How AI will Change Running a Dental Practice

Unlocking the Power of AI: Revolutionising Dental Practice Management

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we live, work, and do business. It’s having a big impact on various industries like education, healthcare, and finance. One field that is benefitting from AI is dental practice management. AI is helping dental practices streamline their operations and enhance patient care. It’s changing the way dental practices work by automating administrative tasks and predicting patient needs. In this post, we’ll explore how AI is used to manage dental practices and how it can improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency, and generate more revenue. If you’re a dentist looking to enhance your practice management, keep reading to discover how AI can create new opportunities for your dental practice.

The role of AI in revolutionising dental practice management

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the field of dentistry too. It can handle lots of information and do complex tasks, which is why it’s being used to manage dental practices. AI offers dentists and their teams opportunities to be more efficient, accurate, and provide better patient care.

Traditionally, managing dental practices required a lot of manual work and human judgement. But AI has become a valuable tool that streamlines operations, improves diagnosis and treatment planning, enhances patient communication, and overall improves the dental experience.

AI is great at automating administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, reminding patients, handling billing and insurance claims. It does these tasks quickly and accurately, freeing up valuable time for dental professionals to focus on giving the best care.

AI algorithms can analyse huge amounts of patient data like medical history, X-rays, and treatment outcomes. By finding patterns and insights, dentists can make more accurate diagnoses, create personalised treatment plans, and predict potential oral health issues before they become serious. With AI technology, dentists can provide proactive and preventive care, leading to better patient outcomes and satisfaction.

AI is also improving patient communication and engagement. Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI can answer common questions, provide educational materials, and even schedule appointments. This not only increases patient satisfaction but also reduces the workload on dental staff, allowing them to focus on more critical tasks.

Furthermore, AI helps dental practices optimize their operations and resource allocation. By analyzing patient flow, appointment patterns, and staff efficiency, AI algorithms can identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Practice managers can then make data-driven decisions to improve workflow and staff schedules. This leads to increased productivity, shorter wait times, and a smoother patient experience.

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Understanding the challenges faced by dental practices

Running a dental practice comes with its own set of challenges that can hinder efficiency and growth. Understanding these obstacles is crucial for utilizing the potential of AI and improving dental practice management.

One major challenge faced by dental practices is appointment scheduling. It can be difficult to keep track of a full schedule with multiple patients and different types of appointments. Manual planning processes often lead to errors, double bookings, and significant delays for patients.

Patient engagement and communication are also problematic for dental practices. It can be inefficient and time-consuming to keep patients informed about their appointments, treatment plans, and preventive care. Lack of effective communication can result in missed appointments, low patient satisfaction, and ultimately, loss of revenue.

Managing dental records and information presents another obstacle. Traditional paper-based systems are not only cumbersome but also prone to errors and data loss. Retrieving patient records becomes a time-consuming process, affecting the overall efficiency of the practice.

In addition, efficient management of dental supplies and equipment is essential. Lack of proper equipment or supply shortages can lead to disruptions in patient care and unnecessary delays.

These challenges highlight the need for innovative approaches to simplify dental practice management. AI-powered technologies can revolutionize the way dental practices operate by addressing these challenges and improving overall efficiency and patient satisfaction. AI has the potential to automate appointment scheduling, send automated reminders to patients, implement electronic health record systems, and optimize inventory management. Embracing AI in dental practice management can result in improved efficiency, increased revenue, and enhanced patient experiences.

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The potential of AI in solving dental practice management issues

It’s amazing how artificial intelligence (AI) can revolutionize dental practice management. With advancements in technology, AI has become a powerful tool that can address various challenges faced by dental professionals and streamline their daily tasks.

One significant challenge that AI can tackle is appointment booking. Traditionally, dental practices have handled appointments manually, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. However, AI-powered systems can automate this process by intelligently analyzing patient information, dentist availability, and other factors to schedule appointments efficiently. This not only saves time but also ensures optimal use of resources and improves patient satisfaction.

AI can also play a crucial role in enhancing treatment planning and diagnosis. AI algorithms can assist dentists in making more accurate and well-informed decisions by analyzing a large amount of patient data, such as X-rays, dental records, and medical history. This can result in better patient care, fewer mistakes, and improved treatment outcomes.

Moreover, AI can improve patient communication and engagement. AI-powered chatbots can instantly answer common questions, schedule appointments, and make personalized recommendations. This enhances the patient experience, reduces wait times, and increases customer loyalty.

Additionally, AI can streamline administrative tasks like billing, inventory management, and insurance claims processing. By automating these processes, dental practices can save time and resources, allowing their staff to focus on more critical aspects of patient care.

While AI in dental practice management is still in its early stages, its potential is immense. We can expect AI to become increasingly important in transforming dental practices, increasing efficiency, and providing improved oral healthcare to patients as technology continues to advance. By incorporating AI into practice management, dental professionals can enter a new era of innovation and productivity.

Streamlining appointment scheduling and patient management with AI

Managing a dental practice can be complex and time-consuming in today’s fast-paced world. Dental professionals face numerous challenges, including patient management and appointment scheduling. However, with the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), these challenges can now be overcome more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

One area where AI is transforming dental practice management is appointment booking. In the past, dental practices relied on manual scheduling, which often led to double bookings, missed appointments, and unhappy patients. AI-powered scheduling systems have eliminated these issues.

AI algorithms analyse various factors, such as dentist availability, patient preferences, and treatment durations, to automatically schedule appointments in a way that maximises efficiency and minimises conflicts. This reduces wait times and ensures smooth appointment experiences, saving time for dental professionals and increasing patient satisfaction.

Furthermore, AI can assist in patient management by organising and analysing large amounts of patient data. By using AI algorithms, AI systems can identify patterns and trends in patient data, allowing dental professionals to make more informed decisions regarding treatment plans and personalised care.

For example, AI can help identify patients at higher risk for certain dental conditions based on their medical history, lifestyle factors, and genetic predispositions. By proactively addressing potential issues and providing individualised preventive care, overall oral health outcomes for patients improve.

Additionally, AI-powered chatbots can enhance patient communication and support. These virtual assistants can provide instant responses to common inquiries, such as information about treatment options, post-operative care instructions, and appointment availability. By automating these interactions, dental practices can free up staff resources and improve patient engagement, even outside of office hours.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to transform dental practice management by streamlining appointment booking, optimizing patient management, and enhancing communication. By harnessing the power of AI, dental professionals can unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity, and patient satisfaction, ultimately revolutionizing the way dental practices operate in the modern era.

Enhancing patient communication and engagement through AI-powered tools

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming various industries, including dental practice management. One area where AI is making a significant impact is in improving patient communication and engagement.

