This week’s show features Harley Street Periodontist, teacher and entrepreneur Dr Reena Wadia.
Reena chats about London life and her journey to running her own business on Harley Street as well as sharing an invaluable insight into reaching for the stars.
Hear Reena cover life as a specialist periodontist, managing social media, building your own business and a successful personal brand.
“If you don’t enjoy something, there’s no point doing it, like find something you enjoy and make that your career and make that your life” – Reena Wadia
In This Episode
02.00 – London living
04:05 – Last years of uni
05.08 – Giving 100%
06.36 – Specialising in perio
12:28 – Dedication to study
17:00 – The most junior periodontist in the country
18:16 – Building a network
22:35 – Cosmetic perio
27:49 – Going into business
31:44 – Team values
38:15 – Finding balance
44:07 – Direct patient marketing
45:50 – Teaching
53:04 – Perio and the industry
01:00:06 – Genetics
01:02:43 – Owning a product
01:04:28 – Social media influence
01:09:23 – Paid media
01:11:42 – Being vegetarian
01:13:42 – Legacy & last days on Earth
About Reena Wadia
After being a high achiever during her studies at Barts, she undertook a four-year specialist course at King’s College which she passed with distinction.
She also spent time as Senior House Officer at Guy’s Hospital and split her time between restorative and oral surgery.
Now working as an associate specialist at King’s College Dental Hospital, Reena is also based at RW Perio on Harley Street where her practice is limited to periodontal care.
[00:00:00] I remember my friends kind of going out and some of the getting married and having babies, and I’m still there in the library studying, having my breakfast, lunch and dinner in the library, which wasn’t fun, said it is really intense, especially when you get to the final years. You really got to give it your all. But there is an end point. So I think you got to you got to be ready for it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s something that you’ve thought about and you want to do and you want to do one thing every single day of your life, then it is probably right for you.
[00:00:34] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders Dental Street. Your heist’s Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki
[00:00:51] Gives me great pleasure to welcome we know what you from our perio onto the show, Reena’s being burst on the scene in terms of a young specialist really pushing the cause of perio. Everywhere you look, it seems like arena and really nice to see that you’ve just started your referral practise as well. Hi, it’s nice to have you. Usually we start with where were you born? How did you grow up? When was the first time you thought of becoming a dentist?
[00:01:22] Again, thank you so much for having me on the show. It’s my pleasure. Let’s say where do I start? So I was born and brought up in South London, so NICTA couldn’t stay here. And I grew up with me and my family and I have one brother who’s two years older than me. And yeah, I mean, I pretty much to be honest, I lived in that house till I got married. So very sad. I didn’t live out here in university. I literally stayed at home for what must have been like, gosh, over twenty eight to nine years. So see, I grew up in South London, I went to school nearby and then I went to ground school nearby, as well as the girls school, which I really enjoyed. And then yeah, then I pretty much stayed at home. I went to university, started at the London or I did my undergraduate Dental training. And then funnily enough I did my VTE again just down the road like two minutes walk from my house to my own dentist, which is interesting. And then I did my perio training guys. So always been in London, which is being fun, and now I’m living in central London. So still in London,
[00:02:35] Just growing up in that single house, single household during that time and going to uni. What was that like in terms of where you were you coming home, back home every day? Did you stay out with mates? What was what was the whole setup? Because, you know, my experience of uni was was was living away. And my daughter is applying at the moment. Right. And the protective side of us as parents says, go to Manchester and say hello. But the growing up side says, you know, go as far as you can. And she’s going to London.
[00:03:09] Yeah. Know, interestingly enough, I absolutely loved it because my parents let me have my independence. They weren’t the kind of Indian and some I know have something to go reputation of trying to keep you stuck in your house and locked in the house. But my parents really did let me grow up while still living at home. And later on in my university, as my brother then moved out Old Street. So I used to say as flat a lot as well, which was fun. So I think for me it was great because especially during the final years and especially actually when I was doing my perio specialist training, it was really intense. So coming home to a lovely, nice meal that Mummy’s made, it was actually really helpful to get through those years that at the same time they didn’t restrict me. I could meet my friends whenever I wanted to have a social life. So it was a nice balance. I think it’s for me it worked pretty well.
[00:04:02] First of both worlds, I remember I used to come home every eight weeks and it’s a bit full of shopping. And then on the way back, it was it was some home cooked food. So I guess you have the best of both worlds that being able to come home and get some decent growth down you and and have the flexibility as well.
[00:04:20] Yeah, I spoke to someone in New Year. Yeah. And they told me you’d absolutely dominated that. Yeah, I top it everything. Yeah. Were you the kid in school as well, you know.
[00:04:36] Yeah. I was always a bit of a geek. I just really I just really enjoy studying. And I think the way I’ve been grown up is so my dad always saying to me, just give it your hundred percent, whatever you do. So I’m doing something. I just max. And that’s it to the point where, you know, that that’s my key focus. So when I was at university, especially undergraduate years, my key focus and I’ve always wanted to be a Dental since I was like seven or eight and finally got there, I was like, wow, I need to give it my all and I want it to be the best. And I wanted to give it one hundred percent and then whatever happened. So I did the front line during lectures. We used to make fun of me. I wasn’t though as a geek, I was I was still socialised. Everyone had a really nice group of friends, got on well with with the whole year. So it wasn’t as though I was like a just a recluse, like hanging around by myself. It wasn’t like that. But I did. I was very book orientated. I just wanted to to do well. I was the best as I could.
[00:05:36] I think, you know, my dad had that conversation with me too, but it didn’t quite work the same way, so. I mean, is that right now, I mean, are you, like, highly like a perfectionist?
[00:05:51] Yeah, I think I try to be a perfectionist because I’ve learnt that trying to make everything perfect, you sometimes don’t make progress. You just need to be good enough to actually achieve your own thing, trying to do every tiny detail. Sometimes that extra fine detail doesn’t make a difference. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. So I wouldn’t I would say if I call myself a perfectionist, I think I’d I’d still have the drive that I did five, 10 years ago. I think that hasn’t changed. I don’t think that ever will. I think it’s kind of built in me. So, yeah, whatever I do, I’m trying to do the best I possibly can. And if there’s challenges, then I have the kind of grit to kind of get through it, essentially.
[00:06:29] Why did you decide to specialise in an area, what point during your career did you think this is what I really want to do?
[00:06:37] Yeah, I mean, in terms of dentistry, I wouldn’t have wanted to for a long, long time. That dentist I mentioned who was down the road is actually probably out of Vassar. And it was very inspiring who was my own dentist. He took out my premolars for my over and everything else that she really inspired by him. And that’s essentially led to me doing dentistry. So that was always in the specialising actually didn’t come to a lot later. Actually, during my final year of undergraduate, I thought, OK, there’s quite a lot to do here. I wonder if I want to pick some one of these things and do really, really well. And funnily enough, I was dead set on prosthetics. So for my final case, I did it for my three, have one of my tutors filtered a really nice guy who was like, I’m going to get you right into the prostate. And then you’re joining us next year as soon as you can. And I was dead set on it. And then it was only until the final month or two before graduating. I discovered perio as such, because I have to say undergraduate years, Aperio are not the most exciting. And I don’t think it’s when I started, at least it wasn’t very well represented. And then I realised, oh, this sounds quite good. And I think then after that year I started exploring it and I did my essay. Yeah, I did all surgery, I did restorative. So I started to like the surgical aspects of it. So I thought maybe I was a good speciality. Then I shadowed quite a few Purdum’s and I thought, wow, this is actually something I might really enjoy.
