Dentex uses a unique co-ownership model that hopes to revolutionise UK dentistry
With workloads increasing at a tremendous pace, dentists can find it difficult to juggle clinical time and managing all the aspects of running their practice. Dentex provides additional finance and support, while allowing practitioners to preserve their independence. Although relatively new to the market, Dentex has already started working with a group of UK dentists, using a unique co-ownership model that it feels will revolutionise UK dentistry. Whether you’re looking to grow your practice, build your own group of practices, spend more time with patients practising the skills you trained so long to acquire, or shift your work-life balance – Dentex enables you to focus on the parts of the business you enjoy, while still retaining an investment in your practice.
The company believes in the power of partnership. Founded by Mark Cockburn, a chartered accountant with more than 30 years’ experience, and William Bowen-Davies, an entrepreneur with a successful history in business management and extensive experience in the dental industry; Dentex combines clinical and financial excellence. CEO Barry Lanesman is a qualified dentist with a MBA from the University of Cape Town and a 26-year career in which he developed and ran two specialist medical, dental and accounting finance and banking businesses in Australia. Coupled with Pat Langley’s (Group Clinical Director at Oasis for seven years) outstanding clinical support, guidance and leadership, as well as Rob Paxman’s extensive experience acquiring and partnering with dental practice owners, the Dentex team has very strong foundations. Their aim is to build a successful, inclusive, co-owned dental business that inspires growth and high standards of practice, while improving the running of practices and liberating lifestyles.
Rob Paxman, Director of Partnering says, ‘Two to three years ago, William and Mark pushed around ideas about various different models and realised there was a concept that hadn’t really been tried before, and the dentists they spoke to seemed really interested in the idea. They spent a couple of years exploring the concept and how it would work. Eighteen months ago, they started pulling together the different members of the team which are here now. I joined in March of last year and since then I have been really focused on expanding our network of dentists. Our aim is to help grow their businesses and inspire high standards of clinical practice. We find dentists often want to be able to focus on the clinical side of practising and not be bogged down with the business side. The real advantage of Dentex is that it is co-owned, meaning dentists remain at the heart of their business.’
‘A lot of these practices have been started up by clinicians from nothing and they have built a really successful business,’ explains Rob. ‘Partnering with Dentex means that dentists can develop the lifestyle they want and still be involved with the success of their business. They are not losing all their control and they still very much have a say in their business. Dentex works alongside our Partners providing them support when needed. The bit they tend not to like, the management, the compliance etc., we can help with, allowing dentists to focus on the clinical side. On the operation side, if you have a particularly well-run practice that functions smoothly, it is just about maintaining, growing and enhancing. In the practices that may need a bit more support, on the audit and compliance side for example, we make sure they get all the help and assistance they need. We enable them to achieve the high standards that they want to attain.’ Rob says that their current Regional Partners have successful practices and excellent reputations. ‘Practice Partners are really keen to work with our Regional Partners because of their reputation. They trust the Partners to work alongside them and introduce elements that have led to their own success.’
Barry Lanesman reiterates this, ‘There are many companies that acquire the business completely and after that, the practice owner has no interest in the practice at all. They become an employee in their own practice and that can be hard for a lot of people. Our model is different – we offer a true partnership approach.’
The voice of the Regional Partner
Award-winning cosmetic dentist and founder of a group of renowned London practices with a Harley Street flagship, Mark Hughes is a Regional Partner for Dentex. ‘I’ve been through the experience of developing a dental group and found difficulty in doing so once we had got to a certain size. Therefore, the concept of growing through the Dentex model was of great interest to me. I was involved with designing the Dentex model approximately three years ago. The mechanics and financial model are of great benefit to those wishing to grow a group of practices. From the perspective of a Regional Partner, Dentex very much appeals to entrepreneurial dentists, who either want to grow individual, large or specialist practices or have a group of multiple practices. The legal, financial and due diligence processes of buying a practice are time-consuming. In addition to this, the sourcing of potential partners, the financial help and the processes for lending are all highly involved procedures. It’s quite difficult to raise finance, especially when you go beyond one or two practices,’ says Mark. ‘Operationally, Dentex can provide a huge amount of assistance with all these issues, as well as clinical governance, HR and a lot of day-to-day operational support,’ he adds.
‘The support is comprehensive and the people at Dentex are very experienced in the dental industry and their particular field. It is also a great solution for dentists who wish to sell their practice but who previously resisted selling to a corporate. We are very much not a corporate, but a collaborative model. The fact that you can retain some financial interest in the practice means it becomes a working partnership. It gives the dentist the freedom to concentrate on the clinical development – especially if they are approaching the last years of their career and they are looking for an exit strategy,’ he adds.
‘The Dentex Partner network means we support each other, which is a huge advantage. There is a group learning philosophy and an access to information sharing – covering all aspects of running a practice. It is the fastest and most efficient way of growing your practice with exceptional support along the way.’
As Practice Partner, you will gain the support you need to refocus your efforts on the areas of your work which you find most rewarding. Whether you’re wanting to expand your business, offload tiresome management procedures so you can concentrate on the clinical, or begin a gentle move towards retirement, Dentex can help you to achieve your goals, without depleting your independence. Your practice will become part of a network of a Regional Partner’s group, they will work alongside you, taking on the tasks that you would rather avoid, enabling you to realise your practice’s potential, clinically and financially.
If you wish to take your practice to the next level, but don’t know where to start when it comes to expansion, then joining as a Regional Partnership could be for you. Whilst you retain the majority share in your business, Dentex provides the finance and resources you need to drive your practice forward. Dentex won’t impose on the everyday operation of your practice, but our help is there if you need it for mentoring, guidance, technical, regulatory, financial, legal and clinical support. You retain clinical control, but with the reassurance of a safety net and the knowledge that you are part of a network of like-minded dentists.
This article was posted by Dentistry.co.uk on the 16 June 2017