Dental Practice Management – Setting Up A Dental Practice From Scratch

Emotional Quotient : Setting up a Dental Clinic - Some basic but very crucial points.

The days in dental school is nothing less than the effort that is required to cross a mountain without any gear. By the time one completes the dental school the youthful exuberance of being a doctor gives way to the stark reality of the situation that we find ourselves in.

Options get really very limited.

Either one has to go for higher education and or start investing in a dental practice.

One would ideally like to believe that the success and failure in the field of dentistry depend on merit alone but in the modern world – whether you like it or not success is not assured.

One has to go through many trials and errors to find that one way which leads to success. 


So, every young dentist must realize that it is essential to gather clinical knowledge and start clinical practice at the earliest.

As soon as plan A (higher education) is not feasible one needs to shift to the plan B.

Whether it is going for government service or setting up a private practice is something you have to thoroughly think about before reaching the crucial conclusion.

A bachelor’s degree with one-year internship should have prepared you for the vagaries of being a dentist. Some of the best dentists are the ones with only a bachelor’s degree. They have reached the pinnacle of their profession through the dint of hard work & constant self-examination.

But many times it’s not possible as not all the students in dental schools sometimes do not get an equal amount of exposure to various treatment modalities. And even if a few lucky ones do get a chance to have a look at some important procedure being done by faculties, it is of practically no use unless they get a hands on experience on the patient themselves.

  • So in all probable cases, it’s always preferable to go through short term courses aimed specifically at targeted clinical practices like Implants or Cosmetic Dentistry. That gives confidence and the requisite skills to start a dental practice with courage.
  • In case funds are low to do the short term courses then one could try working under someone who has an established practice. This way you can prepare yourself for the road to your own practice. Of course, it might take some time as it all depends on how much the senior doctor is sharing with you and how much you are able to gather.

Finally, the day comes when you are all ready to set up your practice

[ at least mentally 🙂 ]

Once you do decide to set up your own office, there are certain things that should be kept in mind >>>

1) Location

2) Investment

3) Partnership or Individual set up?


Let’s first see about Location

    1. If you have been to any of those business seminars that are constantly going on, you would have become familiar with the importance of location.
    2. The marketing gurus are right. A good location does give your clinic a fair amount of visibility.
    3. That always helps because in the early days of your practice you want to be able to reach as many people as possible. Once you have got the location scouted the next step is the investment, easily the most important consideration.

What are the other issues with Location Hunting?

Investment Factor 

  1. A really entry level good set up will cost you around 3 – 4 lakhs (INR) as per the prices in India. Charges vary from country to country but the basic goal is always the same – to have a dental office comfortable for both the dentist & the patients. 
  2. This is inclusive of the chair, x-ray equipment & armamentarium.
  3. One thing that has to be kept in mind is that there has to be plenty of room for you, your staff & the patients to move about.
  4. I have been to clinics where space is so congested that the dentist himself cannot move.
  5. So keep plenty of space to have a pleasant environment.
  6. A visit to a dentist is considered very stressful so having a pleasant ambiance should get rid of the butterflies.

See Next Slide of the Article 

Whether You Should Go Solo or You Should Partner with Some Body to Open a Dental Office/Clinic

… See Next Slide …

Going Solo or Partnering With Some One

Finally, keeping in mind the exorbitant costs of upkeep, you should consider taking in a partner. This is purely a personal decision. But having a partner will lessen the initial financial burden that you will have to work under. Most people do prefer opening the clinic in partnership.

But personally, I feel that it is better to open a personal clinic 1st and when it catches up speed then start consultations. But some other dentist may have some other idea. These all keeps changing along with the situation.

Points to be careful when getting into partnership

  1. Make sure it’s someone you can trust and openly discuss all the matters.
  2. Make sure you correctly complete all the legal & paper works. Trust me, however, close you may be – it is always better & safer to have all the legalities sorted and on paper for any future issues that may arise.
  3. Plan up and divide your work. Always remember you are part of the same team. So none of you should be greedy. Working together will fetch you much more benefits financially and socially.
  4. Once the clinic picks up speed door opens to make more money like tieups with pharmaceutical and dental material companies.

