On today’s episode, Mark sits down with Chip Fichtner, the principal of Large Practice Sales (LPS), to delve into the transformative trends of consolidation and investment in the dental industry. They discuss the significant impact of ‘invisible’ Dental Support Organizations (DSOs) and how they are reshaping the landscape of dental practice ownership.

In an enlightening conversation, Dr. Costes and Chip Fichtner examine the surge of over $10 billion of new equity capital pouring into dental consolidation. They unravel the concept of ‘invisible’ DSOs—entities that partner with practices to offer support and capital while preserving the practice’s unique identity and autonomy. Exploring the dynamics of invisible DSOs, the duo sheds light on how these organizations, backed by diverse investors such as private equity, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds, prefer to acquire a majority stake in dental practices. They operate as ‘silent’ partners, offering substantial support systems without altering the practice’s established brand or operational software.

The discussion then pivots to the critical factors influencing dental practice value and multiples during acquisitions. Chip provides insights into how the number of bidders, practice growth rates, and regional demographics—especially in high-demand areas like the Sun Belt—play a significant role in determining a practice’s market value. Highlighting the benefits of partnering with DSOs, they discuss how practices can leverage improved digital marketing, recruitment capabilities, and negotiate better reimbursement rates and benefit costs, courtesy of the DSO’s expansive network and scale. Fichtner elucidates the strategic approach LPS employs to represent dental practices. He emphasizes their meticulous process in connecting sellers with the ideal invisible DSO buyers, aiming to establish synergistic relationships that maximize practice valuation.

Finally, the concept of the ‘First Bite’ and ‘Second Bite’ of the apple is explained. Chip breaks down the financial implications of initial cash-outs at closing and the potential for future earnings through strategic partnerships. They underscore the exponential growth potential of retained equity when aligning with the right DSO.

For a deeper dive into the future of dental practice ownership and to explore opportunities for your practice, visit Large Practice Sales at largepracticesales.com. Discover how invisible DSOs can become a game-changing partner for your practice.


Chip Fichtner