The Advantages and Disadvantages of the DSO Model - Pt. 2

As a dentist, your future was once somewhat well-defined. Things have changed. And among those changes could be having to weigh your future alternatives such as the advantages and disadvantages of the dental DSO model.

Not everyone is quick to consider this model as a future option. If you’re one of those that sees the potential you’re likely already aware of the advantages.

A run-down of the DSO model’s advantages

We covered these in a recent post. A quick recap can help you think through the model’s supportive appeal.

There’s a practical perspective to consider and an operational perspective. Each have potential, specific advantages.

Advantages for new dentists

Advantages for experienced (veteran) dentists

Advantages for retiring dentists

Advantages for overall practice operations

These are the common advantages you can expect from affiliation with a dental DSO. Each could vary depending on the size and scale of the DSO you choose.

Wisdom would also apply to being aware of the disadvantages associated with the DSO model.

A few potential disadvantages of the DSO model worth considering

Scheduling tension

You might feel that your schedule - while more consistent (and full) - is tighter with less flexibility. It’s common to experience a sense that you’re losing touch with your patient base and personal attention has been sacrificed for the “bottom-line.”


Meeting and exceeding metrics is good motivation and good for your revenue stream. Even so, organizational goals can drive you to push treatment and potentially alienate your patients.

Loss of independence

This has much to do with “ownership.” Affiliating with a DSO transfers “power” to their leadership structure.

You could be trusted with practice leadership but you can often feel more like an employee-leader instead of an independent leader of the practice.

Vanishing vendor relationships

The DSOs vendor reach can be substantial. Although vendors are often selected by price and order fulfillment over relationship loyalty.

Loss of earned equity

A DSO affiliation typically involves the purchase of your practice. The structure and details of your agreement could result in the loss of any equity you’ve built to date.

Culture clash

Your dental practice has unique culture. It’s important to evaluate the related reputation of a DSO’s corporate culture. Patient perception will follow your affiliation whether or not they’re aware of your corporate structure.

Keep in mind that not all dental DSOs are the same. Each have their recognized strengths and weaknesses.

It’s vital that you perform due diligence.

Discover more about the ins-and-outs of the DSO model in these resources:

What Is a Dental Service Organization (dental DSO)?

3 Lessons DSOs Learned From COVID-19: Cash Flow, Culture and Care

Solo/private practice dentistry, group practice dentistry, or the DSO model - proven dental practice management technology is key to your success

Dentrix Ascend from Henry Schein One centralizes data, supports the structure of your practice (and DSO organizations) and provides scalability as your practice or organization grows.

Learn what makes Dentrix Ascend the right solution for your dental practice and for growing DSOs.

Request a demo today.