hygiene cool haven’t they.

Speaker4: Yeah, it’s.

Speaker1: They really have. It’s it’s a pretty cool piece of kit. I mean I don’t [01:05:00] have one in practice. I don’t think I ever will. No, no.

Speaker4: Oh no I know yeah.

Speaker1: But I know people who use it love it. They think it’s great. Their patients love it. So. Yeah.

Speaker2: Those two I.

Speaker4: Keep coming across. Yeah.

Speaker2: Yeah, absolutely. Let’s get to darker times.

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker2: On on this pod, we like to talk about mistakes.

Speaker4: Okay.

Speaker2: You could take this any way you like clinical mistakes, management mistakes, career mistakes, regrets, that sort of thing. What comes to mind when I [01:05:30] say mistakes so that some something that someone can learn from?

Speaker1: Well, I had a couple of clinical ones in mind. And then when you use the word regret, that pinged me back to my entertainment time, actually. Um, probably literally the only regret of my life. Um, but I can give you a couple of clinical based ones or learning points, I think, because. Yeah, that. Yeah, mistakes. Probably a bit dramatic, but I think the first time [01:06:00] that I realised a bit more about I was quite early on in my career. But yeah, talking to patients like really, really talking to them, really getting to know them. I had a mr. and a mrs., um, older couple, quite a bit older, and I had the Mr. in first and he wasn’t, he was brushing his teeth reasonably well, but he wasn’t really cleaning in between them. And I tried to go over using an interdental brush with him, but he wasn’t really getting it, wasn’t really looking in the mirror, didn’t want to try it himself, and [01:06:30] I just probably huffed and I rolled and said, okay, fine. All right. You know, do what you like kind of thing. And I probably wouldn’t. Hopefully, I don’t think I would have said that. But basically do what you like. You know, they all cease. Do it. Don’t do it. There’s not a lot else I can do and possibly got a bit frustrated. And off he went. And then we got the Mrs. in and how are you and blah blah blah. And then oh you’ve just seen my husband.

Speaker1: Yes. Yes, I’ve just seen your husband. And then she told me that he’d recently had a diagnosis of Parkinson’s and was finding it really [01:07:00] difficult to hold things, grip things, finding it really hard to clean his teeth. And of course, in my head I’m like, oh, wow, that wasn’t on the medical form. He never mention that. He never said when I was trying to show him stuff. Well, actually, I can’t hold that. So. But to her, obviously, I was just like, oh, thank you so much for telling me. I’ll keep that in mind for the future. And then yeah, afterwards kicking myself because, I mean, I’d asked him any changes [01:07:30] in your medical history he’d elected to say no. You know, he could have told me. But then, equally, when I was demonstrating it now, I would say, do your fingers work how you want them to. Do you think you could hold this? Can you move your wrist? Can you move your hand? I’m not quite so quick just to take it as a hard no. As in, I’m not interested. Now I think more about. Okay, why I’m about to being. Why. I mean, unless obviously [01:08:00] they’re quite adamant and I’ve tried a couple of times and I might just leave it eventually, but um, so yeah, that was one to really look at the why. And then my other most recent learning point, which I am quite passionate about now and yeah, kicked to myself because I’m big on smoking cessation, was my guy Tony, who I’m allowed to name because he gave his consent and he let me write about him in my journal.

Speaker1: A couple of years ago. I’d been taking care of Tony for about [01:08:30] 5 or 6 years, and he had a patch of lichen planus on the side of his tongue. Non-smoker, vegetarian. Cleaned his teeth pretty well, but he liked to come every three months because he probably liked to chat. He lived on his own with his cat. Then he broke a tooth down the lower left. The tongue flared up. He had it. Had the tooth. The filling replaced. Tongue still didn’t settle. Changed the amalgam for composite. Still didn’t settle. He’d been backwards and forward. Previously. He’d had the [01:09:00] area biopsied. It was just lichen planus. Then I saw him in January 2020, and he’d had a biopsy taken of it because it had been really bothering me, getting a bit sore. It was getting bigger, you know. He was he was worried and third placed him. He’d gone to his GP who’d referred him in because they knew his history, and he was due to get his results in the April. And I was sort of thinking, oh, I could ring him. No, sorry. I was due to see him in the April. He was due to get his results in the February, and I thought I could ring him and I thought, [01:09:30] no, no, I’ll leave it because I’ll be seeing him soon enough.

Speaker1: And um, so I never rung him. And then of course, the pandemic hit. We shut for three months. I didn’t come back to work at that practice till the 1st of July. As luck would have it, he’d got himself booked in. Like I say, he was always really keen. He was my first patient after lunch and he sat down and said, how you doing, Tony? How’s things? And he opened his mouth and stuck his tongue out. And I was like, well, okay, that’s how things are. And yeah, it was a squamous [01:10:00] cell carcinoma. And he’d known about it since that day in February. Not obviously not been able to see anybody because everything had been shut. He’d elected to have no treatment. Again, I didn’t know the why at that point and I possibly could have asked, but I was just like blown away because having lost my mum to cancer, who’d also basically said she wouldn’t have any treatment, it was too late for her anyway, but she wouldn’t have had it. You know, you’re very aware of wanting to encourage people to do [01:10:30] the right thing, but then what is the right thing? And having to be respectful of his choice not to engage. And plus he’s there for me to clean his teeth. So, you know, that’s what I had to get on and do. So, um, off he went. But he was really in my head.

Speaker1: So I spoke to his dentist and I just said this, this just doesn’t sit right. And his dentist said, well, you’re, you know, you need to talk to him. Then you need to talk some sense into him. I said, oh, is it my place? And he went, well, he likes you. And if you don’t do it, who [01:11:00] will? So I say, okay. Fair enough. So I’d already got his consent to take his email, to send some resources, and to look up some stuff to help with his dry mouth and his sore mouth. So I dropped him a line and said, I’d really like to meet you and have a chat if that’s okay. So he agreed, and we met the following week in the park, and pretty much straight away after we’d exchange pleasantries, he said, I have changed my mind. I’d like to engage, you know, can you make that happen for me? So I was like, right. Yeah. [01:11:30] Got hold of a really good friend of mine, Adeel Khan, my hero in Hastings. This was the Wednesday he got him seen on the Friday morning at Max Fox with the team. And then Tony, I said, you know, ring me when when you’re done. Let me know how you get on. And unfortunately, by then it was so invasive into the tongue. That it would have been like full tongue removal, and he was already quite a slender man anyway.

Speaker1: So type one diabetic, vegetarian, not a huge eater. And [01:12:00] he just said that’s not for me. It was like mid 60s. So I’m too old for all that. I’m not I’m not going to do that. I don’t want to do that. But at least they he was sorted out with his palliative care and he was on some good pain relief. So they took care of him. And so then yeah, he agreed. I said, can I write about you? Um, you know, we’ve been watching you for years. I want to sort of demonstrate how things can turn. And he was like, yeah, absolutely. If I can help anybody, I’d be really happy for you to tell my story. And I said, can you write me a paragraph like [01:12:30] From Your Side, like your experience of this, which he did. And it was only when I read his paragraph and he had sight of it. He never saw it published, but he did have sight of the final article signed off, said he was happy for it to go, but he passed away before we published it in the November. But in his paragraph, it turned out that about ten years prior to me meeting him, he’d quit smoking. But up till then he was on about 40 a day. So I’d never, ever asked [01:13:00] if he was a former smoker. I just took it as, yeah, he’s a non-smoker, I assume I never asked, have you ever and and it may or may not have made a difference.

Speaker1: I mean, we don’t know. And we don’t know if he’d sought treatment in the February if he’d still be around. We simply don’t know. But my learning point from that is, yeah, don’t take stuff at face value. Again, go a little bit deeper. Have you ever smoked to not hesitate with is it my place [01:13:30] because he lived on his own. He had got family, but they were far, far away and as it was, I ended up. It was ever so sweet. I was in the email round robin that he sent to about 30 of his friends altogether, telling them what was going on. I went to the funeral, met all his friends. Apparently he used to talk about me all the time. Um, to a number of them, met the widow of his best mate, who it turned out had also had a tongue cancer, who had had surgery. [01:14:00] And then it had come back and she told me that that was why Tony had decided not to proceed with treatment, because he was worried that the same would happen to him, that he’d go through it all, and it had come back anyway. So she said, you know, there was nothing you could have said. You’d never would have changed his mind. Um, so that was an interesting learning point. And so now, yeah, I tell his story as much as I can because that’s what he wanted me to do.

Speaker2: You know, a lot of times bereavement and guilt tend [01:14:30] to go together, don’t they? It’s just it’s just one of those things. We all blame ourselves when someone near to us dies. Um, but I read your post about him and it was incredibly tender, incredibly tender post. What a lovely thing. And you know, you’re saying he used to talk about you all the time. So, yeah, you know, you had a massive influence there. That’s a lovely story, a lovely story. Not what I was expecting. I was expecting something totally different. But it really enjoyed that really, really good story.

Speaker1: Well, I can give you an entertainment one if you like.

Speaker4: Sure.

Speaker1: It’s [01:15:00] been a bit shorter. So it’s it’s it’s not one of my three life lessons, but it is. It is one that I give to my my younger colleagues, predominantly dental nurses, of whom I’m now old enough. I could be their mother. Most of them are. So that’s old. Um, yeah. So I was 25. I was working up in Scotland in a hotel with my then boyfriend who looked like Robbie Williams. At least he thought he did. And he, he was, he was a singer and he was a comedian. And [01:15:30] we both applied for Disney Cruise Lines. We both applied to audition to go and work for Disney on one of their new cruise ships. And I got invited to audition and he didn’t. And he told me that if I went for that audition, we were over. Oh, so I never went oh. So again. Jealousy, jealousy, insecurity was.

Speaker2: It was what kind of relationship was it? Was it was your controlling sort of person. Yes he.

Speaker4: Was.

Speaker1: Although I was young and a bit daft, but I was [01:16:00] like, how old was I? I was about 24 at that point. 24, 25. He was quite a few years older than me, I think. I think I knew, but I didn’t know and I didn’t know how to get out of it. More importantly.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker1: So yeah, we came back. Plus I was up in Scotland on a tiny island off the coast of Glasgow, dependent on him for the job. So when the job finished and we came back south, we came back to Eastbourne, came back home. That was it. It was done. It was finished. And so now my advice to people is if someone really loves you, they would never stop you.

Speaker4: Definitely. [01:16:30]

Speaker1: Because I could have been a Disney princess.

Speaker2: Yeah. I mean, look, look, it sounds.

Speaker4: Like I’ll never. No, no, it.

Speaker2: Sounds like a bit of bit of fun, but that was your career. That was, you know, it’s like, you know, being asked to go and stand on the board of Bchd or something. It’s like it’s that’s that’s what the equivalent was in that career. Yeah.

Speaker1: So that’s why I don’t let anyone tell me anything. I just do it.

Speaker2: Seems like you’re making up for that, uh, child.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker2: I’ve [01:17:00] noticed that.

Speaker4: Yeah. Oh, well, let’s.

Speaker2: Let’s get to our final questions.

Speaker4: Okay.

Speaker2: Fancy dinner party.

Speaker1: Okay, that’s really easy because this conversation comes up quite a lot. So my three guests would be Simon Reeve because I love his travel programmes and I think he tells a really good story.

Speaker2: And I’ve noticed you travel a lot too.

Speaker4: I do, and this is [01:17:30] the.

Speaker2: What’s the best place you’ve been?

Speaker4: Oh my gosh, so many.

Speaker1: But I suppose the most recent is obviously the most memorable, which was when I went down to, um, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe over the summer.

Speaker2: It’s beautiful.

Speaker4: Just to see.

Speaker1: All the animals. It was just incredible. And then my our final day, me and my sister, we were in Victoria Falls. We were in the angels pool. So you’re literally in a little natural pool with the falls just crashing down around you. And I was just looking [01:18:00] up. It’s freezing cold, but there was a rainbow. But it wasn’t just like a rainbow. It was like a three quarter circle of a rainbow. And I just sat there and I thought, this is literally the most beautiful thing I think I’m ever going to see in my life.

Speaker4: Amazing.

Speaker1: So probably there.

Speaker4: What does your sister do?

Speaker2: Is she an entertainer or hygienist?

Speaker1: Um, she’s a school teacher. She’s a secondary. She’s a secondary English teacher, but she’s a fantastic singer. She really is. She’s a cracking singer. So, yeah, she could have been an entertainer if she wanted to be.

Speaker2: So [01:18:30] was there in your in your house when you were kids? Was there like music lessons and singing and dancing and. Sounds like it, right.

Speaker4: Yeah. Well, Mum.

Speaker1: And Dad used to be award winning ballroom dancers and Latin dancers, so I grew up with them doing competitions. Exams. I used to go ballroom dancing with them when I was little. And yeah, me and my sister grew up doing all manner of dancing.

Speaker4: Yeah. Amazing. Yeah, amazing.

Speaker2: Who’s your second guess?

Speaker1: My second guessed would be Professor Brian Cox.

Speaker4: I like.

Speaker2: Him, [01:19:00] I.

Speaker4: Like him too.

Speaker1: Yeah, he just makes really clever stuff. Really easy to understand, doesn’t he?

Speaker4: Yeah, which I like. Yeah.

Speaker2: You know, you could, you could say, you know, he’s just fascinating there. Yeah. You could, you could. There’s lots of people who are good at that sort of thing. But I just love his story so much. Man. He’s a good.

Speaker4: Storyteller.

Speaker2: No, no, but his own story, like a bit like yours, right. All right. Pop pop star and professor.

Speaker4: Yeah. Split difference. Yeah, yeah. Brilliant, brilliant.

Speaker2: And who’s your third?

Speaker1: Um, [01:19:30] my final person would be Lady Gaga, because, I mean, I love her. I’ve seen her in concert about 3 or 4 times now. I think she’s terrifically talented. And I think she’d be hilarious. She’d be on the shots and she’d be on the dance floor, and she’d be on the karaoke with me straight away. She wouldn’t say, oh, no, she’d be up there as well.

Speaker2: Do you know her real name?

Speaker1: Oh, I did, Stephanie, isn’t it?

Speaker2: I’m looking it up right now. Yeah.

Speaker4: Stephanie. Yeah. [01:20:00] Amazing. Yeah, that’s.

Speaker2: An interesting party.

Speaker4: Oh it’s great.

Speaker2: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I like that, I like that. What about the final question, which is perhaps more profound question which is let me you’re on your deathbed, um, surrounded by your loved ones. What’s three pieces of advice that you’d leave to them and for the world?

Speaker1: So yeah, they’re interconnected, interrelated. [01:20:30] And I think, you know, I’ve sort of touched on them, hinted on them already. But my definitive Miranda’s mottos for life, if you like, are basically don’t let being scared of something be a reason enough not to do it. Like being scared is not a reason not to do something that kept me going through my undergrad at Leeds. It kept me going through my masters at Kent. So basically it’s when that little voice, that self-doubt, just being scared isn’t good enough reason. If you’ve got a better reason, [01:21:00] then fine, but that’s not a good enough reason to stop. And then connected to that, we’ve got basically believe in yourself, because if you don’t, nobody else will. As we said, I’m someone as we know, as struggled with that self validation and relied on it a lot externally. But then when you realise that it’s not coming externally and you can’t rely on it, always be in there. You have to have that belief in yourself and trust, because there’s too many people ready to tear [01:21:30] you down and challenge you, that you have to just have that and then tied in with those two. I would say it’s just say yes and figure out the detail later, which has been most of.

Speaker4: My life choices. Say yes to stuff.

Speaker1: Just say I mean, that’s why I’m chatting to you now. Payman.

Speaker4: I didn’t know what.

Speaker1: What was going to happen, but I thought, you know what? I’ve never done it before. Just say yes and figure it out later.

Speaker2: You’re a seasoned pro at this. On [01:22:00] on this subject, then you know, you’re saying, uh, about, you know, the external thing by its very nature that your meteoric rise to the top of this organisation, it must come with imposter syndrome and imposter syndrome must hark you back to the previous. You know, it must to the previous thing that Miranda did. The the younger you, it must suffer with it. Do you suffer with it? [01:22:30]

Speaker1: Oh, absolutely. 100%. A lot of the time I think, you know, I’m sat in a room with all these people who know far more than me, far better than me, who are far more experienced than me. But then I think, well, the thing is, is I was invited. So they clearly think that I’ve got something I can bring, so I’ll just go with it. I’ll just trust that room.

Speaker2: That room me and you were in. That was a bunch of brains in that room. My goodness me.

Speaker4: It was [01:23:00] Dental update thing.

Speaker1: Exactly that. And I could tell. I could tell you another little story if you wanted. I’ve got lots of I mean, I know this is a podcast, but I show you, I show you on the camera and you can describe it if I can’t contort myself. But on my wrist, I’ve got tattoos.

Speaker4: Of, like, a.

Speaker2: Balloon.

Speaker4: Dog.

Speaker1: It’s a little balloon dog.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: So basically that comes from it’s a Bunta hunt, which is a it’s a German word. So a year ago I was in Cambodia, [01:23:30] which if I didn’t live in the UK, I’d be living in Cambodia. Basically.

Speaker4: I’ve never.

Speaker2: Been. What’s amazing about it?

Speaker1: Just just everything.

Speaker2: Is it like Thailand?

Speaker1: I’ve never been to Thailand.

Speaker2: Oh, no, I didn’t go to Thailand before. You make.

Speaker4: Such a.

Speaker2: Sweeping statement.

Speaker4: I think.

Speaker1: I think it’s less developed than Thailand, which is possibly why I like it. Yeah, but, um, I was out I was out there last year and working with a German dental nurse, and we spent quite a lot of time together. [01:24:00] And she’s like five foot ten, slender, brunette. Her name’s Annie. Hi, Annie. And we used to get stared at quite a lot as you would. And one day she said, oh, we are like bounty hunt and bounty hunt is is a big colourful dog basically. And in Germany they use that tum because it means somebody who stands out either because of how they dress, how they look, how they act can be negative but can be positive. And that became like our running joke. So then I was back out in Cambodia [01:24:30] again this year in it was around January, February time again. So I’ve been in post about two months, and I’d been invited by the GDC to be their keynote speaker at their Dental Leadership Network, the second one that they were doing in March. I’ve been asked to open up like a 20 minute slot. Yeah, in front of all the the big names across dentistry.

Speaker1: Yeah, the good and the great of dentistry for the, for the GDC. And I was excited but nervous. But like I say, say yes and figure [01:25:00] it out later. So of course I was in Cambodia and I’m figuring it out. And I was chatting to Annie’s boss, who is the husband of my friend whose charity that I go out and support. And Ulf was asking if we were still in touch and do we, you know, have much contact. And I said, oh, yeah, I’ve been sending any pictures. And I told her that I’m being ubuntu hunt by myself. And he laughed. And you know, what do you mean by Buntu Hunt? So I. Hold him. And he said, ah, yes, yes, this is correct. And so on. Then he was [01:25:30] saying, and how is my life? What was I doing? So I told him about the GDC thing and how I was a little bit scared. And then he said, well, harness the bunta hunt. And I said, what do you mean? And he said, well, become the bunta hunt. He said, if people are going to look at you, give them something to look at.

Speaker4: Nice. He said.

Speaker1: Take that energy and become the Bunta hunt. And also someone he’s he’s so dry. And so, you know, his sense of humour is so sarcastic. But I think on that time he actually [01:26:00] was being quite genuine. And so I made that decision that day that at some point I would get a little tattoo of a little Bunta hunt somewhere. So usually it’s under my watch. So you probably didn’t notice it that night that we met at that event. So it’s quite discreet. And when I’m at work, it’s underneath my gloves. But I know that it’s there. Yeah.

Speaker2: You felt strongly enough about it to actually put a tattoo on to remind yourself, huh?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: So I mean, I bought some earrings, but they’re really uncomfortable to sleep in, so you have to take them out every night. Um, [01:26:30] but they’re quite good for going to an event, so I have little balloon dog earrings that sometimes I wear, and I’ve got a keyring on my regular handbag. So if I need to fiddle with something to reassure myself that it’s it’s there. So yeah, I put it on my wrist. So if I’m ever wobbling and questioning if I should be in a room, I just look at my wrist and think, yeah, you’re the one to hunt.

Speaker4: And be the punter.

Speaker2: It’s a great story. [01:27:00] It’s a great.

Speaker4: Story.

Speaker2: It’s been lovely to have you. I’ve really enjoyed it very much, I really have. It’s been a lovely insight into you and into the wonderful world of BSD and the hygiene and therapy in general, and the corridors of power. Thank you. Um, that you.

Speaker4: Seem to be okay.

Speaker2: Um, I’ve really enjoyed it very much. Thank you. Thank you so much for for agreeing to do this, because when you told me you’d never done it and you don’t know what it’s about. No.

Speaker4: No. [01:27:30] Yeah. Thank you.

Speaker2: I thought you were going to not do it. So it’s really. It’s really nice that you did this. Thank you so much. Oh, well.

Speaker1: Thank you for inviting me. But, you know, now, you know, my motto is say yes and figure it out later.

Speaker4: And we did. Yeah.

Speaker2: You did. When you become really, truly successful, it’ll be your motto be say no. That’s that’s what I keep hearing from people. So, so nice to have you. Thank you so much for doing this, friend. Thank you. Take care.

Speaker3: This [01:28:00] 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.

Speaker5: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it. [01:28:30]

Speaker2: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so so, so much for listening. Thanks.

Speaker5: And don’t forget our six star rating.

If you hang around the dental community on Instagram, you’ll probably have come across this week’s guest. Known online as @GeorgeTheDentist, George Cheetham’s down-to-earth educational content has earned him an army of loyal followers.

George chats with Payman about balancing his prolific social output with running three practices. He also reveals his superpowers, talks about plans for the future, and discusses why the NHS is an ideal training ground for ambitious dentists.



In This Episode

01.48 – Instagram

06.31 – Chasing excellence

11.41 – Backstory, work ethic and people skills

24.08 – Blackbox thinking

36.38 – Superpowers and work-life balance

41.30 – Partnerships and practice ownership

50.55 – Positioning and growth

01.02.38 – VT year, NHS practice and training

01.12.50 – In retrospect

01.15.31 – Hiring and firing

01.22.08 – Teaching Vs Instagram

01.27.40 – Patient journey and culture

01.32.11 – Patient journey

01.44.55 – A day in the life

01.51.40 – Fantasy dinner party

01.54.44 – Last days and legacy

01.57.21 – Darkest days


About George Cheetham

George Cheetham is a multi-award-winning restorative dentist and founder and director of three dental clinics. He is best known by his Instagram moniker @GeorgeTheDentist.

Speaker1: We get some dentists have it and some dentists don’t have it. Right. And we all know that you could be the most fabulous clinical dentist in the world. If you can’t communicate with the patient, they’re not going to think that yet. We also all know dentists that do like crappy work. And I’m like, wow, how’d you get away with that? The patients are like, oh my God, that is the best dentist in the world. And I don’t know, man. I guess this is, I think maybe how you’re raised. I was very lucky that again, my parents, they work hard and I think that they are very like [00:00:30] down to earth people. So around that, you meet people from all different walks of life, so you learn how to communicate with them. And I think that, you know, if younger dentists were ever to say or they do say to me, they’re like, you know, give me some advice for how to grow my career, you know, to become a good dentist. Yeah. You’ve got to put your you’ve got to invest in yourself to learn the academia by that camera, to spend the time to put rubber dam on, not earn as much money for a few years because you’re learning [00:01:00] to perfect your skill. But once you’ve learned to perfect that skill, you need to be able to do that on patients by communicating to them their problems. And this is how we do it, right?

Speaker2: This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [00:01:30] hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome George Cheatham, aka George the Dentist onto the podcast. There’s been a long time coming. Thank you very much. Um, it’s. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for coming all this way. Thank you.

Speaker1: It’s a pleasure. Nice to see you, Camden.

Speaker3: I’ve been I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a long time now. But, George, for anyone who doesn’t know, is one of the coolest dentists around. And, uh, definitely one of the most accomplished. Probably the top of your game right now, George. It’s [00:02:00] a it’s a it’s a wonderful thing because I’ve been asking loads of dentists what’s your favourite Instagram page? And yours is always in there, always in that list. And you know, you inspire so many people with the work itself. And, you know, if I was you, if I was as cool as you, I’d have myself all over it. But but you don’t feature that much. Um, and the work features and the work speaks for itself. And it’s a nice thing to see that, uh, young dentists. I’m talking to newly qualified dentists. And she was saying that one [00:02:30] of the main reasons she wants to do what she wants to do is your page, and you get like a second, third order effect that comes from something you’re doing that touch someone you’ve never even met before.

Speaker1: Yeah. I mean, thank you. Thank you very much. It it means a lot. And when, um, people do message me stuff like that, it it really, really does mean a lot. Yeah. No it does. And like, I don’t think we should be judging success off of popularity on an Instagram page. And there are so many other, [00:03:00] much, much more amazing dentists than I am that kind of just sail under the radar and just get on with what they do. Right? But yeah, and on the point, I don’t feature on it a lot. I don’t really love, I don’t you know, it’s not I’m not doing an Instagram page or social media to get popular or for people to know me or want to come and see me. Right.

Speaker3: So so we’ve got the you’ve got the classical reason why someone might do something like that is to attract [00:03:30] people to a course or something like that.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: But you have it feels like with you there’s no agenda whatsoever other than share your day. Yeah, but the learning points, even for me, who gave up dentistry 12 years ago, I kind of keep my sort of keep in touch with what’s going on clinically. Partly through your page. Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s a I feel.

Speaker1: Like a responsibility now.

Speaker3: It’s a weird thing. It’s a weird thing, man. Like jazz Galati’s podcast. Yeah. That for me, that’s a real sort of amazing bellwether of what’s going on.

Speaker1: Incredible in [00:04:00] the world.

Speaker3: And even if it’s a subject that even when I was a dentist, I didn’t give a damn about, like sleep apnoea or something. Yeah, he just has a way of teaching.

Speaker1: And yeah, I agree, he’s an enthusiastic individual, very charismatic.

Speaker3: And you too, dude. Yeah. Like in your own way. Yeah. You’ve really hit some hit on something and it’d be interesting to see where you take it.

Speaker1: Thanks, man. It’s just, I like since I started it because there were a few people that were starting the whole Instagram thing. I think we got in pretty early. [00:04:30] Right. And my, um, it was my practice partner. My first practice partner. Aaron was like, look, dude, you should start on Instagram because I think it’s going to be good for growing the practice initially. So then I remember driving in my car and it was like, oh, what should we call it? It’s actually him, Aaron, who was like, just call it like George the Dentist. I was like, all right, sweet, let’s do it. And then, like, if you look at it initially, the kind of posts are more about like me or whatever, but I very quickly got bored of that, realised that that’s not what I wanted to do. [00:05:00] So just literally shared my day to day work because it’s stuff I’m doing every day, taking photos so I can share the content. And people started to just like, like it a bit. And one of the main things that I like about it is that it makes my dentistry get better a lot quicker, like when you look at the quality of the photos or the work that I did from when I started the Instagram to what I do now, you know, it’s gone up leaps and bounds like more in that time frame than it did many that [00:05:30] time frames beforehand. Just keeps.

Speaker3: You accountable.

Speaker1: Keeps you but your your your quality appraising all your work. So you’re taking these photos of a case from start to finish. And you look at them on the screen after and you’re thinking, that’s shit, basically. Or you’re seeing something that there’s a flaw and you do a few cases and realise it’s the same thing. So then you’ll be like, well, actually, how do I fix that? And then you fix it for the next photos and you’re like, oh, that’s one less crappy thing in that series of photos. And then like, gradually [00:06:00] you work to get it like a bit better. And then so your dentistry gets it gets better and it keeps things interesting. It means that, you know, when I, when I have my camera at work and I take photos of the work that I do, I enjoy work, but at times where I just can’t be bothered to use my camera, I’m a bit rushed or the flash is broken or something like that. I’m like, oh, I didn’t really have a good couple of weeks there. It was a bit boring because it’s like it made me realise that it’s directly related to kind of. Quality of praising my [00:06:30] own work.

Speaker3: George, you know, with this podcast, we we tend to kind of start with the backstory. Where were you born? All of that. But what I found is sometimes there’s a burning question that I’ve got and I’m almost like papering over all the other bit. Waiting to get to the song straight to my burning question will answer that burning question, and then we’ll get back to the where were you born question? Yeah. So do you remember a time when you went from whatever you were, which we’ll get to in a minute? What were you whatever [00:07:00] you were to this guy who’s just, like, looking for excellence. Chasing excellence. Or do you still do not see yourself as someone chasing excellence? Yeah.

Speaker1: No, I do like. I think I’ve always triggered it. I think I’ve always wanted to provide the best that I can. So it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do. But it’s just that as time goes on, you kind of create. You need time to create more of an environment to be able to provide that excellence. Right. And [00:07:30] that’s not just going through further education to become better. It’s putting yourself in the situation where you can put that academia into use and try things a thousand times, so you do actually get better at it. It’s finding the clinic that works for you to be able to, you know, provide you with the rubber dam, provide you with the good nurse that don’t limit you in terms of, you know, finding that practice owner that works with you. But, you know, the way that I’ve gone [00:08:00] on as well is that because I’ve been able to build my own practices, I can kind of forge that exact environment that I want. So nothing’s slowing me down. So I’m like, my nurse is trained, I’ve got the equipment, so I’m my only excuse, but then I’m not going to be. No dentist is going to be good at everything. Like you get some very, very talented dentists, right, that are good at, you know, they put the implants in, they do the perio soft tissue, soft tissue grafts, whatever. But I don’t do that. I kind of limit [00:08:30] my dentistry to what I do. And if there’s something else, like for example, like an endo or superior or the implant work, I have hired or formulated this team that are just so good at what they do as well, that we can provide that very conscientious care to our patients for that whole whole experience, which takes a lot of time. You know, it doesn’t you don’t just fall into that. It takes a lot of time and a lot of hours of persistence [00:09:00] into getting there.

Speaker3: But were you always that cat?

Speaker1: So no, no. Uni like I think that people go into dentistry. They don’t really. I mean, who knows? They want to be a dentist when they’re 1617. You don’t like your mum tells you basically, right. And maybe you’ve got that scientific background.

Speaker3: Is that what happened to you?

Speaker1: Yeah. So you do work experience in veterinary medicine, dentistry. You’re like, ah, dentistry is all right. And you know what? It was. So I did work experience and all of those because I was like quite sciency, right? My parents aren’t my dad. [00:09:30] Well, my dad’s a builder. My mom’s a nurse, right. General practice nurse. And I did lots of work in medicine. I said, I don’t really love this. I did loads of work experience in veterinary because my mum was like, you’re going to be a vet from like ten years old. So work experience, honestly, since I was like 11, 12 every week. And then my dad took me to a veterinary open day. Actually, there’s one in Camden. Yeah. That’s it. It was, it was there. We’ll call it the road right up the road. [00:10:00] And then there was this woman giving this lecture at the front. As she goes at the end, she’s like, look guys, you’ve you have to be the best to get into veterinary need like all A’s. And you’re going to come out and every year this is what you’re going to going to earn. And then my dad just like grabbed me by the scruff of my leg. He’s like, we’re out here, mate. You’re going into dentistry. So anyway, did dentistry work experience thought it was all right and kind of. Yeah, just just got into it.

Speaker1: And at uni I wasn’t hugely conscientious. Like I’d say I probably scraped [00:10:30] through uni from year one to year four. And when things started to become clinical in year five, that’s where I did like quite well. And. Came out with a really nice grade. Right. And then when you go into vet year. Again, vet year, I nearly actually got thrown out of it year before. Not for like fairly for grades, but being like misbehaved on these kind of nights out that you do. But anyway and then really like things started to [00:11:00] have to become a lot more professional at that. And I was focusing on work because I just hated coming home being like, I just don’t know what what the f I’m doing right? I don’t know if we should take that route out of her postgrad in it. I don’t know this or that. And you kind of at nights, you’re not sleeping in that world because you’re worrying about things. You’re worried that you’re just like, bad at this job. And, you know, it is it’s almost kind of tear provoking hours at work. I think most dentists have had that. And then so I [00:11:30] just started doing courses, getting better and started enjoying it more, just want to come better. So I think it comes it comes like mainly after uni. It was a thing that came.

Speaker3: Let’s get back to where was it you were growing up?

Speaker1: So I grew up in Surrey, in Ewell, Banstead, around there, Epsom and I went to senior school at King’s in Wimbledon. So very lucky that good school. My parents, um, gave up a lot of their own luxuries [00:12:00] and worked extremely hard to be able to send me to a school where they thought the opportunities would be apparent compared to elsewhere.

Speaker3: You said you did. You did the shadowing bit work experience? Yeah, yeah. You have jobs as well. Did you work? Yeah, yeah, yeah, work for money.

Speaker1: From what? All I get when I guess when you’ve got parents that are working a lot of hours, childcare becomes an issue during the holidays. So I would tend to work, just go to work with my dad [00:12:30] and well, like, you know, Labour. But I guess I was probably more slowing him down, like messing around. Right? So during holidays I’d do a little bit of labouring like that. And then when it got to kind of 15, 16 year old 16, I got a job as a waiter. I used to work at a restaurant called Tootsies in Wimbledon Village and just serve burgers. And I worked at a like a carvery, like a Toby Carvery. That was it.

Speaker3: The reason I asked that.

Speaker1: I worked there. [00:13:00]

Speaker3: Because so many of the people I’ve spoken to say that a lot of their sort of people skills. Yeah, um, work ethic has come from working as a child.

Speaker1: I don’t think it’s important. I think that if I ever have children, I would definitely get them working at a kind of minimal pay job because you do realise, you know, you kind of work your balls off for however long that shift is and you come out and you at the time you’re like, oh, that’s £60, but £60 for you. You’re [00:13:30] like, oh wow, I can get like a pair of trainers, I can get a pair of jeans. And that’s like absolutely amazing, right? Whereas if you don’t have that value of how hard it is to work or for some people to have that much money, you know, you don’t appreciate how the finer things come. So I think that that is really that is really important.

Speaker3: I was a spoilt 17 year old, okay. And my parents said, look, you’re working. Yeah. And they said, just go get a job in, in Oxford Street, okay.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: And I got a job [00:14:00] in this suit shop.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: And I hated my life so much. Yeah, yeah, that I was a kid. Yeah, I used to. I used to take a taxi to work. Yeah, and a taxi back. Yeah.

Speaker1: And. But then that will give you the appreciation of, like. Actually that was like an hour and a half work. Yeah.

Speaker3: I spend the whole day. Yeah, yeah. In the taxi there back and my lunch. Yeah, yeah. And it really made me realise that some that some people’s lives. Yeah. And of course I didn’t have to take a taxi. It was a really. I was still a spoilt bitch. Yeah, [00:14:30] but you know what I’m saying. The reality check of it. Yeah. Is kind of, I guess, what you’re alluding to. Yeah, 100%. But I’ve got a 16 year old now. Yeah. And he’s done. He has volunteered a lot. Yeah, but he’s never done a real job. Yeah. And the way it’s, it’s weird to hear because he’s saying five A levels and working his arse off getting to the gym. And, uh, and, you know, the question of a job hasn’t yet come up then I’ve had so many of these conversations [00:15:00] that I’ve realised, I mean, Prav my co-host. Right. You know, Prav. Yeah. Puts all his success down to the corner shop. Yeah, yeah. He used to work at. Yeah.

Speaker1: I mean, when you see it, don’t we? I mean, we’ve all had these patients that are from different ends of the spectrum, whatever practice you’re in. Like if you’ve been doing I did a lot of NHS work. You see a lot of people that come in are very, very hard working, like kids that have jobs and stuff. And then you have your like now it’s more of patients that I get that a lot of them again, are like super, super wealthy, but [00:15:30] they do appreciate it. But then a lot of super, super wealthy and are just like, think that you’re almost like a labourer for them. And they. I have no appreciation that that crown that their mom’s paying for, or that root canal because they’re not brushing their teeth. Costs like your whole summers work if you’re actually working for that. And not everyone gets that like opportunity, these.

Speaker3: People skills that you’ve got that we just walked around enlightened. And every single person you made direct contact with and said hi to [00:16:00] face to face, were you always that, that or did that grow up? I mean, because it’s a brilliant thing. If you you can see your clinical skills on, on, on Instagram or however much we can see of them, we can see it there. If you’ve got the people skills that you, you know, you do. I know from knowing you, you know, the ingredients that go into being a brilliant dentist comes down to, you know, thinking, seeing, you’ve planning and then people.

Speaker1: It’s actually it’s a it’s a huge point. I think people skills [00:16:30] are against some dentists have it and some dentists don’t have it. Right. And we all know that you could be the most fabulous clinical dentist in the world. If you can’t communicate with the patient, they’re not going to think that yet. We also all know dentists that do like crappy work. And I’m like, wow, how’d you get away with that? Yeah, the patients are like, oh my God, that is the best dentist in the world. And I, I don’t know, man. I guess this is I think maybe how you’re raised. I was very lucky that again, my parents, they work hard [00:17:00] and I think that they are very like down to earth people. So around that you meet people from all different walks of life, so you learn how to communicate with them. And I think that, you know, if younger dentists were ever to say or they do say to me, they’re like, you know, give me some advice. For what? How to grow my career, you know, to become a good dentist. Yeah. You’ve got to put your you’ve got to invest in yourself to learn the academia, to buy that camera, to spend the time to put [00:17:30] rubber dam on, you know, not learn, not earn as much money for a few years because you’re learning to perfect your skill. But once you’ve learned to perfect that skill, you need to be able to do that on patients by communicating to them their problems. And this is how we do it. Right? And yeah, that’s going to go a few ways where some of your patients are going to listen to you and they’re going to say, okay, we have that treatment.

Speaker1: That treatment might not always be exactly the same because [00:18:00] of the patient’s economic situation, right? They might not have the time or they might not have the money to pay for what you want. So it might be that, you know, you need these onlays, but for now we’re going to do some composites because you can’t afford it, right? One day we’ll do those onlays. And so you’re going to listen to you or they’re not going to listen to you. And if they don’t listen to you, you’re like, well, that’s absolutely fine. It’s your choice. You go somewhere else. And that’s the I think in that situation the best thing to do. And I think it’s, you know, another bit of advice is that I always think that it’s very [00:18:30] important that dentists aren’t pressured into doing something that patients want them to do if they don’t think it’s actually the right thing, because that’s when things do go a bit tits up. Right. So for like a small example of that, we had a patient very recently at my pastor’s green practice that has come in for her implant consult because she’s been referred in Implantologists has said, yeah, great, but we can do all this. You need the perio consult first. You’ve got perio goes to the perio consult. You spend ages with the perio, consult [00:19:00] with the periodontist. Said, look, you’ve got perio. And then we get this like long ass, not a complaint, but like a kind of semi complaint that’s like, oh, you’re just trying to be a gatekeeper, trying to force me down the road.

Speaker1: So I spend loads of money before I get the implant right. And then you have to waste a load of time with the emails back. And it’s like, at this stage now I’m much more happy to say, look, have your money back for the console. This is wasting my time as it is. You know, you don’t say that to them, but you know, like, look, have the money back [00:19:30] for the consult. I’m sorry that, you know, there’s been this breakdown in communication and you’re not happy to follow the practice protocols, but we’re not going to compromise on a treatment because you don’t think you’ve got perio and you want you don’t want the perio treatment. It’s not I don’t want extra money here. I’m actually sending you away. So I don’t want to treat you. It’s not the money at all, but much better to get that bad Google review early on because you’ve told them to f off basically in a nice way, rather than [00:20:00] put that implant in. And then when that fails, they are not like associates come to me all the time. They’re like, oh no, they told me they followed me. They really wanted it. They really wanted it to do it. They really wanted to do the treatment. So I did it. And I’m like, that’s wrong though. You should be saying no to them, because what happens is that patient will very quickly forget that you’ve told them about the risks, and it’s not the perfect thing to do when it goes wrong. And they’ve forgotten those risks that you’ve said. So don’t get like forced into that, you [00:20:30] know.

Speaker3: On the situation you just mentioned, right. The of course, there are some patients who’ve had some some. Experiences or have got some sort of preconception or, by the way, walking into your parson’s green practice. Beautiful practice. Someone might think this place is just about making money. It’s on guard. Yeah, for that. But let’s put that to one side. Say, what was the error in that situation? There was a communication error somewhere, right? Whether the periodontist, the person who [00:21:00] sent them to the periodontist. Yeah. That the touch points in between. No.

Speaker1: 100%.

Speaker3: We have to take responsibility for even that situation 100%.

Speaker1: And now you look back and think, well, actually, maybe it was a point of the between the implantology. Yeah, exactly. Between the implantology and the periodontist. Maybe it was more of a, you know, this is definitely like thing you need to have this sorted. And the reasons for this is because this implant was fail and we don’t want to waste your money. Right. Maybe in that [00:21:30] situation that’s where you come to. And then maybe we could have given out like another like leaflet or something like that. Right. But then again and we do try to have every single. The patients are going to complain about anything if you tell them they need a filling and they haven’t got symptoms because you believe they need a filling, if you do the filling and it gets sensitivity, they’re going to complain. But if you don’t do the filling and you haven’t informed them that they need the filling, that’s [00:22:00] the worst thing. Because I think that in my history, the the mild like complaints that I’ve had are more they’re kind of more the undertreatment rather than the overtreatment thing. It’s not like you have put those crowns on. It’s more like, oh, actually, you know, that infection there has got worse now that didn’t get treated initially. And I’ve lost the tooth and you’re like, well, you know, sometimes you try to be too nice to patients and it’s you’ve got to really inform them about everything. [00:22:30] But at the end of the day, your patients are going to moan. That’s just what they’re going to do. And that’s that’s what they do. You can’t be right in every situation. And I think as time goes on as well, you start to learn it, to learn to take it like less personally. And you’re like, well, look, that’s just what they’re going to. You’re out to moan, right? And I just think that at least I’m not married to you. Yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah. No, you’re absolutely right. We need to, I think, especially in the environment [00:23:00] now, um, we need to think of even being sued as part of the job.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Because because, you know, plenty of people are getting sued for no reason. Yeah. At the same time, a lot of the younger dentists are kind of real disabled by their fear.

Speaker1: Yeah, I.

Speaker3: Agree, and we need to get it out there as well. Yeah. That that, you know, the fear of messing up is the thing that makes you mess up. Yeah, yeah yeah yeah.

Speaker1: And it also means that the fear of messing up actually means that you’re not going to develop [00:23:30] in your career. Because if you’re worried that your root canal is going to fail every time, yeah. You’re not going to start to practice root canals at the beginning. If you’re going to worried that you’re going to refer everything, you’re just going to become like basically a treatment coordinator, right? Yeah.

Speaker3: So there’s a balance, right?

Speaker1: There’s a balance. I think that people are going to complain. And that’s just what it is. And whoever you are, if you’re the best dentist in the world, people are going to complain. And it’s just learning that actually trying to trying to learn [00:24:00] to not to take it personally, which is a very hard job to do, that you’re always going to take it personally, but we all get it.

Speaker3: So look, we normally get to this darker part of the show a lot later. But while we’re on the subject, yes, let’s just get straight to it based based on black box thinking, right? Where, you know, if a plane crashes, they share with the whole community what happened, what went wrong, so that the whole community can learn from that mistake? Yeah. In medical, we tend [00:24:30] to hide our mistakes a little bit because blame becomes the main subject. Yeah. And no one wants to be blamed. Yeah, yeah. And not talk about the subject because we feel, I don’t know embarrassed. Yeah. By mistakes. And hence I never get to learn from your mistakes you know. But to go against that on this pod, we like to say what comes to mind when I say. Big clinical mistakes in your time.

Speaker1: It’s it’s [00:25:00] back to that exact point of saying no. And I think that in the past I’ve been pressured into things thinking, oh, this is just quick. We get this done. And like, okay, so example of this. So I had a patient this was a couple of years ago now at my Wimbledon clinic. She came in. She had like beautiful teeth. She’d have orthodontics elsewhere. I was like, wow, you got lovely teeth. She’s like, I want cosmetic bonding. I think the problem is now is that people come in to with the whole social media thing. They come into your practice and [00:25:30] want they want composite bonding, even though they don’t know what it is like because they think that, oh, it’s just that thing that’s going to make me a bit better. It’s like that, like facial treatment or whatever. It’s like, well, you’ve got nice teeth. They’re really nice. And line. There might be the odd like kind of little edge that’s not so neat. But she’s like, yeah. So anyway you’re like, okay, we’ll do it. And then you’re like, well do a mock up, tiny little mock up. And she’s like, yeah, I love it, love it. I’m like kind of questioning, should I be doing this or not? And then you get round to that appointment of doing the bonding. [00:26:00]

Speaker1: And I remember doing this bonding and I only do I do minimal bonding. I’m not one of these people that does lots of composite veneers, because I don’t like the kind of I don’t necessarily think they’re reversible. Right. So did a little bit of bonding at the end. She like looks in the mirror and I kind of face drops and she goes downstairs to pay the bill and she comes out the bathroom and my receptionist is like, she’s just in tears here. She, she like really like hates the work you’ve done. So I’m like, I say this to every patient I do bonding on. I’m like, now I’ve learnt my lesson from that. [00:26:30] I’m like every time I do bonding on a patient, I say, well, first of all, now if a patient I really doesn’t don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference. I’m like, you just don’t need this. The amount of maintenance that you’re going to have, this far outweighs the benefits that you’re going to get. And it’s better to have that disappointment or that appointment rather than that disappointment at the bonding appointment. Um. So I think like saying what happened.

Speaker3: Okay.

