Expert Reviews

A quality system for quality care

Mark Hughes considers the role Vatech’s imaging system has to play in delivering clinical excellence.

Dr Mark Hughes, senior partner of the Harley Street Dental Studio, is a man with a vision. Quite simply, he and his team want to provide the utmost excellence in dentistry in an exceptional environment. He explains:

‘Essential to success, of course, are outstanding clinical skills, but that can’t be delivered in isolation. You also have to have the best tools for the job.’

One such tool is the Vatech system that has been installed in the practice. Mark says:

‘I can tell you why I chose Vatech in one word – quality. I looked at all of the options available to us with this type of CBCT scanner and it stood head and shoulders above the rest. A secondary element was the people who I met, who came and showed me the product, who supported us in the decision-making process without putting any pressure on me. I also sometimes consult in another dentist’s practice and they had installed a Vatech machine there, so I had a period to trial and use it. For me, Vatech’s resolution, the detail on the imaging and the reliability can’t be beaten.’

Mark purchased the Vatech PaxReve3D with a FOV of 15×15 with a cephalometric arm, OPG and CBCT. And then, because he was so pleased with it, Mark also bought a Vatech OPG system for another practice within the group.

Committed as he is to continuing education, having graduated from the Eastman Dental Institute in restorative dentistry and attending the Pankey Institute in Florida, Mark has best practice under his belt. So, what does this entail for Mark? He comments:

‘I found that to deliver the very best service I needed to work in collaboration with specialists in-house rather than referring them out. Now we’re a full service practice delivering dentistry to a very high standard. At last count we had seven in-house specialists, five cosmetic dentists, two general dentists and six hygienists.’

‘The practice here in Harley Street is unusual because we are, as far as I know, one of only two practices in the area that has a whole house fully dedicated to dentistry. Everything’s under one roof over six floors to help coordinate interdisciplinary care and improve the patient’s journey.’

Although Mark has a special interest in restorative dentistry, routine dentistry remains the first point of contact for most patients. On this, Mark comments:

‘I’m a general dental practitioner with an interest in cosmetic dentistry, although my practice is almost exclusively cosmetic dentistry nowadays. What I have found over the years is that to have a solid patient base coming regularly to the practice for general care is the best way to grow and ride out times when there is a recession etc.’

'For me, Vatech's resolution, the detail on the imaging and the reliability can't be beaten.'

‘As for cosmetic dentistry, I’ve always had an interest in the aesthetics. With the type of dentistry that we do here, we can really make life-changing transformations for people – not just on their appearance but also their health and function. So we can make vast improvements to somebody’s quality of life and how they feel about themselves, which is very satisfying because those stories, sometimes, can be incredibly heart-warming.’

One of the unexpected advantages of purchasing the Vatech system was that referring dentists know about it and, rather than sending their patients to other, larger companies for imaging, they have been making appointments for their patients to attend the Harley Street Dental Studio.

The group currently consists of the Harley Street practice, as well as one in the City of London and another in Chelsea. Mark, however, is not resting on his laurels. He says:

‘We have expansion plans for the group. We want to offer our philosophy of dental practice and the quality that it stands for outside of central London. Initially we are looking at Home Counties expansion because an awful lot of patients travel in from there to see us, so we’re looking to bring that level of service out to them. I’m also looking into developing the Harley Street practice, as we’re not at full capacity yet.

‘In addition, we’re introducing a mentoring scheme for recently qualified dentists, especially on a specialist level. So it’s a little like a football team that brings in their youth! That’s an important part of our plans for the future: always bringing through dentists with the philosophy that we’ve taught them.’

Mark couldn’t be happier with his choice of system from Vatech, and has this advice to offer others considering such an investment:

‘Look at all the options available first. Decide what’s important. Is the ultimate machine with the very best flexibility, quality and resolution important or not? And then figure it out from there. I think you need to talk to as many people as possible and look at what they’re offering before you make a decision. But also have a clear idea of what it’s going to be used for both now and in the future because it’s a big investment… I did all of that, I chose Vatech, and I’ve no regrets.’

PUBLISHED IN: Private Dentistry, August 2014
DENTIST: Dr. Mark Hughes
DENTAL PRACTICE: Harley Street Dental Group
ADDRESS: 52 Harley Street, London, W1G 9PY
TELEPHONE: 0207 636 5981
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