Gina Vega, board member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), speaks about what inspired her to enter dentistry, her career journey so far and why the BACD is a perfect resource for dental professionals of all experience levels.
Gina said, “I was only eight years old when I first realised that I wanted to work as a dentist. I grew up in Mexico, and I used to really love the smell of the dental practice that I used to visit – so I thought at the time that it would be really nice to work in an environment just like that one when I was older. When I told my parents this, they bought me a Play-Doh dentistry set where you could do fillings and extractions on teeth – I absolutely loved it and I think this is where my passion for dentistry truly began.
“From that moment on I was on a one-way path to become a dentist. I studied hard, went to university and qualified as a dentist in 1998 in Mexico. I always knew that I wanted to travel and see more of the world, so in the year 2000 I came to Europe, where I met my now husband. This led to me moving to England in 2001.
“I didn’t want to leave my passion for dentistry behind, so I set about requalifying as a dentist in the UK. During this time, I worked as a dental nurse simply because I loved being in practice so much and didn’t want to miss it! Then, after qualifying in 2004, I worked in a mixed NHS and private practice.
“In 2010 I was presented with an excellent opportunity – the chance to buy Bishopsgate Dental, a dental clinic in London. I, of course, decided to go ahead, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. When I took the practice over it was struggling, and had only a team of three people. Now the team has seventeen members, and the practice has won several prestigious awards, including ‘Best Practice in London’, ‘Best Patient Care’ and more! I’ve also received rewards for my skills, including ‘Dentist of the Year’ – an achievement I’m so proud of to this day.”
With such an exciting career journey so far, Gina could have chosen any path in dentistry. So, what was it that drew her to cosmetic treatments? Gina explains, “I first started offering cosmetic procedures as I wanted my patients to have access to a more diverse selection of options when they came to see me in practice. I soon realised that these treatments have the potential to really change someone’s life, and I loved helping people transform their confidence. My practice is based in London, so I get a lot of young professionals who want to change their smile aesthetics to feel more confident in themselves. A smile is a person’s presentation card, and often the first thing that someone else notices – by helping these individuals feel happy with their smile I know I’m improving their careers and personal life, making it so that they no longer feel like they have to hide away.
“Today, I’m a speaker for Invisalign and participate in a number of the trials they use for new research. This is fantastic as I get to stay at the cutting-edge of all new developments. I’m also Director of a company called Aligner Training, which is exciting as I get to help fellow professionals understand the powers of Invisalign and teach them how to utilise clear aligners to change lives!’
Throughout her career, the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has played a big part in the path that Gina decided to follow. Gina explains, “I knew about the BACD for many years because it has such a great reputation. I was invited to become a Committee Member in 2020, an opportunity I instantly accepted because I couldn’t wait to be part of such an amazing organisation! During this time, I’ve met so many amazing and wonderful people who share my passions – the BACD really enhanced my professional skills and gave me a tight-knit support network full of friends.
“I think membership to the BACD is a perfect opportunity for all individuals in the dental team to find like-minded people, learn from others and receive expert guidance. Dentistry can often be quite an isolated and competitive profession, but the BACD is like joining a family. You really become part of the bigger picture and see how by connecting with others and sharing your skills and passions, you can excel. It’s the perfect organisation for all!”
For more information visit www.bacd.com