Your guide to a dental practice for sale.

Buying or selling a business can be tough. There are a lot of moving pieces involved as well as a lot of factors to consider when you start down the road to buy or sell a business. You might need to consider financing or possibly need to look at repairs to the business location before you can buy or sell a business. You may have to look into getting a business loan, or you might have a lot of debt to pay back against the property as part of the sale.


No matter what considerations you have to keep in mind, there are usually solutions to your issues related to the sale of your practice or to a purchase of a new practice for you to move into. Read on to learn more about the tips and tricks for buying and selling a dental practice.

Are dental practices profitable?

Dental practices are profitable, but you do need to make sure that you can handle the right kinds of services daily to make enough money for it to be worth buying a practice. You will need the space to make sure that 30% of your total production hygiene appointments. Out of these services, a large portion will need to be therapeutic visits and not preventative.


You need to balance the space requirements to see patients against the consideration that there are operating costs associated with every square foot of space that you have under your roof. If you are maintaining a large number of areas set up for surgeries, but you are mostly doing preventative services, you are probably losing money on your business.


Operating a profitable dental practice is also partially based on location. You will need to see patients in enough numbers and for enough different kinds of services to balance out your income. You should aim for a blend of basic services, whitening services, surgical services, and maybe even specialized options like Invisalign.

How do I start a private dental practice?

Starting a practice can be daunting to even consider. However, if you are able to pull all the pieces together, it is usually the best way to make good money in this profession. The average salary of a dental practice owner is around $180,000 a year, which can make the process that is required to get started well worth the effort.


If you are considering starting your own dental practice, you will first need to secure a good loan. Make sure that you shop around for business loans to make sure that you get the best deal. If you are paying a very high interest rate, you will just lose money each year to the bank that is holding your loan for you.


The second consideration that you need to keep in mind is that you will need a good business plan and an experienced practice manager to help you to execute it. You can think that you know enough to run a practice, but if you have never done so, you will need help to make things work out for you, especially for the first few months.


Consider working with a partner or running your business as an affiliated group if you are not sure that you have the experience to run an entire office by yourself. Remember that you will need to hire staff, manage emergency visits, and many other concerns that are hard to handle when you work alone.


Working with a group of dentists, you can reduce your overhead by 75% in some cases! As a new dentist, these savings can be a huge help while you get your practice started, and the support from older and more experienced dentists can be very helpful as you learn and grow as a practice owner.


By all means, if you have the related experience to run your practice alone, you should go for it! But do remember that business owners have to wear many hats, and not all of them are dentist hats.

dentist at work on a patient's teeth

How much does it cost to start a dental practice?

The average dentist’s practice costs $500,00 to start, but you might find that there are many unexpected costs along the way. If you do not have a bunch of money in savings to help fund the start-up process, you will need to be sure that you will have the ability to get a loan that will cover most of the cost of your purchase. This can be tough if you do not have excellent credit.


Always remember that costs are not congruent between states, so you will pay 10% or so within the variance of the local market. The prevailing market in your area will dictate the price, and the neighborhood and other factors will determine the value of the practice. Plan to pay more for real estate in states like California, on the East Coast, and in Colorado.


Dentists have specific tax laws to attend to each year, and these are separate from the taxes that they file for the business itself. There have been recent tax changes related to deductions across the US, so dentists need to be aware of the changes that are going to affect their tax situation each year. These tax costs can impact the purchase price of the practice at the end of the year.


Starting a dental office can be spendy, but if you are able to find all of the necessary financial and professional resources, you should consider starting one rather than working for someone else’s practice. If you want to look at some statistics related to your industry salaries and incomes, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics information on the profession.

Getting ready to sell your dental practice?

This is a hard decision to make, but sometimes it is the right one. If you are ready to start the process of selling your dental practice, there are some things that you should take care of before you put your practice on the market.

  1. Talk to Partners: Sometimes, a partner will want to buy you out, and this can be the best way to leave your office behind without having to sell your office to another dentist.
  2. Make Sure the Building Looks Great: An attractive and clean office in good repair is a must if you are ready to sell.
  3. Be Prepared to Wait for the Right Offer: You should not hurry to sell your practice. Your dental practice is worth a lot of money, no matter where it is located, and you should not part with it to the first offer that you get unless it is at least a full-price offer.


The bigger consideration that you need to keep in mind is that you should find the right dentist to continue your practice and take care of your existing clients. There is nothing worse as a dental client to see that your dental office has sold and that the incoming dentist will make a lot of changes.

How much do dental practices sell for?

The average price that dental offices sell for in the US is usually relative to their annual income that has been collected over the past 1-3 years. This can be as much as one million dollars for an oral surgery practice or $685,700 for a regular practice. However, many factors go into this number, and some are based on practice size and location.


All dental practices are sold based on an appraisal. This includes considerations related to gross income, net income, staffing, number of active patients, specialties and procedures offered at the office, the local market, and the reputation of the practice. These values can change, and you want to consider that you will need to keep them stable if you are selling, and you will need to continue to maintain the practice if you are buying.


There are some general tax guidelines that all dentists have to follow all across the US. Here is a link to some information to get you started researching this part of your purchase or sale of your office.

empty dental office

Selling a well-established practice.

Buying or selling a dental practice is a complex process full of considerations. However, if you are willing to do the homework before you buy or sell, you will be happy with the outcome of your new investment or with the process of parting with the practice that you built from the ground up.


Dental practices are some of the most solid business investments that anyone can make. If you are ready to make the jump to buy or sell your dental practice, you should not have any trouble locating the perfect business for your needs or finding the ideal buyer for your practice.

Bryan Oram
Bryan Oram AVP of Healthcare Enterprise Sales

Bryan Oram is a Healthcare professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects healthcare businesses with their patients.

Adapt the way you do business. Press send.