Where is UK Dentistry heading Post Covid 19 – A contrarian view.

It’s pretty clear that UK dentistry is changing. I sit in a unique position in dentistry, owning private dental clinics with my wife, (The Neem Tree) as well owning and running Samera Business Advisors for the last 17 years – advising many NHS and Private dental practices across the UK.

I have made a short video on my view, but also detailed some of my thoughts below:

This is how I see the market will play out.

  1. We all know Dentists were treated abysmally during the lockdown – Misinformation, and poor interpretation of advice
  2. NHS Practices – Personally, I think NHS practices will be in a tougher position going forward. Whilst they have been sent a lifeline of funding for the next 12 months, it’s unlikely, going forward beyond 12 months, the government will treat dentists better than before. Simply put, I think this pandemic could be the final nail in the coffin for NHS dentistry. I believe a core service will be offered by the NHS – but everything else will move private. This is a great opportunity for the government to say no thanks to NHS dentistry, and blame COVID 19, and to paint dentists as the usual greedy profession they always do. You have been warned.
  3. Private practices – Many have experienced a tough time, with misinformation during the pandemic, and many struggling to cash flow their businesses. But assuming there is no further lockdown, in speaking to many private clients, they appear to be busier than ever. Many unhappy ex NHS patients are leaving their NHS practices to find flexible, affordable private practices.

My money is firmly on private practice actually growing post COVID 19. It will certainly mean stepping away from the normal ways of dentistry and will take bold leadership but for those that break away from the remaining shackles of NHS dentistry will be handsomely rewarded if they are bold enough to take necessary steps required. Whilst it maybe tough going as the economy struggles those that adopt a much more commercial approach to their practices have an exciting opportunity ahead of them.

I know it may feel scary, but staying put in NHS dentistry is a much bigger risk in my humble opinion.

Comments always welcomed!