Dr. Atif Bashir
Dr Atif Bashir has a Bachelor of Science Undergraduate degree from University of Strathclyde in Pure Chemistry, a Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degree from the University Glasgow and a Masters of Science in Dental Lasers from University of Genoa.
Qualifying as a dentist in 2000 with commendation, since then he has trained extensively in the fields of Lasers, Dental implants and tooth alignment and cosmetic dentistry.
In 2012, he successfully gained membership into the faculty of Dental Surgeons, at the worlds oldest and most prestigious Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.
Dr Bashir, believes passionately in the use of utilising the the latest dental technology and latest treatment techniques to be able to deliver pain free, fear free life transformational dentistry for the people of Scotland. He has a Fellowship and a Masters degree Dental Lasers from the University of Genoa, Italy, one of the world leading centres for Dental laser training and research.
Dental lasers are revolutionising the delivery of Dentistry and can be used in many ways to improve the quality and the comfort of dental treatment. The Dr Bashir says, “the use of light laser energy is much kinder, more gentle on the tissues and has very beneficial healing properties.”
He has travelled far and wide in dedication for his passion of learning the most up to date skills in dental implants, lasers and teeth straightening techniques travelling to Brazil, South Africa, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Italy, and all over the UK for Courses and Conferences on lasers and dental implants.
Dr Bashir is member of ADI, Association of Dental Implantology and a Trained Neurolinguistic Programming practitioner. Dr Bashir, supports mentoring programmes at Princes Trust, where he Chairs a Leadership group.
He is the current chairman of the Scottish Dental Practice Owners Group and was listed on the top 50 dentists in Scotland list for 2020.
An interview with Atif Bashir
I was born in Glasgow and was the son of Bashir Ahmad who came to Scotland in 1962 from the Indian subcontinent. I grew up in the Southside of Glasgow.
Why did you become a Dentist?
Oh that's a long story……because I did not grow up wanting to be a dentist. In fact I had a phobia of going to the dentist!! I know what's going through your head……bear with me……because it’s not normal.
I had a great chemistry teacher, Mr Johnston at Shawlands Academy
(that's the Secondary School, Glasgow ) and I very much liked practical things so I left school, went to university and did a chemistry degree and became a chemist, then got a job working in a lab……. It all makes sense. Right? However, after a short while working in a lab, which was good but not as great as I thought it would be, I was feeling the desire to learn more, much to my surprise... So, I started to investigate the post-graduate options in chemistry.
Now here's where things start to drift... One of my close university friends was a Doctor and was now training to be a psychiatrist. He encouraged me to become a DENTIST!!!! …His reasons were, I liked people (this was true, I didn’t think that was the case... but working in the lab made me realise that!). I liked working with my hands and had a degree in chemistry. I mean, he gave me so many reasons, but there was just the small matter of my dental phobia! According to my friend this made it even better…..Really??? I would be able to understand, empathise and relate to dentally anxious patients so much more. Yes I would, because I was living it ... but I had a phobia!
Now I have to say that when he first said this, at the time, it shocked me and caught me off-guard so much so that it took me quite some time to move forward. I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
Eventually, in order to put myself out of my misery I made the decision that I would apply for Dental School. Hey, I may not even get in and I’m worrying about nothing! So yes, you guessed it …..I got in… and it was the University of Glasgow. Now most people would be happy right?! Not me. I had come to a crossroads in my life ... what to do??? I had to make a decision. I had to accept or turn down the offer. I accepted and this took me on a challenging but rewarding journey of self discovery/ self improvement and now ... here I am.
What's your biggest achievement?
For me, it has to be becoming a dentist...
What's different about the way that you do dentistry?
I find that the majority of dentists and dental practices out there are too tooth focussed! I feel that they forget that there is a person at the end of the tooth. Don’t get me wrong, there are many excellent technical dentists out there, but I feel that they are too focussed on the teeth and not the person. We are all different. We have had different experiences and that's what makes us…Us …..right?
Maybe I’m more focussed on this point because of the experiences that I had going to the dentist when growing up. Irrespective of this however, I strongly believe that the role of a modern progressive dentist, is much more than teeth. It’s about the person and improving the quality of peoples' lives by improving their confidence and health. So, I treat people not teeth.
My wife Alison comes from Falkirk. We met when we were studying at University. Alison was doing an economics and management degree, so Falkirk is a town I’ve got to know well. It's like my second home.
Whats your dream?
I know this may sound corny but my dream is to live in the most integrated, healthiest and smiley country in the world! I already believe that we live in the best country in the world. There's many reasons why I say that! But that's again a story for another day.
Do you have a Role Model?
Yes, my father was my role model. He taught me that everything is achievable, especially in this great country of ours. My dad came to the UK as a young 16 year old man, with little education. He started his working life as, (I'm not sure what you call them...). In the old days you would have these people who would go around the tenement buildings in Glasgow putting on the lights in the closes. It had to be done manually in those days. As soon as he was old enough he sat his driving test, became a bus driver and finally became the first Asian/ coloured member of the Scottish Parliament.
Throughout his life he offered an infectious level of encouragement and positivity to me and the people around him. In fact it was my dad that first told me that we lived in the best country in the world with the best people, he was of course right...
Are you involved in things outside of Dentistry?
Yes I have been working with the Princes Trust Charity for a number of years, helping young people get into employment/ business. I find this very rewarding and believe that if we all did a little bit for another, the world would be a better place. The greatest resource of any country are its young people!
Do you have any Hobbies?
Yes, I like running now and I’m learning to play golf when I can find the time. At school I played basketball for the school team and whilst at school and during my university years did Tae Kwon Do which is a Korean martial art. I participated in various national competitions with varying degrees of success.
What is your favourite food?
I enjoy all types of food. I think I'm a bit of a Foodie! Currently I'm really enjoying Sushi.
What is your favourite music?
Growing up, I loved rock music, much to my mother's dismay!!
My favourite band was the American rock band Kiss. As I have progressed in my life I enjoy listening to most genres.
Do you have music on in the Surgery?
Definitely. That's a double yes. I find that it creates a better atmosphere. There's nothing worse than a ticking clock and silence.