New dentist graduates have many options to find work including: (1) in a medical team that includes dental services, (2) at another dentist's office as a member or an employee, (3) at a multi-dentist practice where several dentists work, or as we will review here, (4) create your own dental practice.
Although this last option requires investment, the investment can easily be recovered once you build a client base. There are other benefits like being your own boss, much larger potential financial success, and managing your own schedule and destiny.
Here we review what is involved in opening a new dentist office.Like any business, successfully opening a dental office requires careful planning. Dental practices need a substantial investment to buy the right equipment and a thoughtful analysis of how you will practice dentistry.
1) Create a financial budget and investment plan
Start by making a list of all equipment and supplies you need to buy to open a dental office. The list is extensive including: a dentist chair, chairs for you to work, machines (lathes, sterilization ovens, etc.), as well as all supplies: spare parts for lathes, syringes, needles, anesthesia, flourine, molds, resins, amalgams, porcelain, etc., furniture for receptions, the same decorations, company opening costs and other expenses that you need to include.
Then, make a dental practice budget of monthly expenses, such as office rent, utilities, insurance, marketing, advertising, and salary estimates for a receptionist and a dental assistant. Do your research and get competitive quotes on your startup equipment and supplies as prices can vary substantially. And don’t forget other costs such as employer taxes, benefits and insurance needs for employees.
2) Create your company
Work with a business attorney to properly form your company and apply for any necessary business permits. Register your office with your dental licensing board and line up insurance for your practice with a reputable dentist insurance company. There are many ways that dentists can get sued, so carrying insurance will help protect you from possible client or employee claims.
3) Avoid trouble with the dental licensing board
Dentists are subject to strict oversight and enforcement by their licensing boards. Complaints by clients, practice mistakes or even an allegation can trigger an investigation by the Dental Licensing Board. Investigations can often cause a dental license suspension or disciplinary action that can wreak havoc on your practice and all you’ve invested.
It is important to have a relationship with a qualified dentist license board defense attorney that you can rely on for advice in case something bad happens. It’s often free for an initial consultation to get to know the attorney and start a relationship so you have a good advisor you can quickly consult with in the future if ever needed. A good dental attorney will also give you some free advice on what to do to reduce the risk of trouble in the future.
4) Determine where to open your office
Consider how many dentist competitors there are, how large the potential client market is, convenient accessibility to freeways and traffic, easy parking availability, and how professional the office building is. Dental clients tend to prefer clean, bright and soothing office environments.
5) Develop your marketing plan and branding
The initial period after opening a new office can be the most challenging time. You’ve invested a lot of money and you need to start bringing in clients to make your business profitable as soon as possible. This is why good dentist marketing strategies are essential. Consult with an expert to develop good branding and a strong marketing plan for success. A professional brand design, social media, a Google seo optimized website, referral partners, community relationships, church relationships, and advertising campaigns can all be helpful to jump start your practice.
6) Open your dental office
Once you’ve secured your office, developed a strong marketing plan and have all your license, insurance and other planning done, it’s time for the final phase. Buy everything you need, set it up, implement your marketing plan and finalize everything to open your new practice!