Many dentists reach a point in their careers where they are done with owning a practice. Some are tired of managing the financials, dealing with payers, chasing down suppliers, and all the other headaches of practice ownership. Others have physical limitations that make daily practice difficult. And some want to capitalize on a hot market for practice sales.
These doctors are not always done with patients, though. They love the art and science of dentistry. They still get a thrill from solving a tough case or restoring a smile. They just don’t want to do it five days a week, or they don’t want to manage a business anymore.
However, they know that if they start scaling back production in their own practice, the bottom line will decrease. Staff may leave if they’re not needed — and we know how hard it is to find/retain good staff right now! Patients will go elsewhere if they can’t be served in a timely manner due to a reduced schedule. All this will eventually lead to a lower sale price.
That’s why some dentists choose to sell sooner, while the value is high, and continue to work in some capacity. This can take many formats:
Sell the practice, but stay on to work part-time as an associate
Work in a community clinic, FQHC, or other setting on a more relaxed schedule
Teach, mentor, or pursue less physically taxing ways to practice
At ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT), we speak with many dentists contemplating their next steps and trying to plan how and when to retire. If you’re thinking about retiring in the next five years, consider exploring some of these options.
BroadcastMed, the world’s most innovative healthcare media company has acquired AEGIS Dental Network, expanding its audience of healthcare professionals with the addition of 400k dental clinicians to its existing membership of 1.7 million physicians across 11 specialties, resulting in an organization with more than 100 combined years of professional experience, leadership, and insight into healthcare publishing, education, and multimedia communications. The official announcement was made on August 18, 2022. This strategic investment is backed by 424 Capital, a growth capital partner.
BroadcastMed is committed to providing physicians and other allied healthcare professionals with convenient access to the very best in educational content. Its recent acquisition of AEGIS Dental Network – an innovative leader in the dental communications space allows BroadcastMed to continue its tradition of providing industry-leading clinical content to front-line healthcare professionals with the ultimate objective of improving patient outcomes.
The acquisition continues BroadcastMed’s tremendous growth trajectory which is driven by its commitment to expand the global dialogue on healthcare, by connecting and expanding an audience of healthcare constituents, BroadcastMed is able to gather and analyze intelligence from those engagements to create more value for its clients.
“Our acquisition of AEGIS Dental Network will allow BroadcastMed to provide deeper and more meaningful content to dental health professionals. We are committed to using our world-class media solutions to advance the ways in which specialty-centric clinicians share their subject matter expertise,” said Ross Joel, CEO.
“As BroadcastMed continues its growth trajectory, we welcome in the AEGIS team as we take another definitive step toward our strategic goal of growing a multi-channel resource to serve all healthcare constituencies,” said Peter Gailey, president. “Our growth into the dental space, and our plans for the future, support that vision,” continued Gailey.
AEGIS Dental Network a part of AEGIS Publications, LLC has an extensive oral healthcare platform providing the entire team—clinicians, technicians, hygienists, assistants, and students—with a comprehensive collection of accessible, high-quality, purposeful content designed to enhance their practice and patient care.
With decades of experience and more than 18,000 media productions to date, BroadcastMed is solidifying its position as a healthcare media company inspiring the future of medicine. BroadcastMed was the first media company in the world to livestream surgeries online. The company provides data-driven solutions to optimize marketing and education initiatives for healthcare organizations such as Mayo Clinic, Boston Scientific, Novartis, Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, and the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Vyne, an industry-leading software company providing revenue cycle, information exchange and secure communication solutions across healthcare markets, announces that Steve Roberts, who currently serves as president for Vyne Dental, has been named CEO of Vyne. Roberts will begin his new role immediately.
An experienced business leader who has led Vyne Dental since August 2020, Roberts succeeds Lindy Benton, a decorated healthcare technology leader who has served as CEO since February 2011. Benton will continue to drive the organization’s strategic vision as executive chair of the company’s Board of Directors.
