Gary Chapman explains why Portman Dental has decided to enter the Scotland market.

Having worked in private corporate dentistry for many years, I’ve seen many things. Some of those were good but some, shall we say, were a bit more wanting. However, when things don’t quite go according to plan, the wise man learns, and I think this is where we stand today.

I’ve had so many people in the industry ask me: ‘Why has Portman come to Scotland to acquire practices?’. The answer is simple – quality, sheer quality.

Scotland has many wonderful, high-end, top quality dental practices that are leaders in the market. They are founded on quality, just like our partners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We are a group unlike any other in the British Isles; we are not chasing the cup of mediocrity and merely going with the flow, supposedly grabbing the ‘secured income’ of the NHS. We are joining together a group of outstanding practices to redefine corporate dentistry.

Moving to Scotland

So our story moves on to March 2018, a month that will be remembered in the history of Scottish dentistry. We were joined by, in my opinion, three of the top practices in Scotland, Edinburgh Dental Specialists, led by Kevin and Susie Lochhead, Care Dental in Crieff, led by Bruce and Christa Strickland and Clifton Dental in Glasgow, led by Allan and Marion Pirie.

I think it goes without saying that we arrived with a bit of a bang in Scotland, and I believe that this has set the tone, desire and direction of the type of practices we want on board in Scotland. Obviously this is subjective, but in my opinion only the best will do.

As I eluded to earlier, we are privately focused, but there are sometimes exceptions and in October last year we were lucky enough to be joined by Caledonian Dental, led by John Cockburn and Mike San. This was a slight departure from our normal acquisitions, but when a practice of such quality comes along, we try our best to secure it; luckily, we did.

Hand in hand with our drive towards quality comes the support that we provide for our clinicians. Portman’s approach is to focus as a business on supporting the specialists, dentists and colleagues in practice, to make their job in this ever-more-competitive field, as easy as possible. We give complete clinical freedom on materials and laboratories to our clinicians, enabling them to do what they have always done with the tools they’ve become accustom to.

Outstanding Business of the Year

So, why Scotland? Well, we are going to build the best and most respected group of practitioners and practices in Scotland. We will aim to set the tone for quality dentistry with the acquisition of the best practices with the nicest practitioners. Our clinical board will be formed for Scotland this year to guide us, help us reaffirm and endorse the practices that join the group. With the help of this group of clinicians, Portman Scotland will blossom into the future and beyond.

In November 2018, we once again won the most prestigious accolade that any business could win. For the second year running, we received the award for the Dental Industry’s ‘Outstanding Business of the Year’. The highest value in the accolade is that it is based on the votes cast by our peers, dentists, hygienists, people that are in the industry, not someone just looking at figures.

Who would have thought that a corporate group could win such an award? It is previously unheard of, but when you work with quality, you become quality.


If you’d like to become part of the ‘Portman family’, call Gary on 01242 896369 or write to him at gec@portmandental.co.uk.