Dentists are increasingly eyeing DSOs — Here's why

News and Analysis

As the dental industry continues to evolve, dentists are increasingly joining dental service organizations, according to a Dentist's Money Digest report.

Here's what you should know:

1. American Dental Association data finds 7.8 percent of dentists are part of DSOs.

2. Westborough, Mass.-based Dental Solutions Partner Maria Melone says DSOs have grown in popularity over the past 10 to 15 years due to factors such as high debt. Many dental school graduates have an average of $300,000 in debt.

3. The Association of Dental Support Organizations requires its members to follow a code of ethics and a statement of principles. An ADSO spokesperson said these documents ensure dentists make the clinical decisions, and DSOs will not weigh in on a patient's clinical care.

4. DSOs may be an attractive option for dentists seeking a better work-life balance as many younger dentists want to work about 32 clinical hours each week, according to Ms. Melone.

5. DSOs can reduce administrative burden for dentists, who can then shift their time and energy to patient care.

6. Ronald Perry, DMD, a department of comprehensive care professor at Boston-based Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, said he projects the majority of dentists will join a DSO in 20 years or fewer.

More articles on dental:
Insurance Commissioner fines Dental Health Services $300k: 5 takeaways
Paramount Health Care acquires Dental Health Options by Health Resources: 3 things to know
Arizona faces dentist shortage: 7 highlights

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