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Case Study: How to Buy (And Grow) a Successful Practice

Posted by ADA Practice Transitions Team on 1/30/23 7:30 AM

What does it take to become a successful practice owner? And why can it be “easier” in a small town?

Dr. Kristen Sciolino recently sat down with The Dental Brief Podcast to share her story. Hear about her path from social work to dental practice ownership — all while raising two small children. 

During her D4 year at the University of New England, Dr. Sciolino created an ADA Practice Transitions profile. She wanted to find a small-town practice that she could buy within a few years. 

She landed in Lincoln, Maine, where Dr. Joe Thibodeau was beginning to plan for retirement. The two shared complementary philosophies of care and similar timelines and goals — it was the perfect match. Less than two years after graduating, Dr. Sciolino bought Lincoln Smiles, the million-dollar practice, from Dr. Thibodeau. Today, she’s thriving as he eases into retirement. 

Why small-town practices can be lucrative

So what makes a small-town practice such a great choice for someone who wants to own?

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Topics: purchase a practice, transition tales, podcasts

Practice Profile: Full-Time, High-Tech Associateship in High-Demand Practice

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 1/27/23 8:30 AM

Join this busy suburban small-group practice to take your career to the next level. In this full-time associateship, you’ll learn from two experienced dentists while using the latest technology to treat a loyal patient population. You’ll even have an equity opportunity!

This freestanding 7-operatory practice has been serving the community for over 40 years. Yet the owners have never had to advertise — rather, strong patient relationships and word-of-mouth referrals keep the schedule plenty full! In fact, demand has grown so much that there’s currently a 3-month wait for appointments, so you’ll be busy right away. 

The owners are looking for a new team member who is willing to work hard, listen, and treat each patient’s individual needs. 

As the owners say, “Dentistry doesn’t leave room for boredom. The advances in techniques and technology keep us excited and motivated to do more and different procedures. We enjoy helping our patients to achieve good oral health and always strive to do our best every day. Our patients and staff are like family. Focusing on the individual needs of our patients allows us to project our caring nature as well as maintain our loyal patient base.”

The staff are loyal too, as everyone is treated with kindness and respect. The team has frequent lunches, celebrates birthdays and holidays, and enjoys office parties and outings throughout the year.

The strong team effort extends into the community through volunteer efforts with local charities. The practice supports local schools and churches, Toys for Joys, and even the local zoo. The team also provides free dental care at a local dental hygiene school.

The practice is updated with the latest technology, including a CBCT / 3D Pano, digital radiographs, paperless charts, diode lasers, electric handpieces, intraoral cameras, two Digital Cerec scanners, and a Cerec MCX milling unit.

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Topics: practice profiles

Three Ways to Determine If You're Choosing the Right Practice For You

Maybe you’ve found a practice that looks great on paper: the location, the salary, the number of operatories. 

How do you know it’s the practice where you can become the dentist you’ve always dreamed of being?

I hear of too many cases where dentists jump at the first associateship they’re offered, simply because the salary sounded right — then six, nine, or twelve months later they realize it’s just not a great fit. Maybe they’re working too many hours, or they’re doing nothing but prophys when they thought they would be learning implants.  

So how can you avoid this fate?

When you’re evaluating a practice, slow down and take the time to determine if it’s the right one for you. After all, you worked hard to get through undergrad and dental school. It’s worth a little extra effort now to make sure you’re choosing the right practice for your next step. 

I recently spoke with Rolando Mia of Empowered Dentistry about exactly this topic. Listen to our episode of the Dental Voice podcast or read on for some of the advice I shared. 

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Topics: looking for a job, Real Talk

How to Conduct a Year-End Business Review

The last three years have been unlike anything you could have ever prepared for. From mandatory shut-downs to PPE shortages to the Great Resignation, your practice has weathered it all. Congratulations on making it through!

But now that things may have settled a bit, have you thought about how your practice is really doing?  

The end of the year is a great time to catch your breath and reflect on where your business is and where you want it to go. 

Let’s look at how to go about a comprehensive dental practice business review. 

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Topics: owner dentist, owner, Real Talk

Practice Profile: Mindfully Built to Serve Patients and Fit Your Life

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 12/9/22 7:15 AM

If you’re considering buying a practice, what’s most important to you?

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Topics: practice profiles

Practice Profile: Family-Friendly Practice and Lifestyle

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 12/2/22 8:15 AM

Make this 5-operatory family practice your own! Serving the community since 1994, the brick office is located in a residential neighborhood. You’ll be within walking distance of the historic downtown filled with restaurants and shopping, yet have easy access to the interstate. 

The seller currently works three days a week (by choice) out of three operatories, giving you plenty of potential to expand the schedule and treatment offerings to bring in new patients. 

The real estate is also for sale: a stand-alone brick building with roomy operatories and lots of windows. The patient areas are easily accessible (no stairs), and there’s ample on-site parking.  Upstairs, you’ll find a finished doctor’s office, a full bath/shower, and plenty of storage. The building has been upgraded and well maintained, with a new roof, flooring, AC, and alarm system.  

