A Long-term Relationship
Dinesh Gunatunga talks about his long tenure with Rodericks Dental
I’ve always been interested in working within the healthcare sector as my dad is a doctor. However, I wanted to do something that was more hands-on, plus I was rebellious enough to not want the same career as my dad! I found the surgical aspect of dentistry most attractive, although today my interests lie mostly in cosmetic dentistry. Having been a dentist now for about 18 years, I really enjoy it and I find it very rewarding as I put a smile on people’s faces. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else!
My Journey with Rodericks
My journey and experience with Rodericks and the people here are a long one. Shalin [Mehra] was my Training Programme Director (TPD) when I was a trainee, and I’ve known people such as Alpesh [Khetia] for a long time too. The original ethos of the group to be run by dentists, for dentists, resonates with me and I feel that it is really like that. There is always someone to talk to at Head Office when you need to, either by phone or email. Even the top management team are not alien to you and are all very approachable. They are also visible at events and courses, will say hello personally and I feel that they really look after you as a dentist. We have good materials and equipment in Rodericks practices and we absolutely have the necessary clinical freedom to deliver the care we feel is best for each of our patients.
I originally worked for the group several years ago, but my decision to experience practising dentistry in Australia for a year took me away. Upon my return to the UK about 6 years ago, I didn’t look anywhere else and was delighted to join Buckingham House Dental Practice shortly after.
As part of my career progression and skill development, I was delighted to get the opportunity to become an FD trainer with Rodericks. I really enjoyed my training when I was a Foundation Dentist (FD) and when I stayed on at the same practice after my training, I was always eager to help subsequent FD’s that came through the practice. I would give them any support that I could in order to make their learning curve smoother and enable them to deliver excellent patient care as part of our team. So, when I came to Buckingham House, I jumped at the chance to take the necessary courses in preparation to become an FD trainer myself!
I love the training and mentoring that this role entails. All FD’s are different and have to overcome their own challenges, but I’d say a common hurdle is building up the confidence to perform extractions and crown preparations. Communication skills are also difficult for some, but these can easily be developed over time, with the right guidance.
Since becoming an FD Trainer I have also completed a postgraduate Certificate in Dental Education as well as professional training in the area of coaching and mentoring. I’ve even carried these skills into other areas of my life, as I am currently a coach for a local under-13’s boy’s cricket team as well!
Dinesh Gunatunga, Dentist at Buckingham House Dental Practice