Upmetrics AI Assistant: Simplifying Business Planning through AI-Powered Insights. Learn How

How to Start a Dental Practice in 10 Steps in (2024)?

Plan Template thumb

Free Dental Business Plan Template

March 05, 2024

9 Min Read

start a dental practice
Table of Contents
Writing a business plan?

If you’re a dentist and planning to start your own dental practice, then now is the perfect time to begin. Starting a dental practice comes with several benefits. It gives you freedom, flexibility, control, and a chance to earn well.

After graduating from dental school, many dentists opt for a private practice. However, being a practice owner comes with various challenges such as writing a detailed business plan, adhering to legal aspects, securing insurance, and more.

But worry not, this step-by-step guide will simply your journey.

Well, before we go into the details of how to start a dental practice, let’s first look at why it’s a good career to step into in 2024.

Why Start a Dental Practice in 2024?

Starting a dental practice in 2024 opens up various opportunities for dental professionals due to the increasing problem of irregular or crooked teeth, gum diseases, tooth decay, and more.

According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global dental market size was valued at $36.08 billion in 2022 and is projected to be $65.23 billion by 2030.

This growth can be seen by factors such as:

Increasing access to dental care

Due to improved access to dental insurance and government initiatives, dental services have become more affordable and accessible to a wide range of patients.

Growing demand for cosmetic dentistry

Change in facial structure, arising from tooth loss, results in loss of facial aesthetics. So, a huge number of people are opting for the cosmetic dentistry.

Technological advancements

Various innovations seen in dental technology such as digital imaging, 3D printing, and laser dentistry, have enabled more precise diagnoses and treatments.

Rising awareness of oral health

Due to increasing awareness about the importance of oral health among aging populations, the demand for dental services is also increasing.

So, there is great scope in the dental industry in 2024 and the upcoming years ahead.

Now let’s see the further steps for starting a dental practice.

1. Understand the Market

The foundation of any business builds on good quality market research. Collect as much ground-level and secondary data to form strategies, processes, and outlines for your dental practices.

You will also learn the demand for dental practice in your area and the competition you will face ahead of your new practice.

Try to reach out to the practice broker as they have a deep understanding of the market. So they can give you some insights into the practice style and practice philosophy.

Moreover, you can also conduct surveys to learn more about the local market, and their demographics. All these factors will help you decide what type of dentistry to focus on, where to start your office, and how to market to the local community.

2. Create a business plan

Having a well-prepared dentist business plan is essential for starting a new dental practice.

You’ll need a detailed business plan for every aspect of your new practice, from the services you’ll provide to the prices you’ll charge and the financing you’ll need.

Now let’s see what you need to include in your dental practice business plan.

  • Executive summary
  • Company Overview
  • Market analysis
  • Products and services
  • Sales strategies
  • Marketing strategies
  • Operations plan
  • Management team
  • Financial plan

Writing these sections requires the utmost attention and precision in detailing.

Not very good at writing? Need help with your plan?

Write your business plan 10X faster with Upmetrics AI

Plans starting from $7/month

3. Legalize your Dental Practice

The only way to practice dentistry legally is to apply for the proper permits and licenses. They indicate that you’ve complied with the set of requirements for running your practice legally.

The licenses and permits you need to start your own dental practice are as follows:

State Medical Board Licensing

To practice dentistry legally, you need to obtain a license from your state’s medical board. Every state has its unique set of regulations and requirements concerning business operations.

You can refer to the American Dental Association for any additional guidance on the licensing process.

Apply for an NPI

The next foremost step is applying for an NPI(National Provider Identifier number), which is essential for insurance tracking purposes. You can visit to National Plan and Provider Enumeration System website to get the NPI number.


To become an accredited dental care provider and accept insurance from patients, you’ll need to undergo credentialing with various insurers.

This process involves submitting your NPI number, insurance details, and state license information. You can explore resources available on the American Dental Association’s website for this process.

Apply for a DEA number

If you plan to prescribe medication to your patients, you need to apply for a DEA number through the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

4. Get a Dental Office Space

Choosing the best location is important for the success of your dental practices. It requires various considerations such as the availability of your target patients, their demographics, and local regulations in that area.

You also need to think about other dental practice layouts in the area you are targeting. If you are starting a dental practice in an area where there are limited options for dentist offices, can increase your potential patient base.

