Tips for Getting Your Family Dentist Practice Ready
July 8, 2022
Starting your dental practice could be challenging. To successfully establish a family dental practice, you need a detailed business plan and the perfect location for business. Once you find an ideal location, look for dental staff within the locality. Most people prefer a local dentist to an outside practitioner due to patient-specialist trust and confidence. Hence, employing staff from the locality will be an added advantage.
Are You Born With Your Permanent Teeth? All children are born with permanent teeth that remain hidden in the jaws until the primary teeth are shed off at the age of 6 or7 years.
Are You Meant To Lose Your Molars? All babies must shed the first set of molars by adolescence. However, some children’s primary teeth sometimes remain in the gums because the permanent teeth are missing. They may also fail to lose their molars if they experience dental infections that disrupt their dental development.
At What Age Does a Child Get Their Molars? The permanent molar teeth of a child begin to erupt at the age of 6 to 7 years. Most children experience gum irritation and discomfort with the back wisdom teeth coming through the gums.
Starting a family dental practice can be overwhelming. Many dentistry students seek employment at established health centers and clinics after college. The few who pursue setting up their dentist practice find it hard. However, the benefits of owning the practices justify the hassles.
Like any other business, starting and running a dentist’s practice requires skills not taught in medical school. To achieve your desired success, you’ll need to be patient, hardworking, and persistent. Opening the practice can take up to a year of planning and striving to meet your state’s licensure requirements.
The process involves looking for funding from financial institutions and using an advanced loan to purchase dentists’ medical supplies and other necessary equipment for operations in the dentist’s practice. Even though you may be running a sole proprietorship, you’ll need help from other staff to run the clinic effectively. Getting the right candidate for the job will ensure that you don’t undermine your efforts by using unqualified staff. Everyone at practice should know your dream and vision and work towards achieving it.
This article describes ten ways/ tips of getting your family dentist up and running. Also, it analyses the factors to consider at different stages of starting the practice.
1. Writing a Business Plan
A business plan is a road map to getting your family dentist clinic ready and running. It’s one of the most necessary tools for existing and budding entrepreneurs. In coming up with the plan, you can follow the steps below;
Stating Your Family Dentist Practice Goals Clearly
When writing the plan, outline the essential goals of your dentist’s practice. Set the required parameters for a successful business to achieve your vision. The key factors to consider include:
- Number of patients estimated to visit the dentist practice weekly
- Estimated weekly income
- The number of other support staff you’ll need to operate efficiently
Having Basic Financial Knowledge
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to address the economic side of your dentist practice. Get answers to the following questions;
- How much will the dentist practice cost to be up and start running?
- What are the expenses as compared to projected income?
- What are the profit margins of the dentist’s practice?
If you can answer the questions confidently, then you’re in a better place to succeed in business.
Calculate other expenses like technology, office furniture, and dentist medical supplies to analyze future income. Also, calculate recurring/ongoing expenses, including salaries, software management, licensing costs, rent, and medical insurance.
Writing Executive Summary
Please include in the business plan a brief overview of critical points of dentist practice and its benefits to the local community. Provide an apparent advantage/reason for your business to patients. Does the business offer a solution to patients? Craft the company’s mission to align with the vital reason for opening the practice.
Outlining Findings from the Market Research
Market research will be based on patients’ demographics and all the services you’re planning to offer. Write about your ideal clientele and the different means you’ll use to get the target patients. Also, dentists’ medical supplies you’ll need to start the practice.
Analyzing Your Opportunities
The business plan will include existing opportunities for the dentist’s practice. List the services you’ll offer and outline the gap you’re planning to fill in the existing market.
Projections and Budgeting
Include your future revenue projections and expenses. If you’re planning to apply for a loan to cover your company’s starting capital, estimate three years’ revenues and expenses. If the plan shows an earning potential, you can start budgeting expenses like dentist medical center supplies and other equipment.
2. Looking for Funding
After writing a business plan, you can look for a bank or other financial institutions to fund your dentistry practice. Some of the factors to consider when choosing the right financing include;
Some banks have special divisions which solely deal with dental/medical loan applications. The officers in charge of these divisions have a vast knowledge of the medical sector and can advise you on the best available loan types for your business. Also, the officers understand revenue structures, expense models, and the risks of starting a dentist’s practice.
Different shopping banks
To increase your odds of getting business loans, submit your loan application documents to five to ten banks. Out of the applications, you’ll receive more than one offer with varying terms. Make an informed decision based on repayment period, loan amount, interest rates, and other key terms.
Applying a Conservative Approach
Stick to the business plan when buying dentists’ medical supplies and other equipment/ software used in dentists’ practice. You’ll be able to control expenses and remain within the budget estimates.
Using the Waiting Time Well
Financial institutions and banks usually take time before approving and advancing business loans. While waiting for funding, you can tackle other key steps like obtaining vital licensing, signing a lease, or applying for medical insurance. There is too much work to be done. Don’t just laze around.
3. Selecting Location
Choosing the location of your dentist’s practice is as important as other steps for getting ready. An appropriate location will ensure patients can access your office hassle-free. If you decide to rent, lease, or buy an office, the processes are lengthy and time-consuming. The factors to consider in selecting a suitable location include;
Once you open a medical practice in the area, the chances are high that you’ll stay there with your family. Ensure you’re okay staying in the region.
