As the larger dental dealers began to shift their focus to meeting the needs of group practices, David Charnowitz and the team at DC Dental doubled down on the independent practitioner—a move that’s helped account for the company’s significant growth in recent years.
DC Dental, a smaller company with an entrepreneurial feel, has a lot to offer independent practitioners, Founder and CEO Charnowitz said, including price transparency and a range of options for how they interact with the dealer.
Many solo practitioners aren’t interested in paying for the frills and value adds that are attractive to larger DSOs. With these groups the new focus for many dealers, independent practitioners feel it’s time to look elsewhere for their supplies. They’re moving away from the large distributors, leaving companies like DC Dental to fill the void.
“We went through a purposeful restructuring and took a hard look at where we felt the industry trends were going pre-COVID,” Charnowitz said. “Dentists want their industry back. The large dealers have a cradle-to-grave big box store mentality, which was once a great concept, but it doesn’t work for everybody. After the consolidation throughout the 2000s, there became fewer and fewer options and as a result, the dealers dictated how they were going to do business with dentists. Now, we’re watching that shift the other way, whether that means more digital and less in person sales or more pricing transparency.”
What Makes DC Dental Attractive To Independent Dentists
DC Dental’s business was split into three components as part of the restructuring: full-service, buying club and digital only models. The different models are priced accordingly, with dentists who want a sales rep and the full-service experience, for example, paying more than those who opt for digital only.
“We let them pick almost like ala carte,” Charnowitz said. “Part of the industry shift is not telling dentists how they have to do business. We allow them to tell us how they would like to engage.”
DSOs tend to be more sophisticated negotiators and will spend the time needed to get the best deal. Many suppliers have raised prices to make up margin points, leaving independent dentists stuck with higher bills because they’re more focused on running their practice than haggling over supplies.
With DC Dental’s price transparency, customers know they’re getting high-quality products at the best price possible. And price transparency, Charnowitz said, will drive a lot of future decisions independent practitioners make.
Larger dental dealers are also getting more involved in owning manufacturing companies. DC Dental would explore this as a strategy only if it would be consistent with its mission to help provide value to its customers.
“Our goal is to work for the dentist and get the best possible deals with the best possible range of services,” he said. “If a manufacturer gets acquired by a dealer, there are plenty of other manufacturers who produce similar types of products that we can engage with.”
A Focus On Education
DC Dental is invested in the success of the independent dental practitioner by providing price transparency so dentists can invest in the products that make them more efficient, and it doesn’t stop there. It’s also our job to connect dentists with other services or thought leaders that can help them cut costs and grow practice revenues, Charnowitz said. That’s why the DC Clinical Webinar Series was developed.