Expert Advice

Expert Advice

Every design project has its own set of unique variables that require and equally unique solution. One thing remains a constant when designing a dental office and that is the relationship of required spaces that make a dental office operate efficiently. Armed with this set of relationships we go about the job of creating your office within the boundaries of the space you are considering and building code standards.

Some of the areas within your dental office should conform to a "rule of thumb" in order to provide proper functionality. While others simply require a given amount of space and are open to the imagination for a functional yet creative solution and can be used to develop the "feel" that you wish to create. The Planning & Design Team at Henry Schein, have the ability to provide you with a unique solution while maintaining the functional requirements that must be present to allow you to prosper as a dental professional. Here are some of the "rules of thumb" that we urge our clients to follow:

  • All operatories should share the same layout of entrance, cabinet design and equipment type. This will prevent the doctor and assistant from searching for instruments, supplies and generally prevent disorientation within the operatory.
  • Sterilization should be as central to all of the operatories as possible and be laid out with a good "dirty" to "clean" flow.
  • Dedicated hygiene rooms should be closest to the waiting room due to the short duration of these procedures.
  • X-ray film processing should be as central to the operatories and Pan/Ceph as possible.
  • Reception area should provide adequate flow to prevent congestion for patents entering the clinical areas and those leaving and paying bills with relative privacy.

Generally we try to provide seating in the waiting room in the quantity of two per operatory. This will vary depending on your clientele and the nature of your practice.

The utility room is usually the last consideration and ends up tucked in a closet. In order to provide good performance from you dental vacuum machine, the utility room should be located close to the operatories with close attention to ventilation and noise.

At Henry Schein we take for granted a high level functionality and technical resolution in all our designs.

How much space do I need?
The simplest way to estimate how much space you will need is to multiply the number of treatment rooms you desire by 500. This ballpark estimate takes into account hallways, accessibility, and support areas. This number will vary depending on your “wish list” for your next office.

What should my biggest concern be when reviewing my office design?
Everything is important—that's why it's essential that you work with an experienced Dental Office Design Specialist. Function, flow, and aesthetics are all important, and take time to plan. By spending the time up-front with your design partner, you will have the office of your dreams.

There are so many options when it comes to cabinetry—how do I make a good choice?
Much of the choice comes down to personal preference, but remember, this is a long-term investment that affects the value of your practice. Invest in the very best you can afford to avoid costly maintenance and repairs.

What can you tell me about ergonomic issues?
Historically, workers were made to “fit” the workplace. The devastating results can be seen in the number of repetitive stress injuries seen in the dental profession. Our equipment specialists are trained to help “fit” your workplace to you and your staff.