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Portability can be your best asset

Nov. 1, 2010
When recently lecturing to young dental graduates, I received several handwritten questions.

by Joseph J. Massad, DDS

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: prosthodontics, prosthesis, office design, operatory, portability, Dr. Joe Massad.Welcome back! When recently lecturing to young dental graduates, I received several handwritten questions. Approximately half of the questions related to concerns that delivering optimal prosthetics with the methods I was discussing would create longer patient sessions. These financial concerns stemmed from the high cost of setting up a dental practice and repayment of school loans.

In fact, once we begin to trust the science of dentistry before the art, our efficiency should increase, thereby reducing our overall treatment time and less postoperative adjustments. Quality prosthodontics can and should be our goal, especially since the highest quality dentistry will bring referrals to your practice.

In addressing these financial concerns, I related my own experience in setting up a new office some years ago, and how my plan to reduce unnecessary spending provided me with a "safety blanket." I had an exit plan to move locations, if necessary. I would advise those leasing to either sign a shorter lease or have a drop clause for flexibility; however, this plan would require a design concept other than the norm, minimizing dental office construction costs.

I related to the young dentists that many other dentists were in the same place they were. My suggestion to them was to consider finding one location that best suited their exposure, and then be wise on build-out spending for improvements. If you can go into a nice location and avoid spending money on build-out costs, such as for cutting concrete for plumbing, air lines, gas lines, and drain suction lines, then you can allow a reasonable budget for purchasing reliable quality equipment.

I recently installed four portable dental units that required only a 110 volt outlet. I saved approximately $43,000 in construction costs and eliminated cutting concrete and all the associated plumbing. I have everything I need in these portable dental units to perform all dental procedures, and they are a perfect match with my existing portable cabinetry.

Weigh out all the plusses and minuses and see how this would affect your bottom line. I can move these portable dental units, including the side portable cabinets, into the middle of a room and give a demonstration to my students during a class. Just think about the advantages if you decide to move locations.

Rather than installing new plumbing, you can now take your entire operatory with you. I would recommend to all dentists - not just those who are beginning new practices - to evaluate the systems that are best for you and minimize nonrecoverable construction costs.

See you next month. I hope my pleasure in dentistry will also be yours ... Joe Massad.

Dr. Joseph Massad may be reached by phone at (918) 749-5600 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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