Every year, a small city’s worth of dentists–30,000, to be more precise–graduate and become available to practice in the country. This number is higher than ideal, so there is a glut of dentists. Regardless, they are eager to set up dental clinics, and at the lowest possible costs. Lets have a look at the intricacies of this situation and in particular the costs.
The cost of being a dentist in India begins with the cost of getting a BDS (Bachelor of Dental Science). Education in a government college–a college that exists because of the tax dollars that are taken to partly support it–costs slightly under INR50,000 (under USD800) per year. There are plenty of dentists who get into dental colleges under management quota and pay many lacs as donation. These are all costs that need to be recouped.
For the dental clinic itself, there are two broad categories of costs:
1) treatment costs and
2) running costs.
Treatments are not accomplished with the mere waving of a hand or magic wand. Dentists need the machinery, instruments and implements to treat the patients. Such costs can be Rs. 200,000 up to 1,000,000 for a dental chair and related equipment and Rs. 200,000 to 400,000 for X-ray sensors, drills and other needed hand instruments.
It would be nice to think and to have dental equipment that lasts as long as the dental clinic itself lasts. However, there is always wear and tear, and technological obsolescence.
More specifically are these costs:
Dental fillings: Dental drills are Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 20,000. Dental burs or drill bits are 500 to 3,000. Keep in mind that several are needed for each filing. Filling material 800 up to 7,000 for 3 grams (about 1/9 of an ounce) of dental composite (tooth-colored filling material). Routine fillings or restorations can incur a cost of 500 to 2,000.
Tooth extraction which uses local anesthesia, syringes, needles, dental forceps, cotton and other things. Dental forceps are 1,000 to 2,500, and different forceps are required for each type of tooth. Other items can cost 50 to 300. 3. The expectation is that the total costs would total 100 to 5,000 depending upon difficulty and complexity.
Root canal treatment (RCT): Much more machinery, equipment and supplies are needed for this treatment. For the dentist, the cost is Rs. 300 to Rs. 1,500.
Dental crowns, which consists of three stages: 1. Tooth preparation. Again, requiring various machinery and supplies, totaling 100 to 300. 2. Crown creation, which is done by an outside specialist, and can cost around Rs. 3,000 depending upon the materials and quality. Crown fixing, including cements, drills and burs for a total of 25 to 100. 4. For the patient, this means Rs. 1000 to Rs. 10,000 for each crown.
Dental implants or metallic screws to attach new teeth into the jawbones. As with any and all surgeries, the costs are quite extensive and can add up quickly. In summary, though, the extraneous costs for the equipents like special dental burs and physiodispensers are 25,000 to 200,000 and the dental implants themselves can cost 1,000 to 10,000 each. For the patient, the expectation incurred is 20,000 to 50,000.
These procedures are all fairly routine at a dental clinic. Yet, the total costs to everyone involved can mount to large proportions.
These are the costs of running any business. Of course, there are different amounts and percentage of costs based on the different types of businesses. The costs for running a roadside food stand or small retail shop are far smaller and less expensive than those for a law firm or MNC.
For all businesses, and especially for dental clinics, the types of costs are:
1) rent and maintenance costs;
2) utility bills, including Internet usage;
3) long-term supplies, such as air conditioners and refrigerators;
4) staff, including the receptionist, associate doctors and paramedical assistants; and
5) marketing costs, such as in advertising, signage, brochures and effective website development.
In a city, the costs of simply being open (the running costs) can be quite a hurdle. At a minimum, they would be 20,000 per month and more likely closer to 100,000. In a small town or village, the costs could be less, but the revenue may be far less as the patients (the residents) do not earn as much as their city-counterparts.
Of course, there are no costs incurred when you do not have a dental clinic. This occurs when you do not have the property for it. The costs for the property are tremendously varied, even among cities. Property costs in Mumbai and Delhi are notoriously high, while costs in Kolkata are lower.
Property in small cities, towns and villages are lower still. It is beyond the scope of this article to elaborate upon them all and, even if it were possible, property costs are always fluctuating, even within a city. Property costs in southern Mumbai will be far higher than in those of the northern and eastern areas.
One unforeseen or uncontrollable cost is that of inflation which is quite significant and prevalent in India. Costs for everyday, small items have gone up 50% or so in the past few years. Proper budgeting and forecasting is essential and working on a good marketing strategy is crucial to maximize the business potential.