Love it or hate it, social media is now part of all our lives – especially dentists. Social media is a marketing machine, showcase opportunity, comms machine and much more besides.

Part one of our centenary show recaps on conversations about this revolution in dentistry with voices, starting the late and much-missed Anoop Maini. 


In This Episode

01:01 Anoop Maini
06:42 Simon Chard
11:46 Mahmood Mawjee
17:24 Daz Singh
23:16 James Goolnik
26:04 Mahrukh Khwaja
30:13 Zainab Al-Mukhtar
35:16 Druh Shah
39:19 Neel Jaiswal
45:39 Vishaal Shah
53:25 Zaki Kanaan
57:14 Nikunj Sondagar
01:00:08 Victoria Holden

[00:00:04] This is Dental Leaders. The podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders and Dental Street. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[00:00:22] Hi, guys. Today’s episode is the second part of our social media Leaders hopefully listen to the first part last week. This is a continuation of the best bits of the social media journeys of our top guests. Thank you so much for listening. Canis Solanki Prav brother Kailash has always dominated in every form of media, but that there’s been including social. But I remember before social, he was dominating in print and dominating in Google. And then when it comes to social, he’s got he’s also there.

[00:00:54] I didn’t have a mentor like me, so I had to do things myself and everyone. Not everyone. It’s fair to say that. But a lot of people saw this young kid. He’d open this cosmetic clinic, try to go for all the awards, tries to do all this. All these dentistry goes on every cost under the sun and just thinks is going to be here today, gone tomorrow. Him, you know, his fly by. And, you know, we’re 15, 16 years on. Castaños got a massively great reputation in the northwest. You know, we get patients now from all over the. Our Instagram following our social media presence, our you know, just presence just generally is super good. And that is testament to what’s holding our ground. All kids Dental hold its ground and saying, listen, we’re here to stay. You know, from my point of view and now I think moving forward, long term plan is to ensure that, you know, maybe I can be a mentor for some people. I do it now in my private vitis. And, you know, they do super well. You know, I’ve got my private veti that’s going to be made from fee to fee, writes him just in the next coming month.

[00:02:09] And before that, he’d study dentistry in Latvia. So he’s not like he had experienced the UK dentistry. So like his mom and dad with dentists. It’s not like, you know, he’s grown up in the professional. He’s like he was wet behind the ears. He had no idea of dentistry. And for him to safely dance is the key to safely providing very good quality dental treatment, not rushing. And his kid doesn’t. Roshe, he still shadows me one day a week. So he still only dream four days. Clinical dentistry a week of the Hintz a gross 100k in one month before he goes Ebright great for me, great for my business. But that’s not the reason I’m doing it, because I’m producing I’m hoping not lots of mini mes, but I want to produce people that are not scared, that understand dentistry is something that needs to be provided past the basic level. But happy to provide it because he knows I’m his mentor. I will help him. I will go through that with him and I’ll go through every journey with him. I check his preps, I check his EMFs. I check his final fix.

[00:03:15] We used to talk about treatments to talk about this. Yeah, we should talk about is, you know, Prav and I have talked about you. I mean, you introduced me to Prav. Let’s start with you. Leaders, Prav and Prav. And I have talked about you a lot. And, you know, Prav does marketing for hundreds of dentists. And and he says that in the end, you are the one of all of his clients who converts the most. Richard Field, me from my memory, the first dentists who had a logo of himself as an associate who was very involved back in the Facebook days, less so in the instant Instagram days. So, listen, both I remember back in the day well, I don’t know how many years I’m talking about, maybe seven or eight years ago, maybe. Maybe a bit after that. You were the original social media dentist. I remember you. You were the first one to have your own logo. And I remember you getting quite a lot of chip for it. I remember you getting attacked quite a lot for it. Maybe because you were the first and it wasn’t a thing. Right. But then you kind of withdrew from social media quite a lot. Tell me tell me about it first.

[00:04:32] Yeah, I think social media is something that I think is really important to talk about. So I was the first, though, logo, my friend at uni, and he made me a logo as part of his university course. Actually, I still use the same one today and logo stuff on Facebook when Facebook was the thing. And people comment is not always for the best. And you’d have to you’d have to build quite a thick skin quite early. And there was a couple of things that happened a few years later that I don’t really want to massively get into, but it really left it really sour taste in my mouth. I was like, I don’t need that in my life. And maybe to my detriment or not, I haven’t fully embraced it again ever. And I know there are people are building businesses on Instagram who feel they’ve got some months in advance from Instagram years in advance. There’s people that have no other marketing olad Instagram. So I think is fantastic. But it’s also quite dangerous not only for dentists, but potentially for patients as well, especially the younger ones wanting Instagram smiles. And to sort of put that in perspective. I have a very secret and I’m not going to tell you what it is a secret pizza Instagram where I post on my pizzas that I make in my home oven. And I sent a picture of my smile from that Instagram to a dentist. And I have a small garlic and a small darst on my upper right lateral. I’m ecstatic conclusion. And I said, well, what do I need? A nice smile. And the answer was 20 zirconia Crohn’s.

[00:06:25] Was this dentist in Turkey?

[00:06:26] It was a. It might be well, but the reply I go as far as the counting of cranes and as I OK, sometimes Steve asked me about bonding. And he said, no, that won’t work. Cranes is better. It’ll be 3000 pounds, 20 units of two points and sent me loads of pictures. And they looked from a lay person is really good. And that’s what we’re up against. We’re up against dentists. And the general public who doesn’t know anything about dentistry sees the nice smile for a nice price, and it’s very difficult to compete with. And on the flip side, in the UK, there’s a lot of very careful what I say. It’s a lot of make overs with composter. And I love composite. I think it’s fantastic. But I don’t think what these patients are being told is the maintenance, the long term. So you’re seeing a lot of people with big competence. Smiles on Virgine teeth, very young. Not knowing the maintenance for the future, and I’ve already had a couple in. You’ve had these sort of fool my continues on for a very small amount of money. They’ve already started to fail and can’t afford to fix it. And I’m not saying this is every dentist there are Dental. They’re doing phenomenal work with concept that will last years and years and years and years. But there’s also a lot. There aren’t. And I think we’ll be in a very interesting position in three or four years time when all these sort of influencers or young people want influence or teeth. Need it redone. And I wonder who’s going to do it? Yeah, it’s definitely an issue, although I don’t know how, you know, that

[00:08:21] People aren’t telling people of and you’ve spoken to these patients, but you can’t always trust patients about that. But but but I get I understand where you’re coming from. I mean, sometimes, you know, the trend picks up and it has its own sort of legs. And then I had qadi manager you on the podcast. Right. And she was talking about tick tock as she’s massive on tick tock, you know,

[00:08:46] And I know nothing.

[00:08:49] Well, yeah, this is the thing on on tick tock. The things that trend like they have juicy headlines and so something something really like, you know, the turkey things trended on on tick tock, the people going to turkey and having their teeth. And it is problematic with composite because it can go very wrong very quick if it’s not done very well. You know that the the problems are amplified in these tiny little scratch in the composite as a big fail later on. So I do agree with you on that.

[00:09:23] I think with or in script done is they’ve made they’ve taken the medical aspect away from dentistry and it’s more of a beauty treatment. So people out there, hair who have was done Baltistan and I think it is important that the public and the patients understand that what they’re having done, it might be minimi invasive, but it’s not reversible. And I think that the side of it which broadcast or understood

[00:09:55] Rupert Monkhouse is in question live so beautiful that the zigging when they zag, talking about them, just making them just cool on Instagram, which is a wonderful achievement. And so what’s what’s been the reaction of young dentists, you know, putting these beautiful pictures on Instagram and it’s the last place. I mean, you know, these platforms sort of, you know, develop DNA. But if three years ago you told me the going to be a guy who’s going to be taking pictures of complete dentures and making them exciting and sexy on black with with reflections, I would I would believe that, you know, what’s been people’s reaction? I mean I mean, you must have inspired a bunch of people.

[00:10:44] I think so. I think I get a lot of a lot of really nice feedback. I do see a few people doing a few pictures. And I it it’s quite, quite similar. That’s cool. No one’s no one’s original show. Someone was doing the same kind of things as well that I haven’t seen. So, you know, nothing. And it’s all about the photos of it. That’s all just what Menasche teaches on his boat. You know, when did that course? Two years ago. And thought, well, I’m going to do it for what I want to do that again. I’ve had really, really nice feedback. And I think more people just obviously people were doing Dental cases. But I’m seeing more maybe I’m just following more people that I’m definitely seeing more people who are doing on the page sort of composite work and actually posting the odd Dental case, which is almost that people weren’t thinking that, oh, let’s not show the Dental cases, but. Yeah, yeah, definitely. And more more of it coming up, which is which is cool. Yeah.

[00:11:37] I mean, the thing is, we were all trained in that much more than we were trained in composites. So it kind of it kind of takes you back to that whole whole bit of Dental school. Right. But at the same time, it’s interesting, you know, that that is still the case. I really didn’t think that. I thought I thought by now the Dental course would be much more sort of digital planning and none of that. Right. Scanning was scanning involved your coastguard.

[00:12:04] So you knew it existed. You knew it existed. But we didn’t we didn’t have a scanner on the postgrads to the postcard. Obviously, they have scanners and things of that, because they have to do all that side of it, that we didn’t have anything outside that that maybe it’s changed in the last four or five years, but it’s still not not there

[00:12:26] To even even in the last four or five years. A lot’s changed and scanning is definitely penetration market penetration of it. Yeah. What else do you get up to? Outside of work? What what’s your biggest interest piece?

[00:12:41] Well, I was doing a bit of coaching still for the swimming stuff. The Covid sort of killed that off to do normal photography, not adventures. But again, Covid sort of cattail that a bit because it was more when I would travel, I’d try and go away sort of two or three times a year and do photography that obviously living and living in London, you can still go and do some some nice photography. So I spend spend most of my time doing doing that. And just sports in general. What you better watch a bit of cricket. Maybe I might get roped into a Sunday game next week. I in the shower with some players, so I’m not going to go into the arm over. But yeah, photos, not adventures, is usually what I’m doing. But I found that I’m just doing more and more of the work work photographers. I need to bring it back the other way, I think.

[00:13:26] So were you a photographer before you were a Dental photographer?

[00:13:32] Yeah. So I’ve been doing sort of photography as a sort of serious hobby for about five years, mostly stuff. But I would be in London at uni and going round and then travels and sort of landscape photography and cityscape photography and things like that. So I knew I knew my way around a camera before I went on. Yeah, that’s homophobic scores and stuff. Yeah. So it’s more than that. That’s the beauty, of course, is that it’s still had so much so much to offer because you have the full range of people on that course. And still some people don’t even know how to, you know, which we tend the whole day on sort of thing that catches up on. But the beauty of that is that the whole black backdrop, things are so simple to do once you know how to do it. But it just until you know how to do it is a little crazy, but says I still enjoy it. And that’s why I think partly I do these do all these Instagram photos, because it’s just it makes me enjoy the work that I’m doing. I enjoy the sight of is making a nice picture, whether it’s over a mountain range somewhere or more of an impression. I just enjoy the process of actually producing producing an image.

[00:14:48] Robbie Hughes, a real social media powerhouse since that interview, he’s done so many other things as well. The clothing line, that’s the concept avant garde system that he’s doing. But again, one of my favourites to listen

[00:15:07] To starts as a little bit about that. And we prior to this podcast, we said a little thing that shocked me, which is you probably run one of the biggest or most successful practises in the north and you haven’t spent a penny on marketing. Exactly. How did that happen?

[00:15:23] The power of Instagram, power of no influential people. And like like you say, I am fortunate. I’m very fortunate that, you know, influential people don’t have to beg beg influential people to help me out or offer, you know, freebies and all these things. I know a lot of influential people and all to sort

[00:15:42] Of I think that combined with the power of providing the amazing experience, because, of course, it’s impossible to grow a business at the rate you’ve grown your business,

[00:15:51] Because without you’re going to force, you can’t force people to shout from the rooftops about what you’ve had done. You can’t force people to do that regardless of what I think it’s the

[00:15:58] Combination of those two together.

[00:16:00] The experience is everything. Yeah, the experience is everything. So you want to provide an experience. You want to create this sort of lifestyle brand where people want to boast about being in the building. And that’s exactly what they do. Even the celebrities do it now to celebrities. Come pay for the teeth. Do you mind that we with you? And so Cam certainly was a was a prime example. Ken paid for his teeth and Cam was offered free teeth. But he wants to come to us and he let me video the whole experience and use as much as he wants because he knew what he wanted. He knew about the experience. He knew about what we can deliver on. And we get that all the time. We haven’t done a single sponsored post. Yeah. So I haven’t paid for anything. Now, when I’m ready to scale my business, we have the content, we have the content. They will obviously all those options we have my websites, I still get built is not even optimised. So if I can build a business of this scale on Instagram only, that’s what really excites me, because I’m not going to be sort of put all my eggs in one basket. I’m just going through the process and being so busy and do not that we do need to have all the channels and all the avenues final, all cylinders, and then we’ll see how far we can really take this business. And that’s what that’s that’s what that’s the desire inside me now is I think I want to know how far can I take it?

[00:17:22] That’s really key will be because, you know, you could say right place, right time, Instagram, you know that your reputation in the town. Yeah. Is it let’s say Instagram day after tomorrow, isn’t the platform that, you know, we can see what happened to Facebook and reach and all that. And then we’re talking to Newtown. What are the what will it take to to replicate? And I’m not asking you to answer me, but that is the that’s the big, big ask. Because because I believe in Liverpool. You’re a mini celebrity before any of this started. And Instagram, I guess you got on it at the right time and did the right thing. But what’s going to happen next?

[00:18:02] I believe I believe we have we already have a brand established well enough now to grow in any city. And the awareness is there. I know that because I know the amount of enquiries I get through every day from different areas of the country. So, again, my next stage is going to be a very, very logical decision based on where the most of my enquiries are coming from, from the right demographic and type of people and where my highest conversion rate is. So I know of I’m already very highly in that area. That’s where I need the clinic. That’s not rocket science. If Instagram falls off tomorrow, I’ve got my brand and I’ve got a good enough business brain, you know, advertised on MySpace before so I can advertise and anything. And that was free as well. So, yeah, plus we’ve got all the old marketing methods is not that I’m not not aware of. I’m just saying I’m not at the point to use it or need it. Yeah. And both scalability is common. And that’s why I love digital dentistry, because I don’t believe that’s been scalable before. Same way in the same way. But now with scalable, we can centralise a lot of things and sort of have different satellites very easily.

[00:19:06] I believe Prunus Skanda probably in the profession right now, the most influential social media queen there is. Enjoy it. One thing I quite admire about the way you’ve done Instagram is you’ve brought what you’ve brought Anna Middleton along with you. And now the notice.

[00:19:25] You’re also done tonight, babe. It’s like Charlie’s Angels and you come to see Dental.

[00:19:30] Yeah, that’s that’s quite a nice thing. You know, that’s quite a nice thing. It’s like empowering women in. So we go on to the okay, go for it. What do you feel about this wave? Why is it that now there’s so many women’s groups?

[00:19:43] Ok, so the really interesting thing is that people see me as a strong female figure, which I’m so grateful for. But as a result, they want me to be at the forefront of a lot of speaking events that are just inclusive to women. And I have actually made a decision in the last year not to accept any of those invitations, not because I’m not here to support other women. It’s because I think that this is basically a trend and people don’t understand what it means. I think that women should have a voice. I think that women should be empowered. But I don’t actually think separating men from women on any platforms is the way forward, because I think it’s all about diversity, inclusive koussevitzky and not about separation. Now, my business partners are male. I work with males all the time. I get on with them. I have never felt intimidated or disempowered by men. So actually, I don’t think that this whole wave, which kind of tries to display men as being the enemy and, you know, suppressing women is something that I relate to. And I think it’s all about integration, to be honest.

[00:20:56] Do you think it’s harder to be a woman than a man?

[00:20:59] Yeah, for sure. I mean, yeah, that’s true.

[00:21:03] Then then there’s nothing wrong with Empower. You know, I mean, the.

[00:21:06] Yeah, but I think. No, but that’s why.

[00:21:07] Is it harder to be a woman than the man?

[00:21:08] I mean, for me personally, somebody that’s built that profile on career and has lots of dreams and aspirations that I want to fulfil. I’m also very much aware of the biological clock, frankly.

[00:21:18] I get I get somebody inside of that. Outside of that, of course, of course, having a kid and I love it. But outside of that, I mean, you haven’t got a kid yet, you know.

[00:21:26] Okay. My father keeps reminding me so.

[00:21:30] So in your journey from, you know, from zero to now. Yeah. You think it’s harder to be a woman than the man?

[00:21:36] Yeah, for sure. I mean, like I think that there has been elements of in my industry, which I’m not going to go into in detail. There have been elements of also like I sometimes certain men have wanted to help. And then it turns out they actually wanted to try and get physical and then you’d go, no, no, no, no. This is like a purely business thing. And I’ve I’ve experienced some of that. And then they lose interest in trying to help you. So I think there’s definitely a little bit of that, that Harvey Weinstein culture that still goes on in every industry. But having said that, I think that if you assert yourself in a certain way, you can get the respect from both sexes, to be perfectly honest with you. And the reason why I say that is because I did assert myself and behaved in a certain way that gained respect. And I think women for some reason don’t feel like they have a voice. They don’t have the confidence to speak out. It’s not that men are saying you can’t speak out. It’s because they just don’t have that maybe that ego like men do. And I think that’s a problem with women. And trust me, more women have said negative things about me online, behind my back and so forth than men. And I don’t think that says a lot, because I think that’s pathetic that some securitise projects. Does that make sense? You know,

[00:22:53] If you were born a bloke, would you be most successful?

[00:22:56] If I was born a bloke, would I be more successful? No, but I definitely I’d have no idea how to answer that question. But I definitely think that I would nail being broken.

[00:23:06] It’s a strange question, but it isn’t. It’s a strange question.

[00:23:09] No, I understand what

[00:23:11] It

[00:23:11] Relates to your question about.

[00:23:13] Yeah, I mean, it’s a strange one to answer, but.

[00:23:15] Yeah, but I mean, but

[00:23:16] Tell me about these terrible things that these women have done to you. Are we talking, trolling?

[00:23:21] Yeah, I think that. So, for example, I’ll hear from some of my peers that certain female dentists, for example, that have never met me will say things about my persona or about my clinical work. And I find it very strange because I’ve never even met them. And sometimes on Instagram, I have had to deal with comments of trolling. But to be perfectly honest, there have been male trolls as well. As we know. There’s forums that I think I think it’s just awful that a group still on Facebook that allow dentists to publicly within the space of the forum. Shame other dentists and troll them. And, you know, to be honest, though, Payman, some of my male friends who are Dental has also suffer from anxiety about these groups talking about them. Screen shots thinks that things about them mocking them. And this happens for males and females. But I think that it’s just outrageous that we allow it. We were allowing it. I mean, with what’s happened with Caroline Slark recently, can’t people understand that the power of words can have on you? You know, like it’s so real that people say you have to develop a tough skin and just get on with it, because if you put yourself in the public eye, you’re just going to expose yourself. But I’m like, I don’t. Want to live in a box, you know, I mean, in this like security thing, but I don’t think that gives people the rights to think that I’m invincible or any of my friends are invincible.

[00:24:44] Does that. Does it hurt then? Is that what you’re saying?

[00:24:46] Hundred percent. A hundred percent.

[00:24:48] What’s your deepest, darkest moment in social media, whether it’s a comment that someone’s made or content that someone’s published or a screenshot that you’ve seen where you’ve just, oh, holy crap, you know, it has sunk in. And he said and he sent you into spiral of, you know, on depression or sleepless nights. What if they that may be.

[00:25:10] So when I was on it, I got asked to be on TV. And then the second time that I was on there, I posted about it. And someone with zero followers, zero posts. And this is the interesting thing, right? Because these trolls, sometimes it’s such a it’s obviously made up of people hiding behind a mask. They don’t have the guts to tell you to your face, have basically told me. But the PED attacked the way that I speak, my accent and the way that I looked. I’m totally matrixx at my eyebrows. And I was like, they are my signature. Thanks very much. Leavening is all over. But, you know, it’s the way that I looked and I just deleted it, obviously, and tried to ignore a few weeks ago, I had a Dental student, female Dental student that tried to attack one of my photos about being in the Telegraph. And I ended up having to disable the comments on the photo because all these other students were like jumping on the bandwagon. And I just don’t have time to deal with that when I’m dealing with patients on a busy day.

[00:26:11] Majin, that happens first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Awful. You come into work the next day, you’ve got a day full of patients. How does that affect your day and your interactions?

[00:26:21] You just really can’t focus the neck. Going back to Caroline flap thing, because I think it’s just such a prominent thing that’s happening. And I think it shows the way we have to change like behaviour. A lot of my patients are very good friends with Caroline and had come in and they had confirmed to me that she really, really suffered with the things that were being said about her constantly. And again, I just don’t know why people feel that they have the right to really attack people on a personal basis.

[00:26:50] People definitely do. Do you remember there was a picture of what’s the name? Posh Spice. Yeah. On She’s gone to America to have her teeth done and even dance with jumping in. Yeah, making making. Somehow you feel like you have licence with with famous people. It’s a weird thing. Yeah, it’s a weird thing, isn’t it?

[00:27:07] No, I mean, a hundred percent. And I think like on that note as well, is that the influence the world has also sort of affected me. I have some influences are extremely loyal, and we formed a very strong bond on the treatments that we’ve done. But influences now because I was one of the original Dental his treating influences, remember, like now everyone’s doing it, but I was one of the only ones if the only one. And now everyone’s doing it and they’ll jump from person to person. Right. And now Dentists’, I find gloat when an influence that change dentists’ because amongst the dentists, I wonder why she changed dentists. Obviously Dentist X did a crap job or, you know, didn’t fulfil their needs.

[00:27:49] You know, you alluded to earlier when you when you gave you a little intro, I’m an OK clinical dentist. You weren’t blowing smoke up yourself. You weren’t saying I’m the best clinical. Don’t talk to me about why patients come to you and what it is.

[00:28:03] Yeah. I mean, you even notice one of your stories a couple of days ago, and it was someone famous, I guess. And she said, I went on Twitter and asked who’s a good dentist? And it just all stormed in as many as Rúnar.

[00:28:18] Yeah. And that, you know, that really shocked me, actually, because I had no idea who she was initially. And then everyone was like, she’s a really big deal. She’s one of the most armloads, dentists, mostaghim like, oh, my God, you’re treating this person like. That’s amazing. I’ve been following her for ages.

[00:28:32] But what is it about the way you make people feel that?

[00:28:34] I think it was it’s just that it’s about the way that I make people feel now. I think that I never realised about the interaction, but I always think it’s such a cliche saying, but treat your patients as you would your friends and family. And I always have that in mind. I actually am really excited to treat a case of a patient who’s was going to come to me. And she had messaged me saying that she had gone through a massive surgical process and that she wanted to talk to me about the feminisation as her teeth. And I thought, what does that mean? And I looked further and I realised that she’s transgender. And when I responded back to her, she was her immediate response was, oh, my gosh, you’re the nicest person. Your energy is so warm because I’m very much about all inclusive party. And again, like Payman, if you ask me now, like you did a few years ago, what’s my vision is to show the world that you can be anyone you deserve to have good teeth. Our people now are like, oh, yeah, I want to try and influence, I want to be a famous person that’s going to like show everyone, I’m like, you know what, I want to take a step from that because I want to show that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you’re from, male, female, transgender, you know, access to you have access and you deserve a smile.

[00:29:52] And that’s kind of like my next vision, you know, for the public. So stay tuned for how I’m going to be doing that. But I think that that feeling, as you said, of making them feel comfortable. I’m very good at gauging body language. I’m very good at gauging fears. I’m very good at gauging, you know, how people feel from the moment they walk into that room. And my job is to make them feel comfortable. And I think that and personable and that I really care about everything they’re going through. And I think that’s why that word of mouth has spread, because what dentists don’t realise is, is clinical dentistry is so important, but patients don’t really know what’s going on in their mouth. Of course, they want a nice result. But at the end of the day, if you make them feel good in that chair and Brady Show, all your passion.

[00:30:38] Jason Smithson, I’ve known Jason for years, but he really did build a very unique teaching platform, if you like, on social. He came from from before Facebook was around the Dental town, had a massive presence there. And then on Facebook, you know, one of the most talented teachers around and one of the biggest names that’s ever come out of UK dentistry.

[00:31:04] So, Jason, going from the point where you beat on all these various courses, you’ve been doing a lot of invasive cosmetic dentistry and then shifted over towards this thinking go rather than doing one. Maybe we can do a load. Yeah. How did you transition from that point to being known as one of the world’s, if not the world’s best at the technique that you teach today? What was what was that transition? And in terms of just going from someone who practises dentistry, who then teaches on a global on a global stage.

[00:31:41] So I think payments heard this before. But I’ll tell you, I work in a practise a worked with a with a guy called Jeremy Harris, who was a very strong early mentor for me. But his thing is really fixed. Prostate implants, very good at Balga Carving as well. Indeed, I still work with them. They still work for the practise a day, a week. It’s nearly retired, but there we go. But he’s not interested. By his own admission, he could do good composites, but it’s not really a massive interest. So I wanted to get some feedback on it. So I started to post my cases, which were mainly at that point posterior composites, which were quite unusual at the time. Maybe what Payman would it be 12, 13 years ago in so much as I used to use, attend to the phishers and stuff like that. So they were quite what might be called now hyper realistic. So I, I posted them on on a website which is still around called Dental Town, really just for feedback. It wasn’t with any ambition to do anything other than to communicate with other dentists who were into composite resin. And it got mixed feedback. You know, it’s a fairly American dominated website. And some people were saying, oh, why are you putting all that ugly? Keri’s into your teeth. I had to restorations and some people were saying, wow, that’s really cool.

[00:33:05] As it turned out, again, there were so so but they were perhaps quite revolutionary for the time. I was the first to do it, but one off. And after a while, a guy called Lincoln Harris, who is still a good friend of mine. In fact, I had dinner with him in Sydney about three months ago. Good guy runs a group called Right on Facebook. He called me and he said, Do you teach? And I said, no. And I don’t have any interest in teaching, because at that time, and to some degree now, I’m quite shy in some environments. And I at that point, I would be quite nervous to give a presentation in a practise meeting if I was asked to give a present a short presentation to practise to me to be up all night with diarrhoea. At that point. So it was a definite no no for me. So I listened to him and he said, well, we have this business model. It’s called Aesthetics in the Alpine. I live in Australia. My wife is Canadian. We fly to Canada, to Whistler once a year. And we have a Dental meeting that’s mainly geared up to skiing. And we have three speakers. One kind of world known expert is the year I did it was actually a guy called Gary Wood, who I’m really good friends with now, who’s very prominent in the Spirit Institute, really decent guy.

[00:34:36] There is a guy who’s kind of regionally, nationally known, I was a Canadian implant ologist the year I did it. I don’t recall their name, his name. And we have a guy or girl who is who’s never liked her before. And all you’ve got to do is to go over, come over. We’ll pay for your fly economy class flight will pay for your hotel for a week or pay for Iski, a ski pass. And all you’ve got to do is give a one hour lecture. My response to that was, thank you very much. No thanks. I’m not interested because I had several barriers. The first barrier is I didn’t really like public speaking at all. I was quite shy. My second barrier was I have absolutely no IT skills, and that hasn’t changed much. So I didn’t have a I had a Dell computer with two keys missing, and I had absolutely no PowerPoint. So I said, thanks very much, put the phone down. And he said, we’ll get back to me, you know, if you change your mind. And so my wife, who was into SKEER said to me, who was that? And I said, well, it’s this guy from Australia. And I just explained the situation to her. And then finally, we have got to go make myself a cup of tea now acts. And she said, what you bring up straight back, this guy has just offered you a free holiday.

[00:36:04] We didn’t have kids. Actually, we did have one card at a time. It’s just offered a free holiday for for you to speak for 60 Minutes. And you’re saying no. And I said, yeah, I don’t want to do it. My wife browbeat me over the evening into doing it. We’re all married. So you know how that works. What she made that decision, that was it. So I rang linked the next morning and I said, look, I’ve had I’ve had a chat with my wife and I’ve had a change of heart and I’m going to do it. I say, OK, fine. So we agreed to do it. Luckily, I had about nine months of notice. So my next challenge was I have no technical ability and no computer. So luckily, Stuart, who was is has been my best friend since I was 11, am teaches computer science as a teacher. And I called him and I said what I do. And he said, don’t worry, just send me a desk. And we were at desks at that time to send me a desk with everything. You need to go on a PowerPoint and I’ll make it for you. I’ll make a really simple five four PowerPoint and just advance it with one button. Don’t press any other buttons and you’ll be fine. Just talk about slides. I didn’t even know how to put anything on a desk.

[00:37:19] I couldn’t even copy paste at that time. That’s how bad I was. So what are you going to laugh at this? What I did was my wife put all my pictures on a desk. All right. Think she labelled them a figure? One figure to figure three. And I got a 100 page flip top reporters pad page one. I wrote slide one. And then I drew where I want to the picture to be. I wrote the reference underneath it and I wrote the title of the slide and I put the floppy disk and the reporter spots. Young adults are going to be absolutely to this. I put that in a bubble wrap bag and sent out to Stewart, who lives in London, and he called me a day later. I said, what is this? And he made me a PowerPoint, which I still have. I look at kind of grounds me when I look at it with my pictures on the titles, and that actually that lectures changed quite a lot. But the backbone of that lecture is still the backbone of my posterior composite lecture. Just my first lecture. That’s how I did it. And I went on and I had no clue what I was doing. I had no. At that point, no public speaking training. And I kind of bumbled my way through it and it kind of worked.

[00:38:37] Qadi managed Shehri more recent arrival on the social scene, but the super, super successful at it, particularly on a tick tock with thousands of followers that she’s got. Now, how many followers do you got on Instagram?

[00:38:52] I think it’s nine something. Nine point three K or something. Yeah.

[00:38:57] And on top of

[00:39:00] Get one hundred twelve thousand, I think

[00:39:05] Under twelve thousand.

[00:39:07] You’re writing it down.

[00:39:08] You know what’s amazing? What’s amazing is last time I looked at your tick tock. One hundred and one thousand or something. That was like. It was a lot.

[00:39:17] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:39:18] So, you know, just to show the difference in the reach reach of the platform, doesn’t that.

[00:39:23] Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

[00:39:25] And so do you feel comfortable, more comfortable on tech talk than on Instagram?

[00:39:31] I think they’re very different platforms. So it depends on what I’m doing to be. Honest because Instagram is very planned, very polished, very you know. Yeah, just planned generally. But Tock is more spontaneous. It’s a question of five minutes between patient cell family tick tock video. I used to you know, when I was in lockdown, I had days dedicated to tick tock filming. And I think to be honest, I think that kept me going because it was an excuse to dress up, you know, shower, wash my hair, put makeup on, that kind of thing. Whereas now because obviously I have less time to dedicate to it. It’s just whenever there is time. But I really enjoy it. I really enjoy it.

[00:40:09] For you, it may seem spontaneous, but for me it seems like you’ve got a plan going to plan ahead. You got a plan where you’re pointing and well, you’ve got a plan. Tick tock. Seems more of a headache to to post on Instagram. Maybe my Instagram as as produced as they should be. Right?

[00:40:28] I think it’s

[00:40:30] Quite a hard platform. I find it hard to produce something when. Even though it’s

[00:40:34] Difficult. Yeah, it’s really difficult. I think you have to spend enough time consuming the platform to learn what works, what doesn’t work, the trends. I think it’s important to jump on the trends and that kind of thing. But I you know, I found that I was spending by two or three hours a day on that anyway. So I was I might as well be creating, because if you see enough tick tock videos, you’ll want to create. If you see the same trends, you’ll think about your take on the trend. So, yeah, definitely. I don’t think

[00:41:02] I know this is the million dollar question. Right. But what would you say makes a video go viral? Yeah, I’m not asking you to for the answer, but but what would you say, you know, from what you’re learning?

[00:41:16] Yeah, I will say,

[00:41:19] You see, title seems to work well.

[00:41:21] Juicy title works very well, I think. I think even I think anyone fully understands how the platform works. So one video could go super viral, but another similar feature could not say. I think a lot of it is down to luck and it’s about producing enough content consistently for one of them to inevitably go viral. But with me, to be honest, the first video that I thought had gone viral was 80000 views. And then the ultimate was the eight million views with the crowns of as one. But I think you need to be divulging some sort of juicy information. You need to grab people’s attention. And it’s about, you know, with tick tock, it’s about retention of the viewer. So it’s about time and how long they spend viewing that video. How many times they watch it, whether they sent it to other people. How many people like it comment at that kind of stuff plays a big part in how viral that video goes. So, for example, that video is incredibly video. It was viewed for a Tick-Tock. We’ll give you analytics. It will tell you how long they’ve spent people spend watching that video. So a lot of people have shared it with each other. They tend to. And that’s how it went super fast. It was on every kind of, you know, like light Bible, all these kind of external places as well.

[00:42:35] You were you were on the news like you.

[00:42:37] Yeah, I was in Russia TV as well. I don’t know how I was actually Reistad.

[00:42:42] Look for people who don’t know, just just go through what happened with that, because that was like a Katie Price Turkey video thing, wasn’t?

[00:42:48] Yeah. So it was an on on ticked off. There is one of the trends. So I’m ticked off with people who aren’t familiar with the platform. A lot of content is for entertainment and a lot of content is for, you know, hacks and DIY kind of stuff. So, you know, cutting hair recipes, that kind of thing. And a trend with regards to teeth and health was that people were going to turkey, shaving their teeth down and saying these are videos and then showing that before and after and then shock teeth. And this wasn’t anything new. It was on Instagram for a while before it went on on Tick Tock. And I had seen a lot of people kind of comment on this. A lot of dentists were rightly speaking up about it, saying, look, these are these are not Menez, these are crowns. But I was kind of very apprehensive about talking about it because I didn’t want it to sound like I was saying, you know, dentists in certain countries were bad and they didn’t want to sound like I was promoting, you know, a line bleach and bond kind of protocols. So I was quite apprehensive about it. And then I came across this video and, you know, I’ll take a lot of my photos with Tagame and videos that are about to to get my opinion on it. And if a video goes viral and everyone sees it and more people attacking you in that video.

[00:43:52] So I came across this video of a girl who was very young and she had she actually had beautiful, perfect teeth. They were aligned. They were very, very white. And they didn’t have any mood issues. And she had gotten all of them shaved down, I think at least five to five and had crowns on all of them saying, look at my penis. And a lot of people were commenting, saying, oh, the requirements to get this done. And it was really scary to see young people looking up to these in, you know, quotation marks, influences and wanting to do the same thing. So I made a video saying, look, these are not anaesthesia crowns and these are the risks. You know, you can get nerve damage. You’re going to need root canal treatment. You’re going to need to replace these. And I think you know what you were saying about. Juicy content. I said you might end up needing dentures by the age 40, and I think that’s what it took to kind of make people realise that actually. Yeah, actually, this isn’t like just getting false names is actually a big deal. And I got loads of messages from people like loads and loads, like hundreds of messages from people on Instagram saying, I had no idea. I’ve been thinking of doing this. Thank you for sharing this. I was literally minutes away from booking my flight to go to Turkey to get this done.

[00:45:02] And there was one message from I think I was over Christmas, there was one message from this girl who was actually in Turkey, and she said, look, I’ve come here with my boyfriend to get our teeth done. And they’ve just told him he needs full root canals before he gets his crowns done. I’m really panicking. I’m really scared. What should I do? Our treatment is tomorrow. And I was like, OK, there’s literally nothing I can do for you. Now, you’re in Turkey. You’re already there. Like this is the kind of stuff you should be thinking about before you go over there to get your teeth done. And the maintenance, like who’s going to who’s going to pay for the maintenance? Like, do you understand? Do you realise these may need to be replaced? And so it went viral. It was shared on every kind of platform that I can think of. It was one of the trending news articles on Apple News. My dad actually was going through avenues and he was like, OK, this is where you are. My brother came home and he was like, yarn, like Wlad Bible. So it was my five minutes of fame. But I’m glad they got the attention that it needed because it it made people realise that these aren’t just, you know, stuff. You get done and just forget about it.

[00:46:02] So that look, that was that was a trending thing that you jump on the majori video about. Right.

[00:46:08] So I don’t think it was a trending thing. It was just it was video. It was a trend of people showing their teeth. And my video was just saying, look, don’t do this. So it was an anti trend, if anything. Good to see you. That’s why I was surprised when it went viral, because it wasn’t anything like everybody else was doing. And then once I made my video, then everyone else, all the other Dental started talking about it as well. So that was good to kind of echo the message and get it out there.

[00:46:32] So I’m still trying

[00:46:34] To get to the bottom of, you know, why is it you’re so confident talking to the camera? And we had you filming it and listen.

[00:46:40] Yeah, that was fun.

[00:46:42] You were you were like a total match, like most people sweat.

[00:46:45] And, you know, I did if I listened, I said, no, I stutter at some point, you

[00:46:49] Know, that like, believe me, you’re one of the better one of the better ones. Where does that confidence come from?

[00:46:56] I you know, I think I put myself out there a lot. I’m not naturally super confident. I have a you know, I have my own reservations. But I think once you start doing stuff and you get used to it and you realise that it’s actually working, that gives you confidence. So, you know, with the social media platforms, the way it all started was, you know, when I was at the at my toxic dead end job, I think I was doing a hygiene. And I was like, OK, this clearly isn’t the answer. You’re working six days a week, 12 hours a day. So I’m going to take some time off. I’m going to spend some time working on some sort of creating some sort of a brand, get my name out there and then I’ll go from there. And I’m pretty proud of myself for that, because, you know, I chose to not work six days a week. And that takes a lot of think that it takes guts to say, actually, I don’t want to do this, I’m going to go do something else.

[00:47:44] Instead, say shake ru Dental. And what they do with social is it’s a real lesson to all of us on brand fun, always, you know, doing new things, novelty and their approach, and in a completely obsessed with branding and getting things right.

[00:48:06] And we help them grow their Instagram as well. It looks like, you know, the content you’re creating for them. And the

[00:48:13] Only brand that we drew is that part parcel of the day as well, that you

[00:48:17] Will help them grow their social presence if they want to.

[00:48:21] Yeah, I mean, we want to grow our social presence. So our marketing is very strong and they are our brand as well. So all marketing is based around them. Video creations for the Dental is video creations for the staff, but they then utilise that content on their platforms is absolutely fine because we want to have a synergy we don’t have. We don’t want to say that you can’t grow yours and not grow ours. You know, one of my closest dentists to me and she’s grown with me, Slaney, she is a strong Instagram Dental. But when we both when she started out, we were both growing. She was growing in her Instagram platform and we were growing in our brand. And we’ve always said to her, we’re not against each other and we have a synergy. And that was so different for her. Harvey, she said, majoras, the principles are that same to me. You can’t do this and you can’t post this about us and you can’t post that. And you have to write our logo on that and our logo on that. And I was never like that. I just said to her, will grow you in your day. And she ended up being full time with us. And she’s dihydro now.

[00:49:22] And it’s interesting. Caslen is lecturing for me tomorrow. I see. It’s a small makeover for for amazing on marketing. Amazing. But you know what? What impresses me, Zabor, is that you? Imagine this. There’s a degree of vulnerability in having your associates having such a big presence because they could take they could take their patients away with them. Mm hmm. But you didn’t see it using that as an opportunity?

[00:49:50] Yeah, I don’t. Yeah. And I always say to residents, well, we don’t ever see it that way. We always say that we just have confidence. And also there is a confidence in what we do and a confidence in our brand that we’ve seen that the dentists, once they’re in and they experience and touch and feel through and experience the journey with me. I mean, a lot of them I just feel like the journey is a long term journey that they’re and they’re both in and they feel that it’s not fake and they know that. And the ones that have left or you know, I’m not saying everyone stays with us. It’s all been positive. Those freedoms, they want to grow in a different direction. And we’ve been there. And I haven’t said or felt, you know, your patients are going with you or our patients. I’ve never felt that. I always feel that that’s enough for everyone. And I don’t need to no one needs to step on each other’s toes. You know, I just have never needed to to feel that

[00:50:48] New performance for one of the original social media guys even did a dissertation on social media seemless on the platforms now than before. But the quality of content is always, always there. You did did you do your MBA thesis on something social media as well?

[00:51:08] Yeah. So mine was dentistry and social media. I was lucky because because I’m one of the admin for Defour PhD. I was able to capture a lot of data from dentists, and it was a questionnaire based thesis looking at how do dentists see social media? And then we flipped it to patients. How do patients proceed? Dentists, social media. How many patients search for their dentists on social media? How many patients search for your private Facebook profile on social media? And the numbers were pretty impressive, actually giving a talk on it with Phillips and PHMSA next week, Tuesday. It’s my little plug.

[00:51:48] That’s cool. That’s cool. You must get approached all the time by manufacturers, implant companies and toothpaste people especially. I mean, I don’t know if you’ve kind of gone a little bit more quiet, I’d say now. But, you know, back when you were peaking, when you were a Peking duck couple of years ago on Social, but you didn’t get involved with that many different companies. But now I see you’ve got yourself involved with this indemnity thing to say about that. Does this about the whole L’Ecole thing and and indemnity?

[00:52:23] Yeah, I was doing a lot. I think my my programme was, first of all, to become known to become known in the industry. And I went through a period where early on in my career, I got in trouble with the GDC, had some disciplinary issues. That was about 16 years ago, I think. And then I went quiet for a little while. And then after that, I thought, you know, well, we all make mistakes. Let’s bring ourselves back up. Started developing Louis’ from Mannan, who, you know, with a lot of work together, and she helped build some brand recognition for me. And over lockdown, I set up a health care consultancy firm. And the idea behind that was to try and leverage what I know about health care with the MBA to do work with certain Dental companies or health care companies, pension funds, be new products coming to the market, the Internet offerings, et cetera. And through that, I got approached to be on the executive committee of a new indemnity product, and it’s called the Dental Defence Society. And you’ve got big names. You’ve got Professor Stephen Dunn, Lauren Birnbaum. And we basically designed because obviously in defo D on for dainties by Dental is one of the biggest questions we get is who’s your endowment? Which indemnity Friday using Dental. To ask the moderating that forum for about 12 years. I know every question everybody wants to ask, but I know what people are worried about. So using that knowledge, we designed a product for dentists. And it’s a really exciting offering which aims to provide reasonably priced indemnity, covers all aspects. And most importantly, every case is serviced by practising or former practising dentists. And we have a really aggressive legal team. So the idea is we’re not just there to settle all the time. We’re trying to take the dentists side. And I’ve learnt a lot about indemnity through developing that package. And it’s just being launched now. And it’s going to be quite an exciting few years. I think we’ll be up there in the top four or top

[00:54:28] Five quite quickly. I would, of course.

[00:54:31] And finally, Prav himself a bit of a social media. King marketing king, for sure. Enjoy. All right, but so I’ve got a website, I’m really good at sales because I know how to sell. And it’s second nature now. And I’ve got a good team that you’ve trained for me and I’ve continued training. I’ve got the software. I’m now I’m looking to massively scale because I want to buy practises around the corner. And I want to I want to be like, you know the guy now then what’s what’s what am I thinking now as as the thing turns into like a scaling story? Let’s talk about ad adverts, social media, Google. What’s the split, would you recommend between social ads and and pay per click? Does it differ depending on the location, this sort of thing?

[00:55:20] And this is the biggest misconception that most dentists have, right. Is the statement that you’ve just made. I want to scale. How much do I need to spend on marketing? How much on Facebook, how much on Google, blah, blah, blah. Right. Scaling in itself is a business problem that you need to solve before marketing. Ok. That involves people, processes, execution, strategy and marketing. All right. So that what you just said, that is literally classical everyday conversations I’m having with potential clients or existing clients or I want to grow on a scale. Ok. So the question I ask them is this. Tomorrow I’m going to deliver a hundred new enquiries into your practise. Talk me through who’s going to handle them, how they’re going to be handled. On average, every enquiry is going to involve 15 minutes to 20 minutes of processing time. Have you got the human power to do that at the moment? Ok. And then how many more patients do you want? How much time do you have? Do you have the dentists to deliver that in the right treatment modalities? And then once we fixed and figured out that piece, OK, then we go back to the marketing piece and say, right, OK, so we need to do we need to fill six hours of implant dentistry chair time. How many consultations does that look like? How many enquiries do I need to generate to deliver that, how much talk time have we got with the team, the CRM team in managing them? And then work backwards, OK, and then we can then we can confidently say, do you know what, if you want to send 84 cases over the next two months or three months or whatever, whatever that number is and time period is, this is what we need to do to deliver it.

[00:57:21] It’s very interesting, man. So each each person is a totally different answer to that, to those questions, depending on their sort of bandwidth, basically completely.

[00:57:31] And look, as an agency. If I turned around and said, hey, no problem, I’ll deliver you 50 enquiries. Yeah, your team can handle it. That’s your problem. Yeah. Shit leads, good leads, whatever your problem. And then they get to the other end and say, well, how many more S.A.T. cases have you done over the last three months? That it’s like two. Yeah. And I turned around what was delivered to 300 leads. Where the hell have you been up to? Yeah. Whose fault is that? Where did that go wrong?

[00:58:02] So you I remember having this conversation with AEGEE Devout seven, eight years ago, and you used to blame the dentists at that 100 percent. But it seems like nowadays you’ve taken on that mantle yourself. You know, when someone says to you, I want a website and you say it’s a lot more involved than that. This is the kind of thing you’re talking about, right?

[00:58:28] Because I’m a practise owner now. Right. And seven, eight years ago. Was it? Yeah. So I’ve got an appreciation of what happens in the black box, you know, when those clogs are turning. And I feel a sense of almost feel a sense of responsibility for delivering success. Yeah. Yeah. And I want to be more involved, you know, that that’s part and parcel of our unique difference in the way that we operate. And and all of that has come through in education, being a practise owner, seeing those problems, making lots of mistakes and trying to fix them.

[00:59:03] And even so, even to

[00:59:05] Present day, we’re tweaking things and making mistakes all the time and fixing them and then passing that on to our clients where we can

[00:59:15] Based is Dental Leaders, the podcast, where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders in dentistry.

[00:59:26] Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. Thanks for listening, guys.

[00:59:33] If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it

[00:59:45] If you did get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

[00:59:56] And don’t forget the six star rating.


Love it or hate it, social media is now part of all our lives – especially dentists. Social media is a marketing machine, showcase opportunity, comms machine and much more besides.

Part one of our centenary show recaps on conversations about this revolution in dentistry, starting with the late and much-missed Anoop Maini. 


In This Episode

01:01 Anoop Maini
06:42 Simon Chard
11:46 Mahmood Mawjee
17:24 Daz Singh
23:16 James Goolnik
26:04 Mahrukh Khwaja
30:13 Zainab Al-Mukhtar
35:16 Druh Shah
39:19 Neel Jaiswal
45:39 Vishaal Shah
53:25 Zaki Kanaan
57:14 Nikunj Sondagar
01:00:08 Victoria Holden

[00:00:01] Next up,

[00:00:04] 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.

[00:00:22] The world has changed because of social media in many ways, it’s changed more than most of us care to admit. It’s had its effect on dentistry, too. Some people love it, some people hate it. For me, it’s a reality. What we’ve done for this show is to compile some of the best bits from dentists who really used social and used online reputation to enhance their careers. We’ll be hearing from the late, great and Máni, who was very loved on social and very loved in life. So that’s what I’m quite interested in. You know, the idea of you build it and they will come. Yeah, seems like you’ve done that a few times. But in that moment of waiting for people to come and some of the steps, some of the steps or some hacks that you would suggest for people who the people are going to do this again and again, set up practises from squat and have no patience. What are some of the some of the tricks, some of the things you should look out for? You know, cash flow. Give us give us some insight, because you’ve done this a few times. Yeah, I’ve done it one, two, three times. Yeah. So in terms of my recommendation to people is one is controlling of overhead. Be very careful in overhead control, controlling expenses especially. You’ve got to make a lot of sacrifice in your own personal life as well. You could control your own expenses because it’s going to be no income coming through. What’s very important in any if you start no score is what is your USPI? What is your differentiator compared to your locals? You know, and that’s going to be so important in terms of your marketing, because you can’t put blanket marking now in terms of I do X, Y or Z, because

[00:02:09] Every practise does X, Y, Z.

[00:02:10] You need to have A, B, C that no one else has got. And that’s so important. And I think from a very early stage, I’ve always done lots and lots of courses. You know, I did a lot of courses, implement anything. And I think that’s important. Building up a skill level that your local. Piers can’t deliver. You know, I still get even. And you were marketing that fact is that it is that in techniques that they weren’t doing.

[00:02:35] So, you know, implant

[00:02:38] Smarmy Covid type Ventry, cosmetic dentistry back then, that was. Yeah, tooth whitening procedure and interest in confident dental care was which yeah. That was probably about 20 or so inches of marketing back then was a totally different thing to different to today website. We had a website. We had a website. So we had a website at that time. I’m not sure. Prav, we we came in shortly after that. Yeah. He still had the practise then.

[00:03:04] I did.

[00:03:05] Yeah. Well, some of the hack smacks some of the marketing, so that goes on. So the first what he said was don’t overspend. Yeah. Keep, keep, keep an eye on keep your eye on the growth. Now, the key for me was to have one at least one patient a day. You know, if because that patient’s journey. Because you got all the time to devote them. Yeah. Just make sure that that patient’s journey is extempore. Yeah. Go ojito on it. To the point of view, you know, you’ve you know, when they come in the way they’re greeted, the way

[00:03:37] That we see we had tea, coffee and the drinks, et

[00:03:41] Cetera, we had the fridge. You know, find out a little bit about you. I mean, you say obviously, but but there’s lots of practises today that don’t do coffee and drinks. It seems obvious to you that it’s important to differentiate. Yeah. The USPI is not just your claims. It’s the differentiator in the clinic. You know, we had a clinic that you walked in. There was no corporate dentistry as such in those days. So having a brand, having a logo that was a thing, and having a clinic that was designed, you know, had an interior designer coming that was doing interior design. I mean, we just put Mongolia

[00:04:11] Up, you know,

[00:04:12] So we had colour themes in there. We had we look different. We stood out. And as someone said to me, wherever there’s dirt, it’s always money, you know. So even though we were looted, you know, a lot of people who had money had cash, money, and we had a lot of air travellers come to see us preparing for their weddings. We had that was quite big part of my market. We had a lot of people who knew how to run the local businesses or Covid sales, you know, so and they were coming in afterwards and treatment that they they weren’t getting within the unintrusive system. But were you leafletting or. We did. We had the website we used to leaflet market. We need to the Arndale Centre, which is a shopping centre. So we need to draw a district leaflet said we even had a little stand. So you even bought a stand in the on this little stand in there? Yeah. So and we were the one dentist doing this at that time. You know, it just wasn’t being done. And so we got patients come in. We offer the free consultation back then as well. Back then. Back then, I was fully private from day one. Fully private. Nice. Pretty private. And weird things like hygiene is in those days as well. It was we always saw the hygiene as being the rock in the clinic, because I measure how successful my clinic by habit’s my hygiene is. So because they’re the barometer, because if you got patients return regularly to see a hygiene issue, you know, you’ve got a health clinic.

[00:05:32] Yeah. So that’s always a strength. When I see quite high Jenice, I know my business is in trouble. So that’s why we always had hygiene is from day one, because they develop rapport, they develop the maintenance, the loyalty, you know. The other thing I would recommend is try and develop some small practise plan. So, you know, you get patients encouraged to join the clinic and a membership scheme, and it just helps them to maintain their loyalty and, you know, make it sort of worthwhile. It’s a benefit for them. It’s cheaper than if they paid outside. But again, it’s just an experience thing. You know, then when it came to selling this clinic, then you decided you wanted to let someone approach you. Who was able to. We we we sold it to a colleague of mine. Can I quickly just go here? Know. Yeah. We sold it to Josh and his associate Kings’ with me. Colophon is about two years below me. And the reason for selling it was actually at that time I was starting up Edgware Road. So because I wanted to go head more towards the West End because my dentistry. So why open up Edgware Road with them became a problem of logistics, just like being in two places. Simon, chod. Maybe the sort of the poster boy for for young, energetic dentists that really everything he touches seemed to seems to work. And then particularly, you know, he works hard on keeping his online reputation. You know, just perfect.

[00:07:01] The most important characteristic that I’ve tried to try to push out into this social environment is humility, because I’m very aware of my inadequacies and the fact that I am young and the fact that I shouldn’t be out there saying I’m God’s gift to dentistry or or anything. So I think trying to be humble is is the most important thing in the way that I carry myself, specifically online. And that’s why I. I never engage with anyone who wants to engage in a negative way on social media because there’s plenty of people wanting to engage with the negativity on social media, I’ve had people call me out for wearing too much Brylcreem and stuff like that. Dental I’m talking about here, not even just random us, but I used to get that. But yeah, I think that’s been my my the main pillar of if you’re saying how how do I want other people to I would like them to view me as humble, because traditionally I’ve had a lot of people, for whatever reason, assume that I’m arrogant without actually giving me the opportunity to engage with them and interact with them. I think, you know, you put yourself out there no matter who you are. You know, whether you come across as a polished character, you’ve obviously very successful at what you do.

[00:08:16] And people are going to take shots no matter who you are or what you do and whatever business you’re in. From your perspective, you say that, you know, what you want to get across is, is humility. What would you say your biggest weakness is? Ok, my my biggest weakness for myself is my thin skin. We talked about this before. My anxiety for me is my weakness and my inability to control that because I’m a complete control freak. I like everything to be exactly where it should be. I like every element of my life, whether it be family work, how I dress, how my health is. I want everything to be perfect, which is completely unrealistic. And that drives me to be better in everything that I do. Sure. But naturally, failure is is present in everything. And so that generates a lot of anxiety for me at the same time in the fact that when I when things don’t go right, I get very anxious about it. And so if you’ve got a particular example that you can share with those that made you feel particularly anxious, maybe a comment on Instagram or on your social media that that sort of fired you or like you said earlier, you don’t respond to negativity.

[00:09:26] You hold back and cope with it in a certain way. Yeah, I think the main negativity that I receive on social media is very rarely from the general public, even though I’m I’m quite present with regards to the general public, i.e. with the number of followers I have on Instagram and that sort of thing. I try to target my posts and my communications both towards professionals, but also to the general public to to help with communication with dentists and patients. But the main negativity that I’ve experienced on social media is from older dentists trying to cut me down, I guess is that is the best way to say it. For whatever reason, there’s been I can’t remember an exact specific right now, but whether it be my treatment, planning, doing lecturing from such a young age was a big one. When I first started, I started lecturing on on CEREC, on digital dentistry after using it for two years full time. That wasn’t enough for some people. I was at that point. I was teaching on in a very, very basic level. But I think this is how you use the machine. But if you do get it, I get on

[00:10:34] Worries about the teacher. Two years of

[00:10:36] Teaching. Absolutely. I mean, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t. I’ve been offered so many opportunities to talk on stuff that I don’t have sufficient knowledge on. And my anxiety would not let me do that, because if someone was to call me out, my constant worry is I’m going to get called out for not knowing enough, which is why I put so much effort into every single letter I do that if you speak to Meghan every even now, every morning, if I’m lecturing on the day, I’m up at like four thirty in the morning, putting the finishing touches to my lecture, because I don’t think it’s good enough. I don’t think any of my lectures are good enough. Even if you’ve delivered the same lecture before. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I mean, obviously, the the ones that I get more frequently I’m much more comfortable with. But anything that is called advanced or. Yeah, basically all the advanced stuff that I do, because I now teach every single level to do with digital energy from non-user up to very, very experienced users, especially when there’s an advanced element to it. Even though I’ve given that exact lecture, God knows how many times I will always be adding little bits, making sure everything is current, making sure everything’s fresh, because I’m constantly concerned that I’m going to get called out for not knowing enough memory.

[00:11:46] Baloji, who left dentistry and then got into heavy content creation around the personal goals and development. What’s your advice? I mean, you’ve you’ve got this coaching career. You’ve got this burning desire to push you. What’s your advice for a regular dentist who’s who’s maybe maybe interested in, you know, whatever they’re interested in? It could be interested in sports or interested in cars or whatever. Should they think about, you know, the classic Gary V side hustle? Start talking about cars and sports on on the Internet. Make a business out of that and go into that. Or should they find a coach or. What should they do? What’s your advice to that person? It doesn’t really know what else they can do. I think is the way I kind of look at in the industry, there’s that one type of person who knows that they don’t know dentistry and then they just want out. Ok, there’s the type of person who’s within dentistry, but like, for example, there in the NHS right now, and they want to yet and they know they want to go into private practise, but they just don’t feel they’ve got the say they can. Yeah, they’ve got the skill or there’s that person. Then there’s another person who’s kind of an associate who wants to be a principal and they don’t know how to make that journey. I think generally it’s kind of around those three areas for the person to want to get out. Yeah. I’m asking you because you’ve gone out recently for the person who really wants to get out work.

[00:13:07] What are they going to find out about yourself? What is it that you love to do? How can you add value into into this world? Because it’s all about value, right? That that if you can I can add enough value into your life. Ok, then I become very important in your life. How is it that you you can add value and the way if you reverse engineer that, the way you can add value is by finding out what you love to do and what you’re good at. And if there’s a market for that, okay, like if you were to making paper aeroplanes, I don’t know, maybe maybe there’s some sort of avenue you can pursue there. But generally, like most people will have something that they really would like to do that they’re good at, but they just don’t have the confidence to know that it’s possible. And what I would say is I would say start it. And you’ve never lived in a day in an age when it’s easier to start a business. You’ve got YouTube, you’ve got Instagram, you’ve got Facebook, you’ve got Snapchat, you’ve got Pinterest, you’ve got Lington. Never been a better time to start. Get someone to help you see how it goes and then slowly tailor things off. Yeah, but don’t just carry on in dentistry because you have to, because you feel it’s the only way, because it’s not the only way.

[00:14:15] Just because you think it’s the only way to not get someone out there. Get me to someone who can show you what’s possible and goes like I’ve done it. And if honestly I could do it, then you could do the same. And I know that’s a cliché thing to say. I want to associate let’s say I’m the main breadwinner, so I’m paying the mortgage and all that. You can’t sell out like you did and have a year’s buffa. All right. I’m hating my job. I’m hating my nurse. I’m eating my patients. Litigation’s on me all the time. What’s your advice? Your first bit of advice? What should I do next? If you really wanted to get out like somebody gave me two options, OK, it is summer practise or remortgage my house. I went to the practise, you know, find a way to find a way because I had to burn bridges, because I knew that if I’m that if I’m still attached to the practise, I’ll get called and I’ll get this. I had to burn my bridges. Ok, so there was that option where I could have tried to remortgage my house. You know, whoever owns the house right now, they’re more than likely can have enough equity that they can pull out for Guinnevere. That was OK. And then, you know, you’ll find a way to make it by reason why things find a way that you’re an associate, you’re working, you’re working. So I’ve always worked. I’ve never worked more than four days a week.

[00:15:23] Why not? Because I spent one day chilling, because I always knew that I need if I wanted to do something else, I got to be in a place where I’m able to receive that. If I’m in a clinic for five days and then there’s my family, where am I going to receive that? Where am I going to get it from? I use the extra one or two days in my week to try new things on a social media agency. I was trading on trade forex commodities options. I used to do a lot, and I took the training courses, seminars, you know, meeting people. Why? Because I realised that in order for me to find what I really wanted to do, I got to be out there being ready to receive. So the best advice I can give is knock a day off. Yeah, everyone can afford to knock a day off. Why? Because they can work an extra one hour, two hours on the other days. They can make it happen. If you had to slice part of your income of, say, for example, you had to take a 20 percent haircut in income, you’d find a way to survive. Right. So, yeah. So just imagine that. And anyway, taking a day off doesn’t necessarily mean earning less. Exactly. It just means working more efficiently on the other means. Five, four, three, two and one. I’ve never done six days. Ok. As a dentist, no. And whenever I hear anyone who does do six days, I think it’s an error.

[00:16:25] But it’s right for some people like this. But if you took a day out and you solely use that day to just to just put yourself out there to think, to listen, we you Tuman, you know, like, you know, parents like my dad came my parents came from Uganda when I mean, chucked them out. They had no place. Yeah, exactly. And so, yeah, and then my daughter. So, yeah, I think that Tancredo liquid something in his pocket and he built up a massive business from that. I imagine if they had the gift of YouTube, imagine they had the gift of what we have. You know, it’s laughable that our parents never had what we had, but yet they managed to do so much. You know, we don’t have to work in a shop seven days a week to feed our family. There’s all the ways we can do it. So I think there’s so many ways, so many ways cut a day out and just start with totally agree with you that now is the best time to do something of a 100 percent. You know, with the with with just out town, so much so much resource these days of that that thing from olis million. One of the first places to really get on the social media wave with Facebook. So what was the first thing you did marketing wise to get some first few patients to do so?

[00:17:37] I think we did. We were looking at. I think we looked at radio ads as a great way to look at trying to bring people in

[00:17:44] At the at the get go.

[00:17:45] Yeah. From the get go. So, yeah, it was them into. I mean, you have interest. We had interesting conversation with various different people and actually. No, sorry, let me liar. I did we didn’t do radio at the beginning. We did that a little bit later. And what we did do is we just did some simple stuff, which was just basically a little bit of brand awareness around where we were. Do we just had a few posters lined up. We decided to do some stuff with the train stations and things like that around it as well. And that’s yeah.

[00:18:06] Leaflet drops. Yes. If you apers.

[00:18:09] We did a little bit of newspapers. Not as much as we hoped we would. But then I think when we did our first Invisalign open day back in January 2009, that’s what we use when we use railyards for the first time. And that was that was

[00:18:22] What really kicked us off after that.

[00:18:24] We’d opened in November 2008 and we had a beaver. It’s been a bit of a soft opening for two or three months leading up to that. But then after that January, it’s just kind of been we just went pretty much for a lot.

[00:18:34] Which station was it? Station called Radio City. The one with the tower? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And so what was it? It was it was it just like as you would expect anything?

[00:18:43] No, it was just when we when we did it, it was like a very specific advert for Invisalign Open Day that we were going to do business in a certain price and it was going to be on this day at this time. They wanted to come in and they had to sort of they had to call up and make an appointment to come

[00:18:56] And see us on that day. But you still do. Radio advertising went on

[00:19:00] Sporadically, sporadically. I think that, you know, there’s better ways to look at trying to spend that kind of car.

