“The purpose of a person is their internal compass, the arrow of which always points in the right direction. Following it, it is impossible to go astray. This is a synergy of unique abilities and talents, personal priorities and family values, the aspirations of the human soul and the principles of relationships with other people. This is a vision of the world and its acceptance. About realizing one’s mission, one can find true happiness and fill life with meaning, about goals and tasks, achievements and victories, - Karligash Usenovna Suntaeva, director of the dental clinic “Imatek-Dent”, a practicing dentist of the highest category, an amazing woman striving to bring any started business to an ideal, told #1 MAG.
One of the conditions for the success of any project is its uniqueness. Moreover, not the one that is artificially created and replicated, but genuine, forcing people to come back here again and again. What is the gravity of your clinic?
Perhaps people react to high-quality advertising and come to new clinics, but they return to the doctor - a person who is trusted, who will not harm and do the job efficiently, for many years. The client wants not as much as uniqueness but security, truthfulness and professionalism. Trust and psychological contact between the attending physician and the patient is very important. And this happens only when the client sees a person in the doctor who is sincerely ready to help, and the doctor seas the patient in need of help and protection.
The uniqueness of the “Imatek Dent” clinic is primarily a team of highly qualified doctors, the best in their field, and only then innovative diagnostics and technological equipment, including the latest in the nanotechnology and robotics market.
Does your clinic have a specialization or a particularly popular and sought-after area?
We are a full cycle dentistry. It means therapy, and aesthetic restoration, and the unit of orthopedics and orthodontics, implantation, whitening with the latest safe systems. But I especially want to highlight the complex prosthetics and aesthetics. Our team loves solving serious problems especially. And thanks to today’s technology, it became possible to do this almost perfectly, guaranteeing the patient the most comfortable result.
People often give their projects quite ambitious names, projecting their significance onto their own business. And how did the name of your clinic “Imatek-Dent” appear? What is in it?
We named the clinic after a wonderful person with an exceptional fate and a big heart. This is my father-in-law, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, who devoted 40 years of his life to the construction of Kazakhstan roads and raised 16 children: 8 of his own and 8 adopted. He is now 92 years old. This year, on May the 9th, our grandfather Imat was invited to the capital to meet with President N. A. Nazarbayev and participated in the parade on the occasion of the Victory Day celebrations. We are proud of him and love him.
I am admired for the history of our family, its roots, its origins. In my opinion, this is what family values are in the significance of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, their deeds and promises. After all, it was they who became an example to imitate the fathers, and we, in turn, tried to equal them. And calling our clinic after the name of our elder, we not only honor him, but also assume responsibility for the right to bear this name.
At what moments do you realize that you are at the right place?
When you, as a sculptor, evaluate the results of your work, you are sometimes biased: what you’ve sculpted, did, how esthetically it turned out - and you remain completely satisfied with the work. And the patient leaves the appointment not just with a satisfactory result, but with a happy one.
This is the main task of the dentist?
This is a skill and talent. A person should leave the dentist grateful. And the work should be done so that no one could even suspect that the doctor worked with their teeth.
How do you earn the trust of patients?
To be honest and decent, to fulfill promises and to be appropriate, then it simply will not need to be “earned”. They will trust you anyway! But for me and my team this is not enough. The “Imatek-Dent” clinic has corporate culture rules developed by the employees themselves. So, according to these rules, of which there are so far 25, every doctor working in our clinic should be modest, strive to become the best and cause delight in their patients. This, I believe, is a genuine promise!
Tell us about your team.
These are people who are in love with their profession, with a sparkle in their eyes, open to everything new, ready to constantly improve and replenish their knowledge. As a leader, I try to inspire my employees by revealing their innate creativity. I am sure that each of us is able to demonstrate brilliant results in one or even several areas. And you know why? In people who love their profession, inexhaustible sources of personal growth are hidden. And this rule applies everywhere where real professionals work, where there is a genuine team of like-minded people.
What are you doing to ensure that your specialists are always in trend?
Doctors of «Imatek-Dent» systematically study abroad at the leading centers of world dentistry. For example, I and our other dentists were trained in the USA at the Central Clinic for Dentistry in the direction of “Dental Aesthetics”. Our specialists have repeatedly trained in Italy at Zirkonzahn to work with a CAD/CAM system, the latest technology for the production of dental prostheses, which has already been successfully implemented and operates in our clinic. Were trained in Switzerland at the Bien-Air plant, in Germany at Ivoclar and Voco companies. At the moment, our implantologist is at a Symposium of Implantologists in the United States, and training is planned in the fall on the use of nanotechnology in implantology in South Korea. We successfully use the acquired knowledge in practice.
At the initial consultation, the patient can count on a choice in the methods of treatment and restoration at your clinic?
