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Should You Buy or Start a Dental Practice?

Dentist grabs equipment

Many dentists dream of owning their own practice. There are two common paths to practice ownership: acquiring an existing practice or starting a new practice. If you are wondering whether you should buy or start a dental practice, here are a few factors that may influence your decision.

Practice Availability

Dental practice availability in your desired market may influence your decision to buy or start a dental practice. As of writing this article in early 2023, we are seeing a seller’s market in many parts of the country, meaning there are not enough practices to keep up with the demand. In other words, there are more buyers than sellers.

Your ideal practice may be even harder to find if you are looking for specific specialties, practice sizes, patient demographics, etc. If you are struggling to find an existing practice that matches your requirements, a startup may be a better option for you.


Your timeline may also affect your decision. Prospective buyers should anticipate their acquisition to take a few months, as you find a practice and negotiate a purchase contract.

Startups take significantly longer, sometimes up to 18 months. The startup process includes many steps, such as developing business plans, locating and building out a space, marketing, and hiring and training new employees.


Many dentists who highly value their autonomy prefer to start their own practices. They get to choose the location, patient demographics, financing terms, budget and employees.

On the other hand, if making all those decisions is overwhelming, you may prefer to buy an existing practice and inherit its facility, equipment, systems and legacy.

Owning a practice is an exciting step in any dentist’s career. If you are looking to buy, check out our current practice listings. If you are looking to start a practice, please contact us to get connected with our dental real estate experts.