Speaker1: So. Oh and oh because then what happens is I’m [00:27:00] like look. And what I learned and what I say to patients now I’m like, when you look in the mirror, you are not going to like this bonding. And I don’t think. You know, you see again, these things on social media, these reveal appointments where everyone’s like, oh my God, I love it. I’m in tears. It doesn’t really happen like that. Well, maybe mine’s not that good, man. So that doesn’t happen to me anyway, right? Uh, you need some hype for that now. Um, and then basically I was like. So I said, look, live with this, right? We can make some minor adjustments now, [00:27:30] but what we do in, like, we’re going to come back in two weeks and then we’re going to adjust. And so now the way that I approach it, I say to patients that you’re not going to like this. You’re going to think they’re too big. You’re always going to think they’re too big, because most of these patients you’re doing bonding on because they’ve got wear, so they’re used to their shorter teeth anyway, right. So you’re not going to like it.

Speaker1: But then tomorrow you might like it a bit more. Two days time you might like it a bit more three days time. You’ll probably like it. In two weeks time, you’ll come back and tell me that I was right about the appointment. I mean, it didn’t go down quite so like that, this [00:28:00] girl. And in the end, you end up doing an adjustment. You end up doing another adjustment. And by the end that you make her happy. She’s pretty much exactly like she was when she came in in the first place. So she’s happy in the end. And look, it’s fine, because I’d also say to patients that this is additive, this is bonding. We can cut it back after. This is all, you know, I can sleep knowing that we can get you back to where you came in. Whereas if I cut those teeth down for irreversible work, I think veneers are a great option for a lot of patients. But, [00:28:30] you know, if you’re one of these people that are very quickly to chop into teeth, then you might have a problem, right?

Speaker3: And I feel like I feel like that’s I hear you about that case, but I feel like that didn’t really go very badly.

Speaker1: Yeah. I mean, I guess it’s not one.

Speaker3: That went badly.

Speaker1: I don’t know. I’ve kind of like I’ve had endings that have failed, you know, I’ve tried to build up teeth that at the end I’m like, hero. Hero? Yeah. You try to do the hero antics and then at the end, you’re like, kind of. You regret it because a couple of years later, again, [00:29:00] although, you know, you’ve tried to fix the tooth that has got a terrible prognosis, you’ve told the patient and then it fails a few years later and the patient’s forgotten about that. They’re like, why didn’t it last as long as the old crown? You’re like, because that first crown was placed when there was like a bunch of tooth tissue there, right? Um, so, like, it’s not like I know that’s not they’re not disasters and they’re like kind of mini things, but, you know, I, I’ve avoided implants, so I haven’t gone wrong with surgery. I haven’t put implants in a sinus. So it’s, um, you know, a lot of the time is, [00:29:30] is, um, it’s like patient expectation, like the odd when I had, I had, like, a complaint once that I was seeing this kid. And this kid was like a fucking nightmare, like always came in eating like sweets at the appointments, you know, they come in, I’m like, look, you’ve got a bit of demonisation there.

Speaker1: It’s like, do we start trying to treat now with this kid’s like running up the walls. And then you say to them, mum, look, you know, let’s try and fluoride, let’s try the brass, let’s try to change the diet. Six months. But then that kind of went on a bit long. [00:30:00] So a couple of years later you’re like, look, you definitely need fillings now, but I’ve got refer you because I can’t treat you went to see a pedes dentist in a place before I had the pedes dentist came out with their, like, foreground treatment plan because, you know, if you’ve got you’ve got a kid in the chair and you’re sedating them first, the sedation costs. Second of all, if you’re going to be treating those teeth, get them all treated at the same time. So then you have then I had the dad kicking off, being like, I’m going to sue you because they need loads of work and you’ve never told me. And I’m like, well, look, you know, your kid’s like seven [00:30:30] years old and they’re their first molars need fillings. So have you forgotten the fact that that tooth’s only been in the mouth for, like, six months to a year or something? But, you know, parents forget when they’re little kids in the chair. You had a.

Speaker3: Letter.

Speaker1: Had I actually didn’t. Yeah. No, I think I had the letter for the, um, like from the solicitor or whatever. But then fortunately I had the notes. I had the x rays, I have an Intraoral camera that I take photos pretty much of every single patient [00:31:00] that comes in and in my notes, like looking back, I’m like, thanks, fuck, I wrote those things. It was patient, came in the chair and was holding like a chocolate bar or and then another appointment. I was like, patient came in and her sister, his sister said, oh, he’s always eating things. So you in the end you’re like, well, you know, what can I do? Like, it’s not like kind of this is more of a. Behavioural parents thing rather than what I do. How did.

Speaker3: You get. How did you get out of.

Speaker1: Just sent my letter back with all [00:31:30] of that. But by the time I’d written my letter or had helped writing my letter from my defence at the end of my writing that letter, I was like, yeah, it’s kind of not my fault. I was like, actually, you should be the one in front of like, social services or something for not listening to me and coming in. And then I didn’t get a reply after that, so I didn’t. It’s not like it hasn’t gone down the lines where, you know, it’s like a serious thing.

Speaker3: We’re so in it. Yeah, that we forget that like sometimes if that’s happened to your kid. Yeah. You obviously are going to blame yourself. [00:32:00] Yeah. There’s many don’t. Yeah. And so you look you think, well I’ve been sending my kid to the dentist. I can, you know, in a way I can see it happening. I get it from their side as well.

Speaker1: I get it, especially when it’s like the father who hasn’t been to any of the appointments. So they haven’t seen the seen what? I’ve said. He’s just paid the bills and then. And then. Yeah, exactly. And not seen the kid running around like opening up drawers and chucking shit everywhere. And it’s like, oh, maybe you’d understand if you were like, see these things. But again, I get it. Like everyone has this [00:32:30] like, uh, reply attitude. Everyone has a response to something, right? And they maybe have got very heated in the moment and replied before they’ve actually thought about it. And unfortunately, working in a public sector, we just have to deal with that.

Speaker3: On reflection, would you have done anything differently with this case?

Speaker1: Referred it earlier to a specialist, and as soon as I kind of start to see a small issue, we I think as dentists, we want to be too nice to patients sometimes and we get worried about the fact [00:33:00] that we’re like, oh, you need a crown. It’s going to cost X amount or you need a filling. Oh, and it’s another one because you need one another a year ago. Oh, it’s another one. You need one a year ago because you kind of feel a bit like almost embarrassed that you think that you’re just trying to get the money out, money out of them. Right. But actually it’s like, look, you’ve got a problem here and you’re probably doing a this justice. Yeah. Or like an injustice. That’s the word, um, saying that, you know, kind of being like, oh, we give it another six months if it gets worse. So if you start [00:33:30] to see that little issue, you know, it’s about communicating the real problems that that patient has and saying, look, you probably will be better down. You’re going to see a paediatric specialist. And then it’s I think it’s.

Speaker3: That you’re right. Because that sort of comprehensive, not even treatment planning, but I think I had Costas on and he was saying, you know, Frank spear always said, do you want your cardiologist not to tell you the full story? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so but you’re right, there’s this feeling [00:34:00] because our profession is so trust based. Yeah. And I think, I think intraoral cameras are the most important piece of equipment in a dental surgery for that reason.

Speaker1: Yeah. I agree.

Speaker3: Um, when when I was a dentist, I used to adore the idea of this filling doesn’t need changing, but do you want to change it? Um, to make it look better? Yeah. You know, like a stained composite. Yeah. On the front. Simply because the question of trust wasn’t in there anymore. Yeah. You know, and I used to just get off on that, like to.

Speaker1: I think [00:34:30] it’s like. So the intraoral camera is amazing once you get a scanner. Yeah. That. And if you have your own one in your room, that’s amazing because like some of these scanners now take photos of everything. Right. So every single new patient of mine gets scanned. I have a one hour new patient exam. And at the end I sit them up in the screen in front of them. I’ve got their x rays on the right, I’ve got the scanner, and I just walk them around the mouth and I’m like, look at that black bit, look at that, look at that, look at that. And I think it’s really the important thing is [00:35:00] trying to work out and having that discussion of. What kind of patient is this? Is this? And I literally asked them. Sometimes I’m like, are you a proactive patient that really wants to deal with everything and don’t take any risks? You know, and then we might end up doing like the quadrant dentistry, right? Because actually, if you’re doing a filling on the five and the six got a bit of a crappy amalgam, maybe it’s better to do the six at the same time, because when is there never caries under amalgam, right. There’s always carries underneath it. You say to the patient, look, you’re numb. The rubber [00:35:30] dams on it actually only takes you ten minutes more to to deal with this. And you know, that’s not going to be a problem for a while.

Speaker1: We don’t have to do that though. We need to hit the five because it’s got like this open carries or whatever. If you’re happy to accept the risk of leaving this six for a bit, you know we’ll kick that can down the road and do it a few years later. Yeah, exactly. And then when you kind of walk around the whole mouth like this, this is when I find when a lot of patients that come in to see. Like [00:36:00] to see. I’m lucky now that patients come in to see me, right? So they kind of trust me before they even come in. A lot of these patients end up having more comprehensive care because time is the precious commodity for them. So they don’t want to be in that chair every six months having like another filling. They’re like, just get the quadrant out of the way, get the quadrant out of the way, and everything comes with risk. You’re like, look, you might pulpitis you might need a root canal, you might do crown, but you can see on this screen, you can see on that x ray where these problems are. And at the end, usually I just write them a little kind [00:36:30] of letter to be like, you know, it’s if you’re more proactive, if you’re not, we do this. And so they can always reference back to that to know that I’ve talked to them about it in the first place.

Speaker3: So your particular superpower then. Would you say it’s in the in the treatment room? Or would you say it’s, uh, yeah.

Speaker1: I think with.

Speaker3: The team and.

Speaker1: I definitely don’t think there’s any form of super power thing coming on. I think it’s like just trying to. Like, I enjoy work now because I [00:37:00] have tried to set up, try to eliminate all the things that might lead to like a bad sort of treatment. Right? So I’ve spent a lot of time getting the team right, getting the equipment right, putting the hours in and just focusing on what Dental kind of like to do and what I think. I’m all right. Uh.

Speaker3: Yeah. But what gives you the most sort of fulfilment or pleasure? Is it is it you sort of zone out during a treatment, okay. And, and all that and meditate in that zone. Or do you love meeting people for the first time and [00:37:30] you’re really good with them, or do you like making plans and plotting and opening a practice?

Speaker1: So what gives you. So when I’m when I’m doing my clinical work, I like it when it’s an afternoon where I’m doing like a quadrant, right, where patients got rubber dam on, they’ve got their earphones, they’re watching the TV, they’re numb, and I can just spend 2 or 3 hours doing a few composites and on prep or something, right? Because I’m like at the end I’m like, I did everything as best as I could. Photos look good. I’m happy with that. And they paid their money. And actually that’s been a decent [00:38:00] afternoon of cash. But what? As the years go by, what I start to get more enjoyment of probably is seeing like the growth of the business and the practices and looking at, you know, getting another treatment room, getting a nice chair and seeing like we had our Fulham Road Dental Christmas party on Saturday at the clinic. And it was nice seeing just so many people there, just having such a laugh together. And, you know, they’re all drunks. They’re like, [00:38:30] I love working here or whatever. So I actually think they probably do love working there because they come there and everything is set up in the right way for them. And also as you grow, you start to build this business that one day is going to be, you know, sellable for more money, basically. And that money doesn’t drive me. I’m very happy with simpler things. I don’t have a car, I cycle everywhere, but one day I do want to have the luxury of being able to go [00:39:00] away for a month and not be hassled and not have to work, but money still coming in from the business.

Speaker3: It’s more than that, isn’t it? You want to realise your potential?

Speaker1: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. I don’t like wasting time.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. Um. Because money. You know, the thing about money is you can buy things and things are ridiculous. No, there’s no.

Speaker1: It’s a cosmetic around the.

Speaker3: Single thing that’s, that’s going to be useful for you unless it’s like a helping someone thing. Yeah. And then you can buy experiences which are, which [00:39:30] are fun. Yeah. Experiences are good. I’m all for that. But money’s limited, isn’t it? No, but essential question. Yeah, that’s really important. I, I think that’s a really important thing. Like I you can you can feel at the end of that time when you go for your month in Maldives. Yeah. You can think to yourself, did I live up to my potential. Did I, did I really do everything that I could have done. Yeah. Or didn’t I, you know. And then what are the reasons I didn’t, you know, because some people want an easy life. Some people want, you know.

Speaker1: They’re I [00:40:00] get it as well. And I think it’s like, you know, you work so hard and put the hours in to build the business so you can have that month off and go and explore or have a nice experience, or go for lunch with someone and not worry about getting up at 8 a.m. the next day for work. But then again, you know, completely on the flip side of that, if you experience life with like a hippie life where you’re travelling and you kind of are living on a shoestring, you don’t need that. Yeah, exactly. Right. Maybe I think I think.

Speaker3: About that all the time. Yeah, yeah. Because [00:40:30] I know a lot of people, you know, busy, busy. Not even in dentistry. They’re busy in the city or whatever, buying back their happiness. Yeah. In in three weeks of the year. Yeah. And the other 47 days or whatever. We’re just not happy. Yeah. And but at the same time, you do seem to carry it off insomuch as it seems like you’re really enjoying yourself. Um, yeah. I mean, I seem to do it effortlessly.

Speaker1: Yeah. I mean. I think I work a lot of hours [00:41:00] and I do like kind of when I’m up, I’m generally I’m always doing something like I still clinic wise, I’m in the clinic most days, 8 to 5 still. And bear in mind, you know, three practices and a dental lab to run. So when you’ve got that many people comes the admin. So when’s the admin happen? The admin happens at weekends. Admin happens in evenings. It’s recruitment. It’s HR it’s this and that right. Well like you’re quickly checking an email when the queuing lights going or something like that right.

Speaker3: What’s [00:41:30] the role you play. You’ve got partners in each of these businesses.

Speaker1: Yeah yeah yeah I have great role.

Speaker3: You play.

Speaker1: I have great partners and it’s just kind of fit in with where we did. Let’s just say my place in Wimbledon that my partner is Aaron Yusuf, that I’m extremely lucky to have as a partner. It’s like we just kind of muddle in with everything. I don’t really deal with the accounts or anything like that or the money side of things, and you just try to chip in where you are. And historically, I spent a lot more time at the clinic, so a lot [00:42:00] of it would be kind of ironing out the patient issues, right? Patients, you know, the retainer hasn’t arrived or blah, blah, blah. And then when I’ve gone into business with Mark, which I went into business with like probably three years ago now, he was actually a patient of mine and he was in private equity. And he read something that said, if you don’t have a business by the age of 43, you’re very unlikely to ever have your business. Right? So he was approaching 43. So he was like, actually, I want to start my [00:42:30] own business now and get out of private equity. And one thing led to another, and I just ended up going into business with him. So now we’ve got two clinics and a, um, a lab. And I mean, I’m like the medical side of things. So I’m the recruitment, you know, the equipment, knowing what people want and trying to iron out those things. Whereas he’s more like the financial and that the accounts and growth of the business and the marketing and that kind of thing. Right. But, you know, you gel [00:43:00] and it’s just you work out what you need to deal with and you just try to deal with it without taking any glory for solving that problem. And hopefully it works.

Speaker3: And so with his with his private equity background, is there like a plan to open 100 of these?

Speaker1: You know what it is. It’s like initially like you were talking about before, right? We had the idea that maybe you just open 4 or 5 at the same time at the beginning, right? Yeah. That’s where during that time I was like, man, I’m quite nervous about this because already I’ve got one. [00:43:30] And suddenly if we just open these or take over, you’re taking over a huge amount of problems. And and that is just going to be manic for a long time until you iron out that management structure. Right. And then in the end we sort of like actually maybe we open a squat and then it ended up being like, let’s just open the squat thing so we can build the value of the practices rather than having to pay someone, you know, a couple of million quid for and was after whatever it was, it was actually kind of like during Covid. Covid. Yeah, during Covid, [00:44:00] because we were when we were building this place, we were like, actually the kind of ventilation systems what you’re putting in now, there are no answers for anything during that time. But, you know, I am extremely, extremely lucky to have fantastic partners that are understanding. They they’re just like so enthusiastic about the growth. And also, you know, when you’re looking at a problem to deal with, it’s a lot less of a problem when you’ve got someone there to discuss it with. Because even if you’ve got [00:44:30] a great idea or a good idea, you’re always going to doubt yourself. Whereas you’re like, oh, I think we should do this. And they’re like, yeah, you’re like, yeah, it’s you get enthusiastic about it. But you know, the team wise, it’s not just in terms of the partner, it’s building that structure underneath it. So your managers, your reception, your marketing, the support staff, the the clinical team, that is like a huge part of it. And everything just works. You know, it takes a long time to get that to work together to make [00:45:00] this successful practice, hopefully without any problems, that starts to make money.

Speaker3: On the subject of co-founders partners, right? I’ve got partners and enlightened, but I know some people. Can’t deal with partners. They want to they want to be alone in the endeavour and just tell people what to do in hiring. Yeah, that the skills. But for me, I’d have serious trouble starting a business by myself. I agree, I feel like number one, what you just said, very important because the business is all about problem [00:45:30] solving and. Yeah, problems. Right? Yeah. And problems shared with your partners is so much better. But number two, I just think that I’ve got several proper blind spots. Yeah, that someone else needs to fill in.

Speaker1: I’m not good with financials at all. And so I’m like, let’s deal with the figures like but which also takes a lot of trust, right? When I trust my partners. Absolutely like 100%. But I could easily get mugged off with something like that because I just trust so, so much that these things work like by [00:46:00] vice versa. I remember when we were setting up our first squat for the road Dental we had, we looked at the sea, we were like, okay, we got to get this axi sorted. And you look at this list and you just open this folder of like, you try to build this list of stuff you got to sort. And I remember looking at it being like, oh my God, what the hell are we doing here? But then, you know, you, you take things one by one and you start ticking it off and building a dental practice. I don’t think it’s necessarily the hardest thing in the world. It’s just quite, a quite a lot of stuff [00:46:30] to just start ticking off. It’s not that hard. It’s just quite a lot. Well, well.

Speaker3: Well what you did well I mean I live there, right? I live very I go to that Gail’s like okay. Yeah. That’s where me and my family go for coffee. Yeah yeah yeah. So but you know so I was watching I was watching practice. I didn’t know if it was yours to start with. Yeah. Yeah, but it’s a busy practice very quickly.

Speaker1: Yeah. I mean it’s in fact touch wood that carries on where we go. I mean, it’s been two and a half years now and it’s [00:47:00] starting to get very busy, which is you can tell.

Speaker3: It’s a, it’s a busy there’s a lot, a lot of people working there, a lot of people coming in and out of there. Yeah. And that is hard. I think you’re right. It’s not. In the end, it’s not hard to find a building seacc if you’ve done it, especially with you, you’ve had enough experience to get the right team in to build. And by the way, your dad, I guess. Yeah, yeah. Very general experience. Yeah. Experience with your dad. Yeah. Um, but making it successful now I want to dig into that. Right.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: What did you do on day one? No patience. [00:47:30] So what?

Speaker1: So what’s different with. So all three practices have been a slightly different setup, right? In fact, that number one, Ridgway Dental I had worked there. I started working there a year out of, straight out of, in a private practice, just doing like a day a week. Right. His associate wasn’t that busy, it wasn’t that well set up and that kind of thing. But as time got on, 4 or 5 years in, I was like, we kind of started talking about me taking it over because they wanted to get out of dentistry, [00:48:00] and I ended up basically taking it over with Aaron, who was my boss at another NHS clinic that I was working at as well. And then we’ve basically grown that thing like organically over. I know how long we’ve had it, like eight years now or something like that. Right? So that’s more being like a kind of slower, steady growth seeing patients there you go and tell their mate they’re happy. So they come in and see you. And additional slow traditional slow burner. Right. Fulham was like a bit different because it [00:48:30] was a complete squat. So day one there aren’t any patients but because Wimbledon isn’t too far away and I have this list at Wimbledon where I’m just fucking like just slammed. I’m like, I’m at Fulham on that day, just come and see me there. Right? And they come and see me there. They might need an endo, they might need an implant. They go and see them there.

Speaker1: And again, I have to be very understanding, like Aaron has been so understanding of that. And he’s not like she’s not getting it. He’s not. Yeah. He does not get anything. But he’s like I just see the patient there. You know, if we [00:49:00] can’t get them out for if we can’t do the extraction here for four weeks, get it done at Fulham, it keeps the patient happy. But then Aaron has other practices that are quite local as well. So we all we it’s we just understand this right. And because patients the Instagram are like blowing up a bit a lot of patients wanted to see me. I could kind of see them at Fulham because I didn’t have a waiting list there, whereas it’s like a few months at. Wounded. So that kind of helped the growth of that. And then once patients come to me, I could refer them in-house for other stuff. Right. But [00:49:30] then your associates that you hire there, especially when you’re hiring specialists as well, have got to also be very understanding. You’re like, look, don’t worry, we’ll get there. I’m sorry, there’s only one patient today or no patients sometimes. Right. But we start we also started to put our foot on the gas in terms of marketing at the very beginning. And we spent a huge amount, but enough for a consistent period that we got our website rocking that, you know, people type in for the dentist. Yeah, the whole Google thing [00:50:00] as well.

Speaker3: Um, like paid ads.

Speaker1: Uh, no.

Speaker3: We, I think we did that.

Speaker1: For a small amount, but we didn’t do that much like social media stuff, because I found that when we started to go down that line, you know, everyone gets sucked problems with dentists, it’s sometimes they really undersell themselves. And I think that it’s a race to the bottom. Everyone’s like, well, I do Invisalign for three grand. I do it for two and a half grand, and you get like three retainers and a back massage and it’s like, come on, guys. Like, if you do that, someone else is going to do that. And then so you start to do these like Invisalign free consult days. [00:50:30] And a lot of the patients that you get in are just so they’re not just so they don’t they’re not going to spend that much money or appreciate that the work that they’re doing, because they’ve got three grand they want to spend on everything, and they don’t want to fix that broken tooth at the back. They don’t want to get that root canal treatment done. So you don’t attract the patients that really care properly around their mouths. So we didn’t like focus on that at all.

Speaker3: I mean, what you’re discussing there is positioning.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: How is the [00:51:00] surgery positioned the business position. Yeah. In your you know something I talk to Adarsh about quite a lot. Right. That you know in the, in the area when any area there’s, there’s a bunch of people going on price. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. It’s not anywhere near as many people going on quality. Yeah. Generally. Yeah. And so the price end of the market tends to be quite, quite busy. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Um yeah. At the same time you know, it’s a different way of working. Right. It’s a [00:51:30] but I think it’s just as difficult being cheap and there’s expensive.

Speaker1: Yeah. And there’s, there’s, there’s your, you have your NHS dentists, you have your specialist dentist and there’s everything in between. And it’s what fits that person right. Yeah. So then Fulham we kind of started like that in house referrals. And then you start to get your reputation. And this is actually probably what social media has had the biggest effect for me. And I didn’t even realise this when I was starting to build it at the time. It wasn’t that I get a lot of patients through it, but you’ve seen [00:52:00] it right? It’s very Dental. I know patients want to see like bleeding gums and all that kind of stuff, right? But what it helped me was recruit and it helped me get the right dentists and specialists that want to work with me because they see the environment, they see the standards that you uphold, and they also start to see the team that you’re building and they’re like, oh, actually, that guy is fucking wicked at implants. He does auto transplantation. I’d love to do endo at that clinic to work on cases with him. [00:52:30] Yeah. So that really helped the recruitment. And then with my social media, because I have such a big Dental following, it starts to build the referral list as well. So you’ve got this like three pronged attack. One, you’ve got your own patients coming in, two, you’ve got your referrals. Three you start to build a pretty good website that people start finding you through that.

Speaker1: And then after that, that fourth prong is that you start to get that organic growth and then, you know, you can almost start to cut back on the whole, like marketing [00:53:00] thing once patients are coming in just because their mates had a good time there. Yeah. But then the third practice, which is Direct Dental in Wandsworth, that’s going to be a bit of a different approach. Again, because I’m not working there. I don’t have the amount of days in the week. So we’ve got a few dentists that are amazing associates, starting at more of like a kind of general list that are also going to be very understanding at the beginning. It’s going to be a bit quieter, but then we’re really trying hard with the website, with the marketing to [00:53:30] get you kind of high in Google rankings and stuff like that. So it’s just that we’re going to have to rely on that to get that initial growth to patients. And then once those patients start coming in again, you get the good reputation, the good Google reviews people come from that. That will be a slower burn to Fulham because, you know, the kind of principle of the practice isn’t working there. Um, but I think if you want to scale and you want to grow and have ten practices, 20 practices, you’ve got to get that last model probably right, because [00:54:00] it can’t be everywhere.

Speaker3: Is that the plan?

Speaker1: I don’t know, I mean, I mean, I would I would like to yes. And it’s an option. Well hopefully it’ll be an option if we don’t go bankrupt first. Right. And I think that that is what I would like. I would definitely like I would feel disappointed if I looked back. It didn’t try that and I hadn’t made the most of it and I hadn’t had more clinics. But it’s getting that balance of growing at a responsible rate where you can uphold standards as well, because I don’t want to suddenly open ten practices and. You’re [00:54:30] not controlling the quality of work that’s coming out there. And also it’s like growing businesses take just so much money. It’s like building a clinic is not cheap. So, you know, the money that the first practice starts to make gets all invested in that second practice and you’re taking loans and stuff out, and then it takes a while for that to start to earn a bit of money. And then the third one comes. It’s all like it’s, you know, you never really get a breath and you never really, [00:55:00] you know, it’s always a few.

Speaker3: Qualified 13 years ago. Yeah. So you feel like you’ve been running all that time. You haven’t had a chance to. Yeah. I guess the real benefits of it. Yeah.

Speaker1: Oh, yeah. No, it’s definitely not building that business. I think reaping those benefits probably comes in like. Well, I’m hoping it comes. I’m hoping it’s in a couple of years, but I think it’s more like that kind of 20 years mark, rather than going into a practice and expecting it to be all like [00:55:30] great at the beginning. And anyone who’s opened, bought a practice or opened a squat practice like will realise this quite quickly. And they’re like, actually, damn, this is costing so much money. It takes a lot of money to make this work. And it’s a different model to buying practices, because if you’re buying practices that are already running, you know, you might be able to just take on a load of debt and just buy a ton of practices. But are those practices going to be exactly with the values and the environment that you [00:56:00] want that practice to be? Probably not, because you’re working with what’s already there, rather than actually sculpting what you want to grow as what you think is a beautiful, beautiful place. Yeah.

Speaker3: Industry is interesting, isn’t it? Because you’ve got dentex, for instance, that owns many, many 80 or 90 private practices that all have different names. Yeah, different principles, different ways of doing things. And then you’ve got, you know, my dentist that’s got 600 doing exactly the same [00:56:30] thing. Yeah. Um, but if you were thinking of scaling, wouldn’t it made sense to sort of brand them? Correctly. You weren’t thinking about that? No, I.

Speaker1: Mean, this is the branding wise it I quite again we’ve got I’ve got options. That’s the thing. That’s the thing. I’ve got options. So if we went down the way of the whole point about the direct Dental was that it’s almost like a sports direct thing, right? That at first that we hire [00:57:00] we have a marketing guy that just works with us now. Right? And I was like, look, don’t you think it sounds a bit like Sports Direct? And he’s like, boom, perfect, we’re going for it then, because I was like, I see that as like a shitty thing, right? But he was like, you know, people remember that. That’s what we want to go for. So, you know, the next practice might be another direct Dental, not Wandsworth Direct Dental wherever. Right. But then, you know, you’re also like, well, the Ridgeway Dental and the Fulham Road Dental if you had a problem where you’re being referred for a specialist [00:57:30] root canal, do you think that you would prefer to go to a place that’s called like Fulham Road, Dental or do you think if you went to direct Dental you’d be like, actually, does that sound a bit cheap? It’s I don’t know.

Speaker3: About expensive name there if you wanted it to.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: Well it’s branding. Branding is such a funny thing. Yeah. There’s no hard and fast rules about it. But, you know, it’s interesting because because you’re within with the guy, you’d expect that, um, the dreams are bigger in a way. No, but.

Speaker1: We talk we talk [00:58:00] about this. And again, it’s just this it’s responsible growth at the moment. Yeah. Yeah. And the initial conversation that we did have when we first started this, we were like, let’s just go five, we go ten, we go 20, we go 30. And it’s not a discussion that we don’t have in the fact that actually if we get this third one right, do you go and take investment and do you take a few million quid that you could probably get? No, I don’t think it’d be that hard to get that now and then be like, look, we can show that we can do it here and here. [00:58:30] So boom, we’re going to open three at the same time. But then when you open that it’s going to, you know, your percentage in the company is going to go down because you’ve taken that investment and maybe you can buy that back at some point or whatever. But that’s not a point we are quite at yet. And bear in mind, we only started that two and a half years ago. Yeah. So it’s very.

Speaker3: Very early days.

Speaker1: So it might it might go that way and it might go away where you end up having 30, 40, 50. And you know, I know people that have also having that number of practices [00:59:00] as well, when you don’t really know about it. If someone went to me when I was less experienced, they’d, oh, I’ve 30, 40 practices. I’d be like, oh my God, you are balling. You must earn like millions of billions, but you’re like a load of debt. You could be investing anyway.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. But you know, I had gin and kirsch. Yeah. I think they made 25 practices now. Yeah. Paying themselves as associates.

Speaker1: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re making that much money. And you know, again [00:59:30] people say to me now when I talk about the wedding or something like that or just being on like a bicycle, they’re like, well, you can afford your Tesla. And it’s like, I actually can’t. And just because I have three practices, it doesn’t mean that I have money in. But, you know, I’m building these assets. I’m building these places that I love going to work. And look there, you know, the first two are worth hopefully quite a lot now, but you don’t get that until you sell the place or.

Speaker3: Listen, listen.

Speaker1: Or stop growing.

Speaker3: We are spoilt in dentistry [01:00:00] insomuch as you can have a conversation like this and say, you’re two and a half years in and you’re not losing loads of money. Yeah, yeah. Most businesses, they lose money for years 100%. And we lost money. Yeah, longer than that. And I think.

Speaker1: A lot of practices are the same. I don’t think a lot of practices will be earning a lot of money until like many years after they’ve opened. Right.

Speaker3: Especially a squat because that’s the whole point of this. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah, exactly. But you know, now if we had an open, direct Dental and if I said, look, I’m happy with the two, [01:00:30] you can start to kick back a bit. You don’t have to do those clinical days. You’re like, actually we’ll go on holiday and it’s all good. But I do see the growth and I do want to have more of a kind of legacy behind it.

Speaker3: It’s an interesting thing. And I was talking to Andrew Darwood, um, on here in this room. Okay. Yeah. You know.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah. Well, not personally, but yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah. And, you know, he could have opened a massive chain if he wanted to. And he was talking about standards. Yeah.

Speaker1: And maintaining the values.

Speaker3: How do you [01:01:00] maintain standards across multiple sites. And then I was talking to Robbie Hughes and I mean he hasn’t yet done the multiple sites thing. Yeah. Yeah. But but but he was making a point I think it was like you know like Louis Vuitton and Sydney. Yeah. Is a similar experience to Louis Vuitton. Yeah. La or. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So it’s possible to maintain. No I know and.

Speaker1: I think what he’s what he’s like kind of protocol based nature is something that will probably be very relevant to that.

Speaker3: Yeah. [01:01:30] Exactly.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: And I guess, you know in the end you end up doing whatever it is that makes you makes sense to you, right? And for someone like you, it could well be like for you. Beautiful. Yeah. Perfect businesses. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Why not? Yeah. I mean, if it’s a perfect. We know we never get to perfect, right? Yeah, yeah. Is that a constant pursuit of perfection? Yeah.

Speaker1: It could.

Speaker3: Keep you happy forever.

Speaker1: I completely agree. And people you know will forge this business around with what they want. And, you know, you get these [01:02:00] when you look at the values of these practices that come in that, you know, they come to your email, this is a sale. This is for sale. You know, a couple of years ago, I was a judge on this, um, you know, these dentistry awards, right? And you look at the practices and some of these practices are quite open in what they’re earning or what they’re taking. And some of these like, like mini hospitals that are like putting in implants in and stuff like that, the money that they’re taking is like the same as like ten other practices. [01:02:30] So it’s and they’re doing beautiful dentistry. So but to your point that you say it’s yes. Where does it go.

Speaker3: So we’ve done it all the wrong way around now. But now I want to go through okay. Yeah. What job did you do. So you had the job with Aaron.

Speaker1: So my my VCE year I was in Banstead which was I found like close to.

Speaker3: Your associate job.

Speaker1: And then my associate job I went into [01:03:00] I used to really like endo and I thought I was pretty good at endo. Right. Because you win Endo prize at uni I won enterprise when I first came out. But you look back and you’re like, that was endo. But you know, I was enthusiastic about the endo. And then I started looking for jobs. And the way that I found jobs was that I got a little USB put on a load of x rays on it, the endo that I’d done put on, some crappy photos that I’d taken thinking they’re all right, and basically just went into practices that weren’t even that were in like a relative [01:03:30] local area that weren’t even advertising for an associate. And I was like, look, this is what I can do.

Speaker3: Well, you’d walk in.

Speaker1: You need to pretty much send him an email, like a range or like it’s just Wimbledon. I literally just went in it and then just and then it was just like when you go in, when I went into my Leatherhead practice that Aaron owned with colleague Jonathan Lee, they were like both endodontists. Right? So like just had a great conversation. They’re like, yeah, we need an NHS associate. So let’s start day or two, [01:04:00] start a day or two for them. Then Aaron was like, actually, I need a job. I got someone got chair in Stretham that someone needs to do some NHS work. So. So I ended up working in two NHS jobs and doing like a day in private practice. Right. So you see the scale of things. I think NHS is an amazing place that shouldn’t be knocked for that ethical training ground where you start to learn what caries is, you learn how to just get quicker, taking out amalgams for a certain amount of time. So you get that experience, learning [01:04:30] how to deal with things. And then over time, the way that I’ve done it is kind of got like done less of that and done more private to the point where you just go fully private.

Speaker3: Yeah, well, I always laugh when people say, sort of, um, learn your learn your skills on the NHS in a way that’s sort of it’s almost okay to mess up on the NHS.

Speaker1: I think it’s an ethical training ground. That’s that’s how I think. Why is it ethical? I think it’s in a way that like, [01:05:00] you know, this patient comes in and their tooth, their molar is fucked and it maybe needs to come out. But you know what? I’m going to try and do an endo on a crown on there. And the patient’s exempt. So they’re not paying anyway. They understand that it’s a poor prognosis and you’re trying really hard. And that patient is fine with you trying really hard. So they might have the times they’re not worried about that. You’re not really doing bad for them because it’s just got to come out anyway. And they’re kind of not paying for it. Or if they are paying for it, it’s like [01:05:30] a couple of hundred quid that they are well worth the risk, or you’re doing like a composite on a, on a back tooth because you think onlays are better than crowns. In worst case scenario, it pings off. You just put it back on for free, prep it for a crown. Right. So it’s you’re not cutting stuff. You shouldn’t be cutting. And the patient kind of isn’t paying for it.

Speaker3: I get it, I get it. So all right, now, you know, if you had a youngster asking you what should I do? Yeah, I’m taking it. You’re that’s the kind of advice you’re going to give. You’re going to say [01:06:00] do a couple of years on the NHS, just get experience.

Speaker1: Yeah, definitely. I definitely think the NHS is a good place to to get the numbers under your belt.

Speaker3: What I was going to tell you is, you know, that seems to be standard advice here. Yeah, a lot of people say that. Yeah. But you get to us and you ask people in the US what.

Speaker1: Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker3: That is not the advice in the US. Yeah. The advice in the US is specialised ASAP. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, I know someone I think we could talk about it but he’s hasn’t qualified yet. Yeah. And he’s got himself [01:06:30] into a fixed price program in Harvard. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah yeah.

Speaker3: And so you know you know what I’m saying. There’s different two, two routes.

Speaker1: No I. I completely agree. And I look I look back and I’m happy with everything that I’ve where I’m going with things. But I do also think that the younger dancers as well, I agree with that. They should be thinking about, or it’s beneficial to start to think about specialising, even if it is at the same time, because you can do, you know, specialist course doesn’t just mean that you’ve got to do full time. A lot of these courses, [01:07:00] you know, you can do like a distance learning thing at the same time as your as your in practice.

Speaker3: Yeah. At what point in your in your were you in that associate job when you thought.

Speaker1: That was only a I think that was like 2 or 3 years out or something that I was like, actually, you know, I kind of want to get better at this stuff. So you just kind of I didn’t really even do that much research into it. It was just because a friend has done it, doing it and done the research that I decided to do it with him. And another mate came and did it as well. Um, so that was more of a [01:07:30] kind of luck than judgement thing.

Speaker3: The program was a King’s. Yeah, it.

Speaker1: Was a king’s led by mainly like severe Banerjee’s like amazing dentist. Like, what have I, uh, I very much look up to him. Yeah. So you basically go and do your, like ten days or two weeks, like intense clinical hands on, and then you’re in your practices most of the time. And when you’re in your practices you’re taking photos of your work, sending them in as case reports. You’re also doing a lot of online learning and a lot of like, case presentations and [01:08:00] stuff and coursework like that. So at the time, it was like, I know, like 9 or 10 grand a year or something for three years. So, you know, at the time I could just about afford that, but not have to take the time off of work. That has to pay as well. Um, and, you know, I know orthodontists now that have gone over to Poland for three months to do a course or they’ve done it that way. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be that you go and do an McAlinden for three years, full time or five years, whatever it is, but [01:08:30] I do I do think that if you specialise or become a lot better in like a more of a limited field in dentistry, you’re going to enjoy your job a lot more because at the end of the day, dentistry, if you’re going to be a dentist for a long time, you know you want to be coming out at the end of the day thinking that you’re happy with the work that you’ve done, and you’re very confident that that work isn’t going to quickly fail. Or if it does fail, it’s not, you know, there’s patient factors due to that rather than yourself. [01:09:00] So, you know, you can feel good about the work that you’re doing and charge accordingly for it.

Speaker3: So okay, so you did that. You did that course that that course. Yeah. Yeah. And then and then you told me you did lots of other private courses. Yeah. Of the ones you did, you said you did. You said an Invisalign one because you were doing more Invisalign you wanted more information on. Yeah.

Speaker1: So I did the Invisalign course because our practice we did ortho right. We had a specialist, but we only had like a specialist like 1 or 2 days a week. And I [01:09:30] think that if you start to become this Invisalign practice, you kind of need someone there every day. So you’re like, I’ll get you in for the consult tomorrow. Yeah. So it made sense if I did a lot of the Invisalign. So that’s why I did the Invisalign course. You know, that’s only a weekend at the time you start doing it and then you’re like, oh, actually, I kind of need to know what class one is now a class two, because I can’t really be doing Invisalign not knowing what that what an overbite is. Right? So then just did like a year diploma that I knew enough that, you know, I think that when you learn as well, [01:10:00] I think everyone should almost every dentist should do like an ortho diploma, just so they know what they can treat and what they can’t treat, because otherwise, you know, you get these associates and I’ve been guilty of it as well, where you have associates that come in and I’m like, fuck, are you treating like this should be going to the orthodontist, or this patient should not be getting veneers or, you know, it’s knowing what you shouldn’t be doing as well as what you you should be doing. Yeah.

Speaker3: But of, of of all the other courses that you’ve probably done, what are the, what [01:10:30] are the ones that the formative ones, which ones stand out to you.

Speaker1: So the formative ones are probably the ortho diploma biomimetic mentorship, which was a year long thing, which was. And the master was that.

Speaker3: Uh, online.

Speaker1: Right. Yeah, it was an online thing, but he’s basically read like 150 articles, really tear them apart, learn about bonding and gluing stuff. And I think that which course was it? It was it was with the Alamans. It was like a mentorship. Yeah, exactly. And I think that courses are a thing [01:11:00] as well, that you shouldn’t take everything that you learn on a course as being absolute gospel, because the people that teach in those courses, that’s what they do. Yeah. So, you know, you’re gonna that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put a full crown on things just because you could be bonding and onlay on it doesn’t mean that actually, you know, you should be sitting there for five minutes scrubbing a self etch or a total etch. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. Sometimes I think that you can almost take it too far in the fact that you’re not, [01:11:30] you know, you’re not appreciating the patient factors involved in there. Like it’s if you put an amalgam. Then you’re not going to get struck down by the biomimetic God. And I think it’s just going doing all these courses throughout your time and learning what works for you and what works for your patients and what you want to do. Like I, for example, don’t love composite veneers because I think that there’s so much more maintenance that people ever say, and cutting these things off isn’t as easy as people say it is. But [01:12:00] then if you live in an area where everyone has composite veneers and wants composite veneers and they’re happy with that maintenance or happy that it might be a bit destructive, then who am I to say that they shouldn’t have that? So when a patient comes to me of something, I’ll be like, look, I’m not the man to do that. Go somewhere else. They can do that really well. Like they will do it better than than I do it for you. So yeah.

Speaker3: 100%, 100%. I fully understand what you’re saying there. And, you know, composite veneers a funny thing. Yeah, because they’ve totally exploded.

Speaker1: Yeah I know, yeah. [01:12:30]

Speaker3: Um, you know, we’ve been teaching composite for 15 years, but only in the last three years. Yeah. Everyone’s become a thing, I need them.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: Um, and as you say, it’s it’s the most unforgiving material we use. Um, you know, you’ve got to be very, very, very good.

Speaker1: Very good. It’s so technique sensitive, these things.

Speaker3: That’s the thing. Um, when you when you look back on your progress, what would you have done differently? I think, like if [01:13:00] you could go back knowing what you know now.

Speaker1: When we opened Wimbledon. I think about the growth of that place and think we could have almost pushed a little bit harder at the beginning of the growth and thought that actually, let’s not be so risk averse. Let’s put those two more surgeries in. Let’s get a loan to do that. Let’s get the orthodontist in. Let’s get the periodontist in. I would also learn that as soon as you start kind of doubting someone. That works for you. Everyone [01:13:30] is replaceable. And we I mean, personally, I’ve always given everyone the real benefit of the doubt because I’d be like, look, actually, I need this role now. Actually, this person can do that role and she could do those days or he can do those days. So I’m just going to hire them. I’m sure they’re amazing. But then sometimes it’s like, actually, maybe there is someone better out there. And when they’re in that role and start to do things not as well as they should be doing, maybe it’s having that discussion earlier [01:14:00] that there’s, you know, they should be looking for a different job and maybe you’re not the company for them because there might be a better role for that person. But as they as they start not doing things how you want to, then, you know, it’s just being it’s being open upfront discussions with people. And I much prefer are.

Speaker3: You the type of person to tell that person I.

Speaker1: Haven’t been, but would you.

Speaker3: Run away from that?

Speaker1: I’m I’m starting to learn a bit. That’s that’s the thing that I would do different. I’m starting to learn how to do that. And I think that, you [01:14:30] know, you learn that people’s positions in life change. They move house, they break up with people, they get with people. They need to move away. Their lifestyles change. And I would much prefer that people would just upfront with me about those things or problems that they have, so we can deal with it in a very like, you don’t have to be so emotional about fixing that problem rather than being like, oh, I’m worried about upsetting them, or because it’s just a slow, slow problem solving down.

Speaker3: Yeah, definitely. I [01:15:00] mean, I’ve had situations where I, I’ve let someone carry on for years. Yeah. Because I didn’t want to face the conversation.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: And I didn’t do that person any favours by doing that. Yeah. Um, I’ve tried so many things. I talked my partner Sanchez, the financial guy. Yeah. And, uh, I said to him, if I could give someone four months, five months pay, um, I would have got rid of people years ago. Yeah. Because I don’t want to be the guy to ruin their their their mortgage or something. [01:15:30]

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: You know, there’s so many like. And you know that question of do you run the business like a family? Um, which I used to, I used to think was the goal. Whereas the real, you know, the Silicon Valley people, they talk about a pro sports team, you know, the best person and the best job. Yeah. Whereas the family situation we let people get away with. Yeah.

Speaker1: And different things. And it’s balance. Right. Because the end of the day I think that most people want to you want to be a good human and you want [01:16:00] you take people’s emotions and you want to understand. But then if someone’s there, I think, you know, you will have people that work for you that do also manipulate the situation where it’s like, actually, you know, you’ve got to have this conversation at some point.

Speaker3: So on that side, are you the one who fires people?

Speaker1: Um, that I’ve been quite fortunate. The fact that my partners are saying all this now, I need to get better than that. My partners are the ones that have generally had the conversations in the past with, [01:16:30] like, firing people. You know, I’ve done it like a couple of times and you have that conversation that they might be like best off elsewhere. But yeah, I have to say, I’ve been lucky that sometimes I didn’t deal with that.

Speaker3: You’re the one hiring people a lot of the time, though.

Speaker1: A lot of the time, yeah, yeah, hiring a lot of the time, yeah. Clinicians are generally come through me. Right. Because yeah. Yeah, a lot of.

Speaker3: Do you think you’re quite good at sort of being able to tell whether someone’s going to be a great associate.

Speaker1: You never know. No, you never know. [01:17:00] And you can put down a certain amount of parameters like you look at their clinical work or thieves, I think are pretty much pointless. I think you make what what I say to everyone is that build a good portfolio and make sure it’s your own work. So I’ve had portfolios that have come in are not their own work as well. I’ve reversed Google image them and people lie. Man. It’s very bad. Um, but yeah. And you think I know you meet them. How many times do you meet this person [01:17:30] before you end up hiring them? So I think that it’s not much, is it? Yeah. And people can put on a pretence, but you don’t know how time efficient they are. You don’t know that. That photo. That’s good on Instagram. Yeah, that’s a great photo. But that doesn’t mean that the work around it is any good. It’s like.