“The best CEOs excel at creating growth culture and building capable teams,” said Roberts. “That is Lindy’s strength, and how she turned Vyne from a small niche product into an extremely well-respected health technology brand, serving both the medical and dental markets. I am honored and excited to step onto the path she laid and lead Vyne into its next phase of innovation and service.”
As CEO, Roberts will lead the company in continuing to develop innovative software serving health systems, payers and dental practices to improve operational eﬃciencies, reduce costs, and improve care. He brings more than 20 years of direct industry leadership experience to the position, having contributed to growth and innovation initiatives at Weave, Henry Schein One and Dentrix.
Vyne currently serves hospitals and health systems, dental oﬃces and insurance payers in the United States through its health information collation, exchange and claims management technology. Uniquely positioned to serve multiple key stakeholders within healthcare, Vyne has made Inc. 5000’s annual list of the nation’s most prestigious and fastest-growing private companies for 15 consecutive years. Under Roberts, Vyne will continue leveraging synergies across its two health tech businesses, Vyne Medical and Vyne Dental, to accelerate growth and facilitate relationships between providers, payers and patients across the full healthcare spectrum.
“Vyne Dental’s differentiated approach to dental revenue cycle software services is generating compelling growth and strong market adoption,” said Roberts. “We intend to bring Vyne Dental’s same level of innovation, growth and expertise to the entire Vyne portfolio by evolving into a next generation medical revenue cycle management platform through internal development, partnerships and acquisitions.”
Benton, meanwhile, will bring her leadership and business development experience to the Board of Directors, where she will lead the company’s broader strategic efforts.
The Great Resignation has reached dentistry — especially as hygienists choose not to return to the profession. In fact, a new study co-authored by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the American Dental Association found that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a contraction of about 3.75% of all hygienists, representing a loss of approximately 7,500 hygienists nationwide.
Without these critical staff, many dentists aren’t able to see as many patients, especially since new COVID-19 infection control protocols require more staff time than before the pandemic. 32.3% of owners say that trouble filling vacant staff positions prevents them from running a full schedule — leading to longer wait times for patients who may wind up skipping preventive care altogether or allowing simple problems to become serious. Over time, this may lead to more dental emergencies and a potential increase in heart disease, digestive trouble, and other serious health problems.
And the problem is only getting worse. In October 2020, 51.8% of owners said that it was “extremely challenging” to recruit hygienists. By November 2021, 75.6% of dentists made the same claim.
Meanwhile, driven by COVID-19, many dentists are choosing to retire earlier than planned. The average retirement age for a dentist has dropped to 67.9, down from a peak of 69.1 in 2018. Through my work at ADA Practice Transitions, I help these retiring dentists find like-minded buyers to ensure patients continue receiving care. However, buyers taking over a long-standing practice have their own challenge: retaining that long-term staff through the transition to provide continuity for patients.
That’s why it’s essential that owner dentists take steps to retain their most valuable resource: long-tenured, knowledgeable staff who have built trust with patients.
Why hygienists are leaving the workforce
When dental practices closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, many staff were sent home. Even as practices began reopening, many of the 98% of practicing dental hygienists who are female found themselves juggling child care challenges and needing to stay home. Dental work has no “remote” option, and dental schedules inherently lack the flexibility to pivot when a child has to stay home unexpectedly due to a COVID exposure.
As a result, many hygienists began to exit the profession entirely. Even as the pandemic has eased, many hygienists have not returned — nor do they plan to. An August 2021 study found that 74% of hygienists not working had left the profession for voluntary reasons. While some say they are “waiting out” the pandemic, a full 37% say they have decided to retire.
Some of those remaining are leveraging the shortage to improve their circumstances, whether finding jobs closer to home or negotiating for greater flexibility, higher pay, or better benefits. By May 2021, 70.7% of practice owners had raised pay for their dental hygienists.
Hygienists’ career changes mirror the larger Great Resignation in which an October 2021 Gallup poll found that 48% of US workers were actively job searching or watching for new opportunities.
