Future proofedon 27th August 2019
London’s award-winning Metamorphosis Orthodontics works hard to create the right environment for its young patients, as well as equipping them to take care of their newly straightened teeth into later life
The team at Metamorphosis Orthodontics – winners of the 2017 Best Children’s Care at the Oral Health Awards and Best Team at the Private Dentistry Awards – are justifiably very proud of the treatments they deliver to their South West London patients, many of whom are children.
Founded by Dr Neil Counihan, a leading orthodontist and one of only a handful of orthognathics specialists in the UK, this thriving practice is nestled in amongst the trendy cafes and bars that adorn New Kings Road. Sian Phelan, Metamorphosis’ practice manager has worked with Neil for the last 14 years and tells us about their approach to treating young people and why Metamorphosis, or Meta as they like to be known, is so special.
‘Our mission is quite simply is to provide exquisite orthodontic treatment and to give every patient a beautiful healthy smile for life. We are truly passionate about the work we do and believe that the treatment and care we provide to our patients is of huge importance. A beautiful smile together with straight teeth that function well can have a tremendous effect on a young person’s self-esteem, confidence and long term dental health.
‘We generally perform early orthodontic treatment with the objective of minimising the need for future treatment and to provide the ideal environment for the permanent teeth to grow. We strongly believe in prevention rather than cure and know that some dental anomalies are best treated at a young age to avoid disturbances in normal development. It is for this reason that we focus on providing inceptive treatments and procedures that eliminate or reduce the severity of a developing malocclusion.’
The right environment
Coming to have orthodontic treatment for the first time can be a daunting and confusing prospect for a young patient so Meta goes to great lengths to ensure their experience is interesting and enjoyable right from the start, Sian explains, ‘We believe the environment is a key aspect of making a good first impression, so we designed our practice interior as a bright, cheerful and colourful space, which instils feelings of confidence and reassurance from the moment a young patient enters the premises. One aspect of this is our Wall of Smiles display in reception, where we have photos of patients after they have finished treatment and have had their braces removed. This is often a talking point with new patients as it gets them excited about the type of results they can expect to see and can also be a bit of a Who’s Who, as we often get new patients spotting their school friends. To help children relate to the treatment and to reduce some of the apprehension they may feel, we have published a Smile Book which features real-life images and testimonials of children and teens following the removal of their braces.’
Engaging with their young patients is an essential part of the team’s work, Sian expands, ‘We value each and every patient and always go the extra mile to engage with them and build good relationships. Alongside a range of information literature the team also give out branded items which will appeal to young people such as flasks, bags, selfie sticks, school lunch bags and bracelets. We often run competitions and prize draws too; at the moment we are encouraging children to enter our ‘Summer Smiles’ competition where entrants can submit their best smile photos for great prizes. We also regularly sponsors local children’s sports teams and will often organise patient events where our team can get to know patients and their families better and share fun times together. Last October we arranged a private cinema viewing of the children’s Dreamworks film Trolls which everyone really enjoyed.’
The team know that good oral health and prevention is essential for the long term success of the treatments delivered so they put significant emphasis on educating children and their guardians in how to look after their teeth. Sian details, ‘In the practice, we spend a lot of time talking about good oral hygiene, showing children how to brush their teeth with either a manual toothbrush or a powerbrush, using our Oral-B Triumph 2000 Test Drive demonstration unit with disposable sheaths. We have also made a number of Youtube video tutorials on how to achieve good oral health which include ‘How to clean your teeth best’, ‘How to brush your teeth with fixed braces’ and ‘Top 5 Tips for a Healthy Smile’. In addition we give every patient a ‘Young Person Friendly’ dental care kit so they have all the information and equipment that they need to look after their teeth and braces.
‘We also believe in spreading the message beyond the practice. In the past our hygienists have run a community outreach programme working in schools serving the local Sands End housing estate. These schools, many of which are attended by under-privileged children, provide an ideal channel to educate and inform children about dentists and dental hygiene. The children were given new Oral-B toothbrushes and taught proper teeth brushing techniques and good dental hygiene and diet. Through projects like this our aim is to improve the oral hygiene practice among the area’s children and help to prevent a generation of young people growing up with dental problems. Our hope is that these children will grow up aware of the importance of regular dental visits and will be more likely to make this a priority as adults.’
Metamorphosis is an award-winning, specialist orthodontic practice in London, providing the whole family with a range of bespoke orthodontic and oral health treatments from a highly acclaimed clinical team.