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New Practice Makes Beautiful First Impression

Issue: Winter 2016
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East Cobb Dental, Marietta, Georgia

connelly dds reception 0436800-220x220.jpg New Practice Makes Beautiful First Impression
Stacked stone on the check-in desk, and spa-like wall colors of light blue and green are cheerful and relaxing. Patients enjoy comfortable chairs while watching the large screen screen TV.

Dr. Reyn Connelly of East Cobb Dental always wanted to build a new practice. With his lease set to expire in his previous building, it gave the Georgia native the opportunity he needed to move forward with the construction of
a new office in Marietta. The results have been beautiful, laying the groundwork for the doctor to meet his long-term goals.

At 3,000 square feet the new office is actually in a smaller footprint than his previous office. However, because it was designed from the ground up the layout is more efficient, fitting the way the doctor and his staff care for patients. As a result, it provides a superior patient experience and a more enjoyable work environment, too.

High Level of Care Unrealized Before
East Cobb Dental originally opened in Marietta in 1980 and grew into a solid, well-established general dentistry office. Dr. Connelly bought into the practice as a part owner in 2008 and purchased the remainder of the practice from his partner in 2012. Although the practice, which offered full-service dentistry including cosmetic and implant services, was growing and successful, the physical environment was not as up-to-date as Dr. Connelly wanted it to be.

Dr. Connelly was originally set on a certain furniture and cabinetry line he wanted,” recalled Mr. Wethington. “But then we looked deeper into the A-dec product line. He already had existing A-dec equipment, and he decided that its functionality and flexibility were a better fit for his practice.

“We did well keeping things relatively updated in an old building, but it was always my plan to move to a new, more modern location with a fresh build-out,” remembered Dr. Connelly. “Our chairs and cabinets were dated. The flooring and paint had been redone several times, but they were becoming dated, too.”

connelly dds operatory 0398600-220x220.jpg New Practice Makes Beautiful First Impression
The doctor had A-dec chairs in his previous office, and ultimately he decided to select the brand again for his new chairs and cabinetry because their form and function fit so well with the practice’s workflow.

As time went on, Dr. Connelly started to think more about relocation and researched possible locations where he could get a fresh start. He found leased space in an existing building in a high-traffic area only a mile from his original site. It was a newer building owned by an orthodontist, and it was extremely well-maintained. Dr. Connelly contacted Mark Wethington, his Henry Schein Equipment & Technology Specialist and Al Cuellar, his Field Sales Consultant, to begin discussions.

“Mark and I had talked through this process several years ago when I was thinking of selling my ownership in this practice to start my own,” noted Dr. Connelly. “I knew that he would be the quarterback of the operation. He obtained floor plans and designs for the office, and then he connected me with the contractors for bids.”

Designer Tom King of Henry Schein’s National Design Group put the doctor’s ideas to paper, formalizing the design so it would allow patient flow to move seamlessly through the practice and provide a more comfortable, ergonomic workplace. It was also drawn up to allow room for future growth in patients, the addition of a second doctor, and the gradual integration of new technology.

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The office has seven potential treatment rooms, with five fully equipped today with side and 12 o-clock cabinets and chairs. At the end of the hall is a centrally located image processing alcove.

A Welcoming Environment Created
When patients drive up to the red brick building, it looks fresh and professional. The waiting area is comfortable and spacious, with a feature wall of stacked stone that matches that of the rounded reception desk. Pendant lighting and crown molding soften the look of the space, making it feel more like a cozy sitting room than a dental office. The colors are pale blue, green, and tan, and the neutral patterned carpeting that leads patients from the reception area back into the treatment areas is in shades of brown. Industrial-grade vinyl, which replicates the look of dark wood flooring, ties all of the textures and colors together into a clean, cohesive design. In the previous office, patients checking in for an appointment had to share the counter with those checking out, leading to back-ups and providing little confidentiality. The new office has separated those functions into check-in and check-out areas, increasing the efficiency and privacy of both processes.

Seven operatories line the perimeter of the office, with five fully equipped and the other two ready to be outfitted when a second associate is added in the future. An L-shaped galley sterilization center equipped with the latest Midmark equipment is conveniently located right in the middle of the treatment area, just steps from each room.

“Dr. Connelly was originally set on a certain furniture and cabinetry line he wanted,” recalled Mr. Wethington. “But then we looked deeper into the A-dec product line. He already had existing A-dec equipment, and he decided that its functionality and flexibility were a better fit for his practice.”

The doctor chose A-dec’s top-of-the-line 511 chair with radius Continental delivery, which puts instruments in easy reach. It features a slim profile that lets the doctor work more comfortably, closer to the patient, but the patient is also pampered by the chair’s specialized pressure point mapping built into its design. Central cabinetry and 12 o’clock units blend seamlessly with the office’s streamlined, contemporary look.

The doctor opted to install smart TVs overhead instead of regular monitors in the operatories, and over time, he plans to fully utilize all of the options that come with that choice so patients can enjoy customized entertainment during their appointments.

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The large galley-style sterilization room utilizes cutting-edge equipment from Midmark as staff move instruments from dirty to clean.

Plans to Integrate Digital Imaging and CAD/CAM
Another aspect of the practice Dr. Connelly looks forward to updating is the imaging system. He brought an intraoral X-ray system as well as a panoramic system with him from the previous office. His new office uses a phosphorous plate system, and although it serves them well for now, Dr. Connelly plans to transition to digital X-rays and sensors in the near future, as well as add CAD/CAM for same-day, in-house restorations.

Because the “new and improved” East Cobb Dental has only been open since September 2015, Dr. Connelly does not yet have hard numbers on new patients or referrals to point to, but if his patients’ excitement and enthusiasm for the new location is any indication, there should be strong growth in both areas. Already blessed with a very loyal following of patients–some who drive from more than an hour away just to see him and his team–the practice now fully reflects the friendly and professional, and also advanced, level of care that East Cobb Dental is already known for.

This update has been needed for so long that the patients have been as excited, if not more so, than our team–which is awesome!

connelly dds 0420800-220x220.jpg New Practice Makes Beautiful First Impression
Left to Right: Mark Wethington, Equipment & Technology Specialist; Dr. Reyn Connelly; Scott Carringer, Regional Manager (Not Pictured: Al Cuellar, Field Sales Consultant)

“Now, everyone is excited about being at the dentist’s office,” said Dr. Connelly. “Crazy, huh? This update has been needed for so
long that the patients have been as excited, if not more so, than our team–which is awesome! The value of everything we do has been raised. New patients will have a better first impression of our practice.”

He credits Mr. Wethington’s expertise and Henry Schein’s wide range of manufacturer choices with helping him to create an office of which he is extremely proud. Adding to the enjoyment of this newer, more organized space is the reduced level of stress the doctor personally feels because he no longer worries about the impression the office itself makes on his patients.

“It’s just the opposite now. We know that we are looking good!” concluded Dr. Connelly. “It’s similar to what people say about sports teams: ‘When you look good, you play good!’”

connelly floorplan.jpg New Practice Makes Beautiful First Impression
East Cobb Dental Floor Plan. Designed by Tom King, Henry Schein National Design Group