If you’re a dentist or work for a dental clinic, you know that people with healthy teeth are advised to get a dental checkup at least once every six months. But if your office has in business for very long, you also know that things like curb appeal and a well-maintained building can go a long way towards encouraging patients to visit.
Fortunately, we’ve made a list of some of the best dental office renovation ideas for you to take inspiration from. From the parking lot to your waiting room, inside and out, keep reading to learn about our top dental office renovation ideas.
Dental Office Renovation Ideas: Outdoors
Every successful business knows that people do judge books by their covers — and dentist offices by their external condition. Let’s talk about some of the best dental office renovation ideas to apply outside around your clinic.
Improve and Maintain Your Pavement
When your patients drive up to your office and step out of the car, what is their first impression of your clinic like? If your parking lot and sidewalk are full of cracks, missing paint, and dotted with tripping hazards, it’s probably not great.
Pavement maintenance is important for many different reasons. Longevity is a key issue, as a properly-maintained surface will last far longer than one that’s left to rot in the sun. You also save money with routine maintenance, because maintaining asphalt and concrete is far less costly in the long run than having to resurface the pavement altogether. Safety is another big issue: faded paint may be merely unpleasant to look at, but large cracks and potholes can be damaging to vehicles and dangerous to pedestrians.
So for the first of our dental office renovation ideas, call up your commercial paving company and see what kind of deal they can give you for upgrading or maintaining your parking lot and walkways.
Hire a Landscaping Designer
What’s the landscaping around your dental office like? Maybe you keep the grass mowed around your building, but you don’t really have anything else in the way of landscaping. Or maybe you have some shrubs and flower beds, but they haven’t seen much love and care in a long time.
If either situation describes you, it would be a very good idea for you to hire a landscape artist to design a new look for the foliage around your clinic. Landscaping makes your business more inviting to potential patients and passers-by, which makes it a critical marketing tool for brick-and-mortar establishments of all kinds. You may not be competing with online retailers or services like other small businesses, but what about competing dentists in nearby cities? Avoid losing customers to them by giving people a good first impression of your office. Having professional landscaping shows the world that you mean business.
Commission and Order a New Sign
Have you ever heard the saying, “a business with no sign is a sign of no business”? When it comes to local businesses that rely on people coming in for service or treatment, it’s definitely true. You probably set up a basic sign whenever you opened up your office, but maybe you should give it a second look. Is it modern-looking and up-to-date in its design? Does it suggest mastery over your craft, and make you look like you’re on the cutting edge of dental practice? If you were a patient needing dental care, would it entice you to visit your clinic instead of your nearest competitor’s?
If you aren’t sure, don’t feel bad. It usually takes a trained eye to properly evaluate graphic design, just like it took you some amount of training to understand dental equipment sales and use. Look up a local graphic designer or online freelance artist and see if they’ll give you any advice or feedback on your current sign.
Even if your road sign serves its purpose, chances are it could be even more appealing and effective at bringing in patients. Look for a good sign company that’s worked for other successful businesses and get them to give you a quote on a new sign. If it’s within your business’s budget, investing in signage is one of the best dental office renovation ideas out there.
Have Your Roof and Walls Inspected
If you’re a homeowner, hopefully, you know that roofs should be inspected at least once each year, and replaced every 20 years at most. Generally speaking, this rule will apply to businesses too — only as a business owner, you should probably be even more vigilant, as structural and safety violations can result in costly fees that homeowners don’t have to deal with.
If fall has started and you’re looking ahead to a cold and blustery winter, it’s the right time of year to have your roof inspected. If your roof is starting to develop problems from wear and storm damage, the winter months are when it’s most likely to become a serious problem. It’s also the time of year when it’s hardest to make repairs. Get the upper hand now by having any necessary repairs made in the fall.
It’s also a good idea to have your roof inspected if winter has just ended. While you’re less likely to experience significant problems during the summer (although this varies depending on your climate), winter weather tends to be hardest on roofs, so you’ll want to know if any damage was done over the colder months.
In addition to getting a roof inspection, you should see about having a building inspector look over your entire office, especially if it’s been a while since your last inspection. A building inspector will look over the exterior walls and construction, and probably the interior walls as well. They’ll take detailed notes of the quality of construction and any potential problems, as well as photographs of anything suspicious they find. Then they’ll make a detailed report of all of this information so you’ll know exactly what kind of maintenance and renovation is necessary. They might even be able to direct you to the most qualified business contractors in your area.
After having everything inspected, you can decide what other dental office renovation ideas to try. Maybe your existing siding is in good condition, but looks worn or outdated, and you’d like to replace it. Or maybe you’ll apply a fresh coat of paint to make it look more appealing. Once you know that your building is structurally sound, you’ll be free to decorate it however you like, which can only help bring in new patients.
Dental Office Renovation Ideas: Inside
A good exterior is important, but appealing to people through your paintwork and landscaping is just the beginning: now you have to keep their experience consistent and pleasant throughout their visit. Read on for more dental office renovation ideas.
