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ADA explores growth of large group practices

The ADA is taking steps to increase dialogue with large group practices and gather information regarding this rapidly expanding career option.

Image: Growth of corporate dentistry

This sector of the dental workforce has experienced significant growth in a relatively short period of time. According to the ADA Health Policy Resources Center, in just two years the number of large dental group practices has risen 25 percent.

For now, it’s still a small piece of the overall dental delivery system pie. In a 2008 sampling frame, the Health Policy Resources Center concluded that solo dentist practices account for 92 percent of all dental practices, and very large group practices with 20 or more dentists make up only 3 percent.

However, in analyzing its data on individual dentists, the HPRC has concluded that the rate of solo practitioners is falling. In 2010, 69 percent of dentists were solo practitioners compared to 76 percent in 2006.

There are many factors fueling the growth of large group practices supported by dental service organizations, and this practice type has many implications for the profession and organized dentistry. A key aspect of large group practice that sets it apart from traditional dental practice is ownership. Dentists in these settings may have an ownership stake, or part of an ownership stake, but many are employees of the practice. The group practice model offers many benefits to employee dentists that are similar to ADA membership benefits, too. With this segment of the dental profession growing, how can the ADA remain relevant to dentists in large group practice settings? Read More 

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