Speaker3: Let’s get to it. You let’s say you’re chatting to this guy. Yeah. Are you mainly looking for like a sixth sense around. Is he a good bloke. Like, is he going to be talking to my patients? Well, yeah. You have no idea on the clinical skill [01:18:00] or you or you probing with questions.

Speaker1: No, it’s not really clinical because I think by the time I’m meeting them, generally I’ve sussed out the clinical because through portfolios and that kind of thing. Right. So it’s more like are you going to get on with patients? Are you going to be able to, you know, work your treatment plans around that patients economics and time and money, you know, are you going to be able to. But but then again, what I also think is that what I started. The thing is that when patients when I have people that come [01:18:30] and work for me or I have clinicians, they’re not that finished product and potential, their potential is there. And they might be that rough diamond that. You know, you realise a couple of things. You’re like, oh, actually, maybe you could do this with the patient, or maybe don’t give them a treatment plan that they need 25 fillings at the beginning. Be like, look, these are the worst ones. Maybe then down we do that, you know, try and do these things and you get these associates that really grow into people [01:19:00] that do a lot more treatment and make a lot more money than they would have done at the very beginning, because we all grow together.

Speaker3: I hate asking this question this way because like the word hacks, yeah, I think hacks are one of our biggest problems. Yeah, because you want to do something well that follow the damn steps and don’t hack a step.

Speaker1: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Speaker3: That said, what are your hacks regarding regarding, uh, running practices [01:19:30] like what’s what. We’ve got the clinicians. You’ve got the non clinicians. You’ve got the patients. You’ve got the partners. You’ve got your investors. Yeah. Give me some. Give me some. You know someone who’s open three practices and is working at the level that you’re working at. What comes to mind when I say the key things.

Speaker1: Yeah, I mean, the team is definitely. But I guess you’re saying don’t mention that. That the team is a big thing and you’re like practice manager as well. And having people in your team that can, it’s make making you a lot more time efficient. [01:20:00] Like for example.

Speaker3: Would you say that’s the most important person in the practice is the practice manager?

Speaker1: It’s definitely one. It’s one of for sure because it’s like, say if the time in the day, right? If I have an HR issue or I’ve got a nurse that’s like crying because their boyfriend’s dumped them or whatever, and they want to like cry and talk to someone. So I don’t really have that half an hour that someone can that I can, that I don’t have the time to listen to that. Right. So if you’ve [01:20:30] got like the practice manager, generally they will be the one that keeps everyone kind of in line and, and happy. And it’s you’ve got that structure. Like you might have your head nurse that keeps all the nurses doing what they should be doing. You’ve got your manager, you’ve got your kind of marketing leads, you’ve got. So it’s all it’s basically breaking those up into divisions and trying to have someone that like deals with that. But it changes and you lose people and then you’ve got to get recruit again. And recruitment is a tough thing and [01:21:00] I definitely have so much more to learn. And, you know, people shouldn’t listen to this and think, oh, he knows exactly what he’s doing. Because you change, you change, you grow. Yeah. You learn a lot more. And but I think that what I’ve also learned to do is that to take less offence as well, because you’re going to have someone that just starts and they’re ill and you’re like, well, are you ill? Or maybe you saw you out on Instagram boozing last night or this or that, and it’s like, actually, I used to get really offended because [01:21:30] I’m like, I’m the one investing in this practice. I should be doing this. But now it’s like, this is this, this is people, right? This is humans. It’s what what they do.

Speaker3: Yeah. You’re mellowing a little bit.

Speaker1: Take less offence. Yeah. Yeah. Try and do and also. Yeah exactly. And and like you know maybe doing those two extra hours at the end of the day isn’t so important. You know, is it going to make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. So timing wise hopefully I’m at the point soon where I can start to be a bit more flexible [01:22:00] and have a bit more time off, because otherwise life goes by and you’re like, shit, it’s uh, time goes quickly and we’re done. So.

Speaker3: So, George, you were saying off Mike that you’re not really teaching, and you told me that, you know, the number of hours you’ve got to work. It just doesn’t fit in. Yeah, but I reckon, I mean, I reckon you’ve got a lot to teach and thank you. And teaching is fun. So do you think it’ll come?

Speaker1: So we’ve done like, the odd, like little course. [01:22:30] And I did some stuff for Invisalign. I’ve done the odd like uni thing but it’s like and lectures as well. I always get asked to do lectures or talks at places. Right. But at the end of last year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to basically start saying no to things just because I didn’t have the time. And I’d always find that, say, if I had a lecture coming up, I would always put a lot of pressure on it to say, if you were like, George, come and do a lecture in front of this many people [01:23:00] in two months, every night or every lunchtime, I’d be thinking, how can I change the content for this? What can I say during that? What what picture can I put up? Yeah, too much though. Too much that actually that picture at the front probably doesn’t mean that much compared to what you’re trying to get over to it. And I just I didn’t love the pressure of that. Like, yeah, that that stuff was very topic depending. Right. Once the prep work’s done and you’re doing the repeat stuff, [01:23:30] it’s a bit of a different matter because it’s just it’s so much easier. And actually, you know, teaching wise, I think if I was going to do it again, it would be like setting up my own course of just something that I love doing and this is how I do it. But I also think that in teaching, you tend to get criticism by more of the older generation of dentists because they’re like, well, you’re teaching, so you should know absolutely everything about this, this and this, which I get it, because if you’re teaching, you should be [01:24:00] you should know everything.

Speaker3: Although although by the by the standards of today, you’re, you’re an OPI teacher I mean yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Thank you. Thank you for that teaching.

Speaker1: No, no, you’re right, actually, you are right. Um, but then, you know, there’s the other way that you see a lot of people’s work. And if they’re doing that work a lot and they’re showing it off via Instagram or whatever, you’re like, well, actually, you know, I can see that those things that is really nice and that is something you’re doing all the time so that you know how to put a rubber dam on if you want to go and [01:24:30] run a rubber dam course. Great. That’s really great because people are going to get a lot better from that. But then again, timing wise, it’s if you want to run a course, I mean, a lot of dentists, they probably want to do that over like a Friday and Saturday or something. How often do you do that? Is that one weekend a month? Is it two weekends? A. Aren’t you still doing a phase five clinical days during that time? We’ve done like a few like little courses at the practices, but at the moment it’s just there are different fish to fry. [01:25:00] So I’m not saying it’s like completely off the table. Look, if someone came to me and everything was prepped and they were like, you can use all your photos here it is, this, this and this, then, you know, it’s an easier thing. But I also think prepping this stuff and writing lectures and that is so boring, I find it so boring. And it’s like course work. And I’m like, I just can’t be bothered to do it.

Speaker3: I know what you mean. I mean, I was the same as you. Anytime anyone asks me to speak, I’d really try and make it better. Yeah, but [01:25:30] then you know what got me? What gets me is you look at your presentation, your existing presentation. You look at a slide, and the first thing your head says, that’s that picture is too small or too big. Yeah, yeah, whatever you mess about with it. Yeah. After all the messing about, you realise. Oh, why did that way the first time it’s like, oh yeah, I go round this sort of weird circles of like design circles. It’s weird.

Speaker1: I think there’s also the like there is always [01:26:00] a slight worry of critique as well. Like if you have 100 people watching your lecture or in the crowd, you know, you’ve got to remember that actually 99 of them are probably learning something and they’re looking at it being like, oh, that’s like, this is day to day general stuff that is very applicable to what I do. You’re going to get that one person that’s like, oh, I can see like a gap between the rubber dam or I can see that actually there’s like a tiny, tiny, tiny little bit of flash or an overhang there.

Speaker3: But why don’t you suffer with that perfection paralysis on [01:26:30] Instagram?

Speaker1: Oh, I just post what I do every day. It’s not.

Speaker3: Why doesn’t it bother you that someone’s going to think?

Speaker1: Because. Because now I’ve got to the point where it’s like you’re not.

Speaker3: Being a teacher.

Speaker1: I don’t have to. Exactly. I’m not out there branding myself as a teacher. Yeah. And like, if you actually look at all of the posts that I’ve done and all the comments and you read them, first of all, you realise I actually don’t do that much of it anymore. It’s mainly stories that I do because I again, can’t be bothered, but actually I’m like, this is how I do [01:27:00] it. I’m not being like, this is how to do it.

Speaker3: It’s such a funny thing though, dude, because I’d say you’re one of the pre-eminent teachers in dentistry. Yeah, if you take it from what people are learning from people. Yeah, it’s a weird thing.

Speaker1: Well thank you. That’s that’s very kind. You’re not calling.

Speaker3: Yourself a teacher, right? Yeah.

Speaker1: No.

Speaker3: No one’s paying you to teach.

Speaker1: I’m sharing my work with how I do it day to day. And it’s like, look, if you like it and want to look at it, great. Don’t, don’t. And [01:27:30] it’s like, if you want to critique me, telling me I’m doing it wrong, I’m like, you’re fine. But I’m not saying this is how I do it. Like so thank you for the tip. I will try to do it different next time.

Speaker3: I want to get to two other main areas. Right. Number one sort of day in a life. Like what time you go to bed, what time you wake up and so forth. Yeah. Number two, patient journey through, let’s say Fulham Road. Dental because I’m so because I’m so familiar with gilding and all that. Yeah, yeah. Let’s, let’s let’s get to. Yeah. Let’s start with the second one the patient [01:28:00] journey. Yeah. So all right typically so a patient comes to you from word of mouth. Yeah.

Speaker1: So exactly that so that they are they’ve got a problem generally or they’ve had some dentistry elsewhere that might have gone wrong or they’re not quite happy with it. So they’ve like they’ve been advised to come to me by their dentist or friend and they’ve like rang up and the patient’s booked a new patient exam. I basically zone my diary. So certain times of the day I can have exams. [01:28:30] The rest is like treatment because otherwise you just get overblown with like crappy exams all the time.

Speaker3: If anyone she asked that patient to send them to you, or if they’ve asked for you, that’s something.

Speaker1: So any patient that rings up the practices that don’t ask for me, don’t get booked in with me because I’m also trying to get the other associates busy. Right? So I’m like, put them in with anyone else if you can. If they’re having to see me book them in to see me. Right.

Speaker3: Or sometimes straight in with a specialist.

Speaker1: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah [01:29:00] I know. Absolutely. But and then we get a lot of referrals for specialist work that goes straight through. But basically we set up a portal, right. We spent quite a lot of money on this. So you go online, you’re logged into our portal. You refer the patient and you send the x rays in an email comes up on my phone that says like referral received, right? It’s all like GDPR. Whatever, right? I will look at that, open it up and kind of work. If it’s something obvious. The team are well equipped to be like, oh, it’s going to go straight to Endo, right? But I pretty much check like [01:29:30] every one when it comes in just to check the x ray, because a lot of the time, you know, a dentist is sending in for an endo. It’s got like subgingival caries. That’s like near the roots. And I’m like, then you’ve got to send a reply being like, well, do you want us to do the restorative as well, or are you going to see it first? Or it would be for like.

Speaker3: It’s incomplete in some way.

Speaker1: It’s incomplete. So I’ve got to kind of price it. And a lot of time goes into that triaging. Right. You almost need someone to triage. That’s their job. But also I have to [01:30:00] be very aware that I don’t want someone coming to my implant surgeon who is very time poor as well. That’s coming in, that’s got a load of perio, or they’ve got a load of thing, and they haven’t been warned about that because it’s like, well, I just done this consult and they’ve got taken caries everywhere. So a lot of that triaging happens to go to the right dentist a lot. If patients are coming in and they they want to come and see me because of social media, they see what I do, whatever. Then it comes to see me. And generally it would either be, when is.

Speaker3: Your next available [01:30:30] appointment? Is it months ahead or is it? No, it’s not that.

Speaker1: It’s not me because I do like because I work a lot of hours and it’s um, so it’s and we always get cancellations and it will there will be like waves. Right. For a certain time it might be like three months, but then it might only be like 3 or 4 weeks. But you’ve got to kind of zone those diaries well enough that that can happen. I also think if you’re too cheap, you’re going to be booked up for a very long time, which is a kind of like [01:31:00] not justice to yourself. Whereas when you’re hitting the right price point. I mean, personally, I think I’m actually quite cheap for what I do anyway. But like if you’re and I’m proud of my prices, I should say, right? I think the patient’s getting a good deal and I am too. That’s what I would say. But then, um, so it’s getting that that balance, right?

Speaker3: Yeah, absolutely. Look, if I was a patient and I saw that building and I want to see you and I can’t see you within a month, but somehow, [01:31:30] like a problematic in itself. Yeah. Exactly.

Speaker1: Yeah. Exactly. Absolutely. So they’re like and then what I will often do, I kind of build in buffers. Right. So Wednesday I don’t actually open up a clinical day, but I keep that day that I can go up.

Speaker3: You could if you.

Speaker1: Wanted to, I could go up to the lab or if that patient’s getting married in three weeks, I’m like, well, you should have left this earlier, but we can deal with it. Or actually, I’ve got pain. I can get you and deal with it. If it’s someone that doesn’t need to see the endodontist or whatever. So it’s I will work around [01:32:00] things. I will stay at the end of the day. We’ll work through lunch to make sure that patients get seen for obviously it’s not an emergency. You’ve got to kind of triage it as well. It’s tiny little chipped tooth. It’s not a problem with see you.

Speaker3: So back to back to patient journey that that patient makes the phone call. Yeah. The the team the way they answer that call. Yeah. Have you got them on that thing where you know they know they know the usp’s of each of the dentists. And they’ll say you should see Doctor Cheatham. He treats lots of no.

Speaker1: Yeah, exactly. And they that pattern when they come in and they, they [01:32:30] learn with they and again it’s very hard for a receptionist as well because when they come in they might not even know the most about dentistry. And they’re suddenly they’re supposed to know you should be seeing the denture guy. You should be seeing the implant, you should be seeing the gums. But if they have if they don’t know, they’ve got a specific problem, a lot of the time they might need to see a general dentist first just to then or, you know, receptionists say, look, you’ve got to have the general exam first and then we can book you in with the periodontist. And as long as that [01:33:00] dentist knows that from the beginning, the patient knows that, then they’re not offended that they come in and it’s not the periodontist, because they know that actually they’ve booked in the general and they’ve booked in the perio. And if patients don’t like that protocol, maybe they are better elsewhere.

Speaker3: Um, and does do all the dentists do a one hour initial appointment or is that just.

Speaker1: You know, no, no. The general dentists at um Fulham were all an hour the general associates, if it’s a general check-up [01:33:30] at Wimbledon.

Speaker3: It seems like a long time. An hour man. What happens do you do you spend the first 15.

Speaker1: But you have to remember that a lot of these patients that are coming in specifically to see me have a lot of issues, or they’ve got things that are fucked up elsewhere. Yeah. And then, you know, it doesn’t always take me an hour. A lot of the time I don’t mind having a coffee at the end, and I’m not trying to cram my days to get as much like money and clinical is impossible. So I prefer to have that 20 minutes at the end spare [01:34:00] where you can just.

Speaker3: At the end of.

Speaker1: A problem.

Speaker3: Right that hour, you’ve got a good understanding of what that patient.

Speaker1: Wants, exactly that.

Speaker3: What he’s willing to do. So if he’s not.

Speaker1: Willing, that’s exactly it. And I’ve had that discussion as well to judge whether they want to treat every single little bit of caries and maybe possible carries, or do they only want to do the big cavities and see them again in six months? Then it takes me that time to work out what that patient wants. If they want to have the full mouth, tell them that they’ve got [01:34:30] to go and see one of the specialists for something. And then what I will generally do is that a lot of the time I don’t book them in straight away. I’ll say that I’m going to send you a plan later on, and I’ve got plans from like yesterday that I’ve got to still do right where I’ll send them a treatment plan with the pricing, with just a few paragraphs of blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Just kind of just a bit more explanation. And then generally they just that then the reception team will ring them about booking appointments [01:35:00] in. If they don’t book it straight away, they might say, I’ll call back or they call them back in a week.

Speaker3: So that plan, do you try and get that done?

Speaker1: Usually within like a day or two. I like to get it done on the same day. Some days I just email it and like again, a lot of the patients. It’s different from a clinic from my perspective, because, again, a lot of these patients have kind of waited a bit to see me, and they’re sold on having treatment with me before they’ve even seen me. Right. I’m just confirming their thoughts when I’m there [01:35:30] so I can send that plan a week later and they’re still going to get booked. Whereas really in our clinics we try to. You’re much better off if a patient comes needing that endo. They’ve had that CT scan, they’ve had that consult book it on the way out because otherwise they go outside, their dental pain goes away and they’re like, oh, I just look at when that pain comes back. So if you can get that ortho patient booked for records, if you can get those things booked straight away, it’s much better. But sometimes you [01:36:00] can’t do that if it’s a more complicated thing, and especially when you start to see like these, these rehabs that come in and these patients are spending like, like tens and tens of thousands and you’re like, well, you know, we’ve it’s a very delicate thing sometimes.

Speaker3: And so you said you give the plan some go ahead, some don’t. And there’s some follow up on the ones who don’t. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. That’s not necessarily that’s not so much with mine, but it might [01:36:30] be for like different like associates that whatever. So then it would be these are all tracked. So we have trackers right. So we look at the amount of incomplete plans that we have. There might be like 50. And then through the week we look at those 50. And there’d be someone on the team that actually rings them. And then again it might be in a couple more weeks and there’d be a reason saying, oh, doesn’t have the finances wants to do in Jan. Will there be a reason like, [01:37:00] oh, they’re in Barbados the next month, or are you using software or that like CRM software? Um, we use yeah. Yeah. Again, that’s not really my kind of side. Basically the practice manager and Mark deal with a lot of that stuff, and our marketing team do. When someone calls up at the moment we actually use for Fulham and Wandsworth, that goes straight through to Moneypenny, right? Because that gives us a much because they actually write down everything has that patient. Is it a new patient. Has it [01:37:30] come from there. So the legit you can look at those logistics a lot more. Whereas to expect your reception team to write down all that information it doesn’t really happen.

Speaker1: And then from Moneypenny it goes through to reception. So everything you can work out how many calls are missed throughout the day, because it might be that actually most calls are coming in from one till 130 when we didn’t have a receptionist where it might be that actually the receptionist was, we realised that she was going downstairs to speak to a dentist and then had missed a call. And it’s like if [01:38:00] you are at the beginning of opening a practice, doing paid campaigns and that kind of thing, if someone’s clicked on something and spent five, you’ve spent £5 to get them through and you’ve missed that call. You want to know that why that’s happening? Like we actually realised when we started using Moneypenny that a lot of the money that we were wasting on paid campaigns was because it was just current patients, like clicking on the sponsored post just to get. Yeah, just to get the phone number because they hadn’t saved us. And you’re like, well, if 50% [01:38:30] are like that, that’s just not do the paid campaign. But you can’t work those things out unless you’ve, you’ve got you’ve just looked. Yeah. You’ve got some way of working that out.

Speaker3: So what about on the sort of the softer side of the patient journey. Are they offered a drink when they walk in?

Speaker1: Yeah. They come in. You like got some water and a coffee and that kind of thing. And it’s trying to you know, sometimes if I’ve got like sweet old dot that broke a leg, I just send a flowers or these little touches, [01:39:00] these follow up phone calls to make sure that they’re okay the next day if they’ve had treatment for over an hour, I want them called the next day, or if they’ve had an extraction or these little things. That’s a message the team do that not nurse but yeah like reception team. Right. So and those little things make such a huge difference to people. And it’s like if patients want to speak on the phone about a plan, you know, I used to hate doing it. I still don’t love it because it’s still talking about your day. But if you ring a patient, you’re like, oh, Jeremy, you want to question that? Thank you so [01:39:30] much for calling. And those little things are real practice builders.

Speaker3: I think the patient call I used to have my nurse. Yeah. First of all, because it was, you know, it wasn’t it was years ago. Right. It was like 15 years ago. The nurse would circle 3 or 4 names in the day sheet, which we had at the time. Yeah. And, and then she’d show me like, these are the 3 or 4 and very soon it would be like obvious who the 3 or 4. So you wouldn’t have to show me.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: And then. But what I used to love about it was the pleasure [01:40:00] she used to get from making that call. Yeah. And she always used to say, oh, he was so happy that I’d called. Yeah.

Speaker1: And they are. And all the time it’s like 1% that actually do have a little bit of problem that just you just give them some advice on the phone. But every single one are generally like very. Very, very like thankful and look that it would be amazing to be able to have one of these dental practices that are like your kind of Michelin star restaurants that are looking up what their favourite colour is, or what they like on [01:40:30] the TV, or what their favourite scent is when they come in. And it’s nice to try to look, you know, at that stuff. But it’s I mean, realistically, when you’ve got so many hundreds of people coming through your thing every day, there’s a balance. You’re not going to be able to go too far because you end up spending so much money that do that, that you’re not going to be able to run a business. But if you can get those softer side of things like the practices now, if you have a bit of space or you know these things, I remember you.

Speaker3: Posting about putting a speaker in the bathroom. [01:41:00]

Speaker1: Yeah, I probably wouldn’t do the same now.

Speaker3: I think it’s cool.

Speaker1: It’s cool man. But you know, it’s cool. It’s cool if you if you’re if you’re that practice principal that is going to be working at the practice, that’s really nice because you get to see these things. Is that really going to change things from like a business sense? You know, maybe not. Also if you start to set up multiple practices and it’s an extra like, I know, 30 grand to put Sonos in the toilet ceilings, I don’t know if [01:41:30] that has as much value as being able to have like a better comfortable chair for the patient or, you know, it’s balance.

Speaker3: And what do you like as far as equipment? So you said Intraoral camera.

Speaker1: Scanning is absolutely essential for my workflow, and I cannot really see a new patient without having that scanner because in terms of patient communication, it’s essential for me to be able to show them everything so they know they need, they know why [01:42:00] they need that treatment. And also as records and every patient you still scan now like, oh my God, that’s amazing. It is amazing.

Speaker3: It’s still impressive. Yeah, yeah. Which one do you like. Three shape.

Speaker1: So historically I have been itero because I was doing a lot of Invisalign. Right. But we actually had so we’ve got like a, I don’t know, 4 or 5 of these things now, but we had a three shape arrived today because my implant ologist who does like some really like an outstanding work, just [01:42:30] loves three shapes. So and he was like, I just need he’s like a Spanish guy. I need three shapes. I’m like, okay, I’ll get you three shape. Um, because he’s like, not so much now that it’s just it’s going to keep him happy. Like when you have all of these specialists that work for you, they all have a slight diva side to them. But I appreciate why they do because they’ve spent like 30 years in full time education to become so good at what they do. They don’t want that crappy scanner or they don’t want some lab work not arriving. So if [01:43:00] I can provide that environment where they’re very happy, they are going to give me the days where they can work for me, rather than go to a practice up the road where they get a better deal. Yeah.

Speaker3: That’s losing. Losing stuff is the most expensive thing you can happen to anybody.

Speaker1: It’s just long, isn’t it? And then recruitment and then finding someone and then it’s just. Yeah, exactly. It’s it’s just long. Um, so do.

Speaker3: You do something special regarding, you know, when she said, oh, it’s so much fun to work here. Anything [01:43:30] special for your team or not.

Speaker1: Like it’s. No, it’s not like I’m one of these. Perhaps as soon as that starts to buy everyone like Louis Vuitton bracelets and turning up with cars for them, man. But it’s, um, it’s just trying to provide that environment that everyone at my clinics work very hard and they work very hard because they see everyone else working hard. And I think that everyone should be provided the environment where they, they see their boss or the [01:44:00] principal as almost giving back and putting everything into their to make that environment good, be it, be it the equipment, or be it flexibility with time or schedule, or taking their thoughts on board and changing something because you know they want something changed. And I think when everyone starts to feel that everyone like grows together. So it’s it’s it’s it’s providing the right environment where everyone has the same values. I think.

Speaker3: Was the other thing I was going to [01:44:30] ask you about the two things, patient journey and.

Speaker1: Patient journey and yeah, good point. That was the second thing, wasn’t it, because you said there was the first one and then we were gonna come back to that.

Speaker3: Impact. We hope the audience hasn’t noticed.

Speaker1: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. Maybe we covered it and, uh, other, uh uh, other thing. Oh, life’s like eight til.

Speaker3: You get a day in the life. Day in the life. So yeah. Tell me, tell me about that. What time do you [01:45:00] go to bed.

Speaker1: So I go to bed quite early. I’m between like ten and half. Ten, 11 between 10 and 11. I generally write, generally write obviously Psalms later, Psalms earlier. Yeah. Um, and I do try to have like A78 hours sleep. I get up generally my clinical day work starts at 8 a.m., I get up at like seven and I’m like, shout! I’m very efficient in the morning. I’m like out the house within 15 minutes. And that’s like, shower changed. [01:45:30] Everything’s ready from the night before Wimbledon. I live in Tooting. Oh, Tooting. And I get on my, um, I cycled to work because again, I get to work, be it Fulham or Wimbledon, within 20 minutes. And it’s good for like, you know, if I’m cycling there and back every day, that’s another like 40 minutes of exercise. That kind of keeps me healthy. Right? So I’m first patient is at eight. I do eight till one hour lunch break generally try to crack on with some admin and I do two [01:46:00] till five. So clinic finish clinic at five, generally cycle back and then go to try to go to the gym like most days. Most days after work started. Um jiu jitsu six weeks ago. So I’m still real amateur, but I’m trying to like basically try every day. I’ll try to do like either like gym or jiu jitsu, like five as much as I can. Right? But you know, if you have life, you know, you’re going out for [01:46:30] a meal, a restaurant, whatever. Like you’re still quite sociable. That can kind of you got to do that instead. But on a general day.

Speaker3: So you leave the practice at five, get home, or do you go straight to a gym?

Speaker1: Usually I’m home by like half five, I get home, I will come get changed at home, go straight to the gym, right, go to the gym for like I don’t go for like ages, maybe like 45 minutes. And then I’m back, which is just around the corner because I’ve cycled throughout the day. And so it’s just enough to do what I think is right. [01:47:00] I’m I’m very lucky. My beautiful wife, like cook most days. She’s actually a great cook. She’s a dentist as well. So I have some nice food. We’ve got a puppy now. Puppies like had that for a couple of months, so I know now.

Speaker3: Screenslaver was your puppy.

Speaker1: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. Why not? She wouldn’t be offended at that.

Speaker3: She’s cool.

Speaker1: Yeah. Um.

Speaker3: But. Okay, so. So we’ve pretty much got it up to, like, seven, eight, have dinner and.

Speaker1: Yeah, like, have dinner sometimes watch like a little bit of TV. We do like to chill out for like an hour or two sometimes. [01:47:30] But then what’s happening is that I’m like answering emails or through again, but that’s like kind of throughout the whole day, even if at the gym, I’m like looking at, you know, like I was saying, I’m checking all the referrals that come in or sending messages and.

Speaker3: On on the equipment, like on the running machine or whatever. You. Yeah.

Speaker1: Or like you do some weights. Right. And then between check a quick email shoot off and you take like a lot of emails, I only take like 30s to look through and quickly reply. But throughout the day as well, I will. Every day there’ll be calls [01:48:00] with Aaron and Mark from the practices just to be like, oh, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Because these quick calls that take a few minutes, you’re like always solving problems. And throughout the day I’m always chipping away at something. And what we try to do is have cool scheduled on Wednesdays. If I’m not doing clinical with scheduled calls, like this morning we had a like a Fulham Road Dental call with me, my head, my chief marketing guy, my [01:48:30] practice manager, and Mark and we’ll we’ll crack on for a few things that we want to grow or change throughout the week. After that, we had an hour call with the lab for exactly the same thing. So, you know, I’m realising that you need if you want things to change, you need to schedule this kind of white space every week to just come up with your ideas. And you need to reassess that a couple of weeks later and be like, oh, has that been done yet? Why not? How do we do it?

Speaker3: And you generally good in sort [01:49:00] of meetings, setting people expectations, following up on whether they did it or didn’t do it or are you bad at that? Um, again.

Speaker1: I get kind of pushed by my principal, my partners around. I think my partners are better than I am at doing that at some things, and maybe I have fortes in others, but you just work together to make sure it like it happens. Basically, weekends wise, I don’t do any clinical, but I will do [01:49:30] admin usually Friday in the morning I actually go for like a PT session like once a week generally before work. So then I’ll work. That’s Friday night. I am quite sociable as well at the weekend, so Friday night might be out for like a meal or some drinks Saturday, like maybe out with friends, like lads or maybe the wife or something. And then Sunday again, chip away at a tiny bit of admin, but go for a roast or walk the dogs. See the family, something like [01:50:00] that.

Speaker3: If you had if you had half a day to yourself. No, no expectation of you from anyone, what would you do? What’s it like?

Speaker1: It’s very easy to become lazy, right? It’s very easy to just be at home and just, like, sit, sit on the sofa and watch a film or something. Yeah, I probably watch like quite a lot, loads of TV, but I quite enjoy that. Like watching a a short film or something. Yeah yeah yeah yeah, exactly. Or like I’m not amazing by myself working the pace.

Speaker3: You’re working. Yeah. I [01:50:30] expect you need something like that. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah I don’t mind like say I would like after this, right. Yeah. I wouldn’t mind actually just on the way home because I’m like, oh, Camden, have a little wander around Camden, just go and sit in a pub and have like a pint or two or something. Yeah. Maybe actually like. If I didn’t have anything to go home by, like, maybe even, like, have some food or something. Um, if I didn’t have stuff at home to do.

Speaker3: What’s your guilty pleasure?

Speaker1: Probably shouldn’t say that on screen. [01:51:00] People admit it. No, like like like like like my partying days have gone down a lot because, like, you know, as you get older, you modify life, you get married and that kind of thing. Um, but then, I don’t know, should it be a guilty pleasure, like going out, having fun? Probably binge drink too much. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah. Let’s get it to our final questions. We always. We always finish the same [01:51:30] way.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: Fancy dinner party. Three guests, dead or alive. Who do you have?

Speaker1: So not like I’ve as I. Get older, I become more interested in like the sciences and physics. Right. And I do think it would be. And these are, these are answers that are so boring. Right. But like so like, oh my God, if everyone says that. But it probably would be someone like Einstein to. [01:52:00] See the way that their mind works and how like out the box thinking like. You get these scientists, they’re just so incredibly they think in a different way, and they’re so clever to come up with the ideas that they have done. Yeah. Whereas now you might look at an idea and be like, oh, I still don’t understand that, but it kind of makes sense. Whereas when the idea wasn’t even a thing, you’re like, well, how the hell was that? Yeah, an idea, right? In terms of like kind of people that I do think would be fascinated [01:52:30] to sit with as well. Again, I know that this is such a like, cliché answer, but I do think it’d be awesome to sit down with Elon Musk, because the way that he is pushing humanity, I think in terms of space travel and combining it with business growth as well, it would also be fascinating to speak to him because you listen to podcasts and you listen to ideas where it’s like money now for him is just not even a thing, where you’re almost sacrificing stuff [01:53:00] to try to build in efficiencies to your life where, you know, it sounds like it almost prefer to just live on a mattress in the office rather than a mansion down the road. So I think that those ideas would be, um, I mean, that’s always going to be a fascinating meal, right?

Speaker3: Who’s the.

Speaker1: Third? Um, obviously my wife or Salma Hayek for that.

Speaker3: This is interesting what you say about Einstein or Elon Musk. Yeah. Because, you know, like, [01:53:30] what’s that? What’s that kind of, um, where where the people are on a spectrum and they’re really good at one thing and. Yeah. What’s that called? Um. Uh.

Speaker1: Yeah. Like what? Some. Yeah, I know what you mean. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Like Rain Man thing. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So it’s, it’s interesting because, like, if there’s some kid who can look at a photograph of something and then paint it or paint it. Yeah. Yeah. Like, exactly. And his mind works in a different way to the rest.

Speaker1: Fly over a city and be able to paint the chimneys.

Speaker3: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. [01:54:00] What was the date on the 12th of January, 1937. That was a Tuesday, right?

Speaker1: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Speaker3: So I reckon people like Einstein or Elon Musk for that matter. Yeah. Have got a bit of their brain which is over developed. And yeah, in that sense.

Speaker1: I think that there’s a lot of people out there on the spectrum. Right. And I think that some people might have had that classical diagnosis that their OCD or whatever. Yeah, autistic whatever. But that’s because of that diagnosis as well. And that must be very hard to [01:54:30] actually quantify. Yeah. Whereas there are probably a huge amount of people that are slightly in that grey area, but it’s just not not diagnosed.

Speaker3: Yeah. Not being given a name. Yeah.

Speaker1: Exactly. Yeah.

Speaker3: Um, let’s let’s get on to the final question. It’s kind of a deathbed question. Yeah. On your deathbed, you’re surrounded by your friends and family, your loved ones. Maybe by that time, your children or whatever it is. Or three pieces of advice [01:55:00] you’d leave them with.

Speaker1: I mean, um. Okay. So I think that. The whole topic that I was talking about earlier, about learning to say no to things that don’t help be a people pleaser might not be like for your growth. Like, it’s very easy to try to say, oh, I’ll do that to keep that person happy, or I’ll do that lecture because they’ve asked me. But actually like only speaking to like, your no. Minesh Patel. Right recently. [01:55:30] And he was he came with his theory. He was like, look, very quickly now if someone comes to you about something, I’m a very, very quick yes or no. And I would only say yes if it’s like a definite yes and I want to do it, otherwise it’s just getting a no. I was like, oh that’s, that’s uh, quite a nice. Approach. So I think learning to say no is a very important thing. I think that again, I’m criticising myself with this because I probably don’t make enough time for outside [01:56:00] of work. And as time goes on, I do want to do that. But I do think advice that people probably commonly say as well is like, stop focusing on the work and make time for outside. And I am trying to do that now, like next year.

Speaker1: I’m trying to find more days where, you know, I try to go on a ski holiday with the lads or try to go away for a weekend with the wife or go to Italy with parents or something. So I’m trying to actually schedule those things in so they actually happen. [01:56:30] But saying that, you know, it’s usually you do need a bit of money to be able to to do that and pay the mortgage at the same time. So you need to make the money for that. And third, I don’t know, maybe trying to stay healthy, I guess, because I think that in times where I have spent more time trying to go to the gym or trying to exercise, I feel a lot happier as well. And there was a time that when you get in like a new relationship [01:57:00] or something, when I was when I’m with my wife, after a couple of years, I just turned into like lazy, whereas it wasn’t working out, eating too much. And at the time I felt, you know, I look back and think, oh, you know what? I was actually a lot happier when I start to exercise again. So I guess trying to keep healthy mind and body.

Speaker3: Which says your darkest day. From a work perspective. I mean, obviously, yeah.

Speaker1: Good question. I [01:57:30] think. You know what I think it was? I think when I was starting with the idea about going into business with Mark to build a new squat practice. When he wanted to do like a few practices at the same time we were having this discussion. I remember I’d been out on like a night out or like or know what it was. We’d had like a load of cocktails at home because it was like during Covid or something like that. I remember the next day I was so hungover [01:58:00] and just everything just seemed like so like I was just I just felt like anxious. I was like, shit, is this what, like anxiety is? This is what people have to deal with, like every day because it’s like unbearable. Right? And it gave me an understanding of that. And I was just so anxious thinking like to do this because I was going to have to put my Wimbledon practice into the pot to be able to pay for the new practices. And I was like, if I go and buy three practices all at once, I’ve put [01:58:30] Wimbledon into the pot. If that go tits up. I haven’t just lost all the money and like the future that I’m working so hard to build. But I’ve also lost a reputation because I’ve put so many people out of a job and dentists have lost their receptionist lost it. So I was like, this is like for me at the time, it was either like a kind of all or nothing thing.

Speaker1: It worked out a little bit differently over time, but I remember that was a day or like a couple of days where I was like, just feeling like so, like paralysed by this. Yeah, yeah, just like [01:59:00] worrying about worrying. And that was, um, that was a thing. And we have these clinical things where, you know, someone’s had braces and a tooth gone non-vital, or you’ve done a deep filling, and the patient thinks that you’ve gone too deep and caused them a root canal, and you have these patients that come and moan and they complain that what happens is for a week or two, you really, really, really worry about that. And then it like goes away and the patient’s fine and that is [01:59:30] very consuming at the time. But I think that the worrying is like a funny thing, because I think that humans are almost driven to worry about something until something bigger comes along and you’re like, well, what the fuck was I worrying about there? Because that’s like so minor compared to what is going on in the world. I almost think that it would be good for people to wake up and watch, like a five minute program at the end of the day about what really is going on in the world. So they gain perspective about that. Maybe it’s not that bad of what your life is.

Speaker3: It’s that sort of [02:00:00] sort of threat level that you your brain is designed for a Neanderthals. Yeah. Threat situation. But we’re living it now just like everything else. Right. That’s that’s why I want to eat apple pie instead of eating lettuce. Because apple pie gives me more energy than lettuce. And the Neanderthal goes back to something.

Speaker1: Yeah, he never had his apple pie, though.

Speaker3: Um, it’s very interesting, though. It’s very interesting that that’s what you’re saying, that your darkest day was a day of [02:00:30] just worrying about worrying.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Interesting.

Speaker1: And it’s, you know, I think that we are very, very lucky. Well, I’m very, very lucky to have the opportunities that I do have. And it’s trying to personally I try to change that mindset more now to like we’re coming here. For example, today my wife was at home with her sister getting her hair done right. So there’s time event and I on the way out there like, oh, good luck. And the hairdressers like this hair guy was like, [02:01:00] oh, good luck. And I was like, what do you mean good luck? I’m just coming to like, talk. Right. And I think of it more as, I’m very lucky to be given this opportunity to come and chat to you and see this place. And people might listen to this. And that’s such a I’m lucky to have that rather than worrying about that.

Speaker3: I think that gratitude is a big thing as well. Yeah. Like if you force yourself to be thankful for things, you realise what a what a great situation you’re in. Yeah. About you in this in this 13 year story of [02:01:30] growth and risk, did you have a situation where you had like a cash crisis and.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, yeah. All the it’s been all, all all the time. And it’s like because.

Speaker3: It’s so easy to look at you from the outside from, you know, for someone who doesn’t realise what it takes to start. Yeah, yeah. Start and grow a business.

Speaker1: No man I never, I never have like in my bank account, there is never there’s always a balance between like when it hits zero and there’s always like I need some money in there to pay for that next thing. [02:02:00] Yeah. And this is the growth of a business, right? We bought our business with a loan at the beginning, and the practice was only 285 grand that we got as our first one. 13 well, no, eight, nine years ago. And at the time that’s a lot of money, right. For you’re like, oh, I need to find 15 grand as a 10% deposit. And then you like grow and then all the money that you’re taking go in to add the two rooms or make a better, or change the toilet or get a microscope right. And then you start set the [02:02:30] squat and you’re like, fuck, we need to find like hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds here because you can’t get a big loan on that because it’s a new squat, right. And the bank aren’t going to do that. So you find it was the Covid loan that I could get. I found some other money. I found some just beg. Borrowing and stealing, basically. But then when you open that clinic every single month, you’re losing money and having to find more money to pour into that. And then it gets the point where you’re like, oh, actually. And [02:03:00] then the tax bill comes and then tax bills Jan the tax bills July. And you’re like, that’s even more money. Where am I going to get this from. And then wait for the.

Speaker3: School fees to come in man.

Speaker1: Yeah. Yeah exactly. And what the hell. And then you get to the point where you just start to be like, okay, another practice, all right? Or or the lab or lab needs another five grand every month from every person and or whatever it is. Right. So there’s always and at the point where you start [02:03:30] to think that you’re like, oh, actually I can just like, chill for a bit and they’re like, oh, sting, you need another thing. But that is the growth of a business. If you want to have this business that has that extra scanner, that has the CT scanner, that thing, until you get to that point where it just gets easier because then if you’ve got if you’ve got five practices that are doing well and you open one practice, you know, as a percentage, yeah, it’s a percentage, it’s nothing. Whereas if you’ve only got one practice, you open another one. It’s such a huge [02:04:00] practice. So I do like I can see that end in sight from the kind of worrying perspective if things hopefully carry on touchwood on the same trajectory of of where they are. But if you want to grow, that’s what happens for years. For, for years.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah, that’s a real, real talk. You know, because it’s easy to look at the the bling.

Speaker1: Yes, yes.

Speaker3: Yeah. And assume it’s just a walk in the park. Yeah. And it’s not man.

Speaker1: No [02:04:30] it’s not.

Speaker3: And I think worthwhile is a no.

Speaker1: It’s and it’s hard. Especially if you haven’t got that you haven’t been gifted that practice because your parents have a practice or do you know what I mean? Or you’ve got that family money or.

Speaker3: You know, those guys have their own nightmares, right? Because they get no benefit of that. No one thinks that anything they do is worth anything.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: I met a guy. His his dad owns 100 practices, and nothing this guy does will be attributed to him. Yeah. Nothing.

Speaker1: Yeah, [02:05:00] yeah. Oh, your dad had that. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, whatever. I also do think that, like, when you’re growing a business at the beginning, even doing something like changing that toilet that didn’t flush properly or getting a new light fitting, you’re like, wow, that’s like amazing. And you get such like enjoyment out of those, those things like such enjoyment. Um, whereas as time goes on and you grow, it’s less, more about the light fitting rather than like, you know, the five [02:05:30] or Dental chairs or something like something like that. Right?

Speaker3: I’ve really enjoyed this, George.

Speaker1: Me too man, thank you. Thank you so much.

Speaker3: Thank you. Um, all the best luck to you. Thank you buddy, for the for your.

Speaker1: You’ll see it hopefully.

Speaker3: And George the dentist. Right. That’s if anyone wants to find you. It’s George the dentist at.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: Darren’s idea. You do TikTok. No.

Speaker1: No, I did it for, like, a short amount of time during Covid and made, like ten videos, but it took me like three days to make each one. [02:06:00] So like, no, no, no, I’ll just, uh, stick to there. Checking the referrals at the moment.

Speaker3: Amazing, man. Thank you so much for doing.

Speaker2: 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.

Speaker4: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank [02:06:30] you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so so, so much for listening. Thanks.

Speaker4: And don’t forget our six star rating.

Payman chats with Hasham Ali about his journey from the Middle East to Manchester, UK, where he now practices as a specialist orthodontist. 

Hesham discusses the value and challenges of professional networking, what it takes to turn GDPs into competent orthodontists, and why the term specialist orthodontist will always be a secondary identity. 


In This Episode

02:00 – Specialising

08.04 – The UK, NHS and private work

12.15 – Networking, communication and social media

24.57 – Teaching and events

28.28 – Roots and relationships

37.15 – Ortho training, planning and treatment

57.35 – Blackbox thinking

01.02.54 – Knowing Vs not knowing

01.06.05 – Orthodontics and health

01.11.06 – Dark days

01.21.21 – In retrospect

01.22.55 – Free time

01.25.24 – Being a twin

01.27.58 – Fantasy dinner party

01.35.49 – Last days and legacy


About Hesham Ali

Hesham Ali is a specialist orthodontist and consultant at the Royal Bolton Hospital in Greater Manchester. He also teaches orthodontics through his Orthodontia brand.

Speaker1: The lesson is that, you know, if something sounds number one, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And the second thing more importantly is, you know, it’s okay to not know the answers. It’s okay to not have the information. You know, that’s fine. Not knowing is never a problem. The problem is not seeking the knowledge. So seek the knowledge, seek help, and then and then go for it because you’ve done the right thing.

Speaker2: This [00:00:30] 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.

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Doctor Hesham Ali onto the podcast. Hesham is a specialist orthodontist who works in Manchester, a [00:01:00] consultant at the Royal Bolton Hospital in author obviously, and has a course teaching GP’s Orthodontia. Is that right? Did I say that right?

Speaker1: Yeah. Orthodontia which essentially just means orthodontics. Yeah. Um, but I couldn’t call. Of course. Orthodontics.

Speaker3: Yeah. Reminds me of dentistry magazine. Such a brilliant name, isn’t it? Well it.

Speaker1: Is. It does exactly what it says on the tin, doesn’t it? So maybe. I mean, there are other courses with really, [00:01:30] um, sort of obvious names and, you know, maybe, maybe I should have gone with that. But, um, I tend to be someone who overcomplicates things a lot of the times anyway. So anyway, Orthodontia was the next best thing to orthodontics or, you know, orthodontics course. Um, I suppose these days maybe it’s better to pick something which is dead obvious that someone might Google and is really a Google terms or an SEO friendly terms, I suppose. But no, Orthodontia is what we went for. And it’s it’s kind of reflects where I am, which is everything orthodontics.

Speaker3: So, [00:02:00] Hisham, listen, I’m interested in one particular question. Right. And we used to happen is I used to start with where were you born? And then I’d be chasing that question and not, you know, like so I’m just going to ask it straight away so that we can get it out of the way. And then we can then we can do whatever we want after that. Of course. Do you mind?

Speaker1: I don’t mind ask for that question. I was born in Pakistan.

Speaker3: That wasn’t the question that was. I’m gonna ask the question that I was going to ask. So the key question is, at what point did you say you [00:02:30] decided to be a specialist? Was it from from when, you know, before you got into university or at what point, at what point was it that made what was the thing that made you switch into, I’m going to be a specialist, not a not a generalist.

