When Ben Harris opened a new dental practice in the heart of central Christchurch in 2016, he wondered if he had made a grave mistake.
Starting a practice from scratch, in an area that was still deathly quiet post-earthquakes was a bit of a punt – but five years down the track it’s one that has certainly paid off. With the city’s regeneration now in full swing, businesses are flocking back to the CBD in droves, and Lumino's Christchurch City CBD practice is about to double its size to keep up with demand.
“We already have three surgeries downstairs in Gloucester Street but we’ve run out of space, so when the unit above us became available we jumped at it,” says Ben. “Upstairs will give us room for five more surgeries. We’ll probably open three of them initially and the other two as the practice continues to grow.”
The dental practice has been going gangbusters since it opened and is currently at full capacity, with three to four month waiting lists for hygienist appointments.
“We possibly opened our doors a little early – it was a bit scary for the first few months because there were not many businesses here. But they’re all coming back into the area now and we’re surrounded by power companies, architects, lawyers and engineering firms. A lot of our clientele are young professionals and currently we are averaging 100 to 120 new patients every month.”
In the year from June 2020 to May 2021 Christchurch City CBD took on 2064 new patients and carried out over 7000 appointments.
“Considering we had no patients when we first opened, that’s a huge level of growth.”
In addition to general dentistry, the practice specialises in Invisalign® and injectables – two areas which have soared in popularity over the last few years.
“We’re quite an aesthetically-focussed practice. One of our dentists Brigitte Lyne is a certified Platinum Invisalign provider. She is in such hot demand that she could almost be running a couple of surgeries simultaneously, just doing Invisalign. On top of that, there are not many dental practices in the city, especially ones which also offer cosmetic treatments like Botox and dermal filler, so we are incredibly busy.”
With the expansion scheduled for completion in October, the revamped practice will offer Invisalign and hygienist treatments upstairs, and general dentistry downstairs, complete with an expanded team of clinicians and cutting edge facilities.
“We are a fully digital practice using high tech equipment, including iTero scanners which enable us to do optical scans instead of impressions. Everything at Christchurch City CBD is state-of-the-art.”