Celebrating Smiles | 16 August, 2022

From The Dentist's Mouth - Dr Elizma Schoeman

Dr Elizma Schoeman recently joined the team at Lumino Garry Rae bringing over 20 years of experience to her role.

What made you decide to get into dentistry as a career?

I think dentistry found me more than me deciding on becoming a dentist.  I know I wanted a career in the medical field and applied to a variety of suitable degrees.  I was accepted into dentistry and realised it fit me like a glove.

How long have you been practising dentistry?

This is my 24th year as a GP in the private sector.

Tell us about your career background

I started as a newbie dentist in family practice. I consider it a privilege to have been in the same busy growing practice for over 22 years. I had the opportunity to be involved in extensive full mouth rehabilitation implant restorative work and aesthetic dentistry….. but I also had the chance to educate patients and reap the rewards as I saw my littlest patients grow into adults with healthy mouths. I did fillings, dentures, root canals, crown and bridge work as well as work under general anaesthetic on children, too young to cope with extensive treatment in the chair.

What is your most memorable case to date? 

My most memorable cases are usually about the very nervous phobic patient coming back to complete a treatment plan, Or the patient telling me I changed her perception about her mouth (and how she takes care of it now). And the 6yr old that insists I’m the only one qualified to deal with her first loose tooth fairy tooth.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the one-on-one interaction with people, trying to help and making them comfortable in a usually “scary” environment.  I love when I realise, I connected with a patient and they understand treatment options and can make an informed decision about treatment and complete it.

What are your special interests in dentistry?

I like the variety dentistry offers….. On a good day with good root canal results, I will easily convince myself that is where my interests lie….. just to feel equally empowered by an excited patient after placing beautiful new crowns or seeing the smile on a new denture can bring in. As a jack of all trades, my interests are usually dictated by the cases that went well at the end of any specific day!

What is the main piece of advice you give your patients?

I read this one to my teenage daughter, she laughed and said “I know: floss, floss and floss”. She is not wrong, but I’m slowly changing to “a small leak becomes a big black hole” It’s cheaper, easier, quicker and less painful to fix a small cavity than one left until it gives trouble.

Where would you find yourself outside of the practice? 

Outside exploring this beautiful new country. Tramping or Mountain biking. Although I equally enjoy just being at home playing a Netflix couch potato or baking….. oh, and eating!!