When you and your staff enjoy coming to work because you’re excited about the technology and ambience that surrounds you, that feeling comes through to patients.
Lakeshore Cosmetic Dentistry in Humble, Texas, a growing suburb of Houston, is simply stunning, but it’s about much more than gorgeous style. This office functions as beautifully as it looks!
That’s not by accident. Dr. Mash Ameri had a very focused vision of what his start-up dental office would look like and how it should operate after attending design classes sponsored by Henry Schein and presented by Dr. Mark Tholen, a specialist in dental office design. The seminars looked at how to lay out the space and featured equipment and technology to help increase practice efficiency and results. Armed with that information, Dr. Ameri set out to create a unique layout that delivered productivity but also created a “wow” factor — and it does.
Delivering Style and Substance
Looks do matter, especially when it comes to a patient’s dental experience. They set a patient’s expectations of the service and quality they are going to receive, and Lakeshore has earned rave reviews from its patients for its homey, soothing atmosphere.
“Our office is not a typical dental office,” admits Dr. Ameri. “Our patients feel at home here. They’ve joked with us, asking if they could move in and live here!”
Sleek and Warm Office Has “Wow” Factor
The “wow” factor begins from the moment patients enter the office; they are greeted by an impressive water wall emblazoned with the Lakeshore Cosmetic logo. Across the waiting area, the calming effect of water continues with an eye-catching 240-gallon custom fish tank that commands attention and anchors the space.
The 3,800-square-foot office manages to be sleek and warm at the same time, contrasting rich wall and flooring colors in reds, taupes, and browns with Pelton & Crane’s modern Renaissance rear and side cabinetry, 3000 chairs, and Helios 3000 lights. Dr. Ameri also selected KaVo COMFORTdrive handpieces, which reduce chair time for patients and are more lightweight, quieter, and ergonomic, allowing greater productivity. The operatories have a clean, inviting look while offering greater comfort for the patient and staff.
“Dr. Ameri chose the best equipment available to provide a great ambiance, but it’s also very functional for him and the staff,” noted Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist Michael Konesheck, who worked closely with the doctor to build out the new office design.
The flow of the office design is meant to maximize aesthetics, with full-length windows in every operatory that open up the space to the outdoors, but it’s designed just as much for a seamless workflow that allows the office to care for a greater number of patients.
The creation of Lakeshore Cosmetic Dentistry truly required a team approach!
The office was constructed with space for seven operatories, and initially opened in January 2011 with four. Within the last few months, the office had to move forward to finish a fifth operatory to accommodate the practice’s rapidly growing patient load, a good problem to have!
The Catalyst for Growth: Technology
There’s no doubt that the décor of the office design draws patients in and creates a buzz, but the state-of-the-art technologies utilized in the office also encourage them to return and refer others because they’ve had a more pleasant, comfortable experience.
“The unique office design and all the latest dental technology used in the office has helped to improve case acceptance for big “smile makeover” cases/full-mouth rehabilitation,” said Dr. Ameri.
The technology that’s made the biggest impact for the practice, according to Dr. Ameri, is adopting DEXIS digital imaging. The DEXIS sensors are easier on the patients, and the digital images can be shown on the in-operatory 22-inch flat screen TVs mounted to the track lighting so patients can see what the doctor is explaining, putting them at greater ease, a win-win for both the doctor and the patient.
“From a technology standpoint, the integration of Dentrix and DEXIS products with the computers creates a streamlined and efficient operating system for the office,” said Konesheck. “With this level of equipment and technology in place, there is more time to treat patients and less stress.” Dr. Ameri also added that the excellent image quality of the Instrumentarium OP30 digital panoramic X-rays has enabled him to make better diagnoses.
In addition, the doctor uses an extraoral camera to provide the patient with a true picture of his diagnosis. The impact of hearing and seeing a cracked filling or other dental condition helps the patient see for themselves the urgency of their condition and reassures them of the decision to move forward with treatment.
Paperless Office More Efficient and Convenient
Lakeshore Cosmetic Dentistry is a paperless office, thanks to the implementation of Dentrix practice management software and eServices, a suite of Henry Schein applications that work together to better manage every aspect of the practice, from scheduling appointments and charting to filing insurance claims, billing, reporting, and backing up/maintaining of the computer systems. By automating many day-to-day tasks, it has freed up the practice to spend more time with patients and less time on routine operational details.
In March, 2012, the office began to use Dentrix’s eClaims to submit billing to insurance, and as a result, it’s receiving payments more quickly than before. If there’s a problem with the claim submitted, eClaims immediately makes the staff aware of it so it can be addressed within minutes instead of waiting weeks to find out it was rejected. In addition, all of the documentation necessary, including digital X-rays and intraoral camera images, can be electronically submitted with the claim, saving time and effort. Claims can be submitted in minutes with a few mouse clicks, connecting the practice to the largest list of payers in the industry.
All of the technology works together seamlessly, giving Dr. Ameri and his team the ability to update and view patient information in real time. One feature the Lakeshore Cosmetic Dentistry team particularly likes is Dentrix’s auto correct function, which catches coding mistakes and alerts staff to them immediately while chairside. In addition, frequently used multicodes can be saved and retrieved easily for greater efficiency and accuracy. All of these contribute significantly to the bottom line!
Sterilization: No Longer Behind the Scenes
At Lakeshore Cosmetic Dentistry, the sterilization area isn’t limited to staff—it’s become a centerpiece of the practice, open to patient view. It’s oversized and equipped with state-of-art equipment including Pelton & Crane Solaris, Delta Q, and KaVo QUATTROcare. “The 16-foot sterilization center is a great tool for efficiency and to provide a sterile environ-ment. It is also a great showpiece,” said Konesheck.
Plans for the Future
Dr. Ameri’s practice is unique because it was a brand new practice/start-up, so there are no before-and-after photos or comparisons of patient load or other measurements. But most dental offices do well when they align the needs of the patients with their long and short-term financial and personal goals, as Dr. Ameri has done.