Isuzu is braced for school dental run with award winning OMÜ

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A revolutionary dental practice in Hampshire has come up with one of the most impressive applications for an Isuzu. Emma White and dentist husband, Ben have launched a specialist mobile orthodontist service for patients located in the South of England and it is cleverly positioned on one of the latest Isuzu 7.5 tonne rigid trucks.

Recognising the time and effort taken by patients, especially the parents of younger patients who must take time off school when travelling to and from, Emma and Ben decided to provide a radical and innovative dental service that offers an alternative solution to this problem.

The Isuzu orthodontic mobile unit (OMÜ) is a state-of-the-art facility that offers orthodontic treatment including braces and treatment plans, primarily aimed at children in schools. By simplifying and making this service more convenient for parents with pupils in schools, it allows patients to receive exceptional treatment quickly and easily, without the journeying to and from school or home.

The immediate impact, effectiveness and sustainability of this new business has recently been recognised when the Whites and their company OMÜ were awarded the Winchester Business Excellence Awards 2020 in the New Business Category.

The concept for the OMÜ came from a very simple and fundamental observation.

As Emma reveals, “For short five- or 10-minutes orthodontic appointment every month, some parents were driving over an hour to pick their child up, only to return them to school directly afterwards, which put pressure on both the children and the parents to find time in their busy routines and school timetables.”

Emma continues, “We have three children, at three different schools, in three different counties so this was the light bulb moment for us to take our orthodontic services out to the schools to make it a simpler and easier way to access regular orthodontic treatment.”

After a lengthy research and development project into the optimum vehicle specification, Ben and Emma chose an Isuzu N75.150E as the base chassis, and it was fitted with a specialist mobile dental clinic body built by Torton Bodies.

“The result is amazing. The vehicle draws attention wherever we go but most importantly, we have definitely made the whole process of orthodontic treatment far more patient-centric,” said Ben White.

Following a two-year project involving Isuzu Truck, Torton Bodies, Emma and Ben White, the Isuzu 7.5 tonner was fitted with a specialist purpose designed 6.5m Torton motorised mobile dental clinic body. The Euro VI Isuzu itself features an Easyshift automatic gearbox and air conditioning, as well as reversing cameras and reversing sensors.

The Torton body is a complete one-off unique design, which provides three separate entrances and exits, including a separate hydraulic welfare lift for disabled access that fully meets with LOLER and DDA regulations.

Inside the mobile dental clinic is a manually operated slide out room on the offside to provide extra worktop and cabinet space, whilst the overall interior body space is divided into three compartments, including a waiting room, a decontamination room, and an impressive fully equipped dental surgery.

Totally self-sufficient with its own water supply and heating system, the mobile dentist body is fully secured for transit, protecting all internal equipment from movement during journeys between schools.

“It was a major design exercise to incorporate all our requirements within one vehicle body,” says Ben White, “It definitely was a labour of love over the two-year period, but we are extremely pleased with the end result and it really does provide our patients with the ultimate on-site orthodontist treatment facility. In addition, patient’s welfare is most importantly safeguarded as they remain on the school premises throughout their treatment.”

At present OMÜ, the UK’s first Orthodontic Mobile Unit, is working with many schools in the South of England and the Whites are looking forward to operating in many more areas within the UK.

Driving a 7.5 tonne truck for the first time was also a new experience for Ben White, however, as he says, “The Isuzu is so easy to drive and having the Easyshift automatic transmission is excellent. Although it is a completely new experience for me driving a vehicle with such a big footprint in comparison with my car, the Isuzu is amazingly compact, manoeuvrable, and easily accessible to all entrances at the schools we currently visit. All-round vision from the cab is superb.”

With a range of truck chassis from 3.5 tonne to 13.5 tonne Isuzu Truck can provide vehicles for almost every possible application. As Richard Waterworth, head of sales at Isuzu Truck UK comments, “Ben and Emma’s 7.5 tonne Isuzu is a superb example of what you can do with an Isuzu chassis. The flexibility and versatility of the chassis allows our customers to offer a vast range of innovative solutions using bodies specifically designed for purpose. The award winning OMÜ is certainly testament to this, enabling children to receive the best dental treatment literally on their doorstep.”

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