Great Expressions Dental Centers Receives Infection Control Compliance Award


SOUTHFIELD, MI – February 9, 2017 – As a result of its commitment to providing exceptional and safe care to patients at more than 270 offices in 10 states, Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) recently received the Summit Compliance Award – an infection control compliance award presented by Mesa Labs, a high-quality process validation and monitoring instruments and consumables manufacturer.

Established by Mesa, the award recognizes companies that have demonstrated an overall commitment to infection control. GEDC achieved the highest levels of weekly, biological sterilization monitoring compliance over the last five years. GEDC’s high compliance rate reflects its culture that respects infection control measures and patient safety.

“Great Expressions Dental Centers takes great pride in its comprehensive safety and infection control program” said Richard Beckman, CEO of Great Expressions Dental Centers. “Our patients, staff and visitors can rest easy knowing that GEDC makes it a priority to protect them from the spread of infection and provide a safe, clean and compliant healthcare facility.”

Mesa Labs’ Summit Compliance Award evolved from the acknowledgment that compliance should be celebrated and commended. The measures GEDC has taken to ensure weekly testing of all sterilizer units with biological spore strips and daily integrator strips has led to an improved compliance level not only at individual offices, but also at regional and national levels resulting in GEDC being one of the few dental practices with an award winning infection control program.

“Mesa Labs and their spore testing program has been integral in our patient safety program to ensure not only are we providing a safe environment but we remain in compliance with all health and safety laws,” said Beckman. “The risk of infection should never be a concern when visiting one of our facilities.”

To schedule an appointment, call 888-SMILE-80 or visit

About Great Expressions

For nearly 40 years, Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) has been a leader in preventive dental care, orthodontics and specialty care with local offices in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Texas. One of the largest privately owned dental support organizations in the United States, GEDC is consistently recognized for contributions to improving oral health through quality and safety initiatives, affordable dental care services, patient convenience, research and more.  For more information, go to

Great Expressions Dental Centers® branded practices are independently owned and operated in specific states by licensed dentists and their professional entities who employ the licensed professionals providing dental treatment and services. Office practices may vary and patients should contact the dental office for treatment and service issues.

About Mesa Laboratories, Inc.
We pursue a strategy of focusing primarily on quality control products and services, which are sold into niche markets that are driven by regulatory requirements. We prefer markets that have limited competition where we can establish a commanding presence and achieve high gross margins. We are organized into four divisions across eight physical locations. Our Instruments Division designs, manufactures and markets quality control instruments and disposable products utilized in connection with the healthcare, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, medical device, industrial hygiene, environmental air sampling and semiconductor industries. Our Biological Indicators Division provides testing services, along with the manufacturing and marketing of biological indicators and distribution of chemical indicators used to assess the effectiveness of sterilization processes, including steam, hydrogen peroxide, ethylene oxide and radiation, in the hospital, dental, medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Our Cold Chain Monitoring Division designs, develops and markets systems which are used to monitor various environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity and differential pressure to ensure that critical storage and processing conditions are maintained in hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, blood banks, pharmacies and a number of other laboratory and industrial environments. Our Cold Chain Monitoring Division also provides parameter (primarily temperature) monitoring of products during transport in a cold chain and consulting services such as compliance monitoring and validation or mapping of transport and storage containers. Our Cold Chain Packaging Division provides packaging development consulting services and thermal packaging products such as coolers, boxes, insulation materials and phase-change products to control temperature during transport.


ADSO December 2016 Newsletter

ADSO Quarterly Newsletter

Click here to visit the ADSO website
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

Copyright © 2016 ADSO ®


ADSO September 2016 Newsletter

ADSO Quarterly Newsletter

Click here to visit the ADSO website
ADSO Quarterly Newsletter September 2016
Message from the President of ADSO

I hope everyone enjoyed their summer and, for those of you with children, that their school year is off to a great start. Things at ADSO remain busy as we continue to engage and educate legislators and regulators about the DSO model. At the end of the day, all we can do is share our story. It is a story that needs to be told because DSO-supported practices are often able to lower patient costs while expanding consumer choice and access.

We recently welcomed four new members to the ADSO family. The new members are My Community Dental Centers, Fry Orthodontics, Kids Dental Kare, and Children’s Dental Group. Please take a moment to reach out and welcome each of them. One of the greatest benefits of ADSO membership is the opportunity to share and learn from each other, so I know they would appreciate the outreach.

As important as explaining what a DSO is and what they do (and don’t do), it’s equally important that our members do things the right way. With that in mind, I encourage everyone to complete the ADSO compliance checklist and attestation forms available on our website. Although they are not intended to serve as a substitute for state laws, nor do they guarantee you are in compliance, they’re important reminders of the need to comply with the various laws and regulations in each of the states where you operate. Our goal is for ADSO members to set the gold standard for ethics and compliance.

At our August meeting, the Board approved the creation of six networking committees to facilitate members’ opportunity to discuss issues and share experiences in areas such as information technology and human resources. These committees will provide DSO members with ongoing forums to discuss common challenges and develop best business practices to better serve supported practices. To learn more about the networking committees and to join, please contact Stacy Swanson ([email protected]).

I also want to urge members to participate in the ADSO database. We cannot compete financially with other organizations nor should we try. However, the dental practices you support are an integral part of the healthcare system where they operate. It is important for lawmakers to know the real world impact adverse policy can have, both on the dentists you support and the patients they serve. The database is key to being able to deliver that message.

Finally, you’ve probably noticed the Save-the-Date announcement for the 2017 ADSO Annual Summit, March 7-10 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Next year’s Summit will be almost 6 weeks earlier than this year’s so I encourage you to plan accordingly. An announcement on registration will be coming soon!

Interim activities continue in several key states.  ADSO members have been meeting with local legislators, educating them about the DSO model, and the distinct separation between business support functions and the clinical judgement and care only a licensed dentist can provide.    ADSO is working with local counsel in several states to respond to the disinformation about what DSOs do and don’t do.

Earlier this summer, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission Staff Report was issued concluding that the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) “at the behest of dentist members, pursued significant rule changes more related to business practices than demonstrated public safety concerns.”  The report went on to say that “The Board persisted in this matter even in the face of pointed criticism from the Federal Trade Commission . . .”  The Federal Trade Commission had previously commented on proposed anti-DSO regulations noting that “the proposed rules appear unnecessary to address any concerns about the independent judgement of dental professionals.”  The Staff Report contained several recommendations which the legislature will consider in 2017.

At the direction of the Sunset Commission, the TSBDE established a Blue Ribbon Panel to review anesthesia-related incidents. The six-member panel, which is comprised of dentists who have conducted case reviews for the dental board, will make recommendations to the Commission by January 11, 2017. In addition to and separate from the Blue Ribbon Panel, the TSBDE’s Anesthesia Committee, which is a subgroup of the dental board, is working on possible changes to the board’s current regulations. ADSO members operating in Texas have been asked to share information with their supported dentists and encourage them to engage in these meetings to the extent they have questions or concerns.

