I can not believe my Clinical Series with DentalReach – Making Sense of Dentistry has finally come to an end! We started in September of 2022 with “Smile Rehabilitations Part 1 and 2” to finally end in April 2023 with “Customising Occlusion & Trouble Shooting – When, Why, Where & How?” It was a HUGE commitment, to mentor 6 different topics, over a period of 6 months, and I admit, it was daunting at first, and I had no idea IF I would be able to do it, and how it would pan out. The idea was, to take the viewers through a journey of Realistic Dentistry.
Realistic Dentistry -this part was actually very important to me personally, because I have lost count of the no. of Facebook /Instagram posts I have seen, of unrealistically perfect smiles and composite restorations. Although they depict beautiful dentistry, there are often no images showing functional occlusion, and ultimately this factor is what determines if the restoration or prosthesis will stand the test of time, for esthetics without function has no value.
In my opinion, there’s nothing such as “perfect clinical dentistry“. It’s a myth – an illusion. Sometimes, it can even be carefully crafted and curated for social media likes. Not many speak about their clinical failures. Why? Is it because they don’t exist? Is it because the said clinician is really perfect? Of course not! But to honestly talk about clinical failures would mean revealing that there’s no such thing as perfect dentistry, thus toppling it from its top position of hierarchy. At the same time, it may lead to the said dentist being crucified on social media platforms, a risk naturally not many would wish to take. These posts collectively come under the banner of educative and informative not to mention, impressive clinical skills and claim to inspire other practitioners into following in their footsteps. But in reality, it may often lead to social media induced feelings of terrible inadequacy.
I did not want to jump on this bandwagon of bench marks which are often misleading, because the whole truth is never revealed to the audience, much like a magician’s magic trick. I wanted to do this my truthful way – to be honest and talk about all the challenges I faced with that particular case or patient. And how I overcame most of them by giving the most ideal treatment and compromised on the most ideal treatment for some. But in the end, I gave them all an ethically and functionally sound treatment.
Backing me up, the whole way, was the team from DentalReach, especially Dr. Rockson Samuel. Two years ago, it was he, in his trademark soft voice, who had encouraged me to “change the face of dentistry”, when I had lamented on the pitfalls of ‘ideal’ social media posts. He gave me the confidence that I didn’t have in myself. For this was completely unchartered territory, where not many men or women had gone before, to talk about clinical failures and real dentistry. To my utter disbelief, I made an impact on 1000+ dentists! And that’s truly phenomenal, for there were no paid partnerships or advertisements, only value additions.
I would like to thank Dr. Zainab Rangwala, for allowing me the freedom to design this series, the way I had envisioned and for agreeing to let me take a giant leap of faith, through this fabulous opportunity.
Thanks to Dr. Nupur Shrirao for giving me the chance, to tell MY story, for the first time, in an international publication. Not just this, she has always given me the freedom to write my articles in my own style, which inevitably involves a story, of the dentist, the patient, the lab and the practice. This story writing style is important to me because of two reasons: 1. I have heard from many clinicians that they absolutely detested Prosthodontics in their undergrad days and often carried this dislike over to their practice. This maybe because it is a difficult subject and requires a certain knack in teaching, to integrate both fixed and removable seamlessly in a student’s mind through a step-wise story, just like Prostho, which involves a lot of steps. 2. Having chosen to focus on realistic and not idealistic dentistry, there is ALWAYS a story behind why I did what I did chair side. And these stories are important in understanding the patient as a whole, and coming to a compromise between what we as the clinicians want, and what they as the patients want, albeit correcting the functional occlusion as much as possible is top priority. Thank you for letting me be the storyteller!
Special thanks to Dr. Urvashi Tanwar for being the best Host and Dost, I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. Endings are often wonderful beginnings. Here’s to new ventures, for each one of us. Cheers!