Why DSO-affiliated practices are feeling confident about their economic recovery

Despite the many challenges the dental industry is facing, 84.6 percent of DSO-affiliated practices are confident about their economic recovery, according to a survey from the American Dental Association conducted the week of Feb. 14.

The survey asked the respondents to look ahead six months for each question. The responses consisted of 52 DSO-affiliated practices. The response options included very confident, somewhat confident, neither confident nor skeptical, somewhat skeptical, and very skeptical.

Of the 1,334 non-DSO affiliated practices surveyed, 70.1 percent were confident about their economic recovery.

Dental practices have had to face staffing shortages, supply chain issues and other pandemic-related challenges regardless of their affiliation. Yet DSO-affiliated practices remain slightly more confident in their economic recovery than their nonaffiliated counterparts.

Why are DSO-affiliated practices more confident?

Dental service organizations are meant to take administrative pressures off dentists' shoulders.

"Dentists and hygienists are limited in supply and unevenly distributed across the U.S., a problem that has just become more pronounced over the last three to six months," John Murphy, vice president of talent acquisition at Aspen Dental Management, told Becker's in an August 2021 interview. "Throughout this, our mission at Aspen Dental Management has not changed. We support the independent practice owners of Aspen Dental by recruiting top-tier talent in order to bring access to high-quality oral care to underserved communities that would not otherwise have access."

Having expert administrative support to assist a practice can make dealing with these challenges more manageable.

"In order to attract top-tier talent for our independent practices, we have been focused on providing incentives such as ongoing education, access to the latest technology, training and career advancement. We also are listening to the market and evaluating current drivers. We will continue to listen, develop, implement and measure other incentives that match what top talent job seekers are looking for," Mr. Murphy told Becker's.

There is no magic bullet to feeling secure in the economic recovery of a practice. However, support in one way or another can be useful.

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