The equipment in my surgery was over twenty years old and unfortunately, we couldn’t get spare parts for it anymore. Although it was still functional, if it did eventually breakdown, we wouldn’t have been able to fix it. In general, I was looking to replace technologies like for like, with a few tweaks here and there. The décor, however, was changed quite extensively, including the flooring, walls and cabinetry.
Matt Rowlingson from Clark Dental did the original designs for me about twenty years ago, and everything functioned smoothly for all those years so there wasn’t really any need to change how we had set the practice up. This is one of the main reasons I went back to Clark Dental, but I did look around and compare other services, costs and equipment. I chose Clark Dental over the others this time round because Matt’s sense of humour won me over again! It was also the reliability, time frame, the builders they worked with, and as I had already had a good experience of the aftersales experience with Clark Dental – which had been so good over the years – I knew what I’d be getting with this project. This provided reassurance that they wouldn’t be washing their hands of us once the sale was completed, which is important given that there’s usually issues when new equipment is initially installed.
For the dental equipment, I picked the Dentsply Sirona Sinius dental unit, which I viewed in the Clark Dental showroom, alongside three or four different brands. I selected it because it was comfortable, robust and hardwearing and incorporated some key features that I was looking for. This included the screen over the chair and the efficient integration of an implant motor. Keeping the chair clean and sterile seemed to be straightforward – the suction hoses can be cleaned automatically, and flushing the water systems is likewise very straightforward and convenient. The chair was also quite compact and fit seamlessly into my surgery.
For the handpieces, I had used the solutions from W&H in the past and always received good service from them. I only changed the ones I had as they were quite old and again, I could no longer get the spare parts. I also chose the APEX cabinetry from Clark Dental – and it looks fantastic. We did have our cabinetry set up reasonably well beforehand, so we’ve only made some minors changes to the design. Matt created the layout plans and together with my dental nurse we made a couple of tweaks to fulfil our desires while ensuring we still met the current legislation. My dental nurse also chose the colours and the worktop surface. For the plans I received a mixture of both 2D drawings and 3D renderings of the design – the latter was particularly useful to visualise the colours in the final look.
I used Clark Dental and also the builders who we used twenty-two years ago and had done some jobs over the years to help maintain the practice. They knew each other very well, so setting everything up and planning the job was very straightforward. We had a timeline of how long everything was going to take and who was responsible for what on each day. So, everything was pretty seamless.
The installation process was smooth and straightforward, and I received some good training. After I had time to use the equipment in practice and had found further areas where I wanted training, Clark Dental arranged the additional training. Any initial difficulties were fixed quickly, fitting into my time schedule. This was helpful as I had a lot of patients to slot in, so they worked around that. There was plenty of communication in the aftersales period, which I really appreciated. It gave me some peace of mind knowing that we could turn to Clark Dental if we ever needed to.
For other clinicians approaching a similar type of project, my advice would be to always look in detail at the equipment; try it out, determine exactly what it does and establish beforehand what you want to get out of it. Think about the logistics of the design – is it going to work in your practice/surgery? It was fairly easy for me because my existing layout worked well, so I didn’t need to change anything too drastically.
Our practice takes pride in bringing an extraordinary degree of clinical skill to every patient we care for. The technology and equipment helped us to deliver excellence to our patients throughout the years, so being able to update the surgery was hugely beneficial.
For more information call Clark Dental on 01268 733 146, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.clarkdental.co.uk
BDS MSc, GDC No. 61736
Rob is a restorative dentist, placing and restoring implants on referral in Mill Hill East at Portner Pittack. He qualified at Manchester in 1986 and has been at Portner Pittack Dental Practice since 1988. He Holds a masters in restorative dental practice from UCH. He has been a mentor with the ADI and a member of various professional implant and cosmetic dentistry organisations. He has also been Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary for the Alpha Omega International Fraternity.