Do You Really Need a Dental Practice Design Firm to Design Your Dental Practice?

Construction Gets Sticky When Design Company Closes Its Doors

Regular readers already know the tale of Machias Dental and have been following the progress of the building in my weekly updates:

Designing a new dental facility is no small architectural task. The Sparagas contracted with T.H.e. Design, one of the largest dental practice design firms in the US. They worked closely with the Sparagas to develop complete plans for the new building.

Machias Dental blueprints
Plans for the new Machias Dental
[click to enlarge]

And then the trouble started! Dr. Sparaga received noticed that T.H.e. Design was closing its doors. (Ouch!)

Luckily, the final plans had been completed months before. Project records were in the hands of various former employees of the deign company. Fortunately, all were willing to continue working with the Sparagas on an individual basis.

But the doctor knew he’d need more help than that, so he pursued local design firms to help finish the inside of the building. It fell to Kathy Sparaga, a local architect, and the couple’s general contractor to work through the myriad of problems inherent in a project of this scope. Fortunately, they have managed to keep the project on schedule.

Building Machias Dental
Step 8: Work continues…
[click to enlarge]

Though it’s the dead of winter in northern New England, hammers continue to fly on the new dental facility. The exterior of the building is close to complete, and the interior rooms are taking shape. By this spring, Dr. Sparaga hopes to have an associate, a completed building, and an ever-expanding patient list.

Stay tuned next week to take a look inside the brand-new building!

Dental Practice Design Is Harder Than It Looks

Machias Dental Continues Construction of New Facility

We’ve been covering the story of Dr James Sparaga, a dentist in the middle of building a spacious new facility for his practice.

Building Machias Dental
The team checks out their new home
[click to enlarge]

Here are the steps the doctor has already taken:

The work focus is shifting from the exterior of the building to the interior (the fun part of the building!). The Sparagas had found a millwork subcontractor to build the desk, cabinets and shelving. Unfortunately, he backed out just as the job was about to start. Small-town rumors flew about the reasons why, but all that Jim and Kathy Sparaga cared about was getting their woodwork done. They ended up ordering cabinetry from both Adec and a kitchen cabinet company, hiring a shelving company, and finding a carpenter to handle the reception desk and fine finish.

Building Machias Dental
The interior takes shape
[click to enlarge]

They didn’t want to skimp on the interior design, but the nearest designer was some 90 miles away. They decided to go with T.H.e. Design, thinking that a dental design company would be best equipped to verify and order wall covering, carpet, tile flooring and furniture, etc. But then, as previously mentioned, T.H.e. went out of business.

So now the search was on for an interior designer. It just so happened that the Sparagas were looking to make some adjustments to their home, so they called a residential design firm. Impressed with their service and out of sheer desperation, they asked if the design firm might be interested in a dental office project.

And what do you know? It was the design company’s slow season, and they were more than happy to take on the dental project. They have turned out to be the answer to the Sparagas’ dreams. They are re-sourcing all the needed items and improving upon the original selections.

Next it was time to select the dental equipment for the new facility. Like so many dentists, Dr. Sparaga was understandably enthusiastic about getting new toys.

But of course nothing is ever as easy as it seems… Check back next week to see what sort of snafus the doctor encounters in his search for dental equipment!

The Dental Associate of Your Dreams

Paging Dr. Right!

Work is nearly complete on Dr. Jim Sparaga’s new dental facility. His team is looking forward to moving in to their spacious new headquarters. But the doctor also knows that the new facility will require expanding his team…

Building Machias Dental
The new facility is nearly complete!
[click to enlarge]

Finding an associate is a common retirement strategy for dentists, and Dr. Sparaga was no exception. He was hoping to find an enthusiastic young associate who could help him recoup some of the construction expenses. And if he grooms his successor along the way, so much the better.

Dr. Sparaga and his wife wrote up an ad top attract the right sort of associate to their practice in rural Maine. They knew it wouldn’t be fore everybody, but they crossed their fingers. (See below for the text of their ad.)

