Dr Ngahina Gillies is the lead dentist at the very busy Lumino Masterton practice. She shares her thoughts on dentistry with us for our latest From the Dentist’s Mouth blog…find out why she decided on a career in dentistry, what exciting things she has planned for the coming months and what makes her smile…
How and when did you decide dentistry was right for you?
My father is a General Practitioner in Christchurch, so I grew up in a very health orientated and academic family, it was a natural progression for me to consider a roll in healthcare.
You’ve been the Lead Dentist at Lumino Masterton Dental the past few years – tell us about your journey that led you there.
Early in my career as an associate, I was lucky enough to work with, and be mentored by the previous lead dentist, the late Dr Eric Marinovich. Following this I was also mentored for a number of years by Dr Andrew Brown. Having learnt a huge amount from both Andrew and Eric I was then in a position to take on the challenge of the lead-role in such a large practice like Masterton.
Tell us a bit more about your special interests in dentistry?
My interests within dentistry are changing and evolving as I move though my career and discover new types of treatment, but I do particularly enjoy any kind of cosmetic or implant work.
If you could give a patient ONE piece of advice on how best to look after their oral health, what would it be?
Aside from the obvious – seeing your dentist and hygienist for regular examinations and routine care. Be honest with yourself in how you are caring for your teeth (and your body!) and if you are unsure ask for advice.
I understand you often travel to of national and international courses and conferences in order to expand your skills and knowledge? Can you tell us some more about this?
Learning new skills is exciting! I find it really motivating to be able to continuously learn, improve and expand the types of treatments and services that I provide for patients. Also, if you can combine your love for work and travel you can’t lose in my opinion.
And you are off to the Kois Centre in Seattle soon? What brings you there and what do you hope to achieve?
Yes! I am very excited to be going. I first heard about the Kois Centre when attending a 2-year long Lumino graduate training programme in 2013/14 from Dr Andrea Shepperson. She inspired me then and many times since to aim towards attending – fast forward 5 years and a few major life changes and I am all signed up and ready to go.
The Kois Center is an advanced graduate didactic and clinical program for practicing dentists. The Center features a comprehensive nine-course curriculum with the latest advances in esthetics, implant and restorative dentistry. The curriculum is based upon the mission statement: “Enabling motivated dentists to achieve extraordinary levels, expanding knowledge and application skills in restorative dentistry.”
So, I hope to eventually become a Kois Centre graduate and ultimately be able to provide more in depth and comprehensive care for patients under my care.
What do you MOST enjoy about your job?
When a patient gets as excited as I do about an improvement in their smile.
Outside of dentistry, what do you do with your time?
When I’m not busy being mum to a beautiful 3-year old girl. I can usually be found helping renovate our 1920’s villa, at the gym or walking our dog. I also enjoy reading, gardening, cooking, travelling for work and to visit family. I am also expecting our second child in early August so it’s a busy life that is about to get busier! But I love it.
Finally, what makes you smile?
My family and friends.