Things to consider before opening a dental practice

Written by:  Dental Tribune USA on January 27, 2021–

The path to opening a dental practice can feel overwhelming. It is important to work with a team you can trust. Henry Schein Equipment Specialists can provide support through the entire process and help build your project team.

Before entering the design process, establish your goals and mission for your practice. Think about your needs, including square footage, potential growth and location (visibility, exterior design and accessibility, and surrounding demographics). This information is valuable for both your Equipment Specialist and designer.

Enlist an expert design team to maximize practice efficiency, functionality, safety and future profitability. Dental practices can be separated into three zones: public (reception, waiting, patient restroom and consult), clinical (treatment, sterilization and lab) and private (staff spaces and mechanicals). An ideal layout refrains from mixing these zones while supporting efficient circulation for patients and staff.

Dental offices are centered around infection control and safety through sterilization, disinfectant procedures and PPE. However, air purification is becoming another level of protection to consider.

While many offices have purchased either consumer or professional-level local air purifiers, these may not be the best fit for the dental environment. Successful infection control protocols require a layered approach; there’s not one solution for all. The EPA offers the following three-step approach to controlling air pollutants:

Source control: This is the most effective as it stops pollutants at the source. Minimize aerosol-generating procedures or utilize high-volume evacuation products such as the Isolite for hands-free intraoral suction.
Increase ventilation: Move pollutants out of the breathing zone with enhanced HVAC systems. An HVAC technician can help analyze the flow of air from supply to return for efficiency and effectiveness and help maximize filtration and flow within the HVAC system.
Air purification: Use filters and/or deactivation technologies to capture pollutants or deactivate viruses, bacteria and other particles to disrupt the RNA/DNA (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation), clump particles out of the breathing zone (ionization) or burn particles (photocatalytic oxidation).
Henry Schein offers solutions in all these areas and can help choose the right system for your space.

Lastly, design a space that leaves an impression. Interior designers select finishes to combat the clinical, sterile feel and create a welcoming environment. They also recommend appropriate finishes that will promote safety and will perform well in the dental environment. A consistent design reinforces branding and creates an optimized experience for patients from entry to treatment.

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