The Future of Dentistry In The United States: Part 3

The preceding article discussed the impact of decreasing dental insurance reimbursements on patients and dentists alike. With wages trailing the rising costs of providing dental care, a significant segment of dental prospects don’t have the funds for anything other than basic dental procedures.

While money may be tight for those people, it’s not a problem shared by private equity firms. Equity firms are awash in cash and, recent interest rate rises notwithstanding, still can borrow on very favorable terms.

There’s Money In Dentistry… For More Than Dentists

Where there’s money to be made, equity firms will be there. Since dentistry is generally a stable industry with good growth potential, it’s a favored industry for private equity acquisitions.

Private equity is engaged in a wave of dental practice acquisitions with an eye toward building additional corporate chains. Right now, Heartland Dental has more than 800 dental practices nationwide. While it’s unlikely that a single new chain will pose a serious threat to Heartland in the near future, the same can’t be said when two, four, or even six more new corporate dentistry chains open their doors.  

Dentists are agreeing to go corporate for several reasons. The first is that the writing is on the wall regarding price-based dental marketing. It’s clear case of those with the deepest pockets and the greatest economies of scale moving to dominate a market. By becoming part of a corporate entity, practice owners can enjoy competitive economies of scale.

Practice owners, who generally retains operational control, can use the money from the acquisition to optimize their practices. The result is that formerly private dentists can earn as much or more while not having to concern themselves with every aspect of practice management.

It’s Your Choice

The decision to become part of a corporate structure is one that shouldn’t be made lightly. If you own your practice, it’s likely because you enjoy calling your own shots. With that said, dentistry isn’t what it was even ten years ago, and it’s understandable that some dentists would like to get back to doing the dentistry instead of being buried in personnel issues, insurance hassles, practice marketing, and other routine, non-clinical functions.

There is a proven way to take several of those non-clinical functions off your plate without losing your autonomy. SmartBox helps thousands of dentists on three continents attract better patients, the ones with ability and willingness to pay more out of pocket for the right dentist. Insurance considerations don’t drive these patients’ decisions to any great degree; they want what they want and they’re willing to pay for it.

Unless you work in an economically challenged market, roughly 30 percent of prospects in your area fall into this “better patient” segment. SmartBox dentists can work less, earn more, and enjoy life again.

And they’re not involved with their marketing unless they want to be. As Dr. Kevin McMahon of Edgewood, KY put it, “I’m very happy with SmartBox. It actually puts my marketing on autopilot. That makes it a lot easier for me. It’s something I don’t have to worry about.”

Discover what’s possible for your practice without having to compromise your autonomy. Get started by reserving your Roadmap call. It’s a free, no-obligation consultation that will show you what’s possible for your practice. Following the call, you’ll receive your customized Roadmap to success.

Dental practice acquisitions will undoubtedly increase going forward, but you don’t have to be swept up in that wave.