Category: Editorial

5 Ways To Keep Your Private Practice Competitive: The Trend Toward the DSO Business Model

By William S. Barrett, Esq., CEO, partner and co-chair, National Dental Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett PC.

The increasing expansion of dental support organizations (DSOs) has become a polarizing topic in the dental industry over the last several years—some professionals credit DSOs as being a useful tool in the practice of dentistry, while others blame the DSO business model for destroying dentistry as we know it.

Despite this back and forth, the DSO model continues to be a popular and growing option for many dental practitioners. According to the American Dental Education Association, in 2021, 18.1% of dentists intended to work in DSOs immediately after graduating dental school, while the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute reported that 10.4% of all dentists in 2021 were already affiliated with a DSO.

Based on current trends, these numbers will only continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Declining insurance reimbursements and regulatory changes will favor larger organizations with more available capital, and well-documented changes within the industry will also drive consolidation.

As time goes on, even established individual practices may find it difficult to compete against DSOs for talented dental associates because of the DSOs’ abilities to offer higher guaranteed compensation and robust benefit packages.

Further, in exploring potential practice exit strategies at the time of retirement, even the most established and independent private practitioner dentists might find that selling to a DSO provides the most practical exit strategy because their access to capital and debt is more advantaged than that of most individuals. This is especially true in very large practices with multi-million-dollar valuations.

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Espire Dental Acquires Colorado-Based Meadows Dental Group, Expanding To 20 Practices

Rallyday Partners | Purpose | Rallyday PartnersEspire Dental, a fast growing, doctor-led Integrated Dental Organization (IDO), is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of Meadows Dental Group in Lone Tree, CO. Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Denver, CO, Espire Dental currently has 20 practices located throughout Colorado, California, Oklahoma and Wyoming.

The company is actively seeking and acquiring practices with a clinical philosophy that focuses on the patient experience, while placing significant emphasis on elevated, quality clinical care and true employee fulfillment. The addition of this new Colorado practice bolsters Espire’s position in the Denver market while broadening the quality of dental care available to patients throughout the state.

Tim Hill, CEO of Espire Dental, is excited about the alignment with the new practice. “It’s wonderful to partner with a practice and team as committed to excellent patient experience and elevated clinical care as we are. This highly visible location fits perfectly within our existing footprint in Denver, and we are excited to work together with Drs. O’Leary and Peppler to elevate the quality of dental care for more patients in the southern part of town.”

Dr. Joseph O’Leary, D.D.S., is the founder of Meadows Dental Group. He and his partner Dr. Scott Peppler have assembled an excellent team of doctors and team members to serve the south Denver Metro area and their practice is a natural fit with Espire. “I knew very early after meeting the team at Espire, that they were the best fit for our practice, team and patients. We are proud to be joining with a great business partner who will not only help our practice grow, but will support the elevation of our patient experience as well,” said Dr. O’Leary said.

Espire Dental provides world-class support in operations, clinical training, human resources, marketing and finance, allowing Espire’s dentists to focus all their attention on patient care and elevating their clinical team members’ everyday experience as a valued employee. For Tim Hill, the idea of providing business support to practices while also driving elevated patient and team experiences, is what makes Espire different from other support partners.

Delta Dental Report Finds Many Are Unaware of Connection Between Poor Oral Health and Serious Medical Conditions

Top 129 Complaints and Reviews about Delta Dental | Page 2

Delta Dental released the 2022 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report, a nationwide analysis of consumer opinions and behaviors relating to oral health. Findings from the Delta Dental-commissioned research of U.S. adults and parents of children ages 12 and younger illuminate what they thought about their oral health and what they did to properly care for it at home and with their dentist during 2021. A few highlights from this year’s report include:

Public interest prevails in getting smarter about oral health’s link to better health

Visits to dentist on the rise

New research finds 9 in 10 U.S. adults want to learn about oral health’s critical connection to overall health.

“While our survey indicates that most adults and parents across the United States understand that oral health is critically important to overall health, it appears that most don’t fully realize the ways oral health is linked to serious health issues. Unfortunately, this lack of understanding isn’t surprising, as people often think of the mouth and body as two distinct parts,” said James W. Hutchison, President & CEO, Delta Dental Plans Association. “One way we continue to partner with the public on their journey to better health is by maintaining our commitment to elevate their awareness of the essential role of oral health.”

