SmileAward recognises patient stories on a world stage

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SmileAward recognises patient stories on a world stage

Dr Anthony Mak at his dental clinic W Dental in Sydney in Australia. (Image: Anthony Mak)

Tue. 12. April 2022


Straumann’s mission is to change patients’ lives by giving smiles back. Whereas it is the company which produces the dental implants and everything associated with them, it’s the numerous dental professionals around the world who, with their treatments, have a positive impact on the patients’ quality of life—they enable them to have the confidence to smile again, to laugh freely and to enjoy the foods they love. To shine a light on these dental professionals, last year, Straumann launched the SmileAward contest. Dr Anthony Mak participated in this first edition and was one of the ten winners. In this interview, he explains what he enjoyed most about the contest and how it changed his patient’s life.

Dr Anthony Mak (left) and Dr Javier Tapia from Spain working on the case together. (Image: Anthony Mak)

Dr Mak, what motivated you to participate in the 2021 SmileAward?
A good friend told me about this award and how the competition wanted to connect the world to share what dentistry’s impact can have on the lives and well-being of our patients. I thought it was a very thoughtful and gratifying initiative, as it recognises our commitment and passion within the dentistry field. I wanted to participate in the SmileAward competition to support the initiative and to share what we do in our daily practice and the influence we have on our patients, not only aesthetically, but also regarding their health and self-confidence. It’s the perfect way to share knowledge about the possibilities of dental implants and their advancements in oral health at a global forum.

What did you enjoy most about the contest?
I most enjoyed having the opportunity to connect with my patients more in-depth. When I was interviewing my patients, hearing their testimonials and checking whether their cases met the criteria for the competition, I found out exactly how the treatment had had an emotional impact on each patient’s life. It was a really meaningful and gratifying experience.

“It helped the patients become aware that they were going to go through a life-changing journey”

Besides the prize, what did you obtain from your participation?
It really gave me the confidence to share realistic cases with my patients who were considering this form of treatment. It helped them become aware that they were going to go through a life-changing journey.

For the upcoming 2022 contest you will be a part of the jury. How does that make you feel?
It feels wonderful having the opportunity to continue supporting this very special initiative. I am humbled and honoured to have this opportunity, as I feel that I can bring a new level of understanding to the jury panel regarding the complexity of case submissions and of meeting the requirements for the award.

I will be able to empathise with all of this year’s SmileAward entrants and hopefully also make a positive contribution to the work of the jury.

The patient looking at her final prosthesis immediately after the insertion. (Image: Anthony Mak)

Where do you see the link between the purposes of both the contest and your profession?
It’s an amazing contest for our profession. It’s the perfect way for professionals to share publicly with the global community how dental implants can change the lives of patients and, ultimately, improve their personal confidence and oral health.

It’s something that has never been done before. It’s a wonderful initiative that connects dentistry, well-being and the world together.

I truly feel everyone who enters into this contest is already a winner, as they have been able to provide excellent dental care that patients ultimately feel very happy with. The whole experience connects dentists with their patients, and you see the outcome in more ways than just in aesthetics. It’s a comforting relief for the patient who may have struggled with concerns for years.

How did the contest change your patient’s life?
Obviously, the improvement in the patient’s dental health has been a life-changing experience for her. Outside of the dental realm, I feel it’s given the patient confidence and satisfaction in the fact that she has had excellent treatment which was recognised on a world stage. That alone had tremendous value for her, and reinforced her trust in our treatment, materials and technique. Her contribution by supporting me through the process of participating in the contest has helped and inspired other dental clinicians around the world to participate as well.

Editorial note:

Dr Anthony Mak runs two practices in Sydney in Australia, focusing on quality modern comprehensive care, including aesthetic and implant dentistry. He is a member of the Restorative Advisory Board of GC Europe and also of the executive planning committee for the Graduate Diploma in Clinical Dentistry (Oral Implants) at the University of Sydney and is the Australian team leader of the renowned Bio-Emulation Group, a global group of high-achieving dental practitioners.

Dental professionals who are interested in participating in this year’s contest may submit their patient story until 20 July. More information concerning participation can be found on the Straumann website.

Contest SmileAward

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