Small Business: Meet the McDentist

Big in Europe, franchise dentistry has hit U.S. shores. Is this the future?

Americans buy everything from burgers to coffee to karate lessons at franchises. They're convenient, predictable and often cheap. So why not try franchising a service most of us avoid like a trip to the dentist? Actually, it is a trip to the dentist. Meet Vital Dent, purveyors of franchise dentistry.

Standing convention on its head--usually U.S. firms are the ones franchising their businesses in Europe--Vital Dent, based in Las Rozas de Madrid, Spain, launched its first U.S. location in New York City in December 2004. (Privately held Vital Dent operates some 250 offices in Spain, Portugal and Italy, most of them...

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