Sarah Weston’s interest in dentistry was sparked as a teenager when she began studying teeth in biology lessons. This made her change her mind about pursuing medicine, and led to a career that has taken her right around the world before she settled into her ‘ideal job’ at Island House in Woodbridge.
“When I’d completed my qualifications, I went to Cape Town, before going on to work in dentistry in Perth, Australia, and then New Zealand, where I met my husband.” explains Sarah Weston.
“I came back to the UK to do my vocational training in Yorkshire, before taking a year out to cycle across Europe and the Middle East with him. We came back to the UK and I worked in Norwich, then returned to work in New Zealand for a year, this time accompanied by our small children!”
When she and her husband decided that it was time to return to the UK, Sarah thought of coming to Woodbridge because of the happy memories she’d had of visiting the town when staying with relatives locally.
“I wrote a lot of letters to dentists in the locality and was really lucky when Mike Smith got in touch asking whether I’d be interested in covering for him over the Christmas period. That was the final Christmas in the old building, and I joined as a permanent member of staff when the new practice opened.”
Sarah feels hugely fortunate to have found such a forward-thinking and happy practice in which to work as well as an environment that enables her to spend time with her children alongside pursuing a successful career.
“I think if I had written down a description of ‘my ideal job’, this would be it,” says Sarah. “I had worked for ten years in the NHS, and although I agree fully with its ideals, I wanted more time to spend with patients and sadly only private practice allows that. I see myself as an all-round ‘family dentist’, in the traditional sense. I really enjoy working with children, particularly now that I’m a mother myself and can understand the challenges first hand! It’s wonderful, as a dentist, getting to know patients properly, seeing families grow over time.”
Having adequate time to spend talking to patients is something that Sarah feels is particularly beneficial for people who are nervous of dentistry.
“Often, I see people who are extremely anxious about visiting the dentist,” says Sarah. “Sometimes, their anxiety may have been caused by a painful experience in the past, and the most useful thing for them, is to have time to discuss the issues and to explain any necessary treatment, as well as the reasons for it. I’m always delighted when a patient who was previously nervous, leaves us happy and relaxed, actually looking forward to the next visit!”