Publisher’s Letter

All Eyes on Smaller, Emerging Dental Group Practices

Bill Neumann
Bill Neumann

We talk a lot about the large groups and DSOs. These “elite” DSOs have big marketing and PR departments, and we tend to hear a lot about what is going on within these organizations. What we do not always know is what is happening with the smaller emerging group practices. Emerging groups are:

  • Three-plus location practices, run by clinicians, who are usually quietly growing their presence in their given geographic market
  • Multispecialty, full service dental practices that are popping up all over the country
  • Smaller DSOs that may be just starting to gain scale.

Why do I bring up these emerging groups? It seems like everyone is starting to pay attention to them.  According to Dr Kenneth Sadler, President of the AADGP, the AADGP’s most recent dental group expo in February had the most exhibitors in the expo’s history.  Yes, the AADGP dental group attendees and members tend to be emerging dental groups practices. The AADGP members are typically these smaller, emerging groups. Private Equity has also had their eyes on some smaller group practices that they can acquire and then add a DSO structure to before they then start to scale up. For quite a while, existing large DSOs have focused on group affiliation vs. solo practice acquisitions.

I recently co-hosted a DSO educational workshop with Dr. Anthony Stefanou in New York City. It was our first ever DSO workshop for the dental industry. The audience was made up of dental manufacturers, service providers and distributors. What we determined for many of the attendees was that the best strategy for them was to focus on the smaller, emerging groups, form relationships with them and grow as the group flourishes, rather than a strategy focused on the larger DSOs. In the next issue of Efficiency we will provide a full recap of the event.

For various reasons, different players in the industry are now hyper focused on the smaller dental group practices. They are trying to figure out who these emerging groups are, where they are located, and what their model looks like. In future issues of Efficiency in Group Practice we will begin to profile some of these emerging dental group practices.

Small, medium, emerging, established, elite, whatever type of dental group you may be, we certainly have some great topics in this issue of EfficiencyEfficiency examines dental group legal issues with Stuart Oberman, Esq. We also delve into dental insurance challenges and opportunities with input and advice from Doyle Williams, DDS, VP Carrier Relations and Insurance Operations at Aspen Dental Management, Inc. Great Expressions Dental Centers and the Dental Advisor help us take on the topic of innovations. We determine and define what exactly innovation is and how it can be imperative to a DSO.

Happy Spring,

Bill Neumann

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