Some might raise an eyebrow at Dr Gilbert Burgess’ decision to head up National Dental Care’s new practice on The Streets of Barangaroo. After all, he’s lived happily on the Central Coast for the last 30 years, and practices within a successful dental clinic in Erina that he’s built from the ground up.
But as life invariably presents new opportunities when they’re least expected, National Dental Care offered Gilbert the chance to be the Lead Dentist at Barangaroo, and it was impossible to resist. “I could easily have kept everything as is,” he tells us, “but I wanted the challenge of influencing a practice from its beginnings, and putting all of my experience to good use. It’s also an honour and privilege to be here at Barangaroo, which is National Dental Care’s flagship site.”
Currently, Dr Burgess splits his time between the Central Coast and Sydney, meaning that he’s working at least six days a week and spending a bit more time on the Pacific Highway. Despite his busy schedule, he always makes time to attend to his other interests, which include soccer, building sheds, and of course - his family.
For the last couple of years, Dr Burgess has devoted his Monday evenings to a rare but rewarding hobby - making guitars. “It all started when a friend invited me along to a beginner’s guitar making workshop”, he says. “Now it’s what I do to escape and not think about dentistry for a few hours. And best of all, it makes me look forward to Mondays!”
As far as hobbies go, it’s not a bad fit for a dentist. It involves a familiar skill set required by his day job - great dexterity, meticulous attention to detail, and a high level of precision – and provides the same level of mental stimulation.
So far, Dr Burgess has built three guitars completely from scratch (each taking around 100 hours), and it’s clear that he’s spent some serious time learning all of the intricacies about his craft. “The Huon Pine needs to be around 600 years old before it can be cut for a guitar soundboard, and the cut needs to be perfect. At 2.2mm it’s too wide, and at 1.8mm it’s too thin”.
For someone that strives for that level of accuracy with a guitar, we know we’re in good hands when we’re sitting in his dental chair.
National Dental Care is located on Level 1, 300 Barangaroo Avenue (access via The Avenue).
Take advantage of their new patient offer: No gap* check up, clean and take home whitening kit (valued at $981). For bookings, call (02) 8066 9000 or visit National Dental Care’s website.
*or $179 for non health fund extras patients - see practice for terms and conditions.