The California Dental Association's subsidiary, first formed to give member dentist advice on running their practices, has now created its own dental supply marketplace that offers commonly used products at substantial discounts.
In overwhelming response to the expressed needs of its members, the California Dental Association (CDA) embarked on an enormous endeavor. It created a subsidiary called the Dentists Service Company (TDSC) in 2015. The CDA’s member dentists were constantly looking to the association for advice on how to run their practices more effectively and efficiently. Whether members realized it or not, they were essentially asking the CDA how they could maintain their practice models and compete in today’s environment.
History and creation
The process that led to the creation of TDSC started more than a decade ago, when the CDA created a website exclusively for member dentists called CDA Compass. It contained a vast array of resources to support best practices in areas such as human resources, OSHA, infection control, and government regulations. CDA Compass evolved into CDA Practice Support, a hub for the business side of dentistry, with analysts who specialize in those fields and consult with members. Concurrently, the CDA was also endorsing services such as practice financing and website development, and even products like gloves.
Service and offerings
Gathering all this knowledge together, the CDA took the next step and created TDSC, which ensures all clinical care decisions and practice ownership remain with dentists while focusing on services that offer the greatest member value. Dental service organizations (DSOs) have several obvious competitive advantages—one of which is buying efficiency. CDA saw the opportunity to group the purchasing power of the association’s 27,000 members together, allowing all to save a significant amount of money in order to maintain or even lower health-care costs. TDSC Marketplace was launched early in 2017 to a small group of early testers and recently opened to all CDA members. It is an online marketplace for dental supplies with significant discounts, especially on products such as gloves and other disposables. Additionally, the Marketplace offers free shipping on all orders.
My personal experience with TDSC Marketplace
I have been ordering supplies on the Marketplace for three months and have saved significantly. The site actually calculates your savings over typical dental suppliers. To date, I have saved $1,560.50, which is essentially the cost of my tripartite dues. That’s close to an annual savings of $6,200 on supplies. While the saving percentage varies across products, I compared the 25 products that I order the most and every product was cheaper, some as much as 35% to 45%. I have ordered composites, cements, gloves, and impression material. While it doesn’t currently carry everything I use, the Marketplace is regularly adding new products. If you don’t see something you regularly use, the Marketplace team will work to source the product.
Interested in learning more?
Not only does TDSC offer the Marketplace to all CDA members as a no-cost benefit, it also provides comprehensive practice management services with dedicated expertise in marketing, practice advising, and human resources on a fee basis. The services are tailored toward the practice’s individual goals and can be leveraged for any practice type, model, or specialty.
CDA wants members to continue to have the autonomy to practice dentistry how they want. By creating TDSC, CDA helped its members on the back end of practice so the doctor-patient relationships can remain the same or better on the front end.
I encourage you to explore TDSC services for yourself by visiting tdsc.com.
Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions. Subscribe to the Apex360 e-newsletter here.