Creating a new dental office involves assembling a skilled team to turn your vision into reality. It’s important to consider the various professionals who will contribute to the design and construction process.
THIS IS NOT A ‘DO IT YOURSELF’ PROJECT!
Here is the problem: You are driving the bus, but you have never done this before. And you know you are headed North (or East, South, or West), but you don’t have a definite route or a defined final destination.
Hey man, you need driving instructions and a map or this is going to be an ugly trip!
Happily, driving instructions and a map are readily available.
Go to mynewdentaloffice.com for both (books, video series, blogs, informative interviews) so you can safely and economically arrive at your specific desired destination…The office of your dreams!
When forming your dental office design team, it’s essential to identify the key players who will assist you throughout the project.
While an architect or general contractor is often the first person that comes to mind, there are several other individuals who will become your trusted allies during this journey.
And remember, this is a team sport. Everyone needs to work together to achieve your dream.
The first person you will undoubtedly encounter is the dental equipment sales representative.
This person will be valuable in helping select equipment, providing the drawings locating equipment within the office and assisting with selecting an experienced general contractor.
To find the ideal location for your dental office, you’ll need the assistance of a competent commercial real estate agent.
Their knowledge and connections will help you secure the best available location for your practice.
I would suggest, in the strongest terms, you read the chapter on ‘Property and Lease Space Selection Guidelines’ in A Guide to Designing the Elegant Dental or Medical Office: The Largest Marketing Tool of Your Career or view the T.H.E. Dental Office Design University video, “Location is Everything: Property and Lease Space Selection Guidelines”.
While obtaining funding for your new office, it’s crucial to work with a lender who specializes in funding cash flow-based businesses…which would be you!
Local banks are asset-based lenders focusing on lending to companies that have finished goods in stock.
A dental practice has none. Whoops!
So…they require a lien on your house and your firstborn child!
Instead, search for national cash flow-based lenders who have a proven track record of securing adequate funding for dentists; a couple of examples would include Live Oak Bank and Huntington Bank.
To ensure the suitability of your chosen location, it’s important to conduct a due diligence analysis.
This step requires the expertise of an architect who is familiar with the specific requirements of dental offices.
They will provide a comprehensive report outlining the project’s costs and the suitability of the lease space or the property to support the office (which supports the practice), enabling you to proceed with confidence.
Consider T.H.E. Design as we have designed literally thousands of dental offices in the U.S. and Canada; most recently, we won the 2018, 2020, and 2022 American Dental Office of the Year Award.
Once the due diligence analysis is complete, you can proceed with developing full architectural plans.
These plans encompass design development documents, which effectively “build the office on paper,” and construction documents that specify the materials and assembly methods for each component of the office.
An interior designer will also contribute by selecting finishes, including wall coverings, paints, flooring, furniture, and accessories like flower arrangements and artwork.
The general contractor plays a pivotal role in building your dental office according to the architect’s plans. It is crucial to work with a general contractor who has experience in constructing dental offices.
Your equipment specialist is an excellent source of recommendations for reputable general contractors, as the specialist has been involved in dental office projects in your area.
However, the final selection of a competent general contractor should be a group decision among you, your architect, and your equipment specialist.
Ensuring a strong working relationship between the general contractor, the architect, and the equipment specialist will ultimately contribute to a superior end result.
By assembling a proficient dental office design team, everyone involved can achieve a successful outcome.
The collaboration between the dental equipment sales representative, real estate agent, lender, architect, interior designer, and general contractor will contribute to the creation of a functional and aesthetically pleasing dental office.
Dr. Mark Tholen, the author of A Guide to Designing the Elegant Dental or Medical Office; The Largest Marketing Tool of Your Career, Giving Form to Your Future: 100 Award Winning Dental Office Floor Plans, and T.H.E. Dental Office Design University Video Series, is CEO of T.H.E. Design, Inc. T.H.E. Design has designed thousands of offices across the U.S. and Canada.
You can find his books and videos at mynewdentaloffice.com or on Amazon.com.
Dr. Tholen regularly conducts dental office design conferences across the U.S. and Canada and at the A-dec campus in Newberg, Oregon.