Starting from Scratch
Dr Mike Booth discusses how he and his team created their brand new practice in Windermere
When the time came for a new challenge, we decided to start looking for a new premises for our dental practice. Located in the hub of the Lake District, Windermere caught our attention quickly and we soon found the perfect plot for a brand new build in the centre of town.
As a team we already had a good idea of the design we wanted for our new practice, and we set to it with the builders to put our plans into action. It was important to us that the exterior aesthetics of the building matched the ambience of the existing town, so we kept it simple and as pleasing to our immediate neighbours as possible.
By the time we got around to designing the interior my team and I were all quite excited, and with the help of my wife Cheri, we had a rough idea of how we wanted the practice to look. The building however presented an unusual and somewhat awkward area to fit a surgery into, and we needed some very clever thinking to be able to make the most of the space available. Even with a huge basement space, we faced our biggest challenge in ensuring our compliance with the CQC and HTM 01-05 regulations.
Having worked with them for many years already, we chose to work with the team from RPA Dental on the design and installation of the new practice. They were a massive help when it came to practical tips and advice to help fully utilise the space available, and in the end we came up with a design that encompassed all the equipment and furniture we needed, without it feeling cramped or compromised.
We decided on an open plan practice. The ground floor consists of the reception and waiting area, with stairs down to the basement. Here we created two dental surgeries, alongside our sterilisation facilities and storage areas. We had already agreed to look towards expansion at a later date, but in the meantime we just wanted to get the practice up and running.
In light of ensuring the building was as authentic and in-keeping with the surroundings as possible, we decided on an earthy oak floor, and neutral coloured carpets. With these we matched sheek lighting and modern appliances, ensuring the practice would offer a cutting-edge service. As for the colour schemes, we had already decided on our signature lilac décor, and we were aiming of course to create a calm and soothing atmosphere. Wherever possible we worked with local service and products suppliers, such as sourcing the carpets from Simon Murphy. We also sourced all our sundry items for the new premises from Dental Sky, who provided an extensive range of products as well as great support.
When it came to choosing the right equipment and cabinetry for our practice, the type of dentistry we do – advanced restorative and implant dentistry – meant that we simply couldn’t rely on anything but the very best in the market. We chose the Skema 8 dental chair unit from Castellini, the Skyline Cabinetry range from Tavom as well as their Myray X-Ray machine, because we knew their products to be sophisticated and reliable.
The actual installation process was pretty straight forward in the end – once all the furniture and equipment was on site, it was simply a matter of constructing the cabinetry and putting everything in its agreed position. At this stage there was, of course, no more structural work needed, so we could do this at our own pace without worrying about disrupting the neighbourhood too much.
With all said and done, we have been left with a highly efficient, ergonomic and stylish dental practice that is far better than we first imagined. From start to finish the project took us about 12 months and we were delighted to begin treating patients with our brand new facilities.
After working hard on the appearance of the practice, we were also thrilled to be awarded the Civic Societies’ ‘Best-looking New Building’ in town last March, in which we were described as ‘an exceptional example of a building created in harmony with the local area’. This was a fantastic welcome to our new location, and I have to sincerely thank practice team and the teams of those we worked alongside.
Our patients have been very positive about our new premises, as it was constructed specifically to meet their needs. Being open plan, it is easy for patients and staff to manoeuvre around, without getting in each other’s way.
With more than 34 years’ experience as a dental practitioner in the UK, Dr Mike Booth has a special interest in mentoring newly-qualified dentists, and his own on-going studies regularly take him to Centres of Excellence around the world. He is dedicated to providing an absolute premier service of care and is more than happy to take referrals in the areas of implantology, prosthodontics and orthodontics.