Mentoring is sharing knowledge, skills, and life experience to guide another towards reaching their full potential; it’s a journey of shared discovery. The full potential of mentoring relationships is rarely realized, despite its importance in helping entrepreneurs build a profitable venture. Quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations.
Dr. Salil Choudhary, Managing Partner, Dental Connect, is an Aesthetic dentist practicing in Bangalore from the past 8 years. He throws light on the idea to start Dental Connect was to help the single dental practitioners to have someone to guide them while ensuring that they provide the quality and standardization in dental practice across their centers; also, they strive to bring in the best of clinical practice nearer to their patients at the best and affordable price.
Chain of dental clinics at an affordable rate
Dr. Salil explains that Dental Connect was started in 2016 with the aim to create a chain of dental clinics at an affordable rate while maintaining the quality of treatment across all the clinics. “We focus on areas that are moderately commercialized. We partner with dentists who find it difficult to run the practice alone, so we become their partners in the growth story. At dental connect we not just partner with dentists but also provide training for skill enhancement,” he says.
Need for someone to guide
Dr. Salil was inspired to start Dental connect due to multiple sources, “The early stage of my career I wanted someone to guide me to establish my practice but in our field, the number of mentors are few and even fewer who have worked on the concept of building Pan India Network. So after 8 years when I got a chance, I thought of helping the juniors who are looking out for guidance. Also, during my MBA days, I was inspired by my mentor Dr. Mudit Saxena, who guided me a lot to understand healthcare management and till today when in doubt he guides me, so when I get an opportunity I try to help others in a similar fashion,” he says. He goes on to explain that the concept of Dental Connect is to partner with other clinics with the intention of supporting the fellow dentists in their growth, “The idea is not a novel one to be frank, but yes, in India, we are not seeing it often due to multiple reasons. So we thought that if we can build this chain with like-minded partners then without creating competition with each other we all can work with a common platform and bring the standardization in dental practice,” he says.
Love to be a Consultant
Amongst the Three C's of Mentor-ship Role 1: Consultant. Role 2: Counselor. Role 3: Cheerleader, Dr. Salil picks being a consultant. “Any day I love to be a Consultant because as a consultant you get to work closely with the team and walk the journey along with them,” he says.
Launching India's First Exclusive Dental Platform
Dr. Salil informs that soon Dental Connect would be launching India's First Exclusive Dental Platform which will have clinics, academy, training, and materials all in one place. “This platform will bring dentists across the country under one common platform and uniformity in care and practice will be ensured,” he says.
New Normal is actually not a new normal
“New Normal is actually not a new normal, it was just something we all were missing in our practices, in textbooks we all have read about multiple protocols but we followed only few which suited our practice, with COVID-19 now all clinics are standardizing the protocols which on a long term is going to get embedded inside our daily routine. So all businesses should see this as starting all over from basic and get used to the condition. Business will again come back to the level it was Pre-COVID but till then we all should think about sustaining rather than growth and expansion,” explains Dr. Salil.
A healthy mouth can positively impact the well-being of the entire body
Dr. Salil throws light on the importance of oral health and hygiene, “We understand the importance of the oral-systemic connection and aim to share knowledge with our patients on how a healthy mouth can positively impact the well-being of the entire body. Our mission is to provide effectively, and state of the art dental treatment in a welcoming and relaxing environment. We pride ourselves on focusing on prevention, as it is the key to our overall health. We are passionate about dentistry and our energy and positive spirit shine through in our actions and words. The Team of Doctors at Dental Connect has vast experience and is an expert in their respective fields. We implement only research and clinical based techniques and have developed and perfected a system of care that provides long-lasting, beautiful results,” he says.
Dentistry is not saturated in India
Dr. Salil explains really well why he thinks Dentistry is not saturated in India, “Yes the competition is more, no doubt and the time a dentist takes to settle his practice is slightly longer than what a medico takes. Reasons for this are lack of dental awareness which is improving slowly and other is no uniform rates which lead to a price war among dentists and bargaining by patients. So this creates a feeling among newcomers that the market is saturated,” he says.
The downfall in business due to the pandemic
“We are seeing a downfall in business due to the pandemic and since we work in close proximity with patients so the fear is not just in patients but among dentists also. But we are taking all precautions to ensure a safe treatment in our clinics,” says Dr. Salil.
Imbalance in Dentists – population ratio in rural and urban areas is evident
According to the WHO, the ideal Dentist-population ratio is 1:7500. According to World Health Statistics - 2014, the ratio was 1:10000. In the year 2004, India had one dentist per 10000 people in urban areas and one dentist per 1.5 lakh people in the rural areas, Dr. Salil acknowledges that there is an imbalance between the demand and the supply of dental professionals, “The imbalance is evident no questions about it, the major cause for it is the investment which a dental setup requires and the viability of such investment in rural areas. At this front, even the government has disappointed us. Because when they make MBBS as a must in all PHC, they should have created infrastructure and jobs for dentists also at PHC level. Unless the government starts seeing dental as an essential health component, the awareness will not spread. Also, it’s essential that insurance cover for a dental procedure is given. So the BDS passing out of colleges in India is almost 30k per year but out of these only 25-30% remains in active practice. So we have enough dentists in the country provided all are practicing and for that, the Government should take steps,” he says.
(Edited By- Rabia Mistry)