Speaker1: Um, I’m going to give you the honest answer, which is that there was never one single time point where I decided to be a specialist, and truthfully, I flip flopped more times than I can count. And when I was an undergraduate, I said, I want to be an orthodontist because I thought they were cool. And [00:03:00] I don’t know, I think I’d seen one as a child, and they had a nice practice and they had a good way of life, good quality of life as well. And when I was, when I was in practice in, in Manchester, which is where I spent my entire career, I, you know, I enjoyed the lifestyles and associate, which is, you know, you’re young. I was 20, 22 when I finished university. You enjoyed that lifestyle. And I thought, you know what? Who needs to be a specialist? This is great. I’m working hard and I’m playing hard as well. So what’s the point? But [00:03:30] I was this is back in 2010, 2011. I qualified in 2009. And I got to a point where I was doing these udas and I was getting really fed up and the lifestyle wasn’t enough for me to say, actually, this is the lifestyle which is going to justify me on this treadmill. And, um, I have to be honest, you know, I trained as, as a, as a dentist in Ireland in, uh, in University [00:04:00] College Cork in south of Ireland. Beautiful. And the standard training, I have to say I’m lucky to have received that standard of training. It’s very, very high. And so when I came here, I began to practice within the NHS, and I felt that really my skills weren’t really being utilised and I really felt myself being actively de-skilled at all those techniques, all those special things that I’d learnt as an undergraduate were just being lost, and I never did face those four crowns.

Speaker1: I really wasn’t using retraction cord that much. I wasn’t really doing anything, uh, like [00:04:30] what I was trained. And that was really depressing for me as a from a professional standpoint. So I had to think to myself, well, what is my way out of this? How can I deliver high quality care? How can I do what I want to do, which is just perform and and do whatever I can to the best of my ability? Because I wasn’t at that time. In 2010, 2011, the main route that I could see was specialist practice. And from the [00:05:00] various specialities, orthodontics was the one which sort of appealed to me for a variety of reasons, which maybe will speak about. So really ultimately it was it was that I didn’t really see how to move away from that UDA treadmill, other than to go down that specialist training pathway. And it was a very clear pathway. You know, you leave, uh, primary care, you do a hospital job or two, then you’re into specialist training as long as you are competitive. Enough in the interviews, and then [00:05:30] you are a specialist and you have a different way of working. So that’s kind of the story of how I ended up being a specialist, I suppose.

Speaker3: Yeah. But why? I mean, I had, you know, a lot of people come across that, that problem, I had that problem as well. But I didn’t think I’m going to become an orthodontist. I thought, I’m going to become a private dentist, you know, because I don’t know, I straight off the tee, I thought, I’m never going to do NHS ever again and went, did whatever it took to get a private [00:06:00] job. Why did you think, specialist? Why didn’t you think you could become a private dentist?

Speaker1: I didn’t see the roots that are now existent, you know. Remember, social media was wasn’t really a massive thing. We had Facebook, but you know, that was kind of it. It wasn’t as big as it is now. I didn’t see a clear pathway as to how I could get into one of these amazing, you know, in, in, in commerce, um, uh, practices. How can I actually get into that sort of a role where I can deliver that [00:06:30] high quality dentistry? I just didn’t know how I how I could do it. I didn’t have the connections. I wasn’t born and raised in Manchester in the UK. Um, I didn’t have friends. Really, uh, here that went back generations or contacts in that way. I just felt a little bit trapped within. You wanted guarantees.

Speaker3: You wanted guarantees, right? That’s what you want. No.

Speaker1: I don’t even think, uh Payman. That it was. It was a case of guarantees. It was a case of when you. When I looked online at what what jobs were available at that time, [00:07:00] there was no sort of advertising for private jobs. There was none of this sort of going on that I can remember in my area or in most of Greater Manchester, to say we’re a practice that focus on high quality private care. If you’re an ambitious associate or you’re an ambitious young dentist who wants to learn or who has a good skill set, come and work for us. Come and speak to us. And now if you go online, you will see practices who are advertising in exactly that way to say, if you’ve done such and such [00:07:30] course, come and speak to us. If you are a high level aligner provider, come and work for us. You know, people are looking for skilled practitioners to come and work in their premises. At that time, it just really wasn’t the case. Um, it, it might have been that actually maybe, perhaps in London or down south, things were evolving faster back then. But I guess maybe in my little bubble in Manchester I just didn’t see it. Um, and I’m sure there were some nice practices in Manchester at that time as they are now. Maybe [00:08:00] I was a little bit naive. I didn’t know how to make those right connections and how to, you.

Speaker3: Know, how many years before dental school did you get to UK?

Speaker1: So I, I didn’t I was.

Speaker3: Straight from Pakistan to Cork.

Speaker1: No, no. So I grew up in Pakistan when I was until the age of about four. Yeah. After that we lived in Ireland okay, for a few years. And when I was about eight, this is, I think 1995, we went to live in, in Saudi Arabia. So I was in Riyadh for three and a half years.

Speaker3: Okay. [00:08:30]

Speaker1: Then back to Ireland. And I stayed there from the age of 11 until I qualified as a dentist, which was 22. So that’s from 98 till 2009.

Speaker3: Okay, I get it.

Speaker1: Um, and 2009, I qualified and I came straight to Manchester for this year. I was in for that one year. It was interesting actually, because when you qualify from Ireland, you don’t have to do when you come here you exempt from I did it anyway because I thought it might be a good thing and I sort of stepping stone and in retrospect, probably the worst [00:09:00] thing I ever did was to do that year. Why? Because clinically, uh, as I said, you know, the standard practice which they give you in Ireland is very high. I didn’t really need that support or training, uh, in that sort of hand-holding way that we associated with vocational training in this country, there was a lot more independent as a practitioner at that point. Of course, you need someone to look over your cases and have someone to bounce off. I’m not saying I’m some sort of Dental superhero, far from it. But what happened in that year was that [00:09:30] that’s when my standards changed and I was just seeing the NHS stuff. Yeah, actually, if you take someone with a good skill set and put them into a high performing environment, that’s where they’re going to do well. That’s where they’ll excel. That’s where they where they will grow. Yeah, but if you take some of those high performing and put them into an underperforming environment, they will lose their skills because those skills are not being asked of them. They’re not being delivered or utilised. Yeah. And so actually in retrospect it was demotivating [00:10:00] for a year.

Speaker3: Sorry. It was demotivating for you.

Speaker1: Completely demotivating and de-skilling as I said. So actually going into uh, a supportive private practice, either staying in Ireland for a year or two or moving here to a supportive private practice, that would have been the best move, because it would maintain your skills and it would open your eyes as to what else is possible, what is out there, what is the next step in your development? What is the cutting edge in dentistry?

Speaker3: Yeah, I get them. I mean, look, going [00:10:30] back to what you said about jobs and you couldn’t see the the private jobs being advertised, what I understand nowadays is people ask for jobs that aren’t there. You know, they put out CVS and the practices they want to work at and go shadow those guys and until the job comes from those particular places. So interesting difference. So I used to do it the way that you’re saying, you know like look at the job section of the magazine. Yeah, but but now the best way to get a very good [00:11:00] job is to definitely come to things like packed bar, those, those things, I guess in your world it would be boss or whatever it is boss, isn’t it? Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: That’s right. That’s where you meet the, you know, the movers and shakers, isn’t it?

Speaker1: You’re right. Payman, um, I mean, the industry, the job market is entirely changed, as you know, in dentistry, but I still think that at the top end of of performers, things haven’t changed massively and neither [00:11:30] have the change at the bottom. But you have a lot greater number of people trying to be more towards, uh, the upper end or at least trying to emulate what’s going on at the upper end, which is good. It’s good to see in dentistry. And you’re right, actually, now the way to get a good job is it’s kind of becoming a lot more commercial or I hesitantly say Americanised, where, you know, you need to sort of, uh, spend the time, um, and have a drink or [00:12:00] socialise or be in those events, you know, like, like you say in the various forums that exist, various societies which exist and that might, that might help you along the way. And again, that’s something I am horrible at, you know. Yeah, it.

Speaker3: Doesn’t come naturally.

Speaker1: And networking and socialising, in fact when I, when I met you Payman it was at one of the dental tubules events. Yeah. And it was now you were clearly someone, for example, who’s great, amazing. A master networking.

Speaker3: Networking. No, I’m not very good at networking. I don’t, I [00:12:30] don’t like it.

Speaker1: You could have fooled me because, you know, when I met you, you had a cup of coffee in your hand and you just said, hey, you know, how are you? I’m Payman. What’s your name? And we just got talking. That’s what you know. That is what networking is, right? It’s just being able to make that connection with someone that that link. And, uh, I think you’re very good at it. And equally, that’s probably something which I’m, I’m, I’m equally as bad at as you are. Good.

Speaker3: So listen, man, you know, you’re saying networking okay. Yes. Networking. Because what I said was networking, I guess. Yeah, but but the [00:13:00] other thing, you know, we have people on our course, on our composite course, and a lot of them are there to put it on their CV so that they can get that private job or whatever it is. Yeah. But I’ll tell you what. My advice to them is. Yeah, that, you know, people want bosses want three things from high performing associates. Yeah. Number one photos, photography. And by inference it’s like Instagram. Yeah. And and following and community for sure that for sure that [00:13:30] number two communications courses you know like they’re they’re more interested in the communication of the the associate than his skill because they feel like that they can they can learn the skill later on. Um did I say three? Well, one was Instagram, one was photography. Um, but you know what I mean? It’s weird. The weird thing is that none of that has anything to do with actual clinical, but that’s what’ll get you, you know, get you seen and noticed by the bosses. Interesting [00:14:00] time.

Speaker1: It is interesting time. And I mean, I wonder why do you think that is?

Speaker3: Because that stuff’s super important. Yeah. You know, it’s it’s the you know, we can we can moan about it. But it is super important, you know?

Speaker1: I agree, I mean, I think, you know, on the communication side, 100% agree and you’ll be a lot more successful as a person, whether it’s in life or in dentistry, if those communication skills are harnessed and [00:14:30] refined and all of that, I have no doubt. But on the on the photography Instagram side, you know, yes, having nice or photography skills and being able to produce a good set of images is important from a documentary point of view, from a patient communication point of view, just to display your skill set. But but equally, I think there’s a lot of fudgery that goes on with photo with photographs as well. And you know, I am a cynic, 100% self-proclaimed cynic. And [00:15:00] you know, when I do see photographs, I always wonder why, um, we don’t see complete sets of photographs, why we don’t see photos of the teeth in the proper occlusion, why we don’t see photos of twins in guidance and things like that. And, you know, I think while it’s great to be able to post this up on Instagram, and I understand that maybe the the point of posting is attracting customers or attracting attracting.

Speaker3: That’s the answer. The patient facing the [00:15:30] dentist facing. And there’s plenty of wonderful dentist facing stuff. Yeah. By the way I see I see your Instagram games quite strong, but I don’t know if it is. Yeah it is, it is. But what what being strong isn’t necessarily is being strong is turning up. Yeah. Yeah. And you’re turning up you know you’re doing consistent stuff. Consistent stuff brings in its own audience. You know, it’s like this podcast, dude, we didn’t sit and sort of masterclass it out and say, what would be the most compelling format to to attract [00:16:00] listeners. We just do it. We do it and we do it every week, and it finds its own audience that way. You know, turning up so important in social. No, I think you play a good social game, dude. Have you got like a guy with a camera, you know, comes in every Thursday? How how do you do it? Just let’s talk about that. What’s your execution on.

Speaker1: All my all my social stuff, number one. I mean, I think you’re paying me a compliment, but the compliment, which is not due. But, you know, my my social stuff, you know, if you have a look at my Instagram, I don’t. [00:16:30] I’ve posted a bit in the last couple of months, but not nearly consistently enough. I was much better earlier on this year, but I think that’s the way sometimes, you know, you get distracted by things, and I was distracted by renovating my house, having a second child and so many other things. And that’s not an excuse. I suppose you still got to turn up. You got to turn up, as you say. But no, um, you know, we obviously have different kinds of posts, and obviously I’ve got the patient images, then I’ve got a couple of, um, but what’s your process?

Speaker3: What’s your process? What’s your process?

Speaker1: I [00:17:00] don’t have a process, a process.

Speaker3: You got a process. You’re posting. So. So do you. Just do you just process?

Speaker1: I think of what post am I okay I have a patient images. So I find a case that I finished and I and I just edit the images as I need to crop them whatever. And then I post them the other videos which are of me with talking.

Speaker3: To people and stuff.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, with me with this, uh, dentist called Doctor Arnold. Louis. Nice guy. He’s up in Lancashire and he’s he’s got his own little podcast going top guy. He he invited [00:17:30] me onto his podcast. And so they came to the practice, uh, and they recorded it. And actually some of my posts are from me speaking to Arnold. Are that there? That’s his footage which I’ve edited and put onto my own, which I thought was a great usage. You know, uh, and people like this kind of conversation is and it’s much easier for me to have a conversation with someone than with a camera. Yeah. Me too. I find that much easier. And then the last kind of post is basically my stuff from my courses and some stuff that my delegates have sent, something educational, [00:18:00] um, that I’ve recorded, and I’ll put that up. And so I try to maintain those three types of content over, over my page. And, uh, you’re right, it is about consistency. I think, you know, I will try to get into doing more videos, speaking to the camera type of videos. I don’t know if anybody really wants to hear my voice that much or wants to see my face even less, but my I have an ambition to start doing more orthodontic posts like information [00:18:30] posts to say this is a body retainer, not for patients, but for dentists to say these are the considerations you need to have a body retainer. How do you do a best bonded retainer? What are my tips and tricks? So I have an ambition to do that kind of stuff more regularly. But do you have any team working?

Speaker3: Do you have any team working on it at all other than yourself?

Speaker1: No whatsoever.

Speaker3: Well, that’s your area. You know, that’s your area. Um, you’re probably right. I’m not saying go higher right now. A social media ninja, if I am saying that actually if you’re if you are if [00:19:00] you’re if you’re man enough, if you’re man enough. Right. But let’s say you’re not man enough, right. You know, Upwork or people per hour put an ad out saying I need someone to edit videos. I need someone to make posts. I need someone to, you know, you can get someone doing that for you for almost nothing. Like it’s very little about money. People want to do that sort of work. You know your time, your orthodontist per hour time shouldn’t be wasted on this now. Yeah, not not as much 100%.

Speaker1: But at the same time, you know, to.

Speaker3: Learn it, you [00:19:30] need to learn it so that you’ve got the the right words and vocabulary. That’s what I take care of the post for this podcast specifically to feel the pain of a social media person. Yeah, but we’ve got four full time social, you know, people doing all the all the stuff. But you know, dude, my point when I say you’re good at it is, I don’t know many other consultant specialists posting regularly on Instagram very well. So added in that category, you’re like, number one.

Speaker1: You don’t have to leave a [00:20:00] strong point. It’s a really strong point. And I think, you know, historically there’s been a divide between the consultant group or the academics versus, you know, people in primary care. Yeah, there has been a big divide. But now actually and I think it happened over lockdown a little bit more, I think that divide is is becoming a lot narrower. And we’re beginning to converge. And we don’t have that chasm, that canyon between us as much anymore. And I do. There’s a couple of colleagues now, orthodontists, [00:20:30] very well known academics as well, who are posting very regularly now, in fact, far more regularly than I am. So I think they they have also recognised, you know, the power of this, both in terms of reaching the profession and also reaching patients. So I think it’s great. I think we need to have that variety across social media, and I follow those pages. I follow those academics to say, you know, this is really good work. This is a great post. I’m learning from them as well. So I like having that variation of maybe [00:21:00] some posts and some posters who just have cool cases or cool mechanics. Orthodontically. And then you’ve got sort of the Kevin O’Brien’s and Patrick Flemings of this world, the academics who are posting more orthodontic geeky, you know, scientific research and evidence. And I want to read that stuff as well. So actually having that variation is amazing. And I probably somewhere in the middle, uh, I want to show some nice cases. I want to reach the dentists. I still want to be evidence based. And I’m [00:21:30] trying to, like, capture all of that within my sphere of Instagram and Facebook or whatever. So, I mean, that happy zone somewhere. But you’re right. I’ve got to show up. Maybe I should get someone to do it for me. But I also think, you know, like, it’s not that hard. You know, editing photos and cropping them isn’t hard. And, you know, that takes me five minutes to do what takes me ages. And what I still haven’t really mastered is speaking to a camera.

Speaker3: Yeah, but you don’t have to do like, you know, I can’t speak to a camera, so I just don’t.

Speaker1: That’s a really [00:22:00] strong feeling. Yeah.

Speaker3: So look, the thing is, you know, do you know, I don’t know if you know Matty. Um, Parsons, he’s a he’s a he’s a general dentist, does a lot of composite bonding up in Liverpool. And he this guy, his Instagrams fantastically strong because he did a couple of competitions. He’s a he’s a great, great guy. You know could talk to camera if he wanted to. Maybe. Yeah probably. But all he has is before and after. Before. After before. After. [00:22:30] Before. After before after. That’s all he has on his Instagram. Um, yeah. 90,000 followers. Yeah. Like what I’m saying is you just whatever, whatever is comfortable is the thing you should do. And and you know, enough, you know, enough stuff, right? To, to have it without having to talk to the camera. Although it would be good if you could. I can’t. I much prefer this format.

Speaker1: This is a nice format and I mean, I enjoyed the conversational style of it. I think with Matty, um, I’m not familiar with this. I think I’ve heard the name for sure, but, you know, with someone who has [00:23:00] serial before and after photos and it’s just a chronic post-stroke before and after photo. That’s amazing. And obviously his work is, I’m assuming, is primarily clinical. And so the purpose of his social media is just to attract new clientele, I’m assuming. Yeah. Whereas mine is, uh, and maybe for the academics, it’s a little bit more nuanced or a bit more niche in that my posts also need to cover some of the educational stuff. And what that means is, I mean, I’m I’m so aware [00:23:30] that he, myself included, I prefer to listen or watch something than to have to read the information. You know, you might be in the car, you stick on a podcast. Yeah, um, or put on a book or something. So I guess the consumers of this information or of the content or my content probably wants some videos, and that’s where I’m a little bit stuck. You know, maybe I should, maybe I can just try some random posts and see if that works. But I really want to make the videos. I just feel like that’s that’s what I need to do. That’s what I, that’s [00:24:00] my engagement is with videos. You know, I’m so passionate about teaching. I love it more than orthodontics. I love teaching, really. And I think that when you have a passionate teacher, that’s when you learn best. And I really, really want that to come across in my social media and all my contacts and my emails. I want people to know that this is his actual passion is actually the teaching. Um, and I don’t think I get that from the static post. I think I get that from from voice, from video, from facial expression. Yeah.

Speaker3: Um, or, you know, from an online course that would be the ultimate, [00:24:30] right? You just buy buy the online course and sell it all over the world, by the way. Dude. Yeah.

Speaker1: So why not, though? You’re right, you’re right. Yeah. Because what I need to do now is hire a film crew and get them to do it for me.

Speaker3: Don’t worry. I’ll do it for you. And we’ll do, like, a revenue share model.

Speaker1: Why not? Why not? Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about it.

Speaker3: The wrong meeting? No. After the. No, [00:25:00] no. Um. No. Dude, that. Really. That is a good, good, good thing to do for someone who who adores teaching so much. But the thing about teaching what you adore about it, yeah, is the interesting point, I find, because, you know, like, let’s, let’s, for the sake of the argument, say you want to feed the hungry. Yeah. Or you could be the guy driving the the truck to the village and literally feeding the hungry, you know, because that the buzz of the person grabbing the food, you know, that might be the [00:25:30] thing that drives you. Yeah. But if, if actually you want to feed the most people, go be an orthodontist and pay 50 of those guys to. Yeah, hand out the food. Yeah. And with teaching it’s a similar story. Yeah. Because if you want the maximum number of dentists to learn from you, an online course would be the best way. You know, thousands could learn from you that way. But it’s the fun of teaching is actually watching the person when they suddenly realise light bulb moments in students. Yeah, and [00:26:00] that’s the actual fun of it. It’s not, you know, so the fun doesn’t align to the impact sort of thing.

Speaker1: Yeah, that’s really true. That is very true. It’s that, um, you know, when you see them becoming cognisant of something, you see the penny drop. Yeah. Uh, you’re right that that is the fun of it. And actually, you know, um, I think the thing with teaching is it’s a very social activity when you talk about adult education, you know, it’s not like we’re talking about teaching kids in a room, which is sort of didactic. Adult education and postgraduate education is all about the [00:26:30] interaction. Yeah. It’s a very social activity. Um, and there’s a lot of fun in that. And I think one of the nicer things about it is apart from, you know, watching the penny dropped in front of you. Yeah, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s how it’s building those relationships. Yeah. Uh, and it’s kind of you make new friends out of it. And a lot of the people come to my course, I end up sort of mentoring them. I get to know them over a much longer period. So you’re right that, you know, the the value that I see from it or the fun of it doesn’t really align with, [00:27:00] you know, the financial impact or the delivery of teaching on a wider scale. Yeah.

Speaker3: In fact, you know, I for me, the fun of it is the brilliance of the event. Yeah. And the brilliance of the event in many ways is dictated by how much money you spend on making it a brilliant event. Yeah. And so that the better the event is, the less money you’re making. But but you know, it’s that balance where you just because if it’s not a brilliant event, why even be there that weekend. You know what I mean. Definitely yourself.

Speaker1: 100%. [00:27:30] I mean there is you’re right. Because, you know, I was thinking about the last event. I’m like, I want to do it. Last time I didn’t do a delegate meal like two, two courses ago. And this was like, look, I need to really do a delegate meal this time. It’s got to be nice. And, you know, by the end of the two days, we couldn’t physically eat anymore because the main thing that I’d done in, in true sort of Asian capacity was made sure everyone was well fed at all times and we were [00:28:00] rolling down the stairs at the end of the event. Did you get way too much food? Did you get the.

Speaker3: Wedding caterers in?

Speaker1: I might as well use the banquet. It really was from start to finish. It was just there was just no space at all. But you know, that made the event for me. You know, I want I want people to go back and have a smile on their face and say, remember that time that course we went on, we ate so much. Oh, yeah. And there was something about aligners as well.

Speaker3: But okay, dude, you [00:28:30] know, you say you want people to feel that about you. Yeah. Tell me this dude, how does a how does it align. Right. The, the growing up in three different countries changing school that many times having to make new friends. And were you on one of those US military bases in Saudi. Is your dad a doctor?

Speaker1: No, no. Um, uh, my dad was an anaesthetist, so he was a doctor out there. And, uh, we were in, in, in Riyadh at that time. He used to live in sort of hospital compounds. So and the hospital had housing [00:29:00] associations of compounds all over the city. And you were in one of those. Um, and there were other people that were employed by the hospital in the same compound and an.

Speaker3: International school full of expat types.

Speaker1: That’s right. So there was two main international schools. One was the American and one was the British school. And we went to the British School, which was amazing, by the way. You know, um, a good school. Oh, I mean, the school was fantastic. And the facilities were I mean, we’re talking we know we think about the Saudis these days. [00:29:30] These days we talk, we think about they’re buying Newcastle. You know, AJ and Tyson are going over to fight in Jeddah or Riyadh, you know, but even at that time, you know, life in Saudi was amazing, amazing. As kids growing up, we went to this amazing school with really high quality education. The. Teachers were fantastic. The school was so well decked out. At such good facilities. You know, I can’t even begin to tell you, you know. So it was a great time growing [00:30:00] up in the, in the Middle East at that time, you know, the in your in your house in compound, you had swimming pool, you had tennis court or basketball court, you had friends your age. It was totally safe. You know, they were talking about 15 or 20 houses in a within four walls, locked gates, completely safe. You knew absolutely everybody. Um, and as soon as you got home, there was a race to the swimming pool. And then in the evening, there was a race to the courts. Uh, and so as sort of an eight, [00:30:30] 11 year old, you know, you couldn’t ask for more than that or you wanted to do was get home and start swimming or playing football or doing something with your friends.

Speaker3: What kind of a kid were you? Top of your class?

Speaker1: Um, yeah, they were thereabouts most of the time. Um, yeah. Was it that was it that.

Speaker3: Kind of house where the parents just incentivised study more than everything else? Or was it?

Speaker1: I think they.

Speaker3: More rounded than the.

Speaker1: I think they de incentivised underperformance is probably the way to put [00:31:00] it. And you have to and you have to read between the lines on that one. So yeah so and that’s it’s interesting actually because that mean in, in any, in any walk of life, there’s two ways to get the job done right. Either you incentivise carrot stick or carrots or the other way around. Yeah. And we weren’t really kids who were incentivised for performing. Well, that was just, uh, an expectation. That [00:31:30] was an expectation to say, well, you know, these are the grades you need to get, and if you get them and it was even a thumbs up, it was like, uh, you hit the mark now. Yeah. Stay there. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But God forbid the thumb starts pointing down. And it did, it did on occasion. So, you know, you have to be careful. Um, but yeah, our household was like that, you know, you had to sort of achieve the grades. And I suppose it’s that classic, uh, you know, South Asian or Asian type of pressure that we [00:32:00] all have spoken about and probably within our friends or elsewhere to say, oh, yeah, my parents expected me to get ten A’s or whatever it was. And we were we were no different. Uh, and from that point of view. Yeah.

Speaker3: Um, so then the thing I said about changing schools, meeting new people. Yeah. Yeah, you it probably means that you’re quite good at that, you know, like meeting new people. I’m obviously can go in one of two directions. Right. But but. You know. What are your [00:32:30] reflections on that? Like how it how it transfers to you today?

Speaker1: Um, I think as a, as a child, it’s very unsettling because you do have to build those relationships every couple of years. You know, there was times when I moved school, so every nine months or something for a couple of years. Um, so yeah. So that’s very difficult to do. So you don’t really build those long time bonds. Having said that, some of my some of the people that I’ve known the longest time in my life are from that three year stint in Saudi from [00:33:00] 20 years ago. Yeah. So you made some really good connections and you can build them over years. I suppose the nice part of it is that, you know, number one, having moved around so much, but also having moved around internationally, um, you get exposed to a lot of different types of people and different cultures, different race, ethnicity, different religions, particularly in Saudi. You know, in an expat school, you have the Muslims, you have the white British expats. Um, you have people from Africa, you have people from everywhere. [00:33:30] Yeah. And it’s really nice to have that because you don’t really get that everywhere. And now in this country, we’re very, you know, sort of cosmopolitan. We have different, different exposures and depending on where you are in the country. But it was great to have it at that time. And I think that makes you a much more rounded person for sure. I and, you know, you you do also then get a sense of what it’s like to have to build those relationships again and again. So there is that benefit when you grow up that maybe you can do that. But I do [00:34:00] feel like it’s a little bit of faking it and that you sort of almost have to you have to be confident and you have to feel or tell yourself that you feel okay with constantly meeting new people, constantly making new friends.

Speaker1: And as an adult, you sort of you’re still doing that a little bit. You’re still saying, look, it’s okay to go and meet a stranger at a conference and say, hey, what’s up? Hey, man. You know, um, uh, so it’s it’s it does give you that something to fall back on and say, I’ve done this as a child. I can [00:34:30] do this as an adult. Almost. Yeah, but I still feel internally like I’m still I’m still moving to a new school. Every time I go to a conference and I meet somebody new. Yeah. And, you know, I’m going to have to introduce myself and develop that relationship with them. And the funny thing is, you know, Payman like, you know, with conferences, uh, most people know a lot of people at various conferences. Um, orthodontists don’t know that many people at conferences because our speciality has historically been [00:35:00] quite isolated. And whether that’s self-imposed or not, I don’t know. But it is relatively isolated, and we don’t share that many conferences with the General Dental Forum. And so when I come to dental tubules or I go to somewhere else, there won’t be I might find 1 or 2 other orthodontists at the most, but everybody else is a prosthodontist, or an oral surgeon, or a general dentist or a marketing guy or something like that and don’t really know anybody. So when I do go to these conferences, I’m in that I’m in, I’m at another new school. [00:35:30] Ah. And, and I have to find some more new friends.

Speaker3: Though I know the feeling, but I know the feeling because I’m painfully shy, you know, I know what you said, what you said. But I’m. I’m painfully shy, I hate it. I’m really, really shy. There are people enlightened here that I haven’t introduced myself to. Employees of mine, you know, because. Because no one’s sort of introduced me to them. I’m really, really shy person as well, man. Um, you know, [00:36:00] it’s just one of those things, man.

Speaker1: Yeah, I guess, I mean, it’s got to be careful with your employees that it doesn’t get to a point where, you know, when you’ve met someone or you know them, and then you’ve had interaction with them. You’ve now known them for 3 or 4 years, but actually you still don’t know their name. You probably get to that point.

Speaker3: That’s happened to me as well. That’s happened to me as well, because we’re on different sites as well. Yeah. There’s um, you know, like I might see our warehouse maybe once every two years. I just don’t go there. It’s like it’s [00:36:30] not where I go. Um, yeah. So listen, man, how do.

Speaker1: You get around that? How do you get around that sort of feeling of, I.

Speaker3: Don’t like it.

Speaker1: Or shyness.

Speaker3: I don’t like it, dude. I’m really bad at it. I mean, now in a Dental environment, it’s it’s, you know, we’re I’m getting a bit senior, right? But I still don’t like it. I still don’t like it. And I find it really weird to hear people come to me and say, hey, I listen to your podcast. I’ve listened to 100 episodes. Yeah. And I like it’s a nice feeling, of course, [00:37:00] when someone says that, right. But I feel really, like really weak in that situation because I feel like they know me really well. I don’t know them. I’m pretty shy again. You know, it’s weird, man. It’s nice. A little bit of therapy for both of us. Uh, the new school therapy. Tell me this, but let’s get to a little bit of author. Let’s get to a little bit of author. I’m interested in this, you know, question of your average GDP is a funny, funny thing to say, right? A relatively junior GDP. Yeah. Coming. Your course for two [00:37:30] days. Is it a two day course?

Speaker1: It is? Yes.

Speaker3: Okay, so that guy or someone who’s done 100 Invisalign cases. Comes to you? Of course. Do you, do you start from the beginning and people get from it what they get from it? Or how do you manage that, the difference between those two? Or do you get a typical avatar type that comes and they’re all similar, similar bit of their of their career?

Speaker1: You know, I, uh, we get a full range. And one of the courses that I did, [00:38:00] I had a newbie I mean, I think sort of one year qualified. Yeah. Anna had a consultant orthodontist in the same room.

Speaker3: Well.

Speaker1: So you can imagine the spectrum that was there. Yeah. And the truth of the matter is that the majority of people who do aligners, I mean, the vast majority were above 90%, I would say haven’t spent the time to investigate and understand what it is [00:38:30] they’re actually doing. And that encompasses the materials, you know, the attachments, the biology of tooth movement, the mechanics of tooth movement. And not. And we haven’t even started talking about the aligners and how they move the teeth and how to stage treatment and IPR and also other things just yet. We were just talking about the basic scientists, a bit like when you go down to school and you have to learn the anatomy, you have to learn some physiology, you have to learn the histology, you have to understand what enamel prisms [00:39:00] are and what the hybrid layer is. If you’re going to do company, you have to set all these things. Yeah. And until you do well, you’re probably going to do pretty rubbish dentistry. Now. It’s not it’s not knowledge that you might need when you’re doing that filling. But if you don’t have that knowledge, you probably won’t know why you’re doing a good filling or why your fillings keep failing, for example. And in the same way, it’s the same with with with aligners. If you’ve done a hundred cases, hopefully you’re you’re you’re very good at managing your workflow. You might have done a bit of trial and error [00:39:30] and figured out what works and what doesn’t work.

Speaker1: But your approach to case management or clinical care is unlikely to be scientific, because you haven’t taken a scientific approach to your learning. You haven’t understood what the principles are and what the steps are in approaching your case in a systematic and scientific manner. So that was the problem. And I remember when I was at GDP, that was GDP for two years before I left and went to hospital, uh, into speciality training, I [00:40:00] did I did two aligner cases when I was a GDP back then. It was a company called Clear Step who went bankrupt. I’m sure everybody remembers. And um, and I spoke to Arnold about this, actually. And, you know, I did these two cases and they, they just they just were they were awful. They were awful. Horrible. And, you know, I remember the training. It was here, take a silicone impression and we’ll send you back a plan. Here’s a great consent form you can use. But that’s not treatment planning is it. [00:40:30] That’s taking an impression and signing a form. That’s what that is. And so the idea of the course came from this concept that actually I was GDP, I wasn’t appropriately trained to do something and actually something went wrong in those cases. So when I saw that happen, I thought at that time, this is not for me. I can’t do more alignment.

Speaker1: So I know what I’m doing. And that was one of the triggers that led me down the specialist pathway. Um, and then when I was in the last couple of years, when I decided to do [00:41:00] this course, I was, I tried to capture that feeling of what was it that I didn’t know? And I realised that what I didn’t know was everything in orthodontics, everything got to do with material science, everything got to do with biology and mechanics of tooth movement. So the course then basically was designed to answer all those questions and give people the building blocks they need to actually deliver proper treatment, not just focus on a brand of aligner treatment. So actually, you know, you can have a consultant in the same room [00:41:30] as a year one GDP or year two GDP. And a lot of the material is relevant to everybody. Um, because, you know, they haven’t covered it before. And yes, there will be some stuff which is irrelevant to the consultant or to somebody a bit more experienced. But unless you are that consultant, most people aren’t. They’ll just be more experienced GDP or even some specialists. Um, then that knowledge will will apply to you equally as much as it will to, uh, that junior colleague. But the one thing I’d say is kudos to the junior colleague for coming on on [00:42:00] year one and two rather than waiting for 100 cases.

Speaker3: Yeah, I agree with that. I agree with that. But the first time I did an Invisalign case, I could not believe I was doing an Invisalign case after the two days. They basically it was a one day course, one day course where they were basically showing you how to use the software. There was. There was nothing I couldn’t believe I was doing. Ortho. I mean, it was a long time ago. It was, I don’t know. Yeah. Before you qualified even. But now, [00:42:30] nowadays. Right. The the number of cases that are going through the importance of it, dude, like if you had to sort of put your finger on the very important critical difference between someone who understands materials, biology, tooth movement, what’s the critical point? I mean, you know, the way a line are talking about it is that, you know, that their supercomputer, AI is has analysed 5 million cases and [00:43:00] just knows where to put everything. So there it is.

Speaker1: You’re right there. But then why do we do refinements?

Speaker3: Yeah. True. True.

Speaker1: Why would you refinements if they’ve got, you know, 1,000,000,000 million cases and they’ve got the scans at the beginning, they’ve got the scans at the end. So surely, you know, uh, their supercomputer can work out what has gone wrong, what has gone. Well, yeah. What attachments were there and [00:43:30] what do we need to to modify here? Surely. Now, what’s really interesting is that I’m sure you’ve heard the line, you know, that you know, the the lie is halfway down the street before the truth is out of bed. Yeah, yeah. And it’s it’s true in every walk of life in dentistry is no different. And so with aligners, you know, if you, if you, if we say that we’re going to get a certain amount of tooth movement or they can do this or they can do that, it’s not really true. The evidence is now coming out to say, well, the predictability of treatment is actually [00:44:00] quite poor, and we can now begin to grade how effective or how predictable individual tooth movements are. So is overbite reduction going to be 100% of what we’re seeing on the treatment simulation? It’s not it’s going to be, you know, roughly half of what we’re seeing or so on and so forth.

Speaker1: What about rotations, what about angulation etc., etc.. So we know that that’s not true because the science is actually now there. The the thing that aligner companies had was they had the benefit of a lack of science so they could say [00:44:30] whatever they wanted. Um, but now the science is there, so you can’t just say whatever you want because the science is, is, is obviously existing. Anyone can go and research it. Um, and as clinicians, you know, we shouldn’t be, um, hesitant to apply the science. We shouldn’t say, well, aligner is saying this or clear corrector saying that, and spark is saying this, so it must be true. And the last thing I’d say is that, you know, AI doesn’t have an understanding of the biological limitations [00:45:00] or the biological parameters around treatment. It doesn’t have an understanding of patient compliance. It doesn’t have an understanding of the various failures that can happen during treatment, doesn’t have understanding of any of this. And all of these are massive factors when you consider what kind of treatment we want to deliver and how we want to plan to deliver that movement. So give me that example.

Speaker3: Give me that example here where knowing the just an example, one of many right, where knowing about the materials, about the bone with something, [00:45:30] what goes wrong, what’s the what do dentists commonly do wrong that they shouldn’t with aligners? And if they knew what they know with your bit, they wouldn’t do? Go on, give us an example.

Speaker1: Well, you have to come to my course to find out. No, I’m only joking. No, no, I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you what it is. The number one thing I see is overexpansion of the upper and lower arches, which we know is unsafe because you’re you’re violating the biological and periodontal parameters. That’s the number one thing. Yeah. And the second thing I see is really [00:46:00] poor finish or really poor occlusion. And the caveat is, well, the patient was okay with it. Um, and I feel that that is a get out of jail card that a lot of us are using. And it’s not really justified to say, well, the patient didn’t say anything. The patient didn’t complain because you’re actually the health care provider. You should be providing the optimal level of care and to say, well, the patient didn’t really care what the patient wasn’t too bothered. So I left it high in the occlusion or whatever. That’s not really a satisfactory outcome for me. I think [00:46:30] that’s a cop out. I think it’s really a poor standard of care to be delivered in that kind of service. And I think that that’s where you want to deliver. Then you shouldn’t you shouldn’t do the treatment. Let someone do the treatment. You can actually deliver it to a to the right standard. And who holds themselves to a higher authority than patient? Not complaining.

Speaker3: Agreed. I mean patient not complaining is is is you know down here and patient delighted. And sending you another patient is a long way away from there’s a big space between those two.

Speaker1: Payman isn’t it. I mean you can straighten [00:47:00] someone’s teeth, but if you leave them with a lip trap that they’re not complaining about, they may not even realise it. You know, they might just accept that, you know, or sometimes, you know, they dentists or people will say, well, I told them they’re going to have a lip trap. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean it’s okay in my book doesn’t mean it’s okay. So a negative outcome.

Speaker3: So dude, you know, it’s kind of similar to. To Indo, isn’t it? Right. So, you know, some general dentists can do Indo and want to do Indo. And then there is a point where they feel like referring. Yeah. But [00:47:30] with, with ortho you’ve got, you know, you’ve got the kind of dentist who doesn’t do any ortho and he’s going to have to refer, you know, earlier, but then you’ve got the kind of a whole spectrum of dentists who do ortho. What do you tell them. What do you tell them is the time that they should be referring to a specialist, or is it different for each person? I mean.

Speaker1: Yeah, it’s different for each person, their experience level. Some people have mentors that help them along. So I mentor a lot of dentists, for example. So maybe they’re tackling an increased complexity of case as their skill level increases. Yeah, I think the [00:48:00] difference, for example, is that with endodontics, you know, the outcome even with a specialist is not necessarily guaranteed. You know, even if you go and see one of those, you know, if we see Sanjiv down in Manchester and he’ll still tell you there’s I’m sure there’s a risk of failure here because it will eventually fail. The thing with orthodontic treatment, though, is that generally speaking, it’s a fairly traditionally a predictable treatment. You kind of know what to movements are going to occur, what kind [00:48:30] of tooth movements need to occur, what’s the final overjet going to be like? What’s the final overbite going to be like? If there’s any spaces left, you kind of know where they’re going to be and how big they’re going to be as well. And if you can’t, you know, really plan in that way. And if you’re saying, well, let’s give you some aligners and let’s see what it looks like, let’s see what it looks like, and then we’ll see if we need some more aligners. And and then we’ll see if maybe we need some composite afterwards. That’s not really a roadmap to success. Really. That’s a hidden hope. You [00:49:00] know, when you go to London from Manchester, you you have your satnav on and satnav tells you the route that you need to go on.

Speaker1: And yeah, you might encounter a problem in accident. You might take a little detour to get to the same end point, but you still have an overall route. And a lot of the times with aligners, the mentality seems to be, well, we’ll see how much we get done and then the rest of it we’ll see. You might need some veneers, you know, we might might need some full coverage crowns, you might need some composite. And for me that’s not really a satisfactory way of planning. I think that you can plan with a [00:49:30] much higher degree of predictability, because orthodontic tooth movement is generally quite predictable in terms of what moves are going to occur. So why can’t we do that? Why can’t all dentists plan in that way and say, actually, we know what the final occlusion is going to be like because we planned it. We didn’t just align the teeth and hope for the best. We planned it. We told the patient in advance exactly what it’s going to be like, or almost what it’s going to be like, and we plan the restorative face as well. And that to me is high quality [00:50:00] treatment. That to me is informed consent that really ticks all the boxes of communication and everything else. So I guess that’s my my inflection point. Yes. Well said.

Speaker3: That’s lovely man. Um, so when they come on this two day course. What do you teach them? How long does it take you to teach them the, you know, the basic science bit? I mean, it doesn’t seem long enough. Does it do that?

Speaker1: Oh.

Speaker3: Is there a continuum? Is there a continuum, by [00:50:30] the way? We do ours is our composite course is a two day course, but there should be a continuum. We haven’t got round to, you know. Yes. Is there more than two days.

Speaker1: My, my my course is two days. And what I, what I always say to anybody, whether they’re mentoring or whether they’re coming onto courses to say, look, I can’t, you know, Rome was built in a day and I can’t teach you orthodontics in two days. What I can do is give you the essential building blocks. You need the essential. And I’ve got this picture of a of a of [00:51:00] a of a road map, uh, much like our London to Manchester or vice versa analogy. I know there’s a car and it’s going from point A, and it’s got a marker and point B where it’s going and, and actually what I say is actually what I started saying now is that point B shouldn’t really be there. It should just be a road. And the point is, isn’t it? Is an infinity somewhere. Yeah. Because even for me, as the person providing the teaching, I’m still on that road. I’m just further along the road. Yeah, [00:51:30] yeah, yeah, yeah. So the continuum is there, I think, you know, so when you say how long does it take to teach you. How long does it take to teach the basics? I’d say the two days. The two days is what it takes to teach the basics. Because, yeah, each topic or each lecture or each part of the conversation that we have is about something different.

Speaker1: And all of those things are essential. They are absolutely essential to dilute, to do any of the Leaders. So I would say the two days is what you need to learn the basics. And actually, [00:52:00] um, more recently I’ve had a thought to do a second course which is going to be aiming to cater for those people who have grabbed the basics, who understand the right way to do the treatment, who understand the biological and orthodontic limits and parameters that you should be working to understand the importance of not, you know, insulting the periodontium and and then going through a more advanced type, of course, where actually we’re showing you more specifically how to use the 3D controls, how to do things in [00:52:30] greater detail to really refine your cases, minimise the number of treatment phases that you need, making them more comfortable with the software. Because truthfully, most of the planning they need for orthodontics is done in your mind. Most of its mind is mind work. The rest of it is just a bit of clicking on the computer. Once you’ve mastered the mind work, starting the second course will be great for people who want to really master the software as well.

Speaker3: So do you do things like massive over corrections, change the shape of the attachments, all of that sort of stuff?

Speaker1: Yeah, absolutely. [00:53:00] Absolutely. And that that part is key because we know in the same way with with braces, you know, braces, under-deliver fixed braces, they under-deliver on what we want them to do. So it’s up to the clinician to understand where their underperformance is going to be and to manage that appropriately. And aligners are no different. They underperform massively, far more than fixed braces. So again, it’s just a matter of understanding how, when and why the underperformance is going to occur and then [00:53:30] build in the mechanisms to try and account for that during your treatment. So, you know, modification of attachments and adjustment of the tooth positions. All of these things account for the underperformance within the appliance system itself. And it’s no difference whether you use Invisalign or clear, correct or spark. It doesn’t matter. Or sure, smile and forget or say all the big boys and no one feels left out. They all underperform in a similar way. And so if you understood the science behind why you’re doing what you’re doing, well, what [00:54:00] I say to everyone is every case becomes the same case because all you’re doing is applying your knowledge to that particular case. You’re you’re doing things in a systematic way to account for underperformance. And so my aim is to give you tell me this, tell me.

Speaker3: This, dude, if you’re saying you can be so sure about the outcome at the outset, that’s what you’re saying. Yeah.

Speaker1: Notice I’m saying, oh, you know, now, what I’m saying is that, you know, that there’s going to be underperformance. Yeah. Because the science [00:54:30] is now telling us where the underperformance actually is. There’s research out there to tell us where it is. So you can try and build in mechanisms to correct that. Yeah. Because there’s biological variation between you and I for example. Payman. Yeah. That overcorrection or that that mechanism to address underperformance may not be expressed in the same way between you and I. So I’m still going to introduce some refinements. I’m still going to have to do some of some corrections later on, but I should know where the outcome is going to be. I should know what my overjet overbite are going to be at the end of treatment.

Speaker3: So do you do? [00:55:00] Do you do that service where you do the treatment planning for the dentist?

Speaker1: No, I don’t believe in that whatsoever. Why not? I think that I think that’s, uh, that’s a that’s a quick ticket to litigation. Um, I’ll tell you why. It’s because, number one, you know, as a dentist who’s providing treatment, you need to be in control of your treatment. And if you’ve got someone else to do your plan for you, and you don’t understand why they’ve put in those attachments, or why you might need to use elastics at a particular point, then [00:55:30] when it comes to using those elastics and when it comes to monitoring the treatment progress, um, how will you do that if you don’t know why you did it in the first place and what to look for? And so I don’t think it’s a good service to as an educator, as a consultant, as someone who teaches Post-grads and everybody else. I don’t think it’s the right service to offer our profession to say, here’s a quick plan that I did. Hopefully it works for you. If it doesn’t really sorry, scan it again. I’ll charge you another [00:56:00] £200 to do another plan for you. I’ll only take 20 minutes to do the plan. Hopefully it’ll work if not refined in three. Comeback. I’ll charge you another £200 or whatever my fee is. And I don’t think it’s teaching the dentists or teaching the users of that service to be better clinicians. I don’t think it’s good necessarily achieve better outcomes, so I don’t really believe in that as an approach to education or approach to care. I think clinicians still retain legal responsibility for that. So if I did a plan for you and it doesn’t go doesn’t [00:56:30] go well, well, the patient’s going to come after you. I’m going to have my, you know, contracts in place to make sure that I’m fine. You’re the one that clicked the approve button. Yeah.

