Creating a peaceful, comfortable ortho practice, and reducing patient anxiety

Adam Daniels, DDS, owner of Connecticut Valley Orthodontics, wanted a fresh, new office that represented his personality.

Sep 4th, 2014
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Adam Daniels, DDS, MS, owner of Connecticut Valley Orthodontics, wanted a fresh, new office that represented his personality. He knew he did not want his practice to look like a typical medical/dental office. Dr. Daniels was at a point where he needed to computerize charting at every station. His workflow was getting bogged down because his X-ray room and records rooms were combined, so splitting the room would allow for simultaneous procedures to increase productivity.

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Dr. Daniels was seeking a design team that would create an inviting, new, and highly productive operation, while bringing the outdoors inside for his thriving orthodontic practice.

He found R&F Building and Remodeling, LLC, out of North Haven, Conn., who specialize in dental build-outs. They brought together the architectural and interior design, technology, and builder to design and manage the entire project.

Dr. Daniels felt a connection with R&F’s team, including Laura Bordeaux of FX Dental Design, who understood his objectives. Dr. Daniels wanted to create a comfortable patient experience in which family members could see anywhere in his office. Dr. Daniels knew that if all lines of sight where open, patients and their family members could relax and know they were well cared for.

The design pallet began with the dentist’s favorite colors – bright greens and dark teal – that are reflected in the Connecticut Valley Orthodontic’s logo. Dr. Daniels also liked the idea of dark brown operatory upholstery because it would not show scuffs. In addition, all his existing perimeter wood and door trim was a dark finish, which he wanted to incorporate into the new design.

With these requirements in mind, Ms. Bordeaux presented Dr. Daniels with the concept that using brown earth tones and textures for all floors, cabinet faces, most counters, and operatory chairs would anchor the space. Green and teal hues were applied to the primary walls and incorporated into unique compressed glass sidelights at the entry and consult room. Ms. Bordeaux included touches of sunny yellows on textiles for the ortho bay’s upholstered benches, which added warmth and balanced the cool blue hues. Dr. Daniels asked that she include additional colors, so they selected a warm orange and playful purple hue as the secondary color pallet for accent walls and additional seating.

Another key requirement Dr. Daniels introduced was ease of cleaning and low maintenance for all new finishes. Ms. Bordeaux’s team and Dr. Daniels’ staff tested many materials. They went as far as using dental/lab tools to try to scratch and gouge solid surface products to obtain results. They found out that the lighter the Corian material, the less visible the scratches. This prompted the design team to specify and install “Antarctica” Corian for the lab counters only.

During the fact-finding phase, Ms. Bordeaux suggested adding a water feature for a calming element. Dr. Daniels took that idea and ratcheted it up by requesting a salt-water aquarium. The team decided the aquarium should be cylindrical, centrally located, and viewed from two sides, both from the waiting/check-in area and the records room.

The elliptical aquarium also mirrors the oval flow of the office. Dr. Daniels loves the calming effect the aquatic life has on patients before their procedures. This is also evident in the records room while taking impressions, which can be a stressful experience to many. However, when the swaying soft corals and colorful fish of the aquarium mesmerize patients, their anxieties melt away.

Dr. Daniels said that he loves his new office, which combines many unique touches to his highly productive orthodontic practice. The elliptical flow of the new office layout combined with the separated X-ray and records room has increased productivity. But hands down, Dr. Daniels believes that the aquarium is the piece de resistance.

Laura Bordeaux, ASID, MS Project Mgt., is president of FX Dental & Medical Interior Specialist. Reach her at 860-657-8161.

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