Following the sad news of her untimely passing on September 15, 2023, here’s a chance to remind ourselves why Uchenna Okoye was one of the UK dentistry’s most beloved personalities.
Originally broadcast in December 2020, the episode touches on Uchenna’s London Smiling group of clinics and ITV and Channel 4 TV roles for which she will be remembered.
“I don’t understand the jealousy and all that nonsense. There’s enough teeth for everybody.”
- Uchenna Okoye
In This Episode
01.12 – Backstory
05.19 – Race and gender
24.01 – Cosmetic dentistry
26.44 – TV and PR
32.21 – Fitting in
36.21- Patient journey
43.21 – Training
50.31 – Motherhood
55.34 – Day in the life
58.52 – Being strict
01.04.38 – Being a brand
01.14.25 – Legacy
About Dr Uchenna Okoye
Cosmetic dentist was the founder of the London Smiling group of clinics.
She was a frequent contributor to radio and TV, best known for her role on Channel Four’s Ten Years Younger and ITV’s This Morning.
Uchenna passed away on September 15, 2023.
On Monday, we woke up to the awful news that Dr. Uchenna Okoye had been taken away from us so suddenly. Uchenna was a close friend of mine, although I suspect there’s going to be literally thousands of us who feel that way about her. She had a unique humanity about her, a kind person who you’d instantly open up to. One of the most infectious personalities that I’ve ever come across. Her wonderful smile, her laser sharp intellect. I’d always looked forward to having dinner with Uchenna, knowing I’d be laughing all night and I’d be challenged all night as well. When I worked with her, she was such a professional, hardworking, willing to take on new challenges with with substance and style. She was a real trailblazer in so many ways. Her ability to connect with people, her patients, her staff at the brilliant London, smiling and with the whole nation with her regular TV appearances. Couple that with a strong sense of right and wrong and integrity in both her professional and her personal life. As I try to find some comfort from this tragedy, I find myself thinking that even though she was taken way, way too young, unlike so many of us, at least, she really lived. She loved. She laughed. She inspired so many. Her legacy will live on for years and years. She made a real difference to the world. Uchenna leaves a young daughter who she adored. Our thoughts are with her and with the whole family. She had a strong sense of faith, and I’ll know. I know they’ll trust in a bigger plan for her in heaven. As I read the comments and tributes to her on social media, one by Dr. Bediako really strikes me. You are larger than life. You made a mark on this world. Your legacy will live on and will change many lives for generations to come. Gone, but not forgotten. Uchenna, you’re the best. We miss you and we thank you. Dr. Uchenna Okay.
But make it very clear that this is what you’re signing up to. And sometimes people say, Do you actually want me to work here? And I’m like, Yeah, but if you’re going to go to Oxford and Cambridge, you know what you’re up against. You don’t have to come to Oxford and Cambridge. You can go somewhere else. But if you want to join us, it’s not easy. And I know that it’s not easy. So yeah, I don’t know if that made me an evil witch.
Yeah. Yeah, it does. Yeah.
This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
It’s my great pleasure to welcome.
My long time friend, Uchenna Okoye on the podcast. Yu-chien has had a brilliant career in dentistry, one of the most high profile dentists.
In the country right now and for a long time now. Welcome to the show, Uchenna.
Thank you. It’s good to be here. It’s taking you a while. You finally pinned me down, haven’t you?
You’re a busy woman, that’s why. Let’s. Let’s, let’s, let’s just start with, you know, where did you grow up? When did you think you want to be a dentist? Why?
Well, I was born in Nigeria, so I’m the oldest of six. And I grew up there, came over to England when I was about seven. And all I remember is how cold it was. And it’s still cold. I hate the cold. Um, and yeah, I went to school here. I went back to Nigeria for a year when I was about 1011 and then came back to England after that. So yeah, I’ve been here for a long time.
And what brought you back and forth? Um.
We came because my mom is a pharmacist, so she came to do her masters and we were never meant to stay here. So then my dad was like, We were becoming too anglicised. He used to moan that my my brother started talking through his nose. So posh accent. So we went back to boarding school and I went back for a year, kind of went thinking. I grew up on all these Saint Trinian’s and Malory Towers and thought I was going to Swiss boarding school. And instead it was like in the middle of the jungle and snakes and all that kind of stuff, which now was a great experience. Then thought my father hated me. So I went for a year. And it was great though, because it helped keep me, you know, have a real love of Nigeria. So if somebody asks me where I’m from, even though I’ve lived most of my life in England, I’d say Nigeria. That’s kind of where it resonates. And then I got ill and came back just after a year and then never left, really.
What made you become a dentist?
Um, it was a toss up between dentistry and medicine. You know, traditional African family. You could be a lawyer, dentist, accountant, all that kind of stuff. So originally it was going to be medicine because my uncle was a doctor, and then I did a work experience in the hospital and realised that the doctors didn’t do and it was the nurses that did the caring, didn’t like the hospital environment, which I still don’t. And yeah, dentistry is just great and I love it. I love it because, you know, get to be my own boss. I get to be artistic and it’s just the best job. But at the time, you know, when I told my dad that I was going to be a dentist, he was very dismissive. He was like, You’re not, you know, in Nigeria we have great teeth. That’s not a proper job. It’s not a proper doctor kind of thing. But yeah, he was very proud in the end.
What does your dad do?
Oh, I had a wonderful childhood. He’s he’s. He’s passed, unfortunately, quite a while ago now. But he had an ice cream factory.
Was in the ice cream factory. And it’d be like one scoop for me and one scoop for he was way ahead of his time. He was an amazing entrepreneur, and I wish he was alive now because there’s so many questions I’d ask him and I’d say sorry to him because, you know, as kids we’d be like, Why can’t you take a holiday? It’s your factory. You can just take time off, you know, like now I own my own business and I’m like, Now I understand.
And where did you study dentistry?
I went to Guy’s when it was Guy’s, so. Yeah, so the secondary primary school, secondary school went to Guy’s, which wasn’t the best experience. Think Guy’s was fabulous from the perspective of teaching and even now. Well, it used to be that I could tell the difference between the guy’s graduate, you know, the things that we were taught and how we were taught. But I honestly did not like being at uni. So yeah, it is what it is.
There was loads of racism, so I guess you might as well dive straight into that one. Didn’t know if I wanted to be there because obviously the parental thing, you know, my dad’s attitude towards dentistry impacted me quite a bit. So initially my first year was about changing to medicine because that’s what my parents felt was the, you know, the right thing to do. So but, you know, there weren’t many people that looked like me, guys. It was you know, I made friends and it was a great education, but. Uh, guys kind of was. I still remember it, the comments like, um, that, you know, like how you’d have demonstrators and stuff and they’d come and they’d look at my work and they’d be like, Oh, that’s a really good feeling, you chenna for you. So there was always that what I call subtle British, you know, racism type thing. Um, and a few of us had a rough time there, but, you know, it’s part of who we were because in Nigeria we have tribalism, so we have different tribes. So I’m kind of, you know, that happens. And my parents very much just be the best that you can be and nobody cares who you are kind of thing. So it’s just stiff upper lip. So I found the whole Black Lives Matter thing quite interesting. Yeah, Let’s.
