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3 Things You Should Know Before Updating Your Dental Operatory

Does your operatory need some love?  Are you thinking about buying a practice but you know it’s going to need a serious makeover?

If you’re planning on making some improvements to an older office you’re probably concerned about the cost, interruption to your workflow, and other nasty surprises.

I sat down with Dan Mahony, President and Owner of D&D Development Group Inc., who specializes in dental office construction.  Here’s his advice to help things go smoothly:

(1) Plan the construction around your schedule

Believe it or not, you can turn an old operatory into a state-of-the-art masterpiece in three days.  Mahony advises, “We can turn around up to three operatories in a three-day weekend so it doesn’t impact your patient care at all.  Demolition, construction, installation of equipment and cabinetry; all of that can be done in three days as long as we have the long-lead items ready and waiting.”  Which leads us to the next point…

(2) Pick your finishers first

Are you replacing the flooring?  Minimize the downtime when your construction team is standing around waiting for your fancy carpet to arrive.  “Make sure your contractor has all of your long-lead items on hand from the start, especially if they’re going to hold up the contractor from finishing their job,” says Mahony.  “Carpet, flooring, wallpaper, and specialty light fixtures are common examples.”

Items that have to be ordered should be stocked and ready to go.  “And not in a warehouse somewhere,” Mahony adds, “you should have them in your possession.

(3) Inspect before you start

Mahony advises every dentist who is buying a practice to have a dental-specific contractor run through the space first.  “It’s just like when you buy a home,” he explains.  “You should have an expert look at the electrical wiring, plumbing, compressors, and so on.”  For example, you may fantasize  about introducing digital radiography, computers in every room, and a new stereo system.  But some offices will require significant electrical work to make that dream become a reality.

The same goes before you modernize an operatory.  “A contractor can anticipate potential problems before demolition begins.  This will make sure the project runs on time and without hidden additional expenses,” he added.


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