So, why did we decide to open the dental centre seven days a week? In a nutshell, it was due to demand from our patients.
At The Exeter Dental Centre we always try to offer solutions, rather than sell services to our patients. By this I mean nobody really wants to buy a ‘root canal’ or ‘a dental check up’, but what people want and need is a solution to a toothache or reassurance that they are dentally fit.
To this end, we had a number of patients ask us why dentists don’t open on the weekend. Often they would find it difficult to see their dentist during the week and found the old style of 9 to 5, plus closing for lunch, inconvenient.
We had a team meeting here at The Exeter Dental Centre and each of the four general dentists decided to commit to working one weekend in four. All of our dentists have young families, but are acutely aware that, as a private dental centre, we need to work around our patients’ diaries to offer a comprehensive service. So, we re-organised the staff rotas and clinical diaries, and got prepared for having a rest during the week and working on the occasional weekend.
So far it has been an amazing success, we treat not only our own patients, who may have toothache on the weekend, but also other practices’ patients. The main aim, however, is to carry out our dentistry on a Sunday as if it were a Monday – offering a full 7-day-a-week service. As the dentists working on the weekend are our regular, experienced dentists they have seen every type of dental emergency so can deal with whatever a patient comes in with. Some practices put a junior dentist on duty on a Sunday, but for us it is more about a practice ethos of everyone sharing the workload and everyone offering our patients the very best.
It has certainly made a splash in Exeter – lots of shoppers have seen our banner advertisement and lots of our patients are joining because of this unique service in Devon. My personal feeling is that as patients become more discerning about the increasingly competitive dental market, they will want to be treated by trustworthy dentists who really are there when they need them.
Owner – The Exeter Dental Centre