We thought the best way to fix this was to
design my own practice which nurtures great minds that share all the
same values and goals.
We went about setting up a new practice - from nothing. The
banks wouldn’t touch us with a barge-pole because we weren’t backed by NHS contracts,
and setting up a ‘squat’ practice during the recession was
getting us laughed out of meetings.
Thinking outside the box
But we didn’t take no for an answer. Nothing wiIl stop me from having my dream practice.
Without investment, we couldn't afford dental equipment. So, thinking outside the box - we founded an aesthetic practice. We eventually got funding for our
first dental chair in 2015 and things snowballed.
We doubled in size in
2015. This year, in 2018, we will be a six-surgery private practice and grown to a team of 26.
We’ve been able to achieve this
because I am belligerent and I don’t take no for an answer.
Currently, my main focus of
practise is Aesthetic Medicine. I love the creative and artistic
side of it. I completed an MSc in Aesthetic Medicine with Distinction in
2016, and it’s expanded my scope of practice and made me a safer
CPD and learning is extremely important to
me. It’s part of our culture at Smileworks. My other areas of interest
are Orthodontics and Endodontics. I started the MClinDentOrthodontics
course at BPP in 2016 and am about to finish my PGDip in Endo at the
University of Chester this year.
In private practice, there’s no excuse
for not being the best practitioner you can be. This is why we take
such pride in further learning and have a reputation for being such
highly qualified professionals in our practice
The need for female influencers
We’re seeing more
women in dentistry today and this is fantastic. I’ve been very lucky to
have strong female influencers who’ve given me the confidence to move
We’re taking over Capital FM and celebrating International Women’s Day because not every woman has the same opportunities I did.
Girls, young women and dental students all need to see and hear about
the success we’ve had and see that it’s possible for them to achieve it
I love working in a team of predominantly women in what has
been traditionally a male-oriented industry. Dentistry can be such a
great career for women and offers so many opportunities. We work together
and we work constructively at Smileworks to achieve greatest outcomes for
our patients. We do also have men in our team, because at Smileworks we
choose our people based on their ability and whether they share our
values for patient care. This makes for a healthy, happy and collegiate
So the advice I’d give to younger dentists is never give
up. There are extraordinary challenges and opportunities in dentistry
(and life) in 2018 but this means you’ve got to make yourself
extraordinary to tackle them. Part of our drive on International Women’s
Day 2018 is showcasing our amazing team and hopefully inspiring others
to step up.
I would advise everyone wanting to pursue a serious
career in dentistry to get a mentor. Whether that be for a specific
field in dentistry or just a sounding-board for all things in life and
teeth - it’s a must have. What may seem like a great idea to a young
dentist - may in fact be a recipe for disaster!
I wish I’d had
more mentors straight after qualifying to sound off about how I
felt and what I thought. Our team is very open to mentoring young
dentists - if you want to talk, we will make time for you - just get in touch! I love hearing from newly-qualified dentists and in the practice
we are big into idea-sharing and helping one another out.
are very important, but don’t think that just because you’re not a
qualified implantologist twenty minutes out of university, you’ve failed
in some way. Don’t forget the dentistry that’s right in front of you,
Patients need your care in the first instance, and it
is your responsibility to be the best you can for them.
Private practice owner
Looking to develop your career?
our panel of female dentists for a discussion and Q&A on developing
your career as a woman in dentistry - we’ll be covering careers,
contracts and confidence. Visit our Facebook page at 6pm on Thursday 8
March and ask a question!
We’re also looking for case
studies of women working across the dental profession, if you’d like to
share your journey to help inspire others, please get in touch.