andykim47

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The CEOs of Comfort Dental came in to talk to our school and said some very interesting things that I am not sold on. One main question I have is does the average Comfort Dental dentist really make $200,000+ a year? I fell like that number is to high, especially for a new dentist.

Also the CEO made Comfort Dental sound awesome to work for (like anyone would expect to hear from the CEO), but I have heard really bad things about it from a majority of dentist, and that you are required to charge patients for work they don't need to meet a quota. Can anyone talk about their experience of working at Comfort Dental.

And can anyone tell me the differences between Comfort Dental, corporate dentistry, and private dentistry?

Thanks
 

Silent Cool

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Not much, bit it's a start.
 
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The CEOs of Comfort Dental came in to talk to our school and said some very interesting things that I am not sold on. One main question I have is does the average Comfort Dental dentist really make $200,000+ a year? I fell like that number is to high, especially for a new dentist.

Also the CEO made Comfort Dental sound awesome to work for (like anyone would expect to hear from the CEO), but I have heard really bad things about it from a majority of dentist, and that you are required to charge patients for work they don't need to meet a quota. Can anyone talk about their experience of working at Comfort Dental.

And can anyone tell me the differences between Comfort Dental, corporate dentistry, and private dentistry?

Thanks
You might be in dental school, but it is amazing how gullible dental students can be!
 

Silent Cool

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You might be in dental school, but it is amazing how gullible dental students can be!

Yeah, seriously.

The only way to get 200K at a corp. chain is by selling your soul.
 
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gryffindor

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OP sounds like he was born last night.
Now that's harsh. Most of us when I was in school didn't know the difference between jobs either. Most of us thought there were these "jobs" waiting for us after we graduated. I don't blame the OP for asking these questions, and he at least questioned what the CEO told them. The scary part is the people in his class who probably believed the CEO and think there are many dental jobs out there like the CEO described.

I had not heard of Comfort dental until a few years ago and that's only because I read Dentaltown. I still don't understand what might make them different from any other chain except that they might be franchised whereas some of the other big chains are not franchised?
 

Shunwei

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Now that's harsh. Most of us when I was in school didn't know the difference between jobs either. Most of us thought there were these "jobs" waiting for us after we graduated. I don't blame the OP for asking these questions, and he at least questioned what the CEO told them. The scary part is the people in his class who probably believed the CEO and think there are many dental jobs out there like the CEO described.

I had not heard of Comfort dental until a few years ago and that's only because I read Dentaltown. I still don't understand what might make them different from any other chain except that they might be franchised whereas some of the other big chains are not franchised?
My opinion is that corp is all the same. The catch of corp dental is the illusion that clinical dentistry and the business aspects can be divorced. Truth is you can't, because relinquishing the $$$ aspects allows the ugly head of human nature to be raised. Hence the constant high turnaround.

Perhaps I was a bit too harsh with the OP, but a lot of threads have been made here about corp dentistry and again a simple search function would yield a wealth of information, like Cold Fronts thread about Aspen, etc. In the end, it's really the same whether its comfort dental, aspen dental, _________ (fill in the blank) Smiles, and so forth.
 
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I know many dentists and higher executives within Comfort. It's completely different from the other corporate chains. Every dentist within comfort owns 25% of their practice and has much more autonomy than an employee dentist elsewhere. There is a buy-in price depending on location and financing options available. Each office is typically staffed with 4 dentists, each working 30-36 hrs per week. They are open 7a-7p M-F and 7a-1p Sat. With 66 operating hours per week, revenue from 4 docs, bulk discounts from suppliers, and their own lab, they keep overhead between 40-45%. So a 2 million dollar comfort practice will pay its docs twice what a 2 million dollar private practice would @70% overhead. In states that permit, utilize EFDAs and typically work in quadrants. There are no treatment plan coordinators like you would find at any chain dental office, dentists handle the Tx plans every step of the way including the financials. That being said, these docs work long hard hours and the job isn't for everyone. Most of the dentistry is very basic, as dictated by their typical patient demographics. I don't like the idea of corporate/franchise dentistry but if I had to go with one, it would definitely be Comfort.
 

DentinBond

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Every dentist who says "no" to working for a corporate chain weakens corporate dentistry by a measurable degree.

Every owner dentist who treats her employees with respect and grace weakens corporate dentistry by a measurable degree.

And, most important of all:
Every patient who leaves the corporate dental realm of overtreatment (every new patient needs scaling & root planing; needs multiple molar endo and crowns regardless of actual caries depth; "needs" veneers; and so on) and the industrialist's factory mindset, and returns to a bespoke dental practice where she is listened to and respected as an individual--Every such patient weakens corporate dentistry by a measurable degree.

Drip, drip, drip and in time you have an ocean...
 

Cold Front

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I know many dentists and higher executives within Comfort. It's completely different from the other corporate chains. Every dentist within comfort owns 25% of their practice and has much more autonomy than an employee dentist elsewhere. There is a buy-in price depending on location and financing options available. Each office is typically staffed with 4 dentists, each working 30-36 hrs per week. They are open 7a-7p M-F and 7a-1p Sat. With 66 operating hours per week, revenue from 4 docs, bulk discounts from suppliers, and their own lab, they keep overhead between 40-45%. So a 2 million dollar comfort practice will pay its docs twice what a 2 million dollar private practice would @70% overhead. In states that permit, utilize EFDAs and typically work in quadrants. There are no treatment plan coordinators like you would find at any chain dental office, dentists handle the Tx plans every step of the way including the financials. That being said, these docs work long hard hours and the job isn't for everyone. Most of the dentistry is very basic, as dictated by their typical patient demographics. I don't like the idea of corporate/franchise dentistry but if I had to go with one, it would definitely be Comfort.
You are obviously endorsing Comfort Dental because the guy who owns the chain in your city (Columbus) made it look a great franchise and you fell for it.

I know Comfort has been expanding in Columbus the past 2-3 years with new locations, and some are personally not doing great (direct words from their local rep). Yes they might be offering great pay to dentists, but the doctors are doing dentistry they don't enjoy or rave about to their colleagues.

To the OP: don't take the bait. $200k is a small change to your true potential. I was in your shoes 3 years ago (2010) and signed up with Aspen, while I was building my first office right out of school. Today, I have 3 locations and associates that helped accomplish my goals. Think beyond your first year out of school, only work as an associate if your options are limited (I.e. saturated market, or other unfortunate circumstances). I would explore a plan of where you wish to see yourself 5 years out of school. Do you really wish to be at Comfort Dental? Or would you rather be enjoying the flexibility of a position where you have better control of your career and free from franchise style dentistry? The choice is yours.
 

