A dental practice in a business district like the Zuidas, does that make any sense? Most people would simply say ‘no’. Until they hear Eijmbert Noordermeer’s and Marie-Anne van Lexmond’s story. For 26 years, Noordermeer has been running a successful dental health care practice in the central hall of the WTC building at Strawinskylaan; four years ago dental hygienist Van Lexmond joined his practice.
An amicable man in his fifties, casually dressed, steps into the waiting room. “Did they park you here?” Eijmbert Noordermeer asks with a wink. “I’m going to arrange something better”, he says and off he goes again. That typifies the atmosphere here at Mondzorg Praktijk Zuidas: light-hearted and friendly.
He finds an empty treatment room, Marie-Anne van Lexmond joins us and we continue our conversation in the same casual manner. So what’s the history behind Mondzorg Praktijk Zuidas, or as it was known until four years ago: Mondzorg Praktijk Noordermeer?
“After graduating in 1989, I needed to get started in this profession,” Noordermeer says. “There were a few options, one of which was hiring a chair in a dental practice in the WTC building which had just been completed. I never thought it was a strange idea to start a dental practice in the business district: people need to see a dentist regularly so why not close to where they work? Moreover, dentist Gerard Goedhart had already opened a practice here in 1985. And in October 1991 I started working for him.”
Dentist on Zuidas
Before long, Noordermeer started building his own client base. “In the beginning, you rely on your friends and relatives. And from time to time you meet people in the pub who’ll walk into your practice as patients a few weeks later. No dentist would spend any money on advertising in those days. But when people are happy with your service they’ll stay with you, and your practice will grow organically; your clients have children who need to go to the dentist and so and so forth.”
‘I believe dental hygienists should deliver primary dental care, with dentists responsible for secondary care’
Four years later, Goedhart had to stop working for health reasons and Noordermeer decided to take over his successful practice. Business men find it very convenient to be able to drop in just before, during or right after work. Sometimes unannounced…
Those working here are used to handle unexpected situations. “We’re pretty flexible. Of course, I normally work on appointment only but thanks to our very capable assistants, we are able to interrupt our schedule and treat an emergency if someone has a terrible toothache or another urgent problem”, Noordermeer continues.
Over the years, the practice grew steadily: it now has three treatment rooms for dentists and five rooms for dental hygienists working under the supervision of Marie-Anne van Lexmond. Dental hygienists play an important role here and that is due to the vision of Mondzorg Praktijk Zuidas: clients visit their dental hygienist to maintain their teeth and only when it’s really necessary will they be referred to the dentist.
“I believe dental hygienists should deliver primary dental care, with dentists responsible for secondary care. Marie-Anne and her colleagues maintain our clients’ teeth, notice when something is wrong and can refer them to one of our dentists. As far as I’m concerned, people should go to the dental hygienist four to five times a year, especially children!”
Van Lexmond chimes in: “Most people don’t realize that bad oral hygiene affects their general health. Moreover, if you educate your children on good dental care routine and they don’t have any caries until they’re 24, they’ll benefit from that for the rest of their lives. And this will encourage them to keep looking after their teeth.”
A treatment method that is in line with preventive visits to the dental hygienist is ‘sustainable restoration’, a system that Noordemeer has been using for more than 25 years. He tells how these restorations in porcelain or ceramics, made by Cerec, never need replacing once they’ve been fitted.”
‘Most people don’t realize that bad oral hygiene affects their general health’
“We still don’t know much about the consequences of using composite fillings (the inlay replacing amalgam). Due to their lower quality, composites need to be replaced more often. That’s why we opt for sustainable materials such as porcelain and ceramics”, Noordermeer explains. “And this sustainable solution allows us to focus on dental hygiene.”
Another big advantage of working with Cerec is the fact that a new crown or any other type of repair can be completed in one visit.
But does Noordermeer have any patients left if he carries out restorations that last a lifetime and his clients having their teeth maintained by Van Lexmond and her team of dental hygienists? “Well, don’t worry about me”, he smiles. “There are always new patients. Plus we do a lot of cosmetic procedures such as bleaching, facings, etc. So we’ll never be out of work.”
Clients from all over the world
There is another point that differentiates Mondzorg Praktijk Zuidas from other practices and that is the diversity of its clients: they really come from all over the world. “We are close to Schiphol Airport and right in the middle of the business district where many expats work. They visit our dentists and dental hygienists and even after they’ve moved back to their country they still keep us as their dental carers”, Noordermeer says.
‘Dental hygienist more important than dentist’
Word-of-mouth publicity is important: happy clients will recommend the practice to their new (expat) colleagues. Apart from being ensured of a steady stream of new clients, this way the practice employees can share their philosophy on scheduling preventive visits to the dental hygienist with more people.
Noordermeer: “So, dear friends: I recommend you to have a ‘waving relationship’ with your dentist: visit your dental hygienist on a regular basis in order to be able to simply wave goodbye to your dentist!”
Mondzorg Praktijk Zuidas
World Trade Center toren B
1077 XX Amsterdam
T 020 676 7606
Fotocredit: Anna van Duuren