General Dentistry Practice Grows In Size and Patient Load in New Modern Office

Summit Dental - Layton, Utah | Scott and Rachelle Neil, DDS; Curtis Hadley, DDS

Reception areaGoing from a 2,200 square-foot office to a total of 19 operatories in 9,840 square feet is a stunning upgrade for a general dentistry practice, but husband and wife team Drs. Scott and Rachelle Neil of Summit Dental in Layton, Utah, knew they could support an expansion of this size with their existing production. When they also added new associates, orthodontic services, and a layout that streamlined workflows so they could care for patients faster and more efficiently, the new office was bound to be a success, and it has been. Open since December 2016, the practice has already increased revenue by 25%, welcoming 70 new patients each month.

Exterior Formerly on the site of an old farmhouse in a rapidly growing agricultural community near Salt Lake City, the craftsman-style exterior, with its welcoming overhangs and natural materials, greets patients.

The doctors opened their original Layton office location in 2009, purchasing it from another doctor. The practice is just 25 miles north of Salt Lake City, which is beginning to see an influx of new development and families. They had been a profitable business even within the constraints of their modestly sized office, growing from two operatories to six and extending their hours. But they were at capacity and realized they needed more space and up-to-date equipment to fully meet patient needs and achieve their long-term practice goals.

“We were experiencing bottlenecks in both sterilization and the ability to turn rooms over,” noted Dr. Scott Neil. “We needed additional dental chairs and the latest in sterilization centers and equipment.”

In addition, the doctors wanted to own their own building and the land, add new services, and have the capacity to expand by hiring additional staff. When a farmhouse across the street came up for sale, it was the perfect site to build a new, larger office. The house was razed to make way for the new building, a welcoming craftsman style design. The doctors already had a close working relationship with their Henry Schein Field Sales Consultant Leslie Wach, and she introduced them to Andrew Cottle, the Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist who worked with them on the build.

Barn A two-level barn playhouse captivates young patients in the lobby while they wait for their appointments.

“Summit Dental is located on a corner of what was a farm community,” explained Mr. Cottle. “Recent housing growth has increased local population by huge numbers and more growth is coming. The doctors embrace technology, actively invest in the business, and have put together a wonderful office.”

Once the site was purchased, the doctors attended a seminar focused on dental practice design and ergonomics in Oregon, sponsored by Henry Schein. As Dr. Scott said, it “got the ball rolling” on the project.

A Henry Schein TechCentral specialist provided expertise to the project on the design of the office’s technology suite. With powerful new technology and equipment along with a gorgeous interior design that is modern, clean, and bright, the practice has been propelled into one of the most impressive offices in the state.

Craftsman Style Design Exudes Warmth and Comfort

Consultation room The doctors utilize the consultation room to educate patients using their X-rays.

The practice’s old-world charm is immediately apparent from the exterior of the building, with its low roof, stacked stone accents and pillars, and porch areas. This classic style belies the sophisticated, cutting-edge ambiance and technology that waits inside its doors. When patients enter the large reception area, they are greeted with architectural details from the Craftsman period; earth-tone colors of beige, gray, and white in the floors, barn and batten wainscoting on the walls, and oversized wood trim around the windows. The overall design is a luxurious yet rustic farmhouse feel.

Brushing station The brushing station in the six-chair open ortho bay has a modern vessel sink and textured architectural wall. The expansion of the doctor’s space allowed him to add this specialty along with a dedicated associate to his practice.

The sheer size and openness of the office along with its high ceilings (which even allow for a two-story barn play area for children) has a soothing effect, and the muted color palette is calming. The reception area is spacious with amenities like a fireplace and technology center that keep patients content while waiting. Patients are checked in quickly at the expansive check-in desk that has room for seven staff members. The doctors had previously used an older practice management software to manage patient information and overall operations, but Dr. Scott was anxious to move the practice to Dentrix immediately upon opening. The staff feedback is that it has been easy to use and particularly good for statements and reporting.

