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Bernard Lester opens wide on 50 glorious years as a dentist (S05 E03)

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  Posted by: The Probe      16th August 2021

With more than fifty years’ experience as a dentist, Bernard Lester recalls the highs and lows, the dramas and close calls of his work in both the NHS and private practice, in an honest and humorous memoir. His new book – Open Wide! Fifty Glorious Years as a Dentist – is available from Pegasus Publishing and covers Dr Lester’s career in its entirety, from medical school to practice owner.

In this episode, Dr Lester recounts some of stories from the book and explores how dentistry has changed over the course of half a century.
Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and more:


Dr Bernard Lester

The book compiles a plethora of anecdotes and sometimes bizarre occurrences, from dental school through to retirement. These include: his ‘first attempted filling on a real person’; winning the MacLean’s Children’s Prize for Dentistry, ‘mainly for [his] ability to treat very difficult children and get them not only to sit on the chair, but to have treatment’; marriage proposals; three-day-old urine pouring out from beneath a dental chair on a Monday morning; power outages during the miners’ strike; a patient cleaning his teeth – and his gums away – with Vim; the stark coincidence of being on holiday in Crete, just down the road from a patient in need; giving a geriatric patient a much-needed new lease on life; being elected chairman of the most prestigious medical rooms in Manchester; mixing up dentistry with gynaecology; how a new front bridge helped combat a kidnapping; and cementing a long-span bridge that has lasted for more 40 years for one patient.

Triumphs and disasters, as the good doctor remembers them. Pick up a copy from any of the following retailers:

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