Celebrating Smiles | 09 July, 2024

From The Dentist's Mouth - Dr Karan Gidda

Dr Karan Gidda recently joined Lumino Porirua with a special interest in aesthetic dentistry.  

What made you decide to get into dentistry as a career? 
I knew I wanted a career that was hands-on; initially I was thinking of studying engineering but after a few months of volunteering in a hospital I really enjoyed working in health care. I wanted to study something a bit more specialized and medicine was a bit too broad for me so I decided to pursue a career in dentistry.

How long have you been practising dentistry? 
I have been working with patients since 2021 at the University of Otago and I now have 6 months of experience working in private practice.

Tell us about your career background.
Although I have only had half a year of experience in private practice, I have had a few years of experience working with patients at the University of Otago. In addition to this, in my breaks during study I worked as a dental assistant which was a great opportunity to observe other dentists and learn new techniques for effective treatment planning which I apply today.

What is your most memorable case to date?

One particular case that stands out to me is a recent patient. This patient came to the practice expressing her dissatisfaction with her teeth, mentioning that she preferred not to smile to avoid judgment. She was looking to have her front teeth extracted and considering saving up for replacement options. After examination, we came up with a treatment plan: I recommended removing decay and restoring her teeth with filling material matching the natural shade of her teeth. Despite initially expressing how she would like her teeth pulled out, she agreed to give it a try. We successfully restored her teeth, matching the fillings perfectly to her natural tooth color. When she looked in the mirror after the procedure, she became emotional and expressed her joy at being able to smile again. Being early in my career, this case highlighted to me the impact of dental care and how dentistry can transform someone's life and confidence for the better.

What do you love most about your job? 
One thing I love about my job is being able to change peoples view on dentistry. Patients are often very anxious regarding dental treatment and visiting the dentist is seen as something to dread. I can relate to this feeling from my own experiences as a patient. For me, this was because my Dentist would not explain much in regards to my treatment. I love to see the shift in attitude towards dental care when patients are well-informed. Providing detailed explanations, supported by visuals like pictures and x-rays, often leads to a more positive experience.

What are your special interests in dentistry? 

Currently I am enjoying all aspects of dentistry but one thing in particular which interests me is aesthetic dentistry. Through aesthetic restorations and designing dental prosthodontics such as crowns, I am able to express my artistic side!

What is the main piece of advice you give your patients? 
Avoid fizzy drinks but if you have to drink them invest in a metal straw (it reduces the contact time with your teeth)!

Where would we find you outside of the practice? 
Either at a restaurant enjoying a good meal or relaxing at home by reading a book or playing a video game.