Dentex is a relatively new player in the UK market, but it is already shaking things up.
It has been described by some as part of the new wave of dental corporates, although many partnering dentists are quick to argue that it’s not a corporate, but something entirely new. Whichever side of the discussion you stand on, it’s clear that Dentex does things its own way, focusing on clinical freedom, the patient journey and a higher standard of care overall.
But even that’s not really the whole story.
For one, where other groups are privately owned, Dentex dentists are shareholders in the wider business itself, putting them in the unique position of benefiting from the success of the whole company.
But the differences don’t end there.
Rob Paxman, Director of Partnering, explains that the idea of forcing practices to change is completely counter-intuitive to Dentex, as would be cutting costs as a matter of routine. Instead, the focus is on growth, and that comes through concentrating on the patient experience.
Dentex takes a decidedly long-term viewpoint, and to succeed over that timescale requires a different way of thinking. That means that the market’s traditional expectations of ‘corporate dentistry’ couldn’t be further from reality when it comes to how Dentex does business. ‘Often, when companies want to boost profits, the first thing they look at is cutting costs – because that’s the easiest way to do it,’ Rob explains. ‘In dentistry that tends to put restrictions on the business, whether it’s by cutting staffing, limiting materials, or prescribing laboratories, for example. ‘We don’t take that approach.
The profit in our business plan comes from everyone being aligned and working towards the same goal. ‘We are very much of the belief that these practices have gotten to where they are because of what they’ve got. If we start messing around with that, we’re going to upset people, and it’s going to change the dynamics of the practice – and that’s not what we want to do.’
COLLABORATION AND EMPOWERMENT
The ethos at the core of Dentex is one of collaboration, which is partially why it is growing so quickly.
The company itself may be young but it’s not inexperienced. It’s backed by a management team with significant experience of the dental and financial markets, all bringing their knowledge to bear on doing things the right way. Dentex is building a structure where every member of the team is empowered, fulfilled and recognised as an individual.
Furthermore, it’s a set-up that encourages everyone to play to their strengths. For dentists, that means stripping away much of the work that doesn’t relate directly to patient care.
For other clinical staff, that can often mean up skilling and a broadening of responsibilities.
For the practice manager, it’s the support to become a world-class business manager, embracing a key role in the running and growth of the practice.
When everyone works towards a common goal, great things can happen – and that’s the vision of the future that Dentex is making a reality.