DECA Dental Group

Deca Dental 1

Fast-growing DECA Dental Group is expanding into new territories.

 

It’s not a standard dental office. DECA Dental Group takes a team approach to dentistry. 

Its founder and CEO, Dr. Sulman Ahmed, describes it as the “Starbucks of dentistry.” Its offices are strategically located in retail locations with plenty of parking and offer a higher-end experience that many other dentists don’t. 

DECA Dental offers flexible and convenient appointment times, arcade games for kids and a variety of special touches like using scents to make the office smell pleasant and serving coffee and hot chocolate in waiting rooms. 

“We are very energetic people who think outside of the box,” Dr. Ahmed says. “We don’t look at ourselves as confined or operate within boundaries.”

After graduating from dental school and working for a private practice for a few years,  Dr. Ahmed noticed dental providers were not offering what patients demanded. 

“One was same day treatment,” he says. “They came in for a cleaning, needed a filling and they wanted to do it right away, but the common response was that you have to schedule it. The inability to offer same day treatment continues to be a big issue in our industry.”

Deca Dental InfoDECA Dental offices offer weekend appointments and evening hours until 7 p.m. – six days a week. In addition, the company takes a “one-stop-shop” approach to neighborhood dentistry. 

“We have the ability to do all dental services under one roof,” Dr. Ahmed says. “From general dentistry to orthodontics and oral surgery, we can do it all.”

A Growing Brand

DECA Dental operates under a few separate Dental Brands and has more than 85 locations throughout Texas. It is the largest privately held dental company in Texas and has plans to expand into other states. 

“We are expanding into Florida and other markets later this year,”  Dr. Ahmed says. “We are one of the fastest growing DSOs [dental service organizations] in the country and we’re looking to open at least 20 locations per year. We’re also starting to look at acquiring group practices for dentists who want to be a part of something bigger.” 

Roughly 10 percent of the company’s portfolio is through acquisitions and 90 percent is organic. DECA Dental, which has more than 1,000 employees — including about 150 dentists — operates primarily under the featured brands: Ideal Dental and Brush32 Dental. 

“As we started expanding outside of Dallas, we expanded as Ideal Dental,”  Dr. Ahmed says. “In Austin, we are Brush32 Dental. In Florida, we plan to expand as Brush32 Dental.” 

All DECA Dental offices are paperless, its x-rays are digital and the company is currently exploring intra oral scanners for digital impressions. The company also offers a warranty on all of its dental work. 

“The way we answer the phone, our extended hours, same day treatment,” Dr. Ahmed says. “That’s all standardized. We are patient-centric. We don’t think of ourselves as a dental company. But rather a retail based consumer-facing healthcare company.”

A Diverse Company

As a native of Zimbabwe,  Dr. Ahmed founded the company in 2008 – a few years after obtaining his doctorate degree in dental medicine from the Tufts School of Dental Medicine in Boston.

Deca Dental 2His “one-stop shop” approach to dentistry and patient-centric philosophy is the fundamental backbone of DECA Dental’s core values and patient care delivery model.

Dr. Ahmed – who is instrumental in shaping and overseeing the company’s growth, strategy and culture –  is not only adamant about adequate training for doctors using quality materials and the latest technology in his offices but that the company is ethnically diverse. 

“We have a very diverse workforce here and we pride ourselves on that,” Dr. Ahmed says, adding that he won the Minority Business Leader Award from the Dallas Business Journal in 2018.

Dr. Ahmed was named as a finalist for the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year and the winner of the 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year. He is a sought-after speaker at several leadership, entrepreneurial and motivational conferences.

DECA Dental has received a number of honors and awards throughout the years as well. One of the more notable ones includes being recognized as Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 Fastest Growing companies in the nation, along with a number of respected organizations. In addition, the Dallas Business Journal recognized DECA Dental as one the top 100 companies in the region and the 21st fastest growing company in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

Under Dr. Ahmed’s leadership, the company has grown to become one of the industry’s fastest growing and most respected organizations. Dr. Ahmed is known for having a natural talent for cultivating leadership and growth within people – building a first-class organization of leaders from the top down. 

“We have leadership training for both doctors and non-doctors,” he says. “It focuses on how to best deal with patients and how to be a mentor.” 

Alongside leadership training, DECA Dental offers a clinical mentorship program for its doctors. To ensure quality, the company also has a clinical board that audits all of the company’s dental offices, generally on a quarterly basis. Aside from his company, Dr. Ahmed is dedicated to giving back to the communities he serves. Over time, he has built strong partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as well as becoming the exclusive provider of free dental services to thousands of kids with the Kidd’s Kids Organization and Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities. +

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