How to Set Up a Squat Dental Practice

Explore key steps to set up a successful squat dental practice, covering planning, design, equipment and maintenance essentials for dentists.

How to Set Up a Squat Dental Practice

What is a Squat Dental Practice?

A squat dental practice is essentially a practice started from scratch, usually with a single surgery to begin with and aspirations to be a highly profitable business.

There are many aspects to building a successful squat practice and the most important from the start is to focus on a clear plan and prepare for a lot of hard work.

At the outset of this journey, you should cover these key points in your project:

  • Professional goals
  • Location
  • Planning permissions
  • Building regulations
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Staff
  • Design
  • Fit-out
  • Equipment
  • Maintenance

Embarking on the journey to set up a squat dental practice is thrilling yet intricate. As you delve into planning, each step requires careful consideration and thorough research.

One smart move? Bringing an experienced practice manager on board early. Their insights on staffing, marketing and purchasing are invaluable, steering your project towards success.

Budgeting is your compass in this journey, guiding each decision with clarity and focus.

Keep your branding consistent from design through marketing for a seamless identity. And don't forget, initiating your marketing early means gaining momentum even before your doors open.

At Eclipse Dental, we understand these nuances. We're here to support you beyond just setting up.

From the perfect fit-out to selecting top-notch equipment and ensuring its maintenance, we're your partners in ensuring your dental practice thrives from day one.

Essential Steps for Setting Up Your Squat Dental Practice

Starting a squat dental practice in the UK is a venture filled with potential and promise, yet it requires careful navigation of several key legal and regulatory requirements.

Here's what you need to know to ensure your practice is compliant and set for success:

  • GDC Registration: Your first step is obtaining registration with the General Dental Council (GDC). This is a non-negotiable requirement to practice dentistry in the UK.
  • Licensing and Premises: Acquire the necessary license to operate, which can be issued by the GDC or your local council's trading standards office. Equally important is finding a suitable location for your practice that meets all the required standards.
  • Compliance with Legal and Regulatory Framework: As a dentist, you need to align with the regulatory and legal framework comprehensively. This includes registering with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as a provider and securing professional indemnity insurance.
  • Understanding Your Patient Base: A critical part of your preparatory work involves understanding your patient profile. Will you cater to private patients, NHS, or a mix? Conduct thorough market research to understand the demographics and needs of your chosen location.
  • Commitment to Continuing Professional Development: The GDC mandates ongoing professional development to ensure dentists maintain their competence. This is an ongoing journey of learning and growth.

For a deeper dive into these requirements, the DDU Journal's 'starting your own practice' article offers comprehensive insights.

By aligning with these guidelines, your practice will be well on its way to a promising and compliant start.

Defining the Vision for Your Squat Dental Practice

In the competitive landscape of dental services, distinguishing your squat dental practice is crucial.

It starts with crafting a unique value proposition. What can your practice offer that sets it apart?

  • Innovative treatments
  • The latest dental technologies
  • Flexible scheduling options

These unique offerings don't just attract patients; they define the character of your practice and set the stage for its success.

How to Set Up a Squat Dental Practice

Strategic Planning: The Roadmap to Success

The journey of your dental practice should begin with a clear, strategic vision. What are your goals for the near and distant future?

Perhaps it's attracting a specific number of new patients within the first six months or establishing a reputation as a leader in a particular dental speciality.

Equally important is the financial and growth roadmap. Accurately forecast your cash flow for the first year and outline a growth timeline.

Remember, the success of your practice hinges on setting realistic and measurable goals.

This clarity not only keeps you focused but also motivates your team and builds confidence among your patients.

Choosing the Right Location for Your Dental Practice

Selecting the perfect location for your dental practice is a critical decision that requires strategic planning and thoughtful consideration.

Here’s a guide to help you navigate this crucial step:

1. Advance Planning

Start early and plan thoroughly. The likelihood of finding a purpose-built property for a dental practice is slim, so be prepared to consider buildings that may require conversion.

Understanding planning permissions and regulatory requirements is essential, which we will delve into later in this article.

2. Area Familiarity and Research

  • Know Your Area: Choose a location that you are familiar with or have researched extensively.
  • Demographic Analysis: Understand the demographics of the area to ensure it aligns with your target patient profile.
  • Competition Assessment: Evaluate the competition in the area. How many other dental practices are there? What services do they offer?

