Dental and Medical Counsel Blog

How to Select the Right Equipment for Your New Dental Practice

February 7, 2018
Dental Equipment

Selecting the right equipment that fits the space of your new dental practice is a big decision. You're probably going to be using this equipment for a long time, so you want to make sure that you're making the right decisions. While you may be tempted to select the equipment you used at other practices--perhaps those where you did your clinical rotation or those used in offices where you've worked prior to starting your own practice--it's important to make wise decisions about your equipment based on the specific needs of your new facility, not on theirs.

Setting Your Budget

Your budget is an important consideration when the time comes to choose all of the equipment for your new dental practice. You don't want to run out of money halfway through the buying process! Make sure you take the time to sit down and write your budget, then make sure that your equipment preferences fit into it before you start buying. No matter how good a deal something seems to be, it's important to make sure that it fits within your budget before you make the purchase, rather than having a hefty case of buyer's remorse later. Make sure you consider things like how far into debt you're going to have to go and the timeline on which you'd like to make payments. 

Setting Your Priorities

When selecting dental equipment, there are several priorities that should help you choose the pieces of equipment you really want for your practice. Ask yourself these key questions before purchasing a particular piece of equipment.

Is this piece of equipment comfortable for the patient?

Take the time to sit down in the dental chair. Wiggle around in it. Explore it from your patients' perspective. In some cases, your patients may be spending a great deal of time in this chair, and you want to be sure that they're comfortable when they're in your office. Take the same consideration with x-ray equipment and any other equipment that patients will be expected to use. 

Is this piece of equipment comfortable for you, your assistants, your hygienists, and others who are working around the patient?

Ergonomics is incredibly important when you spend all day bending over your patients. Make sure that your chair, the patient chair, and the delivery system are all designed with ergonomics at the forefront so that you can choose a great system that will be more likely to work for you. 

Is this a high-quality piece of equipment?


Sure, you can save money by purchasing budget equipment. Unfortunately, that often means that you'll have to replace it in just a few short years--and that usually means more money laid out over time. If possible, visit trade shows or request samples of equipment so that you can hold it in your hands and test it for durability. Take it for a test drive: move working parts back and forth, adjust the equipment, and see how it feels to you. We highly recommend taking a tour of the ADEC facility in Oregon. 

Do you really need it?

Some of the latest and greatest dental equipment on the market offers an alarming number of features - many of them that you don't really need in your practice. The same is true of many types of patient management software: it often comes complete with bells and whistles that you won't really use in your daily practice. Take the time to consider what you really need in your dental equipment so you can make wiser decisions for your practice. 

Will this equipment help attract the talent you want at your practice?

There are industry standards you'll need to meet in order to attract the best hygienists, assistants, and others to your practice. Make sure you're buying equipment that will meet their needs. 

Will the equipment help you acquire more patients? 

Using the latest equipment and technology can also allow you to perform new procedures which can bring you additional income.

Doing Your Research

Since this is a big decision, it's important to take your time and do your research before buying--but what does doing your research really look like when it comes to dental equipment? Try some of these strategies to make sure you're getting the equipment you need. 

Ask for recommendations.

Talk with other dentists that you know and trust and ask for their recommendations. Ask about the products they have used in the past and the ones they plan to use in the future. Ask what they would definitely purchase again if they needed a replacement and what brands they would stay away from. 

Read online reviews.

As you look through specific pieces of equipment, you'll have access to a library of reviews that tell you everything you want to know about the experience other dentists have had with their products. Take the time to read through those reviews--and do it in a savvy way! Follow these steps:

  • Check out the average review. That star rating is there for a reason!
  • Read the highest-rated reviews. See what features other dentists really liked about the product. Make sure to look for the answers to your key questions about ergonomics and durability.
  • Check out the one-star reviews. A brand or product that has a one-star review isn't necessarily providing bad equipment; it could be that it just didn't fit the needs of a particular individual. Browse through one-star reviews to discover what people most disliked about a piece of equipment. Look for recurring problems and decide whether or not the most common issues are ones that you can live with.
  • See how the company responded. This is one of the most critical pieces of information you'll gather, especially from Facebook and other social sharing sites. If the company seems to ignore their negative reviews, they may not be the right one for you. On the other hand, a company that hurries to ensure customer satisfaction is more likely to be one you can trust.

Check out the brand and meet with an equipment specialist.

