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No 1 Harley Street

No 1 Harley Street must surely be one of the most desirable addresses for any medical business.  It also sets the very highest of expectations in the mind of any potential patient.  Conscious of this and his desire to deliver the very best dental care, Jonathan Lack, a Canadian specialising in Periodontics with services in Implant Surgery, has established a dental practice here which completely befits its prestigious location.  

No 1 Harley Street must surely be one of the most desirable addresses for any medical business.  It also sets the very highest of expectations in the mind of any potential patient.  Conscious of this and his desire to deliver the very best dental care, Jonathan Lack, a Canadian specialising in Periodontics with services in Implant Surgery, has established a dental practice here which completely befits its prestigious location.  

The practice is self-contained on the third floor of the building with a reception, waiting room, three surgeries (one for Jonathan, one for the hygienist and another for use by an associate or possibly to rent to another periodontist or endodontist), a sterilisation room and an OPG radiography machine. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in a luxury boutique hotel with leather armchairs in the waiting room together with silver silk wall hangings and white paintwork, the overall feeling is both chic and tranquil.  Jonathan’s treatment room has a high and beautifully elaborate ceiling and views of Cavendish Square.  For Jonathan having an outlook onto green outdoor space is particularly important and further enhances the calm and relaxing feel to the practice he has worked hard to create. 

The new practice opened in March 2011.  To deliver the practice he envisaged, Jonathan was careful to put together a team with the necessary credentials and experience to manage all aspects of the work.  With Alan Tate of Grey Associates as his architect, Albert Stone of Albert Stone Associates as quantity surveyor and Aspect Building Contractors as builders, he assembled a team with an enviable track record in the design and delivery of many ‘high end’ dental projects. To supply and install all the dental equipment Jonathan commissioned Anglian Dental and has the utmost praise for the service he received. “Anglian Dental gave me a level of service and support that I didn’t imagine still existed today. They worked tirelessly to understand and deliver my vision rather than offering me catalogue standard equipment, which has been my experience with other companies.”

With quality foremost in his mind Jonathan chose top of the range equipment with the furniture and cabinetry being custom made.  He opted for the Cleo II Treatment Centre with its unique knee break chair from Takara Belmont in each of the three surgeries.  With its small footprint and clean, modern looks it suited Jonathan’s ways of working perfectly.  With seamless upholstery, touchless on/off sensor controls and easy clean membrane switches the very highest infection control standards can be achieved. Working with Anglian Dental, Jonathan has customised the chair to incorporate an iPad. 

Attention to detail has been the key throughout the entire design and building process.  Over the six years search for the right premises Jonathan became very clear about every facet of his ultimate practice.  At No 1 his plans extend to running small teaching seminars where he can perform surgery in one of his treatment rooms and broadcast it live to a 50inch TV screen to be viewed in the main surgery.  It is this kind of forethought during the design phase of the project which Jonathan feels is essential to getting the desired end result.  

In his new premises Jonathan believes, with his team, he can give patients the best quality of care.  Deploying the very latest technology and medical research in such well appointed surroundings, they are not going to be disappointed.

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Applefield Dental Care

Charlotte Schofield opened the doors to her newly refurbished practice in Southport in September, having only taken over the building at the end of June. Applefield Dental Care reflects the outlook of the practice team (Charlotte and her two dental nurses, Emma Townsend and Helen Pilkington) and their attitude towards patient care, where comfort and an holistic approach to treatment is key.

Charlotte explains: ‘We aim to provide excellent quality dental treatment in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We are different to a lot of practices as we try to take the emphasis away from scary dentistry and focus on relaxing the patient. We often give our advice and discuss a lot of our treatments over a cup of coffee. We pride ourselves on providing ethical and holistic dentistry to all’. 

The practice came up for sale in the summer, and it was an opportunity for which Charlotte had been waiting some time. She explains: ‘I fell in love with the building and immediately saw myself in it. I saw the potential space we can expand into as the practice grows and I could see areas we could improve and adapt to put our own stamp on. ‘With a high street location in a busy town, we hope we can attract local business people and the general public who want to continue shopping in town after their appointments. The building is a lovely Victorian three-storey property and we have retained as many of the original features as possible, such as the fantastic staircase. ‘Although not renovated yet, we do have amazing rooms upstairs with bay windows, etc, that we can expand into as the business grows.’

Charlotte chose fellow Southport business, McKillop Dental Equipment, to advise on and provide the very latest in dental surgery essentials. She says: ‘They were so helpful and supported me no end with not only the chair provision, but all other aspects of the refit.

‘They were always there at the end of a phone or a text to point me in the right direction in relation to the surgery, and also had brilliant ideas about all the other aspects of the refit - from waiting room to cloakroom’.

Keen to ensure the patient experience in the chair would be a stress-free one, too, Charlotte relied on Takara Belmont to meet her expectations. Simon Pearce from McKillop took her to the Belmont showroom in Manchester so that she could test drive the different options.  She says: ‘I liked the fact the chair is advanced but also straightforward to use. They have an excellent reputation and the warranty gives me peace of mind that it will last.  Takara Belmont was also recommended by colleagues as a chair that will give a very good service.’

