The State Of Dental Procurement In 2024

Group Dentistry Now has surveyed DentalForum attendees for 4 years on the state of dental procurement. This year, 53 North American, European, APA & ANZ DSOs and dental groups responded, representing 8,400 practices.

For four years, Group Dentistry Now and Open Room have surveyed DentalForum attendees and DSO/multi-location dental practice subscribers of Group Dentistry Now on the state of dental procurement. Bill Neumann and Kim Larson presented the 2024 survey results during the recent DentalForum meeting in Austin, Texas. (Here are past years survey results: 2022, 2020, and 2019.)

  • The 2024 survey was made up of 24 questions.
  • 53 DSOs and dental group practices responded: 36 from North America, 13 from Europe/UK and 5 from APAC & ANZ.
  • At least 8,400 dental practices were represented in this survey.
  • Survey was completely anonymous.
  • The average time to complete the survey was approximately 9 minutes and 36 seconds.

Q1: In what part of the world is your DSO located? [Check all that apply]


Other: Southeast Asia

Q2: How many dental practice locations does your DSO / dental group currently have?


Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 3.08.01 PM


Q3: In how many states, provinces or regions does your DSO operate?


Q4: What is the area of focus for your DSO?



Q5: How many people at your dental group are involved in the purchasing / procurement process?


  • Each location puts in the dental supply order and then it goes to Procurement Manager for approval, 4/5/2024 11:03 AM
  • Own our own GPO, 4/2/2024 12:04 PM
  • One procurement director and then purchasing is done at the practice level, 3/16/2024 03:53 PM
  • 1 person in procurement and 1 person approves capex, 3/12/2024 02:22 PM 
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Q6: Who makes the decisions for what products become “preferred” or become part of your formulary? [Check all that apply]

Commentary under other:

  • Chief Compliance Officer is our procurement specialist that works with the clinical team for preferred purchased supplies, 4/5/2024 01:08 PM
  • CFO, 4/4/2024 03:41 PM
  • Results from clinical committee involvement, 4/4/2024 10:26 AM
  • R&D, 4/2/2024 12:04 PM
  • Pricing, payment terms, etc drive 90% of the discussion, 3/23/2024 07:38 PM
  • It is a team approach with the Procurement Director and the Clinical team of each area, Dental, Hygiene, Lab, Endo, Ortho, Implant, etc., 3/18/2024 08:52 AM
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Q7: As a percentage, what is your dental supply spend as it relates to revenue?

Q8: When purchasing a product or service, rank the following by importance

Q9: Do you offer clinicians multiple product offerings within a category? ie – Two or more types of composite, etc.


  • Only partners are able to select what materials they prefer. Associates do not get an option., 4/9/2024 08:35 AM
  • To an extent., 4/5/2024 01:08 PM
  • In some categories not all, 4/5/2024 11:03 AM
  • Usually 2-3 options in each category that they can choose from., 4/4/2024 05:16 PM
  • We don’t use a restricted formulary., 3/16/2024 03:53 PM

Q10: Rank the ways you prefer a vendor to introduce their products and/or company to your DSO? 

Q11: Does your organization have a preferred supplies or a formulary model?

  • none, 4/10/2024 05:52 AM
  • Nil, 4/4/2024 01:29 PM
  • No, but we are working to create one. 4/4/2024 11:12 AM
  • we are happy to use any, 4/4/2024 10:33 AM
  • Historically relationship driven, but moving towards a more robust formulary model. 3/20/2024 02:06 PM
  • We negotiate pricing with preferred vendors and we provide our practices with a monthly budget. They can order the products they prefer as long as they keep to the budget., 3/16/2024 03:53 PM

Q12: How long is the pilot / review process for your DSO to evaluate new products before deciding if they become part of the formulary?


