Are you planning a medical or dental office build-out and bursting at the seams with ideas of what you want included? Or maybe you have a few ideas of what you’re looking for, but aren’t sure what to go for yet?
Our team and BnK Construction has years of experience building dental and medical offices in the Portland metro area, and loves to pass this along to our clients. Read on to learn about some of the most popular and high-tech features we’re seeing in modern dental and office build-outs.
If you’ve been to the dentist lately, chances are you’ve noticed it too — a greater focus on amenities during your visit.
Offering patients comfortable chairs (even massage chairs!), noise cancelling headphones or music streaming services, aromatherapy, hot towels, warm blankets, and even the option of Netflix or other video streaming has become the norm. This popular feature is all about creating a comfortable, even memorable experience for patients when they come to visit your practice.
When it comes time to build a new office, more dentists are planning out space for their 3D scanners. From intraoral scanners and Cone Beam CT (CBCT) scanners, to iTero digital scanners, there are more 3D imaging options available to dentists than ever.
Not only do these scanners construct crystal clear images of a patient’s teeth and gums, but they make it easy to identify signs of tooth decay and gum disease, plan precise placement of dental implants, and skip the messy impression process altogether. Plus, it’s easy to show patients what the dentist is seeing.
Sedation dentistry options
Dental anxiety affects more of the population than many people think. An estimated 36% of people have some form of dental anxiety, with 12% suffering from extreme dental fear. Many dentist offices are beginning to offer multiple sedation dentistry options to keep their patients comfortable and make the care they need more accessible. These options include:
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
- Oral sedation
- Conscious IV sedation
- General anesthesia
LANAP and laser gum disease treatment
Nearly half of adults in the U.S. are living with gum disease. One effective, minimally invasive, and high-tech way to treat it? A LANAP machine, which more and more dentist offices are starting to add to their offices. The machine uses a laser to specifically target diseased gum tissue and eliminate it, while also killing other bacteria in the mouth to help the gum tissue heal faster.
We know dentists love LANAP for two main reasons:
- It helps make gums healthier after just one treatment by removing diseased gum tissue, increasing blood flow to the gums, and effectively “sealing” them.
- The procedure allows patients to heal quickly. Traditional gum disease treatment often involves more invasive techniques, stitches, weeks of recovery, and the risk of infection. LANAP treatment has most people feeling back to normal within 24 hours.
Electronic medical records
Many of us probably don’t even think much about this, but offering and accessing electronic medical records is a huge step forward in the efficiency of medical offices.
Doctors and nurses are able to pull up medical records, take notes, and prescribe treatment live and in front of their patients without returning to an office or having to reenter notes after the appointment. And patients are then able to access their records right after their appointment, and even message their doctor for advice or with questions. This adds an extra layer of convenience to any trip to a medical office.
Waiting room amenities
More offices are turning their attention toward their waiting room design and amenities, aiming to give patients a calming, relaxing experience while they wait for their appointment. This is being accomplished with:
- A focus on letting in natural light through large windows and using warmer daylight light bulbs
- Featuring calm colors like white, gray, blue, or green
- More amenities like comfortable chairs, Wi-Fi, coffee, and even cookies
- Digital display screens to allow for easily readable and changeable messaging
Sharing the experience
When patients come into a medical office, they want to feel welcomed and included. After their waiting room experience, one easy way to do this is by thoughtfully laying out the exam room.
First, modern medical practices are benefitting from standardizing their exam rooms, so each room has the same tools and equipment in exactly the same place. This allows for speed and efficiency during the appointment and avoids the interruption of having to leave the exam room to search for something.
Monitor placement is also something to consider. Patients want to see what’s going on, so planning monitor placement where they can see them — and importantly, where doctors and nurses won’t have to turn their back to them to type their notes — will help them feel more engaged and included.
Contact BnK Construction today
Do you have a project in mind for your dental or medical office? Our team of architects, engineers, project superintendents, and contractors has more than 75 years of collective experience under our belts. We’d love to help turn your dream design into a reality.