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This Doctor Built His Practice from the Ground Up

Issue: Volume 1, 2017
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Mirage Dental Associates–Castle Rock, Colorado

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It took nearly 15 years, but in September of 2016, Dr. Michael Moroni moved into the dream dental practice he always wanted. Mirage Dental Associates in Castle Rock, Colorado, just outside of Denver, was a project three years in the making, and it was built to achieve some big goals.

Dr. Moroni—a general dentist and much sought-after speaker on CAD/CAM techniques—had long envisioned a dental practice with very specific attributes. First off, he wanted to offer a variety of dental specialties under one roof so that patients could receive care in a setting they were already comfortable with. Secondly, he needed a large enough space so that he and his four associates—Dr. Stephen Knox, Dr. Michael Lueck, Dr. Kevin Goles, and Dr. Mark Bentele—could effectively practice side-by-side in state-of-the-art operatories with uniform configurations. Additionally, he wanted onsite meeting and clinical space where he could offer educational classes and training.

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The ortho treatment area, with its hard-to-miss orange chairs, has five seats in the open bay and two additional private suites. Every patient has a dedicated monitor in which to view their digital images, whether taken with the Cone Beam or the Nomad portable X-ray unit.

Dr. Moroni’s new location is the answer to every one of those goals. The stand-alone building he constructed, which is across the street from his old office, offers 18,000 total square feet of space, with 12,000 sq. feet of that space being currently devoted to the practice. The space contains a whopping 34 operatories: 21 restorative treatment rooms, a training super-operatory, a five-chair orthodontic bay, four pediatric chairs, and three surgical suites. There are three Solaris sterilization centers—two on the main floor and another on the second floor—which are a must for such an expansive footprint. The practice is a triumph of layout and organization that smoothly flows patients from check-in to departure, as well as offering a stunning environment that surrounds everyone in a serene sense of luxury.

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An early adopter and an enthusiastic advocate and teacher of CAD/CAM dentistry, Dr. Moroni is a power user of the Planmeca FIT system.

New Office Benefits Patients and Enhances Business
When Dr. Moroni saw the empty lot across the street as a potential site for his new office, he began discussions with his Henry Schein team, including Jim Ferrel, Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist, who has worked with Dr. Moroni for nearly 20 years.

“I used Henry Schein to build my last office space, and it just seemed logical to use them again,” said Dr. Moroni. “Jim Ferrel is a godsend; he should train others on how to implement progress.”

Dr. Moroni already had a fully digital practice that included a Nomad X-ray unit, Planmeca ProMax Cone Beam unit, DEXIS sensors, and CAD/CAM capabilities built around the Planmeca FIT system. What he didn’t have was enough space to provide the level of care he desired to give his ever-expanding patient load.

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The practice was built from the ground up right across the street from the doctor’s previous practice. The three-story building is one of the tallest in the city, so it naturally attracts attention.

“My office manager has a degree in accounting, and I run the office like a business. Once the base was working, I expanded from two chairs to three, then six and seven.”

Mr. Ferrel notes that discussions about the new office began when the previous practice began to reach capacity. He began looking at rough budget numbers with Dr. Moroni, and together, they met with an architect to lay out ideas. The doctor had a firm vision for the design, and the Henry Schein team worked within that framework to create equipment lists, specs, and recommendations. Mr. Ferrel helped to oversee the construction, which went smoothly.

“The building is more visible than the previous office because it’s free-standing,” shared Mr. Ferrel. “It’s three stories tall, making it one of the taller buildings in Castle Rock and it is in an area of strong retail growth.”

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The full windows bring in sunlight and give patients a beautiful view of Pike’s Peak as they are treated in Spirit 3000 massage chairs from Pelton & Crane.

Inside, the practice details were created to be 100% patient-centered. That’s immediately evident in the spacious reception area decorated with placid colors and warm lighting. The décor is meant to offset any clinical-feeling ambiance and create a more home-like environment. The large check-in area is spacious and allows the front desk staff to greet patients, while easily pulling up their electronic files in Dentrix. And when patients checkout, they can have a seat in one of three semi-private stations and hold conversations about insurance and financial arrangements without any privacy concerns.

Once patients move into the treatment area, however, that pampered feeling gives way to a modern high-tech dental environment that communicates—and truly delivers—exceptional patient care.

“The floor plan is zoned, with treatment areas broken into pods,” said Mr. Ferrel. “For example, on the first floor, orthodontics and pediatrics are on one side, general dentistry rooms are on the other side, and surgical suites are in between those two areas. Everything is joined by hallways, so patients can flow through and around in a circular layout, coming from the back to the front.”

The large check-in area is spacious and allows the front desk staff to greet patients, while easily pulling up their electronic files in Dentrix.

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The practice’s digital imaging includes a Planmeca ProMax 3D Cone Beam unit, Nomad portable X-ray units, and DEXIS sensors, and all are interconnected to display in the patient’s file with Dentrix Practice Management system.

Treatment Areas Showcase New Technologies
The operatories on the main floor utilize plush Pelton & Crane Spirit 3000 dental chairs in black leather, and Spirit 3000 rear delivery units, which were chosen during a VIP visit to the manufacturer’s facility. The doctor was able to move his existing Pelton & Crane chairs and cabinetry from his previous office to equip seven of the treatment rooms on the second floor; four more rooms are partially outfitted, ready for completion when patient volume grows.

The second floor also operates as a training center, with an expansive conference room that opens to a super-operatory, tucked behind a glass window for live demonstrations and continuing education classes and seminars. The second floor windows also offer an incredible view of Pike’s Peak!

Dr. Moroni had very little need to purchase equipment for the new office because he had already continually invested in advanced technologies as they were introduced to the market. With the added space available to him, however, he did purchase additional Nomad portable X-ray units for the office and added KaVo electric handpieces to the general dentistry operatories. The floor plan carved out space for the Planmeca Cone Beam unit he bought prior to the move, and a lab houses the practice’s CAD/CAM milling units.

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The brushing station is simple and practical, tucked along one of the hallways in this smartly conceived layout.

The practice is serviced by three Solaris sterilization centers, one on each end of the first floor, and another on the second floor. All use high-tech equipment that includes the Midmark M11 autoclave, QUATTROCare system, and the VistaPure water system. Two of the three centers also utilize Miele instrument washers.

Three consultation rooms provide much-needed private areas for in-depth patient treatment discussions. Even employee spaces were carefully planned, and the lounge, with a kitchen and lockers, is a relaxing oasis for staff during downtime.

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Left to Right: Rudy Wolf, Regional Manager; Jim Ferrel, Equipment Sales Specialist; Karl Casebeer, Equipment Service Technician; Kristi Rathbun, Office Manager; Dr. Michael Moroni; John Porter, Field Sales Consultant

Increased Referrals and Production Reflect Patients’ Enthusiasm
Since the practice has only been in the new location for a short time, it is still too early to fully assess the impact it has made on the bottom line. Dr. Moroni estimates volume will increase by 30% for 2016, and the practice welcomes 50 to 70 new patients each week. Additionally, referrals from current patients have doubled! Beyond the added production and revenue generated by growing from seven to 34 operatories, the office has also helped to reduce stress with its fluid and logical layout that ensures everyone knows exactly where to go.

“We are like kids in a candy store,” noted Dr. Moroni. “Everyone loves the office.” As the team settles into the new digs, Dr. Moroni had some surprising advice for other doctors who want to build a practice: talk to other doctors!

“So often, we don’t want to talk about the ins-and-outs of our practice with other dentists,” admitted Dr. Moroni. “That’s a shame because there is a lot we can learn from each other.”

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