A Change of Heart: NextLevel Practice Founder’s Journey from DSO Critic to Advocate

Change of Heart

In the world of dental practice management, the rise of Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) has been met with both enthusiasm and skepticism. Gary Kadi, the founder of NextLevel Practice, was once a staunch critic of DSOs, believing they stripped dentists of their autonomy. 

After becoming an “accidental expert” on DSOs, though, Gary has embarked on a new mission—to empower dental practitioners and redefine the DSO landscape. In a recent interview, Gary Kadi shared the pivotal moments that transformed him into a DSO advocate and outlined NextLevel Practice’s vision for the future of the industry.

The Road to Advocacy:

Gary’s journey from DSO critic to advocate began with a deep concern for dental practitioners. In his more than 25 years working with dentists, he saw how many talented clinicians were burdened with the responsibilities of running a business, leaving them frustrated and financially strained. Even worse, only a small percentage of dentists could retire comfortably. He made it his mission to find a solution to these problems that would allow practice owners to finally enjoy both  financial freedom and love what they do.

Initially, Gary resisted the idea of DSOs, as the early models limited dentists’ clinical autonomy and decision-making. However, his perspective shifted when several of his clients approached him about investigating DSO opportunities. This unexpected role as an expert consultant gave him a behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of DSOs. While the early models were constricting, newer, better models were beginning to emerge.

Reimagining DSOs:

The newest DSO model aimed to address the concerns of clinicians head-on. In a strategy that Gary calls DSO 3.0, clinicians group together, or “roll up” and sell their combined practices to a private equity firm, essentially creating their own DSO. This approach allows clinicians to set their own terms for the sale, and even retain partial ownership, allowing them to retain clinical power while benefiting from the expertise of centralized services like insurance verification, accounting, and IT. This way, practice owners can attain a “triple win”: the well-being of clinicians, the well-being of their teams, and the well-being of their patients.

The Birth of NextLevel Doctors Group:

Convinced of the power and freedom that DSO 3.0 creates for dentists, Gary and NextLevel Practice helped to form their own DSO 3.0–the NextLevel Doctors Group. Starting with six foundational practices, the NextLevel Doctors Group fuses the benefits of DSO 3.0 with NextLevel’s proven business model and ongoing coaching.  As consolidation of the dental industry continues, the NextLevel Doctors Group will also continue to grow as new groups of dentists choose to join the DSO and retain control over their practice and life.

Want to learn more about Gary’s journey from DSO doubter to defender? Check out his interview with Beckers Dental and DSO Review, What Made a DSO Critic Change Sides. If you’d like to learn more about DSO 3.0, check out this free webinar replay, or come learn in person with us in Scottsdale, AZ on November 17th.