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Innovator Profile: Make your practice more beautiful and more efficient with Pelton & Crane's design, ergonomics and innovation

Dental Products ReportDental Products Report-2014-07-01
Issue 7

Why should you be concerned with the design of your office and the ergonomics of the clinical treatment rooms? Ergonomics is a great buzzword, but not many doctors are energized to take action. That’s too bad.

Why should you be concerned with the design of your office and the ergonomics of the clinical treatment rooms? Ergonomics is a great buzzword, but not many doctors are energized to take action. That’s too bad.

Paying attention to designing a functional and esthetic office while establishing an ergonomic environment in the operatory can dramatically enhance your productivity and physical well-being, making you feel much more relaxed and refreshed at the end of the work day.

But, of course, it can be tricky to actually bring ergonomics and design to your office. You’re busy, you might not have a “natural eye” for design, it might be costly: the list goes on. Fortunately, you’re not on your own in your efforts to take design seriously.

Design and ergonomic expert Pelton & Crane now hosts seminars specifically geared toward helping dental professionals make their practices the best they can be. The courses are designed to make sure that you understand why esthetics and ergonomics matter in a practice, and then give you the tools to bring what you’ve learned into reality.


So why should you care about design and ergonomics in your practice? Simply this: Even though the project you are considering involves brick and mortar, furniture and art, and technology and equipment, it is fundamentally an exercise in marketing.

Patients, especially patients new to the practice, base their opinions on the level of care they will receive by assessing the quality of the office environment. Regardless of your ability, your success does not depend solely on your dental diagnostic and treatment skills, but rather on your perceived competence as viewed from your patients’ perspective. You have no choice about the fact that your office will speak to patients, but you do have the choice about what it will say.

Here are three rules to help ensure your patients are “hearing” what you are saying through design.

1) Get rid of the posters! Nobody enjoys looking at posters, advertisements and things lacking in visual appeal.

2) Patients disdain clutter. Clutter dramatically lowers the patient’s opinion of the level of care they receive. Your design plan must incorporate proper storage and efficient design to eliminate clutter.

3) Be consistent. The key to success of the practice is congruency. You must be consistent in everything you do, say and display to your patients. The function and esthetics of your office must be congruent with the treatment you propose and deliver to your patients.

Next page: The equation for design success!

The equation for success

There are two fundamental design criteria that should be foremost in your mind as you begin: Office function and office image. Function refers to how the office works; image refers to how your office feels. Both are critical.

A simple formula that is key to your success involves this equation: Functional dollars plus image dollars equals the degree of success you have in reaching your goals. A common misconception is that a well-appointed office costs a great deal more than a relatively simple office. In fact, it is just plain costly to build any technologically driven diagnostic and therapeutic dental office. You are going to make an investment in your professional office because you expect a return on an investment. If properly designed and constructed in an acceptable location, your office will probably yield more financial return than any other investment you will make.

Unfortunately, dental offices are far more costly to construct than almost any other type of office.  Why? First of all, there are many rooms confined to a relatively small space. There is much more framing, sheet rock, outlets and labor. There is also extensive plumbing. To create a minimally acceptable appearance for the office, you will need to spend $10 to $15 per square foot. This typically represents about 10 percent to 15 percent of the total build out.

But if you invest $25 to $30 per square foot, you will enjoy an office that portrays a strong statement concerning the quality of care. The decision to build or redesign your dental practice is one of the most important decisions-and biggest investments-of your career. It will affect your efficiency, productivity, patient relations and your enjoyment of a prosperous and healthy dental career. Undertaking this project is a major endeavor, and it is a decision most dental professionals make only once or twice in their careers. 

The good news is that you do not have to do it alone! Pelton & Crane offers a number of services designed to help you achieve the practice of your dreams. Driven to Excellence is a two-day course designed to give you the tools you need to plan and execute your office design.

During the event, you will learn how to select the right design partners, secure project financing and achieve the office that will support your practice’s growth. It is hosted by Dr. Mark Tholen, DDS, MBA, a leading expert on dental office design and ergonomics. You’ll meet Dr. Tholen one-on-one to talk about your specific design, and you’ll receive a copy of Dr. Tholen’s book, “The Largest Marketing Tool of Your Career: A Guide to Designing the Elegant Dental or Medical Office” for future reference.

Visit Driventoexcellence.com to sign up for this course that can change your practice forever!

Next page: Learn what Pelton & Crane products can push your practice design to the next level!

Pelton & Crane Products in Focus:

Spirit 3000 Dental Chair

Expertly crafted with you in mind, the Spirit 3000 chair enables ergonomic efficiency. The narrow backrest design provides maximum access for the oral cavity while allowing you to maintain proper posture. The Spirit 3000 gives you the freedom to work around your patient-not your chair.

Helios 3000 Light

Featuring proprietary color mixing LED technology, the Helios 3000 LED operating light provides a precisely calibrated three-by-six inch light pattern for optimal oral cavity illumination. The light also features a no-cure composite setting, push-button 5,000K and 4,200K settings, multiple intensity options, precise shade matching capabilities, enhanced ergonomics and almost no radiant heat emission. In addition, the light’s reduced wattage conserves energy, which is said to lead to significant yearly cost savings. It is available in six mounting variations: track, ceiling, cabinet, wall, post and ellipse.

