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Health & Fitness

Dental Leaders Podcast

Updated 2 months ago

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The Dental Leaders podcast takes you on a behind the scenes journey with emerging leaders in dentistry. Success leaves clues, and these conversations uncover the depth, detail, and backstory behind our guests.The show is hosted by dental entrepreneurs Payman Langroudi & Prav Solanki. Let the conversation flow.Find out more at

Read more

The Dental Leaders podcast takes you on a behind the scenes journey with emerging leaders in dentistry. Success leaves clues, and these conversations uncover the depth, detail, and backstory behind our guests.The show is hosted by dental entrepreneurs Payman Langroudi & Prav Solanki. Let the conversation flow.Find out more at

Cover image of Dental Leaders Podcast

Dental Leaders Podcast

Latest release on Aug 05, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 2 months ago

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: #42 Wise Guys: In Conversation with Nikunj Sondagar and Saeid Haghri

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This week, Prav and Payman get wise to the world of Nikuj Sondagar and Saeid Haghri.

Nik and Saeid talk about their Wise 360  - a digital learning platform connecting dentists with training providers.

This relatively young pair has form - between them, they’ve already established several successful ventures including a dental social presence, marketing and development company and clever plaque-reduction tech.

They talk through the challenges of developing Wise 360 as excitement builds for the launch of the tech in a few weeks.


“You get to a point where it's all about meeting the demand, demand, demand. And then you've met demand, what do you do after? You realise, I'm actually happy doing what I do.”

Nikunj Sondagar

In This Episode

00.49 - In the beginning

05.03 - Awards

07.54 - The Wise 360 concept

14.10 - Marketing and development

23.18 - Reviews

29.25 - Being in business

38.57 - Dental school and giving back

44.03 - The guide to purchasing a practice

51.51 - Why dentistry?

54.24 - Turning back time

About Nikunj and Saeid

Nikunj Sondagar and Saeid Haghri are founders of the Wise dental brand including Wise 360 - a digital platform connecting dentists with training providers.

Aug 05 2020



Rank #2: #41 - Sliding Doors - In Conversation With Zaki Kanaan

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Zaki Kanaan might have been a banker if it wasn’t for an embarrassing incident as a small child. But banking’s loss in dentistry’s gain. In this week’s show, master of implants Zaki talks Payman through his early move from war-torn Beirut to London.

Zaki talks life at boarding school and later Guy’s, and explains how fate appeared to play a guiding role in his development as a dentist.

Prav couldn’t be here this week, so Payman single-handedly steers the conversation over wide-ranging topics. 


“Life is like sliding doors. The film where you either enter the tube and your life goes in one direction or another. Life, for me, is like that.”

  • Zaki Kanaan
In This Episode

01.45 - Early years

14.42 - Good cop/bad cop

21.25 - On implantology

24.53 - Losing dad

28.32 - Chairman of the board

32.29 - Best bits

41.48 - Love and marriage

48.55 - From London to Weybridge

52.16 - On teaching & travel

01.01.49 - What motivates Zaki Kanaan?

01.03.11 - Legacy

01.07.10 - Mentors

About Zaki Kanaan

Zaki Kanaan achieved a Masters Degree from Guy’s and St Thomas in 2001 and went on to complete diplomas in sedation and hypnosis. He also became a Licentiate of the Faculty of Homeopathy.  

He has pursued an interest in implantology which saw him become the first UK dentist to carry out the All-on-4 procedure on live TV.

Zaki is past president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) and London Dental Fellowship and currently sits on the board of directors of the Association of Dental Implantology UK.

He also sits on the editorial board for the International Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry and is former editorial consultant for Dental Implant Summaries.

Zaki is a prolific figure on the international lecture circuit where he regularly delivers training on cosmetic and implant dentistry. 

He has scooped a selection of top awards including UK Dentist of the Year2012. In 2015, Zaki was recognised for his outstanding contribution to dentistry at the Private Dentistry Awards. He is now on the awards’ judging panel and regularly features in industry lists of the UK’s most elite and influential dentists.

