Step-by-step guide to running a successful dentistry practice

Dentistry Practice Guide

Step-by-step guide to running a successful dentistry practice

Table of Contents


Wondering how to venture into the world of dentistry and become a successful entrepreneur? Opening a dental practice may seem overwhelming but think about the perks of being your own boss and the financial rewards that come with it. Apart from clinical excellence, the ability to deliver seamless operations is a vital element of running a booming dental business. 

Why open a Dentistry practice?

Dental businesses are booming across the globe with over 80% of them run by the owners. (Source) According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of a dentist was  $163,220 as of May 2021 and the industry is projected to grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030. Another 2021 research by IBIS World states that California, Texas, and New York have the highest number of dentist businesses in the U.S. 

Opening a dental office requires you to have a license for dentistry practice and significant schooling, but that’s not all. Dental schooling won’t help you build the requisite entrepreneurial skills. To succeed in your dental practice and make a viable income, you also need business expertise. That’s why we got you covered so you can focus on what you do the best! This guide has everything you need in your arsenal to ensure success for your dentistry practice.

Follow this guide to ensure the success of your dentistry practice

Step-1: Create a business plan

To realize your idea, you need to execute it with a solid business plan. A business plan is a document that entails your business objectives (both short-term and long-term), client base, dental partnership details – if you are ditching the solo entrepreneurship for group dental practice, working capital or budget, services you are going to provide, and so on. Once you figure out all these details, it will work as your north star to commence your business operations on the right foot. 

Step-2: Evaluate the competitive landscape

It is very important to conduct market research and know your competitors well. This will help you to set competitive prices for your dental services while keeping a tab on them. Once you are ready to take the first step, start scouting for the right location to open your dentistry practice.  

Step-3: Secure your finances

The most important thing to consider while opening a new dental business is capital. Just like any business, it requires finances for design, dental equipment, dental office staff, maintenance, marketing, supplies, and more. You need to stick to a budget and set a reasonable limit on the expenses. To square away your finances, you can also secure a loan and there is no dearth of banks giving them away to the dentists. For a start-up dental practice, you should refrain from investing hugely in the dental staff. Aside from the budget for day-to-day expenses, keep some money for unexpected expenses too.  

Step-4: Have an operation strategy in place 

Don’t wait up to acquire mandatory licenses and permits for your dentistry practice. You can also consider getting a membership at a professional organization or your local community of entrepreneurs that can benefit your practice. You can also hire an attorney to handle all legal aspects pertaining to your business. Apply for insurance and figure out local as well as state taxes. It can take months to get these things in order at the onset to ensure that you don’t miss anything.  

Step-5: Market your business 

A successful dentistry practice requires you to be a solid marketer as well. Having a viable marketing plan will get the word out and open doors to new patients. The primary marketing tool is to establish a digital presence with the help of a website. Your website should be user-friendly and contain vital information about your dental business. Next comes social media profiles or pages. You can link those social media pages back to your website to help potential patients know your whereabouts. 

Step-6: Gain the first few customers for your Dentistry practice

A potential marketing strategy to gain your initial customers is to advertise. You can increase your reach and brand recognition by advertising in local newspapers, TV, magazines, and online. A smart marketing plan will ensure patient retention and loyalty. Focus on marketing ideas specific to your business goals that help get your name out. In a nutshell, you must include these in your marketing strategy –

  • A user-friendly dental website.
  • SEO optimization and compelling copywriting
  • Google Maps optimization
  • Paid advertising campaigns targeted to your audience
  • Tap the social network for a wider reach 
  • Online Reputation management  
Step-7: Focus on Patient Engagement and Interaction

It is a well known fact that acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining the existing ones. Patient engagement is the key to retaining your old customers and turning them into brand loyalists. Patients will feel more engaged and valued in a welcoming space. A study by Dental Products Report finds that over 60% of people have dental fear or anxiety. You can turn this around by ensuring that you have an inviting clinic space with top-notch customer service.   

Step-8: Growing your business and network

As soon as your business gets operational, shift the gears towards growth through networking. Your dental practice needs to stand out from the competitors to attract and retain a solid patient base. It is vital to define your business statement and target your ideal patient demographic accordingly. Outline the following –

Dentistry practice guide

The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has set new standards for dental businesses in the market. With the help of dental scheduling software, you can streamline your work and eliminate the need for manual paper records. It is a vital tool for ensuring that things run smoothly with your patients and you make a great first impression. One of the best tips for dentists opening a new practice is to equip yourself with technology that cares for your customers and fits your business goals. 

A scheduling software acts as your digital receptionist and can automate reminders, and appointments, manage cancellations, reduce no-shows and share customized messages with your patients on their preferred channel of communication. Think about the revenue you will generate while saving a ton of your time and human labor.

Emitrr is a HIPPA compliant customer engagement software that can empower your dentistry practice by boosting conversion rates, and patient satisfaction while reducing no-shows up to 90% through a single unified platform. 

A great tip for growing your network is to attend dental conferences. It is also a great way to increase visibility while learning about your competitors. These associations also bolster your business skills. You can ask for referrals and join helpful business groups to get established in your local dental community.     

Step-9: Be visible on relevant online platforms

As with any business, dentistry practice also requires an active presence on relevant online platforms. Having a Facebook business page or Instagram account will let you interact with high-value patients while building brand awareness. You can also set growth goals to boost your online presence and track valuable insights using the analytics tools. Take leverage of cross-channel marketing through social media and emails to remain at the forefront of potential customers. It is all about gaining trust and showing that you truly care. 

Step-10: Focus on referrals – Generate word of mouth

Nothing can beat word-of-mouth referrals when it comes to growing your business and profits. Make sure to be proactive when asking for referrals. Having dental scheduling software makes the job easier for you by automating the review process. It can follow through with the patients after each service and manage referrals. You can either set up a loyalty program or hand out custom referral cards to your patients that encourage them to recommend your business to their friends, family, or professional network. This tactic gives impressive results to reduce attrition. 

Step-11: Review your business plan 

Always review your business plan and the milestones that you have achieved. If you failed to hit your monthly or yearly goals, it is time to look for gaps and renew your efforts. Set measurable and achievable goals to grow your dental business. Your new goal can be to grow your patient base by 20%. Make sure that you have the necessary tools and marketing strategy in place to do so as well. 

Once you are in the growth phase of your business, you can hire a financial advisor to plan for the long-term. As your practice gets established with time, you will have a solid foundation to plan for your retirement. As you keep delivering high-value patient care, you don’t need to stress about attracting new patients. By leveraging new-age tools and software with your dental practices, you can implement effective dental care while continually growing your ROI. 


All in all, running a successful dentistry practice is no easy feat. It requires patience, good managerial and communication skills, and a sense of awareness to be able to make the right decisions. So, if you are a dental practitioner wanting to experience business growth, then keep this guide handy. 

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