Chatting with the chairman – part five: an interview with David Bloom
David Bloom talks to Diana Spencer about his career in dentistry, any regrets he has and any advice he would pass on ahead of his lecture later this month.
Dr David Bloom graduated in 1989 from Newcastle University.
A proponent of preventive dentistry, his work is characterised by the need to deliver all restorative dentistry into a healthy mouth.
His focus on comprehensive, long-lasting restorative and cosmetic dentistry has seen him carve out a career as a leader in the field of aesthetics. He is a past president and accredited member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD).
David is also module leader (management of aesthetics and digital smile design) for the City of London Dental School’s MSc in restorative and aesthetic dentistry.
David regularly lectures nationally and internationally. He will bring his expertise to bear on a webinar for Alpha Omega later this month (13 April) titled ‘Treatment options for the failing dentition’.
For more information and to sign up, visit alphaomegauk.co.uk/our-events/treatment-options-for-the-failing-dentition.
Why did you choose dentistry?
David Bloom (DB): My father was a dentist, and two of my elder brothers were already studying medicine.
I am incredibly fortunate that I found a profession that I truly love and luckily have some aptitude for!
What excites you most about the business/practice of dentistry?
DB: I know it’s a cliché, but to be able to genuinely provide life-changing treatments for patients. Whether that is via cosmetics or even functional changes.
Tell me about your culture fix… How do you unwind?
DB: Relaxing with friends and family over a good meal and a glass of wine.
I love reading but generally only when on holiday – I do tend to get through a book every other day.
There have been a number of boxsets over lockdown including The Handmaid’s Tale and Mad Men.
What advice would you offer an upcoming dental student? And why join AO?
DB: Maintain your standards at the highest level. Invest in the correct postgraduate education to include occlusion and cosmetic dentistry via the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
AO is also a great fraternity where you can mix with like-minded individuals – all of whom would make great mentors.
Also, start taking digital SLR photographs of every patient. It’s an essential tool to help with patient communication, laboratory communication and to elevate the quality of your dentistry.
Where do you see dentistry in five or 10 years?
DB: Similar to the present day but digital dentistry will only increase massively. Intraoral scanners will definitely become the norm.
What’s been your greatest challenge to date?
DB: Moving on from the practice that I ran with my father. That was a very challenging time that taught me lots about the darker side of people.
However, I do believe in karma and I am pleased to say that I am now in a very positive place.
What’s the worst/most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
DB: Asking a slightly overweight patient when the baby was due. Luckily, we made a joke of it and moved on amicably.
Who was your mentor?
DB: I have been lucky to have many mentors, including my father. But my earliest and most formative was Izedor Geffner, known to all as Geffy. He was the restorative consultant at Newcastle Dental Hospital, who was also the restorative lead for training dental students fixed prosthetics.
He had the highest standards – which all Newcastle graduates in his years will well remember! Geffy would never compromise on them, much to many students’ despair when they had to arrange impression appointment after appointment unless they could learn to ‘read’ a good impression.
He happened to qualify with my father and they were personal friends until my father died. I also have the honour of him still being my patient and still keeping me in check!
What advice would you give to someone setting up their own surgery?
DB: Invest in your team (via training), as well as the correct equipment.
BD: Only that I stopped doing oral surgery a few years into my career. I had deskilled in that area to the extent that when I started restoring implants in the mid 90s I decided not to do the actual placement. With hindsight it would be nice to complete both placement and the restorative side of implant dentistry.
Otherwise, no. I have had an amazingly fulfilling career – so far!
This has involved working with my father for 10 years and growing that practice by over 500%, and appearing on TV in Extreme Makeover UK.
I’m helping start up the BACD, being its second president, and getting BACD accredited and I’m now working at choice locations to provide the types of dentistry that I love doing.
Watch David Bloom discuss treatment options for the failing dentition online at alphaomegauk.co.uk/our-events/treatment-options-for-the-failing-dentition.