Building a more profitable practice

practiceDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever to preserve your cash flow and differentiate your practice, writes Stuart Burn. 

Last year was particularly tough for the dental sector, following the implementation of lockdowns, a lack of business rate relief and additional safety precautions.

As a result, 2021 is about reinvigorating and revitalising your practice to maximise the business opportunities. This will ensure that the year ahead provides both clinical and financial excellence.

There has been a huge increase in the level of technology within a dental practice. This includes CAD/CAM, intraoral scanners and CBCT.

This increase directly affects the care on offer.

Using CAD/CAM, for example, procedures become faster and more efficient. Restorations can be completed in two to five days as opposed to two to three weeks in a conventional setting. 

This technology can seem expensive, but once we break down the numbers it quickly becomes more affordable. For example, intraoral scanner prices range from £15k-£25k. In terms of a finance facility, that equates to £300 to £500 per month, dependent on the make and model.

Making the most of tax breaks

Furthermore, investment in dental equipment can be used to mitigate tax liabilities. However, the timing of major investments is crucial to ensuring you maximise tax relief.

The annual investment allowance (AIA) usually allows you to claim 100% tax relief when investing in any capital equipment.

Financing a technological acquisition over three to five years will allow you to spread the cost and maximise the return on your investment. This equipment provides an immediate revenue stream (sometimes a new one) and yet the cost is deferred over time.

Developing your practice

Setting up and continuing to develop your practice with the right equipment and the right look can be a big drain on your cash reserves, but doing so is essential to ensuring strong patient numbers, good staff and ultimately, more profitable success.

Financing projects of this nature can enable you to reap the benefits sooner and allow the practice revenues to pay for the investment and provide an immediate return.

A good practice loan (and finance provider) should be competitive, easy to arrange, flexible and provide fixed interest, making accurate budgeting simpler and more reliable – regardless of changes to the interest rate.

Similarly, selecting the right equipment and the correct facility to pay for it can undoubtedly improve the profitability of your practice. In many cases, it can also reduce your tax liability.

Any finance provider worth working with should encourage investment, promote highly effective funding packages, and help practitioners reap the rewards of proactive, forward-thinking behaviours.

Revenue opportunities with CBCT

With just three patients a week requiring a CBCT, you can invest in a quality unit. You can improve your profits by around £17,000 per annum and improve both patient and clinician experience.

This breaks down as follows:

CBCT cost

Circa £40,000

Finance repayment

£940 per month (five-year term)

Two patients per week (£200 each)

£1,600 per month

Annual profit

£7,920

Three patients per week (£200 each)

£2,400 per month

Annual profit

£17,520

Break-even

Five patients per month


Performance Finance is dedicated to helping dental practitioners find the right funding packages for their investments. It ensures that practices maximise return on investment. Performance Finance’s account managers are highly experienced and have a detailed understanding of the dental industry, tax, and the ever-changing dental equipment market.

For more information, visit www.performancefinance.co.uk.

This article first appeared in Dentistry magazine. You can read the latest issue here.

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