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Dentist -- highest overhead out of any other profession

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by ADH03, 11.13.08.


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  1. ADH03

    ADH03

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    So I'm assisting for this dentist that just started her practice... but graduated dental school 8 years ago. And she said, "Dont go to dentistry, ADH03. Dentists have the one of the highest overhead out there. You really wont be earning much cuz 2/3 of what patients pay goes to your bills for the practice. "

    Is this true or is it just her? Cuz I really like dentistry, but if I'm going to commit time and money, I need to know that I'm making a good investment for my future. AVG dental salary is around $150,000. Is 2/3 of that going to the practice/taxes/expenses?

    It's bugging me cuz she tells me every other day I work at her practice!!!
    Last edited: 11.13.08
  2. smallnugget

    smallnugget

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    The dentist i shadow said the overhead is about 70 percent. He still makes a good buck though.
  3. appleonius

    appleonius Junior Member

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    depends on how you manage your practice. ideal overhead for a general dentist is 55% i believe. (well, ideally it's zero but i'm being realistic)

    edit: & no that's not how a small business works. in a private practice say you make 500k. out of that, we'll say your overhead is 60% (or 300k). then your salary can be 150k and you can put the other 50k back into the business.

    that's a really simplified version but it's basically like that.

    *****************

    edit 2: the actual overhead is ~65%. i looked it up in my notes. specialties tend to have lower overhead.
    Last edited: 11.13.08
  4. anatty

    anatty Hollenback Girl

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    The salary you see quoted is usually AFTER overhead etc etc. So if your practice makes 1 mil (arbitrary number) gross, after you pay overhead, taxes and your employee salary you'll get the 150k (again arbitrary number). Overhead doesn't come out of your salary it comes out of the gross production of the practice.
  5. sajjy

    sajjy

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    So your dentist knows you as ADH03??:D:D
  6. ADH03

    ADH03

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    Yeah I thought it was like that. But why does she always keep telling me someone with a 4 year degree will earn higher than I will. Apparently, her dad said yesterday, "Did you tell ADH03 yet that there's no money in dentistry?" I just dont get it.
  7. ADH03

    ADH03

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    Yeah it gets awkward at the workplace sometimes cuz she forgets the last 2 numbers of my name. :laugh:
  8. vlct0ria

    vlct0ria

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    She doesn't sound like much of a mentor...what's the point in letting a predent shadow if she's just going to discourage you from pursuing your goals because "there's no money in dentistry"...?
  9. jaypea65

    jaypea65

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    I can tell you that my best friend is a dentist. I am privy to his finances. His overhead is 51%, and he makes well above average for a dentist.
  10. shoombol tallah

    shoombol tallah Big Boy

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    Only thing i can think of is that she's afraid of competition or incredibly slow and see's two patients a day. Dentistry is very lucrative if you know how to do it right. A lot of that also has to do with your assistants and front office staff and how they schedule your patients.
  11. mirk3

    mirk3

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    This is ludacris. I asked the dentist I job shadow, and I was asking about the average dentist salary being 150k he's like "that's it?" He said he and his partners make way more than that. If you make the right business decisions, you can make good money. It's like any business.
  12. DiNoZeRo2o9

    DiNoZeRo2o9

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    70% is probably the max. My dentist's overhead is 30k each month, but she pulls in 60-90k (hit 100k a few times) a month. At a minimum of 30k x 12, she is making 360k a year for herself. Shes probably more towards 400-450k. Shes practiced for 9 years, but has had her own practice for 3. As an associate you usually start at 500-700 a day, which is the average dental salary. Almost no seasoned dentist makes under 200k I would imagine (as long as hes competent, personable, and good at what he does with a little business savvy)
  13. Bruinlove

    Bruinlove

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    Are there many associate jobs available after graduation?
  14. 206127

    206127

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    Here in California there is always Western Dental... they are always hiring...
  15. Bruinlove

    Bruinlove

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    But, don't they pay you like 70K before tax? You can barely pay for education debt with such an amount.
  16. ADH03

    ADH03

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    Ohhh yeah. I really dont feel like going to work most of the time. She says that she's just telling me how it is in the real world so I wont have any false hopes.... ????


    Well.. its just me and her and she handles the front desk as well. Isnt that how its supposed to be when you're starting your practice? Do you think that it may just be the new practice slump?
  17. shoombol tallah

    shoombol tallah Big Boy

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    lol well there you go! i honestly dont know why she bothers doing the front desk aswell. Thats why she's not making money. Hire a good office manager even if you dont want to pay for a receptionist and let her deal with insurance and appointments. That way you can spend those hours saved actually working on patients. Hmmmm lets see pay someone $20 dollars an hour and have them do it while I spend that hour doing a $800 dollar RCT....naa screw it i'll do the paperwork and save the $20 lol. Sounds like your mentor should have worked as an associate in order to learn the business side of dentistry before she started her own practice.
  18. DrDDSman

    DrDDSman

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    Can I get your autograph or is that a ludicrous request?
  19. MoooShuuu

    MoooShuuu

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    I was watching Chris Rock standup the other day on HBO and he was going on and on how ridiculous it is that HIS (I mean, huge famous comedian that he is) neighbor is a dentist. But of course he attributed it to his dentist being white. haha oh boy...

