3 major challenges DSOs must overcome: Dental Care Alliance VP shares insights

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Dental service organizations are growing across the country. Strategies for growth vary based on DSO.

Sarasota, Fla.-based Dental Care Alliance is among the largest growing DSOs in the country. Today, the DSO supports more than 300 affiliated dental practices in 18 states.

Ryan Zeman serves as the vice president of business development at Dental Care Alliance. Below, Mr. Zeman discusses where the greatest opportunities are for DSOs as well as the potential for consolidation.

Editor's note: Responses are lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: Will large DSOs begin to consolidate or merge? Do you foresee large DSOs buying up mid-sized DSOs and what's the timeline for this?
Ryan Zeman: Do not foresee this happening on a large scale. There will be some, especially for the immature DSO’s that really are just a larger practice getting acquired.

Q: How is teledentistry changing the dental industry and how your DSO operates? Are you adopting teledentistry tools?
RZ: Teledentistry will only have a minor impact on helping determine if something is really an emergency.

Q: Where are the greatest opportunities for DSOs?
RZ: There are dozens of DSO models and so it is very difficult to say. In general, the opportunity is the same as it was in 2000, so much of the industry has not consolidated yet.

Q: What are three major challenges DSOs must overcome?
RZ: Three challenges are:
• Cultural integration
• Continued performance after integration
• State regulation

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