Dentistry in a Nutshell – the new book for foundation trainees
We hear from Nicola Gore and Raabiha Maan as they release their new book Dentistry in a Nutshell.
You’ve just released your new book Dentistry in a Nutshell. How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Nicola Gore: The idea for the project started in early 2019 when I was giving tutorials to my foundation trainees.
I have been a trainer for 20 years now. I was giving the same tutorials for many years and felt that I should write all this information down. That way I could put it into a log book and keep it for my future trainees.
My teaching is unique because I teach in a step by step manner. So I started putting flow charts together on different clinical dentistry procedures. That’s when I realised this would be a great idea/ project for a clinical book.
I just needed a trustworthy partner to start this big project with. That’s when I came across Raabiha on social media.
She was really active on her page, bubbly, generous with her knowledge. And she had the energy I needed for this book to become a reality.
I messaged her and that’s how it all began.
What is its focus? Who is it designed to help?
Raabiha Maan: Its focus is to make every-day clinical dentistry stress-free and simple.
Dentistry in a Nutshell breaks down complex dental procedures into easy to follow steps. It presents the information via flowcharts, tables and photographs.
It’s not meant to replace other educational textbooks. But instead, act as a supplemental reference guide for students, foundation dentists, young dentists, or those who are returning to practice after a break.
How long did it take to write?
Nicola Gore: I’d say about two years. We had a lot of stops and starts along the way.
There was the pandemic and I also founded and set up the very first British Iranian Dental Association (BIDA UK). My father passed away and Raabiha bought her first dental practice. As well as having a baby girl.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Raabiha Maan: Summarising all the information into one A4 flowchart and choosing the right balance of detail and simplicity.
The challenge was also in selecting which techniques to include. There are numerous ways to complete every procedure in dentistry.
For example, just in endodontics alone there are multiple ways to carry out each step – from canal access to preparation and obturation. During peer review, every clinician or specialist always has differing opinions and methods.
There is no one way or right way. This makes things difficult. So we opted to pick the method most general dentists would select.
What do you hope to achieve with the book?
Nicola Gore: To make dentistry less stressful by simplifying the complexity of it.
We hope with our combined knowledge of 37 years of wet handed general dentistry we have created a guide for years to come that will help young dentists become confident and safe practitioners.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently?
Raabiha Maan: It was a challenge writing this book and even more difficult publishing it.
Firstly, we proofread the book so many times that our eyes and brains were fatigued. However, when we read it now we still notice minor typos by our graphic designer. There was actually one whole flow chart that was mistyped from the original copy, it was mortifying.
I think if we could go back in time we’d have an army of dentists to proofread the final edited copy with us.
Secondly, finding a publisher that didn’t need two years to read a manual and then print was impossible. So we self published via Amazon.
This has its benefits in efficiency, but also its issues with printing errors and quality control.
Despite all this, we’ve had so much positive feedback. People are requesting extra chapters. We need a second edition fast!
What have you learnt from this project?
Nicola Gore: It takes a team to make a dream into a reality.
I had thought about writing this book for years. But it only came to fruition when I met Raabiha who wrote all the content with me side by side.
When it came to finalising the book, we had Dr Pouya Zoh’s and Milad Divsalar’s (a final year dental student) support with proof reading, editing and content, clinical drawings, sourcing and liaising with the graphic designer, and actually publishing the book.
Also, a huge thank you to all the dentists and specialists who have been mentioned in the acknowledgements for their content contributions and fantastic clinical photographs that really made this guide amazing.
The other thing I have really learnt is the true power of social media. Had it not been for our respective Instagram pages, we would not have sold 3,000 copies of the book globally within the first three months.
We didn’t do any marketing or have a publisher. So it was all down to a loyal Instagram following and word of mouth.
We’ve heard Dentistry in a Nutshell is doing a lot of charity work. Tell us more about this.
Raabiha Maan: As the book was nearing completion we could see that it could do so much good. Not only for those individuals who buy the book, but the charities the profits go to support.
Both authors’ profits of Dentistry in a Nutshell go to numerous charities.
So far we have helped build a school in Iran by donating to Doostan charity. Provided a lifetime of water for a whole village in India via a charity called Wells on Wheels. Supported an entire classroom for a year in Pakistan through The Citizens Foundation. And funded a day camp to restore eyesight to the poor.
We’ve helped feed hundreds of vulnerable people in the UK by supporting a charity called Soul Kitchen. And we’ve helped to provide vital services and essential item backpacks for Britain’s homeless via the charity Hand on Heart.