The 8th November marked just one year since dental partnership group, Dentex, secured its first dental practice, and what a year it’s been. The first twelve months of any business is meant to be the hardest, but in this time Dentex has accumulated 17 practices as part of the group, with a further 18 in due diligence; and secured £21m in funding. Not bad for an organisation that began with just six members of staff.
Since its inception, Dentex has almost taken on a life of its own. Driven by Barry Lanesman, CEO, Pat Langley as Chief Dental Officer and Rob Paxman as Director of Partnering, all of whom have long-term experience within the dentistry field, the organisation has sought – and succeeded – to fulfil a very great need in the dental industry: enabling dentists to share in the value created through a dental collective.
They differ from typical dental corporates by offering much better long-term wealth creation opportunities to their partners. Dentists are able to extract equity from their practice, but continue to stay involved and benefit from the growth whilst preserving their clinical independence. Dentex provides support to dentists as partners, enabling growth without removing a practice’s autonomy; so, dentists continue to run their practice, expanding and thriving, no longer having to constantly focus on cash flow and financials.
In a year that has seen the group awarded the ‘Highly Commended Award for Innovation of the Year’, as well as finalists for ‘Product Launch of the Year’ – Dentex has found success in a model that challenges the traditional dental corporate pattern. There is no management takeover, no rebranding, as happens when joining a corporate franchise; partners maintain their autonomy, gaining input and assistance only where they require it. This allows practices to retain their individuality, which is important for practitioners and patients alike. And with two partnership models – Regional and Practice – it’s possible for Dentex partners to either reduce their responsibilities or enhance them, either focusing on their core interests at a local level to ensure a premium patient experience is delivered, or building a portfolio of surgeries in order to broaden their potential remit. Once approved and passed through the stringent Dentex criteria for partner selection, the choice of how they wish to proceed is left to the individual member.
There is an acute focus on finding the right partners. Integrity, respect for each other and highest ethical standards are just a few of the values that make up Dentex’s foundations, and all members of the group are expected to share this ethos.
Dentex is not about running a business model that’s dictatorial, it’s about helping dentists work together. Dentists often face similar challenges, so partners are encouraged to build and grow in a collegiate way.
Barry Lanesman, Dentex CEO, comments:
‘With a five-year plan which aims to see the Group at 150 partnering practices by 2022, it’s still early days for Dentex, but so far, the company is very much on track, thanks to its unique offering. This time last year there was a gap in the market. Dentex have filled it admirably.
But while the organisation’s phenomenal growth is certainly worth marking, Dentex’s driving force is quality over quantity. Each Dentex partner wants to share growth and remain involved in the development of the practice, not exit at the earliest opportunity. They are genuinely enthused and motivated about clinical dentistry and use their partnership with Dentex to help overcome regulatory, compliance and administrative barriers.
The partnership allows them to focus on areas of dentistry they’re truly passionate about. Each one of the partners excels in their field with an unswerving commitment to deliver premium patient care, sharing best practice for the common good of the group – and ultimately the patient.’
Dentex has shown significant growth thanks to its unique offering. They have ambitious growth expectations and so far, are on track to hit their target of 150 practices by 2022.
Dentex Regional Partner, Bhavna Doshi of Perfect Smile dental studios, explains why she joined the group. ‘Dentex is a partner that has allowed us to preserve our ethos and way of business, and provide a collaboration of mastermind. We have been able to keep our business identity, leadership philosophy, quality of dentistry and exceptional patient care. At the same time, they have given us the financial and business support to grow our group of practices.’
Andrew Birrell, Executive Director of Universal Partners, Dentex’s largest investor said ‘The Dentex message continues to resonate with clinicians who wish to release equity whilst retaining upside, and continue to enjoy the clinical freedom to deliver for their patients before joining the group. The company is performing ahead of our expectations and we look forward to seeing it prosper in future”
Further information on Dentex here.