Working with a team at a DSO, a group of dental staff takes a selfie.

Working for a Dental Service Organization (Part 2)

Last week ,we learned what a DSO is. This week we will follow up with the pros and cons of working for a larger dental company.

Working as a dental assistant for a Dental Service Organization (DSO) can offer both advantages and potential considerations. Here are some aspects to consider:


  1. Professional Growth Opportunities: DSOs often provide structured career development paths and opportunities for advancement. They may offer training programs, continuing education, and skill enhancement initiatives to help dental assistants expand their knowledge and advance their careers.
  2. Streamlined Operations: DSOs typically have established systems and protocols in place to streamline administrative processes. This can help dental assistants focus more on patient care and clinical tasks rather than spending excessive time on administrative duties.
  3. Access to Resources and Support: DSOs often have centralized resources and support teams that can assist dental assistants in various aspects of their work. This can include access to experienced professionals, specialized training, and comprehensive operational support.
  4. Collaborative Environment: Working within a DSO structure may provide opportunities for collaboration with other dental professionals, such as dentists, dental hygienists, and fellow dental assistants. This collaborative environment can facilitate knowledge sharing, mentorship, and a sense of teamwork.
  5. Exposure to Diverse Patient Cases: DSOs may have multiple affiliated dental practices, which can expose dental assistants to a broader range of patient cases and treatment scenarios. This exposure can contribute to professional development and expand clinical experience.


  1. Standardization of Protocols: DSOs often have standardized protocols and guidelines that dental assistants must follow. While these protocols ensure consistency and quality of care, it may require dental assistants to adapt to specific systems and workflows.
  2. Potential Lack of Autonomy: Depending on the DSO, dental assistants may have less autonomy and decision-making authority compared to working in an independent dental practice. The level of independence can vary depending on the DSO’s structure and management style.
  3. Variability Across Practices: DSOs may have multiple affiliated dental practices, and the experience within each practice can differ. Factors such as practice culture, management style, and team dynamics may vary from one location to another.
  4. Emphasis on Efficiency: DSOs often focus on efficiency and productivity to optimize business operations. This may require dental assistants to work within time constraints and handle a higher patient volume. It’s important to ensure that patient care and quality are not compromised in the pursuit of efficiency.
  5. Adaptability to Change: DSOs may implement changes in policies, procedures, or technology across affiliated practices to maintain consistency and improve operational efficiency. Dental assistants should be adaptable to change and willing to embrace new processes or systems as they arise.

It’s important to note that the experience of working for a DSO as a dental assistant can vary based on the specific DSO, the dental practice you’re assigned to, and your personal preferences. It can be beneficial to research and evaluate different DSOs, speak with current or former employees, and consider how the specific DSO aligns with your career goals and work style.

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