Deal or No Deal…

Leyla Gomez BDS of Sonria Dental Clinic in central London discusses the use of ‘local deals’ and the NSK Prophy-Mate neo as marketing tools.

We are a long-established, modern dental practice situated in Devonshire Place, London W1. Our practice is very typical of many in the area in that the surgery is situated in a multi-share building populated by a number of medical and dental practitioners, and the only signage opportunity we have is a very small name plaque on the door.

We all need to replenish our patient pool from time to time. However, in areas like central London this can be difficult, even for practices like ours who use listing sites (Zesty and Toothpick) and have a well-optimised website and social media pages. Sometimes you just need to attract a little bit more ‘local’ attention and for this we have used both Groupon and Amazon Local in a very successful way.

Why choose a ‘local deal’?

We use local deal promotions as part of our overall marketing strategy, and the campaigns that we have run have been successful in expanding our patient base and making new and existing patients aware of our products and services. Running a local deal promotion is merely one piece of a bigger plan to build customer loyalty and success. If you opt to use a local deal, remember to have a plan to keep those patients coming back, or at least be able to continue marketing to them without depending on the initial deal providers.

The great thing about local deals is that you can get new patients to buy in to specific services or treatment, allowing consumers (patients) to take action immediately in a way that will give the practice an opportunity to win them over as a long-term patient. Other than giving away discount vouchers on our doorstep, there are no other advertising methods that do this.

There are a few things practice owners or managers also need to keep in mind when choosing to use a local deal. This type of promotion needs to well thought out and managed. I’m sure many practice owners who research ‘local deal’ marketing options find that the Internet is littered with terrible business experiences, and yes, these business owners were in hot water as a result of their local deal being too successful and them providing products or services for no financial gain. If a promotion is too successful it can put the whole practice under pressure and dramatically change the patient experience, which in turn can have a detrimental impact on the practice in the longer term.

We have run a couple of very specific local deal promotions in the past 12 months. The results have been very good, with several hundred patients taking up the offer in a very short space of time, and the vast majority of these patients were new to the practice. One promotion we ran offered an NSK FLASH Pearl and Prophy-Mate neo air polish, including consultation and hygiene session, for just £39 instead of the usual £180 - a saving of 78% for the patient.

NSK’s Prophy-Mate neo is a proven and easy to use air-driven tooth polishing system that makes routine cleaning and polishing procedures easier and more efficient. We find our patients love the feel of their teeth after the FLASH pearl polishing powder has gently removed superficial stains and calculus.

We firmly believe that using NSK’s Prophy-Mate neo tooth polishing system with FLASH pearl is a fantastic practice builder as patients experience positive dentistry in a rapid and highly effective way, bringing brilliance to their teeth without using harsh tooth whitening products. This in turn leads to many of our local deal patients staying with us for their regular and on-going dental treatment and many of the patients are very complimentary about the services we provide:

When I walked into the surgery in Devonshire Place for my initial dental appointment, I was struck by the beautiful décor of the practice, which was immediately welcoming and reassuring. I have always received excellent and professional dental care from Leyla Gomez.

During the time we have been visiting Leyla in her surgery we have always enjoyed her friendly welcome and excellent treatment. Thanks to her professionalism we have maintained regular visits and we wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Leyla to anyone.”

Love your patients

We treat all our patients like royalty as they are our best advocates and we work hard to make sure our long-standing loyal patients are not neglected in the pursuit of capturing new ones.

About the author:

Leyla Gomez qualified as a dentist in 1987 from St Martin’s University in Colombia. For 14 years she worked as a principal of her own dental practice in Bogota. She also worked as a general dental practitioner for the NHS in Colombia.

Leyla has also achieved a postgraduate qualification in Maxillary Orthopaedics in 1992. She came to London in 2001 and qualified as a Dental Surgeon with the GDC.

Leyla worked as an associate in various practices in London before setting up Sonria Dental Clinic in 2007, where a full range of dental services are offered. Leyla has a special interest in Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry, as well as Medical Aesthetics.

NSK’s Prophy-Mate neo

NSK’s Prophy-Mate neo is a proven ergonomic and easy to use air-driven dental air-polishing unit that makes routine cleaning and polishing procedures easier and more efficient than ever before. Prophy-Mate neo is a compact and lightweight system which includes both 60 and 80 degree tips, maximising cleaning even in difficult to reach areas. Its 360-degree easy swivel offers stress free and comfortable use. The system is ultra lightweight and portable and includes a transport case. Combined with FLASH pearl®, a spherical particulate calcium powder, which is specifically designed to roll smoothly over the tooth surface leaving no area untouched, it quickly and safely removes stains, plaque and calculus to give sparkling results every time.

