This week, our hosts checked in with dentist, trainer and mentor, Andrew Wallace. 

Andrew talks about his upbringing in Northern Ireland and lets Prav and Payman in on how an unusual odd-job helped him through university.

He shares his thoughts on the highs and lows of practice ownership and gives some practical advice for leaders facing the pain of firing staff.

No conversation with Andrew would be complete without touching on the dental training circuit, where Andrew is a familiar face thanks to his work with IAS Academy. He lets us in on his hectic travel schedule and shares tips for perfect presentation delivery.



“The only reason that I feel I can stand up and talk about anything is because I’m passionate about it. When you have a passion for something it makes it much easier to talk about. Still that first couple of moments on the stage is challenging.”  – Andrew Wallace

In This Episode

02.02 – School, university, bouncing

16.51 – Transition and training

27.51 – Tech and diagnosis

33.15 – Practice ownership, hiring and firing

41.09 – Running with ideas

46.36 – Clinical errors

48.44 – Dealing with nerves

53.12 – Work-life balance

57.50 – Darkest days and future days

01.03.31 – Last day on earth

About Andrew Wallace

Andrew Walace is one of Northern Ireland’s foremost orthodontists. He gained his Master of Clinical Dentistry in 2015 from King’s College London in 2015 and in the same year achieved full membership of the Faculty of General Practice for the Royal College of Surgeons.

Andrew is a prolific international lecturer on alignment and NI’s principal trainer for the Inman Aligner and ClearSmile straighteners. He also runs regular introductory talks and study clubs relating to orthodontics.

Andrew has been owner of Lisburn’s Bachelors Walk Dental practice since 2004 and is the current vice president of the European Society of Aesthetic Orthodontics.

Prav: When I was at Oxford, my gym mates were on the door, and there’s two things that they used to tell me. They used to get in a lot of trouble and they used to get all the chicks.

Payman: I generally stayed away from both. I had no luck in either way.

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

Prav: It’s my pleasure to have Andy Wallace on the Dental Leaders podcast today, Andy welcome.

Andrew Wallace: Hi.

Prav: I think we first met, through IAS, was it?

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, actually we first met in Mumbai.

Prav: Yeah.

Andrew Wallace: Coming up to your wedding. That was a trip and a half.

Prav: Yeah, I remember that. Before my wedding we had to go out and do some wedding shopping and we were on, was it an IAS course?

Payman: You took Andy with you?

Prav: [crosstalk] Yeah, but it was around the same time. Was it you and James Russell running the course or yourself?

Andrew Wallace: Me and Santosh Patel, and we met with Caroline, and the guys from the lab in Dubai.

Prav: It was a good trip, really nice food, and I was on these crazy diets.

Payman: Surprise, surprise.

Prav: I so regret it, mate. I so regret it. We went to this amazing restaurant. Probably one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve ever eaten at.

Payman: The Spare Kitchen.

Prav: Yeah, that was it.

Andrew Wallace: That was fantastic.

Prav: They had these amazing desserts and, me being the idiot that I was…

Payman: Didn’t touch them?

Prav: …passed it all by. I regret it.

Payman: Were you eating meat at the time, at least?

Prav: Yeah, I was, but the thing is, after that I got fat. So I looked back at that day and thought, “I should have just bloody eaten it.”

Payman: Yeah.

Andrew Wallace: You were in full prep mode for the wedding.

Prav: Yeah, but then after that I got fat, because I got married anyways.

Andrew Wallace: Those days are passed as well.

Prav: Yeah, this is not about my wedding, mate. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Andy. Where you grew up, what your upbringing was like, and just a little bit about your backstory.

Andrew Wallace: I don’t think it’s anything particularly unusual or special. Grew up in Northern Ireland. My dad worked for one of the banks at that stage, Allied Irish. Partly because of The Troubles, we kind of moved around a little bit.

Prav: Mm-hmm

Andrew Wallace: So we grew up in one little small town, then moved to another one. Then we stayed there for a few years. Then we moved to a larger, well it’s a city, Derry/Londonderry, and my dad finished his career there and took early retirement, so I suppose that’s what I would have called home as a child.

Prav: You moved around a lot as a kid?

Andrew Wallace: Up until 18 we lived in three different towns that were quite far apart. Far away from sort of family support and cousins, and aunts and uncles, and that sort of thing.

Payman: Did it make you good at making friends with people?

Andrew Wallace: I don’t know actually. I’m kind of a very shy sort of a guy.

Payman: Are you?

Andrew Wallace: Actually, yeah.

Payman: Yeah me, too.

Andrew Wallace: I can believe that.

Prav: You can be at times, it depends. It depends on the vibes you get from people, right?

Andrew Wallace: Some people are a lot easier to engage with than others.

Prav: Yeah.

Andrew Wallace: In terms of making friends, I remember my first day at my primary school, when we moved to Derry. I have a twin sister. I was seven years of age. It must have been the end of P3 or something and these two weird looking kids turning up. We didn’t have any of the school uniform or anything, so we turned up to school in matching, hand knitted, white, Aran jumpers.

Payman: So you used to wear the same clothes as your sister, even though you were a boy and she was a girl?

Andrew Wallace: I’m not sure if that was a thing, but we certainly did that day. That’s something that tends to stick in the mind.

Payman: How about The Troubles? What’s your memory of The Troubles in Ireland at that time?

Andrew Wallace: My parents were actually fairly good at kind of insulating it from us. Us from it. Despite it impacting on their lives and impacting on us in general. My parents were a mixed marriage, Catholic and Protestant, which in the ’70s was pretty unusual. It wasn’t sort of accepted and I know certain members of my father’s family didn’t speak to him for many years after my mom. The Troubles impacted him from work, as well, because being a bank manager, it was a well known thing that the paramilitaries would turn up to your house in the middle of the night and take you into the bank and empty the safe. That aside, my parents were very good at giving us the best upbringing they sort of could and insulating us from that. When you see The Troubles and you think back, it doesn’t make you very fond of religion and things like that. How religion can separate communities and separate families.

Prav: Did the relationship between your dad and his family, did it ever affect the relationship between you and your grandparents or uncles?

Andrew Wallace: Not really, so my dad’s parents passed away before I was born.

Prav: Okay.

Andrew Wallace: It was more the sort of distance of we lived the other end of Northern Ireland. Also, his family was kind of spread out, so it was the fact that we moved around for my dad’s work that kind of kept us away from aunts, and uncles, and cousins. Seeing his family and my aunts, and uncles, and cousins from that side was fairly unusual. We would have seen more of my mum’s folks, because we made a point to go up and see the grandparents, once a month sort of a thing.