Jul 22 2020

1hr 10mins


Rank #3: #40 - Family Values - In Conversation with Vishaal Shah

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Today’s guest says he doesn’t think of himself as being a leader. But a few minutes into the episode, and it’s clear we could all have something to learn from Vishsaal Shah.

In 2017, an unsettling discovery at Visaal’s practice turned his world upside down, leading to regulatory investigations, lawsuits and more than a lifetime’s-worth of stress.

In this episode, Visshal gives us the lowdown. He also fills us in on his early years in Kenya, and how an extraordinary approach to life, which put friends and family firmly front and centre, has helped him through the many highs and lows.


“If you constantly compete with others you become bitter, but if you compete with yourself you become better.”

  • Visshal Shah
In This Episode

01.22 - Early years

16.43 - Odd jobs

28.31 - Graduation

35.16 - Into practice

42.41 - Give and take

53.05 - A life-changing discovery

01.22.37 - Vissaal’s advice

About Vishaal Shah

Vishaal graduated from St Bartholomew's and The Royal London School of Medicine in 2003 and went on to spend seven years as an associate.

In 2020, he purchased a practice in Hoddesdon, which he transferred into the popular Dentality brand.

Vishaal has lectured for the BACD and BDA and has gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Bedfordshire. He is now an honorary clinical lecturer for undergraduates at St Mary’s and is working towards a Masters in Implant Dentistry at Edge Hill University.

Jul 15 2020

1hr 24mins


Rank #4: #39 - Round About Midnight - In Conversation With Sofina Ahmed

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This week, we welcome Sofina Ahmed. Things kick off with a conversation about how her father’s unconventional approach to business has informed her own entrepreneurial mindset.

And what a mindset! Sofia talks about the highs and lows of expanding a single practice into a nationwide chain with a rapidity that would make most of us wince.  

Sofia also lets us in on why night time is the perfect time to practice, and how the idea became the cornerstone of her successful Night Dental brand.


“The kind of dentistry I've done and the kind of business I've done is one that has actually helped our community and helped people, and I have made that kind of difference.”

  • Sofina Ahmed 
In This Episode

01.19 - Back story

11.30 - Night Dental concept

14.28 - Ethics, growth, positioning

20.50 - On management

29.13 - Covid & dynamism

35.05 - Ideas & execution

44.04 - Entrepreneurship, family & gender

48.44 - Highs and lows 

55.51 - A day in the life

01.04.04 - Advice to young dentists & mental health

01.25.31 - Legacy

About Sofina Ahmed

Sofina graduated from Birmingham University in 2006 and quickly realised she wanted her own practice.

She went on to set up the Night Dentist providing out-of-hours treatment in Birmingham. The concept proved extremely popular and the chain now has a presence across much of the UK.

Jul 09 2020

1hr 28mins


Rank #5: #38 - Jet-Setting with Andrew Wallace

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This week, our hosts checked in with dentist, trainer and mentor, Andrew Wallace. 

Andrew talks about his upbringing in Northern Ireland and lets Prav and Payman in on how an unusual odd-job helped him through university.

He shares his thoughts on the highs and lows of practice ownership and gives some practical advice for leaders facing the pain of firing staff.

No conversation with Andrew would be complete without touching on the dental training circuit, where Andrew is a familiar face thanks to his work with IAS Academy. He lets us in on his hectic travel schedule and shares tips for perfect presentation delivery.


“The only reason that I feel I can stand up and talk about anything is because I'm passionate about it. When you have a passion for something it makes it much easier to talk about. Still that first couple of moments on the stage is challenging.” 

  • Andrew Wallace
In This Episode

02.02 - School, university, bouncing

16.51 - Transition and training

27.51 - Tech and diagnosis

33.15 - Practice ownership, hiring and firing

41.09 - Running with ideas

46.36 - Clinical errors

48.44 - Dealing with nerves

53.12 - Work-life balance

57.50 - Darkest days and future days

01.03.31 - Last day on earth

About Andrew Wallace

Andrew Walace is one of Northern Ireland’s foremost orthodontists. He gained his Master of Clinical Dentistry in 2015 from King’s College London in 2015 and in the same year achieved full membership of the Faculty of General Practice for the Royal College of Surgeons.

