Starting your own dental practice can bring a number of great benefits. That said, managing an entire dental office and focusing on the practice’s financial goals can be overwhelming, especially for new practitioners. Besides monitoring operating expenses, you also have to make a significant initial investment and develop a marketing strategy to attract new patients.

So, how much does it cost to open a dental practice?

There are various factors that impact the cost of opening a private dental practice. Your location, business plan, and the number of partners in your practice are just a few of the elements that will influence the price of your dental clinic.

cost to open a dental practice

This means that the best way to get an accurate estimate is to evaluate your situation, request a quote from the right providers, and create a custom budget to start a dental practice of your own.

In this article, we’ll go over the expenses that you need to cover to start a dental practice. We’ll also share the approximate value of each factor to give you an accurate estimate of the cost of opening a new dental office.

Cost of Opening a Dental Practice

Opening your own practice is a big achievement, but you need to set it up for long-term success from the moment you create the dental office layout and design. This may slightly increase your dental practice startup costs, but it can also help you build a positive reputation and get more patients from the moment you open your doors.

Let’s take a look at 12 different factors that influence the cost of your dental medical practice. Keep in mind that the actual cost of each factor will depend on variables like your location. That said, we’ll provide approximate estimates for the different requirements of opening a new practice whenever possible.

1. Construction

According to the American Dental Association, it takes about $500,000 to open your own dental practice. Now, this number can vary tremendously depending on a range of different elements. This includes the cost of construction in your area.

Construction costs can make up almost 50% of the initial costs of dental practices. Some dentists spend more than $250,000 on the design, permit acquisition, and construction of a single practice.

2. Equipment

The best dental offices are equipped with top tools that improve accuracy and reduce patient discomfort. Now, the problem is that these pieces of innovative equipment also tend to have a high price tag, especially when purchasing newer models.

Dental Equipment's

Keep in mind that this is different from your dental supplies, which you need to order regularly to deliver the best possible service.

3. Dental Supplies

All dentists and other dental experts need supplies in order to perform their jobs properly. Not only this, but having high-quality supplies can actually improve the experience that patients have, drive more sales, and portray a more professional appearance.

Individual dental supplies are relatively inexpensive. But, these can add up to a significant expense, even more so if you provide specialized services that require distinct dental supplies.

4. Legal Services

Practitioners may know all the technicalities necessary to open dental practices, but they also need to ensure that they’re complying with the law before they start providing services to the community.

Make sure to include legal fees in the expenses you expect to pay. Even if you haven’t broken any laws, you’ll need to sit down with your legal team to ensure that all insurance and other paperwork is up-to-date.

5. Practice Management and Administration

Dental practices are composed of a huge number of moving parts. While a knowledgeable clinical team is essential, you also need to have a proactive office manager as well as a motivated administrative team.

In addition to the costs associated with your manager and administrative support employees, you’ll also have to pay for office tools, like accounting and employee scheduling software.

6. Business Coaching

It’s possible to set up a dental office and create a business plan without any coaching whatsoever. With that said, hiring a business coach is a great way to accelerate your growth process and understand how most dental practices achieve success quickly.

Business coaching is considered a luxury service, so it may have a high price tag. That said, it’s usually a temporary expense, so you should be able to work around the financial aspect.

7. IT Costs and Setup

Besides traditional office supplies, you’ll also need to cover assorted technology accessories, computers for the administrative team, and other IT costs. This also includes the salary of your IT specialists, who can either operate as in-house employees or be part of a service you hire.

8. Clinical Team and Back Office Salaries

When it comes to recurring expenses, the clinical team and back office salaries constitute the biggest percentage. Having a dental hygienist, dental assistant, and an additional practitioner can add different dimensions to your practice. And, while this can increase the investment you have to make, it’s important to note that it will also allow you to generate more revenue.

Team Of Dentists Looking at X-ray

9. Property Purchase or Lease

In the vast majority of cases, you have two options when renting an office space. These are two either purchase the office or rent the space. In either case, you need to factor the mortgage or lease payments into your expenses as these will constitute a large chunk of your costs.

10. Lab Fees

It’s common for new dental practice owners to omit lab fees when creating their budgets. However, most practitioners don’t have the budget to build a private lab. So, new dental care providers need to include this into their budgets as well when calculating the cost of running a dental practice.

11. Malpractice Insurance

Just like general liability insurance, all practices need to be insured against malpractices in order to operate legally. This can also save you a huge amount of money in the long run, so keep this investment in mind when carrying out your financial planning.

12. Dental Association Dues and Other Assorted Industry Fees

License renewals, continuing education, and dental association fees are among the assorted expenses that dental care providers have to cover in addition to all other investments. The costs of these fees usually remain stable or increase over time, so consider them a recurring investment in your budget.


Most oral care professionals dream about opening their own practice as soon as they finish dental school. It takes a huge amount of effort and skill, but there is no doubt that you can set up a new dental practice of your own and establish a reliable small business that attracts more patients than the competition.

With the above in mind, you need to familiarize yourself with the different expenses you need to pay. Whether you’re going to take out a loan, save money until you have enough to invest, or get the investment through another venture, understanding all related expenses will ensure that you have the right amount of money.