[00:19:05] Does it cost to advertise on the radio in Liverpool? To be honest. And cost as much

[00:19:09] Or as little as you want. All right. It’s like if you had a budget for five and upon a month, even going out for five in Panama, you want to spend a million quid, Amanda. They give you this as well to that as well. So, you know, it comes down to sort of it comes it just comes down to sort of how much you really want to look at trying to spend. It’s great for creating awareness. You know, we because we’ve been doing it for so long, you know, people do kind of recognise us on the radio.

[00:19:33] We have a jingle. Yes. Go sing it. No, I’m on a landline.

[00:19:40] Absolutely.

[00:19:42] Just it’s not happening. What’s your tagline? What’s your tagline? One smile at a time

[00:19:46] Where individual smiles have started. So we just rewind a little bit. The name Holly and I only she found out about this. But 10 years later, where it

[00:19:54] Came at the minimalist humans.

[00:19:56] Yeah, I think it was then. So I’m sure a lot of our listeners are in the same position as me. Would you just like to enlighten us? Yeah. Straighteners? Yeah.

[00:20:05] Is there a tag line to follow? No. No. Okay.

[00:20:08] Well now. So the name only. Words that come about. So my real name is Harambee. Very few people can really say properly first time around. And it’s easy to get this question. Sorry. Say that again. So what happened was, is that when I first when I was first born, my sister can say my full name properly. And I still blame my sister to this day for this. But so she read all the toys at the time and she started calling me all of them. So for my entire family, all I heard him call me Ali. And it’s just it’s just name. That’s the name that state. When I went to the school in Saudi, my name was Oliver saying it was just basically that’s what it really is, is like my yearbooks all have all of this thing and it’s quite something. But then when I when we moved when we moved back to England, I was like, you know,

[00:20:47] All of this thing does have a printer. Yeah, you’d be surprised.

[00:20:50] Right. But, you know, it’s when we moved back to when we moved back from Saudi, I moved into you moved back to Yorkshire. You know, it was made aware to us, as I maybe should start using a real name now and then. So I use my real name. And then that eventually just got shortened down year after year, down to like three letters does. So I went through sort of school and uni be known as dads, and that was fine. I had no problems about. But we’re coming up with names at the clinic, Sudar. She’s my business partner. Naturally, her nickname is Dosch and Expense. Yeah. So that made sense.

[00:21:19] How did you meet us? Again, we used to work in the same clinic together. She was OK. Yeah, she was.

[00:21:23] She was working in another clinic at the time, and it just came to a head where we just felt that we just need to do our own thing. And it just you know, we we have a great business relationship and it works really, really well. We’re business partners first and then we’re friends seconds, which I think works quite well for both of

[00:21:38] Us, to be honest. You must be nice before she does exist, right? Yeah, she does.

[00:21:43] She’s there on our website for those of those. Yeah. No, it’s it’s quite it is quite interesting. I get called Ohly and also some sort of Jekyll and Hyde thing that I have seen

[00:21:53] Ulda, Colonel Sanders of the brand somehow here. And listen, I’m the sons of Enlightened. I’m astonished does more than I do in light of the Prav world will

[00:22:03] Attest to that. You play more table tennis. Yeah.

[00:22:06] Somehow I didn’t do it on purpose.

[00:22:08] Now, did you say. No, it’s definitely it’s definitely you know, it’s you know, we both have different lives. You know, now she’s she’s got a lovely husband and she’s got two at the time. When we first opened up, she had two really young boys. Karen, her youngest had I think was probably less than a year old, I think, when we opened up. So her time, I mean. Her time she wanted is maximise between her family and the clinic, so she had no time for any other opportunities that all dash may have looked to try and afford. And so basically, I was just you know, it was just me. I didn’t I don’t have any sort of dependents. I don’t have any family. And it was just basically, you know, whenever one of these things kind of came about, when an opportunity came about, I’m like, yes, I’ll just say yes. And we’ll work out how to do it later. Which is kind of when it’s happening

[00:22:48] In the middle of the Suzzy, sort of the suzzy takes care of the staff. Yeah. Issues. She takes care of a lot of the patient contacts as well. Are you involved with the staff matters? Does she was literally handle that? You know,

[00:23:00] One of the things that one of the challenges that we’ve had as a business, as we’ve grown, is that we’ve grown from an idea into an actual business. And, you know, the process of being a business is this is that you need to be able to look at delegating things in and amongst yourselves and

[00:23:16] James Golnik and see how much on social anymore. But at the time when when Facebook started, he was maybe the most influential dentists’ on there. He was all over it. I think he made an active decision to step back.

[00:23:31] What was your first marketing campaign that drove patients through the process? Ok, so I’ve done a few done lots of different marketing campaigns, some of which didn’t work. I actually had a good majority to work. I mean, the the best one that’s worked is actually going around to every single local business in the area and just saying hi. So I went to every single business in the area and went to I went to the hairdressers. I might see beauticians. I went to the investment bankers and said, just to let you know, I’m James. Are local dentists around the corner? I’d love to take care of you. You get 10 percent off any treatment if you come see us, come and say hi. So I got to know the community as close as I could do. And at that stage, there were less big chains. There were still big chains like Starbucks and stuff, but there were less big ones. So I went in everywhere. And so they got to know us. We also put the best investment ever had in marketing. It sounds a bit crazy as a board. It’s been a broad industry. We’ve got a really narrow street in Berlin, pedestrianised tree, and at lunchtime it’s heaving. So we just put an abort out with that. And it was easy stuff to try and stop people going. Have you had your mouth checked for mouth cancer? And it’s like were was enough to stop them. Yeah. And the other thing that worked really well is apples. So we used to give our apples with stickers of bolade on.

[00:24:50] So it was a theme which is there at lunch time, we gave out 250, 300 apples all for free. And it was just awareness, OK, I’m getting an apple. Why am I getting apples? They stop and they look at us taking as a dentist. They are in my head. This dentist is purple. It’s called Bolon Wambo Lane. And then six months later, they break it to the guy who wasn’t there, then to somewhere, and then they remember it all. So it’s just getting them to know about their local area. Do you remember patients walking through your practise and saying, you were the guy that gave me the apple or. Yes. Yeah, it was it was brilliant. And it was also at that stage, every new every patient. I knew all their names because they only had six. I know all about them. But it has been brilliant. And there was one great thing about being somewhere for so long is that I get I get to see them when they were new city, really vibrant, excited, happy about their life, get to see them. And then I see their partners and then I see their kids. And then sometimes then I see the girlfriends and then I see the second partners. And there’s one patient. They’ve actually seen all four of his wives now. So slowly, they obviously gets divorced and each one and then the new one comes along. So I get to see them all. I make sure they’re healthy.

[00:25:58] Talking of divorce. Ok. Ok, Mara Khawaja, I have a lot of respect for she’s started a mental health sort of content and something called the mental health ninja. I believe on most of the platforms you can find her. So did you find yourself in a position of overwhelm and had to implement some of this stuff? And that’s why you want to now talk about it. So what happened?

[00:26:30] Yeah, definitely. I would say it’s a journey, really. So my first couple of experiences straight out, V.T. were really negative. I was working in toxic environments

[00:26:43] And

[00:26:43] Expand OLMA. So the first couple of principles, I had really focussed on teaching in a shaming way. So they’d come and they’d watch my crown, perhaps, for example, and then they’d criticise the crown Prav in front of a patient. Yeah. And they’d take photos of my work, but not just mine, you know, the whole team. And and then they’d be criticising those those things in front of us. So I went into work feeling very panicked and feeling very uncomfortable and already not really knowing my place when I’d come out of Dental school and really. You want your point anyway?

[00:27:29] Exactly.

[00:27:30] You know, you’re not quite sure where you fit in, what can you give to your patients? I’m not quite sure yet because you don’t have the experience. So it was it was really negative. I’ve call it bullying and harassment, but that’s how I would label it now. But at that time, actually, I normalised it so well. You know, they’re trying to help me. But, um, and maybe this is normal. This is how how people are taught.

[00:27:56] So I Dental school that that the that’s that way, too, isn’t that.

[00:28:01] Yeah. To an element of 2010 from

[00:28:04] Kenya writes a bit different to when they call for armament than school. That being a

[00:28:09] Teacher came

[00:28:10] From some of the teachers anyway. Yeah, I can think of. Do you think the bullying.

[00:28:15] Directed to you in particular, is it because you’re a woman and were they any other sort of male vitis at the time or associates that were treated any differently? Did you feel like you were singled out at all?

[00:28:30] In my experience, so personally, there were a few other men there, but they were senior. So the conversations were different them. So I think in part, perhaps me being female and younger, that the principal could felt the authority to speak in a certain way. But I think it goes to show it really reflects the principal kind of attitude and his own psychology. And, you know, someone who wants to be little, who wants to tear someone down probably has been torn down as well. You know, and he’s got an interesting psychology as well. So that was my first few experiences of coming out of Dental

[00:29:14] School at the time and recognise it for

[00:29:16] That. I didn’t recognise. And actually I stayed in that position for a cop for about six months. This is after V.T.. And looking back now, I wouldn’t bet I felt that I had a job and I felt I wasn’t really sure if there was much else out there. And like I said, I normalised a lot of this toxic behaviour. And then I went from that to a marriage as well. That was like psychologically abusive. And I came out of that just feeling, not really feeling lost, not really knowing who I was and really looking inwards to find ways of progressing and to become a, you know, more calm, peaceful person, to reclaim that I feel like I lost.

[00:30:13] Zainab Al Mukhtar, one of the people who does beautiful composite work, beautiful, you know, facial aesthetics. What I love most about her is when she got onto social without an agenda, without reading up all about it. And, you know, the authenticity so often the thing that works best on social media was the thing that that, you know, shone through.

[00:30:37] But you’re right. You know, social media and it’s had a huge influence. And I would say that it is put the word out there is it has essentially been a huge source of advertising. That’s it really. That’s been huge. People that know where you are, who you are, what you’re up to, the quality of your work, and it reaches far and wide. So definitely has been a big influence. I didn’t start it thinking it would be, but it has.

[00:31:02] When was the point? What was the like, the turning point where you thought, crikey, this Instagram stuff is really working? Was it was it after a month, a year, six months? What was the

[00:31:13] Point where

[00:31:15] It was about two years ago? So I first started my Instagram about five years ago, four or five years ago or six. Maybe now I’m losing track of time. And but I think two years ago, when I really noticed and I just I started posting more. So when I first started, I was just posting sporadically here and there. Nothing really consistent. It was making a bit of a difference, but it was a small circle that it was exposed to. And then the following slowly, slowly grew. And as it grew, the enquiries grew. And I got busier. I found it harder to post, but because I saw that it was helpful and because patients would come in and say, I’ve seen this photo, can you tell me more about it or I’ve seen what you wrote in your caption? It was actually really informative and I hadn’t ever come across comfortable. And I thought, OK, captions make a difference. Let’s explain this properly. And I felt quite responsible about what I was sharing. So it just started to think more about what to share. And I’m doing it whenever I could. And I just gradually noticed that it was working. You know, patients would come and mention it. And we have a feedback. We have it in our registration forms and the practises. Where did you hear about the practise? I’d see Instagram a lot. And I thought, well, actually, this is actually really influential. So, yeah, about two years ago.

[00:32:30] And did that change your focus of how he was going to approach Instagram? Like if you got a strategy, hashtags of pictures, right hand side dentistry, middle column life style, that sort of thing.

[00:32:42] Have you got a strategy or. I know that’s like noses and lips, left hand side and things like

[00:32:50] That just come about by chance or review the craft of Instagram and hacked the algorithm?

[00:32:57] I definitely haven’t had any algorithm. I’ve been hearing that there is an algorithm and I don’t quite know what it means. But what happened is I was just posting without any themes, and I had a lot to post, lots of content. And I sit there and think, oh, I don’t know which one to push. I post this one on this one and I look at my page. It just looks a bit messy and. You know, being a being an aesthetic dentistry or aesthetic medicine, you are all about being visual about things. And I thought, I really want to make this look neat. So and I’m doing lots of different things. And I don’t know how people will understand really how woman and posting teeth in the next minutes a nose and then the next minute something else. And then randomly I’ll put something miscellaneous. And I just thought, why don’t I just do a column one to beach and actually looks nicer? And I just carried on doing it.

[00:33:44] Wow. And in terms of business now, where does the majority of your new patients come from?

[00:33:50] They still Instagram

[00:33:51] Word of mouth. So families now. So it’s the sisters and the moms and, you know, and it’s it just grows like that. Instagram is still been a big part of it because it’s reaching people further out who live far away. But I’m now seeing lots and lots of siblings and friends of friends and so on. And as far as even, which is really nice, if a Dental student comes in shadows, they’ll bring their mom next time. And it’s really nice. It’s just growing in that way.

[00:34:19] And how much personal content do you put on there? Like real life stuff? Do you do? Do you put your personal life what you’re up to going here, here on holiday shopping there?

[00:34:29] Sort of. I didn’t used to. I thought of it as this is just a professional page. I’ll just show my professional aspect and nothing really personal. And then friends of mine said, you know, it would be nice if you just shared a bit about used. I think people would like to see it. And I ask patients if they’d come in and I’d get to know them a bit, etc. They’d mentioned Instagram and then they’d say, Oh, I saw you were doing this or that. And I thought, yeah, what do you think about do you think I should share more personal stuff? And they’d say, Yeah, I think it’s really nice for people to connect and see what you’re about. So I had the encouragement and just thought, right, I’ll do a little snippets. I’m still quite reserved. And it’s just still very much little snippets. But I think slowly, slowly, I’m willing to share a little bit more with time, but it will always stay. It still is predominantly a professional page, and it will always, I think, just be snippets

[00:35:16] To show built a whole tribe online and on social Dental Dental tuples is bigger than most other things. And these people who sit and say actually we’ve asked the government are they’re not listening. Listen, government’s never going to listen because it’s an extrinsic problem. We as dentists have super values within us. We want to deliver top quality care for our patients. We want to look after people. Ultimately, that’s why you went to dentistry. And the money comes as a side effect of that, because you do this, you’re building trust with another human being. All these things. Right. I want to build a community of the right values, people, people who want to help each other, because you know what? That community of dentists in the future is going to go out to the public and engage with the public to change the face of dentistry as a profession, to say we are not the money grabbers and fast car driving people. We are interested in you. There’s a whole you know, we’re building this pathway. And if we can engage the public, guess what’s going to happen? A real momentum boost for the profession. But you need a really powerful community. So beyond education and motivating people, it’s a bigger picture thinking. Why do you think why do you think dentistry suffers with the disunity that we sometimes see? It suffers from the disunity that we see now and then is because we’ve never touched down to the values.

[00:36:38] If you think about dentists. Dentists were taught to deal with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And ultimately, they think like that. They think small, they think detail. They think that bigger picture thinking is missing. True leadership in dentistry is thinking leadership is here’s a vision, here’s a vision. Let’s go towards it. What’s his name? I have a dream. Who kind of sat there? And that was the King Luther King. And there were thousands of people there. Do you think those thousands of people were there because they saw Martin Luther King’s dream? No, they were there because they had the same dream as him and their values aligned. And he said, you’ve got that dream I have here. I have a vision. This is where we will go. Dentistry needs that. Dentistry is disunited because all these people with different values are not being brought together under one vision, under one mission. And that vision is very clear. It’s we’re looking after patients. How we look after them is different. And what people end up doing because of the detail. They start looking at how you do something and what you do and how you do something and what you do and what house maybe different or what’s maybe different or why is the same. And there’s nobody who has worked hard enough to bring that y together in one side of it is because we’re interested in patient care and we seem to be interested in patient care, sometimes gives you the licence to be rude to each other because we’re so worried about the patient.

[00:37:58] Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah, but that’s the how. Yeah. I’m rude to you because you’ve done patient care y the way I wouldn’t do the patient. Yeah. Yeah, right. And then I think you didn’t skin the cat the way I skin the cat. But if I sit there and say, listen, help inspire connecter with three powers are I’m going to help that. And I’m going to inspire them and motivate them to look after their health. And I’m going to connect them with other patients who are like that. I mean, how now we’re thinking from the same hymn sheet, and if we sing from the same hymn sheet, we’re going to say it’s fine. You scan that a different way. But you know what? Brilliant. And obviously, I think UK society doesn’t celebrate success as much as I do an American or Indian or other societies. If you’re doing well, UK society likes to almost bring people down who are rising up. I’ve seen this differently. And do we celebrate success better? Do we celebrate that someone’s done something well for patients? Is this an initiative we should take? In fact, I’ll put it out to you, your products and lighten the composite use with the enamel.

[00:38:59] They’re going out to changing patients lives, aren’t they, all day long? Can we use this as an initiative to say, how did this change a patient’s life? I don’t know. But we think there’s some power amidst all this. You know, certainly with tubules that purpose driven endeavour. Yeah. People can see when something’s purpose driven, New Jersey well with the concrete with the turbine group. Surprising, correct? You know, there’s so many niches that social seems to fill. Women make babies. They have a connexion with human beings that no man can ever have, you know, no matter how good a father you are. I’m sure the connexion with in utero is, you know, surpassed and they’ve created something. We don’t create a lot, really, apart from this. So actually, we probably look for mechanical things to nurture. Yeah. So whether that’s a or a car or aeroplane, we want to have something. We want to have a relationship where they want to have experiences with it. I mean, I put my car into its pyjamas at night. You know, it’s almost like a child, you know, the car Covid goes on, really? And I know people who kiss their cars goodnight and you niftiest fixing cars. And now I’m terrible. I like engineering. Yeah. And obviously, you know, having placed a few implants and stuff, you understand the thought of that side of it.

[00:40:20] And I try and watch YouTube things, but I know there’s lots of people who are much better at it than I am and understand it more. Luckily, electric cars are quite easy to understand without an internal combustion engine. But no, I’m not tinkerer changing gears. I remember, no pun intended. The first time I met you, I think, was at Perry’s practise, I think in and go in cities nearby. Yeah, he’s just bought a new car, which I helped him with a 911 GTZ. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying so. You really worked hard for that lovely car, whatever. But be a nice guy. What I remember about you back then was and I see it, it’s common practise now. But back then you had you you would talk to your patient and your nurse would be typing, typing away. And I remember even back then thinking this guy is going to be really good as a boss. He’s going to be able to inspire his people because he was so into what she was doing. Remember that? Are you’re the boss. Am I good boss? I think the boss being a leader has so many facets to it. And that’s what we’re looking at nowadays. And, you know, we’re talking through quite a lot about leadership skills. And, you know, we helped grow the study club from one to 50 and we created Leaders within those groups and leadership.

[00:41:34] I mean, you must do it with enlightened is about passion. And you’ve got passion. You’re halfway there if you believe in what you do, if you’ve got a it’s a mission statement or something in your mind that you want to do, which is, you know, we want to really help people. We want the best practise in England. We want to do things really well. I want my team. People are rewarded and everyone to be happy. You know, it’s a basic kind of premise of what we’re about. People can get behind that. Yeah. Who doesn’t want to be happy, you know? And I’d love to, you know, double my nurse’s wages and give them a great life and be a successful practitioner and and change lives and smiles, you know. But then, you know, we’re all human beings and we all falter. So sometimes we better than others. And I noticed the really successful Dental, if they’re so disciplined, I wish I was a bit more disciplined. But people like Mark Hughes and Rajul and Jobar, you see these guys and all you had earlier on, they get up in the morning and they do the work that they’re machines. Yeah, I’m probably having not been married and no kids. I’m still probably an overgrown teenager a little bit.

[00:42:31] And, you know, and haven’t had that drive. I think when you have children, the drive to kind of do something better for them comes in. So I think I’m a reasonably good leader, but I could be better. You practise in in village. It is, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s our old well, it’s sort of a it’s a Roman little village. Different dwelling on city. Yeah. Well, and gotten sort of a come about from the new town, the old Whelans really charming and full of history. Right. I remember when you open that and I remember the early days, you were you were very worried and quite rightly so. We were all. How far in was it when you thought, I don’t need to worry anymore? Three years. Three years? Yeah. I think the you know, again, you know, we’re dentists. We’re not really business people unless you’ve got that kind of family background, which I haven’t had. So you naively go into it thinking, I’m just going to make a nice practise and be nice to people. I know how much it’s going to cost to build. I know much I need to earn to live, which was not a lot for me because on my own. And I thought, right, this is going to work. And it did work, but I didn’t realise it was actually that overheads. And you and if you talk to associates now and you show them the overheads, which I like to do, because it’s good that they know about these things, but they’re shocking our roads.

[00:43:46] A shocking in dentistry and whether that’s VAT, whether it’s the exchange rate, whether it’s staff costs, whatever, you know, pensions. So it really had to borrow my way out quite a few times in the first two years just to keep going. And I was fortunate, again, whether it’s friends, family, banks, whatever, to to have the opportunity to do so. But if they hadn’t supported me, the business would have gone. And you didn’t go in with a giant building and, you know, no small place. The two surgeries small little place bought the freehold wasn’t. Expensive. Well, you can you can see where, you know, some people overstretch on, you know, on size and on. Yeah, I think we all should. We have our dreams of what we want. But actually, sometimes you have to break down the dream into little pieces sometimes. And there are huge risks in running a private practise. There really are. You haven’t got squat from school as well. And what would you say? What would you say are your top tips, like if someone was going to do that? Some of the thinking about doing that right now, what are your top tips? I think one is have a good surplus of money in more than you think, probably double more than you think.

[00:44:48] I think look after your health, because when everything goes to pot and being men, we just throw ourselves into it. So, you know, the week goes on eating badly. You don’t exercise because you feel a bit of a martyr to it. Interest you away people money. You think I can’t I shouldn’t be happy because, you know, I’m not in the place where I should be. So you sort of demonise yourself. Yeah. So I spoke for two years. I was just my worst enemy and didn’t look after myself and still, you know, has effects. Now, I’m not super healthy yet. And I remember going to speare and sort of nicking the bread from lunchtime to have it dinner, you know, and getting buses and paid for a year. I paid for. And on the overdraught, I had to steal the bread. I know, but it was priorities and I speare changed my life and it without speare that practise wouldn’t have succeeded for social. Baylee, today’s dentistry updates. I know loads of people enjoy those daily updates that that he does. His podcast is one not to be missed. Trials and tribulations that you go through with that podcast. One of my personal favourites. But so fast forward to when you bought a practise. So yeah. So the guy I was working for in Clacton, he decided to sell up.

[00:46:03] The new voice came on board. They were very business orientated. You know, I was the lead associate, so, you know, and I could do anything that I wanted. Why? I was doing seventeen thousand years a year. All right. So was just on my own. The average, I think, is about six and a half thousand per person. Me how when I actually left, they had to actually replace me with three dentists. Were you working ridiculous hours? No. Basically, every single appointment that I had was effectively like ten minutes. And then you just catch up on the time and make it up somehow. But yeah, my my days were between 50 and 70 patients a day out here every day. And then at the weekends, I’d actually do all the nursing homes in Denver in the whole of Dental District Council. I did every single nursing home, 32 of them. Danger is extractions visiting. Yeah. Yeah, from one to the next to the next next. Wow. Yeah. So then you save some money by this time, so. Yeah. So I buy a practise. Yes. Mom and dad came over obviously for graduation and stuff. And that was really, really nice. That’s when I actually you know, again, it was that second head and wave of the love I’ve got for the university now, because I walked in and I remember the dean of the Dental School in the last six months.

[00:47:19] He said, Right, Baish, we’re going to give you a hundred and fifty quid a month for the science of war. And he goes, well, you’re going to tell me what you’re going to use it for. Is it? Oh, I’ve got these two people that to me for that to pay for it. He goes, give me the check back because I want to see you in the student union every Friday. I’ve been a couple of drinks. At least that’s what you start off with. Whatever’s left, you can do what you want with it, you know? And that was lovely. My graduation. I didn’t have the money to pay for it. So the guy was running the whole graduation thing. He said, we just forgot to charge you. I went in the day after, you know, to actually say to the guys that the accommodation office said, look, guys, I haven’t got the money, but here’s a self-willed affidavit, you know, appeared as soon as I got the money. Now it’s been comfortable and it just, you know, and I just thought, well, you know, mom and dad were here. My friends gave me their credit cards, you know, just spend whatever you want. But it’s fine. It’s fine. We were all we’re all doing this together, you know, so it was just fantastic. He is absolutely brilliant, you know, but when mom and dad came, I took them over to Clacton and said, look, this is where I’m going to be staying.

[00:48:22] And so funny enough, I’m staying with the boss that I stayed with them for three years and I just saved, saved and saved and saved. So within four years, I actually paid off 110 grand and I bought two houses, paid off, paid off all the cousins and people who everyone had a ledger, actually, and I paid off every year. Funny enough, one guy, he gave me eighty pounds and I phoned him six years later. I just happened to remember his number off the top of my head. And I phoned him. I said, Hey, buddy, how’s it going? He was Daesh. And I was like, yeah, you know, how the hell are you, man? So, yeah, I’m just glad you got the same number. And we had a bit of a catch up. And he goes, What’s going on? I said, listen, I’ve called you for a reason. He goes, well. And I said, I borrowed eighty quid off you in two thousand and this is like eight or something like that about the trip back, you know. So, you know, I don’t forget if someone helps me out, if someone does something, it doesn’t matter how big or small. That’s not you know, that’s not what I’m about. It’s more about the gesture, the thought, you know, and being human.

[00:49:28] I guess the message is from your dad, right, that last day.

[00:49:30] Yeah, that’s what I was just thinking about right now. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So then the Dental ity that I saw being built, the state of the art private looking thing was when you’d moved site. Right. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. So you had it. Yeah. That wasn’t the previous one wasn’t called Dental that, you know, so it was called Hawksbill Dental practise. It was nearby. It was just around the corner sort of thing. It was the usual Dental practise sort of setting the stage and downstairs on one side, funeral directors, on the other hairdressers behind them. Through a dark corridor, you go up to the Dental practise, which just thinks it looks horrible. So I left my associate job because I didn’t like the way things were run, you know, and it was no fault of the guys who took over. They were there to make money, which is fair enough, you know, for people to have a business. Some people do a lot of dentistry. And I just thought I’m going to be horrible here, you know, and I’m going to fall out with these guys. Big task before that happens. Just Gole, because they paid their goodwill. At the end of the day, they don’t need grapple thing you associate, you know. So I just got off I go. And the only practise that I could afford was just one that I bought. I always wanted to be in Hertfordshire. Why? Because I’ve got family in East London. Sorry. And Mum’s family’s all in West London. It’s a little nice halfway house sort of thing going, you know, keep in touch with everyone. So I moved there when I I sorry when I bought up.

[00:50:55] And the change in name was very, very personal to me because I’d been through a lot through through our university and all the rest of it spoke with a lot of people were just just disgruntled Leaders, unhappy with dentistry. And I think generally that’s the way the feeling is. You know, dentists and lot can be a happy profession, you know, and I just thought, you know what, I want to change the way people think I want. And not only, you know, patients, but your team and, you know, your peers and your colleagues and other dentists, you know, because everyone has something that goes not according to plan at some point in their lives. So I just want to change the way they think. Word mentality came up in my mind because I actually just took them off and put a D on it. And yeah, that was it. And that’s how Dental. So when I when I saw it, it was a triple shopfront. Yeah, I remember that. Like the biggest shock I’d ever seen on the High Street and like modern. And there were people. Drilling away to with people working, and I said to him, wow, look, as far as I really know, how have you let you’ve gone for it, man? I guess have I? I see. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve definitely gone for it. And he goes, I you know, I just think you need to build it and they’ll come around. I remember exactly what words were. To the Payman actually said to me, close. I don’t mean to be OK. I’m here to help you.

[00:52:23] Yeah, I remember Yadu six years BMW, they drove into a parked off at the back and said, Vash, with all due respect, you’ve got a cornershop, you just got a bottle of freaking FESCo extra. How are you doing? And I said I said, yeah, I know it’s it’s big, but that there’s a reason for this. And he goes, yeah, but you know what? This question needs to be stocked. You can’t have an empty desk, extra newsagent’s like, you know, he’s about five foot by five foot. Right. So everything in one place within arm’s reach. Right. He was you can’t just have a dedicated corner in this open shop floor for the rest of it. But to your credit, how long did it take before you filled it up? It was full properly fully running within two years. Yeah. So it just you know, the practise went from strength to strength, and it was all to do with just being open and honest and trustworthy, you know, in a small town. Good news travels fast. So does bad. Know, I think you could look Veliko to the psychic and that maybe the best connector in the whole profession. And a big part of that is his online presence and reputation. The guy who knows more dentists and than anyone else that I know I had the privilege of being in veti with Saki’s have watched that journey from the beginning of his, you know, post qualifying career. It is so many different things. You you work as an implant ologist in lots of different practises. The drop in that brooming sort of.

[00:53:56] Yeah. Peripatetic. Yeah. Is that what I used to do that I don’t do like not much anymore. Funny story is, is that, you know, when the recession kicked in 2009 and you know, I’d meet a lot of my friends that did implants and they’d be like, yeah, it’s a bit slow. It’s really hit us and I’m not doing that anymore. How about you? And I’d be like, I was busy as hell, you know, I was like, no, I’m it’s great. It’s you know, it hasn’t affected me at all. The difference was, is that they sat in one room, in one location, in one clinic area. That area. Yeah. Whereas with me, I was like I got off my arse and I actually found the work. And a lot of people said, oh, yeah, you know, do you like what you do going around, whatever? It’s like, you know what? At least I was busy. At least the money was coming in and I made lots of connexions and networks and. And then when, you know, when we opened our practise stuff, I started reducing, although I didn’t want to travel so much back then. I used to even go up to Scotland. I used to do all on fours. Really? Yeah. I did a couple of even Fellin Haly up there in Cherry Bank when I was you know, we go to Gleneagles every year, one of these timeshare things like that. And even once I was there for a week, she’s like, can you come over?

[00:55:16] So, you know, I was going to ask you, though, you you you’ve visited lots of practises. You can see lots of different ways people work. What are some of the takeaways? I mean, what are some things you learnt that you then put into your own practise?

[00:55:29] Well, one thing I learnt was the bigger the practise, the harder it is. I mean, it’s obviously just common sense, but it was exponentially harder because you’d have to keep everyone busy and you’d have lots of, you know, staff turnover. It was it just seemed a lot harder. And on the face of it, people look at these practises from the outside and think they’re running smoothly and whatever. However, when you’re on the inside, it doesn’t it’s not always like that. And that’s why we did something small. So when there’s a recession, when times aren’t great or there’s less patients coming in, I don’t have to worry. I still remember shortly after setting up my practise with with Dominique, my dad got ill. I had a phone call from my sister. I was actually at a bank board meeting. And of course, that’s like you got to come right now. I literally took the next flight out and I was away from our new clinic for seven weeks on the trot. And I was all I was thinking about is like, God, what’s going to happen? I’m the one doing the high end implant, you know, treatments, thousands of pounds, and I’m not there. The nice thing was that the rent is low. It’s a small practise. There’s not a huge sort of monthly expenditure on staff wages and all that. There is, but it was manageable. Now, if I had a much bigger sets up and I remember talking to several people and they’re like, you know what, you’re so lucky you’ve done something small. And whilst you say, I was ambitious and wanted to open up multiple surgeries. That’s my comfort zone. I’m happy like that. And I’m happy also working and placing implants for other people, which I still do to this day.

[00:57:14] Nicole Sondergaard, Sa’id Hashmi. You know, Nicole and she’s been involved in so many different things in the treatment, particularly strong on the social side and side to this pretty easily, you know that the charity work around the industry. The boy who went to being a dentist, I mean, what is it about you that, you know, I didn’t stick to be an artist either, but what is it about you?

[00:57:41] I think it goes back to Prav. First question to Nick. What’s your background? My my family been in business for a hundred years. My granddad was a banker. My father was was a banker is he’s retired now and not the banker in the sense of in this country. So they were in the exchange of currency and business. And I grew up in meetings in our living room that was always meeting and variety of people coming and going and asking questions about, you know, business and doing business. I have a passion for that. I definitely have a passion for business and I love dentistry. I’ve got so much respect for dentistry. Dentistry has given me so much that any other occupation wouldn’t have given me otherwise. And I wouldn’t for a second say I wouldn’t stop being a dentist. I love doing dentistry, but I like to do dentistry while I’m enjoying it. I like to have financial freedom. I like to go to the clinic, do the treatment, just because I enjoy doing that, not because I’m dependent on the money that is going to be made from that that treatment. Not everybody has to have have that luxury. And it hasn’t been easy for me. I’ve been working seven days a week for the past 15 years to to achieve that. I auditioned recently, cut down on my days. You can tell he’s a grafter because he says work four days a week and then you’ve got another three days a week to work.

[00:59:02] But to be honest, if I gave you a billion tomorrow, would you still draw teeth?

[00:59:08] I would and you know, and I tell you why one of my cousins is actually a fine, you know, son of a billionaire family in Iran, and he’s a dentist. He’s one of the reasons I actually do dentistry. He does still practise. They’re all over 50 factories. He’s still practise. And I saw one of his patients recently in London because he would only send his patient to me because they moved to London. And I was up my hands were shaking, just amanat not to make a mistake. I had to do a you know, a very deep feeling. So, yes, because, you know, it’s not about the money. I definitely know from my background I know more money does not bring you happiness. Hundred percent. It just doesn’t. If I do have a family, I’ve got kids. I would never, ever work seven days. And I don’t recommend anybody doing that. But in the same time, everybody’s different. I’m just not going to sit there every night watching Netflix until I fall asleep. It’s not my character. Some people like that. And they might they might do that. Nothing wrong with it, you know? Everyone is different.

[01:00:08] Victoria Holden, one of the best moderators out there. I’ve been moderated by myself. Very fair. Definitely involved and interested.

[01:00:19] I limit the time I spend on social media to about 15, 20 minutes a day. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook for various reasons. So that part of it doesn’t take an awful lot of time, really. Like you moderate that forum in 15 minutes a day. Yeah, well, people might say that it’s not maybe a very well moderated forum. I know the criticism that comes up, and that’s maybe the reason why. But yeah, I mean, I’ve done a lot of moderating since about 10 years ago, because that’s not how moderate the GDP you pay for it. So I’ve been involved in that for quite a while, actually. And I think generally people behave OK on forums. There’s not that much stuff that needs moderated. You might get an expression upset that somebody is offended by a post or something that’s inappropriate for the self, promoting their own causes a bit too much or whitening is getting promoted and in fact, et cetera. And we tend to deal with those and then and then move on. Really? Yeah, it doesn’t it doesn’t take a lot of time. Not really wants to sit down on Facebook, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through the threads. I’ll go on and have a quick look, see if anything’s been selected from the forums and then all.

[01:01:36] Well, guys, I hope you enjoyed this episode of our social media Leaders, the compilation of the best bits that we could gather together on their social media journeys. The next part will be next week. We broken up into two episodes. I hope you look forward to that season. This is Dental Leaders,

[01:01:56] The podcast, where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders in dentistry. Your host, Payman Langroudi, I’m Prav Solanki. Thanks for listening, guys.

[01:02:11] If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both for me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it

[01:02:23] If you did get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

[01:02:34] And don’t forget the six star rating.


Over almost two years of podcasting and almost a hundred conversations with industry luminaries have made one fact clear: Minimally-invasive dentistry is here to stay.

In this week’s episode, we look back at highlights from some of our favourite conversations with proponents of the philosophy including Tif Qureshi, Robbie Hughes, Kunal Patel and many more.


In This Episode

00:59 Tif Qureshi
06:28 Nik Sethi
08:38 Payman Sobhani
14:00 Richard Field
20:31 Robbie Hughes
25:26 Simon Chard
30:00 Zainab Al Mukhtar
32:08 Andrew Wallace
39:35 Benji Dhillon
43:25 Daz Singh
49:26 Elaine Mo
53:55 Gina Vega
01:00:45 Jason Smithson
01:04:14 Kunal Patel
01:08:36 Linda Greenwall


[00:00:04] 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.

[00:00:22] We’re really lucky in the UK to have some of Leaders of

[00:00:26] The invasive industry coming from here and

[00:00:30] Increasingly on the sort of the global lecture circuit. Minimally invasive dentistry seems to be something that’s really resonated with the UK dental profession. So we thought we’d put together some of our favourite bits from some of the interviews that we’ve done over the past couple of years on minimally invasive Leaders.

[00:00:49] Let’s start with

[00:00:51] None other than Tife Kareshi, maybe one of the most influential people in the field. The father of Aibi Kareshi enjoy.

[00:00:59] But what I started to do is develop a kind of protocol of space evaluation and, you know, space planning. And where I was doing the IPO and I kind of explained to him, this is what I do now. He’s a technician. So he kind of listened to me. And I also kind of created this sort of attachment sequence protocol as well.

[00:01:17] You’re talking to some orthodontists. No, not

[00:01:19] Really. I have to say, not that point. A little bit later. I did.

[00:01:23] And that’s probably the biggest advantage was that you weren’t talking. Well, I mean, I

[00:01:27] Wanted to I did want to early on and I did. And actually, you know, funny enough, one of the first people I consulted with this was was actually chatty, passive aggressive. You know, the great thing about passive was he looked at what I was doing, totally unlike maybe some others at the time. I’m totally open minded to it and saying, look, I can see what you’re doing, it just in the front teeth. And if if those patients have come to see me already and have refused, and this is surely got to be the best thing to do. So he you know, he was really quite instrumental in at least at least making me feel like, OK, this is the right thing to do if we do it correctly. Another person, you know, a year or two later, who I started to sort of bounce back some ideas from as well. And I was very lucky. And this is an amazing person to have. Mentoring me briefly was someone called Bjorn Sacristan, who’s, you know, one of the greatest orthodontists ever to have lived. Still, I was still around today. And I’ve come across him. You know, again, this is thankfully through the BBC day. And that’s what that’s one of the big things about Bastida. You get to meet people like that. And he and he and spoke spoke many years ago. And then I stayed in touch with them after. And I sort of they came on the stage, spoke, and then afterwards I sort of talk to him about what I was doing. And again, he said, you know, it makes perfect sense. And I was trying to learn a bit more about IPR and limitations. And he’d obviously ready we have

[00:02:43] Confidence for to go to the world world’s top orthodontist as a GDP and say, I’m doing this. What do you think? I mean.

[00:02:50] Well, that’s again, that’s where you got to thank people. Do you get the opportunity to and that’s you know, that’s what I’ll always be grateful for that in reality. But but the fact is, I was thinking that way. And and I always think in that way, in an environment when where others words. And so I got I was lucky. To be fair, I’m not saying that it would have been exactly the same, but I was heading that way anyway. So what I’ve spoken to one person or another, I just wanted to validate it and make sure that this was something that was.

[00:03:19] Have you thought, well, maybe I’ve even heard you’ve written. Right, or read about you saying this, that today it would be impossible because you’d be so scared of the legal ramifications of being the only one doing something.

[00:03:32] And I think I said I think you’re totally right that. And I think that’s actually quite a sad statement. Really, I think we were kind of we’ve all been lucky. To a certain degree for the time we lived in. But nowadays, yeah, you probably would fear it. However, I’m getting to the point where I’m just turning the argument around where you used to. I used to hear I still hear people say if a general dentist does, although it’s dangerous. Well, actually, I think the argument around now and say that a general dentist who doesn’t do all those dangerous. Okay, and I can justify that based on the fact that a lot of dentists don’t understand the concept of constricting envelopes and why envelopes constrict because teeth move. And how do you fix it? Not not restorative it. Yeah, you can do some restorative, but you need also and there probably I’d estimate millions of patients around the world who have repeatedly chipping front tooth. Keep it. If it keeps shipping, the dentist solution is another composite, another composite or splen. And a lot of those patients end up with crowns. And actually, the dentist understood that they needed a little bit of ortho to get the right over the right over by a bit of bonding to improve the overbuy. You’d probably find that actually a lot less people would have a.. Veneers or crowns. I’ve seen that. It’s absolutely clear. And I think it’s something it’s a real it’s a really strong part of the message now. So I think general dentists, you know, I’ve got to. Here’s a here’s something I would say controversial. If you were a general dentist and you were my general dentist and you couldn’t do any ortho, I wouldn’t even sit in your chair, not suggest what I would say, but wouldn’t even sit in your chair. You know, if you needed to do my endo, I’ll be right with that. But if there was something anterior in your solution for my front tooth, the chipping was a crown. No way am I sit in your chair, you know. So it’s quite a and it’s a powerful thing.

[00:05:08] Is seeing it now with your record, then you can say what you know, you can basically say what you like and everyone pay attention back then. Back then saying stuff. Like that as a as a GDP from Kent. Well, I find it super interesting.

[00:05:21] I was I was to stop and actually, you know, we stuck my neck out and we were showing what we were doing. And and I’d say there were, you know, you stick your head up and again, people initiate them. And I got a couple of invites to places where, you know, I was terrified and, you know, audience for the orthodontists and all sorts of stuff. But the reality was when they when they when they sat and watched what we were doing, many of them have come up to me after and said they said, well, actually, you know, you’re doing just the front teeth. You’re looking at what’s actually going on. So the key part here, and this is where people are, Ross Hobson, have actually made a huge difference, is actually to to validate the fact that what we’re trying to do is make sure the patients understand the difference between comprehensive treatment versus the compromise. That’s the key. As long as you can diagnose the case completely, you’ve got to diagnose it, not somebody else. This is really important that you can explain to the patient why doing just the front teeth is okay versus perhaps the patient may really need just having the full maths done. It shouldn’t really be a problem at all. And what if you brought that message in? I think it’s it’s made it clear that, you know, there’s nothing wrong with doing this and that actually you’ve got to start thinking about doing it if you’re not doing it already.

[00:06:29] Nick Saidy, brother of Sanjay Sethi, the minimally invasive brother in who’s in the square mile Dental practise. What do you think it comes from? I mean, both of you’ve got this sort of excellence idea, like

[00:06:42] You want to be the best. And you know what? I’ve even spoken to you on this course of yours that you guys will get to it. But this aesthetic thing. And I was saying, well, you know, how you making the numbers work and all this and you were getting the numbers. Not really what we’re interested in,

[00:06:58] Interested in the learning for ourselves, you know. What do you think that comes from? Is that like

[00:07:04] I don’t know. Is it your dad? Is it where does it come from? Why did you want to be the best? Not the Jarno, the biggest, the richest or whatever it is, whether the quality thing come from. I think if you have it not well, we’ve got amazing family of people around us. But I think that actually comes a lot from Sanj. I’m certainly down naturally. I have I’ve got a good brain. I’m quite academic. I love reading. But Sanjay’s passion to just be the best he can be, and not just for the sake of being mad to deliver the best for his patients. And he’s one of these people that he may not and he won’t mind me saying this. He may not get something as quick as maybe I do academically, but no one will work harder than him to them. Practise, practise, practise, practise. There’s no secret whenever people say, oh, how do you do this? How do you get your constant looking like that Alja? As you know, Payman, there’s no secret. You’ve got to follow protocols meticulously. You’ve got to time things. You know, if you’re told to do something for a certain number of seconds, get a timer and time it. And this is what Sanjay did. He took every little part of the protocol and just practised it religiously again and again and again. And he was breathing down my neck when I first tried to, you know, and every day I’d have to show him before and after he’d have his nurse, I’d have my nurse spying on me to tell him where I was going wrong. And that’s honestly the kick up the butt. I needed that. It’s how he lives literally every single day, just learning, practise, practise, practise, practise.

[00:08:39] Payman Sobhani, who I really enjoyed talking to you, just a great guy to have on the show.

[00:08:46] He’s built a

[00:08:47] Whole practise based on memory based, and she’s got a beautiful concept

[00:08:50] Work that he does. If you ask me what I’m supposed to be learning in the role that I’m in as a clinical director as opposed to Dental, I mean, I’m more of a management position of managing the clinical aspects of that business, but also I’ve got to be there for the staff. And you know, that that aspect, I think, is probably what I’ve gotten the most about what I’ve done. And, you know, this actually came from is how much I suppose I’ve listened to this podcast. A good sign. I think it was Mark Hughes. He said, I’m quoting this podcast. Dental Leaders. Covid hearing previous

[00:09:28] Episodes keep coming

[00:09:29] Up. You like to use back in November 2010. We should create a

[00:09:37] Citations list at the end of every

[00:09:39] Podcast. He said he said that he wished he did an MBA. Right. So I was like, oh, that’s interesting. I’ve always thought about doing an MBA. I mean, I’ve just put a practise. And, you know, he said that that would have sped things up for him so much. So it’s like, OK, so first thing I did, I bought the personal movie, a book that I could tell you, a very good book, recommend, highly personal and B, I can’t revetted Cognise Presynaptic. It’s really good. But then I also start searching Ambus and I not the LSC, do a short course 10 week MBA essentials. And I’m seven weeks into that now. And I’ve just signed on to that six and seven weeks of it. And a week soon is it’s intense because this is

[00:10:24] As it help with the Dental practise.

[00:10:26] So again, first week was the whole leadership management influencing all of that sort of stuff. Then it’s going to go and then he goes on to, you know, reading, finance, reading, accountancy, all of these sort of things that are the essential things that you need to know. I don’t know. I don’t I don’t know. Maybe some people will say you need an MBA is Dental practise. I think probably that you don’t. But I think it was good to do that and to be in the process of it, because I’m I’m just relating everything back to the practise and being, you know, at the beginning, where I’m just kind of looking at it like, OK, so this means this, this means this. I can relate this to this. I can go in and start doing this and try this out as made an impact. I think I think that it made me more confident. I think I felt like a bit of an imposter.

[00:11:10] The thing is the thing is, did we as dentists, we think we need to do a course for everything?

[00:11:14] Yeah, I mean, some of the to

[00:11:17] Some of the top business people in the country of corner shop owners. Yeah. Yeah. Then in the

[00:11:22] Course. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:11:25] Listen, man, I’m no expert, but business is looking after your customers, looking after your people, looking after your suppliers. That that that is the. That’s it. Absolutely. Do do an MBA. Sure. Do an MBA. Yeah, but but, you know, it’s not going to be the answer. They’re the answer you’re looking for as dentists. We just think we have to keep doing courses like if you want to do bone grafting to go do a bone grafting course. You know, when you look look on the High Street, man, there’s a restaurant. That guy didn’t go on an MBA to run.

[00:12:02] His restaurant is all right. So whatever whatever you’re learning, you have to apply it almost immediately.

[00:12:10] But it seems like it’s a massive change for you to go from being an associate at your brother’s place, a tiny place like that, to basically the principal at this huge place.

[00:12:22] Yeah, I mean, we need to pay for staff. Yeah.

[00:12:25] What about the practise manager? Is the practise manager an incumbent or is that someone Dental beauty of imposed?

[00:12:31] Yes. And she she came she joined with us, basically say, yes, she is. She we added her. But I have kind of to I guess I have I have an existing practise manager that was there before. And so all the staff

[00:12:44] Issues she deals with, as I write

[00:12:47] This, I mean, don’t go through hard times at times. Come through through. I think we do it all together. You know, I think it’s um I kind of had a meeting with everyone today even just to say that I want everything to be done together. This is not just me telling you guys how my vision is for this practise. You’ve been here for this long. You’ve been here for a long time. Me and Sophie, who’s the practise manager, have have just come in here. I want suggestions from you. I don’t just want problems. I want solutions to those problems. Are you going to give me a if you have a problem with something, I would like to know what your opinion is, how to sort it out. And I’ll give you my opinion on how to sort it out. And then we’ll get to some sort of middle ground that we both understand and then we can move forward from it. I think that’s how I’m trying to deal with it. And that’s how any staff issues or anything at the moment. I want to try and deal with as we as we go ahead. And these are things, you know, I’m learning these things that I’ve picked up that it doesn’t work for me just to tell you this is how it’s going to be done, because that’s not going to make you committed to making anything changes, is going to make you complain. It’s going to make you say, OK, but, you know, and then go away and then actually make a change, you know, and do things for the practise, for that for the benefit of the practise field.

[00:14:02] Old friend of mine known him since two years before he qualified than straight real expert, but particularly in in this area. So tell me this. But I mean, it’s got a lot of like I’ve I’ve only worked in my whole career and

[00:14:18] Not you know, I gave up dentistry, but but I worked only in three practises and each one taught me

[00:14:25] A bunch of stuff. And by the way, some some

[00:14:28] Stuff, you know, things not to do. But but if you had to

[00:14:32] Distil, you know, you’ve worked at these places where they’re like right at the top of the field, if you had to distil some nuggets

[00:14:41] On

[00:14:42] How to run a practise, I know you’ve always been on the associate side in these places,

[00:14:47] But what are what are the key things you’ve learnt about practise management, patient management, team management

[00:14:54] Products, whatever, whatever it is.

[00:14:57] I think well, if you take Andy for for an example, I was there, I think I was there two thousand and twelve. Two thousand and fifteen. And if you look at who is still working there in terms of staff, is everyone bar people who’ve retired? So I think the first thing is keep your staff happy. Because you screwed without them, really treat your stuff well and keep them happy. And I know I’ve I’ve there’s probably people listening to this and work with me thinking, what’s he talking about? I know I can be quite difficult. I know I’m difficult to work with. But I think in the last few years for sure, it sort of hammered home that definitely keep keep yourself happy

[00:15:52] While you difficult to work with. But what you have very high standards and someone does something wrong.

[00:15:57] I have very high standards for myself and very high standards, I suppose, for the people around me. But I think the big thing is I get very tunnel vision when I’m working. Nothing else. Nothing else exists. Just the just the teeth. And I think if you don’t know me, I can potentially think I’m just you might come across as quite I could come across you come across as quite stern or I get very focussed and I go very quiet. And a lot of our appointments are two, maybe three or four or five hours long. It’s like I supposed to be quiet, sort of intimidating sitting next to someone who doesn’t really speak for for that much time.

[00:16:40] How did you stop that spilling over into the patient

[00:16:43] Pool to me? I mean,

[00:16:45] You’ve got these high standards of bedside manners. Definitely part of that is that for sure.

[00:16:50] I mean, a lot of the time before these big, long appointments, I’ve spent a lot of time with these people, with these patients building up trust, building up sort of conversation by the nurses that I work with are very good. And they’ll they will. Talk to the Payman, obviously, I’m not going to be silent for that long, but there’ll be portions of time where I’m just sort of looking and I’ll put my hand out for something and. Most time,

[00:17:16] If that thing doesn’t doesn’t fall into your hands now, you’re really pissed off.

[00:17:20] I never I never I mean, on some of these gross things around. I’m not someone who shouts. I’m not. So does any of that. I just think it’s because I am silent that it comes across as quite like I’m angry. I’m never I don’t get angry with any surgery. I don’t get. I know a lot. I don’t know a lot. I know of dentistry through things are that’s not what they one that’s not me. I’m just I’m just quite a focussed person. And if you if it’s new to working with me, I suppose that can come across as either rude or indifferent, maybe. But certainly there’s no intention behind if I ever work with someone new, I always say to them when I work, I can get quite tunnel vision. Nothing’s ever personal. I get quite quiet. But it’s it’s it’s just the way I work.

[00:18:13] Tell me other stuff you’ve learnt from these prices.

[00:18:16] Okay, so treat your staff well restaff. Well, I don’t know if it’s what I’ve learnt from these products is something that I’ve often talked about from with newer qualified dentists is don’t make the patients problem your problem. And I think I think it takes a good few years to. Acknowledge that because you haven’t given the patient to say you have an. You have been sort of given them, Perio, you didn’t do the last bad Crohn, don’t internalise your patient’s problems, you’re there to help them. Don’t get stressed about January. I think it takes three or four years to get around that way of thinking. And that’s something that I think is very important in terms of from these practises, is it’s because it’s a difficult one to answer, because I don’t really. I don’t really know any different,

[00:19:17] But how about the differences between them, I mean, to some of them have morning Huddle’s and some of them don’t.

[00:19:22] Yeah, I’ve only worked in one practise. Is that a morning or two? And actually, that was that was very good. That was fifty two the morning Hodor. It was what we said yesterday. How did it get sorted? Hoover got in today. Do we have any VIPs? Do they need to do any special things? Have we got Lopper going out? Who’s dealing with the Laborde? Who’s going to the post office? That was very useful. And I know that taking 50 minutes out of the morning of your day with getting all of your staff together can be quite challenging. I was 52, I think the day the first patient was a half nine in the morning huddle. I think it was a nine until nine 15. So everyone was in even the dentist’s half an hour earlier. And it was that’s a weird way of as a self as a self-employed dentist having to be in half an hour before your work. It is a different way of thinking. But actually, so many problems were avoided from that morning. Hudl ice is worth its weight in gold, for sure.

[00:20:32] Hughes Houston powerhouse. Rob is from Liverpool. You see, since the interview with him, he’s promised into so many different areas with his avant garde stuff, the medy form stuff. One of my favourite interviews actually really worth listen to the whole thing. What gave you the foresight to, you know, go to dentistry? I mean, a lot of a lot of young kids would be good at sport and have that foresight to take care of what happens after. Yeah, the sport finishes. I mean, you know, getting footballers doing it well, dentist

[00:21:06] Dentistry for me was always a career kick. Boxing was never career a horrible

[00:21:10] Because it didn’t pay that.

[00:21:11] It didn’t you like like like I said earlier, I had had I’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial mindset and found ways to make money in income through kickboxing and through teaching seminars and making a nine volume DVD set that I sold relatively well. But it was never going to be a career for me. And what attracted me about dentistry was, you know, I was always good at sciences, at school biology, at the general interest in the medical fields. But dentistry, for me, again, it allowed me to to have a mindset and a vision that I knew that as soon as I qualified and knew the type of dentist I wanted to be and I wanted to get quickly into my own business with my own stamp on things as quickly as I possibly could.

[00:21:52] But just take me back to the first time you thought dentistry. Why dentistry? Was that someone, a dentist?

[00:21:58] It all started with school, like careers, conventions, as the. Do you go to these topics? We advise you to go for these. You go for a week’s sort of training on the chose a local dentist. The good relationship with my dentist, because he used to make me go shields for me sports. Oh, yeah. So I had a good relationship with him. It was it was it was a guy called Dr. Khan in in Liverpool. Oh, yeah. But at the time, he was he was the cosmetic dancers. The celebrity

[00:22:24] Celebrity guy. Right? Celebrity Dental. Yeah.

[00:22:27] So he was quite influential to me as a 15 year old boy.

[00:22:30] And he liked his Mercedes or whatever, of course. Is that what it was? Yeah. You know,

[00:22:36] I’ll never remember. I’ll never rimma. I’ll never forget. He said to me, what college I want to drive, Rob. And at the time, I think BMW was released the next five, and that was like the car for me. So I’d love to drive and next five. And he said to me, you want to be a cosmetic dentist, that you only said aim higher. You can have a Ferrari if you want for that. That’s never really been my my drive. And listen it listening to people in business and I have got a massive interest in business, how businesses grow and evolve. And I believe that if you provide the right level of service or nowadays experience, I think is the buzz word. That’s the big with what people want find value in in a brand. It’s about the experience. Then the pennings will come your way. If you focus on the money, then you focus in the wrong place and you’re going to start upsetting people along the way. That’s that’s the way the way I think.

[00:23:27] Just tell me, sir, how you first got into business. You mentioned earlier you were selling DVD courses and stuff like that. So naturally, you know, being an entrepreneur is in your blood or part a part of your DNA of who you are. Just talk us through your very first business idea and what your vision was and what you drive was behind the.

[00:23:48] Yeah, we’ve Dental Street. You know,

[00:23:50] Before the general the first of my first foray into business was cleaning my dad’s taxi and then his taxes and finding money under the max in the car and, you know, ripping the CS up and all the rest of it. And I can just almost relate to you. When you said when you were younger, you just started doing seminars and stuff. You know, our typical kickboxer would do.

[00:24:08] Is it I wouldn’t say it was typical, but there was. But there was a market for it. So, again, quite cleverly, just using a business mind like I know we used to travel a lot to compete. And when you compete, there’s thousands of people in that area for that tournament, usually on a Sunday. So I used to Soyland sort of let people know that I’ll be there on a Saturday, go daily and will teach us and we’ll teach a seminar. So the numbers weren’t difficult to find people going there anyway. And and then obviously you have a centralised place with these people from all over the country coming to one place. I was a relatively big name in the sports at the time. You know, you could get 100 hundred people in the room. Twenty five pound the pop of his walked away with two and a half grand and 14 years old. So it was it was it was it was just that was probably the first sort of business idea. And this was before the Internet was was big. You know, I remember advertising on MySpace for this. So that’s how long ago it was. And then on the back end of the the DVD series come to mind. So we’ve recorded for like four days flat out, and we call it nine volumes, which is basically that was basically the whole syllabus of techniques that we teach are my dojo and tips and tricks from, you know, for competition and all and Buffalo as well. So then we used to sort of like set up like a little mini stall at the tournament’s and sell the DVDs, some sunshine.

[00:25:27] Great friend again known him since before he qualified. We make your name in digital industry and particularly minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry. It just seems for Simon, whatever he puts his mind to him, he does it 110 percent. Let’s talk about that. I mean, the criticism, I guess, is that Instagram is promoting a kind of dentistry that’s perhaps a patient. And a lot of these youngsters, in inverted commas, are, you know, upstarts and. Yeah, and I don’t agree with it. I think that, you know, every situation has good and bad in it. Yeah. But what’s your what’s your what’s your feeling on it? Because, you know, I’m not out there. I’m not posting everyday. I’m not building a personal brand. So a lot of times when people are talking about these things, you might think they’re talking about me.

[00:26:15] Yeah, well, that’s always what I think. And any time I see insta dentist or anyone slating dentists who pose cases on Instagram, on on on Facebook, I assume they’re talking about me. And actually, when they tend to follow, I’ve had we’ve had some incidences in the past of people writing lists, Ashleigh, of dentists who should follow to, in essence, troll, I think. Wow. And I was one of the people that was followed by that specific account. But anyway, I think my my feeling on it is that, as you say, like with anything, there’s always practitioners who are going to be doing things correctly and doing things incorrectly. There’s obviously cowboys in every profession. I don’t think there’s any more cowboys on Instagram than there are on Facebook or on in just the general public. But for me, Instagram is just a way that I communicate with my generation. It’s as simple as that, that everyone who is 20 to 40 is on Instagram, whether they be a dentist or a patient. And so that’s where I hang out. And that’s for me, has been incredibly instrumental in me building my business, in finding patients who are also the sort of work that I provide, which is minimally invasive aesthetic dentistry. Normally things like AB as as Tife told me when I was an undergrad and I’m Beachum Bond, many small makeovers stuff. And that’s just it just is what it is. I think the reason why some people have an issue with it is that there are certain individuals who are doing the same treatment on every patient or that’s what they’re posting. They may not be, but that’s how it comes across. And anyone who’s doing the same treatment on everyone must therefore be incorrectly prescribing that treatment. If they were doing what everyone, which they probably aren’t as it is the cases that they’re posting. But if they were then not was not, then she’s not one size fits all. You can’t do the same treatment on everyone.

[00:28:06] Well, or there were specialists. I don’t mean the actual meaning of the words, but yeah, that’s that’s the kind of work they do.

[00:28:12] Yeah, exactly. But if that was to be the case, then they would they would have to they would they could only do that procedure on cases that were suitable. And I think that’s the concern from some people. I don’t know. It’s a weird environment. I think the most important thing for me is that the profession just needs to sort itself out with regard to the negativity, because you can’t judge someone on a case they put up as to that’s what they do for everything or that’s who they are as a person. You don’t know the ins and outs of the situation. And I think everyone is just so keen to slate each other. And that’s why we’re so weak as a body against things like NHS dentistry and that sort of thing, which has the potential to be such a positive for the general public, and that we’ve allowed the government to just cut, cut, cut the the budget to do that. And now it’s in such a state of disrepair that it’s very difficult to work in.

[00:29:07] So what we need to be more united.

[00:29:10] Absolutely. But there’s so much negativity. I mean, it’s horrible the way in which individuals Dental specifically I see speak to each other on the main Dental forums on Facebook. It’s just horrible. I mean, I’ve just stopped watching them altogether because it’s just atrocious the way that people treat each other. I don’t I don’t it’s so funny. I mean, we have a WhatsApp group with some some of my dentist mates. And you can actually see when when the trolls have broken up for Christmas, because you could do all those forums where they would just slating other dentists, Instagram, Dental, his young dentists, whatever. Whoever you take your fancy Snapchat dentists, I don’t know who the next one is going to be, but it was as soon as they broke up for Christmas. They obviously don’t have anything else to do it. And they just started just keyboard warriors going ahead and pulling that negativity out on social media. So I don’t see what point is, to be honest.

[00:30:00] Seinabo Mukataa, one of our earlier guests, beautiful comments at work. We talk about the devoted herself to be becoming patient centric within minimally invasive dentistry. What about talking about your composite work? Because in the end, just right now, you are here because of the fact that you’ve come up on our on our radar on the many small Makov radar of really beautiful composite bow. Thank you. It really is. Do you feel like that can be taught? Do you feel like there’s a there’s a. Talent there?

[00:30:32] Yeah, I’m sure

[00:30:33] We can grapple with this a lot. You know, we teach 30 dentists a month on this subject. And some people are scared that I don’t have the talent. And we’re always saying if you follow the simple steps, you can get there. But what was your journey from the composite perspective?

[00:30:49] I’ve always had a background where my mom draws paintings and she’s encourage us. And, you know, and art was always something we just found really fascinating. And we’d love drawing. And we were quite particular

[00:30:59] About some of your first Instagram posts. Yeah.

[00:31:02] Yeah, I saw that. So we I’m quite particular about how things are done in my hands. You know, they need to be a certain way. So, you know, when it came to composite, I think that it was literally just practise, practise, practise. And then I’d look at pictures, look at what’s this beautiful smile, what’s desirable. I look to eye shadow the dentist in Beverly Hills, Dorfmann, Dr. Dorfman. And, you know, he had photo, he had wall pictures like you’ve got smiles here. He had lots of these. And I look and just really absorb what was a beautiful smile and then just try and recreate it. And I had a slightly, you could say, OCD approach towards a composite. So if I was doing it, too, I wouldn’t let the patient leave until I was really happy with this that set them up. Have a look. Check with the lobes. Check with everything. Sorry. Can I just sit you back down? Can I just push that bit? And and that was kind of how I was doing. And then and then rewarding feeling of their reaction. And it’s addictive when patients are that happy, you know, about something.

[00:32:08] Andrew Wallace, one of the teachers from the IRS Academy, talking about his practise in Northern Ireland and teaching

[00:32:17] Evolved the practise of 16 years or you worked there for a bit?

