In this episode of “Dentistry Unmasked” with Dr. David Rice and Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Munz, guest Chip Fichtner of Large Practice Sales dives into the dynamic and often misunderstood world of dental practice consolidations and DSO (Dental Service Organization) partnerships. The discussion demystifies several myths surrounding the industry, particularly the false notion that market fluctuations have negatively impacted practice values or the volume of consolidations.

Contrary to these beliefs, Fichtner explains that there is an influx of capital resulting in a competitive and robust market, with record values achieved in recent transactions. He emphasizes the emerging trend of ‘invisible DSO partnerships,’ where dentists sell a majority share yet retain significant control and autonomy over their practices.

Significantly, the conversation also reveals a shift in the demographic engaging with DSOs. Younger dentists in their 30s are increasingly drawn to these partnerships, not for an endgame retirement strategy, but to rid themselves of administrative burdens and concentrate on patient care and family life. Fichtner underscores that this partnership model enables sustained ownership, potential growth of remaining equity, and an eventual structured exit strategy.

The podcast touches on qualifications for practices to be attractive candidates for IDSO partnerships, emphasizing the importance of practice size, growth trajectory, and the age of the dentist. Other critical factors that can affect a practice’s value include payer relationships, team stability, and the adoption of technologies such as AI.

From the patient’s perspective, the invisible nature of these partnerships allows for continuity of care, with no overt changes in practice branding or operations. However, patients benefit from enhanced care due to the additional support and technology available to the dentist.

Fichtner concludes by advocating for dentists to educate themselves about these partnerships, even if not immediately interested, as this business model is advancing within the industry at pace.

If you’d like to learn more about invisible DSO partnerships and see if it suits your practice’s future, we’d love to chat with you. We have completed more than $1 billion in IDSO partnerships since 2023 – nobody knows dental practice values like we do. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation process that Large Practice Sales offers to qualified practices. Contact us today to get started.

Chip Fichtner