Financial Aspect Of Managing A Dental Clinic – Dental Practice Management

Dentists from all over the world have one big concern that is common to every dentist. That concern is Financial Aspect Of Setting And Running A Dental Clinic. This article will tell you How to Plan and manage the Finances of you dental practice.

Dental Practice Management – Financial Aspect Of Managing A Dental Clinic

Dentistry is a universal profession. By universal, I mean that – Dentists are present in different countries and different cultures. They are the major group of health care provider. But dentists from all over the world have one big concern that is common to every dentist. That concern is

Financial Aspect Of Setting And

Running A  Dental Clinic

Dental Practice Management

The Primary question which comes in the mind of every fresh graduate from Dental School is

managing the Financial Aspect in setting up of his/her professional clinic.

So, dividing the article in following 2 phases and

in the last a small point of discussion on Profit and loss.

  1. Finance required to set up a dental clinic. Estimated expenditure in today’s scenario.
  2. Finance required to run a clinic smoothly once the clinic is set up and How the spending on the clinic change over the period of 3-5 years.
  3. A watch on the Profit and Loss in the clinical setup.

This article will give a general idea on the financial issues of running a professional dental setup. The prices of dental chair & materials will vary from country to country, but the basic theme or idea to running a dental practice is the same. So, you may be a dentist from anywhere in the world, but you can analyze the financial aspect of dentistry.

(Phase 1 Expenditure)

Finance required to set up a dental clinic.

Estimated expenditure in today’s scenario.

There are 2 kinds of clinic setups which can be done by a fresher dental graduate.

(The author has described the finance in terms in Indian Rupees and based on his location. the nature of the investment remains the sam anywhere in the world. You can assess the price based on the currency & prices of your location.

This too depends on your pocket. The first financial scenario: A dental practice can be set up at an estimated cost of Rs. 3 lakhs INR and the other one at Rs. 5 lakhs  INR and above (no limit depending on the amount you can invest).

I will discuss setting up of a clinic with minimum cost with all the necessary equipment.

Most of us commit a very similar mistake. We spend more on show business and less on equipment and dental materials. But ideally, it should be the other way round.

Initial clinical set up requires some of these basic items.

    1. A good quality motorized electronic dental chair (Indian Versions cost Rs. 75,000 approx)
    2. A good non-Chinese LED curing light unit. One should go with the most advanced technology like poly wave technology if possible. Composite Restorations being bread and butter these days. So, one should not compromise with light cure unit (Rs. 60,000 approx)
    3. A good quality high-end suction. Preferably the one which is attached to the dental chair. (Rs. 10,000 approx)
    4. A good Ultrasonic scaler (Rs. 15,000 approx)
    5. A non-Chinese Air Roter. Preferably push button type. (Rs. 10,000)
    6. X-ray and Air compressor initially can be any. But do invest Rs. 1200-1500 in lead apron for yourself and a thyroid collar for your patient. The x-ray will cost Rs. 15,000 (preferably a wall mounted). Air compressor costs around Rs. 10,000.
    7. Instruments like PMT sets and extraction kit should be of good quality German stainless steel type. Not the ones which get rusted after few days. (Approx Rs. 10,000)
    8. A good power back up. Initially, an inverter will do. (Rs. 15,000)
    9. Most important is to buy the best quality Dental materials. For Eg: Composite material should be of minimum Nano hybrid type with a good bonding system. (Rs.15,000)

One should never compromise by buying substandard dental equipment and dental materials. In the long run, it will prove more costly.

SAY NO TO cheap copies of Dental Equipments. There are many cheap substitutes flooding the market. Mostly substandard Air rotors, LED light cure units are often purchased and later on the feeling is like PENNY WISE POUND FOOLISH.

As you can appreciate I advocated on spending around 75-80% on good quality dental equipment, instruments, materials and back up.

I think if you have an area of 250-350 square feet, then further expenses of Rs. 35,000 on Air Conditioner Unit and electrical fittings.

Rs. 10,000 on an Aluminium Partition for separating operators section from sitting area of your clinic. And say Rs. 5,000 for Clinic signboard (preferably A Glow Sign Board) and stationary.

Rs. 15,000 is sufficient for furniture. Good durable furniture is very much available in this price range.

 Phase 2 Expenditure for you Dental Clinic 

See Next Slide

(Phase 2 Expenditure)

for your dental clinic

After phase 1 this the phase of finance management that sets the direction for your next few years of dental clinical practice.

So it’s time to be very careful and meticulous in your expenditures.

Finance required to run a clinic smoothly once the clinic is set up


How the spending on the clinic change over the period of 3-5 years

This depends on your location and ownership.

I mean whether do you have your own shop, showroom, own Residence cum clinic or is your clinic rented?

