In today’s dental landscape, discussions often revolve around the perceived threat of corporate dentistry. However, beneath the surface lies a world of opportunity waiting to be explored.

Dispelling Misconceptions Surrounding Corporate Dentistry The narrative that corporate dentistry spells doom for traditional practices is deeply ingrained. But it’s time to challenge this notion.

Corporate dentistry, often portrayed as a disruptor, offers a fresh perspective on practice management. Rather than viewing it as an adversary, dentists should consider it as a potential ally in navigating the changing dynamics of the dental field.

Embracing Collaborative Practice Management At the core of corporate dentistry lies the concept of collaborative practice management. Dentists partnering with Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) gain access to a wealth of resources and expertise, facilitating smooth practice transitions.

By entrusting administrative tasks to corporate entities, dentists can focus on what they do best: providing top-notch patient care. Lease negotiations, appraisal assessments, and financial planning become streamlined processes, thanks to corporate support.

Eventually, the time will come when you begin to consider, and prepare for, the sale of your business – are you ready?

Considerations When Selling Your Practice

Selling a business is a complex process that involves a world of people (accountants, attorneys, brokers, consultants, investment advisors, and more) and it’s important to keep the following moving parts in consideration as you prepare for your sale and the transition of your business:

Would Your Lease Look Attractive to a Purchaser (DSO, or Otherwise)?

It is important to give yourself a runway of at least five to ten years to prepare the structure of your lease for an eventual assignment and sale:

  • Term, Options.Do you have enough term left in your lease to remain attractive to a future purchaser? Are option periods available? It’s important to ensure that your lease supports the goals of your practice and guarantees that enough option periods available for a future purchaser to assure a lender financing the transaction that the practice has a viable location to operate from.
  • Use Provision. Consider making your lease purchaser-friendly. Ensure that your permitted use provision allows a potential purchaser to practice any and all specialties in addition to general dentistry – it ensures that a purchaser may cast a wider net with their service menu, even if you do not.
  • Assignment. Does your lease allow you to easily assign your agreementto a future purchaser of your practice? How much discretion does your landlord have when choosing the next tenant to your space? And more importantly, if and when you decide to sell your practice, is your landlord entitled to the profits of your sale? Ensuring that your lease can be assigned (with enough term and options available) contributes significantly to the eventual value of your practice.
  • Other Practical Considerations. If you consider selling to a DSO (or any purchaser, for that matter), what would be important to them? Renovation and cosmetic alterations language, parking, signage options, exclusivity from competition, are among many other provisions you may consider negotiating into your lease to maximize practice value.

Practice Appraisal

Do you know what your practice is actually worth? Cumulatively, considerations can include the location of your practice, the technologies available at your clinic for day to day operations, the value of your patient list and goodwill, equipment and other assets, the structure of your lease agreement, among other considerations, when arriving at a final number. Are you curious about what that final number could look like? As you take your time to plan for the eventual sale of your practice, it wouldn’t hurt to spend some time with an accountant to ensure you’re prepared for offers that eventually come your way. Nowadays, too many dentists think that the value of their practice is made up purely of financial criteria (revenue, profits), and overlook aspects of the practice like risk management (employee contracts, proper office leases), and practice culture.


When the time comes to sell a practice, many dentists realize one very common mistake: they didn’t give themselves enough time. Time is needed to prepare and research selling options, structure their lease in a profitable way, speak to an accountant about profitable structuring, and many other steps. The sale of your practice is one of the most important financial transactions you could make professionally. It is important to give yourself enough time to ensure that the process is both profitable and seamless.

All the Possibilities

Ultimately, the choice to sell your practice is yours – you decide whom to sell it to and when it happens. But it is important to ensure that:

  1. a) The path leading up to the day you make those choices is steady, seamless, and well-informed.
  2. b) You consider the many resources available to you that may assist with making that choice.
  3. c) You open the door to the various possibilities available to you when selling your practice.

Be prepared, do your research, and find your perfect fit. Don’t shut the door to the diversity of selling structures and buyer options available to you. Corporate dentistry is one of those many available options. While it’s easy to fall prey to tradition, considering a partnership with a DSO is a viable, increasingly popular option that isn’t necessarily harmful to at least explore.

Contrary to popular opinion, there’s a possibility that you’ll realize you aren’t selling your soul but, in fact, are ensuring your practice has a renewed, viable, and successful future ahead!