ADSO December 2016 Newsletter

ADSO Quarterly Newsletter

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ADSO Quarterly Newsletter December 2016
Message from the President

As we come to the end of another year, I’d like to wish you and your families a happy holiday season!  I hope you have safe travels and memorable times with family and friends.

I’d like to welcome Dennis LaGanza to the ADSO.  Dennis is our new Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and brings over 20 years of government relations experience to ADSO.  The DSO industry is experiencing exponential growth and having Dennis on board will help ADSO effectively support our members in this dynamic and ever-changing environment.

I’d also like to acknowledge ADSO’s newest members.  Please join me in welcoming SmileLogics and Pacific Smiles Group Limited, our two new DSO members, along with 13 new Industry Partners.  Additionally, I’m very pleased to announce that the ADSO has its first Association Partners, the American Academy of Periodontology and the American Association of Orthodontists.  You can learn more about all of our members on the ADSO website (

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to remind everyone that our 2017 ADSO Summit is coming up soon – March 7-10, 2017 in sunny Florida at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel.  This will be a terrific event with great networking and learning opportunities with industry leaders and peers.  Last year the Summit sold out so I encourage everyone to register now!

I look forward to seeing you all in March at the Summit, if not sooner, and happy holidays to all!

The Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) is excited to announce Dennis LaGanza as the new Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for ADSO effective December 14.  Dennis has over 20 years of experience in government relations.  His expertise is in state government relations where he has an extensive background in advocacy, political strategy and public policy.  Dennis holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

“I am honored to be named Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the ADSO and to join such a dedicated group of professionals who are helping to provide such important services to dental professionals who, in turn, provide patients with the best care possible,” said Dennis LaGanza. “This is a great opportunity to work with such a dynamic and exciting industry.”

Please join the ADSO and its members in welcoming Dennis to the team.


Registration for the 2017 ADSO Summit in Lake Buena Vista, Florida is open! Last year’s event was SOLD OUT and we encourage members to register early.  Visit the event page for more information.

Dentsply Sirona is this year’s title sponsor.  Check out their video to learn why they attend each year and encourage you not to miss this premiere DSO event!

In November, the ADSO Board of Directors elected thirteen members to serve on the 2016-2017 Executive Committee. Ten of the current Executive Committee members were re-elected while three new members were added. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Alan J. Acierno of DecisionOne Dental, Scotte Hudsmith of Smile Doctors, LLC, and Thomas J. Marler of DentalOne Partners!

Dr. Alan J. Acierno is the CEO of DecisionOne Dental. Dr. Acierno graduated in 2001 from Creighton University Dental School and began practicing with a large DSO in Peoria, Illinois.  In 2003, he returned home to Chicago to head his own private practice. In 2012, he founded DecisionOne Dental Partners.

Scotte Hudsmith serves as Chief Executive Officer of Smile Doctors, LLC., overseeing the executive management team as the company expands its unique orthodontics experience across the U.S.  Since Hudsmith joined the organization in 2014, Smile Doctors has grown from two Austin-area locations to nearly 40 locations in five states.

Thomas J. Marler joined DentalOne Partners as Chief Executive Officer in September 2015.  Prior to joining DentalOne Tom was President and Chief Executive Officer at Intelident Solutions. Intelident Solutions owns and operates dental support organizations Coast Dental and SmileCare, as well as DentistRx., a dental health products and supplies company.

You can learn more about the new Executive Committee members on the ADSO website.

The dust is finally starting to settle on what turned out to be a more raucous 2016-election cycle than anyone could have predicted.  The election of Republican Donald Trump as our 45th President had ramifications all the way down the ballot as voters – in addition to voting for President – cast ballots for candidates running for Congress, Governor, Attorney General, and State Legislatures.  Since Dental Support Organizations are regulated primarily at the state level, this recap focuses on the results of state elections.

Twelve states elected Governors on November 8.  Republicans won three governorships previously held by Democrats (MO, NH & VT) and held three states (IN, ND & UT).  Democrats held five states (DE, MT, OR, WA & WV) and picked up one state previously held by a Republican (ND).

Elections were held for Attorney General in ten states. A Republican won the AG race in one state previously held by a Democrat (MO).  Democrats were able to hold on to five states (NC, OR, PA, VT & WA) while Republicans held four (IN, MT, UT & WV).

