Trends in the Development of the Dental Service Organization Model: Implications for the Oral Health Workforce and Access to Services

Authors: Margaret Langelier, MSHSA | Shen Wang, MPA, MPH | Simona Surdu, MD, PhD | Elizabeth Mertz, PhD | Cynthia Wides, MA

Topics: Oral Health

Research Center: Oral Health Workforce Research Center

August 1, 2017

Dental services in the US have been traditionally provided in private dental practices operating as small businesses. Organizational structures for oral health service delivery and for managing business functions are changing, resulting in a variety of options for patients selecting providers. Perhaps the most noticeable change in the dental practice paradigm is the consolidation of small private dental practices into large groups. Dental support organizations (DSOs) provide practice management, human resources, and clerical services, as well as many other business tools.

This report identifies and analyzes data describing DSOs, including interviews with DSOs to understand the qualitative aspects and benefits of management alliances.

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