Shayne completed a Bachelor of Dental Science degree at the University of Western Australia in 2001. She moved to Albury-Wodonga in 2015 and worked with Dr Rod Paton, taking over the practice when he retired in 2015.
As a dentist, what is your professional philosophy?
“At Dental on Lawrence, our goal is to provide the people of Wodonga and Albury with the most modern, pain-free dental services. But, I believe it’s just as important that we share our knowledge of good oral health care – simple steps they can take every day. So, we take the time to explain why a patient might have a particular dental issue and what they can do to avoid it in the future. Of course, we are here if something goes wrong. But, we are very much about education and helping our patients minimise day-to-day risk factors.”
What aspects of dentistry have you focused on in particular?
“In a regional dental practice you have to be an all-rounder. But, I have a special interest in the relief of oral pain, and in rebuilding or rehabilitating damaged or deteriorating teeth.”
Some patients put off visiting the dentist. How do we help them overcome their fears?
“I see it as a professional challenge to help people overcome their fear of having dental treatments. Some may have had a bad experience with an injection or tooth extraction, but they don’t always feel that their fear has been understood or acknowledged. The entire Dental on Lawrence dental team knows how important it is to acknowledge a patient’s fears and make them feel at ease. Putting off treatment – especially when a tooth or gum is sore or damaged – may only make the problem worse. We’ve become skilled at allaying a patient’s fears by creating a calming atmosphere and clearly explaining all the treatment options. We make it clear to them that they have control during every stage of their treatment.”
Are there alternatives to the old-fashioned dental needle?
“Fear of the dentist is often a fear of having needles. For those patients, I don’t use the traditional injection technique unless it’s absolutely necessary. Some years ago, we made the decision to invest in advanced anaesthetic technology called the Wand. The Wand virtually eliminates all the usual discomfort or pain that can come from having an oral injection.”
How often should a child or adult visit their dentist?
“It’s the same for adults or kids – every 12 months. However, we advise patients to see us every three months if they have recurring dental problems, such as frequent cavities, plaque build-up, or bleeding gums. We want to avoid small issues becoming bigger ones.”
What are your interests outside work?
“I love reading and spending time with my dogs, a pair of retired racing greyhounds.”