How long have you been working at Woodborough House?
I’ve worked here since 2004, before Nick and Sarah took over the practice in 2006.
When I was training to be a dental care professional, my friend who is a hygienist, used to work for the previous owner Mr Andreassen. She told me about this amazing practice. It has always had an excellent reputation.
What is your area of specialism?
I’m a dually-qualified dental therapist and hygienist. I practice mostly as a dental hygienist so my day-to-day job is being part of the team at Woodborough that deals with gum health.
We’re responsible for making gums healthy, giving patients the knowledge, skills and confidence to achieve this.
This includes not just professionally cleaning teeth but educating, encouraging and showing patients how to care for their mouths properly. We are here to ensure that patients are best able to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and everything that goes with it. Every step is individually tailored for each patient.
I have a great number of patients that find what I do very helpful and they value dental hygiene. Many have been on a journey with us because they have had problems with their gums. They really understand hygiene treatments’ true worth. It’s a somewhat hidden but essential role.
I always say you can’t build a good house on bad foundations.
What is your background and your journey to where you are now?
I intially qualified as a dental nurse and then as an Oral health educator. I studied for these at Bristol Dental Hospital. I worked in a small general practice for many years. I also helped with managing the practice as well.
In 1999, I wanted to make a change in my dental career and I was encouraged by the dentist that I was working with to further my skills. Dental hygiene and therapy was just right for me.I wanted to extend my role within the dental team.
I studied at the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London. It was a very competitive and intense environment but I was so proud to have gotten a much sought after place and will add, as a mature student. I qualified as a dental hygienist and therapist in 2001 and I’ve not looked back. I’m good at what I do and I am happy with my place within the dental wheel.
What is it about your job that you enjoy the most?
We have the most fantastic team here at Woodborough in all the disciplines of dentistry.
I have some patients that I’ve been seeing for years and years. Every day is different.
There are patients that visit me that have no major dental problems and are keen to maintain that. There are other patients that I see that suffer from periodontal disease. They need to have ongoing treatment to make sure that their gums stay healthy.
Those patients come to see our periodontist Kuljeet, who is an excellent clinician and fantastic person. I feel very privileged to work with him.
If you think about what teeth do, we communicate with them, we eat with them, we survive with them. When something goes wrong, that can affect many people in many different ways. Dentistry can be scary for some people, it is an invasive process.
The greatest delight, when I treat my patients, is the smile at the end and the patient learning to fall in love with their teeth so to speak. Everyone has the right to have a nice smile and a smile they can feel proud of. The team at Woodborough House enables patients to achieve this and I really enjoy my role in the process.
I also enjoy the challenge of the psychology of dentistry. The way I approach people is that I consider every patient in the chair to be me. I think “How would I treat myself?” I want to understand what makes them tick and if they have any fear, where it may be coming from. I am quite a perceptive person and I enjoy working out how to ensure that every patient has a good experience by adapting my approach differently for everyone.
Where would you like your career to go next?
I’m really happy working part time at Woodborough House. I have a good work/life balance. If I think a few more years further ahead, I may do less clinical work and maybe do some teaching for the dental team, but I don’t have any firm plans as yet. Who knows what the future holds.
What is it about the WH culture that you like?
Every team member from specialist to trainees are unique and each have a different skill set and are encouraged to be the best they can be.
That’s what makes Woodborough House great. Dentistry has become quite corporate in recent years, so Nick and Sarah’s genuineness,support and personal approach is becoming increasingly different to the usual kind of dental practice you are likely to find. Sarah and Nick are visionaries and they think outside the box, as a result Woodborough House is a very special place to work. They are also very inclusive of people.
They allow me to participate in a customer’s journey and I’m involved in contributing to the bigger picture rather than just being brought in to complete a task and then never seeing the patient again or having a say.
How would you describe WH in 3 words?
How do you unwind outside of work?
I enjoy being at home, cooking and spending time in my garden. I’ll read, watch YouTube for inspiration to plan my travels. I like traveling.
What’s your favourite film or book?
The last book I read was ‘The Outsider’ by Stephen King. It was a good book. I like him as an author, and I like his genre. I’ve even been to his house in Bangor Maine on a US/Canada road trip about ten years ago. My favourite film has to be ‘Mrs Doubtfire’.
What’s your favourite meal?
I don’t really have a favourite meal, it’s easier to ask me what I don’t eat. Pomegranates and pre-packed sandwiches are the answer to that. A definite no no !
I enjoy cooking ,I’ll cook anything, I’m always up for trying new food. My husband is my biggest fan and critic.
What was the last picture you took on your phone?
It was a picture of an orchid.
I collect orchids, moth orchids( phalaenopsis) to be precise. I’ve got 21 at the moment. They live in my bathroom and landing. Orchids like dappled sunlight, humidity and constant temperature and they seem to thrive there. My friend gave me an orchid two years ago that she’d never been able to make it flower. It’s just flowered! So I’ve taken a picture of it so I can send it to my friend to show her.
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