Dentistry: How to Retire & Leave a Legacy

Dentistry: How to Retire & Leave a Legacy

As a dentist, the long-term question is: How to retire and leave a legacy? The average dentist practices for 35 years before retiring and the average age that a dentist retires is just before 69. This is quite a bit older than the age the general population retires—age 63-64 for men and 62 for women. With many dentists owning their own practices, the reason for the older retirement age for dentists seems to be lack of an exit strategy or plan and difficulty finding the right partner to leave their practice in good hands.

Top concerns for retiring dentists are office duties, who to sell their practice to and finances. Dentists work hard and spend their entire career building a dental practice in their community with patients and a staff who are like family, so it’s important that the same level of care and relationships continue even after they retire. It’s their legacy. Management duties of the practice can be a big headache that potential buyers don’t want to deal with and it can be hard to find a dentist to take over the practice, especially in smaller, more rural areas. Living comfortably during retirement is another top priority. In fact, 96 percent of dentists struggle to retire and maintain the lifestyle they are accustomed to. 

Selling out to a large DSO is an option, but not ideal for many dentists because the DSO’s main priority is the bottom line, not the patients or staff. Fortunately, a large DSO is not the only option. 

Advoca Dental reverses the typical DSO business model and works from the ground up rather than the top down, with a focus on the patients and the staff—not just the bottom line. Advoca Dental works with local dentists who are ready to retire and matches them up with a young dentist to seamlessly take over the practice when the time is right. They also provide full administrative and HR support, so dentists can focus on their passion of dentistry. 

They walk the dentist through the entire process and create a plan that will benefit the dentist both emotionally and financially so they can transition into retirement with ease. Advoca Dental promises a seamless process where communication is key.

Dr. Lawton of New London Family Dental can attest to the ease of the process. Dr. Lawton, who owned a practice in New London, Wisconsin for 39 years, was drawn to Advoca because it is run by two oral surgeons who understand the importance of patient relationships. It was a smooth process because Advoca Dental identified and worked closely with the incoming dentist to ensure a smooth transition for patients and staff. Now fully retired, Dr. Lawton still checks in on his old practice and is thrilled to hear the staff is happy and they are taking good care of his patients.

Whether you’re ready to retire now, in 5 years or in 10 years, it’s time to start thinking about and planning for this important next step because it will be here before you know it. Advoca Dental can help you plan the best exit strategy for you. Contact us here to start the conversation!

Advoca Dental is a Dental Practice Management and Transitional Support Organization that puts patients, staff and dentists first. Started in 2018 by two Oral Surgeons in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Advoca Dental is a company based on Midwestern honesty and work ethic.