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Be an Active Participant in Your Career

Dentistry is such a great profession. You can be a business owner, an associate, an academic, or a researcher. You can serve your country or help those less fortunate. And no matter your path, you’re helping people protect their health and their smiles. 

Like so many things in life, you have to be proactive about your dental career to get the most out of it. That means deciding what you want, setting priorities, and taking steps to get there! 

I recently sat down with Rolando Mia at the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting. We discussed how dentists can make the most of this wonderful profession at any point in their careers. Listen to the Dental Voice podcast episode now.

Practice Profile: Great Production, Charm, and Opportunity

This charming 8-operatory practice has strong production and collections, great staff, and a wonderful reputation. All that’s missing is a general dentist who can continue to serve patients as the owner prepares for retirement. Choose to buy outright or ease in while learning the business through an associate-to-owner pathway. 

The practice serves local families in a fast-paced, high-energy environment that produces about $1.2 million annually. Tucked near the river in a quaint village’s beautifully restored train depot, the office building is also for sale, if you so desire. 

The owner says, “We value each and every patient. We take time to get to know them and let them know we are here to keep them healthy. We ask them what concerns they have for their oral health. We meet them at their level when they first come in and try to raise that level of wanting good care.” 

The highly skilled staff are committed to the same mission. Together, the team educates patients on good home care and encourages them to ask questions, all to help promote each patient’s overall health. 

Located near the Finger Lakes in the hills of South-Central New York, the inviting village is known for its charm, with plenty of restaurants and entertainment that include a theatre, opera company, and philharmonic orchestra. It’s home to strong schools, annual festivals, and outdoor activities for all four seasons: skiing, snowboarding, boating, fishing, golf, and hiking.

Case Study: How a Rural Practice Translates to Financial Success & Community Impact

Why can rural or small-town practices be such a great option for dentists who want to own their own practice?

ADA Trustee Dr. Michael Medovic recently shared his story on the Dental Brief Podcast with host Patrick Chavoustie. The two talked about the benefits of purchasing a dental practice in a small town, including the financial and community advantages. 

Watch the full episode for his story.

Practice: Renowned TMD/Orofacial Pain Practice with Mountain Views

Change patients’ lives in this renowned practice dedicated to treating TMD/orofacial pain and sleep apnea. This 6-op practice has built a regional reputation for improving patients’ quality of life, with a healthy network of referring dentists and other practitioners. And as a 100% fee-for-service practice, you can make a very comfortable living while working with a wonderful staff. 

Ownership-Minded, But Want Support? Check Out These Practices

Would you like to step into a fully decked-out practice earning $250-450K annually, with full autonomy to practice the way you want, equity buy-in opportunities, and an unlimited CE allowance?  

I recently attended a conference where I was impressed by the quality of the clinicians and the support provided to offices that are members of one particular group practice. By accepting only the best of the best, both in practices and in dentists, this group of doctors ‘wowed’ me in a big way.  

At ADA Practice Transitions, we are always interested in exposing dentists to new opportunities that might suit their needs. When I learned that this impressive group was looking for experienced, ownership-minded doctors in three locations, I immediately wanted to share it with our dentists. 

Each of the following 3 practice opportunities offers: 

  • Stable staff 
  • Unlimited CE 
  • Opportunity for equity buy in
  • Fully updated technology 
  • Stable patient base
  • Health and malpractice insurance
  • HR, IT, marketing, and financial support
  • Access to practice management experts who can help you optimize the practice 
  • A network of colleagues with vast experience available to provide mentorship and on-demand clinical advice

New eBook: How to Choose the Dental Career Path for You

Are you wondering about what comes first (or next) in your dental career? Whether you’re just starting your career or looking for a change, you don’t have to settle. After all, you’ve invested a lot of time, money, and energy to reach this point! It’s worth taking the time to find the right fit.

Our new eBook can help you weigh your options. Download it now to explore:

Practice Profile: Have It All in this 7-Op, Fee-for-Service Practice

This stellar, 7-operatory practice is 100% fee for service — and ready for a successor! This small-town family practice focuses on personalized, comfortable general dentistry plus implants, Invisalign, cosmetic dentistry, and sedation. That makes for loyal patients and a healthy bottom line. 

The owner has committed to best practices and current technologies, including cone beam imaging, CAD/CAM, CEREC, dental lasers, digital radiography, and an in-house lab. The spacious, well-maintained, modern facility is right on Main Street, yet set back among plenty of parking and great landscaping. The office has attractive finishes throughout, and the operatories overlook nearby wetlands along the gorgeous Maine coast. 

Patient reviews rave about the compassionate, skilled staff, and the dedicated team enjoys time together in and out of the office. 

The current owner is approaching retirement and wants to find someone ready to take over when the time is right. Choose the timeline that’s right for you!

Finding (and Ensuring) the Right Practice Fit

What does it take to find the right fit for your practice transition?

It all comes down to finding someone who shares your mission, vision, and values. That’s true whether you’re an associate looking for a practice or a long-time owner trying to find a successor. 

So how do you assess mission, vision, and values during your search process? They can be hard to articulate — particularly if you haven’t been practicing very long — but in-depth discussions can reveal your preferences and priorities. 

Before you get to the point where you’re signing a letter of intent or an associate contract, spend time together in the practice. (Preferably, that means shadowing the practice and doctor at least three times — while patients are being seen — to get a true feel for how the practice runs.) Observe closely to make sure you’re on the same page about:

  • The level of care being delivered
  • How you interact with patients, specialists, and the community
  • Treatment planning
  • How you manage and work with staff

I recently discussed all this with Patrick Chavoustie of the Dental Brief Podcast.

How to Create the Right Exit Plan for You

If you own a practice, you’ll eventually need an exit strategy. And it’s wise to start thinking about your preferences long before you think you’ll need to sell. After all, sometimes life happens and forces you to act sooner. 

It can feel daunting to think about walking away from the practice you’ve spent decades building. How will your patients be cared for? What about your loyal staff? 

And what about YOU? What will you do during your retirement?

Relax. You have options — probably more than you realize! Retirement doesn’t always have to look like a 100% sale in which you hand over the keys and never look back. Today, many doctors are approaching their retirement as a years-long transition period during which they can do more of what they love — and leave behind the things they don’t prefer. That can take a lot of forms, including practicing part-time, teaching/mentoring, helping underserved populations, or making a fresh start in an entirely new-to-you practice. Your options are limited only by your imagination!

Building the Type of Practice that Retains Staff

I recently joined Kelly Tanner on the Dental Handoff podcast. We spent a lot of time discussing why it’s so important to cultivate the type of practice that staff will WANT to stay in. 

After all, dentistry is about relationships. And if you want to build long-term relationships with your staff, you need to be the type of leader that inspires respect. 

So how can you “own the operatory” in a way that makes your practice a great place to work?

Kelly and I discussed this at length, including:

  • Learning to “read the room,” or understand the non-verbal cues your staff (and patients!) are sending 
  • Why great leaders should keep an open mind and encourage staff to share their ideas
  • How to nurture the staff development that is vital to a strong, stable practice
  • Ways to create an atmosphere where team members will strive to improve the practice — together

We also talked about how important it is to choose the right staff for your practice, whether you’re hiring an associate or auxiliary or looking for your successor. When you find someone who “meshes” with the staff and practice, you increase the likelihood of long-term satisfaction for all involved — doctors, staff, and patients. 

But success isn’t guaranteed when you find the right person; rather, you should also lay out an integration plan that will help the entire practice through the transition. A good integration plan will ensure that everyone is prepared so that the new team member feels confident treating patients from their very first day.  

Almost There! How to Prepare to Transition from Dental Student to Associate

Whew! Give yourself a great big pat on the back. The last four years have been TOUGH!

You may have passed your national boards and your requirements are almost complete. You feel as prepared as possible for your licensure exams — maybe you have even already passed them already!

Before you jump on that flight to the Caribbean, take some steps to ensure you are prepared for the next step in your career. For most new graduates, that will be some sort of clinical position, usually as an associate.

So how can you make that transition from student to professional as seamless as possible?

Step 1: Continue to improve your hand skills and speed

Many recent grads worry, “How am I going to increase my speed and justify my salary? Especially since I had to hand off all my patients to other students who need the requirements.”

Practice Profile: Buy this Award-Winning Practice, Grow a Satisfying Career

For sale: this award-winning practice has strong financials, loyal patients, and room to grow! Voted as a “Readers’ Choice” by the local newspaper for two years running, the team has a well-deserved reputation for delivering quality dentistry in a comfortable, 6-operatory environment.

This practice is ideal for a young, ambitious dentist with at least three years of experience who wants to own a successful practice that is poised to expand. 

The owner is ready to sell and has a valuation in hand, but he’s willing to stay on to provide mentorship that helps you succeed. Choose to buy or lease the building. 

The team currently works out of four of the spacious clinic’s operatories, with the other two fully equipped rooms used for overflow. The ambiance promotes patient comfort, and patients love watching the four birdfeeders (stocked daily) outside the operatories. Each treatment room has a TV. Great signage and ample parking make patient visits easy, as does the proximity to a local school: kids simply walk over for treatment. The practice is a longtime supporter of local schools. 

You could easily expand the schedule into the underused operatories, especially if you have oral surgery and endodontics experience. (These procedures are currently referred to nearby specialists.)

The loyal, dedicated staff are all cross-trained for maximum efficiency, and patients appreciate seeing familiar faces at every visit. 

When you buy this practice, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a small-town practice: a large patient base (18,000 county residents served by four dentists) with no DSO competition and low overhead. Yet you’ll be near a city of 250,000, which could allow the best of both worlds: an easy commute between small-town dentistry and big-city life.

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

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?

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

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.

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. 

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. 

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

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

Practice Profile: Family-Friendly Practice and Lifestyle

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.

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

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!

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

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!

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

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

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.

Dental School to Practice Ownership in Under 2 Years: ADA Practice Transitions Makes Perfect Match

Today, we’re thrilled to update one of the very first success stories for ADA Practice TransitionsTM

Back in 2019, Dr. Joe Thibodeau was beginning to think about slowing down and selling his practice. But he wanted to ensure the patients in his Lincoln, Maine practice would be cared for long after he left. 

“As busy as this office is, slowing down meant putting a lot of patients off,” Dr. Thibodeau says. “I felt I couldn’t do that.”

After striking out with a practice management company, he turned to ADA Practice Transitions. He created a free profile that articulated his style of dentistry, his timeline, and his goals. 


Watch the video: Dr. Sciolino and Dr. Thibodeau

“The big companies, you pay a big chunk of money off the bat just to get the process started,” Dr. Thibodeau says. “That’s difficult to swallow. I don’t think I got my money’s worth – I did not get one hit, and I had to contact the company or else I did not hear from them.”

Meanwhile, Kristen Sciolino was beginning to job hunt during her D4 year at the University of New England. However, she wasn’t just looking for a first job; rather, she wanted to find a place where she could build a career and eventually buy out the owner. When she heard about ADA Practice Transitions through an on-campus event, she created a profile that showcased her goals and desire to live in a small town. 

ADA Practice Transitions matched the pair based on shared goals and a similar approach to dentistry. The two hit it off right away.

“We really meshed from the start, and it felt very easy,” Dr. Sciolino says, noting she could immediately see herself working in the practice. “Personalities vary significantly, as well as ideas on how to practice,” she explains. “ADAPT isn’t just matching you with an area. It’s matching you with a person, a practice, and a mindset, so you’re not going into a situation where you and your potential boss or coworker don’t mesh.”

Choose Your Own Adventure: 5 Great Practices, 1 Great City

If you haven’t heard of Appleton, Wisconsin, it might be time to take a look — especially if you’re looking to build your dental career! We currently have several doctors in and around Appleton looking for associates, partners, or successors! This is a great place to choose your own (dental) adventure:
  • Find an associateship and take advantage of the lower cost of living to pay back your loans
  • Partner in a busy practice
  • Be your own boss with a turn-key purchase
  • Get the mentorship you need for eventual practice ownership
  • Learn TMJ/sleep treatments from an expert

Appleton, Wisconsin is a welcoming small city that has been ranked among the Top 100 Best Places to Live based on amenities, economy, healthcare, housing, transportation, and social/civic culture. Local home prices are nearly 20% lower than the national median, and the average resident spends just 28% of their monthly salary on housing costs. People love living here because of the low cost of living, growing entertainment and food scenes, seasonal events, and family-friendly environment. 

The Fox River flows through this city of 74,000 people in northeast Wisconsin. Just 30 minutes from Green Bay and less than two hours to both Milwaukee and Madison, Appleton is surrounded by nature preserves and outdoor recreation, yet close to everything you could need. Right downtown, enjoy:

Student Loans? Cut Your Debt in Half (or More)

Dental school graduates know the pain of student loans all too well. The American Dental Education Association estimates that 2021 graduates were saddled with an average of $301,583 in loans

However, don’t let your dental school loans deter you from building the career you’ve always dreamed of! 

Whether you’re looking for that first associateship or striving for practice ownership, there are ways to pay off your loans on someone else’s dime. The federal government, states, and even local municipalities have created a host of programs that can ease the burden. Refinancing can help, too — as can a bit of creativity. 

Read on for some possible ways to cut your dental debt. 

Check the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

The U.S. Department of Education Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is accepting applications through October 31, 2022 — so if you haven’t checked your own eligibility, take a minute to do so now! Even if you can only get $10-20K in forgiveness, it is worth taking the time to fill out the paperwork.

