Dentistry awards special: The secret of Smile Cliniq’s success
 

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Dentistry awards special: The secret of Smile Cliniq’s success

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Dentistry awards special: The secret of Smile Cliniq’s success

 

Dentistry awards special: The secret of Smile Cliniq’s success

When did you qualify?
I qualified in 2003 from GKT school of Medicine and Dentistry, I also studied an intercalated BSc in 2001, which gave me a firm grounding in the basic sciences. I carried on to complete the membership exams to the faculty of dental surgeons (MFDS) and I have since completed certification courses in Implantology (Sheffield) and Restorative Dentistry (Eastman), as well as many other shorter courses.
 
For how long did you consider dentistry as your chosen profession?

Since I was 17, after work experience. I found the
combination of diagnosis through to treatment – with plenty of patient banter along the way – really appealing.

Did you have a vision that you wanted to approach it differently?

I can't honestly say I did. However, I did want to improve patient communication and education. I found some of the dentists, from whom I gained experience, did not fully explain the benefits of treatments, success rates and potential problems.

When did you set up Smile Cliniq [his practice in Finchley, north London]?

We set up Smile Cliniq at the worst possible time in the middle of the recession in October 2008 from almost a squat. As you can imagine, there was absolutely nobody coming in, but we didn't rest on our laurels. We spent huge amounts of time developing the surgery, our own skills, patient education and marketing tools.


Would you say you're a hands-on practitioner?
Definitely, I like to follow my patients through from start to finish. I always show my patients their oral health at the first appointment, and we monitor it after treatments and review appointments. Patients and myself are hugely satisfied as we note their oral health getting better and better. On the other hand, if it doesn't there are a few stern words as I'm sure a few of my patients will testify, too!

How do you create the right environment for patients?
Space, lighting, happy and kind staff, pleasant aromas, clean and tidy environment and getting to know them and what they expect from us.

If asked, what would patients say are your strengths?
I'm sure they would say I'm quite funny, so I put most patients at ease with my constant banter. I'm sure they'd say I'm quite thorough as well. I spend time going through treatment options and potential pros and cons of each one.

How do you see your future?

I would like to become a really good general dental practitioner, so this will still take time and more learning. Mr Briggs (one of my old consultants) once said, you only get to know how good you are after seeing the same patients for 10 years; it's only then do you realise how your treatments have performed. I'd like to get back to research and voluntary work at some point, too, but the practice is pretty much taking all of my time at the moment. Oh yes, and like every good Indian boy I'd like to get married (just for you, dad!)

Will you use the triple awards win in promoting your practice, and has it attracted new patients?
Definitely, in fact it's already on the website – www.smilecliniq.com. It's attracting patients who are motivated to achieve the best oral health possible.

Smile Cliniq's website says it provides ‘cutting edge dental treatments with a wholly patient-focused ethos. We want to eliminate the image of a crowded waiting room, unfriendly dentists and painful treatments'. How do you achieve this?
We try to treat the patients really well and book plenty of time for each of them. We keep a clean and pleasant environment and we always greet our patients with a smile. We're lucky in that we've got a really good team of staff, including a variety of brilliant specialists, so we're able to offer patients the best possible care.

Would you recommend other young dentists to enter the Dentistry Awards?
Most definitely, it's a lovely event, and its nice to be recognised for the hard work that you do. It was amazing, it was really good to catch up with some long-lost friends. The comedian was fantastic and I was really happy we won some awards!

Is the charity, Chitrakoot [with which Chetan's involved] as important as the dental work?
The dental charity Chitrakoot is as important as the work I do. I would strongly recommend all dentists to look at the website www.chitrakootuk.org. It's a dental charity within a wider charity framework where the keyword is self reliance. An amazing individual called Nanaji Deshmukh set up an all-encompassing institute to change the way of life for residents in India. The Chitrakoot Project Self Reliance Campaign aims to be a sustainable and replicable model for the holistic
development of rural India. Naresh Sharma and Ashok Sethi set up the dental charity part of this project. It is frequently visited by some of the most prominent clinicians (and students who aren't prominent yet) from all around the world. The dental clinics there are fully modernised and better than a lot of practices I have seen in this country!

Do you have any advice for newly qualified dentists?

I'd recommend spending time learning your trade. Research the courses you go on, try to go on the best ones. Practise what you learn on the courses straight away, so the skills aren't forgotten. Question your tutors, don't take every spoken word as fact. The more knowledge you acquire, the more confident you will be of your treatment outcomes and this will not be lost on your patients. Most importantly, learn from your mistakes. Spend time visiting more experienced clinicians (I'm always surprised with how nice fellow dentist are!), question and learn from them. This will often be more productive than spending hours with your nose in books. Also, be wary of some ‘cosmetic dental' courses. Remember: once you cut a tooth, it won't grow back and you are making it weaker. When the veneers and cosmetic crowns fail, which they will at some point, what will you do then?

Is there anything you wouldn't be without?
Surgical loupes with light source, as far as I'm concerned, are a must and probably my single best investment. And, of course, my wonderful business partner Sarita Kotecha (she made me write that – and that's another thing I've learned, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!).


Grab your ‘early bird' saving!
An ‘early bird' offer of £35 per category is available until 30 June, so it's well worth getting your entries for Best Practice, Team, Young Dentist, UK Best Marketing, and UK Outstanding Achievement sooner rather than later! Visit www.dentistry.co.uk/awards. For more information, call 01923 851739 or email kirsty.young@fmc.co.uk.

To enter the Dentistry.co.uk Website Awards, please visit www.dentistry.co.uk/webawards.


 Posted on : Wed 19th - May - 2010

 

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