June 10, 2019
How to Establish a New Dental Practice, the Last 6 Months
You’re in the home stretch! You’ve made your list and checked it twice; now it’s time to buckle down as your dream becomes a reality. Here, we break down the final steps to opening your dental office doors.
5 months before opening
It’s selection process time as you finalize your dental equipment, including an instrument management system, record-keeping and business management software, interior finishes and issue drawing for bidding, and bids on leasehold improvements form contractors, including completion dates.
4 months before opening
Contingent on passing boards and obtaining finances, it’s time to sign the contract for leasehold improvements and place orders for all major equipment and dental supplies. After getting a telephone listing and starting a website, evaluate telephone and answering systems. Review patient management software options, state dental act and codes of ethics, and personnel needs. Lastly, obtain provider numbers for Medicaid, Delta or other service corporations.
3 months before opening
Now is the time to apply for a narcotics license, professional or occupational license, business permit, tax numbers, dental society memberships, and staff privileges. Confirm the timeline of construction and equipment and supply orders to make sure everything is on track. Then, arrange for a telephone number and phone book listing, as well as installation of utilities, in addition to ordering a computer system, patient management software, stationery, business cards, prescription pads and other office supplies.
2 months before opening
Explore laboratory, pharmacy and even janitorial options, and arrange for maintenance and uniform and linen service as it all winds down. Complete your fee schedule and payment policies, as well as an application for membership with your state’s insurance provider plans. Join a local credit bureau, make credit card arrangements and decide which specialists you will refer patients to.
1 month before opening
It’s crunch time to hire and train personnel, inspect and test all equipment and work, place and send office opening announcements in online and print publications, arrange for the inspection of the office required by city or county officials, and plan an open house. Then, let the patients roll in!