Of course! I pay special attention to the initial consultation. We have an orthopedic surgeon who oversees the patient from the beginning to the end of the treatment. We offer each client a personal treatment plan and its possible options, since alternative positions can always be used in solving dental problems. If necessary, an X-ray is performed with panoramic or 3D images that give us a more accurate and complete picture. Often to make the right decision, we collect a medical consultation, which includes an orthopedist, implantologist, therapist, orthodontist, periodontist and dental technician. Initial consultation in our clinic is free.
Do you have your own laboratory?
Yes, the “Imatek-Dent” clinic has an excellent laboratory equipped with high-tech equipment. It is here that all orthopedic constructions are created. And we will certainly familiarize the patient in need of prosthetics with our dental technician, inviting him to an appointment. It is very important to look professionally at the patient in natural light, at theirsmile, and make a special close-up photograph. After all, a technician, as an artist, must see and feel the nuances of the shape and color of the client’s teeth, so that in future the artificial tooth does not differ from the present. So ideally, even another dentist could not notice the visual differences.
With today's capabilities of CAD/CAM technology, achieving this result has become much easier. This system is truly flawless. Thanks to it, everything is qualitatively and anatomically correctly registered on the computer, and as a result we get incomparable crowns. They are like toys in the mouth. But once again I remind you that good equipment, of course, affects the quality and comfort of treatment, but only if it is in the hands of a professional.
How did you become a dentist?
In fact, I always wanted to be a doctor. My dad is an outstanding trauma surgeon. Since childhood, I saw his special attitude to work. I remembered well the case when one day, cutting a finger, he cried, but not from pain, but from frustration that the next day he would not be able to participate in the operation. Year after year, I had the conviction that the work of a doctor was insanely interesting. After graduating from school with honors, I did not go to college and worked for a year in a dental clinic. Having learned the profession of dentistry from the inside, I fell in love with it and entered the medical university.
You have been in the profession for 22 years. Have you ever been disappointed with it?
No, of course not! Rather, the opposite. It made me constantly improve, work on myself.
At the beginning of my professional career, I even had a fear that I would become a mediocre doctor. And all the time I tried to be in a trend, to learn something new,
so as not to fall behind, and I myself did not notice how I became successful. Success really catches up only when you enjoy your work and its results. And the result comes with the desire to be better than yesterday, aiming at the next peak, realizing your life mission.
How did you decide to open your own clinic?
Over the years of working as a dentist, having learned all the nuances and subtleties of our craft, I learned a lot. And like any diligent student, dreamed of surpassing her teachers in something. By opening the clinic, I really wanted to find a middle ground, some optimal proportions between caring for patients and doctors. For me, this question has always been important. And I think I did it. You see, the hard work of an orthopedist or implantologist requires tremendous self-confidence and self-reliance from a doctor, but at the same time they remain just a human: they need empathy, understanding and comfortable working conditions.
Therefore, for patients we have world-class innovations in dental technology and the best specialists who are confident in their professionalism; and for doctors - a conference room where you can relax for at least 10 minutes in silence on a comfortable sofa, your own cozy kitchen and just free time to rest, so that the doctor can relax and regain strength before meeting another client. In addition, we have a gorgeous library of dentistry, which contains the latest works of European doctors, the latest techniques and promising developments.
What know-how has appeared in dentistry recently, not yet represented in Kazakhstan?
We are constantly in search of new products, improving our material base. Now we are at the stage of negotiations with a Belgian company regarding the introduction of new technologies in Kazakhstan. This will be a surprise for our patients.
Today, all areas of medicine are actively using 3D technology, probably dentists too?
You know, the oil producers were the first to introduce 3D technology into practice, and dentists were the second. But, in my opinion, the system is still developing, and so far the best “3D camera” is a cast. Although technologically our clinic is equipped at the VIP level, and we certainly use everything that can help the dentist.
The diagnostics using 3D imaging is very important for implantology, it allows you to more accurately determine the length and diameter of the implant. For therapists, a three-dimensional image helps to check the work and gives a 100% guarantee that everything will be perfect with the tooth. 3D also helps plan future work for aesthetic restoration professionals.
How often does modern dentistry come into contact with aesthetic medicine?
Very often. I always advise to consult a dentist before visiting a cosmetologist. Sometimes you can achieve a significant change in appearance merely with dental methods. For example, change the depth of the bite, thereby changing the height of the face. And what can be more aesthetic than white and healthy teeth! There are patients who admitted that their life has radically changed for the better after problems with teeth were resolved. Successful is the person who can sincerely and openly smile. Aesthetic dentistry is also inextricably linked with anti-aging medicine. It is believed that some signs of aging depend on the condition of the teeth, and thanks to a beautiful smile, we can look much younger.
