A NEW dental group has been launched which aims to help over 100 dentists set up their own practice using a unique Joint Venture Model that allows Dentists to operate from a brand new practice for a minimum cash outlay. Dentist Direct has been formed to offer dentists a route towards running their own business, opening practices throughout the UK in prime arterial road locations with high visibility signage and car parking. The company, spearheaded by award-winning dentist Dr Ken Harris, provides practitioners with the support of commercial experts to look after all non-clinical back office functions. While the dentists are afforded the time they need to look after patients, Dentist Direct will manage the administrative paperwork, HR, finance, compliance, property and marketing duties needed to run a successful practice. Dentist Direct have secured a significant funding line from Natwest Bank to support the opening of 100 practices within the next five years. Meanwhile, the company itself will create 70 new jobs at its headquarters in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham. CEO Paul Moore said: “We were inspired to set up Dentist Direct to provide outstanding service and value to the public utilising the latest dental techniques and technologies, we aim to make Dentist Direct the brand of choice for all patients.” “Dr Ken Harris’ professionalism and award-winning dentistry and the way he cares about changing the lives of his patients inspired the team to give the public a higher level of dentistry at a price they can afford.” Dr Harris added: “We understand that business requirements can create stress and take dentists away from their personal responsibilities. We want to support them with our unique opportunity for them to become their own boss while maintaining a healthy work life balance. “Within three months, together with support from Dentist Direct, practitioners could own a new practice fitted with high quality equipment, with the freedom to utilise their time how they want to, it’s a no brainer!.” As well as the support of highly specialised experts, each clinic opened under the Dentist Direct banner will have access to revolutionary dental technology known as Waterlase. The hard tissue laser technology allows dentists to perform many traditional dental procedures with less anaesthesia, while reducing patient anxiety, minimising pain and trauma and creating a more comfortable experience for patients. It is one of the most unique and underutilised pieces of technology in the UK dental market and, according to Dentist Direct, will help to bridge the gap between dentistry in the UK and in America, where Waterlase has swept the country. Dentist Direct’s practices are run as a joint venture partnership, with individual practitioners making a small capital outlay in return for their own fully fitted out facility, access to ongoing training and development and all the back office support they need on a daily basis. Each of the partners will also have access to a state of the art dental academy, which is headed up by Dr Harris – winner of an impressive six awards at the 2011 Smile Awards including Best Conservative Ceramic Smile and Generosity of a Smile.