Axiomatician

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May 13, 2016
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Hey guys, even though I am just a Pre-Dent and have 2 more years left in undergraduate study... I've got a not-so-common question for you all...

Does anyone have experience in owning a practice with their husband/wife/S.O.?

What are the potential advantages to this? Potential disadvantages? Potential combination of specializations, etc? Please let me know your thoughts..

Some background on me: The reason why I ask this, my girlfriend and I both want to be dentists and have both taken our DAT together. We plan to go to dental school together, and so if things work out over the next couple of years, we will be in a Class of 2022, at some dental school. Just curious as I have never seen or even met a 'dental couple' that worked a practice together. She is very adamant about going into pedo, I am not so sure about specializing. Haven't seen enough GP work to say if I would be inclined to go that route, haven't even done a filling, so I know to not really think about it all too much.
 

THS

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There are a lot of older dentists that work with their wives. The most common scenario is that the husband is the dentist and the wife is some sort of manager/administrator in the front. This is probably the best case, because having the wife up front means the other front desk workers are going to keep working. It's good to have an extra pair of eyes up front.

There are also plenty of husband/wife dentist/dentist teams, but I haven't seen too many.

My wife is a hygienist, but she only plans to work clinically part time, and up front part time. Having one extra person in your practice that cares about your production and income is great.
 

Cranjis McBasketball

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Hey guys, even though I am just a Pre-Dent and have 2 more years left in undergraduate study... I've got a not-so-common question for you all...

Does anyone have experience in owning a practice with their husband/wife/S.O.?

What are the potential advantages to this? Potential disadvantages? Potential combination of specializations, etc? Please let me know your thoughts..

Some background on me: The reason why I ask this, my girlfriend and I both want to be dentists and have both taken our DAT together. We plan to go to dental school together, and so if things work out over the next couple of years, we will be in a Class of 2022, at some dental school. Just curious as I have never seen or even met a 'dental couple' that worked a practice together. She is very adamant about going into pedo, I am not so sure about specializing. Haven't seen enough GP work to say if I would be inclined to go that route, haven't even done a filling, so I know to not really think about it all too much.
The dentist Ive shadowed has a practice with his wife, who are both dentists. She went back to school in her mid 30's and so he's been a dentist for about 15-16 years while she's been a dentist for less than 5. They love it though. They work in Boise and are successful. He owns it and does the business stuff while she is more of an associate that focuses on procedures.
 
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DrJeff

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Pro's and C on's for sure.

First off, if you both are practicing the same type of dentistry (i.e. general dentistry, oral surgery, ortho, etc) then it could be a lot easier than if you're both practicing different types of dentistry as often the floor layout, and especially supplies/materials needed and their storage can be quite different.

Secondly, you're never away from your spouse. I know that that may sound kind of harsh, and for some it really isn't a big issue, but for others the literally 24/7 together environment that can create over time can cause issues, and heaven forbid that if you're practicing with your spouse and the marriage falls apart, then that creates another big possible issue.

If you both end up with similar treatment philosophies and a personal situation where working together works great for you 2, then it can be a wonderful thing.

For reference sake, I'm a GP and my wife is an orthodontist, her closest office to mine is about 30 miles away. The reality is that we couldn't practice together, and never have in the almost 20 years that we've been married and out in private practice. When you're in your own practice partnership, as my business partner and I jokingly refer to it, it's almost like a "sexless marriage" with type of relationship that you end up with. Running a practice, while I do enjoy it, is at times a stressful situation where you have not just your patients to take care of, but also employees to oversee and sometimes make tough decisions. Having now almost 13yr old and almost 11yr old kids at home, I often find that while the topics may be different between home and work, the level of stressful decisions at times that I need to be able to make about home or work is quite similar, so in that sense a dental partnership is like a marriage
 

nonociceptors

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No, but I am not sure if that is even remotely relevant!?
Haha sorry it's just all my Mormon friends have been talking about similar things which I couldn't have imagined planning as a sophomore in uni. Just curious! Anyway, the only comment I can make is be sure it's what you want because I'd imagine things can get a little interesting working with your spouse. My sister and her husband work together so that's the only relevant connection I have.
 

