Mar
09

Is that price including VAT???

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Stop horsing around with VAT!

 

I am a pretty calm person by nature, but a few things do get my blood pressure rising. There is one particular thing that has been happening quite a lot lately so I have decided to make this month’s column a bit of a mini-rant, with a warning to all dental companies out there.

 

When quoting a price for a new piece of equipment, or a bulk order on some implants, make sure the price you quote, is the final price I will end up paying. Why is this a bone of contention? Well, many companies have started quoting prices, NOT INCLUDING VAT! In case you didn’t know, VAT is now at TWENTY PERCENT! Not exactly small change! The response, “Why do you care, you get the VAT back!” Do we? If that is the case, can someone show me how please, it would save me from upsetting a lot of people!

Being told one thing but being given another is something that has made all the headlines lately in the wake of “horsemeat gate”! OK, I admit that this example may seem a little far fetched, but the principle is still the same – what we were told was beef, is actually horsemeat, and for my hypothetical dental implant, which I was quoted £200, is all of a sudden £240. Even worse, my dental chair, which was quoted at £45,000, is now £54k.

 

How can companies overlook this “little” technicality? The last person who quoted me a price not including VAT had the quote ripped up and told to try again. Not providing all the information from the beginning, can affect trust and confidence. “Horsemeat gate” has left the reputation of many well-known companies in tatters, and it will take a lot to restore public confidence.

 

Similarly, if we were to misquote a patient a price for a particular treatment, and then it turns out to be more expensive, in our position of trust, this would be professionally and morally wrong and create negative headlines that we simply don’t need. Therefore, it shouldn’t be acceptable for companies to deceive us dentists in this way. It’s misleading!

 

It’s important that patients and customers trust what their dentists (and supermarkets) tell them. Being honest from the get-go ensures everyone knows where they stand, saving a lot of time and effort in the long-run.

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Dec
11

ICE WHITE PARTY A SUCCESS!

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Xmas Party raises over £3,000 for homeless charity

 

An amazing £3,261 was raised for the charity, CRISIS, following Dr Nilesh R. Parmar’s recent fundraising event, the Ice White Xmas Party.

 

He said, “The event was a huge success, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who attended and helped to raise an incredible amount for CRISIS.”

 

CRISIS, the national charity for homeless people, is dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change.

Dr Parmar added, “With new figures from CRISIS illustrating that homelessness in England has risen by 23%, it’s important that this escalating problem is highlighted and the charity gets the support it needs to help the homeless, especially in these cold winter months.”

 

Taking place at the trendy Holburn House, London, the event hosted a raffle, which saw guests win an iPhone 5; a holiday; spa day; designer dress; luxury driving experience day; personal training session; and teeth whitening treatment. All proceeds from the raffle went to CRISIS, along with funds gained through Just Giving online donations and bar takings.

 

The event was sponsored by Astra Tech (Dentsply Implants), Digimax, Enlighten and Manan Ltd. Over 300 guests were welcomed by a parade of supercars, alluding to the luxury-filled evening ahead; as well as a champagne reception. The live entertainment, provided by fire performers; and the “dental implant” ice luge, certainly wowed guests. Furthermore, a specially constructed photo booth allowed guests to keep a memento of the successful evening.

 

For more information, please visit www.drnileshparmar.com, or call 01702 467133.

 

Follow Nilesh on Twitter @NileshRParmar

 

Crisis UK (trading as Crisis) Registered Charity numbers: E&W1082947, SC040094.

 

Editor’s notes:

 

The full list of winners is as follows:

 

  • iPhone 5: Julian English, Editor of Dentistry magazine
  • Enlighten whitening treatment with Dr Nilesh R. Parmar:  Ushma Patel
  • Izanagi designer dress: Dr Milad Shadrooh
  • Reviver facial, and neck and shoulder massage at Ayanna Spa: David Smart
  • Luxury driving experience: Charlotte Ruby
  • Reebok Spa voucher, with one month’s membership and personal training with Ulisses Personal Trainers: Richard Eniffer
  • One-week stay in Puerto Banús: Dr Adam Silan
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Nov
06

Tooth Whitening.. the law explained

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Tooth Whitening… wasn’t it always illegal? The plot thickens…

 

Tooth whitening has always been a bit of a government farce. We can take a lot of delight in blaming our own government and the EU (we like doing that, don’t we?). Just to make things clear, tooth whitening was illegal up until 1st Nov 2012. Technically, even dentists weren’t supposed to be doing it! I can hear the general public getting worried, “uh-oh, has it damaged my teeth?” Well the answer is, thankfully, NO! If it was done sensibly and properly!

