Dr Lara Welch
One year on...
A look back at the first year of running Y Bont Faen Dental Surgery
Last March Nathan and Lara took over the practice with the goal of growing the business to allow more patients to be looked after under our care. We also had visions of going more digital to help the environment. Lets take a look at some of the changes that have happened and the lessons we've learnt!
Improvements at the practice
When we took over the practice if had no online presence and the only method of communication was via phone, which with one receptionist trying to do all meant it was very difficult to reach us.
The first thing we did was to get a website up and running which allowed our community to know who we were and what we provided. It also allowed us to move into the 21st century by being contactable via email and WhatsApp.
We are proud of the website which Lara built herself so we could get it available quickly but know its limitations and will hopefully be getting some improvements later this year.
We also now have a patient portal and tablets in practice to update patient information on, helping us achieve our paperless aim.
We have started providing Implants at the practice which is great as previously patients would have to be referred elsewhere, a great service if needed.
Last year we invested in an oral scanner. This is amazing for monitoring your dental tissues, being able to compare things like recession and dental erosion to time elapsed, allowing us to work out how quickly problems are occurring. It is also a game changer with our Invisalign tooth straightening cases, no longer needing to take impressions and improving turn around time.
Victoria Bentley started with us in October, a dental Therapist. She can carry out all hygienist treatments but also routine fillings, decreasing the waiting time for patients from almost 3 months on NHS to only a few weeks. Patients have also loved her!
We also recently took on more desk staff, the lovely Sarah and Diane, to help Jane (even though she was super woman to be doing it herself for so long!) We hope now that it should be much easier to get through to us on the phone and reduced waiting times stood at reception to make your appointments.
Finally we have 2 new dentists at the practice allowing us to increase the patients who can be seen, the wonderful Susan and Fran. Susan has a special interest in care of nervous patients and is soon hoping to train in sedation and Fran will be carrying out routine and cosmetic dentistry, she loves to improve your smiles!
Lesson 1 - running a dental practice is hard work
We definitely have had a steep learning curve this year. Lara had some concept of running a business from being brought up around her parents running their hair salons but the reality of staffing, sorting facilities and finances took a lot of getting our heads round and I think we are nearly there now.
Add to that the compliance matters of working in healthcare and it can be a big headache! It has also been a very rewarding challenge, however, and nice to tackle something new. Also watching all the changes we put into place have a positive impact is very exciting.
Lesson 2 - change takes time
When we took over we were desperate to make physical changes also such as new branding and logo (to put our stamp on it), new signs and update the practice interiors. For various reasons this has been a slow process and frustrating at times. Fingers crossed we should get there in the next year!
With every improvement we have made we have had to consider the timing well to ensure staff and patients are ready.
Lesson 3 - our team is amazing!
We always knew we had a good team but through this year they have been our best asset. All happy to help each other and us, making our lives easier and always making our patients smile!
We have had an amazing year learning with a new business (and a new baby!) and always trying to keep our vision in mind, to be known as the practice who gives our Community the skills and opportunity to have healthy, happy smiles.
We look forward to working on the practice for our patients for many years to come!