How to Plan Your Dental Treatment Room Setups and Office Build-Out
Cost control is an important criteria for new dentists setting up their first practice. To keep budgets from spiraling out of control, dentists can now select new types of modular dental equipment that are more cost efficient than traditional fixed dental cabinets. Plus this type of equipment easily allows them to scale their equipment budget to the growth phase of their dental practice. This can allow dentists to defer purchasing all the equipment when they first open.
The first step is to plan well and to only purchase the dental delivery systems, chairs, equipment and supplies you can put into production right away. This may mean avoiding supply stocking programs and the temptation to fully equip the entire office unless you really believe all the dental treatment room setups will be used from the start.
Planning out your office and expenditures is more than just getting the right look. Use discernment when reviewing pre-formatted budget templates, and consider the importance of each area to generating initial practice revenue. Before you purchase equipment, ask yourself if extra equipment is really necessary for you to open your practice. This will help you get down to a much more realistic overall budget that isn’t filled with excess equipment, supplies or post construction décor.
Select types of modular dental equipment that easily adapt and be added in as practice growth requires it.
Think like a large manufacturer that is planning to grow. These companies need to be able to easily ramp up their production lines in the future, but don’t want to over spend until their sales numbers justify the expansion. So while they would consider finding a large enough facility that allowed for planned growth, pre-wiring it and completing some of the interior finish, they would not buy additional production line equipment until it was required.
The trick is to ensure construction is completed and readily allows for modular dental equipment to be moved in, set up and easily connected. There are now handy in-wall and floor dental junction boxes that facilitate running electrical wiring, IT cabling and plumbing. These built-in boxes come neatly enclosed and don’t detract from an empty treatment room’s appearance, yet they make it very easy to connect equipment as needed.
To maximize your dental office space cost, it is important to get the most from your space. Building leases are based on a price per square foot, which is the horizontal dimension. Keep in mind you pay nothing more for the vertical space. Large dental cabinets require a big horizontal footprint without adding to treatment capability. Modern dental delivery carts are more compact and can integrate instruments, computer systems and monitors into one console, reducing the footprint and taking advantage of the vertical space. You can design smaller treatment rooms yet achieve an open and spacious feeling for you and your patients.
Modern modular dental delivery systems and mobile dental carts are much easier to set into place and connect without a lot of installation difficulty. This type of dental equipment easily adapts to expansion and even different operators’ requirements, including ambidextrous or multi-specialty needs.
No matter what equipment you invest in as you start your practice, don’t feel like you have to buy it all at once. Take a phased approach instead.