With a growing diversity in practice models, including an increase in dentists working as employees or contractors and a decrease in practice ownership, there is no denying that the business challenges for dentists across the nation continue to grow as well. Feeling the combined impacts of dental benefit pressures, growing market competition and the rapid expansion of large group practices, CDA members voiced a need for more control. The association responded with a forward-thinking approach — the creation of The Dentists Service Company — launching services designed to support members’ freedom to excel in a changing marketplace and practice on their own terms.
One of these services, a bold group purchasing program, is now in full swing, and CDA members are seeing significant savings on dental supplies through the TDSC Marketplace — enough savings to make a big difference in their practices’ choices.
As the digital and dental worlds evolve, online shopping is becoming an even more important factor in the dental supply landscape. An agile company directly connected to California dentists, TDSC has the ability to gather real-time feedback on Marketplace pricing, website ease of use, product selection and deliverability. Its biggest advantage is the collective strength of the association’s 27,000 members, which allows TDSC to offer a robust dental supply catalog at negotiated low prices.
“There are few places where strength in numbers can mean more to dentistry than in the dental supply arena. The TDSC Marketplace was designed to give CDA members the kind of advantage that the large-format corporate practices enjoy,” said James Stephens, DDS, past TDSC board chair and past CDA president. “With our member dentists purchasing as many of their supplies from the Marketplace as they can, we are able to level the playing field in this space.”
Walt Weber, DDS, newly appointed chair of TDSC, was one of the earliest TDSC Marketplace shoppers and has seen the significant benefits firsthand. He described how group purchasing empowers individual practices.
“This is a company directed by dentists, not shareholders. One of the greatest benefits as a CDA member is an ownership stake in the company and the decisions made,” said Weber. “With the power of the association and organized dentistry, we are able to leverage our strength to have more control over key areas of our businesses. Dental supplies are an example of that.”
TDSC has worked with major distributors and direct manufacturers, leveraging members’ combined purchasing power to secure pricing that would be difficult for individual dentists to realize on their own. Now, shoppers are realizing significant savings on more than 25,000 items across 32 dental categories — all from trusted, authorized vendors. For many Marketplace shoppers, the savings have already added up to more than the amount of annual tripartite membership dues. In addition, free shipping on every order and the convenience of shopping anytime from a single, secure site streamline the purchasing process. Practice teams can spend more time with patients and less on purchasing.
“The Marketplace is just one tool that dentists can utilize to support themselves in dentistry,” said Stephens. “It’s a compounding effect of cost control across the different aspects of our practices that will help dentists succeed.”
TDSC Marketplace access is a free benefit of CDA membership. Shop the Marketplace to compare products and see savings.