I won’t lie and tell you that I’ve always dreamt of being a dentist, I wanted to play football for Barça but my future was in dentistry; I got my science baccalaureate specialising in maths with distinction from the Lycée Lyautey in Casablanca so I went through a process of elimination seeing as every avenue was open to me; I didn’t want a boss or fixed working hours so I needed to be self-employed. I drew up a shortlist (lawyer, architect, pharmacist, doctor, dentist, trader), began ruling them out and ended up at dental school; it’s the hardest school to get into as well (80 places for 5000 applications).
At the beginning I’ll admit that I hated it and regretted my decision, I think that it was mainly due to the national education system’s mediocre teaching. When I arrived in Paris my opinion began to change but the lightbulb moment came in New York when being taught by the best teachers in the world completely revolutionised my concepts. The quest for excellence is a religion there so it really fuelled my drive to push myself.
My drive to push myself and to prove the excellence to which I aspire saw me take on the incredible challenge of having my dental practice certified by the quality ISO 9001 standard. It required a huge amount of effort and sacrifice but we got it in November 2012; our excellence was officially set in stone.
5 years and a few grey hairs later (a necessary side effect of ambition and evolution) I took on an even more incredible challenge: to get the famous triple QSE certification (Quality, Safety, Environment), especially since no other doctor or dentist in the world (that’s right, “in the world”) had managed to get it!
Alhamdulillah, I am officially the first in the world to have it since summer 2017.
At the start of my training the term “dental art” was drilled into me but meant nothing to me. I believe that dentistry involves treating teeth and has nothing to do with art. Over the years I came to truly grasp the meaning of the term; it is a true form of art (miniature of course) but you can’t achieve excellence in dentistry if your results aren’t a work of art. You have to be a seriously good artist to attempt to reproduce a divine creation or else the patient won’t be happy with it. As a matter of fact, the difference between a great dentist, a good dentist and a regular dentist is that the latter still doesn’t see dentistry as an art, the second sees it as an art but doesn’t have the technique or experience required to achieve artistic results and the first is an artist and strives to be one.
There’s also a new generation of 2.0 dentists living in wonderland who think that the dental experiments they see on YouTube can happen in real life on patients they treat like lab rats.
I don’t pretend to be the best dentist but I hope to be the best.
I prefer that the results and actions speak for themselves.
Dr Achraf Khadiri