Colorado2011

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Interesting post. Having gone to Colorado and now practicing in Denver, its hard not to notice Comfort Dental and what they are doing. I have several friends working there, one that's left, and have interviewed with them twice. I'm currently in a private practice. I would say Dr. Kushner's $200k is more than accurate. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say the majority make much more than that. It is one of the few corp dental groups that actually let you make what you earn, if and only if, you are willing to fork over the money to buy-in. That's the catch with Comfort compared to the others. There's a buy-in. Most corps pay a flat 25% and docs are making $110-130k. So -- if you buy in (at $300-700k per doc depending on the office) and collect 55% of what you produce, why wouldn't you expect to make at least $200k? There are Comfort docs making 160k and one in Cherry Creek making $1 mil per year (no, that's not an exaggeration). I'd agree with the previous poster that out of all the corp groups, Comfort is one of the better. Maybe not for the PATIENT but it definitely is for the DENTIST. Owned and run by a dentist that isn't afraid to pay his dentists what they earn. Case in point, look at Pacific dental. You start out at 25% and many make 400-500/day. Eventually they let you "buy-in" and you get 49% of the leftover office profit (for the same price as buying your own office). The rest goes to corporate. No matter what you do, you'll never make over 40% of your production nor are you given enough control to change that. They only sell 49% on purpose. Majority = power. You relinquish a lot of control. Comfort on the other hand lets each office work as an independent team and all corporate asks for is a 5% royalty fee. Yes, that a lot of money but it's peanuts compared to what these other corp chains take. Kushner gets it. Does he make a lot of money? Oh ya! But it's nothing compared to Steve Thorne at Pacific Dental or the Ontario Teachers hedge fund at Heartland Dental. But (there's always a but, right?) -- things aren't always rosy. They work hard hours. Even their own doctors will claim 30-36 hour work weeks. Many don't realize how much they actually work. I eventually quit working out with a friend because he consistently got home after 9:30 every night. In his mind he only worked 6 hours because his shift was 1:30-7:30. He was easily doing 45hr weeks and didn't even realize it. It's also hard work. Comfort dental is busy busy busy because they are cheap cheap cheap. Three columns of hygiene and two columns of restorative is more than common. How else can you make $300k+ charging ~$500/crown? Are there scammers? Of course! They are everywhere. Comfort is no different. I would say 1 in 3 patients that I extracted teeth on in dental school wrote "I first went to Comfort dental..." on the chief complaint portion of the med history and here I was pulling it out. Ask any Colorado grad, they'll tell you the same thing. You'll soon learn that many private docs are screwing people just as hard. You just don't hear about them because Comfort is 200+ dentists strong and the private guys are smaller scale. The only advice I have is this. And I wish every dental student in the USA could hear this. Don't sell yourself short. As a dentist, you have the potential to make A LOT of money. I have managed $160-200/yr since graduating -- all while working as an associate. My boss makes $500k/yr with one office working 4 days a week. My sister makes $350k/yr on three days a week. The money is out there, you just have to own a business to make it. And by business, I mean your OWN business. The ADA has the average salary around $130k/yr for dentist. This is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. I made more than that fresh out of school! If you permanently join a corporate group via a buy in, you're in it for the long haul. $250k/yr may feel like a lot, but your private practice counterparts are making more. Part of your paycheck goes into an insane amount of marketing because of patient turn over, an overpaid office manager, board members, salaried attorneys, compliance team, HR, and of course a CEO with a private jet. You can't tell me they are taking money out of your paycheck to cover those expenses! You also don't have any of the tax advantages or write-offs that come with owning a business. I'd say $250k as a business owner is as much as $350k as a W-2 just because of the write-offs and loop holes. Corp dentistry is a job, but you owe it to yourself to aim higher than being someone else's minion. You can do much better on your own. You just have to trust yourself to take the risk and lead.
 

Shunwei

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Interesting post. Having gone to Colorado and now practicing in Denver, its hard not to notice Comfort Dental and what they are doing. I have several friends working there, one that's left, and have interviewed with them twice. I'm currently in a private practice. I would say Dr. Kushner's $200k is more than accurate. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say the majority make much more than that. It is one of the few corp dental groups that actually let you make what you earn, if and only if, you are willing to fork over the money to buy-in. That's the catch with Comfort compared to the others. There's a buy-in. Most corps pay a flat 25% and docs are making $110-130k. So -- if you buy in (at $300-700k per doc depending on the office) and collect 55% of what you produce, why wouldn't you expect to make at least $200k? There are Comfort docs making 160k and one in Cherry Creek making $1 mil per year (no, that's not an exaggeration). I'd agree with the previous poster that out of all the corp groups, Comfort is one of the better. Maybe not for the PATIENT but it definitely is for the DENTIST. Owned and run by a dentist that isn't afraid to pay his dentists what they earn. Case in point, look at Pacific dental. You start out at 25% and many make 400-500/day. Eventually they let you "buy-in" and you get 49% of the leftover office profit (for the same price as buying your own office). The rest goes to corporate. No matter what you do, you'll never make over 40% of your production nor are you given enough control to change that. They only sell 49% on purpose. Majority = power. You relinquish a lot of control. Comfort on the other hand lets each office work as an independent team and all corporate asks for is a 5% royalty fee. Yes, that a lot of money but it's peanuts compared to what these other corp chains take. Kushner gets it. Does he make a lot of money? Oh ya! But it's nothing compared to Steve Thorne at Pacific Dental or the Ontario Teachers hedge fund at Heartland Dental. But (there's always a but, right?) -- things aren't always rosy. They work hard hours. Even their own doctors will claim 30-36 hour work weeks. Many don't realize how much they actually work. I eventually quit working out with a friend because he consistently got home after 9:30 every night. In his mind he only worked 6 hours because his shift was 1:30-7:30. He was easily doing 45hr weeks and didn't even realize it. It's also hard work. Comfort dental is busy busy busy because they are cheap cheap cheap. Three columns of hygiene and two columns of restorative is more than common. How else can you make $300k+ charging ~$500/crown? Are there scammers? Of course! They are everywhere. Comfort is no different. I would say 1 in 3 patients that I extracted teeth on in dental school wrote "I first went to Comfort dental..." on the chief complaint portion of the med history and here I was pulling it out. Ask any Colorado grad, they'll tell you the same thing. You'll soon learn that many private docs are screwing people just as hard. You just don't hear about them because Comfort is 200+ dentists strong and the private guys are smaller scale. The only advice I have is this. And I wish every dental student in the USA could hear this. Don't sell yourself short. As a dentist, you have the potential to make A LOT of money. I have managed $160-200/yr since graduating -- all while working as an associate. My boss makes $500k/yr with one office working 4 days a week. My sister makes $350k/yr on three days a week. The money is out there, you just have to own a business to make it. And by business, I mean your OWN business. The ADA has the average salary around $130k/yr for dentist. This is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. I made more than that fresh out of school! If you permanently join a corporate group via a buy in, you're in it for the long haul. $250k/yr may feel like a lot, but your private practice counterparts are making more. Part of your paycheck goes into an insane amount of marketing because of patient turn over, an overpaid office manager, board members, salaried attorneys, compliance team, HR, and of course a CEO with a private jet. You can't tell me they are taking money out of your paycheck to cover those expenses! You also don't have any of the tax advantages or write-offs that come with owning a business. I'd say $250k as a business owner is as much as $350k as a W-2 just because of the write-offs and loop holes. Corp dentistry is a job, but you owe it to yourself to aim higher than being someone else's minion. You can do much better on your own. You just have to trust yourself to take the risk and lead.
The 2nd part is right on. A corp dentist, even if doing extremely well, will probably still be capped around 200k in a hard ceiling, because there is only so much dentistry a human being can produce and given a fraction of that pie. Especially with tuition now skyrocketing, taking a risk on a private business might be the only way to go to get out of debt sooner, or else it might be a career shackle hard to shake. I am getting my own office in two months. A lot of work, yes, but I look forward to calling my own shots and getting all of the profits for myself. Not having to answer to a bunch of corp suits who know nothing about dentistry is a big plus too.
 

