Celebrating Smiles | 23 August, 2019

From the Dentist’s Mouth – Dr Garry Rae

Want to find out about a bit more about Greymouth’s Dr Garry Rae, why he has feet in barrels when he’s not at the practice and his hard stance on fizzy drink? Read on…

This is a real review from one of your patients: “Going to Lumino oozes positivity and cheerfulness, fine music and happy people which makes going to the Dentist a positive rather than a dreaded experience like of old.”

Garry, how important is it to you, to make the dentistry experience a positive one? And, how do you try to achieve this?

Ensuring that people coming into the dental clinic have a positive experience is paramount.A negative visit will scare a person for life and ensure that the person or group of people only visit when it is often too late to save the tooth or lead to further reinforcement of pain and un-pleasantries.

We encourage a warm, empathetic and caring environment in our dental clinic. We are open, warm and calm, and we greet patients with a friendly welcome and we try and do our best to ensure that people are treated with respect and kindness. Nice colours on walls, music and space.

You’ve been practicing dentistry for over 40 years. In your own experience and in your own eyes, what are the main changes you have seen in your profession during this time

Advances in dental adhesives and composite dentistry including:

  • Digital revolution in computer generated restorations.
  • The continued development of intra oral cameras, intra oral scanning.
  • Digital x-ray systems – Cone Beam Tomography.
  • Digital Apex locators.
  • Implant and cellular tissue regeneration.

If you could give a patient ONE piece of advice on how best to look after their oral health, what would it be?

Don’t forget to brush your gums! Healthy gingival tissue is viable to maintain a healthy body.

What gives you the MOST satisfaction in your work?

Helping create a good smile on the patients face as they leave the building after having had a good dental experience.

You’ve likened drinking fizzy drink to washing your car with salt water – tell us your thoughts on what you believe are the biggest hazards to our youth’s oral health.

Biggest threat for our youth is the mega corporates push of including sugar into most foods and beverages. Read more on Garry’s views on sugar and oral health HERE. (LINK).

Alongside your regular work, you also keep yourself busy as a Lumino CAB member and NZACD member, is that right?

My daily dental practice is busy, and I usually look after the dental needs of up to 20+ patients each day, five days a week. I try to ensure that I remain up to date with materials, techniques and try to practice to the best of my ability. I use dental loupes, illumination and Lumino has ensured that my dental practice has access to all the modern dental technology available. I subscribe and belong to numerous societies including NZACD (New Zealand Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry), NZ Society of Endodontics, NZ society of Anaesthesia and Sedation in Dentistry, and try and meet up with other dental professionals on regular intervals.

And, you also moonlight as a wine maker? Where can we sample of drop of your vintage Garry?!

My wife and I have shares in a small bit of land in Waipara with another West Coaster and we manage to grow enough grapes to give to a local wine maker to produce wine for personal consumption.

Aside from when you’ve got your feet in the barrel at the vineyard, where else would we find you when not in the practice?

Out of practice hours are spent at home helping maintain our property, skiing, kayaking, mountain biking and travelling to visit fast aging parents.

What do you MOST enjoy about dentistry?

After forty years in one practice, still seeing my original dental work functioning and having patient’s kids’ kids still attending with positive comments. Also, being appreciated for the work that you have put into one practice for 40 years.

What makes you smile?

Being able to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of each day.

And lastly, very important question. How many Hawaiian shirts do you own?

I have lost count over the years at the number of colourful shirts I have brought but still have a good selection of many shirts that I drag out on occasion!