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British Dental Journal

Written by Will Murphy

Will Murphy Dental Implants interviewed by Kate Quinlan, features in British Dental Journal...


Will Murphy, 45, is clinical director and dentist at Will Murphy Dentistry in the heart of Birmingham. Will has a special interest in implant and cosmetic dentistry and for many years has acted as Divisional Diploma Tutor for candidates sitting their membership exams at the Royal College of Surgeons. Originally from Cardiff, Will lives in Birmingham with his wife Jayne, a civil engineer and fitness instructor, and children Tom, 17, Chloe, 15, and Ben, 11.

I like to get up as late as I can, but normally it's 6.50 am. I eat Shreddies or coconut yoghurt and honey with super-strength coffee at the kitchen table with one eye on BBC news. Then I cycle the three miles to my practice, unless the weather's bad or if one of the kids needs dropping off, in which case I take the car.

On a typical day I arrive at work and hope there's a coffee on my desk. Quickly glance at emails. Glance at the day book. Informal huddle if needed. Fix teeth. Moan. Go home. Moan. Go to the gym or drive children around.

We have a team of seven at Will Murphy Dentistry. I bought the practice in 1998 as Newhall St Dental Practice then moved the business down to the ground floor in 2008 when the lease expired. The number of hoops to jump through in a listed building is tiresome plus all the usual keeping to time and budget stuff. Have you ever watched Grand Designs?

We have a real variety of patients; we still have patients from over 30 years ago along with city workers and referred patients from as far away as Dorset and South Wales.

In a small practice we are often all in my surgery first thing, so issues get aired pretty quickly at the start of the day. Maggie, the practice manager, and I try and go to the coffee shop over the road regularly for management meetings. This will be for staff issues or to go over the management account spreadsheets.

I usually average about 30-35 hours of clinical work, spending half of that on implant work. Despite the protestations of well-recognised business coaches my admin gets done at lunchtimes, after work or on my laptop. (Sorry, well-recognised business coaches.) I also act as visiting implantologist to a corporate and two other local practices. Currently I am a tutor on the Diploma in Implant Dentistry at the RCS, which is a privilege, and throw in a few speaking engagements as well.

It's no secret that my passion is implant dentistry. This makes up a greater part of my week and if I could work out a smooth transition it would take up all of my week.

I have tried taking a session off a week but I don't like sitting at home. I prefer just to go through the diary and book off days here and there so I can do something specific or take an extended weekend.

I usually go to the gym twice a week while my son is in his karate class. I will just do weights and conditioning or punchbag work as it is a boxing gym. I also try and go out on the road bike once or twice on a weekend anything up to 60 miles, if I have the time. I used to be part of the Birmingham triathlon club (BRATS) but my right knee has no cartilage so running has become too painful.

I used to play competitive rugby, but these days I coach the Moseley Under 12s. I would rather have been a rugby player than a dentist. The only thing that got in the way was a lack of talent. The Cardiff Blues rugby team run firmly through my veins; that can't be changed and I watch their games on BBC 2 Wales. I feel that with their current form there is karmic retribution in force for my sins in a former life.

I have adopted Moseley as my local team up here, especially as all my children have played for them. I think I prefer watching my kids play for club and school as the rugby is more honest; the kids try and run the ball from anywhere without fear or making mistakes or losing league points.

I usually get home between 5 and 6.30 pm. I used to get home much earlier when the children were younger. I was Mr Bath and Bedtime Story. I do miss that now (but I wouldn't do it again). My second job as a taxi driver starts after work.

Jayne is a superb cook but now she's working we use the slow cooker a lot. Lately I've been trying to eat fewer carbohydrates during the week. I love curry and am the specialist steak expert of the house. I'm also a fairly unadventurous Rioja and real ale drinker. Fortunately, I'm a savoury chap so I don't crave sugar hence no fillings. Hoorah!

We make sure there is ample fruit and veg dished up for the kids. However, once they get accustomed to going to the shops themselves they fill their faces with junk. Despite the impeccable oral health education they have had I would say their own decision making when it comes to food/snacks is poor. Is it just my kids?

My house is full of guitars. I used to play in a few punk bands in my youth then some general 'pub covers' type bands about ten years ago. Strumming the guitar is a good way to wind down in the evening, until the family tell me to switch the amp off.

Usually I go to bed around 11.30 pm, but later on a weekend waiting for the teenagers to roll in (it's funny how history starts to repeat itself).

Interview by Kate Quinlan


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