  • Depends on the product. 4/9/2024 09:28 AM
  • Depends on product type and frequent use- some products easily identify if a common procedure others may take more time based on the duration of time between utilization. 4/5/2024 01:08 PM
  • It depends on the products, 4/5/2024 11:03 AM
  • Our formulary is built. If new product is presented, it is vetted through a Clinical Advisory Board and depending on the product (what it is designed to do) the supporting research, results, etc… will determine how long a product will be in pilot before entered on to the formulary. 4/4/2024 03:41 PM
  • I decide, 4/4/2024 01:29 PM
  • It really depends on the nature of the partnership. How much integration is necessary etc, 4/2/2024 06:16 PM
  • Depends on the niche of the product 4/2/2024 12:04 PM
  • Depends on the item. Equipment for an example may be up to a month. 3/18/2024 08:52 AM
  • A new committee is being formed and the process will be updated soon. It does depend on the category of the product. 3/11/2024 09:38 AM

Q13: If you have preferred products or a formulary, approximately what is the percentage of clinicians that adhere to the formulary.


  • Specialty docs may stray from formulary. 4/9/2024 09:28 AM
  • As new Doctors are coming into the practice we have allowed them a grace period – some items we have had to add, 4/5/2024 11:03 AM
  • From our Primary distributor we are running at 90%. Over all including all of the Direct Suppliers we are around 80% to 85%, 3/18/2024 08:52 AM

Q14: Does your team use an eProcurement platform as the main tool for purchasing supplies?


  • Intranet page – evaluating eProcurement options, 4/5/2024 11:38 AM
  • Dependent upon practices – not mandated, 4/4/2024 12:54 PM
  • I am evaluating procurement platforms now. 4/4/2024 11:12 AM

Q15: Is your DSO a member of a GPO (Group Purchasing Organization)?

Q16: How many preferred distributors does your organization partner with?

Q17: Does your organization have a Clinical Director, Chief Dental Officer or Hygiene Director to help the procurement process?

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Q18: Do each of your DSO’s practices have an assigned monthly budget for purchasing dental supplies?

Q19: In addition to dental supplies what other categories are managed by your procurement team? [Check all that apply]

  • Operations and Supplies, 3/20/2024 02:06 PM
  • All Direct and indirect commodities to running our Company. 3/18/2024 08:52 AM
  • De Novo Process, 3/12/2024 04:17 PM,
  • Office Supplies, Equipment and facility Repairs, 3/11/2024 09:38 AM

Q20: Rank these issues/challenges for your dental group from most concerning to least concerning. 


Q21: Prioritize your organization’s procurement focus in 2024. 


Q22 What new products and/or technology are you evaluating in 2024? [OPEN ENDED]

1 AI 4/14/2024 9:35 PM
2 more digital workflow 4/12/2024 6:51 PM
3 AI Imaging Platforms 4/9/2024 3:12 PM
4 N/A 4/9/2024 9:28 AM
5 AI 4/9/2024 8:48 AM
6 AI to minimize staff necessity, diagnosis and tx planning, interested in automated chart note audits 4/9/2024 8:35 AM
7 3d printers, io scanners, milling machines 4/6/2024 7:50 AM
8 SDF new companies, technology updates 4/5/2024 1:08 PM
9 AI (Pearl and OverJet), 3D Printing (SprintRay), Potential for eProcurement evaluation and standardization of Practice Management Software. 4/5/2024 11:38 AM
10 3 D printers, Getting Scanners in locations that do have 4/5/2024 11:03 AM
11 Digitalisation in all aspects. 4/5/2024 12:54 AM
12 Sleep dentistry 4/5/2024 12:35 AM
13 RCM platforms – Inside Desk and RemitAI Other SaaS platforms 4/4/2024 6:35 PM
14 AI and voice charting 4/4/2024 5:16 PM
15 Bola AI Zentist PerioDT 4/4/2024 3:41 PM
16 Digital scanners 4/4/2024 2:55 PM
17 3D printers 4/4/2024 2:21 PM
18 Nil 4/4/2024 1:29 PM
19 AI 4/4/2024 12:54 PM
20 n/a 4/4/2024 11:29 AM
21 RCM process management 4/4/2024 11:12 AM
22 Inventory management systems 4/4/2024 10:26 AM
23 Overjet, XVWeb, Curodont, Denti AI, Air Polishing 4/2/2024 6:16 PM
24 AI, 3D printing, CADCAM, Digital Materials 4/2/2024 12:04 PM
25 AI Treatment planning software and case planning solutions 3/23/2024 7:38 PM
26 Many… 3/20/2024 2:06 PM
27 3D printing, 3D printing acrylics, Soft tissue Lasers, 3/18/2024 8:52 AM
28 Software platforms that address challenges like referrals tracking, traveling doctor scheduling, membership plans… 3/16/2024 3:53 PM
29 new CAD/CAM 3/13/2024 11:26 AM
30 intraoral scanner 3/13/2024 6:21 AM
31 Hygiene specific lasers 3/12/2024 4:17 PM
32 scanners 3/12/2024 3:22 PM
33 3d printers, AI 3/12/2024 2:22 PM
34 Overjet 3/12/2024 1:29 PM
35 AI Diagnostic 3/12/2024 1:28 PM
36 New Scanners, putting AI into practices for treatment planning 3/11/2024 9:38 AM
37 Equipment. Operatory packages, small equipment. 3/7/2024 9:45 AM


