Chris Tavares delves into philosophical and ethical aspects of dentistry, his experience as a member of The Jesuit Order, and its impact on his personal and professional development journey. 

Chris also shares perspectives on teaching and mentorship, NHS Vs private practice, and the a-ha moments that have informed his practice.

In This Episode

01.45 – Discernment, justification and philosophy

18.15 – Coming to the UK

22.39 – Vocation, study, first job

26.34 – The Jesuit Order

30.30 – Ethics and epistemology

45.43 – Black box thinking

53.16 – Highs, lows and a-ha moments

01.00.40 – Teaching

01.05.56 – NHS to private dentistry

01.09.50 – Staying solo

01.16.39 – Free time and family life

01.19.42 – Fantasy dinner party

01.22.06 – Last days and legacy

About Chris Tavares

Chris Tavares is a former member of The Jesuit Order. He now practices dental surgery in Derby, UK.

Dental Leaders – Chris Tavares.mp3

Speaker1: So if you believe there is a God. Nothing so hides the face of God. Than religion. [00:00:05] Because religion is man made. Because by definition, you cannot really [00:00:10] know your God. And you come to describe your God, what your God is, what your God wants to be. Well, then [00:00:15] you’re contradicting yourself by what you say your God is because technically speaking, it is [00:00:20] beyond your epistemic reach to understand or know God. So that’s what the faith [00:00:25] comes in.

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

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Chris Tavares [00:00:50] onto the podcast. I’ve been a long time follower of Chris’s [00:00:55] output. You know, if he ever makes a statement, a one line [00:01:00] answer in a in a post I want to read whatever Chris is saying. I’ve [00:01:05] always enjoyed reading his content. And the other thing is, I’ve noticed that Chris is the kind of guy [00:01:10] that is always chasing excellence. And in the community, [00:01:15] people who sit with him tend to come out of their meetings sort of inspired. [00:01:20] And that’s not kind of by mistake, because Chris has a great [00:01:25] story. He took six years out of dentistry to pursue his philosophical [00:01:30] sort of interests and, uh, became sort of a Jesuit. [00:01:35] We will get into what that means with you. Lovely. Lovely to have you, Chris.

Speaker1: Lovely to [00:01:40] be here, Payman. I think we’ve communicated in the past, but it’s a very, very nice to actually meet you at last. [00:01:45]

Speaker3: I know, I know, we generally start with, you know, background. [00:01:50] Where did you grow up? Where did you where were you born? Where did you grow up? What kind of kid were you? Sure.

Speaker1: Well, [00:01:55] I, I was born in Hong Kong, and I went to the Christian Brothers school when I was in Hong Kong. [00:02:00] Really? I never really studied very much. Um, we were part of the Portuguese boys community [00:02:05] and part of a class of 45. I would probably come in my exams around 39. [00:02:10] And, um, so when I was 15, my dad decided it was probably best to [00:02:15] send me abroad to study. Um, and somewhere in my life, you see, he made [00:02:20] he and my mum made a lot of sacrifices. And at that time, he held that the British private [00:02:25] school system was still the best educational system in the world. My mother was a was a head teacher. My my [00:02:30] father was a senior lecturer. Um, and so they’re very academically orientated. And while all my friends went to [00:02:35] North America, they dropped the bomb on me when, when they said, uh, were you going to England? I said, [00:02:40] what? Where? You know, and, um, okay, so I went to a boarding school in Carlisle or Austin Friars School, [00:02:45] and that was one of the biggest cornerstone changes in my life, because at Austin [00:02:50] Friars, they they taught me how to study and how to discipline myself to make timetables [00:02:55] and study. And I got through my A levels and I sailed through my Dental exams [00:03:00] simply because of the same technique that I use for dentistry. Then from Austin [00:03:05] Friars, um, I went to Newcastle upon Tyne University for five years, dental [00:03:10] school, and then I stayed on. I was lucky enough to get a job as a house officer for one year. [00:03:15]

Speaker1: Um, that made a big difference just staying behind. Then. Then I went on [00:03:20] and had went to general practice for a couple of years in Boston, Lincolnshire. After [00:03:25] about a couple of years, I felt there was something not 100% fulfilling in me. [00:03:30] I didn’t hate dentistry or dislike it. I every day was fine, but I just felt there was something missing. So [00:03:35] I decided to, um, contact the Jesuits. And through a year [00:03:40] of discernment, I became very comfortable that the right thing to do at that moment of time was [00:03:45] to leave dentistry and enter the Jesuit order. Now, the Jesuit order is, uh, is one of [00:03:50] the most misunderstood orders in the world, because if you Google it or Wikipedia, it’ll give [00:03:55] you a 16th century version of it. So I would like to maybe tell somebody more about [00:04:00] it, because what you see on me is Facebook or what everything I am now comes from them, really, because [00:04:05] the Jesuit order was the second turning corner of my life. That made all the difference to me. So we [00:04:10] can explain the Jesuit order either in, in, in the God language, if you like, or [00:04:15] in the laypersons language. And it will become apparent why, why that’s so. So [00:04:20] it was found in the 16th century by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, now [00:04:25] in the 16th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century up all the way to [00:04:30] to about. Even nowadays people go to churches to believe is whichever religion [00:04:35] you are. You go to a church to pray, and in that prayer you’re supposed to get closer to your God.

Speaker1: Ignatius [00:04:40] completely turned that upside down in the 16th century. And what he said was that if you [00:04:45] want to find your God, your God is to be found in the concrete reality of your life experience, [00:04:50] not in the building. Don’t pray to a statue, but you need to go out there. And in your experience, as [00:04:55] you reflect on your life experience, you will come to know your God. Now, if you and [00:05:00] the process he calls is discernment. When you reflect every evening on your life experience [00:05:05] through discernment. Discernment is about reflecting with your heart, not your [00:05:10] head. And it works. Um, for for a lot of people. Now, if you remove the [00:05:15] God language in modern day terms, there’s a huge amount of psychology because it’s all about your identity. [00:05:20] Everybody has an identity. Your identity is not to be found in answering a lot of psychological [00:05:25] tests. Or reading psychological books. Your identity is to be found in the concrete [00:05:30] reality of your life experiences. As you reflect on it through discernment, you come to know who you [00:05:35] are, whether you’re in the right place where you should be heading. Then the second thing of the Jesuit spirituality [00:05:40] is very, very important is the word indifference. You should be totally indifferent [00:05:45] to whatever you have external to yourself. If it helps you to be more [00:05:50] of who you are, take it. And if it doesn’t discard it, do not let anything external own [00:05:55] you. Otherwise it will destroy you.

Speaker1: Because if you don’t have it or you strive to get something which is often totally [00:06:00] no help to you and the surface, doesn’t mean you couldn’t care less, but it just means being indifferent to [00:06:05] to various things, your situation or whatever. And you come to know through your identity. So [00:06:10] the Jesuit spirituality really is about helping the individual to find out more of who who you are [00:06:15] and ultimately if they decide. So if you wanted to join the order, you can’t just [00:06:20] join the order. You have to go through a years discernment and through one of their mentors to decide [00:06:25] whether or not you are right for the priesthood, because some people just join the priesthood just to escape from real life [00:06:30] and through discernment and your mentor, this becomes very, very apparent and they will [00:06:35] turn people away. So I was in a Jesuit order for six years. That’s when I did my philosophy and theology [00:06:40] at Heythrop College, University of London. And that was one of the biggest cornerstones in my life. Because [00:06:45] analytic philosophy teaches you how to look at your own life, understand your life, understand [00:06:50] your beliefs. Um, how justified are you? And it’s incredibly relevant to dentistry because [00:06:55] epistemology is how justified are we to believe in evidence based dentistry? [00:07:00] Is it really objective or there are huge subjectivity in it? Then I also [00:07:05] majored in moral philosophy, which of course is ethics. Then the third one I majored [00:07:10] in was was language meaning of words. And that really comes out in listening [00:07:15] to other people communicating with my patients.

Speaker1: And they all say how easy I explain things and how is it [00:07:20] I do understand what they’re trying to say that through comes through analytic philosophy. Really. It’s a very, [00:07:25] very powerful tool for communication, for ethics and for, um, justifying anything [00:07:30] you want. You want to you want to believe in. So after about four years in the Jesuits, [00:07:35] again, I was beginning to through discernment, daily discernment, I began to feel a stirring [00:07:40] in myself. And I just felt that, you know, I’m not in the right place anymore. It’s time to move on. So [00:07:45] I approached my mentor and I said, you know, I’m getting these stirrings. And in most religious [00:07:50] orders, you will find that when the guy wants to leave, people aren’t very happy with [00:07:55] you about that. And it can get quite nasty. Very, very sadly, I’ve spoken to people who’ve had incredibly bad experience [00:08:00] when they wanted to leave, whereas with with the Jesuit Order, it’s all about helping [00:08:05] you to decide where you need to be at a moment of time, whether it is your identity or whether you want [00:08:10] to say God wants you to be there, use a God language. So when I said that, I went through a years discernment [00:08:15] and at the end of the year my mentor just says, I think, Chris, it’s time for you to go. And [00:08:20] so I left with their blessing. After that, um, I saw I needed I [00:08:25] knew, I knew what I wanted to do, I want to do dentistry. That was me.

Speaker3: Can I stop you? Can I stop you? [00:08:30] Can I stop you? Because, um, we can’t go on to dentistry without talking about all [00:08:35] of that that you just you just described. Okay. But, I mean, it’s [00:08:40] interesting because for me, science and religion seem to be in opposition [00:08:45] with each other because one’s evidence based and one’s faith based. Right. [00:08:50] And I’m always interested. I’ve got, you know, family members who are religious scientists, and I’m [00:08:55] interested in asking, you know, what what their position is [00:09:00] with regard to that. But if you had to sort of what comes to mind when I say [00:09:05] that, I mean, what’s your position regarding? I want how they don’t. They don’t really mix [00:09:10] right. They don’t. How do you how do you how do you. Because everything you said is quite secular. [00:09:15] Mhm. So where’s the religion element.

Speaker1: Religion if you want. Well hopefully [00:09:20] I’m not criticising the religious because I’m still religious in a sense. Religion. [00:09:25] Which what a lot of religious people. And I mean, either you’re in a religious order, you’re just a lay person, [00:09:30] have a strong belief is the majority of people don’t actually [00:09:35] understand what a belief religious belief is. And [00:09:40] this is one of the things when you do analytic philosophy, you come to grips with it. So science [00:09:45] expects to be able to carry out a test for experience and come up with some kind of a result. [00:09:50] The problem is, religious experience does not follow that criteria [00:09:55] because by definition, and if you go back to the absolute fundamental definition. Religious [00:10:00] experience. It’s not it’s not open to to [00:10:05] discovery because by definition, you can’t actually say or prove [00:10:10] that God exists because. Because when you say God is all, if any religion says [00:10:15] there, God is all Almighty, all, all this, all that, all that. By definition, it means that you can’t [00:10:20] actually prove it because our human test is beyond it’s beyond the our epistemic [00:10:25] reach, basically. And so that’s the first thing you have to understand is that as a scientist, of course, you [00:10:30] can you can be a very religious person. It’s because science is based on criteria [00:10:35] and experiences of Earth. Religious experience is not the same kind of experience. We’re using the same [00:10:40] word experience, but it has a different meaning. And that meaning is defined within the culture [00:10:45] of religious experience religion, not science. And so they do. Uh, [00:10:50] it’s absolutely possible to, to be side by side. Your mistake is to say the mistake [00:10:55] is for the non-religious person to say, prove to me that God exists. By definition, I can’t [00:11:00] actually prove it. You’re asking a question. Yeah.

Speaker3: No, no, I understand that. Answer that. But but if you had to [00:11:05] sort of. So let me explain to you how my, my brother in law says it to me, and I want to know whether [00:11:10] you think that’s the similar his his point is, you know, that we [00:11:15] are living in this fishbowl and God is the owner of the fishbowl. So we kind [00:11:20] of have have free will within the fishbowl. Yeah. We can do what [00:11:25] we like in there. Yeah, but but God is the owner of the fishbowl. He can, you know, in the end, he can. [00:11:30] He can, you know, I don’t know what that that that’s his explanation. But for me, [00:11:35] the free will side of it and the all knowing side of it, [00:11:40] of are where the real problem is in my thinking. I mean, you know, you can [00:11:45] say, yes, science is badminton and religion is football, and then nothing to do [00:11:50] with each other. And I like doing both badminton and football and it’s beautiful. It’s a lovely thing. [00:11:55] Yeah. But for me that whole question of is there free will, have I got free will? And if [00:12:00] I have then everything isn’t controlled by some mighty power.

Speaker1: Okay. [00:12:05] Your brother in law, the problem with your brother or brother in law is that you are basing [00:12:10] that assumption that God exists in the manner that [00:12:15] he and his religion says God exists. You see one of the things [00:12:20] so.

Speaker3: Humanising it somehow.