Tackle, let’s tackle it because I mean, it was a whole different era as well back then. I mean, we’re kind of similar age, me and you. So I, I think we, I can relate to that idea that, you know, what was acceptable to say back then is different now. But, but, you know, being a Nigerian lady and we’ll get to the lady part as well being a Nigerian lady. Take us from experiences that you’ve had that you would class as race, racist, race related experiences, getting jobs. Has that been an issue, patients walking in and being shocked or whatever? I know people who wear hijabs sometimes say that. They say patient comes in and immediately you can tell and bring it right down to today. Are we saying today it’s all over and there isn’t so much racism and, you know, the whole Black Lives Matter and all that. But give us some give us give us some of your comments about race and in your sort of growth from being a teenager to.
I mean, I guess upbringing has a big role to play in one’s perception of of stuff. So, you know, because okay, like I still my first memory of school in England when I would have been about 7 or 8, you know, like I was really proud of my English because although Nigeria has loads of languages, English is actually our official first language. So we could speak English. And I was being asked to in primary school to, to read a story and the whole class bursting into laughter because of my thick Nigerian accent. So it’s kind of like, you know, from that beginning things or kids, you know, ask me about worms in my hair or, you know, or being called rubber lips, you know, Now patients want me to inject filler so that their lips look like I mean, I mean, I just find the whole thing quite bizarre. Um, so it’s kind of like always there. You’re aware of it, but for me, it’s just you just get on with it, you know? It’s not something that defines me or I spent a lot of time thinking about. And I think for me it was more difficult as well, because you’re a black woman in a, you know, in a very male chauvinistic white world, you know, or whatever. But so, so I get stuff of the woman bit where it’s, Oh, are you the nurse type stuff or, you know, or the letters addressed to Mr. Okoye and all that kind of stuff. The black thing I haven’t had, like a direct spit in your face. You’re black, you know, type experience. I have always known and was always told from day one, you’re black. So you have to work harder, you know? But then my family is and my mother especially is like classic African. Well, why are you second? Why are you not the one that was first? You know what’s so it’s just always been there. And so that’s like.
So what do you think about Black Lives Matter?
I found it really interesting on lots of different ways. Um, I mean, I’m glad that the conversation is being had and it’s long overdue. Um, I found it irritating that a lot of friends were looking to me to kind of almost absolve them or to tell them what they should do, or they’re like, you know, we’re sorry this happened to you and all this kind of stuff. Like, I’m just like, Why are you what what do you want me to say? Or what do you want me to do? Like, and they’re like, Oh, teach us. I’m like, It’s not up to me to teach you. You need to go and find out for yourself kind of thing. So that was. Surmised that on the one hand. I mean, I. You know, I’m glad that they wanted to know and all the rest of it. But it felt, again, that the burden was on me to make them feel better about themselves or to give them the information that they needed to know. I’m like, No, you need to. It’s your turn to live in my world. So that was one. But then the other thing that it did was it made me think about stuff that maybe you just ignore. You know? And I think that’s probably what I found the most uncomfortable, you know, to kind of just sit back and think, oh, all right, there was that time and whatever. But I really didn’t dwell on it. I think I’m glad it’s happened. And I’m one of those people that I’m like, Absolutely. That whole affirmative action thing. I know some people feel that it’s, you know, it’s a bad thing or whatever. It’s not about putting people that can’t do the thing in the in the post. It’s about giving them an opportunity. And as a woman, it’s exactly the same scenario. You know, whether it’s your black or a woman, it’s other people to kind of encourage you and and mentor you. And there’s not enough of that in dentistry.
You really think that we’ve talked about this a few times, me and you, I think in the past some some dinner somewhere. But you really think it’s a lot harder being a woman than a man?
Yeah. You know, it’s good that you’re where you are and I’m where I am because, of course it is. And to be slapping you about the face, of course.
But listen, is it harder being a black woman or a black man? I’d rather be a black woman.
Because I’m not going to get the cops stopping me and thinking I’m a criminal every five minutes.
That is true. That is true. I definitely agree with you that. But then there comes another baggage you have to carry.
Where I’m making an example, an example of where it is advantageous to be a woman over being a man. I’m not I’m not I’m not pivoting my whole argument on that. What I’m saying is there are advantages to being a man, advantages to being a woman. When you say it’s harder to be a woman than a man. Let’s go to dentistry. Let’s go to dentistry. Go on.
Tell me why it’s harder to be a woman. I think, by the.
Way, by the way, by the way, outside of child care. Yeah, because that’s obvious. Yeah.
No, that’s. You can’t say out. You can’t just take the child care thing out. That’s.
Oh, oh, okay. Okay.
That’s a huge thing because the guys should be involved in the child care as well. Nobody asks that dude. Oh, who’s looking after the kids here whilst you’re in your work and all that nonsense?
My point my point is, if we just crop children out of the equation. Yeah, yeah, children out of the equation. Because obviously you have to take to have a child, you have to have maternity, you have to look after kids. And kids tend to, you know, a lot of them tend to to, to look to their mother and all of that. But I’m saying just let’s just say let’s leave childcare out of it in terms of career progression, just as a man, dentist, as a woman, dentist, where are the problems?
Number one, you can’t leave children out of it. So sorry, can’t agree there at all.
But let’s say before you have children, like, you know, if you’re 25 year old who’s never had children, you’re a guy or a girl. There’s no there’s no children.
So they still because I think as a woman, you generally think a lot of the things that women are really good at is not what’s the word? Don’t think.
Yeah, like like women we’re into we’re nurturers. We we’re team builders. You know, if I’m if I’m in a room and we’re discussing a problem, my natural thing is to ask everybody and get everybody involved and all that kind of stuff. And that’s not something that is, um, I don’t know if encouraged is the right word or admired or whatever. It’s the bloke that doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about, but opens his mouth first and shouts out whatever is then perceived to be like, Oh yeah, he’s, you know, he’s, um. He’s got something to say and he’s, he’s making a contribution. Whereas women, we tend to sit back and we tend to be much more inclusive and want to try and involve people. So think that can create a problem and think like in dentistry. So how can you have a profession where the majority of, you know, even if you start even at my time in dentistry, it’s 50% women, you know, now it’s probably more women are the key elements that’s going to keep things going. But you don’t see women up there on the podium like you’re one of the few people that you know. Like when I kind of did a couple of things with you and it tends to be more, you know, you tend to have a few women smattered in there, but a lot of times the women aren’t there, but don’t think it’s necessarily because it’s just like not being aware. It’s like the Black Lives Matter thing, you know? It’s just not even.
