Payman Langroudi presents part one of a deep conversation with Len D’Cruz, a distinguished figure in dental legal affairs. Len shares his journey from Nairobi to London, his unexpected path into dentistry, and his perspectives on the evolving field of dental law.

Len talks about childhood, academic choices, and his approach to handling dental complaints and claims with empathy, detailed record-keeping, and a cool head in the face of pressure.

In This Episode

02:15 – Backstory

04:10 – Entry into dentistry

07:55 – Character traits

09:00 – Dentistry and academia

11:10 – Whitechapel

12:30 – University

14:10 – Work ethic

17:10 – Dental legal affairs

24:45 – Mistakes and shame

31:20 – The legal landscape

35:10 – Partnerships

38:40 – Defending legal cases

41:05 – Implant and aligner therapy

43:40 – Future trends

45:55 – Record-keeping

About Len D’Cruz

Len D’Cruz is the head of indemnity at the British Dental Association. He heads a mixed NHS/private practice consisting of seven surgeries in Woodford Green, North East London. He also teaches the MA in Dental Law and Ethics program at the University of Bedfordshire.

Speaker1: Dentistry is a fantastic profession. It does not need to be. You do not need to be worried looking [00:00:05] over your shoulder thinking, God, when am I going to get sued? The patient’s going to complain. If they complain, they complain. [00:00:10] But all you need to do is just learn from those complaints and move on. So I think that’s our biggest concern [00:00:15] that we still have this, this, this sword of Damocles, of litigation hanging over people’s [00:00:20] heads thinking it’s going to be me. It’s going to be me today. If I go in and I do something wrong, they’re bound to complain. [00:00:25] And I have that in my own practising. And don’t worry about it. They complain we’ll deal with it. So okay. [00:00:30]

Speaker2: This [00:00:35] is Dental Leaders. The podcast where you get [00:00:40] to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [00:00:45] hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav [00:00:50] Solanki.

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome a [00:00:55] dentist whose name is so synonymous with dental legal affairs that [00:01:00] you may think he does nothing else, but because this research that I was [00:01:05] doing for this podcast with Len de Cruz, I’ve come to find that he’s one of the [00:01:10] busiest dentists out there. It took me a full 45 minutes to go through all of your achievements. [00:01:15] Then, uh, practice owner with his wife and a practice they started [00:01:20] 30 odd years ago with two surgeries. Now, up to seven surgeries with specialists. [00:01:25] You know, any any business that’s running for that many years, I’ve got a lot of respect [00:01:30] for. But growing a business like that and, you know, I’ve known of Len de Cruz since the day [00:01:35] I qualified. And yet I never knew that, uh, you’re running a busy practice. Um, [00:01:40] trainer, foundation trainer, long time Dental, legal advisor [00:01:45] at Dental protection and now head of BDA indemnity, [00:01:50] which we’ll get to. But examiner for the aura. [00:01:55] Um, all for lots of journals and book book chapters. [00:02:00] Post-grad tutor. But you’ve done a lot. I’m sure I’ve [00:02:05] missed a bunch. Welcome to the podcast. Lovely.

Speaker1: Thank you very much. It’s a lovely introduction. [00:02:10] You do forget what you’ve been doing, uh, over the years, basically. But. Yeah. Thank you.

Speaker3: So [00:02:15] then I’d love to sort of try and find out sort of the backstory of what what [00:02:20] what were you like as, as a kid? Where did you grow up? Where were you born? [00:02:25] Where did you grow up? What were you like?

Speaker1: What was it like? Um, so I was born in Nairobi [00:02:30] in Kenya, and I lived there till I was 12 or 13 years old. [00:02:35] My parents, my dad was a worked for a company called [00:02:40] East Africa Power and Lighting. Uh, and he had interestingly, my two [00:02:45] elder brothers were came here to private school, public school, boarding school, about [00:02:50] 7 or 8 years before we arrived, because my dad had expatriate terms and they paid for [00:02:55] their education, they paid for their flights back home. But in their wisdom, they decided to keep [00:03:00] me home, uh, as their last son. So we eventually emigrated to England [00:03:05] in 1977. So. And I arrived here [00:03:10] as a schoolboy, walked into school at, well, essentially [00:03:15] arrived in London Heathrow Airport, driving through house [00:03:20] after house, thinking what on earth are I’m doing in this country? Having lived in the wild [00:03:25] wilds of Nairobi, the open spaces. So coming to London was a bit of a shock. [00:03:30] I came arrived in September and I was in school within within a few weeks in [00:03:35] a school in North London, essentially. Um, and that was the start of it. Uh, I, I [00:03:40] enjoyed school, it was a bit of a culture shock the first couple of years, because the [00:03:45] education system in Kenya was actually pretty advanced. I spent the first year not doing a great [00:03:50] deal. I watched TV a lot and Citizen Smith and Selwyn Frog and [00:03:55] complete rubbish and and actually just got on with life. So as a kid [00:04:00] I. I enjoyed sports. I was good at basketball, reasonably good at football, [00:04:05] and then became.

Speaker1: But one of the things I enjoyed doing most of all was [00:04:10] English. I liked, uh, reading books, and I actually did English [00:04:15] A-level, uh, in amongst the three science A-levels you had to do. So I did physics, chemistry, [00:04:20] biology, and I was absolutely hopeless at physics. I don’t understand it now. [00:04:25] Not sure why anybody can understand physics. Maths was just a was a foreign subject [00:04:30] to me. So I actually did English. I did miserably in physics, dropped several grades and because I got [00:04:35] an A in English, I managed to get to do dentistry. So I wouldn’t have done. I wouldn’t have been here right now [00:04:40] had I not done English. And interestingly, I did English, uh, on the sly because [00:04:45] my parents said, uh, you as good Indian parents, you have to concentrate your three subjects [00:04:50] you can’t possibly do English. English is going to is going to be a is a waste of time. It’s a useless subject. Don’t bother [00:04:55] doing it. Um, so I remember coming home and they said to me, have you given up English? I [00:05:00] said, yeah, I’ve given up. Are you sure you’ve given up English? Yes, I have, uh, so I carried on anyway and, and [00:05:05] bizarrely got a, got an A and, and at one point I was considering doing English [00:05:10] at university and my English teacher said, don’t bother. Do sciences do dentistry? [00:05:15] They are the great career. You can do English at any point. So that’s kind of how I got into, uh, writing, [00:05:20] uh, and just really interested in that sort of stuff.

Speaker3: Why dentistry?

Speaker1: The, uh, why [00:05:25] dentistry? Interestingly, I probably the it’s an odd answer, but it’s [00:05:30] a lazy, lazy response to to or lazy lazy reaction to [00:05:35] medicine. My brother, my older brother was was a doctor. He was working incredibly long [00:05:40] hours. He was doing a lot of, uh, a lot of work. Uh, and I just thought, actually, if I did dentistry, [00:05:45] I wouldn’t have to do as much. I just had to learn anatomy of the head and neck wouldn’t be that difficult, [00:05:50] surely. And it’s a 9 to 5 job, so it should be. Okay. So it was kind [00:05:55] of, uh, one of the things I was quite interested at that time was, is I was going to be dentistry, pharmacy [00:06:00] or genetics. Genetics was a major big thing. You read New Scientist at the time, genetics [00:06:05] was a real, real big, big thing. Well, before the Human Genome Project. All the [00:06:10] sort of things that now become quite, quite relevant. Now, back in the days, it was quite a big thing. Every [00:06:15] every article in New Scientist at the time was about genetics. The jobs were about genetics, [00:06:20] um, and that new world. So I was quite interested in that, but ended up in dentistry [00:06:25] and ended up at uh, and again, the the reason I got into dentistry was [00:06:30] no other university other than the Royal London or London Hospital at the time was taking [00:06:35] English, or they took biology, chemistry and one other subject. Everybody else said you had to have [00:06:40] physics, chemistry, biology. So I’m eternally grateful for the London having the [00:06:45] foresight to see that actually it didn’t need physics to do dentistry, frankly. And [00:06:50] and so that was that’s how I got there. Uh, no other university would have accepted me at that time. [00:06:55]

Speaker3: So, I mean, now I know now you have a law qualification. Was was law not on the picture [00:07:00] at that point?

Speaker1: Not really. No. It was it was very much dentistry is going to be English dentistry [00:07:05] science background I wouldn’t the law stuff came a lot later when the opportunity [00:07:10] arose, rather than something that was sort of burning ambition.

Speaker3: But you know what [00:07:15] I mean. Your English teacher could have said, hey, do law.

Speaker1: Could [00:07:20] have done, could have done. Um, uh, because there was there was a couple of people who’d went [00:07:25] off to York University to do English, and I thought, this is just amazing, you know, go to the English to, [00:07:30] you know, do Shakespeare, all that sort of stuff. And I remember, uh, just saying, you know, you can do this [00:07:35] any time you want to, basically, you know, if you’ve got a good career in dentistry, if you’re going to do well, let’s crack [00:07:40] on with that, basically. But yeah, and actually nobody did mention law. Um, I’m probably not [00:07:45] because because I quite like the sciences. And so it would have been, it could [00:07:50] have done it, but uh, it was, wasn’t on my radar at all.

Speaker3: You [00:07:55] know, when, when, when we had a dinner recently at the, um, Dental update thing and [00:08:00] when I left that dinner, the feeling that I got from you. Well, number [00:08:05] one, I spent the whole night talking about me because. Because you’re such a curious person, [00:08:10] you you ask a question and delve deeper into it and then say, what do you really mean [00:08:15] by that? And, you know, an incredibly detail orientated person. [00:08:20] Have you always been that guy?

Speaker1: You surprised me that you’d say, I’m a detail person [00:08:25] because my wife would say to me, uh, you’re a big you’re a big picture person and you never follow through and [00:08:30] stuff. So I think, I think probably conversation I would get into into into [00:08:35] detail stuff. But but as a, it’s a reason why I don’t think I’d be a specialist. [00:08:40] The reason why I couldn’t do something to, you know, so I rely a lot on other people. [00:08:45] I rely a lot on my wife for the detail stuff. I rely on other people for the detail stuff. Conversationally. [00:08:50] I just find fascinating chatting to people and just getting to know other people’s stories. So, [00:08:55] uh. So yeah, I forgive me if I was intrusive.

Speaker3: No no no no no no no no. So [00:09:00] just because, you know, I want to know about you, but you. So [00:09:05] tell me about your university years. Did you take to it? Naturally. [00:09:10] Did you find it difficult? Did you find the studying bit easier or the practical bit?

Speaker1: Uh, [00:09:15] I actually found that academic was very easy. I mean, I realised one [00:09:20] side done the first year. I think actually, it’s not going to get any more difficult than this, and it was pretty straightforward. [00:09:25] It’s just need to learn anatomy, physiology, biochemistry. And it was not particularly difficult. [00:09:30] So academically and I and I and I really strongly believe that it’s not an academic [00:09:35] subject. And we created this, this monster that requires, you know, [00:09:40] uh, four stars to get into dentistry. And it’s just it’s really obviously just, uh, just a filter mechanism. [00:09:45] But actually, academically, you don’t need to be exceptionally bright. You just need to be you need to be good with people. You need to be good [00:09:50] with your hands. And but even the hands thing, you know, I’ve done looked at this a lot and you [00:09:55] can learn those sort of those manual dexterity skills. I think it’s the communication, the liking, people [00:10:00] getting on with people that is actually fundamental to all of it. Being empathetic, um, having those sort of communication [00:10:05] skills and listening to people. And I think that’s you can’t you can’t necessarily teach that it’s got to be [00:10:10] something that you just enjoy doing.

Speaker1: So, I mean, for me, university I enjoyed academically [00:10:15] wasn’t challenging. Um, I wasn’t the best student, but interesting. I started getting [00:10:20] involved, wanting to get involved in politics as the there was the PDSA British Dental Students [00:10:25] Association stood for election. Didn’t get it started seeing okay, this is something that might I might [00:10:30] find interesting but yeah, I probably was uh, I was, I was I was quite keen, I [00:10:35] didn’t I didn’t fail any exams. Lots of people failed all their internal exams because it just couldn’t be bothered to do it. And I thought, [00:10:40] no, I don’t want to fail an exam. So so I did. I worked reasonably hard, uh, was reasonably academic, [00:10:45] but not not, um, not a high flyer by any stretch of the imagination. Just, just just basically [00:10:50] works and work. So. Yeah. So I mean, I enjoyed university. Lots of people didn’t work out. Um, [00:10:55] they lots of people hated university and just wanted to get out [00:11:00] for me and enjoyed it, enjoyed the the fun of it, enjoyed the the camaraderie of it and [00:11:05] and was gone on with the gone on well with the tutors.

Speaker3: And in Whitechapel [00:11:10] did you know what to expect when you, when you got there? Because I remember going for my interview in Whitechapel [00:11:15] and um, I couldn’t believe it, man. When I came out of the the [00:11:20] underground station into Whitechapel market, I’m not sure if it’s still is. [00:11:25] It must be still like that. I haven’t been for a while.

Speaker1: Exactly. It’s exactly the same. It’s a real culture shock. Um, [00:11:30] you know, coming from North London, I’ve lived in north London. And you, you’re always thinking, where am I this [00:11:35] this looks like, you know, West Bengal or something. What is going on here? You know, markets, you know, from, uh. [00:11:40] And you think I’m never going to get on with it. Um, but interestingly, I, my wife went to King’s and she [00:11:45] had the same experience she was from. She was from Ireland. Uh, she lived in Ireland all her life in rural, [00:11:50] rural Fermanagh. And she arrives in Brixton and you’re thinking, oh my goodness [00:11:55] me. And she says, I’m never going to like this place. And she, you know, as you do, you get on with it, you enjoy it, you [00:12:00] get to know the place, you feel reasonably safe in it. You get on with it. Yeah. So it is exactly [00:12:05] the same, but it’s actually a wonderful area.

Speaker3: It’s actually quite cool now.

Speaker1: It is. It is, you know, when [00:12:10] you and when you cross the Whitechapel High Street, you look down and you’re thinking that is the city. You know, you’re so close to city. [00:12:15] And I don’t think I ever realised just how close it was to city, which is why, you know, it is. It is seriously, [00:12:20] um, desirable residential areas now for sure. Um, which is, which [00:12:25] is strange.

Speaker3: Did you did you party or. No.

Speaker1: I did some. I didn’t do [00:12:30] a huge amount of partying at those guys in the year. Above. Above me who, uh, they were serious [00:12:35] party animals, basically. But no, I wouldn’t wouldn’t say we were. We’re out doing, uh, [00:12:40] long, late nights, basically. Um, so. Yeah. No, it was, it was we we had a good time, but it was [00:12:45] and I think and what is interesting, because it’s such a long course, you just got to, you kind of realise you’ve [00:12:50] got to crack on and do this. And I think what drove me both the Dental school and in my [00:12:55] A-levels was this notion that if I don’t do this, I’m going to get left behind. And [00:13:00] I remember the classic sort of feeling at, um, at school at, you know, doing my A-levels, [00:13:05] thinking if I don’t get to do dentistry, if I fail some exams, I’m going to have to go back into [00:13:10] sixth form college. I’m going to hate it. All my mates are going to be moving on. It’s going to be a nightmare. And so [00:13:15] probably this this drive of not being left behind, making sure I didn’t do anything, undermine [00:13:20] my my sort of progress was just sort of the driving force. And it wasn’t, you know, it wasn’t academically [00:13:25] gifted, nor was I, you know, really, really hard working. It was just, you know, put the hours in [00:13:30] and just just make sure you got you got there in the end. And, and I, you know, lots of my friends failed [00:13:35] either prosthetics or they failed finals or fail pathology or dental anatomy [00:13:40] or whatever along the way. And I thought it’s just such a waste of time and effort, basically. So that was kind [00:13:45] of what drove me to make sure at least I got through, got through university.

Speaker3: And [00:13:50] so, you know, to create a kid like you takes a particular [00:13:55] type of parenting. Right. And would you say that the parenting [00:14:00] style of your. Parents compared to your parenting style is very [00:14:05] different or very similar.

Speaker1: I think it’s very different because, well, I think there was the [00:14:10] that it’s a generational thing and I, you know, I don’t think I’d got many, uh, hugs [00:14:15] or cuddles or, you know, that sort of that sort of relationship that, that you probably had with your parents, [00:14:20] I had with my parents. It’s like, you know, and it was it is very much you got to work. You got to work hard. Um, [00:14:25] you know, one of the things, you know, one of the things you know, my dad was very fond of saying in [00:14:30] Kenya was you have to get your caritas. Caritas is Swahili for paper. So I [00:14:35] you’ve got to get your bit of paper, you’ve got to get your qualifications. And I think his he was very scarred [00:14:40] by being an Asian in a, in a largely [00:14:45] white colonial sort of company in Kenya. And he felt this [00:14:50] prejudice, he felt the only thing that kept him, the only thing that set him apart or kept him going [00:14:55] was the fact that he had a proper qualification. He was a chartered electrical engineer. He [00:15:00] had what he called a bit of courtesy, saying, basically, nobody can take that away from you. As long as he got you a bit of [00:15:05] paper, you work hard, you get your qualifications.

Speaker1: And I suppose that’s kind of driven, um, [00:15:10] driven, driven me to get a strings of bits of qualifications, all sorts [00:15:15] of things. And it was, it was kind of just saying, you know, it gives me credibility as one things I did a law degree for, [00:15:20] because by that time I’d joined Dental Protection, and I [00:15:25] was the youngest Dental legal adviser in Dental protection at the time. And I thought, ah, [00:15:30] this is you know, this is not a good look if if I walk in here and I’ve got no real credibility [00:15:35] other than the fact that, you know, I’ve been selected and there’s no massive [00:15:40] interview process back in the days when it was Kevin Lewis and, you know, it was [00:15:45] that sort of that sort of interview where you sort of you had it described as a David [00:15:50] Phillips and Kevin Lewis did a trial by knife and fork. You come in, if we like you, [00:15:55] we’ll give you the job basically at their favourite Italian restaurant, which you can’t do these days at all, basically. [00:16:00] And, and at that point you’re thinking, right, okay, I’m here. It’s fantastic. But you know, how am I going [00:16:05] to demonstrate my credibility? That’s why I end up doing a law degree, the master’s in law down at, um, [00:16:10] Cardiff.

Speaker1: And, you know, and it did well. And on the back of that, [00:16:15] interestingly, I was I was writing a, a couple of articles, written article for Dental update [00:16:20] for Trevor Burke, um, on record keeping. And I said, oh, I’ve just done this, uh, law [00:16:25] degree. I could write something else. He says, oh, what else do you want write about? I said, maybe write some content. He says, tell [00:16:30] you what, don’t do that. Why don’t you write a book? And I said, what do you mean, write a book? Um, well, [00:16:35] just just write a book. Uh, legal aspects of dental practice. I said, what are [00:16:40] you talking about? He says, well, we’ll put you in touch with Elsevier, Churchill, Livingstone, Elsevier, uh, and go [00:16:45] for it. And I’m thinking, what? And so yeah. And it took, it took a while, but [00:16:50] you did it and, and again that gives you confidence, not so much credibility but [00:16:55] confidence to say, actually you know what? I think I know what I’m doing. And that’s kind of then builds builds you up. And [00:17:00] that’s again it’s that sort of notion of confidence because you’ve done you’ve done the hard yards [00:17:05] to get where you want to be.

Speaker3: And now it’s a massive area. I mean, you teach on on [00:17:10] the Ma and university yourself for now. Yeah. But yeah, at the time that [00:17:15] you were getting into it, it wasn’t really. Did you have an inkling that it would be. [00:17:20]

Speaker1: Um, no, I think it was. I think the beauty of Dental protection was [00:17:25] it’s this family of Dental legal advisers. They had the largest number of Dental legal advisers. [00:17:30] Uh, David Phillips was there then. He then obviously retired. Kevin Lewis took over. And he’s [00:17:35] just. If there’s anybody I admire, there’s two people I admire most to be Rajaratnam [00:17:40] and Kevin Lewis. And and they had a real you know, they’re really influential in my life [00:17:45] in terms of, you know, how I thought about things, um, how I conducted myself. But [00:17:50] but it was that sort of it was you knew you were doing something that was really, really interesting [00:17:55] and fascinating, but it wasn’t. It only became it’s [00:18:00] probably become bigger now, partly because people are now we run a course on it. Um, at the University [00:18:05] of Bedfordshire course is the one I actually set up because a lady called Claire Morris was [00:18:10] she ran a masters in postgraduate education, in teaching for, for [00:18:15] trainers. And when the chapter is doing a seminar, she says, I would love to do more stuff with dentists. And I said, well, [00:18:20] I remember, um, it was a conference going to bed, uh, at that night and then wake [00:18:25] up at 3:00 in the morning.

Speaker1: And you know what? We need to do a Dental legal course. Um, and literally 3:00 [00:18:30] in the morning, knocked out a whole curriculum. Said, I’ve got to we’ve got to do this. Basically, it took another two years [00:18:35] to get the curriculum up and running. But it’s great. You know, we’ve had, what, about 110, 120 people [00:18:40] through that. So it’s becoming more academic. Back in the day it wasn’t very academic. You kind of just said, right, [00:18:45] uh, read, uh, read the NHS regulations, the, the SDR, a couple [00:18:50] of GDC gazettes, and here’s the telephone answer, some answer some calls. And now it is. [00:18:55] It is it’s very academic. Um, and it’s also it’s more. [00:19:00] I think that there are higher stakes, probably were higher stakes then, but I think they’re more higher stakes in [00:19:05] terms of the advice you give, you’ve got to be more careful. You can be more, um, more, uh, [00:19:10] you’ve got to understand and, uh, be in tune with a whole lot of other stuff in addition [00:19:15] to the facts of the case.

Speaker3: Well, do you think makes a good Dental legal adviser? [00:19:20] Because, I mean, let’s let’s start with the kind of person who wants [00:19:25] to be a Dental legal adviser. It takes a particular character, doesn’t it? I mean, in [00:19:30] many ways, I’d find, you know, in the same way as I’m very scared of oral surgery. [00:19:35] You know, I just I’m just scared of it. And now you could say, I don’t know what I’m doing. [00:19:40] Right, but I’ve got intrinsic fear of blood, if you like, as a as a as an operator. [00:19:45] I mean, yeah, but it’s a similar kind of you’ve got to be a particular kind of person to. [00:19:50] Sort of. Yeah. Like you say, play in those states, people’s lives [00:19:55] and and sort of their whole livelihoods at stake. What would you say? What are your [00:20:00] thoughts about Dental legal adviser? I mean, what kind of person is it? Okay.

Speaker1: So there’s two types. I [00:20:05] suppose the, the the more recent applicants to become [00:20:10] Dental legal adviser are people who actually don’t want to do dentistry anymore. Okay. They kind of think, [00:20:15] you know, I just want to do something else. I want to find another avenue. I don’t want to do clinical dentistry [00:20:20] day in, day out. And I just want to find another avenue. And they aren’t necessarily the most suitable [00:20:25] people because they’re just finding another, another avenue they could be doing. They could be doing [00:20:30] any other avenue, basically, but they just want to do something other than that. And that’s probably not the best people. [00:20:35] The sort of test now is that you’ve you I think you’re going to be a good listener. [00:20:40] And we’ve interestingly, we’ve just had a we’ve had a round of applications. We’ve just appointed somebody, [00:20:45] a new person to our team about 3 or 4 months ago. And what was interesting was [00:20:50] we did a they did a presentation, they did a group exercise, they did a [00:20:55] written exercise, etc., etc.. And what was interesting was the most the thing that separated the [00:21:00] candidates apart was the group exercise because we gave them a particular scenario. Um, [00:21:05] it’s a, it’s a bit of um, a member has called in, they’ve asked for some help and you give them [00:21:10] the scenario, and then these four people discuss it. And what was interesting was [00:21:15] how the person who is the most likely person to get it was, was, was bright, but also [00:21:20] stopped, listened, managed to, to get all the information from everybody else, weighed [00:21:25] it all up and then weighed in.

Speaker1: And I think that’s one of the skills skill set that [00:21:30] you need to have in you. You need to have a you can’t be egotistical, you can’t be arrogant, [00:21:35] but you can’t be. You’re there to advise, but not over advisers away. You’re there [00:21:40] to listen and you’re there to direct people in in the right way. But [00:21:45] you can’t be the expert. You can’t be the one to say, well, you ought to do it like this because. [00:21:50] Because all you’re doing is advising them. Because ultimately you, as the dentist will say, I’m [00:21:55] not going to listen to your advice. I’m going to do X, Y, and Z. And it it takes a lot of it takes a certain [00:22:00] skill set to say, actually, this is not actually about me. This is about you. Um, I’m putting my [00:22:05] ego, my views, my clinical skill set to one side. [00:22:10] I need to listen to you. I need to listen to your particular perspective. Then I’ll give you my view [00:22:15] and. But but I need to get all the facts from you. And often, you know, dentists like everybody [00:22:20] else, who only give you half the story. You need to tease out that story from them. Simple things, you know, somebody [00:22:25] will say, how long did they keep records card for? We don’t need to give me a ring for that.

Speaker1: It’s pretty obvious. Just look [00:22:30] it up, okay? But you don’t see. Rang me for a reason. Why didn’t you? Why ask [00:22:35] me that role? Because I’m telling the practice. Oh, you’re selling the practice, so why send the practice? Oh, because I’ve had particular [00:22:40] problems. Oh, you have particular problems. And it just goes on and on and thinking. So actually, the question wasn’t about record keeping at all. [00:22:45] The question is about something else. And actually and maybe that’s this, this interrogative sort of approach [00:22:50] that you said at the beginning is I just want to know what what’s going on, what’s going on in your head? [00:22:55] Why do you. Because because my you know, I say to our dental advisors often, [00:23:00] you know, the people have complaints all the time, day in, day [00:23:05] out. They don’t phone us. Okay. So what is it that prompt them to phone us today [00:23:10] about this particular issue? There’s something about this particular issue. These are bright, intelligent people. Um, [00:23:15] they deal with these sort of issues day in, day out. They must have complaints. We, we as [00:23:20] uh, advisors or uh, indemnity organisations probably deal with just the tip of the iceberg in terms [00:23:25] of the calls. We get literally thousands of calls, but there’s plenty of other things that happen. So you’re thinking, [00:23:30] why did you phone me today? What is it that’s actually bugging you? What’s going on? [00:23:35] So there’s there’s a couple of things you’d want.

Speaker1: You either want reassurance about the things [00:23:40] you’re currently doing. You want to go down one route and you want reassurance. Or there is generally flummoxed, [00:23:45] genuinely flummoxed about something. Or actually, there’s there’s something more to this call. [00:23:50] Um, and I need to get to the bottom of why you’ve called me, not giving me the full story. Um, because [00:23:55] you’re embarrassed. Because it’s it’s a it’s worrying you, you’re concerned. And and I think [00:24:00] for us, I think the most challenging emotion that [00:24:05] we ever have to deal with is shame. Okay. Um, because nobody wants [00:24:10] to admit they made a mistake. Nobody ever wants to say I’ve done something wrong. And then to get onto the phone and [00:24:15] say, you know what? I’ve done this. They’re not going to come out and say, I’ve done this because, because, because they’ll [00:24:20] kind of say, you know, they’ve done it. It’ll take a huge amount of effort to to admit [00:24:25] it. And it’s human nature to actually talk to a complete stranger and say, you know [00:24:30] what? I’ve done this. And and I remember one of the most interesting conversations I had with a couple of years [00:24:35] ago with, with a dentist, and he’d done something, uh, there was an error we thought was probably, [00:24:40] uh, worth a claim. Um, there’s probably going to probably going to settle it.

Speaker1: And I said to him and said, you know, you’re worried about this. [00:24:45] Yeah. He says, I’m worried about it. But I said, have you spoken to anybody about it? And he says. [00:24:50] No, I said, do you have anybody, you know, family who’s a dentist? He said, yeah, my brother’s a dentist. [00:24:55] I said, have you spoken to him? Said, no, no. Why haven’t you spoken to him? Because he’d think less of [00:25:00] me. And the family would be very shameful if I said this to to anybody that I actually [00:25:05] made a mistake. And you’re thinking. Yeah, but we all make mistakes. No, no, my family won’t tolerate [00:25:10] it. My brother will think I’m stupid. So I’m not going to say to anyone, I think, well, you’ve [00:25:15] just lost out on a huge opportunity to talk to somebody else about it. Your your your brother is a dentist. Um, [00:25:20] but no. And I think that’s and I think shame is the sort of thing that clouds [00:25:25] a lot of judgements. People become defensive, they pick up, take up a position which [00:25:30] they don’t want to admit to, and they get lost in that particular position. They don’t want to change it. And you’re thinking, you know, [00:25:35] and you realise actually you have done something wrong. Just admit it, you know, well, you’re here to help [00:25:40] you. And I think for us that’s that is the biggest, biggest challenge.

Speaker3: I guess it’s a bit like [00:25:45] patients who are ashamed of their teeth and they think that we’re going to have any problem with [00:25:50] it. Yeah. Yeah. Like that’s right.

Speaker1: Yeah, absolutely. You say, you know how many times you say, [00:25:55] oh, you’re going to be you’re going to be amazed. You’re going to be shocked when you look at my mouth. I’m really embarrassed about it. You [00:26:00] look around, you think, actually there’s only one filling need doing here. What’s what’s the big deal here? Uh, so [00:26:05] so yeah, no I agree.

Speaker3: Yeah, but then. Okay, shame [00:26:10] is one thing. And then. And then you’ve got people who whose whole livelihood is at risk, [00:26:15] right? Are people generally more worried than they should be in [00:26:20] the nature of the thing?

Speaker1: Yeah, I think there is. And I think we sort of, uh, [00:26:25] interestingly, we’ve just done a survey of members, quite a detailed [00:26:30] surveys. It’s it’s our contribution to contract review and [00:26:35] that data and which is looking at the looking at things [00:26:40] like, you know, are you stressed, are you anxious, are you concerned. What is your biggest stresses as a practice [00:26:45] owner? What’s your big stresses and associate? The biggest stress for the practice owners are essentially, um, [00:26:50] overheads, costs and trying to and trying to get uh, staff or keep [00:26:55] and retain staff for associates. Interestingly, 67% of these people are 60 [00:27:00] minutes of the associates said, uh, litigation, fear of litigation was a concern. And [00:27:05] I find that really odd because because that is something that I was [00:27:10] acutely aware of back in 2014, 2015, 2016, when the GDC were just [00:27:15] pretty well, any case that ended up GDC went all the way through the sausage machine of fits to practice, [00:27:20] and people genuinely were concerned about litigation and had had [00:27:25] good reason to be concerned about litigation, particularly for litigation for claims, because [00:27:30] the Dental Law Partnership had set up a few years before and were were very successful [00:27:35] in doing their job at GDC, were running riot and pretty well any any [00:27:40] complaint that went in went all the way through to, to practice. And so there was a general feeling [00:27:45] of unease amongst in 2014, 2015, 2016, there was several hundred [00:27:50] cases that goes through the GDC, but interestingly, over the last 3 or 4 years that things have [00:27:55] changed.

Speaker1: The claims, the, uh, no win, no fee has changed. Uh, the [00:28:00] actual the mechanism for making claims, uh, and for, uh, for [00:28:05] costs, it’s taken the wind out of the sails of, of the claimant solicitors. So there’s less [00:28:10] likelihood of getting a claim, and there’s even less likelihood of getting [00:28:15] a GDC complaint that’s going to go all the way through. So a significant number of cases, uh, [00:28:20] end up at the GDC, but go no further than, uh, case examiners, about 60%, 67% [00:28:25] of cases just stop just there. But we still have this this overwhelming [00:28:30] feeling of of fear of litigation. And I think I believe it’s it’s unfounded [00:28:35] and partly it’s been driven originally by those that caseload, [00:28:40] but it’s also driven to, uh, to greater extent. And I think by [00:28:45] us as indemnity organisations, it was very much this idea. You’d go into a [00:28:50] lecture or given a presentation and you’d you start quoting figures of what the likelihood of [00:28:55] you getting a claim was. And, you know, 1 in 2 or 1 in 3, if you’re going to get a claim, you’re going to get a claim in the next five [00:29:00] years. Uh, so and that was almost your attention seeking device to say, well, you better [00:29:05] listen to my lecture for the next hour or so.

Speaker1: Um, because if you don’t listen, um, in trouble, [00:29:10] you’re in trouble. Uh, and so that was the sort of the normal process. And I remember, uh, [00:29:15] as I left and I think this is crazy. The whole thing has changed. But we don’t need to do [00:29:20] that. We’re actually fuelling this, this anxiety. So why don’t we look at a different [00:29:25] way. And so so my my view is very much you will get complaints. Almost certainly. [00:29:30] There’s no doubt you’re going to get a complaint because we live in a service industry. Patients are paying money. They [00:29:35] experience pain. Something’s bound to go wrong. Um, it’s a complex procedure. So. So actually, [00:29:40] complaints are inevitable part of our life, but not the GDC and not claims. [00:29:45] Um, so we should be a bit more reassured about that. And I think that’s that message [00:29:50] hasn’t got through. We, uh, at MSI, we spent a long time, certainly [00:29:55] in the last 2 or 3 years, all our all our guidance is very much about saying [00:30:00] this. Complaints are inevitable, but don’t worry about litigation or GDC stuff [00:30:05] to the point that even the GDC, their latest pilot, is looking at [00:30:10] starting September October. They are saying that if it’s a single case relating to a single [00:30:15] patient and you have no previous fitness to practice before this particular case arrived, [00:30:20] they’re not going to take any further.

Speaker1: They’ll investigate it, but pretty well. It’s going to end without with no fitness to [00:30:25] practice issues. So we’re not even going to bother going to case examiners fitness practice. So we’ll just end it there [00:30:30] because they reckon that 60% of the cases with a single case, uh, single [00:30:35] patient, it’s not going to go anywhere. Why is somebody wasting their time. So even they are trying to control [00:30:40] this. But the message hasn’t got through. And and what I’d like to say to, [00:30:45] to dentists is dentistry is a fantastic profession. It does not need to be. [00:30:50] You do not need to be worried looking over your shoulder thinking, God, when am I going to get sued? The patient is going to complain. [00:30:55] If they complain, they complain. But all you need to do is just learn from those complaints and move on. So [00:31:00] I think that’s our biggest concern that we still have this, this, this sword of Damocles, [00:31:05] of litigation hanging over. People’s heads thinking, it’s going to be me. It’s going to be me today. If I go in [00:31:10] and I do something wrong, they’re bound to complain. And I have that in my own practice saying, and don’t worry about it. They [00:31:15] complain. We’ll deal with it. So okay.

Speaker3: It’s good to hear that. It’s good to hear. I mean, you’re absolutely right. [00:31:20] I had no idea that things are getting a lot easier or getting easier even. You know, my my feeling [00:31:25] was that things are as bad as ever. But what do you think was the perfect storm that [00:31:30] led to that era of. I mean, you said you alluded a bit to the no win, no [00:31:35] fee. What about GDC itself?

Speaker1: Yeah, [00:31:40] the GDC, I think there was a bit of empire building. We put [00:31:45] it down to the head of fitness practice at the time, wanting to build the empire in [00:31:50] terms of resources, money, income coming into their particular [00:31:55] department to say, you know, fitness to practice is a is a big issue. We have all these cases coming in. [00:32:00] We need more resources. We need more energy applied to it. So as a as [00:32:05] a you become very busy all of a sudden if you essentially if the threshold is very [00:32:10] low, uh, to get across the bar into the GDC and you just put it through the sausage machine, [00:32:15] you know, it’s going to work and then your your department gets really busy. You look [00:32:20] like you need more resources. So you get more get more people. And it just it builds itself. And [00:32:25] we think there was something cynical going on at that time with the particular people at [00:32:30] the GDC. And what is what also needs to be recognised is [00:32:35] the GDC is separate from fitness to practice. I think people just wrap the whole thing up the same as [00:32:40] the same um, organisation. Fitness to practice is independent from [00:32:45] the GDC. The GDC essentially are the prosecutors. They bring their case to [00:32:50] the tribunal, the Fitness to Practice tribunal, and they have to they have to win [00:32:55] their case or successfully win their case in front of that tribunal. And we, as the defence will [00:33:00] present our case, it’s not the GDC who are judge, jury and executioner, which is [00:33:05] what people’s perception are when they say the GDC.

Speaker1: The GDC may be after you, but they’ve still got to [00:33:10] get their case across to the Fitness to Practice panel, and they’ve got to you’ve got to [00:33:15] demonstrate your fitness to practise is impaired and currently currently impaired. [00:33:20] And that is something they have to do, the GDC have to do in front of the tribunal. And [00:33:25] so so which is why if you speak to most Dental legal organisation, Dental legal advisors, [00:33:30] they say the fitness to practice process is actually very, very fair because [00:33:35] they are fair minded people. They will dismiss GDC cases just as quickly as anybody [00:33:40] else because they say there’s no case to answer here, but why is this case being brought and and what [00:33:45] they found when 2016, 2017 was when those cases went through the sausage machine at the end, they [00:33:50] realised actually there was no fitness to practice issues and no impairment was found. And so that that [00:33:55] was why was uh, that was when the bubble burst. And people think, actually, this is there’s something seriously [00:34:00] wrong here. And, and the GDC turned the corner with new personnel [00:34:05] in their fitness to practice and going and actually going out to [00:34:10] the profession and saying, we have got it wrong, we want to change. And the sort of move towards, [00:34:15] um, shifting the balance to prevention rather than cures was, [00:34:20] was, was, was a solution basically.

Speaker3: And as a guy who I mean, in a way, [00:34:25] you’re part of the legal sector now, what do you think of dental [00:34:30] law partnership differently than the way most dentists would think of them as a sort of evil [00:34:35] empire? Um, because I saw [00:34:40] something. I was one of those guys, by the way. I was thinking, I couldn’t understand, how could one law firm [00:34:45] ruin a profession, you know, in effect. And I was looking into them [00:34:50] and I saw on the legal side, you know, in the legal award ceremony [00:34:55] or something, they were picking up awards and there was a gigantic company and and so on. How [00:35:00] how do you feel about them or not? Not them in particular. But, you know, that kind of lawyer. [00:35:05] Yeah.

Speaker1: I mean, I think, well, if we if we pick on Dental partnership, their, [00:35:10] their success was, was based on the fact that they were both dentists and who [00:35:15] they were qualified dentists, they qualified as lawyers and they knew the business. They knew [00:35:20] dentistry inside out. So so their success rate was dramatically higher than anybody else, basically [00:35:25] because they knew which which claims to run. So when they knew there was no base in it, they [00:35:30] could look at themselves and say, this is not a runner. Um, we’re not even going to take this case any further. So their success [00:35:35] rate against us at the time was something like 85, 90%. Most other law firms were at [00:35:40] 45, 50%. So they knew which cases to run, and they did it very well. The problem [00:35:45] that that point was they would dig around looking at pretty well everything else that we’d done by that patient, [00:35:50] on that patient for various people. So that was more problematic. But ultimately, [00:35:55] our view, very much of you now at the indemnity and the DPL was if harm, harm [00:36:00] has come as a result of negligence, that patient deserves compensation. It’s it’s straightforward [00:36:05] as that. And our job is to. Make sure that patient gets compensation because it’s unfair to the patient. [00:36:10] We shouldn’t be dragging out a case when there is a breach of duty.

Speaker1: And and harm [00:36:15] has been caused as a result of that breach of duty. We should be paying out. So we were never [00:36:20] concerned about the concept of a solicitor acting on behalf of the patient, because they’re [00:36:25] absolutely entitled to it. And where harm is done, they should have the money, there’s no doubt about that. The issue [00:36:30] we had was the tactics they’d used, and they were pretty underhand tactics. And the [00:36:35] a significant amount of costs or significant amount of payout related [00:36:40] to the costs of the solicitors, i.e. so we’re having disproportional settlements [00:36:45] where you’d have a five £10,000 settlement to the patient and [00:36:50] you’d get a cost estimate, or the costs would run in from the from the claim solicitors [00:36:55] of 50, 60, 80, 100 grand. And you’re thinking, hang on a second, this can’t be right. So you we’ve settled [00:37:00] on ten grand. Your client has got ten grand. They’ve walked away. And you’ve now put a bill in [00:37:05] of 50, 60, £70,000. So we’d spend a particular spend a lot [00:37:10] of time in, in Chester County Court looking at the costs [00:37:15] draughtsman challenging a lot of these costs because they were inflated costs. And that’s why those [00:37:20] that’s why those, those cases look so horrendously expensive when you settle them. Because the [00:37:25] patient got a small amount. But actually what settled was quite a man.

Speaker1: So so it was a tactic that [00:37:30] and things have changed the way the legal system has changed as as unpick some of those, those situations. [00:37:35] So conceptually that claimants lawyers, they do they do a job, they do a job for [00:37:40] their patients and they do the best they can. And we’re happy for them to do that. Um, [00:37:45] it’s, it’s when they’re when tactics are employed, which I think are, are not actually beneficial [00:37:50] to the patient because sometimes, you know, one of the things that is a concern is, is the patient [00:37:55] who is being offered a settlement, but the lawyers [00:38:00] decide, actually we’re not going to accept the settlement we want more or we’re going to go after the practice [00:38:05] owner, which is what happened. Um, you know, with the liability ended up. And actually the patient [00:38:10] at the settlement was offered. There’s a settlement on the offer on the, [00:38:15] on the table, but the law firm says, actually, no, we’re going to go off to somebody else. Um, and the patient’s [00:38:20] still hanging, waiting for that settlement. You’re thinking, well, uh, you don’t have a settlement. This [00:38:25] patient is still there, you know, several years later, still waiting for something. So I think that that’s that’s our concern [00:38:30] about, uh, some of the tactics, but conceptually, they need they need to be there to do that job.

Speaker3: Which. [00:38:35] What? So would you would you set up a the equivalent.

Speaker1: Uh, [00:38:40] for. No, I think we’d always be on the defence side. Uh, we wouldn’t be on the claimants. We [00:38:45] would always be on the claimants side. That’s we’d never be on the claims. We’d always be on the defence side.

Speaker3: So [00:38:50] because you could write you you’d have the tactics and skill [00:38:55] set.

Speaker1: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. I don’t think you’d be interviewing me if that was the case.

Speaker3: You [00:39:00] never know. But maybe I should get the law guys and see what they’re talking about. Yeah, [00:39:05] exactly. What about what? About the breakdown of claims and complaints? How [00:39:10] does it break down, like, statistically, what’s what’s the areas of dentistry that are most risky. [00:39:15] So I imagine what implants? Hereoh. Yeah. Author.

Speaker4: Yeah. [00:39:20]

Speaker1: It’s interesting. You see, I mean, there is a sort of a legacy of cases [00:39:25] that we might say are really high risk, period, because it’s failed to diagnose. [00:39:30] And then when when a settlement arrives, you’re chucking a lot of implants in and it’s very expensive [00:39:35] implants because they’re quite they’re quite technically difficult. Interestingly, [00:39:40] uh, our own figures over the last four years don’t show that at all. What the, [00:39:45] the most common things are, the most common things that happen. It’s failed root canal treatments or broken instruments. [00:39:50] It’s oestrogenic injury. We’ve had a skew of oestrogenic injuries where people have [00:39:55] got burnt lips from hot handpieces, uh, people have dropped instruments, the classic everyday [00:40:00] stuff, which settles for not a great deal and it’s not as complicated. And I think [00:40:05] the one of the things about the great fallacies about implants is that the reason [00:40:10] why they were loaded so high was because when implants first came on [00:40:15] the scene 20 years ago, or became more popular about 20 years ago, 20, 25 years ago, nobody [00:40:20] knew the risks involved. So they said, this must be a risk. And you’re sticking these metal blades, [00:40:25] these these, this Swedish nails into people’s teeth. This must be risky stuff. Surely [00:40:30] you’re going to hit all sorts of stuff. Um, and so people said, well, it’s going to be we’re just going to have to load these. [00:40:35] We’ve got to increase the premiums for all these people. And Kevin Lewis, when we set up and empty, [00:40:40] Kevin Lewis was a consultant, still is a consultant for us. And he said we’re toying with the idea of being empty, [00:40:45] not to load implants at all, because actually when we look at the actual figures, they [00:40:50] aren’t particularly high at all. Um, and partly because the profession has recognised [00:40:55] that this is pretty scary stuff. And they go on very good courses, um, [00:41:00] the, the I’s and.

Speaker3: Cross the T’s.

Speaker4: Absolutely.

Speaker1: So the consent forms are good. They’ve nobody [00:41:05] now. Nobody’s. To do a weekend course and implants. They might do a weekend course in aligners, [00:41:10] but they’re certainly not going to do it in implants. And so the people who are doing implants are [00:41:15] not people who are doing them, you know, once, once a year, they’re doing them pretty frequently. [00:41:20] They’re pretty skilled. They don’t take risks unless they are calculated risks. And the [00:41:25] patient’s informed at all times. So I think, you know, the GDC have got guidance. [00:41:30] The the Associate Dental Implantologists got implant got guidance. And so people go into [00:41:35] it with their eyes open and they do they are pretty skilled now when they do implants. And so [00:41:40] when something goes wrong, it tends to be because an implant failed. Um, uh, you know, it has an integrated. [00:41:45] So they’re giving the money back. And so it’s it’s never it’s, you know, it’s not hugely [00:41:50] dramatic stuff. Um, so it’s actually just run of the mill stuff. It’s, it’s, you know, um, [00:41:55] you didn’t tell me about the tooth. Might need a crown afterwards. It broken and [00:42:00] that root canal treatment. So it’s really almost mundane stuff. And it’s not the the [00:42:05] stuff you think this is going to cost a lot of money. So. So the perils thing is also, [00:42:10] again, slightly overblown. I don’t think there’s as much peril claims as there might [00:42:15] have been or could have been.

Speaker1: There are a couple of really odd cases. But and the thing about perio [00:42:20] is, interestingly and you know, when I lecture on it, I was in terms of perio, it is [00:42:25] probably the easiest thing to mitigate risk for because all you need to do is [00:42:30] a diagnose it. Take the relevant radiographs, tell the patient [00:42:35] and do some sort of treatment, you’re there. Whereas whereas pretty well every other aspect of [00:42:40] dentistry is, is actually requires a lot of technical skills which can go wrong. So you do [00:42:45] end up it’s pretty obvious you’ve done something wrong because look at the radiograph. Uh, if you if you’ve [00:42:50] missed some calculus on somebody’s teeth, it’s not very easy to pick up. Um, all, [00:42:55] all the uh, the treatment hasn’t succeeded. Well it’s probably down to the [00:43:00] patient. So I think that’s so, so in a sense, the those issues are not, uh, perils. [00:43:05] Easy one to resolve. And I think part of the problem is the reason why is there still claims [00:43:10] knocking around because of the system. It’s the NHS system that people shortcut it. And the [00:43:15] Bsp’s done a fantastic job in trying to address those, uh, with some [00:43:20] excellent advice about phasing, treatment, etc., etc.. So so I think we shouldn’t see [00:43:25] too many cases going forward.

Speaker3: So then what is the problem? Is it is it [00:43:30] where is the current issue? Is it young dentists. Not enough training in ortho [00:43:35] take on, but cases more complicated than.

Speaker1: I think those are. I think the things [00:43:40] that are coming up are the two big things we think are coming up are going to be [00:43:45] aligners, aligner therapy, um, where and is probably consent [00:43:50] patients didn’t know they’re going to end up with having interproximal reduction. They’re going to have their teeth thinned down. [00:43:55] They didn’t. They said it’s going to be six months. It’s actually nine months or 12 months. Didn’t actually didn’t work [00:44:00] out as well as I wanted to. So the expectations are higher. And the other thing we are [00:44:05] a little bit concerned about is, is tooth surface loss, failure to diagnose two surface loss. [00:44:10] And because, you know, when I when I started a [00:44:15] 30 years ago, two surface loss was well based. Just monitor it, take some take some study [00:44:20] models and just keep an eye on it because it’s pretty tricky stuff. Just make a diagnosis, try and work out what’s causing it. [00:44:25] Tell them to stop drinking acidic stuff and you’d be fine. Uh, don’t do anything about it. Now, [00:44:30] you know, we’re moving towards actually some interventive treatment. Um, you can use composite. You don’t have to use, uh, uh, [00:44:35] crown and bridge. Um, and actually, you probably ought to be doing something because those teeth are going to wear [00:44:40] away quite quickly. So. So I’ve been with you for the last 20 years and you’ve done nothing.

Speaker1: Why didn’t [00:44:45] you do anything for me? Well, it wasn’t we wasn’t very. It wasn’t painful. You didn’t want anything done about it. But [00:44:50] you never asked me. You didn’t diagnose it, did you? And I think that’s the potential [00:44:55] for the future. When patients say, right, I now you’ve now diagnosed. I need, um, [00:45:00] this full mouth rehab, uh, lots of anterior build ups of teeth. So I’ve been [00:45:05] seeing this the last ten years. Well, so wasn’t this there before? Well, it was there before, but I didn’t think about [00:45:10] it. So what are you doing about it? So I think those those conversations are going to be harder to manage [00:45:15] when you’ve been in establishing a practice. And I think that’s the challenge. You know, it’s a challenge for me in my own practice. [00:45:20] I’ve been there for 30 years. I see patients and and it’s the it’s the [00:45:25] it’s interesting because, you know, people talk about, you know, when when you retire suddenly somebody the other day [00:45:30] said, oh, you know, what advice would you give me before? You know, I’m thinking about retiring in the next couple of years. What advice would you give me? [00:45:35] And it illegally. And the advice I’d give to them and to everybody else is treat your patient as [00:45:40] though it’s the first time they’ve ever seen them, because you look at it and thinking, oh, God, okay, [00:45:45] um, there’s a whole lot of stuff I haven’t done anything about or should have done something [00:45:50] about or warn the patient about.

Speaker1: Because if I leave, if this is the last time I see the patient, they see somebody else in six months time [00:45:55] or a year’s time, will they know why I left that route there? Will they know why [00:46:00] I haven’t crowned that tooth? Will they know why we’ve decided that we’re going to leave these particular [00:46:05] teeth in the situation they are? Because if I don’t have good notes, the patient not going to remember, and [00:46:10] the next day it’s going to say, oh, no, what? Did you know what Mr. Crews have been doing for you for the last ten years? Because the amounts, the mess [00:46:15] and every one of us will have done, done things for patients where you think, [00:46:20] oh, God, okay, I shouldn’t really have done that. It hasn’t worked out as well as I have. But, you know, it is what [00:46:25] it is. But somebody else looking at it might think, okay, this is a very odd treatment [00:46:30] for this particular patient, but a high risk dentistry, why do they do that. So so I think that’s so, [00:46:35] so I think the big thing there’s no big I think [00:46:40] for us it is probably going to be the the aligners.

Speaker1: Because in the same way [00:46:45] that implants might have been an issue, they they became less an issue because of the training and because [00:46:50] of the involvement of the dentist. Now it’s very much the line is anybody can do it because frankly, [00:46:55] it’s taking impression. Send it off, should be fine. Somebody else is doing it. And I think that’s where if you [00:47:00] lack the and there are, there are better and better courses now which uh go [00:47:05] through run by orthodontists run in a very clinical way. Um, recognising [00:47:10] that actually it’s not just an aligner. There is a other dimensions to this treatment. And knowing [00:47:15] where the limitations are is quite important. But so I think I, you know, I [00:47:20] advise dentists to think quite seriously about doing longer longitudinal [00:47:25] courses if they’re going to pick up those sort of things in the same way they did. They did implants because [00:47:30] there is very much this. Me too. I’ve. To do what everybody else is doing it up. I’m going to be left behind [00:47:35] unless I do the facial aesthetics, unless I do the the the aligners, unless [00:47:40] I do cosmetic dentistry, unless they do build up, unless I do composite vineyards. I’m going [00:47:45] to be left behind. I think that’s that’s the challenge for us.

Speaker3: And I think one, one thing [00:47:50] that a lot of dentists find annoying is when indemnity settles, [00:47:55] even though everyone knows that they’re not at fault. Are we past [00:48:00] the peak of that behaviour, or is that is that I mean, I know probably [00:48:05] boils down to a financial decision of keeping something out of court, you know, as [00:48:10] the priority. But where are we at with that?

Speaker1: Yeah. I mean, I think they [00:48:15] I mean, I know, um, a number of mutuals have been accused of that [00:48:20] in the past, and that was very much my view that we wouldn’t do that when we got to be the indemnity, [00:48:25] because we wanted to make sure that, you know, we wouldn’t settle without your consent. We wouldn’t do [00:48:30] anything without your permission. And we still hold that view, because if you [00:48:35] and often, you know, the member will know, the dentist [00:48:40] will know more about that case than we ever will. They treat that patient. And if they think in their heart [00:48:45] of hearts, they think, you know what? Yeah, I did screw up, basically. Um, you know, let’s just settle it. Other [00:48:50] people say, yeah, I did do something wrong, but actually there was this, this, this, this, this. And there’s a whole other [00:48:55] circumstance now, and Mars is right. Fantastic. Okay, you give me that ammunition, I’ll go straight back to [00:49:00] our claims team and at RSA, and they’ll knock it back. And and interestingly, [00:49:05] our insurers RSA are very much of that view. They, they’re not going to settle, [00:49:10] uh, just because it needs to be settled on good terms because they want the best result [00:49:15] for the member. And with our help and assistance and with [00:49:20] the with the the dentists involvement, we’re more than happy to to defend those cases where the defensible, [00:49:25] um, but you know, but also sometimes you have to take the dentist [00:49:30] to uh, for them to look at it.

Speaker1: And it came back to the same, same issue about, you know, shame. Nobody [00:49:35] wants to admit their mistakes. But if you take them gently through how a lawyer might look [00:49:40] at it, it it opens their eyes to thinking, okay, yeah, a lawyer might [00:49:45] have a different view to this. And therefore there is a a breach of duty. There is a loss [00:49:50] as a result of it, and there’s a causal result, uh, result of it basically. So, so I think that’s [00:49:55] we’re probably past that peak because, because I think mutuals and recognising [00:50:00] that dentists don’t like that, just settling for the sake of settling. But but you know, you do you [00:50:05] do it for pragmatic reasons sometimes because the member themselves says, and [00:50:10] sometimes the other way around. The member says, you know, I want to settle. I want to give the money back. And you’re thinking, why [00:50:15] are you giving the money back? You know, I have a number of sort of existential conversations with people [00:50:20] and you say, well, what are your records? They’re really good. You get consent. Yes, or get consent. [00:50:25] And so the tooth flared up after that root canal treatment. [00:50:30]

Speaker1: Yeah. And they’ve gone somewhere else. Yeah. I want to give the money back so. Well yeah. But you warned them about that didn’t you. [00:50:35] Yeah. The consent form. Perfectly fine. So why are you giving the money back? Oh, because I don’t want any more trouble, I said, but [00:50:40] you’ve done everything right. We lecture hour after hour about consent. You’ve done everything we expect you [00:50:45] to do. And now you say, give the money back. I can understand you want the hassle, but that doesn’t make sense. [00:50:50] So in a sense, you’re kind of almost persuading the member to say, well, I’m happy to do [00:50:55] it, but. But you do so on the basis that you’ve done the right thing. This is just a goodwill gesture. [00:51:00] It’s not because you’ve done anything wrong. And so so I find it equally, uh, equally, [00:51:05] um, frustrating, frustrating and challenging when patients when the member [00:51:10] says, I want to settle, you’re thinking, I’ve looked at your records. They’re perfectly fine. Everything you’ve done [00:51:15] is perfectly reasonable. What a reasonable dentist would do. So why are we settling? And the answer is going to [00:51:20] be, I just don’t want hassle. I just yeah, I’ll give them back the money back. It’ll be done. He said. Okay, [00:51:25] fine, I’m happy to do that. But, um, it wasn’t necessarily my advice to do that.

Speaker2: This [00:51:30] is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you [00:51:35] get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [00:51:40] hosts. Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. [00:51:45]

Speaker5: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened [00:51:50] to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through [00:51:55] and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some [00:52:00] value out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And [00:52:05] if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so [00:52:10] so, so much for listening. Thanks.

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

Specialist endodontist Aram Navai says the number one skill for endo nurses is staying awake. 


In this week’s episode, Aram chats with Payman about the value of skilled nurses and the stigma around endodontics. 


Aram also recounts his journey to specialism in what is perhaps one of dentistry’s most intimidating disciplines and puts forward his nomination for the world’s greatest living endodontist.  




In This Episode

01.47 – The road to dentistry

10.04 – Study

16.46 – From A&E to specialisation

28.36 – Endodontics in practice

44.47 – Social media

47.19 – Being a visiting specialist

59.05 – Downtime

01.01.40 – Black box thinking

01.12.52 – Sub-specialisms

01.13.57 – International outlook

01.15.46 – Building referrals

01.21.36 – World’s number one

01.23.52 – Fantasy dinner party

01.26.35 – Last days and legacy


About Aram Navai

Aram Navai is a visiting endodontic specialist and the founder of the London Root Canal Clinic specialist referral centre.

Speaker1: The most important thing is a practice which is well run, has a principal who is present [00:00:05] and cares about the practice. I think no one will ever care about your business as much [00:00:10] as the business owner. And the practices which are really well run, have hands on owners. You know [00:00:15] that they’re on the ground, they’re making sure the staff are fine. They’re making sure all the materials you need are there. [00:00:20] They’re communicating with everyone you know. You can have the best practice manager in the world. And you know, that is also [00:00:25] very effective because again, practice managers do wonderful jobs that I think having a good practice manager [00:00:30] is, is, you know, it’s like gold dust. But yeah, it’s first of all how the practice [00:00:35] owner runs the business themselves. Then it’s the staff. You know, for me personally, [00:00:40] as someone who travels between so many surgeries, having a good nurse is absolutely [00:00:45] key. The nurses are the backbone of every practice, in my opinion, and the practices [00:00:50] which operate well have good nurses, nurses who are treated well.

Speaker2: This [00:00:55] is Dental [00:01:00] Leaders. The podcast where you get to go one [00:01:05] on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [00:01:10] hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. [00:01:15]

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Doctor Navi onto [00:01:20] the podcast. Mbe is a specialist endodontist who works at [00:01:25] just eight practices in London, all of them in central London, all of them very [00:01:30] high profile friends of mine, many of them friends of mine. And it’s nice to [00:01:35] go into the specialities a little bit and find out your story. Welcome [00:01:40] to the podcast, buddy.

Speaker1: Good evening Payman. It’s a privilege and honour to [00:01:45] be here. Thanks for having me.

Speaker3: A pleasure man. My pleasure. Sorry. I’m listening. This, this this podcast [00:01:50] tends to be more like, uh, beginning of your life to the end. So, like, [00:01:55] where were you born? Is the usual. Usual. First question. But. But lately, [00:02:00] I’ve been wanting to just ask the question I want to ask straight away. And then and then and then [00:02:05] we’ll go and then we’ll go backwards. Yeah. So. And really the question is around specialising. [00:02:10] Did you always know that you were going [00:02:15] to be a specialist.

Speaker1: So as you learn throughout this podcast, [00:02:20] my decisions early on weren’t always based on the most logical [00:02:25] and calculated reasons. So, um, [00:02:30] I think the initial attraction to Endo was in my third [00:02:35] year of dental school. My first endo case was a upper seven with [00:02:40] uh 90 degree curved palatal room. First one, first one. Yeah. So so obviously [00:02:45] I couldn’t do it myself. So cut a long story short in comes along, um, my [00:02:50] sort of endo tutor at the time, who was this very suave, [00:02:55] good looking Italian man who everyone, all the girls used to fancy. And he comes along, [00:03:00] brings his microscope in, and he sits there, bends the files, and [00:03:05] he looks really, really cool at what he’s doing. And I was just fascinated at this guy. I was like, wow. Like, you know, I was just [00:03:10] impressed by him as a person and then by what he managed to achieve by [00:03:15] treating that tooth and that canal like everything else in dental school at that point seemed mundane [00:03:20] compared to what this guy did. And I was just like, wow, I want to be him.

Speaker3: The [00:03:25] first endo amazing. Yeah. Which way did you study?

Speaker1: Uh, guy’s [00:03:30] King’s College London. Yeah. That’s. Yeah.

Speaker3: And so from that point, did you think I’m [00:03:35] going to focus a little bit on endo? But I’m really the question of specialising where I’m going with it because a [00:03:40] lot of people have that question of should they or shouldn’t they. And some people decide very early [00:03:45] on they are going to specialise. They just don’t know in what. And other people it almost happens by accident. Yeah. [00:03:50]

Speaker1: So that was the initial attraction with Endo. And actually when I left dental school, I still liked [00:03:55] it though I actually did as part of my case press, um, a retreatment, which, you know, most people [00:04:00] don’t get to do. Um, I then left dental school. Um, I will go into [00:04:05] that later if you want, but I did, uh, did my job, went into practice, [00:04:10] uh, put my hand in almost everything. So I’ve done all sorts of courses from implant dentistry, [00:04:15] short terme, ortho, you name it. And actually, I’m sad to say, for a while, [00:04:20] um, NHS system put me off endo and again, we can go into some detail [00:04:25] there as well later as to why that happened. But I thought about all [00:04:30] the different specialities and eventually came back around to Endo. The reason I chose endo was [00:04:35] a few different things. I mean, I always wanted to be very, very good at something. Um, [00:04:40] so specialism was kind of on the cards with Endo. I [00:04:45] love looking at things very closely, even when I was a GP. My head was always in the patient’s [00:04:50] mouth trying to see exactly what’s going on. I bought a three and a half times magnification [00:04:55] loupes, which, um, you know, wasn’t enough. And, you know, once I, [00:05:00] you know, got a peek through a microscope, I was like, wow. It was like a whole different world. The other thing is, obviously [00:05:05] it’s it’s this it’s, uh, it’s probably one of the most, if not the most complex [00:05:10] area of dentistry, and it’s the ability to be doing this thing, which is really [00:05:15] hard that, you know, not everyone can do. And you spend, you know, a lot of [00:05:20] time and effort doing it. And it gives you both the sort of instant gratification of seeing the case [00:05:25] once it’s done, you know, looking at those beautiful white lines that you’ve painted and of course, [00:05:30] the long terme gratification of then reviewing the patients, seeing the lesions healed, seeing the tooth is still there. [00:05:35] So those are generally the things that attracted to me to the speciality itself. Really. [00:05:40]

Speaker3: Tell me about when. When was it that you decided to be a dentist in the first place?

Speaker1: So, [00:05:45] um, as someone with an Iranian heritage, I was brainwashed [00:05:50] as a child to become a doctor, so you [00:05:55] know how it goes. So I remember when I was about five years old, I was blowing my, uh, birthday cake candles. [00:06:00] And my wish was, I want to be a doctor when I grow up. I didn’t even know what a doctor was, but I knew I wanted to be one. So, [00:06:05] um. So that was sort of upbringing.

Speaker3: Were you born here?

Speaker1: I [00:06:10] was born in London. Yeah, I was born in London. Mhm. And um. Yeah. So [00:06:15] I had that in my mind. Then I went to school. Um, I was, I was always pretty [00:06:20] good at school and pretty good at sciences, but my passion was actually music. [00:06:25] Mhm. I picked up a guitar when I was 12 years old, became obsessed with that, started, you [00:06:30] know, playing in bands. And I remember we had an aptitude test in school where, you [00:06:35] know, they did a bunch of tests and then they asked you what you want to be. And as my career choice, I [00:06:40] must have put a rock musician or something like that. So the school wrote a letter to my parents [00:06:45] saying, we’re very concerned about our future aspirations because we don’t think he has a [00:06:50] realistic, um, outlook. So anyway, cut a long story short. It came to this sort of time where [00:06:55] the Ucas application was due and I was like, okay, I’ve got to get serious about this. So [00:07:00] what I did is, um, I knew I was going to go into the medical field because I was, you know, conditioned [00:07:05] that way. And, um, so I thought, let me actually go and see what this is about. Let me see [00:07:10] what the word doctor means. So I went and did work experience at a GP surgery. [00:07:15] And the GP’s there seem didn’t seem very happy. Uh, and they told [00:07:20] me, please don’t become a doctor unless you really, really love medicine.

Speaker1: I was like, [00:07:25] okay, um, I went to a, uh, hospital pharmacy department and all I was [00:07:30] doing was stacking shelves, and I was like, that’s really not what I want to be doing. I went to Imperial [00:07:35] College, uh, research labs to see what the sort of researchers are doing there. And [00:07:40] again, there was just it just seemed really isolated. And, you know, I’ve always been a people’s person, and [00:07:45] I just didn’t like that sort of isolation. So finally I went to work, shadowed [00:07:50] one of my mum’s friends who was a dentist, and she was sitting there with a radio playing [00:07:55] in the background music, which is obviously, you know, one of my passion. And I just saw, [00:08:00] you know, smiling, talking to patients like, you know, she just seemed very sociable and happy in what she [00:08:05] was doing. And again, like I said, most of my reasons were based on a lot of logic. I just [00:08:10] I just looked at her and I was like, you know what? That’s what I want to be doing. So, um, so that’s that’s what got me into [00:08:15] wanting to choose dentistry. And obviously I was I was good with my hands, you know, I was a musician, [00:08:20] um, the whole sort of artsy, crafty parts of the thing attracted to me as well. So I picked [00:08:25] dentistry.

Speaker3: And did you consider leaving London or. Not at all?

Speaker1: Um, [00:08:30] I’ve always been. Okay, so I actually lived in Iran for six years. So. So [00:08:35] at, uh, the age of nine, me and my mum moved to Iran, and [00:08:40] I studied there for six years. We’d come back in the summers, but I [00:08:45] was there for six years studying, and there were probably some of the best years of my life, to be honest, it [00:08:50] was completely just the schooling system in Iran is so different to here. And, you know, I [00:08:55] made such an amazing group of friends, um, some some of whom I’m still friends with to till today. [00:09:00] And it was a really great experience, um, to experience that culture completely different.

Speaker3: How [00:09:05] did that how did that even come about? Like you were sitting in London. What happened?

Speaker1: So I [00:09:10] was told by my parents that they wanted me to experience the Iranian [00:09:15] schooling system and upbringing, and later discovered that their marriage wasn’t going that well. So, [00:09:20] so so, yeah. So, so they just wanted a break basically. And uh, yeah, that that [00:09:25] was the reason for that. But that’s what I was told at the time and I yeah, my dad still claims his part. [00:09:30] True. So, so so yeah. Um, so [00:09:35] you come.

Speaker3: Back at 16.

Speaker1: So I came back here at 15, 15, 16 for your first year of GCSE. [00:09:40] That was the 1998, I think. And yeah, started uh, [00:09:45] my GCSEs. I was really excited when I was coming back, I was telling all my friends because, you know, in Iran the [00:09:50] schools are all single sex. Um, so I was telling all my friends that I’m going to be going to school girls, this, [00:09:55] that or the other. And my dad comes and puts me straight into all boys Catholic school. So yeah. So [00:10:00] I didn’t get those perks there. But but yeah.

Speaker3: So [00:10:05] I went to Catholic school too. At one point it was. Yeah, the it was [00:10:10] the only school that would let us in mid midterms, you know, like we were running away [00:10:15] from Iran and like the one school that would let us in was just very, very strict Catholic school in um Gloucester [00:10:20] Road just off Gloucester Road. Um, yeah. I learnt a lot about the Bible.

Speaker4: Yeah, [00:10:25] I got an A.

Speaker1: In my religious studies, Catholic.

Speaker4: Catholic.

Speaker1: Christianity. [00:10:30] I went to confession a few times as well.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah. My my memory the first [00:10:35] day of school was Ash Wednesday, first day of school. So I just [00:10:40] got there and they said, right, we’re going to church. And I was like, what the hell? And then you know what [00:10:45] Catholics did? They put a little cross on the on the, on the head. And I just couldn’t believe it was happening. I [00:10:50] was.

Speaker4: Scared. Yeah.

Speaker3: All right. So then university. Yeah. [00:10:55] Did you get in? You got in easily. Were you like a bookworm? You must have been right. [00:11:00]

Speaker1: Oh dear. Oh dear. So that’s that’s that’s one of, that’s the first, uh, sort of [00:11:05] failure of my life. So basically I went to my interviews. I got a. Unheard [00:11:10] of at the time offer from King’s College London, which was my first choice. I got an offer of ABB [00:11:15] back until my ACL, which was the first year of A-levels. [00:11:20] I was usually, as I said, always good grades. I got four A’s for my As. So [00:11:25] you know, I was pretty cocky, confident that I’m going to be fine. And then [00:11:30] I go in my A2 year and meet my first girlfriend and I fall in love. So obviously [00:11:35] being, um, silly 18 year old, I just started bunking school, hanging out with her. [00:11:40] All the rest of it left everything to the last minute, and I very sadly missed my grades to [00:11:45] go into the offer. So at that point, I had to make a decision of either redoing [00:11:50] my A-levels or going and doing another degree, and I couldn’t stand the prospect [00:11:55] of falling behind while my friends are going to uni. So I went and did biomedical science at King’s. Oh, [00:12:00] but then my luck came round because. So I went and did three years of biomedical sciences, [00:12:05] which I would like to say were valuable and equipped me with, [00:12:10] um, certain skills, but apart from the social side, really give me much.

