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8 Tips on Maximizing Your Savings with Dental Disposables

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Dentists walk a tightrope when trying to save money on their practice. Trying to cut overhead expenses such as employee salaries, marketing investments, facility costs, and administrative services can hurt your business. They must be maintained, while still providing quality care.

The safest way to maximize your savings is to carefully manage your supplies and lab expenses. You can add tens of thousands of dollars to your bottom line each year.

1.  Work Out What Can Be Made Reusable

This might seem like cheating, but sometimes the best way to save money on disposables is to swap them out with reusable items. Not every item can – or should – be replaced with a reusable. But finding the ones that can be replaced is a great first step to saving significant cash.

For example, disposable goggles might be cheap – but not if you’re using one for every patient. A good reusable set you can throw in the autocav to wash will be significantly more useful and cost-effective than buying dozens of disposables.

2.  Don’t Buy Bulk for The Sake of It

Buying in bulk is a popular way to reduce costs when shopping, and it can be useful when buying dental disposables. But it’s not a good idea to bulk order items simply for the perceived savings. Many disposable items have relatively short shelf lives, particularly if they’re biodegradable. Excess stock you purchase could end up falling apart before you get a chance to use it, making you buy more – and therefor spend more.

3.  Buy Good Disposable Brands

Not all disposable items are made equal – and sometimes the cheapest item isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective, even for dental disposables. Check to see reviews of brands when choosing your disposables carefully. You don’t want to end up with products that are unusable or damaged out of the box – you’ll just have to spend more restocking. While the product is obviously meant to be disposed of, you want to be able to use it at least once, right?

4.  Use Disposables to Cut Downtime

Disposables are great for adding protective layers to reusable items to cut down on cleaning frequency and help you deal with high patient volumes easily. Disposable protective cases such as for curing lights let you schedule multiple treatments using dental composite without changing heads or needing to clean in between.

5.  Use Disposables to Protect Reusables

Your reusable items will go through wear and tear during their time, and inevitably need replacing. Disposable covers and protectors for reusable items keep the higher-price reusable item viable for longer. By increasing the longevity of your tools using disposable covers, you’ll further stretch your budget and increase the time between restocking instruments.

6.  Use Disposables Instead of Low-Use Reusable Items

Just because you can get a reusable item for something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Your dental practice might not use something enough to make an outright purchase viable – in fact, some items might be low-use enough that it would never make financial sense to purchase a reusable item. Disposables are a great way to benefit from items that don’t get used much, without the higher price tag of a reusable item.

7.  Bulk Buy Common Items

Wait, didn’t we say above to not bulk buy for the sake of it? That’s still true – but some items are such high-volume that bulk-buying disposables is the most sensible way to go. Remember, disposables aren’t just syringe tips and protective covers. It also covers things like can liners that are high-use and high volume. Bulk orders of these items are sensible and help to save money in the long run.

8.  Use Disposables to Save From Work Lost to Illness

How does using disposables prevent illness and lost income due to downtime? By complying with regulations regarding disposable face masks. While face masks are something that can be made reusable, guidelines specifically state that you should change masks between patients – and even during a single patient’s treatment, if the mask gets wet. Medical and dental treatments are dangerous places for cross-contamination and infection, and not adhering to best practices can quickly get you ill – and losing income, if not your health.