We had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Mai Abdelsalam, a world-class dental professional with an impressive history of global education, accolades, and accomplishments.
In this exclusive interview with NatruSmile, Dr. Abdelsalam weighs in on what influences her practice, how she delivers exceptional patient care in the telehealth era, the impact of COVID-19 on cosmetic dentistry, and new technologies that are improving her approach to dental care every day.
About Dr. Mai Abdelsalam
Dr. Abdelsalam's journey began at Modern Sciences and Arts University in Egypt, where she obtained a Bachelor's degree in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. After graduating with high honors in July 2016. After a rigorous full-year internship and residency in national hospitals at the KasrAlAiny School of Medicine and Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, she joined the American Dental Association in June 2017.
As a firm believer in the interconnectedness of dentistry and medicine, she explored numerous medical sciences during her studies, including Medical Nutrition at Cornell University (July 2017), and Physiology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Genetics at Harvard Medical School (September 2017).
Dr. Abdelsalam began specializing in Orthodontics in September 2017. She earned her Master of Science in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics from Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine in Dubai, UAE. She completed her residency program and currently works at Dubai Dental Clinic in Dubai Health Care City.
She has been recognized for her master's thesis research, winning the first poster presentation award at AEEDC 2020. Her research topic, "The Reliability of Three-Dimensional Imaging as an Assessment Tool to Detect Airway Dimensional Changes in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients," displayed her commitment to contributing valuable knowledge to her field.
Currently, Dr. Abdelsalam holds memberships in the European Orthodontic Society (EOS), World Federation of Orthodontics (WFO), Emirates Medical Association (EMA), and American Association of Orthodontics (AAO). She is also pursuing membership of the Royal College of Edinburgh (MORTH).
What motivated you to become a dentist? Was there a particular experience or influence that inspired your career choice?
At first, I personally wanted to be a cardio surgeon. I wanted to have my own clinic and practice medicine to transform lives. Upon joining dental school, I found my true calling. I realized that the whole world of dentistry was more than just fixing teeth, and I could transform lives in a different way.
How do you stay updated with the latest advancements and trends in the field of dentistry? Can you share any recent courses, conferences, or publications that have influenced your practice?
I'm blessed with a huge social media network, which is very helpful and informative. I also attend seminars, courses, conferences, and workshops to stay updated with the latest trends in dentistry. As a past student at Harvard Medical School, I still receive their publications and newsletters and follow their activities.
In your opinion, what are some of the most significant technological advancements that have revolutionized dentistry in recent years? How have these advancements impacted your approach to patient care?
To me, the most impressive advancement in dentistry is whitening home care products. Now, patients can achieve professional-level whitening results for a low cost at home. Of course, they have their limitations, but it is a great solution for mild to moderate cases.
Dental anxiety is a common concern among patients. What strategies do you employ to help patients feel more comfortable and at ease during their dental visits?
Brilliant question. I motivate my patients by building a trusting relationship with them. It also helps to remind them how white, straight, and clean their teeth will look after treatment.
Oral health is closely linked to overall health. How do you educate your patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and its impact on their overall well-being?
Through social media. I have an active community on Instagram (@drmaiabdelsalam), where I frequently post Reels, videos, and stories including tips on how to take better care of oral health.
With the rise of teledentistry and virtual consultations, what are your thoughts on the future of remote dental care? How do you see this technology influencing the dental industry in the coming years?
We started working with teledentistry and virtual consultations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With everyone stuck at home, it was the only way to provide patient care. I think that the future of dental care will continue to involve teledentistry in one way or another, either as an adjunct to traditional treatment models or as a more permanent feature. The technology is great because it allows us to reach patients who wouldn't have been able to access dental care before, and I believe it could drastically improve oral health outcomes for many people around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the healthcare industry. How has it specifically affected dentistry, and what changes have you implemented in your practice to adapt to the new normal?
COVID-19 dramatically reduced the frequency of dental visits, and it has been a real challenge to keep up with our patients’ needs. Now, it's rare to see patients every six months. However, tele-consultations have enabled us to reach more of our patients. Since patient awareness is my top motive and one of the most important parts of their treatment, I implemented video consultation services so that more people could access our services and educational videos on proper oral hygiene.
Cosmetic dentistry has gained popularity in recent years. Can you discuss some of the most common cosmetic procedures you perform and their impact on a patient's confidence and self-esteem?
All my work is in the cosmetic field. I primarily specialize in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. In my practice, I mostly work with teeth and jaw realignment, which includes braces and retainers, maxillectomy, and oral surgery. All of these treatments improve a patient’s facial aesthetics and also have an impact on their self-confidence.
Dental implants have become a popular choice for replacing missing teeth. Could you explain the implantation process and discuss any advancements or innovations in this field?
Dental implants are typically the best solution for replacing missing teeth, especially when it comes to preserving a healthy and functional bite.
During the implantation process, a titanium screw is inserted into the jawbone as an artificial root, which then supports the prosthetic tooth or crown. The entire process involves several steps, such as placing the implant in the jawbone, uncovering and attaching a healing abutment, and attaching the custom-made restoration.
TADs (temporary anchorage devices) and microscrews are two of the latest advancements in dental implant technology. They make it easier to operate and they reinforce patients' teeth, making them more stable and reliable.
Oral cancer awareness is an important topic in dentistry. How do you screen for and detect oral cancer in your practice? Can you share any insights into the importance of early detection and treatment?
Great question! I have a full team of nearly 80 nurses and GPs who help me conduct cancer screenings for my patients. We use a combination of visual and physical examinations, along with laboratory tests to detect any changes in the oral cavity that could suggest the presence of cancerous cells.
Early detection is key when it comes to the treatment of oral cancer, which is why we are committed to providing comprehensive checkups for all our patients. Through our screenings, we can identify any potential issues before they become more serious and provide the necessary treatments to ensure a successful recovery.
Dr. Mai Abdelsalam shares her location (UAE) with one of NatruSmile's main offices. NatruSmile has strongly advocated preventive dentistry and aesthetically beautiful smiles since its inception, and Dr. Abdelsalam endorses our products as safe, reliable, and effective.
We encourage the NatruSmile family to connect with Dr. Abdelsalam on Instagram, where she continues to provide valuable oral health tips and advice, engage with her patients, and discuss the latest advances in dental care.
We thank Dr. Abdelsalam for her time and knowledge, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration in the near future.