Purpose-built for excellence – Rudi Mukherjee at Evodental
Rudi Mukherjee opens up about his background in dentistry and why he’s so proud to have joined the Evodental team.
Qualifications: BDS PGCertEd (UK)
Position: Clinical director, Evodental
Dental interests: Full jaw immediate-load implant rehabilitation, novel digital workflows in full-arch implantology, biomechanics applied to clinical implantology
Interests out of dentistry: Spending time with family
Tell us a bit about your background
Rudi Mukherjee (RM): I grew up in St Albans, Hertfordshire and went to Watford Grammar School before attending King’s College London to study dentistry.
After graduating, I worked in general practice, in Dunstable and Stevenage, before buying a practice, in Surrey, with my wife in 2013.
My implant training started in 2009 under the mentorship of Hilt Tatum; a true pioneer in implantology. I undertook further training out in Los Angeles before getting involved with Evodental in 2016 on a part-time basis. I then sold my practice in 2017 so I could focus wholly on Evodental.
What or who made you choose a career in dentistry?
RM: I didn’t originally plan on studying dentistry. But the opportunity to bunk a day off school to drive with a couple of friends into central London for an open day was too good to miss! When I was there, I was really impressed by the university’s facilities, and what the course entailed. I knew this was the path I wanted to go down.
My father tried his best to steer me towards studying medicine. I’d decided there were already too many doctors in my family!
Tell us more about your practice
RM: I predominantly work from Evodental’s London clinic, which is a fantastic facility as it was set up specifically for full arch implant dentistry.
When designing and planning the clinic, Evodental had the opportunity to learn from some of the layout challenges of its Liverpool clinic – which was formerly a general practice, later adapted for full arch dental implant rehabilitation.
Our clinics are now purpose built for this type of treatment and feature on-site labs and milling facilities, spacious treatment rooms and individual patient waiting and recovery rooms for patients rather than communal areas.
The clinics have separate walkways for staff and patients, and the design has been refined even further for the new Solihull Clinic opening in April.
What are the biggest challenges of being clinical director of a private practice group?
RM: Finding clinicians with the right combination of aptitude and attitude to excel in full arch implant dentistry. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to not try and be good at everything, but to focus on one thing and do it really well.
How is the practice structured?
RM: Our sole focus on full arch dental implant rehabilitation has allowed us to become incredibly well structured. That’s why we treated 548 jaws last year, even with the 11-week lockdown.
We’re completely vertically integrated, meaning we do everything on site. Our clinical and technical teams work hand-in-hand and are able to work from any of our clinics. We have multidisciplinary team meetings once a week to ensure every surgical case and prosthetic design is agreed by the whole team.
Our structure has allowed us to take something complex and standardise it to the highest possible standard.
What lessons have you learned since you started working in the practice?
RM: No matter how much you train and practise, there is always going to be a new problem that you need to find a solution to. Having the right people around you is, of course, the best way to remedy any problems. Evodental is blessed with a fantastic team. The way we operate at Evodental has also taught me that you should only do the things that you enjoy and can do well.
Did you find it hard to recruit the right staff?
RM: This has been the biggest challenge for me. It is the reason for setting up our internship programme, to allow us to train dentists with the right mentality and aptitude to be successful at Evodental. We can teach hand skills and how to place implants but a good attitude cannot be taught.
What are the most/least enjoyable aspects of your work?
RM: The most enjoyable part of my job is the reaction that we see from patients at the end of each day when their new smile is revealed to them. It is an incredible feeling and reminds me why we do what we do.
As dentists are all too aware, the work we do can be very demanding. It can be tough not getting to spend as much time with our families as we would like.
What have been the major influences and turning points in your career?
RM: Meeting Dr Rajesh Vijay, Evodental’s founder, was a career-changing moment for me. He is a true visionary who looked much further than at what he could do with his own hands; instead considering the effect that he could have on an entire population. Selling my own practice in 2017 was also an important moment for me. It meant that I was free to fully pursue Evodental’s vision.
Are there any products that you find invaluable in your practice?
RM: A CBCT machine, an Anthogyr torque driver, quality implants from Southern Implants.
How has digital dentistry helped your productivity and the way you practise?
RM: To say that we cannot do what we do without it would not be an understatement. Our digital workflow allows us to determine tooth position and occlusal scheme. We can achieve this without any manual registration steps in the mouth. This can introduce error and require occlusal adjustment at the fit stage.
Our day-of-surgery prosthetics are 100% true to the design that was agreed at the MDT meeting between clinical and technical teams. They are manufactured bespoke after implant placement giving them superior strength and comfort.
It took several weeks of long hours working during the first lockdown in 2021 to develop the software workarounds to create this digital workflow. The results have been outstanding.
How do you stay abreast of modern techniques?
RM: We always have one eye on what others in dentistry are doing. But we find that looking outside of the industry – and considering what methods and techniques we can apply to our work – incredibly useful too.
Professionally, what are you most proud of?
RM: What has been incredibly satisfying for me is seeing how our clinicians, who had little experience of placing implants when they joined us, have developed to the point that I no longer need to be in surgery every day. Our team of clinicians can comfortably place full jaw implants with no assistance. This allows me to be an active member of the senior leadership team. I can plan how we can continue to grow Evodental and treat more patients. I still love getting my hands dirty and am in clinic at least two or three days a week.
Where do you get your motivation and drive from?
RM: I’ve always loved my work, but the patient’s reaction to their new teeth will never get old. Being able to see the results of our hard work drives all of us at Evodental. We are wholly committed to providing full arch dental implant rehabilitation at an affordable price. This allows more people in need of our treatment to have the amazing feeling of seeing their new teeth for the first time.
How do you relax in your spare time?
RM: Spare time? What is that? When I do not have my scrubs on, I love exploring Surrey with my wife and children. Or, catching up with boxsets on Netflix.
What are your plans for the future?
RM: To keep striving towards our vision, to develop more exciting solutions and projects with technology companies and universities, to help Evodental grow and to leave a lasting impression on the industry.