Hear about Mark’s experience and focussed areas of dentistry; changes in dental care and technology over the years; his top oral hygiene tips; his move to Australia; and most recently, running the London Marathon.
Dr Mark Davies at Silas Street Dental
Where did you do your degree and how long have you been practising dentistry?
MD: University of Bristol, UK. . . . 40 years.
What brought you to Australian shores?
MD: The ocean, warm weather and my love of the outdoors.
Mark enjoying a swim in the ocean
What types of dental treatments do you focus on?
MD: All aspects of general dentistry, including some adult orthodontics (tooth straightening), implant surgery (tooth replacement), wisdom tooth extractions and endodontics (root fillings).
What extra courses and study have you done on top of your degree?
MD: Several courses in adult orthodontics, implantology, endodontics, as well as cosmetic and facial rejuvenation. As a general dentist, it’s great being able to provide my patients with the treatment they need, without necessarily having to refer them to specialists.
What do you like most about your work?
MD: Being able to get patients out of pain. Helping people modify their smile, and helping nervous patients overcome their fear of the dentist.
The entrance to the dental surgery showing our much-loved logo
What was it like visiting the dentist when you were a child?
MD: It was awful! I always needed fillings and the dentist never used to wait for the anaesthetic to work, so it was always painful and scary!
What common mistake do people make regarding their oral health care?
MD: Ignoring problems (such as food packing, sensitivity or toothache) in the hope that it might go away. Problems usually get worse and more expensive the longer they are left. Treating problems earlier while they are not as developed, helps save pain, time and money.
What is your top oral hygiene tip?
MD: Invest in an electric toothbrush and use it for two minutes twice daily, along with flossing and/or interdental picks. If you are removing plaque you are removing the cause of dental disease - it’s easy!
Which treatment do you enjoy performing the most?
MD: Placing implants, because I can replace missing teeth permanently without having to touch adjacent teeth and without the patient having to wear a partial denture, which is often conspicuous. With the right care, implants can last a lifetime and look like natural teeth.
Dr Mark Davies performing implant surgery
Are there any specific areas of dentistry you would like to learn more about?
MD: I would like learn more about the use of dermal fillers in facial rejuvenation. I already provide cosmetic injectables and anti-wrinkle treatments (which can also be used to alleviate TMJ problems, clenching and grinding) to patients who would like to refresh their look. It is another great way to help patients achieve a desired look.
What has been your biggest achievement in the last five years?
MD: In 2014, I turned sixty years old. Having run ten marathons during my twenties and thirties, I wanted to see if I still ‘had it in me.’ I took a week off work in April and ran the London Marathon for the Bristol University Alumni team. With thanks to many patients, staff, colleagues, friends and family, I was able to raise over $10,000 for cancer research.
Mark at the London Marathon Mark with his wife Michele
What has been the greatest change you have seen in dentistry over the span of your career?
MD: Embracing technological changes such as digital radiography. Moving away from silver amalgam fillings to tooth coloured filling material and paperless practices where everything is stored digitally.
What other significant technological advancements in dentistry have you seen?
MD: Well, digital radiography makes taking x-rays quicker and safer with just a fraction of the normal x-ray dose. The older way involved developing films, which would take five-to-ten minutes. My digital x-rays appears on my screen in 2 seconds and are a fraction of the radiation! Rotary endodontics has also significantly changed by helping to make root fillings easier, successful and less painful for patients.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of your work?
MD: I love walking along the beach; having a dip (at least) a day in the blue ocean; feeling the sun on my back; cooking and sharing healthy meals and good wines with family and friends; exercise which gets my heart-rate and endorphins up; travelling, exploring, hiking in new places; having fun with my girls . . .
Mark and the girls
Do you have a favourite meal?
MD: Rose champagne with oysters
A favourite meal
Finally, what is the best thing about working at Silas St Dental Surgery?
MD: Having the most up-to-date, high quality equipment and technology to work with makes my job easier and it is much more comfortable for my patients. Of course, the fantastic, supportive staff (the Practice Manager being my wife, Michele) create a wholesome and friendly atmosphere . . . not to forget the great coffee machine!
^ Mark in his surgery with his wonderfully organised assistant, Lee