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How to set up a dental practice?


After graduation or with an experience of practice under an experienced dentist, you're ready to start your practice. Setting up your first dental practice can be challenging, as well as exciting at the same time. However, it demands a lot of commitment, investment, business acumen, industry awareness, marketing knowledge, and awareness on various aspects of your practice and business.


There are certain factors that you should know before starting your dental clinic:

Clinical Skills: You must be thorough and master with the necessary dental procedures that are going to be bread and butter for your practice. Being confident with Root Canal Treatments, Extractions, Composite Restorations, Complete Dentures, Removable Partial Dentures will itself turn out to be a positive aspect for setting up a dental practice. Never start with your clinic without getting your hands smooth on these procedures. You can always practice on the maximum number of patients during your internship, or you may also practice under an experienced dentist after your internship hours. It will give you more exposure to how a clinic is handled individually and what it takes to run a clinical practice.


Location: Choosing the right place is always plays a vital role in setting up the clinic. An excellent location for a clinic will be the one that maximum visibility. You want something that has a central location, visible, and in an area that your target market spends maximum time. Look for crowded population areas rather than areas with less population. Avoid opening a clinic when there are plenty of clinics in that area already. It will be difficult to gather more patients to your practice. Another essential factor to check is whether the location has accurate water supply and drainage


Individual or Partnership: This again plays a vital role as starting a clinic with someone as your partner means you are both going to be equally responsible for all the decisions you take for the clinic. In a partnership clinic, always make sure to have all the legal documentation sorted and on paper to avoid any future problems that may arise even if you're in close relation with your partner. Setting up a clinic alone will not have such possibilities; however, once you have a great practice, you can always collaborate with pharmaceuticals and dental material companies.


Investment: There are two ways to invest in a clinic. One is spending a considerable amount of money to make a lavish, modern age clinic where the patients will feel like into a resort, get treated, and pay you truly more. It is a good idea only if you have enough finance already to back you up. On average most of the young dentists invest about 10 – 12 lakhs in starting their clinics. Yes, you should have a modern age clinic at some point in your dental career, but not immediately after graduating. As the risk of investment should not be higher than the return of investment. The money should be invested correctly for the right things like dental equipment's and other clinical accessories rather than the furnishing and interiors. Some of the significant necessary spendings should be Dental chair, X-ray Unit, RVG, Dental forceps, Motors, Sterilization Unit, Drainage, and essential dental instruments.

Another option for buying and investing in these expensive types of equipment is to look for any dentist selling the equipment or entire dental setup. It is a good idea to start with as it will help you save a lot of money in the initial days when you have just started your practice in the market. Because even if this way, you can save up half of your investment money, your return will be more in the long term with low-risk factors.


Get Approvals: It is necessary to get certain approvals like Shop and Establishment Act Registration, Bio-waste Disposal, Fire Department, Water Department. These are only a few to name; please check for more according to your location.


Case Selection: As mentioned earlier, basic dental procedures are going to be bread and butter while starting your clinic. So it is crucial to select the case wisely. There is no need to experiment with patients when we do not have enough knowledge about the procedure to conduct. It is advisable to call a specialist or consulting dentist in such cases. Because earning your name in practice is more complicated than spoiling it by mishandling one patient.


Marketing: It is important to advertise your dental practice and the best way is mouth to mouth publicity. By choosing the right words in any situation, always try to build up a proper engagement and satisfy your patients with their treatment, as this will bring in more patients. Using social media will also help garner more population to your clinic. Other ways of building your community will be organizing free dental camps, volunteering in your area.


Use Google Tools: Most of the population today will search for anything on Google. What better way to help them get to know you? Using Google My Business will help you improve your online visibility. You can add your clinic hours, location, and contact details. This online tool will be helpful for patient's reviews and feedback as well.


Insurance: Yes, it's essential as your clinic has some costly instruments. So, proper insurance to guard your devices is necessary.


Review and Maintenance: For a dental practice to run smoothly, it is necessary to have a maintenance check regularly: regular checks on dental equipment, keeping records of accounts and profits, essential check of expiry dates on medicines, review your business strategies.


Do Not Stop Learning: Always try to attend conferences and seminars because it will keep you in touch with the current trends and techniques in dentistry.


To run a successful practice, your only mantra should be respect your profession and treat your patients with dignity.

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