Practice Profile: Patient-Centric, Cutting-Edge Dentistry in Updated Practice

The patient comes first in this well-established 4-operatory practice with cutting-edge technology! Personable, dedicated staff strive to get to know each patient, building lasting, satisfying relationships with patients of all ages. 
The long-time owner is ready to sell but open to sticking around to help mentor the buyer, especially for Invisalign cases. 
The seller says, “All in all, our office and employees strive daily to give the patients a comfortable and easy-going feeling when walking through the doors. The town, community, and surrounding areas are perfect for someone looking to expand relationships with new patients and people and continue to build this relationship-based business. Here, you can provide great customer care and service in a beautiful building and better yourself as an employer and friend at the same time. You will not be disappointed in the simplistic beauty of the office or the potential lifelong friendships!”
The office includes updated equipment for the endo and oral surgery done right in the office. The seller has always tried to be on the cutting edge of dental technologies. He was an early adopter of electric handpieces (1997) and digital radiography (2000). Today, the office has the Planmeca extraoral panoramic digital 3D x-ray system, Itero, and other equipment. He also provides Invisalign and TruDenta® pain relief. Patients appreciate the convenience of having so many services readily available. 

Get the Keys to a Successful Practice Transition at SmileCon

The ADA Practice Transitions team is heading to SmileCon in Houston! If you’re thinking about your own practice transition, make sure to stop by Booth #1640, right in the ADA Member Center, to get all your practice transition questions answered. You can even schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of our ADA Advisors to talk through your own transition goals and plan. 

Schedule a Meeting
And if you know you’re ready for a change but don’t yet have a plan — make an appointment. Our Advisors are experts at helping you think through your preferences and priorities. A quick conversation can help you start taking your next steps with confidence.

Everyone who stops by our booth walks away with something — and we’ll even give you a key to try to unlock an On-The-Go Prize Pack.

While you’re planning your SmileCon agenda, be sure to check out these sessions from ADA Practice Transitions experts:

(5143) Beyond Salary: Negotiate the Best Contract for Your Goals

Practice Profile: Learn and Grow in this Mountain Associateship

Join this busy, fee-for-service practice to learn a wide range of dentistry! The practice encompasses prevention, surgery, and restorative, from simple fillings through complex full-mouth rehabilitation. Current technology includes PrimeScan, CBCT, Laser, Digital Imaging, EagleSoft, Reciprocating Endo, Digital Dentures, and Aligners.
You’ll love working with a dedicated team and top-of-the-line equipment while learning from an expert in implantology. While the ideal candidate will have completed a one- to two-year GPR, AEGD, or other postgraduate program, ambitious new graduates are welcome if they are willing to work hard to learn advanced dental procedures and patient care. You’ll have the opportunity to build a patient base, and income!

Practice Profile: 100% Fee-for-service, 100% Digital, 100% Ready to Grow

Fulfill your dental dreams in this fantastic 5-operatory practice that’s ready to grow with your ambition! This well-run practice is 100% fee for service and all digital, with loyal patients and strong ties to the local community. 

The practice has built this loyalty through care that is patient-centered rather than production-centered. The seller stresses, “We treat patients, not teeth! We get to know each patient as best we can before any treatment. We are unique in our personal touch, time, and attitude.”

Right now, the practice is only open four days a week, with physical space and demand that can easily scale to your desires. The seller notes, “This practice will produce $1 million gross with a little effort. We are not an insurance practice — we are 100% fee for service.”

Plus, the physical space is fresh, attractive, and welcoming. 

The owner is motivated to sell, but he’s also motivated to help the buyer succeed, explaining, “I am flexible and want to help you get started while I back out over the next couple of years.” This combination of mentorship and support should help retain patients long after the sale. 

Retaining Your Dental Staff Through the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation has reached dentistry — especially as hygienists choose not to return to the profession. In fact, a study co-authored by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the American Dental Association found that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a contraction of about 3.75% of all hygienists, representing a loss of approximately 7,500 hygienists nationwide. 

The result is a scramble for qualified staff. The ADA’s Health Policy Institute reported that as of July, 74% of private practice dentists say that it is now “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. 

That’s why it’s essential that owner dentists take steps to retain their most valuable resource: long-tenured, knowledgeable staff who have built trust with patients. 

Why hygienists are leaving the workforce

When dental practices closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many staff were sent home. Even as practices began reopening, many of the 98% of practicing dental hygienists who are female found themselves juggling childcare challenges. Dental work has no “remote” option, and dental schedules inherently lack the flexibility to pivot when a child has to stay home unexpectedly due to a COVID exposure. 

As a result, many hygienists began to exit the profession entirely. An August 2021 study found that 74% of hygienists not working had left the profession for voluntary reasons. Of those, 37% say they decided to retire.  

Some of the remaining hygienists are leveraging the shortage to find jobs closer to home or negotiate for greater flexibility, higher pay, or better benefits. As of June 2022, 79.9% of practice owners had raised pay for their dental hygienists within the past year — with 18.1% reporting increasing wages by 10% or more.

5 Years Out: Prep Your Practice for an Eventual Sale

If you’re a few years out from retirement, now is the time to start preparing your practice for an eventual sale. Taking the time to thoroughly prepare will streamline the transition for everyone, helping improve patient and staff retention. Careful preparation may even result in a higher valuation, as your practice will appear well cared-for and more organized.

And if the unexpected should happen and you’re forced to sell sooner than planned, you won’t be starting completely cold. 

Practice Profile: Learn from a Lifelong Learner in this Busy Associateship

This busy practice is bursting at the seams! Join as an associate to help deliver top-notch care to a great university community, with an opportunity for equity when you’re ready.

With 7 operatories, this well-established practice has plenty of space and the latest technology, including a Kodak CBCT scanner, a Cerec scanner, and an XL milling unit. But since the owner’s father retired, patients are now waiting months to get in. As an associate, you’ll be busy right from the start — with mentorship that helps you learn and grow.

The owner is dedicated to lifelong learning and active in organized dentistry and a study club. She says, “Dentists have a commitment to keep our knowledge and skills current by seeking self-enhancement through perpetual learning. By doing this, we will evolve professionally through evidence-based practice and technological advances rather than stagnating in our beliefs. I envision that I will always continue learning, not only from textbooks and journals, but from interactions with other members of the healthcare team, my patients, and their families. I want to learn each day, and apply what I’ve learned to improve my skills as a dentist. I am confident that I am a better dentist than yesterday, and I will be an even better dentist tomorrow than I was today.”

The practice delivers general dentistry, plus endodontics, prosthodontics, orthodontics, and cosmetic procedures, serving the entire community. The owner explains, “Dentistry is an honorable career, and is much more than just a job to earn a paycheck. My mission is to proudly provide nonjudgmental care to those in need regardless of race, spiritual beliefs, lifestyle choices, financial status, or disability. I believe I have a responsibility to provide dental care to those who are unable to afford care because every person is deserving of the benefits of a healthy mouth. I feel my team members are my family and we make decisions together for the overall benefit of the patients that we serve.”

5 Years Out: Planning for Life after Retirement

Too often, people retire and then wonder, “Now what?” For years, work has shaped their days, months, and years. They plan vacations when things will be slow or schedule family events around their practice’s needs. 

When they retire, they have nothing but time — and no meaningful way to fill that time. Sometimes this can lead to depression or frustration.

So how do you avoid this trap?

Here are some ways to start cultivating your retirement lifestyle before you stop working.

(See also: How to Sell Now and Retire Later

Think — and talk — about your interests

Think about the things you enjoy doing, in every realm of your life. Travel, golf, woodworking, painting, spending time with your family. Is there a cause you wholeheartedly support that you wish you could spend more time with? Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of visiting every single national park. 

Talk to your spouse and family. What do they want to do with retirement? Your partner may remind you that you absolutely loved your annual summer trips to the lake, before life got too busy. Maybe it’s time to take another visit. You may even think about living there a few months of the year once you retire!

Practice Profile: Make a Great Living in this Mission-Driven Clinic

Looking for a full-time, (very) well-paid associateship where you can work with children and make a difference? This community pediatric dental clinic needs YOU! Pediatric experience is preferred, but not mandatory, as the senior dentist is happy to mentor!

This non-profit clinic started as a small practice with one operatory, donated equipment, and volunteers doing renovations. Today, it's grown into a 6-operatory, fully equipped, modern dental practice providing much-needed and appreciated dental care for almost 4,000 children throughout the local area.

You’ll thrive with hands-on mentorship from the senior dentist and work with fantastic patients in a mission-driven practice. Enjoy great benefits and input about your schedule.  Ideally, you’ll want to get involved in this fantastic, welcoming Maine community. 

The founder explains, “I feel drawn toward helping those in need and I believe that the desire to help people through dentistry is in a sense a calling. As such, in my 19th year of private practice as a general dentist (2011), I decided I needed to try to serve patients who were invisible to those of us in private practice who were limiting the number of Medicaid patients we'd see, due to drastically low reimbursement levels. With my husband's help, we founded the clinic with a mission to provide a comprehensive, caring dental home for every child who needs one. I believe I have a responsibility to our communities and to the profession to use my knowledge and skills for the greater good, as those communities supported my private practice for so many years.” 

“Having seen too much dental disease in so many little mouths, while knowing that PREVENTION is key, the clinic has a strong hygiene department. A goal is to instill prevention messages from the very beginning of the lifespan, in infancy, and even prenatally. Dentistry is an honorable yet humbling profession. I enjoy planting seeds to encourage young people to consider a career in dentistry. I also appreciate any opportunity to share knowledge and past clinical experiences with newer grads.”

How to Retain Patients When Buying or Joining a Practice

Joining a new practice? Whether as a new owner or associate, you probably have a lot on your mind, including everything from using new materials or technologies to interacting with the assistants.

Add to your list potentially the most important thing of all: keeping existing patients coming in the door and getting them to refer their family and friends.

Patient retention is often considered key to a successful practice transition. New associates are hired because the current practice has more treatment than they can handle. And if you are buying the practice, patient retention is even more important. Did you know that the financing that the bank provided you was based on your ability to maintain (or better yet, grow) the current production numbers?

Set yourself up for success by doing the legwork to find a practice where you and the other doctor share a common approach in how you interact with the patients, staff, and community. In other words, you and the practice should share a philosophy of care.

Practice Profile: Record-High Collections in a Water Wonderland

You’ll love owning this spacious, light-filled, 6-operatory practice that’s next door to the best ice cream shop in town. And your pocketbook will too: this 100% fee-for-service practice is enjoying record-high production and collections. 

The seller believes strongly in teaching patients to maintain good oral health rather than simply filling holes in teeth. With this focus on lifelong learning, he has built a strong practice that includes general dentistry, some perio (tissue regeneration), orthodontics, and sleep apnea treatments. He’s ready to step away but willing to offer mentorship that helps the buyer get off to a great start.

The entire team embraces the seller’s philosophy: “Dentists should be oral physicians and not ‘tooth mechanics.’” This attitude, delivered by a caring team, has cultivated a patient base that feels like family and stays loyal. 

The team works hard while enjoying each other’s company with at least three annual team outings that have included miniature golf and ax throwing. They celebrate birthdays together and participate in community parades and health fairs. It’s important to the team that they give back to the community in many different ways, including through Volunteers for Dentistry and by providing care for underserved community members.

The Muskegon County, Michigan office spans 2,500 square feet, with six operatories and a doctor’s office. There’s also a full basement with a large lunchroom, plus a picnic table in the backyard and plenty of parking. The operatories have great natural light and face a green-hedged backyard where you might see deer, turkeys, opposum, and birds on the feeders, depending on the season. The office is just one block from the Muskegon River and two blocks to a lake. A park across the street makes for wonderful lunchtime walks or even fishing!

5 Years Out? How to Sell Now and Retire Later

Many dentists reach a point in their careers where they are done with owning a practice. 

Practice Profile: Successful, Turnkey, and Poised to Grow

Looking for a successful, turnkey practice with room to grow in a great community?

Buy this primarily fee-for-service practice where personal service and quality are the rule. The 3-operatory family practice has served this northwestern New Jersey town since 1970, building patient relationships that span generations.

Here, you’ll work with a capable, motivated team to practice the full gamut of general dentistry, including restorative, endodontics, implant restoration, oral surgery, fixed and removable prosthodontics, and more. The staff firmly believe in customizing treatment to each patient’s needs and desires. The practice embodies integrity, quality, and compassion.

Strong policies have made this practice a success. The practice enjoys a 99% collection rate and just 60% overhead, with no Medicare or capitation insurance plans. Digital records and radiographs make record-keeping easy.

Practice Profile: High-Tech Associateship with Clear Path to Ownership

This 6-operatory family practice has served Milwaukee patients for more than 100 years! The senior doctor seeks an associate who may want to buy in the next three to five years. In working with this dentist you’ll benefit from hands-on mentorship around the art, science, and business of dentistry from a lecturing clinician eager to teach the right person.

The practice provides comprehensive quality care to patients of all ages and offers upgradeable dentistry from dentures, mini-implant overdentures, implant overdentures and "snap-on dentures" to bar overdentures. They also provide hybrids and fixed bridges on implants as well as all aspects of general dentistry. The goal is to provide a lifelong dental home to local patients. The doctor performs dynamic treatment planning so that patients can remain actively involved in their dental care throughout their lives.

The owner explains, “We are always looking to expand our offerings to our patients. While we offer comprehensive implant and reconstructive dentistry, we no longer provide orthodontics, which would be nice to add back. As well, there is opportunity to add CAD/CAM or other technologies in the future as the ROI demonstrates.”

How to Become a Team Leader When You’re New to the Practice

As the new associate in a practice, you’re in a tricky spot. You’re the new kid. You don’t know how the practice flows, when staff typically show up, or where to get the best local coffee. And you certainly don’t know any of the patients!

