Treating their staff and patients like kin when planning and building their sparkling new practice paid off for two Ohio dentists, who now bask in a space in which everyone truly belongs.
WHEN A FAMILY BUILDS ITS DREAM HOME FROM SCRATCH, chances are it hasn’t planned every inch of the place according to its friends’ specifications. That wasn’t the case, however—dentally speaking, anyway—for Drs. Bryan J. Simone and Kyle J. Lowe.
The two Ohio dentists, based in the Columbus suburb of Grove City, patiently visited properties and drafted blueprints with a wish list crafted to their “family’s”—that is, their longtime patients’—desired comforts. That meant a dream location for younger patients, less than a mile from the local high school. And an ideal floor plan, with no stairs or other elevations, for the older cohort who have been visiting Grove City Center for Dentistry for a good chunk of the practice’s proud 60-year history.
“Our inspiration was from our previous practice and our patients—I was at the previous location for 26 years, and Kyle was there about 10,” Dr. Simone says. “It was small. We wanted accessibility and more openness—lots of windows, lots of light.” The two doctors found it all in the 5,200-square-foot practice they built from the foundation up.
They purchased the property in December 2016, demolishing the house that stood on it. Planning and construction proceeded apace. “One thing we thought was important was separating the clinical and administrative parts,” Dr. Simone says. “We now have a dedicated consult room, a dedicated check-in and check-out area, and what we call our ‘flex room,’ where we can go with our staff, check X-rays and discuss treatment before we go into the operatory.”
The building phase, both doctors say, was enjoyable. “Seeing the progress was interesting—from a hole in the ground to watching the walls go up,” Dr. Simone says. “Lots of phone calls, lots of questions to answer. There was stress, but at the same time it was all pretty exciting.”
One key factor, he notes: a good real-estate liaison. “It’s not something you can do on your own,” he says. “We used a company called Carr Healthcare Realty—they do only dental and medical, so they were very helpful in finding this property. Take your time and do your due diligence. Don’t stray from your ideal plan, because you’ll be able to find it.”
Highlights of the office for the dentists’ team of 15 is a central sterilization area that’s the hub of the new space. There’s a staff lounge with a kitchen and big-screen television, and throughout the practice you’ll find those ever-important spaces known as restrooms. “You’re going to laugh, but with our old office and that many people, there was only one staff bathroom,” Dr. Simone says. “There are four bathrooms now, so there’s no fighting over them.”
The prevailing sense of familial bliss is regularly bolstered by the reactions from satisfied patients, too. “I love hearing the positive feedback,” Dr. Simone says. “Many of the patients have been with the practice for so long, and they’re just truly happy for us.”
“Take your time, is the main thing. It took us a lot of time. We looked at a lot of different properties and a lot of different buildings—in some instances there were difficulties either with the layout of the property or a building layout we couldn’t use. Plan your ideal practice; take your time looking for the right spot. Plan for growth.”
—Dr. Bryan J. Simone
“The fact that we had a dental-specific contractor—I couldn’t imagine not having someone who didn’t have a dental background.”
—Dr. Kyle J. Lowe
Shianne Swinehart, Identify
Kurt Lape, Connect
Kurt Lape, Connect
Scott Petroff, Benco Dental
Friendly Benco Rep:
FORM, FUNCTION, FLOW
Dr. DANIEL TRUONO’S REDONE PRACTICE IN WILMINGTON, DELAWARE, CHECKS ALL THE BOXES FOR PATIENTS, STAFF—AND, OF COURSE, FOR THE DOCTOR HIMSELF.
DELIGHTED PATIENTS share praise and personal referrals. Staffers offer guided tours while seating patients. Ergonomics and thoughtful planning lighten the load for Dental Associates’ fearless leader.
Pleasant surprises arrive at every turn for Dr. Daniel D. Truono Sr., 53, who after 28 years in his 2,600-square-foot practice in Wilmington, Delaware, spent nine months renovating—and didn’t miss a day’s work. “The first few months after the office was complete, it was humorous to watch patients walk in, turn around and look at the sign on the door to make sure they were in the right place,” Dr. Truono says. “Everyone has commented on how open, clean and modern the office looks.”
The new space is truly a place of comfort, a sanctuary where sophisticated earth tones, natural stonework and burnished barn doors augment the finest, most up-to-date dental technology. Among its attributes: a colorful stone wall with a mounted television, a saltwater fish tank and a place where children can play Xbox or watch TV.
Dental Associates’ form is clearly beyond reproach, but its functionality might be more admirable still. The practice’s thoughtful ergonomics make life easier for patients and staff alike—perhaps for no one more than the man at the top himself. “One of my personal reasons for renovating was the tightness in my lower back,” Dr. Truono says. “Over the years, as I replaced our dental chairs, there was less room for me to get to the 12 o’clock position. Subsequently, I was hunching over more than I care to admit.”
His wife of 22 years and their two teenage children will no doubt be gratified by what follows: “By making the operatories more handicapped-accessible, wider and longer, I’m able to easily move around the patient,” Dr. Truono says, “which bodes well for my longevity.”
Amanda Griffith, CenterPoint Design
David Fortunato, Tom Witkowski
Paul Staritz, CenterPoint Design
Chris Heck, Benco Dental
Friendly Benco Rep:
“Decide whether the renovation is worth the investment. I plan to practice another 15 years, after which I hope I can pass the torch to my son.” —Dr. Daniel D. Truono