For dental practices, the importance of oral hygiene extends far beyond simply advising patients on its short-term and long-term benefits.
Oral hygiene enables dentists and hygienists to continue their patient’s care once they have finished their treatment; offering them better aftercare programmes, an improved patient experience and ultimately a superior service.
In most cases, dentists will seek to provide preventative treatment to patients, as opposed to replacing teeth and oral hygiene plays a key role in this.
So, as well as the many patient benefits, oral hygiene can also provide, from a purely business perspective, another revenue stream for practices and, as such, it is essential that the right products are stocked and provided.
For dental professionals up and down the country, advising patients on the importance of maintaining high levels of oral hygiene is a standard daily occurrence, so it stands to reason that these same dental professionals are investing in the best oral hygiene products available in today’s market.
The Dental Directory is the UK’s largest independent full service dental dealer, providing, amongst other things, a wide range of oral hygiene products at highly competitive prices.
Cat Dingee is operations manager at Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic in Farnham, Surrey. She offers an insight into her role within the practice and explains why oral hygiene is so important.
She says: ‘My role at Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic encompasses both practice and stock management, and, as a result it’s essential that we order the best products for our patients, and of course purchase them at the most competitive prices.
‘We have three hygienists and one dental therapist here at the clinic, so it’s important that we ensure that they always have access to the correct products that best suit their needs. At Elmsleigh House we pride ourselves on excellence, and to us, that means preserving teeth for as long as possible. Oral hygiene plays an integral part in our patient plans and journeys, and is something that we place a huge emphasis on.’
Oral hygiene is a massive and highly competitive industry, with suppliers constantly vying for the best deals and most comprehensive ranges, it’s hard to know who to place your loyalty with. Elmsleigh House has been a customer of the Dental Directory for many years, as Cat Dingee explains: ‘We have used the Dental Directory for several years, but only in the last six months have we moved the vast majority of our stock items to them, including oral hygiene products. I’ve worked with a variety of wholesale companies and distributors over the years, and can confidently say that the Dental Directory offers one of the best ranges of products at very competitive prices.
‘The service and support that we have received from Wayne Greyling, our business consultant from the Dental Directory has been nothing short of superb. We’ve always been able to get all of oral hygiene products from the Dental Directory. Prices are consistently competitive, and in the rare instance when they don’t have a certain item in stock, they are always willing to try and get it for us at the lowest possible price.’
In terms of product range, it’s important to feel that when you’re placing an order, you have access to all of the main brands required in your practice, and that delivery will be prompt and efficient.
Having been a customer of the Dental Directory for several years, how has Cat Dingee at Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic found its service?
‘As far as I’m aware, there hasn’t been a situation in which the Dental Directory has been unable to provide us with a product that we’ve ordered. The next day delivery service is invaluable, and invoices are always easy to read and mark off.’
Being able to order from the same supplier is convenient and time saving; it enables customers to form a strong relationship with their supplier’s, and by extension benefit from all of the current offers and promotions, as well as gaining valuable advice and support. With six surgeries, Elmsleigh House is a busy practice as Cat Dingee explains: ‘Elmsleigh House is a large practice; we do some very complicated implant surgery here, along with endodontic and periodontal work. As a result, we have literally hundreds of product lines within the practice.
‘Being able to order all of our sundries and oral hygiene products in one place makes it considerably easier to find what we’re looking for and know that we’re getting the best deal. We have an excellent relationship with the Dental Directory, and often rely on them to make sure that we’re not missing out on any current promotions or product offers.’
Outstanding customer support and strong product knowledge both play vital roles in the tug-of-war between suppliers for customer loyalty and satisfaction. Without these two elements, the strength of customer loyalty and trust is greatly diminished, sometimes encouraging customers to look elsewhere for their supplies. The Dental Directory understands the importance of providing top quality customer service combined with knowledgeable and pro-active representatives, and it’s this that makes it stand out from its competitors.
‘Our business consultant Wayne Greyling is always on hand to provide help wherever or whenever we need it.’ Says Cat Dingee, ‘We can rely on him to give us quick, concise product information, and even offer us support material for our Study Club or courses that we run. Wayne makes a huge difference to our customer experience.’
Something that comes across again and again from customers is the importance of convenience and knowledgeable advisors. For busy, fast-paced dental practices, convenient ordering and comprehensive product information is essential.
Wayne Greyling is a business Cconsultant at the Dental Directory and explains his role: ‘My primary role is to keep customers like Elmsleigh House up to date with the latest products, services and relevant promotions available from the Dental Directory.
‘When visiting Cat and the team, I usually provide the practice with a general update on anything that I feel may be beneficial to the range of services and products that they provide to their patients. On the whole, I try to visit Cat every month, but this can vary if something is needed sooner.’
As an employee of the Dental Directory, it’s interesting to hear how Wayne Greyling finds working for the company and what he feels he contributes: ‘I love the fact that working for a very large and successful company, with a complete range of products and services, enables me to offer the very best to my customers; this gives me a real sense of purpose. The knowledge that I gain whilst assisting my customers allows me to then pass it on to future customers, the whole system works extremely well.’
The Dental Directory produces a bi-monthly oral hygiene catalogue, Big Bite, that contains new products and all of the latest offers.
Cat Dingee discusses how useful she has found it: ‘Although we tend to place our orders online and have our preferred products, the bi-monthly catalogue is extremely useful in terms of learning about new product lines, as well as alternatives to the current products we use. At Elmsleigh House, we consider the needs of our patients and the standard of care that we offer to them when deciding on our product lines. As a result, the products that we order need to be of the highest quality possible. Our principal, Tim Thackrah will make the final decision, along with the dentists, hygienists, therapists and periodontists, on the products that we’ll stock.’
Important to all practices, particularly in the current financial climate, is making savings when possible and getting the best deals available.
The Dental Directory is proud of its ability to offer dental professionals great deals, low prices and outstanding offers. Elmsleigh House, as Cat Dingee explains, is already seeing the benefits of moving its stock lines over to the Dental Directory: ‘Since we decided to move the majority of our product lines to the Dental Directory, we have started to notice significant savings. They have good procedures and systems in place, and are always on hand to explain the saving levels if needs be. The service is second to none!’
So, for practices looking to make substantial savings and receive outstanding customer service and support, look no further than the Dental Directory.
For more, go to www.dental-directory.co.uk.