WHEN DR. RYAN ROTHER pondered the blank slate before him — just under 3,000 square feet of office space in central Pennsylvania, not far from Harrisburg — he focused first on something that has guided him throughout his 29 years: the incalculable value of people.
“A successful project is built on relationships,” says Dr. Rother, the managing partner of Rother Dental. “Work with people you trust.”
He speaks from experience, particularly his role in a triad of dental practices that also includes Verber Family Dentistry and the Verber Advance Institute. “The days of the ‘sliding glass window’ dental practice are over,” he says. “An attractive, state-of-the-art, comfortable and stylish practice is a conversation piece that patients will gossip about. It’s important to let our patients know our practice reflects the level of dentistry we strive to provide.”
Rother Dental’s entire design sensibility, it turns out, was built around a single swatch of carpet. (Such are the serendipitous joys of dental-practice construction.) “Our preference was for a palette of blues and grays that would allow us to bring in natural tones,” Dr. Rother says. “We fell in love with a Mannington carpet square that carried that exact palette with a chic orb-like pattern. This was the commonality all our other designs reflected toward.”
As he began his build-out, Dr. Rother drew on the experience of Dr. Michael Verber, one of his business partners, who in 2012 had renovated a 13-operatory practice of his own, a project that consumed two years. “He was very astute,” Dr. Rother says. “A big brother, we’ll say, who was willing to spend time and energy to help.”
Only 10 months after beginning the process of contractor bids, Rother Dental, a $1.2 million facility, opened its doors to patients. The entire production, Dr. Rother notes, was seamless, with Benco Dental equipment specialists and territory representatives flying him to Charlotte, North Carolina (at their expense), where he was able to customize his operatories at Pelton & Crane. “Being able to physically feel the leather, feel how the drawer slides, was invaluable. These are million-dollar investments — to actually be able to feel and see these things, there’s no comparison.”
Likewise his experience with the Benco Dental team that was in charge of blueprints and the overall process. “To look at the workflow with people who have done it before and specialize in it, it’s a bargain if you put it that way,” he says. “You have to trust and rely on other people, but with them, the trust was already there.” The gloriously elegant practice that resulted from all this attention speaks volumes, and underscores Dr. Rother’s notion once more: People matter.