Pairing high-end digital technology with a clear explanation to patients of “why” it’s being used is a core operating principle for Sierra Dental. This patient-focused perspective – thinking about dentistry from the patient’s point of view – is what laid the foundation for the construction of the practice’s third office in Airdrie, Alberta, about 15 minutes from Calgary. This up-and-coming city is filled with new neighborhoods, is close to the Calgary airport and is growing with many new families, making it a perfect location for a practice that offers general dentistry as well as the specialties of periodontics, pedodontics, and orthodontics.TMJ treatment, orofacial pain, endodontics, and sleep dentistry.
“Sierra Dental was created so that one dentist doesn’t have to be great at everything and a master of all trades,” explained Dr. Meggan Schiffner, one of the owners of the office.
When the doctors decided to open another location in Airdrie, they discovered several reasons to build instead of renovate an existing office. First, the spaces they toured needed complete renovations to meet their current needs as well as future growth. They also had a very specific design vision in mind, which required a building that could deliver high ceilings, be open and bright, with the potential to accommodate high-end technology. They knew buying an existing practice also meant buying the existing culture and the perception it had already established in the marketplace. With their unique structure and focus, they decided that building a new office from scratch, customized to their wish list, would allow them to equip it exactly as they desired.“Looking around the Airdrie market, no one was doing what we were in Calgary,” said Dr. Schiffner.
Sierra Dental had a long-term relationship with another supplier but had chosen Henry Schein to complete a one-room renovation, explained Jason Carway, the Henry Schein Equipment Sales Specialist who led his team on the project. Through that partnership, a relationship grew and when it came time to build their new office, they ultimately selected Henry Schein and moved all of their business over.
The doctors noted that technology has changed the way they use space, too. They no longer need dedicated areas for paper charts or storing study models since everything is digitized. Old cabinetry set-ups are obsolete because of new sterilization protocols.
The doctors knew they wanted enough space for all of the team members to work and learn under one roof, they wanted a large open meeting space for continuing education and team gatherings, dedicated area for patient consultations, monitors for patient comfort and distraction and a bright and open feel.
The caliber of dentistry offered at Sierra is exceptional, and the finishes and layout of the office needed to express that cutting-edge treatment. The office is primarily in shades of gray and white, with the hue carried through in carpet, flooring, reception desk, equipment and furniture. Bright sunlight filters into the reception area, making it a cheerful entrance to the practice, and contemporary pendant lights hang as well, adding architectural interest to the minimalistic design. In the clinical space, Sierra Dental has outfitted six operatories with room to expand to nine. There’s an orthodontic suite with three chairs and six closed bay treatment rooms that are generously sized. All of the treatment rooms are configured universally so any doctor in any room can complete any dental procedure.
White cabinetry along with gray and black accents create a soothing ambiance inside the spacious operatories, and patient monitors deliver distracting entertainment as well as valuable opportunities to showcase digital images that aid in education and treatment acceptance.
The team spared no expense on equipping the practice with top-of-the-line technology that would provide each specialist with the powerful diagnostic tools needed for their work as well as give patients insights into why that work was needed.
The doctors chose Sirona Intego treatment centers, Sinius chairs with rich black leather seating and multiple memory functions for different doctors and functions; Sirona digital imaging sensors and Heliodent X-rays; LED lights; and MCC/Redl cabinets.When choosing the Sirona as their 3D imaging solution, Carway said it came down to evaluating the practice’s overall needs and finding the best solution.
The ease of integration with different technologies made it a good fit for the practice. One of those technologies, according to the doctors, is SLR imaging using Sopro Life digital cameras.
For orthodontics and restorative procedures, the practice has an iTero digital scanner, and the doctors also use it with all new patients when establishing their files. Common clinical areas, including the sterilization center, onsite laboratory and the imaging alcove sit in the center of the clinical space, making them easily accessible from any part of the practice. The sterilization area is a walk through, galley style and has hospital grade equipment including the Sci-Can Hydrim and M11 sterilizers.
Behind the scenes, the practice paid as much attention to staff education and comfort as they did to patient care. The staff lounge is large and inviting, and the mezzanine gives the practice a place to focus on continued growth and learning.
This dedication to education and being on the forefront of their chosen field allows patients to receive superior, congruent treatment that embraces the doctors’ shared goals and outcomes – to give patients “teeth for life”.