KoldingTand bespeaks innovation at first sight. Having been opened in September 2014 in Kolding, Denmark, it is the active model of a revolutionary dental clinic. We met with CEO and head dentist Kinh Tran to discuss how he achieved his goals, what his vision of a perfect dental clinic is, and how he manages patient anxiety.
I have always wanted to operate my own dental practice. I worked in many clinics in Denmark and then I worked in Vietnam for a year and a half. When I returned to Denmark, I decided that it was time to start practicing on my own.
In my earlier years of professional practice, it bothered me that much of the dental industry is very traditional. All dental clinics look the same, and are widely regarded by patients with a measure of dread. I refused to follow those same patterns. I wanted instead to challenge them and to create a workplace of which I could be proud. So I began developing my concept of a perfect clinic. I always try to think in terms of systems: how entire processes and individual elements influence each other. At the same time, I nurture a passion for designs and solutions that deliver quality. Those factors have shaped KoldingTand into what it is today.
At KoldingTand, we focused on changing the way the dental experience is perceived. The concept driving our design is that patients should be able to see right through us. We hide nothing. Simple though it may be, this concept is a singularity in the local market. Dental offices are typically unseen, being located on the first or second floor, only identified by signs. In contrast to this, we wanted to be located in the middle of the city and highly transparent.
For some two years before we moved to this location, I would ride past this building on my bicycle. It matched my idea so perfectly; the clinic is completely transparent. It will take time for the locals to accept it because dental clinics usually don't look this way. People sometimes doubt that it is a dental clinic, yet I believe that they will grow to like it as they become accustomed to it.
It is important to us that patients entering KoldingTand have a great experience right from the start. Upon entering our clinic, the interior offers an immediate environment of calm and relaxation. Details which a patient may not consciously notice can often have a major impact on their overall experience.
There are many straight rigid lines in the reception which we tempered with softer accents. Everything had to be natural, so we incorporated wooden elements, real plants, and a round aquarium. The interior design is very simple, but careful thought has gone into every detail, color, and line. Simple and minimalistic works best for me. Our goal was to create an environment that is harmonious and pleasing to the eye.
The principle of simplicity is also the reason why I fell in love with the XO 4 workstation. For me, it is the perfect unit because of the quality material used, its working concept, and its unique design. Every detail, every feature, and every line has been carefully thought out. This is why it conforms so perfectly to the ideal I want my clinic to achieve.
My philosophy relates to the treatment process, as well. I also want to keep it simple and transparent, because a lot of dentists complicate it. When a patient does not understand what is going to happen, their nervousness increases. Our procedures aim to treat patients in a way that helps them stay relaxed throughout the entire process, with an emphasis on simplicity. We want to revolutionize the way people perceive a visit to the dentist.
One challenge in the beginning is dealing with dental anxiety. Fear of the dentist is a huge obstacle to treatment, for some people. This concern became our focus. Initially, we wanted to work with a psychologist who would talk with our patients before treatment. Then we found a company that produces an electronic tablet application that uses the experience of psychologists and other professionals to assess a patient’s anxiety level.
This application is incredible, and it has simplified the whole process. It is also much more relaxing for patients. When asked: “Why are you scared?” a patient might only say “I don’t know. Everything is scary!” But when the patient is given options to choose from, it becomes easier for the practitioner to determine what the underlying causes of the fear actually are.
The tablet also reduces any reluctance a patient may have to share his or her feelings with a dental practitioner. Sitting alone for a moment allows patients to be much more honest with themselves and provides the patients with an opportunity to learn how they feel about certain situations. After filling in the survey, the data goes directly to a dentist. We immediately know what the patient does not like, and in what situations problems are likely to arise. We immediately have a baseline to work with.
Looking forward, it is my goal to expand the treatments and services offered at KoldingTand. My area of expertise is esthetic dentistry, but I want to offer something unique at my practice. As our patient base expands, we hope to invite more specialists onto our team so that we will be equipped to address the whole range of dental needs.
Experience EXTRAORDINARY DENTISTRY at KoldingTand.dk