Two thousand new patients join Marlborough’s state of the art dental practice
More than 2,000 new patients have joined the practice since it was given 18 months notice to quit at the Marlborough Medical Centre, and, unable to find an alternative site in town, took a huge gamble.
That was to invest in a virgin site on the then undeveloped Marlborough Business Park and call in Paradigm, a leading firm of dental architects, to design its new home, now the envy of its competitors.
And the rise in its reputation as a centre of excellence has been matched – without any advertising – in its patients driving to use its free car park from an area that takes in Swindon, Chippenham, Newbury and Andover.
The other great attraction is that the technology now in use includes an amazing computerised camera system linked to a machine that can produced restoration crowns within 20 minutes, digital X-ray machines, an air abrasion system that can be used instead of drills and an ozone disinfection system.
“It was a shock that came somewhat out of the blue when we were given notice to quit,” recalled Jonathan Taylor, who has masterminded the new practice with Judith Denning, his partner for the past 22 years.
“In retrospect, the doctors had their own agenda. As it happens, everything has worked out to our considerable advantage.”
“We had many sleepless nights after purchasing a perfect corner plot in the Business Park. The big question was whether we going to be too far out from the town centre for our patients to reach us. But it has turned out to be a successful gamble.”
Patient surveys have revealed that free parking plus the most modern technology, which other dentists have yet to install, has proved to be the big bonus for the practice, which is also planning to extend its treatment to more NHS patients.
Building work on the project began in May, 2009, and by February last year one surgery was operational. Now there are seven with a permanent and part-time staff of up to 20, five of them hygienists,
Introducing oral hygiene has been Mr Taylor’s mission since he came to Marlborough in 1982, joined a practice in the High Street before being invited with Judith Denning and Tony Russell, still an associate of the practice, to move to the Marlborough Medical Centre in Figgins Lane.
“We have been pushing oral hygiene for a long time,” he explained. “There has been a significant shift from extractions and the provision of dentures to the preservation of teeth, good oral health and more sophisticated restorations such as implants, which are very popular.
“This applies across the board, not just to young women concerned with their appearance because of today’s celebrity culture.”
He is aware that in austerity times the cost of dentistry can be considerable. But this can be contained with the help of Denplan Excel, which spreads payment through £24 a month direct debits with a separate payment system for children too.
“I wouldn’t be complacent about our prospects for the future,” he added. “We will always ensure we will provide the best possible service for our patients. And their response as our ambassadors in the community has been magnificent.”
NHS patients too have the benefit of the Savernake expertise through a contract it won for acting as appointed trainers for newly qualified graduates from Bristol, giving young dentists the opportunity to perfect their skills.
So far attempts to extend this limited service have been thwarted.
“There is all this talk now about greater access to the NHS but here we have a situation where we want to provide orthodontics and we cannot,” protested Mr Taylor. “I have put in a lot of time and effort putting tender documents to Wiltshire PCT. We have splendid facilities and staff but so far have heard nothing back.”