[00:08:06] And so thought, yeah, I realised I needed to specialise because I wanted to do one thing just really, really well. But Perio came onto the scene quite later on, actually, when I realised I like the surgical side of things, but also with the impact you can have on private treatment, it’s quite significant. You can literally change someone’s life. You can change the quality of life. You can make people not just look good, but feel good as well. And for me, that is so important. And so, yeah, I looked into that and delved in further and I actually applied for training quite early on. Some people were saying to me, oh, you need more experience. You were only fresh out going straight and you can’t even do a feeling of people saying that. And I was thinking actually works for me. If I’m only going to be doing I don’t want to do. And if I want to do, I don’t want to do a restoration anymore. That’s all I want to do. So I thought actually, let’s jump into it and go for it. And with these decisions as well, you can’t just you’ve got to think about the rest of your life. And for me, I wanted to get married, have a family and all these kind of things. And I wanted to get that studying because I knew how hard it was going to be. I want to get that done beforehand. So it kind of worked out really well.
[00:09:13] Did you consider going on and, you know, becoming a researcher or were you at practise?
[00:09:21] Yeah, it did cross my mind when I did my master’s in specialist training. And you’ll find we usually have to do like a Masters project research project. And it did cross my mind. I did enjoy it. But I think I’ve always had my heart set on practise and applying what you learn practically rather than doing studies. And I do like studies and research, but for me it’s more practical hands on aspect of things. So, yeah, I mean, I’m still in the hospital. I still work one day a week, which is quite nice. So there’s little academic element there and it’s great to interact with other staff in a hospital environment, but I don’t think I could do that more than once a week.
[00:10:01] What does what does the training entail in terms of the specialist training? You qualify and then you graduate as a dentist and then you do the specialist training, I’m assuming full time for over three years.
[00:10:16] Yes, there’s different ways you can go in. And three main schools that offer the specialist training and but Kings’ is the only one when you do it part time. So I did a four year part time training programme. You can do a three full time training programme. And the reason why she was part time was, well, quite honestly, I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay that amount without working. So just to give you it is quite interesting. When people are jumping to specialist training, they forget about all the nitty gritty and one of the biggest things is finance. And when you’re doing specialist training programme, you’re looking at I mean, when I did it probably going up, when I did it, I was paying around eleven, twelve thousand pounds a year. And for me to not then work would be very difficult for me to fill that course. So I did a part time training programme, firstly because I wanted to of the UN so I could pay the course. But also it was quite nice because you can then applying what you’re learning then in practise. So there’s part time and then there’s full time to part time as well is only a king’s. But it also allows you to and it sounds geeky, but you have an extra year, so an extra year of learning. I think we really made a difference. So financially as well. I think you have to think about loss of income.
[00:11:26] So even though I was working part time, the. Working five days a week, so it all adds up. I think I find a lot of young dentists graduating and there’s something in specialist training without considering that decision in detail. And one of the things to think about is finance. But, yeah, you did three years, four years. And then in terms of what it entails, when I did it, I was in the university hospital environment three days a week. And at the same time I was working process to one to two days a week. Plus you gotta do your studying and everything else. It’s intense. It does take a lot of personal sacrifice. I mean, I remember my friends kind of going out and some of the getting married, having babies. And I’m still there in the library studying, having my breakfast, lunch and dinner in the library, which wasn’t fun. So it is really intense, especially when you get to the final years. You really got to give it your all. But there is an end point. So I think you got to be going to be ready for it. It’s not for everyone. But if you are if it’s something that you’ve thought about and you want to do and you want to do one thing every single day of your life, then it is probably right for you
[00:12:28] Just in terms of the intensity of your work in, let’s say, a couple of days a week and then and then we need to do any training as well. Would you then go home and say study in the evening after having works and practise? How are we talking for me? Undergraduate was a lot easier, a lot more difficult than postgrad, just the way things panned out for me. But just talk to me about the hours and the time and the dedication you devote to put in during that four year time period.
[00:12:59] Yeah, I mean, I was waking up at like five, six a.m. The latest on the days I was going to university was great in seeing patients. You don’t really have much free time, so you’re spending your own free time writing up cases, revising, going to the library. Postgraduate education was very much your own initiative. So you’ve be given reading lists rather than undergraduate where you’re given the paper and maybe the paper summarise for yours post graduate. You got to get out there and actually do that reading and research for yourself. So all your spare time is spent on that. If you want to do it well, all your spare time is spent on that. So therefore you’re going to work on the work days of coming home and you’re carrying on with the work. So the days were like literally from five a.m. to probably midnight every day for me. I’m not I’m not I wouldn’t see myself as a vice president, but I work hard. I mean, my brother, for example, he just read something once and it’s one of those annoying people who think they maybe spend with me. I have to spend that time. So it was draining. I think I couldn’t have done it. If I had to do one more year of that, I think I would have broken. But it is just about enough to get me through. To be honest
[00:14:12] With the Reverend, low points during that time where you’d been through Dental school, you’ve got your degree in there. And then during that four year period where, you know, five till midnight most days, there are very low points where you sort of thought to yourself, you know, this is too much mature.
[00:14:28] I actually was okay. I think the secret was having supportive people around me. So I had a good buddy on the course and that we revised together. We support each other and the home. I had my family network and my friends and I had my to be husband. So I think having my mentors, I had a really good support system. I think without that I hundred percent would struggle. So and that support system, like, for example, my like we were supposed to get married and we had to postpone the whole thing because of this, because of how intense it was. Actually, I was like, if we’re getting married now, we’re going to get divorced six months later. So let’s hold on. Let him understand that you’re going through this. You need to support people understanding the situation. How many hours you’re putting in and putting it into perspective really helps. I think I was OK. I think it’s very easy to go now and worry and break during that process. But I think having a good supportive network really helped me, which goes for anything. I think even now and going forward, you always need people around you to support you. I think it’s so important and surround yourself with the right people, I think has surrounded by very positive people. People in my year with very positive, they weren’t saying, oh, my God, how are we going to get through this? They were very much like, let’s do this. So it’s great.
[00:15:44] Is it also quite difficult to get in? I mean, how many applicants per play, so how does that work?
[00:15:50] It is competitive. I think it’s getting more and more competitive. I think they have a good few hundred applicants and each year, on average, about six people. So. So it really is quite competitive. So there’s a written application. You can have your interviews and you’ve really got to show you, show them why you are interested in power and what’s the evidence for that? What have you done to show that you’re interested in the speciality? What can you bring to the speciality as well? So it is competitive. It’s not impossible that something someone wants to do it, go for it and find out. We don’t just just find out what they’re looking for and build yourself up to that. I think.
[00:16:26] So give was a sense once you did your dissertation, I guess it some sort of five or something, and then they said, all right, you’ve passed. And, you know, whether whether we call that like, you know, just pure for that feeling that we all get when you pass that exam. Yeah. And then you’re the most junior periodontist in the country. What’s the journey? What were you aware of? What has to happen next for you? Were you that person who’d already started thinking about where you were going to go next and what did you do next?
[00:17:00] If, funnily enough, I was that young, I was the youngest this when I qualified. So it was it was scary. I think the thing is, all you think about usually is getting through the course and not the day after is a bit like Dental. So you just wanting to graduate and then like, oh, hold on a minute, where am I? This is the real world. One of my my mentors, he kind of helped me and guided me through that process to the point where actually during my final months at my specialist training programme, I had already developed an index which was basically hiring a room and setting up my own clinic, basically to the point where I was literally on my final month. I was starting to see patients in my clinic, which was pretty scary, but really fun. And then I started to feel like, wow, I’m actually so yeah, that was how I started
[00:17:47] With the referrals coming from I mean, had you already started going to work?
[00:17:51] And what happened was when I was 20, when I graduated from dental school, I set up before the days, but blogging was actually a thing. I set up a website, which was my name, Dotcom, and I used to love going to still developing Dental lectures, courses, all these kind of things I used to really enjoy summarising.
[00:18:12] I remember the really good.
