Should I Bring an Associate In To Buy My Dental Practice?

Whenever I speak to dentists about eventually transitioning out of their practice, they all have the same question:  Am I better off bringing in an associate to eventually purchase my practice?  In the past my response has been vague answer of “it depends”.  However, over the last six years, my response has been a little more definitive.

For many years, bringing in an associate was a very viable option to transitioning a practice, but the economy in the last several years has changed that.  As a result of the Great Recession of 2008, many practices were in decline or flat.  Profit margins declined and some practices even cut back on clinical days.

Before making a decision you must ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Can my practice support two dentists?
  2. Do I want to cut back on the amount of days that I am working?
  3. Am I willing to give up some of my production in order to fill the associate’s schedule?
  4. How much longer do I want to practice?
  5. Am I willing to share my patients with another dentist?
  6. Will I enjoy working with another dentist after being in solo practice for so long?


While the answers to some of these questions are more of an emotional one, there is one that is definitely fact or numbers based – can my practice support two dentists?

What I see in today’s dental world is more and more practices being sold outright, not to an associate. In addition to that, if the answers to question #2 and #3 are no, then bringing in an associate is definitely not the right decision for you. Don’t despair, there are a lot of positive aspects to this scenario since the control is put in your hands.

We will continue to discuss this topic in future blogs.

Email Ellen Dorner for a review of your specific situation or pick up the phone and dial (800) 772-1065