I would like to add that on issues of “aesthetics” the “Imatek Dent” works closely with Ivoclar Vivadent company and directly with Dr. Victor Daub, who periodically comes to us and holds master classes for our doctors.
What foreign experts do you still work with?
For several years we have been cooperating with a person whom I want to talk about separately. This is Enrico Steger, a unique person, a wonderful friend and a great professional. An ordinary dental technician who has become a world-famous figure thanks to his insanely enthusiastic work. Steger is the inventor of the Zirkograph hand-held copy-milling device designed for the production of dental prostheses made of zirconium dioxide. Despite the fact that he started his business only when he was 50 years old, now his company “Zirconzahn” is among the world leaders, and it was from him that we learned how to work with the CAD/CAM system. Three years ago, our clinic was the first to use this machine in prosthetics for work in five planes. The more planes, the higher the accuracy, and this in dentistry is a certificate of quality. The choice of this particular system was also influenced by the fact that Enrico Steger invented Prettau - zirconium constructions without the use of porcelain.
Which country, in your opinion, can claim today the title of “World Dental Center”?
I cannot give a definite answer. If we talk about the professionalism of doctors and the level of equipment of medical institutions, then there are ultramodern dental centers in many countries, and the leading Kazakhstan clinics are sometimes not inferior to the Swiss ones.
I am very close to the fanatical approach to the quality and durability of the German dental school. If we talk about the aesthetic aspect, then, perhaps, the “center” is in America. The very concept of “Hollywood smile” is binding. In the field of implantology, the USA is also a leader, because it is there that the production of titanium used in astronautics is concentrated. Recently, South Korea has made great strides, successfully applying nanotechnology. Not so long ago, they created an implant in a calcium-containing fluid. We, in our clinic, use the experience and achievements of the whole world, take all the best and most advanced. So, treatment at the world center level can be obtained at home. By the way, the work of the specialists of the “Imatek-Dent” clinic was appreciated more than once by leading European dentists and was called excellent.
What do you think you should not save on during dental treatment?
I believe that treatment cannot be saved on in principle. But it is possible to avoid many problems and additional costs only thanks to a systematic preventive examination by a dentist expert. It must be done at least once every six months. Fortunately, the psychology of people begins to change, and the approach to their health becomes meaningful and serious.
Speaking of prevention, we have long and successfully used the method of remineralization - a conservative treatment of caries. It occurs under the supervision of a doctor, painlessly and very effectively. At the stage when only the upper layers of enamel are affected. This method is especially relevant in the treatment of caries in children, because they have a disease due to a small layer of enamel that develops three times faster than in adults. In addition, the method contributes to the active filling of the surface of the children’s tooth with enamel, thereby preventing caries from developing.
Many clinics prefer not to mess with the “kid” population: this audience is very restless! Is it a big problem to treat a child’s teeth?
I am convinced that the problem here is only psychological, the problem of normal contact between the doctor and the child. Many mothers say that our clinic became a real discovery for them, it was here that their babies for the first time ceased to be afraid to treat their teeth. We have created extremely comfortable conditions for small patients, and our pediatric doctor who works according to the European “Say-Show-Do” method is a born doctor. Little patients paint pictures for him. Can you imagine a child giving gifts to a dentist?
This you celebrate the 5th anniversary of the clinic. What do you consider your main achievement during its existence?
We are a young clinic, but in five years, I believe, we have achieved a lot. We introduced the best world technologies, without false modesty, and contributed to the development of the new Kazakhstan dentistry. Gathered a team of excellent doctors. But the most important thing is our Club of grateful patients. They come and stay with us, bring their friends and relatives, recommend us to colleagues who trust us.
Your relatives, of course, are proud of you? Tell us about your family.
I have a wonderful, loving and understanding husband, a man of exceptional moral positions, my helpmeet in all endeavors. And two sons: the youngest is in the third grade, and the senior is in the third year of medical university, at the Faculty of Dentistry. The continuity of generations is very important for me, and I am infinitely happy that my son chose the profession of a dentist for himself. He still has a lot to learn, and then prove his worth as a specialist in practice. But I’m sure that he will succeed. In our family, everyone achieved their heights with hard work, sometimes even with an obsession in the profession.
You create the impression of a person genuinely keen on their work. What is the secret of your relentless interest in work?
In patients. I consider it my privilege to meet new people all the time. Each of them is unique. Discovering a new person as a planet is a real pleasure, constant interest. When you are truly imbued with a person’s problems, communication with them eventually becomes friendly. This is very important because friendship is a life-determining concept for me. Maintaining excellent relationships with people who meet in your path - this, in my opinion, is the essence of success, the quintessence of your life credo, understanding the truth of your destiny.