Eighty six of America’s 99 state legislative chambers held elections on Election Day. Republicans gained majorities in the Iowa Senate, Kentucky House, and Minnesota Senate, while Democrats were able to flip both houses in Nevada and the New Mexico House.  Both parties made gains in different areas of the country, but it was the Republicans, fueled by strong turnout, that had greater success in capturing state legislative seats.  Ultimately, the Republican Party’s share of seats in state legislatures increased by 43 across the country.

The unusual election of 2016 also produced some particularly unusual outcomes in two state legislative chambers:

Alaska House Republicans were able to maintain a numerical majority in the House despite losing two seats. However, shortly after the election a “coalition” was announced between House Democrats, three Republicans, and two independent representatives that gave effective control of the House to Democrats.

In Washington State, Democrats gained a numerical majority in the State Senate, but Republicans maintained control of the chamber because a Democratic Senator caucuses with the Republicans.

How all these elections will affect the DSO industry has yet to play out.  One thing is certain: there are several new members in the ranks of Governor, Attorney General, and State Legislator that will have to be educated about the DSO model and the important work being done by the membership of the ADSO.

By Preston Baldwin and T.J. Bolger, Centerpoint360


In October, Anthony Vastardis, CEO of Dental Associates, and Steve Spellman, CEO of Midwest Dental, hosted Democratic leaders from the Wisconsin Assembly at the Dental Associates’ corporate offices in downtown Milwaukee.  The event provide the opportunity  for Antony and Steve, along with supported dentists, to give the legislators a first-hand account of the DSO model and how it benefits the people of Wisconsin.  The event was the second one hosted by Dental Associates as part of a campaign to educate legislators about DSO-supported practices.



Left to Right: Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (Kenosha), Rep. Evan Goyke (Milwaukee),
Steve Spellman (CEO, Midwest Dental), Anthony Vastardis (CEO, Dental Associates),
Rep. Fred Kessler (Milwaukee), Dr. Tom Manos (owner, Dental Associates), Rep. Tod Ohnstad (Kenosha).
Veterans in Texas Receive Dental Clinic Care in Texas from Affordable Care Dentists 

Just in time for the holiday season, nearly 1,000 veterans in the Dallas area have brand-new smiles this year. Affordable Care (DSO to Affordable Dentures & Implants) traveled to support the Texas Mission of Mercy pop-up dental clinic event this November.  All services were free for veterans, from basic dental care to dentures, and much more.  All dentists at the event were volunteers and equipment was donated.  A team of Affordable Dentures & Implants lab technicians delivered approximately 120 partial and full dentures for the veterans who came to the clinic.  Dr. Jay Patel, practice owner of Affordable Dentures & Implants – Waco, also traveled to the event to treat patients.

Dianne Hooks, a Navy veteran in attendance, said, “Really a true love attitude, these people are here with the best attitude, it’s just amazing, it’s really just beautiful how they respond to us as military veterans.”  Another veteran who received care thanked volunteers for coming out and giving their time for those who are otherwise unable to afford care.

The Dallas-Fort Worth regional ABC, NBC, and CBS television stations mentioned Affordable Dentures & Implants’ partnership with Texas Mission of Mercy in their daily television segments, reaching over 350,000 people.

Wisconsin Children and Communities Benefit from Dental Associates’ Practices Providing Quality Care
Dental Associates’ 14 clinics throughout Wisconsin regularly find ways to give back to the communities they serve.  Every year in February for Children’s Dental Health Month, clinic teams travel into their communities to give interactive presentations to children about oral health.  In 2016, Dental Associates team members visited more than 100 elementary schools, preschools, daycare centers, and YMCAs to teach 14,255 children how to care for their teeth.

Dental Associates’ Howard Dental Center channeled the “holiday spirit” throughout the year with a food drive for The Giving Tree, a food pantry run by the Howard-Suamico School District.  The clinic asked patients and staff to donate nonperishable food items at the clinic, then staff brought the food to the pantry on September 29.  In total, the clinic collected eight boxes of items for the local pantry.  Along with the food donations, the clinic donated $500 to The Giving Tree’s efforts.

ADSO also congratulates Dental Associates on being named “Best Dental Clinic” in the 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards.  Readers of the Fond du Lac Reporter voted on the winners of these awards.  Over the years, Dental Associates Fond du Lac has established itself as one of Fond du Lac’s best dental clinics, winning or being a finalist in the Readers’ Choice Awards each of the last six years. To learn more about Dental Associates’ path to recognition, read their story here.

