How to Open a Dental Office

You’ve worked hard throughout high school and post-education to earn a bachelor’s degree and dentistry school, and now you have come out fully trained as a dentist. You then get your licensing and certifications and are good to go. Now what? You were probably so focused on your training that you never considered setting up your practice, but schooling is the first step.

Now comes the hard part of making a name for yourself and building a client list of smiling patients. Before you fill that roster, you need a storefront to do business, which comes with challenges and a learning curve.

Here is all you need to know to help you get up and running. This is how to open a dental office.

Put Together a Business Plan

Starting any business is tough, but it is much easier to find success if you have a roadmap to follow. A business plan will help determine your immediate and future financial needs and be able to communicate that vision effectively when looking for funding. It is a way of detailing and implementing plans to achieve your goals.

Your business plan should include:

  • Your budget
  • Projected overhead costs
  • Projected earnings
  • Location of office
  • Staffing requirements
  • Personal financial statements
  • Current cashflow
  • Marketing strategies

These details will set a clear intention and demonstrate your abilities going forward, regardless of whether you need financial backing.

Supplies and Equipment

You will need supplies and equipment regardless of which path you take to establish your business. With an existing business, there will be the equipment that the previous dentist used, but it may be outdated and not what you want to use for your new operation. It’s best to stock up your inventory by ordering from dental supply companies

Typical equipment needed for your operation includes:

Clinical Furniture

  • Dental chair with dental unit
  • Clinical stools
  • Supply cabinets
  • Cabinet lamps

Heavy Equipment:

  • Autoclave
  • X-ray machine

Basic Instruments:

  • Examination mirrors
  • Periodontal probes
  • Exploration probes
  • Dental pliers
  • Dental Tweezers

Other Apparatus

  • Dental turbines
  • Dental handpieces
  • Micromotors
  • Contra angles
  • Cotton rolls
  • Cotton applicators

This and more can be bought at a reputable dental supply company. Usually, you can go online to their site and browse through various categories to find what you are looking for. Along with these devices are a wide range of supplies like:

  • Tray covers
  • Gauzes
  • Bibs
  • Disposable gloves
  • Dental sutures
  • Endodontic material
  • Dental burs
  • Dental composites
  • Dental sutures
  • Paper cups
  • Anaesthetic supplies
  • Cement and liners
  • Crowns
  • Implants

A good relationship with your dental supply company is key to providing great service while using top-quality products, equipment and supplies.

Open Your Practice or Take Over an Existing Practice

These are your two options, and both come with great benefits, but there is much to consider. Which you decide will depend on whether you want a turn-key practice or build it from the ground up.

Open Your Practice

This is exciting and allows you to pick your location along with the design layout of your office. You also get to select your staff and develop your unique business culture. You will have higher upfront costs because you must bring in your equipment, which can delay your opening. You do take on more risk, but with that comes greater rewards.

Take Over an Existing Business

When you buy someone else’s practice, it is a fully functional business with patients and staff. You will have to adjust to the surroundings, but there is less time to train staff and lower overall costs.

Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose the equipment, and there may be some outdated machines that you will have to use or replace if you have the budget. Buying someone else’s business can be more expensive because you also buy their clientele, reputation, and established location. You will, however, turn a profit much quicker.

The decision is yours, so decide what works best for you and take that first step confidently.


This is among the most important parts of having your dental practice, and it is there to protect both you and your patients. These are among the types of insurance to consider:

  • Life insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Business overhead insurance

Marketing Strategy

You have everything in place to succeed, but you must attract clients to make money. This is where a good marketing strategy comes into play. Start with a dynamic website with lots of colour and flash. You want to attract attention, and while you provide a professional service, your customers are regular people from all walks of life.

Include pictures, videos, and comprehensive listings of your services. It is also wise to have compelling articles to inform your visitors. Promote your business on popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. Make sure you have a great company logo which is the same across all your marketing materials.

This is how to open a dental office. By following these steps, you set yourself up for a lucrative practice while providing top-quality dental services to the local public. This is truly a career that will make people smile.

log in

reset password

Back to
log in