The choice of colour inside the practice was as important to Charlotte as her desire for comfort. She explains: ‘I like colour and wanted either a warm feel or a statement. Given we were keeping the cabinets, we were limited to colour choices. The warmer oranges and reds didn’t go with the grey cabinets at all and so our choices were limited to blues, green or black. I’m not a big fan of blue, and thought black may make the room smaller as there is little natural light. So, I opted for a bright colour to lift the space and brighten it up.’

The refurbishment began the last week of June and was completed mid September – ‘a pretty tight deadline but we got there in the end!’ says Charlotte.

‘It was approximately 10 weeks but this included major remedial work on the building also. The actual surgery refit was in next to no time after I finally decided on the colour!’
The makeover was extensive. Charlotte explains: ‘The waiting room was enormous, echoey and empty. There was still only one surgery running and I saw patients arrive and feel conscious they were in a vast empty space. They were uncomfortable with the waiting room and so I decided to make this smaller and we created our consultation room out of the excess space. The back room was the staff room, but it made sense to have this as the decontamination room. We have lots of rooms upstairs empty so we relocated the staff room upstairs.’

Now, Applefield has a ground-floor surgery, a waiting room, consultation room, decontamination room, patient cloakroom and staff cloakroom downstairs.

Charlotte explains: ‘We do have a surgery upstairs that is not currently in use – and that’s the next room to be renovated!’
When setting out on her refurb odyssey, she had key factors that mattered – a comfortable waiting room to help the patients relax; an updated surgery within her budget requirements; and she was also keen that the practice would make a statement.

She also wanted patients to notice and appreciate the differences she made.

She concludes: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and, although it was tough doing it with a toddler and newborn in tow, I am so proud of what we have achieved, and am really excited every time I walk in the door!’

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Barbican Dental Centre

Neil Sikka was a newly qualified dentist working in London's East End when he first had a vision for what is now a hugely successful string of high-end London practices.  He explains: ‘I was working in an NHS practice in Roman Road in Bethnal Green, east London, that had a high turnover of patients. ‘I watched as Canary Wharf was developed and decided there and then to establish a City practice for the inevitable huge numbers of City workers who would be working there.’

By 1992, he founded Barbican Dental Care and hasn't looked back since with nine practices now under his belt; four of them retail practices and five of them in-house practices currently seeing a clientele of investment bankers, lawyers stockbrokers and accountants. As he explains: ‘Most patients we see are from the financial services and accountancy professions. Of the private practices, two are in Canary Wharf, one is in the City and the fourth is in the West End.’

He has grown much of his business through corporate arrangements – in-house practices within the large financial houses, banks, stockbrokers and firms of accountants and other associated professions, including The Daily Telegraph.

With his latest practice, Neil was looking to merge two of his City of London practices into one – with one at the Barbican and the other in Bishopsgate. He settled on a site slap bang between the two, in Moorgate.

He explains: ‘The challenge was finding a suitable site for us between the two practices that were not a mile apart, and time was of the essence. We found the location (a basement shell with a ground floor entrance) in March 2011, work began in the July and we had completed the project by November, when it was ready for us to move in.’

He says: ‘I wanted it to be welcoming, but professional, and the reception area needed to be separate from the treatment areas. It was important to remove the dental environment that can seem threatening to some patients so they could wait in comfortable surroundings and without the usual dental sounds.

By separating the different areas, it also works from a cross infection and clinical point of view. Like all his practices, Neil installed Takara Belmont chairs.

He says: ‘We use 24 Belmont chairs across all practices. I wanted a chair that would be reliable and cost effective.  The Voyager fitted the bill. They are easy to maintain, there are always engineers available to service them and it is not so high tech that I cannot use them with ease.

‘What I love about the Voyager is that there is nothing over the patient which can prove very claustrophobic for some. Also, we have many clinicians sharing the surgeries and, as they have left- and right-handed facility, the chair is perfectly versatile; it is easy to swap from one side to another.’

The Moorgate arm of his business employs five dentists, two hygienists and a throng of visiting specialists as he takes on referrals from other dentists, too.

Neil was integral to the overall design from day one, a move he believes is essential when taking on such a major project.

He explains: ‘I was involved with everything. It is important when it is your vision to stick close to the project because nobody is ever going to know exactly what you want. The team at Apollo Interiors was very patient.  We went through 25 designs before agreeing the final layout.  I wanted to get away from the idea of closed doors and dark corridors so they designed sliding glass panels instead.’

The colour scheme remains consistent across his string of practices – blue with a splash of bright green to complement the logo. The flooring is a dark wood and the walls are white, adding to a feeling of height and space. At the reception, a green light glows at foot level ‘giving it the feel of a nightclub’ Neil jokes.

Both staff and patients love it and he strongly believes he has created a ‘welcoming environment for everybody’.

Did he enjoy the project?

‘I spend my life revamping houses; it’s a passion. Space and light are always uppermost in my mind.  What I love is seeing a vision come to life – I think I may be a frustrated architect,’ he says. ‘Working alongside SPS Dental and Apollo Interiors really made a great difference.  Ian Gocking from SPS used his considerable expertise in surgery layout design to give invaluable advice that enabled us to maximize the space available.  He was also very knowledgeable on equipment. Both teams were excellent and I couldn’t have wished for more.’

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