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Expansion strategy for Auckland dental practice


Expansion strategy for Auckland dental practice

Prominent Auckland dental practice bites off big expansion strategy

After almost 30 years of putting a smile on the face of Auckland, a landmark dental practice is on an acquisition drive.

Albert Street Dental Care has taken its first step in an ambitious growth programme with the purchase of Takapuna Dental on Hurstmere Road.

The acquisition reflects a shift away from the traditional dental practice model of small stand-alone clinics, or of groupings of clinics in a cooperative or franchise arrangement. In recent years, expanding dental companies in countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia have successfully employed this growth strategy, which mirrors trends in the wider health and well-being sector.

Coinciding with this new approach Albert Street Dental Care, which has become one of Auckland's best-known dentistry names with its hallmark "putting a smile on the face of Auckland" slogan, has undertaken a full-scale rebranding and corporate makeover.

>From today the company will be known as ProudMouth - Caring Dentistry.

ProudMouth's chief executive officer Charles Dawson says the Takapuna acquisition heralds a major leap forward for the company and the New Zealand dental industry.

"Overseas experience has shown acquiring practices is significantly more financially viable than setting up satellite clinics from scratch, or than clinics joining together in a loose and under-capitalised franchise arrangement. Expansion by acquisition allows us to purchase established relationships between patients and their dental professionals as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience," says Mr Dawson.

"The resulting unified ownership and direction enables a consistent service and brand offering, capable management, and sufficient capital to provide leading clinicians with continuing professional development, modern technology and satisfactory rewards."

Mr Dawson says the acquisition approach also provides professional dentists with an element of security they would not enjoy in their own small, standalone practices. Proud Mouth - Caring Dentistry aims to virtually double its patient base over the next 12 months, representing a 10 percent share of the Auckland dental market.

Figures from the New Zealand Dental Association show about 500 dental practitioners in the greater Auckland region.

"Albert Street Dental Care has always been at the fore-front of dentistry in New Zealand and has never shied away from pushing the boundaries," says Mr Dawson. "We are also embarking on a business strategy to drive good at-home and professional preventative oral care and offer leading edge grooming and hygiene services."

The new brand, ProudMouth - Caring Dentistry, is designed to reflect what patients should expect to receive from their dental practice - a healthy, attractive mouth they're proud of, and an oral care experience without concern.

"We are confident our new brand will be well received by our patients and know all staff are excited about the rebranding and what it means for them," he says.

The location descriptor "Albert Street" served the business well in attracting a patient base in the local area, with the convenience of location for city workers and commuters. However it has restricted the business' expansion into other locations and did not deliver the description of performance in the way the group now wants.

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