Dentists, Lilly Pads, and YOUR Future!


Dentistry is changing quickly, think back to the first time you saw a large dental office. Now think to when you heard of a group of dental offices with centralized back office services called a Dental Service Organization (DSO). As of 2018, 15% of all dental offices are DSOs and this has occurred in a short period of time. Check out Episode 14 – Dentistry Beyond DSOs of the podcast What’s Next Dentistry to hear more.

The following French riddle illustrates what may be happening with DSOs, dentistry, and YOUR Future. “A lily pad is growing in a pond and it doubles in size every day. After 30 days it covers the entire pond. On what day does it cover half the pond?

For a long time the lily pad seems small, and so you decide not to worry about cutting it back until it covers half the pond. On what day will that be? On the twenty-ninth day, of course. You have one day to save your pond.” – The Limits to Growth – A report for the CLUB OF ROME’S project on the predicament of mankind. Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, William W. Behrens III – 1972

What is the doubling time for DSOs? We don’t know. However, for the moment, DSOs are growing quickly.

With this in mind let’s look now at the latest things happening in Dentistry:

1) Dental Insurance Companies hire participating dentists to work for them.

2) Dental Insurance Companies are buying and owning dental practices and DSOs.

Let’s look now to the future:

1) Medical insurance companies and other health companies buyout dental insurance companies.

2) Dental expenses are covered by medical insurance, which drives down the cost of care to patients.

The future of dentistry is unfolding right now and there is a lot happening. Check out Episode 14 – Dentistry Beyond DSOs of the podcast What’s Next Dentistry to hear more.

If you are entrepreneurially inclined I would love to speak to you and hear your opinion about the future of dentistry. Please reach out to me via LinkedIn or to continue the conversation.

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