Guest Post with Kalpesh Prajapat: Why is Entrepreneurship Important in Dentistry?

I have the pleasure of featuring this next Guest post by Kalpesh Prajapat, describing why entrepreneurship is something dental professionals should care about...

On hearing the word ‘entrepreneur', you may immediately envision Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk mustering away at the next disruptive social media platform or electric self-driving vehicle. Alternatively, if you are a dental professional reading this, your innate response maybe that ‘all entrepreneurs in dentistry are dental practice owners right?’.

Interesting, according to Forbes, many of the salient points that they regard as being ‘skills of an entrepreneur’ largely resemble those intrinsic or acquired characteristics and traits of a competent dental professional. 

By discussing their examples and relating these to dentistry, you can see why :

1. Problem Solving

Solving problems or as we see it, patient concerns or complaints are a daily occurrence for us within dentistry. The ability to rationally think about viable options and then creating a solution to a concern is critically important to our role. 

2. Time Management

Working efficiently and managing time well is also another salient trait. This could be performing a set procedure within a time allocation or completing an extracurricular project. Whatever this maybe, working within a set time frame is crucial to maximise productively and gain results.

3. Strategic Thinking

The ability to reflect and appraise could be regarded as one of the most valuable traits of a dental professional. Reflection and self-analysis requires an individual to look transparently at their actions and experiences to determine what can be learned and improved upon. 

4. Efficiency

Whether undertaking clinical dentistry or working on a related project, working smart and efficient can save you from prolonging an otherwise simple task. Use of checklist and goal setting is critical in my opinion. 

5. Resilience

As Albert Einstein says, ’99% perspiration, 1% inspiration’ resilience and perseverance are traits that most successful individuals exhibit. Being committed to achieving your goals and having the willpower to complete these are very credible characteristics.

6. Communication

With dental professionals working with various members, communication is arguable the key factor that underpins a successful team. Communication is not just verbal, how we as clinician speak to others and the body language we convey has been shown to carry more of an influence than the words we use.

7. Networking

Whilst an entrepreneur may wish to network to expand their reach, tell others about their idea, services or product or to learn from others the same can be said about dental professionals. Meeting and talking to individuals you aspire to become and sharing ideas you have learnt or particular skills you have can be a great way to find growth opportunities for professional development.

8. Finance

Many younger dental professionals often say that discussing finances with patients but also managing their own accounts and finances a challenging feat. Mastering business and personal finances is a skill that is worth learning.

9. Confidence

Having skills and experience is one thing but conveying all viable treatment options confidently to a patient will not only reassure your patient but also reduce their anxiety! 

10. Sales

Ethical ‘selling’ and providing patients with all their options underpins consent. Giving a patient all options including NHS, private, referral and specialist is not only beneficial for patient care but respects patients’ autonomy.

How Thinking Entrepreneurially Can Benefit You

Hopefully you can now realise that not all entrepreneurs are just practice owners and by utilising entrepreneurial skills as a dental professional you can not only excel with clinical dentistry but enhance the care delivered to your patients.

For those more ambitious, these skills can help not only resolve day to day problems but answer larger public heath issues or develop innovative solution to make the dentistry of todays more predictable, patient friendly and efficient. 

Demonstrating these characteristics can also set you apart as a young dentist. Whether this be achievements you have gained that differentiate you or add additional skills and experiences which are transferrable to dentistry. 

My Most Recent Entrepreneurial Endeavour - I Want To Be A Dentist (IWTBAD)

What is IWTBAD?

I Want To Be A Dentist' is a unique educational platform for those wishing to pursue a career in dentistry. Our utmost goal is to help and support those students wishing to study dentistry at a UK university. 

We strive to become the UK’s leading educational platform for dentistry applicants & students. 

Our Philosophy 

‘We serve to help all.’

Our resource was founded to help and guide those from all backgrounds in gaining career insight and support with their application to study dentistry. 

As such, we have structured our resource to be inclusive to all and especially for those from less represented societies. 

We are the only dentistry applicant help portal to develop a unique bursary scheme aiming to provide financial support for those from lower economic backgrounds. Furthermore, we are offering a free copy of our new book to those eligible for our bursary.

Why we started IWTBAD?

We realised the scarcity in resources for dental applicants and wanted to help all students regardless of their background. As individuals from less represented backgrounds we wanted to create an inclusive resource to stimulate learning, share advice and knowledge and increase career insight into Dentistry. 

During lock down, I teamed up with dentistry offer holder ( soon to be first year dentistry student Raza Ahmed) and an international team of dentists, dental students, Oxbridge tutors and former interviewers to curate unique content for our website and our book. 

Both myself and Raza were applicants from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, as such we wished to create a universal platform with the ambition to help those from all backgrounds 'become dentists’.

How we help?

We cover every part of an applicants journey to dental school. From the very beginning with those wishing to gain insight into the career, to the application cycle with UCAS support, personal statement review service, UCAT/BMAT courses, tuition and dental school interview preparation.

We have developed educational materials such as our book 'Securing Your Place at a UK Dental School’, as well as weekly blogs, a free online modular 'dental experience course', UCAT and BMAT online courses and many more free materials all available to every applicant.

For anyone wishing to learn more about a career in dentistry check out

YouTube: I Want To Be A Dentist 

Instagram: @iwanttobeadentist

Author Bio:

Kalpesh graduated from Liverpool Dental School in 2016 with distinctions in Restorative Dentistry and Oral Health. He was awarded several prizes while an undergraduate and during his early postgraduate career; the most recent being ‘Best Young Dentist - Highly Commended’ for the Midlands Region. Kalpesh owes his career inspiration and passion for education to his mentors and teacher, to whom he is forever grateful.

Following graduation, Kalpesh secured his 1st choice foundation post at Cambridge and then followed a formal training pathway at Birmingham Dental Hospital. He currently works part-time between three private clinics; providing mainly restorative, oral surgery, sedation and minimally invasive cosmetic dental treatments. Kalpesh continues his learning from world renowned clinicians in the UK and internationally.

During Kalpesh’s university years he founded Denteeth; a unique children’s oral health app aiming to tackle Dentistry’s biggest threat- childhood dental decay. Following this he was chosen as one of the first NHS Dental Clinical Entrepreneurs.

During Kalpesh’s formal postgraduate training, Kalpesh became a self-published, best selling Amazon author with his books ‘Foundation To Dental Core Training’ and ‘Dental Associate Interviews’ becoming ‘No 1 sellers’ in the Dentistry book category. 

Kalpesh is passionate about self-growth and personal development. His motto is, ‘I’d rather suffer the pain of discipline, then suffer the pain of regret’.

Kalpesh co-founded ‘I Want To Be A Dentist’ with Raza Ahmed to develop a universal educational platform to help dentistry applicants with their journey to dental school”

Do you have any questions about getting into Dental School? Please leave them below

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