Speaker1: Yeah, I mean, I mean, there is a, there’s, there’s, there’s [00:12:25] a the late Jerry Hills, he’s a Jesuit, very, very famous, um, spiritual director [00:12:30] and mentor. He wrote a book called God, the God of Surprises. So if you believe there is a God, [00:12:35] nothing so hides the face of God than religion, because religion is man made. [00:12:40] Because by definition, your God, you cannot really know your [00:12:45] God. And you and you come to describe your God, what your God is, what your God wants to be. Well, then [00:12:50] you’re contradicting yourself by what you say your God is because technically speaking, it [00:12:55] is beyond your epistemic reach to understand or know God. So that’s what the faith [00:13:00] comes in.

Speaker3: What is epistemic?

Speaker1: Oh, sorry. Epistemic epistemology is a study of, [00:13:05] um, experience. So how do we come to know anything? You see. So for so for the, [00:13:10] um, for the British and Pharisees, they believe that all our knowledge comes through our senses, [00:13:15] hearing, touching things. However, um, across the continent, Descartes and all the rationalists [00:13:20] said that our senses are not, are unreliable, and therefore it comes through [00:13:25] reason, you see. So either of those. So number one is so the descartes’s [00:13:30] existence of God is a very good one. Um, for like your brother in law in that because [00:13:35] he, he says that we come to know things through our, our through reason, he [00:13:40] reasoned God into, um, existence. So he’s saying that God is all powerful, God [00:13:45] is all knowing, and God can do everything. Therefore, obviously God must exist. But then [00:13:50] when you talk of existence, you have to define what existence really means. There are two ways things can [00:13:55] exist, okay? And the bogeyman is a good example. The, um, [00:14:00] something can exist within our culture, our language. Okay. And [00:14:05] there’s existence external to that. So for example, the bogeyman, if it [00:14:10] exists because we scare children with that. But it’s just our language, our culture, but [00:14:15] it it exists in real, but it doesn’t really exist in the external world, in the real world. [00:14:20]

Speaker1: So there are two ways God things can exist. And the problem with a lot of religious belief people [00:14:25] is that they don’t realise that their existence of, of their God is actually [00:14:30] is within their language and their culture and their beliefs. Because [00:14:35] you cannot, which is called the anti-realist world, the real world, which is like you and I kind of touch [00:14:40] things and things like that. You cannot say God exists that way. And Descartes mistake was to reason God [00:14:45] into existence just because this plus this equals this God this, then you cannot say it has [00:14:50] to exist as an object, as an object, you can’t do that. So that was that was a mistake they can’t make. And [00:14:55] a lot of religion, a lot of believers do the same thing because they think so. For example, to [00:15:00] say that your God, we are in a fishbowl and there’s some over overseeing person looking into [00:15:05] that fishbowl, controlling things. Where the hell you get that from? You know, I mean, how how [00:15:10] I mean, how can you suddenly say your your God is looking into a fishbowl, you’re trying to save something which [00:15:15] you have absolutely no justification of saying, because by definition, you can’t know exactly what’s going [00:15:20] on. And the problem is scares a lot of believers to say that.

Speaker1: But that’s what faith [00:15:25] is about. If you want to go into the religious, um, world, that’s what faith [00:15:30] is. Don’t ask for proof and don’t certainly provide proof because you’re talking off the top of your [00:15:35] head now. Free will and determination. Do we really have [00:15:40] free will? We can. We can do whatever we want there. Free will is one of those things which philosophers have [00:15:45] kind of debated over the years. So if you look [00:15:50] at, um, Aristotle, you will come to understand a better understanding that we [00:15:55] have and we don’t have free will. Aristotle is my most favourite philosophers, and he has a word [00:16:00] that he uses called eudaimonia. There is no English equivalent of [00:16:05] eudaimonia, but the best equivalent is if you go to a rose competition, [00:16:10] or the roses to me look the same or beautiful, but at least. But to the experts, [00:16:15] one of them looks more beautiful than all the other ones. And that Rose wins. And that’s because [00:16:20] that Rose received all the proper nutrients is supposed to have, [00:16:25] and it responded to that nutrient, and hence that’s eudaimonia. So [00:16:30] Aristotle looks at happiness and our life, and this is where he can bring Ignatius [00:16:35] in and your identity. So eudaimonia means everything in your life.

Speaker1: If you can receive all the [00:16:40] right things to help you to be more the person you are supposed to be, then [00:16:45] you’ll be a very happy person. Okay, so that’s eudaimonia. Now [00:16:50] free will. So given that each of us have an identity, if we are going to believe in Aristotle and [00:16:55] eudaimonia, then you have free will to do whatever you want your will. But if you decide to [00:17:00] go against the grain of your identity. You won’t be a happy person. So [00:17:05] it depends whether you want to be a happy person or you don’t want to be a happy person. You. And there’s no reason why you [00:17:10] why, why? You can say, I don’t want to be a happy person, I just to do whatever I want. And there are some people who unfortunately will will [00:17:15] go against everything. Their gut feeling tells them not to do it, but they’ll still do it, whether it’s a [00:17:20] pressure from peers or whatever. So do we have free will? Yes, we have free. We can do whatever we want. But [00:17:25] if you follow, if you do whatever you want, will you be? Will you be [00:17:30] developing, nurturing your identity, or are you going to be some horrible monster? And if [00:17:35] you want it, will you thrive?

Speaker3: Will you thrive or where you thrive?

Speaker1: You want to thrive or you just want to be a be [00:17:40] a monster? Whatever you want to do. So you have free will. You can either be the person you were, you were born to be and be [00:17:45] very, very happy. Or you can, you can, you can decide to do all the opposite things and end [00:17:50] up not being the person you were born to be. And most of the time, I think people who talk [00:17:55] to people and their dying moments, um, will find that so [00:18:00] many regret not doing certain things, and there’s nothing worse than than just regretting [00:18:05] that, you know, you went against him, you win against your own grain, you know, happens a lot. [00:18:10] So yeah, we have free will, but it’s up to you when you want where you want to end up.

Speaker3: Tell [00:18:15] me, tell me back to, um, when you. How old were you when you actually came over? And [00:18:20] what was it? What was the. I mean, had you ever been to college?

Speaker1: No, no, I [00:18:25] arrived. Um, don’t forget, in those days, there’s no Google. There’s no iPhone, texts, everything. [00:18:30] Yeah.

Speaker3: What did you think when you got out in Carlisle? Which year was that?

Speaker1: Um, 1975. [00:18:35] Um, so so I arrived in Heathrow and I made my way to Victoria [00:18:40] Coach Station. I found my coach, and then I took the coach of [00:18:45] the Carlisle, and I ended up arriving in Carlisle at about 7:00 in the morning. And the [00:18:50] school wasn’t open yet. So I had to kind of hang around at the at the coach station and it was [00:18:55] absolutely bloody freezing. I have never felt so cold in my life. The cold was going through my shoes, into my feet, you [00:19:00] know.

Speaker3: By yourself, right? No. No parents, no parents.

Speaker1: And, uh, and [00:19:05] the first letter from my sister arrived, um, about a week later, and she said that [00:19:10] mum’s driving that crazy because she’s got a world map open, and she wants to know where the plane [00:19:15] is every minute, you know? Um, yeah. So they had to win. So I [00:19:20] wrote a letter back to them, back and forth by letters before. Before, um, there’s any. They [00:19:25] knew how I was. So it was a very different world. I was not I was kind [00:19:30] of excited, obviously a bit apprehensive because I’ve never been abroad on my own before. So I [00:19:35] ended up in this boarding school with a lot of, um, English [00:19:40] people.

Speaker3: Was your was your was your level of, uh, maths and science and [00:19:45] all that a lot higher than the kids in school or or the opposite. Yeah.

Speaker1: I [00:19:50] mean, when I was doing so we did O-level maths, so I was, I was there for the, for form four and [00:19:55] some of the stuff we were doing at form four, we had already done in Hong Kong in Form three. Yeah. You know, [00:20:00] not a huge advance, but a lot of the stuff we had already done in form three. Yeah, because they pushed you quite a lot, [00:20:05] quite a lot out there. But it was a real education for me because when you, when you’re in Hong Kong in 1975, [00:20:10] all the top. Positions is [00:20:15] is held by British people. So I remember one morning [00:20:20] it was a Saturday morning. I opened up the curtain in the dormitory and I just stared there, [00:20:25] you see, and one of the guys came up to you. Are you staring at? I said, there’s a guy there emptying the bins. He sees an English guy. [00:20:30] You know, I just stared at that. You will never see this in Hong [00:20:35] Kong. An English person emptying the bin, you know. And he said, well, you look what you’re staring at. I said, look, there’s [00:20:40] an English guy. They’re emptying the bins. He goes, what do you expect? What [00:20:45] do you expect? You know, the guy’s got to earn a living. You know, it’s it’s things like, this was a [00:20:50] complete education for me, you know, to to not just see it but experience it. Yeah, but [00:20:55] I was a bit apprehensive. I could have gone.

Speaker3: You could have gone either way, right, in a boarding school in Carlisle. But you seem [00:21:00] to like you said to me that there was a defining, life defining sort of experience in [00:21:05] that school. So what was it like the was it was it very strict Catholic school? Was that what it was?

Speaker1: No. No, [00:21:10] not I mean, depending on what you mean by strict Catholic, obviously they have they have to kind of obey the [00:21:15] um, the Roman Catholic Church and their doctrine.

Speaker3: It was a Catholic school.

Speaker1: But but they went thrashing [00:21:20] you and, you know, you tell a lie. They beat the hell out of you and bang your head against the wall. I think that no, they were they they [00:21:25] were very, very open minded. They were there to be, to to educate. But what, what the two [00:21:30] things that made a difference was, first of all, remember when I was in Hong Kong, I never studied, I was one of the bad guys, bad [00:21:35] boys, you know? And yet the first thing they taught me was how to study, um, [00:21:40] how to discipline myself to study. And that was that. That was the thing that [00:21:45] helped me to pass my Dental exam. I flew through my Dental exam. But the second thing, which really [00:21:50] helped, uh, which gave me confidence in myself, was being away from all my naughty friends [00:21:55] and, um, you know, no bad influence and distractions. [00:22:00] I was just there. I was in a boarding school. I thrived just learning myself, [00:22:05] my identity, come out. And, uh, so the other changing moment for me was I was made head boy [00:22:10] school captain. Well, I would not have believed that. You know, um, if you look at my who [00:22:15] I was in Hong Kong, and that gave me a huge amount of confidence, you know, and in fact, my, my housemaster [00:22:20] at that time was David O’Neill. And last year I met him for the first time [00:22:25] in Manchester, and I’ve not seen him since 1979. [00:22:30] Well, I finally found him. Um, and I went over to Manchester [00:22:35] to see him, and that was a really great moment for me.

Speaker3: So that one. So [00:22:40] Dental school y dentistry.

Speaker1: Um, I, [00:22:45] I was always programmed to be a doctor, but I like working with my hands, [00:22:50] you know, and and, um. And I’m just thinking that, you know. And somebody [00:22:55] I can’t remember who it was said, you need to be honest, as if there aren’t a lot of money and you know, all that kind of stuff. And I thought, [00:23:00] yeah, I’m a very people person and I don’t, I can’t, I can’t talk to the patient. They’re [00:23:05] anaesthetised. You know, I’m very much a people person really. So I thought I said and somebody said, well, you [00:23:10] can earn a decent living in dentistry. So yeah, I’ll go into dentistry. But then, as I said, I went to dentistry. [00:23:15] I flew through my dental exams through the teeth.

Speaker3: But what about. What about dental school? Were [00:23:20] you. Were you what, studying hard or.

Speaker1: I studied hard, but I wasn’t a I wasn’t a top student. I [00:23:25] wasn’t in the top kind of 20% or 10%. Not at all. I had to work very hard to get where I am, [00:23:30] whereas, you know. So, for example, because of the way I was taught to to study at Austin Friars [00:23:35] and discipline and make timetables, by the time the final exams came that year, I [00:23:40] had already gone over the whole syllabus three times. Oh, wow. Whereas whereas, you know, you get some some of some [00:23:45] of my, my, my friends who they study the week before and they’ll pass, you [00:23:50] know, I have to repeat things quite a lot to, to. So I had to work very, very hard, you [00:23:55] know. And Dental school was great. I made a lot of good friends there. But the main thing was that Austin [00:24:00] Friars taught me how to study, and I still I still remember the day before each exam. [00:24:05] We were always taught, don’t study, because if you’ve done your work, it will come out. So [00:24:10] I was actually looking for somebody to go for a drink the night before, and everybody was studying. You [00:24:15] know, everybody was studying.

Speaker3: So unfortunately I was in the cramming in all night [00:24:20] group. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. And you and you and but it works [00:24:25] for you, you know.

Speaker3: So then. Okay. What was your [00:24:30] first job?

Speaker1: I worked as an associate. Uh, my first job was as a house officer in [00:24:35] the dental school. So there were six jobs going and about, uh, probably about 30 people applied for [00:24:40] it. So I was very lucky to get it, actually. And, uh, I did prosthodontics, [00:24:45] oral surgery and child dental health so that that had quite a lot gave me a lot of [00:24:50] confidence. Um, I spent a year there. Um, and then I decided there was [00:24:55] to continue to stay in hospital. It would involve a lot of studying to get [00:25:00] my fellowship and everything else. And I just felt, you know, there would be a bit more to life than that, than [00:25:05] just my head in the book. So I decided to leave dental school, and I know 1 or 2 lecturers [00:25:10] that were a bit disappointed I wasn’t staying behind, but so from there I went to general practice. I went to Boston in Lincolnshire, [00:25:15] small town in Lincolnshire. I was an associate.

