Meet Carolina Traviglia. Carolina is a dental hygienist and opened her first dental practice based in Fribourg, Switzerland back in 2018. She is well-know for her professionalism and expertise in both prevention and care but also dental esthetic. We invited Carolina for a chat and asked her to give her some insights to open your first dental practice. If you’re thinking about setting up your own dental office, you can also read our in-depth practical guide to open your first practice here.
When and where did you open your practice?
I opened my practice in November 2018 in Granges-Paccot, right next to the city of Fribourg. It is located on a very nice square, in the center of the village.
Why did you take this decision?
Being my own boss has always been a goal. I am fortunate to have chosen a profession that I was immediately passionate about and, after graduating in 2007, always keeping this dream in mind, I have practiced with great motivation: always learning, with curiosity, about new techniques and technologies, new products, instruments, etc. One day, I decided that it was THE moment to launch myself and create this practice. I wanted to receive my patients in a different place, professional but that doesn’t look like a traditional dental office, where it would be very easy to make an appointment for a dental hygiene care and which would also be open on Saturdays. I wanted to make it accessible and welcoming, whether the patient comes once or on a more regular basis: I try to create a pleasant and relaxed experience at every appointment.
What are the dental specialities in your practice?
It is a dental hygiene practice specializing in prevention, non-surgical periodontal treatments and professional teeth whitening. In addition to scaling, my role as a preventive dental professional is to inform and educate my patients about maintaining good oral health. For me, there is nothing more beautiful than a bright and healthy smile. I am happy to accompany them on this path, gently, taking the necessary time, with a little humor and without any judgment.
What are the main challenges you encountered in your adventure?
When starting from scratch, I would say it’s creating and finding a patient base. (New patient are always welcome). As a photography enthusiast, I have been active on Instagram for several years now, where I started by giving general oral hygiene tips. Today, it also helps me to present the atmosphere of the office, the services but also the dental hygienist that I am, how I work and what I like to do in my free time.
What are the basic materials you need to open a dental hygienist practice and how did you choose your suppliers?
It takes an incredible amount of material! I didn’t realize it until I make the list 🙂 For example, you need: a dental chair, of course, but also everything you need to operate and maintain it, manual instruments and devices to work in the mouth and all the products, materials and machines for sterilizing the instruments. I chose my suppliers based on what was new in the field but also on what I already knew: brands that I feel comfortable working with, ergonomic, minimally invasive, and of high quality (Swiss quality).
Do you have any tips for other DH to open a dental hygienist practice?
Think hard… because you are about to experience an incredible adventure, not easy but very rewarding!
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