We are just over 40 days from a national election that will cap off one of the most unusual political seasons in recent history.  While much of the attention been on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, races in the states to determine governorships, attorneys general, and the balance of power in state legislatures will have a much greater potential impact on the DSO industry.

Governors will be elected in 12 states.  Governors not only have the power to sign or veto legislation, in most states they appoint members to the state’s dental board.  ADSO works closely with political organizations to educate governors and their staff about the role of DSOs.

The election of an Attorney General will take place in 10 states.  In virtually every state, assistant AG’s staff state boards and commissions, including state dental boards.  Those staff attorneys can be the first line of defense in ensuring that dental boards do not engage in anti-competitive activities or rule-making directed at the DSO industry.  ADSO continues to educate and engage with AGs and their staffs on the DSO model and the benefits DSOs provide to licensed dentists while maintaining a bright line between business support functions and clinical care.

Of the 99 state legislative chambers in the U.S., 86 will hold elections this November.  A total of 1,210 (61%) of the country’s 1,972 state Senate seats and 4,710 (87%) of the country’s 5,411 state House seats are up for a vote.  ADSO works closely with its retained counsel in the states to educate and support candidates who recognize the benefits of DSO’s and evolution of support services, similar to the medical support services begun in the 1970s.

While much of the spotlight going into the final weeks of the elections is on the presidential candidates, it is incumbent upon all of us to identify and support state candidates who understand and support the DSO model. Be proactive, stay informed, and vote!

By Preston Baldwin and T.J. Bolger, Centerpoint360

Pacific Dental Services Foundation Partners Serves the Houston Community; Hosts Successful Smile Generation Serve Day

In June, the Pacific Dental Services Foundation, with support from Smile Generation-trusted volunteer clinicians and their dental care teams, provided free dental care to 80 Dress for Success clients in Houston. Smile Generation is a referral service that connects patients with dentists dedicated to providing an exceptional patient experience and advanced clinical care.

Dress for Success, a global non-profit organization, promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The volunteer dental care teams set up an onsite dental clinic and treated more than 80 patients, providing nearly $60,000 in donated care.

Also in Houston, PDS partnered with Autism Speaks and others on July 26 to provide free training for dentists who treat patients with special needs. Doctors in attendance found the event useful, including Dr. Timothy Windham of League City Smiles Dentistry who said the workshop helped him to, “remember that we are not just doing more dentistry by increasing access to care amongst patients with special needs, but we are changing the lives of those patients as well as their families.”

Another attendee, Linda Gehringer, noted that “as a parent of a child with autism and a dental professional, I applaud Pacific Dental Services’ quest to educate clinicians on treating and supporting those with special needs.  Everyone deserves the opportunity to receive quality dental care, and Pacific Dental Services is making that happen by educating supported clinicians and helping to change perceptions in the dental industry.”

In a separate event, more than 490 Smile Generation-trusted dental offices served their local communities by participating in the sixth annual Smile Generation Serve Day on August 20. The clinicians and their dental care teams, which included 492 offices and over 4,100 volunteers, served 2,225 patients and provided more than $4.0 million in donated dental care.

Click here to watch the video

Great Expressions Partners on Community Events throughout the Year

For the past few years, Great Expressions has partnered with local organizations to give back to the community through its Smile Center. In 2016, Great Expressions sponsored the Detroit Winter Blast, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Fort Worth air Power Expo, Taste of Marietta (Atlanta), Austin Pecan Festival, Fort Lauderdale Air Show, and the Virginia Highland Summerfest (Atlanta). At each festival, Great Expressions raffled off a “Smile Kit” – a basket filled with over $500 worth of oral healthcare products. Festival-goers can ask dental professionals questions about their needs, sign up for their chance to win the Smile Kit, and also sign up for dental appointments on the spot. Upcoming events for the Smile Center Team are the Jacksonville Sea and Sky Spectacular, and the Tampa Ribfest in November.

Aside from large festivals, Great Expressions is also proud to be a part of health fairs, school events, and local fairs, as well as many different charities. Great Expressions is a sponsor of several free dental clinics, including Missions of Mercy in various states, Team Smile, and more; and also participates with Feeding Children Everywhere, and has packaged over 150,000 meals for underserved children around the country.

Click here to watch the video

Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry Named Top Place to Work, Celebrates 15 Years 

Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry was recently named on the Top 50 ‘Best Places to Work’ list by the Triangle Business Journal. The company was nominated to participate in an employee survey-based process, which received enthusiastic responses from the Riccobene employees.

The Riccobene Associates team is passionate about their community involvement, such as donating to the Home for Love Children’s Home Orphanage in Petionville, Haiti, and the North Carolina Missions of Mercy, NCMOM. NCMOM is an outreach program of the North Carolina Dental Society that provides portable, free dental clinics. Riccobene Associates is proud to be the official dentist of the Carolina Railhawks. Their new office, located near the Railhawks stadium, hosts activities for The Boys & Girls Club and offers free dental care to children in need.

Congratulations Dr. Riccobene and Riccobene Associates on providing dentistry across North Carolina for 15 years!

Click here to watch the video



Forbes, 9/16/16

How One Company Helps Small Businesses Leave Small Business Behind

Eric Nuss is helping to solve this problem in the dental industry. Nuss is the Director of Henry Schein HSIC -1.04% Business Solutions and the Henry Schein Dental Business Institute. As a former sixth-grade science teacher who loved to start each day with an experiment, Nuss believes in interactive learning. So he designed the Dental Business Institute to help participants learn, and actually experience, the business side of growing a successful practice.


Fox News Health, 9/15/16

NASCAR’s Danica Patrick gets behind the wheel of dental health campaign
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick may live life in the fast lane, but that doesn’t mean she’s thrown health and wellness out the window.  In fact, the 34-year-old, who fills her Instagram with photos of homemade paleo recipes and yoga poses, is a driving force behind “Healthy Mouth Movement,” a campaign to promote dental health care with a special focus on veterans.


Group Dentistry Now, 9/8/16

DSO Fills Dental Service Needs In Colorado
Risas Dental & Braces is a growing dental support organization with roots in Arizona. It currently operates 10 offices in Arizona, with several locations in Phoenix, as well as locations in Mesa, Tempe and Glendale. A DSO member of the Association of Dental Support Organizations, they recently kicked off the grand opening of their new location in Federal Heights, Colorado, with free dental care.

READ MORE, 8/22/16

Apex Dental 4th annual Patient Appreciation Giveaway Event
Apex Dental’s 4th annual Patient Appreciation Giveaway Event is scheduled for this weekend.
Dr. Joe Maio DDS visited Fresh Living with all the details.


