If you are a freshly graduated dentist with limited financial resources, it might be a good decision to rent a small dental office. Since you will be working there alone and receiving patients one by one, you wouldn’t require a very spacious office. This could be a good beginning before you collect enough funds to upgrade your office or, simply, rent a bigger one.
Apart from looking for a property that will suit your needs, you would also need to invest in technology, for example, G.E. medical systems and furniture for your waiting room and reception.
Wondering how you can fit everything into a limited space? Keep reading the article to learn how to organize and design your dental office.
Set Up Storage Space
The first thing you should take care of is the storage space. To make sure you have enough room to store your equipment and instruments, build a storage space that can be accessed from both the waiting room and the treatment area. If you are renting a small office, this might be a challenge, but it is not impossible. Here are some tips to help you arrange your storage space:
- Tip 1: Try to use any vertical space that you have in the room. You can use a few wooden closet units (without doors) and install them against the wall. Then, place your dental units on top of these cabinets.
- Tip 2: A rolling tool cart can be a good option if you don’t have enough floor space to store your equipment and instruments. Store the tools inside the cart, and then wheel them from one place to another when you need them.
Another option would be to use a few hanging shelves mounted on the walls. They will not take much space, and you can place most of your stuff there.
Arrange Furniture in the Waiting Room
Regarding furniture layout, set up one chair facing the reception desk or table, where the patients will wait for their turn. This way, they will feel comfortable while waiting and won’t feel too cramped in such a small space. If they face the waiting room, they won’t feel any discomfort while looking at other people wait. Also, keep the distance between the chair and the desk so that each patient’s privacy is ensured.
Install Ceiling-Mounted Lights
Ceiling-mounted lights are an excellent choice when you are working with limited space. They are easy to install and provide sufficient lighting for your patients while they are seated on the dental chair. They come in different shapes and sizes, so take your time to choose the ones that suit your needs best. Place them above your examination chair or examination couch so that they illuminate every corner of your treatment area.
Plan Your Sink Setup Carefully
Planning a sink setup is essential for small dental offices. The basic setup includes one sink for handwashing, another sink for filling water tanks, and another for rinsing tools and disinfecting them before putting them into the sterilization cycle. There should be enough space around all these sinks so that you won’t feel cramped while washing your hands or doing other daily tasks around them. Make sure that there is no direct access from the waiting room to the treatment area so that patients won’t cross paths with each other while going to different sections of the dental office.
Keep Your Treatment Area Clean and Organized
Outdated equipment can really make your dental office look old and dirty even though you have just recently graduated from dentistry school. Remove all old equipment from your treatment area. Instead, buy new compact and smart items to save space – for example, ultrasonic scalers or air polishing units (if you don’t have much space for polishers). Also, try using smaller cabinets than those used by other dentists in order to conserve floor space.
Set Up Proper Ventilation System
Proper ventilation is essential for an ergonomic dental practice since some of the materials used during dental procedures could be harmful if inhaled by patients over extended periods of time. While setting up ventilation system in small offices with limited space might be challenging, there are still solutions available:
- Tip 1: Install a ceiling-mounted exhaust fan. There should be one in the treatment area and another in the waiting room so that all air is pushed out from the office.
- Tip 2: Use an evaporative air cooler. This type of air cooler is not as powerful as a ceiling fan but still efficiently cools the whole room. It reduces humidity and filters out unwanted particles from the air.
Organizing a dental office is much more complicated than you might think, especially if you don’t have much space to work on. However, following our tips should ensure that you, your personnel, and your patients feel comfortable. Keep in mind that the better your office looks, the more patients will become your loyal clients. And that is something you should not underestimate and remember when designing a dental office.