Q23 What are your main challenges in the dental procurement process? [OPEN ENDED]

Answered: 35       Skipped: 18

#                        RESPONSES                                                                                                                                                      DATE
1 Finding vendors that support our growth initiatives after the purchase order has been fulfilled. 4/14/2024 9:35 PM
2 alignment 4/12/2024 6:51 PM
3 Getting practice level engagement with samples and new products. Driving alignment with associates. 4/9/2024 3:12 PM
4 Vendors over promising and underperforming 4/9/2024 10:21 AM
5 Standardizing vendors and managing inventory. 4/9/2024 9:28 AM
6 total number of products and current companies we work with 4/9/2024 8:48 AM
7 Pricing may be lower at other vendors, getting pricing lower across the board; teams being on top of current inventory and future needs 4/9/2024 8:35 AM
8 Shipping/ invoicing for DSO to split and classify products for books 4/5/2024 1:08 PM
9 Rallying all clinicians/offices to get behind group-lead initiatives and ensuring they understand the value proposition behind these being for the great good of the group overall. 4/5/2024 11:38 AM
10 Labs – When there is change over with staff who order supplies for the office 4/5/2024 11:03 AM
11 Too many good products, then cost will be the differentiation? 4/5/2024 12:54 AM
12 Management of the inventory and waste. 4/5/2024 12:35 AM
13 Prices continue to change throughout the year 4/4/2024 5:16 PM
14 Commitment from Practices to make a change. 4/4/2024 3:41 PM
15 The monopoly some distributors have 4/4/2024 2:55 PM
16 compliance 4/4/2024 2:21 PM
17 Cash flow 4/4/2024 1:29 PM
18 Dealing with the distribution model and it’s inefficiencies 4/4/2024 12:54 PM
19 n/a 4/4/2024 11:29 AM
20 Adoption of the preferred lists 4/4/2024 11:12 AM
21 Lab costs 4/4/2024 10:26 AM
22 Communicating recommended materials, training on technique. 4/2/2024 6:16 PM
23 OEM trust 4/2/2024 12:04 PM
24 Matching pricing and payment needs with the right kind of support needs 3/23/2024 7:38 PM
25 Channel conflict – Local reps vs. regional reps vs. contracted prices/benefits. Too much time, energy and resources are spent negotiating partnership agreements to then be undercut by a local rep that has been given authority or autonomy to provide an even DEEPER discount to one or a handful of offices. 3/20/2024 2:06 PM
26 Distributors trying to set market pricing. We prefer to negotiate with the Manufacture. 3/18/2024 8:52 AM
27 Over abundance of products available in the market. It can sometimes be overwhelming to have so many companies reach out. 3/16/2024 3:53 PM
28 Range of options 3/13/2024 11:26 AM
28 Cost Reduction Add new products and tecnologies to increase our competitiveness in the market improve workflows 3/13/2024 6:21 AM
30 Procurement platform challenges. prefer to go to 2 primary vendors, with a 3rd on-deck 3/12/2024 4:17 PM
31 understanding unbiased measurement of quality and results 3/12/2024 3:22 PM
32 keeping everyone on formulary 3/12/2024 1:29 PM
33 – Standarization – Transform Business from transactional (implants) to emotional (aesthetics) 3/12/2024 1:28 PM
34 I would like to see our procurement platform intergrade with an equipment/facility repair process. 3/11/2024 9:38 AM
35 Off-formulary requests 3/7/2024 9:45 AM

