Industry Spotlight

Why Dentists Should Consider Research Tax Credits

By April 8, 2021 April 19th, 2021
Two dentists performing research on a procedure related to R&D tax credits

The dental industry is an essential industry with unique challenges, technologies, and a need for innovation. While dental implants and today’s root canal procedures may seem standard practice compared to just 20 years ago, dentistry continues to strive to provide patients with the best possible treatment results, which require experimentation, analysis, and optimization of procedures, products, and treatment plans. Through their own practice, dentists should consider research tax credits to propel their industry forward through innovative products, procedures, and treatment design.

Each branch of dentistry is presented with its own unique focal point for treatment and innovation – oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontia, endodontia, prosthodontia, etc.

While it is unlikely that many “routine” dental procedures will rise to the level of qualifying for the R&D tax credit, there are certain fact patterns where it could make sense for a dentist to claim the credit.

What activities would qualify my practice to apply for a R&D tax credit?

Dentists who undertake the following types of activities may be able to benefit from the R&D tax credit:

  • Working on complex cases/procedures
  • Utilizing an on-site milling machine or in-house lab
  • Creating new or improved processes, techniques, or methods (i.e., reducing procedure time)
  • Utilizing new technologies
  • Creating and testing prototypes
  • Experimenting with alternative materials or attachment systems
  • Involved in scientific studies, such as sleep apnea, oral cancer, or oral diseases
  • Investigating biocompatibility of materials and strengths of designs

The dental industry’s ongoing disruption is closely linked with manufacturers in healthcare and medical devices. To meet the new demands of speed and quality, the dental industry will require research and development processes to create and improve technologies and processes. These research and development activities may qualify for federal and state R&D tax credits. Dentists should consider Research Tax Credits as a way to support innovation.

Why are so many dentists not taking advantage of this program?

Most applied research, medical companies, and practices are not claiming their tax credits because:

  • They are not aware of the program
  • They are not aware that many of their daily activities qualify
  • They think they need to be “high-tech” to qualify
  • They do not know how to prepare a submission
The DST Advantage

DST Advisory Group works with numerous dental practices to identify the science-based work that the Dentists perform. Our engineering experts, coupled with our tax and legal team, work to build you a solid study that meets the Research Tax Credit requirements. Connect with us today!