I attribute my unstoppable desire for knowledge and growth to my father. My family has always put education first, and my father pushed me and my siblings to study hard. It’s because of this that I always aim to broaden my knowledge, whether it’s within my profession or a skill that will advance my career such as public speaking.
Learning never ends.
I’m also a strong believer that to be good at something, you have to do it every day. It’s a continual effort of discovery, mastery, and rehearsal. What you learn, you engage with until you become an expert. Once you are an expert, you maintain and develop your skills through practice, which in itself will teach you more lessons.
Every clinician should cultivate this mindset about learning. You must never stop pursuing new knowledge in every stage of your career if you are to excel and succeed.
Education doesn’t stop when you graduate from an official educational institution. It stops when you ignore...
Today, we are more exposed to finite connections with coaches who come and go in our lives. We look to social media and the web for tutorials and answers. While those methods do help, they can’t replace the value of a mentor.
Unlike a coach, a mentor is a person with whom you develop a long-term relationship aimed at assisting your growth. It’s someone who imparts you with wisdom and knowledge and actively supports and contributes to your endeavours.
John Wooden said, ‘Mentors are available at all stages of your leadership life - early, middle, and late. Seek them out and listen; absorb their knowledge and use it.’
Every clinician needs a mentor to amplify and fast-track their success. If you haven’t connected with any yet, look for one and, in the future, be one yourself.
The people you surround yourself with will impact your mindset either positively or negatively, and this ultimately affects how you behave. Environment, mindset, and behaviour are all...
Communication is the skill upon which most relationships are built and sustained. This is especially true in our profession. It’s valuable for us to know how to communicate well with our patients, colleagues, superiors, and mentees to create an environment in which everyone thrives, and our services are delivered to the highest quality. I feel fortunate to have had experiences at a young age which improved my communication skills.
I started working in my dad’s newsagents at nine years old. It was situated in the outskirts of Glasgow in a working-class town, and in spite of the frequent chill in the shop due to the lack of heating, I have many fond memories working there. People in the locality knew my father well because he had owned the shop for decades, and I was there as his little helper. Customers often came in and noticed the little boy behind the counter, and they would strike up a conversation. What’s your name? How old are you? What school...
My implant journey started in 2011, while still a medical student. I enrolled in a one year course which involved online training and clinical days with a tutor in his practice. At that time it was extremely overwhelming, not the surgical part, but all the terminology that was being flaunted.
Fast forward ten years, my clinical practice is now limited to dental implants. It has taken me this length of time to get to a place where I feel comfortable placing dental implants. However, the more learning I do around dental implants the more gaps in my knowledge I identify. I have a passion for implant dentistry and I understand that it's a lifelong journey focused on continuously improving. This leads me onto mastery.
Mastery is something that fascinates me and recently I have read books by George Leonard and Robert Greene on the subject which I would highly recommend.
In George Leonard’s book he says, “If...
Confidence & Self-Belief
A lack of confidence is often a significant obstacle in achieving your desired goals. If you are suffering from a shortage or lack of it altogether, you need to work on the beliefs that are causing you to doubt yourself.
Your past experiences play a huge role in this. Perhaps you tried something new and failed, or your best efforts ended up causing you embarrassment. The pain linked to those memories hinders you from stepping out of your comfort zone today because you are afraid of reliving those discomforts.
Stop doing this!
Cut short any trip down memory lane that magnifies those bad experiences. Talk about them with someone who can help you process those experiences. By doing this, you will get a fresh perspective about what you initially labelled as a failure or an embarrassment.
From there, tell your mind that you want to leave your comfort zone again and that it’s desirable. Condition your mind to perceive risks as...
My preparation for surgery is a ritual.
I would like to share with you my 4 step surgical preparation process.
Pre surgical planning and visualisation of the case
This starts from the very first encounter with the patient. The clinical and relevant special investigations are processed carefully to determine an appropriate treatment plan. The information collated leads to clarity. Very much like the image of a puzzle coming together as you fit the many pieces together. The planning involves writing down the steps of surgery and then reading through the prescription multiple times. For bigger cases I like to print a 3D model of the surgical site so I can complete practice surgeries. Like Beth Harmon from the Queens Gambit (Netflix series which I highly recommend) imagines a chess board on the ceiling, I like to imagine the surgical procedure playing out in front of me.
Pre surgical team briefing
This is a relatively new step in my practice following listening to Frank Renouard...
Problem-solving skills are crucial to your development as a dental implant surgeon. This includes your ability to recognise a problem and identify its cause. Then manage it.
In the heat of surgery when something goes wrong, your instinct may be to panic. Adrenaline takes over, which can spur you into action, but it may also cloud your judgment.
Panic causes us to blow small complications out of proportion. This emotional response may transform a little glitch into a massive crisis in your mind. Take a deep breath, evaluate, and then act. It is important to act swiftly, but never rush. The difference between the two is that the former is often performed with intention, while the latter, with recklessness.
Remaining calm is fundamental in successfully managing unexpected situations.
This is where mental rehearsal comes in handy before procedures. By picturing every step and every action, you will begin to familiarize yourself with the desired outcome. Like...
There’s a good reason many people don’t like tests. There’s no clearer indicator of failure and success than taking one. A good example is a driving test, which I failed the first three times I tried.
By my fourth and final attempt, I passed.
It’s a simple scenario that you can probably relate to and a powerful example of how we must deal with failure. We keep on trying because with each new effort we exert, we come closer to getting it right.
Sadly, not everyone shares this mindset. Some people try only once or twice before allowing the debilitating feeling of failure hold them back.
These feelings don’t come out of nowhere. It stems from past experiences that have shaped your perspective of failure, and that’s what’s stopping you from trying again.
Our memories from one to seven years old shape us the most. If you were criticised or humiliated, you may have developed a paralyzing view of failure. It’s at this point...
Happy new year to you all and welcome to the first blog of 2021.
Wishing you all health, prosperity and happiness in abundance for the year ahead.
My first blog this year will focus on why I love to teach and the numerous benefits associated with teaching. I was fortunate to be taught and learned from many great clinicians. Now I feel a responsibility to give back. If you know more than most about a particular area within dentistry, then you are an expert to someone. And that means you have a responsibility to share with them what you know. Derek Sivers (writer and entrepreneur) says “What’s obvious to you is amazing to others.”
For me, to be successful at teaching I am required to have a deep understanding of the topic being taught. I need to be able to articulate something complex into simpler bite size portions allowing others to understand. It forces me to increase my knowledge and understanding. Peter Drucker...
I once overheard a colleague saying to someone in angst “Don’t F#### the bone, feel the bone.” A recent discussion with a colleague following a mentored case brought these words rushing back to me. As I chuckled to myself, recalling the incident, I stopped for a moment to really understand what the statement was implying.
Being able to immediate load in full arch implant cases has many advantages including increasing patient acceptance to treatment, expediting the treatment time and simplifying the restorative process. A number of principles need to be met to allow delivery of a fixed set of teeth, on the same day. One principle is, implants placed in the jaw have to attain a minimum torque value on insertion. There are multiple factors and techniques to consider which allow you to achieve adequate torque values.
Below are some points to consider to help us achieve adequate torque values of our implants in full arch immediate load cases.
Knowing your implant...