High Street Dental

Be Adventurous

Me: “I’m about to enter our team for the OLYMPIC triathlon. I need a team name ASAP”
Adam: “OLYMPIC? Behave. 1500m swim will be a joke.”
Me: “I don’t want any negativity Jackson! We rowed the Channel, not the Thames!”
Adam: “The running and cycling doesn’t faze me, but swimming is tough man!”
Me: “So we have lessons. I can’t swim either. We go to one of the local swimming baths together and get on it.”
Adam: “F*** it, alright then! We’ll smash it!”
Me: “YES Jackson!!! You make me proud.”

That was a text conversation that I had yesterday. Very similar to the ones I had when I was recruiting for our row.

But, being adventurous doesn’t have to mean entering a triathlon or jumping out of a plane. It can just as easily mean trying out a new idea or a new method. In other words, getting out of our comfort zones.

So how can we be adventurous during our working day?

Let’s start by taking a leaf out of Seth Godin’s book and refer to our work as art. That is what we do after all, isn’t it? We create art and we should be proud of that.

We should also address ALL of our members by their first names instead of their titles. Irrespective of age. Titles are barriers and they should be broken. Our first goal is to connect with our members. You won’t connect with me if you call me Mr Sandhu. I’m Jas, plain and simple. But not necessarily in that order!

But beyond connection, we should aim to engage our members. Every single one. The best way to do that is by telling stories. About ourselves. And I’m not talking about dentistry, I’m talking about our personal lives. Who we really are. What we did at the weekend, what we’re going to do. What drives us, what makes us mad!

And here’s where we can be the most adventurous. Be ourselves. Don’t hide behind a mask – literal or metaphorical. Don’t be the person that we think we should be. Just be ourselves. I’d wager that most of us aren’t entirely comfortable with who we are all of the time. And that there are times when we’ve modeled ourselves on someone else. I know I have. There’s nothing more courageous than allowing people to get to know us. Faults and all.

I got an email last week and, with Andrea’s permission, I’ve copied it below:

Hi Boss,

Thank you for yesterday’s meeting.

Believe it or not that is the first time in my adult life I have stood up in front of people and presented something and felt in control and I hadn’t had a drink. I avoid anything like that at all cost. It makes me panic and I can’t cope with it. However, yesterday I wanted to do it, I could have easily left it to my intoxicated partner but I wanted to try and that has never happened before. I actually found it ok. So thank you x

Have a great weekend and see you soon.


A fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias. It’s a big deal. So well done Andrea and thank you.

Finally, one of the hardest things to say is “I don’t know.” As the practice leader, I have a vision which I’ve shared with you. Goals, SMART and ‘Fuzzy’ which I’ve shared with you. But I don’t know all the answers. I don’t know. That’s why I rely on you all to help find the answers.

It doesn’t matter if we make mistakes. In fact, we should, otherwise we’re not improving. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes, learn quickly and then adapt. In the words of Michael Masterson “Fail fast and fail forwards.”