[00:32:20] No, I bought it, I think, and I bought it all moved on scene, so I didn’t really know what I was buying. How does that happen? It was kind of there was no real due diligence done then in terms of buying a practise. You got to see the books. You put call in once or twice to meet the staff and a couple of patients. And then you go, you know, there wasn’t a great deal of choice, private practise. And then more than a dozen these were kind of few and far between. Most practises were NHS. You know, they’ve been talking about changing the NHS system in Northern Ireland for like 20 years. And I saw, you know, six years ago that, you know, I don’t want somebody else having such control over what I do. Yeah. You know, I don’t want to be in a system where the NHS can decide to change what they want to do and not be locked in, because I’ve spent a fortune on an NHS practise.

[00:33:08] 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. Open-ended still just by a practise. But those books look good, but they get stuck in.

[00:33:20] That was that was pretty much the thought process. What was definitely managing people. Yeah, that’s the hardest thing. Managing staff, trying to see things from their point of view can be challenging. We’ve we’ve had some brilliant members of staff in the past. We have a great team right now. We’ve been through some challenges with the team in the past, like every team does. Sure. But is there still the other partner in place as well? So he retired 10 years ago. So it’s just you and Fiona now. So I’ve thought since had another partner. Oh, a different guy. He he he did an amazing thing last year. He emigrated to Australia. Oh, so you very Celler, you talk about big changes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he did after Vht. He worked in Australia for a year with his wife. And they’ve been out there on holidays many times and they decide they want to give it a try. So the way the visa thing works in Australia, if he hadn’t done it last year, wasn’t going to happen. So this practise, Salz, Heiss Afterwork Associates and an Australia team, another chaperone. So they’ve been a bit of a transition in the last six months for killing. Seems to be coming on Covid.

[00:34:29] And was that like a due diligence process, did you that this guy before he bought in or.

[00:34:33] Actually, yeah. Craig, my partner, just went to Australia. He was very, very open about the whole thing. And yeah, well, essentially him and I sat down. He didn’t advertise the practise. He spoke to his accountant. And we are pleased with the same outcome. And he said, well, I know this chap seems like a nice guy wants about practise. I happened to mention to another young dentist, good message me about sort of what sort of private practises were were looking for associates that at that stage between us, we kind of decided who would have been the best fit for the practise, I think. So he was obviously brilliant with the whole thing.

[00:35:08] And what were you given first refusal to do across your mind? Yeah, I think

[00:35:11] Fusel, but I quite I, I must have met Craig that a lot of the running of the practise. Ok, particularly with me travelling a lot. And I work in a referral practise one day a week as well. So my focus isn’t always on 100 percent on the practise. So you need some. I do. I do. Somebody somebody there was a vested interest wants to see the what is your role in the practise that you have other ideas, guy or something, or the other day, or you do the hiring and firing or what do you do? I try and just do the straight people make me do other things. Yeah. Essentially, I don’t particularly enjoy the I definitely do enjoy hiring and firing and certainly the firing. Thankfully, I haven’t got to do very much of that. The running of the practise I find challenging because I really enjoy them straight down the barrel of the the tactical challenge of it. I don’t really enjoy running a business doing the books. I’m the same

[00:36:15] And so firin talk me through

[00:36:18] Is not even about how to do it. Now we have to do is just the once etwas. I’m well, I’m not going to say a lot about it, but it was a very, 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, very challenging time.

[00:36:39] I find it the hardest thing to do is the hardest part of my job is firing some modelling.

[00:36:44] We had that notion, you know, I really believe in this. Now, if you’re going to fire someone and give them four months pay. Yeah. Because if you know, to make to to sweeten the pill. Yeah. But the reason is because if you don’t, what you do is performance you. They should have been fired four months ago. But you stretch it out, you know what I mean? You going to Payman performance anyway? Oh, no, no. One of the Dental gurus calls that a well poisoner. Oh, is that right? If you have them there, you’re better off just to just get them out, get them out. But what I’m saying is just to make it easier for yourself, give them a load of hay, because I’ve been through this situation where we haven’t fired that person. Right. And just stretched it out, stretched, you know, how long would this prolonging the pain with this particular person? How long extra was she there that she should have been out, you know? So there was there was a degree of challenge and difficulty going on with this particular person. But there was one particular incident which brought everything to a head. And we had to involve a huge consultant. And, you know, the first decision that they made was, OK, she can’t be in the premises. So I had to, you know, walk in and say, OK, you’re leaving now. And I went through the whole dismissal process and impartial.

[00:38:00] So you had to deliver the news, right? Yeah. When did you find out that you were going to deliver the news from all the time delay between you saying, I’ve got to do this job and doing the job?

[00:38:12] It was within 24 hours. Ok, did

[00:38:14] You have the conversation a few times with yourself in your head?

[00:38:17] It was a fairly abrupt conversation, was it? And kind of had to be because of because of the

[00:38:22] Because of the situation. Yeah.

[00:38:23] And this was one of the times when I couldn’t lean Craig because he was actually off in Australia on holiday. So it was one of the few times that was kind of left flank, sort of. Well, you know, there was a lot of matches and emails and phone calls and things, but was done to me to deliver the bad news. And it’s definitely not a thing I’d like to repeat. But, you know, sometimes that’s life to somebody that’s not

[00:38:49] Payman performance pay for anyone you’re going to fire. They’re not going to lie. And they listen to this podcast.

[00:38:56] I’ve never done it. But what I’m saying, the idea I’ve certainly had people stick around for four months longer than they should because we didn’t get round because making excuses, la la la la, la, la. You know, we’ve we’ve had some great team members and we found 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 some of the best. Yeah, well, not hope to do well. And oftentimes, if somebody is not flourishing in your business, it often takes a change of situation for them and they they’ll flourish somewhere else. So it’s I try not to I will try and convince somebody to stay if they’ve made up their mind to go, I suppose. And you did an interesting one medical doctor, the one he focussed in on, you know, facial aesthetics, young guy who’s already gone a long way in that in that field, going for the dentist as well, to open a practise either as a boy or something. You’ve never been a boss. I guess you’ve had people about

[00:39:58] To manage people. Yeah, but never been a true

[00:40:00] About what kind of boss do you think you’re going to be? I do.

[00:40:03] No, I’m actually really looking forward to that. I think I’ll be fair. I want to be fair. I want to be inspiring. And I want people I want to help people achieve their goals in work and outside of work. You know, one of the nicest things I’ve heard within my industry is a clinic owner. Whoever comes in for whoever she takes on, one of the first things she asks is what is you would like to achieve outside of work? Came in and said, you know, I want to buy my own. She goes, okay, we’re going to work towards that, you know, get help. And she did she helped to achieve a dream by helping us structure things financially. That’s the kind of direction I want to go in

[00:40:39] Fernholz

[00:40:40] When it’s needed. Yeah, I think come back to that patient experience if there’s any compromise on the quality of delivery of anything to the clinic. I think that’s what would be fun.

[00:40:51] About this being Prav, we talked about the differences between the way he runs his people and the way I run my people. Sure. And, you know, I think actually when I really come down to it, I’m probably better employee than I am as a boss. I agree as as an employee

[00:41:07] Stepping into a community

[00:41:08] To say I simply know it’s just kind of having someone to report to. Yeah. By the way, I love being, you know, my own boss, but not having someone to report to the external, you know, someone checking up on me is actually good for me. Yeah. And I’m very close with my team. But at the same time, when you’re very close with the team is hard to tell them off. Yeah, of course. And we were talking about hiring and firing. Very difficult thing. But it’s interesting because it’s very different working with people when you’re all working for someone else. Yeah. And you think you’re great. You know, even though it might be your nurse or your at the same time, you’re not the boss. Yeah. And actually being their boss.

[00:41:49] Yeah, I can totally see that. No, it’s stepping into new water for me. I’m fully aware how I like to think about it in my head is, you know, I do want to be a bit like, you know, friendly, you know, uninspiring form, you know, my employees. I think the one thing the one thing

[00:42:11] I want to be is

[00:42:14] Like I just have to laugh, though, when you said this is so inspiring.

[00:42:20] I came here from Manchester this morning. I was at Payman office before he was. He lives three minutes away.

[00:42:26] Yeah, but I went to bed before you woke up. I just woke

[00:42:31] Vinicio the tennis table. That’s great stuff that the employees. Right. But yeah, I guess, you know, like you both got your own business. I think I see this fledgling business is like another child. I think when anyone messes with that, I think that. Really? Yeah. Yeah. Bug hell out of me and I’ll protect that little child as much as I can.

[00:42:50] But you know how sometimes your kid does something silly and you and you start making excuses for your kid?

[00:42:55] Well, see, I don’t do that well.

[00:42:57] Oh, it’s a friend or, you know, some some. You end up making excuses for your business as well. Yeah, it’s true. I catch myself doing it all the time. Yeah. Well, if you got a longer term plan than this one clinic, you’re thinking lots of them might. Yeah, well, you know.

[00:43:11] No, no. That’s the ambition. I’d love to. Yeah, I’d love to. You know, if the brand works, if the patient journey works, yeah. I’d love to take this to other sites 100 percent. That would be the dream. But I want to make first one work.

[00:43:25] That thing from all these barsh. Good friend of mine for years and years. Real trail blazer when they open that practise, funny, brandied loads of Invisalign, you know, I still think they did huge line open days. Yeah. So what was the first thing you did marketing wise to get some first few patients to do so? I think we did. We were looking at I think we looked at radio ads as a great way to look at trying to bring people in at the at the get go. Yeah. From the get go. So, yeah, it was a mentor. I mean, you have interest. We had interesting conversation with various different people. And actually. No, sorry, let me liar. I did we didn’t do radio at the beginning. We did that a little bit later. And what we did do is we just did some simple stuff, which was just basic, a little bit of brand awareness around where we were. Do we just had a few posters lined up. We decided to do some stuff with the train stations and things like that around it as well. And that’s. Yeah, flipflops. Yeah. If you apers we did a little bit of newspapers, not as much as we hoped we would, but then I think when we did our first Invisalign open day back in January 2009, that’s what we use when we use railyards for the first time. And that was that was what really kicked us off after that. We’d opened in November 2008 and we had a. It’s been a bit of a soft opening for two or three months leading up to that. But then after that January, it’s just kind of been we just went pretty much for.

[00:44:43] On which station was it? Station called Radio City. The one with the tower. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so what was it? It was it was it just like as you would expect anything was. No, it was just when we when we did it, it was like a very specific advert for Invisalign Open Day that we were going to do business in a certain price and it was going to be on this day at this time, they wanted to come in and they had to sort of they had to call up and make an appointment to come and see us on that day. But you still do radio advertising went on sporadically, sporadically. I think that, you know, there’s better ways to look at trying to spend that kind of. How does it cost to advertise on the radio in Liverpool? To be honest. And cost as much or as little as you want. All right. It’s like if you had a budget for five in a month, you can get out of for five in Panama. You want to spend a million Kutiman. They they give you this as well to that as well. So, you know, it comes down to sort of it comes it just comes down to sort of how much you really want to look at trying to spend. It’s great for creating awareness. You know, we because we’ve been doing it for so long, you know, people do kind of recognise us on the radio. We have got a jingle. Yes. Don’t sing it. No, no. I’m on Invalidly. Happening, what’s your tagline, what’s your tagline? One smile at a time where individual smiles must deliver.

[00:45:58] So we just rewind a little bit. The name Ollie and Dash. I only she found out about this, but 10 years later, where it

[00:46:04] Came off the minimalist humanity.

[00:46:06] Yeah, I think it was then. So I’m sure a lot of our listeners are in the same position as me. Would you just like to enlighten us? Yeah. Straighteners? Yeah.

[00:46:15] Is there a tag line to follow? No. No. Okay. Well, Nowata. So the name only Joshua. Does that come about? So my real name is Harambee. Very few people can really say properly first time around and it’s easy to get this question. Sorry. Say that again. So what happened was, is that when I first when I was first born, my sister can say my full name properly. And I stood by my sisters to this day for this. But so she read of a choice at the time, and she started calling me all of them. So for my entire family, all I heard him call me Ollie. And it’s just it’s just that’s the name, that state. When I went to the school in Saudi, my name was Oliver saying it was just basically that’s what it is, is like my yearbooks all have all of us together, but it’s quite something. But then when I when we moved when we moved back to England, I was like, you know, all of this thing does have a reinterred. Yeah, you’d be surprised. Right. But, you know, it’s when we moved back to when we moved back from Seattle and moved into you moved back to Yorkshire, you know, it was made aware to us, as I maybe should start using a real name now and then. So I use my real name. And then that eventually just got shortened down year after year, down to like three letters does.

[00:47:15] So I went through sort of school and uni be known as dyes, and that was fine. I had no problems with that. But we we’re coming up with names at the clinic, Sudar. She’s my business partner. Naturally, her nickname is Dosch and Incense. Yeah. So that made sense. How did you meet us? Again, we used to work in the same clinic together. She was OK. Yeah, she was she was working in another clinic at the time, and it just came to a head where we just felt that we just need to do our own thing. And it just you know, we we have a great business relationship and it works really, really well. We’re business partners first and then a friend seconds, which I think works quite well for both of us, to be honest. You must be nice before she does exist, right? Yeah, she does. She’s there on our website. Sorry. The size of those. Yeah. No, it’s it’s quite it is quite interesting. I get called Ohly and there’s some sort of Jekyll and Hyde thing that I have seen. You’re the Colonel Sanders of the brand somehow. And listen, I’m the sons of Enlightened. I’m astonished does more than I do in light of the Prav Prav world will attest to that.

[00:48:14] You say more table tennis. Yeah.

[00:48:16] Somehow I didn’t do it on purpose. No. Did you say? No, it’s definitely it’s definitely you know, it’s you know, we both have different lives. You know, it’s she’s she’s got a lovely husband. She’s got two at the time. When we first opened up, she had two really young boys. Karen, her youngest had I think was probably less than a year old, I think, when we opened up. So her time I mean, her time, she wanted to maximise between a family and the clinic. So she had no time for any other opportunities are all in. Dyche may have looked to try and afford. And so basically, I was just you know, it was just me. I didn’t I don’t have any sort of dependents. I don’t have any family. And it was just basically, you know, whenever one of these things kind of came about, when an opportunity came about, I’m like, yes, I’ll just say yes. And we’ll work out how to do it later, which is kind of when it’s happening. And the mother of the Susie Susie takes care of the staff. Yeah. Issues. She takes care of a lot of the patient contacts as well. Are you involved with the staff matters that she was literally handle that? You know, one of the things that one of the challenges that we’ve had as a business, as we’ve grown, is that we’ve grown from an idea into an actual business. And, you know, the process of being a business business is that you need to be able to look at delegating things in and amongst yourselves. And Elaine Meaux, I really enjoyed this conversation in in talking about Haitian’s experience and what she learnt from the restaurant business,

[00:49:36] What you think and working in the restaurant taught you about dentistry and working with patients. While the parallels there in terms of when you were 14, you were there? I was brought up in a typical cornershop environment. I was serving customers from the age of 10 and 12. I was telling people they were too young to buy cigarettes and alcohol. Yet despite being 11 years old myself, and that taught me a lot about communicating with people of different backgrounds, ages and everything and to become a good communicator. Can you draw some parallels from what you learnt growing up in the restaurant business industry, family business, and how that’s helped you to become a bad thing

[00:50:16] Is definitely mould that it’s not particular as a dentist, but as a person in general. It’s all about service at the restaurant is the same as a patient journey. And at the end of the day, you want are making customers feel special just as you make your patients feel special. I mean, for me, if I go into a restaurant, they can have the most amazing food, like just like a dentist can have the do the most amazing feeling. But at the end of day, it’s a feeling the food’s food. And actually what MOZA is the experience itself. If you’ve had a bad experience coming in, people and your waitress isn’t addressing you. And not not there to serve you, then automatically you’re a negative, and it doesn’t matter how good the food is that you serve. Always the customer service ranking. And you know what? The other day for my patients is we there are a lot of dentists out there who we even though we’re at the same level, we can provide the same filling. But what makes it different is asking the patient how they are their family, making them feel at home and actually being a being a person rather than your dentist and being someone that you can

[00:51:20] Actually if you want one big differences within a restaurant. You can see the food, taste the food. Often the patient has no idea what’s going on in their own mouth. So the communication service side of it is even more important than it is, because, you know, my personal bugbear is when you go to a restaurant, beautiful décor, excellent service, average food, that really, really pisses me off. I draw that was good food and terrible service, to tell you the truth, if I had to choose between those two. But in dentistry, the people who got no idea whatsoever what’s going to be really going on in them, they

[00:51:50] Really don’t know. And I think this is why photography and people say, oh, take photos for, you know, protect yourself against them if you can’t see them. But actually know the most important thing is for me is patient education and seeing, because for me, it’s kind of if you take different pictures of difference that show them exactly what you’re doing. Actually, even if you’re not, it’s not the proudest thing you’ve done. You’re willing to show the patient which to them means. Oh, wow. She must be. If she’s taking pictures, then it must be going to show people. Yeah. Which means that it must be at a certain level. Yeah. And there’s nothing to hide. And patients just I mean, they don’t know what they’re looking at, but they pretend they do. When you show them, what’s the point?

[00:52:30] So what’s your philosophy like? If I was to come for a consultation with you? I think I’ve sat in probably a hundred plus consultations with dentists, just observing, advising and all the rest of it. Everyone’s different. So if I was to come in and have a consultation with you, what would that experience be? If you can talk me through just from start to get a

[00:52:49] Whole half day lecture on this if you want.

[00:52:52] Yeah.

[00:52:53] So and while I worked on patient experience quite a bit, and I developed a protocol over kind of twenty four months of trying to kind of work what works in my hands and being systematic and doing the same thing over four different patients that time with them and went in my latest practise. One of my principal sat me down and was like, do you want to do it, Half-Day and my course? Because actually we can teach the clinical side, but we need people to actually take up that treatment. So what I think nowadays people are is the communication and the soft skill side, because we can do courses on every single clinical part. But what’s the point if you can’t get that procedure in your chair? And so for me, my focus is not on actually educating the patient so that they understand what we are looking for. I can tell you, you need a feeling. I can tell you you need a client, but why is it important to you? And I think it’s important for the patient to realise why we’re doing it rather than what they need to be done.

[00:53:55] Gina Baker, one of one of my favourite people, Invisalign Diamond, Super, plus whatever they call that. And it’s just a really good approach to to managing patient experience through that sort of Abebe approach

[00:54:11] To take Geneina, take me through your Invisalign process. I know for lots of dentists I speak to, they do it in so many different ways from, you know, that patient having a video consultation, seeing a treatment coordinator, having a scan, then seeing the dentist, and then things like dental monitoring, blah, blah, blah. And, you know, the in thing at the moment is, you know, how many Invisalign cases do you do a year and trying to trying to match that up. Right. You see that all over social when everyone has their own sort of approach to it. What’s the typical patient journey for you if a if a patient wants Invisalign?

[00:54:48] How do you find the patient in the first place, you know, to start with that?

[00:54:52] Well, we are very fortunate that we have a very good reputation in the area. So there is a lot of what a mouth. So they can referred by friends or family or I do pay for the Google advertising. And the moment we just about to launch a Facebook campaign as well. Well, yes, I Google a lot of the patients find us through Google. And then what happened? The option to have a video consultation or they have the option to go Face-To-Face. At the moment, we are seeing the video consultations numbers go down with more people that have been to going for a Face-To-Face consultation or something. That is very, very interesting because our website is very clear on how much money we charge. What is expertise might. The cases I have flown, the majority of the patients I’ve come to most is because they are going to be paying the deposit on that appointment when they come for the consultation. So what we normally do, they I have a special day that is only for consultations. No other treatment can be booked in that in that same day.

[00:56:16] And basically, I welcome the patient. I like to be present. I am a very selfish person. And I like patients to know, to get to know me and to me to get to know them. So I will say hello. Explain the procedure. And then I leave the room on my feet and coordinate Savi’s mind that she will then get on to take photos, take a scan, and then answer any questions of the patient has. Then I come in and basically close the deal. And then after that, my if they don’t approve of that ahead with a treatment. They basically go through a mindfreak lymphoid. And she will do follow ups and emails and calls, you know, the normal thing. Well, one thing that is really, really good is that actually my is uncoordinated. So she she takes pride on her numbers, you know, and every month she goes, Jeena, we have done that. So these numbers or that numbers. So she’s also a very enthusiastic part of the process. So so that that helps quite a lot.

[00:57:24] Generally, we do ask very, very similar, actually. We have these what are almost called like pilot, co-pilot consultations, easiest way or post consultation consultations will be done since the nurse handover to nurse nurse takes over. So every nurse is like a mini teco, right. Rather than there being just a specific teco. So each nurse has the ability to be able to graduate. Like you said before, they’re not just doing the suction. Right. They’re involved in the whole process in terms of that process. So when you leave the room and it’s just the nurse and the patient, what are you doing at that point? Are you seeing another patient with another nurse or

[00:58:04] Are you guys considering this? No, I don’t really have the availability to do that because we’re fully involved. No, I get on and do my notes or work on my eggs. Oh, yes, definitely. I utilise that time to get on with things.

[00:58:24] Yeah. So, Gina, when you say close the deal. I, I know what you mean by that, but but how do you differentiate yourself from the next Invisalign user?

[00:58:35] Because for me, the

[00:58:37] Stronger the brand is, the harder it is for the dentists to differentiate themselves. And you said you’ve got a great reputation. I know just by being in that building with you guys once, once someone’s been in there and all that, they get that magic. I get that. But what do you say to your patients about the difference between, you know, having Invisalign at your practise or having it somewhere else? I mean, for instance, what’s the deal in the first place? Is it a budget? That thing? Is that the quality? Like how do you think of it?

[00:59:08] For us, it’s like quality. You know, I have patients call me and say, or are you going to keep me whitening with it? And I said, no, I give you a discount. Why do we give them 20 percent discount on whitening? And I said, what? We don’t need to give you any extra because we know the quality of service. We will provide you funny. As simple as that.

[00:59:31] People thinking Invisalign is Invisalign. It doesn’t matter that we know me and you

[00:59:35] Know, right? Yes. I mean, you know,

[00:59:38] The dentist makes a massive difference, right? The plan makes a difference. Everything makes sense. But you must get patients coming in and saying, well, it’s Invisalign. You know, it’s like,

[00:59:48] Oh, yes, of course. They come and said, oh, well, you only have to press that button and send it to. And I know right now it’s an hour and a half months, and I Prav Payman. I think I’m very fortunate. I count my blessings because when people come to see us, they know who we are. They have already Google those. They have already seen our reviews. They have read. We don’t need to sell them anything at that point. That’s why I feel so fortunate that we have done all this job work beforehand. You know, that is I’ve been I’m going to be there. We love doing this alone, probably since 2000, the four of six years. Well, we’re very fortunate in that like that.

[01:00:45] Jason Smith and I had the privilege of knowing Jason since its very early days in teaching and such a pleasure to see him popping up all over the world on the latest lecture circuits, just this. So one of the loveliest things about my book is seeing people grow. And Jason particularly is granted one of the most famous names in the industry.

[01:01:09] I tell you what, I did this and I always say this to people I meant to. I’ve come to the conclusion right there for somebody in dentistry, and this is only for dentistry. This is probably one of my most profound thoughts. And if you want to be successful in dentistry, you have two main things, and that’s your self, your own mental and spiritual and health, well-being and your own interests and hobbies, which is on equal par with that of your family. Staying married, which is important. One of the most important things. And and giving your kids a significant part of your life and good mentorship, bringing up your kids properly as it used to be called. All right. So those two main things and then you have the little add ons, which may be a lecture career in dentistry, may maybe a practise. Right, but not both, but not both. You can’t shoot well. You can choose. There are four. You can have three.

[01:02:18] Right.

[01:02:19] So choose three out of a four. Now, I’m not saying which is right. Which is wrong is not for me to decide. Some people have chosen then to have a really strong practise, a really, really strong electoral career. And unfortunately, they for me, with my life view, they’re either no longer married to their wives or they haven’t spent a lot of time on themsel, you know, and they’re ill or they can only go out for dinner with American Idol. But industry, in a way, is sad as well to me, but it doesn’t make it wrong. I chose to have a lecture career and spent time with my kids and family and to spend a little bit on myself, because I do have my own hobbies and not have a practise. So that’s basically the highest honour. But I think people who try to do all four might be disappointed because I’ve never yet met one person who has had or for truthfully they might tell you they’ve had or for an on the lecture circuit on the stage, you might see a big even a video or or a big present. Patient about that person having all four, but it’s not true, it’s not authentic. I’ve never met anybody who’s had all four. It certainly isn’t me. If I’m very honest, I probably only have two. And I do neglect myself a bit. I spend a lot of time of my family, a lot of time of my career. And in a way, I neglected myself. You were Prav, probably a little bit inspirational with your weight loss and fitness thing recently. And actually, I well, I’ve been following that. And actually, that’s kind of inspired me a little bit. And I think. You know what? Well, yeah, I think you know what? I’m getting to nearly 50 now. I maybe should think about doing some pull ups because I don’t think I could do one. But yeah, so maybe I only got two out of four Crawfordville.

[01:04:15] Good friend of mine, Lisy, a big proponent of what he calls the ABC concept Love Teeth. I think that’s going to be many more of those. So go ahead with that. Thinking that you were thinking about buying a practise, what were you?

[01:04:30] Yeah. So I want this topic close because I’m always been a family guy. I’ve been away for so long. I just wanted to be at home. I wanted to be back home. So I didn’t want a clinic far away. I looked for a clinic close by, but something that can grow in and being a local boy in the area. I for four years, I knew what people were wanting, but being an associate, I couldn’t change my principal in such a way. I changed him in many ways. And, you know, we still are very good friends. But I couldn’t because he was the content. It was content with what he had. It was happy and, you know, have a great family, a nice home. He was happy, go lucky, whereas I was I’ve always been a bit more of an ambitious guy. And so a clinic came up for sale close by, and it was on the same road as his clinic where I was an associate. So I had that difficult conversation. When I spoke, John said, look, there’s a clinic that’s come available. I managed to find my cousin off from buying it and they did not buy it. True. Yeah. Hundred percent. I went for the viewing and as I was leaving. Now, as me and my mum arrived, my cousin was leaving that viewing of the. And so he was nice enough to let me have the clinic and yes. So long on her because there’s just look is down the road.

[01:05:58] I would love love to buy it. Can I? How do you feel if you said, no, I wasn’t going to buy it. And he goes, me love canal. If you don’t buy, someone else will. So if this is what you want, go for it, because I would love if it wasn’t you, that boy, because I know your vision. I know what you’re capable of, because I was his biggest growth and I was working part time. My not not saying once my cousin did find out, I was making a lot of money for doing that. He did offer me a job and I did take it. So I was working part time at one of his clinics at the same time. And then what do you say you learnt from your cousin? Yeah. So the clinic I was working out for him. I was more or less running for him because, you know, have many clinics that manages I let business alone in. I used to run a clinic which was a mine, right? Yeah. Yeah. I saw the difficulties of management staffing. You know, I was there and because I had invested because it was my cousin’s clinic, if something went wrong, I was treated like my own right. Yeah. You know, it was the best experience I could receive. So I had one guy who was like a mentor to me, taught me everything that I didn’t get from university. And, you know, how NHS worked.

[01:07:17] It was he had no idea. But what was different for me is what I found as I go when I got to know more dentists in the UK is that is UK had more of a fear of dentistry, which was drilled into them possibly from university. I didn’t know. We went talk there. So we when people say to me now, you know, how are you doing root canals in a week? You know, my first year I did X number of crown prince. I just didn’t have any fear in me at the time. Maybe I was, you know, so stupid of me or whatever about that word. Nothing came of it. And one of the teachings I do and I have young dentists and other colleagues come to speak to me, speak to you to speak to your old self. Yeah. You know, I say, look, guys, just have confidence. Don’t be worried. So much know is one is the worst thing I’m seeing in dentistry is the confidence, isn’t there? And that’s what I’m really feel is if all the questions I get from dentists. They’re second guessing themselves, and my hunch is, yes, that’s right, what you’re thinking is right, go ahead of you go. And he said, because I feel as if we could have achieved so much in UK is that as Dental America, you know, we say is five years ahead. But I think our confidence has held us back here

[01:08:36] In the greenwall in that we literally wrote the book on teeth whitening that she doesn’t need any any present day for me. Linda really has been on the most influential people in our industry and still there, you know, for the 20 years that I’ve been in this industry. Linda still right at the top of that industry until you say two dentists who say, you know, whitening isn’t rocket science and it’s not a subject that anyone should, you know, choose to focus on because it’s not real dentistry. I mean, I know what my response is to this with what’s what’s yours?

[01:09:11] So the first thing that the biggest issue I have when I teach dentists is they’ve never bothered to learn about the science of they never bothered to learn about the science of widening the evidence of research or whatever. They do not know whitening. They make it up as they go along. They make random facts and new associate will join the practise. The principal hasn’t learnt whitening. They give them fake news. They say, well, this is what’s done and nobody’s the wiser. And then whitening programmes are not successful because they’re just making it up with random nonsense. But there is a lot of as we know, there’s scientific evidence and there’s certain protocols that need to be followed. So if the dentists take the time to learn it properly themselves, they can be a better teachers for their associates. And the hygiene isn’t everything else. And the biggest problem is that just making it up as they go along.

[01:10:04] So it’s more than just taken an impression and whacking some gel in there and telling the patient to go home, because I speak to a lot of dentists about different whitening products, just mainly from a marketing perspective. Right. And it’s the same attitude that Payman has just said there is that they don’t differentiate between products apart from price. And they say, oh, well, this does the same as that, just the same is that all you’re doing is sticking bleach in there, selling them home, and it’ll do the job. And their results tend to be variables to get some cases that were really well. Some cases my personal experience from whitening, using Payman stuff. And it’s a good free because it’s free. Yeah. Yeah, there is there is that. But only need to wear my tray for a couple of nights and they glow. Yeah. And that’s as far as I need to go, even though the instructions say, you know, 40 nights or whatever.

[01:10:57] The funny thing with in our industry, the weird thing about it is everything’s nailed by percentage. Yeah. And a lot of people like to think they know what’s going on. And so they think, well, sixteen’s that’s like Nurofen. Two hundred milligrams, the same as ibuprofen 200. But you know, the whitening situation is so flexible because you’ve got a physical situation with a tray and then you’ve got a chemical situation with the chemical

[01:11:20] And you had a patient with anatomy and

[01:11:21] You’ve got a patient with a battery teeth or trauma and bruxism. And, you know, the difference in the physical things are going to happen there. And and a volatile liquid. The whole point about it is it breaks down. And so it’s very, very different to, you know, even a composite restoration is much more understandable than lightning. But for me, when someone says it’s not rocket science and all of that stuff, generally that guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But but secondly, we know humans know not just us. Humans know the colour of teeth is the number one concern of our patients. Absolutely. By far, it’s way bigger than orthodontics care is buried. That’s what they care about the most. Absolutely. And often you see, you know, these full examinations that the practises, you know, the salad market or our examinations an hour and a half, two pages on the Internet about what’s covered or we look at the TMJ lymph nodes or manifestation. All of this is good stuff. And yet Shade’s not mentioned in any of them. So the primary concern of our patients isn’t culturally in our examination, and it needs to be. And so lightnings be talked about more, not less. Obviously, I have a got a horse in the game. Right. You know, I’m biased. But this idea that it’s not real dentistry. Well, you’re not treating real patients. If you if you think it’s real dentistry, it’s good

[01:12:46] To listen to all the objectors and the objections, because from hearing all that stuff, you can have a strategy to change to to move forward. So here’s the thing we say. Number one, make it take a shit on every single patient. It’s a science, actually. And that’s part of your exam. That’s the first thing. Why do you do that? And we teach the dentist to just start with basic sheild, which is called A3, just have loads and loads of A3 shades and measure every single patient. Patient wants to know, is that a good thing or a bad thing to start the opening discussion some day and to say, oh, I’m not really I’m not good at selling, so I can’t sell wine. This is not a sales thing. This is a scientific measure. It’s a service, but it’s a scientific measure of measure the A3 or their light or darker than AIDS. You recorded the patient goes, can I see the shade guide? What’s lighter than A3? So my teeth are a three. And the dentist goes, well, 90 percent of patients may have that shade and they go, what’s lighter? And they go, aione. Well, that’s quite a nice shade. Can I have that? Would that be appropriate for me? This is Dental Leaders, the podcast, where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders in dentistry.

[01:14:03] Your host, Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. Thanks for listening, guys.

[01:14:10] If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it

[01:14:23] If you did get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

[01:14:34] And don’t forget the six star rating.

In the final episode of our two-part show with Ian Buckle, he talks about procedural and design-driven approaches to treatment and what it takes to become a complete GDP.

Ian reveals not just one but two memorable black-box moments and talks about replacement events, managing expectations, teeth from Turkey and much more.


“If your patient doesn’t clean their teeth or doesn’t come regularly…you are cruising for a bruising.”  – Dr Ian Buckle

In This Episode

01.31 – Being a patient
04.42 – Procedure and design
10.42 – Replacement events
17.10 – Blackbox thinking
21.46 – Guarantees, expectations, limitations
36.39 – Teeth from Turkey
48.18 – Last days and legacy

About Ian Buckle

Ian qualified from Liverpool University in 1985 and spent time in NHS practice before setting up Buckle Advanced Dental Care in the Wirral.

He is a prolific educator who has run courses with The Dawson Academy and IAS Academy, who has also designed practical training on the core curriculum.

He is also a prolific international speaker who hosts regular study clubs and seminars.

Ian has committed to spending one-third of his time teaching and the remaining time in clinical practice.

He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), The British Dental Association (BDA) and the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI).

Ian Buckle: If you ask me what’s the most important thing that we all do every day is managing expectations.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: Full stop. All right? And there’s all sorts of potholes to fall into, et cetera. But managing expectations is the most important thing. If we look at difference between a bit of whitening and bonding and maybe the most beautiful veneer, I do get patients who are looking at moving a tooth and sticking a bit of filling on but they expect it to look like the best looking veneer. And there’s a gap in there. And I got to try and make sure that I don’t fall into that gap with them.

Speaker 2: This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one-on-one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroud and Prav Solanki.

Payman Langroud: Hi guys. Welcome to part two of Ian Buckle’s two and a half hour epic conversation with Prav. If you haven’t listened to the last part, it would probably make sense to listen to that part first. But in the last part he went into his early life, why he got into dentistry in the beginning of that treatment planning piece. In this part he goes much more into how to go from being a single tooth or single quadrant dentist into a full mouth treatment planner. One of the more educational ones on the ones that we’ve done. Enjoy it. Bye.

Prav Solanki: So Ian, take me through. Curious to learn about what it’s like being a patient of yours. So, my mouth is knackered, yeah?

Ian Buckle: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: I walk in and I meet you for the first time. What happens next?

Ian Buckle: What happens next? Well, one of the things that’s absolutely pivotal to what we do is the complete examination, which is why it’s the first part of the course. And one of the … Pete always used to talk about patients … you talk about trying to set yourself aside. One of the things that will set you aside is if you examine people properly, they’ll say, “No one has ever examined me like that.” And it’s not because it’s [inaudible] Tuesday or whatever it might be but because it’s a thorough examination and it’s what we call a codiagnostic examination. And these days as well it starts even before they’ve entered the practise because how we ask people about what it is they’re looking for, again, we could go on for a lot of time with this stuff. But we have to remember that the patient’s experience is usually dictated by the experience that they’ve had with other dentists. And so they don’t know what to expect from someone like us who we think because I think I’m different.

Ian Buckle: So, we have to let them know that we’re different. But the problem arises when the experience they receive does not match their expectation. And so we don’t want to put people off because I’m a firm believer that hopefully if they come here and they see what we do, they’ll start to get interested. And again, this is not about getting someone in the practise and doing stuff to them. This is about being on their side and it’s a lifetime experience. Again, another reason why Tif and I get on. It’s about being there when the teacher is ready, when the student is ready the teacher appears. I always think that when the patient is ready the dentist appears.

Prav Solanki: Right.

Ian Buckle: And so there may be some patients who are more what we call biologically driven, that they’re mainly, oh, I just want to get a couple of fillings done. Whatever else. Okay. That’s no problem. We’ll get you in. This is what we’ll do for you. This is how we handle it, okay? And then we also get the other ones who are driven by different things and we want to find that out before they come in. However the complete examination is pivotal to what I do because we want to find out what the patient wants and what they expect from us but we also want to find out what they need. That’s my professional duty, I think. And we find out what they want by asking them.

Ian Buckle: And then we find out what they need by examining them properly. And again, a lot of the time, I mean you go to an endodontist, you get a root filling, you go to an implant guy you get an implant. What we’re looking at is what does the patient want? What do I think they need? How can we bring this all together to create a lifetime treatment plan that’s going to keep this patient healthy and well and looking great for the rest of their life?

Prav Solanki: Quest question for you, Ian, right? If you’re a GDP and you don’t have experience in implants or ortho and all of this stuff, how can you possibly give that patient a complete approach? So I understand you’re saying, “Look, if you send them to an ortho,” they’re just going to look through tunnel vision and say, “I need to move your teeth from here to here.” And if you send them to an implant guy he’s going to say, “Right. I need to stick an implant in here and fill that gap.” I guess what you’re telling me is, actually I’m the guy who sort of brings it all together and it’s sort of like the football manager, so to speak. And how do you get all of that knowledge with a level of confidence to be able to do that? Because [inaudible] and I’ll save that question for later, but how would you do that piece?

Ian Buckle: So, let’s just think a little bit differently about this because what you’ve just said is you sound very much like a dentist, Prav. You’re obviously spending too much time with them.

Prav Solanki: [crosstalk].

Ian Buckle: [crosstalk]. So everything tends to be driven by procedure. So what I’m thinking is and I’m a little bit more driven by design, and think about where do I need to get these teeth to make them healthy, work well and look great?

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: And then how we do that depends on what the patient wants, what you can do, whatever else. So you might not know how to place the implants as such but if there’s a space there one of the potential options is to provide an implant. So if we understand where that tooth goes and there’s a space, these are the options that we could provide for you whether you work with someone to do that or whether you do it yourself. If you can understand, let’s say the teeth are crooked and we realise that it’s going to be better to get them aligned and we can understand that, we can work out where those teeth need to go, all we’ve got to understand is where the teeth need to go. Not actually how to do it. And then we can either learn how to do it ourselves or we can work with someone else who likes to do that stuff.

Ian Buckle: But it’s all within the framework. So I see my main part of this as a diagnostician to work out what’s needed and then a treatment planner to design where everything needs to be and then we choose the most appropriate treatment options based on what the patient would like and their budget and all those different things. So, it’s also a very valid question what you ask because particularly from less experienced perspective it’s thinking, it’s too much, where do I start with all this? You have to start somewhere. And one of the things that Tif’s been big on and again I’m big on is to be there as a mentor for you and if you [inaudible] off and you’re thinking, “I know what to do but I don’t know what to do with it after that,” we’re here to help you.

Ian Buckle: And that again has always been one of my big things because I come across a lot of people where it’s like, okay, this is what to do and then you ask the question and no one helps you. So I think it’s super, super important that we have this mentoring and support network which I know [IES] do very well so that we can help with that. And it’s a tremendous way of learning as well.

Prav Solanki: So I’m a big believer in like I think the easiest analogy for me is you take driving lessons and you learn how to drive. When you get on the road by yourself, you learn how to drive. That’s when you really learn how to drive. And so I turned up to a one day course, a two day course or whatever, and go back into my clinic. I pull a patient in. Totally different scenario to the X number of cases you showed me in the course and it’s that one-to-one mentoring where I can take that patient’s records, send them to Ian on the platform, and Ian can say to me, “With all my years of experience, this is how you should do it, kid.” I just think that that’s when the learning really starts.

Ian Buckle: Yeah. Well, [inaudible] exactly. And I was, again, there’s that gap. I mean, I see two sorts of people. There’s the ones who they go on a two day implant course and then the next week they’re putting implants into people’s zygomas and God help you. You know?

Prav Solanki: Yeah. Yeah.

Ian Buckle: And then there’s most of us who go on a course and then we go on another course and then we go on another course and we’re waiting for the perfect patient to come with the perfect treatment before we do anything about it. Patients love the fact I’m not encouraging you to do anything to … because we don’t do anything until we’re sure it’s going to be okay, you know? Patients love the fact that their health professionals are lifetime learners, you know? They love the fact that you’re constantly trying to find out more and they’re more than willing to be involved in those situations. So for us it’s like when you come on our first course, we’ll teach you the overlying concepts. We’ll teach you how to gather the information. We’ll teach you how to do some of the diagnostics. And then the next course, you’re going to bring that stuff around and then we’re going to work out how to put that through the [inaudible] process to be able to get to the next stage.

Ian Buckle: And like you say, we’ve got a platform that’s there as well. So certainly people that came on the last course, they’re able to put stuff on there and let me see what’s going on. I can give them some advice and then they can start to move their cases forward. And the safety net is there for them to feel as though I’ve got someone with me that can help with this.

Prav Solanki: Brilliant. One thing that Tif’s quite big on and I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this is the replacement events. You place a unit on someone’s tooth or you do some bonding or composite or whatever. I guess the first question is, what do you say to the patient? So do you education them about the fact that this thing isn’t going to last forever and we’re going to need to replace it in the future? Question one. Question two, does that fact determine what you’re going to do for that patient?

Ian Buckle: Yeah. It’s a big question, isn’t it? So the answer is … let me try and get this into two pieces for you. So do we tell them? So managing, if you ask me what’s the most important thing that we all do every day is managing expectations.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: Full stop. All right? And there’s all sorts of potholes to fall into, et cetera. But managing expectations is the most important thing. If we look at the difference between a bit of whitening and bonding and maybe the most beautiful veneer, I do get patients who are looking at moving a tooth and sticking a bit of filling on, but they expect it to look like the best looking veneer. And there’s a gap in there. And I got to try and make sure that I don’t fall into that gap with them. They need to understand what they’re getting. And I have a lot of bad analogies that I use for people but sometimes we just have to explain clearly.

Ian Buckle: I mean, I’m fortunate because I’ve got lots of cases that I’ve done. I can say, “This is one we did with bonding. This is one we did with this. This is how it lasts.” I explain to them that nothing lasts forever and that we want to get them through their lifetime with a healthy, happy, functional good looking mouth, not through a wedding. People who have heard my stories, I always say because we get a lot of people for wedding smiles is though well, I want you to look great for this wedding but I want you to look great for your next wedding too, you know? And I say, “Okay, it’s my way. It’s a bit of humour.” But what I’m trying to say, “I know it’s a big day for you but soon enough it will be gone and we don’t want to have damaged anything between times.”

Ian Buckle: So if we understand where the teeth need to go, then we can choose the most appropriate options, okay? Now, there are a lot of times when moving the teeth and then whitening them and bonding is going to be a great way of doing things. I also see lots of patients where, and I’ve done this, so I’m sorry to whoever it is, I’ve spent three years moving teeth and then I had to restore them anyway because they were structurally damaged and everything and I probably didn’t gain any great benefit from it.

Prav Solanki: Right.

Ian Buckle: But it’s that understanding about where’s it going to go in the end? What is it we’re going to do? And that goal, we talk a lot about goal oriented dentistry which is the goal is for me to help you keep your teeth looking great, working well for the rest of your life. And so we need to understand the restorative cycle. Patients need to understand that if we’re going to place restorations, particularly crowns, that they’re going to last a certain length of time and I always tell them that they’re two parts to treatment. One is doing it and the second part is looking after it. And we have patients, I’ve been in this practise 15 years now, so we’ve got patients, I’ve actually got patients who come from our previous practise.

Ian Buckle: We’ve got patients 15, 20 years who are doing great. And they’re doing great because hopefully we did a good job and secondly they come regularly for hygiene. And any little bits and pieces we get to fix them and it’s a lifetime, lifelong relationship. And that’s true whether it’s composite, porcelain, ortho, any of those things. It’s a lifelong relationship, you know?

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: But we have to think very carefully about that restorative cycle and what’s appropriate for them. And then we also have to think about matching their expectation. The patient may want something and we also have our own line in the sand that we can draw, which the patient may want great big white veneers that stick out but you don’t have to do that. Let them go somewhere else if that’s what they want. So you can have your line of judgement that you think is appropriate for them but certainly if I’ve got a younger person, the less dentistry and the more enamel that I can preserve, the better it’s going to be. But there is a big misconception with patients and with dentists as well that as soon as you mention the crown word, that you’re drilling the bajebus out of a tooth. Most of the crowns that I do are on structurally damaged teeth or teeth that are small that need to be made bigger.

Ian Buckle: And I can do crown preparations without doing a lot of drilling on the tooth. I’m still trying to maintain as much of the tooth substance as possible. So I think the answer to your question is yes, it makes a big difference to me how we go about that. We explain to patients very, very carefully. And I have my, well, my eldest will be 31 next week which makes me feel really old and so a lot of people I see particularly in that era where maybe things are starting to go wrong and they’re looking for veneers or we can talk about composite bonding in a bit, hopefully, but whatever it is and I go, “Well, you know what? Because one thing is when you walk in the door, I’m going to treat you as if you’re my pal or in your case I can actually say, ‘Like one of my children.'” And that’s not something that I would do to them.

Ian Buckle: And okay, maybe you would do it. But certainly back in the cosmetic days, I used to see a lot of dentists who were placing veneers and walking around with braces on their teeth themselves. Be honest. We talk about the daughter test and patients will often ask you, “What would you do?” And I think that question is extremely valid and puts a lot of trust in you. And I think you should be very, very honest about what you would do. So, what we do is based on managing their expectation, the condition of the teeth and also the fact that this is a lifetime venture that we’re trying to get through.

Prav Solanki: We will come to composite veneers. That was the question I was saving, actually, that I mentioned earlier, Ian. But before we jump into that, what’s your biggest clinical mistake? Where you’ve looked back and though, “Oh, crap. I’ve really mucked up there” If you look back over your career, what would you say your biggest clinical mistake is?

Ian Buckle: Oh. Gosh. We haven’t got enough time. Yeah. Anyone that tells you, “Everything is great,” isn’t doing dentistry, I think. This is probably not the clinical mistake but my biggest mistakes are probably being in managing expectation or not managing expectation. My biggest mistakes have probably been and me being much more enthusiastic about their treatment than the patient was. Clinically I remember one case where I got really caught out and it’s someone came in with a lot of old crowns on their teeth and this is why diagnosis is so important and how diagnosis can be really difficult. But someone came in with a lot of crowns on their teeth and they were real ugly crowns. And I did some restorations for his sister and [inaudible] quite nice.

Ian Buckle: And actually their 15 years old now. So it’s a 15 year old story. And I definitely didn’t know as much as I know now and I didn’t know … I probably wasn’t as good at handling things as I was back then. But he wanted them to look like his sister and I was thinking, I saw it more as a mechanical thing. And I did my due diligence but there was old crowns on there. They were deficient, et cetera, et cetera. And I set up pretty well and he continued to destroy them. And the reason why and you can make me feel as bad as you want about this but the reason why that I later discovered was a drug habit. And this was a patient who was mainly noncompliant with a problem. And I didn’t find out about his problem, which maybe is defensible. But I also just thought that if I fix the mechanics, well it’ll be good enough to sort this guy out because whatever.

Ian Buckle: And actually, you know what? If your patient doesn’t clean their teeth or doesn’t come regularly or doesn’t do those things, you are cruising for a bruising. You know?

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: So that was one of my biggest mistakes. Another one that springs to mind was actually something similar in some ways because it was a daughter. Not a young daughter but someone in their 30s. And they had some issues. And as a part of it was that their teeth were awful and we went in and we restored them as nicely as we possibly could. But there was all sorts of issues between the daughter and the mother and whatever else. And sitting in the middle of that was not a pleasant place to be, particularly when their relationship fell apart. And guess who gets the blame when that happens?

Prav Solanki: [inaudible].

Ian Buckle: So, we can teach you some great dentistry but I also think when we come back to that complete dentistry thing, the complete examination, it’s about getting to know your patient. And these things, it looks like a long process but you can actually squish it up quite a lot if you’ve got someone who is ready to go, understands all those things. You can get a lot of stuff done quick. But there are sometimes and some people when you want to take your time. And you want to take your time because you want to get to know them. So, this is not about … I mean, I know I’ve heard Tif talk about it which is it’s fine if you leave the practise after two years. That’s fine.

Ian Buckle: I see my patients in the gym. I see them in Tesco’s. I don’t want to be hiding behind the Corn Flakes because something went wrong. So, it’s a different perspective. So get to know them. Date them before you marry them. Probably someone told me a long time ago. I think that’s a good expression. And you don’t have to jump in and do everything all at once. Having said that, if the patient is ready and everything is good and everything is in place, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be moving forward.

Prav Solanki: So how long do you guarantee your work for, Ian? Someone comes in and has some units fitted for example. How long would you guarantee that for? [crosstalk].

Ian Buckle: [inaudible]. Well, okay. So I’m glad you said that bit at the end. What do I tell them? So what I say to them is, “Why? What are you going to do to them?” All right? And the reason for that is it depends. I have some patients who think that we’ve made them stainless steel super reinforced teeth that now they’ve spent all this money they can do whatever they like with them. And that is not the case. So, I tell them that the second part of their treatment is looking after it and we will be fair and reasonable about anything that happens in the first five years provided they keep up their schedule. You know?

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: And if they don’t keep up the schedule [inaudible] better off. And also as well things with composite and bonding, I usually tell them, “It’s going to last a few years. Maybe three to five years with porcelain.” I think we’re supposed to say, I don’t know five years or something. But I usually say five to 10 years or something like that. But I also tell them that I have cases that have lasted 15, 20 years because we did the post-operative care.

Ian Buckle: And in reality, and again I know it’s a problem with people and I know you want a straight answer, so that’s what I tell people. Why? What are you going to do to them? Are you going to be out on the street fighting? Are you going to be eating treacle toffee the whole night? Are you going to take on this programme? Are you going to be sensible? Are you be careful? Are you going to let me know when there’s a problem? Because if you are, then I would expect composites to last three to five years. We’ve got some that last a lot longer. Porcelain, certainly five years plus but we’ve got stuff that’s lasted a lot longer. In reality, I got a lot of great patients where [inaudible] don’t get too many problems.

Ian Buckle: But there’s patients that I’ve helped out more years down the line. Maybe their situation has changed and they need the bit of help. And then there’s patients that come in, haven’t been in a fight three weeks after you fixed them up and that’s not my responsibility. So it’s different things. But I hope that’s a straight enough answer to your question.

Prav Solanki: No, it is. And actually what you said was actually really useful which is qualifying that by, well, what are you going to do with? And educating them. Well, if you look after them, then this is what it is, really. Let’s move on to composite veneers, Ian. It’s a trend at the moment. A lot of dentists are very good at them. Some look better than others. But what I really want to get from you, Ian, is patient comes in and they want to improve their smile, and there’s a lot of dentists doing full coverage composite veneers. And that almost seems like for many a default go-to [inaudible] treatment.

Prav Solanki: And what’s your take on that and where do you think that is going? I’ve spoken to numerous dentists at length on this topic, Tif included, and then some people who teach this, people like Dipesh Parmar who produces some excellent work. But even he himself says that, “These things are not going to last forever and also it’s a helluva a job to put them right if things go wrong.” So give me your thoughts, Ian, in terms of what your feeling is on this movement and where you think it’s going.

Ian Buckle: So, okay. So let me try and [inaudible] perspective then. So nothing is better than health. And the best thing that we can do is to stop people getting mashed up in the first place. Unfortunately the main part that I do is fix people up when they’re damaged. So, helping younger people keep their teeth healthy and looking great I think is super, super important from a very early age. So I mean a lot of the people that I treat are more my sort of age with mashed up teeth and whatever else. So there’s more things that need doing. But we also, you see this age group where we see a lot of this [inaudible] composite veneers or whatever.

Ian Buckle: So to give a perspective over the years, years ago we started off with composite bonding. That was what people did. That was the aesthetic solution. But it chipped and it didn’t look great and whatever else. Then that’s when the cosmetic wave came in and we were able to change that over to porcelain because we could make these beautiful pieces that we could stick on that lasted longer, that look great and that moved to another level. And composite bonding sort of disappeared a bit more. And porcelain took over. And now we’ve got this resurgence of composite. And the question for me is why is that? Well, certainly composites have gotten to be a lot better. That’s for sure. And what we can do with them is great. And as you say, you mention people like Dipesh who are phenomenal with what they can do. But I think there’s also a lot of nonsense talked about these things.

Ian Buckle: So, when you glue something to someone’s tooth, you’ve altered that tooth. And they’ve then got something to look after. And one of the things, I always talk about health and function and aesthetics. And if you make a bad restoration of any sort, and you can’t clean it, you’re going to make problems. You’re going to have … then we’re going to start to have [inaudible] issues. And then like I say, nothing looks better than health and we don’t have health anymore. We’ve then got a composite that’s chipping and breaking because we just did it because that’s what’s in my toolbox. But I didn’t understand the aesthetics of the functional side of things.

Ian Buckle: I see a lot of patients that are having stuff done and the story is, this is chipping and breaking and this and this and this. And a lot of it is because the function isn’t correct. And that’s not just because I’m a functional guy. It’s just a tooth. If you think about it, someone comes in with worn teeth and they go, “I want a nice looking smile,” and you make their teeth longer, you alter their guidance, you alter their envelope of function and we usually recreate the problems that they’ve had maybe even more and they’re just going to break things off.

Ian Buckle: So, this is where it comes back to this idea of complete dentistry. And then once we understand the design of the tooth, so if we need to provide something to make it look nicer, where does it need to go? Is it going to be healthy? Is it going to be functional? And then what’s an appropriate way of doing it for the patient? The simplest way might be to move the tooth, bleach it and bond it. That would be a phenomenal way of doing it. Sometimes the teeth are not in great shape and we need to put a laminate over the surface and the laminate on the surface could be composite or it could be porcelain, and that can depend on the situation. It could depend on the budget and the patient needs to understand what they’re paying for and what they’re getting and what they’re not getting.

Ian Buckle: Or it could depend a little bit on the age of the patients, et cetera, or their expectation. So these things don’t last forever. The underlying principle should be tooth preservation because whatever it is we do is going to need something [inaudible] into it in time. So there’s two aspects that I’d like to stress for this. One is the planning. I always say two and then I’ll probably give you about six, by the way. So one is the planning. So if we understand where the teeth needs to go, then we can choose the most appropriate way. Not just go, “Oh, you want a nice smile. I’ll give you this.” Okay?

Ian Buckle: Yeah. I’ll give you a nice smile. I’ll give you Invisalign. You want a nice smile? I’ll give you veneers. I’ve even seen, you want a nice smile? I’ll take your teeth out and give you an all-on-four. Some of that stuff is disgraceful.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: So it’s about the design. It’s all about the diagnosis. It’s all about the treatment planning. It’s all about getting to know the patient and then working out what it is we need to do. Where do these teeth need to do and what’s the most appropriate way to get them there? And if composite is a good way, perfect. If porcelain is a good way, perfect. But we have to know that our goal is to preserve the tooth underneath, okay? And if you’re going to do a veneer of any sort or any sort of adhesive restoration, there’s one thing that will make your work last longer than anything and that’s preservation of enamel, okay?

Ian Buckle: So, there’s two ways of preserving enamel. One is not to cut it off, all right? Which I strongly recommend if we can help it. And then another way is, oh, well, we’ll just make your teeth bigger and it’s now there, but that is not aesthetic in my opinion. It is not healthy because it’s usually difficult to clean and it’s often not functionally correct either. So it’s ticking my boxes as you can probably tell.

Ian Buckle: Now, if I’ve got a tooth which has lost the volume and we need to recreate that volume and maybe recreate a little bit of length, I could do that with porcelain, the composite, anything you’d like. And that’s going to depend on maybe the budget of the patient, maybe what other restorations they’ve got lying around. All sorts of things like that. The expectation of the patient. So, again, too often we’re given a procedure and then that’s all that we see when the patient walks in the door. And how do I … I’ve got the hammer, show me the nail. You know?

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: What I’m trying to say is, “Let’s think about why this happened in the first place.” Let’s think about what we need to do to correct this. And then once we’ve decided what it is we need to do to correct this, then let’s think of the most appropriate way of doing it for this patient. Not for patients but for this patient who is sitting in my chair right now. I got patients where actually they may be better off with porcelain but they’ve got a lot of issues going on. Maybe they’ve got a lot of functional issues. Maybe they’ve got some [inaudible] issues. Whatever.

Ian Buckle: And we’ll restore them in composite because we want to make sure that everything is going to be okay. And they also know that we can always move forward to porcelain later on, because composite is not going to last as long. It isn’t going to look as great, but it’s relatively easy to fix up if something goes wrong with it. Porcelain is much trickier to fix up if something goes wrong with it. So, I do have patients … I mean, I’ve got patients where two of them spring to mind straight away where they’re big functional cases, a lot of wear. We’re probably both a bit frightened about doing porcelain which is actually more suited to them. And we built them in composite and they come regularly for hygiene and 10, 12, 15 years later they’ve still got the composite in there because it’s doing well.

Ian Buckle: But it’s doing well because it was done in the right place with the right function and the right health and the right aftercare. And I think one of the things, oh well you can have this because it’s reversible. Reversible? If I stick a composite to your tooth, I’ve reacted the surface. If I stick a piece of porcelain to your tooth, I’ve reacted the surface. What’s the difference? I don’t know. The mistake that people think is oh, with a veneer or a crown I’m going to chop your tooth up. Actually, most of the time if you’ve lost tooth surface I’m actually going to put stuff on. And this is the importance of what we call the solution-driven preparation.

Ian Buckle: So if we understand the design and we understand where the tooth needs to go, I then understand what it is I need to remove or what I need to add to bring the tooth back to full aesthetics and full function. So a lot of the teeth that I treat have lost length, they’ve lost volume. And so we’re mainly adding things on. And if I’m adding things on, I mean to be honest with you whether I do it directly or indirectly is based on whether I’ve got a path of insertion. So I mean composite is out there. It’s a great material but it’s just got to be used in the right circumstances.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: And people have to understand the limitations of it. Given a choice, I’d always keep a healthy tooth but some of the teeth that I see, particularly worn teeth, all the enamel is crazed and you can bleach it and bond it as much as you like. It’s going to look like a clean kitchen tile. You’ve made the effort but it still looks a bit average. And that’s when you need to put something over the surface to make it look nicer, and that could be composite or porcelain. But we are reacting the surface and we’re usually recreating volume. What I want people to think about because I think this is mainly what you were asking me about is a lot of the sort of Love Island type stuff which is put this in, put it on top of your teeth. Yeah.

Ian Buckle: And I say it doesn’t usually fulfil functional issues. If the patient likes it … well, I see a lot of things and I don’t understand why people do those stuff to themselves. But if the patient likes it, okay, that’s cosmetic. It’s not aesthetic but it’s cosmetic. If it doesn’t work well it’s going to break down and if it’s not properly contoured, you’re going to have biological issues. So, I hope that’s some sort of answer.

Prav Solanki: [crosstalk].

Ian Buckle: So I think it’s a great thing. And composite, I love composite. It’s a great way of fixing things. But it’s just not the answer to everything. Everything, it should be taken on its merit.

Prav Solanki: I was fortunate enough to visit your practise. I think it was pre-pandemic, Ian, and there was a couple of veneer units sat on your lap. Well, on your bench, shall I say. You picked them up and you showed them to me. I was a little bit frightened to touch them because they looked so fragile. They were absolutely wafer thin. But beautiful as well and looked so natural. So, I can say that I’ve definitely seen the work that you do and deliver and it looks fantastic. But I was very surprised at how thin they were.

Ian Buckle: Yeah. The thing is, I mean again, I mean you see some of these things I was going to say take your teeth. I’m not going to say that, but-

Prav Solanki: Why not?

Ian Buckle: There’s some great dentists in Turkey as well. But what I was going to say is a lot of the time when people do a veneer, they don’t have … if you said to most people, “Do a veneer,” they’ll do a preparation that’s out of the book. The preparation that we need to do should be based on the final design. And talk of Turkey teeth, Galip Gurel, great dentist in [inaudible] in Turkey. Fantastic dentist. Anyone who wants to know about veneers, look at Galip’s book and take his courses, et cetera.

Ian Buckle: But he came up with this approved … he’s just good at coming up with names as Tif is. He came up with approved pre-evaluative temporary restorations. And so what that is, if you’ve got a patient and they’ve lost volume and maybe length from their teeth, we make the wax up and then we can put the trial smile over their teeth if you like. And this is not a new thing. This is not something that [DSD] invented by the way. It’s been around for a long, long time. And you put that over their teeth and then the patient can approve them before we’ve done anything, okay? And then we can also treat them as well to make sure that we get everything just right.

Ian Buckle: And then that temporary restoration is actually going to be our guide for the preparation of the tooth because we’re going to prepare through the temporary as if it was the tooth. And very often when we do that, we end up doing very, very little preparation for the tooth at all. And these are all things that we teach on the course as well. We talk about the design and we talk about this [inaudible] temporary way of doing it. We talk about how to do it in composite as well. But that’s how you get engagement with the patient. We can work out some of the features of what I would call key diagnostic reference points. Bless you. Which is putting side ledge, lower incisor ledge and vertical dimension.

Ian Buckle: But we can actually prepare through them and that way we make sure we get the most minimal preparation as possible, that we preserve as much enamel as possible, and that way we’re going to get a much more longer lasting restoration. Very quickly just as a throwaway, you might want to cut this out later. But it’s always a story that reminds me which a few years ago I was at an Indian restaurant.

Ian Buckle: One of my daughter’s gone to the cinema so I went to the restaurant with my wife and my other daughter. So there was three of us in this little booth for four people. And there was a table of guys, a little bit younger than me perhaps sitting on the other table and they kept glancing across.

Ian Buckle: I’m a bit of an old style male. So I’m thinking, “Well, you can take your eyes off my daughter. If you’re looking at my wife, we can come to a deal probably.” And anyways. So this happened. And eventually we finished our meal. And as we finished our meal, one of the guys slid over into the booth, into the spare space and he’s sitting opposite me. And he says, “You don’t remember me, do you?” And I was thinking, there’s two very distinct parts of my life. One is dentistry which I try and be reasonably professional. And the other part was rugby which is a different sort of thing.

Ian Buckle: So some people it’s because I stood on them and some people it’s because I helped them. Anyways, he was very good at it because he left it just … he had perfect timing. He left just enough time for me to start sweating because I couldn’t remember him. And he said, “You see these? You did these 25 years ago.” Best thing I ever did.

