Dentistry with a mission
Bringing back kindness to Dentistry
Hamilton's Boutique Dental Experience. Affordable hi-tech Dentistry.
When Dr Henk and Annette Eksteen came to New Zealand from Africa in 1994 and opened a dental practice, they saw grown men sweating in the chair, and people petrified about visiting the dentist.
They couldn’t understand it at first; in their home country, children would become used to visits to the dentist from a young age; they would sit in their mum’s lap while she was having work done, there would be banter, they would be given treats by the dentist. “It was not a scary thing at all, it was something you did to stay healthy,” says Annette.
The penny dropped when they began hearing about the “murder house”. That particular dental institution may have run its course in New Zealand, but Annette believes the legacy lives on even in the next generation.
“Dentists were resented and yet they need to be seen rather as benevolent helpers,” she says.
“When we came to New Zealand we found there were two fears: one was pain and the other one was cost.”
So she and Hank set out to create the opposite. “We wanted to make it affordable, to bring kindness back, to change the perception of dentistry, to make it an experience patients would enjoy.”
That starts as soon as you enter the doors of Villa Dental in Hamilton. You can have good coffee, there is a water feature in pride of place, even a rocking chair.
The Eksteens first pioneered the approach in 1998, in a Hamilton East cottage and then an bigger villa - hence the name of the practice. Now that they have outgrown those premises and are operating in new, purpose-built ones off Wairere Drive, they have worked even harder to recreate the cosiness. They have succeeded; visitors are greeted by welcoming receptionists, and wait on comfy chairs and couches, while along a corridor a vintage style room recreates the old villa feel, and just beyond that is a room where relaxing head and shoulder massages are offered. Elsewhere, seven open-plan style cubicles with dental chairs radiate off a central corridor; for those who prefer more privacy, separate rooms are available.
Not a petrified person in sight.
Upstairs there are offices and, overlooking the Wairere Drive roundabout where Gordonton Road starts, a generous-sized seminar room which is part of Annette and Hank’s wish to establishing a platform for effective peer contact. A practice where peers from all over the country in NZ and abroad could collaboratively share information, practical experiences and tested and proven techniques through hands-on seminars. This venue is also used for community events aimed at the whole family.
Annette, a registered, but non-practising, dental hygienist who has a Masters Degree in Advanced Leadership Practice from Massey University, says it is important that peer contact happens and experienced practitioners pass on their practical knowledge to younger ones. The seminar room fits that purpose and the skills the younger dentists can learn from are of a seriously high level; two leading American dentists are currently working at Villa Dental and assisting with training. Even once they have gone back to America, they will continue to make return visits to this practice and the people they've grown to care for.
Annette and Hank are innovative in other ways as well, and understand the financial challenges of dental visits.
Part of their solution to that is an inventive new healthcare offering. Patients can sign up for individualised payment plans. One of these is a five-year package at an investment of $6997 For that they have an impressive range of cover, worth a benefit of $17,691. *Conditions apply. It’s a risk for the practice, given the saving they are offering, but the real payoff may be in patients being more engaged in their own dental healthcare and taking a more preventive approach.
“I was so curious about why people didn’t like being at the dentist. We wanted to change that. We got to know the people, asked them their stories”
Inspired to make a change
Henk and Annette wanted to make a difference. They would work at regaining patients’ trust with their old school values, kindness and getting rid of the fear around going to the dentist. They wanted to bring positive change, and leave a legacy of kindness.
They started by being the first to bring pain-free techniques to the people of Aotearoa, beginning with the original Old Villa Dental in Hamilton 1998. With Henk’s dedication to his profession and Annette’s passionate patient-focused approach, they began to build a legacy of committed care.
Together with their growing team, they wove integrity, hard work and creativity into the very fabric of Villa Dental. They showed their patients that they could not only trust their dentist, but actually enjoy their visits.
Creating an unforgettable experience
Today, our history and heart is evident in every aspect of Villa Dental. Gone are the days of the dreaded trip to the dentist. At Villa Dental, we deliver an experience that you want to come back for.
As well as quality care, we celebrate creativity and quirkiness. Step back in time to wait for your appointment in our Waikato Room, dedicated to preserving Hamilton’s rich history. Sip on barista coffee or specialty tea, and browse our menu of services designed to enhance your visit. Our friendly team are the heart and soul of Villa Dental, and will greet you with a smile.
Not your average dental clinic
With our Service Menu that certainly breaks the ‘dentist’ mold, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were at a retreat. We take waiting room comfort to the next level. From hand massages and hot towels to jewellery cleaning, prepare to be pampered during your visit.
This doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten our commitment to making dental care available for everyone. Our pricing, including our low-interest payment plan, makes quality care accessible to all.
Innovation and evolution
The field of dentistry is constantly evolving, and we’re evolving with it. We do our best to keep on top of all the latest developments, so your needs as a patient can be met. We use state of the art dental equipment and innovative technology, from painless injections, digital X-Rays and 3D Cone Beam Scans to life-changing cosmetic dentistry.
Our team of internationally renowned dentists are passionate about education and growth in the field. Our meeting room is a busy hub, hosting workshops and seminars for dentists and trainees from all over the world.
We are dedicated to bringing you quality dental care, when you need it.
Our team is here from 7am-8pm every weekday, so you can fit your visit around your life and have everything done on the day.
We’re proud to be local
We’ve built our practice around the people of New Zealand. Our accents may remain, but we’re 100% local and dedicated to our community. We use our community space to hold educational workshops for both our patients, their families, as well as local and visiting international dentists.
This is our way of giving back to our many loyal patients - trustworthy and comfortable care, and our best effort every day.
At Villa Dental, we’re about so much more than teeth. We’re about warmth, care and quality, from the moment you walk through our doors to the moment you say goodbye.