For how long did you consider dentistry as your chosen profession?
Since I had orthodontic treatment when I was a child and then had some work experience while I was studying for my GCSEs.
When did you join/set up Word of Mouth?
Word of Mouth was set up in Fulham in November 2009. Previously, it had been a slow practice that wasn’t progressing. It was perfect for me as I liked the area and it was relatively easy for me to commute.
If asked, what would patients say are your strengths?
Communication. I take a great deal of time with my patients explaining the main issues, all the options and procedures before any treatment is undertaken. Listening is also key, allowing patients to explain their wishes and desires is vital. This can only affect future outcomes in a positive way.
How do you see your future?
I would like to expand the practice whilst maintaining and improving the high standards that I have set. At present, I am the sole dentist with a small team of highly dedicated staff. I hope to attract like minded individuals to progress the practice in the near future.
What has winning this award meant to you/the practice?
Winning the awards was a great honour. To be shortlisted was fantastic but to win was special, especially considering the highly regarded names on the judging panel.
Do you use the fact that you won the Awards on your website?
We use the Dentistry Awards news on the website and some people have come to us based soley on the fact that we are Dentistry Award winners.
Would you recommend other young dentists enter the Awards?
I would definitely recommend young dentists entering. I was at the older end – 34 and the cut off is 35 – so it was my last chance to enter. It is an ideal opportunity to highlight your career in dentistry thus far and allow your patients to know your aims.
What are your advice tips for newly qualified dentists?
1. Continued education is key. Always refine your skills and expand your field – it’s critical
2. Having mentors is important and listen to the people who are experienced in their field. I teach restorative dentistry at Guy’s Hospital one day a week and this gives me the perfect opportunity to learn from lto learn from the demonstrators and consultants. They have a wealth of knowledge and are highly experienced.
Is there anything you wouldn’t be without?
I could not be without my intra-oral camera. It gives me instant communication and patients are always very impressed – a picture tells a thousand words, compliance is better and it’s useful when securing consent from a dento-legal perspective, too.
Your website has the tagline ‘progressive dentistry’ – please explain why.
As a profession, we need to progress with the times in a way that is beneficial to patients. We adhere to minimally invasive dentistry whenever possible from techniques such as cosmetic bonding to porcelain veneers. To be progressive is key. I am willing to adapt my techniques to encompass new technology and methods which are evidence based and which I believe will benefit my patients.
Your website also reads: ‘We believe in creating beautiful smiles using non-invasive cosmetic dentistry.’ Do patients understand this?
What we do is long lasting and we need to show that we are a practice prepared to adopt new techniques – it can take time to explain that but the website does it well.
How important is your website as a marketing tool?
It is very important. Patients will always use the internet to research treatments and it is important not to be caught out so we try to keep up to date.
The website took over six months to build but it was worth taking the time to get the right result.
Who manages it?
At the moment, I do. It has been a labour of love and very time consuming, but well worthwhile.
How often do you update it?
I frequently update with new text and photos, including case studies and techniques, and I do write a blog, writing about what I feel is relevant and up to date. We’ve had great feedback from patients
Who designed the website?
A young, professional and very talented company called Impact Media Design (www.impactbranding.co.uk).
Do you track where new patients come from?
All new patients are tracked, as are referrals.
Full details on how to enter the 2011 Dentistry Awards can be found at www.dentistry.co.uk/awards. For more information, call Siobhan on 01923 851742 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to enter the website awards, please visit www.dentistry.co.uk/webawards. The deadline for all entries is Friday 9 September.