Does Your Dental Practice Need More Than One ADA Treatment Room?

Posted by HJT Design

Accessible Dental Office architect, patient in Wheelchair

No we are not referring to your favorite and revered ADA: The American Dental Association. We are talking about the one and only Americans with Disabilities Act. If you don’t follow it carefully it can have severe implications for your dental practice.When a patient asks “Do I really need to both brush and floss?” the answer is quite comical and obvious from the perspective of dental clinicians. This is akin to when clients in building design arenas ask their designers or architects “Do we have to have handicap restrooms or treatment rooms?”

The answers, in both scenarios, may be obvious in terms of their eventual consequences. However, some may have the mindset that the rules doesn’t apply to them.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by Congress on July 26, 1990 and became the Federal Standards and Guidelines covering, among other things, new building construction and alterations to designs and builds. These requirements provide individuals with disabilities accessibility to public facilities (for services, goods, and amenities) which were once nearly impossible for them to access on their own without the assistance from their companions or others.

Today, compliance with the current ADA Standards and Guidelines isn’t an option, but rather a law applicable for all facilities which provide services and goods. If you’re planning a renovation or a brand new from-the-ground-up facility, you’ll need to consider them.

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What Are the ADA Rules?

dental practice ada standards and guidelinesThe ADA compliance feature we most commonly encounter indoors are large public bathrooms with a handicap-accessible sign on the door and those institutional-looking grab bars on the back and sides of the toilet.

Near the entrance of public buildings we’ll typically see handicap-accessible parking spaces with a wheelchair symbol.

These are just two examples of how the average building is asked to meet ADA regulations.

So how would these ADA Standards and Guidelines affect the design of your office?

There are very specific requirements for each element. However, for the sake of simplifying the discussion, attention should be given to the following areas to ensure compliancy with the mandated ADA Standards and Guidelines.