NSK is so confident practitioners and hygienists will be delighted with the results achievable with Prophy-Mate neo that it’s offering a no-obligation 10 day ‘try before you buy’ introduction.

For more information visit or to request a 10 day free Prophy-Mate trial contact NSK on 0800 634 1909 or your preferred dental dealer.

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A Room With A View…

Michael R Norton BDS FDS RCS(Ed) talks to Sue Karran about his views on delivering successful implant treatment.

Wow, Michael this is an amazing surgery set up you have!

Yes, I have been very lucky to be able to deliver my dentistry in a fantastic location and we spent a lot of time and resources on getting the set up at 104 Harley Street to be as good as it can be. For me it’s vital that my patients are comfortable at all times, and part of this involves putting patients at their ease from the very start. The focus of my treatment room is not the chair, patients look beyond this to the vast pool of light that comes from the atrium area at the back of the room. In fact lighting and the décor have played a key role in the look and feel of the treatment room. Many patients are nervous - especially on their initial visit - but this approach puts them at their ease and provides me with a superb clinical environment to deliver the very best possible treatment outcomes.

Can you tell me about the work you do?

I offer a full range of reconstructive dental surgical procedures, and dental implants in particular. As a Specialist in Oral Surgery I can provide an extensive range of grafting procedures from simple local grafts to sinus lifts, block grafts and iliac crest grafts. Most of my work comes via referral from colleagues who typically use me for their more complex cases.

I have been working with dental implants for nearly 25 years and have been involved with many research projects to further the science and understanding of implant dentistry.

I also spend a considerable amount of time lecturing around the world and I’ve been very actively involved within associations such as the ADI for whom I was privileged to be President in 2000/1. I am currently Vice President of the Academy of Osseointegration, the premier implant organisation in the world and in 2017 I will become its first ever non-American President

As a Specialist you are highly trained and very skilled, what are your thoughts on GDPs undertaking implant procedures?

The guidelines for GDPs are clear as the FGDP (UK) Training Standards in Implant Dentistry 2012 document states, “Before undertaking implant treatment, a dentist must develop competence in the procedures involved in clinical assessment, treatment planning, and the placement and restoration of implants. The skills and knowledge necessary for competence should be developed through a training course in implant dentistry, with a suitably trained and experienced clinician acting as a mentor.”

I am sure there are, as in most professions, ‘super-generalists’ who are very skilled, but all GDPs should work within their scope of practice. I have been enlisted as an expert witness to help defend GDPs in a few GDC cases, where things have gone wrong during treatment, and for the clinicians involved this can be a terrifying experience. I would highly recommend that GDPs who want to add implant dentistry to their practice offering, not only attend a recognised implant course, but they also work with a Specialist who can offer support and take on the more complex cases.

You routinely choose to work with the ASTRA TECH Implant System™, why have you chosen to use this system?

I have worked with Astra for many years as part of their international research and development team. For me it is very important to choose an implant that is well researched and will provide the patient with an excellent long-term outcome. The Astra system is evidence-based and delivers excellent long-term results. As a Specialist working with many patients who are being referred to me with signs of Peri-implantitis, I often find it is difficult to identify the implant because it is not one with any strong pedigree and may be from a completely unknown manufacturer and this can cause other considerable complications for the patient if parts need to be replaced. With hundreds if not thousands of implant systems to choose from I would highly recommend that all clinicians use a known, well-researched product that has some longevity in the market place. The cost difference between ‘value’ and ‘premium’ systems is relatively small compared to the cost of treatment, and in my opinion, reconstructive implant dentistry should be about the long-term patient outcome, not saving a few pounds to increase marginal profits.

When it comes to implant placement and bone surgery which drill system(s) do you use?