In the past, dental practices relied on phone calls, emails, and face-to-face interactions to communicate with patients. However, these methods often proved to be time-consuming and inefficient. AI-powered tools are changing the game by streamlining communication processes and providing a seamless experience for patients.

One way AI is enhancing patient communication is through the use of chatbots. By integrating intelligent virtual assistants into dental practice websites or mobile apps, patients can easily ask questions, schedule appointments, or get immediate support. Chatbots offer quick and accurate responses, reducing the need for patients to wait on hold or wait for a reply to their messages.

Moreover, AI-powered tools can analyse patient data and preferences to personalise communication. For instance, dental practices can utilise AI to automatically send appointment reminders, follow-up messages after treatments, or even oral health tips tailored to each patient’s specific needs. This level of personalised communication improves patient satisfaction and fosters a stronger relationship between the patient and the dental practice.

Additionally, AI enables dental practices to engage with patients through voice-controlled assistants. Using smart speakers, patients can access educational content, receive guidance on post-treatment care, and ask questions about oral hygiene. These voice-activated assistants allow patients to stay connected with their dental office in a convenient and interactive manner, ultimately leading to improved oral health outcomes.

By utilising AI-powered tools for patient communication and engagement, dental practices can enjoy several benefits. These include increased patient satisfaction, personalised experiences, and improved efficiency. As the dental industry embraces the potential of AI, it becomes evident that it is reshaping how dental practices manage patient interactions and prepare for a technologically advanced and patient-centred future.

Leveraging AI for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning

In the field of dentistry, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought about a significant breakthrough in diagnosis and treatment planning. By harnessing the power of AI, dentists can now achieve more precise and effective results than ever before.

AI algorithms have the ability to analyse large amounts of patient data, such as medical history, X-rays, and clinical notes, with impressive accuracy and speed. This allows dentists to detect even the smallest dental conditions or abnormalities that might be missed by human observation alone.

Furthermore, AI-powered software can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on the analysed data to assist in treatment planning. By considering factors like patient preferences, clinical guidelines, and best practices, AI algorithms can create customised treatment plans that improve both patient outcomes and practice efficiency.

The ability of AI to learn and adapt over time is one of its greatest advantages in dental practice management. As more data is fed into the system, the algorithms continuously improve their diagnostic accuracy and treatment planning capabilities. This enhances patient care and allows dentists to stay at the forefront of their field by leveraging the latest advancements in AI technology.

Additionally, incorporating AI into dental practice management can streamline workflows and reduce human error. By automating routine tasks and integrating AI-powered systems into existing practice management software, dentists can save valuable time and resources while ensuring consistent and reliable results.

It is important to note that while AI is revolutionising dental practice management, it is not meant to replace the expertise and skill of dental professionals. Instead, it serves as a powerful tool that complements their knowledge and experience, assisting them in providing superior patient care and achieving improved outcomes.

By embracing the power of AI, dental professionals have the potential to usher in a new era of innovation, precision, and efficiency in diagnosis and treatment planning. With the help of AI, dentists can elevate their practice to new heights, benefiting both their patients and their own professional growth.

Automating administrative tasks and improving efficiency with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a game-changer in many industries, including dental practice management. One of the great advantages of AI in this context is its ability to automate administrative tasks, streamlining operations and improving overall efficiency.

Traditionally, dental practices have had to deal with tasks like appointment scheduling, patient record management, and billing. These tasks are not only time-consuming but also prone to human errors. However, with the power of AI, these processes can be automated, allowing dental professionals to focus more on patient care.

AI-powered systems can intelligently handle appointment scheduling by analysing the availability of both the dentist and the patient. AI algorithms optimise scheduling by considering various factors, such as treatment duration and required equipment, to maximise efficiency and minimise patient wait times.

Another area where AI can revolutionise dental practice management is patient record management. With AI-powered systems, patient records can be digitised and organised in a structured manner. This enables quick access to patient information, including medical history, treatment plans, and progress. AI algorithms can analyse this data to provide personalised treatment recommendations based on patient-specific factors, ultimately improving the quality of care provided.

Moreover, AI can simplify the billing process by automating tasks such as insurance checks, claims processing, and payment reminders. This not only makes it easier for dental staff to perform their jobs but also reduces the likelihood of payment processing errors or delays.

By automating these administrative tasks, dental practices can achieve significant time and cost savings. This allows dental professionals to focus on providing exceptional patient care and enhancing the overall dental experience, as resources can be allocated more effectively.

In conclusion, the impact of AI in dental practice management cannot be underestimated. By automating administrative tasks and improving efficiency, AI empowers dental professionals to streamline operations, provide better patient care, and ultimately revolutionise the way dental practices operate. Embracing AI technology can usher in a new era of efficiency and effectiveness in dental practice management.

Click here to read our article on COVID-19 and the healthcare industry: what has changed?

Addressing concerns and misconceptions about AI in dental practice management

Like any new technology, there are often misunderstandings and concerns when it comes to AI in dental practice management. However, it’s important to address these concerns and provide accurate information in order to fully understand the potential benefits and capabilities of AI in this field.

One common concern is the fear that AI will replace human dental professionals. While AI can automate certain tasks and streamline processes, it is not meant to replace the expertise and judgement of dental professionals. Instead, AI serves as a powerful tool to assist and enhance their work, allowing them to focus more on patient care and complex procedures.

Another misconception is the belief that AI is too complex or expensive to implement in dental practices. However, thanks to advancements in technology, AI is now more accessible and user-friendly than ever before. Many dental practice management software now incorporate AI features that are specifically designed to improve workflows, enhance efficiency, and provide valuable insights for better guidance.

Additionally, some may have concerns about the security and privacy of patient data when using AI in dental practice management. It is crucial to select reputable software vendors that prioritise data security and comply with industry regulations. Strong security measures, such as encryption and access controls, can help protect patient data and maintain confidentiality.

Lastly, the accuracy of AI in diagnosis and treatment planning may raise questions. While AI algorithms are constantly improving, they are not meant to replace the diagnostic skills and experience of dental professionals. Instead, AI can assist in analysing large datasets, identifying patterns, and providing insights to support more informed decision-making.

By addressing these concerns and misconceptions, dental professionals can embrace the potential of AI in practice management. It allows for more efficient operations, better patient care, and staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the field. AI has the potential to transform dental practice management, empowering dentists and practitioners to provide exceptional care in an increasingly digital world.

Embracing the future: Steps to incorporate AI in your dental practice

Incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into your dental practice can completely transform the way you manage and treat patients. AI has become a powerful tool that can improve various aspects of your practice, from patient scheduling to treatment planning, thanks to advancements in technology. Here are some steps to help you embrace the future and successfully integrate AI into your dental practice.

Identify areas for AI integration: Start by assessing your current workflows and identifying areas where AI can make a significant impact. This could include automating appointment scheduling, streamlining administrative tasks, analysing scans or X-rays, or enhancing patient communication.