Listen, I’ve been it’s been levelled at me. I think Bertie was the one who said it to me. We had a conference, The minimalist. I spoke, Prav spoke, and there was nine speakers and there was only one woman amongst them. And I hadn’t really thought about it, you know, I wasn’t really thinking about that question. And Bertie said to me, You should have had half and half. And I thought I found it a bit difficult, you know, because I wanted to make the best conference I could make. And I was thinking, Oh, I want someone from orthodontics. And it was minimally invasive. Someone from orthodontics, someone from Crown and Bridge, someone from whitening marketing person. I’m thinking, who are the best people I know for it rather than, you know, trying to find a woman. So there’s that. But but the other thing is that and I’ve discussed this before as well, is that if you really cared about women in dentistry, wouldn’t you look at nurses, hygienists, receptionists, they get a really rough deal in dentistry. Yeah, they’re the ones. Me Yeah. The fact that you all right. You’re not seeing dentists on the podium. That’s. That’s not the big issue about women in dentistry. The big issue about women in dentistry is that that group, the ones I said the Dcp’s are overwhelmingly women. Yeah. And their career prospects, what happens to them the way they talk down to by their bosses, all of that stuff? Yeah, that’s the real problem with women in dentistry.
No, don’t, don’t what you’re talking about, mate.
Really? Go on the hygienist forum. See what the way some hygienists are treated by their bosses.
Yeah, but. But that’s just think it has to start from the top because part of the thing of having more women like on the podium one is that from an inspiring perspective but to, to reflect the reality of the profession, you know, even within dentistry dental school. So I mean it’s a slightly off the cuff relevance this but had I had this fallout with quite a well known journalist, you know, from from a national magazine where we were talking about I was like flipping through the magazine one day, stick with me. There is relevance to this. And I was just like suddenly thought nobody in this magazine that looks like me, like like I get this magazine all the time and I love it and I love the articles and all the rest of it. I’m like and I just, like, flicked through the whole thing. Where am I? And they were like about to adverts or something that had somebody with colour. And so I knew her and it was like about midnight. I must have been quite grumpy or something. So I sent her an email, a message. I’m like, and she replied, And so we got into this altercation. I mean, we’re friends where she was like, I can’t believe you’re trying to say that I’m racist. You know? I’m like, I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying I’m going through your magazine. I can’t see anybody that looks like me.
What was it, fashion magazine or something?
It was like a Sunday magazine type thing, you know, like style, style or whatever. Yeah. And so she was so affronted that she went to all the trouble of getting all the magazines, sending me a PowerPoint of all the things that had pictures or articles of people of black people. And so I smiled. I’m like, Yeah, there’s Beyonce here, there’s Will Smith, there’s whatever. I’m like, That’s so great. But I’m talking about people like me. I’m talking about doctors, dentists. And then that particular week it was interesting that there was a feature about lipsticks and they put lipsticks on. It was like a whole page of different lips, and there was not a single black brown lip there. Like there was just nothing. So I’m like, it’s about this. It’s about the fact that nobody has thought about this, that I’m not representing. I know that you’re all wonderful or whatever. You’re just going for that which you know, and that which you’re around. So you obviously don’t hang around with enough fabulous women that when you put on your lecture, they didn’t even occur to you. Or maybe if you’d hung around them more, you’d know it was more of an issue. And you like I do get it.
I’m not rejecting it outright. I do get it. I know.
You do. I know you’re right. That’s why I love you.
I do get it. But what I’m what I’m saying is, is that, you know, I couldn’t find the best people. That was that was my primary.
That’s a load of rubbish. No, no, no. Sorry.
No, no. Didn’t engage even the best men. Yeah.
No, you didn’t look hard enough.
I look. I look.
No, no. You just went to your buddies that you knew. Hey, can you, like, you know, the guys that you hang out with or the rest of the of, you know, And this happens so, so many times. And I will. No, I won’t. So.
No, go ahead.
Go ahead. Go for it. Go for it.
We’ll cut it out. Go on.
I will go there with, for example, you did ask me before about BPD and they’re doing job and all the rest and I’m not going to go into it. But that’s a classic one of what you’ve just said. So this group of great guys who I know, most of them like nobody, you know, that picture, that picture where there was all these men that they’d had their conference when the organisation first set up. And I’m just like, There is not one single woman and none of them saw that. Like, and then you ask like, what the hell happened? And it was like, Yeah, you know, we’re all buddies. We all hang out together. And some of us just thought, Hey guys. And we just happened to have this conference call and nobody there was thinking about it at all. So that’s why the conversation needs to be had, because if you have a you know, it’s scientifically proven that a, that an organisation that’s got that diversity is so much better, it’s so much more effective, it just functions better, you know, than just people that are all. Yeah. Anyway, so that’s all I’m going to say about that. But so that’s why and even when you’re talking about the thing about, um, you know, the dcp’s or hygienists or whatever, it’s again having the women there that will bring their problems to the front, to the first, so to speak. So I don’t know if it’s Facebook or what’s her name, the, the woman that’s, uh, Brains. Brains gone, huh?
The woman that what?
Oh, what’s her name?
The woman. The what? What does she do? I’ll tell. You know.
Isn’t it. Is she one? The CEO is the Facebook now. It’s not Arianna.
It’s the one that came from Google. Yeah.
Anyway, huh? Was talking about the fact of it wasn’t until she got she got pregnant because she suddenly realised that there was no parking, like she had to park for miles to waddle to wherever she needed to be. And so she was it was something that affected her. None of the guys had thought about it. None of them had had. It wasn’t there at all. And so that affected a change because she was there and she had Cheryl. Cheryl something about.
Sheryl Sandberg, thank you. Yeah, she’s she’s one of the people that would love to sit and have a coffee with.
Definitely. Definitely. When did you start stop becoming just a regular, you know, general dentist and look to cosmetic dentistry because that’s definitely what you’re known for.
Yeah, I mean, I still consider myself a regular dentist. I’m a regular dentist. That just happens to be on TV. It’s not. It’s not. I didn’t go seeking to be doing what I’m doing. I think I got involved with cosmetics because, one, I’m a dental phobic, you know, I’m afraid if I had some really bad experiences and going to Aacd and I can’t remember how I got to Aacd the first time and it just totally blew my mind. It just opened me up to a whole world that I wasn’t even aware of. And that kind of started my my journey. And I started out with quite a lot of people. It’s like sometimes it’s a thing that dentists do that get really cross with people that behave as if they’ve always known what they know. Now, you know, they forget what it was like to know nothing. You know, like there was a time I didn’t know what a zenith was. And sometimes I’ll see some well known people putting other people down. I’m like, I was on the same course as you when you didn’t know any of this as well. So you need to be kind. You need to be kind to each other. And so yeah, that kind of started the journey and I’ve just loved it.
