Las Positas Family Dental – Livermore, California | Thi Hoang, DDS
Dr. Thi Hoang had a five-year plan: she wanted to expand her general dentistry practice by opening a second office when her sister graduated from dental school. However, sometimes, when opportunity knocks, you have to answer sooner than expected, and that was what happened with
Dr. Hoang. Her new office, Las Positas Family Dental, opened in September 2016, about four years ahead of schedule!
“I started my first practice in 2010 in Fremont, California, with a partner,” explained Dr. Hoang. “In 2012, my partner left, and I brought in a full-time hygienist. Almost immediately, I hired three additional part-time hygienists because of our exponential growth. But the city of Livermore was always on my radar, so when we found a condo suite there available for purchase,
I decided to turn my five-year plan into a one-year plan!”
The reason the doctor was compelled to build her second office sooner than she originally thought she would was the rare occurrence of finding great office space for sale.
“In the Bay Area area, most available commercial space is 25,000 square-feet or more,” explained Gary Houser, the Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist who led the Las Positas office build. “You don’t see suites in the 2,000-5,000 square-foot range for sale very often.”
In addition, Livermore is on the verge of explosive growth, attracting new tech workers who are flocking to the Tri-Valley area because of its proximity to San Francisco, its larger green spaces, and its relative affordability compared to skyrocketing prices in the city.
The practice space was ideal and in a high-traffic location. The doctor initially had some concerns that the site might not be visible enough because it’s tucked away on a road behind two big box stores. However, in anticipation of its growth, the city has been approving new developments, so a school and another retail site are breaking ground right across the street, bringing many new families past the office.
Designing To Best Practices
Dr. Hoang traveled to Portland, Oregon, with Mr. Houser to attend an office design seminar, consulting with Dr. Mark Tholen, a respected expert on office design, about her floor plan. Justin Crooke of Henry Schein’s Integrated Design Studio put the doctor’s vision to paper. Dr. Hoang then traveled to A-dec’s facility on a VIP visit to see their equipment line firsthand, and ultimately decided it was the right choice for the new office.
“She chose A-dec operatory furniture, cabinetry, and lighting because of its beautiful aesthetics and functionality, but mainly because of its ergonomics,” said Mr. Houser. “The way the equipment was laid out in her operatories, it lent itself to a comfortable workflow. When she sits down, everything is in arm’s reach, and that is a huge benefit for the doctor.”
Office Theme Modeled After Favorite Outdoor Destination
The visual inspiration for Dr. Hoang’s office was very personal—she wanted it to be reminiscent of her wedding venue, the Calistoga Ranch in California.
“Our new office creates a soothing and calm atmosphere. Instead of the typical white, sterile dental practice, it’s filled with cool greys and yellows that bring out pops of color. The glass windows bring in the perfect amount of sunshine, and they also allow beautiful views of the hills.”
When patients enter the waiting area, one of the most striking things they notice first is the logo, which is made from live succulent plants and is set into the wall behind the reception desk. To enhance the “living” feel in the office, a San Francisco artist installed moss walls that add to the outdoorsy motif. Reclaimed barn wood accents add more rustic, natural ambiance. A large coffee table made from reclaimed maple burl dominates the space, which includes comfortable chairs and patterned carpet.
“Coming to the dentist can be stressful for some people,” said Mr. Houser. “The doctor wanted to create an office that would ease patients’ tensions.”
The office contains seven operatories inside 3,100 square feet of space, and easily accommodates Dr. Hoang and her associate, Dr. Alisha Patel. The treatment rooms run along the right side of the hallway, with the galley-style, walk-through sterilization center and imaging alcove placed in the center for easy access from every room. Other functional spaces include a consultation room with glass walls emblazoned with the practice logo, an expansive staff lounge, and two private offices.
“The treatment room design has enabled us to work faster and more efficiently,” confirmed Dr. Hoang. “We’re spending less time adjusting our chairs, handpieces, and overhead lights.”
Following best practices, each treatment room is equipped in the same way so all procedures can be done inside of any room.
The office is paperless and uses Apple computers, so Dr. Hoang purchased Dentrix Ascend, a cloud-based system that can seamlessly access patient files from any computer in either the Fremont or Livermore location. The Las Positas office utilizes DEXIS sensors and Digital Doc intraoral cameras for digital imaging.
Dr. Hoang practices same-day dentistry using the Planmeca FIT CAD/CAM system in her Fremont office, and she plans to offer that service in Livermore when patient volume grows.
The sterilization room has best-in-class technology, including a SciCan Hydrim instrument washer, BRAVO sterilizer, a VistaPure water purification system, and a KaVo QUATTROCare handpiece maintenance system.
“A Hu-Friedy instrument management system has improved the office flow. It also helps to mitigate risk by minimizing the handling of sharp instruments,” said Mr. Houser.
The layout of the steri-center is also practical in its design and it aids productivity by allowing staff to walk through the area from dirty to clean.
The practice is open three days a week, which will expand as the patient load increases. In addition, Dr. Hoang plans to eventually add specialty providers, including an endodontist and oral surgeon.
“Dr. Hoang has been, and continues to be, a devoted Henry Schein customer who is ‘all in’ as a business partner,” said Mr. Houser. “Her practice is unique and beautiful.” ♦