The history of our new practice
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A North London dentist describes his move into his new building.
If you want to create arguably the best dental practice in London where would you start? North London dentist Richard Prais pondered this in 2009. Now with significant planning and investment Richard believes he has just moved into the ultimate dental practice.
Richard tells how it started, ‘Over 21 years ago I began as an associate in a small practice above a bakery just 100 metres down the road from my new practice. After nine months I rented the premises from the owner and started to develop my own practice. Seven years later I moved a short distance down the road and bought into a partnership in the relatively new Inspire Dental Health and one year later bought out my partner. The practice has grown rapidly since then treating around 5,000 patients, with 80 per cent of our turnover coming from private patients.’
But thoughts of relocation had been on Richard’s mind for a while. His purchase of No 2 Lyttelton House in December 31, 2009, was carefully timed to avoid the increase in VAT to 17.5 per cent. The project immediately got underway to create a modern five surgery practice. With the lease on Richard’s existing practice due to expire at the end of September 2010 there was little room in the schedule for delays. Richard believes working to such a tight schedule was the greatest challenge of the project and he knew missing the deadline was not an option.
Whilst some equipment has been relocated from the existing practice, No 2 has an additional three surgeries which have been kitted out from scratch. Each has new dental treatment centre cabinetry and other surgery essentials such as suction and compressors. Richard has also taken the opportunity to invest in new IT infrastructure to support the practice’s expansion as well as a patient entertainment system. Anglian Dental supplied all the new equipment and Richard has been happy with their assistance.
‘I’ve used Anglian Dental for many years for servicing and equipment purchases. It was a natural progression of our relationship to ask them to tender for this project. The new practice is 200sq ft smaller than my old one so I had to be mindful of this when choosing and positioning equipment. Anglian provided invaluable help with the design and layout of each surgery so we could get everything in.’
Richard purchased three new dental chairs from Takara Belmont opting for a different model for each surgery. He explains his reasoning for the different choices. ‘For my own surgery I decided the Clesta would best suit my needs as the unit is particularly suitable for a variety of working positions and was available in a factory built, left handed option. For the other surgeries I chose the Voyager to maximise flexibility, and the upright and compact Cleo II to facilitate elderly access and movement within the room. The clean, modern look of each fits nicely with our new environment.’
In September 2010 Prais Dental Care reopened in its new premises. Reflecting on the highs and lows of the project Richard believes creating a superior quality environment which he owns has been worth the considerable investment. ‘Along with the five surgeries the practice now has a beautiful reception, dedicated patient parking, office space for the practice manager’s and my own use, best practice sterilisation facilities and a staff room with kitchen and enclosed discrete changing area. This last addition has been particularly welcomed by the staff as it means they no longer need to change in a cupboard.’
Whilst Richard hasn’t moved far, the practice itself is now light years ahead of its time and places Prais Dental Care at the forefront of dental care provision in the city.