Revamping with a little help from their friends
 

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Revamping with a little help from their friends

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Revamping with a little help from their friends

 

Revamping with a little help from their friends

No 45 Dental Surgery
Matthew and Liz Ogden, of No 45 Dental Surgery, Chichester, West Sussex, always had a vision to open a small boutique dental practice, delivering the highest quality dental care along with exceptional levels of customer service.

Matthew had always worked as part of a team of specialists, and so wanted to establish a specialist referral practice, which would eventually become a local centre of excellence. His main areas of professional interest were the management of complex restorative problems, so the demographic suited well, there being a lot of older patients. They found the premises they had always hoped for on the high street in Chichester. The building was a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, which leant it ‘a very professional feel'.

The building had been recently renovated by a large property developer who was also building a substantial shopping complex next door, and comprised three one-bedroom flats upstairs, along with a completely blank canvas ground floor.

Matthew says: ‘We were only really interested in purchasing the leasehold for the ground floor, but when the developer offered us the purchase of the whole building freehold, we realised that this was an opportunity not to be missed as it is very rare that freehold properties become available in prime retail sites.

‘We hoped that the flats would be easily rentable and that the property would form a substantial part of our retirement pot.'

The building works took approximately four months and involved construction of a new extension to house a second patient lounge, central sterilisation, as well as a staff kitchen and shower room. The courtyard room had very large roof windows that flooded the working rooms with natural light.

The existing Georgian building required complete rewiring and they laid the plumbing for three surgeries, although to date only two rooms are fitted for dentistry.

At present, one of the potential surgeries has been rented to a physiotherapist on a short-term lease, which has generated both a small extra income as well as another source of potential new patients.

Matthew says: ‘Equipment was supplied mainly by Clark Dental and I cannot praise them highly enough for their professionalism and support. I did use another local equipment supplier for the sterilisation area, but this proved to be a mistake, as he did not work to our standard and I eventually asked him to stop working. With hindsight I would have chosen a single point of contact for equipment supply.'

During the building phase the couple secured a small patient list from a retiring local dentist. The doors opened in May 2009 when the practice was only partially built to accommodate these patients, which was a ‘very challenging period'.

To keep the practice looking fresh and exciting, the lighting in the newly built atrium was designed to allow for use as a small art gallery. Local artists regularly use the practice for private viewings in the evenings.

Matthew says: ‘This has  proved to be an excellent marketing tool as it brings a new cohort of potential patients into the practice, and has generated a lot of local interest. The atrium and consultation area is also set up with a drop-down screen and ceiling-mounted projection.

‘We have run some daytime courses for hygienists and nurses to take place, which have become a great success. In addition to this, a small informal study club for local dentists has been formed. These have both generated a number of referrals into the practice. To date we have assembled a great team of specialist associates, and we are now able to receive referrals for most of the specialist disciplines.'

New patients are always given a tour of the practice to demonstrate how seriously their health and safety is taken, and patients are always impressed at the detail of the sterilisation process.

Matthew adds: ‘I can honestly say that I have absolutely no regrets about taking what was an enormous leap of faith. Shortly before we exchanged contracts on the premises the country entered what has become one of the worst economic downturns in history. With a defined vision and good planning, along with a great deal of help from friends and colleagues along the way, Liz, the rest of the team and I have managed to get the practice off to a flying start.'

• For more information visit www.no45dental.co.uk. 
• For more information on Clark Dental, ring 01268 733146 or 01270 613750 or 01924 242154 or email enquiries@clarkdental.co.uk or sales@clarkdental.co.uk.


 Posted on : Tue 29th - Sep - 2009

 

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