Science graduate drills into dentistry career

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Science graduate drills into dentistry career

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Published on 19 May 2015

A University of the Sunshine Coast graduate has used his Biomedical Science degree to become a prosthodontist – a specialist dentist helping restore the smiles of people suffering ailments ranging from basic holes in the teeth to throat cancer, serious injuries and facial deformities.

Dr Mitch Innes last year completed a Doctor of Clinical Dentistry in Prosthodontics at the University of Adelaide. He was one of five such clinical trainees in Australia in 2014.

The third-generation Sunshine Coaster has returned to the region from his position as prosthodontic registrar at the Adelaide Dental Hospital. He now runs the private practice Bright Smiles at Brightwater.

Dr Innes said his 2002 USC degree had given him “an incredibly good grounding” in diverse subjects such as microbiology, biotechnology and genetics and, coupled with the mentorship of renowned Sunshine Coast dentist, the late Dr John Currey, enabled his pursuit of dentistry.

“I always wanted to make a difference to people’s lives,” he said. “I realised there’s more to dentistry than filling teeth. Restorative and reconstructive dentistry, including the use of dental implants, can be confronting but it’s rewarding to help people and have a big influence on their lives.”

Dr Innes received an Australian Postgraduate Award in 2012 during his doctorate and a Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons Award in 2007 on graduating from the University of Queensland with first class Honours in Dental Science.

His doctorate researched the behaviour of dental materials, especially dental ceramics and nano-composites.

“I work with members of every dental specialty, including maxillofacial surgeons and pathologists, to treat all sorts of complex dental conditions, and I lecture on these topics at universities and in private professional development courses,” he said.

He has also done work placements at hospitals in Brisbane and Sydney, where he was involved in operations such as major facial reconstructions. “Parts of a patient’s bone from the leg or hip can be used to rebuild lost facial bone for the support of dental and facial prosthesis,” he said.

Dr Innes and his sister Jolene also run a financial services business for the dental industry. Founded in 2006, My Financial Group Health now has three offices on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts and in Brisbane.

He said he was delighted to be back on the Coast, where he joins other family members including his mother Dr Suzanne Innes, a long-time education consultant who is also a member of the USC Council.

— Julie Schomberg

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