If you're looking at a new piece of equipment that doesn't seem to have a lot of reviews yet, but that seems perfect for your practice--take the time to evaluate the brand that created the product. Is this a reliable brand? Do they tend to put out good products that are worth having? If so, their latest release is more likely to be trustworthy. On the other hand, if a brand is hit or miss, this might be a piece of equipment you should pass on. For example, Sirona has an incredible reputation for using technology that is cutting edge with materials like Cerec

Another route you can take is to meet with an equipment specialist who can help you find and install your equipment. 


Whether you are starting or buying a dental practice, purchasing dental equipment for your practice is an exciting task. As those important items start to arrive, you may feel as though you're finally realizing your dream. Make sure that dream takes flight by choosing the best pieces of equipment for your new practice.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is selecting the right equipment for my dental practice important?
A: Choosing suitable equipment ensures long-term functionality and meets the specific needs of your practice, enhancing patient care and staff efficiency.

Q: How should I set a budget for purchasing dental equipment?
A: Determine your budget beforehand, considering factors like affordability, payment timelines, and avoiding overspending to prevent financial strain later on.

Q: What priorities should I consider when selecting dental equipment?
A: Prioritize patient comfort, ergonomic design for staff, equipment quality, necessity, ability to attract talent, and potential to enhance patient acquisition.

Q: How can I ensure that the equipment I choose is comfortable for patients and staff?
A: Test equipment personally, evaluate comfort levels from both patient and staff perspectives, and prioritize ergonomic design features.

Q: What factors indicate whether a piece of equipment is of high quality?
A: Look for durability, reliability, and positive reviews from other dental professionals, and consider visiting trade shows or requesting equipment samples for testing.

Q: How can I determine if I really need a particular piece of equipment for my practice?
A: Evaluate the necessity of features and functionalities, considering whether they align with your practice goals and if they offer tangible benefits to patient care or practice efficiency.

Q: Can equipment selection impact the ability to attract talented staff?  
A: Yes, choosing equipment that meets industry standards and enhances workflow can attract skilled professionals to your practice.

Q: How can the equipment I choose help acquire more patients?
A: Utilizing advanced equipment and technology can expand service offerings, allowing you to perform new procedures that attract more patients seeking specialized care.

Q: What strategies can I use to research dental equipment effectively?
A: Seek recommendations from trusted colleagues, read online reviews discerningly, evaluate brand reputation, and consult with equipment specialists for guidance.

Q: What are some key considerations when reading online reviews of dental equipment?
A: Focus on average ratings, examine highest and lowest-rated reviews for insights into performance and potential issues, and observe how companies respond to feedback.

Q: How can I ensure that a brand is reliable before purchasing equipment from them?
A: Research the brand's reputation for product quality and reliability, and consider meeting with equipment specialists to evaluate the brand's offerings.

Q: What are the key takeaways for purchasing dental equipment for my practice?
A: Prioritize functionality, comfort, and quality, conduct thorough research, seek expert advice, and choose equipment that aligns with your practice goals and vision.


About the Author

At Dental & Medical Counsel, we've been instrumental in realizing the practice goals of countless dentists. Whether you're looking to purchase, launch, or sell a dental practice, our expertise is your guide. Beyond the initial stages, we're committed to ensuring your dental practice remains legally compliant.

We provide comprehensive support, including employment law protections, dental contract reviews, and assistance with dental employment agreements. Additionally, we specialize in incorporating dental practices and securing trademarks. And for long-term planning, our services extend to helping dentists with succession and estate planning. Trust us to be your partner in every step of your dental practice journey.

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About Ali Oromchian, Esq.

Your Dental Lawyer

Ali Oromchian, JD, LL.M. is the founding attorney of the Dental & Medical Counsel, PC law firm and is renowned for his expertise in legal matters

Ali Oromchian, JD, LL.M., is a leading legal authority in dental law and the founding attorney of Dental & Medical Counsel, PC, with over two decades of experience. His deep connection to dentistry comes from his wife's nearly two-decade-long career as a pediatric dentist. 

This personal insight fuels his dedication to empowering dentists to navigate their legal challenges and achieve their practice goals. In doing so, Ali has helped thousands of doctors open their practices while maintaining legal compliance. 

Ali is frequently quoted and contributes articles to dental publications, including the California Dental Society, Progressive Dentist, Progressive Orthodontists, Dentistry Today, Dentaltown, and The New Dentist magazines, further showcasing his commitment to the dental community.


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