the startup dental practice Blog

from Ideal Practices

Read the Top Concepts Every Week

Dental Demographics and 4 Overlooked Ways to Choose the Best Location.

 By Jayme Amos.  Get free updates of posts here

Dental Demographics

How they Should Dramatically Affect
Choosing The Best Location…

dental demographicsRaise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to build a new dental practice but can’t decide where.

You’re not alone!

Nearly every Doctor-owner has had the paralyzing feeling when considering all the dental demographics options available for a dental practice. And its no wonder why – quite possibly the largest investment of your life will be made for this project and you want to do it right.

“Demographics can help create your success.

And if you get this wrong, demographics can kill your success.”

There is a lot on the line!

For our High Level Consulting Clients, we use our in-house software to comb through thousands of data points. With data sources from government data, real estate data, big-business data and other paid sources, our team combines it all with our decade of experience to analyze the best options.

With all that technology and experience, you’d think the process would be fast, right?

I wish!

A Sad Story

With more competition, corporate dentistry and more access to data, we’re seeing higher risk levels when things aren’t done right. Recently, I spoke with a doctor in New York who said he works in a facility with 4 other doctors. And each one has his own startup.

But to make matters worse, one of them had been working there as a part-time associate, supporting his weak income from his startup for 4 years!

Can you imagine?  What if that was you?

What if you had a startup, made the wrong choices and ended up working for 4 years in another facility.


Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be that way. With the right data, you can win.

You can have a startup that thrives.

Like this doctor who ramped up with hundreds of patients in the first couple of months!

This is Why You Must…

Get Current Data – every 3-6 months, the data must be updated. If not, you could be making a decision that will impact you for decades with information that is dangerously irrelevant, let alone not current.

Avoid Free Data – you can’t buy data from our firm (we reserve it exclusively for our High Level Consulting Clients). And even though our firm couldn’t sell you data, I’m still begging you not to study free data.

Why?  Well, if your mother were looking to make a life-changing investment in a full mouth reconstruction with 10 implants under IV sedation, would you tell her to look up the closest free community clinic? Imagine the similarities.

Demographics data will define your trajectory of success. Will you subject it to unqualified data? Please don’t.

Run from Cookie-Cutter Reports – is your dream of practice ownership identical to thousands of other doctors?  I would hope not! Assuming your vision has some precision to it, you deserve better than cookie cutter reports. If all you want is a me-too practice, the cookie-cutter reports will be fine. Take the “automated” template from their factory. With a me-too practice, those doctors will be fine.

Not you, if you have any specific elements to your dream of practice ownership.

Get an analysis that is fully custom for you and your dream.

Before Considering Dental Demographics

First, before considering the best dental demographics for your practice, see if any of these questions have rattled around in your mind:

1.)   Do you want the corner lot?

2.)   Is that building the right size?

3.)   What IS the right size?

4.)   Do you need a big sign?

5.)   Can I even have a sign in that location?

6.)   Why do they say a concrete floor will increase the price?

7.)   How close to the highway should you be?

8.)   Is being located in your home community a good thing or a bad thing?

9.)   Are there enough patients in that area?

10.)  Are there too many dentists in that area?

11.)  How many years can you safely invest into the space before you’re likely to outgrow it?

12.)  What is the family household income level in that area? Is it too high or too low?

13.)  What population level is too high or too low?

14.)   What other dental demographics should be considered? 

15.)   Own or Lease real estate – which is best for your custom vision?

16.)   What growth projections can you count on in your business plan and how will you prepare for that growth?

17.)   What level of PPO, HMO and Medicaid participation will I permit in my practice? How will my demographics help me create that plan?

18.) What is my precise Ideal Patient profile and how do I know if it is marketable and achievable in my first year?

These 18 Vital Questions

Those are 18 vital questions that need to be discussed in your planning stages and there dental demographicsare proven ways to approach each of these. Some have exhaustingly long answers and others are a little simpler. With each, we’ve found immense clarity with our High Level Consulting Clients’ planning process.

Here, in this article, my hope with posting those 18 questions is to get your mind in a place of seeing a perspective in dental demographics that many miss.

The location of your new practice deserves the best chances of success and doing the right research up front will help you reach that level. 

Next, lets look at 4 ways to choose the best location, while considering demographics. 

Dental Demographics;
4 More Ways to Choose the Best Location


Demographics are crucial to the success of your new dental practice. With a strong understanding of the demographics information, you will have confidence in your choice dental demographicsand have higher new patient flow.

We use a customized 12 point checklist for dental demographics reports but our clients learn that we place the highest emphasis on two, in particular. 

For more detailed information on the 12 Point Checklist or other demographics concerns, download our Free Dentist’s Awareness Guide to Choosing the Right Location here: 

2.)   LEGAL:

One of the easiest and overlooked items in determining your best dental demographics is your current non-dental demographicscompete contract.

This is overlooked at the wrong time. The majority of associates will examine their non-compete (assuming its accessible) WHILE they’re working for the senior doctor, close to the time they want to build their own practice.

However, ideally, I like to suggest first-year associates to strategically only consider associateship positions 10+ miles from their ideal location.

For example, if you want to build in Cherry Hill, NJ, I might suggest taking an associateship in Philadelphia for a few years. But if you’re already working in an associateship position, you need to make sure you fully understand your non-compete clause in your employment contract. Not doing this the right way could be crushing and it’s happened many times to the loss of the associate.


There have been times when I’m visiting one of the local boroughs and I notice 3 or more new dental practices being built at the same time!

While that’s exciting for the advancement of dentistry and the availability of care for patients, it’s not so exciting for those 3 practice owners.

Even if you’re not completely concerned about this topic, it would be good for you to know that most new dental practice owners will send out large volumes of marketing. For better or for worse, the “mature” practices rarely send out marketing pieces like postcards and mailers which leaves a great opportunity for a new practiceIF it’s the only start-up in that area.

But if multiple practices are starting up simultaneously, local potential patients could feel bombarded by dental marketing and reach a point where they won’t respond to dental ads for treatment beyond emergencies.

It’s called the marketing saturation point.

The easiest way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to work closely with a “Practice Project Team” who has a deep understanding of these issues. Their knowledge and connections will have the inside track on the the current dental demographics and the future plans for your local dental community.

Another possible resource would be a strong relationship with the people in the local township building where you’re hoping to build and talk about commercial projects that are underway. They will have a record of all the projects (dental or not) that have been applied for and approved. If you can get a peek at the near-future competition of other start-ups, you’ll be in MUCH safer position when you start.


This is different from the dental demographics report we discussed above. It’s also not at all related to your personal age!  This refers to the age of the other doctors in that area.


Acquisition opportunity:  Your chance to get a great price on patient records of retiring doctors.

One of our clients who recently built her new practice in a small town took this dental demographicsconcept to a new level by building a strong relationship with one of the oldest and most-likely to retire doctors in the town – before she even started construction!  Brilliant!  She now has an agreement in place to have the first right of refusal on the purchase of the patient records when it comes time for the senior doctor to sell.

A second client who’s second practice we helped build, started his career in a particular high-income town and intentionally built with the plan to acquire 3 practices to build up his total number of patients. In 5 years, he had acquired 3 practices and his practice is doing very well. See if you can get some good information on the approximate age of the doctors in the town and you could be in a great spot to acquire patient records in future years. 

Good luck taking the first steps forward and go in to your dental demographics search with confidence now that you have more tools under your belt!

By Jayme


Check out our reviews at Amazon!