What a surprise it was to be voted by readers of the magazine to be the most influential person in dentistry.
I was in disbelief for the first day and then thought, let’s use this to make more of a difference.
Doors that had previously been closed suddenly opened. I was not a different person but the industry’s perception had slightly shifted.
Through research for my book Brush, I had noticed a huge gap in the public’s access to dental services and thought perhaps I could help change this. I sent emails to the people I admired in dentistry, trying to include the entire sector from dental technicians to suppliers of dental equipment.
The subject heading was: ‘Are you interested in changing UK dentistry?’ and this opened a line of dialogue that ended in a meeting in an Italian Cookery school on 12 May 2011. We met around a kitchen table and had an enlightening conversation throughout the night that resulted in the formation of the Kitchen Table club. From that point onwards I was exposed to some of the brightest brains in dentistry. This was the birth of Heart Your Smile. We now have 5,000-plus followers and plan to launch to the public in 2014.
Over the past two years I have spent time with the Colgate research and development team in New Jersey, Arm and Hammer’s PR company, worked with the BDA on their conference team, worked with King’s Alumni, Guy’s Hospital interviewing sixth formers and been a mentor to more than 20 students. I have spent time with outstanding charities such as Bridge2Aid, Dentaid and Dental Mavericks.
I have travelled from Dubrovnik to Hull to give more than 100 lectures to help inspire the next generation. I was also lucky enough to be a cover model! All this would not have been possible without Ken Finlayson and the entire team at FMC. I feel after two years it is time for another person in dentistry to be voted to the top, reach beyond their means and make a difference.
Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing, as always, you are free to vote for the people who most inspire you – whether they’re on this list or not.
Jennifer de St Georges
Vote at www.dentistry.co.uk/top50.
Deadline: 8 March 2013