How 3 DSO giants plan to grow in 2024

Heartland Dental, MB2 Dental and Smile Doctors all have big plans for growth this year as some of the largest DSOs in the U.S.

Here is how the three DSOs plan to expand their networks in 2024, including with dental practice affiliations, de novo openings and more. 

Heartland Dental (Effingham, Ill.)

Heartland Dental continues to be the largest DSO in the U.S., supporting more than 1,700 locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C. The DSO added 33 practices to its network in 2023 and received certificates of occupancy on 94 practices, adding 1,130 new dental operatories.

The DSO will soon be in 39 states with the construction of de novo practices in Salt Lake City. Chief Growth Officer Mark Greenstein told Becker's the DSO also plans to add more than 130 practices to its network through de novo offices and affiliations.  

"We plan to affiliate with the nation's leading practices and doctors in the best markets by expanding our development team capabilities and forming strategic partnerships with the nation’s highest quality brokers and intermediaries," he said. "We also plan to partner to build and relocate 95 to 100 new, ground-up practices, each with 10-12 chairs, in the nation's fastest-growing markets and prime-anchored real estate."

MB2 Dental (Dallas)

Dallas-based MB2 Dental ended 2023 with 663 supported practices, including 163 which were added during the year. Founder and CEO Chris Villanueva, DMD, told Becker's the DPO is focused on building density in markets where it can leverage referrals between its general and specialty practices. He also said the DSO continues to grow through do novo openings and facility expansions. The DSO recently marked six practice additions since Jan. 5.

"​I can confidently say that MB2 Dental is not slowing down," Dr. Villanueva said. "We are wrapping up yet another record year and entering 2024 with a promising pipeline of prospective doctor partners that already surpasses the same period in 2023."

Smile Doctors (Dallas)

Smile Doctors partnered with 28 affiliates in 2023, adding 72 new practice locations to its network. The DSO currently supports more than 430 locations across 29 states.

The orthodontic-focused DSO said it plans to open six de novo offices in 2024. CEO J. Hedrick also told Becker's the DSO is considering expanding into other states.

"We have two or three new states that we are looking at; none of them are far enough along where I would say we have some letters of intent there. We don't often go into a new state with just one practice, and if we do that practice tends to be a large practice and we have a belief we can put other practices around it," Mr. Hedrick said. "We're also less worried about going into new states because the market is still significantly fragmented. We don't grow by geography, we grow within concentric circles around our doctors."

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