Despite these challenges, you need to immediately establish yourself as a leader so you can effectively work with your auxiliaries to deliver consistent, quality care to your patients. 

So how can you make the shift from new associate to team leader? Read on for a few tips. 

Think like a dentist, not a student

As a student, you were expected to show up, do your homework, ask thoughtful questions, and demonstrate that you were learning. Your professors guided your path and prompted every step. Your dental school clinic was likely run by the staff. And since they remained a constant fixture as you rotated through, and they controlled much of the activity in the clinic, you likely deferred to their judgment. 

Now that you’re in practice, that hierarchy has flipped. You’re in charge, both in your career and in the operatory. You need to be decisive and respectful with your actions. Your auxiliaries should defer to you when treating patients.

Starting an Associateship? Own the Operatory from Day One!

Ready to start a new asssociateship — maybe even your first associateship after dental school?

It’s nerve-wracking starting any new job, let alone the first one as a new doctor. 

However, your patients and staff need to know you’re in control, right from the beginning. You must project confidence to gain their trust and ensure treatment acceptance. 

And even if you’re shaking in your shoes, remember: you worked hard to get here and you are ready

Your dental school granted you a degree based on your work.

Your state has licensed you.

The practice owner hired you because they believe in you and your abilities. 

Now it’s time to demonstrate all that to your patients. 

Here are five ways to get off on the right foot and take ownership of the operatory.

Practice Profile: Lucrative, Spacious, Fee-for-Service on the Gulf Coast

Check out this spacious 100% fee-for-service practice with high income potential, low cost of living, and a comfortable lifestyle!

Loyal patients appreciate the full range of services: cosmetic dentistry, periodontal therapy/surgery, oral surgery, Invisalign, and much more. Bringing implant placement in house offers a huge potential growth area to increase production, if you have the skills and interest! 

The practice is 100% FFS and over 50% of the patients have insurance. An in-office membership plan is very popular with patients and steers them away from PPO/DMO insurances — giving this practice a healthy bottom line.

Your Checklist for a Successful First Week

It’s that time of year: dental students are graduating and ready to step into their first associateships. Meanwhile, we continue to see lots of practice sales and hires to serve growing practices.

No matter the reason for the new doctor coming into the practice, how can you ensure a successful start? Here are some tips for building a plan and starting off on the right foot.   

Choose the right practice or person

A strong first week starts much earlier. Throughout the interview process, ask questions to make sure it’s a good fit. 

If you’re an incoming doctor, ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable in the office? Can I handle the expected pace? What do I need to learn to be successful here?” (See: How to tell if that nice practice is right for you.)

If you’re hiring or selling, take steps to ensure that the incoming doctor shares a similar philosophy of care, or approach to dentistry, so they will seamlessly fit into the practice’s existing operations. During the interview process, review a week’s sample schedule together to make everyone shares expectations. Discuss a few cases to ensure you can respect each other’s decision-making and approach. (Remember, there can be many paths to a great result — but you must be able to trust and respect their work!)

Practice Profile: Mentorship to Grow in a Nationally Renowned TMD/TMJ Therapy Practice

Are you interested in TMD/TMJ therapy and looking for a wonderful opportunity with a great mentor? Buy this 100% fee-for-service practice with a national reputation for non-surgical treatment of TMD/craniofacial pain with orthodontic, airway management, and restorative components. 

All six operatories are updated with the latest technology, including CBCT, K7 jaw computer systems, Fontana Lightwalker hard/soft tissue laser, digital radiographs, paperless charts, digital scanners, electric handpieces, and intraoral cameras. The modern, free-standing brick dental office building has lots of windows for natural light. The 3,000-square-foot open concept office includes a welcoming reception area, consultation room, and employee lounge. An additional 1,000 square feet of space can be converted into two more operatories when you’re ready. And it’s all located on a busy thoroughfare near a residential area of Kansas City, Missouri. 

This practice is ideal for a dentist with 5 or more years of experience after dental school — someone interested in helping people by providing high-end dental services. As owner, you’ll make a good income without running from room to room. This niche practice has not accepted general dentistry patients and lacks a hygiene department. Additionally, all surgeries, implant placements, and endodontics cases are currently referred out. That gives the buyer options: you can continue to focus on the niche part of the practice, bring additional services in house, or build a high-end general dental practice that surrounds the TMD/TMJ specialty. Choose whatever suits your interests! Either way, the extremely knowledgeable clinical assistant who has been with the practice for more than 20 years will be by your side, ready to help the practice succeed.  

This unique practice is 100% fee for service, meaning that dental insurance discounting trends have no effect on the bottom line. The seller says, “This is a lane with little competition.”

No Surprises: How to Prepare for a Smooth Practice Transition

I was recently on the Best Practices Show podcast with Kirk Behrendt. We had a great conversation about how to avoid unwanted surprises during the dental practice transition process. Listen in to our conversation or read on for some key points.


What to do before the letter of intent

The best way to avoid surprises is to do your homework.

Practice Profile: High-Tech Updated Office with a Perio Focus

Buy this 5-operatory practice with an outstanding staff that’s eager to help you succeed. This high-tech practice focuses on family and cosmetic dentistry, with a strong periodontal program (including perio maintenance, surgery, and bone and soft tissue grafting), laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP), implants, sleep apnea, and more. 

You’ll be taking over a highly respected office that's devoted to bringing the latest best practices to ensure patients’ overall health. The long-tenured staff is very knowledgable. And since the practice is currently open just four days a week, there’s room (and demand) to expand the schedule. 

The practice is located on a busy highway in Independence, Missouri for easy visibility. Inside, the open, peaceful atmosphere puts patients at ease. The updated space offers plenty of room, with a great flow through the sterilization area. Nearby, there’s plenty of retail, fast food, restaurants, a Sam’s Club, and a Costco. 

The education-focused seller routinely obtains 100+ hours of CE each year, and the practice uses the latest materials for pulp capping and root canal therapy. He works closely with local physicians to help patients improve their overall health, and is on staff at the local medical center. He is also active in organized dentistry. 

The seller is willing to provide mentorship to help the buyer build knowledge and relationships that will continue the practice’s high standards and reputation.

Practice Profile: All-New Everything, Just Blocks from the Beach

Do you want to practice in a vibrant, walkable, health-conscious community, with ocean breezes and year-round recreation just out the door? Buy this established 4-operatory practice that encompasses all aspects of dentistry, with a special interest in cosmetic dentistry procedures including tooth whitening or bleaching, porcelain dental veneers, and Invisalign.

The practice dates to 1987, with a loyal patient population and staff focused on continuing education. The office was completely rebuilt three years ago with all-new everything, at a convenient corner location (with parking). From there, you can walk to great restaurants and shopping — and the beach is just blocks away. 

The seller says “We have a long tradition of treating people well, with a strong focus on patient education, personalized service, and long-term patient relationships. We’re known for taking an ethical, conservative approach to dentistry.” 

The practice is highly rated and financially lucrative, with opportunities to add services or hours to further boost the bottom line.

Practice Profile: Year-Round Warmth, Year-Round Profits

Buy this 100% fee-for-service practice to continue providing high quality, compassionate care to a wonderful community in California's beautiful wine country. The seller is willing to provide mentorship that helps you succeed.

The roomy, 5-operatory office sits on the second floor of a professional building. Tall, north-facing windows allow plenty of natural light. New flooring spans the space, which includes two hygiene rooms and three doctor’s rooms (that all can be easily mixed and matched), plus a staff room, private doctor’s office, and bathroom. The practice includes newer equipment, a waterless vacuum, oilless air compressor, and amalgam separator.

The seller currently refers out all surgery and endo, so bringing these in house could enable instant growth.

What Went Wrong: I Bought a Million-Dollar Practice — and Wound Up with Million-Dollar Problems

Dr. Albert has expensive tastes. He always has the latest gadgets, eats at the best restaurants, and drives a shiny new car.

So when it came time to buy a practice, Dr. Albert sought out the best practice money could buy. He borrowed the maximum amount his bank would lend to buy a beautifully outfitted 8-op practice with brand-new, top-of-the-line equipment. Located in a fashionable district of a major city, the seller had built a great reputation by treating many celebrities, including actors and TV personalities.  

A year in, Dr. Albert felt like he was failing miserably. The seller had built the practice on highly complex procedures. With his three years of experience, Dr. Albert had the desire to perform these procedures, yet lacked the education and speed that come with decades of experience. Also, since he had never managed a staff before, he ended up micromanaging his auxiliaries who were used to more autonomy. Two of them quit to take positions with his biggest competitor while a third demanded a significant raise.   

A long-time associate had stayed with the practice, but she was busy with her own patients and did not want to add any more. To keep up, Dr. Albert felt he needed a second associate, but he couldn’t find someone with the right skills willing to work part time. He rarely took days off. Even when the practice was closed, he was busy preparing for his next patients or trying to solve staffing issues. 

His patients — who were also used to the very best in life — weren’t happy. Appointments constantly ran late and took longer than they had under the seller. When the long-term hygienists left, several patients followed and left negative reviews online. And he noticed that referrals were down.

5 Musts for a Successful Dental Career

Dentistry offers so many possible career paths. You can practice nearly anywhere, in offices of all sizes and configurations. Do a little bit of everything or master a specialty. Work with toddlers or senior citizens. Choose public health, the military, research, academia, organized dentistry — the possibilities are truly endless.

No matter your path after dental school, I’ve landed on five things that dentists need for a successful, satisfying career.

10 Must-Dos to Prepare Your Practice for Sale

Whether retirement is imminent or still just a dream, if you are a practice owner, it’s time to begin thinking about how you’ll eventually transition your practice. After all, sometimes life happens and you must accelerate your plans — which is much easier if you have thought about your desires in the first place!

Ultimately, your practice is worth what someone will pay for it and, most often, what a bank will underwrite a loan for. You know how great your practice is, but how do you get other dentists to see and understand how fabulous it really is? In many cases, the best place to begin is by looking at your practice through a buyer’s eyes. You want to identify, and then highlight,  what might inspire them to make an offer. 

Keep in mind that all buyers want the same thing: a financially sound practice where they can do the type of dentistry that excites them and keeps them engaged. No matter where you are in your timeline, you can start taking some steps to prepare yourself and your practice to shine for an eventual sale. (The tips in How to Conduct a Year-End Business Review can give you a great start, no matter what time of year!)

What Practice Owners Want in Dental Associates

Every day, I talk to practice owners looking for a new dentist to join their practice. These owners are universally focused on finding the person who will take good care of their patients.

But beyond that, their requests vary — a lot. Some want a confident, independent dentist who can take on every aspect of general dentistry without any oversight. Others are enthusiastic about mentoring an early-career dentist to watch them grow. Some want a personable, chatty colleague to discuss cases with, while others want someone who can work solo so the practice can expand hours.

When owners join ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT) to find a buyer or associate, they fill out a detailed profile about their goals, expectations, and needs. We ask what they’ve learned from prior hires and what they hope to find. 

We recently analyzed that data to see which attributes stand out. While answers were all over the place, several key themes emerged. 

Practice Profile: Mentoring Associateship in a Modern, Multi-Location Practice

Looking for the next step in your career? Join this multi-location practice as an associate for the ideal mix of mentorship and independence!

Each sleek, modern office has facility and technology advancements that support tremendous growth in new patients and revenue. Annual revenue across the practices is currently $2.5 million and growing. Located in Sebring in central Florida, one office is right next to the hospital, providing convenience for the many healthcare workers who are patients. This prime location also reinforces the office’s connection to the local medical community.

You’ll step in to care for a retiring dentist’s patients. The practice’s two other dentists are happy to mentor you. After all, the practice is built on a culture of educational advancement.

Interesting Dentistry, Fast Loan Pay-Off: One Dentist’s Success Story

Dr. Gabe Holdwick has learned he would rather be from a place rather than just live in a place. The difference may seem subtle, but it makes for a more satisfying career and lifestyle.

Dr. Holdwick grew up in Harbor Beach, Michigan, a town of 1,700 people perched on the shores of Lake Huron. His family has lived in town for five generations, over 175 years. 

He knew that dentistry would give him options to take his career anywhere — but he also hoped to return to Harbor Beach to enjoy the lifestyle and practice “geographic arbitrage.”

Practice Profile: High-Tech, High Growth in the Mile-High Suburbs

Do you want to build on an already lucrative practice – while still having plenty of time to play in the mountains?
This high-tech, suburban Denver practice is successful on just three days a week. You can choose to expand hours (and profits), enjoy all the mountains have to offer – or both! The affluent, well-educated patients are savvy dental consumers, so there’s plenty of opportunity to provide additional specialty services.
Serving Douglas County since 1995, this updated practice has a loyal following of patients who readily accept treatment.    
This practice is the anchor tenant in a small professional building located in the heart of this suburban downtown, steps from Main Street. The landlord is responsive and takes pride in ownership, while the on-site building manager keeps the building well maintained. The space was recently remodeled with new carpet, flooring, and paint that complement the exposed rock walls, attractive lighting, and oversized trim. 

Living and Thriving in Vacationland

Ask Dr. Kala Foster about the advantages of working in a small-town dental practice, and she rattles off a long list: doing dentistry her way, appreciative patients, great work-life balance, a fantastic place to raise a family, and all the benefits of practice ownership. 

Dr. Foster lives in Gaylord, Michigan, the center of what is known as Michigan’s “Vacationland” lake region. With 3,600 residents, Gaylord is the “big town” in the area, drawing vacationers from all over the state while serving as the region’s economic hub. 

