buying a dental practice checklist

Embarking on buying a dental practice can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. It is a significant step towards realizing your dreams of practice ownership and professional autonomy. However, thorough preparation and careful consideration are essential to ensure a seamless transition and successful investment.

This article presents a comprehensive checklist designed to guide aspiring dentists through the crucial steps and considerations involved in purchasing a dental practice. From financial assessments and due diligence to legal concerns, planning, reputation evaluation, and office technology upgrades, this checklist will be a valuable resource to help you navigate the complex process of buying a dental practice with confidence and clarity.


  • Develop a business plan outlining your goals, strategies, and growth opportunities.
  • Consider your long-term vision for the practice and how it aligns with the existing patient base and location.
  • Create a timeline for the acquisition process, including transition and integration plans.


  • Determine your budget and secure financing options.
  • Assess the practice’s financial records, including profit and loss statements, tax returns, and accounts receivable.
  • Evaluate the practice’s cash flow, overhead expenses, and growth potential.
  • Verify the revenue streams and analyze the income trends over the past few years.
  • Assess the practice’s expenses, outstanding debts, and liabilities.
  • Consider consulting with a financial advisor or accountant to evaluate the practice’s financial health.

Due Diligence

  • Review patient demographics, including age groups, insurance coverage, and potential for new patients.
  • Assess the practice’s current patient base, retention rates, and potential liabilities.
  • Verify the accuracy of clinical and billing records.
  • Evaluate existing contracts, leases, and vendor agreements.
  • Conduct a thorough examination of the physical assets, such as equipment and inventory.

Legal Considerations

  • Consult with an attorney specializing in dental practice acquisitions.
  • Review legal documents, such as purchase agreements, leases, and non-compete agreements.
  • Understand the existing practice’s legal structure and any potential liabilities or pending litigations.
  • Assess any pending or potential legal claims or liabilities.
  • Confirm that the practice has all necessary licenses, permits, and certifications.

It is essential to thoroughly examine the lease terms and conditions; learn more here

Transition Planning

  • Develop a transition plan to ensure a smooth handover of the practice.
  • Discuss the transition process with the current owner, including patient retention strategies.
  • Assess the availability and competence of the existing staff and consider retention or replacement options.
  • Evaluate the need for any renovations or upgrades to the practice facility.
  • Plan a comprehensive communication strategy to inform patients and staff about the ownership change.

Office and Dentist Reputation

  • Evaluate the practice’s reputation in the local community and online.
  • Review patient reviews, testimonials, and ratings on relevant platforms.
  • Assess the reputation and qualifications of the selling dentist(s) and staff.

When considering buying a dental practice, assessing the financial aspects and the practice’s reputation is crucial. Learn more here.

Office Referrals

  • Assess the practice’s current referral sources and relationships with other healthcare professionals.
  • Evaluate the potential for growth through increased referrals from local physicians, specialists, and other dental professionals.

Geography and Demographics

  • Analyze the local market and competition.
  • Evaluate the area’s demographics, including population size, income levels, and dental insurance coverage.
  • Consider the growth potential of the location and the demand for dental services.

Choosing the right location can significantly impact your ability to attract new patients and foster the growth of your practice. Learn more here

Office Technology and Updates

  • Evaluate the current technology and equipment in practice.
  • Determine if any upgrades or investments are necessary to align with modern standards and enhance efficiency.
  • Assess the integration of electronic health records (EHR) systems and patient management software.

Equipment and technology play a critical role in the success of a dental practice. Learn more about Assessing the Condition and Suitability of Dental Equipment here.

Professional Advice

  • Engage the services of a dental practice broker or consultant to assist with the acquisition process.
  • Consult with an accountant to evaluate the financial aspects of the practice.
  • Seek advice from a dental practice management consultant for insights on operational improvements and growth strategies.

This checklist is designed to guide you when purchasing a dental office. However, enlisting the help of business professionals ensures a smooth transition. We would love to help; click here to schedule a call with a business coach.







About the Author Ben Shaver

For over a decade, I've guided growing dental practices and groups on how to use leadership and communication to build referable teams and memorable brands.

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