10 Greatest Mistakes to Avoid in Your Dental Clinic – Dental Practice Management

In this article, you will learn about top 10 mistakes that can hold you back from achieving the complete success in your dental career. So, now your job is to avoid those ten mistakes.

10 Greatest Mistakes that every dentist must avoid in a dental clinic.

Very essential for a successful dental career & dental practice management.  

Dental Practice Management: 10 Greatest Mistakes to Avoid in Your Dental Clinic

How can a new dental graduate start a successful practice and make it profitable in the shortest time?


You must read to avoid these TOP 10 Mistakes that will enable you to have a profitable dental practice in a short time.

Yes, having your professional dental clinic is a moment of pride, joy, and happiness. It does feel like owning a piece of the world.

However, it is also a fact that dental profession has become too competitive due to over saturation. There is no denying that a fresh dental graduate today is under immense stress than a dental graduate a few years back.

Everybody wants to open a clinic in a city or urban location, and that is why the dental practice market is so overcrowded.

It has made, a highly profitable profession of dentistry, not so lucrative anymore.

However, since, you are already into dentistry, it is hard to change your job at this stage.

However, what you can do is to be cautious while planning to set up your professional practice.

Yes, there is a perceived over-saturation in dentistry, but you have to find your way through it. Many times being continuously around negative thoughts about dentistry closes your minds from many other possibilities.

In this post, we will be looking at those options that will help you in improving your dental practice.

I am no expert, but I am sharing the points that I realized while trying to open & establish my dental clinic. Many will tell you what to do to while opening a clinic.

However, I will mention the top mistakes that you should not commit before and after opening your dental clinic

Let’s start the article

Check out the 1st mistake that many dentists make every time.

1. Not sure about your primary clinical skills?

Don’t start a clinic!

Irrespective whether you are a fresh passed out dentist or a postgraduate, your dental clinic depends on few basic dental procedures


Root Canal Treatment/ Tooth Preparation

Esthetic Composite Works


Never open a clinic without getting your hands smooth on the above procedures.

Learn The Basic Dental Procedures Properly

Be mindful of the following facts:

  • Before opening a clinic, you need to have more than a good hand in the necessary dental procedures. They are the bread and butter of your practice.
  • So, never open a clinic without getting adequate experience and expertise on these procedures. If you are in the process of opening a clinic but still doubtful about the skills, then don’t worry.
  • It takes around 2 to 3 months, for the complete set up to be ready for use. In that duration get as much practice as you can in RCTs,  extractions, crown preparation and aesthetic restorations (composites).
  •  Rest other tasks; you will keep learning as you keep managing your clinic.

2.Wild Adventurous Investments

Ask any dentist in general what type of clinical setup he/she wants to make?

He/ She will answer – the most expensive, comfortable and modern looking clinic where the patients will just feel like slipping into a resort, get treated and pay me handsomely.

Well, it is not a bad idea. However, to construct it and make it successful, you or your parents need to invest MONEY! Moreover, that too lots of it!

If you do not have enough of what you see in the picture above, then the real game starts.

“Never Spend Huge Amount (outside your capacity) To Set Up The Clinic.”

  • That is the most practical advice you will ever get. Never spend excess money on furnishing, interiors and over the appearance of your dental practice.
  • That takes up a huge chunk of your budget and can potentially put you in financial stress if you are into initial years of your dental practice.
  • Instead spend it on modern instruments, chair, and other must-have clinical accessories.
  • Don’t just yet, go all out for the show business. If you are in the initial years of your clinical practice (with limited funds to work around), then it is not the correct time to spend precious cash on making the clinic look posh.
  • Wait for the correct time.

Every business venture has risk elements, and you need to approach it with care from the view of an investment.

Spend only in what is necessary.

Nothing more or nothing less.

I have personally seen cases where some doctors went into too much of razzmatazz in their clinic and the final amount spent went up too high. (much beyond their capacity)

However, if you still go with the over expenditure, it will add you to your stress unless you have loads of excess money in your bank account.

