Lucky 13 – Dr Ravinder Lall

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  Posted by: The Probe      3rd April 2018



Dr Ravinder Lall is an Associate at Victoria Promenade Dental Practice in Northampton, part of Rodericks Dental, a member of the Association of Dental Groups (ADG). Dr Lall qualified from the Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Dental School in 2003 before going on to complete the MFGDP(UK) exam in 2005 and gaining a Diploma in Restorative Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2010. He was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2014. Here he shares a ‘typical day’ and details his experience working for a dental group.

I live in London and work in Northampton so I usually set my alarm for 0530 to give myself time for my commute and to go to the gym before starting in the practice. As a predominantly NHS practice my day-to-day schedule is very busy, especially as I am a joint Foundation Trainer.

A typical day for me is centred on treating patients and offering assistance to the trainee as and when required (we train one graduate each year). The time that I spend on providing advice and guidance will vary, but for assessments and to ensure progress is reviewed, we allocate ‘protected time’ of at least two hours a week.

In addition to my responsibilities as a Foundation Trainer, depending on the type of appointment, I see an average of 30 to 40 patients each day. There are some days that are dominated by certain treatment types such as root canals and others that are a mixed bag. I have an interest in restorative dentistry and also provide implants. As a whole, though, the practice’s focus is on prevention and providing a wide range of treatments. As I have been providing treatments and caring for patients for 13 years, the majority of my patients are now stable.

The rest of my clinical hours are taken up by implants and cosmetic orthodontics, which are two areas of dentistry that I’ve become very interested in over the last five years. The opportunity to become a Six Month Smiles provider was actually offered to me by Rodericks, who subsidised the course to a number of associates to meet the growing demands from patients. The majority of my implant cases are referred to me internally by local practices from within the group, thanks to the ready-made network that we have within Rodericks.

For me, one of the biggest plus points of my job is the fact that a number of the Directors have clinical experience. I’ve been with Rodericks almost from the very beginning when there were just four practices within the group, so I know first hand that Rodericks’ priority lies with providing a quality service for patients. They’re also all approachable, helpful and always willing to provide advice on career progression. Because of the focus on quality patient care, I was allowed to take some time off for my Diploma in Restorative Dentistry. This was before regulations were introduced for contracts to include time off for CPD and training separate to annual leave, so the group has always been very accommodating in that respect. Besides that, working for a group has ensured that I am well placed when it comes to training opportunities, a referral network and discounts for dental equipment such as loupes, as well as access to a number of benefits outside of work.

Above all else, however, I am able to deliver a high standard of care day in, day out, because the practice’s main priority has always been our patients’ needs. There might be certain cosmetic treatments that aren’t offered within the NHS framework, but we do the very best that we can for patients, especially when it comes to treatments and presenting all the options available. You just need to look at the protocols and systems in place, which have been designed to simplify admin duties to maximise clinical time, to see that patients come first. This wasn’t always the case in the independent practice where I completed my foundation training where the admin side was more onerous, so when I started with Rodericks I noticed the difference straightaway. That’s not to say, of course, that this is true of all independents or indeed of corporates and groups, I’ve just been lucky to find myself in a situation where my priorities align with my employers.

Ultimately, it’s just about finding a practice or company that works for you. For young dentists that require mentorship or ongoing support, for instance, it’s always worth considering group settings that are able to provide the level of nurturing needed. Likewise, for those with ambitions to become a principal it might be that working for an independent practice is a step in the right direction – though, groups shouldn’t be ruled out.

I’ve been very fortunate in my role as an associate and I’ve enjoyed the last 13 years immensely – here’s to the next 13!


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