Dental Showcase – perfect for your practice

Dental Showcase is perfect for time-poor dentists like me, says Alison Simpson, director and clinician at Trinity Dental in Northamptonshire. As a busy dental practitioner running a three-surgery, fully-private practice, finding time to do anything other than treat patients and run my business is difficult. So, when it comes to choosing new equipment, it’s great to have the opportunity to see everything, from different manufacturers and suppliers, in one place, at a regular time each year.

I opened my new practice as a squat 18 months ago and now have a Dental Showcase – perfect for your practice clinical team comprising myself, two associates and two hygienists. We are supported by a team of dental nurses and a practice manager and we are now really starting to grow.

From the outset, I was committed to the integration of digital technology. I want to be as close to 100 per cent digital as possible and most treatments include some digital element. All my Invisalign orthodontic cases are now treated using digital intraoral scanning and crown and bridge and implant cases all involve the technology in some form or another. I have the option of both in-surgery milling using my Cerec or working with my laboratory (Stephen Green Dental Studio) which also has a fully digital workflow.

When I was equipping my practice I made a bee-line for Dental Showcase. I knew that visiting the biggest dental exhibition in the UK would take a lot of the desk research and leg-work out of choosing exactly the right equipment for my new venture. I had run a practice previously so I was largely guided by my own experience, but nevertheless Showcase was a fantastic opportunity to see the range of equipment and technology on offer.

Specifically, I was able to confirm my choice of practice management system, which was Exact by Software of Excellence. Although I was quite convinced of the choice before I attended Showcase, it was great to be able to talk with the experts from Software of Excellence and be reassured by their knowledge and experience that I was making the right choice to help my practice run efficiently and my business grow. By the time of Showcase that year I also hadn’t quite finalised my choice of treatment centre, so it was great to be able to see the options in the flesh so to speak.

Choosing a treatment centre is a really important decision for a dentist – we use it every single day and it is a significant investment, which can’t easily be changed, so there isn’t room for errors. Choosing a treatment centre for me wasn’t only about functionality, but also about how I felt the chairs would look in each of my surgeries – this is quite a personal thing and being able to see the options firsthand, rather than just in a brochure, really helped me have confidence in my decision.

Eventually, after seeing and trying a number of different options, I selected the Teneo from Dentsply Sirona. I gave the decision of who to work with on equipping my new practice a good bit of thought but eventually chose Henry Schein Dental which in hindsight, has been a very good decision. The company employs experts with excellent technical knowledge around the whole digital workflow and this type of support is imperative when introducing new technology. The breadth of products and services supplied by the company also meant I could use them for every aspect of my practice, from purchasing equipment to installation and ongoing maintenance. The whole team has helped and supported me enormously through the last two years, and being able to meet up face-to-face at Dental Showcase really helps to strengthen the relationship.

Of course, there are always some fantastic deals on offer at Dental Showcase and I purposely held off on buying some of my equipment so I could place my order at the show and take full advantage of the available offers. I think the influx of demonstrations at these type of events is good, but actually, as far as I am concerned, Dental Showcase is about seeing products and making buying decisions. Some extra CPD is always nice, especially for the team, but that’s not my focus at these events. I prefer to do my education at specific courses when I am fully concentrating on that aspect of my work.

Dental Showcase is always a red letter day in my diary and as soon as the date is released it is booked out. I think October is a particularly good time of year for this type of event, before the rush of Christmas, and it’s been at this time for so long now that it really feels like a tradition – a time to catch up with old friends. I encourage all my team to attend Showcase and they all find it a very positive experience. Exposing them to what’s going on within the industry and educating them about how things are moving and the pace of change is important for staff motivation; they always return from the event enthused by what they have seen and full of good ideas about how we, as a practice, can grow. Like lots of my clinical colleagues I am very time-poor, so knowing that I can spend one day, in one place, seeing everything I need, speaking to experts covering every area of my practice and then making firm buying decisions, is fantastic. Long may it continue!