Charlotte Lloyd speaks to Alife Moosajee, winner of Overall Best Young Dentist at The Dentistry Awards 2016.

Charlotte Lloyd (CL): How do you feel to have won?

Alif Moosajee (AM): Winning this award was a really proud moment in my life and in my career. It feels like the culmination of a lot of hard work and recognition for that. I really love being a dentist and I love my profession and I want to do the best I can by my patients and also by my colleagues. I hope that this award will be a springboard to allow me to do even more to benefit the profession I love.

CL: Why did you choose to enter The Dentistry Awards?

AM: I think The Dentistry Awards are a very prestigious, well-known and well respected awards. The judges are people I respect and I think when you do well at The Dentistry Awards it really means something.

CL: What do The Dentistry Awards mean to you?

AM: Dentistry is a highly competitive field but can also be a very lonely profession and it’s hard to know that you’re doing everything as well as everybody else is. To be shortlisted as a finalist for such a prestigious award is a fantastic honour and to have won it is amazing and really helps to give me confidence that I am doing things well.

CL: Who inspires you in your career?

AM: There are so many people that inspire me. People who excel in certain aspects of their career and whom I know I can learn so much from. I am continually inspired by my wife, Rumana, who although is not a dentist, runs Oakdale Dental, my practice in Leicester, fantastically well. She is a great leader and is able to get such incredible results.

I am inspired by my implant mentor, Bayan Al Sarraj, who I bought Oakdale Dental from. He makes such complicated dentistry seem so easy. I also have a lot of admiration for Colin Campbell who is an implant dentist in Nottingham and he’s been massively influential on me, my career and on my general outlook on life.

CL: What is your favourite aspect of the job/profession?

AM: I love just how much variety there is in our profession and just how many skills you really need to acquire and master before you can be good at dentistry. That challenge inspires me! You have to be so good with people because that’s the only way that you can get the best out of your relationship with patients.

Technically you have to be very accomplished because what we do is difficult on a practical level. That’s just clinical dentistry. If you also own a practice then there is all the business and managerial skills that you must master so that your business can thrive and allow you to carry on providing dentistry.

On top of that one of my favourite things is teaching. I love lecturing, I run two study clubs and I also love writing articles so that I am able to share my knowledge and hopefully inspire others to do well and look after their patients even better.

CL: What feedback have you received from your patients since winning your award?

AM: I’ve been so happy with the feedback I have received. Some people are really impressed and will congratulate me and other people just say ‘Well it’s about time!’ That’s when I feel happiest because they continue to say ‘you’ve done so much for the practice, you look after us really well. We always knew you were the best dentist and now it’s just been confirmed!’ It really is a special feeling when patients speak that way about you.

CL: Have you got any advice you would like to pass onto other young dentists who are thinking of entering The Dentistry Awards this year?

AM: I think that treating patients well is really the bare minimum of what any dentist can and should do. If you want to be in with a chance of winning you need to do that but also find ways in which to enhance the profession, either through education, being a shining example for others to look to, or by engaging with other professionals. Being a positive influence on your peers and colleagues will ultimately improve patient care and that is really what it’s all about.

For more information on The Dentistry Awards, visit www.thedentistryawards.com.