Stress After Spending Too Much

Oh! I invested too much in my practice! EMI and Bank Loans are giving me tensions!

Starting a dental practice is similar to any startup, where you need to control many factors including pricing. Read the article below to know how to plan the finance of your dental practice startup?

See Next Slide

Mistake Number 2 – Spending Money For Clinic In the Wrong Way

3. What Should You Not Spend on?

What Should You Spend On?

Check this clinic. It belongs to one of my colleagues.

You can tell from the interiors that he must have spent an enormous amount of money on this setup.

After spending so much, his clinic has still not picked the pace, but he is not worried, as he has a sound financial background.

He can happily wait till the time his practice clicks and gathers a steady flow of patients.

Now See this clinic below

With all the essential equipment and minimum basic interiors, this costs only less than half of the practice above.

By careful planning, you can cut down the price even more.

It is the mistake many of the young dentists do.

They spend on things that they should avoid.

We will give you a simple rule to plan your investment in your dental setup.

Divide your estimated spending to 2 categories:

Cosmetic Spending

Necessary Spending


  • It includes the spending on interiors, furnishing, roofing, tiling, and others.
  • If not kept in check, the expenditure on these things can go out of control.
  • There is no upper limit when you tend to spend too much on decorations.
  • In the initial stages, a dentist will always benefit by controlling such expenditures.


  • That includes the dental chair, x-ray unit, RVG, dental forceps, motors, drainage, AC and the change in power supply to your clinic.

“Now I Know …”

The Entire Furnishing + Instruments should be within half of the price you had estimated for your clinic.

If you want to know more details on:

  • How to set up the dental practice with minimum investment?
  • What are the instruments you should buy for your practice?

This article will give you a comprehensive picture:

Also, very few dentists have an idea about Insurances. Even if they know, many do not take it seriously. The moment you complete with installing all the instruments & furnishing, immediately think about insuring your clinical setup.

Yes, it is indispensable as the clinic is full of expensive tools like RVG, X-Ray Unit and other dental instruments. So, make sure you get the necessary insurance to safeguard your devices.

You can read more about the insurance that is available for dentists here: Insurances for dentists

See Next Slide for Mistake Number 4 that dentists make

Not Playing the Waiting Game

4.The Power To Play The “Waiting Game”

Dentistry is a Long Waiting Game.

The One Who Waits For The correct Time, Reaps the Crop

You finally completed setting up your dental clinic with great care and considerable investments.

Obviously, you are hoping that soon you will be in a position to recover the money invested. However, it is not that easy. 

Setting up a clinic by investing and then

recovering money are two different things completely.

It always takes time for you to have solid net profit in your hands

  • For example, if you are using your clinic space in a rental format, where you need to pay a fixed amount every month to the real owner of the place, then it is not that easy to recover the amount on a monthly basis.
  • The monthly rental for the location depends on the popularity or accessibility of the area. If it is a high crowd area, then the price shoots up considerably.
  • Sometimes you will just be breaking even at the end of the month.

Many senior dentists have told me that you need to sit in the market for at least five years to be a known dentist and then only you can hope for a regular income via profit.

It is an unending cycle, and every new dental professional has to go through it.

The Waiting Game

Next Foolish Mistake: Clinic is Not a Comic Book Story & You are Not A Super Hero!

5. Don’t Be A Super Hero

(Managing Dental Clinic is Not a Comic Book Story & You are Not A Super Hero !)

It is a very crucial point. Being a Super Hero can give you lot of headaches and tensions.

Take the day to day clinic activities with lot ease & calm.

It is your clinic, and part of your responsibility is to Make A PROPER CASE SELECTION

Select the cases to treat very appropriately & carefully. In case you are confused about something do not try to experiment and find a treatment. Contact a specialist and call him/her for consultation.

Yes, you will have to give part of the treatment fees to the expert, but you will not be at the risk of getting a bad name for your clinic.

It is called being sensible.

Next Most Serious Mistake: Keeping Your Treatment Fees very little to compete with the neighboring dentists.

6. Who Can Provide The Cheapest Treatment

(One Major Point Pulling Dentistry Down)

Never get into this game. Never.