Speaker1: So, [00:12:15] so no, I mean, it was it was good university experience, but I mean, I didn’t take a whole load away from the no [00:12:20] disrespect. I mean, if you want to go into sort of sciences and labs and stuff is good, but other than that didn’t give me [00:12:25] actually, I really enjoyed psychology. I have to say, I did psychology every year, which I found really interesting. But anyway, I was very, [00:12:30] very lucky because in 2005, when I finished my BSc, I got an offer for [00:12:35] to do dentistry at King’s again, and a month before I started my [00:12:40] first year, I got a letter from King’s. We were part of the first group at the time [00:12:45] in UK, which King’s was trialling for their four year dental programme, so I actually got straight [00:12:50] into the second year of dentistry. Now that programme is a graduate entry which a lot of universities are doing, but [00:12:55] I was the first batch that got selected for that. So basically I saved the year. I got a year back from, from, you [00:13:00] know, the years I wasted.

Speaker3: So it’s kind of you skipped the whole biochem physiology [00:13:05] anatomy piece. Yeah.

Speaker1: Basically. Yeah. So I skipped all of that and went straight into second year. Anatomy of the head and neck [00:13:10] scaling, giving each other ID blocks, all that. Yeah.

Speaker3: And so do I take it. In [00:13:15] this period you were still doing the music and you said DJing [00:13:20] and all that.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: So I was still performing. So I had [00:13:25] my first taste of, uh, performance in rock bands at school, which I, which I really, really loved. It [00:13:30] was like one of the best experiences ever, uh, for me at the time. And, um, so and [00:13:35] when I went to uni, I was still doing, I was playing gigs, you know, guitar, like open mic nights. [00:13:40] We had a few band nights where I was performing with the guitar, um, and then in 2004. [00:13:45] So yeah, midway through the biomedical science degree, I got interested in DJing. So I [00:13:50] actually went to Iran one summer. I had a friend there who was a DJ who taught me basic beat matching, and [00:13:55] then I picked that up and came back to London. And I also had a part time job [00:14:00] as a student, as an event organiser. So we used to do sort of, um, parties, parties basically. [00:14:05] So I started DJing at our own parties slowly, slowly, and then yeah, picked [00:14:10] it up from there. And then I became a prolific DJ while I was at university [00:14:15] and then later on as well.

Speaker3: So are you just one of these successful [00:14:20] human beings who works hard, plays hard, like, can you pull it off? Because in my life I [00:14:25] think of like maybe three people who like, good at everything, [00:14:30] you know, or did it distract you and you failed? And what happened?

Speaker1: No, [00:14:35] actually, for some reason, I’ve always been very good at pulling [00:14:40] off, uh, exams last minute. So I remember when I was in dental school, I was literally promoting [00:14:45] like few parties a week, and I used to invite people that were studying dentistry and they were like, how do you get time? How do you [00:14:50] get time? But for some reason, I’m more of a practical learner. I used to pick up a lot in clinics. [00:14:55] I used to fall asleep in lectures, but then, you know, three, four weeks before [00:15:00] the exam, I’d lock myself in my room, I’d grow a beard and and just literally, like, suffer [00:15:05] and cram everything. And I used to do quite well in the exams, so, um. So. [00:15:10] Yeah.

Speaker3: So, so then you’re saying dental school? You found it. Okay. You didn’t find it [00:15:15] too difficult. You enjoyed yourself. You had a wonderful time.

Speaker1: Yeah. Dental school was good. I mean, I didn’t. [00:15:20] My socialising in dental school mainly was on the outside because I had this whole [00:15:25] other life as this, uh, sort of event organiser, DJ but, um, I did socialise with some [00:15:30] people from dental school and I had a great time there. Yeah. I mean it was, it was fun. I used to enjoy [00:15:35] clinics. I really like the practical side of dentistry and yeah, it went [00:15:40] it all went well. Really?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: I’m thinking about it, dude. Yeah. Like this sort of. I know what Tehran’s [00:15:45] like. Yeah. And and the combination of the street smart [00:15:50] that Tehran gives you. Yeah. And dental school and [00:15:55] DJing and all that. So do you recognise that period in your life that five, six years [00:16:00] in your life in, in Iran as a period where you really learned about people?

Speaker1: I would [00:16:05] say 100% like the just exactly as you say, the street smarts that you pick up. And Iran [00:16:10] is just something else compared to like when I came back to London, I was just, yeah, you’re on Toytown. [00:16:15]

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean, I remember.

Speaker1: And and even the education [00:16:20] system, like when I came back, my sciences were at such a high level in Iran that I didn’t I [00:16:25] literally didn’t study at all in my GCSEs, like, and I aced everything. Just just from what I [00:16:30] got from Iran, the.

Speaker3: Standard was higher.

Speaker4: There. Yeah.

Speaker1: Much higher sciences standards, much, much higher physics, [00:16:35] chemistry, biology, like this stuff are just literally maths. I just aced it without even opening [00:16:40] a barely opening a book. So. So yeah.

Speaker3: So. Okay, you did your [00:16:45] degree.

Speaker4: And then.

Speaker3: What did you.

Speaker4: Do?

Speaker1: So yeah, I [00:16:50] finished dental school. At the time I wanted to do it in London. But, [00:16:55] um, again, the year that I went for my interviews was the first [00:17:00] year that they introduced this sort of ranking system and national interviews, and [00:17:05] I got advice from a guy in the year above me. I was like, so what do I do when I go for these interviews? They’re [00:17:10] like, oh, just be yourself, you know, get on with the trainer. If they like you, they’ll they’ll let you in. So I [00:17:15] go sit in the interview, just, you know, completely unprepared. And they’re asking me, so what do you know about the [00:17:20] 7 or 8 pillars of clinical governance or whatever it was? And I was like, uh, what’s clinical [00:17:25] governance? So, so basically, I didn’t rank very well in my interviews. And I ended up [00:17:30] in the West Midlands in, uh, in a sleepy town called Stourport on Severn, uh, [00:17:35] for my, uh, which was actually a great experience, uh, because it [00:17:40] got me out of London, which I think is good. Uh, yeah. It’s good to go and see somewhere else. And, [00:17:45] um, it was a it was a really, really nice practice. Lovely trainer, [00:17:50] you know, completely. I had people in London, you know, they’d get pressurised to do certain things, hit certain [00:17:55] targets. This was like complete clinical freedom. No pressure. Really, really nice training environment. I used [00:18:00] to come back to London every weekend though, but so cool. Yeah, but [00:18:05] but but no, it was a great year and um, I so I did that year and uh, for my [00:18:10] second year, I did a Showmax job in Northwick Park Hospital in [00:18:15] London.

Speaker4: Yeah. Wow.

Speaker1: And back then they used to call that place the jungle, because [00:18:20] he’s used to be very, very disorganised and messy and [00:18:25] busy.

Speaker3: Busy hospital, isn’t it? Yeah.

Speaker1: Like full on, full on district general. [00:18:30]

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: I have to go there. I have to go there sometimes. Um, and, um, [00:18:35] I always, every time I go there, I just think, man, everyone’s working so hard here [00:18:40] down to the Costa, you know, like everyone’s working their butts off and [00:18:45] the building, just like they. There isn’t even any way of maintaining that thing, right? It’s like it’s [00:18:50] so huge. It’s kind of I don’t know what’s gonna like. They’re gonna have to just, like, start all over again. [00:18:55]

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: It’s crazy. I mean, I’ve heard from the more recent, um, [00:19:00] sort of df2 shows that that it’s a lot better organised now, but, but, [00:19:05] but when, when I started, it was, you know, my first rotation was in A&E and [00:19:10] I remember for the, for the first probably 3 or 4 months every [00:19:15] day, I used to come back and go on the BJ jobs looking for associate jobs. I was like, I’m gonna quit, I’m gonna quit. It [00:19:20] was. But I have to say.

Speaker4: Um, it made a.

Speaker3: Man of you, right?

Speaker1: 100%. [00:19:25] It’s literally like going to the Army. It’s like, you know, like when they send the boys to army, it’s it’s [00:19:30] it’s it was hands down the hardest year of my professional life and probably the most valuable year [00:19:35] of my professional life.

Speaker3: So you were you were stitching faces up in A&E and then [00:19:40] assisting in big operations.

Speaker4: Trauma, cancer. So all of that.

Speaker1: So yeah. So I’ll [00:19:45] tell you a quick story about my first. It was my third day on my A&E rotation. I get a Bleep from [00:19:50] A&E and um, they’re like there’s a girl that was giving blood who fainted and [00:19:55] cut herself. So I walk into the room and she’s sitting there, a pretty 19 year old Iraqi girl [00:20:00] with a gauze on her forehead. And I’m like, okay, so what happened? She was, yeah, I was giving [00:20:05] blood. Blood. And then she takes the gauze off and I’m literally staring at her frontal bone. Like I can literally [00:20:10] see the front like a big laceration all the way down to her eyebrow. Wow. So I look at that [00:20:15] swallow and I’m like, just give me a minute. I’ll be back, run outside, call my SPR. I’m like [00:20:20] literally shaking. Like, oh my God, there’s a girl here. She’s got a laceration. I can see her frontal bone. And [00:20:25] he’s like, okay, stitch it up. Boom. Puts the phone down. So so [00:20:30] I’m like, okay. So I go back in there again, I’m like, let me see that [00:20:35] again. I look at it and I was about to stitch it. But then in my head I’m thinking, I’ve just come [00:20:40] out of dental school. This is a 19 year old girl. She’s got a whole life ahead of her. She needs to get married. I’m [00:20:45] going to literally make her look like Frankenstein.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: So so I basically [00:20:50] went like, went to the department and I was like, I refuse. I’m like, I’m not going to do this. Which is a good decision. Svr [00:20:55] came did it cut? A long story short, fast forward to the end of the year. I was stitching up lacerations [00:21:00] like that, you know, like it was nothing. You know, open, open jaws, like, [00:21:05] you name it. And just just once you go back to practice after doing that, [00:21:10] teeth just seem like a doddle. Like, you know, it’s like, oh, it’s just a tooth, you know?

Speaker4: Nothing.

Speaker3: Nothing fazes you. [00:21:15]

Speaker1: Yeah. Like the cancer surgeries, raising flaps off, you know, various parts of the body, like [00:21:20] just. Yeah, it’s. I would strongly recommend it, even if you don’t want to specialise to anyone who [00:21:25] just wants to be a very confident dentist with. Excuse my language balls.

Speaker4: Exactly. [00:21:30]

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah, I did a job in Cardiff Royal Infirmary [00:21:35] and, um, if there was a rugby game on. Yeah. And there was [00:21:40] many rugby games on if it was Wales. England. Yeah. There would be just massive [00:21:45] number of like, you know, pint glasses smashed in people’s faces, like, [00:21:50] you know, bouncers. Bouncers have a lot to answer for here because the number of people at 3 a.m. [00:21:55] that would come in and say, bouncer, beat me up and say why? And they would go, no.

Speaker4: Exactly. [00:22:00] That’s why.

Speaker3: But if it was the [00:22:05] game, if it was a Wales Scotland game, there wouldn’t be anything like that. Really friendly, [00:22:10] you know. Yeah, but I know what you mean about making Man of You because I hated that job. [00:22:15] But it did make a man of me. Did you do it on purpose because you knew you [00:22:20] had to specialise?

Speaker4: Yeah, basically.

Speaker1: Yeah, I wanted to. I wanted to leave at that [00:22:25] point again, I was I hadn’t made my mind up 100% that I’m going to specialise, but [00:22:30] I wanted to leave the doors open. And at that time they were like, you know, you have to do a sort of show job. [00:22:35] So. So I went for that.

Speaker3: So. So what was your next move?

Speaker1: So next move was [00:22:40] I came to practice in London. I started working at three practices actually [00:22:45] as a GDP, and one of them was a sedation referral centre. So I picked up IV sedation pretty [00:22:50] quickly. I was using my max FAC skills, so I became quite good and interested at [00:22:55] oral surgery. I still would consider myself as having a special interest in oral surgery. I still do quite, you know, bits [00:23:00] of it here and there. And so I was doing sort of referral work for IV [00:23:05] sedation, oral surgery and then just mainly it was mixed, but [00:23:10] mainly NHS at the time. And then I did various courses. [00:23:15] I got interested a bit in short terme also like aligners and also [00:23:20] implants. I became quite interested in. I did a couple of courses in implants and that’s the direction [00:23:25] I wanted to go in. Initially. The reason I didn’t go down that direction was [00:23:30] I, after doing the courses, the practices that I worked in, they the principles [00:23:35] were implant dentists. So I found that I wasn’t getting the volume of work. [00:23:40] And you know, if you want to get good at something, you have to do a lot of it. And, um, [00:23:45] you know, it just wasn’t getting the volume of work that I needed. So, um, I was like, okay, [00:23:50] I need to, I need to go and specialise in something. So I [00:23:55] thought I was at one point going to go specialise in oral surgery. I did actually apply. I didn’t get in. [00:24:00] And then eventually I went back to Endo and [00:24:05] um, I decided to go for Endo and that was four years into being [00:24:10] in practice. So I practised for four years as a as a general dentist. And [00:24:15] then I got into my, uh, four year part time specialist training back at Guy’s [00:24:20] in wait.

Speaker4: Wait wait wait wait.

Speaker3: Before you go any further, though, in that four years is still you knew [00:24:25] you were going to specialise. Dope or not or not? I guess you were starting to [00:24:30] make some money now.

Speaker1: Yeah, exactly. So? So I wanted to. So that’s the thing. So yeah, my next [00:24:35] goal was to buy a property. So like, all my friends, you know, my friends have done three year degrees. They’re already miles ahead [00:24:40] of me. And they were they already had their properties. And I was like, I need to save and buy a property. So, you know, I lived [00:24:45] with my mum for a few few years, saved some money, bought a flat and um, [00:24:50] and then, yeah, I, I really hated the fact the prospect [00:24:55] of going to study again. Like, I’m not someone who typically enjoys studying and exams. I hate [00:25:00] exams, so. So, you know, just actually deciding to go back and put myself [00:25:05] through that was a big decision. And, um, and I was reluctant to [00:25:10] do it. But I suppose another reason why I ended up doing it as well was I really [00:25:15] wanted to get out of the NHS system, because I really didn’t like the NHS system. Um. [00:25:20] Yeah.

Speaker3: So then when you were looking at post-grad, the [00:25:25] calculations that you’re making are, you know, money calculations, [00:25:30] time calculations, is this whole thing going to be worth it in the end? And [00:25:35] you never really know whether you’re going to be, like, happy as an endodontist until you become an endodontist. [00:25:40] I mean, there’s that sort of four years of is it four year course?

Speaker4: It’s either [00:25:45] part.

Speaker3: Time.

Speaker1: It’s four year part time or three year full time.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: You did four years part time. [00:25:50]

Speaker1: I did four years part time.

Speaker3: So you continuing as an associate in in these practices while [00:25:55] you did. So tell me about that life man. Is is that do you recommend that or. Now if someone came [00:26:00] to you would you say, listen, just drop everything. Do three years full on.

Speaker1: I would 100% [00:26:05] recommend four year part time.

Speaker4: And pay for your.

Speaker3: Life and stuff.

Speaker1: No, that [00:26:10] is part of it. But even if you have the money, you learn certain skills in hospital. [00:26:15] But hospitals are protected. Environment, right? So you try something, you know, you create a [00:26:20] ledge perforation, whatever you try and fix it, try 1 or 2 times. You can’t do it. You call [00:26:25] over the supervisor, he does it for you, right? You watch what he does, you pick it up, practices you where you [00:26:30] really you know, you’re in the deep end like some whatever happens, you have to deal with it, [00:26:35] right? So that’s when you really, really, in my opinion, hone the tips and tricks [00:26:40] that you pick up in hospital. And also in terms of getting jobs, like I started [00:26:45] off as an NHS GDP, I got my first endo referral job [00:26:50] midway through my first year. By the end of my second year, I had fully [00:26:55] given up general practice and I was working only sort of in endo referral practice. So I, [00:27:00] you know, so, so, so, so you so you hit the ground running massively like, you know, you’re already there’s [00:27:05] no transition. Like, you know, when you finish your specialist training, you’re already a specialist. You’ve been working as that. And [00:27:10] you know there’s no jump to make. It’s you’re there basically like.

Speaker3: In a way you’re like dentists [00:27:15] with special interests kind of thing while you’re studying. It’s interesting. Yeah, it’s a very good point, actually. [00:27:20] It’s a very good point. Um, so, so, so then the course itself, what [00:27:25] was the commitment to the course like? How much work was it? How many times do you have to turn up? What was what was the story. [00:27:30]

Speaker1: So in the first, uh, year, it’s three days a week because [00:27:35] you have up until sort of the middle of the second year. So the first one and a half years is about three days [00:27:40] a week. You’ve got seminars got to go to and then clinics. Clinics are two [00:27:45] days a week. Then from about midway through the second year, for the last two and a half years, it’s just two days a [00:27:50] week of mainly clinics. Sometimes you have seminars on a Friday as well. So it’s like you have to [00:27:55] go in on the odd seminar here and there. This is, by the way, the program at guy’s, the people who did it at the [00:28:00] Eastman, The Commitments a lot more because they’re a lot more academic there. So, you know, they have to [00:28:05] go in a lot more journal clubs at guy’s. The system is you sort of put [00:28:10] in what you want to take out, and a lot of it’s down to you, you know, they tell you what you have to read and you read [00:28:15] it in your own time. Um, so, so for me, again, being the last minute [00:28:20] person I am, I generally left things all to the last minute, which I wouldn’t recommend. Um, [00:28:25] now a clinical teacher. So I’ve got, you know, I’ve been teaching on the department for just over, oh, just over four [00:28:30] years. And I don’t recommend any of my students to do it that way, but it’s incredibly stressful. But that’s the way [00:28:35] I did it.

Speaker3: And at what point in that in that time? I mean, it [00:28:40] seems like a long, long time to teach Endo. And by the way, I know there’s [00:28:45] more to endo than Endo, right? That you’ve got all the apes ectomy piece and all that. Right? [00:28:50] Um, but at what point in that time does something click in your head? Is it early? Something [00:28:55] like clicks in your head, like endo clicks for you. Like you [00:29:00] feel like I know what’s going on. Is it early or is it late?

Speaker1: I think it’s [00:29:05] early. Like as soon as you pick up that microscope and you realise, you know, it’s like a [00:29:10] whole, it’s like, you know, picking up a telescope and looking into space, like, until you’ve worked with [00:29:15] a microscope, you don’t know what you don’t see. Like, you think, you know, even even something as basic as caries [00:29:20] removal. You think you remove the caries, but then you get under the microscope and you see what you really, [00:29:25] you know, leave behind. And it’s just it just elevates your practice to such [00:29:30] a different level. I literally I work exclusively with a microscope. I can’t even look into [00:29:35] a patient’s mouth without a microscope now. Like, even if it’s a check-up, I use a microscope. I don’t feel [00:29:40] confident looking in a patient’s mouth without a microscope. That’s because of the level of detail [00:29:45] I’m used to looking at. Um, and so.

Speaker3: If I want you to work with my practice, I absolutely [00:29:50] have to have a microscope. There’s no there’s no getting away from that.

Speaker4: No chance.

Speaker1: No chance. [00:29:55]

Speaker4: I.

Speaker1: Don’t yeah. No chance. Yeah. And I get and I get that offer as well. You know people who want to set up you know they [00:30:00] want to set up a low cost sort of level. They say, you know, can you start off until we build up the list. But [00:30:05] on my I, in my humble opinion, high level specialist endodontic [00:30:10] treatment is not possible without a microscope. And that is. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t. [00:30:15] You know, a lot of people work with loops and you can do, you know, many cases with loops, [00:30:20] but, you know, if you really want to provide a specialist service, when it comes down to it, that [00:30:25] tiny MM2 we split off, you know, a few millimetres down the hm1 or, you know, that instrument [00:30:30] which is broken and down in the root, you know, the real high level, that little crack that might [00:30:35] be on the root when you’re doing this, these things, you know, you really need a microscope. It’s not possible to do the service without a microscope. [00:30:40] And there’s so much more to endo than what people think. I mean, you can go into that if you want.

Speaker4: But. [00:30:45]

Speaker1: Yeah. So I mean, the first thing I would say that, [00:30:50] uh, you know, the first let’s say super power of endodontist is diagnosis, [00:30:55] okay. Amongst the specialists when it comes to dental pain, the [00:31:00] expert is an endodontist. So anyone who’s got any sort of pain in the head and [00:31:05] neck region that might be, you know, related to the mouth, should initially always see an endodontist to either [00:31:10] confirm or exclude dental pain. And when you get confident at diagnosis, it [00:31:15] just again, it just elevates you to this level and of of of I don’t know of [00:31:20] of confidence. Um, because you know, you can’t how can you treat something if you can’t diagnose [00:31:25] it. Right. And I have to say again, unfortunately, the majority of dentists [00:31:30] and doctors are actually not good at diagnosis. So again, if we just go [00:31:35] to sort of GP’s, you know, you go to the GP, I’ve got a sore throat, I’ve got this or [00:31:40] that. Here you go. There’s some antibiotics okay. And there’s nothing. And by the way there’s no there’s [00:31:45] no sort of mystery about diagnosis or anything that needs special skill that I have that someone else doesn’t. It’s [00:31:50] all the basic stuff. Everyone knows this. The skills that I use for diagnosis, apart [00:31:55] from possibly the microscope and cbct everyone learns as an undergraduate, [00:32:00] it’s just no one actually takes the time to meticulously go through all of those investigations [00:32:05] and special tests to come to that diagnosis.

Speaker1: And as an endodontist, you know, I book, [00:32:10] if someone comes to me for a pain diagnosis, the appointment might take one hour. You know, I will spend. [00:32:15] Depending on how complex it is, I’ll spend all the time, you know, to check every tooth to come to that diagnosis. So the first thing [00:32:20] is that, you know, accurate diagnosis and there’s so many complaints. So, so many, [00:32:25] um, issues regarding poor diagnosis and which, you know, people have gone they’ve ended up having [00:32:30] treatment which hasn’t worked because the diagnosis wasn’t correct. So the first part is diagnosis. And, [00:32:35] you know, by by exclusion, we’re also good at diagnosing non-dental issues. So [00:32:40] it’s things like atypical facial pain. You know I diagnosed some of them obviously, if I suspect that I refer [00:32:45] to an oral medicine consultant or a for formal diagnosis, but that’s the first, [00:32:50] um, sort of super skill that I would say an Endodontist possesses. Then, um, [00:32:55] moving on, obviously there’s there’s the root canal treatment itself, which is treating the canals. [00:33:00] Um, again, as I said, magnification is one thing. Um, the tactile sensation is [00:33:05] the other thing. Feel comes a lot into it, which we know about. And of course, sorry, [00:33:10] just my, um.

Speaker4: My cough already. And, [00:33:15] and, um, and.

Speaker1: Yeah, I mean, then then there’s a whole surgical side of it, [00:33:20] which I’m very interested in, given my background in, uh, oral and maxillofacial [00:33:25] surgery. There’s a surgical side of it. And the restorative side. Don’t forget most of the teeth. That or many [00:33:30] of the teeth that I get referred are broken down teeth, broken down teeth, which dentists [00:33:35] themselves can’t restore because the margin might be at the crestal level. I always, [00:33:40] before I attempted endo, completely build up the tooth first, so the tooth has to have a sound [00:33:45] four walled area for me to work in before I even consider it, you know, treatable [00:33:50] or restorable.

Speaker3: And that has to be your build up. You don’t you can’t trust someone else’s build up. [00:33:55]

Speaker4: Is going to be euro is.

Speaker1: Is unless I’m working with, um, you know, a dentist, [00:34:00] which I know is very skilled. And there are a lot of dentists now. Dentists. So, you know, they’re both, you [00:34:05] know, Prosthodontist and GP’s. I work with some very, very talented GP’s, some of them who are working with microscopes [00:34:10] now as well, I have to say, and you know, they do fantastic work and um, unless I know the GP’s, [00:34:15] um, you know, fantastic at doing that. Um, all, all I need though, I need [00:34:20] obviously that we need to have enough of the sort of two structure to, uh, get adequate isolation [00:34:25] because you don’t want the tooth to be reinfected. There are some dentists who have like, a deep margin and they’re [00:34:30] doing a root canal. You can’t have that because it’s getting it contaminated by saliva. But yeah, but but [00:34:35] generally, yes, I will take charge and I will do the full core build up which, which the GDP [00:34:40] is majority love as well. I send the tooth back always with a composite core, ready [00:34:45] for them to just cut the margin and put a crown on it.

Speaker3: And so look, it’s quite interesting [00:34:50] isn’t it? Because you must the general dentist who does Endo [00:34:55] must be getting better at it because of rotary instruments. And all of [00:35:00] that is I mean, endo has done it to much higher standard by general dentists than it ever used to be in my day, when it was hand [00:35:05] instruments. Right at the same time, there’s loads of dentists who just choose not [00:35:10] to do endo at all. Um, and I guess that number’s increasing too, right? So [00:35:15] you must the referrals must be like two types, like one very difficult [00:35:20] type because, you know, the general dentist didn’t manage it because and then you’ve got the basic ones. Right. [00:35:25] So, so when it comes to your week. How often [00:35:30] do you end up in a situation where, like, you know, you’re not sure which way [00:35:35] to go or.

Speaker1: Yeah. I mean, you know what? You hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly it. You know, you’ve [00:35:40] got the mixture of cases. You’ve got dentists who don’t do root canals at all, who send you these lovely [00:35:45] primary endos which are then. Yeah, that’s that’s an easy, smooth day. [00:35:50] And then I’ve only got the ones who attempt an end render, cause a couple of perforations. [00:35:55]

Speaker4: And then send you the case.

Speaker1: And think you’re gonna the magician’s gonna fix it. [00:36:00] So. So, yeah, I mean, I get a mixed bag of those and, you know, it’s just it’s just the whole swings [00:36:05] and roundabouts things, right? So you get you get the easy ones, which you just breeze through and then you get the more difficult [00:36:10] ones which you. Yeah.

Speaker4: But what is the what.

Speaker3: Is a very difficult case to you. Is that, is that really [00:36:15] it. Perforations you have to repair.

Speaker1: No I would say probably the most [00:36:20] difficult error. So one difficult case that I would get is um, uh, [00:36:25] maybe like a very curved root, which has been very badly ledged. [00:36:30] Um, yeah. So, so if, if a tooth, if a, if a root is very curved [00:36:35] sometimes even for, you know, the endodontist, we have to be very, very careful not to ledge it. [00:36:40] And then you got the GDP. Who goes in with like a something big, like a size 25 K file basically [00:36:45] completely ledges that canal. And then we have to go around and fix it. In those cases, you know, sometimes it’s [00:36:50] near near impossible to fix. Again, as endodontists, um, we’ve got different skill sets. It depends [00:36:55] where that root is. If it’s a typically it’s a root of a upper molar, in which case [00:37:00] if you really can’t fix it, you just do an episiotomy and just cut that curved part off and that’s it. You can still we’ve got, [00:37:05] you know, we’ve got all sorts of ways of retaining teeth these days.

Speaker4: So and then.

Speaker3: How, [00:37:10] how, how can you like add value as an endodontist. I mean what’s, what’s what’s a [00:37:15] great endodontist and what’s a not great end if I, if I’m referring to three different endodontist [00:37:20] versus where’s your value add. Is it in the soft skills as well?

Speaker4: Absolutely. [00:37:25]

Speaker1: I think the I think a big part of being uh, well, both [00:37:30] a good dentist, but especially an endodontist comes down to psychology. That’s actually probably [00:37:35] one of the parts of the job that I enjoy the most. So, you know, [00:37:40] as a, as a general dentist or other specialists, you know, you get to meet the patient a number of times, [00:37:45] build the rapport with them. Um, I always joke and those like a one night stand, you [00:37:50] a patient comes in and, you know, often they’ve met you, you know, [00:37:55] either met you once or not met you at all. Most, most times. And, you know, they all come in with [00:38:00] this terrible, um, you know, uh, terrible idea or preconception of [00:38:05] of of, uh, of. Yeah. Then they come in nervous because or they’ve all heard, [00:38:10] you know, horror stories about endo and, you know, root canal is really painful and, you know, so so they come [00:38:15] in scared and you’ve got to, in a very short space of time, build that rapport with them [00:38:20] to calm them down, to, number one, accept the treatment. And it is, I think, the greatest [00:38:25] compliment when you know, if you finish the treatment, you take the rubber dam off. Either [00:38:30] the patient was snoring when the rubber dam was on. That’s that’s, that’s that’s that’s one of the compliments. Um, and [00:38:35] number two, which I hear very often is, oh my God, that really wasn’t as [00:38:40] bad as I thought it would be. Thank you very much.

Speaker4: But but is.

Speaker3: That is that because you are so kind [00:38:45] or is it because you’re doing something differently?

Speaker1: So let me let me in my opinion, [00:38:50] the reason why Endo is, has got this stigma around it, right is because [00:38:55] we know and it’s difficult, right? It’s it’s even me without a microscope, [00:39:00] looking into that dark hole and trying to find canals is difficult. Right. So patients [00:39:05] so dentists, most endo in the world is done by general dentists and they don’t have microscopes and [00:39:10] barely some of them don’t have magnification. So when the dentist sees the patient the dentist [00:39:15] is already, you know, a bit nervous and you know, the struggling a little bit. And I think the [00:39:20] patients, you know, our patients perceive are or they sense our, um, our, [00:39:25] our psychological state and how anxious we are a lot more than what we think. So, [00:39:30] um, you know, if a dentist is struggling and quite often, you know, they want numb the patient [00:39:35] very well or won’t take the time to numb the patient very well. So the treatment will be painful for the dentist, but [00:39:40] for the patient, sorry. And the dentist will be, you know, anxious and struggling while they’re doing the treatment. And the patient senses [00:39:45] that. And then afterwards, if something’s not done right, um, a patient will be in pain. [00:39:50] So there’s all sorts of this sort of perfect storm of things which add, add to [00:39:55] this bad experience. And that’s why Endo’s got this bad reputation, and then it goes wrong and the tooth [00:40:00] has to get extracted after all of that.

Speaker1: Right? So when you when you come to a specialist, you’re coming to someone who does this every [00:40:05] single day. So first of all, I’m very, very calm. And I have to say endo is [00:40:10] also a very it’s it’s connected to the psyche of the, the endodontist as [00:40:15] well. If one day, for whatever reason, I’m not calm, my treatment will not go [00:40:20] as smoothly as the days that I am calm. So I work a lot on myself to be very, very relaxed. When I’m seeing my patients, [00:40:25] you know, I’ll, I’ll go to the gym in the morning. I’ll do breathing. Sizes, you know, [00:40:30] even while I’m treating, you know, deep breaths. Very, very important. Like, if anything’s, you know, you have [00:40:35] to you have to master the art of patience, uh, as an endodontist and and just [00:40:40] giving that, uh, you know, giving that smooth experience to the patient, um, is, and, you know, [00:40:45] they can sense it. They can sense your calm. You’ve got the rubber dam there, you know, they’re relaxed. Are [00:40:50] you numbing up? Well, good anaesthesia is the other thing which is very, very important. So, you know, I take my time, [00:40:55] um, to numb patients up. I’ve got various techniques that I go through to.

Speaker4: Make sure I’ve been.

Speaker3: I’ve [00:41:00] been out of it for a while. Um, but in my day, you know, if if your le didn’t work [00:41:05] for a hot pulp, I guess you’d give another one first. The first thing [00:41:10] you do. And then there was the inter ligamental intraosseous as something changed.

Speaker4: No, [00:41:15] that’s more or less it.

Speaker1: Really. You want to give obviously an effective ID block, which we all know how that works. [00:41:20] Um, you give your um, depending on where the tooth is. Obviously we’re talking about lower tooth here. You know, your long buccal lingual [00:41:25] infiltration, intra ligamentous work really well. Um, intraosseous. But if it’s a [00:41:30] very, very, very hot pulp in some cases, whereas, you know, lots of inflammation or whatever you do that [00:41:35] LA is not getting there. What you do is you basically have to you have to again, it’s all about communication. [00:41:40] You tell the patient, look, you’re going to feel a little sharp, a pinch here. You basically enter the pulp. [00:41:45] They go out. And then as soon as as soon as you see that drop of blood, say, okay, I’m going [00:41:50] to numb you up now directly through the nerve, you’re going to feel one more pinch. And after that, you’re not going to feel anything. Put [00:41:55] the needle in with a lot of pressure. Give that anaesthetic directly into the pub. They’ll just feel [00:42:00] one pinch. And after that, intra pulp will works very, very effective for pulps. So [00:42:05] that’s that’s the, that’s the that’s the final straw. The intra pulpal.

Speaker3: With a lot of pressure. You [00:42:10] wouldn’t think a lot of pressure.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah yeah. Because because there’s a lot of information there. And and and [00:42:15] you want to give that with quite a bit of pressure in the pulp.

Speaker3: Is there, is there ever like [00:42:20] ever a time where you put something on it to settle it down or is that not a thing anymore. Let [00:42:25] it mix whatever it was.

Speaker4: Oh yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. So so now we’re talking. Yeah. If it’s like just emergency management then yeah. [00:42:30] Once you’ve exposed the pulp, for example, you can put something like leather mix or add onto paste. These have both [00:42:35] got uh um steroid and anti antibiotic component to them. And then yeah you can go back and go [00:42:40] go back in again. But as an endodontist most often you know we’re doing all of this in sort of one session. [00:42:45] We do the pulp, we open up the pulp, we go and we do the end of most 90% of my endos are [00:42:50] single visit. So.

Speaker3: And why? Because that for because of contamination. [00:42:55]

Speaker1: I mean it’s it’s so.

Speaker3: It’s more efficient I guess. Yeah.

Speaker4: I mean it’s. [00:43:00]

Speaker1: I mean who wants to have a root canal twice. It’s more it’s and it’s, it’s more efficient. And there’s been [00:43:05] countless studies including cup 2 or 3 I think Cochrane reviews, which are [00:43:10] like the highest level of evidence on the outcome of single versus multiple visit endo. And there’s [00:43:15] basically no difference. So if you can do it in one visit, why don’t you do it in one visit? Just do it. Yeah. So so [00:43:20] if I can do it in one, unless there’s a big reason why I can’t do it in one visit, I’ll do it in one visit. [00:43:25]

Speaker3: And I’ve noticed for my sins I follow some endodontists. Yeah, I’ve noticed that the access [00:43:30] cavities are just getting smaller and smaller and smaller. Is that is that like an endodontist like thing like that? [00:43:35] How small can you make your access?

Speaker1: Yeah, the the ninja.

Speaker4: Access is always cool. [00:43:40] Yeah.

Speaker1: So I mean, yeah, um, it’s, it has become a little bit [00:43:45] of a trend and of course, look, conserving dentine is important, but the thing I [00:43:50] don’t like is when my postgrads come, you know, their first year postgraduate specialist training [00:43:55] and they’re doing a tiny access because they saw, you know, the endodontists do that on Instagram and I’m like, [00:44:00] look.

Speaker4: Learn, learn to walk before you fly.

Speaker1: Run like, you know. And it’s [00:44:05] actually it can actually work against you, especially when you’re starting out because you know, [00:44:10] it can all sorts of procedural errors. It increases the risk of file fracture it. You [00:44:15] can leave, you know, bits of necrotic pulp in. So it’s definitely not something I would recommend or [00:44:20] do. I mean I if I can make a conservative access and I can do it without any compromise, [00:44:25] I will do it. But you know, the difference between the, those sort of ultra conservative access [00:44:30] is the difference between a conservative and an ultra conservative. Access in terms of long tum outcome [00:44:35] has not been proven to be to be, you know, significantly different. So a lot of that sort [00:44:40] of ultra conservative work is for, I don’t know, Instagram dentistry in my opinion. [00:44:45]

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: And we have it in every field. Yeah.

Speaker4: But but but look.

Speaker1: I think, I think I think social [00:44:50] media is great for again I always joke with my students, um, on the clinic I [00:44:55] say before an endo, we used to have success and failure and now we’ve got success, failure and Instagram [00:45:00] Insta.

Speaker4: Instagrams like them.

Speaker1: At the highest level. When when the case is Instagrammable, [00:45:05] it means, you know, it’s it’s it’s perfect. So it’s the category above success. [00:45:10]

Speaker4: It’s funny man.

Speaker3: Yeah. But and you know getting on to that most [00:45:15] dentists who post on Instagram are posting for patients. But you [00:45:20] guys are posting for dentists.

Speaker1: Yeah, that’s absolutely right.

Speaker4: Um, you know, it’s a.

Speaker3: Different it’s [00:45:25] a totally different way of doing it. Right. Because when you’re posting for patients. The, you know, people, [00:45:30] people, people often confuse this. They say, oh, I’ve seen it before and after, but I don’t see the bit [00:45:35] in the middle. Well, the patient doesn’t want to see the bit in the middle, right. Yeah, yeah. Um, but on your side, if [00:45:40] you suffer with sort of that perfection and that paralysis like you [00:45:45] have to worry about, I don’t want to put this out because my endodontic buddy might see something.

Speaker1: And [00:45:50] yeah, I think everyone who posts on Instagram has, has, has that. I mean, as [00:45:55] an as an endodontist you have that anyway you get you develop um, OCD, you know, I’ll [00:46:00] look at I’ll look at my cases and they’ll be like a little void somewhere. And, you know, I’ll be pissed off for [00:46:05] the.

Speaker4: Rest of the day, you know.

Speaker1: So, so which is not good.

Speaker4: I mean, it’s not.

Speaker1: And [00:46:10] again, we always teach it’s not about the why. And, you know, you have an ender which looks horrible and it’s [00:46:15] been there for 30 years with no lesion. And then you have an ender which looks perfect and it fails. So [00:46:20] it’s not really the white lines aren’t everything. You know, we’re dealing with bacteria and we have to prioritise the biology [00:46:25] over the, you know, our own sort of perfectionist, uh, aspirations. But yeah, absolutely. [00:46:30] You know, especially when it comes to posting, you know, you always want to post that case. I mean with me, I’ve, I’ve, [00:46:35] I was never a social media person. Um, I got sort of my arm got twisted [00:46:40] into it by, by Rona and uh, and.

Speaker4: And.

Speaker1: And and and another one of my colleagues, [00:46:45] Karina, who’s, uh, in, you know, big on Instagram and she’s a dentist. And, you know, they were [00:46:50] like, look, you know, you need to do this. So I only started my account about, I think, three years ago. And [00:46:55] I need to I know I’m always saving cases to post, but I don’t I don’t post anywhere near as much [00:47:00] as I should. Um, yeah. So yeah.

Speaker3: When, you know, [00:47:05] um, when you work in eight different practices. You [00:47:10] see a lot of different ways of running a practice.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: And, [00:47:15] you know, good and bad, right?

Speaker4: Absolutely.

Speaker3: And I’m sure you love [00:47:20] all your referrers. But. But tell me. Just give me a flavour of that. I mean, I [00:47:25] obviously I go to a lot of practices, so I see that myself, but I can’t really get [00:47:30] a real feel for it by visiting a practice and talk about bleaching. But when you work [00:47:35] somewhere, you really get a feel for the management style. [00:47:40] What are they willing to spend? What aren’t they willing to spend the way they handle patients [00:47:45] staff? Give me give me a flavour of the differences in different practices [00:47:50] and what you’ve learned.

Speaker1: Yeah, you’re 100% right. And I have to say, you know, the eight [00:47:55] practices that I’ve got now have probably been distilled from [00:48:00] something in the region of 2025 practices or more, maybe over the last, [00:48:05] God knows, five, six, seven years, which I’ve joined. And, you know, if I join a practice [00:48:10] and I don’t like the way it operates, I, you know, very respectfully sort of shake hands and bow [00:48:15] out, um, and, you know, what does that mean?

Speaker3: What does that mean? I don’t like the way it operates. I mean, [00:48:20] like, so I, you know, it could be as subtle as the way the nurse is treated [00:48:25] by the boss. You’re not going to bow out because of that, are you?

Speaker4: Um, yeah.

Speaker1: It’s everything. [00:48:30] So. So I start. So look a good the way a good practice is run. And, um, you know, the majority of practices [00:48:35] I work at now are well run. Um, you know, the. A reason why. [00:48:40] I used to work in a couple of practices which are bought by corporates, for example. And I think the, the, [00:48:45] the most important thing is a practice which is well run, has a principal who is [00:48:50] present and cares about the practice. I think no one will ever care about your business as [00:48:55] much as the business owner. And the practices which are really well run, have hands on owners. [00:49:00] You know that they’re on the ground, they’re making sure the staff are fine. They’re making sure all the materials [00:49:05] you need are there. They’re communicating with everyone you know. You can have the best practice manager in the world [00:49:10] and you know, that is that is also very effective because again, practice managers do wonderful jobs that I [00:49:15] think having a good practice manager is, is, you know, it’s like gold dust. But yeah, [00:49:20] it’s first of all how the how the practice owner runs the business themselves.

Speaker1: Then [00:49:25] it’s the staff. You know, for me personally, as someone who travels between so many surgeries, [00:49:30] having a good nurse is absolutely key. If if I’m working with a [00:49:35] nurse who doesn’t know where things are, for example, or, you know, has never done endo before, [00:49:40] which fortunately I rarely encounter these days, but you know, that will completely destroy my day [00:49:45] and not just destroy my day for my mood, but also reduce. You know, I I’ve [00:49:50] had to have this conversation with principals before who’ve, you know, not done what they’ve needed [00:49:55] to do to, for example, retain a good nurse. And I said, look, when you for [00:50:00] example, just just talking about me, if I’ve got a nurse who is not effective, I can’t [00:50:05] do all my endo’s in the single visit. Right? And I’m going to have to book a second visit to complete the endo. Just, [00:50:10] just one case of rebooking an endo is a loss to both me [00:50:15] and the practice enough to accommodate, you know, whatever you need to to have have that good nurse. So [00:50:20] a.

Speaker4: Good point.

Speaker1: Yeah. So so so you know you’ve got to think of it. And you know the nurses [00:50:25] are the backbone of every practice in my opinion. And and the practices which operate well [00:50:30] have good nurses, nurses who are both treated well. And it’s not hard to treat [00:50:35] a nurse well. Right. It’s just it’s just the little things like, you know, just be nice, you know, buy them lunch [00:50:40] every now and again. Give them a little gift here and there. Just be nice to them. Be courteous to them, you know. Don’t don’t. [00:50:45] They’re not they don’t they’re not your you know, they’re not your workers. They’re your they’re your colleagues. You know, that’s how you have [00:50:50] to treat them. And, and that sort of, you know, practices which operate well that really resonates [00:50:55] and practices which don’t, you know, people who just don’t care about the, you know, [00:51:00] the the staff and the nurses and, you know, you’ve got high turnover. You know, I walk in and you know, there’s a temp [00:51:05] there, I’m like, hi, how are you? My name is Aram. Have you ever done Endo before? Uh, I know I watched your [00:51:10] video on YouTube last night. It’s the first. And it’s like my heart sinks. I’m like, ah.

Speaker4: And [00:51:15] you know, that’s already.

Speaker1: A bad place for me to start my day. And, you know, like I said, you know, my psychological [00:51:20] state is very important on how my treatment goes and how I manage my patients. And, you know, starting the day that [00:51:25] way is, you know, not not the way that’s not going to work for anyone.

Speaker3: I mean, do you insist on the same nurse every time? [00:51:30] You should. Right.

Speaker4: Um, more or less.

Speaker1: I’ve got the same nurse in every practice. Yes. [00:51:35] I mean, there will be occasions where they’ll change and some practices have, um, you know, more than one nurse who [00:51:40] are sort of good enough to do the job. A lot of nurses don’t want to work with me. Not because, I mean, [00:51:45] I’m very, very nice to the nurses, but they just don’t like Hendo. It’s not obviously not very popular. I always joke and [00:51:50] I say, um, you know, the number one skill for endo nurse is to stay awake.

Speaker4: Um, so, [00:51:55] so.

Speaker1: Again, um, you know, some of the practices I work at, you know, my microscopes [00:52:00] got a camera attached and we’ve got a big TV, so the nurse actually can see what I’m doing, which is also [00:52:05] quite helpful. And, and one of the most important qualities, in my opinion, for a nurse is actually [00:52:10] being interested in what the dentist is doing. Like, you know, when, when the nurse is following what I’m doing, um, you know, [00:52:15] it just everything works a lot better. You know, they anticipate what I’m doing is sometimes they’ve got in their hand what [00:52:20] I’m already thinking about, you know?

Speaker4: So I think.

Speaker3: Look, um, I always, I often [00:52:25] talk about this idea of we’ve got, we’ve got some customers, right. And listeners who, [00:52:30] you know, the, the staff are completely empowered when, [00:52:35] when they’re making orders, you know, you say, hey, buy some more. And they just decide there and then themselves, [00:52:40] they say, yeah, buy, we’ll buy, we’ll double that order or whatever it is. And they don’t have to check with anyone. Yeah. And [00:52:45] interestingly, that same practice, those same practices pay their bills on [00:52:50] time. Um, they do a lot of whitening, you know, it’s a well-oiled machine, [00:52:55] a well-oiled machine. People are people are empowered to do things. And you can see it’s, you know, you [00:53:00] can imagine they’re good at a lot of different things. Yeah. Um, you’re 100% right. So kind [00:53:05] of what you were alluding to. Right. But I’m kind of interested in, you know, for instance, some of the practices you mentioned [00:53:10] to me, you work in Rhona’s practice, you work in Sareen, [00:53:15] which is, uh, the previous London.

Speaker4: Yes, Doctor.

Speaker1: Stafford’s practice.

Speaker3: Now, [00:53:20] Doctor Safir in Knightsbridge. And you work with my friends, uh, Nick and Marjan in the [00:53:25] Wellington Clinic. Also three very sort of different places, all in West London, [00:53:30] like, very different to each other. Um, now, talking about the positives that what you [00:53:35] gain from working in these places, like the nuggets you pick up. Because Romans practice is very [00:53:40] different to any practice I’ve ever been to. She’s very like she’s very unique in herself. [00:53:45] Right?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: For the sake of the argument.

Speaker4: Yeah. I mean, there’s only.

Speaker1: One Rona, right? She’s, [00:53:50] uh, you know, she’s she’s she’s, uh. Yeah, exactly. Just a very unique individual. And, uh. [00:53:55]

Speaker3: But it rubs off on the practice, right? The people in the practice, the way everyone is.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: No, absolutely. [00:54:00] And I suppose as far as sort of social media and media, um, involvement, [00:54:05] you know, there’s there’s no better place to be than rhona’s practice. I mean, I’ve been on channel [00:54:10] five, um, you know, off the back of that and on a number of viral TikTok [00:54:15] videos and all the rest of it. And, you know, I’m always I’ve I’ve never naturally been the sort of social media [00:54:20] person, but, you know, I’m always getting dragged in to, like, you know, a room I walk in and they’re like, right, you’re doing a [00:54:25] TikTok video. Sit down, you.

Speaker4: Know.

Speaker1: And and you know what? It’s good because, you know, I [00:54:30] was you know, I’ve always been I’m from a slightly diff. I consider myself [00:54:35] from slightly older generation, from the time where, um, you know, we were taught [00:54:40] to be sort of humble and not talk about your achievements and all the rest of it, whereas social media has [00:54:45] kind of changed everything. It’s the opposite. Like, you know, if you want to be successful, you have to be out there and be [00:54:50] showing off. Essentially, you know, I do this, I’m this, I’m that. And it doesn’t come to me naturally. [00:54:55] But, you know, it’s it’s one of those things where you’ve got to either adapt or you’re going to be left behind, because that’s the way [00:55:00] the world is going now. And um.

Speaker4: But also like.

Speaker3: For instance, in in her practice, there’s lots of hugs [00:55:05] and kisses and even the staff are all like, you know, it’s such a unique place, man. And [00:55:10] it just reflects it’s true about how things come down from the top, don’t they? Yeah, [00:55:15] yeah. Um, I’ve always been interested in, in specialists who go into lots [00:55:20] of practices, you know, because you can really see a lot of different things. Um, and now you’ve got, you’ve you’ve [00:55:25] done your own as well.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: So I’ve just, um, I’ve started off my own [00:55:30] sort of endo referral clinic called the London Root Canal Clinic. I’ve got a room in Marylebone [00:55:35] and, um, yeah, we’re starting on with that and trying to build up and see how it goes. [00:55:40]

Speaker3: How many days are you there?

Speaker1: At the moment? I’m there at day and a half a week. Um, so [00:55:45] it’s just building up basically. And, um. Yeah.

Speaker3: Tell me [00:55:50] about how many treatments do you do in a day? You work in a day, work for a day somewhere. How [00:55:55] many how many enders do you do?

Speaker1: The maximum I would do is [00:56:00] five. But that doesn’t happen very often. I would say on average it’s [00:56:05] probably three. And some consults, um, uh, some days might be full, but usually [00:56:10] it’s about three can be two and some consults. Um, so obviously you need to do consults. [00:56:15] I don’t always do consults. Uh, some I ask whoever’s referring to me to send me the X-rays, [00:56:20] and I triage them. So I’ll look at an x ray if it looks like it’s a restorable tooth and it definitely needs [00:56:25] an endo, I’ll say book it straight in for treatment. If it’s, you know, a complex case or questionable, I [00:56:30] think I need to talk about the patient beforehand regarding something. Or if the patient wants to talk about something, [00:56:35] then we’ll go to a consult. So my days will be a mix of somewhere between, let’s say, 2 to 4 enders and [00:56:40] some consults.

Speaker3: And is your fee fixed for treatment and retreatment. [00:56:45]

Speaker4: It’s, it’s more.

Speaker1: Or less the same, give or take, you know, [00:56:50] 100, £200 here and there, but it’s within the same region, more or less across the board. Yeah.

Speaker4: So [00:56:55] I guess it needs to be.

Speaker3: Right because the dentist has quoted the fee already.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah. No, no, I [00:57:00] mean in every surgery my fee is fixed. Yeah. In every surgery. Yeah. But but but amongst surgeries they’re all [00:57:05] in the same between them. But between the surgeries there’s a slight discrepancy but very slight. So [00:57:10] but yeah, within the surgery my fees are fixed. I’ve got a fee for molar premolar, incisor, [00:57:15] retreatments, usually £100 more. Um. And.

Speaker4: Yeah. Do you mind if.

Speaker3: I [00:57:20] ask how much you charge?

Speaker1: Um, I charge between 1200 [00:57:25] to 1500.

Speaker4: Oh, nice. Yeah.

Speaker3: And [00:57:30] so from a business perspective, yeah, if we’re talking business, you kind [00:57:35] of know how much you’re going to earn, you know, in a year. Kind of right. You [00:57:40] can’t really make a big difference to it.

Speaker1: Um, yeah, I suppose I mean, it depends. You’ve [00:57:45] got the capacity always to work more and do do you know, more work or less? Yeah. [00:57:50] I mean more more, more days, less days, more hours. Yeah, yeah. So, [00:57:55] um, but yeah, I mean, more or less, you know, what you earn within, [00:58:00] you know, give or take certain amount.

Speaker4: Plus or minus.

Speaker3: So then, so then when you’re thinking growth, do you think [00:58:05] are you thinking of endo growth or are you thinking properties or whatever else something outside [00:58:10] of endo.

Speaker1: Um, I.

Speaker4: Think.

Speaker1: Both. I mean, um, I’m thinking, [00:58:15] uh, obviously at the moment I’m doing this whole Endo clinic myself, but yeah, I would [00:58:20] like to, for the future, be involved, definitely in a sort of high [00:58:25] quality specialist referral practice. And I’m not talking just saying, though. I mean, like, uh, you know, high, high.

Speaker4: Quality [00:58:30] disciplinary.

Speaker1: Multidisciplinary practice. Yeah. So, so that’s, that’s that’s something I’d like [00:58:35] to be involved in. Again, I’m probably, uh, I take my time a bit more [00:58:40] than, than other people. People are nowadays just jumping into things. I sort of, you know, take my time [00:58:45] with my things as I go along. So building up and dip my toes in. And that’s the good thing with, [00:58:50] uh, with endo, you know, you don’t have to if I want to start, you know, buy into a practice or start a practice [00:58:55] tomorrow, I don’t have to necessarily leave all my jobs. I can leave, you know, one job, two jobs, three jobs. I can and I [00:59:00] can make as much time available as needed to do what I want to do.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: So [00:59:05] tell me about outside of Endo. [00:59:10]

Speaker1: Outside of Endo.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Outside of work. What do you do.

Speaker4: I don’t have I [00:59:15] don’t have a life. Yeah. No I’m joking. Um, because.

Speaker3: We we do music. We do [00:59:20] music interests. Right. Is it now before it was like actually something you used to do regularly. But is it now like a [00:59:25] hobby?

Speaker1: Yeah. Um, I mean, I like to, I like working out [00:59:30] a lot. Um, I used to do it back in the days for, you know, the way [00:59:35] I look, but now I do it for the way I feel. I think it’s a really, really important part of, um, [00:59:40] you know, both physical and mental health. I try and go to the gym in the mornings most days, [00:59:45] so that’s quite big for me. And in terms of my music DJing, I will do. [00:59:50] You know, I’ve got decks at home. Obviously I can play when I want, I’ve got guitar at home. So, you know, I [00:59:55] play whenever I feel like it. I get invited out to play, uh, to parties. Um, we [01:00:00] just had a kings, uh, indoor party. We can last. [01:00:05]

Speaker4: Kings and Doughnut.

Speaker1: Party or a DJ that.

Speaker4: So that’s [01:00:10] that’s literally it’s.

Speaker1: Literally what I was called the Kings and Doughnut Party. [01:00:15]

Speaker4: That was about.

Speaker3: It’s not quite fabric, is it?

Speaker4: But yeah. No it was. Yeah. It was, it was, it was, it [01:00:20] was.

Speaker1: It was in a hotel with uh. Yeah, I was, it was nice. It was all the sort of past, present, future [01:00:25] professors, students, everyone, alumni all together. So. Yeah, I mean, depends [01:00:30] on what the gig is. Or I get invited sometimes to a West End nightclub because I’ve got friends in the industry, so I play there [01:00:35] as well. Um, you know, I’ve played places as big as Koko in Camden, the O2 [01:00:40] oh two, 3000 people. Yeah, I’ve. I used to play in West End nightclubs all the time. [01:00:45] This is.

Speaker4: Obviously.

Speaker1: This is a bit bit earlier on. Um, I consider [01:00:50] myself semi-retired now on that front, but I used to at one point play professionally. [01:00:55] I used to get paid to play.

Speaker4: So that was.

Speaker3: That was that like, could it have possibly been a [01:01:00] career? Instead?

Speaker1: I was seriously considering it to be at one point. You know, I had I had a manager and I [01:01:05] was, you know, thinking of taking it to the next level. But, um, I decided [01:01:10] not to because, you know, it’s it’s the whole lifestyle of being in that party environment, [01:01:15] which is, you know, it’s not consistent with, um, you know, settling down and, and [01:01:20] future, um, sort of serious life plans, you know, so.

Speaker3: So [01:01:25] the Iranian side took over.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Exactly.

Speaker4: So as, as as.

Speaker1: Much as and [01:01:30] much as I enjoy the actual act of playing a musical performance, whatever it might be with [01:01:35] a guitar or DJing, you know, it’s not it’s not something that I want to do. Seriously. [01:01:40]

Speaker4: Let’s get to.

Speaker3: The darker part of the pod.

Speaker4: Let’s go.

Speaker3: We like to talk about [01:01:45] mistakes, errors.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker3: Give me, give me, give me some clinical errors. You’ve [01:01:50] made some things we can all learn from.

Speaker1: Okay, so grab [01:01:55] some popcorn and a drink. Yeah. Um, so [01:02:00] let’s start with, um, the first indoor one, which, [01:02:05] um, was as a NHS GDP, and [01:02:10] I was treating a patient who was an exempt patient, um, i.e. for those who [01:02:15] don’t know, doesn’t pay basically for their treatment because, um, you know, they’re covered by [01:02:20] the NHS and it was a low of six. I had a size 25 k-file [01:02:25] in there and it snapped the classic. And um, obviously I [01:02:30] did what I was told to do. You know, all throughout a career, I’d stopped the treatment, took [01:02:35] an x ray, told the patient about it, and patient was unhappy. And [01:02:40] so she basically came back to the practice, made a not formal [01:02:45] complaint, but to the practice, said, you know, he didn’t tell me about this. If [01:02:50] I would have known about this, I would have extracted the tooth. So that’s what she said. [01:02:55] Uh, she it was going to go to a complaint, but luckily I called up [01:03:00] the sort of local NHS community referral unit I spoke to the [01:03:05] head, which was a lovely lady called Caroline Cox, I think her name was. And she was [01:03:10] really, uh, empathetic.

Speaker1: And she explained that she’d had a root canal treatment and someone had broken a file in [01:03:15] her tooth about 20 years ago, and the tooth was still there. Anyway, cut a long story short, she managed to. [01:03:20] She basically bumped up my patient up the waiting list to see the specialist and the dentist who [01:03:25] very kindly treated the tooth, got the file out and finished the case for me. So I got out of that one. But the lesson [01:03:30] that that taught me straight away after that case, I when I wrote up a consent form, I [01:03:35] wrote up a consent form with everything that I could possibly think can go wrong in an endo [01:03:40] case. And every patient that I’ve done endo from endo on since [01:03:45] then, I always give a written consent form because that, you know, the fact that she said, [01:03:50] you know, you didn’t tell me that this could happen beforehand, and if you did, I would have extracted a tooth, which I think was a bit extreme. [01:03:55] But, you know, she was going to go on that and just, you know, take it further basically. But that, that nipped it [01:04:00] in the bud.

Speaker3: Fortunately at this point you weren’t an endodontist, right?

Speaker4: No, this.

Speaker1: I was [01:04:05] early, early on in my GDP career. And, you know, this was one of the things that put me off. And though, you know, you know, you [01:04:10] finish university and you go into practice. I was in an NHS practice. I was using K files to prepare my canals. [01:04:15] Right. And you know, you’re getting paid three udas for it, which was £30 back then. And [01:04:20] you’re thinking, you know, you want to do your best for the patients, but, you know, you barely, you know, I didn’t have an apex locator. [01:04:25] Imagine. And you know, you’re doing working like that and spending all your time [01:04:30] getting paid barely anything. You’re nervous at the end of it because the case didn’t go that well. And it’s [01:04:35] like, you know, why? Why am I doing this?

Speaker3: So but give me, give me, give me an endodontist [01:04:40] failure like an endodontist error.

Speaker1: So I’ll give you another one. I’ve got loads, [01:04:45] I’ve got loads.

Speaker4: Um, so, uh.

Speaker1: I learned the hard way. [01:04:50] Um, so this one is more about, [01:04:55] uh. Well, yeah, it’s, it’s an error and it’s about communication. So this is probably, uh, it [01:05:00] was the first year after I qualified as a specialist, and I was a clinical teacher already at King’s. Um, [01:05:05] I had a patient who was 15 year old girl, came in with a dad. She had a lower incisor, [01:05:10] which was already root treated reasonably well. History of trauma. And it had a [01:05:15] pretty big, big infection around it. So I looked at this tooth, I did [01:05:20] the assessment and I said, okay, look, we can we can treat this. For [01:05:25] some reason. I didn’t mention surgery. And the reason I didn’t [01:05:30] mention surgery was in my head. I was like, this girl is 15. [01:05:35] I don’t want to scare her. Let me be the nice guy. And me didn’t mention it right? Even though [01:05:40] my ethos and this is I always teach my students as well, is when it comes [01:05:45] to endo. Always, always, always undersell and overdeliver. So every patient I [01:05:50] see, I always prepare them for the worst outcome, which is a tooth extraction basically. So that [01:05:55] way it does two. Number one I think is a part of consent anyway, because any tooth which is due [01:06:00] for an endo could potentially end up being extracted.

Speaker1: And number two, once you’ve had [01:06:05] that conversation in a really nice way not to put the patient off, but it puts you at ease. [01:06:10] And that’s the most important thing. If you if you start treating the case and you’re already anxious or apprehensive, [01:06:15] that’s not going to go well anyway. Long story short, this patient comes in for a treatment. I go [01:06:20] in, remove the GP. There’s two canals. Lower incisors quite often have two canals. And, [01:06:25] um, there was a little isthmus. So like a little small area connecting the two canals. So I was like, [01:06:30] let me, you know, there was some GP stuck in there which I wanted to get out. So I put ultrasonic tip in there. [01:06:35] And in this practice, which I was working at, they didn’t have the ultrasonic unit that I [01:06:40] would ask for. So it was like a sort of, let’s say, budget one, which didn’t have, you know, the [01:06:45] sort of very, very, uh, so graduations, which you can start, you know, with low power. And it [01:06:50] was quite high powered, basically. I. Put ultrasonic tip in that put my foot down and snapped the [01:06:55] ultrasonic tip snaps in the isthmus. So I’m.

Speaker4: Like.

Speaker1: Yeah, so I’m okay. I’m like, it’s fine. [01:07:00] You know? I’m an endodontist. I can deal with this. So I turned the power right [01:07:05] down on the device, go back in to try and sort of vibrate that little tip and take it out. Another [01:07:10] piece of the ultrasonic tip breaks.

Speaker4: Oh my goodness. And now that piece is.

Speaker1: Goes [01:07:15] right down to the end of the root.

Speaker4: Well, now.

Speaker1: In this practice that I worked at, um, the microscope [01:07:20] wasn’t the best microscope. So I’m looking in there already. I’m like, you know, that sinking feeling, [01:07:25] your heart sinks. You’re like, damn. Like what? How am I going to break this to, you know, to [01:07:30] to the. And the dad was saying that, you know, he had sort of, you know, one of these parents who was, [01:07:35] uh, you know, really sort of on everything, and, you know, daddy’s girl, you know, I wanted to make sure daddy’s girl is going to be [01:07:40] fine. So, you know, take a few deep breaths, try and calm down. Uh, anyway, temporise [01:07:45] the case, I’m like, look, um, so. And whenever I explain errors to patients, I [01:07:50] think it’s really important to not sound nervous. So I make sure I sound calm. I’m like, look, [01:07:55] basically this has happened. It’s, you know, one of the common procedural errors in endo. Don’t worry about it. [01:08:00] You know, um, the microscope in this surgery is a isn’t the highest powered one. I’m going to take [01:08:05] you somewhere else to sort it out with a higher powered microscope. Kyle, long story short, take him to [01:08:10] another surgery. Try my hardest. I can’t get them out. So he’s got two fractured [01:08:15] ultrasonic tips at the root end of this 15 year old girl.

Speaker3: So [01:08:20] what happens next?

Speaker4: So then I was like, damn.

Speaker1: I was like, um, [01:08:25] this is this is not going to go well, fortunately, um, one of the perks of being [01:08:30] a clinical teacher at guy’s is you’ve got that insurance policy there available to you. [01:08:35] So I basically said, look, um, this case is going to need [01:08:40] a surgery, which the lesson I learned if I had not been, you know, in [01:08:45] my head, being the nice guy and trying not to scare the girl, I should have mentioned from the beginning, because the [01:08:50] tooth with that big lesion, any tooth which has got a lesion that size, you always have to mention apical surgery as [01:08:55] one of the options. And had I mention that I wouldn’t have had that stress and sleepless night anyway. So [01:09:00] anyway, long story short, I took the guy’s. But I was so nervous about that point, about that case at that point myself, which I didn’t [01:09:05] want to do it. So I kind of. And so I kind of gave it to one of my, um, colleagues, uh, Federico [01:09:10] Foschi, who’s a consultant there who very kindly did the surgery for me. And that was that healed beautifully. [01:09:15] And everything went well. But I honestly had I can’t remember a case [01:09:20] for a long time before and after or since, um, that, that I’ve, you know, [01:09:25] had sleepless nights other than that, because I was thinking, damn, like, you know, this, you know what [01:09:30] if what if, you know, this tooth has to go? What if this, what if that? And you know, the fact that I hadn’t mentioned [01:09:35] the surgery. I mean, they took it quite well. I was lucky it could have gone a lot worse than it did. Uh, to be fair. [01:09:40] But the point, again, is to don’t let your niceness get [01:09:45] in the way of explaining things that can go wrong to your patient. So make sure you communicate all [01:09:50] the risks before you begin.

Speaker3: On that point of, uh, you know, finding [01:09:55] someone to help you. Just how often does that happen? How often? [01:10:00] How often do you refer to an endodontist? Very, very, very rarely.

Speaker1: Not so. [01:10:05] So let me tell you something. I would say that since becoming a clinical [01:10:10] teacher, my skills have advanced by far more [01:10:15] than during my entire specialist training. By magnitude of, I don’t know, [01:10:20] five. Why? Why? Because when you’re teaching [01:10:25] in the post-grad department, number one, you’re treating some of the most complex cases which you wouldn’t treat in practice. [01:10:30] Because in practice, let’s let’s face it, when the patient comes and the tooth is beyond a certain point, the conversation [01:10:35] is, am I going to pay 1000 1500 to do an endo, plus a thousand for [01:10:40] a crown, or am I going to go for an implant? So there’s certain cases you just don’t do that you do in hospital. That’s number one. Number [01:10:45] two, you are the guy that gets called over when things go wrong. So you get [01:10:50] good at fixing problems, you know, oh, the canal is alleged. Can you bypass the ledge? The instrument broke. Can you take it [01:10:55] out? I perforated, can you fix it so you’re constantly fixing problems? So after having done that now [01:11:00] for about four and a half years, I feel like, you know, again, well, I still learn, you know, we’re [01:11:05] still, you know, we discuss cases. I’m always learning. I’m not definitely not the finished article. I don’t think I ever will be, [01:11:10] but I’m at a point where I would say it’s very rare for me to need [01:11:15] to ask help. You know, there will be the cases where, you know, diagnostically, you know, we’re [01:11:20] scratching our heads.

Speaker1: You know, we’re trying to think what’s to do best with, you know, what’s the best thing to do for a patient? [01:11:25] Again, another case we did very interestingly, which is something I wouldn’t do in practice, [01:11:30] but I had a very complicated case. It was a lower for an Afro-Caribbean lady. Sometimes [01:11:35] the canals and lower premolars trifurcate. So they split into three canals, so filled [01:11:40] one of the canals, the other two were completely calcified. So, long story short, didn’t work and the [01:11:45] root end was very close to the mental foramen. So surgery that was very risky. So [01:11:50] we took it to guys like what should we do? And we decided to do intentional replantation. Have you heard of that? [01:11:55] So basically what we did, we extract the tooth, we do the surgery [01:12:00] out of the mouth and we put it back into wow. Yeah. So, so and and you [01:12:05] know that there’s a lot of specialists who are doing that now and who are quite good. Well not a lot. There’s let [01:12:10] me rephrase. There’s a few specialists, very few specialists who do that in practice [01:12:15] around the world to do conferences and get good success rates, but it’s definitely not something that [01:12:20] most specialists do. But again, being in guy’s, I got to do that treatment because [01:12:25] it was guys. And you know, you take cases there which you just wouldn’t attempt in practice. [01:12:30] And it’s these kind of things which you do there which which make being clinical teacher just [01:12:35] completely invaluable.

Speaker4: So in in.

Speaker3: The world of endo, is there other like you [01:12:40] said, there’s a guy who’s, who’s sort of subspecialty is this who goes around the world teaching [01:12:45] this. What are the other subspecialties? Are there some some guys who are like a discectomy guy’s [01:12:50] only like, what are they?

Speaker4: Yeah. So I mean.

Speaker1: We had, um, I’m part of this [01:12:55] endo geek group called the Langham, which we have three meetings a year and we get, like an international speaker [01:13:00] and they come and deep dive a whole day on, like, a certain thing. So. So we had this guy who’s, [01:13:05] um, basically he does this technique called the lit technique or the window technique, [01:13:10] um, where he is for apical surgery in the mandible mainly. I mean, you could do it anywhere, [01:13:15] but for example, in the mandible where you’ve got that thick cortical bone, um, instead of just trusting [01:13:20] a hole in the bone to try and get to the root, you use piezoelectrics and, [01:13:25] uh, ultrasonics basically to cut a window and basically remove that window of [01:13:30] beau, expose the root, do the surgery, and then put that lid back on.

Speaker4: Oh, yeah. [01:13:35]

Speaker1: So, so there’s a guy who basically in America who just just does, you [01:13:40] know, he’s like a I mean, he does everything obviously. But that’s like his niche. So we’ve got that. We’ve got [01:13:45] guys who do intentional replantation. We’ve got guys who do autotransplantation conferences. So, you know, they’ll take a tooth [01:13:50] out from somewhere else and put it another, another, uh, another place in the jaw. Trauma. Guys, [01:13:55] uh, trauma is a big part of vendor.

Speaker3: What about compared to other countries, [01:14:00] how are we in the UK? And was that where is the top endodontist [01:14:05] country? Is it America?

Speaker1: I would say definitely UK. [01:14:10] Us are at the top.

Speaker4: Really?