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller


Seasonal eating: spring foods

Spring is finally here. Days are getting longer, the air – warmer and the sun – brighter. Your body craves crispy cool salads, light soups, plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to rejuvenate every cell.
Although nutritional values and foods vary from area to area, it is clear that seasonal eating is the best way to obtain more nutrients. For example, vitamin C content of spinach is three times higher in summer comparing to that in winter.
It is very easy to forget about seasonal eating these days, but spring is a wonderful time to start fresh and make new rules when it comes to grocery shopping and meal planning.
Shop locally or order organic food boxes to enjoy best seasonal crops.
Start your day with a raw vegetable juice.
Change your winter breakfast for something more refreshing and cleansing like a fruit salad or a smoothie. If porridge is your must-have, add chopped fruit or berries.
Have a lovely salmon salad or fish and steamed vegetables for lunch and make ratatouille for a comforting dinner – it’s so simple, healthy and will get your taste buds going.
Snack on fruits and raw nuts to top up your vitamin and mineral levels.
Remember to go with the rainbow of colours – nature has got every possible hue ready to be picked and enjoyed.
April foods
Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, jersey royal new potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, rocket, sorrel, spinach, spring onions, watercress, rosemary, wild garlic
Fruits: bananas, kiwi
Meat & poultry: wood pigeon
Fish & seafood: cockles, cod, crab, halibut, john dory, salmon, sea trout, sea bass
May foods
Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, aubergine, broccoli, carrots, courgettes, fennel, jersey royal new potatoes, mange tout, peas, radishes, rocket, runner beans, sorrel, spinach, spring onion, watercress
Fruits: cherries, elderflowers, kiwi, strawberries, gooseberries
Meat & poultry: wood pigeon, lamb, duck
Fish & seafood: cod, crab, Dover sole, haddock, halibut, herring, john dory, lemon sole, mackerel, plaice, salmon, sardines, sea trout, sea bass.
Natalia Ashton is a Horley-based nutritional therapist specialising in weight loss, women’s health, skin problems, vegetarian and vegan diets, digestive complains and sports nutrition.
For more information and details visit www.optimumnutrition4u.com

Nutritional Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Healthy teeth and good nutrition go hand in hand. Here are a few tips for a beautiful smile.
Have natural yoghurt daily to support friendly bacteria that may cause bad breath, and add calcium to your diet for strong enamel. Choose natural organic yoghurt, ideally made with goats milk.
Magnesium is another mineral essential for healthy teeth – find it in raw almonds, walnuts, cashews, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, rye bread, buckwheat and seafood.
Eat food high in essential fats such as wild salmon, trout, raw nuts, seeds, avocados and EV olive oil to reduce risk of caries and gum disease.
Avoid sugar, sugary drinks and foods made with white rice, semolina and flour – they feed bacteria in the mouth and affect protective barrier around your teeth. If you fancy a treat, choose dark chocolate or fresh fruit, have it after a meal, not on its own.
Do not snack constantly. Frequent eating alters pH levels making it more acidic enamel damage. Eating every 3.5-4 hours will allow saliva to neutralise the acid naturally. This rule also applies to drinks unless, it’s water or green tea – the latter contains polyphenols that may not only control bacterial build-up, but also reduce risk of oral cancer.
Chew food properly. It’s good for strengthening tooth enamel and gums.
Strong gums also require vitamin C found in citrus fruits, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbages, papaya and strawberries, so enjoy some daily.

Natalia Ashton is a Surrey-based nutritional therapist specialising in weight loss, women’s health, skin problems, vegetarian and vegan diets, digestive complains and sports nutrition.
She believes in the healing power of natural wholesome foods and proper nutrition. She applies the science of functional medicine to help her clients improve, restore and maintain their feeling of better health.
Her aim has always been to educate and inspire her clients to make positive and realistic changes to their diet and life style and help them achieve their goals.
Natalia is also available for group sessions and talks on various subjects including weight loss and healthy eating, nutritional basics, supporting your health through the right diet and more.
For more information and details visit www.optimumnutrition4u.com

Good is Not Enough

In my lifetime, I’ve seen people applaud at the introduction of colour tv, mobile phones and wireless everything. Not only that, but the applause was even greater if these things actually worked. It was usual to expect problems, glitches. After all, this was the latest technology, we had to expect the occasional hiccup. Anyone who owned an early mobile phone knows this.

But, things have advanced so much that we’re used to seeing new technology all the time and we expect it to work. First time.

Perfection, these days, isn’t a lofty goal. We all, as consumers, have an expectation of perfection from the services or products that we buy. Even bus stops have displays telling us when we can expect the next bus.

So when we talk about perfection, we shouldn’t equate it to practicing pain-free dentistry, or seeing our members on time. That’s the very least that they expect. We should be aiming higher. Much higher!!

