What you need to know before purchasing new dental equipment
We interviewed Provide Credit Portfolio Manager Jess Webb about current equipment and technology trends in the dental industry and how to upgrade your practice for success.
The dental industry has come a long way since 1790, when John Greenwood invented the first dental drill (that was powered by a foot engine … ouch). Now we have lasers and small intraoral cameras to help you treat your patients in less invasive ways. We sat down with Jess Webb, Provide credit portfolio manager, to help you sort through modern equipment and technology options and select which purchases are right for your dental practice.
First, can you tell us your experience in the dental practice finance industry?
I started in the dental industry as a dental assistant. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Dominican, I moved into an office manager role, where I managed a small private practice and then a large corporate practice. I transitioned from working in practices to dental lending about 10 years ago. During that time, I have been a practice coach, underwriter, and a member of Provide’s Portfolio Monitoring team.
What equipment and technology trends are you seeing in the dental industry?
Technology is amazing. From lasers and scanners to Cerec machines and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), the dental field has come so far from dark rooms and dip tanks. Many doctors are making small changes by using electric handpieces, caries detection devices, and intraoral cameras to help increase treatment acceptance and elevate the patient experience.
According to howtoopenadentaloffice.com, dentists should budget $25,000–400,000 for startup dental equipment — that’s quite the range. To help new and aspiring practice owners more accurately budget, which trends are worth the investment, and which ones should providers ignore?
Follow your vision for your practice. Stay on budget, and invest in what is important to you. Different doctors have different priorities: One office may invest in patient comfort, while another focuses on technology. There are many ways to run a successful practice, and being authentic is the best approach. You will have the opportunity to grow and invest in equipment if you establish a strong foundation.
When should dentists purchase versus lease a piece of equipment, and vice versa?
This is a great conversation for doctors to have with their accountants. It is important to have a good understanding of the practice’s financials before adding additional debt. It’s also important to consider what fees can be charged for the service(s), whether the practice will be reimbursed by insurance, and if this will be an out-of-pocket expense for your patients.
Can you share a piece of advice for dentists looking to upgrade their equipment?
Do your research, and don’t be blinded by shiny and new equipment. While this is not specific to the dental industry, I think the advice translates well: My brother works for a large technology company and advises against purchasing the first release of a product. They often work out bugs and make software changes that are available in later versions, and I think the same is true with any new technology — including dental.
Interested in upgrading your operatories? Our Equipment loan program features:
- An optional interest-only payment period
- Five-, seven- and 10-year terms with competitive fixed rates
- No origination or processing fees
- Flexibility to pay down principal early
- Streamlined, tech-enabled funding
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877–341–0617 to learn more about our Equipment loan. (Did we mention you can pre-qualify for financing in two minutes or less?) And whether you need new lighting, patient chairs, or X-ray imaging equipment, we can connect you with helpful, trusted experts to assist you in elevating your existing practice into the practice of your dreams.
This content is for informational purposes and it does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, tax, or investment advice or other professional services by Provide or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and it is being provided without any warranty whatsoever. Please consult with appropriate professionals related to your individual circumstances.
All lending is subject to review and approval. Provide, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, National Association.