Current Dental Students: Do you plan on buying an existing practice, or...

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busupshot83

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Current Dental Students: Do you plan on buying an existing practice, or start from scratch?
 

UMDeeMan

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don't you love how people just look at posts and never say anything. you are just like me busupshot83, an aspiring dental student with endless questions. i don't get it, all it takes is 1 minute to reply.

as far as buying-in or starting from scratch...probably would look to buy in. i would think it would be alot easier, working in an established practice for X amount of years then once the partners retire or leave, you inherit their clients (big assumption but logical). I think people are alot more open to a new dentist when the person they've been seeing for the last 20 years recommends a new guy who has been working in-house. also the area i'm located in has many dents that are on the verge of retiring, i swear they are all 50-60 years old. i do have to say it would be sweet to get into cosmetic dentistry (irony? isn't the majority ofl dentistry basically cosmetic?) in those affluent areas and rake in the dough from trust fund babies for brightening their smiles.
 

ItsGavinC

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Originally posted by UMDeeMan
don't you love how people just look at posts and never say anything. you are just like me busupshot83, an aspiring dental student with endless questions. i don't get it, all it takes is 1 minute to reply.

Dude, you gotta give at least 24 hours before ripping into people because they haven't replied. Not everybody lingers all day on SDN. Some of us have to sleep, you know.
 
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ItsGavinC

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Originally posted by busupshot83
Current Dental Students: Do you plan on buying an existing practice, or start from scratch?

What I will do hasn't been determined. It's going to depend on the area, etc. Remember, it may be possible to get a great deal on a practice, but if the location is poor, or the building is run down, or the equipment is archaic (which it most likely WILL be), then I'm not too interested in it.

Then again, it's nice to have something that resembles a patient base when starting up.

Decisions, decisions.

And, unlike UMDeeMan, I've learned that th ereal money isn't found by exclusively marketing cosmetic dentistry to rich people--it's found by being the sole provider for several towns. As you better their oral health, they'll come to you for cosmetic procedures if they find them important and have trust in you. That establishes a much more secure and beneficial patient base than simply focusing on cosmetic dentistry (see DentalTown for lots on this issue).
 

UMDeeMan

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Gavin - i wasn't trying to rip on anyone at all, but my point is when you see 80 odd views and 1 reply, something is up. that was my point. i realize most users on here are current dstudents and thus have a lack of free time. i on the other hand am still and undergrad with lots of questions and frankly, the pre-dental university advisors aren't the best sources in my experience. and you can only ask the admissions people at dschools so much while remaining professional and not annoying the hell out of them.

and as you stated, "being the sole provider to an area," i totally agree with you. but i was just under the impression that these expensive cosmetic treatments bring in more for the dentist then the average routines. i wouldn't want an exclusively cosmetic firm, but it would be nice to be known as "the guy" when it comes to the cosmetic aspect. no disrespect buddy.
 

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Originally posted by UMDeeMan
Gavin - i wasn't trying to rip on anyone at all, but my point is when you see 80 odd views and 1 reply, something is up.
Indeed, and the "something up" could be a question that's difficult to answer, as here. I'm a first-year dental student; I'm still struggling to conquer a four-surface amalgam, much less make intelligent business decisions about how I want to practice when I get out. Other people will have a similar hard time with such broad questions. Keep 'em coming, though. Sooner or later you'll get what you're looking for. :D

At this point, I'm thinking I'll probably associate for a couple years to have an opportunity to practice real-life dentistry without having to learn how to run a small business on top of it. At that point, I'll stake my own claim somewhere. I have no idea whether I'll buy out (instant patient base) or start a scratch office (less expensive).
 

ItsGavinC

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Originally posted by UMDeeMan
Gavin - i wasn't trying to rip on anyone at all, but my point is when you see 80 odd views and 1 reply, something is up.

