Meet Carolina Traviglia. Carolina is a dental hygienist well-known for her professionalism and expertise in both prevention and care, as well as dental esthetic. She opened her first dental practice back in 2018 in Switzerland.
We invited Carolina for a chat and asked her to share here experience and give some insights about opening a first dental hygiene practice.
Thinking about setting up your own dental office? You can also read our practical guide to open your first practice.
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. My practice 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 dream and a goal.
I am fortunate to have chosen a profession that I was immediately passionate about. After graduating in 2007, always keeping this goal 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 right time to take the plunge and create this practice. I wanted to welcome my patients somewhere different: a professional place, but that wouldn’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 friendly, 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 no judgment.
What are the main challenges you encountered when opening your dental practice?
When starting from scratch, I would say the biggest challenge is 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 we offer, 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 ? How did you choose your suppliers?
It takes an incredible amount of material! I didn’t realize it until I actually had to list it.
For example, you need a dental chair, of course, but also everything to operate and maintain it. Manual instruments and devices to work in the mouth and all the material and machines to sterilize the instruments.
I chose my suppliers based on what was new in the field and also on what I already knew and trust: brands that I feel comfortable working with, ergonomic, minimally invasive, and of high quality.
Do you have any tips for another dental hygienist to open their own practice?
Think hard… because you are about to experience an incredible adventure. Not easy but very rewarding!