This article was first published September 2015
Dr Rhona Eskander BChD MJDF discusses the use of social media as a career development tool and her thoughts on effective delivery of minimally invasive dentistry.
As a dentist finding my niche within the huge dental environment was really very important to me. Having invested a lot of time and money in my courses, I really harnessed my passion for cosmetic dentistry. I suppose the turning point was the fact that most patients lives had changed in some way when they acquired the smile they deserved. Jobs changed, relationships formed, social lives flourished. The confidence a smile created is paramount to the ability of these patients to go beyond their boundaries. I still remember the words of my mentor; ‘Be a master of your own trade, not a jack of all trades’ There it is. I have been flooded with information since the day I graduated. The skills and knowledge acquired were immense. Surgicals, implants, fillings, braces. How would I ever be exceptional? Embarking on further courses and recognising the powerful mantra of minimally invasive dentistry was a road that I continue to follow and I often employ alignment, bleaching and bonding.
One medium I have used to improve and enhance my dental skills is social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter I follow my colleagues and seek to continue my learning and further my knowledge. I have been lucky enough to be in an era where social media enables dental professionals to connect with one another. Indeed today’s dentist has to be more than a skilled clinician. Being successful requires marketing acumen, financial management savvy and human resources finesse. Although we are trained to treat pathology and disease we are inadequately prepared on several levels. The lack of training for soft skills leaves the modern dentist poorly prepared.
That is why Dental Circle was developed and launched in 2014 by two young and aspiring dentists Amit Patel BChD MJDF RCS (Eng) and Dev Patel BDS PGDip (no relation) and is the social media platform we have been waiting for. It provides a free in depth profile page. It recognises the prohibitions within the dental sphere when it comes to job applications. Dental Circle only allows GDC registered individuals to access their platform; taking on only professionals. No trolls are allowed. They provide a free, rich and ever expanding profile page. It allows individuals to pass on their clinical knowledge by showcasing their clinical work. Think of a dental Linked in- a social networking site designed specifically for the dental community. The goal of the site also allows registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally.
Treatments and Equipment of Choice
I have been using the platform to support and deliver several treatment modalities. My successful treatment outcomes are due to the predictability involved in providing such treatments. I am constantly reviewing and comparing my cases to my peers, importantly asking for help and looking up to those who are better than me and seeking their advice. This is invaluable in our profession. Invisalign is my orthodontic modality of choice and in my pursuit for excellence I am constantly evaluating, reviewing and improving my treatment plans. When I complete the cases the patient often needs bonding after their whitening.
I often replace composite restorations for my patients who have existing old, chipped, white fillings. My handpiece of choice is the NSK Z900L air turbine. The NSK Z900L is a wonderful instrument to carry out my beveling to ensure good margins for bonding. It is sleek, powerful and sophisticated. Its design includes a highly accessible head angle with a slim neck for greater visibility. Furthermore it has an easy grip body shape. All these factors enable precision for cutting and polishing. For those minor and intricate details it is ideal. Moreover the key to my precision is ultimate visibility which the handpiece provides. I spend a lot of time polishing and improving the integrity of my composites. The handpiece allows a high degree of sensitivity and attunement to a harmonious flow with cutting and polishing. Whether it is after an align, bleach and bond case or rectifying old composite fillings, my NSK handpiece is used. My protocol below is one which is carried out more often than not.
Procedure I use:
- Administration of local anaesthetic if needed.
- Shade matching as necessary.
- Bevel the enamel of the teeth to improve bonding and enhance an optimal aesthetic outcome. When I treat chipped areas these are smoothed with a fine grit composite finishing bur. To improve the aesthetics of my composite the margins are also beveled. The transition between the tooth and the composite is thus improved.
- Isolate the teeth as necessary.
- Etch the teeth with 35% phosphoric acid. My etch of choice is Ultra-Etch. The teeth are etched for 25 seconds.
- The teeth are then rinsed and dried before a thin layer of bond (I bond) is applied
- This is then cured for 20 seconds.
- I then use a layering technique with my composite of choice to emulate nature as accurately as possible.
- A dentine shade is usually placed first. It is incorporated half way up the bevel and extended down almost to the incisal edge. This is then cured for 30 seconds.
- The enamel shade is then placed and then also cured for 30 seconds.
- The last increment is placed as closely as possible to the final contour.
- I often polish with polishing discs ranging from soft, medium to coarse. I also use rubber cups (cosmadent). I also polish the restorations with enamelize (cosmadent).
- I then review the patient for a second polish.
Minimally Invasive Dentistry
Minimally invasive dentistry is a concept that can embrace all aspects of the profession. Historically patients with any aesthetic issues have assumed that invasive dentistry is the only option out there. As dentists, we know that there is a finite lifespan associated with such procedures. We are lucky because we have great materials and tools available to us that provide durable, long lasting and predictable results. Several social media platforms are helping us to learn from one another. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and now Dental circle are allowing us to send more messages to more people more quickly and cost effectively than ever in history. It is a great environment to encourage like-minded professionals to communicate with people and share stories.
Dr Rhona Eskander BChD MJDF
Rhona graduated from Leeds University in 2010 and completed her vocational training in a practice in Kent. During this year she won the prize for the ‘Best Case Presentation’ – a complex restorative case which involved several disciplines in dentistry. Dedicated to post graduate training Rhona has successfully passed her MJDF examinations and is a fully certified Inman Aligner and Invisalign provider and a member of the British Endodontic Society, the British Dental Association, the Faculty of the Royal College of Surgeons and the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. She also recently completed training at the Perfect Smile Academy. Rhona can be contacted via www.drrhonaeskander.co.uk