The Whole Tooth is a light-hearted memoir, sharing tales of his life in dentistry, some facts about the industry & your teeth and some of the stories from his dentist practice. The last one, in particular, is very moving.
This easy read is both a factual guide and a love letter to dentistry. It’s also very timely with today’s damming report about the state of NHS dentistry from the Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee. Throughout the book Dr Milad’s smile and positivity shines through, but he does also shares concerns about NHS dentistry.
Recently my ten daughter announced she wanted to be an influencer. I suggested the best way to do this was to be good at something and share that knowledge with others. Milad is a great example of an influencer who has achieved success because of his years of training rather than some other spurious reason. And let’s not forget his passion and talent for music, excellent eyebrows and the fact he seems like such a likeable guy!
What of my own relationship with the dental profession? Thinking about it I seem to have gathered quite a few toothy tales over the years. As a child, I had 13 baby teeth out all at once when I was about 11. All because my adult teeth weren’t pushing my baby teeth out. Terrifying! They put me under general anaesthetic in the dentist’s chair, and the orange-striped wallpaper went all weird. The next thing I know, I wake up dribbling with a numb mouth. I could only eat soup and ice cream for a few days.
I had a brace throughout my teens. I remember the pain of an unruly wire cutting into the inside of my cheek. My tongue being desperate to run over and over the new structures that filled my mouth as I left the surgery. And the dentist’s garlic breath and moustache getting painfully close. My fixed and ‘in and out’ braces seemed to be in place for years, yet I still have wonky teeth. I hate to think what they would have been like without the braces!
In my late twenties I had a recurring dream about losing all my teeth, and had to check they were still there when I woke up. My counsellor said it was a dream about change. All I knew is that it was very unnerving.
Today I happened to have an appointment with my hygienist, which is always a pleasure. Well, leaving with clean teeth is a pleasure. Having water blasted into your mouth and having some dribble down your chin and neck…less so. It can also be a dangerous business. Once, some plaque shot out of my mouth scooted behind my goggles and into my eye. Ouch! When my hygienist was on maternity leave last year, her temporary replacement was rather gung-ho. It’s not an exaggeration to say I felt violated. Last year I went to see my dentist for a filling, and I’m afraid to say I fainted after an injection. You can read more about that here.
Still want to know more about Dr Milad’s book? Here’s the official blurb:
For Dr Milad Shadrooh, there is no better job in the world, and this is an unprecedented, compelling account of life from the other side of the dentist’s chair. As a toddler, Milad was destined to become a doctor, but when it came down to it, the prospect of being continuously on call and wading through blood and gore felt like some form of torture. He chose dentistry and twenty years on, Milad has become the UK’s most celebrated dentist, with a collection of stories that will alternately astound you and have you rolling with laughter. Drawing on both his own experiences and those of his colleagues, Milad drills down into the grisly details, touching on everything from hilarious and unexpected patient situations, the history of dentistry, how to become a dentist, how to combat patients fear, teeth myth busting and how to have the perfect teeth. So put on your safety goggles, sit back and get ready for the best trip to the dentist you’ve ever had!
Milad has also become a YouTube sensation, hitting the headlines as the “Singing Dentist”, with his educational and entertaining dental parody songs gaining over 250 million views combined.
This blog is written by Hannah Powell, book blogger, author and director of two garden centres. Her award-winning memoir, The Cactus Surgeon, compares her days in the concrete of London, leading to burnout, with her nature-rich upbringing in rural Essex. It’s a nature and health memoir full of mindful moments.