Offering ‘rock and roll’ dentistry to time-poor patients
Diana Spencer explains how Abbey Road Dental has become so successful.
With a prestigious London postcode and situated only a stone’s throw away from the world famous music studio, Abbey Road Dental has a location and name that’s world renowned.
The clinic is small but perfectly formed and sits above a café and bar in the road made famous by the Beatles. Whilst respecting the privacy of any rock star clients – ‘we do see the occasional celebrity who uses the recording studios down the road, but our lips remain sealed’, says practice principal Diana Spencer – the bijou practice is anything but anonymous when it comes to its approach to patient care.
‘We are small, but very special,’ Diana says of the practice that opened its doors in June 2011. ‘We offer everything that could be asked for in a modern practice but, because of our size, we are a close-knit and mutually supportive group. We know all our patients by name and they are part of our family. No one is an anonymous face – neither staff nor patients – and I pretty well know all of the patients, whether I treat them or not.’
Abbey Road Dental is a clinic that places preventative care at its heart, while offering complementary cosmetic dentistry and Diana is proud of its ability to combine aesthetic treatments with a more nurturing and holistic approach to dental health.
She says: ‘We are in a wonderful period of development in medicine and dentistry. It is hard to believe that, only a few generations ago, extractions with no anaesthetic were the solution to dental disease. Prevention of disease is key for a healthy and fulfilled life – and not only in dentistry.
‘The technological advances of the last few decades have revolutionised the practice of dentistry. These days, minimally invasive dentistry is the song we dentists sing. The high tech approach – with intraoral cameras and computer-aided technology and so on – not only allows us to achieve fabulous results without pain, but also educates and empowers patients.’
The practice has a mixed patient base and attracts a large number of patients from across the Home Counties as well as a number of American families who live in the area due to the proximity of the American School in London. Diana explains: ‘They love the kind of practice we have – preventative orientated and child friendly. We also see a high number of young professionals who work in central London but live locally.’
With this comes a multitude of challenges, not least of which is the cohort of professionals in the early stages of their career who work hard, play hard but with their dental health sometimes taking the brunt.
Diana says: ‘We have quite a high proportion of patients who are time poor but with high expectations. It is paramount to us we keep our promises to patients to be able to offer late-night openings and to understand the problems involved with working in high stress environments while trying to fit in some time to take care of health needs.’
She explains: ‘We insist on a full-hour assessment with the hygienist and another hour with the dentist for all new patients, so we can investigate fully – and at leisure – the current state of health of the patient, as well as their needs and desires. The aesthetics of a smile is very important to all of us – but oral hygiene is first and foremost and a beautiful smile can only be achieved once that is perfected.
‘I believe there is nothing better than a natural tooth, so invasion into that tooth is always kept to the absolute minimum.’
The home care toolkit she recommends to all her patients is always evidence based and up to date, taking in any developments in dental technology and research.
She explains: ‘We always recommend power brushes to all our patients, including children. The latest models are brilliant at motivation and preventing over-brushing as well as making the patient aware of the need to brush all surfaces of the teeth, not just the visible areas. When our patients return for follow-up care, they are usually amazed at the change in the appearance and feel of clean healthy teeth and gums – and we can show them the pictures to prove it!
‘We always recommend the Oral-B Genius powerbrush, Satin tape and the Pro-Expert toothpaste. The powerbrush is good for assisting in patient compliance and the patients see the results very quickly.’
Abbey Road Dental also has a special interest in children’s dentistry, the source of which lies in Diana’s own childhood.
She explains: ‘I had awful dental experiences as a child – Sherbet Dip Dabs were my downfall – and, consequently, needed fillings every dental visit and it always hurt, even when they said it wouldn’t.
‘I want children to see the dentist as a friend and teacher who have their best interests at heart and is fun to be with and always keeps her promises, whatever happens. A visit to the dentist should be easy and relaxed and just a normal part of life, not a crisis.’
And this translates across all age groups, too. Diana says: ‘We endeavour to create a calm, relaxed and friendly practice so that all our patients are able to just slow down and have some “me” time and know that they will be cared for professionally.’
To find out more about the practice visit www.abbeyroaddental.co.uk.