If you’re thinking of a career in dentistry you need to read this. We met model-turned-dentist Miguel Stanley, who is set on bringing about change for young dentists.
Miguel has appeared on TV, talks at some of the world’s most prestigious dentistry events AND he’s had a pretty cool career journey. You definitely won’t have read anything like this before! Prepare to be inspired.
1. What are your secrets to success?
Loyalty, honesty, ethics and boy scouts – because they are taught to leave the forest better than they found it. Dentists are the worst enemy to people’s teeth because fast dentistry is like speed dating. Why make something that won’t break? People won’t buy more otherwise. I’m not saying that’s happening in dentistry, but if you train a dentist with passion, you are never ever put on the clock. They’ll take all the time in the world to get that filling right.
At university they don’t worry about time or cost, they just worry about the quality of the treatment because that’s what you’re graded on. University and the real world are different because in the real world the only thing that matters is cost and time.
2. So the modern dentist isn’t up to scratch, what are four things you should look for in quality dentistry?
Adequate time for anaesthetic – you’d be surprised how many people’s anaesthetic kicks in when they’re on the bus on the way home. Cutting corners and speeding up things, like not adequately sterilising the equipment, means that the clinic can make a little bit more money. But your health is not a business. The industry wants to own ethics and I’m not saying don’t make money, I’m just saying make less.
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3. What do you think the situation is right now with young dentists? Are they having a hard time?
Guys like me, who travel the world doing complicated work, are the premier league of dentistry. There are only about 50 of us in the world. Just this year I’ll give 10 lectures as a keynote speaker, for example! But then you’ve got these young dentists who hit the market, find it really difficult and don’t see how I got to where I am.
Two years ago, at one of these top lectures, getting paid handsomely to speak for an hour, a student came up to me. He was literally shaking the way a fan would greet a footballer. He said: “There’s a student thing happening next door would you like to come?” I said “Sure, why not?” While I was there speaking to them I realised something: It was a lot more fun than speaking to the industry people. So that’s part of my relationship with the IDS who I now work with – I want to help the next generation of dentists.
4. Have you always known what you wanted to do?
5. How did you find your young employees?
Right now it’s my staff that hire so it’s usually by referral. I look for a willingness to work. They need to be willing to serve coffees and unclog toilets, anything that needs doing to make the clinic run smoothly. There’s no room for the Prima Donna. I always hire someone who’s ethical and responsible. I would say, jokingly, you can teach anyone dentistry, but you can’t teach people to be ethical and nice.
6. What is success for you?
I think it’s longevity over money. With Facebook and Twitter, you can’t really screw up anymore because news travels fast. A sign of how good you are is success and it’s easy to have volume in a big city but in a smaller community you have to be good at what you do. If you want a good dentist, drive an hour out of the city!
Check out Miguel’s website here.