Industry News

Smile Brands affiliates with two-location practice in Illinois 

Smile Brands (Irvine, CA) announced it has partnered with Burmeister Atteberry Family & Cosmetic Dental (Decatur, IL). The existing dental team and staff will remain with the office and the business will continue to operate under the name Burmeister Atteberry Family & Cosmetic Dental. Dr. Chad Burmeister founded Burmeister Atteberry Family & Cosmetic Dental in 2001. He currently leads a staff of nine. The Decatur location also includes associate Dr. Cale Atteberry, who leads a staff of five. Through the partnership, Smile Brands will provide administrative support and services to the practice including purchasing, payroll, accounting, IT, billing, facilities management, and marketing.

Heartland Dental names Stacy DeWalt as chief marketing officer 

Stacy De Walt

Heartland Dental (Effingham, IL) announced the hiring of Stacy DeWalt as the organization’s EVP, Chief Marketing Officer. As Chief Marketing Officer, DeWalt is responsible for revenue growth by leveraging marketing and business strategy to optimize internal processes and help propel the dental support organization (DSO) into its next phase of growth. DeWalt brings more than 20 years of leadership experience spanning public and private equity environments in financial services, gaming, education, and technology services for brands including One Main Financial, Quicken Loans, Isle of Capris Casinos, and Learning Care Group.

Washington state experiencing staffing shortages for hygienists, assistant positions 

Washington state is currently undergoing a massive dental staffing shortage, reports the Everett Herald. Those shortages are reportedly leaving dentists overwhelmed and undermanned. A survey released in February by the state’s dental hygienist and dental association outlined the significant demand. More than 900 open hygienist positions were reported statewide with only about 220 hygienists actively seeking employment. Dental assisting had more than 1,100 openings and fewer than 200 qualified folks in search of a job. On average, hygienist jobs are open for more than four months before being filled, and assistant positions are open for about three and a half months, the herald says. The article, which shares the struggles of many area practices, notes that the problem is partly due to the requirements of the job, namely the requisite degrees, training and licensing. Several dentists in the article express concern that the competition fueled market is unsustainable and worry that that longer the issue persists, the higher costs will be passed along to patients.

GPS Dental acquires three practices in Q1 2021

GPS Dental LLC (Jonesboro, AR), a DSO backed by The Firmament Group, has partnered with three dental practices during the first quarter of 2021: 

  • ADC of Joplin (Joplin, MO)
  • Hermitage Dental Group (Nashville, TN)
  • Walnut Ranch Dental Spa (Ardmore, OK)

GPS is led by experienced dentists and DSO operators Dr. Hunter Smith and Dr. William Little, who co-founded the company in 2015. Firmament initially invested in GPS in December 2020 and has provided additional capital to support the company’s acquisitions during the past quarter. GPS is a DSO provider that manages 20 dental practices in Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, and Oklahoma. GPS offers a variety of management services to its practices, including billing and accounting, patient scheduling assistance, HR functions, marketing, and insurance.

Henry Schein One announces new Dentrix Imaging Center 

Henry Schein One (American Fork, UT), a subsidiary of Henry Schein, Inc., and leading provider of dental practice management, patient engagement and demand creation software solutions, announced the launch of Dentrix Imaging Center, an integrated imaging module that allows dental professionals to manage all images from within Dentrix versions G7.3 or higher. The Dentrix Imaging Center offers robust imaging software features in one solution, giving dentists a single, seamless imaging workflow inside the Dentrix practice management system, reducing the time needed to switch between the imaging software of various other providers. Dentrix Imaging Center is a universal, open architecture dental imaging solution, capable of acquiring, analyzing and storing intraoral, 2D, 3D, panoramic, cephalometric and CAD/CAM images from a broad range of imaging hardware. 

ADSO names new executive director 

The Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) announced that the ADSO Board of Directors selected Andrew Smith as its next executive director. Succeeding Chris Badgley as executive director, Smith begins his position at the ADSO effective immediately. In his new role, Smith will represent the DSO industry to policymakers and other key stakeholders to ensure that DSO-affiliated dentists can operate in a practice environment that allows them to receive the support they need. Smith served as executive vice president of government relations and external affairs for Parallel (formerly Surterra Wellness) where he managed the state and federal government relations teams, served as the company’s chief advocate and spokesperson to policymakers and regulators, and led the company’s advocacy and communications goals in the public affairs space.

Elite Dental Partners names new director of dental hygiene

Trish S. Keena

Elite Dental Partners (Chicago, IL) announced that Trish S. Keena has joined the company as director of dental hygiene. As director of dental hygiene, she will support hygienists and the doctors they work with across the organization as they deliver high quality services to patients. Elite Dental said Keena will also establish a comprehensive soft tissue health program in the growing organization. Keena most recently was an executive account manager at OraPharma, a specialty dental pharmaceutical division of Bausch Health US, LLC. She supported improved patient care through product education and systems implementation, helping dental offices achieve their clinical goals. 

Aspen Dental opens 24th practice in North Carolina 

Aspen Dental opened a new office in Wake Forest, North Carolina. This is the 24th Aspen Dental practice in the state of North Carolina. Located at 12612 Capital Blvd, the office is led by Dr. Mohammad Spouh, who received his DDS degree from Indiana University. Dr. Spouh and his team will provide a full range of dental services ranging from preventive care and general dentistry to dentures and restoration. 


2021 DEO Summer Summit 

June 11-12, 2021


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2021 DEO Fall Summit

Nov. 11-13, 2021

Orlando, Florida

2021 Definitive Conference for Dental Service Organizations 

July 28-30, 2021

Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Colorado

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