The office has 11 treatment rooms and an open orthodontic bay with six chairs and two more in separate consultation rooms. Premium vinyl tiles replicate weathered wood flooring and sit alongside commercial-grade carpeting in earth tones. Turn to the left to enter the ortho bay or to the right to reach the treatment rooms. A galley-style, walk-through sterilization room that sits in the center of the practice connects the two hallways and ensures rooms can be turned over quickly regardless of where they are located.

Hallway Eleven operatories line the curved hallway, with its old-world wainscoting and muted colors.

The doctors already used older A-dec equipment in their previous practice, and they visited the manufacturer several times to weigh different options. The local rep even provided a demo unit for the doctors to try. In the end, they chose luxe A-dec chairs in rich black upholstery, as well as A-dec delivery units, lights, and cabinetry. Its smooth lines, powerful reliability, and comfortable configuration ergonomically creates an excellent experience for both the patients and the doctors.

Sterilization room The state-of-the-art sterilization room connects both sides of the practice, and with the adoption of the Hu-Friedy cassette system, SciCan Hydrim instrument washer, and Midmark autoclaves, the staff can turn over treatment rooms much faster.

“The A-dec rear delivery and side cabinets create a smooth workflow,” said Dr. Scott, who also chose A-dec for the practice’s sterilization room and make-ready unit.

In the minimalistic ortho bay, they installed Boyd chairs and Forest Dental delivery systems. The ortho chairs face the large windows, which keep the crisp, uncluttered room full of natural light.

Digital Technology

About a year before they moved to the new office, the doctors purchased a Planmeca ProMax 3D Mid imaging unit so they would be adept at using it when the new office opened. They moved it over into a centralized imaging alcove and purchased an additional DEXIS sensor and four new Digital Doc cameras bringing the total to five.

Treatment room

Imaging room A centralized imaging alcove holds the Planmeca ProMax 3D Mid unit, which allows the doctors to accurately capture X-rays for both general dentistry and orthodontic treatments.

But perhaps one of the biggest upgrades has been to the office’s sterilization practices, which were slowing them down in the previous office. The doctors converted to a
Hu-Friedy cassette system, which is faster and more efficient, allowing them to see more patients while offering the highest level of safety for patients and staff.

“Before, sterilization took the staff a long time,” Mr. Cottle agreed. They bought more instruments and invested in cassettes and a SciCan Hydrim instrument washer.”

Treatment Room, general dentistry In addition to the rich black leather A-dec chairs, LED lights, and delivery units in each operatory, the doctors also use DEXIS sensors and Digital Doc cameras for intraoral imaging.

The staff has enjoyed upgrades of its own in non-patient space, with a large and relaxing staff lounge and a massive conference room as well as a lovely patio area that sits out back.

Overall, the office, open less than a year, has delivered on its potential. It’s given Drs. Scott and Rachelle the ability to grow the practice by adding a new partner, Dr. Curtis Hadley, who brought his patients with him, as well as offering orthodontic services, physically impossible in the small office they operated previously.

“I am lucky and proud to have my name associated with this office and its current rate of growth,” said Mr. Cottle. “Even with 11 treatment rooms, Dr. Scott asked me why I didn’t force him to add more rooms because he is full already! He has a great business mind and is doing everything we tell dentists to do, and the practice is already seeing the benefits.”

With its modern décor, high-end design, and top-of-the-line equipment that provides a patient experience that’s more precise and comfortable, Drs. Neil and associates are poised to attract many more new patients to the practice while providing exceptional care to families in the Layton community. ♦

Team picture From Left to Right: Leslie Wach, Field Sales Consultant; Ryan Perez, Equipment Service Technician; Dr. Scott Neil; Dr. Rachelle Neil; Dr. Curtis Hadley; Myron Vea, Regional Operations Manager; Jeff Harmon, Regional Manager; Andrew Cottle, Equipment Sales Specialist

Originally published in Sidekick Magazine.