Building a new practice well into your dental career is always an ideal moment to design the perfect environment that allows you to work the way you want to work.
For Dr Bob Gibbins, who left dental school some 35 years ago, dentistry has evolved from an initial broad focus to working with a select patient who demand high quality, high tech dentistry. His new practice in Cairns, aptly named Future Dental, caters perfectly to both his needs as a clinician as well as the expectations of his loyal clientele.
“I graduated with Honours at the University of Queensland in 1972 and spent the next 4 years in the RAAF serving in various areas.
In those formative years, the birth of modern cosmetic dentistry commenced. This became possible with the first commercially available acid etched composites. Suddenly, for creative dentists, new possibilities emerged in bonding restorations to enamel. This captured my imagination from the outset and my interest in cosmetic dentistry was born.
“It didn’t take too many years for me to realise that being an expert in all areas of general dentistry was limited to the likes of Gordon Christensen. Along with that came the discovery that I did not wish to cater to the whole dental population. Since then I’ve been very happy to refer on any work where I know I’m not the expert. This has allowed me to cater to a small wedge of the pie selectively while still supervising the entire dental needs of all my clients. My demographic is predominantly those clients with a high dental IQ and who value quality high-end dentistry.
“I commenced private practice in Cairns in 1976 and always believed that the best financial investment was in developing my own clinical skills especially in any area relating to aesthetics and reconstruction.”
Several years ago, Dr Gibbins reached a point where he knew he would have to expand and this was only possible by moving the practice. “At this point, I started researching different construction options,” he explained. “I spoke to the various dental practice design and construction companies but my first meeting with Sam Koranis reinforced my thoughts that Medifit could come up with the goods.
“With my long held belief that important tasks need to be handled by experts in the field and considering that my clientele are generally prepared to invest heavily in getting the best work done, it was obvious to me that my new premises had to be well located and had to make a real statement about my dental values. Keeping this in mind, Medifit were the obvious choice to undertake my project as they had proven themselves through their extensive portfolio of previous works.”
The team at Medifit accepted Dr Gibbins brief to build a modern and upscale dental practice in Queensland and the results are spectacular. The large informal waiting area benefits from the expansive shopfront glazing and looks out to the outside world. A large plasma TV serves both as in-residence entertainment as well as for advertising of the practice at night time as it’s visible from the walkway outside. The reception counter greets clients entering the practice and the graphic logo wall screens off from view the dedicated practice manager’s office. A separate consultation room was always a requirement for Dr Gibbins and a communal side-by-side approach to this interaction has been adopted for this.
A central corridor divides the tenancy into two halves, with a mirror image style layout for the four surgeries. The layout of the cabinets are identical in each and this allows Dr Gibbins to easily walk between rooms and patients.
The OPG is easily accessible for all patients and the rear wall conceals a patient/staff toilet facility that is additional to the disabled facility at the rear of the tenancy. A dedicated steri and lab space allows Dr Gibbins to fully utilize this part of his business. A large dual use office serves as a quiet area while also being used for administration functions that aren’t handled by the practice manager.
A very warm and rich colour palette of toffee- and coffee-style colours has been chosen which projects a feeling of class and upmarket appeal. The flooring throughout is a cherry timber vinyl which is both very hard-wearing and easy to keep clean. This natural style material gives a good ‘base’ to the overall feel. The addition of a vibrant rug under the centrepiece coffee table softens the area while adding detail to the floor.
The upholstered wall in the waiting area, inspired by “Doctor Who’s” scarf is both a tactile element to the design as well as having the ability to ‘soak’ up some reflected sound within the waiting area. This plays well with the stacked stone cladding used on the columns and the feature wood panelled TV recess. Indirect lighting spills from the top of the TV recess wall casting a soft highlight to the ceiling.
The main reception counter is under lit, giving the impression that it floats above the floor and is primarily a dark walnut/wenge styled timber veneer with a Corian upstand capping. Pendant lights over the reception and underneath the timber clad bulkhead give the reception desk area a more private and intimate feel.
Technically, all building and radiation compliance had to be done with the full knowledge of both local and state government regulations. Medifit has a full command of these technical aspects in both Queensland and the rest of Australia. All partitions and cabinetry were built in Perth and fitted exactly in the Queensland location with ease
“I was on a very tight building timetable that did not allow for lengthy delays in any area of design or construction,” Dr Gibbins said. “Medifit managed to meet their deadlines with a high level of quality in both their joinery and within the whole overall look and feel of the practice.
“Typical of most long practising dentists, I knew what would work design-wise for me and was able to communicate my ideas to the very professional Medifit team.
“In the end, I was rewarded with a spectacular finished project in excellent time. I would highly recommend the expertise of Medifit for anyone considering renovating or rebuilding their practices. I would most certainly use their services again.”