I just wanted to provide this account of my experience over the last year and a half of treatment. I am very much of the view that outstanding practice should be recognised and acknowledged.

Despite having been relatively fastidious in my teeth cleaning regime since childhood I was sadly lacking in awareness of the need for healthy gum maintenance. The combination of over-vigorous teeth cleaning (I am sometimes referred to as ‘heavy-hand’ by those in my family) and gum disease (which both my parents experienced) led to a situation where the teeth on my upper jaw were in a precarious position. Not only were they aesthetically extremely poor, they were also dangerously close to being non-functional i.e., loose and close to falling out. I was, truth be told, somewhat ashamed at having arrived at this point due to what I felt was inexcusable ignorance. I was also highly conscious of the aesthetic of the teeth and was consciously avoiding laughing or smiling (and sometimes speaking). This naturally had a knock-on effect on my confidence in my job which is very much what is currently termed as ‘people-facing’ and relies on direct interaction and communication.

I had to have almost all of the teeth on my upper jaw removed and replaced with a dental implant. From the very first consultation, through to the completion of the process and subsequent check-up I was treated as a partner in the decision-making and planning.  We discussed how to ensure that the implants would look healthy and as natural as possible, fitting well with the aesthetics of the teeth in the lower jaw (once the whitening process indicated the optimum shade). The balance of information, communication and discussion was calibrated extremely well, all within a tone of respectfulness and positivity. The outcome, as well as being technically and aesthetically flawless (in my judgement), was also psychologically and emotionally therapeutic.

The process in regard to such a major operation is so much more than a series of ‘technical’ procedures. No matter how skilled the dentist is, and the quality of his/her dentistry (in this case superb), the manner in which they relate to the client has a major impact on the emotional and psychological experience of the process. Sanjay Chopra appears to be highly aware of this and was very skilled in communicating, not just in a technically accurate manner in terms of the process, but in a positive and reassuring manner. When a person is feeling very vulnerable, as I was, this is an essential element to the ‘holistic’ approach, treating clients not just as a dental issue, but as a person who requires reassurance.

Before choosing to go to Sanjay Chopra I had explored feedback from previous clients. At the time I was somewhat puzzled by their choice of the phrase ‘having been pleased they had made the investment’ (or similar terms). It seemed rather inappropriate when speaking of a non-financial context. After having experienced the process and outcome I now understand that they were probably speaking of investing in themselves. I too am glad that I made that investment. I now laugh and smile more and feel confident in my appearance when meeting with clients and presenting training. It has likely added several years to my professional career. Given that I work with vulnerable children and their families and schools, hopefully Sanjay (in a roundabout way) has contributed to potentially positive outcomes for those very vulnerable youngsters.