Boulder Dental Designs is a general dentistry practice set at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. John Montoya and his staff specialize in cosmetic dentistry, full-mouth cases, a great soft-tissue program, orthodontics, and TMD. Since moving from San Diego and purchasing the existing practice in 2008, Dr. Montoya has enjoyed great success by expanding the services offered by the previous doctor and by providing patients with highly personalized care that gives them a smile they are proud to show off.
But that was not how it always was. The doctor’s previous location was an excellent example of how poorly configured space was an obstacle to Dr. Montoya’s growing practice, even if he used cutting-edge technology and employed a professional, caring staff.
Small Office, Shared Spaces Limit Productivity
The original 1,400-square-foot office was outfitted with several cutting-edge pieces of technology, including the E4D Dentist System, DEXIS sensors, Dentrix Practice Management Software, and a shared panoramic unit, but Dr. Montoya and his staff were not able to use this advanced technology to its fullest. In fact, space was so tight, he was relegated to working on the E4D in a multipurpose room that served as both a lab and extra storage.
In addition, the four operatories—two hygiene rooms and two used for restorative procedures—contained an eclectic, unmatched collection of chairs and cabinetry, leading to dentistry that was neither efficient nor comfortable. The original chairs had been replaced with newer ones that did not fit well into the space, creating an ergonomic nightmare. The rear cabinets contributed to the problem by offering no true functionality.
It had been clear that the practice needed more room, but the space needed to be thoughtfully designed to be productive, attractive, comfortable, and spacious enough to accommodate a second doctor in the future. The timing was right—Dr. Montoya’s five-year lease was about to end. With no room available for expansion, he made a critical decision to move and upgrade the practice.
“What we try to do for our doctors is help them realize where they can be by introducing them to a team of trusted advisors,” notes Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist John Bertagni. “Through an introductory dinner meeting that included Henry Schein Field Sales Consultant Dan Gleissner and myself, we were able to dial in to the doctor’s challenges, needs, and wish lists and formulate an action plan.”
“In this case, [Dr. Montoya] was in too small of a space that was landlocked by adjacent dental offices. We proposed looking toward the Boulder market to find a space for operatory expansion, nonclinical staff space, expanded square lab for E4D work and comprehensive full-mouth treatments, and consultation.”
Real estate expert Colin Carr was able to locate a site close enough to the existing office—just four miles—to ensure patient retention, but be part of the bustling college town of Boulder, which could provide a whole new community of prospective patients.
Modern Beauty Communicates Compassionate Care
Today, Boulder Dental Designs is a beautiful 3,179-square-foot office flooded with natural light, modern high-end furniture and equipment, and an overall ambiance that conveys Dr. Montoya’s superior care, concern, and dental expertise. The office now has six semiprivate, open-concept operatories; a beautifully appointed waiting area in which patients check in, update their records, and entertain themselves on iPads; a spacious employee lounge; and well-planned areas for storage, labwork, consultations, and private offices.
The waiting area is modern and clean and features a subdued richness in all of the furnishings, including the dark hardwood flooring and soft leather chairs. As adult patients relax and take in an incredible view of the Rockies, children can play in a separate area designated just for them. Beyond the expansive front desk and along richly carpeted halls, there are now six Midmark-equipped operatories and a separate consultation room.
“Dr. Montoya put his trust in Henry Schein,” said Bertagni. “It was apparent early on that he trusted the team we had in place for his project. We took a VIP trip with him to Midmark, which helped us evaluate his clinical needs at their showroom. Based upon ergonomics and the spatial layout, [he chose] an open-concept operatory [plan].”
Dr. Montoya adds, “We replaced all the chairs and cabinets with Midmark Elevance chairs, 12 o’clock units with assistant packages, and freestanding side cabinets to divide the rooms. This equipment allows me to get into the right position behind the patient to provide quality dentistry for a lifetime.”
Each rear cabinet, which served little use before, is now essentially the control center of the operatory; it holds both a sliding computer monitor—where patients can view digital images—and a workspace computer for online charting. Nitrous oxide is centralized to a chair connection, which eliminates cumbersome, draping hoses.
The clean lines of the cabinetry, soft neutral colors, the pampering heat and massage chairs, and magnificent outside vistas brought in through large windows are all designed to help patients feel incredibly relaxed.
“Dr. Montoya put his trust in Henry Schein,” said Bertagni. “It was apparent early on that he trusted the team we had in place for his project…”
Office Designed to Incorporate Technology
Throughout the practice, the space was built to make the most of the technology and equipment. A larger lab was created: it houses the E4D and gives Dr. Montoya a dedicated location with plenty of linear counter space on which to work. With special financing from Henry Schein, he purchased a Planmeca ProMax S3, a state-of-the-art panoramic imaging unit that can be seamlessly upgraded to 3D in the future.
In the old office, the sterilization room — usually the cornerstone of most dental offices—was a bottleneck for the staff. The new stericenter, complete with equipment from Midmark and SciCan, is designed with a proven layout that allows for a quicker throughput of instruments, increasing both productivity and the number of patients that can be seen every day.
“It has improved the flow of the office one hundred percent,” confirms Dr. Montoya. “We are able to use the operatories efficiently. The sterilization center moves in a well-designed pattern of dirty to clean, and we [can store all of the] instruments and supplies so they are not in multiple locations.”
Boulder Dental Designs has been open at the new site since January 2013, and the response has already been overwhelmingly positive. Because Dr. Montoya is extremely dedicated to delivering compassionate care and excellence to each patient, his new office is now a reflection of his commitment and drive.
“The patients appreciate the investment in the facility, and know that this is an office from which they are going to receive quality care,” says Dr. Montoya. “The staff is more comfortable in their environment and receive compliments on a daily basis about how modern the facility is. We have only been in the office a short period of time, but we’ve seen an 11% increase in production. I am looking forward to seeing the numbers grow throughout the year.”