No harm, no foul. I didn't even look at the number of view--my fault.
 

busupshot83

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Originally posted by UMDeeMan
don't you love how people just look at posts and never say anything. you are just like me busupshot83, an aspiring dental student with endless questions. i don't get it, all it takes is 1 minute to reply.


:rolleyes: :hardy:
 

busupshot83

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Originally posted by UMDeeMan
don't you love how people just look at posts and never say anything. you are just like me busupshot83, an aspiring dental student with endless questions. i don't get it, all it takes is 1 minute to reply.

as far as buying-in or starting from scratch...probably would look to buy in. i would think it would be alot easier, working in an established practice for X amount of years then once the partners retire or leave, you inherit their clients (big assumption but logical). I think people are alot more open to a new dentist when the person they've been seeing for the last 20 years recommends a new guy who has been working in-house. also the area i'm located in has many dents that are on the verge of retiring, i swear they are all 50-60 years old. i do have to say it would be sweet to get into cosmetic dentistry (irony? isn't the majority ofl dentistry basically cosmetic?) in those affluent areas and rake in the dough from trust fund babies for brightening their smiles.

cosmetic dentistry is what i am interested in too.
 

gryffindor

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Originally posted by ItsGavinC
And, unlike UMDeeMan, I've learned that th ereal money isn't found by exclusively marketing cosmetic dentistry to rich people--it's found by being the sole provider for several towns. As you better their oral health, they'll come to you for cosmetic procedures if they find them important and have trust in you. That establishes a much more secure and beneficial patient base than simply focusing on cosmetic dentistry (see DentalTown for lots on this issue).

As one of my more clinically savvy faculty members told us the other day, "You can't diagnose someone's wallet." He tends to do more high end dentistry and practices in a blue collar town. He is amazed at the kinds of patients that walk in and accept a $15,000 treatment plan.

For my answer to the question, right now I'm going to associate for a while b/c I have a lot of business learning to catch up on if I'm ever going to run my own practice someday. For that matter, I also have a whole of to dentistry to learn too before setting up my own shop. Of course, there's always the remote chance that somewhere in between associateships I'll marry into money.... and become a dental school faculty member, grading preps and mocking students, instead! :laugh:
 
R

recruit4

Here's an alternative to the traditional buying in, or starting a new practice. The company I work for, CNII of Texas, employs dental professionals, such as yourself to work in civilian positions at Army Post's throughout the United States. Basically, the Army has a shortage of enlisted dental professionals, and is now reeping the benefits of contracting out these positions. This is not however, contract work. We are an at will employer, there is not time limit, or obligation. Salary and benefits vary by location. If you are interested in obtaining more information please feel free to contact me.

Bobbi Dietzmann
Professional Staffing Specialist
CNII of Texas
866.244.4241 ext. 16
866.244.4611 fax
[email protected]
 

critterbug

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recruit4 said:
Here's an alternative to the traditional buying in, or starting a new practice. The company I work for, CNII of Texas, employs dental professionals, such as yourself to work in civilian positions at Army Post's throughout the United States. Basically, the Army has a shortage of enlisted dental professionals, and is now reeping the benefits of contracting out these positions. This is not however, contract work. We are an at will employer, there is not time limit, or obligation. Salary and benefits vary by location. If you are interested in obtaining more information please feel free to contact me.

Bobbi Dietzmann
Professional Staffing Specialist
CNII of Texas
866.244.4241 ext. 16
866.244.4611 fax
[email protected]


....interesting......

Can you give an average pay scale for a 40 hour workweek.
 

swiminh2o

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I am considering a scratch start because it is tempting to kick off my career with my own style of doing things from the very begining. Hire my own staff etc. Growth will be slower but longterm satisfaction should be pretty high and my skills/speed will increase as my patient load does. You can do a search on dentaltown under "scratch" and get ready to read for a few hours. I will admit I haven't ruled out a purchase either because as has already been mentioned there will be a ton of retiring dentists over the next several years who will be itching to sell their practice.
 
