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Dental Fitouts

Dental Clinic Design and How Lighting Plays a Role

When designing a new dental clinic or refurbishing your existing practice the health and safety of your patients and staff members should be your number one priority. 

 

In this blog we will discuss the importance of good lighting and how it can reduce the risk of not only physical injury but also mental strain. 

 

Whether you are a receptionist sitting at a desk, a patient filling out forms in a waiting room or a dentist/ dental nurse providing treatment in the surgery, the correct lighting plays a huge role in not only how you perform your job but also how you feel throughout your appointment. 

 

There are many aspects to consider when discussing lighting options with your builder and how you can incorporate smart lighting in with your dental clinic design in order to provide good vision for staff members and create comfort for patients. 

Create the right Ambience

These days there is a big focus on mental health and how we can create spaces that provide the right type of environment in order to make both staff members and patients feel safe, comfortable and at ease. This is something that we always consider during our dental clinic design process.

 

Some patients may be nervous or apprehensive before a dental appointment, especially young children, and staff members can also feel pressure and anxiety during busy periods.

 

By providing the correct lighting in your dental clinic design you are helping to create a happy working environment safe from the risk of severe mental strain.

 

Mental strain comes in different forms. Lack of appropriate lighting can cause eye strain, headaches and fatigue which in turn can generate not only an unproductive working environment but can also induce unnecessary stress in both staff members and patients.

Making Areas Safe

It’s no secret that a well lit area is a safe area.

 

It is important to incorporate the appropriate lighting within areas of your dental clinic design that are used for things like storage, amenities and even staff/ public parking areas.

 

Bad lighting is one of the main causes of trips and falls and therefore you are heavily reducing the rick of a staff member or patient injuring themselves within your premises if you provide them with good lighting.

 

If the area they are in is well lit they are far less likely to walk into any hazardous situations.

 

Sensor lights can be a huge benefit in areas such as public amenities or hallways that are not used on a regular basis. With the use of sensors lighting is only activated when required so you are also saving energy.

Correct Lighting Gets the Job Done

Not only do staff members and patients need good light, you as a dentist need the best lighting of all in order to do your job properly.

 

Make sure if you are handing over the specification side of things to your medical fit out company that they are across the required equipment for your particular dental clinic and have the right relationships in place with suppliers in order to get the best deal possible, while maintaining the quality you need.

 

As you can see when considering a new dental clinic design or refurbishing your existing practice it is important to consider every element and how it could potentially affect not only you and your staff but also your patients.

 

We know that good lighting is essential to any working environment and can help staff members perform tasks to their highest potential and in turn provide your patients with a comforting, calm environment.

Tips for your Dental Surgery Fitout

  Making the decision to take on a new dental surgery fit out can be a very exciting time but there are a few factors that you need to understand before we dot the I’s and cross the T’s.

 

One of the first things we need to think about is not only whether your existing building is in the best location for you (think ease of parking/ amenities and proximity of competitors) but also has the right amount of space and design flexibility to suit your business today and well into the future.

Existing building conditions are a huge factor when looking to undergo a dental surgery fit out, especially if you are residing in an older building.

 

As standards and building codes change over the years so do the requirements of your renovation and there may be aspects of your dental practice that need updating in order for any new works to even start.

 

Where possible, major services such as electrical, mechanical and plumbing should be checked out by a professional prior to works commencing. Something such as lack of body protection or existing plumbing issues can make a huge impact on your project budget and therefore you need to know what works may be required before signing any contracts, thus reducing the risk of any surprise cost variations.

 

Of course there are always things that cannot be seen on an initial inspection (and may not be discovered until something such as the removal of flooring has taken place) but having an experienced builder handle your dental surgery fit out you are giving yourself the best chance at catching any major issues early.

 

The current size of your dental clinic is another thing that needs to be taken into consideration when looking at a full dental surgery renovation or fit out.

 

Think about where you see yourself within the next 5-10 years and whether your current layout has the room to expand with you and your team.

If growing your business is on the cards it is a good idea to think about how you can prepare for the space that may be required in the future.

 

Rooms that are originally designed for storage or administration purposes can be put together in a way that conversion into a functional consulting suite, if required, is a simple process and will cause minimal disruption to the day to day running of your practice when the time comes.

