Pediatric Dental Associates & Orthodontics – Bentonville, Arkansas | Tonya Triplett, DDS
It’s not hard to find the new office of Pediatric Dental Associates & Orthodontics in Bentonville, Arkansas. Just look for the tractor driven by farm animals bursting through a huge red “barn” wall or the pickup truck filled with a collection of cows, horses, and other critters that’s parked outside!
This spectacular, barnyard-themed pediatric office is the second location for Dr. Tonya Triplett and her partners, Dr. Jerry Sanders, Dr. Will Tompkins, Dr. Courtney Smith, and Dr. Jason Landers. It’s a colorful and playful office like nothing you’ve ever seen, and it’s all about making children happy and comfortable so that their trip to the dentist is something they actually look forward to.
The first Pediatric Dental Associates & Orthodontics in Fayetteville, which provides general pedodontics and orthodontics, has 30 operatories but is already working at full capacity. Dr. Triplett saw an opportunity to expand the practice, decrease wait times for appointments and give her patients who lived further away another convenient location. Bentonville was an obvious choice because as the third fastest-growing area in the country, it is experiencing an influx of new families and development, creating a vibrant new community of children who need dental care.
“This is the third office the doctor has designed and built with us,” said Equipment Sales Specialist Jason McKinley, who worked on the build with Dr. Triplett. “It’s just an overall great success story.”
The new office is 10,000 square-feet of farm-filled fun, with 3D elements, murals, and gaming. Oversized barnyard characters smile from every corner, and the authentic feel of the office is magnified with rustic signs, antique items, and cowhide chairs. Children and parents can’t help but giggle at the shaggy sheep dog in hip sunglasses sitting placidly on a hay bale in the lobby or the friendly cow who leans out of a nearby barn window.
Mr. McKinley and Field Sales Consultant Darryl Paterson have worked with the doctor for 10 years and were part of the early discussions about building a second location. Mr. Paterson ran demographic reports to determine what areas current patients were coming from. Reviewing the data, it was clear that a second practice would quickly attract enough patients to justify the investment.
“We had many meetings, and we used literally every form of communication to oversee the details and specs,” laughed Mr. McKinley. “There were a lot of similarities to the first office when it came to the design and equipment choices.”
Over-the-Top Theme Distracts and Delights Children
The waiting area surrounds families in an eye-popping visual sensation, while friendly farm characters make their home among waiting patients. The theming continues as children are chaperoned to one of 22 operatories. Along the way, they can spend time in the interactive Smile Center in a hallway lined with games and educational activities.
Because the original office has been such a success, the Bentonville location was modeled after it. There were a few changes, however. One was to increase the number of private, closed-bay operatories— the Bentonville office has 10. The remaining treatment areas are spread across two hygiene areas, one on each side of the practice.
The doctors already had a good track record with the equipment in their existing practice, so they selected the same brands: chairs from Royal, pedo benches and cabinetry from Biotec, Proma delivery units, and Pelton & Crane Helios 1800 LED lights. Interestingly, the rear mount delivery units were specially designed by Proma for Dr. Triplett before becoming a regular part of their product line!
Colorful wall murals and hanging elements help to keep the kids upbeat and engaged with their surroundings while they receive care.
Mechanical Room Redundancy Protects Against Downtime
From an operations standpoint, Mr. McKinley gave extra attention to the mechanical room, designing it with redundancy, so if a vacuum pump or compressor goes down for any reason, it will not affect productivity.
“When you have a practice this large, if you lose a vacuum pump for even one half of a day and have to reschedule appointments, the practice can lose more in profitability than the entire cost of the vacuum,” explained
In the office’s “smart vacuum” system, there are four separate super-efficient dry vacuum motors that work independently of one another but are connected to a common computer. The computer monitors demand and directs the motors to turn on and off as needed, even setting how hard each is working. If one breaks down, the others simply kick in to pick up the slack so work can continue.
DEXIS Sensors Provides One-Size Digital Solution
When it comes to taking X-rays, it can be challenging to get small children to sit perfectly still or tolerate discomfort without complaint. The practice uses the Instrumentarium Focus intraoral X-rays system and DEXIS sensors. The set-up’s one-size-fits-all shape has proven very comfortable for even her smallest patients. In addition, the panoramic X-ray unit is used on a daily basis.
“The Planmeca S3 unit is amazing. Its external bitewing feature is so much easier and faster that typical bitewings, and that’s important when working with children,” noted Mr. McKinley.
The practice has grown very quickly and has a large patient load already, but the sterilization room was designed for high volume. The assistants and hygienists never enter the sterilization center; a full-time, dedicated technician handles all of the processing. Used trays are dropped off at one window and fresh instruments are picked up at another window. The sterilization center features the most advanced equipment, including a VistaPure water system, Midmark M11 sterilizer, and a STATIM G4 autoclave.
Dr. Triplett and her partners opened the office in March 2016, and the response has been overwhelming and rewarding.
“We wanted to create an environment that was educationally interactive and non-threatening for the child. Our goal is to provide a positive dental experience that will carry on into their adult life,” said Dr. Triplett. ♦