Change Your Attitude 

Think that you are in the Service Oriented Business

image credit: imgur

The basic mistake that many dentists make is taking patients for granted.

Always have that understanding that you are in a service-oriented business You are providing a service to your clients and satisfaction of clients is paramount for the success of any business. This pattern of thought is necessary to succeed in the highly competitive sector of dental practice.

Such an attitude will always keep you alert and on your toes, which will by default propel your clinical practice towards success with time. 

So Remember – 

Don’t have the “You Don’t Care” aura about you.

Make the patient feel that you are listening to him/her and genuinely caring to address his/her problem

One needs to treat the dental set up as any other service providing industry and always keep the business sense tight and smart (of course with a little bit of heart!)

Keep proper records of each and every patient. This is a must, not just for the patient benefit but for your benefit also. Not having proper records can lead to problems for your set up.


Keep a complete track of your monthly expenditure just like any other business. Many times its overlooked. Only when you have an idea regarding the outgoing money and incoming finance, then only you can plan for your future projects.

A successful business in created on the basis of a strong foundation, good knowledge about changing markets, providing best facilities, managing your finance & connecting with your customers.

All the above points are completely applicable to your Professional Dental Clinic also.

So mind the points.

Learn To Derive Happiness Out of Small Things

  1. You want to succeed as a dentist & doctor, then learn to be happy with little pieces of joy that you get in your everyday practice. If you can’t then you will never be at peace.
  2. A private dental practice, no matter where the setup, is a pretty lucrative one. And the satisfaction that you get out of administering a successful treatment is immense. Work towards building up a good reputation for yourself, that way you will be able to attract patients, no matter what the rest of them say.

Read this amazing post that will tell you about the happiest moments for a Dentist


Being a Dentist is not easy. It’s very stressful as it involves 2 very difficult things to satisfy a patient. 1st to reduce the pain and 2nd to improve the aesthetics. Yes, its is tough & stressful … but there are numerous happy and gratifying moments also. Every profession has its happy days.

The Take-Away Points

Last but not the least, life as such is very stressful in the present day world.

Society is getting highly competitive & as is human nature “ more & more selfish”. This all puts tremendous pressure physically as well as mentally. So learn to be content, love your family members & get love from them.

Also as time proceeds, start doing social causes.

All these social ventures (that are done without the hope of any gain) will give you immense happiness as you start aging.

Also, pick up some hobbies & learn them.

“Remember You are not a Robot”

So that’s in a nutshell everything and yet at the same time nothing about setting up a dental practice.

We may write as much as we want about starting a dental practice but in the end, we need to get down in the water to learn how to swim!

Don’t overthink about the issue.

The more you think, the more complicated it appears. Just make a good plan and go for the swing.

I am not an expert myself. Am just 26 Years who just completed his post graduation and now planning to take my baby steps into the world of professional dental practice. So, I am in no way am an expert in managing a clinic, right now. But I had the luck of interacting with many successful dentists. And through these interactions, one picks up many points that are valuable. So, to all my fellow dental warriors, start your journey and make good memories along the way.

image credits : | Artist : Little Wing 

My sincere wish that we all have a day like the one in the picture above  🙂

Hallelujah … Show me the money 🙂

Before you go, please check out some other amazing articles by authors who have been practicing successfully for some time and sharing valuable experiences with you. These articles below will give you some valuable points that will take your dental practice to the next level.


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 …


Yes, having our clinic is a moment of pride, joy and happiness. It does feel like owning a piece of the world. But it’s also a fact that by 2015 dental profession has become too much competitive due to over saturation.


(A Guide for all the young dentists) This article is for all those dental graduates who have passed or are soon going to pass and planning to open their dental clinic/set up. You will come across many articles on the web and also here at that will talk to you about dos and don’t s while planning for a dental clinic.


Hi there to all the amazing Dentists. The career of a Dentist is very Dynamic. It and goes through many phases of growth. In one of the previous posts we discussed in detail about the various stages in the Life Cycle of a Dentist. You can read the post below.