Drs Ali Essfahani and Kam Fanaian are the proud new principals of Dental on George in the seaside suburb of East Fremantle at the mouth of the Swan River in Perth. For both, it is their first practice and the culmination of different journies that brought them together in the practice they only once dreamed of owning.
Dr Fanaian graduated from Manchester University in England in 1997 and worked in the UK until 2001. He then moved to New South Wales as the Clinical Director of NIB’s Newcastle Dental Centre.
“It was here I first started to understand what’s really involved in running a dental practice in Australia! I was truly indebted to Dr Mehri Eshraghi who guided me through the processes involved in practice management, and ingrained the skills necessary for me to run a successful dental enterprise. “I then moved to Perth in 2004 and worked for Dr Kim Noske who also ran a very successful dental practice.
Soon afterwards, I realised that the time was right for me to go out and work for myself. It was at that time that Ali talked to me about his intentions to run his own practice and we seemed destined to be joined in this venture, as we trusted each other so implicitly through the long running fellowship between our extended families.”
Dr Essfahani graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2000 and worked in the government sector for 6 months prior to going into private practice. “It took me a number of years to have the confidence to start my own practice,” he said. “This was mainly due to the administrative aspect of running a practice that dental school doesn’t prepare you for. After working for a number of practices over the years and trying to learn all the best ways of running them, finally it made sense to go into business with a mate who I trust like a brother and who has the same values and ethos both in life and business.
“I will always be grateful to Kam and his wife for approaching me and convincing me to undertake a life changing project. I will also always be in-debted to my wife Samantha, whose support and strength continue to make our venture a possibility.”
After finding the right location, which was as a well-known Fish and Chip Shop at the front and a residence in the rear in the popular George Street precinct in East Fremantle, Drs Essfahani and Fanaian knew they needed a design and construction company to materialise their thoughts into reality. “For me, it was a simple choice as I met Sam Koranis at a Henry Schein Halas sponsored event shortly after I graduated,” Dr Essfahani said.
“Medifit had only recently commenced trading and he must have scribbled my name down on some scrap paper thinking I may be a future client one day! “After some 6 years passed, I totally forgot about this brief encounter I had with Sam, but he didn’t forget who I was. The moment I rang him and said this is Ali, he replied, ‘Ali… Ali Essfahani’. I have to say that I was pretty impressed as I didn’t expect him to remember me, let alone my surname.
“Sam’s passion for what he does is obvious when you meet him. That inherent quality along with seeing the lovely fitouts Medifit have been responsible for in Australasian Dental Practice was all we needed in making up our mind for whom we wanted to head our project.” After initial consultations with the directors of Medifit, the next stage was to discuss their exact design requirements with one of Medifit’s designers to create a tailored design brief to make their dreams a reality.
Drs Essfahani and Fanaian both felt that the location of the historic brick and tin building would lend itself to aid in promoting the integration of low energy transport modes, such as walking, cycling and public transport.
The general design philosophy was thus to create a modern, industrial environment which was engaging with a sense of discovery throughout, whilst maintaining a professional service that will appeal to local families. On the young doctors wish list was one treatment room initially with room for two more in the future; central sterilisation; a consult room; practice manager’s office; reception and waiting areas; a child friendly play area; disabled toilet; staff kitchen; and a recovery room for patients.
Medifit’s final design incorporates all this and more in a stylish, ergonomic and functional environment. Upon entry clients are greeted by a friendly staff member at the specially designed glass, Corian and stainless steel reception desk. The reception/waiting area design is naturally well lit with strong but minimal elements. The warm industrial earthy tones coupled with black, charcoal and white in high glosses, matt finishes and lineal textures create an engaging space.
Placement of a 3 metre high curved wall clad in vertical Axolotl copper panels acts as an industrial element and focal point upon which the “Dental on George” logo is mounted on a recessed Stainless Steel horizontal panel, highlighted with concealed star lights. The materials and finishes selected are minimal yet cover a range of textures that work well to combine old meets new.
A designated children’s play area has been incorporated into the waiting area to allow parents to watch or share an activity with their children whilst they wait. Beyond reception is the central corridor which has been transformed to include curved and square wall cut-outs with feature wallpaper lining and recessed feature star lights.
Further along, flush-mounted into the polished bamboo floor boards are three optic lights highlighting the way through to the Patient Recovery Room with its relaxing atmosphere, massage chair and garden outlook. Staff amenities include a functional kitchen. The Staff area is located at the rear of the practice to allow staff to feel as though they are away from the working area of the practice and can close off this area for privacy. Adequate storage has been supplied with the convenience of the plant room located externally at the rear of the premises allowing for ventilation and noise reduction within the practice.
The treatment rooms are a generous size, with neutral coloured benchtops and cabinets and dark charcoal vinyl flooring. The minimal use of colour allows for a bright Lime Green Chair and full size wall mural to finish off. An area has also been incorporated for children to watch a portable DVD player in the room whilst other family members receive their treatment.
“Sam and his team did a great job. A lot of credit also needs to go to Mark Evangelisti, Medifit’s National Projects Manager,” Dr Essfahani said. “We found working with someone so dedicated, enthusiastic and creative highly rewarding. He was the driving force in the design and execution of the fitout.
“We also wish to thank Lynda who was the designated Medifit Designer on the project for her great ideas and her assistance during the process. It was amazing how the project was completed in a mere 7 weeks! It wasn’t straightforward as our premises are in an old building. It was amazing to witness how Medifit merged the old with the new to create a practice that seamlessly fuses the two worlds together.
“Finally the Medifit team’s unrelentless pursuit of excellence inclusive of their cost control, speed, quality, efficiency and overall service proved to be second to none. “We thus have no hesitation in recommending Medifit to anyone that is contemplating any design and construction project.”