starting a dental practice checklist

How to Start a Dental Practice (Complete Checklist)

Starting a new dental practice is similar to starting a new business in any other industry. There are many activities involved before your dental practice can be functional; you have to make some decisions to ensure that your practice will thrive once it begins operations. The following timeline can offer helpful insight into the processes involved.

Step 1: Budgeting, Financing, and Planning

The next part of the checklist to start a dental practice is finding or deciding on a source of capital.

  1. Come up with a well-detailed business plan.
  2. Drawing up a budget and outlining the sources of significant expenditure.
  3. Review best financing options for your dental practice
  4. Secure a loan

Step 2: Site Selection

The next step in the checklist is to decide on the location for your practice. 

  1. Scouting various feasible locations where you think your practice will thrive. 
  2. Surveying the feasibility of your top location picks. 
  3. Deciding on the location for your practice.
  4. Have your lawyers and financial advisers look at your preferred location’s lease or purchase agreement.
  5. Purchase or obtain the leases for your practice’s location

Step 3: Space Design

Now comes the time to start designing your space. This is the point of the checklist when you start thinking about the vision of your dental practice office and its design.

  1. Decide on what kind of office layout will suit the needs of your practice.
  2. Finalize the interior and exterior designs of the offices.
  3. Hire trusted contractors 

Step 4: Construction

Next on our checklist is construction work. When starting a dental practice, you’ll want to hire a team to complete this as quickly as possible.

  1. Get estimates of the work to be done by your contractor.
  2. Pick a contractor for the construction or remodeling to begin.

Step 5: Loans & Funding

The next part of the checklist to start a dental practice is to secure a loan. Here’s what to know about the loan process.

  1. Loan documents need to be endorsed before signing the lease so you can write a deposit check. 
  2. Review the hard versus soft cost restrictions to ensure that the “Conditions of Lending” are quickly satisfied.

Step 6: Insurance

Having the proper insurance when starting your dental business can be very helpful. Here are some steps to ensure you have the right insurance for your practice.

  1. Decide what coverage is needed for your dental business and staff, including workers’ compensation, business insurance, and liability insurance.
  2. Acquire insurance for your practice.

Step 7: Equipment & Software

Dentists need reliable equipment and software to make sure their practice runs smoothly. This includes x-ray equipment, sterilization equipment, computers, and much more.

  1. Create a list of the equipment you’ll need to run your practice successfully.
  2. Get the estimates of the equipment needed.
  3. Purchase the equipment needed to run the practice smoothly.
  4. Review the software systems that your practice will need.
  5. Decide on software for recordkeeping, business management, and customer relationship management.
  6. Put together your fee schedule and payment policies.

Step 8: Marketing

With a great marketing plan, you’ll be able to bring in new patients to your practice. This will help you grow your dental practice long-term.

  1. Create a marketing strategy to follow. 
  2. Employ a marketing firm (or multiple firms) responsible for marketing your practice and following your strategy.
  3. Create a website, social media channels, and review sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and other directories.

Step 9: Hire a Team

The next step in the dental practice start-up checklist is to hire a team. You will want to hire and recruit a dependable team that you can count on. Here are the steps to follow to hiring your dental team:

  1. Review the information of the personnel that the practice will need.
  2. Create job descriptions and expectations for positions.
  3. Conduct interviews for staff.
  4. Hire employees.
  5. Have the right HR system in place moving forward.
  6. Train your staff prior to launch.

Step 10: Opening Your Practice

Finally, it’s time to open your practice! Here are a few final things on the checklist to finalize before your grand opening. 

  1. Put together your fee schedule and payment policies.
  2. Set your opening date.
  3. Promote your grand opening on social media and through press releases, local news outlets, etc.
  4. Grand opening event for members of the local community.

Closing Out

Starting a dental practice is not easy since you’ll have many decisions. We hope this dental practice start-up checklist will be beneficial during the entire process, from the business plan to the grand opening and beyond.

Our dental practice management coaches are here to help you every step of the way for those starting a dental practice. Learn more.

successful dentists

How to Become a Successful Dentist

Becoming a successful dentist is not as easy as you might think. Dentists need to have more than just experience to be successful. 

At Fortune Northeast, we’ve worked with hundreds of dentists to provide dental practice management coaching to dentists in New England, so we know a thing or two about success. With that said, this article outlines qualities and habits that will help you become a dentist more quickly.

8 Qualities & Habits Of A Successful Dentist

Here are eight excellent qualities and habits that successful dentists practice daily. 

1. Knowledge

One of the most critical and apparent qualities a dentist must have is knowledge. Dentistry is highly complex, and an aspiring dentist must have excellent knowledge of all specialties within dentistry to be considered a good dentist. Just knowing, however, is not enough. Being a good doctor or dental professional requires more than just knowing about all the dental procedures and treatments. 

Knowing what processes are done in each area of dentistry is only one aspect of becoming a successful dentist. There needs to be more to it. Being a successful dentist requires more than just knowing all the procedures and treatments. The essential quality of knowledge within dentistry is understanding all of the dental profession’s needs.

2. Connections

Connections are an essential part of being a successful dentist. As a dentist, you must be able to connect with your patients and find ways to relate with them. Make sure that you take the time to get to know your patients as individuals and not just as clients by asking personal questions and adding some personal touches to the dental process. 

Connections will help you build relationships with patients, and they’ll feel comfortable in your presence, thus ensuring they return for their checkups. Becoming a successful dentist requires that you be able to connect with people.

3. Leadership

A great leader is a core quality of becoming a successful dentist. Your staff and patients will look to you as a leader. If you want to become a successful dentist, you must have the leadership skills to communicate clearly and effectively by inspiring others around you.

4. Communication

The foundation of success within dentistry is communication. The ability to communicate effectively with patients, staff, and other dental professionals is an essential quality you must possess to become a successful dentist. The bottom line is, that if you want to be a successful dentist, you must focus on communication skills.

5. Resilience

Being resilient means having the ability to handle whatever happens unexpectedly in life. It means having the ability to keep moving forward despite all of your challenges. Successful dentists require handling the unexpected and being aware of the situation.

6. Commitment

It takes commitment to become a successful dentist. You must be willing to take the necessary steps toward becoming a dentist. To become a successful dentist, you must be ready to commit yourself fully to getting through the steps needed to achieve your career goals.

7. Cooperation

In today’s society, cooperation is an essential key ingredient for success. Successful dentists require cooperation among staff and patients. At the same time, it takes a cooperative, confident attitude that everyone is willing to collaborate so that they can meet their goals together.

8. Work Ethic

Your work ethic is the way you behave at work, and it will determine whether or not you are successful. Having a good work ethic means that you are dedicated to your job and your career. A great work ethic means that you have the attitude to get things done every day, even if it means working hard during and after regular business hours.

Become a More Successful Dentist

At Fortune Northeast, we provide various coaching services to help dentists succeed. This includes dental business coaching and financial planning. Learn more about what we offer.



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