At Tryst Dental they are care passionately about the long-term health of the community they are based in, around Stenhousemuir and Falkirk.
Through education, informed choices and partnerships within the community they aim to change the dental health and general health of their patients for the better.
How long has Tryst Dental Practice been serving the local community?
Since the 1980’s! Lesley, the Principal Dentist, grew up in Dunipace and all our team members live within Falkirk and the wider Forth Valley area.
What initially inspired Lesley to become a dentist and open the practice?
Lesley had an interest in dentistry whilst in High School and completed her school work-experience at Tryst Dental Practice. She went on to study at the University of Glasgow and returned to Tryst for her vocational training period after qualifying as a dentist. She was retained on a permanent basis before she found herself with the opportunity to become the practice owner. She is Tryst through and through.
Describe the team?
We are still quite unique in that we are currently an all-female team. Although this is not by design, it has given us a different dynamic. We have a mixture of experience and youth which brings a balance to everything that we do. We have a wonderful team of individuals who are friendly, committed to providing excellent care, and very supportive of one another. The girls have dealt with some exceptional challenges in the last 14 months or so and their ability to maintain standards and their friendships have made us very proud.
Why would someone join Tryst Dental practice?
At Tryst Dental, we care about the long-term health of the community. Through education, informed choices and partnerships within our community we aim to change the dental health and general health of our patients for the better. Patients will receive a friendly welcome, be treated with respect and understanding and given information and advice to help them to make informed choices about their dental care. We will provide support and signposting for patients who require additional help to benefit their health and well-being.
Patients will also appreciate our commitment to community and to the NHS and will help us further improve the health of our surrounding population by educating and encouraging their friends and neighbours within our community.
Business motto: We will give you the right advice, the right treatment, at the right time.
What other treatments are offered at Tryst?
Although Covid has focused our attention on supporting the provision of NHS dental care, we do offer a variety of treatments including teeth straightening, teeth whitening, facial aesthetics and professional facial skincare services. All of these are personalised to each individual and their needs, to help them to feel confident and to complement their beautiful Tryst Dental smile so they can wear it with pride.
What awards have you won as a business?
We are proud to have won various awards over the years:
SCOTTISH DENTISTRY AWARDS
Community Award 2015, Community Award 2017, Outstanding Contribution of the Year 2019.
DENTISTRY SCOTLAND AWARDS
Best Charity or Community Project 2015 – Finalist
Best Charity or Community Project 2016 – Winner
CV MAGAZINE AWARDS
Best Dental Practice 2017 – Falkirk
Best Community Dental Practice 2018 – Falkirk
GHP ORAL HEALTH & DENTISTRY AWARDS
Best Dental Care Practice 2019 – Falkirk
GHP HEALTHCARE AND PHARMACEUTICAL AWARDS
Dental Clinic of The Year 2019 – Falkirk
Scotland’s Most Outstanding Community Dental Practice
Most recently, we picked up The Community Award at the Scottish Dental Awards for all the work we do with Stenhousemuir Football Club and others in the community.
Community is at the heart of everything you do, describe why this was so important to you?
People are our business. We are in a caring profession and fully support a holistic approach to health and well-being. There are many aspects to life that help people to feel happy, comfortable and confident. We can play a part in that by helping someone to love their smile but there is a bigger picture, and we appreciate the importance of what people are dealing with outside of their visits. We have been able to create various partnerships and links to organisations within our community that allow us to signpost people who might benefit from their services and to provide our support, whether that is financially, professionally or simply by sharing what they can offer. Becoming involved with regular social and/or physical activity, for example, could make a real difference to someone’s mental health. This matters. There are too many examples but we have our why… people matter to us. If we can contribute in some way, then that is what we will do.
How has the pandemic affected the industry?
It has been exceptionally challenging for various reasons. The impact on our ability to see patients in higher volume has been stripped away and dentistry is feeling the incredible pressure of extensive waiting lists, managing daily emergencies and managing the expectations of patients who call us. Dentists and their teams have been working throughout the pandemic and there is a lack of awareness of the contributions that have (and are) being made. Our team initially handled calls working from home to offer advice and to refer patients for urgent care at the height of the pandemic in 2020. We were soon back in practice offering advice via telephone, email, social media and at all hours of the day and night. As services began to be re-introduced, we have had to adapt our ways of working to fit ever-changing new regulations which impact on so many aspects of our day, including changes to our PPE, procedures before, during and after an appointment takes place, testing, upgrading and installing high powered ventilation systems to reduce the time required between patients, managing social distancing within the practice, working in clinical bubbles to keep our team separated appropriately to avoid closure if there was a case of Covid with either a patient or a team member… the industry has faced many challenges and we continue to do so. However, patients are at the heart of where we focus each step of the journey. We don’t yet know what the longer-term plan looks like as we await further information from the government in regards to the provision of NHS dental services but we will continue to adapt and ensure we can provide our patients with high quality, personalised dental care.
What has been the greatest challenge over the last year?
Managing patient expectations, particularly where information in the media isn’t accurate or portrayed differently to the reality.
Every practice will face its own unique challenges. We are, in many ways, in the same boat but some practices need different modifications to keep on sailing. It is crucial at this stage that patients understand that whilst we do now have provision to provide a full range of NHS services, we do have restrictions upon us and the main challenge we have is time. It is possible that an appointment that previously required 20 minutes of appointment time would now require 40 minutes or even an hour or more depending on the circumstances of their practice. PPE supplies are managed centrally based on up to 10 NHS patients per day per dentist and only 5 of those patients requiring an AGP (aerosol generating procedure) which takes in the majority of treatment types. This means we are lucky if we are seeing even a third of our normal patient volumes per day whilst also managing a backlog of cancelled appointments and cases which have come to our attention throughout the pandemic period. We face numerous calls every day from people who are angry, frustrated at waiting times and often quite aggressive towards our team members. We are so grateful for our dedicated team because they help to keep each other (and us) motivated to continue. All we need is some patience and understanding that we did not create this situation. We find ourselves in it and we will do our very best to find a positive way back out!