Bupa in bid to be largest UK dental chain

Bupa has announced a multi-million pound investment to grow its dental business and become one of the largest private dental chains in the UK by 2015.

The healthcare group plans to add up to 50 additional private dental centres to its existing portfolio, increasing Bupa’s presence in dentistry by as much as five-fold.

The new centres will provide customers with high quality, affordable dentistry in major UK cities. They will be located close to where people work, with appointments available outside of traditional office hours.

Stuart Fletcher is chief executive of Bupa. He said: 'Customers tell us that they want convenient, high quality, good value dental care and this is something that we are able to deliver. Bupa has been in the business of healthcare for over 60 years, and because we have no shareholders, we can invest the money we make into more and better healthcare. This major investment in private dentistry is part of our long-term commitment to investing in healthcare in Britain.'

The private dentistry market is currently worth £2.4 billion. The market is forecast to grow at 2.7% pa over the next five years (1) reflecting the greater numbers of patients visiting a dentist and accessing a wider variety of treatments.

Bupa has operated dental centres in the UK since 1999 and currently looks after around 13,000 people in 11 centres. Bupa also insures or funds over 130,000 dental customers through dental insurance and cash-plans.

1. IBIS World Industry Report, Dental Practices in the UK. April 2012

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