Chairside Chats: A Word with Dr. Fahad Chater

by Oral Health

Dr. Fahad Chater

Altima Dental Canada

What is your favourite part about being a dentist?

The people. We have a great team that is very supportive. I am also very fortunate to have two mentors that taught me that dentistry is a long-term relationship-building career. We also have great patients that I enjoy interacting with and educating on their oral health. They become extended family that comes to visit you every 3, 6, 9, or 12 months.

What is the one piece of technology you could not work without?

My smart phone is by far the most important piece of technology. Staying connected with our team members, no matter which location, is vital to operations. This was especially important during the height of COVID.

How do you measure success?

For me, success is measured by the quality of relationships we build over time. Whether it be personal relationships like family and friendships, or professional such as team members, colleagues, and our patients, cultivating great relationships breeds success. Specifically for dentistry, to me success is measured by production efficiency and treatment without compromising my integrity and quality of care. Financial success is the by-product.

What have you observed to be the biggest change to the dentistry profession since you began your career?

The evolution of dental technology has tremendously helped the industry. We can diagnose more accurately and efficiently while achieving more predictable outcomes. Technology is moving at a rapid rate and is becoming increasingly sophisticated at assisting in daily operations as well.

What does a perfect day look like to you?

Regardless of treatment that day, a perfect day is when the team and our patients are happy and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, the dental office is not on the top of the list of patients’ favourite places to be, so we try to make it an enjoyable experience.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

This may be a boring answer, but my other profession would be in the scope of dentistry. Mentoring young graduates, assisting them into the transition of practice ownership, and helping them achieve their long-term goals would make for a gratify career.

What is the biggest obstacle or challenge you face today?

Quality recruitment and staff shortages are the major obstacles in daily practice. Maintaining an existing patient base along with achieving organic growth are challenging in this current environment.

What steps or actions do you take to manage stress?

Dentistry can be a stressful career. You wear many hats: you are a clinician, business owner, and team leader all at the same time. Personally, what helps me deal with stressful days is being with my family, enjoying quality time with my wife and daughter. Finding the work-life balance is important.

Dr. Fahad Chater graduated from Dalhousie University, receiving a BSc in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics and Doctor of Dental Surgery. He has been a partner of Altima Dental Canada since 2015, contributing to operations, recruitment and mentorship.

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