Inspiring success at the 2019 Colosseum Dental UK conference

Colosseum Dental UK hosted its first annual conference in November. Seb Evans went along to find out how things are going for the new dental group on the block.

The percentage of dental practices around the UK owned by a dental corporate is on the rise, experts predict. And with associate dentists making up around 85% of the total dental workforce, at one point or another many dentists might find themselves working for a dental corporate during their career.

Colosseum Dental is one of the newest dental groups out there. After buying out the Southern Dental group in 2017, the team at Colosseum Dental has quickly gone about refurbishing and updating its 70 practices across England. Along with this Colosseum Dental has introduced new procedures and training to help improve the quality of dentistry its dental teams can offer.

Following a year of change, the Hilton Heathrow Terminal 5 played host to the Colosseum Dental UK conference and celebrations. ‘Today is all about getting together after a full year of change,’ Mike Clare, chief operating officer for Colosseum Dental, said. ‘We’re getting together with the Colosseum practice teams, managers, dentists and suppliers. We’re bringing everyone together and talking about Colosseum Dental’s success in the last year, taking feedback, listening to what we need to do better going forward, then acting on that as we go into 2020.’

Colosseum Dental UK
Mike Clare, chief operating officer for Colosseum Dental

Growing Colosseum Dental

Philip Buergin, chief executive officer for Colosseum Dental UK, was first up from the board to speak. He emphasised that the most valuable part of any organisation is its people. ‘At Colosseum Dental we will continue to invest in you,’ Philip said. He also looked back on how the previous year had gone and how Colosseum Dental has gone from a locum-led company to an associate-led company. Despite this, Philip pointed out that recruitment of new associates remains a key goal in the future.

‘Last year was a year of stabilising and investing into the business,’ Philip said. ‘Both in terms of practices and people. We wanted and needed to do that to grow into 2020. Next year therefore will be about growing the business that we currently have. But also bringing in new members to our family. That means acquiring practices, we plan to acquire 10-15 practices next year. We’re planning to really grow the business here significantly. One thing is for sure – this is not the beginning of the end.’

Colosseum Dental UK
Philip Buergin, chief executive officer for Colosseum Dental UK

Climbing the mountain

Eddie Coyle, clinical director for Colosseum Dental, was next up. He compared Colosseum Dental’s ambition – to be the global number one provider of dentistry – to climbing a mountain. ‘Climbing this mountain is not an easy task, but it’s something we’re very eager to do,’ he said. When climbing a mountain, you need the right kit and the right team, Eddie pointed out. That is why this year has been all about putting the right team together and refurbishing the practices to the right standard.

‘For Colosseum Dental, 2019 has been a massive year of building,’ Dr Eddie Coyle, clinical director for Colosseum Dental, said. ‘Consequently, we’ve had a lot of work to do, a lot of good foundations to put in place. This will get us really ready for the future to grow our business. There’s been a lot of clinical standards, operational standards and refocusing on our people. We’ve spent £10 million on making our practices look good and as a result we’re really proud of what our patients can now be treated in.’

Colosseum Dental UK
Eddie Coyle, clinical director for Colosseum Dental

A global leader

Amongst Colosseum Dental’s speakers was also Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of Jacobs Holding and chairman of the board of the Colosseum Dental group as well as Stefan Nilsson, CEO of the leading pan-European Colosseum Dental group. Both highlighted the importance of a successful and growing UK business to become the global leader in dentistry.

Following talks from the board of directors, delegates were given the opportunity to talk to suppliers on a one-to-one basis about their individual needs in the exhibition hall outside. ‘As we go into 2020 we’ll be all about driving growth in Colosseum Dental,’ Mike Clare continued. ‘That’s growth in our people, growth in our practices, growth in seeing more new patients. It’s also growth in terms of acquiring more practices to join the Colosseum Dental family.’


The day of lectures was concluded with a talk from guest speaker, Simon Weston CBE. During his inspirational speech, he spoke about how a bomb exploding during the Falklands War in 1982 dramatically changed his direction in life and perception of himself. He also explained how difficult it was to return home and find direction again in his life. The audience hung on every word Mr Weston CBE said as he showed a video of his rehabilitation and described how he regained autonomy in his life.

‘What a wonderful day today is,’ Claire Dorsett, dual practice manager, said. ‘Colosseum Dental has excelled today. Moreover it is a supportive organisation that shows it cares for staff at all levels. The Colosseum Dental conference showed the open and friendly approach that the CEO and directors have. We are a team striving to work together and the results are evident. It’s a fabulous company to work for.’

Colosseum Dental UK
Simon Weston CBE

Colosseum Dental awards 2019

The evening brought with it a chance for professionals to relax and enjoy some time with colleagues. The awards ceremony recognised and praised those individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond to care for their patients and support Colosseum Dental’s goals. Consequently, this year’s winners are:

  • Practice Team of the Year – Stoke Newington Dental Clinic
  • Value Award for Entrepreneurship – Gillian Field, contracts administrator and Momena Khatun, practice manager, Wood Green Dental Clinic
  • Value Award for Collaboration – Sue Nelson, facilities manager and Kevin Folkes, dual-site practice manager, Preston Park/Wellsbourne Dental Clinics
  • Award for Care – Zoy Erasmus, associate dentist, Church Hill Dental Clinic
  • Value Award for Passion – Ryan Harford-Rothwell, dual-site practice manager, Lower Hayes/Welldene Dental Clinic and Rachel Bentley, practice manager, Mansfield Road Dental Clinic
  • The Tracy Cheek Award for Excellence in Compliance – Sophie Williams, dental nurse, Allington Dental Clinic
  • Award for Good Neighbour – Broxtowe Lane Dental Clinic.

Colosseum Dental UK award winners

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