Speaker3: What was your what was your initial feeling about general [00:25:20] practice? Because I remember my first day of looking [00:25:25] around and thinking, shit, man, it’s like, is this, is this what it is? Is this, is [00:25:30] this what I’ve become? And then the first year, the whole the first couple [00:25:35] of years, very lonely existence, very difficult time, I think, you know, because you lose your, [00:25:40] your, your friend group sort of thing and suddenly you’re this adult. So was it in that period [00:25:45] where you decided you wanted to duck out or.

Speaker4: No, no, no.

Speaker1: I don’t forget I’m talking about night. So, [00:25:50] um, so I’m talking about 1986. I went to general practice. So in those times it [00:25:55] was high time. You work hard, you earn a lot. It was great. Um, so I enjoyed the dentistry, but [00:26:00] but obviously for me, moving into, um, Boston, where I didn’t know anybody [00:26:05] at all seemed a bit crazy. But at the same time, you know, coming from Hong Kong, where I didn’t know anybody [00:26:10] at all. So it was through my life experience, I came to understand that I’m actually quite comfortable [00:26:15] with myself, you know? And there will be there will be times on my field alone. [00:26:20] But I was never lonely in this. As such, because I’m comfortable with myself. I can read [00:26:25] books and do whatever I want, you know, but obviously. But at the same time, I thrive. I love meeting people. I love going [00:26:30] out for meals with people. So I’m not really an introvert in that sense, you know?

Speaker3: I know, but I want [00:26:35] to get I want to get to the moment where you were, you made the decision to stop being a dentist and [00:26:40] go after these philosophical studies and so forth. And you [00:26:45] said you said you were looking for meaning or something. Was that was that the word you used? Sort of. You [00:26:50] felt like there was something more.

Speaker1: Yeah. So, so the process of discernment have actually started. [00:26:55] Remember, discernment is about critiquing your life with your heart, not your head. So I couldn’t put my foot [00:27:00] down or say exactly what, but I just found that, you know, after two years, you know, I had a [00:27:05] nice car, I was on a sports car, you know, I was making money, but I felt something was missing in [00:27:10] my life. You know, something about me. There’s an emptiness somewhere, you know? And, [00:27:15] um, and because obviously with my Catholic background that, you know, and I heard about [00:27:20] the, um, the Jesuits where they run retreats. Now, retreats are silent [00:27:25] retreats. So you go there for a week, you don’t talk to anybody, and one hour a day you come and talk to your your [00:27:30] mentor, your spiritual director, you see, and it allows all the subconscious to come out, you know, [00:27:35] and it was through that retreat that’s become.

Speaker3: Very fashionable these days. You know, Citibank [00:27:40] is going for these silent retreats.

Speaker4: You’d be surprised.

Speaker1: What comes out of you. But most of the time everything [00:27:45] is buried, you know, and I decided I want to I would like to join [00:27:50] the Jesuits, you see. But if you.

Speaker3: Don’t, then what happens? But what? Okay. For the first [00:27:55] two hours, you’re whatever. And then what happens when silent for all that time? [00:28:00] Nothing.

Speaker1: So you are you’re allowed to read, or they might give you a passage from a book or something [00:28:05] to read. Or you could paint, you know, and this is where there’s a lot of psychology you see in [00:28:10] Ignatius stuff, you see. So what will happen is I met my, my director at 7:00 in the evening [00:28:15] and he goes, well, tell me about your day. And because you’re completely on [00:28:20] your own, even meal times, by the way, is completely silent. You go into a big refectory, there’s nobody talks here. And [00:28:25] they’ll say, what do you do? I did this, and what did you find interesting? Or you just talk about your day basically. [00:28:30] And that’s and after about 1 or 2 sessions, you suddenly realise things are coming up and you [00:28:35] start. It just happens to everybody. And through my, my 60s as Jesuits, I became a director [00:28:40] myself.

Speaker3: Yeah, but what do you mean? Things are coming out. Things about your life. About what? About. Yeah.

Speaker1: So? [00:28:45] So. Well, let’s think, um, nothing. What have you been [00:28:50] thinking? And when in through discernment, when you have made the right choice. Are you aware [00:28:55] of something? And this is 100%. You experience an immense peace in yourself. [00:29:00] And you know, the choice is right, you know. And and so sometimes they’ll start talking [00:29:05] about things and um, and obviously my, my purpose of that was do I, should I be joining the [00:29:10] Jesuits. That was the main question. You’re going to the retreat with, you know, and so what’s happened during [00:29:15] the day? I said, well, I walked around the town, I read, I read about this and any thoughts, anything come up. And [00:29:20] I can’t remember this, by the way, so far back. But he’ll talk about that and eventually, going from what you have said, [00:29:25] they take it further. You might read another thing and then eventually he says, what do you think? And I [00:29:30] think, yeah, I think, you know, the right thing is, is to. I’m ready [00:29:35] to join the Jesuits, however. You might be ready to join the Jesuit, the Jesuit not ready to to [00:29:40] to accept you that. So after that retreat, you didn’t have to go through a whole year of discernment with another director, [00:29:45] where every month you see them because you’re about to make a big change in your life. If you use the [00:29:50] God language the Jesuits wants to know, is this where God wants you? If you want to use [00:29:55] the laypersons language, you want to know whether your identity lies in joining them. At this [00:30:00] moment of time. Nothing is for nothing is definite or forever. And after one year my director [00:30:05] says, yeah, you know, how do you feel about the decision? I said, I feel incredibly at ease with it now, very peaceful [00:30:10] and everything. So. So I joined. You know, it doesn’t mean I’m supposed to stay there forever, because discernment [00:30:15] goes on for the rest of your life. And hopefully by through discernment, you [00:30:20] will start making changes in direction, guided by your life experience and your reflection [00:30:25] of your guide experience. As you become more of who you are supposed to be.

Speaker4: Well.

Speaker3: And [00:30:30] then the links to ethics and dentistry [00:30:35] and what is ethics? Yeah, expand on that.

Speaker1: Okay. So [00:30:40] the epistemology is the study of belief. And and what’s the difference [00:30:45] between knowing something and believing something to be real. You see analytic [00:30:50] philosophy really looks into those two aspects. So for [00:30:55] example, if a patient says to me, if you do my root canal, you’re going to charge me £600. [00:31:00] So that’s going to get rid of my get rid of my pain, isn’t it? Now many people just say yes [00:31:05] because they have every confidence in endodontic techniques and science. I would say [00:31:10] no, I don’t know. It’s going to do. I believe it will. I got strong reason for believing that it will. So the language [00:31:15] you use is very, very important. And that keeps me out of trouble in the dental surgery because I’m very quick [00:31:20] at understanding. So. So one of the things I learned is that, you know, analytic philosophy, [00:31:25] with our seminars and everything, we must learn to listen [00:31:30] for the purpose of understanding, not just the reply, the problem. Many mistakes [00:31:35] young dentists use is that they reply. And I’m trying, listening to the patient. And what the patient [00:31:40] is basically saying is that are you giving me a 100% cast iron guarantee? No. And I come [00:31:45] straight out. I can’t guarantee that, you know, and I sometimes will say to that if I do this procedure and [00:31:50] I’m going to charge you £6,000, I would like to say to you that in ten years time, all those all that [00:31:55] teeth will still be there. I can’t, because it’s a very dynamic process going, going in your mouth.

Speaker1: And unless you [00:32:00] you do your part, it’s not going to last ten years. So you analyse that set of [00:32:05] beliefs and knowledge. Now ethics is very, very important because ethics is a word that is [00:32:10] thrown around and I include I totally include our our people in authority, [00:32:15] regulators, NHS England, whatever. It’s a word that’s thrown around like a punch line, you [00:32:20] know, and people have a very linear way of looking at ethics. One plus one equals [00:32:25] two. If you do this and you do that, you are wrong. Ethics is a three dimensional thing. [00:32:30] You have to look at this breadth and its depth. And one of the most important, the [00:32:35] ethics I buy into is that, you know, ethics is all about carrying out the [00:32:40] morally right action leading to a morally good [00:32:45] state of affairs. That’s very, very important because it’s not this [00:32:50] is a Tum that I coined. It’s called what it’s called sniper ethics. And a good example of [00:32:55] sniper ethics is what prevents people leaving the NHS going private. [00:33:00] I gave a talk on this once which was quite well received. So sniper ethics basically is [00:33:05] a sniper was once, um, interviewed. Do you find it easy to kill somebody? [00:33:10] And his reply was absolutely fascinating. He said, if you look through a sniper [00:33:15] scope, all you see is that little area that you’re going to shoot. The sniper scope [00:33:20] removes everything around that person. So there could be children running around, [00:33:25] there could be family around.

Speaker1: You don’t see or hear any of that. All you see is a little bit of a head, and therefore [00:33:30] it removes everything. And you just shoot because it’s just an object. Now, sniper ethics is exactly the same [00:33:35] thing. This is where you decide, let’s say, for example, it’s unethical [00:33:40] to go private because what about these 282 has been with us all our lives? [00:33:45] Um, it would be wrong to to leave them. But what about then? You have an ethical [00:33:50] responsibility to yourself, to your staff, to to your children. [00:33:55] And, you know, and not just for those two people. So. So why would you not leave the NHS [00:34:00] at the moment you are going through mental stress, which you can’t provide. I mean, I know people ten years [00:34:05] qualified, they still don’t own their own house. In 1984 [00:34:10] I worked for two years and I bought a house. Now it’s ridiculous that, you know. And secondly is [00:34:15] that, um, if you look at ethics, one of the most important things is the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic [00:34:20] Oath itself does not actually say first, do no harm. The original Hippocratic [00:34:25] Oath is miles long. Over the years and centuries, it’s been shortened, and eventually somebody [00:34:30] just disappears to no harm. Therefore, ethically, no clinician should [00:34:35] be working under a system that does not satisfy the Hippocratic Oath. First, do [00:34:40] no harm when you work under a system that’s causing harm to the clinicians themselves, [00:34:45] to their families, how can that be ethical? So you have absolutely no, you [00:34:50] know, you have a bigger responsibility towards your loved ones.

Speaker1: So therefore you should not have to work under a system [00:34:55] that itself expects you to to live under the Hippocratic Oath. But the system [00:35:00] itself does not obey the Hippocratic Oath. That’s just ridiculous. So I can give a very good, [00:35:05] sound ethical argument why it is totally ethical for you to leave the NHS [00:35:10] and and go private, and ultimately is because ethical decisions [00:35:15] is a matter of prioritising your values. Always put your family and yourself [00:35:20] first, you know, and your staff next. Never put a patient above yourself or your [00:35:25] family. Never put a system above yourself or your family. And hence [00:35:30] ethics is all about looking at the carrying out the right, morally right action [00:35:35] leading to a morally good state of affairs. It’s a state of affairs, you know, [00:35:40] that’s very, very important, not just one isolated thing. We don’t make our rules as we play the game otherwise, [00:35:45] you know, so that’s ethical. And so somebody says to me, is it ethical [00:35:50] to um. So when I when I make a decision to do something for a patient, I ask my myself [00:35:55] three questions and all three have to be yes before I would do it for a patient. First of all, is [00:36:00] it ethical? Second question is it legal? Third [00:36:05] question is it advisable? Has to be a yes in all three. The first is no. [00:36:10] Then that’s it. I wouldn’t do it. You know, even though even if it is legal [00:36:15] and is advisable, I wouldn’t do it.

Speaker1: If it’s totally unethical, I wouldn’t do it. And you’d be surprised [00:36:20] how ethics is defined. Because ethics is about the human being. So [00:36:25] if you imagine the the, um, the caveman period. Yeah. Where the caveman [00:36:30] club was a wham bam and Wallace what the ethics were the law, basically. Yeah. Sometime from the caveman [00:36:35] period to civilisation, social contract theories were drawn up so that [00:36:40] people behave well towards each other. And therefore. And that’s ethics. And therefore the ultimate [00:36:45] subject of ethics is a human being. That’s very, very important. It’s [00:36:50] about the human being, nothing else after that. So therefore some dentists like to focus on the tooth. [00:36:55] I focus on the human being. So ethics is [00:37:00] carrying out procedures in the best interest of the human being, not the best interest of the tooth. Do [00:37:05] you see the difference? You know, because there will be a lot of I mean, there will be some very hardline fundamentalist [00:37:10] dentists who will say it’s wrong to let’s say, let’s say you are the tooth. I mean, this [00:37:15] was a real patient, by the way. This was when about 20 years ago, she [00:37:20] had a very mobile tooth bordering onto M3, but it was M2. It was quite mobile and [00:37:25] she was in her 70s or 80s. And she came in and she said, it [00:37:30] looks horrible, Chris, you know, and, um, I like it crowned. And [00:37:35] I’m looking at this very mobile tooth. Now, if I hadn’t done philosophy, I would have said, no, you’re going [00:37:40] to lose that tooth in three months, you know, and I can’t charge you, you know, £300 for [00:37:45] it at that time, you know.

