In this section we focus on the different types of dentistry and speak to dentists who have chosen to follow alternative career paths. In this article we focus on Post Graduate Endodontics written by Kreena Patel.
Kreena is currently studying and working as a postgraduate endodontic student. If you would like to contact Kreena, her email address can be found at the bottom of the page.
Why did you go into dentistry?
I enjoyed science at school and knew I wanted a career that combined this interest with a practical skill. Following my work experience, I started dental nursing in my school holidays. I found this interesting and particularly enjoyed communicating with the patients, which reinforced my decision to go into dentistry.
Where and why did you decide the advanced training that you undertook?
As an undergraduate I found both the theory and practical aspects of endodontics interesting. At this time, I was awarded the Pitt Ford Prize by the British Endodontic Society for which I attended their annual Spring Scientific meeting. I was impressed with the continual advances and level of skill presented. Following my DF2 year and having attended several endodontic courses, I realised I wanted to develop my skills further to a specialist level.
Why did you think you were accepted?
My DF2 year involved a paedodontic and orthodontic post followed by a six-month rotation in a busy oral and maxillofacial surgery department. During this time I developed my communication and surgical skills. Following this, I worked in general practice and held a staff grade position at St Helier Hospital in paedodontics and at Kingston Hospital in endodontics. I also worked on an honorary basis at St George's Hospital focusing on children's endodontics and apexification of immature teeth using MTA. This allowed me to gain practical experience routinely using a microscope for referral-based procedures including retreatment cases and periradicular surgery under the guidance of experienced clinicians.
These posts, coupled with attending various lectures and courses demonstrated my determination to pursue a specialist pathway in endodontics.
What active steps did you take before applying for your post-graduate programme?
I wrote a monthly diary publication for Dental Practice Magazine and gained the MJDF qualification. I photographed and kept a portfolio of all my complex clinical cases.
I also co-founded the website www.dentalcareerguide.co.uk, which focuses on guiding young dentists through their careers.
What part of your training did you find most rewarding?
I feel privileged to learn from our very skilled tutors and find it rewarding to see the improvement in my clinical
What part of your training did you find least rewarding?
Where do you work now?
Brigstock Dental Practice
Can you run through your working week?
Currently I divide my time in both general dental practice and secondary care setting:
- Monday & Tuesday: Clinical sessions at Guy's and King's Hospital.
- Wednesday: New patient clinic at Guy's Hospital
- Thursday: Brigstock Dental Practice- practice limited to endodontics
- Friday: Lectures & seminars
- Saturday: Brigstock Dental Practice- practice limited to endodontics
- Occasional evenings: Croydent emergency service
What part of your work now do you find most and least rewarding?
The practice recently invested in a Zeiss microscope and I find it rewarding using this regularly for all my endodontic treatments
What equipment could you not do without?
Apex locator, DG16 probe and an Endo-Z
Who has inspired you within dentistry?
My father - He is a very skilled general dental practitioner who is adored by his patients. Even after 34 years in dentistry he still loves his job and remains dedicated to both learning and teaching. Watching him when I was younger inspired me to go into dentistry and continues to make me want to learn and progress further.
Whom or what inspires you in general/ outside of dentistry?
It is challenging to strike a good balance in life juggling friends and family, career and fun!
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Thailand - a beautiful location with fantastic food.
What makes you happy?
If you were something else in the dental field what would you be?
A practice manager
If you weren't in the dental field what would you be?
What advice would you give young dentists going into your field?
Invest in loupes and a light- you will never go back. Make sure you photograph your clinical work and keep a portfolio.
Who am I?
Qualifications: BDS(Hons) MJDF RCS(Eng)
Contact email: Kreena.firstname.lastname@example.org