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7 Dental Supply Shopping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Do you run or own your dental practice? Are you wondering about buying supplies online, and how it will impact your dental supply budget?

Obtaining quality dental supplies is an integral part of your practice. You’ll want to know that you can count on their quality, but you also shouldn’t be paying more than you need to.

You may find yourself wondering if you’re getting a good deal when dental supply shopping.

Here’s what you should be avoiding.

1. Not Knowing What Equipment You Need Ahead of Time

It may seem easy to order equipment and supplies as you realize your need for them. This can keep you from overbuying and help you stay within your budget.

However, not having the supplies you need to run your office properly could be detrimental to your practice. Before seeing patients for the first time, you’ll need ergonomic dental chairs. If yours are stained, worn-out, or uncomfortable, it may be time to order new ones.

You also can’t treat patients without the proper sterilization equipment. These typically use steam or dry heat to ensure that equipment and dry instruments are thoroughly sterilized. They eliminate the spread of germs as well as reduce the risk of injury that could happen to your staff while washing sharp dental tools.

You’ll also need X-ray equipment to help detect gingivitis and other oral health problems at their earliest stage. These may include X-ray sensors, digital panoramic X-ray systems, and phosphor plate X-ray systems.

In addition, your office will require basic electric-powered dental equipment. These include water syringes, vacuums, and handpieces.

Features such as a control panel, self-contained waterline, and purge system often come standard. However, you’ll want to do your research and make sure you’re getting the equipment that’s best suited to the needs of your practice.

Finally, your office will require cabinetry that can keep supplies organized. This will make it easy for your staff to use, as well as give patients the assurance that your practice is thoughtfully run.

2. Not Knowing What Supplies You’ll Need

Your office will require supplies in addition to equipment. These items will need to be re-stocked frequently depending upon your needs.

Dental supplies include things like mouth mirrors, dental probes, and anesthetics. You’ll also need things like dental polish, molds, and curettes.

Before you place an order with a dental supply company, it’s critical to know exactly how you’re going to have your office stocked.

3. Not Staying Within Budget

Certain equipment and supplies are crucial to getting your practice started. However, it’s important to do a little research before deciding on a company to do business with.

You may be able to take advantage of discounts for regular re-ordering. It’s also possible to get refurbished and used dental supplies in relatively good condition. The key is to make sure you’re still getting good equipment.

4. Not Asking for Recommendations

When you’re first starting your practice, saving money is imperative. However, you won’t want to use equipment or supplies that are second-rate and thereby turn off your patients.

This is where other local dental practices can help you out. Call up their office managers and find out where they’re getting supplies from. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Were the supplies in good condition? Were there ever any problems with an order? If there was a last-minute need, was the company able to deliver on time?

Other dental practices were start-ups at one point, so they may be able to recommend companies that helped them out when they were on a budget. They can also give you the assurance that you’re making a sound decision.

5. Not Reading Reviews

You can find reviews for medical supply companies on a variety of websites, and it’s important to check them out.

Most companies won’t get good reviews all of the time. However, a pattern of positive comments can give you extra confidence. For example, you may notice many customers talking about timely delivery or friendly customer service.

Any company can get a bad review once in a while, and you should take these with a grain of salt. However, you’ll want to be wary if you’re seeing the same negative comment from several different customers.

6. Not Keeping Records

You’ll want to make sure you’re keeping great records of your inventory. Your office staff can have an easy way to record their use of various supplies at the end of each day.

Solid records can help you make sure you never run out of items when you need them and that you never overorder. It’s critical to making sure your office stays well-stocked and organized. It will also save you money on the overnight shipping you’d have to pay when you had a supply emergency.

7. Consider Wholesale

Wholesale and bulk supply ordering can save you money and keep you well-stocked. You also won’t need to purchase supplies as often.

Make sure you ask for recommendations before choosing a wholesale company. Pay attention to websites and be sure to choose a supplier that makes re-ordering fast and easy.

Purchasing from the same company often means you’ll be able to stock up quickly and take advantage of annual discounts when they arrive.

Avoid Dental Supply Shopping Mistakes

When you’re running a dental practice, having the right supplies is key to a smooth business. Careful dental supply shopping is key to your well-being and your bottom line. Patients will know that they can count on your office to be safe, organized, and well-stocked.

Don’t stop getting smart about your dental practice now. For more great advice, read our blog today.

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