The dental industry...

The name pretty much gives this one away... the dental industry is all about dentists! 

At some law firms, you may find that they have a specialist dental sector. The reason for this is that dentistry is not like any other business. It is highly regulated and has unique regulations and laws that apply to it. 

What do the lawyers do?!

Generally lawyers that specialise in 'dental' law will act on behalf of the organisation rather than the individual customer. If there is a legal issue between the dentistry and a costumer, it's very likely that the legal issue will be around service negligence so lawyers acting on their behalf will usually be clinical negligence and personal injury solicitors. 

Typical legal issues that can arise in the dental industry include: 

  • mergers and acquisitions and disposals of dental practises 

  • incorporation of a dental practice partnership 

  • NHS regulatory and contract matters - dental practises take on both private clients and NHS clients 

  • Care Quality Commission regulation and registration - the Care Quality Commission regulate the service of dentists (along with other services such as care homes, hospitals, home services, GPs, clinics, community services and mental health services). As such, if a business offers one of these services, it must register with the CQC and comply with its directions 

  • issues in respect of a dental practitioner being subject to investigation or charged with a disciplinary offence by their regulator or professional body 

  • employment issues 

  • associate and hygienist agreements 

  • property law issues in connection with the actual surgery building

  • data protection issues - dental practises have all their clients personal data!

  • procurement issues (procurement is winning a contract via tendering or a competitive bidding process)

  • finance - dental practises may need loans or other forms of finance to expand or support their practice 

  • dispute resolution - typical issues such as any breaches of contract, landlord disputes, partners in the dental practice retiring or arguing etc. 

Lawyers that have specialist knowledge of the dental industry can practice in either contentious or non-contentious law because the sector includes both elements. (See 'what do lawyers do' portal for the variety of disciplines available). 

 

Accordingly, practice areas that can fall within this sector include:

  • Corporate

  • Finance 

  • Commercial and Intellectual Property 

  • Regulatory and Compliance 

  • Insurance 

  • Tax

  • Employment

  • Real Estate

Clients in this sector...

Clients will include:

  • individual dentists

  • dental partnerships 

  • dental corporations