Awards, Private Practice+

What is Private Practice+?

When asked about their dental practices, PDS-affiliated owner doctors like Dr. Brad O’Neill, wax poetic:”For generations the holy grail of dental practice was “private practice.” One saw the dentist as entrepreneur, clinician, coach, HR, etc. It worked fine for most — in fact,I chose that route after a very short associateship.Over the nearly twenty years I spent in private practice, the business of dentistry changed dramatically.Business became more challenging, regulations, taxes, HR — it all became more complicated and difficult to manage.I was outmatched by the multiple layers of regulatory agencies, insurance bureaucracy, and corporate competition.”

Dr. Minh Pham of Crossing Dental Group in CA
receives an award from
PDS Founder Stephen Thorne.
Dr. Brad O’Neill of
Cornerstar Dental Group
in Colorado.


“Partnering with Pacific Dental Services (PDS) is without a doubt the perfect balance of very good businessmen partnering with excellent clinicians,” Dr. O’Neill continues: “It’s like a private practice plus! Each sharing their strengths with the other with the sum being much greater than the parts. As a result I have more freedom, not less, than at any other time in my career. More joy, more time, and more income.” Dr.O’Neill is the owner-doctor of Cornerstar Dental Group and Orthodontics in Aurora, Colorado.

When one thinks of the dental industry,the term “private practice” is generally understood as “solo” private practice where a general dentist owns the equipment, the materials, the facility (rents or owns), and is ultimately responsible for the financial success of the practice. Many dentists in dental school think about this as their ultimate career goal.
However, private practice comes with both opportunities and challenges. There is the opportunity to own your own business and directly benefit from its success.The dentist is her or his own boss and reports to those stakeholders such as the bank, the vendors, and the employees relative to the success or failure of the practice. They also are able to keep all the profits for themselves. As a result, the dentist makes all the decisions. This is both rewarding and intimidating.

The challenges related to private practice can be varied and diverse. One of the common challenges is running the business side of the dental office.Too often, many dentists have little to no training in running a business.They usually end up trusting vendor partners to help them make the best decisions related to their practice.In some cases this works out well and in others, not so well.

So what is Private Practice+ ? Private Practice+ is how dentists are branding Pacific Dental Services., as Dr. O’Neill so eloquently put it in the beginning of this post.Meanwhile, Dr. Minh Pham of Crossing Dental Group, elaborates thus: “It’s like Private Practice plus, which is the luxury of owning your own practice and having the freedom in making the right and ethical clinical decisions for the patients while still having the 50 ton corporate gorilla providing the infrastructure and management leadership running the business side of things.”Private Practice+ means that a practicing dentist can benefit from a relationship with PDS in a number of ways.First, there is ownership. PDS has over 100 dentists that have purchased equity into their affiliated practice and directly benefit from the financial performance of the office.Second, it also means that they strategically partner with a business services provider, that can help them navigate those challenging business decisions that most dentists are not prepared to make.Third, it means access to capital that supports the needs and many wants of the best private practices. It means having access to proven technology that has demonstrated to make a difference in patient care and in reducing the daily overhead costs of most offices.

PDS practices are located in some of the strongest retail centers in America. They utilize proven technology such as Schick digital X-rays, CEREC CAD/CAM technology, Sirona Lasers, QSI digital charting. Providers also work with the best materials provided by vendors such as 3M, GC, Ivoclar,Kerr, Nobel Biocare and Tulsa.

The ultimate benefits are the lifestyle and income benefits. Since the PDS owner doctor shares in the equity, they benefit as the practice is profitable. The average PDS owner makes $384K annually. This allows them the flexibility to make life choices that many private practice clinicians are not afforded.

Take it from Dr. Pham, “Basically,it’s having the best of both worlds.”

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About Joe Feldsien

Joseph Feldsien is the Sr. VP of Professional Partnerships at Pacific Dental Services.