Prav Solanki: Wow.

Ian Buckle: [inaudible] he actually called me back. It’s not often that I get lost for words but I sort of didn’t know what to say. And eventually I said, “Well, that’s good.” Because I didn’t know 25 years ago I had no clue what I was doing. So, but the reason why those stayed on was because they were glued to enamel. So even though I had much less idea, there’s a little story, a little anecdote that maybe will help people remember the preservation of enamel is crucial to the success of these bondage restorations. Making [inaudible] restorations makes it much easier for you and the technician.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. Well, we touched on the topic of Turkey teeth. A lot of the clinics that I work with, Ian, they get patients coming through the door saying, “Oh, well I can get that done for five grand in Turkey and I’ll get a holiday. Blah, blah, blah.” And also a lot of the clinics that I work with fix that sort of work as well. So tell me about your thoughts on and I don’t want to generalise. Like you say, there are some very good dentists there as well. But you know what I’m talking about. When people go in there and get in god knows 12 units of whatever for bagging price under holiday all baked into one, what’s your thoughts on that? And I’m actually curious to hear what you would tell a patient if they said to you, “Well, I’m thinking of getting my teeth done in Turkey.”

Ian Buckle: Well, one of the … as I say, we don’t want to [inaudible] everyone with the same brush but I think everyone knows what we’re talking about. And you see, this is like we’re talking about someone who just does implants or someone who just does this, the problem is when you go to those things is they think this patient wants to come and get a smile and wants to leave a few days later with the smile and that’s that. And so there’s already a sort of unwritten agreement between the two that this is what’s expected. And actually I think a lot of the time patients don’t really realise that.

Ian Buckle: And it’s always after the event that they realise what it is. So that’s one thing. I think some of these times they’re just looking to do whatever because it’s going to be done in three days and see you later. And also as well, it’s like a restaurant in a holiday place. Maybe they don’t really care because they’re not going to see you again. So it doesn’t matter. But from a patient’s perspective, what they’ve got to understand is exactly what we spoke about before which is step one is doing it. Okay? And step two is taking care of it. And you and they are not taking care of it.

Ian Buckle: And I’ll tell you [inaudible] my perspective you come to me afterwards, I’m not that interested. I don’t want to take care of stuff that other people have been doing. I like to take care of my stuff and the people that I respect. So that’s one aspect. The other aspect is that in order to make things fit and get the appearance that often it’s much easier to make a big preparation than a small preparation. There is no room for getting things wrong. So they’re much more likely to do that. And cut more of your tooth away.

Ian Buckle: So this is about giving you a good smile, hold the mirror up, see you later rather than show me that in five, 10, 15 years time. So, I don’t think that the patients realise that they’ve now entered the restorative cycle where they will need to get this replaced five, 10, 15 years time and that they may have problems. And we do get patients ring up and say, “I’ve had my teeth done.” So you ask the question, “What would you say to someone?”

Ian Buckle: I say, “Well, this is what I would do for you. This is how I go about it. And this is how we’d look after you afterward. And this is what it would cost.” And then you choose. And one of my good pals and practise advisors [inaudible] told me years ago and I didn’t do it for years because we all know best, but he said to me, “Ian, just talk to the believers.” If someone wants to go and do that, knock yourself out.

Prav Solanki: They’re going to do it. Yeah.

Ian Buckle: I’m looking for the patients and we get them all the time. You say, “You know what? I looked at that.” And the thought of going there and then not being able to take care of things, it frightened me to death. That’s why I come to see you. [inaudible]. Because that’s what I’m looking to do, too. So you might cut down your market a little bit, but I’m not in competition with [inaudible], you know?

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: It’s not what we do. I mean, just as a little aside sort of there’s a question that might have been in there which is what do you tell someone? Because I get people who say, “Oh, I had my teeth done in Turkey. I’m having this problem. Would you take a look? And this, this and this.” I always say, “Well, the first thing that I’d do is I’d say this to anyone who is coming to me from another dentist is the first thing that I’d like if anyone has a problem with my work is for you to go back and get it checked out.”

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: And if anyone persists, then there’s a nice big bill that goes with it. Because I always remember again slightly a funny story or anecdote years ago, perhaps [inaudible] back in the old NHS days, this guy came in. Got a denture. Crappy little denture. I kept telling him, “You should replace this because it’s not good for this, that and the other.” And it was in the NHS that you can imagine it was about 35 pounds or something to fix this. Didn’t want to do it. Wouldn’t do it. Whatever else. Cut a long story short, several, a couple years later he comes back in and we’re doing an exam for him. Takes this denture out. I’m thinking, “I’m sure that … Isn’t he the guy that I keep telling? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I keep telling him to fix this.” And he says, “Oh, this denture is rubbing me. Do you think you could fix it for me?” I go, “Well, did I make it for you?”

Ian Buckle: And he says, “No.” He says, “Actually,” he said, “I was on holiday in India and a guy made it for me there.” I said, “You know what the best thing to do is take it back and get it fixed. I’m sure they’ll do a great job for you.” And that was the first time I thought of that comment and I’ve been using it ever since. Because the truth of that story is as soon as you touch their denture, you’re not responsible.

Prav Solanki: Of course.

Ian Buckle: And that’s a problem for you. So there is a serious side to that as well, I think.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. And I think the takeaway for me from that, Ian, is that part and parcel of it is an education of the patient. Making them understand that doing your dentistry is only part of the journey, right? It’s looking after it as well. And informing that patient and making them aware of things don’t last forever and they need maintenance, right? And it’s a bit like your car. Get it serviced.

Ian Buckle: Yeah. Yeah. Well, [inaudible] I mean as I say, we’re very keen on treating patients for a lifetime.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: And I say, I don’t think that, can you imagine? I mean, how interested I’m going to be if you went and had it done somewhere else. I want to take care of the people who have commitment to me, you know?

Prav Solanki: Sure. Sure. So Ian just to sum up, I’ve got a few final questions that I ask every guest. One of them is that if it was your last day on the planet and you had your loved ones around you, what three pieces of wisdom would you leave them with? Life advice. Call it whatever you want.

Ian Buckle: That’s a great question. [inaudible] talking about dentistry and then you said that. Okay. Ah. So you’re getting me all teary eyed now. So choose carefully.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: In everything that you do. Be kind. I think be kind to each other is important. And always realise, always keep an open mind. I think there’s so many problems get caused because our mind is closed. Our mind is closed to other people’s ideas. And religions and cultures and everything else. And you know what? There’s actually, if we keep our minds open there’s so much we can learn from each other and life would be so much richer for the experience.

Prav Solanki: That’s brilliant, Ian. How would you like to be remembered? Ian was …

Ian Buckle: A pain in the ass.

Prav Solanki: [crosstalk].

Ian Buckle: Well, he tried his best. He wanted to help other people. And it actually probably comes back to what we were talking about before. It was like probably [inaudible].

Prav Solanki: Yeah. Yeah. I think you have, mate. I think you’ve definitely made [inaudible] proud. Without question mate. Without question. Seeing where you’ve come from. And similarly, I share a similar story as well. From humble beginnings. You only connect the dots later on in life and you only begin to realise what they did and why they did it.

Ian Buckle: Yeah. That’s right. It certainly is. It’s one of those things. I mean, fortunately I’m 59 going on 12, so that’s sort of a good thing.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: I try and keep myself fit and well so I can keep annoying people for a bit longer yet.

Prav Solanki: Of course.

Ian Buckle: But there is that perspective that you get as time goes on. It’s, for me, it’s been … it’s really only happened in these last few years where you sort of get this perspective on life which I think is important to us all. And one of the things that we sort of haven’t spoken about too much but I try and talk about it in the course as well and particularly with younger dentists is to encourage them to put some money away and invest in their education and do all those things because I mean, again I know lots of people who have said it before. No one ever goes to their grave when you ask that question. No one ever goes to the grave thinking, “I wish I done another veneer prep.”

Prav Solanki: No.

Ian Buckle: It’s about all the other stuff that happens in between. And it’s about being able to do your dentistry as predictable and efficiently and as profitably as possible so that you can go and spend your time doing the things that you like with the people that you want to spend time with. Too many of us take our holidays 20 minutes at a time because we don’t organise the schedule properly or we spend all our time chasing our tail and then not being present when we got time with the people that we care about.

Ian Buckle: And I think I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years and I’m more than willing to share those as well with people. But I think dentistry is a tremendous profession. I’m in the practise at the moment and the school that my children went to is just back there and I used to be able to drop them off at school and pick them up from school and they’d come here and then I was pretty much always home for bedtimes and reading stories and doing all that stuff. And they remember all that stuff.

Prav Solanki: Of course they do.

Ian Buckle: And they remember all the cool things. And then again, life changes. As they got older, they needed less of me and more of my credit card. And so we tend to have … we still have time together, but we tend to have instead of having a lot of evenings together, maybe we have chunks of time on holidays and things.

Prav Solanki: Sure.

Ian Buckle: And for some reason they still want to spend some time with me and I’m grateful for that. And you never get those things back. So dentistry is a tremendous job if you use it as tool rather than letting it be your master.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. Yeah. And one final question. I promise you it won’t make you teary. And that is that if you had 30 days left, how would you spend it? How would you spend it?

Ian Buckle: 30 days.

Prav Solanki: 30 days.

Ian Buckle: Oh god.

Prav Solanki: Do whatever you want, Ian. You’re not going to say veneer preps and all that.

Ian Buckle: Well, it’s an interesting thing. We move to the things that I like are probably illegal or immoral so I probably can’t mention any of those. But it might be that [inaudible] but I always remember somewhat of a story and I can’t remember who it was. Some monk or whatever and they said, “If it was going to be the end of the Earth, what would you … ” And he was digging the garden. He says, “What would you do?” And he said, “I’d probably carry on digging the garden.” And actually the reason he said that was because I’m actually quite comfortable-

Prav Solanki: Content.

Ian Buckle: … and content with what I’m doing. And yeah. I think I’d do that.

Prav Solanki: Nice. That’s lovely.

Ian Buckle: [crosstalk] not digging the garden, though

Prav Solanki: No, no. [crosstalk].

Ian Buckle: I’m not digging the garden. No. But I carry on doing what I’m doing. I’m lucky I’ve got a great family. I know some great friends. But yeah. There’s lots of nice things spending time on holiday. It’s great to be in different places. But one thing I’ve learned over the years is it’s not about where you are, it’s about who you’re with.

Prav Solanki: Totally agree, Ian. Totally, totally agree. Ian, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for your time.

Ian Buckle: [inaudible].

Prav Solanki: Yep. It will be a good episode, this.

Speaker 2: This is Dental Leaders. The podcast where you get to go one-on-one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman Langroud and Prav Solanki.

Prav Solanki: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and Pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest’s has had to say. Because I’m assuming you got some value out if it.

Payman Langroud: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And if you would, share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

Prav Solanki: And don’t forget our six star rating.

In the first episode of a special two-part show, Prav gets together with dentist, educator and rugby fanatic Dr Ian Buckle.

Ian talks about his early days in a Christian Brothers’ school and finding his feet in NHS practice.

Ian talks us through his conversion to aesthetic, cosmetic and minimally-invasive dentistry, the journey into teaching and his new Complete GDP training course with IAS Academy.

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” – Ian Buckle

In This Episode

01.51 – Backstory
12.35 – Drive and motivation
19.59 – Dental school & education
26.34 – Highs and lows
29.37 – Into work
34.21 – A change of tack
44.51 – Complete dentistry & the cosmetic wave
50.51 – Into teaching
55.42 – Orthodontics and minimally-invasive restoration
58.12 – The Complete GDP

About Ian Buckle

Ian qualified from Liverpool University in 1985 and spent time in NHS practice before setting up Buckle Advanced Dental Care in the Wirral.

He is a prolific educator who has run courses with The Dawson Academy and IAS Academy, who has also designed practical training on the core curriculum.

He is also a prolific international speaker who hosts regular study clubs and seminars.

Ian has committed to spending one-third of his time teaching and the remaining time in clinical practice.

He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), The British Dental Association (BDA) and the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI).

Ian Buckle: And so, if you want to be successful at doing beautiful dentistry, you have to make it work well. And I want to… Pete had a lot of great sayings, and one of them was, “We all have a reputation. It just depends what that is.” And so, he wanted to be a reputation that the guy that could fix things, that made things look great, that made them work well, and that would bring in new patients, but also from a practise profitability perspective, in the nicest possible way, he wanted to fix that patient and get them into a hygiene programme and never have to do too much to them again, because what people don’t realise is when you start doing this stuff and it starts failing, it starts costing you big time.

Announcer: 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 Solanki: It gives me great pleasure to have Ian Buckle on the Dental Leaders Podcast as our guest today, and he’s famously known for running, in my mind anyway, occlusion courses and heading up the European arm of The Dawson Academy during his teaching career. He’s got a beautiful clinic in The Wirral that I can only describe after visiting like stepping into somebody’s home, but then going there and experiencing the latest, state of the art, digital dentistry at the highest possible level in the area, if not the country. And he’s a very down to earth Northerner as well, which is fantastic, so I don’t have to put on my posh London voice.

Ian Buckle: No. That’s for sure.

Prav Solanki: Ian, we usually start these interviews by asking how you grew up. What was your backstory? What was childhood like? So, just take us back to growing up and what that was like for you.

Ian Buckle: I’m sure it was a very normal upbringing in the ’60s. We’re from quite humble backgrounds. My father left school when he was 14 and basically worked at a factory. My mom mainly brought us up and had a little part-time job. We lived in a three-bedroom council house, five of us, with my granddad. It was very cosy, to say the least. We didn’t have much, but we were happy. Didn’t know any better perhaps, and we just went… Growing up, just went along and went to the local school, St. Matthew’s in Clubmoor. And round here, or certainly back in the day in Liverpool, we had the 11 Plus for those of you who remember that, so I was fortunate or unfortunate enough to be smart enough to get through that, and I went to St. Edward’s, which was a good rugby school not too far away in West Derby in Liverpool.
And that was sort of a… I have to say, my mom in particular was very… I don’t think she got the opportunities when she was young, so she was very keen to help us and did a great deal for us educationally with what we could. And then, she encouraged us when we went to grammar school as well. It was a Christian Brothers school, and I know you hear lots of stories about Christian Brothers schools these days, but it was a good experience for me. I don’t think I was a great pupil. I mainly turned up for the sport, and I think like a lot of young men sort of drifted through education with short spells of motivation and mainly just trying not to get the strap as we used to get in those days for not doing our homework.

Prav Solanki: Was that actually a thing, Ian, getting the strap?

Ian Buckle: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah.

Prav Solanki: Tell me about it. I’ll tell you what, when I was at school we had a math teacher called Mr. Hindley. It wasn’t back in the day where that was allowed, so as a punishment we’d get lines, right, and you’d have to get your folks to sign it and they’d find out you’d been naughty. But he gave you two choices. He said, “Prav, you can either have lines or you can have the beater bat.” And the beater bat was a plastic baseball bat that had been sliced down the middle, filled with sand, and then taped back up, and he’d stand you in front of the class and absolutely wallop you across the backside. And my god, it stung. I always opted for that, mate, because I didn’t want my dad to find out.

Ian Buckle: Well, it was done then. It was over with as well then.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. It lasted a few days actually, but you got it over and done with. It was hard to sit down after that. So, tell us about the strap? Did you get it much?

Ian Buckle: I didn’t, because it’s only in later years that I’ve become a little bit more non-conformist I think. My parents did too good a job of making me behave. I’d probably go out my way to try and get approval from people, which is not always the best thing, but I never liked to let people down. So, I wasn’t really the sort that would be getting the strap very often. It was there. It was a leather… It was a proper leather strap, probably about five, six millimetres thick. Some of the guys back then, they’d have these ones that were frayed at the edges, so that when they caught you with that, that would really sting, and you’d get little leather splinters in you.
But I have to say that… I can tell you lots of stories about things that went on then, but I fortunately managed to stay away from it all the time. It was really the… I mean, to be honest with you, for me the strap was… When you talk about writing lines, I mean, it’s more of a punishment because you had to do something and you had to let your parents know, whereas you get a little bit of that and it’s over with. I mean, it depends. I remember my dad telling me… I mean, going back even further, he got caught smoking in the toilet, so it was on the school stage. Pants down. Cane on the backside. And that was more about the humiliation of it, I think, in front of your peers that was designed to put people off. Sometimes I think the strap for us had the opposite effect in that you became sort of the school hero for getting a load of it as you did.
The couple of times I did get the strap was related to not doing homework. I was fortunate. I was quite good at sports and I was playing for the school first team when I was 15, so we had different sort of schedules. So, I would be playing rugby, and then being naughty they’d take you for a pint afterwards. And after one pint, doing French homework didn’t seem the best thing to do, and then you turned up and faced the consequences the next day. That was about it.
It was certainly something that would… For those who were brought up that way, no one wanted to have to say that they’d got the strap and whatever else. So, it was a punishment, but thankfully the sort of school that I went to, most of the time most of us weren’t getting it. But some of the Christian Brothers, teaching was not their first profession really. They struggled a little bit. We got up to all sorts of tricks, which would drive them insane. There’s lots of stories, which are probably not for now.

Prav Solanki: Right. Fair enough. What sort of student were you, Ian? Were you one of these kids that was just naturally gifted and talented, so academically it just came very naturally to you, or were you a grafter?

Ian Buckle: I don’t know that I was either really, to be honest with you. Going to a grammar school, all of a sudden I was taken out of this environment where I just turned up and I was always obviously bright enough, and I think I was fortunate because my mother was a great educator for me, and I was sort of the top of the tree without really thinking about it. And all of a sudden you’re plunged into this environment with people who are massively more intelligent than you, and everyone’s got their strengths and weaknesses and they’re all from different backgrounds. I mean, that to me was a proper education then, because I had to learn that you’re not always top of the pile, that some people are good at some things, some people are good at other. And it was interesting to meet people from different backgrounds. I certainly wasn’t the top of the range with the most in that school, but I also wasn’t the bottom either.
So, you met a real range of people, and I think that gave you a good, rounded education, but as far as I would know, I mean, I think… Well, I don’t know. I don’t know these days, but I would say I was certainly a typical boy of the time in that I was far more interested in sports and other things, and I just did my work to get through. And with it being a grammar school I was largely spoonfed, so it got me through pretty well. As I got to my O Levels, as it was in those days, GCSEs, I think I got the hint a little bit and got my head down and did some stuff and actually did quite well with that. And I thought, “Okay, this is what I need to do from now on.” Then started A Levels and thought, “Well, actually, there’s more important things to do,” and dropped off again.
I mean, people say, “Why did you do dentistry?” Well, going to a Christian Brothers school, the careers advisor was a Christian Brother. Now, I don’t know what the listeners would know about Christian Brothers, but they don’t usually have a wide experience of the working world. So, you would turn up with your A Levels or potential A Levels in chemistry, physics, and biology, which was sort of what we had to do in those days, and they would look in the book and go, “Oh, right. Well, you could be a doctor.” “No. Don’t fancy that. Can’t afford the time. Got no money. What else?” “Oh, well, I think you’d be good in a lab.” Well, anyone that knows me knows I have the attention span of a gnat, so that’s not going to work out very well for me. And actually, a couple of my pals had done dentistry and they were quite enjoying it, and I saw it as something… I like working with my hands. I like making things. I like solving problems. So I thought, “Well, give that a go,” and just pitched up and had a go.

Prav Solanki: And so, you mentioned a couple of your pals had done dentistry. Was there any one in particular that had inspired you at the time where you thought, “I quite like that person’s lifestyle,” or they’ve said something about dentistry that’s appealed to you?

Ian Buckle: Honest truth, no. It was just… I mean, the background that I was from, the only professional people that I knew were teachers, priests, and doctors. Everyone else I knew worked in a factory, or a few were at her Majesty’s pleasure. I knew I didn’t want to be a priest. For some reason I wasn’t cut out for that. Although at that time, my grandmother, who was a very religious person… It was still quite common for the eldest son to go to the seminary or whatever. Thankfully, I wasn’t the eldest, and so… I was head altar boy for quite a while, which I think a lot of people could understand with my… Anyway, but that’s a different story.
I liked biology and I liked sport, so you think, “Oh, I’ll be a biology teacher.” And then I just thought, “Well, let me see if I can do something else. I want to do something different. I want to do something that…” I like making things and, like I say, solving problems, so dentistry seemed to be something, but there was no… I hadn’t had any… My only sort of run-ins with dentists was being told I didn’t need braces because I was a boy, because you’re allowed to… Sexism was big in the ’60s. And making me a gum shield, which I thought was quite interesting. That was about it.

Prav Solanki: Right. And so, just going back to influence, you mentioned that obviously your mother was quite a big influence in sort of education and that sort of thing, and you’d come from very humble beginnings. Was there some kind of theme that was going on when you were younger that there was some kind of drive or motivation to do better and there was a push for that? What was that?

Ian Buckle: I think it was… To be honest with you, I think it was very much a working class thing in those days that there was always a drive to do better. People like my mom and dad, they saw opportunity and they wanted you to have a better life than they’d had. I actually see it today and I see it in different communities, and I’m not going to say what communities because you get accused of all sorts these days, but you see it and I think it’s great. It’s based on respect for your parents and their desire to try and get you to improve. And to be honest with you, from our perspective, get you out of the situation that they’ve been in, if you like, and be able to achieve more.
It’s a little bit interesting as well. I mean, certainly from my position now. There’s also a story which I do think people need to know with anyone who’s in that situation. It’s the old rich dad poor dad thing, which is they saw, like a lot of us see, becoming a professional as being the key to success. And I think it’s two things. One was money and two was respect, perhaps. I mean, certainly as a professional, maybe you get some respect, but it’s not always the key to money. I know lots of people who understand money, who make a lot more money than I have, because they understood how to buy something for… Well, let’s say they understood how to sell something for 20% more, which I didn’t have that education. So, it stood me in good stead and I’m certainly not complaining, but I think it’s good for people to understand that professions are great, but you also have to understand the business side of things as well to be financially successful, if that’s something you’re interested in.

Prav Solanki: In a similar light, some things that resonate with me and my upbringing, Ian, because me and my brother were brought up by my dad, single parent, and he always used to drill into us, “Taxi driver. Shopkeeper.” And he always used to say to us growing up, “The reason I’m working so hard is because I don’t want you to do what I’m doing. And if you end up doing what I do, then I failed.” And that really, really resonates with me all the time in terms of that.
And the same thing now, right, that we end up in a fortunate position or situation with our children, and you want them to do better, but for us now, better… I don’t know about you, Ian, but for me, better is not necessarily saying I want my son to be or my daughter to be a doctor, dentist, or professional. I want them to do well in whatever chosen career. I want to make sure if they’re doing their exams, they’re giving it their all. I want them to be happy. I want them to rock up at work every single day and absolutely love what they do. Whereas certainly for me, there was a bit of pressure to sort of be a professional and with that will come money. Did not understand that piece at the time. The overarching thesis from my dad was, “I definitely don’t want you to do what I do.”

Ian Buckle: No, absolutely. And my dad didn’t want me to be working in a factory like him. I think my mom, because I mean, she… My grandfather died when she was very young, so she was raised by just my grandmother, and she had my mom and a brother. Her brother actually went to the preschool for a while. Didn’t survive there. But my mom, terrible thing these days, but because she was female never got the opportunity. And she was obviously bright. She went to a grammar school of the day and did well, but then had to go out and work to support the family. So, she never got that opportunity and she wanted us to have that opportunity.
But as you quite rightly say, I see now, and one of the things as I… I know it’s hard to believe, but as I approach my 60th birthday, that you start to reflect on the things and you can actually see what’s gone on a little bit more. It’s certainly only been in the last couple of years that I’ve sort of been able to maybe connect those dots a little bit more. Steve Jobs said a while ago, “It’s almost impossible to connect the dots going forward. You can only connect them going back.” From my perspective, exactly like you’ve just said. I just want them to be happy. But how much do you push kids at school? How much do you make them go to rugby? How much do you do this? Maybe I’ve been a little bit on the other side. I don’t know.
But you see, my opinion was that we actually… We did stuff and we were fortunate enough to do quite well, but we were actually frightened a lot of the time. We were frightened of failing, which is a great stimulus, but it’s also very unpleasant. But what I was hoping for with my next generation is that they would have the springboard to go on and do whatever it was with the safety net underneath them to feel as though that they… It’s that question, what would you do if you couldn’t fail? And that’s what you’re trying to create, but I think the problem is when you create the safety net you also create comfort, and comfort does not encourage people to move on.
There’ll always be some people who are driven. Without saying nothing about the kids, I’ve got certainly one of them who’s very comfortable. And they’re different characters, and it’s easy to say, “Well, I’m not so bothered. It doesn’t really matter. If they’re happy enough with that then that’s okay,” but for me, that’s what I tried to do, was to create a springboard for them so if they really wanted to, then they could move on and try all sorts of things and find the thing that really floated their boat and then be successful in that, whatever that might mean to them.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. It is a tough one that, and I agree with you there, Ian, that when we give our kids everything it creates complacency, and it’s difficult not to give them everything either because you love them to bits, right?

Ian Buckle: Yeah.

Prav Solanki: It’s a tough balance.

Ian Buckle: Well, I do also think that I’m a bit of a Victorian dad. I’m not there with [inaudible] phones. They haven’t been given so much stuff, but they’ve lived a nice life with nice holidays and always had cars and whatever else. So, I mean, what else do you need? I mean, it’s a comfortable life.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. So fast-forward then, Ian, to dental school. The process of getting in actually, what was it like? What sort of grades did you need to get? What was the process of getting in? And then, what was that like for your parents to experience that news that their son’s just got into dental school?

Ian Buckle: It’s a funny thing. So, what was it like? Well, the grades were less in those days. Dentists were probably considered second-class medics. The grades were a little bit lower, and there also seemed to be a bit more emphasis on the character and what you’d done and whether you were the right sort. I don’t know whether that’s appropriate these days. I see now there are so many people with such high grades that you probably have to rule out a lot of people that I think would actually probably be great dentists and great professionals, because they can never quite achieve those grades, where maybe they’ve got much more of the humanity that the profession really needs.
But yeah, so I was able to get good enough grades. Biology was my main thing, so that was easy. That sounds a bit arrogant, doesn’t it, but I just found that really easy. I found maths quite easy because of the nature of my school. Small school. We had to either do science or maths related, so I had to drop my maths. So, physics and chemistry were not nice for me. Managed to get through them, get enough to get in. Persuaded the university with my sporting skills and other things that I did that I could be a good member of their community and managed to get in.
I have no doubt that my mom and dad were very pleased about that. At the same time, I have to say that no one was shouting and screaming from the rooftops. The most you’d get is probably, “Oh, well done. That’s good. Okay. So, go and wash the dishes now.” It was more that sort of… It was always very much downplayed, although I did find out later on when I met some of my dad’s colleagues from the factory about how he always used to talk about what you were doing and how proud he was of you.

Prav Solanki: Lovely to hear.

Ian Buckle: Yeah, which is nice. But as a young fellow you go, “Oh, shut up, Dad. Don’t be saying those things.”

Prav Solanki: Of course. Yeah.

Ian Buckle: So, I’m sure they were very proud, but like I say. So, managed to get in, and then… I mean, being spoonfed at the grammar school and then going to university, I had no clue what was going to happen. And then you came across people from all sorts of backgrounds. Came across something that’s been a mystery for all of my life, females. People from all sorts of religions, cultures, backgrounds, educational backgrounds, and it was great. Made some good friends there.
And again, I sort of just drifted through trying to do what I had to do to get through. I’m willing to accept that I wasn’t a great student. I can’t say that I was particularly inspired by anyone again. The thing is, I think in education, when you get an education, there are teachers that I would say were inspirational to me at my school who really brought me on. I went from being bottom in history to top in history because of the teacher and because of the way they dealt with you and supported you and did whatever.
Now, it’s that stuff that over time makes you think that’s the way that I… If I’m going to help anyone, that’s the way I want to help them. And also, unfortunately the bitter experiences also make you think, “And that’s the way that I definitely do not want to do it.” For whatever reason, people see this craggy old sports person, but I’m actually quite soft and emotional sort. I got a real dressing down a lot of the time and struggled quite a lot through university. Some of it was what you’d call mental health issues these days, so I’m very pleased that that’s a bit more to the fore, but it was sort of quite old fashioned somewhat. It was, “You’ll do this. We’ll crack the whip.” There was no one for me that really inspired me to get through that experience. I would just hate anyone else’s education to feel that way, to be honest with you.

Prav Solanki: It sounds like you didn’t have the best of times at dental school.

Ian Buckle: I’m also very… I’m sorry to interrupt, but I just want to say maybe I wasn’t the best student either. I think in those days as well, a lot of stuff was very academically based and about behaving yourself and doing that, and I would do what I could to get through, but I liked other things as well.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. So, Ian, what were the lows of dental school? And by the way, where did you go?

Ian Buckle: Liverpool.

Prav Solanki: Liverpool. Oh, so you stayed local then?

Ian Buckle: Well, there’s a bit of a backstory there. My brother’s three years older than me. He was the first one went off to Heriot-Watt University to do actuarial studies and sort of disappeared after about six months, and with that went, I mean, any resources that we had, and also it made me even more terrified about going anywhere. Yeah. Anyway. That’s just the way it is, but anyway. I was playing a lot of rugby and I had a lot of opportunity with the local clubs and things, so I was quite happy to stay there.

Prav Solanki: So, were you living at home or were you living in holes or…

Ian Buckle: Yeah. Sort of one of the… I mean, again, keeping costs down and fear and just not really knowing any better, I stayed at home. You don’t want to have regrets, but I mean, I’d certainly never advise that to any of my children or anyone that wanted to listen.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. Absolutely. So, what were the highs and lows of dental school? You mentioned there were some tough times you went through. Was it mainly to do with passing exams or were there other things going on, Ian, that sort of led to sort of those [crosstalk]?

Ian Buckle: I think most of the time I just sort of kept my head down and managed to get through most of it, and the high spot was escaping and dentist medic sports days and a laugh with pals. Those were the highlights. Totally non-academic. And the one particular time that I remember, I was just having a bad time struggling with requirements and education and whatever and just getting an absolute dressing down when really I needed an arm around my shoulder and encouragement. I actually just didn’t go in for… I can’t remember how long it was, but maybe six, eight weeks, and I mainly just stayed at home, stayed upstairs in my room, struggled with that. My dad was old school. Never said a word. Just let you get on with it. My mom didn’t know what to do, so they just carried on regardless, and we didn’t speak much about it.
And then one day, I mean, again, it’s life’s experience and it’s not something that I would like to see people having to do these days. You’d like to think there’s a lot more support these days, but one day I just got up and thought, “Well, which way am I going with this?” And I had to go in and face up to it and… I’m trying to think of a polite way of saying it, but be a man about it. Face up to it all and crack on. It was an experience. You can look back on those things and say maybe it helped you become the person that you are, but it was also… I think there were nicer ways of getting that experience as well. It’s nice to see… I think there’s an element of encouraging people. I think sometimes we’re a bit soft these days, but it’s also nice to see if someone’s struggling that we can maybe try and help them and help them get over those things and realise a lot of the things are mental issues, and your perception of what’s going on is not the reality.
So, that was a bit of a dark time, but thankfully got through, pulled myself together and came out the other end. And the good thing is today that there are support mechanisms. What makes me sad sometimes is that despite the fact that we have those support mechanisms, we’re not willing enough to support and help each other out as much as possibly we could do.

Prav Solanki: Yeah. So, moving on from there, qualified. First job?

Ian Buckle: Yeah, so back in those days we didn’t have VT or nothing, so I was looking for a job. Got a job in the delights of Crosby Road South in Waterloo, which is sort of north end of Liverpool, moving up that way towards South Port. There was two partners there. One of the younger partners decided to go to Saudi Arabia for tax benefits, which I think was part of the story. Anyway, so there I was, a new kid out of college knowing… I mean, we did a lot more at dental school in those days I think, but came out of college straight into a full list. Was told that boiling water stabilisation was actually okay. I also had a senior partner in the practise who was obviously rather upset about the other person leaving, so he wasn’t very interested in me for quite some time.
I was very fortunate that I had a very well qualified and very clever dental assistant who guided me through. And then thankfully, eventually the senior partner found out that I played rugby and his son played rugby, and then we became good friends. He became a great NHS mentor for me about the 20-minute crown prep and all sorts of other crazy things. We used to have three general anaesthetic sessions a week in those days as well.

Prav Solanki: Oh wow.

Ian Buckle: Yeah. Oh gosh. Yeah. That was an experience. He helped me move on with that, and then after a couple of years the guy came back and I moved on. Went to a practise in Chester, which the first day that I was there, the principal came to me asking me why I’d used more than two paper points to dry a root canal. And I guess I thought, “Well, this isn’t the place for me.” So, that didn’t last long. And then I worked in St. Helen’s for quite a while. All NHS, sort of trying to find my feet.
And also as well, in those days there wasn’t so much in the way of post-graduate educationally. The postgraduate education that there was was the old Section 63 courses, which… I mean, this might sound a bit cruel because there are some good people out there, but were mainly the same people that I didn’t feel had taught me much at university telling me the same thing again. So, there wasn’t much to… There was probably stuff at the [inaudible]. Well, a Northern boy like me wouldn’t know about things like that. And you’re also made to feel that this sort of stuff was beyond you. I mean, there’s one of my inspirational tales from dental school about face bows which was, “Well, a face bow, you want to use that if you’re doing something complicated like a three-unit bridge, and someone like you would never do something like that.”

Prav Solanki: Wow.

Ian Buckle: What tremendous inspiration that is. I mean, like you can see, I probably… I quite like the fact that maybe they see what I’m doing these days and maybe think differently, but it’s not because of what they said. If it is, it’s only indirectly because of what they said.

Prav Solanki: Yeah.

Ian Buckle: I’ll be honest with you, Prav, I was working in St. Helens and a lot of the time I’d go to work. I mean, I had a mortgage, wife, I had a child at that stage, and the first few years I was just finding my feet. And then the next few years you just think, “Okay. This is okay. I’m getting to grips with this.” Actually, I found it quite boring. I was a tooth mechanic, a tooth plumber dealing with people’s problems all day every day, often not in an optimal circumstance as far as I could see. It was nice to help people, but I really didn’t feel as though I was doing a great job. I kept looking to try and move on, but I couldn’t really find anything. And often I’d go to work, sort of get quite stretched out, and there was a… I don’t know if you know Makro. It’s like Costco. On the way home.

Prav Solanki: Yeah, yeah. Used to go there.

Ian Buckle: Yeah. So, sometimes what I’d do then is because I was so fed up of work I’d go there and I’d buy the latest video or something like that, and then I’d get home and for about a couple of hours I was excited about this new piece of kit that I’d bought, and then I’d realise I’ve just spent that money and now I have to go back to work and do the same thing that I didn’t want to do in order to get the money. And so, you got yourself on this dreadful wheel, and often you’d be working to go on holiday and then you’d spend the first week de-stressing and the second week stressing about going back.
I actually got to a point after about 12 years where there was… As I was driving to St. Helens, there was a… I used to turn right to the practise and there was a Little Chef just straight onward, and I thought… It was before the days of mobile phones. I thought, “You know, I think I’ll just go there and no one will know where I am.” I just didn’t want to go. They always say that when the student is ready the teacher appears, and I’ll be honest with you, I was going to pack in. I just couldn’t-

Prav Solanki: Weren’t happy.

Ian Buckle: Well, I just thought, “You know what? It’s not worth it. I don’t want to do this anymore.” And actually, that was when I came across a guy called Paddi Lund. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Paddi. He’s a mad Australian. The mad Australian dentist.

Prav Solanki: I have heard of him. Yeah. Yeah. Was he in the Little Chef?

Ian Buckle: He wasn’t in the Little Chef.

Prav Solanki: No.

Ian Buckle: But Paddi wrote a book called The Happiness-Centred Business, and his story is about basically getting to that point of, in his case, I think almost topping himself because of the situation. He tried to be the emergency guy, the denture guy, the superdy-duper guy, all those things, and he got himself to that point, and then was about to sort of give it all up and maybe even give his life up and thought, “Well, actually, maybe I’ll give it one more shot. I’m just going to be me. I’m going to do what I want, and it will be different, and why shouldn’t it be?” And for anyone who’s listening who is interested, go and look at that. You can find it all on the internet these days.
But it was about being yourself, and that’s what I did. I bought a practise and tried to make it a very family-based practise, and it became pretty successful, still doing mainly NHS stuff. And for a while, that was fairly rewarding. It was certainly… To be honest, it was probably the most lucrative time in my career and certainly a very happy time with young children as well. So, that was always a… Young children. Sport. It was pretty good.

Prav Solanki: Living the dream. Ian, can I just take one little step back? You heard about Paddi Lund, you gave up your job in St. Helens, and you started a new business and bought a practise. Was there some thinking that went on? Was the whole Paddi Lund inspiration that, “Hold on a minute. I’m going to do things my way now, and the only way I can do that is by running my own business,” or what was the thought process during that whole thing? Was it re-inspired by Paddi?

Ian Buckle: Yeah. Well, I mean, that was certainly a big part of it. There was also other things going on in my life and also in the practise where I wanted… I always thought that I’d become a partner in this practise, but I was sort of largely being led on I think. You just have to face the reality that the only way of determining your own future was to do something else, and that’s what I did. So, I knew that I had to determine my own future. I always say the best way to predict the future is to create it, so that’s what I thought I needed to do. I couldn’t see that I could go somewhere else and produce the future that I wanted, and that was a big part of it. And certainly, I’m a sucker for stories like Paddi’s as well, and I thought, “Well, if Paddi can do it, so can I.” And it was certainly a great part of my career.

Prav Solanki: So, when did you make that switch? You were running a predominantly NHS practise, and I mentioned that you were sort of living the dream then. You know, sport, young family, your own business.

Ian Buckle: Well, what happened then is I sort of maybe learned… I was the probably archetypal almost single practitioner. We had a hygienist, a couple of other things going on, but mainly doing that, and I knew every little bit of the practise and I knew what was coming in, what was going out, and I sort of did everything. I had some great staff. We had good fun together. It was very controllable and you knew everything that was going on.
But I then also reached another level where two things happened. One is I was still mainly being a tooth mechanic, a plumber, and also as well, I was seeing patients and they had problems that I couldn’t help them with and I didn’t know what to do. We used to refer them to the dental hospital and we’d usually get a letter back saying, “You should know what to do.” And it’s like, “Okay, that’s not helpful.” And so, you’ve got two choices when that’s happening, which is you either go, “Well, I don’t know what to do,” and just carry on, or you try and do something about it. And I’d always been really interested in… I mean, the only thing that I could see…
Well, there’s two things that actually happened at that time. I’d always been really interested in trying to make things look as nice as possible, and I started to find a few people that maybe were interested in aesthetic things. That was good. And then, I also at the same time went to one of these Section 63 courses where we got rotary instruments, and that was a big change in endo. And I thought… I mean, it was a stupid idea because I haven’t got the attention span for endo, but I thought, “I could do that. I could be better.”
And I went along to this meeting and couple of hours about postgraduate endo and these new rotary files, etc. And I stayed till the end because I don’t like to ask questions and I didn’t like to interrupt anyone, and I said, “I’d really like to get involved in this and get better.” And the answer was, this was from the postgraduate dean at the time, “Well, it’s a three-year course, full-time.” And I said, “Well, I’ve got a practise and I’ve got a wife and I’ve got a family and a mortgage. I don’t care if it takes me 10 years. What can I do?” And the answer was, “Well, give it all up and do this or go home.” So, I went home with my tail between my legs.
And actually, Mike Horrocks… I don’t know if you know Mike. Mike’s a great guy doing simplyendo. Well, Mike was around at the same time. I don’t know if he sort of… I don’t think he really knows my sort of story with that, but Mike took it on and went and did it and got through it, and I admire him tremendously for doing that. But then I think he’s been brilliant in saying, “You know what, I can teach someone to do a better endo and it doesn’t take three years. And you know what, maybe if I show them how to do something really nicely, maybe they’ll start to get interested in the academic side and they’ll get interested in more,” and I admire him tremendously for that, and I think that was…
I was going to say, “I could have done that,” but I don’t mean I could have done what Mike did. I think that’s a great story for him, and I know I still sort of come across Mike from time to time and I think he does a tremendous job in educating people about that and getting them better so that they can help their patients more to the level that they want to be. And he encourages people to do that. And because you encourage people to get better and you can show them practically what to do, they then get interested in the academic side and they get interested in the research side and they get interested in all the other stuff that actually most of us aren’t that interested in, and because of that, they get better and better and better, because of his teaching.
Anyway. That’s me going off track, but I think it’s nice to talk about that. So, that put me off, but as I say, I was fortunate as I was trying to do this. And again, it’s an interesting time because talking to some of the younger people these days and it’s like, “Oh, aesthetics.” Well, this was 20, 25 years ago when we had the cosmetic wave from America with Larry Rosenthal and all those guys, and it was actually… Really, what it was based on more than anything else, it was about veneers, but it was also about bonding and being able to stick things to teeth so much better. When I reflect on my career, one of the things… I’ve seen digital go from nothing to what it is now, and I’ve also seen bonding largely go from something that was pretty ordinary on enamel to amazing things that we can do today.
And so, at that stage sort of 20, 25 years ago, or maybe 20 years ago when we got the sort of fifth generation bonding agents or fourth and fifth generation bonding agents, and we could make nice porcelain and we could stick that on. Some of the composites were getting a little bit better as well. And obviously, we got this sort of smile stuff that came over from the States, and like everything in dentistry we get carried away with it. We take it too far. The problem with that was that yes, there’s great things that we can do, but it needs to be done in the right circumstances, appropriately on patients that need and/or want it. And like everything else, we take it too far. But that’s the story of most trends in dentistry, I think, not just the veneers.

Prav Solanki: So, Ian, you going from doing predominantly NHS dentistry to private dentistry, was that inspired by the Larry Rosenthal movement and that and going on courses or postgraduate courses?

Ian Buckle: Well, I mean, again, people say… Everything that comes in dentistry leaves a trail, and some of it’s good and some of it’s bad. At the same time I was really interested in aesthetic dentistry, I’d also been looking very carefully and read Pete Dawson’s book or tried to read Pete Dawson’s book and tried to understand it, and I couldn’t. It didn’t make much sense really because I’m just not that smart.

Prav Solanki: And for those who don’t know who Pete Dawson is, he’s the godfather of occlusion, right?

Ian Buckle: Well, exactly. This is where we get into that business of is it occlusion or is it complete dentistry? What Pete talked about was what he called the concept of complete dentistry. Pete was one of the great aesthetic dentists of his time, but what he knew, which is what I was just about to sort of start explaining, is that you can’t make things look nice if they don’t work well, and that form follows function. And so, if you want to be successful at doing beautiful dentistry, you have to make it work well.
And I want to… Pete had a lot of great sayings, and one of them was, “We all have a reputation. It just depends what that is.” And so, he wanted to be a reputation that the guy that could fix things, that made things look great, that made them work well, and that would bring in new patients, but also from a practise profitability perspective, in the nicest possible way, he wanted to fix that patient and get them into a hygiene programme and never have to do too much to them again, because what people don’t realise is when you start doing this stuff and it starts failing, it starts costing you big time.

Prav Solanki: And so, fast forward from there because, Ian, I know your story, that you ended up becoming essentially one of the lead instructors for the Dawson Academy. Talk me through how you got into teaching. How did you go from this kid who was always told, “You’ll never use a face bow. You won’t do a three-unit bridge. You’re a load of crap,” to this guy now who actually inspired and continues to inspire a generation of dentists to become better dentists? How did you get into that whole teaching gig?

Ian Buckle: I was very fortunate. As I say, at this time there was this aesthetic wave, cosmetic wave was going on, and I knew that it… I think like lots of Brits and Europeans, we also knew that we couldn’t have the aesthetics without having function. And at the same time, I was really intrigued about what the likes of Larry Rosenthal, et cetera, had to say. And at the same time as that was going on, Schottlander had these… I don’t know if anyone remembers Captek crowns, a particular sort of crown. Anyway, they brought a guy over called John Cranham who was using these crowns, but what he was talking about was the cosmetic occlusal connection. And I always remember that, the lecture that he gave on that, and that was the real eye-opener for me.
The sort of backstory to that was John had come out of college. He was fortunate when he was at university that his professors had been very occlusion based and understood about complete dentistry, and being involved with Pete Dawson, et cetera. And then he came out and he bought a practise, and when he was looking for ways to move forward, the lab that the guy used, a lab called Bay View in Chesapeake, and the guy there, Buddy Shafer, was also a big Dawson enthusiast. So, Buddy, I think… I apologise if I get this wrong, but Buddy actually sent John down to listen to Pete so that they could work together. And as a young guy, John got involved with that. He actually got heavily involved with Pete and started to bring that into the practise. He had the lab support there, which was pivotal to what he was doing.
So, he actually got pretty good at that. And then as the cosmetic wave came, he was able to not just go, “Well, I’m no longer a functional dentist. I’m a cosmetic dentist.” He was able to add that cosmetic side onto the occlusion. You see, because in those days you pretty much had two groups. You had the functional people with gold colours and morphology and things that looked ugly but worked, and then you had the cosmetic people which looked great but fell off. And what people like John did was to bring those two things together. And as I say, because he understood that Pete was actually an aesthetic dentist of the day, now we could take those principles and we could add in these new things that we could do and make it even better still. So, the complete dentistry that we have today, the aesthetic level improved tremendously.
So, John gave this lecture, and I not only liked the fact the way it brought those things together, but it also happened in a very predictable way, step-by-step approach, and I also liked the philosophy of caring for people and doing it right and trying to look after people. So, we became good friends and John helped me tremendously. I was sort of involved with the cosmetic side on one side, and then I was involved with Pete Dawson and John on the other side and sort of trying to bring those two things together, and also being European and being heavily influenced by composite and minimally invasive stuff. I was trying to build those concepts in as well, not just placing veneers everywhere, but also thinking, “Well, if I can get the teeth in the right place and I can get the occlusion right, maybe I can put these little bits of composite on and they’d stay in place.” And I’d do it. You wouldn’t say anything to anyone because it wasn’t really in the book, but it worked. And it’s like, “Oh, okay. There’s something in this.”
And then when you ask the question about how did you get into teaching, so actually one day I was down in St. Pete with one of Pete Dawson’s lectures. And you can tell it was before mobile phones. There was a message on my hotel phone that Dr. Cranham wanted to know if I was around. And John actually flew down to see me and said… He had his little sort of contemporary dentistry thing going on with some education, because he wasn’t involved with the Dawson Academy then, and he said, “Would you be interested in helping me?” Because I’d helped him out with a couple of things over here and he’d obviously thought I wasn’t too bad. So, I did my… I mean, I didn’t have a clue. I wasn’t interested. I didn’t know anything about teaching. I said, “Well, I’ll have a go and see.” In a typical American style he said, “Stop being so British and just say yes,” and that’s sort of how we started.
So, John and I started to develop some stuff and he would come over here and I’d go and help him over there a little bit. And then as Pete was coming to the end of his career, they were looking for someone to take over from Pete. And as I say, long story short, John got the job as clinical director and he said, “Well, I want to bring a couple of people with me.” One of them was my friend Drew Cobb in Washington, and I was the other one. So, that’s sort of how we got involved and how we got involved in teaching. I always like to be very open. John was totally involved in getting me involved in that way.
And I just want to say a word about the sort of Rosenthal stuff as well, because I know people say, “Oh, you shouldn’t do this. You shouldn’t do that.” But everything that you hear you have to take it just for its face value, and when you see people like Larry, you don’t have to do what he does. You don’t have to live his lifestyle. You don’t have to do any of those things. There’s things you can learn from everyone. And there’s one big thing that I learned from Larry and Jay Lerner and Ken Hamlett and those people, was, “You know what, if you want to do this, you can do it.” They actually gave me the permission to do it. I can’t tell you how important that was in my career, rather than all these people who are busy telling you about… Because a lot of people stand up and when they show you stuff, really what they’re trying to do is to say, “You can’t do this. Send it to me.” And what these guys were saying is, “You know what, if you want to get there, maybe we could help you.”

Prav Solanki: So, I guess it was that confidence boost during your career being told, “Well, you’ll never be able to do this. You won’t be good enough for this,” and then someone saying to you, “Do you know what? You can do it.”

Ian Buckle: Yeah. No, absolutely, and that with the background of Paddi stuff. I was fortunate enough to spend a little bit of time with Paddi and that over time, and he was a very interesting character, and then the sort of motivational side of the cosmetic stuff. I like shiny things, so that was nice, and a lot of people wanted nice smiles, so that was good. The philosophical side that Cranham brought and then the real solid background in function that I got from Pete Dawson, that sort of really gave me something that I felt that I could really help a lot of people with.
At the same time, I was also trying to add in my own take on minimally invasive things. I have to give great credit for Tif in what he did, and I think sometimes people forget these things. The reason why people like… Well, I mean, I’m not going to… I can’t speak for Tif, but the reason why many of us started to get an interest in ortho and trying to do some of those things… If you look in Pete’s book, you will see pictures with paperclips and elastic bands trying to move teeth, and the reason that we tried to do some of those things ourselves is because the orthodontist didn’t or wouldn’t do it for us, or you sent them to the orthodontist and the teeth would come back in a place that you had no idea why they were there. No one spoke to each other, and they had their own way, and we’re not going to share with you.
Some of the cosmetic stuff… Well, touch wood. I don’t think I did too much of it, but some of the cosmetic stuff was about taking nice teeth and trying to make them a bit nicer, which is always difficult to say the least. Most of my patients had British teeth, and a lot of them needed complex restorative. A lot of them needed orthodontics even just to get things in basically the right place. And a lot of the teeth, if we could just move them first, then we would be so much better off and allow to do what it is that I wanted to do, which was just get the teeth in the right place and then be able to bond them. And I always tease Tif because he just comes up with great phrases like align, bleach, and bond.
Again, if you look at Pete’s stuff, and I’ve got Pete’s old books sitting over here, 50 years ago his treatment options, number one, reshape teeth. Number two, reposition teeth. Orthodontics. Number three, restore teeth. Number four, surgical. Those are the only four things we can do. And actually, when I saw them I thought, “Well, I like restoration. I’ll do restoration,” but actually he put them in that order because this was the way of fixing people’s problems as minimally as possible, and that’s why ortho was there. And Pete did a lot of ortho to try and get things in the right place, but there was a major struggle back then and in my era to try and get orthodontists to help you. And that’s why people like Tif and others and whatever then started to think, “Well, if you’re not going to help me, maybe I can do some of this myself.”

Prav Solanki: Quick question, Ian. Did you ever manage to shift teeth with a paper clip and an elastic band?

Ian Buckle: I didn’t. I think Pete did. Pete was incredible. I think Tif renamed it an Inman Aligner. I think that’s what it was.

Prav Solanki: Got you. Got you. Yeah. Brilliant. So, just moving on from there, Ian, you mentioned Tif and I know that you’ve recently joined the IAS academy to launch a new course called The Complete GDP. And whenever I ask people what that course is about, so for example people like Tif, they all say, “Listen, Prav. It’s an occlusion course.” When I’ve had conversations with you, Ian… I think you summarised it really well earlier, but I really want you to articulate what it is that you teach, because I think when it comes to education dentists don’t know what they’re getting until they turn up. So, there’s a lot of courses out there that might teach you how to make a sexy smile or whatever it is, right. I think what you said to me earlier absolutely just triggered a light bulb in my head, which is you make stuff work and you make stuff look good, so form, function, and aesthetics. Right?

Ian Buckle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Prav Solanki: So, just tell me about The Complete GDP course and what is it. Is it what you used to teach at Dawson? Is it an upgrade of that? Is there new technology that’s been injected in it?

Ian Buckle: Okay. Look, lots of things to think about there. Try and keep on track with this. So, I have to give great homage to Pete and John and all those people for what they gave me, and this is sort of a new era for me now. So, what I hope I’ve done is to take all the things that I’ve learned, and I’ve also been involved with Spear and Kois and numerous other things. Bio aesthetics. I have a big connection with those. And actually, again, I see people say, “Oh, I’m going to give you the best of everything.” In my experience, actually most of these occlusal philosophies or whatever you want to call them, they’re actually largely the same. There’s a few minor nuances that… But most of my time has been spent on understanding that we’re just touching the same thing, but maybe from a slightly different side.
So, what I set out to do with these courses is to contemporize them further. So, what John did, I think, was to bring in the aesthetic side even more, but these days… And again, it’s something that anyone who had been on the courses that I was teaching would tell you that I used to do some my own stuff a lot as well, which was to illustrate the same principles but in a very minimally invasive way. Because a lot of the time we really like what we’re doing, but then it would be crowns or very invasive, and that certainly wasn’t… I do have lots of patients and they’ve got old crowns and Macedo teeth, and because of that, I do a lot of crowns. That’s the nature of what I do. But also, my real passion is preservation of teeth and… To not let it happen in the first place is the best thing. But when it has happened or is starting to happen, how can we help these people get back on track?
One of the problems with dentistry is that we tend to compartmentalise everything. So, we’ve got the ortho department and the restorative department and the perio department, and no one ever spoke to each other. And what I like about being a general dentist is that I’m sort of, to use the American phrase, the quarterback, the midfield general. Specialists know a lot about very little. General dentists, we know lots of stuff about lots of different things. And when our patients come to see us, they are not just after necessarily what they want. They want our opinion and they want us to use our experience to help them. And so, much as they might ask for a beautiful smile, they usually want a beautiful smile that’s going to last, and that’s going to be healthy and that’s going to be functional. And if someone… I get people and their bites are off or they’re having problems or maybe they want their teeth straightened, but they want them to look nice and to function well and be biologically healthy. No one doesn’t want those things.
And so, this is where this concept of complete dentistry about this complete GDP really comes in, because I think as a general dentist, I’m really, really proud of being a general dentist. I don’t want to be a specialist. I like to see that overview. And my job is to try and oversee, and then I can also… I can do things myself, but I can also involve my interdisciplinary team to help get the best things for my patients, because many of us have experienced if you send them to the implant guy you’ll come back with an implant like this, and you send them to the orthodontist and the teeth might be somewhere else. So, my job is to oversee the total design and then make sure that everything we do fits within that design.
So, in complete dentistry, I think the six main things that we look at these days, teeth. I’m hoping that most dentists know something about teeth, although I get surprised sometimes. Perio. Again, hoping that we know stuff about that. Tissues, mainly looking at cancer and things like that because forget all your fancy stuff. We want our patients to stay healthy and well and alive and be great. And so, those are three of the main things that we deal with, but we don’t talk about them too much because I think it’s fair to assume that most of us know something about those. And so, that’s not really where I’m going with this.
Hopefully we’ve got some information for those who might need something, but there’s three more things that we need to think about, and one of them is if we’re going to make teeth, whether it’s a filling or whether it’s a crown or whether it’s a smile or whether it’s moving teeth, then we need to make that work within the system, and the system is the joints and the muscles and the teeth and how all that comes together. So, that’s what we might call TMJ occlusal stuff, so that’s where the occlusion side comes in. The next part is something we’ve already spoken about, which is aesthetics, and again, I see some stuff today, which… Well, it’s a look. I’m not sure that I like it. I mean, I like teeth that look like teeth. I don’t know that I’m… Well, I’m not the best at doing stuff, but I studied morphology and I studied natural teeth, and my goal is to try and preserve natural teeth, and if I do need to restore something, to make it look and function like a natural tooth.
And then there’s also a new thing that we need to understand, which is about airway, and airway is… There’s a lot of things that we thought were TMD, or maybe there’s erosive stuff or tooth grinding, and actually a lot of these things are related to airway, and we need to at least understand the basics of those. What I see is that there’s a lot of people talking about what I would call old-style occlusion and old-style, full-mouth dentistry, when actually we have a lot more knowledge these days and we need to be thinking about all of those things in order to get a great treatment plan for the patients.
So, yes, there’s a lot about occlusion for those people that want to learn about occlusion and how the mastication system works, but we’re also going to be talking about the impacts of airway for general dentists, and also to help you understand real, good, solid smile design principles that will help you understand how to make a beautiful smile that’s appropriate for the patient, whether we do that in porcelain, in composite, in a combination. And so, that for me is what the complete dentistry is about. So, yes, there is a heavy emphasis on how to make this work so the patient is comfortable and our work lasts a long time, but there’s quite a bit more to it as well.
And the one last thing, which is… So, we’ve taken those principles and we’ve added in a lot of minimal invasion, so that’s where IAS and what we’re doing I think are very comfortable together, because we’re largely using a lot of orthodontics and bonding to get teeth there. But also, as well, this is the digital age and a lot of the things that were a real struggle to do in the analogue world have become much easier to do and much more predictable and much more within the grasp of the general dentist in the digital age. It also allows us to really use digital stuff to motivate our patients, which… Again, I was brought up that if you educate patients then they will do this. I don’t know that that’s actually true, but if you motivate and engage with them, then there’s much more chance of them taking on the treatment. And you can look at that from a sales perspective or you can look at it from a very genuine way of trying to encourage patients to enhance their dental health.

Prav Solanki: So, Ian, take me through. I’m curious to learn about what it’s like being a patient of yours. So, my mouth is knackered. Yeah. I walk in and I meet you for the first time. What happens next?

Announcer: 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 Solanki: Thanks for listening, guys. If you’ve got this far you must have listened to the whole thing, and just a huge thank you both from me and Pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

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Prav Solanki: And don’t forget our six star rating.

This week we look back at some of our favourite shows featuring the madmen and women for whom quantity counts every bit as much as quality.

Our conversations with multi-practice owners highlight the pros and cons of empire expansion, with plenty of tips and food for thought for both dentists and entrepreneurs alike.


In This Episode

00:00:22 – Adam Thorne
00:02:48 – Alfonso Rao
00:07:38 – Avi Sachdev
00:10:29 – Darren Cannell and Andy Stafford
00:14:40 – Dev Patel
00:20:48 – Elaine Halley
00:26:34 – Kailesh Solanki
00:32:23 – Kish Patel & Jin Vaghela
00:36:53 – Rahul Doshi
00:39:58 – Sameer Patel
00:46:33 – Sandeep Kumar
00:50:15 – Sia Mirfendereski
00:52:25 – Sofina Ahmed
00:57:19 – Uchenna Okoye
01:00:43 – Zayba Sheik
01:05:28 – Zuber Bagasi
01:11:42 – Jimmy Palahey
01:15:47 – Amit Patel

[00:00:05] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders and Dental Street. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[00:00:22] Today’s episode of Dental Leaders brings together some of the very best content from our practise owners who shared loads of insights into practise ownership, different ways of managing run in the business of dentistry, the highs, the lows, the hints, the tips of running businesses. If you’re an aspiring practise owner or even an existing practise owner, the loads of content here, there’s going to be so valuable to. The Leaders who share content on this episode include Adam Thorne from Harley Street Dental studio.

[00:00:57] It’s become a bit of a cliché to say this now, but I see a lot of people working long, long hours. Should we be in a mindil, mine and so forth? But how do you feel? I mean, you’ve recently cut down so much or.

[00:01:12] Uh, yeah, I mean, I’ve cut down sort of a couple of years ago, but I think it’s it’s time, you know, and like you said, I think you can say that, you know, even the six year drop in income and give you the time and you do need time to sort of sit back and think. And that’s true from the initial patient consultation as well. And I think a lot of people try to rush and see as many patients and as almost like a badge. Hey, I saw 40 patients today be much more productive if you see maybe between five and eight, spend some time with them. People people want to be understood to be heard. And they feel if you’re spending time with them, then then they’re more likely to invest in their teeth and and take up the treatment.

[00:01:52] So what’s a mistake you made that, you know, you would give yourself, if you could, to talk to someone else who’s been to this process and he’d be your competitor. But but but what’s a mistake that you made that you wouldn’t make again?

[00:02:06] I think sometimes A, been too ambitious and sort of take on a bit more. And I think when we moved into we where this great vision and it was a vision to move into this new site in 2013, we spent a lot of time planning it, but we were then sort of almost like you, you and trying a budget and then that sort of goes out the window. And I think we should have been a bit bit more focussed and strict on nailing down the costs and building costs, building costs and leases and squeezed suppliers a little bit more, because I think we we overpaid on some things. And it’s almost like sort of when you get married, you have a budget. And then you the last week alone, you had done so.

[00:02:48] Alfonzo Rao, who set up a mini corporate, the Apollonia Dental group of funds. How did the whole practise ownership come around?

[00:02:58] I it is another story that I wanted to do because the time it was working in a mixed practise in Bristol and there were three expansion and I was hoping to buy into this expansion of practise. But then there were arguments between then one day, one of the afternoon when there was a night and thought, I’d like to chat some somewhere to work in the way that I realised that I was not really keen to get involved in that type of situation. And why then I. I resigned in the last time I was working as a visiting front of James Hull. And then, Joe, you know, that is my partner. Now, some of the practise, it was working in one square, the practise. Now I own and unfortunately, the dentist on the practise at the time, he had some problems. So he was on welfare. So he was off. So they’ve asked me to just hit them as a law because I had some spare days because I was kind of in between jobs. And then unfortunately, it was not really able to get back to work. And I was there and I had like a really good relationship with the practise manager, with the staff, and he offered me to buy. And then I just bought the practise at the time. But I mean, this domination that you’re doing in Bristol feels like to me feels like you in my old pal to Razavi playing up all of Bristol. Was this a plan from the beginning? Oh, no, definitely was not allowed in the seven practises that you own now.

[00:04:43] Is that right? Yeah, correct. And not only released and now we are able to get a hold of and for all we know. Well, yeah, probably is the way that we would like these Dental clinic project. And we’re moving from ideally from Canada moving to London. I know to where you are as well. Yes. We it’s nice because we’ve got a good relationship and a respectful relationship with each other. So we are competitive. We’ve got really nice relationship, which I really liked but was not never been the plot. The plot of the original plan was I by my own practise, at least I can be my own boss. I said I’m not really going to be told what to do. And then I start to realise how many excited having one practise and know what if I have three, I probably feel the same and but then having more practise but then was not the case. Now I try to say, OK, if I have seven, this is I don’t plan on getting any better. I don’t know the answer. Yes, but yeah we see. But up until you talk about headaches, I tend to get old, although we both spoke about many stresses that you have of practise ownership and dealing with certain individuals, you tend to handle stress quite pragmatically. And quite simply, I think as a business owner, some people really let it get to them both.

