How Smile Brands has grown to a 400-supported office DSO: CEO Steve Bilt shares insight

Steve Bilt is the co-founder and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Smile Brands and OneSmile. The dental service organization has 5,500 employees and over 400 affiliated locations in the U.S. 

Below, Mr. Bilt, shares insight about the challenges DSOs face and the potential still ahead.

Editor’s note: Responses were edited lightly for length and clarity.

Question: Where are the greatest opportunities for DSOs?

Steve Bilt: Dental service organizations have a tremendous opportunity to support providers in a way that enables them to focus their incredible healing talents almost exclusively on patients. This, in turn, lowers the cost of care and increases access. Ultimately, my hope is that this will make a meaningful dent in the 60 percent U.S. patients that don’t see a dentist any given year.

Q: What are three major challenges DSOs must overcome?

SB: 
1. Developing and maintaining a win-win culture for patients, providers and the business.
2. Meaningfully lowering their cost to serve. 
3. Expanding their base of services both geographically and vertically, such as adding procedures and technologies into long-standing workflows.

Q: What strategies do you use to attract recent dental students?

SB:
We focus on our “Smiles for Everyone” value proposition. This includes attractive up-front compensation, numerous skill development and mentor opportunities, and career path progression up to and including practice ownership. 

Q: How do recent dental school graduates respond to DSOs? 

SB:
The response is more and more favorable each year. This is a combination of two factors. First, they have become familiar with the breadth and diversity of DSOs out there, and second, DSOs have continued to improve their offerings to new doctors.

Q: Is there a market you haven't tapped into that excites you? Where are you looking to expand?

SB: We tend to favor larger, top 40 type designated market areas. We are in many designated market areas and expanding rapidly in each, adding a new practice every three to five days through both building and buying. We are looking to find great partners to enter the markets we aren't in yet, as well.

More articles on dental:
ADA expands policy on oral cancer detection
SmileDirectClub breaks silence, slams dentists
Montana denturists fight proposal requiring dentists' presence

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers