New Dental Office Expenses – Where is Break Even?

Hi! I opened my office brand new build out since July 13th. I’m struggling with staff turnaround, training. My overhead is 35K for month. Can I get advice in regard to best marketing? How long does it take to pick up the practice? I am kind of nervous about the overhead and running out of working capital. Thank you.

• Rent $4000 (Comcast +AT&T + electric + garbage + security + nea attachment + equip maintenance + electronic)

• Claims $2000

• My loan $7000 (7 yr loan for 400k)

• Supplies $2000

• Lab fee $1000 to $1500

• I have 3 staff, one front 2 back, at 40 hours per week I am open Tuesday to Saturday with some evening hours so employees when hired they wanted make sure get 40 hours. ~ 200 hours per month at $43 total pay $8600

• Doctor pay 3000 per month

• Payroll +unemployment taxes $2500

• For quicken +accountant + license +all malpractice + disability insurance $1000

• Marketing 2000 (did back of the receipt for a grocery store + mail post card + creating web site

• Miscellaneous goodies +tooth brushes for patients + gift cards $200

First month I produced 7,000

2nd month 20,000

3rd month so far 10,000

I just want to at least break even. Am I doing OK? Is this normal?

Staff wages will eat you alive. With $2,500/month in payroll taxes that’s almost $400k/year in wages. $36k appears to be you so that’s maybe $360k for other staff ? That’s fine if you’re doing $120k/month in revenue.

You must be burning through your cash. the last start-up client I had that felt obligated to support his initial staff for 40 hours per week when the volume couldn’t support it had to walk away from the practice, their loan and their house.

You must change that NOW.

Also, I hope you aren’t an S-Corp with the loan in Corporation name.

1. You likely won’t get the benefit of the tax losses unless you funded some portion of the start-up.

2. You’re creating unnecessary payroll taxes on your own comp, which eats into precious cash flow.

Good luck!

This first appeared on Dentaltown.

Send your questions to Tim Lott, CPA, CVA at

For more information or to sign up for our newsletter, please contact
Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest