Get to know your dentist beyond the clinic!
How well do you know your dentists? What are some of the burning questions you’d like to ask them?
Over the Christmas and New Year holidays we’ve peppered your favourite dentists with lots of questions, and here are some of the most memorable that really interested us here at Pure NZ Dental. Also, they sing! To hear them in action, check out the video here.
In case you don’t know them, here’s what you need to know. Dr. Justin Stewart is our Senior Dental Surgeon at the clinic, and has practiced in both New Zealand and Singapore for quite a number of years. Experienced, professional and amazingly patient, Dr. Justin ensures that every patient he encounters leaves his care with a smile.
Dr. Jo Chen-Green, gentle yet thorough, brings with her a wealth of experience from having served as a dentist in a number of countries. Can you guess what they are? (Psst, answers below) Highly effective and a kid-whisperer when it comes to dental care, you know you’re in good hands when Dr. Jo is on the job.
If you’re curious to know more about them, you can check them out here.
We’ve found out what drives them to put on a smile everyday, and what memories make them who they are today. We’ve also picked up on what they are currently working on by peeking at what they’re reading!
Are you dying to find out? Read on to know more!
Here are 10 answers from the mouths of our favourite dentists themselves:
1. What’s your most favourite thing you love being a dentist?
Dr. Justin: The pure satisfaction when patients thank me for a pleasant experience, or when the procedure went well or exceeded expectations gives me a fuzzy feeling all over.
Dr. Jo: I just love making patients smile. Creating positive experiences for patients, especially kids are the best highlights of my day and their complements are the most rewarding aspect of the job because you know you’ve been of help and it comes from the heart.
2. What’s the most complex operation you’ve done in your dental career?
Dr. Justin: Wow! The most complex procedure I’ve ever taken on is trying to do a root canal treatment on an upper right wisdom tooth with 3 root canals! It was super tough, but I got it right in the end.
Dr. Jo: I can’t pinpoint one exact case, because they are just so different in nature.
Some cases have been complex due to the clinical skill required , highly aesthetic challenges or complicating medical history or co-morbidity factors. Others are complex due to the psychological and emotional aspects involved, as patients have had poor experiences in the past. Every day brings different challenges through the door.
3. What is the most important skill you think a dentist should have, and why?
Dr. Justin: Any good dentist worth their salt should be experts at managing patients anxiety, in addition to their professional skills. If you cannot handle their anxiety, you can’t treat them. It’s as simple as that.
Dr. Jo: It takes many qualities and skills to be a great dental professional. You must be skilled clinically and empathetically proficient. Treat your staff and patients with respect, manage your time, and have excellent communication skills.
4. How has being a dentist impacted your life so far?
Dr. Justin: I get to see so many people from all walks of life, of different ages and races. It opens your eyes to people! Respecting people for who they are and understanding their culture and treating them how they would like to be treated.
Dr. Jo: Dentistry has enabled me to meet with a wide variety of interesting people, both colleagues and patients. It also has given me the opportunity to work in New Zealand and Singapore, as well as voluntarily in Cambodia and Timor Leste.
5. What do you love most about your workplace?
Dr. Justin: We have a great team, and the culture we adapt is one from NZ, where we take our time to get to know our patients and making them feel at home before we get down to business. We treat everyone as real people and respect their needs, not as a subject to “practice on” or an ATM machine.
Dr. Jo: Our company values : Quality, integrity and Relationships. I believe these are key to good dental practice and look forward to upholding these with the team in 2017 .
6. What’s a typical day like for you?
Dr. Justin: I start my day with a good big breakfast (to get me energized for the day till lunch), spend some time with my kids before they go to school. I say a prayer everyday with my wife on my way to work. I always make sure I am ready for any patients and check my schedule before hand to prepare myself. Of course when the case needs me to be more focused I will book my patients in for longer appointments so I won’t rush my treatment. Once my work is done at the clinic, I always look forward to going home to spend time with my wife and 4 lovely children.
Dr. Jo: I arrive before opening time and check my schedule to make sure we are prepared for the day. I see a variety of patients, young and old and every day can bring different patients through the door. For lunch I usually cook and bring my own, but sometimes will go to the market across the road to try some Singapore local specialities.
7. Who do you look up to as a role model?
Dr. Justin: The ex-Prime Minister of John Key. A respectable leader who puts his family first!
Dr. Jo: My mother is a role model on how to manage life and business. She taught me values of respect, integrity and also how not to “sweat the small stuff”. But I do think each person you meet throughout life, can be a role model in their own way, as each person has their own strengths and weaknesses.
8. When and how did you decide to become a dentist?
Dr. Justin: I believe it was a calling for me to be a dentist. I felt that becoming a dentist was God’s plan for me. The decision was not hard for me as all the right doors just opened up for me. I truly enjoy being a dentist and seeing my patients’ smiles made it all worthwhile.
Dr. Jo: Coming from a family of doctors I always thought I would like to work as a health professional. I was also interested in creative pursuits such as singing and art. University was a place where I realised that dentistry was a mix of art and science that would also enable me to directly improve people’s lives.
9. How was your first dental experience like?
Dr. Justin: It was at primary school and I had my baby tooth taken out for reasons unknown to me. I only know that the injection juice tasted really bitter and I walked out with a numb lip. I wasn’t scared at my first visit, but I sure was at my second one!!
Dr. Jo: In New Zealand all school children see the school dental nurse every year. So actually it’s not that memorable, it’s a normal thing to do. However I used to play hockey, and I do remember having quite a lot of dental work due to sporting accidents! I believe this helps me empathise as I know what it’s like to have more extensive dental work, having experienced it for myself.
10. What books are you reading at the moment?
Dr. Justin: Re-inventing Dentistry by Dr. Rinesh Ginatra.
Dr. Jo: As I have been asked to prepare some materials on effective leadership, I am researching different books on the subject. This is for One-2-One Charitable Trust, who works with underserved in South East Asia, and who are training local youths to become the change-makers in their own countries. I plan to reread The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and Strengths‑Based Leadership by Barry Conchie and Tom Rath.
We hope you’ve got to peer a little into the lives of our dentists. Being a dentist is both rewarding yet tough, so perseverance, empathy and intelligence are necessary traits of successful dentists just like Dr. Justin and Dr. Jo.
Do you have your own questions to ask them? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page, or just hop down to our clinic for a coffee, a chat, and perhaps your next checkup eh?