To read the full 2022 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report and learn more about the report’s methodology and findings, click here.

About the research

The 2022 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report is based upon Delta Dental-commissioned research conducted between January 19 and January 28, 2022, by Material, a global insights and strategy consultancy, using an email invitation and online surveys to two audiences recruited through an opt-in panel:

Quotas were set to ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. population of adults and parents with children ages 12 and younger. The report has a margin of error of +/- 3%.

Viper Equity Partners Rises To More than $300 Million Value In Q1 2022

Viper Equity Partners Celebrates A Successful String of Marquis East ...The consolidation of the dental industry has been growing steadily over the last 20 years. Today, 30% of americas dentists have joined one of the 600 DSOs making it the most active market in healthcare. Deal values based on EBITDA have risen above 11x for marquee single offices.

Old-school bloated DSOs have given way to progressive new players with partnership models that have structures favorable to the selling doctors. These groups offer the doctors higher front-end cash with equity rolls that really pay off at recaps or the doctors’ exit. Truly an amazing time for dentists and all dental specialists.

 

A driving force has been Florida-based Viper Equity Partners, a seasoned firm with expertise in deal structure, industry experience and everything healthcare. Leading Viper is David C. Branch, a private equity veteran and founder past CEO of one of the country’s largest radiology MSOs.

The rest of the team are all deep-rooted senior healthcare and finance executives. They credit their success to the depth of understanding of exactly what the job is, and it sets Viper apart from all others. Their reputation industry wide is they work diligently on task and time, produce real valuations, and support their clients and buyers from start to finish on every deal.

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Pacific Dental Services Recognizes National Volunteer Week

Leading dental support organization Pacific Dental Services (PDS) is proud to join Points of Light in celebrating National Volunteer Week (April 17-23, 2022), a time to recognize those who donate their time, money and talents to be a force for good in the world. At the heart of Pacific Dental Services is its culture of service. In fact, PDS created a We Serve department that focuses on service-oriented initiatives such as donated dentistry, fundraising drives and international volunteerism.

For the first time in more than two years, 10 PDS team members and supported clinicians volunteered their time and traveled to Xenacoj, Guatemala last week with the PDS Foundation to provide oral health care at the PDS Foundation Clinica Dental. The clinic was established in 2015 to respond to the widespread need for oral health care. More than half of Guatemala’s population experiences poverty in some form and 13% live in extreme, impoverished conditions. Dental disease is prevalent for more than 16 million people throughout the country.

PDS-supported dentists, dental assistants, volunteers and students from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala served alongside the clinic’s dentist, Dr. Rodrigo Letona Barillas, where they provided more than $172,000 in donated dentistry and created access to care to 165 patients. The Pacific Dental Services Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to improve overall health by improving oral health, through opportunities to serve locally, nationally, and internationally. Its three main programs are special needs dentistry, dental assistant scholarships and international service trips.

“Service is at the heart of Pacific Dental Services and participating in PDS Foundation international trips are one way our supported dentists and team members lend a helping hand to individuals who lack access to care,” said Kyle Guerin, Director, PDS Foundation and Corporate Social Responsibility. “It’s heartwarming to know that we can help make a positive impact around the globe, one smile at a time.”

Each year, Pacific Dental Services provides eight hours of paid volunteer time to each of its employees, or team members, and encourages its supported dentists and their teams to provide high-quality donated dentistry to underserved patients. In 2021, PDS team members and supported clinicians provided $8 million of donated dentistry throughout the year and as part of the annual Smile Generation Serve Day event, volunteered 50,000 hours to worthy charities and organizations, and raised $660,000 for charity: water and more than $500,000 for the PDS Foundation Dentists for Special Needs office.

Smile Generation connects consumers with trusted dentists who are dedicated to providing an exceptional patient experience and advanced clinical care. Now in its 12th year, Smile Generation Serve Day is a nationwide campaign of giving focused on providing donated dental care to patients in need, providing them with cleanings, exams, digital X-rays, extractions, restorations, and more. PDS-supported dental offices throughout the United States open their doors to provide donated dentistry creating access to care for hundreds of thousands of patients.

