I have worked with Mike Reece for more than 10 years and he has always been passionate about providing the highest standard of patient care and had been frustrated that he felt we as a profession were failing our children in the field of prevention.
In 2005, Mike approached me with his plans to open a state of the art purpose-build dental practice focusing on the prevention of dental disease in children, his vision, Smilescool. Mike’s passion for this vision was contagious and I found myself as enthused as he was.
Over the past five years, my role within Smilescool as constantly evolved.
Initially I was involved in brainstorming the delivery of the concept, looking at the session content, delivery, group sizes and ages.
In the early days, I remember brainstorming sessions after work and finally driving up after 11pm but wide awake and unable to sleep, my mind doing overtime.
In the final weeks before we opened our doors for the first time, I resorted to sleeping with a notepad and pen at the side of the bed, just in case I thought of something in the middle of the night.
The new practice, Reece Associates incorporating Smilescool opened its doors to patients in August 2007.
My role, with continued support from Mike and Sara, has gone from hygienist to head of hygiene.
As well as a clinical role, I am involved in the delivery of Smilescool sessions. Initially, this was a little daunting, just outside my comfort zone, but a role I now love.
Especially the sessions where the kids come to visit me in my surgery and I get to teach them how all the equipment works. My non-clinical role within the practice has expanded and prompted me to further my career development and, in April 2009, I gained a place on the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners Certificate in Dental Practice Appraisal, which I successfully completed in April 2010.
Dentistry to me isn’t about drilling and filling, painful hygiene visits and scary faces hiding behind masks. I love my profession and all of the challenges and responsibility that go with it.
In November 2009, my husband and I became new parents to a beautiful baby boy, yet again my Smilescool role evolves, seeing everything through fresh eyes, those of a parent and looking forward to my return to work next month.
For more details about affiliation to Smilescool, visit www.smilescool.co.uk.