Dental Construction Tips
Dental Construction Tips
If you are opening a dental office for the first time it is just natural for you to find the process a bit overwhelming. You probably wanted to be a dentist with the simple yet noble wish to help people and provide solutions for their dental needs. Then reality sets in and you realize that before you can even practice what you learned in school, you need a place for you to practice in, particularly if you want to practice on your own. Opening a dental office doesn’t have to be stressful though as long as you know the necessary steps that you need to take. The following dental construction tips can surely help you.
Amount of space
The first thing that you need to ask yourself is: How much space do I need? To answer this question you need to determine the number of operatories that you would like to have. The number of operatories will dictate the size of your waiting area. Take note that a typical dental clinic has the following sections: a waiting room, a bathroom that is accessible to handicapped individuals, mechanical closet, business checkout area, IT closet, and a lab and sterilization area. You can also include a private office, private bathroom, staff lounge, consultation room, pan area, and a storage room.
Location, location, location
They say that in order to succeed in business, you only need to consider three things: location, location, and location. You need a good location for your dental clinic if you want to have a successful and fulfilling practice. Thanks to the Internet though, business establishments are easier to locate nowadays than during pre-Internet days. But a good location is still important, especially if you are looking to have walk-ins. The best location would be in the first-floor of a building with a storefront. Of course, a good location comes with a big price tag.
If a prime location is not available or is out of your budget then you can settle for a less costly space located on an upper floor. You would have to work hard on your marketing though if you have a less-than-ideal location in order to get clients. If you are a specialist who depends mainly on referrals, then an office on an upper floor of a building should suffice.
You also need to consider accessibility when searching for a good location for a dental office. It needs to have ample parking space for your staff and your patients. It also needs to be accessible via public transportation for clients who will be commuting.
Negotiating your lease
In life everything is negotiable. So when you finally find an ideal place for you to start your practice, you need to brush up on your negotiating skills. One of the things that you need to make sure of is that you have at least a 10-year commitment on the place. Keep in mind that you will need to invest a significant amount of time, money, and effort to build your clinic. For sure, you wouldn’t want to repeat the process again after just a few years. Look for property owners who will be willing to give you some months of free rent. You can use the money that you will be able to save for the construction of your office.
Building your office
This is probably the most exciting part: Actually building your office. For many aspiring dentists, this is the start of the realization of lifelong dream. Also, building an office can be fun especially if you are in full control of the construction process. But before you can start building your office though, you need to first acquire the necessary permits. Building a typical dental office can take anywhere from 12 to 18 weeks. This is why it is important to be able to negotiate some free months on your lease.
Gathering the construction team
After getting the permits, you need to find reliable contractors and professionals. It would be best if you can get referrals from other dentists. You will need to form a team of experts to turn your vision into reality. Your team should include an architect, construction manager and of course contractors who will do the actual building. The individuals that you will hire must at least have some experience in dental construction. Of course, the best scenario is having a team that has worked together in the past.
After establishing your team, you need to pay attention to the equipment that you will be using for your clinic. You can consider your equipment as the tools of your trade. Your knowledge and skills as a dentist will be useless if you don’t have the right tools. This is why it is not advisable to scrimp when buying dental equipment. Next to building your office, buying dental equipment is the next big investment that you need to make. The key is to find a reliable supplier. One whom you feel comfortable working with and can provide the latest state-of-the-art dental equipment. You can start by determining the brand of dental equipment that you want and then find a dealer or supplier for that particular brand.
Apart from dental equipment, you will also need computer and Internet for your office. Nowadays, it is hard for any business to survive without being online. Having a reliable computer and Internet connection means that patients can get in touch with you anytime. You will need the service of a competent IT expert. One who can set up the system in your office and do maintenance work when needed. Choose an IT expert well. You will probably need his or her service long after your system has been established.
The dental construction process may include quite a number of steps but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Of course, you need to put in some work but the outcome will definitely be worth it. As long as you know what you want and you are willing to invest the right amount of time, effort and money then for sure your dream dental office will become a reality.