Payman: I’ve been to Belfast a few times and it’s a fun, fun town. I go to Beirut a lot and they’ve had troubles there since the ’70s, as well. It’s a fun, fun town and it’s almost like, if we’re alive, let’s party. Do you recognise that about Belfast, because I don’t know, I’ve had a lot of fun there. Maybe that was just coincidence.

Prav: You have a lot of fun wherever you go, but you’re the commonality there.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, there’s definitely fun to be had in Belfast and Ireland in general.

Payman: You know, because of The Troubles. Do you know what I’m saying? It’s literally like that in Beirut. They used to make a joke. They’d say, “During the day we’ll shoot at each other and then at night we’ll drink with each other.”, like a crazy thing like that.

Andrew Wallace: I’m not sure. It’s certainly within communities there’s always a lot of fun to be had, but they were very, very separate.

Payman: Irish people generally have fun, don’t they?

Andrew Wallace: I think so.

Prav: Moving onto school, Andy, were you a swot, clever kid, grafter? What about your sister? What was she doing?

Andrew Wallace: My sister and I, so we went to the same primary school. Come the 11 plus time, we both went to single-sex schools, because those are the sort of grammar schools in the area. I certainly wasn’t one of the most intelligent or gifted students. That’s for sure. I got through most of the time. I certainly remember having great difficulty focusing and doing homeworks and things. There was a period of time I used to give my mother such grief for not doing my homework. Actually, at one point I had to go into the bank, to my dad’s office and all right, you’ll sit there, you’ll do your homework. I was so bad.

Payman: These days you’d be on ADHD medicine or something.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, so I kind of got through school.

Payman: Do you remember the first time where dentistry came on the radar? Do you have family? How did it happen?

Andrew Wallace: I have no family connection to medicine of dentistry at all. My dad, the only real instruction he said was, “Don’t get involved in the bank.” That’s how parents tend to do. I do remember, we got very little in the way of formal careers guidance in school, so it was off to the library and grab a careers book and just flick through stuff. I enjoyed science and maths, so one of the things that came up was medicine, and pharmacy, and optometry. I had an uncle who was an optician, so that was kind of on the radar. I had a cousin who was a vet. My sister was leaning more towards that, but I kind of just looked up dentistry in a careers book.
Well actually that sounds interesting. There’s no working weekends type of a thing. It’s a much more stable job. On my application form to uni I put down dentistry as number one and pharmacy and optometry. I kind of wanted to stay in Northern Ireland, so dentistry in Belfast at that point had the highest grades to get. It was a bit doubtful that I was going to get there, so when I did I was kind of very thankful. [inaudible]

Payman: Good school. Good school. No?

Andrew Wallace: It was okay, it was okay. It was a very small college.

Payman: Trinity’s a good school.

Andrew Wallace: My old VT trainer went there. He seemed to enjoy it a lot.

Prav: What was dental school like? Did you party hard? Were you a quality student. Somewhere in-between?

Andrew Wallace: Dental school was again, I kind of got through. I did enough to get through. I generally did party as much as I could. All the way through school and all the way through uni I had a series of part-time jobs, so I was always working at something.

Prav: Because you had to or because you just wanted to earn some extra cash?

Andrew Wallace: I wanted to earn some extra cash.

Prav: Mm-hmm.

Andrew Wallace: All the way through secondary school I was working in a petrol station. We wouldn’t be allowed now. Twelve years of age out pumping petrol and delivering papers and stuff. When I hit uni, I had a series of bar jobs, carrying glasses, washing glasses, working behind the bar. Then, sort of towards the end of uni, realised it was a lot easier working on the door than working behind the bar.

Prav: Oh, nice.

Andrew Wallace: That was so much more fun. Much less hard work.

Prav: When I was at Oxford, my gym mates, who used to train at the local town sort of town gym, were on the door. The two things that they used to tell me about being on the door is they used to get in a lot of trouble and they used to get all the chicks.

Andrew Wallace: I generally stayed away from both. I had no luck in either way. I kind of got into it.

Prav: You must have some stories for us.

Andrew Wallace: I kind of got into it through friends. Some of them were working on the door and I ended up sort of doing a lot of martial arts. A lot of the martial artist that I were working with were working in the various bars and I started working with them in some of the same bars I was actually working behind the bar, so it was a bit of a strange transition. I must say, I did enjoy it. I just love people watching.

Prav: Especially when drunk.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, absolutely. We had some fun nights out afterwards. Some of the bars we worked in, we genuinely had a great time while we were working. It was such a great, fun atmosphere and we were the dancing doormen. Come certain songs, we’d kick everyone of the podiums and all of that and the door staff would get up and dance. It was great fun and I made some fantastic friends.

Prav: That was throughout dental school you were on the door, right?

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, right the way up until several months into VT, I was still working on the door.

Prav: Were there ever any moments on the door where you felt uncomfortable, threatened, or you thought, “Crap, things are going to kick off today?”

Andrew Wallace: There was quite a few. The student union ran a nightclub outside of the normal student hours, Friday night and Saturday, and that was called Shine. That was sort of a dance club. There was always issues trying to keep certain people out.

Payman: Which year was this?

Andrew Wallace: ’97, ’98 sort of thing. There was issues trying to keep certain people out and then when I left shine, I was actually running a door team in another student bar. Again, during the week, lovely place to work. Come Saturday and Sunday night, it was a very different clientele and again, there were some moments that you think, “What the hell was I doing even getting involved in any of that? Why didn’t I just walk away?” I was about to graduate in dentistry, why am I putting myself and my career by getting involved? Having to tell very unpleasant people that they weren’t coming into a pub.

Prav: Yeah, and being in it. Were you just confident in yourself, because of the martial arts. Were you operating at quite a high level in that sense? How long had you been training for? Had you competed?

Andrew Wallace: We did a little bit of martial arts when I was a kid. Shortly after we moved to Derry, my sister wanted to do Irish dancing and I wanted to do karate. I had to do about six months of Irish dancing as a kid before I was allowed to do karate, that was the payoff.

Prav: Did she do the karate, as well?

Andrew Wallace: For a little while. Then, at uni I was sort of training a couple times a week. We were doing sort of inter-varsity competitions both in Ireland and the U.K., but at that stage I was never competing at any great level. What we were doing was a very practical based martial arts. We were taking lots of different aspects from different martial arts and putting them into what would have been a practical application. Myself and my sensei would have travelled around to various other universities teaching other martial arts clubs the sort of practical applications of the stuff we’re practising . After uni, we did kind of ramp it up a notch. At one point, in 2007, we went over and we competed in Jersey in the World Jui Jitsu Championships.

Prav: Oh, so you were at quite a high level, then?

