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Now that you have completed your dental course and mastered the skill with practical training under an experienced dentist, it is time to step out on your own. It might be overwhelming initially to start your own dental practice, but being your own master is worth all the hard work.
Opening a dental office comes with a long list of responsibilities, from getting building permits and local zoning to complying with federal and state law. You need to take many critical business decisions and attend to miscellaneous needs that are part and parcel of setting up your own business.
We have picked up some of the basic things you must do to open a dental office in America.
Basic Steps Towards Your Own Dental Practice
- Business structure – Your business structure determines what tax forms to fill, registration requirements, and personal liability. The filing requirement, ownership rules, taxes, and liabilities vary from state to state, so you need to be sure about the requirements of your area. Whether you are going to share some kind of ownership with a couple of dentists or launch a solo practice, it is essential to consult your financial advisor and attorney to get information on the different types of entities, their tax elections, etc.
- Insurance – Your assets, property, and your employees’ health and well-being is your responsibility. Hence, you need to secure many different types of insurance policies to protect all of them. As per the federal government, every business with employees is bound to have certain types of coverages, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, etc. Apart from federal requirements, many states have different laws for insurance. You should contact the insurance department in your state or local city governments offices to know the mandatory insurance requirements for a small business.
- Waste management – Waste management is a complex task at a dental office. You will accurately need to evaluate the types of waste generated by your practice and make sure each of the different kinds is disposed of appropriately. In general, dental dental office owners have a written plan where details of their practices and policies with respect to waste disposal are mentioned. Check out the ADA’s (American Dental Association) website to know more about medical waste disposal.
- Regulations – Start handling the legal aspects of your practice early on. You need to make sure you are registered with the DEA(Drug Enforcement Administration), have obtained a national provider identifier number, acquired proper licenses for practice in your state, and comply with all the regulations applicable in your area. You also need to be aware that rules can change with time. As a practitioner, you have the moral and legal obligation to be cognizant of these changes and adhere to them. Apart from ADA, your state dental society can also assist you in keeping track of all the regulations.
On top of all these requirements, there are a couple of others. For instance, you need to follow the federal laws while employing someone and check with the OIG(Office of Inspector General) to ensure you are not hiring anyone on the list of excluded individuals. It is also essential to document all practice activities related to regulatory compliance to provide the same during audits.