Preparing to Purchase Your First Practice

Dr. Addison Killeen is a practicing dentist, coach, and entrepreneur who currently owns two practices after selling his network of six in 2015. Throughout his career, Killeen pushed the importance of being a statistic-conscious dentalpreneur which culminated in the authorship of his book, “By the Numbers: A Guide to Buy and Run Your Dental Practice.”

Currently, Dr. Killeen serves as the COO of the Dental Success Network and a coach with the Dental Success Institute, which enables him to work with other dentists and connect them with resources in every area of entrepreneurship and dentistry. His experience building six practices in Lincoln, NE provided him with a myriad of lessons and insights that came at his expense. In his current role, Killeen shares these takeaways with his clients so they can achieve quicker success by avoiding the mistakes he made.


Owning one practice is a lot of work, and owning multiple practices is not sustainable without building a reliable team of people who are smarter than you. Dr. Killeen stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with a mastermind group and creating a round table that is capable of running the practices while you’re not around. Employee retention plays a big part in this, and Killeen favors competitive salaries and benefits as a method of building a strong team, even if it means paying more. 

When employees quit, the loss of productivity and expense of re-training is a much larger price tag than paying a higher salary with good benefits. By building a more specialized team with employees who are extremely efficient in their role, it preserves the sanctity of work-life balance and increases the practice’s capacity. It can even take weight off of the owner’s shoulders as many of them try and absorb front-end responsibilities and office tasks when they aren’t necessarily qualified to do so.

Due Diligence and Performance Metrics

In his book, Dr. Killeen shares his due diligence process to help readers figure out what the bank wants to see, how to set a budget, and what to look for when they are in the market to purchase a practice for the first time. He follows that by breaking down all of the numbers that he likes to watch in his practices while avoiding analysis paralysis or getting lost in the sheets. Killeen’s twenty-five metrics accurately measure the health of your business by identifying leading indicators, lagging indicators, their benchmarks, and how to improve them. 

“By the Numbers: A Guide to Buy and Run Your Dental Practice” is a great playbook for budding dentalpreneurs, but when the business plan is set in motion, a lot of other questions come up. Dr. Killeen’s Dental Success Network is another great resource for practices at any stage because it provides dentists with an online community of other like-minded professionals, as well as access to leading clinicians in every specialty. It is an invaluable resource for learning, collaboration, training, live events, and vendor deals that come with the membership. Between the book and the digital platform, there is no reason any of your questions should be left unaddressed.


After going through the process of purchasing and rolling out a new practice eight times, Dr. Killeen still makes mistakes; they are part of the steep learning curve of entrepreneurship. But with the coaching and informational resources available today, you should be able to minimize them and get your practice on its feet much quicker. For more information on creating a plan to purchase and run a dental practice, listen to our podcast, “Rolling Out Your First Practice, with Dr. Addison Killeen.”

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