All change! – Neil Nathwani, a Specialist Prosthodontist, shares his initial motivations for choosing dentistry

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  Posted by: Dental Design      3rd July 2019

Many dental professionals will have got into the industry via different routes and for different reasons. However, most will have one motivation in common – the desire to help people. No matter what area of dentistry you work within, how much experience you have or where in the country you work, the opportunity you have to change their patients’ lives is enormous.

Neil Nathwani, a Specialist Prosthodontist from High Wycombe, shares his initial motivations for choosing dentistry, how his career has progressed and what he finds most rewarding:

“I’ve always been interested in working within the healthcare sector as my father is a pharmacist. If I hadn’t become a Prosthodontist, I think I would have also studied medicine in order to become a maxillofacial surgeon, helping patients to restore their ears, eyes and noses. I have a personal interest in this field and feel for patients who have these conditions.

“My career progression has been fairly seamless. I carried out a full-mouth rehabilitation as an undergraduate at Guy’s Hospital in 2006. I was awarded the Newland Pedley Medal and Prize for being the best operative dentist as an undergraduate. I knew from the day I completed that case that I wanted to be a prosthodontist and so studying to become a specialist in the field was an obvious next step.

“As a Specialist Prosthodontist for seven years now, I really enjoy it and I find it very rewarding to give people smiles. I appreciate that in cases where a patient requires extensive prosthodontic work, treatment can dramatically change their lives for the better. Many patients have expressed this as a life changing procedure and that’s very satisfying.

“The challenge comes in that no two days as a specialist are the same. Establishing the best, carefully tailored treatment plan for each individual patient and then managing that patient throughout the process can be difficult.”

The primary object in modern dentistry is to deliver safe, predictable and high quality dental care that ensures long-lasting results while conserving the maximum amount of natural tooth structures. As such, all treatment has become much more about the patient, taking a holistic approach that promotes general well-being as well as oral hygiene. As Neil goes on to say, adaption among the professional team has been a key factor in their success.

“During my time in the dental sector, the profession has become much more patient-centred. My personal career transition from a general dentist to a specialist has required some adjustment for me as well. However, I believe that adaptation and change is a requirement for all dental professionals in order to make sure we are providing the best for our patients. This is especially true when we work in different practices and with different teams. I found the book ‘Who moved my cheese?’ by Spenser Johnson useful in helping with change in the workplace.”

In order to keep patients’ best interests at the heart of everything the dental team does, it’s important they receive sufficient training and support.

“My skills and experience as a Specialist make it possible for me to work by referral in prosthdontics only and Rodericks’ network of practices has provided a pool of GDPs from which to treat patients requiring advanced prosthodontics.

“I have also been a Dental Core Training (DCT) instructor for the last four years, which was made possible due to working with the group. Rodericks is very educationally focused and always likes to give postgraduate dentists training opportunities. The group spends a lot of time promoting enhancement of their dentists with their own CPD courses. Dental nurses are also helped with training and opportunities to keep up-to-date with the latest materials and techniques in the industry.

“I currently work at the Sands and Oxford Leys dental practices. I find it a pleasure to be in either practices, as staff are always friendly, hard working and upbeat. In addition, whenever I have needed to communicate with Head Office or the senior management team, I have found them to be very friendly, down to earth and hard working. They are open to discussions and meetings when necessary. I know Carlos Clark [Associate Director for Professional Development], Cathie Brady [Chief Clinical Officer] and Alpesh Khetia [Director] very well. They are always happy to help and are at the end of a phone or email.”


No matter what changes are yet to come in the dental profession, maintaining a patient-centred ethos will ensure all practices deliver high quality care. With the right tools and support, this is made all the easier.



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