Group Dentistry Now, 9/27/16

Why Choose a Career Path with a Dental Support Organization? 
Career opportunities are abundant with dental support organizations.  If you are a graduating dental student, a dentist looking for a new career path, or a dental professional looking for the next challenge, a dental service organization can be a solid choice for a long term career opportunity with growth potential.


NPR, 9/12/16

A Good Dentist Is Hard to Find in Rural America
A study by the Federal Reserve found that a quarter of Americans went without dental care they needed in 2014 because they couldn’t afford it. For those in rural areas, the problem is far worse. A 2015 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that people in rural areas are poorer and less likely to have dental insurance than their urban counterparts.


Washington Times, 9/8/16

Fearing the Uber of dentistry
Five years ago, I started researching the delivery of children’s dental care in the growing Medicaid dental space. I discovered a pioneering, cost-effective dental health care solution called “dental support organizations,” or DSOs. […] As an economist, I was intrigued — however, as I dug deeper, I uncovered something disturbing: a coordinated effort to inhibit entrepreneurship and innovation in this critically underserved health care niche, at the expense of vulnerable children.


American Dental Association, 8/01/2016

Oral Health and Well-Being in the United States
Do adults in your state feel that the condition of their mouth and teeth affects their ability to interview for a job? Do they reduce participation in social activities or limit day-to-day activities because of poor oral health? […] Oral Health & Well-Being in the United States summarizes select data on self-reported oral health status, attitudes and dental care utilization among United States adults as of 2015 based on an innovative household survey.




Click here to watch the video

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

Children’s Dental Center
FRY Orthodontic Specialists
Kids Dental Kare
My Community Dental Centers

Copyright © 2016 ADSO ®


ADSO June 2016 Newsletter

ADSO Quarterly Newsletter

Click here to visit the ADSO website
ADSO Quarterly Newsletter June 2016
Message from the President of ADSO

The Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) is excited for all that’s ahead in the second half of 2016, building on the momentum of a terrific year so far.  In April, at the 2016 Annual Summit, the Board approved eight new DSO members and since January, we’ve welcomed 27 new Industry Partners. Our membership is increasing as the industry grows, and ADSO now has over 50 DSO members and nearly 150 Industry Partner members.  We are also expanding our membership to include other oral healthcare-related associations.

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who attended the 2016 Annual Summit.  We had the best turnout yet with over 750 attendees!  The Summit was a true indication of how much our industry is growing.  Attendees heard from leading DSO CEOs, industry and business experts, colleagues, industry partners and vendors, and many others during the packed two-day event.  There were opportunities for networking, learning from others in the DSO industry, and gaining political insights from the keynote speaker, nationally recognized political commentator Charlie Cook.  If you haven’t already seen it, check out the Summit highlights video.  We look forward to seeing everyone next year March 7-10 in Orlando, Florida.

As many 2016 legislative sessions have adjourned for the year, our Government Affairs team did a tremendous job of advocating on behalf of our industry.  Our team did exceptional work in preventing anti-competitive legislation, championing model legislation, and advocating for dental board appointments. Our record of success continues as there are now more than a dozen DSO-supported dentists on various state dental boards.

Finally, I’d like to thank Steve Thorne, President and CEO of Pacific Dental Services, for his service as President of ADSO this past year. His leadership and vision for the industry resulted in ADSO’s most successful year to date with increased membership, enhanced compliance guidelines, and a proactive government affairs education effort on the DSO role in helping dentists improve quality, affordable oral healthcare. Steve will continue to serve on the Executive Committee and I will continue to rely on his leadership.  I am honored to have been elected by the Board of Directors to serve as your President and look forward to being at the forefront of ADSO’s continued growth.

I hope everyone has a wonderful summer and safe travels!

Michael Bileca is an Executive at Dental Care Alliance and President of ADSO


This year, ADSO hosted its most well-attended Annual Summit to date with more than 750 attendees over three days and nearly 40 sessions. A big thanks to all of our members and guests who attended, and a special thanks to our sponsors for making this great event possible.  Don’t miss our 2016 Summit Highlights video and pictures from the event on ADSO’s multimedia page.

Attendees heard keynote remarks on the opening day from nationally renowned political analyst, Charlie Cook, and from industry leading DSO member CEOs including Steve Thorne (PDS), Dr. Rick Workman (Heartland Dental), Bob Fontana (Aspen Dental), and Doug Brown (Affordable Care). The sessions included a variety of topics such as 5 Health Care Trends Dentistry Needs to Take Seriously; 3 Rules for Making Your Company Great; Communicating the DSO Story: Local & National Messaging; Private Equity; Dental Plans/Insurance; and How to Generate New Patients through Social Media, among many others, and riveting speakers like Michael Raynor of Deloitte Services; Dr. Marko Vujicic, Chief Economist & VP, Health Policy Institute at the American Dental Association; and Terry Scicluna of MyDentist-UK.

Click here to watch the video

Thank you to those who participated in the Summit survey. Your answers are insightful for planning the 2017 event – what works, what does not, which topics and speakers are most desirable, and much more.  The 2017 Annual Summit will be held March 7-10 in Orlando, Florida. We hope to see you there!



“If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance.”  Former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty.

One of the most important functions for any organization, operating in any industry, is that of compliance. No company wants to run afoul of the law or regulations where they operate. In addition to potential legal issues, there are important reputational and branding implications. In short, compliance is essential to any successful business.

In an effort to promote compliance, ADSO recently shared information with members about the ADSO Compliance and Ethics Attestation Form, which is now accessible via the members-only portal on the ADSO website.  The form and checklist were developed over the course of several months to identify and monitor the myriad of legal and regulatory requirements that may be applicable to DSOs.  Ultimately, every member is accountable for their actions and the extensive checklist for compliance practices was created to remind members of the importance of maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards.

The checklist includes dozens of items relating to such things as service agreements, marketing and advertising, and billing procedures emphasizing compliance with applicable state laws as well as HIPAA security and privacy regulations. The checklist should be completed annually.  While the attestation and checklist are not a substitute for compliance, they are important reminders for every DSO member to be compliant with all applicable state laws and regulations.


The American Dental Hygienists Associations (ADHA) held its annual session June 8-14 in Pittsburgh.  The ADHA was founded in 1923 and is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of the more than 185,000 registered dental hygienists (RDHs) across the country. Their core ideology is focused on leading the transformation of the dental hygiene profession to improve the public’s oral and overall health.  As part of this year’s session, ADHA held a panel discussion on “Networks: Hot Topics & Emerging Trends—Getting to Know DSOs.”  Three dental hygienists who work with DSOs participated on the panel along with Bill Head, ADSO Vice President of Government Affairs. The panel discussion focused on the opportunities available to dental hygienists in a DSO-supported practice.

In addition, Jan LeBeau, RDH, BS, Chair of Dental Hygiene Support at Pacific Dental Services and a member of ADHA, wrote an editorial about DSOs in the May-June Issue of Access magazine.  You can read the piece here.