Explore AI solutions: Once you have identified the areas for AI integration, research different AI solutions available on the market. Look for reputable companies that specialise in AI for dental practice management and have a proven track record of successful implementations. Consider factors like ease of use, compatibility with your existing systems, and the level of support provided.

Implement AI gradually: Introducing AI to your practice doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Start by implementing AI in one area of your practice, such as automated appointment reminders or improving patient communication. This way, you can gradually familiarise yourself and your team with the technology and assess its impact on your workflow.

Train and support your team: As you bring AI into your practice, it’s important to provide adequate training and support to your team. Ensure that everyone understands how to use the AI tools effectively and how it can enhance their daily tasks. This will help maximise the benefits of AI and ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved.

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Evaluate and monitor performance: Regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the AI tools you have implemented. Assess whether they are improving the patient experience, increasing efficiency, and achieving the desired outcomes. Make any necessary adjustments and stay updated on new AI technology updates.

By embracing the future of AI and carefully planning, implementing, and evaluating its integration, you can unlock its potential to streamline operations, enhance patient care, and take your dental practice to new heights. It has the power to transform the way you manage your practice and provide exceptional dental care.

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AI can play a significant role in enhancing marketing efforts in a dental practice

Using AI can greatly improve the marketing efforts of a dental practice. Here are a few examples of how AI can enhance marketing strategies:

Data analysis and customer segmentation: AI can analyze large amounts of data from sources like patient records, website analytics, and social media. By finding patterns, AI can segment the target audience more effectively. It can identify potential leads and create personalized marketing campaigns based on patient preferences, behaviors, and demographics.

Personalized marketing campaigns: AI-powered algorithms can generate customized marketing content, such as emails, social media posts, and ads. By using patient data and preferences, AI can create personalized messages and offers, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Click here to read our article on email marketing for dentists

Chatbots and assistants: AI-powered chatbots can provide instant responses to patient inquiries on websites, social media platforms, or messaging apps. They can answer frequently asked questions, schedule appointments, provide basic dental information, and even offer personalized oral health recommendations. This improves customer satisfaction and streamlines administrative tasks.

Click here to read more about should you use social media in a dental practice?

Predictive analytics: AI can analyse historical patient data to predict future behaviours and outcomes. By identifying trends and patterns, AI can anticipate patient needs and preferences. This allows dental practices to anticipate demand and adjust marketing strategies accordingly.

Image analysis and treatment planning: AI can analyse dental X-rays, scans, and images to assist in treatment planning and diagnosis. By providing accurate and efficient analysis, AI can enhance the patient experience, contribute to better treatment outcomes, and even be used for patient education and case presentations.

Online reputation monitoring and sentiment analysis: AI can track brand reputation and monitor patient sentiment through online reviews and social media platforms. This data helps dental practices identify areas for improvement, address customer concerns promptly, and leverage positive feedback for marketing purposes.

Optimization of marketing campaigns: AI can analyse real-time performance of marketing campaigns, enabling dental practices to make data-driven decisions. By monitoring key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement levels, AI can provide insights and suggestions to optimise marketing efforts for improved results.

Click here to read our article on how to market your dental practice online

It’s important to remember that while AI can enhance dental practice marketing, it should be used in conjunction with human expertise. Dental professionals and marketing experts should collaborate to develop effective strategies and ensure that AI applications align with ethical considerations and patient privacy regulations.

Click here to read more about Marketing to Millennials for Dentists

How AI tools (like ChatGPT plugins) can help analyse and suggest solutions for SEO or website issues for dental practise

In a dental practice, AI tools like ChatGPT plugins can help analyse and suggest solutions for SEO or website issues. Here’s how they can be useful:

Website analysis: AI tools can analyse the structure, content, and performance of a dental practice’s website. They can identify issues like broken links, missing meta tags, duplicate content, slow page loading times, and other SEO-related problems. By examining the website, AI can create a comprehensive report highlighting areas that need improvement.

Keyword research: AI tools can help identify relevant keywords and search terms that potential patients might use when looking for dental services. By analysing search patterns and user behaviour, AI can suggest optimal keywords to target in website content, blog posts, or meta tags, thereby improving the website’s search engine visibility.

Click here to read our article on how to create a website for dentists

Content optimization: AI tools can assist in optimising website content for search engines. They can analyse existing content, suggest improvements to enhance keyword usage, recommend formatting changes, and provide insights to improve readability and user experience. Additionally, AI can suggest topics for blog posts or articles to increase traffic and help identify content gaps.

Competitor analysis: AI tools can analyse SEO strategies and competitor websites. They can identify keywords, backlinks, or content strategies that competitors are using successfully. Dental practices can use this information to gain a better understanding of their industry’s competitive landscape and make well-informed decisions regarding their own SEO strategies.

SEO performance tracking: AI tools can monitor the SEO performance of a dental practice’s website over time. They can track key metrics like search rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates. AI can assist dentists and marketers in understanding the impact of their SEO efforts and making data-driven decisions to enhance performance by providing regular reports and insights.

On-page optimization tips: AI tools can provide real-time suggestions for on-page optimization while creating or editing website content. For example, as a dentist writes a blog post, an AI module can analyse the content in real-time and suggest improvements to optimise headings, meta descriptions, or internal linking to ensure best SEO practices are followed.

Voice search optimization: AI tools can help dental practices optimise their websites for voice search queries. With the rise of voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, AI can analyse conversational search patterns and suggest content improvements to align with voice search queries and provide answers to common dental questions.

Click here to read more about SEO for dental websites in 5 steps

It’s important to remember that AI tools can provide valuable insights and suggestions, but they should be used in conjunction with human expertise. Dentists and marketers should interpret the insights provided by AI tools, apply their industry knowledge, and make informed decisions to truly enhance their SEO strategies.

We hope you found our blog post on using AI for dental practice management helpful and inspiring. Embracing AI can revolutionise how dental practices operate as technology continues to advance. By automating administrative tasks, streamlining patient management, and enhancing diagnostic capabilities, AI has the potential to greatly improve efficiency, accuracy, and patient satisfaction. We encourage you to stay informed about the latest developments and collaborate with experts in the field as you consider implementing AI solutions in your dental practice.

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More on Growing a Dental Practice

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Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

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How to Market Your Dental Practice Online

The Dental Business Guide Podcast Episode | February 11th
Arun Mehra, George Bellamy and Nikita Kanda

George Bellamy: Welcome back to The Dental Business Guide. I’m George and today I’m with both Nikita and Arun – welcome guys.

Arun Mehra: Hi George, Hello.

George Bellamy: Right, I think let’s just dive straight into it. So Arun, obviously when you started Samera and The Neem Tree, you didn’t really have a marketing team…

Arun Mehra: No, not at all, I remember I was the marketing team as well as the loo cleaner as well as helping out with everything behind the scenes. When you start the business, at that point you were learning as you started.

I remember when we started off the marketing, we were putting flyers together, we were getting posters together. In the days when we started this up, I created the website myself using something called Microsoft Front Page which was the tool in those days that talked about early 2000 to 2003. So were you even born? I’m not actually sure.

So I remember creating that and that was a great foundation for learning about marketing, but also a great foundation to realise how interesting it is, but also how bloody difficult it is!

George Bellamy: I definitely agree with that.

Marketing Can Make Your Business

Arun Mehra: It definitely is and marketing can ultimately make your business or destroy it and you can burn so much cash at the end of the day, you’ve got no customers, so you’ve got to be careful.

George Bellamy: I mean fast forward to 2021, Samera has five… six members of the marketing team or the digital team. I like to say; we’re thriving and I think we’re definitely trying to tackle the market as well as we can online.

Nikita this is where you come in, because we focus mainly on adverts and Facebook ads, Google ads and we didn’t really push anything on Instagram. We didn’t really push anything on any social media organically and in a way that’s really where you came in.

So you know, really what I’m just trying to ask is if I was a dental practice owner, why should I invest in a marketing team? Why should I even bother about social media?

You Need Social Media

Nikita Kanda: I think these days in 2021 you definitely need social media, whatever business you have. Whether it’s Dental or GP or anything, you need to have social media like Instagram or Facebook because it’s taken over the world at the moment. Social media has taken over everything and everybody’s got it, doesn’t matter what age you are, everybody is on it.

They will see your business on any social media platform and it’s so important because you can reach so many more people and you can reach more people in different countries and different age groups, there’s so much more reach you can get to and engagement. So I definitely think it helps your business.

It will draw clients or patients in the door, again, you’re reaching a different type of market. I think probably the number one tool at the moment for marketing is social media. There’s so many different platforms, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, you can go on and on and there’s a different trend every single week. So you got to keep up with it. I’d definitely spend at least one hour a day or a couple of hours a day on it, to make sure it can benefit your business, but it will benefit your business.

George Bellamy: Yeah, definitely.

Arun Mehra: I’m very much the dinosaur on the podcast today and it’s evident to me that you guys are in your 20’s me in my late 40’s and I’m 20 years behind. I am not really picking up. Obviously we have social media accounts personally as well, but it wasn’t part of the culture as I was growing up.

However, in terms of marketing, the same principles of marketing that we’ve been doing for the last 20 years still apply today. I think that’s the really important message here. Social media is just a layer on top of that to get that message out, but the principles of marketing definitely remain the same.

George Bellamy: Definitely. So I’m starting a practice and I’ve got the basics. I’ve got your dental nurses associates, I’ve got a receptionist, I’ve got all of that but I haven’t done anything about marketing. Do I need a whole full-fledged marketing team? Because as I said earlier, we have five or six members of our marketing team. I think it’s right, isn’t it? Five, six members?

Arun Mehra: Yeah, about six, yes.

You Need a Team to Support You

George Bellamy: We have many people on our marketing team. Do you need that six people, or can you get away with just having one?

Arun Mehra: I think in my opinion, obviously our marketing team is not just only for us, but we also support other clients. So that’s the first thing, we’ve obviously got more people than a normal dental business would have, but the roles are exactly the same.

So you need to have a team there that will support you through your business. Now, if you’re running a business or running a dental clinic, you’re busy doing dentistry. Do you really have the time, as Nikita mentioned earlier, to spend one or two hours getting the socials right on your website or out there in the marketplace? You probably don’t.

The key is to delegate these tasks to a number of team members, whether you hire someone internally or use an agency external, like ourselves, that’s your choice. But you need to have all these things ticked in the box, so that you’re ultimately getting the customers or patients through the door. 

George Bellamy: Amazing. Alright so Nikita, you and I last time, we spoke about analytics and reading through with a fine tooth comb all your data that you get from your insights, the analytics through your Instagram, Facebook etc.

Analyse the Data

So how can you use that information with marketing? A lot of it is paid for marketing, advertisers doing Google ads, it’s doing Facebook ads, a lot of the time doing things organically takes a while to start to gain traction. Obviously, it’s easier, it’s quicker if you just pay to have adverts done. So how would looking through analytics on your Instagram page help you pinpoint your demographic for adverts?

Nikita Kanda: So with Instagram and Facebook, most social media platforms have this feature where you can see your insights in your data. So what that means is, you can see where your posts or your videos or your adverts are reaching; how many males and females it’s reaching, which age groups it’s reaching, which countries it’s reaching.

So that will help and it will also tell you what time of the day your posts are getting the most engagement or the most reach or being seen by the most people. I think it’ll help you in terms of adverts because then you’ll know which time to post it, when to post, where to post stories or your page is better for your advert.

But also, you can pick which countries you want it to reach to as well, all that sort of stuff. So it just helps you with getting this data, it really helps you know your audience and your followers, what they’re interested in or when they’re going to see your post, which is really important.

George Bellamy: Arun, anything else you would like to add?

Pay-Per-Click for Faster Results

Arun Mehra: I’d like to add, I think it’s important on the social media side, it takes time to build up that following. Whilst it’s great, you want to also think about the advertising side of things, as Nikita said, you can post socially and post organically, but it takes time.

So you can jump to the top of the queue if you want by putting adverts out there and sometimes there’s a bit of confusion between what is social media. But nowadays social media covers the organic as well as the paid side of things.

So you want to put ads on Instagram and put ads on Facebook. It’s such a powerful tool. In terms of the data points that you’ve got, you can choose who, what and where, if they clicked on a certain website link, you can even market to those types of people specifically.

It is a bit creepy, to some extent, but that’s the world we live in these days. It’s just trying to help every kind of company or business who is doing this and trying to follow your path to ultimately lead you to making a sale.

You can do that in your dental clinic as well for this, but it takes time and effort to set up and again, this is something that you could do yourself 100%. But do you have the time and the resources to do that? If not, think about getting a third party to assist.

Take Your Time

Nikita Kanda: Just to add there as well, not to be pushy on social media we do that a lot at Samera. We don’t push people into signing up for this and that, we just organically do that. We want them to just see our stuff, but we don’t want to push it.

But I also think it is important to have somebody that is used to social media because, like I said, you do need to spend a good couple of hours on it every single day to build up that following and build up that engagement.

Because like Arun said, that isn’t going to happen overnight. Especially with social media, you want it to be organic, and you want to have those real followers as real people engaging with you. So it will take time.

So don’t don’t get scared if you’ve set up this Instagram page or Facebook and you’re not getting any followers in the first week, it will happen. But you just have to spend the time over a couple of months and build it up.

Arun Mehra: Valid point you raise there, because there are businesses that have thousands upon thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers. Have they really got those followers or are they fake followers?

George Bellamy: It’s the engagement rate really…

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, I think it’s the fake followers. To be honest, I think a lot of these practices or any businesses, they straightaway will have around 40,000 followers. You should think, well look at their engagement and see how many likes they actually get.

Does it compare to how many followers they have? If they have 40,000 followers, and they have ten likes on one picture that doesn’t quite add up. And also, people who have younger followers will see that and be like, ‘that’s not real’ so then they might not trust that dental practice or they might not trust that business and go somewhere else. 

George Bellamy: What else are you lying about?

Always Be Organic and Authentic

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, I would always say be organic and it will happen, your followers will go up, you just have to push the right content and be genuine. I think that’s the main point.

Arun Mehra: I think that’s the key word you mentioned. Also ‘trust’ as well as that. Ultimately, you’re displaying who you are and what you do, and it’s that trust that is so important in business and in anything we do and in terms of social media as well. 

George Bellamy: Definitely. So, this is another one for you, Arun. If I don’t have the resources to be able to have someone to do my social media for me full time and I want to start making ads, I want to start getting more patients, which platform should I use for adverts? Should I focus purely on Facebook, or should I focus purely on Google? Or are there any others that I’m completely missing?

Arun Mehra: Great question, George. Now, we’ve talked socials, but I am a huge fan of, ultimately, Google. Google is what I’ve built my businesses on over the last 20 years. Facebook wasn’t even around back then, so my view personally is to dominate Google, if you can.

SEO vs PPC

Now, how do you dominate Google? Well, there’s two primary ways. One is through search, so optimising yourself through Search Engine Optimization to get people to find you organically. Again, that is a long process that takes time, it also takes patience, it takes a lot of effort. Google’s always changing its algorithm to catch you out, but that’s part and parcel of the game.

The other way is through pay per click advertising on Google. It’s those ads you see at the top of Google, when you do a Google search. That’s a shortcut to the top and that’s how Google makes most of its money. It is in fact a powerful way, if it’s set up right, to get customers through the door.

Now, contrast that to Facebook ads, or Facebook social, no doubt, again, very powerful. But that’s social media, Facebook’s very much still around people are in their social element, they’re hanging out on Facebook or on Instagram. Google is very much a search engine, people are always searching for something, either I need a dentist today, I’m in pain today, see who comes to the top.

If it’s you or you’re near to the top, it’s very likely they’ll come to you. So you got to play the market right and play with these things. But, regardless, they’re both very powerful tools to use and I would strongly advocate it. If you don’t have the resources, as an answer to your original question George, if you had one thing to focus on, primarily just focus initially on getting Google right.

George Bellamy: Just Google, so would you then begin to narrow that question down, then would you then focus on just adverts or by boosting your SEO, If you had to choose one?

Arun Mehra: If your time is limited but you’re okay financially, I would go with Google ads because that gets you to the top of the list straight away, as long as you set it up right and optimised it correctly. Over the long term though, you will still want to have an SEO strategy because eventually you want to dominate organically.

So eventually, you won’t need the adverts at all, because you would just come up for the search term that people type in the search bar. That is a long term process that takes time, effort and money to do. If I look at our business, The Neem Tree, for instance, we started off with Google ads. Now, we still do Google ads but our budget has reduced because our SEO positions have just got stronger and stronger over the years, that’s how I would do it. 

Reviews are Key

Nikita Kanda: I think talking of Google, I think Google reviews is another massive thing at the moment that I’m seeing. Every dental practice is posting their Google reviews a lot at the moment. I definitely think if you can, get your patients to send you Google reviews and post those on your social media because people are looking at reviews a lot at the moment.

George Bellamy: Yeah, to back off that, they always say don’t judge a book by its cover but everyone does. You know, if I’m on Just Eat, for example, looking for a nice takeaway at night. If I see a restaurant, which looks pretty good, but the reviews are a bit iffy. I won’t go with it just because I’m judging a book by its cover.

Arun Mehra: Did you see that case earlier this week, there was an unhappy client of a solicitors firm and he wrote a Trustpilot review about the solicitor on their website saying they weren’t very good, the solicitors ultimately sued him. So it definitely had a knock on effect on their business and the solicitor won and now he has to pay them £25,000.

It’s because the impact the review had and the way he did it, and the language he used. So that’s very interesting that now that the courts are showing favour this time, to the law firm, and so people who are posting negative reviews have to be careful as well, increasingly in this litigious environment we live in.

George Bellamy: Wow, I’ve seen lots of images of screenshots of restaurant owners when the customer leaves a one star review, because they can’t leave anything lower than that. They say that the service is horrible etc and the owner has actually replied to the comment to the review and has just completely called him out on everything. You know, it’s quite funny to see actually.

Arun Mehra: That’s the key, the key if you do get a bad review, you should definitely respond to it. There is no point getting into a debate or an argument online, but always respond to it. 

George Bellamy: Accept if you are genuinely in the wrong. Accept it, put your hands in the air and say: ‘yeah we messed up. We do apologise. I hope we can rectify it.’

Arun Mehra: But also, but at the same time, if you’re not in the wrong, you just need to say it. You can make it clear, then obviously it takes two to tango, our opinion is very different but we wish you well.

George Bellamy: Yeah. Just say I’m afraid we couldn’t see eye to eye, etc, etc. I think that’s definitely right 

Google ads, Google reviews are just as important because we do live in a world where we judge a book by its cover. I guess the 21st century it’s 2021, which is ridiculous. I didn’t think we would even get to this year. We do everything on our phones, It’s crazy.

You walk through the town and you see people just on their phones and everyone’s in a state of focusing on what’s on their phones, reading news articles, more or less it’s quite scary, actually.

You know, before lockdown I was on the train through London and people are on their phones on the train. If this was 15 years ago, there would be newspapers out, or there would be people reading books or even just looking out of the window. But nowadays, everyone’s on their phones. They’re watching their new TV series on Netflix and it is scary, it really is. 

Arun Mehra: Where does it all end George? 

Digital Marketing is Here to Stay

Nikita Kanda: I don’t think it will, I think it will carry on like this and social media and all these technologies are just gonna carry on taking over. You’ve just got to use it to your advantage, especially with businesses, use it to your advantage in a good way.

I’d also say, people search on Google for everything nowadays but a lot of younger people usually start searching on Instagram or Facebook first. So if your business doesn’t have an Instagram page or a Facebook page, people are going to be a bit more iffy about that. If you haven’t got a social media page, are you even real? Social media instils people’s trust in you.