[00:18:14] He has
[00:18:16] That say, yeah, so I used to summarise these things into just I find that and those around me, we just wanted simple summaries of things. So I used to post them about any of them. So that’s why I created the website. And from there I used to post videos, links to all sorts of things, and I started to build a network of people interested in my stuff. And then actually what happened was when I graduated, they also were following my journey and said, oh, your parents, now can we refer to you? So naturally, I really created a small referral network who have you send patients to me. So it kind of worked out really well. And thereafter I did some outreach and I went to visit people and I started building relationships with people. And the key thing for me was when someone sent me a patient, I wanted to just make sure that patient was one hundred percent happy or thousand percent happy with the care that they would go back to the Dental and say, wow, I thought she was really good. So the referral actually then sends more patients. So and from there it grew. I mean, I started one day a week carving out this room on Wimpole Street and then through the year, often to a full time connect the office even busier.
[00:19:21] So I’ve only ever referred to one periodontist in my life, Strand, because I was only a dentist for like a five year period and then another four year period. It just the way it worked out for me. But the question of value add, I mean, you said you kind of talked about it a little bit, saying you want the patient to be happy. Yeah, of course. Put the value add from the referrers perspective of who’s a good periodontist to refer to and who’s not such a great one. I remember with Pete, one thing he used to do was he used to say to me, look, what’s the full treatment plan? And then kind of reinforce the full treatment plan with the patient. I would come back now fully sold, and that was worth, you know, everything that that was definitely worth passing the patient to. So is that is there an element of that
[00:20:09] One hundred percent? I mean, that’s one of the biggest things. I think I always get to know my referrers. What kind of treatment are they doing? Are they doing Invisalign? Are they doing bonding? What do they want to do then do on that patient? Because normally patients I mean, perio is just part of the plan and it’s easy to get them out healthy enough so they can then have more aesthetic work. So I, I do exactly the same things. I then reinforce it’s the patient, then they go away and it’s actually you know what, I, I’m going to go for this. So I think that’s a key element. I think the other thing is communication. A lot of my referrers said to me, I used to refer to someone I just don’t know what’s going on with the patient. Have they been booked in? What’s happening with the treatment plan? What’s going on? So I’m trying to be quite hot and communication, like when the patients referred or we receive the referral. We left the referral when I booked in, we let the referral report the day that the patient is seen by the NDA. So I’ve tried to remedy everything. Everyone wants instant now. And I feel that even with patient reports, the patient wants that report by the end of the day. So we try and really work towards that. And that seems to have results. I also think for me as well as the final thing, I guess it’s worked really well, is actually going out there and visiting your areas and getting to know them in person, because I think now it’s so easy just to. Frowns on social media and just think a message here will never actually make an effort to go and see that person and get to know them and perhaps organise a lunchtime, things like that, I think providing value is really important.
[00:21:40] And what about the kind of work itself? I mean, is there a type of periodontist that you are? So the kind of work the dog and for instance, are you the type of president who moved into employment placement or not?
[00:21:51] No, I’m not a tool. Actually, I made a decision early on to literally just do perio. I did enjoy influence and we did get trained on it, guys, and it was great, but I just didn’t feel like I was so tired on this. Just of course, you do other things as well. But for me, I just wanted to hone down on Perry, i.e. non-surgical treatment, surgery, knee surgery, get out of that crowd, lengthening all of that, treating recession, military lung surgery. So I decided that was enough for me to be there without the implants.
[00:22:26] So recession due to you finding you’re doing a lot more of that kind of work now?
[00:22:31] Yeah, for sure. I think with Invisalign
[00:22:33] Cosmetic, Berríos
[00:22:35] Cosmetic, I think even Signe’s realise that the guns are also important in aesthetics. It’s like if you have a beautiful photograph and you have an ugly frame, it’s not going to look the best. So people are realising the importance of it. Also has a lot of Invisalign going on, a lot of recession happening as a result of that, which sometimes can’t be helped. But that may be true or to a recession. If you’re doing a small maker of that type of patient who really looks in detail, it can make a big difference with with a small surgery for recessions in. That also means that quite a few young patients in the last few months, especially following the lockdown, I think people may be staring at the house longer, but a lot of young patients coming in saying, I am going to be small, how can I correct this? So that’s becoming those two big things. Thinning and recession becoming quite a major part of my day, really.
[00:23:26] What’s the what’s the treatment for recession? So every time I go to my hygienist, she makes me jump through the chair because I’ve got a recession. Right. And so they’re really sensitive when she cleans them at the bottom and she said, I’ll just brush too hard. And so what treatment do you get for that? And is the treatment purely cosmetic or does it provide a functional benefit as well? Where is it can help with the sensitivity?
[00:23:49] Yeah, the sensitivity was an interesting one. Say that the actual surgery we do this, lots of different types of surgery and different purposes do different things differently. I’m quite a fan of the Kellie’s approach. I do a lot of current splats and with connective tissue grafts and yes, it’s expensive. But in a lot of cases, as you said, it’s functional as well because your thickening the gum tissue. So you’re improving the quality of gum tissue, making it less likely to recede again in the future, make it easy for the patient to clean that area more comfortable and clean that area. So you didn’t always have to do surgery, though. I mean, a lot of times I would monitor it as well. But you’re actively monitoring all you’re measuring it. And in a year’s time, if it hasn’t progressed in an area where the patient’s not bothered aesthetically, then fine, you can say, well, it’s it’s not like you just jump in and do surgery for every single patient. I think you have to do it case by case. But sensitivity, sometimes the results, et cetera, sometimes doesn’t. Sometimes you to do that in other ways as well.
[00:24:45] You know, let’s talk about Cornick periodontitis. Has that moved at all since I qualified 25 years ago as far as the treatment and management of chronic peritonitis?
[00:24:58] Yeah, so now
[00:25:02] You go with what’s happening in that area. It happened to the actual tree is.
[00:25:10] Yeah. And obviously the new classification was staging and grading things, which is made is not really changed the way we treat them as such. But it’s made it more objective in terms of analysing that patient and making a treatment plan. Things have become a little more conservative before, I guess years ago, used to scrape away this momentum and be really aggressive. And now it’s all about the biofilm. And according to the new treatment guidelines, we’re using this new term called Papau, which is professional mechanical removal. So you do either suit projectable with subject. So there’s a big focus on that. There’s also obviously a big push on prevention or hygiene patients taking responsibility for their own health, I think in the past is that a dentist does everything. But now I would say to my patients, it’s 80 percent of what you do at home. So, yes, we are going to spend two hours talking about maybe not two hours, but we’re going to spend a long time talking about your home care at the clinic as well. We also look at risk factors is a big thing now. So we spend time on smoking cessation. We spend time on diet, advice to stress. Stress is huge. So you’re looking at your patient holistically now, more so than we did in the past, which is great. I think it makes it makes a big difference.
[00:26:23] But there’s been no advancement, no breakthrough.
[00:26:27] There’s been advancement in the way we treat the eye, the equipment we use, the technology we use. But the principals themselves, yes, I agree. They’re largely largely the same. But for example, because of the techniques we’re using for the advanced equipment we’re using, we’re doing less surgery. So now it’s more conservative. So I have to say about ninety five percent of the cases that I treat for periodontitis can be treated non-surgical. If it’s done well, I don’t how ever have any reduction surgery. So we have to reduce the amount of surgery we do
[00:27:01] To work on implants as well. Can I do people send you preemployment
[00:27:06] When they do, they do some test cases. I say not the most enjoyable to treat as we know the standard surgical treatment. And what you end up doing is just slowing down the progression of that condition. So never make any kind of vague promises to your patients on that one. But yet again, it’s another time bomb that’s going off. So I’m seeing it all the time
[00:27:27] In terms of your business and it just us through the process of it, it seems like you qualified as a as a periodontist and then you went straight into business. It wasn’t always in your sort of tea leaves, so to speak. The I was going to be a business woman or did it just come and then and then it just evolved from there.