[00:06:10] Your way of just handling these stresses to practise these three practises up to seven. And then you’ve got this idea and you can sort of by later growing this empire. Right. But how could you let these things not get to you and just just click it off your shoulder the way you do? You know, it’s one of those things that we had this conversation. I don’t know. I think you’re getting a little bit my background. I try to do things with the in terms sometimes I stop. And I think what’s important in life is family has these at least like my kids, my wife. And I’m lucky I’m lucky that I do a job that I like. I’ve got almost everything in the world and that is what is really important. So I always try to kind of think things in proportion and understand that, yes, there are a lot of these things that are complex and they can cause stress. But in the promotion with important things in life, they are just like things that they can annoy everyone. But I don’t think that should really affect my health or my my nature. And this is always try to manage that. And yeah, I have a lot of people that make comments on how I can be so relaxed with all those things. I don’t know. I honestly sometimes look at my phone and I’ve got twenty five message, hundred email or something. I don’t

[00:07:38] Have such Dental,

[00:07:40] But I was looking at the list of practises. You’ve got a practise in somewhere Orpington. Why there’s a manager there.

[00:07:50] So that practise at the moment is part time. So three days a week is one of the other ones, one

[00:07:56] Of the other ones that is working.

[00:07:59] We have we have quite a lot of really great stuff. We have a head of finance, we have head of marketing, we have a great PM. We have some senior receptionists, nurses that really help and support us. We’re not as corporate as maybe we should be or we could be. But I think we’re really, really lucky. I mean, I’m looking over. I’ve got a couple of lifeboats just literally behind you in case the majority of my work. So we’re just planning management structures now. We’re rejigging things. We’re planning to go into a bit more ruthless and thermic. So try and get promoted internally and recruit new things for for some other positions. But yeah, no, it should be it should be fun.

[00:08:38] So that head of marketing and head of finance, a centralised like head office people, they really do.

[00:08:46] So I think our PM is somebody who does travel between sites, but she’s usually based out of one. But no, we only have three of what we call potentially management people. We’re really lucky. We have. So the nurse that I work with, just a lot of our ordering, a lot of stock control helps me with a lot of my admin support. And we have business again, that helps team. That really helps. So we really share the responsibility. So we don’t have a huge management team. A lot of our it’s a lot of the dentist. If there’s a problem, they’ll just come and speak to me directly and the team will message me directly. So we don’t really have a hierarchy. We don’t really have a structure where they feel removed from us, not too dissimilar from where you’re at. And their team can just walk up to you and say, I have a problem, and then you kind of empower them to fix their own problem rather than saying, actually, that’s not so. My bike, go and speak. X, Y, Z, because otherwise, I think the team doesn’t really grow. They don’t feel the pain of, oh, I need to learn more information, I need to do something new. So that’s that’s what we found works well. I’ve heard a lot of the other podcasts, and it’s different in a very different way.

[00:09:53] What’s the head count for how many people work for Dental, Dental

[00:09:56] Group and dentist and all that? Yeah, 70 for a lot of people. We’re really lucky. We’re really lucky. Again, like, again, my mom’s very much involved in the business. So she my dad got involved. So she’s to be an accountant. My dad got involved, does everything from sedation. So she’s sedation at 3:00 to PM Rose. So again, we’re we’re very much family run. We don’t have this massive corporate mentality down canal.

[00:10:28] And Andy suffered from the cosmetic dental clinic in Newcastle. And Durham is talking about mistakes along the way, either hiring the wrong person or maybe getting rid of the wrong person or for the wrong reasons. Can you just enlighten us to a couple of experiences along the way, maybe having to get rid of someone who did the firing, was it or was earning?

[00:10:51] And where we did we did have a big sort of blip a few years ago that we more recently, our practise fund manager is just absolutely amazing. Dental, Prav. That’s really what we managed before the manager, before it turned out that she’d been up in the hands in the till a little bit. And when it came to light it was quite a few quid and it got very serious very quickly. And that was our biggest mistake on the way. And looking back, it was horrendous and it really escalated and it turned out to be something that went a long way. But as an experience for us, we learnt so much about what we should do and what we need to keep our eyes on and and and things that can happen. We’ve always been so trusting. We trust everyone. And I think that was a big turning point where when we realised that, yes, we can trust people and yes, we should always give people the benefit of the doubt, but not to not to to a point where we’re taken our eye off the ball a little bit. So, I mean, that was probably the biggest bump in the road that we’ve had over the over the fifteen years. And I still look at that and think there was there was a lot of positive that came from that. It didn’t obviously turn out well for her. And, you know, we didn’t do so well financially that year. But I think that has actually pushed us on to the next level and we wouldn’t be where we are today if we hadn’t actually had that experience.

[00:12:25] So what was the process of obviously discovering? Not the initial shock of it all. And then I’m assuming you guys chat it through with each other. How are you going to approach her? It was going to have the conversation with what you were going to say, maybe repeat the conversation in your own heads a hundred times, and then what would you talk about the hiring and firing process? It’s always one that induces quite a bit of anxiety, and especially with something like this where, you know, it’s been motivated by by by theft, I guess.

[00:12:59] How did you just approach that problem? I think we approach that one like we approach most things. We did it together. And it was one of these where we’ve, you know, with the type of people that like to face things from the on. And so it was one of these once we being brought to our attention, really as to what might be happening, it was just straight into our office, sat down across the table from her and tried to establish what on earth was going on. And this particular person was very much in denial. What the facts were that, you know, this was this was taken on by by the police in the end. And this patient, sort of this person got a custodial sentence as a result of all of this. But, yeah, like everything else, we take these things head on together and we work our way through these things. Thankfully, hiring and firing as a as a general rule within the practise, the firing squad has been very limited. You know, we’ve got a lot of team members that have been with us there for a very long time. So that side of things is not something that we’ve had to do on a on a routine basis. The hiring side of things is, again, something that we very much get involved with, particularly nowadays. It’s probably more for the clinician side of things. And we have Lisa and the management teams underneath her that do the rest of the staff. But we’re very much heavily involved in choosing the right dentists and therapists and hygienists to come and join us, because, again, in protection of our baby, you know, we want to be involved at that point to ensure that the people will bring in a to upset the apple cart that we’ve worked so hard to achieve and to make sure that they’re going to follow the same ethos that we want our practises to.

[00:14:37] Work to Dev Patel from the Dental Beauty Group.

[00:14:42] Tell me about the practises then, and it’s quite an interesting, unique kind of business model, isn’t it? You kind of partner up with go and tell me to listen.

[00:14:51] I think it’s I should pay something for us, to be fair, because I’m always I spent a good year and a half out there, pretty much back and forth. And what I realised was Dentists’ shouldn’t actually be when I say shouldn’t. It’s very rare for them to have clinical and business typically like that. So that’s what I trained for five years to do. And probably number five is more military officer. So that’s what I’m good at. And when you start looking at how they’ve won, I’m sure you I that really poorly run businesses, most of them trying to get to the parts of you have pretty bad even if you look at business and you think, what are you guys doing? That’s why people like I started just when I talk to people, it’s like life changing. I’m like, guys, this is not rocket science. You want a business in a normal way. And it’s pretty straightforward stuff. But you don’t get all this stuff at university by a dentist. That’s it. And I think what I realised was in the US design model is as a backoffice, who does the business side of things? Marketing, compliance, accounting, lampblack, fundraising, accounting, side of things. And you’ve got the dentist to up to the practise, the technical guys on the ground in a practise who actually know what clinical is about. The is the practise in terms of the team. That is why and that’s the whole US model, the whole US which is like one hundred thousand pieces. And we have this competitive model which is obviously broken because all the big groups have all failed over the last whether or not able failed financially.

[00:16:21] If you look at all the big names, names, because I will them, but all the big, big groups have failed in some form. And the main reason is because of reputation, culture. And you get this kind of negative connotation with a group being like a factory. Right. You get told what materials to use, lack of freedom. You don’t get the same level of care and quality as an owner would be if you were there perhaps on the ground and never said his clients have always been. My basic level kind of thinking have to have the best quality at any cost we do because we don’t have quality. You will lose patients, lose teams, you lose all time. And that’s the worst thing for any business. That’s why of many is because eventually at some point we have like ten lines before the head office can do anything. And in each year you’ve got non dentists to do from like to saying, hey, your dentist, I know what I’m doing because I said last ten years, use this implantable cheeba. Do I say that’s kind of that’s kind of patchy. And I just thought, what is going on? This is not how health issue one. And look, if you look at next to me, not Tom as well, I’ve got this model as well. It’s very much franchised back office. That’s the front of head office staff offices, the health professionals. So I just thought, why is not done this research into. And I thought, OK, let’s start doing it. And also, at the same time, a lot of dentists in my age group from network as well have been asking me, hey, I want to buy factis, how do you do it? But my first practise in twenty fifteen double the time of a year and a half one of your boards.

[00:17:55] And I think and as a result of that, people like you kind of understand this now and then want to know how to do it. So I said, no, I can help you help yourself friend. Anyway, I always will. If you want my full, full time attention, I need to do this as an investigative. So I partnered up with a couple of close friends at a time who obviously want to buy a practise and expensive. And fortunately I did quite well a couple of inches and the first couple of years of working to have enough savings to them to invest with them alongside them so we can buy books together, which would normally be very difficult to do within five years of university because you just have the cash these days. I mean, you’re looking at paying eight times whatever it is these days, the market you’re paying in hundreds of thousands initially just to block out just what I did anyway. And no one’s not not not not maybe we’ve got kind of cash. So you’re going to have a partner and the banks can back me in terms of knowing I can do it once and the few times you got much better facility lending. So that was also a big reason why it makes sense for Con initially.

[00:19:02] So you’re getting fifty fifty with them. Yeah. Yeah. Fifty fifty fifty one point fifty one for those. Are you looking

[00:19:09] At me when I say fifty fifty we have like it’s literally I would say is actually up my round was. I hope his team works well because in the end I, if they’re happy will make money because they are the ones who develop the pots and grow them. So we always say, look, if you want four times more of a structure for the group and financial lending banks actually in real life and actually on paper to if we have not many big. It is a complete partnership, which is what it should be, because that’s where you can go

[00:19:42] And go through the stuff that you take care of from head office, is marketing part of your responsibility?

[00:19:50] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I’m hoping, like, initially when we first the first few days, it was very much made my partner, Arjuna’s, with my father in law and maybe one or two of our kind of really good and managers who was help us one whole group and was really fortunate to get a few partners within the first few months. So we had, I think, a possible end of the first year and we only start by the beginning of twenty 19. So we actually had eight what years. So people pretty quickly, but I think once had the blueprint and the backing financially in terms of lending, it wasn’t difficult because actually just like out the same model each time franchise, initially we did all of that so we would do this development, business planning, our recruitment contracts, marketing, compliance, finance, payroll and everything. And then. Bloody hell.

[00:20:46] Elaine Howley, famously known for the Cherry Bank Dental Spa, one of the original cosmetic practises that really brought patient experience to the forefront of dentistry. And so moving from that job to owning your own business, obviously, if there was entrepreneurial and, you know, I guess it was probably written in it in your life or sort of in your blood, so to speak, that you were going to own your own business. At what point did you say, well, I’m going to create my own

[00:21:16] Practise of my own

[00:21:18] Patient journey, my own vision? Because I remember when I first got into dentistry probably 13 years ago, 14 years ago now, Cherrix Bank was that practise that you just looked upon and everyone spoke about the experience, the service there and everything. To me, to me, I don’t know whether they did speak about the actual dentistry

[00:21:43] Itself, but the the one big stand

[00:21:47] Out saying the one big standout thing that was on everyone’s radar was the service and the level of service and people who went there to visit. And I think you were at the time you were doing some kind of training programme with James management going around practises and almost like injecting Chemie Bank into multiple practises. Right. So what how did that sort of evolution come about from obviously working as a dentist for someone else to saying, I want to go out of business and create this experience patients?

[00:22:19] Yeah, I didn’t last very long working for anyone else, I think I have I have learnt that by about myself. There’s a certain, you know, would you say control freak? I don’t know what it is, but there’s a certain you know, I have ideas unless and I want for me, freedom is really, really important. The freedom to be able to put my own ideas into practise. So I I was very young when I started my practise. And my first job as an associate was great big NHS practise. I learnt a lot, but I went on a course and I can’t even remember the name of the course. And there’s a few key dentists that we all know that work on that as well. But it was basically an accountant, but he was almost running a course for associates saying you can do this by yourself. And I hadn’t actually considered it at that time that I would be able to open a practise of my own. I was just kind of going with the flow. There wasn’t VTE. I was just ahead of the curve. So, you know, my first to two and a half years in practise, I was self taught. I realised very quickly I didn’t know enough. So I immediately enrolled on the programme. I went on a lot of courses and then I was working down in England and decided I wanted to come back to Scotland. And I just couldn’t face the thought of signing on as an associate again for another practise. So fortunately, I had the support of my parents, but I just decided to open a school practise. I did a fair amount of research into where would I want to live and where did I think they would be space at that time. But yes, I was only two and a half years out of uni and I opened a school practise and.

[00:24:06] Is that you?

[00:24:07] Edinburgh one

[00:24:08] Perth. That’s where I’m sitting

[00:24:09] In Perth with your first one.

[00:24:11] So this is my boy you’re sitting in right now? Yeah. He’s going to take us through this.

[00:24:16] We will be opening this school was quite a bit of a tough thing to do, but then people didn’t really open sports.

[00:24:24] I mean, of course,

[00:24:25] Some did take us through that. I mean, are you the kind of person who jumps into things with full confidence or did you have anxiety about it using your parents money?

[00:24:36] That I didn’t use my parents money, not that they offered, but what we did want to do is guarantee. So they had the guarantee, you know, they had to act of the guarantee for the loans from the bank. Yeah. And. Do I jump into things I think I think I logically look at the pros and cons, I had a plan and I just took it step by step and kind of didn’t I’ve never particularly worried too much about what other people think, although then sometimes it comes as a shock when I realise people do think things. And so I got a lot of a lot of stick for opening a practise in a city where I wasn’t known. And I actually got some quite nasty letters from some of the the dentists. I was quite naive, I suppose. I did write to everyone saying I was opening a practise single handed practise. I was going to be charging privately for the first examination. It was just the contract. So change the year that I graduated. So there was a big move in England where I had worked initially for dentists coming out the NHS. Scotland wasn’t moving in that way. So before that, you weren’t allowed to mix private and NHS. And I, I started by charging for the full examination and then giving people options. And that was practically I would be really angered a lot of people by doing that. But I just I kept my head down and stuck to my guns and realised very quickly I wasn’t going to survive and an NHS environment because I wanted to be able to offer my patients the best. The dentist you had to offer, that’s always been I want my patients to have the choice of the of the best not to say that I’m the best clinically. That was never my that was never my goal. But to make sure that I understood all the different options and to be sure that people had choice, that’s what was important to me.

[00:26:32] My beloved brother, Kylie Solanki, who shook up Manchester back in 2005 when he launched his Dental.

[00:26:41] Because I’m producing I’m hoping not lots of means, but I want to produce people that are not scared, that understand dentistry is something that needs to be provided, passed a basic level, but happy to provide it because he knows I’m his mentor. I will help him. I will go through that with him and I’ll go through every journey with him. I check his preps, I check his arms, I check his final fit.

[00:27:06] Are we supposed to talk about treatments to talk about this? Yeah, we should talk about is, you know, Prav and I have talked about you. I mean, you introduced me to Prav. Let’s start with you and Prav. And I have talked about you a lot. And, you know, Prav does marketing for hundreds of dentists. And and he says that in the end, you are the one of all of his clients who converts the most. And then this question of is it just okay, some people have an X factor and they can do things or is it teachable? And now you’re telling me it’s teachable, you know, which is which is different to what I thought. I thought, okay, caliche, a special is, you know, since you were saying you were grossing and and looking people’s socks off from VTE. All right, you’ve got something. But the idea that it’s teachable, that’s beautiful, you know.

[00:28:00] Yeah. Like from my side, I honestly believe that in three to four years time, I’ll have a team of these guys that will do super well for themselves but will do it well. Guess Dental as well know building a team. I always think of, you know, people like Alex Ferguson when Ebele United or right from the start. And I’m not a massive football person, but I understand his ethos. I understand his athletes understand. You know, actually, I’m not going to buy all these people at real big money. I’m going to invest right from the start. It’s going to take time and energy. And I’m happy to pull that time and again because I know I will produce these superstars because I know he’s teachable. And both of those two guys that I’ve already taught it to a testament to that you see all these people now, you know, two years they’re going to practise. All of a sudden they’re given out business advice like this. And business gurus and like guys are kidding me. Like, I’ve run three practises for fifteen years. I’ve been through recessions, I’ve been through floods, storms.

[00:29:03] But to be fair, you were doing the same when you were a new boy as well. You were, you know, but it’s a lot. But it was it is people were happier. You would do the same. Yeah. Came out of Dental school running a straight course. I remember that’s when I first met you. There was a double.

[00:29:20] Yeah, but what I’m saying is like understand like your you know, your mentor has got to be it’s got to be this has got to be some value in what you’re gain.

[00:29:31] It should take us back to where now. I think it’s back to when you decided to do this Dental.

[00:29:38] Ok, so so Kiss Dental was basically born from me once in a clinic. And I’m very impulsive, very, very impulsive when I purchase things and my shoe collection will tell you that is about a thousand pairs in there and you’re not joking. So I kind of think I’m not joking. Unfortunately, I’m not joking. I wish I was actually, you know, and

[00:30:01] I don’t have a knife. Traders know me.

[00:30:04] Yeah, I know. That’s the reason why I wish I wasn’t joking. And so so basically, I kind of wanted to wanted a clinic and there was a clinic on the market. And it was funny, actually. I had a really close friend at the time who was a dentist. And I said to him, think about buying his practise. And he said to me, Oh, no, don’t buy that salwan a lot. My friends have been to look at it. He already owned a clinic in Manchester Mad. And he said, Oh, don’t buy that. It’s a lemon, you won’t do any numbers are poor on it and so on and so forth. So I kept looking at it and and in the end I thought, you know, screw it, I’m going to buy it. I didn’t actually have a lot of money. I had sold the business. I had about 50 K at that money. That works a little better, but I’ve been spending. So it was what it was. And I put a business plan together and managed to get funding from the bank. Back then we talk talking two thousand and four or five. They were giving you money for old rope. They were giving you like one hundred, ten percent loans. So it’s happy days. It’s got five hundred thousand pound loan. But this clinic had a I think it had something like one hundred thousand two hundred thousand pounds a building and three hundred thousand pounds of goodwill.

[00:31:16] I lost pretty much all the goodwill day one. So now I had a 200 thousand pound built in Riverdale could well and and I decided to spend about four hundred thousand doing the place up. So I was in debt for about Brincat on a mil. I even open the doors yet, but I had brilliant Brandyn, I’d call it Dental, I’d I’d read I’d got these designers to did everything. I got a website before I bought it. It was called Woodsen Circle Family Dental Practise, and the population base was like sixty five to 80, all coming in for the little klinz and polishes. And that was there and I was saying I’m going to open this fantastic cosmetic clinic in Manchester and we’re going to provide all this on the outskirts and people are going to travel from the city centre and so on. And that was my business model. We would close to the network links. We were close to the train station, were close to the motorway, and we were close to the traffic centre. And from my point of view, they were landmarks. People would come to us. We just needed to open our doors and cracken.

[00:32:21] Kishen Jin, who owned the Smile Clinic Group, we made sure, you know, we’ve got every going to practise manager. We’ve got our

[00:32:29] Obsoleted my brother who looks after it. And then we’ve got two younger dentists who we’ve taken on board who are, you know, without them, again, the support they’ve given us and the growth aspect is supporting us on the operations. None of this would function. So we’ve grown a whole subletter, our team, the marketing, finance, so we can also go and smash it up. And I remember I remember

[00:32:52] Speaking to Jin Jin. It was March last year, right. Just as we picked up as a fourth practise. And I said, hey, listen, we’re going to have to grow the team because myself and there’s no way that if we’re going to buy normal practises, that we’ll be able to sustain this. You know, there’s only so many hours in the day and we can only be in so many places at one time between the three of us. So we just took a view that we have to keep growing the team. And one thing that we built within each practise is layers so that there is a sort of a chain of communication all the way right through from reception, all the way through to us. And even though that there’s all those layers that everyone has our number, we’re always we’ve got loads of WhatsApp groups with each practise so that any issues, you know, we’re still seeing it. We’re there to help and support the whole team. Even though we went from four to ten practises and everything we kind of put into place was when we had a small number of practises so that we could just then apply that as we grow in size.

[00:33:52] What were the growing pains going from, let’s say, for. To 10, right, it most going from one to two. I remember, you know, you look at practise one anything. I’ll just go and buy practise too, and I’ll just do double what I’m doing. Right. Just replicate that formula if you go and then you get the biggest shock of your life when you realise that isn’t the case and then you go to three and so on and so forth. What were the biggest pains that you guys experience going from, let’s say before that you had in the space of the covid pandemic, almost tripling the size of your business? That must have been some some serious growing

[00:34:26] Pains during that time.

[00:34:29] I think that’s a very, very good question, and I think the hardest thing for us, especially during the kind of sort of period, is the. Not being able to go physically to the sites, and I think that we’re very hands on in that respect and I think generally agree with me when I say this is that one of the practises we bought was a fairly private practise was literally we completed one week before Lockton. And we had plans to go up, but they didn’t materialise because of lockdown and obviously we couldn’t meet the team and we could do whatever we do on Zoom. But back then, everyone was still getting a feel for Zoom. And it’s just not the same feeling as going in and sort of having that team meeting, that practise meeting to introduce ourselves what we’re about. So I think that was probably one of the hardest things, not being able to physically be there initially.

[00:35:19] But I just miss giving everyone hugs, you see, and there we were, a bit old school. And I like, you know, face to face seeing people feel that energy and vibe when you were there. And when you’re growing to a certain size, you can’t be at every practise. I mean, you can clone yourself and go there and do it. So trying to put in structures and processes in place where everyone knows you are there and approachable, but they don’t feel like, you know, going into the practise, that’s something we struggle with, along with time, trying to make time to juggle all this and also balance everything with home, life, life, life, kids, everything as well, which for myself, in case the balance of life is super important, I think trying to keep that all in place. I don’t I don’t I’m not

[00:36:11] I’m not currently running any Dental practises, yes, so the three of you can help me with this year, but some this isn’t it better to take your four practises and double the output of those for them to operate?

[00:36:25] Yeah, I mean, look, I think you’re right. One of the things which you make a good point on and I would say is it’s about focussing on making sure your bottom line or your EBITDA net

[00:36:36] Profit is increasing. And that’s one thing we’re quite conscious with,

[00:36:39] Making sure each practises

[00:36:41] Output is increasing. But on the flipside, if a good opportunity comes along,

[00:36:47] We’re going to take it. And that’s how there is a balance of both

[00:36:51] Real Doshi, who owned, grew and exited from the Perfect Smile studios, and today is the clinical director of Dental.

[00:37:01] Maybe you ended up buying buying ash out. I did. And how many years after that did you sell the practise?

[00:37:09] I bought Ashot in 2010 and then my practise joined Dental in 2017.

[00:37:17] How did it feel? I mean, we’ll talk about it, but how did it feel selling the place? Did you feel that sense of loss that people talk about then Texas model is that you’re still

[00:37:27] Kind of involved. So actually, the only reason why I joined Dental was not to sell. So that’s an important thing. I did not join to sell or to leave dentistry. I, I wasn’t thinking of exit. Dentists were offering me to actually grow the number of practises I had. So they were offering me a way of growing off, not just having one practise, but actually having multiple practises, which they would have. And my role I joined in Texas what was called a regional partner. You will be earlier. I’m one of the earlier people, so I was working with ten practises in Dental, I think nine or ten, but I can’t remember the number. So you

[00:38:06] Transition from what you had to working with ten

[00:38:10] Practises, what period of time and

[00:38:12] Within a year. Within a year or two years.

[00:38:14] And were you just sort of honing in on your experience of what you’d done in your practises and distributing that, or did you come across new challenges that you hadn’t come across before?

[00:38:24] The reason why I joined Dental exposed to grow and and at that time to do still current with my clinical dentistry. And I want to be totally left alone in the way I did my dentistry. If I worked for any other practise, I’d be unemployable because the way I practised was so unique to me with a team that I practised in the way I worked in my environment. I did not want anybody to tell me what to deliver and then allowed me to do that. So when it then came to growing ten practises as opposed to a single practise, because I’d been doing a fair bit of coaching with Bhavna, my wife, and growing other practises, I had that experience with her. So we joined as a team to then Texaco and we then were able to grow many practises with her only because of the experience we’d had in growing other practises previously. And every practise is different and practise that we’d grown previously had its own challenges. So we were literally just using the same knowledge that we’d gained in and putting into Dental

[00:39:26] Just like muscle memory. Really. You’ve experienced the challenges and you kind of say, well, we’ve come across this problem before and that’s how I fix it. Absolutely. And so and it

[00:39:36] Went so well that then they put you in charge of eighty something practises

[00:39:39] Well. So Dental now has seventy one practises and yes, I’m the clinical director. So my, my title is sort of cloak and clinical development strategy director. So it’s about growth of these seventy-one practises clinically and in other ways as well.

[00:39:57] Samir Patel from Eleven Dental. So what you’ve what you’ve just said there really makes sense in terms of, you know, everything that you’ve put together. But you came from this cricket playing dentist who’s worked in a few practises, has been given a bit business knowledge. What was the actual journey to get from an associate oasis to having this multi award winning practise with super talented clinicians?

[00:40:23] If you just put that out there and you think about

[00:40:26] Another dentist out there listening to this is such a lofty

[00:40:30] Goal, how do you how do you recruit these super talented people? What is it that you

[00:40:34] Attract them with? And then how do you get to that point? So what was your journey from the point that you were an associate to where you are now?

[00:40:42] So from Twyford, again, I believe networking is so important and thankfully I enjoy networking. I said to you earlier, you know, the people side of things I really enjoy. And I went to the b’day local committees and would listen to the lectures in the evenings and ended up being the chairman and the chairman for the GDP, a guy who Steve reduced our practise in HENNELLY and. He approached me and he said, look, you’ve got a good reputation, I’m looking for somebody to take over my practise and the partnership, and so I went to see him. And it’s this wonderful Georgian building in the middle of Hanalei Street. It’s a beautiful building, great you listed. And I was just blown away by it. And then I walked in and it was just, do I belong here? This is so nice. And my two partners were 10 and 12 years old and the mayor, respectively. And I thought, well, this is going to be a great training ground for me to to work and and now go to the next step. And I was so excited to own a practise. And I remember Shivani, who was always so supportive. It’s like, how are we going to pay for that monthly expenditure that we have to put in the fall? And I said, you know, I think you’ll be OK and you have to take that leap of faith. And then I joined it.

[00:41:58] But interestingly, when I joined it, it was actually very difficult because the vision of my partners was not my vision. And so finding TrueNorth had not been found at this stage. It was a tough and quite a few years where I was in this place, the vision of where everyone how they were working, where I was working, the way I wanted to work, the way I want the practise looked like I was I was a little bit claustrophobic. And at that stage, I had now given up playing county cricket and I was just playing club cricket for Ealing, which was great, but I was training quite hard still. And then Anthony, who’s my partner up in London, and he’s an orthodontist. So I really respect the way that you talk in the way you work and the way you’re doing stuff. And I’m an orthodontist. Would you have got this? Would you like to do something together? I said I loved doing something together because I don’t feel I’ve really found what it is that I want to find here. It was I hadn’t found my true north and at that stage I didn’t know what it was. And he had found an orthodontic practise in the West End. And when we did all our due diligence, it was very clear that 90 percent was coming from the Internet and 10 percent was referral. And so I said, come on, let’s give it a go.

[00:43:10] So we remortgaged our houses, we put all our savings and we put it into 11. And we were both had our own practises and we started. So Shibani Nice and Anstee started that two days a week and so. Well, that’s grown now. Then it was then I brought the then this building blocks. This is all building blocks. So then it was about general dentistry and then we got another audit done. Since they were busy. I brought Peterle in who’s my first associate I brought in there’s a general dentist and now were 18 of us, but that’s grown just three blocks of getting busier. And if I can share with you how we started at 11 again, it started Prav. As you said, it didn’t start with clinical dentistry. It started with Accenture coming in to come and tell us how a business should run before we started it. So we had KPIs and the orthodontics was divide. It was they were given three options. You can have a match at that stage with metal, metal, metal, ceramic, ceramic, ceramic. And that was their option. And he said, Starbucks, do it. You give them three options. They’ll pick the middle one 80 percent, pick the middle one. So now what you want is 80 percent. Pick that middle one. So we were like, OK, that’s what we’re going to do. And then we built in what our overheads were and then we built in how many patients we want to see how how we were going to market, how we had to increase our marketing to get those numbers in.

[00:44:30] And then we achieved the target. And, you know, a lot of it is knowing your numbers as a leader. And from the beginning, I knew my numbers and so happy to say we’ve grown that business six hundred percent since we’ve owned it. But it was from understanding that my staff this is my numbers, this is what we’re doing. And then having a plan and having a name. And every year we would have an aim of this is what we want to try and do. It doesn’t mean that we’re selling more stuff. It just means we need to open the top on marketing a little bit more now because that’s not happening. And again, talking about where that comes from, it comes from us being stable and having incomes from our other associates, our other partner jobs basically. And so therefore, there’s never drive to make eleven a money spinning machine or it was just about having dentistry and we tore down the whole of dentistry and made it the most remarkable customer experience that we we thought was possible. And we did that with Accenture. To start with a couple of questions. When you say CPI’s OK, we’ve got, I don’t know, top line. Bottom line.

[00:45:40] Did you focus on one of those two? Firstly, no. Well, which one of those two?

[00:45:45] We basically had KPIs. Just understand what our aim was as key KPIs that you were looking at, large number of bonders, for example, because it was all it was just orthodontics at that stage and that’s all it was. And then we got the lease for upstairs. So at the same time of our profits, we were trying to refurbish upstairs. And you’ve been upstairs to my room and that space there. And again, it’s it’s an environment where it’s conducive to people wanting to have dentistry and opening their mind of seeing what is possible. So CPI’s a number of Bundaberg, a number of new patients seen, and it was very simple. No leads, number of new patients booked in. A number of people went ahead with treatment. That was the journey at that stage.

[00:46:31] Sandeep Kumar, founder of the My Small Group.

[00:46:35] So how are you? How are you adding volume to that? And it’s just back then,

[00:46:39] Could you do it? So back then it was the fee for service, like there was no Yoda’s or anything. Like you just do you just do the work. And I was bored, became a workaholic and even at that time. So it was literally my principle and my philosophy those days was same and even today they’re the same. Do not say no to the patient if somebody turns up in a practise in pain. My simple instructions to my team was to not say to the patient that they can’t see you as long as they’re willing to wait. We will see them before the end of the day what time they cannot promise and pay. I still remember before we open for lunch, there was a 220 people standing outside sometime. And in 2003, I was the only one dentist. In 2006, there were six dentists in the face just to learn that practise. So how many? That is my background.

[00:47:34] Is that now? Is that the same six six

[00:47:36] Six six six surgery and it runs beautifully. I still take a lot of pride to go there every week. I feel home and I go there.

[00:47:47] Ok, so let’s talk about when did you decide to go for number two?

[00:47:51] So number two was 2006, the contract changed to UDS, so from 2003 to 2006, for me it was you know, I never came out one day, but I’m going to do this, this, this and this. It just happened. But 2006 contract, the growth was literally stopped. You can’t go of business. And I’m sitting there thinking, that’s no, I’m used to what I’m doing. Anybody can come into. And that’s going to start exploding what’s happening outside in the Dentistry for Dentistry Board instead of that boastful dental practise? Let me just go out and explore what’s going on. So I still remember I joined this battle programme that time. I think he used to run some clubs or something. And I speaking to Chris and I said, you know, I’m thinking about to open another practise, but I don’t know what to do. And they have to go. And I still remember he connected me with Zachy. That could come on and I can. Kanzaki and Chris was good friends. So I think Chris called Zacchaeus said, you know, this guy, you want to you want to have a look at what’s happening in private industry. Can you can you have a quick jeopardy? Because I came back to London one day and I thought, you know, I’m going to go to his practise.

[00:49:08] It’s going to set me in his office and he’s going to tell me a little bit about private practise, how that both. I can still remember that day I turned up the he or something. Give me half an hour. Just wait here. Let me just finish what a couple of things. There’s a long lunch lunchtime, and that guy has taken the rest of the day off for me. And he said, let me show you how to play the flexible. So they took me to Dental, where he used to work. It took me to London smiles, but he took me to Bow Lane. And I’m thinking, wow, this is another side of dentistry, you know, which I never, never leave. All I know is. Well, all I know about is about is that it is so expensive to four or five hours with me on that day and, you know, told me everything introduced with these guys. That’s the first time I met a and a couple of other guys that time, and that was it. So I came back and I got a bug and I said, you know what, I’m going private. I need to find a dentist who can do what I do

[00:50:14] And see my friend desk. Only a couple of practises, one in college and I believe one in Wimpole Street. But then your Baker Street practise. Was the majority of your new business come in because you had a shop from.

[00:50:27] Yes, definitely. Is there any marketing? Did I do any marketing? I did. You know, I did a lot of brochures. I did a lot of leafletting. I did some adverts in the local newspaper back then. Foolishly, I wasn’t doing any websites. I wasn’t doing any marketing through websites. And I didn’t even understand the power of how that would work. But, you know, just through local advertising and local marketing and having office, keeping the cost of the consultation, keeping the cost of the initial examination low, and with my relationship with Enlightened, you know, having teeth whitening offers certainly helped bring in the walk in trade.

[00:51:07] When was it? So you started lecturing for us? I remember. When was it in that time that you opened the Baker Street? Remind me.

[00:51:14] I opened the Baker Street one, if I’m not mistaken, around two thousand and two. And we started working together in the initial days was a 2004, 2005, five, five, five, six.

[00:51:29] So your big street to explain this to me, you spend some money, you set the place up. There’s no patience, no patience. How long did it take before it was busy?

[00:51:38] Two days a week? Not long. A few months. But I did have a lot of offers. And, you know, I’ve done a bit of homework. There weren’t that many practises in that region. It was a bit further up from Baker Street, up on Gloster Place. I don’t know if you know it. I think Francis Collins Junior School has a branch there and not a walk in. Trader was it was good. And I think the whole thing about teeth whitening was really expanding. It was pre the home kids. So it was all the the light activated ones. And because I could offer it at what I felt was a discounted rate, it brought in a lot of patients through the promotions that I would have through leafletting and advertising in the local newspapers.

[00:52:23] Sophina Ahmed, who sets up a dental practise focussed around delivering dentistry at convenience night Dental delivering treatment all the way up to midnight,

[00:52:36] And something I’ve studied entrepreneurship, leadership, any of that? Do you read books or try to read?

[00:52:43] I mean, this is definitely

[00:52:45] A pure bred entrepreneur, you know, like you’re an entrepreneur.

[00:52:49] It’s so, so in your blood.

[00:52:51] I observe, I observe, I observe and I take everything in and I look at what I didn’t do.

[00:52:57] And I mean, how old were you when you started? You were young.

[00:53:00] Thirty three.

[00:53:02] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:53:05] I to start when I was twenty four. What are you talking about. But yeah.

[00:53:09] Yeah, yeah. What’s your dream come true outcome.

[00:53:14] I don’t know.

[00:53:16] For years I’m not,

[00:53:17] I’m not going to lie. Yeah. Yeah I’m not going to lie. I have sliding door moments where I’m just like you know what I could have. Instead of spending two hundred thousand on that Democrats I just sat back. We make a decent money. My husband was making good money and I could have just spent his money and being a housewife and bought shoes and handbags and gone to the coffee shops. My friends and I do think, wouldn’t that have been a better life? And I do. I’m not going to lie. I have those moments where I think, what is this for and what is it worth? And there was there’s nothing why the why and control. And I don’t and I’ll be honest, I maybe I will have more of an answer in five years time. But I do go through this. I do go through those moments where I’m thinking, oh, goodness, like, what have I done? Like, why do this to myself? What did I guess what do you

[00:54:07] Think you’re trading in for business in your life?

[00:54:12] Well, you know what? I my kids are still at home. I’m with my kids. I don’t have a nanny. I don’t have home support like that. I do family support. Yeah. So I do look after my children. I know I breast feed my children. I think that is really important to me.

[00:54:31] More person. One hundred and fifty.

[00:54:33] You know, I hired do you know what I hired? I hired a personal sister, so I hired a sister and I thought and that’s what she does. She filters my calls. So she filters like things like she’ll say she’s very ruthless. She’ll just say. We need to deal with the issue, just make those decisions for which is exactly what I needed, and that’s made a big difference to me. So for me, I don’t want I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a nanny, by the way. Like, I know people who are homemakers and have nannies and is completely fine that I don’t have, like, it’s what suits me and that suits me. And it was really important for me to not, you know, what is this, some life I don’t want to feel. What I’m doing is compromising my family and my my children. And, you know, I think it’s overcompensate

[00:55:19] Getting tired of being a woman than the man.

[00:55:22] Absolutely not. No, not woman generally, but maybe a woman in the field. I do, absolutely. Definitely being a woman and business. I love your mother because because I’m a mother. And you know what? I have faced so much vitriol. I have faced I mean, the things people have said about me and that we

[00:55:44] Don’t look like the classic classic entrepreneur

[00:55:48] Young. Exactly. Exactly. And and that I get so much backlash from and I did. I mean, I think things have definitely settled down, but especially at the beginning, I had people causing these people trying to sabotage me. People badmouth me, people judging me before they even started. And there was a lot of horrible, horrible things being said about me. And and it was all and I was trying to figure out where it came from. A lot of it was because people were genuinely scared, like they they have a stereotype of a girl. And I’m an Asian girl, Muslim girl, female, wears a headscarf. I’m like, if someone sees me, they’ll think she’s she’s not capable. She’s the stereotype me into being that placid, timid, can’t think for herself kind of person.

[00:56:32] Try and prove that wrong.

[00:56:33] Absolutely. Definitely. Yeah. I love that’s

[00:56:37] Why.

[00:56:38] That’s the reason why I don’t believe that. Yeah. Maybe it is. Maybe it is proven that we’re completely capable and we are completely you know, we can do this and we’ve got this some intelligent women, we’re independent. We think for ourselves we’re not. We’re not. And I think there is definitely an element of trying to prove people wrong that it does drive me when I hear because I have 70 Dental and pretty much all my Dental seven of the job because of the hours we work and they’ll come back and I hear what’s being said about me. And people don’t realise, you know, when things are being discussed about me, that it does come back to me and it totally drives me so completely drives me.

[00:57:17] You coie her practise in central London, London Smiley. What’s a typical day for you? You showed that in the life of times you wait for it all star.

[00:57:30] Work, yeah, a typical day normally wake up about 5:00, so if I sleep around 6:00, like that’s a lie in not feel behind the I wake call, I’m a Christian, so I pray. I try and stretch because my back is having issues. And if if I’m lucky, I can do all that. If I’m unlucky, a little person comes in like she’s a nun but says she normally wakes up between five and six as well. So right at the moment we would spend about half an hour together. So she be reading I’d be reading to her. She just wants to watch something, but I don’t let her. And then I will leave the Prav leave home about seven blocks past seven, come to the practise. I like to have the first hour for myself. So to just catch up on stuff and determine what

[00:58:27] Does the money come in at that point or does she live with you

[00:58:30] Know, she, you know, has made me more resilient because before that I’m not I don’t want anybody living with me and all the rest of it. And then I used to come in. But me and the four year old for all those months, I’m sorry, it was hell, I kind of like like it was just so intense. And because she said so, she wouldn’t leave me alone. Like those, you know, all these people having all these conference calls and all CPD things, I didn’t get to do any of that at all. I just like I say to others. So she’s she’s she lives with she’s in there with me. So that’s really helped. So I leave, I come here. We have a morning huddle. Normally the team would have sent me the night before, like it would do what’s called the day lists and minuses. But like, I have a list of things, the occupation, what happened the last time they came in or they’re coming in today. Any problems? So I read first beforehand, then we have a morning huddle and then the day starts and it just each day is kind of different sometimes.

[00:59:40] What time to go home again?

[00:59:42] I try and get home, but now I try and get home by six thirty. So my job is to, you know, it’s fun have changed. I used to be like, I have to get home in time to give them a bath, but that’s actually really boring and I’m tired. So now does the bath and I read the story and put her to bed and then collapse three times. You could have been. Usually about midnight, well, 9:00 to 5:00 a.m. every day. My dad growing up, I’ve always done that. My dad used to say sleep was practising death. You have eternity to sleep. So we’ve always like in my house growing up, no matter what time you went to bed at six a.m., morning prayers, everybody dressed, seated for breakfast things. So friends didn’t like coming to my house.

[01:00:42] Zabor, SHAC founder and owner of Ruu Denzel Seabury, are you interviewing all team members

[01:00:51] And seems like you’ve got a relationship with all

[01:00:54] Team members at every level, right?

[01:00:56] Well, I do well and

[01:00:59] Koshy do so at the moment. I have like managers and stuff that kind of triage and filter through and when I recruit, then I will try and meet everyone before that final decision of hiring someone or me or Lindsay or I’ll try and zoom them. So in the last couple of months when I’ve been off maternity, there’s a few new people that I hadn’t met. And so that was my first thing that I need to go and do is meet meet them, because I’ve heard so much about them. And that that is really close to me. That’s important to me to meet them and and get to know them.

[01:01:33] And then you spoke about people bringing the value

[01:01:36] To the business. I mean, one of the things that’s so, so clear about many of the clinicians, that is the Instagram presence, right?

[01:01:45] Yeah. They all they all share in common. Is that something that you can look at and forth and is checking out their social profile a big part of the recruitment process?

[01:01:57] So it is and it isn’t. So we do check it so we know where they might be like sitting in terms of their work shows a lot of that portfolio as well. So if they have a strong Instagram presence, it does show their portfolio of work, but it’s not a criteria. I would say that they have to have a strong Instagram following or they have to be strong on it. That’s not because I have some dentists that work for me that don’t they didn’t have that in the beginning and they don’t want to grow that or something. But it’s naturally evolved that way. I would say I would say that a lot of the patients and the demographic of people we’re attracting is within that kind of demographic of Instagram. So we do say to the dentist that it does help because we put them on our Instagram as well. So it helps

[01:02:45] And help them grow their Instagram as well. It looks like, you know, the content you’re creating for them and their own brand with room is part of the deal as well, that you’ll

[01:02:56] Help them grow their social presence if they want to.

[01:03:00] Yeah, I mean, we want to grow our social presence. So our marketing is very strong and they are our brand as well. So all marketing is based around them. Video creations for the dentist, video questions for the staff. But they then utilise that content on their platforms is absolutely fine because we want to have a synergy. We don’t have we don’t want to say that you can’t grow yours and not grow ours. One of my closest dentists to me and she’s grown with me, Slaney, she is a strong Instagram dentist. But when we both when she started out, we were both squirming. She was growing in her Instagram platform and we were growing in our brand. And we always said to her, we’re not against each other and we have a synergy. And that was so different for her because she said, Majoras, the principles are the same to me. You can’t do this and you can’t post this about us and you can’t post that. And you have to write our logo on that and our logo on that. And I was never like that. I just said to her, will grow you your day. Wow. And she ended up being full time with us and she’s trying hard right now.

[01:04:01] Interesting. Kathleen is lecturing for me tomorrow. I see. It’s a small makeover for four. Amazing marketing.

[01:04:08] Amazing. But you know

[01:04:10] What impresses me, Zabor, is that you mentioned this. There’s a degree of vulnerability and having your associates having such a big presence because they could take they could take their patients away with them. But you don’t see that using that as an opportunity.

[01:04:29] Yeah, I don’t. Yeah. And I always say to business, well, we don’t ever see it that way. We always say that we just have confidence. And also there is a confidence in what we do and a confidence in our brand that we’ve seen that the dentist, once they’re in and they experience and touch and feel through and experience the journey with me. I mean, a lot of them, I just feel like the journey is a long term journey that they’re and they’re both in and they feel that it’s not fake and they know that. And the ones that have left or I’m not saying everyone stays with us, it’s all been positive. There’s a reason they want to grow in a different direction. And we’ve been there and I haven’t said or felt your patients are going with you or our patients. I’ve never felt that. I always feel that that’s enough for everyone. And I don’t need to no one needs to step on each other’s toes. I just have never needed to to feel that.

[01:05:27] Xavier, see who owns Synergy Dental clinics.

[01:05:32] The thing I find about Xibalba, I mean, you meet a lot of dentists like me and Prav me, a lot of dentists all the time and a lot of people. It’s kind of fashionable now to say I’m opening a chain. Yeah, but the way you executed and how for me how effortless it looks now and I know it’s not, but I know it’s not. And there’s a lot of planning and execution. But but but you are definitely enjoying your life. You know, it’s just it’s obvious you’re enjoying your life and it looks like you that you’ve managed to balance this out really well. Would you say, you know, obviously what you said about your sister, who’s a great friend of this podcast and the Bendel’s and that massive structure? You said that, but would you say there’s something about you that’s more ambitious than the next man, more structured than the next man? I mean, what you know, parents who work in a factory now you’re talking about opening 100 practises out of the blue. You know, where did it come from as a kid, whether you like that or that, these guys depend on that to sort of open your eyes.

[01:06:43] No, no. So I’ve been brought up in a community where, you know, 90 percent of the children never had the opportunity to go to university, and even if they did, their parents probably discourage them all working class. And, you know, the ethos at the time in the 80s and the early 90s was, you know, you go to school and you go to work. After that, I started working at the age of 12, something like that lamp factory to Nappi, factory to Sock’s factory to you know, Morison’s earning two point fourteen an hour to Sainsbury’s. I’ve always worked and I’ve always earned for myself and I’ve always been. That means I never I never got a penny of my parents for anyone. OK, and the same with my siblings and the same with my friends around. It was it was just the ethos in the in the in the community. So one of the things that resonated, resonated when I was a child, is actually seeing so many intelligent, really, really intelligent guys. I’m not the most intelligent, I can assure you, really intelligent guys. But they got to go into work and they’ve lost that ability to progress. And then, I mean, what I’m talking about is you would know from on on on one hand, the guys that went to university in the communities that we live in. So, you know that that kids going to university, that is going to invest, you know that. OK, so that to me was this has to change. I need to inspire. You know, I need to do something that you can do this and you can’t do that. And you don’t need to just to go to war, can you don’t you don’t need to drop everything else.

[01:08:28] You can balance it. And life is a balance. So I guess one of the biggest drivers for me is to inspire and only not mentioned this earlier. The only kid in my entire family, my first cousins that I’ve ever gone to university. No, no, my first cousins. I’ve got a big family. We’ve got a huge family. Right. So the first thing is I’m I’m not going to be looking to buy them because they’ve I’m one of the younger guys in the generations. But I’ll be able to inspire the next generation and they inspire the generation. That’s coming up. Right. So, um, how do you do this? You got to do it yourself. So, you know, through school, through, um, you know, I did well. I put my head down. I was not a child. I got into trouble loads because of the life that we were living, naughtily we were very naughty, very mischievous. Whenever we had a complaint at home. Father used to I used to say, what do you do outside? Stays outside, never, never bring it home. Right. So I went through school, did well, straight A’s, straight A’s, etc.. Again, a big, big drive was motivating others, went to a college sixth form. And I actually wasn’t going to do dentistry in the first place. I was going to do law. And I don’t know how I ended up in dentistry, but the people around me, those that were very ambitious, they all around me. So like I said, for example, my friend who’s in the optical field is over 250 practises, my very close friend, online pharmacies in America, Europe, UK, another very good friend of mine.

[01:10:07] These guys have been brought up together. I was got chain of pharmacies. And then you’ve got the the euro graduate brothers. And there’s other stories, very successful story. And other guys were the mindset that we had was how to inspire the community, you know, drugs, mental abuse, mental condition, suicide rates. All this was very prevalent and it still is. And we have to do something which allows people to focus on an end goal. And we have to do ourselves for for for us to inspire others. So be inspired and inspire others. And I guess Anil and AMRRIC were sort of sort of booster’s to that same philosophy. That’s why I love these guys. And Anil was my mentor for my four implant’s. When I first started in twenty seven, he used to come all the way from Birmingham to live there. And we’ve been snowboarding together in in Worcester and I’ve invited him across. We’ve been to the American flights alongside Americans from Bolson again of sportsmen. I’ve seen him grow up in a few. If you remember Sajid Mahmood, the cricketer, the fast bowler for England cricket. He was in my year in school and all that very sort of successful Indian rights. But the the work that goes behind it, no one sees the. No one sees what it takes to get there and everyone just wants to shock, right? And this is not the right. It’s not the it’s not the culture that we, you know, we try to share.

[01:11:40] Jemmy palliate from tree line Dental.

[01:11:44] So, Jemmy, just tell us firstly, prie covid what your practises were like, the sort of the size of them, the number of people, the buildings, the kind of things you were doing

[01:11:55] In those four.

[01:11:56] And then three of those became urgent care centres, urgent Dental centres.

[01:12:01] So really what I’d like to know is what it’s like. First of all, how did you do that? Why did you do that? Why do you barbecue like the rest of us and then what

[01:12:09] It’s like working

[01:12:10] In that environment? OK, so let’s take a question that time that’s going to be a initial group of practises that we had. We always want to mix models, so we’ve always run to mix. I’ve always felt that was the most suitable model for us. I think it worked well for us. I did a background in getting NHS dentistry in most of my career doing that, and then obviously always had one eye on private as well. But we’ve always approached it as a sort of a sort of expressive dentistry through that sort of model. So not high end Michelin star and not McDonald’s. So kind of fitting in the middle. And we’ve always kind of sat at that sort of position. So we’ve always felt the foxes were awful really into that sort of position where we have a steady NHS income and then also have the private on top.

[01:12:57] When did you have your first one and how old were you when you started that?

[01:13:00] And then when did you have the next three? So we bought the first practise about ten years ago and we put it, you know, pretty standard set out to buy practise of it, often a practise over there. And then they where they sort of ran it as much more and more of an NHS type practise. And then we sort of added more services and expanded the practise and so on. And then we sort of went through the tendering process or from unhatched contracts, and that’s how it sort of expanded over the years. So we expanded over the last few years to more sites in order to sort of just essentially be able to treat more patients and just have a bit more activity going on and obviously taking that original philosophy into practise to create that sort of mix model.

[01:13:52] And Jemmy is as a practise owner, and I see a lot of practise owners who have mixed practises and then grow personally from a clinical point of view.

[01:14:01] Did you adjust your split? Did you start doing more private work or move at any point shift towards being exclusively private and then get the associates in to do the NHS? How’s that been during the whole period of time that you’ve grown from, say, your first practise? Up to four. So, yeah, I mean, obviously I was doing a lot more NHS work beginning because a young couple buying the practise essentially put the graphic grit and determination to sort of a few years. I’m sure everybody will say the same thing. And then as we as we had more conversation, the patients been stabilised. Elbaz, we can start talking to them about private work and then obviously introducing various clinical systems into the practise. So witling being one, for example, and implants and also sort of ended on taking over surgery and expanding into that phase and then just making sure that we cater for all needs. We try to keep everything under one roof. And that’s probably what the majority of practises are doing or aiming to aiming to do and then back into the natural platform to then expand on. And that’s what we’ve done. And so

[01:15:08] You as a clinician personally, do you do any NHS work now if you’ve shifted to be primarily working on the business plus private, or do you do still do a little bit of

[01:15:18] How does a structure work now? So, yeah, I probably do more private work now, like you said, work on the business. So the problem solving and all the other aspects of running a business, I’d like to do a little bit of NHS because that’s where my roots are and I don’t mind doing a little bit. I think in certain circumstances NHS is very suitable properties, obviously suitable in the circumstances. That’s just about giving people choice and they’re not prejudice against one or the other. I’m quite happy to give them both an army.

[01:15:46] So who owns Brookfield’s Dental Care operates in as a father and son.

[01:15:51] See, to tell me, how would you would you bring to that side? Does that come naturally to do you feel like, you know, being the boss is something you like being?

[01:16:01] I think a lot of people I’m not I’m not great at business. I never have. And I think if I was quite a business, I wouldn’t be a dentist. So it’s in dentistry. I think it’s very

[01:16:17] Hard to be excellent

[01:16:18] Clinically and also an excellent practise owner or principal. I think it’s very hard to do both because both require time.

[01:16:27] So I decided to go down the

[01:16:29] Clinical because, again, I love working with my hands, I love my job and OK, I could go and go the opposite way and own 20 practises, and I wouldn’t have that of a crown ever again in my life or fitting ever again. But I actually love doing clinical dentistry. So I wanted

[01:16:48] To get into practise ownership

[01:16:51] Just because the fact that I wanted to always take over my dad’s practise,

[01:16:55] Which is his baby. There’s an element,

[01:16:57] There’s element of like legacy

[01:16:59] There.

[01:16:59] And of course and I really want to take that to the next level. He’s done to a great start at the last sort of three or four years of being really involved in the business of marketing and looking at the figures and getting a team on board.

[01:17:16] So I’ve done a lot with that. And then we’re square mile. We’ve we’re very clinically there because you got Sanjay make a line.

[01:17:25] Pull myself, I do think is one of the best clinical teams in London. Yeah, excellent clinicians there. However, the marketing the branding is not correct there. And that’s something that needs to be sorted out. So and the guys understand that. And that’s why I’m coming on board, because I do think that places have got something special about it. The locations are fantastic. The the the work the Sanjay does is unbelievable. You know, one of the best dentists in the UK and, you know, his work is absolutely sublime.

[01:18:05] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders history.

[01:18:16] Your house, Payman,

[01:18:17] Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[01:18:21] Thanks for listening, guys.

[01:18:23] If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it

[01:18:35] If you did get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

[01:18:46] And don’t forget our six star rating.


In this week’s special show, we take a retrospective look at some of the towering figures from implantology we’ve had the pleasure of chatting with so far.

You’ll hear hints, tips, career advice and much more from some of the field’s visionaries and leaders.

If implantology’s your thing, this is your show.


In This Episode

00:58 – Alfonso Rao
04:29 – Andrew Dawood
08:38 – Andrew Moore
12:35 – Anil Shrestha
15:26 – Basil Mizrahi
19:44 – Fazeela Khan-Osborne
26:04 – Hassan Maghaireh
29:33 – Kailesh Solanki
34:43 – Koray Feran
40:38 – Nilesh Parmar
44:13 – Paul Palmer
46:48 – Zaki Kanaan

[00:00:05] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders and Dental Street. Your heist’s Payman Langroudi, I’m Prav Solanki

[00:00:22] This week on Dental Leaders, we’re bringing you some of the best implant industry content that we’ve recorded over the last couple of years from our implant Leaders those dentists who’ve got an expertise in implant dentistry and who share some hints, tips and advice and nuggets around the topic of implant dentistry. Some of the people who we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing include dear friends, colleagues and clients of mine and others who I’ve just met during this process of recording the Dental Leaders podcast, The Implant Leaders that you Bohem from include the Italian cooler than cool Alfonso Rao, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with for many, many years. And Alfonso, how did the teaching come about? Because I remember when we first met, we were having our initial discussions were around, hey, I’ve got this company who want me to teach for them. I’ve got this company. You want me to teach for the this one wants to give me this, wants to give me why, etc., etc.. I remember those conversations so vividly. And so how did you from coming from Italy to hear being as young as you are, how did you get yourself recognised as Hey, I can teach or I want to teach or what was what was your teaching journey? I mean, that is something that I always really, really liked my since my time at university. I think that everything you say this obviously is completely correct is not something it is being taught like a lot of things not I’m not extremely good seeking a business plan and say this is going to happen now.

[00:01:56] This is going to happen next. I do a lot of things as I feel that are right for me, for my colleagues, for my practise and for my family. So a lot was that I was invited to teach for different companies in a different aspect. Now, at that point, I start to feel that that was not enough because I was doing things for others, but for myself, and I think especially when you’re the teaching is extremely important to be as independent as possible. Obviously, I do work with a lot of company and I do a relationship with them as well. I wouldn’t have. Show or discuss them, of course, something that I honestly don’t really use in my clinical work every day, because there is obviously dignity and ethics. I don’t think that otherwise I would be greeted as by Anita. So that is the reason, because we started to say, OK, but then for the people teaching for company, well, the only person you knew that why I’m not having my academy, I’m happy to deal with a company that I usually work with my clinical staff anyway. But in basically in my way, in my role in my time, and I’ll decide how to do it. But teaching is something that I find extremely rewarding from a clinical point of view, I find it that helped me to be a dentist because, you know, since I remember this was a conversation where the beginning at the beginning, I was not taking orders. But now I do photos of almost every cases because obviously, I mean for the teacher.

[00:03:34] And then when I review my photos, because I have to prepare an actual presentation, I often try to be self-critical. And I should have done this in a different way. I should have done this in a different way. And I’m not too competitive with the people around me. And I was thinking you weeks to write. I’m really relaxed about my competition and my competitors, but they’re not competitive with myself. So, you know, I always want more from me. And what you guys did with the implant ology and Massimo does is all right. Yes. So I do all the implants. I must admit an OK. But then we also used our Italian connexion the last few years to do like some prosthetics or or restorative course we like from rubber dam surgery, from dippie to for large cases. So microsurgery. So we always try to do a course with a different level. But one of the nice things that works is keep the academy is that nice and fun place to be. And so we realise that a lot of people are coming to the academy, of course, and then they’ll end up in the home with us. Andrew Daywalt, who has got this supercenter in London and is operating at the very pinnacle and cutting edge of implant dentistry. And in terms of being one of the leading implant clinics in the UK, in terms of pricing and level of investment, where do you sit? I’m assuming at the top end of the

[00:05:06] Line we are an absolute bargain. No, no, I’m I’m actually being all of that completely serious love that. I’m being completely serious. So we OK, look, you’re talking about us as an implant clinic and actually we’re not an implant clinic. We’re a specialist practise. We’re a practise with many specialists in it. Actually, we’re not all specialists, but we’re a practise where if it is appropriate that a patient has a feeling, they’ll have a feeling, if it’s appropriate that they’ll have a difficult reconstruction on teeth. And that’s what they’re going to have. Yes, I do implants almost exclusively implants. But it’s, you know, what is an implant clinic? I mean, maybe that shouldn’t really be there. I don’t think a specialist implant, you know, we talk about should there be a specialism and implant dentistry? I don’t really think there should be because it’s actually about restoring dentistry and we need that overall perspective. So we are about coming back to a point. I mean, we’re a bargain because we’re hyper efficient. I think we’re extremely efficient at what we do. We’ve been doing it a very long time. We use known, highly regarded implant systems and we do that from from the ground up. So we are implant system is something that’s highly regarded and well known. But the components that we put on top of it are also of that system. So I think something that people don’t really get is that what you put on top of the implants is as important as the implants. And a lot of patients will say, well, I had to you know, they used that implant. It’s a really good implant.

[00:06:57] But then you see that what’s been put on it just doesn’t fit at all. And they’ve used, you know, cheap stuff, cheap stuff on top. And that’s a great way to cause implant itis, for example. So the implant fails because of the restorative work that’s done. So when we work with referrers, we work very closely with them to make sure that what goes on the implant is the right thing. Now, if you’re going to do it right, it is going to cost a bit more. I think I’m actually going to name some thing that’s happening at the moment because we hear you laughing. I think you know what I’m going to tell you. So this is a Dental company called Finest Dental, which is just recently, I understand, going bankrupt or something like that. And there were patients out there who have just been left in the most appalling state and some of them have found their way to our practise. And it’s just just mind boggling. I mean, they have had implants provided from a from a well known manufacturer. But of the patients, I’ve seen the implants look like being shot in, um, the far more of them than they should be from the implants. So they’re paid very little. I believe the. Very little, but for twice as many implants as they needed, then what’s being put on top just beggars belief. The thought to the collusion, no thought to the opposing arch thoughts of the Dental state, the restorative state. And I mean, it’s it’s worrying. It’s upsetting because it gives us all a bad name.

[00:08:38] Dr Andrew Moore, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with for well over a decade, one of the nicest guys in dentistry and omes, shall we say, dead on, because he recently exited the mall, one of the most beautiful practises I’ve ever stepped foot in with an amazing patient experience in an atmosphere that you’ve just got to experience to pick it up. I always said to Andrew, if he could bottle of what he’s created at his clinic and disallow that into other clinics, he’d make a lot more money than he would place in implants.

[00:09:13] Yeah, I used to do a lot of surgery when I first qualified, I used to work at the hospital and do there was a days when you were there were there was a department run by one consultant and sideshow in about eight clinical assistants. And someone got me into doing that when I first qualified. So I still like doing you know, we used to run our own less. It was really good. It was great way again, surgical, you know, sort of experience. And then after probably I think it was about seven or eight years of the NHS, did a lot of amalgams in a really busy, busy NHS practise, just like I just don’t know if I could do this for the rest of my life, you know, and started then looking around for other things. And someone said to me, oh, you should look at implants. Who could be the next big thing? So I, I met Ashok’s at the AU and I did Ashok’s course and I’ve got a lot of to Ashok for because he opened my eyes to to things dentistry could be you know, I remember going to practise in Harley Street is a big town house in Hollister. And again, this is amazing. This is why one, this is what I want to do.

[00:10:25] What sort of stage career were you were

[00:10:27] That I was in that transition where I’d been where dentistry was. It was getting to be the same old, same old. How many years qualified were you by then. So must have been eight, maybe nine years qualified. And I was just, I was still enjoying er I was still enjoying dentistry but I was just at that point of like oh my God, I could be doing this for another five years. I to do something else, not something else you know, because I now I’ve got limitations by something, maybe a just a different challenge. So that was good for me to, to go and see what else was going out there. And then I started going on courses through Asharq, you know, did he did his year course and and I thought to myself, well, I’ll do the odd implant here and there and and again, have quite a leap of faith as an associate in a predominantly NHS practise to turn around and go, oh, I’m going to buy all the implant stuff and physio dispenser that care all that, you know, and all this when you

[00:11:28] Are you placing all 750 implants were sold for a second implant all

[00:11:33] Up until recently. I was. Yeah, but Phil is now doing a lot of yeah. He’s doing a lot of stuff so. Yeah. I mean he’s good. I mean we’ve got so many patients who just because I think been in the same street, I’ve worked in the same street for 30 years. So we’ve got a lot of patients out there and I walk through town. Yeah. Yeah. So they’re just these is a volume of people. I don’t remember the name. I remember what I did on them. And then they, they sort of you get people coming out the blue. I saw some on the yesterday and he was who hadn’t seen for 15 years. Wow. And just came in said ah broken to the did an implant for me fifteen years ago and I just want that one out and you know, so I get people just coming back so it gets easier. I think as you’ve done more there’s, there’s not much selling involved for me anymore with implants because a lot people are sold on it. And I like the old days. It was a real leap of faith for people, you know,

[00:12:35] And we’ve got Anil Shrestha, who I consider to be the true gentleman of dentistry. Whenever a media company he is always acts, dresses and articulates himself as a true gentleman. And he’s got some really interesting nuggets to share in this episode.

