Some locations just aren’t the appropriate size; others may not receive enough street visibility. And other locations simply might not be an appealing draw to a particular patient base. So, how do you know which location is the right location for opening a dental practice? The answer isn’t overly complicated.
With the help of an expert dental design consultant, you’ll learn about a few specific criteria to consider when choosing your dental office location. These include:
- proximity to your competition
- population density data
- demographical data
- the size of your practice
- relevant real estate data
Let’s take a moment to break each of these down.
5 Search Criteria for Finding the Right Location for Your Dental Practice
1. Proximity to Your Competition
Consider where other dental practices are located at in your area. How close are they to each other? How close are they to the area you’re considering moving to? According to the American Dental Association, ideal statistics should reveal a ratio of 1 dentist per 1500 patients. When you look at the existing dentists in your area of consideration, ask yourself, “Are they serving the same patient demographic that I’m looking to serve?” If not, you might find yourself perfectly aligned to serve that neighborhood or community.
2. Population Density Data
These facts and statistics are very crucial to predicting which areas can allow for the growth and success of your practice. What is the total population of the area you’re considering? Given the statistic of 1 dentist per 1500 patients, could the proposed area be able to financially sustain another practice? How many houses are they per acre in the proposed location? What are the anticipated population growth statistics for that area? Total job growth statistics?
Opening up a dental practice is a costly investment that could have significant financial benefits over time. But, if a particular area is not showing signs of growth and economic prosperity, it may be difficult for your practice to remain financially sustainable after a few years.
3. Demographical Data
Before you open your practice to the public, you need to identify who your ideal patient is. This will help you determine which physical locations to consider or rule out. Are you trying to serve families with children? If so, you might not want to place your practice in a community with an older median age demographic. Other demographics to consider include:
- Average household size
- Native Language
- Median Household Income
- Access to Private Insurance
- The geographic proximity to the community you’d serve
The majority of people choose a dentist based off of convenience and cost. Is it close to their home or work? Can they afford to get the dental care offered? Think about who you’d like to serve, what factors are non-negotiable in order to best serve that population, and then choose an area that meets those criteria.
4. The Size of Your Practice
Are you an established practice that is relocating to a new location? If so, how many patients do you currently serve and how many partners and staff members are a part of your practice? Are you hoping to expand and grow your patient base? If so, you’ll need to look for a location that can physically accommodate those needs. If you’re opening up a new practice, what are your expectations for growth? Anticipate growth and plan accordingly. If you plan for an area that is too small, you might find yourself needing to relocate to a new location quicker than you’d expect.
5. Relevant Real Estate Data
The physical specs of a location are important in determining whether your dental practice would successfully thrive in one location over another. Does the physical address of the building receive a high level of visibility from the street, or does it blend into the surroundings too easily? Does the location have adequate parking already available, or would you need to spend significant dollars to add sufficient parking spaces for patients? Is the location already up to date on ADA requirements? If a commercial space isn’t already up to code for Accessibility requirements, these updates could cost you several thousand dollars in additional construction costs before you could open your doors to patients. Is the area you’re considering located in a city or town that is growing with new businesses and organizations, or is it falling behind in these areas? Are there any tax incentives for bringing your dental practice to one particular area over others? Talk to your design consultant about all of these things.
The experts at HJT Dental Design Consultants understand the unique and complex criteria that must be considered when choosing a location for a dental practice. With decades of firsthand knowledge backing every decision they make, HJT Dental Design Consultants can help you determine the best location for the success of your dental practice. Contact HJT Dental Design Consultants today to discover how our experience can help make your search process hassle-free.