Speaker1: However, I’m not looking at the tooth. I’m looking at the person [00:37:50] behind the tooth. And to her she’s, she says, I know I might not [00:37:55] live for another month of the year, but I really would like to go out with a, with a nice [00:38:00] tooth. And I say, what if it even lasts a month? I’ll be very happy with that, Chris, because nobody would do it for me [00:38:05] and for me. I crowned it for her. She died, I think, within [00:38:10] the year, I think, um, but the main thing was that one of her relatives said, um, [00:38:15] thank you for doing the tooth. Now that’s ethics, because the [00:38:20] subject, the ultimate of ethics, is a human being, not an inanimate object like a [00:38:25] tooth, you know? And a lot of times, you know, I’ve done things which, technically speaking, [00:38:30] would probably be not good from a dental perspective. But when you have consent, [00:38:35] this comes down to consent. Really. Ethics and consent. Yeah. You know, that’s that’s what that’s where it’s heading towards basically [00:38:40] in that are you consenting for a tooth. Are you consenting for the human being? Because very, [00:38:45] very often we make our treatment plans, many people seeking consent from the tooth because [00:38:50] science would give would back up the consent from the tooth. No, the consent comes from the human [00:38:55] being. Then, you know.

Speaker4: It’s you’re.

Speaker3: Absolutely right. I mean, I think we [00:39:00] had a discussion like this at one of the one of the live events recently [00:39:05] regarding, you know, what, if a 18 year old asks you for [00:39:10] porcelain veneers, would you do it? You know, this sort of question. Yeah. And they brought [00:39:15] up that famous, um, daughter test thing. But when you consent [00:39:20] is the right word. Yeah. Because consent is valid and informed and that by [00:39:25] definition, if you have that, it’s not your [00:39:30] decision, it’s your daughter’s decision. You know that that’s the important thing.

Speaker1: Uh, [00:39:35] actually, the daughter theory is actually very unethical because what [00:39:40] you’re in effect doing is don’t forget the object of, of of ethics and [00:39:45] is about as a clinician is that and in fact, obviously, [00:39:50] um, oh, what’s the name? Um, the ruling in Scotland that, [00:39:55] that, that, that, that kind of says you should use the person to take the risk. Not not the not the clinician. Lanarkshire [00:40:00] versus Montgomery versus Lanarkshire ruling. Yeah. So the daughter test is basically my [00:40:05] daughter is let’s say 18 or 19. So in effect what you are saying is you are you [00:40:10] are deciding for her what you will do. Okay. Yeah. And that comes [00:40:15] down to number one in a court of law, you will not have informed consent. You [00:40:20] know. So when they say treat your patients like I would, you know, say [00:40:25] I would treat my patients like I would treat my own family. And my daughters are 14 years old. And [00:40:30] I said to them that, you know what I said to them when they were 13? I said, you’re now teenagers. [00:40:35] What? What does that mean? And one of them said, um, well, you’re probably going to argue a lot.

Speaker1: And [00:40:40] I said, no. Basically, you are now turning a corner in your life where you are going to discover [00:40:45] your identity and you want to express that. And I will do my utmost best to [00:40:50] respect your opinion and whatever you want to do, I’ll give you my input, but your ultimate decision is yours, [00:40:55] and I will treat all my patients the same way. It’s informed consent. At the end of the day, you know ethics [00:41:00] is at the end of the day. How can it be ethical if you decide what you will do for another person? Forget it’s [00:41:05] your daughter, for another person, you know everybody’s the same. Just because they’re your daughter doesn’t mean [00:41:10] they should be treated differently from from everybody else, you know? Um, and for me, I don’t actually buy [00:41:15] into the daughter test. I went into informed consent. Obviously, you have to then decide at 18 [00:41:20] years old, are they capable of fully understanding Long Terme [00:41:25] what the consequences are now, this is the difference in.

Speaker3: Societies drawn that line. Society [00:41:30] has drawn that adulthood line here. Yeah. As it’s not up to you to I [00:41:35] mean unless you want to diagnose them as they’ve got a mental illness.

Speaker4: Well no, but but.

Speaker3: Which, which [00:41:40] is, which is which is real. Right. There are some people who do have a mental illness who want all their teeth pulled out or, [00:41:45] you know, that exists.

Speaker4: Yeah, but but the thing.

Speaker1: Is, if you listen, I mean, and this is where the Jesuit spirituality [00:41:50] helps because you spend a lot of time listening to people. And then in, in, um, analytic philosophy, [00:41:55] in your seminars, you spend a lot of time listening to people. And trust me that when you start listening long [00:42:00] enough, you’ll pick up something’s not right. Your gut feeling it is there. So [00:42:05] the law has said is okay. But remember my three criteria. The first thing is it ethical in this.

Speaker3: Advisable [00:42:10] one is the one that’s probably well, is.

Speaker4: It ethical?

Speaker1: I would probably say no because I’m not fully convinced [00:42:15] that she has really understood. Is it legal? Yes, because [00:42:20] I’ve got consent and it says she hasn’t understood.

Speaker3: It’s your fault, though. Yeah.

Speaker1: No, [00:42:25] um, there are some people who. No. Because they’re not really listening. They have really decided what they [00:42:30] want the answer to be. And you can always tell how how they answer you. So there’s [00:42:35] a difference between, um, I would like to like to have six veneers, a nice smile. Yeah. But the problem [00:42:40] is it’s going to destroy your teeth. And you might have a very nice smile, but every ten years they need replacing at a huge [00:42:45] cost. Yeah, yeah, that’s no problem. How quickly that answer comes out, it means they’re not listening. [00:42:50] Whereas those who really listen, they’ll be looking you in the eye, look them in the eye, people you know, [00:42:55] and you will see that the eye tells you more than the mouth. And you [00:43:00] can see there’s a there’s a blank look and yeah, there’s yeah that’s fine. They haven’t really listened. [00:43:05] So for me it would not be ethical. It’s legal. It’s inadvisable. No. And this actually [00:43:10] happened to me once. Um, about ten years ago this lady came in, um, 106 [00:43:15] veneers, um, adult in her mid 20s. And I looked at her teeth and, [00:43:20] you know, they actually quite nice teeth. Um, they’re not really how she described them. So [00:43:25] I said very things to her and she said, oh yeah, yeah, I know, that’s fine. No problem. I said, I’ll tell you what, let’s come back in six months [00:43:30] and just see if you still feel the same.

Speaker1: So through my Jesuit training, [00:43:35] this is discernment not doing straight away. So they came in again and [00:43:40] I said, bring your boyfriend with you, please. Boyfriend sits in the corner. I says, I said, Jeff, don’t you think she’s got [00:43:45] a nice smile? She goes, there’s definitely nothing wrong with the teeth, Chris. I think she’s got a really nice smile. [00:43:50] Okay, so I said, I think you have a really nice smile. So after a few more questions [00:43:55] with a little bit, nothing really revealing. Then I says, come back in six months time. I might decide [00:44:00] whether or not to do it for you now. She disappeared. You know, at that time, [00:44:05] you know, this was about 20 years ago, I think she disappeared. And, um, and [00:44:10] all of a sudden I got this letter from from the hospital saying that, you know, so and so has been [00:44:15] referred to us for Saturday, and there was a list of medication, and she was. And she never [00:44:20] told me any of that. Um, she was an antipsychotic. Drugs. Wow. Yeah. So I picked [00:44:25] it up. It’s sort of discernment, you know, that something, you know, I can’t say what it is, but. [00:44:30] And, uh, and then. And then she turned up again, you know, she turned up again, [00:44:35] and sadly, somebody did it for her. Um, but she [00:44:40] really wanted me to come back.

Speaker1: Could you look after her and everything, please? You know, because, you know, and I [00:44:45] get that a lot, you know? You know, people have the utmost trust that I’m very, very honest. [00:44:50] And I do an incredibly high quality of work. But sometimes our emotions take [00:44:55] over their head and they know I have said whatever, but then they just want it regardless [00:45:00] of consequences, and they will pay for it to have it done. And they’ll come back to me and say, look, you look after them, please, because I know [00:45:05] you do better job than the other guy in looking after them, because you’re always honest with me, Chris, you know, and [00:45:10] I get that quite a lot, you know? And unless it’s a complete train wreck, um, there’s [00:45:15] one case where I saw was a train wreck, but in less than that, I’m quite happy to continue to look after it for them, you know. But [00:45:20] I’m very careful what I write down, what I, what I, how I talk to them. Things like that all comes through analytic philosophy. [00:45:25] And they’re very clear, uh, about where they stand or where I stand, you know, but then as I said, you [00:45:30] know, um, consent is the main thing. And what really helped me a lot was that, um, I there [00:45:35] was a gentleman, um, I restored an implant for that I [00:45:40] knew was going to fail on a lawyer.

Speaker3: Well, yeah. So this is [00:45:45] let’s get to the dark part of the of the of the part. Go on. [00:45:50] What a story.

Speaker1: And basically I was asked if I would restore an implant, um, for, [00:45:55] for, for someone. Um, so I said if I’m going to do that, I want to. [00:46:00] I’m 100%. That implant is a restorative driven procedure. [00:46:05] The restorative dentistry. So have a look at it first. So I ask to see the patient. I examined the [00:46:10] patient. And um and I said he needs a bone graft [00:46:15] and a connective tissue graft before the implant goes in, because the bones are in the right place [00:46:20] and the gingival is so thin, um, you’re gonna have problems. So I [00:46:25] wrote that back. And three months later, he turned up with the implant to [00:46:30] be restored with no bone graft, no connective tissue graft, and you could see the [00:46:35] grey of the implant. So I looked at it, and it’s a very deep, deep [00:46:40] overbite. Class two diff two. And, um, and I just [00:46:45] thought there’s no room for the crown. It’s going to be banging on the bloody crown, you see. So I said I can’t restore this. By the way, you [00:46:50] need to go back to your your surgeon, you see. And I said that the implant, the crown crown [00:46:55] will break or something’s going to break. Your bite’s too deep. So we [00:47:00] she went back to see the surgeon and she came back and she says, um, you know, Chris, [00:47:05] um, I’ve spoken to so and so he says it should be all right, that things can be done. Um, so I’m quite happy to go ahead and restore [00:47:10] it. So I says, can I just say if we restore that, it will fail. You [00:47:15] know it won’t last. You know I wouldn’t do that. So. Two and fro four times. [00:47:20] And eventually she came. He came back and he says, um, I know you’re unhappy with that, but I’ve [00:47:25] spoken to so and so now, and, um. And I’m making an informed decision now, Chris, you can [00:47:30] go ahead and restore it. You see patients.

Speaker3: In this or the.

Speaker4: Other, not the.

Speaker1: Patient. I’m [00:47:35] making an informed decision. I’ve heard you. I’ve heard you both four times now. I’m happy that you go ahead and restore you see. [00:47:40] So I restored it. And so in the consent form, basically, [00:47:45] it was fairly clear in my clinical notes that you are in fact consenting to failure. So [00:47:50] that’s totally non-ambiguous here. So initially the [00:47:55] the bone broke with the implant and the crown was moving. Wasn’t my bloody crown. It was a bone that broke. [00:48:00] And somehow, somehow the bone hardened again. It stopped. But then the gingiva was [00:48:05] so thin, there was a little flap of tissue and food was trapping into it. And eventually [00:48:10] he came and he said, surely I shouldn’t be like this. He said, I says, yeah, the gums are a bit too thin. And [00:48:15] the implant surgeon said, he’s got gingivitis. No, oral hygiene is perfect. He’s not gingivitis. [00:48:20] He’s got a very thin biotype. And eventually, with an inflammatory response, the [00:48:25] gums receded and you can see the implant. So he came back and he just said, look, I [00:48:30] shouldn’t be left with this, should I? I says, no, so he says, um, I said, you really [00:48:35] should have had a bone graft to push it forward and a connective tissue graft to thicken the gums. You see, he goes, well, [00:48:40] shouldn’t have been done before, before he was placed. Then I says, so by this time, you know, I’m always [00:48:45] honest with them. I don’t want to throw anybody under the bus.

Speaker1: But after telling you four times, six times you talk to the guy on the phone not [00:48:50] to do it. He said, you know, he did it. So I just said, well, yeah, I’ve done beforehand you wouldn’t be here [00:48:55] now. Then why was it done beforehand? I can’t answer that because I did ask for it to be done. You see, um, [00:49:00] I have no other choice now because I spoke to my indemnity. He says, you know, it’s not about throwing anybody in there. That’s. You need you need to not defend [00:49:05] yourself because you did everything right. So at the end of the day, he contacted his I mean, he’s [00:49:10] a lawyer. So he contacted his lawyers. And basically I got a letter saying that, you know, if you [00:49:15] just give me back my money for the crown, then I’ll just leave it. And I just thought to myself, no, you [00:49:20] know, I warned you four times. And so I brought a very nice letter back to say that I can’t really give [00:49:25] you back the money because you consented to failure. We went through this four times, and your exact words. You [00:49:30] are making an informed consent now. Sure enough, the the solicitor’s letter arrived, [00:49:35] um, asking for clinical notes, you know, and that was my touchpoint. My one and only one, hopefully. [00:49:40] And, um, when their expert witnesses read my notes, the case against me was just dropped. I never heard from them again. [00:49:45]

Speaker4: You know, and so.

