90 seconds with… Amit Patel

Dentistry speaks with Amit Patel about his passion for general dentistry, examining dog’s teeth,
and the joy (or pain?) of Crossfit.

Please introduce yourself.

Hi, I’m Amit Patel, or better known as ‘Amit the Dentist’. It’s a funny experience when I walk around my hometown of Bognor Regis and people shout, ‘that’s my dentist!’.

I must admit, I never knew how much I would love being a general dentist and very much a part of my local seaside community. Throughout studying and my early career, I dabbled in various workplaces and specialisms, but always got drawn back to general dentistry. 

In my opinion, it’s the heartbeat of dentistry.

How did you first get into dentistry? 

I did a two-week work experience with my cousin; however, what really got me excited was watching Extreme Makeover and 10 Years Younger. I found it so fascinating how much of an impact dentistry can have. 

What’s your strangest professional experience?

I had a new family of three booked in for routine check-ups. When they arrived, it turned out that the appointment wasn’t booked for a husband, wife and son… It was the husband, wife and their dog! 

I invited them all in thinking it was a guide dog. I saw the couple for a full dental exam and then told them I was done. The room went a bit silent and awkward, and the lady asked, ‘but what about our dog?’.

I didn’t really know what to do, so I told them they’re better off seeing their vet about this, but I’m happy to take a quick look. So that’s what I did! 

I’m glad to say the dog had great teeth.

Away from dentistry, what are you passionate about?

Dentistry is a very demanding profession, so it’s important for me to have fun outside of work. 

I’m far from a fitness fanatic and I’m usually last in my class, but I do love the Crossfit style of training. Oddly enough, it makes me feel free, as you can’t think of anything else other than your muscles burning. It’s a welcome distraction.

If I’m not at the gym, I’ll be in front of the camera. I’ve now fallen in love with filming and editing content to discuss oral health.

It’s made me a bit of a local celebrity!

What are your goals and dreams for the future?

Many dentists have a dream to own a practice. However, I’m not sure that’s in my plans (at least yet!).

Currently, my dream is to very much be at the forefront of the development of newly qualified dentists, hence why I recently became an educational supervisor for recently qualified foundation dentists.

Furthermore, I would love to be the ‘people’s dentist’. I try to make myself as relatable and approachable as possible to educate the public on oral health. 

I feel there is so much oral health deprivation all around us, and if I can have one small part in reducing this, it would make me very happy. 

Amit Patel’s – top three tips for dentists

  1. Reflect on every clinical case to see what you could do better next time
  2. Spend more time talking with patients. Emotional connections will complement your clinical skills
  3. Don’t compare yourself and your work with stuff you see on Instagram. You don’t see the daily struggles that it takes to get there or the stuff going wrong in the background. 

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