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 prosthodontists written by Aditya Naidu.
Aditya Naidu is a prosthodontist and is currently working as a specialist dentist in London, he also lectures at Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. If you would like to contact Aditya, his email address can be found at the bottom of the page.
Why did you go into dentistry?
At school, I was certain that I wanted to move towards a career in health care but the only problem was that I didn't have a clue about the particular direction! So, I spent a fair amount of time gaining work experience of primary and secondary care in dentistry, medicine, etc. My final decision was based on the fact that (coming from a family of dentists) I already had an idea of the stresses of the job (I may have underestimated those somewhat) and, more importantly, I enjoyed the practical aspect of the role and the sense of achievement and pride in your own handiwork.
Where and why did you decide the advanced training that you undertook?
Specialist training was the last thing on my mind when I left dental school. However, during my foundation training, I was fortunate enough to have an adviser who impressed me with his knowledge, skill and enthusiasm for the profession and further development. By the end of the year, I had committed myself to the specialist pathway and spent the next few years preparing for the task.
Why do you think you were accepted?
I would like to think it was because I had displayed a genuine interest in the discipline and had taken time in the preceding years to actively find courses, seminars and groups aimed at prosthodontics and restorative dentistry. I also feel it may have been my commitment to not only the training pathway but also to a long term plan to progress in both practice and teaching.
What active steps did you take before applying for your post-graduate?
I had spent a few years increasing my experience of restorative and prosthetic dentistry both in practice and by focusing on courses aimed at managing the failing dentition, tooth surface loss and occlusion. I also started building a portfolio of cases that I had tackled in practice and involved myself in peer review groups as well as gaining the MJDF qualification. I also took a Senior House Officer position for a year in an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department. Although not restorative, I believe that this 'trial-by-fire' provides an experience in skills and training that no other post can offer.
What part of your training did you find most rewarding?
When you look through your patient's pre-operative photos (of cases that may have taken one to two years to complete) and see the massive improvements that you have made to their oral health.
And there is always the moment when you're told "good job" by certain hard-to-please consultants!
What part of your training did you find least rewarding?
Honestly, even the toughest of days are rewarding. Maybe there are some days (mainly spent in the lab doing wax-up after wax-up!) when you start questioning your sanity for starting the course! But I am a firm believer that 'they break you, and then build you back up again.'
Where do you work now?
I split my time between our practice in Harold Wood (Naidu & Naidu, Dental Surgeons) and a day and a half teaching at the Royal London Hospital.
Can you run through your working week?
Monday to Wednesday: Clinical practice at Naidu & Naidu, Dental Surgeons (Harold Wood)
Thursday mornings: Clinical practice or practice administration.
Thursday afternoons: Supervising DF2s during their restorative treatment clinics at the Royal London Hospital
Fridays: Clinical Lecturer at 'The London' supervising undergraduate and post-graduate dental students
Saturday mornings: Clinical practice
What part of your work now do you find most and least rewarding?
Most rewarding: Being able to formulate treatment plans with patients that take a complex problem, divide it into manageable phases and provide a long term solution to their concerns.
Least rewarding: Practice admin!
What equipment could you not do without?
1. Design for Vision Loupes & light
2. 30 bore bur block with personally selected crown preparation burs
3. Canon DSLR camera, 60mm macro lens and ring flash.
Who has inspired you within dentistry?
My VT trainer (Dr Ranjna Sharma) and my adviser (Dr Graham Stokes) both set me in the right direction for my career. They had an enthusiasm for the profession that was inspiring and, more importantly, they had the patience and skill to teach their trainees and guide them towards progress.
Whom or what inspires you in general/outside of dentistry?
Music, reading and travelling.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Tanzania - beautiful combination of safaris, beaches and our family home
What makes you happy?
Good food, a guitar and single malt scotch
If you were something else in the dental field, what would you be?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
If you weren't in the dental field, what would you be?
What advice would you give young dentists going into your field?
Get a good camera kit and photograph all the stages of your treatment for your portfolio. You never know when that odd photo of a duralay coping will come in useful!
Always analyse your own work and knowledge. Make sure that you are your own worst critic!
Good luck and may your preps be parallel and your gingival margins stay stable!
Who Am I?
Qualifications: BDS (Lond), MJDF RCSEng, MClin Dent (Pros), MPros RCSEdin
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