During the Second World War, the Japanese created a new philosophy. They named it Kaizen. The word Kaizen means “continuous improvement” and comes from the Japanese words “kai” which means “change” and “zen” which means “good”.

Kaizen involves setting standards and then continually improving them. Today major Japanese companies like Canon and Toyota employ the practice of Kaizen. All of their employees – from upper management to the cleaning crew are encouraged to come up with small improvement suggestions on a regular basis. This is not a once a month or once a year activity. It’s continuous.

In most cases these aren’t ideas for major changes. Kaizen is based on making little changes on a regular basis: always improving productivity, safety and effectiveness while reducing waste, as examples.

Western philosophy can be summarised as, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Kaizen philosophy is to “do it better, make it better, improve it even if it isn’t broken, because if we don’t, we can’t compete with those who do.”

In other words, “Good is not enough.”


My Dreams Do Come True…


After attending a handful of interviews I finally got the answer I had been waiting for. A big fat YES in 2006. Excellent! I was going to train for my dream job, to be a dental nurse.
I  know  it is not exactly the ‘normal dream job’ for most, like a doctor, lawyer or actress, but it was my dream and I was going to do it well.
I took my exams at guys hospital in London, which was the most nerve wreaking experience I have ever had to go through and I qualified in 2008.
I received my results on a warm spring day, it was deafening for my parents as I screamed with delight for what seemed like an hour, jumping  up and down and cracking open the bubbly.
A year later I was asked to join the National Examination Board for dental nurses where I attended West and East Sussex hospitals to help teach fellow nursing students to prepare for their exams. This involved mock oral and practical exams. It was very rewarding to help nurses who were nervous, just like myself .
In 2011 I started work here, at the High Street Dental Practice, which I must add was one of the best decisions I have ever made. What a brilliant practice. Every patient is cared for with the highest degree of customer care. I am so proud  and very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful team.
Along with another big fat “YES” for 2011. I was asked to marry the man of my dreams on a beautiful spring evening in a field of daffodils. Exactly a year later we said ” I do” and I became Mrs Carter, our spring wedding of 2012.
What a few amazing years I have had. My dream job, husband and wedding. Then on Christmas eve, YES!  The biggest dream came true, I am going to be a mummy .

Nikoletta Kafantari Why I love what I do

One of the things I love about my job as a dentist is that I usually get to know my patients very well and many times meet their families, talk about their jobs and their lifestyle. On the other hand, what usually happens is that our patients know very little about us… I therefore thought about answering to the two most common questions I receive from my patients.
The first one is ‘Where are you from?’ (As my accent is still strong), and as soon as I admit being Greek, here comes the second ‘…and what are you doing in the UK? Why did you leave the sun to come to rainy England?’ … Well, the reason I came to England was to attend a postgraduate course in the field of Endodontics (Root Canal Treatment), as I was accepted in the most famous dental postgraduate Institute in Europe. After I finished my first degree in Greece, I applied for the Endodontics course at the Eastman Dental Institute, UCL, and I must admit it was the best experience of my life so far. Three years later I am still here, for good, due a combination of personal life choices and great work opportunities in the UK.
The third question has to do with my job; the utterly feared Root Canal Treatment! Most patients consider it as the most painful of the treatments and therefore cannot understand my choice of specialisation. My answer to that is simple, the root canal treatment procedure can be totally painless and is very challenging for me as a clinician (I’m always up for a challenge). But most of all, I see patients with severe pain and many times swelling and manage to get them pain-free and save their tooth. The appreciation and the comments that I receive, such as ‘it was totally painless’, or ‘thank you for saving my tooth’, always puts a smile on my face and makes the lengthy and challenging process of the root filling totally worth it.
For any more questions, I’m always at your disposal! 😉

Share your story

“You need to see the hygienist” said my dentist to me as she finished my check-up. Those words used to fill me with dread. My experiences of seeing hygienists prior to joining the High Street Dental Practice had been both painful and unpleasant.
Not anymore! “Gentle Jules” as she is known, treats you with such care and skill. I can honestly say that I have never suffered a moment’s discomfort (let alone pain) whilst having my teeth cleaned by Jules.
She is quite probably the best hygienist in the world!

