How to Start a Dental Practice in 13 Easy Steps [2024]

How to Start a Dental Practice

Typically, this is a single practice that was founded to become a very successful company. If several dentists are working on the project, there may be more than one surgery.

You must have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and base your business strategy on this. You also need to consider the services you will offer and make sure you thoroughly investigate the market you intend to enter.

Consider your opening hours, including whether weekends, early beginnings, or late finishes are part of the schedule. The most crucial thing is to make sure you are in the appropriate place and that potential customers can easily locate your business.

13 Steps to Starting & Growing a Dental Practice

Here is a step-by-step instruction for setting up and growing a prosperous dental practice:

1. Think about purchasing an existing business

Decide first if you want to create your own business or buy an existing dental practice.

The biggest benefit of purchasing a dental practice from a retiring dentist is that you are getting a running business. Brand, structure, personnel, and clients are all things you acquire.

Purchasing an existing business has financial drawbacks. You also won’t be able to switch to a new brand and start over. You inherit any problems with profitability or reputation that the company has if you purchase it.

Starting over with your practice could be the best option for you if you’re a business-savvy entrepreneur seeking to establish a new brand with a differentiating selling proposition.

Carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each decision. You might also hire a business expert to guide you in selecting the option that best fits your needs and financial circumstances.

2. Watch for developments in the future

Research upcoming changes in your neighborhood. A rise in demand for your services, for instance, could be caused by plans to create new housing complexes or sheltered facilities for the elderly.

Make sure there aren’t any plans to modify the current road network that would make it more difficult for patients to obtain parking or get to the clinic.

3. Examine current trends as well as legal and tax concerns

Dental industry trends

Dental procedures should take less time as time goes on thanks to 3D printing technology.

Dental restorations created utilizing CAD-CAM technology are more dimensionally accurate, visually pleasing, and structurally sound than those created in a traditional laboratory, making them far more durable.

Even though more and more dentists are investing in 3D printing technology, the next ten years will see an unprecedented reliance on CAD-CAM technology for the manufacture of dental restorations.

Intelligent Machines

The medical industry is already benefiting in numerous ways from artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, the dentistry industry hasn’t embraced this novel approach right away. But this will change in the not-too-distant future.

Computers and software will help dentists in the future make more accurate and time-saving clinical decisions in a number of areas, including diagnosing dental caries, spotting malignant lesions early, managing patient records, and diagnostic imaging.

Why should the dental market lag behind other sectors of the economy that are increasingly dependent on digital systems and tools? Even in implant dentistry today, a lot of dentists still take physical imprints to create crowns and veneers.

The accuracy and dimensional stability of digital impressions are significantly higher. In addition, they can be easily integrated with CAD-CAM systems for the manufacture of dental restorations at the chairside.

Reality Augmented

Without the use of actual patients, try honing your clinical abilities or imparting knowledge to pupils. Thanks to augmented reality, this is going to become a reality soon.

Dental students will be able to practice different clinical procedures whenever and wherever they want in the coming years.

Furthermore, dentists will be able to employ augmented reality to counsel and educate their patients.

The possibilities for augmented reality in dentistry are endless, ranging from giving oral care advice to displaying tooth flaws in real time and proposing suitable treatment options.

Dentists’ legal problems

No one definition can encompass all the different aspects of the concept of law. A collection of regulations that are upholdable through the legal system of a particular nation can be summed up as law.

  • Law has an impact on every part of human activity, including dentistry in this case. Important health statutes, foremost among them the drug and cosmetics act, the dentist’s act, etc., serve as a bridge between law and dentistry.

    The market-driven system is driving away the altruistic ideas of the early professors of the craft, resulting in a progressive fall in the ethical standards of the dental profession.

    Despite the development of forensic odontology, which mandates that every dentist maintain some sort of record for every patient they treat, corporate dentistry today has degenerated into a typical commercial practice whose concerns are tightly dictated by profit and loss concerns.

    A very small percentage of dentists were found to be maintaining dental records when knowledge of this topic was assessed among dentists.
  • In terms of legal medicine in the jail, the inmates’ health and well-being are the primary concern of the prison doctor and other medical personnel.

    The equivalence of care, patient consent and confidentiality, preventive health care, humanitarian support, professional independence, and professional competence are the seven fundamental principles for the practice of prison health care.
  • In terms of legal medicine in the jail, the inmates’ health and well-being are the primary concern of the prison doctor and other medical personnel.

    The equivalence of care, patient consent and confidentiality, preventive health care, humanitarian support, professional independence, and professional competence are the seven fundamental principles for the practice of prison health care.
  • Dental ethics refers to a dentist’s moral obligations and duties to society, his colleagues in the dental profession, and his patients.
  • Do no harm, do good, respect for people, veracity, beneficence, justice, etc. are the five ethical tenets that underpin dentistry practice.

