Before Starting a New Dental Practice
Tips Before Starting a New Dental Practice
Starting your first dental practice is an exciting chapter in your career. Creating a successful dental practice requires dedication and the right team. Most will tell you that it’s harder than it looks. Below, our Digital Doc team has gathered some tips to consider before starting a new dental practice. Finding the perfect space for your new startup can be difficult. You’ll want to consider a few things before signing a new lease on your office.
Office Size & Shape
You’ll want to ensure that your new dental practice has enough space for your patients and staff. Something to consider is the shape of the office. The more oddly shaped it is, the harder it will be to furnish. Give yourself room to grow as well. Avoid signing a lease on something that is too small.
A landlord will typically allocate three parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of office space in leased buildings. However, this is insufficient for a dental practice. A minimum of five parking places per 1,000 square feet of office space is usually sufficient to accommodate patients and workers.
Before signing a lease, ensure that the space has adequate utilities, particularly adequate power service. The average dentist practice requires 400-500 amps of power. Many new buildings require solar power now, so if you’d like to save money on electricity, consider finding a newer building.
Floor Space and Columns
Examine the quantity and location of columns that will be installed in the leased space. This information is crucial for your architect to have when drawing up floor plans so that columns don’t interfere with the positioning of dental chairs or other equipment, or otherwise disrupt the flow of the room. Remember that older buildings have even more columns in a multi-story arrangement, so keep that in mind. Furthermore, columns in the clinical zone must be spaced appropriately apart from the outside walls to allow for proper depth for the operatory and clinical corridor. As a general rule, for each column in your leasing space, add 50 square feet to your floor design space requirements.
Asymmetrical areas can be difficult to work with. If the perimeter is uneven, it will be impossible to put all dental chairs equidistant from the wall, resulting in a staggered configuration. The alternative would be to arrange seats in a treatment hallway, but this would require some room to be sacrificed. As a general rule, add 50 to 75 square feet to the area required for each irregularity.
Choose an architect who is familiar with local building codes, particularly fire standards. Ensuring code compliance when planning the floor layout will aid in obtaining permits to expand out the area. For example, fire codes mandate a separate auxiliary exit from the patient entrance. Some fire regulations include extra criteria such as the use of specific building materials and/or the installation of a fire sprinkler system.
Signage Is Available
It is advantageous to have your leasing agent negotiate the inclusion of outdoor signage in the lease to help boost exposure for your business. A seasoned leasing agent is worth his or her weight in gold. They can review the entire agreement and negotiate on your behalf.
A common mistake new dentists make is not doing research on local competitors. The last thing you want to do is sign a 5-year lease next to your biggest competitor in town. Dental offices are everywhere, so do your due diligence before saying yes to a contract. If there are other buildings or offices available near you, find out if anyone plans on moving in soon.
The logistics of a new dental practice can be overwhelming if you do not have the right tools. Advanced dental technology is one aspect of your dental practice that can help bring revenue to your practice. In fact, doctors who use Digital Doc products see anywhere from a 10-40% increase in revenue. Our products are an investment, but they do get patients to say yes to treatment. Interested? Schedule a virtual demo with one of our Digital Doc representatives. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to hear from real doctors using our Digital Doc products.