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Ugly Duckling to Perfect Pink

Dr RITA DARBAR of SMILE CREATIONS Dental Innovations® explains why she’s in the pink with a refurbished surgery and stunning new chair that is a personal statement and celebration. 

When I qualified as a dentist in 1976 the profession was very male dominated and over the years the balance has tipped with more women in dentistry and I felt it appropriate to bring a feminine touch to the environment in which I spend most of my time.  To combine the feminine touch and one of our corporate colours I decided to go with a pink surgery, I chose a bright pink chair for my patients which I love and have had so many positive comments and feedback from my patients as well.  We are known around town as the practice with the pink chair and pink uniforms. 

The dream was to completely refurbish the practice and keep up with the modern times. We are a Laser/Aesthetic Dentistry and Specialist Orthodontics practice and have been in Leighton Buzzard for over 25 years, so we thought what better way to celebrate this milestone then to finally have the dream practice we have always wanted…so we did!

The main problem was to locate the right colour of chair that I had in mind. It took about four months to find the right match for what I wanted, combining aesthetic look and a high quality dental chair that was also comfortable for my patients.  It was my husband Arun Darbar who finally located the ideal chair, all the way from the USA.

Before we started work on the refurbishment, it was important firstly to inform all of our patients and keep them in the loop of what was happening.  Then  we  had to prepare for all the stages in the refurbishment as we knew at points we would be down to a single surgery between the two of us.  We dubbed this the  “ugly duckling” stage and perhaps was the most difficult and stressful part of the complete re-gutting of the original set-up.  This one room became the  whole heart and soul of the practice with the two of us sharing the week, the work and the team. It was a three-in-one room, almost like the changing of the guards twice a week, from general to specific practice use and vice versa. We have to thank our great staff and patients for their understanding through this difficult and messy time.

Clark Dental were very helpful in locating the chair upholstery as a special order and letting us have samples of the work tops etc so that we could utilise the colour match with the décor and get a feel of the material for the purpose of cleaning etc.  Nothing was too much trouble for them throughout the whole process.  We visited their showroom and this helped a lot with the decision making too. 

The main difficulty we experienced was that the building work took a lot longer than we had anticipated, increasing the length of time the two of us had to share one surgery.  This surgery became an all in one room with all the equipment and materials needed for both specialities of dentistry, however it was cosy and became a little oasis amongst the midst of a construction site. Once again though, we managed to get through it and have to say that if our patients hadn’t been so understanding of the project this might not have been possible. 

The final result is just how we wanted it so we are very pleased.  The surgery now has a contemporary look, is clinically clean and has a designer style, which is a great combination. The feature wall has turned out especially well to house all our awards and gifts from around the world where we have lectured. Previously they were littered all along window sills, reception desk and computer stations. We have Aspects the building company to thank for this.

The central sterilisation room is very user friendly and is of a high standard considering the number of gadgets that we had to fit in to it. We are confident that this was more than needed to comply with the regulations and future proof with eventual digital logging of all instruments.

As of now, we have everything in the practice that we ever hoped for…but who knows sometime soon that may change and there will be something else we would like to change, but for now we are very happy with the way the practice has turned out and most importantly our patients seem very happy with the new look and environment 

Personally this is an achievement in orchestrating the refurbishment and keeping calm.  It is great to work in this environment and a pleasure to be at work.  Professionally, I think my patients now come to a specialist orthodontists but are also made to feel special as they feel that the refurbishment was for their comfort as well…which it was!

For more information contact Clark Dental on: 01268 733 146 or email: