Determining the ideal size and space of your practice

Opening a dental office is a significant step in a dentist’s career. It is also quite taxing. Taking it one organized step at a time can help alleviate some of the stress.

One of the first major things you need to decide is the size and location of your ideal space.

The size and location are based on your ten year plan. This plan is how you envision your business to be functioning in ten years, in terms of maximum production. Having a ten year plan will enable you to determine the number of operatories required to achieve your goals. Some dentists simply want to be sole proprietors, with a full-time hygienist and possibly another part-time hygienist. Others may want to hire an associate down the road or even run a multi-provider clinic.

Once you have determined the number of operatories necessary to support your ten-year plan, you can determine the square footage you will need for your new office. 

Building or Refreshing Your Dental Practice: A Guide to Dental Office Design, published by the American Dental Association, offers a formula that can be an excellent starting point to determine required square footage:

Number of Operatories
Multiplied by Square Footage of Operatories
Divided by .275

A full chapter excerpt from How to Open a New Dental Office or Relocate Your Current One on deciding how many operatories an office will need, how much square footage an office will require, and other preliminary decisions when choosing and constructing a dental space can be found in the ADA Catalog.

This excerpt is provided courtesy of Gordon F. Osterhaus Jr., D.D.S. Dr. Osterhaus is the author of How to Open a New Dental Office or Relocate Your Current One