Buying a Dental Practice vs. Starting a New One

Dental Practice

Owning your own business or practice seems like a dream for many. However, for dentists, this dream can quickly turn into a reality. Many dentists pursue the career out of the desire to start or purchase their own dental practices. On the one hand, the pay is quite good; on the other, it allows freedom to manage their own business. 

Many dentists prefer starting their own practice immediately after completing their education, while others work as an associate dentist and learn the responsibilities and risks before branching out independently. Like any person starting a business, dentists have several things to consider before they start off. The most crucial question to consider is whether to buy an existing dental practice or create a new one.

Pros Of Starting A Dental Practice

The best part about starting a dental practice from scratch is that you have complete autonomous control. Many dentists prefer building their own patient base and network and relying on their own vision of success. You can choose your own size, location, dental tools and equipment, the décor, interior, software, dental technology and more. You have complete control of hiring and building the team. Dentists who start their own practice are able to make decisions without the influence of the previous owner. 

They can also procure good quality dental handpieces and other equipment from a dental instrument supplier of good repute. 

Cons Of Starting A Dental Practice

The most significant drawback of starting a new dental business is that a large chunk of cash flow goes into building the practice. You would also be starting the company with a cash crunch and have issues with initial payments. Depending on the initial contracting expenses, rent, licensing, and more, you would need to reassess the financial standing after the set-up and make changes to the business strategy to cope with any cash flow issues. If the dental practice doesn’t hit off on a good note with a steady stream of patients, it would be challenging to stabilize and break even. 

Starting a dental practice means maintaining new patient records, insurance details and ensuring all staff are trained to cater to patient needs. Hiring and training a new team can come with its own ups and downs. You would need to do everything from hiring a receptionist to ensuring the building compliance and codes are in order. 

Pros Of Buying A Dental Practice

The most considerable advantage of purchasing an established practice is the ready and available patient base and network. You also do not have to worry about start-up costs, selecting a location, the size, and more. The transition from the old to the new owner also allows for a more manageable cash flow and a relatively easy method to build trust in patients. With a previously established practice, you can also pick the staff, assess their experience, and check if they need retraining. 

Buying a dental practice means spending less money building relationships with new clients and simply capitalizing on the earlier ones. As a dentist, you can spend time and effort building a rapport with the existing clients and ensuring they continue a fruitful relationship with you. You can also build on the current digital marketing presence and start an excellent digital marketing strategy. 

Cons Of Buying A Dental Practice

The most obvious disadvantage of purchasing an existing dental clinic is that you would be buying the reputation and service reviews of the earlier doctor along with their practice. The medical and dental equipment might also be outdated. Old equipment may damage the quality of the service you provide and may also harm patients. It is best to update to good quality dental handpieces and other equipment when purchasing a new dental practice. 

Another issue with purchasing a pre-existing dental practice is that the layout and seating are already planned out. You would have to spend extra money on redecorating or renovating the clinic to suit your specifications.

Our Verdict

There are advantages and disadvantages to both situations. However, it is best to consider the financial aspect of both before making a decision. While it may seem cheaper to start a new clinic, buying a dental practice is actually more cost-effective since it already has its foundations, and you would not have to spend additional money on patient acquisition costs and instant renovations. The established patient base can help to get things off to a flying start.


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