Seven steps to starting a dental practice

Managing your own dental practice comes with a lot of freedom and financial security. However, it is quite a tasking venture that needs to be undertaken carefully.

If you want to reap the maximum benefits from setting up your own dental practice, read on for a helpful step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Create a business plan

What objectives and aspirations do you have for your new dental practice? Without overthinking it, simply write down everything on your mind concerning what you hope to create and achieve.

Once you’ve poured your dreams and ideas out, go back to what you’ve written and clarify that vision. You may have to employ a few business techniques here to start putting your business plan together.

Step 2: Research potential locations

The ideal location for your dental practice should be easily accessible and close to your target patients. Better yet, the area should be visible from the main road, so that you are guaranteed plenty of foot traffic.

What’s the competition like in that particular location? Of course, you want to avoid an area already saturated with practitioners offering the same services you intend to offer.

While establishing your potential patient base, don’t just consider their age. Instead, consider their income as well because this will directly influence your revenue stream.

Step 3: Get your finances in order

How do you intend to fund your business venture? Having a solid, comprehensive, well-thought-out business plan will go a long way in making it easier to figure out just how much you need to set up your dental practice.  

There are many financial aspects to starting a dental practice. You should expect a considerable amount of associated costs and expenses, including rental fees, buying new equipment, paying staff salaries, a dental appointment scheduler, etc.

Taking out a bank loan is one way to secure funding for your dental practice. Before agreeing to a particular loan, be clear about interest rates, loan terms, prepayment options, etc.

Step 4: Obtain the necessary documents and permits

Do you have the necessary insurance? Is your practice licenced by the local authorities to operate as a healthcare service provider? Do you have authorization from the pollution control board?

You will also need legal permissions for the building premises where you intend to set up your office. 

You also have to set up the legal structure of your new venture to ensure tax compliance and see to it that the business operates as itself. 

Step 5: Get your team together

When hiring a team, the idea should be to bring together a group of people you get along with and will enjoy working with.

At the same time, you want quality people that will help you build your business. Don’t just go for the cheap options; instead, go for the kind of people you can see yourself growing with.

Good people skills will easily outdo dentistry prowess any day. So, when hiring, do not just focus on their professional qualifications but also their people skills. 

Speaking of professional qualifications, it goes without saying that all operating dentists must hold a valid registration with the state dental council. 

When it comes to dental practices, the importance of having qualified professionals cannot be overstated. Apart from registered dentists, dental clinics also require skilled and well-trained dental assistants to assist with patient care and administrative duties. If you’re applying for a dental assistant position, it’s essential to be aware of the key interview questions and how to answer them.

Some common dental assistant interview questions and answers include asking about your previous work experience, your knowledge of dental procedures and instruments, how you handle patient interactions, and your ability to work in a team.  

For this to happen, though, you first need to hold a valid medical school degree certificate. So, if you are yet to pass your DAT exams, you should probably get right on that before anything else. And this article here outlines the best DAT prep courses that will help you prepare for the test in the right way. 

Step 6: Design and fit-out

The first step to designing and equipping your dental office will be to determine the size of your practice and figure out the number of patients you expect to attend to in a day. 

This analysis will guide you in determining the type and quantity of equipment you need to get your practice up and running. If you’re in the process of setting up your own dental practice, one important aspect to consider is proper sterilization protocols for your equipment. You can explore reliable options like the use of self seal sterilization pouches to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and safety for your patients.

Besides dental equipment, keep in mind that you will also need to budget for and purchase furniture, software, supplies etc. Before purchasing anything, do sufficient research to ensure you are getting the best deal as far as pricing, financing, and training goes.

Step 7: Market your dental practice

To build excellent brand awareness around your new venture, you will have to start marketing your business practice as soon as possible.

You could circulate posters in your local area, post on social media, entice new patients with promotional deals etc. 

Having a high-quality website that’s fully optimized is paramount to efficiently marketing your dental practice.

Take your time and get it right

Like any other business, patience is the key to success with your new dental venture. You might be in a hurry to get things rolling, but it will prove much more worth it if you take your time dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

Should you need more guidance on setting up your dental practice, this in-depth guide by Minnesota Dental Association will prove invaluable.