Tammy L. Filipiak RDH, MS, Vice President of Clinical Development for Midwest Dental (pictured right), was voted President-Elect by her peers at the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) annual session held June 8-14 in Pittsburgh. Tammy has been a leader in helping to advance the role dental hygienists play in oral healthcare and will transition into the role of President of the ADHA in Jacksonville, FL in June 2017.

Tammy is a practicing dental hygienist with 29 years of experience in both educational and management settings.  She has served as the VP of Clinical Development at Midwest Dental since 2015 and has been a member of the clinical support team since 2004; she also serves as the Compliance Officer. Tammy earned her dental hygiene degree from Northcentral Technical College, her BS degree in Business from Upper Iowa University, and her MS degree in Organizational Leadership and Quality from Marian University. She was a 2003 winner of the Butler/RDH Healthy Gums Healthy Life Award of Distinction and in 2012 was recognized as one of Six Dental Hygienists You Should Know by Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. She received a Presidential Citation from the ADHA in recognition of her leadership and vision. She is also a Past-President of the Wisconsin Dental Hygienists Association.


We received a lot of positive feedback and interest following the Public Relations panel at the ADSO Summit. To build on those discussions, DCI Group is hosting media training webinars. We realize you may not have a PR team or even a PR person, but you all have a story to tell and it’s our job to help ensure it gets told on your terms, to the right people, and with the maximum impact. The webinars serve as a resource to help you develop the tools and tactics needed to get your messages out.

The first session, held on June 8, was very successful and primarily focused on best practices in messaging and the tools available to ADSO members, including the ADSO Media Toolkit. The toolkit can be found under the Resources section on the website when logged in to a DSO member account.

Please stay tuned for more media training sessions to be planned in the future. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions by emailing [email protected].


Pacific Dental Services Foundation Partners with Dress for Success in Houston

On Saturday, June 25, Pacific Dental Services Foundation partnered with Dress for Success Houston for the second year in a row to offer Dress for Success clients quality dental care. Thanks to the generous donation of time and service by PDS-supported doctors and team members, nearly 80 women in need received free dental cleanings, exams, and digital x-rays over the course of the all-day event.

The Pacific Dental Services Foundation has also partnered with Dress for Success Houston to identify women who were interested in pursuing a career in dental assisting. The Foundation provides dental assistant education, mentorship, and on-the-job training to disadvantaged women seeking economic independence.

Affordable Dentures Provides Same-Day Dentures to Patients

Dr. Sherri McGee and the team at Affordable Dentures in Jessup, Maryland provided free, same-day dentures to patients this month.  The Jessup office serves patients from Washington, DC, Baltimore, Severn, Ellicot City, and others in the region.

Winning Futures Recognizes Kristy Loomis of Great Expressions Dental Centers for Commitment to Mentoring

In recognition of National Volunteer month, Winning Futures, a nonprofit that provides goal-setting and skill-building programs for over 2,000 middle and high-school students annually, honored Kristy Loomis, VP of Human Resources at Great Expressions Dental Centers last month. Kristy serves as a mentor with Winning Futures, meeting every week with students at an area school to mentor and lead them through activities that aid their educational and personal development.

Having joined the Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) team in January 2013, Kristy currently serves as Vice President of Human Resources, where she is responsible for talent acquisition and retention, employee engagement, and increasing function of the company’s employee service center.

Kristy’s efforts align with GEDC’s commitment to supporting the communities it serves. In 2015, the organization donated nearly $275,000 to charitable causes, including Feeding Children Everywhere, Missions of Mercy, and Boy Scouts of America. Through the first three months of this year, GEDC has already donated more than $150,000 to charitable organizations.

Aspen Dental Tooth Fair Grants Dental Wishes

Most recently, Aspen Dental  partnered with NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick to encourage race fans to go to the dentist. During the race held at Talladega Speedway, the “Turbocharged Tooth Fairy Squad” surprised fans with gifts in exchange for visits to their local Aspen office. While many patients don’t look forward to going to the dentist, Aspen is asking “what would it take?” to get them there. Patients can share their own “What Would it Take?” responses through social media using the hashtag #AspenGetsIt.

This campaign is the latest from Aspen Dental to shine a light on the importance of oral health. Aspen Dental is proud to partner with Got Your 6, a collaborative campaign that works to empower veterans and strengthen communities nationwide by uniting veterans’ organizations and engaging civilians to bridge the civilian-military divide. Got Your 6 – meaning “I got your back”– focuses on six key pillars of veteran reintegration, including leadership, health, and education. The latest event was the annual Healthy Mouth Movement Day of Service where nearly 400 Aspen Dental practices serviced Veterans with free dental care.

Click here to watch the video



June 28, 2016|Group Dentistry Now

Pacific Dental Services Foundation Partners With Autism Speaks And Concorde Career College To Provide Special Needs Dental Care Training
On June 4, 2016 the Pacific Dental Services Foundation, with support from Autism Speaks, held their second free special needs training event to dental assistants, hygienists and faculty at Concorde Career Colleges, in order to increase access and promote awareness of the physical and mental challenges faced by special needs patients when it comes to oral healthcare.


June 21, 2016|PR Newswire

Academy of General Dentistry Volunteers Support Early Detection
This is why Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) member dentists will provide free oral cancer screenings on July 15 and 16 for the general public during its annual meeting in Boston. […] Corporate donors provide vital support for the AGD Foundation’s oral cancer initiatives through financial donations and in-kind contributions. This year’s Major Donor is 3M. Supporting Donors are Dentist’s Advantage, and Heartland Dental. Contributing Donors are Crest + Oral B, Henry Schein Cares Foundation and Ivoclar Vivadent.


June 8, 2016|Group Dentistry Now

DSO Executives Win Prestigious Management Award
The Stevie American Business Awards named the management team of Great Expressions Dental Centers as winners of two Stevie Awards for their leadership in the dental industry.  At the upcoming ceremony in New York, GEDC’s CEO Richard Beckman and COO Greg Nodland will be recognized with a Silver Stevie American Business Award for Management Team of the Year in Consumer Services Industries.  Richard Beckman will also receive a Bronze Stevie Award for Executive of the Year in Health Products & Services.



May 17, 2016|The Detroit News

Letter: How to Bring Veterans a Healthy Smile
Getting into the dental chair isn’t always easy (or fun). Millions of Americans face barriers to care like cost, lack of insurance, fear and access to a dentist. These barriers are especially prevalent for many of our nation’s veterans who do not receive any dental benefits through the VA unless they are classified as 100 percent disabled, have a service-connected dental condition, or have a service-oriented medical condition that affects their mouth.


