What’s Next? Design Your Life After A Dental Practice Sale

The decision to sell a dental practice brings reflection, excitement, and new possibilities. As you close one chapter and prepare to embark on the next, your professional narrative begins to take on vibrant new hues. The transition from curing to creating, from healing to inspiring, becomes the bridge to new experiences.

The decision to sell your dental practice isn’t made lightly. Financial considerations, changing market dynamics, personal health, and even family circumstances may play a role in this pivotal decision. Evaluating these factors and understanding their impact on your life helps chart the course for your future.

At DDSmatch, we encourage every prospective seller to start by asking, “Why?” Take time to reflect on the reasons that led to your decision to sell. Are you looking for a change of pace or a chance to explore new horizons? Does today’s market present opportunities for the best sale? By dissecting these factors, you can better understand your motivations and goals, which serve as a foundation for your next steps.

A Dental Practice Sale Includes Emotions

Selling a dental office isn’t merely a financial transaction; it’s an emotional journey that can evoke many feelings, from excitement and relief to uncertainty and nostalgia. Recognizing and processing these emotions is an essential part of embracing change. It’s common to feel a sense of attachment to the practice you’ve built, making it crucial to acknowledge the emotional impact of parting ways.

Support networks, including friends, family, and professional peers, can offer a valuable outlet for discussing these emotions. Engaging with others who have undergone similar transitions can provide insights into managing emotional challenges and finding a sense of closure so that you move forward with confidence.

Redefining Your Personal and Professional Identity 

For years, your identity has been closely intertwined with your dentist and practice owner role. With the sale of your dental practice, a significant shift in roles and responsibilities is inevitable. The challenge lies in embracing this change and finding new ways to derive meaning and purpose in your life.

Consider the aspects of your professional identity that brought you the most fulfillment. Was it patient care, leadership, or perhaps the opportunity to make a difference in your community? Explore how these elements can be carried forward into new pursuits or roles as you redefine your identity. Whether engaging in mentoring, pursuing further education, or even starting a new venture, recognizing the core aspects of your identity can help guide your next steps.

5 Possibilities For The Next Stage

Dentists need to focus on the transaction of their practice and the many details that go into a profitable, smooth sale. But your DDSmatch Transition Professional also wants to help you look beyond this crucial step. For some dentists, traditional retirement signifies the well-earned chance to step away from the day-to-day rigors of an established practice and enjoy the fruits of their labor. This stage may involve traveling to dream destinations, spending quality time with family and friends, and pursuing personal passions.

On the other hand, retirement may simply mean shifting gears, giving back, or developing a new productive venture. While there’s no right answer, there is a right path forward for you.

Here are five possibilities for dentists to explore that can leave themselves and others fulfilled.

1. Do Dentistry With Less Stress

Some dentists gladly hand over ownership challenges, but they’d like to continue serving patients at a reduced pace. Semi-retirement allows you to remain connected to your professional roots while enjoying more flexibility and freedom. Imagine practicing dentistry without worrying about hiring the next office manager or upgrading your waiting room in the next year. Your buy-out structure should consider how much more you want to practice, and your preference could help define the type of buyer you seek out. For example, a DSO usually requires that the seller stays with the practice for 3-5 years. At DDSmatch, we help our clients understand the critical details of every opportunity so that we can design the right fit.

2. Start A New Business Venture

Dentists are clinicians, but a successful sale also highlights your skills as a manager and entrepreneur. You’ve developed a unique skill set with years of experience navigating economic cycles. If you enjoy business, it could be time to start another one with a different focus. Maybe you’ve always wanted to buy an old house, fix it up, and sell it. Or you’ve developed a coaching program you’d like to share with your colleagues. Dentists have run breweries, coffee shops, bike rental shops, vacation rentals, and everything in between.

3. Teach Or Mentor What You Know Best

When you left dental school, you had skills and knowledge. But it took a little while for you to realize that continuing education held value beyond your license renewal. Most dentists can name several educators or mentors who added significant value to their careers. In a new stage of life, you can provide the same influence. Dentists who live near dental or hygiene schools can volunteer or mentor students, for example. But you can also write articles, contribute to online communities, or join a study club as an educator. Never underestimate the value of your experience and expertise.

4. Dive Into A Charity Project

During the busy years of running a practice, dentists often find it easier to donate money, rather than time, to their favorite causes. But after retiring, committing more effort to charities offers another way to give back, create social connections, and develop a broad sense of purpose. Some dentists enjoy the camaraderie of a local club, such as Rotary or a county fair organization. Others continue using their dental background to join missions like those run by the US Navy’s hospital ships in Latin America. Volunteer activities take many forms and fit into a well-rounded retirement plan.

5. Work On Your Bucket List

Dentists commit years to building a successful practice that enhances many people’s lives. When it’s time to enjoy the next phase of life, there’s no reason to hold back! If you want to play 90 straight days of golf or explore Fiji, do it. A well-balanced list of activities, trips, projects, and social interactions makes the next stage interesting and rewarding on many levels. Take time to write down what you’d like to experience in the next few years. Checklists work in business, and they also help make your personal life more meaningful.

A Dental Practice Sale Is Just The Beginning

Selling a dental practice brings a new and exciting phase in your life. From exit structures to valuation, your local DDSmatch Transition Professionals are here to guide and support you every step of the way. Whether you’re in the early stages of considering a practice sale or seeking guidance on a new career direction, we tailor advice and resources to fit you. We’ll help you navigate the complexities of practice transition, explore new opportunities, and design a future that aligns with your goals.

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