Pedodel

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Dec 26, 2015
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Haha sorry it's just all my Mormon friends have been talking about similar things which I couldn't have imagined planning as a sophomore in uni. Just curious! Anyway, the only comment I can make is be sure it's what you want because I'd imagine things can get a little interesting working with your spouse. My sister and her husband work together so that's the only relevant connection I have.
Best to you , but dental school is a long ,long ,road. Almost every couple who I know who started together in dental school ended up parting ways during dental school. With the exception of a few older students who were already married ( with a young child on the way or newly arrived ) almost every one In my class who,started dental school with a significant other broke up during dental school.. Maybe you will be that exception.
Dental school is an incredibly stressfull and soul searching experience . The chances of a couple,going into dental school together,,,,,, graduating together,,,,, staying a couple,,,,,and practicing together after dental school so out of the universe low. I hope it works out for you, though,,, not trying to bust your bubble ,,,,, just being real.,,, Don't bank too much in this potential schenario.....
Just drive forward and do your best on school and see how your future un folds.

Could it work,,,,,? If you can make it through dental school, residency ( GPR, specialty residency ) and still figure and out a way to make a dual practice work? Hell yeah ! After all that ,,, working together in dentistry will be a breeze! At that point you will know for sure if you are truely soul mates!
Sincerely best to you !
 
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Cold Front

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My wife pushed me to work with her, but I had to stand my ground and said no. One of the best decisions I ever made. A younger sister is my front desk/office manager, also one of the best decisions I ever made.

Be careful what you wish for.
 
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OhioDMD

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Jan 25, 2011
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Perhaps I can enlighten you on some of your concerns. First a little background information, my wife (not at the time) both attended dental school (Pitt) graduated, married and started a scratch general practice. We practiced together for 30 years until she retired due to some issues with osteoarthritis. We also managed to raise two children (now 29 & 32).

There are many pros and cons to this arrangement. One of the biggest pros, assuming you are successful, is financial. By sharing staff you effectively cut your overhead (increase your profitability) by at least 12.5%. A few more not in any particular order.
You will have someone to confer with.
You offer your patients a choice of provider in the same office.
If you have different dental interests you can share treatment (endo, perio, extractions, ,kids, Invisalign, etc)
Ability to adjust your schedule to accommodate children's needs.
One of the biggest cons aside from all your financial eggs are in one basket is you better have a strong relationship if you are going to succeed both as a partnership and a couple. You will be with your spouse 24/7. You will deal (as a couple) with decisions both personal and professional that will test your relationship and you will learn the art of the compromise.
 
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Axiomatician

Axiomatician

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Best to you , but dental school is a long ,long ,road. Almost every couple who I know who started together in dental school ended up parting ways during dental school. With the exception of a few older students who were already married ( with a young child on the way or newly arrived ) almost every one In my class who,started dental school with a significant other broke up during dental school.. Maybe you will be that exception.
Dental school is an incredibly stressfull and soul searching experience . The chances of a couple,going into dental school together,,,,,, graduating together,,,,, staying a couple,,,,,and practicing together after dental school so out of the universe low. I hope it works out for you, though,,, not trying to bust your bubble ,,,,, just being real.,,, Don't bank too much in this potential schenario.....
Just drive forward and do your best on school and see how your future un folds.

Could it work,,,,,? If you can make it through dental school, residency ( GPR, specialty residency ) and still figure and out a way to make a dual practice work? Hell yeah ! After all that ,,, working together in dentistry will be a breeze! At that point you will know for sure if you are truely soul mates!
Sincerely best to you !
Well, I don't mean to get into my relationship deeply, but we are very good for each other and have been together for 2 years. Things could change, but we are not a business proposition to each other! lol. Sure dental school is long, but we have almost finished undergrad together and it has been great. We still have two years left, but we have done extremely well helping each other and pushing each other. Thanks for your opinion.
 

briansle

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Ask yourself honestly.

Are you a type A person or type B person?

If your an alpha-dentist never marry another dentist, let alone work in the same office.
This is a stressful job, and you're gonna want to drink and chill on weekends.

