Buying a Dental Practice? IT Needs and Services for Your Dental Office

Buying a Dental Practice? IT Needs and Services for Your Dental Office

Congratulations, you’re embarking on the purchase of your dental practice. It’s an exciting time! Whether it’s an established or freshly built dental practice, having the right IT equipment and services in place is crucial for smooth operations and excellent patient care when those doors open for business.

We receive a lot of calls from dentists who’ve purchased older practices or are launching a practice from scratch. Often the older practices come with IT equipment (hardware and software) already in place. And new practices, well they’re starting at square one. Either process can be overwhelming to take on without a dental IT expert to guide the way.

In this comprehensive guide we break down the ultimate dental IT equipment and services checklist to cover technology items you should consider before opening the doors of your dental practice.

IT Equipment and Services Checklist for New Dental Practices

Essential IT Equipment for Your Dental Practice

Your modern dental practice will rely heavily on advanced IT equipment to ensure efficient workflows, secure patient data, and enhanced diagnostic capabilities. Investing in the right technology is not only essential for day-to-day operations but also for keeping pace with industry advancements and regulations. In this section, we outline the key pieces of IT equipment that are indispensable for a well-functioning dental practice.

CAT6 Cabling

A robust network starts with proper cabling. Even though this item isn’t forward facing technology in your dental office, it’s a crucial piece of the IT puzzle.

CAT6 ethernet cables are essential for high-speed internet and reliable connectivity throughout your practice. Think of them as the veins of your IT infrastructure – pumping data quickly and efficiently to minimize downtime.

Reliable High-Speed Internet

Seamless connectivity for both staff and patients starts with a reliable high-speed internet connection. High-speed internet leads to faster upload (at or above 5 Mbps) and download times and the ability to use multiple devices (computers, tablets, etc.).

A combination of hardwired and WIFI internet access ensures your practice remains connected. You’ll need a router and access points to ensure maximum coverage throughout your dental office. It’s important to note that when setting up WIFI services you will want two separate accesses (one (1) private for the office’s network and one (1) guest WIFI for your patients).

Note: Things to consider for your WIFI setup include your workflow, office configuration, wireless technologies being used, integration with your IT infrastructure. Additionally, your computers may need wireless adapters (either Universal Serial Bus (USB) or Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) to access your wireless network.

Server

A server acts as the hub of your IT infrastructure. It has a robust operating system (much more powerful and stable than a computer’s operating system) to store software applications and your practice’s data securely. A server allows for efficient data management, backup, and retrieval, ensuring that patient information is always accessible when needed.

Note: While you always have the option of using software in the Cloud, not all software is available in cloud format. A server is also handy if your dental office relies heavily on 3D imaging (which generates extensive data and can be resource intensive).

Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-based solutions offer both flexibility and scalability for your dental practice. With a secure internet connection and computer device, you and your authorized staff can access files, scheduling systems, and other essential applications from anywhere – enhancing operational efficiency. This is beneficial if you have remote staff, want to work from home on the weekends, or if your office is closed due to inclement weather (blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, etc.).

Computers & Accessories (Monitors, Keyboards, Mice, Adapters)

When looking into purchasing a dental practice, it’s important to consider the quality of the computers your staff will be using for things such as:

  • Collection and management of patient information – most likely with dental practice management software
  • Day-to-day business operations such as administrative tasks, scheduling, and bookkeeping duties
  • Patient education and consultations
  • Consulting with partners and staff on diagnosis and treatment

Ensure each workstation is equipped with reliable computers, monitors, keyboards, and mice. The quantity of these items depends on the specific size and needs of your practice. The average-sized practice requires six (6) computers:

  • (1) Front Desk
  • (3) Operatories (may have multiple monitors displayed throughout the room for presenting patient information such as intra-oral photos/x-rays/treatment plans, patient entertainment, and doctor/clinical assistant view for notes, scheduling, etc.)
  • (1) Doctor’s Office
  • (1) Consultation Room

If purchasing an older/established dental practice, it may be a good idea to have a network assessment completed to check the status of current computers. Some things to consider:

  • How old are they?
  • Do they have warranties?
  • What operating system are they utilizing?
  • Will any of them need to be replaced? If so, when?
  • What is their current storage capacity?

