Episode 22 – Deeper Dive: How Independent Dentists Can Stand Out in a DSO Market

“There’s plenty of room for your particular dream to have value in the marketplace.” ~Dr. Victoria Peterson

No one likes competition, especially from big business. In fact, it’s probably something you’ve worried about more than once as a dental business owner. But I think we often let ourselves get too concerned about what the big corporations are doing. Let me give you an example. Consider car dealerships. I’m sure you’ve noticed how they’re often grouped together, one right after the other, in “dealership row.” Now, convention would say don’t set up shop right next to your competitor. But the dealerships know they offer a variety of vehicles at a variety of price points. Toyota’s customers and Porche’s customers are looking for different options and have different needs.

The dental industry is the same. There are so many ways for you to distinguish yourself! Last episode, I spoke with Dr. David Porritt about DSOs and I think his perspective was so wise: there are good DSOs, and less good DSOs, but you don’t need to fear them. As you may remember, Dr. Porritt talked about consolidation theory and how we saw in the pharmacy and medical fields the consolidation of fragmented markets. That same consolidation is now happening in dentistry. 

But what I want to encourage you with is, there is no need to “bow to the inevitable” and sell now. Here’s why. By the year 2035 they’re estimating consolidation of 45% of the market. What that means for you is there’s still plenty of room for solo practitioners and non-equity backed dentistry to play! There’s space for you to build your Investment Grade PracticeTM where you can provide the clinical care you desire and build the practice that will be an asset in your future. 

You’re listening to this podcast because you’re a savvy business owner who wants to serve your patients in the way you believe is best, but also craft a practice that grows its value. So join me today to break down the Investment Grade PracticeTM thought process by looking at these topics:

  • Options for independent practice in the current dental market
  • Where to seek support so you can be competitive in the job market
  • Opportunities to stand out in the industry

Do you know how long you need to work to maintain your lifestyle when you retire? Use this completely free calculator to see where you stand: What’s my IgP Freedom Number?

Want to have a conversation about your Investment Grade PracticeTM? Contact Brent at brent@productivedentist.com.
Never miss an episode! Subscribe to Investment Grade PracticesTM Podcast on iTunes & Spotify.


Victoria Peterson
Don’t fear the DSO that was the main message from Dr. DE port on our last podcast. And I think there’s some wisdom in this. When we’re looking at the market competition. Think about it as car sales. You know, all the car dealerships seem to be on car dealer row. And they offer a variety of transportation options at a variety of price points. There’s so many ways for you to distinguish yourself in the marketplace. So don’t fear competition on that level. Also, what Dodger port pointed out was consolidation theory. When you look at markets that are fragmented, they begin to consolidate, we saw this in pharmacy, we saw this in medicine, we saw this in optical, we’re now seeing this in dentistry. It is a natural function of the business. But what consolidation theory tells us is that the market will never be 100% consolidated, even by 2035, they’re estimating that less than 40%, perhaps 45% will be consolidated. So there’s so much room for solo practitioners independent practices, privately held groups, non-equity backed dentistry, there’s so much room for you to play the game on your terms, creating an Investment Grade Practices that allows you to provide the type of clinical care that you desire. So when you think about market competition, and the theme of don’t fear the DSO, don’t fear it from a point of they’re going to take over and I might as well sell out now it’s futile.

Don’t think that way, there’s plenty of room for your particular dream to have value in the marketplace, there’s room for you to be competitive in that marketplace. Large groups and DSOs typically have a growth model of about 5% a year. Now, this is growth in revenues, that can come from the economy of scale that can come from efficiency, it could come from fee increases, but for the most part, they don’t make big moves, they don’t make bold moves, they may be a little slower to adopt technology because they have to adapt it across five to 25 to 100 locations. So you’ve got edges in the marketplace of being flexible, and capturing market share with your reputation. Now, where you should pay attention to this consolidation could come with the battle for employees, as we see the great resignation continue, and the employment market tightening where you can become aware of what’s happening in larger groups are the competitiveness with wages and benefits. So how do you combat that part, that’s what you should pay attention to? Well, number one, work with a professional benefits coordinator, you can become part of a professional employment group, you may get associated with trade associations, we help our clients with this all the time trying to get if you’re a solo doctor, it’s difficult to get really great group benefit. So reach out to someone on my team if you’re struggling with this because being competitive on a benefits level matters.

