The Beginning of United Dental Group — From an Idea to Reality

After graduating from Griffith University and completing my Masters of Dental Technology in Dental Prosthetics, 2011 was spent working full time as a Dental Technician under the tutelage of Steve and Andrew. After honing my skills in the dental technology world, I felt it was time to pursue the clinical side of prosthetic dentistry. Leaving Apex wasn’t easy because I had developed such a close bond with the team. Apex was like my family away from home and I still felt like there was so much more to be learnt from my mentors. I took a leap of faith and accepted a job offer in Sydney.

2012 saw me move back home to Sydney and begin my career as a Dental Prosthetist. I would spend the next year and a half on the road delivering a mobile denture service to retirement homes around Sydney. My travels took me up north as far as Newcastle and down south to Wollongong. Much like the Griffith University environment, the new work environment placed me in a team of Dentists, Dental therapists, and other Dental Prosthetists. This is where Dr. Nasir Hasanzadeh came into the picture and we would develop an admiration for the work that each of us did in our respective fields. Nasir would later become a colleague, friend, and now Principle Dentist at United Dental Group. Nasir and I shared the same ideals and ethics in dentistry. We both saw the difference we could make to those in need of high quality dental care. The retirement home setting was, and still to this day, one of the most demanding and difficult work environments to be a part of. It shaped and formed the skills that I have today because everyday presented a new and unseen difficult case. But the most important lesson i took away from that experience was the realisation of the finite nature of life and how short it really is. I’ll have to come back to this experience in a seperate blog because it was such a defining moment in my life.

Early 2013 was around the time that the thought of owning and operating my own denture clinic became a reality. My uncle had a new retail spot open up in Parramatta. Previously fitted out for an Optometrist, I began the process of designing and fitting out the retail space to become a dental practice. Francis, my cousin and Civil Engineer, was a pivotal person in the construction process, helped me with putting together the trades required and teaching me about the process construction. His effort’s really made United Dental Group possible. I also have to give a mention and thanks to my high school friend Garry Tat, also a civil engineer, who gave up his spare time to help me draft up professional floor plans. I would constantly bother him with new revisions every other day as I learnt about all the different components of a dental surgery. Thanks for the support Gaz.

Talking to people in all the related trades to the dental industry was the big help here. From dental consumable suppliers, to marketers, dental equipment salespeople, and signage/graphic designers. Each person offered me more help and advice than I asked for. I have to give special mention to Carl Burroughs from IDM (who has been involved in the dental industry for quite some time) to ask for some marketing advice. After pitching the idea of a denture clinic, his advice was to go down the path of a dental clinic with dentist onboard from day one. After several meetings with Carl, I made the decision to follow his advice and United Dental Group was born.

However, this would prove to be an even more difficult task to accomplish. Having very little knowledge of how a dentist operates on a day to day basis, I had to learn what a Dentist requires from consumables to equipment. Dr. Angela Doan, was my go to person. She would spend many late nights at the new office helping me put together a list of all the things a dentist would need to operate. UDG would not have been made possible if it weren’t for her efforts. During this period of helping me compile a list of consumables, she often wake up in the middle of the night dreaming of what a dentist would need and I would get an SMS in the middle of the night with a list of consumables we missed out on. Thanks Ang.

December 2013 marked the first month of trading for UDG. With a soft opening during its first month, we put the practice to the test and made sure everything was running smoothly for our official opening in January 2014. Coming from a large extended family, I had my mum, dad, brother and all my uncles, aunties, and cousins line up to have their first hygiene appointments. Without their continued support, UDG would not be here today.

Day 1: The office space before renovations began
Day 1: Before renovations began
A rough idea of what I envisioned on paper. The actual surgery today is quite different to this sketch.
Construction begins. You can see Francis in the doorway while we survey and plan the next phase. Chris (my brother) and I spent a couple of days removing the carpet ourselves to save on the cost of carpet removal.
The dividing wall comes up to seperate reception area and surgery.
The reception area approximately 7 months from day 1.
The surgery room complete.
Signage installed and ready for opening.
The support from my parents, brother, grandmother, uncles, aunts, and cousins has been the driving force behind UDG. My mum (in the orange dress) has become such a important person in the day to day operations of the practice. She is there most days of the week making sure everything is running smoothly.

United Dental Group will always come from humble beginnings with family values always in mind. Coming from an immigrant background, my brother and I are first generation kids born in Australia. Our parents have had good work ethic instilled in us from day one, and in fact, shown to us throughout our entire lives and still to this day. They have sacrificed and worked their entire lives to give their children the springboard and foundation to build upon. I hope that I can one day give back to them, like they have given to my brother and I, and give them the life they deserve and worked tireless for their whole lives.

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