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Jone

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i'm gonna work part time at a practice or two, while i start my scratch practice. when things get busier at my practice i'll quit my associateships. if my practice fails, i'll sell the equipment and just associate for a while. i'll lose a little money from a failure, but the experience of starting a practice will be exciting. btw, dental practices are rated as the 3rd mostly likely startup businesses to succeed according to Inc magazine.
 

swiminh2o

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Jone said:
i'm gonna work part time at a practice or two, while i start my scratch practice. when things get busier at my practice i'll quit my associateships. if my practice fails, i'll sell the equipment and just associate for a while. i'll lose a little money from a failure, but the experience of starting a practice will be exciting. btw, dental practices are rated as the 3rd mostly likely startup businesses to succeed according to Inc magazine.

:thumbup: I like this hybrid idea. It offers some stability with an associateship and allows growth with your own practice. I guess the contract for the associateship would have to be structured in such a way that you could get out if your own practice really starts to boom.
 

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How woud you gain a patient base without creating a conflict of interest with your associateship employers? Would you strictly seek patients outside of the associateship?
 

DcS

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Depending if/when I am going to specialize, I will associate rather than start a practice up from scratch. I attended a CE about starting an office from the ground up that was very informative. I think that for start-up, it ranges about 150,000 per operatory for equipment, etc. Of course, you can opt for older equipment but that is a trade off. The total cost for starting a new office they told us was about 500-750,000 grand. If you don't have a business background, it can be extremely stressful running a new practice without experience. It is suggested that even if you want to open up shop, to associate for a year or two to gain practice management experience. I have talked to a few people who have opened their own practice and they said the hardest thing was running a practice without any experience (and working in a dental office previously was not enough experience they expressed). It's high risk, but sometimes the biggest risks pay off the most in the end.
 

Vuse

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Any idea what the average/range cost for buying an existing practice vs starting a new one from scratch???
 

swiminh2o

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hafido said:
How woud you gain a patient base without creating a conflict of interest with your associateship employers? Would you strictly seek patients outside of the associateship?

There is usually a no-compete clause in a contract and that would have to be negotiated as far as how far away you would have to be from the associateship employers. I am pretty sure a 10-15 mile radius is common in most areas so you could set up your scratch office on one side of town and do your associate work on the other side.

DcS,
What was the continuing ed. course you took on scratch start offices?
 

DcS

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swiminh2o said:
DcS,
What was the continuing ed. course you took on scratch start offices?


It was actually presented as a lunch-n-learn here at UNC Dental School last year. I can't remember the guy's name but he was practice consultant who specializes in opening new practices. I have some notes jotted down from it and the cost per operatory stood out because it was pretty significant.
 

augustdds

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For all of you contemplating buying vs scratch, I'll throw in my two cents. I bought a retiring dentist's practice four years ago. I graduated in '97, did a GPR and associated 2 years. Unfortunately there is no right answer. It has everything to do with how ready you are. I know a dentist who did a scratch start right out of his GPR and he is doing great. I know another who bought a huge practice during dentalschool! It closed escrow a month after his boards. I personally was not ready so associating for me was the best thing I could have ever done.

For those that are curious, practices usually go for a percentage of gross so they could range from 50K to 1 million plus. To build out a scratch practice can cost anywhere from about 50k to 400k depending on how many bells and whistles you want. Remember with a scratch start you will not have the cash or patient flow and will have to market.

As someone who has existing patients and cash flow, I did not have to market and still do not. Good luck and let me know if I can help

August

August de Oliveira DDS
U of Washington '97
 
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recruit4

critterbug said:
....interesting......

Can you give an average pay scale for a 40 hour workweek.