3. Footfall and Accessibility

  • High Footfall Areas: Look for areas with high footfall to increase visibility.
  • Ease of Parking: Ensure there is ample parking, a crucial factor for patient convenience.
  • Public Transport Links: Consider accessibility via public transport.

4. Building Requirements

  • Parking and Disabled Access: Essential for patient accessibility.
  • Ventilation for Equipment: Particularly important for the operation of plant equipment.
  • Space for Rooms and Expansion: Ensure there is adequate space for all necessary rooms and potential future expansion.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: The look and feel of the building contribute significantly to patient perception and confidence.

5. Building Customer Confidence through Location

The right location does more than just meet functional requirements; it plays a vital role in building customer confidence and shaping the patient experience.

Navigating Planning Permissions and Building Regulations

When establishing a dental practice, it’s crucial to navigate the complexities of planning permissions and building regulations.

Here's an overview to guide you through this essential process:

  • Classifying Your Practice: According to the Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, a dental practice typically falls under the D1 Use Class, designated for non-residential institutions.
  • Permission for Change of Use: If your chosen property is currently a residential property or a shop, you'll need to apply for change-of-use permission to convert it into a dental practice. This is a critical step in ensuring your practice complies with legal zoning requirements.
  • Seeking Professional Assistance: Engaging experienced dental fit-out consultants can be invaluable. They bring expertise in navigating these legal waters and can assist with the application process. These consultants can also help prepare and manage the necessary documentation, ensuring all legal requirements are met efficiently.
  • Diving Deeper into Regulations: For a more detailed understanding of planning permissions, building regulations, and early-stage planning for dental clinics, refer to the article titled "Dental Clinic Renovation, Refurbishments & Extensions", which includes regulations and early-stage planning.

Keeping abreast of these regulations is not just about compliance; it’s about ensuring the safety, functionality and sustainability of your dental practice.

Financing Your Dental Practice: A Comprehensive Approach

When setting up a squat dental practice, a detailed and well-thought-out budget is key to your success.

How to Set Up a Squat Dental Practice

Here's what you need to consider:

  • Comprehensive Budgeting: Account for every aspect of your project. This includes equipment purchases, staff costs, marketing, and the refurbishment of the property.
  • Anticipating Ongoing Costs: Remember, it might take some time before your practice becomes profitable. Ensure you have sufficient working capital to cover ongoing expenses during this period.

Securing the Right Financing

Finding the right financial support is crucial. For an in-depth guide on dental practice financing, check out our detailed article: How to Secure Financing for Your Dental Practice.

We have a longstanding partnership with Braemar Finance, extending over 10 years.

They understand the unique needs of dental practices and have a strong relationship with both our clients and the Eclipse Dental team.

Why Choose Braemar Finance:

  • Experience with Dental Practices: Braemar Finance has a proven track record of working successfully with dental practices.
  • Tailored Financial Solutions: They offer solutions that are specifically designed to meet the financial needs of your dental practice.
  • Strong Support System: Their close relationship with Eclipse Dental means they are well-versed in the specific requirements and challenges of setting up a new dental practice.

Crafting a Robust Marketing Strategy

For a new dental practice, especially a squat practice, a robust marketing strategy is not just beneficial—it's essential.

Here's how you can approach it:

  • Digital Presence: A quality website coupled with regular and engaging social media activity forms the backbone of your digital marketing efforts.
  • Beyond Digital: Don't overlook traditional methods. Local print advertising and leaflet drops can be highly effective, particularly in reaching the local community.
  • Early Engagement: Start marketing early. Let potential customers know about your upcoming practice. Consider organising an opening event and releasing a press release to create buzz.
  • Community Collaboration: Forge partnerships with local health businesses for reciprocal advertising opportunities. This can widen your reach and establish community connections.
  • Promotional Offers: Consider offering free initial check-ups to attract new patients. A referral scheme can be an efficient way to build your customer base at a minimal cost.
  • Budgeting for Marketing: Allocate a realistic budget for your marketing campaigns. This is a critical component of your overall planning. Seeking expert assistance in this area can optimise your investment and increase its impact.

How to Set Up a Squat Dental Practice

Staffing: Building a Strong Team

No principal dentist can manage a practice alone; a strong, capable team is essential for success.

Here's how to effectively build and manage your team:

  • Practice Manager: A practice manager is invaluable. They can handle the day-to-day operations, allowing you, the dentist, to focus on patient care. With their oversight, the practice runs smoothly and efficiently.
  • Delegating Responsibilities: Hiring additional staff is crucial for delegating responsibilities. This not only ensures operational efficiency but also contributes to a better patient experience.

