Having worked hard to grow our practices over 17 years, with a unique offering of specialist paediatric dentistry and orthodontics – which are disciplines that complement each other – we were looking to sell our businesses to a corporate body because we felt only a corporate could take on both practices as one entity and allow us to stay on to continue to run in the same successful manner.
Dentex had the best offer and their team were much more approachable than the others. We liked that it was a relatively new entity and that it was expanding – plus, we liked the people we met.
We also liked the fact that Dentex is not as inflexible as some of the very large dental corporate bodies, so we can discuss things and their approach was not set in stone. They took the time to get to know and understand what we do and what makes our practice unique and successful; so we work with them to tweak and enhance where necessary.
This means we can continue doing what we do best, keeping the attributes that set us apart, with the safety net of being part of a larger group.
Dentistry is changing so much at the moment that to manage a business well is increasingly challenging. As well as the all-important clinical aspects of running a dental practice, practitioners also need to keep on top of the administrative side, such as CQC compliance and HR, which was ultimately our reason for selling. With the extra support, we now get time to focus on dentistry and our patients.
We are essentially clinicians, not business people, and wanted to be able to dedicate more time to our patients, their treatments, diagnosis and treatment planning, along with committing more to our professional education and development. We wanted to worry less about practice admin, compliance and regulatory issues.
Our team were a little wary because they had been in a stable situation, they knew us and knew how we run the practices – and this kind of change naturally brings uncertainty and a certain degree of anxiety. They were worried about their future prospects, their salaries and their role in the practice but, in fact, this partnership has brought new developments and promotional opportunities. Having met the Dentex team, a lot of the anxieties were allayed before the sale of the practice and there hasn’t been any upheaval – things remain more or less the same for our team and our patients.
One major area that takes up a lot of attention is compliance, and we have regular updates from the team at Dentex, who help us with latest regulations and assist the relevant staff in our practices to ensure we are fully compliant.
We have had some assistance from Dentex in recruitment, too, and the partnership may offer opportunities to bulk order – we could definitely attract more attention from dental suppliers and there are great opportunities to avail of economies of scale as part of the group.
There is no shortage of dentists in London, it is a competitive business and, for 45 years, patients having been coming to our practices in the Harley Street area for our unique approach. The most important thing is that Dentex has not insisted on any big changes.
In the future, we can see greater opportunities to interact with other practices and practitioners within Dentex, benefiting from their experience, and the professional development these relationships offer.