Cheryl Lawrence explains what a difference Dentex really makes for the person at the heart of every dental practice – the practice manager.
Joining Dentex has been a breath of fresh air. I’ve been with Dentex for just over a year now and it’s been fantastic. They really do what they say they’re going to: when people join, they can expect engagement and training through the support team. The help you get from partner support is absolutely great: they reassured me as the practice manager and helped me focus on achieving goals for the practice. I really can’t fault it.
What surprised me is how little changed when we became part of the group. When our practice joined Dentex, most things stayed the same. Dentex don’t change your brand; they don’t tell you what you can and can’t buy. The labs you use? No change. The same goes for the practice software. For patients, there’s no difference – they really wouldn’t know.
The biggest thing is the extra support. Some things do change when the practice joins Dentex, of course. You get support with HR, and with finance – those sorts of things. That’s a great help. But as a practice manager, the only real differences are ones that feel they’re going to add value to the practice. Those get agreed beforehand, generally between Dentex, the principal and the practice manager, so there are no surprises.
I had some concerns about corporate dentistry, but I needn’t have worried. I’d never worked for a corporate before, but you hear that they’re not approachable, or that they come in and change everything. But I needn’t have worried. Everybody in Dentex is ready to listen, and the culture really encourages the exchange of ideas. I’ve found that creates an energy throughout the whole team, because people know their ideas will always be listened to. As a member of the team, I can honestly say I’ve always felt valued and respected.
Dentex supports practice managers really well. You feel appreciated and recognised. I’ve always felt valued with Dentex, which for me is extremely important. Running a single practice can be quite isolating, but once you join a larger group, you suddenly have support around you all the time. You’re no longer alone: there are people there to help you. If you don’t know the answer for something you’ve always got someone that you can turn to.
Dentex runs quarterly workshops to help practice managers build their skills. That really helps each practice grow, and it helps the dentists concentrate more on their clinical work, so it’s a win-win situation.
Personally speaking, the opportunities have been amazing. I’ve gone from running one practice to overseeing six of them! I actively wanted more responsibility, so I’ve moved from being a practice manager to a business development manager. That was a great opportunity, and it’s been a great promotion for me: being part of Dentex has helped my personal growth.
I’ve been a practice manager for 20 years. Before that I was a receptionist, and then a qualified dental nurse – I’ve done most roles within the dental practice. But I get so much job satisfaction in my new role; it’s great to get that opportunity to grow. And not only am I growing, but I have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience across the Dentex group. It’s incredibly fulfilling, it’s hard work, but it’s so rewarding!