Managers and leaders

The difference between great leadership and great management

Suki Singh HR and Team Development Leave a Comment

Suki Singh looks at what it means to lead and manage well, and the difference between the two…

Successfully running a business such as a dental practice requires strong leadership and good management. The two are not interchangeable terms, as people sometimes think, and don’t necessarily come from the same person within the practice.

However, great leaders can feel that they also have to be great managers and vice versa, but that often means you end up being neither as it’s an impossible task to wear both hats well. What, then, is the difference between leading well and managing well? And how does that look in a dental practice?

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Your questions answered

How can dentists balance delivering quality patient care while working in a target orientated system?

Nigel Jones NHS Dental Landscape Leave a Comment

I was asked this question by a dentist, and I think it reflects wider concerns among the profession and a feeling they are being asked to perform an increasingly difficult balancing act to achieve conflicting goals.

The desire of dentists to deliver quality care to patients and improve their oral health has been consistent in the 20-plus years I’ve worked with the profession. However, many feel that their hands are often tied in their pursuit of this by targets that do not focus on patient care, but rather measure figures such as patient list size and amount of activity.

To consider this quandary, I asked four industry experts for their views on: How can dentists square a system that feels target orientated with delivering quality patient care?

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teeth whitening

Tooth whitening: Everything you need to know

Harriett Boon Dental Health Leave a Comment

They’re everywhere. Just one quick swipe on social media, one flick of the page in our glossy magazines and the perfect pearly whites of our favourite celebrities are shining bright and dazzling us.

With cosmetic treatments becoming increasingly accessible to us mere mortals, let’s explore the options and try to answer some common questions along the way.Read More


Kevin Lewis: taking more control of the future could lessen anxiety among profession

Nigel Jones NHS Confidence Monitor - Industry comments, NHS Dental Landscape Leave a Comment

Nigel Jones interviews Kevin Lewis about the reasons for dentists’ anxiety around complaints and litigation, and whether there is cause for optimism that this may change…

Anxiety about complaints and litigation is rife among the dental profession, according to the recent Confidence Monitor survey of more than 400 dentists. Whilst many may well have predicted these results, they do provide insight into just how deep these feelings run.

The survey was completed by both NHS and private dentists and showed the majority all have some level of anxiety in this area. In the case of NHS dentists, 95% of respondents said they were ‘anxious’, including 45% who felt ‘very anxious’.

In comparison, 67% of private dentists stated they felt ‘anxious’, including 27% who were very anxious. To explore these worrying findings more deeply, Nigel Jones, Sales and Marketing Director at Practice Plan, asked Kevin Lewis, former Dental Director of Dental Protection, for his thoughts on the results and what they indicate about the profession.


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The importance of listening to your customers

Guest Writer Marketing and Design, Podcasts Leave a Comment

What can happen if pushing the objectives of the practice take priority over listening to what the patients want? Les Jones explains….

What you’ll hear:
  • How your team are your brand as far as the customer is concerned.
  • The dangers of not listening to and understanding your patients’ needs.
  • The extended impact one instance of poor customer service can have.

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Evolution of Brand

The changing brand landscape in dentistry

Les Jones Marketing and Design Leave a Comment

For the majority of my life, I have had no concept of ‘brand’ in relation to a dental practice.


The dentist was…well, the dentist! The person I went to see every six months for about 15 minutes. My practice was close by and my dentist was very pleasant, but my modus operandi was always to get in and get out as quickly as possible without feeling any physical or financial pain.


Outwardly, the practice was quite anonymous – represented by initials, surnames and a list of meaningless (to me) qualifications etched onto a brass plaque that sat at the entrance. The interior was functional but lacking personality and at each appointment I was greeted by my dentist in a mask. My appointment reminders arrived on plain, one colour postcards with a hand-written time and date. There was nothing wrong with the experience (I stayed with the practice for 20 years until my dentist retired), but conversely, there was little that was memorable or worthy of sharing.

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Expert advice from Thomas Coates

How to avoid your Lawyer

Practice Plan Podcasts, Practice Management Leave a Comment

Thomas Coates discusses the measures you should take to ensure that you don’t find yourself in costly disputes with business partners, staff and even family members. He talks about how putting legal agreements in place right from the start is vital and can save headaches, heartache and cost in the long run.Read More

income losses

Has the extreme weather left you facing clawbacks or a loss of income?

Nigel Jones NHS Dental Landscape Leave a Comment

A regular and predictable income is the holy grail for any business and that’s no different for dental practices. Nigel Jones discussed how a dental practice can generate an income, even when they are forced to close or the dentist is away on holiday.

Due to the recent exceptional weather circumstances, many practices have experienced closures and appointment cancellations. I am sure that the majority of dentists did their very best to keep services going in such extreme weather, but through no fault of their own, many are now facing clawback or loss of income amid patient cancellations.

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The dos and don’ts of retirement planning

John Clarke HR and Team Development Leave a Comment

Time-consuming administration, challenging NHS contracts and record practice values have led to an increasing number of dentists looking to retire early, typically between the ages of 50 and 55. Many dentists have an idea of what they would like to do after they finish work but often the hardest decision is the timing of retirement and understanding when they can afford to do so.

If you’re tempted by the prospect of putting your feet up sooner rather than later, it’s important to consider the following factors to enjoy a successful and prosperous retirement.

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How to effectively sell your membership plan

Ashley Latter shares his advice for promoting your membership plan in practice

Practice Plan Podcasts, Practice Management Leave a Comment

Ashley covers all the important things you need to think about when promoting your plan. He explains the importance of ensuring your whole team is clear why you have a plan. He covers what they need to know with regards to the advantages to the business, the team and the patients, and how it fits into your vision for the practice as a whole.
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