Being wage and hour plus 401. K’s health insurance, sickly PTO, all of that. And it’s quite complicated. I know. We deal with this every year at productive dentist Academy. I had it when I had my 55 employees at neighborhood smiles. It’s a really important issue. It’s difficult to deal with if you’re a solo practitioner. So please reach out to Brent, get on my schedule. I’d love to talk to you about this. The place where you can really be competitive though, is culture. When you’re reaching out to hire and you’re placing ads. They’re not like the old school classifieds that we used to place where you got charged 10 cents a letter or 10 cents a word. I’m really dating myself now. You have the freedom and the flexibility to really launch a multimedia campaign to find great team members. And it should showcase your practice as one that reflects your core values attracting people based on core values and culture creates meaning in work. And for me, I think that’s what people are craving is a life of meaning. The pandemic really highlighted that going to work to punch a clock to get a paycheck isn’t quite as fulfilling as it might sound.

So how can we create a culture that provides people with purpose with meaning with significance, an opportunity to grow in their skill sets, I’ve seen more and more that continuing education budgets for your team, helping them grow personally, helping them grow financially, and I don’t mean just in their paycheck, but also in financial education, signing them up for a Dave Ramsey course, for example, on money management, and budgeting, helping them understand how to get out of personal debt. These are more important for employers now than ever because your team’s comfort level and presenting financial options to patients is going to be a direct reflection of their comfort level of dealing with their own personal finances. Get creative your team is your team may not even know how to ask for this. But my experience as a consultant when we go in and we work with teams on this level, they appreciate having certainty in their own life. And that translates to bringing certainty to your patients. So on the topic of don’t fear the DSL don’t fear that they’re going to buy out the entire world. They’re not is it a good option to sell to a DSO? Well, that depends.

We’ve got a great IGP calculator, you can go in and do a little bit of top-level financial planning, looking at what your financial freedom number is put in what your current collections and current profits are. It’ll show you where your practice has potential and be in the next five years. If you do business, as usual, going 5% a year if you sell to a DSO and work for them for five years, or you first optimize your practice over the next one to two years and then start selling. So I invite you to click the link below and check out the IGP financial freedom calculator. That may be a great tool to help you and your seller readiness. And then in optimizing your practices, really take a page from the larger groups that have figured out how to offer benefits. And if we can help you figure that equation, give us a call. Thanks for listening to investment grade practice. I’m your host Victoria Peterson. That’s a wrap for this edition of Investment Grade Practices.

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Investment Grade Practices podcast. If you find value in this episode, help us spread the word by passing it along to a dental friend subscribe and give us a Like on iTunes or Spotify. Learn more about building your Investment Grade Practice at productivedentist.com Today

Have a great experience with PDA recently?

Leave a Review

Need help?
Accessibility Options
Accessibility On Our Website

We are committed to continuously improving access to our goods and services by individuals with disabilities. If you are unable to use any aspect of this website because of a disability, please call (800) 757-6077 and we will provide you with prompt personalized assistance.

If you have trouble seeing web pages, the US Social Security Administration offers these tips for optimizing your computer and browser to improve your online experience.

If you are looking for mouse and keyboard alternatives, speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking may help you navigate web pages and online services. This software allows the user to move focus around a web page or application screen through voice controls.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, there are several accessibility features available to you.

Closed Captioning
Closed captioning provides a transcript for the audio track of a video presentation that is synchronized with the video and audio tracks. Captions are generally visually displayed over the video, which benefits people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and anyone who cannot hear the audio due to noisy environments. Most of our website’s video content includes automated captions. Learn how to turn captioning on and off in YouTube.

