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Is the Pond Saturated or Just Well-Stocked

Things to Know When Choosing a Location for Your Dental Practice

Saturation is an interesting word with a number of meanings. When you look up saturation in a dictionary, one of the definitions is “the flooding of a market with all of a commodity that consumers can purchase.” We bring this up because lately, you hear so often that this or that area (or even this or that state) is saturated with orthodontists, or pediatric dentists, or general dentists.  You hear about saturation from realtors, consultants and doctors who work in these so-called saturated areas, but is that really the correct word? Read on to learn what saturated markets really means and what you can do to succeed anywhere.

A Successful Practice Takes Hard Work No Matter Where You Are

Here at Mosaic Management Professionals, we’ve had experience with opening very successful dental practices in “saturated” towns and cities as well as “saturated” states. States such as Colorado, Utah, Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and California are definitely not closed for dental business! It is important to understand that while an area may have a dense population of general dental and/or specialty offices, it doesn’t mean there isn’t any point in opening a practice there. With due diligence to research on demographics, under served areas within a larger area, and competition analysis, we have seen dental practices thrive in areas others warned against. Please understand, we aren’t saying it’s easy.  While we hope the doctors give some credit to good consulting, these thriving dental offices have worked VERY hard to get where they are through dedicated practice management and impeccable service.

What is the Best Place to Open or Buy a Practice?

With all that being said, what do the prospects actually look like for a new dentist just out of dental school wanting to start up a new dental practice? The top twenty states for most dentists per 1000 per capita residents are: Connecticut, New York, Maryland, California, Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.  The bottom ten are:  Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, Alabama, Georgia, South Dakota, Delaware, North Carolina, Louisiana and South Carolina.  What does this information mean in terms of buying or opening a new practice? By itself, absolutely nothing! We put it in to make a point. So many dentists ask us “what’s the best place to open or buy a practice?” and the answer is that there is no one “best” place. Choose, generally, where you want to live, then start making decisions about the best areas for you based on real information like local demographics, insurance acceptance, age of practitioners, transitional viability of the neighborhoods, etc.

What Does it Take to Make Any Place Your Best Place?

Let’s look at a recent example to see how to put into action what we discussed above. The chart below shows demographics of a small town in Colorado. When Mosaic was approached by an orthodontist about opening a new practice, there were already six full-time orthodontists in town, and four general dental practices advertising their skills at orthodontics. If you do the math, this town was not the place to open a new-start orthodontic practice! But when we dug deeper, we noted two very important facts. One, the town was growing like wildfire. Two, the doctor and his wife hadn’t just randomly picked a place on a map to practice, they had lived in the community for a number of years and were actively involved in community, school, church and other aspects of life in town.  They were known.  One other point to note, the doctor and his wife were dedicated to practice success in that area and willing to put in the hard work to make it happen. This office, after a year open, became one of the strongest orthodontic practices in town– a town that everyone other than Mosaic had told them was too saturated for a new orthodontic office!

Image: Demographics of a small town in Colorado.

Image: Demographics of a small town in Colorado.

 You Can Be the Big Fish in Any Sized Pond

If you have your heart set on a town, state or general location, don’t give up because you hear it’s saturated. Instead, think of it as well stocked with room for another fish in the pond. The big fish may try to move you to another pond, but if you plan carefully and work wisely you can become one of the big fish too.

Don’t let the “well-stocked” areas frighten you away from your dream dental office location. Call us today at (303) 660-0605 to discuss how our team at Mosaic Management Professionals can help you open that perfect dental or orthodontic practice!