Out to turn the industry upside down: Q&A with Espire Dental CEO Tim Hill

Tim Hill is the CEO of Espire Dental, a DSO that recently surpassed 25 affiliated practices. 

He recently spoke with Becker's about the company's growth and business strategies that differ from others in the industry.

Note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: What have been the best and most productive strategies that have helped the company reach the 25-practice milestone?

Tim Hill: What we are doing is bringing together an elite group of dentists and teams that are located all across the country. Our goal is to bring them together into an integrated group space that elevates the provider and team member experience as well as the patient's clinical outcomes. When you think about private practices and the roll up that is happening in the dental industry, there are a lot of small and large groups. What we're doing is partnering with elite practices and dentists that would not typically affiliate with a group. They've been incredibly successful — their practice is more elevated than a lot of times what you will find in a group. The experience is what it all comes down to — our provider and team member experience, which equally translates to our patient experience. 

Q: What are some of the qualities that those elite dentists and practices have that make them different from others?

TH: Most of the dentists that partner with Espire have significant advanced training and skill sets in dentistry, first and foremost. They are also true leaders within their practice and their teams, they're wanting to continue to grow and do something more within the industry, and they are at the point in their practice where they are looking for a partner to help them do that. For some of them, it may be the beginning of transitioning to retirement or an exit plan. For others it may be more in the middle of their career where they love the passion of dentistry and continuing education, but they are looking to partner with someone who can help them focus more on that rather than the whole business of dentistry.

Q: What do you think sets Espire Dental apart from all the other dental organizations?

TH: First and foremost, our culture. Everything that we do is grounded and rooted in our founder's vision of having a strong culture. A lot of organizations talk about culture, and there are a lot of companies across the world that say they have a really great culture and purpose. Yes, they have the plaque on the wall, but that's about as far as it goes. We use a whole wall at every single one of our practices to talk about our credo for our patients so they can't miss it when they walk in. It is hard to live up to your purpose and mission of values when you are screaming it in front of the patient's face when they visit our practices. That's where it all starts: It's our purpose, it's our culture and our vision. We like to think of ourselves as hospitality meets dentistry. That mentality and intention of looking for opportunities to find ways to make a patient's experience extraordinary when they are at the dentist, which is typically very mundane. We are very intentional about the training we do with our teams to go out of our way to find those opportunities.

Q: Does the company have any specific goals for 2023 or beyond?

TH: We are not done growing by any means. We're just getting started. We are out to turn the industry upside down and look for opportunities to do things that are unique. We believe in bringing in technologies, systems and workflows that will advance our team experience but will also allow us to bring in new technologies as we grow, which is very important to us. We will continue to look outside of the four states that we are currently located in, and we have search rings out there to look for those elite private practices. There are three more practice location acquisitions that we will likely close before the end of our second quarter. On top of that, we have a robust pipeline for continued partnerships with these great dentists and teams that are looking to join us. It is a really exciting time for us. Although we are concentrated in the midwestern and western part of the U.S. right now, there are equal opportunities across all 50 states, and we will be looking at some point to really expand throughout the country.

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