When I had my chair fitted it came with an implant motor built-in, but over time I found the motor was not reliable and had some limitations. I was very familiar with NSK and I was acquainted with Alex Breitenbach, NSK’s UK Managing Director, who very kindly let me trial the NSK VarioSurg3 Piezo surgical unit and SurgicPro surgical implant unit. I started testing both units and found them to be superb, and I was very impressed with both the quality of the equipment and the service from NSK. While the SurgicPro implant motor can be pre-programmed to a given RPM, like many other motors, the value is a set only as an upper limit. This means that if I need to alter the RPM during surgery it is simply a case of adjusting my foot pressure on the peddle. For example, when I start cutting the osteotomy I can begin at high speed to cut through the cortex then I reduce the pressure on the foot control and the rotational speed is immediately reduced allowing me to proceed into softer bone. I also have full control of the torque which is very important, especially for inserting implants. I used to insert all my implants manually, but now I can set a precise value for insertion torque, which is vital for me as I’m an advocate of low insertion torque limits for implants to avoid damaging bone. I use the VarioSurg3 almost exclusively for harvesting bone grafts and occasionally for removing more difficult roots. The VarioSurg3 is a beautiful Piezo, very powerful, cuts very efficiently with pencil thin cut lines - I am very happy with the unit as it supports my ethos of providing the very best clinical care.

Which handpieces do you use with your NSK SurgicPro?

I use the NSK Ti-Max X-DSG20L dismantling surgical handpiece which is very durable and reliable whilst delivering constant torque, which is vital. It is also easy to dismantle without any tools for easy cleaning and maintenance. The LED function is also great for providing extra illumination in the surgical field. I also use the NSK Ti-Max Z45L contra-angle, which delivers excellent operational visibility thanks to its 45-degree angled head, facilitating access to the molar region which standard contra-angles simply can’t match. I found the Ti-Max Z45L particularly useful in the difficult-to-reach posterior region for drilling out composite fillings in screw access holes. The combination of a 45-degree angle and small head makes my life a lot easier, especially when working on the upper jaw.

Michael, thank you for being so generous with your time, do you have a few closing words to sum up?

I firmly believe dental implants provide patients with clinical and lifestyle outcomes that would be difficult to achieve in any other way. GDPs should be encouraged to learn about patient selection for implants and grow their skills within their scope of practice and within their own limitations. It is vital for the on-going success of the profession that implant dentistry is not seen as a ‘cash-cow’ and that we provide patients with well-planned, well delivered, long-term evidence based products and techniques. Obviously there are associated costs to delivering this level of treatment, but I firmly believe that patients don’t want implant treatment on the cheap, especially if this results in compromise, failure and disappointment. I have found by giving patients all the facts and explaining my reasons for selecting certain products and processes, patients have the confidence to move forward with treatment and many of my patients come back over many years for repeat treatment, which is a fantastic practice builder.

Michael R Norton BDS, FDS, RCS(Ed)
Michael is registered as a specialist in oral surgery with the General Dental Council, registration number 63248.

Implant Reconstructive Dentistry

104 Harley Street, London W1G 7JD

Tel: 020 7486 9229



With so many products available, plus the opportunity to take advantage of NSK’s 10-day, no-obligation ‘try before you buy’ and equipment rental scheme, we would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss how NSK can meet your needs. If you would like to arrange a visit from one of our NSK Product Specialists please call NSK on 0800 634 1909.

Twitter: @NSK_UK

Facebook: NSK UK Ltd

An integral part of any dental practice

Professor Julian Satterthwaite BDS MSc PhD PGDip FDS MFDSRCS FDS(Rest Dent) FHEA FADM, discusses advances in handpiece technology and how these are helping to deliver better patient care.

In all the work I do, my ultimate aim is the promotion of high quality prosthodontic care and for many years I have been involved in many direct hands-on training courses to help GDPs and Specialists further develop their skills.

At the centre of everything we do as clinicians is the dental handpiece. It forms an integral part of any dental practice due to its wide range of possible uses and the fact that many procedures - both simple and complex - could not be completed without utilising these versatile tools.

From the first handpieces made of sharpened stones to the high-tech gadgetry of today’s handpieces with internal cooling systems and air turbine power, the progression of these devices has been steady throughout history and requisite in the advancement of dental science. The increased power and decreased noise, vibration, and heat produced by modern dental handpieces have helped to alleviate patients’ procedural anxiety, and given clinicians a more comfortable working environment.

Evolution and development

In 2006, scientists announced that they had unearthed the earliest evidence of drilled human teeth in vivo, which are estimated to be more than 9,000 years old. Fortunately for both dentists and patients, there have been many advancements to the design and drive mechanisms of dental handpieces since pre-historic times. In modern dentistry, the dental handpiece has continued to evolve, with changes aimed at attempting to make devices smaller and more comfortable in the professional’s hand and the patient’s mouth, stifle noise, lessen vibration, and minimise heat output.

