Sales: 800-861-5098

Navigating the Waters of Dental Practice Ownership: Insights from David Harris

By Planet DDS
February 22, 2024

David Harris, CEO of Prosperident, the leading dental embezzlement investigations firm, sheds light on the complexities of practice ownership and the importance of vigilance against embezzlement in an enlightening conversation on The Dental Economist Show.

The Dual Path of Dentistry: Ownership vs. Clinical Focus

David emphasizes the critical decision point for dentists between pursuing practice ownership and focusing solely on clinical dentistry. He points out that while owning a practice offers a sense of autonomy and leadership, it also demands a readiness to shoulder the administrative and financial burdens that come with it. For those less inclined towards these responsibilities, alternatives such as working within Dental Support Organizations (DSOs), the military, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Veterans Affairs, or academia present viable career paths. The crux of David’s message is clear: understanding and embracing the responsibilities of your chosen path in dentistry is key to avoiding the pitfalls that can lead to professional dissatisfaction or financial jeopardy.

The Epidemic of Embezzlement in Dental Practices

David brings to light a startling statistic: nearly half of all dentists will experience embezzlement at some point in their careers, with many falling victim multiple times. This revelation underscores the pervasive issue of fraud within the dental industry, a problem that, according to David, remains underestimated by many practitioners. The conversation pivots to the importance of implementing robust hiring practices and maintaining vigilant oversight of financial operations to safeguard against embezzlement. David’s extensive experience, spanning over three decades, positions him as an authority on the subject, offering invaluable insights into the mechanisms of fraud and the steps practices can take to protect themselves.

Proactive Measures and the Role of Technology

The dialogue further explores the role of technology in mitigating the risk of embezzlement. David discusses the evolution from manual pegboard systems to modern cloud-based solutions, highlighting how advancements in dental software have enhanced the ability to monitor and secure financial transactions. He advocates for practices to leverage these tools to ensure accurate reporting and to establish checks and balances that can deter potential embezzlers. Moreover, David stresses the importance of personal involvement by practice owners in reviewing financial reports and conducting regular audits as fundamental to creating a culture of accountability and transparency.

A Call to Action for Practice Owners

David’s conversation serves as a call to action for dental practice owners to embrace their roles fully, not just as clinicians but as vigilant stewards of their businesses. The journey of practice ownership is fraught with challenges, yet it also offers the opportunity to lead with integrity and to build a legacy of excellence in patient care. By adopting a proactive stance on hiring, implementing robust financial controls, and leveraging technology, practice owners can navigate the complexities of ownership while safeguarding their practices against the risks of embezzlement.

In conclusion, David Harris’s insights offer a roadmap for dental practice owners to navigate the responsibilities and challenges of ownership with wisdom and foresight. By understanding the landscape of dental careers, embracing the duties of practice ownership, and implementing measures to protect against embezzlement, dentists can ensure the longevity and success of their practices in the ever-evolving world of dental care.