Pam Ray in surgery

Minor Oral Surgery with Smile Together

Pam Ray

As a dentist with a special interest in Oral Surgery I am able to treat patients requiring difficult extractions and those who have more complex medical needs. I can also carry out orthodontic extractions for patients who are finding it difficult to arrange these with their own general dentist in practice. Patients are referred to me by my Smile Together colleagues as well as dentists from practices right across Cornwall.

I can treat a patient in Bodmin who might otherwise need to be referred to the Oral Surgery Department of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust at Treliske in Truro or University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust at Derriford, often more convenient and saving them a long journey. We can usually see patients within a few weeks whereas the hospital services have a much longer waiting time.

It is rewarding being able to offer patients a more local service for their complex dentistry needs and I really enjoy the challenge of technically difficult cases. The biggest challenge in my role is that sometimes I am asked to see patients who are extremely anxious, to the point where I have to refer them on to hospital for a general anaesthetic or sedation. Therefore I’m planning to undertake additional training soon so that I can treat these cases at Bodmin.

It’s so inspiring working in Smile Together. The Harleigh Road Dental Centre where I practise is amazing – we have great facilities and the renovations have been carried out sensitively so the original character of the old school building is not lost. However the best thing about my job is that I’m part of a fantastic team who are not only very capable clinicians, they are mutually supportive and incredibly encouraging to one other.

I would recommend Smile Together to anyone working in dentistry. Alongside the collective passion for patient care, the overall feeling in the organisation is one of being encouraged and supported, both as a dentist and as an individual. There are many opportunities for career development and we are given tremendous support to pursue our professional goals.

I honestly have no idea what inspired me to be a dentist but from just 8 years old I knew that is what I wanted to be – when at that age most of my friends wanted to be a princess or ballet dancer! Outside of work I enjoy music (I play the cornet in a local brass band) and walking in the beautiful Cornish countryside or coastline with my two dogs.