What You Need to Know as a New Dentist

woman wearing dental bib looking at her dentist while being checked up

As a new dentist, you have two main challenges: attracting patients and providing quality care. Fortunately, you can still offer dental services while starting. These are some things every new dentist should know about delivering dental services when they’re just getting started.

Attracting Clients and Providing Quality Care

When it comes to attracting clients, don’t be afraid to be creative. Try sending flyers or newsletters in the mail. You won’t be remiss advertising on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Or better yet, try creating your website if you have a little extra time on your hands. You might also want to consider finding an inexpensive location for a pop-up office in your area. It can be as simple as renting space from someone else’s office one day per week so that people know they can set up appointments with you.

At the same time, it’s crucial to provide quality care for your clients. While there aren’t many equipment options available for new dentists, you should still be able to give patients a good cleaning. Routine checkups shouldn’t cause you too much trouble too. If someone needs extensive treatment or additional help, encourage them to come back later. This way, you’re more established now and have the equipment and resources to offer their oral healthcare needs.

Offering Basic Treatments

Although you don’t want to neglect patients’ needs thoroughly, if you’re just starting as a dentist, it’s probably best not to offer anything beyond basic procedures at first. That means no root canals, crowns, or veneers. It also can be helpful to let patients know that you’re not performing these types of procedures yet. Better still, you can provide them with a list of other dentists in the area that can take care of this type of treatment.

Furthermore, you should encourage your clients to schedule their checkups every six months. Not only because it’s the recommended treatment plan but because this gives you a chance to earn another client. Suppose someone is looking for a regular cleaning and oral exam. In that case, they’ll be more likely to return if they already have an established relationship with you.

More Complicated Procedures

Eventually, you become more established in the field. You’ll also have more equipment options available to you as your career progresses. In that case, you can start offering more complicated procedures, including those listed previously. You might even be able to provide procedures that other dentists don’t have access to. But you’ll need specialized equipment for that. For instance, you’re leaning toward pediatric dentistry and want to focus on providing youths with quality dental care. You’ll want to invest in lab equipment for space maintainers to treat younger patients who prematurely lost their baby teeth for several reasons.

New dentists will quickly discover they need specific equipment to provide their patients with quality care. While it’s not possible to offer all dental services in your area at the moment, you can still provide some to get started. Just be sure to use equipment designed for new dentists and let clients know if they need more complex procedures, you’ll refer them to another dentist nearby who can help.

Tempering Expectations

You should inform your patients that equipment options are limited for new dentists at this point in your career. That way, they won’t be surprised when you can’t perform specific procedures or when their visit takes longer than expected. When patients know the equipment limitations beforehand, it’s easier to keep everyone happy with the outcome, even if equipment options are limited.

Advising Patients on Oral Care

woman in white shirt flossing her teeth

Even if equipment options are limited, there’s still a lot you can do for your patients while you’re getting started as a dentist. One of the best things you can do is offer advice about oral care and personal dental hygiene. This will give clients an idea of what they’re up against and encourage them to return when available equipment options. Alternatively, you can refer them to another dentist in the area who has equipment that will be more beneficial.

Pursue More Education

At this point in your career, equipment options are limited. But it’s still possible to advance your education and earn equipment to make a difference for your patients. Continue researching training programs or equipment manufacturers in the area who offer new equipment to dentists regularly. You should consider attending shows hosted by equipment manufacturers. That way, you can get equipment firsthand and become more knowledgeable about the appropriate use of equipment for your practice.

New dentists may feel like equipment options are limited when starting out, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up working with patients. There are steps you can take to offset equipment limitations, including getting training from equipment manufacturers and continuing your education. You can even advise patients about equipment limitations beforehand so that everyone knows what to expect from a visit with you.

It might be hard juggling getting new clients and keeping current ones with the limited procedures you can make as a new dentist. However, you should focus on equipment options later rather than sooner. But if your equipment is limited at first, don’t get discouraged. It will become easier to provide quality services once equipment options become available to you.

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