Speaker3: But still I’m still more confident with your plan than mine, so I’ll take that risk.

Speaker1: Well, you might, but, uh, I suppose that’s a philosophical divide, isn’t it? Yeah, I just, I feel that I get it. There’s a business and there’s a market for that. I totally understand that. I just, I think, [00:57:00] I think I disagree with it from an educational standpoint or from from a, from a clinical standpoint, from a patient care standpoint that you don’t know what you’re doing with your patient. And I don’t really want to be part of that. You know, my my whole ethos is on providing high quality care, high quality education that’s ethically driven, that does the right thing, you know, say no to drugs. That’s my thing. So I don’t want to be even perceived as someone that thinks that there’s a shortcut [00:57:30] to doing good treatment, because there isn’t. And I think everyone should be responsible for their own care.

Speaker3: That’s a good point, man. Let’s talk about darker times. We have a thing on this pod where we talk about errors. Clinical errors? Yes. In the hope that we can all learn from each others a little bit rather than hiding our errors like that black box thinking idea. Yeah. What comes to mind when I say clinical errors?

Speaker1: You know what? I only have two [00:58:00] that stick in my mind over my career. Really? I’m sure I’ve made plenty of errors, though, and. But there are only two which stick to mind. And I guess it’s because part of those are the two cases, or the two examples that led me to where I am, and they’re the two aligner cases. I mean, nothing crazy. I mean, um, you know, so please, I don’t want there to be a suspense around what I’m going to say, but clinical errors, you know, it was those two early aligner cases that I did. And, um, I’ll tell you about them, should [00:58:30] you wish. Yeah. Um, you know, it was one. I think the first case I did was this, uh, Middle-Aged, uh, lady. And, um, uh, she had some periodontal disease historically, and I, I was a happy go lucky associate, uh, you know, and I said, yeah, pull the trigger, get the aligners done. Uh, bonded her up with the attachments, and I think, I don’t know how many number of aligners in, you know, the upper lateral incisor was mobile. Oh, and I thought, oh, God. And, you know, I was, [00:59:00] you know, I’m not sure you allow swearing on this, but, uh, you know, I was yeah, I was shit scared. I thought, what have I done? I was a year 1 or 2 associate after, I mean, very junior. Not a clue why these tuples mobile. And, you know, thinking back, I’m thinking, was it a problem because teeth are actually mobile during orthodontic treatment. Anyway, that’s how foolish was I to number one to panic. I mean, teeth are meant to be mobile during orthodontic treatment, right? But I think this was a bit more mobile than I wanted it to be [00:59:30] because she had a bit of perio or whatever in the past. And even now, I think thinking back, I probably wasn’t a problem, but I panicked and I sort of froze. The treatment referred her on to a specialist orthodontist, referring to a special.

Speaker3: Expansion like you just said. Is that what it was?

Speaker1: No, it was it was expansion. I was rotating a lateral. It was rotating a lateral. Um, but it might have proclaimed a bit, you know, outside the bone. I don’t know, I don’t know because I didn’t have a cone beam. So what what massive thing happened?

Speaker3: Did you say what [01:00:00] happened with the patient?

Speaker1: I stopped the treatment. Yeah, but I stopped confidence and I. And sorry.

Speaker3: Patient confidence. Did they sort of twig that you’d made an error or what happened? Did you tell them I’ve made an error?

Speaker1: What happened? I think I’m so, like, blinded by my sheer panic that time. And I’m managing my own feelings. I don’t even remember how the patient handled it. I think we could have been good. Yeah, I think I think we said, look, I did, I did that thing which I tell dentist not to do, of course, which is tell the patient it’s okay. Yeah, we’ve got a good improvement [01:00:30] and we can manage the rest with a bit of restorative work, but go and see a periodontist first. Something along those lines. Um, and yeah, we aligned the rest of the other incisors. There was an improvement, but that’s not a good outcome. No. And anyway, I stopped doing the aligners for a little while. After a few months, I saw another case, and this one was a crowded case, and I sort of got my confidence back and I said, okay, there’s no perio here. This is a this is a go. Um, and uh, again, I took the took the impressions and got the aligners [01:01:00] made. And again, lateral incisor, which are the bane of aligners, but it just would not align. It would not align no matter what I did, no matter how many elastics I used and bootstrapped and informs that I went on it, I couldn’t get it to go.

Speaker1: And in the end, you know, the patient needed to have fixed. So it’s a failed at that point, isn’t it? Financially, it’s a fail. Clinically it’s a failed patient with losing confidence in you. It’s just not a win or whatsoever. Yeah. And you know, if you think about it, you know, [01:01:30] those failures uh, those cases, you know, led you to become an orthodontist. Yeah. Now I’m a consultant. At that time, I was a GDP. I didn’t know any better. And, you know, there’s failures in diagnosis. There’s failures in understanding how teeth move. There’s failures in understanding the physiology. You know, understand that the teeth are going to become mobile. There’s failures in monitoring the treatment. There’s failures at every single stage, the Payman. So I don’t think it gets any bigger than that. And you know [01:02:00] what both cases they didn’t end up, you know, with, with uh, any sort of, uh, claims or anything like that. Both patients had decent outcomes at the end of it. But from my point of view, you know, that’s that wasn’t where I wanted to be as a clinician, certainly not as a young, enthusiastic practitioner. That’s not what you want.

Speaker3: And the lesson we have to learn from this is know your shit before getting into stuff. Is that the lesson or.

Speaker1: Yeah, the lesson is that, you know, if if something sounds number one, if something sounds too good to be true, [01:02:30] it probably is. Yeah. And the second thing more importantly is, you know, it’s okay to not know the answers. It’s okay to not have the information, you know. That’s fine. Not knowing is never a problem. The problem is not seeking the knowledge. So seek the knowledge. Seek help. And then. And then go for it. Because you’ve done the right thing.

Speaker3: So interesting man. When I talk to whoever I’m talking to, it could be a lawyer. It could be whoever. I’m talking to a marketing guy. [01:03:00] And if I ask a question and they say, I don’t know, yeah, my respect for them goes straight up instead of instead of what we think is that, you know, if you say you don’t know, the patient’s going to feel, why doesn’t why don’t you know? Yeah. That’s you know, your instinct says, I can’t say I don’t know. But from the other side of it, I’ve personally when someone says, I don’t know, I just, I like that. Yeah. Um, it’s a bit like Andrew Darwood was saying, uh, when I spoke to him, he said, if you’re going through [01:03:30] all the things that could go wrong during treatment, and you’re saying it with some authority, and you’re saying this could happen, that you’re not putting the patient off, you’re actually giving the patient confidence because they think, you know, this guy’s been around the block, knows what he’s doing, knows what’s possible, what can go wrong. You know, it’s a bit like that.

Speaker1: Absolutely, absolutely. I think I think you’re right on that. And actually, I mean, the thing is. Right. If how would you feel if your dentist somehow was delivering health care to you? Dad, I don’t [01:04:00] know. Appetising is one thing, marketing is one thing. But what if they said, I don’t know if I asked.

Speaker3: Him a question and he said, I don’t know, I I’d be totally cool. Um, you’d be cool if you said, I don’t know, but I’ll find out. Right? That’s the the kind of thing you want from them. Um, I’d much rather that than think he just made it up on the spot, which I guess people, for sure. People are good. People are good at hiding that, right? They are good at hiding that. But like I say, I I’m, I like it, I like hearing I don’t know from professionals personally. [01:04:30]

Speaker1: Um, no, I do think it’s a good thing I yeah, I do, and you’re right. You know, when you do tell your patients, you know, what is the difference between it’s a difference.

Speaker3: Between knowing your stuff and saying, I don’t know. It’s very different to not knowing your stuff and saying, I don’t know.

Speaker1: Isn’t it? I love that, I love that. That’s very well put because you.

Speaker3: Know your stuff, dude. You’re so when you’re saying, I don’t know, you’re telling the guy, you know.

Speaker1: As someone who knows a lot.

Speaker3: I don’t know. It’s a totally different [01:05:00] story, you know?

Speaker1: Yeah. I suppose it’s like that concept of, you know, for example, when I send my patients, I tell them, look, one of the risks is tooth loss. Yeah. Right. I say it, I say that’s the worst thing that can happen is tooth loss. And it’s never happened in any of my cases. But it’s a theoretical risk. I always say, you know what the risk is root resorption. And they say, what are the chances? I say in your specific case, I don’t know. But here’s what the evidence says about it generally. What is it? It’s it’s 100% of cases [01:05:30] will get root resorption really 100%. Um, and very, very, very small minority will get severe resorption. In other words, 50% of root loss or more.

Speaker3: How many?

Speaker1: I don’t know. Well done, well done.

Speaker3: Well, I love that dude. I love having just with what I just said. Well done man.

Speaker1: I think it’s I think it’s less I don’t I don’t want to quote it, but I think it’s less than 2%. It’s less than 2%. But I don’t want to I don’t want to because people are listening to this. I don’t want to say, [01:06:00] like Sean said it and he’s a consultant. So so I’m going to say, I don’t know, but it’s around by less than 2%.

Speaker3: Sure, man. Sure. You know, I always find it interesting your author has this wonderful position in our profession. Yeah. Oh, refer the kid for ortho. Ortho this, ortho that. And in a way, like, as if it’s not cosmetics. Yeah, you know, it’s not Payman. Ortho is cosmetics, buddy. Yeah, ortho is cosmetics. Yeah. If the cosmetic benefits of ortho weren’t there, we would send their kid to have a 2% risk [01:06:30] of root resorption.

Speaker1: You’re right. I mean, look, look, what I’m saying is.

Speaker3: I’m very happy with ortho being cosmetic studio, but but there’s a there’s a bunch of people in our profession who refer to authors with some sort of wonderful thing. And then you say, hey, how did you ask about teeth whitening? They’re like, oh, it’s like a massive shark or something to that. We’re talking about cosmetics outside, for sure.

Speaker1: I think I know, I agree with you. Look, a lot of adult orthodontics in primary care is cosmetically [01:07:00] driven. The huge, huge child and.

Speaker3: Child and child. Let’s not be.

Speaker1: Silly and child look for the children. You know there is there are there is some psychosocial benefits. It’s not to say that that’s the primary factor, but you know, kids who have their teeth straightened are a lot more confident, seem to be generally a lot happier and probably have less teasing as well. So there is some clear societal or psychosocial benefits there. That’s the first thing. And then if we talk about orthodontics as a speciality, [01:07:30] I think what most of the profession are exposed to is, uh, you know, referring the kids at the age of 10 or 11, you know, for an orthodontic assessment, they come back with braces, maybe some teeth out straight teeth, or the adults have a bit of ceramic or aligners or whatever, or incognito and, you know, they have their teeth done. It’s it’s cosmetic. But don’t forget that a lot of the cases that consultants are treating are in secondary care or even in private practice, we see a huge amount of multidisciplinary cases. Huge. [01:08:00] Let’s not forget cleft care. Let’s not forget the craniofacial centres. Let’s not forget hypodontia patients.

Speaker1: Let’s not forget multidisciplinary patients. Otherwise, you know, all of that is orthodontics. And you know, privately I see so many referrals for just even routine secondary care NHS patients who don’t want to wait in the waiting list. Now they’ve got hypodontia or they need orthognathic surgery. Um, these are patients with proper functional deficit or facial deformity. And particularly as consultants, we treat a huge number of [01:08:30] those patients. So yeah, I think from the broad spectrum that the most of the profession sees, there is a significant component of cosmetic orthodontics. And that is that is what’s led to aligner explosion. But as a speciality, you know, we have a huge portion of our time dedicated to complex malocclusion, multidisciplinary treatment or just complex dental alveolar stuff. I mean, the amount of central incisors that I have to align every year or every couple of years is massive, you know, and, [01:09:00] uh, and I suppose that, you know, no one should say, well, that central incisor for that kid, it shouldn’t be done or is purely cosmetic. I mean, the kid hasn’t got a front tooth. Yeah, okay.

Speaker3: But I get it.

Speaker1: And yeah, that is cosmetic. Right. But but that is cosmetic. But but it’s, it’s but it’s, it’s outside the norm of what society expects for that kid.

Speaker3: I get it. Look, I’m just bitter, that’s all. I’m just bitter about my my bleaching.

Speaker1: My bleaching thing. I’m an orthodontist. I mean.

Speaker3: You know, they should have just said, you know, [01:09:30] as part of an examination, take shade, and then everyone would be doing that and that’d be the end of it. But and Pei Pei wouldn’t have to sit here and bitch on the podcast.

Speaker1: I don’t think I don’t think anyone is, you know, you know, I’m voting for people who can’t see me, but I’m currently twitching the world’s smallest violin between my index finger and my thumb. So can you imagine? But you know what? You should be happy. You should be happy. Because the explosion in aligner treatment has led to even more patients having their teeth whitened. What, the free [01:10:00] whitening.

Speaker3: Yeah, the free whitening. Yeah, but they’re.

Speaker1: Paying you for it. No they don’t, they don’t.

Speaker3: They go for the cheapest, crappiest one they can find. Yeah that’s true. There is a, there is a thing called the upgrade conversation which is hey start with free whitening. And then at the end say, hey, do you want to upgrade to, you know, vivera and light and that combination. Yeah. Um.

Speaker1: Very enlightened. Yeah. Why not? Because when you start doing is start giving those little, you know, those little tiny toothpaste tubes you get on aeroplanes, like the time they cost.

Speaker3: Money to make those, you know, people think they just they.

Speaker1: They can just do a couple of teeth, [01:10:30] you know, and.

Speaker3: The number of times people have asked for those. Yeah. And you know that that just costs extra money on top of all the other money. You have to make those on top now. Yeah. It’s tell me about I quite enjoyed your dark period there. So tell me something else. You know, career wise I mean okay that was patient error. Yeah. When was the darkest day in your career? Because a lot of ups and downs, dude. Yeah, I’m looking at your CV here on my other screen Masters [01:11:00] in dental public health.

Speaker1: Those were dark days. And you’ve done.

Speaker3: Three different ortho like an MSC, an ortho an morth and then a fellowship as well. Yes. Um, there must have been some dark days in this, in this little career.

Speaker1: Yeah. Look, I think academically, yeah, I think the Masters at Dental Public Health was I did that while I was an associate, and I did that. Yeah. In my second year of associateship [01:11:30] and. My first year as show and Max Fox. I did that Masters and it was good because it gave me a really good academic grounding in research methods and biostatistics and all this kind of stuff. And it also bolstered my CV because I needed to do that to get into orthodontics, which is obviously competitive recruitment process. It’s highly competitive writing. Mhm. Um, so I had to do that. I mean, the other stuff is kind of more routine, you know, now that actually taking it out. But historically you had to do a master’s [01:12:00] as part of your uh, your speciality training in orthodontics. And you also then had to do the membership exam from the Royal College as an exit exam, essentially. And then the FDS is the fellowship. That’s sort of your consultant examination.

Speaker3: What about your advice to someone who wants to get into ortho?

Speaker1: I mean, um, I think how hard is it?

Speaker3: How hard is it? Like.

Speaker1: You start working as hard as you can as early as possible and make sure it is something that you really want. You really want. Because I have [01:12:30] to admit to you that, you know, I do have colleagues, you know, consultants, colleagues. And sometimes, you know, we’ll chat and we’ll say, guys, was it worth it? Because it’s a long time Payman it’s a long time. And the opportunity cost of specialist training in orthodontics is massive. Yeah, it’s huge, particularly if you’re a hard working, enthusiastic, highly skilled associate. Yeah. Who has really good work ethic. The opportunity [01:13:00] cost is massive. The life afterwards is really good, I have to tell you. And in terms of dark days, you know, just going back to your first question, you know, the dark days in my career don’t really relate to. I mean, I talked about the two clinical cases, but the rest of it doesn’t really relate to cases or clinical care. It relates more to, uh, how should we say? I think. Relationship management. Um. [01:13:30] Go on. And and, you know, when you’re when you are someone junior in your career, when you’re, uh, when you’re answerable to trainers and, and supervisors and stuff like that, I think, you know, and particularly as an adult, you know, uh, when we go to university, we’re still kind of kids, aren’t we? We’ve just left school. We don’t mind someone telling us what to do and where to be. We almost need it because we’re still kids. Yeah. As an adult, you know, it’s sort of someone in [01:14:00] their late 20s, early 30s, and it can be difficult to to absorb instruction in the same way.

Speaker3: Are you are you are you telling me you have a problem with authority?

Speaker1: I’m not saying that. But look, I know I don’t think it’s a problem with authority, but I know what I’m saying. I have difficulty absorbing instruction is what I expect. No, no, look, look, I think I think, um, uh, [01:14:30] spit it out.

Speaker3: We’ll cut it out. We’ll cut it out. What happened? What happened? Just say it. No, no, I think I’ll cut it out.

Speaker1: Just say it and we’ll cut everywhere. I’ve lived around the world. Right? A little bit. Not around the world, but I lived in different places. British society has a very sort of unique structure. And they we still have a very hierarchical society that’s reflected within the academic institutions. Yeah. And there isn’t much place for individualism.

Speaker3: Well, you say that, dude. Yeah. But I mean, I don’t know if [01:15:00] you’ve ever been come across like the French. Right. The very, very, very conservative man. I mean, you know, at least in London, you see the odd people with, you know, a punk or a skinhead or something. The French are just homogenous from what I’ve seen.

Speaker1: You know, that’s interesting. You know, I think, yeah. You’re right. Maybe, maybe I maybe I’m sort of generalising, but I society I hear what.

Speaker3: You say, I hear what you say. And the problem that I see with it is almost like there’s no middle. Um, yeah, there’s the best restaurants in the world are in London. Yeah, but if you randomly [01:15:30] walk into a restaurant, you probably have a terrible experience, you know, like this. Or the best universities we have or the best, uh, you know, we do have the best of a lot of things. Best healthcare. Yeah, but then a big middle bit, which isn’t very, very, very good. And it’s just reflected in every part of society. So, you know, I don’t know whether you’re thinking about the, you know, the class system and all of that stuff. I find it’s so interesting after 40 [01:16:00] years, 50 years, however long I’ve been living here. Yeah. That like only recently understanding properly, understanding that people are more interested in the school you went to than the university you went to. And it’s like it’s it’s a that’s the biggest divide here, you know, of course you have the people who go to university and the people who never, never go and haven’t been yet, but go on the dark day. What happened? What happened? You did you.

Speaker1: Get a job.

Speaker3: You didn’t get a promotion. You didn’t get a [01:16:30] recommendation.

Speaker1: I don’t think any of that. I think I think sometimes in in institutions and you know, and the NHS is not immune to this because it is a huge institution. Yeah. You know, you get institutional bias. Yeah. And that can be if you’re not tough skinned that can be very, very difficult to to swallow. And bias occurs in many different ways as you know. Yeah. Uh, whether that’s gender, whether that’s race, whether that’s just the way you do [01:17:00] things that, you know, you’re not following a set guideline or a set pathway or a set style of behaviour or a set style of communication or whatever it is. Okay. But what happened? There’s a there’s a, there’s a bias there which, you know, which is, which is difficult to to get around. I think, you know, I just I think that in some ways I struggle to fit in in, in certain scenarios and certain situations. And when you don’t fit in, then, um, you know, you start [01:17:30] questioning whether this is the right job for you, whether this is the right place for you, whether this is the right training for you. And I think in some circumstances, you know, without getting too deep into it or giving away too much because I think, uh, a lot of people are still working. I think that there are there are I think there are times when you have to just stand up for yourself. And those are the darkest days, because actually you’re challenging behaviours that are unacceptable or you’re challenging people or personalities [01:18:00] that are or biases that are unacceptable. And those were the darkest days where as someone who is maybe come from Ireland or come from elsewhere, and if you’re being treated differently to other people within the same environment, within the same context, and you know what that different treatment means, it doesn’t make a difference. It doesn’t mean you weren’t given an audit project or you weren’t given the same type of patience. You weren’t given the same type of training, or you weren’t given access to, uh, to education or access to consultants or whatever it is that could come.

Speaker3: Down to anything.

Speaker1: Tonality [01:18:30] if you come out and reality is, uh Payman that it comes down to everything, not anything. It comes out to everything, doesn’t it? Because bias affects everything. And so I think those were the dark days. And that really is, is a test of character actually. Because what’s your reflection on that.

Speaker3: What’s your reflection on that. Is your reflection on that. That’s the way it was. And I just, you know, I lived it. And as a Pakistani guy in Saudi, for instance, I’m sure there was some some bias there too, right. Yeah. Or, or is it that you got bitter about it because, you know, it’s interesting talking to [01:19:00] you now I see you’ve got like very clear sort of right and wrong thing that you’re putting out or you’re feeling I guess. Yeah. And you know, almost like very sort of binary sort of black and white about things in your, in your and I don’t think you are that but in your, the way your delivery is, you know, your delivery is that, you know, because talking to you, you’re very nuanced. And does that maybe rub people up the wrong way or something? I don’t know.

Speaker1: No, I think you’re right. I think there’s, there’s I probably am speaking in that black and white way. I think, um, I’m [01:19:30] also being, uh, intentionally careful.

Speaker3: Incredibly sensitive boy as well. Uh, sorry. Incredibly sensitive as well. I feel like you’re quite sensitive.

Speaker1: I think I am, um, uh, and I think I’m being very intentionally careful with my choice of words as well. Sure. Um, I think my reflection on it is this. It’s that sometimes you’re in a situation in which you don’t see a way out, and you have to just you have to accept where you are, whether whatever bias you’re facing, whatever [01:20:00] negative personality you’re dealing with, you don’t see a way out of it. Yeah. Uh, but ultimately, I think the nice part of where we live in the UK, the nice part of the society we’re in, is that you? You there are ways out of it, you know, and actually dealing with those biases makes you who you are. Um, uh, and figuring out how to manage those personalities around you, uh, is what builds your character. And in a way, I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful for it. Because [01:20:30] where I am now is, you know, I have my own trainees, you know, whether the dcts or whatever. And I’m so hypersensitive about how I speak to them, how I come across to them, how I deal with them, making sure I’m fair with everybody, whether they’re male or female or how I speak to my colleagues within the department or whatever. You know, I’m very I’m much more sensitive about that now than I was earlier on. So it’s been an education for me to say, actually, this is I’ve been faced with things and it’s been an example [01:21:00] to me on how not to behave. Absolutely. So my, my, I think when you’re in that situation, sometimes it’s hard to see the wood from the trees, but on the other end of it, you know, it makes you a better person and makes you a more sensitive person and probably means that you’re you’re better as a dentist, you’re better as a father, you’re better as a as a as a member of society. I’m sorry. I’m not being more specific.

Speaker3: No, no, I get it, I get it. Um, what would you have done differently if I could rewind you 20 years, 15 years, career wise? What would you have done [01:21:30] differently? Or earlier or later or not at all? Or.

Speaker1: I’m not sure. Knowing what I know now, retrospect, is such a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Yeah. I think, um, I would have I don’t know if I would have. I may have, uh, um, maybe gone into that private practice. I may have learned how to do the networking that I didn’t know earlier on, and that would have changed my career path and my life path. So that’s the one thing. The second thing is, I would probably say, [01:22:00] and this is probably in part answering one of the later questions you might come to, but I’d probably ask for help. Sooner and faster. And part of that is being more self-aware and self-critical about what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, and where you need to develop. So I wasn’t really self-aware early on my career, and that was both in terms of my behaviour, in terms of my own development. So I want to be more self-aware and ask for help on those things [01:22:30] a lot sooner. That’s those are the two things I would say, um, I would have done differently. Everything else, you know, I think I made my mistakes, but, uh, I stand by them as well. I do stand by them. Uh, I don’t think there’s a major things. I think those two things are really important, you know, build those relationships early and look inside and figure out what you need to develop yourself. So look.

Speaker3: You’ve got a five month old and a six and a half [01:23:00] year. Is that right? Six and a half year old.

Speaker1: Yeah. Well, the, uh, just over six. Yeah.

Speaker3: So do you get any time to do anything other than teeth and kids?

Speaker1: While we’re doing this podcast on a Monday.

Speaker3: This is teeth. This is teeth. Yeah. So like, you know, like what if you had if let’s say I know this will sound really strange, but if you had half a day to yourself. Oh, man.

Speaker1: That’s impossible.

Speaker3: Let’s say you had half a day to yourself. I don’t know, wife and kids were in another city and [01:23:30] you could do whatever. You weren’t working. Do whatever you want. What would you do?

Speaker1: I’d probably tidy the garage. It’s a mess. But you know. You know what?

Speaker3: Let’s say? Let’s say the garage was clean as well. Like. No, no.

Speaker1: Joking. Of course. Um, you know what? I probably go see some friends because, uh, all of my friends are pretty much all of them are married. They’ve all got kids. And we as a group don’t spend enough time together. Um, I know some of our wives are friends and stuff, and they actually have social and we don’t, [01:24:00] you know, and part of that is actually just spending some time with your with your friends. It’s not it’s not actually therapy, but it kind of turns into it by, you know, by by design or just by default. And, um, it’s fun to do that. So number one thing I do is I, you know, I see my friends and in February my wife is going to be away while I’m here. And, you know, I’m already thinking about, okay, how many times can I see the boys? So I need to put the feelers out there. But, you know, if, if, if [01:24:30] time allowed, you know, in the garage actually is is, uh, is is a motorcycle.

Speaker4: Oh, okay.

Speaker1: And, uh, it’s just gathering dust. It’s gathering dust and my brother and I have a twin brother sports bike, so it’s a Ducati monster. So it’s like, uh, it’s like it’s kind of like a more comfortable type of bike, but quick enough. Um, and, um, I have a twin brother, Zohaib. He’s a he’s a specialist. Prosthodontist.

Speaker4: Oh.

Speaker1: And, um, [01:25:00] so he got me into the motorcycles because he was on them first. So what I’d love to do is, you know, half a day or ideally a week, and I’d love to just I would love to just ride over to Scotland and just go and see Scotland for a few days or go and do Europe, because that’s something that I wanted to do for so long, is on a bike to a bit of touring, and I never get the time to do it, so that would be my sort of my wish list.

Speaker3: Amazing. Um, is your brother does your brother work with Costas?

Speaker4: He does. Oh. [01:25:30]

Speaker3: It’s amazing. Amazing. That’s your brother?

Speaker1: That’s my twin brother.

Speaker3: Yes. Amazing man. Well, we had Costas on just two episodes ago. Or 1 or 2 episodes ago. Yeah, yeah yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: Costas is such a nice guy. Zoheb is all right. Yeah, yeah. No no, no. I’m kidding. Yeah, they do. Obviously they do their injection moulding course together.

Speaker4: Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Speaker3: Oh wow. I didn’t realise I said well you look exactly the same.

Speaker1: Yeah I mean when I go to conferences I’m, I’m constantly [01:26:00] being stopped and people sort of saying hey how’s it going? I sort of have to say, do I know you? And then after, oh yeah, it’s a twin thing. And then, then I have to get my phone out and show them the photographs and then and then at that point, they’re no longer offended that Zoheb or my twin brother doesn’t recognise them. So it happens all the time. I mean, it’s happened in different cities. I won’t I don’t remember which city I was in. Someone came up to me randomly in a European city, said, hey, you know, I said, I said, yeah, honestly, I can’t remember where it was. Did he. [01:26:30]

Speaker4: Did he study.

Speaker3: In Cork as well?

Speaker1: No, he studied in Dublin.

Speaker3: Oh. So that’s when you split?

Speaker1: Yes. That’s where we split. And he I can’t imagine just straight away he came after a year. So he followed me over at that point.

Speaker3: How did it feel splitting were you like trying to sort of establish yourself as an individual?

Speaker4: No, I think it’s a good thing because.

Speaker1: I definitely think it’s a good thing because as twins, you, you know, you share a room, you share a room, man, and then a room, and then you share friends and your life for the next 18 years.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Uh, [01:27:00] you share the same teachers, you know, you have. It literally is like a side by side experience. Um, so I think it’s good for everyone to have some of their own space, some of their own friends, and just to develop independently.

Speaker3: And what’s what is he like you? Is he is he similar to you or is he different to you?

Speaker1: I think in many ways it’s similar and in some ways is different. Yeah, it’s hard. And I think as the years have gone on, we’ve probably become a slightly more different. But we share a lot of the [01:27:30] same personality traits. And yeah, I think it I mean, you should do a podcast with him and then you should tell me.

Speaker3: Yeah, I think I will. I had Kostas, I didn’t have him, but he was talking about him. So listen man, it’s been an hour and a half. That went quick. Let’s get to the final questions. Fantasy dinner party. Three guests, dead or alive. Who would you. Who do you want to chat to? [01:28:00]

Speaker1: I think that’s such a. Difficult question because. I don’t know, I sometimes I feel like with these questions it will be a case of never meet your heroes, but now we can only go on the information that that we kind of have about various people. And, you know, to be honest, I could really only think of one person really, that would really care to. I would love, and I think it’s unparalleled to listen [01:28:30] to or to speak to or to learn from. And that, of course, you know, being a muslim for me would be our Prophet Muhammad. Peace be upon him by knowing. His biography is obviously well written by various authors. You know, whether that was his organisational ability or his motivational abilities or his military abilities or whatever abilities you have. I think as someone in history that is well documented and highly respected. So I think when I thought about, you know, the various characters throughout history, [01:29:00] whether it’s the Mother Teresa’s or the Nelson Mandela’s, I mean, Nelson was up there as well. Hi. You know, um, just I think for someone who has faced massive bias himself and for what he represented, um, but then, you know, I guess I am a muslim, and that is my primary identity is not an orthodontist. It’s not an Irish person or a Pakistani person. My primary identity is as a muslim. And then I thought, well, you know, I am a muslim, and who do I hold in the [01:29:30] highest regard? And by no means am I the perfect Muslim. By no means, but that is the person I hold in the highest regard. And so I know I was asked to pick three, but then I said, well, I can’t really draw parallels here. So that is the one that I picked. Um, and I suppose to justify that, surely.

Speaker3: You want some loved ones with you on that day, you know, why do you want to be one one on one?

Speaker1: Well, I think the loved ones I have with me are the ones I have already. [01:30:00] And really, what I would want from a fancy dinner party. This is a hypothetical situation, is I would want to meet people who have not met before and gain from them. You know, having their loved ones there is.

Speaker4: Well know your your grandfather’s.

Speaker3: Grandfather or whatever, you know. You know what I mean?

Speaker1: No, I do know what you mean. Payman, uh, and in fact, my grandfather was up there because he was somebody that I never really got to spend time with. Super intelligent man, a scientist emeritus. Uh, your dad’s dad. My my father’s [01:30:30] father? Yeah.

Speaker3: Was he a doctor as well? The scientist?

Speaker1: No, he was he was a geneticist. He was essentially an agricultural scientist who became a geneticist.

Speaker4: Whoa.

Speaker1: Um. And he developed this, uh, he needed the vaccine most of his life. He did his PhD in the US in the 50s and 60s. And, uh, he developed this cotton seed, which didn’t require pesticide, and put the pesticide companies out of business through genetic modification. And he became a scientist emeritus. So and I never got to spend much time with him. And he was I [01:31:00] really respected him, but he was highly respected within the country. So my grandfather was was up there just because I really loved and respected him. And my mother says I looked a lot like him. And and he died before I really got to have that connection with him. And that was one of the the downsides of moving around so much is that we lost touch with our grandparents and with our extended families who were still there. So, you know, obviously the prophet’s up there, but beyond that, I think, as I said, Nelson, [01:31:30] for what he did or what he stood for for so many years and the lasting legacy of that, whether that’s. You know, what is his his assets, what his successes are now talking about in Palestine or elsewhere. And my grandfather’s up there just because someone that I just aspired to be like, and I never really got to spend some time with it. And I think, you know, I am this. Like you said earlier, I seem to speak about ethics in black and white and the right and wrong and black and white, and he was someone who was extremely intelligent and [01:32:00] could have had a lavish life and set me up quite nicely. But he didn’t. And I came down to him, you know, refusing the commercial aspects of his, of of his invention and giving that to the people. So he lived a very, you know, modest life for his until his death. And that’s something I find really inspirational, you know.

Speaker3: Absolutely, man. So, look, you know, your grandfather was a, you know, was a geneticist, agricultural geneticist. Your dad was an anaesthetist. You guys both specialists, [01:32:30] you and your brother. Is that is that expectation of doing something, you know, massively significant? Is that is that are you pushing that now to your kids as well? I know they’re too young. I know they’re too young.

Speaker1: No, no, I think, you know, um, I don’t think what I do is significant is the truth of the matter.

Speaker3: It’s quite significant.

Speaker1: No it’s not I mean, I do.

Speaker4: I do.

Speaker1: I do some cleft care and a little bit of it, you know, that’s referred into me locally. Not much. That [01:33:00] stuff is really important. But the rest of it, it’s teeth. I don’t think, in the grand scheme of things.

Speaker3: But I’m in kind of the pursuit of excellence, if you like. Yeah. I mean, as far as.

Speaker4: I think that the kids, as far as I’m concerned, you.

Speaker3: Could be you could be the best shoemaker in Karachi. As long as you’re the one who’s trying to be the best, you know, whatever, whatever you do. What do you think the reflections on kids, what would you what would you encourage them to do?

Speaker1: I think I want the kids to be [01:33:30] at the top of their game in whatever they want to do, but I’m not going to force them into dentistry or science or medicine or anything like that. But I do believe that they have to be at the top of whatever they do. I think every every parent wants to believe their child is special and intelligent and whatever. And I think my children are intelligent and they’re performing at an above average level. At least the six year old is at the moment, uh, thank God. So so that kind of pressure coming together.

Speaker4: Yeah. Is it going to be said that. Did I say that out loud I did.

Speaker1: So [01:34:00] so so whatever they want to do is it’s cool. It’s cool, but be a success. Make sure you can take care of your family and be the best at at that. And that’s good enough for me. That’s good enough for me. What’s not good enough for me is that you achieve less than what you are able to do. Okay. Yeah.

Speaker3: But does it resonate with you that there were times where when your dad was being the best he could be, he wasn’t around with you, and you know, the sacrifice. You know, I’ve got, uh, Depeche on my course here. [01:34:30] The guy wants to be the best in the world at teaching composite, right? There’s massive sacrifice in that massive sacrifice. And often the sacrifice ends up being one of the family, right? Whether it’s your wife or kids or, you know, because you don’t let work go or yourself, of course, that’s, that’s that ends up being the biggest sacrifice sometimes. Do you recognise that. And and are you going to adjust for that.

Speaker1: Yeah, I think that’s a very, very valid point. And um, and like you say, I don’t think I’m [01:35:00] the best orthodontist in the world or the best educator in the world, and I’m probably have found a balance in looking at family life and all those things. Yeah, I think I think we can we can always adjust our compass a little bit, accounting for those sorts of parameters and accounting for family life. And that probably is important because, you know, you can look at you can look at Steve Jobs, um, and what he said on his deathbed, and you can look at all these people. And actually, what do they talk about in those final moments is not really developing [01:35:30] the iPhone or MacBook or being a trillionaire. Uh, it’s probably the other things in their life, uh, which they have missed.

Speaker4: Um, apparently.

Speaker3: Apparently he apparently he never said that stuff, but but but it’s still it’s still relevant, man. It’s still relevant.

Speaker4: He he should have said it.

Speaker3: He should have said it. Even if he didn’t, he didn’t.

Speaker4: Then he should.

Speaker3: Have. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Let’s get let’s get to our, um. Final. Final. Yeah, it’s a deathbed question. It’s difficult with someone so young to talk about deathbed, but. But let’s just [01:36:00] go there on your deathbed. Surrounded by your loved ones. Hopefully your kids will be very old by that time. Your friends and family and loved ones. Three pieces of advice you’d leave to them or the world.

Speaker4: I had to.

Speaker1: Really think about this as well. I mean, uh, you forced me to go into deep places, and I think the three things that I would say, I think that probably moulded partly by your own experience, I think naturally. And [01:36:30] I’m sure if you ask me this question, in 20 years time, I might give you a different answer. I don’t know, but I might. Um, I think the first thing I’d say is that it ask for ask for help sooner. Whatever that means to you, whether that’s professionally, whether that’s something you’re struggling with, you’re not feeling well mentally. Whatever it is that you need help with is to ask for that help as soon as possible. That’s the first thing. And [01:37:00] because, you know, if you can’t do anything without that support, without that network around you, without feeling well, you can’t. So the first thing is to ask for that help. And then, um, the second thing is to be probably more vigilant or pay more attention to the people around you and maybe your impact on them. So, you know, how are they feeling? What are they actually asking, asking you for? You know, when you’re when you’re a six year old is crying [01:37:30] or she’s upset or, you know, understanding why that is that she’s really happy, really understand why that is. Don’t just know that she’s happy or upset.

Speaker1: Figure out what it is that’s driving that emotion. So be attentive to people so you can help them, or you can support them, or you can just connect with them, um, and just build your bonds. And then the last thing is, once you build that bond is, is to remind each other of of those bonds that you’ve built, you know, whether it’s your friends, whether it’s your brother. Whomever [01:38:00] it is, because I think a lot of the time we kind of just forget to remind each other of. Our relationships or the love you have for each other or whatever you’ve been through. You know, I’ve got friends who’ve who I’ve known for 20 years or and I’m sure you have as well, for even longer. And you kind of just take it for granted after a while, where it’s good to sometimes sit down. And I don’t think you have to get emotional every time or sentimental, but it’s good to maybe look back and remind each other where you came [01:38:30] from and why you were like, and what those bonds actually mean to you. Ah, yeah. And I think that’s sort of that probably would give, I think if I did that earlier and sooner, I knew these things that bit faster in my life, maybe I’d have greater satisfaction or, you know, before or achieve that happiness sooner.

Speaker3: That’s nice, man. I could stay in touch with your buddies. Kind of one. Right? And family and all that. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker3: It’s an interesting [01:39:00] question. That one. Yeah. Because it’s perhaps question perhaps my other my my co-host. Right. And uh, you can either answer that question with I did this and you should too. Or you could answer it in I think you’re more skewed this way. I didn’t do this, but you should.

Speaker4: Yeah. Which is which is the way.

Speaker3: I would answer this question as well. I’d be like, yeah, go right to the gym.

Speaker4: Because that’s the thing, right?

Speaker1: I mean, it’s and that’s [01:39:30] what I was thinking, like, this is what I haven’t done. And it would be better. I mean, I don’t know, I assume a little self-deprecating. Uh, you.

Speaker4: Say you are.

Speaker3: You are, buddy. You are. Um. It’s nice. It’s a nice thing. It’s a nice thing. Because, again, much better than. Much better this way than the other way. But, um, you know, dude, a lot of times I feel like, uh, punishing yourself sometimes. Not you. One one punishes oneself, sometimes a bit too much. Life’s too short to punish yourself too much. But you know that [01:40:00] just amount of. I’m looking back on it. Yeah. Looking back and thinking the things that you were thinking 15 years ago and you realise, God, all of that was wrong.

Speaker4: Yeah. I mean, uh, not just that.

Speaker1: I mean, sometimes you look back and you cringe on some of the stuff you’ve.

Speaker4: Done or thought about.

Speaker1: You know, and I really sort of try to shake some memories. I thought, what were you doing.

Speaker4: Or what.

Speaker1: What did you do that for? What were [01:40:30] you thinking? And I just I sort of just had to almost shake the cringe off my back.

Speaker4: Shake the.

Speaker3: Cringe. Oh, nice way to end it, my buddy love. Lovely conversation. I really, really enjoyed that. Man. Really did know that.

Speaker1: Was amazing man. I think, um, I think there’s there’s so much scope for more of this. And I to be honest, I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. So I thank.

Speaker4: You for having me on.

Speaker3: You’re a natural. You’re a natural talker, buddy. You are a natural teacher. Thanks a lot for taking time. Cheers, man.

Speaker2: This [01:41:00] 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.

Speaker5: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value [01:41:30] out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so so, so much for listening.

Speaker4: Thanks.

Speaker5: And don’t forget our six star rating.

In this week’s Mind Movers, Tara Francis recounts a tumultuous year of study at dental school while struggling to live up to her parents’ high expectations, followed by the eventual realisation that dentistry wasn’t her calling.

Tara also explores the challenges of delegating and letting go in business, career lows and highs, and the many links between her passion for facial aesthetics and mental health. 


In This Episode

01.46 – Leaving dentistry

05.44 – The Middle-Eastern Experience

13.47 – Transitioning to facial aesthetics

18.06 – Aesthetics and mental health

21.37 – Control and letting go

26.11 – Low points

28.43 – Image and aesthetics

32.22 – Finding balance

33.59 – Teaching vs practice

36.08 – When things go wrong

44.45 – Toxicity and resilience

50.48 – Alternate careers

53.41 – The aesthetics industry

57.01 – Introverted entrepreneurs


About Tara Francis

Former dentist Tara Francis is a facial aesthetics practitioner and founder of Enhance by Tara. She is also a London Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (LAAM) trainer.  

Speaker1: I remember saying to my assistant at the time, I said, I’m not going to be able to pay for this month because I’m not going to work this month. I just need to not do anything like I’m about to break. And funnily enough, two weeks later, lockdown was announced. So if it had to happen at any time, it was then for me.

Speaker2: This is mind movers. Moving the conversation forward on mental health and optimisation for dental professionals. [00:00:30] Your hosts Rhona Eskander and Payman Langroudi. Welcome to another episode of Mind Movers, the mental health podcast for dentists. Today I have one of my very good friends, my esteemed colleague, the beautiful Dr. Tara Francis. Tara and I had connected a few years ago. We actually had mutual patients. We had a lot of mutual patients. So Tara and I were [00:01:00] first early adopters, first mover advantage of treating influencers and doing all that stuff. We both built a profile online and in our clinics and our following, so we have that very much in common. Loved her energy. Loved her vibe. We got on really well. We ended up becoming really good friends with the influencers we were treating and we have like a little group together. So it’s really great. And Tara has been a very aspirational and inspiring figure within the dental arena. [00:01:30] But she also was one of the dentists that was very brave enough to leave dentistry and move solely into facial aesthetics. And she was very early on in that. I know a lot of people do that now, but I definitely think that you inspired a lot of people to do that. So welcome, Tara.

Speaker1: Thank you. What an intro. Thank you so much.

Speaker2: It’s so fantastic to have you here, Tara. So as I as you know, there’s a massive onus on mental health within our platform. We really want to help people. But I want you to kind of describe a little bit your journey into [00:02:00] how you left dentistry and why you left dentistry.

Speaker1: Sure. So I’ll start, I guess, into why I went into dentistry, firstly. And, um, do you know what? I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I just knew that I liked people, I liked art, and I loved science, and it kind of the combination of the three worked. I was very lucky to have work experience with a family friend of ours who is a dentist. Um, and kind of [00:02:30] like, oh, I like this. He dealt with patients really nicely. You could see the personal approach. You could see it was more than just fixing a tooth or whatever it may be. Um, and again, coming from a middle eastern background, that kind of expectation that me and you, um, have experienced meant that, okay, dentistry fits the bill on all parts, so let me just do it. I actually failed my first year of dentistry, really, and I had never failed anything in my whole entire life. So [00:03:00] that was a huge struggle to deal with. My dad didn’t talk to me. It was yeah, it was tough and I was fortunate enough to be allowed to re-enter. So I repeated my first year completed dentistry, really disliked the whole dental university experience, and I speak quite strongly about that because that was my personal experience. I yeah, and when I speak study Kings King’s is a great uni. It’s not about King’s. It was just my experience. [00:03:30]

Speaker2: I really resonate. Right. Because and I speak about this a lot and people get really shocked. I never felt like I fitted into dentistry. In fact, I still don’t feel like I fit into dentistry, although people feel that I have this massive like platform. And wait, I applied for dentist. I wanted to be a dentist since I was 12. Then I applied to dentistry and then I got the the interviews because I got the grades and then they didn’t give me the job. But why didn’t they give me a job? Well, they just didn’t think that I’d be a good dentist, but they didn’t give me a reason why. I’m pretty sure it was judgement because I was a bit more creative and [00:04:00] worked. You know, the is it the right sort of part of your brain that’s more creative? I’m pretty sure the left, the left side of the brain. And then I pretended to be someone I wasn’t. Then I got a job, then I got a position in dentistry. And then when I got that position in dentistry in dental school, I had no friends. I literally had no friends. All my friends were in the arts, and I was just so drawn to people that had a critical way of thinking, were a bit creative and like, believed in magic, as I said, you know? And then what happened was, again, I got all the grades. [00:04:30] But then when it came to applying for a job, I had to go through clearing. So I totally resonate with what you were saying. And when people say university is the best time of your life, I’m like, I don’t really think it is. And I actually think also as a female, you don’t really know who you are during your university years.

Speaker1: I still don’t know who I am.

Speaker2: I know I’m still working it out.

Speaker1: Yeah. It’s so interesting that you say uni is the best time of your year, your years or your life. My mum said that to me and while I while it was leading up to university, [00:05:00] because coming from a middle eastern background, my parents were a little bit more strict. I wasn’t allowed to do certain things that my other, more English friends were allowed to do, and she was like, don’t worry, when you get to uni, you know it’s going to be all great. And then it wasn’t. It just wasn’t. So yeah, the jump from secondary school where I felt quite at home with the friends that I had created, I was that person that was friends with the dinner ladies and like friendship, lots of different friendship groups, um, to then go to university. That was mixed [00:05:30] because I went to an all girls school. It was just a big jump. I was in a very controlling relationship that I didn’t realise that. The time I didn’t move out, so there were loads of things that contributed to me failing my first year. But I, you know, repeated it.