And I’ve always gone to America because I find it’s more forgiving. Um, more. I’m not a dentist. Dentist, as you probably you have told me many times before. And in fact, like I was saying to one of my team that if you had a year book guys, I’d probably be the person that people would say least likely to succeed. And um, they’re they are quite amazed, I’m told, apparently with my success which is, which is a bit irritating, but a part of me is like, no, no, no, no, no. But it is. I was always, you know, like I was a nerd at dental school. I was, you know, like I was like a mr. Bean kind of dental surgeon. Like if you’re disclosing somebody’s teeth, I would be the person that would drop the disclosing tablet on the patient’s white shirt. You know, that that that was me. So I have a lot of affinity and empathy for people that don’t know what they’re doing, that kind of that whole imposter syndrome thing. It’s always something that I always kind of struggle with. I’m told it keeps me humble, so that’s good.
It. Definitely humble, considering everything you’ve achieved, that’s for sure. But how did the thing happen?
Just busy minding my business, doing what I do, and they just approach me. It wasn’t because I was sleeping with a producer, as one very well known dentist told me.
Is that is that the kind of thing you mean about women? Yeah.
I mean, like, who would go and ask a guy that kind of ridiculous question, You know, like, um. So just they just came one day and they said, why are you.
I mean, did you have a PR working for you at the time? Why are you I mean, they could have gone to anyone.
No, I think there was stuff in in press about me. Okay. Um, so I started off, I had a I had like a part time PR person because I have her. Then I don’t think she was with me then.
You were very strong.
On your own PR, weren’t you? Because. Because we’re the practices are the very near sort of journalistic centres and you’ve always thought was always surprised me, is how strong you are at PR yourself without using professionals. I mean, it’s almost like you treat these people, isn’t it? That’s that’s the the rest of us have to get PR people to bring these journalists in. You mean you’re just their dentist? Yeah.
So it’s it’s the thing that I say to people, especially now in this whole Instagram era where don’t do the work for the picture or for the PR or for the article, do it because it’s the right thing to do. So when the reasons that I have a lot of journalists and people at my practice is because they might come, you know, like I had one Hannah who came for a whitening feature for I think it was The Telegraph, and she’d had whitening before, like about three years ago by another dentist who I knew. And she was like quite nervous. And she was like, it was so painful before. And I’m like, This woman had so much recession. Like it would have been like pouring acid in a wound. I don’t understand how anybody could, honestly. But but this person, the remit is do whitening one hour of my time or whatever and have articles. So instead I did buckle composites everywhere, sealed everything off. She was like, Oh my God. So this is what people that don’t suffer with sensitivity. This is how teeth are meant to feel. Then did the whitening. It was only the whitening that appeared on the article. But that’s okay. And I didn’t charge her for the bonding because it’s a PR thing. But that’s the right thing to do. You know.
Use the right whitening system for that.
You hadn’t come along then and that’s why they all stay, you know, and that’s why even though they might do an article, then they come back and, you know, and so like with the ten years younger, they just came, they came, they looked at they spoke to patients, they looked at pictures I’d done, they did a screen video thing, etcetera. And then they just turned around and said, would you like, you know, we really want you to do it? And I’m like, Yeah, sure. So is it going to be both of us? Yeah, Because at that time Surinder was also doing it and they were like, No, no, no, it’s just you. So I was a bit they came to me saying that they were going to change the format for it to be a magazine style. So I thought they were going to they were. And I know that they were talking to different dentists at the time.
For a while there you were the most famous dentists in the country. Definitely. When, you know, before it was kind of before the Internet properly took off. Right. How famous were you? Did you used to get recognised? I remember once we were having dinner and someone recognised you.
But wasn’t very.
Good famous person, whatever that means. I’m just even with the show, you know, it’s um, I could have done it smarter or if I was more millennial, but I would do the dentistry, you know, And so like, you know, there’d be somebody and I’m like, But she’s a stable hand. I know she’s having bright bleach. Shades isn’t going to work for her. She’s just going to stick out like a sore thumb, making sure that she can manage it afterwards. To me, the people is is key. So I was so busy doing all the dentistry. I mean, I think I’ve told you that story about the guy, you know, me coming out of the station. It was so funny. It was like on a Sunday morning and, you know, look rough, man. I’m like, real kind of like Sunday, rough stuff on. And he was like, Aren’t you? Aren’t you? He’s like, Aren’t you that dentist from the show from ten years ago? And he actually goes, You look rough, man. Can’t you afford a car? He’s like, Thought you’d be like, you’d be like a proper like you’d be in a BMW or something. It was so embarrassing. It was just. But for me, that meant that I even now, I don’t consider myself famous or I find the whole.
You get recognised quite a lot.
Not now because the show hasn’t been.
Yeah, but back then you used to.
But. I do get recognised because this, you know, it’s easy to recognise me as the black woman. There are not many kind of that. So I’ve learned to just smile at everybody. So yeah. But it’s, you know, I feel very blessed to, to be doing what I love doing. So yeah, but it’s not easy. You know.
The one thing about you, though, over the years gathered here is that you’re not interested in fitting in. So when you say you were the oddball, whatever, in dental school, just for the sake of the argument used to say to me, I’m never going to use website people that dentists use. You’d always look outside of dentistry, your practice. I remember when when I came there, everyone’s talking about guests. No one’s talking about patients. And and I remember you saying you recruit from outside dentistry and it’s kind of fashionable now. But you were talking about this 15 years ago. You used to say, you know, you used to recruit from hotels or wherever it was. Give me a little sort of first of all, why did you do that? Does it work well for you? But secondly, why are you that cat that’s trying to be different?
But don’t think I’m not trying to be different. You know, I’m not kind of purposely trying to be an outlier, as they say. I mean, like I kind of say to people, I’m incredibly shy, as I told you, and everybody just laughs. But actually, I really am. So to be one of the worst things anyone could ask me to do is walk into a room that people I don’t. I’ll just find the one person and stick to them like a leech. And so I but then I will notice people that are uncomfortable and I will force myself to overcome whatever to try and make them feel better, if that makes sense. Yeah. So I think that’s part of kind of what drives how I am in in practice and which is why most people assume I always find it so weird where people who have never met me just have these preconceived ideas, you know, have people that are friends now that they were like, Oh, we just heard or we assume that you have an attitude or that you’re really aloof and you, you know, you don’t hang out with. And I’m just like, But why? Why, why would you say that? But it is what it is. So I like the non Dental thing because because dentistry now is as you said, but before it never used to be about customer service, so had to go outside of dentistry in the UK. Yeah. To get that kind of you were.
Definitely one of the.
You were definitely one of the first that was looking at it directly from the customer perspective. You know, I certainly felt that when you everything about your practice, the the from the morning huddle to the decorations to the way he talks about your patients was was very much patient focussed, which is, as I say, very, very fashionable now. But but you were ahead of the game on that. Was that sort of partly to do with the phobia and you know, like some people get into dentistry and forget what it was like not to be a dentist and then there’s others and I can see, you know, people like Rona now charges another one that I’m very interested who completely want to take it the other way and just talk to the public and and sort of demystify. But you would definitely want the first who did that. Yeah. And you still do, I guess.
