Starting your first dental clinic can be both challenging and exciting at the same time. A Bachelor’s degree with an internship or practical work experience will give you enough confidence and know-how to set up your own dental practice. But starting a dental practice, or any medical practice (read our guide to setting up a hospital in India) for that matter, demands a level of commitment, business acumen, industry awareness, marketing knowledge and awareness on various aspects of your practice and business.

Starting a Dental Clinic

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If that seems like a lot to handle, don’t worry. Here are 8 useful pointers to help you in setting up your practice.

1. Get your objectives straight

Your motives drive your action, and having common objectives for your personal and professional life can help you greatly succeed in your practice. Setting your objectives on money, family, freedom of time and learning will give you insight into how big or small your dental practice needs to be. For instance, if your prime focus is your family then having a practice close to your home could help you save the commute time for your family. Related read: How doctors can stay calm & productive with a busy schedule.

2. Hire the right people

Managing the entire clinic all by your self is a daunting task. Hiring people skilled in medical treatments and clinic management will help you focus on the core – treating patients. You can leverage contacts both online and offline to look for people looking for part time jobs. Listing jobs in college bulletins and medicine related forums could bring in students looking for practical experience, learning and income. Read 6 tips on hiring a receptionist for your clinic.

3. Get your gear right

Using proper equipment certified by trusted medical organizations will help garner trust among your patients. Getting basic gear like mouth mirror, dental chair, retractors and drills while also keeping a good ambience in mind helps you treat your patients better. A comprehensive practice management software can also simplify many administrative tasks and help with patient management. Also read about the best practices in managing technology at medical clinics and 5 technology mistakes you should avoid at your practice.

4. Get your Approvals

In India, getting the approvals required for opening your clinic might take longer than you think. Make a list of all the approvals you need, and give some buffer time for delays.  Approvals for setting up a practice can include, but is not limited to:

Read this article for a complete list of approvals required for private practices in India.

5. Know the Costs

If you are working for a hospital or a clinic, treating patients is your only task. But once you are starting your own practice you have to play a role of a business owner too. Good dental equipment is expensive and you have to evaluate all expenses and know the investment figure before you start off. Common expenses could be rent, staffing payroll, furniture, furnishings, water and electricity bill, taxes and equipment costs. Knowing these costs before venturing will eliminate the surprise factor and helps you be prepared for financial bottlenecks. See our article on the cost of setting up and running a dental clinic in India.

7. Maintain and Measure

Setting up a business is just half the task. Maintaining the dental clinic practice standards and measuring progress needs constant monitoring, quality checks and measurement of financials. Few challenges in maintaining a clinic could be doing quality checks on dental equipment, checking expiry dates on medicines, giving upgraded training sessions to your dental clinic staff, billing, printing, maintaining accounts and evaluating profits. See medical billing tips for small clinic owners and 5 things your staff must be trained in.

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