Speaker2: And how did you handle that? How did you handle that failure? Because there are so many people that think that it defines you. And I think the narrative within dental school is that you feel like you’re a failure in life when you fail your exams. So how did you handle it?

Speaker1: Um, I [00:06:00] just really struggled. My mum communicated with me effectively. Um, my dad, however, did not. And that was the biggest struggle because I felt like I had let him down. But then I also felt like, why are you angry at me? Like I’ve done so much, like I’ve done so well so far. You know, I’ve been this daughter that you’ve wanted me to be. Um, and I know after having therapy and stuff, like, it was just his way of dealing with things. And I absolutely love him so much. And he’s done so amazingly for me and the family. Um, [00:06:30] but yeah, that was the toughest bit. So I just had to get through day by day. I was thinking of, okay, if they don’t allow me in to repeat my first year, what can I do? What degree can I kind of apply to next? And it was going to be maths, which is completely off topic. I was like, it’s just easier. You can just be right or wrong and that’s it, you know? Um, so yeah, I just tried to get through.

Speaker2: I think the Middle East and struggle is strong. Right. And I’m going to say as well, you’re a hybrid of me and Payman, right. Because Payman is an Iranian [00:07:00] and I’m Lebanese, so you’re the hybrid. But I think the Middle Eastern thing is super strong. And it’s, it’s it’s interesting because as somebody that’s done a lot of work in therapy and really understanding, we actually had a guest that talked about it. I really think there’s something like cultural and generational trauma as well that’s passed on. And most of us come from a family of immigrants in some way. They came, you know, to the Western world to give us opportunities. And there’s definitely this heaviness that all of us carry with needing to perform and [00:07:30] do well. And there feels like a conditional love, which it’s absolutely not. Because, like you, we have parents that give us unconditional love. But there was also very much like do well in your grades. And I remember I was sick at school when I was young and my dad goes, I had chickenpox, actually. My dad goes, one day of school costs this much you have to go to. He sent me to school with chickenpox and they sent me straight back there like he’s going to she’s going to infect the whole class, you know, like, you know, and it’s good for their [00:08:00] immune system, you know. But the point is, there was such an onus. And that’s a blessing and a curse because I definitely think, you know, we work really hard and we really push the boundaries. So, you know, on the one hand it makes us very ambitious. It makes us like really want to care for people around us. But then the curse is we burn ourselves out, we feel guilty, and we feel that love is conditional in, you know, in some senses as well. And it’s something one.

Speaker3: Thing we shouldn’t we shouldn’t sort of typecast as Middle Eastern or Asian or I mean, there are British [00:08:30] dentists, right, who passed exams and get straight A’s to get into dental school and, and all of that. And so that family where that kid is growing up, you know, somehow we get this feeling that, oh, in that family, it’s a different situation, totally in our families. And it’s not necessarily true.

Speaker2: Um, we fight a lot, by the way. So you’re going to see this. I love this, but no, but what I’m trying to say is yes and yes, yes and no. Yes and no. Because as you know, like when we spoke to our previous [00:09:00] guest that was talking about being from like an Indian family and how much weight that carried for him in different senses. And therapists and psychologists will tell you now, like different people carry different traumas from different cultures. It’s just a fact. Payman, you know, so if you are from a white, privileged background, there is nothing wrong with that. That doesn’t mean that you’re not hard working. They don’t carry, they may carry other traumas, but they don’t carry the same sorts of traumas that’s been passed on from generation to generation with us.

Speaker3: You’re right. There’s something about an [00:09:30] immigrant mentality. Yeah, there is something about that. Um.

Speaker1: I think where it stands is that, generally speaking, as an immigrant, you come with less, you are completely in a new environment. You have to learn your way. And most immigrants come here for a better life, for either themselves or for their offspring. So I think the pressures are passed on to the children, whereas someone who was born here, perhaps whether they’re Middle Eastern or English [00:10:00] or Asian or wherever, um, maybe they’re a bit more settled and those pressures are eased off slightly. Um, that’s that’s what I found anyway, normally.

Speaker3: That failing that first year colour the rest of your journey in university as well.

Speaker1: Um, kind of I think it’s actually made more of a profound effect now, because I speak to a lot of Dental students, and I can pass on the fact that actually, you don’t have [00:10:30] to have you don’t have to pretend to have the best time at uni. And it’s okay to struggle during university because the. Pressures all there, especially with certain universities. So I feel like it’s had more of a profound effect now because students can resonate, and not many people talk about the fact that they didn’t enjoy Dental University in the environments I’ve been in anyway.

Speaker3: I mean, I struggled a little bit, but can I just say they were the best years of my life? I love that.

Speaker1: View.

Speaker2: I love [00:11:00] that for you, babes. But listen like it’s not. Yeah, like literally good for you. Good for you. But also I think, you know, like the one thing that I really struggle with as a female, I talk about this a lot. I think that I really struggle because society has placed this emphasis that women are the best in their 20s. They’re the most fertile. They’re the most desirable. They’re the most beautiful. We talk about this a lot, right? Yet I feel like my brain was so undeveloped, and I actually feel like I’m more attractive [00:11:30] now because of the things like knowing who I am and my confidence. And that radiates a different type of attractiveness. And I think that that had an impact because I didn’t know who I was. And also at university, I was thrown into this environment where I was with like boarding school people. I’d never been with boarding school people. They were all white. They were all like, oh my gosh, you are so exotic. P.s I made Prince Harry’s books. I used to live with his ex girlfriend, I made it, I’m in spare.

Speaker2: Did I ever tell you that I [00:12:00] am in spare? He said he said he trusted me well, he trusted us. The girls that we lived with. I’ve got it somewhere here. I’ll read it to you. Anyway, the point is, is that I lived with those sorts of people, which was like a great thing. But also I had a massive identity crisis. I was really embarrassed to being Middle Eastern. I was like, no, no, I’m British, I’m British. I became way posher. I used to talk a bit north London before I left, like when I was at school. And now I’m like, you know, like sort of Queens, elocution, English. But there was definitely like that sense of really not knowing who I am. [00:12:30] And I think that those are. That’s why I think I find those years so difficult. Maybe it is different for men. I don’t know, because I’m only speaking on my own experiences that shape me. But I definitely didn’t feel like I knew who I was at uni, which contributed to my experience.

Speaker1: Yeah. Completely resonate. Also, I came from even at school, primary school. I came from a school that was predominantly white, Caucasian, and even with exception to a few other students that I knew of, everyone’s [00:13:00] families were living in Knightsbridge, Sloane Street, and then we’re in Acton in like a humble two bedroom house, you know. So even the struggle with my parents working so hard to put me through private school, um, but then I didn’t fit in with them. But then I didn’t fit in with friends that I had made outside of of my private school. So I was kind of like this in-between. And it’s not me feeling sorry for myself or anything like that. And actually, I’m really grateful that I got to experience two different worlds, [00:13:30] almost because I feel like it shaped me to who I am. I feel like I can actually engage with so many different people and truly connect. Um, but yes, being a female does have its certain implications. I guess being a male does to.

Speaker2: 100%, and we talk about that all the time. But let’s talk a little bit about how you transitioned into facial aesthetics, because I think what a lot of people realise, including Payman, is that they do dentistry and they’re like, I don’t actually like the dentistry.

Speaker3: So I didn’t mind the dentistry. [00:14:00]

Speaker2: Why did you quit then after like five minutes?

Speaker3: Five years. Yeah, but but the the work took over.

Speaker2: But. Okay, so tell me though, Tara, what made you transition?

Speaker1: Um, so I graduated and immediately after graduating, literally two months later, did a facial aesthetics course. I had to borrow money from my mum.

Speaker2: What was the thing that inspired you to do it, though?

Speaker1: I there was a tutor at uni and he would choose her head and neck anatomy outside of university. [00:14:30] So in his home country he was head of anatomy, but then in the UK was doing clinical teaching and a friend of mine and I had tutoring with him for anatomy because I was absolutely terrible at the time in learning it. And he used to do dermal fillers and toxin on the in his own clinic, and we watched him do it. And the way he applied the anatomy to how he was injecting and what he did, and I was like, oh my gosh. And I always loved things like beauty. And it just worked, you know?

Speaker2: Um, [00:15:00] did you dislike dentistry or is it just that you had more of a love for this?

Speaker1: I felt a bit neutral about dentistry. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. Just felt quite neutral. When I got into practice, I loved again the people side. Like I loved seeing the families coming in throughout the years. And like, you know, I’d, I’d genuinely, like, make friends with the families. Patients would come in just to see me. It was so nice. But I guess the practical side of it wasn’t it wasn’t, I don’t know, inspired [00:15:30] to to do.

Speaker3: More dentistry as.

Speaker1: Well. I dabbled, I dabbled and. Had I not gone into aesthetics, I’m quite sure cosmetic dentistry would have kind of helped me feel.

Speaker3: How many years were you a dentist before you stopped?

Speaker1: Um, about four years or so, I started to cut down and gradually cut down further and further. And in 2018, I decided to stop dentistry as a whole for a year to see how aesthetics would actually build, because I found myself getting quite drained. [00:16:00] I was kind of doing a clinical day, travelling an hour and a half back home and seeing patients until like 11 p.m. for aesthetics. So I was like, okay, this needs to stop. Let me full focus on aesthetics. I’m a strong believer in the more you give, the more you get out. And that was kind of my trial run and it just took off.

Speaker2: So tell me as well, because when I first saw Tara, she was practising out of a gym. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: So had a room within a gym. So how did.

Speaker2: You. Because I think one of the things that people find most [00:16:30] difficult in life is taking that leap of faith and going out of their own comfort zone, especially when they don’t know what the outcome will be. Right. So the thing is, is that we’re lucky, right? Because in dentistry, you study for six years and you’re sort of conditioned to the next step, you know, like best practice, then you’re going to find a job and then that’s it. Like it’s all set out and you feel really comforted. But for those people, especially as you were like one of the earlier adopters [00:17:00] working out of something like a gym, like, how did.

Speaker1: You parents house at first?

Speaker2: Yeah. So how did you take that leap of faith? How did you work it out?

Speaker1: I saw that it was becoming successful and it was just becoming so unprofessional having people coming into my family home. I felt terrible for my parents. Like ringing people ringing on the doorbell at 10 p.m., my dog barking like it just didn’t make sense. And I thought, If I’m going to give this a proper go, I need to look into renting. So I rented that room.

Speaker2: How did [00:17:30] you make it work financially?

Speaker1: Aesthetics pays well, yeah. So I saw the money coming in. I figured out how much I can afford per month, found a space that could accommodate my financial budget. And yeah, it just worked. It did mean that I had to be more kind of conscious of, okay, I really need to see these extra aesthetic patients after work today, even though I didn’t feel like it because you’re tired from a whole clinical day. But that’s how it worked out. And then the more I was seeing patients, the more my diary was getting [00:18:00] full, the more I realised, actually, I can stop dentistry for now and and just yeah, take it from there.

Speaker2: Do you feel that working in aesthetics has impacted your mental health in a negative way?

Speaker1: I think most jobs can impact your negative, your mental health in a negative way depending on your mindset. So I could say yes at times it has, especially now as the industry is [00:18:30] becoming bigger, which is a benefit. But also imposter syndrome kicks in. There’s new kids on the block. I was the one that was kind of like at the forefront of it, I think in the dental world. Well, one of the few for sure, that put myself out there on social media, which is what allowed me to grow if I started out now, probably wouldn’t have grown to two the person or the the establishment that I’ve got now. But yeah, I’d say sometimes it affects [00:19:00] my mental health. I live in this kind of am I doing the right thing? Am I doing the wrong thing? Because I’m all for like embracing ourselves and embracing who we are and ageing gracefully. But then I’m here injecting people with with filler and toxin. But I also think I’m doing it properly. I’m doing it ethically. I’m consulting with the patient. I’m doing it in a medical kind of background, looking for red flags, saying no when I don’t believe it’s the right thing. So that’s how I make myself [00:19:30] feel like it’s okay.

Speaker2: I think that there’s like two folds to it, right? Because I think that also like social media, I know you feel like sometimes disconnected or so now you’ve got like automated messages, whereas I’m like heavily indebted to my followers as like, you know, someone like Karen and Bognor Regis will message me and I feel like I’m having an argument with her sometimes, you know, whereas Tara has an automated message basically says, this platform is not regulated. You know, one of those I’m sure you’ve seen it like if you want to [00:20:00] contact. So I know that you’ve been good at putting that in place. Was that for your mental health or was that more to kind of deal with, like the capacity of like, I don’t want to deal with bookings or was it also like I’m actually putting a boundary.

Speaker1: It was a boundary which I actually really struggled to put in place because similar to you, I was like, no, this is how I connect with people and this is how they feel like they can trust me if they can contact me. But it became like I was on, I’d be on holidays and anyone who I was on holiday with would know, right? Tara needs an hour and a half to, like, sort [00:20:30] through her bookings, to sort through her messages, because I used to do everything on my own. So it became it impacted my life. And yeah, I had to do it. And I was that person that didn’t have Facebook when everyone had it. But I got social media. I got Instagram for work. Yeah. So I am actually quite a private person.

Speaker3: Yeah, but did you not have a team?

Speaker1: No, not at the beginning. Nothing. I had no one got.

Speaker3: That busy without you having a.

Speaker1: Team. Yeah. It’s really.

Speaker3: So did you hire after that?

Speaker1: Yeah. So I hired [00:21:00] someone who’s now become my really good friend. She was actually a patient of mine at first, and she kind of assisted me with the back side of things. So taking bookings, responding to messages, changing appointments. I had no automated like book online system I had. Everything was paper notes. Um, so yes, I got her on board and we’re still friends and she works for my other company where I teach now. Um, and then eventually, kind of now I have [00:21:30] a PR like it’s moved from PR treatment coordinator. Um, you know, I work in a clinic where we’ve got great support.

Speaker2: So I think, you know, the one thing that I’m hearing as well, it’s very difficult for us as health care professionals to relinquish control. Yes. Control is a big thing. Like, we like to control every element and we don’t like to outsource that much in the beginning. Now I’m like, I will pay everyone everything to do everything, you know, but it’s a really difficult one, you know? And I was the same. And I didn’t even [00:22:00] like when I first graduated, like people doing my hygiene cleans, you know, I didn’t want to refer them to the hygienist because I wanted to do it myself. And it’s a funny thing because I think the control is such an important part of what we do. But also letting go of that control has been one of the best things for my mental health as well. You know, I think it’s been one of the best things because it’s allowed me to be more productive, and it’s allowed me to build the team of people. And I think you’ve got to just have some. You can’t live in fear. And what I’ve seen amongst the board [00:22:30] and in dentistry and medicine is people live in fear that if they let the control go, somehow the quality will be reduced or someone will steal their patients to.

Speaker3: Face the fact with delegation that the quality will drop. I disagree to start with. Yeah, to start with depends who you hire. Like if I go and hire the marketing manager of Procter and Gamble, the quality will go straight up. Right. But I’m saying the way the way these sort of businesses tend to work, we tend to give it to someone. Right. And so what you have to get yourself clear with is that the quality will drop to start [00:23:00] with. But once that person settled in and once you’ve developed that person, the quality will be up. Yeah, yeah, I think it’s that drop that we all worry about, but it’s understanding that having eight people at 70% is better than one person at 90% or whatever, you know, that’s that.

Speaker1: It’s nurturing, isn’t it? It’s nurturing your relationships. It’s nurturing your your company to be what you want it to be with the right people around. And I think when you know someone’s not right for you, that’s when you have to try and make that decision [00:23:30] to not try and make you make that decision to kind of maybe part ways about.

Speaker3: Taking that one step further. Have you managed to work out a way of delegating the actual work?

Speaker1: Yes.

Speaker3: So if someone wants to come and see you, do you somehow it’s hard.

Speaker2: It’s hard, man. It’s so.

Speaker1: Hard. But we’re getting there slowly. I’ve got two other dentists who do facial aesthetics within my team.

Speaker2: And did you train?

Speaker1: This is what I’m starting to love even more, and I’m realising I actually want to go more towards mentoring and I’m mentoring at the moment, so [00:24:00] I’ve trained them. I have kind of again nurtured them, I’ve helped them, I take them on courses, I invest in them, and I love watching them become who they are, becoming confident and obviously credit to them because they’re doing the work in the background also, but it allows me to feel really confident for my patients to see them, and that rubs off. If I’m talking about, you know, you should see doctor X for this. Sometimes they’re better at [00:24:30] me than me and I’m like, you know what? They’re actually the person I got here to do this treatment because they’re better than me. It transpires the patient believes me because they’ve come, because they trust me. And we can kind of then build that really lovely working relationship where we’re treating all around. So yeah, but it is taking time. It’s it’s a tough one because patients just don’t always want to do that.

Speaker2: I think also like what you’re saying there is also like letting go of ego. And I think that that’s a really important [00:25:00] thing to do, because when you realise that there are people around you that can do what you do better or will compliment the work you do, and you give it willingly, willingly, and you allow your team to have autonomy to make decisions. That’s always been my philosophy, and I’ve noticed that that’s not the philosophy of many other practitioners or practice owners. And I think that actually gives allows you to provide the best care for your patients. Absolutely. And it helps you and your mental health and [00:25:30] prioritise the things that you love as well. Because like you were saying. I realised I love podcasting surprise, surprise and being on television. And because I’ve decided to do like three days work, which means that my associates get more work and I kind of like, you know, like you said, there’s some patients that are really stuck. I can focus on the things that I love. And, you know, people are like, but you’re not like, you’re not monetising the podcast. And you could be in your clinic. And I’m like, it’s not about the money. It’s about the fact that, like, I just love being in here and winding Payman up in a room, you know? So [00:26:00] it’s just, you know, it’s such a fulfilling thing to do. And when I did like my mini series with Shivani, you know what I mean? It’s something that I genuinely love to do. You know, I love to talk to people and to connect to people. Having said that, though, Tara, have what was the lowest time in your life mental health wise?

Speaker1: So interestingly, it was just before Covid or the pandemic really became what it did when we got into lockdown. It was February, and [00:26:30] I remember saying to my assistant at the time, I said, I’m not going to be able to pay for this month because I’m not going to work this month. I just need to not do anything like I’m about to break. And funnily enough, two weeks later, lockdown was announced. So if it had to happen at any time, it was then for me it was like almost perfect timing because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I have worked a Saturday up until Covid every day until the age, from the age of 16, even [00:27:00] during uni. I don’t know why. I just felt this need to work, work, work and. I was very lost. I have been in a few abusive relationships in different ways, one of which was absolutely terrible and I don’t think I’d fully recovered. I was still like going through processing what had happened. Um, and I was finding myself. I was I mean, I’m still we’re always finding ourselves. Right. But it sounds really cliche, but I was finding myself and I didn’t give myself that time [00:27:30] to find. And yeah, I’d say that was my lowest time.

Speaker2: Yeah. And so do you feel like lockdown in a way, was helpful?

Speaker1: Oh, it was amazing. I moved in with my parents.

Speaker2: Some people loved it. Did you?

Speaker3: I mean, I was very worried for the business, but then once, once that sort of went out of the way, then you enjoyed it. Yeah.

Speaker1: I think what helped is that everyone was going through it at the same time. So you kind of had a bit of reassurance in that sense, and it felt a bit united. [00:28:00] Um, but yeah, no, it was best I was with my family. And, you know, we’re really lucky we have a garden, so I could just be in the garden and I would work out every day and cook, bake, listen to podcasts. And, you know, our industry, the aesthetics industry are adapted very, very quickly. They were doing online. Yeah.

Speaker2: Yeah. We did online.

Speaker1: Courses and stuff. So you still felt like you were in the know. It actually allowed me to delve deeper into skincare, which is something I’m so passionate about. Now I got the time to read up on it. I got the time to educate. [00:28:30] I got the time to consult patients, um, remotely. And you know, we could send them skincare. So I made the most of it, um, in both business, but also personal.

Speaker3: Tara, tell me about the difference between one skin doctor and the other. I mean, in terms of do.

Speaker2: You have do you mean facial aesthetics or do you mean.

Speaker3: Skin facial? Sorry. So do you have a style and do people come to you for your style?

Speaker1: Yeah. So my kind of tagline is enhance the [00:29:00] natural beauty. God, I can’t even remember my tagline. Enhance the beauty, natural beauty you already possess because I believe everyone has natural beauty and I’m not there trying to change anything. I just want people to feel more confident in their own skin. Um, so.

Speaker3: So if someone said something to you that you disagreed with, you actually wouldn’t do it or.

Speaker1: Yeah, no way. I think I’d say I say no to about 70% of the things people ask for. Um, yeah. They could come in and say, I want my nose and my lips done. And I’m like, you know what? Your lips [00:29:30] are actually great. Let’s just leave them. I’m not saying no, but let’s reassess in 6 to 9 months, because to me, I’m not going to make them any better right now. So yes.

Speaker3: In your experience, the difference between facial aesthetics patient and a cosmetic dental patient, insomuch as both of you have to look out for both, well, have an.

Speaker2: Interesting story to tell you. Go on. I have to.

Speaker3: Look out for that sort of body dysmorphia. Yeah. Where the problem isn’t the face of the teeth. The problem is something we have.

Speaker2: We have a mutual with this. Do you remember this? We do. Same [00:30:00] patient. Yeah. So listen, this this woman trapped, this woman travelled really far. She was from like, Wales or something. And basically she travelled really far to see me for the teeth. But she basically had a rhinoplasty and I think she had a revision as well. But she was obsessed with, like, this part of her face. So she booked a consultation with me. Her teeth were fine, right? But I think she felt like if she got her teeth done, it would change her nose. Do you see what I mean? Because of the way, like, the lip length is and stuff, meanwhile. But I just knew from her character [00:30:30] and the way she was presenting that she was someone not to be treated. You know, you’ve got those red flags. Yeah. And weirdly enough, she’d contacted Tara and I don’t know, we were both worked out that she contacted she talked, she contacted Tara for like surgical non rhino as well. And I think like we both sort of were like, right, we need to try and get rid of this patient because we need non-invasive filler.

Speaker2: So basically we both knew through our like assessment that this patient was like troubled because [00:31:00] you are going to get patients. And I really do feel for them as well. Like you do that get obsessive and I’ve got I’ve got two on the go right now when you’re just like, why am I doing this? Like obsessing over like minutiae detail. And, you know, I think like the more experienced you are, the more you’re going to be like, oh, but it’s really difficult because sometimes you’re in too deep. But when they start showing their true colours and you’re like, oh, this is a bit weird. And I think that has a profound effect on your mental health as well, because you’ll get texts and emails where, I mean, I’ve got someone. She presented a word document with her temporaries [00:31:30] and the Tryon and what she wanted compared and annotated at all. And you’re like, this is going to be a headache. Do you know what I mean? Because she’s never going to be happy. But you will get that. Do you know what I mean? You will get that.

Speaker1: You absolutely do. I think the more you’re in it, the more you can pick up. Similar to dentistry, you can pick up whether you, you know, it might not even be that you feel you can’t give them what they want. It might just be, you know what? You’re a personality that I’m not sure I can manage very well. Exactly. And we’re both going to be a bit unhappy with this. [00:32:00] So let’s just kind of I’m going to refer you on to someone who I think would be better suited, who I think could provide you with the care. That you deserve. Um, and that’s okay. I think we struggle, especially when we’re starting out. We feel like we have to say yes to everything, and we’re scared if if we don’t say yes, that patient’s going to go elsewhere and we’re going to lose business, but we end up saving ourselves so much more.

Speaker2: Yeah, exactly. Because along the way, the mental health aspect of it is so like it’s so, so much more important. You sound [00:32:30] now like you’ve got a little more balance. Would you say you’ve got more balance or not in your personal and work life?

Speaker1: I do have more balance. You know, I don’t think we’re ever I think we find balance. And then whoa, something comes in and you’re like, okay, now I have to rebalance. Yeah. And that, that, that period of time can be quite challenging, but it also allows to more growth. So yeah, right now I feel quite balanced. I’m you know I’ve really in the last year focussed on relationships and last the year [00:33:00] before I kind of became a bit of a recluse. I didn’t go to any industry events. I was just, you know what? This is my time. But I realised that didn’t necessarily make me that happy. And the more I read, the more I listen to podcasts and listen to professionals. You know, relationships are really important. So I try and invest my time in my relationships with friends and actually, it’s the best thing ever. I feel so lucky. Yeah, I feel so lucky. I say lucky, but you know, you know, I put the work in. I nurture again, nurture those relationships. But [00:33:30] I find, yeah, I’m getting it. I’m getting the balance. And with work I don’t work as many hours in clinic, but I take time in the background to do the admin side. And I like dedicate a day to that. So my Mondays are normally my admin days, and then the people that work within the companies I work with know that, okay, if we need to contact Tara to do anything, it’s on a Monday. Yeah. So there’s more boundaries in place. People can expect the right things from me. And yeah.

Speaker2: You also you [00:34:00] also have your facial aesthetics academy.

Speaker1: I do with a lovely Waseem.

Speaker2: So tell us a little bit about the the stages of that, how that happened, how that was born, the genesis as it were. That was the word I was looking for, the genesis of the lamb. Yeah. Um, and do you prefer your teaching over your clinical?

Speaker1: I think they go hand in hand. I think if you want to teach, you should still be doing along [00:34:30] the way, because so much can change in the world of aesthetics. We’re constantly finding out new techniques. New fillers are on the market, for example. Um, so I feel like that’s important to me. So they go hand in hand and that makes me enjoy them both, I think, just as much. But I’m definitely preferring the mentoring side as opposed to just teaching someone who comes on a day course. Um, so I’m the more kind of deeper aspect. I can help them with the business growth. I can help them treatment plan with a patient, I can help them [00:35:00] with their confidence and be like, you know what? You did a really good job there because I didn’t have that. It’s quite a lonely industry. Um, you’re in a room on your own. You don’t even have a nurse.

Speaker2: Competitive industry to so competitive.

Speaker1: We don’t.

Speaker2: Do well. There’s not enough cheerleading going on. And I think what what really shocked me within the aesthetic arena. And I think aesthetic facial aesthetics has worse, actually. And when I dabbled in it, I was like, I don’t want it. I don’t want to do this. People like really compete with each other. They use each other. Payman thinks I’m too sensitive, but that’s fine. You know, [00:35:30] I know that’s what you’re thinking, but it is really crazy because I’ve always been a cheerleader. I’ve always said, like, whenever I see someone doing really well, especially women, I’ve always cheerleaded and I’d want to learn from them. And what I realised is there’s so many relationships which are like transient people use you, people judge you, people gossip. And I really hate that about the sort of industries that we work in. But it might be the case in every industry. I don’t know, like my friend’s a jewellery designer, the one, you know, and she I [00:36:00] remember her saying, like, the jewellery industry is cutthroat, like the jewellers, like really compete with each other. So maybe it’s just every industry or successful in who knows, I think.

Speaker3: So I’ve got a I’ve got a question for you. Maybe it’s a bit Dental Leaders and mine movers. What are the things that go wrong the most often and that people should be looking out for more? And what’s been your biggest mistake that you’ve made with the with the facial aesthetics? Patient.

Speaker1: Oh, um, I can tell you the biggest mistake for us because it comes straight to mind. So there [00:36:30] was a patient who I had really built trust with. She’d gone elsewhere, wasn’t happy, came to me, you know, so thankful. Messaged me after I was like, you know, you made me feel so comfortable, etcetera, etcetera. Really happy with the results. That was her first time with me. Second time, um, we did a lip enhancement and I think a few days later she had messaged and sent me pictures and said, I’m really unhappy. There’s this, this, that. And I was like, this is not my work. Like, I [00:37:00] know my work. I’ve got my before and afters. Her afters are here. This does not look like this could happen. So I kind of jumped the gun and became very defensive because I feel very confident in the work that I do, and I kind of called her a liar without calling her a liar. And then I realised what I had done. So I kind of said, try to explain where I was coming from, and I said, please come in. Can I just see it in person? Let’s talk about it. And she was she was no, she was [00:37:30] as sweet as she could be. And but said her piece and I really appreciated that she said her piece saying, you know, I feel a bit disheartened that you you said that. I said, I’m sorry. And yeah, I checked in on her like a month or two later, she replied, but I had lost, lost that. So I think that’s the biggest mistake, is becoming defensive very quickly. So because I care about my work so much and it was such a small thing in person, it didn’t look anything like the picture she had sent me.

Speaker2: But that’s the thing patients will also scrutinise, [00:38:00] and I think that’s the danger about like iPhones and social media like, which obviously you didn’t have, they’ll be there. You see this photo in this lie on a selfie in this angle, and you have your professional, like, 4K photos and you’re like, no, like anyone can make like, I could even make my composite veneers look bad from certain angles. Do you know what I mean? Like, you have to, like, recognise we’re also dealing with like, Snapchat dysmorphia, you know, like filters [00:38:30] and lights and all these different things being used. And I think that that’s extremely challenging. But like what you said, I sometimes find it really hard because with the recent stuff that’s been going on in the news, I have found it really hard to function. I find it really hard to function like, as you know, like my grandfather’s like Palestinian Lebanese. I have Middle Eastern family. I found it really hard and seeing human suffering has always really affected me. Like I’m a massive empath as payments are like massively like, if you started crying right now, I’d probably [00:39:00] start crying like I’m such an empath so I can just like I’m absorbing all the stuff that I’m seeing constantly. And I’ve worked in refugee camps, so it’s very hard hitting. Anyway, I had a patient come in and when the patient came in, they were the most beautiful veneers that we tried in like stunning. And I wouldn’t just say because when they’re not good, I’ll send them back. Beautiful feldspathic like trans, like all the stuff I try them in, I’m like, they’re amazing. She’s going to love them. She’s there with the mirror like this, right? And I’m [00:39:30] just like, and she’s pointing at an embrasure, not knowing. And obviously I called my technician.

Speaker2: He’s like, you better send the whole lot back instead of cementing everything. And I think I became a bit short with her because I didn’t shout. I didn’t get defensive, but I think I became short, you know what I mean? And you could tell sort of from my like, sort of like body language because energy doesn’t lie. And then afterwards I was like, you can’t behave like this, Rhona. You’re the dentist. Like they the patient is always right, you know, and I had to send the I felt really bad, like you said, because I was like. [00:40:00] I obviously called him like, I’m just checking in. I’m really sorry if it was a bad experience. Yeah. Overcompensating. But it’s really hard. And I think that’s one of the reason too. Yeah, exactly. I think that’s one of the big things, is that we really struggle with our own mental health because we can’t show emotion. And sometimes when I come home, my fiance, fiance can say that now my fiance, I end up shouting and screaming and he’s like, she goes, don’t take this out on me. And I’m like, but I need to express myself. I need [00:40:30] to express myself. And the thing is, is like, it’s just true. Like anger is a healthy emotion and we spend all day long suppressing our emotions for patients. But it’s healthy to be sad and it’s healthy to be angry, and it’s healthy to be happy. And like, I don’t believe in toxic positivity where we’re happy because like you said, like we have to sometimes express it. And I was like, how do we deal with it though, when a patient has also upset us? Scream into a pillow? I don’t know what the answer is. By the way.

Speaker1: I think you find your own coping mechanisms mechanisms, don’t you? What works for you? [00:41:00] So for me, it might just be like having a moment, taking some deep breaths, writing some like, I hate this person, you know, and just get it out the system, rip it.

Speaker2: Payman said. Actually, he writes out the text message of anger and doesn’t send it.

Speaker1: Yeah, that’s what I do. Yeah, I do exactly that.

Speaker3: Somehow it helps me. Yeah, I.

Speaker2: Get it, I get it. Today I started writing notes to a person that’s no longer in my life that I still think about. That triggers me. And I wrote it all out. It was like a stream of consciousness. Quite poetic actually. One day I might publish it, but. But I was like, I’m [00:41:30] writing it out and I’m hoping this is going to like, let out my emotions because I’m hurt.

Speaker3: Interesting. I’ve recently been on the other side of the coin where my son had his braces off.

Speaker2: And you’re not happy.

Speaker3: It wasn’t me, my wife. But but but the nicotine, like, you know, she she got down to this point of it could just be a little bit more, you know, a bit more like this, a bit more like that. And we went back three times to the orthodontist.

Speaker2: And they know your dentist’s. Both of you.

Speaker3: Do you here? Yeah. Yeah, yeah, but [00:42:00] but it was it wasn’t Invisalign. It was. You know why. So he was he was bending wires and and all that. And I remember by the. She was right the first time I thought the second and third time, I was like, you know, come on guys, done this work. But but but she was she was like, you know, you only do this once. We got to get it right. And then the weird thing was once it was all finished, no one ever talked about it ever again. It was. We built.

Speaker1: It up. We built it up.

Speaker3: To something really important.

Speaker2: There are, there are, there are those rogue people as well. I think also, if you’re [00:42:30] on social media, the worst thing that ever happened to me and I’m going to open up, you know, a little bit, I don’t want to start crying because it was the worst thing that’s happened to me. I had a patient turn against me because of another dentist, because the other dentist who’s not, who’s newly qualified, by the way, one year had commented on my work and guided the patient towards a hellish year for me, a hellish as in to the point that I wanted to quit and felt [00:43:00] suicidal. And I thought this person, this dentist, just looks at my social media and assumes for some reason something or other and thinks that I’m dead. Because one thing I’ll never do, and I think that there’s probably a common understanding, even if you do not like the work another dentist has done. Never. It is not your place to comment or turn them against. I mean, I saw some a patient last week and she had a blatant root fracture and a six millimetre eight millimetre pocket had been going to her dentist every three months. [00:43:30] Dentist hadn’t picked it up and she kept saying, but she’s like, why? Why hasn’t he picked up? She was a new consultation. I said, do you know what? It could have just happened recently. That’s all I said. I said I wasn’t there to comment, but I was like, don’t worry about it. I’m sure he’s done the best job, you know, because I really believe it’s so important that we have each other’s back. Knowing the statistics that dentistry has one of the highest suicide rates, you know, it could be.

Speaker1: Us that misses it one day. I mean, I’d like to think we wouldn’t, but you just never know. Like nothing is impossible. So. Yeah, it’s it’s kind of like, hopefully we can [00:44:00] kind of give that other dentist a heads up and be like, listen, just wanted to let you know x, y, z. I think that would have been the nicer, more kind, more kind of camaraderie thing to do.

Speaker3: Yeah, probably the inexperience of the other dentist though. Yeah. Because when you when you’re newly qualified, you might not have even heard this before, this idea, you know, you might say something that where your words are incorrect, you know, when you’re newly qualified, it was.

Speaker2: A little bit more malicious than that. It was a little bit I mean, you know, we can we can share details. But I was just I was just really shocked. And [00:44:30] look, at the end of the day, I mean, like I’m a massive believer in karma anyways. And that’s what guides me. Calm has always been my guiding like force where I’m like, I don’t want to do bad on other people because I believe that it could come back to me. I genuinely believe that, you know, there’s some people that constantly commit stuff like fraud or like they’re serial cheaters. I’m like, I’m just too worried about, like the guilt and like the guilt and the like, you know, the repercussions of it all, you know? Yeah. Um, so you’ve talked a little bit about how [00:45:00] you’ve had some toxic relationships. Yes. And how they have shaped you. I recently saw a quote and saying, they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But I would say, what doesn’t kill you makes you deeply traumatised, hypervigilant and, you know, constantly worried about being in pain. It’s sort of like funny, but not do you know what I mean? You know that statement. Would you say that those experiences did shape you, or do you feel they have left you somewhat traumatised and unable to move on in some parts of your life? [00:45:30]

Speaker1: Um, so. I’d say what? And I realise this maybe a few years later. Is that what it does is it makes you question your own worth. Worth, but also your own integrity and understanding who this person is to you. So you would you’d put yourself in this situation and make yourself believe that this person is okay. And you know what? They’re just doing it because they love me. Or you know what? He said he’s going to get better [00:46:00] or he’s not going to do X to me again. Um, and you question your own, like, what’s the what’s the word I’m trying to say.

Speaker2: Integrity.

Speaker1: Yeah. It’s like your own judgement. It makes you question your own judgement on the people around you. And that was the hardest thing. Also. Yeah, there are things that I didn’t realise were affecting me like I’d be. There were moments I was scared to drive down my street. I would turn my lights off on my car just in case that [00:46:30] person was there. You know, my ex was there because he would like he’d literally be waiting out there because I didn’t reply to his message. So I was scared to even go home. And like, that’s only just starting to wear off, you know, and in future relationships and the relationship I’m in now, I’m in such a like, caring, loving, safe, safe relationship. I had to seek therapy because I was like, I could ruin this relationship. Yeah. Preaching to.

Speaker2: The choir. Preaching to the.

Speaker1: Choir. Yeah. And interestingly, go ahead.

Speaker3: Yeah.

Speaker1: No. Please do.

Speaker3: No, no, go ahead.

Speaker1: I said interestingly, yeah. [00:47:00] One of those relationships, the worst one I still kind of have to be around or be reminded of because they’re within the industry. Well, partly within the industry that I’m in now. So that is a major struggle because, whoa, you don’t realise the trauma that like triggers, it’s like, whoa, go into fight or flight. Um, so yeah, it’s it’s been interesting but very challenging. And I’m really proud of myself.

Speaker2: We talked about we had a guest on as well that talked. I’d asked him about [00:47:30] this. I asked him about gut feelings and anxiety, and I said that I struggle because I don’t know if it’s my gut feeling because people say, you know, when you know. And then I say, but I don’t know when I know, because also sometimes it’s my anxiety. But I’m like, is that my gut? Should I listen? But then in hindsight, it’s my anxiety. Do you know what I mean? And it’s a really difficult, challenging thing because sometimes you can feel it like physically. But if you suffer from anxiety, it couldn’t be, you know what I mean? Because you’re constantly in fight or flight. Yeah. And I think that that’s a difficulty. And also there’s like safety somehow like also if you are used [00:48:00] to trauma or you’re used to uncertainty, it’s actually feels safer than certainty sometimes. So for example, if you’re in a safe relationship you’re not used to it. You somehow feel unsafe because you’re used to chaos. And chaos is familiar, and we always want to go back to what’s familiar to us. So it’s quite an interesting dynamic. Payman doesn’t have these issues, but I know what you mean, you know? And so and I find that I try to go back to chaos sometimes, you know, I’m interested in.

Speaker3: Okay, first of all, you were worried about your judgement. I how didn’t I see [00:48:30] it and all that. But I mean, it sounds like you’ve done some work with therapists and all that. Yeah. Is there something that you think that I’m guilty of attracting the wrong person?

Speaker1: Oh, absolutely. Now I realise I’m not guilty. But there was a point where I was like, why did I let myself go through that? That was the hardest thing. Like, how could I let myself stay in that for however long and then go into another relationship that was abusive in a different way?

Speaker3: But when I say guilty, not not necessarily that it’s your fault, right? More in so much as like [00:49:00] is there is there is there something from your childhood? Is there some, some, some standard you were trying to reach, some something you’re going to please your dad or whatever it was that that made you more prone to accepting this from from your partners. Yeah.

Speaker1: So I’m a really big believer in everything stems from childhood to the point. My friends are like, okay, Tara, like, you don’t need to psychoanalyse me right now. Um, so yes, I do believe that. I think I was so used to conforming to what [00:49:30] what I thought my parents wanted from me that this was kind of like my rebellious phase. And this was excitement. This was, yeah, a way for me to just, like, even when I was angry, I’d shout, like, to the point I’ve never shouted before. I remember I was in a room and I was screaming and I hadn’t. I would never do that at home. Like that was my way of just like releasing. And maybe I didn’t think I was worth enough to be worthy enough to be loved. And those men in my life, unfortunately, kind of helped me [00:50:00] believe that I wasn’t worthy enough trauma bond.

Speaker2: He was asking me what a trauma bond was earlier. Yeah. And I was trying to explain, yeah, that that’s exactly what a trauma bond is. And we sometimes mistaken that like deep. You’re like, this is the one. I have to make it work. And again, it’s actually a trauma bond. I compared it to Johnny Depp and Amber heard. You know, like that was such a toxic trauma bond relationship. And you see a lot of those in the public eye, by the way, you know, super toxic, super fiery. And that’s the thing. Like, you know, you just [00:50:30] you want something to be like that. That uncertainty somehow makes us really engaged as human beings, and we see that in all aspects of our life. And if you could choose another career, what would it be and why?

Speaker1: Something to do with dogs? Love it because I just love them. They are just are the best things. Like they make me happy. They’re just so loving. [00:51:00] Yeah. Dogs. A dog walker. Maybe like a dog. Home.

Speaker2: Would you be a vet or not?

Speaker1: I’ve thought about that, but I don’t know if I’d be able to deal with the kind of saddest stuff.

Speaker2: Oh, really?

Speaker1: Yeah, I did think about that. But no, just something like, you know, like a play den or like something like that. And who knows, maybe it will happen. Yeah, I even looked into dog cleaning.

Speaker2: I love cleaning, yeah. No, literally, you know, they can get perio. Dogs can get really bad.

Speaker3: Perio. Yeah I can imagine. Yeah.

Speaker2: You know and carries. They can do. My family [00:51:30] would tell my friends to brush their teeth. Do you brush your dog’s teeth?

Speaker1: Yeah. My my dog. Yeah a family dog. We didn’t do that unfortunately. Did he.

Speaker2: Get carries? Império.

Speaker1: He had 16 teeth pulled down.

Speaker2: See, you got to brush their teeth.

Speaker3: Yeah, I’ve seen those things where they do almost like a doggy spa thing. Yeah, I love those. See? What?

Speaker1: Like, how fun would that be?

Speaker3: Can’t get enough of this.

Speaker2: Literally. Do you have a dog?

Speaker3: No. I want one really badly. But my family aren’t.

Speaker2: I know dogs do bring one home. And dogs, dogs? Dogs are therapy now, Tara, you said you were also quite introverted person. [00:52:00] Yes. Yeah. Do you have a social media profile? Yeah. Um. And you have to talk to patients all day. How do you manage that? Are you an extrovert? Introvert? Is that what they call them these days?

Speaker1: I don’t know which way around it is, but I’m definitely an introvert. I am extroverted when I feel comfortable, when I know the people I’m around in work, I kind of have to like fake it till you make it kind of thing. It’s a thing and I believe in it. And, um. Yeah, I’d [00:52:30] say at work I’m confident in what I do so I can maybe be perhaps a little bit more extroverted. Um, but family home. I’m quite a quiet person, but I can have my moments. Like, I can just be, like, silly. I’ve got, like, my cousin and my sister, who I guess are my, like, who I’ve grown up with. They’ve seen, like, the silly side to me. So I think it just depends on who I’m around. However, being at work, constantly talking to patients, engaging with them, it’s a bit different to dentistry [00:53:00] because dentistry, they’re like with their mouth open. You’re not really talking to them for for the time you’re treating. However, during what I’m doing, people are nervous of what they’re going to look like, of what it’s going to feel like, um, of what people are going to think of them if they’ve had it done. So I’m like trying to overcompensate and just make them feel so comfortable because I want them to feel comfortable. I want them to feel excited for this journey and for something that they want. That at the end of the day, I’m pooped. Like I go home and I’m ready [00:53:30] to just go to bed.

Speaker2: And not talk to anyone.

Speaker1: Just pet my dog, have some food. I don’t even watch TV. It’s too much stimulus. I just, you know, put some candles on and then I just write journal. If I can read, go to bed.

Speaker3: How many different clinics do you work in exclusively?

Speaker1: I work in one at the moment for facial aesthetics, and then I teach with the Academy, so that’s in a different location.

Speaker3: Yeah. And would you say overall, is it is it just you or would you say, would you advise someone that it’s a better life than being a dentist?

Speaker1: I [00:54:00] think wherever your passion lies, it’s important to focus on that. I think financially aesthetics can be great. And as a woman who is thinking about, you know, maybe one day having a family, I think aesthetics works better for me in that sense, because I can kind of choose my own hours. I mean, if I had my own clinic, dental clinic, it might be a bit different, but I can choose my own hours. I can choose how long I want the day to be. [00:54:30] I don’t need to sit in a certain position for a certain amount of time. Um.

Speaker3: It suits you.

Speaker1: It suits me.

Speaker2: Yeah. I really hated aesthetics.

Speaker3: I dabbled pretty surprised at that.

Speaker2: Now I just, like, thought it’s right.

Speaker3: No.

Speaker2: Do you know what? First of all, like Tara said, like, I really hated anatomy. I don’t have a 3D brain. So as in, like, when I’m looking at you now, I don’t actually really know where the nerves and stuff are, even though we sort of deal with it. So I find it really hard. In school, I had to work much harder at biology than I did chemistry. Chemistry [00:55:00] came natural to me because I found biology really difficult. Like I was sort of just seeing words I didn’t really understand, you know, where they were. So it never came to me naturally. And then when it came to injecting, I just found like I couldn’t see anything. Whereas like with the tooth and dentistry, do you know, I mean, you can see the enamel and dentine, you can see the pulp, you can see a prep, you can see your margins. Yeah. It’s to blind. That’s probably why I stopped. Endo is like years ago. Do you know what I mean? I fractured loads of files in my time. Yeah, exactly. So I prefer [00:55:30] that element of it. I didn’t like the industry. I found the industry like worse than dentistry, which says something. And I also found it very challenging dealing with people that were so obsessed with their face. Like, for some reason, I still think there’s more of a stigma with getting stuff done to your face than your teeth. Have you noticed that, like, people are very like, oh, I’m having Invisalign, whitening and bonding or like I’m having minimal prep veneers that don’t involve. But whereas now they’re still be, as you know, like with other guests that we talked about, like they’re having like their lips done or a [00:56:00] rhinoplasty or anything like that, there is some sort of stigma related to the anti-aging or enhancement of the face compared to the anti-aging or enhancement of the teeth. Definitely. So I think like for me as well, even though cosmetic dentistry is also cosmetic enhancement, the type of people you attract are somewhat different. It’s different.

