As a dental practice owner, you’re likely confronted with new investment opportunities on a regular basis. Dental technologies, in particular, have the potential to make major improvements in your patient care, such as the type and/or volume of procedures you can provide. Many of these technologies, such as dental cone beam/CBCT, are significant investments for your practice but frequently deliver on their promise for positive return on investment (ROI). If you’re considering making an investment in a new technology for your practice, you’ll likely want to research and think about the financial, workflow, training, and any additional factors that will influence your decision.
Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into each of these factors when it comes to buying a dental microscope. For over 25 years, microscopes have been the “big brother” to dental loupes for higher-power magnification in dentistry. The increased level of magnification and improved ergonomics have been the leading reasons dentists have upgraded their loupes to a dental microscope.
For full disclosure, we are a dental microscope manufacturer and one of the first companies to focus on the emerging dental microscopy market over 25 years ago. From the beginning, we’ve been strong advocates of the use of microscopes in dentistry. As such, we have extensive experience working with dentists around the world, educating them on the entire process of purchasing, installing and utilizing a dental microscope in their practice.
Financials of a Dental Microscope
We’re starting with this topic because finances are usually top-of-mind for any dentist making a purchase for their practice. This is particularly true for dental equipment, which can be among the most expensive purchases in your practice, but also has the potential to deliver great value over time. To get an idea for the short-term and long-term value of a scope, you’ll need to compare the initial investment price with the forecasted revenue the scope can provide.
So, how much does a dental microscope cost? Knowing before you buy helps you get the right expectations about your investment.
To help dentists researching cost, we wrote the article: How Much Does a Dental Microscope Cost?
From our experience and what we’ve seen in the marketplace over the past few years, the cost of a dental microscope can range anywhere from $13,000 – $70,000. Like other technologies, there are entry-level scopes and higher-end models with the more premium features. However, the industry “sweet spot” for a dental microscope with a nice mix of features and value is between $19,000 – $30,000 depending on your desired options.
Next, it’s time to forecast your potential revenue. Many doctors consider a scope because the higher level of magnification helps improve their endodontic work and/or restorative work, such as composites, crowns and bridges. Or, they may consider adding a scope in order to start offering these services.
For a deeper look at the clinical applications improved by using a scope, continue reading: Top 5 Uses for a Dental Microscope.
Through the initial training and learning period, you and your staff will get more efficient with your scope, determining how and where it’s useful in your workflow. Many doctors we speak with start using their scope with nearly every procedure, from check-up through surgery.
The primary advantages doctors see as a result of using their scope are increased acceptance rates, improved quality of treatment, greater efficiency and enhanced reputation, each of which can directly impact your bottom-line revenue.
Understanding Your Investment: Calculating ROI on a Dental Microscope
The following is a framework you can use to apply your own metrics to help you calculate the short and long-term value of your scope. Let’s look at an example we often use when discussing microscope ROI.
If you were able to offer an additional root canal that you would not be able to perform without the magnification of a dental microscope, you can add this towards your monthly revenue. Depending on the patient fee you charge for this service, and the frequency you can expect to offer this procedure, you’ll likely find you’re able to pay for a dental microscope in only a few years. In the table below, you’ll see how this trends over time using sample fees and frequencies.
Next, you can also evaluate the fees you charge for services. The enhanced treatment capability can influence your patient’s perception of their quality of care. With proper patient education on the benefits of your scope, you may find your added precision and accuracy gives you the ability to increase your rates. Below is a breakdown of sample increases you might expect when modifying your service fees.
Your Initial Investment: Equipment Financing
Another financial consideration you may have is how you’ll purchase. Typically, we see doctors choose between a cash purchase, financing, (or applying for an equipment loan as part of a new construction), or leasing.
We’ve discovered in some configurations, leasing is a viable option for practices ready to get started with using a dental microscope that they might otherwise not be able to afford outright, or when current interest rates on a loan are unfavorable. Many leasing services provide competitive monthly payments with only the first payment required in advance.
Plus, we often hear from our customers on leases, their monthly payments can be offset through scheduling and completing just one additional endodontic or restorative procedure each month.
To help doctors with their financing options, we wrote the article: How to Finance Dental Microscopes.
Health & Ergonomics
As a dental professional, you’ve likely experienced the physical strain that comes from a long day of caring for your patients. After all, you may be spending hours each day hunched over, in arched positions and/or making repetitive motions to get the perfect angle for performing your patient’s treatment. It’s a legitimate concern for your comfort now and your quality of life down the road.
If you’re considering a dental microscope, you’re not only making a financial investment, you may also be improving your health and quality of life. Rather than arching your back and neck, the dental microscope is positioned to have you looking straight ahead through binoculars in a comfortable, stress-free position. This, in turn, allows you to work longer periods without back and neck pain or fatigue.