June 8, 2016|Morning Consult 

Report: Cost Is a Deterrent to Dental Care for Some Adults
Cost is a major factor keeping people from access dental care, a report released today by the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute and Families USA. Low-income adults were 10 times more likely to rate the status of their teeth and mouth as poor than high-income adults. Regardless of age or income, cost was the top reason respondents said they had not been to a dentist in the prior 12 months.


May 24, 2016|CNN

Health Issues the Candidates Should Be Talking About
Findings like that are one reason the federal health law made pediatric dental care an “essential benefit” for most insurance plans. But for complicated reasons, including the fact that dental insurance has traditionally been sold separately from other health coverage, many children insured under the law are not getting dental coverage.


May 19, 2016|Dental Economics

The Missing Link in Today’s Curriculum
For graduating dentists, making the best career choice can be a daunting task. In this article, soon-to-be graduate Erin Fraundorf analyzes her options. She considers her student debt, the attraction of DSOs, and her practice management training in dental school…From private practice and small groups to affiliating with a dental support organization (DSO), it is difficult for my peers and me to determine which path will be financially sound, yet still offer the autonomy and work-life balance we all desire.


May 17, 2016|Houston Chronicle 

Wednesday Letters: Biting Analysis
Regarding “Medicaid dental clinics targeted, accused of overtreatment” (, April 30) … Notwithstanding this heartbreaking case, it is a disservice to use this terrible event to unjustly and inaccurately portray the dental support organization (DSO) industry as the root cause of Medicaid dental fraud, which the article acknowledged had nothing to do with Nevaeh’s case.




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

Absolute Dental Management
Breakway Practice
Community Dental Partners
ClearChoice Management Services
Dental Associates
One Buffalo Dental
Perfect Dental Management
Southern Dental Alliance



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

Fortress Insurance Company
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC 

Copyright © 2016 ADSO ®


ADSO March 2016 Newsletter

ADSO Quarterly Newsletter March 2016

Message from the President of ADSO

The annual ADSO Summit in Las Vegas is just three weeks away! We have an amazing schedule of speakers and events along with some exciting breakout sessions in addition to our opening keynote speaker, nationally recognized political commentator Charlie Cook. The Summit is the DSO industry’s premier event, providing several forums for exchanging experiences and ideas along with numerous networking opportunities. If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to register today.

ADSO is continuing to grow, becoming the preeminent DSO trade association. We are nearing 50 DSO members and have more than 140 industry partners. An association is only as strong as its members, so I encourage you to engage with the ADSO as much as you can. The Summit is a great place to start but there are other opportunities to engage and contribute: whether it is serving on an ADSO standing committee, attending Board meetings, participating on state-specific strategy calls or hosting a tour of your facilities for state representatives. To the extent we are successful in preventing anti-DSO proposals, it is directly attributable to the ADSO member engagement and that of their supported dentists and hygienists.

In the last few years we have really undertaken an aggressive strategy of educating law-makers about the benefits DSO’s provide to supported dentists who, in turn, are able to expand quality oral healthcare at an affordable cost. Although we are not a new industry, we are an evolving and expanding one, and because of this we have come under intense scrutiny by several state dental associations who have actively pursued negative public attacks on the DSO industry. While I realize that limits on time and personnel can make engaging a challenge, I’m confident you will quickly discover a myriad of benefits to your core business from active participation.

Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Quinn Dufurrena for his outstanding service to the ADSO. If you haven’t heard, Quinn has decided to pursue a unique opportunity with a start-up company. Quinn has done an excellent job telling the DSO story to legislators, dental boards, and the media in addition to being our liaison with several dental organizations including the ADA. He has agreed to work as a contract spokesperson for the ADSO, but we will miss his day-to-day presence. On behalf of ADSO and its member companies, we wish him the very best.

I look forward to seeing you at the Summit!

Steve Thorne is the Founder, President and CEO of Pacific Dental Services and President of ADSO

Message from Lauren Rowley, Chief Operating Officer

As the Dental Support Organization’s industry continues to expand into ever increasing markets, so too does the ADSO. Already this year, we have six applications from DSO companies applying for membership along with 27 Industry Partner applications. All are on track to be approved at our April Board meeting at the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, that is being held in conjunction with our Annual Summit. To help create value for the growing membership, the Membership Committee led by Rich Beckman, CEO of Great Expressions Dental Centers, will be putting forward a new networking program for DSOs and well as new Industry Partner programs.

The team at ADSO is also growing and changing. In February, we welcomed Stacy Swanson, Office Coordinator, to assist with administrative functions and our increasing work load in the Arlington office. However, we will also be saying good-bye to Quinn Dufurrena, who has decided to leave ADSO’s employment after two years as Executive Director, in order to pursue a great opportunity at a start-up dental-focused company. We are excited that Quinn will continue to work with the ADSO in his new supporting role as a contract spokesperson.

With our “must-attend” Annual Summit rapidly approaching (April 21 – 22) at the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, the ADSO team is gearing up to provide you with an incredible event experience. This meeting will allow you to learn from some of the giants in the industry, while providing you with terrific networking opportunities with other DSO leadership teams and our industry partner members. The event kicks off with political commentary from a preeminent political pundit Charlie Cook and a CEO panel consisting of 4 of ADSO’s largest members followed by a day of educational and informative break-out sessions. There will be a lot of time throughout the two-day event to meet new people and to share and learn from each other. If you haven’t yet registered yet, do so now by clicking here.

We started the year by sending you a member survey, because we wanted to hear directly from our members for feedback on your membership experiences. We also wanted to get ideas on how we can improve our service to you and to learn how to better meet your expectations. A little more than half of you responded and we heard your messages loud and clear – you like us, but we can do better. As Chief Operating Officer, I was pleased to see that over 90% of you reported that the ADSO team is responsive when you have questions or need information. We hope to continue providing you with a great member service and are able to build on our value to you this year and into the future.

Lastly, our government affairs efforts are off to a great start in 2016. In this short legislative year, we have already defeated anti-DSO bills in Washington and Wisconsin and are proactively pursuing model legislation in Arkansas. We have also already seen two DSO supported dentists appointed to dental boards in Georgia and Iowa and hope to have at least one more announced at the time this article goes to press. The Government Affairs Committee, chaired by John Pantazis, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Heartland Dental, meets monthly to provide strategic direction to the ADSO on advocacy and research.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or anyone on the ADSO staff, if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to seeing you at the Summit in April!


April 20, 2016 – April 22, 2016
Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas

The ADSO is excited for our upcoming Annual Summit in Las Vegas, April 20 – 22. We look forward to seeing our DSO member companies and Industry Partners, and providing an great venue for events, panels, and networking opportunities to enrich our members and their businesses.

To learn more about the Summit speakers, register to attend, and sign up for panels, please visit the ADSO website. Don’t miss our new multimedia page that has member company leadership sharing why the ADSO Summit is a must-attend event, plus pictures from last year’s Summit.

Registration is filling fast so make sure you register today!

