21 Feb 2020  •  Blog, Dental Landscape  •  3min read By  • John Clarke

Do dentists require a Hollywood investment to recreate the Hollywood smile?

The ‘Hollywood smile’ was once considered only attainable by ‘A-list’ celebrities.

However, fast forward to a new millennium and achieving perfect, dazzling white teeth is now an affordable option for an increasing number of image-conscious patients.

Research conducted by Barclays last year showed that 82% of dentists stated that celebrity culture has rocketed demand for dental work, with almost two-thirds (60%) of patients wishing to copy a specific celebrity smile. Hmm, I’ve always wanted to be Brad Pitt!

2020 could be a pivotal year in UK dentistry, irrespective of whether the long-anticipated NHS dental contract reforms come to fruition. The NHS’ continued dallying has been the catalyst for a shift towards private dentistry and cosmetic treatments which have (according to Out-Law analysis) seen a 300% rise in spending on dental services by UK households since 2005.

Cosmetic dentistry has witnessed an exciting period of advancements following the introduction of new technologies and processes, such as 3D scanning and printing, laser treatments and invisible braces. The possibilities for forward-thinking dentists are endless.

However, the challenge for dental practices to keep up with new innovations and continually enhance their treatments has arguably never been greater from a cost perspective. Without ‘Hollywood’ corporate backing, invariably it is dental practice owners who must pick up the tab when determining which smart equipment investments can improve their practice.

Whether you are spending a pound or £100,000, savvy dental business owners must apply the same logic for any purchasing decision to ensure their practice is set up for success.

  • What is the total cost?
  • What are the cost implications for maintaining old equipment against buying new equipment?
  • How will it improve efficiency and return on investment?
  • How will it appeal to patients and provide better care?
  • How will this investment differentiate my practice and increase my competitive advantage?
With patients willing to pay more, can you afford to invest less?

If you’re not willing to improve what you currently have then you risk losing patients.

But electing to pay for new investments in one lump sum can be cost prohibitive and detrimental to a business’ cash flow. Thankfully, changes in government legislation and the broad availability of alternative finance options mean that dental practice owners do have reasons to smile.

A temporary increase to the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), from £200,000 to £1m, introduced by the Government in 2019 mean that SMEs (including dental practices) have until 31 December 2020 to take advantage of faster tax relief for qualifying purchased assets.

The AIA is a capital allowance which enables businesses to write off 100% of qualifying capital expenditure against taxable profits for the same period which is an effective way for dentists to invest to drive practice growth.

Furthermore, asset finance solutions from specialist providers, enable the cost of specialist dental equipment and technology, including IT software and services, to be spread over a period from one to five years. This ensures ambitious practice owners can access the equipment and technologies they need, when they need them, to preserve cash flow and vital working capital.

So, if transforming your practice is at the top of your 2020 agenda, you won’t need Hollywood-sized pockets after all.

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