Timeline for Opening a Dental Practice


Do you know how long it takes to build a new practice from the ground up?

What about how many operatories to put in an existing building?

If you can’t answer these questions, you need to be able to before you consider moving forward with opening your new practice.

The good news? Xite Healthcare Real Estate offers all of Texas comprehensive real estate services so all you have to worry about is providing patients high quality care.

When it comes to opening a new practice, the timeline is one of the most important factors. The sooner you open, the sooner you make money. Keeping an eye on the timeline, and making sure contractors stick to their schedules or present plans to make up lost time is essential.

Ground Up Timeline

When building a brand new facility, you should plan to open your doors 12 to 18 months from the first construction date. Keep in mind this timeline proceeds time spent selecting the site and hiring contractors. Once you have your site, anything can happen, but typically, you can expect:

  • 2 to 3 months for site prep

  • 6 to 9 months for build

  • 2 to 3 months for interior

Build Out Timeline

If you purchase or lease an existing site, the timeline has more variability. Converting an optometrist’s office to a dentist’s office may take significantly less time than converting a restaurant to a medical practice. Clients should plan for 9 months to a year for completion.

  • 4 to 9 months for renovation

  • 2 to 3 months for interior

Financial Planning Tips

When it comes to starting your new practice, the building is only half the battle. Once your new or remodeled site is ready, you still have to get patients in the door. Building your client base, paying for construction and design, and running a practice can drain your energy and bank account. We recommend the following strategies:

  • You don’t have to be open 24/7 to make money (with the possible exception of emergency rooms). For a private practice, consider starting with 3 days a week. Add a day when patients wait 3+ weeks for an appointment.

  • Most banks finance 2 to 3 operatories, so start there. No need to spend more money, when you’re not likely to need more than that at first. Add an operatory when patients wait 3+ weeks for an appointment.

  • Most equipment and furnishings range from low-end, baseline models to high end finishes with a high end price to match. It’s important to remember that, like most other purchases, you get what you pay for. However, keep in mind your clientele, service, and future plans and invest in equipment and furnishings that make sense for your practice.

  • Start marketing at least 2 months before you expect the practice to open. A website should be the first step in marketing your practice and all other ad strategies should ripple out from your site. Google searches won’t find a new website for some time after creation. With very few exceptions, new sites take about a month to begin appearing in searches. Build your website early.

Find Out More

Are you interested in finding out more about how Xite Healthcare Real Estate can help you plan for and build your new practice? Contact us today to find out more.


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Xite Realty Medical and Dental Real Estate