TWO OF the Highland’s most important dental practices – which between them serve a vast portion of North West Scotland – have been acquired by a rapidly-growing Scottish dental group.
Since opening in 2001, M&S Dental Care has become a vital service to Fort William and its surrounding area, realising the vision of its owner Gregor Muir in making both NHS and specialist dental care accessible to everybody in the community.
The practice has subsequently expanded to become one of the largest in the Highlands, with eight surgeries, 10 dentists and one hygienist serving a growing customer base.
Along with its sister practice, M&S Dental Care in Glencoe, which was acquired in 2013, they serve more than 20,000 patients, with some travelling from as far afield as Inverness, Skye, Mallaig and The Trossachs.
Gregor believes the Clyde Munro partnership will bring further benefits to his combined 30-strong team while maintaining the strong culture and identity of the practices.
He said: “This business is deeply personal to me and along with our loyal and driven team we’ve created practices we’re immensely proud of.
“It was so important to them and our customers that we didn’t sell out to a faceless corporate firm that would change our fabric. Unlike many other groups, Clyde Munro is Scotland-specific, so it understands the complex market. The enthusiasm of its team is infectious.
“It is very exciting to now become part of a bigger group as it will provide access to mentoring and the ability to bounce ideas of top operators in the field.”
Glasgow-headquartered Clyde Munro is an entirely Scottish-based and Scottish-focused dental group. Since being founded by Jim Hall in 2015 it has enjoyed rapid growth. This acquisition takes the company’s portfolio to 38 practices.
Speaking on the latest rural acquisition, Jim Hall, said: “Gregor’s ethos is remarkable and it is thanks to his commitment to staff and patients that the practices have become a vital part of the communities they serve.
“We want to help him further still and ensure the North West Highlands benefits from leading dental care for many years to come.”
Gregor, now 49, was just 28 when he acquired his first practice in Fort William, driven in part by his desire to escape his native Glasgow to pursue a highly active lifestyle. Along with his wife, he has since made the town his family home, bringing up three children.
He’ll continue to run the practices and hopes the deal will further enable him to expand the range of services on offer with the support of Clyde Munro’s wider network. The practice already provides a range of procedures from implants to orthodontic work on-site, previously only available in the nearest cities.
Gregor added: “Children were having to take days out of school to travel 60 odd miles to Inverness or Glasgow to receive orthodontics every 10 weeks – which we thought was crazy.
“I must thank the team who have come on this journey with us and enabled us to offer such a high level of service. When I first opened recruitment was a real challenge.
“This was a tough experience but it allowed us to tap into a niche market of dentists who had similar interests, which has helped mould our current staff into a close-knit bunch – since then we started to attract like-minded people.
“We even run an adventure club on a Tuesday – and we can be skiing in the morning before work. It really is a special part of the world.”
Clyde Munro’s ambition is to become Scotland’s “local dentist”, operating an expanding network of family dentists across Scotland, with each devoted to providing the best dental care, while reflecting the needs and character of its community.
With further expansion planned, local practices retain the names and identities they have built over many years while enjoying the benefits of being part of a bigger group.