Design Styles Every Dentist Office Needs
Posted by HJT Design
Modern dental facilities are no longer the sterile, white spaces that more or less defined them in the past. Instead of being geared towards pure functionality, a 21st-century dental office now aims to make its day-to-day experience– for both patients and staff – as comfortable as possible. Here are a few ideas on how to make this desire a reality:
- Understand that design influences the experience – Every detail of a modern dental office is now scrutinized for how it will affect the patient experience. For example, providing comfortable chairs and a soothing atmosphere in the waiting room, reducing the number of steps from the treatment room to recovery room and utilizing attractive but suitable finishes that reduce the rate of infections are significant concerns. In addition, by humanizing the office experience through proper design, patient’s will not only feel less apprehension ahead of time but will also heal more rapidly afterward.
- Start with a modernist approach – The best dental office designs embrace a thoroughly modern aesthetic. Start with clearly identified front desk. Then, keep patients occupied during their wait with fish tanks, video monitors, free wi-fi and other entertainments. next, depending on the demographics of your clientele, consider adding a play space for children. In any case, upon arrival, it is imperative that patients find a client-centric space – that is, one that tends to their needs – and not one that just meets the needs of the staff and the practice.
- Embrace the idea that “form follows function” – The adage may be overused and seem somewhat trite but it remains accurate. Modern office design takes a significant account of the function of a dental office space before creating its actual form. In particular, the best dental office spaces incorporate such ideas as open treatment areas – to leverage both the existing space and the productivity of the staff – and a community space where patients can engage each other and share some camaraderie while awaiting their procedure. Both “open” space plans reduce the patient waiting time and allow your team to serve more clients per day.
- Create the perfect circle – The natural world encompasses a vast number of processes – almost all of them cyclic in nature. The modern office designer recognizes this principle and strives to recreate in the dental office setting. Patients arrive at the front desk and then move in a circular pattern into the waiting area, the treatment room, the recovery area and then exit through a different door back into the waiting area. This “perfect circle” means that patients do not have to backtrack and always feel as if they are moving forward – a fairly comforting fact for an anxious or confused patient.
- Improve patient/staff interactions – The modernist approach to dental office design must deal with two contradictory needs – encouraging collaboration amongst the staff while also respecting the need for patient privacy. The first is fairly easy to handle with the “open” plans mentioned above. Patient privacy, however, needs to be dealt with partitions so that they can reveal personal information beyond the prying eyes and ears of other patients. In addition, alternate entrances should be provided for staff so that anxiously waiting patients do not see staff leave for the day while they have not yet been seen by the doctor. Indeed, it is a balancing game but one that can be helped with the proper design.
For further information on how to best design your new or expanded dental office space, please contact us online at HJTDesign.com or reach us directly at 866.213.1268.