My Five Rules of Thumb to Purchasing the Right Dental Software for You

Are you thinking about purchasing software for your dental practice? I bet the decision alone makes your head spin just thinking about it. You’ve probably heard stories about how this software works and that software works and it just makes you want to throw up your hands and say, “No! Forget it!” I understand. Purchasing software can turn into a horror show with bad decisions made, money being wasted and frustrated team members. I’ll be honest, for a long time, I felt the same way about purchasing any kind of new technology. I just didn’t want to have to go through the pain of it. The fact that I didn’t know a single thing about the technology I wanted didn’t help, either. Basically, first time I had to purchase a laptop on my own I chose based on the one thing I knew: price.


The first one I bought was not too cheap and not too expensive but just right. I figured I’d made the big decision fairly well . . . until I opened it up and attempted to use it. Nothing made any sense to me. I roamed around the desktop with my bottom lip between my teeth trying to understand what I was supposed to do with it. I was told this was going to help me, going to make my life easier. But it just felt like a bad decision.


I talked to a good friend of mine and told him that I bought a laptop that was supposed to help me but was only making my life more complicated. He asked me a crucial question I really should have asked myself: What are you looking for? What do you want this new laptop to do for you?


An epiphany struck! I was doing this all wrong. So, what now? Well, if you’re like me and you’re not “technologically inclined” then these are my five crucial pieces of advice to use when you’re finally in the market to purchase any kind of Dental hardware or software.


First Rule of Thumb

I have to call this the golden rule when purchasing any kind of soft or hardware, including dental software or an x-ray machine, or anything else your dental practice might need: Consult someone who really knows their stuff! It is the most helpful piece of advice I can offer. I asked a good friend of mine who knew everything there was to know about laptops and computers and he helped me find the laptop that fit me and had all the tools, storage space and security I could ever need. There was no doubt in my mind that I had made an excellent decision. Ask a friend, a colleague or someone on your team to accompany you on this journey.


Second Rule of Thumb

Know what you want before you jump in head first. I had no idea what I wanted, which is why I came home with a system I didn’t understand and got no benefit from. Get your whole team together to discuss the kinds of tools that would benefit you, them, and your practice. Everyone has got to get something out of this. Make a list and bring that list to the software company of your choosing. Be picky. You’re allowed. Make sure you get what you want and not what they think you want. This is all you!


Third Rule of Thumb

Do your research. This is a very crucial and necessary part of this journey, and with this being 2018, it has never been easier to get all the information it’s possible to get. Seriously! Go ahead and type in the software you’re looking for into Google and click “search.” You will be amazed at what’s available to you, including but not limited to online reviews, websites full of information on the software, data, prices, and more, in addition to free demos, training webinars and on and on. Go ahead and immerse yourself in all of your glorious choices.


Fourth Rule of Thumb

Beware of asking anyone at the software company you choose for advice on what your practice needs. Only you and your team know the answer to that. Allow the software company to answer your questions about their software and how it can benefit you and your list of wants, but don’t let them guide the conversation. Sure, they know their way around the software, but let’s face it, they have a job and it’s to sell you the software that suits their needs, not yours.


Fifth Rule of Thumb (and this is a biggy)

Ask questions. Once you have chosen at least three companies, it’s time to delve deeper and take control of the conversation by consulting everything you wrote down on your list that you want your software to be able to do for you. Asking questions helps you to guide the conversation in just the way you want it to go.


On Wednesday, I will go into more detail regarding the best questions to ask when it comes to making a sound decision about your dental practice. Don’t miss it. Also, don’t miss out on a chance to get our dental software license at absolutely no charge!