The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Teachers’) is in a deal to acquire the majority stake in Heartland Dental Care, Inc., one of the largest dental service organizations in the United States.

As part of the transaction, Heartland Dental Care founder and CEO Dr. Rick Workman will retain a significant minority position along with management and employees. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Heartland Dental Care is based in Effingham, Illinois, and provides practice support services to dental offices in 21 states. It provides over 500 affiliated dentists and their team members with business leadership training and support services, including administrative staffing, human resources, purchasing, marketing, administration, financial and information technology. The company is currently expanding its headquarter facilities in Effingham and adding personnel to support its continued growth.

“Our investment in Heartland Dental Care is supported by favourable fundamentals and demographics. We have been impressed with their dedication to providing high-quality support services to dental practices that reduce the administrative burdens on dentists. These services allow dentists to focus on quality patient care and expansion of the delivery of dental care in their communities,” said Jane Rowe, senior vice-president of Teachers’ Private Capital. ”We look forward to working with Dr. Workman and the company’s excellent management team.”

“Having Teachers’ as a partner will provide us with a stable platform to continue to grow by providing support services to other dental offices throughout the country and providing new and exciting opportunities to assist dentists in the efficient and effective management of their practices,” said Workman.

Pat Bauer, president of Heartland Dental Care said, ”Given the challenges of rising health care costs and the shortage of dentists, the ability to provide efficient administrative support services to dentists is instrumental in allowing them more time to focus on what is most important, and that is patient care.”