How To Start a Dentist Office

Girl getting dental care

So you are planning to open a dental practice.  As you start to look around at appropriate locations for your new dentist office, it's important to keep certain requirements in mind so you can open an office that is as comfortable for your professional staff as it is welcoming for your new patients.

Don't economize on space because you will need to have at least 20 square feet of space for each member of your office personnel, including storage space. You will also need to have an entry area large enough to accommodate the Americans with Disabilities requirements, a private office for each dentist practitioner, a reception and patient waiting area, and enough room to accommodate x-ray development equipment and any other special services you might offer such as a dental laboratory. Include a break room for office personnel in your plans to keep morale at a good level.

Don't purchase any equipment until you have acquired your dentist office space so you are not purchasing items that are either too large or too small for the space you will be using.  Each treatment room needs a chair and lighting, computer equipment and such essentials as compressors and irrigation equipment.  Many dentist offices upgrade their equipment on a fairly regular basis, so there is often a good selection of quality used equipment to help reduce your initial start-up costs.

If the office space you are leasing is being constructed to suit your dentist office needs, be sure that the contractor working on the space is familiar with installing dental cabinetry and other equipment as well as the nuances of connecting plumbing to dental chairs and irrigation equipment used in each treatment room.

Having the right paperwork is a must prior to opening the doors of your dental office. You must acquire a business license and any local permits from your city government, as well as display your state license to practice dentistry and your dental school degree.  Talk with an insurance provider experienced with covering the dental industry to make sure you and your staff are covered with malpractice insurance, as well as covering your equipment and furnishings from fire, theft and other disasters. Don't take any aspect of your insurance policy for granted, as just one lawsuit could bankrupt you before you really get your dentist office underway.

Many reliable wholesale suppliers can provide you with the necessary accessories for your dentist office. These include but are not limited to hand tools, bibs, cotton rolls, drills and model molds for crowns and dentures, and protective gear including gloves and masks.

Just before opening your doors, send professionally printed advertisements or handbills to office employees and home owners near your new dentist office to introduce your services to new clients.


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