Two dental practitioners celebrate their respective anniversaries at Holt Dental Practice and share a retrospective look at the changes in the dental sector over the last 20 years and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kirsty West, a dental nurse, from Holt, left school to start work at the Holt Dental Practice 20 years ago and credits her long-term career at the practice to ongoing innovation, a flexible working ethos, and more recently, a major change in the approach to dental treatments that Kirsty feels is a game-changer not just for the team, but more importantly for their patients.
Kirsty said, “Today, the focus is on minimally invasive dentistry and prevention over cure, providing an improved patient experience. At our practice, we offer most dental treatments in-house, including tooth implants, crowns, and root canal treatment, whereas 20 years ago we would have needed to refer our patients to a specialist practice.
“In general, in the last 20 years, everything has improved, and this is thanks to Bupa for introducing new working practices and technologies.”
Susie Lloyd, dentist and head of clinical policy for Bupa Dental Care, joined the Holt Dental Practice during the Covid-19 pandemic a year ago. Although she has only been with the practice for a short time, Susie has witnessed unprecedented, yet welcome, changes, heralding a new and positive way of working.
Susie said, “We embraced virtual care as much as we could during the lockdown, but we do prefer to see patients face to face. Many of our patients are elderly and on multiple medications, so managing emergencies or prescribing is best done in person. However, a positive thing to come out of the new way of working, is that I now offer a range of ways to follow up with patients to explain a treatment plan, including a face-to-face appointment, a phone call, or a video call, whatever the patient prefers. Before lockdown, we had fewer options to offer our patients, so this really is a step forward.”
Susie is looking forward to a long-term career at the Holt Dental Practice and predicts great things for the future, “I think digital dentistry will become much more prevalent. We’re lucky to have numerous intra-oral scanners at the practice, which negates the need for traditional, messy impressions, and hugely improves patient comfort. I expect the use of these to become more standard and to facilitate our ability to deal with problems remotely, with a faster time to teeth (getting any prosthesis such as crowns, bridges, dentures back from the laboratory much more swiftly). Bupa Dental Care is also working hard to digitise as many of the administrative elements as possible, in practice, to make the patient journey quicker and easier.”
Susie adds, “I’m fortunate to have two fantastic roles. Management-wise, I have taken over the head of clinical policy role at Bupa Dental Care. This means that I am responsible for writing and coordinating our suite of clinical policies, from initial discussions on requirements to implementing and embedding them within our near 500 practices. Most recently, I headed up a project to refocus our orthodontic strategy and ensure we’re delivering what our patients want when they need it.
“In practice, I have been growing a new patient list and I’m enjoying seeing many of my patients coming back after completing their comprehensive treatment plans. It’s especially satisfying to see the change since their first appointment and the impact this has had on their oral and wider health. The combination of delivering patient care, yet getting to have a much wider impact, is both diverse and rewarding, with definite synergies between the two roles.”
Kirsty concludes, “I came to work at the Holt Dental Practice 20 years ago straight from high school, so this is my first and only job. I’m surrounded by a great team and lovely patients. All the dentists are incredibly supportive, we all look after each other. I’m looking forward to many more years here and I’m excited to witness more exciting changes in the workplace and the dental industry as a whole.”
To learn more about a career in dentistry or to search for opportunities within Bupa Dental Care, visit https://jobs.bupadentalcare.co.uk/work-with-us/