Speaker1: Through my philosophy days, [00:49:50] really, um, that I knew I expressed things very clearly. I knew I was science based, [00:49:55] I knew I was confident that, you know, I, I’m on solid ground here because ultimately [00:50:00] the terminology is you’ll be consenting to failure. I’m making an informed consent. So [00:50:05] it doesn’t get clearer than that.

Speaker4: You know, would you.

Speaker3: Say that that’s the most challenging day you [00:50:10] can remember in your career? You know, from a work perspective. [00:50:15]

Speaker1: For most challenging day? No, I mean, I was I was quite all right with that because [00:50:20] in fact, my identity at that time actually.

Speaker4: Doesn’t seem.

Speaker3: Too bad. It’s an interesting story, but it doesn’t seem [00:50:25] too bad from your perspective.

Speaker4: No.

Speaker1: The most challenging day for me was I was I was doing a connective [00:50:30] tissue graft for this gentleman. I knew he likes drinking, you know, and I sent him to specifically, [00:50:35] you know, you’re coming at 2:00. Do not have any alcohol at lunchtime. [00:50:40] Please do not have any alcohol. And it’s all written down. Everything else he goes, yeah, don’t worry Chris, I [00:50:45] won’t, you see. Uh, so he comes in and he looks all right. But then I bent down [00:50:50] and I thought, no, no. Is that. No? And I said to the nurse, can you smell alcohol? She says [00:50:55] no. Okay, so so so so I started doing it. I started making the incision in the palate [00:51:00] to take it from the palate. And he started I mean, it started bleeding like mad, you know, I started pushing [00:51:05] the pressure. He started a lot of bleeding, you see. And eventually I had to kind of stitch it up and everything. And I just said, [00:51:10] you drank at lunchtime. He goes, yeah, I need one pint. I told you not to drink any. He put it more [00:51:15] than two pints. Really? So the blood pressure was up. I had to I had to abandon the whole bloody thing because he wouldn’t stop bleeding, you know? [00:51:20] So that was like panic, panic, panic, panic. Oh, my God, was all this blood coming from. You know, that was my worst day, really, I think [00:51:25] I think, yeah.

Speaker3: So when you decided to go back to dentistry. You [00:51:30] decide to go back and really, really, like [00:51:35] learn everything and be, you know, do the very best that you can and I can relate to it. Actually, [00:51:40] I stopped dentistry for five years when we started enlighten, and then when I went [00:51:45] back, I went back my I took over my wife’s patience when she was on maternity. I [00:51:50] had that feeling as well. You know, that I’m only going to do what I’m very, very [00:51:55] good at. But for me, for me, it went a funny direction. I basically [00:52:00] started, referred a lot, referred everything out apart from the bleaching and bonding. Whereas [00:52:05] for you, for you, you actually, [00:52:10] um, started to learn and, and you know, went on loads and loads of courses. [00:52:15] Yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: So so, so, so I can understand I mean normally I would, I’d be [00:52:20] asking, you know, what is it about you that makes you that guy? But I think your previous, your previous [00:52:25] story kind of tells us that. But tell me about, you know, the highlights of [00:52:30] that journey and the lowlights of that journey. And what did you decide to do first? And you know which [00:52:35] direction you went in and which directions you didn’t go in.

Speaker4: And yeah, I.

Speaker1: Came back into dentistry and I knew I wanted to [00:52:40] be a dentist, but I also wanted to improve, change people’s lives. And one of those would be smile [00:52:45] design. At the end of the day, you see, uh, whether it’s by dentures or by, um, restorative [00:52:50] dentistry. So I started doing a lot of courses, so I went in. So we are talking where are we [00:52:55] talking about now? We’re probably talking about 1984, 1990, probably around 1995, [00:53:00] I think possibly. I went to Las Vegas and did [00:53:05] a course on Anterior Composites. I can’t remember the name of the lecturer now. Then I knew I [00:53:10] wanted to do gum surgery, plastic seeing things, and I went to Toronto where the I don’t know whether they exist [00:53:15] or not. The Washington Institute of Periodontology was running a course on pigs heads in Toronto, [00:53:20] so I flew over there to to learn connective tissue grafts and crown lengthening and everything. Then, [00:53:25] um, there I found out that that that the, the god of periodontal [00:53:30] surgery was William Beckett. So in those days there were no DVDs. So I bought the DVD. I bought [00:53:35] the, the the videotape of him and and I really learned a lot from that. [00:53:40] Then I started doing, uh, then of course, this occlusion to be learned. So I, [00:53:45] I’m one of the students who built the late Bill Tomkovicz and British Society of Occlusal Studies, the whole [00:53:50] year’s course on occlusion, all that kind of stuff I learned from them. Then after occlusion. [00:53:55]

Speaker4: How how long.

Speaker3: Was that course?

Speaker4: One year.

Speaker3: Oh, one year.

Speaker4: Yeah, one year, of course.

Speaker1: Yeah, [00:54:00] yeah. Um, yeah. And you actually treat your own patients and, you know, on that.

Speaker4: What was it, [00:54:05] what was the aha.

Speaker3: What is an aha moment in occlusion when you, when [00:54:10] you, when you’re looking into occlusion.

Speaker4: What I.

Speaker3: It’s a ridiculous question to.

Speaker4: Ask. No no no no [00:54:15] no I mean I.

Speaker1: I had a patient who, who hasn’t got treatment but, but he [00:54:20] couldn’t open his mouth very wide, you know, and um, occlusion at the time believed because he didn’t [00:54:25] have balance, occlusion, the muscles in tension. And I remember equilibrating him and all of a sudden his mouth [00:54:30] is dropped open literally twice to opening, you know what I mean? I said, wow, you [00:54:35] know, but the biggest aha moment will come later on. I’ll tell you about prosthetics, because I [00:54:40] learned how to make dentures in a in a very special way from Joe Massad. It was it was [00:54:45] a three day course, I think three, three day course.

Speaker4: And did you do the.

Speaker3: Setups yourself as the dentist? [00:54:50]

Speaker1: No, no, but but what it involves is, um, taking neutral zones [00:54:55] and external impressions and everything. But the main thing was I then combine dentures [00:55:00] and restorative dentistry, um, and smile design. And one of the things [00:55:05] I learned from Jim was how the setting of the setting up of the teeth to a certain pronunciation, you see, [00:55:10] and I had this 80 year old lady, I made her a fool. Fools. And [00:55:15] a trillion. A trillion, by the way, my train comes back on an articulated, and I actually [00:55:20] moved the teeth around because I say to my patients that I guarantee you within 30s you’ll [00:55:25] be speaking perfectly. I guarantee that I do, and they all do. So [00:55:30] if I’m not articulate, I put the teeth in the mouth. I said, can you can you read this passage, please? And she started [00:55:35] reading it and I could hear a lisp somewhere, you see. So I looked underneath to see how the teeth were [00:55:40] actually, um, interacting. And I find it was a lateral upper right lateral. So I twisted the lateral [00:55:45] by about 30 degrees. So she had a twisted lateral. And then she started reading, oh that’s better. Now it’s gone. [00:55:50] I said, okay, I says, when you in your own she’s 80 years old. Remember I said in your own in your younger days, did [00:55:55] you have a twisted tooth? I have no idea. So I said, right. Anyway, let’s get your husband in now, um, [00:56:00] and see what he thinks. So. So he sits down, I says, I says, you know, um, Geoffrey, [00:56:05] Martha’s going to read a passage to you.

Speaker1: I want you to see if you can understand what she’s saying. She [00:56:10] read about four lines, and all of a sudden he got up and moved his face right up to her face [00:56:15] and looked at the last row, and he said, I, you had a tooth like that when we got married, [00:56:20] you know? And I thought, wow, I mean, that was like, wow, I’m going to [00:56:25] build a shrine to you. So she says, what, what what are you talking about? So I showed her the mirror. Then I showed her the mirror, I says. You [00:56:30] got a twisted two, didn’t you? Um. That’s why the lift has gone. Now is how your mouth is moving. And [00:56:35] she turned to the husband and she just goes, yeah. And don’t forget, they got married when they were in their 19 [00:56:40] or 20. And she said, yeah, when we were courting, you had a tooth like that. Your natural teeth. It was twisted. [00:56:45] So I said to her, so we can either give you a perfectly straight teeth, you got a slight lisp, or [00:56:50] we’re going to leave it as a twisted. And she said, I’ll leave it as it twisted. And I was quite nice, [00:56:55] because when we came to fitting, he came with her again, and as he walked out, he just turned around and he [00:57:00] says, thanks for bringing me back down memory lane. So that was a real aha moment for me. [00:57:05] And I still do all that, my dentures. And it comes with now the in your.

Speaker4: In your full, [00:57:10] full.

Speaker3: Cases don’t you. Isn’t it a routine thing that you ask for photos of their child, [00:57:15] you know, when they had their teeth? Is that a routine?

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah. So we would ask for [00:57:20] for natural teeth. Yeah. But then you also analyse the face. So [00:57:25] obviously unfortunately I can’t show you the photographs. But there was a, there was a lady who was worn [00:57:30] full force all her life and her face is completely collapsed. And you have to put the teeth above the ridge, all [00:57:35] that kind of stuff, you see. Yeah. And when I make my full fools, I make them in occlusal splint. [00:57:40] And I look at the rule of thirds, and I decide how far I want to open them up. And [00:57:45] then for this lady, we opened it up by about 6 or 7mm wide open, you know. [00:57:50]

Speaker4: Um, have you heard of Nick Mahindra? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: We actually talked about [00:57:55] it um, years ago on GDP UK. He, he, um, really discussed a few things with me. [00:58:00] He, he used something that was swallowing. I think it’s something swallowing. Is it swallowing?

Speaker4: He’s still open.

Speaker3: He he was [00:58:05] my boss here and he used to open by 20mm sometimes. So you’d get these, like, [00:58:10] faces go, oh, like this. And then two weeks later, everything would relax and [00:58:15] they’d look 20 years younger. Yeah. You know.

Speaker1: Well, because we use a splint to move them into [00:58:20] CR, so that’s the first thing you just kind of open up anywhere. So the splint at the same time is, [00:58:25] is pushes them back into CR. So when you actually start the dentures you’ve got a Gothic arched tracing. [00:58:30] And so the registration is taken with the Gothic tracing then more importantly [00:58:35] is that not only do teeth to the bone shrink vertically but horizontally. So [00:58:40] when we come to do the tri in and this the first time I did it was the scariest thing I ever did. [00:58:45] The pronunciation, everything was perfect. And then I removed all [00:58:50] the wax from the gingival margin to the to the border. All the wax, [00:58:55] okay? And I put a function impression material into that, and I put it back into the mouth. And I [00:59:00] got them to do certain exercises. And they now take a three dimensional impression of that space [00:59:05] that’s there. You know, I mean, that’s what makes people look younger, really, because [00:59:10] at the moment, if you put the the teeth above the, um, the, the ridge [00:59:15] and your, your flanges goes up, you have this huge space there and therefore the cheeks [00:59:20] falls in. So when they try to smile, they can only smile so much they can’t come all the way out. Whereas [00:59:25] if you fill that space, which is an empty space with the denture material, then [00:59:30] when they smile, they go straight out, you see, and and literally they look 20 years younger [00:59:35] and they can smile confidently, you know? Um, so we do all that.

Speaker1: I mean, I mean, there’s [00:59:40] 1 or 2, there’s only one technician that we use at the moment because he, he, he knows as much as I do. And he’s Rick [00:59:45] in, in, in London, his, his lab is about £1,000, but we charge about £4,000 [00:59:50] for our dentures. But and then you take the neutral zone impression, um, like some nice photographs. Where the [00:59:55] where the tongue. When they were speaking, it did a little thing like that. It’s kind of stuck out and went to the [01:00:00] right. And so that that area there was very narrow your, your, your, your margin for where to put the teeth [01:00:05] in. And the minute you put it there, she said, oh, I can talk properly now. It doesn’t move. Why is that? You know, because I’ve [01:00:10] allowed for your tongue to do this silly thing when you’re talking. Um, but yeah. So those are my real wow [01:00:15] moments, really? Is. Is prosthetics really how how if you follow the science, [01:00:20] it really works. People look 20 years. My dentures, they don’t look like, you know, stippling [01:00:25] and roots and things like that, because that’s too thin. If you take the denture out of the mouth, there are lumps and bumps because [01:00:30] you’re filling in all the empty space. They just lumps and bumps. And yet, you know, the face looks so. [01:00:35]

Speaker4: But is facially driven, facially facially.

Speaker1: Driven, you know? Um, so those are my wow moments. [01:00:40]

Speaker3: But it’s not like you only do those. I mean, I was looking on your feed [01:00:45] and you were taking taking delivery of your medet. Oh, [01:00:50] yeah. Um, and, you know, like, you’re still, still, still, you know, [01:00:55] technology and looking to improve and all that. It’s amazing the number of different things [01:01:00] you do well. But have you ever thought about teaching?

Speaker4: No.