After living in metropolitan Detroit, Dr. Foster moved to Gaylord three years ago. Since then, she has built a great life in her new home. 

“We can do ‘vacation stuff’ in the evenings. Boating, snowmobiling, everything’s right here,” she says. “I always have 3-day weekends.” 

Practice Profile: Associateship, Mentorship, Success!

Are you looking for a mentorship-focused associateship with plenty of room to grow? Are you sick of traffic, looking for more affordable living, or just want more space?

If so, check out this Western Massachusetts associateship! This beautiful, growing family practice needs a part-time associate interested in growing with the practice. The practice owner is committed to mentorship, and new graduates are welcomed and encouraged!

The space and the team will support you as you perfect your skills and gain speed and confidence. The team is committed to learning, and the practice owner is active in organized dentistry and study clubs.

The Best of Both Worlds: Rural Practice, Urban Lifestyle

In this week's profile of rural dentists building amazing careers, Dr. Sara Stuefen shows us how she enjoys the best of both worlds: a rural practice and an urban lifestyle.

As a member of the ADA’s New Dentist Committee, Dr. Stuefen often spoke to dental students who assume they need to practice in an urban area to live the type of life they want. But she’s quick to point out, “When you graduate, you don’t know what practice style is right for you until you try. There are so many great opportunities in small towns, and you can afford to have the latest technology!”

She also dispels a common misconception: “Rural doesn’t have to mean four hours to the nearest Target. Besides, you can order everything online these days.”

After graduating from the University of Iowa, Dr. Stuefen wanted to work in a small town where she could know her patients and make a difference. “I know I flourish in a smaller environment,” she says. “I like feeling connected to my patients and being able to rely on myself.”

However, her engineer husband needed to be in a more urban area to find a job. (This was a decade before the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to realize how many jobs can actually be done from home.)

So they compromised: Dr. Stuefen bought a practice in Vinton, Iowa (population 4,900) and the couple moved to Cedar Rapids (with 132,000 people), just 40 minutes away.

It’s turned out to be the perfect fit for all their needs.

Practice Profile: Do a Wide Range of Dentistry in this Busy Family & Cosmetic Practice

You’ll never be bored in this busy family practice! If you’re ready to step in and take charge, check out this 4-operatory Albuquerque practice. You’ll work with patients from toddlers to senior citizens in their nineties. And these patients are loyal: many families have been coming to the practice for three generations.

Enjoy doing a full range of treatments? This practice does nearly everything except orthodontia, with a special focus on cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry. That includes being a one-stop shop for dental implants, from planning to surgery and completion.

All operatories are updated with the latest technology, including CBCT, digital radiographs, and Dentrix software.

The Perfect Blend: How One Dentist Found a Close-Knit Community with Ideal Work-Life Balance

Dr. Jenna Hatfield never thought she would end up back in the small town where she grew up. After all, Norfolk, Nebraska has just 24,000 people. However, after dental school in Lincoln, Nebraska (population 283,000), Dr. Hatfield and her husband realized that Lincoln didn’t feel like the right place to raise a family. 

By chance, Dr. Hatfield heard that her childhood dentist in Norfolk was trying to figure out his exit strategy. The timing was perfect: she came in as his associate, then bought out the practice two years ago. 

Today, she’s built an ideal life in Norfolk. She does the type of dentistry she loves, makes a difference in her community, and has the flexibility to care for her family and children. 

“I never thought I’d end up back in Norfolk, but it just felt right,” she says.

Practice Profile: Live, Work, and Play In Friendly Vacationland

Be the only dentist in a growing town, with plenty of space to expand to the practice of your dreams! This Michigan practice is set on three wooded acres full of resident wildlife, yet just minutes off the expressway for easy patient access.

The office is known for listening to patients and educating them on how oral health fits into their life. The seller maintains a moderate pace, allowing ample time to build strong, lasting relationships and trust – a philosophy that generates lots of word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, new patients keep calling, creating a 4-week wait for treatment and a 20-week hygiene wait.

Want a Lucrative Practice With Great Work-Life Balance? Go Rural!

Most dental practice buyers want the same thing: a financially sound practice where they can do the type of dentistry that excites them and keeps them engaged.

However, as they go through the process of considering potential practices, I see many would-be buyers turn down practices that could be a great fit. 

Often, it comes down to a single factor: location. Many buyers assume that they can only have the lifestyle and practice they want in a big urban center or its immediate suburbs. The reality is different, however. While they may find a great practice in a city, it can come with costs: a higher price tag, tougher competition, more expensive housing, and a more hectic lifestyle.  

Over the past several months, we’ve been speaking with some very successful dentists, including several on the ADA’s New Dentist Committee. Each of these dentists has built a satisfying, lucrative career — beyond the big city. Each has also attained a comfortable work-life balance. They practice dentistry the way they want to while living a lifestyle with plenty of time for family, community, travel, and other interests.

Practice Profile: Lucrative, Efficient Practice Just Minutes from the Mountains

Ready to buy your very own practice? Make this 4 op, updated office in a beautiful mountain setting yours! Last year, the seller took home $474,000 on production of $895,000, thanks to low overhead, fantastic staff, and well-honed, efficient processes.

Many of the patients are professionals who value their oral health, and you’ll be well situated in a thriving healthcare district.

And the community? If you love the outdoors, you’ll be right at home, with greenery views from the large operatory windows and just minutes to the mountains and the water.

Read on for more about this Bellingham, Washington practice.

Read Beyond the Dollar Amount: How to Get the Contract You Deserve

Dentistry is a relationship-based business. That’s why it’s important to consider the contract as the first step in building a relationship with your new colleague. Whether you’re coming in as an associate or doing the hiring, the contract process should be conversational — not one-sided.  

Dentists are notoriously non-confrontational, but this is not the time to stay quiet. Instead, think about what’s most important to you and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Everything’s negotiable. It’s better to ask and make your desires known than to wish you had broached the subject. 

I recently joined Matt and Landon from the Smart Dental Student Podcast to discuss how to approach a dental associate contract. Listen to that episode or read on for my takeaways.


What are the steps to a successful contract?

Would-be associates often simply skim a proposed contract until they reach the dollar amount — and look no further. They assume that all the legalese is “standard” and that if they’re happy with that one big number, that’s all that matters.

Too often, they realize much later that a clause in the contract actually limits their pay, their personal time, or even their career growth.

To ensure you get the contract you deserve:

Practice Profile: Perfectly Located, Ready to Grow, Grow, Grow!

Growth potential galore waits for you in this 4-operatory Indiana practice! With 70+ years serving the hardworking community, the practice is known for delivering excellence and patient-centric care. As the seller prepares to retire, it’s time for a new leader.

The practice is currently open just three days a week. However, as several nearby dentists have retired, there’s increasing demand in this growing area of Terre Haute, IN. New patients call daily, and there’s a 20-week wait for new patient hygiene appointments. A buyer could expand hours and “grow like crazy,” according to the seller.

Part Science, Part Art: Finding & Shaping the Perfect Associate for Your Practice

Whether you can’t keep up with demand or you’re beginning to slow down and transition to retirement, the right associate can help you grow your practice and ensure patients are well cared for now and into the future. 

However, bringing in an associate can be intimidating. You’ve built your practice’s reputation on a certain style of care. You may have known some of your patients (and their families) for decades. You want to know that Mrs. Smith is going to get the same quality and level of care she’s come to expect, regardless of which dentist she sees in your office.

So what makes an associate “right” for your practice and patients? How do you decide the appropriate level of training needed to be successful in your practice?

Every week in my role at ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT), I speak with owners looking to hire an associate or sell their practice. Many of these owners insist that any associate coming to work for them have a minimum of two to five years of experience. Too often, this means that they refuse to even consider a candidate who would otherwise be a perfect fit.

Practice Profile: Grow From a Loyal Foundation of Fee-For-Service Patients

Want a turnkey practice with loyal staff, loyal patients, and a loyal community? This practice has everything you need to step right in and succeed!

This fee-for-service, well-equipped, 3-operatory practice provides a dental home for a growing community in the Tri-States Area of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, just 70 miles from New York City. As families leave NYC, many of them are arriving in the area and need a new dentist. These new residents are drawn by a more affordable lifestyle with easy access to two local ski areas, multiple premier golf courses, extensive outdoor activities (including Appalachian Trail access), and the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Businesses are taking note: a new large chain grocery store recently opened in town.

That makes this practice the perfect foundation for building your career! The seller is willing to negotiate, whether you prefer to buy the practice with or without charts. Either way, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to make it your own, earn a comfortable living, and build a life in a highly desirable area.

Protecting Your Practice’s Legacy

Thinking about retiring and selling? If you’re like many owners weighing this decision, you may be asking yourself: how do I protect the legacy I’ve spent my lifetime building? And how can I ensure my patients are cared for long after I’ve retired?  

I recently spoke with Ross Brannon of the Financial Flossing podcast to discuss this, along with related issues about practice transitions. Listen to our conversation.

As I discussed with Ross, the average retirement age of dentists has been dropping. New data from the ADA’s Health Policy Institute shows that as of 2021, it is now 67.9, down from a peak of 69.1 in 2018. Several factors are driving this trend, many stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as staffing challenges, higher costs of PPE, and so on.

Practice Profile: High Demand, Low Overhead, Perfect Work-Life Balance

What’s your priority?

  • Practicing dentistry how you prefer
  • Growing a practice in an underserved area
  • Working a part-time schedule while making a comfortable living
  • Achieving ideal work-life balance for your family

When you buy this practice, you don’t have to choose — you can have it all! This practice is perfect for someone who wants to make a good living practicing dentistry while having plenty of time for family, activities, and vacations.

The retiring seller says, “I have always enjoyed the freedom of owning my own practice. I have an extremely low overhead which has given me the opportunity to work hard and then to take time off when I wanted. In all of my years of practice, I have never joined a PPO because there have always been enough private patients to keep me as busy as I wanted and needed to be.”

Listen: Healthcare de Jure Podcast

I recently joined the Healthcare de Jure podcast with Matt Fisher. Listen in as we talk about several topics, including:

  • What an owner needs to have a fabulous, sellable practice (and how to prepare for a sale)
  • Why an increasing share of dentists want to own a solo practice — and why more of them are heading to rural areas
  • The uniqueness of dentistry as a profession
  • Why teledentistry will become more prevalent in the coming years
  • What dentistry has learned from COVID-19 

Practice Profile: High-Tech Associateship with a Path to Ownership

Are you looking for an associateship where you can work with all the “bells and whistles” in a freshly updated space? This senior dentist has expanded his busy Pennsylvania practice and now needs an additional doctor – with the option for future ownership. New grads are welcomed and encouraged!

Over the past 20 months, the entire space has been remodeled, including the existing operatories, the building, parking, and landscaping. An entirely new wing houses three brand-new operatories, bringing the total to eight: six restorative and two hygiene.

Patients travel from throughout the region for practice’s highly regarded work, a reputation developed over 40+ years.

5 Financial Must-Dos Before Buying a Dental Practice

You have always pictured yourself as the owner of your own practice, but right now, you are up to your eyeballs in student debt and you simply have no idea where to start. If this resonates with you, let me assure you that you CAN be an owner — and you easily do it within 5 years of graduation. You can even begin preparing before graduation by following these (relatively) easy steps.  

The first step in your buy-a-practice plan should be talking to (at least) three different banks. Finding the right lender is crucial, as they can make or break your transaction. 

The strength of your application and the practice stats will dictate how much you are able to borrow, so engage the lenders early in the process. They will also advise you on what you can do to strengthen your application so that when you find the perfect practice, you’re more likely to put your name on the building.  

Across the board, dental lenders agree on some key things you can do to prepare yourself for a purchase.

Practice Profile: Fast-paced Associateship in a Brand-New Space

Looking for the next step in your career? Join this fast-growing, top-rated practice as it expands to a new space!

The new 5,100 square foot office will be opening soon, with 13 operatories fully equipped to serve a growing patient base. The fast-paced practice serves 9,300 patients in its current 7-operatory building, with more than enough demand to fill the new space.

The owner is looking to hire an associate with at least two years of experience who can perform all the basics of dentistry, specifically extractions and removables that are currently referred out. You’ll need the confidence to work independently, but you’ll have mentorship from a dentist with 25+ years of experience. And you’ll enjoy your own office space with a private restroom.

Talk to 3 Banks: The First Step in Buying a Dental Practice


Most dental practice purchases must involve a bank. That can be intimidating — especially if you already have student loan debt.

However, banks exist to lend money. And with a default rate of less than 1%, banks view dental practices as very safe investments. That makes them willing to work with you to write a loan — even if you have student loans. Depending on the practice, many are willing to cover 100% of the purchase price, plus some working capital that gives you cash flow for the first few months. 

The process takes time. That’s why you should identify your lender and determine what you need to do to qualify for a loan before you begin searching for the perfect practice! Otherwise, you may wind up scrambling to find financing, only to lose out if the seller decides to work with a more-prepared buyer or you find that you don’t meet the minimum criteria to obtain financing. Talking with lenders ahead of time helps you prepare while demonstrating to sellers that you are serious. 

Practice Profile: Willing to Finance, Ready to Go

Ready to buy? This seller is ready to retire – and willing to help finance your purchase! He’s even willing to help mentor you to succeed.

Operating since the 1950s, this profitable, 5-operatory, fee-for-service practice is one of the longest-established businesses in the community. It’s earned a great reputation – and with only one other practice in town, competition is limited.

