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I am considering buying a general dental practice where the lab expenses are only 4% of collections. What should laboratory expenses be?

Laboratory expenses should be approximately 8% of annual gross collections for an average, but well-run, fee-for-service general dental practice. A low percentage such as the 4% of annual gross revenues you asked about indicates that this seller probably has so many active patients in this practice that he is working too hard just to keep up with this high patient count and he does not take the time to offer more comprehensive services to those patients. This type of practice would be considered a "Diamond in the Rough" and would be considered a great buy if it is located in an area that you find desireable. There will be a lot of work that can be done in this practice (as a rule) for the purchaser with good case presentation skills.

On the other extreme, if you are looking at a general dental practice with laboratory expenses in the 10% to 12% range, you are most likely dealing with a lower active patient count whereby most (if not all) of the comprehensive dentisry has already been completed on those patients. This is usually a beautiful office and is visually desirable and located in a high-end demographic market, but you should approach this practice with great caution. It might be a good buy for a prosthodontist or someone who has completed some Panky or LVI courses, but the doctor taking over a practice like this will need extraordinary clinical and case presentation skills in order to make a living.

So remember, the lower the laboratory percentage, the greater the opportunity is as a practice acquisition; the higher the laboratory percentage, the greater the clinical and case presentation skills will be needed by the purchaser. This is just one of many considerations to review when considering acquiring a general dental practice. See Less

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"My AFTCO analyst was the perfect analyst for this transition. He knew first-hand the world of transitioning between practice buyer and owner. Because he is a dentist, I was much more comfortable working with him. He is very knowledgeable about the dental and business aspect of this field. Thank you for all of your help."

Cheryl C. Johnson, D.D.S.
Abilene, TX

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Ronald C. Shrum, D.D.S.
Blue Springs, MO

"My AFTCO Analyst worked as fast as he could to fairly evaluate my practice. All of my questions were always answered. My AFTCO Analyst followed up on details until the sale was completed. I would recommend him to any seller of a practice without hesitation."

Richard Cauley, D.D.S.
Big Spring, TX

"My AFTCO Analyst was great. I talked with him over a six year period and he was always interested in finding the right person within my time frame for the transition. I couldn't have made the successful transition that I did without AFTCO."

Stanton D. Dunn Jr., D.D.S.
Scottsburg, IN