Dentistry: Multiple practice ownership grows by 50 per cent

The number of multiple practice owners in dentistry has grown by 50 per cent since 2015, according to the latest research from business property advisor Christie & Co.

In its 2019 review, the specialist advisors estimate that around 400 practice owners hold more than one site.

Chris Vowles, Head of Valuation Services – Medical at Christie & Co, said: “With an unabated appetite from all lending institutions, the dental market remains buoyant.

“This is helping drive the continued demand from potential operators from both an acquisition and refinance perspective.

“With the continued emergence of private equity platforms and demand, prices achieved will continue to grow.”

The report also highlights a shift towards the private sector to counterbalance the risks associated with the NHS. Despite this, NHS dentistry is still considered attractive for many entering the sector.

Many of these are independent buyers who are less affected by current recruitment challenges, as they will be an owner-principal and directly involved in the performance of the NHS contract.

The report also looked into the recruitment issues facing NHS dentistry, highlighting that recruitment and retention of associates are directly impacting the performance of NHS contracts.

Christie & Co claim that a two-tier market is emerging in the NHS sector, with well-located and/or run practices demonstrating consistent UDA performances are selling for a significant premium.

The British Dental Association said: “The crisis in NHS dentistry is now hitting communities from Cornwall to Cumbria. Underfunding and a failed contract have left dental practices without dentists, and our patients are seeing the result.

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