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Relatively Speaking: Brother and sister Adam Jaffa and Lucy Stock

By Stephanie Bell

Brother and sister Adam Jaffa and Lucy Stock grew up helping out in their dad Bernard’s dental surgery, Gentle Dental Care on Belfast's Lisburn Road, where they have now been working together for 15 years.

Name: Lucy Stock

Age: 41

Occupation: Dentist

Relationship to Adam: Sister

Growing up, I was in and out of the dental surgery from when I was very young and it did have a big impact on me. My dad was a bit of a mover and shaker in cosmetic dentistry and really at the forefront of the practice in Belfast.

What drew me to it was the impact that improving their smile can have on people. It's amazing the confidence it can give someone and the major boost to their self-esteem.

We've had people who chose a different path in life because they were unhappy with their teeth, but after having work done, their lives were transformed.

We do a wide range of dentistry and I see myself as a surgical dentist, but I'm at my happiest when I am fixing problems with people's gums or creating their smile. I'm quite creative and love that whole side of the job.

I worked with dad for about 13 years and then Adam and I bought the practice when dad retired.

It is fantastic working with Adam, he is the best practice manager. Of course we have our moments but the thing about working with a sibling is that you can talk openly and you have the same goals and I trust Adam 110%. We talk things through very well. We are very close outside of work as well and would spend a lot of time together.

My husband Nick is a property developer in Kenya and would be away from home for weeks at a time, so Adam is a very good uncle to my three boys, Sam (9), Monty (7) and Mitzi (2).

Adam and I have completely different personalities which complement each other. I'm very practical whereas he is more emotional, which brings the business what it needs from both sides.

I wouldn't want to do this job without him. Being a practice manager is a lot of work and he is so good at it that it means I can have a family life as well as a work life."

Name: Adam Jaffa

Age: 44

Occupation: Dental practice manager

Relationship to Lucy: Brother

I would have worked in the surgery as a teenager in my summer holidays when the nurses were off, but growing up I never had any plans to work there, it happened by accident.

I was asked to stand in for the manageress when she was off on maternity leave and I just saw one or two opportunities; it developed naturally and it's now 20 years since I started.

Lucy and I took it over from our dad fully four years ago. She is a dream to work with.

She is naturally a very positive person who always sees the way forward.

She gets excited over things and is really high energy and it works well. I'm very lucky.

My parents are both obsessed with art and dad had introduced a gallery at the surgery and one of the brilliant things is that we have been able to carry that on. He was always bringing a new painting home when we were little and we would have a family discussion about it, whether we thought it was good and what we liked or didn't like about it.

I think the art has been great for the surgery, especially for patients who are nervous.

We've tried to create an environment which doesn't feel like a dentist's surgery and the artwork certainly helps!

Lucy and I are close outside of work too but we don't live in each other's pockets. We probably do have an argument every now and then but it blows over very quickly.

I think one of the reasons Lucy and I work so well is that we are very different. She is a very patient and understanding person."

What they get their teeth into ...

  • In his spare time, Adam is a keen runner and has run several marathons
  • Lucy is a trustee of the African Schools Trust, a charity supporting 1,000 disadvantaged children in four schools in Nairobi. The charity has bought books, paid teachers' salaries, improved school buildings, bought school land and contributed to the building of a school
  • Gentle Dental Care is hosting a Dental Implants Open Night next Tuesday, September 16, from 7-9pm. For details, visit www.gdc

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