[00:27:49] Yeah. So I thought process cause I could work for four or five practises running around every single day in different places. I mean, I was talking to my friends and specialists of years ahead of me and some of them were like on a two week timetable that they were in like and they were literally travelling miles and miles across the UK. And I just thought to myself, I didn’t want to do this. I don’t want to be knackered every single day. I’d rather have my own pace, do things my own. And that’s the other thing they were trying to is different equipment, different sets of different teams, all very sick. And continuity of care for the patients was was tricky. So I said to myself, right, what are the other options? And the other most obvious option was to do things myself. But I just thought, gosh, that’s scary. Where am I going to get Reffo? So because they’re all going to be if I was so I was in kind of fifty fifty whether I do this or not. And then I just thought, well that’s scary. What’s a risk. And what if it doesn’t work then fine, I’ll go and work for the classes. So I just decide to take risk. Minimal sort of risk. I was just paying rent for one room once a week initially and then it worked for United, so I just built from there. So I’ve always I’ve always wanted to do things my own way, very independent. And I think I’m not sure I would have been happy working in tandem process that they would have really stressed out about it.
[00:29:12] The business side of Dental difficulty to just come to you naturally. Did you did you make a lot of mistakes along the way? I mean, you’ve accelerated from hiring a room one day a week to having an entire floor on how history, which is no small undertaking and then making that place look fantastic. I’ve seen bits of progress on social media, but just take us through the journey of making the journey of business from going in one room a week, one room, one day a week through to having the whole floor on Holly Street. I’m assuming that’s open. How many days a week?
[00:29:44] Six days a week.
[00:29:45] Six days a week. Wow.
[00:29:47] So it’s been a bit of a journey last few years, I have to say. One of my mentors names, I’ve he is a business consultant. He’s a dentist, the dentist for like 20 years and then went into business. He has literally guided me through the whole way to having a mentor and a thing without a mentor could have done it because I guess a mentor is someone who shows you the way they’ve already gone that way and they already know what roads to the west time right and left and what obstacles to avoid. So I think having a mentor is absolutely critical when you’re doing projects like this, anything really. So that really helped guide me in terms of what the next steps were. And that was a key, I guess, every single point. I was like, OK, what’s the next step? This is working. What’s the next step? So I wasn’t like, oh yeah, in three years time I want to be in history. I did have that dream, but I didn’t. That’s not what I was focussing on. I was focussing on, OK, I’m busy one day a week now and it’s good to two days. I’m busy two days. Let’s maybe bring in a geneste and now I’m busy.
[00:30:43] Three days. Let’s hire place for five days and bring three more hygienic. So it was a step by step process and I think making sure each step was working seamlessly before moving to the next was really important. I think as well, establishing the business and the brand and having values is really helped. So obviously now we have a team of people say 13 people in our team for ideas. So it was quite a big team. And for me, obviously, when it was just me, it was very easy to maintain my brand and values. And what I decide to do from the very early onset was create three key values that I wanted any team member to have before they join when they join the team. And I think that really helped me select the right people. And I think it’s always about a team approach. And without having the right people on board, I don’t think I would have gotten this quickly. So it was both obviously personal efforts guiding and environmental, but also having the right people around you and in your team to support that. And and obviously, the key thing was making sure that the Refah was pretty happy with everything and going to
[00:31:44] Share your team your values than what others?
[00:31:47] Yeah, my team values. The first one is excellent. So whatever we do, we just need to do it perfectly to the highest standard. The other one is enthusiastic. So with me, like it’s not just a job. I mean, the way I see it is you’re doing this for the next hopefully forty years of your life for most of your day. Like, I don’t want you to come to work and just be like, oh, this is just a job. I want people to come in and be like, I really enjoy what I’m doing. Obviously everyone has their off days, but looking forward to coming into work and being enthusiastic because your patients can see that and it rubs off. Right now, my patients and I love coming in to see us because we’re enthusiastic. They’re enthusiastic. So I think enthusiasm was a very important value. And then the third one we have, which is probably not the most glamorous one, is reliable for me. Having, for example, someone who calls in sick the day before, it doesn’t work. Like unless you’re bedridden, you can’t move none of our staff. I don’t think I’ve ever called in sick. So for me, being reliable, if you say you’re going to do something, you do it. That’s that value is actually really important to me.
[00:32:52] You know, some some some people who really excel in school and university have that sort of institutionalised sort of thing about them, but it seems like with you, you’re managing the world of work really well, too. Would you say that? You know, I’d say that different skills, you know, passing exams and running businesses, totally different skills. But you look at them in the same way. I mean, did you sit and read business books before you started setting this up or what did you do? How did you prepare for all this?
[00:33:25] Yeah, I think it’s a completely different skill. And I personally think this should be taught at Dental schools. I just don’t know why. I mean, I hope it changes in the next few years. But the skill of running a business, understanding figures, understanding revenue, that kind of stuff is so important it should be taught to everyone. So, yeah, I had to learn it. I think I read books again. My mentors, business consultants, they went through all the metrics and all the things you need to know which you on tools Dental school and then you learn as you go along. So you see what works, what doesn’t work, and you change things. And I think everyone involved not mistakes, but you come across things that didn’t really work around. Let me try this. So it’s a skill that you have to learn, I don’t think. Well, I definitely had tools and I guess some people in involved with that sort of business ethos. But I definitely wasn’t. I was very academic. So it was a completely different ballgame. But, yeah, it was fun learning about it. And I think then combining both skills worked really well.
[00:34:24] What are the best and worst things about running a business? So sometimes there’s things that you do in your business that you just do because you have to do, but you just don’t enjoy it. And there’s some things that you do in your business where you’re in your zone of genius. And if you were doing that 100 percent of the time, life would be great.
[00:34:43] So I guess the best thing about running your own business is literally the fact that you can do every single thing your own way, using whatever equipment you want, spending however long you want with whomever you want, because you get to choose your team. And that makes all the difference in an environment you want to as well. So especially with the new clinic, it’s really made a difference to how much I always really enjoy everything, but it just magnified how much I enjoy going to work. So I think the best part is the thing is also working in a team is really fun. I don’t see my team members as I’m the boss or the we we will collaborate with each other. So we all bring different strengths and we try and support each other and build each other up. So that’s kind of the best thing about having your own business. And I guess you’re in control of things. You’re in control of the future of your business and who you bring on to the team and things, treatments you might want to offer. There’s a lot of your own challenge, I guess, with all those kind of things. I guess the negatives are you just can’t switch off.
[00:35:41] It’s yeah, you you never know. I don’t really quit working for me. What if it’s like play to me? I just enjoy it anyway. But you don’t switch off from your business. For example, you get an email, something happens and sometimes they’re very minor things, but you have to deal with them because it’s your business. So the way I’ve kind of tackled that before I in the first year was I got quite a trying to zone out work and play and I tried to say I’ve done for the day and then I get like patient emails or this and that, and I get really stressed out. Then I realised quite quickly on, if you want to do this, you just have to take a lifestyle approach. So and that’s how I work. That is more of a lifestyle I didn’t see as work and play. It’s just a lifestyle. So that’s the thing. You can’t switch off no matter how much you think you can, you just can’t do it. If it’s a bad thing, it’s just something you got to be aware of. So I guess that’s that’s the hardest bit for sure.
[00:36:33] And so how how different is life now? We were talking about study studying for your you specialise in wake up at five a.m. go to bed at midnight. Does the business of dentistry live with you during those hours as well? The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning, check Ivone, C, C, C, what you’ve got on or whatever and so on and so forth. How how is it now that you’ve moved from study into having your own business and the integration of the business into your life?
[00:37:04] Yeah, I think it’s quite different now. I think in terms of hours of the day, I still wake up very early. I still probably wake up at five, five thirty every day, wake up quite so. I do some meditation in the morning, so I actually don’t check my phone till I start having breakfast because I don’t think your first hour of your day is that’s when you have your best ideas. That’s when you want to be fully focussed. I don’t into my phone. I don’t get emails. The way I see emails, emails is just like a to do list, like someone’s telling you. What do you want to just unclassy zone that out for a later time in the day. So, yeah, the first I think the hours are the same, but my day is far better balanced. So I have time in the morning where I don’t work and then I, I walk to work. So I have twenty minutes where I listen to a podcast or listen to some music depending what mood I’m in and just think about my day ahead, then I’ll get into work. That’s when I kind of perou mode on and then I look at my day. I have to say through the move obviously I’ve been building a new clinic. It’s been so my hours have been longer, but on an average day when we start work at around eight thirty six, six thirty seven, sometimes it is a long day.
