- Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?
I’m Dr Kam Chana, Senior Associate Dentist at Town Hall Dental. I tend to concentrate on general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic orthodontics. In addition, I work with patients requiring sedation.
What got you into dentistry/what was your path into dentistry? (as opposed to other professions in healthcare)
I’ve always wanted to be in the healthcare profession, but I wanted to do something that was hands on. I could never do a desk job and dentistry fit the bill. I always felt that cosmetic dentistry had an artistic side to it, and aesthetic treatments are beautiful if don’t correctly.
What is the most rewarding part of working in dentistry?
One of the most rewarding parts of dentistry is not just the improvement in health, by the improvement in someone’s smile. To take someone who is unhappy with way they look, discuss options and come out with a nicer, healthier, happier smile. It gives patients a lot of confidence that they may have lost in themselves.
What do you think has been your greatest achievement?
Within the industry, I think it’s committing to keep learning and keep at the cutting edge of techniques. Myself and the rest of the team never rest on our laurels, when others may prefer to be more comfortable. Personally, it’s my wife and two lovely kids who are my pride and joy. Since University I’ve managed to lose over 7 stone which I think is a great achievement too!
What do you think is the most important factor in being a good dentist? What makes a good dentist?
You need to have the manual dexterity to do the work. Cosmetic dentistry is a very artistic field of work and requires the technical skill. More importantly it’s how you treat patients and their manner, take a few extra minutes to talk to your patients, explain what’s happening and discussing their options. Make things as comfortable as possible, whether it’s with the use of anaesthetic or otherwise.
What is the most exciting part of working in dentistry/what excites you for the future
I think working here with this team is exciting, taking new things on and embracing new challenges. I wouldn’t be doing what I was doing at the level I am if I wasn’t here. Town Hall is a very innovative practice. New cosmetic materials and techniques that are coming out are exciting. Bonding materials in particular are my specialised treatment and they are moving forward leaps and bounds. Digital scanners are probably the most innovative change in the future, as we will no longer need to rely on taking moulds of teeth to create products.
What do you like to do outside work? Hobbies/Interests?
I’m a big film buff, whenever I have time that I’m not spending with the family, particularly arthouse films and Sci-Fi. I love listening to music and really want to get the vinyl out again soon! I play the drums and I’m working on learning the saxophone but that one’s stalled a little.
What advice would you give someone wanting to get started in dentistry?
The best advice would be to invest in your future. The basic dental degree is a jumping off point. Find out what parts interest you and concentrate on them, whether it’s a speciality or post-graduate courses. You don’t have to be a jack of all trades, or do everything. Do what you like.
Who is someone that influenced you?
Our original principal that I used to work for, Martin Durgan, taught me about the soft skills of dentistry. How to treat people, get on with them, and interact. That is, I think, the greatest skill I learnt. Imran, our principal dentist, is a big inspiration. He’s really focused on his career development and very inspiring with how much he has invested in himself and this practice.I’ve learned a lot from Ian Buckle, a Senior Faculty Member at Dawson Academy. He’s a very careful and meticulous dentist and I love the results he gets.
Where do you see the future of dentistry heading?
I think, personally, that the government is focusing less and less on national health dentistry, and that private dentistry is a growing market. It’s a shame because the health service in this country is a great thing, and there needs to be more of an incentive for young dentists to pursue careers there too.