Sue Karran talks to the renowned implant clinician and trainer about his state-of-the-art training facility in Bristol and what he looks for in the dental equipment he uses.
SK: Tell us about your new group of practices that you have set up and which includes your original practice, Queen Square Dental in Bristol.
AR: We have created Apollonia Clinics, a group of 7 private practices in Bristol and along the M4 corridor. We are small and independent which means we make our own clinical decisions whilst also forming partnerships with other healthcare providers when advantageous. For instance, some of our practices are based within medical centres where they have set up partnerships with neighbouring plastic surgeons.
SK: You have also developed your training offering into a fully resourced independent academy – The Delta Academy – in the last few years. Tell us how it came into being.
AR: We’re delighted to have The Delta Academy fully up and running now. It’s a dedicated teaching centre in the heart of Bristol, set up with all the dental equipment we could need, as well as a camera for filming live surgeries.
Having a dedicated building is a vast improvement on our previous training facilities which were on the top floor of my clinic, Queen Square Clinic in Bristol. It was only accessible via the main practice entrance and did not have the full set-up we have now.
SK: What courses do you offer and to whom are they aimed?
AR: We offer a wide range of courses catering to all levels. We run about five different levels of implant courses each year, the most popular of which is my standard implant course for general dentists who have never placed an implant before. We also run a range of endodontic courses, including endodontics for microsurgery, and courses on other subjects such as composites, photography and rubber dam.
We are lucky to have a network of trainers who also run courses. A popular course recently was on how to remove a broken instrument in a root canal. It was run by Japanese dentist, Yoshi Terauchi at King’s College, London and had 25 delegates from across the globe, including 12 specialists from the UK.
We offer a wide choice of courses for nurses, general dentists, dentists with a special interest and specialists. We’ve also retained our ethos of keeping groups small so that one-to-one interaction is possible and our delegates get a personal experience. Delegates are able to treat patients in almost all the courses, which is a very important hands-on element.
SK: You mentioned that your new training centre is fully equipped with dental equipment. How did you choose it?
AR: Reliability is a key priority when choosing equipment, whether that’s for our training academy or our clinics. I have tried a lot of different equipment in my career and have learnt that it is essential to be able to trust the handpieces and other kit I buy.
For instance, a motor breaking down in the middle of a procedure would be a disaster in the clinic or academy, and I cannot take that risk.
We have chosen to use NSK’s Surgic Pro surgical micromotor as we know we can rely on them. I also like the Surgic Pro’s range of settings as it allows me to customise my treatment according to a wide choice of parameters, such as bone quality, and doesn’t have as many restrictions as other surgical motors I have used. This makes it easy to provide bespoke surgery for each patient.
We have 8 NSK Surgic Pro micromotors at Delta Academy because they are hard-working and robust. We rarely have problems, and when we do, NSK’s customer service is always responsive and prompt.
We also use NSK’s autoclaves in order to ensure thorough and safe decontamination of all our dental equipment. Again, the iClave has proved effective and reliable for us.
SK: What other considerations affect your choice of equipment?
AR: The other key element that I have learnt to value is excellent customer support. Our local NSK Product Specialist, Ralph Wendel, has proved invaluable in the time he gives us to support us and delegates on our courses. This makes life so much easier for us as there is always someone at the end of the telephone to help with any issue or answer any question.
Ralph is extremely knowledgeable after 20 years with the company and really seems to understand what clinicians need. It’s obvious that he believes in the NSK product range and yet he never pushes us to make a purchase. He has forged a very positive relationship with us.
Ralph is also passionate about education so he’s always looking for ways to help us with our training courses at the academy. He will often help us on course days by ensuring that the equipment is working perfectly and standing by to support where he can.
With support like that, I know I can rely on my equipment, and that means I can give my full attention to my patients and course delegates!
Clinical Director – DIP. DENT CHIETI, DIP IMPLANT DENTISTRY – MASTERS IN ENDODONTIC DENTISTRY (ITALY)
As the owner of Queen Square Dental Clinic, Dr Rao believes strongly in 21st century dental technology. He is passionate about continuing his education and spent three years at the Eastman Dental Institute of London, where he completed a three-year Diploma in Implant Dentistry. He also has a Masters from the Global Institute for Dental Education in Los Angeles, which he obtained in 2014.
He provides a range of implant solutions to patients from replacing a single tooth, replacing multiple teeth, denture stabilisation using dental implants to full arch replacements.
As well as being a member of the Association of Dental Implantology and the ITI, he is an accredited mentor and trainer, and set up a training academy, Delta Dental Academy in Bristol in 2016.