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Growth, on Location
Anchored at the last stoplight on a busy Wilmington, Mass., road, peering at Silver Lake, is Greg Andre’s dental practice. Andre, DDS, loves the location of his practice, Silver Lake Dental. He loved it when he purchased it from a retiring dentist in January 2002, and he loved it through the years that his practice slowly outgrew the space.



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Six years after buying the practice, Andre could no longer ignore the fact that the 1,200-square-foot, three-operatory practice was too small. “We had grown the practice to almost three times the size it was when I bought it, as far as patient flow and activity,” he said. “We started to have to add hygiene to the point where I had to give up one of the rooms that I worked out of to the hygienist three days a week. I started to realize I was going to have to do something to expand.”
Located on a pie-shaped plot - carved by the bustling Main Street and surrounding creeks and wetlands - his practice had a unique footprint with unique requirements. In addition to the wetlands, he knew there would be challenges to expanding in his current location - first and foremost, keeping the practice open. “I wanted to be able to continue to work in my present location without ever having to shut my doors,” he said. “A shutdown in dentistry can be very expensive. You can lose patients, you can lose income; what do you do with your staff? These are all major concerns and considerations for most dentists who go through this situation. The most important thing was that I limited my shutdown of my existing office. That was tantamount.”
Andre’s desires to stay in the same location and stay open weren’t completely conflicting; nor were they working together. In order to do both, Andre said, it was determined that a phased construction would be necessary. Phasing the construction process raised new concerns: How would he move to the first half of the new building? Would he build operatories first? A waiting area? How would it affect his patients?
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Growth, on Location

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