Most new dental office design floor plans are built to address problems or issues that inhibit the future potential of the practice. There can be space constraints, an inefficient workflow, or insufficient storage. In the case of Kokodynski Orthodontics in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the existing dental office was actually working well for them; it only needed minor adjustments. So why would Dr. Andy Kokodynski decide to take on the intense task of building a brand new office?
I wanted to concentrate on giving our practice a warm, comfortable feel. Nice colors and a design with a lot of natural light from our floor-to-ceiling windows give us that homey feel, said Dr. Kokodynski.
“My initial lease was [about] to expire, so from a financial standpoint, owning my own building was very appealing,” said Dr. Kokodynski. “When a one-acre property came up for sale near our local middle and high schools, from a visibility standpoint, it was a ‘no-brainer.’ ” The 5,000-square-foot office, which opened this past May, is just another chapter in an impressive growth story.
Sixteen years ago, Dr. Kokodynski opened his first practice in the upscale community of Lake Geneva, which he bought from a retiring orthodontist who had practiced in the area for 32 years. Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist Dan Kroeger worked with Dr. Kokodynski from the beginning. As his practice grew, he needed more space, so in 2002, he moved to a new building and, once again, contacted Mr. Kroeger to complete the build-out.
By 2012, Dan was able to use Henry Schein’s Digital Practice Analysis Tool (DPAT) to evaluate practice data and identify opportunities for growth. The information helped Dr. Kokodynski decide that the time was right for moving into his own building. “Our [second] office was designed quite well ten years ago with the help of Henry Schein,” noted Dr. Kokodynski. “The new office was more of a tweaking to get me where I wanted to be, for everything from front-desk function to treatment-area patient flow.”
“Dan introduced me to Keller Builders, an employee-owned design-build company here in Wisconsin,” he continued. “We set up a meeting fairly quickly to start the process. There was an existing building on the property that was donated to the local police department for training… after that, we started planning our construction.” As with the previous office,
Henry Schein’s design team took a prominent role in creating the new practice to be consistent with the doctor’s philosophy, from both a patient-flow viewpoint as well as aesthetics. He opted for a peaceful, inviting atmosphere in lieu of creating a particular theme, knowing that warm colors and bright, cheerful surroundings never go out of style.
Outside, the architecture is arts-and-crafts style, with brick columns that welcome patients inside. The flooring is made up of patterned carpet squares aligned in every direction, delineating a path through the practice. Matching upholstered furniture in the waiting area pulls out the beige and green accents that swirl across the deep navy-blue background of the carpeting. Visual elements that the doctor and his staff call “clouds” are suspended from the ceiling, providing interest to the large, open space.
“I wanted to concentrate on giving our practice a warm, comfortable feel. Nice colors and a design with a lot of natural light from our floor-to-ceiling windows give us that homey feel,” said Dr. Kokodynski. Patients check themselves in for appointments on a kiosk in the waiting area, allowing them to update their information easily and streamlining the process for staff.
There are six operatories in the active treatment area, two banding/debanding chairs in a separate area, and a consultation room. The doctor chose premium chairs, doctor stools, and Helios lights from Pelton & Crane.
“In our active treatment bay [where there had been a large open space before], we incorporated divider walls to provide some privacy for those patients that wish to have that feel,” explained Dr. Kokodynski. “But the kids can still see and talk to their friends at six -and twelve-o’clock chair positions. With certain parts of the office now dedicated to specific procedures, there is less patient set-up time, allowing us to move along more quickly. This [means] more patients [can] be seen in a day.”
Away from patient view, the new office also has a larger, more efficient sterilization area than in the previous office, outfitted with a Vista Pure Water System, Midmark Ultraclave, and SciCan Hydrim Instrument Washer. When the staff has downtime or is finished working, they can head to the employee lounge, which is complete with a changing area and a washer and dryer!
“I included my office staff in a lot of the interior design selection of colors and fabrics,” said Dr. Kokodynski. “They were very excited as we made office trips to the construction site to watch how our thoughts and ideas were implemented in the build-out. When it was all completed, they were quite impressed with how they put it all together and how it turned out. I have surrounded myself with a good group of people.”
As discussions progressed into the technology area, Digital Technology Specialist Aaron Rowley explained the benefits of investing in computer hardware that would fully integrate with every part of the practice. Dr. Kokodynski upgraded his computers in the new office, installing a Dell server and computers at each station. In addition, he runs a satellite location in Burlington, Wisconsin, where Henry Schein’s TechCentral has set up networking that allows the doctor and his staff to log into either location’s server remotely and synch appointments across locations.
“We have thousands of dental offices in which we’ve installed computer networking, so we have experience specific to dentistry needs,” said Mr. Rowley. “We have a standard configuration that’s consistent across all of the offices we install. This gives us the ability to log in remotely to address any server and address issues or troubleshoot.”
Today, Kokodynski Orthodontics is just steps from the two local schools, making a student’s visit over a lunch period or during a study hall very convenient: a fact not lost on parents!
The Kokodynski team regularly invites other dentists to come in to view their dental office and find out about the building experience. “Our referrals have definitely taken notice of our new office and location,” said Dr. Kokodynski. “They have come in to discuss their future plans for their offices and how our whole construction process works. As a result, we have been able to educate them as to how our office not only treats our patients from an orthodontic standpoint but [also] how we implemented our treatment philosophy into our plans for the office.”
Now that Kokodynski Orthodontics is complete, Dr. Kokodynski has some “words of wisdom” for other dentists interested in building a new office. “Surround yourself with expert designers and builders and learn to trust them,” he said. “Times arise when decisions need to be made, and it’s often between two or three ideas. I asked the builders, equipment specialists, and interior designers the question: ‘What would you do?’ Don’t be afraid to go with their recommendations; I found out it is usually the best choice.”