Yeah. I mean, for me, it’s I’m interested in people, so it’s always about the people and I’ll be the first one to be like, there are so many dentists with much better hands than me that I’m like, I can only aspire to do the kind of work that they do. You know me. I’m kind of like, you know, I don’t do good work and I invest a lot in courses. I know my limitations, but I’ve always been about the people. So it’s about making people feel good about themselves, making them be the best that they can be.
So in terms of just talk me through your patient journey, I’m a patient walking into your practice for the first time and just talk me through the entire experience from walking through your door to actually having a conversation consultation with you. What’s your consultation process?
Gosh, I’m still trying to redefine it in the Covid era. You know, I’m I’m actually struggling with it because I’m a hugger and a kisser. So let’s go.
Let’s go pre-COVID. What would happen.
Pre-covid would be schedule the appointment. And, you know, I’m guess I’m quite blessed that most people coming to see me know it’s, you know, it’s going to be an investment and they are looking for me or, you know, they’re asking for me. So they’d kind of come in. They come to reception. You know, we have a you know, by all the forms they’ve got, you know, what kind of lip balm they want and all that kind of stuff that I’ve learned from. So everywhere I go on holiday, I always hang out with the HR people, so, you know, Ritz Carlton and all the rest of it. And I pick little bits that will work. I’m always thinking about what will work when I come home. So we have that, the service menu, then the I’m always the one that comes and meets them, brings them in. We sit at a desk in my surgery. I don’t have a big posh space. You know, my my surgery is from Ikea, that kind of thing. I’m a proper Igbo girl. Um, so we sit on one side, talk about how can I help you? What’s going on? Just kind of that. That engagement.
What do you do to cater towards Phobics? Because you mentioned earlier on that obviously you you had a bad experience earlier on in your life and you were a phobic. Do you cater to their needs? Is there anything different that you do to sort of help people who are nervous about dentistry?
I think just just be interested. You know, all that old adage of nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Is that just literally being interested? I’m so interested. Like, you know, I have friends that will be like, I’ve known this person for ten years and you found out in five minutes more about them than I have because I genuinely love to find out about people. So once with the trust, I mean, they love the fact that I’m a phobic, So that’s always a good thing. And so and I address that right from the onset, you know, you’re in. So I always say when when I finished talking, we go to the chair and I’m like, you know, I’m going to do this. You’re in control. If I’m wittering on, you want me to stop, you just let me know and all that kind of stuff. And then I’m just always, yeah, okay, let me know. You know, it’s just like it’s a two way. And so for most of the time, just that in itself is enough. I’ve never had I mean, I had one woman that it took us about six weeks to get her up the stairs. So like each appointment, she’d go up two steps. So she got to the top. It’s very rare. I’d say that maybe 2 or 3 people that we need to do sedation or anything like that. But for most patients, gisla appointments longer and just it’s just time. I mean, we’ve got the DVD glasses and iPhones and all that stuff for them to listen to music that that helps. So finish talking, sit them in the chair, do all the normal, you know, stuff that one would do, take pictures. Then we go back to the, you know, the side table, show them their pictures, talk about what I see, what they see, and then do a treatment plan.
There And then or do you do it at a different time?
The treatment plan. Yeah. No, I get them. What I always try and do is find something small to bring them back with. So if it’s that they’re coming back for the hygienist and maybe I’ll do one filling and then I’ll give them the treatment plan, then if it’s something really straight, you know, like if it’s, Hey, I know that this is going to be a smile or whatever, and I will, you know, give them the fee for maybe doing the articulated models or something, and then they’ll come back for that. And then I give them the plan.
What kind of touring plans are you doing? I mean, in terms of value? Are you sort of hitting the 20, 30 grand numbers?
And some people just completely shocked by that. You know, like what I mean by that is there’s a lot of people who don’t know. You could spend 30 grand on your teeth.
Yeah, I had somebody today, actually, and this is. And I was so angry. In fact, I was going to do a video about it where this woman had juvenile periodontitis. She’s been wearing a partial denture since she was 21. She’s head downcast, doesn’t smile, saw me on the show, wants to come and see what can be done. She’s lost her job. She’s an office worker. You know, She hasn’t got a lot of money. And I’m just like, But has nobody, you know, talked to you about implants? She was like, no, she has tried inquiring with her dentist, but he kind of said that it was really expensive and she shouldn’t bother, you know, And she’s just, you know, she’s divorced and she’s just hasn’t had a new relationship because she doesn’t want to have to address that thing. So then she’s like, how much is it going to be? What do you think? And I’m like, well, I mean, I use the analogy of a car, you know, if because she had no idea. And I said, you know, if I told you it’s going to be like a car. And she kind of looked at me in shock and I said, you should ask me what kind of car. We had to laugh about that. And then I said, you know, if it’s going to be 25, £30,000. And she was like, oh, my God, you know, I don’t have that. How can I? And then I said to her, Look, even the so-called celebs, nobody has money. I don’t have that money. Everybody uses finance, you know? And she was like, Oh, I can do finance, Really? And the conversation just changed. I mean, I guess that comes with confidence. But to me, I was angry on her behalf at this person that judged no.
One had ever told her anything.
Yeah, no one told her. So she’s going to go ahead and have treatment. I mean, I’ll be referring her. So it’s not that I’m keeping the money or anything like that, but I’m just like, Oh my God, you’ve been wearing a denture since you were 21. And and I guess that’s part of the thing of the passion. And I’m like, If you were my sister, you have, you have outside, you have to have implants. You can’t I’m not going to make you a new denture. You have to like and she’s going to do that because that’s just the best thing for her, really. It make such a difference to her life.
You’ve done a lot of the spear.
Yeah. Love Spear.
So tell us about that. I mean, if I’m a young dentist who wants to be like you, is it a good idea? How soon and how quick and how much?
I mean, all.
The speed courses, like the workshops are about $10,000 each. The thing that I was. Yeah, yeah. And the thing I will say because I still remember, because I started with Larry. Yeah. I’m part of the.
Larry Me too.
Biz I love.
That’s where the car thing comes from.
And so, you know, honestly, I remember paying for this not with my credit cards, not knowing if the card would work or not. You know, that kind of thing. So a lot of people and this is you know, and I have to say, this is this is me. I’m not saying this is what other people should do. You know, I admire people that sit there and they work on a plan and they save up. And that is like seriously the best thing to do. But I didn’t want to wait. Like I just had this thirst for knowledge. So I did all my things in America. You know, I didn’t want to be in England because he was there and it was a totally different experience. So I kind of did that. I did all of Pete Dawson’s stuff. I did the whole thing up to Masters and then Frank. Oh my God, He is just amazing, like. Teaching occlusion. So that, you know, literally is like, yeah, there’s just these dots here. And if you get the dots around here, then you occlusion sucks. I mean, no, I’m exaggerating, but it was really there. And Scottsdale is an amazing facility and every time I just love it. And it’s Gary Dewood and it’s just such a great.
