Dental Leadership Organization article series

Why Lightwave was founded as a Dental Leadership Organization

Author: Lee Crawford
Date: 02.19.24 Read Time: 4 min

Check out part 1 of our 4 part series: Why we are THE DLO.

The future of dentistry relies upon innovation to solve the industry’s biggest challenges. Lightwave Dental was formed as the first Dental Leadership Organization (DLO) to help the brightest entrepreneurial dentists grow, lead, and reach their personal and professional goals.

Lightwave has established a unique community that benefits dentists dedicated to collaboration and their ongoing development as natural leaders of the practice.

This article is the first in a four-part series on dental leadership.

Why Lightwave considers itself a DLO and not a Dental Service Organization (DSO)

The term Dental Service Organization (DSO) is the industry’s most common way to describe entities that provide management support services to dental practices. DSOs are typically structured as a group of affiliated dental practices managed by an organization to help them operate more efficiently.

The group functions by providing a range of services, such as administrative support, financial management, and human resources assistance, to streamline the dental business “back office.” However, the realities of many traditional DSOs or corporate dental groups often do not match their aspirations.

“A lot of groups go wrong by overstepping their bounds on where dentists want help,” said Justin Jory, Lightwave Founder and CEO. “The industry is notorious for its lack of training.”

With this in mind, Lightwave has emerged as an industry leading provider of dental support services and is distinguished by its focus on leadership training. What sets the organization apart as the first DLO is this commitment to culture, led by doctors who are changing the way of group dentistry.

Dental support for every career stage

“Being a Dental Leadership Organization means that our job is to help doctors become a better version of themselves,” said Jory.

The Lightwave corporate ethos revolves around a strong commitment to their personal and professional growth. Dentists who are known to offer high clinical quality benefit from having a supportive operational team that enables them to innovate and fuel practice growth.

“The greatest opportunity for us to add value is to not just handle back-office support, but to give dentists the tools and training to make it easy for them to have a phenomenal practice, great patient care, and a great patient experience,” continued Jory.

Lightwave partners with doctors at all phases of their profession: 1) at the launch of a dental career; 2) while leading a practice through complex stages of growth; 3) to preserve a hard-earned legacy when considering retirement.

Leadership support when launching a dental career

Being saddled with dental school debt is one issue that constrains advancement for young dentists. Lightwave is passionate about its supportive culture that offers them a path to ownership.

“The beauty of Lightwave is that it provides a perfect environment for me to learn and grow as a dentist and business owner,” said Dr. Marc Eun of Smiles for Centreville.

They also face significant challenges when stuck as dental associates with no light at the end of the tunnel. In the Lightwave community, young dentists have opportunities to learn from experienced mentors.

“If you’re thinking about private practice, this is a great way to be a practice owner but also be part of a group that supports you,” said Dr. Lauren Steddum of CarolinasDentist.

With Lightwave’s focus on de novo locations, the country’s top young dentists enjoy access to elite facilities in desirable locations, so they can run a dental practice exactly the way they’ve always dreamed.

Stay tuned as the next edition touches upon the dental practice leadership stage.

Become part of the Dental Leadership Organization

Lightwave provides management, leadership, and operational support for more than 200 dentists and 1,800 active employees in 85+ dental offices across Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Currently, Lightwave is expanding in the nation’s most attractive metropolitan markets throughout the Southeast. For doctors interested in exploring the difference Lightwave can make for their professional goals, please reach out to discuss opportunities.

Contact Lightwave Dental

Check out all of our job openings HERE