If it is rented as mostly is the case, Then for an Eg: Rents in Himachal Pradesh up to Rs. 10000 for 250 square feet shop, Rs. 25,000-35,000 in Chandigarh.

In Delhi, almost similar to Chandigarh. And in Mumbai, no comments (my eyes wide open).

Initial 1 Year, you can work without an Assistant if your monthly expenses are high and income is low.

Regular investment in initial 3 years should be only on procuring good quality dental materials and updating your knowledge as Good Quality Dental Equipment will remain service free for an initial time period of 5 years.

So approx up to Rs. 5,000 per month on Dental Materials and CDE Programme registrations.

After 3 years or once you have a good regular income you need to start investing and gradually upgrade your practice.

Start to invest in things like RVG, Soft tissue lasers, Endo motor and Apex Locators, Physiodispenser and Implant Systems.

Always remember that running and managing a dental clinic is never a quick-fire process. You are required to give it time. Any dental practice is a gradual incremental venture.

So in the initial years, all your concentration should be to provide it a strong foundation.

That foundation will be the very basis on which you will build your dental practice.

A strong foundation will keep your dental practice stable and

then you can experience good growth in your practice in the coming years.

We had posted a very informative article describing in detail about the life stages of your dental practice.

You can see the article below. The article will open in a separate tab and you can continue reading the current article.


This business illiteracy has put many dentists in dilemma; leaving them unsure about their future. I believe this is one of the primary reasons why many dentists are unhappy with their practices. Let’s get into the details of “Lifecycle” of your practice Yes, its a long journey of cycle …

Phase 3 of the Expenditure in running your dental clinic 

The Game of Profit & Loss

See Next Slide

(Phase 3 of Dental Practice)

The Game of Profit &

Loss in Dental Clinical Practice 

The Waiting Game of Patience

In the last 2 slides, we had a look at Phase 1 & Phase 2 of the Financial Expenditures involved in setting up and running a dental clinic.

Running a dental clinic is more or less similar to running a small to medium range business where you need to spend every dime very cautiously.

Just like any other business, in the case of professional dental setup, the target must be to have a net profit.

Because until unless you end up making more than you invest – then there is no way you can sustain you professional clinical setup.

A decade back when the prices of all the commodities were relatively low.

Running a business was not that tough.

But in today’s work, when the cost of everything is on a constant rise, you have to cover up your invest and must manage to make a profit.

That will make your whole dental clinic ecosystem running on autopilot showing a regular growth.

Patience is the key for making Profit.

Stay Calm. Do not Panic in initial days.

Do not get depressed if some of your college senior says that he earned a huge profit within the first month of opening his clinic (only very few exceptions are there. Hardly up to 2%).

Please Avoid The ” Comparison Syndrome ” 

It’s one of the most common causes of the downfall when young dental practitioners start comparing all the aspects of their dental career to their other friends and senior – long time working dental professionals.

Read the article below that talk about this habit which is making dental career difficult for dentists.

The article will open in a new tab and you can continue reading this article.


You know ! when I joined Dentistry in 2004 ! That time dentistry used to be very different. When I say different I mean the outlook of a fresh graduate. In my first year of BDS I was envious of my Intern seniors. They were so full of life and confident in themselves and their skills.

Just remove one Zero yourself from what that Hero told you – That he made a profit of thousands in the first month. Either he/she is telling a clever lie or it’s a very rare scenario of striking gold.

Also Please do not dig a grave for your own profession by charging lesser than what we deserve.

Most probable stages of Profit in

Running Dental Practice

I personally think that the quality of any practice depends on how we build it.

Do not downgrade by indulging in a price war with the dentist next to your dental practice.

In the 1st year of your dental practice income might be minimal and you might end up spending more from your pocket.

From 2nd year onwards you will surely reach breakeven point stage.

In the 3rd year, profit will flow and trust me you will never need to look back.

(for detail read my article ‘3 ways to uplift dental profession in India’).

3 Practices to uplift your Dental Practice.


This article is by Dr.Varun Bajaj who has been practicing for past few years and has seen the change in the scenario of dentistry from a close quarter. This article expresses his personal views about the changes in dentistry, how its affecting the young graduates and what can be done to uplift dentistry in India and other developing countries.

That concludes the article and I sincerely hope that you have got some valuable insight into the game of financial management and profit/loss of running a Successful Dental Clinic.

Always remember that having a professional dentist practice is very similar to running an enterprise. There are many stages to a dental career and you need to understand each of these stages and act accordingly. Only then you can have a successful dental career.

If you want to know what are the various stages in the career of a professional dentist then you can read the article below:

5 Stages in the Professional Life cycle of a Dentist