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Making the Jump from Dental Associate to Practice Owner

We’ve noticed a growing trend with associate dentists waiting longer than previous associates to make the leap from associate to owner. Historically, a doctor works as an associate for a year, gets financing and they feel comfortable going out on their own. Now, associates are waiting up to four years to make the next step. There's no need to wait.

The Fear of the Unknown

The fear of the unknown is very real, we get it. We can tell associates that transition is safe and has little risk, but it’s up to them to make that decision. Very few transitions fail.

What Are You Waiting For?

We hear from dental associates all of the time about why they don’t want to make the move to an owner role. Are any of these holding you back?

  • Student loan debt
  • Cost of cold starting
  • A good practice isn’t available

Often the hesitation behind transitioning to a practice owner is due to the fear of financial risk. From our experience, the risk is very low. Finding financing should not be a problem if you have a yearlong production track record as an associate, decent credit, and the practice has a good foundation.

Why Associates Succeed When Becoming an Owner

We typically notice a jump in revenue when an associate becomes an owner of a practice. We attribute this to an associate’s excitement and enthusiasm of finally owning a practice. New energy, new skills and a new thought process are injected into the practice.

Do your due diligence in the transition process. It’s rare for an associate to not succeed when they become an owner. 

Ready to Buy a Practice? Keep These Tips In-Mind

We have some basic questions to think about before you purchase a practice. You can watch a video from Joe Jordan on this subject.

1. What Type of Practice Do You Want?

Do you want your practice to be insurance based? Do you want a fee for service practice? Do you prefer a large practice or a small lean practice?

2. Where Do You Want to Work?

What area do you want to serve? Buyers have different priorities. Figure out what you want from your location when researching practices. Keep this in mind when you enter an associateship agreement. Areas may be restricted for you after you transition out of your associateship position.

3. Do You Want Help From a Dental Broker?

You don’t have to go through this process alone. We will help you through every step.

If you have any questions about owning a practice, we'd be happy to help! Also, check out the free resources available to you in our Transition Prep Tools for Buyers: