Kingdom of her own
Every morning dentist Dr Rachel King walks into her new practice in her home city with pride.
After several months of planning, project managing, and sleepless nights, she is delighted to be able to call King Dental her own.
With 15 years’ experience working in dental surgeries in Ireland and the UK, Dr King has seen how to – and not to – run a successful practice. And in February this year, her dream of launching one in Galway City became a reality.
County Galway-born Rachel, who qualified in dentistry in 2000 from Dublin’s Trinity College, admitted: “It was a risk, but one that is already starting to pay off.
“When you walk into work in the morning and you have everything the way you’ve wanted it, it’s a great feeling.
“It didn’t happen overnight but I have always wanted this and have worked hard for it. Some people say you make your own luck, and I think that’s true.
“I felt Galway City needed a modern, approachable, friendly and affordable practice, so people would come back. I want to build up a loyal client base.”
So far around 60 per cent of Rachel’s patients are from other practices she’s worked in and have followed her to the new premises in Flood Street (parallel to the main shopping street).
The open shop front is the perfect location for King Dental as it “advertises itself”: “Dentistry has changed since I first entered the industry. You now need footfall, loyal clients and to advertise.”
However, landing these premises, a former medical building, was a combination of chance and perfect timing.
After being introduced to experienced businessman Paul Hogan of Hogan Dental and Medical Services (HDMS) at the Identex trade show last year, Rachel was soon drawing up plans for her dream practice.
Any dentist setting up a practice will tell you the single most important item they will ever purchase is the chair.
Recognising this, Dr King consulted Paul and his experts at HDMS. Dr King opted for the German-made Ritter chair – and took advantage of HDMS’s sales service – but after learning they also specialised in surgery design, planning, and equipment installation, she was soon in discussions about her vision for a modern and approachable city centre practice.
As a result, HDMS went on to design and fit out Rachel’s new practice… with her functional and durable Ritter chair taking pride of place.
Rachel says she could not have launched the practice if it wasn’t for the support of her family, friends, colleagues, and Paul and his team at HDMS.
With more than 10 years’ experience in the dental and medical industry, Paul “covers every aspect and ensures that the dentist doesn’t have to worry about the logistics of the build”.
He added: “Initially, we looked at the building for sustainability, we organised the planning permission and safety certificates. Once planning permission was granted, HDMS designed the layout and organised for the services to be fitted including pipework, cabinets, wiring etc.
“HDMS oversaw all this work to ensure Dr King could concentrate on the other aspects of opening a surgery. Once the building was ready, we installed the dental equipment.
“This takes a lot of stress away and allows this new-build to be an enjoyable experience for the dentist.”
Rachel agreed: “I found Paul easy to deal with, very positive throughout the project, and very willing to accommodate. I knew I could call on him at any time. He was very obliging.”
Known as one of Ireland’s leading companies specialising in the supply, service and maintenance of dental equipment, HDMS was also a local company, which enticed Rachel. She is now delighted with her bright and modern practice, complete with two surgeries, a separate plant room, decontamination room, reception and office.
The relaxed feel of the bright and airy reception continues on the patient journey into the sterile environment of the surgery towards the Ritter chair, the centrepiece of the practice. Black in colour, the chair is stylish and has many hi-tech features, complementing the modern design of the practice and its stark white decor.
After opening her own dental practice, Rachel advised: “It’s all about timing and forward planning and you can never ask enough questions.”