The area’s population needs to be significant to support your dentist practice. A large population means a high number of clients.
Check the community’s average age, employers, and income levels. If the population consists of a few young people, they will not adequately support your business. The residents should fit your pricing structure. Large employers will reflect increased insurance coverage.
Analyze local competitors’ dentist practices offering similar services to you in the region. Look at their proximity to your preferred location. More established competitors will pose a significant challenge to your business. You can consider finding unexplored regions where attracting and maintaining clients will be easier.
Visibility of the Preferred Location
The visibility of the location determines if new clients will quickly locate your clinic or not. Efforts to improve visibility will help market your business immensely. Signage boards market your business to people on highways and main roads.
If you’re in secluded areas, optimize other marketing strategies to make sure you reach potential clients.
Aesthetics of Selected Building
The appearance of the building will serve as the first point of interaction with clients. Ensure all necessary repairs are done. Hire a flooring installer to repair floor problems. Commercial plumbing companies and a dumpster rental company will keep your clinic well maintained and free from water leakages. If you need professional tile cleaning services, get them. Make sure the building is clean throughout.
4. Selecting an Appropriate Legal Structure
The business structure selected should set you up for success while addressing crucial dentist practice needs. The options for structure include;
- Limited liability partnerships
- Professional limited liability companies
- Professional associations
The uniqueness of each structure depends on liabilities and tax obligations. You should select the structure which matches your dentist’s practice details, potential liability amounts, and tax obligations. You can consult a healthcare attorney to determine which structure fits your business perfectly.
5. Getting Practice Licenses
Dentists go through the licensing process at least once. The requirements for getting a license include;
All states require a D.M.D or D.D.S degree from a university-based dental program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation(CODA).
Licensure candidates should pass parts 1 and 2 of the written national board dental examination.
Candidates for licensing are subject to clinical examination requirements. State boards rely on regional testing boards which administer the exams.
Once you’ve passed the examinations, you are licensed by your state to do dentistry. The licensing process can differ from one state to another.
6. Getting Insurance
You can’t underestimate the advantages of insuring family dentist practice. It’s necessary to understand mandatory insurance and optional insurance for your region. You can consult healthcare professionals like attorneys for advice. The standard insurance types are;
- Liability insurance
- Malpractice insurance
- Disability coverage insurance
- Umbrella policy
- Business interruption insurance
- Life, health, and disability insurance
Getting the right insurance will ensure that in cases of unexpected occurrences, your clients, staff, and yourself are covered and compensated.
7. Buying Dentist Medical Supplies
At this stage, you’ll need to put together vital software and equipment that will facilitate the day-to-day operations of your business. In purchasing dentist medical supplies, it’s essential to stick to your budget and get the most crucial equipment first.
Some of the software you might purchase include electronic health records systems, practice management systems, medical billing systems, and medical transcription systems. An IT service provider can sell and manage this software at a fee.
Dentist medical supplies are the ideal time to buy when you’re closing on opening your doors to patients. The medical supplies include;
- Examination tables
- Fax machines, computers, phones, and credit card processors
- Utilities and internet
- Needed building supplies like tiles, bulbs, and water pipes
- Chairs, desks, and other types of furniture
Make sure you buy the most critical equipment and stick to the budget.
8. Hiring Staff and Marketing
Like other businesses, you’ll be required to hire support staff and market your business to cement your presence. You hire staff who will help with bookkeeping, reception duties, and billing.
Marketing will enable clients to know about your dental practice’s existence, the services you provide, and the location of your health center or clinic.
Here are tips for building an effective marketing plan:
- Building a company website
- Claiming local listings
- Regularly sending newsletters to customers
- Starting an attractive client referral program
- Starting a blog
- Getting published in the region’s health journals
Many people fail to distinguish the difference between marketing and advertising. In general, advertising lies within the confines of good marketing strategies.
9. Partnering with Parents
The purpose of family dentist office locations is to keep everyone’s dental care in one medical health center. It saves them traveling costs in different towns. As an entrepreneur, strategize ways of partnering with parents to ensure their experiences are seamless and stress-free.
If you’re a pediatric dentist, you can detail numerous ways you’ll cater to your babies who are patients. Explain the preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental services you’ll offer to different ages.
Also, you can add orthodontics services to save patients from looking for another specialist if the need arises. Note that clients will come back if you offer them quality services.
10. Offering Advanced Dentistry Services
To get an edge over your competitors, you can offer advanced dental care. A family dentist taking this approach gets more clients than one with a limited scope.
Some of the advanced services include; pediatric dentistry, periodontists, endodontics, or oral surgery. Patients asking for these advanced services will come to your family dentist’s office. As long as you can get dentist medical supplies required, don’t limit yourself.
Select two areas that interest you and find ways to expand your specialties. You can consider going back to college to add dental skills if necessary. Ultimately, your dental clinic will be valuable to patients who typically have varying dentistry needs.
To start and run a successful family dentist requires the following steps keenly to avoid cases of incompliances. Many dental specialists seek employment before thinking about starting their practice. No matter the number of years of experience, getting a dentist’s practice up and running requires persistence.
When buying dentist medical supplies, it’s essential to stick to your budget to avoid running out of cash before opening the clinic. Remember to keep your budgeted expenses below the financing amount. The unbudgeted money will help in times of emergencies and cover additional expenses.