Will Large DSO-Managed Group Practices Be the Predominant Setting for Oral Health Care by 2025? Two Viewpoints: Viewpoint 1: Large DSO-Managed Group Practices Will Be the Setting in Which the Majority of Oral Health Care Is Delivered by 2025 and Viewpoint 2: Increases in DSO-Managed Group Practices Will Be Offset by Models Allowing Dentists to Retain the Independence and Freedom of a Traditional Practice

James R. Cole, William W. Dodge, John S. Findley, Stephen K. Young, Bruce D. Horn, Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, Max M. Martin, Ronald L. Winder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This Point/Counterpoint article discusses the transformation of dental practice from the traditional solo/small-group (partnership) model of the 1900s to large Dental Support Organizations (DSO) that support affiliated dental practices by providing nonclinical functions such as, but not limited to, accounting, human resources, marketing, and legal and practice management. Many feel that DSO-managed group practices (DMGPs) with employed providers will become the setting in which the majority of oral health care will be delivered in the future. Viewpoint 1 asserts that the traditional dental practice patterns of the past are shifting as many younger dentists gravitate toward employed positions in large group practices or the public sector. Although educational debt is relevant in predicting graduates’ practice choices, other variables such as gender, race, and work-life balance play critical roles as well. Societal characteristics demonstrated by aging Gen Xers and those in the Millennial generation blend seamlessly with the opportunities DMGPs offer their employees. Viewpoint 2 contends the traditional model of dental care delivery—allowing entrepreneurial practitioners to make decisions in an autonomous setting—is changing but not to the degree nor as rapidly as Viewpoint 1 professes. Millennials entering the dental profession, with characteristics universally attributed to their generation, see value in the independence and flexibility that a traditional practice allows. Although DMGPs provide dentists one option for practice, several alternative delivery models offer current dentists and future dental school graduates many of the advantages of DMGPs while allowing them to maintain the independence and freedom a traditional practice provides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-471
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of dental education
Volume79
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • dental group practice
  • dentists
  • ownership
  • practice management
  • private practice
  • professional autonomy
  • professional practice location

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

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