Mahesh Chaudhary – Master Dental Technician Who Touched, Transformed And Inspired Many Lives!
Dental Tribune South Asia pays its heartfelt tribute to the master dental technician, ceramist par excellence, a great mentor and human being, Mr Mahesh Chaudhary, after his untimely demise on 6th Jan 2020. Three clinicians who had had a close association with him - Drs. Akshita Mehrotra, Rainy Surana and Ali Tunkiwala share their experiences on how it was like working with him and learning from him.
Mr Mahesh Chaudhary was a master dental technician with a vast experience of more than 30 years in the dental industry. He graduated from Government Dental College, Mumbai and completed his post-graduation from the Manchester School of Dental Technology in 1986.
Post his degree at Manchester, he worked with various dental laboratories in the United Kingdom. In the year 1989, he founded Ceramic Dental Studio in Mumbai, India. He trained thousands of technicians and dentists across India- who are now gainfully employed and some of them even have started their own outfits catering to the dental industry.
He trained individuals from novices to competent professionals. He will be known for his relentless pursuit of improvement in techniques and practices.
Three clinicians pay their tribute to the master dental technician.
"Sometimes, when one person is absent, the whole world seems depopulated."
- by Dr Akshita Mehrotra (Prosthodontist, Mumbai with more than 20 years of association with Mr Chaudhary)
The new year 2020 began with full of promise and enthusiasm but brought shocking news on 6th of January. Mahesh Chaudhary, the ceramist, somebody with whom I had discussed cases just one day ago, had suddenly passed away. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. The person with whom there was a daily conversation regarding various patients, was suddenly no more. It was really mind-numbing!
Sometimes, when one person is absent, the whole world seems depopulated. We as a dental community have not only lost a good ceramist but also somebody who was full of energy and enthusiasm and always ready to help others. My association with him goes back more than twenty years. Approximately in 1997-98. I had walked into his office and introduced myself as a PG student from GDC, Mumbai. At that time, he was already a very established dental technician, one of the few who was well known for doing advanced ceramic work. I was nervous and scared as he was known not to suffer fools easily. I had a full mouth rehabilitation case to be completed and presented in the upcoming prosthodontic conference. Mahesh Chaudhary introduced himself and welcomed me warmly. He listened to me patiently and guided and mentored me on the finer technical aspects of ceramic prosthetic work. Over the next month, the case was completed to our satisfaction, presented and was well appreciated. This was the start of a professional relationship that lasted more than 20 years until his unexpected demise.
Over the years, I came to know Mahesh as a true professional and great ceramist who cared foremost about good dentistry and produced superb results in a committed time span. He was not only an expert technician but also had good knowledge about the biological aspects of clinical dentistry. With authority, he could constructively criticize and with a passion he would work to produce superb results. Though known for his straight-talking, over the years I have seen him help many unconditionally, whether it be PG students or young dentists, and was always open to suggestions to better and improve on his work.
The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude. I am a better prosthodontist and clinician for having worked with Mahesh Chaudhary.
Mahesh, with so many beautiful smiles created by us over the years, I will miss collaborating with you in my future cases.
May the winds of heaven blow softly
and whisper in your ear.
How much we respect and miss you
and wish that you were here
"A perfectionist and a frank person who called a spade a spade" - by Dr Rainy Surana (whom Mr Mahesh Chaudhary called his most favourite student)
Mahesh sir was someone whose reputation preceded him. I remember the first time I met him in his lab. I had just moved back from Los Angeles and had no faith that I would be able to do the same quality of work that was done back in the US. Everything changed from that day, 4 years ago, when I met Sir!
Sir was a perfectionist and a very frank and truthful one. He would call a spade a spade- so a bad impression was a bad impression and had to be redone by the dentist. We, unfortunately, are not in a country where a dentist can be wrong, and that would make it extremely difficult for all dentists to follow his high standards of quality.
Sir was tough and expected the best only. I remember repeating final impressions 5 times, till I got all the margins and other structures recorded with 100 % perfection. But that was sir. Soon, those 5 repeat attempts became 3, and the 2 and then 1. And I only have sir to thank for it.
In these 4 years of visiting the lab regularly, I have more appreciation for technicians. And learning to do my own lab work, has made me a much better dentist today!
Sir would understand the passion for perfection. There was once a single unit Veneer case, and I wanted to layer and stain, glaze it myself in Sir’s lab. I remember redoing the veneer fabrication 7 times- that means 7 attempts of pressing, layering, staining and glazing. All this while, Sir encouraging me that I would be able to do it better the next time around. I feel there are many talented ceramists in this country that may be able to do good work, but none like Mahesh Sir, who would do it so selflessly. He had, in a similar manner, mentored thousands of dentists and technicians over his 30+ years of practice.
After Sir’s untimely demise, I felt lost. And I came across a beautiful article about mentorship. About how important it is and how wrong we get the concept.
“We write a ton about the importance of mentors. Yet, there's a commercial, artificial and transient nature to mentorship. We select a mentor based on an individual challenge or circumstance. True mentorship, though, is deeper, and it's something that chooses you. It's a relationship, deep and lifelong -- even generational.”
I had never realized that until Sir. Thank you, Mahesh Sir, I will be eternally grateful.
"A salute to Mahesh Chaudhary - he was way ahead of his time" by Dr Ali Tunkiwala (Renowned Prosthodontist & Implantologist)
I distinctly remember as if it happened just yesterday; we were doing our post-graduation in GDC Mumbai in 1996. As part of our university requirement, we had to do a thesis that required a lot of lab support. Mahesh (Chaudhary), from Ceramic Dental Studio, was the default choice to go to. When I first met him, he immediately made me comfortable and came across as a very jovial and helpful person with the correct dose of sarcasm and humour that made you laugh all the time when you were with him. He had a lot of interesting stories about everyone he worked with and there was never a dull moment with him around.
He was a storehouse of vital lab information that forms the basis of all that we were learning. He generously shared his entire lab infrastructure for the purpose of education and allowed us unhindered access. I developed a great rapport with him and continued working with him as I started my own practice. Times were tough initially and he always used to say, "Don't worry about money to be paid to me, do good work and pay me when you have some".
He provided some real state of the artwork in the field of metal-ceramics and was way ahead of his time as far as lab protocols were concerned. There were not many labs in our city at that time, and Mahesh stood out amongst the best of best. He was the first lab who taught me how good work should be produced by setting up the case well clinically.
At such a young age to lose him is a big loss for the dental fraternity. He will be remembered for all the good he did; not only for the clinicians but more so for the lab personnel. He commanded respect and today the dental lab fraternity reaps the benefit of the hard work put in by amazing human beings like Mahesh. He had a lot more to offer to humanity and has gone too soon.
We pay our tributes to him and pray that his soul will rest in peace! His memories will be cherished with a smile on my face and with eternal gratitude in my heart for all that he has done for so many of us.
Gone too soon!
We are essentially influenced by companies and their technicians whose sole goal is to sell... never to impart knowledge. It's one thing I've always held against them and hence been very unpopular amongst them.
The dental laboratory, in the present times, is only governed by the price and speed of delivery. Every laboratory today likes to boast of their incorporation of digital technology which they have bought purely by monkey see monkey do philosophy. Most of these labs don't even own a vacuum investor nor do they know how to make individual dies models. More than 90% of the work done in this country is done without dies. Laboratories are using cheap unknown Chinese brands. Some of the better materials in our business are neither popular or nor available.
It's a sad state of affairs!!!
Thank you, Mr Mahesh Chaudhary, for touching, transforming and inspiring so many lives. May your soul Rest In Peace!