They also had two “head-hunters” out there beating the bushes for an associate. Unfortunately, it didn’t work as well as they’d hoped. “All we got were dozens of inquiries from green-card seeking dentists in places like Bangalore and Sumatra,” sighed Dr. Sparaga.

Then the doctor got a call from a dental student who had happened across their ad on the internet. When Dr. Sparaga learned he went to Pitt, his heart swelled a little bit, because that’s his alma mater too.

Had the Sparagas found their new associate? His resume was in order, he seemed enthusiastic about Maine, and they got on well over the phone. So the Pitt student brought his wife and young children to Maine for a visit. They kayake and attended the local blueberry festival. The whole family loved the downeast lifestyle.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with him and his family,” enthused Dr. Sparaga. “Luck or Karma? Maybe it’s the new facility?”

Here’s the original ad for a dental associate:

ASSOCIATE OPPORTUNITY

Soar with eagles n the rugged coast of Maine with a dynamic team in a state-of-the-art facility. Instead of fighting traffic, take part in our adventure: providing complete dentistry to our neighbors in our rural coastal town. An unusual practice opportunity, practicing big-city dentistry in an historic village. Machias is the Shiretown, with the county court system, University of Maine, hospital, and airport (with a new one coming).

Help take our patients to the next level with excellent communication skills, while advancing your career with Implants, Cerec, Lasers, Invisalign, anti-infective perio management, conscious sedation, and on-site lab.

Take the leap and join us in our new office, currently under construction, overlooking the Machias River Falls.

Want to catch up on this story? Here’s what the Sparagas have been doing…

Dentist Learns Dream Dental Equipment Could Be a Nightmare

Dental Equipment Does Not Make the Dental Practice

Remember Dr. James Sparaga, a dentist who’s building a spacious new facility for his practice? Well, we’re back with another installment of the “Sparaga Saga.”

Building Machias Dental
Even in the snow,
work continues!
[click to enlarge]

Catch up on what the Sparagas have been doing…

Like most dentists, Dr. Sparaga was looking forward to purchasing new dental equipment. He was building the practice of his dreams, and he was going to stock it with his dream equipment.

The dentist was particularly excited about Cerec in-chair system. This would provide amazing computer-integration of the Cerec crown design and milling system with the patient dental chair. Dr. Sparaga couldn’t wait.

Building Machias Dental
The interior
takes shape…
[click to enlarge]

But he heard reports from the field and from his dental supplier that the equipment was not functioning. He spoke with another dentist who’d purchased two units. This doctor tried for a year straight to get them operational for a year. At one stage, the dental repairman was in his office 80 hours straight! He finally shipped the equipment back to Germany for service. Though his units are now working, he advised Dr. Sparaga to dodge that bullet and not make the purchase.

To fill up their new facility, the Sparagas headed to Yankee Dental Congress in Boston. In 72 crazed hours, they selected all aspects of the dental operatories right down to the handpieces. “The sales reps were grinning from ear to ear every time Jim and I approached,” Kathy Sparaga commented. “It’s amazing how decisive you can be with a gun to your head!”

At long last, the Sparagas are in the final stages of completing their new dental facility. Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Creating the Dental Practice of Your Dreams

Raising the Roof on a New Dental Facility

Given that dentists spend a third of their lives in their practices, there’s a lot to be said for having just the right building. That’s just what Dr. James Sparaga decided, and his dream practice is now taking shape before his eyes.

New to this story? Here’s what you need to know:

Construction in northern New England is often determined by the weather. They had broken ground in the fall; it was essential that they make serious progress before winter.

Building Machias Dental Building Machias Dental
The roof goes up…
[click to enlarge]
before it snows!
[click to enlarge]

The Sparagas are happy with the progress of their new facility. However, as their calls go unreturned, they grow increasingly concerned about their dental practice design firm.

Will trouble with their design firm derail the whole project? Come back next week for even more news…

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