As lockdown continues, and we face another few months of life without access to our traditional gym settings, I have been inundated with questions regarding training strategies that can be implemented at home.
Hi! My name is Dr. Kev Chavda and I am an NHS dentist based in Nottingham and Derbyshire, you may also know me as ‘Kev the Dentist’ on various social media platforms.
My whole ethos with regards to dentistry is very simple:
I care about all my patients; my patients are my family and I treat them as I would my own family.
I want my patients to feel like they’ve got a dentist they can trust and know they will be looked after.
I grew up in a humble neighbourhood in the suburbs of East London and as a child I used to enjoy visiting the dentist (I was a weird child). I’m not really sure why, whether it was the feeling of getting my teeth cleaned or maybe it was just because I could leave school early to attend the appointment.
About My Journey Through Dentistry:
Dentistry is one of the most competitive degrees to study. For every offer that was given, there were 33 applicants vying for a place at the time. When applying to study dentistry, I failed to get any offers from any universities and my confidence was knocked. I also had the added pressure of achieving good grades in the summer of my A-levels, knowing I had no university to go to. Luckily I managed to still get good grades, but had nowhere to go and a whole year to reassess my goals.
Many students have incredibly exciting stories about their gap year; full of travelling stories and seeing the world but I worked. I couldn’t afford a big trip and so worked for a fine jewellery company in Central London and used the time to focus on my desire; to train to become a dentist. There were various routes to become a dentist either by completing a degree in Biology or Chemistry and then postgraduate dentistry degree, totalling 8 years of university study and subsequently hefty fees; or apply again as I had before; knowing I could be rejected again due to the competitive nature of the course and its future career and go back to square one. Or even give up the dream entirely and follow another career pathway.
I decided to re-apply for dentistry and received an unconditional offer to study at the University of Sheffield. At the time of applying the University of Sheffield was the leading dental school in the country. I was delighted and it was from then I knew I wasn’t going to squander my opportunity. Not only was I going to be a dentist; but the best dentist I could be.
What Are My Strengths – Personal And Clinical:
My communication skills have always been my strongest feature. Working in retail for four years prior to university helped me to develop my interpersonal skills. I am naturally an extrovert and happy to talk and make jokes with my patients ensuring that I make them feel comfortable and relaxed. I have a genuine interest in my patients lives, knowing that this will also help them feel more comfortable about coming to see me. Many anxious patients feel like they must be a dentist’s worst nightmare, however I see anxiety as a challenge and something I strive to quash.
My Favourite Part Of Being A Dentist:
I am privileged enough to love my job and various aspects of it too! I particularly enjoy encouraging positivity through dentistry and changing mindsets. Whether this is from patients that are anxious since they had a bad dental experience as a child or whether it's a learned behaviour (mostly from parents), I love a challenge and believe that everyone's fear has the potential to be lessened and even eradicated.
I have an interest in cosmetic dentistry, because ultimately, I want to make people smile (excuse the pun!). Teeth straightening is a particular interest of mine, using Invisalign and ClearCorrect, the two most popular clear aligner companies in the world. I am also the highest provider of ClearCorrect in the East Midlands and deliver lectures to dentists all over the country about these methods.
Smiles can become more attractive by filling gaps, becoming straighter, whiter or changing the shape and ultimately can give patients a feeling of confidence. My positive outlook is something that I try to impart on my patients and I have been working on some research into the benefits of smiling, including improved immune function, reduction in stress levels and improved chances of getting a date, finding a job. In truth, I feel that everybody deserves the right to smile, and if I am the person that can be of some help in facilitating that; that would be fantastic.
In 2020 and in response to the effects of Covid-19 I knew that the need for adaptation to current situations was crucial and I have been offering free virtual consultations, enabling patients and prospective patients to have a chat with a friendly dentist from the comfort of their own home, to talk about their smile or dental issues and discuss different options that may be available.
I have a portfolio of my work on Instagram and Facebook, as well as positive posts, testimonials and entertaining Tik Toks that may (or may not) make you laugh and give you a real feel for my passion of patient care and philosophy.
A Day In The Life Of A Dentist:
My normal day as a dentist differs day to day, but most days involves seeing routine check ups, cosmetic consultations, a few treatments (including fillings, removing teeth, root canal treatment and crown/bridge work) and normally finish the day seeing children after school. There is a lot of variety in dentistry from the different types of people you see and everyday is never the same!
If Someone Is Looking For A Dentist What Is Your Advice?
If you're looking for a dentist, it honestly depends on what are you looking for and what your expectations are. All dentists in the UK go through extensive training and even dentists that graduated overseas are regulated well so you're likely to be in safe hands. Are you looking for NHS or private? Are you looking for certain personalities in a dentist or are you indifferent? Are you looking for a particular skillset (a dentist who has done extra training in cosmetic work or orthodontic work)? The NHS choices page can give you access to dental practices in the local area as well as Google. I have some patients that contact me through Instagram, which although sounds strange, is now a very common method of communication. A lot of dentists share a portfolio of their work on their website/ social media and can give you an insight into who they are before you commit to a dentist. My last piece of advice would be to not be afraid of changing your dentist. Unfortunately like all trades, you may not like a particular hairdresser, tattoo artist or make-up artist, and it's important that patients can feel comfortable at their dental practice with their dentist.
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