3 Mistakes Dentists make when Starting their First Practice

The goal of practically all new dentists is to open their own private practice one day. And in many ways, it could seem like the dream for any dentist. You get to work your own hours, work at your own pace, and answer to nobody but yourself. However, starting your own practice is no small feat and there are a lot of small details many new dentists may overlook when they’re just getting their practice off the ground. Here are some of the mistakes that dentists should avoid at all costs when starting their own clinic.

Rushing Your Decisions

Starting your own practice can be exciting and you might be anxious to get things started at first. However, you should never rush your decisions. Take the time to look at all aspects of your business. You should have a solid business plan in place so you can have a solid forecast, have clear aims and goals, and time frames as well.

You should also consider working with a consultant when just getting started, or at least someone with experience in the business to give you some crucial advice on things you may have not thought about. An infection control consultant could perform a practice audit for you and help with things like process development, for instance. These are all things that should be taken into consideration from the very start if you want to maintain your clinic’s reputation and avoid early issues.

Not Separating Your Brand from the Competition

A lot of new dentists forget that they’re a business and how competitive the dental sector can be. But with all the options out there, you’ll have to learn how to differentiate your product offering if you want to be able to compete in the marketplace.

For example, one pair of Calgary orthodontists focuses on offering highly personalized care to all their customers. Others brand themselves as offering painless dentistry, more flexible hours, special support to patients dealing with dental anxiety, or more affordable services. Whatever it is, make sure that it is part of your branding and marketing material, so you can stand a chance of separating yourself from the hundreds of other clinics out there.

Not Referring Patients to a Specialist when Needed

There aren’t many things you could do to erode any trust you may have with your clients that could be worse than referring them to another professional halfway through a procedure. On the other hand, delegating a case to a third-party before the procedure will make things easier for you and will build trust. This is why you should screen your patients thoroughly beforehand and don’t be afraid to turn down clients. Make sure that you know your limits and use your specialist partners if you need any help.


As you can see, starting your own clinic demands a lot of planning and should be thoroughly thought through. So, make sure that you steer away from these mistakes if you want to build your practice on solid foundations.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.