Get Plumbing and Electrical Inspections
Being able to flood a room with light with the flip of a switch, or having clean running water in every building, are things we’re so accustomed to that it’s hard to imagine a time when people didn’t have them. As a result, electricity and plumbing are things we only really think about when something goes wrong and we can’t use them for a little while. However, it’s a nasty and inconvenient surprise when that happens, and it’s even more detrimental when you run a business that depends on plumbing and electricity to function. To make sure you don’t run into problems when they’re least expected and most inconvenient, it’s important to have plumbing and electrical inspections performed regularly.
During a routine plumbing inspection, and licensed plumber will conduct a thorough evaluation of your business’s plumbing system. They’ll look for cracks and loose fittings on toilets, any issues with the water heater, and potential mainline stoppages, as well as problems with any sinks, tubs, and showers in the building. If there’s anything that could go wrong with your plumbing in the near future, an inspection should notice it so you can prevent it ahead of time.
Similarly, electrical inspections are conducted by licensed electricians. Besides helping to prevent the inconvenience of all the lights going out, an electrical inspection will point out any potential fire hazards, inefficient operations, and opportunities for appliance malfunction. This not only makes your office run more smoothly and reliably, but makes it safer for your staff and patients as well.
Watch Out for Pests, Mold and Water Damage
While this has less to do with dental office renovation ideas and more to do with preventing structural problems and health hazards, it’s a good idea to examine your building for signs of water damage, mold, and pest infestations. This is especially important if you recently acquired the building from another owner and are just starting your practice. Water damage can severely undermine a building’s structural integrity, as well as point to roof and plumbing leaks which might cause mold down the road. Mold and mildew contaminate the air, which is never a good thing, especially when you operate a health clinic. And pests can destroy your building from the inside out, release allergens and toxins into the air, and be a general nuisance.
If you hire a building inspector to look over both the inside and outside of your office, they should notice any signs of structural damage from water, mold, or pests. Fortunately, problems like this can usually be discovered on your own if you look around enough. Be sure to venture into your building’s attic and basement occasionally if it has them, as these are often major hiding places for these types of problems.
Improve Ventilation and HVAC
Few things are more unpleasant than a room that’s too cold, too warm, or generally stuffy. Dental patients are often nervous when they visit an office, especially younger ones, and sitting in a suffocating waiting room is the last thing they need.
With that in mind, anything you can do to improve your building’s ventilation is a good idea. If stuffy rooms and a general lack of airflow is a problem, consider asking a local building contractor to inspect it and make suggestions for improvements.
Even if you aren’t experiencing any problems with your building’s airflow, make sure you remember to have heating and air conditioning services out to inspect your HVAC system every spring and fall. You should have your air conditioner inspected in the spring before you need to use it for the first time in the summer, and likewise, your heating system should be checked out in the early fall, before you need it for the winter. Waiting until the weather gets hot or cold to inspect your HVAC system is a bad idea because if there are any problems, you won’t find out about them until you actually need the system to be running.
Clean Surfaces and Upgrade Hardware
Having immaculate surfaces is critical to every business, but even more so to a dental clinic. And while you probably sanitize your floors, walls, and cabinets every day, stubborn stains and aged surfaces can make a room look and feel dirty, even if it’s perfectly clean.
If the cabinets, shelves, and counters in your office have seen better days, you should consider having them replaced, or at least refinished. Countertop contractors can help you decide which areas need work the most, as well as what hardware needs to be completely replaced and what can simply be repainted or refurbished.
For stained, worn-out floors, you may need to hire grout and tile cleaning services to make them look like new. People look down at the ground a lot more than you might realize, and a pearly-white floor can make a good impression. Besides this, having your floors professionally cleaned can extend their lifespan, in addition to killing stubborn bacteria.
Rethink Your Interior Design
So far we’ve focused on mainly functional upgrades. But now that those are all out of the way, it’s time to brainstorm what cool new design ideas you could introduce to your office.
A recent trend in dental clinics is to have an open floor plan for the treatment area. Instead of constructing a row of closed-off private rooms, layouts are opening up, with fewer walls or no walls at all separating the dental chairs. Some offices have dividing walls that don’t quite reach the ceiling, which allows natural light from the windows to pour into each room. It might be too late or too expensive for such a design to be viable for your practice, but it’s something to think about for the future.
Most of your design efforts will probably be focused on the waiting areas. Your goal for waiting rooms should be for them to put patients at ease and help them feel at home. To accomplish this, many clinics install widescreen TVs in waiting rooms. Some even set up coffee and snack bars, with free treats available to patients while they wait. If your patients are often children, you might consider using wallpaper or posters with pictures of superheroes and other popular movie characters, to help distract them from any anxiety about going to the dentist.
And there you have it: from pavement to cabinets, these are some of the top dental office renovation ideas. Hopefully, you found this list inspiring as you strive to improve your clinic for your patients.