The legal bit

Tooth whitening is done using two compounds, one is hydrogen peroxide, the other being carbamide peroxide. The latter, breaks down to become the former, so essentially they are both very similar compounds and have very similar effects. The law previously stated that 0.1% hydrogen peroxide was the strongest concentration of whitening agent that could be used. This was due to a re-classification of the product from a medical compound to a cosmetic one. Now 0.1% hydrogen peroxide is as useful as a box of chocolates, at whitening teeth. It won’t work! Despite this, trading standards, were supposedly told to ignore dentists who were offering 3-4-5% hydrogen peroxide solutions to whiten teeth.

 

So what’s happened now?

Well, we have a new law; this one is from the EU and has been ratified by our government (in-between numerous coffee breaks I am sure). What this new law says is that only those on the dental register may carry out tooth whitening, and that they may only use a concentration up to 6% hydrogen peroxide (this translates to 18% carbamide peroxide).

 

Is this good?

Kind of yes, and kind of no. Firstly, it makes all teeth whitening by beauticians, shopping centre salons and alleged ‘cowboys’ illegal! I have seen many teeth ruined by so called ‘tooth whitening specialists’ and I’m glad to say that now it’s clearly banned and not allowed! So the next time you see a smile-salon-spa in Bluewater or Westfields, ask them if they are on the dental register. If not, call trading standards and report them, as they are breaking the law and potentially putting your life in danger. What would happen if someone had a serious allergic reaction to latex or some other compound in one of these salons? Do you think they are trained in basic life support? Probably not! Similarly, if someone had a reaction the next day or week later, will that pop-up smile-salon-spa still be in the middle of the shopping centre to get advice?  Probably not, and you wouldn’t know where to find them even if you tried!

 

On another dentist note, it does mean, that the highly prevalent and previous market leader Zoom! Tooth Power Whitening is now essentially illegal. Not the lamp, or the actual technique, but Zoom kits use a very high concentration of hydrogen peroxide which is too great for the new legislation. This effectively means that Zoom! is now a non-entity for dentists, however, I understand that the company is working on a new gel formulation which should bring them in line with the law. Why they haven’t announced this already, is a very bad PR stunt on their behalf, as one of their competitors, Enlighten smiles,  in a PR stroke of genius, are offering £200 worth of tooth whitening kits in return for dentists old Zoom! lamps. We will watch this one with interest to see what happens.

 

Is it bad?

Well, in my opinion, not really. It does limit what dentists can use to whiten teeth, it also seems to limit in-surgery options for whitening discoloured teeth in children. In-fact, tooth whitening in anyone under 18 is illegal and cannot be carried out. This is where my main gripe is. If a 13-year-old girl who has a black front tooth, due to knocking it a few years previously, comes to me wanting the tooth whitened, as she is getting bullied at school. Going by the letter of the law, I cannot whiten this tooth. I can drill the enamel off of it, and place a ceramic crown (which may compromise the longevity of the tooth), but I cannot whiten it! Madness! I think some dentists (and I am in no way recommending this) may still whiten the child’s tooth, and stand by their clinical beliefs that this is in the patient’s best interest. Again, we would need some back up from the BDA and other dental bodies to push this point, and get the law changed! Will it happen, well it’s taken almost half my life to get this far, I doubt it will get changed before I am contemplating retirement!

 

So, in summary…

Tooth Whitening can ONLY be carried out by dentists and those on the dental register.

 

Power Whitening such as Zoom! using anything above 6% hydrogen peroxide is now illegal!

 

Whitening the teeth of those under 18 is now illegal.

 

All beauty salons, shopping centre whitening agents etc. who now offer tooth whitening are breaking the law. If you wish to learn more about tooth whitening, contact me via my website www.drnileshparmar.com

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Oct
24

IAAFA A Conference with no Wrinkles

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This year I was lucky to be invited to attend the annual International Academy of Advanced Facial Aesthetics yearly conference. This consists of a 2 day conference with parallel sessions of interest to those involved with facial rejuvenation and dentistry. The brainchild of the charismatic Professor Bob Khanna, the conference aims to bring together all the clinicians from dental, medical and nursing backgrounds to learn the latest concepts and techniques from world leading specialists.

The IAAFA conference first began in2007 and has gone from strength to strength each year, the culmination of the event is a glamorous IAAFA charity ball at the RadissonBlu hotel. All proceeds from this goto the adopted charity, which has been the Make-a-wish Foundation. This year approximately £15,700 was raised for the charity. The IAAFA ball is one legendary party and is on the calendar of all the dental party animals every year, this party animal included. The organising and planning which goes into creating such a fantastic event is a testament to the hard work of Prof Khanna and the other members of the IAAFA council.