Dentists’ VAT regulations

To keep up with changing user expectations and the opportunities provided by related industries like retail banking, fintech, payments, and connected supply chains, tax authorities must adopt disruptive and innovative business practices.

Tax administration for businesses, citizens, and tax authorities will be greatly facilitated by advances in the intelligent industry, digital, data, and the cloud.

Medical equipment & usage tax

If dental products are used directly on patients as part of treatment, they are exempt from tax. This includes lab and medical equipment purchases.

Bibs and tongue depressors are examples of objects used during a process that is not utilized for treatment but rather for hygienic purposes. These products are not exempt, though.

Use tax and dental services

Dentists must pay use tax on goods they use to provide services even if the merchant they bought them from didn’t collect sales tax.

The acquisition of implants and braces from an out-of-state vendor who did not charge sales tax is one circumstance that necessitates the payment of use tax by a dental clinic. This is only one of many scenarios to take into account when using tax exposure.

6. Add new services

When it’s time to extend your clientele, consider how you may increase the value of your offerings, boost your ability to compete, and attract new clients.

Perhaps the size of your present dental practice limits your ability to produce, and you’re considering moving to a larger location or hiring more associates.

Maybe you want to make your clinic more easily accessible. Or perhaps you’re thinking of adding additional specialties to cater to the expanding demands of your neighborhood.

Whatever path you choose, be careful not to overdo your practice! You may build a solid reputation, devoted patients, and increased revenues as a successful dentist by finding the ideal mix between cutting-edge technology and unwavering quality.

Every successful dentist offers a variety of payment alternatives to patients.

7. Pay Attention to your finances

Hire an accountant who is well-versed in the operations of dentistry practices. Develop a solid partnership with them that will remain for years to come.

Use financing options to ease cash flow when it’s time to buy dental equipment and finish the practice fit-out. Most dental financing is set up through brokers.

The ability to divide or spread large applications among numerous lenders is a distinct advantage that brokers have. You can locate the best brokers through referrals, and the greatest service is typically recommended by equipment suppliers.

A reputable broker will be able to professionally put together the entire application and then manage the process through to completion.

Any broker’s or bank’s efficiency and quickness are closely correlated with the caliber of the information given to them. Making an application will be made easier with a short checklist.

Checklist for applications

  • When applying, be informed of the price of the equipment and your preferred installation dates.
  • Compile a list of your partners’ names, birthdates, home addresses, and driver’s licenses or passport numbers.
  • For limited corporations, give the names of all the directors and their residence addresses.
  • A former home address is necessary if you haven’t lived at your current address for three years or more.
  • A copy of a recent utility bill might be used to verify applicants’ or directors’ residential status
  • Compile a detailed list of all vendors, including the costs and quotes from the builders.

A detailed and current history of business transactions will be required by all banks and financial organizations.

For sole proprietors, partnerships, and limited companies, current profit and loss statements (P&L Accounts) are required, whereas audited accounts are required for other business entities.

Even though management accounts are helpful, they do not have the same authority as completely updated audited accounts.

8. Choose the Right Location

Must take into account a variety of existing building forms, with the location frequently being completely disregarded.

Avoid the temptation of moving forward with a property under pressure from the circumstances! It is worthwhile to wait for a fantastic site that can have a significant long-term impact on your success.

For Example, Stallings Dental has the best location in St Louis, and because of their excellent results, people always prefer to visit them.

Select a region you are familiar with and that has a patient population that fits your target market. Think about the local population’s demographics and how well they fit your value proposition.

For instance, nighttime appointments for city workers are probably common in a suburban town. After choosing a potential location, consider the demographics of the neighborhood.

What is the breakdown by age? Does it mostly house commuters? How do people generally feel about getting dental care? These inquiries will enable you to create a service approach that is as pertinent to your target market as possible, increasing your likelihood of success.

9. Always Participate

Nothing is more important for a dental practice than being able to rely on a group of devoted clients who come in frequently and would refer the office to their friends and family.

Since it takes more work to find new patients, keeping your current ones is much less expensive. Offering adequate service, flexible hours, and a handy location is all important, but they are not sufficient for keeping current clients.

It is important to include patients, connect with them emotionally, gain their trust, and establish long-lasting connections.

Thanks to the digital era we live in, dentists have a plethora of chances to contact both current and potential patients regularly.

It’s never been simpler to stay at the top of patients’ minds, demonstrate your genuine concern for them, and develop into the most effective dentist you can be using cross-channel marketing, which combines direct mail, social media, and email marketing.

