New Practice

FAQs for Dental Start-Ups

Burkhart Dental Supply and the Practice Support Team frequently field FAQs from Doctors just like you, starting a new practice. We also know some of these questions keep you awake at night.

We have compiled the most frequent requests below. Is your concern not on our list? Don’t worry, we are here for you.


Q: Which Practice Management Software should I select?

A: Select the practice management software program that meets the needs of your practice. Here are some options:


Q: How many ops are ideal?

A: It depends on your situation and growth goals. Ideally, 5-ops support a single doctor with double hygiene effectively; 8 ops is ideal for a 2-doctor, 4-hygienist practice. Fewer ops may require more creative scheduling to maximize production.


Q: How many team members should I start with?

A: It is not uncommon in a start-up practice for the doctor to provide hygiene services until the patient base has increased enough to add a hygienist. A rough rule of thumb is 250 patients will fill one day a week for a hygienist. A single front office team member can generally support the practice alone until it reaches more than $75K in monthly production. Of course, you will need a front office team member and possibly an outside service to provide phone answering and scheduling when the practice is closed.


Q: What happens if I miss potential new patient calls because I am only open a couple of days a week to start?

A: Unique Dental Scheduling is an ideal service to provide additional phone support and scheduling during closed hours/days.


Q: How do I find staff, and what should I pay them?

A: Please refer to the Human Resources page.


Q: I don’t know everything about insurance. What resources are available to train my front office team?

A: Training is available through resources you can purchase on the American Dental Association website and through the American Academy of Dental Office Managers (AADOM).


Q: Which PPO plans should I accept/not accept?

A: Please refer to the Dental Insurance 101 section.


Q: How do I set my office fees?

A: We recommend you set your fees in the 80th percentile for your zip code. You can utilize the National Data Advisory Service (NDAS) to reference fee profiles in your area. Order through your Account Manager or the Practice Support Team to get a discount (#84050003).


Q: What equipment is crucial to start, and what can I put off to maintain my budget?

A: We don’t think there is really “anything” we would ever recommend putting off. When budget trumps the day, an Equipment Specialist can start “value engineering” by cutting some of our higher quality/more reliable products in favor of lower-priced options better fitting the budget. For example, we could look at “wet-ring” vacuum pumps versus a dry pump, or a slightly smaller-sized compressor, or less expensive dental chairs/units/lights versus higher-quality options. In the end, this is contingent on the doctor’s value system and beliefs around care.


Q: Creating a business plan is overwhelming, are there any templates to make it easier?

A: We encourage you to review templates like Guidelines for Developing Business Plans available on the ADA website, through your local lender, or through the Academy of Dental CPAs (ADCPA).


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