For commercial dental practices, investing in advanced dental equipment is an effective means of upgrading their services.
Under the Chancellor’s November 2018 Budget, there has been an increase on the amount eligible for 100% Annual Investment Allowance on plant and machinery. This increase is from £200,000 to £1million, and is applicable from 1 January 2019, for a two-year period.
Time to Upgrade
Dental practices are different to one another, despite, on paper, offering the same kinds of treatments and procedures.
Each dental practice offers its own level of service, determined by the experience and expertise of the specific dentist.
Consequently, for commercial practices especially, they must strive to differentiate themselves.
One way of doing this is through the equipment they use to carry out their treatments and procedures. While advanced dental equipment is no substitute for the dentist’s own skills, it still carries significant impact in how patients experience their appointments.
Furthermore, dental technology does not stand still, so it makes good professional and business sense for dentists to keep up with the kinds of technological advances that will enhance the services they can offer patients.
Upgrading to new equipment ultimately sets new standards of excellence for a dental practice, helping attract new patients, and retain existing ones.
Advanced Dental Equipment and New Technologies
Modern dentistry has advanced in various areas of technology, including:
- Digital imaging
- Operatory software
- Non-invasive laser techniques.
Whereas some technologies are still evolving, reluctance to invest now could cost dentists in the long-term.
This is especially true in the field of cosmetic dentistry, where advanced dental equipment is often a very marketable asset in attracting new customers for a variety of elective, cosmetic dental procedures and treatments.
This is not a case of keeping up with the Joneses – practices can face a real risk of losing their patients to competitors if they are not in a position to offer key advanced treatments because they lack the equipment.
There is also a risk they could lose talented members of staff to other, more advanced practices, in pursuit of career development offered by access to better equipment.
Patients and dental professionals see the value in advanced dental equipment, and therefore see the value in a practice that invests in it.
Underpinning dental technology’s appeal is its potential for unlocking greater productivity for dental practices.
You only have to compare how dental practices once completed patient x-rays with the streamlined efficiency of the process through digital imaging equipment.
How the Annual Investment Allowance Works
The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) allows business to claim on plant and machinery up to the amount stated.
You can deduct the full value of an item from your profits before tax, providing it qualifies for AIA.
Currently, the amount is £200,000 within a 12 month accounting period.
Under the changes in November 2018, this will increase to £1million over a 24 month period. The idea is to support longer term business investments.
Advanced dental equipment could be one such longer term investment for commercial dental practices.
“Dental technology is evolving fast. Dental practitioners should consider their options regarding long-term investment and helping to differentiate what they can offer in a competitive marketplace. Now might be the right time for them to invest in advanced dental equipment.”
Pete Higson, RPA Dental