Bruce Johnstone Discusses Profitable Dental Office Design

Apex Design Build’s own Director of Client Services Bruce Johnstone was invited to speak on the Bulletproof Dental Practice podcast about efficiency and profitability in dental office design.

The ROI of Building Right

In this edition of the Bulletproof Dental Practice podcast the hosts and their guest discuss how to incorporate dental clinic design elements for increased ROI. The team explains the business of building a modern dental treatment facility and the importance of designing a space that contributes to success and longevity. Since most new patients come from internal referrals, it’s important that patients like their dentist and his or her practice. Generally speaking, most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist and don’t expect to have fun while they’re there, so it’s important that dentists strive to make the experience as pleasant as possible. So how are patients related to a profitable dental office design? Functionality and design in a dental practice are directly related to patient experience, and positive experiences lead to referrals and, ultimately, to growth.


When it comes to the design and construction aspect of building a dental practice, Dr. Spodak points out that, in his experience, hiring several disciplines separately – artist, interior designer, architect, civil engineer, structural engineer, consultants, and general contractor – results in costly delays and a lack of synergy in delivering a finished project. Bruce Johnstone agrees, sharing that Apex Design Build has seen a 33% cost reduction for clients who use a design-build firm over a group of specialty firms to build a facility. In a design-build model, there is a single team responsible for all aspects of the project from start to finish, and liability and risk are lowered due to dealing with a single supplier that is committed to completing the entire project.

In discussing the value of customizing dental facility design over using a traditional “cookie cutter approach”, Bruce states that each practice is different in the type of environment they strive to create and the type of patient they want to attract, and that the goal of good design is to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics. To that end, Dr. Spodak believes that achieving profitable dental office design requires a different perspective. He asserts that dentistry should be viewed more as a retail function than a healthcare function in order to learn how to utilize space in new ways, specifically when it comes to enhancing the customer experience and making patients more comfortable.

Dr. Spodak elaborates to explain that commercial spaces are improperly lit with too much fluorescent lighting that makes the environment uncomfortable for both clinical staff and patients. In his facility, he has incorporated as much natural lighting as possible to make the overall environment more comfortable and efficient. More than just the aesthetic aspects of natural light, it provides an energizing atmosphere, and Bruce agrees that lighting is an essential component of comfort and efficiency.

In conclusion, the hosts state that the best way to create and market a profitable dental office design is to make that practice remarkable, and the best way to do that is to create something worth talking about.

The Bullet Proof Dental Practice Podcast

Podcast hosts Dr. Peter Boulden and Dr. Craig Spodak developed their channel for dentists looking to grow and protect their practices. The podcasts feature real conversations with successful industry leaders offering real world information to dental practitioners to enable them to increase their profitability, lower their overhead, and grow their practices. Dr. Boulden currently operates two practices and is preparing to open a third, and Dr. Spodak is a third-generation dentist who has developed a vision for a modern dental practice which brings general and specialized dental services together under one roof.

The Apex Design Build Team

Apex Design Build is in the business of creating remarkable medical and dental facilities for today’s dedicated healthcare professionals.

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