Louis Mackenzie, Denplan’s head dental officer, reflects on the last 25 years of his life in dentistry, and discusses how he sees the profession evolving.
What were you doing 25 years ago?
In 1997, I’d been a GDP for six years. I loved it, and still work at the same practice (now very part time) 25 years later.
1997 was still BC (Before Children!). So, with plenty of spare time the 90’s was all about sport (cricket, tennis, golf), travel and mountain climbing.
No social media, no internet, no mobile phone. Awesome!
How has dentistry changed in your field over that time?
I feel lucky to have practised in an era of constant innovation. Notably the mainstream adoption of minimally invasive dentistry, allied to composite becoming the predominant restorative material. Composites are my absolute favourite!
Alongside massive growth in the private sector, MI, adhesive, direct aesthetic restorative techniques have revolutionised clinical practice.
How has your professional life changed?
For the last 20 years, I’ve balanced working as a GDP with parallel jobs in undergraduate and postgraduate education.
The introduction of digital clinical photography provided an amazing platform for innovations in live and online training. I’ve now delivered over 1000 hands-on courses/ I’ve always found these to be the most rewarding. For the last eight years I’ve worked in various roles at Denplan, allowing me to nicely combine both aspects of my professional career.
What’s the biggest change that you’ve noticed in the last 25 years?
The opportunity for GDPs to take control of their own professional careers was only just beginning a quarter of a century ago. The private dentistry revolution continues to transform UK dentistry.
Wider treatment options for patients and the opportunity to work in a prevention/MI-focussed, target-free environment gives complete clinical freedom and the opportunity to attain that elusive life/work balance.
How do you think dentistry will evolve in the future?
Continued developments in digital, MI, direct restorative, aesthetic and private dentistry. Coupled with rapid advanced in dental education, this should make the next 25 years one of the most exciting eras in the history of the UK dental profession.
Lots to look forward to!
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