Perth CBD dentist Dr Nick Morton
In his 33 years as a dentist, Nick Morton had never had a day off sick…until six weeks ago. Since then, he hasn’t had nearly as much time off work as his surgeon would like.
This dedicated dentist arrives at work each day chauffeured by his wife, who also carries in his tools of the trade for him and sets them up. Nick, who is currently on crutches, wheels himself around all day in an office chair. As he works between three different surgeries each week, he needs help getting to and from each one.
Up until the night he was playing a game of soccer, his regular routine of work plus every kind of exercise had only resulted in ‘just the odd little broken bone’ – nothing to disrupt his workdays. But the night he fell and tore all the ligaments of his left ankle, he also heard a bone snap.
“It was a ten out of ten for pain,” recalls Nick. Nonetheless, no ambulances were called; just his wife, who had the task of talking him into going to hospital for an X-ray, not straight home.
Thankfully, Nick had taken the advice he gives his sports playing patients and was wearing a custom fitted mouth guard, so at least his smile was intact.
Bad to the bone
When Nick got home with his leg in plaster, he had a booking to see a surgeon in two weeks. His injury was a Maisonneuve fracture, which requires splayed bones to be screwed back together and torn ligaments repaired in a complex operation.
“I knew it couldn’t wait that long,” says Nick, who went straight online to research the injury when he got home. “I phoned up a friend who was an ex-professional footballer and asked who the best guy to see would be for this particular injury.”
Nick went straight back to work for the two days it took before he could see the surgeon, who was horrified he hadn’t rested.
“My foot was too swollen for him to operate straight away so I had to elevate it for a few days until the swelling went down,” Nick says.
Following surgery he did rest for a couple of weeks, before heading back to his patients and his five-and-a-half day schedule.
“My surgeon thinks I’m mad,” says Nick cheerfully. “But the rest of the time I’m resting with my foot up. Before this I played sports or cycled every time I wasn’t working. I used to cycle 250 kilometres a week.”
Decades of dentistry
Nick grew up in the UK and was the first of his family to go to university.
“It was hard economic times,” says Nick. “My father had worked in manufacturing, which was closing down. I wanted a profession that would give me a job for life. After more than three decades of dentistry, I wouldn’t change anything, I was made to be a dentist. I’m totally happy in this field.”
Five years ago Nick and his family emigrated to Perth, after he was invited to visit to see if he wanted to work there.
“I had a look around for a day and decided to move,” says Nick. “I love it here.”
He is now Clinical Director of DB Dental and has Invisalign Platinum Elite status; He does specialist dental and periodontal work including implant surgery.
Nick see the major change in dentistry over the decades as a much greater interest in cosmetic treatments.
“People are much more concerned about their appearance than they used to be,” says Nick. “Things like implants, veneers and caps, orthodontics and teeth-whitening are important to many now.
“But everyone is different,” says Nick. “I just wish people would floss regularly and not smoke. Those are two things which are really important for your oral health. And oral health affects your overall health.”
Nick hopes to be ‘back on his feet again’ and minus crutches in another couple of weeks; but won’t be back to all his beloved sports for another six months. Meanwhile, it’s dentistry as usual for Nick.