This isn’t going to be one more piece warning you about challenging times ahead when it comes to the dental industry or business in general. Nor will this be an article telling you to prepare yourself if you’re a graduating dentist because things have been tough, and they could get even rockier.
Instead, I want to impress upon you that for the dental industry and you, a current or potential dental entrepreneur, things have a chance to get really, really good. Modern options and solutions to the things that have challenged practices for years are already available. I also want to tell you that the opportunities for dental practice growth and success on your own terms are not only a possibility, but they’re happening all around the country as we speak. There’s only one caveat: you have to be willing to take a chance on doing things differently, looking forward at where the industry is headed, instead of “treading water” in the same place, stuck using outdated systems and business practices.
I’ve been known to say to people – friends, colleagues – that if you look back at yourself and who you were one, three, or five years ago and aren’t a little bit embarrassed or uneasy, you aren’t growing or evolving.
Our industry is no different: It’s calling for us to evolve and change, and it’s already shown us one clear and proven way to do that: the Dental Service Organization (DSO) model. As a passionate supporter of the DSO model and current president of the ADSO (Association of Dental Support Organizations), I have a front-row seat to watch the positive impact the model is already having in practices around the country. It changes how business is done. In return, it rewards patients and dentists alike, making it possible to elevate customer-service and streamline a practice’s operations while letting dentists do what they do best, all the while feeling more supported and focused than ever before.
While the DSO model presents a bright future for dental industry entrepreneurs ready for a new kind of success at their practice, like any change in how things are done, it is accompanied by its share of misconceptions. To be sure you don’t miss out on a chance to be part of this ever-growing DSO movement within our industry, I’ll address some of the most common myths and misconceptions here.
We’re On the Same Team It’s essential to address any misconception that there is an us vs. them situation going on here, dentists vs. the DSO, when the title alone, dental support organization, says it all. DSOs were created by dentists to address their desire to make more of an impact on their patients while scaling more effectively and efficiently. Banks and private equity firms are only allowed in the space to the extent dentists need them to finance their growth and impact. At the end of the day, dental support organizations will only be as good as their ability to serve and support dentists. Ultimately, dentists will only be as good as their ability to help patients. When the two sides work in alignment within a DSO model, the impact is powerful – the patients, the practice, and the community around it that it serves.
Let’s Talk Autonomy: Success on your terms, for your practice
Forget what anyone has told you about losing control of your practice when you adopt a DSO model. From a DSO perspective, we know that it’s in all of our best interests for dentists to retain autonomy in terms of how they practice.
Your community, your practice, your patients – that all remains as it is because you know them – and their specific needs more than anyone!
While you do what you do best, we’re able to bring in what we know works best on the back end to support your business. Because you remain in control, with our support, we create success on your own terms. Autonomy increases when you don’t have to juggle a thousand business issues meaning you and your associates can simply focus on patient care.
Choose your level of support: Opens Source DSO Options
Just like the DSO model offers you success on your terms while retaining your practice’s autonomy, I’m also proud to share that at Community Dental Partners (CDP), we allow for complete customization when it comes to your level of support. You keep doing the things you excel at doing within your practice while leaving the more challenging parts to us.
Need call-center support? You’ve got it. Could your billing system use some streamlining? We can handle that too. Maybe your company wants help when it comes to growing and scaling – even in this economy. We’re doing it as we speak at a rapid pace and can arm you with our own strategies. Want all of the above and more? That’s fine too.
At a genuinely Open Source DSO, of which CDP was the first, we understand that dental practices aren’t all the same, and that’s why we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all support plan for our partner businesses.
As a partner in the peer-to-peer group, Dentist Entrepreneur Organization (DEO), we often say that everything starts with the owner’s vision. You get to create the future of dentistry within your community based on your vision of the future. Build your own platform or partner with others. Take care of the underserved pediatric Medicaid population or serve the high touch geriatric population. Provide your associates with a stable 9-5 job or give them a path to joint entrepreneurial ownership with you. The future will be limited only by our ability to innovate and our desire to take care of the customers: patients and dentists.
The chance for change and the possibility for real progress within our industry and your practice is already here, made possible by a model created for dentists and by dentists. When you’re ready, the choice – and the change – are yours!