Because I’ve I don’t know anything about it. I mean, I’ve spoken to people who do it, but I’ve never been there. I’ve seen pictures. Yeah, but how do they keep keep people coming back and spending another ten grand? I mean, like, is it the quality of the teaching is like, so amazing that the penny drops and you’re like, I have. I need more.
Yeah, absolutely. Because even me, like, I’ve been doing spear for ten years, more than ten years, like, you know, maybe 12, 14 and it’s just like and I’m still spending ten K on new courses that are evolving. And it’s a combination. It’s, it’s a safe space to learn. It’s a great place to be away and to learn the quality of the education. I mean, course, I know that there are people like Schmidt that loves course and I’ve never actually heard him, but both Course and Spear used to work together and, you know, like lots of boys, you all go and fight with each other and and things happen. But it just means that there’s even more choice for for people. So I would say to somebody, you know, hone your craft, like do your dentistry at least two, three years before you start jumping into all these courses and all the stuff. Because you I remember actually, I think it was about a year or two years after dental school. I did the Mike Wise course.
Oh, well done.
The year. Well, it was a waste of time and money. Didn’t know what the hell. I didn’t know what they were talking about.
Like another planet. Yeah.
It was. It was just like and was the course at the same time as core, I think. And it was like way I mean, it was good because it started me on that journey, but I’m like, I’d have gotten more out of it if I’d waited a little, you know, done a couple of years of things failing.
And so how much how much of your work is the simple sort of lime bleach bond type? How much of it is, you know, porcelain aesthetics and then how much of it is the sort of full mouth rehab sort of, you know, that that kind of work?
See, I so desperately want to do a lime bleach and bond. I was just like, it would be so much better for my back. Um, but, but I was saying to somebody that my niche is kind of like middle aged menopausal women like myself, so their mouths are complicated. So it’s all multidisciplinary, you know? So if I’m doing all my Invisalign is comprehensive, it’s, it’s part of implants. It’s part of whatever else.
Do you place.
Well? Oh, God, no.
I hate implants. Oh, Meccano. No, no, I said I said the implants out. Um, all right. Fillings. I do, Yeah. So various people each time I keep thinking I should get somebody in-house, but I quite like it being somebody else’s problem. So bread and butter dentistry for me generally tends to be part of bigger treatments, you know? So I’m still doing the fillings and all the rest of it, although at the moment I’m probably thinking of getting an associate so that I can have somebody a day or two a week so I can do because all the plans take so long to do.
How would you handle the fact that people want to see you and they don’t want to see your associates? I mean, how many practices are you on now?
With three at one.
Point. Right. Yeah.
But that one that. So the Harley Street one is kind of like the best day of my week. I just sit there and chat to people like it’s.
So you’ve got associates. I remember. Yeah. Jasmine used to work for you as well. Yeah.
How how did you get around that issue of people who want to be seen by you? Do they are you able to sort of deflect them into associates or is that not.
No, it’s fine. So I did a thing which I learned from I think it was Frank. I don’t know if it was Frank or Gary where. So all you guess initially. I see. First, because what I was finding was, you know, like maybe they were having routine treatment, then I might see them for something and then I’d be like, Oh, have you thought about having braces? And then it’s like, Oh, really? And then, you know, it’s that kind of thing. Whereas like, I guess have the confidence to do that. So it became a thing and I learned it from somebody. I didn’t think of it. So everybody walks in and I see them and then I’m like, okay, you’re going to go and see this person or you’re going to go and do that and it’s fine. And I think for me, it’s. They don’t know any better. It’s a matter of fact. It’s like, this is how we do it here. And they trust me. So they’re they’re okay with it as long as it’s in house. They don’t like going out, which sometimes can be a problem. They want to just stay in because then it means that, you know.
There’s the price. The same if you do a veneer and if one of your associates does a veneer, the price is the same.
Yeah, I don’t do the two tier thing. We’re the same.
I like that. So now you single mum.
Tell us that story.
That’s actually the hardest thing that I’m doing right now. And maybe if I was a mum earlier, I don’t know, it would have been okay. But I’m. I’m a late mum. Not by choice. It didn’t, you know, you kind of assume it’s going to work and it didn’t. But she’s also she’s the best thing ever. And, um, but it’s hard. It’s hard because you’re constantly juggling. You don’t. You just don’t switch off. You’re here. You’re there. You’re trying to. I still remember this is. This is funny. So we were filming. And it was like, you know, in the middle of filming. And so I have to have my phone with me because I don’t know what’s happening with her and something happened with the nanny. So I’m seeing the person. The camera’s there. The phone’s here. I’m texting, trying to find another babysitter. In the end, I had to, like, say, look, you know, you guys need to down tools and they had to bring her to the surgery. And then the babysitter came and took her home because we were running late. And it was just so that’s just the nature of of how things are. And it’s nice now because I think people are more forgiving. You know, so like one of my first ever mentors, Linda Greenwald, I know you’ve had Linda and she’s so inspiring and I still remember her kind of she opened her practice and, you know, like a few days after she’d given birth and the kids were there. And, you know, that’s like way ahead of her time. Like, that can happen now. But in those days, that just, you know.
She’s a superwoman, you know.
Four kids and then and then everything else she does. But, you know, tell me about being a single mom. I mean, that it must be difficult, right? So you must rely heavily on nannies and the like.
It’s it’s hard. And some days you just think, what’s the point where, you know, So like, we just finished filming and for a week I didn’t see her. Wow. And I would leave, you know, like six in the morning and I’d get back and she’d be asleep. And so it was quite off putting finally, actually on the Saturday of that week when she comes in, because what I used to do was I’d leave a note and a present and she was really disappointed that I was there. Oh today mummy.
But it’s trying to be, you know, there’s, I think that’s one of the thing when you talk about women men type thing is, is it’s a feeling of guilt. Like I feel like I carry, I’m guilty of stuff all the time, you know, like patients are hounding me because I haven’t done their treatment plan or I’m supposed to do appraisals or something with team or, you know, the other day there was something I was supposed to put in her in her school bag, but I forgot about. So I’m like, I failed there or the school gate and she’s refusing to go to school. So now I’m like, they’re all judging me because I don’t drop her off enough here. And that’s why she’s clinging to me like a limpet and she won’t go. But the nice thing about doing it as a late mum is that there isn’t anything else I’d rather be doing, you know? Like, Yeah, kind of. It’s just she’s. She’s amazing. She’s. She’s, she’s my world. And because she was chosen. So I call her. She, she calls me. I’m her heart mummy because she was adopted. Yeah. That makes it all. Every time I want to moan to my two friends, they’re like, you know, you chose this, you wanted this, enjoy it.