Arun Mehra: You’re so right, Nikita. I was talking to my son the other day, and he’s just launched a little website and he’s not interested in getting it advertised on Facebook or Google, he said, it’s Instagram and Tiktok as what he’s doing. It’s all on Tiktok. He’s gonna get his customers through TikTok or Instagram and I’m completely looking blankly at him.

All I know is that some dancey thing that happens, but but you’re right, it’s evolving. As I said, right at the outset, I think, ultimately, it’s about getting your message out and it’s about crafting. Good marketing is ultimately about crafting good stories, interesting stories, which engage with your customers. You can’t be everything to everyone so you just want to engage the right kind of customer that works for you and it works for them and ultimately get a happy result for everybody. 

Nikita Kanda: Definitely.

George Bellamy: Spot on, well, I think we should leave it as that, you know, marketing, it’s one of those things that you kind of turn a blind eye to and don’t think you need it but it’s very important. If you want to drive sales up, you’re going to gain more patients. You know, as you said, running Google Ads is probably your way forward if you haven’t got the resources to run your social media full time. But then again, Instagram is just as important. So they’re both very different angles to look at. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today and we’ll catch you on the next one.

Arun Mehra: No worries George and good luck with your marketing everybody and if you need help you know where we are. Give us a shout. Thanks.

You can find all episodes of the Dental Business Guide Podcast here.

Our Expert Opinion

“Marketing online, as apposed to offline marketing such as flyers, local outreach etc, can be quicker, cheaper and reach much farther afield. As the generations who grew up with social media get older and start making more financial decisions, advertising on Instagram, TikTok etc is going to be come ever more important.

It can be a lot of work but by focusing on the best channels, you can implement it very effectively. You probably have someone younger in the practice who at least know the basics of posting and editing on social media – get them to handle posting on your pages. All you need to post is pictures/videos of your team, the practice, reviews and success stories, any blogs you have and any testimonials. Post a couple of times a week and that’s basic social media marketing sorted.

Get yourself on Google Ads, set up a simple campaign with a decent budget. There, that’s your PPC sorted.

The trickier part is going to be SEO, it involves more work but it gets you higher up on Google and will get most of your leads. Use our guides on SEO for dentists to work on the basics or get your web developer on the job and you’ll find yourself generating more leads.”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

5 Free Ways to Grow a Dental Practice

Do You Want More Patients Through the Door?

Follow these steps to make that happen! 

Whether it’s growing your practice even further, gaining the clientele back or getting new patients in – the aims may be different but the rules are still the same. 

The pandemic has impacted all our businesses in one way or another. This is not the time to admit defeat. We as dental practice owners need to rethink and revamp our strategies to get more patients through the door. Remember, they are all out there and the need for oral care is now more important than ever, it’s just a matter of promoting your business in the right way to get the patients through your door.

Click here to read our articles Samera Learning Centre.

Here are 5 FREE ways to grow a dental practice. 

1. Set up and improve your social media channels

Before your reputation around town or patient feedback gives your practice some clout, the biggest and most important aspect of your dental practice is your social media channels. Especially with most people staying at home with a lot of time on their hands browsing and scrolling, your social media channels need to speak for your business as a brand.

Most people look at a business’s social media account before making the decision to book an appointment. This doesn’t just mean simply updating your business’s Facebook status once a week. It is important to make yourself known on at least more than one social media platform.

Let’s be frank, a dentist’s Instagram page will not be as popular as an influencer, but continuously putting out good content such as educational facts, get to know the staff posts etc will help you gain a following. Making a first impression on your social media channel is integral to gaining more patients.

Actions: Improve your social media channel homepages right now. Make sure your about section is detailed and engaging, get your best behind the scenes videos and team pictures on there, make your contact details visible and give them options!

Click here to learn more about using social media in your dental practice.

2. Email your patient/client list

This is a great way to reach people. Going to the dentist if you are in pain or even for a regular routine check up is usually last on everyone’s list, especially now. Oral health seems to be less of a priority, many are unaware dental practices are even open.

Sending an email or two to remind people about getting their check ups or even updating patients about clinical events, opening times or any regular updates will help ease patients’ mind and their fear of coming to the dentist.

It all ties together, updating social media posts, emails, maybe even a newsletter once a month or two. It helps patients get to know you more than just a dentist they have to see once a year.

Emails work! It has proven to be a great way to reach people. Setting up a newsletter including incentives, offers or discounts can also prove to be very beneficial to getting more patients through the door, old and new- No one likes to miss a good offer! 

Action: Create a quick and easy form on your website’s homepage for patients and visitors to easily sign up for offers or newsletters by leaving their name and email address – that’s all you need to ask for. Now start contacting them! Give them updates, send them discounts, let them know about your new services.

Click here to read more about marketing a dental practice.

3. Optimise for SEO

Optimising your SEO does not have to be a huge ordeal. You can begin with downloading SEO plugins like Rank Math or Yoast for free. Both tools are very simple to use and will help you easily and effectively improve your websites SEO.

Remember, SEO begins with content that is well written. Keywords are also key! Placing them strategically around your content will help you a lot more than trying to add the keyword in every sentence.

For more help and advice on the best ways  to market your practice check out our Guide to Marketing a Dental Practice.

Action: Download Rank Math or Yoast and start following the programme’s instructions on each page. Improve the wording and use of keywords, make sure you have subtitles (H2,3,4 tags) with those keywords, improve your meta descriptions, use internal and external URL links, use images and videos on your pages.

Click here to read more about SEO for dentists here.

Contact us to find out more

4. Optimise for speed

Speed is one of those things that is often overlooked, however this step is extremely crucial. The speed of your website is a huge ranking factor as it is a sign of quality user experience. A site with fast speed will result in better user experience whilst a slower website will result in a poor user experience. Faster sites create happy users and happy users are more likely to visit your site again. Google is getting really big on speed, so this will become more and more important in the future!

Action: Use a free online tool to check the speed of your website. Use lower resolution, size or quality images to make your most important pages faster, download a programme like Lazy Loader to improve speed.

Click here to read more about creating a website for a dental practice.

5. Create content

Creating consistent and high quality content is an invaluable way to promote your brand and engage with your consumers. Quality content helps attract that right audience to your website and your business. Whether the content is written or content of a different media, starting to write content or making videos for social media is completely free and a great way to broaden the exposure your business gets.

Remember!

Writing about relevant content is an incredibly useful tool to organically increase traffic to your website and your services. 

When most people hear ‘content writing’, they think simply writing articles. However, content writing is not just for blog posts. In fact, content writing is important for all different types of content formats, including scripts, web page copy, Youtube video description, social media posts, email newsletters and keynote speakers amongst many others. Simply put, writing is the ultimate foundation for pretty much any type of content that you publish. 

Action: Start blogging right now. Create top 10 lists for your patients, give them your top tips for dental care, write articles about their different options for treatments like Invisalign vs traditional braces. Create videos of your team and your practice. Share this all on social media and your website – advertise yourself! The more active you are on your website with high-quality blogs, articles and videos, the better Google will rank you.