Awarded for these services, PDS has been named an honoree of The Civic 50 Orange County by OneOC and Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service in 2017, 2019 and just recently in 2021. The award recognized Pacific Dental Services as one of the most community-minded companies in Orange County, as determined by an independently administered and scored survey.

Since its inception in 1994, PDS-supported dentists have been committed to clinical excellence and providing the Perfect Patient Experience to strengthen the communities in the markets we serve. This includes educating patients about the link between oral health and whole-body health – what PDS and its supported practices call the Mouth-Body Connection. Research shows that harmful bacteria and inflammation in the mouth can indicate and even cause systemic conditions throughout the body. Maladies of the mouth, including periodontal disease, may be linked with other medical conditions including oral cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and more.

Questions To Ask Yourself When Identifying Your Ideal Dental Practice

Dr. Suzanne Ebert

By Dr. Suzanne Ebert

There is no such thing as a typical dental practice. They can range from standalone rural spaces to sleek urban offices, with everything in between. When trying to nail down your ideal, some factors are easy to identify: treatments offered, schedule, and target compensation.

Other factors fall into gray areas, where an “ideal” is harder to articulate. In these cases, you need to think about what sounds most appealing to you.

Ask yourself these questions to begin deciding what kind of practice will suit you best.

Are you a relationship- or volume-driven dentist?

Some dentists build their practices on patient relationships, while others focus on driving volume. The approach is reflected in the practice’s policies and patient expectations.

A practice built around patient relationships may have processes that ensure no one ever waits more than 5 minutes beyond their appointment time. These dentists tend to spend more time with each patient and nurture each relationship rather than delegating this function to staff. These practices may be entirely fee for service and often charge in the top 1%.

By contrast, a volume practice may run multiple treatment rooms simultaneously by delegating as much as possible to auxiliaries. In this model, staff members are the primary relationship builders while the dentists work on doing their tasks as efficiently as possible. These practices tend to accept insurance and make up for lower fees through increased volume.

Both practice styles can be professionally and financially rewarding, but they are typically incompatible.

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VideaHealth Raises $20 Million To Expand AI Dentist Diagnostics

VideaHealth — Zetta Venture Partners

VideaHealth, providers of a dental diagnostic AI solution, announce $20 million in Series A financing led by Spark Capital. Existing investors Zetta Venture Partners and Pillar VC also contributed to the round. The company has raised $26.4 million to date and will use the financing to massively expand VideaHealth’s groundbreaking AI-based diagnostics capabilities to dentists, with the goal of being the leading AI solution for more than 6,750 practices by the end of 2023.

“VideaHealth is bringing standardized care powered by AI to dental care,” said Alex Finkelstein, General Partner of Spark Capital. “The industry needs this type of innovation and the vision, advanced AI capabilities and market strategy of this team will improve dentistry both for professionals and patients, and we’re proud to be an early investor.”

VideaHealth helps identify and communicate dental diseases and other conditions to dentists while they are actively attending to patients. The solution is expected to achieve regulatory clearance for its AI-based clinical image processing within the coming months, something no other vendor has achieved on the market today.

A recent joint study with VideaHealth partner Heartland Dental, which supports over 2,400 doctors in more than 1,600 dental offices across 38 states, demonstrated that VideaHealth’s AI platform helped clinicians detect 46% more caries lesions (cavities) and reduced errors by 10%. VideaHealth lets dentists achieve faster, more accurate diagnoses and enables better preventative care, providing substantial cost savings for patients by reducing invasive care.

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Tips For Building A Successful Dental Practice

Dr. Eddie Harsini

By Dr. Edward Harsini, DDS, owner of Smile Dental Clinics in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Harsini graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Dental School in 1998. He is certified by UCLA Aesthetic Continuum, the 3M Imtec Mini DentalImplants and GRU/AAID Maxi-Course Implant Dentistry.

The first thing you need to build a successful practice is being in a centralized location that has easy access for patients. If you are in an area with 50 or more dentists, you need to find an area that you can create and build your business, and an area where you set yourself apart.