Jo R

I have never known a place (at least one where dentists hang out) quite like the High Street Dental Practice.
I’ve had check-ups, fillings, crowns, root canals, everything but teeth taken out. Every time I have been blown away by the quality of the experience. From Iva’s greeting to Julie’s gentle coaxing (to floss more), Debbie’s care for my teeth and Nikki and Amy’s brilliant teamwork doing my root canal, I have always had a positive experience.
This place is a model for dentists and probably many other businesses in the art of caring for customers. #cooldentist
Glynn R

Staff are very polite and good at their jobs.

Tom & Rose A

“Look at my teeth”, said David.
“Have you had them capped? I replied.
“No, I have just had my old fillings replaced.”
“But you can’t see the join!”
This was my introduction to the Practice and I figured that anybody who could do such artistic work must be worth checking out. So, I duly presented myself when my next check-up was due and met the wonderful Kate, the most glamorous dentist I have ever seen! She has done sterling work for me ever since with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of professionalism.
Helen B

Root canal, at my age? It was so unreal, I know I wanted it to be, I was dreading it. The surgeon, nice, smiley, Greek. My tooth, tender, odd, narrow… I have never liked needles, I was about to get a crash course, I was so scared, but the nurses were kind and gentle. My tooth now a medical oddity, a tooth in a tooth. My mum in a chair in the corner, x-rays of my tooth on a screen above my head, pretty, out of this world. Four appointments later, I’m free, friendly with the surgeon, happy.

Charlotte S

When I first stepped into the Dental Practice I had a huge fear of dentists, doctors and the like. I had a large overbite and over the course of around 4 years I endured several retainers and every child’s worst enemy, braces. On the ceiling above the patients chair was an amusing poster, ‘Have a day’; 100 different faces, all with silly suggestions, like ‘Have a Viking day’. Every time I lay there, I discovered a new face which made me feel more relaxed. I found my own ‘Have a day’ poster and it proudly hangs on my wall today.
Jennifer B

Once I had to have a tooth pulled. I knew that this was just a minor procedure, but when I entered the High Street Dental Practice, I was still nervous.
First the numbing gel, dabbed around the tooth. Secondly a voice: “…just a little pinch…”
Then the injection: I didn’t feel anything. (The numbing gel was working)
Finally the foreboding moment: I felt rummaging in my mouth, then it stopped; I was sure that my tooth was still in my mouth, however the dentist holding the tooth proved the contrary: my tooth was out, I hadn’t felt a thing!

“I’ve been with the High Street Dental Practice since I was little and my own memorable experience comes from when I was 11 years old. I needed to have a milk tooth removed, so I was booked in with Jas Sandhu, who had been my dentist for many years. I was so nervous that it would hurt, but it seems I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Jas was brilliant throughout, the injection was painless and I didn’t even feel my tooth being taken out. Thank you to Jas and the High Street Dental Practice for years of wonderful service.”
Natalie K

The day started badly with a chunk of tooth falling off. Jas, even though going on holiday, kindly agreed to see me in the morning for emergency repairs. He diagnosed the necessity for root canal treatment and the fitting of a crown. Nikoletta undertook the root canal treatment and was very thorough, taking no less than 3 x-rays. Saw Jas to have a mould made for the crown, which was perfect when fitted.
Everyone that treated me was charming and professional. Jas even promised to have a horse trough fitted for my next visit after I missed the spitting bowl.

Peter T

You often hear of young children being a little scared of the dentist. However something you don’t hear often is my case. A 15 year old being utterly terrified of the dentist, and that’s what I am, a terrified teen. Or should I say, used to be.

