There are generally four events in an established dentist’s career when new dental equipment is called for. These occur when:
- Expanding his/her practice
- Taking in a partner/specialist and combining equipment
- Coming together with other dentists to form a new group practice in a new building
- Renovating and updating the existing office premises
When planning any of these career events, two major considerations must be how much working capital does the upgrade require and what is the best source for this financing? As a leading alternative financing company, National Business Financing has assisted many dental practitioners to obtain the working capital their businesses need to succeed. The following are some guidelines for each specific project to enable business owners to assess their need for additional cash flow.
If renovating current premises, in addition to a spacious and comfortable waiting room, the reception area and business office requirements must also be considered. Renovation presents an ideal time to upgrade business computers and software as well.
As for major dental equipment for diagnostics and treatment, the general rule is that if the equipment is about 20 years old, that it is about 20 years too old. Consider replacing dental patient chairs, delivery units, air compressors, and X-ray units. This is in addition to many smaller items such as handpieces, hand instruments, materials, and consumable supplies that no dental office can afford to be without.
Dental Practice Considerations for an Office Renovation
Many times the driving force to remodel a current office is the desire to present a cutting-edge facility to patients, including the latest in dental technology. At least two monumental investment decisions are often required in this category:
The first decision is whether or not to make a full conversion to digital radiography. If the facility currently uses large-format films, the investment decision is even more difficult. Expect to invest approximately $50,000 or more for three CCD intraoral sensors and a panoramic CCD sensor. This is an investment in sensors only, and does not include X-ray units, software, computer hardware, monitors, network cabling, etc.
Much of the popularity of Scan-X and reusable phosphor plates requires an investment of approximately $20,000 for the scanner unit and phosphor plates (including large format) vs. the CCD sensors, which cost $50,000 or more. The CCD sensor’s image capture is nearly instantaneous and a different technology from the phosphor plate scanning process. If you have not yet answered the CCD vs. phosphor plate question, you will need to at some point in your career.
A second large-investment decision is whether or not to incorporate a CEREC3 unit into the facility. One major benefit will reduce the practice’s monthly lab bill to a fraction of what it had previously been. This advance pays for itself over time, however expect to invest approximately $100,000 for a CEREC3.
Dental Equipment Financing for a New Facility Project
When making an equipment list for a newly constructed facility know that it is possible to reduce costs by transferring some existing equipment. This is also common when bringing in additional dentists and dental specialists who likely have their own equipment. It is also not uncommon for doctors to increase their facility functional capacity this way.
When equipping a newly constructed facility, there is often a misconception that all equipment is a new purchase. This is rarely the case, and not recommended. Existing equipment can often be reupholstered and even electrostatically painted to match a new facility design palette. Make use of all existing equipment that is performing successfully in your current facility. Prior to consulting your business financier, plan to determine:
- How many operatories with existing equipment can be transferred from the existing facility?
- Of the new facility operatories, how many will must be fully equipped initially? Assume a new vacuum and compressor will be needed when increasing facility size by two or more operatories.
- Assume at least one new sterilizer will need to be purchased when increasing a facility size by two or more operatories.
- Assume at least two or three pieces of lab equipment will need to be purchased to advance beyond the typical lathe, model trimmer, and vibrator configuration.
- Assume the new facility will not have a dark room. If not converting to digital radiography initially, plan a conversion strategy. One strategy is a developer with a daylight loader attachment placed in a temporary location that can later be converted to useful space. In this strategy, design and install all the necessary cabling and technology infrastructure that supports a future conversion to digital radiography.
- Assume that large-investment equipment purchases in the guide’s miscellaneous category, other than digital radiography conversions, will not occur in this scenario at this time. Because of the associated investments required in a new facility, it is probably not the time to take on the added debt of a CEREC3, and a new hard-tissue laser.
There are dental equipment dealers who specialize in providing the latest equipment and can provide practitioners with a list. It is advantageous to know exactly what is needed beforehand to save money and not overbuy. Liquid capital will not be sufficient to provide for a major renovation, necessitating dental equipment financing from a trusted source.
Before seeking financing, know what is needed. If an existing facility remodel is projected, consult a contractor and have their estimate in addition to a list of the new equipment desired. There are major equipment purchasing guides available to assist with this task.
Once a list has been prepared and the expenses for the entire project determined, contact National Business Capital. As an alternative financing company, we have assisted many dentists to expand and improve their practices. Our Business Consultants will assess current office requirements and help dentists to locate the right dental equipment financing. We can recommend a specialized Equipment Financing program that provides the money needed to make major purchases with no restrictions as to vendor or its use.
Our application takes about two minutes to complete and does not require extensive documentation. Financing decisions are based on reasonable underwriting criteria; a low FICO or even an open tax lien will not automatically disqualify an application. Applicants will be pleased to know that National Business Capital has an approval rating of over 90%.
Once an application has been approved, the money is available within days. Our goal is to establish a long term financing relationship with every client. This way, whenever additional financing is required, our Business Consultants can work to locate the financing our clients’ require as their enterprises need it, to continue to grow. For questions concerning dental equipment financing, please call us at (877) 482-3008, or apply now.