The benefits of a supportive dental supplier

Pinhoe-Group-picAndrew Webber, practice manager at Pinhoe Dental Centre in Exeter, talks about the work they do at the practice, including the dedicated oral care education room.

Pinhoe Dental Centre was established in 1948, with just a single surgery within a family home, and it has been providing dental care ever since. Some of our patients have been coming ever since we opened. Over the years, the practice has grown and now we have seven surgeries, eight dentists, a dental therapist, hygienist and five oral health educators.

Alongside day-to-day dentistry, we are also involved in the training of newly graduated dentists, dental nurses and oral health educators, to help the next generation of dental professionals achieve their goals. Our oral health educators regularly go to primary schools and Sure Start centres to educate young people and parents about what causes problems within the mouth, and how they can be avoided with good brushing and a sensible diet.

We have just carried out a major upgrade to one of our surgeries, with the introduction of a powered front door to enable better disabled access. Another part of the recent investment was the introduction of stock consolidation and centralisation and, together with our main supplier, The Dental Directory, this has enabled us to reduce expenditure on regular supplies and enhance stock control.

The oral health education room

We have a dedicated oral health education (OHE) room that had its grand opening in May this year. This room is a non-clinical environment and has an atmosphere that is far removed from a ‘typical’ dental experience. Our oral health educators use the OHE room: they are dental nurses who have undergone further education and are now qualified to advise in various aspects of oral health. These dedicated staff also undergo some training in-house, to an extremely high level.

The aim of these sessions is to provide general advice to patients regarding their oral health and to make them feel at ease, on a one-to-one and in depth basis. We use computer programmes and visual aids in a relaxed environment, so patients can, not only learn, but also feel able to ask questions that they may not feel comfortable asking when they are already sat in the dentist’s chair. Appointments with the OHEs are free to patients at Pinhoe Dental Centre.

The OHE room provides both space and resources to help patients improve oral health and, we feel, provides a great example of how practices can reduce or even prevent the need for future dental treatment, simply by improving a patient’s oral hygiene.

The supplier’s help

We have worked with the team at The Dental Directory on all of our projects. They have helped us with stock rationalisation and trialing new products, as well as sharing with us their general expertise and giving us useful suggestions on a variety of issues. In fact, we have always found our rep is willing to help, even if our query does not relate directly to The Dental Directory. We are really looking forward to working with them on our website development, for example. That kind of ongoing, impartial support is absolutely invaluable to us.

We are extremely proud of the work we do at Pinhoe Dental Centre, from checkups to advanced cosmetic dentistry and prevention. We pride ourselves in our oral health education and the level of service we deliver to our loyal patients.

With more than 27,000 product lines in stock, The Dental Directory is a full-service dealer, and can supply everything your practice needs at cost-effective prices. Call today to find out how they can help you on 0800 585 586 or visit

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