Owning Multiple Dental Practices: 3 Keys to a Successful DSO

We love showing dental professionals just like you how owning multiple dental practices can be just what the doctor ordered. Following our method of practice expansion has meant, for some dental professionals, expanding without fear of spending their children’s inheritance.

Before we draw the curtains and dim the lights, let’s address a question you might have looming. Why did the DSO (Dental Service Organization) trend of owning multiple dental practices begin in the first place?

What Led the Industry to This Point?

To gain perspective on this, let’s look at the generational transition taking place in the industry.

Transition From Boomers to Millennials

The old guards — Boomer dentists — are retiring. In 2015, 42% of the working dentist population was over 55. The Millennial generation, born between 1982 and 2000, are now entering the dentistry profession in droves.

With this changing of the guard comes some dramatic differences in behavior that, in part, has led the industry to the DSO route. For one thing, the millennial response to the economy has paved the way to the trend of owning multiple dental practices.

The Millennial Response to Our Current Economy

Millennials graduating from dentistry have significantly more debt than previous generations. Student loan debt on graduation in the US surpassed $1 trillion already in 2014. We don’t have to dig too deep to understand why.

  • University tuition skyrocketed by nearly 100% to make up for severe budget cuts.
  • They got 39.7% less from government funding between 1989 and 2012.

By 2016, the average dentist was graduating with $262,119 in debt. One year on and costs overall continue to rise. It makes sense that graduates make initial career choices far differently than graduates 20 years ago.

New dentists today have to choose between two scenarios like these.

  1. Sinking just under $400,000 (the average cost in the US) for a solo practice, plus thousands more for equipment, or
  2. Buying (for far, far less) into a DSO-supported practice with 4 or so other dentists, gaining significant buying power in the process.

Choosing the DSO route makes economic sense. The DSO business model helps dentists with administrative and IT tasks. It cuts costs, and improves job satisfaction and work/life balance.

3 Keys to Owning Multiple Dentist Practices

To gain more insight we listened to our multi-location experts. They have 43 years of collective experience, so we lean in when they speak.

1. Identify the Technology You Need (and Don’t Need) to Scale

  • Assess your technology infrastructure based on what you predict you’ll need now and in the future.
  • Gain visibility of multi-locations from a central location.
  • Enable your team to map out your business journey right up to your destination (your goal).
  • Integrate 100% of your legacy applications, imaging, email, data, and business software in The Complete Cloud™.
  • Prepare for disaster or malware attacks with live-to-the-second, encrypted backup and replication, and storage of your data across multiple data centers.
  • Pay for cloud services only. The Complete Cloud™ provides a powerful engine that runs all the technology you need, including servers, workstations, x-ray machines, intra-oral cameras, practice management, 3D imaging, accounting software, and more.

2. Save With Fixed Monthly Budgets

  • Lower costs when moving IT expenses from capital (CapEx) to operating expenses (OpEx). You no longer have to shell out tens of thousands to buy mainframe computers, servers, software, ongoing upgrades, and more. With The Complete Cloud™, you’ll pay for your data storage, software, and other IT costs as a monthly service.
  • Pay roughly $700 to $900 per computer setup — in the cloud, there’s no more need to load every program onto every computer. As your practice expands, your savings will grow exponentially.
  • Save on administrative costs, like doing updates and backups. These will be done for you in The Complete Cloud™.
  • Save the cost of tracking down records for billing and more. That will be so yesterday!
  • Avoid the risk of overspending after you make the move, as you’ll know your budget.
  • Understand the cost of running your systems, month to month.

3. Show Clients Your Practice Is Patient-Focused

  • Make patients’ lives easier by enabling them to set their own appointments.
  • Improve their care with easy-to-access patient history from any location. When patient history data, including any 3D or x-ray images, are accessible via The Complete Cloud™, viewing those records is simply a click away (eliminating the hassle of creating DVDs, storing printed records and traveling to specific locations to view patient data).
  • Prevent disruption as you continue their dental care throughout your transition.

Ready to Head Down the DSO Throughway?

The state of our economy is not set to change any time soon. But don’t let that stop you from owning multiple dental practices. The cost-effective DSO route fits these economic times.

What’s more, you can reach your goals. Remember that fixed monthly budget? It means you’ll get all the technology you need, accessible via The Complete Cloud™, across multi-locations for a reasonable monthly cost. With no surprises at the end of the month.

Your patients will get a high level of personalized care, in part thanks to innovative technology that allows the sharing of data from and to anywhere. This brand of personalized care is what keeps patients coming back — and spreading the word for you!


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