Why 1 DSO exec expects 'seismic' change in the dental industry

Dental365 plans to continue growing its network by partnering with dentists who adhere to the DSO's mission of providing high-quality care.

The New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based DSO supports more than 100 practices across New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Scott Asnis, DDS, founder and CEO of Dental365, recently spoke with Becker's about the company's growth and how technology is changing the dental industry.

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

Question: How would you describe Dental365's growth in 2023?

Dr. Scott Asnis: It's been strong and steady but thoughtful. We look for offices and clinicians who want to continue what our mission statement is, which is dentistry done right. We've had so many offices come to us and we say no. This is a different model. Dentists and offices know when they join us that we care deeply about doing dentistry right. 

Q: What is most exciting to you about Dental365's growth strategy?

SA: The most exciting thing going into different states is finding so many like-minded clinicians. The amount of dentists calling to join us is mind-blowing. So far [this year] it's been 200. It's a great testament to our model and reputation. 

Q: What are you hearing most from dentists who want to affiliate with Dental365?

SA: I think their main goal with us is to be able to be supported by dentists. I'm the founder and still a practicing dentist. Only at our company do dentists speak to dentists. We understand how hard dentistry is and we're very sensitive to helping them make dentistry easier or becoming better dentists. 

Q: What are some goals for the DSO over the next few years?

SA: Our sites are set on continuing to lead the market as the premier dental healthcare company, not just DSO. We look forward to continuing to expand and being at the forefront of dental care and the mouth-body connection. I believe there's going to be a seismic change in the future oral healthcare [industry]. In a few short years, you won't recognize the dental landscape. Saliva testing will be part of the standard of care for all dentists. My dentists are already trained to be oral physicians. Saliva testing is here to stay and it's part of our molecular dentistry that we perform for patients. This is the future of dentistry. 

Q: Has the organization had to overcome any challenges during its growth?

SA: Absolutely, like the labor market in the Northeast. Luckily, we've had the ability to look around the corners and we put processes in places that best prepare for all these challenges. The labor market is getting better and people are coming back to work. [We have almost] a full roster of hygienists, so things are definitely getting better. I just think people are now coming back to work. Before, they were very comfortable working from home and I think healthcare providers like hygienists are coming back to the workforce. 

Q: How does Dental365's platform stand out from competitors?

SA: We are dentist-founded and dentist-run. We're doctors who understand the stresses of dental practices, so we're really good at supporting our doctors. We also have a really unique platform that allows our doctors to learn from each other [and] learn from the foremost clinicians who are on the cutting edge of our profession. 

Q: What else does Dental365 look for in a partner practice?

SA: We have specific metrics like other DSOs on office size, patient count or operatory count. We're just a group of private practices. I support eight different divisions of our company. We have oral surgery, periodontics, endodontics, pediatric, orthodontics, TMJ [and] facial pain offices and, of course, our [general practice] offices. We're just looking for competent dentists who understand the patient experience and good clinical outcomes. Dentists who share our tenet of dentistry done right. There are a lot of good dentists now who are wanting to join us. 

Q: What is most interesting to you about the dental industry today?

SA: We're really thrilled to be on the forefront of molecular dentistry and we continue to offer what we call SalivaScore. It's a biomarker testing for our patients to help make Dental365 the destination for all phases of oral health. Nothing in healthcare is more important than prevention. These saliva tests give our providers the ability to see around the corners and give patients preventive strategies. 

I think [artificial intelligence], which we've incorporated into all of our offices, is something that is coming on and I assume that most, if not all, dental offices within the next few years will be using AI as a second opinion. I think with AI and using intraoral scanners, there will be so many new things to help our patients.

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