    Just thought it was interesting that he brought up dentists because he feels that of course a black comedian like himself should be WAY wealthier than a dentist... then I changed the channel. :laugh:
  20. smallnugget

    smallnugget

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    Whats the average salary of a associate? I think opening a new practice would be too risky and could really hurt you in the long run. Being an associate for a little and gettin the chance to learn the business side would be the best choice.
  21. DrDDSman

    DrDDSman

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    He also mentioned he lived in the same neighborhood as Jay-Z and Mary J Blige. That dentist is no run of the mill average dentist. Yeah he was saying it in a self-deprecating manner, but the reality is that the dentist probably nets more than 500-750k a year.
  22. lhtran07

    lhtran07

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    Sounds like she has very little business sense! Go shadow a dentist that has good business and see how a private practice should really be run. Also having a great staff goes a long way!!
  23. harrygt

    harrygt

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    Funniest Shombool alive!:laugh:
  24. DROCKINDAHOUSE

    DROCKINDAHOUSE UTHSCSA c/o 2013

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    I think its funny how this word is conspicuously used. He can't just be a comedian...he's a BLACK comedian.
  25. DiNoZeRo2o9

    DiNoZeRo2o9

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    I heard they pay at least a minimum of 120k with incentive bonuses....aka work faster, do more shotty dentistry but faster, and get paid more....very questionable ethically...thats why Western Dental has such a bad rep tho.
  26. Bruinlove

    Bruinlove

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    Oh, wow. 120K + bonus right after graduation sounds much more hopeful than I thought.
    But, are you sure that they are always hiring? I'm curious cuz my dad's friend's son is graduating with 400K debt this year and he is very worried that he won't find any job.
  27. DiNoZeRo2o9

    DiNoZeRo2o9

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    I don't know about the always hiring thing, but thats the pay grade I heard from Western from friends.
  28. dentalmagnet

    dentalmagnet

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    I have had A LOT of work done at Western dental. (Cavities filled, wisdom teeth pulled, exams, etc.) I would say they do a below average job. They had a horrible reputation where I lived. I just went because I was broke and my insurance was crappy.
  29. jigabodo

    jigabodo

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    I do think speed plays a major role when it comes to dentistry.

    It's been 2 months since operative started for me, and I've noticed that there is a CONSIDERABLE difference in speed between fellow classmates.

    Some people can drill it, fill it, polish it all in 30 minutes and be able to get it checked off by professors, while some others can spend up to 3 hours just prepping one single tooth.
  30. diplo123

    diplo123

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    No, he's serious. He is ludacris. "yeah! okay!"
  31. Andrew324

    Andrew324

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    ...
  32. dr bojangles

    dr bojangles

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    agreed. for those wondering, its alpine, nj.....a VERY wealthy little town, right across the river from nyc. i'd say he pulls ~300-500/year.
  33. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"

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  34. DentalChoo

    DentalChoo

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    Haha,...I think that is Lil John, but still funny
  35. Mazmel

    Mazmel

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    Sweet! I live literally in the next town to Alpine.... maybe I'll open up my practice there :)
  36. diplo123

    diplo123

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    haha i'm getting my rappers mixed up.
  37. hawk21

    hawk21

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    bahahahaha
  38. ArmyDDS2013

    ArmyDDS2013

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    Whatever is left over after paying the overhead is at your disposal as the owner.

    You can pay yourself whatever salary you want and then keep the rest in the business account. Do what's best in terms of accounting and tax brackets lol
  39. 92CamaroLS1

    92CamaroLS1

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    Is dentistry lucrative... absolutely. Are you going to be rich overnight? Absolutely not. Thats what MBAs are for. But the thing about dentistry is you would probably have to try to make less than 100k a year as a GP as long as you have some semblance of a work ethic, but in business you could make $1 million a year or $15k a year. In terms of stability and income I would say dentistry is one of the most successful professions out there... knowing that, worry about getting through it first and worry about how much your overheads going to be when your at that point.
  40. doc toothache

    doc toothache

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    Keep this in mind a few years from now when you become one of their associates.
  41. Kneecoal

    Kneecoal

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    what do websites like payscale take into account when they calculate things like median salary? it seems average/on the lower end of what everyone here is saying.
  42. EndangeredPasta

    EndangeredPasta what?

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    Payscale is really messed up sometimes. salary.com is a much better site to estimate salary potential.
  43. Kneecoal

    Kneecoal

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    salary.com said pretty much the same thing too, if i remember correctly. oh well, just wondering.
  44. TRN1983

    TRN1983 MS1 - I.e. "Know nothing"

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    I believe it. My wife's employer has about $45k/mo in overhead :eek:
  45. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    Yea but how much does the practice gross each month?
  46. NyCzPeter

    NyCzPeter

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    I think with good management skills, one can lower overhead to about 50-55% as a GP. I've never worked at a dental office so I don't really know, but one thing I do know - we're not starving anytime soon. So don't worry about it.
  47. OMFS08

    OMFS08 Tooth Extractornator

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    Wow, that is outrageous, first of all there are many factors to take into account, she may be a bad dentist and some of her patients do not return, she may have jumped into private practice too early, the area she practices in may be saturated with dentists or have a small patient pool, also is she a specialist or just general dentist?

    This is a poor mentor, IMO I would suggest (NOT advise) that you find a better mentor that has enthusiasm and encourages you into the profession...

    Much luck to you and please do not get daunted, just apply and see for yourself.:idea:
  48. TRN1983

    TRN1983 MS1 - I.e. "Know nothing"

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    He's pretty darn successful a 1.2million dollar/yr practice and he seems to keep about half. But, the point of the thread was the overhead, and it is high. :D I know another dentist whose overhead is about $35k/mo and he's not operating anywhere near that 1.2mn mark.
  49. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    What makes the overhead so high? I mean, 1.2mil gross/year is nothing to complain about...but what's sucking up all the profit?
  50. TRN1983

    TRN1983 MS1 - I.e. "Know nothing"

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    I don't know. It's probably equipment lease/loan payments primarily with additional advertising and property rent/lease costs. Most dental office staff don't make that much money, so the money has to be coming from somewhere else. E.g. his office probably has about $18k/mo in employee payroll for 5 employees.

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