Some of these modifications are evident in the NSK Ti-Max Z95L contra-angle, powered by an electric micromotor. The 1:5 gearing ratio means that the 40,000RPM produced by the motor produces 200,000RPM from the handpiece to deliver incredible torque and precision in all restorative procedures. In addition the handpiece offers improved visibility through the reduction of head and neck size and benefits from a lightweight titanium bodyallowing clinicians to deliver high quality work.

Award winning technology

An excellent example of the advancements in handpiece technology is the NSK Ti-Max Z45L contra-angle, considered a “game-changer” within the field of minimally invasive dentistry.

The Ti-Max Z45L has recently been awarded GOLD in the Dental & ENT Surgical Tools category at the 2015 Edison Awards™, one of the highest accolades a company can receive in business and innovation. The Ti-Max Z45L successfully delivers complete operational visibility thanks to its 45-degree angled head, facilitating access to the molar region which standard contra-angles simply can’t match and I find the Ti-Max Z45L particularly useful in such difficult-to-reach procedures.  The Ti-Max Z45L is now also available with external irrigation and is compatible with popular surgical units such as the NSK Surgic XT and NSK Surgic Pro, and the ability to use an extensive range of burs makes this handpiece highly versatile, for example for crown lengthening and root sectioning procedures.

Implant dentistry

One of the most significant advances in dental science over the past 40 years has been the introduction of dental implants into mainstream restorative dentistry. Implant dentistry is an exciting discipline that most GDPs should consider getting involved with at some level. Surgical micromotors and handpieces have also progressed significantly over the past few years and the NSK Surgic Pro+ is no exception as it offers power and accuracy with real-time performance displayed on the large LCD screen. The unit delivers a wide range of speeds and torque settings and is quick to set up and use via the foot control. I use the NSK Ti-Max X-SG20L 20:1 contra-angle with integrated LED with the surgical unit to maximise working efficiency and obtain superior results.

Final thoughts

With the exception of the wheel, there have been few things that have been as important, life changing, and professionally pertinent and it’s difficult to imagine modern dentistry without the dental handpiece. Used in applications ranging from simple cleaning and polishing to aggressive removal of tooth structures, the dental handpiece has evolved, teaching us that it was, is, and shall remain a critical tool of everyday dentistry.


About the Author 

Professor Julian David Satterthwaite


Specialist in Restorative Dentistry, Endodontics, Periodontics & Prosthodontics

GDC number 71740

Julian Satterthwaite is a Professor of Restorative Dentistry at the University of Manchester and is an Honorary Consultant & Clinical Lead in Restorative Dentistry for CMFT and also works in specialist practice.  He is the current President of the British Society of Prosthodontics.

He is extensively involved in postgraduate education and training, having previously been Director of Graduate Education for the School of Dentistry & also Lead for Postgraduate Taught programmes.  He is Director of the University’s MSc programme in Fixed & Removable Prosthodontics.  His roles reflect his keen interest in post-graduate education and skills improvement for the dental team and he has broad experience of providing a variety of academic and hands-on training. He is an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Edinburgh, examining the Diploma in Implant Dentistry, Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship in Restorative Dentistry and the specialty Membership in Restorative Dentistry.

He has research interest in dental biomaterials and in factors influencing tooth and restoration survival, ranging from initial treatment decisions to methods of rehabilitating compromised teeth. His clinical work includes all aspects of restorative dentistry, and he has particular interests in complex/extensive treatments, toothwear, hypodontia, and restorations utilising dental implants.

Red Square Dental – NSK are proud to support the 1-Year Certificate in Restorative Dentistry (Awarding body University of Chester) delivered by Red Square Dental with input from Julian and colleagues. Red Square Dental are a team of specialists and hospital consultants providing the latest dental scientific knowledge and clinical techniques. All the Red Square courses aim to improve skills and confidence and help GDPs deliver exceptional patient-centered care. For more in formation visit

The British Society of Prosthodontics 2016 Annual Conference will take place in Manchester on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th March. The theme for the conference will be ‘Progress & Precision in Prosthodontics’. For more information visit


With so many products available, plus the opportunity to take advantage of NSK’s 10-day, no-obligation ‘try before you buy’ and equipment rental scheme, we would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss how NSK can meet your needs. If you would like to arrange a visit from one of our NSK Product Specialists please call NSK on 0800 634 1909.

Twitter: @NSK_UK

Facebook: NSK UK Ltd

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