The first time I encountered dentistry was with a relative. I was shocked by his interest in dentistry. At first, it sounded quite stressful when he talked about his practice, finances and materials. But working with his allowed me the opportunity to see how dentists relate to their patients. I was attracted to the constant activity of a dental practice, as well as its expanding sector that offers a wide range of specialisations and opportunities. My own methods allow me to confidently perform practicals in Chemistry or Biology, making these A-Level topics of special interest to myself.
A second case that influenced my interest in dentistry was the time I was asked to leave a room where I had been working, but did not know why. I was told by the private dentist that it was good that I had left because this patient seemed nervous. What could be so scary if I brush my teeth twice daily and floss? He told me that dental phobias are common and that there is support for them. My conversation with the dental professional led me to want to know more about dental fears and how to overcome them. This project allowed me to grow personally and gain insight into my professional future. My positive psychology studies and my work in charity have given me the knowledge and skills I need to be a good dentist. Mindfulness techniques can be very helpful to patients. My time at Bristol Royal Infirmary included learning to suture. Later, at my work experience I saw the skill being used by the dentist when he was placing the implants. I was told by the private dentist that titanium is used in dental implants to fuse with bone. He explained how this mechanism is a mystery. Invisalign is a new orthodontic appliance that he explained to me. This increased my understanding and interest. The technician taught me how the Adams crib can be bent for a removable orthodontic appliance. As I worked with an expert in conservative dentistry, I became fascinated by all the different ways of conserving a dental tooth. Inlays and onlays were just a few. Bridges, fillings, and even inlays. I gained a variety of laboratory skills by participating in lectures on pharmacology, biochemistry and other topics at the Bristol Sutton Trust summer school. The Bristol Sutton Trust Summer School also provided me with a guided tour of the hospital patient journey. I learnt how important each NHS component is upon arrival, as well post-care.
It is my weekly radio show, which I have hosted for three years now, that gives me the confidence to be who I am. For a dentist to be effective, they need to be able work with a variety of people, such as receptionists, nurses, and technicians. I have learned how to present and also to work with people of different backgrounds. My interpersonal skills will help me when performing tasks in dentistry. I love sharing the latest dental and medical advances on ‘What’s New This Week’. I use articles from dentalhealth.org and the BDA. I always take the initiative to do what I can, whether it’s helping to organise STEM at my high school, leading an assembly in my Junior Leadership Team position, or privately tutoring students.
Because of my drive and determination, I can accept any challenge in dentistry that will help me improve. I would be a great role model for dental students because of my enthusiasm, compassion, and confidence.