Speaker1: So different people don’t want to tell people that they’ve come to see me. Yeah, well, most of them, which is actually quite a struggle to build a business. A lot of it is word of mouth, but I’ll have patients. Obviously everything is confidential [00:56:30] anyway, but they’ll come out to exclusively say, please don’t tell them that I’ve had this done. And of course I wouldn’t do that because we’ve been taught patient confidentiality and we understand the importance of it. But it’s it’s yeah, it’s really hard to actually grow a business in aesthetics because of that. You know, I have so many influencers, so many like, you know, people in the on TV, but they might come and talk about going to a dentist, but they wouldn’t come and talk about getting the facialist facialist. Yeah, facial aesthetics done. So it’s a shame, but it’s [00:57:00] changing.

Speaker2: So, Tara, yes, it’s been amazing to have you. We could talk for ages. I want to ask a final question as well. And I think this is really important. One thing that really strikes me as you’re speaking is that you’ve overcome a lot of adversity, but particularly because you’ve built a successful clinic, being naturally an introverted person, I’m going to go back into this because a lot of people would say that they look up to certain people on social media and they. Feel that they can’t put [00:57:30] themselves out there because they don’t have the confidence. But you just said that you’re naturally introverted. So what would be your advice for somebody that wants to create, you know, a business of their dreams but doesn’t necessarily have the confidence because they feel that they’re limiting factor is that they’re not outspoken?

Speaker1: There are so many businesses out there where you don’t know who that person is behind it. You don’t have to be the face of a brand. I think you have to understand what you want. Success is different to everyone. [00:58:00] Some people, success is having a really lovely home life and, you know, having that time to themselves for three days a week and some it might be a business. And I think look at businesses that you admire. Look at what they’ve done and look at how you can emulate that. And if you can’t do that, if you’ve got the means to find a way to help yourself by getting someone else on board to help you do that, if it’s public speaking that might be involved, get some training in public [00:58:30] speaking like there’s no harm in bettering yourself in different areas. I mean, I’ve looked into public speaking not because I want a public speak, but because I want to improve on how I can put myself across. And you never know what opportunities might come just like that. Why not kind of arm myself with that skill?

Speaker2: And you know what? It’s funny because one of our guests, we were saying we were trying to have empathy for the kind of like unconfident boy that looks up to toxic [00:59:00] men now in society and blame women and hate women because they can’t speak to women. And she said, oh, just stop being pathetic. Like you want to learn how to talk to women. Literally go on YouTube and people will provide videos and provide videos on how to talk to women. And you can find it from a woman and from a man. So there is no reason like we have.

Speaker3: You see there if I, if I if a woman had said something like that and I say stop being pathetic, you would have you would have broken, you would have hit me down.

Speaker2: Listen, listen. Yeah. Because it’s a.

Speaker3: Guy you can say.

Speaker2: Stop being. No, no, no, I know, listen, I have [00:59:30] a lot. I listen, I have a lot of empathy for that, that kind of, you know, for that kind of person. Anyway, Tara, it’s such a pleasure to have you. You have been a great mentor and friend and continue to build a really successful business. Your insights have been so valuable. Speak up more. We love it.

Speaker1: Oh thank you. I’ll drive.

Speaker2: Thank you for coming on my much.

Speaker1: Thank you so much for coming. Thank you.

Mydentist associate Luisa Mateescu says she inherited a can-do attitude from her father—a shrewd entrepreneur with a head for numbers.

Not content to stay in her native Romania, Luisa followed her heart to the UK, diving headfirst into mastering new skills and tech.

Luisa recounts her story so far, chatting about the contrast between UK and Romanian dentistry, achieving a healthy work-life balance, and thoughts on where her burning ambition may take her next.



Oana Luisa Mateescu

00.46 – Backstory

07.48 – Study

16.38 – First job

20.32 – Moving to the UK

30.09 – Romania Vs the UK

35.39 – Mindset

40.43 – Work-life balance

46.28 – Clinical progress

49.17 – Working culture

53.15 – Patient wants and needs

56.38 – Five-year plan

01.00.55 – The worst thing about being a dentist

01.05.20 – Industry predictions

01.09.47 – Blackbox thinking

01.24.57 – Fantasy dinner party

01.27.46 – Last days and legacy


About Luisa Mateescu

Luisa Mateescu graduated from the University of Bucharest in 2017. She is an associate dentist at mydentist.

Speaker1: If you can excel, it doesn’t matter on what. If you want to be a dancer, be a great dancer, right? Go to Juilliard, be a great dancer or anywhere else. But be good. Be out there and enjoy what you’re doing. And I think part of the education is very important to try a little bit of everything. Try to learn a bit more from all the subjects because that builds your general knowledge, which is important.

Speaker2: This is Dental [00:00:30] Leaders. The podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Luisa Mateescu onto the podcast. I first met Luisa at a my dentist event and at Mini Smile Makeover, and what struck me about Luisa [00:01:00] was that you were so, so up for it, so into doing the best. And, you know, like someone who wanted to learn like a hunger for learning, that I sometimes see that in people’s eyes, a glint in their eye, you know. And I was very interested in your story of coming over from Romania, joining my dentist and and all the other stuff you’ve done. Massive pleasure to have you on the podcast. Thank you for inviting me. So, Lisa, take me back to your [00:01:30] backstory, sort of where you were born. Why did you even think medical, let alone dental, was what was what was the thinking as a child or you were you were you? Do you have family members in the field or no backstory?

Speaker1: Not really. So I come from Romania. It’s a small city very close to Bucharest, which is the capital of Romania. Um, we don’t have doctors in the family. We have a distant relative that [00:02:00] is a dentist. I found out about him later, but it’s simple as this. My parents and their parents were quite old school. So if you want to do something with your life, you should be either a doctor, either a lawyer. Obviously, there’s more about that. But my parents wanted me to be a doctor and they kind of implemented that to my head, so I don’t know if I want. I always wanted to be a doctor or I’ve been educated [00:02:30] that I wanted to be a doctor.

Speaker3: But yeah, I’m trying that with my daughter right now. Yeah, not very easy. Were they dropping little hints? You’re going to be a doctor, Mrs.. Doctor.

Speaker1: Well be to actually have the title as a doctor, even if I’m not like, I’m not I don’t have a PhD. I’m not a general practitioner. I’m a doctor of the teeth. Right. I’m a I’m a doctor of dental medicine. So it’s still good enough because it gives you more flexibility. So that’s why I actually chose dentistry [00:03:00] in the end, because my parents wanted me to be a surgeon, obviously, obviously a neurosurgeon or something, that you don’t have a life, you just stay in the.

Speaker3: What do your parents.

Speaker1: Do? Well, my parents, my father has a business. Well, two actually, it’s quite funny, actually. This is a interesting story. My father is actually a bodybuilder, so he loves going to the gym. He eats very, very healthy. And he won and [00:03:30] participated in multiple competitions. Well, he actually won third prize into a worldwide competition bodybuilder for his age like over 50, which was really good. He now he quit. So he’s not the same, but he’s still very good in shape. He still goes to the gym like four times, a four times a week. But he was really into it. But he’s also a businessman, so he has a business. Basically. He sells construction materials and everything [00:04:00] that deals with that and also builds houses or small numbers of houses or block of flats.

Speaker3: Was it was it not a thought of going into the family business?

Speaker1: No. Well, actually there are three brothers. So yes, I have two other uncles. So when me and my cousins, when we were little, they kind of decided that the kids will not go into the family business. So I always had that in mind. So my parents, because.

Speaker3: There’s so many of [00:04:30] you.

Speaker1: Because it would have been arguments. Yes, probably. That’s why. So we were very tiny at that point. So my parents said, okay, so no family business is fine. So she’s going to become a doctor. That’s what I’ve done lately. Like lately, almost 15 years ago, I think he opened the gym as well. So we have one of the fanciest gym in the town. So everyone goes there and it is a very good gym, so he can train and have whatever he wants for his training, like properly, because [00:05:00] no other gym was supplying with what he wanted. So yeah. Your mom.

Speaker3: Work as well or no.

Speaker1: My mom quit working when I was born and she dedicated all her time for me. Are you the only child step? Yes.

Speaker3: Are you.

Speaker1: Right? And. But now she’s helping at the gym. So basically, she’s managing the gym as much as she can. Whenever they have a new girl hired or something, she’s teaching them. It’s just. Like a manager. She goes there whenever it’s busy because it became become very busy. So she helps the family business. [00:05:30]

Speaker3: So your dad sounds like one of these sort of pure bred entrepreneur types, you know?

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: He can’t stand still. Yeah. Does any of that rubbed off on you? Do you feel like you’ve got a bit of that in you as well?

Speaker1: Maybe. But I’m not to the point of opening a business on my own. I don’t think I’m there yet, but I would never exclude that. So we’ll see.

Speaker3: So when you when you watch someone operate, you learn by sort of by osmosis in a way. Right. Like it’s it’s a bit like sitting on the kitchen [00:06:00] table watching your mum cooking. Yeah. She’s not necessarily teaching you.

Speaker1: But you see things.

Speaker3: You see things, you learn things you learn.

Speaker1: By watching. Yeah.

Speaker3: What did you absorb from your dad? Like? Is it the way he treats people. What is it. Well he’s.

Speaker1: Very straightforward. He’s very he’s very good at math. So he can do. He can.

Speaker3: He’s good with the numbers.

Speaker1: He’s very good with the numbers. Exactly. So he knows exactly if like because I once said, oh, I would like to open this type of business. So [00:06:30] basically it’s not very popular here in the UK, but in Romania it is. It’s called like you go to a place you put like electrodes on yourself and you do small movements. So it’s like an intense gym session linked to a machine. It’s called X body. There here, not very popular again. So I wanted that. But the machines is very expensive. And I said and he asked me a few questions like how much is going to be a session, how much you’re going to pay the trainer, how much [00:07:00] that and that. And that is like, that’s not a good business. Stop. He had the instinct in a in a second. Yeah. So are you going.

Speaker3: To open that in Romania or here.

Speaker1: In Romania? I wanted to do that in Romania. That was I was still in uni. I was thinking to do that a little bit to get, I don’t know, just to, to have something like a passive income coming and maybe he’s.

Speaker3: Definitely got the bug that means.

Speaker1: Yeah, well I do maybe, I don’t know, I’m still young, so I have time. [00:07:30]

Speaker3: Yeah. But for someone to think like that in university, in university, I wasn’t thinking at all about starting businesses. I was busy enjoying myself.

Speaker1: Why not?

Speaker3: Well, yeah, you know what I mean. Like, what I’m saying is it’s in you that you weren’t thinking like that. Wow.

Speaker1: I’ve never thought about it, but, yeah, that would be good. I hope it is so.

Speaker3: Okay. Where did you study?

Speaker1: So I studied in Bucharest at the. Not the private university. The state one is called University Carol Davila. It’s supposed [00:08:00] to be one of the best universities in Romania. So. And it was quite a close one. And it’s in the capital of the city. So it would have been like a good fun in uni. Is it is.

Speaker3: It, is it very competitive to get in to dentistry.

Speaker1: Used to, used to be when I applied. Yes and no. So you need to pass the exam. The exam in school. Yeah. So you finish high school which is you finish it at 18. Yeah. Right. So it’s like after college [00:08:30] here. Yeah. You’re 18. It doesn’t matter what you did before. If you want to go to dental school you just need to pass the exam. One the exam is very simple. You have 100 questions multiple choice choice. And you have two subjects biology. Well anatomy. And it’s either chemistry either physics. I chose physics because chemistry involved a lot of chemicals. No. Yes. But also involved a lot of things to remember that you would probably forget. [00:09:00] And also you needed to do difficult math like 2.056 multiple 5.021 and without a calculator or anything.

Speaker3: 5.13 yes.

Speaker1: Exactly. But with physics was very simple. It was more logic. It was it was more obvious. So I chose that. It was very it was simpler. It was less to to study as well, whatever reason. But the biology was the like [00:09:30] the anatomy, it was the biggest subject. So whatever you get, whatever grade you get at the end is just going to be your entrance point. So you need to pass 50. So you need to do better than 50 points. But the first 140 places would be would not pay anything, so it couldn’t be the universe. The first year of uni is going to be free. So I got 89 and I got a free spot. Oh, nice. Yeah. So every year, negative marking. [00:10:00]

Speaker3: You know what I mean by that.

Speaker1: No.

Speaker3: So here are now exams in dental school. It’s multiple choice. Yeah. If you get it wrong you get minus one.

Speaker1: No it was just simple like you get right plus 1 or 0. Yeah. We had that during uni.

Speaker3: Oh you did. Yeah. Yeah. So you know about that. All right. So then you got in.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: And when you got there what were your impressions or what were you like as a dental student. Well top of your class or not I’ve.

Speaker1: No. So I always [00:10:30] been the top of my class until I was in high school, I was probably one of the best of the best. And then I kind of tried to relax a little bit. When high school, I wanted to have a little bit of fun, but I kept my grades quite high. When I went to uni, I had a shock because the volume of study was completely different, like what I needed to learn in a semester. I needed to learn there in a week, and I really went on top of it. Like first semester, I really dedicated my time and I [00:11:00] really like I had good grades. I wasn’t like, we don’t have A’s and B’s, we have 1 to 10. Yes. So I wasn’t maybe ten, ten, ten, ten in a line, but I had above eight. So I had good grades. So that was good. The first semester was quite hard, but then the second semester I kind of got the gist of the uni, so I was quite comfortable and I started to. I wanted to enjoy the uni life a little bit more. So I found myself that at the end of the second semester I just failed a few exams, [00:11:30] most of them because I didn’t go. Now because I didn’t study.

Speaker3: The first time. You’d ever failed anything in your life, right?

Speaker1: Yeah, maybe. Yeah. So in Romania, in dental school, if you don’t manage to pass one exam, it doesn’t matter. You just need to repeat the whole year with all the subjects. So for failing.

Speaker3: One exam, for.

Speaker1: Failing one exam you have a few times you a few chances. So I managed to pass all that. And then I woke up. I was like, right, I’m not going to fail my career. For some parting, I did some [00:12:00] parting. It’s all good. I’m happy. Let’s concentrate on what is important. So I started to be on top of the things. What was.

Speaker3: The years? Which years were you in university?

Speaker1: So you do six years of university? Was it was the year starting with year two? Yeah.

Speaker3: But which year? Which year was it 20.

Speaker1: Oh, right. 2012.

Speaker3: You started.

Speaker1: I started in 2011. 2000. Yeah. 2012 was the second year when I and your.

Speaker3: System in Romania, the first 3 or 4 years [00:12:30] are very like general medical, right?

Speaker1: Yes. So first three years is mainly general medicine. You have all the modules dermatology, endocrinology, all of that. You have a bit about teeth. Like basically let’s count the teeth anatomy and how they look like what how many cusps and nothing important. But it’s mainly general dentistry. So you have the flexibility of if you want to swap in year four, you can just go and carry on and move to general medicine and you just carry on and become a doctor.

Speaker3: So you literally having the same [00:13:00] classes as the medical school.

Speaker1: More or less. It’s not that important anyway. So they don’t they don’t question if you want to move in year five you would be a year four. Yeah, yeah. So you need to go back.

Speaker3: Yeah. So then which year is it that you see your first patient year four.

Speaker1: Well that’s an interesting story. We first patient as a Dental. Yeah. Yeah. So well that’s what I thought because in the past what I thought about the universities that I’ll finish uni and I’ll know what to do with the patient. That was [00:13:30] a big lie. No. When I first started in year four, you’re supposed to start dealing with patients I’ve never touched. A patient in uni.

Speaker3: Seems late to start with patients in year four five year.

Speaker1: Course. I’ve never touched a patient during six years. I’ve never done work on a patient at all. At all. Well, because, well, it’s considered that most of our professors and everything were too scared about the the possible competition. So they just stopped [00:14:00] the work. So in the past it used to be free for the patients and then they started to put charges. Yeah. And there were not enough patients for us and for the people that were specialising in something. So they would get the patients and also all the chairs they had, most of them would have a room with 20 dental chairs, but only two of them were working, so there was no space.

Speaker3: So you qualified without doing much dentistry at all?

Speaker1: Well, I did on my own. I took care of myself [00:14:30] basically. So I went to school in year two. As I said, I started to concentrate on on the studying. But in year four you start to do dentistry. So I realised that we have a lot of subjects that. It don’t really matter, and they don’t deserve my time. So I can concentrate on what I know I’m going to use and I’m going to train myself on my own. So apart from the usual with subjects and everything, you have another exam in the summer and sorry, in autumn in September, which is not [00:15:00] that you fail something else, it’s just a different exam. So it’s like your practical exam. So you’re supposed to finish uni and then go and do shadow. Shadow. Someone wherever you want is supposed to be a specialist or like a fellow specialist, and you would learn whatever, and you go to the exam and answer all the questions and you pass the exam. That’s an easy exam. Everyone kind of passes that one. Yeah, but I did some shadowing like a month every summer or two months. Didn’t [00:15:30] really get much of that. I was just tired. And yeah, because in the first 2 or 3 years you don’t do any dentistry. You don’t know what the dentist is doing. No one has the time to explain to you. And. Yeah, but, um, I just took care of myself and basically I applied to be a dental nurse. So I went and worked in a dental practice as a well as a whatever. I was a dental nurse. I was a manager, I was the cleaner, I was everything, I was scrubbing the floors and I was driving [00:16:00] a more expensive car than the owner, you know. But it’s funny, you know, I did everything I needed.

Speaker3: To do in the Third World. I mean, I don’t know if you can call Romania Third World, but in the third World. Yeah. I mean, I’m from Iran. So, you know, in the third World, there’s many situations where you have to take it into your own hands. Yeah. Like, I don’t know, I’m thinking of family member goes to hospital, but the family make a massive difference to that care of that patient in hospital, obviously, because, you know, there’s not enough nurses [00:16:30] or not enough doctors. And so you might.

Speaker1: Get the, the, the single room and you might even get a toilet there or a clean room.

Speaker3: Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: And many other situations like that where you have to take it into your own hands in the third world, that’s what. Yeah. So okay. Where was your first proper job?

Speaker1: Proper job as a dentist. As a dentist. Right. It was. It was in the UK. Oh really? The proper one. It was in the UK. So I’ve worked in Romania as a dental nurse. [00:17:00] I worked as a dentist as well, but I’ve never been paid for it. So when I finished university, I got a job in my hometown for a very important guy in Romania. Gdc is is not one entity, it’s one entity, but it’s split in regions. So I got a job for the president of the GDC for that region. So it was really good because I could do everything I wanted as long as he was happy with me doing that, and [00:17:30] he was close to retirement and he didn’t want to work. So he.

Speaker3: Was it your region?

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah. It was.

Speaker3: Did you know him because he knew your dad and that sort of thing?

Speaker1: I no, I actually no, I know him because my mother’s brother used to be his postman.

Speaker3: That’s even better.

Speaker4: It’s even better.

Speaker1: But he’s a lovely guy. He’s a he’s a surgeon, actually, he’s a surgeon. But he was having a general dental practice there, and he was doing a lot of things.

Speaker3: And what was he doing? Implants.

Speaker4: The whole he was doing everything.

Speaker1: He was doing the small surgeries as well. Quite [00:18:00] a lot of oral surgery impacted wisdom teeth. Removal, all the disgusting stuff. Oh love that. Implants as well obviously. But then fillings and cleans and he was doing everything. But obviously because I was there he was trying to pass that more towards me. I actually did two cases, two implant cases with him and I did them.

Speaker4: Wow. Yeah, that learning.

Speaker3: On the job.

Speaker4: But if I tell.

Speaker1: You how I did them, you know. No, no it was impeccable. [00:18:30]

Speaker4: Impeccable.

Speaker1: So the second case, it was one of his friends. But the first case, I don’t think she knows I did the implant.

Speaker4: Oh, really?

Speaker1: Because he put something on her, but she was absolutely fine. And he was my nurse, so we worked together very well in the implant. It’s beautifully placed. It was that exact ideal case.

Speaker3: So look, I’ve got an uncle who’s a dentist or who was a dentist in Iran. He went he ended up in Canada. But while I was in first year dental student, I [00:19:00] visited and he took me to the state clinic. You know where the the people queue up to have teeth taken out, right? You know, the pain clinic if you like. But basically it was an extraction.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: And I went there for two days. Yeah. And in two days I took out more teeth than the rest of my dental course put together. Yeah. And he basically showed me what to do. I’d never taken a tooth out. Yeah. And he was just like, keep pushing. It’s [00:19:30] interesting because. Because then I learnt that thing. Yeah. And it’s amazing how much you can learn more. Yeah.

Speaker4: Doing had a had.

Speaker1: A similar job like that. Yes because I worked for him. So he’s. I was like, I want to have more patience. It’s like in Romania you get a lot of experience if you go to the countryside and which is like a pain clinic. Yeah. So you just go there one on one morning a week. People already wait for you. So he put me in contact with the person that owned that practice. [00:20:00] He just wanted to have a cigarette or like a hundred and coffees. And I was doing everything. But he gave me a nurse, which was great. So I was going there and I worked until I finished the patients once a week. And it was brilliant.

Speaker3: I remember this, my uncle going out into the street, giving blocks and infiltrations to the queue in.

Speaker4: The street, just in the street to get them ready.

Speaker3: Get them ready so that by [00:20:30] the time they. Yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Speaker3: So tell me about the move. Number one. You told me off Mike that, you know what you just told me now, your dad was an established guy. You you could have stayed there, opened your clinic. You knew loads of people. Yeah. Had a very good life there. Yeah, but you chose to move here.

Speaker1: Think about when I finished uni, we finished 300 from [00:21:00] that uni. There was another unit. Students, dentist, new dentists, 300.

Speaker3: Yeah.

Speaker4: Big year.

Speaker1: No, normally. Yeah. Another. You name the private one probably had another 200 and that was just in Bucharest. And there’s so many other dental schools everywhere in the country.

Speaker4: So there’s too many dentists.

Speaker1: Yeah, there’s too many dentists. And in Romania is very popular. You finish uni and then you need to become a specialist. But because everyone’s a specialist now they go for a second specialist, [00:21:30] they have to. Yeah. So it’s just and then they go for a PhD. But I swear to God they, most of them don’t have the clinical experience that they should for the amount of years they studied. So no thank you. And also being in uni and year four, five and six, I can’t speak for other universities, but I can speak for my year, for my personal experience. It’s not fair. You don’t get the grade fair, fair and square. It’s not fair. [00:22:00] Also, the material, the support material that you’re supposed to study and you’re going to be asked about is not the same. So if you know an older student, you might get the actual stuff. If not people.

Speaker4: Just we’re back.

Speaker3: To that same thing, aren’t we? Yeah. About having to take things into your own hands.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: So it’s not fair. You. I got a grade. I got a good grade once. Just because the professor in front of me was. It was a bit late, and she got a phone call, so. Yeah. Finished [00:22:30] nine by. I was good. You had the exams where if you, you need when you go to the exam, you need to buy the professor something to drink or something to eat. Right. But we have this specific professor that she actually become the dean at some point, that she couldn’t drink normal water. It needed to be imported Evian water. Otherwise. Aristocrat, I don’t know. And then macarons. Like she had a thing for French. Yeah. So she wanted [00:23:00] French dessert. French was everything. So.

Speaker3: So we’re getting to the crux of the matter is that inherent sort of corruption of another third world country, right? Yeah. And it’s.

Speaker4: Not fair.

Speaker3: It’s not fair. Right. And you said we we spoke about that off mic as well. But I’ve got friends who love it.

Speaker4: Oh yeah.

Speaker1: Because you, you bend the rules however you want.

Speaker3: Yeah. And also like the immediate, you know like my friend was I went to Iran the last thing I wanted to have anything [00:23:30] to do with police. Right. I did not want to meet a policeman. Right. I didn’t want to have any questions to answer. And my friend was telling me, listen, the problem. Right? Anything happens with the police, just give us some money all over. Yeah. And I was like, well, that’s terrible. What if that’s the guy who can’t afford it or whatever? Yeah.

Speaker4: What if you.

Speaker1: Give them the wrong amount and it’s too less?

Speaker4: But he was saying get upset.

Speaker3: He was saying he likes it because it means the thing is over. Then. Whereas if he was in London, he’d have to then go to court. And. Yeah, so so.

Speaker4: I like it here.

Speaker1: Because it’s fair and [00:24:00] square. It’s more fair and square for everyone. Yes. And it’s the same procedure everyone goes through. Yes, of course you get your shortcuts here as well if.

Speaker4: You but we get to this.

Speaker3: Question then. Right. And know it’s kind of a selfish way of thinking about it. You could have thrived in Romania. You could have.

Speaker4: I could have, yeah, I could have had the easy life, had the.

Speaker3: Means to pay whoever you needed to. Yeah, you had the connections, and yet you chose to go live [00:24:30] in Birmingham and find a job, you know, the first place you could, I guess. What was that? Why leave? Because. Because you inherently don’t like corruption. Is that is that what you’re saying? That.

Speaker1: Is as well. Yes. And also because I want to do things on my own. I want to prove myself, I want to. Why? Just because I know I can and I don’t need anyone to. Is it is it that?

Speaker3: Is it that somewhere along the line any anything you achieve? People said, oh yeah, she’s got a rich dad or like that you [00:25:00] didn’t get.

Speaker4: The credit did.

Speaker1: Came across a few things like this. Yes. Like, oh yeah. You got that because of your parents or you got like, do you even know how to do that? Or you look at you, you’re too young. You’re you’re a girl. What, like. No. And here my. Yes, that’s quite interesting. So one of the first patients that I’ve ever had in the UK told me that I was impressed. Well, I know they do this all the time, but that was for me was the first he said, well, what [00:25:30] would you do in my case? Because like, I don’t, I don’t know. You are the expert. They just come to you. You are a dentist. They assume you’re the best. They don’t look. They know their dentist is well prepared. It’s there in that job because they know what they’re doing.

Speaker4: They don’t question it. Yes.

Speaker1: And the patients in Romania, Romanian patients are a nightmare, especially if they’re Romanian patients. In Romania, they’re a nightmare. They don’t come for recalls. They don’t care about prevention. They don’t trust [00:26:00] you. And I actually really, really hate to sell myself in front of someone for half an hour or an hour. And in the end, well, I’m going to go to the guy that I know and I know I can do a better job. They were going for a clean to the max tax guy that I was working with. He wasn’t even doing it very. I would have taken an hour to airflow and everything sparkling clean, but they would go to him because he’s [00:26:30] a max. So that’s the Romanian patient is they go for the max box for the filling. No, that’s not right.

Speaker3: It makes me think of back home that I remember once I had a tummy ache or something. They brought a doctor in. Honestly, the guy was 85. Yeah, like he was old.

Speaker1: He knew what he was doing.

Speaker3: Yeah, but this is the thing. Like my my training told me this guy’s out of date because he’s 85, and I kind of in my pain. I brought it up with my grandmother. I said, who’s this guy? He’s an old guy. She said, exactly. You know, he’s [00:27:00] an old guy. That’s what you want, someone with experience to be old.

Speaker1: And the guy.

Speaker4: Especially if you’re.

Speaker1: Young and the lady is just not a bad combination.

Speaker3: So explain to me, when you got to England, you landed in London?

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker1: And I landed in Birmingham, actually.

Speaker4: Why? Because my my.

Speaker1: Partner was already.

Speaker4: Here. Oh, okay. Right. Okay. Okay. So.

Speaker1: Well, the process of coming here, well, back then, like, five years ago, was way easier than it is now because England, well, UK [00:27:30] was part of the EU, so I only I registered with the GTC within a month. I just need to pay a fee, do some documents, job done. But then the problem comes when you want to become when you want to get your performance number because everyone said it’s good to have it and I agree. Yeah. So you need to find a practice. You need to have find a job that has an available mentor for you. Yeah. So I went to job fairs like every year. They were always selling finish your university. Come back. [00:28:00] Then I was going again next year finish university. And then when I finished I was like, I finished, I’m here, let’s do this. And she said, okay, we have this big corporate that I know it’s serious. And they have like 600 practices or even more all over the country. So you have flexibility. So they might have the resources for you. So I said fine. And I wanted to be a corporate because an independent might have just shut down after a month or you don’t know where you go. It’s a it’s a different country. It’s a different world. You can’t trust someone overseas. So I chose the corporate. [00:28:30] I had an online no, I had a phone interview last good. And then they said, fine, let’s start the process. You need to apply for performance number because you have a job now. Well, they found me a job in Bristol and yeah. So where I was working in Romania, I had the understanding with the owner that whenever I need to leave to the UK to do documents or something, I just go, so he doesn’t say anything. So that was good. So I had, I was working there, but when I needed to leave I just [00:29:00] needed I would have just gone. So yeah, just came to the UK, landed in Birmingham, got questioned at the airport like, yeah, what are you doing here? Because I only had one way ticket. I’ve never been questioned before.

Speaker4: Have you. No, no.

Speaker1: They asked me like was like, do you have a job? It’s like, yes, I do have a job. Like what do you do? Dentist okay. We need you here. Welcome. That was nice. And then. Yeah, I moved to Bristol, so [00:29:30] my partner was living in Birmingham and I just moved to Bristol because I’ve had the job in Bristol with a mentor available and everything, and my start was very rocky. It was a lot of mix ups and, but. In the end, I made it happen because I again actually took the matters in my own hand and called the area manager and discussed because they gave me a job, and then they said, oh, the position is not available anymore. I was like, are you kidding me? I just rented an apartment, paid three months in advance, bought a car. I’m ready. [00:30:00] You need to be ready for me because I came from Romania. Yeah, it’s far away. So it happened in the end. So it was good.

Speaker3: So then you were reflections on the difference between being a dentist here and being a dentist there. What was your initial reflection? Was it was it as you would expect it as you were expecting it to be? I mean, look, I think all of us are surprised when we go into to general practice, even even if you come from here. Yeah. First job [00:30:30] I did. Yeah. Whatever they call it. Yeah. I couldn’t believe that this was the practice that I was working in. Like, you know, in terms of and by the way, great guy. I’m still in touch with the guy. Yeah. But nonetheless, it was an NHS practice and the timings for the appointments, you know, five minute, ten minute exam. I couldn’t believe it. Could not believe it. What were your reflections.

Speaker1: So I knew all that from the beginning.

Speaker4: I knew, I.

Speaker1: Knew, yeah I did do my research properly, [00:31:00] so I knew it’s short time for any exam. I knew NHS needs to be quick, quick, quick, quick, quick and money wise to be worth it. You need to be thorough. You’re not allowed any mistakes.

Speaker4: Do you know about the legal nightmare?

Speaker3: Yeah.

Speaker4: Yes, I was intrigued.

Speaker3: Told you all that.

Speaker4: Well, was.

Speaker3: There, was there an induction where they.

Speaker1: Had an induction as well, but they didn’t tell you that at.

Speaker4: The induction.

Speaker1: They only tell you band woman to band three. You claim like that and this is the system you just click. [00:31:30]

Speaker4: On complete.

Speaker3: Research taking you to the question of British dentists sued a lot.

Speaker1: It was the company that I applied through like the recruitment company was someone from my dentist. Actually, that’s the company that I got the job with. It was someone from their recruiting department that talked with me through a lot. And then. I did speak with someone that was already working in the UK, so he told me a few [00:32:00] things I didn’t really understand at that point. But after I talked with the recruiting lady, she made me understand what was that about? And I did read a lot, and I read a lot of forums, and I knew the I knew I knew everything in Romania. I don’t have any litigation. It’s like, well, you have some, but.

Speaker4: Have you.

Speaker3: Been to the UK before that?

Speaker4: No, it was.

Speaker3: Your first time.

Speaker1: It was the. Well, yeah, it was the well it’s been once like for a London like three days but I knew I’m going to come here. So. [00:32:30] No not properly.

Speaker3: No Bristol great town I love Bristol.

Speaker4: Bristol is lovely. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker3: So all right move on. Well what happened next.

Speaker1: Right. So I started my first day was. Yeah. So the first practice I started it was in Avonmouth in Bristol. Small practice. Three Romanian dentists, including me.

Speaker4: Really? Yeah. And six nurses.

Speaker1: And. Yeah, all British nurses. Yeah. Yeah, it was okay. It was. It wasn’t very busy. So [00:33:00] the room, the surgery I was put in, it was the it was the storage room.

Speaker4: Right.

Speaker1: So they opened that surgery because I complained to the area manager that they made my contract disappear. And I came all this way like it needs to happen. And he went to the practice, said, this room is a surgery. Clear it up. We have a new dentist job done. So the practice didn’t have as many. It wasn’t that busy for three [00:33:30] dentists at a time. It was very busy for two dentists at a time. So I had more time with each patient. So I wasn’t having like five minutes and ten minutes per appointments. Yeah, it took me a while to understand when to stop dealing with a patient because I was on and on and on, and let’s do some more and more. I didn’t I didn’t know when to stop, but I got that after a week or two. I was simple. I was very slow at the beginning, didn’t understand how to operate the computer. We don’t have. In Romania [00:34:00] where I work we didn’t have a digital is nothing. It’s the nurse, right? Filling up a research done good. Not.

Speaker3: Not like the good old days.

Speaker4: Yes. Simple.

Speaker1: Yeah. But here, like I knew about the notes, I was ready. I had templates already. I’m very organised. I know exactly what I’m going to expect. I had templates for any treatment possible. I requested shadowing before two weeks so I knew how things go. I looked around the practice. I know I knew everything. I called the labs [00:34:30] to speak with them just to understand how how it works.

Speaker4: Before you. English.

Speaker3: Was it quite.

Speaker4: Good? Actually, I.

Speaker1: Wanted to say that. No, no, my my English is horrible. Like I make myself understand, but it’s not great. Do you.

Speaker3: Speak French?

Speaker4: No, I wish Spanish.

Speaker1: I understand.

Speaker4: Spanish. A lot of.

Speaker3: Romanians speak a lot of languages, don’t they?

Speaker1: Well, we can speak. Yeah, we’re good with languages.

Speaker4: Yeah, because it’s.

Speaker3: Kind of a Roman language itself, right?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: So I can understand a lot of Spanish. I understand a bit of Italian, but because I don’t speak them, [00:35:00] I just, I can’t. No, I don’t speak Spanish. No, but I understand a bit. Yeah. Prior to coming to the UK, I actually started my own dictionary, medical terms from Romanian to English. So I was part of a lot of Facebook forums, a lot of any forums, any groups, any speciality dentistry, speciality things. I was part of them and they were posting and writing in, in English. So I was like, oh, Dental court, right. [00:35:30] Like a court. Oh, this is what is court. So I was writing in my so I had the dictionary already. I knew the terms before because I prepare myself.

Speaker4: Yeah. So I mean this.

Speaker3: This picture you’re drawing of this sort of determination and ambition. Yeah, I can see. And by the way of what I saw that day, you know. And you what do you think it comes from? What’s the origin of that?

Speaker4: I’ve always.

Speaker1: Been competitive, I don’t know, I like to.

Speaker4: To do more.

Speaker3: Only child. It’s a bit weird because normally competition [00:36:00] happens a lot between children. Well, tell me about only child reflections here, because I speak to some only children and they talk about how lonely they were and. Oh no, this. No. And then I speak to other.

Speaker4: It’s more for me. It’s okay. I speak to.

Speaker3: Other only children. They say something like they they ended up in adult conversations that other children didn’t because the children were playing together. What are your reflections about only child? Would you have an only child, for instance, or not?

Speaker4: Um, if you were thinking.

Speaker1: About having children. But if I were one, I think [00:36:30] is more than enough.

Speaker4: Really? Yeah. So you didn’t suffer.

Speaker3: With the only child syndrome?

Speaker1: No, no, no, no, not at all. No. I had a very good friend. She was living right across the street. So she was an only child. We were always together. It was fine. We go to school. We have a lot of kids around you. You go home, you like at the end of the day, it’s if you’re the only child, whatever. Sources that family has.

Speaker4: It’s all a.

Speaker1: Revolving around you. You get the first bit of everything, right.

Speaker4: But also.

Speaker3: The hopes [00:37:00] and fears and expectations. Oh yeah, Mount up right.

Speaker4: Obviously.

Speaker1: So it wasn’t a nine right? When I needed an A or an A plus here. A nine was an unacceptable. It was no.

Speaker4: In your house. Yeah.

Speaker1: No no they always wanted more like if I would bring a nine home as like right. So who got the ten. Why didn’t why didn’t you get the ten? Like. Well it was very difficult. It was like. Well was it. You could have done more.

Speaker3: Lisa, [00:37:30] do you think that that’s going to just translate straight into I know you don’t know if you’re going to have kids, but is that is that going to be you with your kids as well then.

Speaker4: Now if I would.

Speaker1: If I’ll have kids or kid child. Well, I’m going to give them a little bit more freedom, probably into choices wise. I’m going to smartly try to guide them towards what I think is best, but obviously they will do the last choice. They will have the last choice. But yeah, I would, you know, if I [00:38:00] always picture myself if I would ever have a child. He’s going to go to Harvard.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: So no pressure.

Speaker3: No, I hear you, I hear you. It’s weird because, you know, when you become a parent, these sort of things start, start happening to you, where you start thinking, hey, why not?

Speaker4: What? I would.

Speaker1: Like if I have a child, I would like the.

Speaker4: Him.

Speaker1: Or she to actually go to university abroad. Well, I’m already abroad, right.

Speaker4: So even if you continue that. Yeah.

Speaker3: So the question I’m really asking though is, you know, [00:38:30] you know, you said your your parents said doctor lawyer or failure. Right.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: If that just continues into the next generation and the next generation, there’ll be no film makers, there’ll be no musicians, there’ll be no. And the reason I’m talking about it is because, you know, I’m a first generation migrant, right? So my parents moved here. Yeah. Yeah. I wasn’t born here. Yeah. And so with us, with my group, everyone was maths, physics, chemistry, doctor, [00:39:00] engineer. But then what I would hope is the next generation to be.

Speaker4: More creative.

Speaker3: Be more creative, to have more things going on to, you know, it’s not limited by that. And we know these days with ChatGPT and all that stuff, right? That education isn’t what it used to be.

Speaker4: No, it’s that’s.

Speaker1: Where we’re heading anyway. Like now being like, know social media anything. It’s a job.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: You don’t learn that. You know, 50 years ago. No. [00:39:30] 20 years ago you would have never even imagined that like, marketing is super important. Yeah. It’s not something like nothingness or.

Speaker4: You know what I mean about.

Speaker3: Breaking that spell.

Speaker1: Oh, yeah. Yeah. No, it depends. If you can excel, it doesn’t matter. On what? If you want to be a dancer, be a great dancer, right? Go to Juilliard, be a great dancer or anywhere else. But be good. Be out there and enjoy what you’re doing. And I think part of the education is very important [00:40:00] to try a little bit of everything, try to learn a bit more from all the subjects, because that builds your general knowledge, which is important. It’s good to go to, I don’t know, anywhere you go have a conversation you can keep up with the an important of politics, I don’t know. I would never be able to talk about politics because I have no clue about no, I’m not following politics. I’m bad at that. So no.

Speaker3: Do you have an inherent right wing or left wing swing?

Speaker4: What [00:40:30] do you mean?

Speaker3: So are you inherently more socialist or more business life?

Speaker1: Have no.

Speaker4: Opinion of.

Speaker3: I’ve got a feeling you’re more on the right wing side. Entrepreneur, dad.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: All right, fair enough. So let’s talk about how did it go to Birmingham from from Bristol. Did you just ask the company can I move?

Speaker1: Yes, yes, mainly so pandemic started. I did like it, to be honest. At the beginning I needed [00:41:00] a break. I was very tired. That practice I was working, it was quite busy and I, I loved it, it was a lovely practice. My colleagues were amazing. I loved every second of it, but it was very busy and like I remember I was leaving with a massive headache every single day and I started to have back pains as well. That’s when I bought my first loops as well. But pandemic started and everything shut down and then my partner was sent home. He could just work from home and [00:41:30] I said, well, just come to Bristol because I’m still need to go to the practice. So come here. And I had the nicer apartment anyway, and we had the sea view, and that helped a lot with our mental during pandemic because we were in proper, we were in proper lockdown. I did have my social bit because I was still going to the practice now and then like once or twice a week, and then we started to work a little bit more and more and then just back to normal. But he had a long, long period of working from home and he hated every second [00:42:00] of it. So he moved to Bristol. But then when things got back to normal, we decided on whoever gets the job first in the other city. We’ll just move there. And I just spoke with a, I think it was a business manager from my dentist and I said, look, no one knows I want to move, but is there any chances you can put me in contact with someone from Birmingham? And then the other manager from West Midlands called me and she was like, [00:42:30] yeah, we have this place there, would you like to join? I’m like, yeah, can I give my notice? Yeah, fine. Job done. That was it. It was simple. And also my partner’s an engineer, so it’s better for an engineer too. It’s more opportunities for an engineer in a in West Midlands specifically.

Speaker4: Actually because of the engineering. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker3: So so I’m interested in what you’re saying about the pandemic and the break you got in the pandemic, because the number of people who say that.

Speaker4: Oh, I loved it.

Speaker3: I mean, it’s almost the majority of people you [00:43:00] speak to.

Speaker1: I felt bad by trying like I was thinking.

Speaker4: Oh, just.

Speaker1: Just another month, please.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Me too, me too. But I’m quite interested in the idea that, you know, we all need a break the whole time, right? We don’t realise it, you know, because every single person you talk to who didn’t have someone get ill during the pandemic, you know, obviously the obvious parts, right? Yeah. The business didn’t go under. Everyone says, I really enjoyed that break. It was.

Speaker4: Quiet.

Speaker3: Yeah, well, people, you know, thought about their lives. For instance, our business, the majority [00:43:30] of our people now work from home, whereas before, before if someone said, oh, can I have an. Are off to go see the would be a bit shaky now. People work from home completely. And and you know that question of what are we carrying right now. Yeah. What stress are we carrying right now that we’re not really aware of? Because we’re just running. Yeah. The whole time.

Speaker1: Well, I’m. Yeah. My week is very much concentrated around work. So I work five days a week. So.

Speaker4: Have [00:44:00] you got the.

Speaker3: Option to work four days a week?

Speaker1: I have the option of not working if I want, I just quit.

Speaker4: But yeah.

Speaker1: I can drop a day.

Speaker3: Obviously recommend it.

Speaker1: You don’t want to do it now. I feel like I can’t. You really recommend it? Yeah, I think you see, I work four days in my dentist where I’m very comfortable and comfortable in the sense that I’m comfortable enough to try new things. I can do whatever I want, like dentist who can [00:44:30] improvise. I know I have the stuff because I buy a lot of things for myself, because instead of waiting for that to come through and I just buy them and I have, I could have a day off and somehow I couldn’t leave it off. So I just got another job and I work in a private independent practice as well. There’s a lot of opportunities, but it’s a very long schedule as well. Like I work, I leave at seven eight.

Speaker3: I really recommend that everyone works four days as a dentist, because I feel.

Speaker4: Like it’s not the time yet.

Speaker3: Dentistry is really [00:45:00] hard work. Yeah. Number one, number two, it doesn’t affect earnings at all. Yeah, it’s almost well documented that you earn the same on four days as you do in five days. How come. Because you’re just so much fresher. You’re so much more.

Speaker4: You work the faster.

Speaker3: You work faster you talk better. And all of that, plus your treatment plan better because you’ve got that extra day. But I can 100% guarantee you there would be no enlightened smiles if I was working five days a week. Oh yeah, that’s because I was working [00:45:30] four days a week as a dentist. On that fifth day, I was plotting. In my case, I was plotting to open a whitening something. Yeah, yeah, but in whatever it is in your case. Yeah, that that fifth day, it just gets in the way. And, you know, there’s plenty of people who work six days. No huge.

Speaker4: Error.

Speaker1: I was asked so many times about the Saturday and I always said, no, I’m all I’m going to stick with this. No. And it is a mistake. Yeah. It’s too much.

Speaker4: I mean, I don’t know.

Speaker3: You can judge for everyone because there’s probably someone listening to this who works six [00:46:00] days a week and there’s happy good.

Speaker4: I know someone.

Speaker1: That works seven days.

Speaker4: A week. Oh, my God, it’s fine.

Speaker1: It’s okay. It’s whatever. You feel comfortable, but I feel like five days a week. I’m focussed on the work and when I come from work, I just want to relax. I don’t want to do anything else apart from whatever related to work, dinner and go to bed. But during the weekend, I want that to be either just chilling time or going out or something. Just forget about.

Speaker4: Work. Tell me about your.

Speaker3: Clinical progress [00:46:30] from okay, you weren’t very experienced. You started to get some experience. But then when I, when I sort of got in touch with you, you know, you’re doing Invisalign, you’re doing loads of composite bonding. You’re doing loads of things. Yeah. So at what rate did you take these on? Did you have a plan that, you know, you’re going to learn all these things and not necessarily.

Speaker1: So at the beginning root canals were my nightmares right.

Speaker4: Like all of us.

