The dental industry is experiencing a seismic shift in dental practice models.
According to the American Dental Association, while practice ownership rates have been on the decline, group practice affiliation has continued to rise. In 2005, 85% of dentists owned their practice. By 2019 the number had dropped to 76%, with 10% of dentists affiliated with dental service organizations (DSOs).
Everything DSO states that today, approximately 18-20% of dental practices are affiliated with a DSO, and notes that trade insiders predict that by the year 2025, that percentage will grow to 50-65%.
Read on to find out why so many dentists are electing to align with DSOs, how the DSO model works, the advantages it can bring, and how technology can help support the growth and success of dental organizations.
The Dental Service Organization (DSO) business model provides dentists with critical non-clinical business support. By managing the "business side" of running a practice, the DSO model allows dentists to focus on providing quality care to their patients rather than spending valuable time on business functions they don't necessarily have the knowledge, education, or abilities to complete effectively.
For veteran dentists fighting a human labor shortage, or new dentists with large student debts, DSOs alleviate the pressures of administrative tasks while providing oversight and accountability while delivering additional financial benefits.
More simply stated, DSOs allow dentists to spend their time being dentists while they take care of everything else.
Acting as independent contractors, DSOs can be thought of as business support centers that help to facilitate growth and success.
As those in the industry well know, running a dental practice comes with its own set of challenges. The realities of day-to-day life in a dental office can often impede growth and improvements and leave little time for even vital business tasks.
It's no wonder the DSO model is gaining so much traction, with all the serious benefits it provides to practitioners, patients, and investors.
As Helen Keller once said, "Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much." A dental service organization with multiple dentists all serving the same loyal client base is able to unite efforts, divide labor and take advantage of efficiencies of scale for the benefit of all. Its relevance to your specific practice, however, is determined by taking an objective view of your ability to manage patient care, growth, and operational efficiencies.
For dentists with high student loan debt, the DSO model offers a stable, predictable salary with no need to invest in a personal practice. Removing the need to manage and run their own business and worry about things like regulatory compliance also allows practitioners to focus all their efforts on providing top-quality patient care.
For solo private practices or private group practices, the DSO model can take a load off of overburdened shoulders and deliver significant advantages, including:
For example, compared to individual practices, DSO practices are much more likely to spend heavily on Google Ads, and the difference is tenfold when comparing large DSOs to lone practitioners. Only 6% of lone practices are buying Google Ads. Comparatively, 60% of large DSOs commit dollars to buy Google Ads.
Standard, repeatable processes, that optimize outcomes and minimize waste, enable an organization to scale. Method's spend management platform was uniquely designed with this in mind, providing dental organizations with the opportunity to scale quickly by leveraging automation.
Streamlined e-procurement provides DSOs with better visibility and spend control across locations, allowing you to:
From identification of requirements, price shopping, requesting and analyzing quotes, selecting suppliers, entering order requests, approving orders, receiving shipments, and paying invoices— Method was designed to improve the entirety of the end-to-end procurement process.
Designed by procurement experts specifically for the dental industry, Method provides everything you need for effective centralized procurement that delivers operational efficiencies and cost reductions while ensuring your employees remain focused on providing quality patient care.
With Method's full, end-to-end inventory and order management and an easy-to-use interface, ordering dental supplies is straightforward and hassle-free, ensuring quick implementation, high adoption rates, and continued usage across your organization, making for a fast Return On Investment (ROI).
Rest assured, however, Method's customer success team is with you along the way, setting you up for success and staying with you as you grow.
Acting as a true partner, Method will assist you along your procurement journey, helping to guide your transformation as you improve your practice and your profits.
Method Procurement Technologies gives independent dental practices and DSOs the inventory management and procurement capabilities they need to succeed. With our full, end-to-end solution, ordering dental supplies is straightforward and hassle-free.
Learn how Method Procurement's spend management solutions can improve your bottom line. Get in touch with our team today or request a demo to see it for yourself.