The Path to Owning a Dental Practice

dental practice ownership

For many dentists, the ultimate goal is to own a dental practice in order to create a legacy, work for themselves and share their passion, their way, with the community they want to serve. The timeline for path to ownership can happen quickly for some, but in many cases it can take several years. Here are some things to consider on the path to dental practice ownership.

There are 4 main paths to owning a dental practice:

1.) Take over the family business/practice
2.) Start your own practice from scratch
3.) Become a partner in an existing practice
4.) Buy an existing practice from a retiring dentist

Taking over the family business is the most straightforward option and could happen rather quickly, while starting your own practice from scratch is the most expensive, time- consuming and involved. Starting your own practice will require many steps including creating a business plan, finding a location, researching/purchasing necessary equipment, determining amount of space needed, staffing needs and securing financing. Once the practice is started you will need to acquire patients and create a marketing plan to acquire and retain them. It generally takes 2-5 years to create a full patient base for a new practice.

For young dentists who want to start their own practice, they are faced with the additional challenge of funding/capital. According to one study, in 2019, the average dental school graduate had a student loan balance of $292,000, which could make it difficult to get a business loan—especially considering that the cost of starting a new dental practice could be upwards of $250,000.

To become a partner in an existing practice requires finding a dentist or practice that is looking for a partner, which can be a challenge. For this option it is important to identify or consider location and find a partner that is a good fit, so you work well together with similar or complementary work styles and values. It is critical to find the right partner, as according to one professional group, 50% of dental partnerships fail.

If you don’t have the luxury of inheriting the family business and don’t want to start from scratch or find a partner, then taking over an existing practice is going to be the most efficient and equitable way to start your own practice. This process typically only takes about 6-18 months. Again, the challenge here can be finding the right practice/location with a dentist that is nearing retirement and interested in selling. That’s where Advoca Dental comes in.

If you’re interested in taking over an existing practice from a retiring dentist, Advoca Dental can help. 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.

Or, if you know of a practice that you are interested in, Advoca Dental can help explore the possibility and facilitate the process for you.

Another great benefit to working with Advoca Dental is that they also provide full administrative and HR support, so dentists can focus on their passion of dentistry and not on the paperwork and logistics of managing a practice.

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

So if you’re interested in taking over an existing practice, Advoca Dental can help find the best fit for you. Contact us here to start the conversation today!

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.