Give Your Private Practice All The Perks Of A DSO

by | Oct 10, 2022 | Dental Office, Employer advice, Guest Blog Post, Practice Advice, Practice Marketing | 0 comments

I recently wrote an article titled : Tools DSOs Use to Staff Their Dental Jobs, where I discussed the tools DSOs have available to them to fill their vacant Dental Assistant and Hygienist jobs and filled you in on how you can access those tools.  

It got me thinking about all the other tools DSOs have available to them, and how if private practices had access to those tools they could really make their practice thrive.  For this article I partnered up with Smile Source.  The largest private dental practice network with the goal to band together private practices to enjoy the same buying power and collaboration that the bigger companies enjoy.  With 1000s of dentists across 625 dental practices they are doing just that!  

We asked them to collaborate on this post with us to discuss the “perks” Dental Service Organizations have and give us some insight into how Private Practices can access and utilize those perks to grow their practice. 

Smile Source identified 8 key perks that Dental Service Organizations have that Private Practices can have too.  Here they are.

#1 Market

A huge perk that Dental Service Organizations have over private practices is a large marketing budget.  At their disposal they have copy writers, SEO strategists and a budget to attend local events. 

I find that most private practices don’t have a researched and implemented marketing plan to grow their business.  But Smile Source offers all their members a marketing consultation, SEO optimization and more for free with their membership. Time for patients to start finding you!

#2 Develop

This discusses personal development for you and your team.  Yes, you have so many Continuing Education Credits that you need to achieve each year.  But when running a private practice that isn’t enough. 

Working with a team or company that offers CE credits in the areas where you really need to learn like:

  • Practice Management
  • Team Training
  • Customer Service
  • Case Planning
  • and Marketing

And still gives you access to your usual CE courses like:

  • Implants
  • Endodontics
  • Cosmetic Orthodontics
  • Sleep Apnea and Appliances
  • And TMJ/TMD Treatment  

THAT is the magic sauce that you need for you and your practice. 

#3 Finance 

You most likely already have financing options available to your patients.  But are those the best financing options?  When I worked in dentistry I would have treatment plans as much as $60k that I had to help find financing for.  And I wanted my patients to have the best option, while offering a plan that didn’t take too much money out of my practice’s pocket.  

So it never hurts to explore other options, especially if a nice little discount is built in. 

#4 Save

Another huge perk DSOs get that private practices don’t, are hefty discounts on everything they need to make their practice run.  They buy in bulk and because of that, vendors lower their prices for them.  It simply isn’t fair, but it’s the world we live in. 

Joining a group like Smile Source lets you remain a private practice owner, but they negotiate hefty discounts with companies on your behalf and then simply pass those savings on to you.  

#5 Share

Dental Service Organizations have a huge network of dentists, specialists and professionals in the field to help over other dentists advice.  By joining a private practice network you gain 1000’s of friends in the dental field that you can reach out to for anything, case advice, daily frustrations, problems with employees, anything.

#6 Grow

If you aren’t already, I urge you to be offering your patients an in-house dental plan.  This draws more patients to your practice, helps you drop dental insurance, and can bring in monthly guaranteed income as your patients make payments to their plan monthly.  

There are many great options out there, and almost every DSO is offering this to their patients and you should be too.  

If you don’t know where to start, Smile Source can help you.  They have a couple options available and you just have to pick the best one for you! 

#7 Recruit

DSOs have the best tools available to recruit and retain (we will talk about retain shortly) their Dental Assistants, Hygienists and Front Office Dental Personnel.

They have:

  • Recruiters – whose only job is to contact applicants.
  • Programmatic Job Advertising – They post their job once and it goes to every major job board. 
  • They buy in bulk – The more job posts they buy the less they spend.
  • They have applicant tracking systems – to help them keep track and move applicants quickly through their interview process.
  • They Text – you should too.
  • They have a structured onboarding plan – to help retain their new hires. 

 Again I discuss all of this in this blog post.  But I can save you a read and tell you DirectDental gives you all these tools as well.  

#8 Retain

I promised I would talk about retaining staff.  I couldn’t look up the exact numbers, but we know many dental offices are not only struggling to hire dental professionals, but many of them are struggling to retain them once they have hired. 

And that has to be extremely frustrating. 

There are many things that go into retaining your staff.  But a huge aspect is staying competitive with the pay and benefits that you offer.  You could be the best employer in the world, but that doesn’t pay the medical bills.  

However, for private practices offering benefits like medical insurance and 401k can be costly and I imagine it is pretty confusing to navigate and implement.  And even more frustrating is the DSO next door is offering every benefit under the sun includeing Medical Insurance, Vision Insurance, 401K, Paid Time Off, Bonuses and more. 

To avoid the headache and financial burden of implementing these benefits on your own, you could partner yourself with a group that has found the best benefit providers and negotiated the best pricing to provide those benefits to your employees.  Problem solved.    

There you have it.  8 “Perks” that DSOs have that your Private Practice needs.  

If you are interested in learning more about how you can activate these perks for your dental office you can contact SmileSource directly.  If you need any assistance in hiring, head to


Holli Perez 

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