Q: In 2016, DENT ESTET was taken over by MedLife. Are acquisitions the new normal in the dental industry?
Dr. Oana Taban: We can talk about such a market tendency, but mostly because the private medical market represents a role model for the dentistry market and on the healthcare segment the number of acquisitions has grown a lot. When we founded in 2013 the Association of Dental Office Managers (ADOM) and the school for Dental Office Managers we knew that this would be the beginning of a revolution on the Romanian private dental practices market. Higher quality services and a personalized management system create a whole new perspective on every medical business. If not long ago, most of the entrepreneur-doctors would open a clinic only to have a place where they could work, nowadays there are more and more entrepreneurs who see it from a business perspective, with growth potential. It’s premature to talk about a new model in the dental industry, but there are clinics that aim at being part of a complex organization, for sure.
Regarding the merge with MedLife, we are glad that we can set an example in the dentistry market.
Q: How do you think consumer spending will evolve in the dentistry sector, in 2016?
Dr. Oana Taban: I think that the trend of investing wisely and well informed will continue to grow. As I declared before, the benefit of the economic crisis (if we have to name one) is that people tend to do more research and to choose premium treatments that can offer the feeling of safety. The guaranty of a well prepared medical team, of performing technology and great dental materials sets the extra value that people are willing to pay. When it comes to our health, choosing a low price treatment means, in most of the cases, choosing a low quality treatment with negative effects in time. And we never want that.
Q: 2016 is forecasted to be the best year for DENT ESTET since its founding (after having reached over EUR 5 million). As part of a larger company, is it easier or harder to grow?
Dr. Oana Taban: As I’ve mentioned before, we have grown organically and we have the know-how and a great management, administrative and medical team to reach our objectives. What I can tell you is that we will fulfill the promise of opening another dental clinic by the end of this year and will also continue the educational programs that we have launched many years ago. From a general point of view, it’s always easier to grow as part of a larger company, but only if you have the same values and the same business vision.
Q: What are the main opportunities and challenges for your sector, in 2016?
Dr. Oana Taban: One of the main opportunities comes from another segment of the market, regarding dental management education. We will focus on growing our Dental Office Management School, and this fall will have our first educational program outside Bucharest. There have been a lot of requests lately from doctors and dental clinic owners from all around Romania, and we have decided to honor them by teaching in Sibiu. We will work a lot to maintain our leading position not only on the dental services sector, but also on the dental office management market.
Q: Which are the latest trends in the dental sector? What do consumers expect from the healthcare system in 2016?
Dr. Oana Taban: There are a lot of trends in esthetic dentistry, but the main focus is on creating materials and technology that can offer natural, bio-esthetic solutions. This means that more and more people come in requesting a beautiful, bright smile, and afterword they find out that they need other treatments. The good thing is that their expectations are higher and they tend to choose multidisciplinary clinics, where every doctor is specialized in a different dentistry branch. We were the first in Romania to introduce this overspecialized American model and we knew that this will be the future of dentistry worldwide.
Q: From an executive point of view, taking into consideration ‘the new business equation’, what are the most important variables for the dental sector, in Romania? What about for the health sector?
Dr. Oana Taban: I think that the key for success, for every dentist, is to focus on his or her career; to focus on the relationship with the patients and on constantly improving the treatment techniques by participating all the time to trainings abroad. This is why a great dentist and owner of a dental clinic who still practices medicine should hire a specialized manager. A Dental Office Manager, recruited from a non-medical team most of the times, has the responsibility of taking care of all the administrative aspects and growing the business.