How Much Does it Cost to Open a Dental Office in America?

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Has it been on your mind to start your dental practice, but the financial aspect of it has been prohibiting you from doing so? We understand that the costs involved in running your private dental office are quite high, but with some research and serious financial planning, it can be quite achievable.

As long as you do your research and find a lender who caters to your business plan, you should be in a good position to start your own practice. This post will cover the different costs involved in starting a dental practice in the US and suggest ways to save money.

Understanding the Cost Breakdown

To begin with, most dental practices would need an initial investment of around 500,000 USD. A large portion of this cost is spent on construction, and then comes the cost of equipment, the salary of employees, dental supplies, computers, and software you want to use for your practice. 

The costs given here are just ballpark since the charges will vary based on the state, city, and location, amongst many other things. Then there are other costs like website designing, IT, legal consultation, marketing materials, etc.

  • Employee wages – A small dental office would need a dental hygienist, dental assistant, and a receptionist. If it is a larger practice with more than one dentist, more assistants and receptionists would be needed to cater to the needs of all patients. The standard salaries of these professionals are as following:
    • Dental hygienist – 65,000 USD to 80,000 USD annually.
    • Certified dental assistant – 40,000 USD to 50,000 USD annually.
    • Receptionist – 40,000 USD annually.

Employee wages comprise 25% of the total income of dental practice.

  • Buying or leasing an office – A 2000 square feet is the minimum area needed to open a dental practice. The total cost would come around 240,000 USD (50% of your total initial investment), including heating, cooling, AC, plumbing, electrical, and air ventilation.
  • Dental equipment and furniture – From dental chairs to imaging systems, laser scanners, and cleaning tools, the cost of buying dental equipment can easily reach a mid-six-digit range.
  • License, dental laboratory fees, insurance, and other expenses – Laboratory fees are based on the number of patients in a dental office, so this is not easy to calculate. But a rough number would be 10% of a dental practice’s annual revenue. Laboratory fees are paid to access dental gears (retainers, crowns, mouth guards, bridges, etc.) that labs create for patients. Other expenses include malpractice insurance, dental association fees, dental practitioner’s license renewals, and other training and education costs for employees.

How Much Does It Come to Finally

As we mentioned earlier, you will have to initially incur 500,000 USD for the huge purchases in the first year. You can save up on this cost by opening your dental office in a more affordable area like an upcoming part of the town. You may also consider running your practice from your home if you have that kind of space. Another way to save is to open a smaller practice with fewer employees till the time you can afford to have a larger space and more employees.