Great Expressions Dental Centers

A Successful Formula for Achieving Competitive Advantage

Summary

Executed ten add-on acquisitions, improved collections processes and increased vendor bargaining power to make Great Expressions the dominant dental care provider across three major geographies.

Background

Headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) provides patients with affordable dental care, without sacrificing quality or convenience. For nearly 40 years, it has offered general and specialty services including endodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, pedodontics and periodontics.

Challenge

Operating in a fragmented industry, the Great Expressions team saw opportunity to fuel growth through acquisitions in existing geographies and sought the right private equity partner to develop and execute a plan for strategic expansion.

Audax Private Equity acquired GEDC and worked with the founder and senior managers to source and integrate new practices, targeting direct competitors and specialty service providers.  With Audax’ guidance, the company grew from 98 to 152 affiliated practices, and the management team, which was augmented by a new COO and three new vice presidents, grew with it.  Opportunities to negotiate better pricing on supplies and improve the collections process contributed to healthy margins and higher overall company value. The company was also able to capture the value of its own referrals by expanding service offerings to include more specialties.

The Audax Difference

In addition to expertly sourcing, executing and integrating acquisitions, the Audax team’s deep experience in streamlining businesses, improving processes and implementing financial controls helped GEDC achieve a strong competitive advantage.  Centralized collections improved yield and cash flow by making the payment process faster and more accurate. Setting up specialist hubs allowed general practitioners to refer business from within, creating new revenue streams and a more consistent approach to dental care.

Today, GEDC is a leader in providing preventative dental care, orthodontics and specialty care with local offices in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia. One of the largest privately owned dental service organizations in the United States, GEDC is consistently recognized for contributions to improving oral health through quality and safety initiatives, affordable dental care services, patient convenience, research and more.


I can’t imagine a better partner than Audax. They kept me involved and allowed me to work with them to build value together. The results were fantastic for my family and me.”

  • Dr. Walter Knysz, Jr. Founder and Chairman, GEDC

Dr. Knysz and his management team did a terrific job working with us to build the company through add-on acquisitions and by establishing operational best practices across the company.”

  • Keith Palumbo Managing Director, Audax Group