Speaker1: Yeah UK, US, [01:14:15] Sweden like you know but the European countries definitely by far more so [01:14:20] than um, I would say the Arabic countries because I know, [01:14:25] you know, I did quite a bit of research. I was interested in Dubai for a while, so I went and had a look out there and [01:14:30] sort of standardisation. You know, we’ve got not a lot of places in the world to have, [01:14:35] uh, specialist register, for example, we do in the UK and the US and to get on the specialist [01:14:40] register is incredibly difficult. So give me an idea. Um, the last time I checked, [01:14:45] there’s approximately 43,000 registered dentists in [01:14:50] the UK, and there’s about 320 registered endodontists.

Speaker4: So that is.

Speaker1: Yeah, [01:14:55] so so.

Speaker4: So so so.

Speaker1: Obviously to get on that list is hard work and you know [01:15:00] it. You know, some someone who’s on that list, you can expect a reasonable level of, [01:15:05] you know, reasonable level of quality of treatment from them, which you, I suppose, don’t have in a lot of other countries. [01:15:10] Um, again, I’m not saying there’s not amazing people everywhere.

Speaker4: But it’s.

Speaker3: Interesting you say that because I don’t think there’s [01:15:15] any other part of dentistry where I would say the UK is leading.

Speaker4: Maybe.

Speaker3: Maybe, [01:15:20] maybe, maybe, maybe the ABC area because of Tiff.

Speaker4: Because of.

Speaker3: Tiff [01:15:25] Qureshi. Yeah, but but although I think, I think standards are getting better but you know [01:15:30] like when you, when you go to international conferences and you see some of the stuff people are doing from [01:15:35] abroad.

Speaker4: No, the end of the endo.

Speaker1: Unit especially are under unit at King’s and especially [01:15:40] in terms of research output as well. It’s excellent. It’s world leading. It’s world leading. Yeah. Yeah. [01:15:45]

Speaker3: So all right then let’s talk about [01:15:50] if you are working as an endodontist. In the early [01:15:55] days. And you’re trying to you’re trying to get referrals. I mean, how did you manage to be [01:16:00] this guy who’s who’s in all of these top practices or, or is it because there’s so few endodontists it’s not [01:16:05] such a hard thing to do?

Speaker1: Um, I think first of all, endodontists [01:16:10] are highly in demand at the moment.

Speaker4: Yeah. Is that the reason? So. [01:16:15]

Speaker1: So, um, partly, but I mean, I was I always wanted to be the guy who [01:16:20] works. I mean, I’m lazy. I wanted to keep my commute time minimal. And I live in central London.

Speaker4: So.

Speaker1: So [01:16:25] I wanted to work. I wanted to work as close as possible.

Speaker3: Um, but, you know, from that, from the marketing side [01:16:30] of it, from, you know, you have to market yourself to high end dentists, right? [01:16:35]

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: So, so that skill is that is that something you have to work out all the time. [01:16:40]

Speaker1: I suppose. I mean, I’m quite, you know, I’m good with people. [01:16:45] I used to work I used to work in the sort of, uh, entertainment or nightlife [01:16:50] industry. I used to, I used to do event organisation. You know, we have to go out and schmooze people to come to our events. [01:16:55] So, you know, I’m I’m generally good with, um, you know, uh, talk talking to [01:17:00] people and building rapport. So I guess it starts from there and then, you know, and [01:17:05] when it comes to work, you know, I’ve built a reputation by working in places. And people [01:17:10] talk, obviously, and they know it’s not just about the quality of work, but also the [01:17:15] way I treat patients. You know, I treat patients always, you know, with a lot of care. [01:17:20] I’m very meticulous in what I do. Again, in terms of managing anxious patients. [01:17:25] I as I said early on in my career, I used to work in a sedation referral practice, [01:17:30] and one of my things that I pride myself on is throughout the years, I’ve managed to [01:17:35] wean a lot of people off sedation. So I think dealing with anxious patients is [01:17:40] another sort of strength of mine, which is which is attracted people to me, really. [01:17:45] And a lot of these places, a lot of these jobs that I’ve got, they’ve, you know, they’ve they’ve heard about me and they’ve sort of approached me [01:17:50] and said, you know, we’d really like you to work in our practice. So that’s that’s how I ended up in most of [01:17:55] the places that I did. Um, it started with one, actually. My first, my first [01:18:00] central London endo job was actually at the Chelsea Dental Clinic before Rona bought it. [01:18:05] So that’s that’s where I started out. And I suppose Ron Rona’s had a hand in, [01:18:10] um, in, in promoting me as well because, um, obviously she’s very well known. And then I [01:18:15] became Chelsea Dental Clinics, Endodontist and then everyone else, uh, you know, became interested as well. [01:18:20] Mm.

Speaker3: Yeah. Lovely family. Used to own it before. Um, yeah.

Speaker4: Joseph. Joseph. [01:18:25]

Speaker3: Joseph. Joseph. Yeah, yeah. Lovely people.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Um, but but then, you know, [01:18:30] as a specialist, generally you’re having to do this a lot, right. So did you do study clubs [01:18:35] and. In. Do any of the practices organise stuff like that?

Speaker1: Um, [01:18:40] some do, but it’s not. It’s not mainly study clubs. I mean, they’ll, they’ll, you know, there’ll be odd sort of CPD [01:18:45] event where I speak at here and there. Um, but obviously we’ve got our own [01:18:50] sort of endodontist, um, geek clubs. Like I said, I’m part of the committee of this thing called the Langham [01:18:55] Study Group. And also, obviously, I’m a clinical lecturer at, uh, at [01:19:00] King’s. So, you know, I’m there once a week mixing with some of the, you know, world [01:19:05] leaders in research. And, um, you know, I’m getting to talk to [01:19:10] them about cases, and you keep you keep up to date in that way. So that’s it’s [01:19:15] a really good thing to do. Uh, it’s a thing I do one day a week. And, [01:19:20] you know, it’s definitely not something you do for the money.

Speaker3: Yeah. You’re taking a massive pay pay drop. Yeah. [01:19:25]

Speaker4: Massive massive.

Speaker1: Massive. Yeah.

Speaker3: So do you enjoy teaching?

Speaker1: I do, I do [01:19:30] a lot. Yeah I think I think.

Speaker4: I.

Speaker1: You know, you actually learn [01:19:35] a lot by teaching. And it’s also lovely to be able to sort of pass it down, pass your knowledge [01:19:40] down. So I teach I teach undergraduates as well, uh, not just postgraduates. And I started [01:19:45] teaching the reason I got the joke, but one of the reasons I got the job is I when I was a post grad, I used to teach undergrads, [01:19:50] and I used to be, you know, quite keen on it. And, you know, as soon as I qualified, they gave me a job there straight away. [01:19:55] And, um, I think it’s nice to be able to impart that knowledge, um, [01:20:00] down to, down to new generation, teach them, you know, it’s like it’s like a [01:20:05] baton that we pass along. And again, it’s good for your own learning. Like, you know, I [01:20:10] think it was Einstein or someone who said that if you really understand something, if you can explain it to a six [01:20:15] year old. So, so, so, you know, you we all get in this sort of way of [01:20:20] doing things, but we don’t actually think about why we do what we do. So then when you actually have to break it down [01:20:25] and explain it to someone else, it really makes you understand things better. And, you know, sometimes you actually [01:20:30] be like, why am I doing this? And, you know, you go back and read and look things up. And so, yeah, it just [01:20:35] elevates your own, uh, you elevates yourself as a clinician.

Speaker3: And there’s the odd [01:20:40] endodontist who has like a brand and then there’s endodontist working [01:20:45] for them.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Is that a thing you might do.

Speaker1: Oh, as in [01:20:50] build the clinics and then have another endodontist working.

Speaker3: Yeah. I mean, I’m thinking of an spandaryan. [01:20:55]

Speaker4: Yeah. Yeah. No, absolutely.

Speaker1: I mean that’s, that’s that’s definitely a goal as well. Obviously [01:21:00] if you can, the goal is to start a referral practice and then get it to a level where then you know, you can [01:21:05] have other endodontists working there as well. That’s uh.

Speaker3: Is that is that quite a common thing?

Speaker1: I [01:21:10] wouldn’t say it’s common, but there’s a, there’s a few of them and I suppose it’s going to overall [01:21:15] get less common as this sort of, you know, especially in London the most mostly. [01:21:20] And, and London is saturated with, um, with endodontist compared to other places. So and [01:21:25] there’s a big surge in private and squat practices and everyone wants to have [01:21:30] their own endodontist. So, you know, there’s going to be less people referring out going forward, [01:21:35] I think.

Speaker3: Amazing, man. What an insight. Who would you say is the world’s [01:21:40] top endodontist?

Speaker4: Uh.

Speaker1: That’s a that’s a difficult one.

Speaker4: But [01:21:45] a few of.

Speaker3: Them, a few of them.

Speaker4: I.

Speaker1: Would definitely say I think it’s agreed amongst [01:21:50] the endodontist when it comes to clinical skills. There’s a Italian gentleman [01:21:55] called Massimo Gervasio who is, uh, also [01:22:00] used to teach at King’s. He’s based in Bristol. He runs a training academy called Delta Dental [01:22:05] Academy.

Speaker3: Oh, I know, no more. Massive. Yeah, yeah. Sorry, sorry. Yeah.

Speaker4: With Prav Prav. [01:22:10]

Speaker1: Uh, his.

Speaker4: Website as well. So. So, uh, he’s.

Speaker1: He’s known amongst the [01:22:15] endodontists as being, you know, the, you know, one of the, if not the best when it comes to skills. [01:22:20] He is he is really, really excellent, I would say.

Speaker3: But what does he do? What do you mean? [01:22:25] Skills. The kind of canals he can.

Speaker4: What.

Speaker1: Uh, like if [01:22:30] you, if you look at his work, it’s like artwork, like everything he does. Really everything. It’s not just the canals. He does [01:22:35] restorative work as well. Like every. Everything he does is just perfect. Basically. That’s that’s [01:22:40] the way I can describe it. He’s a perfectionist more than, you know, amongst endodontist or perfectionist [01:22:45] anyway, but he’s a perfectionist amongst the perfectionist. So you can imagine the level. And [01:22:50] um, you know, he does things like 3D prints teeth beforehand. Like if he’s got a complex case, he’ll [01:22:55] 3D print the tooth and plan the treatment beforehand and all sorts.

Speaker4: Of these.

Speaker1: These [01:23:00] sort of advanced things. And the way he, he trains as well [01:23:05] is quite good because he’s got he brings, uh, people over and he does live [01:23:10] patient treatment, both sort of supervising them and also him doing it and sort of showing what he’s doing [01:23:15] on a big TV so people can actually watch live and actually take part and treat live as well. I mean, you’ve [01:23:20] got a lot of that going on for, um, implant dentistry at the moment, but not really, um, for [01:23:25] um, for endo as much. So that’s kind of unique in what he does as well. But [01:23:30] his academy is based in Bristol at the moment.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. With, with with um my. [01:23:35]

Speaker4: The its.

Speaker3: And [01:23:40] its it can take care of this one.

Speaker4: Alfonso. [01:23:45]

Speaker3: With my body. With my buddy Alfonso.

Speaker4: Alfonso? Yes. With Alfonso. Yeah.

Speaker3: Um. [01:23:50] All right. We’ve [01:23:55] come to the end of the to our time at the end of our time. Um, let’s [01:24:00] get on to the final questions. Fancy dinner party. Three [01:24:05] guests, dead or alive. Who’d you reckon?

Speaker4: Hmm. [01:24:10]

Speaker1: So the first guest would be someone who I’m not actually sure [01:24:15] existed or not. Might be mythical, but it’s going to be Adam.

Speaker3: Of Adam and Eve.

Speaker4: Yep. [01:24:20] What a great.

Speaker1: Uh, I want to see [01:24:25] if it was actually the first and only man. I want to see what the Garden of Eden was like. [01:24:30] And I wanted to see if Eve and that poison apple were worth getting kicked [01:24:35] out of the Garden of Eden.

Speaker3: Do you believe in God?

Speaker1: I believe [01:24:40] in God as an intelligent creator. And that’s a [01:24:45] debate. Um, which favourite author of mine? More God that, uh, went through [01:24:50] deep dive into and is like, uh, sulphur, sulphur happy and [01:24:55] um, and yeah, um, I think on the balance of probabilities, there is an intelligent creator [01:25:00] and therefore I believe in God. Yeah.

Speaker3: I like Mo, I think, I think I think Rona knows him. [01:25:05] I’m he’s my dream guest. I want I want to have him on.

Speaker4: Well, [01:25:10] well, he’s he’s he’s.

Speaker1: One of mine. So he was he was going to be my third guest.

Speaker3: Oh [01:25:15] amazing.

Speaker4: So he’s the second guess.

Speaker1: Uh, the second [01:25:20] guest would be, I think I want to say someone [01:25:25] from the Illuminati, but I’m thinking. I’m thinking someone like Larry Fink, [01:25:30] like a CEO of Blackrock.

Speaker4: Or someone else.

Speaker3: Someone, right?

Speaker4: Yeah. [01:25:35] Someone. Someone. Someone who knows.

Speaker1: What happens behind the closed door meetings in Davos and all that. [01:25:40] Like just get a little insight into what’s really happening.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: The proper Iranian conspiracy [01:25:45] theorist. Right. So when I was on another podcast and the question was something [01:25:50] like, uh, where would you like to be a fly on the wall? And I was like, wherever, you know, like [01:25:55] gave the order to shoot Kennedy, you know, like that, that that moment, you know. Yeah.

Speaker4: Exactly. [01:26:00]

Speaker1: Exactly something like.

Speaker4: That.

Speaker1: And and. Yeah. My God, that’s obviously [01:26:05] he’s I think he’s an amazing mind and, you know, just just has so much to, you [01:26:10] know, so much to learn from him really. But both in terms of, you know, his journey with, um, you [01:26:15] know, with tragedy in his life and his and his and how he got over that. And also, he knows [01:26:20] a lot about AI, and I think we all need to.

Speaker4: Learn.

Speaker1: A bit more about that because it’s coming [01:26:25] to get us.

Speaker4: Yeah. Do you listen to his podcast?

Speaker1: I do, yeah, I listen to some of it, yeah. And [01:26:30] yeah. And it’s also and he’s also a great narrator [01:26:35] as well.

Speaker3: Amazing, amazing. Good choice. Good choices man. Yeah. Good choices. All [01:26:40] right. And Travis, final question. It’s a deathbed question on your deathbed, [01:26:45] surrounded by your loved ones. By that time. Old children. Three [01:26:50] pieces of advice you’d leave for them and for the world.

Speaker1: I [01:26:55] think the first one I mean, I’ve got I’ve got a lot, but I think the first one would [01:27:00] be to love yourself. And what I mean by that is not in a narcissistic sense, because [01:27:05] people are narcissists actually portray an image of self-love, but they actually [01:27:10] it comes from an element of insecurity and something that they don’t like about themselves. Self. [01:27:15] To really love yourself means to accept yourself for [01:27:20] everything, good and bad that you are. And I think if once someone loves themselves truly, [01:27:25] then they’re really capable of loving, you know, everyone else. And that will solve a lot of problems in the world [01:27:30] if people really love themselves and accept them themselves.

Speaker4: It’s interesting.

Speaker1: And [01:27:35] yeah, so I think that’s one. And the second one would be to [01:27:40] treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself. I think that’s always been a guiding [01:27:45] principle of mine. And finally to and [01:27:50] this is something again, I aspire to, which is why I would advise it. It’s to think [01:27:55] less and act more. Probably wouldn’t apply to everyone. Uh, but [01:28:00] yeah, especially someone like myself.

Speaker3: It’s interesting because the question could [01:28:05] be, it could be this is what I did and it worked, or it could be this is what I didn’t do, but I wish I did. [01:28:10] And that’s what you’re saying.

Speaker1: The other answer I was going to give, and this is going to go back to our [01:28:15] Iranian roots, is good thoughts, good deeds, good actions, sorry, good thoughts, good thoughts, [01:28:20] good deeds, good words.

Speaker4: Let’s say let’s let’s say that again.

Speaker1: It’s going to be good [01:28:25] thoughts. Good deeds, good actions.

Speaker4: Goes back to the old Zoroastrian [01:28:30] festivals. Yeah.

Speaker3: That is beautiful. That is beautiful. Tell me about the first one though. Um. [01:28:35] Love yourself. Are you saying your weaknesses? Love your weaknesses? Acknowledge them.

Speaker1: So [01:28:40] a lot of self-love comes down to accepting yourself for who [01:28:45] you are. And, you know, there’s there’s a book I read in the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor [01:28:50] Mate, and he’s an expert in trauma, and he believes that all [01:28:55] addictions and we’re all addicted to something, by the way. And he believes that [01:29:00] all comes from trauma. So, you know, there’s some sort of trauma. That trauma starts a sequence of self-loathing, [01:29:05] which then leads us to this behaviour of addiction. Um, and [01:29:10] that’s only one aspect of it. Um, the other parts come to sort of things like aggression and [01:29:15] harming other people. And, you know, they always say the person who’s been abused becomes the abuser, right? [01:29:20] So and the reason they do that is because they’ve got this part of themselves which they [01:29:25] dislike, and then they bring that out and portray that and act on it onto other people. [01:29:30] So if you really learn to love yourself and accept yourself for who you are, no matter, [01:29:35] you know, we’ve all got things which you don’t like about ourselves or like less or like more. Just accept yourself. Love yourself [01:29:40] for who you are and what you are, and then you will be able to, you know, love other [01:29:45] people. That’s the side effect of loving yourself truly and accepting yourself.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker3: And [01:29:50] your third one about jumping in. Are you saying you’re overcautious?

Speaker4: No. [01:29:55]

Speaker1: I spend a lot of time thinking, um, about things and, you know, and thinking, [01:30:00] you know, I used to think it’s a good thing, you know, I’m into sort of reading and philosophy and [01:30:05] all this, and and I think it’s good to some extent, but, you know, that I can say [01:30:10] is, you know, maybe one of my addictive behaviours is just, you know, get deep diving into things [01:30:15] and learning about, you know, things which aren’t really beneficial to my life necessarily and [01:30:20] thinking about them. And I spend a lot of time in my head. And life in your head isn’t living. Living [01:30:25] is action. So. So, you know, if I could give myself some advice, which I’m trying to [01:30:30] take is to, you know, think less and just act more, do things, you know, if you want to start a business or do [01:30:35] whatever, just, you know, make do the actions and just get up and do it instead of thinking too much.

Speaker4: You know, I think.

Speaker3: I [01:30:40] don’t know, it’s a related thing. I don’t know if you’ve heard that they say people are either foxes or hedgehogs [01:30:45] and and I don’t know, foxes. Think about all the different permutations [01:30:50] and all the different possibilities of things that could happen. I’m like that too. [01:30:55] And then hedgehogs are very simple, clear. If this happens, do this. If that happens, do that. And it turns out [01:31:00] hedgehogs are much more successful than foxes, even though they might not be as [01:31:05] deep or whatever, you know, like whatever it is.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly.

Speaker1: It’s exactly.

Speaker4: That. [01:31:10] Yeah.

Speaker3: It’s been a lovely conversation. I really enjoyed it. Really, really enjoyed it. Really nice. Like, [01:31:15] you went quickly um, and, uh, and, and the end is a wonderful [01:31:20] thing, man. You know, I wish more people considered endo, but I think we’ve all had [01:31:25] a trauma early on. That puts us off. And you always. [01:31:30] You endodontists prey on that.

Speaker4: That’s [01:31:35] true. That’s that’s very true. Yeah.

Speaker1: We don’t need.

Speaker4: To speak to and, uh, and and [01:31:40] see.

Speaker1: If we can convince more and more dentists to go down the.

Speaker4: End of the path and get.

Speaker1: Over their [01:31:45] traumas.

Speaker3: But thank you so much for doing this, buddy. I really enjoyed that.

Speaker1: It’s an absolute pleasure. [01:31:50] Thank you for your time. Thanks for having me.

Speaker2: This is Dental [01:31:55] Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging [01:32:00] leaders in dentistry. Your hosts. [01:32:05] Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Speaker5: Thanks for listening, [01:32:10] guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank [01:32:15] you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what [01:32:20] our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value [01:32:25] out of it, think about subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend [01:32:30] 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 [01:32:35] our six star rating.

Content creator Sophie Milner shares her journey from journalism student to online influencer, touching on themes of mental health, social media’s impact, and the challenges of online life. 

The discussion also explores the nuances of online expression, gender identity, and the complexities surrounding cosmetic procedures and mental health treatments.


In This Episode

00:30 – Backstory

02:10 – From journalism to content creation

05:45 – Social media and mental health

15:30 – Cosmetic procedures and societal expectations

22:25 – Men’s mental health and role models

29:30 – Haters

31:50 – Antidepressants and mental health treatment

38:50 – Health forums and support systems

42:10 – Going solo


About Sophie Milner

Sophie Milner is a fashion content creator and influencer. Find her on Instagram at @itssophiemilner.


Speaker1: You’ve got to kind of put yourself first because we are individuals and if you’re not operating okay up here [00:00:05] for yourself, you’re not going to be able to like, do anything else that you’re going to start falling apart. So you always [00:00:10] have to put yourself first.

Speaker2: This is mind [00:00:15] movers. Moving the conversation forward on mental [00:00:20] health and optimisation for dental professionals. Your hosts [00:00:25] Rhona Eskander and Payman Langroudi.

Speaker3: Sophie. [00:00:30] Hi. Hi. I’m so happy to have you here [00:00:35] today. Sophie, I’m going to give you a little bit of background. So Sophie is somebody that I followed online for a really [00:00:40] long time. I had a massive girl crush on her, actually. And then I started working with [00:00:45] the incredible Becky Knowles, who works in PR. She started playing our parlour, you know, at the beginning, and [00:00:50] we had loads of amazing press. And she said to me, I’d love to send you Sophie Milner. I was like, I have low key even [00:00:55] like girl crushing her, liking all her stuff. One of the things that drew me to [00:01:00] Sophie was that she’s incredibly brave online, and what I mean that she doesn’t hold [00:01:05] back and she’s very opinionated in that sort of, you know, in that way that makes you proud to be [00:01:10] a woman. She often expresses herself in a way that I find very difficult, and I find her [00:01:15] to be very fair online, whilst also not taking any crap from anyone, which is what I struggle [00:01:20] with all the time, because I always feel like I’m people pleasing. Sophie’s not only one of the biggest [00:01:25] content creators in the UK, she’s also an academic. Um, so she’s somebody [00:01:30] that, you know, went to university, is very successful in her own right when it came to academia, [00:01:35] was a journalist, then turned content creator. And she definitely give [00:01:40] her a follow because she always provides the most insightful posts and talks about all sorts of issues, [00:01:45] from feminism to gender, gender identity to relationships to [00:01:50] fashion. So welcome. Sophie.

Speaker1: Hi. Oh my God, that was so nice. Thank you for having me.

Speaker3: No, [00:01:55] I’m so I’m so pleased that you could be here today. So for those of for [00:02:00] those people that don’t know you or don’t follow you, I want you to basically just give a little bit of background [00:02:05] on how you started content creating a little bit of your journey from school, university to now. [00:02:10]

Speaker1: Sure. So I started off doing journalism at university in Cardiff, and then I really I, [00:02:15] you know, I had that dream that every girl has of being a fashion writer in the city. So I went [00:02:20] on to do fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins as my master’s degree, which was [00:02:25] amazing, totally different experience. And then after that, I’ll be very honest, I really [00:02:30] struggled to get a job in journalism because I went straight into doing a master’s [00:02:35] degree and I didn’t really do any interning. It was that horrible issue of, oh, [00:02:40] you’re overqualified, but under experienced, go away and intern for free someplace [00:02:45] for a little while and will maybe consider giving you a job. I was obviously living [00:02:50] in London. I’d spent 18 months doing a master’s degree. I was like, I can’t afford to work for free anymore. [00:02:55] So I ended up going into copywriting at a luxury department store for their online, [00:03:00] um, side, which was which was good. It was a it was a very it was quite creatively [00:03:05] draining job. It’s definitely one of those jobs that they would be able to do just with AI now. So I don’t even [00:03:10] know if I’d be employed anymore if I still work there. But it’s um.

Speaker3: And to.

Speaker1: Chatgpt. Yeah, [00:03:15] legit. I feel like there’d be someone just plugging things into that, but it was just like writing creative copy [00:03:20] for, um, fashion pieces, which was kind of fun for a while, but it was the same thing every [00:03:25] day. And at the time I started my original blog. So this was like back in like [00:03:30] the blogger days when it wasn’t you weren’t an influencer or content creator, you were a blogger. So I’d started [00:03:35] that doing whilst I was doing my first degree because I was like, oh, I want to show that I have some like fashion interests [00:03:40] and experience. And I kept it up through my master’s and my [00:03:45] first job, and it ended up doing better than I [00:03:50] kind of was in my actual job. And even though I was applying and freelancing for like other journalism roles, [00:03:55] I just started earning more money on sort of like my side hustle than I was in my everyday [00:04:00] job. And at that point I was like, yeah, I kind of need to leave my job. And that was seven, [00:04:05] nearly seven, eight years ago now. But back then.

Speaker3: How would people how would bloggers monetise? [00:04:10] Right. Because for me, I used to sometimes see blogs. Do you ever read blogs? Obviously on fashion? Yeah. And I thought, you can’t [00:04:15] monetise this. I mean, I just thought this was something people did, you know, for fun. Well, it was.

Speaker1: Like it was the same as you’d see a sponsored Instagram [00:04:20] post. It was a sponsored blog post. So you would write about the products. It was almost as like SEO. So [00:04:25] you would write about like the products and the brands and whatever you were being paid to promote. And usually you’d kind [00:04:30] of almost do it as a package deal where they’d be like, oh, we want one Instagram post and a blog [00:04:35] post and what would be your fee for this? And you kind of sell it as a package, and your Instagram post would [00:04:40] essentially promote your blog post. And yeah, it would just help them with SEO. So this was like the old school days. But then [00:04:45] as things were like taking off, it was all just about like Instagram promotion and like, [00:04:50] you know, this was even know this was just as Instagram Stories became a thing. Yeah. So yeah, it was [00:04:55] all around the time of like when Instagram was really booming. Youtube as well, I do YouTube. The majority [00:05:00] of my followers grew during the 2016 period, and that was like [00:05:05] I went from having like zero subscribers to 32,000, and now to this day I have 42,000, [00:05:10] but I’ve only grown that last 10,000 in the past, like, like six years. [00:05:15]

Speaker3: But you know what? It’s so funny because we had someone else, um, who was an incredible podcaster. She [00:05:20] actually boomed. So she literally gained like 100,000 followers within like six months. And she’s [00:05:25] at that stage now where she’s like, you feel it’s almost like a blank. Blessing and a curse because you’re [00:05:30] like, wow, I must be doing something right. And then you grow really slowly and you’re like, what am I not doing [00:05:35] right? And then you get into that kind of like self-critical space and start to question yourself. [00:05:40] So I think, you know, that’s the sort of danger about growing so fast, you know.

Speaker1: No, it’s [00:05:45] so true. I grew really, really fast over the space of around about a year, [00:05:50] and then everything slowed down. And then it does. You kind of go, it was, you know, what? That [00:05:55] person describing it as a blessing and a curse is so, so right. Because I when I was growing, [00:06:00] I felt so overwhelmed. I actually had the worst anxiety. My mental health was possibly nearly [00:06:05] the worst it’s probably ever been, and I felt very out of control. I also didn’t have an agent [00:06:10] back then, so I had no real support and I just moved in by myself. [00:06:15] So I was living alone and it was just very difficult to manage, and I felt like I was getting hundreds of DMs [00:06:20] a day, like people just replying to my stories and people just like sending me messages being like, oh, what [00:06:25] would you wear to like, you know, like your boyfriend’s like best friend’s dinner, like kind of thing. And I [00:06:30] just felt so overwhelmed all the time. I felt like I was suffocating. So when [00:06:35] things slowed down, even though I was there, like, oh my God, like, do people hate me? Am I doing something [00:06:40] wrong? Am I like, am I a failure? It was all those things at the same time. I was like, this [00:06:45] piece is kind of nice. Like it’s a little bit like at least I feel like I can slow down a [00:06:50] little bit and I don’t feel like I’m being overwhelmed as much. So it was like a blessing and a curse [00:06:55] for sure.

Speaker3: No, I love that. So we move on because I think, you know, a lot of people [00:07:00] also think that they cannot leave a vocational career and then move [00:07:05] on to kind of like the online world. And we’re lucky enough to have had lots of people, like in the public eye [00:07:10] and in the online world. But it’s not for the faint hearted. You speak [00:07:15] about your mental health a lot, right? I want to know, though, what who was [00:07:20] your first kind of role model online that pushed you? Because I think confidence is a massive thing, [00:07:25] right? Like even me when I was starting like now I’ve got a platform, Dental platform, etc., [00:07:30] there was definitely someone that I looked up to that was like, I want to be like you. And it was from a confidence point [00:07:35] of view more than anything. And I knew that that’s what I wanted to emulate. So who was that person for you?

Speaker1: So [00:07:40] I always really loved, um, this woman called, um, Audrey Layton Rogers, and [00:07:45] she. She’s still around. Yeah. She is, so she is. Look her up. She is. She goes [00:07:50] under the name of, uh. Well, we used to go under the name of, um, be Frassi. And that was how she started as a blog. And she was just [00:07:55] this really amazing, sassy, stylish woman. And she’s just she’s a writer as well. So the way that she communicates [00:08:00] online, even when she’s talking, or if she’s just writing Instagram stories, it’s just so smart. And she’s [00:08:05] become a friend of mine over the years, which is amazing. And I met up with her like last, [00:08:10] last September in Barcelona, where she was living at the time for the first time, having been online friends with her for years. [00:08:15] But she’s just always, I don’t know, like I she really inspired me just to kind of like, really speak my [00:08:20] mind and be a powerful woman because she is a powerful woman. She’s someone who goes to the gym and weight [00:08:25] lifts and her like aspiration is to be like really muscly. And, you know, men will send her like, messages [00:08:30] on dating apps and be like, oh, are you trans and things? Because she’s so muscly and she’s like, no, I just have bigger [00:08:35] muscles than you. So it’s like, she’s just she’s just a really amazing, inspiring woman. Like [00:08:40] she’s very like, I can be like strong, muscular, feminine, all of these things. And one, she’s an [00:08:45] incredible businesswoman. Um, owns a brand now, and she’s based in Paris. Yeah. She’s amazing. She’s really. Please [00:08:50] look her up. She’s great. But my question.

Speaker3: Is to you as well. Were you always vocal online since day one? [00:08:55]

Speaker1: I actually think. Yes, I actually, [00:09:00] to be honest, yeah. Even when I first started my blog, I would always speak about slightly more [00:09:05] controversial topics or like more opinionated, not controversial, but like [00:09:10] I would, I would share my opinions more. And I guess it kind of comes from being a writer [00:09:15] and studying writing and even this actually really funny. I even think back to when I was 14 [00:09:20] and, you know, when the MSN was a thing and you had like these little like, MSN blog things. [00:09:25] And I used to write a blog, and I remember writing a fashion report of what everyone wore to prom when I was 14, [00:09:30] and I said that I was really disappointed that one of the boys showed up wearing shorts with a tuxedo, [00:09:35] and I just thought I said that he looked messy. And then he sent me like a really mean message afterwards. So that was like my first [00:09:40] trolling experience. At 14, he said he hopes that I died. I was like, oh my God, I received my [00:09:45] first death threat. 14 so I think I’ve always been quite like, opinionated. I just I think back [00:09:50] then I wasn’t necessarily sure the weight that my opinions held because I was felt like I was shouting [00:09:55] into a empty room, whereas now I’m very aware that the room is full with a lot [00:10:00] of people. Yeah.

Speaker3: It’s so funny that because I think that, you know, especially as women, we [00:10:05] can show traits of, I want to call it leadership, right? I want to call it leadership. Like, you can be a young [00:10:10] guy, like I was a loud young girl, and I love the camera. And I used to get labelled [00:10:15] as bossy, right. Because I used to be, you know, I used to be that girl that wanted all the attention. And I [00:10:20] think we’re recognising that was probably leadership skills that I was showing from a young age. And I think, like now, if [00:10:25] I have a daughter, I would like actually want to encourage her and I’d want to [00:10:30] like harness those as well. But I think in a way, like you sort of know the woman that you are or like from [00:10:35] a young age, and it’s important about being able to kind of express yourself in a way. [00:10:40]

Speaker1: Yeah, completely. It’s really weird because I feel like I was always I had this like loud, [00:10:45] like bossy girl within me that wanted to come out, but I was always [00:10:50] quite on the surface, very shy. It took me I don’t know what it took me to bring that out, but I’m the [00:10:55] same. I’d. I think it’s a shame I was even thinking of this whole, like how women are labelled bossy [00:11:00] and men are named like labelled like assertive. To two hours ago I was thinking [00:11:05] I was just, I don’t know where my train of thought just went there and I was like, why is it that this always happens? It’s really annoying [00:11:10] because even now I catch myself still sometimes referring to women and thinking, oh yeah, she’s nice, but she’s a little bit bossy. [00:11:15] And then I’m like, oh, I just did that thing. And like, yeah, it’s kind of having that self accountability. But [00:11:20] yeah.

Speaker4: I think the sorry to interrupt, but I think the the [00:11:25] interesting question is both of you as kind of influencers, I mean, in your way and [00:11:30] in your way, that there must be a tension between what you want to say and [00:11:35] what works to say.

Speaker3: We both looked at each other.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah. [00:11:40] Like a very knowing look like, oh yeah.

Speaker4: And, you know, to take it to its extreme, I mean, you could just walk [00:11:45] around in bikinis and you’re following, you’re following would grow, no doubt. Yeah, but that’s [00:11:50] not what you want to represent right to. Obviously you’re not going to do that. But what I’m [00:11:55] saying is how much of what you do is, is dictated by the algorithm. [00:12:00] And that worked. I’m going to do that again. And how much of it is what’s on your mind? And I guess there is this [00:12:05] perfect moment when the two things coincide.

Speaker3: I think I, you know, I like it’ll be interesting [00:12:10] to hear like Sophie’s viewpoint, because I think also an art to being a [00:12:15] successful content creator is mastering the algorithm. Because at the end of the day, if your [00:12:20] job is a full time job as a content creator, you need to monetise that as well. Let’s be honest, [00:12:25] it’s your full time job, right? It’s not just something that you do sort of on the side, which is more like me because I’m just [00:12:30] trying to gain patience. I don’t necessarily need to get paid for like ads and things like that, but when [00:12:35] I hit the algorithm, I’m like, oh, I know that this is working. So I therefore need to do that. But that doesn’t [00:12:40] sometimes align with what I want to do, because sometimes I put out something. I’m like, I love that even. It [00:12:45] might be like a sound bite of something that we’ve done. And I’m like, I love that. Me and Payman really spoke with passion [00:12:50] and it flops on the algorithm and I’m like, but why don’t people care about human rights, you know? [00:12:55] And then I might post something like, um, like you say, a sexy transition [00:13:00] and it does better. And I’m like, why is that done better? Or the opposite can happen. I want my sexy transition [00:13:05] to do well. I’m like, people aren’t validating the way that I look. So there is this internal dichotomy that goes [00:13:10] on between what I want to post and what I want to do well versus what I know does [00:13:15] well. And I think it’s interesting because sometimes I post stuff on stories first before I do on post, I’m like, oh, [00:13:20] that’s done well on stories, then I’ll post it. Does that make sense?

Speaker1: That’s really smart. See, I, I have this quite [00:13:25] a bit and I see things that obviously do very well on Instagram. And I have seen [00:13:30] creators that I follow grow like a hundred thousand followers in quite [00:13:35] a short space of time. And there is this very, very, very popular form of content right now. [00:13:40] And it is. And I you know what I’m going to say it. It’s and this is no shade at all because I think [00:13:45] it works for some people, but it doesn’t quite sit well with me. And it’s um, and I understand why it does. Well, [00:13:50] so it’s this whole form of content of, um, recreating Pinterest outfits on a size 10 [00:13:55] to 12 body or a size 12 to 14 body. And they are quite average [00:14:00] sizes for a lot of women to be in their late 20s, early 30s. [00:14:05] But we don’t necessarily see it replicated and we don’t see it on Pinterest. But these [00:14:10] kind of pieces of content tend to go viral a lot because a lot of people want to see it. [00:14:15] But for me, I don’t know. I have suffered with a lot of body issues in my in my life, [00:14:20] and I find that content that is very size specific can [00:14:25] be quite triggering.

Speaker1: And I don’t know, but that’s just very me and I, [00:14:30] I don’t know, it opens up channels of debate in the comments. And, you know, I’ve seen other people [00:14:35] do it before and people will be in the comments being like, oh my God, you’re not a size 12. You’re you’re definitely [00:14:40] way bigger than that. And oh no, no, what are you talking about? She only looks like a size ten. And I [00:14:45] just like, I could never put myself in the firing line of people dissecting my body. And I think when [00:14:50] you put out content saying, oh, recreating these outfits on a X kind [00:14:55] of body, you are instantly opening the conversation for your body to be dissected and spoken [00:15:00] about. So for me, even though I know I could probably gain a lot of followers by doing that, I [00:15:05] just can’t put myself there because once again, it will destroy my mind and [00:15:10] it will trigger me massively.

Speaker3: So what’s interesting that you say that because I don’t know if you’ve seen Sophie’s content, but Sophie’s [00:15:15] also been very open about surgery she’s had or kind of facial cosmetic procedures. [00:15:20] So when you’re so open and doing that, do you not feel like you’re putting yourself in the firing line then like, what’s [00:15:25] the difference?

Speaker1: I feel as though it’s it’s my face [00:15:30] and I feel it’s a real difficult thing that I’ve really toyed with. I remember when I had my nose [00:15:35] job and I, I didn’t want to tell anyone, I wasn’t going to tell anybody. [00:15:40] And I remember speaking to a few of my close friends and they were like, Sophie, how the hell are you going to hide it? It’s on your face. And I [00:15:45] was like, I know, but like, I’m having a very natural nose job. And I felt like I couldn’t [00:15:50] hide, hide that I had to tell the truth. And a lot of people said, oh, you know, [00:15:55] it’s better to be honest and open about getting work done than then [00:16:00] to, to hide it because, you know, like these beauty standards and, you know, it’s you’re [00:16:05] contributing to a problem by not speaking about it. And I was like, but am I not contributing [00:16:10] to a problem by speaking about it? Am I not encouraging people to go and get surgery? [00:16:15] And then I was stuck with this problem. And I’ve spoken about this so much, and it’s something that I still feel so conflicted [00:16:20] by.

Speaker1: And I flip between the two all the time, and it’s, do I tell [00:16:25] people about my cosmetic surgery, which I have, I have done or do [00:16:30] I and like, you know, risk encouraging people to go get surgery or do I just not say [00:16:35] anything? And I and like, you know, then people don’t know. But then people might look at me and be like, oh, she looks [00:16:40] so great. And oh, I wish I looked like that. And then it feels like a lie. So I don’t ever [00:16:45] know what to do. And I’ve, I’ve gone the other way now where sometimes I’m like, I actually don’t know if I want [00:16:50] to talk about it anymore, because I don’t know if it is helpful as much as [00:16:55] people like, oh no, it’s really helpful to be honest. We love transparency and influencer. I’m like, I don’t know if [00:17:00] it does help people, so I really don’t know what the answer is. And I feel conflicted all the time. It actually like makes [00:17:05] me feel really guilty.

Speaker4: The thing is, this needle that you’re dancing on is the whole problem. [00:17:10] Where in with Instagram, let’s say you can’t look at someone’s Instagram profile and no one [00:17:15] thinks you look at someone’s Instagram profile, that’s their life, because it is a sort of a highlight reel. At [00:17:20] the same time, what seems to work is authenticity. And [00:17:25] so he talks.

Speaker3: About this all the time.

Speaker4: Oh do you. So yeah. So so so you know the [00:17:30] problem is those two that tension between those two. But I noticed I was looking at your content. [00:17:35] I noticed you were doing things like uh, catcalling um, as a, as a he was.

Speaker3: Super interested [00:17:40] in this. He’s like, how often do you get catcalled? I was like, sometimes he’s like, but she gets catcalled all the time. I was like, [00:17:45] okay, fine, you know, are you feeling bad? I was like, okay, then that’s cool. Thanks for coming. [00:17:50] You know?

Speaker4: You know. So for instance, I didn’t even know it was a thing. I had no idea it was a thing, really. [00:17:55] Um, I do remember when I was 17 years old, one of my friends doing it all the time, but. [00:18:00] But I didn’t realise it was still a thing. I didn’t realise it was something that bothered you. Yeah. And there is a [00:18:05] I mean, I don’t think it’s equivalent, but there is a opposite of catcalling that I’ve [00:18:10] seen as well.

Speaker3: But with men.

Speaker4: Well, I’ve got friends who’ve got supercars and women are trying [00:18:15] to get their attention as they’re driving. Do you know, I’ve seen that many. I’ve been in the I’ve been in the car. [00:18:20]

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah. So that does happen too.

Speaker3: But because I think it’s really important that Sophie has [00:18:25] this conversation because when the Sophie, when the Sophie Everard thing happened, Sarah Everard [00:18:30] um, when the Sophie Sarah when the Sarah Everard thing happened, Sophie was very [00:18:35] vocal about it and felt very passionate because obviously as women we felt so much violation. [00:18:40] Um, you know, she represented so many of us and so many different ways, [00:18:45] you know, and you were really open about that. What I have found interesting, though, and I’d be interested [00:18:50] to get your view on this. I recently went out with a few girlfriends [00:18:55] and what I realised is women behave. Really? Really thirsty to men, even if men [00:19:00] have a girlfriend. I was so shocked. This has happened to me a few times, where I’ve been [00:19:05] out with my girlfriends and other women are blatantly hitting on their boyfriends blatantly, [00:19:10] blatantly. And I’m like, whoa, this is such a like boundary like. And I felt really. [00:19:15] And my girlfriends get really upset because they’re like, I’m standing here like, it’s so rude. Do you know what I mean? [00:19:20] And so I was like, this is so interesting. But obviously I asked the guys, I’m like, do you like that, guys? And they’re like, no, [00:19:25] we actually don’t like it. So, you know, you speak a lot, which is what I want to touch on [00:19:30] you on, like, you know, kind of men, you know, female energy, male energy, toxic masculinity, all these different [00:19:35] elements. So like, let’s break it down, like with with catcalling. What how does it make you feel [00:19:40] and what and do you think that we are moving more towards the side where we’re actually [00:19:45] scaring men off to make a move?

Speaker1: I mean, catcalling makes me feel naked on the street. It [00:19:50] makes me feel uncomfortable. Even earlier today, I was walking [00:19:55] up a road and I saw a group of, um, builders scaffolders. Instantly I felt anxiety [00:20:00] because I was just like, fuck sake, here we go again. Sorry. So I was just like, here we go again. Okay, good. Because [00:20:05] I was just like, because it happened so frequently. And whether it’s just whistles, whether it’s just the way they all stop and stare and put down [00:20:10] their tools and stare as you, as you walk by. And I know people will be like, it’s a compliment, but it’s not. And a really good example [00:20:15] of this is the fact that there have been times where men [00:20:20] in those environments have been have actually, genuinely paid me [00:20:25] a compliment. So there was a delivery driver, and delivery drivers can be quite notorious for catcalling and beeping [00:20:30] their horns or staring out the window. There was a delivery driver who was doing a delivery and I was walking by and he went, oh [00:20:35] my God, you’re absolutely gorgeous. Have a really lovely day. And it was so, so [00:20:40] nice. Whereas that is so different to a man like beeping their horn really aggressive at you [00:20:45] and then making you jump and then them laughing at you, that is completely different. Like [00:20:50] one is a compliment. One is not a compliment. And this is the thing. It’s how it is put [00:20:55] out there. I had this guy come up to me in the street and, you know, he sounds really bad.

Speaker1: He looked he looked [00:21:00] homeless and he came up and he was just he got he got quite close to me and then went, you’re bloody lovely, darling. Where are [00:21:05] you going tonight? I hope you have a lovely time. And I was just like, you’re so nice. That is so. And it wasn’t [00:21:10] threatening. It wasn’t horrible. He just left it as it was. And I think that’s the thing. I think a lot of people, people who [00:21:15] say like, oh, yeah, well, you know, catcalling, catcalling, it’s just a compliment. It’s not, it’s not if [00:21:20] it’s not done in a complimentary way. And I think a lot of men will hide what they’re doing [00:21:25] as a compliment, when actually it’s just them trying to impose their power dynamics. [00:21:30] I got I’ve got men fired before because I called their employers. I complained about [00:21:35] them, I called their employers, and I posted online about it, and I was just like this company. Someone called me. And then actually, [00:21:40] like the female CEO called me and were like, we are absolutely disgusted [00:21:45] by this behaviour. We want to know exactly where this happened. Do you have a photo? Send us the photos. We need the registration [00:21:50] plate. And then they ended up firing the guys like it’s happened a few times and [00:21:55] it’s. But the companies have always taken it very seriously. So this is what I’d always say. I would always say complain [00:22:00] to the company and I think they.

Speaker4: Deserve to be fired.

Speaker1: Yeah I do, they should know better. They absolutely should [00:22:05] know better. Like you shouldn’t be going around treating people like me. I don’t think so. And I think that’s the thing. I think at least [00:22:10] he should have been reprimanded. I think, okay, maybe fired was a little bit harsh, but I feel that at [00:22:15] the end of the day, it needs to be taken seriously. And I think if someone gets fired, it shows that [00:22:20] they’re taking it. Yeah, it shows that they’re taking it seriously and that other people won’t be doing it anymore.

Speaker3: So [00:22:25] my question is though, so we have a lot of we talk a lot about men’s mental health as well. [00:22:30] And you know that like the biggest cause of male death under the age of 25 is male suicide. [00:22:35] And, you know, men are massively underrepresented. I talk a lot about Andrew Tate and I shouldn’t on this [00:22:40] podcast because I feel like we’ve really failed society. If he is [00:22:45] the male, um, the person that men look up to, you know, I feel like we’ve really [00:22:50] failed them. But my question is as well, how do we I mean, [00:22:55] how can we do better? Do you know what I mean? Because also. So on the one hand, I totally agree with you. [00:23:00] Men shouldn’t treat women like me. The ones that are behaving badly, you know, should sort [00:23:05] of like be called out. We should set a precedent and a standard. But do you not think that also some guys [00:23:10] will be like, well, I don’t know how to approach a girl, like, what’s the way to do it? You know, like, how can we do [00:23:15] better for these guys? And who can be who can be, who can be like the person that they look [00:23:20] up to? Okay.

Speaker1: So this question I feel is twofold. Guys who are like, oh my God, I’m scared to approach a woman. Honestly, [00:23:25] if you’re scared to approach a woman, then you don’t know how to approach a woman. So that’s one thing that’s that’s instantly a problem. Go [00:23:30] on YouTube, you can find it out. Like, honestly, look at how look at how women find female content [00:23:35] creators who say how to approach a woman. Totally. But then the whole thing about actually [00:23:40] like men’s mental health and then not having a role model, that in itself is a very, very sad and [00:23:45] difficult issue. And the thing is, I genuinely do believe there are a lot of male role models out [00:23:50] there that are a lot healthier, but I think what we need to I don’t think it’s a case of like, oh, we don’t have them [00:23:55] because they exist. Like I always I mean, I’m a. Formula one fan. So I’m like Lewis Hamilton. [00:24:00] He’s amazing. Like, you know, he he stands up for, you know, women’s rights, LGBTQ [00:24:05] rights. He stands up for men’s rights. He stands up for. And he still.

Speaker3: Gives like an alpha.

Speaker1: Energy. Yeah. And he’s [00:24:10] like he’s a mixed race man. So he’s like you know he’s a he’s a black man. So it’s like but maybe that’s [00:24:15] part of the problem. Maybe there’s racism in there. That’s why people don’t want to look up to him. They want to look up to like a, [00:24:20] uh, someone who is a straight, very straight white man who doesn’t represent all these other things. [00:24:25] And I think that’s that’s the issue. I think there are a lot of male role models out there who [00:24:30] are good people, but for some reason, a lot of men are gravitating towards these [00:24:35] bad role models. And I think I don’t know why that is. [00:24:40] I feel I do I feel like I feel like men in society today feel, do feel quite lost. And I think, [00:24:45] I think the issue is a lot of women have gained a lot more equality, and [00:24:50] men are feeling slightly uncomfortable, like they don’t necessarily [00:24:55] know where their place is anymore because they’ve always kind of had that role of being like, oh, I’m a provider, I do this, I [00:25:00] do that well now it’s like a lot of women are outearning men in a lot of cases. And, you know, like doing better [00:25:05] than men. And I think men are a bit like, oh, well, where do I stand? And well, you know, you can buy me dinner. And I think [00:25:10] it’s kind of level the playing field and makes them feel like they don’t know where they belong. But I don’t feel like the [00:25:15] answer to that is to then make women feel like shit. Like. No. Like, you know, [00:25:20] I feel like there needs to be a a better solution. But with we don’t know what that [00:25:25] is. You know what.

Speaker3: My pet peeve is? Men that say, oh, she intimidates me. She’s intimidating. [00:25:30] Oh, and I know that you think that’s a thing. You’re like me. No, because I’m just like, it’s annoying. Like, just man [00:25:35] up. Do you know what I mean? Like, why am I intimidating you? Because I have a voice. Like, I’m sure Sophie gets all the time [00:25:40] because I have an opinion, you know? And it was so. It was so funny because I [00:25:45] was with a group of friends, and, um, one of my friends is dating a very sort of alpha [00:25:50] guy, and he was like, I want my a girlfriend. That’s [00:25:55] my plus one.

Speaker4: He’s a fool. He’s a.

Speaker3: Fool. I love that, I love that. [00:26:00]

Speaker4: Yeah, but the intimate intimidation thing is real. Insomuch as when when you’re younger, as [00:26:05] a man. I mean, you say that you should just go and find out, but it’s very, [00:26:10] very, very hard as a as a man to even approach a girl. Yeah. These [00:26:15] days when everyone’s in their phones. Yeah. It’s, you know, there’s, there’s nothing there’s, there’s, there’s [00:26:20] no way of making any connection. At the same time we’ve got swiping to the right or whatever that is. [00:26:25] Yeah. So, so that’s kind of made up for it. Yeah. But the Andrew Tate thing that we keep on talking about unfortunately [00:26:30] I think it’s, it’s a, it’s a case of what you said is right Sophie [00:26:35] that that underprivileged men. And by that I don’t mean [00:26:40] black or I mean it turns out white underprivileged men are [00:26:45] some of the most unrepresented people in society. Yeah, they’re the ones who do the worst [00:26:50] in society. And that may have been the cause of Brexit. True. [00:26:55]

Speaker3: Yeah. Fear. It’s the fear. It’s the fear that made them. Yeah.

Speaker4: It’s like right now a voice [00:27:00] is being given to women, trans people, you know, uh, different races, but white [00:27:05] underprivileged men haven’t got a voice. And so they’ve gravitated to this sort of extremes. [00:27:10]

Speaker1: I don’t know if I feel like they don’t have a voice. They’ve always had a voice. I feel like I [00:27:15] feel like if there’s a pie chart and there’s like, this much voice, [00:27:20] I feel like they’ve always had such a big percentage. But I feel like now because of, like other, like slices [00:27:25] of this pie are being handed out to, to to more minority communities. They feel like they don’t have a [00:27:30] voice anymore, but they still do have one.

Speaker4: The thing is, Sophie, so you speak for trans people. Yeah. What the percentage [00:27:35] of those compared to white men.

Speaker1: Yeah. But it’s more the fact that like they’re [00:27:40] a minority and they haven’t, they haven’t had a voice for a really long time.

Speaker4: Percentage of those in society is what [00:27:45] I don’t know what it is. What is.

Speaker1: It? I don’t know what it is either. I don’t know, I’m not a trans expert. [00:27:50] I just like advocate.

Speaker4: I’m just one less than 1%. Yeah. So if they’re less than [00:27:55] 1% are given a voice and then you’ve got men who [00:28:00] might be, I don’t know, underprivileged men might be 20% haven’t got a voice. [00:28:05] That’s where it’s come from.

Speaker3: Yeah, perhaps. Perhaps. And that’s why they gravitate towards people like Jordan Peterson [00:28:10] as well. You know, like which I know is a massively like, controversial figure and interestingly, [00:28:15] somewhat um, um, he said some really rogue things. What did he say? Oh, [00:28:20] this is not for this podcast. The rogue things, trust me. Um, basically. But who [00:28:25] is piers Morgan was actually interviewing Jordan Peterson. And I know, like the one thing about [00:28:30] Piers Morgan that I appreciate is that he just gives a platform to different voices. [00:28:35] And recently, like, I know that like a lot of people don’t like him, and I completely can see why. But I [00:28:40] think over like only very recently, I’m like the person that he put like for example, like, as you [00:28:45] know, like I’m from an ethnic minority. And he recently allowed like a big YouTuber who was like from [00:28:50] Egypt, um, to come on there, that would normally be considered quite controversial. And he has like he [00:28:55] had a voice, you know, for the Middle East anyway. So when he came on there, he said to Jordan, he’s like, you sound [00:29:00] like you’re the voice of like, sad, lonely white men. He actually said that. So as you were saying that, [00:29:05] I was like, it’s kind of true. So they do have that voice in a way. You know, I do think that there is that sort of representation. [00:29:10] Um, one thing that I wanted to ask you, though, as well, is [00:29:15] that, you know, you’re very open about your mental health online. Do you feel over the last decade [00:29:20] that your mental health has become, you know, very difficult [00:29:25] because of being online? Or do you think it’s because of the difficulties of just growing up, as it were?

Speaker1: I [00:29:30] definitely online is a big trigger, and it has been a big trigger for me, I think, especially when, [00:29:35] like I said, my platform was growing a lot and I felt very overwhelmed. And even sometimes [00:29:40] it feels I don’t really get a lot of bad comments anymore.

Speaker3: But [00:29:45] I think it’s because you call them out and I admire you for it. Because even when you get like the negative nellies, you’ll [00:29:50] screenshot it and be like, and today is like winner is.

Speaker1: You know what? I’ve actually stopped [00:29:55] doing that as much because I actually felt like I was feeding it more. And I mean, [00:30:00] very much so, like this kind of very transitional phase of my life where I usually call a lot of stuff [00:30:05] out, but now I’m a little bit like I’m very picky and choosy with it because I’m like, actually, do I really want to spend my [00:30:10] energy on that? Or do I just want to just let that go? Like, unless it’s like really bad and I feel like I really [00:30:15] need to like argue with my case. I feel a lot of people that come to you and complain about [00:30:20] things or have a go at you. It’s the thing is you’re you’re not going to change their minds. [00:30:25] And trying to change their mind is actually a total waste of your energy, and it’s not [00:30:30] worth it. So even the other day I posted about something and I got some shit [00:30:35] for it quite quickly, and I deleted the thing and I just instantly was just, I just, [00:30:40] I was like, I, I could get into an argument with this person or I could try and explain [00:30:45] myself, but I was like, there is no point because they’re never going to see my point of view.

Speaker1: They’re just not. That’s the thing. [00:30:50] And I just find in terms of my mental health, it’s really changed over the years. I’m [00:30:55] in a very good place with it now where I find it easier to let things go. But even now I find it [00:31:00] people. It’s just tick tock. People are so mean on TikTok. Like, I [00:31:05] don’t usually look at the comments either, but it’s just like when I have done, I’m like [00:31:10] are like, oh, and it takes me back to how I felt when my platform was first growing. And like, I would get [00:31:15] really mean comment about the fillers that I had back then. To be honest, my fillers were really awful back then anyway, [00:31:20] so I kind of deserved it. But it’s just it’s difficult. I recently so I, I’ve [00:31:25] gone through like bouts of depression over the years and I spent three years on [00:31:30] antidepressants, which I then, you know, came off and I’m really glad that I came off them.

Speaker3: Can you tell us a [00:31:35] little bit if you don’t mind sharing, though, do you, do you believe because we were talking about this, do you believe the antidepressants, in hindsight [00:31:40] masked your symptoms rather than got like to the root cause of them? [00:31:45] And do you think they had their place and would you take them again if you needed them?

Speaker1: Okay. Very, [00:31:50] very, very complicated. It’s a simple question but complicated answers and very conflicted feelings. So [00:31:55] I would absolutely personally try and avoid taking them again. And [00:32:00] this is simply because for me, after a while of being on them, they really numbed me out. [00:32:05] Um, I also gained a lot of weight on them, which [00:32:10] then I have, like I said, I have body image issues. And then that I went into really full blown body [00:32:15] dysmorphia where I was like then experiencing a whole different mental health issue, [00:32:20] and it was horrible. So I felt really out of control of my body. So [00:32:25] it was really difficult. So I was like, oh, what do I have? And I then actually came off them and [00:32:30] like, really? I was in Bali and I actually didn’t take enough with me and I was like, oh God, I’m going to have to [00:32:35] stop taking my antidepressants. And I was like, I’ll have them. I’ll wean myself off them. And then I just actually was fine. Like, I [00:32:40] didn’t really have any withdrawal symptoms. And I was in such a good place mentally because I’d been really doing the work, and I’d always [00:32:45] tried to do the work. I’d been in therapy for years, but I don’t know, something just felt different.

Speaker1: I [00:32:50] felt like something had shifted in me, and I really started looking into, like, more holistic ways. And I’m [00:32:55] never going to be one of those people who’s like, you’re going to heal everything holistically. But I will always try and be someone who will [00:33:00] heal something holistically first. And then after a few months of being off my [00:33:05] antidepressants, I then started noticing I was getting depressed again. But it would [00:33:10] last for like two weeks and then go away for two weeks and then would come back for two weeks and go away for two [00:33:15] weeks. And then it hit me in January last year. This, this year, um, [00:33:20] that I thought it was Pmdd, which is premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is essentially [00:33:25] severe PMS. And it’s caused it’s not really known exactly exactly what causes it. Some [00:33:30] social and it’s like but basically it’s like having suicidal thoughts and tendencies and [00:33:35] ideations before your period. You, um, like, you can’t leave the house, you have no energy, [00:33:40] you have rage, you honestly become a monster. And it is it is like PMS [00:33:45] on steroids. And it it felt like someone just flipped a switch. One day in my brain, I’d [00:33:50] wake up and I’d be a different person.

Speaker1: And it was really scary. I used to actually feel like I was hallucinating, [00:33:55] like the walls were closing in on me and it got. A very scary to a point where my parents had to come down and [00:34:00] stay with me for a while because they were like, we can’t let you be alone. And I went and saw a specialist [00:34:05] and they were like, you know, there’s several routes of treatment. But once again, it was going to take me [00:34:10] back down to the antidepressant route. And I was just like, which actually I look back and I’m like, was [00:34:15] my antidepressants just masking Pmdd for years? Was I ever really depressed or did I [00:34:20] just have Pmdd? I don’t know, but either way, whatever happens, I just changed. Like my diet [00:34:25] and the supplements that I was taking. I started seeking holistic measures and getting acupuncture a few times a [00:34:30] month, and it completely changed everything. And it took a little while. [00:34:35] But like, I actually feel in control and even just knowing what it is, knowing like tracking [00:34:40] my cycle, knowing when it’s coming, I can feel I feel more in control of it. So if I have a I just manage my lifestyle [00:34:45] a little.

Speaker3: I totally agree, I think knowledge is power and I’m the same as well. Sorry. Pay. This is a very girly, [00:34:50] girly girly.

Speaker1: Like.

Speaker3: Route. But ultimately what I realised was is like [00:34:55] hormones. Hormones are the things that like really, really differentiate us. [00:35:00] Like it’s so it’s crazy like for women. And I’m sure you’ve seen this with your wife as [00:35:05] well. Like it really does control things. And it really even like my decision making process is completely [00:35:10] altered at like certain points now, having an app and knowing at what point I am in my [00:35:15] cycle has totally empowered me because like I said, if I’m like, why do I feel so crap today? And [00:35:20] like, the world is like caving in on me, and then I’ll look and I’ll be like, okay, I know I feel this way [00:35:25] because of this. I’m still feeling this way, but I know that this isn’t a permanent state, and I think there’s something [00:35:30] so powerful in that. It is.

Speaker1: It’s so true. And I think it’s it is one of these things that I think women’s [00:35:35] hormones have kind of been laughed off as like, oh my God, hormonal. And we do ourselves like, oh my [00:35:40] God. Yeah, I’m just pmsing. And like we, we do it to kind of like normalise it and just make it not seem like a big [00:35:45] deal, but it can be a really big deal. Do you guys.

Speaker4: Think do you guys think the stigma of talking about, [00:35:50] you know, PMS is a thing that we should get over and it should be that [00:35:55] you can you should be able to say, it’s my period and I’m not feeling like talking about this or [00:36:00] whatever. I think.

Speaker3: 100%. Do you know what you know? Like there are days I don’t know how bad Sophie’s get. Sophie’s [00:36:05] get Rs. But there are days where I really don’t want to turn up to stuff, and I almost feel like I [00:36:10] need, like if if we acknowledged it and validated it and I’m like, my PMS [00:36:15] or Pmdd is so bad today, I feel crippled. I don’t want to leave the house. That’s how I feel sometimes, but [00:36:20] I feel like I can’t say it because people will be like, get over yourself and take a paracetamol when it’s actually more complex than that. I literally [00:36:25] just want to be on the sofa doing nothing and like, brood. Do you know what I mean?

Speaker1: Like, you know, I think it’s actually really brilliant. [00:36:30] There is so much more conversations happening from, you know, like big celebrities and, you know, people [00:36:35] who are in like the medical industry talking about this and the impact of it. And I’m seeing it more and more, [00:36:40] even globally, like people speak in America, like Australia, talking about it. So it is getting [00:36:45] a lot more even like Pmdd was on it, like it had like a little feature on Emmerdale. One of the girls in Emmerdale [00:36:50] had. Yeah, I think it was Emmerdale. So it is getting more publicity, which is great.

Speaker4: Are you not conflicted about [00:36:55] it though, because you know, there’s a, there’s a misogynistic side that says, oh, women shouldn’t [00:37:00] be judges because what if they’re having a bad, you know, day? You know, in Islam it’s actually [00:37:05] written. It’s one of the things that’s written. So are you not conflicted by that? I’m quite conflicted [00:37:10] myself. Yeah. Because, you know, there are women I know, uh, very close to me who [00:37:15] I never know when, when, when it’s their period. And there’s women I know who [00:37:20] tell me every time that’s.

Speaker3: Gonna be me. Yeah.

Speaker4: But. And I’m a bit conflicted because. Because [00:37:25] to start with, I used to think, well, don’t tell me about it, you know, just handle your handle yourself. [00:37:30] Yeah. But then when you hear about the the stories of how bad it can be, like suicidal thoughts [00:37:35] once a month, I mean, it’s a ridiculous thing. Um, I didn’t know that. Yeah. And if that’s [00:37:40] a real thing that we should that should be we should accommodate. Yeah, that should be taught to boys and girls. [00:37:45] And then, you know, this is a real thing. Yeah. You know, it’s definitely such a weird.

Speaker1: It is, it is. It’s [00:37:50] my it was actually my dad who was the one who googled it and was like looking into it. My dad was like, oh my God, this is exactly what [00:37:55] Sophie has. And it was my dad who was like the biggest advocate for like me [00:38:00] seeing a specialist and seeing the right person about this and like, which really surprised [00:38:05] me because my dad’s like 70 years old. He’s like the most like typical straight white, like working [00:38:10] class guy from the Midlands ever. But it was really sweet and um, but yeah, it [00:38:15] is, but I do I feel I feel conflicted sometimes because I’ve always my mum on the other hand was always [00:38:20] there like, oh yeah, well it’s just hormones. You should be able to control your hormones and your emotions. Sophie and I just couldn’t [00:38:25] growing up. I found it really hard and like, there is a thing in my head where it’s like, [00:38:30] well, I should be able to. And I don’t like the fact that, like, I’m affected by this. Like, I [00:38:35] don’t like it and it makes me feel like a weaker person and it bothers me. Whereas now [00:38:40] it’s like I’m just like, you know what? Stop trying to fight it and just go with it. And like, if I’m having like, [00:38:45] I like I said, I don’t get the suicidal thoughts anymore.

Speaker1: Like, I don’t get this and that because there is [00:38:50] whatever I’m taking now to help. And like the acupuncture, it has just alleviated [00:38:55] everything. It’s managed it and it’s amazing and I haven’t. Had to take anything else, but a lot of women get it worse. The only thing I [00:39:00] would say about talking about it I found like people suggested forums, [00:39:05] they were like, oh, look on this forum on Reddit and look on this like join this Facebook support group. Oh my [00:39:10] God, it was hell. It was because everyone was talking about like the worst parts of it. And it made me feel [00:39:15] worse. And it made me feel scared. It made me feel really, really scared and negative. Yeah. And then if [00:39:20] someone shared a success story being like, oh, I’ve been taking these supplements and I’ve been doing this and this has helped, [00:39:25] people would kind of then like shit on it and be like, oh, well, good for you. I’m having to [00:39:30] take because HRT is one of the treatments for it. Yeah. So some people and like if it gets that bad, some people [00:39:35] have to have a hysterectomy. So it’s really severe. But like but how.

Speaker4: How far should [00:39:40] we take it? Rona, if your nurse calls in and says I can’t come in today because it’s my.

Speaker3: Listen, I’m very. [00:39:45]

Speaker4: Listen by the.

Speaker3: Way I think I think look listen it’s very different right. As in like, you know, now being [00:39:50] an employer, I have a lot of empathy because in a way it’s part of mental [00:39:55] health. And I have so much empathy for mental health because I and, you [00:40:00] know, I still struggle with being open in terms of like when I don’t want to turn up to things. I really struggle [00:40:05] with actually telling people, you know, I’m not I’m talking about social things. There are days where I’m like, I have such [00:40:10] bad anxiety, I don’t actually want to go. But I forced myself to go. And that’s again because I’ve been conditioned, [00:40:15] like you said, like pull yourself out of it sort of attitude, when actually it’s probably really healthy [00:40:20] for me to just sit with the emotions at home. Like, I’m not saying like sit there and be in a depressive state, [00:40:25] but, you know, sometimes just sitting with the emotions can be okay for you. And don’t get me wrong, sometimes [00:40:30] going out and actually that was really nice to see my friends and like, you know what I mean? Get into that. But [00:40:35] mental health in the workplace with my job. Um, some people I [00:40:40] think have been abusing it, I think because they’ve been like, they know that the conversation’s more open. [00:40:45] They’ve been like, I’m going to use this as an excuse not to come in when I know they don’t really [00:40:50] suffer with that. But obviously because I know because.

Speaker4: I hear, you know, I hear you, I hear you.

Speaker3: No, no, no, because [00:40:55] it will be a character that I’ve worked with. And I know that they’ve been binge drinking and gone [00:41:00] to like, a Hindu, and suddenly they call up for mental health when you’re like, you’re just hung over, you know what I mean? [00:41:05]

Speaker4: The thing is, the thing is, yeah, in these situations, either the employee is going [00:41:10] to get one over on the employer or the other way around, like if you’re too hard on [00:41:15] it. Yeah. There’ll be times where you, you actually make people come in or, or make but I.

Speaker3: Don’t, but I [00:41:20] don’t, but I never do, but I never do.

Speaker4: So so what I’m saying is I would rather my employee gets one [00:41:25] over on me. I would rather a few employees cheat. Yeah. Then my [00:41:30] actual suffering employee isn’t her. Oh, yeah, 100%.

Speaker3: But that’s that’s that’s already [00:41:35] it. Because I never question it is my point. You know, like, I sometimes you have a hunch because you really know sort [00:41:40] of the type of person. But I never question it because I have such a strong [00:41:45] like view. And I get frustrated because I feel people still around me don’t aren’t empathetic [00:41:50] to my own situation, you know? So I would never do that, you know, and I think that that’s like [00:41:55] really important, as I said, like people having open conversations like Sophie does all the time about this [00:42:00] stuff is always like a great comfort because I’m like conversations being open. And I know how many people you reach, you know, [00:42:05] through those conversations. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker4: Can I ask you, Sophie? Sorry. There was something you said [00:42:10] on the podcast that I listened to about travelling alone. Yeah. And [00:42:15] also about this is the one I’m really interested in eating alone in restaurants.

Speaker1: Yeah. [00:42:20]

Speaker4: And is that a worry? Like, would you not eat alone in a restaurant?

Speaker1: I would, [00:42:25] but I don’t. I don’t think I’d go out for dinner in London just because, I don’t know. I just feel like I just it’s [00:42:30] more just because, like, I like being at home and I’m like, I don’t know if I could be bothered to go out for dinner. If [00:42:35] I was out and I was hungry, I would do it, but I wouldn’t take myself out because I’m like, I like to, I [00:42:40] love, I love to cook and I’m like, why would I take myself out and spend £40 on a nice dinner and a drink?

Speaker4: Listen, [00:42:45] let’s say you were in another town or something and you, you were on your own. Would you, would you order [00:42:50] delivery to your hotel or would you go, like.

