Assessing the Dental Offer

Our friend Carl Guthrie of ETS Dental has kindly allowed us to share these valuable tips for dental associates/specialists in assesing their offer. If you are looking for a dental practice to join, your first call or email should be to Carl.

You’ve had the interview and the practice makes an offer.

Now what do you do? Is it a good offer, great offer, or a time bomb ready to blow up in your face?

Maybe you are trying to choose between more than one offer. Perhaps you are trying to determine whether you should take the first job you’ve been offered. We are here to help. Even if your offer is not from one of our clients, we would be happy to give you an assessment of how it stacks up.

Before you accept an offer, you need to be able to answer the following questions:

Will you be paid a percentage of collections or production?

What is included in these numbers?

Would most of your patients be Fee-for-Service, PPO, Traditional Insurance, Medicaid, HMO?

Will you have a full schedule from day one or will there be a ramp-up period?

Is there a guarantee? (Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly)

What is the restrictive covenant? What is a reasonable distance?

How much notice needs to be given if things don’t work out?

Is there a clear documented path to practice partnership or ownership?

What are the practices fees?

Is it better to get 25% of production, with a full schedule in a fee-for-service, high-end practice or 40% of collections in a discounted fee-schedule, insurance-driven practice?

Is it better to make less during the first year in a practice that you could own in two years or make more in a practice where you will always be an employee?

Would it be smarter to accept an offer near my friends and my Dental school making a salary of $8,000 a month or move 50 minutes away and make between $150,000 and $200,000 my first year?

These are difficult and often life-changing decisions. We will be happy to talk you through the pros and cons of an offer. We will give you a candid assessment and helpful feedback. If the offer is from one of our client practices, we will be happy to intercede with reasonable questions or suggestions about how to structure the contract in a fashion that would provide more of a win-win arrangement.

Send your questions to Tim Lott, CPA, CVA at

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