Often seen as a dreaded yearly appointment, a check-up can now be performed alongside a routine weekly shop at the supermarket.
Positioning dentists at such a familiar family landmark is a force for behavioural change encouraging people who have stayed away or simply not had time to pop in for relaxed consultations.
Centre for Dentistry, which launched its first dental practice inside a Sainsbury’s supermarket in 2012, has expanded across 25 branches with 75,000 registered patients.
“I get weekly feedback from patients who say they came to do their shopping and hadn’t realised there was a dentist, but it prompted them to come in because they hadn’t been for a long time,” says Seyed Alroyayamina, a dentist at Centre for Dentistry Brookwood in Surrey.
“It is convenient because we are open late and on Saturdays, so you don’t have to take time off work and you can always get a space in the supermarket car park.
“Being at a place that is part of a routine, where you shop regularly, can take away that mental build-up of seeing a dentist. There is a potential for a paradigm shift in behaviour by taking the stress out of thinking about and planning to visit the dentist.”
Mr Alroyayamina, a graduate of King’s College London Dental Institute and specialist in root canal treatment, has experience carrying out a full range of routine and complex treatment plans.
“We have more time for appointments and that is also good for the patients who are now more knowledgeable about all aspects of health and appreciate the opportunity to talk about their treatment,” he adds. “Going into greater depth helps them relax, which also makes my job more pleasurable.
“Every day we get patients coming in with their bags of shopping and popping in for a check-up or a bit of treatment as it is an easy and relaxed thing to do.”
Centre for Dentistry received a WhatClinic Award this April in recognition of its high performance with results collated from a full year of patient reviews and feedback data.
Lisa Riley, Centre for Dentistry chief executive, says: “Patient care is our top priority and we do our utmost to make the experience of dentistry a positive one for every patient. To receive such positive feedback from our patients is fantastic.”
The centres use affordable annual dental plans, which cover regular check-ups, X-rays, and scale-and-polish appointments, with other treatments at competitive rates.
For more information please visit www.centrefordentistry.com
PATIENT CASE STUDY
Retired carpenter John Guichard was suffering with a bad gum problem when his wife suggested he popped into Centre for Dentistry Brookwood.
“I didn’t realise there was a dentist at Sainsbury’s, but I went down one Saturday and they saw me immediately, which was very unusual for a dentist. I assumed I would have to wait,” he says. “I’d had bad treatment at another dentist so had been put off, but Mr Alroyayamina was very kind and gentle, and took time to explain what was going on.”
The 71-year-old, from Woking, Surrey, was prescribed antibiotics and a course of treatment that has restored his health and his faith in dentists.
“I probably would have ended up going to a hospital A&E had I not seen him. I’m continuing my treatment there and they are extremely helpful and, of course, it is very convenient,” says Mr Guichard.
“You get extra time and feel more involved. They don’t just get on with it and leave you wondering what is happening. They explain in detail as they are going along.
“The prices are reasonable and in touch with other dental surgeries, and I have recommended them to at least six friends – and I don’t do that lightly when it comes to a dentist.”