Andrew Wallace: It wasn’t the top level of martial art competition, but I must say I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the experience. It was a great lesson in discipline in that we sort of set our sights about two years out from this competition that we were going to do well at it. For about 18 months I was training a bit like you.

Prav: Every day.

Andrew Wallace: Every day, sometimes twice a day. At that point, I was practising and I had my own practise at that stage. I was taking my eye off the ball, with regards to the practise.

Prav: So you owned your business at that point?

Andrew Wallace: Yeah.

Prav: You were doing training for this competition every day.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah.

Prav: How did you handle that? Were you training in the morning, practising during the day, training after work?

Andrew Wallace: Most mornings there was kind of spinning before work, three or four mornings a week. Then, three or four evenings a week we were doing general karate type training and then Saturday, Sunday was more specific training for this particular competition.

Prav: How did you do?

Andrew Wallace: We didn’t do so well that year. We came fourth overall. The team as a whole brought back a couple of gold medals, a silver, and a bronze, but we weren’t brilliant. The guys went out and kept up, the rest of the team, kept up the training and three years later they actually won the whole thing. That was in Vegas.

Prav: Andy, would you say that discipline that you get from training for something like that, you apply to dentistry, as well?

Andrew Wallace: I should say yes, but personally I’m not a very disciplined person.

Prav: You must be to train like that. That’s a disciplined person. That’s not a non-disciplined person.

Andrew Wallace: I suppose if I have a specific goal, I can be very focused on getting what needs to be done for that specific goal, but I’m not very good at setting goals.

Prav: Some people are disciplined when there’s other to please. If you’ve got a team, you’ve got to turn up for the team, but if they’re on their own they’re not.

Andrew Wallace: One of the things, last year a few of us said we were going to run a half-marathon for the [inaudible] Foundation, so I found that very motivation, that I would actually go out and do some miles. Get up on Sunday and do a dozen miles, just to make sure that I wasn’t going to let anybody down. I was going to be able to do what I said I would do. This year we said we’re going to do a full marathon. Now we haven’t actually set the goal yet. We haven’t named the date. I’m struggling a little bit to keep the motivation going, in terms of getting the miles in and getting the cardio done. Yeah, when I have something specific in mind that I need to work for, I can be very, very oriented, but I’m not great at setting goals.

Prav: Andy, so what was the transition from qualifying to owning your own practise? Time scales and what happened in-between your first job?

Andrew Wallace: I did my VT about two or three miles actually from Queen’s Dental School. I got the job almost by luck. My first interview that I went for the guy offered me the job on the spot, but it was back home in Derry. I thought, I’m not sure I really want to go home. I said, “Listen brilliant. Can I have 24 hours to think about it?”, and he said, “Yeah, absolutely.” I called them up the next morning and said, “I’m going to take this job.” “Sorry too late. I’ve given it to somebody else.” Oh my god. All other interviews that I came in for; “Sorry we’ve given it to somebody else.” The last one that I had to hear from I managed to get. It was a massive stroke of luck, because he still is a brilliant chap and he was a great mentor. He was very giving of his time and his knowledge.
The practise was in a very high needs area, a place called Ballymurphy, which is the highest DMF in Northern Ireland, or was at the time, which has the DMF in the whole U.K. It was a very high needs area and this guy, Pearse Stinson, had carved out his own little private practise for himself within this big NHS practise doing almost exclusively implants. So in an area where most of the patients were exempt, they were paying nothing for their dentistry, he was providing a service and having patients travel from all over to have him do the treatment. For me, while it was a great practise, and a great team, and Pearse was lovely, it wasn’t the sort of dentistry that I thought I’d signed up for. It was high caries rate. You know these apple core type teeth were just rotted away by coke. You’d fix everything and then you’d come back in six months time and you’d have to do it all over again.
For me I found that very challenging. I’m spending more time in one appointment fixing a couple of teeth than they were spending brushing their teeth in the entire six months. I vividly still remember the day I spoke to Pearse and said listen, “This is not what I thought dentistry was going to be.”, and he said, “If you want to grow yourself, do it through education.”, and he gave me the name of a chap who’s running restorative courses over in London, Harris Sedelsky

Prav: Oh yeah.

Andrew Wallace: So as soon as I could I signed up for the course. Travelling back and forth to London every couple of weeks to Harris’ practise and it was a very old school. Sort of restorative course. Harris did his prosthodontic training in The States. It was all about pantographs and very high end, very occlusally driven. I learned a lot.

Prav: He was minimally invasive guy, wasn’t he back then?

Payman: That’s exactly what I said when he mentioned Harris to me, but apparently not back then.

Andrew Wallace: What he was teaching us was classic prosthodontics. Classic preps, how to take impressions, silver dyes, you know we took such a long time talking about occlusions.

Payman: He’s a super knowledgeable guy. Super knowledgeable.

Andrew Wallace: Absolutely and certainly at the time he talked through the very specific protocols he head in his practise for managing people at risk of caries and perio. Way ahead of the time. Lots of stuff about risk assessment and things. I suppose one of the most important things I learned in that course was, there was a half a day on cosmetic dentistry and it blew my mind that this is something that I’d never really heard anybody speak about. You kind of assumed, because you knew what a veneer prep was that you knew what cosmetic dentistry was. It opened my eyes to what I didn’t know.

Prav: It woke you up.

Andrew Wallace: I really did and that kind of set me down the path of cosmetic dentistry route in education and that side of things. After that I took lots of FMC courses with Anthony Zybutz, Mike Zybutz, and then I first heard Basil Mizrahi speak and thought, okay hold on, this is the guy that I want to learn cosmetic dentistry from. This was 2004, 2005 and his level of precision and a real want to do things as minimally invasive as possible. When I eventually did Basil’s course, which took a couple of years, I remember him showing a little orthodontic appliance that he had said he had kind of made up himself. That he would move a tooth by a millimetre or something, just so he didn’t have to prep into the pulp, but yeah that’s the sort of thing.

Payman: He’s at the very highest level, isn’t he?

Andrew Wallace: He is fantastic.

Prav: You did his whole course? The year course thing?

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, he was teaching aesthetics as part of the course in The Eastman. The Eastman wouldn’t let you sign up for just the cosmetic course. He said, “Listen hold on. I’m going to be running this outside of The Eastman in a couple of years, so I held on and we did the first course form, which I think was in a hospital in Elings. That was another sort of trips back and forth to Northern Ireland over an easy jet.

Prav: You’re used to travelling aren’t you, Andy?

Andrew Wallace: Little bit.

Payman: How many times do you travel out of Ulster?

Andrew Wallace: I have little app on my phone which tells me about all my flights.

Payman: Oh yeah?

Andrew Wallace: I managed 55 flights last year.