We asked this seller what makes his practice and community a great place for a buyer. Read on for his responses:

What makes your practice unique? 
Ethics, compassion, longevity, and profitability. My family has provided healthcare at the same location since 1929. My grandfather was a physician in my office space and my father started the dental practice in mid-1950s and I arrived on the scene in 1986. I would say we are one of the top three oldest businesses in Martins Ferry, Ohio.

Fortunately, our reputation for treating our patients the “right way” has made the office an asset to the community. I am told we are one of the few dental practices that does not participate on any insurance panel, so we are really fee for service. I never wanted to work “for” an insurance company and I feel our longevity and reputation has afforded us that ability. 

8 Things to Ask a Practice Owner During an Interview

You have probably heard that you should ask questions during an interview.  

Here are a few things to ask, whether during a phone/video interview or in person.

1. Why are you bringing on a new dentist? Why now?

The owner’s motivation will direct your next few questions. 

If the practice is bursting-at-the-seams busy, you’ll want to find out whether there’s enough space for you. Will additional staff be hired? How many operatories will you work out of? Will the owner be comfortable handing off some long-term patients to you?

Practice Profile: Make an Offer On This Well-Established Practice

Serve a community that’s about to lose its only dentist.

This small-town practice is the only one in the entire county – and it’s ideally located in the county seat to draw from many local communities. Established in 1950, it has built a good reputation for quality dentistry. Nearly half of the 1,400+ patients come from adjacent counties, and there’s plenty of growth potential.

You’ll work with a loyal, talented, well-trained staff who keep this 4-operatory practice running smoothly, building long-term relationships with generations of patients.

The retiring seller says, “I came to this profession with goal to meet the dental health needs of my community. I believe in the importance of careful and accurate diagnosis, and an understandable explanation of that to my patients. I believe all treatment options should be explained and understood so that the patient can make the decision that is best for them in their circumstances. I believe the trust this builds in my patients has been the foundation and stability of my practice, and led to rewarding relationships.”

What Dental Practice Buyers Want

Whether you’re hoping to sell your practice ASAP or just planning ahead, you have probably thought about the person who will eventually take over. 

After all, that person will hopefully care for your patients for years to come. 

Have you considered what they want from your practice — and what you can do to make your practice more attractive to them? 

Through my work with ADA Practice Transitions™ (ADAPT), I’ve worked with hundreds of prospective buyers. Some are just out of dental school while others have been planning a purchase for years. 

When you get down to it, they all want the same thing: a financially sound practice where they can do the type of dentistry that excites them and keeps them engaged.

However, that can be a bit nebulous. So how can you demonstrate that your practice will allow a buyer to succeed? 

Think about the story that your practice tells a potential buyer. What does a buyer see or infer when they look at your practice, from the physical office to the financials? By looking through a buyer’s eyes, you can begin to identify things that need a bit of sprucing up. Consider how your practice stacks up on these 5 key attributes. 

Listen: The Value of Mentorship to Ownership

I was honored to be a recent guest on The Dental Brief Podcast. Host Patrick Chavoustie and I covered a lot in just 15 minutes, including:

The Most Popular Practice Transitions Advice from 2021

When ADAPT launched nationally in late 2020, we were optimistic about 2021. And while it has been a challenging year on so many levels, we have loved helping so many dentists set goals — and reach them. In fact, we’re now working with over 5,500 dentists, with practices in all 50 states. 

And just this month, ADAPT was recognized with a Chicago Innovation Award as one of the most innovative companies coming out of Chicago!

We often hear that our resources (such as this blog and the Student Resource Center) are helpful along the journey. If you’re thinking about pursuing your own transition in 2022, start by downloading our roadmaps:

The Complete Guide to Buying a Practice

The Complete Guide to Selling a Practice

Then take a look at some of our most-viewed posts. (And subscribe to the blog to make sure you don’t miss the next one!)

Practice Profile: Mentorship & Financing in Top-Rated Community

Check out this beautifully maintained, 4-op office with a friendly staff – located in what USA Today ranked as the second best city to live in the United States.

The retiring seller is willing to mentor and assist with financing to help an ambitious buyer succeed!

This 4-operatory practice has built an excellent reputation in the community, providing general dentistry in a relaxed setting with advanced technology. Currently operating four days a week, you can expand the schedule to grow your bottom line.

What Went Wrong: I Tried to Sell My Practice to My Child

For many, dentistry is a family business. Children grow up helping around the office and eventually work side-by-side with their parents, ultimately taking over. Handing a practice over to an adult child can be exhilarating and rewarding. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go quite as planned. 

Let’s look at a few scenarios where these parent-to-child practice transitions failed. I’ll then offer tips on avoiding some common pitfalls.

Practice Profile: Build a Lucrative Career in a Family-Friendly Area

Discover what small town practice owners have already experienced: little competition, high patient volume, and low overhead. All while living in a popular vacation area, working the hours you want, and growing this practice as much as you desire!

Check out this fast-paced, 5-operatory practice that could easily grow to support two doctors with a steady flow of new patients. All oral surgery, endo, dentures, ortho, and perio surgery are currently referred out, giving you the opportunity to add services.

No Stupid Questions: What Do I Need for a Practice Valuation?

Once again, Chris Mayer of The Heimat Group is answering your questions on practice valuations. Check out his previous No Stupid Questions answers: 

Why (and when) should I get a practice valuation?
What are the three approaches to dental practice valuation?
How does someone determine what my practice is worth?

This time, we asked Chris which documents a professional valuator needs to conduct a valuation.  

Chris responds:

To help your practice valuator determine an accurate estimate, you will need to show detailed practice information.

Typically, a valuation professional will want to see:

Practice Profile: Build Your Dental Career with Top-Tier Tech and Training

Join this practice for the best of everything: a well-established, beautiful office with all the amenities, state-of-the-art technology, and the opportunity for mentorship.

New grads are welcome! The senior doctors are willing to train and teach, as long as you’re interested in equity partnership within three or four years. This is a fabulous opportunity to learn while you establish yourself in a welcoming dental home. The owner asks is that you be willing to learn, become a part of the community, and have an entrepreneur’s spirit.

More Than Meets the Eye: How Associate Pay Can Vary

Of course you love doing dentistry. And everyone is even happier when the pay is appropriate for the work that is done!

Yet I hear from far too many associates who don’t really understand how their pay is calculated — and owners who haven’t fully thought through how much their associates’ pay can vary.

It’s pretty easy to understand a straight salary, which is common for those working in public health, academia, or government agencies. 

It gets more complicated for those paid in whole or in part based on some percentage of their overall productivity in the office — which is the more common scenario for dentists employed in private practice or DSOs. In these cases, pay is typically based on total production, billable production, or total collections.

Comparing Two Cosmetic Practices: More than Meets the Eye

Five years into his dental career, Dr. Jerry has a very clear vision of his ideal practice. He has perfected his skills and is ready to buy. He knows he wants to stick to high-end cosmetic procedures. And he does NOT want to be beholden to any insurance companies for payment.

Now comes the hard part: finding the right practice. Since Dr. Jerry and his wife plan to relocate across the country to be near her family, he must rely on numbers to decide which practices are worth pursuing during his limited visit time.

Right now, he is torn between two practices.

Let’s look at some of the variable expenses against Dental Economics industry benchmarks to see what we can learn about these practices and which one may be a better fit for Dr. Jerry’s vision:

Practice Profiles: 4 in Massachusetts

We currently have a wealth of practices available in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! If you're looking for an associateship, a purchase, or a hybrid associate-to-owner path, we have options. Check out a few of our spotlighted practices to get a taste for what’s available, including two in suburban settings, one with easy mountain access, and another that offers an oceanfront lifestyle!

Don’t Ghost: How to Build a Strong Professional Reputation

“It seemed like a great interview, but I never heard from him again.”

“She said she would let me know her next steps, but it’s been three weeks.”

I hear comments like this from owner dentists all too often! As an ADA Advisor, I suggest potential matches between practice owners (who are selling or hiring) and incoming dentists (who are buying or job hunting). Then I coach them through the process. 

Some of the younger dentists I work with defend their lack of response, saying they didn’t want to “lead on” a potential employer or seller. Or there was something they didn’t like about the practice — the dated décor, the commute, the owner themselves — and they don’t want to say so, for fear of being rude.

Practice Profile: Grow this Busy Long Island Practice

Take a look at this busy practice where you can immediately add to the bottom line. This 3-op practice is not currently open every day, nor does it do molar endodontics or implant placement — giving the buyer opportunities to add hours or services.

No Stupid Questions: How Does Someone Determine What My Practice Is Worth?

Watch: What's This Practice Actually Worth?

Practice valuation is an essential part of any sale. But do you know how to thoroughly evaluate a dental practice that's for sale? Are you ready to understand how a buyer will perceive your practice's value?

In this recent Dental Economics webinar, What's This Practice Actually Worth?, I joined Chris Mayer, Director of Mergers & Acquisitions at the Heimat Group, to explore practice valuations.

Watch the replay below to learn about the process and find out how to evaluate less tangible items to ensure you're choosing a practice that fits your lifestyle and practice approach.

Practice Profile: Busy Turn-Key Practice with a Small-Town Feel

Looking for a busy turn-key practice with a fantastic opportunity to grow? Check out this third-generation, 7-operatory practice!

The seller’s grandfather built the handsome, freestanding, brick dental office in 1949. Located just a block off Main Street, there’s a municipal parking lot across the street and an adjacent driveway with ADA access. Another independent dental practice shares the building, which helps keep overhead lower.

How to Build a Team for Your Successful Dental Practice Transition

Are you staring at your to-do list, wondering how you can ever get through your practice transition?

You don’t have to go it alone. Build a team of professionals who can help you with the more technical or complex aspects of your transition. That will free up your time and energy to focus on the most important aspect of your transition: finding the right person to carry on your legacy or the right practice for your goals. (And we at ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT) can help you with that part!)

In my work at ADAPT, I sometimes hear a dentist say that they want to save money by doing the legal themselves, just adjusting a colleague’s contract. Or maybe they plan to enlist their brother-in-law/cousin/neighbor’s best friend as their real estate broker. While I applaud that DIY attitude, it can lead to expensive mistakes, missed deadlines, and, ultimately, failed transactions.

Practice Profile: Choose Your Preferred Path to Ownership in this Profitable, Efficient Fee-for-Service Practice

Hit the ground running with this profitable fee-for-service practice! Choose your preferred route to ownership: Buy outright? Absolutely. Owner financed? Sure. Associate leading to partner? Yes. Reverse associate, where the seller works for you for up to 10 years? A great option! The seller is flexible on pricing, timing, and skill level and willing to mentor the right buyer to succeed. (He’s also happy to step away, if the buyer prefers.)

With 1,500 active patients, the practice is gaining an average of 25 new patients a month. The mix is about 60% private insurance and 40% cash. Nearly all aspects of general dentistry are done in-house, including implants and Invisalign. Only the really difficult specialty work is referred out. The efficient, ergonomic facility has five fully-equipped operatories, an air abrasion unit, three digital x-rays, and a panelipse.

What Potential Capital Gains Changes Mean for Your Practice Sale: 4 Scenarios

The proposed spending bill currently making its way through legislation brings with it some big changes to capital gains tax rates. What does this bill mean for dental practice owners looking to sell?

For nearly the past decade, the top tax rate on capital gains has remained steady at 20%; however, the proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill currently making its way through Congress includes substantial changes to capital gains tax rates that would significantly affect the tax burden for someone selling their dental practice. That may influence whether and when they want to sell.

Selling a practice has always been a complex decision that generates many previously unthought-of questions for practice owners. One of the most important being: What will the tax implications be from the sale?

Practice Profile: Grow with Mentorship in this High-Tech, 6-Op Office

This beautiful free-standing dental office has served the community for over 40 years and has endless opportunities for a buyer to grow! Six operatories are fully equipped with the latest technology including digital radiographs, intraoral cameras, and paperless charts.

Enjoy using the state-of-the-art equipment, including wall-mounted Zeiss Endodontic microscope, ACTEON 3D x-ray mounted with CEPH arm for orthodontic records, plus implant placement software. And it’s a fully paperless practice, using Patterson Eaglesoft practice software. The practice management system keeps things efficient and gives you a great foundation to grow the practice.

No Stupid Questions: What Are the 3 Approaches to Practice Valuation?

This week, we again reached out to Chris Mayer of The Heimat Group to tap into his extensive experience with dental practice valuations. Check out his previous No Stupid Questions answer: Why (and when) should I get a practice valuation?

Question: My valuation professional mentioned three “approaches” to determining a value. What are they?

There’s no single way to arrive at a practice valuation. A valuation professional should look at all the data and determine which option best suits that particular practice. This becomes especially important when comparing two valuations, as each methodology may return a different value. Make sure you understand which methodology your valuation professional is using. 

ADAPT Named Among Top 100 Most Innovative in Chicago Innovation Awards

Here at ADA Practice Transitions, we’re thrilled to be named as one of the Top 100 Finalists for the 20th annual Chicago Innovation Awards! The Top 100 Finalists cut across all industries, large corporations and startups, for-profits and non-profits, high tech, low tech, and no tech. They reflect the breadth of innovation in the Chicago region. The judges will be selecting the final 20 winners in the next few weeks — and we need your help! Vote for ADAPT in the People’s Choice Awards.

Practice Profile: 1500+ Patients Need You in this 4-op Practice

Have you thought about building your ideal practice – but don’t want to start from scratch?

Check out this solid 4-operatory practice with a loyal patient following and plenty of room to grow! The seller is willing to sell for less than 20% of the yearly gross production and will entertain any offers. This would be an ideal first or satellite practice.

