Questions to consider before buying any dental equipment
For dental professionals, it’s important to make quick purchase decisions when replacing broken equipment or to take advantage of “limited-time pricing.” While equipment and technology are necessary for doing your best work, they can also be expensive and set you on a constant chase for the latest and greatest tools.
In the complex world of dentistry, the process of purchasing new devises and technology can be overwhelming. First, you need to determine what equipment can best help your practice; then you need to choose a vendor; and finally—and perhaps most importantly—you need a way to finance your investment. Consider these questions to help you make the best purchase decision for your practice:
- How will it differentiate my practice and boost my capabilities?
Differentiating your dental practice is key to staying competitive in your market. Having modern technology can set you apart and help you better diagnose and treat your patients. Upgrading older equipment can help create a more efficient, smarter practice.
If you’re looking to increase income or attract new patients, you could consider adding new services to your office. Research what other practices around you aren’t doing that you could. Perhaps adding just one new piece of equipment can enable you to perform new capabilities that you’ve typically referred to outside specialists.
- How will it appeal to patients?
Today’s consumers live in a high-tech, mobile-first, on-demand world; does your practice reflect their lifestyle? They are used to having devices in their hands, getting information instantaneously and using technology for research. Consider this, 71% of millennial patients are interested in managing their appointments; records and preventative care via a mobile app. You don’t want to be a twentieth-century dentist practicing in a twenty-first century world.
- I already have the best equipment; what else could I need?
Don’t forget about your practice’s digital presence and the software behind it. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is changing the healthcare industry, simplifying data for both employees and patients. CRM software allows you to best manage your relationships with patients to deliver the best treatment possible. Having an up-to-date, easy-to-use online portal where patients can easily manage their cleanings, pay their bills, and access their records can make their lives easier.
- What’s my return on investment?
We understand some of the price tags can be staggering and it may be uncomfortable to bite it all off at once. However, think long term. For example, an updated piece of equipment could cost you thousands up-front, but it can enable you to do twice as many procedures/screenings as an older piece of equipment. You could potentially treat more patients, double your billing, and further increase revenue. When looking at the numbers, you may be able to pay your equipment off and see positive returns faster than you think.
- Is the investment really worth it?
As equipment gets older, it requires more maintenance to keep running at standard performance. Routinely calling maintenance specialists to make repairs takes time and money. By investing in newer, more reliable dental equipment you can keep it running at optimal performance. Again, this is where looking at the long term can guide a decision. Your time, money and patients are likely worth more than the hassle of routinely fixing older equipment.
- Will it help my office attract top talent?
Part of staying competitive is having a great staff. While trying to recruit and hire the best talent, having the most up-to-date and advanced technology options can be a deciding factor in a potential employee’s decision.
- How can I utilize the equipment to its fullest potential?
Having the most up-to-date equipment can benefit your office in so many ways, but only with proper usage and training. Too often, dentists purchase the best equipment on the market, only using it to continue doing same things they have always done. Investing in training can ensure any given piece of equipment is being used to its fullest potential, further maximizing your return on investment.
- What’s the best way to finance?
Examine whether leasing or buying makes the most sense for you.
- Choose a good dental dealer
Sometimes price is not the most important thing when choosing the right dental equipment distributor. Rather than a good offer, you should consider other things like proximity (in case of an technical urgency it is important that the technician can come instantly), professionalism and quality service.
At the end of the day, the most important thing you can offer your patients is access to the exceptional care, diagnosis and treatment. Making the right investment decisions for your practice can pay off tremendous dividends in the long run.