If you're the type of dude that listens to his wife, don't talk to other women, and follows orders. Then I say its okay, go ahead and marry her.
 
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Pedodel

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Dec 26, 2015
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Hey,, best to you no mater what you do. I urge you to do your best in school. Go to wherever you see is your best fit. If your girlfriend gets in and goes there too, then great for you two. ,if not. Work hard and do what you have to do to succeed .
It is just such long road from undergrad to dental school graduation. Most couples going in did not last. It is a very isolating experience in a lot of ways. Some couples survived, most grew and moved on. You may be the exception. I wish you the best regardless !
Like , I said , you may be the exception. Just don't plan your life around this scenario. Some one told me long ago...... And it has reverberated in my mind since,,,,,,,,,,,, " ,Don't plan your life out so far ahead of time ,,, life rarely goes the exactly way you expect it to." That quote, has been so prophetic in my life,,,, maybe not for you. If it does go the way you expect it , ,,,,,, good for you!
Best to you regardless.
 
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Typical Average Student

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My fiancee's parents are both dentists and have been practicing with each other for the past 25 years. We plan on doing the same.
 
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sb247

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Well, I don't mean to get into my relationship deeply, but we are very good for each other and have been together for 2 years. Things could change, but we are not a business proposition to each other! lol. Sure dental school is long, but we have almost finished undergrad together and it has been great. We still have two years left, but we have done extremely well helping each other and pushing each other. Thanks for your opinion.
But if you go into practice together, you ARE a business proposition. You can still have a marriage but you are business proposition. The question is would you go into practice with her if she wasn't married to you? Be real about that answer. Then, if the answer is yes....can my marriage tolerate her being my partner? Maybe it can, maybe it can't.

But odds being odds, she's a girlfriend and the two of you haven't started dental school yet sooooooooooo this might be moot
 
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You've only been dating for 2 years and you are already looking into the future where after 6 more years you would JUST begin to practice? Being realistic here but what makes you think you guys will be together by that time. And even with that being said, being married is a huge commitment both mentally, emotionally, and physically. Would you be comfortable being with the same person almost entirely thought out the day, whether it's in the morning before you both work, during your lunch break, then at home for family dinner?

I don't know about you but I value my privacy very much, and it sounds like you are fine sacrificing all of yours. Where will you have any sense of freedom in your world you drew up? I know you guys have stuck together for a lot of things, being on the forum is one of them, but maybe it's best not to do everything together. I'm not saying it is a bad plan, but it is one I personally would see inevitable issues if it were my own life
 
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Rand627

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I've been married for two years but am not a dentist so I can't speak fully on the topic but I don't see any problems with my wife if she wanted to work with me. In fact I want her to, she's currently a dental assistant and she could take over my front desk when our kids are grown. That's 16 bucks an hour we can save for years and years and we get to hang out more.

Win win in my opinion.
 

DrJeff

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I've been married for two years but am not a dentist so I can't speak fully on the topic but I don't see any problems with my wife if she wanted to work with me. In fact I want her to, she's currently a dental assistant and she could take over my front desk when our kids are grown. That's 16 bucks an hour we can save for years and years and we get to hang out more.

Win win in my opinion.

Real life dentist office experience here, and this has been shown to me many times via friends practices where their spouse is working in the office, but not a dentist as well.

If you have a situation where 1 spouse is a dentist, and the other is a non dentist employee in the practice, and the practice payroll is more than just you and your spouse - that non dentist spouse, whether they're working the front desk, an assistant, a hygienist, or whatever other job description you want to give him/her - it's not a question of if, but when at least some of the other office staff members will feel that you are giving your spouse preferential treatment over the rest of the staff that you're not related too, and that WILL create morale/managerial issues that YOU, as the boss, will have to deal with. And just imagine, as from what I have witnessed is the case more often than not, if the employee who isn't your spouse is right or has a better idea for the practice than your spouse dose?!?! :wideyed::heckyeah::scared:

Spouse dentist/spouse dentist practicing together has some warning flags IMHO, spouse dentist/spouse non dentist practicing together is just asking for trouble either with the dynamics of your office staff or even worse the dynamics of your spousal relationship :barf:
 
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