Dental office design spans far and wide in today’s world, perhaps due to the fact that each office and doctor is able to personalize their space to reflect their practice, and their brand. They say that in the first seven seconds of meeting someone a first impression is established, and in the first 10, a determination of trustworthiness. I believe this rings true in design, from the moment someone walks into a space, they are generating an impression that will ultimately determine their overall experience. This impression is critical in dental design, a space where many patients can feel nervous, anxious, and unsure of the outcome of their visit. Here in lies opportunity.
As an interior designer there are a few overarching principles that I feel are critical to making a positive first impression. The first is to create spaces that evoke feelings of comfort, a simple way to do this is to incorporate design elements that remind patients of perhaps the most comfortable environment of all; their home.
– Carpet floors in the waiting areas and wood look floors in treatment rooms
– A fireplace with lounge style seating
– Small clusters of seating areas to create an intimate space with a mix of furniture styles
– A welcoming coffee bar with a variety of beverage choices
– Plenty of natural light
The second is to appeal to a wide range of patients and their families, it is crucial to consider all types of people when designing a space that can attract those from 2 years old to 100. Some things to consider:
– Select natural materials that are timeless, thus not alienating anyone with ultramodern design trends.
– Consider wayfinding and smart material choices for elderly patients to move through the space with ease.
– If your practice attracts families with small children, create a unique and fun space for them. Not only will they love it, their parents will thank you for it and keep coming back!
Lastly, look for ways to add memorable design features without being over the top. Ideally, these small details reflect the doctor’s personality and design aesthetic. For example:
– The design of the front desk should be welcoming and set the tone for the rest of the space.
– Utilize accent lighting throughout the office to strengthen the design
– Ceiling features, specialty wall finishes, and signage can all play a part in enhancing the patient experience
The design of a dental office is an incredible opportunity for a lasting first impression, by making it a space that people want to visit it will ensure the long-term success of the practice. A well thought out design will also improve the quality of the work environment for doctors, hygienists and administrative staff. At Keller, we love designing for dental clients, we take the time to really understand each doctor and practice so we can work with them to tailor a design that is specific for their needs and provides a space they can be proud to call their own!