Interior design is a crucial factor in the ambience of an inside space. You’ve no doubt stepped foot in one or more poorly designed small businesses yourself – perhaps somewhere crampt, badly lit or uncomfortable. You likely have first-hand knowledge of how much design affects customer’s perceptions.
As dental practitioners, we know that the atmosphere inside our dental practice is what either deters or attracts new patients, and determines the quality of the treatment journey that they experience under our care.
A pleasant ambience resulting from great design can make a huge difference. Here’s what we recommend:
Clarify Your Design Objectives
You might be designing a new practice from scratch, or sketching out the details of a small upgrade to current premises. It’s important to make explicit what your goals really are.
Ideally, you’ll have a clear vision for what you want the design to achieve – perhaps it’s intended to make the practice more open and spacious, more efficient and productive, or more warm and welcoming.
The clearer you can get on what exactly you want out of your design, the better the final result will be.
Balance Atmosphere With Functionality
Although we often think of interior design as an aesthetic process, design serves multiple purposes, all of which are of roughly equal importance.
Function is just as important as form, and in a dental practice, effective use of your space can make a significant impact on productivity and profit.
And there are special considerations in a dental practice, too. Not only do you want a pleasing aesthetic, but you’ll want to consider the optimal layout that allows clinicians to do their jobs properly, and allows you to position technology properly so it’s accessible when needed, but also out of the way for the majority of consultations that won’t require it.
Getting the balance between atmosphere and function correct is tricky, but it’s worth putting the time and effort in to achieve.
Get The Aesthetic Tone Just Right
We all know that we want patients to feel as comfortable as possible in our practice, but beyond that, what are the details of the atmosphere we’re seeking to create?
It really comes down to both your own personal taste and the vision you have for your dental practice brand. Yes, we said brand – it might sound businesslike, but the term really just boils down to the perception of your practice that you aim to create in your patient’s minds.
How do you want to be perceived? Use interior design to really convey those specific qualities. Perhaps you’re aiming for natural, well lit and organic –and a practice filled with a variety of plants and greenery.
Maybe clean, bright, orderly and hygienic is more your priority, in which case, design accordingly.
Or if you see patient relationships and connection as the cornerstone of your practice, you can enhance that with warm colours, very comfortable furniture and a variety of nice touches that make people smile.
Consult An Interior Designer – But Choose Carefully
At this point, you’ve probably reached the same conclusion as us – design is really quite difficult, and there’s a good chance you won’t get it right without competent, professional help.
And a good interior designer is the person to turn to.
However, designers have their own tastes and areas of expertise, and contracting one who isn’t sensitive to the design requirements of your dental practice could be a disaster.
Look for designers who have a portfolio of dental practice or doctor’s surgery designs. Ask them about their past work and what they achieved for their clients, and don’t be afraid to contact those past clients and find out how satisfied they were.
There are even a handful of designers who specialise in dental practice design – and although this doesn’t automatically mean they’ll do a great job, they’re definitely the ones to contact first.
Dental practice design is far from simple, but do a great job and you’ll reap rewards of client satisfaction and high levels of productivity for many years to come.