How Location Affects Practice Management

Posted by on Jan 23, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Dental practices can vary in how they operate depending on their surroundings, with one of the biggest influences being where the practice is located. Typically, there are a number of differences between practices that are located in an urban setting compared to those in rural areas

This difference is important to consider while deciding how you want to practice dentistry and manage your new business. To help you decide, here are three of the differences you’ll find between the dental practices in rural and urban settings: 


1. Competition and Marketing Needs

If you practice in an urban area, you are more likely to face more intense competition for growing your patient list simply due to your proximity to other dental practices. This may also result in a greater need for marketing which in turn may increase your overall operational costs. 

In rural communities, it’s possible to be the only dental practice in the area. This allows marketing and its associated expense to take more of a backseat as you are likely one of the first practices that the residents in your area could contact. 


2. Patient Insurance Availability

The availability of dental insurance varies from city to city, but it can be especially sparse in less affluent areas of a city and rural areas. In some situations, the combination of a lack of insurance with a lack of means to pay out of pocket can provide challenges for dental practices in those areas. 

Before opening or joining a dental practice, it’s important to understand how these socioeconomic factors might affect your practice. 


3. Teledentistry

Teledentistry has become a popular tool to communicate with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it appears that it’s going to be a long-term addition to the services offered by dental practices. 

According to a study from the America Dental Association, rural dentistry embraced teledentistry more readily than urban centers. In fact, 77% of those dentists who utilized teledentistry in rural areas expect their digital visits to remain the same or grow over the next year. 

While this growth took place for various reasons, there is a great opportunity for teledentistry in rural communities. This creates an extra option for dentists who are looking to increase their practice’s revenue and reach more patients. 


What To Consider When Starting a Dental Practice

Location is just one aspect of your dental career to consider. If you want to open your own practice or perhaps add an additional location to your already existing business, you’ll also want to consider: 

  • ​​Business basics, such as budgeting, management, and maintaining proper supplies. 
  • Market competition and scalability. 
  • Proper insurance for you and your practice.

We created a guide that walks you through each of these considerations (and more) and gives you the information you need to make an informed decision for starting or expanding your dental practice. Access our in-depth guide today

About Treloar & Heisel

Treloar & Heisel offers dental and medical professionals a comprehensive suite of financial products and services ranging from business and personal insurance to wealth management. We are proud to assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement. Our experienced teams deliver custom-tailored advice through an active local presence, while our strong national network ensures that clients experience the same high level of service throughout the country.

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