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What’s it like to be a GDP with an interest in children's oral health?

Blog Author Sahar-Tara Aghababaie

Blog Date 08/03/2019

Sahar-Tara Aghababaie is GDP in a mixed practice in Northern London. Having recently done a DCT paediatric post, she has in interest in children's oral health and provides teaching with paediatric consultants in a hospital, and visits local nurseries and primary schools promoting good oral health. 


My alarm goes off….

At 6.30am. I review all my messages, emails and plan the day ahead – creating a never ending to do list! I then go for a workout to help energise me for the day. 

For breakfast I will have some muesli with fruit then drive into work – keeping my fingers crossed that there isn’t too much traffic!

I’m responsible for…

During my working week I have many roles so no week is ever the same.

I mainly work in general practice where I am treating and managing patients of all ages. I also deal with the management of the practice, so am responsible for staff training, compliance and overall running of the practice.

Other days I provide teaching with paediatric consultants at Northwick Park Hospital to dental professionals on the management of paediatric patients through the NHS ‘starting well campaign’.

I also visit local nurseries and primary schools within my working week providing oral health promotion talks to school children and parents to help educate them on maintaining good oral health.


Taking an active role within our profession is vital, so I work closely with the BDA, where I am currently on the young dentist committee and secretary of my local BDA section. 

I got the job

I qualified from King’s College London in 2015 and started my first post as a dental foundation trainee in Hertfordshire. Subsequently I went on to be an associate in a mixed NHS/Private Dental practice in North West London which I also manage. 

I recently completed my Dental Core Training at The Eastman Dental Hospital/UCLH Paediatric Department treating anxious and medically compromised children under sedation and general anaesthesia, which was an invaluable experience. 

We are still dealing with too many hospital admissions from young children presenting with high caries rates, causing dental pain and abscesses - all of which can be prevented!


Currently I am back in general practice in my previous position before I consider to take the plunge into speciality training.

My typical day

No day is ever the same!

I am mostly based in practice where I treat patients within the community, and manage the running of the practice. This involves training staff, ensure the smooth running of the practice and making sure my patients and dental team are happy! 

On the days where I am teaching, I work with paediatric consultants, providing teaching sessions based on prevention and management of paediatric patients through the NHS ‘starting well’ initiative which aims to reduce oral health inequalities and improve oral health in children. This is a great opportunity to share the knowledge I have gained through my own training, whilst meeting other colleagues and gaining an insight into how other clinicians and DCPs are working within their own practices. 

The worst part of my job…

There is too much paperwork to get through, no matter how much you do – it’s never ending!!!

The best part of my job…

The best part of my job is the variety it brings and the wonderful people I have the opportunity to meet and learn from. Working in general practice gives me the opportunity to actively help a community – treating patients of all ages and walks of life, each with a different story to tell which is very rewarding. 

Also having the chance to work with senior colleagues and learning from them, continually motivates and inspires me to become a better clinician.   

My biggest achievement to date

Sahar-poster-prize.jpgPresenting my work internationally at the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry conference in Switzerland.

This was a great experience to present my work to fellow dental colleagues whilst also gaining an insight into technologies and protocols in dentistry from other countries. 

After work…

When I’m not at work you would find me – travelling, going to the theatre/ballet and trying new foodie hotspots. On Sundays I’m in Hampstead heath come rain or shine! There is a great spot that gives you a great skyline view over the city that I never get tired of. It gives me a chance to clear my thoughts and relax before the beginning of the week.

My Plan B

If dentistry wasn’t on the cards then I would consider a career in fashion – a stint as a fashion editor perhaps? A chance to jet set off to all the international catwalk shows, not to mention all the glamorous clothes and parties!

Sahar-Tara Aghababaie