For more information on the must attend event of the year contact Andrea Watkins or Wendy Chew.

A new Media Toolkit is now available for our members and industry partners. This is the next step toward stronger communications tools for the ADSO and our members. The ADSO will be highlighting DSO activities in local communities, expanding advocacy, and engaging with media. The Media Toolkit will serve as a guide to help your team identify newsworthy stories and provide helpful tips for op-ed writing. There are also examples of past pieces that can direct your team in writing or speaking about our organization and the industry.

In addition to the toolkit, we are providing an email address to members and industry partners who may be looking for communications support: [email protected]. If an ADSO member has a community charitable or educational event that they would like to highlight and need support in a press release, media advisory, statement or even national/regional press outreach they can send a request to the email address for support. Concurrently, there may be a need for an opinion piece or letter to the editor at times and requests for support with writing may be submitted as well.

The ADSO Summit 2016 will also feature both a communications panel (Friday, April 22 at 1:00 PM) and an informal breakfast with DCI Group (Friday, April 22 at 7:00 AM). This will be an excellent opportunity to learn public relations and communications tactics and best practices for industry professionals and meet the DCI Group team. We hope that members will take advantage of this opportunity to showcase our amazing work and amplify the benefits of DSO membership.


Dental Associates Participates in Give Kids a Smile Day
The children of Racine, Wisconsin received new smiles in February thanks to Dental Associates’ generous efforts. In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, Dental Associates provided free dental exams to 10 children in need of care and referred by the Racine County Human Services Department. Regional clinic director, Donald Gundlach, was quoted in The Journal Times saying, “It’s really an opportunity to reach out to the community and be good neighbors. There’s a lot of kids out there who don’t get regular dental care.”

The clinic provided an estimated $7,000 – $12,000 in free care to 10 local children as part of their Give Kids a Smile Day. Dental Associates also sent representatives to more than 100 schools statewide to educate children on proper oral hygiene, eating and cleaning habits.

Henry Schein, Inc. Offers Assistance in Disaster Effort
Henry Schein, Inc. applies its core business expertise to assist in disaster preparedness and response efforts around the globe. Most recently, Henry Schein reached out to dentists, physicians and veterinarians who could be experiencing operational, logistical or financial issues as a result of the flooding in the South following devastating storms to encourage them to call the Henry Schein Disaster Relief Hotline for assistance. The hotline remains open throughout the year to provide assistance to practitioners adversely affected by disasters. The toll-free number for all Henry Schein customers, 800-999-9729, is operational from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

This spirit of corporate citizenship is exemplified through Henry Schein Cares, their global corporate social responsibility program. Through public-private partnerships with its NGO strategic partners, supplier partners, and organizations such as the world Economic Forum and the Centers for Disease control and Prevention Foundation, Henry Schein is committed to playing an integral role in efforts to improve the world’s planning and response to disasters.

Pictured: Dr. Matthew Gray of Great Expressions Dental Centers shares oral health tips with students at Detroit Public Schools’ Fleming Early Learning Neighborhood Center

Great Expressions Donates Dental Supplies for Children
Great Expressions Dental Centers observed Children’s Dental Hygiene Month by educating children on the importance of proper dental care. Great Expressions donated 100 backpacks full of school and dental supplies for the children to Sheltering Arms: Early Education and Family Centers. Ryan Torresan, Great Expressions Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, was quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying, “We wanted to give back by donating dental care and other items and/or providing free dental days to those with no insurance. We approached Sheltering Arms with the idea to support dental hygiene and education and they were excited for this partnership. It’s a great way to raise awareness and at same time help out families and students with schools supplies and oral care products.”

Great Expressions additionally partners with local schools to collect dental hygiene items for families living in domestic violence shelters, makes 100,000 meals annually with Feeding Children Everywhere, and helps schools teach kids about the importance of oral healthcare.

Aspen Dental’s MouthMobile Visits Patients at Fort Hood
Aspen Dental has teamed up with Got Your 6, a nonprofit coalition that works to support veterans, to provide veterans with free dental care in what they’re calling the Healthy Mouth Movement. The Aspen Dental MouthMobile, a fully-equipped dental office on wheels, goes directly into communities where care isn’t readily available to provide free services in partnership with local non-profit organizations. Most recently, the MouthMobile served patients in Fort Hood, Texas and Frankfort, Kentucky. Over the last three years, the “Mouth Mobile” has seen around 7,000 veterans, to provide veterans with free dental care in what they’re calling the Healthy Mouth patients. Those patients have been given almost $4 million worth of free dental care.

In addition, every year hundreds of Aspen Dental practices open their doors on a select Saturday to provide a free day of care. Danica Patrick, the most celebrated female race car driver of all time, also partners with the movement and is committed to working together to empower our veterans with the healthy smiles they deserve.

Dr. Don Gundlach (far left), Dr. Katherine Schrubbe (second from left), and CEO Anthony Vastardis (far right) with Dental Associates, meet with Wisconsin Senator Leah Vukmir (R-WI), Assistant Majority Leader and Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee

ADSO currently retains local counsel in more than a dozen states – a significant increase over the five or six states we were engaged in just a few short years ago. The change is both a reflection of the heightened sensitivity, if not resistance, to the evolution of oral healthcare, and the commitment of ADSO members to educate policy makers about DSOs and engage on every front.

We began 2016 seeking pro-active legislation in Iowa, Maryland and Washington, while fighting anti-DSO bills in both Maryland and Washington. As most state legislatures wind down early in this election year, we continue to battle in Maryland and will face additional challenges going into the summer and the 2017 legislative season.

To a large extent, the growth and success of DSOs in providing dentists with non-clinical administrative support can be measured by the increased attacks by those who oppose us. Although DSOs have been around for more than thirty years, the fact that more and more dentists are choosing to hire a DSO is causing greater concern among the “old guard.” This, in turn, has led some of our opponents to assert half-truths often under the guise of patient safety as they advocate for anti-consumer legislation and regulations. At a recent hearing in the Maryland Assembly, there was a great deal of testimony from members of the state dental association relating something they had heard about DSOs or were told by a third party. What, unfortunately, goes untold is the real impact on patients when dentists are inhibited, if not prevented, from freely contracting with DSOs, which allows them to focus solely on their patients. Something the Federal Trade Commission has noted in their comments on anti-DSO proposals in three states.

David Slezak (Affordable Care), Mitch Olan (Dental Care Alliance), Bill Head (ADSO), Governor Larry Hogan (MD), Dr. Barry Lyon (Dental Care Alliance)

Many, if not most, state dental practice acts were passed in the first half of the 20th century when dental care was rather rudimentary. While many states have amended or updated aspects of their dental laws, many have not kept pace with modern oral healthcare. Certainly not the way other healthcare laws have kept pace such as those regulating medical, pharmaceutical, or optometry care. In the oral health world, there is stiff resistance to the modernization of the non-clinical aspects of dentistry. This resistance often takes the form of proposed legislation which would give the state dental board the unprecedented authority to regulate non-dentists. Every state already requires that only a licensed dentist can practice dentistry but legislation is drafted to so broadly redefine dentistry that it would include anything remotely related to what a dentist does – from ordering supplies to scheduling appointments to leasing office space.