10. Marketing Strategy

There are two categories of dental practice marketing. Both are necessary:

  • Your marketing stance and foundation. This comprises your distinctive offering, website, brand name, and logo, as well as your purpose for being, practice location, and objectives. These are the things that will always be advantageous.
  • Your marketing plans and initiatives. These are required to temporarily increase your sales. These include flyer distribution, open houses, event sponsorship, and even a referral program.

Market position and foundation

As a manager of practice and a business owner, you must schedule time for marketing. You will reduce your chances of improvement if you become preoccupied with a practice’s daily operations.

One of the main reasons why so many start-up firms fail is that managing everything may be very difficult. Your valuable time will be freed up so you can focus on crucial marketing initiatives if you hire a head nurse or practice manager straight now.

Choose your concept and what you want to offer, and make sure it stands out from what your rivals are offering.

A high-quality website is crucial, and search engine optimization should be taken into account. Priority should be given to setting up the website before the practice is open.

This will give your business credibility and instill trust in your customers, suppliers, and employees.

Marketing tactics and programs

A leaflet drop to nearby homes and businesses can be used to promote the practice’s actual opening, which is a significant marketing opportunity.

An open day to meet potential patients informally and a press release (perhaps even approaching the neighborhood radio station) could both be helpful.

Speak with nearby establishments that deal with similar aspects of health and well-being, such as gyms, spas, beauty parlors, and hair salons. It might be advantageous for both of you to include them in your project.

You may, for instance, make your clients an exclusive offer that enhances the value of their company and engages in reciprocal advertising that is advantageous to all businesses engaged.

A patient referral program is an excellent technique to draw in new clients. Once set up, you will pay a nominal fee to get inquiries and referrals of high caliber.

To draw in new patients, it is common practice to provide a free initial check-up. Patients view this as a risk-free opportunity to try out your services before committing cash. Additionally, it fosters relationships with your clientele.

Take note of the practice’s Google reviews. These must be excellent since younger, more tech-savvy patients would consult them before visiting.

Your front desk staff should receive training on how to handle unhappy clients and make sure you always find a solution to their problems.

Keep in mind that losing a little money on one patient’s issue is far preferable to losing ten new patients as a result of one negative review!

11. Improve your scheduling methodology

You can schedule appointments using a good dental scheduling system, but it also offers other benefits.

It improves patient flow, increases output, lowers stress levels for both patients and employees, and ultimately helps to deliver the high-quality customer care that your patients expect.

Because of this, you must make sure that your dental office has the most adaptable, effective, and current scheduling software available.

12. Checklist for Practice Design

Designing practices is a process, not an occasion. A skilled dental-specific designer should be involved and it should be done properly. A consultant who specializes in equipment is frequently the best person to assist you with practice layout design.

They are more knowledgeable about the tools you will require. It is best to agree on the room layouts concurrently because the types and manufacturers of equipment frequently influence them.

A checklist for practice design is:

  • Amount of dental procedures
  • Clean and dirty zones in the decontamination room
  • OPG/CBCT space
  • Specifications for x-ray lead lining
  • An eye-catching reception desk
  • Observer seats during operations
  • Chair and furniture Orientation to take full advantage of natural light, among many other considerations
  • Penetration of natural light, especially in basements

Maintenance and Seamless Operation of the Practice

It’s crucial to take the initiative and plan after your practice is established. You will be accountable for the organization’s expansion and development as its manager.

Maintain the dental equipment with care. It is important to remember that most equipment requires regular maintenance.

You can ideally minimize the need for engineer call-outs and expensive repairs by approaching an equipment firm when you initially buy or lease your equipment.

A bad reputation might result from breakdowns, which are often expensive and frustrating. Servicing agreements are a common way to control expenses and maintain simplicity in maintenance.

13. Scale

Consider expanding into new areas once your business model and profitability have been established. Employ new dentists, lease or purchase additional properties, and launch fresh marketing initiatives for those new regions.

Transfer profits, resources, and knowledge to new places using what you’ve learned from your initial location.

The saying “slow and steady wins the race” is true, but before you know it, you’ll be running several profitable dental practices.


When done properly, establishing a dentistry office can be a very rewarding venture. Decide first whether you want to build your own business from scratch or purchase an established one.

Next, create a thorough business plan, complete all necessary legal requirements, and get all necessary funding. After setting up your business, you should launch a successful digital marketing campaign to attract new clients.

Put out a lot of effort to keep both your staff and current consumers satisfied. Your concept can be scaled up to create more offices once it has been validated.

Author Bio:
Sophia Williams is a qualified content writer with experience in writing on a variety of subjects. He has written a lot of Content on Emergency dental, Dental Implants, Dental Practice, etc.

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