Colorado2011

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I just think a lot of dental students are naive about their potential. Owning your own business will pocket you at least $100-200k extra on top of the expected $120-150k. Chains don't want you to know that. They brainwash people into thinking 200-250k is the best the profession can provide. They want you to believe owning a practice is rocket science and "too risky". "We run the business so you can focus on what you do best -- dentistry!" I love that line. Following that piece they should add "thanks for the $100k you leave on the table every year, you don't need it anyways!" There's a reason dental corps are popping up everywhere. It's profitable. Where most businesses work on a 3-6% profit margin, a well run dental office has an overhead of 50%. Pay the dentist 25% and you have a 25% profit margin! In the business world that is GOLD. Every time you make a dollar they make a dollar. You deal with patients and stressful dental care and they match your income for sitting back and cashing checks. It's fairly obvious why hedge funds and private equities are gobbling dental offices up and forming chains. Don't sell yourself so short. The financial sky is the limit in BUSINESS but not necessarily in DENTISTRY. Do your homework, prepare, and buy a practice.
 
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suarez 7

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I just think a lot of dental students are naive about their potential. Owning your own business will pocket you at least $100-200k extra on top of the expected $120-150k. Chains don't want you to know that. They brainwash people into thinking 200-250k is the best the profession can provide. They want you to believe owning a practice is rocket science and "too risky". "We run the business so you can focus on what you do best -- dentistry!" I love that line. Following that piece they should add "thanks for the $100k you leave on the table every year, you don't need it anyways!" I also plan on purchasing my current practice within 6 months. According to the prospectus and the bank, I am expected to pocket $280k each year on 4 days/week while I pay off the loan. That's AFTER I pay the loan on the practice!!! Don't sell yourself short. The sky truly is the limit, unless of course you work for someone else, then of course the limit is around $250k/5 days a week while you wonder why your boss has such a nice home
I do believe that your income will always be the best under practice ownership, but 100k more? I think it depends on the type of practice and location. Are you buying out a FFS practice in a competitive market, or rural/small town?
 

TheWeeIceMan

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I do believe that your income will always be the best under practice ownership, but 100k more? I think it depends on the type of practice and location. Are you buying out a FFS practice in a competitive market, or rural/small town?
Yeah, "at least" 220k-350k is really pusing it. The average is a little over 200k for a private practice owner, from what I've heard, and it is probably getting more competitive by the year. However, not working for someone else (especially a chain) is priceless for most people.
 

wb1

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Thanks for sharing.

How much do you pay for health insurance for yourself and family? monthly?



Interesting post. Having gone to Colorado and now practicing in Denver, its hard not to notice Comfort Dental and what they are doing. I have several friends working there, one that's left, and have interviewed with them twice. I'm currently in a private practice. I would say Dr. Kushner's $200k is more than accurate. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say the majority make much more than that. It is one of the few corp dental groups that actually let you make what you earn, if and only if, you are willing to fork over the money to buy-in. That's the catch with Comfort compared to the others. There's a buy-in. Most corps pay a flat 25% and docs are making $110-130k. So -- if you buy in (at $300-700k per doc depending on the office) and collect 55% of what you produce, why wouldn't you expect to make at least $200k? There are Comfort docs making 160k and one in Cherry Creek making $1 mil per year (no, that's not an exaggeration). I'd agree with the previous poster that out of all the corp groups, Comfort is one of the better. Maybe not for the PATIENT but it definitely is for the DENTIST. Owned and run by a dentist that isn't afraid to pay his dentists what they earn. Case in point, look at Pacific dental. You start out at 25% and many make 400-500/day. Eventually they let you "buy-in" and you get 49% of the leftover office profit (for the same price as buying your own office). The rest goes to corporate. No matter what you do, you'll never make over 40% of your production nor are you given enough control to change that. They only sell 49% on purpose. Majority = power. You relinquish a lot of control. Comfort on the other hand lets each office work as an independent team and all corporate asks for is a 5% royalty fee. Yes, that a lot of money but it's peanuts compared to what these other corp chains take. Kushner gets it. Does he make a lot of money? Oh ya! But it's nothing compared to Steve Thorne at Pacific Dental or the Ontario Teachers hedge fund at Heartland Dental. But (there's always a but, right?) -- things aren't always rosy. They work hard hours. Even their own doctors will claim 30-36 hour work weeks. Many don't realize how much they actually work. I eventually quit working out with a friend because he consistently got home after 9:30 every night. In his mind he only worked 6 hours because his shift was 1:30-7:30. He was easily doing 45hr weeks and didn't even realize it. It's also hard work. Comfort dental is busy busy busy because they are cheap cheap cheap. Three columns of hygiene and two columns of restorative is more than common. How else can you make $300k+ charging ~$500/crown? Are there scammers? Of course! They are everywhere. Comfort is no different. I would say 1 in 3 patients that I extracted teeth on in dental school wrote "I first went to Comfort dental..." on the chief complaint portion of the med history and here I was pulling it out. Ask any Colorado grad, they'll tell you the same thing. You'll soon learn that many private docs are screwing people just as hard. You just don't hear about them because Comfort is 200+ dentists strong and the private guys are smaller scale. The only advice I have is this. And I wish every dental student in the USA could hear this. Don't sell yourself short. As a dentist, you have the potential to make A LOT of money. I have managed $160-200/yr since graduating -- all while working as an associate. My boss makes $500k/yr with one office working 4 days a week. My sister makes $350k/yr on three days a week. The money is out there, you just have to own a business to make it. And by business, I mean your OWN business. The ADA has the average salary around $130k/yr for dentist. This is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. I made more than that fresh out of school! If you permanently join a corporate group via a buy in, you're in it for the long haul. $250k/yr may feel like a lot, but your private practice counterparts are making more. Part of your paycheck goes into an insane amount of marketing because of patient turn over, an overpaid office manager, board members, salaried attorneys, compliance team, HR, and of course a CEO with a private jet. You can't tell me they are taking money out of your paycheck to cover those expenses! You also don't have any of the tax advantages or write-offs that come with owning a business. I'd say $250k as a business owner is as much as $350k as a W-2 just because of the write-offs and loop holes. Corp dentistry is a job, but you owe it to yourself to aim higher than being someone else's minion. You can do much better on your own. You just have to trust yourself to take the risk and lead.
 

