It’s been an exciting week at Smile Solutions. We are proud to have taken out the coveted Telstra Victorian Business of the Year award. Smile Solutions was also the winner of the Medium Business Category award at the gala dinner held at the Crown Palladium on Tuesday evening.
Dr Kia Pajouhesh, the founder of Smile Solutions, has taken this opportunity to reveal the origins of his thriving practice in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.
I believe you lead a team of some 48 clinicians with over 50 management and nursing staff, and you have a patient base that exceeds 65,000. That’s impressive. I’m wondering what inspired you to create the largest private dental practice in Australia?
It hasn’t always been that way. We started very small in 1993 with just eight patients and myself. But even though the beginnings were humble, my vision was bold. I wanted to bring together in one place the full range of practitioners, general dentists, board-registered specialists and dental hygienists. So that patients no longer had to spend time, energy and funds going from one practitioner to another to receive all of the various treatments.
I assume there is the advantage of peer collaboration as well?
Exactly, not all cases are simple or straightforward. Some dental patients need to consult with and be treated by multiple clinicians in various areas of dentistry, often including a number of fields of specialisation. This is so much more effective when all the key practitioners are in one place enabling the peer review process to be coordinated and well-planned, not to mention caring and personalised. And I’m also thinking economies of scale? Just on the technology front, sharing the cost of the world’s best and latest equipment across a large team also brings a huge benefit. Because believe me this stuff doesn’t come cheaply. The assimilation of this technology and the sharpest minds and skills in one place enables us to offer our patients treatment options that could otherwise be overlooked or simply unavailable.
How do you stay abreast of all the advances in dentistry?
For a start, all of our specialists have completed additional university training beyond their general dentistry degree. Secondly, they’re all registered with the Dental Board of Australia, and this assures patients of their credentials. But equally important, is that the fact that their education doesn’t stop at the Smile Solutions door. Like all health sciences, dentistry is becoming more and more specialised every day. At our Smile Solutions Institute, we hold lectures; seminars and clinical workshops in a variety of dentistry disciplines, so our patients can rest assured their clinicians are right up-to-date.
So I agree with you that your vision was bold. What would you say holds this whole enterprise together?
Quite simply, our values. Our philosophy takes us back to the basics of human relations; striving for excellence in quality of care; overcoming communication barriers and attempting to view your needs and expectations through your eyes, not our own.