It is one of the biggest problems in the modern day dentistry. The irony is this issue is created by no one else but the dentists themselves.

“It is a problem by the dentist, for the dentist & of the dentist.”

The Dental Price Wars! Image Source:

How to tackle this price tussle?

  • New dentists might feel that keeping the price low will bring in more patients. However, that is not true.
  • By doing so, you are just deprecating the value of your profession to the level of potatoes and tomatoes.
  • Any patient who tries to bargain, DON’T ENTERTAIN!
  • I am not saying to charge very high prices. Charge the respectable minimum that’s prevalent in the market.
  • Make an understanding with the fellow dentists.
  • The moment you give the patient the liberty to bargain with you, it does more harm than good.
  • Always remember good things never come cheap. There is a value for it. One patient might go, but others will come. So hold your ground.

Next Mistake Number 7: Not Updating Your Clinical Knowledge

See Next Slide

7. Not Updating Your Knowledge

(It is Like Your Phone Apps. You Need To Update It)

Yes, I am talking about all those boring CDE (Continuing Dental Education) program.

I agree they appear tad dull. However, once you get into dental practice, there is the need to do it.

Dental treatment is continuously evolving with the invention of newer and more user-friendly materials and techniques.

You need to know these more modern methods to make the dental treatment easier that will benefit you and your patients.

8. Marketing

With so many Dentists around, Why a Patient Will Come To you?

You Have To Make Yourself Sell-able

Each dental practice is like a company.

Moreover, you are the boss of that company.

So you need to do marketing. However, of course, you do not need to spend millions in marketing. Be innovative.

Take help of social media. (But lately, Facebook is not an excellent platform for promotion for fresh graduates as the advertising charges are very high)

The best way to market and promote your dental practice is to aim the public at your local community rather than distant social media promotion. Social media is already too busy, and it is not worth it to spend money and time on it if you are beginning. You need to understand you are not going to have overnight foreign patients.

In fact, if you want to use social media and search engines, then you can create advertisements on social media and Google, targeting the people with 10 KM radius of your clinic location. This is the best approach of using social media and search engines to gather new patients from your nearby community.

The majority of your patients will be from your local community.

Here is how you can reach the local community to make a name for your dental practice:

  • Attend local social functions.
  • Make settings and deliver speeches on dental education in school, colleges and community places.
  • Attend treatment camps.
  • Visit rural places to provide dental treatment.
  • The goal is to make yourself visible in your local community.
  • Slowly & steadily you will climb the ladder.
  • Don’t spend too much on marketing. Your clinic is not an online market like Amazon.  Your promotion must target the local population first.
  • Don’t over-estimate social media and Facebook promotion. That is better for big corporations and websites.
  • Use social media and search engine paid advertisements to target specifically the population within the 10 KM radius of your dental practice location.
  • Once again, always remember, as dental practice is a “local system” based in the local community.
The success of any dental practice depends on the number of new patients it can attract via many ways. Read this article to know the 9 tricks to attract new patients to your dental clinics.

Next Slide

The Final Point & The Ultimate Solution

9. Conclusion

( Views of the admin)

You need to remember that dentistry and dental practice is still a profitable business model.

Yes, you still need to manage the expenditure of maintaining and running a clinic. However, over the long term, it works out. All that is required at this stage is the power to do the practice consistently and to take it day by day.

Also, you need to keep yourself updated with the primary treatment procedures (Point Number 1) which are your mainstay of income. So, you need to upgrade yourself in new and easier treatment techniques consistently.

We sincerely hope that you have gained some useful points from this article. Common sense says that the best way to achieve your goal is to learn the most common mistakes and avoid committing them. The same is applicable in dentistry too. In this article, you learned about top 10 mistakes that can hold you back from achieving the complete success in your dental career. So, now your job is to avoid those ten mistakes.

Here are some of the most popular articles at covering various aspects of Dental Practice Management. Read then and utilize the information in your day to day dental practice. You will surely notice an improvement, both in terms of quality and quantity.