Colorado2011

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Regular practice in Denver. FFS, PPO, family practice. It's not unreasonable to have an office that produces 800k/yr (mine does a little more). If it's run well you should make half that. If you're locked in at 25% expect to make 150-200. If I buy it, why not expect $400k? Paying off the loan is 7-8k/mo. Suddenly I'm at 250-300 for 5-7 yrs. Pay it off and I'm back to 400k. There are offices producing 1-1.5mil. It's a business. Make the most of it. If you don't, I promise your boss will while you make him money. Small towns have just as much potential. There might not be as many people but there's also not as much competition. Picking the right area to practice in is a big part of the "business" decision that you have to carefully consider.
 
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I just think a lot of dental students are naive about their potential. Owning your own business will pocket you at least $100-200k extra on top of the expected $120-150k. Chains don't want you to know that. They brainwash people into thinking 200-250k is the best the profession can provide. They want you to believe owning a practice is rocket science and "too risky". "We run the business so you can focus on what you do best -- dentistry!" I love that line. Following that piece they should add "thanks for the $100k you leave on the table every year, you don't need it anyways!" There's a reason dental corps are popping up everywhere. It's profitable. Where most businesses work on a 3-6% profit margin, a well run dental office has an overhead of 50%. Pay the dentist 25% and you have a 25% profit margin! In the business world that is GOLD. Every time you make a dollar they make a dollar. You deal with patients and stressful dental care and they match your income for sitting back and cashing checks. It's fairly obvious why hedge funds and private equities are gobbling dental offices up and forming chains. Don't sell yourself so short. The financial sky is the limit in BUSINESS but not necessarily in DENTISTRY. Do your homework, prepare, and buy a practice.
I agree that the corps do not want you to know your potential in private practice. I have sat through numerous Aspen Dental talks and I think they quote private practice dentist as making 103k/yr, and then proceed to give the Aspen number and how their dentists make so much more. A big sales pitch. And like another poster mention they often say, "You focus on doing what you went to go to school to learn, dentistry, while we handle the business aspects," when in reality, the ability to run a business is what drew many to dental school in the fist place.
 
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Colorado2011

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I agree that the corps do not want you to know your potential in private practice. I have sat through numerous Aspen Dental talks and I think they quote private practice dentist as making 103k/yr, and then proceed to give the Aspen number and how their dentists make so much more. A big sales pitch. And like another poster mention they often say, "You focus on doing what you went to go to school to learn, dentistry, while we handle the business aspects," when in reality, the ability to run a business is what drew many to dental school in the fist place.
Agreed. Comfort and all the other corps are quick to tell you how much private docs are struggling, how they don't know what they are doing, and how docs in their companies make so much more. It's simply not true. Private practice just isn't promoted to students like corps are. There's no real promotion for private practice. Corps on the other hand have salaried employees focused on marketing and recruitment.
 

Colorado2011

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Yeah, "at least" 220k-350k is really pusing it. The average is a little over 200k for a private practice owner, from what I've heard, and it is probably getting more competitive by the year. However, not working for someone else (especially a chain) is priceless for most people.
I refuse to believe that. Ask around. These averages are absurd. I, like many of you, was told the first day of dental school that the average GP makes $120k/yr (that's from the ADA). You can make that in public health fresh out of school! Starting salary as a dental professor is roughly $130k right now. Add loan repayment and insurance and you're at $180k (40k + 10k). The statistics are skewed. It includes single moms and Sr. citizens working 1-2 days/week. Small start ups and heaven knows what else. I don't know anyone that owns their own practice out right, working a minimum 35-40 hrs/week, that makes less than $300k. The dentistry is probably 150 of that, business the other 150k. You can only fill so many teeth when you're at 25% so you have to come up with a bigger better plan. Hygienists, associates, multiple practices, etc. It's 100% up to you what you'll make if you own your own. Kushner bragged in my first interview with Comfort that he makes $5 mil a year whether he's playing golf or answering emails. Guys like him never make it into the ADA statistics because his money only INdirectly comes from dentistry. Tell him he'll never make more than $300k/yr. AIM HIGH!
 
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If you look at the BLS data on dentists you will find that the percentage of dentists making 400K+ is very small. The other thing I wonder is...what is the quality of dental work performed at such offices? My friend got 5 five root canals about 2 months ago from a general dentist. Guess what? In that time, three of them have failed. I'm sure his dentist has "amazing production," but that's not a sustainable business model. The average overhead nationwide is about 65%. 50% is achievable generally in smaller towns, but even there those practices are few and far between. 400K is more in the realm of oral surgery and endo, so a dentist who is making that much in a metro area I would guess is doing low quality work, or is upselling unnecessary treatment plans. How many stories have we heard about putting sealants on practically every other patient? Or how about the dentist I went to a few years ago who told me I had 5 cavities. I didn't buy it. Went down the street to someone else more established and, guess what--no cavities!!
 

Silent Cool

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I refuse to believe that. Ask around. These averages are absurd. I, like many of you, was told the first day of dental school that the average GP makes $120k/yr (that's from the ADA). You can make that in public health fresh out of school! Starting salary as a dental professor is roughly $130k right now. Add loan repayment and insurance and you're at $180k (40k + 10k). The statistics are skewed. It includes single moms and Sr. citizens working 1-2 days/week. Small start ups and heaven knows what else. I don't know anyone that owns their own practice out right, working a minimum 35-40 hrs/week, that makes less than $300k. It's 100% up to you what you'll make if you own your own. Kushner bragged in my first interview with him that he makes $5 mil a year whether he's playing golf or answering emails. Tell him he'll never make more than $300k/yr. AIM HIGH!
The statistics from the ADA a few years ago showed an average of about 220K. More recently, that average has fallen to about 190K. That would be for practice owners.
 