 

By ensuring all services that will be required are already installed in the walls you are making the set up process a quick one as your builder will only need to return in order to make these services accessible as opposed to going through a full installation.

 

At Clinics by Design we pride ourselves on our knowledge within the medical industry. With over 30 years of experience we know what to look for and which elements of an existing building or tenancy may be problematic to a full dental surgery fit out.

 

By taking the time to sit down with a qualified medical building specialist not only are you potentially protecting yourself from any unforeseen costs you will also be obtaining sound advise on how to prepare your dental practice for the future in the way of space planning and smart design.

Design for Your Dental Surgery

Whether you are looking to give your existing dental surgery a bit of a facelift or take on a whole new build the internal and external aspects are a crucial part of your dental surgery design.

Not only do you want something that is visually appealing to you (after all it is your clinic and you want to make sure you love it) but it also has to attract the type of patient you are looking to target.

There are a couple of ways to look at how you approach your dental surgery design.

Targeted Demographic Design:

If you are a specialist who caters for a certain type of demographic you will want to base your dental surgery design around the things that attract this type of person.

 

Say you cater mainly to children, you will want to create a welcoming, enjoyable atmosphere for them not only during their appointment but also while they wait.

 

Luckily it is easy to make your dental surgery design appealing to kids! Colour is the main factor in how people feel when they come into a clinic. They say blues and greens can be soothing colours whereas reds and oranges can come across as aggressive and may change someones mood for the worse. When it comes to a children’s medical environment we think the more colour the better.

And this can be achieved in many ways. Consider coloured furniture, there are many coloured vinyls (upholstery) and polypropylene shells on the market that can either represent your brand colours or can be mixed and matched in order to create a rainbow of seating.

 

Vinyl flooring is also available in some really amazing colours and patterns and just like the seating can be installed in a way that reflects your surgeries’ branding. Patterns can also be cut into the vinyl which can create an interesting way finding system that kids will enjoy using. Think coloured pathways that lead kids to treatment rooms.

 

You could also include different themes for each treatment room with the use of vinyl decals, flooring and artwork such jungle, under the sea, princess etc. This kind of thing brings a bit of fun to what could otherwise be an uneasy appointment.

 

Your waiting room is just as important as your treatment area and is the perfect place to create calm before an appointment.

 

Although loose toys are no longer recommended in waiting rooms, as it promotes the spread of germs, there are other ways you can make your waiting room entertaining while staying safe.

 

Consider an iPad station that can be wiped down after each use. These iPads can be loaded up with appropriate games and videos to keep any bored or anxious patients distracted while they wait. For additional social distancing measures clear perspex screens can be installed in between iPad ‘stations’. Not only will this stop the spread of any germs but it also gives parents some extra piece of mind.   

Inter-Generational Design:

While a lot of surgeries cater for certain demographics many cater for anyone and everyone. So how do you incorporate elements that will suit everybody into your dental surgery design?

 

When we think of waiting rooms the first thing we need to make sure we have is comfort.

Unfortunately a trip to the dentist isn’t usually seen as a treat and therefore making patients feel as comfortable as possible from the moment they walk in the door is crucial.

 

Children’s areas can be beneficial not only to patients that have children with them but also for other waiting patients. An area of the waiting room that can be sectioned off with screening so parents can still see their children but the acoustic properties of the screen block some noise can be all it takes to create a comfortable space for every patient waiting.

 

Seating is another important part of your waiting room, especially when treating a range of different people.

By giving the option of arms and no arms on chairs you are showing you want everyone to be comfortable, whether they need additional space on their seat or an extra bit of help to stand.

 

Welcome distractions such as a TV, music or even beautiful artwork can also make a big difference in a waiting room and can be incorporated into your dental surgery design easily.

 

Neutral music or even advertising for additional services can break the silence in an otherwise quiet waiting area while educating your patients about some services they might not even know you have on offer.

 

Not only are you catering for waiting patients but also for patients that have just come out of treatment. There is nothing worse than coming out after a dentists appointment, walking into a silent waiting room full of people and feeling like everyone is listening you try to mumble arrangements for your next booking through a half numb mouth!

 

Once in the treatment room it is important that your patients continue to feel as comfortable as possible. It can be quite daunting walking into a sterile looking room full of instruments so think about which elements you can incorporate into your dental surgery design that might help put people at ease. Items such as TVs on the roof which can be turned onto your patients preferred channel or movies for kids can be a welcome distraction. 

