There’s a lot that goes into building a new dental office. The reality is that what you’re building isn’t just a physical structure—you’re looking to build a new practice.
Even if you retain existing patients from your previous location, it’s a big change when you move to a new office. If you’re just starting out, then it can be even more intimidating!
That’s why PDH is here to offer a few quick tips on the most important aspects of opening a new dental office.
1) Choose the Right Location
2) Get a Building Team
3) Examine the Contract Carefully
What does that mean? Being a contractor specialized in Dental Construction.
When an architect is familiar with dental operations, they create floor plans that help a Dentist, staff members and patients flow seamlessly. The elements that they consider include efficient means for staff to complete tasks, organized patient flow, space and regulations for special equipment, time-saving communication, and aesthetics to make everyone comfortable.
For the construction phase, you’ll need a project manager and supervisor that are familiar with the goals and operation of the Dentist. They’re there to oversee the proper installation of the various trades and maintain the schedule and budget. A project supervisor with dental experience is also important to the schedule if a Dentist is renovating an occupied building. Although, regardless if it’s an occupied or new/unoccupied building, the supervisor and manager will be monitoring the schedule so that areas are ready in time for equipment delivery.
Getting the size right is essential to any good dental office design. Your dental office should be able to accommodate your staff and patients, as well as any integrated facilities and equipment you require. Our clients frequently ask us to provide consultations on their, supposedly completed, dental office designs. Close inspection, however, quite often reveals widespread sizing problems. Your dental office should be sized appropriately, to manage patient flow and prevent systems bottlenecks.
Patient experience is everything! Your waiting room should cater to your clientele’s needs, be them families, private patients, young or old. Facilities to provide beverages are always conducive to a strong patient experience and a good atmosphere. Similarly, books, magazines, toys for children, and other small details can make a good experience a great one. What you also should remember, is that efficiency is integral to the best waiting room design. Placement of furniture, your reception, and the design of your floor space should make navigating your practice a simple experience. Patients want things to go smoothly, and even the smallest problem can seem larger than it is.
Ready to update your office? Schedule your Consultation with a PDH specialist today!
When thinking about extending your dental office, ensure you take care in considering all the factors involved. Designs or construction projects can quickly lose sight of their objectives without a plan to guide them. Growing your practice without a plan will lead to further problems such as poor use of space. This may not seem like a big problem, but believe us, it can be disastrous for productivity and workflow.
Prices are Down, Opportunities are Up
A Dental office is very specialized and an expensive, but necessary component of any practice.
To give every advantage to a new “practice location”, a lower cost basis will always help. We all know finding a good location is a major factor to success. Everyone would like to find the recently vacated dental office of the correct size, with affordable rates, and available at the right time. This is a daunting task to find considering the odds. These odds improve dramatically when existing vacant medical spaces are considered.
Approximately 60% of construction costs are mechanicals & millwork. Conversely, partition walls represent less than 10% of the cost. Electrical circuits for x-rays & dental equipment, medical wiring & devices and abundant lighting are usually available in a medical space. Plumbing in patient care areas typically have sinks in multiple locations eliminating much of the invasive & expensive coring or trenching. Heating and cooling may already be zoned correctly. The front office & reception can be set at a different temperature from the patient care & work areas. Millwork is another major factor. The medical office front desk, labs, staff area, restrooms & waiting rooms are similar to the dental office.
A dental office build out cost in a class “A” office space typically runs from $75 to $80 per sq. ft. for a 2400 sq. ft, 6-chair facility starting with a ‘white box’. Larger offices will cost less per square foot while smaller offices more. Starting with a vacant medical space, build out can save up to ½ of this cost if the design & decorating team make a concerted effort to utilize the EXISTING conditions. Spending additional time & effort on the design side will pay big dividends here.
Many dentists realize they need more storage after the office is built. During the design stage, plan on plenty of storage in your office, it will be needed. Turning a storage area into an additional operatory or office makes more sense than losing a production room because more storage is needed.
PDH is committed to supporting dentists deciding to open a new office or update an existing one. We are full of knowledge and ideas from building the most dental offices in the Atlanta area. Every Friday, look for a new post. We will share what we find to make your new or updated office a hit with your patients and staff.