Some dentists spend every moment out of the operatory catching up on HGTV heavyhitters and Netflix design documentaries. Others would rather focus on trends in A.I. and intraoral scanners than discuss their personal interior design styles.
Even a practice owner brimming with ideas and inspiration can benefit from a bit of expert direction in the area of interior design. And for a dentist new to the process, the sheer volume of decisions, topics and considerations might feel overwhelming.
She guides dentists from the best way to get started on any interior design project through to adding ‘wow’ factor to an already incredible office.
1. Identify what inspires
To help a dentist create the office they envision, interior designers gather inspiration from the doctor – their likes, dislikes – to guide the project direction. One effective method for a doctor to communicate their mental picture: share a simple photograph.
Inspiration images allow an interior designer to assemble a mood board. The best part, the photos need not be architectural in nature. A few examples of inspiration photos: a favorite piece of art or furniture, scene from a film, exterior of a building, destination (a mountain cabin in Colorado, a beach in the Pacific Northwest.
From these, a designer can gather insight on the doctor’s preferred color palette and style.
>>> Photos that don’t feature interior designs offer designers more leeway and allow them to tap into their creativity.
Read more HERE.
2. Make time for a big-picture overview of all the design options and details.
Get started with finishes.
- Flooring. In clinical spaces where infection control is top priority, LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile offers a surface designed for easy cleanup. LVT’s durable nature won’t buckle under pressure, such as the weight of dental chair or large equipment.
- Walls. Options for wall paint and wall coverings of cleanable vinyl are endless. Don’t forget accent features, decorative wall materials such as tile, or those that include texture – also known as dimension walls.
- Ceilings. Tried-and-true selections include painted drywall and ceiling tile, but the sky’s the limit with options such as acoustic clouds and noise-reduction baffles.
- Millwork. When reviewing cabinetry, such as the reception desk, take into account accent finishes, countertop types (quartz vs. solid surface vs. laminate) and lighting elements.
- Wall base. Consider all possibilities, such as standard rubber base, a more decorative rubber with a profile, or even wood. A combination of these can also be used for different areas of the dental practice. Think: more decorative selections in patient areas and simpler in staff areas.
- Special trims. Practical, yet pleasing to the eye, trim variations can suit every style. Define and enhance with crown molding, or decorative custom accent elements such as wainscoting, board and batten, or geometric accent walls.
Let lighting lead the way and add dimension to a space.
- Decorative Lighting. Generally, an architect or builder selects architectural lighting, but interior designers incorporate decorative lighting.
Read more HERE.
3. Focus on the mood you want to create with the help of interior design
There’s a fine delineation between exciting and overstimulating, and with expert direction in the area of interior design, every dental practice can find the balance.
Serene and calm? Comfortable? Elevated and grand? As the owner and visionary, each dentist is invited to establish the mood at their dental practice. Then, select interior design elements to convey that message.
Read more HERE.
4. Define your personal style.
Style, by definition, is a distinctive manner of expression, a particular mode of living, or technique by which something is done. Every dentist likely has clear vision for the style of care they provide at their practice. When it comes to interior design, though, their opinions may be more fluid.
Here’s a look at 17 style preferences.
- Modern Minimal
- Mid Century Modern
- Modern Rustic
- Modern Farmhouse
- French Country
- Spa Zen
- Glam Art Deco
- Earthy Organic
- Family Friendly
Learn about their key elements and see images related to these styles HERE
5. Dentists can add “wow” elements into interior design to make their dental practice design a standout.
When it comes to your dental practice interior design, a statement, or “wow”, element can differentiate your practice and also add practical benefits.
Dentists can add ‘wow’ elements into interior design using wall murals, lighting, accent walls, and glass walls to highlight an area of the practice.
At Synergi Orthodontics located outside of Los Angeles, a wall mural, shown above, pays tribute to local history. According to Dr. Vanessa Peterson, patients often share positive commentary about the practice mural, painted by local artist Devin Johnson, which nods to the citrus groves of the older, more agricultural Rancho Cucamonga.
Read more about the interior design of Synergi Orthodontics HERE
LIGHTING, GLASS WALLS
Glass wall and unique lighting are featured among the award-winning interior design elements at Cornerstone Dental Group in Harrisburg, North Carolina, shown above and below. The practice of Dr. Tin D. Lam recently earned a 2022 Incisal Edge Design Competition Award in the New Construction category.
Dental professionals spend their entire careers dedicated to one recognized receptor with significant first-impression impact: the smile. Who better, then, to translate that sensibility to improve patients’ initial experience at the dental office?
An accent wall in a reception area accomplishes that and more.
“A beautiful accent wall creates an impact without distraction. Welcoming, soft and warm, it uses trim pieces to create a geometric pattern.” said Sucharita Ray, design manager for Benco Dental.
In this case, she’s referencing the accent wall in the reception area of Brand Dental in Kingston, Pennsylvania, shown above.
6. Define your dental brand and logo to guide other design decisions.
Many dental practice owners are intimidated by the idea of commissioning and selecting a logo. After all, as the primary visual representation of your brand, it needs to communicate a lot of things about you—at a glance. No wonder so many put it off, and off, and off . . . while, in the meantime, their marketing and public image suffers. But you don’t necessarily need to enter the process with strong ideas to achieve a great result you’ll be confident about.
For Dr. Archana Dhawan, that meant entrusting the gut renovation in Troy, Michigan that would become Oakland Orthodontics to Multimedia Designer for Benco Dental Allison Simenkiewicz and Benco DentalSenior Interior Designer Amanda Griffith, both of Benco Dental’s Build Your Brand and Interior Design teams.
Starting with the simplest possible shape — the circle — Dr. Dhawan developed an entire unique practice aesthetic for her new ortho office near Detroit. Benco Dental’s Build Your Brand and Interior Design experts helped hone the doctor’s sensibility into a unified whole.
That logo, incorporating the circles Dr. Dhawan favors, informed the spirit of the rest of the practice’s look, down to the smallest details, such as the links in the pendant lighting in the hallways and the light fixtures over the brushing stations.
Most importantly, the practice logo features prominently in the reception area, shown above, and etched into the operatory windows, shown below.
See more images and the floor plan from the 5,000 square-foot-office HERE.
Feeling inspired, but still not sure how to bring dental practice design ideas to life?
>>> Looking for personalized interior design expertise?
For details on how to create a dental office interior design that inspires dental patients and the entire dental team, email firstname.lastname@example.org
>>> Ready for additional design guidance?
- over a dozen design-centric content modules.
- a range of experts who can answer your questions and offer valuable advice across applicable specialties, including Dr. Tristan Hamilton, one of America’s leading experts in dentistry and architecture, and Melissa Sprau, NCIDQ, Benco Dental Director of Design.