Click here to find out more about creating content for dentists.

Grow Your Dental Practice with Samera

Join the Samera Alliance buying group today for free to save money on your consumables and assets, increase your profits and grow your dental practice.

You’ll get access to exclusive discounts on the consumables, products and equipment you need to build and grow your dental practice. You’ll also get exclusive discounts from our Alliance Partners, covering everything from HR, IT and legal services to utilities, compliance and dental technology.

Join for free. Save money. Grow your dental practice.

More on Growing a Dental Practice

For more information on growing a dental practice, check out the articles and webinars in our Learning Centre, like our guide on How to Grow a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Refinancing During COVID-19

Can refinancing help your cash flow?

It has always been difficult for business owners to predict when issues will arise in their operations. What’s more, they are usually on the lookout for internal issues that crop up within their own business.

However, in the last few months, all businesses have been hit by a global issue that has occurred outside of their business through no fault of their own. Not only that, but the impact itself has been absolutely huge across the board. 

The important thing now is how businesses face this issue and deal with the challenges it raises.

So what should I do?

Having worked through 3 recessions, a global meltdown and now COVID-19, the advice is act now, not later.

It is essential that businesses plan for their immediate and long-term futures through detailed and thought-out business plans and cash flow strategies.

You need to look at your assets and decide what is essential to your business and what is surplus to requirements.

Click here to find out more about Asset Finance.

So how do I do that?

  1. Review your past business  
  2. What assets do I need and what don’t I need
  3. What can I change in my costs
  4. What can I change in my income 

So, what does this all mean?

  1. Obtain up-to-date management information on what your business has been doing and complete the accounts for the year early. Where did custom  come from in terms of sales channels and market demographics? What services or products were in demand? Was demand seasonal or dependent on external factors? 
  2. Review your previous plans for buying. Do you need that new car this year? Do you need some new equipment to deal with the changes? Are you going to need more supplies or inventory? 
  3. What costs can you change? Review your outgoings and find the reasonable savings that can be made.
  4. Can I change my income. Can you raise your prices? What can you offer to make your returning customers convert or purchase more often? What products or services can you upsell to them?

Your accountants and/or business advisors will be able to help in providing management and accounting figures. It is important that you use accountants and advisors who have experience in your industry.

You need to look seriously at what you intended to buy. Do you need it now, is it essential to your business operations? How were you going to finance this or were you buying this cash? How does your plan to purchase affect your cash flow projections? What do you need going forward to deal with social distancing etc.

Review all your costs. You will not be able to change a lot of them. But most businesses will be able to make some savings in some areas – and these can add really up! 

Cash is King

An incredibly old phrase but one that is true in times of trouble – if you have cash you can usually weather a downturn.

The cost of finance

Finance costs feature in most businesses, either to assist with acquisition or to assist with growth projects, existing equipment purchases and future purchases.

This is one cost that most people do not look at once they have taken the finance. However, circumstances change so these should be reviewed regularly.

Are you paying too much for your goodwill loan?

What rate and payment are you making on asset finance?

Could you restructure your borrowing to make it more cost-effective?

Review your own home mortgage as well, make sure you are getting the best rate!

Questions we are asked to help with

  1. I have short term debt that I took to cover a cash flow issue last year which is expensive, can I refinance? Yes
  2. My business acquisition/start-up loan has a high interest rate, can I refinance the goodwill now? Yes
  3. Can I buy my premises? Yes
  4. Is my asset finance rate competitive? Can I change? Yes
  5. I have lots of asset finance, could I change this to a goodwill loan at a lower rate? Yes

These (and a lot more) are asked during normal times. Looking forward, you may need to finance new equipment, cover a period of reduced income or make changes to your practice.

We are happy to have a discussion with you about your needs and whether any changes can be made that will reduce costs.

Action Plan

  • Act Early: Plan for both immediate and long-term business strategies, including cash flow management.
  • Asset Review: Assess your business assets to identify essential needs versus surplus, potentially freeing up resources or identifying refinancing opportunities.
  • Cost Management: Examine and adjust costs where possible, focusing on essential spending to maintain operations efficiently.
  • Income Adjustment: Explore opportunities to adjust pricing or enhance offerings to boost income, considering customer conversion and upselling strategies.
  • Financial Review: Regularly review finance costs and explore refinancing options to ensure they remain cost-effective, including loans, asset finance, and mortgages.

Click here to read our blog on How to finance a healthcare business.

Surviving a Financial Crisis

Our healthcare business consultants are experts at helping medical health providers and their businesses survive a financial crisis. We can help with cash flow management, raising finance and optimising your accounts and tax structure.

Book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team to find out more about how we can help you and your business.

For more information financial crises and your business, including more articles, videos and webinars check out our Learning Centre here.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Bridging Loan Finance

Have you thought about purchasing a property at auction but were worried that your bank would not be able to get the finance in place quickly enough, and you would lose your deposit? Or you were unsure whether to bid due to uncertainty around what level of finance your bank could agree for you, as the process of credit assessment and valuation employed by the major banks is quite a slow process?

Well, there are now other options available to you in the marketplace apart from just the main high street lenders. Arranging a facility via a bridging loan company could mean no more missed opportunities at auction, and a lot less stress while waiting for the transaction to complete.  Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced property investor with a large portfolio, you can bid with the knowledge that you can complete your purchases in a timely manner. 

Purchasing a Property at Auction

When you are purchasing a property at auction you need to be able to move quickly to secure the purchase. Auction houses usually set a 28 days completion date from winning the auction to when the purchase needs to be fully complete.  If you are unable to complete the transaction within the allotted time, then you risk losing your deposit (normally 10%) that you paid at auction to secure the property.

These tight turnaround times can sometimes feel near impossible from traditional lenders. However, with the right finance company, with experience within the sector, these can be easily achieved as they have the appropriate systems in place to assist you. 

What Details will a Bridging Loan Company Need?

If you are unfamiliar with Bridging Loan Finance, a loan will normally be secured against a charge on the property that you are purchasing. The lenders will need the details of property that you are buying, such as type of property (i.e. Residential or Commercial), details of your income and expenditure, details of any existing facilities you have in place, what type of charge is being offered (i.e. first legal charge or second legal charge), the term of the facility that you are looking at and, if you are buying the property at auction, the lot number.

Providing this information in advance allows the bridging loan company to assess you prior to the auction and advise you what facilities can be made available to you

If you already have a property portfolio and you can provide the lenders with the details before the auction, then they may be able to get a full agreement in place before the auction. This will give you the buying power and confidence needed to bid for the property that you desire. Furthermore, you can take advantage of the fact that they borrow against the value of your existing property, not the new property’s purchase price; this will provide you with greater flexibility.