Yes I can. Salary your first year any where between 85K-100K, with FULL benefits to include Medical/Dental, Life Insurance, 401K, 160 hours paid annual leave, 11 paid holidays, up to $500 annually in CE reimbursement, Semi-annual performance bonus, up to $2,500, and most importantly adding to your retained annual income, you do NOT have to maintain malpractice insurance while working with us. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Bobbi Dietzmann
 

swiminh2o

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augustdds said:
For all of you contemplating buying vs scratch, I'll throw in my two cents. I bought a retiring dentist's practice four years ago. I graduated in '97, did a GPR and associated 2 years. Unfortunately there is no right answer. It has everything to do with how ready you are. I know a dentist who did a scratch start right out of his GPR and he is doing great. I know another who bought a huge practice during dentalschool! It closed escrow a month after his boards. I personally was not ready so associating for me was the best thing I could have ever done.

For those that are curious, practices usually go for a percentage of gross so they could range from 50K to 1 million plus. To build out a scratch practice can cost anywhere from about 50k to 400k depending on how many bells and whistles you want. Remember with a scratch start you will not have the cash or patient flow and will have to market.

As someone who has existing patients and cash flow, I did not have to market and still do not. Good luck and let me know if I can help

August

August de Oliveira DDS
U of Washington '97

August,
I have seen some of your posts over on dentaltown. I hope to be as happy with my practice as you are. Do you suggest any books or CE courses that would help a dental student with the business aspects of dentistry? Also, any survival tips for the UW? Starting there next fall. :D
 

drPheta

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recruit4 said:
Yes I can. Salary your first year any where between 85K-100K, with FULL benefits to include Medical/Dental, Life Insurance, 401K, 160 hours paid annual leave, 11 paid holidays, up to $500 annually in CE reimbursement, Semi-annual performance bonus, up to $2,500, and most importantly adding to your retained annual income, you do NOT have to maintain malpractice insurance while working with us. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Bobbi Dietzmann


That's a really sweet deal considering it's the gov't paying. That range falls right around the average for private practice associateships. Do you have to be full time to get the full benefits, considering this is not a contractual employment?

To answer the OP's question, you can see that I'm not definite on buying in immediately, opening up shop myself, or associateship. It all depends on how confident I feel about this issue when I graduate. There are too many deciding factors involved with this type of move that you really need to know 100% before you can say "yeah I'm going to do x y and z."
 

augustdds

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Swimin,

In all honesty, the business of dentistry is the hardest part of being a dentist. The clinical stuff gets fairly easy after your 5th year out. Don't worry about the business stuff until you get into it. I did not know jack until I bought my practice and once money started to flow out of it, I realized that I needed to start learning. If you are interested I think that the only good stuff out there is by Howard Farran of Dentaltown.

As far as the UW goes, its a great school! Just keep your nose in your own business, don't try to stand out. The instructor like to see someone that works hard and who follows their recommendations. There are tons of ways to skin a cat in dentistry, but at the UW they want you to do it UW style. Thats about it, just remember that its OK to put down the books and the handpiece and drink a little too!

Good luck, you are entering the greatest profession out there

August
 

swiminh2o

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Thanks August. Looking forward to the adventure. Best wishes to you in your practice.
 

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augustdds said:
If you are interested I think that the only good stuff out there is by Howard Farran of Dentaltown.
Have you used his 30-day MBA course? I swear I can't take a step on Dentaltown without tripping over a townie raving about it.

If you have tried that course, do you think it would be useful for fourth year students and/or new dental graduates? Or is it geared more towards experienced dentists already in private practice?
 

augustdds

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Yes, I love the Farran 30 day MBA, however I would not waste my time with it at this level. If you follow Howard, you'll know that he does things differently than back then (2000?). Thats a great property in a business leader, if the economic climate changes, change with it. I don't want to sound like an old fart (which I am), but I can't state enough that you really need to nail the clinical stuff before you can worry about the rest. In Dental School you are really pushing yourself both clinically and acedemically. Prior to Dental School I really did not work with my hands much. The last thing you need to do is introduce more variables. But that said, I would not be where I am economically without going over Howards tapes, just wait till you pass the boards.
 
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