Transitioning Your Relationship-Based Practice: Part 1

April 26, 2018 Lynne Gerlach DDS

As dental practices grow and change, new seasons bring opportunity and security for both sides of a transaction. Charting a new path can be stressful and uncertain as many practitioners have not weathered a transition in years.

Considering a Transition Change In Your Relationship-Based Practice?

Young dentists are often seeking that opportunity for the first time. Experienced doctors often bought a practice many years ago or started their practice from scratch as a young doctor themselves.

The practice climate is changing! It is a competitive market with educated young professionals seeking the right opportunity and practice owners wanting to finish well while leaving a legacy with their practices better than they found them.

Organizational changes in practices can take many paths. Growing a practice through a merger or partnership brings its own set of challenges and opportunities. However, a practice based on relationships with patients, teams, referral bases, and communities requires special care.

Evaluating Your Practice Philosophy During a Transition

This process can be a stressful distraction to owner dentists. Those dentists that have committed their professional growth to technical excellence and relationship-based practice culture may need strategic help in navigating the right practice transition.

Dental practice transitions have been around for decades. Selling a practice to a young colleague and walking away has been the standard solution. Today, there are many different solutions that reach the goals of the seller and the buyer. Many relationship-based dental practices are seeking a like-minded professional to carry the torch and move the practice legacy forward. This goal requires intentional planning and careful follow through.

The time to evaluate practice philosophies is BEFORE a transition occurs. Examining wants, needs, timelines, and the type of transition that best suits those needs develops during the pre-sale process. You likely didn’t build your relationship-based, highly technical practice by doing what everyone else has done.

Becoming an expert in your field has been intentional and constructed with the concept of excellence and communication as a basis for that success. When it’s time to expand your dental practice or find your successor those same themes should continue.

To be continued…

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About Author

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Lynne Gerlach DDS

Dr. Lynne Spencer Gerlach earned her status as a successful restorative dentist and businesswoman in her 26+ year career practicing in various practice models. From startups to partnerships and solo private practices, her experience in transforming businesses is a passion. Practice systems and management are as much a piece of her puzzle as patient care and continuing education. Dr. Gerlach’s LD Pankey Dental Foundation experience began in 2001. She has served as visiting faculty, a Pankey Advisor since 2008 and has served as secretary for the Pankey Foundation Board of Directors. She served the Dallas County Dental Society Board of Directors as editor and previously served the Texas Dental Association as part of the Membership Council. She currently serves the Texas DENPAC Board and remains active in organized dentistry. She has been a delegate to the TDA since 2005 and is a fellow in the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists and a member of ADA, TDA, DCDS, and ADI. Dr. Gerlach completed her Certification in the ADA Kellogg Executive Management Program in Chicago in 2014. She and her husband, Dr. Bill Gerlach have two grown children, Meredith and Creighton. Her hobbies include sports, music, travel, bridge, and cooking.