[00:12:53] If you had to see your work in percentage terms, how much of it is implant ology, how much of it is straight aesthetic dentistry, how much of it is restorative rehab type stuff? I know, I know it’s all mixed together as well as cases,

[00:13:08] But that’s a good question as well. So last year, because I audit every week and at the end of every year, etc., So like last year I started in nineteen full mouth rehabs. That’s enough to keep me working for at least another year. In fact, you’ve been to the practise. You’ve seen my list of actually that’s enough to keep me working for another two, three years. And I get new patients with stuff like that. I have to pick and choose very carefully. I teach at the Royal London. I teach on the prosthodontics specialist training programme as one of their clinical tutors. And I say to these guys, listen, you really need to learn all of the academic stuff as well as the clinical stuff and clinics very well. But what you learn to be able to work like people like me being able to rebuild a whole mouth, reconstruct them, not just a.. Case is not just beautiful, perhaps, but rebuilding a whole mouth and reorganising inclusions, including doing the grafting and the implants, which is the majority of my work. And restorative implants. It’s only 50 percent of what you actually need to master.

[00:14:10] The other 50 percent is. Being able to be empathetic and looking after these patients, because I have patients who have certified post-traumatic stress disorder, several of them, I have patients who are incredibly difficult to manage, who you just have to understand them. You have to be empathetic, but you also have to be in command. I have patients who have walked out the door who had so much trauma that they become alcoholics from from the previous traumas they’ve had. I’ve had a patient who I had to section because she she literally left and she was so emotional, revisited past traumas that police had to take her into their custody of 50 percent of that work is not actually clinical dentistry. It’s the management of the patients. And I think that reflects what Michael was saying. You know, his patients were not easy. He used to pick and choose his patients. I’ve heard it said that he used to say Leaders said to me his practise was based not on the patients. He used to treat the very famous ones, etc., but the patients he didn’t treat because he knew how to select them.

[00:15:13] Yeah, well, I was going to ask you that question said in your position, you must come across a bunch of people who their problem is more. Let’s call it psychological than than

[00:15:23] I’d say it forms a significant part.

[00:15:26] Then we’ve got Basil Mizrachi, who to many is known as one of the top, not just implants, is one of the top dentists in the world and even himself coming back with some of his shortcomings and mistakes and paralysed by perfectionism during his episode, I found really interesting. What would you say are a few things that most dentists don’t know or get wrong that you wish that they got right and they thought more about it? Was it that what you just said? I zoomed out thought process. I mean, even examples now for our composite course, I wish more dentists paid more attention to primary anatomy now before I mean, we try and put that into their heads when when they get there. But they’ll come in talking about layering and colour and secondary anatomy. But but not to have focussed enough on primary anatomy, simple things or polishing, finishing and polishing, for instance, everyone’s got their head into colour for some reason. And so in bleaching something I wish people gave a damn about their impression of as much as they keep pretending to know what they’re talking about when it comes to percentages of gels. Yeah, everyone goes into that. It is always the first question. The percentage gels that bit. But I wish more people took better impressions in your world. So I wish people paid more attention to the temptress. So of course, because I think, guys, that’s stuff that allows to go from single to suit to multiple dates.

[00:17:06] So I think that is the key to success when you want to start doing more complex. And I don’t think they just realise that when they come out of Dental school and then they try the limited knowledge of how to do it. And we are stable when you try to do more complex as a patient or even what, temporaries the food, right? Yeah. Your temper is the kind of functional thing, isn’t it? It’s not just not just there to protect the teeth. Yeah, it’s it’s not the stopgaps. It’s you can’t get to that point unless you go with the emigrates because again, it’s the journey that’s more important than the end result, because the end result we could all do a dead end result would be compromised if you had to at all is going through the journey. And the thing that stops you cutting corners, going to the journey are the temperate. And please allow me to take the time you see me putting those pictures up on Instagram. I didn’t do that in one visit. I may have done that paper, but three visits driving myself crazy. What allowed me to take three budgets to do the print, the fact that I had a table and say to the patient, I come back in a week’s time, I’m exaggerating, but that’s the only way for me I can get at level is taking as much time as I need next week.

[00:18:28] And then also the hardest skills are for me, I think that sometimes people are losing their skills, focussing on the aesthetics. The adhesive is good, but it still is a piece of mechanical and that’s hands each in the hands of important and also social media. I think a lot of people just focus on the front. I mean, we see Instagram. Pictures, just the cosmetic results I would like to see and you never see the gun margins or you never see a close up picture impression of the guns, that kind of thing. I think I was going to say the thing with Instagram, a lot of it is aimed directly at patients. Yes. Not patients don’t want to see the gun, but it’s dangerous. Dangerous insomuch as you know, if you if you’re only talking to patients, the way the way that you can present the thing is different doesn’t mean you don’t have to be so ridiculous. Yeah. And I guess that’s sometimes the differences. But some market would be pitching it as a dentist, whereas average day, a small kid would be pitching in patients, I think is a different perspective. And then we’ve got Fazila Khan, Osvald and Fazila is one of these dentists who has really humanised the process of implant dentistry.

[00:19:55] During her podcast, I really got a feel for what it was like to be one of the patients and the gentle human touch and problem solving approach she takes to implant dentistry. I found really insightful during that episode that we recorded with her. What I found about the whole teeth in a day process procedure out of all the treatments that we provide in our own clinic is the one that has, I would say, the biggest life impact absolutely. Above and beyond any cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening, even Payman and orthodontics. Right. Is that you’re actually giving these patients back foreshocks and yeah. The ability to not worry about something falling out of their mouth. Absolutely. Or just a whole new menu of food, right? Yeah. Have you got any stories you can share with those of patients whose lives you’ve changed and what is the one that sticks out that’s had the biggest impact on you? I remember the first one I did, the first one I did was a lady who came and everything was moving to the point where she brought her models and said, you can’t take an impression because everything will come out. So I was already shit scared about what I was going to be doing if I was going to be doing it. So. So that was a big thing. And she was only sixty seven.

[00:21:24] So for me that wasn’t that old. And I sat down and I remember saying to her, and I’ve done lots of versions of this a lot, but I’d never actually done it all in one go. And I always made sure I surrounded myself with people that were a bit better or a lot better. So that wasn’t very difficult. And I made sure and I said to her, OK, so we used these two models, which were OK, and we kind of guesstimated what we were going to do. And I had everybody there on the day and I knew I could do the surgery. And my ex-husband was a prosthodontics, so I knew I had him as a backup. And he we did this as a double act for nearly two years. And at the end of it and I’m not joking Prav we finished a 10 to one in the morning. It was about 10 hours apart, a whole lot. And I remember her daughter coming to get her and everything was fine. I did it under sedation, so everything was cool. She went home and the next day she sent me a photo of her eating and she said, today is the beginning of the rest of my life. And I still have the photo and I still have the text to remind me of how fallible I am and how, yes, this can go well, but how lucky I am and how grateful I am to be surrounded by all those people to pick me up.

[00:22:43] And they do. They operate in for eight hours is no joke. And I was really lucky. And I said to myself, I’m going to do five hundred and then I’m going to go and I’ve done five hundred and three. But but I also decided the last one I’m going to do for free because that will be my best one. Nice. Do you remember your first implant fame if. Oh yeah. I’ll tell you something, it’s funny, we were talking about it yesterday. I have it in my drawer because I do, I have it to look at. So every time I open the door, the surgery is looking at me. Yeah, it happened after 18 months. And I remember saying to me, I’m so glad because I was beginning to worry that you’d think they were. Yeah. I remember every single day, every time I pick up an infant, I remember that you’re only as good as the last one. Really, really. And, you know, I learnt a lot from that. And I don’t worry that the implants will fail because after twenty six years later, you know what to do, because you’ve actually made all the mistakes and you’ve mostly made all the corrections. So by now you should you should know something.

[00:24:00] If we ask if you want to say this question about mistakes.

[00:24:05] Because from from I don’t know if you’ve seen black black box thinking. Yeah, yeah. It’s about it’s about we can learn from mistakes and how in medicine we don’t sort of learn from our mistakes. We don’t learn from each other’s mistakes because everyone hides their mistakes. If you had to think back, what would you say is your biggest mistake and what have you learnt from it? My first big mistake was I was doing a placement with an oral surgeon, actually, and she put the implant in and I said, is it sound? And I wiggled it and it went in the sinus. All right. And I remember thinking, holy bleep, what am I going to do now? And so my choice was right. Well, let’s go back to oral surgery, open it up. We take it out. I remember saying to us that when it happened to him that you’re fishing around in this sinus during this procedure, you’re fishing around. And then he literally set up the patient and the implant fell out onto the floor. And I remember thinking, yeah, OK, so after an hour of fishing around, I suddenly wised up and I said to the patient, can we just sit you up for a sec? And it fell on the floor. And in that moment, I literally looked up at the sky at the window and said, thank you so much. So that I’ve learnt a lot from that.

[00:25:29] I think putting implants in the wrong place, I think almost every kind of mistake you can imagine, nothing life threatening, nothing major, but every kind of thing that is not perfect. I have at least done once, if not more than that. And I think the difference is that when I go to surgery now, I don’t go with a plan. I’ll go with 10 plans. So I always assume, well, if it goes to plan, we don’t need to talk about it and nobody does. You don’t learn anything either. But if it doesn’t go to plan, what are you going to do? Hassan Megaera, somebody who’s a researcher, teacher, mentor, is the bad bad academy and someone who recently I’ve had the pleasure of working with on his personal brand. I’ve begun to realise that he is a true, real perfectionist and a stickler for detail. Obviously, we all majorettes, we wouldn’t be humans if we didn’t make errors. And you know, one thing talking about the pilot co-pilot concept is all about, you know, what can we do to make it better for our patients? And I again, you know, if I want to take one, send one take home message to my friends and colleagues is please think about working as a team. It does help. It does help. You know, let’s put our egos down and think, you know, working as a team.

[00:27:02] One thing I really regret and it really hasn’t hurt me for a long time. I treated this lady. She was my number two patient in UK, in the private sector. And I had a mentor and I invited someone who I used to think is a great person because I was very young and he was very popular. I paid him from my own share as an as an associate to come and deal with me that Saturday. And I treated this lady. And now, you know, 15 years on, I realised that that mentor was literally standing there doing nothing. I he sort of supervised my errors. I placed and put in the wrong direction a place and place to labial. And the patient ended with recession and with metal display. And it sucked because I thought I had my safety net behind my shoulder and I realised now that he didn’t do a good job. So that sort of, again, motivated me. When I accept to mentor someone, I take it there seriously. You know, I’m there 100 percent as if this is my patient. And that’s what every mentor needs to do. You know, it it saddens me to see people claiming to be mentors when they’re not ready to be mentors. And when I say ready to be mentor, not only clinically, but you need to have the passion and the patience to be there as a teacher, which is harder than being just a clinician.

[00:28:40] So that’s something I would, you know, I would regret doing, not knowing the right people to teach me and learning and then teach me how to do things at the very beginning. Obviously, when it comes to dentistry pay, it’s very critical field. If you place your implant one millimetre to labial the whole thing in a film and you’re going to get Middleville recession. So it makes or break the case, the correct positioning. It’s like a domino effect. If the first block isn’t right, everything else would be wrong. So when it comes to dentistry, it’s all about plotting, planning, planning, planning and sharing that plan with your mentor, discussing double checking and. Having no ego, whenever you get ego playing, that’s when things go wrong. Kailash Solanki, my dear brother, love him to bits very accomplished implant surgeon and you’ll pick up some nuggets from him. A lot of what Kailash delivers this is this little bit of magic that is bottled up inside his charisma. And then obviously the skills go hand in hand. Bro, you’re probably one of the highest grossing dentists in the UK, if I do say so myself. What’s your secret to sales? What’s your what does your console sound like? You know what? A patient comes in. Just take us through the experience of a patient coming in, meeting you for the first time and what that’s all about from Doris, who’s a 75 year old old dear to your young influencer who comes in and they’re both totally different people.

[00:30:23] Surely you can’t have the same approach with them all. Now, of course, lik e e very much like understanding people like that, you know, and and what things have helped me be. That guy, I suppose, know working in my dad’s corner shop, you know, having to deal with, you know, the drug dealers, the drug takers, the middle class person that wants his bottle of wine on a Friday night because he’s had a heavy week, you know, in the office to two Doris and who walks the shop on a on a Thursday afternoon with a with a with a wheel in bargain and gets exactly the same things each time. And, you know, having the ability to have a conversation with all those different variations of people allowed allowed me to to build that in my repertoire. So, you know, when when the influencer comes in and current, you know, people will always say, I kind of know I understand language. I’ll talk to them in the language they understand. If Doris comes in, though, she’ll be I will say to her very gently and very quietly, you know, OK, nice to me. I hope everything’s OK. Did you manage to find Azara? Did you manage to cope with those? You know, just things that I know that they’re empathetic with, you know, and empathy is a real big thing for me.

[00:31:41] And it’s not it’s not I’m not putting on I’m not faking it. I’m just I’m always genuinely wanting to make sure that they’re OK. And whether it is the influencer or whether it is the seventy five year old daughter that comes comes to see me. Of course, my approach is different. I taught them differently, the language I use is different. The way I see it, the way I kind of conduct myself, the way I believe in, you know, either give body contact so nobody contact, you know, all these little things just to create some reassurance massively helps. And, yeah, make my take is is always has been, you know, everyone that’s ever worked with me or worked for me or worked alongside me will tell you, you know, I can literally get 95 percent uptake of all treatment plans. The only times they don’t go ahead is if they can afford it and off and pass that, they will go ahead. And so it’s easy to you know, I don’t even think about growth figures. It’s easy to to do a lot of dentistry if the person trusts you and allows you to do it. And I think that’s kind of what I do on a day to day basis.

[00:32:50] But you build trust and you’re saying you almost do that as a second nature thing. You know, you don’t go, oh, I’m going to build trust with this person. That’s the person you are. You build trust and then.

[00:33:02] Yeah, but then

[00:33:04] From such an early age to be treatment planning sort of comprehensively and and having the confidence to, you know, to come out with a twenty thousand pound treatment plan as a VTE. I mean, where’d you get that confidence from both of you? Confident people.

[00:33:23] Yeah, I think what does it come from, from working in a shop where

[00:33:27] People work in a shop, guys?

[00:33:29] Yeah, I, I, I get what you say in light, but from my my point of view, I suppose, you know, there’s there’s two things. There’s the ability to have the confidence to to kind of almost talk the talk. And then the reason I did all the postgrads, you know, and I would say that they’re not mouthes the three year degrees or diplomas or less than the other. But I’ve got the hands on experience to be able to take that to fruition. I’m not telling you that, you know, over that time, I haven’t made mistakes. And I think if any dentist who does the level of dentistry that I do turns around him and says everything I do at every point in life is amazing. And, you know, I’d I’d question that massively question everyone has bad days. Everyone has treatment plans which don’t go quite to plan, even though you feel the special tests and everything you’ve done is, is is is good enough to hold that treatment plan up. Some things do just go wrong. Sometimes shit just does happen. And essentially, you know, that’s also learning. That’s also taught me a lot, you know, that that kind of now allows me to make even better clinical decisions for patients. And we’ve got Karaf around. If I myself wanted to see a dentist Hungar comprehensive, thorough check on all aspects of dentistry, I would have no hesitation in going straight koray first because of his thoroughness and his approach.

[00:35:02] And I really got that from Korei during the interview that we did with him. I have a great admiration for Andrew. I’ve known for a long time. I mean, we we we kind of I knew when I was a surgeon, so I’m talking sort of maybe 30 years ago. And he’s always been innovative. He’s always been at the cutting edge. It was at his practise that I thought I saw no bell really get into gear in the early 90s and his imaging system. And he’s he’s an innovator and he is a spectacular mind to have a great deal of admiration for him. He is somebody who I’m the same. So our practise is multidisciplinary. We deal with all sorts of stuff. But he takes it a step further because he also deals with the cancer patients and the facial deformities and the specialist implant designs and things. So with his imaging, he he is a cut above the rest of these. At least he’s a special guy. And I think, you know, it’s not I’m not I’m not that level in terms of the scope of what he does. But what is what is what is what is your value? Add in the implant world with my value, your value add.

[00:36:15] You know, I do high high level whitening. That’s what I do. Because we don’t we don’t we don’t understand implants tell it was from a normal thing. I don’t think there’s something special about implants as such. I think it’s just it’s just biology and patient management and good, good restorative skills. I mean, I don’t really like the term implant ologies because it kind of signifies to somebody put screws and it’s not synthesised. That’s not the that’s not if you’re a restorative dentist and implants the same as an under five as part of your repertoire, he said the important thing is, is I think realising when you shouldn’t, when you shouldn’t. And what solves that patient’s problems in the best way for that patient? And it’s not necessarily what you would recommend the patient. You know what? I don’t want that. I want this thinking, OK, so the best way of doing it, but it’s a way of doing it. As long as you’re aware of X, Y, Z, OK, we can do that. But sometimes you have to know when the patient says, I want A, B, C, you think there is no way this is going to work. I’m going to go down that road. You have to be X, Y, Z or something similar. And that’s what they said. No way. The thing with Andrew’s practise is, again, is, is a massive practise.

[00:37:28] A lot of clinicians, there’s a lot of different physical activity going on in there and it’s much more difficult for him to control clinical standards at an individual level. I’m trying to keep my practise small enough that I can do that where we all are on the same same song sheet, but large enough that we’re flexible and we have a side that makes it a viable business both to work in and to. So I couldn’t run that practise on my own. But equally, I don’t want to practise for I have fifteen associates coming in and out. I just that that’s that’s a hospital. So I think four surgeries where myself and the hygienist make up one half of the practise of the associates in two surgeries, make up the other half of the practise is quite a good balance. And you know, getting an associate when I talk about associates, I talk about these butterflies in. So I think when you have when you’ve got bees in your in your business, then you you have very, very good thriving practise and you can just take your foot off the gas and lie back and let everybody do their thing. Because they get that. They get the ethos. It’s integral, it’s and you rest easy if you got butterflies and leeches. Not so good.

[00:38:45] And the difference between them is the bee will work as hard as you do. The bee will earn more than you. They’ll do it on social media. They’ll be moving the patients. They’ll be following things up, be doing things to a clinical standard. They’ll be on top of their paperwork. They will be a version of you, me. Those are the ones those are the people I want to cultivate. On the other end of the spectrum, every practise I’ve seen them with, the kind of girl that comes in, complains about everything. Nothing’s ever good enough yet. They’re the ones that don’t turn up to meetings. They’re the ones that don’t toe the line. They’re the ones that don’t obey the rules, that the one that expects everybody to run around them. It’s all about them and them. They’re the leeches. Get rid of them. And they’re the people that are going to take your patients and run off to to set up their own practise. So those are the two extremes. The difficult ones are the cheap. The bees get rid of the leeches, the problems of the butterflies. You start off as a caterpillar, sort of eat everything and they kind of get into the practise, the wonderful and it turns the wonderful butterflies and they are there with you and they’re lovely and everybody loves them.

[00:39:49] And their quality of work is good. Nobody really complains about them. They occasionally drop the ball, but they find in the sweet and the charming and everything. But they don’t really add and you don’t practise. They don’t really bring in any patience. They don’t really do anything. It’s just a job. They come in, they go home. And those butterflies are the difficult ones because they don’t really help build your practise. But on the other hand, they kind of it’s nice to have them there. And the butterflies are the most difficult societ, because if you push them to try to raise the game, they shrink back. And if you don’t give them enough, they get bought. Those are the typical associates and you don’t always know what they’re going to be. But if you can find bees, pay them well, keep them busy, keep them happy, give them everything they need, because that is going to be your future. And then Palmer, probably one of the most educated dentists, especially for his years that he’s been in the game, quite a young dentist, got a very mature head on himself, both from a business perspective through doing his MBA and experience in the business of dentistry. But on the implant side of things, he’s really educated himself, got himself out there, even run his own courses. Great concern shared by Neelesh.

[00:41:08] So what would you say to a youngster who wants to get into implants? Would you now say MASC or would you say go find some courses, long courses, short courses?

[00:41:20] It’s it’s a hard one, isn’t it? What I’d say is, where are you in your career path? Can you do surgical? Can you take teeth out? If you can take time then consider implant work. If you can’t if you’ve got that whole in your repertoire, you need to plug it restrictively. Are you competent? And then it’s a question of doing a course and then finding a mentor. The masses that are out there, I don’t have enough experience of them to comment on whether or not they’re good or whether or not they’re bad. But I know that there’s nothing as good as the guys programme anymore. I mean, you have people getting messages from certain universities only doing like five implants or something, and we must have done twenty, thirty loads. But you need a good mentor. So some of the guys who I work with now who did my course mind and of course I still mentor them and it’s nice to see that they’ve progressed, but he’s taken three, four, five years. It’s a really slow burn, but you have to be all it. You can’t be doing implants and then also be doing this and that. And that implant is the one where you just need to dive in and really go gung ho into it. It’s it’s a hard discipline, but the rewards are very good because there’s not enough dentistry. And to me, to any youngster, I wish I would only be a youngster to any like young the dentist. I say, look, and this is from the financial side.

[00:42:40] If you want to learn, you’re going to open up a shop, right. Let’s say you open up a shop and the shop next to you is selling coke and the shop on the other side is selling Coke. Why are you going to open up a shop selling coke? Only going to do is be a price war. You’re going to have to sell the cheapest Coke Pakhtun if you are a dentist. Why are you learning Invisalign Botox Lutfullah composite restorations when every other dentist is doing the same thing? Why don’t you offer a different service line? So who’s not offering anything? And it’s hard to come by nowadays and implants. So if you differentiate yourself from the early days, your market share. By default would be bigger because if you’re in a town and there’s 10 dentist incompetents and one dentist implant, guess who’s going to be the busiest guy? And then you can almost set his price, right? So that’s what I would say is the speciality that is the least service in your area and then go for it. And Implant’s, I think, is is an amazingly rewarding area of dentistry to do it. And I would like more youngsters. And I think definitely we need more women in dental implant surgery because there was even a women in Implant Dentistry Foundation and we had a female president of the Aidi. And I think it would be great to have some more diversity in implant industry. I’m sick of going to implant conferences and just seeing bald heads in the audience and present company excepted.

[00:44:05] Is this all you get is not to go and this is your room. And then Paul Palmer, one of the eggs of implant dentistry. And what was the takeaway I got from Paul Palmer’s episode was the you know what? It’s important to choose the patients you treat rather than have them choose you. And, you know, I think over the years he’s he became more selective and understood what to avoid, what not to do, because it comes up a lot with people I speak to. And that’s zygomatic implants. And you’ll I just want I just want your thoughts on it, because you know what? I’ve come across some dentists who jump on a weekend course to learn zygomatic implants. I personally think that’s bonkers. And then whatever your philosophy is on it, what sort of training and qualifications do you think somebody should have to be doing that, that level of surgery? So, you know, that’s always a tricky one. I’m not staying at the door letting people in and excluding people. So I think it’s dangerous to even venture down the line of who who should or shouldn’t, because at the end of the day, the person holding the drill is the one who has to answer for himself and the GDC. So is not how Australia if I don’t what courses you’ve done at the end of the day, you’ve got to be able to be confident in your own ability and working within your own abilities.

[00:45:39] You know, again, is what we try and instil in our students and our the people we work with. Because once you lose that insight, life gets difficult and dangerous for all of us. But, you know, the employers myself, you know, they have a good enough record and in the right hands, they certainly have a place. But what they actually can deliver again is another one. It’s a common philosophy and one used by by Borris of late, which is under promise and over deliver. And I think once you’re at the level where you’re starting zygomatic in your stance across the lines where delivery could prove very problematic. So just proceed with caution would be my word with it. It’s not something again, we know well our level of expertise. And when it comes to that, well, we’d found that out if we felt it appropriate, then have anyone within our practises who actually provides that. Last but not least, the Zacky Nozaki, one of these guys who when I first got into the Dental industry, he was the man who I recognised or identified with being situated in some of the top leadin practises in London. They would rely on Zachy to deliver their high end, high calibre implant dentistry. But on a more personal note, the guy is an absolute pleasure to be around a great host and great to be in the company of as well. And so enjoy this episode and hope you take away some plum nuggets.

[00:47:32] You do so many different things. You you work at them plant ologist in lots of different practises. A drop in the blooming sort of.

[00:47:40] Yeah. Peripatetic. Yeah, I used to do that. I don’t do that. Not much anymore. But a funny story is, is that you know, when the recession kicked in 2009 and you admit a lot of my friends that did implants and they’d be like, yeah, it’s a bit slow, it’s really hit us and I’m not doing that many or how about you? And I’d be like, I was busy as as hell, you know, I was like, no, I’m it’s great. It’s you know, it hasn’t affected me at all. The difference was, is that they sat in one room, in one location, in one clinic. That area. That area. Yeah. Whereas with me I was like. I got off my arse and actually found the work and a lot of people said, oh yeah, you know, do you like what you do going around, whatever it’s like, you know what? At least I was busy. At least the money was coming in and I made lots of connexions and networks. And and then when, you know, when we opened our practise stuff, I started reducing. Although I didn’t want to travel so much back then, I used to even go up to Scotland. I used to do all on fours. Really? Yeah, I did a couple of even Fairlane up there in Cherry Bank when I was you know, we go to Gleneagles every year, get one of these timeshare things up there. And even once I was there for a week, she’s like, can you come over? So, you

[00:49:01] Know, I’m just going to ask you, though, you visited lots of practises. You can see lots of different ways people work. What are some of the takeaways? I mean, what are some things you learnt that you then put into your own practise?

[00:49:14] Well, one thing I learnt was the bigger the practise, the harder it is. I mean, it’s obviously just common sense, but it was exponentially harder because you’d have to keep everyone busy and you’d have lots of staff turnover. It was it just seemed a lot harder. And on the face of it, people look at these practises from the outside and think they’re running smoothly and whatever. However, when you’re on the inside, it doesn’t it’s not always like that. And that’s why we did something small. So when there’s a recession, when times aren’t great or there’s less patients coming in, I don’t have to worry. I still remember shortly after setting out my practise with with Dominique, my dad got ill. I had a phone call from my sister. I was actually at a board meeting at a college, said, Zacky, you got to come right now. I literally took the next flight out and I was away from our new clinic for seven weeks on the trot. And I was all I was thinking, I was like, God, what’s going to happen? I’m the one doing the high end implant, you know, treatments, thousands of pounds and I’m not there. The nice thing was that the rent is low. It’s a small practise. There’s not a huge sort of monthly expenditure on staff wages. Not that there is, but it was manageable. Now, if I had a much bigger set up and I remember talking to several people and they’re like, you know what, you’re so lucky you’ve done something small. And whilst you say I was ambitious and wanted to open up multiple surgeries, that’s my comfort zone. I’m happy like that. And I’m happy also working and placing implants for other people, which I still do to this day,

[00:50:58] That this is Dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders dentistry. Your house, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki. Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you’ve got some value out of it

[00:51:29] If you did get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

[00:51:40] And don’t forget our six star rating.


From humble beginnings as the son of a Sunderland shipbuilder, Michael Oliver might have gone into medicine had it not been for the sage advice of a GP.

But medicine’s loss was dentistry’s gain. Michael talks about how it felt to be unexpectedly thrust into solo practice.

He talks us through moving into NHS practice back in the days when it wasn’t such a common move and lifts the lid on dentistry in the 1980s – cigarettes, ashtrays, spittoons and all.


“I was cr*p at running my business in some respects. I ran it on feel…Now and then, I’d end up in my accountant’s office, with him saying: “Michael, what are you doing!” And he’d keep putting me back on track. I also had a great solicitor who limited my stupid ideas and said: “Michael, don’t do that!”  – Michael Oliver

In This Episode

02.13 – Backstory
05.56 – Into dentistry
11.42 – Politics
15.08 – Into practice
22.52 – Expanding and going private
31.27 – Exit and aftermath
43.47 – Teamwork and empowerment
46.59 – Risk and marketing
56.09 – Photography
58.33 – Retired life
01.01.38 – Charity work
01.03.44 – Dark days
01.06.42 – Last days and legacy

About Michael Oliver

Michael qualified from Newcastle Dental School in 1983 and worked as an associate with the late Donald Hudson. When Donald retired, Michael purchased a practice in East Herrington, which he developed into a multi-surgery clinic. Michael retired in 2018 and now spends more time on his hobby as a wildlife photographer.

[00:00:00] If you’re going to go down the private side, you’ve got to have a totally different mindset to guarantee the success of your business. And one of the mindsets is getting comfortable with marketing. And it’s no good being good as a dentist in the world, not knowing that you’re good because a lot of patients aren’t aware of what’s a good band that sticks in the throat a little bit because there’s very inequality’s in dentistry. But you’ve got to get the message out to the public as to why they should come and see you.

[00:00:32] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders and dentistry. Your heist’s Payman Langroudi, I’m Prav Solanki.

[00:00:50] It gives me great pleasure to welcome Michael to someone I go back with along the way. Michael, you probably don’t even know this, but you were instrumental to some of the situations that we had enlightened in our early days. You were one of the dentists who used to order lots. And and I was used to see your name and see see the practise name, at least this guy in Sunderland who was doing so much whitening. I could just see I could just see the whitening side of it. And then I met you and we talked about it. And the really the reason I wanted you on the podcast is because now you’ve come to the end of your sort of Dental career. And I’d like to get the pivotal moments and the excellent story of your practise from beginning to end and what you went through. And for me, the inspirational part about your practise is that it’s by no means in the nicest parts of Sunderland. It was a very ordinary suburb and what you made of that place and the success that you had. I just want to just want to get that down on because it’s a it’s a pleasure to have you. We normally start with where were you born? What kind of child did you have? Why did you become a dentist? Yeah.

[00:02:14] Well, lovely to see you guys. And as I’ve just mentioned, it’s quite a nice distraction for me sitting here about an hour away from the World Cup final that I’ve got to be honest, I’m a nervous wreck. So the question you just asked there is great because, as I said, take my mind off things. But I’m certainly glad. I think anybody who’s unfortunate enough to follow me on social media will be well aware of that because that runs on a little bit of both. And I’m very proud of my upbringing. I come from a working class background. My father’s the shipbuilder. I was still alive, but he was an electrician in the shipyards. I don’t come from a privileged background. He worked very hard for his money. My mother worked in a butcher shop and I was well aware that money was tight those days when they didn’t have money to go and spend on food. So it wasn’t a hard upbringing, but it wasn’t. I wasn’t a silver spoon child, that’s for certain. And I think it influenced me right from the word go and my attitude to work, my attitude to Sunderland, the people of Sunderland. So I was born in Followill Sunderland. People have probably heard of football because I was very close to the old football stadium.

[00:03:27] So from an early age, that sort of seed in me was my sporting tie with Sunderland. I’ve always had a passion for football. I grew up, I went to school. I enjoyed building relationship and making friends with a lot of people from Sunderland. I had a father who was adamant that he didn’t want me to do what his father had led him to do with the ship. That’s no disrespect to shipbuilding. Sunderland was famous as the biggest shipbuilding town in the world. You guys might not know that, but there’s a huge amount of pride in Sunderland for the shipbuilding, the coal mining history, glassblowing. And I’ve got Nissan that was called and it was fantastic to see ships being launched. And I used to I used to take down to Sailor and I had a lot of pride in him and for what he did. But he was always adamant he didn’t want me to earn my living using my hands and being covered in oil, and then what he’d done in his in his life. So he wanted me to study and become qualified to do something other than that. And I think it instilled a work ethic in me Payman. So I’m not I wouldn’t consider a hugely intelligent person, but I’m I’m a dedicated person.

[00:04:40] I work hard. If I see something I want to achieve, I’ll work very hard to achieve that. I saw that when I went to university. There was it surprised me when I got there, some very intelligent people, but I expect it to be in the lower end of the scale as far as qualifications go. But there was a lot of people like me who went into dentistry but worked very, very hard to get there. So so I went through all levels as it was in those days and then A-levels. And to get into to dentistry in those days, you needed three grades to A-levels. Can you believe I mean, these days you’ve got to get a leg up and get in. In those days, it was three grade essays, which is exactly what I achieved. So I just got over the white line. There were people on there with is based, but in those days that didn’t hand is like confetti graded on our course. We see today, I think to be with the audience. But so. I’ve had a lot of good fortune in my life, guys, and one of the good fortunes is that I was able to get into dentistry. I got into dentistry, as I said, probably with just a lot of hard work.

[00:05:56] How did it come up to get it to go for dentistry, like after?

[00:06:00] That’s a great, great question. And I actually thought about medicine. And I remember going into my doctor, I forget sore throat or something, and I brought it up with him. I said, oh, I’m really interested in becoming a doctor. And he said, the best advice I can possibly give you is become a dentist. That was from Monnig. And I wasn’t sure why he said that. But I’ll listen to what he said. And a friend, we were in the selling club at the time and one of the members down there was a dentist and they agreed, as you often say, to have me in for a day just for work experience. And I went in and, you know, that was in a different era of dentistry. I vividly remember watching it Dental mixing amalgam in her fingers and squeezing the mercury out into clots. And, you know, as I said, a totally different era of dentistry, but it excited me. I like to introduce quite a character, this guy. And I liked the interaction that he had with his patients. And he was a promising little guy that you’ve been up to. And I think you probably get as soon as you cross the border into the north face, you get a feeling for what the place is about. And there is a community spirit. And that appealed to me. It didn’t appeal to me to go into medicine, to sit at a desk and write prescriptions out to people with sore throats and bad books. So I got the message from Amorally the Doctor about why dentistry was a good route to go down. And it was probably the best decision and best advice that I received really early in my career. So I’m glad I went to the dentistry.

[00:07:38] Where did you study?

[00:07:40] I qualified at Newcastle University and again, I’m probably going about the protocols I look at I’m looking at being in my life. But when I went for my interview with Newcastle, I went to the old Dental school, which was it’s probably been there for decades. And I always remember that there were sterilising instruments and boiling glass containers and it was just a set back into the past. But the year I qualified and got onto the Dental because it was the brand new dental school in Newcastle, which is they were claiming at the time, and I’ve no reason to disrespect the view, it was the best in Europe. It was fantastic. So everything was brand new. And then I had a five year Dental course in Newcastle. Yeah, very, very fortunate.

[00:08:31] And what was the what was Dental school like back in the day? Was it was it very hands on? I know a lot. A lot of people graduating today are coming out, maybe doing one root canal, half a dozen crowns, and then the qualified and the practical aspect is probably not. What was it like for you back then?

[00:08:51] I think it was the same for I think they had a great opportunity when they had a brand new Dental scandal to introduce very modern educational techniques. So I suspect how we would treat a trend is very similar, probably to where they are now. I think our exposure to patients was much greater. And I always remember on the conservation side, we had to collect points that might do that still. But there was a wide range of treatments, if you could do to to collect your points to. You have to have so many points to qualify, of course. But we did a lot of root fillings. We did crimes. The surgical side, the research department at Newcastle was very good. We had some good consultants, so I wasn’t experienced very much at taking wisdom teeth out. And in those days, if you weren’t experienced as a student, you came out and you learnt pretty quick in your first few months as a as a as a qualified dentist. So there was no vocational training. I go on to tell the next stage story in a second, but the student days were very, very happy days. There was seventy five of us and I’m just trying to think how many ladies it was probably more, about 50 percent, maybe more female. And as I say, we’re in brand new facility in Newcastle. So a five year course than what you qualify. But I qualify. I started in nineteen seventy eight and I qualified in nineteen eighty three and I always remember the night of qualification and we had to go into a lecture theatre and read the results. So it was all alphabetical order. I was probably more nervous than, than I was with the gold watch this much but mine name. All of it was well done and everybody was passing and passing and passing it. It’s like a penalty shootout and I’m the one to take the last penalty. But my name was on the list as well. So the whole year that you’ve been and what he really saw was over the moon because he got like that’s what

[00:10:52] We call the winter of discontent. Just do that must have been just as you were going into Dental school.

[00:11:00] Yeah, I can. Yeah, I can remember that. Yeah, that was right about. It wasn’t a certainty.

[00:11:07] That was the year I got to the U.K., so that’s why I remember,

[00:11:11] You know, so, you know, I mean, I was owed nineteen sixty one, I was born nineteen sixty. So my memory for life in general probably starts from maybe 68 onwards. If you were talking about politics, have you remember how Harold Wilson remember Ted, he thought that I don’t remember the miners strike and that had a big impact on me as well. But yeah, I go back a long way, I’m afraid so.

[00:11:42] With the stick sticking to politics for a minute, the miners strike really defined what happened to that part of the world. Yes. Watching that, did you did you I mean, there’s a massive anti Tory sort of sentiment in some people will never forgive the Tories for what happened. But for you, for you seem to read somewhere that you’re more sort of in that sort of wing of the politics of the Tories. How do you how do you balance those things?

[00:12:16] I was influenced in the early days. Politics didn’t really come into my life till Mitt and I have a passion for things. And once I became a practise owner and I, I started to discover how hard you had to work to make to make your money as a business, as a small business owner took on a lot of risk at the beginning of my career. I’ll tell you about that, obviously. But and it coincided actually with the Margaret Thatcher government. So it’s interesting you bring up the winter of discontent, because I had been influenced in that it didn’t affect me because I wasn’t the business owner then, but it was right at the time I was lining up to become a dentist and then move on in the business so that I was very aware of how that hit our country. And then Thatcher came in and I could see why she would have a battle with the the union side of things. My father was in the shipyards and he was a big can you believe a lot of people were labour people? Payman My father has always been a Thatcher man and he respected hard work. And he, in his life in the shipyards, could see how the unions were influencing things. And yes, the Tory government were blamed for the shipyards down what have you. But it wasn’t the whole the conservative government. If that’s had been a profitable business, no government, whether it’s Labour or Conservatives, would to come in and close the down.

[00:13:41] And actually, it led to the things in Sunderland. And you’ve seen what’s happened to Nissan lately, haven’t you? It’s an exciting time in the north. So, yes, I totally understand any bitterness that people involved in a lot of friends and patients actually. So I’ve had a lot of discussions about that over the years. But on the surface it looks as if everybody had such a vote. That is actually the case. There’s a lot of people who work in the mining industry, in the shipyard industry and certainly in the north east actually realised Margaret Thatcher was a strong leader and was making some decisions that needed taking up. My life wasn’t affected by it. If I worked in a lived rather than a mine working family and my parents had been close, I might have a different feeling. But my dad was a shipyard worker. Shipyards were closed in Sunderland. But again, there’s more to that story than just Margaret Thatcher one day getting up and saying, All right, time we shut the ship. Why would anybody do that if it was a successful industry? So I’m not really qualified to comment totally on that. But I just I’m well aware. I spent a lot of people in my career in the Northeast, but there’s always two sides to that story. Unfortunately, my city now is really there’s a lot of investment. It’s an exciting place at the moment.

[00:14:58] And I mean, you’re right. You can put the whole Nissan thing in the end down to Thatcher as well.

[00:15:02] Thank. Yes, of course. Yeah. Actually had a big influence attracting Nissan Muslim.

[00:15:08] Let’s move on to a qualified. What’s next?

[00:15:13] Well, good fortune boys actually qualified in June 1983, I started work about the second or third of July in a single practise. I was promised a lot in that position. But when I got there, it was a two day a week. So I’m very bushy-tailed associate cannot know business knowledge whatsoever. You walk and you think this is going to be great. And in the early days it wasn’t great because the patient numbers was below, but the potential for that business was huge. The my principal at the time was a lovely man and one of the well-established dentists said is if you talk to the population, everybody has a story about no dentists. And Mr. Hudson, who was my boss, must have respect for a lovely, lovely man, was one of those dentists associated with Sundlun But anyway, I started in a part time position in the October. Mr. Hudson, unfortunately, had a heart attack. I came in one morning and I was asking the staff where he was. He lived in the house attached to the practise, and he was upstairs in bed having had a heart attack that night before when I went to see him and he looked dreadful and what have you. And he was unable to come into work, obviously. So that morning I went from having my list to having two lists to work.

[00:16:34] We didn’t cancel any patients. I just run from surgery to surgery, improvised. So that was the beginning of a change in the practise because he was off for quite a while when he came back, he wasn’t really the dentist that he was. It was a struggle for him. And I managed to talk to him and influence them into considering selling the practise to me. So I went from being a newly qualified dentist to, after three months running the practise associate to buying the practise the year after, by the time we negotiated and what have you. And that was the time scale you could achieve in those days. These days, I couldn’t possibly do that on so many levels. One, the financial level. I was there young dentists who are struggling to buy you guys a pint of beer at the time. And I had an opportunity to buy a five bedroom, detached house on the dental practise, a touch up into the practise Payman. So you can probably visualise when you go in the front. Wow, that’s the home side. So I can remember walking into a little branch bank, NatWest and the bank manager. I’ve got this idea. I want to buy five five bedroom detached. I was in the Dental practises and he said, all right, because not that offered the money, but it’s so ridiculous.

[00:17:56] I think it was called the sleep scheme in those days. Some ridiculous insurance based loan. The cost me a fortune and I went along with it. He said, oh yeah, we’ll do that for you. We put one hundred percent loan down and I needed security from my parents, which when you’re twenty four, you’re saying your parents are just there for security. You don’t realise the house or you buying in park. You have no experience of running and you’ve got no business knowledge whatsoever. So forever grateful for the backing that I got from my parents, the backing I got from a bank, and I forget what the financial return, but they were very, very good. So it allowed me onto a ladder and I could see the potential for that practise because my principal was an elderly dentist who clearly didn’t want the money at something that he didn’t say a return on his investment for. So if I look back, probably because of the potential, I stole the place, really, but he was happy. My pockets were happy. So I ended up with a twenty five year old and starting at the big house and a nice dental practise. So again, a lot of good fortune.

[00:19:12] I believe you create your own. Look, Michael, you just stumbled upon all this good fortune

[00:19:18] One after another night. Yes, I have just one thing that I’ve learnt in life is that you’ve got to have really balanced risk, I think. Is this a lot of people? Yeah, I’ve heard people say that before. I bump into a lot of people who know what they would like to do, but not willing just to step off the cliff to do it. And of course, this is where the problem comes. If you’re going to step off that cliff, you’ve got to have a soft landing. But I think if you educate yourself with the risk that you’re taking on, you can get a I’ve always had a bit of a sixth sense about risk and I could tell where I was going to get a bloody nose and I could tell when the risk was worth taking. And it’s paid off a little bit in it’s expansion of the business is another example. You know, you’ve got to borrow a lot of money to do that. But you see the risk and the reward is the but yeah, there’s there’s quite a few people are very risk averse. And I think if you’re running a business, you guys have seen it, you you must have come across so many opportunities to take a little bit of risk to progress it. And it’s paid dividends, but being careful not to overstretch yourself,

[00:20:25] Michael, as a twenty five year old kid, having just acquired a Dental practise. Yeah. What were the what were the big challenges and what were the what were the unknowns? Were there any moments? Must have been some moments where you thought, what if I got myself in?

[00:20:41] How do I do this? How do you know? I think when when you as you get older, you you manage to build more stress in yourself that when you don’t say that stress, you don’t see the risk. You don’t always see the risk of what you’re taking on so blindly. When I decided I could rule the world with my Dental practise and just throw everything at it with my energy. One of the most fortunate things I had was that the practise was a two surgery extension on a big five. So I lived in the house, so I was able to dedicate an awful lot more time. So I lived in London on to practise in the middle of the night, troubled, and I would get so close to I was in trouble that people would take I had access to my practise so that I got a bit sick of that, to be honest. And further down the line, I moved, moved out of the practise. But in the early days, for the first few years, it was fantastic to be living on site and built a relationship with the community. So people got to know me as the guy living in that house, because going back to what I said earlier on Sunday is a very community based city and industry, particularly if you’re asking me how I was successful.

[00:21:56] The practise, one of the things I would say is embedding yourself and making friends with the community and having the community respect you for what you’re trying to do for them. And it’s a genuine feeling. You know, I didn’t embed myself in the community, become a successful businessman. I had to look people in the eyes in my sundlun guy. And you’ve got to be able to hold your head up in that community. But certainly in those days, it was very community based. There was a national health dentistry in nineteen eighty three and forty five was pretty much all NHS open our end of the country, maybe not so much down in London, but even so, I suspect London was very NHS based as well. So there was a solid income. The secret was to make one the people come and see you. So yeah but building a bond with the community I think is one of the important things I discovered in the in the early, early stages of my career.

[00:22:51] Take Michael from that sort of early stage. You didn’t know what you were doing and as you started to learn, started to get into the community. And then I came up there just for you, sold just after you sold it just last year and this well oiled machine and got some wonderful team and everything. What were the pivotal moments along that path? It’s a big difference that that two surgery and practise to the what is it, seven surgery private.

[00:23:25] When I saw that we had eight surgeries and nothing short of 30. When I when I bought the practise, that was myself but my old boss who stayed on as an associate for a short period of time. And we had three nurses. But the you talk about the situation at the practise Payman the practise on a nice street in Sunderland. So, you know, that’s a nice residential area. Over the back of the practise is a very large council listed one side and a very large council on the other side, which in the early days with the NHS best practise was a perfect balance. Everything was NHS. We had the patient numbers, but the being no marketing. As we move on here, I’m going to talk about getting the message out. Obviously, bonding in the community I think is vital for any young Dental is wanting to know how to build this practise. You’ve got a bond in the community and I did that in a lot of different ways. But yeah, I was patient. This was absolutely huge month when I bought the practise, but both didn’t even send reminders. I thought it was too expensive to put a stamp on a reminder envelope, but couldn’t equate it to the fact that he had a failed to attend patients. I didn’t need to be a rocket science to say what you had to do there, but I’m just never a moment that I’ll criticise my own boss because I learnt so much from and going into the community what a character this man was. And, you know, he had a cigarette smoking coming to the surgery in those days and to have a cigarette in his surgery and then put the cigarettes out in the spittoon. And we did that for real.

[00:25:11] Is that for you?

[00:25:12] That is for a dispute with a surgeon with the surgery had what was it like British oxygen. And he said and I came in as a young dentist, I could spot all the things that we needed to do. So stop general anaesthetics immediately, because in those days, you could just bring children in off the street and stick Alison inside them. At that time, I just thought, what a dreadful image for dentistry this is. But that’s how it was know, the 50s and 60s. That’s that’s what happened in dentistry. But if we had to have a vision for that practise and its growth, I didn’t want to be associated with putting kids to sleep in a Dental transcending the mode with a scarf wrapped around the mouse. But I always remember you had the oxygen and nitrous oxide or whatever chin to the wall. It was like, oh, well, this factory in. And that’s just how the dentistry was in those days Payman. But I learnt a lot in this relationship building with the patients. What a lovely money.

[00:26:13] When did you start going private? Was that in the 90s

[00:26:16] As things moved on? Obviously one part of this one hundred percent loan had to be fairly stable in the early days. Couldn’t go in. Is that right? This is a private practise now. Yeah, that had to be a tipping point for that decision because actually going back to the Thatcher era, then just take over really quite nicely. In those days, we we run with separate and separate and with children and there was favorit so there was a massive incentive to work hard on the NHS and I know that the moved away from that, but maybe there was some positives that got overprescription was I would say a small issue in those days. But in moving away from Pritam, it opened the door to so many of the problems of older on the prescription. You know, the story goes I don’t know a little bit. But anyway, I went from eighty five and then I went to a talk with a guy called Stephen Noha. I don’t know whether you’ve heard that name, but I think I’ve got the name right. But he was setting up then plan and it was very much in its very early days. It was going around the country doing little talks to groups of people like me, and there was about eight or ten of us would turn up. And he had this idea of private competition scheme, which was Dental and fun in those days.

[00:27:38] And the penny dropped with me. I thought you told a lot of sense. You put some figures down, but how would work financially? And so I took a hook, line and sinker, just one of those. So this is where the risk comes in here, but the rewards both for me as a business owner, but for the patients as well, I genuinely thought that was a win win situation for all of us. So I went when I was trying to think what year that was. I bet it was nineteen eighty eight or ninety nine very early days by then. I think I had two associates working there and they didn’t follow me. But it became infectious for them as well, because they could say it was successful for me, I had quite a little bit patient base and a lot of them came up to the private side. So it showed me that it was even in some way going back to what you were saying. Someone’s not a wealthy city boys, but every city’s got patients who want value for money and are willing, even if it’s more than what the Fed previously, if they attach value to what they’re paying for, it’s going to it’s going to work for them and it’s going to work for us. So it gave me focus on customer service because on the NHS side, it was mass production.

[00:28:55] In the big numbers, there was there was times when I would say 35, 40 patients a day when I thought, there’s no way I’m going to spend the rest of my career doing this, no way whatsoever. So patients followed me. And then as things progressed from that, there was contract changes. And I started to win the argument with the associates that I think it was a fake. But actually, I’m sure there was a strike amongst that. I think I was vocal in that as well, where the government I forget, which go to Blair or I don’t know. But anyway, the fees were cut and there was uproar and it was again another tipping point. The Dental started to come along with me and we then start to invest and have a private funded facility and then the patients start to accept that. So as things stand now, I think the practise is fully private, including children. And it’s one of I was going to say ideas is my dentists, I think may be the most successful private practise I have across the country. So I’m quite proud of that. I’m quite proud of that. So to my dentist, then there’s the odd frustration. But in general, they’ve invested very hard in it and it’s continued.

[00:30:10] Yeah, it’s a testament to that, because we see this happen quite a lot with our users and all of this has kept going, that must make you feel good to

[00:30:21] Because I had worry and I actually maybe that’s unfair of me to say, but I felt that there was one or two colleagues were looking to see if this was going to fail. And I know I can’t be critical of my Dental they did everything by the book with me. I was dealing I know I had a big practise, but even so, I was just an individual in some kind of sundlun lad dealing with a very, very big, powerful corporate. And I can see how it’s easy if the buyer is unscrupulous that that seller could be trampled on. I don’t really let people jump on me very, very often, but I was aware that there was potential. So but there were fantastic. They came in the bids, the practise. They all did that bit because I thought, oh, we’ll get to the week before and then they’ll backtrack on what they’re going to do, all the things that you’d be suspicious of. But yeah, I don’t get paid by, my dentist said. But I am pleased that I stuck with my dentist. They were very good.

[00:31:27] Michael, what was the what was the turning point when you decided I want to sell it now, or did somebody walk into your practise and say, well, this is what worth?

[00:31:36] Well, what led to that? I see. That’s a good question, because it’s a pivotal moment in your career when you make that decision. Yeah, quite a few years. I’m talking maybe five or six years before. I think when you’re running a business, I mean, you guys all know you have days when you get to be think, my God, is it is is this really worthwhile? I wonder what the situation is of a solid body, blah. And then you come down in the way you move on in life. I had a period like that five or six years before I sold it. When I went in and I sat down with one of the long established associates and put it to might be in his interest to come to me with a bid for the practise, which he did. So we had the practise valued at the eleventh hour. I think it was just when the financial crisis was on the horizon. So he he was obviously stretched financially, as anybody would be to abide by the practise. And I totally understand why he would get nervous with the potential storm developing with a financial crisis. And just a few days before he was meant to complete, he contacted me and said he was he was pulling out. So that was a huge disappointment to me and to him, I suspect. But as it turned out, it was probably the best thing that happened to me, because not long after that, as the financial crisis eased, the culprits came into dentistry and the valuation of the practise went through the roof. So if it had sold at that point, he would have got himself a bargain. Looking back now and I would have lost an awful lot of money on the final sale sale of my business. So, again, going back to periods of look in your life Prav, I would say that was a lucky period, really. The sale didn’t go through. And I don’t think the associate probably has any regrets because of the hassle of running the practise. But on the financial level, you probably missed an opportunity. But these things happen in life.

[00:33:36] And what was that? What was the process like in terms of just just told me through you decide to sell it did tell the staff, did not tell the staff all the financial stuff. They were pulling everything together for them. Was that was that a stressful period or was it quite straightforward for you?

[00:33:55] Did they make it easy for you? The situation was that I just had a professional value. You get to a surge of your life where you want to know what your assets are worth. And without professional guidance, you can guess what the value was. But I actually paid for professional valuation firm who was a practise financial management. So they gave me a cost. Mahboba too. But at least I knew in black and white where I stood financially. And then I’d actually approached me. I think they were out fishing and I knew what if I was going to sell the practise, what I would want for it. So I invited the sales guy to come along and we sat and chatted and it looked as if something that would work for them. They were keen. And the thing that nudged me in favour of doing it was at the time when I thought the valuation on practise was probably as high as I could ever achieve unless I worked another five or ten years investing and growing and what have you. And I was nervous that something would happen in the industry, that the swings and roundabouts and the valuation doesn’t have gone from almost selling my practise, but 40 percent goodwill to having bids on my practise? It pretty much. One hundred percent goodwill, so thousands and thousands of pounds swing in the valuation of the business. So I was obviously wary of it going back the other way. So if somebody comes and puts serious money on the table and I was fifty seven, I think 60 was probably my end game for retirement anyway, I thought if I wait another two years and it’s not everybody that comes along with the check, we’re waiving checks like that to you.

[00:35:40] I thought you’ve got to grab and run with this. So. So we agreed to figure out the actually offered me a hundred thousand pound more than I wanted. So after all this had gone through and sold the business, but nothing Godavari to solve this by, you know, it was so keen to buy it but I just want a thousand pounds. A lot of money to me is a bonus above what I was actually for it. So but in retrospect I should have played hardball with them. But I was happy, they were happy and it meant that there was a very smooth. They came in and did all the professional valuations and everything, and we were in total agreement that they didn’t try to knock me down, which was nice. They had a vision for the practise that matched my vision for the practise because I was nervous about assets that I didn’t know what they were going to do, but they reassured me and they held the world. But but going on to what you’ve just asked me, that’s when the stress starts. So we shook hands. The negotiation gets tougher is the fine. Details come towards the end like selling your house, isn’t it, when you start negotiating the curtains and not the actual bulk of the cost of the house? But anyway, so I had this enormous secret I had to live with, which crucify me because I’m not good at hiding my feelings and my emotions. So I think I managed to keep progression under my hat for several months.

[00:37:06] But you then get to the situation where strange people are walking through the door volume and you run out of excuses for why strangers are coming in with clipboards to at business and and just stuff on your stuff on digits. I’m sure I had an inkling. But then then things progressed to the big day where you’ve got to announce to the stuff that I was very emotional day for me and it was an emotional day for the staff because I considered the team part of my family. I must have relationships with with the team and I loved working with them. That worked incredibly hard for me. And part of the the growth and the success of the practise comes not not from me, but from the people that I surround myself with. But the bottom line is you’ve just got to push through with once you’ve made that decision, you can’t get cold feet, guys. You’ve just got to push it on through and do what you got. Plenty of hurdles coming your way. I remember two weeks before the completion did the associates still hadn’t signed contracts and were haggling. You know what I probably considered I’m fine details, but that’s stay alive. So I totally respect them for what they did. We’re trying to squeeze as best they could out the company. And I think they got good compromise contract in the end. And but I remember how stressful I was thinking this is all going to come crashing down and no one in the practise and and what have you. But it went through smoothly and I think everybody was happy then. So.

[00:38:37] And what about what about the aftermath, Michael? You go from being business owner. Practise owner, the boss. Yes. To them becoming associate. Yeah, that’s. What was that like?

[00:38:51] I mean, personally, for me, I was determined to make it work, but I can’t hide the fact that it was a stressful experience because there wasn’t a day of my ownership of that business that I didn’t go in looking for opportunity, be it opportunity to have great customer service, opportunity to invest in things that I saw that would be successful for the business opportunity to market the business opportunity to build relationships with the business and a corporate, no matter how good they are. And as I said, I’m singing the praises for my dentist. They haven’t got that personal touch. And so they come in and they have business managers. And if I’m being honest and for want of a better word, I was Krumpet running my business in some respects on the phone. I run it on sale Payman. So how did you do that? It came from fail, really. And then every now and then I’d end up with the accounts of what you do and what you’re doing. And they keep putting me back on track. And I had a great solicitor who limited my stupid ideas and said, Michael, don’t do that.

[00:39:53] So you’ve got to surround yourself with good professional advisors, because if you shoot from the hip all the time, as I’ve got a habit of doing, you can make some mistakes. But corporates don’t do that. They’ve got bottom line profitability, blah, blah, blah. And I found it difficult to. Did not environment, but as I said, I was determined to live in that environment. And but after two and a half years, I would find it a bit of a stretch. And when you’d work too hard and all the fine, successful business is about fine details, guys. You know that, don’t you? The big stuff, every every business you bump into does the big stuff pretty well. It’s the ones that do the fine details well at a restaurant that Dental practise, whatever you’re talking about, it’s the fine details that matter. And on a corporate level, those fine details sometimes get overlooked for the big decisions of buying a hundred thousand pound scanners and putting the carpet down in the waiting room. So I find that a little frustrating.

[00:40:55] And so we tied into those two and a half years or we tied him for longer, did you negotiate? Oh, yes, I was.

[00:41:02] I was tied into that was the contract was two and a half years Prav, as I said, at the initial negotiating position with four years and four years at the time. Four years, my God. That endless but two and a half years flow. So four years would probably fly as well. But I just psychologically to me, the thought of signing a piece of paper, not knowing whether I was going to enjoy my talian period for two and a half years, I thought was a gentlemen’s agreement and a compromise. And I’ve got to say, I enjoyed the two and a half years, but I always went I could see things I wanted to do and I just had to sit and be an associate and industry, which I enjoyed. And I did miss the influence that I could have in the business. So that was probably the tipping point for accepting retirement. I could also say that dentistry was changing from the dentistry that I loved in the early days and for most of my career where it was about relationship building, it was moving into relationships with patients and sign this and I’ve told you this, and this is what we’re going to do. And I’d like to think that for thirty four years I was a dentist. I did everything with the patient’s interests at heart. Obviously, I had a business to run. But the bottom line is I don’t think I ever did anything to a patient that I didn’t think was right and didn’t think it was something that they wanted.

[00:42:25] And we’re in agreement with me. And this taking away that trust relationship that I had with the public. And, you know, I had an incident where I did a beautiful job for patients towards the end of my career, and she tried to get the better of me. And I’ve never been sued in my whole career. Payman, I’ve got something I’m really proud of. This lady got a fabulous job and she tried to make some money out of threatening legal action. And I’ve got to say, that left a really bad taste in my mouth at the end of my career. And she was a cheat. And I’ve got to say, the Dental protection. BUCKMEIER all the way to a barrister, she never turned up. She just kept threatening and threatening hope and she was going to get a payoff. And I’ve got to say that by Dental protection were magnificent in backing me. She never turned up the code. So I left with my head held high. And if you’re asking me, have I got any memories of practise lives that left a bad taste, that’s probably the only one. But it’s going back to what I was saying. Why did I lose a bit of energy for it? Because that trust relationship started to be taken out of dentistry. But I think it goes for any business, doesn’t it? You’ve got to you’ve got to work out your contracts and you know what have you.

[00:43:47] Michael, this feeling that I had when I talk to your people was they were empowered, No one more than most practises when you talk to talk to the nurse and she’s she’s buying all three of something and you say, hey, why don’t you buy 12? And she would say, sure, let’s do that. It was very rare people. It was it was about the time when I was actually the one picking up the phone. So I would I would say the same thing to different practise. And they would say, well, I got to go ask the boss or whatever it was. Your team, your team was so empowered. Give us some give us some of the key team facts, factors that you managed to get such a wonderful team that was so, so, so loyal to you and so into the patients and customer service and all of that.

[00:44:38] That’s interesting. Or you make that happen because that’s one thing I know is the practise gets bigger. A lot of owners of practises can’t let go. And if you do that, won’t you restrict the potential of your practise in his staff? But you stress yourself to bits as well. And I’m not a big one to let myself get stressed. So I wanted a nice life. And I think if you asked me what the number one success to running a big Dental practise is, you’ve got to surround yourself with people that are better at that job. Somebody told me this early on and it just resonated with me. I always try to employ people who were better job than I could ever be, and that obviously wasn’t very difficult. But so I brought good dentists in so I could rely on them just to get on and treat the patients right. The practise management team, the nursing staff. I looked for very, very friendly people. First of all, going back to the story, because we all I don’t think it’s a difficult thing to run a good business. You’ve just got to have the right people working hard and believing in what you’re doing.

[00:45:44] Payman. So and the other thing is, if you bring the wrong people in, if they’re in a good team, they get fined very, very quickly. So going on to your point about empowerment, I trusted the staff to do the right thing because they had people watching for me and I didn’t have to come knocking on my door and said, oh, Jimmy’s not doing his job properly. I could tell by the body language in the team if we’ve got somebody who wasn’t delivering because it reflected on the rest of the team as well. Payman. So but you you can sense when you’re working with a big team like that, who are the top performers, and they tended to be given the positions of responsibility. But everybody, whatever they were doing, I just let go. And if a problem arose, we dealt with it and it tended to work well. And I think it meant that the people working at the practise enjoyed working there because they had that freedom to express themselves as well. So surround yourself with better people than you. And you’re in business,

[00:46:44] Michael, you must be one of the earliest practises to start doing present in nineteen eighty eight. That was still very, very early.

[00:46:54] It was. And again, this goes back to fair and risk.

[00:46:59] What is it, what is it about you, what is it about you that makes you be the person to make that jump.

[00:47:07] Yeah, I think I’m a natural risk taker and I don’t have any, any ability. I’m pretty good at maximising. So if if I think I’m working hard on something that there’s too much hard work going into it for the reward that’s coming out. I look to go down a different road and I also am on the private side. Didn’t want to spend thirty, thirty five years of my life just drilling holes, taking money off people. And I could see most, most satisfaction, a big part of it if I had to blow my own trumpet building up this relationship with the Persians. And if you’re saying thirty five patients a day. Building up that relationship is mighty, mighty tricky, to be honest. So I value the extra time that I got on the private side. I didn’t actually make the rich person, but there was this perception at the time and there was resistance, of course, but there’s a perception always made and he’s wanted to do that. So I could actually, for a large chunk of my career, have been a rich dentist by having a large NHS contract and probably the sale of my practise as well. So there’s a misconception probably in the public, maybe not in the profession, but in the public, that private dentistry is all about lining the pockets of a dentist. I can say you’ve got to work pretty hard on the private side to to run a profitable practise, guys. But you’re well aware of that, aren’t you?