Second, you need to have a great team and great culture in the workplace. Having a great team can take off a lot of the stresses of owning a business because everyone does their job and they do it well. Creating a great working environment and work culture will keep your employees enthusiastic about their job and excited to come to work every day.

Lastly, you must provide great patient care. Most dentists work off of referral because it doesn’t matter how much advertising you do, you want your patients referring their friends and family. This also helps build upyour credibility.

Patient engagement

Patient engagement is really important because if the patient isn’t engaged in the diagnosis, case presentation and treatment plan, then you are basically talking to yourself. You have to have patient engagement because they areultimately paying for the procedure. If they are a passive listener whateveryou say isn’t going to hit home. You have to understand their goals. Sometimes they don’t know their goal, but by asking questions you find out what their ultimate goal is.

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DECA Dental Group Hires New Chief Human Resources Officer

Lyndsay Lord

DECA Dental Group, a leading dental services organization based in Dallas, announced the hiring of a new chief human resources officer, Lyndsay Lord.

DECA is all-inclusive and brings the best minds together to create an exceptional experience in the dental field. Lyndsay has extensive leadership experience from global brands including Hilti, Pepsi, Arrow Electronics, CoreLogic, Sabre, and most recently Team Car Care dba Jiffy Lube. In addition, her passion for building high-performing and values-based cultures makes her an exciting fit for the DECA team.

“We are excited for Lyndsay to join the team. As DECA continues to grow, she will be essential to fostering and preserving our people-centric culture that has been a key to our success,” said Dr. Sulman Ahmed, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of DECA Dental Group.

Last year DECA expanded their team by 61%. Dr. Ahmed continued, “We have always been a progressive company and are proud of the fact that 81% of our employees are women, 45% are minorities, and 30% are Hispanic women. Notably, 56% of our dentists are women. DECA’s workplace is all-inclusive and brings the best minds together to create an exceptional experience in the dental field.”

By adding Lyndsay to the team, DECA continues the growth and diversity within the company. She will be essential in developing and executing a strategy to support the overall business, specifically in areas of succession planning, talent management, organizational and performance management, as well as total rewards.”

With joining DECA, Lord said, “I’m humbled and honored to be appointed as the CHRO for DECA Dental Group. I am inspired by what DECA stands for and its unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. DECA’s modern approach to dental care, which offers quality care to every patient in a convenient location, is transforming dentistry. I’m proud to join their outstanding leadership team.”

Great Lakes Dental Partners Deepens Indiana Expansion with Second Affiliation

GLDP, a Shore Capital Partners portfolio company, provides practice management services to more than 30 partner locations. GLDP provides best-in-class support in operations, recruiting, technology, marketing and collaboration among clinicians.

“We are excited and honored that he chose GLDP as his partner. This is our second affiliation in Northwest Indiana, and we’ll continue to look for similarly impressive partners in 2022,” said Jeff McCall, CEO of Great Lakes Dental Partners on the new affiliation and the company’s plans for expansion.

GLDP is actively seeking dental office partnerships in the Midwest and is backed by Shore Capital Partners’ $112.5 million Fund I to support its continued growth.  Ideal affiliation opportunities include owner doctors who want to partner with functional experts to grow their practices.

About Great Lakes Dental Partners
Great Lakes Dental Partners is a dental support organization (DSO) committed to offering dentists and dental specialists the opportunity to focus on the clinical aspects of dentistry, providing exceptional care for every patient.

With a centrally located support center, operational best practices, access to the latest dental technology, and a best-in-class continuing education program, GLDP is dedicated to advancing dental healthcare in the Midwest.

For more information and a list of clinic locations, visit www.greatlakesdentalpartners.com. GLDP is actively seeking new partnerships in the Midwest. Those interested in affiliation opportunities should contact Fletcher Boyle at fboyle@gldpdental.com.

About Shore Capital Partners
Shore Capital Partners is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on microcap healthcare and food & beverage investments. Shore supports management partners with capital, business development expertise, and industry knowledge to accelerate growth, fund acquisitions, and generate value to shareholders. Shore targets investments in proven, successful private companies with superior management teams, stable cash flow, and significant growth potential, including organic and growth through industry consolidation. More information visit www.shorecp.com.