Andrew is a prolific international lecturer on alignment and NI’s principal trainer for the Inman Aligner and ClearSmile straighteners. He also runs regular introductory talks and study clubs relating to orthodontics.

Andrew has been owner of Lisburn’s Bachelors Walk Dental practice since 2004 and is the current vice president of the European Society of Aesthetic Orthodontics.

Jul 01 2020

1hr 5mins


Rank #6: #37 - Implant Hero - In Conversation with Andrew Dawood

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This week, Prav and Paiman get to sit down one of their dental heroes - Andrew Dawood. 

Andrew talks about early challenges setting up his West End practice and his thoughts on the pros and cons of investing in pioneering tech.

The trio also talk about the virtues of independent practices and how using the highest quality implant materials doesn’t always translate to a quality experience for the patient.

These are just a few of the topics touched on in a wide-ranging conversation with a true industry pioneer and one of the most accomplished implant specialists at work in the UK today.


“We've tried all sorts of things in the past, but at the end of the day, keeping it simple is the way forward. Keeping teeth. That's keeping it simple. That's the way forward.”

  • Andrew Dawood
In This Episode

01.07 - Backstory

09.28 - Building the practice

16.09 - Patient journey

21.06 - On consent

24.36 - Quality vs quantity

29.56 - Pioneering, early doctors & new tech

35.25 - Synergies & leadership

39.37 - Family & practice expansion

50.41 - Next moves and past mistakes

59.56 - Work-life balance

01.02.16 - Legacy and last day on earth

About Andrew Dawood

Andrew grew up with ambitions of becoming a potter, but it was not to be. Instead, he graduated in dentistry from the Royal London Hospital in 1984 and went on to complete a Masters in conservative dentistry at Guy’s Hospital.

In 2000, Andrew was accepted onto the specialists register in both prosthodontics and periodontics. He went on to establish a reputation as one of the disciplines’ most accomplished practitioners.

Andrew was one of the first dentists to explore the potential of 3D printing in dentistry. He is founder of Digits2Widgets 3D printing and design studio for non-dental applications.

Jun 24 2020

1hr 5mins


Rank #7: #36 - Plain Sailing with Richard Howarth

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In this bite-size episode, we welcome aboard old friend Richard Howarth. Richard fills us in on how he made a roaring success of his SmileStyle brand after disillusionment almost made him put down his handpiece for good.

Richard also lets us know about why he eventually decided to exit the venture and fills us in on his latest incarnation as a PPE supplier and manufacturer who has literally turned the industry on its head.


“I always say, I don't like big spiders. If you put me in a room with big spiders and gave me a very important message, I don't think I would take it on board.” 

  • Richard Howarth

In This Episode

00.17 - The SmileStyle story

12.16 - Journeys - patients and staff

21.26 - Exit this way

23.57 - The Provisage story

About Richard Howarth

Richard Howarth graduated from Turner Dental Hospital - part of Manchester University - in 1988 and later went on to found Stafford’s successful SmileStyle brand.

He is a trustee of the Dental Mavericks charity and regularly visits Morocco to carry out procedures for children with restricted access to dental care.

In 2020, Richard invented brought a new PPE visor to market, which he manufactures and distributes under the Provisage label.

Outside of the clinic, Richard is a keen sailor and watersports enthusiast. 

Jun 17 2020



Rank #8: #35 - Composite King - In Conversation with Jason Smithson

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This week, Prav and Payman welcome their old friend Jason Smithson to the show. Jason talks about his modest Yorkshire upbringing and lets us in on how he almost chose a very different career path.

Jason fills us in on how a lack of technical know-how almost stopped his lecturing career before it began, but didn’t stop him from becoming an early internet sensation.

“Just be yourself, nobody will criticise you for being yourself. Everybody's got something to offer, offer what you feel is right...and you'll always have an audience.”

