Starting with the simplest possible shape, Dr. Archana 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.
THE CIRCLE, perhaps the most effortlessly pure of all human symbols, provides a visual blueprint for harmonious interior aesthetics. Dr. Archana Dhawan adhered to that sensibility flawlessly by infusing the circle’s evocation of unity and perfection into her Oakland Orthodontics practice design.
The result is a magnificent 5,000-square-foot office in Troy, Michigan, near Detroit— a museum-caliber environment in which smiles are the most prized artworks. “I’ve always had an eye for alignment, symmetry and aesthetics, and this steered me in the direction of orthodontics,” says Dr. Dhawan, originally from New Delhi, who cites her close Indian family as inspiration. After receiving a bachelor’s of dental surgery and an orthodontics master’s in India, she moved to the U.S., where she completed her education at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry.
“I always wanted to set up a state-of-the-art spa-like facility,” she says. “The concept was to create a modern, sophisticated, homey environment where our guests would have a memorable experience.” That vision required 10 months and a $700,000 outlay, with project challenges not limited to the pandemic. “We had to do a major demolition of the interiors and open up the exteriors in multiple places with windows.” The ribbon cutting was April 19; the office opened its doors five days later.
The concept was to create a modern,sophisticated, homey environment where our guests would have a memorable experience.”
The same space that presented those hurdles, though, lends grandeur to the finished office, which boasts high ceilings, modern fixtures and an airy milieu that contribute, the doctor says, to a “wow” effect. “I wanted the clinic to appeal to all age groups and make them feel welcome,” she adds. “I opted for the brilliant color palette to ease the phobia associated with visiting the dentist.” (Intriguingly, the partitions between the chairs in the open-bay concept are made of recycled magazine clippings.)
Then there are those circles: the links in the pendant lighting in the hallways, the light fixtures over the brushing stations and, importantly, the practice logo featured prominently in the reception area and etched into the operatory windows—products of intensive consultation with Benco Dental’s Build Your Brand and Interior Design teams, which worked with Dr. Dhawan throughout the entire process.
The shapes’ unifying sensibility, though, would mean little without the steady application of dental knowledge Dr. Dhawan has accrued over more than two decades caring for patients. Design matters, of course, but the doctor never lost sight of what she knows her clientele value most above all: “a positive, friendly and professional environment that delivers outstanding orthodontic care with the highest-quality service.”
DESIGN TIP: “Before you begin, crowdsource for ideas that support your vision. Ask family, friends and colleagues; they might bring up something you hadn’t considered. Communicate with your design and construction teams—the more input you give, the greater the returns.”
—Dr. Archana Dhawan