Extreme makeover: Unveiling a new dental suite
Whether it involves relocating, hiring new staff or remodeling, change sometimes is essential to increase efficiency.
That time came for us at All Pets Dental (Weston, Fla.) about a year ago. Visiting the 2007 Dental Forum made us see that change was necessary. The 7-year-old treatment area had seen its fair share of cases, and unfortunately the cabinetry and equipment reflected it (Photo 1).The cabinetry was falling apart and inefficient for storing all the instruments and products necessary to make the treatment area productive. The three treatment tables were falling into disrepair, one by one. At any given time, at least one was non-operational.
Considering I have never undertaken a renovation like this, the companies were knowledgeable and helpful throughout the process. In this case, a representative came out to evaluate the operatory area. Together we came up with goals. I wanted an extra work station and needed more storage space.
A carpenter built the cabinetry when we first opened. Unfortunately, most carpenters don't fully appreciate how much stuff veterinary practices accumulate through the years. It was comforting to know we had a team with specific knowledge and experience.
Plan for at least five weeks to complete the transformation in the dental operatory area, from measuring the cabinets to getting everything installed. (Photos 2, 3 and 4).
The cabinets we selected were made of polymer-covered panels that make cleaning up spilled chemicals and fluids easy and limit surface degradation. The drawers are seamless, so if any fluids spill in them, they can be cleaned out easily.
We are all satisfied with the upgraded work space. We doubled our storage space and completely transformed the treatment area. We've gone from three sometimes-operational dental tables to four powerful, functional and organized treatment tables (Photo 6).
We now have the potential to increase our caseload by 25 percent.
If you want to increase dentals in your clinic, you need to have a functional work space for optimal productivity. Do your homework; it will pay off in dividends later.