Selling your dental practice


If you own a practice, you’ve probably always expected to sell it one day. However, as Business Development Consultant Julie Leddy outlines, sometimes reality is more complicated than we expect. Julie shares her experience from working with many practices to make the experience as smooth as possible.


Posted by Julie Leddy on 17/04/2019



If you’re a dentist thinking about retiring, you’ll already have a good idea of the challenges unique to someone looking to hang-up their drill. You might find the sheer amount of things to consider a little daunting, but don’t worry. With the right amount of time and planning, the closing chapters of your career can be some of your most fulfilling.


To support you through your planning, we’ve put together a few answers to the questions dentists often ask when preparing for their retirement.


Where do I start?


Begin by establishing two things – when you would like to retire and how much you will need to live on once you're no longer working. Building your retirement fund is vital, so you need to know how big that fund should be, how long you have to develop it, and how much you need to save each month to achieve it.


How much planning time do dentists usually need?



The two points you established earlier will give you the best idea of how much time you need. However, if you’re selling a dental practice as part of your retirement, you’re looking at 3-5 years of planning before the practice sale. Considering that the average retirement age for Goodwill Owning dentists is now 55, many dentists want to start planning for their retirement earlier than they had first thought.


Who should I speak to for advice?


Speaking with experts is a very good way to build your retirement plan. Consulting with a financial specialist to ensure your retirement fund is healthy and secure is a must.


Remember that every dentist with a Simplyhealth Professionals membership has free access to a host of dedicated support teams and online resources. Your Business Development Consultant is available to discuss your plans with you, no matter where you are in your preparations.


What if I’m selling my practice?



Selling a practice, or your share in a practice, is an effective way to ensure your retirement fund. As mentioned earlier, it’s recommended that you allow 3-5 years of planning time before you sell, to allow time to maximise the practice value.


You can find practical advice on increasing your practice value, and managing the Goodwill of your patients in our guide to selling your dental practice.


When do I tell my staff/my patients?


Announcing your retirement can feel like the trickiest part of the whole process. It’s very important that you share your plans with your staff at a time when you feel comfortable doing so. However, you must be sure to allow enough time for you and your practice team to prepare for the transition within the practice.


Saying goodbye to your patients is an emotional experience. You can’t replace those face-to-face conversations you’ll have, however, Simplyhealth Professionals offers a mailing service to support them. Our mailing team can help you write a letter to your patients, explaining your decision and how your patients will be in good hands with the new practice owner, or what to do next if the practice will be closing. We can provide you with with plenty of tools and templates to make writing the letter as easy as possible, and post it to them on your behalf. 


Wherever you are in your career, whether retirement seems a long way off or too close for comfort, you aren’t doing this alone. All the support teams at Simplyhealth Professionals are just a phone call away. If you want to talk to us about anything on this page, call us on 0800 169 7660 or email [email protected]