Pacific Dental Services Foundation Provides Smiles to Children at Local Playgrounds

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Pacific Dental Services Foundation and volunteers brought free dental care to children at two newly constructed playgrounds in California.  The playgrounds were built in less than 24 hours by members of the Smile Generation team through a partnership with the nonprofit, KaBOOM!, that constructs playgrounds in underprivileged areas.

Pacific Dental Services Foundation provided more than 200 patients with dental care for a total of $110,000 in donated dentistry.  Dr. Clinton Park, a Smile Generation trusted clinician, notes: “Smile Generation has a culture to serve, and I loved watching the playground build in between serving patients.”  All Smile Generation offices are supported by Pacific Dental Services.


Valley Life, 12/17/16

Midwest Dental Donates Free Dental Care
On Nov. 4, Midwest Dental in Sandwich held a clinic for veterans and those in active duty to receive free dental care. Eight people received more than $2,500 in free dental services. Dr. John Schmidt and his team members at Midwest Dental gladly gave their time to this important cause.



Effingham Daily News, 12/14/16

Heartland Dental Gift Allows for Upgrade to Lake Land College Dental Hygiene Clinic 
Heartland Dental’s gift to the Lake Land College Foundation goes beyond the $250,000 monetary value as it allows the college to take advantage of the organization’s pricing discount, bringing the total gift value to $678,000.


Incisal Edge, 12/06/16

Incisal Edge Introduces Inaugural List of Dentistry’s 32 Most Influential 
In dentistry, a multibillion-dollar health-care industry that’s home to some of the nation’s most innovative and interesting people, no ranking of “influence” existed — until now. Months ago, Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine embarked upon the quest: to shine a light on 32 such “voices” — one for every tooth, of course.



Group Dentistry Now, 11/1/16

Dental Support Organization VP Is Named President-Elect for ADHA 
Midwest Dental vice president of clinical development Tammy Filipiak, RDH, MS, has been elected President-Elect of the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) for the 2016-2017 term. The ADHA is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of more than 185,000 dental hygienists across the country.



Dentistry IQ, 12/19/16

National Black Caucus of State Legislators adopts 2017 Policy Resolution in support of DSOs
As part of its policy priorities for 2017, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) has resolved to support the nation’s leading dental support organizations (DSOs) in their mission to provide affordable, quality dental services to underserved populations across the United States. The policy resolution, “HHS-17-17: A Resolution to Stand in Support of Dental Support Organizations,” was ratified during the NBCSL’s Annual Legislative Conference, held Dec. 2-5, 2016.


Dentistry IQ, 11/17/16

Dental Landscape Changing Because of Patients, DSOs, Insurance, and Technology 
There is no doubt that the dental sector is a changed one, especially following the deep US recession, which for the first time was felt by dentists in practices, according to the American Dental Association. The spending habits of patients have changed, major dental insurance companies have continued to cut reimbursements by as much as 15%, and DSOs are emerging as tough competition.


Dental Economics, 11/15/16 

Evolving Regulation of Dental Service Organizations: Regulatory Update
Recently, Georgia, Texas, Washington, and Virginia considered legislation that would impose greater restrictions on the ability of DSOs to do business in those states, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General concluded a series of studies of Medicaid-covered pediatric dental services in several states. Some of these recent developments are highlighted below.



Inside Dentistry, 10/15/16 

More Dentists Can Now Count on DSOs for Business Success 
The practice of dentistry isn’t what it was two decades ago. Increased regulation, rapid technological change, and process innovation have left many practitioners struggling to keep pace. While dental school delivers the clinical skills needed to run a practice, many practitioners are increasingly frustrated with marketing, payroll, and other functions not covered in the curriculum.





Please join us in welcoming our newest DSO members to the association:

Pacific Smiles Group Limited
Smile Logics


Please join us in welcoming our newest Association Partners to the association:

American Academy of Periodontology
American Association of Orthodontists



Please join us in welcoming our newest Industry Partners to the association:

Ascension Dental
Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals
Curve Dental
Dental Laboratory Group
Dry Shield
Glidewell Laboratories 
Komet USA

Mudlick Mail

The Judge Group

TMG Gases

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