Dentists dip in confidence

17 June, 2019 / infocus

Business confidence among dentists has dropped slightly in the past year, according to Lloyds Bank’s healthcare index.

However, three-quarters (74 per cent) of dentists are forecasting growing profits, and only one-in-20 (7 per cent) expect their profits to fall in the next year. Growth is likely to be more organic than in recent years, it said, rather than through acquisition or adding associates.

Respondents described an increasing struggle with recruitment, with a third (32 per cent) reporting that recruiting new dental associates is a time-consuming issue, while a similar proportion (35 per cent) say they get plenty of applicants but not always of the quality they are seeking. A majority (59 per cent) said Brexit will have a negative impact on their business.

I think we'll see more practices investing in the non-NHS side of their business

Johnny Minford, Minford Chartered Accountants

More positively, very few dentists expect practice goodwill values to fall over the next 12 months, with more than nine in 10 (92 per cent) predicting they will stay the same or increase.

“I think we’ll see more practices investing in the non-NHS side of their business by broadening the range of services they offer as a way of attracting more patients and growing revenues,” said Johnny Minford, of Minford Chartered Accountants. “That could mean offering a wider range of specialist treatments, such as implantology and contemporary techniques of restorative dentistry.”

The expectation of a large increase in financial pressures has decreased over the past five years (from 41 per cent in 2015 to 21 per cent this year), and three-quarters (74 per cent, up from 62 per cent in 2015) would now recommend the profession to a friend or family member

“Overall, I think the sector has turned a corner and most dentists are now well-placed for future growth,” added Johnny Minford.

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