DSO vs. Private Practice


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What are the benefits of working for a DSO supported practice instead of opening a private practice? Dental Service Organizations, or DSOs, provide business and administrative support to often multiple offices. The business support typically includes billing, human resources, marketing, purchasing and accounting, while dentists focus on patient care, career development and office leadership. These business skill sets are not generally offered in dentist training programs and have become more important in the changing healthcare environment.

DSO’s are also able to lower overall spending costs through increased efficiencies, negotiated pricing and bulk purchases.  

Owning a private practice includes all the daily responsibilities of managing a business, including finances, marketing, credentialing, patient record organization and staffing. These responsibilities can be overwhelming for a recent graduate with student loan debt to repay. The average student loan debt for Dental school graduates is over $180,000 and growing. That means an increasing amount of Student Loan debt for many Dental students upon graduation. Opening a private practice may often include seeking financing or business loans. Private practices also have an initial low ROI (Return on Investment), making it difficult to yield a profit the first few years