The Delta Dental Institute (DDI) and the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) announced two new Oral Health Equity Awards to support research that advances recommendations for greater oral health equity in populations that lack access to dental care and improves oral health literacy for underserved populations. Two awards will be conferred – one in each research area in the amount US$25,000.
“At Delta Dental, our mission is to advance the oral health of all Americans. We are pleased to partner with AADOCR to invest in critically needed research to advance access to care for all and ensure greater health equity across the country,” said Vivian Vasallo, executive director of the Delta Dental Institute.
“Understanding the best ways to remove barriers, improve oral health literacy, and provide equitable access to oral health services is critical to fulfill our mission of championing overall health and well-being,” said AADOCR President Jane Weintraub. “This new partnership between AADOCR and DDI will provide research toward improving oral health in communities where it is most lacking.”
Submissions must represent original research that addresses Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) and oral health disparities and promote oral health equity in the areas of Access to Care and Oral Health Literacy. Populations of interest include underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, age groups and hard to reach populations, including adolescents, tribal and rural communities. Applications are now being accepted through the AADOCR website and will be reviewed by an expert review panel acknowledged as leaders in their fields.
The deadline for submission is Oct. 28, 2022.
The two awards will be conferred in the form of unrestricted research grants. Award winners will be announced at the 52nd meeting of the AADOCR, and 47th meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Mar. 15-18, 2023, in Portland, Oregon.
DentalXChange, a leader in dental payments and data connectivity, announced the acquisition of long-time partner, ExtraDent.
The new union builds on a decade-long alliance between the two firms whose goals and technologies complement one another making this an advantageous marriage for both companies and the clients they serve. Additionally, DentalXChange’s solution portfolio expands with the addition of ExtraDent’s Virtual Assistants solution which assists front office team members with revenue cycle management tasks so patient focus can be the number one priority.
“Our company has a proven history of industry innovation and a long-term vision for what today’s dental stakeholders need and want,” explained Paul Kaiser, CEO of DentalXChange. “Clear, strategic transactions like this one keep us well-positioned to remain at the forefront of both innovation and efficiency for the patients, providers and payers we serve.”
Kaiser notes that the ExtraDent team brings a wealth of dental industry knowledge and experience to DentalXChange.
Clint Walker, President of ExtraDent said, “We are proud to be a part of the DentalXChange team, and have been since 2012. This new strategic structure benefits our dental clients and partners by increasing their access to the latest technology while maintaining the exceptional customer service for which both our companies are known. We look forward to this opportunity to expand our growth and success.”
National Dentex Labs (“NDX”), the largest network of fully-owned dental labs in North America, announces its new corporate headquarters in Jupiter, Florida. The nearly 40,000-square-foot facility includes corporate offices, a state-of-the-art dental lab, a fully operational dental suite and a premier education center.
The new headquarters supports more than 100 employees on-site, including certified dental technicians, and also serves as the central hub that backs NDX’s network of more than 60 full-service dental labs across the United States.
“Our new Jupiter headquarters is a showcase facility that offers a collaborative and innovative environment for our employees and the dentists we serve,” says Tom Daulton, chief executive officer of NDX. “Our robust education center will attract dentists around the country to further their training in the latest and most innovative dental practices.”
NDX Palm Beach, the on-site lab housed at the new headquarters, offers superior dental prosthetics, including custom-made crowns, bridges and implant restorations. NDX designers utilize 3Shape software and 5-Axis milling machines to ensure faster, more efficient and accurate results – with advanced printers, including Carbon 3D, to provide the highest quality products and a precise fit.
In addition, the operatory and NDX Education Center will host special continuing education events for dental professionals with guest lectures by renowned leaders in the dental industry and unique interactive experiences.
Nationwide, NDX employs nearly 4,000 dental professionals dedicated to serving tens of thousands of dentists, from the independent dentist to the large DSOs.