Volume Controls
Your computer, tablet, or mobile device has volume control features. Each video and audio service has its own additional volume controls. Try adjusting both your device’s volume controls and your media players’ volume controls to optimize your listening experience.

Read More About Accessibility and Why It Matters

Need help?

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Do not include sensitive personal, financial, or other confidential information (Social Security, account number, login, passwords, etc.). This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Helpful Resources

Below are links you may find helpful when scheduling an appointment with us.


Episode 213 – Requested Replay: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

“You’re not doing your patients any favors because their...

Episode 213 – Requested Replay: The Waiting is the Hardest Part (featured image)

Episode 239 – From Good to Great

“I’ve found ways to become free.” ~Dr. Chad Johnson Discover...

Episode 239 – From Good to Great (featured image)

Episode 116 – Requested Replay: Creating Patient Connections

In this episode of the Investment Grade Practices podcast, we invite...

Episode 116 – Requested Replay: Creating Patient Connections (featured image)
In the Press

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years.

from Dental Entrepreneur – Winter 2023 By Dr. Maggie Augustyn...

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years. (featured image)
From Our Blog

Free Case Study PDF: Results That Speak For Themselves

Dentistry is tough–you deserve support. But hiring a consultant can...

Free Case Study PDF: Results That Speak For Themselves (featured image)
Follow Us On Social Media


Stay informed on updates and upcoming events from our office.


Connect and learn more about Productive Dentist Academy.


Subscribe to our YouTube channel.


View fun photos and follow our team on Instagram.

Your Privacy
Privacy Policy

This privacy notice discloses our privacy practices and the use of Google Analytics 4(GA4), an analytic advertising feature. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website and the GA4 platform. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website and GA4 platform, how it is used, and with whom it may be shared.
  2. The choices available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

While Productive Dentist Academy is the primary data controller, Google, in the context of providing Google Analytics service, acts as a data processor. We use Google Analytics 4, a widely recognized web analytics service provided by Google, Inc., to track user interactions and gather data for advertising purposes. As a third-party vendor, Google Analytics operates independently and maintains its own privacy policy, which can be found at https://policies.google.com/privacy. We carefully select our third-party vendors for their commitment to user privacy and adherence to data protection standards. As part of our ongoing commitment to your privacy, we implement measures to ensure that services like GA4 comply with our high standards of data protection.

GA4 collects certain personally identifiable information from you as you interact with our website. This information includes but is not limited to your device ID, IP address, and geographic location. The information collected through GA4 is used to analyze user behavior, optimize our website’s performance, and tailor our content to better serve your needs. This data is compiled and anonymized, ensuring that it cannot be linked back to individual users.

Please note that GA4 may share the information collected with Google and other third-party service providers to enable data processing and reporting on website usage. However, we will not sell, rent, or share your information, especially your personally identifiable information, with any third party outside of our organization.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You have certain rights regarding the data collected by GA4. You have the right to do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

In addition to opting out of any future communications from us at any time, you may also opt out of the GA4 feature if you so choose. You can opt out of the GA4 Advertising Features we use through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or through the NAI’s. This link points to Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs for the web https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/ 


We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline. GA4 also follows industry best practices to protect your data both online and offline.

To ensure data protection while we are using GA4, we are implementing additional security measures that include and are not limited to:

  • limiting data access, 
  • using secure protocols, 
  • managing data sharing with Google

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Contact Us

If you have any concerns about the use of GA4 or believe that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, please contact us immediately. We are committed to addressing any privacy-related issues promptly and transparently.

By using our website and consenting to the use of GA4, you acknowledge and agree to the data collection and processing practices described in this notice. For more information about GA4 and its privacy practices, please review Google’s Privacy Policy on this link https://policies.google.com/privacy.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately.

Read More About Our Privacy Policy and Why It Matters

Terms of Service
Terms of Service

Entering this site or the links accessible through this site, you agree to be bound by this agreement. The information and the resources contained on and accessible through this site are made available by Productive Dentist Academy and/or its suppliers and vendors, and are subject to your agreement to their terms and conditions.

