How to Start a Dental Practice


Starting your dental practice can be both exciting and intimidating. Therefore, it is important to have the right knowledge, skills, and know-how to create a successful business. If you consider starting your dental practice or are already practicing dentistry on your own, this article will provide valuable advice on starting a dental practice!

Start With Your Business Plan:

Business planning is the foundation of every successful company. This step-by-step guide will help you to write a business plan for your dental practice! Start by laying out what industry and market niche you want to be in; why people should choose your dental office over others in the area. You can also ask how much money it will cost both initially and on an ongoing basis to run your business and how you plan on growing the practice.

Document Your Financial Plan:

Once you produce your business plan, it is time to create a financial model of the practice. This will trigger ideas concerning how much money you need to open and operate your dental office. A good rule of thumb is that new businesses should expect to spend 20% more than they earn during their first year in business! You can also use this information to present your financial plan to a lender.

Once you have written down what equipment, supplies, and employees are needed for the business, it is time to calculate how much each of these will cost. Keep in mind that dental equipment can be very expensive – some brands start at around $100K! You also must take into account the costs of business licenses and permits, rent or a mortgage payment on your office space, and advertising expenses (if you choose to do so). 

Moreover, you can ask about supplies for your dental practice, insurance premiums associated with running a dental clinic, utilities for operating your business, such as electricity and internet service. You may discover out how much the materials will cost you by visiting direct dental wholesalers.

Determine Your Income Projections:

Next, you must figure out how much money your dental practice will bring in. This is where most new business owners struggle because they don’t know how many patients they will need to see each day or week for their practice to stay afloat. 

A good place to start is by looking at the total number of people who live and work within a mile radius of your office space, as well as those who regularly visit dentists (including children and seniors). You can also look at the average amount of money each patient spends on dental care.

Establish Your Pricing:

Now that you have all your financials, it is time to determine how much patients will need to spend for their dental appointments and procedures (including exam fees, x-rays, fillings, crowns, etc.). This is where the dental industry differs from most other industries. For example, many medical practices charge patients a flat fee for office visits. However, dentists are expected to provide treatment that includes multiple services during one appointment instead of charging per service (which means they need to make more money).

Select a Location For Your Clinic:

Once you have selected the type of dental practice that best suits your needs, it is time to find a location for opening your office. The most important considerations when selecting an office space are:

  • Price (how much will renting or buying this space cost each month?)
  • Location (where is this business located in relation to public transportation, major roads/highways, and local businesses?)
  • Accessibility (is this location easily accessible for patients with disabilities? Will you need to hire an employee just to park cars?)
  • Space (how much square footage is available for your office?)
  • Utilities and Amenities (does the property have a copier machine, copy paper, etc., that you will need to run your business?)

Carefully consider each of these factors before signing a contract with a landlord or realtor.

Find the Appropriate Coverage:

The final step in starting your dental practice is finding the appropriate insurance coverage. There are two primary types of policies for dentists: professional liability and malpractice insurance. Professional liability covers claims made against you by patients who have experienced injury or loss due to negligence on your part. 

At the same time, malpractice insures you from being sued if there is a claim that you have not provided a certain standard of care. Make sure you contact an insurance agent to learn about the various types of insurance you’ll need and make sure your budget accounts for this cost.

In conclusion, business planning is the foundation of every successful business. A good rule-of-thumb for new businesses is to expect to spend 20% more than they earn during their first year in business! Having accurate numbers and projections will help you determine how much money your dental practice needs, what equipment, supplies, and employees are needed, as well as how much money you will be making.

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