Q: 2020 is, most clearly, a difficult year, for everyone. How was it for the dental industry, and more specific, how did you, at DENT ESTET, feel the impact of the pandemic crisis? What are your expectations for the end of this challenging year?
O.T. Undoubtedly, 2020 was and still is a challenging year. We have witnessed a disruption in our lives, our businesses, our way of acting and behaving. The dental industry all over the world and also in Romania, as we are locals here, had passed a difficult period because of the almost 2 months of lockdown and lack of activity imposed by the Ministry of Health in March. DENT ESTET was also affected by this pandemic, but we are making consistent efforts to recover losses by the end of this year, so that the financial results at the end of 2020 be at the same range or even, surpass, those of the previous year. I am very happy that, despite this special context, my team has grown stronger and we were able to continue delivering excellence in dental medicine for the direct benefit of the patients.
Q: DENT ESTET is the most complex dental network in Romania, with clinics in 3 of the largest cities in the country. What leverage do you have over other clinics on the Romanian market? What is your key for success, during these turbulent times?
O.T. 21 years of excellence in dentistry make us reliable, safe and trustworthy in the eyes of the patients, for whom safety and quality were the first two criteria of selection, regarding their dental treatments.DENT ESTET is an innovator and we are proud to have the first complete digitized dental clinic in Romania. Technology plays an important role in our treatment approach, it offers diagnose accuracy, results predictability, and confidence that at the end of the treatment the patient will get the smile he so much desired.To make the best of technology, DENT ESTET has introduced, for the first time in the Romanian dentistry, the concept of the multidisciplinary team and we are happy that some of our first doctors are still part of this strong team. I have constantly encouraged individual performance and we have offered access to the best worldwide trainings for our doctors. I believe that an irreproachable medical act lays in great practice, constant feedback, and continuous learning. So, when a patient comes to DENT ESTET, he will have at his disposal a complete dedicate team: a Patient Care Coordinator to follow him into his medical journey, a coordinating doctor to supervise the treatment evolution and dental specialists to treat him and make sure that the final results overcome his expectations.Also, we are very proud to be the only dental company under the MedLife Group, the one private medical network in Romania. If in the previous years our partnership bloomed in opening new clinics in Romania, this year it means stability, joint strategies to be better and stronger for the patients.
Q: The overall medical system is under pressure nowadays. In this context, did you notice any change in your patients’ behavior? What trends can you identify regarding the attention paid to dental care since the debut of the Covid crisis, compared to the previous period?
O.T. Yes, the pandemic changed the patients’ behavior. There are patients that postpone their dental treatments due to financial instability, but most of the patients are becoming more aware of the importance of their dental health and the impact that a poor dental state has on the general health, on the immunity, and even on the emotional aspects of their life. DENT ESTET has never ceased educating patients into prevention, as our team of doctors has continuously been a great voice in this matter. Moreover, we keep informing our patients about the safety protocols in our clinics in order to make them feel safe and motivated to continue or to start their dental treatments being confident that they will benefit of an irreproachable medical act in the safest environment.
Q: This crisis came with a lot of changes and challenges. How was the readjustment to the “new normal”? Did the crisis shift your business priorities in any way?
O.T. The new normal is like our normal, because we continued to work at our best and to innovate in the direct benefit of the patient. We never stopped developing our medical team and perfect our medical expertise. That is why, even in this uncertain period, we built a unique partnership with Prof. Paulo Maló, DDS, PhD, the inventor of the ALL-ON-4® concept and the creator of the modern implantology. We are very proud that, through this historical moment, DENT ESTET has put Romania on the international dentistry map. Through this collaboration, we say that “Excellence has chosen Excellence”, but going deeper, we mean that excellence has chosen the wellbeing of the patients. Prof. Paulo Maló, DDS, PhD will coordinate and mentor the DENT ESTET team, and together we are offering to the patients with complex cases and severe bone atrophy the chance to a new and normal life. And this is the greatest win of all!As for the business plans we had for this year, we have postponed for a short period the expansion into new cities, but we will still be able to successfully relaunch them in the first months of the following year.
Q: In the current context, which are the top 5 priorities on your CEO agenda? How the new economic reality will look like, in your opinion?
O.T. Safety has been, since the first DENT ESTET clinic opening, one of my top priorities. That is why, in our clinics, we have successfully implemented safety and sterilization protocols, following the local authorities’ recommendations, and enriched them with elements from the dental protocols in France, USA, UK, Germany and Italy. We are very focused to offer to the patients a safe dental place and to minimize the spreading of the SarS-CoV-2 virus. At DENT ESTET we commit to patient’s care above all, innovation comes to mind and our constant focus on investments in certified new technologies. It all translates into raising the bar in dental treatments, speeding up a hassle-free treatment process and helping people return rapidly to their day to day life!DENT ESTET would not have obtained such incredible performances over the years without a strong and performant team. That is why, we have created a sharing culture which ultimately triggers individual initiative and superior performance and in turn, helps new doctors to easily adopt and integrate.Obviously, I am business-results oriented and focused on cost efficiency, an important aspect to allow the sustainability of the company and fuel its growth momentum.In sustaining future expansion, it means of course we are continuously looking into the drivers of both organic growth and enticing new patients. It comes natural to us to reward the people who have entrusted us with their health and that is why we have put in place a loyalty program through of which we want to assure the patients’ long term dental health.
Q: As you previously mentioned, you have recently announced an important partnership, with Prof. Paulo Malo, DDS, PhD, world expert in dental implantology, which is a clear sign that DENT ESTET continues to develop, innovate, grow. Do you have any future plans regarding the network expansion, new lines of business, new partnerships?
O.T. We are always open to innovation, it’s part of our philosophy. The partnership with Prof. Paulo Maló, DDS, PhD points out three development directions of our practice. Firstly, we will be managing the complex dental cases through innovative approach and constant training at its highest level. Secondly, it provides us access to the latest technologies in implantology and to the knowledge of the creator of modern dentistry.And probably the most important is that we will be providing the Romanian patients access to specialized treatments that have proven success in complex cases.
Q: You are a visionary entrepreneur. From your perspective, what would be your „Focus on ...“advice for the managers of local companies during this challenged period?
O.T. From my experience, I would advise Romanian entrepreneurs to continue doing their work at their best and in same time keeping close to their purpose and values. It is during the difficult times a reminder of why you exist as a company and what you love doing most would translate into a “yes we can” attitude and keep you going. And last but not least, adopt the new reality and be flexible to new ideas, be agile in decision-making process and keep monitoring results over time!
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