So I’m trying to, but it’s. It’s the most rewarding thing. So. Yeah. Love it. Yeah. Love my life, love everything I’m doing. I mean, I think it’s hard. It’s so hard. Like, there’s some days that you’re just like, you know, what’s. What’s the point of this? There’s only one of me, but there isn’t anything that I would. I would drop. I just feel beyond beyond blessed. It is hard work and it’s constant. And and, you know, sometimes people say things like, you’re so lucky. Like there were days I remember the early days that I would literally I’m not kidding like sleep in the surgery, you know, it’d be like 2:00 in the morning and there’s no point going home. And I would have a shower here, give me my secrets now. And you just, like, wished I had a flat upstairs because you just so much work to do and all that kind of stuff. And you just get on. You just do what you have to do. But that’s, that’s kind of just I’ve always had that kind of work ethic. You you just have to do what you have to do.
What’s a typical day for you? You know, a day in the life? What time do you wake up? How does it all start?
Um, are you at work?
Yeah. Typical day. Normally wake up about five. So if I’m asleep at around 6:00, like, that’s a lie in and I feel behind. So I wake up. I’m a Christian, so I pray. I try and stretch because my back is having issues. And if. If I’m lucky, I can do all that. If I’m unlucky, a little person comes in like she’s an early bird, so she normally wakes up between 530 and 6 as well. So right at the moment we would spend about half an hour together. So she, she’d be reading or I’d be reading to her. She generally just wants to watch something, but don’t let her. And then I will leave the practice, leave home about seven, 7:15. Come to the practice. I’d like to have the first hour for myself. So to just catch up on stuff and determine what does.
The nanny come in at that point or does she live with you.
Know, she you know, Covid has made me more resilient because before that, I’m like, I don’t want anybody living with me and all the rest of it. And then I used to come in, but me and a four year old for all those months, I’m sorry, it was hell. I cannot lie. I’m like, it was just so hard. And because she was so little, she wouldn’t leave me alone. Like there was, you know, all these people having all these conference calls and all the things, you know, I didn’t get to do any of that at all. I just like, I was so jealous. So she she’s she lives with she’s in there with me. So that’s really helped. Yeah. Um, so I leave. I come here, we have a morning huddle. Um, normally the team would have sent me the night before, like we do what’s called a day list. So my nurses write, like, have a list of things, you know, the occupation, What happened the last time they came in, what they’re coming in for today. Any problems? So I read first beforehand and then we have a morning huddle and then the day starts and it just each day is kind of different sometimes.
What time do.
You get home again?
I try and get home by now. I try and get home by 630. So my job is to you know, it’s funny how I’ve changed. I used to be like, I have to get home in time to give her her bath, but that’s actually really boring and I’m tired. So now the nanny does the bath and I read the stories and put her to bed and then collapse.
What time do you go to bed?
Um, usually about midnight.
Yeah, every day.
My dad’s growing up. I’ve always done that. My dad used to say sleep was practising death.
Yeah, I agree.
So you have eternity to sleep. So we’ve always, like, in my house growing up, no matter what time you went to bed, 6 a.m., morning prayers. Everybody’s dressed, seated around for breakfast kind of thing. So, um, friends didn’t like coming to my house.
One other question. I’ve always maintained your particularly strong on marketing and you always claim you’re not and all that, but. But you certainly, I mean, in the print age and the TV and print age, you dominated I mean, absolutely dominated. You really were maybe the highest profile dentist in the country. Now that we’re in the Internet age and the social media age and we can see all these youngsters kind of dominating because they’re you know, I mentioned Shady before. I don’t know if you’ve come across her. Um, she started her TikTok account in lockdown. Yeah. And lockdown now has 100,000 followers.
And TikTok is that kind of platform. It’s got it’s got massive reach. So what I’m saying, by the way, I don’t know anything about it myself, but my my question is, how how have you transitioned? Have you have you do you think marketing is less important than it was before? Have you transitioned? Um, you know, I myself had a chasm. Yeah. While Prav became, you know, one of the most important marketers in dentistry because he’d mastered Google. I myself had a problem when we went from print to digital. You know, I was very good at the two page spread ads in Dentistry magazine. And then when it came to digital, I don’t know what the hell to do.
Um. Think marketing. They’re coming for me. The police is vital, actually, especially in this day and age. I don’t think you can fight it. The world has changed. It’s just like, just embrace it. I mean, for me, I love Instagram, You know, it’s like this black hole that you can just, like, get. Sucked into. So you need to be careful and recognise that if I’m feeling insecure and bad about myself, you know, stay away from Instagram because it just makes you feel worse because everybody just.
The highlight reel, isn’t.
It the best? Yeah. And for me it’s interesting because, you know, like I treat all these journalists and people are sitting there and maybe like they’ve just finished sobbing in my chair. They’ve just had a Break-Up. They look rubbish. And then you just see, Hi. Yeah, it’s just like ten minutes later and I’m like, This is so fake. But as long as people kind of are aware of that. So, but the thing about the digital age is it’s allowed, you know, like there are people that I’ve met that could never have met, you know, whether they’re in Egypt or Syria or whatever the case may be. So it’s made the world a smaller place. I’ve had to how have I adapted? I think the thing I find challenging is just finding the time, you know, it’s kind of finding the time to do the things, to learn how to do it. I’ve dabbled in having other people do stuff, but it’s never the same. It’s not authentic. It needs to be my my voice. And I’ve kind of learnt like I like doing lives, you know, because people are there and it’s a bit like this, you’re just chatting to them and you don’t have to do all this hashtag type stuff.
It’s interesting because a lot of people are very uncomfortable in lives. I am myself, but I’ve noticed you. You’re living all the time. Yeah.
But I don’t know why you don’t like live because, like, looking at you, you know, you’re doing great.
But this is.
This is audio. Yeah. So if this was video, I’d be like.
Really? You begin.
To it. Um, yeah, don’t mind that, because I can. I guess that’s why I do the TV. Well, because I can switch off. I can forget that there’s a camera there because I’m so interested in the person that I’m. I’m engaging in. And also I now realise that I’m taking it much more seriously because it is actually starting to bring patience, which it didn’t before, not my kind of patience, number one. And then the thing is amazing. I mean, sometimes I think I give people too much free info because people are asking me questions and I’m like, You need to ask your dentist to do blah blah, blah. So somebody yesterday was like, Thank you so much. She started Invisalign, she’s up somewhere in Scotland and you encouraged me to do it and I just wanted to let you know it’s going well. So that’s I.
Think there’s a massive opportunity for someone like you in terms of the multi-platform story. So if someone’s seen you on TV, then DMS, you on the mobile, that that is a different level of engagement in terms of awareness engagement, then someone who’s only found you on the Internet, you know, and so there’s a there’s a massive opportunity. And then the other side to it is what you just said, that you’re clearly you’re comfortable talking to the camera, which I’d say 95% of people know, 99% of people. But no, I’m certainly I don’t pick up the mobile and start talking to it. I just don’t do that. Um, Prav does, right. But those two things, the fact that you’re comfortable talking to the camera and the fact that you’re on other media makes it just a really important thing for you to go all in on, I think.
