What 14 dental industry leaders are focused on to finish 2023 strong

Company expansion, employee retention and preparing for 2024 are three things that leaders are honing in for the rest of the year. 

These 14 industry leaders share what they hope to accomplish during the last three months of the year. The executives featured in this article are all speaking at Becker's The Future of Dentistry Roundtable, which will take place Oct. 25-27 at the Swissotel in Chicago.

To learn more about this event, click here.

If you would like to join as a speaker, contact Randi Haseman at rhaseman@beckershealthcare.com.

As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who will speak at our roundtable. The following are answers from our speakers at the event.

Brent Barta, DDS. CEO and Chief Dental Officer of West 10th Dental Group (Indianapolis): We have increased the size of two of our larger facilities this summer. Our focus is on increasing same-store sales by getting these new facilities fully online and operational at a high level. Our focus for the entire year has been on same-store sales!

Ray Caruso. CEO of Lone Peak Dental Group (Denver): Our main focus for the rest of 2023 is improving team retention. We strive to provide meaningful purpose for our doctors and team members where they wake up inspired, feel empowered to make a difference at work and leave fulfilled at the end of each day. We are committed to hiring and onboarding the best people, but we need to take it a step further. We are working to provide career development, leadership training and opportunities for personal growth. 

Bradley Dykstra, DDS. Founder, CEO and Clinical Director of MI Smiles Dental Group (Hudsonville, Mich.): First, we want to continue to build out our administrative team, especially with doctors and strong office managers to improve same-store sales and be well positioned for a strong finish for 2023 and even stronger start to 2024. We also plan to continue exploring opportunities to grow and improve our organization.

Richard Huot, DDS. CEO of Beachside Dental Consultants (Vero Beach, Fla.): Traditionally, the time around Labor Day weekend is when school starts or has started for many families and the office can be a little slower, so this is a good time to prepare for end of the year tasks that should be done before the Thanksgiving holiday. Treatment plans that have already been presented to patients but haven't been scheduled should be looked at and re-presented to patients to convince them to use their dental benefits before they expire at the end of the year. Many families and patients travel to see friends and families around the holidays, and it may be beneficial for the office to seek a per diem dentist to help out with the increased workload that might arise from all this preparation and treatment planning.

Abe Jarjoura, DDS. President of Dental Care Team Group (Grand Blanc, Mich.): Our main focus is financial. We want to reach the production/collection goals we set at the end of last year and stay on top of expenses. In one word: profitability. 

Kelly Jastremski, DDS. CEO of P1 Dental Partners (Indianapolis): P1's focus for the remainder of 2023 is four-pronged. First, we are continuing to build out our tech stack, completing our Dentrix Ascend conversion and adding VideaHealth AI to all of our practices. Second, focus on organic growth as we build out our hygiene systems. Third, continue with acquisitions focusing on great practices that are culturally aligned with P1. Fourth, focus on the final version of P1's Culture and Strategy 2.0, launching the updated mission/vision/values and strategic pillars and funneling these throughout the entire P1 organization.

Maureen McCann. Vice President of Strategic Initiatives of U.S. Oral Surgery Management (Irving, Texas): My main focus during the final four months of 2023 is twofold. It is driving for a strong close to the fiscal year with emphasis on organic growth drivers, while also planning 2024 strategic initiatives that will have the most meaningful impact for our practices and patients.

Abhishek Nagaraj, DDS. Co-CEO and Full Arch Implant Surgeon of Areo Dental Group (Chicago): Our main focus for 2023 is to be able to bend the growth curve for organic same-store growth and integrate new technology such as AI and cloud-based operating systems.

Dipesh Patel, DMD. CEO of Blueprint Smiles Dental Group (Atlanta): For the remainder of 2023, our strategic focus is centered around achieving robust same-store growth, enhancing staff retention and creating operational efficiencies to withstand inflationary pressures. Our commitment to delivering exceptional patient care drives our efforts to expand services and capabilities within our existing locations. Equally crucial is our investment in employee development programs, ensuring that we not only attract but retain the top talent in the dental industry. To mitigate the challenges of inflation, we are adopting data-driven strategies to streamline our operations and cut unnecessary costs. These synergistic approaches are designed to fortify our market position while maintaining our commitment to affordable, quality dental care.

Lynda Ricketson. President and CEO of Dental Lifeline Network (Denver): At Dental Lifeline Network, we strive to ensure all vulnerable adults have access to life-changing dental care. Our focus for the remainder of 2023 is to partner with DSOs to meet two goals — provision of care to these vulnerable populations and helping DSOs to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities which will help with employee recruitment and retention.

Peter Rivoli, DDS. Owner of Rivoli Dental (Spencerport, N.Y.): My main focus for the end of the third and the fourth quarter is to tighten up expenses and make sure my office is running lean for the upcoming year. I am doing this for several reasons. First, there is an upcoming election in a somewhat divided political country. This creates angst within the patient base and when they are unsure of the path forward, they tend to put off larger expenses. Second, with the infiltration of AI into all types of industry, the population of working patients that have disposable income, such as white collar workers, may be laid off at a significantly higher rate than the blue collar workers. Finally, even if a recessionary year doesn't occur, I will still be prepared for a more profitable 2024.

Ozzie Smith III, DDS. Co-owner of Hyde Park & West Loop Smile Studio (Chicago): My main focus for the remainder of 2023 is to finish the year strong to meet our practice goals and to begin planning for next year.

Jeffrey Tomcsik. CEO of Grand Dental Group (Aurora, Ill.): As we settle into the school year and things start to normalize in our communities, we like to focus the last four months on ensuring patients are aware of their insurance benefits so they can maximize their care before their benefits renew. We will also focus on 2024 planning — from capital expenditure, to acquisition target areas, to provider and HR needs for the new year. Of course, we will also plan our new year budget with a focus on growth opportunities within our existing practices. 

Robert Trager, DDS. Dentist at JFK Airport (New York City): Metlife, Cigna and Aetna have started outsourcing their claims to other companies without telling the doctor or the patient. I have had to spend my time writing letters to these insurance companies to opt out of these plans because they do not properly compensate dentists for their work. It is disconcerting because we have to spend our time writing letters requesting paper payments and opting out of plans instead of using that time on patient care. 

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