By Maxwell Rotbart
The Urban Dentist, a practice run by three young dentists in Berlin, Germany, is award-winning. Not for its dental care, but for its physical space.
Designed by noted German architectural firm Studio Karhard, The Urban Dentist office – completed last year – was named by Dutch-based Frame magazine as having one of the best interior designs of any business.
The inside of the dental office – sleek and industrial, with mood lighting – was inspired by the discotheque atmosphere that has come to define the revitalized eastern Berlin, where The Urban Dentist is located.
Studio Karhard, in fact, designed the famous Berghain nightclub (where wait times to get in can run three hours), located just down the street from The Urban Dentist.
A powerful marketing tool that a relatively small percentage of dentists utilize is the design of their office and the mood it conveys. It’s been the experience of some dentists that among the best applications of their marketing budget is the design of their physical facility.
Like the clientele at Berlin’s popular nightclubs, the design elements of The Urban Dentist’s offices come from all over the world. The stone countertops are produced by British architectural firm Dzek, and the office lounge chairs (pink with “seductive curves”) were made by Swedish design firm Note. The colored glass and mirrors come from Aacotec, a firm located across the Spree River in western Berlin.
Fast Company, which recently profiled The Urban Dentist facility for its forward-thinking, notes that the office aesthetic serves a practical purpose: “A serene environment could help ease patients’ stress.”
Germany isn’t the only country to host a dental office with an avant-garde design. Stateside, The Art of Modern Dentistry in Chicago, with two offices in the Windy City, resembles the inside of a spa; in Canada, Tasios Orthodontics, with two offices in the greater Toronto area, uses a combination of wood, glass, and blue hues to recreate the winter atmosphere in über-modern alpine resorts.
As for The Urban Dentist, its team of doctors is led by Mohammed Alef (2011 graduate of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), Venelina Dimitrov, and Sang-Ji Kim (2013 graduate of Heidelberg University).
It’s not just the design that garners praise: The dental services do, too. One Facebook user writes (as translated from the original German):
“Ms. Dimitrov is great. I was at her today with an inflammation on her tooth and was very afraid of the tranq. Totally free! I didn't notice the anesthetic and the treatment of the canals was completely painless. I found my new dentist and I don't need any fears anymore. Also the assistant was very sweet and friendly as well as the receptionist. By far the best practice I've ever been in”
“Absolutely great practice with competent team. My broken incisor has been restocked within an hour. The tooth looks like something has never happened and I can laugh right again. That's how good they are!”
The lesson here: A great design may get customers in the door, but a positive experience will keep them coming back.
Author: Contributing writer Maxwell Rotbart specializes in covering business, education, and history-related topics. He is the author of The State of Israel: Prime Ministers, available from Amazon.com.
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