You may have already read up on our previous blog posts where we explored everything from building your brand to creating your dental office floor plan. Now it’s time to dive into the real star of the show: Equipment!
The importance of dental equipment is obvious; these are the tools you use every day to serve your patients and run your practice. With the advances in dental technology and diagnostic tools, there are more choices now than ever before. As you plan your new practice, now is the time to evaluate your current equipment and compare it against new options.
Things to Consider When Buying Dental Equipment
When planning a dental office design project, there are endless questions to navigate about equipment:
- How can I calculate my return on investment for new equipment?
- Which manufactures carry lines that fit my vision, goals, and budget?
- Is there new equipment available today that would help me better serve my patients?
Your Goetze Dental Equipment Specialist will guide you through all of your questions and more. Here are some of the things to consider when buying dental equipment.
>>Want to jump straight into the equipment guide? Check out our Dental Equipment and Technology hub!
What Equipment and Technology are Available Today?
For most doctors, the first step when choosing equipment is to learn what types of equipment and technology are available today. If you have never actively searched for equipment– or it has been more than a few years since the last time you did– the variety of options may astound you. There are several high-quality brands that each carry multiple lines of every piece of equipment.
It’s not just the variety that is amazing; new equipment has opened the door to brand new services and unprecedented ease-of-use. From CAD/CAM milling to provide same-day restorations to 3D radiography, doctors can manage all of their services on a single platform that ensures everything works together seamlessly.
Equipment Audit and Analysis
After exploring the full range of equipment options, conduct an audit and analysis of your existing equipment. The purpose is to find inefficiencies in the way you currently run your practice. Inefficiencies could stem from old, slow equipment, or the way you perform specific procedures.
Often (and especially when a doctor is first starting their career), procedures are adapted to the equipment they have available. In your new office, you can choose equipment based on the way you want to practice.
Existing Equipment vs. Investing in New Equipment
Decisions around investing in new equipment may feel overwhelming. Delaying your investments could keep money in your pocket now, but sticking with your current equipment might cost you in other ways:
- Repairs. Old equipment will cost you money every time you have to call for maintenance, not to mention the cost of downtime for your practice.
- Inefficiencies. Some of your old equipment might be slowing you down without you even knowing it. New developments in technology provide an enhanced patient experience and improve diagnostic and treatment capabilities.
- Limited Services. If you want to start offering higher value services like implants and same-day crowns, you will need new equipment that enables these procedures.
- Lack of Uniformity. Having different sets of equipment in each operatory will make it harder for your team to do their job. This could also lead to a higher rate of errors and mistakes.
- Ergonomics. Many manufacturers have invested in a deep understanding of the ergonomics of how you work. New equipment, designed with your health in mind, can improve your well-being and extend your career.
If your current equipment is still in good shape and not costing you in any of these subtle ways, then you should feel comfortable incorporating it into your new facility. For chairs and stools, reupholstery options are available to help match the new aesthetic.
Still, many doctors choose to purchase new equipment for the look and feel of a brand new office. The choice is yours, but your equipment specialist will be there to help you along the way.
If you do decide to buy new equipment, many of the decisions about styles and brands will come down to your personal preferences. Now is the time to think about the specific manufacturers, setups, and delivery methods you prefer. Your equipment specialist will be there to guide you through this decision-making process and support you in making informed decisions.
Evaluating new equipment gives you a chance to try out different equipment and setups. Take advantage of this opportunity, especially if you’ve only experienced one way of operating. Do your research by looking through online brochures, visiting showrooms, and even traveling to the equipment manufacturer. Experiment with different delivery systems, operatory layouts, and the latest tools before making your final decisions.
Do you have a specific budget for your new office? Just like purchasing a vehicle, there is a wide range of quality and pricing options. Your equipment specialist can help you identify equipment that fits into your price range, taking a holistic approach to where equipment fits in your vision, goals, and overall scope of the project. Read more about financing new equipment here!
Career Goals and Exit Strategy
While it might not seem relevant at first, your end game does play a role in your equipment choices. Do you see yourself working for 25 more years and then passing your practice down to a child? Alternatively, are you at the end of your career and plan to sell in five years?
These two exit strategies change the equation when buying equipment. If you find yourself in the first camp, then you probably want equipment with longevity and optimum lifetime cost-of ownership. If you’re in the latter, you might choose equipment that immediately increases the value of your practice.
Equipment for your new office is a huge decision, and one you shouldn’t take lightly. At Goetze Dental, we don’t take this decision lightly either, which is why each one of our clients is assigned to a dedicated Equipment Specialist who will help them navigate the process from start to finish.
Whether you’re buying new or keeping your existing equipment, be sure to consider each of the factors discussed above. If you want to begin capturing your ideas, download our FREE Dental Office Design Planner!
Ready to learn more? We can help look at your specific needs. Contact us for a FREE consultation today.