Dentist adopting whole team approach to future
A “whole team approach from cradle to grave” is how one of Scotland’s leading dentists is approaching the future.
Dr Rami Sarraf, who has five practices covering Dundee, Newport, Forfar and Kinross, under the banner of First Alba Healthcare, has revealed that he is using his whole team – from dental nurses, therapists and hygienists, to restorative dental experts – to deliver modern 21st Century dentistry.
With dental nurses, who now have an educator role, carrying out initial patient consultations, together with dental therapists carrying out treatments such as fillings, time is freed up for his specialist dentists to concentrate more fully on surgery and restorative work, amongst other tasks.
Restorative dentistry, in the form of implants, bridges and crowns, has been considerably boosted by First Alba Healthcare’s cutting edge technology which can cover everything in-house, from the initial scan, to the final fitting of a new appliance, with, in some cases, the necessary appliance produced the same day.
First Alba is also now using pioneering jaw motion and dynamic occlusion technology in the form of Modjaw.
“Our patients have less of a wait for their bespoke appliances,” said Dr Sarraf, who has stepped away from day-to-day practice to perform a global Research and Development role for First Alba Healthcare.
“Everything is done in-house, as our significant investment in new technology over the past three years makes this a reality. We have this “one stop shop” approach now, which benefits the patient at every step.”
“The health, the function, and the appearance of the teeth and gums are the three mantras that govern us now in everything we do at First Alba Healthcare. Our overriding approach to all patient care is preventative, with minimum invasive treatment if we can help it.”
Dr Sarraf went on to say that dental practices carrying out more general health checks – such as those for oral, throat and neck cancers – would undoubtedly benefit the NHS.
“Patients need to see view us as primary health care providers, alongside their GP’s. We can spot many conditions early if patients attend regular check up’s – private dental care needs to fit into a joined up thinking approach.”
Dr Sarraf has already had team members on specialist training courses at a variety of locations across Europe.
“We’re busy training our specialist teams to perform all the tasks necessary for modern dentistry,” he said. “Some of the courses we need are abroad, whilst others, with our own technology in place, can be carried out in house. We’re finding that other dental practices across the country are now reaching out to us for collaboration, as they want to copy what we are doing.”
“We welcome this, as if things are going to change for the better, we all need to work together.”
“Modern dentistry shouldn’t just involve the dentist carrying out treatments like fillings. We can benefit them more by carrying out more advanced, specialist treatments. We’ll use our team of nurses, hygienists, and therapists to educate patients on how best to look after their teeth and gums.
“If we get it right, there is no reason why patients can’t have the teeth of their dreams their whole lives – now there is a huge lifestyle push for the perfect smile, even in Scotland, which always used to lag behind with a dismal record of decay, tooth loss, and crooked teeth.”
“More dentists going fully private should be viewed as a positive,” he said. “We have affordable dental plans that work out less than many people would spend per week on their daily latte at Starbucks.”
First Alba Healthcare has also pledged to take on two dental graduates and fully train them in the very latest scanning technology.
“We want to do all we can to share the knowledge and technology we have for the next generation of dentists,” said Dr Sarraf.
“Our graduate training scheme should be starting in 2024. We would very much expect to engage with graduates from the School of Dentistry, University of Dundee.”
Dr Sarraf finished by saying: “In my Research & Development role I will be concentrating on bringing the best new treatments from all over the world to my five practices – I want to source new ways of working that are quicker, faster and better.”