Dr. Dennis Hartlieb

Interview with Dr. Jason Smithson

Interview Part 1: Video
Interview Part 2: Video
Interview Part 1: Audio
Interview Part 2: Audio

About the Sharecast Interview

In part one of the interview with Dr. Jason Smithson, Dennis and Jason talk about what it was like navigating a dental practice during the pandemic and how that has continued to impact life as a practice owner.

Dennis and Jason talk about what continuing education looks like today with both virtual and in-person options. They also dive into Jason's past and what led him to a career as a dentist. 

In part two of the interview, Jason and Dennis dig into charging fees for service, getting started with cosmetic and restorative dentistry, and influences. Dr. Smithson shares about how he slowly built up his practice and about the importance of mentorship for dentists.

Be sure to check out Dr. Smithson's tips and insights in the latest Sharecast episode. 

Meet Dr. Jason Smithson

From his website, jasonsmithson.com

"Jason Smithson is an internationally renowned cosmetic and reconstructive dentist formerly of London’s Harley Street Medical District, he is now based in St Agnes, Cornwall where he offers dentistry, dental-education and medico-legal expert witness services.

"World-class crowns, veneers and direct composite resin artistry are delivered with uncompromising standards bespoke to the patient’s individual requirements. He is considered to be the ‘Dentist’s Dentist’ and regularly treats other dentists; many of whom travel from throughout the UK to see him.

"Dr. Smithson is an ‘In Demand’ presenter and is perhaps the most prolific in the UK. He is considered by his peers to be an authority on aesthetic dentistry and has presented to audiences on every continent over the past 10 years. He is a true innovator and pioneered the use of Dental Operating Microscope in teaching Direct Resin Artistry to other dentists in the UK; he is the author of numerous articles and a book on crowns in aesthetic dentistry."

Episode Highlights


The Impact of COVID

Dr. Smithson shares about the way that COVID impacted his business and how he adjusted to the new reality. Jason shares about the way that cancellations came rolling in early in 2020 and how that led to a complete shutdown for a period of time coupled with an inability to travel for workshops. 

Dr. Smithson shares:

"I personally had been very resistant to doing online stuff. I'm my favorite thing to do is live workshops, for sure... My love is live workshops.

"And people had asked me to do webinars. My business partner -- I have a business partner in Scotland, and we do a lot of work together in the UK -- and he tried to get me to do webinars, and I was like, 'I'm not doing that. I don't like the medium. I don't like the fact that I can't see the whites of people's eyes. From a commercial point of view, I thought you know what? It's kind of like giving stuff away.

"So my business partner said to me, 'Look, we got to do something. Let's run a few webinars. And initially, we did them to compensate for the classes that we couldn't run just to keep people interested really. And then he said, 'Maybe we should charge for these.'

"And we did. And actually, what happened is we had the best year we've had in the last 10."

Changes to Continuing Education

As Dennis and Jason discuss, continuing education platforms and options are much more abundant today, and those options are helping dentists have access to so many more opportunities to further their skills. 

Dr. Smithson shares, "What we've done is we've taken the webinars we've done, and we recorded them during COVID. For example, with a class IV workshop, our class four class was traditionally that somebody would come to our class and spend the first session, which lasted an hour and a half or two hours, listening to me lecture on the class IV. And then the rest of the session for the rest of the day doing it, hands on.

"And now what we do is we give them the recording a month before the lecture, but also we did some live demos as well and share also a live demo. Then they turn up to the class and just do six to eight hours of hands on. And then we let them keep the recording for a month or two afterwards, just to revise it and ask questions."

As Dennis and Jason discuss, this way of learning works well for dentists and ensures that the hands-on time is productive and effective.

The Journey to Dental School

Dr. Hartlieb asked Dr. Smithson about what led him to dental school. Dr. Smithson shares that he came from a mining town with parents who did not attend higher education.

Through an unlikely series of events, Jason wound up applying for a dental program, and he did well once he arrived at the program. However, he also shared that he often felt out of place amid the other dental students, and it took him a while to settle into the program.

Those experiences in the program taught him resilience that served him well later in his career as a dentist. 

Early Days in Dental School

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Dr. Smithson talks about his first days in dental school and how different he felt from his classmates, many of whom had a very different upbringing than his own.

Charging Fees for Service

Dennis and Jason talk about the challenges of charging full fees for services that are time-intensive and expensive. 

Jason shares about the practice where he first worked and the way that he got into resin and composite, not because it's less invasive (which it is!) but because it was more affordable for his patients. 

Dennis and Jason talk about blue collar backgrounds, and Jason shares how his background helped him connect to patients who might not have the economic means to pay for certain procedures and services. 

Imposter Syndrome for Dentists

Jason and Dennis talk about how dentists face imposter syndrome, especially as they first enter the field or a new area within the field. 

They talk about some strategies to handle those feelings of imposter syndrome.

Dr. Smithson shares important perspectives about how social media has intensified these feelings, and he highlights the fact that many of the cases seen on social media are not set in realistic settings in a daily office environment. 

Patient of the Month Approach

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Dr. Smithson shares about how he slowly built up his restorative skills by completing one complex case each month. Listen in to hear how this approach worked for him.


Jason shares about early influences and the way that seeing presentations and restorative cases changed his early approach toward dentistry.

Among the influences Jason mentions, Dr. Newton Fahl and Dr. Buddy Mopper have both been on the Sharecast. Be sure to check out their episodes if you're interested! 

Dr. Smithson talked about how challenging it was to build up a patient base for the more complex cases but how with patience and perseverance, he found that he could go from a patient a month who would give the treatment plan a try to a patient a week and then to a full caseload. 

The Importance of Mentorship

Dr. Smithson shares about how vital mentors are, and he highlights how they can support dentists not only with technical skills but with all aspects of their practice. 

Jason also shares about how vital it is to maintain a balanced life that isn't focused exclusively on dentistry. 

The Role of Mentoring for Dentists

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When asked about advice for young dentists, Dr. Smithson shares about mentoring and what a strong mentorship relationship should do for young dentists.

Dennis Hartlieb, DDS, AAACD

DOT Founder

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