If most of your day is spent providing patient care, it is imperative that the layout and design of your practice is efficient and comfortable. Renovating or building a new dental clinic requires a lot of careful planning. You want a practice that is functional and patient-friendly to provide an environment that offers the highest levels of patient care. Architects and builders may not have the knowledge or experience for the requirements of a dental clinic and rely on second hand information. Luckily, some companies such as Dentec specialise in clinic design and fit out.
Here are some tips from the experts to consider when designing your dental practice.
The first thing to consider for your dental clinic is size. Ensure that space is adequate to house dental equipment while giving you space to move around and work comfortably. With today’s ergonomic designs and dental equipment, the minimum size for a practice is 3.6 m x 3.2 m based on the seated treatment position of the dentist and the reclined position of the patient.
Cabinet placement is another important consideration when determining the size of your practice. A cabinet at the twelve o’clock position and another cabinet on the assistant’s side is the current trend among doctors. Some dentists prefer having a sink on their side for hand washing prior to check-ups and treatment. Providing cabinets on the assistant’s side gives sufficient storage for supplies that may be needed during treatment.
The fifth wall
The ceiling, or the fifth wall, is what patients look at while in a reclined position during treatment. The ideal height for a ceiling is 2¾ metres high to reduce any claustrophobic feelings of the patient whilst in the chair. The installation of light fixtures doesn’t necessarily have to be in the middle of the room, but needs to be sufficient to provide adequate brightness.
Your dental practice is like an aeroplane and the operating room is like the cockpit. The layout needs to use space efficiently and have all items within easy reach whilst sitting comfortably.