Home Aesthetic Dentistry Redefining the concept of cosmetic dentistry

Redefining the concept of cosmetic dentistry

by adminjay

We look at how Beyond Dental is blazing a trail for the future of sustainable aesthetic dental treatments by raising the bar in its approach to oral health education.

For a group of private practices offering a full range of dental care options, it is the innovative style of Beyond Dental’s oral health education that undoubtedly will see it going places.

The aptly named group of clinics is set to change the way everyone views dentistry. Including those within the profession.

At its helm are dentist Gareth McAleer and business partner Alexander Ogden. Their shared vision is to create a revolutionary dental journey like no other.

With inspiration drawn from numerous industries, as well as their own retail experiences, and with an eye for a different kind of delivery, Beyond Dental is seeking outside the normal parameters to create its unique business model.

The newest clinic opened in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, at the start of November. It saw 150-plus new patients register in the first four weeks. That inspires confidence in the pair’s game plan to roll out the brand over the coming years.

Oral health education

The longevity of any cosmetic procedure is of course reliant on the patient’s investment in their own oral hygiene. So competitors are missing a trick if oral health education (OHE) is absent from any business plan.

According to Gareth and Alexander, OHE is ‘as important as the treatments we do in clinic’.

Alex expands: ‘As a dental business, we are relying on patients to take care of their smiles. In the timeframe of one year, our interaction amounts to less than two hours of their time. So we have limited opportunities to educate. But, in terms of sustainable treatments, it forms an essential role.’

The emphasis on how much value they place on patient health is evident in their practice design, too.

A squat practice, the Leamington Spa clinic, includes a brushing station (aptly named, the ‘brush stop’) separate from the surgeries. This allows patients to freshen up before meeting their clinician and ensures they are confident pre-appointment.

As Alexander rightly notes: ‘When I visit the dentist, I’m always self-conscious about having food in my teeth or coffee breath. So it seems like the most natural thing in the world to offer patients a chance to brush their teeth before their visit.

‘It amazes me that we are one of the first clinics to build a dedicated area for this in our practice design.’

This opportunity ticks boxes with their SOPs and reduces the risks of transmission of infection.

‘Having people with clean hands and mouths ensures everyone is as clean as possible,’ he explains.

Demonstrating Beyond Dental’s value

But, the set-up also creates a fantastic platform to educate patients about their daily oral care.

Without a cup available for them to rinse, the scenario opens up conversations about best hygiene habits and the importance of fluoride toothpaste remaining in the mouth rather than having it rinsed away.

‘Once we explain this to patients, they never do it wrong again. Observing allows us to see first-hand how well they maintain the health of their teeth and gums. Then we can advise if necessary and in a conversational way.’

It has been welcomed by the group’s hygienists who are gifted the opportunity to evaluate how well patients brush. As well as identify the areas of the mouth they miss.

Oral-B is the group’s provider of choice. It adds to Beyond Dental’s evidence-based OHE approach and the practice gives complimentary Oral-B electric brushes to patients as part of any complex treatment journey.

Alexander uses the analogy of purchasing a new car to explain the thinking behind the approach.

‘We may have spent thousands on a new vehicle. But it can really jar when a main dealer then tries to sell mats as an add-on. This should simply be part of the buying experience that helps to protect the bigger purchase – and it’s the same in dentistry.

‘In some of our larger treatment plans, we give our patient an Oral-B brush as part of their treatment plan. This visibly demonstrates the value of what we do’.

A unique approach

With Alexander viewing dentistry as a user and a businessman and Gareth as an experienced clinician, this has shaped their unique approach.

‘My input is from the perspective of a patient and we try not to dilute this too much.

‘It means we favour a “customer first” approach, which gives us the perfect opportunity to look at things differently.

‘With our complementary clinical and non-clinical backgrounds steering the business, Gareth and I always find the best solutions. We hope this creates an excellent user experience.’

The ambition is to create practices across the UK that share the same culture. To ensure consistency of delivery, they have appointed a dental nurse trainer across the group to ensure every new member of staff is in harmony with the brand’s ethos.

Alexander says: ‘We are living in a time where dentistry is fashionable. Social media has positioned it in the realms of must-have treatments.

‘We are all photographed so much more than we ever have been – in HD and 4K. That means everyone can see every detail.

‘Ultimately, it is the face that tells the story. And it is interesting from an oral health point of view that people now don’t just want to look good, they also want to maintain their healthy smile.

‘So, even if the driver is aesthetics, they understand this requires an investment from them to look after their oral health.

‘In the long run, this saves people money and we often explain that the flipped version is going to be expensive if they fail in their endeavours.’

Encouraging the dental team

The enthusiasm of the people they employ is also key to achieving the right approach to patient education and, ultimately, sustainability of any treatments.

‘We always say that our patients come first. But the team are also a primary focus.

‘At a corporate level, it is important they are happy with the environment so they deliver a great experience for patients.

‘We give our staff the latest dental “toys” and tools. And we fully support those who want to develop their skills and knowledge and encourage them to pursue the training that best reflects their ambitions,’ Alexander says.

‘We then support this in our marketing. There is currently a new vogue for composite bonding, for example. And if our clinicians have added this to their skillset, we market the business so we will find them the right patients. Because our business is divided into two – marketing and dentistry – one supports the other.

‘So, our staff can expand in the direction they want because we have the skills to drive traffic into our practices in order to give the clinician the experience they are seeking.’

Local campaigns bring in local people. And Beyond Dental invests much time and money in raising awareness of what its teams can offer potential patients.

‘We fill our clinicians’ days with interesting cases where possible. Dentists can lose interest early on if they are in mundane roles. So the opportunity to enjoy a variety of treatments is the holy grail.’

And this applies throughout the whole team, too. Dental hygienists and therapists all work to their full scope of practice. And, because the clinicians practise four-handed dentistry, dental nurses are fully engaged with patient treatment journeys.

Alexander says: ‘We encourage our teams to keep their skillset up to date. That inspires them to continue with other qualifications.

‘Full support creates happy teams who, in turn, help to ensure happy, healthy patients.’

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