Maria Gibsand:”Jeg investerer for at kunne yde bedre pleje til mine patienter”


Maria Gibsand, Mirala Clinic (left) and Johan Tallroth, DLL (right)

Fully half the Swedish population thinks going to the dentist is an unpleasant experience. Around ten percent are actually phobic about it. Now many hope that new technology will help to change that image. We visited the Mirala Clinic to get a look into modern dental care.

In the heart of central Stockholm, a modest plaque marks the door to the Mirala Clinic, one of the few dental surgeries in Sweden that offer biological dental care. It’s not just the technology and methods at the Mirala Clinic that differ from the traditional dentist. Walking through the door, you get the distinct impression of visiting a spa rather than a dentist.
“I want the atmosphere to be relaxing,” says Maria Gibsand, a dentist specialising in implant surgery. Many of the patients at her clinic, which she’s been operating for over ten years, have severe oral health problems.
The reception area and the lobby-like waiting room are decorated in natural materials and warm, soothing colours. The lighting is soft and pleasant. Gentle music plays in the background. And that atmosphere carries through to the treatment rooms.

Many put off going to the dentist
Surveys show that fully half the Swedish population thinks going to the dentist is an unpleasant experience. Around ten percent are actually phobic about it. For a few percent, the fear is so intense that they can’t manage a regular dental appointment without sedation.
“It’s not really strange that many are afraid,” Gibsand comments. “Dentists of the past didn’t put much effort into making their treatments painless or making the patient comfortable. It was pretty awful. That’s why so many people today put off going to the dentist, which often makes their problem far worse.” She pauses for emphasis before adding, “We know that oral health affects our overall health status. Many who have dental issues go on to have other health problems. It’s a vicious circle.”

A generational shift
But that may be about to change. Technological advances in the healthcare industry has grown fast over the last years, and the field of dentistry is no exception. Major progress has been made in digitalisation and the development of new imaging and scanning technology, among other things. Equipment that at one time could only be found in hospitals is now available at individual dental surgeries.
Johan Tallroth, specialised in healthcare at DLL (De Lage Landen Finans AB), has been following the developments. “The industry is in a phase where a lot is happening in terms of technology. At the same time, dental care professionals have reached a generational shift; younger dentists are taking over clinics as their elders retire,” he explains. “They’re developing new business models based on patient experience.”

Felt bad for the patients
Back at the Mirala Clinic, Maria Gibsand guides us into the X-ray room, which is sort of the heart of the operations. Gibsand took over her first dentist surgery in 2007, and when she recently moved into bigger, newly renovated premises she invested in new equipment for the whole clinic. This includes a 3D imaging unit and a scanner for digital impressions, which replace the traditional method of making dental impressions. “Sometimes I felt like a construction worker spreading out the compound for dental impressions,” she laughs. “I felt bad for the patients, who had to sit still with it in their mouths until it hardened. A lot of people found it very uncomfortable.”
Now the same examination takes only a few seconds. The patient doesn’t even have to open their mouth, and the results go directly into their computerised records.
Gibsand opens a set of jaw X-rays on the computer, explaining, “3D imaging also lets me twist and turn the images in a completely different way than you could with 2D images. I see more and can be more precise.”

Maria Gibsand, like many of DAB Dental's customers, has chosen a financing solution via DLL.

Gives control of the process and costs
The next room features perhaps the biggest single new investment at the clinic: A milling machine that manufactures ceramic dental crowns for implants on site, based on digital scans. It represents another aspect of advances in dental care – the ability for clinics to carry out more of the work in-house.
“In the past, we had to send our models to dental technicians, who made the crowns for the implants by hand. Now production is automated and we can do it right here at the clinic; it’s faster and gives me control of the process and the costs, which is good for the business end of things.”

Private players need realistic financing solutions
The Mirala Clinic’s equipment is manufactured by Sirona and delivered by DAB Dental, a market leader in medical devices for dental care in Sweden. The company’s sales manager Paul Ardo confirms the impression that technological advances are gaining serious ground on the market. But, he points out, it’s a development that is partially driven by private investments. And that makes funding an issue.
“Dental care is relatively technology-intensive, meaning that initial investment costs are high,” he says. Private players on the market need convenient, realistic financing solutions.”

“We felt that DLL was knowledgeable about advances in the market, well informed about the opportunities that the new technology provides, and offers solutions that suit our customers and their operations,” Ardo says. Like many of DAB Dental´s customers, Gibsand chose a financing solution from DLL to make the investment to equip the entire clinic.

I have always been looking for new ways to develop into a better dentist. I want to take on new methods and new technologies that improve patient care. "

Always on the lookout for new ways to develop
As we leave Maria Gibsand and the Mirala Clinic, she is heading home to pack. “I have always been looking for new ways to develop into a better dentist,” she tells us. “I want to take on new methods and new technologies that improve patient care. That’s why I chose to run my own clinic. Four times a year, I serve as an instructor for dentists worldwide at an international course in implant surgery. It’s incredibly rewarding.”

Back to Johan Tallroth at DLL:
“We see that many dentists, especially younger ones, want to run their own businesses. But we also know that investing in new equipment is a huge step. At the same time, we at DLL know that clinics that invest in new technology improve their profitability, so we developed investment solutions that make it possible even for those with minimal initial capital to make the investments they need.”

“Society will benefit”
Many who apply for financing via DLL have been employees at a clinic for several years and now want to start up their own. Others come fresh from university. Still another group have recently relocated to Sweden. For them, starting their own clinic is a way to get a foot into the Swedish job market.
“A change is underway in dental care, which I think society will benefit from,” Tallroth says. “I hope that places like the Mirala Clinic will drive the development, so that new methods in dental care will help more people to dare to go to the dentist.”