Regardless of whether you’re purchasing an established dental practice or building a new dental office, you’ll want to ensure that your computers meet the appropriate requirements for your practice needs. We’ve put together some computer options and key considerations in our blog “Which Computers are Best for Your Dental Practice”.

If you need to purchase computers and IT hardware (printers, scanners, etc.), your IT provider can help with pricing, ordering, installation, and even cost-saving solutions such as Hardware-as-a-Rental (HaaR) - helping you save money while you get your practice up and going.

Business Phones (VoIP)

Efficient and reliable communication is a very important aspect of your dental office. Both your colleagues and patients rely on clear communication for an enhanced experience. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones are a great way to meet this need. This business phone solution replaces traditional landline phones with an internet-based alternative that provides cost savings and additional features. There are also several VoIP providers, such as Mango, that integrate with your practice management software (Curve Dental, Dolphin, Ortho2, XLDent, etc.) to create a more streamlined experience.

Find out more about VoIP in our blog “Benefits and Challenges of Using a Voice over Internet (VoIP) System”.

Backup System

Without your data, your business will come to a standstill. Having a proper backup system is essential in protecting your data from unforeseen events such as hardware failures, cyber-attacks, or natural disasters. As a business owner, it’s crucial to prepare for the worst and have a disaster recovery plan that includes a secure, HIPAA-compliant backup solution.

Whether you choose a cloud backup solution or a hybrid solution (cloud and on-premises device), you’ll want to ensure that it includes a regular backup schedule to protect patient information and maintain business continuity.

Find out more about the various backup solutions and their cost in our blog “True Cost of Data Backup for Dental Offices”.

Network Components (Switches, Wireless Access Points, Firewall)

Various network components such as network switches, wireless access points, and firewalls act as connectors and assist in controlling the flow of traffic throughout your IT infrastructure. Additionally, they ensure your network is secure, efficient, and capable of handling the demands of a busy dental practice.

These network components, as with all technology, have an expiration date and should be maintained (run updates, replace, etc.) regularly.

Essential IT Services for Your Dental Practice

In addition to IT equipment, there are IT services your dental practice may require. These IT services help your dental practice remain protected against looming cyber threats, maintain system integrity, and enhance overall productivity. By investing in reliable IT services, you can focus on delivering exceptional patient care without worrying about potential technical disruptions.

Cybersecurity Solutions

Cyber attacks are reported every day in the news. And no business is immune, especially dental practices, who were recently informed by the American Dental Association (ADA) of a credible cybersecurity threat targeting oral and maxillofacial surgery practices.

The good news is there are effective cybersecurity solutions that can protect your dental practice from cyber threats. These include:

  • Remote Management and Monitoring (RMM) 
  • Endpoint & Ransomware Protection 
  • Managed Detection & Response (MDR) 
  • Vulnerability Scans 
  • Email Security 
  • Secure Remote Access 
  • Managed Device Encryption 
  • Password Management 

If these network security solutions aren’t active in the dental practice you purchase, it may be time for you to step in and act on your business investment. The best part is these IT solutions act quietly in the background so you and your team can work without disruption.

An IT Company with Dental IT Experience

Look for an IT company that has experience working with dentists. Often in the form of a Managed Service Provider (MSP), an IT company that specializes in the dental industry will understand the specific challenges and requirements of a dental practice and offer tailored IT solutions.

Pact-One Solutions has specialized in setting up and managing technology for top dentists throughout the United States. Get the “Open” sign on the door quickly with expert guidance, a refined IT setup, and the best IT solutions for your practice. Reach out to us today!


Dental IT. Remove the Burden. Embrace the Use.

Quality patient care – it's ultimately why you became a dental professional. But, some business operations can get in the way (such as pesky computer issues or lack of IT support). That’s where Pact-One Solutions can help! Our passion lies in supplying reliable, responsive dental IT support and security that practices can count on.

Whether you’re looking for dental IT services for your startup or searching for more responsive dental IT support – our team of dental IT specialists have you covered. With team members throughout the United States, we offer nationwide support to dental practices of all sizes. Our wide range of dental IT services ensure your data is secure, accessible, and protected.

Don't let technology challenges hinder your ability to deliver exceptional dental care. Contact us at info@pact-one.com or 866-722-8663 to join 350+ dental practices thriving with the support of a dedicated dental IT team.


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