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Artistic OM’s cosmetic dentistry is revolutionising the way we smileAugust 2nd, 2016
An innovative young doctor who combines his passion for art with rebuilding people’s smiles is revolutionising the world of aesthetic dentistry.
Dr Rhodri Thomas, who believes attending Monmouth School played an integral role in his success, is rapidly becoming known for his bespoke work and gift for putting anxious patients at ease.
Thanks to his Instagram posts, the multi award-winning 26-year-old has even been invited to share his expertise with experienced dentists at UCLA in Los Angeles. This comes soon after he landed his dream cosmetic-based job at The Lodge Dental Practice in Abergavenny.
Dr Thomas, who has already taught and given lectures on his speciality, said: “I have no doubt that Monmouth School helped me to get where I am – I talk about the boys’ school on a weekly basis.
“Even Saturday school, which at the time I didn’t love, was great for us. Monmouth gave me a competitive edge and a strong work ethic; I used to hold out every year for Speech Day prizes. I loved the boys’ school, the whole comradery of it. The CCF trips were great too. If I have a son one day I would definitely like to give him the same opportunities.
“Being at Monmouth School also taught us you have to put in more than 9am – 5pm to get where you want to go. It definitely helped me to prepare for university.”
As well as developing a love of learning at Monmouth, Dr Thomas made his best friends at school.
He added: “I still keep in touch with a big group of boys – they’re friends for life and all of them are my patients now. They often send me selfies as a couple of them play rugby and chip their front teeth. That’s my favourite thing to treat.”
Dr Thomas graduated from Cardiff University and developed a particular interest in aesthetic and restorative dentistry. He was recently shortlisted for Best Young Dentist UK 2016 and hailed as a rising star by the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He won the British Society of Prosthodontics’ Heraues Kulzer Prize for his work on tooth wear and acts as Director of the Cardiff area for ‘Dentinal Tubules’.
With a background in art, Dr Thomas is able to apply his eye for colour to creating life-changing natural fillings for his patients.
“The colour is so important when you’re looking at teeth. Working with layers of composites you’re essentially doing a painting. Front teeth might have 10 layers and be one to two millimetres thick and come in all different shades – there might be blue and white tones. It’s always a highlight of my day when people are pleased.
“By using the fillings we’re not being invasive. It’s my chance to do a little bit of artwork and it’s lovely to see people look in the mirror at the end. They tend to really love it. There was a lady who came in just before her wedding and her smile needed a makeover but she didn’t have enough time to go down the porcelain route. I did cosmetic bonding with resins for her. She cried at the end and her boyfriend was really thankful because he knew how much it meant to her to have a nice smile on her wedding day.
“Helping others is a big part of what you should do. Having always loved both science and art, becoming a dentist was the best choice I could have made. Since the age of 15 I have been selling my own paintings, so on that first day waxing up teeth in the dental school laboratory, I started to see how dentistry was not just an opportunity to help people but also a way fuel my passion and add creative spirit to my work.”
Dr Thomas was invited to the 2014 IADR Congress in Dubrovnik to give a presentation on ‘Tooth Wear and Erosion, a modern challenge for the modern dentist.’
He added: “I liked to think I’d be teaching at some point but it has come together so quickly. I’ve always loved teaching. Mum was a teacher and headmistress – she instilled that in me. I used to go in and help her. I did the whole Camp America thing, teaching sports and making it fun and that translates into teaching adults now.
“I’ve taught 50-year-old dentists new ideas in cosmetic dentistry now. They are slightly confused when they walk in and see me, but it works out well. Silver fillings will have been their bread and butter for years, but white fillings have leapt forward more and more.”
Dr Thomas is looking forward to travelling to UCLA to lecture at the university’s centre for aesthetic dentistry in the near future, and hopes the placement will become a permanent fixture in his calendar.
“I feel so lucky to have been able to come back to work locally in Abergavenny, and I’m really excited about developing in such a great practice full of enthusiasm and high quality dentistry,” He added.
“I’m looking forward to teaching more and more, too.”