Over the past decade, dental professionals of every stripe have seriously considered the value of an open treatment area for their patients. In fact, an open treatment area makes sense from both a patient care and financial perspective. For these reasons, more than a few dentists have opted to utilize this design to not only make their office space far more affordable for themselves but to also make the space more patient friendly. Here are just a few of the more notable reasons why:
- An open treatment area leverages the existing space – In any dental practice – especially the most successful ones – space is always at a premium. By eliminating walls, hallways and other dead space between examination rooms, the potential treatment area can developed for maximum utility. In short, more chairs can be fit in the same amount of space without any loss in the level of patient care. In fact, the lead dentist, his associates and his staff can more scrupulously monitor their patients.
- It also builds a sense of shared security – It is simply a fact of business life for a dentist that the vast majority of their patients do not really look forward to spending time “in the chair.” Fortunately, an open treatment area mitigates this problem to some extent. The community space allows patients to share some camaraderie while they are waiting for the doctor. In many ways, the shared experience is far more powerful than soft music or the reading of a magazine in shortening the perceived length and the stress of the situation.
- It frees up more of the doctor's time – It may not seem like it means very much but the constant shuffling between disconnected treatment rooms can have a truly paralyzing effect on a dentist's working time. Not only must he move a physically longer distance but he must constantly refresh himself on where he stands on completing a patient's procedure. An open open treatment area on the other hand reduces this time delay and allows the doctor to more efficiently move between patients. More productivity and less waiting time means it is a win-win situation for both doctor and patient.
- It significantly aids any future plans – Designing an open treatment room eliminates some of the headaches associated with future planning. For instance, if you plan to add newer technologies such as CAD/CAM, cone-beam or 3D printing, you will not need to decide which individual room – and thus what support systems need to be installed. Instead a central area in the open treatment area will best serve as the repository for the equipment. In addition, a conveniently located central space can be wired, plumbed and otherwise supported at this time. In short, with as little planning now, you will experience lowered retrofitting costs and downtime in the future.
The design, creation and ultimate utilization of an open treatment area in a dental office space is still somewhat controversial among the experts. Still, the idea shows a great degree of promise. In fact, the staff at HJT would love to discuss the merits of the idea with you. For more details on incorporating an open treatment area into your existing dental office space,, please contact us at HJT Dental Office Design. We can be found online at HJTDesign.com or reached directly at 866.213.1268.