We were privileged to catch up with Sameer Patel between consultations and discovered what he loves about Kate Middleton’s natural look and his passions for London and cricket.
WSI: Do you consider what you do to be Science or Art?
SP: I can’t choose one or the other; without a doubt, it is both! We dentists need to study the science to allow the art to shine through. Personally I am dedicated to what we call ‘face-driven dentistry’, which means that we study the whole face before we come up with a treatment plan. So while, scientifically speaking, the clinical technique and the materials used need to top-notch, for excellent results you need a creative eye to make the smile suit each individual perfectly. Without combining science with art we could never meet our patients’ expectations.
WSI: How did your career begin?
SP: I wanted to play cricket professionally but my father was keen for me to go to university first. I studied dentistry at degree level at Birmingham University and only developed a true passion for it after a few years – a bit like an arranged marriage! I then completed my postgraduate education at Oxford University at the same time as working in practice, before moving to Guy's Hospital, London. After that I flew off to Sydney, Australia, working both in practice and in a hospital environment, before returning to the UK to become a partner in a dental practice in Henley on Thames. In a nutshell, that is how it all began. As an aside, you may well wonder what happened to my cricketing dreams, having pursued a career in dentistry. I am delighted to report that as well as providing top level multidisciplinary treatment for my all-important everyday patients, I am privileged to be the current official dentist for the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), which includes Team England.
WSI: Whose celebrity smile do you most admire?
SP: I really like the Duchess of Cambridge’s smile as well as Emma Watson's. There is a significant, and growing trend at the moment for conservative, natural smiles. I think that they are often the most endearing and beautiful smiles, enhancing the overall look of the face, rather than being the focus.
WSI: What do you do on your days off?
SP: I love playing the quintessentially English game of cricket, as well as golf. And, of course, time with my family is very important. A balanced work/life schedule allows you to work more efficiently and happily. I willingly admit that my holiday dates, cricket dates and non-clinical work days go in the diary first.
WSI: What is it that you love about London?
SP: There is so much! It has some of the most incredible historical buildings in the world. I love the bustle of London and the eclectic mix of people. And this variety of inhabitants has, happily, brought to our capital city some wonderful food choices!
WSI: What is your proudest moment outside of the workplace?
SP: Away from work I have been fortunate enough to play at Lords cricket ground and captain Marylebone Cricket Club – better known throughout the cricketing world as MCC – on a recent tour of Italy.
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