AT WORK: Dr. Trent Davidson, of Plaza Central Dentists, with a patient.
AT WORK: Dr. Trent Davidson, of Plaza Central Dentists, with a patient. Warren Lynam

How a Coast dentist's patients saved half a million dollars

THEY didn't set out to change the norm in dentistry, but the team at Plaza Central Dentists is causing a ripple effect in the Sunshine Coast sector.

The affordable dentistry practice opened less than two years ago, differentiating itself from competitors by offering set-price treatments and payment plans to customers.

Now, practice owner Dr Rakesh Jivan says, new dentists as well as existing dental specialists he works with are offering capped-price procedures and payment plans to clients.

In the past year, owner Dr Rakesh Jivan estimates the practice has saved patients "well over” half a million dollars if Plaza Central's prices are compared to average procedure prices.

He said his team had never encouraged patients to publicly review the business, but feedback on Facebook had been plentiful, and all positive. The practice now welcomed between 100 and 110 new patients every month, most of whom had found out about it through social media or from friends.

"Weirdly, we get people who have been referred by people who aren't even patients,” Dr Jivan said.

Since it opened in February last year, 2194 examinations were carried out for new adult patients, 1800 cleans and hygeine treatments, 204 root canals and 3514 fillings.

Dr Jivan says the low numer of 612 tooth extractions shows his team is not trigger-happy, only recommending major procedures when they are genuinely the best option.

The practice has expanded to a new space on Plaza Pde, where its team has grown to three dentists. A fourth dentist, Nicole Hoffman, joins the practice in January.

Dr Jivan spent years dreaming up the model for the practice.

He felt dental procedures on the Coast were expensive, there needed to be more transparency in pricing, more payment options, and more time spent with patients to help them understand their own dental health and make informed decisions.

"I was guessing,” he said. "But now I know it's what people want, which is very important.”

The continued growth of his business was the ultimate validation that his business model was sound, he said, but winning the Sunshine Coast Business Award 2016 for Professsional Services was a "surprise” that buoyed him to be even more inventive with the business. Visit www.plazacentraldentists.com.au


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