Starting a Dental Practice: 3 Signs it is Right for You

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Do you want to work directly with others? Starting a dental practice could be a lucrative career path for you. Owning your own business allows you to be the boss and make the final decisions.

Suppose you have the funds and enjoy solving challenges. Running a business provides these opportunities. Just keep in mind that it takes careful planning and budgeting. Here are a few more signs you should open a dental practice.

Why Should You Start Your Own Dental Practice?

One of the main reasons for starting your own dental practice is the money. You can make more as a manager than an employee. A dentist at a private practice makes about $184,303 per year.  Another perk is that you can receive tax deductions from the IRS. It can include things like pension plans, insurance and travel expenses. This can help you manage the business more efficiently and reduce costs.

Besides, the money, you have more independence. You have control over what happens and can implement the strategies you want. Suppose you have a vision for the company. Instead of working under someone, you can create the type of practice you want. You also have complete control over the location and schedule. Suppose you’re a working parent; you can set hours around your kid’s school activities.

Are You Ready to Start a Business?

Suppose you have a passion for dentistry and want to be your own boss. Here are a few signs you should open a dental practice.

1. You’re Passionate About Helping Others

One of the rewarding parts of the job is helping others maintain proper hygiene. To be a good dentist, it’s essential to have people skills. So, it is important to be able to communicate clearly and in a polite manner.

This is important when explaining procedures or making small talk during routine cleaning. The other important trait is empathy. Some of your clients may face complications with more complex procedures. It’s essential to help them stay calm and offer solutions.

You also need to have patience and be comfortable calming people’s nerves. Suppose you work with kids. Many may be scared of going to the dentist, so you want to make it a stress-free experience.

Along with simple checkups, go the extra mile and recommend healthy habits. This includes things like flossing or limiting sugary drinks. The drive to find multiple ways to help your patients shows this may be the right field for you.

2. You Can Handle a Little Chaos

Being your own boss comes with independence but lots of responsibilities. You make the final decisions and must keep up with finances and daily operations. So, if you like routine and structure, this may not be the job for you. Flexibility is essential since you never know what new challenges may arise that day.

For example, you could have a last-minute appointment request. Therefore, you need to be financially, physically and emotionally prepared. Especially when first starting, you may face challenges with gaining new patients.

So, you need to be strong enough to handle these setbacks and budget appropriately. Join a group purchasing organization to assist with financial challenges. Also, be prepared to pull longer work days until you have a designated staff. Once you hire an entire team, you must have strong leadership skills. Being your boss is nice, but you still need to communicate efficiently.

Here are a few tips for effective leadership:

  • Be open and honest
  • Get to know your team members
  • Provide personal and professional growth opportunities
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Guide employees instead of giving orders

3. You Have the Funds and a Detailed Plan

Before starting any company, you must have a business plan in place. Without this, you won’t have a clear direction and may have trouble getting funding. The plan should include your services and prices, insurance information and marketing strategies.

In addition, your document should outline your vision and goals. Before starting a dental practice, know the local market. Ensure there isn’t already too much competition or offer unique services. You can also use social media to check the latest marketing trends.

Here are a few tips for writing your business plan:

  • Review the specific proposal requirements for your industry
  • Determine your unique selling proposition
  • Come up with a solution that meets the needs of consumers
  • Determine your pricing method – is it a flat fee or an hourly rate?
  • Write multiple drafts – keep refining

Once your business plan is ironed out, you can start looking for funding. You want to ensure you have enough startup capital before building your practice. Remember that this can be a significant investment, so budget appropriately.  You can finance a large portion of startup costs through bank loans or lines of credit.

However, you can also dive into your savings or ask friends to help cover the down payment. Other methods include crowdfunding or tapping into your home equity or retirement fund.

Tips for Starting a Dental Practice

It may be time to leap if you have these skills and qualities along with professional experience. Here are a few tips for starting a dental practice.

Choose Your Structure

The first step is to know what type of business you’re opening up, such as a sole proprietorship. The structure you choose impacts how you will pay taxes.

You will most likely have to pay ​​your business income and employment taxes. Then determine registration requirements, tax forms to file and personal liability.

Always consult a professional for legal and accounting advice.

Secure a Loan

After you register your business, you want to get proper funding. The easiest way is to get a bank loan. Prepare to answer questions about the practice’s history, financial information and staffing model.

Here are a few tips for finding the right loan for your business:

  • Know how much you can/want to spend
  • Review your credit history
  • Assess your personal financial goals

Get the Proper Insurance

Insurance is critical to protect your assets, property and employees adequately. It can reduce costs for accidents and natural disasters lawsuits. Start by buying insurance types required by the law, such as workers’ compensation. Then you can get additional insurance based on your personal company’s needs.

Since you work with clients, consider getting professional liability insurance. It protects against financial loss due to malpractice or negligence. Speak with a professional agent for more help finding the proper coverage.

Always consult a professional for insurance advice.

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash for Starting a Dental Practice. (Jadcom Media)
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Top Signs You Should Open a Dental Practice

Being a dentist is a lucrative and rewarding career. Owning your business provides you with more freedom. However, you need the proper finances and an adaptable mindset. So, before diving in, consider if you have what it takes to open a dental practice.

Are Your Ready?

If you’ve decided you have what it takes to start your own dental practice, the next step is to plan what you will need to get started. Our Dental Practice Equipment Checklist is the place to start!


Beth Rush

About the Author

Beth Rush

Beth Rush is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind.

Body+Mind features articles about diet, fitness, mental health, parenting and health care.



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