A Future With High College Debt

It seems that dental school debt has become a major point of concern, and rightfully so. General dentists often graduate with $250-325k of school debt, while specialists are typically $450-550k or even more in debt when they graduate.

Is it no wonder that we are seeing more graduates considering staying employed by others? You will earn less, and usually considerably less than owning your own practice. BUT…It is safe…It is secure…And it is guaranteed!

So why consider anything else?

Although I strongly agree with and promote new dentists working for someone else as they graduate, I also strongly feel that the majority of them should own their own practice. Not all dentists, but the majority of them.

Here is why:

  1. The Arizona economy and roof tops (new home construction) continues to grow. Dentistry follows those roof tops. Look at the Sunday paper to see how many new home subdivisions there are!
  2. The average dentist needs 1300-1800 patients to practice successfully.
  3. The national average collections for a general dentist startup is –
    Year 1 – $285-$325k gross per year
    Year 2 – $425-$475k gross per year
    Year 3 – $575- $650k gross per year
  4. An existing general dentist practice grosses $780k/year, with an average overhead of 60% for general dentists and 50% for orthodontists.
  5. The risk is low…very low! The national average of a dentist failing is less than 1%, when all of the other professional fields have business failure rates that are a shocking 10-35%!

“The American economy has been built and sustained by risk-taking entrepreneurs whose pioneering ideas and hard work gave birth to flourishing businesses.”

– Mike Pence

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About the Author

Steve Anderson is a General Contractor and Owner of Denco Dental Construction, Inc. He is also an author, public speaker and CE instructor. Denco has built well over 1000 new dental offices throughout Arizona. Denco is the only General Contractor endorsed by the Arizona Dental Association.
Steve Anderson portrait

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