Building a Dental Startup: A Guide to Success

Considerations and Steps to Launching a Successful Dental Practice from Scratch

Embarking on the journey of building a dental startup can be an exhilarating endeavor for dentists. While joining or purchasing an existing practice may seem like the easier route, many dentists find that starting from scratch allows them to create their dream practice. However, launching a dental startup requires careful planning, significant investments of time, talent, and capital. In this article, we explore the reasons why building a new practice may be the best option and provide essential steps for success in launching a dental startup.

When building an all-new practice may be your best option:

A lack of suitable practices and desired specifications

For dentists who have scoured brokerage websites and reached out to dentists in their chosen geographic area without finding a practice that aligns with their vision, starting from scratch becomes a compelling option. Additionally, if the available practices do not meet the desired size requirements, such as the number of operatories or the capacity for hiring associates and hygienists, building a new practice may be the best solution.

Renovation costs and outdated facilities

Another reason to consider building a dental startup is when the available practices in the area feel cramped, outdated, and require extensive renovations and equipment upgrades. In such cases, the cost and hassle of renovating an existing practice may outweigh the benefits, making it more cost-effective to start anew.

Limited prospects for attracting new patients

The location of available practices can also play a significant role in the decision to build a new practice. If the practices for sale are situated in neighborhoods with limited potential for attracting new patients, dentists may opt to create their own practice in an area with stronger growth potential.

Launching your dental startup: 7 essential steps for success

1. Do a thorough demographic analysis:

Conducting a comprehensive demographic analysis is crucial when planning a dental startup. Identifying an area with a favorable dentist-to-patient population ratio and potential for growth is essential for building a healthy patient base.

2. Find a good location:

Choosing the right location is key to the success of a dental startup. Look for office space that is conveniently located for both patients and dental team members, with dedicated parking and high visibility. Consider enlisting the help of a real estate professional to find viable spaces and negotiate favorable terms.

3. Work on financial projections:

Developing financial projections is vital to understanding the potential earnings and growth rate needed to sustain the practice. Running basic projections will provide a reality check and facilitate discussions with potential lenders.

4. Line up funding:

Securing funding is a critical step in launching a dental startup. Many banks have loan limits for dentistry startups, and a capital investment is often required. Dentists early in their careers may be eligible for a traditional loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and seeking guidance from a financial mentor can help explore all financing options.

5. Build your practice while working:

For those who can manage it, continuing to work as an associate while launching a new practice can provide a steady income and alleviate some financial stress during the initial stages of building a patient base.

6. Tap into your dentist network:

Connecting with other dentists who have experience in buying or building practices can be invaluable. Join local dental societies and online groups to find like-minded professionals who can offer advice, share resources, and provide practical tools for success.

7. Harness the power of community:

Utilize your business network to seek support from individuals with specialized skills, such as branding, digital marketing, interior design, financial planning, or human resources. These connections can serve as sounding boards, guides, and potential sources of cost-saving opportunities.


Building a dental startup is a bold career move that offers dentists the opportunity to create their ideal practice. While joining or purchasing an existing practice may be more conventional, starting from scratch allows for greater control and customization. By carefully considering the reasons to build a new practice and following the essential steps outlined in this article, dentists can set themselves up for success in their entrepreneurial journey. Whether choosing to build a startup or pursue other options, the dental industry offers a range of possibilities for dentists to shape their careers and make a positive impact on their communities.






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