Interview with Diksha Tahilramani Batra, founder of pain free dentist
Dr. Diksha Tahilramani Batra is a prosthodontist by education and a clinician practicing for over a decade in Mumbai, India.
She is fondly called The Painfree Dentist” for pioneering work in eradicating dental phobia. She is also the founder of “Angel Dentists Network” – India’s First All Dental NGO.
Tell us a little about yourself
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: I am Dr Diksha Batra originally Tahilramani as you know my brand name is The Painfree Dentist and we have been in practice since the last 14 years in the bustling suburb of Bandra, Mumbai.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs more in the financial and business markets and I am one of the first doctors in the family. I started my journey in dentistry nearly 20 years ago in 2003 and started my independent practice in 2009.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became a prosthodontist?
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: I wanted to be a writer to start with and I decided to do dentistry only as an interim way of becoming financially independent and then pursuing my passion.
As I entered the dental fraternity – orthodontics or braces first caught my fancy and yet when I realised how treatments took nearly two years to complete , I was looking for a faster way of satisfying my patients.
When I first encountered the world of cosmetic dentistry and implantology at different stages in my career I realised prosthodontics was a marriage of both these disciplines that I was so attracted to as a clinician and even as a patient.
Prosthodontics became a natural choice as soon as I knew how quickly I could get stunning and long lasting results for my patients.
Kindly brief us about Angel Dentists Network
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: Angel Dentists Network is Indias first all dental NGO and is founded solely with the idea of providing pro bono care to the people who cannot afford any dental treatments.
This was an effort to ensure that preventive dental care and even elective treatments should not just be a luxury that the affluent can afford but rather be accessible to as many as possible and that too in the comfort of their residential institutions.
We have been providing door step dental services from diagnostic, preventive as well as full fledged treatments for young and old in institutes across India.
We are primarily based in Mumbai with over 400 doctors in our network but have also conducted our activities in Delhi , Pune & Ladakh.
What inspired you to specialize in prosthodontics?
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: Prosthodontics is a branch that involves the final result- the take home – the teeth that patients smile with- to me I love the fact that it’s the one branch that can give patients new teeth and a complete makeover in as little as a few hours or even few days.
The speed and alacrity with which we can change smiles and change lives is what attracted me to prosthodontics and I have never looked back.
While we depend on so many branches of dentistry the buck also stops on us because ultimately the teeth we make must last and stand the test of time, therefore a good knowledge of other branches is also needed to support the outcomes we plan.
Can you describe a typical day in your work as a prosthodontist?
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: A prosthodontist also needs to be a dentist first and so like our education our days are also grounded in sound dental counselling and diagnosis.
When a patient walks in we first evaluate the entire mouth and then direct the care that is needed across each specialty or with the respective expert.
On a daily basis I am first dispelling the fear of dentistry and only if I am successful in assuring my patient a painfree procedure with an outcome that resonates with them is when I can actually start my prosthetic work.
A typical day then entails impression, preparing teeth to receive crowns or veneers, sometimes working on study models to analyse cases, placing implants in a surgery.
These are the facets of my day a lot of which also revolves around ensuring each patient is experiencing a seamless dental experience at my practice.
Can you discuss a particularly rewarding case you have worked on as a prosthodontist?
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: Yes many especially because it is an extremely gratifying line of work, where I get to replace missing teeth and actually give fixed teeth to people that last a life time!
The pleasure of being able to chew and also the confidence of having fixed teeth and looking young again is something that my patients had never dreamt possible.
So when it actually happens its worth all the hardwork.
Can you speak about the importance of patient communication in the prosthodontic treatment process?
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: Patient communication is fundamental to every branch of medicine and dentistry as it is half the battle won.
There is a lot of anxiety attached to medical procedures and even more so to dental procedures, prosthodontics is no different as we may have to undertake surgical procedures to give fixed replacements.
Particular instances where communication and planning “with” the patient takes us a long way is
I) Smile makeover cases – where we plan and digitally showcase the final results for the patient even before we start – since esthetics is subjective we love the patients inputs to create the smile they want to adorn.
II) Implant cases – where we reconstruct single teeth or sometimes full jaws to get a new bite for the patient.
Well begun is half done so good communication really sets the tone for smooth prosthetic replacements.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: Born to a business family I have always enjoyed the autonomy of self employment. I still relate to myself more as a clinician or doctor than an entrepreneur.
My skills as an entrepreneur are self learnt by trial and error and not through formal education, but as they say experience has been the best teacher.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: One of my hardest failures has not been clinical it has been patient management, I learnt the hard way that you cannot please everyone, no matter how hard you try, there will always be those who will bargain, test your integrity and then not stay loyal despite all your efforts so best to let go and take a step back when expectations don’t match.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in prosthodontics?
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: My biggest advice would be learn prosthodontics for the love of it, the knowledge you gain will make you a better overall dentist as well.
Do not practice it in isolation but instead use prosthodontics to be a better holistic expert to give your patients the guidance they need to make the right choices for their long term oral health.
What are your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneur
Diksha Tahilramani Batra: For young entrepreneurs I have 3 tips that serve me well even today, they may sound cliché but sometimes the simplest things hold true
Know your why – when starting a clinic or a business , be crystal clear about why you are doing, the clearer your why , the stronger your conviction and you will be able to stick through the hard times and swim against the current
Solve a problem in society – Create a business that deals with a. pain point in your industry even if it sounds impossible to do – this will become your niche and your blue ocean.
Build a great team – we can’t do anything alone so you will have to rally people and believe in your cause , the better leader you are the easier your operations and achievements will be.
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