According to Dr Alif Moosajee: ‘The longer I practise dentistry, the more I realise that communication is everything.
‘Presenting the information honestly to patients and working in their best interest is the key to success and happiness as a dentist. Conversely if there are certain treatments that we are uncomfortable discussing, and as a result we shy away from, they can come back to haunt us later on.
‘I’m aware of many legal cases where patients have successfully been able to sue a dentist because they didn’t have all of the options explained. So if they have a bridge to restore a missing tooth and have teeth prepared, then they can, quite rightly, wonder why they haven’t had the option of an implant explained to them. Especially if it could have prevented teeth from being “hacked away”.
‘Please don’t misunderstand my position on bridges. I think they’re a wonderful treatment. But I often say to my patients that all treatment is good as long as it’s done for the right reasons.
‘If a patient has all of the options in front of them with the risks and benefits, timescales and costs explained fairly and objectively, then they make the right decision for them and that is how informed consent should be conducted.
‘What I would really like to present in the fourth part of the series of “Conversations on…” is how to have conversations with patients and to simplify them so that we can present things to them in a way that’s easy to understand.
‘I have presented how to have conversations on periodontal disease in my first lecture, conversations around caries in my second lecture and conversations on cosmetic dentistry and whitening in my third lecture.
‘In this fourth instalment of the series I’ll discuss not only how to communicate well with patients but also how to communicate with other team members if they are providing implant treatment.
‘It’s perfectly acceptable for us to choose to not provide implant treatment. But not acceptable for us to withhold that treatment from patients.
‘That’s why implant treatment is often referred to colleagues. But it’s important that the planning is conducted elegantly so that the patient understands what they are going to achieve and that surgeons and restorative dentists know what they need to provide in order to ensure that the patient has the optimal outcome.
‘The other person who we importantly have to communicate with is the lab technician. This ensures the crown that we place on top of the implant is as good as it can be.
‘In my lecture I’ll discuss how I communicate with colleagues and how I also communicate with technicians so that we can ensure that everybody is on the same page and the patient ends up getting what we have said we are going to provide for them.
‘I’m looking forward to sharing what I hope is a simplified approach to communicating and for having conversations around what is becoming a much more popular and important treatment that we provide.’
Dr Alif Moosajee is the Award-winning principal dentist at Oakdale Dental, a specialist dental practice in Leicester, and is also the author of the book ‘The Smiling Dentist’ a jargon-free book for patients about clinical dentistry.
Alif Qualified at Birmingham University in 2004 and has a particular interest in Implant Dentistry and Digital Dentistry and loves to merge those two interests to provide his patients a fully digital workflow.
Alif is a general practitioner and loves maintaining and treating his list and developing long lasting relationships with his patients. Committed to finding the win-win scenario for everyone, he understands that if he does the right thing by those he interacts with, then they will generally do the right thing by him.
He has a love for communication and finding ever more powerful and eloquent ways to allow his patients to better understand their mouths. It was this love that lead him to write his jargon- free book to help educate patients about dentistry.
As a principal, Alif is committed to utilising his team to deliver the best possible care, relying heavily on his therapist and nurses to help his patients get the best possible treatment and experience.
Alif loves sharing knowledge and regularly teaches CEREC and CEREC implantology at all levels. He lectures on numerous topics and also created the Leicester study club. He regularly makes appearances on BBC TV and Radio and on Channel 5 commenting on topical dental issues. After writing his book, he continues to put pen to paper writing for dental magazines ‘The Probe’ and ‘Dentistry’. He is on the editorial board for ‘Young Dentist’ magazine and has had articles published in journals including ‘Implant Dentistry Today’.
Alif was awarded Best Young Dentist UK and won the Fast Track 4 award in 2016.
Away from dentistry he loves spending time with his wife and daughter.