Payman: Bloody hell.

Prav: I don’t know how you do it, mate.

Andrew Wallace: There was a time towards the end of last year that it was getting a bit much.

Payman: Is it every other weekend you’re away?

Andrew Wallace: There’s lots of times in the year when there’s loads of stuff going on in dentistry. From now coming into sort of May and then the other end of September, October, November, flat out stuff. Thankfully last year I specifically took a bit of a break in November, December, because my daughter was sitting her 11 plus. My job was to look after the younger brother and make sure she could focus in on the exam.

Payman: When was the first time you came across Tif Qureshi?

Andrew Wallace: I saw an article written by Tif on the Inman aligner in one of the dental magazines. I don’t remember which one and again I had al this knowledge and skills about how to prep. I wasn’t having the patients. The patients who were coming in for me for cosmetic dentistry were all patients who had malocclusions, they had malaligned teeth, and I just wasn’t comfortable doing the preps. I sent them off to the orthodontist. Of those that went, nobody ever had the treatment, because the orthodontist that we’re referring to is very much an NHS based orthodontist. This was the early 2000s and they were very much getting the standard orthodontic treatment plan or nothing, so most people were having nothing.
I was kind of stuck. I’d done all the training in cosmetic dentistry and wasn’t doing very much.

Prav: He wasn’t that dentist who prepped the hell out of teeth and veneered them and crowned them?

Andrew Wallace: Very, very few, because personally it didn’t sit well. Tiff did that, didn’t he, back in the day?

Payman: I did that when I was a dentist back in the day, but you’re right. I had the opportunity to do only that and it didn’t sit well.

Andrew Wallace: I was taking all the courses, finding the best education that I could in it. Then I was sitting down in my own surgery going, “I can’t actually prep into. I can’t do this elective endo.” As a general practitioner, you spend most of your day preserving teeth and saving teeth and preventing decay. Then all of the sudden you flip a switch. Now I’m a cosmetic dentist and it doesn’t matter how much enamel was up the suction. I read an article from Tif on the Inman. It took me about six months to go on the course, because they were only rolling them every now and again.

Payman: You read that article. Did you there and then recognise what it was saying?

Andrew Wallace: I thought, “This is my way into doing nicer dentistry.” The sort of dentistry that I’ve spent all this time and money getting into and I personally haven’t been able to do it. I though, “This is for me.”, so myself and, I rang about a colleague of mine who I went to uni with and I convinced him to come over to London. It was later on in the year and we did the course. In fact Tif had come over to do a PACV study club in Belfast on the Inman aligner a few weeks before the course, so I actually met him before the course. In all honesty, in all the courses that I’ve done, just the amount of stuff that was in that course and the application of it has had more impact on my own practise. Not just the whole teaching stuff, but my own practise more than anything else.

Prav: Andy, just tell us this, because I’ve been and Tif’s lecture and the teaching behind the academy has changed somewhat. I would say it’s just evolved over the last 18 months or two years, just in terms he’s delivered the emphasis of the constantly moving teeth and all of that. One of the things I’ve noticed that in front of a new audience there’s a moment during that talk that jaws drop, light bulbs go on, and they think, “Jesus I’ve got it now.”

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, I knew that exact moment. It’s that moment when general dentists who’ve maybe signed up for course thinking it’s about cosmetics, or it’s ortho, and they realise that it’s actually about all of my patients. This is about almost everybody that sits in front of me every day of the week.

Prav: Was that the same thing on the first course that you went on with Tif?

Andrew Wallace: Absolutely no mention of any of that. At that stage, Tif hadn’t been the BAC president at that stage. James I don’t think had his BAC accreditation that long, so it was Tif with James Russell and Tim [inaudible] taking the course. It was very much along the lines of well you’re going to have all these patients coming in for veneers and here’s how to do alignment, and bleeting, and there was maybe a little bit on bonding. How to do that instead. There was no real thought at that stage of general patients and general dentistry.

Payman: I remember Tif saying it was saying it was for lowers.

Prav: Well yeah, because you couldn’t veneer lowers. It started out as that.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, and that was I think the first case I saw. His article was on lower arch and a lot of the cases he talked about in the early ones were doing the lower arch, still doing the veneers in the upper. I was there at a cosmetic dentistry meeting recently and some amazing dentistry done and they look at the lowers and hold on. You’ve done all this work on the upper teeth and the lower teeth are still crooked. What’s going to happen to those are they going to stay there? No they’re not. They’re going to keep moving. It totally changes your idea on the patients that sit in front of you and it requires you to change your conversations in surgery as well. One of the best tools I’ve found for doing that is the intraoral scanner. We’ve had an intraoral scanner in the practise for over 10 years.

Payman: Have you?

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, we had a Cerec 3D and then we got an omnicam about four years ago, but I’ve recently bought a Trios.

Prav: Is it that thing where it can lay a scan from two years ago to the scan now?

Andrew Wallace: Exactly, the patient monitoring.

Prav: Amazing. Tell us about that. Just go on, spell it out. Just spell that out.

Andrew Wallace: One of the great things about the newer scanners like the Trios is that they’re so fast you can take a scan. Upper and lower full out scan while you’re doing a check up.

Payman: So you do it on every patient?

Andrew Wallace: Almost every patient. I can have a scan done before my nurse comes back from the next room having scanned in the bitewings. It’s 45 seconds upper and lower and then a couple of minutes to process. In less than five minutes you can have the scans. You can then show to the patients on the big screen what’s going on in their mouths and in a more dynamic way than you can with photographs. They can really see the change in the shapes and the size of ledges. They can see those little points the contacts have slipped.

Prav: It’s not just communication is it? It’s also diagnosis in a way.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah and you’re putting up in front of the patients. They go, “Wow, what’s going on there. I didn’t know that was like that.” I’ve been able to manipulate on the screen and show them, “Okay so you’ve got this wear. See how those two bits of wear match up? The chiselled edges, that’s called pathway wear and that’s generally caused by a certain relationship of your teeth and that relationship can get worse over time.” Since we’ve kind of changed our focus, but I’m catching up on Tif. I’m now having different conversations with patients as well and the number of patients that are going ahead now with bonding or alignment for more functional reasons. For a long time we were having new patients come into the practise and they were having align, bleach, and bond. That was all well and good, but then they were off and going back through practises.
I’m in my own practise now, 16 years, and patients that I’ve been merrily seeing for 16 years, who have no interest in the aesthetic side of things, once you’re explaining what’s changing in their mouths, they’re going, “Hold on. What do I do to get this sorted?” You don’t even have to talk about the alignment. They want you to provide solutions for them, because they now know they have a problem that is likely to change over time.

