Benefits of Joining a DSO (Dental Service Organization)

May 2023
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One of the biggest shifts in the dental industry in the past decade has been the rise of dental DSOs, or dental service organizations. These organizations are changing how dental offices operate and, depending on your dental practice’s goals, could be a great way to take your practice to the next level.

But is joining a dental DSO right for your practice?

What is a dental service organization?

DSOs (dental service organizations) provide a variety of non-clinical support services to dental practices, including management and administrative functions such as…

  • Human resources
  • Accounting
  • Billing and collections
  • Legal and regulatory compliance
  • Marketing and branding

These services can help dental practices streamline their operations, reduce overhead costs, and increase profitability. By outsourcing these tasks to a DSO, dentists can focus on providing clinical care to their patients and growing their practice.

Why have DSOs become so popular?

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Rising costs

The cost of running a dental practice has been increasing for years, including the cost of supplies, equipment, rent, and staff. DSOs can help dental practices reduce costs by taking advantage of economies of scale, negotiating better rates with suppliers, and centralizing administrative functions.

Increasing competition

The dental industry has become more competitive over the years, with more dentists entering the market and new dental practices opening up. DSOs can help dental practices remain competitive by providing marketing and branding support, as well as providing access to resources and expertise that may not be available otherwise.

Evolving patient expectations

Patients today expect a higher level of service and convenience than ever before. DSOs can help dental practices meet these expectations and modernize by providing innovative technology and infrastructure, such as teledentistry and electronic health record systems.

Regulatory changes

The dental industry is subject to numerous regulatory requirements, which can be complex and time-consuming to navigate. DSOs can help dental practices stay compliant with these regulations by providing legal and regulatory compliance support.

Attracting investment

DSOs have attracted significant investment in recent years, which has allowed them to expand their operations and provide more support to dental practices. This investment has also helped to improve the reputation and credibility of DSOs within the dental industry.

What are the benefits of joining a DSO as an independently run practice?

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Focus on clinical care

As a practice owner, you are responsible for all aspects of your business, from clinical care to administrative tasks. By joining a DSO, you can delegate administrative tasks to a team of professionals who specialize in managing the business aspects of running a dental practice. This allows you to focus on what you do best: providing high-quality clinical care to your patients.

Economies of scale

DSOs manage multiple practices, which allows them to benefit from economies of scale. They negotiate with vendors for supplies and equipment, which allows them to purchase these items at a lower cost than a single practice could. Additionally, DSOs can leverage their size to negotiate better rates with insurance companies, resulting in increased revenue for the practices they manage.

Professional development

DSOs offer a wide range of professional development opportunities for dentists and their teams. In addition to providing a large network of other dental professionals and open job positions within an organization, they provide training on new clinical techniques, practice management, and leadership skills.

This helps to keep your practice up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. It also provides opportunities for personal and professional growth which will be a strong draw for candidates as you continue to build and retain your team.


When working with a dental DSO, you’ll join an organization that can help promote your practice and increase your visibility in the community.

Whether through the practice name, a DSO’s existing website, or any other marketing or branding systems the DSO has, you’ll be able to leverage the brand equity that the DSO has already built. When you combine that with your own patient base and reputation, results can be powerful.

Financial support

DSOs can provide financial support to help you grow your practice. They can help with financing for equipment purchases or building renovations, which can help you expand your services or improve your patient experience. Additionally, they can help with accounting and financial planning, which can help you make informed decisions about the financial health of your practice.

Shared resources and best practices

DSOs provide a platform for dentists to share their experiences and best practices with one another. This can include sharing clinical knowledge, operational strategies, and patient management techniques. By participating in a DSO network, you can benefit from the collective expertise of other dental professionals, and learn from their successes and challenges. This can help you improve your own practice and provide better care to your patients.

Should my practice join a DSO?

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Whether or not your practice should join a DSO dental service organization depends on your specific situation and what you are hoping to achieve with your practice and business.

Long-term goals

If your goal is to expand your practice and increase profitability, a DSO may be a good option. Dental DSOs can provide access to resources and expertise that may not be available otherwise, as well as marketing and branding support to help grow your patient base.

Practice size

DSOs can be beneficial for both solo practitioners and group practices. However, smaller practices not looking to grow may not benefit as much from joining a DSO, as they may not have as many non-clinical functions to outsource.


Consider your desire for autonomy in managing your practice. Joining a DSO means giving up some degree of control over non-clinical functions, as the DSO will handle these tasks. Some dentists may prefer to maintain complete control over their practice and may not want to join a DSO.

Culture fit

Consider the culture of the DSO and whether it aligns with your practice’s values and goals. Some DSOs may have a more corporate culture, while others may have a more collaborative and supportive culture. It’s important to find a DSO that fits well with your practice’s culture and values.

Ultimately, whether or not your practice should join a DSO depends on your specific goals, needs, and situation. Consider talking to other dentists who have joined a DSO, as well as consulting with legal and financial professionals.

:Delmain helps dental practices of all types and sizes grow their practice

Whether you are exploring a DSO or don’t think joining one is right for you, :Delmain can help you achieve your goals. In addition to working with multiple DSOs, we also work with stand-alone single and multi-location practices to help them convert more of the right patients through their website.

If you want to learn more about how we can help your practice, book an intro call. We’d love to hear from you.

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