The Renaissance Collection™ Cabinetry

The Renaissance Collection of dental cabinets was created in close collaboration with dentists, dental assistants and hygienists. The result is a dental cabinetry line that creates a beautiful environment, one that energizes dental professionals and puts patients at ease. A host of innovative features improve in-procedure movements, increase access to technology and optimize storage space.

Next page: Pelton & Crane's digital apps can help you visualize your fresh, ergonomic practice

Help your practice with these digital tools: Download these Pelton & Crane apps

You can see how Pelton & Crane products can make your practice even better with these new apps. Download them and explore how these solutions can take your offices from good to great!

Pelton & Crane Dental Cabinetry and Chairs App

Download this iPad app for a virtual tour of our cabinet and chair families. Review key features to gain a better understanding of how cabinets and dental chairs affect operatory workflow and ergonomics, take 360? tours of every product, and play with color choices before you even set foot in a showroom. Get a feel for how Pelton & Crane dental cabinetry and dental chairs can enhance your practice, right from your iPad. Visit bit.ly/1p2TyGS to download the app and start virtually exploring how Pelton & Crane solutions can make a huge difference in your offices!

Here are some screenshots of the app in action:


Opening Screen

Select from chairs and cabinets to see all of Pelton & Crane’s options.



Design Your Own


Make your operatory look how YOU want it to look with this powerful, interactive tool.



Photo Gallery

Look at what other practices have done with the help of Pelton & Crane products.



Put an incredible Dental Team Health Ergonomic Analysis Tool at your fingertips!

Oral cavity access in ergonomically correct positions decreases the risk of Muscular-Skeletal Disorders (MSDs), protecting the long term health of the dental team. Potential issues caused by prolonged improper positioning include: pain and discomfort, lower productivity, missed days of work and patient dissatisfaction.

Use this tool to correctly identify improper positioning and learn how the Pelton & Crane Narrow Back Advantage™ can help you and your team today. Visit bit.ly/1q0nYqw and find out how Pelton & Crane chairs and cabinetry ensure proper ergonomics for you, your team and your patients!

Here are some screenshots of the app in action:

Ergonomics 360?

The app provides a full look at how different positions can be ergonomic.



Spirit 3000 chair view


A 360?, interactive look at how the Spirit 3000 dental chair can help with ergonomic issues.




A video showing the benefits of the Narrow Back Advantage™.




Next page: How design and ergonomics boost efficiency in your practice

“The more efficiently your operatory is set up, the more efficient you can be”: A Q&A with Emily Brooks, Senior Marketing Manager, Pelton & Crane

Q: What should clinicians consider when deciding on furniture and cabinetry for their practice?

EB: Efficiency, ergonomics and esthetics are all important factors in choosing operatory furniture. Making the most of your practice starts in each operatory-it’s important to ensure that each cabinet has the right storage layout for the way you practice dentistry.

The more efficiently your operatory is set up, the more efficient you can be. Ergonomics plays into this as well-the less movements you have to make in-procedure, the better. Lastly, it’s important to remember your office reflects your image. Operatory furniture should help create a relaxing, comfortable environment for your patients.

Q: What are common mistakes clinicians make when choosing operatory furniture and cabinetry, and how can they be avoided?

EB: Sacrificing quality for price is a pitfall to avoid. Giving up efficiency, ergonomics or esthetics for a low price point can actually end up costing clinicians more in the long run. Quality is critical-it ensures longevity and that clinicians are projecting the desired image. Certified dental grade cabinet manufacturers have the true expertise needed to develop and build cabinetry that will be durable, functional and visually appealing.

Q: How important is furniture and cabinetry to the personality of the practice?

EB: Furniture and cabinetry are a direct expression of the practice’s personality. It’s important to consider the image you want to reflect when making these choices. Choosing cabinetry that is functional and beautiful ensures clinicians are reaping the benefits of ergonomic storage, and projecting an image of professional excellence to patients.

Q: What are the benefits of some of the offerings from Pelton & Crane? How do these products stand out from the competition?

EB: Pelton & Crane focuses on creating high-quality cabinets that provide both functionality and design appeal. The Renaissance Collection of dental cabinetry completely embodies the principles of efficiency and ergonomics in the operatory, and delivers an esthetic look unlike any other dental cabinet on the market. Contours and smooth lines contribute to a modern, spa-like feel, while clever storage options ensure all operatory space is maximized.

Technology integration is another critical element in today’s world-the Renaissance Collection allows clinicians to ergonomically place monitors and access USB ports, enabling state-of-the-art, patient-side technology. The furniture you choose reflects the standard of clinical care you provide, and the Renaissance Collection reflects a standard of excellence.

Q: What are some of the common questions you get from clinicians who are looking to make a change to operatory furniture or cabinetry?

EB: Questions around which configurations and operatory layouts work well are common. It is important to understand the operatory workflow of a practice before configuring new cabinetry. Each practice has different needs and priorities-as a manufacturer, it’s important to not just have options, but to have relevant options. It is critical to have the right storage and delivery features available so cabinets can be tailored to a specific practice’s workflow.

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