Daily we read bad press about dentistry and listen to tales of regulatory woe.

Yesterday I attended a complimentary face to face meeting with a Millennial dentist who has bought his first practice from a retiring Boomer.

The place needs a huge amount doing to it, not the least of which is to replace the “hatch” through which dentists communicate with the receptionist (and about which we both enjoyed a giggle).

My Antiques Roadshow head dates the place at 1998.


His passion to extend, modernise, instal software (for the first time), replace equipment, refurbish, rebrand and retrain the existing team – is infectious.

We talked about his plans for the next 5 years, both personally in terms of post-graduate training and professionally in terms of practice development.

He is married with a young child, building a career and a business – with the biggest smile on his face that I’ve seen for many days.

I came away from the meeting energised and mentally postponing my retirement for a further 25 years.

He is just starting a journey.

He can’t afford a business manager and has to do everything himself. He can’t afford any serious external marketing just yet.

He has attended Ashley’s course and is successfully up-selling private treatment to his mainly NHS patient list – they are loving him as he is a local lad.

I told him that he doesn’t need me as a business coach for at least another 12 months – it would be a waste of his money until then – but that in there meantime we should keep connected and we agreed to chat every quarter informally so that I can keep an eye on his progress.

I also advised him to “join in and not just join” the various trade associations and conferences at which he will be able to sit on the shoulders of giants both clinically and in business, to visit with experienced Principals and ask them “how they did it” and to take further post-grad courses.

This chap has the X-Factor and will go far – just you wait and see.

There is hope.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.