If a patient is harmed, how a dentist orders supplies or leases property is irrelevant because the dentist treating that patient is responsible. Every state dental board has the authority to issue, suspend and revoke a dentist’s license to practice. This, of course, begs the question of why is there such resistance to DSOs in some states? If they were honest, many would have to admit that the threat is to their practice, not patients. A not wholly unfair consideration but if patients are able to find quality oral health care from a DSO-supported dentist who accepts insurance, Medicaid patients, or charges a lower fee should those very same patients be expected to bear the financial brunt of maintaining a nearly 100-year-old business model?

The real issue we face in most states is not DSO-supported dentists vs. non DSO-supported dentists. It’s dentists vs. patients and who bears the cost of living in the past.


March 17, 2016|The Edwardsville Intelligencer

Over 500 Heartland Dental Supported Dentists Kick Off Doctor Mastery Program
Since the January 2015 rollout of the Doctor Mastery Program, over 500 dentists have enrolled in the program. Supported by Heartland Dental, LLC, the largest dental support organization in the country, this initiative is designed to help supported dentists truly achieve personal and professional expertise.


January 14, 2016| Group Dentistry Now

Putting Money In Dentists’ Pockets And Saving Them Hours Of Time
Dentists take pride in patients’ pearly smiles – and Apex Reimbursement Specialists prides itself on the smiles it brings to dentists. After all, why wouldn’t a dentist be thrilled when he or she receives an additional eight to 12 percent in insurance reimbursement for the same procedure? That’s the typical range of increases Apex secures for its dental clients. Apex has achieved increases as high as 50 percent.


March 30, 2016|Dr. Bicuspid

Hospitals Are a Terrible Idea
Just like nurse practitioners, midlevel providers (MLPs) will be a reality everywhere eventually. Again, this will be beneficial for the public. Trying to block MLPs individually or via organized dentistry is contrary to the public good and bad for the public image of the profession. […] This is healthcare and more access to care is better, because we have a duty to the patients. Who is going to employ these MLPs and expand the reach of affordable dentistry into less desirable markets and small towns that can’t support a dentist?


March 19, 2016|Forbes

Smears Against ‘Corporate Dentistry’ Are Not Based In Fact
For over three decades, dentists have been able to operate more efficiently, bring down costs, and expand access to care by employing a business model that has been used for a long time by a number of other medical professionals, such as oncologists, emergency room managers, optometrists and other doctors. Dentists have accomplished this by contracting with companies, referred to as Dental Support Organizations (DSOs).


February 22, 2016|Dr. Bicuspid

Pew Report: MLPs Top List of Topics to Watch
In a report released in late January, the Pew Charitable Trustslisted five issues in dental healthcare to watch in 2016. These issues included midlevel dental providers (MLPs), education standards for dental therapy, school sealant programs, working-age adults, and oral health and aging.


February 10, 2016|MacIver Institute

Protectionist Dentistry Legislation Makes its Way Through Capitol
As the spring legislative session wraps up, a flurry of bills are making their way through the committee process and onto the Senate and Assembly floors. Among a bevy of other legislation, the rumor mill has floated the idea that one particularly protectionist bill may be moving to the floor soon.


The ADSO has six new DSO companies that are being voted in for membership at the CEO Board Meeting at the Summit in Las Vegas. We look forward to welcoming them to the ADSO!


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

ACTEON North America
Anutra Medical
Blue Sky Bio
Centrix, Inc.
Dentrix Enterprise
Group Practice Solutions
LED Dental
M. White Associates, PLLC
McDermott Will & Emery, LLP
Medicor Imaging


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

Microbrush International
Newark Dental Corporation
NSK America
Press Ganey
PTS Diagnostics
R.K. Tongue Co., Inc.
Salvin Dental Specialties
The Joint Commission
Trillium Facility Solutions
Vitality Dental Arts Lab

1235 South Clark Street
Suite 1210
Arlington, VA 22202
Copyright 2016 ADSO

ADSO December 2015 Newsletter

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ADSO Quarterly Newsletter December 2015
Message from the President of ADSO

As we come to the end of a very busy year, I want to thank our members for their continued support and commitment to making ADSO a strong voice and effective resource for the DSO industry.  I would also like to thank Dr. Rick Workman for his leadership of the ADSO during a critical time as we faced challenges in many states across the country.  I look forward to picking up the baton as president and working with all of you as we move this industry forward.  We have a great story and will continue to build on it for a bright future.We are committed to continuing to educate policy makers and regulators and improve member resources in 2016.

We made important progress in 2015 including developing model legislation, ensuring DSO-supported dentists are fairly represented on state dental boards, and expanding our relationships with third party organizations. We also saw a significant increase in our membership as we welcomed 15 new DSOs along with 39 new Industry Partners into ADSO.  One of our goals for 2016 is to build on that growth while enhancing the benefits of ADSO membership.

ADSO provides a unique forum for both DSOs and our Industry Partners to share best business practices and expand our knowledge base.  Our 2016 Summit taking place in Las Vegas in April will provide an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas in both those areas and I strongly encourage all of our members and their teams to attend.

I don’t think any of us expect things to slow down in 2016 so we are prepared to take our story to the halls of state capitols around the country and other public forums to educate those who may not have a clear understanding of what DSO’s have to offer dentists. We must continue to speak in a unified voice about the importance of allowing dentists to choose the business model that best suits their needs and allow them to focus on their patients who benefit from increased access to affordable and quality oral health care.

We are an evolving industry and continue to make improvements.  Improvements that ultimately help the communities we operate in and the industry at large.

Again, thank you, and on behalf of 150+ ADSO members, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

Steve Thorne, is the Founder, President and CEO of Pacific Dental Services and President of ADSO

Important Note from Dr. Quinn Dufurrena, Executive Director of ADSO

The ADSO and its members have tremendous momentum going into the New Year because of a banner year in 2015. A dynamic board, engaged public affairs team and renewed focus on communications are the hallmarks of that momentum.

With record new membership, we look forward to sharing your story. The ADSO is active on federal policy and we expect to engage in more than a dozen states in 2016. New tools are being developed to augment your media presence including a dedicated email address for members seeking media support. In addition, we have proven the concept for a database featuring information on where DSO-supported professionals live and work as a tool for grassroots political advocacy.

