Why Dental Practice Transitions Matter

The basic concept of transitioning your dental practice to another dentist has been around for many years. But do you know what it really means to do a transition? Do you know the difference between a brokered sale, a transition, or just selling your practice to a company specializing in buying private practices? Do you have a vision for how you want to exit dentistry? If you have decided you do want to transition your practice, do you know all that is involved?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, then you owe it to yourself to learn the possibilities that could exist within your practice. Work with a trusted advisor who has a comprehensive understanding of dental transitions, as there is a lot of misleading information out there. Whether it is attorneys interested in just protecting you, CPAs focused only on the numbers, practice brokers who call themselves “transition experts” or companies trying to convince you that you’ll be better off just selling to them rather than bothering with a transition – be wary. Get informed.

Dentistry is a fabulous profession and owning your practice can give you tremendous rewards if you know what you are doing and where you are going. Having a positive impact on your patients, building your community, providing for your staff, taking control of your professional career and the potential to achieve financial freedom are just a few of the many benefits of ownership. At the same time there are numerous forces and changes in the dental industry that you have to be aware of and know how to adapt to. Increasing pressure from insurance companies can impact your patient flow and profit margins, the need to invest in and learn new technologies continues to accelerate, and managing your staff (and your business in general) is getting more and more complex every day. So what should you do?

First, go back to all the reasons why dentistry is such a great profession. Surround yourself with advisors who can help make sure you stay in control of your business by helping you implement the systems you need to stay ahead of the curve. Make sure you have the information you need to make the best decisions you can about your business. Realize you cannot ignore what is happening in dentistry, nor should you panic.

So why do transitions matter? Remember, transitions are not just an exit strategy. They are not about just getting a check. They are about staying on the leading edge in your profession and collaborating with the next generation of dental leaders. They can ensure your patients and your staff are well taken care of, and that your practice will continue to thrive well into the future. And ultimately they can provide you the ability to fulfill your vision of how you want to practice, how you want to live and eventually, how you want to exit dentistry. All while giving you the opportunity for greater financial benefits over just selling your practice at the end of your career.

At Mercer Transitions, a division of Patterson Dental, we have helped thousands of dentists better understand their possibilities. We’ve worked with them to clarify their vision and understand how to leverage the most powerful asset they have: their practice. Each client has a different perspective, a different practice and different goals. Never allow articles you read (even this one!) or what you hear at your study club to form the basis of your transition plan. Invest the energy to become well informed. Set aside time to create a vision for your practice and how that fits in with the vision for your life. What type of dentistry do you want to do and for how long? What do you love about your practice and what would you change? How well would you enjoy sharing responsibility and collaborating with another dentist? Do you have ideal life balance right now? Ask yourself these questions, work on the answers and then take action.

Patterson Dental is deeply committed to the success of every one of our clients. As many of you know, we are committed to your practice success by enhancing the patient experience and the practice lifestyle. Our Transition Advisors can help you through this most important process. Their expertise in practice management, tax planning, integrating associates into a practice, valuations and practice analysis allow them to effectively coach you every step of the way, just as they have for thousands of others. By working to ensure the success of all parties they can help you plan and implement a successful transition, whatever that may mean to you.

Take control of your own practice and live your vision. Transitions matter!

CONTACT MERCER TRANSITIONS for a free consultation to understand your options. The process will help you decide what option may be best for you and how to prepare for success. They will examine your practice dynamics and practice economics to determine your level of transition-readiness. Then, through a personalized phone consultation to better understand your vision, they will make sure you know all your options and the ideal starting point for your transition should that be the best path for you.

Call 800.444.6162 or email practicetransitions@pattersondental.com

Andrew Darke, National Practice Transitions Manager
Andrew Darke currently leads Mercer Transitions, a division of Patterson Dental, and has over 25 years of business and financial experience. His areas of expertise include partnerships, contracts, coaching, tax planning, practice analysis and valuations. Prior to joining Mercer Transitions in 2002, he earned his BS in industrial and management engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his MBA at Pepperdine University. Mr. Darke is also a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves, where he has held command positions and currently works with the United States Naval Academy as a regional representative.