CDA Launches “DSO like” Services for their Members

The California Dental Association’s newest subsidiary, The Dentists Service Company (TDSC), officially launched its services to CDA members. TDSC was established to support dentists with the business side of dentistry, specializing in practice management advising and group purchasing services.

CDA formed TDSC in response to members’ strong interest in CDA pursuing a management services company to help members be more competitive and efficient in an ever-evolving profession, while ensuring all clinical-care decisions and practice ownership remain with dentists.

“We are thrilled that TDSC services are now available to our members,” said CDA President Clelan Ehrler, DDS, MS. “As with everything CDA does, TDSC is grounded in what is best for dentists, patients and the profession — much like it was with the creation of The Dentist Insurance Company (TDIC) more than 35 years ago.”

TDSC’s practice management services take a comprehensive approach to practice advising, marketing and human resources. Member-clients work with TDSC experts as an extension of their team to build a strategic action plan geared toward their own practice goals and vision.

Specific training and expertise are introduced at the right time in each plan. Practice advising encompasses practice operations and management, scheduling, budgeting, hygiene processes and collections. Marketing advising is dedicated to branding and marketing plans, analysis and demographic research to help grow and maintain a patient base. Human resources advising supports effective hiring, onboarding, performance management, terminations, compensation and benefits.

“We know our members are ready to utilize TDSC’s comprehensive practice management services,” said James Stephens, DDS, chair of TDSC’s board of directors and past CDA president. “TDSC experts are ready to ‘meet’ these practices and develop a deep understanding of each practice’s vision in order to tailor a plan that meets the practice’s specific goals — at a pace that’s right for them.”

Additionally, members can tap into significant supply savings by leveraging group purchasing power. TDSC Marketplace, an online experience featuring more than 25,000 dental products, offers negotiated low pricing as a CDA member benefit. Members licensed in California can start shopping the Marketplace today by visiting and signing in with their username and password.

“The Marketplace allows practice owners to leverage the buying power of CDA’s large membership to attain better supply pricing,” said Stephens. “I encourage our members to check it out — the site is easy to navigate and the savings are listed on each item.”

TDSC is the result of CDA responding to members’ needs in a changing environment, one in which dentists are looking to achieve business efficiencies while still practicing on their own terms.  “CDA has a long history of innovation to support members, from the creation of TDIC to Practice Support and now TDSC,” said Ehrler. “This is the next logical step and it comes from a trusted source, CDA.”

Commentary: It is important to note that these services are very similar to some services that dental support organizations provide to dental practices that they manage.  The California Dental Association has realized that while some dental practices and dental practitioners would rather work with a dental support organization, there are many others that would like to practice on their own, but need assistance with the business side of dentistry.  The CDA has taken a forwarding think approach in offering these services. 

TDSC’s services may seem like competition for DSOs looking to woo dental practices owners over to their groups.  While this may be the case in certain situations, the CDA embracing these services has also validated what DSOs have been doing for many years, providing the business support so dentists can focus on the clinical aspects of dentistry.

Another note of importance, the CDA is an association partner in the Association of Dental Support Organizations

Commentary by Beth Miller, GDN Contributor

Source: California Dental Association