 

As you can see it is simple to incorporate good design into your dental space.

The Ins and Outs of Dental Practice Renovations

The decision to open up your own dental practice or renovate your existing clinic can be an extremely exciting one.

 

But it can also be quite a daunting one, so it is important to make sure you do some research into the items that need to be considered very carefully before appointing the team that will make your vision come to life.

1. Do Your Homework –

When it comes to dental clinic design the area you are located in and the type of patients you already have or want to attract play a huge role in how your clinic should look. If you are attracting young families you may want to give you clinic a fun, colourful look and set up a children’s area with additional acoustics in order to reduce noise for other patients, whereas if you are catering for mainly executive types you may want to give your practice a sleeker look along with some additional extras such as charging stations in which they can plug in their phones and laptops in order to work while they wait for their appointment.

2. Secure Financing –

Although you will not have a hard time finding a bank to lend to you not all banks are familiar with the actual costs and funding allocation required for a start-up practice and therefore it is important that you become familiar with a few different medical finance companies and who will work best for you.

3. Build a Strong Network

– Although it may feel risky to hand everything over to the one company when it comes to organising your dental practice renovation or construction we highly recommend the services of an experienced medical design and construct company. Not only do they have experience within the medical field, which is extremely important in order to really understand the requirements needed to ensure your practice is built to standard, they will also have existing relationships with subcontractors meaning you do not have to deal with each separate trade yourself.

4. Have a Business Plan

– A detailed business plan is the best way to show a complete understanding of the environment you will be opening your dental practice in. Not only is this beneficial when it comes to financing it is also a good idea to have everything written down so you know exactly what needs to be done in order to get your vision off the ground. Take a look at our previous blog ‘Planning Makes Perfect’ to see what should be included in your business plan.

5. Ask Around

– The best way to make sure you are going down the right path with your dental practice renovation is to speak to other practitioners. This gives you the opportunity to hear the good and bad stories that can go along with a refurbishment or new clinic construction and gain valuable advice on what they would have done differently if given the opportunity to do it all over again. Word of mouth is also good when it comes to appointing your design and construct company. Past clients and medical finance companies are usually the safest and most reliable option when it comes to medical construction.

 

Cosmetically it is very simple to give your dental practice the update it needs or set your brand new clinic apart from the rest but without the pivotal stepping stones above you will not have the structure to keep your business running successfully.

 

We understand that medical practitioners don’t like downtime therefore having as much information under your belt from the very first meeting with your preferred design and Construct Company is imperative.

 

With your clear plan and our knowledge and experience we can help get the ball rolling quickly in order to turn your dental practice dream into a reality.

Living, Breathing Walls

If you were to write a list of the things you most look forward to, a trip to the doctor or dentist generally wouldn’t rate very high.

 

Unfortunately when we think of any clinical environment our minds can easily wander into old waiting room, worn out carpet, copies of Vogue from 2008 territory. Coupled with the anxious feeling you get while waiting in a room with 15 other potentially sick people its not the best experience, and that is why Clinics By Design are here to help!

So how do we break this fear in patients and make clinics an enjoyable place to visit?

There are many ways to spruce up your clinic but one sure way to make an impact while considering space is to install a living wall, also known as bio-walls, eco-walls and grow walls.

 

These vertical gardens not only look great but they also pose immediate health benefits for you, your staff and patients by cleaning the air of toxins and generating oxygen.

Thinking Outside the Design Box

Gone are the days when patients feel the most comfortable in a stark and sterile medical environment.

 

Of course you want your clinic to look clean (which this look definitely achieves and is best suited to treatment rooms) but we are seeing a strong trend with patients enjoying a clinic that has something different about it.

 

When it comes to GP’s and Dentists, children’s areas are extremely popular in order to give the kids a place to play quietly while other patients are waiting. Other items such as USB port access give patients the chance to recharge their devices or even do some work while they wait.

 

We like to give veterinary clinics a colourful, fun feel in order to put fur mums and dads at ease as soon as they walk through the door (usually they are more nervous than the patients themselves!)

Specialist’s clinics suit a look that is luxurious and modern which is where beautiful seating and upholstery can really shine.

 

Whatever the type of clinic we have a solution to make it unique, functional and most of all comfortable for you, your staff and your patients (whether on 2 or 4 legs!)