If you are looking to start your own dental practice, you might be considering opening it up in a new community where there are no existing practices. This may mean you will need to build a new dental clinic and office and are curious about the various considerations and factors that affect what you might expect to pay, beyond the obvious construction costs.

Aspects such as the location will have a large impact on the cost to build. However, it is also important to consider getting value out of your building, for growth and income. For example, building in a certain area might be more expensive, but it may also be a convenient location that will increase the likelihood of new clients, which could pay off in the long run.

Nevertheless, beginning the investigation process to determine start-up costs is a critical task to do when you start your own practice or decide to build your own dental office.

When you start up a new dental office, it is easy to focus on square footage and just the cost of the new building; however, it is also important to consider getting the most out of your new office building.


Looking at ways to improve the efficiency of your construction and space planning, and what equipment you need (or what value having equipment will bring for producing income) should all be included in your planning process.

To help with this, it is recommended to get designers and building contractors who are specialists in dental offices and dental construction.


It is important to build a new dental office that will actually meet your needs and allow you to offer income-bringing services. Building a smaller office may hamper growth goals and limit income over time. Your return on investment is lower, making the choice of a small building not as cost-effective as it might seem at first. Also, as expensive as the building costs may seem, if you have to build again to accommodate your business growth, this will compound the overall expense.

However, you can also get away with a smaller office building if you maximize the effective use of the space you have. Clever use of space, with no wasted space, and wise choices of equipment increase the potential value that can come from your new practice and building.


The location will have an impact on the maximum size, but also has an impact on expected costs.

Ideally, you should consider finding an area that is less expensive. Central locations in major cities are likely to be more expensive than the outskirts of small towns. However, you do need to make sure to choose a location that has a market opening, such as a new community where there is no existing practice, even if the costs may be a bit higher.

Getting a Loan

A dental practice loan is available, which will help provide the funds you need. It is also recommended to research loans carefully, to ensure they have the flexibility you need for the initial phases of a new dental practice when you are trying to get it off the ground. You may find some loan offerings can be overly restrictive or can create some unplanned costs in that critical first year or two, so they might not be a good choice, even if the rate seems good.

Finding a lender familiar with dental practices makes it more likely that a good solution will be found for you and will reduce some of the financial stress and worry of being a business owner. Typical loans with a new clinic are Prime -0.25% these days along with Interest Only for two years to allow for cash flow to build.  Most banks are the same unless credit is poor, then higher rates may apply.

Average Costs

Assuming your dental equipment and other needs for your dental practice do not have any highly-specialized requirements, and the office is a more basic construction project classification, the costs may range, on average, from $544,000 to $760,000. This assumes a three op practice.

Again, this varies widely by size, location, design complexity, special needs, and so on.

To start budgeting, it is recommended to start getting quotes for more accurate numbers. It is also recommended to allow about 10% to 20% extra in your budget for contingencies.

Average Cost per Square Foot

Some estimates suggest that an office for dental professionals will likely cost about $100 to $200 per square footage for construction.

Equipment and Other Start Up Costs

Don’t forget about other initial, first-year costs when budgeting. Dental equipment and supplies, general office supplies, and furniture will all be needed, and on average are likely to cost about $150,000.  Again, depends on what you want in equipment as well.

You should also plan to have at least $45,000 available for initial, short-term financial obligations, such as marketing to advertise your new business, including a website, so potential clients know about you. You will also need to have money available for payroll.

Consider Alternatives

While not always possible, you may be able to buy a practice from a retiring dentist, or you can sometimes find rental space in a strip mall, which, while a smaller space, lets you get your business going and establish clientele while you save to build a bigger clinic.

Tax Solutions and Advice for a New Dental Office

All of the financial aspects of starting a new practice can be overwhelming. Dental Tax Accounting and Financial Solutions can help you with the financial side, so you can focus on what you do best. We are experts in accounting and financial solutions, specializing in the dental industry, and can help you set up a business plan leading to success.

Adam Tenaschuk

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