Allan Matthews is clinical lead in a dental corporate in Scotland. He tells us about his day...
My alarm goes off….
Firstly, I have three alarms in the morning to ease me awake! At 7, 7:15 and 7:30am. I have a small breakfast and the most important part is my black coffee to get me going.
If it's sunny I'll take my motorbike to work, but otherwise I drive. That's my chance to get some music on and belt out a song!
I'm responsible for…
I work as clinical lead in a mixed corporate dental practice in Scotland, personally caring for 2,000-3000 patients.
There is another dentist at the practice, a therapist, three nurses and a receptionist.
We work together to provide the highest level of care we can to each patient, and as a result we have very-well educated, stable patients.
I got the job!
I took a big risk taking my position, leaving a large list to build a new one from zero, working under a renowned dentist who I respect very much.
Two years in and I've built a significant, stable list.
I've invested heavily in personal development and am currently on an Advanced Restorative Course. I see a lot of wear cases and take great interest in the rehabilitation of these patients.
Restorative dentistry is where my passion lies, and this is the path I intend to follow. Creating beautiful, functional restorations gives me great joy.
My typical day
A typical day for me is on average 25-30 patients, providing general dentistry to my local area.
I work in a high-needs area, so most new patients will need significant care and attention to stabilise. This can represent a lot of behind-the-scenes paperwork, planning, and phone calls/discussions.
My patients and colleagues know I'm determined to do things as well as I can, and this takes a lot of hard work.
Patient notes these days need to be incredibly detailed, taking far more time than in the past. A far larger proportion of the day is dedicated to admin, and I will often spend my own free time getting admin done.
There are few true breaks, and if I'm behind my patients know it was because I was doing my best for someone before them.
My biggest achievement to date
I am proud of my dedication to learning and patient care. There is so much still to achieve.
The worst part of my job…
The most challenging part of my job is keeping to time when you are determined to provide the highest level of care.
Working primarily under an NHS contract, I find spending a long time with patients will cause problems with practice profitability, especially as prevention is so poorly remunerated.
I am booked up very far in advance, and I am concerned that I can't get to patients quickly enough. I don't want their oral health to get worse just because I can't get to them soon enough.
The best part of my job...
At the end of the day, I love simply fixing teeth. I particularly love working with composite, as it's a mega versatile material which can be beautiful and strong if handled correctly.
I love changing a patient's smile and seeing their reaction when I show them the results of my efforts.
In my free time I admittedly discuss and study dentistry! I also thoroughly enjoy video games and socialising with friends/family.
I happen to have an album on Spotify with my University band too! Unfortunately I don't have as much time to play music these days, but I still love it!
My Plan B
I always thought I'd be a rockstar or an actor!
Whatever it would be, it would need to revolve around creativity and logical thinking. But at the end of the day, dentistry is my passion and hopefully, I'll never need a Plan B.
Allan Matthews, clinical lead
Tell us about your day...
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