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An Open and Closed Case for Dental Furniture
When you think about the equipment and tools that dentists need to do their job well, cabinetry may not come to mind. However, just as having the right handpieces can help make practicing dentistry easier, the right dental furniture helps dentists and staff members stay organized while working as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Common wood cabinets or millwork are typically basic in design, are often made by builders that lack the expertise necessary to provide important functional features, and are made with materials that aren’t durable enough to withstand the demands of the dental environment. Dental cabinetry is built specifically to function in the dental environment. It is also classified as capital equipment, allowing it to be depreciated on an accelerated scale so that you can recover your investment faster.* In addition, there are three main reasons that furniture made exclusively for the dental office can make a positive difference in your practice: efficient and ergonomic workflow, infection control and technology integration.
Efficient and ergonomic workflow – Dental furniture is made with the needs of the dentist and staff members in mind. Options such as slide-out equipment drawers, and swing-out shelves and tubs bring contents within close reach, requiring minimal movement and creating a more ergonomic workspace. Pass-through storage allows material and instruments to easily be transferred in and out of the operatory, helping to streamline the overall office workflow.
Infection control – Dental furniture emphasizes designs that are easy to clean and minimizes spaces where germs and dirt can get trapped. The finishes and materials are carefully selected to withstand the daily use of harsh chemicals typically used in the operatory, leading to longer life and maintaining aesthetics more than ordinary cabinetry.
Technology integration – Dental cabinetry provides unique storage and cable management to help integrate new equipment and technology, but it also must be flexible enough to accommodate future needs. Most dental furniture offers options like powered USB hubs, CPU cooling fans and various monitor mount options to help support the integration of cameras, sensors and other computer hardware. Pre-wired electrical outlets and other utility-related features simplify and reduce construction costs for electrical, plumbing and technology.
Midmark: On the mark
“Midmark is celebrating its 100th year in business. For more than 45 of those years, Midmark has been producing cabinetry for the healthcare market,” says Crissy Treon, product manager, dental cabinetry. “Midmark offers two distinctively different lines of cabinetry. The two lines have individual feature sets that appeal to different markets while both provide designs that support efficient and ergonomic workflow, infection control and technology integration.”
The Integra™ Dental Casework line is made of a steel frame construction that provides long life and consistent door and drawer performance. A flexible, modular design allows for easy internal and external modification and changing configurations for future office needs. Plus, seamless panels and one-piece, molded polystyrene drawers provide an asepsis friendly design. This line offers 13 cabinet color options, more than 40 countertop options and a variety of module setups. Integra’s attributes are aligned with LEED® green building rating systems, although no green upcharge is applied.
The Artizan® Expressions line offers expressive styles that allow customers to combine rich and timeless elements from traditional to modern to create a look that is distinctively their own. These unique options break the stereotype of typical dental cabinetry with one-of-a-kind designs. Designed to help staff members work efficiently and ergonomically, the Artizan® Expressions line also creates an attractive and inviting environment for patients. Quality standard features include seamless, stainless steel bases, soft-close doors and drawers, ¾-inch panel construction and brushed nickel handles. These cabinets are available in a wide variety of standard product configurations. The line offers 20 cabinet color options, more than 40 countertop options and 30 Ultraleather™ upholstery options.
Asking the right questions
If new dental cabinets are part of your plan for an office remodel or new build, it’s important to consider elements of your current system that have worked successfully and elements you would like to change. Some important questions to ask include:
  • What problems do I experience with my current cabinetry?
  • What equipment do I currently use that will need to be incorporated into my new cabinetry, such as delivery units, lights and X-ray systems?
  • What plans do I have to incorporate new technology and equipment now and in the future?
  • Will I have CPUs and monitors in each operatory?
  • What supplies and ancillary devices do I need designated areas for, and will they be within easy reach?
  • What role do I want my cabinetry to play in the décor of my office?
  • What image do I want my cabinetry to portray to my patients and staff?
Asking yourself the right questions and taking the time to choose cabinetry that supports your needs can ensure that the result makes a positive impact on your practice. Improved workflow, correct ergonomics, technology integration and an appealing design make the planning process worth it.
If new dental cabinets are part of your plan for an office remodel or new build, contact your Patterson representative for more information.
*This is general income tax information and should not be construed as financial guidance or legal advice. You must consult with your tax advisor to determine what amount, if any, that your practice may qualify to deduct under current tax code based upon your particular facts and circumstances.