[00:38:15] But you know, make sure I have a lunch break. It’s a quite nice pace today. And then when I get home I do try and, you know, Dental stuff which I think is quite important. Some days I’ll have like podcasts or webinars or things on, but I’m not doing that every single night. And I think on the weekend I definitely try and do some non not switch off, but just do some non Dental stuff, other things that re energised me essentially. And also I’m not working. I’m not in the clinic. I don’t see patients every single day. So I’m working three and a half days in clinic and then I have a day of admin which is quite nice and doing non stuff as well. So I try to balance my week, not just my day as well. And what I’ve now said stuff is so strange, but on my calendar, on my Ikal, I have a zone, my, my actual calendar. So I have anything that’s work related and red, anything which is fun and what is fun. But everything is non Dental it is having blue every. So I try and make sure I’ve got my balance right, which really helps me actually. So I’m just too much red in the dark blue suit. Yeah. That of system seems to work for you.
[00:39:23] You know, we we ask everyone about clinical errors. I don’t know if you listen to this bit of the podcast before, but, you know, from from the from that sort of black box thinking idea of generally we tend to hide our errors and then no one learns from them. Can you share some mistakes that you’ve learnt from politically? And then we’ll talk about business wise, too.
[00:39:49] Yeah. Mistakes quickly. I guess when I was starting off with more complex surgery, as with anything, there’s a learning curve. And it wasn’t so much the actual clinical work. I think it was more as a way of saying dentistry, the communication side to, for example, wasn’t emphasising certain post op like you’re going to get a swelling, you might get bruising. I was just very much about that, whereas now I know exactly what’s going to happen and I’m very much in communication with my patient about that, which makes me, the patient, feel more comfortable that the side it’s the same then we’re aware of it. So I think it’s not really I would say it’s mistakes. It’s just I’ve developed as with anything in dentistry, you know what to say and what works. And what you should be saying is, I think is more the communication side. That’s it’s really improved other than clinical work. You just get better than we do. So it is easy and to shy away from with complex any Dental complex procedures and then not wanting to do it. But I’ve really pushed myself because to be fair, even during my specialist training, I didn’t do that much complexity because I’ve reached it. So like with Dental, the real learning started when I was actually seeing my patients and it was scary because I was in probably three dozen highstreet area. Seeing these quite demanding patients doing quite complex surgeries. I could have easily said, you know what, I don’t want to do this. This is definitely a composite. But I did push myself and I got better with time. So, yeah, I think it’s just learning from the communication side more than anything.
[00:41:21] But you not do not recall a case where it was rather than communication. It was something you took on that shouldn’t have taken on or something that you did that you wouldn’t do again or.
[00:41:32] Oh, I guess I, I don’t know, I guess now for me, it’s more patient selection, like you see those red flag patients where you’re like actually it’s probably better I do less on this patient than more. So I can remember actually a specific patient where we did quite a big treatment plan. And I just thought and it kind of total kind of she’s very, very picky about every single thing. But it turned into quite a sonogram to say it was all fine in the end. But it’s like I’d rather have taken that step by step with that patient to firstly suss out the patient, see what they’re about before offering a treatment plan. So I think, yeah, I think selection is so important in everything we do and understanding patients and what they’re like as a person is is super important to us.
[00:42:17] We also Obama that same question and he said sometimes one thing he’s learnt, he said something about patients. Patients can turn on you. Yes. Even ones that you think you really, really get on with can can turn on you in the wrong situation. And it’s difficult as a as someone who gets referred things. Sometimes you get patients. I speak to a lot of real highfliers. Sometimes you get patients coming to you saying you’re the answer to all my problems. Yeah, I’m sure in your world sometimes as a patient who’s not doing your hygiene bit right and then puts that blame on you, does that happen?
[00:42:58] Yeah, I think I completely agree with the patient. The patient that you’re with, your favourite patient just turns on you that that happens a lot. During my first year when I graduated, I saw that. And from then on, I just treat every single patient as though they all going turn on in a negative way. You just got to be ready for it. So but yeah, I think oral hygiene wise, it’s difficult because sometimes it can be patients can take it quite they can be quite patronising. 10 people ask questions. We’ve come up with a way in a clinic where it’s actually completely change the way we approach it to make them actually understand that we want to help you because we want to get the results for you mainly and we want the results to last. So this is why we’re doing it. And actually cleaning your teeth is quite complex and no one’s ever shown you. So we’ve come up with a way of communicating with patients that we are very strict. So the thing is, the home care isn’t very good. They did progressive having three actual non-surgical treatments that you have to be strict every single point. Otherwise, yes, you can blame it on you because you’re going to do some treatment and it’s not going to work and it’s going to be your fault. So you have to be quite strict.
[00:44:07] And some of the aspects of direct patient marketing in your practise does not exist or of word of mouth patient patient 100 percent.
[00:44:21] Yeah, because especially with a cohort who were in their 50s, 60s, I mean, Perilla is very common. The likelihood of their husband or one having perio is huge, that we often get to come in and have the treatment. Watching my husband he’s getting with. So yeah, there’s this huge market of what amount and then all the people who want to maintain their health to the focus of the clinic is not just trying to treat disease. Our aim is also to maintain health, which I think is just as important. So we also get a lot of direct patients calling in, especially younger individuals, 20, 30 year olds looking and saying, you know what, I just want to make sure my thumbs are OK. Let’s make sure that that’s OK. And I want to have Advanced Hygiene Assessment and clean, basically, which is great. I think when I was 18, 19, I don’t remember think my friends without worrying about their or health plans. Now, it’s like 16 year olds coming in wanting me to check them, which is amazing to have read it.
[00:45:31] Tell us about the teaching side of your your career. So the lecturing then? I’m not sure when Perio School came along, but your online courses are not this. Just tell us a little bit more about how you got into teaching. First of all, maybe the first time you stood up in front of a crowd, were you nervous? What was that like?
[00:45:50] Yeah, teaching. So I’ve always wanted to be a dentist, but my close second was being a teacher. I remember being like five year olds, like five year olds, kind of teaching my brother on my little blackboard. Like teaching was a very close second. So I always had it in the back of my mind. And I didn’t think I could combine both careers. But when I graduated from dental school, one of my friends actually said to me, Why don’t you? Because I used to kind of organised group sessions for my friends. Things like why don’t you organise a talk for like people who have just graduated, I’ve just graduated, how can I give a lecture? And, you know, you just share what you’ve learnt so far. It’s even just a year or two below. You might it might be something that. So I do remember my first Nacho’s tips for young dentists, I think it was, and there were about 10 people in this tiny little room that we organised, I was really nervous. I thought basically I was just worried that no one would find it interesting and helpful. And that was my main worry. So after that talk, so much positive feedback. Actually, this is more so it’s useful for people and maybe I should continue to do this. And so I then I decided to kind of keep organising talks and then did a professional teaching qualification as well. And I used to teach it to be fair, actually, when I was sort of in my teens, I did used to teach during my as part of a temple Monday, we had like music classes or to teach musical instruments to teach in classical singing, but it’s always like a bit of a teacher.
[00:47:21] But I had some skills, but I never thought I was any good. But then as a sustained positive feedback during the Dental sort of stuff, I decided to kind of take it further. Then it came from lectures to sort of courses, which was my first courses. Again, really bored people and find it interesting. But I think when you get positive feedback and you see people enjoy it and learn from it, you just want to do it again and again. And that’s when, I guess more recently we started the online teaching as well. So during the lockdown, it was really sad because so many courses booked up and cancelled like everyone else had cancelled all of them during class lockdown. But how can I just get the information out there to people? What can we do? And I just had an idea, why don’t we set up all the courses by an online format? So basically and the first two weeks of lockdown, I literally spent my whole day writing out my courses, scripts of pictures, etc. and then the week after I spent a week or two just recording them, it was so intense. And then again, I thought, God knows and finds interesting.
