There are many different dental office designs out there but we believe that one specific type should reign supreme and that is the open floor plan. The office should try to minimize the amount of closed off treatment rooms with doors.
It doesn’t even have to be at a dental office but try to remember every time that you’ve been to a doctor’s office. The first thing that happens after checking in, is that someone will come call you in. They will lead you through some hallways and then finally bring you into a room. Then they proceed to tell you that, “the doctor will be right with you.” and then closes the door after they walk out. Now you’re sitting there all alone and all by yourself, waiting for the doctor to come.
Are you scared? I don’t know about you but I’m scared.
The simple act of closing the door and now you’re in an enclosed space, will make your heart start beating faster and possibly even start sweating. Your blood pressure starts to go up and that is basically white coat syndrome but it gets exacerbated by fear. Fear of being in an enclosed room with an anticipation for a possibly frightening event that may or may not occur. Maybe you’re not there for a procedure but it still makes you nervous.
This recommendation that we are making is mostly for general dentists offices. If the practice is heavily surgical based then they may not have a choice but to have a lot of closed rooms because no one wants to be observing surgeries! The people undergoing the surgery will want some privacy as well. But, for follow ups and consultations, they should definitely keep the rooms open. The openness and transparency will make people feel at ease because they will feel like there is nothing being hidden.
You know this is actually what pediatric dental offices do. They have “bay areas” where its just one big open floor kind of like a loft styled apartment. That way the kids see the other kids getting their teeth polished so that they know everything is going to be ok! If the other kids can do it, then so can they.
We could really use a pointer from them!
This is the reason why, our long island city dentists designed our office the way it is. There are no closed doors for our treatment rooms. Everything is open. The rooms are separated by walls but there are no doors. We believe the simple act of closing a door will strike fear into the hearts of those who are already nervous. Once again, it lets all the patients coming in know that we are open and transparent. We have nothing to hide.
That definitely puts all of our patients at ease and we wouldn’t do it any other way. We do sincerely hope that all of the other offices out there will take this philosophy into consideration when they build their next office.