Speaker3: If you’re in Paris, for.

Speaker4: Example? Oh, let’s let’s [00:42:55] leave that to one. If you did go out by yourself in, in Manchester, how [00:43:00] is it that you feel that do you feel people are looking at you thinking, is she on her own?

Speaker1: Yeah, sometimes, yeah. [00:43:05] I feel like it feels a bit more weird in the UK. I’d feel weirder about it in Manchester than I would [00:43:10] in London. Probably so funny because honestly, no, I agree. Well, I grew up in Leicester and there was this very weird [00:43:15] judgement around, like doing anything by yourself, I remember. No, honestly, I [00:43:20] went shopping. I remember I was like, I had the afternoon off college and I went shopping and my boyfriend at the time was like, [00:43:25] oh, are you going shopping with? And I was like, oh, I’m just going by myself. And he was like, that’s so embarrassing. Why would you [00:43:30] go shopping by yourself? That’s so weird and embarrassing. So maybe obviously things like this have ingrained it [00:43:35] in my head that it’s embarrassing to do things alone. And I feel a lot of people have maybe had similar things, but [00:43:40] it’s something that I’m now like, I’m questioning a lot because it’s just like I’m the kind of [00:43:45] person that if I feel a certain way, I like to ask myself why I feel that way. Yeah. And like, challenge myself.

Speaker4: You’re [00:43:50] sitting in this restaurant by yourself, eating, reading a book. You actually thinking that person [00:43:55] thinks I’m. What?

Speaker1: No, I’m. So this is this is a thing. It’s it’s the I often [00:44:00] people, including myself, we’re more worried about the idea of something than the reality of something. [00:44:05] So that’s the thing. Like, I feel like in reality I’d be like, this is very nice. [00:44:10] This is really chill. I don’t give a fuck. Whereas like the idea of it, I’m like, oh, like, that makes me feel [00:44:15] like, oh no, what if people look at me? So yeah, it’s just kind of I’m kind of in this like period of unpicking [00:44:20] myself from caring so much about what people think, whilst also kind of having a job where [00:44:25] it’s kind of my job for people. Yes, exactly. It’s conflicting. I feel like my life is like [00:44:30] a constant conflict of what about you.

Speaker4: Um, by yourself in a restaurant?

Speaker3: Do you worry about do you know what [00:44:35] I had? It’s so funny, right? Because I have always [00:44:40] said to myself, it’s so important to be comfortable on your own. And [00:44:45] my journey was a little bit different because I had I was one of those tick box like [00:44:50] life plan people. So basically, like, I went to school and I knew I wanted to nail my A-levels and GCSEs because I needed [00:44:55] to get into dentistry. So I wasn’t interested in having a boyfriend. So like, we hung out with like boys schools, [00:45:00] but I really wasn’t distracted by boys. Does that make sense? Because I was like, I just want to like, nail my exams. [00:45:05] Then I was like, I’m going to find my boyfriend at uni and then I’m going to be married by the time I’m 30. Like, you know, like all those like [00:45:10] BS, you know, 36 now, not married. But anyway, I basically then decided, [00:45:15] um, that when I went to university I was [00:45:20] like already like so happy, like being on my own. And then I had a few heartbreaks [00:45:25] in university, and I kind of, like set out on this mission of, like, being really comfortable on your own. And one of the challenges [00:45:30] was like doing stuff on your own. I remember at university, I went to the theatre on my own because I thought that was [00:45:35] a really, like, brave thing to do, you know, kind of like towards the end of university.

Speaker3: But [00:45:40] the whole time I kept thinking, it’s so important to be on your own. It wasn’t [00:45:45] like I enjoyed the theatre on my own. I just kept thinking, you have to do this, you know what I mean? [00:45:50] Whereas now I actually don’t have a problem. But like, as Sophie said, say I’m like, [00:45:55] out and about and then I’m like, I’m hungry. I’ll go and get dinner on my own. I don’t really mind, but [00:46:00] more likely I will probably sit on my phone or call a friend whilst I’m on dinner, which is not really being on your [00:46:05] own. Would I go and sit in Nobu on my own? Probably not. You know what I mean? Because I think [00:46:10] that also those sorts of things are like shared experiences, but it’s not so much. I’m like thinking of people [00:46:15] looking at me. But you’re right, like different places in London, if you’re sat on your own in Nobu, people [00:46:20] are going to be like, oh my God, she gets stood up. That’s probably what people think, you know what I mean? In a swanky restaurant. Whereas if you’re [00:46:25] having like Pret at 6 p.m. on your own, I think people would think about it and I’d be completely fine with it. Do [00:46:30] you see what I mean?

Speaker4: I think it goes further than that. I mean, I think I think it’s like a by extension, [00:46:35] the question of should you be married by a certain age? Should you have kids?

Speaker3: I love those things [00:46:40] because Sophie’s also been like a beacon of like, truth for me in this sense.

Speaker4: You know, all of those things. I just [00:46:45] didn’t realise there was such a thing anymore. I think they.

Speaker3: Are a thing. What do you think? I mean, look, do you think [00:46:50] that women nowadays feel the pressure [00:46:55] and stigma to do things by a certain age? Or do you think it’s become less?

Speaker1: It’s definitely become less. Yeah. I don’t think [00:47:00] it is as much of a thing, but I think it comes probably more so. I think it’s a family thing [00:47:05] because I, I’m really lucky. My parents are very chill. They’re like, don’t get married, sorry, don’t have [00:47:10] children, don’t do any of that. Like, you know, they just want me to focus on myself, which is great. [00:47:15] But it’s really weird. Then when I speak to friends that are the same age of me and they’re like, [00:47:20] oh, don’t you don’t your parents are really pressurise you to get married. Aren’t your parents like, oh, when are you getting married? [00:47:25] Come on, clock’s ticking. And I’m like, no, they are the opposite. So I feel a lot of my friends. [00:47:30] The pressure comes from their family, who may be a bit more traditional, so I [00:47:35] think, but I definitely think it’s a lot. The pressure is a lot less than it was before because people are kind of [00:47:40] making their own path. So yeah.

Speaker3: And why do you think that is? Like for example, [00:47:45] from from your point of view, uh, do you want to get married? Do you care for it? No, [00:47:50] no. And why did you kind of come to that decision? It was.

Speaker1: Really weird. I found my diary from last [00:47:55] year at the start of, like last year, and it was like, oh, what my goals are in the next like ten years. And one [00:48:00] of them was like to get engaged and married to a man that I really love. This was what, like it [00:48:05] just over 18 months ago. And now I’m so anti the idea of getting married because [00:48:10] you know what? No I’m not. If I felt like it was important to my partner I’d be like it’s [00:48:15] not that I’m anti I just don’t care. I don’t see how it benefits me really like [00:48:20] that much. I don’t want to have children if it benefits me in like a guest, like a financial way, then [00:48:25] sure. Why not? Like but if I don’t really feel like I need to do it.

Speaker4: To [00:48:30] make an active decision that you don’t want children or it’s never you’ve never felt.

Speaker1: I’ve never. I’ve never wanted, [00:48:35] I never wanted them. And I just always assumed that as I got older, I would want to have them. And I get further [00:48:40] from it all the time, like further and further from it. And I just, I, I have, I [00:48:45] have a dog and that’s, that’s difficult enough and I love him, but I hate the fact that there’s something so that’s [00:48:50] so reliant on me. Um, it’s stressful. It’s very stressful, [00:48:55] and I can’t I know, I know how. How much I love and how much I give. And I give everything [00:49:00] of myself to others around me. And I the thought of having to give that to a child [00:49:05] and for for the rest of my life is actually [00:49:10] like, really a terrifying thought. Like, I just, I’m so happy in my own life, I don’t feel like I need I [00:49:15] think.

Speaker3: I think that’s really important as well. Payman because as you were saying, like, again, society has been like because [00:49:20] women can reproduce, they should reproduce. Whereas there are some women that really resent [00:49:25] having children or really resent, you know, not everyone loves, um, you [00:49:30] know, the thought of being a mother. Not everyone wants to be a mother.

Speaker4: I’ve, [00:49:35] you know, having employed a bunch of people, I’ve, I’ve had people say that and [00:49:40] now have three kids. So I’ve seen I’ve seen the transition. But you’re absolutely [00:49:45] right in that the decision to be single or the decision to [00:49:50] not have children should be put on the same status as the decision to get married and have [00:49:55] 2.4 children. Yeah. There’s no reason why one should be better than the other at all, because [00:50:00] in the time that I’m feeding my baby, you could be feeding the hungry in, in, [00:50:05] you know, wherever in Africa, you know. You know what I mean? There’s not one is not better than the other. Yeah. It’s just, you [00:50:10] know, a different choice in life, a different ways of living.

Speaker1: Definitely, definitely. And I think that’s the thing I think people need to remember. [00:50:15] Like, it is, it is. It’s a choice that people make. And like, I, I don’t want kids, [00:50:20] but I want my friends to have kids. I don’t want to have a life without children in it. I want to be able to, like, meet my friend’s children and [00:50:25] have that. Yeah, I just want to be able to give them back at the end of the day and just like, not have to worry about it. [00:50:30] So yeah, I think it’s really beautiful. But choice is important and respecting others choices is important too. [00:50:35] Yeah.

Speaker3: So tell me something, Sophie, how do you handle. We talked a little bit about [00:50:40] people giving their, like unsolicited advice and opinions. But how do you handle feedback? [00:50:45] Do you think that there is a difference between critique, criticism and feedback? And how? If [00:50:50] so, how do you handle it?

Speaker1: Absolutely. I feel you definitely put it into different boxes here. There’s people who just [00:50:55] want to criticise you and get a reaction and make you feel bad, whereas there’s people who will [00:51:00] give you feedback and you know what? There may be an element of kind of like a gotcha kind [00:51:05] of thing with it, especially if you’re a content creator or someone with a platform who speaks [00:51:10] about certain things and speaks about issues. People. I think people assume that [00:51:15] you have like you believe that you’re more morally superior. So if you say something [00:51:20] or get something wrong and they want to criticise you on it, they kind of people tend to revel in it a [00:51:25] little bit. Yeah, like I ha, I got you like you made a mistake. I’m in dentistry. Yeah, yeah I [00:51:30] bet. And I had it the other day. I said, I, um, I actually kind of like I [00:51:35] sent out an email without really thinking, um, too much. It was a newsletter and I got [00:51:40] a couple responses from it being like, oh, this was a little bit like kind of too focussed at [00:51:45] straight people.

Speaker1: It wasn’t very inclusive. And you know what? Like, even though, like that kind of bit of criticism [00:51:50] was like, oh no. Like it was like a knife in my heart. And I felt like I’d really messed up. It was actually [00:51:55] pretty fair criticism to for them to give. And I just said, like, I’m like, [00:52:00] you know, thank you for like, opening my eyes to this. Like, this was actually like, I really appreciate it. And I [00:52:05] would never, ever want to make anyone feel excluded because ultimately, as annoying as it can be when someone criticises [00:52:10] you, that kind of criticism, I know, comes from a good place of being [00:52:15] like, you know, like I want to be included. Yeah, exactly. Or I felt excluded by this. And it’s just [00:52:20] like, I’m not that kind of person that ever wants anyone to feel excluded. So I’m like, you know, I’ll take that on board. But sometimes [00:52:25] when it’s criticism, when someone’s just being mean, it’s just when it’s that kind of criticism. [00:52:30] I just I just have to ignore it.

Speaker3: I literally said earlier before you left [00:52:35] because I was saying that I was getting some hate online, um, earlier on this week, and someone said, [00:52:40] I’m unfollowing immediately. And I literally wanted to reply and say, this isn’t an airport. You [00:52:45] don’t need to announce your departure, love. You know, like, I just don’t get it. Like, you know, like, shut up, [00:52:50] you know, like and people feel that they they need to tell you that, like, as if also because [00:52:55] of.

Speaker4: Virtue signalling in it. And I think there’s virtue signalling in the comment you had as well. Right. [00:53:00] Yeah. I think even though even though you think that it might have been, you know, some, you know, okay. But you [00:53:05] know, it’s a funny thing because social media has got the comment section. Yeah. [00:53:10] That’s what makes it social. Yeah. And uh, we like the nice bits. We also don’t like [00:53:15] don’t like the criticism. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a weird situation we’re in that [00:53:20] anyone. One thing we’ve discussed a lot on, on this, uh, platform is the idea that [00:53:25] sometimes a fashion influencer isn’t allowed to [00:53:30] also be deep.

Speaker3: So true.

Speaker4: Or a dentist isn’t allowed to be shallow. [00:53:35]

Speaker3: Yeah. It’s like it’s like I can’t talk about fashion, apparently, because I’m a dentist, but it’s like, but this [00:53:40] is.

Speaker1: This is the issue. And this is what I said to a couple of my friends. I think that society [00:53:45] still has an issue with women being more than one thing. They like to put women in boxes. [00:53:50] It’s like, oh, you need to be like hot and pretty, but you don’t need to have an opinion. You need to be. You need [00:53:55] to be the smart, intelligent dentist. But. Like, not hot. I don’t want I don’t want to see your outfit and how, like, cool [00:54:00] your outfit is and your hair, like, you know, you shouldn’t be showing that. And I think even though women can be more than [00:54:05] one thing, I think I think people have an issue with it and I feel like they’re like, oh, but it makes me feel more comfortable seeing [00:54:10] you as this. So it is, it is. People think it’s just.

Speaker4: Women, you know, like I was I was I was talking about, [00:54:15] uh, I used to think a guy who’s really into sports isn’t into politics. [00:54:20]

Speaker1: It’s true. Because we have we.

Speaker3: Had we had someone on this podcast that’s really into [00:54:25] sort of like sculpting his body. Yeah. Um, but he’s actually really intelligent as well. And I think, [00:54:30] like, again, we have that stigma of like gym bros. Do you know what I mean? Like, if you’re somebody who and I think [00:54:35] that it’s really funny as well because there’s also and this is something I want to delve [00:54:40] into you as a strong woman, I’ve always been attracted [00:54:45] to strong women. So that’s why I gravitate to women like you. And it’s really funny because [00:54:50] Payman told me a few weeks ago that a certain female didn’t want [00:54:55] to come on this podcast. Look, she’s like, dying, didn’t. Okay, okay, fine, [00:55:00] fine, fine. I won’t bring up. Okay, so so so I’ve been told before, there’s certain [00:55:05] females.

Speaker4: I don’t see you as a strong, strong woman.

Speaker3: Thanks. So he winds me [00:55:10] up. He winds me up. He was.

Speaker4: What do you think? Being a strong woman is like a no.

Speaker3: But, you know, I’ve [00:55:15] been told before that like certain, certain females who I have no idea who they are, by the way, [00:55:20] will be like, oh, Rona doesn’t stand up for female rights or Rona doesn’t. And like, I’m such a kind [00:55:25] of like, cheerleader as well, by the way. And it’s and I don’t even know who they are out.

Speaker4: Of the ordinary. [00:55:30] You’re out of the ordinary. Yeah.

Speaker3: But what does that even mean? See what I mean? You know. No no, no.

Speaker4: Yeah. [00:55:35] You are you’re you’re an outlier. Yeah.

Speaker3: But I think for a dentist, for a, for a dentist because Sophie [00:55:40] doesn’t know the context. And like you said, like people want to, like box doctors and dentists into this thing. [00:55:45] They want to.

Speaker1: Box everyone up. Yeah, because it makes it easier.

Speaker3: It makes me really. But what I was going to ask you [00:55:50] as well is like, obviously like you’re a girls girl, you’ve got loads of female friends, so have I. But do you not find [00:55:55] that sometimes there’s criticism from women that feel that they don’t have a voice in a way, I don’t [00:56:00] even know how to put it. I don’t know what I mean, but I think you know what I mean. As in women that feel that they’re not like putting themselves [00:56:05] out there, and then they feel entitled to critique what we’re doing as if we’re arrogant. [00:56:10] Yeah. Do you see what I mean?

Speaker1: Yeah, I think so. I think there’s well, I guess it kind of comes down to internalised [00:56:15] misogyny. A lot of the time it feels like, you know, women, women hating on other women for being successful [00:56:20] and stuff.

Speaker4: Okay, listen. Listen to this, man. I have a son and a daughter. I drive them around. [00:56:25] Yeah. The conversations that I hear in the back of the car with my daughter and [00:56:30] her friends, and compare that to the conversation I hear in the back of the car with my son and his friends. [00:56:35] You know, women. The girl on girl sort of aggression is gigantic, [00:56:40] man. And my, my, my daughter isn’t that kind of girl. I thought, yeah, but they just [00:56:45] the girl on girl aggression is just a thing. It’s part of. It’s who we are. You know, I think that there’s an we [00:56:50] need to kind of accept that to some extent as well.

Speaker3: This is the thing I want to ask Sophie. So Sophie just, you [00:56:55] know, for people that don’t understand, can you explain what internalised misogyny is?

Speaker1: It’s basically when [00:57:00] I’m probably gonna really, like, mess up the explanation. So misogyny is obviously like the hatred of, [00:57:05] of of women. And, um, eternalised misogyny is when women hate on other [00:57:10] women, but it kind of comes from things that are essentially sort of set a lot of the time by men, but it’s essentially women [00:57:15] hating on other.

Speaker4: Women, a self-hating.

Speaker1: Woman. Yeah, it’s just women hate and women. But there is there’s [00:57:20] a lot of it. And it’s a real shame because it’s like sometimes like the issue is I the majority of criticism, [00:57:25] I get that, you know, obviously most of the people who follow me are women, like 87% [00:57:30] or something. So obviously the majority of criticism will be from women. But it is you, I [00:57:35] think I think the issue is and this this comes back to what I said not too long ago, I [00:57:40] really like to challenge the way that I see things, and if I feel a certain way, I like to challenge myself [00:57:45] and be like, well, why do I feel like that is correct? If why am I triggered? Yeah, exactly. And I remember I first did this [00:57:50] years ago. I must have been 22. I was working in a Mexican restaurant whilst doing my master’s degree and I finished [00:57:55] like two in the morning. It was a really late shift walking home and these girls are walking through Soho looking amazing. [00:58:00] Three girls, tall, beautiful, stunning. And I was there wearing like this awful, like Mexican [00:58:05] covered food everywhere, smelling badly. And these guys [00:58:10] walked by and I just went. I just said in my head I went slags. And I caught myself. And it was like, [00:58:15] why did I say that? To like, I didn’t say it to them, but I said it in my head and I was like, I [00:58:20] said that in my head because these three beautiful, confident women are going on a night out [00:58:25] and they’re going to have a really nice time.

Speaker1: They look amazing. I’ve just finished a 12 hour shift [00:58:30] and I look and feel like crap, and it’s a jealousy and an envy thing. And I was like, this is really [00:58:35] uncomfortable and horrible and I don’t like that. I did that and I started picking it apart [00:58:40] and I would notice myself doing it and then was like, no, I need to change it. And it’s something that I really changed over [00:58:45] the years. Yeah. And it’s something I really changed over this. Sometimes it even gets me now. Like if I see [00:58:50] like another influencer on a really cool press trip and I’m like, ah, bitch. But I’m like, like, that’s [00:58:55] coming from jealousy and envy. Do the work. Yes, it’s a problem, but unfortunately a lot [00:59:00] of people will do that. And they’re either they’re not self-aware enough to recognise it, or they [00:59:05] just simply won’t ever admit it because they don’t want to admit that the issue they feel triggered in themselves, and [00:59:10] that seeing someone be, I don’t know, like loud or cringey or whatever [00:59:15] online, it makes them feel this way in themselves. And that’s what I’m.

Speaker3: Trying to say to [00:59:20] you. So you might not think that, but like, I put myself out there, whatever you think. So when I get the criticism [00:59:25] from the other female dentists, I’m like, but why are you hating on me? That’s a you problem. [00:59:30] Because what I’m doing is not necessarily hugely controversial. You know, let’s put out there. So this [00:59:35] is a you problem and you may justify the you problem by inflicting and projecting on me. [00:59:40] And the thing is, I’m really good at the self reflection as well, because as Sophie was saying, when I catch [00:59:45] myself being triggered, I’m like, why am I triggered? You know, why am I triggered by that? [00:59:50] Oh, okay, I must be going through something for this reason, and I’ve got to stop. I’ve [00:59:55] got to stop myself in my tracks. Also, I’ve got enough self-awareness to know that if something [01:00:00] is triggering me, I don’t need to troll them or comment on it just to make them feel bad. To make myself feel better, [01:00:05] I will just mute the story or the post.

Speaker4: You know, there’s a positive side and a [01:00:10] negative side to everything. Yeah. And so the positive side of this thing that we’re [01:00:15] talking about is like empathy. Yeah. If you feel things [01:00:20] yeah you’ll feel bad things as well. Whereas men don’t do this because we just don’t [01:00:25] have that level of, you know, the wave going so high and so low. Sure. We’re just we’re just not feeling [01:00:30] much at all. Yeah, yeah. Feelings. Not our thing. Sure. Yeah. So maybe, maybe that’s that. But what I’m saying is [01:00:35] like because I see it in my daughter, you know, the 13. Yeah. I can see what I’m saying is [01:00:40] part of being a woman. Yeah. To have these things. And of course, [01:00:45] it shouldn’t be toxic. We should know it about ourselves. And what you said there was just beautiful, [01:00:50] the self-awareness of where is this coming from? And recognising that it’s coming from [01:00:55] a place of jealousy or or self-pity is a beautiful, beautiful way of [01:01:00] looking at it. Because you’re right. I don’t think there’s many people who don’t know, you know, just with anger, let’s say.

Speaker3: And [01:01:05] Sophie, do you feel ever pressure to talk about things [01:01:10] online? Because I think with the rise of influencers, we know that they have more weight and gravitas [01:01:15] even than certain celebrities. Um, again, we had another content creator on [01:01:20] the, um, on this platform before, and he had said, you know, like, actually most people now, [01:01:25] like, young people say that they’re people they aspire to be like or people they look up to [01:01:30] are actually content creators, which is great because I think you have the you have the ability [01:01:35] to change the narrative. But do you feel that you have to now talk about [01:01:40] every single kind of relevant issue, or do you feel that you’re pressured by your [01:01:45] audience to do so? I definitely feel.

Speaker1: Like it can be a lot of pressure. I if certain things happen, [01:01:50] I will sometimes be have people be like, oh, have you not seen about this? Have you not seen it? Like, [01:01:55] why haven’t you posted about this? And you can get a lot of pressure. But the thing is, for me, I speak about the things [01:02:00] that I’m knowledgeable about and also that I’m passionate about. And also I think people do forget [01:02:05] that creators are we’re not [01:02:10] news outlets. We’re not. And also, like, we don’t have the facilities to fact [01:02:15] check everything. And there is so much misinformation that spreads online these days. And I’ve seen so [01:02:20] many influencers post misinformation recently and like it actually is really [01:02:25] harmful. And it’s once again, this, this, this is all about like conflicting issues because [01:02:30] it’s like, I feel like there should be if you speak about something, you [01:02:35] should probably speak about things, but then also at the same time, you have the right to not speak about [01:02:40] it like it’s at the end of the day. Yes, influencers have a lot of power, [01:02:45] but what? That power can be really severely misdirected and sharing the wrong thing. [01:02:50]

Speaker3: I think there’s responsibility, which is what you’re saying, and people don’t recognise that whilst their [01:02:55] platforms carry weight and gravitas, there comes responsibility with that. And like [01:03:00] you said, if you post something that’s incorrect, it can cause more damage than good [01:03:05] and you can actually cause more harm to people. So I think that that comes that recognition and [01:03:10] I think, you know, I probably don’t get it as much as you, but I still get a lot of pressure. Rona post. This [01:03:15] Rona post is saying sometimes they want me to post about something so random in a country I haven’t even heard [01:03:20] of. Do you know what I mean? I’m like, listen, guys like and I hate. I don’t like people dictating [01:03:25] what I should and shouldn’t be posting. I consider myself to be a fair and humanitarian person. [01:03:30] But also my stance is, is that as a medical professional, I have responsibility [01:03:35] and I’ve undertaken an oath. So the way that I provide information should [01:03:40] always be somewhat fair. Does that make sense? And that’s why I like to think to myself. And it’s funny because then I get people [01:03:45] be like, you’re too neutral on this. Yeah. You’re not taking enough of a stand. Yeah. And I’m like, [01:03:50] no, hang on a second. You know, if you’re an intelligent person, you can kind of read between the lines. But just because I’m not saying [01:03:55] like this. Person is awful or this is this. You know, it doesn’t mean that [01:04:00] I’m not, you know, drawing attention. But as you said, I’ll only put out stuff that I know with [01:04:05] confidence is true.

Speaker1: Yeah, I’m completely with you on that. And I feel I also, you [01:04:10] know what, me being the kind of, like, positive person that I am, and I try and always look for the good in people. I [01:04:15] think there’s two I think there’s two sides of looking at it. I think, you know, you touched on virtue signalling earlier. [01:04:20] I think there is an element of virtue signalling, signalling in it and that can come from some [01:04:25] people. I do also think that sometimes it comes from a frustration, [01:04:30] whereas you might have somebody who has 20 followers on Instagram who works a very regular [01:04:35] job and feels very, you know, there’s something going on and they want to be able [01:04:40] to talk about it. And they’re they’re looking at me being like, why is she not speaking about this? Or if I had that [01:04:45] platform, I would, and they feel quite helpless. So it’s almost them. They’re kind of directing their [01:04:50] feelings of helplessness and frustration out on, on me and other content creators [01:04:55] for not talking about it, and that I feel like quite obviously like forgiving and understanding of like I get [01:05:00] that like so I always try and be understanding of it. But I do feel like sometimes virtue signalling [01:05:05] can come into it. But either way, I always try and post as much as I can about things that I understand [01:05:10] and that I’m aware about, but there are limits to it. And also, I do [01:05:15] feel like at the end of the day, content creators, you can’t do your job like it’s [01:05:20] not necessarily your job to share these things. It’s not. And also like you’ve got to kind [01:05:25] of put yourself first because we are individuals. And if you’re not operating okay up here for yourself, [01:05:30] you’re not going to be able to like do anything else that you’re going to start falling apart. So you do always have to put yourself [01:05:35] first. So it’s a real it’s a real difficult one. I feel really conflicted a lot of times with these things.

Speaker4: What [01:05:40] about when I mean, you’re a fashion influencer. Yeah. What about when the issue is within fashion? [01:05:45] Then do you not feel like there in that situation you have to say where you stand [01:05:50] on it? I mean, there was that thing with I don’t know. Yeah. Such a question or something.

Speaker3: Yeah. Like with Balenciaga [01:05:55] or even like environmental issues. Yeah.

Speaker1: So I you know what, if anything, it’s harder to speak [01:06:00] about it when it’s fashion because at the end of the day, my brand partnerships are with brands. So it’s like as a, as [01:06:05] a essentially like an advertiser. I have to be very careful with what I say, unless [01:06:10] it’s something obviously really bad. But you have to sort of maybe stay kind of relatively neutral [01:06:15] because you’ve got to otherwise if you’re if you’re there, like speaking really critically about a lot [01:06:20] of things, you’re not going to be good for business. It’s not good for it’s not it’s not good for if it’s obviously something that I [01:06:25] really care about. I would like the Balenciaga thing. I spoke a bit about that, but my my perspective [01:06:30] on that was just like, I just felt really like it was really bad, but I felt I just felt bad for [01:06:35] the people who had spent a lot of money and like on the designers and people who weren’t necessarily rich but had [01:06:40] saved up money to buy things. And then now they felt like, you know, their items [01:06:45] felt worthless and they felt like they, you know, dirty wearing these things, like, you know, these girls who’d [01:06:50] spent all their money on their triple S trainers and their like bags and they were like, I can’t wear it now because [01:06:55] of all the controversy.

Speaker1: And I was just like, it’s stuff like that. It’s not fair. So I kind of if I’m going to speak on those issues, [01:07:00] I’ll kind of speak about, I feel like there has to be [01:07:05] some kind of like balance. Yeah, balance to it, definitely. But then I feel like that with a lot of things sometimes [01:07:10] I’ve kind of thought about things a bit more recently and been like, I have to make sure I kind of stay [01:07:15] relatively brand safe in a way, because I don’t want to ever put myself in a situation. [01:07:20] I want to be able to stand up for the things that I care about, and I will always do that. But also sometimes it’s like, and [01:07:25] this goes across the board, whether it’s issues that I’m talking about or even just making a joke about something, [01:07:30] I’m like, I have to actually remember, I have a platform and like people see what I do and that means [01:07:35] brands. It means possible business. So like, you know, you have to be you have to really think about what [01:07:40] you’re putting out there.

Speaker3: So you know what? Sorry, from a Dental medical point of view, like recently [01:07:45] I went I got invited as a plus one with one of my friends as a content creator. She took me to an event and [01:07:50] then she was like, oh my God, there’s this girl here. She’s really awful. And I was like, okay, what’s she done? She was like, she’s the kind of person [01:07:55] that got all this free skin laser treatment because she’s got acne at this clinic and then, like, did [01:08:00] her whole journey. And then she went and slated the clinic really badly. And then she was like. And then [01:08:05] was like, oh, guys, I started a new clinic. Follow my journey. It was really transparent. It was also really [01:08:10] bad because obviously people got really angry because they were like, you’re ruining like another, a small person’s [01:08:15] business, basically. And I was like, it’s really hard because, you know, like now with the [01:08:20] type of partnerships as we know, like where like people will go and like review treatments for free, [01:08:25] right? But then you don’t know, like, but then say they do have a bad experience in a way, they [01:08:30] want to be honest with their audience. But there’s a fine line, right? But then you don’t want to ruin that small [01:08:35] person’s business. And also you want to make sure that you’re doing it in a way that’s like fair. [01:08:40] Do you know what I mean? But like you said, she did a disservice to herself because loads of people didn’t [01:08:45] want to work with her after that because they were like, if you can go and do that because I think it was the way she did it. [01:08:50]

Speaker1: Yeah, it’s quite funny because you know what? It’s the way you do. It does really, really matter. [01:08:55] And like on that. One of the place that I go and get my hair done at. They’re amazing. They do [01:09:00] incredible hair extensions, and they were one of one of the women who works the salon were like, oh yeah, we were a little bit scared to work [01:09:05] with you because you’re so honest about everything. We were like, if we mess up her hair, she’s gonna drag us online and then no one [01:09:10] will come to us. And I was like, ah, oh. I was like, I don’t know if that’s a good thing for people to [01:09:15] think about me.

Speaker3: No, you know, I mean, I think that you’re always fair because I’ve never seen you, [01:09:20] like, really sort of slay any of the services. I know that you’ve also like, you know, you had an experience [01:09:25] also with threads, for example. And I think, you know, you were you were honest, but also you didn’t drag [01:09:30] it out and out and out, you know.

Speaker1: And I never named the clinic. I never named the clinic publicly either. That did it because [01:09:35] I was like, I don’t actually know legally, like where this leaves me. And they did. They still threatened me with legal action. Yeah, they still [01:09:40] they still were like, we’re gonna we’re gonna, like, get our lawyers involved. And like, I expect to hear from our lawyer. And I was like, I’ve [01:09:45] never named you publicly, so I don’t know what you’re expecting to do. Yeah. [01:09:50] So, yeah, it’s just crazy.

Speaker3: So, Sophie, we could speak for ages. [01:09:55] I know, because you’re such a diverse, interesting person. I’m so grateful you could come today. [01:10:00] What I want to ask you as a closing is, you know, what does the future hold? You know, for you, [01:10:05] I know we should always be present, and that’s so important. But really, you know, what’s the sort of [01:10:10] the plan for the next year? Where will we be seeing Sophie? Tell us a little bit about your current adventure. [01:10:15] That’s what I’m trying to lead on to as well. Yeah.

Speaker1: So I recently launched a bit, launched a business [01:10:20] called New Cycle Society, and it’s this business for women to in their [01:10:25] late 20s, all the way through their 30s to make friends in London and do cool things and events [01:10:30] and stuff like that. And we do everything from we went out for like a really kind of like a boozy, bottomless dinner [01:10:35] on Saturday night, which was fun. I don’t even drink anymore, really. So that was interesting. And, [01:10:40] um, you know, even a big formula One fan. So we do formula one watch parties. We do like we [01:10:45] do so many things, like just like Pilates classes, like, you know, candle making. We’ve got like, you know, [01:10:50] a live country music night coming up. There’s about around about two events per week at the [01:10:55] moment. So it’s a lot uh, and the community is amazing. There’s around [01:11:00] like maybe 320 members at the moment, and it’s only been running for around 6 [01:11:05] to 7 weeks, which is incredible. Congratulations. Yeah, it’s really good. And everyone who comes to [01:11:10] it, it’s amazing. And I’ve got some really good feedback at the dinner at the weekend. The girls who were the women that were there, they [01:11:15] said a few of them were like, oh, I’ve been to other things like this. And kind of essentially, I guess, your competitors. But [01:11:20] the people were a little bit, a bit weird or I didn’t really get on with the people there, but everyone [01:11:25] at my events has got on almost like they’ve been friends for. It’s almost been like, it’s like they’re connecting [01:11:30] with old friends from years ago. And one of them pointed out they’re like, but it’s because most of them have come [01:11:35] to this through following you, so they share your values. Yeah. So that’s why instantly they have this connection. We have [01:11:40] this connection. Is it women only. It’s it’s yeah, it’s women only. It was going to be open.

Speaker3: She’s gonna pivot. [01:11:45] We talked about that.

Speaker1: No we were it was going to be open to to to men as well. But then like when I launched, [01:11:50] all the women were like, nah, I like the sisterhood. We like the community of women. So it’s [01:11:55] like, ah, okay. This is like, okay. I guess it makes it easier in terms of marketing. But you know. [01:12:00] So yeah, but it’s amazing. It it’s really great. So, uh, it just kind of building that building the community. [01:12:05] I would love to branch out in other places, but it’s currently entirely [01:12:10] self-funded by me and like, ran entirely by me, so I can’t I can’t [01:12:15] really be in like, multiple cities at once without getting investment and [01:12:20] people to help me in other countries, there’s been a big, big call for like bringing it to Dubai. [01:12:25] Dubai and Sydney are like the places to the top two places. People are like, please bring it to Dubai and Sydney. [01:12:30] Yeah, but I don’t know who knows what next year will hold.

Speaker3: Blue Sky thinking it’s gonna happen.

Speaker1: No, I’m just like, you [01:12:35] know what? Whatever. If it happens, it happens. And I’m also bringing out my own, like, clothing line in collaboration [01:12:40] with a company called Label Rail, which I designed with some designers, which is going to be really [01:12:45] cool, amazing. So that’s going to be coming out early next year. So loads of exciting things. Amazing. It’s just lots of [01:12:50] cool.

Speaker3: Watch this space Sophie Milner is the one. Yeah, but thank you so much for sharing [01:12:55] your insights. As I said, Sophie’s been a beacon for me throughout my social media [01:13:00] journey and like speaks out on most issues. I’m like, I was thinking that I couldn’t articulate [01:13:05] myself. So I really appreciate it. And I’m sure you provided a lot of insights for a lot of people.

Speaker1: Oh, guys, [01:13:10] thank you so much. Thank you, thank you. Take care. Thank you.

Hygienist and therapist Lorena Pivoda chats with Payman about the view from the hygienist-therapist.

Lorena talks about studying at Plymouth University, her first impressions of London after moving from Romania, and the friendly rivalry with her sister.    


In This Episode

01.16 – Backstory

06.03 – London and Romania

10.45 – Discovering dental hygiene

14.40 – Dentist-nurse relationship

19.25 – Study

22.58 – Attention to detail

27.49 – Plymouth

30.07 – First post

32.23 – A day in the life

37.32 – Awards

40.12 – Goals

41.01 – Black box thinking

49.00 – Photography and social media

54.03 – Direct access

55.36 – In retrospect

59.28 – COVID

01.01.13 – Ambition and competitiveness

01.05.22 – Fantasy dinner party

01.07.52 – Last days and legacy


About Lorena Pivoda

Lorena graduated from Plymouth Peninsula Dental School with a BSc (Hons) in dental therapy and hygiene. She practices in clinics across London. 

Speaker1: I don’t. I just have like a photographic memory. How I like that restoration to be like I’ve had [00:00:05] like a lot of people, like even in university, because I was getting my work marked, I was excellent [00:00:10] at doing my work and it was like all around, how do you do this? How do you do these restorations? Well, I don’t like [00:00:15] I just naturally, I find that when I’m in there, when I’m [00:00:20] in the element, I just know that this cup. Yeah, exactly. I just zone out and [00:00:25] I know this cusp. I want I want to have it this way and I want to have that way.

Speaker2: This [00:00:30] is Dental Leaders. The [00:00:35] podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. [00:00:40] Your hosts Payman Langroudi [00:00:45] and Prav Solanki.

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Lorena [00:00:50] Pivoda onto the podcast. Lorena is a dental hygienist and therapist, uh, [00:00:55] multi-award winning from what I Can see and uh, someone who’s really [00:01:00] nice to see on all the different, uh, lectures and parties that [00:01:05] she’s, she’s at all the right places, at the right times that I’ve seen. Um, but someone [00:01:10] really making a success out of hygiene and therapy. Thanks for coming.

Speaker1: Thank you very much for having me. It’s [00:01:15] a great pleasure. Thank you.

Speaker3: My pleasure. So, look, we normally start with the backstory. Where [00:01:20] were you born? What kind of kid were you? All right. What made you, [00:01:25] like, go into hygiene? The whole thing.

Speaker1: So I was born in [00:01:30] Russia. I’m originally from Romania. Middle. Sorry. [00:01:35]

Speaker3: The middle of Romania? Yes.

Speaker1: The Transylvania. Yeah. So when I say Brasov, [00:01:40] um, I like to think of, like, you know, the Hollywood star, the LA star. [00:01:45] Um, however, when I say the Transylvania, a lot of people, like, think about the pointy [00:01:50] canines. So think about the vampire association.

Speaker3: It’s kind of like hunting [00:01:55] country, right?

Speaker1: It is. Yes. Um, I was born there. However, [00:02:00] I lived in a small town in, um, called Ghimbav. So [00:02:05] they were with the family, um, pretty much from, you know, [00:02:10] um, kindergarten, primary, secondary school. Um, and, [00:02:15] um, left secondary school midway through to come to um UK [00:02:20] initially came here to with my father just as a holiday. [00:02:25] Um, just to see how it is, how it’s like, um, way of the way of life in London, [00:02:30] in the UK. And the whole family liked it. So we moved down [00:02:35] here.

Speaker3: How old? How old were.

Speaker1: You? I was like seven, 18, uh, [00:02:40] when I came here. Um, and from then on, um, [00:02:45] unfortunately, he didn’t know a lot of, like, like the education system and the [00:02:50] entry. Which school would be better? Yeah. Um, for us, but we started off [00:02:55] with a proper entry courses where English language was not. So [00:03:00] how, like, fluent I am today. Yeah. Um, so entry [00:03:05] entry three, level one, level two. And then from then on, um, I [00:03:10] went back, back home, um, for, funnily enough, for a dental check-up. [00:03:15] I haven’t had no clue what I was going to do with my career at all. Um, and I guess [00:03:20] like the dentist dentist dental visit was an influence, um, to to [00:03:25] choose my career path in dentistry. Yes. Um, so, [00:03:30] um, studied here, um, here. I went from like, um, [00:03:35] it was a btec, BTec, uh, diploma at the time. Um, [00:03:40] and I didn’t know that. Again, you could do a top up, you get a BTec national [00:03:45] and then with that you can apply to university. But for me I feel like it was a bit of like a [00:03:50] roller coaster in terms of like my education. Um, [00:03:55] because.

Speaker3: You didn’t know the system, right?

Speaker1: Exactly. Yes. But this was.

Speaker3: What to, to to to get a qualification [00:04:00] for dental nursing.

Speaker1: Um, I was, I was inclined to go into dentistry [00:04:05] or really go to full on dental dentistry. Yeah. Um, and [00:04:10] that didn’t like, really work out. Um, I went into dental [00:04:15] nursing. My father, um, having friends, um, working [00:04:20] with friends. He had, like, a the practice man. He needed, like, a little bit of practice manager [00:04:25] and said, look, come in for a day or two, see if you like it. Um, and take it from there. [00:04:30] If you want to choose this as, as a career pathway or helping you to [00:04:35] get to the stage to go to university.

Speaker3: What does your dad do? Is he anything to do with [00:04:40] dentistry?

Speaker1: No, none of my family? No. Yeah, he’s an electrician. He [00:04:45] he’s been working for the London, London Underground. He, um, actually helped [00:04:50] to to build up the, um, the Elizabeth line. Oh, really? Yes. [00:04:55] So it’s really good.

Speaker3: So, look, take me back to. I mean, you were you were [00:05:00] a teenager, right? The conversations in Romania where they were considering [00:05:05] moving. Um, you must have been part of those conversations, [00:05:10] right? So did you did you feel a sense of sort of nervousness, [00:05:15] or did you feel a sense of excitement about the move?

Speaker1: I was yeah, I was excited. [00:05:20] I love learning the English language. From early on, we were thought [00:05:25] in the country, um, at least like the basics and the reading [00:05:30] especially. And I was very into the English culture, English [00:05:35] language as uh, languages in general. Um, and it was [00:05:40] um, I should say like a voluntary kind of, um, cluster. [00:05:45] You could go to, um, and study, um, and, and take exams. So [00:05:50] I was really, really excited about coming to the UK.

Speaker3: So [00:05:55] then when you did touch down and you sort of where did you live?

Speaker1: Uh, [00:06:00] it was Croydon, the first. Uh.

Speaker3: And what were your impressions? I [00:06:05] mean, when you, when you leave your, your country, wherever you are, [00:06:10] then you’ve got an impression of what it’s going to be like when you get to the new place and then you get [00:06:15] to the new place, and there’s some things that are better or some things that are worse. What were your initial impressions? Did [00:06:20] you think amazing is better than I thought it was? Bill was at the opposite.

Speaker1: I [00:06:25] didn’t think about any negative about it. I was yeah, very optimistic, [00:06:30] very open minded coming to to to the country and, and I liked [00:06:35] how like the people were like very polite to like say thank you or I’m sorry if I did [00:06:40] something. Um, um, and I guess, like, we [00:06:45] loved, like, the sightseeing and travelling, going in the bus. Having said [00:06:50] that, I don’t like motion at all. Um, um, [00:06:55] so yeah, just sort of surroundings, really.

Speaker3: And, and so your, your sort of [00:07:00] existence in, in that the small town you were in compared to coming to [00:07:05] a gigantic city like London, like did that, did you [00:07:10] manage that well? Did it or did you love that? Did you? What was it? What was it like? I mean, it.

Speaker1: Was a big difference, a big [00:07:15] change because, um, of like London is overcrowded, populated, [00:07:20] comparing to the city that I was in. Yeah. Um, [00:07:25] and like the culture of different, different backgrounds, you’d see people [00:07:30] with different ethnic origin, religion, um, you know, um, it [00:07:35] was a difference, but like, good way. Um, yeah.

Speaker3: But [00:07:40] but then your, your sort of the town you were in was a small town. So like in [00:07:45] a small town, there’s this sort of, I don’t know, there’s the best things about it and the worst [00:07:50] things about it. Right. And there tend to be the same thing. Right? It’s like, you know, everyone knows everyone. [00:07:55]

Speaker1: That’s correct. Yeah. So wherever you go, they all know what you’re doing, who [00:08:00] you’re talking to.

Speaker3: It’s also amazing, isn’t it? If you need help, if you need someone, if you need something, there’s that sense of community [00:08:05] sort of thing. Yeah.

Speaker1: Which we have we.

Speaker3: Suffer with here.

Speaker1: Of course.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. But there is the [00:08:10] other side of it where everyone knows your business and, and and London. I find [00:08:15] it can be one of the loneliest places in the world, even though you’ve got 7 million people [00:08:20] here. Because, you know, I lived in an apartment up the road in Primrose [00:08:25] Hill for 15 years. And my neighbours, some of them I didn’t [00:08:30] even say hi to once, you know, some of them. Yeah. Yeah. And [00:08:35] so that sense of, of of London, did that affect you or. No.

Speaker1: That’s correct. Yeah. So everyone’s [00:08:40] minding their own business. It doesn’t talk to anybody. Um, and [00:08:45] yeah. Also the best thing about being you can’t really knock on their door. It’s like, excuse [00:08:50] me. Or can I leave my. Is my delivery coming? Can I just leave my parcel with, you [00:08:55] know, this sort of things, you just have to deal with it. And how many.

Speaker3: Years do you think [00:09:00] it takes before you when you move, you feel like you fit in? Because if [00:09:05] my answer to that question is that for the first five years, you fit in nowhere, [00:09:10] you don’t you don’t fit in here because you’re new. You don’t even you don’t know anything about [00:09:15] it. Right? And then you don’t fit in at home anymore because you’ve [00:09:20] moved now. So you’re not you’re not you’re not involved in what’s happening at home. And then I feel [00:09:25] like it takes about five years before you think, ah, this is home.

Speaker1: Yes, [00:09:30] it’s certainly you can’t now I can because I’ve been [00:09:35] here for how long? How many years? Like 12. 13? Probably like longer. [00:09:40] Um. And yes, for the first few years. You can’t say that because [00:09:45] you still miss home. Yeah. You still miss that comfort where you come [00:09:50] from. The people, especially in schools, having to integrate, [00:09:55] um, and have that kind of bond. Um, it’s it’s definitely missing. [00:10:00]

Speaker3: What’s the thing other than people? What’s the thing you miss most about Romania? [00:10:05]

Speaker1: I think travelling and just seeing the, the sights [00:10:10] of like the nature, the country. Yes. The beach to keep racial freedom. [00:10:15] Exactly. Yes. Where you. I used to go. My mother and father used to take me. [00:10:20] It’s, um, a different perspective of life from how the children [00:10:25] were brought up in, in here, I’d say. And that’s the one thing that I do miss [00:10:30] travelling a lot. We. They used to take us as me and my sister, um, quite [00:10:35] a lot, um, like travelling with the car and just see the nature and see [00:10:40] the traditions, and that’s for sure.

Speaker3: And now your parents are both here?

Speaker1: Yes. [00:10:45]

Speaker3: Yeah. So tell me about hygiene then. When did that first come on your radar? [00:10:50] You thought I want to be a hygienist. Was it okay? You went you went to that dental visit. She said, [00:10:55] I want to get into the field, but it’s not easy to become, like, get on, get into the course is. It’s a difficult course. [00:11:00]

Speaker1: No, no. So like I said, it’s like it was a roller coaster for me because [00:11:05] I did not know the entry requirements that I need to get to the university. [00:11:10] So then I went, um, a [00:11:15] well trained as a dental nurse. Um, I did that for quite [00:11:20] a few years. About five, five years. Yeah. So quite a long time. And [00:11:25] that was because, um, I wanted to access. Access course. Sorry. Um, [00:11:30] where? I didn’t know that. You have to, um, do the [00:11:35] the qualification within two years that you’re able to apply to the university. After that, [00:11:40] it expires. So mine did expire. Um, so, um, [00:11:45] I was thinking, well, what’s the best route? Should I just take the A-levels? Because I kept seeing, like, [00:11:50] A-levels. You need this a number of A’s. B’s to [00:11:55] get into university, you know, and they were like called. I ended up calling there and for entry [00:12:00] requirements at the university and they’re like, no, it’s fine if you have an access to science. [00:12:05] Then I embarked into, um, an access to science, uh, to three [00:12:10] years later down the line, different like the system has changed. You have to, like, [00:12:15] take exams. Now you have to do coursework. Um, all of which, um, [00:12:20] added to the rest of my, um, capability actually had like, nice good grades distinctions [00:12:25] on them.

Speaker3: Was, was was it because your level of science was already [00:12:30] high from Romania, or was it because you worked your ass off?

Speaker1: And no, not [00:12:35] necessarily. Like I feel like you and with everyone you, you do tend [00:12:40] to forget a few things. So you kind of like I’m not going to say from zero, but you do [00:12:45] have to like, look a lot more in detail about anatomy, physics, chemistry, [00:12:50] which I was very rubbish at. Uh, um, so.

Speaker3: You worked really.

Speaker1: Hard. Yes, yes. [00:12:55] So, um, after, after completing that, uh, I [00:13:00] was able to, you know, observe my hygienist in the, in the, um, surgery. [00:13:05] I worked at Wimbledon. Wimbledon, um, dental practice for a while [00:13:10] in there, and I saw how she’s working. So initially I was like, um, okay, I [00:13:15] would like to start doing a hygiene career. However, I have [00:13:20] got accepted into hygiene and therapy, and I was like, all over [00:13:25] the moon, um, having to have a therapy in there. Uh, qualification [00:13:30] entry.

Speaker3: Um, did you get accepted first time you applied or [00:13:35] how did it work?

Speaker1: Um, so no, it was like my third application [00:13:40] because, um, I went in and I applied when I started my BTec. [00:13:45] Um, and then after having my access a second [00:13:50] time, well, it’s expired, you just you can’t go can’t go in with that. Um, [00:13:55] then the third time when I had everything piled up all ready [00:14:00] to go, uh, I had my chance. And I was, um, very happy to to be [00:14:05] accepted. I graduated from Plymouth University. Yeah.

Speaker3: But before before we go into this, [00:14:10] how many practices did you work at as a dental nurse?

Speaker1: Oh, I was just. [00:14:15] Well, it was one practice, um, in Wimbledon. And then I was like, well, [00:14:20] I feel like maybe I should explore and see if I have if I like the orthodontic therapy. [00:14:25] So then I was working in Welbeck Clinic, which is in [00:14:30] central London, and the lady had two offices, wasn’t one in Welbeck [00:14:35] and one in Euston. So I explored that. [00:14:40] Um.

Speaker3: But now what I want to get to is, you know, the now now you work in [00:14:45] 4 or 5, four different places, you said. Right. And I bet in some of them you have a nurse. [00:14:50]

Speaker1: Yes, I went to.

Speaker3: Yeah. Exactly. So, so I’m interested in [00:14:55] the nurses life. Yeah. The insights because I had the, uh, a lady on [00:15:00] she was a dentist, but she, she started out as a nurse here [00:15:05] just to get her qualifications. And she said something to me that in all my years in dentistry, I hadn’t [00:15:10] considered here. She said, when when you’re the dentist and you grab [00:15:15] the suction off your nurse and put it in the mouth, and it really hurts as the [00:15:20] nurse because you feel like you haven’t done your job right or something. And 20, [00:15:25] 25 years a dentist. I’d never considered that as a thing that would [00:15:30] hurt the nurse if I grabbed the suction off her. But what I’m interested in is as [00:15:35] a I mean, you can see and when you work in a dental practice, you know, the nurses are running the whole show. [00:15:40] Yeah. And treated differently by different bosses. Right. But [00:15:45] but you know that you hear some stories. So what insights can [00:15:50] you give me? I mean all the listeners, there’s going to be lots of nurses listening as well. But a lot of dentists [00:15:55] are going to be listening to this. What insights can you give me about that dentist nurse relationship, the dentist patient [00:16:00] relationship, the nurse boss relationship or what? What insights can you give?

Speaker1: I [00:16:05] think it’s like very important to communicate with your nurse. And, [00:16:10] um, you know, I always tell them, like, for trainee nurse. [00:16:15] Look, I understand, like exactly what you how you what are you going through? Because [00:16:20] I was, I was there, I was there, I was a dental nurse and I. I know how it feels. [00:16:25] I’m going to show you how to do it. And I show you how I like for [00:16:30] you to, if it’s possible for you to do it. And that will make the whole [00:16:35] patient journey a lot more easier for for all of us. Um, and [00:16:40] I will tell them, like, please don’t get offended if I show you or if a [00:16:45] perfect example. Are you taking this? Exactly I am tell [00:16:50] them like, don’t, don’t, I’m just showing you this. Like, and if I do take it, I’m [00:16:55] just helping you.

Speaker3: It’s funny because you were on to it because you’ve been in that position. [00:17:00] Right? But what other things? I mean, what about I’m quite interested in the boss relationship with the nurse. Like [00:17:05] like, for instance, I think dental practices don’t have enough humans working in [00:17:10] them. Somehow we try and minimise on that. We dentist try to minimise [00:17:15] on all spending that whatever it is. But but you know, I was in a restaurant and [00:17:20] it wasn’t a nice restaurant. The Ivy, you know, the Ivies, they’re everywhere. Right? Okay. [00:17:25] There was so many members of staff, like so many members of staff [00:17:30] everywhere. Yeah. And I feel like in a dental practice, there’s not enough members of staff. [00:17:35] Yeah. So people are being worked to. And it’s not about. I’m not. I’m [00:17:40] interested in people’s work lives. I am. But the reason why [00:17:45] you need more members of staff is so that people’s work lives can be more fulfilling, [00:17:50] fulfilling, and that hence that can sort of get [00:17:55] the patient to be more fulfilled. Mhm. So, so you know this question of [00:18:00] hygienist and nurse. Yeah. While the nurse is doing the clean up the hygienist [00:18:05] can be saying something to the, to the, to the patient. So now my, my view is not enough. Humans [00:18:10] in the dental practice. What do you reckon.

Speaker1: Well it’s true, it’s true. But I like [00:18:15] it. Like I like to help out. So, um, help your nurse. Yes. So if I feel [00:18:20] like I’m talking to the patient, and then I realise that I’m running five or [00:18:25] less, usually if it goes by five, I’m like, uh. No. Yeah. Um, and [00:18:30] I just tend to just take the wipe down. I start wiping down and just [00:18:35] wipe out. I’ll do my notes later or something. But you, um. I deal with this. I’m [00:18:40] with the patient. You you can go and do clean up your instruments, or I’m starting off [00:18:45] the treatment I’m managing. By the time you get back, or I tend to like, you know, get to the right hand [00:18:50] side. I was like, when I get to the right hand side, then you can jump in.

Speaker3: Uh, [00:18:55] what other insights, boss? Insights.

Speaker4: Um, you know.

Speaker1: I [00:19:00] think that they probably think that I’m bossy because I’m like, I’m asking for too many things [00:19:05] sometimes. Like when I just take photos or I like, you know, intraoral [00:19:10] mirror or bring up the mirror again or I take to take the restorations and [00:19:15] I’m like stopping photos, photos, photos. And they kind of get sometimes it can get a bit on their [00:19:20] nerves and I completely understand it. Yes.

Speaker4: Yeah. [00:19:25]

Speaker3: It’s interesting. Um, so back to the story. You got into hygiene school, [00:19:30] which was Plymouth.

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker3: How was that? How was the how was how was the [00:19:35] course? How did you find Plymouth? Did you party? Did you study your your your [00:19:40] head off? What kind of student were you.

Speaker1: Know, funnily enough, because you mentioned [00:19:45] parties in the beginning, joining parties. But no, I was not going to parties. I [00:19:50] was like quite serious. Yes. And just very focussed. Um, [00:19:55] you know, and studying um, first year was very, very challenging. [00:20:00] Um, one bit of course, isn’t it? Yes. Um, [00:20:05] having to study science is not one of my favourite subjects at all, and I find that really [00:20:10] hard. Um, it’s mainly because of the, my, [00:20:15] um, learning technique. So, um, I was having, like, notes [00:20:20] and notes and piling rather than, like, recalling my studies, which is very important to [00:20:25] have to do that. Um, and not only like learning with the group, I tend [00:20:30] to be very like focussed on my own and just regard [00:20:35] the less the other people. Um, but yeah, second year [00:20:40] was um, so much more, so much better. You know, you had the clinical scenarios [00:20:45] with patients and having a Dental nursing. Nursing background definitely helps [00:20:50] you, um, through to go through the career and, and skills [00:20:55] wise as well, having to observe the dentist, how certain treatments are done or what equipment [00:21:00] they are using. It’s very, very useful.

Speaker3: How many of the students [00:21:05] had a dental background and how many didn’t?

Speaker1: I think quite a few of us, [00:21:10] um, did come from a dental nursing background.

Speaker3: Is it possible to go in without. Yeah. [00:21:15]

Speaker4: Oh it is, yeah. You can do.

Speaker3: Yeah. And so then which bit of it did you [00:21:20] find easier? I mean, you said you found it initially quite challenging. Did you find it easier [00:21:25] when it came to clinical like seeing meeting patients.

Speaker1: Yeah. Yes I [00:21:30] was for everyone I think first patient is going to be a little bit nerve wracking [00:21:35] right, when you just have to. But as soon as like you talk to them and you kind of follow your plan, [00:21:40] you get to your notes. It just flows beautifully. Um, that [00:21:45] was one thing that I do. Did love the hands on element and [00:21:50] having to be introduced in clinic in simulated dental learning [00:21:55] environment, which we had in the year one, uh, for the first, first, second [00:22:00] week, I can’t remember exactly. It’s it was really good. Um, yes. [00:22:05]

Speaker3: And so look, now I look at your career and you seem like the most successful [00:22:10] hygienist around, you know? I mean, I’m not making comparisons. Right? [00:22:15] But but you’ve done very well. You’re you’re in the top practices. You [00:22:20] you’re doing the work that you were trained to do, which many, many therapists aren’t. There’s [00:22:25] many therapists just doing hygiene, right? You’re doing aesthetics. [00:22:30] You’re doing loads of whitening. I know already. Yeah. Um, what were [00:22:35] you thinking about all of this in hygiene school? Were you thinking or were you just thinking? [00:22:40] I want to learn what I want to learn. I want to get good at something. Like when. When did [00:22:45] this sort of plan hatch? Did it happen through design or did it happen through [00:22:50] through, you know, just coincidence meeting the right people at the right time?

Speaker1: I think [00:22:55] so, yeah. Meeting the people at the right time. So who were the.

Speaker3: People like what was the what were the inflection [00:23:00] points? Why is it you ended up this hygienist? And then there’s, there’s one sitting [00:23:05] in, in uh, wherever treating only children and, or not [00:23:10] even doing any, any therapy at all. So how what were the points that [00:23:15] sort of got you to this?

Speaker1: I think it’s mainly my motivation in my drive [00:23:20] for dental therapy. I was in university. Yeah. [00:23:25] Yes. That was my initial thought about doing the hygiene. But having to [00:23:30] see the therapy element, I just kind of like the dexterity and having to work [00:23:35] with like not only like the material, the composite material, but having [00:23:40] to restore a cavity. It’s that’s something that’s fulfilling me. [00:23:45] Yeah. Um, yes. Network and and people um, a little bit, but not greatly. [00:23:50] Not a lot like you maybe. I don’t come across like a very, like, chatty kind of [00:23:55] person and and trying to see what routes. Start there to get [00:24:00] to where I am today. And not at all. Um, but I think it’s it’s [00:24:05] mainly my my hard work. And what are you saying?

Speaker3: You’re working harder [00:24:10] than the next therapist? I mean, it’s no problem if that’s what you’re saying. But [00:24:15] listen, maybe you are. Yeah, maybe you’re working very hard here, but, you know, hard work will [00:24:20] get you so far. I mean, there’s there’s more to success than hard work, [00:24:25] right? There’s always like, I don’t know, smart work or there’s there is the networking [00:24:30] element part of it? Yeah. Um, but it’s very interesting. I mean, I don’t think you can get [00:24:35] anywhere without hard work. It’s like initial ingredients, right? Um, [00:24:40] so. Okay. This ambition, it’s quite ambitious what you’re saying, and I. But reading your [00:24:45] your copy on your site, on your page, there’s [00:24:50] a lot of the words are like, extremely interested in quality. [00:24:55] You know, quality being the.

Speaker4: The key thing. Yes.

Speaker1: My photography skill I think like I’m [00:25:00] just obsessed by it. I just I’d like to like, be like on point and [00:25:05] I feel like I don’t I just have like a photographic memory. How I [00:25:10] like that restoration to be like I’ve had like a lot of people, like even in university, because I [00:25:15] was getting my work marked. I was excellent at doing my work and it was like all around, how do you do this? How do you do [00:25:20] these restorations? Well, I don’t like I just naturally, I [00:25:25] find that when I’m in there, when I’m in the element, I just know that this cup. Yeah, [00:25:30] exactly. I just zone out and I know this. Casper wants. I want to have it this way, and I [00:25:35] want to have that way. Um, I’ve heard mixed, um, opinions about, like, [00:25:40] why you’re building a Casper by by cost and not all in one go. I was like, [00:25:45] well, this is I tried it. I tried both ways and it’s not really working out for me. I think you just have [00:25:50] to go with it and just try it out.

Speaker3: There is, you know, it’s been years since I’ve done a filling [00:25:55] here, but but there is something about doing a filling as perfectly as you possibly [00:26:00] can. And we all know you never get to perfection.

Speaker4: No. Yeah.

Speaker3: You’re constantly chasing [00:26:05] that Jews rubber dam and all that.

Speaker4: I use rubber dam.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. And I noticed you’ve been on all of monarch’s [00:26:10] courses.

Speaker4: Yes. Which is so which is.

Speaker3: Brilliant that you’re investing in, [00:26:15] in yourself. Um, we’ll have to get you on mini spelling for now.

Speaker4: Sure.

Speaker1: I’ve heard about [00:26:20] the mini style, so. Yeah.

Speaker4: For sure.

Speaker3: But okay, so now [00:26:25] now where you are now, does the idea of trying to [00:26:30] be a dentist, is that still something on your mind or.

Speaker4: I wish I was. [00:26:35]

Speaker1: A little bit more like maybe focus a bit more on getting into more [00:26:40] dentistry. I don’t like doing any root canals. Crowns.

Speaker3: Would you [00:26:45] train to be a dentist?

Speaker1: I would still.

Speaker3: Have you ruled that out or not.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker1: I just feel like I don’t know if I [00:26:50] would be that focussed, uh, with my studies and just go through the whole process again. [00:26:55] Why?

Speaker4: Because you’ve.

Speaker3: Because you’ve worked your butt off already?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Possibly. [00:27:00]

Speaker4: Did you promise.

Speaker3: Yourself no more exams or something?

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker1: I don’t know. [00:27:05] I just maybe I just need to pick up that challenge and challenge myself again. [00:27:10]

Speaker4: And there’s and.

Speaker3: There’s the financial side. Right.

Speaker4: Of course.

Speaker3: Because it’s five years full time. Yeah. [00:27:15] Although, I don’t know, you’re not really old enough, but five years goes by so [00:27:20] quickly these days for me.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: So you haven’t [00:27:25] you haven’t ruled it out. You might still go and become an undergrad.

Speaker4: I’m not sure. [00:27:30]

Speaker1: Yet. No, I feel like. Yeah, I feel like I take things one step [00:27:35] at a time. Um.

Speaker3: The problem is, the more successful you are as [00:27:40] a as a therapist, as a hygienist therapist, the less then you can think about stopping [00:27:45] that. Yeah. You become reliant on that success rate.

Speaker4: That’s true.

Speaker3: So tell [00:27:50] me. Okay, you finished the course. You you studied hard, right? You were serious [00:27:55] during the course in Plymouth. Do you like Plymouth?

Speaker1: Yes, because I could relate. The sea. Um, when [00:28:00] I used to visit my grandmother. So I love that side of it. [00:28:05] Um, it’s very. It’s very peaceful. When I first came, went to to Plymouth, I [00:28:10] was like, I’m not going to like this. It was like, so quiet. Hardly any people around. Yeah. Um, [00:28:15] but now, like, even after I finished, I was not thinking about coming [00:28:20] back to London. I was, like, looking for jobs around Plymouth because I knew that having [00:28:25] to, um, to work as a dental therapist in London, it would be very challenging [00:28:30] to find a job. And they were like so many times that I was like, so upset [00:28:35] about the fact that why there not as many of us in here and [00:28:40] why we’re not being used, um, with our profession were equally [00:28:45] skilled, trained side by side with dentists. Why our scope is not [00:28:50] being used. Um, and I just came across a few practices that [00:28:55] did appreciate and sharing. The workload. I think that’s very good because [00:29:00] not only they can help them, which is paper that actually got published by my professors [00:29:05] in university with my work. Um, we get to help [00:29:10] out so you can focus on your restorative, more complex Invisalign [00:29:15] implant cases and even composite bonding. And we can [00:29:20] get to do the general dentistry.

Speaker3: So, but you managed to find a couple of places [00:29:25] in London that were advertising or did you approach them?

Speaker1: One um, [00:29:30] because I didn’t know what I was going to do when I was coming to London and staying in to Plymouth when I applied, [00:29:35] when I was at university, because everyone was asking, well, Lorena, what are you doing? Are you going to stay over or are you going? [00:29:40] Um, and I gave a chance to apply to a place, um, [00:29:45] in London. Then. I did not hear anything about this until later. [00:29:50] Um, September. October. And he had a therapy position. So [00:29:55] I did join that. And in the meantime, I did some NHS work as well. [00:30:00] So not all my practices are private. I did that about three months. [00:30:05] Yes. And children as well.

Speaker3: So. So that first job. Was that an NHS [00:30:10] job.

Speaker4: Yes. Yeah.

Speaker1: So I did three monthly NHS job. [00:30:15] Um, again my passion for composite was still there and I [00:30:20] was not getting a lot of it. And that’s what has that drove me [00:30:25] to the separation where I was like, okay, I just I think it’s something there is something [00:30:30] more about myself that I could do. Um, did you.

Speaker3: Have a mentor? [00:30:35]

Speaker4: No.

Speaker3: No one to.

Speaker4: Ask?

Speaker1: No.

Speaker4: So then.

Speaker3: Okay, so [00:30:40] I don’t know, you saw you saw an advert or you saw a post on social. That monarch, for the sake of the argument, [00:30:45] was putting out?

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker3: So I’m going to get educated more.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker1: A lot of my [00:30:50] colleagues have had, um. Sorry. Um, Instagram. Yeah. Um, accounts. [00:30:55] When they were at university, I did mine some like later on. And then I came across, [00:31:00] um, monarchs, um, course. And just from then, like, seeing [00:31:05] before and after. So I was like, okay, this seems like a good course to, to go into.

Speaker3: And so [00:31:10] did you get the good jobs after that, or did you have the good jobs before that, that the, you [00:31:15] know, the ones where you were doing, um.

Speaker4: Um, a few.

Speaker1: Before and a few after? [00:31:20] Um, so a lot of them from like my postings so [00:31:25] they could see my portfolio of work. So I was building my portfolio from I could say, well, [00:31:30] I started around towards the end of the second year. I keep getting better and better at taking photos. [00:31:35] Third year I was like, yep, that’s how we do it. We just get the photos. [00:31:40] Even though if my nurse was a little bit slow or just get it all set up, how I want it [00:31:45] ready to roll. And that was um, yeah, very focussed on on [00:31:50] building my portfolio from the university, a few cases where I ended up being like a tooth wear [00:31:55] case and which was really happy. A little bit of bonding in there. [00:32:00] And the poster actually got to be, um, showcased in the university [00:32:05] walls. Um, so that was like a very, like good momentum [00:32:10] for me there. Exactly. Just to leave something behind and, you know, [00:32:15] show the other dental therapists that it’s possible you you guys can do it as [00:32:20] well. You just have to put your mind to it.

Speaker3: So then now describe to me [00:32:25] now your day, a typical day what [00:32:30] the patients that you will see like in a in a typical day any of it hygiene.

Speaker1: Now [00:32:35] I like that breakdown. Yeah.

Speaker3: So there is hygiene as well.

Speaker4: So I have give me give me.

Speaker3: Give me an example. [00:32:40] The first patient’s hygiene. And do you use that whole EMS thing or. No.

Speaker4: Um one of. [00:32:45]

Speaker1: My practices I do and the other are NSK a little bit. So I feel like [00:32:50] I’m just doing a bit of everything.

Speaker4: All right. So clinical.

Speaker3: Hygiene and then.

Speaker1: Hygiene [00:32:55] for dental treatments and then you have some fillings. You have whitening fits, [00:33:00] whitening.

Speaker4: Scans, the filling.

Speaker3: The fillings. The dentists are seeing that patient. And [00:33:05] yes sent them to you.

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker3: Yeah. But the the whitening is are you the one discussing [00:33:10] whitening with the patient or does the dentist the one or both.

Speaker1: If [00:33:15] you have like a nice good teamwork then the dentist can send it over for the whitening. [00:33:20] What now? It’s starting to work really well. Um, it’s like if you have [00:33:25] a patient who would need Invisalign treatment, then you, [00:33:30] um, patient will be benefit in seeing the dentist for Invisalign treatment. Then they will send it back [00:33:35] to you for your whitening. I think that’s like a nice and fair share to to [00:33:40] do there. Um, but when you do mention in your, in the hygiene department [00:33:45] direct taxes whitening, you were interesting. This is what we can do then. [00:33:50] Um, sometimes the kind of get to see the dentist [00:33:55] the second because the booking hygiene and then check up after. Then if I run out of time [00:34:00] because I’m very pressured on a 25 minute appointment, having to cram it all in, it’s a bit [00:34:05] hard and challenging. And then the dentist sees a little bit the treatment plan, [00:34:10] and then they talk a little, get the chance to talk a little bit more about it. When you talk to the patient [00:34:15] more about the whitening, they are more likely to having to go ahead. [00:34:20] If you briefly chip out everything about the whitening the [00:34:25] moment they’re not. She’s just like trying to to sell it over to me. But, [00:34:30] um, what I’ve noticed that they kind of take off the treatment. So I’m doing a little [00:34:35] bit of work, but then.