Colorado2011

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If you look at the BLS data on dentists you will find that the percentage of dentists making 400K+ is very small. The other thing I wonder is...what is the quality of dental work performed at such offices? My friend got 5 five root canals about 2 months ago from a general dentist. Guess what? In that time, three of them have failed. I'm sure his dentist has "amazing production," but that's not a sustainable business model. The average overhead nationwide is about 65%. 50% is achievable generally in smaller towns, but even there those practices are few and far between. 400K is more in the realm of oral surgery and endo, so a dentist who is making that much in a metro area I would guess is doing low quality work, or is upselling unnecessary treatment plans. How many stories have we heard about putting sealants on practically every other patient? Or how about the dentist I went to a few years ago who told me I had 5 cavities. I didn't buy it. Went down the street to someone else more established and, guess what--no cavities!!
I simply disagree. With 200 work days a year, averaging $5k a day will produce $1 mil/yr. Even if overhead is 60%, you still make $400k. Hygienist produce $1000-1500/day seeing one patient an hour. Considering you run two columns of hygiene, you have 8-9 hours each day to produce $2-3k. That's 2 crowns or one bridge, or a crown - 4 quads of SRP and a filling. What are you doing with your time if you can't produce $2k? OMFS does that in 35 minutes. Get out of your office chair and start doing dentistry! All my patients get 100% of my time, I am fairly conservative with my treatment planning, and I don't rush. You can do it. I do every day. I've worked for a medicaid mill. I know what type of things are out there. I refuse to practice like that. I hear the same stories. I'm usually the second opinion for patients that saw a colleague down the street. There are plenty of scams out there. Of course you didn't have 5 cavities. This story happens once a week. You don't have to scam to make money, but it also shouldn't take you an hour to prep and fill a class II.
 
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Silent Cool

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I simply disagree. With 200 work days a year, averaging $5k a day will produce $1 mil/yr. Even if overhead is 60%, you still make $400k. Hygienist produce $1000-1500/day seeing one patient an hour. Considering you run two columns of hygiene, you have 8-9 hours each day to produce $2-3k. That's 2 crowns or one bridge, or a crown - 4 quads of SRP and a filling. What are you doing with your time if you can't produce $2k? OMFS does that in 35 minutes. Get out of your office chair and start doing dentistry! All my patients get 100% of my time, I am fairly conservative with my treatment planning, and I don't rush. You can do it. I do every day. I've worked for a medicaid mill. I know what type of things are out there. I refuse to practice like that. I hear the same stories. I'm usually the second opinion for patients that saw a colleague down the street. They are plenty of scams out there. You don't have to scam to make money, but it also shouldn't take you an hour to prep and fill a class II.
I think the average practice produces about 5-600K per year.

I have posted this info elsewhere on SDN, but I will summarize here. I contacted a practice-owning DDS outside of Chicago and this is what he said:

"To answer your last question, for a GP that owns his own practice and all loans are paid off, a reasonable take home would be 150-250k. The caveat is that this doctor is usually in his late 40s, early 50s and his practice has been paid for and has been growing for 10 plus years. This is where you make the most and your income usually plateaus (top of the bell curve). For a new practice owner, a reasonable take home is 0k-150k.
Hope this helps."

Here's another part of his response:

"For each guy that brags that he's making over 300k a year (if you can believe him), there's 100 docs not posting that make 120k. This is a pretty good gig if you can keep your student loan debt low. If not, consider another profession until the student loan bubble bursts."
 
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Colorado2011

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I think the average practice produces about 5-600K per year.
Then try harder. If you aren't busy enough for 2 hygienists -- advertise. I'm not making a case for getting rich fixing teeth. All I am saying is operating a well run dental office will make you more money than you can physically make fixing teeth. That's the point. Its the business that's key to opening your whole potential. Not etching, rinsing, drying, bonding, blowing, filling, adjusting.
 

TheWeeIceMan

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I simply disagree. With 200 work days a year, averaging $5k a day will produce $1 mil/yr. Even if overhead is 60%, you still make $400k. Hygienist produce $1000-1500/day seeing one patient an hour. Considering you run two columns of hygiene, you have 8-9 hours each day to produce $2-3k. That's 2 crowns or one bridge, or a crown - 4 quads of SRP and a filling. What are you doing with your time if you can't produce $2k? OMFS does that in 35 minutes. Get out of your office chair and start doing dentistry! All my patients get 100% of my time, I am fairly conservative with my treatment planning, and I don't rush. You can do it. I do every day. I've worked for a medicaid mill. I know what type of things are out there. I refuse to practice like that. I hear the same stories. I'm usually the second opinion for patients that saw a colleague down the street. There are plenty of scams out there. Of course you didn't have 5 cavities. This story happens once a week. You don't have to scam to make money, but it also shouldn't take you an hour to prep and fill a class II.
Sounds like you're doing well. How long have you been out of dental school and in private practice?
 

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Then try harder. If you aren't busy enough for 2 hygienists -- advertise. I'm not making a case for getting rich fixing teeth. All I am saying is operating a well run dental office will make you more money than you can physically make fixing teeth. That's the point. Its the business that's key to opening your whole potential. Not etching, rinsing, drying, bonding, blowing, filling, adjusting.
Here's a quote from a dentist in Seattle re: the 15% cuts from Washington Dental Service:

"As a relatively new dentist in the area, this is going to be a big hit for me. The average dentist takes home around 30% of their fees so a 15% cut in reimbursement means a 50% reducing in the dentists take home. It costs the average dental student about $200,000 to go to dental school (not including undergrad debt) and it costs approximarely $500,000 to buy or set up a new practice. While established dentists who have paid off their debt can really make a great living and can afford to cut back to 4 days a week, this is not the case for newer dentists in their first 10 or so years of practice.

Anyway, I hear a lot of dental bashing about having a cushy job and earning $1,000 an hour and its just simply not true. I enjoy my job and I enjoy helping people, but earn less than $100 an hour (while seeing patients) and find my job quite exhausting. I do make a good living, but feel it is justified between the amount of education it takes to become a dentist and the high cost it takes to get there. I work 5 days a week and see patients 8 hours a day plus I usually spend an additional 2 hours per day on paperwork and lab work for my patients.

