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Growing Your Dental Practice: Partners and Associates

Group of dentists

Part of our ongoing series on careers in dentistry.  Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession and welcomes any questions you may have.

As your dental practice begins to grow, you start reaching limitations based primarily on your time—after all; you can only perform so many examinations and procedures. You can add some growth by improving the efficiency of your operations, having dental assistants or hygienists handle more basic tasks, and having office staff take on more management duties. But at some point, you will max out your ability to do more work.

That’s where the idea of taking on partners and associates comes in. You increase the available-to-sell time for dental procedures, and you share office and staffing expenses. There are, however, a few challenges to finding the right professionals to fit into your mix.

First is the fact that there are more dentists retiring than there are entering practice, so finding new dentists willing to join your practice can be a challenge. Since they’re in demand, you may find that you have to offer more incentives or money to get good people on board. This can still be more than worthwhile, but it’s important to understand market conditions as your start your search, you may find it more difficult than you imagined.

The second key issue to consider is whether you’re willing to have an actual partner versus an associate or associates. Partnership means sharing management decisions (and responsibilities) and sharing the profits of the practice. If you take on associates, you keep most of the management control and ultimately control of the practice finances, but you may find that you’re spending more time on the business and less with patients.

A number of consulting and recruiting firms have been created to help dentists as they expand.

Would You Like To Know More? Or if you have specific questions, use the “Ask the Expert” feature of our website. We are always happy to help you and answer your questions.


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