Q&A with Dentex’s CEO Barry Lanesman

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Despite some of the macroeconomic and political challenges over the past 12 months, Dentex has maintained strong growth and attracted some renowned dentists to the group.

Going into 2020, Dentex’s CEO, Barry Lanesman, gives his expectations based on trends in the UK dentistry market and tells how Dentex is committed to continued innovation, enhancement of skills and providing support for Dentex practices.

What to expect from Dentex to 2020?

We’ve enjoyed a very strong initial three years and will continue striving to innovate and support growth within the UK dental industry. With the help of Rahul Doshi, our Clinical Strategy Development Director, we are very focussed on developing market leading training and mentoring within the group, to ensure we attract and develop leading clinicians.

We hope to evolve the Dentex model to cater for younger dentists looking to develop into practice owners. It’s important to me that we continue to enhance skills and grow our central teams in order to provide great support for practices we have in the group and those coming on board.

I’m delighted to say that we’ve finalised a substantial debt package with our funders for 2020 and finalised a further capital rise. These achievements enable us to have a strong balance sheet to continue investing in our practices and, therefore, pursuing solid growth through the next 12 months.

What trends do you see for the UK dentistry market in 2020?

Existing challenges in the UK dentistry market will remain with continued tightening in NHS dentist supply and, therefore, the opportunity for the private sector growth. Consequently, I expect to see several high-profile corporate transactions which will encourage solid growth of corporate dentistry, enhance a competitive dynamic market and encourage high valuations.

What makes you optimistic about 2020?

I think we all hope to see a more stable political environment post Brexit. This should reflect more robust local and international economies, as well as the reducing inertia across the markets which have weighed on the dental market. 

Has Dentex evolved as you envisaged in its first few years?

Yes, and well beyond what we expected. In a relatively short period of time we have grown as a cohesive team as well as a business with a strong culture and values. The quality of our partners certainly exceeded expectations and our growth has been on track; giving us positive perspectives for the coming years. The enthusiasm and passion of our partners for what the Dentex model means to the UK dental industry is truly inspiring and it’s wonderful being part of it.

Were there any surprises? And what are your key takeaways so far?

Of course, it’s impressive to see how the clinical and non-clinical teams have aligned in working to grow the overall business. It’s a big shift in mindset and most have approached it with real gusto.

There was obviously a lot of scepticism in the market when we first launched Dentex and I am very proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short period of time and the ambitious plans we are on track to achieve.  

A decade ago, the UK dentistry sector was highly fragmented. Today, approximately 13% of the practices are owned by corporates and that figure looks to rise over the coming years. How has Dentex worked to remain competitive and the best choice to join?

Dentex is clear on its competitive advantages and will continue to play on these. We are substantially different to the competition in many ways: we prioritise our dentists, practices and all staff; we are focused on clinical freedom and professional development; and we promote growth as part of the group.

We will continue to retain this market advantage as we remain in touch with what our clients want and need; and we invest in the solid, quality base of central services. This client centric approach will ensure we meet the needs of our practices and remain their partner of choice.