  • Jason Smithson  

In This Episode

01.27 - The early years

21.27 - Life down South and Cornwall Independent Practitioners Group

27.45 - Teaching on the global stage

42.46 - Social presence

51.45 - Travel and work-life balance

01.06.54 - Lowest moments

01.14.38 - Dealing with stage fright

01.22.47 - Groupies

01.25.31 - Jason’s advice for young dentists 

About Jason Smithson

Former Harley Street dentist Jason Smitsson now practices in Cornwall. He is one the UK’s best recognised dental educators who has trained over 15,000 dentists across the world during his 15-year career.

He is widely considered to be among the industry’s most authoritative voices on cosmetic dentistry. He has authored a book on crowns and is a regular contributor to dental journals. Jason is also recognised as a pioneer in the use of dental operating microscopes for teaching direct resin dentistry.

In addition to being a dental practitioner and educator, Jason is a medico-legal expert witness.

Dr Smithson is an ‘In Demand’ presenter and is perhaps the most prolific in the UK. He is considered by his peers to be an authority on aesthetic dentistry and has presented to audiences on every continent over the past 10 years. He is a true innovator and pioneered the use of Dental Operating Microscope in teaching Direct Resin Artistry to other dentists in the UK; he is the author of numerous articles and a book on crowns in aesthetic dentistry.

Jun 12 2020

1hr 28mins


Rank #9: #34 - Burning Manbition - In Conversation with Rhona Eskander

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This week, Prav and Payan welcome rising social starlet Rhona Eskander to the show. Rhona talks about her mission to make dentistry accessible to all. 

Rhona discusses the pros and cons of Instagram and her relationships with some of the net’s biggest influencers. She also educates Prav on Nevada’s Burning Man Festival and talks about her experiences providing vital dental care for refugees.


“I believe that we're all human beings and if we can't treat each other as humans, then you're not going to get anywhere and you have to be brave enough to break those boundaries. Which is what I have been doing.” 

  • Dr Rhona Eskander
In This Episode

01.06 - Formative years

10.34 - Making dentistry accessible

16.02 - Empowering women & social media

27.23 - Confidence & feelgood factor

32.32 - Treating influencers

39.52 - Pärla

46.03 - The Chelsea look & the Chelsae practice

52.13 - Low moments & lessons

01.00.14 - Burning Man

01.04.38 - Working with refugees

01.10.04 - On legacy

About Rhona Eskander

Rhona graduated from Leeds University and went on to complete vocational training in Kent where she won Best Case Presentation award for her complex restorative case. She has completed extensive postgraduate training including MJDF examinations and a year-long course in aesthetic dentistry with Dr Christopher Orr.

Platinum Invisalign dentist Rhona is prolific on social media and a high-profile face on the Instagram platform. She recently co-founded the Pärla ethical and environmentally-friendly toothpaste tablet brand.  

Jun 03 2020

1hr 11mins


Rank #10: #33 - Dental Leaders Bulletin - Business Interruption Insurance & the Imminent Return to Practice with Laith Abbas & Luke Thorley

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Many dentists feel they have been let down during the coronavirus crisis. Professional bodies were slow to speak up, delivering an ineffectual message to members when they finally did so.

The profession has not benefited from the government’s package of financial support for small businesses and insurers have proved that policies aren’t always worth the PDFs they’re written on.

This week, we meet Laith Abbas and Luke Thorley - two relative youngsters who are fighting back.

They reveal why they are leading a legal action against insurers and discuss how the crisis has been a catalyst for grassroots action with the formation of a new professional body representing private practices. 

“[Coronavirus] is going to completely flip the whole landscape of dentistry. I don't think people quite realise that yet, because our attention at the moment is getting back to work. I can guarantee you, a year today, we are going to look back and think, "I can't believe how much has changed."

  • Laith Abbas

In this Episode

01.25 - Business interruption legal action

21.22 - The British Association of Private Dentistry (BAPD)

28.57 - COVID safety and returning to work

39.34 - On regulators

52.14 - BAPD vision for NHS treatment

About Laith Abbas and Luke Thorley

Laith Abbas is principal dentist and co-owner of Crouch Hall Dental Care. Luke Thorley is practice principal at Royal Wharf Dental in london.

The pair have been consistently outspoken about dental insurers’ response to the coronavirus crisis. They are leading a legal action against insurers which could involve more than 2000 UK dentists.  

May 27 2020

1hr 9mins