When it comes to selecting equipment for your dental practice, whether it’s to replace an old piece of kit or to get your brand new business up and running, we bet you’re pretty cognisant of the fact that these are BIG decisions.
BIG decisions, with LONG timeframes to live with if you don’t get it quite right. And BIG decisions with a LOT of different elements which need to be considered:
- Equipment needs to be comfy and ergonomic for both you and your staff
- It needs to be practical and do the job (ie. be fit for purpose)
- It probably needs to impress your patients, it definitely needs to keep them safe and you most certainly want it to contribute to their positive outcomes
- Oh, and it needs to be purchased, fitted and commissioned all within your budget
So, we thought we’d put together a little article here to help guide you through the equipment minefield and arm you with some tips and tricks to make sure you get what you need for your surgery, without any expensive mistakes.
So, where to start?
Actually, let’s start before you start….
It’s really easy to dive straight in and get carried away looking at shiny new pieces of kit online – beautifully kitted out surgeries on Pinterest, colour-ordinated treatment rooms on Instagram, manufacturers’ and local suppliers’ websites stuffed with features and benefits and performance data. All of these have a place in your decision making process, but before you get stuck in, take a step back and a little bit of time to:
- Ask your peers – talk to other dentists about what equipment they have. It’s a great chance to find out what it’s like to use and work with all day, every day. Ask them what they like, ask them what they’d change or improve and ask them about the dental equipment supplier they use and what their after sales service is like.
- Read some online reviews – now we know that you’ll get the good, the bad AND the downright ugly here, but, with an open mind, you’ll also be able to spot any trends and useful feedback about the equipment you’re researching. At the very least, it will provide you with some questions to ask a potential equipment supplier.
- Go to an event – Something which we’ve been missing in the last couple of years, but now there are a number of great opportunities to attend industry events with exhibitions, which allow you to see the equipment up close and get a feel for its overall look and quality.
So, doing a little bit of preliminary research should have furnished you with some ideas of which types of equipment you think you’d like to look a little deeper into.
Now’s the time to get really excited and start some decision-making.
What are your priorities?
Think about the effects the type of equipment you purchase will have on those around you.
What are the effects on the patient?
Think about comfort and style, but also consider hard facts like radiation dose.
Ergonomics is always a big one – you and your team are working with this kit all day every day. Does the chair adjust to a comfortable working height? Does that CBCT unit fit in the room with an operative and a patient, without too much of a squeeze? Can your dental nurse load and unload the steriliser without bending and twisting?
Consider your ‘needs’ v your ‘wants’. Also look at what you may be able to add on at a later date, if your budget doesn’t allow it in the first instance. For example you could consider a 3D ready CBCT unit, which would allow you to get started with 2D extraoral imaging, with the ability to ‘upgrade’ to 3D as your practice expands.
Next…the bean counting piece
First and foremost – Set your budget…and stick to it!
If you’re setting up your own practice, you will probably already have had discussions with financial and accounting professionals, who are providing advice to you.
But, whatever your reason for needing new kit, there are also other ways of financing it in addition to outright purchase.
Lease purchase has become a flexible and viable way of acquiring the equipment you need from Day 1, whilst spreading the cost over several years. More on that particular subject a little later.
Choosing an equipment supplier
Having considered all of the above, now’s the time to contact dental equipment suppliers and whittle down your choices and identifying what you can get for your available budget.
So, what should you look out for when you start talking to an equipment supplier?
Well, you’re in luck here – you’ve come to a great place to start. At Blueprint, we’re perfectly placed to help you with all of those big decisions and ensure you don’t make those BIG, COSTLY mistakes.
But, in all seriousness, there are things you need to look for when selecting a dental equipment supplier.
- Are they well established?
- Do they have a good reputation in the industry? Perhaps they were recommended to you when you spoke to your peers
- What’s their after sales service like? This is a real biggie!
- Do they have a wide portfolio of equipment to choose from and represent quality dental manufacturers?
With nearly two decades of serving at the forefront of the UK’s dental industry, we’re pretty confident that we tick all those boxes and we’re more than happy to let you have a chat with any of our customers who’ll give you the lowdown on working with us.
We don’t use the hashtag #mostrecommended lightly or flippantly!
If you would like to discuss your project with us further, we have a whole host of ways we can help you evaluate and choose the best equipment for your practice, your patients and your budget, in addition to having one of the most knowledgeable and passionate teams in the business.
More on Finance
We mentioned lease purchase a little earlier as a great way of getting up and running and spreading the payments for your new equipment. We’re really fortunate to work with the fantastic team at Vector Finance and we can put you in contact with them to help calculate the most cost-efficient (and potentially even more importantly tax-efficient) ways of financing your equipment.
We’d love the chance to assist you with your equipment search and help you make the RIGHT decisions that’ll keep you, your patients and your accountant happy in the long run.