I mean, I guess for me, the the USP has always been about education. You know, I don’t want people to feel about the dental experience the way that I do because I hate it. Like everything about dentistry is just awful. So it’s kind of to empower people, to give them knowledge, to be able to make their own informed decisions, you know, And it’s not, you know, because you’ll notice like on my insta, I don’t do I’m not a teeth posting dentist.
Like, why is that?
Because that’s not what I mean. I can’t say that’s not what I’m interested in or whatever. But my thing is I would hope that people would know that if they were going to come and see me, that the work would be okay. You know, that it would be good work. So I might be wrong. I don’t know. Maybe I should be posting more stuff. You should.
Because they work. Well, that’s the thing.
They want to that do work.
They work really well before and afters.
And also, I judged, you know, like, I’m like, nothing is good enough to post. There’s that aspect as well.
That perfection paralysis thing. That’s. That’s that’s the whole story of it. So. So you said you listen to this podcast, don’t you.
Tell me you do.
It’s very it’s very good, actually. The other day I sent a DM to you, did one with Kunal and I loved his story about Prague. It’s just I was like, I didn’t know this about you. Oh, my God.
So Prav likes to end it on on his question.
So we’ve been wittering on without you.
I’ve been listening. I’ve been listening.
You know. You know, he’s been dieting. He’s. He’s not eating for 21 days. You know this.
No, really, he’s.
Yeah. I’ve not had a meal in nine days.
It’s just something I’m giving a go.
It’s what he does.
It’s a 21 day fasting challenge. So no food, just black coffee, water, electrolyte salts.
So coffee is meant to be part of it.
Black coffee is good.
He’s done a lot of research.
Good. How do you.
I feel fantastic. I, um. About this time of day over the last couple of days, I start flagging, start feeling tired. But other than that, I’m feeling great. I’m productive at work. I’m still training in the gym.
Maybe I should try it.
After day three, it becomes really easy.
Hunger. Just the hunger just disappears. Really? Completely disappears.
He does. He has a lot of vitamins and things. I don’t know if that helps, but.
Doesn’t help with the hunger thing, does it not? No, no, no, no, not at all. But it helps with the fact that, you know, I’m not going to be, you know, nutritionally challenged. Challenged. Yeah. Yeah. So make sure I get all my vitamins, minerals. The main thing is the salts. You don’t have the salts, you don’t have the magnesium, your neurones are not firing. You start cramping up all that. And that’s what I did the first time I did it. I really messed up, right? So now I’m drinking like 6 to 7l of water a day, 10 to 12 salt capsules. My vitamins are all packed in here, so I just rattle my way through them throughout the day and it just works.
Oh, can you send me details? I’d love to try it.
Absolutely. Yeah, no problem.
And I’m actually at the end of this 21 day fast. I’m going to write a blog because I’ve had so many questions about the supplementation, about the process, the mindset and the reasons that I do it. Yeah. And the reasons that I do it are multifactorial, right? So on one of them is building mental resilience and mental toughness and the fact that if I can function and go without food for 21 days, then then it opens my mindset up to other challenges, right? And also when I get smaller challenges in life, then I should be able to handle them quite easily. So a part of it is about and then the other part of it is I’m probably a little bit crazy as well. And but, you know, on, on onto more important things, which is the final question. Imagine it’s your last day on the planet and your little one or not so little one at this time is is next to you and you’ve got to part giving three pieces of advice. What would they be?
Three pieces of advice.
Say. Stay in your lane? Yeah, kind of. Just. Just. Just be. You know, it’s kind of like that thing of, like, just be you.
Focus on yourself.
Yeah, well, it’s not even to focus on yourself, but just be the best that you can be rather than trying to please anybody else. Or because you never. You never will. So just be true to yourself. Listen to your gut. Uh huh. Um, which I’ve not been very good at, but I’m getting better. Surround yourself with positive people. That’s so important. People that will lift you up, that will encourage you. Um, yeah. I don’t know. I guess the last. The last thing would probably be, you know, what’s a bit of my mantra, which is from the Bible, which is kind of like, you know, nothing is impossible with God. So if. If you just try it and even if you know that for me, there’s no such thing as failure, it’s just another opportunity to do the thing better. Of course. Yeah. Don’t know if that answers the question.
It does. It does. And just to just to finish that off, you know, how would you like to be remembered? You was.
You know, made a difference.
And then that’s the.
Thing I want on my tombstone, whether it’s the difference with the patients and you know that you’ve affected with the team. It’s funny being like, you know, really tough. I get teams that have left all the time sending me letters saying, Oh, now I understand what you were trying to get me to do ten years ago. Um, you know, or family friends kind of thing. But, you know, I lost my sister about five years ago. Unfortunately, she’s like my best friend, and it just came out of nowhere. And it really helped you realise that when all said and done, all you have is the memories of the things you did, the people you touched. Nothing else matters. It’s. It’s that so just. Yeah, that’s what I tell my daughter as well. Make good memories. Did you, did you did you question your belief at that point?
Not at all. I mean, I was angry, you know, I was angry with God because I just didn’t you know, she she, I would say, was the heart of us. Like she was the best of us. And even now, I’m, you know, people say gets better with time and but it doesn’t you just like feel just thinking about her because she she helped run the practice for a while. So whenever I’m here, there’s always reminders of her. But you just get used to the whole being there all the time. So I just have to trust that, you know, God knows why. Um, when I get to heaven, I’ll kind of, you know, find out. But, um, yeah, it’s, you know, and I’ve never be like, oh, it was for the best or whatever because it was pants. It was horrible. And she was gone too soon and it was hard. But I still trust him and just like a parent, isn’t it? You know, that’s the whole premise of a relationship or my relationship with God in that in the same way as my daughter is like, we’ll get upset with me. Deep down, she knows I love her. She knows it’s for her best and she has that trust, whether she likes what I’m doing to her or not.
Yeah, that’s really well answered. Thank you so much for doing this.
On the phone for an hour and a half.
I knew you’d be good at this. Oh, it’s always enjoy talking to you. Maybe that’s the reason why Prav couldn’t get a word in. Um. Hopefully when times are a bit better, we can have a nice drink together. Or a dinner together. Yeah.
I miss your parties.
And it’s nice to see you. I think you guys are doing a really. This is my favourite podcast, I have to say, because.
Know, it’s true because it gives gives a different insight that very few do. In fact, I can’t think of any that’s not just about not Dental based. I think the thing that we as dentists need is to just try and kind of get to know each other a little bit better. Forget there’s enough teeth. I don’t understand the jealousy and all that nonsense. There’s enough teeth for everybody. It’s just like support one another and just, yeah, build each other up. So thank you. Keep on keeping on.
Cheers. Lovely to have you. Thanks a lot.
This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say. Because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.
If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.
Don’t forget our six star rating.