Comfort meets efficiency in the refurbishment of Dr Brenda Loh’s two customized surgeries. August 2009, Dr Loh decided renovation of her two surgeries was long overdue. Taking advantage of a tax break incentive, she hoped to install a new clinical environment that suited her work conditions and individual needs. The actual fitout process took three-and-a-half weeks between January and February 2010, involving the demolition and refurbishment of the surgeries; dismantling and disposing of unwanted equipment; and transfer and reinstallation of existing dental units to other surgeries in the same building.
“I decided on Dentec because they are experienced in all aspects of setting up and supporting a dental surgery. Through our past dealings with them, they have proven to be reliable, offer prompt response to ‘emergency’ situations and enjoy a good rapport with our staff.”
Dr Brenda Loh
The original position of the bench and storage cabinets, directly behind the dentist’s working area, had presented access problems for nurses during treatment. With the L-shaped configuration, the nurses’ side of the room would also have a neat row of cabinets catering to their specific storage needs.
Besides a more desirable working orientation, Dr Loh also wanted to streamline ergonomics by adjusting the bench-tops and overhead cupboards to suit her height and arm’s reach. Personal comfort and efficiency were primary goals of the design, she says “I expect to be in these rooms for the rest of my career, so it should be about me.”
Next on Dr Loh’s to-do list was to purchase the visual centerpiece of the dental surgery. She wanted modern chairs that were “compact, easy to maintain and looked good”. The new bench had narrowed the width of the rooms, so the treatment units needed to be slim yet broad enough for patient comfort.
Dr Loh eventually decided on and purchased two Heka-Dental UNIC chairs. As the exclusive Australasian importer of the European-made dental units, we were able to offer Dr Loh an extended warranty on the chairs. Dr Loh, is thrilled with the UNIC’s and admits she made the right choice.
Aesthetic considerations were subtle but effective. The black leather upholstery on the dental chairs and doctors’ stools provide a stark contrast to the rest of the treatment room awash in high gloss white and touches of purple. The mirror on the wall finishes the detail perfectly.
“In my mind, as long as the patient has a comfortable chair to lie on and feels assured by the clean and bright surroundings, they would be happy”
The space at the end of the long side of the cabinetry was designed to accommodate a new desk area that facilitates patient consultation – besides housing the computer.
“Since we also decided to computerize the practice, the computer and flat panel screen would already be taking up precious bench space. I wanted to use every little bit of idle space possible”.
It was business as usual for the other staff of Myers Street Dental Clinic meaning demolition and other noisy chores had to be done before and after hours. We had to be constantly mindful of noise levels and maintain clutter-free walkways, since the rooms under construction were located close to other surgeries.
Keeping to the tightly scheduled completion and handover dates, the newly refurbished rooms were fully operational on 18 February 2010. The results of the renovation are in Dr Loh’s words “two beautiful surgeries customized to my exact needs”.