Practice principal George Papadakis explains why interaction with your patients and evolving technology makes dentistry such a fulfilling career.
What got you into dentistry?
With my mother being a dentist and my father a surgeon, it really is the apple-not-falling-far-from-the-tree story. My mother practised next to the school I attended, so I found myself spending a lot of hours in a dental environment from a young age. You could say my curiosity was piqued early on.
What do you like most about it?
I would say the interaction with people on a daily basis. Every patient that comes through your surgery door has their own story to tell. That makes each day feel different from the next. A dentist’s life is many things. Boring is not one of them.
How do you see the future of dentistry in Scotland evolving?
The past few years I have noticed a difference in how the public views our profession. People are more interested in their dental health, more knowledgeable and their expectations have shifted. I see many colleagues adapting to this new climate and aiming to offer services of the highest quality, tailored to each patient’s specific needs. I certainly feel we are moving forward in an exciting direction.
Have you had any unusual experiences in dentistry?
I guess all dentists have their own ‘pub stories’. Like I said, our profession is not boring and repetitive. I particularly relish conversing with colourful characters. The more off-kilter a patient, is the more I enjoy our interaction.
How do you unwind outside of dentistry?
Dentistry and family life leave little precious free time. My main hobby is running. I try and participate in races and I always look to improve my personal bests. I find it tak6es away all the stress of the daily grind. I also enjoy books, music and films and cooking for family and friends.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
I am quite partial to the Greek island of Skopelos. If you have seen Mamma Mia, you will know what I am talking about. The beaches and clear blue waters hold a particular sway on me.
What is your favourite film?
I enjoy most classics, but my favourite film of recent years has to be Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. It has a wonderful bittersweet story at heart, excellent characterisation and acting, as well as the best contemporary cinematography.
What is your favourite meal?
It would always have to be my grandmother’s cooking. Nothing brings back memories like a homemade beef ragu with spaghetti. My mouth is watering as I write these words!
What is your favourite book?
I am an avid reader. I am curious in nature and I love reading books and magazines on any subject. It is impossible to select one novel but I would say Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. A story that is equally funny and absurd, with memorable characters and with a most beautiful use of the English language.
What is your favourite sport?
My generation grew up playing basketball. Even though I hardly play anymore, I still enjoy watching it immensely.
What do you prefer – Twitter, Facebook or Instagram?
It would have to be Facebook. Sharing memes with friends is an excellent pastime.
What was the last picture you took with your phone?
It was of my daughter and I going running around a track together for the first time. A moment to remember in years to come.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I am open to all kinds of music but I am a big rock and metal fan. Sometimes louder is better!
Sum yourself up in one word.
Hardest question here. I know it’s a big cliché, but I would say passionate.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to say how fortunate I feel working in Glasgow, even though I graduated in Greece. I am most thankful for all the opportunities presented to me, and I would like to thank my colleagues, members of staff, both old and new, for their continuing support.