Q24 What can vendors do to provide additional value for your dental group? [OPEN ENDED]

Answered: 32       Skipped: 21

#                        RESPONSES                                                                                                                                                      DATE
1 Education and training. 4/14/2024 9:35 PM
2 Support our growth with savings to re-invest in tech and training 4/12/2024 6:51 PM
3 Attitude. Vendors need to want it. They need to work hard. Not be afraid of the work it takes. Follow up is key 4/9/2024 10:21 AM
4 Additional reporting, spend transparency. 4/9/2024 9:28 AM
5 Help with the business development side of business to grow our network 4/9/2024 8:48 AM
6 education support 4/6/2024 7:50 AM
7 Understanding of efficiency needs in the practice. 4/5/2024 1:08 PM
8 Pathways to deepen partnerships – we are willing to provide more access and build out a more comprehensive plan of action with vendors (more than just pricing). 4/5/2024 11:38 AM
9 Trg, techniques guidance etc etc 4/5/2024 12:54 AM
10 Workflow optimisation from a procurement perspective. 4/5/2024 12:35 AM
11 Bring education (courses) for the docs and team. 4/4/2024 5:16 PM
12 When applicable, provide supporting data, metrics, KPI. For technology, be involved in the change management at the practice level. 4/4/2024 3:41 PM
13 Learning and development support DSO Conference support Admin support through our buying portal Regular category reviews 4/4/2024 2:55 PM
14 meetings 4/4/2024 2:21 PM
15 Discount 4/4/2024 1:29 PM
16 Great products/Great pricing and Great support 4/4/2024 12:54 PM
17 better pricing 4/4/2024 11:29 AM
18 CE opportunities 4/4/2024 11:12 AM
19 Offer excellent customer service 4/4/2024 10:26 AM
20 Provide road map to success, provide meaningful CE, provide metrics and analytics to drive our mutual success. Help me look good for my bosses and shareholders, I’ll try to do the same for you 🙂 4/2/2024 6:16 PM
21 Convey a proven track record of supporting large DSOs 4/2/2024 12:04 PM
22 In office support services 3/23/2024 7:38 PM
23 Benefits beyond price/discount. Help our practices grow and drive efficiencies. Training and Education. 3/20/2024 2:06 PM
24 Training/education support, Equipment maintenance/repair support Keeping up up todate on new innovations. Support pilot programs, help us recruit new hires. 3/18/2024 8:52 AM
25 Better price 3/13/2024 11:26 AM
26 Provide new products and solutions, provide information and trends on where the market is going 3/13/2024 6:21 AM
27 Support, and be an extension of us. Do not push their products unless its an initiative we discuss and roll out together with a plan. 3/12/2024 4:17 PM
28 provide proof of prior comment 3/12/2024 3:22 PM
29 Showing different less expensive options 3/12/2024 1:29 PM
30 – Increase our service quality – Clinicians support 3/12/2024 1:28 PM
31 All the preferred vendors that I currently work with are vetted and know what level of service they need to provide to work with our organization. If they cannot provide that level of care and service, they may not be able to grow with us and the partnership. 3/11/2024 9:38 AM
32 Provide consistent updates on discontinued products/replacements. Price changes, backorders. 3/7/2024 9:45 AM


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