3 Common Misconceptions About Dental Support Organizations
You have likely heard a lot about dental support organizations if you’re a dentist.
How could you not have?
Many of these organizations are active across the US and Canada, and they’re often highly visible at any dental conference or in industry news. These organizations can benefit any dentist looking to jump to the next step in their career, and you probably know many dental colleagues who have contracted with DSOs. You may have considered the same for your practice.
However, as dental brokers, addressing some common misconceptions about dental support organizations is essential. These organizations can supercharge your dental career, but these misconceptions must be put to rest before you partner with a dental support organization. As dental brokers, we have deep and rich relationships across the dental industry and wanted to share our expertise on dental support organizations.
Read on to Learn More!
Why You Might Partner With a DSO
First, let’s clarify: A dental support organization can significantly help many dentists. The simple fact is that many dentists are incredibly busy and need help to run their practices more effectively. Many dentists’ are on an island, and DSOs offer a tremendous dental community support system that is doctor-centric and typically doctor-led.
A dental support organization (DSO) or dental partnership organization (DPO) is an organization that provides non-clinical business and operational services to a dentist, freeing up the dentist to more effectively care for their patient base.
There are so many ways that dentists and dental support organizations can set up these agreements, but generally, an excellent dental support organization could assist with:
• General Administrative Services
• Human Resources and Staffing
• Payroll and Billing
• Insurance Coding and Insurance Services Liaison
• Advertising and Marketing Services
• IT Services
• Building and Facilities Management Services
• Procurement Services
• Accounting Services
• Regulatory Compliance
A dental support organization can revolutionize your career. However, while the above benefits are helpful, we still think it’s important to highlight three common misconceptions about dental support organizations that must be dispelled.
Misconception: DSOs Are for Retiring Dentists
Many dentists sell their practice near the end of their career. It’s easy to see why. Selling a practice is a great way to transition into retirement, and many dentists are familiar with dental support organizations entering the picture at the end of a dentist’s career.
While this is a common use of dental support organizations, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out several other benefits of dental support organizations. Many dentists might sell their practice as an exit strategy from dentistry and use the funds gained from the sale of their practice to pivot to another vocation. Selling to a dental support organization is a viable option for early to mid-career dentists ready to say goodbye to the administrative part of dentistry and focus on the clinical or growth side of their dental practice.
It’s also worth reminding the dentists out there that many dentists elect to stay on after the sale of their dental practice. It breathes new life and extends one’s career once they partner with the support they gain, and the incremental wealth built by partnering. It also gives an exit strategy, young or old, whether five or 25 years, out to a doctor, especially when they have built a great practice that the average dentist cannot afford. When you achieve a certain level of revenue and growth, it is challenging to find a confident buyer or doctor to sell to and that can take on this type of undertaking. This is a very common dental support organization arrangement. If you love dentistry, partnering with a dental support organization can free up your time to focus on patient care. The dental support organization has the resources and operational expertise to focus on business management and can simplify your practice and improve your quality of life. This often increases your income while decreasing the amount of administrative work you need to do. That can be a win for all parties involved!
Misconception: DSOs Are Always the Right Call
We have seen and worked with countless dental support organizations and + dentist partnerships, leading to tremendous benefits for both. However, any dentist looking to contract with a DSO must find the right partnership for their unique needs and circumstances. There are thousands of dental support organizations, each with its unique core offering, specialty, and value proposition. You could be setting yourself up for failure if you do not consider each dental support organization against your own unique needs. You also need to know what the deal terms mean and how it benefits you in the short and long term. You do not know what you do not know, and we equate it to taking a knife to a gunfight. The devil is always in the details.
Let’s say you intend to stay on as a dentist and want the operational aid support of a dental support organization. You must understand what degree of input you will have in the practice regarding various operational decisions such as hiring, procurement, and marketing. Some DSOs prefer to handle all operational decisions with a templated method, which could mean that you’re left without much control of the practice, aside from clinical decisions. However, other dental support organizations are much more flexible and willing to customize transition plans accordingly to ensure you retain input into important decisions. They want a true partner where you have as much control as you desire, and they are there to support you as much or as little as you wish in the areas in which you need support. They want to align with the right doctor and encourage you to remain the leader in the practice. The moral of the story here is that not all dental support organizations suit every situation, and how do you know which is the right one for your short and long-term aspirations?
DSO Initial Offers Are Non-Negotiable
You’re probably thrilled if you’ve received an offer from a dental support organization! After all, if a dental support organization has reached out to you with an offer, it’s an honest and accurate gauge of your practice’s value.
Well, not always. Many dental support organizations have teams that reach out to dentists to entice them to sell. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct marketing, business development team representatives, and paying their own partner doctors significant referral fees to entice you to sell to them directly without representation. You need to know precisely what the deal terms and valuation mean. The adage of them wanting to buy low, sell high. The offers extended from these teams are often lower than what the dentist might receive if fielding multiple offers from qualified buyers. If you have received such an offer from a dental support organization, that’s great! It’s a sign that your practice is valuable and that you should consider every possible offer before selling.
That’s why it’s so essential that you have industry-knowledgeable representation in the form of a dental broker with you as you sell your dental practice! The right dental broker will help you increase the value of your practice, expedite the sale of your practice, increase the number of interested buyers, generate more interest than you can alone, have an entire auction/bidding process, and equip you with the best terms and highest valuation. A dental broker represents your interest, while a DSO represents their interests.
At TTP, we offer….
- Unique Sell-Side Advisory With Buy-Side Experience
- Detailed Discovery, Practice Valuation & Review
- Access to Our Private Buyer and DSO Network
- Management of Letters of Intent and Buyer Screening
- Offer Qualification & Representation Through Close
- We represent your interest
- We custom-tailor every transition to meet our vast array of clients’ specific needs
- Negotiate the best deal terms for YOU
- Create a competitive bidding process
You have put too much time into your dental practice to sell to the wrong dental support organization or with the wrong price or terms. Partner with a top dental broker and call Triumphant Transition Partners today!
Get Your Courtesy Consultation Today & Call Now!