East Coast Dental Centre – Because nothing you wear is more important than your smile

By David MacDonald

When I first stepped into the beautiful East Coast Dental Centre (ECDC) office on Willow Street in Downtown Truro, Nova Scotia to interview Dr. Mohamed Al-Janabi, I was hoping for the complete tour – and I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s an expansive space – over 6,500 square feet – with a gorgeous modern vibe. It certainly doesn’t feel like your average dental office.  When I pointed this out, Dr. Al-Janabi said, “ECDC was designed with our patients in mind and we took into consideration every step of the patient journey.” This couldn’t be truer. The bistro bar adjacent to the waiting area is stocked with free snacks and refreshments for patients and guests.  And the diversions don’t end there. There are even flat- screen TVs and desktop computers for patients and guests to enjoy. Even the recovery room is cozy with its lounge chairs, blankets, and large fireplace. ECDC really does have all the comforts of home. But as Dr. Al-Janabi pointed out, the on-site dental lab, Smile House, situated in the heart of ECDC is the real story. “Without this lab located onsite, we wouldn’t be able to do all the amazing things we do here every day for our patients,” he said.

This piqued my interest. I asked Dr. Al-Janabi how the onsite lab sets ECDC apart.  “ECDC was not only designed for patient comfort, but also to perform the All-on- 4 surgery seamlessly for our patients,” he explained.  “The All-on- 4 is ECDC’s most sought-after treatment. It’s a procedure for denture wearers and people who require all their teeth to be extracted,” he explained.  “People no longer have to wear dentures. After a series of four to six implants strategically placed, our onsite lab converts a denture to a fixed temporary healing bridge that’s attached the same day as the implants. Patients arrive in the morning with dentures and leave with a fixed set of temporary teeth, all in one day. The treatment is life-changing and we send them home smiling.”

The layout, I learned, is everything. “Our CT scanner and onsite dental lab is an unbeatable combo,” Dr. Al-Janabi explained. “This setup has allowed us to be one of the first offices in Atlantic Canada to provide this entire procedure in a single location. The onsite lab also allows our patients to be interactive with their own aesthetics.  They can actually try different sizes, shapes and colours of teeth while they are in the clinic. Rather than outsourcing to a faceless lab somewhere in North America or overseas, our technicians actually work with our patients. We’ve found that the patients respond very positively to this approach and it also helps the lab technicians keep a great handle on turnaround time.”

Dr. Al-Janabi explained that the All-on- 4 procedure has grown in popularity. “We have patients that come to ECDC from all across the Maritimes – and many even fly in from Newfoundland.  We owe our success to our patients,” he confessed. “They appear in our commercials and on our website – no actors for us! They offer to do video testimonials about their experience in our office and are encouraged to talk about all aspects of the treatment they have received with ECDC.”  ECDC has developed a rapport with their patients online and through social media that should be the thing of envy. “Our patients do a lot of marketing for us because they’re our biggest fans. Nothing makes us more proud than a patient referral. We encourage anyone who’s considering treatment at ECDC to take a look at the success stories at Eastcoastsmile.com.”

It’s not by chance that ECDC planted its flag in Truro. “It’s the hub of the Maritimes and we wanted to be accessible to everyone,” Dr. Al-Janabi said. “Colchester County has been very supportive of us and all that we do. We are committed to giving back to the community as much as we can. For the past few years, we’ve had the pleasure of donating to several local charities, performing random acts of kindness, and helping to provide dental work to locally-sponsored Syrian families.”

In 2016, ECDC ran a regional contest that saw two people win the complete All-on- 4 treatment at no cost. “We only wish we could do this more often,” Dr. Al-Janabi said. “We were delighted to be able to change the lives of those winners.”

As is the case in so many industries and professions, outsourcing work to overseas operations is a common practice in the dental world, Dr. Al-Janabi explained. “It’s much cheaper to send your lab work to China, for instance, but we prefer to buy locally, hire locally, and manufacture everything right here in Atlantic Canada. Whatever we can’t source locally, we buy in Canada. Last year, our on-site lab, Smile House, was even featured in an episode of Maritime Made. It was a lot of fun for the whole team.” A link to the episode can be found at Smilehouse.ca. ECDC and Smile House employ 18 full and part-time team members, keeping great paying jobs in Colchester County.

Continuing to grow a well-rounded and patient-focused staff is an on-going priority at ECDC. “We really listen to our patients and one request that we kept getting was to offer general dentistry services.

We’ve actually added to our team to make this possible. Dr. Alex Bickerton has recently joined the ECDC team and with over 30 years of experience in dentistry and a passion for cosmetic dentistry, we can now say that ECDC is a full-service office.”

It was clear to me as Dr. Al-Janabi greeted every member of the ECDC team with a bright smile throughout the tour that he is very proud of his team and all they do. “It takes an amazing team to be able to do what we do. Collaboration in our business is essential.  Myself, Dr. Doncaster, Dr. Bickerton, and our team of dental assistants, nurses, and hygienists – as well as, of course, the administrative team – all work together alongside our patients to help provide them with the smile of their dreams. My team makes my job easy,” he said.

“At ECDC we’re not in the dentistry business, we’re in the life changing business. Being able to do what we do here in Atlantic Canada is something we are very proud of.”

Dr. Al-Janabi graduated from the University of British Columbia where he was recipient of the Juan Tobias International Scholarship in Dentistry. He is a member in good standing of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and is a graduate of the Sclar Institute of Advanced Implant Dentistry. He is known for his excellent patient communication skills and wonderful chairside manner.