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Features / April 8, 2024

Modernising a practice with minimal disruption

by Rowan Thomas

Azure Dental reveals how it managed a major refurbishment to take it from out-of-date to state-of-the-art – without disruption to the patient experience.

In a beautiful position in the heart of Blackrock in Dublin, the one thing that didn’t need to change at Azure Dental was the location. Aside from the seaside views and excellent light, the practice had been treating a loyal customer base for many years under a previous owner and now has Dr Sarah Flannery at the helm, who took over in 2023.  

What did need to change, however, was the practice equipment as well as the overall look and feel of the clinic, which was no longer in keeping with the standards of modern dentistry on offer.

Realising the dream

Sarah’s core vision for her brand-new clinic, Azure Dental, is to give patients a healthy, beautiful smile in the most minimally invasive way while offering the best of modern dentistry and aesthetic practices. 

To achieve this, Sarah enlisted the help of Murray Woods and chose Kavo Uniqa treatment units for her surgeries.

Murray Woods was able to recommend and supply all of the new equipment, fixtures and fittings, including the Kavo Uniqa treatment units, which were launched last year and have won awards for their cutting-edge design. As is usual for Kavo equipment, the Uniqa optimises ergonomics and workflow in tandem with all the innovative technical features required for contemporary, high-end dentistry. This in turn allows Azure Dental to offer its patients the latest innovations in cosmetic dentistry, including discreet orthodontic correction and dental implants.

Clean, calm and considered

Downtime for patients during the refurbishment process was minimal, as Azure Dental was a brand-new practice concept designed and planned in advance of its launch at the end of 2023.  

The practice has multiple treatment rooms and all of these were upgraded and refurbished at the same time for the practice’s launch. 

Taking inspiration from its surroundings, the new design concept for the practice focused on promoting a clean, calm practice and considered dentistry.

The Azure Dental identity was created using cues from the ocean, from the name and branding to the calming colour scheme within the practice, and reflected in the interactive social media channels and modern website. 

As well as its design, the people at Azure Dental are critical to its success. Sarah is supported by a team of seven:

  • General dentist Dr Isabelle Lim
  • Dental nurse Adriana Colletti
  • Dental hygienists Patricia O’Connor and Aisling Byrne Ryan
  • Practice manager Lynn Enraght-Moony 
  • Customer service manager Ambika Kirupakumaran. 

Their combined experience in dentistry and customer service creates a unique atmosphere that is focused on patient experience and comfort when visiting the practice. 

In their words

Practice owner Dr Sarah Flannery and practice manager Lynn Enraght-Moony tell us a bit more about the refurbishment.

How did you choose the equipment?

We had used Murray Woods in the past and came to highly regard Caleb and his team, their knowledge of the products on offer and customer service was impressive! Caleb was able to recommend Kavo wholeheartedly in terms of product performance as well as servicing and parts availability.  

In addition, Kavo has previously catered for our high expectations in terms of quality and performance as well as offering a range of chairs according to the various needs we have in different surgeries. For example, Sarah was looking for a sophisticated chair for her own surgery with longevity, so she was drawn to the opportunity to upgrade various features in the future.  

The Kavo Uniqa fits this brief perfectly, as it has lots of premium features such as a high-grade light, colour touch screen, ultra-smooth and quiet engineering, but also a wealth of optional extras that can be added, such as an integrated surgical motor and camera system. 

We were also really impressed with the range of colours and the quality of the upholstery – it sounds superficial, but it’s often the first thing our patients notice and comment on! In short, we felt Kavo could offer the whole package.

What was the biggest lesson learned?

We were starting from scratch, so honestly everything was a learning curve, although it all went off relatively smoothly, thank goodness.  

Although we were taking over a lovely and successful existing practice, our refurb was so comprehensive in terms of modernisation that it was almost like setting up a squat, and there was more small equipment required than we initially thought.

Is there anything you’d do differently?

The only thing we would do differently would be to put a little less pressure on ourselves from a timing perspective – given the current waiting lists for patients we were keen to make progress as quickly as possible. That said, this probably added a useful element of urgency to the whole project!

What was the most surprising but positive thing you learned from the refurb project?

Despite the little delays like having to lay flooring on a different day to the one planned, we realised that nothing was insurmountable. 

Nearer the end, it was the small things that made the biggest difference – when we got to the point where the walls were painted and the carpet was laid, it reassured us that it was all coming together perfectly.  

The reaction from the patients is just so lovely – they are so wowed when they walk in and that’s very satisfying for all of us. For us personally, it’s the surgeries and the equipment that we’ve been able to buy that pleases us the most day in and day out.  

Sometimes we look back on the before photos and can’t believe how far we’ve come! 

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