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Staying focused on patient care – Clare Anand

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  Posted by: The Probe      18th June 2019

Clare Anand, dentist at Rodericks Dental’s Thame House Dental Practice, shares her career so far and discusses the key changes she’s witnessed in the profession over the last couple of decades.

I always knew that I wanted to work in a profession that cared for people and to study something vocational at university, but my biggest influence was the dentist that I saw when I was growing up. She had a lovely welcoming practice attached to her house and I thought that dentistry was an interesting, fulfilling profession that still allowed you to have a life outside of work. However, I do admit, to my shame, that I didn’t realise we had to make dentures until I started at dental school!

Career of two halves

I would describe myself as having had a career of two halves. I qualified from King’s College Dental School in 1992 before taking on house jobs and senior house jobs (which would now be DF1 and DF2) in oral surgery, orthodontics and paedodontics at King’s, St. George’s and Brighton. I later worked part-time in the community dental service (now the Primary Dental Service) and as a staff grade in Restorative Dentistry in Mayday Hospital in Croydon. As much as I enjoyed working with referred patients, I thought I would gain a lot of satisfaction in having my own list of patients. So, when I moved to Devon in 2006, I brought my experience together and went into general practice.


I joined an owner-principal private practice with a small NHS contract for children in the small market town of Ivybridge. I enjoyed working there for 6 years while I studied for the Diploma in Postgraduate Dental Studies with Bristol University. We then moved to Oxford and I started working at Rodericks Dental’s Thame House Dental Practice in 2012. It is a very busy NHS practice compared with Ivybridge, but being able to provide accessible, high quality dentistry is important to me and I have worked there happily since then. In addition, right from my first contact I felt confident that the group is run in an ethical manner and all their dentists are expected to treat their patients with the highest ethical standards.

Patient care

Ultimately, providing quality care is my absolute priority. I ensure excellent patient care by keeping up-to-date with my CPD through attending courses, reading journals and doing online training. I think that being mindful of patients’ experiences in the practice is important too. As such, I collect them from the Waiting Room and always try to make them feel welcome and at ease. I know that ringing them to see how they are after an extraction or a difficult treatment is very valuable in showing patients that you go the extra mile for them and I try to do this whenever I can.

Job satisfaction

I definitely feel my job is most rewarding when a patient who has previously had caries or periodontal disease returns for a check-up with a healthy mouth. It’s lovely when you feel you have made a difference to someone and they go away delighted that they don’t need any more treatment. Every job has its challenging aspects, though, and I think one of the hardest things as a dentist is needing to squeeze in an emergency extirpation or extraction when your diary is full, while still being fair to the patient, your booked patients and your team.

A team effort

I work with a great team at Thame House. We have an excellent Practice Manager and out of our five dental nurses, three are qualified and the two who are in training are fully competent and confident with all procedures. The four dentists support each other very well, looking after each other’s patients when we can’t be available. Further still, the equipment and materials are of good quality, I am happy that I have everything I need to do my job well and if there is an equipment breakdown, it is always repaired quickly to ensure minimal disruption to patient services. It is also reassuring to have support on hand should I need it from the management and senior clinical team, and that there are plenty of opportunities to broaden my skills and develop my career through training and education available through the group.

Change for the better

Upon reflection of my career so far, the profession has changed fairly significantly. I could talk about the technical innovations like computer records, digital X-ray scanning and CAD/CAM that have come into being since 1992, but the biggest change I have seen and appreciate since qualifying is a change in the dentist-patient relationship. Patients are so much better informed now and we know the importance of presenting all possible options for treatment. Not only is there much more of a two-way discussion with patients and consideration of their views, but there is also an emphasis on them taking ownership of their oral health, rather than seeing the dentist as someone to fix the problem. I think we now have a much better evolved dentist-patient relationship in which we work in partnership with them. In turn, this improves the quality of dental care we provide and helps us to encourage enhanced oral health for patients in the long-term.


For more information please visit, please contact Ashley Lillyman at

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