Should You Own Your Own Private Dental Practice?

There are generally two career paths you can take in life that is true across all industries – work for someone else or work for yourself.  Neither path is bad or wrong and there are advantages and drawbacks to both paths as well.  For some people, the idea of having to own and operate your own dental practice sounds like a stressful nightmare filled with managerial tasks, paperwork, accounting, hiring and firing, and more.  For others, the idea of working for someone else, answering to their rules and restrictions, and not having control over the path of the dental practice sounds unbearable.  If the latter sounds more like your personality or lines up more accurately with your ultimate career goals, owning a dental practice may be the right fit for you.  But, for anyone to actually want to own their own dental practice there needs to be more than just control involved there needs to be some level of freedom and profitability.

Owning your own dental practice can allow you to make your own path in life, choose how your dental practice will be run, choose the type of people you will work with day in and day out, and ultimately if run successfully will make you more money.  Dental practice ownership is not for everyone and certain qualities will help you be more successful.  Dental Economics points out that some of the key characteristics of a dental practice owner are that they are a good business manager, that they have strong leadership skills, that they are goal-oriented, that they have excellent people skills, that they are a team player, and that they are well-balanced in their personal and professional life and emotional state.  There are many things to consider before you start your own dental practice.  First, will you purchase an existing dental practice including facility, staff, patients, etc.?  Or, will you plant a new dental practice which may include purchasing land, a building, or an office suite.  Additionally, it will likely require you to secure all of the necessary permits and licensing you need to operate a new dental practice plant.

When you own a dental practice it may come with more debt but it can actually help you pay off your student debt more quickly and have more money to live on, as Dental Economics notes, “If someone works for a corporation or as an associate at $150K per year with $50K going to income tax, that leaves an income of $100K. The student loan payment with interest is $42K, which leaves the new doctor $48K on which to live, After 10 years, the student loan is paid, but the doctor has no equity in a practice. Another scenario for 10 years could be if the new doctor were to purchase a practice that is collecting $1M while netting $300K. The practice has a purchase price of $600K at 5% interest. Here’s what will happen. The doctor will pay $100K in tax, leaving him or her $200K. The interest and principal payment would be $75K annually. The student loan is still $42K a year, which makes a net of $83K after tax. The beauty of this is that in 10 years, the doctor accumulates equity of $1M in a practice.”  If you think you may be well-suited to own your own dental practice, weigh your options and look into securing a business loan to take the next step.

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