Ahead of its 100th practice opening, Dental365's growth shows no signs of slowing: Q&A with Dr. Joshua Gish

As part of one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., Joshua Gish, DDS, said he would describe Dental365's growth as a high speed bullet train — with no plans of slowing as the company chases its 100th location this year.

The New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based company has locations throughout New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It will open its 100th office in Brick Township, N.J., in early September and has plans to add at least 20 more practices this year, according to Dr. Gish.

Dr. Gish is Dental365's senior vice president of clinical affairs and head of its oral surgery division. He spoke with Becker's about the company's growth this year and plans for expansion.

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

Question: How would you describe Dental365's growth so far this year?

Dr. Joshua Gish: We think that a great analogy to Dental365's growth would be a high speed bullet train. We're moving very quickly, very smoothly and we're seeing great exponential growth. We've grown into two additional states. We're growing into our specialty markets. We're providing not just general dentistry like we were a couple years ago, but now really full service dentistry across all of the specialties and we don't see signs of slowing down.

Q: What challenges has Dental365 had to overcome during its growth, and how are you combatting those challenges?

JG: We have some fairly universal challenges. One of the biggest ones for us is, we really do have a robust, best-in-class business development team, but it's very difficult to sort through the hundreds of opportunities that are inbound that get presented to us. We find that we actually turn down far more practices than we choose to affiliate with. That's just trying to find the right partner for us and for us to be the right partner for these practices and these doctors. Some of the universal challenges that we face are just like everybody else. Staffing — the labor market is very difficult these days. We're seeing a lot of wage inflation, trying to get people trained to help us in our growth. We see a decent number of IT challenges as some of the practices that we take over have existing infrastructure issues, normal supply chain constraints, sourcing products for our doctors. A lot of that really spans across the entire industry.

[For] one of the main challenges specifically for us with our business development and some of our opportunities, we spend a lot of time and have a lot of good protocols in place and metrics that we use to assess our practices. A lot of it also is dealing doctor to doctor. We have a lot of doctors within our network who have affiliated with us and are willing to speak to potential acquisitions and help ease them through the process and answer a lot of questions and have a true understanding of what these doctors are going through, so that we can really make sure and get a good idea of the practice, not just from a numbers basis, but also understanding that there's good dentistry being done, that our patients are going to get great clinical outcomes and that the patient experience in these offices is in line with our goals as a practice. In regards to some of the staffing issues and these universal issues that everyone seems to be facing, we're just trying to stay ahead of the curve. We've all been hit with this unforeseen pandemic and just trying to plan ahead, put in protocols in place to have multiple venues for sourcing any type of equipment that we might need and really keeping our own stocking system so that we're able to make sure that our doctors are not interrupted in their patient care.

Q: What does Dental365 look for in an affiliate practice?

JG: It really comes down to a lot of personal connections. We're not just looking at the metrics of financials with each of these practices. We really want to make sure that the doctors are aligned, that they're looking towards us to be partners. We always give the same advice to people, even the ones that we don't wind up affiliating with that are still looking to affiliate with other DSOs. We say, "Listen, we really want to make sure that you are affiliating with a company that understands the difficulties of doing dentistry." We always say doing dentistry is very difficult; doing good dentistry is even harder. So we want to make sure that these doctors have the opportunity to work for a company that's really led by dentists, have an understanding of how to do dentistry [and] how to take care of patients. So a lot of this has to do with personal connections with our doctors and making sure that they're aligned not just from a financial standpoint, [but] from a patient care and quality of outcome standpoint.

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