What is a DSO and How Does a DSO Support Dentists?

It is estimated that a private practice dentist will spend 50% of their time practicing dentistry. With a DSO support model, the dentist will spend 95%-99% of their time practicing dentistry and not dealing with the business aspects. Watch this ADSO video, featuring Steve Bilt, CEO, Smile Brands, to learn more about what a DSO is and where DSOs are headed.


When you become a dentist you actually open what really is a small business.

A DSO is a dental support organization which includes everything from finding a location to getting equipment, to staff, all the human capital components, to consumer financing, marketing for patients, all kinds of things, all of which the dentist who just went through dental school and became a professional, an amazing practitioner of that art of dentistry, has very little training in. The idea of a DSO is to say, rather than spend say 50% of your time, which is what the ADA has historically estimated a private practice dentist can spend on the actual practice of dentistry with a DSO support model that dentists can spend 95 to 99% of his or her time practicing dentistry and not dealing with the business aspect.

That in its essence is what the DSO is meant to be. It’s been an industry in formation for a number of years, that’s accelerated a lot over the last decade. There’s a saying that all truth passes through three phases. First you’re ridiculed and ignored and that’s kind of the DSO history, back 20 years ago through maybe a decade ago when I originally got into it. Then you face opposition. People say, “This model’s not as good as other.” And they try to push you away. And then people look at you and say, “Well duh, that was obvious.” Which is the self evidence phase.

The DSO space has been growing a lot in the last four and five years as it moves between phases two and three and you’ll see a lot more expansion over the next four or five years as well.