What makes a successful dental practice owner and the distress that makes people quit

Observation #1

Ashley and I recorded our latest podcast yesterday with our friend and Founder/Principal of PDC Dental Dr. Alex Jones.

It’s a great interview and hopefully will be ready to broadcast in a few days time.

There are two highlights I wanted to share with you this morning:

Q1 : “what advice do you have for a young dentist who is thinking of buying a practice?”

A1 : “don’t – follow your heart and open a private squat – that way you won’t be inheriting somebody else’s habits, team and patients.”

Q2 : “how have you been able to build a thriving implant and restorative business, even though your original practice is situated in a rural area?”

A2 : “we market through enthusiasm – because we believe in the value of what we do – the patients come.”

Observation #2

I’ve been involved in dozens of practice sales and purchases and would argue that the majority of sales are not due to a planned retirement strategy.

So what influences the decision to sell?


Professional distress:

  1. I’ve had enough of compliance and/or litigation;
  2. I’ve had enough of the team;
  3. I’ve had enough of the patients.

Personal distress:

  1. I need to settle my divorce;
  2. I need to settle my tax;
  3. I need to reduce my borrowing.

Alex Jones is a perfect example of how to be successful in ownership.

It hasn’t come without hard work and some suffering but this gentleman isn’t for quitting anytime soon.

A shining example to any young dentist looking for a long-term career.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.