Key Staff Roles:

  • Reception and Customer Contact: Managing patient appointments and being the first point of contact.
  • Supply Management: Ensuring the practice is well-stocked with necessary supplies.
  • Compliance and Maintenance Management: Overseeing the adherence to health and safety regulations and maintenance of equipment.
  • Staff and HR Management: Handling human resources responsibilities, including staff scheduling and management.
  • Administrative Tasks: Managing paperwork and ensuring smooth administrative operations.
  • Cleaning and Infection Control: Essential for maintaining a safe and hygienic practice environment.
  • Marketing Support: Assisting with the marketing efforts to promote the practice.

Design: Crafting the Ideal Dental Practice Environment

The design of your dental practice extends far beyond room layouts. It encapsulates aesthetics, colour schemes and lighting, all while balancing functionality and comfort.

Here's how to approach this:

  • Efficient Traffic Flow and Comfort: Achieve a balance that allows smooth movement for both staff and patients, staying within your budget constraints.
  • Customer Experience: This is crucial for repeat business. Each room, including the reception area and waiting room, contributes to creating a lasting impression and enhancing the patient journey.

Focus on Workflow and Infection Control

  • Workflow Design: Staff workflow design is greatly influenced by the layout and size of your practice, with a focus on effective infection control procedures.
  • Decontamination Process: Maintain a 'dirty-to-clean' workflow. For detailed insights on layouts, flooring, surfaces and equipment, see our article on Decontamination Room Design.
  • Surgery Design: Achieving a harmonious balance in your surgery is essential. Our project managers have compiled a comprehensive guide - Dental Surgery Design and Fit-out.
  • Overall Lighting: Good lighting is crucial not just in surgeries but throughout the practice. For guidance and tips on optimising your lighting design, refer to Top Tips for Dental Surgery Lighting.

Design Checklist:

Here are some key considerations for your dental practice design:

  • Adhere to industry standards, especially in cross-infection control and health & safety.
  • Plan for essential utilities including plumbing, electrics, and internet connectivity.
  • Factor in air flow, ventilation, and areas for plant machinery and X-ray machines.
  • Plan for patient and staff workflow, keeping infection control in mind.
  • Prioritise the patient experience in every aspect of your design.
  • Engage with experienced experts and dental practice builders.
  • Consider future expansion, like additional dental surgeries.
  • Assess equipment specifications and spatial requirements.
  • Research planning permissions and building regulations.
  • Ensure consistent branding throughout the practice.
  • Consider an accessible design for disabled patients.
  • Define clear objectives for your practice.

Fit-out: Realising Your Vision with Expertise

While the owner of a squat dental practice may have a vision for the design, turning these ideas into a practical, efficient and compliant space requires expertise.

How to Set Up a Squat Dental Practice

Here’s where a seasoned project manager becomes indispensable.

  • Expert Consultation: An experienced project manager can foresee potential challenges and offer solutions even before the design is finalised. During site consultations, our team provides comprehensive services including architectural design, planning, building regulation considerations and equipment specifications.
  • Knowledgeable Team: Our project managers, designers and in-house dental engineers possess a wealth of experience in dental fit-out and refurbishment. Their expertise covers a broad range of areas, ensuring your practice design meets both your needs and industry standards.
  • Qualified Contractors: We work with contractors who are not just skilled in general construction but have specific experience in medical facilities. This is crucial given the diverse nature of building designs and the specialised requirements of dental practices.
  • Preventing Future Problems: Our focus extends beyond just creating a visually appealing space. We emphasise on what not to do as much as what to do, aiming to prevent future issues and minimise the need for corrections or alterations after project completion.

Eclipse Dental’s Comprehensive Fit-out Services

At Eclipse Dental Engineering, we offer a complete solution for your squat practice design and fit-out needs.

Our approach combines meticulous attention to detail with personalised service. Our team will guide you through each stage, ensuring a smooth project execution.

To discuss your design ideas and how we can assist you, feel free to contact us at 01322 292222, email at or use this Contact Form.

The Cost of Setting Up a Squat Dental Practice

Effective budgeting is a cornerstone of any successful dental practice fit-out.

Understanding the potential costs involved is essential for planning and executing your project without financial surprises.

A key component of your project planning is estimating the cost of the fit-out phase.

To assist you in this process, a useful starting point is to consider a rough expenditure of approximately £100 per square foot or £1000 per square metre.

