The next generation

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It takes more than a principal dentist alone to create a practice – and Dentex is providing great prospects to associates looking to build a career too

Dentistry is a team game: everyone has a part to play in providing the quality care being offered in practices up and down the UK.

A huge percentage of that care is provided by the country’s army of associates – and so it should come as no surprise that the associate dentist plays a pivotal role within Dentex.

EMULATING EXCELLENCE

Dentex Clinical Director Jason Bedford has his sights set squarely on making Dentex a great place to work for associates.

He is absolutely candid about what their aims are for the business – and the people who practise within it.

‘Something like 98% of ophthalmology graduates apply to join the Vision Express management training programme,’ he begins. ‘That’s what we want to emulate – we want young graduates to join Dentex because they know they can start off in the right kind of practices, they can get support with training, and that they have a place they can be mentored and grow.’

He is abundantly clear on what Dentex has to offer to achieve this ambition – and the company is dedicated to making it a reality. ‘We’ve got to create an environment for associates that means they want to stay,’ Jason explains.

‘We’re in the process of setting up an in-house programme that trains them in private dentistry. It will cover everything from whitening and aligners, to restoring implants, digital dentistry and communication skills – all those things that you need to be a good private dentist.’

DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY

The difference, says Jason, lies in just how much of this expertise already exists within the business.

‘We’re able to do a lot of this because of the breadth of internal talent that we have,’ he adds. ‘We’ve got an astonishing array of people from every area that we can use as internal resources for mentoring or training: none of the other groups really have that.

‘We count leading experts in aesthetic dentistry, a host of specialist practices and vastly experienced implant dentists amongst our people. ‘It’s in all our partners’ interests to have succession planning in place, and to have the right kind of associates to grow their businesses.’

Accordingly, the right associates are looked after, as Richard Coates can attest to. He joined Coombe Dental Care practice as an associate, just as it was going through the sale, and his experience since has been nothing but positive. ‘So far, Dentex have been excellent to work with,’ he agrees. ‘The way they manage things and the freedom they give you is great. I have free rein clinically, which is a huge thing.

‘They’re very hands-off; they don’t rebrand, and if the practice is running well, they leave it alone. And if it isn’t, they don’t come along and tell you you’re doing lots of things wrong – they look at ways of making things better.

‘It’s a very positive management style. I’d be extremely happy to go forwards with them in the longer term.’