Dentists on FIRE:  How 2 Dentists Saved $1 Million and Became Debt Free in 8 Years

I grew up spending my summers at my grandparents’ farm in Sidney, Illinois – population 973. (I was related to 846 of them.) So I felt quite comfortable as I drove past cornfields for the 20 miles from the interstate highway to my destination about two hours from Chicago. I was going to visit a couple of ADA Practice Transitions customers to learn why they had chosen to practice in a small Illinois town.

Eight years ago, this husband-and-wife pair of dentists purchased a practice in a small rural town. A year later, they opened a second practice in a similar town about nine miles away. They share their time between the two practices. One works three and the other four days a week to give them time to raise their two young children. Even though they are both still under 40 years old, they signed up with ADAPT to sell their practices to the right buyer. When I asked what was prompting them to sell, they said, “Have you ever heard of FIRE?”

Watch: How to Make Your Practice More Appealing

You’ve worked hard to build a great practice — how can you make it stand out in a competitive market?

Last week, I spoke to a group of Florida dentists about making their practices more appealing to potential buyers and associates. During this webinar, I shared tips to help your practice shine.

Watch the recording to learn:

  • What younger dentists are looking for in a practice
  • Small things you can do right now to make your practice show better
  • Longer-term strategies to prepare for an eventual sale
  • How to attract the right buyer for your practice and patients

Practice Profile: Busy Associateship with a Smooth Path to Partnership

Looking for an associateship with a clear path to partnership? Join this busy 6-operatory practice to launch your successful future! For over 40 years, the dentists and five hygienists at this practice have emphasized preventive care, nurturing strong ties with the local community and building lasting patient relationships. Now, the retiring senior doctor in this father-son practice is looking for someone committed to carrying on those lasting relationships.

The fast-paced practice is profitable, with 40% fee-for-service patients. Dedicated staff – including three with more than 25 years of service – are eager to help you succeed. The retiring doctor says that working in this practice is “a gratifying and rewarding experience, with a high level of appreciation from patients and a very pleasant working environment.”

What Went Wrong: The Quality of Care Wasn’t Up to My Standard

When you’re considering buying or joining a practice, there’s a lot on your plate! You’re reviewing financials, insurance mix, schedules, local competition… the list goes on. 

At ADAPT, we talk a lot about how important philosophy of care is for making successful matches. However, another element is just as crucial: quality of care.  

Every dentist talks about delivering the highest standard of care. And while there are multiple ways to get a great result, that “great result” can look different to each dentist.  

Let’s examine what went wrong when a buyer discovered she strove for a higher standard than the seller.

Practice Profile: Successful, Fun-loving Office with Mentorship

Want to buy a successful, well-established practice with a fun-loving team? Would you appreciate some hands-on mentorship from the selling owners? 
If you are looking for a quality private practice supported by a fun, professional staff, check out this 5-operatory office in suburban Chicago! It has been part of the community for 30 years, steadily growing through word-of-mouth referrals by patients who appreciate the quality work and comfortable atmosphere. 

Non-Competes Are Irrelevant (In a Perfect World)

It seems nearly every dentist knows someone with a similar story: an associate who “came into my practice, soaked up all my knowledge, then opened a practice across the street and took half my patients.”

Such experiences are why non-compete clauses have become almost standard in dental associate employment agreements. For those of you who may not know, a non-compete clause is a legally binding agreement where an employee is prevented from starting a similar business or working for a competitor for a specified period of time after leaving an employer. In dentistry, it also often includes a geographic restriction.

At ADAPT, we hear a lot about non-competes as our members consider changing jobs. These clauses – often overlooked by incoming associates during contract negotiations – can limit a dentist’s future flexibility.

Transition Tale: Where Quality of Care Matters Most

As Dr. Ancy Verdier finished up his periodontics residency at Tufts University, he — like many younger dentists — looked for associateships in the big city. He wanted to be near family in his hometown of Scarsdale, NY but assumed he had to be in Manhattan to practice the kind of dentistry he loved. 

Dr. Verdier was soon working at group practices in Manhattan and the Hamptons, building a great reputation and treating celebrity clients. He even built his own practice from scratch in the Hamptons while still working in other practices and teaching.

Practice Profile: Grow this Low-Overhead Practice with No Competition

Want to buy a practice where you can be busy and productive from your very first day? 1,800+ active patients and two long-term staff are eager to meet the new owner of this busy 3-operatory, small-town practice! This is a great opportunity to buy your first practice or a ready-made satellite practice.

The entire parish has only four dentists serving a population of 14,000. Three of those dentists are over the age of 55. This practice currently refers out all perio and no one does implants or molar endo within 50 miles. That means there’s ample opportunity for you to grow this practice to meet a real need for bread-and-butter dentistry.

No Stupid Questions: Why (and When) Should I Get a Practice Valuation?

Welcome to No Stupid Questions, our new Real Talk series in which we bring in practice transitions experts to answer your most pressing questions. Have a question for our experts? Ask it in the comments below!

For today’s question, we reached out to Chris Mayer of The Heimat Group, ADAPT's trusted transactions partner. Chris holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and has experience valuing dental practices (and other businesses) prior to mergers or acquisitions. Chris graduated with a finance degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business where he was a member of the applied equity market research program specializing in fundamental analysis, equity valuation, and market research. During his University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate program, Chris was selected to attend the Otto Beischeim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany. He also attended the University of Leipzig, Germany where he worked on his Masters in Finance & Economics.

Transition Tale: Better Fit, Perfect Match

Dr. Katie Satula’s busy practice has a well-earned reputation for family-friendly dentistry. The practice has been a fixture in Hales Corners, Wisconsin for over 30 years, treating several generations. [Pictured from left: Drs. Raimann, Satula, Ebert, and Mueller. Drs. Raimann and Mueller were the original owners of the practice and are now enjoying their retirements.]

“I love being your local family dentist who sees a little one for their first appointment, all the way to their great-great grandma and everyone in between,” says Dr. Katie.

When the practice’s senior dentist began planning to retire, Dr. Katie knew she needed to find an associate.

Practice Profile: Seaside Solo Practice with Ideal Work-Life Balance

Looking for a unique opportunity to be the only dentist in a small seaside town? Purchase this practice and enjoy fulfilling work in a beautiful setting.

Check out this practice in Hoodsport, Washington, a small seaside town in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains. Hoodsport is located on the Hood Canal and serves as a gateway to Washington’s Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, and Washington State’s Olympic Forest. This practice is ideal for a solo doctor seeking optimal work-life balance or a satellite practice to grow your business.

Someone Like Me

I was sitting behind special mirrored glass at a research facility watching an interviewer speak with a dentist. We were doing the research for what would become ADA Practice Transitions. I watched as yet another dentist said, “I want to sell my practice to someone like me.”

This sentiment is at the heart of what we are trying to build at ADAPT: we believe that a consistent philosophy of care is critical to the longevity of a dental practice, particularly when a change of ownership occurs.

Previous interviews had taught us that we would hear that statement frequently: “I want to sell my practice to someone like me.” But we had also learned that we needed to dig a little deeper to understand what “like me” actually meant.

Transition Tale: A 'More Scientific' Way to Find the Right Person

Dr. Charles Schmidt’s practice was booked out for weeks. Just as several local dentists were retiring, the Lancaster, New Hampshire area was growing. Both Dr. Schmidt and his associate were busy and getting busier!

Dr. Schmidt needed to hire another associate to keep up with this growth. But he wanted someone who would fit into the practice and the town. After all, this small-town practice is built on relationships, with a close-knit, down-to-earth team. His ideal hire would understand small-town life and be eager to build patient relationships while becoming part of the local community.

With the help of ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT), he found just the right person.

Practice Profile: High-Energy Office Seeks Team Player

Are you comfortable performing all aspects of dentistry, except complicated surgery and implant planning and surgery? Come work in a supportive environment with a great team – but never work a weekend or Friday afternoon again! Join this high-tech, 8-op practice seeking an associate who can be a true team player. You’ll join an exceptional team that cultivates an enthusiastic, harmonious, supportive atmosphere.

As one of the practice owners explains, “You will often hear our patients’ laughter throughout the office. It’s just a fabulous experience here, and we think you’ll love it, too!”

More Than Meets the Eye: Looking Beyond Million-Dollar Collections

You asked, we're answering! Today we're introducing Real Talk to answer your questions about career planning, finance, practice management during transitions, and more. First up is this More Than Meets the Eye post, designed to answer one of our most-asked questions: "How do I compare two practices?"

Practice Profile: Must Love Dogs: Hands-on Associateship with Mentorship

Are you looking for a first associateship where you can get hands-on mentorship?

Do you want to work in a high-tech, innovative practice with a trained therapy dog on staff?

Join this 6-operatory practice where you will be treated as a professional from day one – with all the mentorship you need to grow your career! New grads are welcome and encouraged.

Listen: How Dental Students Can Take Ownership of Their Careers

Our Dr. Suzanne Ebert, VP of Dental Practice & Relationship Management, recently spoke with Yolanda Marrero of the South Florida District Dental Association’s Ain’t That the Tooth podcast. Listen in as they discuss:

Practice Profile: An Associateship with Mentorship & Loan Repayment

Did you get into dentistry to truly help people? Check out this associateship opportunity in a Federally Qualified Community Health Center that strives to make healthcare attainable. Ideal for new grads! Gain the hands-on mentorship you need to build confidence, while potentially qualifying for up to $100,000 in student loan forgiveness.

You’ll join three general dentists working in a fully updated practice that values patient care above all. The clinic specializes in general dentistry, including preventive, restorative, and child screenings.

Practice Profile: Carry On a Tradition of Trusted Care, Enjoy a Waterfront Lifestyle

For 43 years, this 4-operatory practice has built strong, lasting relationships with local patients – which is why they’re now serving third- and fourth-generation families. Buy this practice to carry it into the future with the support of the seller, the team, and the community.

The seller notes, “I have been blessed with an amazing staff that make my workday smooth and enjoyable. I feel my team members are my family and we make decisions together for the overall benefit of the patients that we serve. We take pride in providing quality, compassionate care and going above and beyond to ensure our patient experience is as comfortable as possible. We have gained their trust by listening to their needs. We have educated them to help make the best treatment decisions to maintain a healthy oral environment for years to come. Our patients' trust in us is reflected in a high acceptance rate of our treatment plan suggestions.”

Watch: How Going Independent Can Help Dentists, Patients

Dr. Suzanne Ebert, ADAPT's VP of Dental Practice & Relationship Management, recently appeared on BNN-TV to discuss how independent dentistry is faring in a changing market. Watch as she discusses:

  • The differences between corporate and independent dentistry
  • How growing student loan debt is affecting dentists’ career decisions
  • How COVID-19 accelerated some retirements while nudging some furloughed dentists towards ownership
  • Why dentistry is a great profession for women

Practice Profile: Path to Partnership in an Award-Winning Practice

Looking for an associateship with a path to partnership? Join this high-profile, award-winning, fee-for-service practice! If you are hardworking, motivated, and have at least 3 years of general dentistry experience, you need to learn more about this practice.

The practice owner seeks an associate who will put patient care first, someone who will build valuable relationships while meeting the highest standards. You must be superbly proficient in restorative dentistry and crown and bridge. If you have oral surgery, endodontics, and implant experience – even better!

Practice Profile: Established, Well-Located 4 Operatories in Suburban Denver

Over 30+ years, this solo practice has built a loyal 1,800-patient pool in a growing area. Now it’s your turn: step into this 4-operatory practice in the bustling Denver suburbs and enjoy all that Colorado has to offer!

Practice Profile: Dreams Come True in this Suburban Boutique Practice

Looking for your starter practice or a satellite office? This suburban, family-friendly boutique practice could make your ownership dreams come true!

The seller shares a story:

“Once upon a time, a new dentist set out to build a dental practice. Thirty-five years later, this practitioner is ready to say ‘good bye’ to her multigenerational family of patients – those original patients, their children, even their children’s children.”

Practice Profile: Be Busy & Appreciated in this Full-time Associateship

Want to be more than just a number? This dental practice is the perfect place to launch a meaningful dental career! The senior dentist seeks a full-time associate with a great chair-side manner to commit to learning, continuing education, and giving back. In return, the senior dentist will be dedicated to your professional development. New grads welcome!

What Went Wrong: I Got Too Comfortable in My Associateship

I have said it before, and I will say it again: now is a fantastic time to buy a practice! Today’s low interest rates, motivated buyers, and comprehensive support network can help you launch the next phase of your career.

Practice Profile: 4-op Mountain Practice with Sky-High Potential

This 4-operatory, high-tech office is a young dentist's dream come true. This practice is very profitable on a part-time schedule – giving you the option to expand hours (and profits) or maintain the schedule to enjoy all the nearby mountains have to offer!

All four operatories are updated with the latest technology, including CBCT, digital radiographs, paperless charts, implant surgical kits, PRF machine, sleep apnea diagnostic equipment, electric handpieces, and intraoral cameras. This investment reflects the seller’s commitment to continuous learning and evidence-based care.

Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a Practice

The last year was unsettling for many people, even in a relatively stable profession like dentistry. If you weren’t furloughed, you probably know people who were. 

The pandemic gave a lot of us time to think about the big picture and recalibrate our goals. 

That’s part of the reason I’m seeing so many would-be owners joining ADA Practice Transitions. Some are 10 to 15 years post graduation and say that they have always wanted to own a practice, but for whatever reason, it kept getting pushed to the back burner. The pandemic gave them a new perspective, and they realized they are frustrated by the “lack of control” they have as associates. Now they're ready to take charge of their futures.

