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Friday, September 18, 2009

Dental Case Study: Lodge-inspired Clinic

The Foundation’s first visit to Chanhassen Family Dental revealed a staff meeting in cramped quarters. It was clear they had outgrown their space. Since the clinic was planning to add an associate dentist, the need to expand was even more urgent. The dentists wanted a space with a smart layout that maximizes staff efficiency with a design that blends the sensibilities of an upscale, northwoods lodge with a clean, modern clinic.

The clinic found a new location, which needed to be converted from typical office space into a dental setting.

Instead of the typical lineup of dental chairs, The Foundation designed a unique layout that matched the practice’s workflow. Separate work zones facilitate the easy flow of employees and patients. The hygienist stations are at the core and the dentists’ two zones branch from there. Now there is ample space for the staff. The site was not previously a dental clinic, so it was nearly an entirely “from scratch” project. The Foundation was able to save one of the original restrooms, which saved the client about $15,000.

The Foundation was able to blend contemporary and lodge styles by incorporating high ceilings and raised windows with bands of black granite and oak. The front desk has a concierge feel but maintains the coziness of a rustic lodge. Even back work rooms echo the warmth of the lobby with the resilient flooring that looks like wood.

A custom see-through aquarium connects the waiting room with the operatories and was installed with a child’s height in mind. Cottage-style windows throughout bring the outdoors in.

There is a custom dental lab, but instead of concealing the Cerec there, it is prominently displayed so patients can watch as their dental work is made. Flat-panel monitors are mounted in every operatory, which improves the communication between doctors and patients.

The dentists are impressed with how The Foundation was able to take their ideas and vision and make it a reality. Patients have been raving about the new space, and Dr. Leonard said he’s had more fun practicing in this new clinic than he’s had in his career.

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