Different Dimensions Within Dentistry

I’ve always wanted to work within the medical field, following in the footsteps of many of my relatives. I guess I chose dentistry as it enables you to not only diagnose problems, but also treat them. The other reason was the lifestyle associated with being a dentist, such as the work-life balance and the renumeration.

Thinking about my job today, I most appreciate the opportunity to meet new and different people, and to build up relationships with them. Being able to make a difference and really helping people when they need it most is very satisfying. However, what I find most rewarding is when I’ve worked hard on a case and I see the patient happy with the results at the end. I always get that heart stopping moment when I hand the patient the mirror and wait for their reaction, with a big sigh of relief once they give their approval. I think one of the biggest challenges is that things don’t always go according to plan and you could be trying to provide perfect treatment under imperfect conditions.

I have been working for Rodericks for 11 years now. I like that I don’t have to worry about the admin side of running a practice – for example, the clinical governance side is all taken care of meticulously. In terms of support there are many branches available with access to clinical advisors for bespoke advice when needed. There is also an extensive in-house CPD programme and preferential rates for external courses.

This access to this education aids career progression and there is always the chance to move into new roles within the business. Over the last 6 years I’ve been involved in postgraduate training and mentoring of newly qualified dentists. This has been challenging at times, yet very gratifying. It certainly adds another dimension to dentistry, one that I had never thought of up until then.

Being involved in training has also given me the chance to get to know some of the directors better on a personal level and they actually aren’t as scary as you think – especially after a couple glasses of champagne! They are easy to talk to and happy to hear your opinions. There have been some very significant changes not only at practice level but also higher up lately, which can only be a good thing.

Outside of dentistry, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids – Bella, 3 and Oliver, 6 months. If we can get a babysitter then fine dining with friends and a couple of gin and tonics is the perfect way to spend an evening!

Jon Lightstone, Dentist at Cookham Dental Practice and Windsor Road Dental Practice

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