Speaker4: So let’s.

Speaker3: Discuss this here because. Because there must be [00:34:40] a situation. Yeah. That, that I mean, what you’ve alluded to there is [00:34:45] you’re saying about, you know, there’s there’s some whitening to be done. Who does it. Yeah. [00:34:50] Is it the dentist doing it. Is it the therapist that hygienist doing it who suggested it and all that. But what I’m saying [00:34:55] is there must be a situation that’s best practice in that you could have a situation where [00:35:00] whoever does it, both of you earn. You know, so that you [00:35:05] get something. So it makes sense for you to suggest whitening, whether or not [00:35:10] you’re the one who’s actually going to carry it out. And it makes sense for the dentist to mention [00:35:15] whitening, knowing that you’ll also mention it, knowing that it doesn’t matter who [00:35:20] does it, we’ll both earn. Is that not a thing? In any practice, you’re in for practice. [00:35:25] That’s not the way it’s done.

Speaker1: Not really. I think like mostly, [00:35:30] most likely will be the dentist that will take it over.

Speaker4: But there’s definitely.

Speaker3: Some [00:35:35] hygienists or therapists who are getting paid for whitening. Right. They’re getting paid like an associate.

Speaker4: Yeah, [00:35:40] I.

Speaker1: Do do I do do them. So I would say, um, you know, some patients, they are more likely [00:35:45] to go ahead here and there. So I just do do the scanning and talk to them or giving them a pros [00:35:50] and cons of the whitening. And our options go through it. Um, but because these are [00:35:55] a prescription only, then I’ll have to make sure that they get booked in and [00:36:00] they get seen by the dentist afterwards. And provided that, I always say, provided [00:36:05] that everything your fit, um, will come back and we’ll do the writing and they do and [00:36:10] they do come back and it’s all good. And I can as a therapist, you will be able to see [00:36:15] if there is any work that need doing. However, it’s not 100% guaranteed because [00:36:20] this is where the x rays come come into play. If you know a patient that you know has [00:36:25] not had any dental treatment and they had had a check-up [00:36:30] previously, then they will be fine.

Speaker3: And how often do you do composite veneers? [00:36:35]

Speaker1: Um, not quite a lot. Not all as lot eyes. I would want to, um, I’m getting [00:36:40] a few cases, their repairs mainly. Um.

Speaker4: So [00:36:45] because.

Speaker3: You’ll forget how to do it if you don’t practice a bit for.

Speaker1: Sure. Yeah, [00:36:50] yeah, um, I do, I do get, you know, you get the buckles [00:36:55] or, um, the incisal edge. Build ups may not be like a full [00:37:00] ten case veneer. Yeah, but do you get a few?

Speaker3: And have you done any of these, [00:37:05] uh, injection moulding, small, fast or or prosperworks or. [00:37:10]

Speaker1: No. No. Um, I knew about the smile fast when I was in university, [00:37:15] and that was very close to job. Well, I’ve actually paid and joined [00:37:20] ready to join, but I think what was not quite ready. And then I was like, well, I don’t know how this is [00:37:25] going to help me. And then I kind of like changed my mind. Um, but I know about the [00:37:30] injection mouldings. Yeah.

Speaker3: Let’s get to awards. [00:37:35] You seem to be very good at winning awards, is it? [00:37:40] What is it about that? Is it is it that your entry is amazing? I mean, it must [00:37:45] be right.

Speaker1: I’m quite pleased, I must say, about my entry, um, and [00:37:50] my, you know, photograph before and afters. I quite like it. You know, my work. [00:37:55] I’m proud of my work.

Speaker3: Yeah, but if you were going to, like, if you were giving advice like someone wanted to win awards, [00:38:00] um, what are the key bits of advice? Right. Good photos.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: But [00:38:05] what else? But because you seem to be very good at it, he constantly picking up a bit.

Speaker1: Now you [00:38:10] have to be yourself and just write about yourself. [00:38:15] Why should they give you that award? Just be natural and just be.

Speaker4: Reading.

Speaker3: Somewhere [00:38:20] the requirements to win this award. And then you’re you’re making your entry. [00:38:25]

Speaker1: Just tick them off.

Speaker4: Just tick off the requirements award.

Speaker3: But then everyone everyone’s doing that. So how do you become [00:38:30] the winner. It’s like what does it take. You don’t know. You’re just naturally winning. [00:38:35] Yeah.

Speaker1: It’s your your quality, your desire, your drive or um, [00:38:40] not only like getting that fulfilment of getting. That’s all how [00:38:45] I feel of of getting the award, but it’s it’s, [00:38:50] um, I guess it’s like a milestone, another accolade in my life.

Speaker4: It’s a nice.

Speaker3: Thing. [00:38:55] Don’t get me wrong. It’s a nice thing to win an award, but I always whenever. Look, we’ve got these things, these, uh, [00:39:00] awards for the best, uh, company, best brand of the year, whatever the. I’m [00:39:05] always, like, don’t want to enter, because what if I don’t win?

Speaker1: Um, this is what happened to me. [00:39:10] Like, I was, like, fresh out of university, and I just literally came second. [00:39:15] I was like, shocked. I was like, I don’t know how, but it was like [00:39:20] really good. I was like.

Speaker4: What motivated.

Speaker3: You to keep doing it again?

Speaker1: Um, I [00:39:25] was I was very down, um, after university because I was like, well, I don’t [00:39:30] have like a lot of, like therapy that are like not many cases. Well, I’m [00:39:35] going to give it a try. And it’s still like worked out and pay off for me, um, [00:39:40] you know, clinical and even last year, dentistry, a private dentistry awards [00:39:45] winning that I did not think I would win it. So um, I was like, no, [00:39:50] it’s no, no chance for me to, to win this award. So I was like, and I was like, I didn’t even [00:39:55] attend to the to the ceremony. Yeah. Because I was I was telling myself [00:40:00] I didn’t want to know, but, um. However, he was one of my goals. I [00:40:05] was literally looking through my 2023 goals and my my papers. I was like wind private dentistry [00:40:10] awards and I was like, yep.

Speaker4: Um, so do you do that every year? Write goals? [00:40:15]

Speaker1: Well, I did last year.

Speaker3: Didn’t do it this year yet.

Speaker1: I did my I did this year. Yep, yep.

Speaker4: What’s [00:40:20] on your list? Oh well.

Speaker3: Tell us.

Speaker1: Um, I think it’s like I definitely [00:40:25] want to, you know, um, get a bit more involved with [00:40:30] the with the trusts as well. I was joining the dentist trust. I quite like [00:40:35] because I’m not seeing any more children. I like to give something back and just see children back again. Um. [00:40:40]

Speaker4: Linda. Yes. Amazing.

Speaker1: Um, I do want [00:40:45] to do a little bit more of that. Travelling self-love, I think is very important. [00:40:50] Um, you know, um, and who knows? Um, just [00:40:55] taking her name, maybe another word.

Speaker4: We’ll [00:41:00] get.

Speaker3: To travelling in a.

Speaker4: Minute.

Speaker3: Let’s get to the, um, darker part of [00:41:05] the pod. Errors, mistakes. We like to talk about them [00:41:10] on this podcast so that people can learn from each other’s mistakes. What [00:41:15] comes to mind when I say that?

Speaker1: Well, the first thing that comes to me, it’s like [00:41:20] New Year. Yesterdays. Um, my, one of my [00:41:25] referrals for restorations, um, that [00:41:30] I was saw the x rays, um, how the tooth [00:41:35] was like. I was like, yeah, I’m ready for this. I’m just ready to get my teeth into it. I’m really excited [00:41:40] to get this tooth nicely restored. It was a lower left, [00:41:45] lower right six and distal occlusal tooth was [00:41:50] broken. Uh, restoration was broken and wedged into proximity [00:41:55] between the two two teeth. So it was, um, quite deep. And I was, like, expecting it to be too deep, [00:42:00] but not as, as I was anticipating. So [00:42:05] got ready with all my rabbit down. Placed the rabbit down as well. You can’t really do [00:42:10] the interproximal because I can’t play place the role of rubber dam together. [00:42:15] So um, spent a good amount of time doing that, then taking [00:42:20] it all off and try to remove the the piece from in between. [00:42:25] Um, did that. The cavity was very deep, um, close to the [00:42:30] nerve, close to the pulp, uh, gently, very gently removed it [00:42:35] or stalled? Not too removed all the existing restoration that’s coming from the pulp. [00:42:40] Um, but it just flinged off, you know, with fast handpiece. Yeah, [00:42:45] yeah, it just, um, the bond is not there.

Speaker4: Or the composite.

Speaker1: Yeah. And, [00:42:50] um, but it was fine. I was like, keep looking and looking. Well, I don’t see anything. [00:42:55] Nothing coming through. There’s no, no pulp exposure, which is like you. That was great. [00:43:00] Escaped that one. Um, but very challenging [00:43:05] to to restore the tooth. Well, and and let’s just like, say [00:43:10] the fact that I could not get the patient down there. So first time as well. [00:43:15]

Speaker4: As well.

Speaker1: I was like, oh, we’re like, you know, when you have heavy muscles like [00:43:20] limited opening mouth.

Speaker4: It’s this thing.

Speaker3: When 4 or 5 things come together, [00:43:25] isn’t it? The mouth isn’t opening, the patient’s nervous. [00:43:30] It’s deeper than you thought. The rubber dam isn’t. When those 4 or 5 things get together.

Speaker4: Suddenly. [00:43:35]

Speaker3: Your day can turn wrong. Yeah. So what happened?

Speaker1: I was, like, sweating it. Well, [00:43:40] I had a calling the dentist in because I already given like two, three articles [00:43:45] and I was like, okay.

Speaker4: Okay.

Speaker1: Yes. I was like, [00:43:50] oh, well, what did he do?

Speaker4: What did he do? What? The patient. The dentist.

Speaker1: The dentist. Yes. [00:43:55]

Speaker4: Orthotic. Yeah.

Speaker1: Um, but he’s given the high IDB block, [00:44:00] so I haven’t had I’ve never seen that done, which is very interesting to to know [00:44:05] and learn from. And on top.

Speaker4: Of the needle. Yeah. Uh huh.

Speaker1: Uh, interesting. [00:44:10] Interesting commentary. Uh, buccal infiltration. Well, I was [00:44:15] like, what? I thought that you could damage the PDL. So this is why I was not doing [00:44:20] it. So, you know, it was very interesting. Very good to learn. Uh, for me, um, [00:44:25] having that done then.

Speaker3: So the patient was numb now.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Then what? He took over?

Speaker1: Uh, [00:44:30] no, I carried on. Okay.

Speaker4: Even more stronger that go.

Speaker1: Um, [00:44:35] then we, um, placed [00:44:40] the rubber down back on or. Good. I was like, yeah, okay, I got this. Then I was fiddling with the garrison, [00:44:45] the sexual matrix band, when I couldn’t get that one in the wedge. Um, [00:44:50] then bring up the normal matrix. Um, we’ll just try with that. However, [00:44:55] being so deep, um, even though I tried with the Cotton Palace to keep [00:45:00] the cavity very nice and moist and dry, um, I thought I got it. I was like, okay, [00:45:05] it’s. We’re ready to fill this out. Um, finished it all off after [00:45:10] running late and running over it with my lunch with with my nurse. She was [00:45:15] like, keep giving me the looks. I was like, okay, well, if I’m late, I must be like [00:45:20] fully late. So I was I did apologise, I apologise, yes, I went for it, [00:45:25] um, and I completed and I was like quite happy. I was like, okay, yeah, I’m chuffed, I’ve got this. I [00:45:30] ended up polishing it and it was like a see saw. The whole cavity [00:45:35] broke again because the moisture was not good enough.

Speaker3: So what [00:45:40] did you do?

Speaker4: Temporary.

Speaker1: I put it in temporary. So that’s happy days.

Speaker4: I’m getting.

Speaker3: Ptsd [00:45:45] just.

Speaker4: Thinking about.

Speaker3: This, man. It’s 12 years since I’ve done a filling that that [00:45:50] that just brought back memories. This was yesterday.

Speaker4: It was.

Speaker1: Yesterday. [00:45:55] Fresh for the new year. One for the books.

Speaker4: For the patient was cool.

Speaker1: And he [00:46:00] fell asleep during the whole treatment. I was like, okay, this is great.

Speaker4: It doesn’t really for me.

Speaker3: It doesn’t really qualify as a big mistake. [00:46:05] What about if the same similar type of situation but the patient was uncool? Have [00:46:10] you ever has that ever happened?

Speaker4: No.

Speaker1: Like everyone seemed to be like really like nice [00:46:15] and. Understanding. Yeah, I think one [00:46:20] that I could think of, it’s like giving, um, an infiltration. [00:46:25] And, um, I was still maybe I was giving it a little bit too fast because the patient [00:46:30] didn’t end up having an ulcer afterwards. Um, yeah.

Speaker3: And the [00:46:35] patient wasn’t happy.

Speaker4: Well, no.

Speaker1: Because she came back in, um, as an emergency. Was uncomfortable. [00:46:40] Painful to eat. Um. And then she was getting worried. Maybe she’s allergic [00:46:45] to the local anaesthetic that I had given. Um, so, again, [00:46:50] learning curve for me as well was stricken.

Speaker3: That was the cause.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker1: I [00:46:55] don’t know. Or the clamp. You know, sometimes it can feel a bit irritated. [00:47:00] Um, because digging into the gum margins and causing a bit of ulceration. [00:47:05]

Speaker3: Painless injections are such a huge thing, like I. [00:47:10] Unfortunately, I was 20 years a dentist before I realised how important it is [00:47:15] because I actually had a painless injection on me and I was like, oh, [00:47:20] it’s possible to do this completely painlessly, you know? Um, [00:47:25] because I think people patients as a patient, have you had a filling before, like, [00:47:30] yes, Romania, they like to fill in Romania. Um, the the [00:47:35] injection moment is the hardest moment of a dental visit for a lot of [00:47:40] patients. Yeah. And if you can make that pleasant, patients [00:47:45] will follow you all over the place. And it’s such an important thing to do that.

Speaker4: Well, yeah it [00:47:50] is. They do.

Speaker1: Yeah. Um, they find it okay when I do do it and [00:47:55] and I’ve got my own tricks and they’re loving it.

Speaker3: Just use [00:48:00] the topical and all that.

Speaker4: Sometimes it’s so.

Speaker3: Important. It’s [00:48:05] so important I can’t I, I only realise how important it was. My wife giving me this injection. Right. [00:48:10] She put it in and then she left for five minutes. Yeah. Talking whatever. Doing [00:48:15] something else. Yeah. For five full minutes of topical makes such a difference [00:48:20] compared to one minute of topical compared to no topical. You know.

Speaker1: Sometimes I do it sometimes.

Speaker4: Yeah. [00:48:25]

Speaker3: I think in private practice because there’s time. I know you guys [00:48:30] don’t normally get as much, but because there’s time that’s just best practice. [00:48:35] Put the topical on and then for five minutes talk to the patient. You know, talk about [00:48:40] life, about their goals, about their children, about their work, about their that that five minutes [00:48:45] is gold for the relationship and [00:48:50] it’s gold for the topical. Yeah. You know, um, I [00:48:55] really if I was a dentist now I would build that in to every single filling, you know. Um, [00:49:00] tell me about photography. Where did you learn that? Monarch? [00:49:05]

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker1: It was in university. So we had. We had? Yeah. So we had [00:49:10] cameras in the university. Um, and you get to, you know, play around with them and [00:49:15] the settings and take, take photos, take photos of the patients [00:49:20] before and after. So I had that and I like to document.

Speaker4: So [00:49:25] by the end.

Speaker3: Of university you felt confident taking pictures.

Speaker1: I mean I always struggle with my photos and [00:49:30] like settings. I feel like even now after, you know, I have done, um, yes, [00:49:35] I’ve done monarchs. I’ve invested into my own equipment, my own camera, latest model [00:49:40] and what sorts and and then ended up returning it because [00:49:45] I’ve done this course and he’s saying it’s better to have this kind of settings. [00:49:50] Um, and yeah, like everything monarch. Um, [00:49:55] clean pop. Yeah, yeah. So all all this [00:50:00] nice of learning from everyone. I’m still I’m still learning. I’m not saying I’m great at all. [00:50:05]

Speaker3: But look, as a, as a piece of advice, it’s great advice, right? To build a portfolio and to build a portfolio you need [00:50:10] to have good photography skills. Yeah. But then there’s the other side of it, which is the social media side. [00:50:15] And you know, you’re quite strong on it. Is it is it something you spend time on like the [00:50:20] profile page. And yes.

Speaker1: So I spend time doing my [00:50:25] own profile page. I’ve seen some how inspired how some people have got theirs [00:50:30] and then made up into mine and you know, just taking like few [00:50:35] bits and bobs like Photoshop. And I want this to be like this. So I’ve created everything on my own, [00:50:40] um, and just, just put it out there. And I think it’s great to [00:50:45] have a social media account. Um, but also a downside of it. [00:50:50] I’m glad that I have made it towards the end of my year and not in between, because [00:50:55] otherwise I’ll be all the time on social media. Um, I feel [00:51:00] that nowadays a lot of the younger generation are obsessed about posting [00:51:05] and just getting as much as more possible on social media. I did [00:51:10] have that feeling about, you know, getting my photos out and posting. But if you don’t have [00:51:15] the work, if you haven’t got the skill out there, why showcase something that [00:51:20] you’re just not there yet? But at the same time, I can see where you’re where they’re coming [00:51:25] from. Because if you’re coming from like a patient perspective, patient won’t be able to like, [00:51:30] analyse all we ask. But this little bit of corner it needs to be more rounded [00:51:35] or more square.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Um look there’s different types. There’s different types. Yeah. I know someone [00:51:40] that his, his first social media post was his first day of dental school. Yeah. [00:51:45] And he carried on. And now he’s a very accomplished dentist. Yeah. Um, and [00:51:50] he’s still posting. Yeah. And he’s not saying this is the best. He’s saying this is my [00:51:55] journey.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: That’s one way of doing it. Uh, then there’s what you’re kind of saying to [00:52:00] have the best. And then I know some people, uh, some of the best dentists [00:52:05] in the country who don’t want to put it out on social media because [00:52:10] they don’t. They want it to be perfection and perfection paralysis. [00:52:15] I mean, if you want to put perfection, you’re not going to post very much. Yeah. And there’s a balance [00:52:20] that’s right for everyone, right?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Of course. Have you looked at TikTok?

Speaker1: I [00:52:25] have, but not I’ve not been a lot on on TikTok.

Speaker3: No I would. [00:52:30]

Speaker1: Um.

Speaker4: Are you on it? I am.

Speaker1: On it. Yes.

Speaker3: So so the thing about TikTok is [00:52:35] there’s no excuse on TikTok. Yeah. And so we had a meeting about this today. Enlighten. Yeah. That [00:52:40] we’ve got zero excuses for why we’re not trending on TikTok. Nothing you [00:52:45] say about TikTok can let you off the hook, because [00:52:50] you don’t need followers for people to see your content. If it’s good content, [00:52:55] it will show it to hundreds of millions of people if it’s that good. Yeah. And [00:53:00] and so if you’ve got good content, it makes sense to play with [00:53:05] TikTok a little bit. I think, you know, because Instagram tends to be like a build a following. [00:53:10]

Speaker4: Yeah, TikTok shows it.

Speaker3: With [00:53:15] zero followers you can have 100 million views. It’s amazing in that sense. That’s why it’s taken [00:53:20] off so much, right?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: But actually like I think like with Instagram, [00:53:25] like I said, it’s great for portfolio. And this is where like some of my like jobs [00:53:30] have come across. Like if the employer is able to see your work on there, it’s [00:53:35] more likely that you get somebody like a job opportunity coming. Coming in. Yeah. [00:53:40] Um, and that’s great. I’m not saying make work patient.

Speaker3: From.

Speaker1: It. Few, few. [00:53:45] Not a lot. I feel like, um, I could do better. Um. [00:53:50]

Speaker3: So a few patients have turned up saying I found you on Instagram.

Speaker4: Yeah. That’s interesting. [00:53:55] Yeah.

Speaker1: And just picking or having this treatment, I like to have this [00:54:00] done. Um. It’s great.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: And you do direct access as well? [00:54:05]

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: So what’s that? The people who want to come and have their teeth cleaned, but they’re not bothered [00:54:10] about seeing a dentist is that. Yep.

Speaker1: So that’s how direct access works. Um, you [00:54:15] know, it’s been we know from 2013 that GDC is released here [00:54:20] and they can come in and just have their hygiene without having to see the dentist [00:54:25] first. Um, however, I always like recommend [00:54:30] booking in seeing the dentist, or at least send me some x rays that like [00:54:35] to see, at least for me. From the hygiene perspective, I need to see those bone levels and see how [00:54:40] they are.

Speaker4: But you can’t.

Speaker3: You can’t ask for x rays unless they [00:54:45] see a dentist.

Speaker4: In the practice.

Speaker1: I found like some of them that you send in the email to the practice [00:54:50] address.

Speaker4: Or previous x.

Speaker1: Rays, and I can see them.

Speaker3: Yeah, but if you want new x rays, there’s no way without the dentist. [00:54:55]

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: They will have.

Speaker4: To prescribe that right. Yeah.

Speaker3: Interesting. But and then what percentage [00:55:00] of your work is direct access. Like is it sizeable.

Speaker1: Yes. Good amount. Yeah. Especially if you have [00:55:05] like a big busy practice. Um they they do come, come [00:55:10] in.

Speaker3: And there is no direct access therapy. Right.

Speaker4: No.

Speaker3: Or whitening. [00:55:15]

Speaker4: No.

Speaker3: Or fluoride.

Speaker1: No. So you will need a prescription. [00:55:20]

Speaker4: For all of those.

Speaker1: For these. Yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah. That’s some of that needs to change doesn’t it.

Speaker1: They’re [00:55:25] I think they’re in the process of changing it. Hopefully soon that will get finalised. [00:55:30] They’ll be making um so much easier, easier for us not having to chase [00:55:35] for a prescription.

Speaker3: I had Miranda from CHC. Um, [00:55:40] tell me the errors wise. Mistakes wise. If [00:55:45] you could go back. Ten years. What [00:55:50] did you do differently?

Speaker1: Um, I feel like [00:55:55] I’ll be trying to be more disciplined and not be even. [00:56:00]

Speaker4: More.

Speaker1: But I feel.

Speaker4: Like.

Speaker1: I was, like, quite complacent. And. [00:56:05] Yes, but I feel like I could have done so much more better and [00:56:10] like studying and perhaps ought to become the dentistry [00:56:15] even more. Um, I feel like even though it was like really good at school. So [00:56:20] even from younger age, I was, I was getting awards from younger age with, with [00:56:25] my mother.

Speaker4: The move had.

Speaker3: Something to do with that.

Speaker4: Um, because if you.

Speaker3: If [00:56:30] you were this like, accomplished child student and now we can see [00:56:35] your ambitious and really up for everything and learning. Do you think it was within the move [00:56:40] because you know, a new new country, new rules, new everything?

Speaker4: Um. [00:56:45]

Speaker1: Possibly not. Not not a lot, I’d say. Um, I think it’s [00:56:50] having you’re having my head down and studying, just not be getting [00:56:55] a little bit distracted because I think at that point, like teenage, when I was like teenager, I was getting [00:57:00] distracted as everyone a little bit more. So just be a bit more [00:57:05] focussed. My, my family was never like that strict on, you know, you sit [00:57:10] down and get this done, otherwise you’re not going to get go out or stuff [00:57:15] things like that. Um, but that’s what I would do, would be even more [00:57:20] try and be more complacent with myself.

Speaker3: Do you think do [00:57:25] you have kids?

Speaker4: No.

Speaker3: Do you think if you had kids now, you’d be more strict on them than your parents were [00:57:30] on you?

Speaker4: Yes. Really? Yes.

Speaker3: That’s so interesting, isn’t it?

Speaker1: Um. I [00:57:35] think it’s very important education and young age. And just get your foundation [00:57:40] right, get your your schooling, and then you’ll figure [00:57:45] out what you want to do later on as soon as you have seen here the A levels, [00:57:50] then you can choose and pick later on down the line. Or if you [00:57:55] have. Yeah.

Speaker3: But there is you know, there’s there’s different roles you can play as a [00:58:00] parent here that you can be that strict one. You can be the friend one, you can [00:58:05] be the I want them to find their own way thing. And what I’ve noticed is [00:58:10] that all of them come with benefits and risks, you know, all the different approaches. [00:58:15] And, you know, it’s I mean, it’s an interesting question that you’re saying you would be more [00:58:20] strict on your kids than than your parents were with you. But I was the opposite. [00:58:25] I, I’m actively trying to be less strict on my kids than my parents were with [00:58:30] me. I’m trying to be more more friendly, more connected.

Speaker4: You have to have.

Speaker1: That balance for sure. [00:58:35] Um, obviously there’s that education element. And, you know, [00:58:40] the other element of like finding different kind of hobbies and anything that you would [00:58:45] enjoy in life, um, for sure. Uh, we, we [00:58:50] it was not like here, you know, you have to go to a music, play an instrument, or go to a [00:58:55] swimming class. We did not have that. However, we did find that balance [00:59:00] in the, um, sports, you know, in school. So I used to play basketball. [00:59:05] We used to be in the school basketball team. So that was my thing that I enjoyed [00:59:10] the most.

Speaker3: And what about career wise? Would you. Do [00:59:15] something differently within the hygiene, or it’s [00:59:20] a bit too early to say which year did you qualify?

Speaker1: 2021? So, [00:59:25] um.

Speaker4: Yeah, not that.

Speaker1: Long.

Speaker3: So Covid was during your course? [00:59:30]

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker3: That must have been strange.

Speaker1: So we [00:59:35] it was like second year. We had to finish all our clinical targets by by [00:59:40] then. Um, and I was like very glad to be out and done with by [00:59:45] by the time it hits. And everyone else had to like catch [00:59:50] up. Even in the third year, final year during Covid times, it was a challenging year. [00:59:55] However, we had a very good university at, you know, having to [01:00:00] integrate us quite fairly quickly in the beginning of our third year, um, [01:00:05] you know, finding the hand pieces that were not generating aerosol, we had [01:00:10] this clinical pods where you would go and still carry on and you would be able to finish your [01:00:15] exit cases and just put it all together from A to, to, you know, [01:00:20] to the end to Z. And it’s like it was really, really good, very organised, I’d say. [01:00:25]

Speaker3: What would you say future ambitions are.

Speaker1: My [01:00:30] ambition.

Speaker4: Future.

Speaker3: What does the future hold?

Speaker1: I [01:00:35] would love to be able to do a lot more bonding cases. I’d like to, [01:00:40] you know, to, um, have more cases with patients [01:00:45] and and, um, get better on my bonding. At the moment, I am enjoying [01:00:50] very much my posteriors. I quite enjoy doing them. But I was doing [01:00:55] a case just before Christmas, and I really liked that kind of like element of like [01:01:00] polishing off and just building those layers [01:01:05] and, um, you know, that symmetry and just, just, [01:01:10] just creating it really well.

Speaker3: So okay, that from the clinical [01:01:15] perspective, but do you have ambitions of, I don’t know, opening your own place, um, [01:01:20] work wise, what would be like let’s say, let’s say you had like a dream [01:01:25] come true. What would it be?

Speaker1: I mean, we’ve got my sister, so, you know, you maybe open [01:01:30] your own practice one day. Well, yes. We don’t know, but, um, until it gets [01:01:35] to that stage, maybe, I don’t know. She was. She liked me to move to Australia, so I don’t [01:01:40] know.

Speaker4: Is she there?

Speaker1: Yes. Um, but.

Speaker4: She.

Speaker3: Moved from [01:01:45] here to.

Speaker4: There. Um.

Speaker3: Oh, really?

Speaker1: Yeah. So I think for now, it’s just [01:01:50] even in my goals is to, you know, in, in investment, but maybe just thinking about [01:01:55] an investment, maybe it’s something down the line. I’m now going to exclude the option of maybe [01:02:00] opening a practice or something. Teaching teaching for sure. [01:02:05] Yeah. So I it was like very funny, some very funny because I guess like even [01:02:10] as kids we were looking to play with dolls and things like and just like pretend we were like teaching [01:02:15] and be very like drastic. I also have my own catalogue with like names [01:02:20] of children and like grading them. Not even like really good today you get [01:02:25] this. And I was like really funny with that. Um, but I’m teaching. Yeah. So [01:02:30] I’m maybe like teaching more like dentistry. Um, one of my, um, [01:02:35] the girls I was used to be in the university with. Well, by the time we were all going to learn about [01:02:40] composite Lorena, we’ll be teaching it. So that was like, you know, you’re not going to exclude it. [01:02:45]

Speaker3: So you’d like to teach?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah, it’s. The teaching is fun, man. [01:02:50] There’s no doubt about that. Um, let’s let’s finish it off then, [01:02:55] with advice you would give to someone who wants to get into hygiene now.

Speaker1: Who [01:03:00] would like to go into hygiene. Um, stay [01:03:05] on focus. And don’t forget, um, why [01:03:10] you worked your butt to get to this stage. Don’t [01:03:15] get distracted. Do you have your fun? If allows it? Um, um. [01:03:20] Parties. But, um, main thing is to just stay focussed. [01:03:25] Be work hard, be disciplined, get [01:03:30] your dexterity. Um. Upskill. Upskill. [01:03:35] Um.

Speaker3: Lorena, are you quite a competitive person?

Speaker1: Um, [01:03:40] maybe a little bit.

Speaker3: Like you and your sister. Did. You used to.

Speaker4: Um, no. [01:03:45]

Speaker1: No, no. Not well. Pickering. Yes.

Speaker4: Not Pickering.

Speaker3: Competition. [01:03:50] Like was it was competition a thing? Are you are you now competitive?

Speaker1: I [01:03:55] wouldn’t say so. I would just I know maybe [01:04:00] a little bit, but that’s why. Where is that going to like, take me, you know.

Speaker3: No, [01:04:05] listen, there are advantages to being competitive. There are disadvantages to being competitive too. [01:04:10] But there are advantages I’m trying to get to, you know, this ambition point. Yeah. You seem ambitious. [01:04:15] Yeah. Where does it come from? They’re trying to prove. [01:04:20] Prove someone wrong or or.

Speaker4: I think it’s down.

Speaker1: It’s within me. I don’t know if my family [01:04:25] is like that. Or maybe my mother a little bit.

Speaker3: So what were you, an ambitious 12 [01:04:30] year old as well? Like when did it happen? Like?

Speaker1: Certainly I was more like a shy, more like quiet [01:04:35] girl. But since, um, you know, since winning my first, like, [01:04:40] coming highly commended for the first time, I was like, okay, so this is a potential. This is my [01:04:45] chance. Why don’t I take this opportunity? Why don’t I see what’s behind it? [01:04:50]

Speaker4: Because I was quite recently then.

Speaker1: Yes. I was like, well, not [01:04:55] like that. Not doubting, but like downgrading myself, thinking, well, this is not going [01:05:00] to be good enough. But if other people see this is good, then it must be.

Speaker3: So [01:05:05] then what, that high that that gave you? Or [01:05:10] are you not as ambitious as I think you are?

Speaker4: I was, I was.

Speaker1: I [01:05:15] am, and I like it, but I think that gave me an extra boost, [01:05:20] you know.

Speaker4: Mhm.

Speaker3: Amazing. Let’s get to the final questions. We’ve been [01:05:25] going for a whole hour. Fancy dinner party. [01:05:30] Three guests, dead or alive.

Speaker1: Oh, [01:05:35] I would say like, um. It’s Kevin [01:05:40] Hart.

Speaker4: Who’s that?

Speaker1: It’s. He’s a comedian and he’s a CEO [01:05:45] because I think he’s, like, funny. He’s accomplished a lot in his career. He [01:05:50] is grounded. He’s not forgot where he’s came from. Um, [01:05:55] and he’s funny. Yeah. Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart is a comedian. And, [01:06:00] um, I think he will be good to have him, uh, entertain everyone. [01:06:05]

Speaker4: It’ll be fun.

Speaker1: Yeah. Then, uh, I would have. Shakira. [01:06:10] Always been a fan of Shakira, the Colombian. Oh, really? I like Latino, [01:06:15] Latino music. Um, can speak a bit of Spanish, so.

Speaker3: I find [01:06:20] a lot of Romanians speak.

Speaker4: Spanish.

Speaker1: Yes, I can understand it a little bit. Yes. Is Latin. So [01:06:25] we’d have her. Um, I don’t know. [01:06:30] With my third one would be.

Speaker4: You’re not sure?

Speaker1: No.

Speaker4: Um. [01:06:35] And I quite.

Speaker1: Like I like Steven Bartlett lately because [01:06:40] he would be like a big person in the room just to bring [01:06:45] out like, influence people and just be a bit open minded [01:06:50] and just business wise with like educating [01:06:55] every like, not like educating.

Speaker4: To listen to the.

Speaker1: I do listen. So now [01:07:00] I’m just starting to listen to a lot more podcasts. I think that’s very important and just learn [01:07:05] a lot more from people. And I do enjoy it quite a lot.

Speaker3: I like diary of a CEOs and it’s a good [01:07:10] listen. Um, but the funny thing about it is I always stop listening [01:07:15] to it, and then I come back to it months later, whereas there’s, there’s other shows [01:07:20] like, I don’t know, Joe Rogan. I listen to that all the time. You know, I don’t stop. Um, it’s [01:07:25] funny, it’s funny, but he.

Speaker4: Is. Yeah, he’s very good. See?

Speaker1: See what he’s coming up with or Jay [01:07:30] Shetty. It’s something somebody really good about what?

Speaker3: About someone from, I don’t know, from history or [01:07:35] I don’t know grandmother’s grandmother or. You know what I mean? Like Einstein. [01:07:40] Like someone like that. So who would you have?

Speaker1: No, [01:07:45] like I said, I don’t like science. Chemistry? Like chemistry.

Speaker4: General Coco. [01:07:50]

Speaker3: Chanel.

Speaker4: You know.

Speaker3: You know what I mean? Like no one like that. No one [01:07:55] comes to mind? No. Have a think. You said you’re three. Anyway, um, the [01:08:00] final question is death. Deathbed question. It’s a bit. You’re a bit young [01:08:05] for it, but let’s let’s go to it anyway. Last day on the planet. [01:08:10] Your friends and family around you. By that time, I don’t know children [01:08:15] and grandchildren around you. Three pieces of advice you’d leave for them in the [01:08:20] world.

Speaker1: I would say stop worrying and start living. [01:08:25] Um, change. Change your mindset. I’d [01:08:30] say. And, um, it’s like brain brainwash [01:08:35] for offset, for success. So brain brainwash your head for success [01:08:40] and don’t think negative because [01:08:45] that would be attracting like, you [01:08:50] know, negative things, you know, like, so just think positive. Um, those will [01:08:55] be what I would explain.

Speaker3: The brainwash for success. One a bit more.

Speaker4: Well, [01:09:00] I’ll.

Speaker1: Having, you know, for the first time [01:09:05] being recognised by private dentistry awards. I was like, well, I got this, I want this. [01:09:10] So I was like a little bit at some point manifesting a little bit. And I was, [01:09:15] why, why can I not get this? I want to get this, I’m going to get this. [01:09:20] And I was just keep telling myself, yes, I’m going to get this and I’m going to win [01:09:25] this year. I even had it written in my goals, surprisingly. But I think [01:09:30] that’s very important. Just be positive about life and don’t think about the negatives. [01:09:35] Don’t be. Oh, this didn’t work out for me today. Stop pondering [01:09:40] on it. Just move on and be positive.

Speaker3: But [01:09:45] the brainwashing piece is sort of sort of repeating it. Even if [01:09:50] you are feeling negative saying the positive thing, is that what it is like, that sort of thing.

Speaker1: Sorry. [01:09:55]

Speaker4: Say that again.

Speaker3: The brainwashing part. What does that mean? [01:10:00] Think positive. Okay.

Speaker1: Yeah. It’s just like, don’t. [01:10:05] Don’t think about your negatives. So just exclude them at your your head.

Speaker4: Just [01:10:10] wash them off on purpose and.

Speaker1: Just, like, focus on everything. That’s that’s [01:10:15] positive.

Speaker4: Amazing.

Speaker3: Amazing. Thank you so much for [01:10:20] doing this.

Speaker4: Thank you. Thanks for coming.

Speaker3: All this way.

Speaker1: Thank you very.

Speaker3: Much. And, uh, I think I got to catch up [01:10:25] with you in, in, I don’t know, five years and see where you’ve where you’ve gone because, [01:10:30] uh, I can see you’re going to go very, very far. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Speaker4: Thank you.

Speaker2: This [01:10:35] is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you [01:10:40] get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [01:10:45] hosts. Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. [01:10:50]

Speaker5: Thanks for listening guys. Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Make sure you tune [01:10:55] in for future episodes. Hit subscribe in iTunes or Google Play [01:11:00] or whatever platform it is. And you know, we really, really appreciate it. If you would, [01:11:05] um, give us a.

Speaker3: Six star rating.

Speaker5: Six star rating. That’s what I always [01:11:10] leave my Uber driver.

Speaker6: Thanks a lot, guys. Bye.

An encounter with a mushroom tea master led brothers Simon and Andrew Salter deep into the mycology rabbit hole. 

Simon chats with Payman and Rhona about how the brothers’ DIRTEA brings ancestral adaptive medicine into the 21st century.



In This Episode

01.43 – Backstory

17.12 – Discovering mushrooms

23.24 – Vision, action and effort

27.52 – Brotherhood and partnerships

32.49 – DIRTEA

36.37 – Psychedelic mushrooms

49.23 – Availability and community

58.35 – Scaling and growth


About Simon Salter

Alongside brother Andrew, Simon Salter is the co-founder of DIRTEA mushroom pure extract 

Speaker1: Think Michael Pollan talks about this incredibly well is that you can have this experience and you can get [00:00:05] to the summit and you can see the horizon. But the reality is when you come, come down from [00:00:10] come off, this experience is that the integration then commences. You have [00:00:15] to climb that gain and there may not be a rope.

Speaker2: This [00:00:20] is mind movers. Moving the conversation forward [00:00:25] on mental health and optimisation for dental professionals. Your [00:00:30] hosts Rhona Eskander and Payman Langroudi.

Speaker3: Welcome [00:00:35] to another episode of Mind Movies. Today we have the incredible [00:00:40] Simon Salter. Simon is a very important person in my life. The reason why [00:00:45] I started this podcast is to discuss mental health, and he’s been pivotal to my [00:00:50] healing, to introducing me to the right people. He’s one of the most charismatic [00:00:55] and magnetic individuals that I’ve ever met. And he [00:01:00] started a business called dirty. I’m sure you all know about it. I have been raving [00:01:05] about it on my social media. I’ve had a lot of dentists by dirty as well, but the genesis [00:01:10] of dirty isn’t the only thing that Simon and his brother [00:01:15] Andrew started. He had several business adventures, which we’re going to touch upon as well, but [00:01:20] obviously focus mainly on the benefits of mushrooms. How you started, [00:01:25] and I’m just so thrilled to have you today for this conversation. So thanks for joining us, Simon. [00:01:30]

Speaker1: Um, I don’t know where to begin with my thanks. It’s always hard when someone compliments you with [00:01:35] a small or big. How do you receive that? But, um, I’m very happy with those words. That kind words. I’m [00:01:40] taking.

Speaker3: Them.

Speaker1: Take it. Thank you so much. Welcome, welcome. And thank you.

Speaker3: So, um, [00:01:45] Simon, I want to talk a little bit about, um, your background. Right. So, [00:01:50] as I said, I want to know about the genesis of dirty, how it started. One time we had a dinner party at [00:01:55] my house, um, with my parents, and they told me as well, like, you know, they have had other businesses I [00:02:00] remember, like America. The American story makes me laugh.

Speaker1: Still being kicked out of [00:02:05] America. Okay.

Speaker3: And yeah. So tell us a little bit about kind of, you know, your businesses before, [00:02:10] uh, where you were, you know, at and how dirty started.

Speaker1: So, um, ah, [00:02:15] well, there’s so many ways to kind of approach this one. Um, and like I said, I don’t want to if [00:02:20] I go off this way, you bring me back here. Um, but it’s always been my brother and I, um, [00:02:25] we there’s a there’s a distinction in age. Uh, I’m just turned 40. [00:02:30] He’s 33. But if you certainly put us up against each other, I do hope you think that he’s older. Um, [00:02:35] with his biblical look from beard to hair. Um, and I say that because it’s really defined [00:02:40] to where we are now. You know, we’ve always got behind something we passionately believe in. We’re very unconventional [00:02:45] creatures, I’d say, and to the point that we’re incredibly unemployable. No one really wanted [00:02:50] us. And if they did, we didn’t last longer than than a week. And, you know, um, so [00:02:55] if it’s about where it started, it started when we met a lady by the name [00:03:00] of Wendy Goff, who lost her son to testicular cancer at the age of 18. Uh, [00:03:05] she gave a talk at my brother’s school. And it was [00:03:10] an extraordinary story because she said it was so much grit and at such a young age, [00:03:15] she she captured our imaginations. It was the fact that he lost his life because, uh, [00:03:20] it was a cancer that was treatable. But for him, uh, like [00:03:25] any a guy, we kind of, like, dismiss anything that’s about, uh, mortality. We just get on with our life. [00:03:30] Yeah. 18. Uh, there was something going on that was irregular down below.

Speaker1: And, [00:03:35] um, when he spoke to his mother about it, it was. She knew as a doctor it was far too late. [00:03:40] So she was now looking at a sand timer with her son, I mean, and I looked [00:03:45] at my and I was talking to my brother afterwards because what she shared, which was a very profound [00:03:50] statement that, you know, most cancers are treatable in the early stages. It just happened to be that testicular cancer [00:03:55] is near enough, 100% treatable. Now. It was what I kind of got from that. [00:04:00] My brother and I got that it was prevention. It was prevention over cure at a time when social media [00:04:05] was pretty much the mouthpiece where we can connect. It was a time where we felt this was an important [00:04:10] message to share. So we tend to kind of when I say we’re unconventional, we kind of see things [00:04:15] from a different perspective. So with that in mind, um, I kind of think [00:04:20] how old I was, but I was young and he was younger. Uh, we decided to, to create a campaign that [00:04:25] would penetrate that taboo and create a conversation online. And the great thing about [00:04:30] online is you can go anywhere and do everything you like. The bandwidth is limitless. So cut a very long story [00:04:35] short, we created something called Feeling Nuts. It started in 2000. Uh, got [00:04:40] your attention. Yeah, that’s all it ever was. And it’s supposed to be. And [00:04:45] we’re an attention seeking generation. Hence the success of social media.

Speaker3: How old were you then? [00:04:50]

Speaker1: Um. How old? How young? What?

Speaker3: How young were you then?

Speaker1: I was I was [00:04:55] early 20s. Okay, fine. What were you.

Speaker4: Doing? What were you doing before? What was your work at that point? [00:05:00]

Speaker1: Um. We weren’t we were just always coming up with ideas. [00:05:05] Uh, back then, I’d just come out of university, and he hadn’t been to university. He was. [00:05:10] He was building up an event side of business, actually, and I was building up a PR kind of idea of a business. [00:05:15] And we were coming together with ideas and there were things that we were doing. But it was really this that [00:05:20] kind of became a tipping point to our journey. Um, so [00:05:25] we decided that we were going to create a campaign. But in order to do so, [00:05:30] we had to go to the epicentre of entertainment being Los Angeles. So. We [00:05:35] didn’t have the means at the time, but we had patrons who would support us in [00:05:40] our endeavour was that we felt that we could actually make this a movement that wouldn’t just be a campaign. [00:05:45] So we did go to America with the support of others, and [00:05:50] we navigated that entertainment industry, sharing our message that we wanted to kind of raise awareness about [00:05:55] this. And we had our strategy and everything planned. Um, I don’t know if you want me to veer [00:06:00] off to why we got kicked out, but there we go.

Speaker3: Well, go on then. Summarise [00:06:05] it. It’s quite.

Speaker1: Funny. It’s, uh, so the idea of us, you know, we basically had this campaign, [00:06:10] it was doing so well in the UK, it was a hashtag called Philly Nuts. We’re getting people to kind of, uh, spread [00:06:15] the message about keeping their nuts in check or their partners to keep their nuts in check. And it was basically [00:06:20] using the hashtag. We would empower a whole community of people with the simple ways to keep [00:06:25] in check. And then you, uh, the, the influence of your community, do anything [00:06:30] you like, be through poetry, music, dance, whatever the expression was. And everyone got on board about on it, on it. [00:06:35] And, um, then this thing started where my brother and I pulled our trousers [00:06:40] down, grabbed our crotch, and, uh, we were challenging the world. Philly nuts. It was just [00:06:45] before the ice bucket challenge. So it was. It was, I remember that. Yeah. So [00:06:50] we started this idea where we would challenge our audience. And I think we challenged, [00:06:55] like, One Direction, five seconds of summer. No way. Uh, Sam Branson, [00:07:00] who was a pivotal part in that kind of moment for us. And it kicked off something very big [00:07:05] whilst that store’s going on, we’re going back to North America. But, you know, every time we go to customs, we’re not [00:07:10] saying that we’re, um, we’re saying we’re there. Was it Easter? Um, yeah. But, [00:07:15] um, uh, so what happened, uh, after coming back [00:07:20] from New York, from a few things we were doing there because of the movement was becoming so big, and we were going to [00:07:25] be creating a show.

Speaker1: Sounds so random because I’m not going to go too far into it. But we were going [00:07:30] to create, um, the event which was going to be in New York and LA. But not to worry [00:07:35] too much about it. The most important thing was, um, when we came back from New York, I lost my passport. [00:07:40] Now, when I got my new passport, we were coming back to, um, to New York because we were in a position [00:07:45] of signing, actually a quite big deal with ABC. Um, I got to the [00:07:50] airport and whilst we were in the air, apparently my esta visa declined. So the moment I landed [00:07:55] there, about 4 or 5 officers waiting for me, TSA officers, um, this is the period [00:08:00] of time when the TSA was massive, as you know, there were so many people working for them, but there’s not any more, [00:08:05] I don’t think. Um, so they, um, they decided to take [00:08:10] me to secondary. Um, they crossed. They did the whole Spanish Inquisition. They [00:08:15] put me in a position for like 6 or 7 hours where they interrogated me. Actually, I brought my brother in. He was fine to go, [00:08:20] but there was no way I was going to that situation without my brother. Um, so they, [00:08:25] uh, they we were there for eight, ten hours. Um, and then I all I remember [00:08:30] was when they left, we were just left in this secondary space. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in it before, but it’s not as [00:08:35] an Iranian.

Speaker4: Yeah. Very, very used to secondary. I don’t want to I don’t want to.

Speaker1: Stereotype a.

Speaker4: Situation. [00:08:40]

Speaker1: Not a nice place to be. And certainly when you’re in the position of the unknown, you know, we had no [00:08:45] reputation. So whatever happens, happens. Um, but then in a distance, you heard the clanking of chains. The new [00:08:50] officers were coming in, uh, so they shackled us. You know, you had to put your arm in the air. They put chain [00:08:55] around you, and, you know, they go through this whole kind of process. It was very it was very bad behaviour on their behalf. [00:09:00] And I say that because the letter we got was phenomenal, um, afterwards. But they, you know, within 24 [00:09:05] hours of landing, we’re back in the UK never to come back to the US again. Um, but another very long story [00:09:10] short, we went through the process of actually being of finding out who is the head of immigration, [00:09:15] who reports to Barack Obama. We guess the email we showed them everything we’re doing with this wonderful [00:09:20] video of Ant and Dec as a pair of testicles talking about this campaign that we’re doing. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. [00:09:25] And just the pursuit we were on and we got a letter back of an apology. He charged us with an [00:09:30] amazing team. And, um, now, uh, there’s [00:09:35] a whole process, but we got our visa, so we were able to go back to America. [00:09:40] But by that point, we’d actually started it all in the UK because of how long it took. Um, [00:09:45] so we can go back to America. It’s okay, but we’ll definitely every single [00:09:50] time I go into secondary for some odd reason. But, um, so, um, the [00:09:55] campaign became massive. The reason that it’s probably important to tell you that story is because, uh, it [00:10:00] became one of the biggest social movement of, of our generation. We engaged with over 2 billion [00:10:05] people worldwide who individually got involved in the campaign in some capacity.

Speaker3: With social media. Big [00:10:10] back then, uh.

Speaker1: Vine was big.

Speaker4: Vine.

Speaker3: I remember.

Speaker1: That. Um, so [00:10:15] we were always I say that because we’re always trending on vine, because everyone was doing something like grabbing their crotch or [00:10:20] talking about, uh, getting, you know, being in check, you know, awareness was our social currency. [00:10:25] I feel back then, um, and then it, um, it culminated in [00:10:30] a, in a big TV show on channel four, the O2 arena. So we found a way of, like, building a. Massive [00:10:35] movement and which was a campaign to the show. So the bigger the the awareness, [00:10:40] the bigger the TV show will be at the O2. So it was a wonderful show. It was presented [00:10:45] by Jack Whitehall, James Corden, uh, One Direction, Cara Delevingne.

Speaker3: Can I see it? Is it still [00:10:50] available online? Yeah, you can find it.

Speaker1: Yeah. There’s. Yeah, there’s, um, it became one of the leading [00:10:55] prime time entertainment shows because we Andy and I felt like we knew with the people around us that supported [00:11:00] us, we knew how to create attention. And which is why [00:11:05] I think, you know, that part of the story is important because that became our blueprint for life, you know, that became [00:11:10] our blueprint when we went on to kind of also manage, uh, and bring back David Haye from retirement [00:11:15] back into heavyweight division, uh, to going to, uh, build our company [00:11:20] limelight, which was almost like this marketing agency incubator where we would support, invest, [00:11:25] um, cutting edge ideas, businesses, founders, and take their vision and [00:11:30] find a way to scale and become like a leading category king.

Speaker3: Um, [00:11:35] but then. So then how was Dirty Born then out of all of that? And do you think that, [00:11:40] you know, you’re so obviously, you know, this philanthropic, you know, pursuit [00:11:45] is the reason why you were like, I want to do something meaningful because that’s what I’m hearing, right? You know, [00:11:50] it’s incredible to have all these success. But I think the most important thing that I’m hearing is that you wanted [00:11:55] to have meaning and impact for the right cause, right? Because you started out with something like wanting to help [00:12:00] somebody with cancer. Um, and then that, you know, I always say that like, [00:12:05] a life of meaning is one of the most important things. I’m lucky. I love my job because I know that I’ve [00:12:10] got a difference, you know, in that kind of sense. So my question is, you know, [00:12:15] how was Dirty Born then after that?

Speaker1: Um, so dirty was born [00:12:20] out of a time. Uh, I’d say it was.

Speaker3: Was it the pandemic?

Speaker1: Actually, [00:12:25] we started it came out of the pandemic. We we got involved in mushrooms probably about six [00:12:30] years ago because we would see our family and friends going through these symptoms [00:12:35] of anxiety or chronic symptoms or sleep deprivation and physical and [00:12:40] mental fatigue. Um, and in a time when there’s so much knowledge out there, the one [00:12:45] thing that prevails is white noise and going to see your GP. But there are alternative [00:12:50] ways to kind of become reclaim the power of your health. Uh, but, you know, [00:12:55] so our friends, they’re going they get you know, they’ll get go to their GP and get a sleeping pill or whatever [00:13:00] and just numb presents or something.

Speaker3: Yeah.

Speaker1: And just numb. No, there is a time for it. I do agree, but [00:13:05] it shouldn’t discount the idea that there are other alternative things that we can do. And actually, interestingly [00:13:10] enough, most of which is ancestrally LED, it’s there’s so much if you look at the arc of history, [00:13:15] there’s so much you can learn from how his historically, [00:13:20] how tribes and communities would adapt to stress. [00:13:25] Um, and, you know, so we would see a lot of friends going through it. And actually we feel like [00:13:30] we’re getting into that situation where we’re feeling a bit uneasy because, you know, when you’re building businesses or building ideas, [00:13:35] time becomes an enemy. Sleep becomes secondary. [00:13:40] Because I don’t think when we’re brought up, we’re brought up to understand how powerful that tool of sleep is and how that [00:13:45] will significantly impact your day for the greater and good or the complete opposite. [00:13:50] And if it is the complete opposite and you don’t know it’s about sleep, then I think you become your own worst enemy. [00:13:55] And if you become your worst enemy, you become, um, a bit paranoid. Yeah, fearful. [00:14:00] And which is why maybe a lot of these kind of, um, um, [00:14:05] pharmaceutical kind of approaches seems like the suitable approach. And also when you go and see your [00:14:10] GP and there’s some fantastic family doctors and GP, but just just from his [00:14:15] history and case studies is that, you know, the two things they don’t have is time and, you know, [00:14:20] resources beyond the bandwidth of what they know. So anything that’s [00:14:25] alternative is not really in on their radar.

Speaker3: It’s funny because as you say [00:14:30] that, as, you know, within the medical system and something for me that I’ve spoken about [00:14:35] quite a lot recently is medical gaslighting. So with medical gaslighting, [00:14:40] we spoke about this recently Payman and I as well is when someone comes in [00:14:45] and they present you with a set of symptoms, and because you can’t physically see the symptoms and the way that [00:14:50] you’re taught as a doctor or dentist, i.e it’s not on an x ray, it’s not on a blood test, it’s not on something [00:14:55] else. You tend to discount it and the symptoms that the patient’s feeling. And now [00:15:00] that we’re understanding that it’s so multifactorial, why people feel the way they do. So things like [00:15:05] sleep, nutrition etc. has such an impact on your overall health. And [00:15:10] we’re not actually taught that, by the way, you know, as undergraduates. And it’s just so, so important. [00:15:15] I think there’s a lot of awareness coming up now and recognising that all the woo woo stuff [00:15:20] is really important. You know, your overall mental health. Yeah.

Speaker1: Listen, we will um, [00:15:25] it’s something that’s becoming cooler and absolutely fundamentally important. I think there’s more studies [00:15:30] and research to support that as well. Um, I. Just saw a study this morning that, [00:15:35] um, I think it was 13,000 subjects on the basis of first light [00:15:40] is ten times brighter and more important than just getting your [00:15:45] light on in here, and that’s an amazing kick for your cortisol levels if you get it. [00:15:50] Um, otherwise it can affect your mood and your levels during the day. Um, but yes, you’re right. [00:15:55] So most, most people are diagnosed on symptoms rather than the cause.

Speaker3: So tell me as well, you said [00:16:00] that people around you were suffering with their mental health. Were you guys suffering?

Speaker1: Um, [00:16:05] slightly. I wouldn’t say because I’m comparing myself to [00:16:10] to friends and those who are going through it. Um, you see, in some [00:16:15] capacity, there were symptoms we were getting because of talking about sleep and talking about [00:16:20] not falling into the routine and how important it is to kind of be physically active and mentally active. [00:16:25] Um, so and also me being older and my brother and seeing sorry and seeing him [00:16:30] potentially going through some of those symptoms and myself going through some of those symptoms, I felt like [00:16:35] I was a success and failure on behalf of my brother, because I didn’t really have the answers. Um, [00:16:40] and I was speaking to a philosopher the other day and he said, you know, Simon, most of the time [00:16:45] the answers is if you walk into the forest and I said, sorry, and, uh, here [00:16:50] we go. Woo woo! Yeah. Um, because, you know, scientifically, just walking into a forest, it calms the nervous system down. [00:16:55] You know, everything.

Speaker4: Japanese, they call it bathing in the forest. Bathing?

Speaker1: Yes. Exactly. Yeah. [00:17:00] So, um, and I think I’m saying that because that’s free, you know, [00:17:05] um, if you live within a park, go to a park if you’re feeling slightly stressed. Um, nature. [00:17:10] Nature, nature is one of our. Yeah, but.

Speaker3: How did you come across the mushrooms then? What was the first time you’re like, [00:17:15] oh, this is interesting.

Speaker1: So we would look at I was very intrigued by ancestral [00:17:20] ways of living. You know, how, um, some of these tribes could adapt [00:17:25] to stress when they’re always in a state of fight or flight? You know, in the sense that, you know, when you walk into this room or you [00:17:30] walk into your home, this gets to the mushrooms parts, by the way, when you walk in, you play. God [00:17:35] forgive me for using such a grandiose terms, but you play God because you get to dictate temperature, security, safety, [00:17:40] light, everything. And but back then they didn’t have anything like that. So, um, [00:17:45] they’re walking into the forest. They were defined as like walking into their own pharmacy. They would find these adaptogens. They [00:17:50] would find these plants, herbs and mushrooms. And I became fascinated by that and [00:17:55] sharing these kind of findings with my brother. And the more and more you go into, you look at these things, the more you go into a rabbit [00:18:00] hole. And, um, a friend of mine once told me that there was a mushroom tea master [00:18:05] in London, um, all in tandem with me looking into these fascinating kind of, um, [00:18:10] insights into nature and how preventative they can be. So we met with [00:18:15] her. Obviously, there is this misconception. You know, my brother thought I was, you know, well, I kind of thought as well that potentially [00:18:20] this could be the ceremony that you go and see rainbows and unicorns. Um, [00:18:25] but, um, but it wasn’t it was a fascinating experience. We walk [00:18:30] into a room and very aethereal lady, um, the smell of Palo Santos, you know, [00:18:35] all it down, lighting, sat down like everything is like you’ve just. You’ve just stepped away from the concrete [00:18:40] jungle. You’ve stepped into sacred, safe, uh, surroundings. So, um, [00:18:45] in.

Speaker4: Finsbury Park or something close?

Speaker1: Um, [00:18:50] it was west, but it was. Yeah, very, very kind of [00:18:55] similar. And, um, so she’d sit with us. And what was interesting is, like [00:19:00] each one of these mushrooms she presented was stunning. It was like. It was like like nature’s art. [00:19:05] And the one thing you kind of understand is like, wow, we [00:19:10] we miss all this. And there is something I should share in a minute. But, um, so [00:19:15] each one of these mushrooms, she would talk about the history of them, she’d talk about how [00:19:20] they were used ancestrally and then how their functional foods, because beyond their nutritional [00:19:25] composition, if the mushroom is extracted correctly, from what you see [00:19:30] to a powder, there are compounds in there that can improve the full kind of, [00:19:35] um, uh, embodiment of your wellbeing. And that’s from nature. [00:19:40] And nothing’s been shifted. It’s purely the mushroom. So we sat with her, we and it kind of developed [00:19:45] this idea of conscious drinking, which I don’t think we do in any capacity. So by [00:19:50] drinking it with her and understanding about the history and the benefits there and the science, [00:19:55] and you start drinking, you start to feel a bit, you know, there’s a feeling you get, um, that’s undeniable. [00:20:00] Placebo or not, it’s fine. Yeah. Uh, so that whole process was a couple [00:20:05] of hours, and my brother and I felt fantastic. Um, we took some of her powders to, uh, [00:20:10] she was happy with that. And, um, you know, after a couple of weeks of, like, adopting these into our lifestyle, [00:20:15] we realised our sleep was more important. Our focus was more on point. Our energy levels [00:20:20] were more on point. Could this be the mushrooms? And then it [00:20:25] it beckons this idea. Well, there’s more to learn. And so I [00:20:30] took a deep dive and I became this kind of, um, amateur. My. Cottages and my cottages is a [00:20:35] biologist who studies mushrooms.

Speaker3: Alternative career path. Just thinking. [00:20:40] Yes.

Speaker1: It’s healthy. I mean, you’re in the forest like 90% of the time anyway. And, [00:20:45] uh, the interesting thing is why my college is important and and why this part was important is to understand [00:20:50] that this kingdom, the fungi kingdom, is so vast.

Speaker3: It’s incredible. It’s incredible. [00:20:55] Did you see, um, was it called The Mighty Fungi or something on Netflix? There was this amazing [00:21:00] documentary.

Speaker1: Yeah. Fantastic fungi.

Speaker3: Fantastic fungi, I watched it. Did you ever watch it? No. [00:21:05] During, um, I heard.

Speaker4: I heard an interview on. You must have Joe Rogan about mushrooms. [00:21:10]

Speaker3: Was it Michael Pollan or something? Or maybe Michael.

Speaker1: Pollan or Paul Stamets or. Yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah, [00:21:15] he’s.

Speaker3: Yeah. They’re amazing. So basically, because you asked me, I’m doing a little bit of like, reversal. [00:21:20] Um, Simon and I met because I had a little bit of a calling towards [00:21:25] mushrooms. I’d seen, like, loads about it. No, honestly. Honestly, like, I had a calling where I was like, oh, wow. [00:21:30] Like, it’s such a fascinating. My sister had always been obsessed with it and I was like, it’s such a fascinating [00:21:35] and beautiful thing. And then like when I looked into it, I was like, they are actually more powerful [00:21:40] than human beings, you know? They’ve outlived us. They’re going to continue to outlive us. They have [00:21:45] the capacity to do more than what we do. They’re so important. You know, there are even fungi out there that [00:21:50] literally eat plastic, you know, imagine if we implemented that with the plastic problem, incredible things that they [00:21:55] do. And there was so much like beauty and healing capacity when it came to mushrooms. I [00:22:00] was particularly interested in the mental health benefits. So as I told you, I’d gone through this like journey of having [00:22:05] like bouts of really bad mental health. A friend of mine had introduced me to Simon. I heard [00:22:10] of dirty. I went and had a, you know, one on one with Simon. I’ll never forget it for like a couple of hours at [00:22:15] White City.

Speaker3: And he was like, I’m going to put you, like on a good path. Introduce me to some people. [00:22:20] We went on a retreat together. That’s how I met Louis. Um, and for me, there was something [00:22:25] so beautiful because I’m going to sound cheesy. There was a there was a certain type [00:22:30] of community that are interested in mushrooms, the healing capacity [00:22:35] of mushrooms, and just that whole thing and that community made me feel really safe. And [00:22:40] safety is such an important part for my mental health. And you recognise that people like [00:22:45] Drop the Ego and the Superficialities and things like that, and with the mushrooms [00:22:50] as well, we were doing things like movement classes, breathwork. We know [00:22:55] an amazing breathwork coach as well. Um, and you know, those are all ways to like heal your [00:23:00] body instead of like numbing it, as we said, you know, and you can get to that elated state, like even with [00:23:05] the breathwork, you know, they do the ceremony with the dirty and the cacao, the breathwork can [00:23:10] literally make you feel on that, like altered state, like because it alters your breathing, your oxygen levels. So [00:23:15] for me, it was like a really powerful inlet into how to improve your life without having [00:23:20] to medicate. So yeah, so that’s why I really got into it.

Speaker4: I’m interested in this. I [00:23:25] mean, you could have been, uh, like a hippie who sort [00:23:30] of went on this ceremony, carried on with the rest of your life. Um, but, you know, [00:23:35] you you start the business. Yeah. And, you know, looking, hearing your story, [00:23:40] the there is this sort of impact that you want to have [00:23:45] every time you do something. Yeah. And, you know, I’m thinking back to what you said. If [00:23:50] I was a 24 year old or whatever you were, and I heard this story about this, this unfortunate [00:23:55] cancer story. Sure. I might have hugged the mother. I [00:24:00] might have told a few friends, but the idea that I’m going to start a campaign, [00:24:05] yeah, that’s one step. And then to say, what are we going to do for this campaign? I’m going [00:24:10] to go to LA where the movie people are, and if I got to LA, I wouldn’t [00:24:15] know where to start. Yeah. So tell me this. Well, going back one [00:24:20] step further to your childhood, um, what was it about your upbringing that [00:24:25] makes you want to have an impact?

Speaker1: Um, no [00:24:30] curveball there at all. Okay, so that’s a wonderful it’s such a wonderful [00:24:35] question because I love my my parents so much that, um, [00:24:40] and they’re very I’d say my father is very conventional. My mum is probably [00:24:45] more unconventional. She grew up as a PR, um, superstar on Fleet [00:24:50] Street and then built a model agency. And, uh, was always pushing the idea [00:24:55] of doing things independently. She, um, and my [00:25:00] father, when we had this idea, uh, never shelved it, never [00:25:05] told us. Shelve it. That’s what we passionately believed in. Uh, then then go for it. There were some challenges in the very beginning [00:25:10] because, uh, different generation. So, um, but they’re very calm [00:25:15] and wonderful human beings. Um, and it was it was [00:25:20] a wonderful upbringing because they were kind, uh, they weren’t unconventional, very tamed. [00:25:25] Uh, family of, um, brought up in, you know, north London, in Edgware or Edgware. Yeah. Yeah. [00:25:30] Um, so, yeah, they. It. It was just [00:25:35] something, I think also because my father was in property as an estate agent and very conventional [00:25:40] and traditional and never extended out that I think for my brother and I, our frustration [00:25:45] was, there’s so much more you can do. Yeah. Uh, and then, you know, as technology changes and, and, [00:25:50] uh, the excitement of property and, you know, it brought all these other guys in. It was my father was like [00:25:55] the number one in, in Edgware. Uh, there were about 18, 20. And he just got swallowed up [00:26:00] and or so our frustration is to is to change the game and we see something, uh, that we passionately [00:26:05] believe in. It’s our, our impulse is to is just to go for it. [00:26:10] And, um, and maybe that was a slight kind of, uh, springboard for the reasons [00:26:15] why. But, uh, you know, Mum and dad have always been very supportive, and I think in some [00:26:20] capacity, we always wanted to create something that we could give back to them. That was another thing. [00:26:25]

Speaker3: I think that’s so important. I think, you know, when you’ve got that close relationship with your parents, you almost feel [00:26:30] like you want to do something. I mean, I certainly have that with my dad. You’ve met him.

Speaker1: Yeah. Yeah, but.

Speaker4: You make it sound so [00:26:35] effortless. Um, is that just the way you come across, or.

Speaker3: Yes, it’s [00:26:40] the way Simon comes across.

Speaker1: Yeah. Because.

Speaker4: Have you had some failures along the way, surely?

Speaker1: Yes, [00:26:45] it was a very quick answer. Yeah. There’s, there’s, there’s been failures and and even today there are, you [00:26:50] know.

Speaker4: Failures.

Speaker1: Yes. Yeah. But there’s this concept of failing forward in a sense that to get up, brush [00:26:55] the sand off and keep going forward, there’s no fairy tale to every thing that we’ve [00:27:00] ever done. I guess I’m giving you the top line, but you can definitely give me the Spanish Inquisition [00:27:05] and I can crack open, uh, some challenges. But the interesting thing is, is, is I would say one of the [00:27:10] greatest strengths I’ve had is my brother. And I hope it’s the other way around as well. Because to do anything [00:27:15] on your own, to do anything individually, you’re consistently in this, uh fisticuff with [00:27:20] your ego or you’re always putting pressure on yourself. And when things don’t go right, who [00:27:25] do you who do you go to? Who can you entrust in and actually to build something with someone you love? [00:27:30] Yeah, well, that’s another rarity there. Uh, so it’s a testament to our [00:27:35] bond, um, to everything that we have done. But there’s definitely been challenges. And [00:27:40] we’ve even every morning, even this morning, I’m going through I’m being challenged about, you know, [00:27:45] dirty, you know, because every day you’re challenged. I don’t know if you agree, but you’re challenged about your business, what you’re doing, where you’re [00:27:50] going 100%. Uh, so, um, and.

Speaker4: Are you are you opposites, you and your brother, as far [00:27:55] as, um, your skill sets?

Speaker3: Yes, I think I think so as well. But, you know, it’s so funny [00:28:00] because, Simon, I’m going to say you kind of remind me of me as well, because obviously, [00:28:05] as you know, like with parlour, like, I feel like you’re definitely more of the sort of like you’re definitely very creative. [00:28:10] You’re more like of the visionary, sort of like ideas type person. [00:28:15] I’m just assuming, by the way. But like, our logistics are something I just said to Payman before you arrived. [00:28:20] Like, I hate logistics, as in like the kind of like the operational side. I hate [00:28:25] it with a passion. Like literally hate it because also my brain doesn’t really sort of function [00:28:30] in that way. Like I find it’s such an immense challenge to think about things operationally, [00:28:35] whereas like, I love having ideas, etc..

Speaker1: There’s a mushroom for that. Sorry.

Speaker3: Yeah. [00:28:40] And um, but.

Speaker4: Partnership is such a funny thing. You haven’t got a partner in, in business [00:28:45] in your Dental business in Chelsea.

Speaker3: Yeah, it’s funny because.

Speaker4: But, but but with [00:28:50] me and Sanj, for instance, I see him as a brother. I mean, we, we, you know, we were in university [00:28:55] together since we were 18 years old and yeah, we’re opposites in that. He’s very good at the [00:29:00] stuff you’re talking about. He’s very good at computers. He’s very good at systems. He’s he [00:29:05] loves that sort of thing. And but you do have to align on [00:29:10] basic principles 100%. And I think the one other thing, and, you know, we’ve been [00:29:15] in business for 22 years or something. The other thing you really have to align with your partners on [00:29:20] is risk profile. If you’ve got risk profile. And [00:29:25] that’s along over the years, that’s been a big issue. Right. What are we willing to risk [00:29:30] to do whatever. I mean, I’m sure you guys have all sorts of plans, right? I’m sure you want to put it in [00:29:35] soft drinks or whatever it is.