Just like in any profession, there are greedy dentists and there are dentists that do poor work. But the majority of dentists are hard working professionals who truly care about your oral health and who make a good, but reasonable salary for the amount of education and expense they put in.. If you are unhappy with your dentists' fees or work, then its time to find a new dentist."

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/reader_feedback/public/display.php?source_name=mbase&source_id=2016096058&offset=120

September 3, 2011 at 8:37 AM

100 bucks/hr translates to about 200K.
 

Shunwei

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Then try harder. If you aren't busy enough for 2 hygienists -- advertise. I'm not making a case for getting rich fixing teeth. All I am saying is operating a well run dental office will make you more money than you can physically make fixing teeth. That's the point. Its the business that's key to opening your whole potential. Not etching, rinsing, drying, bonding, blowing, filling, adjusting.
I am with Colorado here. I am about two years out and about to get my own office, have done a lot of homework and due diligence on the matter as well as calculations. Right now in my job I am working for someone else and produce around 4k a day: I do things ethically, do not overdiagnose nor underdiagnose, but I am fast and efficient and the quality of my work is high. I am honest with my patients and have a high patient acceptance rate. Producing 5k a day in a private office located in a decent location with acceptable pop-to-doc ratio is not that hard. Remember that in a healthy dental office hygiene is supposed to account for 30% of the office production, so if you have a healthy hygiene component with at least one full-time hygienist you are not only mainintaing a healthy passive income stream but also maintaining a good patient base. As for the restorative side, there are often emergency patient walk-ins that require RCT/Bu/Crowns--that combo alone will yield half of your daily production goal, then toss in a few fillings, crowns, exams, and you are set. Even if your office produce 4k/day with the dentist account for only 2800/day on a 200 day work year you are still at 800k . . . . . . it really just comes down to the office location, your skill repertoire/speed/personality/business management, and ability to work hard. The above posts are right in saying that one of the most common tactics corp dentistry uses is trying to brainwash dentists into thinking that they must rely on corp scumbags to succeed, whereas it's really the other way.
 
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sacapuntas

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I think the average practice produces about 5-600K per year.

I have posted this info elsewhere on SDN, but I will summarize here. I contacted a practice-owning DDS outside of Chicago and this is what he said:

"To answer your last question, for a GP that owns his own practice and all loans are paid off, a reasonable take home would be 150-250k. The caveat is that this doctor is usually in his late 40s, early 50s and his practice has been paid for and has been growing for 10 plus years. This is where you make the most and your income usually plateaus (top of the bell curve). For a new practice owner, a reasonable take home is 0k-150k.
Hope this helps."

Here's another part of his response:

"For each guy that brags that he's making over 300k a year (if you can believe him), there's 100 docs not posting that make 120k. This is a pretty good gig if you can keep your student loan debt low. If not, consider another profession until the student loan bubble bursts."

Chicago is one of the worst places in the country to be dentist if your goal is high income. Do you think this plays a role in what you heard?
 

Silent Cool

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Chicago is one of the worst places in the country to be dentist if your goal is high income. Do you think this plays a role in what you heard?
Yes, it probably does. He practices in Plainfield, IL, which is about 45 minutes from Chicago. Here's his website:

http://www.plainfielddental.com/

All of his statements, though, were right in line with the national average and what other friends of mine have experienced out in the working world. I think if you want the big $$ (ie, 3-400K), you generally need to live in a small town somewhere.
 
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Silent Cool

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I am with Colorado here. I am about two years out and about to get my own office, have done a lot of homework and due diligence on the matter as well as calculations. Right now in my job I am working for someone else and produce around 4k a day: I do things ethically, do not overdiagnose nor underdiagnose, but I am fast and efficient and the quality of my work is high. I am honest with my patients and have a high patient acceptance rate. Producing 5k a day in a private office located in a decent location with acceptable pop-to-doc ratio is not that hard. Remember that in a healthy dental office hygiene is supposed to account for 30% of the office production, so if you have a healthy hygiene component with at least one full-time hygienist you are not only mainintaing a healthy passive income stream but also maintaining a good patient base. As for the restorative side, there are often emergency patient walk-ins that require RCT/Bu/Crowns--that combo alone will yield half of your daily production goal, then toss in a few fillings, crowns, exams, and you are set. Even if your office produce 4k/day with the dentist account for only 2800/day on a 200 day work year you are still at 800k . . . . . . it really just comes down to the office location, your skill repertoire/speed/personality/business management, and ability to work hard. The above posts are right in saying that one of the most common tactics corp dentistry uses is trying to brainwash dentists into thinking that they must rely on corp scumbags to succeed, whereas it's really the other way.

Shunwei,
You are buying in Texas, right? I think Texas is the best state for dentistry.
good luck with the new office.
 

Mo007

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I simply disagree. With 200 work days a year, averaging $5k a day will produce $1 mil/yr. Even if overhead is 60%, you still make $400k. Hygienist produce $1000-1500/day seeing one patient an hour. Considering you run two columns of hygiene, you have 8-9 hours each day to produce $2-3k. That's 2 crowns or one bridge, or a crown - 4 quads of SRP and a filling. What are you doing with your time if you can't produce $2k? OMFS does that in 35 minutes. Get out of your office chair and start doing dentistry! All my patients get 100% of my time, I am fairly conservative with my treatment planning, and I don't rush. You can do it. I do every day. I've worked for a medicaid mill. I know what type of things are out there. I refuse to practice like that. I hear the same stories. I'm usually the second opinion for patients that saw a colleague down the street. There are plenty of scams out there. Of course you didn't have 5 cavities. This story happens once a week. You don't have to scam to make money, but it also shouldn't take you an hour to prep and fill a class II.
Couple of things I noticed in this post...
  • $5k a day sounds like a production, not collection. $5k a day collection on average for 1 doctor is pretty remarkable.
  • Hygienist producing $1,000-1,500 is a corporate style numbers, where all patients are pushed to get SRP's and additional perio treatments like Arestin.
  • 2 columns of hygiene full schedule at $2-3k? Really? where is the no show and cancelled patients in those columns? On average 20% of hygiene patients either re-schedule, cancel or are no-shows, and that is a very conservative number. Besides, are all insurance reimbursing the same fees for those patients, and is your hygienist succeeding 100% acceptance rate for recommended treatment through you?
Again, I have worked for Aspen, and I now run 3 offices of my own, and the truth is... Don't make the profession or your practice run you, you have to focus and go at your own pace and enjoy what you do. The numbers will take care of themselves, and usually there will be plenty of it over time that you don't have to worry about it like you did when you graduated.

All dentists should own their own practices. Say no to corporate dentistry.
 