They say 3 is the magic number, and that’s how many appointments it took me to become completely comfortable. Little by little the staff helped my confidence, talking me through the treatment, showing me all the equipment. I’ve now had a filling, and it’s all thanks to the High Street Dental Practice!
Emily T

My smile audit

I don’t want to be known as a wimp because all of my friends are not worried but I am.
When we got in the car to leave for the dentist my tummy was full with butterflies and my legs were shaking like a leaf, I was trying to hide my emotions.
We arrived at the dentist and my worked up sister had to go first and it turned out fine what a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then it was my turn, I got up and went to sit down on the big blue chair, my feet as stiff as a brick and as straight as a stick, not even to mention the big bright like shining in my eyes and my mouth.
I was squeezing my mums hand so so hard, and then they shoved a hoover in to my mouth, I was too scared to move my tongue because I thought the hoover would stick to my tongue, then she goes and puts another thing in my mouth a MIRROR I thought she was here to check my teeth not check her make up.
Then I over heard her say to the assistant on the something tooth has ruptured, now that is enough secret code chit chat.
She starts looking at my back of my front teeth and she brings out a sharp pointy thing and starts scrapping of my left over cereal that I was saving for later on.
My top right tooth hangs out like vampires tooth but she said the orthodontist will be able to sort that out with braces, well we hope!!!
The assistant doesn’t talk much I wonder if she is as worried as me?
I would recommend you to all my friends and family thank you for making my trip to the dentist happy and fun.
By Bonnie R

Three years ago I had crooked teeth. At a regular check-up, Jas recommended I spoke to Alex, the orthodontic hospital consultant. Alex checked my bite and explained that many of the problems were being caused by my jaws being misaligned. Basically, the problem wasn’t just my teeth, it was also skeletal and the only real remedy was jaw surgery.

It’s now a week since my double jaw surgery and I’m still a little swollen, but I have no regrets! Give it a few months and I will show off my nice new smile thanks to The High Street Dental Practice!

Amanda R

The other day I went into the High Street Dental Practice, and wondered what was up? The receptionist appeared to be bedecked in flowers, and there was party grub in the waiting area. I had my teeth cleaned by lovely Jools to the tune of ‘Paperback Writer’…Little did I know that I had stumbled in, on that freezing sub-zero day ,into..Beatle Mania.. At the High Street Dental Practice…! But why would I be surprised? Yet another event in the true spirit of the creativity and innovation I have come to expect from the High Street Dental Practice, which has made Going to the Dentist a pleasant, fun and sociable experience. Almost an oxymoron, as far as I am concerned! A happening place, where black was the new white, where Jas would make time to joke with my monosyllabic teenage son, and treat patients like Real People and where I have been deeply enlightened by the ever spreading carpet of information on Joel’s ceiling…how does she get up there, by the way?..

Mary M

The big red door, what can I say.
When you turn the handle, you shout hooray.
You can hear a buzzing upstairs, and you walk up to a semi-circle of chairs
You are greeted with a vivid red smile
And you know it will last you a while.
Iva is sitting behind the desk, try not to disturb, and don’t want to be a pest.
People are asking about your health, but one of your teeth plopped out on the shelf
You can tell the staff about what happened, they are all sympathetic and their eyes start to dampen.
You sit in the waiting room feasting your eyes on luscious paintings,
Unlike at the dentist, they feel like fainting.
All my friends are jealous of me, because The High Street Dental Practice is where I go, even if the ground’s thick with snow. I will find a way and then again, I’ll shout HOORRAAYY.
Thank you for being such a friendly and kind dentist, it makes such a difference if you have a dentist you can’t wait to go to.
Mathilda H

Oh no Dentist again,
Will it be pleasure, will it be pain,
My filling is cracked, what will it be,
Will the Dentist be gentle with me?

I sit in the chair with much trepidation,
Stay calm, sit tight, even try meditation,
The Dentist asks, are we ready to start?
My pulse races, can they hear my heart?

