I'm a BSDHT Ambassador - 'This is me!'

Hey! How are you?

My name is Robbie Stewart and I am a Dental Therapist and BSDHT Ambassador.

I decided to write this short column for the Bites Newsletter to share with you my journey following on from university, and to try to reassure anyone who’s still in university - YOU CAN DO THIS!

I struggled a lot during my first and second year of university, which is odd - you’d think I’d struggle most in third year! But somehow everything just started to click within me and a lot of things that hadn’t made sense really started to finally become clear. My confidence levels increased from 0 to 100 really quickly! I finally got that sense of “Oh wow! Maybe I am going to be good at this…”

Until my final year I had never really believed that I was ever going to pass my final exams, and that I was going to be the worst Dental Therapist in the world! Yes, of course exams are tough in final year, but you cope and those mini breakdowns are completely normal. Never give up! If you’ve got this far there is no way you’ll let yourself fail!

After graduating I started working in a Vocational Trainee (VT) role and although I really wasn’t keen on it at first, I soon became greedy. I knew I could be making more money elsewhere but now, looking back, I realise that I was not seeing the full picture in these early days. Luckily, I stuck to what I started and after a few months I began to appreciate the VT scheme for its ability to allow me to reflect on current practices and gain extra knowledge and CPD through the workshops. I understand why people think twice about doing it but trust me you won’t realise the benefits of it until you have done it. So yes, I do recommend doing a VT year.

Alongside doing the part time VT scheme I got a job in another practice where everything was about UDAs, and I went from doing fillings in 40 minutes to 20 minutes, within a week! I was really lucky with the balance that I got between the two working environments, they both helped me become a much better practitioner. I may add that without either one I wouldn’t have had the full experience that now allows me to do my job effectively. So yes, I also recommend getting another job to fill up your working week as the VT scheme was only three days for me.

My next move? Facial aesthetics. I always knew this was somewhere I wanted to venture so why not now? My money was my own to spend as wished, I had no bills living at home with my parents, it was the perfect opportunity to invest in myself! I did a few different courses and now run my own aesthetics clinics at home and in practice. It sounds easy and stress free, but I’ve had a lot more stress from trying to do this than dentistry! Clients don’t appear as quickly as it seems, and you have to spend a lot of money to make any back, so be prepared to have reserve funds and spend a lot of time on social media marketing your business. However, it is doable and very rewarding. It is only now 12 months later that I am starting to see it take off, so let’s hope that trend continues. When it’s something you are passionate about and love doing, you make it work!

Nearly two years have passed since graduation and I am thankful for all the people and experiences that have helped to shape me into the clinician I am today. This is why I wanted to become a BSDHT Ambassador, I want to share my experience and help anyone who needs advice or motivation. There is so much more I could talk about here.

Stay safe everyone. My inbox is always open for questions and advice.  Just email me via enquiries@bsdht.org.uk (Admin Team will pass your messages on to me).



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