Prav: So similar to Tif you’ve seen long term follow up.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah.

Prav: Same practise for a long time.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah, saw it again and again. IT’s a powerful thing, seeing your own work. Just very recently I had to replace the first impress posterior crown that I’d ever done. It was about 15 years old. It just got a little chip on it, a little crack. That’s brilliant to be able to go back. We did this and this and you know the patients. You know the family. It’s great seeing your own work over time. It’s a great way to learn about things. I’ve done a lot of composite rehabs in the past for tooth wear and things like that and it’s great to see those last and wear. Eventually having to redo it, but it’s great redoing it now with the skills, and the material, and the better techniques that we have now. You see a lot of younger dentists moving practises fairly quickly. How do you judge your own work if you’re not seeing how it lasts over time?

Payman: I get that thing that tiff explains so well about that and you’re doing too, but there is also that thing when you’re a young dentist that you don’t have this feeling. You did right? You moved from that high needs one. That feeling of being exposed to a couple of different bosses. A couple of different regimes makes yo understand more about dentistry, about running a practise, that sort of thing you know?

Andrew Wallace: I suppose if you always do what you always did, you’ll never do anything differently and you’ll never get different results.

Payman: True.

Andrew Wallace: So you do have to see what’s out there. When I moved practise and bout my own, it was partly because I wanted to do a particular type of dentistry that wasn’t possible where I was. One of the great things about Harris’s course was he did talk a little bit about practise management, and how to build a private practise, and communicate with patients. I felt more comfortable after the getting the education part of that.

Payman: Is your practise quite high end?

Andrew Wallace: It’s a family practise. We have lots of generations. It was a family practise that I bought over along with a partner. One of the partner stayed and the other one retired, so I bought over the retiring partner’s portion of the business. It was older folks, generation, generation, kids. It was a properly private family practise. Lots of plan patients and nothing particularly special. I’ve been there for 16 years.

Prav: You’ve owned the practise for 16 years, so you worked there for a bit?

Andrew Wallace: No I bought it. I bought it almost unseen, so I didn’t really know what I was buying.

Prav: How does that happen?

Andrew Wallace: There was no real due diligence done then, in terms of buying a practise. You got to see the books. You called in once or twice to meet the staff, and that talked to a couple of patients, and there you go. There wasn’t a great deal of choice private practise in Northern Ireland. At that stage they were kind of few and far between. Most practises were NHS. You know they’ve been talking about changing the NHS system in Norther Ireland for like 20 years and I saw 16 years ago that I don’t want somebody else having such control over what I do.

Payman: Yeah.

Andrew Wallace: I don’t want to be in a system where the NHS can decide to change what they want to do and that’s me locked in, because I’ve spent a fortune on an NHS practise.

Prav: What was the one thing about practise ownership that you were totally unprepared for. It sounds like you just thought, “You know what, sounds like a good idea. I want to do this type of dentistry. I’ll just buy a practise. Those books look good. Let’s get stuck in.”

Andrew Wallace: That was pretty much the thought process. It’s definitely managing people.

Prav: Yeah.

Andrew Wallace: That’s the hardest thing, managing staff. Trying to see things from their point of view can be challenging. We’ve had some brilliant members of the staff in the past. We’ve a great team right now. We went through some challenges with the team in the past, like every team does.

Prav: Sure.

Payman: Is there still the other partner in place as well?

Andrew Wallace: He retired about 10 years ago.

Payman: Just you as the owner now?

Andrew Wallace: I’ve since had another partner.

Payman: Oh a different one.

Andrew Wallace: He did an amazing thing last year. He emigrated to Australia. You talk about big changes. After VT he worked in Australia for a year with his wife and they’ve gone out there on holidays a few times and they decided we want to give it a try. The way the Visa thing works in Australia, if he hadn’t done it last year, it wasn’t going to happen. So sold his practise, sold his house, off to work as associates in Australia. Another chap bought in, so it’s been a bit of a transition, the practise in the last six months, but Killian seems to be getting on great.

Prav: Is that like a due diligence process? Did you vet this guy before he bought in?

Andrew Wallace: Actually yeah, Craig, my partner who just went to Australia, he was very open about the whole thing. Essentially him and I sat down. He didn’t advertise the practise. He spoke to his accountant. We had the same accountant. He said, “Well I know this chap who seems like a nice guy. Wants to buy a practise.” I happened to mention to another young dentist who’d messaged me about what sort of private practise were looking for associates at that stage and between us we kind of decided who would be the best fit for the practise. He was absolutely brilliant through the whole thing.

Prav: Were you given first refusal? Did it cross your mind?

Andrew Wallace: Yeah I had refusal, but I must admit, Craig did a lot of the running of the practise.

Prav: Okay.

Andrew Wallace: Particularly with me travelling a lot. I work in a referral practise one day a week as well. So my focus isn’t always 100% on the practise.

Prav: Got it, so you need someone else.

Andrew Wallace: I do, I do. Somebody who has a vested interest and wants to see the practise do well.

Payman: What is your role in the practise though? Do you have a role? Are you the ideas guy or something or do you do the hiring and firing.

Andrew Wallace: I try and just do the dentistry. People make me do other things. I definitely don’t enjoy hiring and firing and certainly the firing. Thankfully I haven’t had to do very much of that. The running of the practise I find challenging, because I really enjoy dentistry. I love dentistry. I love the technical challenge of it. I don’t really enjoy running a business, doing the books.

Payman: I’m the same.

Prav: So firing, talk me through.

Payman: He’s not had to know how to do it.

Prav: No, he has.

Payman: He doesn’t like to do it.

Andrew Wallace: Just the once. I’m not going to say a lot about it, but it was very challenging time for the entire team. Ultimately, it had to be done and the team came out of it much better as a result, but it was a very challenging time.

Prav: I’ve found it the hardest thing to do. It’s the hardest part of my job is firing someone.

Payman: That notion, yeah. I really believe in this, that if you’re going to fire someone, give them four months pay to sweeten the pill. The reason is if you don’t, they should have been fire four months ago, but you stretch it out. You know what I mean? You’re going to pay them for four months anyway.

Prav: No.

Andrew Wallace: One of the dental gurus calls that a well poisoner.

Payman: Oh is that right?

Andrew Wallace: So if you have them there you’re better off just getting rid of them.

Payman: Yeah just get them off. Just get them out. What I’m saying is, just to make it easier for yourself, give them a load of pay, because I’ve been through this situation where we haven’t fire that person right and just stretched it out.

Andrew Wallace: You’re just prolonging the pain yeah.

Payman: With this particular person, how long extra was she there that she should have been out?

