We all have different clinical styles and beliefs. Finding a practice that is close to your style can make the transition much smoother.
That being said, in my experience, almost any dentist can work in almost any practice … and transform almost any practice to their style over a few years.
Building Clinical Confidence and Speed
Do you feel confident in your clinical ability to treat your prospective new patients? This is obviously an important factor to consider before deciding whether purchasing a specific practice is the right move for you. Especially if you go into solo practice, clinical confidence is key.
Clinical confidence comes with time, but you can always take additional training such as AGD courses, Spear Courses, residencies such as those found at Esthetic Professionals in Tarzana, or at our local dental schools. Join a study club and follow your interests. You can increase confidence in your clinical skills and speed in less time than you might think!
The number of chairs you’re used to working out of can also make a difference. Some doctors use one chair and one assistant, while other practices are designed for one doctor to work out of three chairs with three assistants at the same time. If you are experienced working with RDAEFs, this can also dramatically increase your efficiency. Typically, practice finance lenders will want to lower their risk by ensuring that you can fill the shoes of the doctor selling his or her practice. By building clinical speed and efficiency now, you’ll be better prepared to take on a bigger practice in the future.
If you have strong clinical beliefs, it can be important to decide on the non-negotiables up front.
For example, there are doctors who believe that amalgam is the best restorative material out there. Other doctors strongly disagree. One practice I work with has a sign in their bathroom above the toilet that states, “Hazmat can fine us thousands of dollars for flushing amalgam down the toilet, but we’re allowed to place them in your mouths.”
One of the benefits of being a practice owner is that you have the opportunity to can control your clinical decisions. You can always do what you believe is best for your patients.
Specialties and Special Training
Specialties or special training can also be important as you consider whether or not you want to purchase a dental practice. There are laser doctors, holistic doctors, gnathologists, cosmetic dentists who place Botox, sleep apnea experts, etc. If you have special training, it can be an ideal fit if you can find a practice with one of these specialties. On the other hand, introducing a specialty can offer a great opportunity to offer something new and grow your patient base.
General dentists might refer out all of their specialty work or keep most of it in-house. If you do have special training or want to focus on a particular style of dentistry, owning your own practice gives you the option to make this determination for yourself.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Are you confident in your clinical skills?
- What are your most important clinical beliefs?
- Do you have any special training you would like to incorporate into your clinical approach?