This project included a print/copier station behind the reception desk, a beverage service station in the waiting area, four treatment rooms each equipped with upper and lower storage cabinets, four washing stations with sink cabinet, a sterilization area with upper and lower cabinetry used in the cleaning and storing of equipment, and a laboratory area where molds of the teeth and dental devices are made.
Because it is a dentist’s office, infection control and sanitation was a priority that influenced the design of the entire project. Furthermore, as a business, patient areas had to be handicap accessible. Flat, slab style laminate door and drawer fronts with simple, smooth handles were used because there are no crevices to hold bacteria and they are easy to wipe down and clean. Bottom shelves on the upper cabinets were flipped so that cams don’t show and the surfaces are smoother — cleaner both aesthetically and physically. Individual consideration was given to each area with its specialized function, while making it all blend cohesively. The business is divided between office function and medical/dental function. The copy station and beverage area are part of the office and were designed to blend seamlessly with the existing reception desk. A wood tone laminate that echoes the color of the wood flooring in the treatment area was used for the cabinetry, tying the two spaces together visually.
An off-white laminate was used for the cabinets in the treatment rooms, the sterilization room and the laboratory area. While warmer and friendlier than a pure white, it conveys a clean, modern, work aesthetic. it compliments with the wood tones in the office cabinetry and the flooring, but defines the treatment areas as a distinct and separate space from the office. Each treatment room is identical and includes the same cabinetry and storage areas. Cabinets and storage surround two sides of the dental chair, providing cabinets for all the equipment used by both the dentist and hygienist. A pull-out shelf was installed in the treatment room cabinet where the computer is kept, giving a little more room for the keyboard and dentist’s notes when needed.
Each sink and wash station uses the same ultra modern design, immediately bringing to mind an office that is up-to-date on the latest technology. The wash station base cabinets were designed for a contemporary, black, vessel style sink. Although they appear at first glance to be clean and minimalistic, it was far from simple to design. We included a special cut-out for accessing the plumbing in the in the floor. Additionally, extra backboard was installed above the sink cabinet, flush with the back splash. This allows equipment for washing, like rubber gloves and paper towels, to be mounted to the easy-to-clean laminate rather than the painted wall which can hold bacteria. The toe kick had to be designed to accommodate handicap accessible “Tap Master” hands free plumbing to control the faucet.
The sterilization and laboratory areas are designed for maximum efficiency. We used the off-white laminate here, visually claiming these spaces as part of the treatment process rather than office. There are a lot of materials that need to be used for sterilization and lab services. Disorganization would be a disaster that could effect quality of care. With this cabinetry design, everything has an assigned placed. Materials are mainly kept out of sight but are easily accessible to employees. Once again, special design consideration was given to the ability to keep each tool clean and sanitized. The areas are visible to patients and needed to inspire confidence in the business’s ability to deliver state-of-the-art treatment. All the visible areas behind the cabinets and shelves are backed with 3/4 inch laminate, providing the functionality of a backsplash without all the groves from tile.