The Mindset Expert – the two traits of a great dentist

mindset expert‘What kind of dentist do I want to be?’: This month the Mindset Expert reveals the key traits you need to a better and happier dentist.

Talking points

  • What kind of dentist do I want to be?
  • Where do I want to be?
  • What would make me happy?
  • What can I do this week to get one step closer to the dentist I want to be?

After working with hundreds of dentists, I have found that there are only two things you need to get to where you want to be. These are things you need in order to be the dentist you want to be.

The first is confidence and the second is self-belief.

Everything that you want in your professional and personal life can be unlocked if you have confidence and self-belief. The question is, how do you build these up?

Here are five ways to get you started:

1. Play to your strengths

Know your strengths and make the most of them. Most people focus on their weaknesses and feel bad that they are not good at something. Reminding yourself of your strengths gives you a feel-good factor.

Do more of what you’re good at, whether that’s endodontics or oral surgery, motivating the team or managing business development. The more you can play to your strengths, the more confidence you will have.

2. Know your limitations

Limitations are not always weaknesses, because your strength lies in knowing what your weaknesses are. For example, understanding and remaining within your clinical remit is essential for delivering safe, ethical and confident dentistry.

Knowing what you can’t do, as well as what you can, will remove any self-doubt that may otherwise cloud your judgement. This will give you greater belief in yourself and your decisions.


3. Get outside your comfort zone

Use your limitations as an opportunity for growth. Find clinical courses to expand your skills, connect with colleagues you look up to for inspiration, or seek something completely new like public speaking. This way you can communicate with patients better and win people over to your way of thinking.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone and be proactive in working on yourself. It will be tough and it might be painful. However, it’s essential to understand that this is where your growth lies.

4. Be kind to yourself

Part of being a dentist is critiquing your work, materials and techniques.

While self-appraisal is important, don’t be too hard on yourself. A complication during orthodontic treatment due to the patient’s poor oral hygiene despite proper instruction is not your fault.

Ask yourself why your patient didn’t listen. Is there something you can do better next time to improve their understanding?

There is a lesson to learn from everything. But focus on how you can grow and improve rather than dwelling on failure.

5. Surround yourself with the right people

The circle of people around you will be the most influencing factor on the success you have in your career and in life. You’ll want access to peers you admire for clinical guidance, experts for business help and friends or family members for emotional support.

They are all crucial for keeping you on the right path and providing all the reassurance you need along the way.

Action points

  • Write down three of your strengths and three limitations
  • Implement one way this week to do more with one of your strengths. Good at orthodontics? Change your marketing to attract more patients
  • Find one way to improve your confidence in an area you have identified as a limitation. Find a programme to teach you the skills you need, or a mentor to provide one-to-one guidance.

For more bespoke guidance on how you could move beyond these first five steps towards a more confident you with greater self-belief, my team and I at The Re-ignite Academy offer programmes for dentists at all stages of their journey.

Get in touch to find out more.


For more information about The Re-ignite Academy, please follow @thereigniteacademy or @mahmoodmawjee on Instagram or visit

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