Andrew Wallace: There was a degree of challenging and difficulty going on for this particular person. There was one particular incident which brought everything to a head and we had to involve and HR consultant. The first decision that they made was, okay she can’t be on the premises. I had to walk in and say, “You’re leaving now.”, and I went through the whole dismissal process and partial things.

Prav: You had to deliver the news right?

Andrew Wallace: Yeah.

Prav: When did you find out that you were going to deliver the news. What was the time delay between you saying, “I’ve got to do this job.”, and doing the job.

Andrew Wallace: It was within 24 hours.

Prav: Oh okay. Did you have the conversation with yourself a few times in your head?

Andrew Wallace: It was a fairly abrupt conversation.

Prav: Was it?

Andrew Wallace: It kind of had to be…

Prav: Because of the situation.

Andrew Wallace: This was one of the times where I couldn’t lean on Craig, because he was actually off in Australia on holiday. It was one of the few times I was left flying solo. There was lots of messages, and emails, and phone calls, and things, but it was down to me to deliver the bad news. It’s definitely not I thing I’d like to repeat.

Payman: That’s life.

Prav: Payment. Four months pay for anyone you’re going to fire. That will help when they listen to this podcast.

Payman: I’ve never done it, but I’ve certainly had people stick around for four months longer than they should, because we didn’t get around. We started making excuses.

Andrew Wallace: We’ve had some great team members and we’ve had some not so great team members. I’ve never been one to try and change somebody’s mind if they decide they’re going to leave. I wish them the best and I hope they do well. Often times if somebody’s not flourishing in your business, it often takes a change of situation for them and they’ll flourish somewhere else. I won’t try and convince somebody to stay if they’ve made up their mind to go, I suppose.

Payman: I’ve done that too. I know you said you were really interested in the technical side of the work.

Andrew Wallace: Not lab work.

Payman: Of course, but doing the dentistry.

Andrew Wallace: I really enjoy endo.

Payman: Really? That’s what I was going to say, specifically, you actually like the [inaudible] or the treatment planning aspect, or the people aspect, or the teaching? Which one of those do you like the most?

Andrew Wallace: I enjoy doing it all. I generally love all the parts of dentistry and I love the variety that I have. Three days a week I’m mostly doing general dentistry and doing align, bleach, bond. In the referral practise I’m doing profs, and endo, and implant dentures, and rehabs. Then one or two days a week I’m teaching. I really enjoy the mix. There’s no doubt that the teaching part of it is the most fun day of the week. You can get such a buzz from that moment when you see something just go, “Holy crap. This is the way forward. This is going to change what I’m doing.”
I suppose the downside of that is sometimes you see those moments, but the people don’t take it forward. There’s that resistance to change, both in themselves and within their practises. Change takes effort.

Prav: Time.

Payman: We said that on our course as well. From the people who’ve come on the course, some take it on and on and others, nothing. We see that too.

Prav: Andy, what do you think is the difference between people who come on one of your courses and action takers and those who just carry on doing the same thing, although they’ve been inspired by your teaching or training. What is it about those people who actually do something and then go on to treat patients the way you’ve taught them?

Andrew Wallace: There are some people that will take a good idea and will run with it, no matter what it is. They just see the value in it and they’ll take the time to do it. There are some people that kind of fall into it accidentally. We see if people aren’t starting to change what they do within the first couple of weeks, they start doubting themselves. They lose confidence. They think, “I must have forgotten something. I couldn’t do that.” Even if it’s just having a conversation with a member of staff, treating a team member, treating a family member, it’s getting going early on.

Prav: That first case.

Andrew Wallace: That first case.

Payman: I said exactly the same thing. Treat the team member.

Andrew Wallace: My first few Inman aligner cases I did for the lab, just to get going. Then the next few I did for half price. I had done lots of cases before I was starting to charge full price.

Prav: Then you’re off to the races right?

Andrew Wallace: Absolutely. You know the protocols. You know how to do it. You are quicker at it and you’ve ironed out a lot of the bugs now. When I started doing it in whatever it was, 2008, there was no forum. There was no support. It was, “Come on the course. We will cram as much knowledge onto you as possible and then you’re on your own.” I think how I got into the teaching side of it was torturing Tif and James Russell. I got Tif’s email address, I was firing him photographs. I was turning up at the BACD with photos on my Ipad, with story models in my bag. I’d ask Tif, “Come on, we’ll grab a beer. I need to talk to you about this stuff.”
My early case was kind of trial and error. Now it’s so much easier for people to integrate this into practise, because I’ve made all the mistakes already. You can learn from my mistakes, instead of having to remake those all over again. That’s one of the best things about starting off in anything new in dentistry now. You have access through the internet, through forums, through Facebook to so many people that are absolutely at the top of their game in this stuff. But one of the challenges also is there’s a lot of Facebook dentistry. How do you work out who is at the top of their game and who’s bluffing?

Prav: Andy, how did you get into teaching. You went on Tif’s course and then you wound up teaching.

Andrew Wallace: I was doing quite a few cases and I was pinging the odd email to Tif asking for help. He said at one of the BACD meetings, “Come on, we’ll grab a beer.” He said, “If we need somebody to teach a course or two a year over in Ireland, would you fancy doing it?” I thought not really. I am genuinely quite a shy chap and he said, “Come on the course a couple of times. See how we do it.” I said, “We’ll see how it goes.” The initial thought was we’ll do one or two courses a year in Ireland too and I’ve a couple of dozen courses a year maybe, travelling to The States and Africa.

Prav: You’ve taken 55 flights a year.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah. I used to think when I was going over to Harris, like 10 flights or 20, I thought that was big deal.

Prav: Jeez.

Payman: We’ve been asking everyone regarding clinical mistakes. The reason we’re asking is because they tend to get hidden and no learns from them. Black box thinking type thing. Would you share with us what’s your biggest clinical error?

Andrew Wallace: I suppose the one that springs to mind is me maybe showing off a little bit. I think we had a new dentist or somebody with work experience in the practise with a patient in pain. I was busy chatting through what I was doing with this potential new dentist, had a patient in pain, made the diagnosis of irreversible Pulpitis. I put the rubber down on the tooth, opened the access cavity, and went, “Hold on. Wrong tooth.” I was supposed to be opening the sixth and I opened the seventh or vice versa.

Prav: Took a deep breath.

Andrew Wallace: Took a deep breath. You know sucked in the pain, set the patient up, and explained my mistake. “I’m terribly sorry. We’ve opened the wrong tooth. Totally my mistake.”