Speaker1: Well, I [01:01:05] honestly, I have been asked to give to actually run this course on the prosthetics. My, my technician [01:01:10] says because we need to run the course. I said, we’re going to run the course. It has to be done properly. So there are technicians. You [01:01:15] have to give the course to, the technician has to learn from you, and then they bring their own patients. And I think at the [01:01:20] moment there’s been so much in my life going on, um, especially with twins, that, you know, I [01:01:25] didn’t have the time to I want to spend some time with the family, you know, but I’m more than happy. When [01:01:30] people come to shadow me, they can see what I do. Um, how I do things. I mean, the only thing I know nothing about [01:01:35] is orthodontics. I don’t know why I can carry out the ortho exam class to div one and all that kind of stuff, and [01:01:40] then so what? So I decided not to have anything to do with ortho. It just doesn’t [01:01:45] click with me at all. But everything else I like to do things. Well, I mean, it’s I mean, there’s a lot [01:01:50] of jokes and every time I go in a course, I’m the oldest guy. Everybody’s like 20 years younger, [01:01:55] you know, and I yeah, I mean, you know.

Speaker3: It’s a funny thing, Chris, [01:02:00] because I noticed that on our courses as well, our courses are a bit more, you know, composite bonding, [01:02:05] a lot of lot of young, old, older guys know better than to compensate. But but [01:02:10] but but you know, it’s a young thing. Um, but I’ve noticed that [01:02:15] I’ve noticed that anyone anyone over 40 is the [01:02:20] odd one out of 40.

Speaker4: Okay, well.

Speaker1: How old do you think I am? You can see me on the screen. [01:02:25]

Speaker3: You’re 58.

Speaker4: I’m always [01:02:30] thinking, no, you’re more. I’m over 60.

Speaker3: I just, I just did the calculation of.

Speaker4: If you’re [01:02:35] suppose to go by appearance. Okay. Not mathematics. Okay.

Speaker3: But my my [01:02:40] protein kicked in a bit too late.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Appearance, not mathematics. [01:02:45]

Speaker3: You should look at teaching, dude. Yeah, and I know it’s a it’s a hassle and a headache and all that. [01:02:50] Yeah, but you clearly thrive thrive on explaining things. And [01:02:55] I can see you’re doing it one on one with people you’re having. You know, I don’t know, lunch with, uh, [01:03:00] my good friend Alex. Oh, yeah. Butcher. Um, or, [01:03:05] you know, another geek. Another geek. But, you know, teaching doesn’t have to be, like, [01:03:10] a high risk thing. You can start with a very simple. You know, I’m putting on a course, um, [01:03:15] for free and just see what that’s like, but you’ll love it. You’ll love it.

Speaker4: I think one of the.

Speaker1: Best [01:03:20] things I could do to tell you the truth is, I was very privileged to give a [01:03:25] talk to ace, and the title of the course was How to Become a Successful Dentist, [01:03:30] you see, and I started that course by how to, you know, [01:03:35] there are various things you have to do, but there are various things that you have to, um, to be [01:03:40] a successful dentist. You know, you laid out the various things like leaving the NHS, going private. I talked about what exactly [01:03:45] is rapport, what exactly is ethics? Uh, but the most important thing is about [01:03:50] which. Which I probably wouldn’t say here, but, um, on the course I did say it [01:03:55] is that I probably have the record of after 20 years in NHS [01:04:00] dentistry, at least when I went private, I did not have one [01:04:05] abusive comment. Or one abusive, angry patient. In fact, I had loads [01:04:10] of thank you cards. Things like saying no. Thank you so much for the last 20 years that you’ve looked after us. [01:04:15] Um, I do totally understand why you’re going private, and I wish you the very best in your new [01:04:20] venture. Had loads of cards like that, you know, I was actually quite touched, and we never had it. And that’s because [01:04:25] we built rapport with the patients, you know? And the problem with rapport is something which people [01:04:30] don’t really understand what it is, um, and how you go about it. But that course was, was probably [01:04:35] one of the most beneficial things, because you can learn confidence building and, you know, they are they are great people teaching composites [01:04:40] all over the thing.

Speaker1: You know, I’ll just I’ll just be another pea in the pod, which is there’s [01:04:45] no point really. And then as far as, um, all the other stuff, there are other people who can [01:04:50] teach that, but I think we I could excel in this. Really help, help you to think why [01:04:55] you want to go private and how to go private to more or less the closest you come to guaranteeing success. You [01:05:00] don’t need millionaires in your on your list. You know, many of my patients, when I’m fully [01:05:05] private, some of them just work, work in factories, you know, many of them very nice people. [01:05:10] As long as you understand your patients, you don’t price them out of your market. Then. Then you can go private. [01:05:15] You know, it’s more or less a guaranteed guarantee, especially now with NHS falling apart, you [01:05:20] know, um, this is the best time to go private. But people just don’t know, understand why, how [01:05:25] to go how to go about it. Because for me, it’s not just as simply of getting somebody in to [01:05:30] produce all the paperwork and you send it off to them. There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that. And [01:05:35] I always say to somebody, if you want to go private, you plan to go private in two years time. [01:05:40] I’ll tell you how, and I can guarantee you you will be successful. You know, as I said.

Speaker3: Do [01:05:45] you think everyone’s up to delivering on whatever, you know, this scheme of [01:05:50] yours?

Speaker1: Yes, yes, because, um, it’s a.

Speaker3: Very simple thing that everyone can. [01:05:55]

Speaker4: Do. Yep. Absolutely.

Speaker1: But the thing is, very often dentists will say, I’m going to go private. I’ve [01:06:00] had enough of doing this shit work under the NHS. No, we are going private. [01:06:05] Everybody and everybody is a team effort. If not everybody is on board, it [01:06:10] will fail.

Speaker4: Definitely he’ll.

Speaker1: Fail. You know, and [01:06:15] private dentistry is not about doing works by Michelangelo. Private dentistry is [01:06:20] purely the most. The fundamental thing in private dentistry is time. [01:06:25] Patients. You know, I mean, can you imagine, you know, when somebody moves into an area. Yeah. And they ding [01:06:30] dong, go to the neighbour and says, hey, we’re looking for a dentist. Um, who can you recommend? So [01:06:35] the wife is not going to, you know, you think the wife is going to say, oh, I go to Smiths down in the high Street because they [01:06:40] got this beautiful waterfall feature in the waiting room. It’s actually beautiful, the waiting room. She’s not going to recommend [01:06:45] them for that. Or the husband is not going to say, oh, he’s an engineer. Or I go to Smiths [01:06:50] too, because he’s got a red band NSK handpiece, you know, and he’s got he’s got an internal scanner. [01:06:55] You know, what people remember is that people buy people, and if you can spend [01:07:00] time, that’s the most important thing. As long as you don’t have two left hands, but you spend time listening, [01:07:05] talking, you’ve won them over. And that’s what consent ultimately is all about, [01:07:10] obtaining consent, you know? And, um, if you spend time then then then obviously then the, the basic things you [01:07:15] need to do, I would say is you’re doing composites, learn to do the rubber dam, learn to do it.

Speaker1: Because rubber dam is not [01:07:20] just about moisture control, it’s about the ambience being very relaxed. And that’s what patients are paying you for [01:07:25] charge for your time, you know, I mean, I just I just had a, had a gentleman [01:07:30] ring up yesterday. Um, he has an appointment at about a month’s time. I’m quite happily booked up. And [01:07:35] the complex will be doing for him is is £280. And he said, well, well, his friend had [01:07:40] it done for £100. You know, I got that, you know, and I just as well if [01:07:45] you really feel that price range suits you then you’re probably better off going there. You’re in the wrong place here, you [01:07:50] know, because we do things maybe differently. But what I do, I will charge for this. [01:07:55] And I say it in a very matter of fact way, that you’re very welcome to go there to do it, have it done if you want, [01:08:00] you know. But then it means you’re leaving the practice, you know. But private dentistry, this is all about [01:08:05] time, you know, learn how to talk and just spend time with you. Learn how to listen to the patient. You know, very [01:08:10] often nobody listens to patients. Again, the thing that always gets in my head from analytic philosophy, you [01:08:15] know, we should listen with the purpose of understanding, not to reply. Try to understand the patient [01:08:20] behind the words.

Speaker4: I mean, the.

Speaker3: We did an episode called leaving the NHS [01:08:25] and it was one of the most listened to episodes we did, but [01:08:30] it always makes me like makes me worry when people say they don’t want to or [01:08:35] they they when they’re scared of going private. Of course you’ve got the business side of [01:08:40] it, right? You know that knowing you’ve got a contract or whatever it is and they do in the NHS. [01:08:45] But the thing that gets me is, you know, you can keep things simple in private. You don’t have [01:08:50] to be christophorus to be a private dentist. You don’t have to be Jason [01:08:55] Smithson to be a private dentist. You can be the the simplest private dentist. You could be the guy [01:09:00] I became, right? I was bleaching and bonding.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Every [01:09:05] single other thing I was, I was referring out, um, you could be anyone you want. You could be anyone you [01:09:10] want as a private dentist. Um. And it’s the NHS system. That’s the weird one. [01:09:15] Yeah, it’s not the private. I mean, private is what dentistry is, right? You [01:09:20] the patient? Yeah, yeah. And it is, is where you’ve got the middle man. Yeah. [01:09:25] Um, as soon as there’s a middle man, that’s that’s weird. You know, that’s the strange thing. [01:09:30]

Speaker4: Now, your your.

Speaker1: Brother in law, okay? Your brother in law, the ball. Well, [01:09:35] the NHS is the one looking down into the bowl of gold.

Speaker4: Okay? The dentist. [01:09:40] We are the bowl in the fish. Fish in the bowl. Okay.

Speaker1: The NHS is the one looking.

Speaker4: Down on that. [01:09:45] The dog? There’s no. But tell [01:09:50] me.

Speaker3: About why you’ve decided to stay single handed. Is it just for simplicity? [01:09:55]

Speaker1: Um, about. Oh, well, I’ve been on my own about 20 years ago. [01:10:00] I think I decided to advertise for an associate, and I specifically [01:10:05] said that, you know, what I would do is, I don’t know, in those days whether they had this word or not, these words. [01:10:10] But it was basically a personal development plan. I said I would I would ask you to go on certain composite courses so I know [01:10:15] you’re up to date with that root canal, rubber dam, all the courses I know, you know, because you’re about to come [01:10:20] into a private practice, you have to do things properly by the signs, okay? Not just, you know, and the majority [01:10:25] of associates wants to know how much you wanted to earn. Then they wanted to go on courses. Already got my BDA. Yeah, you [01:10:30] got your BDA 20 years ago. Things have moved on. But the best one I had was [01:10:35] uh, I was holding the CV in my hand and this person rang up before attending [01:10:40] for the interview and asked me about the thing you see, and I told her about the personal development plan. This [01:10:45] person said, why do I have to go on all these courses? Because I’m a registered specialist [01:10:50] with the General Dental Council, you see. And I knew and obviously with the CV, I know exactly [01:10:55] what the speciality is.

Speaker1: And I said, what’s your speciality? And [01:11:00] this person said, oral surgery. This person has been in secondary care for, I don’t know, five, [01:11:05] six years now. You want to come to a private dentist. You’ve never done that. You haven’t done a composite in six, [01:11:10] seven years and you want to charge. My patients £250. You know, get real. So when I said, [01:11:15] what is your speciality? And she says, um, he, this person said, um, oral surgery. I said, well, how does [01:11:20] that help you put the composite in click. He just hung up, you know. So after [01:11:25] a while I gave up. I gave up having an associate because everybody wants to know how much money is in. You’re not coming to my practice to screw up the reputation. [01:11:30] But then of course, years later, we now have all this nonsense [01:11:35] about, you know, if you have an associate, then you have to do auditing and you have to do this. You know, I could do without [01:11:40] all that hassle, you know, I mean, I mean, I would love to have an associate. I would love to show them how to do things, you know, but to [01:11:45] have to do all the extra stuff from regulations, it’s just, you know, I [01:11:50] got to get a life.

Speaker4: Yeah, but this.

Speaker3: Is that’s kind of a new thing. Whereas for 20 years you haven’t done it. [01:11:55] Well you are you’re a control freak. Are you like, do you want do you want to, you know, you don’t [01:12:00] want to even risk the guy doing one thing wrong type person.

Speaker4: No, I’m not a control.

Speaker1: Freak at all. You can ask my staff. I can tell you this. [01:12:05] My.

Speaker4: I have two, um.

Speaker1: Some of my staff are self-employed. I can tell you this. They [01:12:10] are more self-employed than the majority of associates in this country. So, for example, [01:12:15] my my hygienist is, um, so I always consult an [01:12:20] employment law lawyer to make sure my contract is satisfied. Hmc self-employment, [01:12:25] you see. So first of all, my hygienist is not to ask me about holidays. [01:12:30] Really. So there are days I could come in on a Wednesday expecting her to be here. And she’s not here. You [01:12:35] know, she’s just she’s her own boss, basically. And she sets her own time, you [01:12:40] know, and and all I say. So all I said to her is that, you know, in your contract it says, you know, you have [01:12:45] to get a locum in, but, you know, if you if you if you’re not unreasonable, I would never insist you get a locum in. So [01:12:50] if you decide to go for six months and get a local, otherwise you lose your job. You know what I mean? But but the good thing [01:12:55] is, because you’re so open with them, they are very, um, they don’t abuse it, so I’m not controlling [01:13:00] it at all. So there are times I turn up and the hygienist or the therapist is not even there. I didn’t [01:13:05] know she was going on holiday, you know? So no, I’m not I’m not a control freak. What I do [01:13:10] like is that I control, in so far as act in the best interest of the patient, not [01:13:15] your wallet. And if you can satisfy that philosophy. See, see, when I employ people, I [01:13:20] don’t employ people on, on on clinical skills nurses, or even if a dentist, I employ them [01:13:25] on attitude and personality.