All contents copyright (c) Productive Dentist Academy

All rights reserved, Productive Dentist Academy makes this website available to all users for the sole purpose of providing educational information on health-related issues.

The accuracy of website, information, and resources identified are not warranted or guaranteed, or intended to be a substitute for professional health advice, to contradict health advice given, or for health care of any kind.

Your use of this website indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use and you expressly agree to be bound to the foregoing terms and conditions.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy, or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

Material on this site may be used for personal use only. Commercial use of any sort is strictly prohibited.

Use of Resources & Information
This site may not be used as a supplement or alternative for health care, and is not intended and does not warrant or guarantee the quality or quantity of any services of any of the advertisers identified; further, the information provided is merely for educational purposes, and its accuracy is not guaranteed. Do not use this site as a substitute for health care. Please consult with your doctor or other health care provider regarding any health questions you may have. This site may not be used for health diagnosis or treatment. Do not use this site to disregard any health advice, nor to delay seeking health advice, because of something you read or see in this site.

You understand and agree that neither Productive Dentist Academy nor its suppliers or vendors or linked domain names are responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage of any kind, directly or indirectly resulting from your use of this site or the information or the resources contained on or accessible through it.

Productive Dentist Academy expressly disclaims any implied warranty or representation about the information or accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for any particular purpose of any kind. Your use of this site is also subject to all additional disclaimers that may appear throughout the site.

Other Internet Sites Links
This site also includes links to other internet sites created and maintained by Productive Dentist Academy’s suppliers, vendors, affiliates, or subscribers. Be aware that Productive Dentist Academy does not control, makes no guarantees about, and disclaims any express or implied representations or warranties about the accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for a particular purpose of the information or the resources contained on these or any other internet sites.

Further, the inclusion of these links is merely for your convenience and is not intended and does not reflect Productive Dentist Academy’s opinion on the accuracy or the importance of these other sites; further, Productive Dentist Academy does not endorse in any manner any of the views expressed in, or products or services offered by these other sites. All information in any site by Productive Dentist Academy, or associated or linked site, is extracted, read, used, or relied upon by you at your own risk.

Disclaimer of Warranty
Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors disclaim all express or implied representations or warranties regarding the information, services, products, materials, and any other resources contained on or accessible through this site, including without limitation any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All information provided by Productive Dentist Academy is made available “as is” and “as available” without warranty of any kind, or any express or implied promise, including, by way of example, its continuing availability.

Limitation of Liability
With respect to products, goods, or services purchased from any entity identified, listed, named or contacted through Productive Dentist Academy’s website, or any links to Productive Dentist Academy’s website, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors be liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary, contractual, or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever of any kind, resulting from any loss, which by way of example, includes loss of use, loss of data, loss of profits, business interruption, litigation, or any other pecuniary loss, whether based on breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability, or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of this site, with the delay or inability to use this site, or with the provision of or failure to make available any information, services, products, materials, or other resources contained on or accessible through this site, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

You acknowledge and agree that the limitations set forth above are elements of this agreement, and that this site would not be provided to you absent such limitations.

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors from any liability, loss, claim, and expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to your violation of this agreement or use of this site in any manner. Your use of this site shall constitute your acceptance of the terms of this Agreement, as revised and modified, if any, each time you access this site. Productive Dentist Academy may modify this agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified agreement.

Productive Dentist Academy’s failure to insist upon strict enforcement of any provision(s) of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.

This agreement and the resolution of any dispute related to this agreement or this site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of law. Any legal action or proceeding between Productive Dentist Academy or its links, suppliers or vendors and you related to this agreement or this site shall be brought exclusively in a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Skagit County, Washington.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

This site contains links to other sites. Productive Dentist Academy is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites that are linked to us.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Productive Dentist Academy’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, please contact us.

Read More About Our Terms of Service and Why It Matters

Search the Website

Use keywords in the search box below to find what you're looking for.

Go to the Top of the Page