Learning the business of dentistry – British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show

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  Posted by: Dental Design      2nd August 2019

The business side of dentistry is increasingly important. A well-run, profitable practice, that is focussed on where it wants to be, is the foundation for providing optimal patient care and a high-quality service.  

The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2019 covered the business of dentistry in series of informative sessions and panel discussions on a range of timely topics. On Friday morning, the question being asked to a panel including Bethany Rushworth, Karl O’ Higgins and Chris Barrow was “What Is The Future Of Dentistry?”

A stimulating discussion ensued. Bethany was clear that although we will not be seeing the end of NHS dentistry any time soon, patients are becoming more mindful of about going outside the NHS for certain treatments, like aesthetic procedures. Other topics covered were the profession’s concerns about increased regulation, with Chris being clear that he believes regulation is a goodthing, although he conceded that there are sometimes problems with its delivery. Other key moments were when the Chair asked who in the audience was worried about out litigation – there was a large show of hands – with all panellists agreeing that the quality of note-taking is the key to protecting yourself and your patients. Digital dentistry was also discussed (“anything that enhances what we see, will enhance treatment,” said Karl) and skill mix.

All in all, this was a brilliant session that was very well received. Dr David Hanna, from Lisburn Dental Clinic, said

“It gave me a great viewpoint into the future of dentistry – it made me think about where I need to be in the next five to 10 years.” GDP Claire Roberts called it “informative and enjoyable, touching on many current issues”.

Over in the Business Skills Workshop, Carlos Clark from Rodericks Dental discussed “The Early Years in Practice… What Next In Your Career Pathway?” Carlos covered the advantages to joining a corporate, including more clinical support, modern practices, a ready-made work network and in-house CPD. The opportunities to shadow other specialists was also highlighted. Carlos broke down many of the misconceptions surrounding corporates and the audience walked away with much food for thought.


Delegate Asiwarya Ajith, dentist from Nickolas Burnett Dental Practice, commented:

“The sessions provided good information. I didn’t realise the extent of the internal framework within a group.”

Also in the Business Skills Workshop, Dominic Haslam from Dental Focus looked at how to win at Facebook and Instagram – another topic that one delegate readily admitted is “a complete minefield to me!” Managing social media does take time and effort, Dominic agreed, but he compared it to going to the gym in that effort brings big rewards. Facebook and Instagram are important because they can increase brand awareness, engagement with patients and their overall satisfaction, he said. Dominic discussed how both platforms could work for practices – Instagram, a visual platform with a younger demographic may be more suitable for showcasing facial aesthetic treatments, for example, whereas a Facebook page should be like a micro website for the practice, he said.

Marketing expert Malcolm Counihan went on to discuss how to stop wasting money on bad marketing. It’s all about getting your practice found, he said, and his maxim is “do it once and do it well”. He discussed the importance of local keyword analysis and also how emotion connects people, using examples of videos he has created for practices, which showed patients discussing the life-changing impact of their treatment in a moving way. One delegate, who works at an orthodontic practice, said “the presentation was very useful. It highlighted the marketing tools that I am using properly and the ones that I need to improve on.”

A highlight in the Dental Business Theatre – presented by Practice Plan – was a panel featuring Eddie Crouch, Paul Worskett and Simon Thackeray about “What Next For NHS Dentistry?” With great questions, thought-provoking answers (one panellist asked the audience to consider the difference between what patients won’t and can’t afford), delegates were challenged and stimulated.


About the session, GDP Harriet Willings said:

“It was interesting to hear different opinions from people working in different areas of dentistry.”

Other stimulating sessions in the Dental Business Theatre included how to maximise the value of a practice, HR and employment law and CQC compliance.

When people weren’t participating in sessions, they could spend time on the trade floor, gathering new ideas to take back to practice. The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show wasn’t just about work, though, as the hall was buzzing with the sound of networking. Some delegates also attended the Dental Awards on Friday night, celebrating the outstanding achievements of individuals and groups in the past year.

Dentistry is a business and the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show showed anyone working in the dental field how they can improve their business knowledge to boost their own skill set, increase their practice’s bottom line and – most importantly – enhance patient care.


The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show, co-located with DTS.


For all the latest information on the next event, visit www.thedentistryshow.co.uk, call 020 7348 5270 or email dentistry@closerstillmedia.com



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