The cosmetic dentist and social media queen – an interview with Slaine McGrath

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Cosmetic dentist, Slaine McGrath, talks about her journey to practising her passion with EWD.

Tell me about yourself?

I grew up in the west of Ireland and studied dentistry in Trinity College in Dublin. I graduated 2012. I then moved to the UK to start my VT year. I lasted 10 months of my VT year but disliked the clinic I worked in and the treatments I was doing. I moved back to west coast of Ireland and worked in max. fac. for two years. I absolutely loved my job there but I was working very long hours so after a couple of years I decided enough was enough! I moved back to the UK and worked in a clinic in Harley Street. I was focusing on oral surgery procedures and learning from my colleagues, whom were very experienced in cosmetic restorative dentistry. That’s where I found out what I liked to do. I now work in a clinic in Fleet Street, concentrating predominantly on cosmetic restorative dentistry.

Whats your female empowerment mean to you?

Freedom to do what you want to do. Things have changed a lot through history but in some perspectives we aren’t there yet.

Do you feel there is inequality within dentistry currently?

The number of female graduates have been increasing significantly in dentistry. Speaking about educators, most of them world wide are men. It doesn’t reflect the number of female dentists coming through universities. There does need to be a lot more women teaching.

What may be the reasons for this inequality?

I think history has a major part to play in it. From an experience perspective, there have historically been more male dentists. But times are changing. The younger dentists are educating now also. A lot of young dentists are female and this needs to be reflected in education.

What does a female role model in dentistry mean to you?

For me success isn’t in terms of financial success, but to be known as an extremely talented dentist. A role model then to me is someone who practices that type of dentistry. For me, there are several women I look up to, such as Dr Elaine Halley. She is a very strong business woman, a phenenmonal dentist and someone I can go to for advice.

What advice would you give a newly graduated dentist?

Education is the most important part of becoming a more successful dentist. Also surrounding yourself with like minded dentists is also very important. There can be a lot of negativity and elements of jealousy. People can be very judgemental or critical, especially on social media. You do need a network of other dentists. For me, that has been through the BACD.

What helps you feel empowered?

Over the last few months, through social media, I get contacted by young dentists asking to shadow me and it shows you that people appreciate what you do. Patients being happy and changing their lives through treatment, really empowers me.

I’ve found social media a very useful tool as patients know me before they even see me. It helps in building a relationship. I like to mix my page with professional posts and personal, so patients can get an idea what I’m like outside my dentistry.

What would you like to see from this group, EWD?

I would love to see more socials – women meeting regularly talking openly about their experiences and on a social level connecting outside of work. I would also love to see a women’s conference. I know a huge number of women who would love to be involved.

Thank you, Slaine.

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