Practice Profile: Immediate Productivity, Instant Growth Potential

This immaculate 3-operatory general practice is a terrific value. Everything’s in place so you can be immediately productive: equipment, digital x-ray and patient files, upscale office décor, staff, and patients! Add your skills and a pinch of entrepreneurship to build on this successful boutique practice just outside Chicago.

Practice Profile: Build Your Career in this Well-Established, 5-Op Practice

Steady growth, steady staff, steady patients! Buy this 5-operatory practice to build your career on a solid foundation. With low overhead, strong financials, and a loyal patient pool, you’ll be set for satisfaction.

The seller is happy to provide as much mentorship and guidance as you need to ensure a successful transition.

Practice Profile: Ready to Prosper with Your Leadership

Great staff? Check. All the technology? Check. Updated for COVID? Check. Well-established? Check.

This fully functional, paperless practice has everything. It just needs YOU as its new leader!

For more than 50 years, this practice has served the community and built a loyal patient pool. Now the current owner must retire due to health issues, presenting a prime opportunity for you to step right in!

Humans, AI, and Networks: How ADAPT Makes Connections

In April, we at ADA Practice Transitions celebrated our second anniversary. Our beginnings were modest, launching in just two states, Maine and Wisconsin. Within that first year, we expanded to six additional states. And now, by the end of our second year, we have expanded our service to all 50 states, with customers in every single one of them.

It is a human tendency to use an anniversary as a time of reflection. At ADAPT, our goal has always been to provide a better way of managing transitions for all of dentistry.

We started off with extensive research, where we often heard dentists complain how difficult it is to find a good match. No one had the scope to cast a wide net in matching sellers with buyers or owners with employees. We thought, “The ADA can do that,” and began designing the service to address those complaints.

Practice Profile: Grow in this Associateship with Hands-On Mentorship

Looking for an associateship in a well-established practice where you’ll be busy from day one? Then this 7-operatory practice needs YOU! New grads and recent residents are welcome, as the team is willing to mentor the right person.

For 40 years, this cosmetic and general dentistry practice has fostered warm, sincere relationships that have translated into loyal patients. The two owners have built an amazing team, some of whom have 25+ years of service. Everyone works well together: two doctors, five assistants, four hygienists, and five front office staff. The senior dentist is approaching retirement, while his partner will remain for the long term.

Practice Profile: Build this Small Solo Practice into Your Dream

This well-established solo practice is small but mighty! It could be the ideal place to launch your career – or to slow down.

Founded in 2000, the seller has built a loyal base of patients with just two operatories. However, a third operatory is already plumbed and ready to establish as a hygiene room – and there’s enough space to add a fourth operatory when you’re ready.

OK Boomer! What D’ya Want Millennial?

It is astonishing how many articles, essays, and opinion pieces there are about generational differences between baby boomers and millennials. Not to mention the YouTube videos, memes, and TikToks poking fun and parodying one side or the other. My favorite is here (and I’m a boomer!).

The last thing I want to do is write yet another blog post pontificating on how the generations misunderstand one another. Instead, I want to focus on what both groups share – especially when talking about dentists working together in an office as owner and associate or transitioning a practice from one dentist to another.

Practice Profile: Be Productive from Day One – With Mentorship to Grow the Practice

Ready for a profitable, well-located practice with room to grow – and the mentorship to make it happen?

Check out this solo, 6-operatory practice that currently treats 6,000+ patients. The seller works four days a week, but an average hygiene wait of eight weeks indicates demand to expand the schedule. And with cone beam imaging, paperless records, caries detection devices, digital radiography, and intraoral cameras, you’ll have all the equipment you need to deliver top-quality care.

Webinar Replay: How to Get Started with the Mentorship-to-Ownership Transition Path


83% of graduating dental students report that they want to own a private practice within ten years of graduation, according to American Student Dental Association data.

COVID-19 didn't really change these numbers. But COVID did decrease the amount of hands-on clinical time available to these graduating students.

Practice Profile: Expandable 3-op Practice with a Low-cost, High-quality Lifestyle

This 3-operatory family practice is perfectly located in an area that balances great quality of life with a low cost of living! The fee-for-service model provides a very comfortable lifestyle with the satisfaction of a hands-on general practice.

The seller has set a very reasonable price, so you can afford to buy this practice while building your ideal work-life balance. The area’s shortage of dental providers creates demand to expand – and the space to do so!

Practice Profile: Well-oiled Practice, Eager for a Successful Transition

Purchase this five-operatory practice that runs like a well-oiled machine – backed by a staff and seller eager to help you succeed!

This practice is built with an emphasis on management, systems, exceptional service, and moderate fees. The result is excellent production and collection, with 40% net profit. Better yet, the well-organized, low-stress practice provides plenty of satisfaction for patients, staff, and doctor.

Practice Profile: Minimally-Invasive Practice Where Less is More

If you take a very conservative approach to your dentistry, this solo practice might be perfect!

This 8-operatory practice follows the Minimally Invasive Dentistry philosophy that respects the health, function, and aesthetics of oral tissue by preventing disease from occurring or intercepting its progress with minimal tissue loss. Using techniques such as Air Abrasion, this practice sets a high standard of care where “less is more.”

What Went Wrong: I Sabotaged the Sale

All too often, I see buyers and sellers alike sabotage what could have been a perfect transition. Sometimes, it just was not meant to be. Other times, an earlier mistake stops the entire process. By then, it’s often too late to fix — especially if the mistake has sowed distrust or doubt. 

Let’s look at three scenarios where a sale was torpedoed and explore how things could have turned out better.

Practice Profile: Fee-for-service, Fully Digital Practice Ready for a New Owner

Well-established, amalgam-free, fully computerized practice is ready for you! This 5-operatory, fee-for-service practice has built its reputation on personalized, high quality care.

Practice Profile: Enjoy Work-Life Balance in Wine Country

This 4-operatory solo practice is designed for work-life balance – and located in the perfect place to enjoy that flexibility! The seller explains, “Some live to work; we work to live,” noting that the schedule is optimized to provide for quality personal/family time. “I believe time away allows for improved productivity on the return,” the seller says. “Work is important, but so is life.”

What Went Wrong: Life Happened – And I Had to Sell!

As I talk to dentists preparing for career transitions, some are simply taking the next step on their long-planned path. But others are facing an unplanned change after “life happened” and made them rethink their priorities and goals.

Sometimes it’s a positive reason, like wanting to spend more time with grandchildren or pursue a non-dentistry passion. Other times, a health issue (whether their own or a family member’s) forces a shift. Maybe an elderly parent needs full-time care. Or they’re navigating a divorce or major life change. Sometimes it’s simply burnout.

Practice Profile: 6-Op Practice with Low Overhead & Excellent Collections

Want a well-run practice with very experienced staff dedicated to delivering gentle dentistry? This 6-operatory practice could be perfect for you – and the seller is ready to negotiate and retire!

Practice Profile: Become an Integral Part of this Unique California Town

Be the only full-time dentist in a town that’s quickly rebuilding!

This 4-operatory practice has the technology, staff, and friendly hometown vibes to make a satisfying career. But it also has the distinction of being in Paradise, California which is in the midst of massive rebuilding after the disastrous 2018 Camp Fire. This presents unique opportunities to be part of rebuilding a community.

Listen: What Nobody Told Me About Practice Transitions

What do you wish you knew before starting a practice transition?

Our Dr. Suzanne Ebert recently joined an episode of the Nobody Told Me That podcast with host Teresa Duncan. Together, they discussed how COVID has changed the dental practice landscape, shared tips on preparing for the unexpected – and told stories about some of the stranger situations they have encountered!

Practice Profile: Extremely Low Overhead, Smooth Operations, Great Profit

This well-respected, profitable practice boasts extremely low overhead, thanks to a great sharing arrangement. The 4-operatory practice turns a great profit on 4.5 days a week.

Put Your Name on the Building Sooner with the Mentorship-to-Ownership Path

Have you always dreamed of owning your own practice? Are you ready to take charge of your future now?

Many dentists do. In fact, ASDA data reports that 83% of all dental students aspire to some type of ownership within 10 years after graduation.

If you are looking for a solid pathway to ownership sooner rather than later, and you are confident that you can handle running a practice now but are unable to obtain financing – don’t despair! We have created a pathway that may just be perfect for you.

The Mentorship-to-Ownership Path: Is it Right for Your Practice?

Maybe COVID was the last straw. Perhaps you’re tired of spending sunny days at the office rather than on the golf course. Maybe a health concern now makes practicing difficult, or even impossible.

No matter what the reason, you’re ready to retire ASAP, but you don’t want to leave your patients in the lurch.

And you don’t quite want to sell, not yet. You might need the health insurance until you qualify for Medicare. Or maybe you still want to consult and train your replacement, but simply can’t do the hands-on work any longer.

Practice Profile: Take Advantage of All the Bells & Whistles

Make the most of your skills when you buy one of the most technologically advanced offices in the area! New CBCT, rotary endo, implant surgery systems, Sirona Primescan, extraoral evacuation, Isolite intraoral evacuation — all less than 18 months old.

Practice Profile: Solo Practice, Idyllic Mountain Lifestyle

Be the only dentist in an idyllic, unique town nestled among Washington’s Cascade Mountains! This 3-operatory “local and friendly” practice serves about 1,000 patients from the town and surrounding valley.

To DSO or Not to DSO, That Is the Question

DSOs are one of the most polarizing issues in the current dental economy. People seem to believe they are either “destroying dentistry as we know it” or “the best possible way to practice dentistry,” with very little room in between.

Practice Profile: Fulfilling Associate-to-Partnership in a Top Vacation Destination

Do you feel burned out and controlled by PPOs? Stuck in a corporate model where you feel un-fulfilled with the quality of dentistry you are doing? And do you feel underappreciated (and underpaid)?

Whether you are recently out of residency or about to sell your practice after many years of ownership, this associate position may be the change you are looking for.

Get Outdoors — When Not Working in this Thriving 2-Op Practice

Want a small practice where you can really get to know your patients? This two-operatory solo practice is ready for you — and has room to grow!

What Went Wrong: My Staff Left After I Bought the Practice

When a doctor considers buying a practice, they look beyond the building and the equipment. After all, the patients and staff make a practice!

A strong, loyal patient pool is the most valuable asset in a sale, and long-term, well-trained staff are worth their weight in gold.

But if staff are unhappy with a transition — even if they stick around — patients are more likely to leave. So how can a new owner retain staff and patients after the transition?

Practice Profile: Step into the 'Opportunity of a Lifetime'

Calling all dentists with dreams of ownership: purchase this highly respected, successful practice and set yourself up for a great career! This highly successful 4-operatory solo practice has room to grow – plus the mentorship to help you succeed.

What’s Next: How to Plan for the Dental Career of Your Dreams


As you think about the end of dental school, or how to plan your career, you’re probably wondering, “What's next?”

Far too often, I hear dental students say something like, “My only option is to grab the first job I can find. I know I’m going to be miserable while I increase my speed and clinical skills.” But you don’t need to feel that way!

Practice Profile: Tech-forward & Profitable with Room to Grow in the Hudson Valley

Buy this technology-forward, 100% fee-for-service practice that enjoys fantastic production and a well-earned reputation for delivering top-quality care.

This 4-operatory solo practice is currently open four days a week – but there’s an 11-week wait for hygiene and a 6-week wait for treatment. Meanwhile, the practice receives 8 to 12 calls per day from new patients moving to the area from New York City. That means there’s demand to expand beyond the practice’s current 2,800 patients (and space to do so).

Practice Profile: Fully Equipped Practice in an Underserved, Supportive Community

Looking to run your own solo practice while serving a community that needs a dentist?

If you are mission-driven, this is your chance to step into a fully equipped practice with an eager patient base at minimal cost.

Practice Profile: Grow Your Career in this Fast-Growing Town

This small two-operatory practice has built a loyal following over 35+ years! The practice has high gross and low overhead on just 21 hours a week. Combine that with nearby dentists on the cusp of retirement and a community that’s quickly adding new subdivisions – and seize the growth potential.

How to Tell if that Nice Practice is Right for You

Whether you are considering a new associateship or a practice purchase, you have a lot on your plate! Negotiations, shadowing, weighing your options - and licensure if you’re considering relocating.

So what happens when you find a practice? Before you get in the weeds of credentialing or legal and financial review, make sure this is the right practice for you. After all, you want to choose the practice where you can achieve the perfect blend of career satisfaction, financial stability, AND success.

Practice Profile: 4-Op Practice with No Need to Advertise

Patient-focused practice in coastal Georgia seeks a buyer who can balance clinically necessary treatment with the restraint and discretion that prioritizes patient needs over upsells.

The family-friendly practice is dedicated to delivering clinically relevant dentistry and hygiene in a relaxed atmosphere, with “no corporate oversight, no sales quotas.” Staff and patients all love this approach, relatively unique in the area.

Set Reasonable Expectations for Your First Dental Job (and Whatever Comes Next)

Rounding the corner into your last year or semester of dental school? If you’re on the job hunt, you’re probably wondering what that first job might look like.

Just like in every other field, you may not find the “perfect” forever job right out of the gate. It often takes a few years of working in a few different scenarios before you can learn what type of practice is right for you.

Some people love a bustling, busy practice with a dozen doctors working side by side, each focused on a couple specific treatments. Others prefer to do a little bit of everything and work solo. There’s no right or wrong – it’s a matter of preference.

How Long Does a Practice Transition Take?

As dentists begin their practice transitions, nearly all have the same question on their minds: how long do you think this is going to take?