The doctor is ready to sell, but willing to stick around to ensure a smooth transition and help retain the life-long patients.

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Topics: practice profiles

Practice Profile: Build a Big Career While Working in a Mansion

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 11/11/22 7:45 AM

Whether you prefer to focus on bread-and-butter dentistry or want to expand into more complex procedures, check out this busy, 20-operatory practice! You’ll join two other general dentists and one pediatric dentist serving 6,000+ patients. With such a diverse patient pool and doctors dedicated to mentorship, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to fine-tune your hand skills while learning more advanced techniques. 

Make a great living in this full-time associateship while surrounded by supportive colleagues who work well together. Earn a great salary and benefits, including daily guarantee, 401k with match, profit sharing, disability/life insurance, and more. 

Plus, the fully updated practice is located in a gorgeously rehabbed 1860s mansion that blends vintage architecture with modern technology. Crown molding surrounds the rooms, while a beautiful fireplace and extravagant chandelier are juxtaposed with brand-new modern Aidec chairs and cabinetry. All the patients comment on the design, and the building even received a historic award from the state. The operatories are bright with big windows, making an absolutely beautiful space to work in.

You’ll be productive from your first day. Word-of-mouth referrals continue to attract new patients who face wait times of 16+ weeks. Start with bread-and-butter dentistry, then choose to stay in your comfort zone or grow into more specialized procedures: your call!

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Topics: practice profiles

Practice Profile: Turnkey, State-of-the-Art Practice in Nation’s Best Place to Live

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 10/21/22 8:34 AM

Want a turnkey practice in a fast-growing area with a low cost of living? This state-of-the-art family practice needs YOU! The 5-operatory family practice has built a great reputation for delivering honest, trustworthy care. Now, the retiring owner is ready to hand over the reins to someone who will serve this great (and growing) population. 

The practice’s experienced team currently delivers the full range of general dentistry, plus pediatric and sedation dentistry, treatment for TMJ/TMD, sleep apnea treatment, and snoring prevention. They also provide a full suite of implant dental services, such as regular dental implants, mini implants, and implant-supported dentures.

The seller explains, “The strength of our practice is in our mission statement and that is to provide superior dental treatment to our patients with careful attention to their individual needs and comfort in a state-of-the-art facility. Our patients should feel confident that they are receiving treatment from a caring professional team that exhibits honesty, empathy, and trust. We strive to educate our patients and enable them to be committed to attain a lifetime of optimal oral health. We are committed to the highest degree of personal and professional growth through continuing education.”

The office is well situated in a medical district with easy highway access. Currently open four days a week, you can add hours to draw new patients. 

And in this growing area — recently named the 2022-2023 Best Place to Live in the nation by US News and World Report — you can tap into plenty of demand!

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Topics: practice profiles

Why the Great Resignation Offers Opportunity For Ambitious Young Dentists

As the Great Resignation reaches dentistry, it may exacerbate existing access-to-care problems — possibly leading to declining oral health, more dental emergencies, and even an increase in heart disease and other serious health problems. 

A July report by the ADA’s Health Policy Institute found that 74% of private practice dentists say that it is currently “extremely challenging” to recruit qualified dental hygienists, and another 19% say it is “very challenging.” Similarly, 84% of dentists say it is extremely or very challenging to recruit dental assistants. We recently looked at ways that practice owners can retain their knowledgeable staff who have built relationships with patients. 

However, dentistry is also seeing another side of the Great Resignation: many older dentists are accelerating their retirement plans.

At ADA Practice Transitions, we’re seeing another trend: young dentists are embracing the opportunity to step into established practices and take proactive steps to retain hardworking staff. In many cases, these dentists can tap into programs, such as the National Health Service Corps, that forgive student loans for dentists providing care in underserved communities

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Topics: Real Talk

Learn and Earn in this High-Tech, Full-Time Associateship

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 10/14/22 8:33 AM

Earn a great living while becoming the dentist you’ve always wanted to be! This fantastic practice needs a full-time associate to meet growing demand. Earn a minimum annual salary of $175,000 (plus production bonuses) while learning quality dentistry (including sedation, if you like) using high-tech equipment. The owner is open to an equity opportunity, too! New grads are welcome. 

You can work from two office locations in neighboring towns. One has 10 fully updated operatories with Adec equipment, CBCT, dental lasers, Exocad software, 3D printers, digital sensors, phosphor plate digital x-rays, iTeros, Planmeca dental mill, and much much more. The other location is being updated to include new CBCT and iTero machines. 

The mentorship-focused owner is open to new graduates and commits himself to ongoing education to learn the latest best practices. 

The practice does very well financially, with a base of 70% fee-for-service patients driving strong production. As an associate, you’ll earn a great base salary of $175k, plus production bonuses.

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Topics: practice profiles

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