Welcome to Our Newly Renovated Dental Office!
Written By: Carly Peterschmidt, DMD [January 20, 2023]
After about three years of planning, designing, saving, investing, permitting, finding people to make this dream a physical reality, and four months of construction, we are excited to share with everyone the changes we have made to our dental office!
Feel free to just check out the pictures, or if you’d like, you can read about the process of our remodel.
After acquiring this dental practice in 2017, I soon realized the challenges of working in a very small space. With one dentist and two dental hygienists working out of three operatories, there was little room for the unexpected in our schedule. We tried to be strategic with our scheduling template to account for delays by creating small gaps in the schedule between doctor procedures and we blocked out time each day for possible same-day emergency calls. This ultimately decreased the amount of patients we could see in a day and created a lot of pressure to stay on time.
Others in the healthcare industry know that the human body can be unpredictable not only when preventing/ treating disease, but also when treating people. At our office, we enjoy building relationships and getting to know each person beyond just their mouth. So sometimes, we take more time to hear about the highs and lows of life and sometimes treatment can go in a different way than we expected.
Because of this, I knew we really could benefit from adding at least one more operatory to account for the unpredictable and to be able to see more patients in a day. The challenge: would it be possible in this tiny space? I had hoped it would be, as looking at other nearby offices, I realized many offices were a lot larger and the cost of purchasing those spaces and remodeling would be much more expensive.
With the help of a design and build firm, we were able to produce some sample floorplans to see if we could rearrange our current office layout to add another operatory. Some of our other major wish list items included adding a second work station to the front desk, routing plumbing to the breakroom for washing dishes, maximizing storage space, and adding a staff bathroom for increased privacy. Some would think it would be impossible, but the City of Eugene approved the plans with only inches to spare to meet ADA clearances.
We certainly needed to be creative to make this floorplan work. Some of the ideas we came up with included utilization of a pocket door for the second bathroom to be ADA compliant, decreasing the size of our sterilization center (but investing in a more efficient and custom version), decreasing the size of my personal office, and removing a hall sink and mirror to move our panoramic x-ray machine out of the front office.
Once we knew our goals were possible, I did a lot of background work to become a shareholder at our building complex, which took about a year, and worked with my financial advisors to save and try to select the ‘right’ timing. It turns out pandemics aren’t really the best time to be remodeling, but with the realization that services and cost of goods were not going to be coming back down, I made the difficult decision to move forward with the project starting May 2022.
Our vision as a dental office is to create a positive dental experience for our patients, and it is also very important to me that I cultivate a positive and comfortable working environment for my team. This was at the core of my decision making for the design of the office. Some might not know that I really enjoy interior design, so this phase of my project was definitely my favorite part!
I wanted the office to feel:
- Light, bright, and airy
- Ocean and spa-like
- Clean and tidy, but not overly sterile feeling
- Happy, friendly, and playful
- Warm and welcoming
In the design, I desired to incorporate the colors from our branding, as it incorporates various colors of blue to give the effect of water, which I find to be incredibly calming and pleasant.
It was also important to me to invest in top-of-the-line custom Adec dental operatory and sterilization cabinetry, as well as their amazing dental chairs to give our patients and our team the most comfortable, efficient, and reliable systems to enjoy. For those of you who don’t know, Adec is a world-wide industry leader and their headquarters are in Newberg, Oregon!
The design and build firm helped to suggest material choices that would perform well in a dental office setting and it was my job to search for the décor, furniture, and make final design choices for cabinetry, countertops, tile, fixtures, etc.
There were certainly many challenges that we met along the way! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were huge decreases in the available workforce and increases in the cost of goods and services. Because of the worker shortages, my design and build firm bailed on the project after we got our permits, but prior to initiation of building. Our dental equipment was already ordered and permits were paid for approved for a window of time. By the grace of God, my equipment representative with Patterson Dental reached out to all of his contacts and he found that there was one dental contractor who was available to step in to do the job and keep things moving along! Unfortunately, their bid was over 3 times the price of the original! I had serious thoughts of just forgetting the whole thing, but ultimately decided to press on. I had to trim the project down in cost as much as I could without sacrificing the major goals and overall feel of the office. That was really difficult to let go of some of those dreams. However, ultimately, I am still really happy with how everything turned out and those things don’t seem to matter now.
As you can see from these photos, we now have a beautiful space to serve our mission of providing excellent dental care in a comfortable and friendly environment to help patients achieve a lifetime of oral and overall health. Thank you for your interest and support. If you haven’t had the chance to come see the office in person, we would love to give you a tour!