There are many benefits that DSO members enjoy and among them is membership in the Dentists for Oral Heath Innovation (DOHI) for your supported dentists. DOHI provides opportunities for continued education and networking. DOHI’s four goals for the New Year are focused on the development of a program of quality metrics, advocacy training, philanthropy and increasing membership for the ADSO.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Annual Summit however, you don’t have to wait until April if you have feedback or questions on the work of the ADSO. We’d love to hear about the latest activities of your company and how the DSO model is improving the quality of care in your local community.

Quinn Dufurrena, DDS, JD, is the Executive Director of ADSO

The Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) continues to improve its online presence with the addition of the Members-Only Advocacy section for the website. These pages will enable ADSO members to access and utilize new tools to better interact with the Association and the public. Specifically, the Advocacy portal will contain up-to-date information on state legislative activity, state dental boards, and other useful grassroots resources. These pages will supplement our work with ADSO members, policy makers, and the public to spread the word about DSOs. Stay tuned for an announcement of the official launch and login instructions. Please note this resource is available for ADSO member companies only.
Amara Dental Shares Smiles in New Jersey

Dental patients of Howell, New Jersey are smiling brighter than ever this year thanks to the doctors and staff of Amara Dental of Howell.  The group hosted a community event in August through Dentistry from the Heart (DFTH), a worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free dental care to those in need. Learn more about hosting your own DFTH event here.

The Amara doctors and staff volunteered to provide cleanings, extractions, or fillings to more than 75 patients without charge, donating more than $20,000 of service during the event.  This holiday season, Amara Dental of Howell has continued their charitable work in participating in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia book drive.  This event is hosted through Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit organization that prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to “prescribe books” and encourage families to read together.  Amara Dental of Howell has set an admirable goal of donating 500 books to children in need.

Allied Dental Raises Heart Disease Awareness

Allied Dental has upheld their longstanding value of philanthropy and duty to community this year. The first Friday of February kicked off the year of goodwill as National Wear Red Day For Women, with Allied Dental urging women, people from all walks of life, businesses, towns, schools, the media, buildings, and landmarks to “go red” and “glow red” to bring attention to the No. 1 killer of females – heart disease.

The Importance of Grassroots

As you know, ADSO has faced several challenges in 2015 in legislative and regulatory arenas across the country.  We have met those challenges head-on by meeting with lawmakers, regulators, and administration officials and educating them on this great industry that supports dentists who, in turn, provide expanded access to affordable dental care.  We have often called on you, our members operating in the states where the issues arise, to help us deliver the message.

There is a saying that legislators are motivated by the “Three Cs”, which are: Constituents, Caucus, and Conscience. Whether that is the case or not, it is safe to say that they do care deeply about the concerns of the people they represent – their constituents. There is no more powerful lobbying tool than grassroots  – when a person living or working in a district reaches out to their lawmaker and tells them their own story, in their own words, about how legislation being considered is likely to have a direct negative or positive impact on their lives and/or their livelihoods.

We have a great story to tell and our best advocates are the dentists and hygienists supported by your companies.  Their testimonials are compelling and informative when they describe the choices they made when deciding to affiliate with their chosen DSO and the relationship they have forged since their affiliation.

In the states where we have asked for your assistance in delivering the message through letters, emails, and phone calls, your supported dentists, hygienists, and the non-clinical staff, have responded in a meaningful and influential way.  Their voices in support of the good public policy we are advocating for, are the reason we have been successful.

The ADSO database is a very important tool we have at our disposal to get our grassroots messaging out.  Unfortunately, only a little more than 50% of our member companies are currently participating in the database and mainly it is our Tier 2 and Tier 3 members.  Our goal is to get 100% participation of our members in 2016.  This increased participation will exponentially increase the volume of our voice.

The database is managed and maintained through a third party –  DCI Group.  The information you provide for inclusion in the database is confidential and cannot be shared with any other members.  Outreach through the database will only be done with express consent.

If you would like any additional information about participating in the ADSO database, please contact Bill Head at [email protected].

The ADSO staff looks forward to working with you as we enter the 2016 state legislative sessions!  Happy Holidays!

The 2016 ADSO Annual Summit

April 21, 2016 – April 22, 2016
Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas

Registration begins February 1, 2016!

Be on the lookout for short video clips in the coming weeks featuring CEOs like Mitch Olan (right), who have participated in past ADSO Summits.

For more information on the must-attend event of the year contact Andrea Watkins or Wendy Chew.

Henry Schein is the Title Sponsor for the 2016 Annual Summit.


Heartland Dental Honored as a Leader in Transparency
Effingham, IL – Heartland Dental, LLC, the largest dental support organization in the United States, was recently recognized as a 2015 Leader in Transparency by Press Ganey Associates, Inc., a leading provider of healthcare performance improvement solutions. This award honors organizations committed to leveraging transparency initiatives to advance the overall care experience for their patients.



Great Expressions Dental Centers Executives Win Stevie Women in Business Awards
Bloomfield Hills, Mich. – Michigan-based Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC), a leading dental service organization, today announced that two of its top executives have been honored with Stevie Women in Business Awards for their leadership in the industry.



Norwalk doctor gives free dental care in Honduras
While most people were enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends, a local dentist took a trip to Honduras to provide free dental care to those in need. Dr. Schatzie Vincent, who previously worked in Norwalk, and a small group of dentists, hygienists and dental assistants from Aspen Dental offices around the country, traveled to remote areas of Honduras from Nov. 21-28 where they set up makeshift dental clinics.




The Health Care Sector Needs Innovation, Not Regulation
While problems with the U.S. health care system persist, the recent failures of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) illustrate that greater government regulation cannot cure what ails the U.S. health care industry. Deregulation that empowers private sector health care innovation can. In fact, private sector innovations, such as Dental Service Organizations (DSOs), are already exemplifying how deregulation that empowers patients and health care providers can effectively address the inefficiencies of our current health care system.



Wisconsin Is Next State To Consider Protectionist Bill That Cuts Access To Care, Hikes Costs
Since Republicans took control of the Wisconsin Legislature in 2010, they have enacted an impressive slate of pro-growth, free market reforms. These legislative accomplishments include income tax reductions, entitlement reform, prevailing wage reform, and a Right to Work law that makes Wisconsin the 25th state where workers cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.



Dr. Tim Quirt: Don’t add red tape to my dental practice
I have been a practicing dentist for nearly a decade. After post-graduate work at Marquette University and undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I was fortunate to follow in my father’s footsteps as a dentist. He too graduated from Marquette. It is the family calling; my brother is also a dentist. Taking care of people is what we do. It’s our passion and we’re grateful to provide the best dental care to our patients as possible.




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

DecisionOne Dental

Dental Associates

Lifelong Dental Care

Smile Doctors

White Gold Dental Partners


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

Accutron, Inc.

Darby Dental

Dental Exchange, EHG, Inc.

Digital Doc, LLC

Integrated Media Solutions

Microflex Ansell

Nelson Mullins

Oral Arts Dental

Practice Compass

Social Dental

Zirc Company

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