Dentists hopeful for future but perceived lack of funds biggest obstacle to growth

Dentists in the UK are, in the main, positive about their business prospects over the coming 12 months, but standing in the way of growth is a perceived lack of funds to develop the business in the way they want, according to new research from Braemar Finance.

The findings are based on a survey of eight professions – conducted on behalf of Braemar Finance by Censuswide – involving over 1,000 respondents.

Nearly three in every five (56%) dentists expect their business to perform as it did in the previous 12 months, with 25% hoping to expand their operations.

The remaining 19% anticipate their practices will either contract or close down entirely.

When asked the question ‘from a competitive point of view, what are your main business concerns?’, the lack of funds to develop the business in the way they would like was cited nearly twice as often as the next option, ‘corporate dominance’.

‘Green light sector’

‘Many of the findings are more or less in line with those of the professions sectors as a whole,’ said Aileen Boyle, Braemar Finance managing director.

‘And on the face of it the lack of access to funds could be interpreted as an unexpected finding, particularly since the dental market has been described as a “green light” sector and is currently relatively buoyant.

‘While these are understandable anxieties, they don’t necessarily reflect the true state of the funding market, particularly since there are so many varied and affordable options available today.

‘In addition, uncertainty remains for those NHS dentists who are tendering for contracts with opportunities for some to acquire more UOAs.

‘Equally, some practices may end up losing NHS contracts completely, which gives them an opportunity to convert to private practice.

‘This, however, may require them to spend on upgrading or converting their facilities.’

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