What made you decide dentistry was right for you?
I’ve always enjoyed working on little crafty projects so I really enjoyed it when I got to dental school and had real teeth to work on
How long have you been practising dentistry?
When I look at the new graduates it always seems that they aren’t old enough to be dentists but that was me 30 something years ago!
You worked in the New Zealand Defence Force for six years before working in London for four years. Tell us about some of the most interesting things you saw and what did these experiences teach you?
Working as an Army Officer was loads of fun. The Royal NZ Dental Corps is tri-service which means I got to work for the Army, Navy and Air Force. Three months in the Tokelau Islands was one of the highlights. The atolls are like nothing else in this world and the people were simply gorgeous.
London was awesome but the problem there is that 12 million people want to enjoy it with you.
You’ve completed a lot of cosmetic surgery courses. What are some of the most valuable things you learnt?
I love beautiful things so I love doing work that looks beautiful. One of the best things I have been taught is that what I see is not necessarily what my patients see. Listen first before you give people the benefit of your training and advice.
Tell us more about your specialist training in anti-wrinkle and dermal filler treatment. How does this treatment best help patients?
I love, love, love doing these treatments and I can’t get enough of all the training and watching how other people do things! I’ve been lucky enough to study with some fantastic injectors and because training is so limited in New Zealand a lot of these courses have been overseas.
I especially get pleasure seeing my clients come in who I have been seeing for years and they look younger than the first time they saw me (or at least no older!!). This type of treatment is very satisfying for both myself and my clients whether it is cosmetic or therapeutic, ensuring safety is put at the forefront of every procedure.
If you could give a patient one piece of advice on how best to look after their oral health, what would it be?
Stay best friends with your hygienist!
What do you enjoy most about dentistry?
The best (and very occasionally the worst) thing in dentistry are the people. I really appreciate people choosing to see me and I try and guess what every new patient does. Even after more than 30 years of treating a diverse range of people with incredibly interesting jobs, I hardly ever get it right!
When you’re not in the practice where would we find you?
Hopefully skiing, but if not I’ll have some little project (or ten!) under way. I can’t help myself.
Book an appointment with Dr Susan Church here.