Colorado2011

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If you're not getting at least $100 for xrays, cleaning, exam you need to seriously reconsider what plans you take. One pt an hour, 8-9 hours a day, throw in an occasional pano or FMX q 3-5 yrs per ADA guidelines, SRP as needed. I really don't see how that's a corporate cattle call.
 

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edit: dam i don't wanna get sued lulz
 
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Cold Front

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If you're not getting at least $100 for xrays, cleaning, exam you need to seriously reconsider what plans you take. One pt an hour, 8-9 hours a day, throw in an occasional pano or FMX q 3-5 yrs per ADA guidelines, SRP as needed. I really don't see how that's a corporate cattle call.
Let me ask you Mr. Comfort Dental.

Why is it that Comfort Dental doesn't believe in digital X-rays? Is the Lean and Mean policy helping doctors be more efficient with their old film X-rays and make appropriate diagnosis for their patients?

Comfort doesn't believe in providing best equipment on the market for their doctors, while expecting high profit margins... All in the name of GREED.

Where are the Comfort Dental crowns processed, since they are being sold to patients dead cheap? China?

Comfort Dental and other chains are hurting the doctors and their patients, I hope this post warns future doctors from joining this Walmart-style dentistry.
 

Shunwei

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Let me ask you Mr. Comfort Dental.

Why is it that Comfort Dental doesn't believe in digital X-rays? Is the Lean and Mean policy helping doctors be more efficient with their old film X-rays and make appropriate diagnosis for their patients?

Comfort doesn't believe in providing best equipment on the market for their doctors, while expecting high profit margins... All in the name of GREED.

Where are the Comfort Dental crowns processed, since they are being sold to patients dead cheap? China?

Comfort Dental and other chains are hurting the doctors and their patients, I hope this post warns future doctors from joining this Walmart-style dentistry.
No disrespect to the chinese, but I personally hate crowns and other lab cases outsourced to china. The place I used to work for, mydentist, does this and the crowns always come back so high it requires at least 15 min on occlusal equilibration alone. Doesn't matter what I say on the lab case slip, always come back annoyingly such.
 

thenational

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Thanks for your posts Colorado2011. Some interesting insights on both sides.
 
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I figured I should reply here, shed some insider insight on the subject. I even started an account just to do so.

I started an office from scratch with Comfort Dental right out of school. I vowed to do things right, to treat patients the right way, and not to do any of the evils I had always heard from professors about corporate dentistry.

The pros: We had a great standalone building on a busy street bringing in tons of patients. I quickly ramped up until I was producing about $50,000 per month four months in. (I think producing $50,000 is doable for anyone.) We kept overhead under 45%, so we did quite well. My practice loan payments are about $5,000 per month, but I still netted well over $200,000 my first year. Since I was a business owner who had just bought a business, my taxes were insanely low. The following year, I netted over $330,000. That is net after practice payments. On paper it was over $400,000. We see everybody, we treat them well, we call them the next day to see how they are doing, and my margins look just as good as anybody's. Our overhead is now under 40%, and I typically produce a little over 50K per month. Simple math, I take home over $30K per month.

The cons: I work my butt off. I put in well over 40 hours every week at work. Sure, I see patients for only 36 hours. But in order for me to be able to treat them well, I am going over X-rays and treatment plans and medicals for hours, along with running the business. Comfort Dental has NO office managers, so Dr does the books, ordering, payroll, HR crap, etc. Comfort Dental REQUIRES all offices to be open 7:30-7:30 M-F and 7:30-1:30 on Saturday. With three doctors in an office, the recommended schedule is basically four evenings a week and three Saturdays a month. I go home and on my days off just want to sleep. But, I have successfully made a killing seeing Medicaid and treating them just like anyone else. We have no hygienists! That's not mandated by corporate, but it's impossible to keep overhead low with hygienists netting more than some doctors after you take into account student loans and taxes.

The other: Yes, we do a lot of perio. But we see the patients that you don't see. Let me ask you, if you were the only family practice guy in the entire city that accepted Medicaid, and they on average have not been to a dentist in four years, (and many do drugs or just don't brush their teeth,) what percentage do you think would have active perio? AAP says 87%, we are right around 80%. Remember we just see a totally different class than most dentists. That has its pros and cons. The cons are you often chew gum so that you can't smell the perio, or the alcohol, or the pot, or whatever. (By often, pretty much all day.) The pros are they are super grateful for everything, and really easy going, with the exception of the druggies that we kick out ASAP. But most of them realize what great care they are getting at a great price.

Bottom Line: I quickly paid off all of my massive student debt. But I didn't become a dentist to work my butt off, or to work evenings and weekends. I won't be here long.
 
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sacapuntas

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Thanks for your post Greatuncle.

Your overhead numbers are really, really low. What do you attribute that to? Most general dentists seem to speak of 50% overhead as a mythical number that's worth striving for but not very possible.

Also, without hygiene does that mean you did cleanings or did the other 2 dentists there do them? What did your associates responsibilities and schedule look like and how much did they take home?

And when you say you do the books, ordering payroll etc...what does comfort dental do? I thought avoiding some of this was one of the advantages of working for a corporate office?
 
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Our OH is low because we share the office between four doctors, and we are producing 66 hours a week, instead of 30-36. That makes set expenses like rent really low per doctor. Also, because Comfort Dental comprises hundreds of doctors, we have negotiated lower prices with many suppliers. So our Henry Schein bill normally comes with a deep discount. Also, our collections % is over 98%, as everyone prepays and insurance doesn't give us much flack since our prices are so far below the average.

What does corporate do? They send me a quote of the day usually. On a serious note, because of the success of the offices, they have a bank that finances any dentist to join CD with no out of pocket expense. They provide hours of practice management education audio and video. They provide free CE and marketing. And one really big thing is they have their own discount program for cash patients, which is huge for patient loyalty. Essentially, Comfort Dental is the only corporation dentistry that is not corporate. Each office is independently owned and maintained. I never have anyone checking my work or giving me quotas. The mandates are office hours, you have to use approved vendors (including lab), and you have to pay a royalty of 4-5% gross collections depending on your area.

We have no associates. I am the lowest wage earner in the office, though we are all within about 10% of each other. We each have our own patients. I do all the work for mine, they do all the work for theirs. And I just checked my perio numbers. Over the last year, I saw an average of a little over 60 new patients per month, and I did on average about 50 quads per month. It just feels like more. We see very few pedo, and there is not full acceptance of treatment (though it is really close), so I figure that is an average of about 1.5 quads per patient. And since they haven't been to the dentist on average 3-4 years, I don't think that's too bad.

