Southern California has been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn, and many dental practices have experienced challenges in maintaining patient loads and full schedules. However, Doctor Vijay Patel has experienced the exact opposite. He recently opened his fourth dental office, in Claremont, California, and he has discovered that expanding has been a boom to his production and profitability.
“The practice started 22 years ago in Montclair, California,” noted Dr. Patel. However, over time, the building and the practice began to show its age. “My equipment was old, and the building had not been renovated on the outside. Moreover, the stores in the Center had closed and the new ones that opened didn’t generate the same traffic.”
Dr. Patel recognized his practice needed a facelift, setting him at a crossroads: Should he make renovations in his current location or build a new main office? The rent in the Montclair practice location was high and to put an even greater investment in a building that he was only leasing didn’t seem to make sense. Since his lease was coming due, he decided to purchase a building and build out a new office in space that belonged to him.
“I contacted Henry Schein to look at neighboring areas and demographics as well as a commercial real estate broker,” said Dr. Patel. “I had lived in Claremont for 20 years and knew it well.”
Multiple Dental Specialists Under One Roof
In January 2011, Claremont Dental Institute opened its doors in a highly visible location on a busy corner across from Claremont Colleges, an intersection traveled by hundreds of people per hour driving between the tri-cities of Claremont, Pomona, and La Verne in Southern California. The 3,200 square foot office offers general dentistry along with other dental specialties under one roof – cosmetic, implant, periodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, and oral surgery. Dr. Patel shares the office with five associates and a team of hygienists and office staff.
Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist Pat Fagan and Field Sales Consultant JK Reinhart were heavily involved in the new office from the beginning. They participated in finding the location, a building that had been vacant for three years. They conducted a practice analysis, and using that data, planned the office to utilize the most state-of-the-art equipment and an upscale design. The doctor chose Henry Schein’s design team to work with the unique characteristics of the building and transform it into a dental practice that would offer a pampering experience to patients.
Inviting Design Draws New Patients
Today, Claremont Dental Institute is a busy practice that has experienced a surge in new patients, in spite of the challenging economic times. Its prominent location has given it excellent visibility, and when patients come in, they are thrilled by the ambiance.
“The office stands out as the most modern office in Claremont,” noted Dr. Patel. The exterior is all glass, giving it a contemporary, almost industrial look.
“The office stands out as the most modern office in Claremont,” noted Dr. Patel. The exterior is glass, giving it a contemporary, almost industrial look. Its modern look is softened by lush green planters and flowing ornamental grasses, a contrast that brings all the visuals together in harmony.
Inside, patients are greeted warmly with clean lines and rich colors. A gently curving path of inlaid tile in natural earth tones leads patients to the front desk, which is a deep, rich brown with granite countertops. Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure the space is flooded with light, and custom light fixtures are set into niches in the high ceilings for additional illumination. Curved etched glass walls make a pleasing architectural statement as well as serving to define different treatment areas, which include seven open bay operatories, and two surgical suites. Contemporary, comfortable chairs and sofa are upholstered in rich jewel-toned fabrics.
The operatories give an instant first impression of treatment excellence. They are spacious and sleek but inviting. They’re outfitted with top-of-the-line Pelton & Crane cabinetry and ultra-leather operatory chairs, and each operatory is equipped with computers from Henry Schein’s TechCentral. Additionally, overhead, ceiling-mounted monitors dance with entertainment of the patient’s choice.
“The patients are amazed at the comfort of the chairs,” said Dr. Patel. “Not just the massage functions, but the ability to put on wireless headphones and listen to their favorite music on Pandora, catch up on a TV show they missed, or watch a movie on Netflix. My treatment acceptance is phenomenal and it is all due to the environment that we have created.”
Technology for All Dental Needs
Claremont Dental Institute is equipped with the latest technology, allowing patients to have almost any procedure done at the practice by one of the doctors. Dr. Patel was guided through the selection process during a visit to the Schein showroom with Pat Fagan. Digital Technology Specialist Jerry Babcock was instrumental in providing technical advice on integrating Dentrix and DEXIS software into the entire practice.
The office is completely paperless, and uses products from Henry Schein’s eServices to automate many business processes including patient scheduling, health forms, and insurance claims. Patients check in with a touch and a swipe on iPads, streamlining their visit even further and adding a wow factor.
DEXIS sensors have elevated the doctor’s digital radiography, as has a Cone Beam CT, providing faster, more precise images that can be enhanced, magnified, and shared with patients in seconds for greater treatment acceptance. Dr. Patel was also intentional about making the practice’s existing E4D Dentist System a showpiece in the new office so patients can see the amazing technology at work.
New Office Delivering Increase in Production and Satisfaction
After being in the new office for a little more than a year, it’s clear that the change was a good move.
“The practice has grown 30%,” said Dr. Patel. “Production is up as are new patient counts, and we are seeing an average of 80-90 new patients a month!” Working in such a beautiful office has also been a positive experience for the doctors and the staff.
Annoyances like the undersized employee lounge and inefficient sterilization room that were present in the Montclair office were addressed using Schein’s proven workflow design. All of the associates also enjoy a dedicated business area apart from the treatment areas. The practice is just more enjoyable to work in, and it allows everyone to provide the utmost in patient care in an environment they are proud of.
Doctor Building New Office in Montclair
Opening the Claremont location has been such a positive experience that Dr. Patel has decided to build a new office in Montclair and equip it with the same state-of-the-art technology and design features that generated success in Claremont. At a time when most other dental businesses are contracting, Dr. Patel is expanding and enjoying an increase in production, patient satisfaction, and profitability. It’s a testament to the careful planning and attention to detail the doctor has embraced through his relationship with Henry Schein.
“Study patient demographics, have a great location, and choose a good company like Henry Schein to help in your journey,” advised Dr. Patel. “Success is dependent on all three factors.”