90 seconds with… Kunal Rai

Kunal Rai discusses his most rewarding experience in dentistry, his ambitions for the future and what he’s passionate about away from work.

Please introduce yourself

Hi, I’m Dr Kunal Rai, I’m principal dentist at Meliora Dental in Leeds.

I graduated from Charles University in Prague. Since then, I’ve done an MSc in implant dentistry and a postgraduate diploma in clear aligner therapy.

Why did you choose to get into dentistry?

Among Asian families, you are preconditioned to be a doctor, dentist, lawyer or an engineer. You basically need to have some kind of formal qualification.

I did my initial degree in computer science with artificial intelligence, but from day one I hated working behind a desk. It was just not for me.

Luckily, I did my A levels in science based subjects and I come from a medical family background. Hence, I’ve got a few friends and family who were or are in the medical field, and they offered me a chance to come and shadow them for a week. And that’s how my love for dentistry occurred.

But dentistry, for me, is a amalgamation of art, science and psychology.

Away from dentistry, what are you passionate about?

Out of dentistry, I’m passionate about all things related to health and wellbeing.

I’m a big advocate of meditation. I religiously wake up every day at 5am to ensure I can do half an hour of meditation for my own sanity and a positive mindset.

What has been your strangest experience in dentistry?

The effect of social media on young dentists. They tend to run before they can walk and this can have a negative impact.

It can cause mental stress and can also negative feelings such as impostor syndrome.

What has been your most rewarding experience in dentistry?

Changing patient perspectives about dentists and helping them to smile with confidence.

How do you think dentistry will change in the future?

Dentistry is forever evolving and we are definitely moving more and more towards the use of digital and AI.

With the use of technology, we are going to have more and more predictable treatment, better treatment.

It is definitely going to push us towards better dentistry. It is an exciting time!

What are your dreams/ambitions for the future?

I’m a big dreamer – I would love to have a chain of practices.

But, honestly speaking, what I would like to do is be more involved in education and mentoring. I would like to run my own composite course so I can pass on the skills and experience I have acquired over the years

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