Are Group Dental Practices And DSOs Unbeatable?

It should come as no surprise that larger group practices and dental service organizations are forecast to dominate the landscape in the coming decade.

So, should you join a group or a DSO? The answer, as with nearly everything is, it depends.

It’s undeniable that groups and DSOs enjoy economies of scale that are hard for the single dentist to match. A recent article in DentistryIQ noted that 20 percent of dentists surveyed believe that running a solo practice is too expensive. 33 percent are inclined toward a group practice because they want to increase the size of their patient base.

Neither problem is insurmountable for the solo practitioner, and SmartBox has been demonstrating that fact for thousands of dentists for many years. Here’s how it works.

Expensive Is Relative

Solo dentists who follow the traditional price-based marketing model often feel the pinch of laying out hard-earned marketing dollars that largely attract price-shoppers, insurance-driven patients, and one-and-dones. 

To borrow a phrase, “Well, there’s your problem.”

In any given market (areas that are severely economically challenged may be the exception), some 20-40 percent of prospects have the ability and willingness to go fee-for-service for the dental care they want. 

Think about what that can mean for your practice: less, or even no, reliance on insurance. Patients who want more than single-tooth solutions. Patients who will stay, pay, and refer.

With more loyal patients offering higher initial and lifetime case values – and helping keep your chairs full – your monthly marketing spend is decreased. Your top-line and bottom revenue soar. You get to practice more interesting and rewarding dentistry. And, most importantly, no one else is telling you how to practice or setting monthly production goals except you.

So Why Aren’t You Getting These Patients?

Did your dental school curriculum include any courses on marketing? Didn’t think so. Odds are that you followed the model that you saw other dentists using. All of you are engaged in a “race to the bottom” where only the practices with the deepest pockets wins.

Price competition forces you to shave your margins, to accept insurances that you may not want to, and to work longer and harder for not enough in return. It’s a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle, and it’s certainly not what dentistry can and should be.

If you’re a growth-minded dentist with the courage to investigate a different approach to attracting the new patients you want, here’s your way out of “treadmill dentistry until you die.”

Schedule a Practice Growth Call with Ashley Best. On anyone’s short list, she’s one of the top practice growth experts in the country.

The call is in no sense a sales call. It’s an exploration of your goals, what’s working and not in your current marketing approach, and the competitive factors at play in your market.

For an investment of your time, you’ll receive our Summary of Findings about what’s working and not working in your current practice growth efforts, and your personalized Practice Growth Roadmap that lays out specifically how you can overcome all obstacles and achieve the kind of success and growth you’ve always dreamed about.

If you’re looking to remain independent, you need to play your own game by your own rules… not the one that the groups and DSOs will inevitably win.