Specialist orthodontic practice re-routes post NHS
Specialist orthodontist, founder of Total Orthodontics, John Costello proves that with a calm, pragmatic approach, an NHS contract loss can breathe new life into a specialist practice and boost profits.
Dentistry runs in the family for John Costello. Founder director of Total Orthodontics Ltd and a specialist orthodontist at the company’s Tonbridge and Sevenoaks practices. Inspired by his father, a dentist who also ran a practice in Kent. John initially studied dentistry at Guy’s Hospital, London and graduated in 1992.
He then spent three years working in hospital posts in oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics in Southampton and south east London. After a spell in a general dental practice and a six-month period spent travelling, he returned to start the three-year postgraduate orthodontic training programme at the Eastman Dental Institute in London.
During his postgraduate years, he completed the Fellowship in Dental Surgery, In 1999, was awarded a Master of Science degree and the Membership in Orthodontics from the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Allowing him to register as a specialist orthodontist with the General Dental Council (GDC).
Founding Total Orthodontics
Shortly after John’s specialisation he co-founded the Total Orthodontics brand. In partnership with fellow specialists, Keith Underwood, Rod Ferguson and Keith Harvey. This was the amalgamation of four current practices in Kent and Sussex. John said, ‘I’ve always been a team player, so when the opportunity arose in 2000 to go into partnership rather than run a practice independently, it was a no-brainer.’
In the following 15 years, the brand opened 11 practices across Kent and Sussex, providing both NHS and private treatments. The partnership tier grew to six with an additional 12 associates, eight therapists and a total of 120 staff. John continued, ‘After a hugely successful...