Feeling Stuck? Take Control of Your Dental Destiny

As an ADA Advisor helping dentists navigate their practice transitions, I talk to many dentists who say they feel “stuck.” When someone says this, I always try to better understand what they mean. Their answers tend to fall into one of a few categories:

  • They have been in their current practice for a few years and feel like there’s no room for advancement. The owner isn’t retiring any time soon and doesn’t want to share patients or responsibility.
  • They are in a corporate practice and like the stability, but feel burned out.
  • They want to buy but aren’t sure how they can afford it, or don’t feel quite ready. (And they know there’s a lot they don’t know.)

ADAPT's Top 10 Posts from 2020

Maybe 2020 didn't go exactly as planned, but now that we're in 2021, we want to catch you up on some of the best practice transition tips we provided in the past year. Here are our most popular blog posts from 2020.

And if you're ready to take the next step in your career, start your ADAPT profile today.

Practice Profile: Be the Only Dentist in Town — at Half the Appraised Value

Buy this small-town practice for half the appraised price and be the only dentist in town! The owner was forced to retire for health reasons, leaving patients to drive 25+ miles to the nearest dentist. The local bank is eager to work with a potential buyer to help bring a dentist back to town – so this could be your perfect opportunity to own a practice with an instant patient base.

More Resources for Your Practice Transition, No Matter Your Goal

When you’re thinking about a practice transition – whether it’s looking for your first job out of dental school, selling your practice, or something in between – make sure you’ve got all the resources you need.

From learning to practice safely during a pandemic to finding ways to accelerate your career, let’s explore a few of the ADA resources that might be useful to you, no matter what career stage you’re in.

Practice Profile: Success = Long-Standing Patient Base + Thriving Small City

Thinking about buying your very own practice? Step into this one and make it your own!

Purchase this 4-operatory practice to deliver high-quality, compassionate dental care to nearly 1500 patients in Kalamazoo, Michigan. With low overhead and strong finances, this practice is the ideal place to build a successful career.

Listen: Two Podcasts, Lots of Advice

Have some time off in the new few days? Check out two recent podcasts with ADAPT’s Dr. Suzanne Ebert, VP of Dental Practice & Relationship Management.

Dr. Ebert drew on her own practice transitions and her work with other doctors to share a stocking full of advice for dentists at every career stage.

How (and Why) ADAPT and the ADA are Connected

As ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT) has expanded nationally, we hear a couple of questions over and over:

  • How is ADAPT related to the American Dental Association?
  • How is ADAPT different from a traditional broker?

Let’s start with ADAPT’s creation story.

Practice Profile: Grow With This Education-Focused New England Practice

Looking for a part-time associateship with room to grow? Check out this New Hampshire practice that’s in the midst of a large-scale renovation that will double chair time. The expansion includes a hygiene room, two operatories, and a new surgical suite, with plans to add cone beam imaging or CAD/CAM to the existing digital radiography and dental lasers. This is your chance to help a well-established practice expand!

Transition Tale: How to Decide If It’s Time to Make a Change

Dr. Sara Makary has worked in several different settings during her career. With each change, she’s gained new skills and experiences that have helped her become a well-rounded practitioner.

But change is never easy. That’s why Dr. Sara advises other dentists to stop and really think about their next move.

Watch: How Mentorship Can Enhance Your Career - No Matter What Phase You're In


Last week’s webinar, How Mentorship Can Enhance Your Career – No Matter What Phase You’re In, sparked so many questions that I couldn’t get through them all during the session! You can now watch the on-demand video.

Practice Profile: Go Beyond Assembly-Line Dentistry at this Friendly Practice

Looking to purchase a dental practice where the patients are truly like family? The team at this long-standing, small-town practice strives to know each patient as an individual so they can deliver friendly, relationship-focused care. And it pays off: many patients who started visiting the office as children now bring their children for treatment – even their grandchildren!

What Does It Actually Cost To Sell A Dental Practice?

Unfortunately, you probably already know the answer to the question “what does it actually cost to sell a dental practice?” – it depends.

Each sale is unique, and there are a number of factors and multiple ways of handling each aspect of the sale. All of them impact the total cost. In this post, we will review some of these factors, offer a range of costs, and talk about ways to minimize or avoid those costs.

First, I want to give an example of the lowest cost, most frictionless dental practice sale I have encountered.

Practice Profile: Purchase a Small-Town Practice in a University City

Purchase this university-town practice to work with a great mix of patients of all ages! The practice balances a small-town feel with updated technology, all in one of US News and World Report’s top-ranked cities.

Transition Tale: How Mentorship Helped One Dentist Build a Thriving Career

Note: this is part one of a two-part interview with Dr. Sara Makary. Be sure to check out the second part, How to Decide If It's Time to Make a Change

When Dr. Sara Makary started her career, she followed a path taken by many of her peers: a job in corporate dentistry. “I thought this is probably a good way to get introduced to dentistry, to patients, and have a safety net of providers around me,” she said. “As a fresh graduate, we walk into uncertain territory. When you get out of school, your security blanket gets stripped off very fast.”

Practice Profile: Modern, Green Dentistry in a Picturesque New England Mill Town

Join this practice near the heart of a historic New Hampshire mill town just an hour north of Boston. They’re seeking a new associate to help maintain a tradition of excellent care, serving their community since 1951. Now treating a fourth generation of patients, many folks in their 80s and beyond have never been to another dentist, and their crowns and fillings are evidence of the team’s decades-long commitment to quality. The staff also features a lot of consistency, as some boast over twenty years with the practice.

Prepare & Prioritize: How to Negotiate with Confidence

Does the thought of negotiating keeping you up at night?

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about negotiations. After all, the stakes can be high – especially when you really want something to work out.

At ADA Practice Transitions, we act as facilitators, not negotiators. That means that we help you prepare to negotiate and offer tips to protect your interests.

We have found that a bit of preparation can go a long way towards making the experience smoother and more successful. Even if you haven’t yet found your perfect match (and if you haven’t – create your free profile to get started!), it’s smart to start thinking about what you want achieve from your upcoming transition. If you understand what you want and what you need to move forward, you will be coming to the negotiating table with clear goals that can pave the way.

Practice Profile: Friendliest Office in Town, Devoted to Patient Relationships

This small-city family practice is known as the “friendliest office in town” – and it shows! Even with several larger clinics nearby, this practice draws patients from two counties who prefer the relational aspect of a private practice.

To this owner, dentistry is about “much more than fixing teeth” – rather, she and her long-term staff aim to have a meaningful impact on their patients’ lives. That’s why they’re committed to thorough, unhurried, personalized care.

“I’m Just Looking For A Haircut,” Or Why Culture Matters

I used to go to an old school barber shop with the striped pole, containers of blue Barbicide jammed with combs, and lots of kitschy sports memorabilia. I loved that barber shop. And I loved my barber because he could tell that I was there to get my haircut and not to fill him in on everything that had happened over the last six weeks. When I got in the barber chair, it was all business. Our conversation consisted of, “Same as always?” to which I responded, “Yep.” I loved that.

Practice Profile: Work-life Balance with a Mountain View

Nestled right at the gateway to the Mount Washington Valley, this small-town solo practice offers a wonderful work-life balance – including a mountain view right from the office.

Whether it’s extractions and immediate denture insertion, implant placement and restoration, or molar endo and crown delivery, this practice offers “one-stop shopping.” Only periodontal patients are routinely referred out.

Found a Practice? Don’t Overlook These 5 Must-Ask Questions

When you are searching for a new practice, whether as an associate or buyer, how do you decide where you can be the most successful?

What do you do when multiple options look about the same on paper?

Practice Profile: Family-Friendly Dentistry at its Finest

This quintessential family-friendly practice is ready for its new owner! The standalone building includes three operatories, an in-house lab, and digital radiography, all in one of the nation’s best college towns. The long-term staff members (some with 20 to 30 years!) are devoted to their patients, and the feeling is mutual – this is a very loyal patient base that loves the friendly, efficient team.

Practice Profile: Beautiful, Bustling Small-Group Practice with all the Tech

This beautiful small group practice is located in what Forbes has named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns,” just a stone’s throw from gorgeous Acadia National Park.

The practice boasts all the tech bells and whistles: Surgically Clean Air Filters in treatment rooms and reception area, Dry Shield kits, CBT x-ray machine, Trios scanner, EMS Airflow Master in hygiene treatment rooms (ultimate prophylaxis and periodontal disease management device), Bien Air Implant equip, Piezatom, digital x-ray units, Tech Scan, JVA, VELscope, and Diagnadent. The practice also offers TMD therapy, including injection therapy and oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.

Listen: How Practice Ownership Can Offer Better Work-Life Balance

ADA Practice Transitions VP of Dental Practice & Relationships, Dr. Suzanne Ebert, recently appeared on the Mommy Dentists in Business podcast.

During the conversation with host Dr. Grace Yum, Dr. Ebert shared her career story: from starting dental school with toddlers and establishing her own practice to transitioning into a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Find out how she's now using her skills to help dentists successfully navigate their own transitions through ADAPT.

Practice Profile: A Strong Legacy with Modern Tech & Treatments

Since 1948, this family-run practice has been a community fixture. Now it’s your turn to care for the long-term, loyal patients in a great small town!

Transition Tale: Finding a Second Practice with a Similar Philosophy

Drs. Bob and Heather Heil owned two successful Wisconsin practices. After a tragic fire destroyed one of their practices, they began looking for another to help meet their personal financial goals. Despite years of searching and working with brokers, they didn’t find just the right place until Dr. Bob joined ADAPT.

Practice Profile: Small-City Practice with Big-Time Opportunity

Looking to purchase an established general dentistry practice with room for growth? Check out this well-respected practice in a small city. With low overhead and strong collections, the current owner makes a comfortable living working just 30 hours per week and referring out ortho, periodontics, endodontics, and oral surgery. With four treatment rooms, that means the practice has the space and capacity to grow to your ambition!

How (and Why) to Prepare for Tough Questions When Selling or Hiring

What kind of impression does your practice make?

Whether you’re selling or hiring, your success hinges on what potential buyers or hires think about your practice. And that impression often goes beyond the initial curb appeal. (See: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Practice’s Curb Appeal.)

When dentists are looking to join a new practice, whether as an owner or associate, they’re wise to look beyond that first impression. In fact, a smart candidate will take the time to dig deeper to see how well the practice runs. After all, the practice could become their professional home!

Practice Profile: Step into this Established Small-Group Practice

This small-group family dentistry practice has been serving the local community since 1973, with five partners over that time. Every associate has become a full partner, and each has stayed until retirement. Now it’s your turn to join: one of the current owners is retiring and selling his portion! He’s even willing to help finance the purchase, and the two other owners are happy to act as mentors.

Now Open Nationwide: ADA Practice Transitions

It’s finally happening! 

Starting today, ADA Practice Transitions is now accepting profiles from dentists in all 50 states!

Practice Profile: Solo Practice with an Experienced, Supportive Team

This thriving dental office is seeking its new owner! The experienced, humble team of exceptionally hardworking, compassionate staff are eager to support this new owner.

The self-sustaining practice is one of just two in a small Central Wisconsin town. Located on Main Street near the town’s middle and high schools, the practice keeps flexible hours to meet patients’ needs. In addition to preventive and restorative services, the practice offers endodontics, orthodontics, and implants. And since the current owner does not work five days a week, there’s plenty of opportunity to grow with your ambition.

Watch: Finding the Practice that Fits You

A dental career offers so many potential paths. As your skills expand and interests evolve, it’s smart to periodically review your options. You might discover that you want to buy a practice, expand your services — or reduce your own hours. A family health issue, your partner’s career, or another factor might also prompt you to consider a change.

How can you think through what is right for you?

Watch: Bringing Together Two Dentists for Mentorship and Growth


Dr. Gagnon needed another dentist in her practice after her father retired. Dr. Sikora wanted her first associateship out of dental school to include plenty of hands-on mentorship – in a state where she had no connections.

Practice Profile: Low Overhead, High Growth Potential

Be the only dentist in a family-friendly, fast-growing town with good schools! This beautiful Wisconsin area boasts plentiful nearby entertainment and outdoor leisure, including a network of hiking trails and lots of local fishing and hunting.

Webinar Replay: Find Career Success with ADA Practice Transitions

ADA Practice Transitions goes beyond practice transactions to focus on the whole transition. Rather than being just another listing service, we focus on connecting dentists who share a similar practice approach – which leads to more successful transitions and careers.

This week’s webinar explored exactly how (and why) we do things this way. Watch the replay, with ADAPT President & CEO Bill Robinson and VP of Dental Practice and Relationships, Dr. Suzanne Ebert, to learn:

  • How ADAPT is designed to help you find a match and success long after the contracts are signed
  • 10 ways that ADAPT is different from traditional practice transition options
  • How to showcase your skills or practice to find the right match for you

3 Ways ADAPT is Making Practice Transitions Less Expensive

While doing the research that led to the development of ADA Practice Transitions, we found a common theme: Dentists who had sold their practice frequently shared that they spent too much money with a broker – and felt they did not receive commensurate value.

We developed ADA Practice Transitions to focus on philosophy of care – matching dentists with a similar approach, for a more successful result – but we also wanted to give dentists a more cost-effective option. We designed our service to deliver tremendous value in a manner that was less expensive than the other options, sometimes by a lot.

Practice Profile: Practice Where Everyone Wants to Vacation

This five operatory, 1600 square foot office suite is located in a beautiful brick-clad, hospital-built, professional building. The updated practice includes Digital Pan and Softdent, with low overhead and a healthy base of established patients. The current owner does not work every day, so there’s plenty of room to grow.

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