Speaker1: Oh my God, are you in our meetings? You’re [00:29:40] right. There’s, um. I think one thing from what you’re saying is that, [00:29:45] um, it’s quite hard to own up to your weakness sometimes and show vulnerability because [00:29:50] you don’t want to be.

Speaker3: I love it, I show it all the time. I show it all the time. My vulnerability is.

Speaker4: Vulnerability. [00:29:55] Oh, 100%. You go into Parliament meetings and say, look, I can’t be bothered with [00:30:00] that.

Speaker3: Am I going to get it? No, no, I, I think, I think I think there’s like there’s a challenge, [00:30:05] um, with that because with a start up sometimes [00:30:10] and I don’t know if it’s the same for you or if it was the same for you. They’re like, okay, we get that you don’t get it [00:30:15] or that you find it hard, but just learn it. This is a start up and we can’t afford to have [00:30:20] other hire someone. So the only person that’s going to do it is you. So you’ve kind of just got to like, suck it [00:30:25] up and do it. And I think that there’s a real challenge in that because I love to work [00:30:30] to people’s strengths, not their weaknesses. Is right. So my I’m having to [00:30:35] work on my weaknesses and I’m not excelling in the things that I want to, but that is the reality of [00:30:40] a Start-Up, I think. And that’s really difficult because also within the dental clinic, I have [00:30:45] an absolutely bomb operations manager, like, you know, a refurbing the whole clinic, [00:30:50] you will come on the refurbs done. We’re gutting the whole thing. Literally. [00:30:55] I’ve had to just sign bits of paper she’s had like topless. She’s done all the meetings, like everything like that. [00:31:00]

Speaker4: Because. Because the dental clinic can afford her.

Speaker3: Yeah, correct. That’s exactly what I was about to say.

Speaker4: But [00:31:05] with brothers, you instinctively know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so it doesn’t have to be [00:31:10] explained, you know? And with me and Sanj, it’s a bit like that. He does more than I do, simply [00:31:15] because it’s absolutely clear those things shouldn’t. I shouldn’t trust me with those things, [00:31:20] you know. Yeah, I.

Speaker1: Agree, I think if you if you look to our team, it’s a testament to the vision [00:31:25] the team we have are extraordinary. Not all of them are seniors, but they some of the players senior role [00:31:30] and they absolutely they’re amazing. They are. They smash out the park. And I say it’s a testament [00:31:35] to the vision because, uh, it’s not just a business of building. There is a movement [00:31:40] certainly in mushrooms, and I feel we’re at the forefront of it. So [00:31:45] when we spoke about content before, when we spoke about we were speaking about logistics and, [00:31:50] you know, supply chains and, you know, going internationally and cogs, cogs, cogs. Yes. [00:31:55] Uh, we’re all in it. We’re, you know, this is something that we’re all invested in, into. And [00:32:00] I think, you know, to, you know, I should say categorically, these are functional mushrooms. I know we spoke [00:32:05] before, but these are functional.

Speaker3: That’s what I want to I want to get into. I think it’s really important. Can you please tell us what [00:32:10] are the ingredients and dirty and the benefits? I’m obsessed. I have like five a day, by the way. I [00:32:15] think it’s a bit too much, but.

Speaker1: No no no no no. Listen, a healthy addiction. Yeah. There’s nothing. There’s [00:32:20] never too much, um, with mushrooms. Um, if I can say these are functional [00:32:25] mushrooms, so they have a nutritional value. But beyond that composition, they have a compound [00:32:30] in each one of them which impacts the body in such remarkable ways. And [00:32:35] when you see it from our customers, when you see it personally, it’s undeniable. [00:32:40] And then you can even, you know, look back at, um, look back at the history of mushrooms. [00:32:45] And there’s, there’s a history. I think it’s so important because you become even more undeniably connected.

Speaker3: Well, tell us a [00:32:50] little bit about the mushrooms you’ve integrated into dirty.

Speaker1: So we have I should have brought the mushrooms in, [00:32:55] but, um, you have lion’s mane. B-roll.

Speaker3: Yeah, I love it. [00:33:00]

Speaker1: You have lion’s mane. Uh, it’s called. Yeah, it’s called lion’s mane. Because when you go into the forest, [00:33:05] it’s a mane of a lion. It’s all about focus. That mushroom, it’s all about, um. [00:33:10] It’s great for two brains. Your first. Your first brain here and your second brain, your gut. [00:33:15] Uh, and they both are entwined with each other. I think that’s why people feel so good with it. It’s got [00:33:20] an amazing, uh, note, this taste. It’s like caramel. Some say misu, some say dark chocolate. [00:33:25] Okay, fine.

Speaker3: Whatever floats your boat, you know.

Speaker1: Because the first thing and one thing about mushrooms, they’re [00:33:30] always thinking about, it’s like a yucky kind of expression. But this is [00:33:35] a phenomenal. I start with this one because this is the one I start in the morning with. Because when I wake up in the morning, I [00:33:40] want to make sure that I’ve got a clear mind, a clear head, and for some reason, it feels like it’s something’s [00:33:45] left. It feels good, I love it. And, um, they’re, um, some of the history and [00:33:50] some of the research that supports that makes me even more excited by it and more excited when we get the reaction from [00:33:55] our customers. It’s probably one, the number one, number one, one of the top leading mushrooms. Yeah. You [00:34:00] then have chaga, uh, chaga mushrooms is is found usually in the Siberian [00:34:05] forest. It grows on birch trees and, uh, it grows in very extreme [00:34:10] weather conditions. And that is representation of this mushroom. This is like the immune boosting kind of mushroom. [00:34:15] It’s got the highest source of antioxidants known to anything else that Mother Nature has to offer. Um, [00:34:20] and it’s a way of like almost wearing a, um, like an S on your chest. [00:34:25]

Speaker1: So going through seasonal changes and you feel your immune systems being compromised, this is a great one to have. And actually, in [00:34:30] the morning, your immune system can be compromised. So it’s a really lovely kind of mushroom to [00:34:35] have. Uh, you then have cordyceps, known as the energy mushroom or the [00:34:40] performance mushroom. Uh, this mushroom has been used for thousands of years, found in the Himalayas. [00:34:45] And this one is incredibly good for those who have energy fatigue. [00:34:50] So it’s been shown like it can increase your energy levels. You know, our ATP, which is almost [00:34:55] a library molecules wraps around your cell that can deplete, um, off. You know, I think it’s after like 2025. [00:35:00] So this could be the precursor for that. And it tastes nice. It’s again, it’s [00:35:05] got a very nutty kind of profile. And anything I’m saying, by the way, at the moment, you can add these into anything you like shakes, [00:35:10] coffees, teas, you name it, cereal, salads. Um, and then you have, uh, tremella [00:35:15] the beauty mushroom.

Speaker3: Yeah. I was going to say it’s so cute. Yeah.

Speaker1: Um, [00:35:20] and that for many, they people call it the precursor for the hyaluronic acid. [00:35:25] It’s got, um, a molecule on it that can hold up to 1000 times its weight [00:35:30] in water so it can penetrate the skin, the skin, not skin, the skin. And quicker, so it could be great for [00:35:35] volume of skin elasticity. There’s a wonderful, um, story of this, uh, [00:35:40] Chinese, uh, beauty. She’s one of the four beauties of Chinese history called Young Guelfi, who [00:35:45] attested Tremella for her beauty. So it’s just nice to romantic to kind of look at what they were saying [00:35:50] back then. You then have, um, Ricci, which is, uh, also [00:35:55] known as the Mushroom of Longevity. It’s been used for thousands of years. It’s probably one of the it’s [00:36:00] probably the most researched mushroom in the world. And people drink it and they feel calm. People drink it and they [00:36:05] have better sleep. And there’s some amazing studies out there that needs to be way more studies. And that’s probably that’s [00:36:10] probably the great problem we have with functional mushrooms. And for mycology as a whole, is there’s probably [00:36:15] over 50,000 mycologists and a high percentage of them are underfunded because it’s only recently [00:36:20] become a bit sexier this industry. If you have.

Speaker4: A product that has all of them.

Speaker1: Yeah yeah [00:36:25] yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Speaker4: Because I’ve got, I’ve got the lion’s mane and reishi.

Speaker3: I’ve got the coffee though, and the coffee’s got [00:36:30] loads of them in it as well.

Speaker1: You’ve got chaga in there, you’ve got lion’s mane, cordyceps and actually is [00:36:35] 80% less caffeine with every teaspoon. So what.

Speaker3: That’s why I can have lots of it. That’s why. Because it doesn’t it doesn’t affect [00:36:40] my sleep, the dirty. But it’s still it keeps me sort of feeling awake. You know, you get that hit. [00:36:45] Uh, Simon, but can you tell us a little bit, um, as well, about the difference between psychedelic mushrooms? [00:36:50] Um, you’ve already explained the functional ones. So the psychedelic ones and also, [00:36:55] um, if there any research behind the benefits of psychedelic mushrooms, [00:37:00] particularly with regards to mental health? Uh, we recognise it’s not currently legal. I’m reading a [00:37:05] lot of research now, as we, um, previously mentioned, um, Michael Pollan, Paul [00:37:10] Stamets, you know, there’s a lot of and unfortunately, uh, you know, back [00:37:15] in the day, in the sort of 70s and 80s mushrooms were making massive headway within [00:37:20] the medical world. Uh, they were using, you know, even other sort of, [00:37:25] um, medicines like MDMA to help treat, you know, post-traumatic stress and [00:37:30] mushrooms for depression, etc.. And then, as we know, it was a political decision, [00:37:35] the war on drugs. Right, because we had who was the president at the time, Richard Nixon. That’s [00:37:40] it. Nixon came along and he said, Reagan.

Speaker4: And Nancy.

Speaker3: Reagan. But but the thing is Knicks, Knicks, Knicks, [00:37:45] Knicks. No. But the Knicks. And this is the thing they wanted the Vietnam War. And, you know, from what I understand, [00:37:50] with psychedelic mushrooms, they make you very in touch with nature, with human beings. And the [00:37:55] your instinct isn’t to go out and kill people. So people are like, no, no, no, like love and peace, you know? [00:38:00] And so he wanted to he wanted people to go fight the Vietnam War. So there was just, you know, this [00:38:05] kind of like conflict. So I’m really interested in this from like a medical point of view. So tell us a little bit about psychedelic mushrooms. [00:38:10]

Speaker1: So I would say just a dovetail before I say it. There’s, there’s um, a wonderful guy by the name of [00:38:15] Robin Corey Harris that I would suggest anyone looks him up. He’s, um, he’s a researcher here [00:38:20] in the UK and his research is phenomenal. He works alongside another chap by the name of David [00:38:25] Nutt. And there’s another guy called Matthew Johnson who’s a clinical psychologist. Uh, in [00:38:30] America, I think he’s one of the first researchers to be handed $5 million by the FDA [00:38:35] to kind of do research into how psychedelics could suppress the addiction with nicotine. [00:38:40] Uh, so anything I speak to is in breadth of these kind of great researchers [00:38:45] and what they’re doing. Um, where would you like me to go with this? Because there’s so many. I mean, the history [00:38:50] is very important because I feel the government was trying to control something they couldn’t control. [00:38:55] I think had some, um, great leaders and pioneers, from the Timothy Leary to the Ram Dass [00:39:00] and Robert.

Speaker3: Well, tell us a little bit about so from, from a medical perspective, what are [00:39:05] the, um, psychoactive elements of mushrooms that can help the human brain? [00:39:10]

Speaker1: So that’s psylocybin. And actually, maybe as an analogy, if you were to do a B roll here, there’s a wonderful [00:39:15] image of a brain on an fMRI scan. Uh, [00:39:20] not with, uh, psychedelics. The classic psychedelics being psilocybin. And with psilocybin, [00:39:25] one is dim and the other one’s like a disco. Yeah. Every [00:39:30] part of the hemisphere is is connecting in some extraordinary ways. And, [00:39:35] um, so psilocybin almost. I don’t want to, like, [00:39:40] own the kind of medical side to this, but it almost kind of amplifies your serotonin receptor. [00:39:45] Yeah. And, um, and fits perfectly into that pathway when it digests into [00:39:50] liver and it goes into the brain, breaks the brain, brain blood barrier. Um, and then you have the prefrontal [00:39:55] cortex, the overacting part of the mind, the Woody Allen of the mind, that part which becomes your enemy [00:40:00] sometimes you go parts starts to close down when you, when you, when when you take it. So I [00:40:05] think the reason why people are so fascinated by it in the mental health is because if you go with intention [00:40:10] set and setting and you with the right kind of, um.

Speaker3: Community.

Speaker1: Community [00:40:15] sitter, uh, a therapist, um, there are journeys have been shown that, [00:40:20] you know, one session of this experience is equivalent of like ten years of therapy. The [00:40:25] most important thing, and I think Michael Pollan talks about this incredibly well, is that you can have this [00:40:30] experience and you can get to the summit and. And you can see the horizon. But the reality [00:40:35] is when you come, come down from come off. This experience is that the integration [00:40:40] then commences. You have to climb that gain and there may not be a rope. So there [00:40:45] is a challenge there. Um, but if you look at, uh, there’s a certain chart, [00:40:50] that chart that was uh, I think it was called, but it was created by David Nutt and [00:40:55] it shows you, um, it’s called the Ld50. Like talking about the if [00:41:00] something how bad something is and right, a toxicity toxicity. [00:41:05] Yes. So if you’ve got something like nicotine and you’ve got coffee, sorry, nicotine coffee, cocaine all these other. [00:41:10] Right a bottom right a bottom, you can’t even see it. Maybe you need a microscope to see this part [00:41:15] you have set aside and MDMA and other kind of, um, psychedelics. Well that’s psychedelics. [00:41:20] So classic psychedelics. And I think [00:41:25] all I would suggest is I would definitely, um, say to people, if [00:41:30] they have any interest in there, look at the type of people I’ve spoken about. Um, [00:41:35] there are some extraordinary podcasts, because you have the Freedom of expression of podcast where [00:41:40] you get some great. I’m trying to think of another on top of my head.

Speaker3: But there was one as well, because the one, the person that really interested [00:41:45] me. So, as you know, I’m teetotal, so I’ve never drank, never taken drugs, never tried anything [00:41:50] clean and pure. Um, and there was somebody and I forgot his name because [00:41:55] I got really obsessed with him. Christian Anglemyer. Yes. So he was on Stephen Bartlett’s [00:42:00] podcast, and he really resonated with me because he was also talking about how he was completely teetotal [00:42:05] and had no interest. He didn’t even, like, ever have a beer or anything like that and grew up in Germany. [00:42:10] And he also was, you know, on a trip with some friends, had a [00:42:15] calling with mushrooms and said it was the most profound experience of his entire life. And now he’s [00:42:20] one of the most successful sort of tech entrepreneurs. That’s put a lot of money behind [00:42:25] mental health and psilocybin and how it can help. So I think it’s like an incredible [00:42:30] progression. And as I said, this is something that grows in our world. What is also interesting, [00:42:35] controversial because I like to be is I wonder, you know, I wonder sometimes about [00:42:40] pharma, right? Because pharma want people to be addicted to medication. Like I’m going to [00:42:45] just say it out there. They want us to be reliant and dependent. And you know, we were talking about things like [00:42:50] antidepressants and anti, um, anxiety medication because it’s [00:42:55] their benefit if people have to take these constantly. Whereas something like psilocybin, from what I’ve [00:43:00] read, you don’t, you can’t take it like constantly because you just won’t.

Speaker4: The thing [00:43:05] with pharma is that it’s not a complicated conspiracy. It’s a very simple conspiracy. [00:43:10] It’s like they want to make money. Yeah. And, and, and so their ideal [00:43:15] drug is one that you have to take for the rest of your life and that the whole population needs [00:43:20] to take. And if they could, they could find a way of getting psilocybin into FDA [00:43:25] and all that. They do that it’s not like the conspiracy, but I’m not sure because.

Speaker3: People but people, [00:43:30] but people, people can’t be dependent on it. Think about it. Do you know what I mean?

Speaker4: What I’m saying is, don’t worry, they’re [00:43:35] very clever. They’ll put a little side chain on it and you know what I mean? Like what? My point is [00:43:40] this. That it’s very nice and easy to say, oh, that’s a conspiracy. And they weren’t trying to keep these, these mushrooms [00:43:45] away from us and all. But if they could find a way of making loads of money on that, they’d make loads of money [00:43:50] on that too. Yeah. That’s way you know, it’s a business. It’s a farmer business. It’s one of those things. [00:43:55] Do you think.

Speaker3: It’s going to be legalised anytime soon?

Speaker1: Um, and.

Speaker3: Has it been legalised anywhere in.

Speaker1: America? [00:44:00] There’s probably about eight states, um, that have decriminalised. Now the question really is how do [00:44:05] you unpackage what decriminalisation means and, and how it’s served and served, how it’s [00:44:10] how it’s handed and what the punishment is if someone’s seen with it. But [00:44:15] there’s great pioneers and leaders in certainly in Colorado and [00:44:20] some, some other states. I think Portugal swells following suit. Um, there needs [00:44:25] to be certainly more research. It’s not really my wheelhouse. I only know more about the functional side [00:44:30] and also the the vast area of the fungi kingdom. And like you were saying, what, uh, fungi [00:44:35] is doing for the future health of our planet as much as our well-being, which is also fascinating. [00:44:40] Probably another podcast. Um, but I think it takes time. But the interesting [00:44:45] thing is that the government and UK government are starting to fund projects.

Speaker3: So ketamine is now being [00:44:50] is available on the NHS. I don’t know if you knew that for depression. So you can go to [00:44:55] um your GP if you’ve got symptoms you can have the intravenously um providing [00:45:00] ketamine. So I think it’s an interesting space. You know, as I said, because we’re understanding that [00:45:05] like integrative medicine. But as you said, it’s about integration. So people can’t use [00:45:10] these medicines as like a one off and be like, all my problems will be cured.

Speaker4: I’m kind of interested in what you’re [00:45:15] saying, though. But, you know, you’re all up for having these, uh, functional mushrooms, [00:45:20] but you’re not up for having a beer. Why? Like, as far as I’m concerned, [00:45:25] you know, because these are ways of managing your state.

Speaker3: Yeah. No, because I actually don’t like alcohol. [00:45:30] I’m going to be completely honest with you, I. Don’t have any judgement. My parents drink, my sister drinks [00:45:35] because the first reaction is like, oh, is it religion? I’m like, well, no, because I’m, you know, I’m Christian, [00:45:40] so there’s nothing to say that I shouldn’t drink number two. Um, I also, um, [00:45:45] have never liked it. I’ve never liked the taste of it. And I really didn’t enjoy the altered [00:45:50] state of people who drank around me. And the thing is, remember, because I was really, [00:45:55] like, always sober. And I loved to go out. As you both know, I love to party. I love to dance. I love to [00:46:00] enjoy. Which again, I think there’s medicine and just movement. I don’t know why people think you have to kind of [00:46:05] be intoxicated. Like I love that, but I notice people around me become a little [00:46:10] bit more aggressive, a little bit more annoying, you know what I mean?

Speaker4: But but you’re saying you’re [00:46:15] teetotal. You don’t take any drugs. Yeah. It’s almost like you’ve set a set a line there. Yes. Yeah. And [00:46:20] yet if, if I put you in front of a, some, some, you know, lady, [00:46:25] lady witch doctor type and she brews something up for you 100%. I’m there. [00:46:30] You’ll have it.

Speaker3: Yeah.

Speaker4: And it’s almost it’s almost arbitrary.

Speaker3: I don’t think [00:46:35] so, because I think that I see also lots of other substances [00:46:40] as a numbing, as something to numb. Whereas I think that this [00:46:45] is a medicine and I think it’s a medicine that and you might say like, oh, what [00:46:50] about antidepressants? They numb as well, I agree. But the thing is, there’s something about nature that [00:46:55] I feel so connected to, and I feel so connected to something that’s like grown out [00:47:00] of the ground. You know, I’ve always been somebody that really cares about, like the nutrition that I’m putting in my body. [00:47:05]

Speaker4: Um, marijuana grows out of the ground.

Speaker3: True. But again, I think that from the research [00:47:10] that I’ve read and again, I have seen people in universities smoke marijuana, [00:47:15] become stoners, and have also I’ve seen altered states, whereas I’ve [00:47:20] yet to meet one person that I’ve been that I know has done mushrooms for [00:47:25] medicinal reasons. And I’m like, well, that’s probably messed them up a bit, you know? So I think for [00:47:30] me and it’s different, as I said, the community of people that I’ve met that, you know, [00:47:35] take functional mushrooms or have done psychedelics, it’s much.

Speaker4: More wholesome, it’s. [00:47:40]

Speaker3: Much more wholesome and much more connected. And I think that really speaks volumes to me, [00:47:45] because one of the things that’s helped my mental health is community connection and safety. [00:47:50] And that’s what I’ve always felt around those people. And I think Simon may agree with me [00:47:55] that as you started this pursuit with dirty, your whole kind [00:48:00] of world changed in a way because you started also. Here’s cold water dipping, [00:48:05] right? So he got into that, which you can tell us about. And, you know, that involves going to the serpentine, [00:48:10] freezing cold water. I’m not there yet, by the way. Yeah. Um, yeah. So and [00:48:15] guess what? It was so interesting because he created this community called the Dirty Tribe, [00:48:20] and it turned up being like two people doing cold water dipping, then five, then ten. Do [00:48:25] you see what I mean? And it’s amazing.

Speaker4: Interesting how this dirty is much [00:48:30] more than a product. Right? It’s a it’s a whole movement.

Speaker5: It’s a movement.

Speaker1: It’s beyond it’s beyond the sipping experience. [00:48:35]

Speaker4: I mean, the success of the company has been meteoric, right? How many how many people are you now.

Speaker1: In [00:48:40] the business? Uh, 20, I think. Was that all? Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah, yeah.

Speaker5: But that’s [00:48:45] how much.

Speaker3: They’ve achieved with only 20 people.

Speaker1: Amazing. Um, there is that.

Speaker5: And how many.

Speaker3: Subscribers?

Speaker1: Oh [00:48:50] my gosh. Uh, I have to look, but it’s it’s consistently growing. But that’s merely because, [00:48:55] um, it’s consistency. And it’s [00:49:00] not like a one pill fixes all kind of concept. You know, this is something to build into your life and [00:49:05] which is why we have these amazing product iterations. Um, we have a wonderful NPD team [00:49:10] that are looking at something beyond the teas, beyond the blends. There’s some extraordinary things doing because we want to make sure [00:49:15] that dirty is part of your lifestyle, never to forced habit, but to kind [00:49:20] of elevate what you’re already doing. Um, and I.

Speaker3: Actually want to see a more readily available everywhere. [00:49:25] Like I go into coffee shops now and I’m like, I’m really angry. I can’t order a dirty because I’d rather have a dirty than a flat white. Now [00:49:30] what’s.

Speaker1: Happening? I mean, it’s happening. Yeah. It’s happening. I mean, we’re just you’ve probably seen we’ve now, um, [00:49:35] in listings and all boots or a.

Speaker5: Card.

Speaker3: With parlour.

Speaker5: We’ve had that as well, so I know. Yeah, [00:49:40] I remember.

Speaker1: Your photo of you outside with all your pile of products. Um, so the, the, [00:49:45] um, I think if I’m going back to your question, like the, the important thing is. Is [00:49:50] almost from our story, the fact that it positively affected our well-being. [00:49:55] The first thing is there’s an undeniable remit. Like, we’ve got to share this other people. Yeah, and that’s [00:50:00] when the movement starts. Uh, dirty is a great name for a conversation starter in an area [00:50:05] which has a misconception sometimes of mushrooms.

Speaker4: Brand. Yeah.

Speaker1: And so if I can say that, [00:50:10] um, the community is built out of the subscribers and those who are part [00:50:15] of the dirty community, the reason that the the tribe exists is because [00:50:20] I believe that everyone wants to be everyone wants to be better than yesterday. Yeah. Um, and [00:50:25] it’s a grandiose time to say, but every day you get an opportunity to do it again, but do it better. And my thing [00:50:30] was always, um, I think since the adversity of Covid, I do [00:50:35] believe that, uh, loneliness kills the spirit. And I think community kind of enhances [00:50:40] the spirit in many different ways. So, um, this was an idea of bringing [00:50:45] everyone to a meeting point. Um, what I find interesting is the paradox. No one wants to go into the cold, [00:50:50] but everyone comes. Everyone comes every morning. And, um, the idea of having between [00:50:55] 8 and 15 hugs a day is scientifically shows it increases your oxytocin levels. I can tell you it’s an average of [00:51:00] 20 hugs in our community, and these are strangers that have come together and come [00:51:05] to a meeting point where we all serve the same purpose. Just want to feel better.

Speaker4: What time in the morning is that? [00:51:10]

Speaker1: Uh, where do you live? Because. Okay. Yes. Uh, 7:00 between [00:51:15] 630 and 7:00. So you’re swimming with sunrise now? The thing is, um, everything [00:51:20] we’ve spoken about today is now supported by, you know, research, like, even, you know, so what we’ll do, actually, [00:51:25] we’ll have a dirty ceremony. We’ll drink lion’s mane before going and or drink cordyceps to increase [00:51:30] our kind of energy levels or, uh, or lion’s mane to be in that meditative state. Because years [00:51:35] ago, Shannon, Tibetan monks would drink lion’s mane to activate their qi and get deeper state of [00:51:40] meditation. So we do that in the morning and we we interrogate the fear of the cold, the idea of being the cold in [00:51:45] ten degrees or below, up to a certain amount of minutes, increases your, [00:51:50] um, your dopamine levels, your pursuit hormone, by up to 250%. Now, there’s no other [00:51:55] hours later. Yes, it’s like having our dirty matcha, which is a slow release of energy. [00:52:00] It’s a slow release of energy, and there’s no kind of dips to that. So the idea is that it’s not the easiest. [00:52:05] You know, I don’t think anyone’s going through an easy life, just generally, um, think that’s a rarity. So doing [00:52:10] something like this in the morning and knowing that everyone who comes is part of this dirty community, it kind of shows us something [00:52:15] more than just a transaction. And my I’ve always lived on the basis [00:52:20] that I passionately believe in community, and that’s why it exists within dirty. There’s so [00:52:25] many more things that we’re doing. There’s we do these dirty retreats, dirty weekends, we do dirty foraging, [00:52:30] dirty weekends.

Speaker5: But listen, but listen.

Speaker3: But but the thing is, it’s incredible because [00:52:35] they’ve also had like some of the biggest pioneers in wellness, you know, behind them, you know, [00:52:40] they’ve worked with Wim Hof, am I right?

Speaker5: Or you did some women.

Speaker1: Women. Russell, um, [00:52:45] Stella McCartney was one of our first partners. She we we actually created a nice, dirty, stellar tin selection [00:52:50] for her, um, her community. But, um, she has a passion for alternative, um, [00:52:55] fabric for fashion and, uh, fungi, mushrooms being. What, did you have.

Speaker4: Access [00:53:00] to these people? Was it your previous.

Speaker1: Uh, yeah. I mean, we’re always a couple of degrees of separation from, [00:53:05] uh, interesting people or pioneers of their respective industries. And I think it’s undeniable [00:53:10] for what we’re doing that people do want to get do want to back do want to collaborate.

Speaker5: So, Simon, there’s loads.

Speaker3: Of mushroom [00:53:15] brands and even like the feeling nuts. And you had like Ant and Dec like.

Speaker4: House now because a lot of. [00:53:20]

Speaker3: Yeah but how was it. Or have you always just been good at like I don’t know, like how do.

Speaker5: You meet these. [00:53:25]

Speaker3: People. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. I mean we uh.

Speaker3: He always like, he knows everyone. [00:53:30] You think I know everyone? He knows everyone.

Speaker4: If your mum is a PR you do get.

Speaker5: Yeah. Did you have any introductions. [00:53:35]

Speaker3: Via your mum.

Speaker1: No it’s not. No, no, no, it’s the DNA. I think it’s the DNA. What we drew from my my my mother. It’s [00:53:40] funny, I had a conversation with her yesterday, um, and we were talking about, [00:53:45] you know, growing up and and how she supported us randomly because we were talking about it today. [00:53:50] And I was inspired by her at a young age because she was going out there. She was going on stage at at schools [00:53:55] and talking about projects that she was involved in. So I did see her as an inspiration because it’s the mother. She’s [00:54:00] the one who pulls you into this world.

Speaker4: It’s a can do thing, you know, it’s if you see your it’s not necessarily that that his [00:54:05] mum directly introduced him to Stella McCartney, but it’s the fact that his mum was doing insignificant [00:54:10] things and he was watching.

Speaker5: I think that’s what also.

Speaker3: Yeah.

Speaker5: Yeah significant things.

Speaker4: It’s [00:54:15] interesting, you know.

Speaker5: Well that’s why.

Speaker3: I think like in dentistry as well, because I’ve always had like, you know, people always [00:54:20] ask even Prav, he’s like, how do you know these people? Even people have brought on the podcast. And I think it’s because I’ve naturally been [00:54:25] attracted to people that I feel are like movers and shakers. And I think there is something to [00:54:30] be said for like manifesting again, woo woo. But looking at those people, like I sort of like manifest [00:54:35] them into my life, you know, when I meet them because I, I’d listen to like Louis on podcast, [00:54:40] you know, I sort of knew Simon through Nino. Do you know what I mean? Like, there’s all these different people that I’ve just sort of, [00:54:45] you know, attracted in my life. And I think there’s something to be said for that, you know.

Speaker1: I [00:54:50] think with certainly with my brother and I, we’ve, we’ve had mentors in our lives. Not not many but enough [00:54:55] and actually there’s a few more recently someone like, uh mogadore who’s a wonderful how do you know who I [00:55:00] met through a friend a few years ago. And, uh.

Speaker3: He’s my Egyptian soul brother.

Speaker5: You [00:55:05] know.

Speaker4: He’s my hero. I love him.

Speaker1: Uh, he’s a real darling. And, [00:55:10] uh, obviously had a tragic story. And that tragic story has given him a greater cause at the heart of it. So [00:55:15] we have a very deep and meaningful kind of connection. But I bring up the idea of mentors because there’s some things in life you [00:55:20] can never get at a lecture theatre. Yeah. Uh, travelling is a very important part, I think, to kind of totally [00:55:25] adopt the principles of different cultures, different way of life, different way of business thinking. And, uh, but just having [00:55:30] in a solid people in your life that you can rely upon, uh, there’s someone in our business [00:55:35] who’s our chair. I think you’ve you’ve met him, James Karzai, who’s also like a third [00:55:40] brother. Building a business like that is very rare. Um. [00:55:45]

Speaker4: Tell me about the going from the early days where, I guess, look in the. Do [00:55:50] you call this a supplements business? What do you call it?

Speaker1: It’s a very good question. It’s a very good question [00:55:55] because, yeah, it is a.

Speaker4: Lot of there’s a lot.

Speaker5: Of, uh, a wellness.

Speaker1: Wellness, I think we’ll [00:56:00] call it I think it’s important to call it wellness, because then you pigeonhole the whole, um, thinking process. [00:56:05]

Speaker4: Where I was going, there’s a lot of fakery in it. There’s I mean, I’m sure there’s good quality mushrooms [00:56:10] and bad quality mushrooms. I mean, I’m glad you brought that up. Get it from China?

Speaker1: Well, yeah, we my brother and I, um, [00:56:15] it’s actually using that word can create the misconception, but we. Because there’s an important part to that. We travelled the world [00:56:20] either digitally or physically, to find the best farms in the world. Because what we saw in the very beginning. Yeah. [00:56:25] Because, you know, we went everywhere in the northern hemisphere, Finland, you know, we went everywhere. And and it brought [00:56:30] some great realisation and education to the point. And, uh, you know, we, we, we [00:56:35] partnered with some of the most extraordinary mycologists to support our, our endeavour because at the heart of it, you can [00:56:40] create great marketing story, have a beautiful colour, a tin and a name. But it’s what happens [00:56:45] within that. You can’t fake it. And and it wouldn’t be right in [00:56:50] the heartbeat of why this started in the first place. So.

Speaker4: But it’s possible to fake it.

Speaker1: Yes. So [00:56:55] in America copy you.

Speaker4: They could just go on.

Speaker1: There right.

Speaker4: Now and just.

Speaker1: There are so many copycats at the moment. [00:57:00] I’m not I’m not saying that with confidence or braggadocio, but it’s absolute truth. [00:57:05] Yeah. Um, and I see the way they’re doing it and. Fine. But no one’s ever [00:57:10] come close to the way that we’re doing it, because we care so deeply about the transparency from forest to cup. We [00:57:15] say, now, if you look in America, it’s probably about 70 to 80% of all mushroom products, I think [00:57:20] mostly reishi that pull from the mycelial biomass that’s calling, that’s [00:57:25] pulling from the mycelium. Mycelium is a very, very important organism. Um, but when you pull from [00:57:30] it, when you’re extracting the mushroom, you’ll get nothing more than a fluff. It’s what’s within the fruiting body. [00:57:35] Now, if you want to go through the fruiting body process, that’s going to take time and costs. If you want to go through the mycelium, uh, [00:57:40] process, that’s going to be cheaper and easier and quicker to market. And that’s fine and actually fine go for it. [00:57:45] Because I would tell anyone right now who would listen to this, to take our product and take [00:57:50] every other product.

Speaker5: That’s what I’ve done.

Speaker1: Yeah. You have okay.

Speaker3: No no no no not not not every [00:57:55] no not every other one. But I think at one point I don’t know, my practice manager [00:58:00] bought me a different one. She’s like oh it’s slightly cheaper because I’ve been an avid subscriber. And I was like, I hate it tastes disgusting. [00:58:05] Like I’m just going to be completely honest with you. I loved dirty. And the thing is, I’m always [00:58:10] somebody that is happy to spend the money to invest in my health. I’ve just like that. Parlour’s [00:58:15] also a very expensive product, you know, and you know, because we’ve become a lot more like ingredient led as [00:58:20] well, you know, and Simon is so strict on making sure that we don’t compromise [00:58:25] on like, ingredients and packaging because he’s like, we this is a mission based project, [00:58:30] you know, so we have to be true to ourselves and our subscribers. So I think that that’s really important. [00:58:35]

Speaker4: At what point did you know, wow, this is more than just a sort of a [00:58:40] pet project. And it’s going to become becoming a gigantic business because because, you [00:58:45] know, I got to tell you, I’m a little bit jealous.

Speaker5: Of my success. No, no.

Speaker4: No, not success that [00:58:50] that you didn’t go through the massive pain. We went through six years of losses. [00:58:55] Yeah, well, there were challenges.

Speaker1: Definitely. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure we could meet at the same level [00:59:00] of those challenges. I’ll be jealous.

Speaker4: Is a bad word, but. But what I’m saying is that 2021, you started, [00:59:05] you said. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: It was it was coming out of Covid.

Speaker5: And it’s been astronomical growth.

Speaker4: 2023. [00:59:10] Yeah. What was it very early on that it became obvious? My God, it’s caught on.

Speaker1: I think [00:59:15] the tipping point comes if it’s about social kind of impact. Is the people sharing [00:59:20] it online, talking about it and the things they say is like, I couldn’t even tell you to say something like that to help [00:59:25] our product. But that was coming from a tearful, authentic, emotional human being who’ve been drinking our teas. [00:59:30] I think also, when we started doing our ceremonies in the very beginning, which Nino was part [00:59:35] of, we would basically copy what our the experience [00:59:40] we had, and then friends would have it and they’d feel the same. Our family members would have it and they would feel [00:59:45] the same. So by that point, you’re like this.

Speaker4: We’re on to something.

Speaker1: We’re on to something. And we didn’t. See, it’s [00:59:50] not like we didn’t. It wasn’t about seeing $1 billion kind of. It was about we seeing something that’s going to support, [00:59:55] you know, maybe that’s the the empathetic, maybe that’s the empathetic part. Empathetic [01:00:00] part that both my brother and I maybe lead with. Um, um, but I would say the distinction [01:00:05] between my brother and I. He’s an extraordinary CEO. Extraordinary CEO. Um, [01:00:10] I’m part my role is, you know, visionary on the creative partnerships and just building [01:00:15] that community out. And the one thing when you’re building, if you realise that’s not in your wheelhouse, don’t get too, uh, [01:00:20] trodden down by it. Yeah. Um, but we have both. We know [01:00:25] our roles, we know our responsibilities, and we know our core reason why we’re doing this. And if we can wake up every [01:00:30] day and understand and have that mantra about why are we doing what we’re doing, then even maybe the toughest times [01:00:35] can be slightly bit easier. Um, so the so transparency [01:00:40] has always been important. The science has been important. The research and the customer feedback has been incredibly [01:00:45] important. But transparency, uh, from forest to cup, the whole process of extracting a [01:00:50] mushroom is not an easy one.

Speaker1: And we’ve we’ve partnered with the family farm, six generations [01:00:55] of foragers within the community. 70% of them are foragers. And they’ve mastered the [01:01:00] extraction process. And it took a bit of time to find out who they are, how they do it. And [01:01:05] and now you just literally, you know, teaspoon of lion’s mane, for example. [01:01:10] Uh, it just becomes incredibly water soluble. The other thing is the, the reason [01:01:15] we brought I think it’s important we brought the, um, different, uh, extract powders out was to educate [01:01:20] everyone on each one, because we only ever started this as a as an educational platform. How do you take the complicated [01:01:25] language of fungi, simplify it, suppress the fear, and allow people to [01:01:30] understand your you’re drinking your ancestors? Because we show up to about 54% DNA with fungi. [01:01:35] So you’re half a mushroom, so love it. Um, [01:01:40] and and the mushrooms want to be they want to be harvest. They want to be picked. They want to be consumed. They want to be. [01:01:45] They want to be sporulated and put back into the earth. There’s an amazing kind of hole.

Speaker5: There is something so.

Speaker3: Beautiful [01:01:50] and so spiritual about the whole thing. Yeah. Um, I find this is also [01:01:55] fascinating. I could actually speak to you for hours and hours and hours. Simon, I think we’re probably gonna have to get you back with Andy. [01:02:00] Yeah. Thank you for being so helpful and so insightful. Um, [01:02:05] I honestly, like, I just feel like such joy when I, like, you know, spend time with you. And honestly, [01:02:10] I really think that dirty is not just a brand. It’s. It is a lifestyle. You know, [01:02:15] for me, I literally miss it, I crave it, it has helped me so much. But as you said, it’s also [01:02:20] the community that comes around it. And I think that, you know, you’re a real, um, asset [01:02:25] to this sort of world, especially the kind of, um, subscription world. And I’m honestly [01:02:30] so grateful that you could come today. So hope everyone converts to dirty. I’m not. I [01:02:35] pay for my subscription, by the way, if anyone is asking me. But honestly, it’s been amazing. [01:02:40]

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker1: Thank you.

Speaker4: Thank you so much for coming.

Speaker5: Yeah. Thank you.

Speaker1: Thank you, thank.

Speaker4: You. Inspiration.

Speaker5: Real inspiration. [01:02:45] Thank you.

Prav welcomes 2024 with a special solo show exploring teamwork, health and wellness, and thoughts on improving the sales process and patient journey.

Prav also discusses ‘the wheel of life’ strategy for balancing family, friendships, work-life, and more, inviting listeners to set and share goals for the year ahead.


In This Episode

00.49 – Team

02.31 – Health and wellness

10.43 – Business journeys, sales processes

18.59 – Congruency and filtering

35.17 – The wheel of life


About Prav Solanki

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

Speaker1: The vast majority of practices are speed to stop following up inquiries after 2 to 3 weeks. But we know from the data from our lead flow CRM system where we’ve got, I don’t know, a few hundred thousand data points in there where patients have re-engaged after a year, after two years, after 18 months, right, and have come out of the woodwork because we’ve stayed in touch all this time.

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.

Speaker1: Hello. Welcome to the Dental Leaders podcast. This is an end of year reflections, thoughts, where my head is in 2023, [00:01:00] at the end of the year and where it’s going. As I sit here in my office on the 22nd of December at 8 p.m., having just finished my last day of work on 2023, it’s been a bloody long day, but I had a massive to do list. I’ve had my team supporting me all the way to the end. Even a member of my team, Ross, is still working and he’s cancelled his plans [00:01:30] this evening to get the work done. Now, as a boss, I never, ever set expectations for my team. I never asked them to stay behind. I never ask them to go above and beyond. It’s never been a requirement. But yet Ross is still here on his last day. Some people finished half day today and got all their work done beforehand, but Ross has stayed there right till the end, almost like my wingman getting everything done, and I think that [00:02:00] is a reflection of him as a, as a, as a team member. But I can say the same about all of my team. You know, Bob, who we’re going to be recording a podcast with probably in the early New Year, I’m going to going to be talking about copywriting and tone of voice and how important that is in your brand. Messaging has been pulling late nights, getting his stuff done for the end of this year, and it’s been a really, really busy period for [00:02:30] us as an agency.

Speaker1: I think we’ve had more inquiries for new business in November and December than we’ve had all year. And, um, we just have a process that we go through when we speak to clients to see if we’re the right fit, if we can serve them, if they’re right for us, if we’re right for them, and we can really make a difference. But just going off work, you know, what’s what’s going on in my mind right now, what’s going [00:03:00] on end of 2023 and what does 24 look like for Prav? My agency, the fresh, my software development company, Lead Flow CRM system, the education business, the IAS Academy and me, you know where my head is at. So I’ll start with me and where my head is at at the moment is about 90% of my energy is consumed on health [00:03:30] and wellness at the moment. And if I think about why that is, um, it really revolves around age mortality. As we get older, we start realising we haven’t got as much time left, and then people around us who have either dropped dead too early. There’s a few in dentistry that we can name, um, somebody that I was really, really close to. Anoop maini, who some of you probably [00:04:00] have known had the pleasure of meeting and crossed paths with an incredibly humorous, funny, gentle human being who who still till to present day.

Speaker1: I can’t believe he’s not here anymore, because we used to talk a lot about the future and what that meant. And, um, most of our conversations, even though it was a client of mine, didn’t revolve around business, but just talked about the wider purpose of life. And then colleagues like Uchenna, um, [00:04:30] and many others around me have either been diagnosed with metabolic disorder, diabetes. I see them deteriorating and wasting away or gaining weight. And I don’t want to be that guy who, in the last decade of his life, for the last 15 years of his life, is, is is having his life extended by modern medicine. And I want to be super healthy until the day I drop dead. Right. And so a lot of the content. I’m consuming. [00:05:00] A lot of the actions that I’m taking revolve around wellness. Should we say I don’t know. Not necessarily. Think about life extension, but I think more about Healthspan. Right. So what is it that that I’m doing at the moment that, um, and that focuses on that? Well, a it’s the content I’m consuming, the podcasts, the content that I’m listening to. So I’ve subscribed to a guy called Peter Attia’s [00:05:30] content. I listen to Andrew Huberman all the time, Professor Lustig and many others. Some content is free, some content I pay for.

Speaker1: And I really get like getting down in the nitty gritty of the science, the receptors, what’s happening at the molecular level, mitochondrial health and all the rest of it. Just because it interests me as a scientist, right. And helps me to understand what’s going on. And that allows me to act in certain ways. So it’s my birthday on the [00:06:00] 24th of December, and on my birthday I will have fasted for seven days. So I will not have had a single bit of food that’s passed my lips for seven whole days. The only thing I will have consumed between then and seven days before is water, electrolytes, vitamin tablets, black coffee and herbal tea. That is it. I’ve been performing at work absolutely fine. I’ve done [00:06:30] a little bit of resistance training. Um, and every morning, in addition to that, I’ve been getting in an ice bath at 0.2 to 0.5 degrees C for about four minutes every morning, and then spending the next 40 minutes of the day shivering before cracking on with some work in the evening. So that’s cold exposure. At the other end of the day, it’s heat exposure for me, so I jump in a sauna at about somewhere between 100 [00:07:00] to 115 degrees C, and I sweat it out for 20 minutes. The research, the literature all points to these sort of crazy things that I am doing at the moment, revolving around longevity and lifespan and wellness.

Speaker1: And I’ve been incredibly overweight. I’ve had l5-s1 disc tear. Those of you who are closer to me and know me well, know that there’s been numerous periods of my life where I’ve had intense [00:07:30] foot pain because of that disc tear, where it almost feels like I’m walking on broken glass, hobbling along, overweight. You know, I remember probably about a couple of years ago, Tiff hadn’t seen Tiff Qureshi for about, I don’t know, six, eight months. And he was saying to himself, I was actually in good shape at the time when I saw him. And he goes, do you know what Prav? I was wondering to myself, are you going to be hobbling today? Are you going to be able to walk? Okay. And the combination of the habits that I’ve just described [00:08:00] have helped me get out of that sorry state, that daily foot pain, that lugging myself around feeling miserable both mentally, inside and physically on the outside. And I think, you know, sometimes we underestimate the impact of how we feel internally and mentally. For me, I’m an all or nothing kind of guy, and I go through these moments where I’m incredibly [00:08:30] positive, right? And, um, and working on myself, my business, my family, my life and everything. And there are certain moments where if I fall off the wagon, I can only describe the process or the journey that I’m going through at that moment in time, a self-destruct mode.

Speaker1: Um, and a lot of friends and colleagues I’ve spoken to, um, see themselves there a lot as well. And I think a lot of it is down to mindset and [00:09:00] mental. We talk a lot about mental health and and whatnot, and that’s coming to the surface now. And I’m not sat here trying to, you know, hijack a new fashionable word or whatever it is. But, you know, there are times in my life where I do feel down and I do feel, you know, despite what I push out on Instagram and stuff like that. And you see perhaps doing this and that and whatever, um, those are just the highlights, right? Those are just the happy times. And everyone else you see out there [00:09:30] on social media, when you see that, you see the good times, right? But behind that, and I’m pretty confident behind anyone and everyone, every persona that we’ve interviewed on the podcast, they have their highs and lows. Um, and I think it’s important to recognise that. So anyway, that’s, um, that’s where I am. And what’s 2024 going to look like? I think I’m going to focus a lot more on my health, a lot more on physical training, [00:10:00] improving my zone two cardio, my VO2 max. I want to improve my strength, and I’ve got various metrics and measures that I’m going to put in place to be able to test how those different areas of my performance are improving.

Speaker1: And I know for a fact when I’m physically fit, when I’m physically performing, I’m mentally performing. And in business I am flying as well. So that’s first and foremost. And and you know that that will see I’ll see rewards [00:10:30] from that in work, in life and also wife and children and all the rest of it, everything will benefit. So that’s going to be priority number 1 in 2024. Then I’ve been speaking to a lot of practice owners. We’ve been jumping on sort of coaching discovery calls about, well, how do I grow my practice? How do I get more patients through the door, how do I increase treatment? Acceptance. And the answer to me, I see it as very, very [00:11:00] simple. I go through a series of questions with clients in and around. I think the easiest way to I call it the patient journey, but I think we should call it the business journey. Right? And I just quizzed them about different areas of the business. It could be air, it could be marketing related, it could be sales process related. It could be related to the entire patient journey A to Z, and I can. I think it’s very easy for somebody else to pick holes in [00:11:30] your business, just like I’ve got coaches and consultants who tear shreds out of me and my business. It’s very easy from the outside looking in.

Speaker1: But the biggest problem that I see in Dental businesses today, and it’s a common problem, is the sales process is not how it should be. So the short answer is this. Most clients come to me and they say, I want more patients through the door. I want more inquiries. Will you help us [00:12:00] with running some Google Facebook ads, internal marketing campaigns, and putting some strategies in place to grow our practice? And before I say yes to that bit, because that’s the easy part, right? The one thing that I have to and must analyse is the sales process. So when that inquiry comes in, what happens next? If you don’t, if you don’t pick up the phone and speak to that inquiry within 30 minutes, your chances of a first [00:12:30] of all, being able to speak to that patient, let alone book them for a consultation, goes down rapidly. And so often I hear, oh, we’re getting loads of inquiries through, but they never pick up the phone. But put yourself in the shoes of that patient. They’ve probably inquired at 4 or 5 practices. One of them picks up the phone, got them booked in within minutes of them sending the inquiry. Because if I’m sat at my computer now and I send you an inquiry and you pick up the phone within five minutes and call me, the likelihood is, at the time [00:13:00] I sent that inquiry, I was ready to transact.

Speaker1: At the time I sent that inquiry, my mindset was in the business of teeth. And if at the time I send that inquiry, you call me, I’m ready to talk about it. Let an hour pass, let two hours pass, let half a day passed. Maybe something else has taken priority in my life. So then I become a waste of time. Inquiry. I don’t pick up the phone, but I’ve sent you my name, email address and phone number. What [00:13:30] was going through my mind when that happened? And so often the follow up process is broken, right? We don’t call the patients back in time or when we try and call them back, we only call them back once and we don’t text them and we don’t WhatsApp them, and we don’t try calling them from a mobile as well as a landline, because we’ve got different preferences, right? So me Prav I pick up the phone if somebody calls me from an 0161 [00:14:00] landline number because I’m based in Manchester and that’s the local Manchester area code, I’m curious as to who in Manchester is trying to call me, so I’ll pick up an unknown number from an 0161, but I won’t pick up an unknown number from a mobile because I think who on earth is that trying to call me? And how’s that mobile number? Got mad. It’s probably someone trying to sell me accident insurance or something.

Speaker1: Right? So I ignore all mobiles, but not all people are like me. Some people ignore landlines and some people [00:14:30] accept mobiles. And so, depending on which you are, then surely we should be trying to follow up patients equally from landlines and mobiles and testing both. Maybe if you try and call me between the hours of nine and six, you’re never going to get hold of me because I’m mad busy at work. And while you’re at work, you’re trying trying to call me. But what about trying to ring those patients and follow them up outside of business hours? Okay, [00:15:00] maybe most patients can’t pick up the phone during work hours, right? So perhaps trying them during a lunch time, trying them after 6 p.m., 7 to 8 p.m. is a really good time to put patients into your clinic. Saturday mornings are a really good time to book patients into your clinic. In fact, in my clinics we book more patients in on an evening and on a Saturday than we’d do all week. And it kind of makes sense. Patients are free then, right? Then [00:15:30] at what point do you give up following up those patients after you’ve texted them, maybe sent them half a dozen emails over the space of, I don’t know, 6 to 12 weeks? Do you give up on those patients because fresh bloods come in. New inquiries have come through the door.

Speaker1: And that’s what often happens. The vast majority of practices I speak to stop following up inquiries after 2 to 3 weeks. But we know from the data from our lead flow CRM system where we’ve got, I don’t know, [00:16:00] a few hundred thousand data points in there where patients have re-engaged after a year, after two years, after 18 months, right, and have come out of the woodwork because we’ve stayed in touch all this time. In fact, if you’re a clinician listening to this now, you’ve probably had a consultation with a patient a year ago, two years ago. Anyway, they come out of the woodwork two years later or 18 months later. Where the hell did [00:16:30] you just come from? And the reason being is that not everyone who comes into a consultation is ready to buy on that day. Maybe they were just getting information, maybe the situation, financial, physical time, off work, headspace, wherever they are in their in their journey, they’re just not ready to transact then. And so you’re not a priority and you send them a treatment plan and they don’t respond and they ghost you. And then they come [00:17:00] into some money a year later or two years later, or circumstances change, a job role, an event that comes up or something, a wedding, whatever that is. And now they’re ready to rock and roll. But you stopped communicating with them after four weeks. If you stayed in touch with him every 6 to 8 weeks through some kind of CRM or automation, then I guarantee you, I guarantee you that a ton of patients will convert [00:17:30] later on down the line.

Speaker1: In fact, one of the most popular marketing campaigns that we run for clients is a patient reactivation campaign. And we tell our clients to to get the data of all the inquiries that have inquired over the last five years that ghosted you or stopped responding, never converted to a consultation, and just send them one email and one text message. And I guarantee you will reactivate depending [00:18:00] on how much data you’ve got, tens, if not 100 hundred thousand pounds worth of dentistry. And the reason being, circumstances change. And if that email literally just says this Prav are you still interested in dental treatment? Question mark. That is it. And the subject line of the email just says their first name Prav dot dot dot. I call that my famous seven word email and it generates a ton of new business. Why? Because there’s [00:18:30] a bunch of patients that we should have stayed in touch with for two years. So if there’s any piece of advice I can give anyone about growing their business, it’s to have a strategy in place to follow up your inquiries for a minimum of two years. And that would change the game massively in terms of marketing strategy. And then you can look at generating more leads and putting them into that two year pipeline.

Speaker1: And that’s [00:19:00] pretty much the best advice I can give anyone from a marketing strategy point of view, other than the concept of congruency. So when you’re running ad campaigns, whether you’re running Google ad campaigns, Facebook ad campaigns, or whatever they are, make sure that the offer that you’ve got in place, whether it’s 10% off composite bonding or a free consultation or whatever that offer is, the communication is totally congruent throughout. So let’s say you offered [00:19:30] 10%. Let’s just stick with 10% off composite bonding. So your advert says that. So when they click on the advert your landing page says that when someone picks up the phone they say, oh, congratulations, you’ve just managed to secure our 10% off composite bonding offer. And then the next thing that happens is that they come in and you talk to them about it, or the text message you send them mentions the 10% off. That’s why they inquired, mentions the complimentary consultation. [00:20:00] You address that at the consultation. It’s amazing how many Dental practices run special offers and campaigns, and their marketing strategy is not shared with reception or the TCO. It’s a conversation between practice owner and marketing agency. It doesn’t get communicated across. Once again, one of the biggest reasons that that I feel marketing campaigns fail. And then only this week we’re running [00:20:30] an implant campaign for a practice owner at the moment, and we’ve just kicked it off maybe about a week ago.

Speaker1: And he messages me and goes, hey, Prav, we had two patients in today and they thought our dental implants were free and they came in for a consultation. Is there anything in our marketing that says dental implants are free? So I say, no mate, we do mention a free consultation, but answer me this how on earth did that patient [00:21:00] make it through to your practice thinking that dental implants are free, right? That’s the bigger problem because somebody will read the word free on a, on a, on a, um, campaign or something like that and think that, yeah, you know, maybe the dental implants are free. And in fact, you know, we’ve had, you know, we run some ad campaigns where, you know, we’re marketing orthodontics and you say, you know, free whitening with ortho and some of these crackpot [00:21:30] patients inquire and say, well, I don’t want the ortho, but can I get the free whitening patients are funny, funny individuals, right? And you get all sorts when you put some offers out there. You get you get patients in all shapes and sizes and all sorts of problems that they come to you with. So you’ll get that. That’s part and parcel of marketing, right? But back to my original question to this client. How on earth did that patient make it through your filters? And he said, what do you mean? And [00:22:00] I said, well, we spoke about.

Speaker1: If a patient comes in for a free consultation or any consultation, they need to earn the right to attend that free concert. Just because it’s a free consultation, it doesn’t mean any Tom, Dick and Harry can walk through your door. So what do you mean by that? Prav? Well, I’ll tell you what I mean. There isn’t a single patient that should be allowed to walk through your practice door without you understanding and knowing. What [00:22:30] knowledge do they have about the treatment? What’s the price point in their head? Where are they going to get the money from? And what is their readiness and appetite for moving forward with treatment? So we have a clear series of questions that we triage patients with before we even allow them to book a consultation. And I think for me this is the basics. But when I speak to a lot of practice owners and often in [00:23:00] all aspects of business, right, whether we’re looking at balance sheets and KPIs, whether we’re thinking about leadership and managing your team and connecting with them and staying in touch with them and being a good leader, or whether we’re talking about sales conversations is often just the basics that we need to get right in order to see massive growth in our businesses. Right. And a lot of businesses get the basics wrong.

Speaker1: So going back to these questions, what are the questions that we ask in order for a patient [00:23:30] to earn the right for a complimentary consultation? Well, one of the questions we asked is so what do you know about composite bonding? What research have you done and what is it that you think you need? Right. We’ll go through the usual, you know, understand the why now and get an insight into, you know, the pain points that that patients experiencing what they can’t do with their teeth, how it’s impacting their confidence, their life, their job, all of that. We go through all of that. But when we get down [00:24:00] to the nitty gritty, what do you know about composite bonding? What research have you done? Have you had any other consultations? Yes or no? If the answer is yes, where have you had those consultations and why didn’t you proceed with treatment there? What was it that they couldn’t do that you was looking for? Was there a price point? Was it a conversation? Dig into that detail a little bit further. Right. These this these days in the current economy, we’re seeing [00:24:30] instead of patients just booking straight in and going ahead, they’re having 3 or 4 consultations before they make their mind up. Right. And maybe it’s a cost of living thing. Mortgages have gone up, heating’s gone up, so on and so forth. Right. But we’ve seen a lot of that right now.

Speaker1: So what have they or what haven’t they got out of those other consultations? Those clues might be important for us as a clinic. Okay. Do you have any idea how much composite bonding or this treatment costs. Have you [00:25:00] looked into the price of that? What do you understand? By that, let them give you their answer and then furnish them with the right information. I believe you should be giving costs over the phone and not hiding behind your prices. Otherwise, you end up in the situation where patients are walking through the door. They think it’s one price, you’re giving them another price and you’ve got a total mismatch, not doing anyone any favours. So once we get an agreement on the approximate cost of this treatment and we’re on the same [00:25:30] page, I want to find out where they’re getting their money from. So I would ask that patient. So if you were to go ahead with treatment and we were the right practice for you, how would you look at paying for this? Would you be paying out of your own pocket and savings, or would you want to take advantage of our monthly payment finance plans? If they say finance, ask them, do you think you’d be accepted for finance? Do you think you’ve got a good credit score? Okay. And once we’ve got to that point, I want to understand what [00:26:00] that patient’s appetite or readiness is.

Speaker1: So I would ask them if everything checks out and we were in the right ballpark of price, and you felt we were the right practice for you or the right clinician for you to get you the result you wanted. How soon do you want to get started straight away in the next six months, or are you just figuring things out right now? Once I’ve got the answer to all of those questions, I pretty much know what the standard and quality of that [00:26:30] patient is on where we are with them. If I asked all that question, all those questions, there is absolutely no chance that a patient could ever sit in my chair thinking that they could get free dentistry. And those really are the basics of the sales process that we need to think about when trying to convert patients or convert inquiries into solid consultations that end up going ahead, [00:27:00] more than likely going ahead with. Of treatment. In fact, you know, dancing, Ollie and Dash, they do a lot of aligner treatment. And I was speaking to Darcy the other day about the open days that he runs. And they run a really unique process. Right. And look, I learn as much from my clients as they learn from me. And one of the things that that does, does, which I think is pretty cool, all of his open day patients have paid £350 before they turn up, because they’ve actually had a WhatsApp [00:27:30] consultation with Susie.

Speaker1: She takes them through all those questions that I’ve mentioned and some more. And the end result of that consultation is this you’re going to come for our open day and you’re going to you want a line of treatment. I’m going to take £350 off you now for you to get started. And the only reason that you won’t proceed is if we deem you to be clinically unsuitable on the day. So he gets 30 or [00:28:00] 40 patients were ever turning up to his open day ready to rock and roll. And I think that’s a really, really unique approach. But I don’t believe that there are many clinics that can achieve that or execute it, because he’s got some really unique team members. He’s got a unique process that he’s drilled for over a decade. But it’s certainly something that I admire and I look at from from some practices and think, wow, you know, I thought I knew all the, all the ways to do this, but but clearly, you [00:28:30] know, the stuff that I get taught from practice is every day that I then pass on to my clients, right, and share knowledge with people. And then when we look at stuff like implant dentistry, I think that’s where I come into my own. Um, primarily because the clinic that I co-own with my colleagues, we focus primarily on full arch implant dentistry and treating edentulous patients.

Speaker1: And so if I think about that process, [00:29:00] it’s really, really easy for me to sell implant dentistry or my team to sell implant dentistry, because first of all, the impact on the patient’s life is huge. We do at least one full arch a day in clinic, sometimes two. Sometimes it’s a single arch, sometimes it’s a dual arch. And our clinical setup, in terms of the clinical team, the lab we’ve got in house and everything is all geared up to do lots and lots [00:29:30] of full arch implant dentistry. But it’s the patient journey that nails it. Right from Kerry. Speaking to the team on the phone. Sorry, Kerry speaking to the patients on the phone. Emotively with a great degree of emotional intelligence understanding. A lot of these patients have got pain and problems right, and that pain is often denture glue. Embarrassment, the inability to be able to eat the foods they once loved right? Hiding behind [00:30:00] their hands, hiding from photographs, becoming socially recluse and avoiding various social events. Well, she can empathise. Empathise with those patients, right? And then when they come in for the consultation, they meet Mark and meet Suresh. And these guys are both incredibly emotionally intelligent and they’re very good at storytelling. And we’ve recorded some amazing, amazing video stories. I like to call them films [00:30:30] of patients who’ve been through that journey, and then we’ve visited them in their homes, in their social environment and interviewed them in depth about their journey.

Speaker1: And what we do is we take these films and we allow our consultations, our patients in consultations to watch these films, because those patients in those films, what do they do? They deal with all the objections, price objections. They deal with fear around pain, embarrassment, [00:31:00] what the future might look like, the potential investment. And is it worthwhile? What partners think. Husbands and wives we’ve interviewed. Right. And when these patients watch them and we say to the patient, so what did you think about Sean’s story? They’re already sold, right? The hard work is done. And we present three options a dangerous patients. We present three options to them. And often I come across implant surgeons who just sell them the Rolls Royce. Yeah. You want a full [00:31:30] arch of implants? It’s all we offer. It’s all that’s on the menu. And that’s £18,000. And that’s like saying. And you’re going to have to excuse my French here, but that’s like saying to a patient, you’ve come here for some help. And unless you’re prepared to spend £18,000, you can piss right off. But we leave in, we’re leaving stacks of cash on the table. And we were still we’re leaving [00:32:00] that patient without options. So what do we offer edentulous patients or patients? We’re in a bit of a mess. We say to them, we can give you a really nice looking set of dentures that look unbelievably natural.

Speaker1: They handcrafted in house by Mark Northover has been doing this for 30 years and they will fit well and be really comfortable. And they won’t look like dentures. I promise you they’ll look like real teeth now [00:32:30] you cost for that, or your investment in that is going to be £5,000. The next step is we can take those stunning dentures and we can stick some implants in them. And so now what you’ve got is implant supported dentures. And they click in and click out. And you remove them to clean them and take them out at night. Right. And your investment in that is £7,000 for the opposite [00:33:00] and £7,000 for the lower set. And then what we can do is build you a fixed bridge, where we permanently fix those teeth into your upper and lower jaw, and your investment in that is £15,000 for the upper jaw and £15,000 for the lower jaw. And then you just leave the patient to make the decision. We’ve had patients over the years who’ve gone for the denture [00:33:30] option. They’ve then come back and said, can you stick some bolts in? Now these are moving around and I’m fed up of denture glue. Right. And those some of those patients eventually come in and have the fixed arch. But if we’d have said to that patient on day one £16,000 or piss off that have gone somewhere else, right, they’d have gone to a cheaper clinic.

Speaker1: Worse still, they might have gone off to Turkey and had a nightmare. And so providing your patients with options once again, you know, implants. I’m speaking to a lot of clinics at the moment who [00:34:00] are saying, do you know what, I want to grow my implant practice. I want to do loads of full arches. I’ve done 25 full arches this year. Next year I want to do 50. I’ve placed 100 implants. Next year I want to place 200. I kid you not, it is rarely, rarely about your Facebook ad campaigns. It is rarely about your Google ad campaigns. It’s about nailing your patient journey. It’s about nailing your communication on the phone. It’s about [00:34:30] listening to the phone calls between your patients and your front of house team, and refining that. It’s about the interaction between your team. When those patients come in, it’s about refining your consultation process, your treatment plan presentation, your treatment plan, follow up and your follow up communication, and perhaps staying in touch with those patients who you’ve presented with a treatment plan for two plus years. Take a list [00:35:00] of all those patients over the last two years you’ve presented to a treatment plan to and haven’t converted. Just reach out to them all again, through text, through email, through phone call, you’ll convert some again. And that’s where the majority of of growth is in practices.

Speaker1: You know, in my journey this year, I’ve done a lot more public speaking and gained a lot more confidence doing that. And I think that has just come through generally through experience. If I look back at the [00:35:30] first time I did that, I, you know, I’d stand up on a stage and absolutely shit myself and think, Crikey, I’ve got all these people looking at me. What if I get my words muddled up or get it, get it wrong? And that’s progressed through, you know, having the opportunities of being able to speak for people like Straumann, Nobel, Biocare and Carlos, the IAS Academy, running my own business courses. And that’s something I want to and I’m going to do [00:36:00] a lot more of because I find it incredibly fulfilling and I feel like I learn a lot. From my audience and my favourite piece of public speaking or training has to be my one day business mastery course. And on that day, okay, we go through some HR stuff, we go through some financial stuff, we go through the sales process, we run through some marketing things. I, I’ve tried to put a course together [00:36:30] that covers all the business basics of growth. Because I said earlier, most practices get the basics wrong. And you know what the most popular part of that course is, I think. And the most impactful part of that course that delegates have told me is nothing to do with business.

Speaker1: It’s this concept called the Wheel of Life. And what I do during that exercise is I go through a series of questions. [00:37:00] If you know what the wheel of life is, you, you know this is probably not news to you. But I go through a series of questions where I ask the room about various elements of their life, okay? And I ask them to rate those different elements from 1 to 10. And it gets people thinking really hard about the different facets of their life. Because, [00:37:30] look, if you take those facets and the facets I’m talking about, if you think about your life today and you think, where are you financially? Where are your relationships with your top five friends? How is your relationship with those family members that you love the most? What’s romance like? What’s your career like? Health, spirituality, and then fun. And you think about all of those facets and score yourself from 1 to 10. You realise that you’re lacking [00:38:00] in certain areas. So let’s look at finance, right? Where are you in terms of your personal finance now and where do you want to be. And finance could be how much money have you accumulated? What are your savings like? It could be down to. What does your lifestyle look like, and have you adjusted your lifestyle to actually become richer by not needing the fancy shit anymore? Right.

Speaker1: And that’s that’s me. Definitely. My where my head is right [00:38:30] now is is I’ve definitely dematerialised in my life and I feel a lot more comfortable about my personal finances. Right. And then your friends, what are your relationships like with your top three mates? You know, those who’d come running if the drop of a hat and, um, you know, often we can we can go a year or 18 months or six months without even speaking to our best friends and just doing something as simple as maybe you score yourself [00:39:00] a three or a five out of ten or whatever, but you know, you know, you’d want to spend more time with them just picking up the phone to that friend and saying, hey mate, I haven’t spoke to you in a long time. Sending a message, sending a text, meeting up for a coffee, those things that you get too busy for family, right? Take the top 3 to 5 people who mean the world to you in terms of family, and think about if they drop dead tomorrow, what regrets would you have? And it’s often around the time or the lack of time you’ve given them. Take [00:39:30] a moment out of your life to give them more time, right? Romance. Taboo subjects? Yeah. What is that like? And look, romance doesn’t necessarily need to mean, you know, what happens under the sheets, right? But you know, how is your romantic relationship with your other half, your partner? What is could it be better? And then what could you do to improve that? Whether it’s going out for a meal, certain gestures, maybe you’ve got too [00:40:00] used to each other, right? And you’ve stopped making an effort.

Speaker1: But we can all change and career. What can you do to improve that? Is it education? Is it motivation? Is it? Is it finding, you know, a new career or a skill? Health. Could you be training more? Could you be eating better? Are you eating too much processed food? Are you just picking up snacks? Quick fix spirituality. What does that mean to you? Does it have religious or non-religious [00:40:30] connotations? For me, spirituality is just finding time for Prav. You know, I have those moments by myself where I feel spiritually connected. It’s the, you know, Prav wakes up at half four in the morning. The rest of the world, my family’s asleep. I walk downstairs, you know, I might do a little bit of breathwork or meditation. Then I’ll jump in an ice bath for 4 or 5 minutes and it’ll be painful. [00:41:00] But during that pain, it’s really peaceful as well. Right? That’s that’s what spirituality means to me. It means different things to different people. Right. And then fun. I know for a fact when I wasn’t running my businesses, when I was, um, how do I put it? Um, had less responsibilities.

Speaker1: I was a lot more fun. So how can Prav stick the fun back in his life? So when you look at all those facets of those wheels, you can really think [00:41:30] deeply. And then we go through an exercise of thinking of three things that you can execute, maybe in the next 30 days to take your score up a notch. And I find that exercise incredibly powerful, as do the delegates on that course find it really, really powerful, too. And so that’s probably the most enjoyable part of the teaching and the training that I do on behalf of the [00:42:00] IAS Academy. And, you know, we’re developing that business now. I think I think one of the key things that we’re working on at the moment is this clearer line of diploma that Josh Rowley and Prof. Ross Hobson are running, which is, you know, I think part of it’s going to go online next year and I’m going to be heavily involved in recording that, putting it together in a way that our delegates can can articulate it. And also, you know, helping to market that. And [00:42:30] I truly believe I like to get involved with businesses that, um, are offering the best in class in terms of the training, the education and stuff and the way they operate. And I truly do believe that the education that Prof. Hobson and Ross and co providing is, is second to none, because it’s not just focusing on the business of Invisalign or one aligner system or whatever.

