Buy an Existing Dental Practice or Start from Scratch: Which Is Better?

Owning a business may seem like a far-fetched dream for many people, but this is a reality for many dentists. What’s more, dentists, too, want to live the entrepreneurial dream: flexible schedule, calling the shots, growing their business – and any other role that fits an entrepreneur. Even though the American dream seems like an easy goal to achieve, the big questions many dentists ask themselves is, “Should I buy an existing dental practice or build one from scratch?” Both options have their pros and cons.

Ultimately, the decision you make boils down to your personal preference. But remember, evaluating both sides of the coin will help you make a well-informed decision that suits your needs. Let’s cover this in detail below.

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Buying an Existing Dental Practice

Most dentists will choose this option as it has immense advantages. Why is this so? It’s simple: You’re buying a practice that has been in existence for a while; This means you’ll inherit a broad patient base. That said; let’s cover the benefits of buying an existing practice:

●    You Work with an Experienced Staff

Experience is vital in the dentistry sector. Once you buy an existing practice, Griggs Practice Transitions explain that you get the staff along with it. From the hygienists to the receptionists to other staff – the burden of employing new staff is removed from your shoulders. Your workforce already knows what they are doing, and you don’t have to explain everything from the start. The only adjustment they’ll need to make is getting used to you. What’s more, your staff will bring you up to speed with all issues in the dental clinic.

●    You Can Evaluate the Financial Statements

No one wants a loss-making business venture. And even though the profit and loss figures will vary from year to year, still, they’re critical when making your final decision. Nonetheless, these figures will give you a good idea of what you should expect when you buy the business. If the numbers satisfy your eyes, it even becomes easier to secure a loan with an established dental practice than with a new one.

●    Wide Patient Base

Once you buy an established practice, you inherit existing patients. However, you’ll need to have a positive attitude. Most patients are sensitive to their doctors. They will switch to another practitioner if they sense any form of negativity coming from you. Even with a degree from Yale or Harvard, your patients won’t care. They only want to know you care enough to address their needs. Similarly, this also applies to the existing staff.

Building a Dental Practice from Scratch

On the other hand, starting a dental practice from scratch has its advantages. In most cases, this option is ideal for a recent graduate – they’re unsure what to expect from the business. It’s also ideal for a dentist who has a clear vision of the kind of practice they want to own. That said, let’s look at the benefits of starting a dental practice from scratch:

●    Location

Your business location plays a critical role in its success. And a dental practice is no exception. When you start a dental practice from scratch, you can research competition and demographic data. This data will help you decide which area has less competition and the type of patients in the area. Additionally, you’re also free to choose what services you want to provide. Once your building is in place, you’re set to go.

●    You Own the Practice

It’s your brand, your patients, your staff, your rules, your systems, your colors – you own every part of your practice! You’re free to change the name, expand to new locations, and even dictate what services you’ll offer. What’s more, you can design the practice how you envision it. In short, you can turn it into a place you love coming to every day.

●    Set Your Own Business Systems

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This is perhaps the most significant advantage of starting your dental practice from scratch. When you have your business systems, it means you run the practice your way; This also helps you learn critical lessons during your first year of operation. So if your existing business system fails along the way, you adjust it to a new one. Remember, some lessons are best learned by experiencing, and building your practice is a praiseworthy way to do that.


Hopefully, the above explanations will help you make a well-informed decision when choosing between both options. Whether you choose to buy an existing practice or build a practice from scratch, the latter is a better option. Why is this so? Starting a new practice from scratch is akin to an adventure: you stumble along the way while gaining valuable lessons. That said, learn the benefits of each option and choose what suits your needs.

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