Payman: Longstanding patient or…

Andrew Wallace: Longstanding patient. I see the whole family. I see the mom, I see the dad, I see her, I see her kids. Another good reason for building relationships with patients. Who was it? I think it was Steve Hudson told me ages ago, “Never treat a stranger.” That’s one of the problems again with a lot of the way that we market ourselves as dentists. You’re inviting strangers in and you’re doing invasive treatments on patients that you’ve built up no relationship with. That’s sort of a mistake and someone that you don’t have a relationship with, that could be a major issue in your career.

Prav: So what happened?

Andrew Wallace: She was totally fine about it. We ended up having to do the endo on both teeth. Didn’t charge her for either. Crowns in both of them. Didn’t charge her for either. That was maybe seven or eight years ago and she’s still a patient. I still see the family. It’s one of those things. Mistakes happen.

Prav: Andy, you said you’re quite a shy person getting up on stage for the first time, public speaking. I know the first time I did it I absolutely crapped my pants. It was just that fear, that racing heart, all that moment. Did you get that?

Andrew Wallace: You get, what do they call it, Imposter Syndrome? You think, “Surely they shouldn’t have asked me to do this.” You’re right. The heart races and the tunnel vision. I’ve developed certain strategies to help me with that. The first bit of a presentation I did was I was just presenting a little tiny part of one of the big courses and it’s just grown and grown. I still get very nervous coming up to bigger podium type presentations, where you have 100, 200 people in the room. The hands on courses I just enjoy start to finish now.

Prav: Do you ever get a little bit nervous just before them or is that now almost like second nature.

Andrew Wallace: It comes and goes. I suppose now we’re delivering them every couple of weeks not so much. I hadn’t done one since November there, so when we did one in January I was like, “Hold on there. The hearts going again.” One of the things I’ll do is I’ll do an introduction and then I’ll put up a video. Tif has done some amazing videos highlighting the change in philosophy. You put the on for a couple of minutes, people get engaged in that, you get your heart rate down a little bit, and then when those finish you can relax and you can start off.

Prav: What advice would you give to somebody who is about to step on the podium for the first time in that position of suffering from Imposter Syndrome or thinking, “Bloody hell, I’m just about to wing it now.” What advice would you give to somebody who’s been in that position before?

Andrew Wallace: I suppose the only reason that I feel I can stand up and talk about anything is because I’m passionate about it. When you have a passion for something it makes it much easier to talk about. Still that first couple of moments on the stage is challenging. You’ve just got to try and rehearse what you’re going to do.

Payman: Prepare.

Andrew Wallace: Prepare. Anytime I’m doing a podium type presentation, where I have to do I knew presentation for it, I’ll always go back and listen to a book called Talk Like Ted.

Payman: Is it a good book? I’ve always wanted to read that.

Andrew Wallace: Carmine Gallow was the guy who wrote the book. He goes through some simple steps of how to build a presentation. If you can then build a presentation based on that and you know it really well, then you will be a lot more comfortable going up and presenting that. I still get caught out. You get asked to do presentations at relatively short notice, you will sometimes use other people’s content, which you don’t know as well as some of your own. You know at the end of a presentation whether you’ve done well or not.

Payman: My top tip for presentations is a strong start and a strong finish.

Andrew Wallace: Absolutely.

Payman: Let the bits in the middle work themselves out. So me and Prav were both lecturing on the same stage and I said to him, “Guess what, dude. The first two slides and the last two slides, I’ve learned those by heart, word for word.” He goes, “I’ve learned every single word by memorization.”

Andrew Wallace: That’s what Prav’s like, isn’t he? That just highlights if you can stick a video in there as your second slide for a couple of minutes.

Prav: Happy days.

Payman: When the videos on do you look at the video or do you look at the audience?

Andrew Wallace: I look at the audience. There’s one particular video that we do as part of the ABB course and it’s a video of two separate parts. One bit is just everything that’s wrong with dentistry. It’s poor planning. It’s poor execution. It’s dentistry done for dentist by balance rather than help the patient. Then the second one is all about minimally invasive cosmetic surgery; align, bleach, bond. Just really good planning. Simple dentistry done really well. I just love watching the audience watching that. You see the change in how they look at things. I genuinely love that.

Prav: Andy, talk to me about work life balance. For me, I work incredibly hard and often it’s time away from the kids, time away from the family and it can take its toll on your personal life right? You more so than me. I get a bit of a hard time at home. Sometimes I go home and Prav’s not there. He’s there, but he’s not there. He’s not fully engaged, because I’m walking in with my work hat on or I’m walking in with my problems from work or whatever that is. What’s it like for you at home and the reality of the relationship with your wife, your kids?

Andrew Wallace: Thankfully my wife’s a dentist as well and she works in Cranmore in the referral practise where I work doing general dentistry. She is fantastic. My work life balance isn’t as good as it should be. I haven’t found that sweet spot yet, but no matter where I say I’m going to go or what I’m going to do…
I have a tendency to say yes. Somebody offers me something to do or gives me an opportunity, I generally say yes and then work out a way to do it. That way generally involves lumbering my poor wife. She’ll have to do extra pick up. She’ll have to take time off from work. She’ll have to take the kids to rugby while I’m off who knows where.

Prav: He is the yes man at the IAS Academy. “Who’s going to do this course?” Andy sticks his hand up. “I’ll do it.”

Payman: It’s a successful way of being, but we’ve all been at that engagement where it took hours to fly there, hours to fly back, and it wasn’t worth the journey. You get an upside from it, but you get a horrible downside from saying yes to everything as well.

Prav: Yeah, you do. You’ll fly for hours to give an hour long presentation.

Payman: Delayed flight or something. Especially when you’re taking 55 flights a year. You’ve must have hit a few airport situations.

Andrew Wallace: Actually thankfully very few.

Payman: Really?

Andrew Wallace: I’ve only ever had one sort of aborted landing. There was a bit of chaos in Heathrow last week with an IT failure. I was actually over with my son.

Prav: For pleasure?

Andrew Wallace: So in terms of work life balance, I’m not great. I say yes to things and I work out how to do it. I really should have been home with the kids or taken them here, taken them there.

Prav: How old are they?

Andrew Wallace: I have a daughter who’s 11, so she did her transfer test last year and a son who’s eight. He’s a bit of a live wire, but there doing a project in school about Egypt, so when I heard there was a thing on the Saatchi Gallery I thought all right let’s go over.
Him and I just spent last weekend cramming as much kiddy stuff in London as we could in two days and we killed it.

Payman: Did he enjoy the Tutankhamun?

Andrew Wallace: He did. We did the science museum, we did the natural history museum, we did the London Eye, visited the aquarium. Basically I put a post up on Facebook. “What to do with an eight-year-old in London?”

Payman: Right.

Andrew Wallace: I fit as many of those things in those two days as possible and it was fantastic.

Payman: It’s my top tip to parents to take one kid away or one kid out for dinner.