[00:48:23] He wants to stare at my face on video for like hours on end and listen to someone not there in person. But I just thought, you know what? Let me just get another list of people who had already booked on the courses. And it was amazing. Like people were really excited about learning right now and online. It seems to be the way forward. People who do it in their own time in the evening between patients. I see Perry School really has been something I did not expect to have left off, and it really has. And the most exciting thing was like doing things online. You accessing the global markets so always happy. Australia joined and India. And I was like, oh my God, I would never knowingly be able to travel to these countries and share information and knowledge and learning. But now I can. So we’re actually relaunching the website, just working on at the moment. We don’t in a couple of weeks with tons of content and courses. So that that’s a I’m really, really excited about that. It’s so nice that I’ve been able to combine both my passions. I feel really privileged to be able to do both you and teaching. So and it’s a big part of the new clinics. So we’ve got a lecture room. We’ll be running the courses in-house analysis. Yeah, it’s something I want to pursue further as I progress
[00:49:34] With the online side of things. I know I work very closely with the Academy on the online courses that he’s created, and then we pivoted to do it almost like a hybrid online course, which was they had to watch the online course first. We send them out a hands on kit. And so they do so with the zoom interaction from the feedback on that has been absolutely amazing in terms of the some people who would prefer to do it that way, then actually come to a venue or whatever and do it in person free or post covid. Right. So we’ve we’ve changed the whole structure of how the teaching at the academy is going to take place. And introducing more of this hybrid stuff is that is anything like if you’re going to be changing the way you structure your teaching in that form in any way because of the lockdown?
[00:50:26] Yeah, I mean, lockdown is literally code. The pandemic has changed everything. I think everyone is so much more responsive on education. People who used to laugh at me for using Zoubi now, like addicted to Zougam. It’s really interesting. Even people who aren’t that tech savvy are now like on Zulu’s. But it’s great. I mean, it’s opened up. So I don’t think this would have happened without pandemic’s. So I think it’s opened up a lot of a lot of opportunities. And I agree there’s a space for integrating both things. I do still think there is one hundred percent and need to have in-person courses that actual interaction with people in discussion is important, but a huge component can be delivered online. And as you said, I think the hybrid of having Zoome having you online and then having people on Zoome completely. I mean, that’s that’s that’s that’s fantastic idea. So, yeah, I think but I just think it’s just so beneficial because you’re able to reach for many more people, people who might not necessarily travel to your courses can now access it. So it’s just improving the education that we can deliver.
[00:51:30] It’s one thing that you wish. Dentist knew about Perrier, but they don’t.
[00:51:36] I think. One thing, I mean, quite a few things I would just
[00:51:44] You, if you
[00:51:46] Like, if it’s done well, you can do it well. It honestly can change someone’s life. I’m not joking. I have patients come back and they come back and they say to me, I just feel so much better. I have more energy. I just still be a different person. And it’s because of the amount of information they’ve gotten that can make an impact. So I’ve had patients come back and say my diabetes is now fully stable. Thank you so much. I mean, how satisfying is that? So I think don’t underestimate the value that you can provide with good care. Of course, you composites can be far more glamorous, but also they’re not really going to work unless your panels will help this pristine like we’ve all seen the cases on on Instagram where I mean, I just stare at the gums that you see some gums which are inflamed, never looks good. And sometimes it’s a nice pink and the whole case comes together so nicely. So we just wouldn’t underestimate the power of having it basically.
[00:52:43] So I think the systemic link is something really as a profession, we need to push more. I mean, I think there was even some chatter about the chances of having serious covid disease. Yes, but the Hotlinks been there for a long time and I feel like we don’t really talk about it now.
[00:53:04] I know it’s I find it really surprising. I think there is a big push on it now, but it’s such a hot topic. I mean, links between perio and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, but also the emerging ones like Alzheimer’s. There’s also babies busy with everything. And I remember when the Alzheimer’s one came out, I was in the BBC and all of the news I had patients actually Bookchin say I’m worried about getting Alzheimer’s. Can you check my gums? So patients are really hot on it. So I think we as a profession also need to be concerned. I mean, we should be saying to our patient, every patient that comes in. By the way, Mr. Smith, did you know that if we don’t get your gums under control, it may affect your general general health or by the way, we treat your gum disease? Did you know it might have a positive impact on your or your overall health? So patients might not be motivated about Perry, but they definitely might be motivated about their general health, and that’s one way to motivate them. So I think we do need to talk about it more. Sometimes it comes as a surprise that the mouth with the rest of the body, but it shouldn’t be because it’s all connected. So I think that that definitely should be more conversation with our patients, because you’ll find when you do talk to them about it, No. One, they’re interested in it and they take their health more seriously. The way I see things as well is it’s more multidisciplinary care. So working with, like diabetes specialists, working with other health care professionals. So we’re treating our patients holistically, not just about the gums and just about the teeth. It’s you. There are patients. At the end of the day, they’re a person. So treat, treat the whole thing.
[00:54:32] You know, the one thing that gets missed and it might be I’m looking at it from my my little lens is that, you know, white teeth. Yeah. As a profession, we push gums quite a lot compared to white teeth. And talking to hygiene is, you know, the whole question of behaviour change. Yeah. You know, patients who brush really will brush pretty well, a lot of them to keep their teeth white. And so I know our job is to re-educate, but there’s some scope for that. You know, we need we need to look at the psychology of a patient just as much as everything else. Go ahead, Prav. You look like
[00:55:09] You. Just something you said. This just resonated with me and I I’ve occasionally known to use widely praised and the you know, and Payman. Thank you. Thank you. I just need to send him a text message saying stick some Jarrod’s in the post May and they arrive the next day. But the one thing about my cleaning habits is that when my teeth are whiter, I give them more attention. And actually I’ve never thought about that until you’ve just mentioned it right now, that then I’ll pull out my little incidental brushes and the floss and give them extra care, because I’ve never I’ve never crossed my mind. But I do know is that around that time I’ve been wearing those hazmat my the way I’m giving my teeth a lot more. Look, you see that in clinic at all, or is that not part of what you’d observe and your typical practise?
[00:56:09] I completely agree. I think there’s a just a positive psychology of it, I think. And that’s similar to someone who’s got their start, even with their initial session with our hygiene is when they start noticing a difference, they get even more motivated and then they get even more motivated when they start to see their gums tighten up there. Oh, now I can see this is not hurting as much. So I think your patients have to see a change. They can’t you know, they’ve got to know what to look out for. So when your gums one of the biggest problems. In Paris, when you’re treating this condition, they’re going to get recession, when they see that, they’re going to think, oh my God, my mouth looks worse and my teeth are more sensitive. So then they’re not going to want to see you ever again. So I think the key thing is saying some what your gums are tightening up to health. It gums are just so swollen right now. So if you do notice them coming down, that’s a really good thing. So watch out for that. So it’s I mean, what ethos has always been positive? So not trying to tell the patient if you want to actually, you know what you’re doing really well.
[00:57:08] Now we’re going to issue intensive brushes. If you notice your gums get tighter, then that’s a good thing if they’re more sensitive. Yes. Well, actually, it’s probably a good thing. Don’t worry, we can deal with that. But if you notice that, it means you may be improving. So I think definitely we have to there’s a psychology of them nursing change. If they look better and they feel better as well, they’re more likely to comply. So it’s all kind of a three sixty one feeds the other. And that’s why in Auckland we are actually starting enlightened, exciting, actually, for the reason that also they get something that they’re looking forward to something. So at the end of all this gum treatment, yeah, you’re going to be able to have some whitening because now you can make it look nice as well. So there has to be an element of aesthetics, and that’s one element of feeling good and looking good and all. But it all works together. I think it’s got to work together.
