What American Dentists Need to Know About Dental Office Renovations
One of the most pressing concerns American Dentists have is office renovation. They worry about the cost, the equipment, staff, and patients. Dental office renovation is stressful for those who spend most of their time there. It may disrupt service delivery and lead to loss of income and customers. However, a dental office upgrade allows the practice to get on with the times and offer better service to their clients.
Here are 15 things that dentists need to know when embarking on office renovations.
1. Consider the Patients
Over the years, dental offices have transformed from fear-inducing and terrifying chambers to stylish and modern dental care premises. Therefore, American dentists need to ensure that their offices reflect this reality. It is not enough for your customers to wait their turn at the reception. A renovation should ensure patients are comfortable, engaged, and looking forward to meeting their dentist.
Beyond the internal ambiance of the dental office, also consider the external. Visible signs help patients navigate to your office easily if you are in a multi-office building. Additionally, consider providing ample parking space. Hire professional parking lot contractors to design and build an attractive, safe, and secure parking space for your practice. The larger your parking space, the more customers you can attract.
Ensure that you have comfortable furniture for your patients to sit in as they wait. Add age-friendly fittings to attract customers of all ages to your practice. The more comfortable your patients are, the more likely to come back and recommend your dental practice. Therefore, consider the comfort of your patients when renovating your dental office.
2. Consider Staff And Their Working Habits
Different dental practices have varying standards and habits of work. Some are busy, which allows them to have a large team on their staff. When it is time for renovation, American dentists with staff need to consider them. First, have a chat about the renovation. Let your staff provide ideas on what they like about the current design and how a renovation would affect how they work. Also, let them suggest renovation ideas that would help their work.
Depending on the work dynamics in your dental office, renovations should ensure that dentists and their assistants have ample space to work. It should also make their collaboration easier. Therefore, staff input is essential when starting an office renovation project. With the new clients, it may attract a renovation may also be a challenge for growth to your staff.
3. Incorporate New Technology
Medical and dental technology is developing fast. The technology used ten years ago is almost obsolete. Therefore, American dentists should consider their equipment and technology during an office renovation. When hiring an office designer or an architect, they should also hire an IT service company and consult a dental equipment provider. Modern technology and modern equipment go hand in hand for better dental care.
An updated IT system will help the dental office manage its resources better. It will also ease its communication with clients and other stakeholders. It also makes it easier to get new information and monitor patients. The more modern your technology and equipment, the more clients you can attract to your practice.
4. Update the Lighting
American dentists often overlook lighting. Dentists need the most light focused on the patients in front of them. However, they need proper lighting in other parts of the office. The ambiance of your office consists of how your staff makes your clients feel and how it looks. For a modern professional look at your office, update the lighting system.
You need to hire licensed electricians to remove the old and install a new lighting system. If you hire an architect or a designer, they must have in their time an experienced electrician. Modern lighting allows you to control the intensity of the light in different parts of the practice. If you have large windows at the reception, you do not need too much lighting in the office. You can have more lighting installed in other parts away from the windows. A professional will advise and install the best lighting for your dental practice.
5. Hire Professionals
For the best office renovation, American dentists must hire professionals. A renovation will require architects, contractors, electricians, designers, plumbers, roofers, and other construction pros. Professionals may charge more for the upgrade, but the results will speak for themselves.
Usually, if you bring in a professional architect or designer, they will have a team of the other professional you need for a successful renovation project. They will listen to your renovation ideas and suggest some from other American dentists. They will also help you put together a budget for the project and provide timelines for when you can expect the renovations to end. Letting professionals handle the job gives peace of mind and ensures correct and timely completion.
6. Choose Whether to Remodel the Exterior or the Interior
You do not have to carry out the renovation all at once. Phased renovations ensure that there is minimal interruption in daily activities. Start with the exterior renovations. Most American dentists know that the exterior of their offices helps potential clients from their first impression of them. The better it looks, the higher regard you can expect. For exterior upgrades, you will need roofing repairs or replacement with modern, aesthetically pleasing shingles or tiles. You may also need asphalt striping services to spruce the roads to your clinic and your parking lot.
Upon completion of the exterior renovation, you need to renovate the interior to match up. Modern lighting, furniture, and commercial digital signage are the most common interior features of modern dental offices. With the signage, you can provide information on your services to patients in your waiting room. You can also show educational content on proper dental care when at home.