The Delta Dental Institute released its 2021 Community Impact Report, highlighting the philanthropic investments that Delta Dental made last year to support the oral and overall health of communities across the country. A national leader in oral health giving, Delta Dental supported efforts and initiatives that expand access to care, advance health equity, build resilient communities, and innovate for a healthier tomorrow.
In total, Delta Dental invested $106 million in communities in 2021 — an increase over 2020 — and positively impacted more than 21.3 million lives.
“For nearly 70 years, Delta Dental has been driven by our mission to advance the oral and overall health of the people we serve and the communities we call home,” said James W. Hutchison, president & CEO, Delta Dental Plans Association. “We are proud to be one of the nation’s leaders in oral health giving and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our communities and partners on the journey toward better health for all.”
“I’m so proud that our community impact work continues to focus on addressing health disparities and expanding access to care in underserved communities,” said Vivian Vasallo, executive director, Delta Dental Institute. “Equity is at the heart of what we do, and we’re committed to equipping all members of our communities with the tools they need to live their healthiest lives.”
The 2021 Community Impact Report, “Our mission: your health,” explores four main areas of Delta Dental’s community impact efforts:
Expanding access to care: Delta Dental supported dental treatment and prevention programs — such as free dental clinics — that reached 10 million people and helped 4.4 million more get access to fluoridated water.
Advancing health equity: Delta Dental funded scholarships and grants for underrepresented students pursuing careers in oral health, including support for dental students at Howard University and Meharry Medical College, the only two HBCU dental schools in America. Delta Dental also reached more than 10 million people through oral health education programs, with a focus on underserved communities.
Building resilient communities: Delta Dental expanded access to healthy food, supporting food drives and food banks that supplied more than 17 million meals, and prioritized sustainability through investing in water bottle-filling stations in schools and other efforts.
Innovating for a healthier tomorrow: Delta Dental focused on the future by funding research and supporting new care models and technologies, like medical-dental integration and teledentistry, to help develop new solutions to improve care.
To accompany the report, today Delta Dental also released a video and digital story detailing its community impact work, including an interactive map showcasing specific initiatives in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Today’s Dental Network, a leading multi-specialty dental practice network and support organization to dental providers in Florida, has officially formed a partnership with Contemporary Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, a state-of-the-art facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., led by Michael R. Tesmer, DMD, MS. Contemporary Periodontics is the fifth periodontal practice in the TDN network and the first practice in the St. Petersburg, FL market, marking the company’s vision to expand both its specialty practice and geographical reach.
Our partnership with TDN enables us to elevate our clinical excellence, as well as grow the practice.
“We believe partnering with top specialty practices serves as a key entry point to expanding TDN’s footprint into new geographical markets,” says Kevin Krause, DMD, chief executive officer for TDN. “As a premier periodontic practice in the St. Petersburg market, Dr. Tesmer and his team are a great fit with TDN’s multi-specialty model. We are delighted to welcome them to our growing network.”
Established in 1997, Contemporary Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a state-of-the-art periodontal dental practice providing the latest treatment options available to patients, including advanced dental implant care, periodontal plastic surgery for receding gums, aesthetic crown lengthening and laser periodontal therapy, for over 25 years.
“We’ve known both Dr. Tesmer and Dr. Langston for quite some time and have admired their commitment to clinical excellence, advanced periodontal therapeutics, and outstanding patient care,” says Ryan Taylor, DDS, MS, head of periodontics at TDN. “The addition of Dr. Tesmer, Dr. Langston, and their team not only expands TDN’s periodontal offering, but it also further raises the bar with the addition of two top clinicians to our partnership network.”
“Our partnership with TDN enables us to elevate our clinical excellence, as well as grow the practice,” says Michael R. Tesmer. “We will continue to manage the clinical side of the practice, while Dr. Langston, myself and our team gain access to administrative support. We are also looking forward to the collaboration with Dr. Taylor, Dr. Krause and the other highly skilled doctors and surgeons in the network.”
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.