Dr Fiona van Heerden joins us, splitting her time at Lumino City Dental Quay Park and Lumino Mt Eden.
What made you decide to get into dentistry as a career?
It was actually my father who suggested that I become a dentist. I went to observe a dental practice for a day and was hooked. At that time they had terrible names for the shades of white fillings- I remember the dentist asking for the colour dark yellow for a patient. I immediately decided to make up a code as soon as I was a dentist. Happily, someone else beat me to it!
How long have you been practising dentistry?
I have been practising since December 1994. My first job was as emergency cover in Hawkes Bay just after I graduated!
Tell us about your career background?
Following on from the emergency cover role I worked for two years as a dental house surgeon at Canterbury Health. Learning to care for medically compromised patients, hospital inpatients, and dental emergencies and to perform minor oral surgery such as the extraction of impacted wisdom teeth. I also earned my IV sedation qualification there. I moved into private practice in Auckland in 1997 and spent most of my working career in what is now Lumino St Heliers. I began to study orthodontics in 2017 looking to expand my skill set and completed the POS orthodontics basic series before moving on to complete the advanced series, the aligners series, and the children’s orthodontics series. I am now furthering my education with Dr Andrea Shepperson’s courses in the restoration of worn teeth.
What is your most memorable case to date?
My most memorable case is a lovely man for whom I placed 27 crowns and one implant crown more than 20 years ago! He spends 6 months in New Zealand 6 months living overseas and still comes back to see me whenever he is in New Zealand. The crowns are all still there!