By Danny Chan
One of the most stressful periods of your dental career could well be the interim between making the decision to set up a new practice and the clinics opening day. From location scouting to property inspections; budget planning to loan applications; equipment shopping to onsite installations; layout and design, to final fitout... the mental checklists alone can take a toll on your entrepreneurial zeal. Any help you get to streamline the process is therefore welcomed, and can free up precious time and energy to focus on other important tasks at hand.
For principal dentist Dr Wei Ling McMillan and her life-business partner, Paul McMillan, help came in the form of a one-stop equipment supplier. Fairway Dental is a 100% Australian-owned operation that provides equipment and consumables. Although based in Victoria, the supplier’s Australia-wide services had so impressed a friend of the McMillans that they decided to use the company for their own venture based in the Northern Territory.
Besides a glowing recommendation, Paul and Wei Ling saw the value of dealing with the one-stop shop. Paul stresses: “Dealing with one supplier who has already done the homework in stocking top tier equipment makes the process a lot easier. The other advantage is of course getting better discounts on bulk purchases.”
Fairway Dental proved a reliable supplier in the setting up of YourSmileDental, a family-owned and managed practice located in the heart of Palmerston, NT. Backed by 20 years of clinical experience, Wei Ling says her main focus is helping people get their smile and confidence back. This can be anything from relieving a patient from discomfort to fixing a small front tooth chip or providing a smile makeover.
Having lived in Darwin cumulatively for nearly 37 years, the McMillans take pride in their close relationship with the local community, and taking the time to understand the diverse lifestyle and dental needs.
“We met numerous people of many different cultures and backgrounds with vastly varying needs. It’s the same everywhere: People want to genuinely feel cared for and valued.
That’s why we believe in our tagline: “it’s never too late for your perfect smile” – and why we named our practice YourSmileDental,” the general practitioner enthuses.
Being relational folks, the McMillans were naturally drawn to the personable working style of Kris Hazeldene, Fairway Dental’s National Sales Director. Mr McMillan adds:
“A former colleague, who set up his own practice a year prior, highly recommended Fairway Dental to us. As we got to know Kris better, who is our main contact person, and also David (Faul), we agree that their customer service is outstanding and their equipment of high quality,” Paul adds.
No stranger to the service industry, Paul (YourSmileDental’s Practice Manager/Owner) is a second-generation Hotelier, who is passionate about working with people, in pursuit and provision of superior customer service. Finding synergistic qualities in David and Kris, Paul rates their services highly:
“Both David and Kris came on site to make sure installation went smoothly. Mind you, they had to carry out installation work during our monsoon season – with 35C & high 90% humidity and no air-conditioning commissioned at that stage.
“Despite the harsh conditions and complexity of installation, it was amazing seeing the team’s dedication and work ethics in action. You could tell it was tough work seeing them going through 20L of water – and still sweat-soaked at the days end.”
However, Fairway’s professional service shouldn’t detract from the quality of their equipment selection. The bulk of YourSmileDentals hardware were purchased and installed by Fairway Dental, including: Four dental chairs, compressors, suctions, X-rays, 3D OPG, digital sensors, Salli saddle seats, hand instruments, sterilizers, ultrasonic cleaner, soft tissue laser, handpieces, lab equipment and others.
The McMillans were given a buyback offer that allows them future upgrade of their economical Anle chairs to the premium XO range of treatment units. They reserve the right to swap in their chairs and receive 60 per cent buyback value to offset the price of the new European model.
“We are very interested in the top-of-the-range XO chairs. With the high initial costs of setting up a new practice, we were not in a position to purchase the XO at the onset. The buyback deal gives us the opportunity to upgrade our existing chairs to the XO within the first 2 years of operation without worrying about cost duplication on same purpose equipment.”
In terms of performance, Dr McMillan says all the mentioned equipment have been working swimmingly. Her top picks are:
- Salli chairs – Ergonomic design and manoeuvrability that affords optimum operator comfort;
- Anle treatment units – Enhance patient comfort, fine leather upholstery (“patients are always commenting how comfortable they are”) and its convenient option for Continental delivery system;
- Cranex 3DX – 2D and 3D capability, user friendliness and uncomplicated software;
- Compact NV Microlaser – Extremely convenient and easy to use; and
- Melag 44B Autoclave – Allows high volumes of instrument sterilization with high turnover.
Paul concurs: “For a new practice, the equipment gave our patients the “wow” factor. The operators were extremely happy with the ease of use of all the equipment.
“In view of this and the faultless service we have received from Fairway Dental, we heartily recommend them. Personally, we can foresee a long-term professional relationship with them.”