Speaker1: But now I love it. [00:47:00] I get referrals like I relax. No, I just did a lot. Did it I just did it. Yeah. I used to have very similar to a panic attack before I was starting. So putting the rubber down and then I needed to count to ten, do some breathing exercises. I’m not joking and then start the treatment. But now that is relaxing for me. Like when I have a root canal is like, oh okay, I can relax now for an hour and a half. I’m just me and myself. It’s all job. I sing, I am, yeah, [00:47:30] I tell the patient to ignore me. And so is that your favourite treatment? No, no not necessarily. I like composite and I like posterior composite a lot. I do a lot of anterior cosmetic work and everything, but posterior composite is just something about building by custom.

Speaker4: Oh, it’s just.

Speaker3: Like biomimetic type.

Speaker1: And I’m really good at it. And I can make mistakes. If I make a mistake, it just doesn’t look very good. That’s what I’m talking [00:48:00] about. Like mistakes. Like aesthetic mistakes. It doesn’t count. No one cares. No one sees it. It’s lovely. It’s all about the functionality and the posterior composites. And I really, really enjoy those. But I like everything I do. I’m not a fan of crowns. I do crowns and veneers and everything. It’s just I’m not a fan of things that I need to depend on. Other people like the lab. Okay, so if I do it myself, if I do a composite veneer, I know it works. I know [00:48:30] what I do, I have full control. Yeah, I have full I like to have full control.

Speaker4: I can see that.

Speaker3: See I’m the opposite, right? For me, if I’m doing something by myself, I know some aspect of it is going to drop, but I.

Speaker1: Can fix it. There’s not a problem.

Speaker4: Personally, I just can’t fix it.

Speaker3: I need partners, right? Like I can imagine you. Yeah. If you start your own business, you can do it by yourself. You’re not going to have a partner.

Speaker4: No, I will.

Speaker1: I will need, I will, I need people, but.

Speaker4: Partners.

Speaker1: Partners.

Speaker4: Yeah, but we all need to.

Speaker3: Yeah, I need partners. [00:49:00]

Speaker4: Right? I need to.

Speaker3: Rely on people for the bits that I’m terrible at. Because I’m terrible at a lot of things.

Speaker4: You can’t get my get my trust.

Speaker3: Control freak person, right?

Speaker1: Maybe a little bit and without even noticing. But like, I trust I trust my nurses now. Like, after a long time, I do.

Speaker4: Trust the.

Speaker3: Relationship with your team. Were they your team that I saw at that event in my Dental? Yeah. You seem so, so friendly with your team.

Speaker4: Well, my.

Speaker1: Nurse, well, she’s the treatment coordinator, but she [00:49:30] used to be my nurse and she still works with me whenever she she can. She’s my best friend and my manager is a very, very close friend. She is my work mom. Like, we’re very close.

Speaker3: Okay, let me let me put this to you. Yeah. I was that dentist too. Yeah, I was that. Me and my nurse. Wonderful friends, I loved it. Yeah. When you become the boss, it is a different situation. It’s different.

Speaker4: Yeah. No, it’s not the.

Speaker3: Same in a way. In a way. It’s you and your nurse in the same team. And there’s management above you. Yeah. And you know, you treat her well and she treats you [00:50:00] well when you start a practice. Which is it in the plans or what.

Speaker4: Yeah. We’ll see.

Speaker3: Oh excellent.

Speaker4: So when you to that.

Speaker3: Relationship as a boss. Yeah. And a friend is a really hard one to pull off.

Speaker1: Well if I would start a business and she would be part of it, she would not be the nurse or I. Yeah, I would be the boss, obviously. Well now she’s she’s pretty good. I know what you mean. I understand, but you never know until you try. Yeah. So if it works, it works. If not, just split it there, remain friends or just break the other one. [00:50:30] It’s whatever. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: I mean, when we’re when we’re associates, it’s there’s always this issue of control. Yeah, a lot of people open their own practice because. Because of control, not necessarily because of money. Yeah. And it ends up being that you want to do things your way.

Speaker4: Well, yes.

Speaker1: But it depends. Even as an associate you can have control.

Speaker3: Well, not full control.

Speaker1: Not full, never full. But. Well, when whenever they don’t [00:51:00] want to do what I ask, which is? Go and buy it.

Speaker3: For the sake of the argument. I want amazing coffee in the in the waiting room. Right. You can’t do that in my dentist, can you? You can’t bring in amazing coffee.

Speaker4: You can bring.

Speaker1: The actual coffee, boil the.

Speaker4: Water and just mix it. You know what I mean?

Speaker3: Yeah, there are patient journey type stuff that they do.

Speaker1: No, they do respect everything you want to do.

Speaker4: I’ve been very impressed.

Speaker3: With my dentists. To tell you the truth.

Speaker4: You need to prove yourself. [00:51:30] Maybe it’s before your time.

Speaker3: Yeah, before your time. My dentist should have a quite a bad reputation as far as working for them. How? What it’s like working for them.

Speaker4: But now they’re changing a lot.

Speaker3: They turned that around. I come across dentists who say, I went to a my dentist, went to work at a my dentist from an independent. Yes, because it’s a better place to work, you know, where you stand and all of this.

Speaker4: You do know where you stand.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: And it’s so impressive to see that, you know, [00:52:00] but, you know, you work in both.

Speaker4: Independent.

Speaker3: And corporate.

Speaker1: Full private and mixed and private, but mainly private for my, in my surgery. Yeah. In my practice.

Speaker3: What are the NHS patients. Do you sell private items to.

Speaker1: So I have my NHS list with patients that come for regular check-ups and everything and whatever it goes from the check-up like if they need a treatment, they have the option. 75% of my income comes from private, from new patients, full [00:52:30] private or from my NHS patient, which is fine because if your sound, you know how to brush, because I do insist a lot on prevention with my patient. I like do demos and I really insist on that. So once everything’s so getting better and better, they and also I have leaflets everywhere and I do mention casually like sometimes I do a long treatment and I speak with my nurse about Invisalign. It’s like, oh, do you do that? Okay. And then I have enlightened everywhere and whitening [00:53:00] is and I always give them they always leave with a leaflet with like, have you ever consider whitening? Just so you know, you are eligible for that because not everyone can.

Speaker4: It’s like, oh like that.

Speaker1: Yeah, well not everyone can have whitening straight away without other issues to consider.

Speaker3: Because I was going to ask you this question. You do a lot of whitening.

Speaker4: I do, yeah.

Speaker3: And it’s not a big surprise, is it? The people who do a lot of whitening talk about whitening a lot. Well it’s the simplest thing.

Speaker4: Yeah, but.

Speaker3: Loads of dentists have difficulty talking about whitening [00:53:30] because loads of dentists like to talk about needs rather than wants. Yeah, yeah. It’s easier. We tend to we tend to say if you don’t do this, that terrible thing will happen. Yeah. If you don’t do this, that terrible thing will happen. Whereas once the opposite, if you do do this, something brilliant is going to happen. Yeah. And we’re not really good. Most of us clinicians aren’t really good at saying that. Plus people have got this sort of embarrassing story where they don’t want the patient to think. They’re saying they’re ugly.

Speaker1: Don’t [00:54:00] say you’re ugly.

Speaker4: Yeah, I know.

Speaker3: How do you get around it? Why does it not bother you?

Speaker1: I do it so casually.

Speaker3: So like, this eligible thing is brilliant.

Speaker4: Yeah, I.

Speaker1: Do it casually, I.

Speaker4: Do I.

Speaker1: Mention composite bonding casually as well. Any chipped teeth? Or we can do bonding. Just. Just like if you ever consider we do that here, just let us know.

Speaker4: And then if.

Speaker1: They ask a second question, I give them a leaflet as well. And then we talk about finance and it’s all going there. [00:54:30] But you casually I always casually mention a few things and then there’s like, yeah, yeah that’s fine. They leave, they come back in six months, they don’t say anything. They come back again like a year later. It was like I was actually wanting to ask you about, you know, a year ago you mentioned that in that. Yes, you planned it and it’s it just comes it seems like it comes from them, but they I’m sure they, they thought about whites and why not?

Speaker3: Look, people are more interested in the colour of their teeth than everything else you talk [00:55:00] about.

Speaker1: And it can change so much. You think you want composite bonding, composite veneers. They’re like, what don’t you like about it? You. The shade is like, what about the shape? The shape is fine. So let’s do whitening. I’m saving you money.

Speaker4: Oh, okay. So when I.

Speaker3: Was a dentist, my view on whitening was if I didn’t bring it up, I was doing a disservice to the.

Speaker4: Patient.

Speaker1: That’s a good point. He as.

Speaker4: Well. Yeah.

Speaker3: And that way I’d had no problem. And the other thing was, every time I met someone outside the practice, I said, I’m a dentist. They would ask about whitening, but not that [00:55:30] many patients were asking about whitening. Yeah. And I used to think, well, there’s some sort of disconnect there. Yeah.

Speaker4: And might be a shame to.

Speaker3: Connecting it by in the UK people just do what they’re told in a dental practice. You know, they don’t necessarily come out and ask for something. Or if they do ask for it, I would class that as a red hot lead. They’re going to they’re going to take that thing if they ask for it. But most people ask for an examination and they let the dentist do the talking.

Speaker1: Also, some patients, for whatever reason, they think that their [00:56:00] routine, like, you know, the dentist, the dentist doesn’t do, so they choose to go or just Google like jokes, cosmetic plays completely. But that’s that’s wrong. They need to know we have the options. And I do like everything I do. Like you need a filling. I start from nothing to only. So I go through all NHS private, super superior private. I just give them so many options that they would definitely choose like a mid one anyway, so you get some private out of it. And it’s not [00:56:30] about the money, it’s about the it looks good and it lasts.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah yeah it lasts.

Speaker1: It just doesn’t come out.

Speaker3: So now clinically are you thinking about your sort of five year clinical plan. Are you thinking about going from single tooth to comprehensive. Like where where are you at in this in that.

Speaker4: I think I need to.

Speaker1: Go to comprehensive. So I’m not doing single teeth. So I’ve done ten [00:57:00] composite bonding at a time. I’ve done full mouth rehabilitation as well in the sense not with crowns, I’ve done it with dentures, slash composite bonding, well, root canals, whatever else. But that’s kind of it’s still full mouth rehabilitation from the.

Speaker3: Training sort of pathway perspective. Are you thinking maybe, you know for instance, spear and choice in the US.

Speaker4: No pathways never.

Speaker1: Considered that. [00:57:30]

Speaker4: You should.

Speaker3: Brilliant pathways expensive but but you know that treatment planning on the whole.

Speaker4: Mouth. Yeah.

Speaker3: Perfect. Someone like you who’s so keen. Yeah.

Speaker1: You do need to have where to apply it as well, because I’ve done a I’ve done a certificate in restorative and aesthetic dentistry.

Speaker4: Which one did you do Dominic.

Speaker1: Hustle.

Speaker3: Oh you serve. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. And I was very impressed. I was very very, very good. And I was very [00:58:00] impressed by the fact that he was there with us. 1 to 1. He was eating with us the same thing. He was staying with us. He was he was checking on us and he was happy. And he’s such a charismatic guy. And. Yeah, and I do refer a lot of patients to him when I know it’s above me and I know their expectations is high. I like, go there and he’s going to tell you exactly what he can do and what it’s achievable. So go for that. But there’s things that I still can’t apply because there are so many things [00:58:30] to buy the patients. There’s so many things to buy. There’s a lot of I have probably one of the best nurses everyone can have, but it’s just so much more. My surgery is quite tiny. It’s just literally just no more space to bring more stuff and control freak. Why not? Probably yes. I just don’t like people touching my stuff. I just don’t like it. I hate when people work in my surgery and there’s one colleague, bless her, she’s so good, and her nurse as well. They only [00:59:00] go there for one afternoon and she doesn’t. She avoids doing treatment as well. It’s just my my drawers are full of different birds and different stuff. It’s just I don’t like people I have.

Speaker3: You said you buy your own stuff a lot, like give me example. What’s what’s the craziest thing you’ve bought for yourself?

Speaker1: Well, crazy. The biosphere matrix system. So I spend over £2,000 on that.

Speaker3: Is it £2,000?

Speaker1: Well, with the whole thing that they convinced me to buy. Yeah. The posterior, the interior [00:59:30] kit, you need the instruments as well. But then it’s the magic mix that’s very important. This is a polishing bird. And then those polishing little birds does £50 per barrel or something. It’s just very expensive.

Speaker4: What else?

Speaker1: I bought a camera. Well, every dentist should have a camera.

Speaker3: For instance, I’ve come across associates who’ve bought scanners.

Speaker1: I was very tempted. I was I want to buy a liqueur now, which is.

Speaker4: Again a strong one, like a.

Speaker1: £2,000 one, like a valley one. So I want that. There’s [01:00:00] a lot of there’s a lot of bits and bobs that I buy. Yeah, that work for me, that I know how to use them and they just get away with, for example, very deep broken down teeth on one side. I have some matrixes that I buy them on. Well, sometimes Amazon, sometimes eBay. But they have this extension. It just goes right under the gum line. Oh, I just know how they show how they look like I don’t know, I think they come from China so very deep.

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker1: So they’re like sexual matrixes. They have [01:00:30] like a ring sort of.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: But the matrix is sexual. But then it has an.

Speaker4: Extension, an.

Speaker1: Extension. So it just goes underneath the gum line. It’s just brilliant. Have you come.

Speaker3: Across the greater curve matrix from my friend Sonny?

Speaker4: No.

Speaker3: You should have a great curve matrix.

Speaker1: Okay.

Speaker3: You should have a look at that. It handles a lot of different situations like.

Speaker4: Because.

Speaker1: It’s very difficult to do.

Speaker3: What’s the thing you hate about being a dentist.

Speaker1: It’s some [01:01:00] it’s just sometimes it’s it’s overwhelming. Sometimes you just have one of those days when everyone has a problem and then the lab calls and they reject your impression, and then the nurse drops everything. And it’s just sometimes you just I just want to scream. But then I calmed down and then start all over again, which is fine. But and also it’s the pressure of the notes litigation as well. I know everyone knows that, but it’s very, very, very overwhelming. [01:01:30] And I had touch wood. I’ve never had a complaint like a proper complaint. I had small ones, nothing and never ended up by being. And I only wrote a letter towards the patient. That was it. But touch wood, anything can happen and it can be really bad and but you need to create that relationship with the patient. Not saying that if you do that, they won’t see you. They might.

Speaker4: It is the key, but it helps.

Speaker3: The relationship is the key.

Speaker1: Yes, spending the time to talk with them like [01:02:00] just. And I know my patients like me because even if I’m late, if I’m 40 minutes late, they never leave. They are informed. It’s like, no, no, no, it’s fine.

Speaker4: In this way.

Speaker3: You relate a lot.

Speaker1: No, sometimes I do, because I’m not going to.

Speaker4: We all do sometimes. Yeah. No.

Speaker3: You know, there’s some, some dentists constantly run late.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: No, that or every day run late to some extent.

Speaker1: I have lazy days when I run late just because I just don’t start when [01:02:30] I’m. Yeah. And just take a longer break in between. Yeah. But like it’s a five minutes.

Speaker3: Although, you know, I don’t, I don’t think there’s any situation where it makes sense to run late. You know, even if you’re treating loads of patients here, it doesn’t make sense to run.

Speaker4: Late.

Speaker3: Because, because because if you’ve got a lot of work, it’s better to have long appointments and do the work. Yeah. Yeah. You save a lot of time. Yeah. Yeah. Because if I’ve got two fillings, deep scaling and [01:03:00] whatever to do, it’s much better to book an hour and do all that. Then book 15 minutes and do one of those. Oh, no. Late. Yeah. So? So if you’ve got loads of work, it’s better to book long appointments. Yeah. And if you haven’t got loads of work, it’s better to book long appointments. Yeah. Because then you talk to the patient, find out about you’ve got time.

Speaker4: If I run.

Speaker1: Late, it’s only for the mostly for the private work.

Speaker4: Like as in you’re.

Speaker3: Paying attention extra. Yeah, but then the next patient’s private patient you’ve left. Let that one be late.

Speaker4: Okay? He’s fine. You. Ten [01:03:30] minutes.

Speaker1: Is okay.

Speaker3: Ten minutes is okay. But I’ve been in situations where I’ve been ten minutes late and the patient’s walked out and complained.

Speaker4: Oh, yeah, it can happen. It can be.

Speaker3: Nice to work in the city. Yeah, in the city, in London.

Speaker4: Yeah. I believe that.

Speaker3: Type of patient. Yeah. The other thing is though, I if I go somewhere to a GP my GP always runs late. Yeah. So that half an hour late and anger builds up inside my tummy. Yeah. Thinking why, why, why is this time more precious than my time. Yeah. And I know the [01:04:00] answer. I know the answer to that. But nonetheless, by the way, never show him.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: No, I’m very sweet.

Speaker4: Yeah, but yeah, you.

Speaker1: Do have a good.

Speaker4: Point. You know.

Speaker3: It’s a horrible thing. Why did you tell me to come at 11 and you’re not available till 1130? Yeah. The following time you told me to come at 12. But you can.

Speaker4: Have.

Speaker1: A medical emergency.

Speaker4: Sure. I understand, understand the.

Speaker3: Reasons. Yeah, but in our situation, and sometimes it happens, isn’t it? Something breaks. And now you’ve got a situation. Of course, in that situation run [01:04:30] late. Yeah, but definitely don’t book shorter appointments than you know.

Speaker1: But sometimes you have a surprise. For example, I’ve done a posterior composite today. I was supposed to be a basically a replacement of an occlusal amalgam that chipped, and I didn’t I didn’t even think to think why the occlusal half of the amalgam came out because it was cracked underneath.

Speaker4: Of the tooth.

Speaker1: Yeah. So from an occlusal, it got to an mod. It [01:05:00] was like a massive crack in the middle. And well, I’ve done an overlay, so I drill it down. It was a complete different procedure.

Speaker3: Overlay and pray.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: But yeah, no pain, no symptoms. It’s just got discovered accidentally. The patient just lost feeling a bit. But yeah, it can happen. But I’m not lately.

Speaker4: What’s what’s.

Speaker3: Your. View on where the industry is going.

Speaker1: And you can everywhere. A more digital [01:05:30] probably.

Speaker3: How are you with all that?

Speaker4: I’m okay with the liners.

Speaker1: I trust them because I said I don’t trust the lab, and I do trust the lab that does the aligners, so I’m okay with that.

Speaker4: Have you got.

Speaker3: Into DSD or any of that digital.

Speaker4: Stuff? Not yet. I would.

Speaker1: Like to. I’m not really sure where to start from.

Speaker4: Like coachman.

Speaker3: Right. Christian.

Speaker4: Coachman okay.

Speaker1: So I just need a system first. I just want to get a little play with that before I actually do a proper training. So yeah, more digital definitely. It’s [01:06:00] going to be more, more like what you see in America because at the minute it’s a lot right. Align bleach composite. It’s going to go towards the aesthetic more and more.

Speaker4: Rather than I’m.

Speaker3: Increasingly hearing people talking about these sort of lifestyle practices where it’s not just dentistry, it’s facial. Yes, but it’s not just facial. It’s lots of machines that do things to your skin. And then there’s the idea of sauna [01:06:30] and plunge. And you know, that sounds.

Speaker4: Good.

Speaker3: Lifestyle. I’m hearing that question coming up a lot more. To me. It seems more high risk. If you’re going to open the centre, it’s going to have a sauna. Yeah. And you know, we’re not specialists at operating those those sort.

Speaker4: Of you need to have people that.

Speaker3: Have that. But what I’m hearing a lot more of that recently. So that’s a trend that looks like.

Speaker4: Yeah probably it’s.

Speaker3: It’s happening. And then question I’ve been asking a lot is dream practice. Like what would [01:07:00] it be for you.

Speaker1: Dream practice like.

Speaker4: Where like.

Speaker3: If you bumped into a billionaire and he said, listen, I trust you. Yeah, here’s here’s money. Do whatever you want. Go berserk. What would you do? You must I would.

Speaker4: Yeah, I would open.

Speaker1: A practice obviously. Yeah I would like, like a proper centre. Like a proper proper beauty centre. Like not not quite what you said, but like a bit of everything. Yeah. So you would have the radiograph room and you have everything you need there [01:07:30] like beautiful, like a hotel lounge. It should be. Yeah. A bit of parking as well I think that’s very important.

Speaker4: And that’s. You drove.

Speaker3: Here. You love your car.

Speaker4: Yeah. Well it’s convenient, isn’t it.

Speaker1: Just put everything in there.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. And your beautiful surgeries.

Speaker4: Yeah. So Planmeca there?

Speaker3: Yeah. We talked about this before.

Speaker1: If we’re talking a billionaire. So.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Money is not a problem.

Speaker3: So look, I don’t know if you’ve come across the idea of, like they call it blank canvas.

Speaker4: No, it’s. [01:08:00]

Speaker3: About it’s about venues. Right. Okay. If I’m, if I’m going to do a mini spa makeover, I can do it in a hotel.

Speaker4: Yeah, but I.

Speaker3: Can do it in this thing called a blank canvas. Right. A blank canvas venue means there’s nothing there. Okay? And you can put whatever you want, wherever you want. Yeah, in that place. So let’s say I want to have a bar. You can bring in a bar. Yeah, yeah. Or let’s say I want to put a wall here. I can put a wall there. It’s blank. It’s blank. So that’s becoming a thing in dentistry, right? Yeah. People, people, people getting [01:08:30] into buildings that are more from like the, the industrial side. Yeah.

Speaker4: One like an open space, a massive.

Speaker3: Open space.

Speaker4: Like uni.

Speaker3: Well, open. Just open, open. You can decide yourself where to put the walls. So you.

Speaker4: Could you used to work.

Speaker1: In a practice like that in Romania. Oh I was the shadow. Yeah. So he had like a whatever it was level five in a block of flats and he has open up like a massive apartment. Everything was open space apart from his surgery. His surgery had walls [01:09:00] and some of the offices, but the rest, it was all interconnected. It was like three dental chairs there. And then another one. There are no walls, no nothing.

Speaker3: But the interesting thing about blank canvas is you can decide if you want walls, put walls. Yeah. Or if you if you want your corridors to be wide because that’s the feeling you want. Like this hotel. Yeah.

Speaker4: Like reception. Yeah.

Speaker3: Or if you want your waiting room to be very private, because one person can sit all the way there and sit all the way. Whatever your particular dream [01:09:30] is of what makes an amazing practice, you can’t do it in a normal building, right? Because there’s walls everywhere and you have to negotiate those walls, this blank canvas, like, yeah, I’m hoping there’s going to be a lot more of them.

Speaker4: Yeah, it should be.

Speaker3: There’s been a few already. I’m really interested to see more of them.

Speaker1: We can do it. Whatever you want.

Speaker3: Let’s get to darker times. Okay? We like to talk about mistakes on this pod, right? Because of a book called Black Box Thinking, which is about plane crashes. And [01:10:00] the way they, they deal with plane crashes is they try and find out what went wrong. Yeah. Not whose fault was it, but what went wrong. And then once they figure out what went wrong, they spread that information across all the pilots to say, look, this thing went wrong system wise. We don’t. We’re not blaming anyone. The system was like, how can we improve the system? And in medical, we don’t tend to do that. We tend to run away from [01:10:30] Amazon or try and hide our mistakes because we don’t want to be blamed for them. We definitely don’t talk about our mistakes because it’s kind of a shameful story. So to buck that trend on this pod, we like to talk about mistakes.

Speaker4: Well mistakes. Yeah.

Speaker3: So let’s say clinical mistakes. What comes to mind.

Speaker1: Clinical.

Speaker4: Well I don’t.

Speaker1: Think I’ve had major mistakes that I’ve done. I’ve had well I had a lot of sleepless nights. But I usually get that just because I try a new procedure [01:11:00] and just things, even if I expect it might go wrong, it actually went wrong. And it was just I consider I was the worst day of my life. For example, first time I’ve done small, fast, simple, right? So I tried everything. I booked a long appointment, I had everything ready. I even had the instructions in front. So I knew the procedure and everything. But I had it there. Everything went well until I actually put the stent with the composite in. So they actually teach you the course at [01:11:30] one of the metal separators can just bend. Yeah. When I tried the stent first, it went perfectly in. I had like a case with receding gums as well. So the gum margin was quite high. When I tried it and it was fine, it was sitting fine. When I put the composite in one of the separators bent and it just didn’t go all the way up.

Speaker4: Did you realise it? Yeah.

Speaker1: Okay. And then I felt I get this thing. When I get annoyed, [01:12:00] my ears start burning and they get red. And I feel like, yeah, my brain is on fire and I just want to. I just want to jump off the window, but I don’t show it. No one knows. I said that to my nurse once. She’s like, really? I feel very calm, like, oh God. So I carried on like your everything took it out. And then I needed to add gingerly all the way up to the gum line, and then the upper right one and upper left two were completely [01:12:30] stuck together. Well, they actually tell you what to do. Just breathe. Finish, send the patient home, bring it back, break it, redo it. Which is fine. It’s simple. But that was that was a miss. I don’t know what went wrong. I really don’t know why that. Separated, broke, broke, bent I was, I broke.

Speaker4: I’m not clear.

Speaker3: On it with small fast. Is there an element of IPR before you put the thing?

Speaker4: I’ve done all that.

Speaker3: You’ve done that as well.

Speaker4: All was.

Speaker1: Perfect. Because then you try the stent. After you [01:13:00] prep everything, you try the stent in, you do a bit of you open up the contact. So it’s all like divergent smooth diverge. Yeah. You don’t have any undercuts or anything. So yeah I don’t know what went wrong.

Speaker4: So what did you do.

Speaker3: You send them home.

Speaker4: Or send them home.

Speaker1: And patient didn’t even notice. She was so happy when she came back and I was so stressed I couldn’t sleep for a week.

Speaker4: It’s still a lie. Tell me this as well.

Speaker3: You know. You’ve got the stent in place. Yeah. Obviously there’s no oxygen inhibition layer. So you [01:13:30] can’t add can you add composite to it after.

Speaker1: Not after.

Speaker4: Yeah. Yeah. So so you.

Speaker1: Take the stent out. So you’ve done like it’s like layering the composite. You just apply another layer.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: But because you know because the stent was on there, you haven’t got that sticky layer of composite that you have to wrap it somehow.

Speaker4: So you the.

Speaker1: Stent is clear. You like you’re.

Speaker4: Through it I know, I know, I.

Speaker3: Know, but you know, let’s say I put some composite on a tooth and I cure it. Yeah. There’s a sticky oxygen emission. Yes. Yeah. Then I can put the next layer of composite sticks to it because [01:14:00] of that sticky layer. Right. When you’ve got a stent, that sticky layer doesn’t form. Yes. Adding to it.

Speaker4: How did it work?

Speaker3: It’s different. It’s not it’s not.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: You polish the margin. It’s bone composite again.

Speaker4: Not delivering like a repair.

Speaker1: Yeah. Like a.

Speaker4: Repair. Yeah.

Speaker1: No it’s still there. It looks beautiful even now. I’ve seen the patient. You left.

Speaker4: It. No it didn’t break it up. No no no.

Speaker1: Like ask the patient to come back I said look things happen these guts together. She didn’t even notice. Not even. I don’t think she understood what [01:14:30] I said.

Speaker3: That’s a massive mistake at all, though.

Speaker4: It wasn’t. When I say you must have.

Speaker3: A more juicy mistake than that one. Come on.

Speaker4: Mistake. It went.

Speaker3: So well. Something that didn’t go well, you know.

Speaker4: Well, I did.

Speaker1: Break a of file, but I don’t consider that as a mistake either.

Speaker4: Because you just.

Speaker3: Tell the patient.

Speaker1: Yeah, of course I’ve sent her to have a second opinion. And because I was towards the end of the prep, they said, it’s fine, leave it there. Each patient is absolutely fine even though [01:15:00] there was two canals prepped. One, you’re very band like very, very band like neat like that. I don’t know how I got the other canal done properly. I don’t know, it just spent, like the rotary file broke.

Speaker3: Did you use that famous word? It’s separated.

Speaker4: No, that’s.

Speaker3: That’s what they teach you. You don’t say broke, they.

Speaker4: Don’t.

Speaker3: Separate.

Speaker4: They don’t teach it.

Speaker1: No, it just said one of the files broke. Like, [01:15:30] what do you want me to do? Want me to finish? It was like, yeah, finish that.

Speaker3: Did you never fracture a tuberosity when you took a seven out? No. Oh, wait for that one. Yeah.

Speaker4: No, I know.

Speaker1: What to expect. I know faults, I know what to expect. Oh, yes. So what I did. Yeah that was.

Speaker4: Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker1: So a mistake, right? Oroantral communication and nasty one. So I had three cases [01:16:00] of that one. I’m very sure it happened. Patient never felt anything. So I reviewed him and he was absolutely fine because he had a very long teeth and I took an x ray. I was like, he was a private patient. I was like, look, if I take this tooth out, you will have a communication between your sinus and your mouth. And I said, I need to refer you. And the NHS refused to do it. Said, no, it’s fine. Do it is the sinus is not there. I [01:16:30] was like, what? Yeah. So I took the tooth out. It came out in one piece. It was an upper left six. But then I was seeing whenever he was reading. Yeah, it was obvious to connect straight like took a PG did take care of the patient until he actually got bored of coming back for reviews. I was like, look, I’m absolutely fine. Like, let me go. I was like, okay. Second one was a lady that I didn’t do the oral communication. What happened [01:17:00] was she had the upper right seven that needed to be extracted was under the gum line decay, root decay. It was it needed to come out. It was very little bone left. But because the number six, five and four were missing, the sinus was really it was tangent to the bone.

Speaker1: So I took the seven out. Everything was fine, goes out, but you got a dry socket, but the seven was angled like that and the sinus was coming right [01:17:30] very close to the angulation of the tooth. So she came back to the dry socket and she saw someone else. And the intent is to go with the alveolar straight. Not on. She didn’t maybe she didn’t check the x ray, I don’t know. She didn’t go in the proper socket. She went straight into the sinus. So I think so. Yeah. Because after that is when she started to she patient panic. She came to see me. She was like everything I eat and drink is [01:18:00] really not fine. My, my speech is different. Like I, I do a lot of screws and yeah, we reviewed everything. It healed up. I put her on antibiotics. She declined the referral. She said, look, I’m like, I’m going to be fine. As long as you know it’s going to be fine and you keep going to review me, it’s fine. I spoke with another colleague, which she works at a hospital as well. She’s very good with oral surgery, so she says going to heal up. It’s all good. And it was all good until again she said, I’m [01:18:30] okay. I don’t need to come back for reviews. The third one was a good one, so the third one.

Speaker3: Unlucky to have three, isn’t it.

Speaker1: Three cases like ever about linked to this. Yeah, the third one was an upper right six extraction broke one of the roots break the apex and then I don’t really like extractions. I’m not a fan of them. I don’t mind them. I do them all the time. But [01:19:00] I don’t like extractions. I prefer to try to save it, just build it back from nothing or orthodontically extract it or something like that. But when it breaks I get like, oh, now it’s getting interesting. So let’s nicely and nice and gentle. Yes. So I was very close to actually get the root out and I don’t know what happened. I know what happened. It went straight into the site. It’s just disappeared.

Speaker3: Yeah. The number of times I’ve heard that I’ve heard, no.

Speaker1: It gets sucked into the sinus. And I knew [01:19:30] the stories and I knew that’s going to happen. And. I run late. First of all, because I said, look, I told the patient what happened. And then I said that we need to pack it. However it is. I’m going to send you to the hospital. They will probably need to do a search. So I’ve never referred the case here, but I know in Romania what they do, they do a proper surgery. They remove the they remove the fragment completely and or sometimes they don’t find it. I’ve heard stories [01:20:00] like that, but I packed it and I sutured it and I’m very rubbish. That’s what I really rubbish at suturing. So I didn’t have enough gum to close it. So I needed to raise a flap quite bad. It was just, I think.

Speaker3: What a nightmare.

Speaker1: It was, my nurse says. And my nurse doesn’t know how to retract. Couldn’t see anything. It was just a nightmare. I felt like a butcher.

Speaker4: Tissue kept tearing.

Speaker1: I felt like a butcher [01:20:30] and it got really inflamed. Luckily, the patient was very nice, very good. He came back for the review. He was still he was still very sore because again, I was a butcher and I really, really. But he didn’t come back again. I referred him and I think it was accepted, obviously, but I think because he got an appointment with the hospital, he just never came back for a review because I said, I still want to see you just to see how everything goes. Not that I can do anything after [01:21:00] this point, but. He really needed that extraction. I sent him because I said, let’s save the tooth. I’ve sent him to a specialist, and the specialist gave him 20% chance of success with endodontic treatment. So we ended up with the extraction. So it was just. Oh, that was, uh. I’m not. I need to practice sutures more. And if I practice them, they’re beautiful. I just need to practice on a patient, which is difficult, isn’t it?

Speaker3: I did a oral surgery job, [01:21:30] my first job, so I did some suturing. But just listening to you there, it’s PTSD back of. Not that I’ve even made that mistake or done that myself, but the moment when you know something’s gone wrong in dentistry and when it goes wrong, it can suddenly go very wrong, right? That’s the problem. Yeah.

Speaker1: It’s not necessarily because I’ve never I didn’t do a yeah, probably I put the elevator in the wrong position and that. Pushed it.

Speaker3: But you can’t tell. You can’t tell when is the wrong [01:22:00] position and when it’s not. Yeah. Often we’re told to push hard, right?

Speaker4: It was the.

Speaker1: Palatal root as well. And usually it’s the medial ones that get in closer to the sign. It was the belly was very safe. The x ray didn’t show. The sign is very close or well, this is what I thought it was just everything went wrong. Yeah, but I didn’t get a complaint.

Speaker3: In your short career so far, have you ever had a time where a patient did lose confidence in me?

Speaker4: Well, I.

Speaker1: Assume this patient lost [01:22:30] because he never came back. I think this is what most patients do when they lose confidence. They just don’t show up. They don’t come.

Speaker3: Back. Some write letters and some sue and some, you know, some cause all sorts of problems, right?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: I’ve had three complaints in all my career, but again, nothing was nothing worth mentioning.

Speaker3: I think it qualifies this latest one. This last. No.

Speaker1: That was a proper mistake.

Speaker3: Does qualify. On [01:23:00] reflection, do you think you could have done something differently or. No.

Speaker1: Yeah, I could have. Have a break. I needed a five minutes break. I could have put a gauze there. Put the patient up and myself to have a break. And then if I would have a break, I could have actually find a proper retractor or actually positioned the nurse in the right position so I can see if I could see better. It would have been way better. But EastEnders never retracted the [01:23:30] cheek. In order for you to get there to see, like to actually have the full visibility. She didn’t really know what to do and she did it with a mirror and it was okay. But when I used to assist the surgeon I used to work with, I had a proper cheek retractor. So when I was going, he would see everything. It was perfect. It was like lip. Oh, yeah. In this case was the lip. It was like the lip was never existed. I could have put a proper cheek read or an optic. I’ve never thought about that.

Speaker4: It’s actually. You see, now, that’s [01:24:00] actually a very good point.

Speaker3: Yeah, but when you’re in that situation, you just.

Speaker4: Stop.

Speaker3: Take an x ray maybe. Yeah, in that time.

Speaker4: But you don’t.

Speaker1: Want to take an.

Speaker4: X ray or whatever it is.

Speaker1: You don’t want it because you don’t want to see that. Yeah, you want it to see it, but you don’t want.

Speaker4: To see it.

Speaker3: Yeah, but but it’s a good point. It’s a good point. I mean Depeche even talks about it in composite bonding. He says look halfway through stop stop stop.

Speaker4: Sometimes you can’t see properly. Yeah.

Speaker3: Your eyes are so zoomed in sometimes.

Speaker4: And everything looks the same.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. It’s actually a very good point that when you’re in trouble [01:24:30] to stop because it’s the last thing you feel like doing right, you’re just trying to get out of trouble. And then.

Speaker1: You look at the clock, and then you look at the next patients are waiting and they go, because the system that we have, they go from, well, I have pink when they arrive and then they go on purple and then they go on.

Speaker4: Red.

Speaker1: And then you see red, red, red, red.

Speaker4: Which system is that. Sorry.

Speaker1: There are.

Speaker4: 404. Yeah. So that’s stressful. Yeah.

Speaker3: All right. Let’s let’s finish it off with our [01:25:00] usual final questions. Fantasy dinner party. Three guests.

Speaker1: Do they need to be like from Dentistry World? No no.

Speaker4: No. Okay. Fantasy.

Speaker3: Dead or alive.

Speaker1: Dead or alive.

Speaker4: Right. Who would.

Speaker3: You have?

Speaker1: I would have Queen Elizabeth.

Speaker4: Queen. Yeah.

Speaker1: The queen. I love the queen. I was so sad when she died. I was just getting home and I started crying. I would like to hear [01:25:30] a little bit more about what she can say. Like like a full on conversation story. Exactly. And she lived so long, she could actually tell you so much more.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: She lived so much.

Speaker4: She said so much by way of not saying.

Speaker3: Right. Not, not not giving opinion.

Speaker4: But I would.

Speaker1: Like her to just.

Speaker3: You want to get everything.

Speaker4: Yeah. But. Queen. Okay. Queen. Yeah. Um.

Speaker1: What else? Another two. You said. I [01:26:00] would be quite intrigued to find out about that area. 55. In America 51. Yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: I know, maybe.

Speaker4: Someone who has.

Speaker1: Someone who has. Yeah. I don’t know, Barack Obama maybe.

Speaker4: Yeah, I doubt he has.

Speaker3: He’ll it’d be like some some CIA, FBI guy or.

Speaker4: Yeah, that would be that would be good. Yeah.

Speaker1: And what.

Speaker3: Regarding? So you think there are aliens?

Speaker1: I think there is a. Do you actually think we’re the only species? No, no. It is a very good [01:26:30] possibility. I would yeah. Yeah. Space is nice to explore. Would be nice to explore. Apparently we know less about space. No, apparently we know more about space than we know about water. Another the ocean. Another interesting subject. Yeah.

Speaker4: So we’ve had.

Speaker3: The Queen before. We’ve never had area 51 before. So who’s your third guest? The Queen. The guy from the CIA.

Speaker1: Right.

Speaker4: Who’s your third guest?

Speaker1: Third guest. I think someone [01:27:00] from the film industry. I’m really intrigued about how all that Hollywood actually works. I don’t know, like Scorsese or someone. Someone that’s. Well, I know we talked about, like, the dentists that are all there. Not necessarily, but someone old enough that went through all that change.

Speaker4: Different eras?

Speaker1: Yes.

Speaker3: So who’s your favourite director? Scorsese.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah, I’m very good with names anyway, so we’ll go with that.

Speaker4: Sure, [01:27:30] sure.

Speaker3: It’s a good combination. It’s a good. The Queen, Scorsese and.

Speaker4: The Queen is just.

Speaker3: And the dodgy guy from the.

Speaker4: Guy from the CIA. Exactly. And what about, like, a James Bond?

Speaker1: Kind of.

Speaker4: Yeah, but like.

Speaker1: Our, like, the the.

Speaker4: Actual James.

Speaker3: And the final question. It’s difficult with someone as young as you, but if it was your deathbed and you had all your family and friends and loved ones around you. And you had to give him [01:28:00] three pieces of advice on life. What would you. What would you say?

Speaker1: Be happy. Do things that makes you happy. Stay away from trouble. Like stay away from people that have problems as well, if you can. I don’t like people with problems because I take their problems into mine. And I then feel that I’m upset. I don’t want to be upset. I just want to be happy. So. Yeah. And. Life [01:28:30] is more than I know I do. I am a workaholic, but life is more than work and enjoy. Take time to go and enjoy your holidays. I love holidays and that’s it’s very difficult. It used to be very difficult for me to actually disconnect completely. So I always choose like a least two weeks off because a week I’m still thinking about work. I’m getting better now, like I it only takes me a day [01:29:00] or two. I just sometimes I just forget about my phone completely and it’s great. Just forget about your phone. Just put your phone. I leave my phone in the safe in the room. We have one phone with us for the Google maps, for pictures for something. But enjoy your holidays.

Speaker3: Take someone taught me. One of my friends taught me about this year. Once I went on a weekend away with him and I started enjoying myself on the plane on the way back because like you say, I hadn’t. I was so wound up that [01:29:30] I couldn’t really enjoy my time. And he he pointed out to me, he said, look, what you need to do is you need to slow down from around ten days before you go.

Speaker4: You can. Yeah, but you can’t. Slowing down. Very difficult.

Speaker3: Start slow, but now try and do it.

Speaker4: It’s very difficult to slow down so that on.

Speaker3: The day I get on holiday I’ve already unwound. Whereas before I used to do what you do, my my parents have got a place in Spain. I remember when I get there, when I used to get there, I used to be walking around the swimming pool with my phone.

Speaker4: Yeah, just [01:30:00] checking.

Speaker3: Answering no answering questions and doing things and and just. And then it would take me 4 or 5 days before exactly what you said, where I start forgetting where my phone is. Yeah.

Speaker1: I remember I was like two, three years ago, I went to Greece. I arrived, just arrived on the island and my manager texted me. How are you? Are you okay? No. How are you? And I was like, what happened? So I was like, I’m just wondering, how are you? It’s just a friendly [01:30:30] text. And I was like, oh my God, what happened? Who complained? Something like, you know, just you go straight there, disconnect. Because that complaint or whatever happened, it’s going to be there when you come back and you actually can, you know, take a few, like a step back and actually think about what you’re going to do next is more calculated move than just react on the spot. Yeah.

Speaker3: So that’s to enjoy yourself. Enjoy your holidays.

Speaker1: It’s all about.

Speaker4: Enjoyment.

Speaker1: And [01:31:00] to be honest, I think the third one would be don’t be afraid to try new things just to even to change career completely. Yeah, that’s fine, that’s okay. Try to consider to know, maybe relocate I think because I relocate. So I moved from Romania to UK and I’ve never regretted it. And I’m very happy with this. I would like to move again and that’s my [01:31:30] regret regarding the career I chose because I can’t go anywhere I want, just I can’t go to.

Speaker4: America or.

Speaker1: No, I can’t go to America. I can’t even go to Australia because I finished in Romania. So they don’t accept the university that I finished. I might be able to go to New Zealand, but again, you just need to start lower again and I’m not going to go and start. Just try to do the equivalent of the AWS there. Spend two years trying, spending a lot of money and find with the spiders.

Speaker4: Isn’t [01:32:00] it?

Speaker1: But I would like to have the opportunity to work from home. I would like to have the opportunity to move, to relocate. So whenever you if you if you can, if you’re thinking about if you’re not happy with the job that you’re doing, if it’s not enough, if you if you have the flexibility of maybe move towards a different domain quite easily. Yeah. Why not try? Why not? I always tell this to my nurse. You could.

Speaker3: Take six months.

Speaker4: Off, right?

Speaker1: As you see, I don’t see [01:32:30] it like that. I know I can, but I don’t see it like that. It’s like, who’s going to finish my aligner case? It’s like I.

Speaker4: Can’t finish them off yourself.

Speaker1: Yeah, and then take six months off. No, I’m not going to do that. Not not soon anyway. No, I don’t think it’s that I’m. No, because I’m, I’m not tired. Not yet I want.

Speaker4: More but you know I’m still into it. Sound.

Speaker3: Sound crazy. So you sound tired. You don’t sound tired. But you this yearning for travel. Yeah. Part of that is you’re [01:33:00] working too hard.

Speaker4: Yes. Because we only have, like, a month off.

Speaker1: A year.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: There’s another part of it that’s like discovery, right? Yeah. To see and feel what it’s like to live in San Francisco or Bali or wherever. Wherever. Yeah, yeah, there is part of that. But there is another part of it of working too hard.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: You know what? I’m afraid that if I disconnect for six months.

Speaker4: We’ll never come back.

Speaker1: Not necessarily, but I don’t know how to come back after pandemic, I forgot. Yeah, but you see, I [01:33:30] forgot how I used to do things. I forgot I needed to ask a.

Speaker4: Colleague for five.

Speaker3: Years and went back.

Speaker4: It was. Did you remember everything?

Speaker3: No, no, it was difficult. It was difficult. But that was five years.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: And listen, it’s a hypothetical. Yeah. My hypothetical is you could do it.

Speaker4: Yeah, you can do it. Yeah, of course I can.

Speaker3: Yeah. And you know what we said about the pandemic, what we said about stopping in many ways. Do you have any guilt about leaving your parents? No.

Speaker4: Because you’re fine. Yeah.

Speaker1: They’re they’re they’re [01:34:00] well accomplished. They don’t need.

Speaker4: Me. Yeah.

Speaker1: They have friends. They don’t need me.

Speaker4: They can’t miss you. They do.

Speaker1: But they can visit me any time. It’s not like they can’t. I can go there as well, and I do once a year. We do usually go.

Speaker3: If you go home like four times a year and holiday six, seven times a year, like that’s, that’s what would really accomplish me.

Speaker4: I’m okay if I go home. It’s just they’re.

Speaker1: Happy to see me for [01:34:30] like.

Speaker4: Five minutes and.

Speaker1: Then.

Speaker4: They.

Speaker1: Start talking about how am I a failure.

Speaker4: So really? Yeah, it’s.

Speaker1: Never enough for them. So it’s just I can’t be bothered.

Speaker3: So we’re going to have to cut this out so you can send it to them.

Speaker4: Yeah yeah yeah. No they don’t.

Speaker1: They don’t, don’t speak English. It’s fine.

Speaker4: No no but well we.

Speaker1: Might get it translated. Okay.

Speaker3: It’s been a massive pleasure to have you.

Speaker1: Thank you so much.

Speaker4: Thank you so much.

Speaker3: For being so open as well. It’s been [01:35:00] a lovely conversation. Thanks a lot.

Speaker4: Thank you.

Speaker2: 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.

Speaker5: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say [01:35:30] and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

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