Orthodontics has never been more popular in our country. According to Invisalign, as many as 14 million Americans have undergone clear aligner treatment, and those numbers are still growing. That statistic doesn’t include all the other orthodontic treatments available, such as traditional braces, mouthguards, CAP machines, etc. The point is, if you’re a professional orthodontist looking to grow your orthodontic practice, it’s never been a better time to do so. If you’re ready to set out on your own and run your own business, here are some steps you should take to get the ball rolling.
Renovate Your Space
When moving into an older building, you may have to renovate your space. It may have previously been a different business that had nothing to do with dental care. So you want to ensure that your orthodontic office looks like a space where people can come for comfortable and professional orthodontic treatment. Hire remodeling contractors for interior painting. Install shelving for patient files and a desk for your receptionist.
There are many people that still suffer from dental anxiety. So you may want to paint your walls a color that is more calming. Purple and blue are known to relax people and put them in a meditative state, so that might be good for your office. However, if your orthodontist clients are mostly children, you may also want to incorporate some bright colors. It all depends on what you think is best for you and your clientele.
When you’re renovating your space to grow your orthodontic practice don’t forget the value of making a good first impression in the waiting room. Invest in high-quality seating that’s comfortable and fashionable. Have a few tables and magazines for patients to read as they’re waiting for their appointment. Install at least one or two large-screen TVs so people can watch the game and the news. or something that can relax them as they wait for their braces consultation.
Keep Your Space Clean
As you’re trying to bring in more patients, you must have a clean, professional space. Part of orthodontics means you’ll be working in patients’ mouths, so you need to be as sanitary as possible to ensure that no disease is spread. The last thing you want in your reviews is for patients to say that they got sick while at your business. You don’t want people to say that they walked into your office and it was dirty or unorganized
Reliable business waste solutions help you grow your orthodontic practice. Check out available office cleaning services in your area. You may need someone to come every day or a few times a week. There should always be someone to take out the trash and dispose of anything that’s a biohazard. Office cleaning is good for any business, especially when dealing with orthodontics or other dental services. Keep yourself and your patients safe from pathogens such as COVID-19 and other concerns.
Get Rid of Pests
Imagine treating a client and seeing a mouse or a large cockroach crawling on the floor. Can you imagine the customer reviews? Vermin is a sign of uncleanliness or that you have an opening somewhere in your space that’s allowing them to come in. That’s why it’s important to have regular office cleaning services and closed containers for trash, so you don’t attract any pests that might be lingering in other parts of the building or outside.
Before you install any orthodontic chairs or large TVs, make sure you call local animal control companies to inspect your area and make it as foolproof against outside vermin as possible. Remember, roaches can spread disease and are attracted to water and food, so it’s another reason to keep containers closed and sealed. Mice and rats have sharp teeth that can cut through wires and other solid materials. The last thing you want is for your expensive orthodontic furniture or containers to be ruined by rodents cutting in or spraying their urine and fecal matter all over the place.
Grow your orthodontic practice by offering exemplary customer service by way of refreshments. Most offices will at least have a water cooler to grab a quick cup of water from. Install an ice cube distributor so patients can have extra cold water if they like. You can add to that, by also having complimentary coffee and tea available. It can help anxious patients relax, especially if it’s their first time getting orthodontic care.
Since you’re running an orthodontic office, you may not want to have unhealthy treats out front. Consider putting out a few healthy granola bars or other things that aren’t packed with unhealthy ingredients. You can also put out mints and other sugar-free candy for people to have a little treat.
Update Your Bathrooms
Bathrooms are a must for any business. If you want to grow your orthodontic practice, you need clean and modern bathrooms. At some point, you, other employees, and patients will need to relieve themselves in the bathroom. So make sure your plumbing is up to date and free of any clogs. A commercial plumber can come in to update your fixtures. Consider installing dual flush toilets, so you have one flush option for liquid waste and one for solid waste. After all, according to the EPA, the average American toilet uses as much as five gallons of water in every flush. Save your business a high water bill and help the environment with this installation.
Make sure your bathrooms also have accessibility features. Have at least one or more stalls that have accessible handlebars and lower toilets. Keep everything fresh with an automatic air freshener dispenser so bad odors never linger in the bathroom.