Andrew Wallace: To gather my two are very challenging. They fight and they wind one another up.

Prav: If you think back to when you were a kid, if your dad took you somewhere, that would be a major moment in your childhood.

Andrew Wallace: I can’t remember who said to me recently, you don’t remember the things that you get bought as a kid, but you remember experiences.

Prav: Sure.

Andrew Wallace: Think back yourself the things you remember. Going on holidays, going on trips, going away with your folks. I don’t often get enough time to do that and you’re absolutely right. Together my two are challenging. Props to my wife.

Prav: They’re totally different on their own.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah. They’re like little people by themselves, but together they’re just bouncing off one another.

Prav: Your sister, did she become a dentist, too?

Andrew Wallace: No, my sister works in admin in the hospital in Derry. She still lives in Derry. She still lives in the family home. I don’t think I could go back and live there. It’s very insular I suppose. Everybody needs to know everybody’s business and I’m not like that. She absolutely loves it.

Prav: What’s been your darkest day in dentistry?

Andrew Wallace: In dentistry? I don’t think I’ve had anything terribly dark, but I’ve certainly had some challenging patients. One springs to mind in particular. She came in looking for align, bleach, bond and some of the things she said, “Well hold on. This is maybe not the right patient.” My alarm bells are going off now. Generally my reception team’s alarm bells are much better than mine, but this lady happened to be friends with one of the receptionists, so those alarm bells were switched off. She was by far the most challenging patient.

Prav: Psychologically?

Andrew Wallace: Psychologically. Every time she would come in she wanted something different. She’s a female body builder and she wanted to look like Cheryl Cole.

Payman: Oh.

Andrew Wallace: I was like, “Hold on.” When I’m talking to patients one thing I’ll tend to ask them is, “If you had six months and a magic wand, what would you like your smile to look?” I’m looking for patients that want, “I want my own teeth looking as nice as they can.”, and that for me is gold. These are the sorts of patients that I want to help. When they say I want to look like a celebrity, I think, “This is a person that doesn’t have realistic expectations. How am I going to meet these expectations?”, and she just bore that out. Yeah plenty of sleepless nights over that.
Every dentist has had that. Every dentist has had that.

Payman: Yeah.

Prav: How do you spot a dangerous patient. What do they come in requesting? What’s on that radar.

Andrew Wallace: One of the things is unrealistic expectations, but again one of the things I have found it is often times the patients that flatter you.

Payman: I’ve heard you’re the best.

Andrew Wallace: Yes they are the dangerous ones, because they’ve already been to a number of dentists before and they’ve already told them those same stories, “But I know you can fix it. I know you can do it. My friend saw you.” It’s about unrealistic expectations of you and what is possible for them and they become more and more challenging and they get focused on smaller and smaller details. I’ve always found that more with clear aligner treatment that as you towards the end, they get more and more focused on finer and finer details.
Use something like fixed appliances, you use the Inman, things are going so smoothly so quickly. They get such a dramatic change that they’re over the moon, but with clear aligners often you do find that sort find them more and more focused on tinier and tinier aspects.

Payman: Yeah.

Prav: Often I hear from dentists is they forget where they came from right?

Andrew Wallace: Absolutely. I do quite like having pre-op photographs on the screen when they come in, os they can see where they’ve come from. I used to have a screen in the chair and whenever they sat down, “Oh I don’t want to look at that.” New chair took that screen away, so it’s not quite as prominent anymore.

Payman: Looking forward, digital dentistry is changing everything so quickly. Where do you think we’re going to be in 10 years time?

Andrew Wallace: One of the things I did relatively recently was a talk on the future of dentistry.

Payman: Oh really?

Andrew Wallace: I didn’t focus so much on that side of things, but it was kind of where I.A. is in dentistry. Growing teeth and growing bone and things like that. I don’t think I’m going to see to much of that side of things in my practising career. The other day I was listening to one of your other podcasts with Robbie Hughes and he was talking about the newest concept in TNST where the veneers are pre-made and you have a prep jig. You’re taking so much of the skill out of dentistry, but you’re also making it more predictable. That’s probably where the digital side of things is going to improve. It’s only in the last few years that the technology has been there. The mechanics of the scanners, the Cerec’s been out for over 30 years now. It’s in the workflows and it’s on the software the at the development is really changing.
You have this patient monitoring ting from 3D. It’s just unreal and it’s the ability of being able to integrate those sort of things into general dentistry. When I was taking a full out scan with omnicam, the most accurate way to do it was with Cerec ortho and that takes 10 or 15 minutes to do start to finish. That’s by already lifting the scanner and doing it. With the likes of Trios and some of the other scanners, you can lift it and you can have the scan done in less than a minute. Two minutes and it’s on the screen in front of the patient, so you can generally integrate that into your practise.

Payman: My friend Chanel Patel, he markets the fact. They call it a 3D check up or something.

Andrew Wallace: Yeah. It also means that you can do things worldwide. You can have a dentist in one place and a technician somewhere else. In the past, the best dentists always had technicians on site. You had Mike Wise and Harris Sedelsky and his technician on site. There was that level of communication, but you can get that level of communication digitally know. I think it’s less with the fancy stuff and more about what general dentistry is going to be able to do with digital dentistry.

Prav: Andy, you know what question is coming.

Andrew Wallace: The one that I haven’t been able to think of an answer for.

Prav: You know what’s coming next, buddy. You’ve just spent a day with your son and I’m sure that was great, away from work and all the rest of it. Imagine it’s your last day on the planet. You’ve got to leave him and your daughter with a message. Three words of advice. A bit of wisdom to take with them for the rest of their lives. Guiding principles, if you want. What would you say to them?

Andrew Wallace: I suppose surround yourself with good people. Surround yourself with people that are nice to you and that are good people. That are decent, and ethical, and do the right thing. You’ve got to work hard for whatever you want. If you sit back and expect things to be handed to you, that’s not going to work. Be a decent sort of a person.
One of the other questions that you normally ask is, “What would you like people to think of you?”, just be a decent bloke.

Prav: Just a good all around human being.

Andrew Wallace: I think that’s a good thing to try and live by.

Payman: That’s lovely.

Prav: Thank you, Andy.

Payman: Thank you so much.

Andrew Wallace: Thanks, Pay. Thanks, Prav.

Intro Voice: This is Dental Leaders. The podcast where you et to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Prav: Thanks for listening, guys. Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Make sure you tune in for future episodes. Hit subscribe in Itunes, or Google Play, or whatever platform it is. We’d really appreciate it if you would…

Payman: Give us a six star rating.

Prav: Six star rating. That’s what I always leave my Uber driver.

Payman: Thanks a lot, guys.

Prav: Bye.

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