We’re shining the spotlight on Dr. Shobana Sivananthan, General Dentist at Academy Dental Group in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We discuss how partnership with dentalcorp allows her to focus on what she enjoys most about dentistry, the importance of staying up-to-date with technology, and how trust is the foundation of a strong patient base.
Tell us about your journey in the dental profession and with your practice.
I wasn't the child who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. I had many ideas, but the only thing I knew for sure was that I enjoyed working with my hands. But something clicked when attending an orientation for the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Manitoba. The idea that a dentist could directly impact a person's health, self-esteem, and quality of life drew me to dentistry. After graduating from the University in Manitoba, I was an Associate in Winnipeg for a few years before moving to Ontario. My experience in different offices in different cities was priceless, as I cared for and developed relationships with various patients from all backgrounds. After moving back to Winnipeg, I was fortunate to find my home at Academy Dental Group. Under the mentorship of Dr. Shek, I was confident to take on the Partner role.
How has your partnership with dentalcorp impacted the way you deliver patient care?
dentalcorp offers me the ability to focus on what I enjoy most about dentistry — concentrating on patients, learning, and continuing to have fun every day. Ultimately, I can come to work ready to provide the best care and attention to my patients and not worry about the management of the practice.
What does excellence in patient care mean to you?
Providing the best treatment plan for your patient, listening, and developing an understanding of the needs of the person in your chair are what I believe create excellence in care. Also, educating patients on their oral health is crucial for empowerment.
What is the key to a thriving practice?
I'm a new partner, but Academy Dental Group has been a thriving practice for a few generations. I genuinely believe the key to success is our patients. Their trust in care with our team has led to grandparents bringing their grandchildren in for their dental visits. From the moment a patient walks through our door, the main goal is to make them feel at home.
How has dentistry changed since you first started practicing?
Since graduating in 2002, technology has evolved in day-to-day dentistry. Paperless charts, digital scanning, and 3D imaging have changed how dentists treat and present treatment. As with all technology, it is ever-changing (like my phone), so it's imperative to keep up to date.
What advice do you have for emerging dentists?
Have patience, focus on developing your clinical skills, and continuously strive to understand your patients. Hygienists who can communicate effectively, assistants who can read a patient's anxiety, and dentists who can provide comprehensive treatment in simple, bite-sized stages are all good examples of vital mentors who can be found in many places. It takes time to develop a solid patient base, but more importantly, it takes trust.
What three things would you bring if you were stuck on a deserted island and why?
Assuming there is no cell service, I would bring a good book, iced coffee, and a few flares — so I can try to leave the island once I finish my book!