Don’t Be Fooled By “Free Dental Office Designs”

Not all building designers can design a dental practice. And not all dental office designers get it right. In fact, most don’t. There is always some kind of fudged up, discombobulated attempt at making the most out of a space. After these designers plop in their standard template, what’s left, oftentimes, is useless space commonly referred to as “storage” on the floorplan. How much money are you making on “storage”? None! In fact, the more storage space you have, the more chance there is that you will fill it with horribly inefficient and inaccessible “hoarding”.

Have you ever wondered why big dental supply houses offer a “FREE” dental office design? This bait and switch tactic has been used for years. What you are getting isn’t free at all. Instead of designing a space around helping you make money, dental supply houses will offer a “free” design to ultimately accommodate them. It’s premeditated – a plan behind the plan. They will design the office around presumed equipment and supplies versus solutions that are in the best interest of the dentist who’s about to dive into the debt pool. 


It is hard to convince anyone that “free” isn’t worth it, so here it goes. You don’t know what you don’t know and those big box dental supply companies bank on a concept called, reciprocity. Robert Cialdini coined it first in his book, “Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion,” suggesting that human beings are wired to return favors and pay debts. Before you start making air biscuits with your lips, no, we’re not talking about your wife’s brother who keeps knocking on your door for another loan he’ll never pay back; the science is evidence-based research on what moves people to change behavior – especially in business. 

So, instead of taking your donut-carrying sales rep up on his/her “free” offer, do some research on your own. Discover the things that will make you productive and profitable. Cabinetry, an inefficient dental office design and storage closets will not make you money. I encourage you to visit a working dental practice, not a showroom. Have discussions with the dentist and ask what went well and what didn’t. Sit in chairs, walk around, pay attention to things like chaos, noise, and traffic jams. 

“What? I can do that?” You bet! In fact, if you want to see a Design Ergonomics designed dental practice, I bet there is one very close to you. 

Nothing in life is free – unless you come to me for advice, well, it’s worth at least $.02.