[00:57:59] You know, you touched upon the mouth is connected to everything else, and gum disease can downstream impacts absolutely everything. And obviously the converse is true if we just look at systemic inflammation as an example and all the things that can impact that from sleep to what you eat, to exercise to even supplementation of various vitamins and minerals and whatnot. And what part of your role do you fulfil in giving advice to patients on things like that in and around the community? I know you touched upon it earlier. You were talking about how stress can impact things and whatnot. And so do you find your role as more of a holistic practitioner as well, or do you stick primarily to what’s going on in the mouth?
[00:58:51] Yeah, I think the thing is you have to be realistic to treat someone successfully, you have to look at everything. I’m not saying you become like a specialist in nutrition or specialist stress psychologists or whatever, but you do have to touch on it and give them the advice whether they have to then seek medical help or see someone else. I think it’s you do need to treat people. Has to. So, yes, in the clinic, whether it’s me, whether it’s the hygiene, we’re all touching base on the whole, the patient as a whole. To be fair, the way I see things going, which is happening to us already is almost working in a centre where you have, for example, a nutritionist working that you have a diabetes specialist and you all kind of working together. That’s where I see things going in the future. So be interesting to see what happens with that. But yeah, you can’t with perio especially, you can’t just look at the gums in the pockets and the bleeding. You’ve got to look at risk factors is a major part of what we do
[00:59:50] Is any test for susceptibility that works.
[00:59:54] Um, there’s no one test that you can do. Do you mean genetic susceptibility or just to
[01:00:00] Go to the environment? I mean, is there something some some saliva test or plaque test or something?
[01:00:06] Yeah, not at the moment that you can use routinely in practise that would work. So it’s more about a conversation about risk factors like diabetes, for example. How well controlled is your diabetes, which to be able to see? That type of marker is quite good. Things may change like you may get inflammatory markers or whatever. You take some from the from the pocket and look at that. But right now, it’s it’s not very practical thing that you can do on a daily basis. But the other thing I mean is genetics. Some people are genetically more susceptible. And I think there’s a huge I say to my patients, there’s a huge unfair element to this. And quite honestly, when I when I speak to the patient, they’re actually more accepting of their condition and they’re more likely to then say, OK, I want to do something about it, rather than the practitioner who says you want to brush your teeth. It’s all your fault. That kind of I mean, to me, I would just be like, OK, this doesn’t make me feel very nice. I don’t I don’t want to I don’t want to know about this. And I just switch off with, say, someone will. Miss Smith, part of the reason why you’ve got perio is genetics that we can’t control. But there is an unfair element. They might be actually, it’s not my fault. But, you know, I’m going to try and do something about it. So genetics is one we can’t control, but it should be a part of the conversation. And that doesn’t just apply to certain patients. Like half the reason why people have perio is genetic. So and then there’s risk factors. So don’t kind of push that to the side of things in a conversation to have with all patients
[01:01:31] In the different facets of your work. So you’ve got running the business, treating a patient clinically, having that patient interaction and changing the life and then teaching, you know, helping other dentists improve their skills, become better off doing what they do and what you prefer doing.
[01:01:50] I see I see a bit of content creation there as well. And you do enjoy the.
[01:01:55] Yeah, I think I actually enjoy everything in combination. Like, I couldn’t just teach all week. I couldn’t just see patients all week. I think having that balance to be one when I was studying, when one of my teachers actually said to me, it’s always worth having a balance, bit of the little practise, bit of teaching. But if, as you said, content creation, digital, the that works really well. And I think I’ve kind of figured out what works for me in terms of the number of days, how I want to do things. So I do have a large component not seeing patients, but I’ve got kind of half of that with teaching and half of it with other stuff. So I think I don’t think I can pick one thing. I think I’d have to do everything together to enjoy it the best.
[01:02:37] So you came out with this tongue scraper thing? Yeah. So it’s about that journey.
[01:02:43] Yeah. And so I always wanted my own product, but I realised quite quickly on I couldn’t compete with the big or the Colgate companies on toothbrushes and toothpaste. And one thing that I found enlightening was bad breath caused by a tongue coating and the two biggest causes of bad breath. One is gum disease, one is tomcatting. And the total sweep is that we’re out there would just like like the plastic ones. Firstly, I wanted to get away from plastic. I just didn’t feel they were very effective. So then I thought one in my country. But so that was really fun. So I designed it, that kind of stuff, packaged it. And again, it was just something that I was originally just going to give to my own patients. And then it ended up being quite popular. So we sell online to maybe resell at some point as well. So that was pretty fun. And I’d say pretty much all our patients buy one when they see the hygiene. So we got fancy with it. We had it ability to engrave people’s names on it, things like that, which is we get some interesting stuff on that. So, yeah, it’s it’s it’s been more of a fun project to be the. And having your own product is quite nice that you can then give to your patients and you think, wow, my dentist actually made their own product. It’s quite nice.
[01:04:00] I’ve always thought this should be like incidental brushing machine. That’s better than you always thought. I always thought you could have something you could stick in between everyone’s teeth. They an impression and then the angles are all correct and then you make something for them to get you in.
[01:04:21] Most of the time, I think it would be tricky, but you never know.
[01:04:28] So really, twenty thousand plus followers on Instagram told us about that journey, how you got there and what that is like as a influence on your life. How often do you check your phone? How often do you have to create content for that? Do you have to keep the story wheel spinning every day just to talk to us about social media?
[01:04:50] Yeah, I mean, social media for me. I don’t quite quickly after I started my blog page, because then I wanted platforms to share everything. When I first off, it was all about Facebook. Right. And now it’s all about Instagram and all the other platforms. I have some tech talks on my thing. The Instagram is kind of where things are happening right now. So that’s that’s where I’ve picked as my main platform. I think social media is a great way of spreading messages and sharing things, perhaps in a more informal way. So I set up my own personal Instagram account, which I call it personal. But the thing is, it’s it’s you can’t think that it’s on your personal page. It is kind still has to be professional in anything you do online. But Mirena on your page rather than my OTTAVI Paragould page, I set up first. And with social media, I think it is pretty much another job, to be honest. And if you want to do it and wants it, well, you’ve got to give it time. You’ve got to be prepared to engage with people. You’ve got to be prepared for conflict. You’ve got to be prepared to whatever you put out there that everyone is seeing is essentially a amplification tool. So whatever you put out that it’s going to be magnified. Everyone’s going to see it. And even if you delete things, that’s always going to be that really. So I really enjoy it. I think it’s very valuable. I think you get to reach out to people and share things that you might know.
[01:06:08] And for me, my personal one is more just sharing my journey, inspiring people, whereas my older people, one is more carrier based and sharing cases and what’s possible and patient testimonials. But it takes time and it takes time, as in not just the bills, but on a daily basis. So yes, I have at times during the day when I go on social media, for me at the beginning I was literally on my phone the whole time, like when I first started the whole social media thing. And it’s so easy to get caught up in that bubble of just being on your phone the whole time. And I realise it can get quite stressful as long as you’re constantly reading comments and having to reply to that. If you read a comment, you just feel like the urge to reply straight away. So then I decided on social media twice a day. So usually at lunch time, then at some point in the evening, and I try not to do it in the morning and instead of just try to preserve that time for the most important things. But I do limit myself and I think with social media now and a lot of young dentists’, I run a course for young Dental School F. Q And one of the things we teach is about social media. And if you’re going to create an account, you’ve got to know why you doing it. What are you trying to are you trying to, for example, for professional reasons for your patients? Are you trying to impress your peers? Are you trying to inspire others that you need to know what you were doing before you set it up? Well, one of the biggest things that I would say is, do you have the time for and do you have the content like content creation is you’ve got to have enough content as well.
[01:07:35] You don’t want to be posting once a month. You want to be posting quite regularly. So have you got that content ready as well? So it’s a whole other world and it’s very, very, very easy to compare yourself against other people as well. So I get a lot of message messages from younger Dental saying I want to set up a page, but I don’t think I’m good enough. And I see all these amazing cases, which, of course are everyone’s best cases on Instagram. And I feel it unfair. And I do feel like a post up. I hate literally all the time, but I think it’s very important not to negatively compare yourself with others on social media. You should just use it as inspiration. And what can you learn from them? Because it’s so easy to feel insufficient when you see some other people’s stuff online. So I think it’s such a simple message that people who are graduating students, they need to know that that it’s use as inspiration. Don’t compare yourself. Otherwise you can feel quite insecure about self.
