What is the Optimal Size for Your Dental Exam Room?
Opening a new dental practice can raise many logistical questions. As you are deciding on the office layout, one question that constantly arises is the size and arrangement of office spaces. How do you know what size office you need? Is there a size that is best? Actually, there is.
The Perfect Size: 120 Square Feet
Studies of successful practices have shown that the best size for a dental exam room is 120 square feet or, 10′ 5/4″ x 11′ 91/2.” But why? How could such an exact measurement have a big impact on your practice and the comfort of your patients?
There are several reasons for this. In the reclined position, a dental chair has a footprint of 2 feet wide by 6 feet long. Space needs to be allocated to accommodate for the treatment chair, the dentist and assistants in an environment that is both conducive to work and calming for the patient. It is recommended that there be a 32-inch clearance around the reclining chair with the exception of the foot area where only 18 inches are needed.
This design format assumes that you have two side cabinets and a rear cabinet in your office. Side cabinets utilize 18 inches in width. A rear cabinet occupies 12 to 18 inches in depth. You can gain space by omitting either side or rear cabinets, but you will also lose work efficiency and storage space.
Benefits of a Well-Designed Dental Office
By implementing the 120-square foot design, you will ensure that your patients are comfortable. With enough room to maneuver, your patient can be easily seated and staff will have room to work without feeling crowded. This can substantially decrease patient and staff stress or anxiety. While it may be subconscious, everyone feels a certain level of stress when they sense they are in a confined or restricted space.
It also means that computer monitors will be placed comfortably for your use and still be an appropriate distance from the patient’s eyes. Hygiene items will also be placed at a comfortable distance. This can put the patient at ease when they see you and your staff washing your hands. Both of these elements help build your patient’s trust and increase your case acceptance rate.
In a well-designed dental exam room, there is a defined work flow. Instruments are within reach, and staff members are able to move through the space easily. This, combined with lighting and equipment placement, means that productivity increases. When productivity increases, so do profits!
Shrinking the size of exam rooms to increase the number of rooms may seem sensible at first. However, this can create an environment that doesn’t function well. The smaller spaces will have a negative impact on your patients, staff and your work experience.
As a real estate consulting firm, Joseph Rossi & Associates can help you locate and create office spaces that drive patient satisfaction and profitability. In an efficient office, the quality of care and patient satisfaction significantly increases. Visit Joseph Rossi & Associates today and we will help you find the perfect dental office for your needs.