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Assessing the Financial Outlook for Orthodontics

Chris Bentson is a partner at Bentson Copple & Associates – a consulting firm that specializes in orthodontics. Bentson explains his views on the business outlook for orthodontics in this clip. He says that the long-term outlook is bullish, noting that only 2.9 million of the estimated 70 to 100 million orthodontic patients are treated each year. Furthermore, Bentson says digital workflows are enabling orthodontists to work more efficiently.
DMD Staff
PUBLISHED: Friday, May 19, 2017

 
Interview Transcript (Modified for Readability)
 
Chris Bentson is a partner at Bentson Copple & Associates – a consulting firm that specializes in orthodontics. Bentson explains his views on the business outlook for orthodontics in this clip. He says that the long-term outlook is bullish, noting that only 2.9 million of the estimated 70 to 100 million orthodontic patients are treated each year. Furthermore, Bentson says digital workflows are enabling orthodontists to work more efficiently.
 
“The outlook for orthodontics, long term, I think is very bullish. We only treat 2.9 million orthodontic cases in North America a year. Consolidation is actually going to get the message out to consumers and expand that market. There’s an estimated 70 to 100 million people in America that could benefit from Orthodontic treatment, and we’re only treating 2.9 million. With the pathways to digital workflows, we’ll be able to do that much more efficiently. I think it’s good for the specialty. I think it’s good for orthodontics long-term. The way we practice may be different. We may have to do higher volume, different price points. We may have to do it as employee doctors versus owners as a majority of us, but long term, it’s very bullish. We’re going to treat more people orthodonitically than ever before, going forward.”
 
RELATED: What’s Driving Change in Orthodontics
 

 
“The biggest force changing the shape of orthodontics, in my opinion, would be the consolidation that’s happening not only across the specialty but also dentistry in the main, which really means we’re having groups come in that can manage, hire, establish employee relationships with doctors, market to the community, provide back-end office services and let the doctors do what they know how to do – and that’s diagnose and treat cases.  
 
This started in dentistry at an accelerated pace. It’s ahead of the specialty right now. There’s a lot of noise around consolidation, and I think as we go forward over the next five to ten years we’ll see up to half or more of orthodontists in the country being employee doctors.  
 
I’m agnostic as to whether consolidation is good or bad. It just is. And there’s no stopping it. There’s been some movements in dentistry or the specialty of orthodontics in practice modality ways that have come and gone. I don’t believe this is going to go away. I think it’s a business reality that we need to embrace. It expands opportunity for the consumer, I think. It therefore will grow the orthodontic market. And it gives millennial doctors who really want this employment relationship a great opportunity, as well as older doctors who want to stop fighting for the phone to ring to sell to a DSO, but continue to work for them.  
 
It’s not good or bad. It just is. And it expands the opportunities for consumers and doctors.”  
 
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