Investing in technology to support a growing dental practiceUncategorised
Posted by: The Probe 8th February 2020
Dr Chris Navarro graduated from Bristol University in 2003, before he spent a year working as a Senior House Officer at Bristol Dental Hospital, where he worked in oral surgery and paedodontics. Chris moved to Beeston Dental Practice in 2005 to join his father as an associate, but took over the reigns as principal of the practice just a few years later in 2009. Having been a foundation dentist trainer since 2009, Chris has a keen interest in dental implants, CEREC restorations and clinical education. He has worked hard to develop a happy, fulfilled and empowered practice team with an ethos of putting patients’ best interests first. Chris is committed to continually improving his skills, the skills of his team, and the service that his practice provides.
I decided to refurbish Beeston Dental Practice for several reasons. Firstly, I wanted to create a grand entrance to the building and introduce more light and space in the reception. Secondly, I was keen to support the private conversion of an associate dentist, and invest in new technology that could facilitate our growing dental implant business. It was also important for the practice to have a disabled toilet, a dedicated treatment co-ordinator’s room, additional office space upstairs, and a meeting area downstairs that could be used for team huddles, training, or as a private waiting room if necessary.
Planning and renovation
I had saved a significant amount of capital in the run up to the project so I knew that I had the funds to complete the refurbishment in the right way. I was also keen to ensure we had sound financial planning in place to protect and support the future of the business.
One of the challenges that had to be overcome before the project could begin was getting planning permission to renovate the property, as it was an old house located in a conservation area. Franklin Ellis architects were very helpful in designing our extension and liaising with the council over planning. They were responsible for the zinc-clad extension that gives the practice it’s modern entrance.
I initially had concerns about general organisation and timescales in relation to the builders and suppliers, as well as how much surgery time we would lose. However, we had a trusted local builder – JRD Design and Build – who we’d worked well with in the past, which was reassuring. Communication was key; with the practice team as well as with the builders, suppliers and our patients too.
Renovation work began with the zinc clad extension to the property and a space created for the bins to be stored. Inside the practice, my wife was responsible for designing and refurbishing both the office upstairs and the meeting room downstairs, as well as the reception area and DB Dental were fantastic in designing and renovating the surgery room. All surgeries and the reception were outfitted with air conditioning units. A disabled toilet was also installed.
We sourced a ProMax® 3D Classic CBCT machine and an Emerald™ intraoral scanner from Planmeca, who was very helpful before and after the renovation was completed. I chose the ProMax® 3D Classic based on the fact that it offers Planmeca’s proprietary Ultra Low Dose™ imaging protocol. This facilitates 3D imaging at an even lower patient radiation dose than standard 2D panoramic imaging, which is an important factor in the treatment of patients at my practice. The ProMax® 3D Classic produces good quality diagnostic images even with a low radiation dose, and I also like the open source software of this CBCT machine.
Planmeca provided a lot of useful advice and support in relation to using the equipment I invested in, collaborating not only with myself but my whole practice team. My treatment co-ordinators were trained by Planmeca on how to use the Emerald™ intraoral scanner. Even now, after project completion, Planmeca is still helping me develop the technology within my practice.
There were some minor difficulties with regard to planning for the project, but I had anticipated this – I knew that the refurbishment was taking place in a conservation area. Nevertheless, the planners were sensible about the situation, as were we. I am now very pleased to be using the latest techniques and technology to deliver safe, prosthetically-driven dental treatment. We encourage our patients to market our practice, which involves actively asking them to recommend friends and family, and to leave their reviews of our services on social media. This is the best form of marketing and the most cost-effective. Our new cutting-edge surgery and equipment certainly help to achieve this.
If I could have done anything differently with the refurbishment of my practice, I would have done it all sooner! Now that the renovation work is complete, our dental implant business is growing, and the private conversion of an associate dentist has gone very well. I am genuinely proud to be working in a lovely practice environment with fantastic equipment and technology that benefits both patients and staff.
If you are a dentist considering a similar project, I would advise you to work with people and companies you trust. You have got to be organised and plan to the nth degree to ensure a successful end result. It is also important to avoid assuming that people know what you want. Tell them again and again until you are satisfied that they understand your vision.
For more information, please visit www.planmeca.com or call 0800 5200 330
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