Every dentist knows that competition for patients is fierce. Unfortunately, it could get even worse because the total number of dentists is projected to rise continuously until at least 2035. Lots of dentists fresh out of school will be looking for dental practice finance options and opening up offices of their own for the next 15+ years.
Experts estimate that a single dentist should be seeing 24-50 new patients each month in order to sustain the growth of the practice. With ever more dentists available, however, attracting any number of new customers is going to be difficult. Dental practices will need to do everything possible to stand out in a crowded pack.
Dentists can distinguish themselves with price, services, location, or amenities. But in order to figure out what drives people to one dentist or another, it helps to understand what keeps them from seeing a dentist in the first place. Here are some of the top reasons:
- Expensive costs of care
- Too busy
- Dental anxiety
- Bad memories from past visits
These are the hurdles dentists need to clear to grow their practice. Moves, like renovating the waiting room or offering a new-patient discount, can help, but to make an impact that addresses several of these issues at once, consider adding new equipment to your practice.
Why Dental Equipment Matters to Patients
Patients don’t need to understand the specifics of dental equipment to understand how it elevates the quality of care. In the most general terms, new equipment is designed to be faster, smarter, quieter, gentler, and more effective. In every way, it’s meant to be an upgrade over what it replaces, which is especially appealing to patients looking for a better way to care for their teeth.
Taking out a loan for dental clinic equipment is an investment in every sense. New equipment distinguishes you from the competition in a meaningful and demonstrable way, especially if the new equipment is featured prominently in marketing. More importantly, new equipment allows you to address the primary reasons people avoid the dentist chair.
When your tools and techniques are state-of-the-art you can assure people their treatment will be as quick and comfortable as possible, addressing anxieties and giving them a new positive experience to replace bad memories. In general, having updated equipment and high-tech aids allows dentists to deliver an experience totally unlike what patients are used to. That’s a huge asset for building up a client base and getting recommendations.
New equipment pays off in other ways as well. You may be able to expand the range of services you offer to open up new revenue streams or attract other practitioners to help you grow the practice. The return on investment is limited only by your imagination and ambition.
What Dental Equipment Should You Invest In?
Before deciding what equipment to add, explore various dental practice finance options. If you buy the right piece of equipment with the wrong financing option it will only hurt your bottom line. Look for lenders that finance equipment leasing with fair rates and terms. After approval, consider adding some of these revenue-generating equipment options to your practice:
- Dental Laser – Modern dental lasers can replace the dental drill in a lot of procedures. As a result, procedures can be performed without anesthesia, bleeding, or any of the anxiety the drill inspires. Patients enjoy a much-upgraded experience that rewrites their expectations of dental treatment. At the same time, you’re able to perform more procedures in less time thanks to the added efficiency.
- Dental Chair – Most people associate going to the dentist with sitting in the actual dentist’s chair. It’s the centerpiece of the patient experience and has a huge impact on how they perceive the office, staff, and quality of treatment. New chairs should obviously be more comfortable than what they replace. They should also facilitate less clutter and a wider range of motion for doctors and hygienists. Taking out a loan for dental clinic equipment like a high-quality chair(s) ensures that expensive but essential upgrades are never out of reach.
- Outreach Automation – Not all “dental equipment” relates directly to patient care. Administering a dental clinic takes a lot of time and investment, and when it’s not done well it can limit new patient acquisition and discourage return visits. Multiple software tools are available to automate everything from marketing to updating records to scheduling follow-ups. Relying on technology instead of human staff cuts labor costs and reduces errors. More importantly, it allows you to perfect how you interact with patients and deliver a seamless experience in the process.
Before you decide to invest in dental equipment, ask some important questions. Could you get by with the equipment you currently have and, if so, for how long? What is the projected return on investment of the equipment you’re considering? Do you have the in-house resources to use new equipment to the fullest? Finally, and most importantly, what kind of dental practice finance options are available to you? Once you have all the information, you can rest assured that any investment in new equipment is in the right equipment.