This estimation serves as a general guideline to help you form a preliminary budget.

What Does This Cost Include?

This cost estimation typically encompasses various aspects of the fit-out process, including:

  • Construction and Building Work: Any structural changes, additions, or alterations to the existing space.
  • Interior Design and Aesthetics: This includes the design, materials and labour costs associated with creating the desired look and feel of your practice.
  • Compliance and Safety Measures: Costs associated with ensuring the practice meets all health, safety and industry regulations.
  • Basic Infrastructure: Essential services such as plumbing and electrical systems.

Factors Influencing the Cost

  • Size of the Practice: Larger spaces will naturally incur higher costs due to the increased area requiring fit-out.
  • Condition of Existing Space: A space requiring extensive modifications or updates can lead to higher costs.
  • Quality of Materials and Finishes: High-quality, durable materials, while more costly upfront, can offer long-term savings due to their longevity and reduced need for future refurbishments.

It's important to remember that every dental practice is unique. This estimation can be adjusted based on your specific requirements, the complexity of the project and the level of customisation desired.

By considering these factors, you can develop a more accurate budget that aligns with your vision for the practice and ensures a smooth fit-out process.

If you need further assistance in budgeting or planning your fit-out, our team is here to help guide you through every step.

Showcasing Success: A Case Study of Excellence

Our commitment to excellence in dental practice fit-out and design is best illustrated through our project with Dental Lounge Eltham.

How to Set Up a Squat Dental Practice

This case study exemplifies how we address unique challenges to create a thriving, state-of-the-art dental practice.

Project Overview

Dental Lounge Eltham presented a unique challenge – transforming a space into a modern, efficient dental practice.

We played a crucial role, supplying the necessary equipment and collaborating seamlessly with the client's chosen builder to bring this vision to fruition.

Innovative Solutions

Emphasising functionality and aesthetics, our approach involved meticulous planning and innovative design.

We focused on creating an environment that was both patient-friendly and conducive to efficient dental practice.

End Result

The transformation led to the creation of a dental practice that not only meets the high standards of contemporary dentistry but also offers a welcoming atmosphere for patients.

The new space is equipped with the latest dental technology, optimised for workflow efficiency and patient comfort.

For a detailed exploration of this project, visit the Dental Lounge Eltham Squat Practice Case Study.

This project is a testament to our expertise and commitment to quality in the field of dental practice fit-out and design.

At Eclipse Dental Engineering, we pride ourselves on turning challenges into successful outcomes, ensuring each practice we work with is set for success.

Finalising Your Squat Practice with the Right Equipment

Selecting and installing the right equipment is one of the final steps in realising your squat dental practice.

This stage is crucial, as it not only affects the functionality of your practice but also impacts the patient experience significantly.

Early Planning and Budgeting

Understanding your equipment needs and allocating the budget for them should be part of your initial planning stages. The cost can be substantial, so it's important to plan this aspect carefully.

Financing Options

Consider different financing methods like lease financing, rentals, or purchasing used equipment. It’s vital to ensure that any option you choose complies with industry standards and embraces new technology.

For insights on how technology can enhance patient experience, read our article on using technology in dental practices.

Essential Equipment for Your Dental Practice

Your equipment list may include, but is not limited to, the following items:

  • Dental chairs or treatment centres
  • Suction pumps and air compressors
  • X-ray machines
  • Dental handpieces
  • Decontamination equipment
  • Ergonomic stools and cabinetry
  • Reception desks and seating arrangements
  • Effective lighting solutions
  • Dental supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

As an independent equipment supplier, we offer a diverse range of products that cater to various treatment specialties.

Our expertise allows us to provide unbiased advice, ensuring you find the right equipment that fits your budget and meets your specific requirements.

Discover our extensive Equipment section, where you can search by category, manufacturer, or even specific keywords.

How to Set Up a Squat Dental Practice

Maintenance: Ensuring Longevity and Compliance

The establishment of your dental practice is just the beginning. Ongoing maintenance and servicing of your equipment are critical to ensure uninterrupted operations and compliance with regulatory standards.

Here’s how to approach maintenance effectively:

Importance of Regular Servicing

Regular annual servicing of your dental equipment is essential. It not only ensures compliance with Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards but also extends the working life of your equipment.

Timely maintenance can prevent unexpected breakdowns and the associated costs and disruptions.

Our bespoke EclipseCare Service Plans are designed to meet the unique needs of your practice.

