Things To Consider While Choosing A Dental Practice

There are a number of factors that people tend to keep in mind while deciding which dentist to go to, like making any other decisions, there a few factors that really distinguish a good practice from an average one.

We have listed them out below for you:

  1. Sterilization Process Being Followed: Always seek feedback on the sterilization protocols that are followed at a practice. You might be visiting the most experienced dentist, however if he/she is using instruments or equipment that are not sterile, you are most likely to catch an infection. Most people tend to ignore this fact and regret later. Non-disposable tools include dental instruments, surgical instruments, X-rays machines, and endodontics kits. The disposable products include gloves, masks, gowns, caps and drapes among others. All these items play an important role in reducing infection
  2. Technology Being Used: Always assess a practice on the technology they have and how advanced it is. In the last 10 years, dentistry has seen a major change in this arena. Your dental practice should not only have the technology but also have a team who knows how to use and practice the technology in the right way. Dental management software is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to help with scheduling, creating electronic records, and helping with treatment planning.
  3. Team of Specialist Dentists: There are 8 different specialties that exist within dentistry and like there are specialists for different parts of our body, for our teeth most people due to lack of awareness ignore and overlook this fact completely. Thus you should choose a practice that offers you specialized treatment by the right specialists.
  4. Ethical Practice: Ethics are an important foundation that every practice must pay attention to. Ethics exist in various forms. For your better understanding we have listed them out below:
    • Ethical treatment: Let us understand this using an example of dental implants. Rather than choosing dental implants based on patient’s spending capability or monetary factors, implants in an ethical practice would be chosen based on bone, volume of bone and underlying condition of the patient.
  5. Warranty backing the treatment: Ethical and specialized practicesare confident about the treatments they provide and thus provide warranties for the same. What that means from the patient perspective is that till the time they are not satisfied, the practice will work towards their satisfaction. For example, a crown with a 10 year warranty will be changed with no questions asked during the warranty period in case the patient is not satisfied.

1. Understand Your Budget

The cost of starting a new dental practice can be significant—sometimes upwards of $250,000. That’s a large sum of capital that few people have access to, requiring them to seek outside funding sources.

BHG has worked with over 100,000 healthcare professionals; we’ve spoken with many who said that they underestimated the initial startup costs, which left them short in the months following. Before they knew it, they were relying on credit cards and scrambling to find additional capital.

Estimate as best you can for initial costs to get your office up and running, and to sustain day-to-day operating expenses for the first few months. Most importantly, yet also commonly overlooked, anticipate any unexpected costs to ensure there is money available, just in case.

2. Find the Right Location

Before settling on where to locate your practice, it’s a good idea to research the area in advance to gain an understanding of the local market. You want your location to be accessible, in proximity to your targeted patients, and within your budget. You also want to avoid an area that may already be saturated with practitioners offering the same services. All of these factors can impact your potential patient base and revenue stream.

3. Purchase Equipment

Furniture, equipment, software, supplies—determining and purchasing all of the things you need for your practice to function can be a lengthy, costly process. Make sure to do your research on dental equipment and technology for the best prices, financing and training.

4. Plan for Staffing

It’s important to start thinking about hiring before you’re ready to move into a new office; make sure to make time into your schedule to properly screen and hire candidates. Beyond salary, other considerations you’ll need to budget for are health insurance, time off and other benefits.

5. Secure Licensing & Legal

Don’t wait until the last minute to handle the legal aspects of opening a dental practice. It can take months to earn credentials for your practice to accept private and government insurance can take months.

You also need to make sure you’re properly licensed in your state, have a national provider identifier number, are registered with the DEA, and comply with all other local regulations specific to your area.

On top of all of this, you will need to choose a legal structure for your business and register for state and local taxes. It’s a good idea to retain a healthcare attorney to assist so you can be sure you’re not missing anything.

6. Attract Patients

Your practice isn’t going to succeed without patients. When your opening day is within sight, it’s crucial to get the word out and start to line up your first patients. Consider implementing a marketing plan that advertises your practice across local print, TV, and radio stations, as well as online. Build a professional website with clear directions for setting up an appointment, and begin welcoming patients to your new dental practice.