DSO consolidation to increase as business costs rise, 1 exec says

Consolidation is expected to increase in the dental industry due to a range of factors, according to Deborah​ Brown, DMD. 

Dr. Brown is the CEO of My Community Dental Centers, a nonprofit DSO with more than 30 locations in Michigan. She recently spoke with Becker's about her dental industry predictions for 2024. 

Editor's note: This response was lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: What changes do you expect to see in the dental industry in 2024?

Deborah​ Brown: In 2024, the dental industry will most likely continue to see increased use of technology. In particular, artificial intelligence. The use of AI enhances the diagnosis and treatment planning by highlighting areas that could potentially be missed on radiographs. I would expect CAD/CAM technology will continue to improve for dentures and partials, decreasing the time it takes for delivery to the patient.

Consolidation in dentistry will certainly continue as the cost of doing business keeps increasing. We will see more group practices for both general and specialty dentistry. Also, as the baby boomer generation retires we may see increased sales of their practices to DSOs. New dental school graduates will be joining these practice models because their debt load drives their income requirements.

Patients will seek more in terms of convenience like online scheduling, evening and weekend availability and increased patient-focused, in-office experience. Consumerism and online reviews will continue to have an impact on how patients choose their dental provider.

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