Dynamic Dental Partners Group intends to keep its patients a long time
Dynamic Dental Partners Group has 40 groups and is growing. And the Palmetto, Fla.-based DSO is interested in attracting more doctors who subscribe to the company’s model of lifetime care.
The company’s history dates back to 1989, when Alex A. Giannini, DDS, founded Comfortable Care Dental Group’s initial office. Giannini (who today is CEO of Dynamic Dental Partners Group) practiced dentistry in Florida for nine years, during which time he co-owned and managed seven dental practices. In 1997, he and George Strickland, DDS, formally started a dental practice management company. While assisting dentists to restore their practices back to financial health, the company evolved and became the basis from which Giannini developed management techniques to enable the client/owner/doctor’s recovery.
Subsequently, Giannini, along with Senior Executive Armando J. Yanez, partnered with Strickland, Dr. Eric Kerbs, Dr. James Rice, Dr. William D’Aiuto and Dr. Bryan T. Marshall – founder of American Health Care, a Florida-based company he grew from two locations with three doctors to ten locations with 33 doctors from 1995 to 2005 – to create Dynamic Dental Partners Group.
‘A new type of company’
“Their goal was to create a different, new type of dental group practice company,” explains DDPG President and Chief Operating Officer Marvin Terrell, speaking of DDPG’s founders. At first, they elected to primarily manage practices. But the model changed, so that today, the company focuses on acquiring practices.
In order to support this buy-and-build strategy, DDPG partnered with Huron Capital Partners in 2013, a middle-market private equity firm based in Detroit, Mich. Through Huron Capital’s strategic connections and industry experience, Dynamic Dental Partners Group expanded its national reach and today owns practices in Florida, Arizona and Virginia.
Terrell joined DDPG in 2013 with more than 25 years experience in many facets of the dental industry. Born and raised in rural Ashburn, Ga., he began his dental career with Wells Fargo in the area of medical/dental equipment leasing. In 2001, he joined Professional Dental Technologies (Prodentec), for whom he served as vice president of new business development. (Prodentec was acquired by Zila Pharmaceuticals in 2006, which, in turn, was acquired in 2014 by DenMat.) For the five years prior to 2013, Terrell helped a variety of dental-related companies build their sales and marketing teams.
Dynamic Dental Partners Group differentiates itself from other dental services organizations with its unique care model, says Terrell. “We offer the opportunity for doctors to work with us and provide what we call lifetime care. We concentrate on taking the patient from Day 1 through their entire lifetime. Once you’re a patient, you always are.”
The approach is part of DDPG’S doctor-led approach to dental services, he continues. “While we acquire the offices, we provide support to the doctors so they can practice the type of dentistry they want to provide. For example, if the doctor wants to learn how to perform endo procedures, we provide classes to give them that opportunity. They don’t have the financial outlay they otherwise would have, and they have the opportunity to put into practice the experience they have gained from these classes.”
Dr. Strickland, who serves as DDPG’s chief clinical officer, conducts doctor-led meetings on a regular basis, says Terrell. “These meetings are strictly clinical, and they speak to how we strive to provide lifetime care to our patients.
“Doctors want to provide clinical care to their patients, and the only thing that will stop them from doing so is a lack of resources.” The classes fill that gap.
By necessity, DDPG’s lifetime care model incorporates hygiene, says Terrell. “If you don’t start with hygiene and then move to restorative care, you won’t have that lifetime care model.” That’s why DDPG provides coaching on both hygiene and restorative care, that is, addressing the patient’s oral health prior to beginning restorative work.
Forming a DSO today comes with a set of challenges, says Terrell, including a plethora of new entrants and some bad press too. “The challenges we have are the same that everyone has – making sure we have the right doctors who have the same clinical mindset that the company has. We want to make sure the dental industry is represented the best way we can, providing the best care to patients.”
Patients come first
DDPG’s “I Care” program should help. “The concept is that everybody who comes into contact with our patient shows that they care about them,” Terrell explains. “Their message is, ‘I care about you, this is what I will do for you.’ If we need to come in at 7 p.m., if we need to miss lunch, if we need to meet a patient at the office, we’re here to do that for them. This goes from our corporate office, to the doctors and hygienists, all the way to our patients.”
The point is, the patient’s goal comes first, that of the practice, second.
“We want our patients healthy, happy and here.”
African-Americans and the dental industry
Dynamic Dental Partners Group President and COO Marvin Terrell has an interest in promoting opportunities for minorities – particularly, African Americans. That’s why he is a supporter of the National Dental Association.
With roots dating back to 1900, the National Dental Association “promotes oral health equity among people of color by harnessing the collective power of its members, advocating for the needs of and mentoring dental students of color, and raising the profile of the profession in our communities,” according to the association’s website.
“There aren’t a lot of people of color in the business, specifically, African Americans,” says Terrell. One can find multicultural doctors and hygienists throughout the country, he points out. “But in terms of the dental industry – the vendor side, the DSO side – it’s not as well-represented as I would like to see. We need to get the word out.” Organizations such as the National Dental Association can help.
Terrell hopes that NDA will be recognized by the dental community as an organization with the same level of responsibility and expertise as other dental organizations, including the American Dental Association.
“That will give people of color more exposure to the opportunities that are available in the dental industry, and give the dental industry the opportunity to have more people available who are more than qualified to hold the positions that are opening up.
“This business is getting more and more challenging. As we look for new and better ways to operate and compete, why not [pursue] diversity – look for people with diverse backgrounds who can help contribute to that goal. Our patients are everybody; our offices, vendors and DSOs should represent the people we’re servicing.”
National Dental Association: Its mission
The goals of the National Dental Association are to:
- Improve the delivery of oral health care in underserved communities.
- Improve the educational opportunities of minorities underrepresented in the oral health field.
The specific objectives of the NDA are to:
- Establish the NDA as the vanguard of oral health in communities of color.
- Perpetuate the tradition and upgrade the stature of African American dentists in service to the minority community.
- Increase the number of minorities in dentistry in areas of private practice, academia, administration, research, health policy, media advocacy and the armed services.
- Provide members with opportunities for continued education, collaborative research, leadership training and business networking.
- Inform health policy, interface with legislators, and influence legislation that affects minority consumers and providers.
- Support members in transition from dental student to dental professionals to retirees.
- Strengthen alliances with other health organizations, community groups, national coalitions and corporations committed to the NDA ideals.
Source: National Dental Association, www.ndaonline.org