Initially, some practice owners rent an office and later purchase a new building as their business grows. Cost is another key factor. Starting in a high-cost city may increase expenses leading to a lower profit margin. However, it can also offer access to higher-paying patients.

So with a clear idea of who you want to serve and what sets you apart, you can pick a space that’s just right for you and your future patients.

5. Get the Necessary Equipment & Tools

Once you are done with locating your practice, the next step is to acquire the necessary dental equipment and tools for your dental practice. It’s essential to select high-quality and reliable products to ensure the safety of your patients.

The medical equipment, including various dental machinery, is expensive, so project your needs carefully. If you are taking upon an existing practice, you may get some usable equipment but some may need replacement too; if not in good condition.

And if you’re starting from scratch, you may need to spend a huge amount on new equipment and supplies too.

So let’s have a look at which tools and equipment, you may require:

  • X-ray machine
  • Operatory cabinetry
  • Operatory lights
  • Dental patient chairs
  • Sterilization equipment
  • Surgical microscopes
  • Dental lasers
  • 3D imaging systems
  • Utility equipment
  • Hygiene tools

By investing in the right equipment, you can ensure that your dental practice is well-equipped to meet the unique needs of your patients and provide exceptional dental care.

6. Get Business Insurance

To keep your dental business safe and secure, you need to have the right kind of business insurance. This will cover you, your staff, and your customers in case any problems occur.

You should get business insurance that protects you from lawsuits, damages, and injuries. It helps you deal with any kind of risks and liabilities and helps you plan for the future of your dentistry.

Some of the common categories to choose from:

  • General liability insurance
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Disability insurance

Different types of insurance may apply depending on the business structure you opt for. So to safeguard yourself from financial losses and any unexpected situation, insurance is important.

7. Hire Employees

When you start your dental practice, having a great team is key for a successful practice. Consider factors such as the number of staff you need, their qualifications, and their experience.

Based on that, consider hiring:

  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assistants
  • Dental Technicians
  • Office Manager
  • Receptionists
  • Practice Broker

You can use platforms like Upwork, Zippia, LinkedIn search, or industry-specific job boards to hire them. Offer competitive salaries and performance incentives. Employ a mix of full-time and freelance staff for flexibility.

8. Marketing your Dental Practice

To survive in the competitive world of dental practices, it’s important to attract new patients and spread the word about your clinic.

Some ways to market your practice are by working with other businesses, joining local events, hosting seminars on oral health, and more.

However, you can consider some of these effective methods to promote your spa services.

  • Creating a website and SEO Optimization
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Local Advertising
  • Networking
  • Referral Programs

Strategic marketing is the key to starting a dental practice and having a successful opening. So, utilizing the above-mentioned marketing strategy effectively will help you reach the client base of your new dental practice.

Tips for Starting a Dental Practice

Establish a strong online presence

Create a professional website and maintain active social media profiles to showcase your practice, services, and expertise to attract patients. Engage with your audience through informative content, patient testimonials, and interactive posts.

Offer Flexible Payment Options

You should provide flexible payment options and financing plans to accommodate patients’ financial needs. Consider accepting dental insurance, and offering payment plans to make dental care more accessible to your patients.

Employ various strategies to bring in new patients

The easiest way to get patients into the office is to sign up with insurance plans. In addition to joining insurance networks, consider doing digital marketing, patient referrals, and professional networking to expand your patient base and increase practice visibility.


By now you must have a pretty clear idea about starting a dental practice. So let’s take a first step and turn your business idea into an actionable business plan.

Writing your plan will ensure no oversight in business planning and you get a direction for your business. You can use this business planning tool to make your business planning process easier.

So, what are you waiting for? Start taking action and turn your dreams into a reality. Have a successful practice!!

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

Fill-in-the-blanks, AI-assistance, and automatic financials make it easy.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Author


Shyam Dua

Shyam Dua is a seasoned tax professional with 40+ years of experience & a mentor at SCORE. He stands out due to his exceptional business planning skills. With a keen eye for detail and a strong financial acumen, Shyam crafts compelling business plans that pave the way to success. A CPA with a philanthropic heart, Shyam's strategic expertise, and dedication make him an invaluable asset in shaping thriving business ventures. Read more


Reach Your Goals with Accurate Planning

No Risk – Cancel at Any Time – 15 Day Money Back Guarantee