Sterilization Centers

Sterilization Center

Sterilization Centers

First of all, why can’t we just call it a sterilization area?  Did the big companies emphasize the word “center” and add colorful lightbulbs in order to justify the crazy prices they charge for these unnecessarily decorative pieces of cabinetry that no patient should see anyways? 

How to Save Money On Your Sterilization Area

We’ve all heard “you want your sterilization center to be centrally located and look really great so patients can see how fantastic your sterilization procedures are.” I don’t know about you, but when you run a practice that is actually doing a lot of dentistry, the sterilization area is not a place any patients needs to see. Also in this day and age, if your patient doesn’t already trust that your sterilization practices are compliant with the highest standards maybe this is a sign the image you portray at other touch points is inadequate. While equipment reps look at the sterilization area as a great opportunity to make a bunch of money on us (I recently saw a bid for an $85,000 sterilization center…WHAT!…I can equip an entire office for that price) I look at it as the ideal area to be very efficient and save a ton of money while compromising nothing.

So what are some tactical ways to achieve this? Watch this quick video below to find out!

Dental Operatory Chairs

Dental Operatory Chairs

Pricing Guide: Dental Operatory Chairs

Having helped dentists across the country with build-outs and expansions, I get to see a lot of equipment quotes from many different companies or the same company in another region selling the same product at a completely different price –  Why is this? 

How do we normalize the pricing to ensure we aren’t just funding our equipment company’s annual trip to Vegas?

I’ll share what I know, and if anyone else can chime in with pricing they’ve seen, that would be awesome!

It’s All About Negotiation

After analyzing many bids, I have come to realize a trick they all pull is shuffle the cost between the Chair, Delivery Unit & assistant package – so they might make it look like you got a killer deal on a chair. Still, they baked the “savings” into the assistant box. (Remember: it’s all negotiable – the negotiation is similar to buying a car!)

I’ll start by sharing some thoughts on chairs & delivery systems (often a decent chunk of the equipment bid)

NOTE: Pricing below does not account for possible current inflation, but don’t let them scare you with the inflation comments too much. Also, if you need equipment, get your orders in bc we are seeing lots of supply chain delays – up to 6 months & for whatever reason, once the calendar turns to the new year, they always raise pricing. 

So…The initial quote I received for DCI edge series five chairs was $5,200 (in 2018 – not including delivery units-see below)…So, why was I able to get that price down to $4,175? Remember this was 2018 pricing; they’d laugh at you to try and get that price today (just a few years later for the same chair!)

How did I get it down over $1,000 per chair? Having an idea of how low they CAN go will help a lot, and that’s the purpose of this document. 

Chair Options 

A. DCI Edge Series 4 – $4,200-$4,700

B. DCI Edge Series 5 – $5,200-$5,700 (I’ve seen lower, and I’ve seen as high as $7k)

c. Dansereau – Excellent DSN pricing – with assistant package & over the patient delivery. This is about $7,000 total.

(Does anyone have a rear delivery quote from Dansereau that they can share? This is something I am missing – still waiting for a response from them!)

d. Belmont Bel 50 – another great option – tried and actual durable chair – last I saw was around $4,700-$5,500 

e. Used – look around for used – this could be your best option – old adec chairs reupholstered, or chairs from an office nearby that may have gone belly up or is remodeling – scour Craigslist and other places where used dental equipment can be found – you never know you may get lucky.

Rear vs. Over The Patient Delivery

DCI Swing Mount Auto Dtl Unit +iso six pin PO HP tubing + Deluxe Sgl HPLt Srce Sys $4,000 (I’ve seen this as high as $6,000 for the same unit)

(Series four over the patient delivery should be about $1,000 less)

Need to add assistant package with OTP del. (I’ve seen these range from $1,200-2,700 for the same package )

Assistant package (not including the assistant work surface – that is part of a whole different discussion about 12 o’clock cabinetry)

(Needed with any over the patient system, but typically included in the rear delivery package)

12 o’clock cab mount assistant + additional HVE & tubing = $1,200 (this could be pushing it, but i recently saw the price this low)

Rear delivery (is much cheaper and what I used, but everyone has their preference – includes assistant package)

DCI series IV cabinet mount auto control + Econ Standard QS water system + iso six pin PO HP tubing + Deluxe Sgl HPLt Srce Sys $2,000

Op Lighting (If Desired)

***we don’t use overhead lights; we light the clean look of not having them as dust collectors. Our assistants mount these $30 lights to their safety glasses; it works great; doc’s and hygienists have their loupes with lights

Head Lamp Option 1 Head Lamp Option 2

Engle LED Light – <$1,500 Archer Dental

Typically newer LED lights are around $2,200-$2,500

If you have an equipment bid and are lost, I have much more to share on this topic. 

I hope this helps!

Break Rooms & Staff Lounges

Break Rooms & Staff Lounges

The Importance of Break Rooms & Staff Lounges

Break Rooms and Staff Lounges  are an area of opportunity to save money on construction costs. We can do so and still make sure it is a comfortable place for the team to take a breather during the course of a busy and often stressful clinical day.

The Benefits of Simple Upgrades

There are simple upgrades we can make to show our teams we care about providing them with a great work experience (hint hint- it doesn’t require fancy sinks, faucets or cabinetry). Providing snacks (like Addison Killeen, DDS has talked about) or going a little further and buying a massage chair for the break room (like our buddy  Dr. Taher Dhoon) can actually make a difference. 

During any build out or renovation/expansion there is always a slow steady creep of additional expenses we didn’t plan for. I see too many dentists take the amount the bank approved them for and mistaken this for their budget. 

Combat Decision Fatigue

When decision fatigue sets in during a construction project there are a couple common & costly narratives we might tell ourselves…

“It’s fine I just have to get to opening day and I’ll figure out paying off the debt later.”

This is the dentist that is busy working as an associate trying to do a startup at the same time. They start to get overwhelmed with all the questions from the equipment rep, architect, contractor. They start making concessions to small add on’s that they “don’t have time to think about”… $1,900 here, $6,000 extra there, $900 somewhere else and before you know it they’ve conceded to tens of thousands of dollars.

“I should have taken some time to do a little more research and save a few more bucks along the way, I knew better, but I was too busy to pay attention.”

This is the doc that is expanding into the space next door now reflecting back on the project, while making monthly payments that are double what they were prior to the expansion. (worth is, yes probably, but there was no need to overspend and cut into their future profitability). 

As our Buddy Dr. Mark Costes says – watch out for that dental tax my friends – IT ALL ADDS UP.