Dr George Cheetham, the next chapter, Fulham Road Dental
A common question that George Cheetham receives is ‘how did you grow to love dentistry so much, have you always wanted to do it?’ – It came down to a little luck that his passion grew for dentistry, not being sure what he wanted to do when applying for University.
George Cheetham (George The Dentist) grew up in Surrey and went to school at Kings College Wimbledon. Here’s where he realised his affiliation with the Sciences and Maths. Having completed extensive work experience in medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences he decided that dentistry could be right for him.
At the time of visiting University open days, it just so happened that it was a sunny day in Newcastle – and anyone who has been to ‘The Toon’ on a sunny day will realise what a buzz there is in the City. This combined with the fact it was one of the best rated Universities at the time for undergraduate dentistry, and it would give him a chance to experience England outside of the M25 it got his attraction.
George achieved his grades and subsequently went to his top choice University to study dentistry. As an undergraduate student in a city known for its culture of fun, it can often be a struggle to achieve the correct work / life balance. The professors, however, make that little bit of extra ‘effort’ to instil professionalism into their students. It was not uncommon to see a student hide a tear behind their mask after being dealt a comment like ‘someone behind the counter at Boots has a better understanding of pharmacology’ from the tutors.
Memories of being handed a blunt razor and being ordered to go downstairs to shave with hand soap soon sharpens a student up.
He looks back now and thanks his professors for this strict tutoring.
After 5 years of training, George was subsequently one of the only people in the year to be awarded ‘gifted and talented’ in restorative dentistry and also qualifying with a Distinction in clinical dentistry 2009. He was the recipient of the ‘Pitt Ford’ prize for the most outstanding student in the field of endodontology (root canal treatments).
A life after Undergrad
He then travelled back to Surrey for his Vocational Training year where he lived at home and worked under the supervision of his trainers Karim Verjee and Karim Nasser. Here was the first real insight into the running of a dental practice and when he really started to fall in love with clinical dentistry.
This year he was the recipient of the British Endodontic Societies prize for vocational trainees. This is a national competition in the field of endodontics applicable for anyone in the UK qualifying the same year.
After this training year he started to work as a general dental practitioner in both NHS practice in Surrey, and Private practice in Wimbledon Village.
He quickly realised that being a routine dentist didn’t bring him enough fulfilment so he became addicted to further education, signing onto every course he could to expand his knowledge. George went on to quickly complete the Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties exams (MJDF) by the Royal college of Surgeons.
Two years in general practice was enough to decide that he wanted to follow a direction in the field of aesthetic restorative dentistry, and he he signed up for a Master’s degree in that field at the No.1 Postgraduate dental school in the country – Kings College London.
The next three years was spent completing this master’s degree, refining his skills taking on more complex cases, whilst working part time in private and NHS practice. George again qualified with Distinction.
After completion of the masters’ degree George was thrilled to be invited to teach at Kings College London. He spent a day a week teaching undergraduate restorative dentistry to enthusiastic dentists, and the rest of the week working in practice. This has since lead to George teaching postgraduate dentistry on a Masters degree, being sought after to teach on multiple private courses and lecture internationally.
Perfecting clinical skill
In regards to George’s clinical work, at the age of 28 he felt that to really practice dentistry exactly how he wanted to he would need to be in complete control of his working environment. He made the leap of taking over Ridgway Dental – the private practice where he had worked at since a year after qualifying, with Aaron Yusuf, the principal dentist from another practice he worked at the time. Ridgway Dental was a small two surgery practice providing regular dentistry, but Aaron and George set their minds to completely transforming this into the larger specialist dental practice providing general and complex care to both routine and referral patients which it is now.
During the years of transforming this practice George didn’t give up his thirst for improving his skill set and invested heavily in further education in the UK and internationally.
George saw the need for providing orthodontics to his patients to provide the most comprehensive treatments. He therefore trained in Invisalign clear braces and took the Clear Aligner Diploma. His smile makeovers were not only noticed by his patients but also the company that owns Invisalign themselves – Align. Align asked George to work with them and he now lectures internationally for the company, and trains dentists how to provide Invisalign treatments.
Another field of dentistry he has a passion for is Biomimetic dentistry. This is a meticulous field which endeavours to preserve intact tooth structure and restore teeth back to the function and biomechanics of natural teeth. This is a side of dentistry which allows George to save and preserve teeth which are otherwise destined for extraction. George is one of the first official UK dentists to be trained in the field of Biomimetic dentistry in an American lead mastership program. George now devotes part of his time teaching this cutting-edge field and been referred to as one of the world ambassadors.
This combination of skillset, involvement in the dental community and his involvement in charity work has lead George to winning the prestigious ‘Best Young Dentist’ award in London both in 2018, 2019 and then Best Young Dentist in South England 2020. This has helped him feature in the ‘most influential people in dentisty’ list and the dental media. He has been made a Key Opinion Leader for a number of dental material manufacturers, and been made an editorial board member for the ‘Clinical Dentistry Journal’. He’s now even trying to crack the dental fashion market and releasing his own medical scrubs.
If you want to see they type of work George provides then why not add him on Instagram @georgethedentist . He provides a platform for free education to the community, and act as a source of inspiration to improve the skills of other dentists. You will see he is gaining quite the following.
The beginning of the next chapter
During the first lockdown of the Covid pandemic, George and his long standing patient, Mark Brown, shared an idea. They saw the need for a clinical environment which provides outstanding dental care in a comfortable patient setting. An enjoyable destination where a patient and their family can feel comprehensively looked after.
They had the vision of also providing a service to the rest of the dental community by treating complex referrals which the standard dental practice cannot provide.
This vision has now become a reality and they have brought together a team with the same values. They have a group of enthusiastic, specialist dentists in their respective fields, and have provided the environment and technology for these dentists to provide outstanding care to their patients.
They aim to provide a culture where each and every staff member feels valued in what they do, and have growth opportunities to feel fulfilled in their career.