No two dental practice transitions are alike, but there is one hard-fast rule that buyers should follow across the board: Don’t make any changes after acquiring a practice for at least six months, no matter how smooth the transition, if you want to keep patients and staff happy. What’s more, it is to your benefit to get a feel for the practice and how (and why) the previous dentist operated before making any changes. Once everyone feels settled, here’s how to proceed.
When it comes to radiography, intraoral, and any recordkeeping for that matter, transitioning over to electronic software will only pay for itself in the long run. Not to mention, all successful dental service organizations also wait at least six months before changing practice management software.
Equipment and supplies
It may be tempting to update equipment and supplies when first taking over a dental practice, but waiting will not only allow you to become familiar with the equipment but also give you time to price out other dental suppliers.
Branching out to include additional procedure types or eventually become a multispecialist dental practice is a well-laid plan over time, as long as patient care and need are at the top of your consideration list.
Your new practice will need a marketing strategy that is specific to its staff and client demographics rather than carrying over a plan from the previous owner. That said, any good marketing strategy takes time to plan in terms of reach and return on investment.
What worked for the previous owner might not for your new practice, especially if bringing on your own staff. Consider hygiene and operative schedules, as well as a different payroll strategy for staff, including benefits, dates, and pay rate.
Once the dust has settled, it’s a great time to start shopping other insurance companies to make sure you’re offering the best coverage for your patient base, while also opening the door to new patients.
One of the easiest and least expensive changes to make is giving the facility a facelift by changing paint color or cabinets and countertops. While you may want to make these changes right away to make the practice your own, it will be to your advantage to get to know the space first, while also not making too many visual changes upfront that may turn off existing patients.