Jerry C. Hu, DDS Family Dentistry, LLC–Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska is known for its majestic views and rugged nature, but now it’s also home to a stunningly beautiful new dental practice—the second office location of Dr. Jerry Hu, a highly credentialed general dentist who is a native of the state. This new satellite office is 150 miles north of his main office in his hometown of Soldotna. The new office’s state-of-the-art equipment and elegant design, combined with the doctor’s reputation for excellence, have already caused appointments to be booked solid for the next four months!
Dr. Hu has always been driven to achieve in dentistry, and he has invested much of his career in continuing education, earning many fellowships and masterships. He is a published author of many research articles on various topics in cosmetic dentistry and dental sleep apnea treatment. In 2017, he became the first full-time dentist in Alaska to become board certified in dental sleep medicine as a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. His mission is to deliver cutting-edge dentistry, and the doctor naturally chooses equipment and technology that can keep up with his sophisticated level of care. In fact, that requirement is what propelled him to build the Anchorage location.
Dr. Hu had begun to expand his practice into Anchorage on weekends using rental space. But the existing dental equipment and the layout in that location were small and outdated and not ideal to how he practiced patient care. There were equipment failures, computer problems, and heating and cooling irregularities that made it an uncomfortable environment for him and his patients. The office simply was not at the exceptional level of quality the doctor prided himself on, so he began to look for a new location where he could build a more suitable environment.
“There are not many properties left in Anchorage that are zoned for commercial use,” explained Dr. Hu. “I wanted to be on the south side of town because not only is it the “newer” side of town, but also because it is the area with the best views, good shopping, restaurants, and grocery stores.”
After searching for a space that was attractive, available, and within budget, the doctor finally discovered a new building that provided the square footage he wanted. Plus, the building already housed other healthcare professionals, making it a natural destination for patients. A tour of the building sealed the deal, and he decided to make it the site of his second office.
“The views are breath-taking,” said Dr. Hu, adding that the building is also in a high-traffic, highly visible area. “We have the mountain range views (Kenai Range and Chugach Range), and spectacular views of Cook Inlet. Plus, the view of our sign is pretty good, too! New patients can see it and the clinic when they drive by.”
“The whole clinic has a vibrant, clean, modern, state-of-the-art feel to it,” boasted Dr. Hu. “The design is very open, and it is very easy to move from place to place.”
Dr. Hu spoke with Henry Schein Field Sales Consultant Michael Jedlicka, about the potential office. Mr. Jedlicka then brought in Sterling Shearer, Equipment Sales Specialist, as talks progressed.
“I hadn’t worked with Dr. Hu before” explained Mr. Shearer. “However, we had a meeting to discuss his ideas and the process of building a new practice and went over the step-by-step processes and team members necessary to construct his facility.”
In the end, the doctor placed his trust in the experience offered by Henry Schein and selected the team to lead his new practice build. Dr. Hu notes: “Sterling Shearer and Michael Jedlicka were instrumental in putting the project together. We looked at several options—different manufacturers, pros/cons, costs, and the ultimate feel or niche I wanted. Sterling offered to champion the entire journey and help find a general contractor and the necessary engineers.”
Contemporary, Feng Shui Design
The spectacular new office was completed in December 2016, with a highly efficient 2,000 square-foot footprint. No detail was overlooked in creating this upscale office, which was laid out according to the Chinese design philosophy known as Feng Shui, where items are arranged to be in harmony with their environment.
The waiting area, the room that sets the first impression for patients, is classy and modern. Simple, with luxurious but minimal finishes, its form follows natural lines. A lustrous curved leather sectional sofa ties in perfectly with the curved check-in desk, and both are illuminated by sparkling overhead chandeliers. A media wall loops images of the doctor’s award-winning dental work, while on another wall, a contemplative piece of original artwork pulls the space together.
Dr. Hu designed the office to have an open, modern feeling, utilizing glass walls with etched designs that open up to five operatories with high-end Midmark heated massage chairs, along with wood grain cabinetry and dental units. Photos of award-winning smiles line the hallways.
“The whole clinic has a vibrant, clean, modern, state-of-the-art feel to it,” beamed Dr. Hu.” The design is very open and it is very easy to move from place to place.”
Everything the doctor selected in the five treatment rooms was for his patients’ comfort. The rooms are decorated with lush Midmark Elevance chairs and complementary Artizan cabinetry. The cabinetry is also found in the sterilization room, which ties into the contemporary office design. Patients can select Netflix shows of their choice while in treatment or listen to music.
Cutting-Edge Technology Attracts Attention
The doctor has worked hard to make his office one of the most technologically advanced in the entire state. He utilizes Midmark Progeny intraoral x-rays and DEXIS Platinum sensors. He also uses a Gendex GXDP-700 cone beam 3D digital imaging system for precise diagnostics in guided implant therapy, TMJ/TMD treatments, and sleep dentistry—Dr. Hu’s growing specialty. In fact, one of the operatories is dedicated entirely to sleep dentistry, and the doctor anticipates that he might one day build a third office dedicated solely to those services.
“Technology puts me at the forefront of dentistry in Alaska,” said Dr. Hu. “Not many offices nationwide have an entire room equipped to offer pharyngometry or rhinometry, and equipment such as a TRIOS® 3 color digital scanner for sleep dentistry.”
The doctor is also a Dentrix user, and the practice management system integrates seamlessly with all of his digital technology, collecting patient information into a single electronic file, allowing him to provide more comprehensive, efficient care regardless of which location he’s working in.
High Visibility and Aggressive Marketing Attracts New Patients
Although the Anchorage practice has only been open for a few short months, the word is out on this vibrant dental office, thanks to ongoing TV ads, exterior signage, and patient excitement leading to increased referral business.
“Every patient who has walked in the front door has had their jaws drop. One patient even said they were speechless!” said Dr. Hu.
The doctor now counsels other doctors to carefully consider the interior design and the function of any office they plan to build before they begin, saying: “The environment you create will be a reflection of your taste, character, and passion. I was very fortunate to attain my dream practice.”