Building, growing and operating a successful orthodontic practice is no easy feat. Not only did you commit to your education to become an orthodontist, you made a commitment to opening your own practice and all that it entails.

Now that your practice is running successfully, you have a lot of responsibility for the business that you’ve grown—for your patients, your staff, your property and your finances.

After all that work and commitment, your future deserves protection. One way you can help protect your future as a practice owner is by applying for business overhead expense insurance for orthodontists.

Overhead Expenses for Orthodontic Practices

Overhead expenses, or operating expenses, are the costs it takes to run your practice. These expenditures can include rent, electricity, internet, office materials, insurance, employee salaries and more.

Every business has overhead expenses, though some businesses have a higher rate of expenses than others.

When asked about overhead expenses, 41% of orthodontists felt that rising overhead is their biggest challenge in managing their practice1. Consider these challenges:

  • Rent costs are expected to rise from 5.8 percent to 8.4 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas2.
  • Electricity costs rose by 2.7 percent in 2022. Though expected to fall 0.9 percent in 2023, costs can still add up3.

If your practice is located in a desirable location or you require a larger space, these costs could creep towards 60% or more of your practice’s total revenue.

Employee salaries can add to your expenses exponentially. Plus, it is important to remember that payroll includes bonuses, commissions, overtime pay and paid time off in addition to an employee’s net pay.

Even if your business expenses are on the low end of the range for orthodontists, these costs can add up over time.

If a covered injury or illness were to keep you from working, could you afford your practice’s overhead expenses for months and months? Without your income from practicing, these costs can make a big impact on your practice’s financials. Would you have to cut costs, use personal funds or take out a loan to keep your business afloat?

Unfortunately, reducing your overhead costs is not always possible. These types of expenditures will be constant for the duration of your business, as they are required for operation. Despite the consistency of these expenses, practice owners can look to reduce them on occasion.

  • Consider renegotiating your lease with your landlord.
  • Look at new spaces or consider downsizing.
  • Research the rates and packages of phone and internet providers.
  • Buy office materials in bulk.
  • Go paperless. Send patient communication via email or text.
  • Review your contracts with suppliers.
  • Consider staffing changes.

While these tactics may help reduce your overhead expenses occasionally, your practice’s expenses can still add up to a staggering amount should you be unable to work.

Resorting to your personal assets or taking out a loan to pay for your practice’s expenses may be undesirable. That’s why practice owners should consider business overhead expense insurance for orthondontists.

Why Business Overhead Expense Insurance for Orthodontists may be Critical

Business overhead expense insurance for orthodontists works for your practice the way disability insurance works to protect your individual income. Should you become disabled and unable to work as an orthodontist, business overhead expense insurance helps protect your personal assets by paying your business expenses.

You may think your odds of experiencing a disability are small. However, the odds of experiencing a disability are higher than you may think. According to the CDC4, 1 out of 4 American workers experience a long-term disability at some point during their careers.

Additionally, you may think you have enough money saved to get through a disability and time away from work.  However, if you were away from your practice for months recovering from an illness or injury and not earning your salary, your practice could be greatly impacted and could have lasting financial harm.

The right business overhead expense insurance can help ensure that your practice is taken care of and your personal assets are protected.

Finding Business Overhead Expense Insurance for Orthodontists

Help ensure your business and your personal assets are covered with business overhead expense insurance for orthodontists.

The AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program, administered by Lockton Affinity and underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company, offers Group Business Overhead Expense Insurance to AAO members. This policy includes many benefits, including:

  • Multiple coverage options—Choose a coverage amount from $500 to $25,000 per month, in $100 increments, to meet the needs of your practice.
  • Reliable coverage—Helps cover business expenses in the event a covered disability keeps you from working.
  • Future purchase option—Increase your coverage by $200 in the future without medical underwriting.
  • Premium waivers—If you become totally disabled for six months while insured, your premium may be waived while you’re receiving benefits.

Apply online in minutes or schedule an appointment with one of Lockton Affinity’s personal insurance representatives to learn how this coverage can work for you.


1 Levin, Roger. “2021 Orthodontic Practice Performance Survey.” Orthodontic Products, 18 May 2022.

2 Zhou , Xiaoqing, and Jim Dolmas. “Rent Inflation Expected to Accelerate Then Moderate in Mid-2023.” Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 16 Aug. 2022.

3 “U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis.” Short-Term Energy Outlook – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 10 Jan. 2023.

4 “Disability Impacts All of Us Infographic.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Oct. 2022.