Right now it may feel like everything’s on hold. Schools are starting later, bosses are encouraging their employees to work from home as long as possible, and some small companies are choosing to remain closed. But dentists’ offices are an essential business, and patients will continue visiting their dentist despite whatever’s going on in the world. If you’re thinking about buying a dental practice, the dental industry has actually fared rather well in the current economic climate.
Thad Miller, the founder and president of ddsmatch, recently stated that “most of our clients have had an incredible June and beyond and it looks good going on . . . We’re seeing really good results.”
As many older dentists are contemplating retirement and looking to sell soon, this is a great time for younger dentists who are ready to take over a practice and make it their own. At ddsmatch Four States, we specialize in dental practice transitions and we know the ins and outs of the market. Here are a few reasons why we think it’s prime time to buy or sell.
Buying a Dental Practice: Why Now is an Ideal Time
Practices all over the U.S. have been impacted by the pandemic in different ways, and the numbers show just how much. Dr. Howard Farran, the founder of Dentaltown, recently reported that between 1999 and 2019, on his site, “there [were] usually about 1,000 classified ads of a dentist selling their practice and about 5,000 ads of dentists looking for an associate.” “Now,” he says,” it’s 2,000 dentists selling their practice with only 1,000 jobs.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, most dental practices shut down for a period of time while they weighed the risks and benefits of reopening. With no revenue except the occasional dental emergency procedure, many practices that may have had three dentists on staff had to cut down to only two or one. This left a lot of doctors jobless who are now forced to find employment elsewhere.
At the same time, older doctors who were already thinking about retirement have started moving up their timeline. Instead of dealing with the hassle and expense of redoing their sterilization procedures, buying new equipment, or adjusting their office practice methods, they now want to transition their practice to a younger doctor who can handle the new changes.
Thad Miller notes, “There’s going to be opportunities out there. We all know that the baby boomers in our society are retiring in all different sectors. In accounting, in legal, in appraisers, whatever it may be. There’s a large group of our population that are retiring and there’s fewer buyers because there’s just the mass number of dentists that are transitioning over the next ten years. I think there’s opportunity out there.” Dentists looking to own their own practice can take charge of their career and examine their different options.
As part of our services, ddsmatch Four States provides Dr. Charle’s Blairs Clinical Treatment Analyzer report, showing the opportunity in a practice. As Miller explains, for instance, “The dentist who’s selling, they stopped doing root canals 15, 20 years ago, and they stopped doing oral surgery.” The Clinical Treatment Analyzer report allows dentists to find ways to increase their profit margin in a practice that’s already successful, without increasing the sale price.
Why Should I Sell My Dental Practice Right Now?
WIth the influx of younger dentists ready to jump start their career by buying a dental practice, you may have a lot of interest from buyers. You should make sure your office is up-to-date so you’ll get what it’s worth. Here a few tips if you’re looking to sell your dental practice for a competitive price.
The last thing you want is for interested buyers to decide against buying your practice based on how it looks. There are simple, cosmetic things you can do around your office to make it look brand new. Replacing the flooring and adding a new coat of paint are both excellent, inexpensive ways to modernize your practice. You should also re-evaluate how you’re using the space. Could things be switched around to provide more patient rooms? Could cabinets be cleaned out to allow for more storage? If you want to update your office but you don’t know where to start, getting a consultation from an interior designer in the area can also be a good first move. Making your office appear warm, welcoming, and professional can entice both patients and buyers.
No young dentist is going to want to buy your office if you’re using old equipment and outdated systems. If you haven’t gone digital already, now is the time to do so to get the price you want. Most dentists today are trained only on digital systems and won’t want to use antiquated processes that are no longer feasible.
Get a Website
New patients searching for a dentist are going to Google search your office and look at your website before they make a decision. That goes for buyers, too. A simple website with basic information about your practice and your staff and a way to contact you will suffice. You may also want to mention your sterilization procedures and how you’re handling office cleanliness and patient appointments while the pandemic is on-going. If you don’t know anyone who can create a professional looking website, ddsmatch Four States can refer you to companies who can create a basic website for you that will fit within your budget.
Why Dentists Choose the ddsmatch Four States Dental Practice Transition Specialists
Expectations and Transparency
Whether you are thinking “It’s time to sell my dental practice,” or considering buying a dental practice, ddsmatch Four States can help you achieve your dental practice transition goals. We specialize in dental practice transitions with our years of expertise and ability to read the current market.
Our goal is to find the right match for both the buyer and the seller. We promise openness and clear communication throughout all the transitions we handle, so there’s no confusion or misunderstandings. We understand that when it comes time to sell your dental practice, you want your legacy protected. That’s why we won’t stop working for you until everyone involved in the transition is satisfied with the end result. We want each dental practice transition to be a win-win, and we accomplish this by focusing on realistic expectations and transparency.
First, we’ll issue you a comprehensive letter of intent with details about what to expect from the business deal. As Thad Miller explains, “We have about a five page letter of intent, which was unique to the industry nine years ago, where they usually just got a price and then they kind of fought about everything until closing.”
He explains further that in this letter, “we address every single thing that’s going to go on in the transaction, from the price, to the asset allocation for taxes. What are we doing for real estate, the lease, the breakdown of what they’re buying and what they’re not buying, non compete . . . all in writing, ahead of time. Even though a letter of intent is a nonbinding agreement, we want that expectation set for our buyer.”
Second, we use our Trusted Transition Process in every deal we close. We want the buyer to know all the ins and outs of the practice they’re buying without any hidden details. We also add a business valuation from Blue & Co. and their team of certified valuation analysts. These analysts are CPAs who have undergone additional training and focus solely on business valuations. Each buyer will receive a detailed 70-page report that outlines all the financial aspects of the practice, looking at production, collections, taxes, overhead, etc. We want the buyer to understand why the practice is priced right.
Opportunities for Buyers
Our main priority at ddsmatch Four States is to represent dentists who are selling, but we still have a lot to offer buyers searching for the right practice. After creating a quick profile, buyers can browse through the listings on our website for free! Our website will track practices in the areas you’re interested in and let you know of available opportunities that pop up.
Even if you’re not a practicing dentist yet, you can stay informed of the market conditions in your area so you’ll be able to take advantage of good opportunities when they come along. We’re a great resource for dental students and qualified dentists alike. Thousands of dentists have registered with us so they can keep up to date on practices when they go on the market.
The search function on our website allows you to search by associateships, partnerships, practices available for merger, or dental practices for sale. You can filter both the location and the size of the practice. Once you log into your profile, you can also see location, revenue, number of operatories, staff size, if they have digital radiography, if they have cone beam imaging, data on the local area, and other information to help you know whether a particular practice meets your needs.
We believe confidentiality is imperative to protect our clients’ interests, so you’ll notice we don’t use any doctor names on our website. This helps us safeguard both the transitions that are currently in process and the dentists we work with.
Putting your dental practice up for sale is a life-changing decision, and we want to help you through each step of the process. We’re satisfied when both our client and the doctor buying a dental practice are happy with the outcome. As Miller says about our clients, “If they see a patient in the grocery a month after transition, they want to feel good that they don’t have to hide behind a stack of things because they didn’t have a good transition.”
Interested in buying a dental practice? Search our available practices here. If you are considering selling a dental practice, contact us today and find out how we can help you meet your practice transition goals.