Possibly a surprise for the runners and cyclists this bit.
I’m a dentist. I’ve had an interest in endodontics (root fillings) since my first year after qualifying (21 yrs ago!). Most dentists and patients don’t like root fillings but I love it and it’s taken me a long time to work out why. Firstly it can be quite challenging work. Some people find this frustrating and hate it but I quite like a challenge and find it stimulating. Next it’s quite technical work, a chance for some real super-nerdy indulgence in things like variable tapers, fancy, bendy metal instruments and such like. I think this interests the engineer in me. Finally it’s one of the few areas in dentistry where we get real healing – most of the time we’re just digging out the rot and replacing it with something else but if infection is controlled by properly carried out endodontic treatment then healing will occur with impressive amounts of new bone forming. I love it!
So now I spend at least half my time doing and re-doing root fillings, using a microscope and whatever other modern devices are available. Under magnification the inside of a tooth is like the calcified caves in the Peak District with all sorts of marbley, coloured, glassy, shiny bits – each is unique and fascinating.
Specialisation is a relatively recent development in Dentistry. If the specialist lists were introduced now I could probably get ‘grandfathered’ on because of my experience and the work and postgraduate training I have done but sadly I missed that boat so can’t join the Specialist list without spending a lot of time and money getting an MRD or equivalent. For the moment then I’m not a specialist but doing specialist work.
I’ve been involved in the undergraduate teaching at the School of Dental Sciences in Newcastle and in the last few years I’ve been running various postgraduate courses with colleagues for Northern Deanery.
I’m not going to put cases on here but if you’re interested I can recommend Dr Ian Kerr’s website blog. Ian was a few years ahead of me at Dental School and I was delighted and inspired to find his blog recently. I like his attitude to minimally invasive dentistry but still creating aesthetically excellent work which flies in the face of the cosmetic dentistry on the TV where huge amounts of tooth tissue is removed to make an artificially perfect appearance.
Feel free to contact me if you want to know more. I’m in the North East of England.