If you have ever spoken with a waitress or a nurse or an office administrator about the design of their work space, you might hear the lament “If only the builders had talked to us first…” If your business is art, then creating with design and beauty first is appropriate. If your business is work, then there should be purpose in your design, first and foremost, but beauty and purpose are not necessarily mutually exclusive. This is true especially in healthcare, and in dental office construction, and finding a professional in this arena is important.
First, assess your office’s services. Are you strictly maintenance care, such as cleaning, taking care of cavities, and perhaps some cosmetic treatments? Or do you also want to include dental and cosmetic surgery? Purposeful design will depend on your services. In either case, for example, you’ll need a room devoted to cleaning instruments and perhaps looking at specimens. Also in either case, you’ll need well-placed lighting over the exam chair. If you’re doing surgery, you may want more than one light available above the table, perhaps one of them mobile.
The use of color is also extremely important. Our subconscious reacts to color in predictable ways. Research into the autonomic nervous system’s reactions to color has shown that the body responds predictably to yellow with a feeling of optimism and this color encourages communication. As such, this might be a good color for the reception area in dental office design, as many people are anything but excited to go to the dentist. Green, on the other hand, stimulates a feeling of relaxation both mentally and physically, and helps to relieve anxiety. This may be a good color for the exam rooms.
Seek a professional in dental office construction when you’re planning a new dental office, or re-doing an old one. Work as a team, and consult those that will be working in the space. Consider, too, the subtler aspects of design such as color. This may take more time in the beginning, but save countless hours of aggravation in the long run. Your patients will feel better too, even if they don’t know why!