7.Work With the Size of Your Office
American dentists must consider the size of their offices when they decide to renovate. How big or small your office is, determines the cost and the period of renovation. The larger the office, the more it costs to renovate and the longer it takes to finish the job. A larger dental office may have many operatories than a smaller one. Thus, it will need more modern equipment, which may raise the renovation cost.
Depending on the available space, a customer-centered renovation may lead to bathroom space in the dental clinic. You need a professional plumbing contractor to design and provide the required plumbing service. When renovating a small office, American dentists should consider their ability to work and the comfort of their patients.
8. Obtain Permits For Renovation
Whether you rent the office, you need to talk to your landlord to get a permit from your local government offices. Your landlord also needs to give consent to the renovation. They will need assurance that you will not damage their property and that if there’s damage, you will fix it. You can also ask the landlord to renovate the office for you. It would lead to an increase in your rental charges.
All construction needs to adhere to local building codes. Therefore, American dentists must apply for a renovation or building permit. The government permit allows for the renovation to start. Working without can lead to punitive fines and loss of licenses by the contractors involved in the project. You can have the contractors apply for the permit on your behalf.\
9. Manage the Air Quality
Depending on the size of the dental clinic and the number of clients you attract, American dentists must consider air quality in their office renovations. Air quality is poor in a small dental office with many clients. When renovating an office, a dentist can hire commercial HVAC contractors to install air conditioning. Air quality in the office enhances comfort for staff and clients.
10. Update Windows And Doors
They may seem like ordinary features of a building or office, but windows and doors are essential in bringing out the intended appearance. Dentists must consider the windows and doors installed during a renovation. Consider the type of windows to install at the design stage. You will need a commercial glass repair service provider to install or fix broken windows in your dental practice office.
Windows provide for both clean air and ample lighting. Open windows ensure that there is fresh air within the clinic. Additionally, the larger the windows, the more natural light they let in. Natural light improves energy efficiency by lowering lighting, heating, and cooling costs.
Additionally, the doors define the space. Get attractive doors for your clinic during the renovation. Beyond how they look, ensure that the doors can provide sufficient security. Hire a commercial locksmith service to install superior locks on your office doors. You do not want your equipment stolen after you have locked up for the day.
11. Follow Modern Trends
American dentists must consider building trends for a renovation to be successful. If they have to replace roofs, doors, or windows, they must factor in the style and materials used to make them. Current building trends require that your office or home is energy efficient. You can enhance the energy efficiency of your office by using large windows made with sustainable materials and using renewable energy such as solar power.
Additionally, trends require that buildings are easy to access for everyone. So, you can have a ramp to ease movement in and out. Safety and security are also trendy in new buildings. Add stylish rails and cameras in sensitive areas such as the reception to enhance the security of everyone who visits your office.
12. Create a Project Timeline
When you hire a contractor or an architect for your dental office renovation, they will draw a timeline. It shows how the project will progress and how soon it may end. Your contractor will follow the project timeline as closely as possible. The project complexity determines how long it will take to complete.
American dentists should also consider that there may be delays in the project’s completion. Lack of materials or other contractor challenges may cause completion delays. Also, they should expect disruption in their everyday routine. Therefore, they will need to arrange how to serve their customers before the end of the renovation. They can either move to another location or renovate the office in phases.
13. Notify Neighbors
When planning a renovation, you need to notify your neighbors. If you are in a multi-office building, let your neighbors know there will be unusual activity in your office. Your renovation project is likely to cause noise. Therefore, notifying your neighbors in advance is polite and helps them to plan their work.
14. Pick the Right Designer for Your Renovation Project
When choosing an architect, designer, or contractor, there are certain factors to consider. Make sure the contractor you pick for your projects has previous experience with dental renovation. It makes it easier for them to understand your needs. Experienced contractors understand the equipment you may require for your office and how the office needs to look for easy installation.
Some specialized architects and designers only work on dental office projects. They perform both construction and renovation. They also work with dental equipment providers to make it easier for dentists to order new tools.
15. Focus on the Future
While renovating the office, American dentists need to focus on the future. One of the things that they should consider is whether another dentist will join the practice. When renovating your office, consider the additional clients who are likely to come to the operatory when it has a more appealing exterior. As a dentist, outline your plan for a renovated office and the future success of your practice.
Office renovation revamps the look of your dental office. It is an opportunity to gain new customers and to stay up to date with dental technology. It enhances the comfort of your customers and provides the best working conditions for you and your team. Contact us for advice and help to renovate your dental office.