Benefits of Using a Bridging Loan Company

The benefit of using a bridging loan company is that they can act quickly. They will normally work with experienced valuers and solicitors that have experience in the marketplace and who are used to working quickly. This will allow you to complete on the property within the auction house’s 28-day timescales. 

Just to highlight the benefits of using a bridging finance company: –

  • Quick Decisions
  • No Property Chains – facility could be arranged quicker than standard mortgages
  • Have credit pre-approved 
  • Fast Completion
  • Able to purchase property at auction, secure a site at a lower market price.

Different Bridging loan companies will have slightly different terms, but to give you the basic outline of the terms that you could expect from a loan:

  • Minimum arrangement fee 1%,
  • Maximum LTV 75%
  • loan term 3 -18 months
  • Loan amounts from £100k 
  • No exit fees. 

As the name would suggest, a bridging loan is a short-term facility; the loans are normally agreed for between 3 and 18 months. This will allow you to purchase the property, but also gives you time to put in place an existing plan, such as selling the property for a profit after refurbishment or refinancing to a mainstream lender on traditional terms, as you will then have the time to do so.

What will Bridging Loan Companies Loan for?

Bridging loan companies are also willing to lend for reasons other than just purchasing a property at auction, they will also lend for things such as tax payments, buy to let investments, land acquisitions and business expansion or purchase. 

Bridging would also be useful if you were to purchase a residential property and wanted to convert it to business use. Planning permission would need to be granted on the site, which can take time and you could risk losing out on the property. By using a bridging loan you could purchase the site while you waited for the relevant permissions to be granted.

This scenario can certainly become a factor for dentists purchasing a freehold property when setting up a squat practice or an established principle, where they are hoping to move from their existing site.  You may have found the perfect location, on the high street, good parking and low competition, but if it doesn’t have the correct usage then the seller may not wait for planning permission. With a bridging loan you could secure the property and then re-finance the site onto a standard business loan once you have put the relevant D1 usage in place. 

The demand for more flexible/alternative finance options is ever increasing in an environment where banks continue to tighten their lending criteria. Funding is available to individuals and companies and the bridging lenders will release the funds quickly and on competitive rates and terms. 

Business Loans for Healthcare Businesses

We’ve been helping to fund the future of British healthcare businesses for over 20 years and our team are made up of former bankers with decades of experience in the UK’s healthcare lending sector.

You can find out more about working with Samera and the financial services we offer by booking a free consultation with one of the Samera team at a time that suits you (including evenings) or by reading more about our financial services at the links below.

For more information on raising finance for your healthcare business, including more articles, videos and webinars check out our Learning Centre here, full of articles and webinars like our How to Guide on Financing a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.


Dealing With Debt as a Dentist

The World Is Saddled By Debt

Debt to get an education. Debt to buy a house, Debt to buy a business.

The world, and individuals, are saddled with debt.

This cannot go on, in my humble opinion.  

However, debt can be good, it can even be great, but only for the right reasons and situations.

Following close on the heels of our American cousins, the UK student comes out of university with debt of £50,000, the average dental student comes out with even more!

People with strong degrees from desirable universities can get jobs, like young dentists, but the myth that is perpetuated is that to be really successful you must BUY a flash car and have your own dental practice, to show you have made it!

Really? Sadly, this is something I come across increasingly often. The flash car and the dentist who is saddled with debt after living the big life and having the big debt to buy a practice at an over inflated price.

Buying The Dream

Having been in the sector for almost 20 years and owned various private practices with my wife, a dentist, it chokes me to see young dentists borrowing to the hilt to buy their “dream practice”. Soon after buying, often at over inflated prices, the dream is not as rosy as they had hoped.

Of course buying a dental practice can be a smart move, but it has to be the right practice at the right price. Remember this saying by Warren Buffett:

“You make your money when you buy”

So in essence if you pay too much at the outset, you will struggle to grow its value further.

And at what cost to your life? Working endless hours to make the figures work, missing out on your children growing up just to fulfil the treadmill of an NHS contract.

Click here to read our articles on Samera learning centre.

Is It Really Worth It?

As an entrepreneur at heart, I am the hugest advocate of owning your own business, but the level of debt some dentists take on does concern me , especially when buying certain dental practices.

In truth, it’s beneficial to my business if you buy a highly-valued practice, as we assist clients to borrow money from banks. The larger the loan, the higher our fee. 

Straight Talking Advice

However, our team is all about being straight and honest to our clients. A wrong decision by our clients at the outset can be a noose for many years which is NEVER good for our clients nor us.

Our team have considerable experience (and grey hair) to advise if we think you are paying over the top. 

So when you are thinking about taking on debt, come and talk to us, we will guide you so you are aware of the pitfalls as well as the opportunities that await in this changing sector.

Debt is easy to acquire but it doesn’t have to be a burden, so the next time you receive the sales brochure for a dental practice, remember you don’t have to buy it at the price it is being quoted for!!!

Click here to read our article on Dentist and Dental Associate Expenses Guide

Dental Accounts & Tax Specialists

As dental practice owners ourselves, we know what makes a clinic tick. We have been working with dentists for over 20 years to help manage their accounts and tax.

Whether you’re a dental associate, run your own practice or own a dental group and are looking to save time, money and effort on your accounts and tax then we want to hear from you. Our digital platform takes the hassle and the paperwork out of accounts.

To find out more about how you can save time, money and effort on your accounts and tax when you automate your finances with Samera, book a free consultation with one of our accounting team today.

Dental Accounts & Tax: Further Information

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Raising Finance for Property Development

Click here to read our blog on How to finance a healthcare business.

Business Loans for Healthcare Businesses

We’ve been helping to fund the future of British healthcare businesses for over 20 years and our team are made up of former bankers with decades of experience in the UK’s healthcare lending sector.

You can find out more about working with Samera and the financial services we offer by booking a free consultation with one of the Samera team at a time that suits you (including evenings) or by reading more about our financial services at the links below.

For more information on raising finance for your healthcare business, including more articles, videos and webinars check out our Learning Centre here, full of articles and webinars like our How to Guide on Financing a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Marketing and Patient Care in your Practice

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Understanding Finance to Increase Profits

Click here to read our articles Samera.

Dental Accounts & Tax Specialists

As dental practice owners ourselves, we know what makes a clinic tick. We have been working with dentists for over 20 years to help manage their accounts and tax.

Whether you’re a dental associate, run your own practice or own a dental group and are looking to save time, money and effort on your accounts and tax then we want to hear from you. Our digital platform takes the hassle and the paperwork out of accounts.

To find out more about how you can save time, money and effort on your accounts and tax when you automate your finances with Samera, book a free consultation with one of our accounting team today.

Dental Accounts & Tax: Further Information

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.