Whether you have recently graduated from dental school or you are looking for a bigger building, you might be faced with designing a dental office. Although it can be exciting to design a space from the ground up, simple mistakes can damage the form and function of the office. Here are three tips for designing a more functional workspace inside of your dental practice.
1. Analyze Workflow
Nobody likes to trip over people, furniture, or equipment, which is why carefully analyzing your workflow should be the first step to designing a new office space. Before you start, think about the type of dental work you typically do on a daily basis and which challenges you have faced in the past.
For example, if you are an orthodontist who is constantly meeting with patients to evaluate their teeth and tighten their braces, think about the volume of appointments you handle in a day, how long those appointments typically take, and how many rooms you need operating at once.
Also, think about where your employees walk while they are in the office and why. For example, if your assistants and hygienists are always traveling back and forth to the autoclave to sanitize dental tools, the room with cleaning equipment should be in a central location.
Standard dental practice layouts include the horseshoe, where patients enter through a waiting room with a reception area on the other side. The horseshoe office shape allows for multiple exam rooms, with a tool cleaning center in the middle behind reception.
2. Opt for Electronic Filing
Forget about bulky file cabinets and endless rows of brown cubbies to house patient paperwork. Modern dentistry harnesses the power of electronic filing, making it easier to access patient records and keep the office clean and operational. To make your office a lot tidier without lifting a finger, opt for electronic filing systems instead of paper documents and x-ray films from the day you start your practice.
Many new dental devices are programmed to feed information directly into a computer, making it simple to track patient dental problems and repairs easily. For example, intraoral cameras can record video of dental exams, while simultaneously screening for issues like cavities that are invisible to the naked eye. Other devices transmit crucial tooth measurement data to dental labs, improving prosthetic fabrication.
Although state-of-the-art equipment is typically more expensive than the manual versions of yesteryear, many patients gravitate towards clean offices fitted with all of the latest equipment.New equipment helps people feel that their needs will be met with the latest information.
3. Create a Children's Area
People sometimes need to bring small children with them to dental appointments, so do what you can to create a children's area inside of your waiting room. In addition to keeping your office quieter and your employees calmer, children's play areas help kids acclimate themselves to the dental office, making future appointments a little easier.
Wall-mounted televisions are popular for children's areas, as are quiet toys like puzzles, books, and dolls. To prevent liabilities, always create play areas with visibility in mind. When you stock play areas, avoid any toys that could create dangers for children, such as cars with sharp edges or puzzles with pieces so small they could create a choking hazard.
When you are ready to create the dental practice of your dreams, contact J And M Interior Specialties Inc. In addition to focusing on high-quality products and craftsmanship, our team of contractors understands the intricacies of creating specialized spaces like dental offices. Let us help you design every aspect of your dental practice from restroom partitions to reception centers.