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A Quick Guide to Starting Your Own Dental Practice

by Naveen Agarwal
Dentist examining a patient teeth

Have you always dreamed of owning your own dental practice? If so, you’ve come to the right place for advice.

After all, there’s never been a better time to become a dentist. But running a dental office is also a lot of work. The key is to understand the right path for getting started, how to finance your dentist office equipment, and the importance of hiring the best employees.

This article takes a look at the basics of getting your local dentist office off the ground and running smoothly. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

Complete Dental School

This one might sound obvious, and yet completing your dental school education is the first step in opening your own dental practice.

If you’ve always dreamed of becoming a successful dentist, the key is to plot your course as earlier as possible so that you can start heading in the right direction at a young age. This will help you choose the right classes in high school and college that you’ll have the best possible education for excelling in dental school.

Develop a Business Plan

Once you’ve completed dental school and are ready to embark on your career, it’s time to develop a solid business plan.

Keep in mind that a good business plan is crucial for operating any type of small business. This is a document that serves several important functions.

First, it should contain a mission statement that clearly states your philosophy for serving your clients, the community, and your staff. After all, you’re a medical professional, thus your first priority should be to provide the best possible dental care while also being a contributing member of your community and a good employer.

Next, your business plan should present the forecast for the first several years of your practice. This includes the amount of startup capital you expect to need, the number of employees required to keep the office operating effectively, as well as a timeline for when you expect the business to become profitable.

It’s important to make your business plan as detailed as possible so that you can use it as a reference tool when things get stressful and to help potential investors see that investing in you would be a very smart business decision.

Consider Partnering With Another Dentist

Next, it’s important to consider partnering with another dentist. This can actually provide several benefits.

First, it’s a good way to increase your operating capacity. After all, having at least one more dentist practicing in your office would double the number of patients you’re able to serve.

Another benefit is the ability to split operational costs. Plus, partnering with an experienced dentist will provide a valuable asset, both in terms of how to deal with issues that arise and to have a mentor you can lean on for advice and professional counsel.

Secure Startup Capital

During the initial planning stages of opening a new business, it’s important to keep in mind that starting a business is extremely expensive. This is especially true for a dental office.

After all, you’re going to need to lease or buy a location, fill it with equipment, and hire skilled employees.

In fact, starting your dental practice from scratch will likely cost much more than you can anticipate. This is another reason why having a solid business plan is so important because you’re going to need to attract investors.

No matter what type of loan you seek, you’re going to need to prove that you’re a good risk. Traditional lenders such as banks and credit unions will need to be able to clearly see the potential in your business before they’ll be willing to approve the capital you need to get started.

Select a Good Location for Your Practice

Now you’re ready to choose a physical location for your office.

The key is to choose a location that is safe and commercially viable. It also needs to provide plenty of access to foot traffic and be easy for clients to find.

Just make sure that the commercial real estate you choose will fit within your budget and provide room for growth so you can expand as you become more and more successful.

Invest In Equipment

One of the biggest expenses of the new dental practice is equipment. After all, a dental office requires very specialized equipment and dental office supplies. This is obviously another reason you need adequate funding from the very beginning.

This is a huge upfront cost and will require investing in everything from traditional dental equipment to computers and medical billing software to office furniture.

Here’s a great resource for finding dental supply companies.

Determine the Layout of Your Office

Once you’ve chosen your location and invested in equipment, you’ll need to determine the layout of your office space. It’s important to choose a layout that will enable your employees to easily move around while working and be easy for patients to navigate when they arrive for their appointments.

Hire Experienced Employees

It’s no secret that a business is only as good as its employees. This is as true for a dental office as for any other operation. The key is to hire trained professionals who are committed to helping patients have the best experience possible.

Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses

Every business needs specific permits and licenses to legally operate in their community. You will also likely need certain professional memberships. Just be sure to get all of this squared away before opening your doors to patients.

Create a Strong Marketing Plan

You also need to create a marketing strategy to reach new clients. The best plan of action is to focus on social media to drive potential clients to your website. This will help maximize your reach while keeping costs to a minimum.

A Guide to Starting a Successful Dentist Office

Starting a business isn’t easy. Fortunately, these tips or opening a dentist office will help make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Keep scrolling to discover more great small business and lifestyle tips on this blog.

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