When not in white robes, she dances to the rhythms of Odissi Music-  a synthesis of music styles. Greeting everyone with a bright smile, Dr Yoganjali Dorairaj, or better known as Dr. Anjali, radiates warmth to everyone around her. Believing that a great smile is everyone’s asset, she finds great joy in delivering the best results to her patients.

Tell us how did your interest in dental aesthetics develop?

There are many divisions in Dentistry, and I fell in love with the Aesthetic part of it, and this probably came from my passion in the Arts. I’ve always loved drawing, sketching and painting and actively took part in competitions since I was 7. But I also excelled in Sciences and so I chose Dentistry.

Did you consider Aesthetic medicine (for the face) at that time?   

I wasn’t exposed to Aesthetics at that time. Dentistry appealed to me because it was about handiwork. Even when I was in college, carvings and fillings were my strong points. This liking grew when I did my postings with the government , the restorative side of dentistry that had to do with crowns, veneers, bridges, which are also known as advance restorative.

Do you regret going down this path?           

No, not at all. In fact, I feel relieved because I finally found an area I’m passionate in! Of course, like the medical field, Dentistry can be technical and less exciting if you compare it to jobs where you can work and travel at the same time; we have to be placed at a certain place, visit patients every day, which is more like a routine. But the Aesthetics part is really what I enjoy. I am really happy when patients themselves are happy with the results because sometimes patient’s expectations may clash with the results. So in a way it’s how you attend to the patients, communication is crucial to avoid conflicts.

What keeps you going? Like when you have a bad day or dealing with complains, or on days when you don’t feel like coming to work.

Complaints are part and parcel of life I’d say? It really boils down to how you communicate; I believe if you talk to people in a nice way, they will listen. But if there are days I’d find myself not wanting to show up at work, I see it as my responsibility, and you don’t run away from that.

Tell us your take on bleeding gums. Should we use a short brush or avoid brushing them, how should we tackle it?

There are many factors that lead to bleeding gums. One of the main one is definitely oral hygiene. I believe most people’s brushing technique is not right, even if they use the perfect toothbrush and brush for 10 minutes, if the technique is not right, then they will not reap the benefit of brushing their teeth. The technique of brushing, some brushes to hard, too gentle, and also one of the neglected area, is the tongue which harbors the most bacteria. However, there are cases where some people are less fortunate. They would have a higher concentration of oral bacteria which exposes them to a higher chance of being infected with periodontitis. With this group of people, they can have the cleanest mouth ever but still would have a high concentration of bacteria. They thus need constant treatment. I would recommend them to seek treatment from a periodontist.

So one question that I’ve asked my friend who is doing dentistry, so if you’re talking to someone, would their set of teeth be something that stands out to you?

Unfortunately yes. I wasn’t like that when I was a student, neither was I at the beginning of my job, but it only occurred when I started working for some time. It becomes a habit, but definitely, it is not always the first thing I see, as I believe depending on individual, some facial feature would stand out more (than the set of teeth) sometimes.

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So if you weren’t a dentist, you’d be…

A dancer.

Oh, I thought you’d say something that has to do with Art since you were really into Arts and Craft when you were younger…

Interior designer or a dancer. That’s also because I still do perform. I’m a Classical Indian dancer and have started learning at a young age of 3. But if you mean a proper job, I’d say Interior Designer as it is something I wanted to do very badly. Since I still pursue dancing, I’d say it has grown to be more than a hobby, but a passion. I’m also a belly dancer. I do both Classical Indian Dancing- Odissi and belly dancing.

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Coffee or tea?

I don’t drink both.

Comfort or style.

Comfort with style.

Three words that describes yourself.

Loving, artistic and caring.

Any life mantra that you live by?

Live every moment, life doesn’t give you second chances.

Are you a perfectionist?

Unfortunately, yes.

What’s your greatest fear?

Being thrown into dark water ocean.

Childhood nickname.

Jelly. Because my name is Yoganjali.

Name 3 of your favourite cakes.

Cheesecake, Blackforrest and traditional butter cake. But I love cakes in general so even if I’m handed a sponge cake, I’d savour it. I’m a desert lover!

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