I work as an associate in a mixed high street dental practice in North London. I also take on the role of practice manager, and at the moment, I’m studying for a postgraduate course in dental education.
I decided to become a GDP because after graduating, I really wasn’t sure which area of dentistry I wanted to go into, or if I wanted to specialise. Working as a GDP gives me a great platform to explore all the different areas of dentistry, and find out what you enjoy, as well as what you are strongest at.
In general practice I meet so many different people. For me, no day is the same and feel like I learn something new from each and every patient and my skills continue to develop.
In my current role I’m doing a lot of things at any one time. I face daily challenges trying to organise my time and making sure I give enough time to each of the different roles I do. Enough time to be a clinician, enough time to manage a practice, and enough time to train my staff.
People always ask me how I balance them. It’s just super important to be organised.
The clinical work we do can also have a long-lasting impact on people’s lives and general well-being. Our smiles are one of our most important assets; they help us speak, eat and socialise with family and friends. One of the nicest things a patient has ever said to me was, ‘Thank you, for giving me my life back’.
It’s so disheartening to see the high levels of decay in children nationwide. I decided to set up an oral health promotion scheme in my local area, and I visit local primary schools and nurseries, holding workshops for the children so that they get used to seeing the dentist, and educating the parents first hand.
I think it’s so important to continue to do further training, as dentistry is constantly evolving and changing, and I love the fact it gives us so many opportunities to develop and grow.
I’ve continued to study because I really do enjoy learning and teaching. Whether it’s talking to my patients about their oral health, giving talks to students in dental schools or training and mentoring my staff.
Sahar Tara Aghababaie, Dentist and postgraduate student