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If you’re a fresh graduate, working out of another dentist’s office, you might be wondering what it takes to open a dental practice of your own. As your own boss, striking out to forge your way is a big decision with a major bearing on your professional success. As such, we’ve created a handy guide, compiling the essential points to take note of if you want to start your dental practice successfully.

Plan it Out

Before taking any other steps towards opening a dental practice, work on creating your business plan. A business plan is a guide to your practice’s goals and how you mean to achieve them. It includes a detailed description of your strategies and operations, financial information, and developmental future. You can find numerous business plan templates specifically tailored to dentists online. 

Make sure your business plan is dynamic and allow it to change over time. Don’t forget to check in with your plan after you’ve opened your clinic! Keep adding new notes as your practice grows – a business plan is a roadmap to the future.

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Create a Budget

How much does it cost to open a dental practice? While many factors go into your business finances, in general, dental setup costs tend to range between $350,000 to $500,000 (averaging at approximately $475,000). That is a significant chunk of money that you need to budget for. 

Understand where your money goes by deconstructing everything needed for building a dental practice from scratch. Knowing what you require in terms of leasing, equipment, staffing, marketing and day to day operational costs can help you better allocate your funds. Don’t get caught unawares! Budget for the unexpected and factor hidden costs into your equation for how much money to start a dental practice.

Most professionals will find they have to seek outside funding from a bank or other lending source. Keep your debt load manageable and stay on top of your credit. If the financial burden is too heavy, consider opening your practice with a partner.

Choose a Location

Settling on the location of your practice is one of the most critical choices you’ll make. Research your potential customers, as location can inform your local clientele. Take note of competitors in the area to make an informed decision on where is best for you. How much to open a dental clinic also can hinge on location, as different regions (and different buildings, and even different floors) can vastly influence your leasing costs.

When choosing a location, examine the square footage and general layout carefully. The number of rooms and their respective sizes can determine how much space you have and how you can partition it. Decide what you absolutely need to fit in. You may need to forgo a designated break area to make room for an X-Ray machine.

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Note the Legal Aspect

It’s a good idea to bring in an attorney to assist in ironing out all the details you need to take care of to run your dental business legally. First, ensure that you’re legally licensed to work in your state and are compliant with all local and national regulations (such as having a national provider identifier number and a DEA registration). You’ll also need to register your practice for taxes and obtain the appropriate credentials.

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Decide on Equipment

Make time for considerable research regarding all the dental equipment you need, choosing the most cost-effective and high-quality options. You will also need furniture, office supplies, computer systems, and other odds and ends of a functional practice. Keep the space you have in mind when making purchases. You don’t want to find your dental chairs left out in the hallway.

Bring in Staff

You will need to bring in more personal than just yourself to run a dental office successfully. Decide what roles need to be filled, how many people you mean to hire, and the full budget (including salary and any benefits) for each new staff member you take on-board. Once you’re closer to opening, begin the interview process to screen for and select the best candidates.

Work on Your Marketing Strategy

Patients are the lifeblood of your operation. When you’re looking into how to start a dental clinic business, it’s important to figure out your dental marketing practice. Make sure you have a personal website to drive traffic to. Consider using various advertising strategies over digital, print, and audio-visual mediums to grow your dental practice and bring in different demographics. Start early! You want to attract patients before your practice is open.

Worry-free insurance verification

Opencare takes the guesswork and effort out of insurance verification.