Ask the dentist - interview questions - angela ly
1. Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Angela Ly, and I am a dentist focusing on cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics, the process of improving the appearance and alignment of teeth. In addition, I am passionate about facial aesthetics, and provide anti-wrinkle injections and skin treatments to patients.
I have been working at Town Hall Dental for around two and a half years, as well as my private practice in Manchester, and have been qualified since 2010.
2. What got you into dentistry/what was your path into dentistry? (as opposed to other professions in healthcare)
I never really considered any other healthcare options aside from dentistry. My Mum has always been nervous about visiting the dentist and I wanted to have a positive impact on people like my Mum. I previously worked with a friend who was a dental student and she was a strong influence on me. I saw both the good and bad sides of dentistry from these experiences and wanted to help improve the industry as a whole.
I am passionate about science, art and business and dentistry allows me to bring this all together into one career. I consider cosmetic dentistry an art in a sense, when looking at some of the amazing results that can be achieved.
3. What is the most rewarding part of working in dentistry?
I think the most rewarding thing is the ability to help increase someone’s confidence, seeing the change in someone’s personality from the start of their journey to the end. Working with someone from the initial stages when they are nervous to seeing them on their way with a brand new smile is always great for me. I’ve had emails and messages from past clients with photos from their wedding day and it’s great to see the positive impact a new smile can have on our patients.
4. What do you think has been your greatest achievement?
In 2016, I was recognised as the Best Young Dentist in the North of England, and to receive that kind of commendation from the dental industry was incredible for me. In addition, being able to run my own private practice is a considerable achievement, I feel.
5. What do you think is the most important factor in being a good dentist? What makes a good dentist?
By far, the most important factor is being able to listen and communicate with patients. Every one of your patients is unique and you have to be able to understand their concerns and what is important to them when you recommend and provide treatment.
6. What is the most exciting part of working in dentistry/what excites you for the future?
I think the most exciting part is meeting a new patient who is nervous of self-conscious, and going through the stages and patient journey together. From planning a new smile together to setting up a treatment plan and seeing the process through. You meet many different types of people in this career, and that’s always particularly exciting.
7. What do you like to do outside work? Hobbies/Interests?
I’m very into physical fitness, and that does take a lot of my time outside of work. In addition I love to spend time with friends whenever I can.
8. What advice would you give someone wanting to get started in dentistry?
For someone wanting to get started, it’s important to have a goal, and have milestones to achieve. Whether it’s looking many years down the road or just something you’d like to have done in a few months’ time, having a target can be very motivating – and that applies to any industry.
One thing I think people getting started in dentistry don’t anticipate is that amount of communication that’s required, and focusing on that will make your whole job easier. Learn to listen to your patients.
9. Who is someone that influenced you?
I find a lot of inspiration from writers and motivational speakers. I love the work of Hal Elrod, who wrote the book ‘The Miracle Morning’. In addition, I have always admired Tony Robbins and recently attended one of his seminars.
10. Where do you see the future of dentistry heading?
Patients are becoming more cosmetically aware and that is a great thing for the industry. People are looking to improve their smile with minimally invasive dentistry and technology is advancing at a rate that we can do that. Advances in bonding and whitening will be some of the most important changes in the future.