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The Dentist Job Search – A Fork in the Road

Dentist Job Search

You are about to start your career as a dentist. So, what are your career options when starting your dentist job search?

What Are The Dentist Job Opportunities Available For a New Graduate?

Of course there are dentist job opportunities to consider. As a dentist in a solely owned or small group dental practice, you will likely be paid a percentage of your production and they may provide you with patients to see, although at some point you will need to bring in new patients, too. The advantage of this career option is that the dental practice is already producing revenue and you will have an immediate source of income. Also, you won’t need to come up with money to start the practice, wait for patients to start coming, or have the headaches of dental practice ownership. Similarly buying a dental practice would require capital and have the challenges of ownership. Hopefully the owner the practice you join will be a good mentor and help you develop your clinical (and business) skills. Potentially there may even be partnership or ownership in your future. If so, get a practice valuation done immediately and set the terms of the purchase in writing at the beginning of your relationship.

Dentist Job OpportunitiesAre Dental Service Organizations the Right Fit For Me?

There are also dental associate opportunities with DSO’s (Dental Service Organizations). As with other associateships, you don’t have the responsibility of ownership and can focus on performing dentistry. Depending on the corporate model, there may be future ownership opportunities.  Some of these practices offer dental positions as an employee with a guaranteed salary. DSO dental groups’ opportunities may offer a better work-life balance than some of the other options. Dental services organizations often have more dentist job opportunities with flexible hours and part-time work, which may offer a better fit with your lifestyle.  If you are looking to build your practice without the burden of dental practice ownership, DSO dental opportunities may be exactly what you are looking for.

Can I Afford Dental Practice Ownership?

While most new dentists and specialists think dental practice ownership isn’t possible, it really is an option. Large amounts of student loan debt will not necessarily prevent you from borrowing the money to buy or start-up a practice. Lenders understand student loan debt. It is, however, best to avoid loans for luxury cars, credit card debt, etc. when you are thinking of buying or starting a practice.  As long as your credit is in good standing, financing should be available to either buy an existing or start-up a new practice. It’s best to speak to a reputable Practice Transition Broker who can help you determine how much money you will qualify for and which lenders will work best in your situation. If you’re considering dental practice ownership, keep in mind that with this route you can have many months of expenses before you start to realize any revenue, so be prepared.

Regardless of your path, you have a bright future in front of you with great options to choose from. Just choose the one that’s right for you.