Some new gel for gums, to help with numbing,
tense up, grab tight I know what’s coming,
No pain from the procedure, it’s easy to measure,
My trip this time was an absolute pleasure!

Tony B

Traceys story

Hi my name is Tracey. I have worked at the practice for almost 10 years.
I am lucky enough to have Jas as my dentist and was therefore screened for mouth cancer at my recent smile audit. Most of my family live in Wales, I am very proud to be Welsh!!
My Dad was not that fortunate, and this year we lost him to mouth and throat cancer. I am not blaming anyone for not detecting his cancer, he wore dentures and didn’t have any teeth. I just want people to know how important it is to have these checks done. Early detection means cure!! We could still have my Dad.
At the High Street, we have fantastic dentists who are ready and waiting to do these checks for you, look at our web site, and please join us on 5th of December.

John Lennon’s Tooth Tour to Promote Oral Cancer Awareness

National Mouth Cancer Month a one day celebration of ‘The Beatles Mania Week Celebrating 50 Years’, on the 5th December 2012 The High Street Dental Practice has on loan’ part of John Lennon’s Tooth!
John Lennon’s tooth recently fetched £19,000 at auction. It was bought by Michael Zuk, author and dentists and obsessive collector of celebrity teeth.
The tooth had been in the family of Lennon’s former housekeeper Dot Jarlett. Lennon gave it to to dispose of, sometime between 1964 and 1968, but then suggested she keep the tooth to give to her daughter, who was a big Beatles fan citing it may be worth something one day. She recently had to sell the tooth to pay for a family member’s operation.
Omega Auction House, which listed the item, told CNN that because it was coming from Jarlett, they don’t doubt the tooth’s authenticity. Part of the tooth has been turned into a DNA necklace made by famous Beverley Hills jewellery designer Ari Soffer. It is valued at $25,000.
The High Street Dental Practice will be displaying the ‘John Lennon DNA Tooth Necklace’ to highlight Mouth Cancer.
The High Street Dental Practice said, “The Beatles Mania Week Celebrating 50 Years is to also offer local people a chance to diagnose mouth cancer before it’s too late. It will be fun, and you even get to wear John Lennon’s tooth around your neck, have a picture taken too.”
Beatles Mania Mouth Cancer Screening
In 2010 a total of 1,985 deaths occurred from oral (mouth) cancer in the UK. And the real benefit from the ‘Beatles Mania Week’ is to make local residents aware of the dangers they may face. The largest increases have been in people aged 50-69. So if you fit into this bracket, want to come and listen to the Beatles, get to wear John Lennon’s Tooth around your neck, then The High Street Dental Practice welcomes you.
For one day only, 5th December 2012 we are offering those most at risk a “FREE Beatles Mania Mouth Cancer Screening”. It’s painless and only takes about 10 minutes.
Michael Zuk, the ‘obsessed’ dentist that bought John Lennon’s tooth, and incidentally, who also purchased one of Elvis Presley’s crowns, released the following statement:
“To celebrate the life of one of Rock & Roll’s greatest artists, I am pleased to announce we have teamed up on a unique DNA jewellery project with Los Angeles celebrity jewellery designer Ari Soffer who has made pieces for stars such as Tommy Lee, Axl Rose and Slash. I recently discovered Ari’s work after my wife mentioned she’d kill for a diamond encrusted pendant that a Beverly Hills Housewife star was wearing.”
Michael Zuk, the celebrity dentist has appeared on major US TV, Rolling Stone Magazine, and NME. Yar Zuk is available for an informative interview directly by phone at his office at 403-347-8008/ fax 403-343-9421. Email smilefx@telusplanet.net
A video here from dentist Dr Yar Zuk, Collector of Celebrity Teeth’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=k9oFAF0jX9k
Jaspal Sandhu, Principal Dentist
High Street Dental Practice, 6 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex. RH19 3AW.
0844 576 9656