[00:48:37] So did you have much help, Michael, with from people who weren’t in dentistry? I mean, at the end of it, they were definitely very, very linked up to the movers and shakers of Sunderland. Did you talk to those people about the way they were running their other businesses? Get any help from them?

[00:48:56] Yeah, if I wrote one or two things down before we started this chat, what became clear to me, if you were going to go down the private side, we have to move away from dentistry where the dentist had a bracelet on his door and was almost on an ego trip with the brass plate. And that was his statement in the community that it was present. And in the early days of dentistry, we weren’t allowed to advertise. So we had loads of patients. There was an NHS facility. The door opened on a morning and I walked everybody. But if you’re going to go down the private side, you’ve got to have a totally different mindset to guarantee the success of your business. And one of the mindsets is getting comfortable with marketing. And it’s no good being good as a dentist in the world, not knowing that you’re good because a lot of patients aren’t aware of what’s a good dentist, the buttons. And that sticks in the throat a little bit because there’s very inequality’s in dentistry. But you’ve got to get the message out to the public as to why they should come and see you. Now, I had no experience of that whatsoever, and I actually was taken down the road to meet somebody. You’ll have heard of Tony Gege, who at the time is running marketing Pirates of Penzance, which is an abrasive name for a company.

[00:50:14] But he had this public that the public marketing model, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s no good just being in this world. You’ve got to be Knickerbocker glory. I always remember. So if you’re running a business, you’re kind of just a grey walls and a grey front door. You’ve got to have, you know, it’s like for the public, I want to say a little. So it took me out of my comfort zone and had me thinking in different directions about the patient perception of my business, because most dentists turn out similar standard of work. So you’ve got to get the message out to people. Now, that ruffled a few feathers in the early days because marketing wasn’t a big thing in the late 80s. And he’s the young dentist whippersnapper up the road doing private dentistry and just gently pushing the boundaries really on marketing. Those boundaries are miles away now from where we are in marketing dentistry with video on YouTube and Instagram. But in those days when 90 percent of people had a brass plate on the door and that was the marketing, the next step was YellowPages. And everybody thought they were big and bold by being in YellowPages. And then this guy, Tony Gates, comes along to me and the others doing all sorts of stupid things and

[00:51:31] Go into the still some of the things that you did. I mean, was it crazy headlines, some newspaper ads

[00:51:38] Just changing the form of newspaper and instead of Michelotto the ten twenty seven down road Sandland, you know, you might have seen the advert that he actually advised me against. I got involved in to think dentistry, which also is a big opportunity with other practises. Not if you can look after a patient with pain, you’re going to build a good reputation with that patient. So I took a picture of myself pointing my finger like your country needs your type finger. Yeah, and I was stupid enough to run that as an advert in the paper. I’m sure I took a whole load of abuse from a local dentist, but it’s the most probably the most successful thing I ever did in marketing because people associate that this idiot pointing a finger at them to a telephone number that could ring to get a toothache sorted out. So I just try trying to be quirky. I also was lucky enough to become someone football clubs, dentist. In the early days, the club secretary came in as a patient, probably nineteen eighty seven, 88, and the football club didn’t have to touch dentists. So it was a door that I walked straight through and I had a funny. Fosdick, 20 year association with Tournament Football Club in which I built great relationships with footballers and footballers, are a big part of the community in Sunderland and it’s amazing how you get the tackle trade.

[00:53:03] The football is so whether it’s right or not, it elevates your status in the community so that not only that, but that also in the back of that truck to the people who were quite well known in the community as well. So again, that’s a big part of marketing, a private property. You see it these days, and successful dentists associated with well-known citizens for. But being quick, the wording over the years is working in this particular Knickerbocker glory. And the other thing he told me was, if if you don’t think you can do it, you must do it. That’s another 20 gauge thing. And that’s going to risk taking that we were talking about. Guys that we all come across, hurdles don’t. And we like, oh, my God, I can’t do this. And I just look back to what he told me. And I think if I don’t think I can do it, I’m damn well going to do it. And I get around that hurdle. So you’ve got to come out of your comfort zone to live your life like that.

[00:53:58] There must have been occasions where you must have thought about buying a second or third more practises,

[00:54:05] But you never did. I did have an opportunity in the cancer to remember the guy’s name, but we wanted to set up a mini corporate panel and they wanted me to come down to London and how big they were trying to hedge fund all the performing private dentists in the country to join the group. The problem was that were a few million quid from input free money. And if I was at the beginning of my career and the opportunity came along, I may have taken that further. But once I was I think I was fifty five at the time at fifty five to put all my eggs in one basket when I worked so hard for 30 years to build on what was quite the big asset anyway. Yeah. And I was where did I meet them. In Bond Street and panelled office and I looked around, I saw this guy means business

[00:55:00] But

[00:55:01] We’ve all met people like that helped me politically go on in my life. But I came away from it and I thought, no, it’s not something I need at this stage in my life, get involved in trying to help. And God knows he wanted me to buy the practises in the NHS and turn them private. I didn’t mind that might have worked, but I don’t think so. And I looked in my only stage. I did go to buy into the practise in Sunderland and when I went in I was just so run down my account. Such a well-established dentist and the I looked around and he had a recovery room that had a double bed in. Can you imagine these days where I just had a double bed. And so when you were coming around from your Gillanders, they put the patient in bed. I suspect I may have gotten from the professional tribunal, but the goodwill value of the boot was just about non-existent. So I think I offered a thousand pound for practise, but it worked 30 years of his life and he didn’t accept that was as near as that. Got to buy another practise and.

[00:56:09] I know we’re we’re a little bit short on time, but I do the two other things I want to cover with you, Michael. Yes. Number one, your photography. I would you’re one of my favourite photographers who says semi-professional wildlife. Well, when did you learn that? Was it was it did it come from Dental?

[00:56:29] No, my father in the days when cameras were a little Kodak photographies, moved on incredibly with this technology, doesn’t it? But I always remember my once in my twenty first birthday, I was married to Robert. She bought me a nice cowman camera and sowed the seeds. But the technology excites me that the improvement in technology I remember buying the very first Sony digital camera. I spent nine hundred times in Florida. I like gadgets like you. Probably done nine hundred pounds for a camera that you put a floppy disk in and you can capture the images despite trying to the moon image on the screen. And people thought it was fun. But you have to join the dots to form a photograph that was so pixilated and moved on and on and on. And it’s very kind of you to comment on my photography. But this is a big help comes from the technology these days. Before that, if some of the images that I’ve taken recently of flying hours and

[00:57:34] Amazing and I

[00:57:36] Mean, the cameras help as well. But I’ve got the freedom to get behind the scenes with wildlife photography. You don’t realise how much time you’ve got with sitting waiting for a red squirrel to walk across in front of you. It’s got to through look down. I’ve you know, I’ve been out and about with my camera in the fresh air, and I’m lucky enough to be in the position that I’ve travelled to some nice places. So I ended up with the Arctic. You might have seen the polar bear shot. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. A grizzly bear shot in British Columbia. I’m lined up to go to India in November to take photographs of tigers in the wild. And so it is a passion. I do enjoy it. I do it reasonably well and but it gets me on the boat. So but I think if you’re going to sorry if you’re going to retire, you’ve got to be careful to fill in the gaps. And I’m lucky that photography tells a lot of gaps in my retirement.

[00:58:33] So is what is retired life like for you now? Was it the day you hung up your drill or whatever it was, was a big weight off your shoulders?

[00:58:42] It was an important emotion. I remember I can visualise the last person. It was a friend. And I remember I finished on the Thursday. On the Friday morning, I flew to Seattle with my wife and then we flew to Alaska and I did a bucket list trip. But the day after I retired and it’s just in some respects as an undeclared, you get excited about it and then it just it was like qualification. I always remember it just the day after everything falls a little bit strange and why I was slipped off the cliff here. But I’ve no regrets, guys. I had a wonderful career. I met some brilliant people, a lot of whom I still stay in contact with. I miss the social interaction with the patients and the nurses and the other dentists. That was what kept me going really through my career, the relationships I built up with the staff and the patients. I met some fantastic people coming through the door, some interesting characters and yeah, from footballers to just people in the community, all really nice people.

[00:59:47] So who is your dentist

[00:59:49] Now, Michael? I go into practise and one of the lady dentists is largely dental patient, as you would expect. And she holds my hand and gets me through a check opened. But there’s a great team of dentists, all of us still. And that’s that’s another thing that I like about what’s up with a practise, because you invest a lot of emotion and it’s still got my name over the door. Guys, it’s always dental practise still. And it would have upset me badly if the reputation of the business had gone downhill. But they rang me the other day. I want to knock a broom through to put it into the surgery. And so I think private practise is going quite nicely. And I think the strains on the NHS telling people seeking out private dentistry. So it’s nice on the back of a pandemic that I thought would hit them hard. They seem to be doing all right. I asked them,

[01:00:47] Did the Peter McQuillan was was that

[01:00:51] What a song Peter was he he just reflects everything I think about our private practise is such a tough guy as a friend and I still keep in contact with her is he’s got a great image as a good looking guy. He’s a good boy. He understands he’s got to try and do dentistry. That’s high quality. If you’re going to be in the private sector, you’ve got a pretty good quality dentistry.

[01:01:17] Who’s going to ask you about your charity work? Throughout the time you were there? You were doing charity.

[01:01:23] But that comes actually, yes. I could barely stand up today. I didn’t if I. Miles on the bike, which is ridiculous, but wow, that was to raise some money for some Land Foundation, which is a charity, and you very kindly sponsored me in the past to do some wonderful work in the community of nations, that it goes back to what I was saying about community involvement. I think it is important that you have that involvement in the community and it’s giving back argument made me feel better and the patients liked it and supported it as well. And I did the coast, of course, last weekend and the charity called Red Sky, that there a lot of work with children, heart patients. But I think the charity side was instilled in me with Tony Gege as well, because he said Mavericks and the Mavericks. You approached me right at the word go, said, Michael. Do you want to get involved in something I want to set up? We’re going to go to a little village in Morocco and treat the kids. They’ve never seen a dentist. And there was, you might know, just some fun to just under the sun. And there was a few of us then. And we turned up. I was taking out the kids at the mountains in schools. And that really so decidedly that’s one of the most emotional and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Go to Morocco with Tony and the Dental Mavericks and the credit to me. It’s continued on Khalik. I just pushed it on as well there in Beirut. And they’re getting some difficult places and they’re doing some wonderful work and still in Morocco as well. So but I fell in love with Morocco. The people are just wonderful. And I did some dentistry. I never thought I would say with buckets and. And the best thing I could talk endlessly about, but I’ve got some wonderful memories of Morocco and working with the kids and become a celebrity in Morocco, when you turn off the Dental and.

[01:03:22] Yeah, like what was what was looking back on your career. And it’s so lovely. It’s all centred on this one practise. You’ve only worked in that one practise so beautiful. But what were the darkest days? When was what were the bits that you might do differently?

[01:03:41] It might be easy to say, oh, you’ve got a wonderful practise in your relationship that you can’t go through thirty four years without having stresses on relationships with some team members and. You know, I maybe got involved in some emotional things with the team that led to a breakdown in relationship with those staff members. I’m not talking about relationships with the staff members. I’m talking professional relationships. But maybe in retrospect, I should have let somebody else handle rather than put my hands up. If I saw a bubble and needed lancing, sometimes I went in and lands the ball and sometimes it needs somebody, maybe a little more diplomatic than I was. I haven’t got many regrets in that respect. And sometimes the decisions are made possibly. Right. But how they handled is important. So I’ve had some relationships with staff that have broken down and I would say I would regret because I’ve always thought the people I’ve worked with were nice people. But on the whole, I can’t think of too many things that I would say I was in a black hole with with the practise. This time, I felt the pressure and stress of taking the risks that I’ve just told you guys about. But that makes it an exciting ride as well, especially when those risks tend to turn out successfully. But you have time to do with yourself when it’s difficult, difficult times. When Mr. Hudson, my boss, as I said, a lovely man, had a heart attack. The stress on me as a 20 year old Dental is going in one morning having to run a Dental practise, which you wouldn’t be able to do these days. But I took you learn pretty quick, guys, I’ll tell you. But that was a dark time when he was struggling with his health.

[01:05:29] I friend.

[01:05:31] But no, I can’t really come out with anything that would excite the audience about it. I was very lucky.

[01:05:41] It’s been lovely speaking to you, Michael. We’ve got a game to get to,

[01:05:47] A point where you can celebrate just

[01:05:55] By the time this goes out. But if this goes well, the audience will be very happy with it.

[01:06:03] Oh, let’s hope so.

[01:06:04] That prevents this with the same questions. Every time I if you don’t indulge in

[01:06:12] Fire away from

[01:06:14] Michael and imagine it’s your last day on the planet and you and you surrounded by your loved ones, your nearest and dearest, and you can leave them with three pieces of wisdom. Three pieces of advice for life, what would they be?

[01:06:35] Something that my parents instilled in me is honesty and I hate dishonesty. I think sometimes people present has been dismissed when really it’s just they’ve been unlucky. But I think if you can go through your life and look at yourself in the mirror in the morning when you’re having a shift and know that you haven’t treated anybody, I think that’s one thing that I hope my children have picked up from me. I think working hard is brings its rewards. I don’t think things will come to you without a lot of a lot of hard work and commitment. And I think I’ve tried that and I don’t know, it’s just just trying to be nice to people sometimes find it difficult to be nice to people that are not nice to me, but just trying to be generous with my time in my life. If somebody asked me to do something I like to think I would do it for them. And yeah, but I think no one I would say is understanding how I try. And I try not to be dishonest because it’s it’s not a good characteristic.

[01:07:38] So I think. And how would you like to be remembered if somebody said Michael was. Finish that sentence off the.

[01:07:52] Michael was a grumpy old ogre, but his heart was in the right place. I’m sure I’m most grateful when I get sick of the sound of my own voice sometimes guys. But I’d like people to think I was well-intentioned and I hope I’ve left a mark on the planet anyway. When I go, I think I hope somebody will say something positive from what I’ve done. Maybe not everything I’ve done, but I’ve really, really

[01:08:21] Enjoyed this conversation, Michael. And just I’m smiling all the way throughout. And Payman is as well, because when we’re listening to you, is this real sense of not really thinking too hard about what you say and not really thinking too hard about what you’ve done over your career. It’s the whole conversation has been very much matter of fact and say as it is, with very old fashioned values that go a long way. That’s what that’s what I’m drawn away from this.

[01:08:51] And I always think of Michael is one of the gents, one of the gentlemen of our profession.

[01:08:55] Well, you guys, in the best time I’ve had for a long time and I’ve been in a mess and you’ve lifted my spirits. And I thought,

[01:09:07] Let me ask you one final question, Michael. Let’s say you are the days left. Well, what would you do for those 30 days,

[01:09:16] 30 days at oh, my goodness, I am not waiting for that red squirrel. Oh, I think, you know, if I would, I would surround myself with my kids. I’m having a tough time at the moment because my daughter lives in Melbourne. And you know that if we wanted to get a home, she could go home. But I think she’s enjoying working at a restaurant. But I’m usually my other two kids that you’re into. Turn one works in the city. One’s a nurse, a children’s nurse. They make me grow in my life. I would I would spend some time with them together. I’d probably try and get a flight to the Arctic and spend some time in a place where you can just sit and it’s totally unspoiled and you’re surrounded by nature. It’s the most exhilarating, exhilarating experience I’ve had. And I’d probably go take some pictures. I don’t know what would I say, pictures of dolphins or something. But I wouldn’t I wouldn’t pick up a golf club, guys, because I would trust me if I want to thing in retirement. Just don’t waste your time following the golf ball around a field like stirringly. Now, I was addicted to it originally, but there’s a lot more to life than a golf golf driving range. But I have met some great people. So, no, I just I don’t want to leave anything undone on this. I try to do as much as I can with my life as I possibly can achieve. So, yeah, I’ve I’ve still got a lot of living left to do. Thank you.

[01:10:50] My lovely to have it. An absolute pleasure. Really enjoyed today. Thank you so much for doing this.

[01:10:56] Extremely well guys. Thanks for asking me to do this. I was a little nervous about it, but it’s liberating actually to have a look back over your career. And as I say, I’ve been lucky and maybe I’ve left a small mark on the industry. So that’s not really a day goes by when I don’t realise how lucky I am. But when I went into dentistry, you know, I’ve had a fabulous career and I hope I’ve left a small imprint on the profession, maybe maybe upset some people, but I didn’t intend to. And I thought I tried my best.

[01:11:30] Yeah, I think you inspired me. I think people listening to this will definitely be inspired

[01:11:35] By

[01:11:37] This piece. Dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders on the street. Your house, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[01:11:53] 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

[01:12:07] If you did get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

[01:12:18] And don’t forget our six star rating.


In this week’s bulletin episode, we welcome back former podcast guest Jimmy Palahey and current British Dental Association (BDA) English council chair Hannah Wodrough.

The pair are both standing as candidates in the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee (PEC) by-election. Hannah and Jimmy explain why they are standing and set out their vision for the committee. 

They also talk about why this year’s by-election could be one of the most significant in the BDA’s history.

To find out more about PEC candidates and read statements by each, visit


If you are a BDA member, you will have had the stuff through the post with everybody’s statements on it. If you’ve thrown out, you will still be able to read those on the website, and then you need to find somebody that shares your values who can fight your corner if you don’t want to do it yourself.Hannah Woolnough 


Watch the video of the interview here:

In This Episode

00.17 – Hannah’s backstory
07.18 – Jimmy’s backstory
09.47 – Navigating organisations
14.02 – Jimmy and Hannah’s burning issues
18.23 – COVID and the NHS
30.48 – Vicarious liability and indemnity
38.46 – Prison dentistry
44.31 – Mending the cracks in dentistry
48.43 – Engaging the profession
56.13 – Other professional organisations
01.03.19 – Closing comments

About Jimmy Palahey and Hannah Woolnough

Jimmy qualified at Leeds’ Dental Institute in 2004 and spent time in practice around the West Midlands. He is the clinical director of the JDSP group of clinics, which provided urgent care throughout the COVID pandemic. Jimmy is chairman of the Nottingham Local Dental Committee.

Hannah Woolnough works in general practice in Suffolk. She has spent time in community roles, including as a prison dentist. 

She is a passionate advocate of reducing inequalities in access to dental care.

[00:00:00] This is Dental Leaders podcast, where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders and dentists, treat your hosts Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[00:00:17] It’s my pleasure to introduce the new episode of the Dental Leaders Bulletin in time for the PTA elections. What is the media pick? Why should you be interested in it and who’s standing? Well, there’s nine candidates today I thought would be useful and a bit different to get two of the younger candidates who are deciding to throw that in the ring, I guess, to provide an alternative to to what we’ve seen so far. I’ll let them speak for themselves on that subject. We’ve got Jemmy Pallay, who actually has been on our podcast before you wet fingered. You heard his story with the new season and many practises, mixed practises that he’s running, as well as the LDC work that he’s done. And we’ve had a woman who’s an associate and again, refreshing to have an associate lady who’s so involved politically. Let’s start with this. Do you want to just introduce yourself to tell us how you got here, OK?

[00:01:29] Oh, it’s quite a convoluted story. And so practise wise, I started off I did my job search, went on to get an NHS associate job, as most of us do, and didn’t really like it because it was kind of hectic and not particularly rewarding and very treadmill. So within a year, I decided to broaden my horizons. I went and got a job working a couple of days a week and community a couple of days a week and mixed private and NHS practise and then ended up working in the prison service for a year, which was brilliant. My favourite job ever working for the out of hours as well. So I just did lots of different jobs for a few years just to find out what I actually enjoyed doing and then settled working as a predominantly NHS associate and good practise really enjoyed. It was a training practise, so I applied to be an FDA trainer, did that for a couple of years and then one of our local TPD jobs came up. So I did that, which I love. That was such a brilliant job working with new graduates all the time. I did that for about six years, ended up doing some work with the PLB Abe Fortas Foundation, but experience stuff as well for the local area in the last year or so of that job and left out a couple of years ago. And now I’m just working in private practise and also doing some Botox clinics, a physiotherapy practise, just to occasionally work somewhere where I’m a dentist, which is really quite nice.

[00:03:02] So that’s my kind of personal clinical background. But while I was working in H-E, so first as a trainer and then as a TPD, these jobs kind of snowballed a little bit. So you end up going to the LDC because you kind of have to because they need to know what’s going on with H.E. and then you end up being sucked into the LDN. And because the big you had multiple Elden’s, I ended up as LDC chair. I then got involved with the BDA stuff because it’s always the same people that do everything. So we ended up chairing and being the treasurer for the Suffolk section of the BDI, the treasurer for the local branch branch president a couple of years ago. And now I’m treasurer and secretary for Branch. And these things just sort of go hand in hand and national media stuff. I was elected for GDP six point six six years ago or something like that, and did a TransAm as a GDP representative, the east of England. And that was really, really interesting. And I got to know what happened at the Beadie. I was going down to the head office where I could see the G20 meetings, meeting people, talking to people, finding out what they were doing. I mean, it’s just fascinating and it just gets you out with your day job. So, yeah, I got very sucked into it. End of that triennium. I stood to be the English Council representative for the east of England and was elected and then subsequently elected as chair of that committee, which is the position I’ve held for the last now three and a half years would normally be three years.

[00:04:42] But because I’ve covered all the elections for pushbacks, I don’t much like three and a half years, which involved a year is being the UK council chair. And for those that were unfamiliar with the structure of the British Dental Association, you’ve got the board of directors, the PAC, what the current election is for 15 seats. And those people run the business, we then have the cross committees and things like general practise, community community services, hospitals, armed forces, and they deal with the issues specific to those crafts under the umbrella of PTA. And then we have the country councils. And what they do is they basically try and feed into the media to make sure the media are doing the right things for the members. So we sort of hold the board of directors to account with regard to what they’re doing with their business day in, day out to make sure that it’s meeting the needs of the membership. So that’s that’s the job of the last three and a half years. And because I work quite a lot in head office and I work quite a lot with the pack and I kind of I know what it’s about and it really interests me. I thought, yeah, we’ll go for it. We’ll put our hat in the ring

[00:05:51] Before I come to Jemmy. What time frame between starting the first thing in politics and now how long is that?

[00:05:59] I think so. I graduated. So it looks like I’m really, really grateful for that. But we just some of the talking and I so I graduated in 2006, so it’s 15 years since I graduated. And I think I first started going to things like ABC meetings I’m getting involved with actually about 10 years ago. So and it started off quite gradually know just attending the board meeting. As I say, these things tend to snowball, especially if you live in rural areas where we find it really difficult to recruit somebody to come and do a job at the LDC. No one wants to hold a chequebook. So if you’re willing to get involved in any way, you sort of end up getting sucked into it and just being given more and more responsibility. Because, you know, if you’re interested, I mean, it’s interesting. It’s not lumbered with jobs that you don’t want to do. It is interesting stuff. It’s just finding people that have the capacity to deal with that. And I think in our profession, there are lots of people who are really, really worn out with everything they’re doing. And the thought of asking them to go to a meeting at the end of an evening of full clinic day and talk about dentistry even more, that that can be quite an ask. Well, it’s

[00:07:11] It’s really cool that energises you. I like that. Jemmy, how about you give us give us a summary.

[00:07:18] Well, thanks for having me on Payman. And you know about me anyway and did a podcast in the past. So I’m not going to rehash old old footage I qualified in 2004. So again, I’m no spring chicken either to be honest. But yeah, basically what more in general practise I would say associate FDA trainer when it was when it was called after trying to eat after the beep trainer. But you know, after training hours. Yes. So did that it take a bit more into the TPD role, much like kind of for a period of time I started chairing the LDC in Nottingham in about 2016. And then from there sort of I’ve done various positions at quite rightly said, you know, you get sucked into various roles. So, you know, quite a rich job chairing the LDC. Quite, quite a lot to do. Also worked and it NHS England again doing Pardeep. So performace. This decision panel now disciplines specific practitioner for NHS England. So, you know, a lot of pastoral care, a lot of working with young dentists, lots of kind of developing dentists and and working with them fitness wise. I’m clinical director of the Group of Practises Small Group with my wife.

[00:08:40] So kind of embedded in that sort of GDP world, you know, like family deal with about probably about 30 or so associates working with us. And so, you know, really kind of well aware of all the foibles and the issues that they’re having on the day to day basis. Quite, quite obviously, you know, I can see first hand the impact of the decisions that trickle down from that from the BDA on the sort of boots on the ground really not so embedded in the b’day. I think my motivation is to really expand a lot of the regional work I’ve been doing on more of a national platform. I think I’m used to dealing with multiple work streams and sort of, you know, lots of lots of eggs in lots of baskets and, you know, having to juggle all those different ideas and organise time and et cetera, et cetera. And I think that that sort of skill set, I feel that I could extrapolate that to on a more of a national platform, hopefully for the betterment of my fellow colleagues, various places. I suppose in a nutshell,

[00:09:47] Do you guys, you know, I guess maybe how do you have a lot of experience of this working with the different committees? But you’ve got an idea, let’s say. And then and then you’ve got. Navigating that massive organisation and trying to get that idea through that organisation, you know, what are the chances, let’s say Jemmy here had a fantastic idea with the chances of getting that idea onto a strategy of the media, even if he did get elected. How do you know how to navigate that system or.

[00:10:25] I mean, to be honest, if if he were elected as one of the 15 board members of the media pack and he had a good idea that he wanted to bring three and the media were capable of doing, I think this is the thing that we’ve really got to remember with the limitations of this job. This is what the media can do. And sometimes it gets confused with what we can do with their negotiations with the Department of Health about the contract or the work that happens with the CDO, about meetings or if it’s an idea that is something about the way the PDA functions as an organisation to support members from one of the board of directors comes up with the idea and brings it up at a board meeting. Absolutely. If it’s a good idea and everybody thinks it’s a good idea, crackle with it. You know, they are the people that set the strategy. It’s not sensible and it’s helpful. I mean, obviously, it’s a weird idea when the rest scratching their heads and going, well, that’s not really going to work, then it is going to get anywhere. But, you know, if it’s within the remit of what they can achieve as an organisation, then absolutely, you know, the world is you and you are one of the biggest voices in quite a small room at that point when you’re part of the pack.

[00:11:42] So, you know, if you can get your other pack members on board with your idea when it makes business sense, I mean, that’s the key. The critical thing. You have a responsibility for the media as a board member. You are running a business. You cannot do something that is going to put the business at risk of failure. You have to make sure that it’s financially viable. So as long as your ideas aren’t completely wacky and actually they would benefit the organisation, then having people coming onto the pack with ideas of how to change things for the future is what I feel really needs right now. Somebody driving forward. I think it’s very easy to get into a bit of a rut with the way things have been done a certain way, like things a certain way. And, you know, these are real primary membership categories that we need to be and all this sort of stuff. But, you know, it could do that, but it could do the bit of shaking up. I think it could be going to watch this and think about.

[00:12:48] Jemmy Jemmy with you.

[00:12:53] Yeah, I would agree with you. I think that, you know, injecting a little bit of, you know, indisciplined to the actual committees. Definitely, you know, I’ve been going to LDC conferences and, you know, being in multiple committees over many years. And I think that, you know, you’re right, you can gain you can get, you know, somehow handle it with a passion. You know, at the end of the day, regardless of who gets that vote today, I think if you can vote some end that’s got that, you know, sort of drive to, you know, shake the tree a little bit, see what falls, I think that’s probably a very sensible move, you know. Well, you know, existing infrastructure and, you know, only repairing the ship a slight direction here or there is probably not as exciting, in my opinion.

[00:13:41] Well, then, OK, let’s talk. What are the what are the why is this particular election an important one? I mean, well, it goes without saying we’ve got all the things that have happened over the last 18 months. But what are the key issues that you guys would like to discuss and, you know, ideas that you want to bring to those issues? Jemmy.

[00:14:02] But I’m not going to use the word unprecedented again. Yeah, this is again, you know, they basically basically the you know, I can’t remember everyday life. I think on a tipping point here, I feel that we’re on a tipping point. You know, when you go into forums, when you speak to young Dentists’, you know, when you speak to even the other end of the spectrum, they’re kind of planning their retirements a little sooner than what they thought. You know, it’s a b’day basically saying that 28 percent of registrants haven’t gone back on the GDC. I would say the tipping point, a huge tipping point. And I think that steadying the ship at this particular period is going to be probably have a knock on effect for years and years to come. I’ve certainly not seen anything like this before. And I think that the whole I think industry is going to look completely different in the next four to five years. I can already see huge changes happening. And, you know, there are lots of push and pull factors going on in the background. And it’s almost like the whole thing is coalescing and morphing at the moment. And I think that, you know, this is that’s why I think it’s important. I think it’s probably the most important one I’ve seen so far.

[00:15:09] Yeah. Yeah, I think it’s inevitable. You know, it’s not just dentistry. The society has changed the expectations of a population with regard to their safety, the everyday behaviours that work, life balance, everything has fundamentally changed. And I think we need to be respectful of what we need to be responsive to that one thing that really and this isn’t a new issue. This is always kind of got to me a bit over 80 percent of registered dentists or associates. That is not the reflected characteristic on the board of the BDA directors by a very significant margin. So I worry, looking at the media pack, that they’re safe members who pay the bills, who pay for the staff, who pay for everything, all the designers, the people that are running the business, the practise owners. And there’s a potential for it to be. And I mean, I am privy to the workings of the media in that I see it from the roles that I have within it. And I know that they’re trying not to be, but I think we need significantly greater associate focussed membership support because I can see increasing I mean, that’s been a huge increase in the number of people that are setting up squats. And I think that’s a really interesting development for dentistry. I’m really interested to see what happens without people leaving a licenced practise left, right and centre and either going just in private practise or setting up. We are seeing a real change in it. But also one thing that we’re definitely going to continue to see is the high level of associates, nonpracticing individuals who have no intention of owning a practise.

[00:17:01] You know, it’s not that we’re talking about young people at the beginning of their careers. There are plenty of people like myself. You don’t want to own a practise who want to develop other skills, who want to invest in themselves as individuals, who don’t want the responsibilities of running. A day to day business premises, and those people equally need support and they have had, I think, a pretty tough time in the last 18 months. I think there’s a lot of them questioning whether or not the jobs that they’re in are right for them, but they feel quite stuck. And I feel that as a union and as a as a professional body to be, they could be doing a lot more to help those individuals make those decisions, be it negotiating better contracts as an associate or setting up a school practise or going into a partnership or whatever they want to do with their careers. But I worry that because of the diversity with regard to profession or professional status, with regard to job role on the pay is so off kilter before we even get involved in personal characteristics like gender and ethnicity and everything else. That’s my major concern, really, the change in the last particularly the last 20 years. I said, you know, we’ve seen it a seismic shift and I don’t think it’s going to completely turn around. I think we need to be focussing more on these issues.

[00:18:23] Well, I mean, you’re right. Is play a massive, you know, percentage role in in the workforce. But, you know you know how that thing where we say, you know, look after dentists and dentists will look after patients, you know, that that idea. So are we now seeing that looking after US principles doesn’t mean that you’re going to be looking after associates. And I know it’s a it’s a divisive question because, you know, we like to sort of pit principals against associates, private against the NHS or whatever. But Jemmy, sitting here with 30 associates. Yeah. You know, what’s good for his associates is good for him and vice versa, because they’ve got multiple relationships outside of. I know there’s been abuse. Yeah, I know that we all that we all heard those stories and we’re going to have some of those people on, you know, then, you know, of course, that’s an issue. But Jemmy, is there a more pressing issue, in your opinion?

[00:19:24] Well, that is a very pressing issue. I mean, there was obviously this associate principal, you know, widening of the chasm, shall we say, between between the two parties over the covid period. But fundamentally, that was because everything was written so quickly. And when it was, you know, when when this wording and, you know, and you could arguably say it was a b’day responsibility to a certain extent. But some of the wording when challenged legally was difficult to actually, you know, you know, to to, you know, utilise or interpret that in a very sort of fair way between the two parties. And I think that was part of the issue. You know, in that role, the hopefully going forward, there’ll be a bit more to do, a bit more time and a bit more due diligence on that sort of wording. You know, hopefully they can come up with a solution that’s beneficial and that’s better for anyone. As Payman said, what’s good for an associates, good principal and vice versa? I strongly believe that. I think, you know, ultimately we have to work together in that respect. I mean, there are other pressing issues. I mean, the big issue is PPA. And, you know, what’s going to be the fallout ultimately, you know, we know something has to stick after the seismic events.

[00:20:39] It always does. You know, mad cow disease, whatever, prions in something have to stick. You know, we had companies already tying themselves up for single use, you know, high speed and et cetera, et cetera. They were making the packaging even before we knew anything about it. You know, lots of things go on in the background and, you know, some bits stuck in some bits didn’t say postdebate. You know, some parts will stick. So let’s hope the ventilation is actually beneficial. I’ve got some window surgery and I’m quite like the ventilation systems. They work quite well. It’s a much a pressure experience for everyone. But I don’t want my paper to stick for another day if I can help, you know. You know, that’s basically getting people down, getting it. I mean, that’s probably part of the reason why this 28 per cent of people are leaving the register because they’re stuck in these feet. You know, dentistry is a communicative profession. You’re basically communicating with people. That’s a different thing. You would get in a complaint and not most of the time. And actually, if you stuck behind at 53, especially if the evidence base is not that strong, it’s more of an insurance based issue or a kind of, you know, indemnity based issue rather than, you know, you’re not following the science.

[00:21:43] Basically following we’re running scared of the lawyers and the insurance. You know, that’s always the case, isn’t it? And I think that’s what’s. Yeah. So I’d say that’s probably a pressing issue. Boots on the ground type issue. I certainly want him to associate him. We want to get out. Now, that time is one thing that, you know, this is really sort of fucking us down. So I think there’s some immediate sort of, you know, pressing issue that need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. And then obviously some more medium term issues like, for example, societ the FSA issue and also. You know, you touched on the private nature issue as well. I mean, let’s face it, the private sector is going to grow and grow. As we can see, it may be a bubble. It may be just because the energy demand is so low. You know, I know a lot of people are setting up spot practises and we hear that a lot of daily fees and we speak to other practitioners as well. But, you know, is it the right time? Who knows, really? You know, is it just a bubble? Would you normally take a business decision in such an uncertain period? You know? This is all questions that would, you know, are worth exploring, definitely worth the media having some input on that and maybe giving a fair and balanced viewpoint on what people are making these quite sort big decisions in their lives and things like that.

[00:22:54] So definitely worth inputting there. But that sort of balance between private and I think will change fundamentally. I think, you know, the attitude, the aptitude to do need to undergo NHS care to work in the NHS. I mean, I’m a big fan of the NHS. I favourite you know, I worked in the NHS, were privately, you know, been around the block, really. And I think that, you know, they’ve got to be an NHS system. I fundamentally believe whether it should look like it does. Now, that’s the question, isn’t it? And I think, you know, it will all be kind of touched on. It’s all about the budget, isn’t it? All about the money that’s available. It’s all about how they want to spend it and what the priorities are. But I think that’s also a huge sort of medium to long term issue that needs to be addressed, the nature of the NHS contract, the balance between private and NHS and also how the associates and the principles fit into that.

[00:23:47] I mean, I have to absolutely. I think what’s going on at the moment with the is a response to cultivate is he’s going to have a huge impact on what happens long term with conjunctural effectively what we’ve seen over the last 18 months is the NHS becoming an urgent cancer. It’s the remit of the NHS has been enormously reducing the majority of areas to the majority of patients to something that deals with basic, urgent Dental need and not an exhaustive service that covers the whole population. Not that it ever really managed to achieve that despite its best intentions. So we are now in a really good position to be able to come back and say, look, if we need more money to be able to provide a better service to more people, there is absolutely no doubt about that. And it is really put the squeeze on the funding that’s available to be able to provide that care. And there’s no part of the country that has escaped that at all. So that’s utterly crucial that this is really pushed through at this point.

[00:24:58] Sorry to interrupt more money. I mean, do we seriously believe that more money is going to come into dentistry?

[00:25:04] No, I mean, I, I, I have always been of the opinion that we should have a core NHS service that is funded sufficiently to provide basic service for everyone. As we all know, the government currently only provide sufficient contracting needs to cover just over 50 percent of the population. So even if everybody wanted a Dental something simple, that’s just not the funding. That one thing that’s always really upset me is the fact that we would go to these LDN meetings. We’re talking about commissioning for advanced services and our millions are getting all geared up and we’re doing X, Y and Z to improve the services for things like, you know, especially since downticks. Yeah, 40 miles away, we’ve got patients queuing up outside an access centre, you can’t get a tooth taken out. Not to me. You know, we’ve got a finite pot of money. You need to be careful with how you spend it. Yes, we all want to live in a world where we can commission specialist services for everybody, regardless of their financial position. But until we’ve addressed the fact that we’ve got people walking around with swollen faces, it can’t have their teeth taken out because the access isn’t available.

[00:26:26] We’ve got a fundamental problem with our Dental contract. So I, I, you know, I think we need to readdress it. I think we need to fundamentally shake it up. I think we maybe need to stop worrying about some of the more advanced services and focus on the basic care of the people in our society who don’t have the option. You know, and yeah, there’s been a boom in private Prav, but that’s what people that have an option. There are plenty of places in the country where we don’t have and I, I think it’s I think we need a real shake down of the entire system, which is a controversial view, because I know there are plenty of people out there that will say to me that you absolutely should be able to have your office having retreated the NHS, although I think, well, patients should have an old D.C. meeting about it. And she felt very strongly about it to me.

[00:27:19] If you were the king of the NHS, what would you do? What you know, the budget let’s imagine the budget isn’t increasing. Is that two and a half percent of health care budget or whatever it is, how would you allocate it?

[00:27:33] Well, the king of the NHS and I care. I’m okay. The health secretary. I think you know the OK, so I agree with that. I think that I’m not I know people say I mean, I don’t think I agree with, of course, over so much. I think that it just has to be a defined offer. At the moment. All the risk is on the shoulders of the associates and involvement in the service. So if you’re a get, you have to be the gatekeeper at this present time and all the rest of you all. And and I think that is not and that’s not a favourable position if a tenable position, you know, the government likes to shift because the risk is on you and not them. And, you know, they continue and everything takes over. But but it got to be an NHS offer. It’s something that’s been, you know, a defined NHS. But this is what you can have on the NHS and this is what you can’t I don’t think I would go so much into whether I think it should be core or advanced, but really, it should be this is what you can have and this is what you call them at the moment. It’s a great it’s just a grey area.

[00:28:39] And that really does need to be addressed in have a future commissioning occurs. I think once you’ve addressed that and obviously we’re clever, people will work around whatever whatever is on the table. I agree that, you know, we know that the Dental budget is only suitable for of population. You know, in the last LDC conference, you know, sorry. And he was pressed on that, you know, and she didn’t answer the question, quite frankly, because, you know, it’s a difficult thing to admit that really their only budget in the country is not politically palatable. You know, that’s our position, but that’s what’s going on. So, yeah, I possibly a bit less on everybody, but I don’t know. You know, you have to be clever bit of research. It needs to be done to work out what’s most suitable for people. You know, with that with that part, essentially, I think that, you know, part of the issue with what Hannah said in terms of, you know, there’s lots of people with fat faces and and giving up for, you know, urgent dental care. And we see that it’s urgent that we run UDC. But one of the major issues is workforce, isn’t it? I mean, you’ve got to find the associates that want to do that work.

[00:29:49] Quite frankly, everybody wants to just put biotoxins in people’s teeth and that’s what they aspire to. They don’t want to sit there and do the, you know, take people’s teeth out, you know, the people that run around the block. I think that’s a problem. I think that’s not an ideal situation to be in. But, you know, there’s a lot of people with, you know, a vested interest, the kind of a cohort of new graduates are coming through. And that’s what they want to do, is to beautify teeth and beautify the population, you know, and yeah, there will be a finite amount of work available. Yes. But there are if there’s a fundamental need for, you know, for patients to be seen and people that are disadvantaged, we’ve got to be responsible. And actually, you know, also explain that the need for population have to. And that should be something that people aspire to also, because I think that, you know, if you present it in the right way, there will be people that will aspire to that sort of thing and to really make that difference. So the media should be pushing that as well. You know, make the counternarrative to some of that, some of the ideas

[00:30:48] You talked you talked about risk there. And, you know, we’ve got. What just happened with the court case, that vicarious liability with the associates, how does that make you feel as a principal to me? And how does it make you feel as an associate, Hanna? Because on the face of it, you might think, well, that’s great. I’m no longer responsible. You know, all the blame with the principal. But as someone someone who was I was an associate myself for a few years. The last thing I wanted was my principal sticking his nose into my treatment plans and hassling me about the clinical side. So I expect that would increase if the principal felt like they had the legal weight of the world on their shoulders. How do you feel?

[00:31:34] Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I think I can completely see why the vicarious liability element of indemnity is increasingly important. The case we’ve had, particularly since the Brexit, we’ve had quite a lot of overseas dentists leave the UK. Now, I have to say, if I left the UK and was signing it up in Argentina, I would not be answering any letters from the Dental partnership. And so I have say, you know, if I don’t eat or, you know, anything else has happened and I just wasn’t responding, I think it is important the patients do have somewhere that they can still go. And I think having a vicarious liability element to indemnity is increasing. But, you know, it’s only recently this has become apparent. This is going to be a thing. And I think it is important if you were practising that you have that because otherwise you can be stung for some hefty payout. And it’s on you is a practise that, you know, not through your indemnity. So absolutely. I mean, the bidet included a standard when they launch their indemnity products, they included that standard. And at the time I thought, you know, you could do it as a bolt of I think now everybody’s going to be doing the same thing. And that is, you know, it’s just part of the professional environment that we work in. You know, if you’re also associate disabilities, you need as a practise owner a way of managing that situation as an associate. I have no intention of leaving the country. I have no intention of stopping working as a dentist. So I’m still going to need my my indemnity. My indemnity is going to rebuild on as much as it ever was because I cannot foresee a situation unless I did die that my previous practise owner would be asked to fight that battle for me.

[00:33:28] I just can’t foresee it. So as a UK living, no intention of ever leaving associate, it’s made no difference to the way that I view my own indemnity. As you quite rightly pointed out, you could make every difference to the way that I actually work in practise day to day if I have principals who are concerned about the vicarious liability aspect. One thing I love about my job is that I have complete political freedom. I can turn to what I can do my job. I can see the patients that I want to see, the way that I want to see them, sort of the patients I want to see, the patients that want to see me. I treat them the way that I want to treat them. We develop that relationship. We do what’s best for them and me is a professional relationship going forward. And that’s why they see me, is because they like me and they like the way that I do my job. And I feel like that would be seriously compromised if everything that I did was justified all the time. And if that was the way that it became, then actually I probably wouldn’t have any option other than to set myself up. So either to go into a partnership or to start a school to do whatever I needed to do, because I can’t I mean, I am not good at being an employee or an opinionated individual, so I think I’d struggle with it. Having been autonomous for so long, I don’t think I would. I don’t think it would sit well with me.

[00:35:00] Jemmy. Jemmy, how does it make you feel? Thirty associates. Now you have to worry about each of them.

[00:35:05] Yeah. I mean, obviously it can be you know, this case is a very interesting one. I think some of the more cynical, probably a little bit, to be honest. But it was just testing a position, wasn’t it, to see what the outcome would be, much like this associate principal malarky that’s gone on over covid. You know, the fact of the matter is it’s poorly written. And when it was scrutinised, it was torn apart and they couldn’t go any further with it. And this is a test case that they put the wording in the tested that b’day contract. And, you know, some and some of the outcome has been quite damning on that on that particular contract set up. So so. So, yeah, it is concerning. I think that we have an idea we Payman why don’t we give Crown indemnity to NHS practitioners? If you want people to stay in the NHS, if you want to incentivise NHS to work to be done, if you want these cases to be seen, why not give associates and principals Crown Indemnity much like their GP colleagues, so that we can be treating the faces and the other part of the week they could be doing all the beautification, you know, give them some incentive to stay in the NHS? It is a no brainer in my mind. So so, you know, for something, you know, that should be what Dental NHS Dental should strive for. And then if should have a top up privately owned private practise, most of the and most of it by a GP background indemnity.

[00:36:22] They do need to top it off. Quite frankly, it’s not sufficient for most of the work that they do. But why not have the same support? Why not push it out? I think I would feel strongly about that. The other thing is the outcome of this is not the vicarious liability issue because we cannot ensure our selves about this. I think what I think when needed to sort of employ stated the NHMRC taken up the final word on this. If the outcome from the HMRC, it doesn’t make a difference whether it be dental or partnership, have found this waiting to be flawed or etc, etc. and then we all have to suddenly high koppa indemnity in order to cover all sorts of like areas. Ultimately, HMRC are going to determine where their associates are self-employed or employed and that will be the biggest concern for both parties, because then you’re going to have to rewrite the rulebook, you know, between principles and associates. If you think that the covid, you know, widening of the gap, you know, you ain’t seen nothing yet. If everyone starts to have to become employed, it’s fundamentally going to shift. And so, you know, that said, you know, I said, yeah, we’re we’re at a crossroads. You know, lots of things are coming together. I think, you know, it will be interesting to see what comes out the other end. Yeah.

[00:37:32] Can I just I think I absolutely 100 percent agree with the Crown indemnity for the NHS work, and I think it was thrown out in the past. They looked across the border into the GPS and they decided it was too complicated because GP’s were quite separate. NHS and private work that they do, they tend to run an NHS clinic or private clinic. And obviously with dentists, it’s more complicated than that. But I think there was to be honest, I feel like it’s a bit of a copout. It’s too complicated. So we’re not going to bother. And I think absolutely, if we’re doing particularly things like access, we should have Crown indemnity for that. You know, I’ve known people that have been dragged to the GDC because they took a cheap for a patient with a massive face, really neglected dentition, didn’t talk to them about the option of an implant before they took the teeth out as an emergency appointment and then got drawn to the GDC for not informing the patient that an implant could cost that much. You know, we need somebody to to provide that to to give a little bit of support to people so they can quite comfortably go in. And you know what? These guys were great. I’m going to do with this coming back to the whole beach vacation thing. As I said at the beginning, the favourite job I’ve ever had ever was working in the prison. And all I did there all day was twenty four. It was a great job,

[00:38:56] Also good about it.

[00:38:57] And I was helping people who were in genuine agony. You know, prisons are a horrible place to be. You get shipped from place to place to place. And the waiting list is so long for any medical care that you’re just about the top of the list and then they’ll leave you with no notice and then you go back to the bottom of the list. So the people that I was seeing have been in agony for months, years, really neglected dentition. Most people that I saw had drug, alcohol, mental health. Really, really severe problems. And it was as simple as taking the teeth out and then they were not in pain for the first time in two minutes, and that’s a brilliant job. I was working in Clwyd through community at the time, so I had the support of an organisation. You know, it worked well. And because it was the prison, there was a danger money. So I had a slightly inflated pay for the day that I gave. I was a little bit nervous the first few days, but you got used to it. So it was well paid. I was well supported and I was doing something that I genuinely thought it was valuable to a population of people who were genuinely grateful for the help that I was boarding.

[00:40:12] And I would do not all day, every day, rather than put Botox in people, if it were appropriate, even didn’t support it. And that’s the problem. I look at it now, you know, it’s more than 10 years since I did that job. I can guarantee to any prison job going at the moment is on less money with less support than it was when I was doing it. And therefore, it’s you know, it’s not peeling is not going to be drawing in those new graduates. I went in as quite an early dentist. I’ve probably only been working for about two, three years. I’m good at taking teeth out. And the reason I’m taking teeth out is because I spent 18 months working in a prison and there’s no one to help you. And if you refer them to the surgery, the waiting list is six months. So you pretty much figure out how to get it out. I learnt so much from that job, but it comes down to having a job that is appropriately supported and appropriately funded so that people can really just get on with.

[00:41:16] Yeah, I mean, it’s what you will be outside of the Dental, what was your your feeling on prisons overall? I mean, give me that’s a big question. Yeah, but can you give me 10 seconds on it?

[00:41:30] Since I was really nervous about going in first time, to be honest, they were really, really short staffed and they kind of asked me what I know, but I was OK. So I probably went in when I was about twenty five and I, you know, classic pretty Frenchwomen, pretty privileged white girls with nice, nice home and nice, you know, well brought up and didn’t really know what I’m going to meet in that. I was a bit, you know, very, very out of my comfort zone. And the thing that fundamentally struck me is that the majority of the people that have been that are really, really young. And they’re basically just kids that are caught up in stuff that we should never be grew up in and we’d see their rap sheet. So if you were firing somebody out of the hospital, when they’d go off to the hospital, they’d have all of their information, their medical information, all of that criminal information, and goes with the guards that are going with them to the hospital appointment. And you’d skim through it. And you’ve got these guys are in there who are 19 years old and they’re from a rough bit of London. They’ve been in a gang. Their rap sheet is carrying a weapon, carrying drugs, driving without insurance, driving under the influence of drugs, you know, driving the age of 15. Well, if you’re 14, 15 years old and everybody, you know, carries a weapon, pretty much everybody takes drugs.

[00:42:55] Nobody has insurance. Everybody drinks and drives and you get caught doing all the right things, which is completely normal for you. How are you not going to get in trouble? So it really opened my eyes to the absolute disparity in in our society. You know, we have gulfs between different communities in this country. And, you know, it really does show you again then why we have such a see dentistry. You know, you can walk two miles down a road and you will walk past a beautiful private practise of really lovely things. And then you walk two miles on the road and you will be in an area where there is massive deprivation, huge health inequalities, just literally nothing there. But the statistics show that 10 miles away, there’s an indigenous dental practise. It’s full. It’s always been full. It never will have taken any of these people. And we have these issues scattered throughout society with regard to, you know, basically it’s demographics and there are things that we can do to help within dentistry. You know, inevitably, there are things that we can be doing that can make things better for some people. But, you know, it’s I think everybody needs to go and work in these places. They need to work in acceptance or in a prison or in a homeless centre or or something just to give them a little bit of an idea as to what our situation is like in this country.

[00:44:31] Look, it’s a it’s a feature of the UK that we’ve got the very best of staff and the very worst and the middle sort of not so well serviced, you know, we have the best universities in the world and then we’ve got those who never make it to university. We’ve got the best restaurants in the world and then we’ve got some pretty crappy food places. And then, you know, how do you address that? You tax people more and then again and again and again, people vote not to have that. You know, this division Jimmi division, I’m reading your manifesto. Anything to mend the cracks in our profession. I can do that in the end. That’s going to take ideas. I mean, you know, you said Crown Indemnity. That’s going to cost money, right. So where’s that money going to come from? From patient care, for instance. It’s always a bit more complicated, isn’t it, than you think. But tell me some of the things you’ve done in your LTC job where you feel like you’ve done you know, you said you you want to you want to do on the national level what you’ve been doing on a local level. There were some clues. How are you going to try and mend all this?

[00:45:45] We hit the nail on the head of funding the you in terms of, you know, ultimately, you know, I’ve written business cases before for the NHS, managed to get funding into the region, you know, for projects, for dentistry, you know, fighting in the corner to sort of I think we want to want to manage this fundamentally. We need if they were taking a huge clawback, huge amount of clawback, you know, money. And I think that, you know, staggering about 19 million pounds don’t quote me on that bit of something similar to that kind of figure and year on year to be getting that money back. So in our region, I think they were I think there were eight million short or something like that in our region. And we managed to sort of negotiate, not meet personally. But, you know, by putting pressure and by saying that we need these services and working with the NHS, really working with the infrastructure, managed to get three million pounds back, you know, from from from that amount. So to actually redistribute back into our increased access in the region. So I do I’m a way to do it, to actually make a business case, really crunch those numbers and actually explain the fact that it’s actually not it’s a false economy sometimes to save money.

[00:46:52] And actually you’ve got to spend the money to save a bit money in the long term. So you’re right. If you just say we want to bang the drum and bang the table and say we want grant indemnity, that’s going to go in one ear and out the other. But if you say, look, we want indemnity because it’s costing the NHS this much money to basically defend these cases and, you know, apologise to these patients, this much manpower is being wasted trawling through, you know, hours and hours and hours of complaints that, you know, it’s probably worth your while just to cover up a little bit, just throw these things out. I mean, we saw it recently with the complaints. I think there’s a form that we send out. Again, don’t quote me on the name Chayo something or other Cayo on AIDS or something. And, you know, during the pandemic period, they basically told us not to send them. And I thought that’s ah, you know, declaration of all the complaints we’ve had that you, you know, doing Pandemic said don’t bother us anything, you know, and I know they don’t have the manpower to actually look through that plethora of stuff that’s pouring through as a result of it, you know, so there are means and ways to make an argument.

[00:47:51] I think that’s probably what I’ve been doing through the LDC and the LDN because about the funding as well over the years, you know, asking us what do you want to spend the excess money on and off? And there’ll be a case where, you know, they say we’ve got this much money, there’s 100000 pounds or something like that. If we don’t spend it in the next month, it’ll go and we’ll never see again. So then you’d have to think of a business case very quickly to spend. They’ll say, you know, maybe spread it out there, peer review, CPD, you know, a project in a care home, etc, etc.. So, you know, I think, you know, I think that’s the approach that you would need to take in this situation. And I’m sure the media well versed on, you know, you know, these negotiations. But definitely that would be the way that it would mend the cracks. You’d have to you’d have to have quite a compelling argument to actually, you know, attempt to attempt to loosen the purse strings, I think.

[00:48:43] Guys, you know, we were discussing before I started recording that there’s not massive engagement with this media process and, you know, the were voter out there that had come out and vote that the members don’t come out and vote for it as it is to younger members of the profession. And I mean, listening to you guys and you’re so well versed on these issues, you know, from from the outside, you’ve got to remember, you know, just just the acronyms are confusing. You know, the for you guys, you’re so in it. How are you going to engage the younger generation? Being I know, I know you are saying you’re no spring chicken, but you’re certainly not at the end of your careers. How are we going to do that? It’s important and I’m guilty of it myself. I’ve never voted in a in a PTA election. I have voted that. But generally with the election, I’ve never thought to vote. But then I thought about it and I thought, you know, I’ve been a critic of the PTA enough. Yeah, it’s a vocal critic sometimes and sometimes on this platform, sometimes on social media particularly. I wasn’t very happy with their communication strategy during covid. But what’s the point of being a critic of it if you don’t even vote, let alone stand like you guys do? What are the ideas for engaging the professional?

[00:50:14] So my my fundamental issue with. With the way that sports represented the way that the communications run is that you’re not going to engage with something if it doesn’t look like you. You know, you can’t get people to get excited about a conversation a bunch of people are having, if you cannot see yourself ever being involved in that conversation and the way that you need to see that is because you can see people like you who share your vision and share your experiences, who are involved in that conversation, and they are engaged with it, you know, so with myself or with Jemmy, you know, if we were then part of that conversation. We do have people younger than even myself on the pack ready for this one. But it is a case of having those people that having that conversation in a forum that other people can see, the other people that can potentially engage with, you know, doing things like this, your viewers who normally potentially wouldn’t be involved in everyday stuff, who wouldn’t normally be interested me something. Oh, actually, you know what they’re talking about something that does annoy me. Maybe I’ll read what the media are doing about it. You know, having this conversation, this debate, you will then increase interest. And that’s what we need to do. You just need to increase the interest and then make the information readily available and then it’s there. If somebody is actually to know, I am a bit interested. I would like to know a little bit more about that as long as it’s readily accessible. It looks like you then it’s something you’ll get involved in.

[00:51:59] And I take issue with it looks like you a little bit. Yeah. Because I of course understand what you mean. Of course I understand that. But, you know, not much of the country looks like Boris Johnson, but he managed he he he managed to pull it off. Right. He might pull it off in a big way. OK, you know, there was a little this disorganise and all of that. But, you know, you don’t necessarily have to look like the person you’re voting for. Jemmy, sorry.

[00:52:30] Yeah, I mean, I agree. I mean, obviously reaching out to, you know, people like yourself, you know, ultimately you’ve got a big reach. There are other people in the Dental industry who have a big reach. And you can imagine that most of your audience is the younger end of the spectrum, people engaging in social media. We see how hot all of these forums are. We don’t see any of this stuff really pouring into the forums. And I think if people really understood that, you know, the gravitas of the conversations are being had at that level, you know, every facet of their working life to a certain extent is going to be influenced, whether they’re private or energy to a certain extent, by some of the decisions made in those boardrooms. So I think you’re only going to get some proportion of people that are going to be fundamentally interested in the politics side of it. They are. They just buy why it that way. But I think if the general populace or the younger a younger colleague, if they were basically aware of the mechanics and the fact that those mechanics affect their day to day, when the patient sits in the mouth with the head back and open their mouth and what their work experience is like, that kind of talking about leaving prison at work.

[00:53:30] But basically it’s just not feasible anymore. It’s not feasible because of some of the decisions that maybe could be influenced in that boardroom. So, you know, if you really want to make that change and you’ve got to be engaged in the process, I think also we have a very niche market. You know, sometimes we just get absorbed in ourselves. But, you know, we’re a tiny market, you know, really. And so these decisions can be quite close to home. You know, we’re not the government. It’s not like, you know, voting in a general election. You know, your vote yes will have an effect. But he has to go through layers and layers and layers of pogson, you know, to have any you probably won’t see the ramifications of your vote, you know, immediately. But in dentistry, it’s a pretty niche. You know, I think that you if you actually put your vote in, I think you will see some effect that will affect you quite quickly.

[00:54:20] You know,

[00:54:21] Having cesta these elections before I can tell you, it comes down to a handful. So five people watch this tomorrow and vote. That will change the outcome of the election, though, right? Yeah. So the numbers are tiny and it is just about you don’t have to do it yourself. You don’t have to want to be on the pack. You don’t want to have to go to the ABC. You don’t want to. Yeah, it’s costumey. Says you just need to have an awareness of the fact that these things do impact you. And regardless of where you’re from, what you do, where you are in your career, what your aspirations are, having your vote is your fundamental rights. To influence the way that things are going to turn out, so my absolute message would be if you were a member, you will have had the stuff through the post with everybody statements in it. If you’ve thrown out, you will still be able to read the news on the website and then you need to find somebody that shares your values. You can fight your corner if you don’t want to do it yourself, invite them.

[00:55:26] Your PDA to org slash elections is where you can find that. Um. Well, it’s, I think it’s been really fascinating. Really has. And you know, I wish we had others on here as well, but it was very short notice for most. And I want to thank you guys for for coming on and giving that fresh sort of angle on what could be the future for our profession and for the younger audiences that we were talking about. And then just generally, I mean, the actually before we close it down, let’s talk about, you know, your purely private Narnia. All right. Yeah. Jimi, I know you’ve got all sorts of private and NHS things going on with these new organisations that have come along during covid the baptism of those other independent groups. Do you think I mean, I thought there was there was a good reason for those to come along, but trying to sort of do it in six weeks was taken 60 years or 100 years of the b’day. You know, it’s not going to happen. So are we going to get a more inclusive, private focussed angle from the media or is the media, not the organisation? And and these other organisations should grow and take that space?

[00:56:53] I think I think the media does a huge amount behind closed doors for everybody. And I think people that are vocal critics of the media, I mean, we often find people that are vocally critical of the media aren’t members, you know, so they don’t know what’s going on. And I think one of the biggest issues is that it does not blow its own trumpet anywhere near enough. And if we went back 15 years and we had lived the last 15 years without the constant negotiations of the media, with all of the various powers that be and all of the influence that it has and all the good that it’s done, you know, yeah, we’ve got a terrible contract. But can you imagine how awful it would be if the BDA didn’t exist? That’s that’s the issue. And you’ve got these new organisations who are saying, well, we need this, we need this, we need this now. Well, yeah, but we tried to do that already. And these are the 10 years worth the various battles that have been fought on various fronts to achieve this. And we’ve realised that, you know, things are more complicated than they initially appear. And I think this is the is very easy as an outsider to go, well, they’re just not doing the job properly. They’re just not doing it well enough with that because you don’t know each single one of those staff members is doing day in, day out in their full time job to protect us as a profession because they don’t tell you unless you ask. But, yeah, I mean, you can rest assured without the work that the BDI does, the profession would not be in the place that it is right now.

[00:58:32] It would be significantly worse off. And I know that sometimes seems hard to believe. And we can all have a bit of a woe is me moment about how terrible things are. But trust me, it would be worse. I’ve seen some of the bullets that have been dodged because of the work of the work that goes on at the V.A. and we need to be grateful to those colleagues. And it’s not necessarily the pack. It’s the staff that are incredibly hard working. A lot of the positions that are held within the media, the craft committees, you know, they don’t pay for these jobs. You know, everybody’s probably heard of Charlotte Waite’s, who’s the chair of the Community Centre Services Committee, and she’s regularly in parliament and she’s doing all sorts of things, promoting dentistry for marginalised groups like Community. She’s paid to do that job. The PTA support her as a professional to be able to make these big, big impacts on the profession. And, you know, a lot of the people that are involved in the PTA do it voluntarily. They do it because they love the profession and they are doing a good job. It just doesn’t always necessarily publicly appear to be that way. I’d like to help them improve their public image, because I know that they’re doing great job, so I read some of the stuff that’s going on is amazing to me.

[01:00:02] I kind of had to be honest. You know, the media has to be everything to everyone, really. To be honest, it is representing the whole profession. So, I mean, Simon is not going to mind me saying I’m a doctor who is my sister, my oldest sister, not going to mind meeting me, saying, you know, during the open period, I think there was a lot of a lot of people that felt quite helpless, a lot of Dental helpless. Alfer. And quite sort of in the way that we’re wired. And I think that we felt quite helpless, you know, people shouting or practises or telling us we can do this or that. We might send you to a Nightingale hospital, etc., etc.. And as you said, you know, we. And that’s a natural reaction, isn’t it? You band together. We need to form some kind of power base. And so all of these organisations pop up to come for you know, some of it comes from a sort of business element, from a monetary element. I think it’s important to keep those ones out. And a lot of them have got some good, you know, you know, some good contribution to make. So I don’t think you can immediately say they’re sort of not relevant in the space, but I think fundamentally happened because of that sort of crisis situation and people felt underrepresented.

