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The Ultimate Inventory Checklist for Your New Dental Practice

 

Getting a new dental practice ready to launch requires six important steps: raising capital, finding the right location, hiring a dependable staff, securing licensing and a legal structure, buying equipment and getting new patients. While you've done all the hard work to get most of this accomplished, you feel as if your office might not have everything it needs to open successfully. 

From cleaning equipment to spare parts, the following checklist will help ensure that you don't miss some obvious purchases.

 

Cleaning Equipment

Let’s start with the most critical inventory items for any dental practice: cleaning instruments. This includes the high-speed handpieces, excavators, probes, scalers, burnishers, retractors, mirrors, chisels, forceps and the rest of the tools that will be long-lasting staples. You'll also need anesthesia, needles and syringes for invasive procedures, as well as all the filling materials, prosthetic devices and bonding agents/putty that you’ll need for fillings, crowns and bridges.

 

Hygiene Needs

Cleanliness is essential both for patient safety and your reputation as a top-class provider of dentistry services, so you will always need to be stocked up on the vital hygiene needs of the practice, including rubber gloves, masks and gauze. You'll also need cleaning supplies for the office, like paper towels, hand soap and cleaning sprays.

 

Office Supplies

On top of the dental fundamentals, you also have general administrative supplies to stock up on, like file folders, pens, staplers and post-it notes. There's probably no need to devote too many of your resources to these items, just buy enough to make it through at least the first quarter.

 

Spare Parts

You will have repairs to make to your top equipment and you can’t afford to waste time waiting for something to be shipped in. For example, it's important to keep silicone rubber seals on-hand for various equipment and procedural needs. Know what sizes your equipment requires, and consider keeping a few non-standard sizes around in case you need to fix something in a hurry. In general, think about all the parts that need regular replacement in your equipment and have at least one backup in case something breaks in the middle of a busy day.

 

Inventory Management

The last, but not least, thing you will need is a system to manage your inventory. It’s great to stock up at the beginning and be set for the next several months, but your practice can’t run properly unless you're tracking all your supplies to ensure you don’t suddenly run out of necessary items. There are many applications, software and methods out there to help you keep everything in order. And the best systems are those that offer some analytics capabilities that will help you understand how often you need to re-order. This way, you have more than just a running tally but valuable insights — such as how quickly you go through certain goods and who your preferred vendors are — that will affect your budget, operational efficiency and overall success.

 

From the significant investment to the day-to-day responsibilities, starting a new dental practice is hard work. By stocking up on everything you need well before your first appointment, you can focus on what's really important: providing excellent dental care to your patients.

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