Over the years, we’ve had numerous doctors come back and tell us how their microscope contributed to their long-term health. Many cited that the benefit of reduced stress on their joints provided by the use of a microscope extended the longevity of their careers, with others claiming they’ve also increased productivity after investing in a dental microscope. Needless to say, it’s hard to put a price on your health.
Don’t just take our word for it, hear the feedback we’ve received from some of our customers:
"My Global scope gives me incredible ergonomics. My posture is near perfect now. I can sit and do molar endo on an upper second molar completely relaxed.
As a tall dentist with a long torso, ergonomics is critical for me to not retire early. I used to see a massage therapist monthly. Now I don’t have to. I’m not as fatigued at the end of a long day of treatment."
“Within two weeks of using the Global microscope, my neck pain was gone. I have successfully managed my pain ever since.”
“The thing I like best about the microscope is the improved ergonomics it allows me. I was seeing my chiropractor 2-3 times a month before I integrated the microscope into my practice. My back pain has significantly improved!”
“My Global rep worked with me to customize my microscope to give me the depth of field and flexibility I needed and it has really helped reduce my daily eyestrain and back and neck fatigue.”
“I saw a dental colleague forced to retire due to neck and back problems and swore this would not happen to me. I was captivated by the ergonomic positioning when using a Global Surgical microscope, and thought ‘That’s for Me!’
It improved my ergonomic position and I could see better; therefore (theoretically) do better work.”
For a comprehensive look, continue reading: Ergonomic Benefits of a Dental Microscope.
Training & Workflow
So far, we’ve considered the financial and health impacts of buying a scope. But what would this look like in practice? What does it look like to get started? How do you ensure you’re maximizing the value of your scope?
The answer to these questions greatly depends on how familiar you and your staff are with a scope and/or magnification. If you’ve never used a scope or loupes, you’ll likely want to spend the time training with a scope so you and your staff get familiar with using the tool in your exam rooms. Just like other dental equipment used in your practice, your assistants, hygienists and other staff will also likely require training around proper use, maintenance and routine cleaning/disinfection of the scope.
To help, we’ve written the following articles to help prepare you and your staff on using and maintaining your scope, to help you get up and running and get value from your scope as quickly as possible.
Becoming very efficient with a microscope typically takes 4-6 months based on feedback we’ve received from doctors, during which time you’ll become more familiar with how you’ll use your scope with patients. When incorporating into your workflow, you’ll decide which procedures and patients will require your scope. Based on feedback we’ve received, some doctors start every examination on a scope – not only endodontists, but general practitioners and other specialty doctors as well.
One of our customers, Dr. Alain Gagnon from Quebec, CA, commented: “I use [my Global microscope] EVERY day, for endo, composites, crowns and bridges, even surgery sometimes! On kids, on adults, most patients are impressed.”
In practical terms, the more you use your scope, the greater your ability to perform the highest level of care. This, in turn, impacts your long-term investment in a scope.
Your Long-Term Investment: Selection Guide
Now that you have a better understanding of what investing in a dental microscope looks like, from start to finish, you may be thinking about where you’ll purchase your equipment. This is why we wrote a selection guide to help you compare and contrast dental microscope brands and models, using common features which impact the price you’ll pay and the value you’ll expect.
To get the guide, continue reading: Five Features to Consider when Choosing a Dental Microscope.
At Global Surgical, we’re committed to the total satisfaction of our customers. This means we’ll back up the quality of your scope so you get the most long-term value. We accomplish this in many ways, including:
- Our Limited Lifetime Warranty – We are the only dental microscope manufacturer to offer a full lifetime warranty on your scope, including parts and labor, for all optical and support components.
To help educate you on available warranties from other manufacturers, continue reading: Comparing Dental Microscope Warranties.
- Upgradeable Features – We design our microscopes to be modular and upgradeable, thus greatly minimizing the possibility of obsolescence.
For a list of popular microscope accessories, and their purposes, continue reading: Upgradeable Features & Accessories for a Dental Microscope.
- Made in the USA – Since our beginning over 25 years ago, we’ve been based in the USA, including our complete manufacturing and assembly facilities. Being headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, allows us to reach our customers quickly and efficiently, whether domestically or internationally.
- Quality Customer Support – When contacting our technical support department, you will be served by highly knowledgeable representatives in an efficient manner. If service is required at your location, a skilled technician will be dispatched within 24 hours.
Questions? Reach Out!
If you’re just getting started with a dental microscope, or considering adding a scope to your practice, we are here to help! We can help configure and customize your scope to your clinical needs, helping you get the most value out of your investment. We’d love to tell you more about Global Surgical and how our A-Series dental microscopes can help your practice.
Get started by reaching out to us at 800-861-3585 or by clicking the button below.