Speaker1: I want to know that you’re a human being, a person, a people person, [01:13:30] and you want to do is just do good dentistry for the best interest of your patient. And then clinical [01:13:35] skills would follow. And I can teach you that. I’m quite happy to, to teach you that. But if you came [01:13:40] to me, you know, with, with 5000 degrees and everything like that, I wouldn’t even look at that [01:13:45] because I want I’ll be talking to you like we are talking now for quite a long time, because after you [01:13:50] talk, you come to know somebody very well. And I just need to know what kind of a person you are. And that’s how I would employ [01:13:55] and then I so about 14, 15 years ago I had my twins. So [01:14:00] I decided not to have the associate I would I would love to have an associate, to tell you the truth. You know, if I know it’s Neil, somebody was going to look [01:14:05] after the practice, look after the patients. I mean, who knows? They could end up buying when I retire. [01:14:10] Um, having the practice because this is one of the top practices. And secondly, this is [01:14:15] an ideal building to build up a specialist practice. We got enough rooms for all the all the specialities, [01:14:20] you know, um, it’s a gold mine, really. But then now with vicarious [01:14:25] liability and my bad experience of people were just wanting how much money, money they can earn. Um, that kind [01:14:30] of puts me out a bit. You know, I could do without the hassle of of of regulations, really. [01:14:35]

Speaker4: But so what what do you do.

Speaker3: When it comes to, when it comes to selling this, this baby? [01:14:40] What will you do.

Speaker4: When it comes? What will you.

Speaker3: Do when it comes to selling? I mean, would you [01:14:45] ever sell to a corporate.

Speaker4: Right. That that I.

Speaker1: Probably won’t say. What I can say is, um, [01:14:50] somebody is obviously keeping an eye on when people qualified and [01:14:55] working out their age because I actually had three phone calls out of the blue, um, saying, [01:15:00] so you must be coming up to retirement. We just can’t buy your practice. And I said, what the hell [01:15:05] are you? You know who who who are you? You see, and they obviously they wouldn’t say, you see. And then one of them, I suspect, is a corporate [01:15:10] because, you see, I represent somebody else I present, you know, um, [01:15:15] for me, I just need to know that somebody is going to look after the practice. But [01:15:20] the main, the main thing with my practice is if you’re going to buy it, because I’m more than happy to to turn this into [01:15:25] a, into a residential property again and rent it out and leave it as a as [01:15:30] to my, to my children in the world. But the main thing is this is an ideal. This is a very [01:15:35] middle class area. You got the patients with the money, and this is a practice where you can easily put in [01:15:40] one surgery for an implant surgeon, one surgery for endo, one surgery for hygiene, [01:15:45] one surgery for for general restorative dentistry. You can easily put about 4 or 5 surgery. And [01:15:50] you can easily have a have a CT scan room. So if you do buy my what you will be [01:15:55] buying is my building to turn it into a specialist practice. So I will [01:16:00] be selling it for a hell of a lot more than what I earn. Because I’m not. I’m not really a high, high earner in that sense, you know, [01:16:05] and that’s what you want. And then what they’ll be buying it for because you won’t get and this, this, you know, there’s [01:16:10] car parking. So if you want to buy this practice. This, then you will be paying a lot more than what? [01:16:15] What my accountant shows you, because it is an investment for you that you can turn this into a specialist practice. You have all [01:16:20] the rooms, everything there, you know, let.

Speaker3: Me let me just say, let me just say that if a sale comes [01:16:25] out of this podcast, I expect my 1% here.

Speaker4: I whiten [01:16:30] your teeth for free.

Speaker3: Thank you.

Speaker4: Tell [01:16:35] me.

Speaker3: Tell me about, [01:16:40] uh, family life. And, you know, if you had a day to yourself, what would you do? [01:16:45] No. No family, no. No expectation. Like, what are your what do you do outside of work?

Speaker1: I [01:16:50] actually have a lot of days like this.

Speaker4: You know? For real? Yeah, because my [01:16:55] daughters.

Speaker1: Are teenagers now, so, you know. Yeah. They’re not interested in, you know, [01:17:00] doing.

Speaker3: How many days are you working clinically? Like wet fingered.

Speaker4: Monday.

Speaker1: Tuesdays and Thursdays [01:17:05] is 930 till five Wednesday I don’t work. And Fridays I finish at three. [01:17:10]

Speaker3: Should cut the Friday. Cut the Friday.

Speaker4: Man, I.

Speaker1: Can’t cut many.

Speaker4: Patients, you [01:17:15] know, but but the thing is, as a private practice, it’s very, very easy.

Speaker1: It really is. [01:17:20] And the patients are very, very nice. I mean every, all the, the bank staff and new people coming [01:17:25] in, I can’t believe how nice the patients are. Literally 100% of our patients are very, very nice. You know, I [01:17:30] still remember when I had my twins, when they were born, uh, we had about 60 cards of congratulations. [01:17:35] And then some of them even bought presents for the girls, you know? So, so, so I [01:17:40] do believe in kind of looking after the patients very, very well. But but yeah, that that’s [01:17:45] why I back to.

Speaker3: The day off. Back to the day off question. Yeah. If you had a day, half [01:17:50] a day, whatever. No no no. No expectation. No nothing. What would you get up to? What would [01:17:55] you like to get up to?

Speaker1: Various things. But at the moment, my my real mind space [01:18:00] is having a nice something to eat. And on my phone I’m watching a movie [01:18:05] and really, really. Yeah. You know, and that’s me. Like in my in my, in my own, in my [01:18:10] own way. So I still do that. So sometimes like on the Saturday morning I will go somewhere for breakfast [01:18:15] for a cooked breakfast, you know, by yourself, by myself. Yeah, yeah. And then my family knows that, [01:18:20] you know. Or I might decide I really, really want to eat this special fried noodles, you know. So [01:18:25] in Derby, I would just drive to Birmingham on my own, um, because they’re quite happy to stay at home. And I’m [01:18:30] quite happy with that. I’ll drive down there, go to this restaurant, watch my movie, eat my meal. Um, they [01:18:35] know me quite well. They every time they see me, they. They got no problems with that. I mean, I have special headphones, earphones. So [01:18:40] they’re not disturbing anybody else. So I’m very happy with doing that, you know. But at the same time, you know, [01:18:45] I’ll be more than happy to have somebody join me for a meal and we can talk for 3 or 4 hours, you know, I mean, you [01:18:50] know, I think people find me quite easy to talk to, so I do that quite a lot, too. I never say.

Speaker4: I’m [01:18:55] the same.

Speaker3: I’m the same with the podcast, with the podcast. So I do it quite a lot because I’m on the [01:19:00] road a little bit. I end up in, in some restaurant in wherever it is, Glasgow. [01:19:05] The good thing is that the quality of restaurants has gone through the roof in the UK, where I [01:19:10] remember a time when it was all like very hard to get good food. Yeah, everywhere [01:19:15] in certain towns, in certain towns now it’s a lot easier than it was. Um, [01:19:20] did you you did, I guess you got you got the the email, our [01:19:25] final questions. Did you.

Speaker4: Miss [01:19:30] it out?

Speaker3: Yeah, I final question. It’s fancy [01:19:35] dinner party. Hey free fancy dinner party. Three guests, dead [01:19:40] or alive. Who would you have?

Speaker1: Um. I [01:19:45] personally, I would, I would, um. Oh, let me see. What is this name? Hang [01:19:50] on. Let me let me just find his name. This this guy is this guy is very current on on on on YouTube. [01:19:55] I should get his name for you. I would love to go for her. However, he [01:20:00] would definitely be one of the three. He is.

Speaker4: Jordan Peterson. Yes. Oh [01:20:05] my goodness, mind reader.

Speaker3: I felt [01:20:10] your vibe and I felt you.

Speaker1: Jordan Peterson would be one of them. And uh, and then [01:20:15] and I mean, another one is, is is quite funny because recently we were talking about some [01:20:20] Korean movies, you see. And which one? Iris. Iris.

Speaker4: Iris.

Speaker3: I heard [01:20:25] of it.

Speaker4: Yeah. Um, it’s.

Speaker1: It has everything. It’s got the it’s got the, um, the romance. [01:20:30] It’s got espionage. Really? On your seat. Nail biting stuff, but but [01:20:35] the but the, uh, lead actress is one of the most beautiful, um, Korean actresses, [01:20:40] you know? So you don’t have a fancy, you know, so Jordan Peterson on her. [01:20:45]

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: I love that, you know?

Speaker4: Right. [01:20:50] And, uh, third one.

Speaker1: Let me let me let me give me a moment. Um.

Speaker4: Surely. [01:20:55]

Speaker3: Ignatius.

Speaker1: No.

Speaker4: No no no no.

Speaker1: I [01:21:00] spent six years with a guy working for a party for.

Speaker4: Bloody [01:21:05] hell. You know what I mean?

Speaker1: Spent six years. Spent six years with a guy.

Speaker4: Um, [01:21:10] yeah. There’s nothing new. He’s going to.

Speaker1: Say [01:21:15] that in six years.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker3: Just just, I [01:21:20] guess another hot check just to make your night amazing.

Speaker4: No. Why [01:21:25] would I want. You know, I’m drawing a blank. You [01:21:30] and Jordan Peterson.

Speaker3: Have a great night with you.

Speaker4: I think that person really.

Speaker1: Would [01:21:35] be, um, just some happy go lucky person. You know what I mean? Who? Who’s who [01:21:40] don’t have views.

Speaker3: You could have Jesus Christ, you could have your your great grandfather. You’re not going to have [01:21:45] to. Just some happy go lucky.

Speaker1: Jesus Christ, no no no no no. I talk to him every [01:21:50] day already.

Speaker3: But, you know, you could.

Speaker4: Have someone else. Yeah. You know. Yeah. [01:21:55]

Speaker3: Okay, let let that marinate. Let that marinate. [01:22:00] We’ll get back to it. Um, this is a like a deathbed question.

Speaker4: Okay? [01:22:05]

Speaker3: You’re on your deathbed. You’ve got your [01:22:10] friends and family or your loved ones around you. And you [01:22:15] want to leave them with three pieces of wisdom, three pieces of advice. What would they be? [01:22:20]

Speaker1: On my deathbed. The first one would be. [01:22:25] Be the person you are you are created to be. Basically, [01:22:30] do not feel you have to pull towards any particular point of view. [01:22:35] Believe in yourself and live your own life. You know [01:22:40] that would be the first one. Number two is. It’s better to have one good friend [01:22:45] than five and ten Facebook friends.

Speaker4: So always. [01:22:50]

Speaker1: Always be a people person. You know, learn, learn to share your your gifts [01:22:55] with other people. Make sure you’re not taken for a ride and you know and you’ll [01:23:00] be you’ll be a happy person. Don’t be selfish or anything like that. You know. Now, [01:23:05] I was once asked this, and the person who asked me [01:23:10] that was actually a by the book. So when I said share [01:23:15] and be people person, he goes and I had to say to him that what [01:23:20] you have, what you have missed, understood, is just just because you’re a people person doesn’t mean you have to be. [01:23:25] Let’s suppose you’re an introvert means you cannot be a people person. It just means that when you are with somebody else, [01:23:30] your attention is on them, not yourself.

Speaker4: But yeah.

Speaker1: So so [01:23:35] I mean, I’m very comfortable with my, my, my I mean, it’s funny you ask me this because because the other day, [01:23:40] you know, in the evening, I tend to reflect discernment on how the day [01:23:45] has gone so that I don’t carry any rubbish to the next anything that rubbish emotions to the next day, you [01:23:50] know.

Speaker3: How long does that take you?

Speaker1: You only need about ten, ten, 15 minutes, that’s all. You just [01:23:55] need to be on your own. Definitely. You must not be interrupted by anything. So the phone is switched off [01:24:00] and I’m lucky. I own my practice, so I sit in the practice. Do it. But if I didn’t have the practice before, I would drive somebody. [01:24:05] I sit in my car and I just do it and you literally just let your without forcing it. [01:24:10] You let your day run from the time you wake up, don’t force it. It’ll replay itself and as it [01:24:15] replaces itself, you suddenly aware of an emotion with something that you had missed in the day, you [01:24:20] know. So, for example, there was once where I just finished treating a family [01:24:25] and this little boy on his way out, he suddenly came back in. His family has already gone to the waiter and he says, [01:24:30] Chris, look what I made today at school. And he took out this little piece of paper that he had folded, and he was showing me how to fold it, unfold [01:24:35] it and everything. And I was looking at that and I said, Johnny, that’s, that’s really, really nice, you know? And the father came and [01:24:40] took him away, you see. And that moment passed. But then when I reflected on the day I could relive that moment, I suddenly [01:24:45] realised how good I felt and how privileged I felt that he came back in, you know, [01:24:50] um, then there was another time where, um, we have a [01:24:55] autistic child and, um, he gets very worked up very quickly. And [01:25:00] the father suddenly phoned up and said, you know, one tooth is coming through, and he’s really worked up because of his, [01:25:05] because of his medical condition. You know, I says, and I know the little child, I said, don’t bring bring him in at [01:25:10] 5:00.

