3 equipment upgrades to consider

It’s not always easy to know when it’s time to upgrade expensive dental equipment at your practice.

The real return on investment can be difficult to calculate and technology moves so fast that it’s hard to stay ahead of the curve.

Here are three situations where the expenditure typically pays off.

1. An aging dental chair

Theoretically, a well-maintained dental chair can last for the life of your practice. Realistically, however, you can only reupholster so many times before your patients start to notice.

Here are four signs that it might be time for a new chair:

  • Visible wear and tear – Like it or not, patients judge the physical appearance of your operatory as a depiction of your service. A chair that appears to have been around the block can give off the wrong impression, particularly if it’s got cracks or missing/broken parts.
  • Repairs and down time are affecting productivity – The expense of having the technician get your chair up and running again isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg but cancelling an entire day or two of appointments will.
  • Replacement parts are difficult to find – Scarcity of parts is likely a good sign that your equipment is outmoded.
  • New technology will significantly improve your workflow – A chair that’s 10+ years old will undoubtedly be missing several of the bells and whistles that come on newer models. From touch screen monitors to improved lighting and advanced infection control, there are many modern features that will make your job easier.

2. Raising the bar for dental restorations with specialized equipment

It’s worth keeping a watchful eye on what other practices in your market are doing. As innovative technologies help improve care, you don’t want patients going elsewhere in search of a new treatment option.

Some of the equipment to consider spending on include:

  • Improved digital X-ray capabilities.
  • Dental lasers for removing decay or lesions and performing cleaning or whitening.
  • Intraoral scanner with digital display.
  • CAD/CAM systems for chairside restorations.

3. Adding a new service to your repertoire

From a business point of view, adding an improved service can provide a healthy boost to your bottom line. Being a one-stop shop for your patients also decreases your attrition rate. In-house milling and expanded endodontic care are two examples of new services that can drive profit and increase patient loyalty.