April 2023

From the Office of the Executive Director


ADSO is committed to promoting DSOs as the preferred practice model, driving value and increasing revenue for our members, and positioning the organization as the premier industry thought leader.

One of our top priorities is addressing and finding solutions for the workforce issues our members face. Today, I will share several of our efforts working in collaboration with stakeholders.

To promote DSOs as the preferred career choice for new dentists, we are launching a pilot program that connects DSOs and dental schools for external clinical rotations. This program exposes dental students to a real-life DSO practice environment and will serve as a valuable recruitment tool for our members. We also are working with the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), meeting and talking with students and helping them understand the DSO model and the benefits DSOs can offer as a career choice.

ADSO is working to remove barriers to entry, enhance the ability of dental hygienists to operate at the top of their license, and enable license portability. This summer, the ADSO is participating in the American Dental Hygienists’ Association annual conference. During our mainstage general session, hygienist panelists from a diverse range of DSOs will talk about how to forge the future of the dental hygiene profession. Topics will include hygienists’ roles in medical-dental integration, accelerating their impact in disease detection and prevention, and professional growth opportunities in DSO practices. The group also will address current limitations in hygiene practice and explore how to pursue changes in state regulations to allow hygiene professionals to operate at the top of their license, ensure standards of practice, and allow license portability.

We also will participate in the hygiene educator’s workshop during the conference, interacting with educators over the course of a full day and discussing the career opportunities – both clinical and administrative – DSOs offer dental hygiene professionals. We welcome the opportunity to talk with these educators who have such a tremendous influence on their hygiene students in terms of career choices and perceptions.

To help address recruitment challenges and inconsistency in education and scope parameters for dental assistants from state to state, the ADSO will work with the Dental Assisting National Board and the American Dental Assistants Association, participating in stakeholder listening sessions, job task analyses, and a regulatory model workgroup that will develop model legislation and regulations to establish consistency in education and scope of practice on a national level versus the state-by-state approach that currently exists. We also will develop a social media recruitment campaign to market careers in dental assisting to high school and community college students.

Our efforts in these areas will increase the recruitment pipeline for all members of the dental team. Next month, my column will focus on the myriad government relations strategies ADSO is employing to address workforce challenges.


Andrew Smith, ADSO Executive Director