private dental practice vs dso

Private Dental Practice vs DSO: What’s The Difference?

What are the main differences between a private dental practice and a DSO? In 2022, there are so many choices you have to make as a new dentist. The decision to go with a dental practice, go out on your own, or join a dental service organization can be overwhelming. Part of the reason Ascent Dental Solutions exists is to provide guidance to new dentists as they make decisions for their careers. As you do this, deciding between joining a dental practice vs. DSO plays an important role. This post reviews some of the differences between the two.

Advantages of Private Dental Practices vs DSO


When it comes to dental practices, you can choose from owning a solo business or joining a small group with other dental providers. There are several benefits to joining a dental practice. You typically have more flexibility in your hours, schedule, and other resources. This is alluring to many young dentists who want flexibility in their work environment. As a business owner, you can often set your own hours (within reason) and work when you want to.

Disadvantages of Dental Practices


Do you want to get your dental career started on the right path? Are you looking to put in place the practices and procedures to make your existing dental business more profitable? Send Dr. Coughlin a quick email today!


Depending on the type of dental practice you join, there can be some disadvantages. If you want to own your practice, a downside is that you wear many hats – including marketing and promoting your business. While some people thrive on doing different tasks rather than the same ones all day long, it can be overwhelming if you are just starting out. You might find that partnering with a more experienced dentist gives you the best mix of autonomy and support.


Advantages of DSO


DSO stands for Dental Service Organization. These are organizations that manage the administrative side of things, leaving you to focus on providing excellent clinical care. Faced with high student loan debt and increasing dental school costs, DSOs can be a good option for many young dental professionals. Most if not all of the administrative tasks are managed by the DSO, and you receive a steady and reliable income from the get-go. If you prefer a reliable system and support network, DSOs would likely be a good fit.

Disadvantages of DSO


There are pros and cons to everything. With DSOs, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind. The first is that you have less freedom and flexibility if you choose to join a DSO. This option reflects a traditional employment experience, which may or may not be a plus for you. You also may have to go through corporate “red tape” and requirements that would not be an issue if you owned your practice. DSOs often manage important aspects of a dental practice like staffing, which can make or break the client experience. In these organizations, you don’t have control over these and other decisions.

Private Dental Practice vs DSO? Dr. Coughlin Can Help


As you decide what option to take in your dental career, you don’t have to do it alone. Dr. Coughlin has experience growing and managing 14 practices over his career. Contact him today to learn about how he can help you make the best financial and professional decisions for you!