Also, I like the dog on the tooth in the post above. I have done some pretty sweet grills over the years. :)
 

briansle

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I figured I should reply here, shed some insider insight on the subject. I even started an account just to do so.

I started an office from scratch with Comfort Dental right out of school. I vowed to do things right, to treat patients the right way, and not to do any of the evils I had always heard from professors about corporate dentistry.

The pros: We had a great standalone building on a busy street bringing in tons of patients. I quickly ramped up until I was producing about $50,000 per month four months in. (I think producing $50,000 is doable for anyone.) We kept overhead under 45%, so we did quite well. My practice loan payments are about $5,000 per month, but I still netted well over $200,000 my first year. Since I was a business owner who had just bought a business, my taxes were insanely low. The following year, I netted over $330,000. That is net after practice payments. On paper it was over $400,000. We see everybody, we treat them well, we call them the next day to see how they are doing, and my margins look just as good as anybody's. Our overhead is now under 40%, and I typically produce a little over 50K per month. Simple math, I take home over $30K per month.

The cons: I work my butt off. I put in well over 40 hours every week at work. Sure, I see patients for only 36 hours. But in order for me to be able to treat them well, I am going over X-rays and treatment plans and medicals for hours, along with running the business. Comfort Dental has NO office managers, so Dr does the books, ordering, payroll, HR crap, etc. Comfort Dental REQUIRES all offices to be open 7:30-7:30 M-F and 7:30-1:30 on Saturday. With three doctors in an office, the recommended schedule is basically four evenings a week and three Saturdays a month. I go home and on my days off just want to sleep. But, I have successfully made a killing seeing Medicaid and treating them just like anyone else. We have no hygienists! That's not mandated by corporate, but it's impossible to keep overhead low with hygienists netting more than some doctors after you take into account student loans and taxes.

The other: Yes, we do a lot of perio. But we see the patients that you don't see. Let me ask you, if you were the only family practice guy in the entire city that accepted Medicaid, and they on average have not been to a dentist in four years, (and many do drugs or just don't brush their teeth,) what percentage do you think would have active perio? AAP says 87%, we are right around 80%. Remember we just see a totally different class than most dentists. That has its pros and cons. The cons are you often chew gum so that you can't smell the perio, or the alcohol, or the pot, or whatever. (By often, pretty much all day.) The pros are they are super grateful for everything, and really easy going, with the exception of the druggies that we kick out ASAP. But most of them realize what great care they are getting at a great price.

Bottom Line: I quickly paid off all of my massive student debt. But I didn't become a dentist to work my butt off, or to work evenings and weekends. I won't be here long.
Great Post GreatUncle very informative. But this, "buy-in" requirement is disturbing.

Seems like:
  1. Because new grads can't get financing from banks
  2. have little dental skills
  3. And lots of loans
Comfort Dental is just another a pathway to get financing. They make it possible for you to get financing from a bank so you can build a dental office for them??

Looks like in the end:
  1. you carry all the risks of a loan
  2. they own the office
  3. you run all the day-to-day operations
  4. and worse, have to kick-up to them.
On top of that, if you want ownership of something you built, you have to buy the practice back from them, or because of their non-competition clause, you'll have no where else to go.
So what if you make +200k/year.??? You just "bought-in" to a practice that you don't really own. It's like you gave Comfort Dental 300k-700k and thanked them for giving you a job.

You started with Comfort Dental straight out school, and did what you did to survive. I get that. But once you leave I think you're going to be very successful and realize at the same time, Comfort Dental used the whole jar of vaseline and did you pretty good.:thumbup:
 
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Shunwei

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Great Post GreatUncle very informative. But this, "buy-in" requirement is disturbing.

Seems like:
  1. Because new grads can't get financing from banks
  2. have little dental skills
  3. And lots of loans
Comfort Dental is just another a pathway to get financing. They make it possible for you to get financing from a bank so you can build a dental office for them??

Looks like in the end:
  1. you carry all the risks of a loan
  2. they own the office
  3. you run all the day-to-day operations
  4. and worse, have to kick-up to them.
On top of that, if you want ownership of something you built, you have to buy the practice back from them, or because of their non-competition clause, you'll have no where else to go.
So what if you make +200k/year.??? You just "bought-in" to a practice that you don't really own. It's like you gave Comfort Dental 300k-700k and thanked them for giving you a job.

You started with Comfort Dental straight out school, and did what you did to survive. I get that. But once you leave I think you're going to be very successful and realize at the same time, Comfort Dental used the whole jar of vaseline and did you pretty good.:thumbup:
You forget that with these buy-ins you are paying full face value. There won't be discounts that you can find with some effort out there. And being a co-owner with someone else is always a pain.
 

Shunwei

10+ Year Member
May 26, 2007
924
191
Status
Dentist
Our OH is low because we share the office between four doctors, and we are producing 66 hours a week, instead of 30-36. That makes set expenses like rent really low per doctor. Also, because Comfort Dental comprises hundreds of doctors, we have negotiated lower prices with many suppliers. So our Henry Schein bill normally comes with a deep discount. Also, our collections % is over 98%, as everyone prepays and insurance doesn't give us much flack since our prices are so far below the average.

What does corporate do? They send me a quote of the day usually. On a serious note, because of the success of the offices, they have a bank that finances any dentist to join CD with no out of pocket expense. They provide hours of practice management education audio and video. They provide free CE and marketing. And one really big thing is they have their own discount program for cash patients, which is huge for patient loyalty. Essentially, Comfort Dental is the only corporation dentistry that is not corporate. Each office is independently owned and maintained. I never have anyone checking my work or giving me quotas. The mandates are office hours, you have to use approved vendors (including lab), and you have to pay a royalty of 4-5% gross collections depending on your area.

We have no associates. I am the lowest wage earner in the office, though we are all within about 10% of each other. We each have our own patients. I do all the work for mine, they do all the work for theirs. And I just checked my perio numbers. Over the last year, I saw an average of a little over 60 new patients per month, and I did on average about 50 quads per month. It just feels like more. We see very few pedo, and there is not full acceptance of treatment (though it is really close), so I figure that is an average of about 1.5 quads per patient. And since they haven't been to the dentist on average 3-4 years, I don't think that's too bad.

Also, I like the dog on the tooth in the post above. I have done some pretty sweet grills over the years. :)
What you say is precisely what I dislike about corporate. Aside from having the stigma of corporate to deal with, buying in at full value, set hours and having someone tell me which lab to use , sharing an office with a legion of other docs(oh the politics) as well as working at a steeply discounted fee is enough to turn me away (and I say this precisely because I have done this). And for a flow of 60 nPs per month, your production of only 50k seems awfully low from working like a dog (no offense).