Why we are different from a High Street dentist
We are different from most High Street dentists as we are mostly a ‘referral’ dental service providing specialist care and expertise to patients most in need. We care for some of the most vulnerable in society and our highly experienced team pride themselves on being able to deal with almost any dental emergency or condition which comes through our doors.
The majority of our patients come to us because they would find it difficult to receive their care from a High Street dentist, perhaps owing to a disability, learning difficulty or behavioural condition, such as dental anxiety.
We also treat patients who need highly specialised or complex care which is not available from their usual dentist. In these cases, patients are referred into our service for a specific course of treatment, and then once completed, they return to receiving their routine care from their own dentist again.
Who are we?
Community Dental Services is an employee owned social enterprise and Community Interest Company formed in 2011 delivering clinical dental and Oral Health Promotion services throughout Bedfordshire, Luton, Suffolk, Thetford, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, Essex and Lincolnshire.
We combine a public service ethos with the innovation and dynamism of a business and emerged with a vision and a belief that being a competitive, well-run and profitable business is the best way of achieving social aims. As a social enterprise we are a business that trades for a social purpose.
We have a clear sense of our social mission which is ‘Improving Oral Health in Ever More Communities’ and we know what difference we are trying to make, who we aim to help, and how we plan to do it.
We make our income through delivering dental care and oral health promotion. Our services are predominantly commissioned by either NHS England and Local Authorities to deliver NHS dental care and oral health promotion advice to a wide range of people across a diverse range of communities. We also offer some privately paid for dental treatments and have a growing ‘Dentist at Home’ mobile service where we offer paid for dental care and home visits to people who find it difficult to travel or to visit a High Street dentist.
We are a trusted health provider and business partner and are a profit making organisation but as a social enterprise we have clear rules about what we do with our profits and ensure we reinvest these to further our ‘social mission’.
Employing 194 people in 36 clinics across Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Thetford in Norfolk, Essex and Lincolnshire, the core business is to provide NHS dental services to vulnerable groups who require special treatment or who find difficulty in accessing High Street dentists. Oral Health Promotion services are provided throughout Bedfordshire, Luton, Suffolk, Thetford, Oxfordshire and Leicestershire.
Employee Owned – Social Enterprise
We are an employee owned social enterprise totally owned by our employees and believe that as co-owners all our employees can share in our social mission and influence the business decisions we make. Because we are run in an open way, with employee elected members on our Board, we all have a strong commitment to our shared corporate social responsibility and involvement with the communities we serve.