Speaker1: I’ll see him because we’re fully. So he came in and um, and he said, this [01:25:15] tooth is coming through, you know, and the other one is still there. And I said, let’s have a look at it, okay? And then I [01:25:20] suspended. I said, no, you there’s nothing to worry. You just drop out naturally, you see. And [01:25:25] um, and I says, any time you’re worried, Jonathan, you come and talk to me, okay? And I looked him in the eye and I said, you come [01:25:30] and talk to me any time you’re worried, okay? He went outside first. Um, the mother was in the waiting room, and then the [01:25:35] father said, you know, that was so nice that he’s never done this before, that he suddenly found a dental [01:25:40] problem. He said, I need to go and see Chris. Normally, they avoid dentists, you know. [01:25:45] Now, when I replayed it back, I suddenly felt kind of quite emotional and touched. When [01:25:50] you start to hear the story behind that. So all you need is about ten 15 minutes. Let the day run back. [01:25:55] Um, from the time you wake up to the time when you suddenly have certain instances that you then suddenly become aware [01:26:00] of the emotion that went with it, and then you also become aware of how very angry you were with [01:26:05] somebody. You know that you had held it back. You bit your tongue, you know, but then once you become aware [01:26:10] of that, it surfaces and you don’t bring it over to the next day because you’re aware of that, [01:26:15] you know. Um, and, you know, um, but it’s about ten, 15 minutes every day. That’s that’s all [01:26:20] you need, really. Um.

Speaker3: Would you? If one of your twins said [01:26:25] they might want to be a dentist? Would you? I think I know the answer.

Speaker4: You’d say go [01:26:30] for it.

Speaker1: No, no, they said they don’t want to be. No, I mean, I’ll be very honest with them. I do a lot of careers advice [01:26:35] because many of the parents come back in the evening with, with a, with a son and I talk to them about various things, you know, [01:26:40] and I’ll be very honest with them in that, you know, I will be very happy for them to be a dentist. [01:26:45] If I was still working as a dentist, mentor them rather than leave them [01:26:50] at the mercy of some rogue principles and the NHS and all that kind of crap, you know? But [01:26:55] fortunately, one of them is incredibly good at art. And I mean, um, [01:27:00] incredibly good at art. And she’ll probably go towards the arts section. And the other one is, is [01:27:05] Einstein with mathematics, you know, um, but but they already said they don’t really want to be a dentist. So I [01:27:10] says, well, I mean, I didn’t jump up and down and say, yay, thank God for that, you know? But I just [01:27:15] said, well, if you ever think want to think about it, you just come back and talk to me. And I just respected their, their [01:27:20] thing. You know, as long as it’s not life or death, I try. They’re only 14 years old. I try to respect them and let them [01:27:25] make their own mistakes.

Speaker4: Yeah, but I mean.

Speaker3: As as general advice to someone who wants to do dentistry. [01:27:30] I mean, you know, you talked about the fee per item system in the 80s and paying for your house [01:27:35] in two years. And you know, the I don’t know, I’m not sure exactly whether you were saying [01:27:40] this, but the reason why people don’t do that now is because properties are so expensive. [01:27:45] Dentists aren’t earning as much as they were or whatever it is. Yeah, all the regulations, the [01:27:50] the, the drive for cosmetics, the digital, the GDC, [01:27:55] all those things that people worry about about dentistry and I yeah, all [01:28:00] the whole thing, the five year course, I, you know, I was I was telling my daughter, look at dentistry and then [01:28:05] I, and I now I know some of these, uh, very young, uh, associates of arts and things [01:28:10] and they’re so competitive, so competitive, you know, because [01:28:15] they have to get top grades to even get in in the first place. And they do so much. So they thought [01:28:20] maybe for the first time in my life, I thought, oh, maybe not, maybe, maybe, maybe [01:28:25] dentistry isn’t the right, right thing. Where do you sit on that on? Do you think it’s still [01:28:30] the great profession that it was when you got it? No.

Speaker1: I think first of all, I mean, I [01:28:35] mean, if I had my, uh, if I had my way. So first of all, yeah, [01:28:40] the GDC really needs to change because. Very often the see [01:28:45] if you look at it ethically. Um. When you [01:28:50] encourage people to whistleblow for minor things and you accept blue and blue complaints [01:28:55] from an ethical point of view, that is actually. More [01:29:00] unethical than keeping quiet and not whistle blowing, because when [01:29:05] you allow blue and blue, you are allowing the law to be used as a weapon. [01:29:10] The law is no longer answering to that higher principle. Laws are meant to meant to obey, which is [01:29:15] ethics, you see, and therefore the state of affairs is worse. So [01:29:20] sniper ethics means this dentist has harmed this one patient. [01:29:25] You need to report that dentist. And we openly accept that. That’s [01:29:30] nightmare ethics. You’re just looking at the benefit to that one patient. But when you look at the bigger picture, many [01:29:35] people will be using it as a weapon or patients are allowed to be using it as a weapon. The whole [01:29:40] scenario is more unethical, but unfortunately encouraging. Whistle blowing is [01:29:45] sniper ethics, and you’re not looking at the bigger picture of the greater harm is being done. [01:29:50] You know, the you know, judges and should always appeal [01:29:55] to the higher principle laws are meant to serve. So whether you’re a judge, whether you’re whether you’re a fitness to practice [01:30:00] panel member, appeal to the higher principle laws are meant to serve. Don’t just [01:30:05] look at the narrow, very narrow ice field. So as I said, ethics is a is a punch line that people like the [01:30:10] regulators like to throw around. There are many things which are very unethical if you really look into it in depth. [01:30:15] The process is unethical.

Speaker3: Although I had I had Len de Cruz on [01:30:20] recently and he was saying that, you know, that that thing about [01:30:25] the GDC and how how much they’re taking cases forward, or [01:30:30] he’s saying that that has all changed very much, but the perception hasn’t changed in [01:30:35] the profession, that that’s what’s going on. I mean, and he said there’s been changes to no win, no fee as well. [01:30:40] Um, which I wasn’t aware of. Um, you know, it’s almost [01:30:45] like a PTSD, you know, we’ve got it. And he said, oh, you know, it’s nothing like it was in 2015, 2016, [01:30:50] which is only a few years ago. Right. Which is why we’ve got that. But [01:30:55] but, you know, that information needs to go out, that things aren’t as bad as.

Speaker4: They were looking at that I. [01:31:00]

Speaker3: Think, you know, sorry, sorry. But you know, when you were talking about blue on blue, there was [01:31:05] there was a time where the GDC was was a was a growing business, [01:31:10] if you like. But, you know, it was actually they were building they wanted it to be bigger. [01:31:15] And apparently that’s no longer the case, which is, thank God. No.

Speaker4: Were you saying when they.

Speaker1: Say it’s no longer [01:31:20] now, if you look at it in depth ethically, because you get a lot of debates on this in the seminars. Ethics [01:31:25] is something that stands on its own. What you can’t use is. When [01:31:30] you say something’s not as bad as before, you are. You are using. A [01:31:35] bad situation to justify a less bad situation. So at the end of the day, [01:31:40] let’s say I’m going to kill somebody. There are two ways of killing somebody. Let’s say I’m going to I’m going to shoot [01:31:45] him in the head. He dies straight away, or I’m going to keep on stabbing him until he dies. What [01:31:50] you’re then saying is that what they use to stab people until they die, but now they shoot them in the head. So that’s okay, isn’t it?

Speaker4: You [01:31:55] know.

Speaker1: No, it’s not okay. You cannot use a less ethical scenario to [01:32:00] justify another scenario. You know, ethics stands on its own. Again, [01:32:05] ethics is a punch line. People don’t really understand what it really means just because it’s not as bad as before, [01:32:10] but it’s still bad. So that so on its own. You can’t [01:32:15] do that, you see. Otherwise we end up.

Speaker4: Doing all sorts. Well.

Speaker3: A [01:32:20] bit part of it. A big part of it was dental law partnership. I was really, really [01:32:25] frustrated with how can one law firm take on a whole profession, change our whole professional [01:32:30] lives? How is that possible? And again, because because the the business model isn’t isn’t [01:32:35] the same. Hopefully things are getting better, but and then.

Speaker1: Technically speaking, we shouldn’t. If people [01:32:40] had a duty of candour, then you know we shouldn’t need [01:32:45] them to. Law partnership because the process it started off as a good thing, I think, whereby people [01:32:50] were justified to have compensation and they couldn’t get anywhere else with it. But then, like everything, a good [01:32:55] thing. Eventually it goes off in a different direction. [01:33:00] So so so they’re not they open their doors and everything, you know. So initially I think the original idea was good. [01:33:05] I mean, I mean the number of times I can tell you I, um, I would fit a crown for [01:33:10] somebody, you know, porcelain bonded crown. And, uh, and so [01:33:15] it’s guaranteed for a year. It says in the, in the thing, but then 13 months later, the porcelain chips off, you see, [01:33:20] and, um, and so the guy is quite wealthy and he was quite happy to pay again [01:33:25] because he knows the only warranty for a year. I said, no, I’m gonna do it again for you for free. Now, he was actually leaving the practice because he’s [01:33:30] moving to the to the West Coast to to live, you see. So I’ll be moving away after this, Chris. I said, well, [01:33:35] let me make you a crown for there’s no charge. It’s under warranty. I thought it was only for a year. Yeah, I know, but I know that [01:33:40] it shouldn’t break after 13 or 14 months, so let me redo that for you free of charge. So [01:33:45] if you had a certain duty of candour, then we don’t need dental law partnership. But and then but then dental [01:33:50] partnership then becomes a takes on its momentum on its own, you know. And that’s sad because that’s [01:33:55] destroys the profession. Everybody’s scared.

Speaker4: Yeah. Of course you know.

Speaker3: Of [01:34:00] course. How would you like to be remembered?

Speaker1: You [01:34:05] know, one of the, um, one of the exercises we had to do in one of the Ignatian [01:34:10] retreats was that you were to imagine that somebody’s done [01:34:15] a sculpture of you, and it’s covered. I mean, you are now told to go and have a look [01:34:20] at the sculpture, you see, and then you draw the thing down and there are six or [01:34:25] 6 or 6 of us in the retreat. It was interesting what you saw sculptor [01:34:30] had done, which is how other people how do I want to be remembered? I, I hope I [01:34:35] will be remembered as somebody who will always be honest with people I don’t [01:34:40] flatter for no reason. I hope I have empowered people to be more of the person [01:34:45] you you’re born to be. I hope I’ve never consciously [01:34:50] directed people. What I tend to do is if people come and talk to me, is that I help them to find the answers to themselves. It’s not up to me [01:34:55] to say, and they do find the answers in themselves. That’s where the answer comes from, really. Um, and I’m [01:35:00] just a people person. I’m not. I’m not really a money minded person, you know, and I hope people [01:35:05] know that I’m always approachable. 24 over seven.

Speaker1: You know, I’ve always said to [01:35:10] friends, you ever need anything, you know, um, 24 over seven, my door is open. [01:35:15] I say that to my staff, you know, once I get to know them, that if and [01:35:20] I remember about. I wasn’t actually the, um, the principal at that time [01:35:25] was in school years ago, and at that time, I still said that, you know, anything happens in your house, my door is open [01:35:30] to you, and I get a phone call at 3:00 in the morning when something happened in the house, and [01:35:35] and this person ended up in A and E, you know, and the police were there and everything, [01:35:40] but but but this person said I just need to talk to talk to somebody because, you know, I said, that’s that’s [01:35:45] all right. So I spoke to this person at 3:00 in the morning, and then eventually she’s allowed to [01:35:50] go. Now the police are here. Um, I don’t actually know exactly fully the situation, but [01:35:55] as I said, my door is always open. I hope hopefully that’ll be. I’ll be remembered as that, you know, and I. And [01:36:00] I hope I’ll be remembered. I’ll be remembered. I have had the privilege of talking to Payman.

Speaker4: Yeah. [01:36:05]

Speaker3: We’ve we’ve got it on record now, but we’ve [01:36:10] got it on record. Amazing. But I really, really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for doing this. [01:36:15]

Speaker4: Thanks for having.

Speaker1: Me. I enjoyed it too. And hopefully we meet you one day.

Speaker3: Cool. Absolutely.

Speaker2: This [01:36:20] is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you [01:36:25] get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [01:36:30] hosts. Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. [01:36:35]

Speaker5: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened [01:36:40] to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through [01:36:45] and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some [01:36:50] value out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And [01:36:55] if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so [01:37:00] so, so much for listening. Thanks.

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


Comments have been closed.
Website by The Fresh UK | © Dental Leader Podcast 2019