dental service organizations

Exploring Future Directions: 5 Trends Shaping Dental Service Organizations

As dentistry evolves, a noticeable shift has occurred in how dental practices are organized. More dentists are moving away from owning their practices to joining group practices known as Dental Service Organizations (DSOs).

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), solo ownership of practices has declined by close to 15% between 1999 and 2021, signalling an acceleration in consolidation efforts; additionally, dental school seniors’ plans to join DSOs have more than doubled from 12% in 2015 to 30% by 2020.

Whether you’re leading a more minor group practice or a larger DSO, staying informed about these changes is essential. Dental service organization trends are rapidly reshaping the industry landscape.


Staying Competitive and Seizing Opportunities: The Importance of Tracking DSO Trends for Dental Businesses


DCS, a Company that assists dentists in managing their finances, recognizes how essential it is for dentists to stay abreast of changes within the dental world. Five significant changes are coming to dental service organizations that will considerably impact how dentists work using more technology while creating improved patient experiences during dental visits.


5 Emerging Trends in Dental Service Organizations


dental service organizations

1. Growing Integration of Digital Technology in Clinical and Administrative Processes

Dental service organizations (DSOs) are gearing up to harness the power of digital technology to enhance their support for the dental practices they acquire. These organizations are projected to embrace various digital tools, such as:

  • Electronic health records
  • Telemedicine
  • Computer-aided design

Integrating this technology aims to enhance patient care and simplify administrative procedures for dentistry assistance organizations. DSOs also aim to broaden their adoption of automated technology to minimize manual administrative duties in dental offices. Greater reliance on technology will not only enhance efficiency but also ensure accuracy. As a result, reducing errors in administrative processes will also decrease security risks.

Consider multiplying the human factor across numerous dental practice sites acquired by dental service organizations (DSOs). This multiplication can lead to not only security concerns but also:

  • Compliance (HIPAA) issues
  • Errors resulting in denied insurance claims
  • Loss of revenue

2. Growing Enrollment in Dental Insurance Plans

As more people gain coverage through dental insurance plans, dental service organizations (DSOs) must adapt their operations to meet this growing service demand. DSOs can anticipate more patients seeking their services, providing opportunities to expand clientele and boost revenue. Unfortunately, along with these advantages come increased administrative duties; compliance with federal, state, and insurance regulations demands specialist knowledge, while processes must remain adaptable to changing coding rules or regulatory requirements changes.

Growing Demand for Dental Billing Expertise Poses Recruitment Challenges

It’s crucial for a dental billing expert to be proficient in the following topics:

  • Procedure coding (CDT and CPT codes, updated annually)
  • Coordination of Benefits rules
  • Different insurance Company’s rules and regulations
  • State insurance rules and regulations
  • Proficiency in various practice management software programs
  • Best practices for creating, batching, submitting, and following up with insurance claims
  • Best practices for appealing insurance claims
  • Best practices for posting insurance payments

3. Improving Patient Experience Through Convenience

Boosting growth and revenue for dental groups and dental service organizations (DSOs) hinges on providing greater convenience to patients. Improving patient convenience involves utilizing automation to:

  • Enable easier online appointment scheduling for patients
  • Send reminders to encourage patients to return for treatment
  • Simplify the process for patients to pay for services

Online scheduling tools offer an effective alternative to the time consuming phone tag process, enabling patients to book appointments outside regular business hours and automating reminders and confirmations to streamline scheduling processes further and increase production rates.

Automation also simplifies payment collection: text-to-pay reminders replace traditional paper invoices, offering patients automatic payment links through text and email.

DCS RCM services offer patient billing technology that expands payment options, including cash, credit cards, Apple Pay/Google Pay, electronic fund transfers (ACH) and monthly payment plans.

An exceptional patient experience is critical in increasing revenue collection for dental groups and DSOs.

4. Growing interest in revenue cycle management (RCM)

Revenue cycle management (RCM) is essential to dental service organizations (DSOs) because it shortens the time between patient services and payment by integrating all dental business systems, scheduling appointments, and collecting final payments the entire patient care delivery and billing process can then be managed efficiently and successfully by RCM.

The primary aim of RCM is to enhance revenue generation and streamline all operational procedures. DSOs seek to adopt revenue cycle management because it improves their financial performance and facilitates growth opportunities. RCM accelerates payment collection for dental services, contributing to cost effectiveness, smoother operations, and increased time for patient care.

By comprehending and enhancing the revenue cycle, dentistry assistance organizations can:

  • Decrease uncollected revenue
  • Lower overhead costs
  • Boost profits
  • Enhance cash flow
  • Improve patient satisfaction

5. Use of RCM services

Even as DSO decision makers work to increase cash flow, many need help finding an RCM service partner they can count on. As more dental revenue managers gain an in-depth knowledge of RCM services and their potential advantages, more will use RCM services in their strategy for increasing their competitive edge.

While dental service organizations (DSOs) debate whether to handle tasks internally or outsource them, they can address significant challenges with a reliable RCM partner (like DCS), such as:

  • Staffing challenges: Recruiting individuals with the necessary skills for administrative roles
  • Requirement for standardized operations, particularly for revenue collection
  • Operational hurdles: Adjusting to the utilization of varied and evolving technology

For dentistry assistance organizations, teaming up with a reliable RCM service expert is crucial. These experts have lots of experience in the industry. They can quickly find and fix problems, so there are no delays or extra costs. DCS provides a full range of RCM services, from credentialing to cleaning up accounts receivable (AR). This means they handle everything with expertise, ensuring things are done efficiently and accurately and following the rules. With a skilled team managing revenue cycle management, DSO members can expect more money coming in, easier processes, and more time to focus on taking care of patients.




In conclusion, as we delve into the future of dental service organizations, it’s clear that embracing emerging trends is essential for staying competitive and meeting the evolving needs of patients and providers alike. By understanding and adapting to these trends, dentistry assistance organizations can position themselves for success in the ever-changing dental industry landscape. From leveraging digital technology to enhancing patient experience and revenue cycle management, there are numerous opportunities for dental service organizations to thrive. By staying informed and proactive, dentistry assistance organizations can confidently navigate these trends, ensuring continued growth and effectiveness in delivering high-quality dental care to communities.




1. What are dental service organizations (DSOs)?

Dental service organizations (DSOs) provide administrative support and services to dental practices, helping them with billing, scheduling, and staffing tasks.

2. Why should dental practices consider joining dentistry assistance organizations?

Joining dentistry assistance organizations can offer dental practices access to resources, technology, and expertise that can help them streamline operations, improve patient care, and stay competitive in the evolving dental industry landscape.

3. What are some emerging trends shaping dental service organizations (DSOs)?

Emerging trends shaping dental service organizations (DSOs) include the increased use of digital technology for clinical and administrative functions, the rise in individuals with dental insurance coverage, and the adoption of revenue cycle management (RCM) services to enhance financial performance.

4. How can dental service organizations (DSOs) prepare for the future?

Dental service organizations (DSOs) can prepare for the future by staying informed about industry trends, leveraging technology to improve efficiency and patient experience, and considering strategic partnerships or collaborations to enhance their capabilities and offerings.

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