The Disappearing Solo Practice Model in Dentistry

June 26, 2018 by Marc Cooper, DDS

A model disappears when it becomes obsolete. A model becomes obsolete when it reaches the end of its life cycle. I assert that the life cycle of solo practice in dentistry is ending. (1,2)

The definition of obsolete is “no longer in use or no longer useful; of a kind or style no longer current.” (3) According to this definition, solo practices are becoming obsolete. Many of those in solo practice won’t believe this. They will deny, disclaim, and strongly resist the idea that they are the last of their kind. But solo are like pen and paper, hard drives, car keys, checkbooks, landlines, passwords, desktop computers, cabs, portable music players, and retail stores—all things that are are becoming obsolete.

When you examine the obsolescence phenomenon, there are many clear indicators that it’s happening in dentistry. One sign of impending obsolescence is bad forecasting. (4,5) Solo practitioners are, of course, forecasting their longevity. Why is this? One reason is that many in solo practice don’t see the tremendous shift in consumer demands.

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