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Discussing the Hot Dental Market and How it’s Affecting Practice Valuations and Transitions with Doug Copple
Episode 4318th June 2021 • The Prosperous Doc • Spaugh Dameron Tenny
00:00:00 00:33:15

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Despite not being a doctor himself, Doug Copple understands the challenges of running a medical or dental practice.

He is a Partner at Bentson Copple & Associates, a transition company that assists orthodontists nationwide with practice valuation, partner location services, as well as negotiating transitions. 

In this episode of the Prosperous Doc ®, our host Shane Tenny, CFP® welcomes Doug to discuss changes in the dental market and what that looks like for private practices and future doctors.

“Orthos are really our bread and butter. We're involved with 50 to 60 transactions a year, at least on the ortho side. Our firm really provides valuation, transition, and recruiting services for orthodontists. It's any change of ownership,” Doug explains.

The firm is focused on facilitating effective and shorter negotiations with the greatest probability of closing the deal. This is timely as more orthodontic residents say they plan to work as employees for dental service organizations (DSO) and orthodontic service organizations (OSO). 

“If you're a doctor and you're being overwhelmed by some of the things you don't want to do in your practice anymore, you can get a big lump sum [from an OSO buyout], and say you have $3 million in the bank now,” Doug says of the kind of transactions he helps facilitate.

“That's a pretty nice little passive income for you as a doctor that you're adding on to your salary to work back.”


💡 Featured Expert 💡

Name: Doug Copple 

What he does: As a Partner at Bentson Copple & Associates, Doug assists orthodontists nationwide during pivotal career transition points. Doug’s goal is to provide shorter negotiation cycles and stronger assurance of deals reaching completion. 

Company: Bentson Copple & Associates | LinkedIn 

Words of wisdom: “What we're telling our clients — whether you're thinking about doing a transaction with a single doctor, or you're thinking about doing a transaction with an OSO, anytime in 2022 — you really need to look at the tax consequences of doing it this year versus doing it next year.”

Connect: Email | LinkedIn


💰 On the Money 💰

Top takeaways from this episode

★    Dental practices have the potential to yield large profit margins. Doug says the dental market is hot right now and one thing attracting investors is the potential to increase efficiency and profit. “I think private equity or business minded people look at individual dentists or orthodontists and say this is an inefficient model. You've got one doctor with maybe two or three locations. They can only be in one location at a time, so there's all this downtime that we can make it more efficient,” he says.

★    Running a practice is less appealing to future orthodontists. It’s estimated that by 2025, approximately 55% of the dental world may be affiliated with DSOs. Similarly, 55-60% of orthodontic residents say they plan to work as employees rather than owning a private practice at least early in their careers.

★    Be willing to make changes. As a doctor’s private practice gets bigger, it could serve them to turn to an equity investor, but they have to be willing to make changes for higher efficiency and online patient interactions.  


⚡ Prosperous Insights ⚡

[02:08] Providing niche services: Doug Copple discusses Bentson Copple & Associates' focus in the orthodontic market. The company provides valuation, transition, and recruiting services, and any change of ownership deals for orthodontists.

[03:53] More efficiency yields larger profit margins: Private equity or business-minded people look at individual dentist orthodontists as an inefficient model, as one doctor might work at two or three locations. That’s where companies like Bentson Copple & Associates come in and improve the efficiency model and recruit more doctors.

[04:43] Consolidation is the current trend: The dental market is hot right now, Doug confirms. It is currently estimated that by 2025 about 55% of the dental world may be affiliated with DSOs or OSOs.

[06:09] New residency trends: Doug says his firm conducts a yearly survey of orthodontic program residents. In years past, more than half would respond with interest in owning their own practice. Now, however, between 55% and 60% say they plan to be an employee of a private practice or corporate group, such as an OSO or DSO.

[09:49] Helping doctors do their job: When private or corporate groups buy a doctor’s practice, it allows the doctor to remain solely focused on clinical concerns. The buyer can focus on administrative concerns, technological changes, HR needs, and any other management needs while the physicians can focus on patients.

[18:12] Making changes for the better: These private and corporate groups are looking for a partnership with these doctors. They do not simply want to pay a lump sum and see the doctor lose interest in their own practice. These groups want to work in tandem with doctors to improve their patients’ experience and the operations of the business.

[23:17] Money while you sleep: If you’re a doctor, explains Doug, and the daily operations of your practice are becoming too much, then selling to a larger group provides some passive income.

[28:14] Think ahead: Doug explains that doctors considering transactions with OSOs really need to take into consideration the tax consequences of selling in 2021 versus 2022.


💵 Financial Wellness Tip 💵

The advisors at Spaugh Dameron Tenny Financial have pulled together a 54-page survival guide to walk you through real world scenarios and action plans for saving, insurance and loans. This guide is specialized just for physicians. Complete this form and your guide will be emailed to you, with the next steps to take your finances head-on.

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Disclaimer: Prosperous Doc podcast by Spaugh Dameron Tenny highlights real-life stories from doctors and dentists to encourage and inspire listeners through discussions of professional successes and failures in addition to personal stories and financial wellness advice. Spaugh Dameron Tenny is a comprehensive financial planning firm serving doctors and dentists in Charlotte, NC. To find out more about Spaugh Dameron Tenny, visit our website at You can also connect with our host, Shane Tenny, CFP at or on Twitter.

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