From the First Meeting to the Final Nail – The Dental Office Design Process

If you’re like many of our Iowa clients, you don’t really know where to start with the design plan of your new dental practice. Don’t worry! That’s why we’re here. We have done this so many times that we have a step-by-step plan that we follow for each build that we do.

Today, Primus’ Head Designer, KC, is going to take you through that process.

The Beginning


Step 1 – Programming Meeting

primus dental design dental build process - From the First Meeting to the Final Nail - The Dental Office Design Process

I call our first meeting the “Programming” meeting because we are developing a program for your new dental office. Depending on the project, the questionnaire can range from 2 to 10 pages long.

We ask every question we can think of.

For instance, we need to know how many people the building needs to be able to hold. This number affects the seating area, the kid’s area, the reception area, etc.

We also need practical questions answered, like, “How many chairs do you need in the open bay?” and “Do you want a personal office?”

And then there are more unique questions that might only pertain to the specific dentist or orthodontist that we are working with. We need to know what style you are looking for. Do you prefer modern? Conservative? Traditional?

We try to fit in all of these questions at the first meeting, so it can take 2-3 hours to get everything figured out.

Step 2 – Plan, Plan, Plan

After our meeting, we spend a couple days drawing up a plan for your new dental office. We develop the floor plan and make certain that it works.

We come up with designs pretty quickly. We generally work in a plan view but we think 3-dimensionally. We generate a 3D view of the plan so that you can get a better look at it. We know that even though we think 3-dimensionally, most people can’t visualize 2D plans in a 3D way.

The Details


Step 3 – Colors and Materials selection meeting.

Once we get a rough draft of the plan for your new dental office, we meet up again for the Color and Material Selection meeting. This meeting can last from 2 to 6 hours, and sometimes it lasts all day. During this meeting, we make a decision about everything.

And we really mean everything.

It can be a little overwhelming because there are literally millions of options. Every detail from faucets – do you want manual or knee or motion sensor? – to light fixtures to floor finishes.

Don’t worry, we will guide you through it.

The Programming meeting gives us an idea of your style and needs, so we whittle down the list of options before the Colors and Materials meeting. That way, you don’t have to go through all the millions of options, you can just go through the ones that match the feel and purpose that you  need.

We also want to make sure that you are happy with everything, so if you aren’t happy with any of the selections that we picked out, we will look through all the options available until you find exactly what you’re looking for.

We have a design in our heads but it is flexible. We come with ideas for you but ultimately, we want you to be comfortable and enjoy the space.

Putting the Plan into Action


Step 4 – Construction!

First of all, I’m the lead on the design team but I don’t personally oversee the construction. Why? Because we want it done right by professionals who are trained to build and install everything! And that’s what’s so great about Primus, we have those construction professionals in-house to follow up on what we do on the design side.

We do walk-throughs to make sure that during the construction process our team is building it exactly as designed. Once it’s in real life, you can see things that you don’t see in the planning stage.

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes we’ll make changes on the fly. The most common quick changes are accent walls and light fixtures. Sometimes what you think will work just doesn’t. Or we’ll get a spark of inspiration to add something new after a walk-through!

The best part of my job is having you come in and see the finished office. If we can make the practice of your dreams into a reality, we know that we’ve done our job. If you are ready to start planning your new dental office, give us a call!

~KC, Head Designer at Primus Dental Design and Construction


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