Dental Office Design Part 1: Essential Operatory ItemsNovember 15, 2023
Orthodontist vs Dentist: What is the difference between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?January 14, 2024
Welcome back to our ongoing exploration of modern dental office design in this month’s Alger Blog. Previously, we covered the essential items needed in any dental office operatory. In this article, we’re expanding that consideration to the entirety of the dental office.
Alger Inc: Driven By Design
As a manufacturer of an effective and innovative operatory instrument, the AlgerLight with LED, we have a vested interest in dental office design from a commercial standpoint. The inventor of the AlgerLight with LED, current Alger Inc. CEO Dr. David Alger, is a long-practicing orthodontist with nearly sixty years of dental experience. Suffice to say, Dr. David Alger knows the needs of modern dental offices, and he champions creative solutions to those needs. This combined approach of practicality and innovation is what drove Dr. Alger to design the ceiling-mounted dental AlgerLight, which provides practitioners with the light they need while ensuring operatory space is open for other instruments, movement, and comfort. This approach of practical innovation is also what drives Alger Inc. as a company. We appreciate elegant design, whether it is in a modern medical instrument or in modern dental office design.
Modern Dental Office Design Considerations
To focus our consideration of modern dental office design, we are going to highlight the following key considerations:
- Make Your Space “Your” Space
- Leave Room for Modern Dental Technology
- Embrace “Adaptive Spaces”
- Let Patient and Staff Comfort Drive Design
1. Make Your Space “Your” Space
The first thing any dental office should do when considering dental office design is make your space “your” space. That is to say, make sure that your dental office design fits the needs, treatment offerings, and image of your practice. Obviously, if yours is a pediatric dentistry, then it will look notably different from a practice that caters exclusively to adults. Pediatric dental practices tend to employ a multitude of bright colors, offer age-appropriate games in waiting room spaces, and may even embrace kid-themed wall art, murals, or character-based themes for their look. These design choices would look quite odd in–say–a luxury dental office, but they are right for a younger clientele and the practice that brands itself as a “kids dentistry.” Your dental office design is a representation of your practice. Make sure it accurately reflects who you are.
2. Leave Space for Modern Dental Technology
Offering the most modern dental instruments and services can be a big draw for patients. LANAP laser treatments for gum disease, CEREC in-office crown milling machines, and ozone therapy are all hot technologies that can boost a dental practice’s reputation as an ultra-modern, luxury dental office. However, you have to make sure that your practice has the space necessary to house all of your equipment–new and old–and operate it comfortably. Whether you’re building this space into your dental operatory or reserving dedicated spaces for specialty treatments, you will want to plan ahead so you don’t find your dental office has become a cramped workspace for your staff and a claustrophobic experience for your patients.
3. Embrace “Adaptive Spaces”
Embracing “Adaptive Spaces” can be a clever solution to overcrowding. Instead of relying on stagnant, built-in designs, consider the benefits of modular, adaptable spaces, spaces that are equipped for specific needs but which can be amended to fit multiple purposes through the assistance of compact mobile equipment like portable dental units and cabinets. An adaptable open-floor operatory can be staged with the essential tools necessary for the needs of each visit and pruned down at will to keep the area clear. A clear area, be it at the entrance or the operatory, is a welcomed site for both patients and practitioners.
4. Let Patient and Staff Comfort Drive Design
Let Patient and Staff Comfort Drive Design: it’s a simple notion. Both patients and practitioners need to be comfortable during a dental visit. Open space is a good starting point, but there are a number of other options that can further enhance the comfort of your dental office space for all who use it.
Dental Patient Comfort
In our Essential Operatory Items blog, we discussed the importance of picking a comfortable and supportive dental patient chair because patient comfort is paramount in modern dentistry. With this in mind, consider the patient experience from the moment they enter your offices. A clean, welcoming front desk design and waiting room space at the entrance will set a positive note. Plants, tranquil architectural touches, wall art, and colors can add to this sense of ease, as can warm lighting. We’ll address modern dental office design trends specifically in a future blog, but for now, know that warm, welcoming, and comforting are always good starting points for any dental office.
Music can also influence a patient’s mood on entry and serve as a distraction during procedures. Music is one area in particular that a dentistry can use to establish and reinforce a branded experience for their patients. Some dentists build a spa-like feel by piping in soothing atmospheric sounds, while another dentistry might opt for more upbeat tunes. Curate your music to accommodate your desired effect.
But music is not the only entertainment that dental patients expect these days. Televisions are standard fare for modern dental office design. Modern flat screens and wall and ceiling mounts make incorporating entertainment screens into your dental office design an attractive option. Like music, screens can offer your patients a much-welcomed distraction during procedures, turning what could be an uncomfortable experience into an enjoyable one.
Dental Staff Comfort
Comfortable patients translate directly to staff comfort simply by way of making their various jobs that much easier, but considerations of dental staff comfort can’t stop there. Any modern dental office worth its salt must be conscious of dental staff comfort and provide them with accommodating work and break spaces. Providing patients with top-notch dental care can be taxing. Dentists and support staff need their own places away from patients to decompress, enjoy replenishing meals, and take care of other professional tasks that are not patient-facing. As such, ensure you have provided comfortable break spaces for your staff, kitchen space (if possible), and private office space for dentists et al. as needed to fulfill their full spectrum of work duties.
Closing Thoughts on Modern Dental Office Design
To summarize, each dental office is unique; therefore, the dental office design choices of each practice must be made based on the needs of their patients and their staff. Modern considerations of dental office design embrace uniqueness. Dental offices should use their space to tell patients what kind of practice they are while delivering on the treatment expectations they provide and the comfort modern patients have come to expect. However, that comfort does not end with the patient, as the comfort of modern staff members also deserves consideration. Thus, a holistic consideration of image, service, needs, and comfort is the key to unlocking modern dental office design.
Keep your eyes on the Alger blog as we continue to explore dental office design and other informative topics.