Thursday, July 22, 2010

Traditional Practice vs Group Practice

Twenty years ago, the vast majority of dentists were solo practitioners who called their own shots and ran their own businesses. Today, group practices represent a significant percentage of the market and now provide an alternative to traditional solo practice. At this point in your career, which setting is right for you?

We have placed hundreds of dentists in both group and traditional settings. While walking a job seeker through the decision process, we consistently hear the same set of “pros and cons” offered for both settings. Here is an overview that we hope will prove helpful to any dentist considering a new position.

There are many types of group practices. For the purposes of this blog I will define traditional practices as those that have a sole practitioner or two partner doctors. Group practices include corporate groups, offices run by practice management companies, and private practices with three or more doctors.

Traditional Practice:


• More income potential as a practice owner or partner
• Freedom to run the office as you see fit
• Freedom to pursue your own clinical interests
• Equity position is more likely


• Complete responsibility for the practice
• Many hours of administrative work outside of clinical hours
• Balancing clinical CE with business development training
• Practice growth is your responsibility

Group Practice:


• Limited or no administrative responsibilities
• Limited or no time required outside of office hours
• Reduced overhead could improve compensation
• Collegial setting
• Larger marketing budget
• Ability to specialize within practice
• Mentors available – clinical and business
• CE program in place
• Ability to negotiate higher fees from insurance companies
• More funds for equipment and technological upgrades
• More common to find benefits packages include group health insurance, 401K, and more


• Less clinical autonomy
• Less or no control on business of the practice
• More colleagues to disagree with
• Quality of colleagues work reflects on you
• Less freedom to pursue niche
• Equity position less likely
• Higher staff turnover

This is certainly not a complete list of all the varying aspects of these two settings. I welcome your comments with any additional Pros or Cons.

Written by Morgan Pace, Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan at (540) 491-9102 or To find out more, check us out at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is It Time To Bring A Dental Specialist Into Your Practice?

You have worked hard over the years to build your practice into the vision you had in dental school, steadily building a loyal patient base by providing high quality dentistry at a competitive price. You may have even added an associate over the years to handle the ever increasing demand, but you have now encroached the limits of how many patients your practice can see. The question now is, what should I do to handle the load?

Your first thought might be to add another general practitioner. This could be the answer, but one has to consider what is needed to make this work out the best for everyone involved. Ask yourself if you have the physical capacity to add another GP? This may require an expansion to add a couple of more operatories and related equipment. Secondly, unless you are booked out far in advance you may also have to do additional marketing to bring in new patients to be able to keep a new doctor busy. You may even have to look at accepting new insurances or even accepting Medicaid. When adding it all up, you may find that it is really not the best option at this time.

But wait! There is another approach that could very well take the stress off of your tight schedule, maximize the use of your current space, increase practice revenues and add services that you are able offer to your patients. The answer might be to bring a dental specialist into your practice on a part-time basis.

For instance, you and your associate are currently each working a 4-day work week. You already have the space that is unused at least one day per week, so there is no need to expand the physical aspects of your practice. With a very busy practice, you are probably referring out a good deal of work to a specialty practice and are seeing those revenues walk out the door. Whether it be an Endodontist, Periodontist, Oral Surgeon or other specialist, your practice can actually keep approximately 50% of those lost revenues in house by hiring a specialist to come in one day per week to see those patients in need. By having the services of a specialist in-house, you are also able to increase patient satisfaction and retention.

All in all, adding a dental specialist may be the answer to your capacity challenges. There are many practices out there that are benefiting greatly by this type of arrangement. There are also a good number of specialists who prefer to work in multiple offices each week. It tends to be a win – win –win for everyone involved…the practice owner, the specialist and the patient.

How do I find that Dental Specialist to join my practice? One way is to call me. I work with practices all across the country to provide Dental Specialists for their hiring needs. I will be happy to discuss your need and attempt to find the person that would be the answer to your challenges.

Posted by Gary Harris, Dental Specialist Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Gary at (540) 491-9115 or Find out more at