[01:08:32] Do manage this all yourself. Really. You have got someone doing it for you or you post everything yourself.
[01:08:39] Yeah, I mean, on my personal projects, everything myself, on my practise page, I do have someone helping me for them in my clinic, but pretty much it’s me on my own page. I think it has to be. You’ve got to be. In an authentic and organic, no one can write a post for you and post pictures of you because people can see through that quite quickly. So if you want to grow and grow organically to the strengths, you’ve got to do so. Yeah, I mean, there are tools out there to help you that you have social media calendars where you can put things in advance to save you time. I’m just I don’t use that. But there are things if you are super busy and you’d rather get a whole bulk of posts out there for the week, do you not think it’s going to be you? It’s going to be authentic.
[01:09:23] Have you dabbled in paid marketing as well? I mean, you’ve got the horses, the tongue scraper, all that. Have you have you done some ads?
[01:09:28] I’ve done, yeah. I’ve done my courses on Perry School. I used Facebook and it works pretty well. I mean, what it does, it allows you to reach people who might not know about your calls. So I would I’m all for Facebook as it’s the only one I’ve tried, but I think there’s a lot of things out there, so it just allows you to record it.
[01:09:46] So, yeah, I think the Facebook has worked really well when especially with something remote like the like the online courses targeting dentists in other countries and stuff like that. Yeah.
[01:09:59] What do you do outside of work for you know, if you had half a day to yourself, what would you do.
[01:10:07] Yes, do I live next to Hyde Park, so I always I’m pretty much always there in my free time, I really enjoy going on walks into podcasts, although I don’t have a dog, I don’t love my husband. Let me have dog things compared to myself. So no dogs for now. But some my friends, if they look after themselves and look after random dogs, which is fun. I love cooking pretty much and veggie pretty much vegan. So being in deserts are a fun thing for me to do and I love reading as well. So and of course when we can meet up with friends is always a good time. I try to surround myself with people who are positive and a lot of my friends and non Dental actually they’re very successful in their own fields and I find that inspiring. So I like surprising with Dental people as well. I can.
[01:10:59] Really, the veggie vegan thing, is that a sort of sustainability, religious animal cruelty? What what’s what’s the what’s the motivation behind that?
[01:11:11] Yes, I’ve been veggie all my life, actually vegetarian all my life. So both religions I’m Hindu, I’m sonar. And so also very straight on ethics and things like that. It’s also something I’ve grown up with. Also, obviously, the animal cruelty side and the whole thing, really. But the initial reason was, was religion. But yeah, it’s great. Now, I remember like 10 years ago, there were no options for vegetarians because the thing is, like tons of stuff, which is which is nice, I think when before was quite difficult,
[01:11:42] Like it was I grew up I was born a vegetarian, if that’s the thing. Right. And I think I think the first twenty five, twenty two, twenty three years of my life I was a vegetarian and then I started lifting weights and my friends said to me, look, if you want to put some muscle on, you’ve got to eat chicken. So as I turned it over to the dark side and then actually more recently, my daughter came home one day and said, Dad, I want to be a vegetarian. And I said, Which one of your mates is a vegetarian? And she said, no, this is why I gave me a whole bunch of reasons. And she flipped us all the whole family vegetarian.
[01:12:23] Oh, my God, it’s amazing.
[01:12:25] It was pretty amazing. We tried to gone for a while and as much as as much as I’d love to. I can’t give up.
[01:12:34] So that’s the kind of eagerness she is is like kind of. Yeah.
[01:12:40] I mean, as you may you may have heard this question before, but, you know, we like to end this podcast just on legacy values and things like that so much. It was your your last night on the planet. And you had you know, you were surrounded by your loved ones and you have to leave them with three pieces of wisdom. What would those special.
[01:13:13] Three pieces of wisdom,
[01:13:16] Life advice, whatever, whatever you want to call.
[01:13:19] Yeah, I guess the first one would be have the courage, I guess, to live a life true to yourself. So I think often we live a life with trying to please someone else and other people’s expectations. But I think it’s so important that you read actually people’s you read all these things online, actually people’s regrets. And sometimes it’s just that they regret living their lives and pleasing others when it’s actually you want to be true to yourself. So I think the first thing is follow your heart, follow your intuition. They know what you want to be at the end of the day. You want to enjoy what you do in your life. As I said, you’re going to be doing it for most of the day, for most of your life. So don’t worry about anyone else. If you don’t enjoy something, there’s no point doing it, like find something you enjoy and make that your career and make that your your life. So I think sometimes it’s great to get advice from people, but if it’s not true to what you believe in, then it’s probably not the right thing to do. I guess my second one would be from kind of the last few years, I guess. Is that your comfort zone? Like, normally what you fear the most is what you need to do the most. So especially when I was doing the new kind of field, I was like, oh my God, what am I doing? This is a massive risk.
[01:14:37] I’m totally out of my comfort zone. I can easily just carry on where I am uncomfortable, but I realise I’m not going to grow unless I push myself. Same thing with surgical procedures, same thing with anything we do. If it doesn’t Scanadu, it’s probably not that important. So you’ve got to push yourself because once you prove yourself, it feels really good. You’re like, OK, I’m here now. Then you look for your next challenge. I think going out your comfort zone should be ingrained in us to be able to grow in life. I guess what else? One of the I guess is not really. My mantra is one of putting my faith. A guru always says in the joy of others lies your own. And for me that I always trust the back of my mind. So supporting others, like making sure other people around you are happy, is important sometimes you know and well, our life is short. We need to support each other sometimes the negativity out there. But I think we’ve got to try and build each other up and surround ourselves with people who are positive. And I think that will be my third one is in the joy of others lives around, both full of professionals, of all patients, I guess. Like one more excuse.
[01:15:45] Well, am I not going to give us
[01:15:49] Any other advice? But one thing I would say from from the way I’ve sort of gone, I’m still very early in my career, but sometimes it does make sense, like whilst you’re doing it. But then when you look back, the dots do connect. So sometimes it’s like, oh, oh, are you sure this is the right thing? And how is it going to kind of pan itself out if it feels right, if you enjoy it and all the other things said, it may not make sense of the time, but you realise what happened in ways that everything happens for a reason, even if it’s a negative thing. I’m not actually be a negative thing when you look back in 10 years, time to think that bonus also.
[01:16:27] Also when when you’re in it, when you’re in it, you don’t realise how significant the thing you’re doing is. Yeah. And it’s only years later sometimes and Prav, I’m sure you’re the same. You look back and you remember all that stuff I did at that point really was significant. But when you’re in it, it’s harder to sort of see the wood for the trees. Is it very lovely, lovely things you said, but your number one and number three, you of opposition with each other, which I really like
[01:16:53] Dental then
[01:16:55] Of course,
[01:17:00] And you’ll see how would you like to be remembered? Sorina was. Don’t Dental,
[01:17:09] I guess I want to be inspirational, I guess, for the dentists, for them to push the limits and not let age or anything else define you and just go for it no matter what people say. And I guess I wouldn’t want to be known for making a difference in the world, ultimately improving the health of the nation, if I can, but ultimately making it more competitive. I think it would be nice to be a wonderful, beautiful.
[01:17:36] And if you had. Thirty days. Left with your health advocate intact and you can do anything you wanted for those 30 days, what would you do?
[01:17:51] Oh, I think I spent days with my family. A family is everything to me, so I think I spend them with my family probably on a nice tropical island somewhere on a beach. Having a great time without being my ideal first is
[01:18:08] Really, really, really. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us today. It’s been truly so impressive.
[01:18:16] Thank you for having me.
[01:18:19] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders Dental Street.
[01:18:30] Your house, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
[01:18:35] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you’ve got some value out of it
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