Speaker1: It comes down to the, the um, the core principles and stuff. And it’s that science that I [00:43:00] really love. And that’s why when I go back to listening to podcasts and, and understanding, you know, the mechanisms of actions of, you know, different agonists on receptors or where dopamine is acting in the, you know, the nucleus accumbens and the reward. World centre. And that’s why fructose is like crack to us. And that’s why we become addicted to these things. Right. And it’s it’s the science of the education that those guys talk about, which I don’t necessarily understand [00:43:30] because I’m not a clinical dentist, but I believe offers sort of the best in class training for the right people. So, yeah, I think I’ve just, um, I think I’ve just jabbered on for the last 40 minutes. So I’m probably going to end the podcast here. And I think my message is this is probably going to go out in the new year. I’m guessing even though I’m recording it 2023, I’m going to be doing some goal setting between Christmas and the New Year, and I’m going to be setting goals [00:44:00] in those different facets of the wheel of life. Right. Health. And I’m going to document what’s my training program going to be like. Who’s going to be my accountability partner on that? Right. What what habits am I going to do in health.

Speaker1: What am I going to do to get my spirituality score up? How’s Prav going to be more fun and have more fun? What am I going to do in terms of finances? How am I going to connect with my top five friends more this year? Right? What am I [00:44:30] going to do about those family members that I take for granted and neglect? How am I going to improve my romance with my wife? What am I going to do to progress my career? I’m going to do a lot more training, public speaking, and that’s I think that’s where I feel I’m getting a lot of value out of my career and putting a lot back out into the world. I really enjoy that and that’s it, really. I’m going to focus on that and focus on some goals. So look, [00:45:00] if you guys are setting goals, maybe think about the different facets of your life rather than just tunnel vision in down on, I just want to get more patients through the door, or I want to grow my dental practice or want to grow my dental business or whatever. I think if you get everything else in place, I think it’s called getting your ducks in a row or whatever. Your business will fall into place. And on that note, over and out, I hope you have an amazing Christmas and New Year. Whatever it is that you do or [00:45:30] you have done by the time this podcast out.

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.

Speaker1: 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 [00:46:00] 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.

Amy Neville chats about her work as a model, influencer and fashion blogger. She describes her experience with hyperemesis gravidarum—an extreme form of morning sickness—and how her social media followers rallied when she needed support.    

In This Episode

01.58 – Backstory

11.48 – Motherhood and identity

19.56 – Hyperemesis gravidarum

25.55 – Privilege

28.42 – Work-life balance 

31.27 – Social media, modelling and ageing

37.20 – Ambition, relationships and goals

About Amy Neville

Amy Neville is a model, influencer, fashion blogger and mum. Follow her on Instagram at @amynevfashiondiaries.

Speaker1: It’s a really horrible disease that no one knows enough about. So for me, I’d lie on the floor in A&E and I’d be throwing up constantly. They’d inject me to try and stop you being sick. And one time this guy dragged me across the floor, thought I was a drunk, and I was like, I’m pregnant. But because I was so slim, I was tiny. Yeah. I remember you lost even more weight. 66 stone. And I was so unwell and I couldn’t fight my corner because I didn’t have any energy. This is mind movers. Moving [00:00:30] the conversation forward on mental health and optimisation for dental professionals. Your hosts Rhona Eskander and Payman Langroudi.

Speaker2: Hello. Hi. Welcome to Mind Movers. It’s so wonderful to have the incredible, beautiful Amy Neville with us today. Thanks for having me. So Amy and I met a few years ago. Amy is actually someone that I had been following online for a really long time. Um, she’s a model, uh, [00:01:00] an online influencer. She was once an estate agent. I found that out and has really taken the online world by storm because she has really sort of made modelling, I think a really sort of if you made it different, Amy, to me, because also, like, I think Archetypally people always think that like models are a certain way. But I think your journey was incredible because you started doing content without even having like a contract, yet without even being part of an agency. And, you [00:01:30] know, I mean, everyone’s talking about Tube Girl now, do you know Tube Girl? And I remember seeing you, though, in these huge ball gowns, literally on the tube and, um, you know, so you were somebody that really showed, like, confidence and what it’s like. And then obviously, as life developed, you know, becoming a mother and really balancing that. And that was something that I really like ask you about every time you’re in the dental chair, you know, what’s it like and how has it impacted your life? So really excited to have you on today, Amy. But tell us a little bit. So I [00:02:00] like to always start from the beginning. Tell us what life was like. So where you grew up and how you became an estate agent and your transition into the online world?

Speaker1: Okay, so basically I’m from Oakham, the smallest county in Rutland. It’s, um, a tiny, tiny town. It’s lovely. Everyone knows everyone. I always wanted to move to London. It was like my thing, like I was a big city girl. I wanted to do modelling. I knew I couldn’t succeed where I was, um, and I actually said to my dad, I want to move to London like I’m not the village girl. [00:02:30] Um, so I moved down at the age of 17 with my ex-partner. Um, but I actually had to go and work as a receptionist at a solicitors, which is. This is my whole journey. Um, so I was a receptionist at a solicitors. I kind of did, um, assistant work a state agency. I did loads of different jobs because obviously with modelling you have to build your portfolio. So it took me years, but, um, with the estate agency, it wasn’t really something I wanted to do. But I love people, so I was working with all different people. I worked in an office full of boys who all used to take the mick out of me all [00:03:00] the time. I was like, the blonde. Yeah, I love that. Um, but yeah, I know my journey was kind of. I really had to fight for what I wanted. Obviously, I had a good education. My dad sent me to private school. But then you’re kind of out there in the big world on your own, and it’s kind of like you actually have to work for things you want yourself. Nothing’s going to get given to you.

Speaker2: So did you go to university?

Speaker1: No, no, so I didn’t um, it was kind of a choice of my own, actually. My ex partner actually kind of talked me out of it as well. Really? Yeah. He moved to London and said, move down with me, but he was the one [00:03:30] that had the career. I didn’t, so I moved down for him. I didn’t go to university, but looking back, I’m glad I didn’t because I think I’d have spent loads of money. Yeah, I’ve always had an obsession with clothes and I’d probably got myself in loads of debt and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I loved fashion, I was going to do something like fashion marketing, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do specifically other than the modelling. But you can’t just go and be a model overnight, like you have to work with different brands and photographers. And it did take me a good eight years actually, to get where I was. And purely for me, it was [00:04:00] more confidence. I never really had the confidence to kind of get there with the modelling. Um, and this.

Speaker2: Is obviously pre like online. Right. So we’re talking about like this is like way before Instagram was out, I.

Speaker1: Actually remember my um manager at the time and my estate agents actually said to me, there’s a new thing called Instagram. And I was like, wow. And I remember he posted a picture of like this cup of tea. And I was like, what is this online thing? Because I was always on Facebook. Yeah. And he said to me, this is going to be the new thing. And I was like, oh, okay, maybe I should try and post some stuff. But I didn’t think anything [00:04:30] of it. And I remember at the time, my partner, we had a really pretty front door and he’d take pictures of me outside, like of all my different outfits. I used to spend all my money on clothes. Whatever job I’ve been in, I’ve spent every penny I’ve had. Yeah, yeah. And it was kind of one of the reasons I started my Instagram. At the time, I was just posting on my different outfits. Um, and then obviously the modelling kind of didn’t take off straight away, but I did a lot of like body double work for Georgia may Jagger.

Speaker2: That’s so cool.

Speaker1: I did some really cool jobs, actually, but it was never like, I basically go to loads and loads of different castings, [00:05:00] but my pure thing was confidence. I’d go in and sit with loads of girls and I never had the confidence, so I’d just walk out and looking back, it really upsets me because I’m like, do you know what? I wish I’d had that confidence to stay in that room and go, I am good enough. But I think that comes with age as well. Especially now I’m a mum of two. Like, I literally don’t care what people think of me like I am who I am. And if you don’t like me, well, it’s kind of your loss because I know I’m a good person.

Speaker3: Casting can be a real.

Speaker1: Oh, it’s horrible.

Speaker2: I had to go through that as well.

Speaker1: And I just didn’t. Now I’ve got the confidence because I’ve [00:05:30] done the jobs and I’ve got the brands have worked with me. But when you’re a young girl living in London, I was 17. I’d done no jobs, no modelling work. You’re in this room full of beautiful girls. Who’ve got confidence. And I just used to sit there and think, well, they’re never going to book me, so I might as well leave. I’m not going to sit here for hours wasting.

Speaker3: I wouldn’t even go for the casting.

Speaker1: No. Oh it’s awful. Yeah. This is like me being completely honest. I’d get in the room and they’d say, talk about yourself for ten minutes. I had nothing to say. And it’s really awful. Like I felt like I didn’t [00:06:00] have I don’t know, it’s weird.

Speaker2: But I think as well, like, looking back, like the 90s thing was different, right? As in like, you know, we’re you know, I know you’re a few years younger than me, but we grew up in the same era. So like I used to get scouted in London and my mum was a model in the 80s and my mum really didn’t want me to get into it, and especially because she knew how toxic and she didn’t want me to go down that path. It was interesting because I was watching. Have either one of you seen the documentary supermodels? And it’s got about, uh, [00:06:30] Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington. So what happens is it goes into ultimately their rise to fame. And they were basically asked, scouted at 15, literally 15 years old. And you think to yourself because you talk about the confidence thing. But I just think also as a woman or girl at that age, you don’t actually know who you are. No. And, you know, we’ve had these conversations because you’re in your 30s. I’m in my 30s. I’ve had this conversation Payman society [00:07:00] basically says as a woman we are more desirable the younger we are. We’ve had this conversation and then but but your confidence comes in your 30s. So it’s quite funny because you don’t actually own who you are, you know, in your 20s and your teens and then suddenly. So I think there’s like a different type of confidence and sexiness that comes with that in your 30s.

Speaker3: I think of that as like the Princess Di effect, you know, like she was a beautiful 19 year old, whatever she was when she got married. Yeah. But why is she 19? [00:07:30]

Speaker1: That’s crazy.

Speaker3: She was a teenager. Yeah, really. But then when she died, just before she died, she was 30. Whatever it was. Yeah, she was even more attractive because the confidence. Oh, yeah.

Speaker1: Confidence is everything to her. I do believe that. That’s my thing. Confidence. So let’s talk.

Speaker2: So let’s talk about that. So you were at this stage in your life you went to these castings. Did it have do you think looking back now or perhaps you didn’t know it had any effect on your mental health going in that room, especially with being like in a room where things you’re judged by the way you look?

Speaker1: Yeah. Oh, God. Massively. [00:08:00] Even now, when I meet people, I think everyone’s judging me on what I look like because of my job. And actually, it’s even now I have it. And it’s hard because you can’t get that away. I mean, I’ve been in rooms where they’ve gone. You’re not tall enough, you’re not skinny enough, you’re too skinny, your boobs aren’t big enough, your lips aren’t big enough. Like, yeah, there’s so many different things. And I’ve actually had my lips done, like, everyone knows it, so I’ll tell everyone. But I had this thing where I was on this, uh, QVC doing beauty stuff, and the guy behind the makeup was going, get her off. She’s got no lips. Get her off, get the other girl [00:08:30] on. And I was sat there and the camera was there and the lights were on. I was looking there and I was just thinking, oh my God, like. And then I got this complex about my lips. So I do think it’s hard to stay completely true to who you are, especially when they’re judging you on what you look like. It’s not a healthy industry nowadays. I think it’s better. When I started, it was harder. I was very like, they sent me to Milan and I’m a commercial model. I’m more girl next door. I’m not high end fashion runway. And I was living in this Milan model house and it just wasn’t me. So I think, um, yeah, it’s [00:09:00] tricky. Like it is a hard industry.

Speaker2: How did you then how did you then go? So, so from that period of time where you were like doing your full time job, you were modelling and then what happened? Like, how did you then kind of like, like transition into doing it full time.

Speaker1: So basically my ex’s family actually helped a little bit because I worked for his estate agency in the end because it started to pick up. So he said, why don’t you come work with me? Because I’ll allow you to do the odd job. And then it got busier and busier and then Instagram. It helped me a bit, but not loads. But then I was contacting brands myself. [00:09:30] Yeah. So like I’d contact like Lipsy and all different brands. And basically the agency I was with made me very go next door, very, very smiley. And I was like, I’ve got more to offer. They just made me very like one job, you know what I mean? Yeah. And I was like, no, I can do more. I want to do e-com. And then Silk Thread contacted me actually through Facebook, which is random because I used to just share all my pictures on Facebook, everything, and then brands. I think once you work for one brand, then it kind of all falls into one. Then I got another job and another job and it all kind of took off [00:10:00] from there. But it wasn’t easy. Like it’s been hard work and there’s been times where I’ve had no money and it hasn’t been the easiest journey for me, but I just think for young girls who message me now, I think confidence is everything. And that’s why I always say to everyone, like, if you believe in yourself, everyone else will believe in you. For me, I probably lost 5 or 6 years from not believing in myself.

Speaker2: And I and I always say that, you know, last week I was at a conference lecturing Payman was there. Um, it was it was actually he he warmed me right [00:10:30] up. Right? Because he was like, it’s a really academic crowd.

Speaker3: And I meant I wasn’t trying to wind you up so academic.

Speaker1: Oh my God. So.

Speaker2: Um. But he knows. But like, in dentistry and medicine, you’ve got the academics that are literally like we want. To talk about, like the micron like millimetre, like the really science based sort of individuals. And I was a bit intimidated because I was on a stage with some like really prolific, amazingly respected male counterpart. And I tend to stay away from the lecture arena because I don’t have confidence. And also I’ve been labelled as a social media [00:11:00] dentist because I rose to that along with that. And, um, and, you know, like, as you know, Amy, you know, you had, you know, trauma with your teeth, which you talked about, you know, an accident and like, I helped you, you know, and you you can’t get as far as I have. And I’m not tooting my own horn just by being an Instagram dentist. You’ve got to be able to do the work because there’s people in the public eye that also trust the work that you do.

Speaker1: The way the world is now, though, social media is so influential like it is everything. Like I think for any business you’re in now, if you’re on social media, [00:11:30] it’s it’s not as much word of mouth. It’s like social media is big.

Speaker3: And then, you know, you said the the pressure of looking good. Is that a daily pressure too? I mean, I see you’ve got a gigantic following.

Speaker1: It’s even going to nursery. Like I’ll go to nursery. You’ve got to.

Speaker3: Worry about the way you look in every moment.

Speaker1: Yeah. It’s quite sad isn’t it? Well, let’s.

Speaker2: Talk a little bit. Let’s take a step back. Right. Because Payman has touched on the daughter thing. Right. So first of all, was it a conscientious decision where you were like, right, I’m ready to have a baby? And how did it change your life?

Speaker1: It’s changed my life in [00:12:00] every way. The only thing I’d say is the first doesn’t change your life as much. I think the second one’s changed my life, but I’m kind of used to being a mum. I find with Harper I was a bit resentful because I was like, you’ve changed my my life so much, even though I chose to do it. Um, and it’s the best thing ever. But also it’s the hardest. And I think the one thing I’ve had a lot of hate for is being a mum that works. And I found that, yeah, it’s kind of like there was something someone said online about me recently and I kind of sat down with Will and I got a bit upset, but then I was like, I’m not going to let them upset me. [00:12:30] I’m actually working really hard to give them the best life possible, and I don’t want to live off my partner. I’m very independent. Like, I want to know that if anything happened between us, I’d be fine even with my girls. And I think too many women, especially women I know, live off their partner, and that’s fine. But I’ve never been that way. I was in a controlling relationship, um, before with by money. And I will never live like that again. Um, but everyone’s different, aren’t they? And I don’t think you can say what’s right or wrong. Like, some people love that choices. Some people don’t, and that’s fine. And I never judge. [00:13:00] I think I’m someone who will never judge other people. I think if you’re happy doing that, fine doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t affect me. But I think a lot of people judge, especially online, because I share that I’m working and I’m a mum, and sometimes I think it’s probably because they’re jealous. Do you know what way?

Speaker2: I think there’s a lot of different things that you’ve said, and I think it’s really interesting. First of all, the one thing that stood out was that you said that your mum said that you should, um, be you shouldn’t stand out. And so, as I was saying with the lecture that I did, people [00:13:30] said to me, does putting yourself online like, can you cope with the trolls? How is it putting yourself out there? And my answer was like, you just never know. And you can either be just like living life really blandly or like low key, but ultimately, the end of the day, you’ll regret not ever putting yourself out there. So I don’t have regrets. The second thing is, is that you also said you are judged for your appearance. At the end of the day, you’re a beautiful woman and I think people are so quick to judge being like, she’s got to where she has because of her looks. I get that sometimes as [00:14:00] well, you know, not that I’m beautiful, but it’s like I get that. But like, as in, like I get that where people assume that because you because you enjoy like your youth with your fashion.

Speaker3: I listen to this. I think this is important nuance. Right.

Speaker2: Go on.

Speaker3: You have both of you have gotten to where you’ve gotten partly because of your looks. I mean, she’s in the looks business. She’s in the looks business. Yeah. Do you know what she’s in? The looks business.

Speaker1: I think looks are only 10%.

Speaker3: Of. Okay, okay, okay.

Speaker1: So you think.

Speaker2: Pretty privilege is a thing.

Speaker1: Pretty does help.

Speaker3: Wait wait wait. Yeah.

Speaker2: Go on. [00:14:30] Yeah.

Speaker3: So so you’re I mean, you’re even Tom, Dick or Harry get to where they get to because of their height or whatever. Yeah. You know, your looks are part of you and they have helped you or hindered you. If you’re in, in different situations, that’s that’s you got to you got to just take that as a base, a baseline. But the important thing is it’s not only your looks. Yeah.

Speaker1: You can’t just have that.

Speaker3: That’s you know, it’s like you’re not only an Instagram dentist, you’re good at composite. You know like so veneers. [00:15:00]

Speaker2: Veneers will do that. Yeah.

Speaker1: So does mine.

Speaker3: So so similarly. And I think we’ve noticed it in podcasts before we were talking about you know Joe Rogan. He a bit of a jock but he’s very deep. Yeah. And now we’re seeing you know and it’s not you’re not one thing or the other. She’s not just a beautiful lady or just a model, just a mother. It’s many things though. Yeah, but.

Speaker2: I think the thing is, I think the lack of nuanced thinking is the thing that makes it difficult. Like, especially, especially like what I’ve found is as well, like, I’ve always thought I’d love to be the [00:15:30] American dream. Hear me out. And I think Amy will understand what I mean, because in America especially, my mum went to university in America and lived there for a long time, so she was the one that also made me aware of this. In America. It’s the American dream, right? If you want to put yourself out there, if you’re confident, if you embrace, like being different in a way, you know, again, let’s be nuanced with that.

Speaker3: Um, people, people cheer you on.

Speaker2: Cheer you on in the UK. People are like, dole yourself down. And I remember a university I [00:16:00] lived with a bunch of because obviously I lived with a lot of boarding school girls, because I know you grew up in the environment and they were literally like, you’re really exotic. And they were like, if you want to get a boyfriend, wear t shirt and jeans, don’t wear that. Don’t dye. And like, you know me, like I’m extravagant. I like my fashion. Do you know what I mean? All that kind of stuff. Did you have a boyfriend?

Speaker1: I think.

Speaker2: I didn’t. I didn’t have a boyfriend. But the thing is, I did dial myself down. No, no, I mean, I did, I did, I actually ended up I ended up going out with an English boy that, like, was obsessed with exotic girls. So it worked out in my favour. But the point is, the point is, is that, you know, it is [00:16:30] this sort of like dulling down thing.

Speaker1: I’m not about that, though. I think when you’re extra, I like to go in a restaurant and everyone look. Do you know what I mean? What you’re wearing. My partner says that he goes, you just dress the girls up and yourself up so you don’t care about the food. You just want everyone to look at you. And I’m like, so what? Yeah, that is who I am. I think being extra gets you remembered. I think if you’re someone who just wears simple things, you’re never going to get remembered.

Speaker3: Why are you that person?

Speaker1: Because I like attention.

Speaker2: Why? And she owns it.

Speaker1: Why? Um, I don’t really know. Actually. I just.

Speaker3: Love. Was there a debt of attention that you’re now trying to recover? No. [00:17:00]

Speaker1: I’ve been a child model. Like I’ve had the most attention. Probably with my.

Speaker3: Siblings.

Speaker1: You just thrive in that. I’m just. I maybe had a bit of ADHD as a kid. My mum and dad think. Yeah, my mum and dad think I probably did have ADHD, which I probably still do a bit. I just like attention and I’m not going to say I don’t because I do, and I like wearing the extra outfits and being out there because everyone looks at you like, what’s wrong.

Speaker3: With I’m the total opposite. As a podcast host, people would be thinking now, yeah, right. But I do not like he has.

Speaker2: The camera front facing. No, no.

Speaker3: I [00:17:30] don’t even like to people to turn around and notice me in a restaurant. Oh really? At all? At all I know, I.

Speaker1: Know, I do. Yeah.

Speaker3: Situations where I’m centre of attention standing on stage or whatever. Yeah, stress the hell out of me, I hate it, yeah, I do it, but I hate it.

Speaker1: Everyone’s different. I hate public speaking, though. That’s one thing I hate. I’ve got my wedding next year and I just, I don’t want to do a speech. And everyone’s like, come on, you need to say something, I hate it, I hate everyone. That’s weird on my work.

Speaker3: Like attention, but not.

Speaker1: Yeah, I don’t know, public speaking. I always worry I’m going to say the wrong thing. I’ve got like. [00:18:00]

Speaker3: Attention about the way you look rather than about what you say. Not really.

Speaker1: But I’ve got no filter and everyone in my family, all my friends, know it. I say things and I’m like, I shouldn’t have said that.

Speaker2: Well, Amy, let’s talk about this, right? Right. Because I think it’s really important. Like one thing that you do online is you’re very transparent about motherhood and identity. Yeah. And I think the one thing is, is that people do get hate. Women do get hate because they’re like, how can you be obsessed with your career or the way you look? I mean, women get so much hate even for like, losing weight after a pregnancy, you know, things like that. Yeah.

Speaker1: You’re working out.

Speaker3: I mean, we [00:18:30] can get down to getting hate because of being on Instagram. Right? But your business is Instagram.

Speaker2: Yeah, but I’m talking.

Speaker3: But it’s like it’s like me getting getting hate or worrying about, uh, complaints about my toothpaste or something. My business is toothpaste. Yeah. So yeah, along with that comes comes some, some, you know, customer service. I think I.

Speaker1: Treat my social community as like my friends. And sometimes even my family are like, Amy, you’re sharing this, but you’re sharing it. It’s that many people, like I sometimes forget.

Speaker3: That’s why you’ve [00:19:00] got this amazing flow.

Speaker1: But that’s why. Because I like to be real. And I do like my stories are more my real life. My Instagram is more because brands obviously look at it as well, and if I just shared all the real stuff, I’d be cut out of the modelling industry. I remember when I was pregnant, I got barely booked at all. Really? Yeah. I had.

Speaker2: Do you think discrimination exists for pregnant models?

Speaker1: Yes, massively. There’s girls I know who have been models and they’re probably more fashion, but they won’t even share. They’ve had the baby. Oh, there’s quite a lot of girls I know who’ve done that for me. Mine’s I share everything. It’s my fashion diaries, [00:19:30] my lifestyle, everything and modelling. I don’t model as much like this week. I’ve done a lot of e-com and website modelling. Um, but yeah, it’s. I don’t like to share. Like, if I share the girls, I’ll then go a week without sharing them because I’m like, right, I need to share more modelling stuff so brands can see that I’m back working. I’ve got to be open to everyone, and that’s what I’m finding hard at the minute. I’m like, if I share the girls too much and then I’m going to Cyprus for the swimwear thing in a few weeks, then I’m like, am I sharing too much modelling stuff? Do you know what I mean?

Speaker2: It’s like a question for you as well. So talk to us a little bit because, [00:20:00] um, obviously as medical people talk to us a little bit about your, the um, condition that you had during your pregnancy, what it’s called and what it’s about and how it affected you.

Speaker1: So hyperemesis gravidarum affects 1% of women. Um, I actually went on the news to talk about it when I was heavily pregnant a week before I had, uh, Sienna. And then I got hate again because people were like, well, if you’ve got it that bad, why are you on TV talking about it? Um, but for me, the first three months, I’m basically bedridden. So from six weeks to about 13 weeks, I’m literally in bed, like, I can’t move. [00:20:30] I’m like, in hospital. I’m drip really sick. I can’t eat like, it’s horrific, like even water. I’d throw up. And there was one night my partner, I literally lied in the bed and I threw up constantly again and again. And again, how.

Speaker2: Does the baby? So how does the hospital take care of the baby during that time?

Speaker1: Basically, the baby takes everything from you. So the baby’s fine, which is crazy. This is the thing about the disease, but there’s never going to be enough medical stuff done on it. I don’t think not enough women get it.

Speaker3: 1% is still a lot.

Speaker1: Yeah, it is, it is.

Speaker3: I heard Amy talk on another podcast. She said she [00:21:00] got to the point of wanting to terminate the pregnancy. I did, I begged.

Speaker1: The nurse at ten weeks. I said, please let me terminate.

Speaker3: That’s how ill she was.

Speaker1: And I actually.

Speaker2: And how did you push through those moments?

Speaker1: Um, I don’t really know. Do you know what? Instagram helped me a lot. And this is why I’m so thankful to my social following. Actually, for so many things in my life. Losing my Nan when I actually had a really low time, I turned to my Instagram and shared loads and I got loads of people messaging me and HG. The only way I got through is my social media following. Genuinely, it really upsets me because actually the people online helped me get [00:21:30] through that time.

Speaker2: Yeah, I know, I know, yeah. And I’m really glad because obviously I remember as well, like you were messaging me at the time and you were in hospital and I was checking in on you, you know, it’s all right. It’s all right.

Speaker1: It’s one of those times because I’m such a doer and I was in bed for so long, like, you literally can’t do anything. Yeah. Um.

Speaker3: I mean, it’s a serious thing. You said, uh, that’s, uh, one one lady committed suicide. Oh, yeah?

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: Really? Yeah. I have loads loads of people terminate the pregnancies. Yeah, yeah. No.

Speaker2: I [00:22:00] know, I know, but it’s all right. It’s all right. You know, you should talk about it because I think you’ve inspired and helped so many people. You know, I think it’s one.

Speaker1: Of the reasons I won’t go on to have any more kids as well. Yeah.

Speaker2: Were you hospitalised in this for the whole three months?

Speaker1: Oh, yeah. Uh, no, not the whole three months. I’d go back in, so like, I’d come home for a few days and then have to go back in. I think it just upsets me because it’s a really horrible disease that no one knows enough about. So for me, I’d lie on the floor in A&E and I’d be throwing up constantly. They’d inject me [00:22:30] to try and stop me being sick. And one time this guy dragged me across the floor, thought I was a drunk, and I was like, I’m pregnant. But because I was so slim, I was tiny. Yeah, I remember.

Speaker2: Because you lost even.

Speaker1: More weight. Six stone, six stone. And I was so unwell and I couldn’t fight my corner because I didn’t have any energy. Um, it’s just a really it just really affects.

Speaker3: The other thing is the mentally the situation in hospitals is they’re at breaking point. Oh, I had to be put in the whole time. I was on a.

Speaker1: Ward with all old people who were dying.

Speaker3: So I was like, sleeping in the corridor. Yeah. [00:23:00] Is normal. Oh it’s awful. This is when things are bad.

Speaker1: This is why I won’t do HG again. I think if there was the right support, I’d probably go and have one more child.

Speaker2: And there’s no specialists like gynaecologists or like, not really.

Speaker1: Really, not really. No. Like unless you pay for it and go to a private hospital.

Speaker2: And people don’t have that privilege.

Speaker1: Really. Well, exactly like but yeah, I just think there’s not enough done about it. But the amount of women, it’s the most my social media has ever gone like crazy is when I had my HG, because so many women actually had it and were messaging me, and because I’ve got, [00:23:30] um, like a big following, I think I actually did something like I helped other women and all these women messaged me now. But the kind of weird thing is, once you’ve had it, you don’t want to like, talk about it anymore. It’s like if you had like trauma, it’s yeah, it’s trauma, but it’s like dramatic. I know people like the medication I was on was for people who have got chemotherapy who are really sick. So it is like it’s not like having cancer. But they do say that it is similar because the sickness, you’re just so unwell. I know, like obviously you’re having a baby, so you’re choosing to do that. It’s very different. [00:24:00] But yeah, it’s really affected me like definitely.

Speaker2: Because I think as well, like the human bodies, I mean obviously like I’ve never gone through anything like that. But one experience that I had at um, when I was training, I had a needle stick injury. So basically there was blood on blood contact, and we used to have a prison contract, this NHS practice that I was working in. So this I was taking out teeth and then basically the instruments slipped, cut into my glove. And the first thing that the patient said was, don’t worry, I don’t take drugs. [00:24:30] And I was like, that’s a bit weird, weird thing to say. So anyway, my nurse told the receptionist, receptionist called the prison and prison were like, she’s in prison for drugs. Went occupational health. She refused to take a blood test. So basically they put me on HIV prophylaxis for three months and I got really sick. I was one of those people again. And like the 1%, I was constantly vomiting face like fainting at work and stuff. And you said it becomes like a distant memory because I think the [00:25:00] human body, when it comes to trauma, we protect ourselves in the same way that you’ll see that like people have been in car accidents and lost their families, they dissociate. Right? Because at the same time, but you’ve been such an amazing inspiration to so many people. So I think I get upset.

Speaker1: Though actually, the reason I always get upset is because of my social media following. That’s why I get upset because I think without them I wouldn’t have got through that time. I’d sit on Instagram all day in my bed from literally the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed, just literally sharing stories, talking to people [00:25:30] like. And that’s the only way it got me through mentally. If I hadn’t have had those guys messaging me and all those women, I don’t know what I’d have done. What I feel bad about now, though, is I don’t have the time to message anyone back. Anymore, but I was in bed the whole time. I literally would be on my phone. Community.

Speaker2: Right. Because and I always say it’s an online community. It’s like it’s a community that, you know, people underestimate. And at the time, you didn’t have anyone available with you. So you had to, like, reach out to your online community. And there were women who.

Speaker1: Had gone through it. And I think that that’s the reason I get upset is because I know [00:26:00] how important my Instagram is as well. Like people say, oh, you’re just posting this and that. I’m like, no, there’s so much more than that. Like, I’m helping people and I’m not someone who will share. I’ve got a new handbag, like people look at me and they’ve said things about me, or you buy designer stuff. I’m like, I don’t just buy designer. Like, I like to inspire women that if you work hard, you can go get it. Like Will actually said to me, if he gets this deal at work, he’s like, I’ll go buy you a Chanel bag. That doesn’t get me the same. I’m like, I’ll go buy my own bag. Like I’ve always been like that. Yeah, like it’s nice to be brought something like I’ve got watches and my car and all these nice [00:26:30] things, but I like doing it myself. And actually that gives me the buzz even more.

Speaker2: Do you know what Payman said? Something. I think that really stuck with me on initial. He was like, also, when people come from a privileged background, know we like people, judge it like people love the rags to riches. But then he said, it’s unfair because if you do come from privilege, why can’t you be successful? And why can’t people be like, this person’s actually, you know, they call it like um, Neto babies or something like now, like, you know, like if you’re born. So like, if you’re a successful [00:27:00] model. Oh, well, she’s Cindy Crawford’s daughter, so obviously like, it doesn’t. Yeah, but it doesn’t mean. And also equally, there are people that are very rich and successful and they have kids that go on to do nothing. Do you see what I mean? So I think like we need to recognise and celebrate that like privilege is exists, it will give you, but it’s also what you do with that. And sometimes it’s harder to be more successful because people assume that you’ve had that just.

Speaker3: In our field. Yeah. If you’re treating a patient privately with toothache, awful toothache, his pain, he [00:27:30] could be a billionaire. Yeah. His pain is the same as if you’re treating someone who’s on the NHS and. Yeah, and unemployed. The pain is the same in that patient. Yeah.

Speaker1: The one thing for me is when I sat in A&E and I literally went in there, will packed a bag for me and I had my joggers on and normally I’m glam and got my nice watch, my jewellery and everything on. I had nothing on that day and I actually looked around the room and it actually everything was put into perspective for me because I was like, actually all those things that I’ve worked my ass off for won’t matter. [00:28:00] It won’t make me better right now. Like, I was like, literally all I want is for you to say, give me a drug and make me better for me. I sat there and I thought, I’m literally here with this Sainsbury’s bag that Will had given me this little yellow Sainsbury’s bag. I sat there so unwell, literally on a drip in the room, like so unwell and I just thought, wow, all those things I’ve worked for. It’s the thing about Steven Jobs. He put this thing on, didn’t he? Saying that when you’re on your deathbed you don’t look at all the things you’ve had. You kind of look at your family and your friends. And for me, with my career as well, I wasn’t going to have children to a lot later. And I actually said I did the two under [00:28:30] two, and I said I wasn’t going to have a second until Harper was in school so I could carry on with my career. But actually, I’m so glad I did because I’ve got my girls now and they give me purpose. I work hard and it is a massive juggle. I’m not going to lie.

Speaker3: Like, I mean, let’s talk about that because mum, guilt and having it all. I don’t have.

Speaker1: The mum guilt. No I do, I do well.

Speaker3: In the, the thing that I read about you, there was plenty of mum guilt in that one. You know.

Speaker1: I do. And I don’t like when I’m not with the girls. Like I can focus on my work because I’ve got really good people who help. [00:29:00] So I think when they’re looked after by someone you trust, it’s different. But the whole.

Speaker3: The whole having it all thing. Yeah, we see it in dentistry. Yeah. Tell us we’ve got we’ve got Rhona here. Could have it all. Yeah. But she hasn’t got kids yet.

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah. The only thing I’d say is it’s more on the woman. I don’t care if you’re the breadwinner, anything. It’s always on the woman because you have carried those children. You have this tie that you can’t switch off. Whereas men just think differently because they haven’t carried the baby. Yeah. Biologically. Yeah. Well, yeah. Like they’re your babies. Like even will. He’s like, stop micromanaging me in the [00:29:30] night because I’m like, don’t do the nappy like this. Do it like this. Dress her in this. And he’s like, oh my God. But I just think women, especially when you’re a control freak and you’re independent, you’re like me, Rona. Like like things a certain way. Yeah. Like I’m very like that. But then I put myself under so much pressure. So it is it’s a hard juggle. If you want to work as a mum, it is. But then people in. I’m lucky that I’m in a career that works around my kids. I get paid well. Do you know what I mean? So.

Speaker3: So I was, I was talking to, uh, Zainab about this. Right. Another dentist. [00:30:00] Right. If something’s got to give, which which one gives. So. And I was.

Speaker1: Saying money because you can’t. My kids come first. It works.

Speaker2: Gives.

Speaker3: Um, I found the the reality is the relationship gives.

Speaker1: Oh, God.

Speaker2: Yes. How does it impact your relationship and does that impact your mental health work?

Speaker3: If you’ve got a shoot in Dubai, you’re not going to not go to that. If you, you know, everyone’s relying on you, so you’ve got to go to that. Oh, your.

Speaker1: Relationship is the one thing that dies. No, I’m joking, it doesn’t die. I think when you’ve got [00:30:30] young children, we’ve got six month old and a two year old and it’s like a toddler and a baby, and we’re both working a lot of our friends. One of them’s at home. So for me, I’m so determined to not lose. My career, and I know that if I took my name out of the game for a year, I’d get forgotten about. Genuinely, that’s the problem.

Speaker2: With online, I think, people. But, you know, I think people don’t like. So one of my really good friends, Shivani, you know, she’s also an incredible podcast host. You know, she said to me, she sometimes calls me up and she said that she was having a conversation about with Jay Shetty. And Jay Shetty is one [00:31:00] of the most famous podcasters. He goes to her, don’t not post. You have to post every day because people will forget. Well, even you have to do it every single day because people will forget.

Speaker3: You both.

Speaker2: Know that.

Speaker1: Well, even before I was here, I was literally like, got ten minutes, I need to post something. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m like, I have to post today because I need to stay relevant. But that’s the pressure I have when I’m with my girls. It’s like, do I sit on my phone like? And sometimes I do because it is my job as well. It’s my business and I’m the only one who can do it. But I mean.

Speaker3: We’ve we’ve hired models and some of [00:31:30] them have Instagram and some of them don’t. Yeah. It’s the Instagram really important to getting.

Speaker1: It is now.

Speaker2: Listen Payman I think I think you know, you’re forgetting something like the models you’re talking about. They are soon going to be forgotten. Let’s think about this. When I was watching the documentary with the models like Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, like they got scouted, they said they’d often get a photograph taken. They wouldn’t see it until it was in the magazine. It barely gets retouched. You see what I mean? Everything was done in that motion. Those were the women that were the campaigns on Versace, Dolce [00:32:00] and Gabbana. Now we’ve got Kim Kardashian that is walking the catwalk and Kendall and all this stuff. It’s influencers, their influencers. And as, as Henry said last week, people want to be influencers more than they want to actually be celebrities and other singers and actors and stuff. So actually, this world, like, I think if they don’t do online, they will get forgotten. They’re not moving all the time and they haven’t pivoted.

Speaker1: This is why I don’t work with an agent, because they put so much pressure. I’ve done the agent thing at the minute while I’ve got young kids. I’m not working with agents just because of the pressure. I [00:32:30] can’t cope with it because they’re like on you. But I think any agent like big models. The weird thing is, I looked at girls when I was growing with my career and they were like the big, big time girls, and now they come to me and go, what do I do for this? Who do I work with? And I’m like, actually, the tables have turned. Yeah.

Speaker3: Because of social.

Speaker2: Yeah.

Speaker1: Well, yeah. And also I share what I want to share. I work with photographers I want to work with, I know my angles. Like I’m going to Cyprus for a swimwear campaign. They could have paid a whole team, but they’ll pay me because they know I’ve done it 16 years. I can go work with my you know what you want. [00:33:00] I’ll get the same images. They can use them for the website. Probably cost them half as well. Like I just think the whole industry has changed. It has. But my question.

Speaker2: For you as well, does it ever cross your mind? Obviously, like you’re a beautiful woman and you will continue to be beautiful. But we know that in a way, the way that we look is a depreciating asset, right? Because we get older. And don’t get me wrong, there are older people in the modelling industry, but does it ever cross your mind? You’re like, can I do this forever? And what happens when like my time is up? Let dare [00:33:30] I say, um.

Speaker1: Yes and no. I think I want to be someone who just keeps going. Yeah. And I think actually age is. Do you know, I mean, women at 45 who look amazing. I think you just have to embrace it as well. And you move into a different genre as well with different brands. And I just think I’ll move with the times. And to be honest, I live for the moment harder with children, but I do like I’m very much this is my time right now and if something changes, I’ll change it. Like I’m not like, oh my god, if this changes because everything in life changes. People get ill, things change. [00:34:00] Money comes and goes like relationships. So actually, I’m not scared of getting older because you don’t even know if you’ll be here. Do you know what I mean? I’ve got friends who I don’t know, like lost parents recently, and I like to live for the moment. I don’t like to think about the future. Yeah, but I do invest. Like, I think you have to invest in things and property. Like maybe I’ll go into property. I love interiors, but I’m happy doing what I’m doing now. Yeah, I’m just not that person because it will stress me out otherwise. Then I’ll be like, oh my God, what am I going to do.

Speaker3: To enjoy the I mean, it doesn’t feel very enjoyable, [00:34:30] a photo shoot.

Speaker1: Um, do you know what I see?

Speaker2: I love it, I love making content.

Speaker1: I love content, I do love content, but I go through stages. Like this week I’ve just done modelling for brands and I’ll turn up, do the shots and then go home.

Speaker2: And you like it?

Speaker1: I’ve lost the love for it, I think because I’ve done it all. I’ve done the beauty camp, they’ve done long.

Speaker3: Days and.

Speaker1: Long days, and I did a TV advert that was waiting around. I used to get the buzz because I’d be like, oh my God, it’s all about me. I’m on this shoot. It’s amazing. I think because I’ve done it all, you [00:35:00] kind of don’t get it’s like anything, isn’t it?

Speaker2: It’s like Dental stress going to say. Do you remember like the first time you do a really successful composite bonding kiss? You’re amazing. You do composite bonding every day. You’re like, whatever. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? Like, I’ve done it, you know, kick anymore.

Speaker1: But it’s a job and I’m lucky to have a job I like. I think there’s a lot of people out there who hate their jobs. They don’t like their jobs. And I feel blessed that it works around my girls. I’ve got my own business. I make them money like, and I love doing what I do. I do love my content creation.

Speaker3: I wish pivoted to TikTok as well.

Speaker1: Not yet. This is my thing. I will, [00:35:30] I will very soon, but not yet. I just think at the minute I’ve got so much pressure. We’re basically planning an abroad wedding. I’ve got a six month old baby. Most women don’t go back to work for a year. Been working since she was a week old. Dealing with the toddler I don’t. I’ve put pressure on myself a lot and then I have a breakdown. I basically like can’t cope. So I’m kind of like, I know what I can cope with at the moment and Instagram’s fine. I will come back and I’ll do more YouTube next year. Tiktok when they’re both in nursery. But at the same time, I’m not going to put pressure on myself. It makes me ill and [00:36:00] health is everything.

Speaker2: Totally. And I really relate to that because I know sometimes, like you can get physical symptoms like burnout and and the stress. I’m that kind of person. I go, go, go. And then I get really ill with flu. I get ill like once every two months. At one point I had to see an endocrinologist because also like there is this element, I’m like, do I have ADHD where you like multitask ten things at once, you know, you’re like, and then you’re just literally like, I’m so exhausted and your brain like, like in the middle of the night starts thinking about stuff. So I think it’s [00:36:30] like super, super interesting. Um.

Speaker1: Burnout is actually a thing as well. Like, I actually had it. I went to Dubai when Harper was six months old, shot this swimwear campaign because I was like, I don’t want people to forget about me. Literally took my mum. We were shooting every day, came back and I ended up in hospital and the doctor actually said to me, he goes, you’re someone who likes to just do, do, do, aren’t you? He goes, how long ago did you have your child? He goes, you’ll end up in here with sepsis. If you don’t stop, he goes, you’re going to get really bad infection.

Speaker3: So look, the mind.

Speaker1: He didn’t even know mind.

Speaker3: Body connection, right. It’s. We used to totally [00:37:00] have them as separate things.

Speaker1: I’ve been unwell a lot in hospital, so I’m like, do you know what? You can get.

Speaker3: Physical illness from.

Speaker1: Mental. Exactly.

Speaker3: And the opposite, right. And the opposite if you’re, if you’re if you’re, you know, um, got pain all the time I know, make you depressed, right.

Speaker1: Yeah. I know what I can cope with. And right now I’m coping, but I can’t cope with anymore. Yeah. So.

Speaker2: So do you think now, like, as you’ve become a mother, as you’ve become, like, more wise in the game that you’ve been able to prioritise the things that really matter to you? [00:37:30]

Speaker1: Yeah I have. Being a mum like I do, prioritise my kids, they come above everything. Um, but also it’s hard because I have this pressure of wanting to still be the girl that everyone like. I feel like at the minute I’m getting overtaken and I’m like, oh my God, but I just don’t have the physical time to actually push it as much as I want. But I know everything comes and goes. Do you know what I mean? So I know next year I’ll be able to push it more, and I don’t want that to be detriment to my girls. My children’s childhood is everything to me. Like, so what.

Speaker3: About [00:38:00] what about me time? Is that something you get tomorrow morning?

Speaker1: I’ve said to Will. I’m like, please just take the girls out for an hour. I need time to just sit and watch a film. I’ve actually said that to him because also for me, my break is like, I’ll go on the train home today, then I’ll sit on my phone and be emailing, then posting. Then I get home to my girls.

Speaker2: That’s like me. That’s my.

Speaker1: Break. It’s not a break, it’s not helping. Like, and then I’ll sit on my phone and WhatsApp with my friends, like voice notes and I’m like organising my hen do and things. And that’s not a break either. I need an hour tomorrow. I feel my body, I can my body tells me now an hour just [00:38:30] to sit there and do nothing, which I don’t do enough of. I’m a go, go go. That’s why HG in hospital I find really hard because I was just sat there and I was like, oh my God, I can’t do anything, I can’t do anything. I’ve got no energy, I’m sick. I’m just like, I find it really hard. I miss you.

Speaker4: That’s all right. I was like, what is that?

Speaker2: Um, so tell us a little bit as well. How has, um how has it been? Has it been difficult to find a partner with such an online presence? And I know we’ve talked about stuff as well. Like, as, like when you’re such a driven, ambitious woman, do [00:39:00] you think it’s also been difficult to find a man that you feels complements you what you do and and you know, the balance? Yeah.

Speaker1: It’s hard. I think when I met Will, he found it quite hard because I was travelling here, there and everywhere. And I was quite driven. Um, but he’s just more like a chilled out guy. I think my ex was very like me and we just didn’t work. I think you have to be opposite.

Speaker2: Chilled, calm. Yeah. Like my my partner’s like that.

Speaker1: He’s like, just chill out. Like he’s like the calm one. I’m like frantic, like I need to get this to this person. Or if I have a deadline, [00:39:30] I’m like, I need to do this. So I think you have to have a balance and you have to like, complement each other. Sometimes I’m like, I don’t understand how you’re so calm. Yeah. And I’m so like this. But, um, yeah, it is hard. But I met him and he didn’t know what I did. Yeah. We met.

Speaker4: Yeah, we talked about that.

Speaker2: So tell us, Amy, what is it? What’s planned for the future, you know, what do you think? You know, at the moment? I know you said you like living in the present. What do you think is going to make you feel really fulfilled and happy in the next few years?

Speaker1: Well, obviously, I’m getting married next summer, so I’m excited [00:40:00] about that. Um, to be honest, I don’t really know. Like, I love my work. Um, but I do want to push it more. I want to travel more. And that’s what is really hard with children. That’s the one thing that I haven’t been able to do as much. Um, but I do want to get back to my travels next year. I want to do more different shoots as well. Like I want to share different stuff. This is for me. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut at the minute. I’m just sharing the same thing and I’m like, okay, I need to switch this up. But I think the thing I’m finding hard is people like reality, especially Reels and Instagram now has changed. It’s [00:40:30] very real. And that’s what I find hard because I’m like, how do I mix this with being a model, sharing all my modelling content, but then also being real and authentic, real, authentic person. Then you share too much and brands are like, whoa, I’ve seen that about her. And now I don’t want to book her. So it’s really hard.

Speaker3: I think you should think about the kind of brand that’s that’s attracted to you.

Speaker1: Yeah, well, actually, the brand I shop for, I’ve shot for her for eight years on Tuesday, and she said, the reason I’ve booked you again, obviously, I sell well for her, but she goes, you’re a working mom. So you inspire women. So when they come [00:41:00] to my brand, they like you as well. They follow you. And I think.

Speaker2: There’s a space for that, like you said, like there is a space because you were talking about it. And it’s like the lack of do you know what I think controversial. We are controversial on this podcast. We don’t have a filter like me. I think women that get so angry and give hate to moms that still work are triggered in some way. In fact, anyone that gives hate is they’re triggered. And I think like the thing is, I have always been honest. Like I’m the and it’s funny because [00:41:30] people online, by the way, they like, oh, she’s obviously like a single career woman. I’m like, hun, I’ve been in a relationship for like years just because I don’t show that side of me. But it’s almost like people find it really difficult to resonate with the person that’s really ambitious and wants to work and wants to be a good mom.

Speaker3: Why you don’t? Why do you care so much, Amy? Amy says she no longer cares.

Speaker1: Are you still do a little bit. You do, you.

Speaker2: Do, you do.

Speaker3: What do you think is competitiveness?

Speaker1: It’s just, I don’t know. They probably. They must be insecure. Because why would you be like that to another woman? I am all [00:42:00] for supporting.

Speaker3: Give women give off like, you know, nasty vibes. No I’m not.

Speaker1: I’m not like that. That’s not. I’ve not been brought up to be like that. But there’s a lot of wills. Notice it. A lot of women just don’t like me.

Speaker2: But you know what? I tell you one thing. It’s I think as well, it’s literally like people get triggered by things that they see in other people that they need to work on in themselves, you know? And I’ve recently been doing them like, why is this upsetting me and why is this triggering me? You know, because actually, I need to work on this myself. Amy, we could talk to you for hours and hours [00:42:30] because, you know, you’re such a great woman. I’m so grateful that you’ve come on to this podcast. Um, you know, I think that your journey is really brave. I think you’ve inspired a lot of women, especially growing up. No, no, no, no, it’s okay. And like things.

Speaker1: In life there, isn’t it? When you talk about them and you’re like, oh gosh, every time I talk about that.

Speaker3: Yeah. I was upset when I was listening to the podcast about it.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: I really thought your other podcast was upsetting.

Speaker1: Yeah. No it is. It’s hard, I think, unless you’ve been through it as well. It’s really hard to like my partner will say whenever I say about another kid, he’s like, no way. Because [00:43:00] it really affected him and his wife. Of course. Of course, of course.

Speaker2: But, you know, now you’ve got two beautiful daughters. You’re going to inspire them and instil them. Yeah. Um, and yeah. And thank you so much. We really enjoyed it.

Speaker4: Thank you, thank you.

Speaker3: Thank you, thank you.


Dipesh Parmar introduces a special podcast originally broadcast in June 2022 with guest Louis Mackenzie who tragically passed away in December.

With Louis’ passing, the dental community has lost one of its most engaging, inspirational, and well-loved figures. 

Our thoughts are with Louis’ family, friends, and all who knew him.    


In This Episode

05.18 – Being an inspiration

09.53 – Talent spotting and training

15.14 – Specialising Vs generalism

17.26 – Treatment longevity

25.52 – The new generation

27.46 – Why dentistry and background

32.58 – Dental school

38.07 – Moral tension and motivation

53.10 – Bad decisions and black box thinking

01.00.12 – Leaving the NHS

01.07.04 – Denplan

01.17.07 – On stage

01.25.34 – Research and opinion leadership

01.38.52 – Fantasy dinner party

01.41.00 – Legacy


About Louis Mackenzie

Louis Mackenzie was a GDP, clinical tutor, lecturer and educator who passed away in December 2023.

Speaker1: On Christmas Eve, we learned that Lewis Mackenzie had been taken from us. We saw it only fit to replay his episode with a foreword from one of his many, many students, Dipesh Parmar. Louis, may your caring. Clever, kind soul. [00:00:30] Rest in peace.

Speaker2: Ladies and gentlemen, friends and listeners. It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of a dear soul, a cherished colleague and a friend who left an indelible mark on the world of dentistry. Lewis Mackenzie, a name that resonates with warmth, creativity and [00:01:00] passion has left us leaving a void that can never be filled. I first met Lewis back in 2009, in my fourth year at university, where the magic of shared dreams and aspirations in aesthetic dentistry unfolded. Little did we know that this encounter would spark a connection that transcended professional boundaries, evolving into a bond forged by a mutual love for dentistry that [00:01:30] defined our lives. I will share my beautiful journey with Louis in further detail for you all to enjoy another time. As we replay this podcast, we invite you to join us in celebrating the life of Lewis McKenzie, a visionary whose spirit will forever linger in the corridors of inspiration. His infectious enthusiasm, innovative spirit, and unwavering dedication to the world of aesthetics have left an enduring legacy that will continue [00:02:00] to shape the landscape he so passionately navigated. Through heartfelt stories, shared memories and the echoes of laughter that defined our moments. Together, we aim to honour Louis in the most genuine way possible. Today we remember not only a brilliant professional, but a kind spirit who touched the lives of everyone fortunate enough to know him. So join us as we embark on this emotional journey celebrating the life and legacy of [00:02:30] Louis Mackenzie. May his memory inspire us to pursue our passions with the same commitment and love that defined his remarkable journey. Love you, Louis. Depeche.

Speaker3: But I must admit, without sounding too pious, I do try and sort of keep true to myself. I only talk about things that I use in practice, and I only [00:03:00] talk about things that I know work. Because if I don’t, if I talk about a product that I haven’t got faith in, and then somebody buys that product, uses that product, and then they don’t get the outcomes with it. Again, nobody’s going to listen to me again. And, you know, I’ve been lucky. You know, I’ve never been good enough to work properly with, uh, with enlightened. But, uh.

Speaker4: This [00:03:30] 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.

Speaker1: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Lewis Mackenzie onto the podcast. Lewis is a long time friend and mentor of mine, educator, a general dentist, [00:04:00] now Head of Head, Dental Officer at Denplan. Clinical lecturer at Birmingham and at King’s and General. Uh general. Good guy on the lecture circuit. Someone who probably is the most entertaining lecturer out there. Every time I’ve seen you lecture Lewis, the crowd’s been in stitches. And in my story, most notably the person who introduced Dipesh Parmar to me. You weren’t quite the person who introduced him, but as soon as I met Dipesh [00:04:30] Palmer, you called me, and, um, we knew each other, I think, from the Manchester MSC where we were supporting that. And, um, you know, Dipesh lectures on our mini smile makeover course. I think, you know, Lewis. Certainly. And I would agree, a once in a generation talent found his start in Birmingham Dental School, where Lewis was putting on hands on days for the students. And, uh, he always mentions you, Lewis, as his [00:05:00] key inspiration. Well, lovely to have you, buddy.

Speaker3: Thank you very much. It’s a very nice, uh, that’s excellent introduction and pretty hard to, uh, pretty hard to live up to, I’m afraid.

Speaker5: Well.

Speaker6: All I can say is we’ve all got a similar haircut, so we’ve got something in common, haven’t we?

Speaker1: Lewis, we’ll get back. We’ll get to the backstory in all of that. Yeah, but just just on that Depeche front. And I was thinking about this. The number of others you must have inspired. I mean, I know a few of them, you know, Millie Morrison, uh, [00:05:30] Liv, um, scorer who you introduced to me. Um, people like, um, a few. I know a few of a few of your graduates. Yeah, but you must be responsible for so much good dentistry coming out there. Do you feel the weight of that when you have a new class? Um.

Speaker3: Not not really. Um, but those those names that those names that you mentioned, um, are sort of extraordinary talents. [00:06:00] I would say, of all the things I’ve done over the years, one sort of, uh, skill that have got is being able to recognise this sort of unique you. I think you said it sort of once in a generation talent. Depeche was definitely the first. And I remember I met him during the final year, uh, in 2009, and I ran a special study module, run it for nine years, and Depeche was the first ever year. And, um. He came on the it came on the course, and [00:06:30] the first exercise I ever got him to do was just some occlusal composites and, um, just to sort of set the set the bar. And when I looked at his composites, I thought. Shit. I’ve got to improve my teaching here. This. This bloke. This bloke is an absolute genius. Um, and and as you say, with Millie and with Liv again, they’ve just got this unique talent, and I’m not sure you can teach it. Um, my, my role really was them. Was just to, you [00:07:00] know, put the materials in their hands and just, uh, just just let them go with it. But, uh, but, yeah, they don’t come along to, to too often. Another one that comes to mind is Richard Lee, uh, who’s just just emigrated to New Zealand, actually. But again, when you when you, when you I think now I’ve done over a thousand hands on courses and so, so you really get you really get a feel for somebody who’s just just way, way out of the ordinary. [00:07:30] But Dipesh was the first for For Definite, and he definitely made me realise I needed to up my game on a teaching point.

Speaker1: And at the time you were, uh, general dentist used to visit the dental school for hands on sexual for. For what was that? Was that what it was?

Speaker3: Uh, yeah, I was a part time lecturer. I started, uh, I’d been in practice for about ten years, and then I’d always had that sort of little itch about doing a bit of teaching. I’d done a couple of courses myself and sort of really enjoyed [00:08:00] them. And yeah, just started doing a Thursday afternoon on clinic, did clinic for many years, probably about 8 or 10 years. But then I found a real passion for phantom head teaching. So I like it because it’s a level level playing field. Everybody’s starting with the same cavity, and you get a really good opportunity to sort of rank the students and identify those who have got weaknesses. And so this special study module that I put on and ran for nine years, Dipesh, as I mentioned, was that was the first year. And um, yeah, [00:08:30] just just really, really enjoyed that sort of aspect of it. But yeah, sort of clinical lecturer is the title. And nowadays I don’t do any, uh, undergrad teaching. It’s just purely post-grad working on the working on the Masters at Birmingham and the Masters and a couple of master’s courses at, uh, at, uh, at King’s. Uh, but I do quite a lot of, um, as you know, hands on courses around the country, uh, all the time.

Speaker6: Anyway, what is it that makes somebody stick out, Louis? Is it is it generally how inquisitive they are? [00:09:00] Is it does it just come down to you, look at the work and think, crap, that looks amazing. How did that happen? What is it that is there a like, if you could bottle that up and put it into a formula, what would it be for these super successful delegates that you’ve had?

Speaker3: I think it’s when they do something that hasn’t been taught. They’ve just got that eye for it, you know? They can just see something, explain something, but then take it to the next level. So one of one of my mentors, Adrian Shorter, we might chat [00:09:30] about him later on. He, uh, he said to me, don’t don’t be upset when your students are better than you are. Take, take, uh, take pleasure and pride in it. The thing is, with people like dips, uh, Millie. Liv. Richard. They were always already better than me before they started, so. But I think it is that just that unique sort of X factor, whatever it is. And if you could bottle it Prav then, then it’d be worth a fortune. But I don’t think you can. I think we can all. I mean, you’ve [00:10:00] only got to look on Instagram and Facebook now to see the, you know, the beautiful, beautiful quality of dentistry that is literally within, within anybody’s grasp. But then you’ll see the others who just take it up to the sort of the next level. I think one of the first contemporary, a couple of contemporaries that I saw of my sort of era were Jason Smithson and Tiff Qureshi, where I just thought, wow, you know, that’s a bit special. And then, I mean, the nice thing about, you know, the people we’ve talked about as well is that they’ve gone on to become really great [00:10:30] teachers as well, because that, for me is an extra skill. You know, there’s plenty of people doing extraordinary dentistry nowadays, which is brilliant, but to be able to communicate that to us mere mortals, I mean, I go to to the enlightened course, I go to Dipesh lectures now, and I’ve got my notebook out because he’s constantly pushing, pushing the boundaries when it comes to teaching and practice, because he’s just got that eye for aesthetics, that eye for colour, uh, which, uh, which which I haven’t got.

Speaker1: It’s interesting [00:11:00] what makes a good dentist and then what makes a good teacher to let’s agree firstly, two different things. You know, there’s, there’s many good dentists who aren’t great teachers. And but I think with I think you gave Dipesh the advice that he shouldn’t go on any composite hands on courses. Um, so that so that all the ideas would be original, you know, his own. He wouldn’t feel like he was taking an idea from someone else or something like that. [00:11:30]

Speaker3: That was that definitely wasn’t me. Sure. That was.

Speaker5: That wasn’t, you know, my my advice is go.

Speaker3: On as many.

Speaker5: Courses.

Speaker3: So yeah, absolutely. There might be.

Speaker5: There might be.

Speaker3: There might be crap courses. Uh, but you will always.

Speaker5: You’ll.

Speaker3: Always pick something up off them. And, and of course he did Chris horse. Course there’s another legend. He did Chris Hughes, uh, year long course. I mean, he was only, in fact, that that was that was actually a really nice sort of bit of feedback that I got [00:12:00] that Chris saw has always had I don’t know what the rules are nowadays, but it used to be you had to be graduated, I think, for at least three years before you could apply to go on Chris’s course. But then he made an exception, unless they’d done the special study module at Birmingham Dental School in their final year. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, so dipesh and, uh, Emily got on their lives, done it as well. And of course, Millie now is one of Chris Christie’s associates, so, uh, he knew what he’s [00:12:30] talking about.

Speaker1: And and the teacher herself. Not in, uh, composite, but more in Invisalign. But but it’s interesting, you know, because we were doing a little series called, um, my mini tip, and we had dentists. I took it for granted. Every dentist has got 1 or 2 tips, you know that. And they probably do. And maybe camera shy at that moment or whatever. But I guess the difference between a teacher and a technician is a teacher has more tips that came from them. [00:13:00] You know, that that things they do slightly differently to the rest of us need teaching.

Speaker3: That’s true. And um, but, um, I think we all fall down the same holes anyway, don’t we? Yeah. As we and that’s how we learn by, uh, by sort of reflecting and I think in the, uh, let me use the, the old days of probably the first of several times this evening, usually it was [00:13:30] sort of ten years or so before you did any sort of postgraduate qualifications. Now, obviously dentists are doing it a lot earlier and, you know, certificates, diplomas, even MSCs, you know, on our MSC course, we’ve had some literally sort of first year, first year graduates. I’m just wonder whether actually doing these courses earlier on, uh, actually reduces the risk of you sort of falling, falling into the regular sort of, uh, pitfalls. Or again, the the old fashioned mantra was you needed to make [00:14:00] a few mistakes and then do the course and then learn basically based on your experience. So I don’t know what it is, but certainly there’s a as you know, there’s a trend for courses a lot earlier nowadays.

Speaker1: Yeah, I think in the US it’s slightly different, you know. When you talk to the academics out there, they haven’t got that mantra of become a generalist first. You know, they some do. By the way. I don’t think it’s a right or wrong. You can’t say one is right and one is wrong. But [00:14:30] but you’re right that the sort of the general thing that people have been saying here is, you know, learn a lot of things first and then go and specialise into one, one area that you like, you know, see what try a lot of things. But I remember when, when I did my elective in the US, that the advice wasn’t that it was it was, you know, as quick as possible try and get into something. And I and I’ve given that advice to a lot of people as well, Louis, you know, because people ask me, hey, what should I do? And my answer is [00:15:00] pick one thing and just run with it. You know, get really, really good at something, you know, um, if you want to if you want to do something, pick, pick one, pick one and go. But you know, you’ve seen so many students come and go. Would you say that specialising these days is a good idea? Or would you say that general practice where you know you’ve thrived Kureishi’s thrived? Crystal was thrived, I guess. Which way, which way would you advise someone to go?

Speaker3: Obviously [00:15:30] down to the individual person. But don’t forget, whatever you choose, you’re going to be doing it for the next 30 to 40 years. So you’ve got to make the right decision. I wouldn’t close, certainly early in your career I wouldn’t close any doors because once it doesn’t take long in dentistry to sort of de-skill, uh, not necessarily de-skill, but lose confidence. And then you’re kind of you’re going down that one little route. And of course, you know, obviously Endo Perio, you can just do that [00:16:00] all day long. But certainly when it comes to sort of aesthetic restorative, is it something that’s going to sustain sustain for for 30 or 40 years? One interesting thing I’ve noticed, talking to a few young dentists and even a few lecturers recently, is is just focusing on front teeth. And which is a bit of a bit of a worrying, worrying, uh, situation when we’ve got, what is it, a year’s missed, uh, missed appointments due to, uh, due [00:16:30] to the pandemic. And obviously 70% of all problems occur on molars, which, uh, they’re not as, uh, they’re not as Instagrammable. But that’s where most of the most of the trouble is. So yeah, it’s a I mean, you must see it a lot on your courses. Um, and of course, it’s lovely dentistry to do, but, uh, is it sort of sustainable for that length of time? Um, I don’t know. Um, certainly just don’t know whether, uh, obviously every restoration is going [00:17:00] to fail. And are these almost sort of, uh, aesthetic cosmetic specialists. Their whole career is going to be about replacement of existing restorations or management of, of, you know, marginal stain and stuff like that. So, uh, it down, down to the individual. But certainly I would say early in your career don’t uh, don’t narrow it down too early, that that would be my advice. Right.

Speaker6: You know what? Um, you what you’ve [00:17:30] just been saying there, Louis. And in terms of how long these restorations, every restorations go into eventually fail, etc., etc., right. There’s there’s two bits of, I guess, information that I’ve received from, from like so Tiff has always pushed the, you know, you don’t really know how good a dentist you are until you’ve seen how long you work lasts. Right. And you’ve got that long terme follow up. And he always talks about his ten, his 15 year, you know, follow ups and he knows how long his dentistry lasts. And funnily enough, I had the opportunity [00:18:00] to interview a guy called Daniel Boozer. I think that’s his name is he’s an implant guy over at the A.D. According to everyone who I spoke to, he’s he’s one of the gods of implant dentistry. Anyway, cut a long story short. When I was interviewing him, I asked him about, you know, what advice he’d give to, you know, new students who were getting into wanting to get into implant dentistry and how would they know how good they are? And he said exactly the same thing as Tiff, that it’s about [00:18:30] this long terme follow up that, you know, he’s got cases. 35 years ago he placed an implant and it’s still stuck there in somebody’s head. And he felt that that was the true measure of somebody who was really good. What do you think are the concerns with all of this? A lot of front teeth, dentistry, composite veneers and things like that. Now, obviously, you know, a lot of the courses are teaching that. And then the longevity of that in terms of, I guess, how long these are going to last, how is [00:19:00] it, um, what’s the easiest way to describe it? Is it a huge problem waiting to unfold and happen when all of these, you know, composite veneers sort of mature in 5 to 6 years time and they need redoing with either more composite or porcelain. And then something you just mentioned, which I hadn’t given any thought to, is that are these dentists de-skilling by just focusing on that?

Speaker3: Really good questions. Just to sort of start at the beginning [00:19:30] of that, um, you made a really good point about the longevity. I’ve, I’ve worked in only one practice, the same practice for 30, 31 years. Wow. So so you know what works? But equally, you know what doesn’t work. Yeah. We’re in the kind of the infancy with composite veneers at the moment. Obviously the materials have come along massively again. Uh, advertising payments wonders here. When I started using enamel, really, that was the first time composite [00:20:00] veneers actually became a thing for me because of the polish and. Composite versus, uh, versus porcelain. You know, we could do a whole whole hour just on that. Composites got its disadvantages with regard to sort of technique sensitivity with regard to, you know, surface lustre. That’s that’s where enamel works, because obviously it’s a micro fill. It keeps it it keeps it shine. But the way that aesthetics restorations usually fail where they’re direct or indirect [00:20:30] is usually marginal stain. They don’t usually they don’t usually drop off certain materials. They will composite materials. They will lose their surface lustre. So it will be interesting to see, exactly as you say, Prav a few years down the line. Payman remember exactly the same thing happened in the 90s with the, uh, with, with porcelain veneers, where that was very much, you know, that was very much the, uh, the thing, uh, the thing to do. All the courses were based, were based around that. And then, you know, if you choose the wrong [00:21:00] patient, if you if you’re not bonding to enamel, uh, again, people, people came unstuck and I think probably moved away from that.

Speaker3: But, um, you know, either restoration, if it’s done well, it is going to last for years. But again, you also make a very good point that doing dentistry for the second time is, is is a challenge because you’ve got to you’ve got to take it off and you know, when you’re cutting, whether it’s ceramic, whether it’s composite. Are you in material? Uh, are you in dentine. Are you in enamel [00:21:30] bonding resin. So, yeah, it’s a real it’s a real challenge. So but I would say just to add to that, the foundation of skill with not necessarily young dentists is some amazing, stunning older dentists as well. With composite, it’s because the foundation of skill I don’t think really we know yet. You know, they might just literally just need repolishing. I know I’ve got I’ve got enamel cases where where the composite veneers still again, as you say in my latest [00:22:00] anterior composite lecture, I’ve got a enamel veneer at at ten years. Tiny bit of marginal stain, still shiny. Absolutely. Never been repolished at all. Uh, so, uh, I think now, because they’ve got the skills, you’ve got the, you know, the bonding techniques, you’ve got the material technology, they’re going to last longer. And of course, as every generation goes, they’re just going to get better and better and better at them. So maybe it will be the the treatment of choice. I know Depeche is sort of now he’s sort [00:22:30] of half and half isn’t he. He loves he loves composite obviously, but I’ve seen him lecturing more and more on ceramics.

Speaker5: Now, do.

Speaker6: You know when you talk about restorations lasting? So the purpose of which let’s say somebody has a composite veneer is less functional and protective and more cosmetic when you refer to them lasting. Do you mean just staying intact or do you mean lasting in a, in a cosmetic way?

Speaker3: Yeah. And they’re not going to fall [00:23:00] off. You know, you might get a little bit of chipping, but of course that’s that’s easy to repair. But yeah, it’s really a patient factor. Is the patient still happy with them. And and I think that I think that’s the main thing. And that would that would probably drive the replacement. Yeah. They’re not they’re not going to drop off if they’re bonded to enamel. I think Trevor Burks uh, he did this massive study, millions of restorations that had been done on the NHS and, and labial only veneers came out tops. They last longer than any other restoration [00:23:30] in dentistry. So they’re not going to fall off if they’re bonded to enamel. That’s the best bond in dentistry. So they’re going to last. But yeah so it’s going to be cosmetic. It’s going to be cosmetic failure before before anything else.

