KUNAL PATEL – Paediatric Dentist at Fulham Road Dental
The dental background of Children’s Specialist Dentist, Kunal Patel.
Kunal graduated from the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Bristol in 2011 and went on to complete a dental foundation year in the West Midlands. It was during this year that Kunal developed soft skills with paediatric patients as he was given the opportunity to see all the children in the practice. Kunal continued as a general dentist and returned to his London roots; however, he knew that he wanted more. Kunals drive to learn about complex cases led him to enter the competitive world of hospital dentistry, where placements are obtained at a national level.
Kunal writes: I was fortunate enough to remain in London for the entirety of my dental core training where I could explore all aspects of post-graduate dentistry. It was here that I commenced my general duties and oral and maxillofacial rotations. My surgical skills developed through surgically removing teeth and assisting in complex head and neck surgeries. My role included managing facial and dental injuries for trauma patients, assisting in the management of head and neck cancer patients and orthognathic procedures.
I moved on to another prestigious teaching hospital to complete a further two rotations in adult restorative dentistry and paediatric dentistry. With the adult team I worked under the guidance of renowned consultants and I completed full mouth rehabilitation with direct composite, endodontic procedures (root canal treatment) using the latest technology, periodontal management (treatment of gum disease) and prosthodontics (tooth replacement). It was however, within the children’s department that I found my calling. I could draw upon all the skills I had learnt and utilise them in a way that could shape a child’s view on dentistry and ultimately lead to a long-term positive change. It was whilst working in this friendly and professional team that my team members and mentors highlighted my abilities and recommended me to embark on speciality training.
I returned to my original London teaching hospital, who were teamed up with community dental services, to complete my Specialist Training and was awarded the Tri-Collegiate Membership in Paediatric Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. I gained a wealth of knowledge through treating patients with high dental needs, complex medical backgrounds, and special care needs. I also managed patients with acute dental trauma and provided follow up care whilst working within an interdisciplinary team. During specialty training I became accredited in both inhalation and intravenous conscious sedation through the Intercollegiate Advisory Committee for Sedation in Dentistry (IASCD). I have used these techniques to assist anxious children in successfully completing dental treatment.
Sharing knowledge in an open learning environment has always enabled me to provide the best evidence-based patient care that I can. I also enjoy teaching and have completed a post-graduate certificate in dental education with the University of Bedfordshire and I currently have a role as an honorary clinical lecturer at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.
What type of treatments do you provide?
As a specialist children’s dentist in Fulhmam, I provide both routine and emergency dental procedures for children (aged 0-16 years) at specialist level. Treatment can be provided under local anaesthetic and conscious sedation where appropriate. I am experienced in working with children who have dental anxiety, special educational needs, and dental anomalies.
I provide prevention advice tailored to your child’s needs and provide a wide range of treatments to restore children’s dental health. These include fillings, crowns, root canal treatment of traumatised front teeth, dental extractions and much more! Check out our treatment page for more information.
What age should I start taking my child to the dentist?
In line with national guidance, I recommend taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts. It is important to monitor your child’s teeth from day one and have access to the correct advice to help prevent dental decay, identify any anomalies, and encourage a positive relationship with your dentist.
Can you treat my child if they have dental anxiety?
Here at Fulham Road Dental, we welcome children who may be dentally anxious. There are several ways that I can help to ensure your child has a positive dental experience. I offer acclimatisation appointments where I introduce your child to the dental environment and our friendly team. I use age-appropriate language to explain each procedure and desensitise against the ‘fear of the unknown’ using the tell-show-do approach. I am happy to discuss whether conscious sedation is the best option for your child and provide more information at your consultation.
My child fears needles, what can you do?
Some treatments can be performed without the need for local anaesthetic, however there may be times when local anaesthetic is needed. I use several techniques to encourage a positive experience. This can range from distraction techniques to desensitisation. I always use topical anaesthetic gel to make each experience as comfortable as possible. At Fulham Road Dental, I use the latest computer-assisted local anaesthetic delivery system, called the Wand, to ensure gentle numbing.
As a parent, how can I support my child coming to the dentist if I am dentally anxious?
Children often look to their parents and carers for guidance, so I have developed four helpful tips when it comes to helping your child through their dental journey:
- Try to avoid discussing previous negative experiences.
- Try not to relay your dental fears to your child.
- Only reward your child’s good behaviour/cooperation, with sugar-free alternatives.
- Be mindful to use child-friendly dental terminology.