SOMI Dental Group – South Miami, Florida | Arnaldo Lopez, DDS
SOMI Dental Group is the culmination of a dream Dr. Arnaldo Lopez had from the time he was just five years old. While other kids were playing outside, he was inside his uncle’s dental practice in Puerto Rico, watching intently. This early interest grew into a passion to pursue the same career, and today, at 29 years old, Dr. Lopez is the proud owner of his own general dentistry practice in South Miami.
The 1,500-square-foot office, which opened in the summer of 2016, has four state-of-the-art operatories, a lab, a consultation room, and an arsenal of the latest technology many practices would love to have: digital X-rays, digital camera, and caries and oral cancer detectors, all connected to the Dentrix Practice Management system.
“Field Sales Consultant Jose Laurel and I scheduled a meeting with
Dr. Lopez, and we just clicked,” said Ricardo D’Avila, a Henry Schein Equipment Technology Specialist. “We spoke for an hour about the business of dentistry before even discussing equipment or office design. Even though the doctor and his partner/office manager, Danny Varona, knew what they wanted, they listened, asked a lot of questions, and were open to hearing our opinions.”
Doctor In Charge of Design
Dr. Lopez had already secured space in a newly constructed office building located in an upscale section of South Miami. The location had been on his wish list for several years while he watched the building go up. Henry Schein’s Integrated Design Studio drew up blueprints for the space, and Mr. D’Avila oversaw the specifications of the construction. Dr. Lopez and Mr. Varona made all of the finish selections themselves, from Logwood White porcelain tiles that mimic wood planks, to white quartz countertops and vivid contemporary artwork from a local Cuban artist.
The office has a very peaceful effect on patients and staff, thanks to its light gray and white color palette, recessed lighting, and minimal décor. Chairs by Italian manufacturer, Caligaris, are simple and functional, upholstered in a charcoal gray that pulls out similar tones in the rustic barn wood that lines the reception desk. Deep blue- accent walls add visual interest while drawing patients’ attention to key areas in the practice, including the reception desk, consultation room, sterilization suite, and the panoramic X-ray alcove.
As patients move into the treatment area, the airy, serene ambiance continues along a spacious hallway that hosts a brushing station complete with vessel sinks. Four closed-bay operatories are on one side, and the sterilization room and imaging room sit steps away across the hall, behind glass walls.
The operatories are outfitted with A-dec 500 chairs in navy blue leather with a traditional delivery system, LED overhead lights, and cabinets. The chair’s sleek design complements the modern look of the treatment rooms,
with its crisp white walls and counters.
“The office is very clean, yet it has a homey feel to it,” explained Dr. Lopez. “Every detail was hand selected by Danny, the office manager, and myself. The office was built with work flow and the patient experience in mind, and it has worked out perfectly! Building a separate consultation room to properly present treatment options has increased case acceptance.”
SOMI Dental Group’s visuals are stunning, but its technology is even more impressive, with a suite of products from the DEXIS and Instrumentarium family, including DEXIS digital imaging sensors and the DexCam4 intraoral camera, as well as the Instrumentarium OP300 panoramic X-ray system. Henry Schein Financial Services funded the equipment as well as supplies, and Dr. Lopez said he would recommend its services to anyone.
“As an associate, I didn’t have the tools to provide the kind of treatment I wanted to,” said Dr. Lopez. “Now, everything is brand new and integrates perfectly, which is why I chose it. The piece of equipment I am most excited about is the VELscope VX® oral cancer screening tool. I feel more comfortable properly diagnosing and providing patients with a well-rounded tool for cancer screening versus using my hands and eyes.”
Across the hallway, the walk-through sterilization room is fully visible to patients through floor-to-ceiling glass. Professional-grade equipment from Midmark and an efficient dirty-to-clean process demonstrates that patient safety is a priority.
In the few months it has been open, SOMI Dental Group is already exceeding the doctor’s projections, which were based on a rigorous analysis of the market and potential profit and loss.
“I am still astounded by how well we have been doing in such a short time,” added the doctor. “We regularly see 4 or 5 new patients every week, and we are already booked out for three weeks!”
Dr. Lopez points to the patient experience as what sets the practice apart from competitors. “Our office manager, Daniel, has received training from some of the world’s most prestigious brands in terms of quality and service, and he is passionate about sharing it with our assistants, Rachel Vargas and Lourdes Pena. All of our patients receive five-star service that is provided in a professional, yet relaxed setting. Our goal is to make our patients feel part of our family from the moment they walk in.”
Mr. D’Avila agrees: “I have been involved in building a number of top-quality, beautiful offices, but with SOMI Dental Group, there’s a different feeling and a vibe that is hard to explain. It looks and feels modern, but it’s cozy at the same time. Patients love it!” ♦