Repair Your Roof
Grow your orthodontic practice by keeping all aspects of your building safe, starting with your commercial roofing. The structure and integrity of a roof are just as important in a commercial space as it is in a residential one. After all, all the problems a residential roof has can happen in any commercial space, such as water leaks, air leaks, mold, and more.
Consider the type of materials you want for your building. While the average lifespan of a roof is about 20 years, according to Bob Vila, you could expand upon that by getting the right materials. For example, a slate or metal roof is aesthetically pleasing and can last for as long as 50 to 70 years. In other words, if you install the right commercial roofing, it may last longer than the amount of time that you’ll run your practice!
Install a New Floor
Don’t forget about the flooring. If you want to keep the floors safe for you and your patients, consider having a seamless floor with Epoxy coating. This advanced sealant keeps floors shiny and is slip resistant. It’s also durable, can last for years, and is easy to clean. The great thing about installing epoxy coating is it acts as a top layer on top of another floor. So in other words, if you love the look of a cement, wood, or vinyl floor, you can install that first and then add the epoxy coating on top for protection.
Invest in New Equipment
How can you grow your orthodontic practice without the right equipment? The short answer is you can’t! Patients come in, you have to take X-rays of their mouth to see the alignment of their teeth. To stay competitive, you should invest in the latest X-ray technology, such as 3D scanning X-rays. You should invest in large dental chairs for patients to sit comfortably in as you apply or take off braces and other devices. Check that you have enough storage to hold all your pliers, dental mirrors, distal end cutters, bite sticks, plastic files, dental air compressors, and more.
Manage Your Finances
You must stay on top of your finances if you plan to grow your orthodontic practice. As you run your own business, you have to make sure that you have a system in place to do proper billing. These days many medical and dental specialists rely on outsourced help to handle their billing. You should also hire an accountant or bookkeeper to help you stay on top of things so that you remain within the limit of your overhead and don’t go over budget.
Hiring an accountant isn’t just great for regular financial help, but they also provide tax preparation services. Taxes can be tricky, especially if you’re running your own business for the first time. The type of taxes you’ll file for your business depends on your status. In other words, is your orthodontic practice an LLC, or are you in partnership with another orthodontist or dental specialist? The type of business you have will affect the type of paperwork you file, so make things easier on yourself by hiring a local tax professional. You should also try to find one that works with other dental or medical professionals as they may help you with tax breaks that you may not have known about.
Maintain Your HVAC
Can you imagine working on patient mouths in the dead of summer while dealing with a broken AC? That would be hard on both you and the patients. How about the opposite? If your office is located in a seasonal climate with harsh winters, can you imagine trying not to shiver as you apply braces because you have no heat? If the cold is too extreme, you may have to shut down your office until the HVAC is fixed. Prevent these problems from happening by having your local HVAC professionals install ductless heating services or other options they may suggest.
It’s important to remember that your HVAC unit isn’t just there to supply hot or cold air as needed. The unit is also there for proper ventilation and air filtration. As an orthodontist, you’re working in different mouths daily. So, that’s a lot of potential bacteria floating around the room. A proper HVAC system will filter the air from that material to ensure you and others stay safe. Whatever you do, don’t wait for your units to break down before you check if something’s going on.
Once you have everything in your commercial space together, you need to let the community know that you exist. In other words, you need proper advertising to grow your orthodontic practice. The first place your advertising should start is right at your office itself. Look into custom signage to put in front of the office and the parking space. You’d be surprised by how much organic traffic you can get from the right sign. According to statistics, a good sign was the main reason for customers to enter a business for the first time.
Don’t forget about the value of social media. Social media websites are for more than just sharing funny memes or posting photos of what you had to eat at your favorite restaurant. It’s also a great way for businesses, whether they’re new or have been around for generations, to promote their products and services to the community and world at large. Grow your orthodontic practice by promoting yourself on sites such as YouTube, Tik Tik, Facebook, and Instagram. Post photos that show before and after orthodontic treatment. Advertise any deals you may have including a grand opening or discounts for new clients. When you finish with a patient, encourage them to give you feedback online and to use the hashtag for your social handle. That way, other customers can see good reviews and give you space to interact with them online.
If you’re trying to open or expand an existing orthodontic practice, now is a great time to do so. More adults and teens want a perfect smile to show off, and you have the professional expertise to provide it for them. Use the tips in this guide to grow your orthodontic practice to new heights. Before you know it, you can become the go-to orthodontist for your community.