Speaker1: Which which year did you qualify Louis.

Speaker3: Uh 1990 uh graduated with a with a marvellous four for four years and one time course. Payman. Uh, not not this five year.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker1: The good old course. Yeah. And, um, so, so. Okay, I was, I was going [00:24:00] to say you’re not old enough. Right. But but when did like your composite come.

Speaker3: Well, like, Kieran’s been around I think since the, since the, uh, on the first composites that was out. I’m trying to think I’ve actually got a picture of Trevor Burke with with one of the original curing lights. It was probably, I would say probably the 70s. Don’t know for certain.

Speaker1: We had Wilson on the, on the podcast and he was talking about when they were developing it with AISI and it was. Yeah, it was one, [00:24:30] one shade only. That’s right.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. So yeah. And then there was occlusion, of course, the first composites, you had to mix yourself and there was no polymerisation shrinkage issues because you had so much air in them that the material just didn’t cause any problems. Uh, but yeah, so, so light curing really sort of, you know, probably sort of 70s, it sort of kicked off.

Speaker5: But you, you know.

Speaker1: People like to say that the current day dentists, I mean, even outside of Covid, that, you know, the newer, [00:25:00] younger generation don’t have the skills that, let’s say, our generation had because they didn’t they don’t drill enough teeth. Do you have another side to that story that says they’re a lot better than us because of whatever other, you know, whatever other thing they do have that we didn’t have, you know, like they get taught patient management or, you know, what are they being taught while we were drilling teeth?

Speaker3: Well, I think it goes further back than that. They’re just really, really clever. I mean, I mean, you know, how many, how [00:25:30] many, right? Yeah. I’m going to know when I, uh, it was, it was a B uh, it was a B and two C’s to get into dentistry in 1986, I smashed that with the two B’s and two C’s. Uh.

Speaker5: Uh, it was, uh.

Speaker3: In those days, you buy three, you get one free with general studies.

Speaker5: So.

Speaker3: So yeah, I mean, they’re super intelligent. You’re absolutely right about the undergraduate experience that, you know, they’re going to do a lot less than they did with [00:26:00] regard to everything, you know, particularly amalgam skills. You know, some dental schools they’ll almost do non um extractions again depending on where uh depending on that though.

Speaker5: Why is that.

Speaker1: Because there aren’t enough patients to have their teeth extracted.

Speaker3: Just I mean we, we work uh Birmingham’s fluoridated. So, uh, even back then, you know, my oral surgery experience was, was very limited. And so, you know, I had to, you know, sort of learn those skills kind of on the job, uh, because, uh, are you are you. [00:26:30]

Speaker1: Birmingham born and bred? Were you born in Birmingham, Staffordshire?

Speaker3: I’ve my my quest through life has taken me about 25 miles. Uh, from, from from Staffordshire. Uh, I went to Birmingham Dental School because it was the only place that gave me an offer. Um, Birmingham at the time.

Speaker5: Why?

Speaker1: Dentistry did.

Speaker3: Oh. Well, uh, now, you have asked a good question now, and I had to actually do some research for this because I always was certain that I was 11. I was 11 when I decided I wanted to be a dentist. [00:27:00] Uh, and I was absolutely certain I could remember where I was sitting in a science class, who I was sitting next to my mate Dean. But my aunty has always, always said, no, you are much younger than that. And so I thought, no, no, she’s making this up. And, uh, but then I went up to see one of my uncles in the Lake District, and I asked him about this, and he’s in his 90s, and he said, no, no, you’re about six. So then I went back to my aunty and said, come on, tell me this story. And she said, do you? Yep. I remember you’re in the car. And I said to you, [00:27:30] uh, what you’re going to be when you’re older, how about being a doctor when you can look up, look after your Aunty Lillian? When, uh, when she’s old? I said, uh, and apparently I said to her, no, I’m not going to be a doctor. I’m going to be a dentist. And I was standing up in the back of a Fiat one, two seven. So, uh, so, uh, no seatbelts in those days, and obviously so I couldn’t have been very tall. So, yeah, I think I was about six, so I decided I wanted to be a dentist. I have absolutely no idea why I never I [00:28:00] never changed my mind. Uh, I remember when I went to careers day and I told the careers adviser that I wanted to be a dentist. And her advice to me was, you don’t want to be a dentist. That’s a terrible job. Then when it came to A-levels in those days, you had to fill in, fill in a different form for a polytechnic.

Speaker5: And.

Speaker3: Yeah, precast precast form. So is Ucas and PCAs. It’s all on one form now and I refuse to fill in the, you know, the, the whatever it [00:28:30] was going to be whether suggesting pharm pharmacy or something like that. Uh, and um so I refused to fill it in. I only wanted to be a dentist, but I don’t know why, and I’m just glad I chose, uh, you know, chose a career that’s worked out for me.

Speaker1: What did your parents do?

Speaker3: Um, my dad, uh, was was a draughtsman, and my mom was, uh, she was, well, her final job, she did lots of sort of secretarial jobs. Her final job, uh, they’re both passed away, unfortunately. Uh, but a final [00:29:00] job was the one she really loved. And she was, uh, she was a medical secretary. That was that was the the last job that she did. But my parents, uh, in fact, I was the first person to go to to uni in my, in my family. Uh, so there was.

Speaker5: So, so is.

Speaker1: There, is there a, you know, like how the that that part of the country was very industrial and, you know, our stories in your, in your family about the Black Country and, you know, everything, everything that goes with that. And did you sort of see that change in the area?

Speaker3: You’re such [00:29:30] a Londoner. You’re such a Londoner. Uh.

Speaker5: It’s abortion and abortion.

Speaker3: Staffordshire’s nowhere stuff. It’s just north of Birmingham, not how is it? So, um.

Speaker5: I was so.

Speaker1: Romantic about this story. Like your granddad worked in the mines, and then you.

Speaker5: Know, my granddad, my granddad.

Speaker3: We all going back now? My. I had a granddad. This is on my dad’s side. And my granddad from the Isle of Skye. No. Isle of Lewis [00:30:00] and my grandma from the Isle of Skye. They both left to find work to go to Glasgow. And then once they’d sort of become a couple, they walked to Liverpool to, uh, to find a job. So my, my grandfather on my dad’s side, who I never met, was an engineer by by training. So that.

Speaker1: Scottish.

Speaker3: Uh. My dad’s. No, my dad was born in. My dad was born in Liverpool. So my my grandparents are Scottish and my on my mom’s side, they’re more sort of Midlands based, [00:30:30] more sort of Brummie Brummies, but writing proper Birmingham.

Speaker1: Yeah. So if you, if you were an Indian, they’d say you’re Scottish because you know, you’re Scottish, you’re a Scottish guy like.

Speaker5: I’ve got, I’ve got Scottish, uh.

Speaker3: I’ve got Scottish ancestors. Uh, so uh, but, and I’ve got loads of Scottish relatives, loads of uh, loads of aunties and uncles and, and cousins.

Speaker5: What were you like.

Speaker1: What were you like as [00:31:00] a dental student? Were you really into it or.

Speaker5: I really was. Yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah, I really was. Uh, yeah, I kind of liked it straight away. I mean, I must admit it was pretty tough at dental school. We were lucky, actually, that we’d, uh, that had just been a sort of a change in sort of management, if you like. Uh, Birmingham had always been sort of known as kind of the comms school. I think the comms department at one stage had about 30 members of staff. So when I started, we used to hear the sort [00:31:30] of horror stories from the previous, uh, the previous tutors, uh, one that’s always stuck in my mind. And I sometimes remind the students when, when they’re being a little bit, uh, little bit soft, uh, that, uh, one of the tutors apparently used to say to when he was checking a cavity or something like that, he’d stand over the, uh, with the with the patient and the and the student, and he’d say to the patient, he’d look at the look, he’d look at the in the cavity, and he’d say to the student, I wouldn’t trust you to cut [00:32:00] my lawn.

Speaker5: So, uh.

Speaker3: So fortunately we missed, uh, we missed that sort of, uh, era and, uh, but really fantastic young lecturers at that time, uh, Phil Lumley, basically, you know, God of endodontics. Um, Ian Chappell was a junior lecturer, uh, as, uh, as well. And obviously, you know, they were both my bosses, uh, Phil and, um, uh, Phil and Ian, [00:32:30] uh, and, uh, uh, Trevor Burke came to, to Birmingham as well via, uh, via Manchester and Glasgow and he, he Trevor’s been really instrumental in my career and Damian Warmsley was, uh, was head of, uh, sort of head of prosthetics or fixed removable props. And so we, we were really lucky that we had all these young legends basically wanted to do things differently. And so the teaching we have, uh, interestingly, actually, the there [00:33:00] were a significant number of people in my year who have actually gone back into dental education and, uh, my four and a half years, sorry, four years and one terme, uh, were yeah, I must admit, I really enjoyed it. I think I was one of those lucky students who kind of, on the practical aspects, sort of picked it up straight away.

Speaker3: You know, I’m quite a sort of, uh, you know, it’s like playing with Lego, fixing my bike stuff, stuff like that. So, so I was quite lucky that sort of picked it [00:33:30] up straight away. And of course, in those days, as you’ll remember, play, uh, the course was very practical. Um, now, going back to your other point, I think now there’s so much new stuff that you’ve got to learn with regard to, you know, I mean, there were no posterior composites. Molar endo was kind of in its infancy. And so the course now is so packed that, yeah, the students are doing less practical work than they would have before. But with regard to talent and skills, [00:34:00] I would say, you know, the future is most definitely safe. These these young dentists are going to be awesome. And, uh, and they’re going to take dentistry to the next, to the next level, you know, I hope I can hang around for long enough to, uh, to just to see where it goes. Obviously, the digital revolution is finally has finally arrived. So, yeah, I mean, that is really, really exciting stuff.

Speaker5: I feel like.

Speaker1: The the newer ones, they’ve got more EQ than, than we have sort of more [00:34:30] emotional intelligence at the at the same time though, maybe it’s just they admit to it more. They seem to suffer with more sort of mental health crises and issues. So is that your feeling?

Speaker3: Maybe it’s. It’s an excellent point and obviously there’s loads of evidence to back that up. But I just wonder whether, you know, we all always had those issues, but it was just a case of didn’t.

Speaker5: Talk about it.

Speaker3: Get on with it and suffer and suffer in silence. [00:35:00] And you know, that’s the way of the world. You know, maybe it is the fact that they’re, you know, they’re more sort of, you know, more sort of people of the world. They’ve got access to, you know, everything. You know, when it comes to sort of social media, the internet, obviously the internet didn’t exist. So just maybe they’ve just got a, you know, a better sort of perception about, you know, what’s their part in the world. And obviously there can be a little bit emotional at times and sort of [00:35:30] older sort of dentists that takes a little bit of getting used to. But uh, I think they’re probably going to get a much better life work balance than maybe the dentists of yesteryear did when it was very much sort of, you know, five days a week, full days of NHS dentistry and then, you know, look, sometimes look forward to retirement, which is, you know, you’ve got to enjoy the ride. I would always, uh, I would always advise, um, and whatever you’re doing, uh, just [00:36:00] enjoy your dentistry. And if you’re in a, if you’re in a situation where you’re not enjoying it, do something to to change that.

Speaker1: I mean, there’s there’s a lot of people who aren’t enjoying it. Louis.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker3: Absolutely.

Speaker5: And then at the.

Speaker1: Same time, there’s loads of people who adore it and love it and can’t stop talking about it. And, you know. So what do you reckon is the difference? Do you think the difference is staying engaged and trying to improve the whole time? And why is it some [00:36:30] people are in such a bad state about? And I think the GDC, whatever has, has a role to play. But it’s always been like that even before the, you know, dental law partnership came along, there was some dentists who were really into it and then others who hated their lives. What’s the difference between those two characters, do you think?

Speaker5: Well, actually, it is such.

Speaker3: A good question, isn’t it? And if you actually love the physical act of delivering, you know, doing a filling or something like that, if you if you [00:37:00] really, really enjoy that, then nobody can take that away from you. You literally just, you know, that that’s a, you know, that’s a big chunk of your life on earth that you’re actually enjoying. But when you’re working in a situation where maybe, you know, you’d really enjoy that filling, you know, it’s going to take, you know, 45 minutes to do it, but you’re working in a clinical situation where you’ve got 15 minutes to do it. Mhm. Then you’ve immediately got that uh I think the textbooks call it that [00:37:30] moral moral tension haven’t you. Where, where you know, you know what’s best. But you know, you’re working in a system that’s not allowing you to, to do that. And I think that’s probably at the heart of, of mental health issues in dentistry, which, as you say, have been around literally forever. I mean, the good thing is now mental health is most definitely on the agenda in dentistry. You know, you know, the regular reports coming out, looking at the profession, looking at the causes. Remember the BJ [00:38:00] did a did a massive one. Thousands of dentists in 2019 just just before the pandemic. And you know, they listed the top ten stressors in dentistry. And most of them were systematic, uh, problem and regulation was one of them. Um, there was a read, uh, I read a nice article by, uh, Martin Keller. I think it was in the BJ, actually. And he said, nowadays it’s like practising clinical dentistry is like being in a [00:38:30] lift with a wasp.

Speaker5: Um.

Speaker3: And, uh, I think it’s a good analogy. The only way that that analogy falls down is if you’re in a lift, you can get out of the next floor. If you’re, uh, if you’re a dentist, you’re in the lift for 30 to 40 years. So I think there is obviously the dental legal stuff is never is never going to go away. But nowadays that’s that’s a separate self-sustaining industry. But I’ve had I’ve had second year dental students, you know, literally just started [00:39:00] on Phantom head, say to me that they’re worried about graduating because they don’t want to get sued. So, so, so second year. So, so this stuff, uh, this stuff does start. It does start early and, uh, what it can do, uh, but, uh, need to be prepared. That’s the way of the world. It’s not going to go away and just do your best for every patient. As long as that’s as long as that’s the sort of philosophy. And if you are in a situation that’s compromising [00:39:30] your ethics, your standards, then yeah, do something to change it. And I know obviously Prav does loads of work with dentists and with whole teams to create the right environment. In fact, I think I listened in preparation for this. I did some revision. I listened to one of you did an excellent Talking Heads when it was just the two of you, and Prav made the point that he felt that at that time, one of his favourite clients was a bloke who was just unhappy in his job and he just needed [00:40:00] to change. No, change was not an option for this bloke. Um, and obviously he did Prav training, uh, and sounded like it all. It all worked out well for him. Prav. Is that.

Speaker5: Correct? It is.

Speaker6: Louis. But you’ve just got me thinking about another thing, which is, you know, what is the reason some of these guys get, especially what I’m seeing and it’s not, you know, I’m not speaking for all the younger dentists, but I have a lot of younger dentists who come to me and say, I just want to make X per month. That is that [00:40:30] that’s the overriding thing that they come to me for. But, but, but they’ve not been they’ve not done enough dentistry yet, if that makes sense. So when you look at them from a and I’m not the one to judge them clinically, but you know, they’ve, they’ve been out of dental school for 18 months, two years. And their, their prime motivating factor is I want to make X per month. Right. And it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about dentistry, whether we’re talking about a career in marketing or [00:41:00] whatever it is, I think you need to earn your stripes first and get some experience under your belt before that. Becomes your sort of number one motivator. And I do say to them, look, my first bit of advice is get on these courses right? And these courses happen to be courses that people that I respect, that Payman respects, probably yourself as well. Who is that that you just think that let the, you know, let them get this solid grounded and then the money will come. [00:41:30] And but I do think that if finance is that number one motivating factor from a very young age, I do think a lot of these dentists will start becoming unstuck later on because they silo themselves into, I am just going to be an Invisalign doctor.

Speaker6: I am just going to press the button on this program and get this treatment plan done for me, and I’ll finish it off with a little bit of edge bonding or whatever. Right. But you’ve it’s a bit like becoming a marketeer and running Facebook [00:42:00] ads, but you don’t know the first thing about the problems of the people that they face that you’re marketing to. Right? So so how can you how can you market to somebody who needs a full arch of implants if you don’t know the problems that a loose denture wearer goes through, and that the fact that they can’t eat steak, or the fact that they, they cover their hands, or they’re walking around with a tube of fixodent in their pocket all the time, and so on and so forth. And I feel really strongly about this. And, and I feel as, as [00:42:30] somebody who helps practices grow, there’s a bit of a pressure on sort of, you know, them coming to me and saying, well, I want to make loads more money. And my advice at the moment is we’ll get you stripes first and the money will come.

Speaker5: I couldn’t.

Speaker3: Agree more. I mean, you’re giving absolutely spot on advice and I’d give exactly the same advice. Um, I think in dentistry, if you put finances first, it’s doomed to failure because you’ll always be chasing something over the horizon, which is which never actually [00:43:00] arrives. And you’ve got to obviously be constantly chasing repeat business over and over again. If you’re looking from a financial point of view, from a financial point of view, the best way to achieve that goal is, is family dentistry. And look, you know, I think Tiff talks about this, the lifetime patient. Yeah. Uh, you know, it might sound a little a little bit sort of, uh, old fashioned, but yes. See, the, uh, see the grandparents, the parents and the kids and sometimes even their kids. That’s from a business point of view. [00:43:30] That is the foundation of any successful practice. Also, when finance is at the fore, I’ll be careful how I phrase this. There is a danger that it affects your treatment planning. And and if you’re not looking at the whole patient and the whole patient’s needs and maybe just focusing, maybe just on the anterior teeth, it is that old classic that, you know, if all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So [00:44:00] everybody gets the same treatments. They all look pretty much the, the same. And yeah, it’s you get on a okay, it’s not an NHS treadmill but it’s a different treadmill.

Speaker3: And so I think, I think a balance between I think a balance between that where, you know, it’s lovely to do the aesthetic stuff. But of course it is patients demands. Now patients are so well educated that, you know, they know what they they know what they want, and you’ve got to be able to deliver on that [00:44:30] promise. So going back to learning your, uh, getting, getting your stripes, getting, getting your hours in, I think it is like any sort of it’s that 10,000 hours, isn’t it? Of course it is. Whatever. Whatever you’re doing, if you’re going to become an expert in it, you know, 10,000 hours a mastermind or shared an office with, uh, Charles Perrier, he actually worked it out. And he reckoned it was about ten years, ten years of of of sort of, you know, four, four and a half, five days of dentistry. That’s about 10,000 [00:45:00] hours of practical dentistry in that time. You’ve probably you’ve probably made most of your mistakes, not all of them, unfortunately. You’ve learnt what you’re good at. You’ve learnt what you’re not good at. You’ve learnt your patient communication skills. And it’s why in the again, using that old phrase, in the old days it usually was ten years was a kind of a turning point where the where you maybe think, well, I’m going to buy a practice now, or maybe I’m going to go on a, you know, I’m going to learn how to do implants or I’m going to be an endodontist [00:45:30] that sort of ten year apprenticeship, for want of a better word.

Speaker3: Uh, but I think that that has certainly come forwards now. Certainly young dentists seem to be a lot more business minded in a good way. You know, they seem to sort of grasp that it’s not something that’s ever taught at, at dental school, but they certainly do seem to have a grasp of of what they want and the vision that they want. But again, you know, I’ll mention this, uh, possibly when you ask me those questions, which I’ve prepared for at the end, [00:46:00] is from a financial point of view, just just enjoy your dentistry. Just do do what feels right for the patient, what feels right for you. And the money will, will will sort itself out. No, no problem at all. And, you know, use the team as well. You know, use your specialists, use your technicians and just become a whole, you know, little sort of industry. Yeah. Look, for me, looking after looking after families is is the key. And then the aesthetic restorative stuff. That’s [00:46:30] the icing on the cake.

Speaker1: Yeah. Not not to mention Prav. Yeah. The best way of not making that money is to focus on making that money. But I wonder, Prav, if people say that to you because they see a marketing guy before them and they feel like that’s I’m allowed to say this to, to the, to the marketing guy. And so they come across as that guy, you know.

Speaker6: Possibly there’s an element of that. Right. And they probably see that, you know, I’ve worked with a lot of successful dentists who’ve who’ve done [00:47:00] really well, um, both clinically and financially, but a lot of these dentists who have done really well have earned the stripes. Yeah, they’ve got that decade well and truly under their belt. Yeah. You know, and then they’ve done well. However you define doing well financially. Right. We all have different I guess set points. Call it whatever you want. Right. What our definitions of success are. And some of them are, you know, spending more time with your kids or whatever. And some of them are, you know, driving fast cars [00:47:30] and going on luxury holidays, whatever that thing is. But, you know, people do come to me and they associate me with with those individuals who’ve done well, let’s say, for example, and then they come to me and say, hey, well, you’re the. I that drives the patients through the door and then can give me advice on conversion and all the rest of it. It’s a Prav bring me some money. Right. And and for me, whether I’m giving advice to somebody who comes to me for career advice as a, as a, as a young [00:48:00] marketeer or someone or somebody comes to me for career advice as a dentist. Yeah. I say, you’ve got to be able to do the shit that you can say you can do. Then we can market that, because if you end up marketing something that you know you can’t do, you’re only going to end up in trouble. And this comes down to, you know, my involvement with the IAS Academy has taught me a lot about how, I guess, you should operate as a dentist, right? And [00:48:30] case selectivity, knowing your limits, right.

Speaker6: Knowing when to say no, really, really important. Right. And and so marketing can put you in trouble because it can deliver a patient that you have absolutely no chance of being able to treat because you don’t have the skill set of doing it right. But you but you decide, okay, I’ll be Mr. or Mrs. Brave and have a crack at that. So, you know, I’m a I’m [00:49:00] a big believer in making sure that we market appropriately at a skill set and at a level that we can deliver because it’ll be short lived otherwise. And even with my clients, I want to build long terme relationships. I don’t want to I don’t want to put someone in a position where they become unstuck. They’re up in front of the GDC, you know, and there’s I guess there’s a sense I feel like there’s a sense of responsibility on my behalf. It’s not just about an exchange of service for money, but I think [00:49:30] I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can actually say, look, if that’s what you want to do, there may be another agency out there that could help you do that. But but this is my advice. And I think what weighs on me is having business partners like Tiff Qureshi, who’ve got a very, very high moral, moral, ethical, high ground for me to sort of say, well, okay, well, this is this, this is the route I think you should go down.

Speaker5: Yeah, and.

Speaker3: Tiff’s always had that as a, uh, and just. I [00:50:00] mean, that’s such an excellent point that if you are going down that you’re almost always treating strangers and, you know, and I’m sure obviously you’re a medic by training as well is, you know, never treat a stranger, get to know the patients before before you jump in because you don’t know what they’re like. And and you made a really good point there that really sort of rang a rang a bell with me is asking saying to patients not to treat them. I would say some of the best clinical decisions [00:50:30] you will ever make in your practising career are the patients you choose not to treat. Uh, and you know, you don’t have to be rude, you know, send them down the road. You know, you need a you know, you need a better dentist than me for, uh, for for this and, uh, yeah, certainly. You know, if I think back, those have been some of the best decisions I’ve made. As you get older and more experienced, you see the warning signs, but but obviously you can’t be expected to do that when you’re just starting [00:51:00] out. So. Yeah, just earning your stripes exactly as you said it, doing that apprenticeship for a few years, just getting a feel for the, uh, and then decide what you want to do.

Speaker5: Louis, if.

Speaker6: If that’s the best decision you’ve ever made, what’s the worst decision you’ve ever made in clinical dentistry?

Speaker5: In claim.

Speaker3: In clinical dentistry?

Speaker6: Um, with patients, whatever. You said some of the best decisions you’ve ever made is, is actually having the courage to say no, I guess, um, [00:51:30] what what are the some of the worst decisions?

Speaker1: What’s gone wrong? What’s gone wrong.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker3: Well certainly perhaps question first of all would be those ones I’ve learned from those learning patients where I’ve got into something, whether I don’t know whether it’s whether it’s an endo or an aesthetic case or, or or an extraction, uh, that’s uh, I think are really wish I hadn’t started this, but but then you’re on. Uh, but but then you’re on that, uh, but then, then you’re on that conveyor [00:52:00] belt, uh, to answer Pei’s question, uh, you know, it’s a long list of, uh, nothing, nothing catastrophic. Pei I’m sorry to, uh, I was he frozen? Uh, no. I’m just he’s just really good at, uh, sitting still. Um. Um. Nothing. Nothing catastrophic, but a few a few learning experiences which I think made me a better dentist. I’m more cautious. [00:52:30]

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker1: Which one’s what happened?

Speaker5: I knew you were.

Speaker3: Gonna make me be specific.

Speaker5: Because you’re not going to leave.

Speaker1: It like that.

Speaker6: Are far too vague, Louis.

Speaker3: I’ll give you. I’ll give you two. I’ll give you two of of many. Listening to a few of these podcasts previously, I noticed quite a common theme is people’s worst day at work has been sort of Dental legal problems. And and as you [00:53:00] know, sometimes this can be sort of a year of their lives with a, with a, with a cloud over their careers. And for me, I would say it’s probably it was probably the same, but embarrassed to say that mine only lasted for 48 hours. Um, and it was, it was an Indo an Indo case which didn’t work and tried to. It was one of those ones that just on the x ray, it just looked absolutely perfect. And uh, but it didn’t, didn’t settle. So chats with [00:53:30] patients said I’d like to retreat this one. And she said I’d rather just have it out. So we had the discussion and I took it out. And then months down the line, just got a letter. You know, the old clinical negligence letter, taken a taken a tooth out that didn’t need to be extracted. But I was just, you know, whether it was luck or whether it’s judge judgement, uh, did did what you’re supposed to do phoned up the, um with the due. [00:54:00] They were brilliant. Just send us all the, uh, the x rays. Send us, send us the radiographs, and we’ll get back to you. So did that posted them off in those days. And then it was I think it was Rupert Hoppenbrouwers at two days later he phoned me up and he said, uh is that uh, Mr.

Speaker3: McKenzie said, we don’t usually do this, but don’t worry about this. This will go away. He said about 1 in 5050 cases, they get to actually [00:54:30] make that call to say, don’t worry, this will disappear. Don’t give it another minute’s concern. Your notes are fine. You’ve done everything that you should have done. And sure enough, you know I got a letter again, months down the line. We’ve decided not to pursue you on this. Uh, on this, uh, on on this occasion, but there’s no question about it. That’s experienced. The wasp came into the room and the wasp never left. You know, it was. It was. It was in the corner. It never formed a hive or anything [00:55:00] like that. But it did make me, because that surprised me. It really surprised me because I had tried my best. Still, to this day, I’ve absolutely no idea why it failed. I’d actually saved the tooth to try and section it and work out why where, where I’d gone wrong. And then you asked for two. So I suppose I’ll give you another one. Was again, just a mistake. I was I was finishing it, finishing a composite and uh, sort of class five composite denture wearer. And obviously I hadn’t put the burr in [00:55:30] into the handpiece. Uh, Burr fell out of the handpiece. Patient literally swallowed just at the, uh, just at the wrong time. Um, and so, yeah, what can you do? So, um, I again, uh, this had a happy outcome as well.

Speaker3: Um, I, um, uh, said to the patient, we really need I don’t know where that’s gone. Where that’s gone. We really need to have a chest x ray. That was the, uh, that was the, uh, that was the guidance then. So drove him up to [00:56:00] the local local hospital. He had a he had a chest x ray. He’d he had swallowed it. He hadn’t he hadn’t inhaled it. And the weird thing was, uh, that, uh, he was a, he was an elderly patient who’d retired. And based on the experience, he actually became a volunteer in the x ray department, which he did for years and years and years. And I saw him for years afterwards. You know, every time I saw him, I just felt, you know, it felt really, really bad about, uh, uh, [00:56:30] about making that, uh, making that error. But, you know, I certainly certainly learned from it, but, yeah, nothing too catastrophic. And I know, you know, I really feel for some colleagues who have got cases that have been hanging over them for, you know, years in some cases. And I had a very, very short experience of, of what that felt like. And it was, you know, oh, that’s it. My career is over. And it happened to me fairly, fairly early on as well. But, you know, [00:57:00] everything my note making, uh, just hopefully really, really improved by that. So so those are two that spring to mind. I’m sure I’ll think of some more.

Speaker6: When you said there was a happy ending, I thought he was going to say he fished the bear out and brought it back for you. I was just waiting for the I was waiting for the punchline. [00:57:30] Louis.

Speaker5: I don’t know, I mean.

Speaker1: I don’t mean to sound disappointed, Louis, but, um, in a 30 year career, those don’t sound like really hard stories to me.

Speaker5: Yeah, but.

Speaker3: They impacted, uh, they impacted on, uh, they certainly had an impact on me, um, I.

Speaker5: Bet. Well, but.

Speaker1: Have you never had a situation where the patient’s lost trust in you, you know, like that sort of situation, or you took on a case that [00:58:00] that went wrong in the wrong direction for a long period, or, you know, even in my short, I mean, maybe you’re just a much better dentist and communicator than I am. But even my short five years at the at the, uh, at the front, I did have a few couple of cases like that, you know, where, you know, like, cosmetics is awful, right? Patient says it looks great, goes home, comes back, says I don’t like them anymore. You know, you’re in a terrible situation. Just there on a matter of opinion, [00:58:30] you know. Has that never happened?

Speaker5: Well, unfortunately.

Speaker3: Not. Um, with regard.

Speaker5: To, uh, with.

Speaker3: With regard to that because, you know, fortunately, I’ve done the courses, you know, when I started doing aesthetic dentistry, fortunately, I’d done some good courses. And, you know, they the thing that they always bang into you is, is make sure the patient knows what it’s going to look like at the end. So there are no surprises at the end because, I mean, there is nothing. And I say this in lectures all [00:59:00] the time. There is absolutely nothing worse than, I don’t know, sticking some veneers on or something like that. And the patient either immediately or after they’ve seen their family saying, saying I don’t, I don’t like them because what you know, there’s no plan B, is there? You know, okay, you know, if they’re too long you can shorten them. But that that’s all you can do. And then obviously redoing stuff like that is, is, is an absolute, uh, is an absolute nightmare. [00:59:30] You know, doing redoing dentistry that you just did.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker3: For free is, is, is literally, you know, it’s your worst day at work isn’t it. Yeah. So I think it’s I don’t think it is judgement. It is, it is just luck. But I certainly uh and maybe, maybe it was, maybe it was that early on Endo case that really made me choose choose my battles and, and you know, be able to deliver [01:00:00] on on whatever I, on whatever I promised. But I’m sorry to disappoint you. I can’t.

Speaker5: Think of.

Speaker3: Anything, uh, anything cut too catastrophic for you in my professional life.

Speaker1: You mentioned, uh, Louis, the conversation Prav and I had about the NHS and leaving the NHS and what people are saying about that and what worries people have about that. But now, in your role in Denplan, that must be a daily occurrence. I know your role isn’t specifically to talk about [01:00:30] that dentist. I mean, you’re more on the education side and so forth, but you know, what stories do you hear? Or you know, what concerns do people have? And are they the same concerns every time? And then the solutions a similar solution all the time, or is it different in each case? What? Tell me some stories of NHS to private.

Speaker5: It is, it is it is the similar.

Speaker3: It is similar all the time and it’s always and they’ve always been the same stories. I mean I’ve, [01:01:00] I say I’ve done a thousand. So I’ve been teaching for about 20 years. I’ve been doing hands on courses for getting on for 20 years as, as well. So I’ve spoken to thousands, thousands and thousands of dentists. And that’s, you know, you know, me, uh, we’ve been on courses together, you know, and I know you’re as well. You like chatting to, like, chatting to the dentist. You know, they good, good to chat to good company, entertaining people. And so, yeah, I’ve got a whole list. In fact, if I did a webinar, [01:01:30] uh, last week on this exact subject, it is the same things that come up every single time. People who have transitioned from NHS to private all report the same thing. Number one is always time. More time, more time with the patients. More time for your for your for your private life, for your for your life work balance. But it’s it’s never money. Money is always the absolute bottom of the list. It is it is clinical outcomes. It’s job satisfaction. [01:02:00] It’s developing good relationships with your patients. It’s using good materials and equipment.

Speaker3: It’s having the time to go on courses and upskill. It’s working with technicians who share the same philosophy that you do. It’s you know, I’ve spoken to dentists on courses, a hands on courses. And this is, uh, this was not an uncommon occurrence. I do I used to run a series of ten hands on courses on various different restorative subjects, [01:02:30] and it’d be quite a common one when I’d, when we’re just starting to push the envelope with, with big composites and almost without exception, sort of every month somebody, an NHS dentist would come on the course and I’d, you know, and we’d do a, I don’t know, mod B build up on a premolar. Um, and it’d take about an hour or something like that. And a dentist would say, you know, you know, this is all well and good, but I can’t do this on the [01:03:00] NHS. And I used, I used to, uh, quite commonly get into this discussion. And I said, if you don’t mind me asking, how many patients do you see per day? And I would say almost without fail, sort of, you know, definitely a few times a year, the dentist would say eight zero, 80 patients per day.

Speaker1: Oh my goodness.

Speaker5: Wow.

Speaker3: Uh, to which to which I’d say, well, no, no, you can’t, you know, what’s what’s your what’s your appointment time. If you’ve got [01:03:30] to do this, if you’ve got to do this in ten minutes. You might get the first one right, but you’re not going to get the fifth one right. You’re not going to get the 10th one right. And I want I did once see, I didn’t believe it actually, but I actually went to went to the went to the practice I once had uh, knew of a dentist who had a hundred patients booked in every day. I didn’t believe it, but I actually saw the day book. It was a pencil, a pencil day book. And there were there were hundred, um, 100 patients [01:04:00] booked in in that day. Uh, the.

Speaker5: Interesting thing.

Speaker1: Is, uh, if you if you said clean up time between 100 patients is just just be really kind and say 5 minutes to 3 minutes, clean up time, that’s 300 minutes of clean up time. Yeah. Which is five hours of clean up time.

Speaker5: Yeah. It’s it’s not doable.

Speaker3: And and you would occasionally see dentists who would get themselves into, into this sort of. This [01:04:30] treadmill of multiple surgeries, uh, on the, uh, on the go, uh, you know, uh, well, but then, Louis.

Speaker1: What are the barriers? What are the barriers? I mean, why don’t people want to leave? I mean, there’s the obvious financial sort of, you know, with the NHS, the system is that you’re sort of assured a certain income per year. There’s that. And then. And then there’s another one talking to people who are thinking about it, the people who are eminently more qualified than I was when [01:05:00] I decided to leave the NHS, worried about their skill set and worried about whether they can pull it off or not. And I said, you know, it seems to me so obvious, like we’ll just keep it simple. Refer, you know, simple as that.

Speaker3: You’re absolutely right. Confidence is the number one. You know, they don’t feel they don’t feel like a private dentist. To which I always say, what is.

Speaker5: A private dentist.

Speaker3: Exactly? I say, you went to dental school. You weren’t trained to be an NHS dentist. You were. You were trained to be a you [01:05:30] were trained to be a dentist and to do whatever that particular patient needs. And I still to this day do a lot of hands on courses with foundation dentists. And so I really, really notice that they really, really feel going from the, I don’t know, safe environment of, of the dental school seeing, you know, two, maybe four patients a day or something like that, and then working into an environment where obviously, you know, you’ve got to speed up. [01:06:00] But that sort of tension with regards to sort of clinical decision making, they, they, uh, a classic one would be they, they know that a direct composite only is the best treatment for that particular tooth. But working in a system, I don’t know, take the UDA system, for example, where you’d be pushed to do an indirect restoration and that tension, a cobalt chrome denture or something like that. So you know that a cobalt chrome denture [01:06:30] is the best thing for the patient. But when you factor in the lab bill, you would know that, you know, you do too many of those. Your business is your business is going bankrupt. And and where cases in the in the UDA system as well. So I mean the system does need to the system does need to change and it needs to change rapidly. I mean, you know, only in the last couple of weeks we’ve seen the, you know, the in Parliament, Shawn Charlwood talking to the health, uh, health and social care social care select committee, [01:07:00] things have to change. And they have to change. They have to change rapidly.

Speaker1: But, you know, at Denplan, what was the USP of that organisation is is it that they they’re good at helping people go from one to the other? Is it is it that they good at managing the teams because there are there are those concerns aren’t they. You know, what will my team think? What will my patients think? Am I up to it in all of those? Does denplan hold the hand better than the next company? I mean, [01:07:30] there were certainly there were there first, weren’t they?

Speaker3: Yeah. 1986 Denplan was set up. Um, was set up with, with three goals. It was set up by two dentists in the mid 80s. 80s was a was a nightmare time anyway. Record unemployment, record inflation, Falklands war, miners strike. It was it was it was a nightmare time and and it was a nightmare time in in dentistry as well. And so these two dentists came up with this idea for [01:08:00] a basically a new system, a capitation system that was something to do instead of NHS dentistry, which was which was the only game in town. Um, you know, in even in the 90s, I remember at the time somebody said there, there around about 500 private dentists in the UK, uh, now there’s, there’s 26,000. So Denplan was set up with three goals. And those goals have remained the same throughout right up into to, to today. [01:08:30] And they’re just as relevant as they were before. The first thing was professional control, getting control of your own career, which is what we’re talking about. The second was to create an environment outside the NHS where you could do quality dentistry. And the final one, which is even more relevant now, was to align the patient’s wishes with the dentists philosophy, which was prevention, prevention. Patients [01:09:00] don’t want dentistry. And so if if a capitation system works really for me, it’s perfect. It’s the perfect practical situation in clinical dentistry because you’re getting paid to keep people healthy rather than getting paid to find things to do and do things.

Speaker3: And so, you know, having that balance of private fee per item and loads of patients on a plan just gives you that sort of clinical freedom [01:09:30] to, to make the right decisions every time, because they’re your clinical decisions are based on, on what the patient needs. And and obviously I’ve talked to thousands and thousands of denplan dentists, and it’s the reason that we’re really quite evangelical about Denplan. Is it because it was the first and it changed? It changed my professional career because when we went private, we weren’t completely private with Danplan. In those days, you couldn’t you couldn’t have [01:10:00] a children’s only contract. So basically it was it was it was private and and we didn’t retain any NHS within the practice. So in those days it was a leap of faith because there was no blueprint. Big practices hadn’t done this before. But of course now there’s, uh, you know, there’s a there’s a blueprint. And, you know, thousands of dentists have already made, made that move. But so, yeah, if you just do chat to to Denplan dentists and I’ve heard this time and time [01:10:30] again is that it changed. It changed their professional careers. I’ll go even further. It changed their lives. And that is why that we’re so passionate about Denplan.

Speaker1: What is what is your actual role there? I mean, I know you were in charge of the education side for a while, but now now your new role.

Speaker3: Yeah, it’s well, the head dental officer is actually the job that the original head dental officer is Roger Matthews, who was one of my mentors, who was an [01:11:00] absolute legend so far ahead of his time. It’s really as a it really is a multifactorial role, you know, difficult to describe it in, in just a sentence. The education side is still a big part of it. And one of the things that I’ve been really lucky to do is be involved with a big project to create a state of the art online education, to go along with our live courses. Our live courses have been, [01:11:30] you know, incredibly popular for.

Speaker1: Summarise, summarise the size of that that unit. I mean, I remember someone telling me maybe it was you. It was like they do something like 500 days of live courses a year or something.

Speaker5: Yeah, yeah we have.

Speaker3: Yeah, way over 500, is that right? 500 courses per year. I mean from from hands on courses. I mean, Dipesh you kindly helped us out. I think that still remains our biggest ever hands on course. I think we had something like 40 dentists [01:12:00] in the room. You got good value out of Dipesh that day.

Speaker5: Um.

Speaker3: But we do in practice training. That’s super popular. We do all the compliance subjects. We have ski conferences, cycling conferences, hiking conferences. Um, we just actually, we’ve just finished actually, we’ve done our first four national forums. These are our sort of flagship events. And so so far we’re up in Scotland with the Blaine, Cambridge, [01:12:30] Chepstow, and then we’re in Belfast the week before last. And so basically this is a full day study day with a nice meal and a stopover as, as well. And we’ve had Simon Chard lecturing for us on digital, doing a doing an hour and a half session, and he has been absolutely superb. The dental plan audience, because, you know, it’s quite a tough audience. I say it’s, it’s a, you know, for for lecturers, it’s a good rite of passage to, to lecture to them to the dental plan dentists because you, [01:13:00] you know, you’ve got a lot of MSCs in the room, you’ve got a lot of, um, experienced.

Speaker1: Simon’s a talented speaker, talented, very, very talented speaker.

Speaker3: He is very, very polished. Uh, and but it does go beyond way beyond the clinical excellence which he most certainly has. But it’s the whole sort of the, the marketing, the use of social media. It’s the his feedback has been off the scale. It’s been absolutely superb. So so those those. [01:13:30]

Speaker5: Control have.

Speaker1: You got if let’s say you want to come up with a new course in Panama.

Speaker5: Whatever.

Speaker1: Well, like, you know, if you come up with a new idea, who does it? Is it you? Is it are you the last person who has to say yes to things? Or is there this other person who has to like it was the process. What’s the process of if a new idea comes up, how does it work?

Speaker3: It would be really lovely if that was if that.

Speaker5: Was the case. Uh. [01:14:00]

Speaker3: Um, uh, my boss, Catherine Rutland, who’s another, another denplan dentist as as well. So she would be the first person I would, uh, in fact, literally, this actually happened only last week. I’m putting together ideas for the programme for 2023. So I’ve literally sketched out this is for me, this is the ultimate programme of live events and online online training events. And then we literally [01:14:30] just go through the process with regards to funding, budgets, manpower and work outs. Work out what’s, uh, what we’re going to do for the next year. So we try and work kind of a year ahead. We’ve got an events team. The events team are amazing and we do lots of charity events as well, but not sort of CPD involved as well. You know, marathons, high conferences. Our parent company, Simplyhealth sponsored the Great North, uh, sponsored all of the great runs for uh, for a few years. [01:15:00] So, yeah, it’s a sort of because for me, it’s and I’m sure you’ll say exactly the same thing with your courses pay and even with your courses as well. Prav is, for me, some of the best little nuggets of education don’t come when you’re sitting in front of the lecturer. Yeah. They come, they come in the breaks. They come when they’re when you’re when you’re having lunch, when you’re on a ski lift or whatever.

Speaker1: The gin and tonic, man, you know, people underestimate that. It’s [01:15:30] not it’s not the gin and tonic. It’s the different sort of sort of the the barriers of the classroom situation and then the barriers and the real conversations do tend to happen outside of the classroom situation. And for me, you know, the other thing, uh, Luis, uh, the delegates learning from each other.

Speaker5: Totally.

Speaker1: It’s a key point. It’s not just from the teacher, is it? It’s a key point. They’re all going through the same things.

Speaker3: Certainly from a practice management [01:16:00] point of view. And, you know, I was really lucky I got into Denplan quite early. I think it was about 93, although we were mixed for probably 15 years. Yeah, probably about 15 years. It was lucky, I think I went on the first ever Denplan golf conference and, you know, just sat down, you know, my golf never, never been any good. And it never it never it never will be. But I remember sitting down with some of the original Denplan dentists and they were really sort of saying, you know, from a, you know, great tips, you [01:16:30] know, categorise your patients and correctly to begin with, equipment, materials, loads of techniques, loads of courses. Again, you know, I’ll go on one course and, you know, I’ll get a tip to go on a to go on another one. You know, it’s much easier now because obviously they’re all advertised on, on social media, but it was very much a sort of a word of mouth. You know, who are the good speakers? Who are the good mentors? And I was just really, really lucky that in the early, early years of my career, [01:17:00] I just bumped into some just really, really influential people who who transformed my career.

Speaker1: Were you always that funny guy on stage?

Speaker5: Because you.

Speaker1: Are you.

Speaker3: Honestly, this is a fantastic opportunity to go into a Goodfellas moment here and, you know, funny anyhow.

Speaker5: But you call me a funny guy. You’re funny.

Speaker1: You’re [01:17:30] entertaining that entertaining style you’ve got.

Speaker5: I start.

Speaker1: From the first time you lectured, was it like that.

Speaker3: Style over content? I think that is, uh. Um, it is, it is, um. I’ve got a message that I want to get across when I first started lecturing. You know, I watched before I’d started. I’d watch some really good lecturers and and you’d notice the ones who kept people sort of captivated. Trevor would be a really good, uh, [01:18:00] Trevor would be an absolute classic example of that. Because no matter how good you’re how good you, uh, you know, your content is, if people are asleep and I’ve had plenty of people fall asleep in my lectures, they are going to learn nothing. They might, in fact, just digressing from my worst ever. It wasn’t even a heckle in a live lecture. There was, uh, it was, I don’t know, there was an audience of about, I don’t know, about 40 or 40 or something like that. So it was a small it was a small seminar, [01:18:30] and there was a bloke in the front row and, uh, and he came in and he fell asleep almost immediately. And, uh, and so that was a bit I still like introducing myself. I was still I don’t have a long I don’t have a long. I don’t have a long. This is me intro. Uh, but but he fell asleep during that. So then without a word of a lie, I kept going, I kept going, and then he’s. After a while, his phone went off. He [01:19:00] got up. He stood up. The group was in two. It was in two halves. So there was a there was a sort of an alleyway down the middle. He walked up the alleyway. He answered his phone and I don’t know what I don’t know what the conversation. He said, no, I’m in a lecture. No crap. And he walked out and he never came back.

Speaker5: Wow.

Speaker3: So that’s [01:19:30] so that was my worst. Uh, so that was my worst sort of experience. But I think public speaking, I went to I went to a lecture the other day from somebody a similar sort of vein to you, Prav. And it was people’s worst fears. And I think, I think the worst fear this bloke was talking about was I think it was death of a relative, public speaking and then being buried alive. Uh.

Speaker5: Uh, so.

Speaker3: When it, when it comes to public speaking, I don’t, [01:20:00] I don’t, I don’t mind I never, I never have.

Speaker1: Thing is, you pull it off.

Speaker5: You pull it off.

Speaker1: So. Well. Yeah. With with the, with the. I don’t want to call it comedy, but the sort of the humorous side of it. Yeah. Um, and I always think if you’re, if you say something funny, I never, I never try it personally. Because what if, what if no one gets it or no one laughs or. And I find people do laugh in my lectures, but at points where I wasn’t expecting it, it’s so it’s like they’re laughing at me. No, not with me. But but [01:20:30] you pull it off like a master, like a king.

Speaker6: Give us an example, Payman give us an example.

Speaker1: But he just. He can’t help himself from the first moment. Yeah. He’s talking. It’s. He’ll say a self-deprecating joke or something, but the audience will just get behind him straight away, you know? Like. Like what you said. You say, oh, let’s say you can say something about your hair being a bald guy or whatever. Yeah, I’d say it. And the room would be empty. Room would be silent and worried. Yeah, he’ll say it and the room will [01:21:00] be bursting out laughing. Yeah. And it goes on. And it’s not like it’s only a comedy show.

Speaker5: I’m not saying. I’m not saying.

Speaker1: That.

Speaker5: I’m not saying that at all. Not at all. I was just about.

Speaker6: To ask Louis to tell us his favourite joke.

Speaker5: It’s just it’s just it’s just the the content.

Speaker1: The content is, is is punctuated with some entertainment bits here. And, you know, you used to talk about different people, you know, good old Anoop, [01:21:30] bless his soul the way he would do it. I don’t know, Louis just carries it off in a really sort of. For me, effortless is the way I would, I would describe it.

Speaker5: I mean, it’s.

Speaker3: Extremely nice of you to say, and it’s it’s not something. I mean, there’s certainly that edutainment, uh, as my, uh, my, uh, predecessor before Catherine Henry Clover, he was my boss at Denplan. He was the he was the head dental officer. After Roger, he said edutainment, you know, you know, get your get your, [01:22:00] get your, uh, get your content across. But it’s got to be entertaining. Otherwise, you know why? Why is anybody going to, uh, when, when is anybody going to sort of, uh, actually come to your next lecture? But it’s not something that I sort of, sort of script in really. It’s sort of, I don’t know, they sort of, uh, I’m kind of lucky. It’s kind of kind of sort of comes to me. I mean, I went to a school, a pretty rough school in those days. You didn’t have you didn’t have social media, so you had to go to school to be bullied. [01:22:30] So, um, I.

Speaker5: And then it comes.

Speaker3: You you had to be either, you know, really tall, which I wasn’t, or you had to be. You had to be a clown. And so I suppose I learned those skills from school. Uh, my dad was always an entertaining bloke, but perhaps just made me think my my favourite joke. It was, uh, anything that I come out with are [01:23:00] things that that please me are things that I’ve thought of on the spur of the moment. Uh, and, and Dental wise again. Probably to to to boring to relate. But I’ve, I’ve been lucky and I’ve probably because I’m, uh, I don’t mind public speaking. I think I’ve been best man 11 I think it’s 11 times, uh, 10 or 11 times. Um, and for me, my, my best ad lib happened in a best man’s speech. And it was a, it [01:23:30] was quite an awkward environment because the vicar had been drunk during the, during the ceremony. Um, and, you know, it hadn’t gone disastrously wrong. But like everybody, you know, it was it was one of those things. If you put it on telly, you wouldn’t think it was. You wouldn’t think it was believable. So I was just getting nervous because I always do get a little bit nervous before, before, certainly before speaking. And I thought, what am I going to say? I’ve got to kind of refer to it, but how can I refer to it? The vicar wasn’t in the room, but, [01:24:00] uh, fortunately. But, uh, how do I refer to it without sort of embarrassing him and embarrassing everybody else? So I just, I thought how? And so literally just it just came to me. I said, I don’t know about you, ladies and gentlemen, but we’ve had a wonderful wedding today, a fantastic service, and I don’t know about you, but in church today I really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Speaker5: And and for.

Speaker3: Me, that is just, [01:24:30] uh, I enjoyed the fact that I managed to think of something under those sort of, you know, uh, those circumstances and, uh, and, and pull it off.

Speaker6: I’ll tell you my favourite joke. What do you call a man with no shin?

Speaker3: No, Shin.

Speaker5: No. Shin!

Speaker3: No. No idea.

Speaker6: Tony.

Speaker1: Hi.

Speaker5: Nate. That’s my.

Speaker6: Number one. That’s my [01:25:00] number one dad joke.

Speaker5: Hi.

Speaker1: Oxford educated.

Speaker5: Medic joke.

Speaker3: It’s another one for when you go to footlights on a similar sort.

Speaker5: Of, uh, sort of. Here we go. Uh, yeah.

Speaker3: This one always, always makes. Makes me laugh. Is, uh, mangoes into, uh, fish and chip shop and says, uh, fish and chips twice, please. And the bloke says, uh, sorry, I heard you the first time.

Speaker5: Uh. Uh. [01:25:30]

Speaker1: Lewis, out of your different things you do general or done general practice teaching. Have you done some research as well?

Speaker3: Uh, sort of, uh, uh, ad hoc research. I would, I would call it. Um, I started, I started teaching, uh, at Birmingham Dental School in 2003. And I say so we, you know, we had a fantastic faculty, [01:26:00] but as soon as I went on clinic, I realised that the students were asking me questions. I just didn’t know the answers to, you know, how does you know? How does bonding resin work? You know, how to get different colour composites that, you know, just using those, using those as examples. So I really had to sort of go back to school and, and then I was I was equally lucky. Um, at that time, James Davis approached me and asked me to write, uh, write a paper on [01:26:30] posterior composites. And so I spent three months writing a write in a long draft of, uh, of, of this paper on posterior composites, which was my, um, sermon on posterior composites. This is how you do it. And then a sense the I think I probably had to print it out and and take it to, to Adrian Shorthall, who was the head of head of comms. He’s my sort of main sort of mentor. And I gave it to Trevor as well. And [01:27:00] they were very, very polite with me and said, yeah, come, come back, come. We’ll have a read through this, come back, come back in a week and you know, and we’ll give you some advice.

Speaker3: And, and I went back into to Adrian’s office and he said, yeah, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s fine, but you know, but this is, this is going in a peer reviewed publication. Everything that you’ve written is your opinion and you haven’t backed up any of it [01:27:30] with evidence. So he said, to help you out, I’ve printed you out a few things to read, and I can still see it to this day. There was a stack of papers and abstracts. There were over 100 papers on posterior composites. I mean, Adrian always knew the key references and still does. And so for me, I think basically that was a I don’t know whether they were throwing down the gauntlet. I think most normal people would have walked away and said, [01:28:00] right, I’ll, I’ll give up on my academic career. But I read all the papers. I realised what I’d written was just purely an opinion piece. I rewrote it, it took me three three months to write the first draft, six months to write it properly. And then that was the first paper I ever published. In fact, in preparation for this, I actually looked it up. I’ve, I’ve now I’ve got 30 peer reviewed papers and four textbook chapters.

Speaker5: Wow.

Speaker3: And and [01:28:30] those are all those are all written on subjects, quite selfishly, that interest me. You know, posterior composites, anterior composites, clinical photography, caries bonding, amalgam, indirect restorations. So for me the the learning has been my research my postgraduate education. I’ve got well I say in fact I’ve trip myself up there. I used to have no postgraduate qualifications when I put my pen down, and I made a [01:29:00] promise to myself in finals. When I put my pen down that final exam, I promised myself that I would never do another exam and I haven’t. But, uh, in 2022, a colleague of mine, Steve Bonser, who’s a who’s a GDP brilliant bloke, material scientist, he proposed me and Ian Chappell seconded me for a, for a PhDs from Royal College in, in Glasgow. So so so [01:29:30] I have got uh an honorary one. I’ve got a, yeah. Uh, but by accident, not by exam.

Speaker5: That’s nice.

Speaker3: So, uh, so, yeah, I just didn’t want to do any more exams. Um, what.

Speaker5: About, you know, Louis, your.

Speaker1: Your relationship with, uh, manufacturers is is awesome, too. I mean, you seem to know everyone in that side. You know, the trade side as well. How? [01:30:00] You know, for instance, how do you how do you keep a clear head if J and S Davis are paying you or or sponsoring you to, to write about composites, not to sort of get their one as the main one or, you know, how do you keep a good reputation amongst lots of different manufacturers because you really do have a great reputation out there, and how is it that others sort of sometimes fall over on that front? I mean, what’s what’s there? One called Clear Phil?

Speaker5: Careful.

Speaker3: Yeah. Magic [01:30:30] Clearfield magical aesthetic, which is a.

Speaker5: It’s an interesting thing.

Speaker3: Which is an amazing composite. Um, yeah. It’s I mean, so it’s a really good point, but I must admit, without sounding too pious, I do try and sort of keep true to myself. I only talk about things that I use in practice, and I only talk about things that I know work. Because if I don’t, if I talk about a product that I haven’t got faith in, and then somebody buys that product, product [01:31:00] uses that product, and then they don’t get the outcomes with it. Again, nobody’s going to listen to me again. And you know, I’ve been lucky. You know I’ve never been good enough to work properly with uh, with enlightened.

Speaker5: But, uh.

Speaker1: I think you did lecture at the minimalist event, but I can’t call that work.

Speaker5: Are we talking?

Speaker3: We’re talking paid work.

Speaker5: Did you ever get paid? I’m. I’m still.

Speaker3: I’m still waiting. I’m still paid. [01:31:30]

Speaker1: In gin and tonics.

Speaker5: That certainly did. You certainly did. But but but.

Speaker6: He’s got a believe in it first, right.

Speaker5: Yeah. But I mean.

Speaker3: The, the nice thing is that, you know, the companies that I work with, I’m doing quite a bit with opt ident at the moment. I love most almost all of the opt in products. I’ve done a lot of work work with with Kerr. I was really, really lucky that my my kind of, if you like, sort of lecturing career took off when [01:32:00] sort of bulk fill composites came in. So I did a I’ve done a lot of work with Dentsply Sirona over the years, and if if somebody gives me a product that I don’t like, uh, because I’m lucky that I’m on a number of key opinion leader groups. And so, you know, there’s a group of us do get sent stuff, um, before it goes to market to, to test it out. And I love doing that. And it doesn’t take long, does it, for an experienced dentist to know, is it better than what I’ve got before? Is [01:32:30] it worse or is it the same? And then I’m just I’m just totally I’m just totally honest. I would never, ever say anything bad in public or any anywhere else about about a dental product because as you know, you know, there’s millions gone into the investment and I have pulled out of lectures. It’s I remember when I started lecturing one of my colleagues who’d been doing it for a while, and the lecturer said, I said, how long does it take to write a lecture? Because this is taking me hours and hours.

Speaker3: And he said, basically the industry standard for an hour lecture. [01:33:00] You’re looking at about 50 hours of preparation and and development. And to be honest, I’ve never got it down much below that, that 50, that 50 hours. So I can only ever remember it happening once, where I’ve delivered one lecture once and this was on a product. Uh, that’s I started using and, you know, I was really I’m a real early adopter. I like trying out stuff straight away. But then the patients were coming back and it wasn’t really working out as I hoped. So [01:33:30] I had actually had to sort of hat in hand, go back to the manufacturer and say, I’m afraid I’m going to have to pull out of this lecture lecture series because I don’t feel, uh, that, uh, so and again, you know, if you’ve ever seen me do a lecture, I get like way, way, way too excited about dental materials and equipment. I can get excited about matrix bands. Uh, you know, wedges. That’s probably one one [01:34:00] of the worst bonding lessons. Uh, because if I really, really like them, because these these materials are designed to solve problems. Literally the first time I used, uh, enamel was on. Remember the World Aesthetic Congress? Yeah.

Speaker5: Yeah. Um, that’s one of the numbers.

Speaker1: One of the moppers down.

Speaker3: Buddy, buddy buddy and his son. What was his son’s name? Um. Robert.

Speaker5: Robert.

Speaker3: Robert. That’s it. Bob. Mopper. Um, so that that was a real turning point for me. [01:34:30] I can’t remember what year it was, but Buddy Mopper was doing two hours of lectures. Um, and.

Speaker1: Yeah, that was the year we started with Cosmo. Then because we, we brought him over because of that.

Speaker5: Wow. Right.

Speaker1: That would have been 2008. I want to say.

Speaker5: This.

Speaker3: This, this, this, all this, this all fits, uh, fits in nicely then. So. So I don’t know you. Obviously, you were in the room. Um, there were about 8 or 900 dentists in that room. And [01:35:00] Buddy Mop was doing this presentation on composites, anterior composites, posterior composites. And I’ve never seen anybody do it before or since. He had cases up on the screen. And he basically said, what should we do? Do you want to do a posterior? Do you want to do an anterior? And basically his lecture could go off in any direction. Yeah. So now this was in the 90s. So this was in the era where porcelain was king. You couldn’t go on any other courses other than. Porcelain veneer causes. The World Aesthetic Congress [01:35:30] was basically a porcelain veneer course. And so I sat there watching buddy buddy Mopper, and he was showing case after case after case of these amazing composites using using Cosmodome products and, you know, whole tooth build ups, composite veneers, taking crowns off, replacing them with composites. And it was absolutely groundbreaking. But then the thing that got stuck in my head then he said, oh, and here’s [01:36:00] the ten year recall going going back to what you were talking about there. Prav here’s your 15 year recall and thought, wow, this stuff works. But the thing that the thing that really, really, um, stuck in my mind is the lecture was in two parts and there was a break in between. And during the break, everyone went outside and, you know, everyone’s chatting and the you could just hear these people just saying that absolute crap. Worst lecture I’ve ever seen, just, you know, [01:36:30] um, and so when we went back in, there were still hundreds and hundreds of people there, but there were probably about 300 less people. They’d all gone off to a porcelain lecture from somebody else. And one of the first things buddy said when he got back up on the stage was, he said, I won’t try and do his accent. People will say that you can’t do these things with composite. As he said.

Speaker5: Composite.

Speaker3: Composite people will say that you can’t do these things with composite. And [01:37:00] he said they’re right. They can’t. And that, that just literally just stuck in my head that, you know, of course you can do it, but you’ve just got to dedicate yourself to the materials, the bonding, the, you know, the tooth anatomy. And so that that was a real pivotal moment for me because, you know, they were doing stuff like you just, you know, in the States that you just wouldn’t believe, and so much so that basically then I [01:37:30] started using Rhino. I did the hands on course with his, uh, with, uh, Robert, his, uh, Bob, his, his son. And the minute, the minute you sort of polished it, you thought, this is different. This is something that’s better than I’ve ever used before. And so I’ve used enamel on my hands on courses ever since. Um, because, you know, from a polishing point of view, as, you know, as, as dips delegates, it’s one of those things that the, uh, the delegates go away from the course with a nice feeling that they’ve [01:38:00] done something that they.

Speaker5: Yeah, they’ve seen something new.

Speaker3: They never did before, which is, uh, which which is what I tried to do as much as possible.

Speaker5: Crazily.

Speaker1: We’ve been speaking for an hour and 40 minutes now.

Speaker5: Oh, my God, it.

Speaker6: Feels like we haven’t scratched the.

Speaker5: Surface, mate.

Speaker1: We haven’t. Haven’t even said. Who was your first boss. Where did you go from there? Um, we’ve we’ve reached our limit already. Can I have to do a round two?

Speaker5: I’ve got more questions, guys. Gone, gone.

Speaker1: Ask it, ask [01:38:30] it. Well, we got another guy waiting, but there we go. We’ll have to do a part two. We’ll have to do a part two.

Speaker5: Man, there’s a.

Speaker6: Whole bunch about public speaking that I wanted to ask. You were saying you were comfortable, and then you mentioned you get nervous sometimes. And then does that ever go away? And. But there’s so much buzzing around in my head. Right. So we’ll have to come back for round two. But.

Speaker1: Sorry, sorry. Prav I hugged him. Um, so let’s finish. Let’s go with the final questions though. Let’s go with the final. Let’s [01:39:00] start with the fantasy dinner party, one fantasy dinner party, three guests, dead or alive. Who would you pick?

Speaker3: Two. Uh, two alive. Uh, Quentin Tarantino, um, a massive, massive movie fan. Come back. I’ll be happy to talk about movies for for two hours.

Speaker5: Oh, no, I’m not massive movie fan.

Speaker1: Massive, massive Quentin Tarantino fan.

Speaker5: Oh.

Speaker3: Uh, Alex Higgins, the, uh, the ultimate, uh, the ultimate [01:39:30] snooker player who still probably has got one of the best ever sporting quotes in history. And then, uh, the final one, I couldn’t decide either be, uh, Ricky Gervais or Frankie Boyle, uh, because it would be an evening of absolutely zero political correctness, uh, and, uh, talking about films, talking about snooker, talking about the talking about the world, and then a and then a game of snooker and getting drunk. Uh, after after that.

Speaker6: What’s that sporting [01:40:00] quote? Lewis.

Speaker3: But it’s been. I read his autobiography years ago, and this quote has been, um, has been given to lots of other sports people. George Best included. But I think the actual truth is it was Alex Higgins who said it said it the first he was asked in an interview quite late on in his career. You know, he’d made millions, he’d lost millions, and he was he was basically penniless. He was having to be crowdfunded. And he went on an interview, I don’t know, it [01:40:30] might have been Parkinson. Not as good as you two, obviously, but he said in this interview. Over the years. All my millions. You know, when I look back, I spent half my money on booze, drugs and women. The rest are just wasted.

Speaker5: Squandered it. So, yeah, I thought.

Speaker3: It was a great, uh, a great sporting. But. But he was a legend. He was an absolute legend. Yeah.

Speaker5: Yeah. [01:41:00]

Speaker6: And the final question, Lewis. Imagine, um, it was your last day on the planet and you had your loved ones around you. And you had to leave him with three pieces of wisdom. What would they be?

Speaker3: Uh, well, I thought about this in advance as well. Uh, none of them, uh, we’ve talked only about dental and teeth tonight, but you know that that’s only half the equation. You know, we spend a lot of time at work, but it’s all about the rest of [01:41:30] your life. Dentistry gives you the opportunity to have the experiences that you want. So I would say my first advice would be whatever experience it is, whether it is travel, whether it is learning something, whether it’s a new opportunity in business or in practice or in any field of life, don’t wait. Do it. Just get as many experiences as uh as you can and just enjoy, uh, enjoy every day. Uh, the second one is a practical one. This was advice that my dad gave [01:42:00] me. He didn’t actually put a number to it, but he said be, uh, but but I’ll sort of extend on the best bit of advice. Uh, sort of, um, my dad ever gave me, which was be debt free by 40, 100%, debt free by 40, no mortgage, no loans, no car loans. And then I’ll extend that. Live within your means. Uh, you know, I’ve got quite a few friends who’ve got ten watches and, uh, you know, they haven’t even got long arms and.

Speaker5: And, [01:42:30] you know.

Speaker3: Multiple, multiple Ferraris. Uh, so, yeah, just because the minute you mean it coming back exactly to what Prav said at the start, the minute you’re not chasing finances, it’s all gravy. You’re you’re just your job is basically funding. Enjoy your job, but it’s funding the what you do in the rest of your life or the other things you want to do, your family stuff and your relationship stuff. So [01:43:00] yeah, if you can take that financial pressure off as soon as possible, then and obviously in dentistry, it is possible to do that fairly rapidly. And then the final thing would be just just enjoy yourself. You know, I’ve, I’ve got no sort of, um, particular sort of, uh, sort of religious faith. You know, I’m just going to make sure that I enjoy sort of every day, every opportunity, enjoy every day. And if, if you’re not doing something, change direction, that that would be the, uh, that would [01:43:30] be my advice to, you know, I’ve given to my kids, obviously, they’ve just come into that stage where they’ll actually listen to me again. Now, they.

Speaker5: They.

Speaker3: They it wasn’t a protracted period of time when they thought they knew everything already. And and I just didn’t understand. Uh, so, uh, but I think they’ve finally realised now that I probably have got something to, to offer them, but. Yeah. So that would be my advice. Uh, sort of, [01:44:00] uh, experience as much as you can out of life, uh, get rid of the whether it’s debt, whether it’s any other things that are bringing you down and just enjoy every day uh, and, and do, uh, do what you want to do. Whatever whatever is your passion. Whatever drives you do that.

Speaker1: I’ve messaged. I’ve messaged the next, uh, speaker so we can go to your final, final prep, which is good.

Speaker6: The final. Final.

Speaker1: How would you like to be remembered? Oh, of.

Speaker5: Course, [01:44:30] of course.

Speaker6: Louis. Um, if it, uh. Yeah. So how would you like to be remembered if if the following phrase was was said about you? Yeah. Louis was.

Speaker5: Finish the sentence. Here.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker6: How would you how would you spell was.

Speaker5: Would [01:45:00] I? Go on. It’s.

Speaker3: It’s something that’s never really, um, I’ve never really thought about. I’ll have to think about it if you do ever drag me back. But it’s not something that worries me at all. Uh, once I’m gone. Once I’m gone, I’m gone. Uh, I.

Speaker5: Just.

Speaker3: You know, just try and make the most of my my time on earth and, you know, good friends, good family and, you know, working [01:45:30] in an absolutely fantastic profession.

Speaker6: I’ve got one more question for you, Louis. Imagine you had 30 days left. No. Imagine you had a week left. Do whatever the hell you want. You know, you’ve got a week. Um. And you’ve got all your health and no financial constraints. What would you do in that week?

Speaker3: It’s not long enough, I’m afraid. Uh, I mean, it would be something crazy, you know, Keith Moon sort of level, uh.

Speaker1: A [01:46:00] heroic dose.

Speaker5: That’s not long enough. Uh, it’s, uh.

Speaker3: I mean, for me, the, uh, you know, I’m not frightened of. Crikey. This is getting a bit deep. I’m not frightened of, uh, of death at all. But a couple of, I suppose, melodramatic to call them near-death experiences. Uh, but it doesn’t. It’s not something that frightens me at all. It would be. I think it would be what I’d sort of miss out on, um. And seeing the kids grow up. And, [01:46:30] you know, Tarantino said he’s going to direct ten films and he’s on nine at the moment. You know, uh, you know, he’d have to get a I’d probably go. I’d go and visit him and just ask for his screenplay on his, uh, his, uh, currently undirected film. I’d probably give him a few tips, actually, and then I’d be happy to. Happy to pop off. But, uh. Yeah. Not planning on going anywhere, uh, too soon, but. But you never know, do you? I mean, look [01:47:00] at, uh, I mean, I’m 54, you know, a few incidents that have happened recently in the public eye, you know, war. Shane Warne, he was one of my heroes. I’m a massive cricket fan. Uh, this week, Ray Liotta, you know, he’s gonna he’s gonna live forever because of Goodfellas. Uh, back to Goodfellas. But, um, uh, but, yeah, it doesn’t do them any good, does it? Uh, so, uh, so, yeah, just just got to make the most of it. Because you never know when that, uh, when [01:47:30] that number’s coming up.

Speaker1: It’s been a pleasure, buddy. We’ll have to do part two.

Speaker6: 100%, part two.

Speaker1: Yeah, that flew by. I suddenly looked at the time and it was like, wait a minute, we’ve been talking for two hours.

Speaker6: I know, I know, we’ve been talking for a while because my Mrs. has rung me a couple of times telling me my tea’s getting cold.

Speaker1: Thank you so much, buddy.

Speaker4: This is Dental Leaders, [01:48:00] the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts. Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Speaker6: 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.

Speaker1: If you did get some value out of it, think about [01:48:30] 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.

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