What I noticed this year, is that there were parallel sessions, with a welcome increase in the number of dental lectures. I enjoyed a fantastic talk on the 6 month smile system by Dr Anoop Maini and experienced a masterclass in cosmetic dentistry by Dr James Russell and Ron Lynock I also gained an insight into the world of facial aesthetics and moving away from away our usual area of the head and neck, learnt a bit about lasers and liposuction by Dr Ravi Jain. Paul Tipton was on hand to discus occlusal vertical dimension and its role in facial aesthetics, whilst some in-sight into the business side of things was given by Chris Barrow in his own unique way.

As busy dentists, we are bombarded by courses and conferences which are a ‘must-see’ and are ‘revolutionary.’ With time being ever-precious and the fee’s for these courses going up and up (usually quoted without VAT added, my personal bugbear!) dentists need to be a bit more selective. I can safely say that I actually LEARNT alot from attending the 2 days at IAAFA, and made alot of new friends and contacts in the industry. The Charity Ball is the icing on the cake, a fantastic time is had by all those involved whilst raising money for a worthy cause. I will definitely be back next year.

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Oct
18

Cerec 27 and a half, Las Vegas

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Earlier this year, I was asked to present some of my work in Las Vegas, on behalf of Sirona, a dental company. My first thought was er… me? My second thought was VEGAS BABY! Now, this trip was during a very busy clinical time for me, but nobody can say No to a trip to Vegas, staying at the amazing Palozzo hotel and resort! The Cerec machine, more info can be found here is a system which allows a dentist to make crowns, bridges, veneers and inlays in one sitting, without having to take any moulds. The US is about 3-4 years ahead of us in terms of uptake, us Brits appear to be a little bit behind our American cousins, and my main purpose in being the only Brit to lecture, was to show the Yanks, that we are just as good! We cannot compete with Cerec users, they have thousands, and we have hundreds ( I believe), but we do compare favourably when it comes to good ole’ cosmetic dentistry. I lectured on my birthday (another first for me) to a full audience, and received an offer to lecture again in the US later on this year. Great result! The lecture was really well received, and I hope I showed the Americans that we are just as good as them, when it comes to implant dentistry! I never thought I would be lecturing at one of the biggest conferences in the USA, I was a little nervous, but the Americans are so friendly, it really put me at ease! I look forward to going back… Now if you want to know what else happened… well what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas 😉

 

I

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Oct
18

Voted 8th Most Influential Person in UK Dentistry,

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Youngest in the top 10! Every year, Dentistry magazine (one of the leading UK dental publications) has a poll, which is voted by dentists, nurses, hygienists and public alike. The idea of this poll, is to see, just who is steering UK dentistry. Who are the m overs and shakers, and who really makes a difference to the health of the nations teeth. Usually, the most prominent names, such as the Prime Minister, the Chief Dental Officer and the President of the BDA appears in the top 10. This year, and I have no idea how, I was voted 8th! I couldn’t believe it! It appears, that I have alot of supporters in dentistry, who seem to listen to what I have to say! ( My mother finds this quite unbelievable!) I guess its down to being very active on social media, always finding the time to speak to anyone who needs my help or advice (I still feel strange giving advice, more about this in another blog), and working everyday in a field I truly love. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, I am touched, and eternally grateful!

 

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Sep
22

ADi Mentor

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I was pleased to hear that I have been approved as an ADi mentor, the ADi is a non-profit association which aims to educate dentists and patients about dental implants and holds an annual conference and various study clubs around the country. They are very strict about who they allow to mentor, which is why its great news that I have been approved. If you are a dentist starting out in the world of dental implants, give me a buzz and I can mentor you 🙂 http://www.adi.org.uk/

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Sep
22

Astra Audi Quattro Even is a Success!

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I was glad to be invited at a new Astra Tech event at the Audi Quattro Rooms last week. Astra under the guidance of their new marketing manager are really going the extra step to communicate with their dentists. The symposium was exceptionally slick and the speakers were great. Congrats to all involved!

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Sep
22

FINALIST FOR THE PRIVATE DENTISTRY AWARDS

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Dear all, this week was even better than usual, I found out I have been nominated and short-listed for the Outstanding Individual Of The Year at the Private Dentistry Awards 2011. We will find out the winner this November 4th in Central London.. wish me luck!

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Jun
28

Dental Phobia Certified

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I am pleased to announce that after submitting my application, I am now a dental phobia certified dentist. What does this mean? Well if you are a nervous patient, and lets face it, most of us are… I know how to calm you down! My very nervous patients can be sedated using a safe I.V medication so that you wake up after the procedure with no recollection of what happened. Its a fantastic way to have teeth out and have dental implants placed. Please get in touch if you would like further information…

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