Stephen Thorne: Pioneering the New Dental Industry Standard


Right after graduating from College of California, Los Angeles in 1989, Stephen E. Thorne IV identified himself in a challenging occupation sector, so he commenced performing at his father’s dental apply in Victorville.

“My father questioned me to place a personal computer method into his exercise, and considering that I was pretty good with a computer, he asked me to computerize his observe,” Thorne explained.

That original phase led Thorne to get an in-depth glimpse into how a dental office will work. In 1994, he started Pacific Dental Providers, which is primarily based in Irvine.

The corporation, frequently recognized as PDS, has been on Inc. Journal’s 5000 checklist of the swiftest-expanding private firms in The united states for 13 several years in a row.

It now has extra than 12,000 workers and produced $2 billion last year. It’s become a pioneer in what nowadays is acknowledged as a DSO, or dental assistance firm, which runs the back places of work of dental stores nationally.

Thorne was 1 of five honored at the Organization Journal’s 21st yearly Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards held on Could 26 at the Irvine Marriott.

“When we began, there actually did not exist a dental support sector,” Thorne instructed an audience of almost 300 at the Irvine Marriott hotel. “Now it’s about 30% of the dental sector in the United States. We are disrupting the industry.”

Epic Application

Aside from an economics degree from UCLA, Thorne also has a master’s degree in well being products and services administration from Chapman College.

By the decades, he’s had to convince dentists about the benefit of his business managing managed care contracts to billings to collections. His business would tackle just about something for the dentists, except for the actual dentistry.

“The essence of the Pacific Dental Providers enterprise design is straightforward: enabling clinicians to target more on the affected individual and fret significantly less about the small business,” the company’s website claims.

PDS claims it was the initial dental organization to employ Epic, the most broadly utilised comprehensive well being information process, into its supported dental tactics. Corporations using Epic can exchange affected person info for improved affected individual care, allowing PDS-supported dentists and specialists the means to coordinate care with other clinicians who provide their sufferers, closing care gaps and reducing duplication. People can see dental wellness historical past all in one particular area, which allows them hook up oral challenges with the rest of their bodies.

Thorne led the company’s efforts on a one particular-of-a-sort dental-healthcare follow in aid of whole-body health with the opening of a few health care procedures in one convenient locale: Union Village Modern Dentistry, Union Village Kid’s Dentistry, and Union Village Clinical Team in Henderson, Nevada.

This concept elevated entry to comprehensive treatment and allows patients to be witnessed by clinicians who comprehend the vital connection in between oral overall health and entire-overall body health and fitness.
He’s also started off three colleges to aid dentists learn extra about the sector, small business and leadership.

OC Dentistry

Orange County has turn into a middle of the American dental field.

Aside from PDS, Irvine-based Glidewell presents custom dental restorative solutions, Brea-primarily based Envista Holdings Corp. (NYSE: NVST) has jumped to a $6.8 billion marketplace cap by supplying a selection of dental products and solutions, and Irvine-primarily based Smile Models Inc. has 8,000 staff members with $1 billion in annual gross sales.

Dr. John Pham, founder of the dental goods maker InBrace, which supplies braces that are just about invisible, also received an Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award (see tale, web page 4).

It wasn’t always easy for Thorne, these kinds of as in the course of the 2020 pandemic when dentistry was declared nonessential and only 5% of dental techniques ended up open.

Thorne began off 2020 believing his organization could develop sales 25% to $2 billion. Two months into the pandemic, he believed revenue may drop as lower as $1 billion. He experienced to quickly lay off 8,000 of his 13,000 staff members.

“At particular phases in your vocation exactly where you wonder if you’re heading to make it,” he explained to the May 26 audience.

As it was, profits rebounded in the 2nd fifty percent of 2020 and ended up down 1% to all-around $1.6 billion.

PDS at present delivers business support services to above 850 dental procedures during 26 states. It ideas to open 100 new dental practices inside existing markets in 2022.

Thorne is also energetic in the local community. He was instrumental in forming the Affiliation of Dental Help Businesses (ADSO), which represents some of the premier DSOs in the planet he served as the founding president for the to start with a few a long time.

Thorne is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Harvard School of Dental Medication, and at A.T. Even now University Arizona College of Dentistry & Oral Health and fitness.

He’s also on the executive committee for the CEO Management Alliance Orange County.
In addition, PDS provided $8 million in donated dentistry and 53,584 volunteer hours in 2021.

The firm was recognized by the Enterprise Journal as a 2021 Organizations that Care honoree.


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