Upcoming AAO-Sponsored Orthodontic Resident Webinars

Bentson Clark & Copple is honored to participate in the AAO’s The Business of Orthodontics Webinar Series. This 10-part educational webinar series is directed toward today’s orthodontic resident community. The webinars began in September and will continue through April 2013. The series covers topics from starting/purchasing a practice to selling/retiring from practice, and everything in between. The webinars will be presented by a variety of industry insiders and consultants.

Chris Bentson will be presenting his first webinar (out of three that are scheduled) on October 9 at 8:15 PM EST/5:15 PM PST, and will last 75 minutes. There will be allocated time at the end for a question and answer session. The title of his lecture is Path to Ownership, Partnership, or Associateship.

For residents, understanding the options for employment, how to find them, and what to review when you do find them is extremely important. This webinar will be directed primarily with an orientation to the process of how buyers and sellers or employers for orthodontic opportunities happen. A review of the current market conditions and review of the timeline, expense, and materials needed to review an opportunity will be discussed. Current valuation methodology and a high-level overview of the operational and financial metrics that should be reviewed will be covered as well as associate pay, and cash flow pro-formas. Partnership methods of buying in will also be discussed.

This webinar series is free for all residents. It is funded by the AAO with the generous support of the AAO Insurance Company (AAOIC). For more information please contact the AAO.

Bentson Clark & Copple Announces Upcoming Speaking Schedule

The Bentson Clark & Copple team have a busy upcoming fall schedule. We always enjoy the opportunity to speak at orthodontic society meetings, study clubs, orthodontic schools, and resident functions. This fall we have been provided numerous opportunities to do so! Chris Bentson will be crisscrossing the country presenting to the orthodontic community.

Some of Chris’ presentation will be solely directed towards the orthodontic resident community, while others are targeted toward the general orthodontic doctor population. He will be speaking on a number of topics including, but not limited to: locating a practice opportunity, today’s orthodontic marketplace, orthodontic trends, practice transition (from both buyers’ and sellers’ perspectives), practice valuation, and the future of the orthodontic industry.

Below is a list of Bentson Clark & Copple’s upcoming speaking and exhibiting schedule.

September 20-23, 2012
Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists (MASO) Annual Session
Baltimore Hilton
Baltimore, MD
Booth # 405
Doctor Lecture: Benchmarking the Orthodontic Practice
Resident Lecture: The Process of Locating a Practice to Build, Join, Partner or Purchase

September 27-29, 2012
Southern Association of Orthodontists (SAO) 2012 Annual Meeting
Grove Park Inn
Ashville, NC
Booth # 605
Doctor Lecture: Today’s Orthodontic Practice & Marketplace
Resident Lecture: How to Locate a Practice Opportunity

October 9, 2012
AAO Sponsored Resident Webinar
Resident Webinar: Path to Ownership, Partnership or Associateship

October 11-13, 2012
OrthoVoice 2012
Bally’s Hotel
Las Vegas, NV
Booth # 311
Practice Transition Panel Discussion

October 18-20, 2012
OrthoSynetics’ 2012 Practice Meeting
Loews Ventana Canyon
Tucson, AZ
Doctor Lecture: Today’s Orthodontic Marketplace and How It Will Shape Tomorrow

October 25, 2012
TP Orthodontics Resident Presentation
TP Orthodontics Headquarters
La Porte, IN
Resident Presentation: The Resident Pathway to Future Practice Ownership

Be sure to attend one of Chris Bentson’s lectures, visit our booth (if we are exhibiting at that particular meeting) and pick up of the most recent copy of the Bentson Clark reSource!

Dentistry Going Corporate

There was an interesting article featured in the April 9, 2012 issue of the ADA News.  The cover story, “ADA Explores Growth of Large Group Practices” caught my eye. The article sites a recent study conducted by the Health Policy Resources Center of the American Dental Association (ADA), which concludes that the rate of solo practitioners is falling. In 2010, 69% of dentists were solo practitioners compared to 76% in 2006.

Certain states and areas of the country are experiencing the expansion at a faster rate than others. For example, the Minnesota Dental Association reports more than 12% of dentists in the state are employed in large group practices.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) surveyed new graduates in 2009 and 2011 and found that 16% of respondents are practicing in a non-traditional setting, defined as either an interdisciplinary practice or a practice where they are employees or independent contractors. Chris Vranas, AAO Executive Director says, “Overall our membership is still at 69% in solo practice, 16% in partnerships, 6% in associateships, 4% interdisciplinary practice and 5% in large corporate practice.

We ask the question – what is driving the trend? The ADA article references educational debt of young doctors and the growth of Dental Service Organizations who need employee doctors to grow.

This trend of dentistry going corporate is something Bentson Clark & Copple has been watching for several years and one that you may have noticed in your drawing area. It will take some time to have a major impact, but understanding this trend will help you as you think strategically about your brand and identity as you communicate with new patients and referrals.

To learn more about the trends of today’s orthodontic residents, check out Bentson Clark & Copple’s 2011 Annual Residents Survey Results.

Buying a Practice Should Be Smooth Sailing

After residency, orthodontists are faced with a major decision: where to practice their trade. When a location is identified, the next big decision is whether to work as an employee, start-up, or buy an orthodontic practice.

Compared to starting a practice from scratch, a pre-existing practice typically offers an established patient and referral base, which increases the chances of success and provides credibility with patients. Pre-existing practices also provide residents with a mentor to work with during their first years as a professional orthodontist.

Bentson Clark & Copple, LLC work to match each orthodontic buyer with the right office for sale through their practice location services. Their valuation and transition work across the U.S. provides the firm a wide range of opportunities to present to the orthodontic community. Bentson Clark & Copple’s orthodontic practice location services are free to doctors seeking a practice opportunity.

Whether choosing to buy a practice or join as a partner, Chris Bentson, president of Bentson Clark & Copple and the Bentson Clark reSource, an orthodontic newsletter, suggests that purchasing equity is often the fastest track to paying off educational debt and building personal wealth.

Transitioning into an orthodontic practice can be summed up in five steps:

1. Once a practice has been identified, review the potential practice’s financial information and their orthodontic practice valuation. The seller of the practice will request you sign a non-disclosure agreement before releasing this information.

2. Review the seller’s practice valuation report with your advisor and discuss the purchase price. If the practice does not have a valuation report, urge them to have one completed, as it will spell out the value of the practice and critical practice operational information.

3. While searching for buying an orthodontic practice, maintain contact with any interested selling doctors and keep your eyes open for other options.

4. Once the buyer, seller and their respective advisers have established a transition plan, projections of future cash flows and financing schedules should be reviewed. A letter of intent will be prepared to outline future definitive legal documents after each party is comfortable with the financial impact the transition will have.

5. An attorney will create binding legal documents for the seller and buyer to review with their advisors. The buy-in/buy-out can begin once both parties have agreed to price, terms and conditions.

Keep in mind finding the right practice, going through paperwork and finalizing a sale takes at least several months, so start the process as early as possible in your residency, says Bentson.

It’s important that you make sure your goals are flexible and negotiable enough to achieve them, and all details are in writing before you enter the practice, if possible, he says.

These preparatory steps will help ensure any major problems are tackled early on so the transition process goes as smoothly as possible for the buyer and seller.

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