These plans are tailored to suit your specific equipment and operational requirements, offering peace of mind and ensuring that your equipment is always in top working condition.

Role of Dental Engineers in a Practice

  • Invaluable Expertise: Dental engineers play a crucial role in the smooth functioning of a dental practice. They are instrumental in maintaining essential machinery, thereby minimising the risk of costly downtime due to equipment failure.
  • Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM): Implementing a PPM strategy is key to preventing equipment failures. Regular checks and maintenance tasks help to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems.
  • CQC Compliance: Adhering to PPM schedules and ensuring equipment is maintained to the highest standards is vital for meeting CQC guidelines, which are essential for the lawful operation of your dental practice.

Understanding the Significance of Equipment Servicing

For a comprehensive understanding of why dental equipment servicing is crucial, consider reading our article - Do I need to have my dental equipment serviced?

This article provides a full synopsis of the importance of servicing, covering aspects like safety, compliance and operational efficiency.

Regular maintenance is not just a regulatory requirement; it's an investment in the longevity and success of your practice.

By prioritising the care of your equipment, you ensure the best possible service to your patients while safeguarding your practice's operational integrity.

Conclusion: Key Takeaways for Establishing a Successful Squat Dental Practice

Setting up a squat dental practice is an ambitious and rewarding endeavour. It requires meticulous planning, strategic decision-making, and a focus on quality at every step.

As you embark on this journey, remember these key takeaways:

  • Thorough Planning and Research: From selecting the right location to understanding regulatory requirements, thorough planning and research are foundational to your practice's success.
  • Budgeting and Financing: Effective budgeting and exploring financing options, including lease financing and equipment procurement, are crucial for managing the financial aspects of your project.
  • Design and Fit-out: The design of your practice plays a pivotal role in both patient experience and operational efficiency. Budgeting for fit-out costs and seeking professional assistance can ensure a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.
  • Marketing and Staffing: A robust marketing strategy and a competent team are essential for attracting and retaining patients. Early marketing efforts and hiring the right staff will set the stage for a thriving practice.
  • Equipment Selection and Maintenance: Investing in the right equipment and maintaining it through regular servicing and preventive care is key to the smooth running of your practice and compliance with CQC guidelines.

Your Partner in This Endeavor

Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Seeking expert advice and partnering with experienced professionals can make the process smoother and more efficient.

Whether it's in design, fit-out, equipment selection, or maintenance, having the right partners can significantly contribute to the success of your practice.

Looking to the Future

As you build your practice, keep your focus on quality, patient satisfaction, and continuous improvement.

By doing so, you’ll not only establish a successful dental practice but also create a lasting impact in the community you serve.

We hope this guide provides you with a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to set up a successful squat dental practice.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Here's to the ongoing success of your dental practice!

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What is a squat practice in dentistry?

A squat practice in dentistry refers to setting up a new dental practice from scratch in a location that previously did not house a dental practice.

Unlike taking over an existing practice, a squat practice involves starting entirely anew, which includes finding a suitable location, designing the practice layout, acquiring new equipment and building a patient base from the ground up.

It presents an opportunity for dentists to create a practice that aligns precisely with their vision and goals.

How much does it cost to set up a squat dental practice?

The cost of setting up a squat dental practice can vary significantly based on several factors such as location, size of the practice, level of equipment and the extent of the fit-out required.

As a rough estimate, fit-out costs can be around £100 per square foot or £1000 per square metre.

However, this is a general guideline, and the total cost can be influenced by the choice of technology, design preferences, and other specific requirements of the practice.

What are the key considerations when choosing a location for a squat dental practice?

Choosing the right location is crucial for the success of a squat dental practice.

Key considerations include the demographics of the area, competition from existing dental practices, accessibility for patients (including parking and public transport options), and the potential for visibility and footfall.

Additionally, the suitability of the property for dental practice needs, such as space for equipment and compliance with health regulations, is also important.

What are the benefits of having a bespoke service plan for dental equipment maintenance?

A bespoke service plan for dental equipment maintenance offers several benefits. It ensures that all equipment is regularly serviced and maintained, which helps in preventing unexpected breakdowns and costly downtime.

This proactive approach not only extends the life of the equipment but also ensures that the practice remains compliant with health and safety standards, including Care Quality Commission (CQC) guidelines.

Tailored maintenance plans can be adjusted to fit the specific needs and usage patterns of the practice, providing peace of mind and allowing dentists to focus on patient care without worrying about equipment reliability.

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