Selecting the right equipment for your dental practice can save you time, money and headaches to be sure. However, there is no one-size-fits all answer to what is best for your dental practice. So, while it’s tempting to ask colleagues for recommendations or fall into an advertisers spider web, you’ll want to make an informed decision with your dental practice’s best interest.
From the size and layout of your office to the types of patients your dental practice treats, no two practices are the same and your needs won’t be either. So, how can you determine which equipment is right for your dental office?
When selecting equipment, it’s imperative to understand that there is a difference between primary equipment for your dental practice and secondary equipment. Let’s discuss what primary and secondary equipment consist of and how to select the right equipment.
Primary equipment, or the operatory, vacuum, and compressor, as well as software, is where most of the money should go.
Secondary equipment consists of items such as x-rays, sterile, lab, etc., is also important, but less than the primary when it comes to producing and providing patient care.
Here’s some advice for selecting the right primary equipment for your dental practice:
When it comes to selecting your primary equipment, it’s easy to fall in the trap of listening to a colleague or reading literature that may not ultimately be beneficial to selecting the right equipment. You’ll want to base your decision on a number of other factors such as office space, budget and what’s going to help your practice grow.
First, let’s look at patient chairs- you’ll want to think about your access to the oral cavity from the chair, if there are obstructions in it, or if you can still get access when the chair is reclined. You’ll treat your patient in the right chair more effectively, professionally, and ergonomically. You should sit in multiple chairs, too, before deciding on one.
Delivery units aren’t quite as important other than when you want handpieces- should they be side, rear, or chair-mounted? Visiting a manufacturer with these side-by-side can help.
Software needs to be prioritized. While there are many choices, the best one will be the one that has good support for it and can grow with the ever-changing state of the industry and your own practice- the last thing you want is to change your software 2-3 years down the road because it didn’t fit your work.
The warranty is also an important part of choosing a manufacturer. There are always two warranties present- the manufacturer's warranty, which is only on the provided parts themselves, and the dealer warranty, typically 90 days, and is labor-based. For instance, if a part goes bad on a product in 2 years, and the part is under warranty, you’ll get the part for free, but the dealer will charge you labor to install it.
When you’re working with a limited budget, you may feel compelled to consider purchasing used equipment. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, you should know what you’re getting into. New equipment is something where you know what you’re getting: the manufacture warranty, local manufacturer representative support, and dealer support. Used equipment doesn’t always have these things, and it can be ambiguous as to what you’ll get for your money. Used equipment can also mean a decreased shelf life meaning you’ll need to upgrade in a shorter time than you would if you purchase new equipment.
Owning a practice, hiring an effective staff, purchasing the right equipment can be overwhelming. Dental B-School has put together some free resources to help you reach your goals. Interested in learning more? Get in touch today by sending us a secure message via our website.