Buying a dental practice: Top tips for a successful dental practice acquisition


Purchasing a dental practice requires you to wear many hats. You’ll become the CEO, CFO, HR director, lead clinical director, and more as you build and establish your practice and grow your patient base.

This article provides a detailed checklist of things to remember as you strategize your purchase of a dental practice.

  1. Unlike start-up practices, established practices come with a patient base and — equally important — an existing cash flow. This ready cash infusion makes it easier for buyers (you) to support the practice’s debt flow.
  2. Build a network of trusted advisors who can help you navigate the entire acquisition process and avoid missteps. Key advisors should include a practice transition consultant or broker, dental-specific CPA, dental-specific attorney, and dental-specific lender.
  3. Consider the term of your practice loan, which generally ranges between five and 15 years. Evaluate different loan structures and the interest rate option that works best for you.
  4. Consider other advantages of buying a practice (cash flow, established insurance relationships, staff & patient retention, etc.).
  5. Consider the risks, such as potential patient loss during the transition, whether the equipment is up-to-date, and how well your philosophy will align with the previous practice owner’s established philosophy, methods, systems, etc.
  6. Consider the different types of acquisitions, including a buy-in, associate with an option to buy, 100% buyout, and room to expand.
  7. Remember to conduct your due diligence, too.