The Instagram dentist – building a private career as a young dentist

Dr Keval Chavda, who works at Mydentist's Kirk Hallam, Nottingham, discusses how he built a private career as a young dentist.

One of the key priorities for any young dentist is how to build a career in the areas of dentistry that inspire them most. How to build a reputation and personal brand in a competitive field are not generally skills taught at university, so many clinicians now are turning to social media as a way to build their profile and increase patient enquiries.

Dr Keval Chavda is one such dentist who in just three years has build a social media following that has helped him become one of Mydentist’s top three clear aligner clinicians, with patients travelling more than 100 miles to see him after finding him on Instagram.

He was nominated for Young Dentist of the Year at the recent Dentistry Awards and divides his time between clinical practice, family life, having just welcomed his first child, and supporting other young clinicians in building the careers they want, including speaking at the 2022 Clear Correct Summit.

Keval, or Dr Kev as he is known online, said: 'I joined Mydentist in 2017, fresh out of training and with big ambitions. I knew that I wanted to help people feel proud of their smiles so I immediately started doing as many training courses as possible through the Mydentist Academy including Clear Correct aligners and restorative courses and started putting the skills into action.

'The main difficulty I faced was that my practice is located in one of the top 10 per cent of deprived areas in the UK.

'I loved my team and my existing patients so I didn’t want to go anywhere else, but I knew I’d need to work hard to promote myself and bring the types of cases I wanted to the practice.

'That’s where the idea for my social channels came in. I wanted to show dentistry in a fun and relatable way, providing oral health information alongside clinical cases.

'Soon after, the pandemic started and social media became a vital tool in connecting with my patients. The team here got involved and we used social media trends to deliver dentistry information in a new way and soon my audience was growing, putting me in a good position when we were able to start seeing patients again for treatment.

'Now I would say the majority of my new cosmetic cases begin as a message on Instagram and after an initial chat with the patient I’ll hand over to my practice team to organise appointments. Having a good team is key and I am fortunate at Kirk Hallam to have a great practice manager and reception team to look after the patients, plus they have worked with me to open in the evenings to see patients at a time more convenient to them.

'Mydentist has been open to me branding my surgery and supported in the investment of technology such as a digital scanner to improve and streamline my workflow and ensure I’m able to maximise my diary time.

'My advice to other dentists who are just starting out is simple: you don’t have to be in a big city centre practice to bring in good cases. Patients will travel to see a dentist they can trust, and social media gives you the opportunity to show your personality and the kinds of cases you are capable of online. Building a profile on social media does take a while, but it is a worthwhile investment of your time.

'Joining an organisation like Mydentist was an ideal choice for me as they gave me the support to take my time and access further education to discover what kind of dentist I wanted to be. There is access to a great support network, from a local clinical support manager to a network of other clinicians nearby so there is always someone to turn to if I need it.'

Watch the full interview here.

Mydentist has opportunities available across the UK for dentists in the early stages of their careers. For more information click here.

Dr Keval Chavda
16 February 2023