How 9 DSOs plan to expand

Several DSOs have begun working on or have already executed their plans to achieve milestone growth over the next few years. 

Becker's has spoken to several DSO leaders so far this year to discuss their growth and expansion plans for 2023 and beyond. 

Here is what nine leaders have told us this year: 

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

Scott Asnis, DDS. Founder and CEO of Dental365 (New Hyde Park, N.Y.): 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. 

'Still in the early innings': Q&A with MB2 Dental COO Justin Carroll 

Justin Carroll. COO of MB2 Dental (Dallas): We're going to close out 2023 with another record year for both same-store and new-partnership growth, which is really exciting. Going into next year, we are full speed ahead. We're going to run our own race, but we're continuing our mission to partner with amazing doctors and support teams. 

Max Surgical Specialty Management plans to double surgeon network in 12 months: Q&A

Jeff Ward. Co-CEO of Max Surgical Specialty Management (Hackensack, N.J.): We have a long pipeline and list of relationships we are nurturing and moving along rapidly and we plan to double the number of surgeons at all of the locations in the next 12 months and then continue at that level of growth going forward. 

While we are only located across New Jersey, we have a lot of discussions across the Northeast. We're focusing on the Northeast, but we do have plans in all the surrounding states. 

What made a DSO critic switch sides

Gary Kadi. Founder of NextLevel Doctors Group (New York City): We plan on being in every state in the U.S. within five years. And the way we're going to build pods is we have an education system. Originally, most dentists had the vision of building their practice, doing well by doing good and then at the end of their career, selling to an individual. This consolidation came up and it's very daunting for people. It's overwhelming. There's new language called LOIs and QofEs and things that, even if you had an MBA, you couldn't get in a lifetime. So what we did was set up an educational system that takes the complexity out of understanding what entering into a DSO is, what your options are and then the process you're going to go through. 

Why Select Dental Management's new CEO is keeping an eye on AI

Stephen Saukaitis. CEO of Select Dental Management (Florham Park, N.J.): We have a couple of themes: strategic acquisitions and organic growth [and the] optimization of practices where we have opportunities to add capacity and services to meet patient demand. In such a challenging economic environment, employee retention across the board is fundamental. We want to be a differentiated partnership model and the best way we can do that is to make sure we deliver world-class service to our practice partners and our patients. At the center of what we do, it really is a practice partnership model, and fundamental to that is making sure we support those partners in the best way we can with the services we produce. 

'They're making the decisions': How 1 PE-backed DSO is empowering dentists 

Kristen Cusack. CEO of Phase 1 Equity (Southlake, Texas): As far as ongoing growth, our growth strategy is to find those doctors who are like-minded [and] really suit our model, and grow around them. From a geography standpoint, it's going to be more about that. So right now what's great is we kind of have a lot of green space. So we can really go out to a variety of different areas because we still have a lot of growth we intend to have, so we can find those great doctors and then go from there. Most of our doctors come to us through referrals from current doctors or other doctors that are involved with Allied OMS, which is our sister company. Doctors who are in our pipeline will often refer us other doctors before they are fully in our organization. It may be someone they went to dental school with and maybe somebody they worked with. So [there is] a lot of organic growth that way.

How Hudson Dental plans to become a 'household name among dentists'

Haim Haviv. Founder and CEO of Hudson Dental (New York City): We have six practices now that are under contact that are under the [advanced diligence] stage of acquisition and one that we bought. In five years, we are probably going to have 50 to 100 locations on the East Coast, then start expanding nationally. We aim to be and are going to be a household name among dentists. 

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

Tim Hill. CEO of Espire Dental (Denver): 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.

How the largest OSO plans to grow in 2023

J. Hedrick. CEO of Smile Doctors (Dallas): It is all about maintaining a [patient-centric] focus. We talk a lot about meeting our patients where they are. That's leaning into the type of treatment modality that's best for them and also fits their lifestyle. Whether that's remote monitoring with dental monitoring or aligners or fixed appliances, what is the best thing to make sure we are meeting patients where they are and providing the best possible clinical care we can, which requires us to provide the best possible support to our doctors and teams. We do plan on continuing to grow. We plan on adding new states in 2023, though that's never been our focus as much as it has been to partner with the best possible doctors we come in contact with. Oftentimes, we believe we grow in concentric circles around the doctors we partner with because a doctor who comes in and loves what they do, they have friends and peers they know well and they will then introduce us to their friends, peers and people they respect in the industry. Three quarters of the practices we partner with come in as a lead from another doctor.

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