Feb 26, 2024

Dental Sales and M&As: A State of the Market Report

The dental sales market experienced a positive shift in the last quarter of 2023—and early signs in 2024 suggest it wasn’t just a blip.

The cost of living crisis, the fallout from Brexit and the COVID pandemic, and the socio-economic impacts of the conflict in Ukraine all left potential buyers feeling wary of entering the market.

However, the market took a positive turn in the last quarter of 2023, with 623 new dentists registering their interest in Pluto Partners practice purchase support services and over 90% of practice sales achieving their asking price or higher at purchase.

“The value and demand for dental practices has remained strong, with goodwill values holding up well, and we’ve seen a spike in demand for practices in recent months,” said Pluto Partners director Max Bazzucchini.  

“Pluto Partners’ targeted approach to connecting sellers and buyers has ensured that all parties have benefitted over the last quarter when we’ve seen some excellent offers to selling dentists.”

Max identified several key factors at play:

Rewards of Digital Dentistry are Paying Off

Digital dentistry, 3D printing, and CAD/CAM systems have improved the efficiency, accuracy, and patient experience in dental treatments. 

Practices equipped with such technology can command higher valuations due to their ability to offer advanced treatments, attract more patients, and operate more efficiently. 

The growing number of digital adopters are prime candidates for investment or acquisition by buyers seeking to expand their portfolio with cutting-edge practices.

The Inexorable Rise of Cosmetic Dentistry  

Brits’ appetite for cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening, veneers, and cosmetic orthodontics is at an all-time high, driven by increasing awareness of the possibilities of these procedures in both social and mainstream media. 

This has led to significant revenue growth opportunities for practices providing cosmetic treatments, making them highly attractive to potential buyers, investors and private equity firms looking to capitalise on the trend. 

Not All Cosmetic

Dental professionals and patients alike have been emphasising preventive dental care like check-ups, cleanings, and education on oral hygiene practices rather than reactive treatment. 

This approach leads to practices building more stable patient bases and recurring revenue streams, making them more attractive to buyers who value sustainability. 

Preventive care models can also lead to lower operating costs over time, further enhancing the attractiveness of these practices to potential acquirers. 

Tele-Dentistry is Here to Stay

4. **Tele-dentistry**: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of tele-dentistry, allowing patients to consult with dental professionals remotely for non-emergency issues. 

This trend has continued to grow as patients and providers become more accustomed to remote healthcare delivery.

Adopting tele-dentistry has opened new revenue streams and operational efficiencies for dental practices. It allows practices to extend their reach to patients beyond their immediate geographical area, making them more attractive acquisition targets for companies looking to rapidly expand their patient base and service offerings.

The Rise of Consolidation

In recent years, there has been a trend towards consolidation in the dental industry, with many larger dental service organisations (DSOs) acquiring smaller practices. This consolidation trend is reshaping the landscape of dental care delivery.

Consolidation can lead to economies of scale, operational efficiencies, and increased bargaining power with suppliers and insurers. For smaller practices, being part of a larger organisation provides access to better technology, administrative support, and a larger patient base, making consolidation an attractive prospect for sellers and buyers.

Experience is King

Dental practices have been increasingly focusing on improving the overall patient experience. Factors like the ease of scheduling appointments, the ambience of the practice and the friendliness of the staff are becoming key differentiators for dental practices that can significantly enhance a practice’s reputation, patient retention rates, and overall profitability. 

Practices that excel in patient experience are more attractive to potential buyers, as they will likely have a strong, loyal customer base and positive online reviews—all crucial for business growth.

One to Watch—AI Integration

Although still relatively new, AI technologies are already being integrated into dental practice management software, diagnostic tools, and treatment planning processes to improve the efficiency and accuracy of dental care delivery.

Early adopters can offer more advanced and efficient services, making them attractive targets for acquisition by larger entities looking to differentiate through innovation.

Future is Even Brighter with Pluto Partners

“Overall, the dental market trend in 2024, as observed by Pluto Partners, reflects resilience, adaptability, and opportunities for both buyers and sellers in the dental industry,” said Pluto Partners’ Max Bazzucchini.“

“We are committed to keeping pace with fast-evolving industry trends to continue providing clients with the best advice to navigate the changing landscape successfully.” 

Market conditions will impact your ability to secure a successful practice sale and achieve your target valuation—so it pays to enlist the help of experts with decades of experience in the dental industry.  

Talk to Pluto Partners and take the next step with a market-proof sale strategy to serve your personal, professional and financial goals.

Christina Diamanti
Abbey Road Dental Owner

A huge thank you to Max for all his help! I would not have been able to buy my practice without his professionalism, expertise and enthusiasm. He was always there to give support and advice and checked in with everyone involved at all times to make sure everything was running smoothly!





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