[01:01:15] And I think that social media gives a lot of people and I a chance to be a keyboard warrior. You see a lot of the same people popping up on social media, you know, voicing their opinions. And then when you have a look at something like Valpak or you look fat in the Aldiss and, you know, the actual established infrastructure, these people are nowhere to be seen. So it’s very easy to say in front of a, you know, in front of the keyboard and just punch away your opinion and you see in all spheres of life then you. But actually, you know, sometimes I kind of say you don’t have to blow by blow your own trumpet. You’ve got to be judged on your results. And actually, you know, you don’t have to sit there screaming. You can just be judged on your results and people should just judge them on the results. If you don’t think the results are good enough, then be a vocal critic, but really do sort of understand that it’s quite a large infrastructure and there’s a lot of cogs in the machine.

[01:02:07] You know, the there’s one thing getting involved and just voting, whole other thing standing and getting involved with all of these, I mean, and both of you, you know, Jimi, you’ve got is it four or five practises? You could be focussing on your next four or five practises. But, you know, you’re spending your time in these committees. And Hannah, I’m sure you can find many things to do as well in your spare time. So, you know, the degree of service is admirable. I think I think we should point out there are other candidates, apart from Hannah and Jim, there are seven other candidates, Marc Newsome, Sarah Campbell and Jillian Cottam atop the car, Marion English as the category, and Chris Morris, the other candidates for completeness. I think that that we should say that it’s been lovely having you guys and it’s really piqued my interest. And I say that for it and certainly try and have more on this on this platform. And I wish you both the very best and really lovely to see to see people like you guys so engaged in the process. Thanks a lot for taking the time to discuss.

[01:03:19] Can I just ask one really quickly before we go, though? The BDA runs elections every three years for GBC Aldergrove Committee so that the country councils JPC, which is a general dentist, can use Dental services. If you in any way even vaguely interested in getting involved, just put yourself forward because we struggle to get people wanting to just do it. So you don’t feel like you’re not experienced enough or you’ve not got the right background or you don’t know the right people. Just put your name forward because that is the only way that you’re going to get involved in it and you would be welcomed with open arms, trust me.

[01:03:57] Paula, any closing comments for you, Jemmy,

[01:04:01] What you’re saying, just engage with the process? I think that’s the key. Just to gauge, you know, for the sake of you’ve only got a couple of days now to get your votes. And I think you should really, you know, get on the computer, punch, punch it in, and then basically have a look at the statements and get a vote and just get something in and hopefully Payman your supporters over the years, because I’m sure this will crop up again and again. It has been over many years. You can get more even if it’s just a win at this time. And we can engage on the next you know, the next election, for example. At least you’re starting the process.

[01:04:30] Yeah, absolutely. All right, guys. Well, thanks a lot for taking the time and good luck to both of you. Voting ends on the 30th at noon. It is opposed to vote. You would have been sent your your postal ballot at wherever you could receive your BTG. Thanks. Thanks a lot for taking the time.

[01:04:50] Thank you. This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders Dental Street. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Nilesh Parmar combines a love of implants with a passion for all things business, and his unabashed celebration of success has made him a divisive figure.

Nilesh recounts the transition from working as a ‘shed boy’ in his father’s practice to dental school before settling upon a career in implantology.  

He also talks about his new indemnity venture, the intricacies of practice design and his other loves – fast cars and racing.


“The full arch cases I like because there’s lots of blood. And the nurses like it!” – Nilesh Parmar

In This Episode

02.14 – Backstory and university
11.23 – Postgrad
18.36 – Offering something different
22.25 – Same-day philosophy
23.59 – Pathways to greatness
27.22 – Practice design
32.05 – Fast cars
35.14 – Marriage and children
39.12 – Being Marmite
46.07 – MBA
54.00 – KOIs, DDS and indemnity
01.00.41 – A letter from the GDC
01.04.57 – Black box thinking
01.10.05 – The five-year plan
01.11.51 – Last days and legacy

About Nilesh Parmar

Nilesh Parmar graduated youngest in his class at the Barts and London Dental School in 2004.

Following VT, he secured a role as senior house officer at Guy’s and King’s Hospital in Central London and later undertook an MSc in prosthetic dentistry at the Eastman Institute.

This was followed by a masters in clinical implant dentistry at Guy’s Hospital and an MBA from Imperial College Business School.

Nilesh practices at Parmar Dental and Sparkly Smile, and recently founded Dental Defence Society providing indemnity cover to dentists.

[00:00:00] One VTE lecturer called me a cowboy because I turned up in a fancy car that I’d managed to pay for by doing day trading in the stock market in the 4th and 5th, it used to bunk lectures and go do day trading. And then he called me a cowboy and I was like, why? And that was the thing that really annoyed me was why should I hide success? Why? What’s the reason? Or if you want it, you don’t need to hide it. And it took me a long time to get that into my head. And I think that’s what you touched on before. To me, if you’re successful and you worked for it and if you like X, Y, Z, there’s no harm in having what you want and being happy for yourself. I think rewarding yourself and setting goals are really, really important, especially in the profession that we’re in.

[00:00:53] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders Dental Street. Your host, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[00:01:11] It’s my pleasure to welcome one of dentistry, sort of more prominent characters that have been around Nilus Palmer, who kind of for me, I remember UNILAG coming onto the scene around 10 years ago or something. And I mean, you’ve become a highly accomplished implant surgeon now. But back then, I mean, I know you were doing implants, but you were kind of famous for being famous back then. It was an interesting thing that you started and really turned on its head. The thing that I obviously visit a lot of them to see in order to talk to a lot of dentists turned on its head. That thing that you see with dentists where, you know, he’s driving a Ford to work. But but. Whispers You know, I’ve got a nice car home or something. You turn that completely on its head, not only not hiding the nice car from the staff, but telling the whole world about it. Lovely to have you on. But so this podcast generally starts with where were you born? Why did you become a dentist? All of that

[00:02:14] High. I pay high Prav. Thanks for having me on. I’ve seen this advertised for you guys. I’ve been doing it for a really long time. It’s a great original idea. So I’m really pleased I’ve made the cut to be asked to be on the famous podcast, you know. So I was born in Essex in South L.A. and I never wanted to become a dentist, as you guys have. I know you’ve met my dad, Prav, I think you might have and maybe my dad did. He is a dentist, an orthodontist, general dentist, studied in India and then came over here to this country many, many moons ago. And I had a paper round when I was, I think, 13, 14. And I see a Saturday morning paper around. And I wanted to become a detective because he’s such a Miami vice. And Don Johnson had a white Ferrari and he used to wear suits and things. And I thought, you know, that’s a bit of me. I’d like to do that. And then I went from that to watching E.R. and I wanted to be like Benton, the cardiothoracic surgeon. I wanted to be a doctor because he was really cool. People listen to him. And I used to get all the girls as well. So you can see my priorities were pretty clear when I was young guys.

[00:03:29] Exactly what do you what are you watching right now? But later are

[00:03:38] So my dad said to me and my mother wasn’t happy with me doing a paper and she said, you know, my son will get kidnapped or whatever is quite dramatic to the Indian series that mothers watch. So my dad was like, look, I’ll give you a job in the Dental practise. You can be like the odd job kid. I was getting like three pound fifty for Pat Brown and he would give me five pounds to work on Saturday morning. Plus we started at nine and finished that one. Plus I would get driven to the practise and driven home. I didn’t have to walk around in the rain to win win, so I started out being the shed boy. I remember Dad being an orthodontist used to keep loads of study models and he had a huge shed at the back of the practise. And my job for like the first six months was to organise all these models. And you had like spiders and you had these moths and all this stuff in the shed. And I went from that to being the tea boy to developing the x rays in the darkroom, where I’m sure probably carcinogenic material into my eyes. And then I used to work on reception. I was like the main receptionist on the Saturday, did a bit of nursing, wasn’t very good at nursing. And then it was through that that I thought maybe this is the profession for me. So it was a slow burner. But then once I decided to do it and that was it, I was pretty much committed.

[00:04:53] How old were you?

[00:04:56] Well, back then, teenager, 13, 14, minimum wage.

[00:05:03] And then you went to London Hospital to study?

[00:05:07] Yeah. So my my pathway was always very difficult. So I wasn’t very bright at school. I was never in the top set of anything then. It was real hard to even be allowed to apply for dentistry. I didn’t get any offers. Nothing took my levels, got the bare minimum and then got in through clearing to the London and I got declined from every other university it was. And ironically, I’ve got a degree from every university that declined me in the beginning. I got declined from everyone

[00:05:37] I didn’t feel we had. I mean, I don’t mean being rejected. I mean being a small town guy from South End and turning up in London. Did you know London quite well at that point?

[00:05:47] Oh, no, no, no. I remember going on the tube and being really terrified of being being like an Asian kid. You had fairly sheltered upbringing, right? You’d be home at a certain time. You could go out on the weekends, but, you know, come like ten, eleven. Your mum was finding you. I mean, my mum would stay up. Until I came back home, so coming to London was a real shock, but I really enjoyed university, I think it was great. What a good bunch of friends. I’m still very close with and I think it was a big, big turning point. Gave me a lot of confidence actually getting into university.

[00:06:20] So did you go nuts when you went to uni having that sort of I think your upbringing was probably similar to mine. You know, there’s that protective Indian instinct of your parents. You said obviously your mom didn’t want you to go in the paper because my kidnap, you get an automatic. And then when you had your freedom, did you go nuts at uni?

[00:06:40] No, not really. I was always I’ve always been quite a calculated individual. And I would never it’s very rare that I mean, we’ve got we guys have been out together. We hold it together. I don’t think you’ve ever seen me exceptionally intoxicated. So I’m always a very calculated individual. I mean, I had fun. Don’t get me wrong, but never went to crazy.

[00:07:00] So as a Dental student, did you find that you were then good and you know, you said you weren’t the top kid in your class as a as a as a student, as a Dental student. Did you pick it up or not yet?

[00:07:14] You know, I found the practical stuff easy. Practically the work with the hands was easy. I could see something once and it wasn’t a problem. The academic side. I had to work hard. I would say I was working harder than my peers to get the same results. I don’t think I excelled, but I think I did enough to go under the radar. Basically, that was my thing. Just getting get the degree, get out. And and that’s the advice I give to all the young Dental is listening is you don’t need to be the best of the best. You just need to get in. I get out, get that beats nobody cares if you go first or on honours or a gold medal or whatever. I mean well done if you do. But I don’t think it has any impact in your long term career.

[00:07:55] I mean, you’re quite right. Some of the some of the guys we’ve spoken to in a bathroom is right. He said he wasn’t great and Dental School and Darwiche that he was almost almost didn’t get through Dental schooling. So it sounds like all of you cats become in-plant guys, pretty much all competition. That’s what it is,

[00:08:17] A hole whole other way.

[00:08:19] Like you had Milada New Years.

[00:08:20] Ah, yes, I did. Yes, I did.

[00:08:23] And you were close then as well.

[00:08:25] You know, Millette and I weren’t that close at university. He was it wasn’t around a lot because he was deejaying and emceeing and he’d come in and do this bit and then he disappeared. So socially he wasn’t there. He he was well known for being the Joker. He was well known for being the guy. He dressed up as Aleg a lot and came to like events and stuff. And and then he’s probably got to kill me. And then I we we became very close when a good friend of our John Paul, who also qualified with us, was getting married in Malta and then Milan and I went together with a room and all that sort of stuff. And then we just got along really well. And then since then, I’d say he’s one of my closest friends, then closest, closest friend.

[00:09:07] So did you start thinking at that point planning out what kind of career you were going to have? I mean, we’ve spoken to other people who have parents who are dentists and, you know, how much of an advantage that is when you’ve got someone to go to with a question, for instance, just from that very basic position. But, you know, what were you thinking back then when you think you’re going to take over your dad’s place? Were you thinking you’re going to do something different?

[00:09:31] Implant’s so my thinking was I would qualify. I’ll take over Dad’s place. I would work three days a week. I would play tennis and golf and go skiing, have an easy life. I would drive a Mercedes. Being Indian, I wanted a Mercedes and that would be it. That would be me done. And but I never intended to do any postgraduate. Never, never intended because I didn’t like being examined. I didn’t enjoy the university sort of regulated learning that we had to have, you know, because I’d question everything and they’d say, do X and Y and I’ll say, why? Why don’t we just do X, Y, Z? It’s easier, it’s quicker, it’s smarter. And I always had a financial edge. I would always say, why are we doing this? How much are we charging for this? How would we do this? What’s the hourly rate? I was the one who was asking in the lectures. So if I do this procedure, what kind of hourly rate should I be charging? What do I need? The lecturers used to look at me like I was a nut case on at VTI. I remember one VTE lecturer called me a cowboy because I turned up in a fancy car that I’d managed to pay for by doing day trading in the stock market in the fourth and fifth. It used to bunk lectures and go do day trading. And then he called me a cowboy and I was like, why? And that was the thing that really annoyed me was why should I hide success? Why? What’s the reason for? If you want it, you don’t need to hide it. And it took me a long time to get that into my head. And I think that’s what you touched on before to me. If you’re successful and you worked for it and if you like X, Y, Z, there’s no harm in having what you want and being happy for yourself. I think rewarding yourself and setting goals are really, really important, especially in the profession that we’re in. What was what was the

[00:11:20] First and second of that?

[00:11:23] So I qualified and I had about 40 grand. And then I worked as a vet for six months and I saved up about 50 K being a complete moron, I thought, I’m going to buy a Porsche 911 is what you do. So I walked into the Porsche dealership and I and I look I mean, I look quite young, maybe not anymore, but back then I looked like a kid. I walked into a Porsche sent to East London. And I remember the sales guy called Brian Jones. I still talk to now and I’m poking around the 9/11. And then you had, like, you know, the little paper brochure of the cars and you’d looked at it and you’d highlighted what you want and you’d read and you knew every option. And I walked in and he said, Can I help you, young man? Is your father with you? And I was like, no, I’d like to buy Porche. And he looked at me and he goes, What do you do? And I said, Oh, I just recently qualified as a dentist is I step into my office and talk to them. And and I remember I turned up everyone in VTE was turning up in three or six and all that sort of stuff. And I used to rock up in the nine eleven and being a complete douchebag, I used to park it right out the front of the lecture theatre because I thought I was a clever guy. And that’s when I understood that if you are successful Asian guy as well, let’s not beat around the bush. You will get flak for it. And I’ve been used to that ever since. Ever since I’ve been used to it.

[00:12:48] So interesting. We’ll get back onto that because, you know, we’ll talk about social and all of that. When did it switch from being, you know, the guy who used to do just enough to get through to the guy who’s done more degrees than Brixham? I mean, it’s like you’re constantly getting a degree and, you know, always looking for excellence. And when did that switch happen?

[00:13:16] I tell you what happened was I did my VTE. I find it hard to get a spot because my dad was a vet trainer and he’d stopped being a vet, trying to. But all the other trainers around Essex knew him and none of them wanted me because I thought I’d be a bit of a problem. If your father’s a vet trainer, they couldn’t pull the wool over my eyes and I got a vet position and I wasn’t very good at taking time. I mean, I couldn’t take teeth out to save my life. So on a Saturday morning, I used to work for my dad and he would book in the most horrendous teeth Tiko. And I’d be hacking away, trying to get these to about half an hour. Forty five minutes now, you know what it’s like. And my dad would walk in after about an hour with some old cria from my 1987 flick The Tooth Out and be like, oh they don’t teach you properly anymore and then walk out. And it really used to piss me off not because he he said that what I could do it. So I was like, right, I’m going to Max Fox job. I need to a job for a year. I need to learn how to take teeth out because this is ridiculous. And I applied for my local district hospital and I didn’t get in and I was really surprised I didn’t get in. But I managed to get into the Kings College six month rotation programme, which was like six months of surgery and then six months of restorative. And then I worked with Richard Porter and I was Martin Kelleher’s.

[00:14:43] And at the end of the six months with Martin Kealoha, Mr Kaye, who was the best guy ever? Best. Best, the two mentors I have, mentors I’ve always had with my father. And after the six month rotation, he sits down and does the interview. And people used to crap themselves because you’d sit down and he’d say, what do you want to do? And somebody says, I’d like to end the downticks. And he’d say, No, you can’t. You can’t do up. Sorry, just become a general dentist. Or somebody would say, I want to be president. He’d say, no, you don’t have the talent for that. I’m very sorry. You can’t do it. Just don’t even bother. So I sat down and I was like, he’s like, what do you want to do now? It’s not all going to get Jack here. It’s I was like, I would like to go into dental implants. And he said to me, good, because I think you need to specialise and do some postgraduate, your your you have a good set of hands. OK, fine. So I phoned up these two men and I was too late to get in to the Eastman post graduate programme. They only offered me a masters in prosthetics for a year. So dentures for a year, like the least sexy part of dentistry for a whole year in the property, not the CPD and the hard core. And multicolour, my dad were like, you know, just do it. You don’t have a job after this. You might as well just get on with it. So I went on and I did that and it was the best thing I ever did.

[00:15:58] What was that? Was it like a full time programme? Hello?

[00:16:02] Yes. So we yes. Basically, they they call it the The Widowmaker because you’re there seven days a week. You don’t work. You never leave. I sleep in the lab and all sorts of crazy stuff there. Seven days a week. You see patients you would have like a ham journal club. Right. And you’d have like seven PM journal club. Then you’d have to do a master’s thesis at the same time. It was the most hardcore year I’ve ever had. But you learn so much from it, like so, so much.

[00:16:33] But you rose to it didn’t it didn’t break you you like it made you you decided that’s what you like now. Education.

[00:16:40] Yeah. Yeah. So for me it was a question of I’ve decided to do it and my dad’s famous quote was like, just get on with it, just do it, stop procrastinating, just do it, don’t complain. Why are you complaining? Just do it. Get on with it. Don’t say to me you’ve got so much work to do, you’ve got so many lectures to read or whatever he goes by the time you’ve complained, you could have actually started doing it. So that was it. Just gone with it. Head down, carry on. And that’s such a fantastic team, these men. And unfortunately, a lot of the consultants and people who we worked with have now retired. But yeah, it was a real special place. I really, really enjoyed my time there. I wouldn’t want to do it again at this stage of my life. But it was it was impressive. And once I did that, I applied for the machine implants that guys now guys only took four people every two years and they must have had like a thousand applicants or two thousand applicants. The reason why it was so popular this was the Masters and Implant Dentistry guys was they provided all the patients.

[00:17:43] So you turned up you had restorative cases, employment cases, not like the implant causes, which we run now where dentists have to bring their own patients. You know, they have to ferry them over here. It’s really hard to get those cases here. It’s all paid for by the trust. So you additional implant patients, you know, so, so good. So I didn’t get into that programme. I go in because somebody flunked it. Somebody couldn’t get the visa to come over or somebody comes the phone me and said, look, you’re the first person on the list. Do you want to do this degree? So I was like, oh, God, I’ve just done one master’s. Am I going to go and do another master’s straight after? I must be insane. So again, with advice from everyone else, I will just do it as a two year part time programme. So I just jumped in and did it and that kind of made my life. If I wasn’t doing implant work, I wouldn’t be where I was today. No chance in hell, never.

[00:18:36] So we’ve had the Paul Palmer on the podcast. He teaches on that, right? Yeah. Yeah. And he says it’s not running anymore. That’s a damn shame because several of you guys I know Zachy, too, came from that programme. But so what would you say to a youngster who wants to get into implants? Would you now say MASC or would you say go find some courses, long courses, short courses?

[00:19:06] It’s it’s a hard one, isn’t it? What I’d say is, where are you in your career path? Can you do surgical? Can you take teeth out? If you can take teeth out, then consider implant work. If you can’t if you got that whole in your repertoire, you need to plug it restrictively. Are you competent? And then it’s a question of doing a course and then finding a mentor the mouthes that are out there. I don’t have enough experience of them to comment on whether or not they’re good or whether or not they’re bad. But I know that there’s nothing as good as the guys programme anymore. I mean, you have people getting messages from certain universities only doing like five implants or something, and we must have done twenty, thirty loads. But you need a good mentor. So some of the guys who I work with now did my course mind. And of course I still mentor them. And it’s nice to see that they’ve progressed. But he’s taken three, four, five years. So it’s a really slow burn. But you have to be all it. You can’t be doing implants and then also be doing this and that. And that implant is the one where you just need to dive in and really go gung ho into it. It’s it’s a hard discipline, but the rewards are very good because there’s not enough dentistry. And to me, to any youngster, I wish I would only be a youngster to any like young younger dentist. And this is from the financial side, if you want to learn, if you can open up a shop, right, let’s say you open up a shop and the shop next to you is selling coke and the shop on the other side is selling Coke.

[00:20:35] Why are you going to open up a shop selling coke? Only going to do is be a price war. You’re going to have to sell the cheapest Coke Pakhtun if you are a dentist. Why are you learning Invisalign, Botox, lip filler composite restorations when every other dentist is doing the same thing? Why don’t you offer a different service? So who’s not offering anything? And it’s hard to come by nowadays and implants. So if you differentiate yourself from the early days, your market share by default would be bigger. Because if you’re in a town and there’s 10 dentists incompetence in one dentist implants, guess who’s going to be the busiest guy? And then you can almost set his price, right? So that’s what I would say is the speciality that is the least service in your area. And then go and implants, I think, is is an amazingly rewarding area of dentistry to do it. And I would like more youngsters. And I think definitely we need more women in dental implant surgery because those even women and Implant Dentistry Foundation and we had a female president of the Aidi. And I think it would be great to have some more diversity in implant industry. I’m sick of going to implant conferences and just seeing bald heads in the audience and present company excepted. Is this all you get is another go

[00:21:56] And this your room? Is your practise now limited to implant dentistry? Hello. Do you do all the bits and pieces?

[00:22:03] I’m I’m getting there very limited. So I have a few other bits and pieces that I like to do. Just because I’ve had training in various stages, about 80 percent of my work is implants. I’m looking for another dentist, fully private to work with me to just do the basic restorative stuff so I can just do the the surgery. Basically, that’s the plan at the moment.

[00:22:25] And then on the implant side of things, are you sort of a same day kind of guy? I hear that this is like quite a big trend or, you know, some dentists to believe in that philosophy and then some dentists or surgeons who sort of believe more on a on sort of the longer sort of delayed loading protocol. What would you say to that?

[00:22:46] It depends upon the case, depends on the patient. I mean, to put a patient through a same DLT is quite an ordeal. They’re pretty messed up by the end of it. I know on on the shows and everything, they get their little glass of champagne and they are trying to drink it. It’s it’s not it’s not all roses. Right, is you need a pretty hard patient for my default is delayed. But now with the implants that are getting better and better, do we have an onsite lab as well? We do do the same that it it’s also patients needing to pay for it. Well, because it does jack up the cost a fair amount. And if we get patients who are paid DONTAE compromised, etc., sometimes it’s just not we’ve been there, have been burned by it. You pick your battles, you know, so some people, you do it and some people you don’t. It is variable. But I’m I’m open to anything.

[00:23:34] But it’s funny. Paul Thomas said exactly the same thing. All depends on the patient.

[00:23:40] Depends on the patient, and I think when you have those patients, you keep for life. As for large implant patients, the ones you do one, two or two to three pretty, they can go elsewhere, etc. But the four large cases, you keep them for very, very long time. So they’re sussing you out. And I also them out.

[00:23:59] Now, what would you say is what does it take to be a great implant surgeon

[00:24:05] Need to suture properly? That’s the one thing we struggle to teach is how to suture properly. And I’ve worked with Specialist Periodontist. I’ve worked with Allsorts, and they couldn’t suture properly. You’ve got to practise, practise, practise. Aside from that, it’s having a good restorative background, having good surgical skills and just being competent. Planning things properly and having really good patient communication is the main thing which is so hard to teach. Right? Talking well to a patient and getting a patient on the side who’s right. Right. And you said that, you know, I just don’t care what you do here. I just care how you make them feel. Very true. And we’ve all seen work where we’ve thought, oh my God, that work looks so crap. And they put it on Instagram and you think, oh, my God, these teeth look horrendous, but the patients love it. Why do they love it? Because they love the dentist and the dentist giving them what they want. So it’s the whole experience. And for me, it’s always just sussing them out of the consultation process. And do you exude confidence and do they believe that you can give them what they want? And that’s the key thing, which is so hard to teach. Some people just have it and some people don’t know

[00:25:19] What’s what’s the outlook. Maybe forgive me for not knowing the answer to this question yet, but we’ll see what’s the pathway? I guess you start with maybe a couple of, like, single lower tooth, then eventually an A.. And the soft tissue situation, when does it get to grafting sinus lift for all and for what’s the other one? The long one that goes in the. Terrible, terrible, terrible. Yeah.

[00:25:49] Yes, zygomatic Østergaard, is there a

[00:25:51] Pathway set in that sense? I mean, like how far how far along are you on that path?

[00:25:57] I think we’re all still learning. I was on a surgical crout soft tissue grafting course on Friday with Hatam. I think you’re always learning. You know what I really like. And my niece is a.. Cosmetic implant, doing single central incisors, doing a few teeth. So getting it to look so that people can’t tell it’s a fake, too. That’s where I get my soft

[00:26:20] Tissue around that. The fall of the eye.

[00:26:24] Exactly. So my thinking is putting a picture up on screen and saying to dentists, which one is the implant? And if some of them get it wrong, then is very real. I’m on cloud nine. Right. I’m loving life. Right. My ego goes through the roof. But the four large cases I like because it’s proper surgery and there’s lots of blood and the nurses like it’s a big challenge to the patient, but the pathway is so variable. I mean, most upper molars that you do usually need an internal sinuses or L.A. cases. In my opinion, most of them will need some form of guided bone generation. So you can get the simple primally cases where you just put the implant in and there’s nothing else to do. But a lot of times they need a bit of extra work, an extra bit of Build-Up, or they need sedation or they want to one or they need to do this. We need to whip out wisdom tooth at the same time is you don’t always get that one in that one implant case, you say I need this one lower molar tooth sorted and then that’s it. You don’t get those very often,

[00:27:22] You know, about the practise. Well, what did you bring to the practise? I mean, I noticed you did the massive sort of overhaul of it kind of soon after. Well, when was it? When I came when I came to the practise, I was amazed at the size of that thing. I mean, it’s it’s the size of maybe Prav used to be the size of maybe three practises stuck together just keeps on going.

[00:27:48] So we were really lucky that the building next door came up for sale. And I was I was treating somebody in the council. I was doing a mayor or something. And I said, you did. The building next door was coming up for sale. And so we bought it and it was really dilapidated. And we spent over a year just joining the two buildings together and had this vision. And we had some really good designers. And I said, if Iron Man had a Dental practise, what would it look like? And that’s kind of what we went for.

[00:28:18] Iron Man, Iron Man, the cartoon, the the Disney Love.

[00:28:23] Tony Stark. Yeah. See, Prav knows what he did.

[00:28:28] I’m telling you the other.

[00:28:30] I am sorry, but I thought you meant Iron Man running Iron Man. That thing, the traffic stress. Then we got go. Sorry. Oh right.

[00:28:43] So yeah. So, so we got that bill and yeah we learn a lot and it was nice because in that clinic I have everything I could possibly one of every toy. The surgeries are set up for me. And you know, interesting. Before Prav came online I was looking at dental practise that I just had a bit of being renovated, etc. And I always look at these dental practises and the waiting rooms are beautiful. They’ve got all the lights and the greys and the gold trim and all that. But then they show the surgeries and the surgery, the sheet, because they’ve not been designed by a proper clinician, there’s not enough room the too small. I can see that there’s not enough room between the chair going back and the wet top behind the dentist. This is where all these companies, when they design it, they give like one point two metre5s behind the head of the chair to the countertop. And it should be one point eight, one point nine metres. I look at, my God, guys, these people are not clinicians, right? They don’t know how to design the surgery properly. So when I did mine, I made sure that it was designed by a clinician so that it was efficient. The workflow was there. It was just so that’s why I’m so in love with my clinic, because it just works properly. And it’s something where I think maybe I should do like a design consultancy, just design and say, guys, look, you can’t have that there. You’ve got to move this here. When you turn around to get your excavator, you’ve got to do a 180 degree turn. You should just be doing a thirty degree turn right. And the other thing is that it rose and the trio says, no, these dangerous as we keep buying the damn things take up so much space, we’re going to park them. Right. It’s like having five cars in the driveway. You go park them somewhere. Right. So I think said you design is something where we are lacking at the moment. You know, I think there’s a real opening for a disrupter into the market.

[00:30:31] Yeah. Although, you know, space is at a premium sometimes. Isn’t that I mean, those are the practise in Bristol last week. And, you know, they’ve just got spaceman. The rooms are so huge that that building in London with. Been like a six million pound at this. There’s no way you’ve got the space is a problem.

[00:30:52] Yeah, true. But then when you look at these this and you can be a bit more ingenious about the design.

[00:30:57] So I’m sure you see it sometimes.

[00:30:59] Yeah. See all the time. But yeah, it is what it is.

[00:31:02] I mean what you said interests me because a lot of times people used to ignore the waiting room and it seems like now it’s kind of gone full circle with the everyone understands the waiting room is very important. The the back in my day, people used to just get this funky chair. And the way to me was to look terrible, like, yeah,

[00:31:20] It’s the whole aesthetic Instagram generation right now. You see, Dentists’, you’ve actually got a banner and they take pictures of all the patients with the little Invisalign back and they stand in front of the back in the banner. Right. How things have changed. Yeah, it just like before they GP now they have like those flower wars that these girls take pictures of when they go to, like the fancy London restaurant. And we have like neon lights and all this. And then the dentist takes a photo with the patient in it. So it’s changed completely the way we design it. And I think it’s great that we’re becoming a lot more aesthetically driven. And as a result, the design of the surgeries has changed. But I don’t want people to lose the importance of the clinical aspect of it. So.

[00:32:05] So when did you start switching from Mr Mercedes’s to Mr Racecar Driver? When did when did the whole car things become costing?

[00:32:15] So I’ve always been mad on cars when I was a kid. You can ask my parents. I just had like toy cars and I still have the toy cars and now my nephew plays with the toy cars that I used to play with. As always, into Porsche was my dream car. And I remember watching Bad Boys when I was younger, like when I was doing my level. And Will Smith was just the coolest guy. You had that 9/11 turbo. I thought, wow, one day. And that was my dream. And it just kind of developed from that as I was doing better and better. And I always wanted to raise my goals. I was also taught to say, look, just because you have this, you need to go after this. Once you get this, you go for this in suits. When Harvey Spectre goes like this, like this, I like this. That probably spoke to me. So I’ve always tried to develop. And the whole thing came about when I used to watch Formula One with my dad, used to watch Michael Schumacher just win. Everything in this red Ferrari would go without only wheels, just used to win everything. And it just kind of got ingrained in my head.

[00:33:13] And my dream was to become a racing car driver. And I had a patient. I’m a very wealthy patient. He used to race customs and he said, you know, why don’t you come along and try to try to out really loved it. And then financially it was viable. So I just took the plunge and. All right, well, become a racing car driver. We start racing. I got my backside handed to me in the first year because I just thought, yeah, well, I’ve done track days, I’ve got fancy car. I’ll be amazing. I’m really could drive. I play Red Racer and Cicarelli as a kid. I’m wicked. Right? Go to the race. Got destroyed and then it took me two and a half years and I don’t know how many hours of training, simulator training, personal training, having a similar home walking race tracks, learning the cars, having a full team around me. And then we started to do well. Then I was in the top ten, then in the top five, then I was on the podium. Then I got asked to race with other teams, did endurance racing. Twenty four hour racing raced all over Europe. It was amazing. Was actually amazing. What’s the what’s

[00:34:15] The process of getting involved in in racing in terms of, you know, somebody wanted to stop, start and get involved in it? What’s the process?

[00:34:23] You just need loads of money. It’s such a money pit. It’s the it’s a scary. So there’s so many race theories out there. The Katrín race series is very good because I came from cause I just unstable. There’s no way there’s no power steering. It’s all manual. You don’t even get a limited death in the first cause. So the car itself is about 30 grand. And then if you really want to comment for the whole year with full team support, you’re probably looking at about another 30, 40 grand on top of that to cover it since about, what, 60, 70 grand for the for the year. And then obviously in the second year in the third is a bit cheaper because you’ve got the helmet, you’ve got the gear. You don’t need to buy the car, but the car gets upgraded every year. So it is it’s like having two kids going through private school, which is what I’m told. I would have not. I’m you guys do that’s a cost implication behind it.

[00:35:14] Which brings us brings us neatly to the why is it you’re not like every other good Indian boy when it comes to getting married early and having kids? Whoa. Oh, that’s what what is it? What happened? It was about you because I’ve come across a fair number of of of of young boys who just almost programmed to follow the parent’s position. Something kicks in.

[00:35:41] I’m a black sheep the of our black sheep. So I would. Say, you know, in your sort of mid to late 20s is when that sort of magic happens, you meet the girl of your dreams and you settle down or see your you’re both happily married. And in my thing, I was doing NMC. Then I did another MASC. Then I was doing an also programme, then I did an MBA and I think really hard degrees. These were not degrees where I would give it everything. So some of my friends wouldn’t see me for a year because I was a study. And I would say to people, you know, I sacrificed a lot for the academic credentials. And I think part of that was probably relationships. I think they all probably struggled. I mean, if you don’t, you’re going to see me for an hour on a Sunday and I’m falling asleep. That’s not really a sustainable relationship. Right. And then plus, I was pretty much not broke. I mean, my father was made sure I had a roof over my head and etc., but I didn’t have any money, really. I was I was working I was doing out of hours emergency service for Essex and I would get 400 quid on a Saturday to do it. And I do like two days a month or something. So I didn’t have boiler money or anything. So it was it was hard. And yeah, I sacrificed all of that just to get to where I am now. And I think now, you know, things have changed. And I am in the position where, yes, I think settling down is something where I’m able to joke about it. And I know my dad active on Facebook with everyone likes to take the Mickey, etc.. But yeah, it is it is something which let’s say it’s a work in progress. So what do you what do you

[00:37:26] Look for in a woman? No one’s listening.

[00:37:33] You know, what I look for now is somebody who’s kind of a good person and who understands that if you’re with somebody who’s very much committed to their career, there’s always going to be allowances made on my side and on her side as well. So you need somebody who’s who’s got some understanding. I mean, we treat a lot of older patients, right? Implant dentistry, just old patients. All my patients are all none of them use Facebook, Instagram. They’re all 50, 60, 70. Whereas if you look at the cosmetic guys, if you look at Rhona Simon, all those guys, all their patients are young. So we have a complete dichotomy of who we treat. And I see them and a lot of them coming together and say, look, you’ve been married for 34 years. What’s the secret of a happy marriage? And they all say compromise, it’s compromise. You have to work at it and it’s always compromise. And I think once you get close to 40, your habits and your patterns are pretty much ingrained in you. And it’s quite hard to become to adjust your life a little bit. So I think for me, I’m looking for somebody who would have that ability to compromise by want to travel and do the things I do and also take into account that I do do crazy stuff every night. I wake up soon to be a racing car driver, wake up. So I want to become a pilot. I want to do everything. I want to do this. I want to be go to space with Mr Branson. It would be nice for somebody who can humour me and take all my craziness into account is what I’m looking for. You guys know anyone mean I

[00:39:09] Tell you,

[00:39:10] This year in

[00:39:12] The studio we discussed a bit before about being out there with the Ferrari’s and the watches. And you know that I see you know, you’re kind of a bit like what’s that thing Chris Burrows, as MA might do to the Dental audience, that there are these people who love you and then there are people who don’t love you. And I break it down. I was thinking about it this morning. There must be a young group of dentists who want to be like you. Right, because who would want to fly planes and drive Ferraris and all of that. And then there’s this other group and I guess a small group of older than this generally, correct me if who don’t want younger dentists to want to be like you. What’s going on? What’s what’s what’s the story? And tell me about that. I mean, we discussed it with Ronan as well. So the trolling side of it. And it’s difficult to manage, right? Difficult to manage.

[00:40:10] Yeah. I think, you know, I started to experience it from VTE days. It’s always a question of the more successful you become, the more people who will dislike you for it. It’s because not because of what you’ve achieved. It’s because you achieving that reminds them of what they haven’t achieved. Right. I like to think and one of the key things for me is when I usually the icewind parties or will be doing another one soon, hopefully. One of the things was if I was really disliked for being who I am, they wouldn’t be three hundred and fifty people turning up to an event that I run on my. But you’re right, it’s a very small area of clinicians, older clinicians, not younger, older, who troll anyone who is a bit of a maverick. And I know I have had it. Rhona’s had it. Simons had it. Sheraz has had it. We’ve all had it. But I like to think I was the first pioneer of the original trolley, trolley and trolley. And then why is it is it is it because I’m brown and I do. Well maybe. But some of the trolls are Asian as well. Is it because I never respond to them? I never give them the satisfaction. They’ve never got anything out of you.

[00:41:27] Sometimes you sometimes take something on your stories, though. I seen that.

[00:41:31] Yeah. I think sometimes I might get the odd kind of when when I don’t get any trolling, I think, well, maybe I’m not significant anymore. I need to do something else to wipe them off the right actually. Exactly. Upsets me. I feel, I feel insignificant but it’s ok.

[00:41:46] Ok. Do I hear you. I hear you. But I just, I just see it as my duty to put this, this idea over here that I think anyone who listens to this will think of you as this is why I wanted you as a sort of a thoughtful, intelligent, considered person. But if I flick through your Instagram or whatever, whatever it is, you could come across as the do to keep showing me Lugo’s Jeremy Ferrari, Rolex, Richard Millais, whatever. And so, by the way, by the way, by the way, I don’t know how I come across and what we don’t know how we come across. But what I’m saying is one of the way you come across is different to who you are. Yeah. So are we going to. Is that the reason for it, that the polarising content.

[00:42:36] You know, the the thing is, I like cars, I like watches, I like all those things and I run to social media accounts. I’ve won Dental one, which is all teeth and all that sort of stuff. And then I have one personal one. And over the years, the personal one has matured slightly. Right. But we all have goals. And when you achieve those goals, you share that goals. And the great thing is my parents, my mom, my dad, my friends, my family was very proud of everything. And to me, I would like to think from if you if you rewind it the short if you said to the 12 year old she was very chubby, had no muscle mass, got bullied when he was younger, had a stammer that, you know, in your late 30s, you’d be doing this, this and this and you’d be going and you’d be doing the Gumble Carelli and you’d be being on this TV and all that sort of stuff. I wouldn’t believe you. I’d say you’re lying. There’s no way you could have it. So if I share all of that, what I’d like to say is to the young guys, gerente guys and the Indian guys, so you can achieve anything you want as long as you’re willing to work really, really hard for nothing comes easy. But you work your arse off. And if you want to buy a Ferrari, you but if you wanna buy a four million pound house, you buy four million pounds, it’s entirely up to you. So for me, if it helps one kid believe in himself, then I don’t give a shit or these heightism because they’re insignificant to me. And as I get older, the more my thing is to mentor and help the younger generation be the younger Asian generation achieve and not be ashamed of their achievements. Because when people meet me, you know, when you meet me, I don’t get high on the list I asked you for. That doesn’t even come into the question right now.

[00:44:31] When you meet me online. That’s how it feels.

[00:44:34] That’s the that’s how it is online, right? Yeah, that is on luff. And I think also, listen, you

[00:44:41] Don’t have to justify it. You don’t have to justify it to me. Look, we’ve got Prav sitting here. Yeah. His own brother was was brought up in the same house as him. Yeah. The same parents, the same situation. And Kailash is more like you and Prav is nothing like you guys give the exact opposite.

[00:45:00] If if if you flick it around to Kailash. Right. Kailash was somebody who did all that before me and I used to see Kailash. I just think, wow, look at this guy. He must be really good. And then he was only once I met him and he came to one of the practises I went to and he gave a course and I saw him do a prayer. And I think he’s actually really good. Not easy or fancy. Fancy, but the guy can cut teeth, you know, he’s really shrink. And then I partied with him once and we got we got really drunk. And I think I had is like really fancy jacket, took it by mistake or something. But these really sound gone and it just goes to show that even I can have preconceptions about someone. But until you meet them, you don’t realise. And for me the amazing thing was just how good he was at dentistry. I mean, a really skilled set of hands. So for me, it was almost like a benchmark, I guess. Is that never much anymore? Yeah, it was almost like a bell.

[00:46:00] He’s too busy sticking implants.

[00:46:03] Yeah, I know. Yeah, you’re too busy.

[00:46:07] Tell us about your MBA. Do tell me. Tell me. Tell me where it came from. We didn’t cut a lot of the people we’re talking to saying I want to do an MBA,

[00:46:14] You know, is the hardest thing I’ve ever done was an MBA. If I fall, Eastman was hard, MBA was hard to another level. And I got into it because I always had the financial side of things right. You draw the financial side, would always look at profit loss accounts, etc.. And then my dad, we read the F.T. and see what he does is he reads it on a Sunday when I’m not at home because I’m getting home in my parent’s place of two nights a week. On the time I’m in London, he put like the paper on my desk. I need highlighted like some NBA fare. And he said, you know, you talk about doing an NBA is an NBA face. You go to it. So I went to this NBA and got chatting to them and Harvard University were there. You could do like a distance. Of course. I remember sitting down with the Harvard University women, and before I even sat down, she said, our programme is one hundred and twenty thousand pounds. If you can’t afford it, I suggest you throw it is like nothing, not even a hello and nothing. Just one twenty grand. You can’t afford it. Magariaf, you look poor you capital. So then I went to the. OK, fine. Yeah. I’m really glad that because go that. So I went to the Imperial College people and the guy and the girl was so nice and they were talking about my dentistry and this that and they said look we really want you on our programme. You need to send in a video recording of.

[00:47:35] Yourself as to why you want to do it, so I did this video recording, which is really cheesy centre in and I’m still in two minds sent in. And then they they accepted me and offered me a scholarship for it is about 40 grand to do an MBA and it was subsidised. So then you can’t really say no, you kind of got to do it to two executive MBA started it and then see Sharma was on it with me as well. Totally out of the blue coincidence. And then we did this MBA. And I tell you what, the problem with dentists is we’re so obsessed with this, so obsessed. We don’t think about the big picture. And the MBA gave me an understanding of the bigger picture of the world. And we looked at innovation. We looked at how to be an entrepreneur. And also so interesting looking at profit and loss accounts, understanding what the corporate world is about, understanding how the credit crunch happened. It just kind of changed my mindset. And it was hard. It was really we had really difficult corporate finance and accountancy modules. I had to get a tutor to come in on the weekend and go through with me because I was so dumb I couldn’t do the maths properly. I could count the money. But you can’t do the maths. It was so hot. So, so but to this day, again, it was an amazing thing to do and I’m so, so grateful for having the opportunity to do it. And I’d recommend it to any contacts.

[00:48:56] Did you did you make contacts in the world outside of the world of dentistry?

[00:49:03] Yeah, loads, loads and loads and loads, because everyone was from a different aspect. You had people from oil and gas, people from the media, people from all sorts of contact wise. It was fantastic. And also when you go to like an event or a dinner party or whatever, and you meet someone and he goes, Oh, I work in MNM before Eminem, he makes chocolate sauce or whatever. And then, you know, he doesn’t mean Eminem means Eminem. He was seven, eight. And then now I’m like, wow, you work in him and tell me about this. And it just kind of broadens your horizons a little bit. And I think it makes you a better dentist because your brain sort of works in a slightly different level. Some people can do that without having to go through the didactic teaching. The good thing about the Imperial College one is we had so many hands on and practical experiences. It was amazing. We do negotiation. We see all sorts. And I excelled at negotiation. Apparently that was like my thing about I was really underhanded and lethal in negotiation and get told off. But everything I’ve come across respect, if you’ve had to see

[00:50:08] That,

[00:50:13] I would say, is to be in a place in your life. I mean, for me, I could do all this stuff because I don’t have a life. I don’t have a kids. I come back to my place. There’s no one here is dead quiet. I can Sunday’s is my day of study is Jim what’s the Formula One? And studied the whole day. I have that benefit. If I had a wife and a kid and everything would be really difficult to compartmentalise the time. It’s if you are going to consider it, just be aware.

[00:50:41] What are the key takeaways from you from the MBA? Anything changed in the practise conversations with patients? Was it just sort of more organic and holistic? I mean, can you can you step back now and say, actually, you know what, the business has changed because of this, this and this, for example? And are there any sort of key tangibles?

[00:51:01] Yeah, a few things were don’t be afraid to talk about money. Right, so many dentists that would be like, well, it’s going to cost them 13000 and then put their head down, some dentist won’t even talk the money. They get the t shirt for me. More now. Now that we went through, the whole negotiation module changed. It’s so easy for me to talk about the money side of things with patients. And we all have our own way of doing the way about what’s your USP as a dental clinic? What’s your USB? For me, it was always a question of if I was doing implants, I’d say, look, and I’ll intro myself. I’d say, my name is PAMA. I qualified from the U.K. I’m a dentist by master’s degree in prosthetics and implant dentistry. This is my practise and I’m planning on being here for a very long time. So if you have any problems with your implant work in 10 years time, I’m still going to be right. And it was just trying to put yourself in the patient mindset. What are they concerned about? They’re not concerned about that one point, two mil margin when you’re not they’re just concerned about what’s going to happen in the future. Are you going to guarantee stuff with them? We’re going to be the ones that fixes. But the other thing was analytics, looking at data. So working out how much we spend in the practise, working out who comes to the website, who leaves the website. If I make a post about implants on my Instagram, how many more consultations do I get? If I put a surgical case on my Instagram, which is aimed at dentists, how many more referrals do I get the next week? I’m just looking at data and understanding that data is key for any sort of business and there’s loads of other things that that we don’t. But those are probably my two main takeaways from.

[00:52:43] Did you do your MBA thesis on something social media as well?

[00:52:47] Yeah, so mine was the industry and social media. I was lucky because because I’m one of the admin for for D was able to capture a lot of data from dentists. And it was a questionnaire based thesis looking at how do dentists see social media. And then we flipped it to patients. How do patients perceive dentists, social media? How many patients search for their dentist on social media? How many patients search for your private Facebook profile on social media? And the numbers are pretty impressive. I’m giving a talk on it with Philips and FMC next week. Tuesday. It’s my little plug.

[00:53:27] Let’s go. Let’s go. You must get approached all the time by manufacturers, implant companies and toothpaste people. And especially I mean, I don’t know if to going a little bit more quiet, I’d say now. But back when you were peaking, when you were Peking Duck a couple of years ago on Social, but you didn’t get involved with that many different companies, but now you’ve got yourself involved with this indemnity thing. Does that us about the whole thing? And and.

[00:54:00] Yeah, yeah, I was doing a lot. I think my programme was, first of all, to become known, to become known in the industry. And I went through a period where early on in my career I got in trouble with the GDC, had some disciplinary issues. That was about 16 years ago, I think. And then I went quiet for a little while. And then after that, I thought, you know, well, we’ll make mistakes, let’s bring ourselves back up. Started developing, Louise, from Mannan, who, you know, we still work together, and she helped build some brand recognition for me. And over lockdown, I set up a health care consultancy firm. And the idea behind that was to try and leverage what I know about health care with the MBA, to do work with certain Dental companies or health care companies, be it pension funds, be new products coming to the market, the Internet offerings, et cetera. And through that, I go approach to be on the executive committee of a new indemnity product, and it’s called the Dental Defence Society. And you’ve got big names. You’ve got Professor Stephen Dunn, Lauren Birnbaum. And we basically designed because obviously on defo on for. And despite that, this is one of the biggest questions we get is who’s your endowment, which indemnity Friday used to after moderating that forum for about twelve years. I know every question everybody wants to ask. I know what people are worried about. So using that knowledge, we designed a product for dentists and it’s a really exciting offering which aims to provide reasonably priced indemnity covers all aspects. And most importantly, every case is serviced by practising or former practising dentists. And we have a really aggressive legal team. So the idea is we’re not just there to settle for the time. We’re trying to take the dentists side. And I’ve learnt a lot about indemnity through developing that package. And it’s just being launched now and it’s going to be quite an exciting few years. I think we’ll be up there in the top four or top five quite quickly. I would have thought

[00:56:09] That was a bit more about indemnity, because I speak to a lot of dentists to probably similar to, you know, do sort of high end maybe what’s considered to be higher risk work and volume of that. And the clothes that come back just to keep them protected are insane. And they’ve gone up a lot. So first of all, I guess there’s a couple of questions about the are the right standard across the board about who you go to. You’re going to pay similar. And then what about the level of protection of that?

[00:56:41] Yeah, so the rates vary immensely, immensely. And a lot of it is if you claw it back to an underwriter. Right. So if you approach and underwriter as an indemnity company, you’d say, right, we’ve got five hundred dentists and we would classify half of them as doing high risk procedures and the other half is low risk procedures. But we’ve got four thousand cases ongoing that underwriters are going to say, well, here’s your premium. Right, is if you approach the underwriter and you say we’re going to only provide cover to dentists who we prevent. So we interviewed the dentists, we talked to them. We assess their risk profile and then will apply a fee to their indemnity and we will educate them with X, Y and Z. The underwriters say, OK, that’s a better offering increase. They’ll offer you a lower rate for that person. That’s why the prices are so different, which is why the newer companies tend to be able to offer a lower level of premium than, say, Dental protection or you’ve got. Are claims going back a long, long time and the other thing is having indemnity, which is not always settling right. You need a legal team which look at Dental Law Partnership. They single handedly increased premiums for every dentist in the country because of the things that were doing. But if you look at them now, they’re quite disorganised in the papers that they submit in the allegations that they put forward. A lot of the companies are settling these claims just to get them off the books, just to clear them off. Whereas if you’re a younger, more agile company, you’ve got the benefit of actually being able to fight and look at these claims very carefully. One of the thing that shocked me is one indemnity provider was asking the dentist to write their own letters. That’s not me going to pizza, ordering a pizza. And I go go in the kitchen and make it yourself. Right. So I think there’s there’s an area for a new competitor to enter the market, which is what we’re doing. And Touchwood, it’ll go very well.

[00:58:42] Name one more time to.

[00:58:44] Dental Defence Society, yes.

[00:58:48] And what was the name USPI then? Is it that you’re preventing the dentists? And almost like I guess the way I’m thinking about my daughter’s just started driving and the insurance company put a little box in the car, so a premium comes down. So if she drives like a wolly, they’ll know about it. And so is that your version of what courses have you done, how many failures that you have, cetera, et, and you’re doing that pre-screening and then that is the right thing. Is it the fact that you’ve got a young team of lawyers who want to fight and not settle? What’s the difference? Correct.

[00:59:24] Yeah. So we have quite an aggressive legal team very keen on fighting and not settling. The organisation actually also started out by covering GPS, which I think was twenty seventeen. It was started out by some GPS who wanted to provide indemnity for GPS and now it’s just sort of evolved into dentists. And one of the things was when you have a conversation with somebody on the phone, I mean, we’re all dentists. We can we can figure out what dentist is like after talking to them for me. Let’s say if I’m with dental protection and my indemnity to do implants was twelve thousand pounds or ten thousand pounds a year, how much of my indemnity premium is going towards backing up the dentist who doesn’t write notes properly or is backing up the dentist who’s done no interest in the dental clinic? And it’s then the am I subsidising those clinicians? I don’t want to subsidise those clinicians. So our idea was we’d we’d have a chat with you and we’d say, right, tell us about how you work, what you do, where have you trained so we can get a feel for it. And then we’d say, OK, this is your premium and move from that. So I think it’s a clever way of doing it. And also we’ll run the Dental forms. We know what everyone’s dentistry is like, right? You kind of get a feel for me after talking to them. So I’m excited to see how it how it develops.

[01:00:41] Interesting. Now, let’s take us back to the GDC case. I’ve spoken to quite a few dentists who had that letter, that moment it lands my brother, many of my clients, and there’s nothing quite like it. You know, the sleepless nights tearing the world upside down, all those years of study and all hanging on a thread. Right. Terrible, terrible feeling of just just talk me through the feeling that you went through and how you dealt with it.

[01:01:10] You know, from a from a mental health perspective. I think if you are not mentally strong or don’t have a good support base, I think it could ruin you completely. I think that’s something that you need to understand, because if they’re trying to protect the public, I think they’re also mentally hurting the dentist that they investigate. And it’s almost like you feel like you’re being done for murder, right? You feel as if you’ve done your criminal when you get that letter. Yeah, it’s and it comes to these beautiful brown envelopes, brown envelopes and never see the parking. Fine, speeding fine. Inland Revenue GDC. When I see a brown envelope in the thing, I’m not know what is it. Great TV licence. Fine happy thing. So I messed up many, many years ago and got into trouble with them and had all the letters and all the stuff. And I think it, it makes you question where your life is going to go. Let’s say you can’t work as a dentist. You’ve trained for so long. You’ve done I mean, I haven’t done any postgrad at that time, but everything you planned in your life. Right. Would would shatter and is really, really scary. But I think at the time I saw Dental protection. You were excellent, you know, and I think you need that support network, which is why I think being on a on a legal team, on executive committee now will eventually be helping dentists. Having that insight into what the dentist is going to I think is really important mentally. I think it can be you can go into depression, to be honest with you.

[01:02:49] You can just become depressed and you can not want to do dentistry anymore. But I think the way the market is now or the profession is now, I think many of us will have that letter at least one point in your life. Now, for me, if I got another letter, touchwood, I won’t. I don’t think it would freak me out as much because you’ve been through it already. Right. But it’s something where I would and I’m always so cautious on, especially with social media and the younger dentists, you qualify and you think you’re untouchable. And the one thing I was warned that especially in the social media lecture, I don’t swear on social media. Don’t throw on any platform where your patients to be. You can’t be doing this. You can’t be doing that. You need to be careful as to what you say. If you have any strong viewpoints which divert diverse from the normal, need to be very careful as to how you share them, where you share them. Because Big Brother is always watching and it’s something I wouldn’t want anyone to go through, but interesting you talk about the trolls and the Mai Mai fan club, as I like to call them. Imagine 14 years later, Payman. I’m on the executive committee of a new indemnity organisation, somebody anonymously emails the organisation saying, do you know Neelesh Palmer had an issue with the GDC 14 years ago? Well, imagine imagine what level of human being you have to be to do.

[01:04:17] That’s a special kind of thing.

[01:04:20] And and the thing is, they already knew I’m not hiding anything. They already knew. They think it’s good. They think it means I know what to do. And the thing is, when you haven’t met these people who just have it in for you, no matter what you do, you kind of just get used to it. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. I think my friends, some of my friends get even more excited than I do because I think we know who it is. It’s quite easy to tell by something. You just have to live your life and just carry on. And the higher you fly, the more people will try and bring you down. But you just have to try and fly so high that they can’t even see you anymore. And that’s the ultimate test.

[01:04:57] Takes us nicely onto other errors. We ask everyone about clinical errors and Prav seems to like the one about, oh, I drilled the wrong to my hand slipped. But but I’m not interested in that one. I’m interested in something, you know, decision you made that was incorrect or after reflection, you would have done it differently. Something we can all learn from the market, can learn from the people listening to learn from touchwood.

[01:05:28] I’m not had to drill the wrong tooth to count a wrong to moment touchwood. It’s all been OK. There’s a few patients whom I wish I hadn’t treated right because my ego said and that when you say ego is the worst thing in the world. And those a few, the dentist, X, Y, Z has tried it, I’m better than them. I’m going to fix your problems because I’m the top dog. Woof, woof. And then you try and fix it and then you cook it up even more than the other guy did. And then this patient becomes your problem. And not only does it take time, it gives you a bit of anxiety. And when you see that name on your list, you think, oh, God, no, not this past. And to me, it was always a question of select your page. Don’t be afraid to say I’m sorry, Mr. Patel. Oh, Mrs. Battal, I can’t fix this problem for you, but I’ll refer you to my friend X, Y, Z up the road just to somebody you don’t like. He will look into it for you. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong just to put your hand up. That’s too complicated for me. I can’t do it. And that’s a key thing to understand.

[01:06:42] But your instinct told you not to treat this patient. But your ego,

[01:06:47] My ego, my ego said I can’t do this. You can do it. You’re the man. You can do it.

[01:06:53] Some on the buttocks. Expand a little bit on it. Don’t just a little bit. As far as you know, what was it was it was that the patient was never going to be happy, whatever you did. Personal.

[01:07:02] Yeah. So it was a TMJ case. Had had Crown’s done the occlusion was off one of the crowns to be redone. Fairly straightforward, but there’s something about her that was an edge to her that now it would the alarm bells would be going off. So I did it. And then she would talk and talk and talk about 20 minute appointment to become a forty five minute appointment. I think she would just be and she’d be telling you what she wants you to do. Right. So she will

[01:07:31] See you

[01:07:32] Always a time. And I was like, yeah, I’ve got fancy scanning machine. You know, we can digitally articulate your jaw and do this and do that. And then as soon as I put my fancy restorations into it, it’s wrong. Just it it’s absolutely wrong. It is very bad and so, so bad. And I was like, where do I go from here? Like, what do I do now? Right. Where do I go? And is one of the ones where as soon as that moment happens, your brain, your ego just goes into his little hole and then the other side your brain goes, I told you and now you’re in the the crap. Right? So that’s something that you learn. And now I think maybe every couple of months I’ll turn a patient away. I just say, look, I can’t help you go see a specialist or whatever because I can’t do it. I’m just a kid. I don’t know. I don’t know a very simple man. I don’t want to do that. So you kind of have to play to your strengths. I think that’s the key thing.

[01:08:32] Any influence is.

[01:08:34] Yeah, loads, loads. If you do enough, you get loads. I do about three hundred a year now and I’d say I probably get recently we’ve had a lot more failures on the implant groups and stuff we think is vitamin D. We think it’s cortisol levels. Stress levels are all having effects on implant success rates. Sent a few patients out for blood tests off. The implants have failed for no reason whatsoever. And we found that vitamin D problems have had high cholesterol. Lockdown has affected. I mean, we not really touched on it, but lockdown has has affected the health of our patients in a way that we don’t know and they don’t. And for implant Dental. Yeah, big, big issues, I think. And we are seeing clusters of failures where five, six years ago, no issue whatsoever

[01:09:20] On what you do as a clinician in that situation.

[01:09:25] Take it out. Send them off for bloods and then try again and nine times out of ten second time round, about one patient at the moment who we’ve tried three times, had these bloods done, had everything done, still doesn’t look, I’ve noticed an increased failure rate in penicillin, allergic patients, penicillin, allergic patients. The biology seems to be somewhat different. The oral microflora because they’ve never had amoxicillin or penicillin is different to somebody who’s had penicillin in the past. And they have a high incidence of dry socket and a high incidence of implant failure. And there is some literature coming out to support it now.

[01:10:05] Where’s the less PAMA going to be in five years time? We’re talking retired to two kids and a Tesla and then forget that that figure for career wise, career wise

[01:10:20] And career wise, buying buying another clinic at the moment. Oh, in London, expanding now in Essex and Essex nearby. There’s there’s two more in Essex I’ve got my eye on. And the owners are coming close to retirement. So one hopefully soon and the other one maybe in the next three to four years. And then basically between the three, I’ve got Essex kind of cornered. I’ve got no interest in central London. There’s too many sharks in that tank. For me, Essex is my area. I like it works well for me and to me, I think it would be less clinical because at one point I was in six days a week, six days a week clinic,

[01:10:59] Non-stop NHS and everything. I don’t remember

[01:11:02] And NHS employment. I remember you saying to me, you’ve got Kameda, this is too much. You’re stressing me out by what I’m about. You know, I had, I had a figure I wanted to achieve. I wanted to get to a level and then ease off a bit. I think I want to cut down to maybe three, three days a week I think, and have and also just concentrate on the consultancy business and more on some of the charity charitable endeavours that I’ve been involved with I think have been right. I think you’re

[01:11:30] Always blessed when you’re doing charity, but you’re always best when you’re doing charity really suits you. And it’s interesting, isn’t it? On one side, you’ve got the trolls saying, you know, Ferrari, and then on the other side, your best friend, you’re doing charity. We’ve got it. We’ve got to shut it down. But Prav always ends it with the same question.

[01:11:51] Somebody, as I know, is a long, long way away because you still spring chicken, but imagine it was your last day on the planet and you were surrounded by your nearest and dearest, your loved ones and those who you hope to inspire. What three pieces of wisdom would you like to leave them with?

[01:12:13] For life alone, no one would be you can achieve anything you want as long as you’re willing to put the working. Number two from an uncle of mine, he said to me, the more you have in life, the more humble you must become. A number three was whenever anyone asks you for help, even if you don’t know them but you think it’s justifiable, do what you can to help them. So help people where you can. And those be my three final words before.

[01:12:53] And how would you like to be remembered? There was. Dot, dot, dot.

[01:13:01] And dentistry, just it just

[01:13:03] In general, whatever

[01:13:06] I would say, he lived to his full potential because I think not exploring your full potential is a crime. I think you need to do everything you’re capable of doing and push yourself to the limit.

[01:13:22] We didn’t we didn’t we didn’t get to the bottom of it, you know, but you are that confident, dude, you do what you want to do. But that’s not the picture you drew of when you were a kid. Something clicked. We didn’t get to the bottom of party. Going, go.

[01:13:40] Finally, we have 30 days left and you had all your house intact. What would you do for those 30 days?

[01:13:48] And I’ll spend I think I’d probably have to liquidate every asset so I could set up some trust funds for my two nephews and spend as much time as a kind of my family and friends. Lovely.

[01:14:02] Yeah. Yeah. Where how would. Holidays, what’s your favourite place you’ve been to

[01:14:12] Italy,

[01:14:13] Really?

[01:14:14] It’s all over any part of Italy I love, it is great. And in Venice, I really liked by Italy, Milan around there with the driving ideology, driving trips, and each year I got to Europe and then we drive around and I do them, but do them as a drivers club. We have about 10, 12 cars. But I’m in the car on my own. I don’t I really don’t bring anyone with me. And that’s my time. That’s my time to think and reflect and then decide what goes I have for the next six months. So that time is really important to me. I love Italy and Payman to what clicked. What changed was getting into Dental school when all the odds were against me and then getting my implant masters and realising there’s a moment in every dentist’s life where you think, you know what, I’m actually good at what I do. There’s no ego. It’s not cockiness. You just think, you know, I’ve done this and it works. And I think that gives you that confidence. And for me, I always had my biggest fan club was always my parents. So as parents yourselves, if your dad says you can do it.

[01:15:19] You go and you do it lovely, really lovely. Thanks so much for doing this. Thank you.

[01:15:26] My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

[01:15:29] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging Leaders Dental Street. Your house, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[01:15:45] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it if

[01:16:00] You did get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

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