Dental service organizations (DSOs) are management entities that partner with or acquire dental practices, providing administrative and operational support. DSOs have gained popularity by enhancing practice efficiency and profitability through their expertise, resources, and access to advanced technology.
Joining a DSO-affiliated dental practice can offer several benefits to dentists, which are outlined below.
DSOs often provide administrative support, allowing dentists to concentrate more on patient care and less on the day-to-day operational tasks of running a dental practice. This support can include assistance with scheduling, billing, marketing, and staff management, freeing up time for dentists to focus on their clinical work.
DSOs typically have experienced management teams that can provide valuable guidance and expertise in running a successful dental office. They can offer assistance with business planning, financial management, and practice growth strategies, which can be particularly beneficial for new or less experienced dentists.
DSOs often invest in the latest dental technology, equipment, and resources. Joining a DSO-owned practice can provide dentists with access to state-of-the-art facilities, advanced treatment options, and specialized training, which can enhance the quality of patient care and professional development opportunities.
DSOs may have a network of dental professionals within their organization, allowing for collaboration, sharing of best practices, and peer support. Dentists can benefit from a community of colleagues who can exchange ideas, seek advice, and engage in continuing education opportunities.
The DSO model may offer structured career paths and opportunities for professional growth. They can provide continuing education programs, mentorship, and training to help dentists enhance their clinical skills and advance their careers within the organization, sometimes allowing dentists to pursue leadership or board-level positions in the DSO.
Contrary to popular belief, many DSOs allow founding and joining member-doctors to purchase shares of the corporate entity.
That means owner-doctors can benefit from the upside potential of owning a dental practice through an investment without worrying about the day-to-day managerial stresses and headaches that exist with running a practice. The recapitalization events that occur with DSO-owned practices can be extremely financially rewarding, benefitting the shareholders.
Although DSOs have become more popular in the last several years, it's critical to note that the specific benefits can vary depending on the DSO and its backing entity. Dentists considering joining a DSO-owned practice should carefully evaluate the organization, its values, its culture, and the terms of their employment agreement to ensure alignment with their personal and professional goals.
If you are considering joining a DSO, Spaugh Dameron Tenny offers a consultative approach to help you determine if this is the right fit and move forward for you.
Contact our team of financial planners to set up a time to ask questions or discuss your financial goals.
As the Director of Financial Planning for Spaugh Dameron Tenny, Jordan applies his academic and practical experience in the creation and maintenance of the firm’s financial plans, as well as coordinating research efforts for products and strategies that may benefit clients. Originally from Canada, Jordan came to Charlotte on a golf scholarship where he attended Queens University of Charlotte. In addition, Jordan has a Master’s degree in Wealth and Trust Management.
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