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Dental Operatory Size For Your Office; What’s The Best?

By Jayme Amos.  Get free updates of posts here

The best dental operatory size for a office is 120 square feet.
This simple number can have dramatic effects on your income, success and happiness.


Who says?

With the best dental operatory size in your new office  4 things will happen:

1)      You’ll earn more income,dental operatory size

2)      You’ll have more fulfilling clinical days,

3)      Your team will work better together and

4)      Patients will be happier.


Can the size of an operatory really be that important?


Below, you’ll see how your decision about the best dental operatory size will be one of your most profitable and satisfying choices of your career.


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If we get this right, the size of your operatory will become a huge factor in your success at your new dental office.


Why 120 Square Feet?

To explore why a quirky factoid like the best dental operatory size can have a massive impact on your practice and your life, we’ll look at a best case scenario.


Best case scenario:
dental operatory size1.  Your patient interaction is elevated before you even enter the room (no more embarrassing moments for the elderly or overweight!). Because you have enough space between the entry side of the operatory and the chair, your patient concierge can seat the patient the best way.


2.  Case acceptance increases. The days of grabbing for a pen to draw on the tray cover are over. You’ll have the right technology and screens will be positioned a proper 8-10 feet from the patient’s eyes. Both hygiene and restorative operatories will feel and function similarly and effectively. If you get this right, patients will feel better with the cases presented. And, as we all know, patients will say yes to treatment based on what they feel, not what they know (patients can never know enough to fully understand they’re clinical need but they can emotionally choose to trust you – the environment in your operatory can effect this dramatically)

3. Patient Fear Decreases.  Bloodborne pathogens are one of patients’ biggest concerns (see this our video on sterilization centers).  In your operatory, you’ll have enough room to show patients that you wash your hands, in their presence. Believe it or not, they don’t know you washed your hands unless you do it in front of them. Will you have the best dental operatory size in your new office to do this?

4. Profits Rise.  If productivity flows, profits rise. When you have the best dental operatory size, you’ll be able to have 4 handed dentistry take place in each restorative operatory at any given moment – that’s productive.  The assistant will be able to enter and leave from the assistant doorway discretely – discretion gives comfort to anxious patients and that’s productive.  Handpieces will be within reach – not within a roll of your stool – more productivity. Supplies will be able to be stocked properly and you won’t run out during a procedure – that’s very productive. Overhead lighting will be properly positioned. Everything will FLOW.  And if productivity flows, profits rise.

5. Decreased Stress – for you and for patients. Confining spaces make American’s very uncomfortable. Ever been on a European train at rush hour? dental operatory sizeIt’s stressful. Small spaces make big stress. Give patients and staff the best experience subconsciously through the right sized space and you’ll decrease stress levels. And when you create more peace you have a happier team, happier patients and a happier doctor.


What Are the Best Dimensions?

The best dental operatory size for an office means nothing if you have the dimensions wrong.

Here are some criteria in determining the best operatory size:

–          10ft wide by 12ft deep
–          Assuming you have 2 side cabinets
–          And a rear cabinet
–          Discover the best office size here

Regarding Side Cabinets:

If you don’t plan on having side cabinets, you can eliminate 18 inches of width for each side cabinet that you remove.

Regarding Rear Cabinets:

If you forgo using a rear cabinet (also referred to as a 12 O’clock) you can eliminate 12-18 inches of depth.


Shrink the Operatory…Shrink Your Success.

Don’t shrink your operatory size to anything less than these rules. From time to time, startup practices will rightfully try to maximize their success by adding more operatories than the real estate can support and these rules allow. The thought process is understandable: if I squeeze more in, I’ll get more out.

dental operatory sizeUnfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. When we see practice owners try and shrink the operatory size to anything less than these dimensions, a major sacrifice of potential takes place in the practice.

The facility, the team and the patients never get to experience their potential.

Case acceptance levels don’t reach their peak. Patient comfort never rises to the best level. Profits lag. Stress on the doctor, the team and the patients is always higher than it should be.


Follow These Simple Rules of Thumb and Reap the Rewards

The best dental operatory size for an office exists. It’s been proven over years of studying the most successful practices and the most satisfied doctors.

Following this plan will bring you surprising benefits in your satisfaction, your practice and your profits.

Let’s make sure we get this right in your new facility.


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Jayme Amos

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