During dentistry’s inaugural #NextGenSummit hosted in New York City earlier this month, three guest speakers shared their expert advice with attendees from among the dental profession during a panel discussion about “Setting Up A New Practice.”

The first topic: “What was the biggest mistake you made when setting up your dental practice?”

“I consult with so many doctors, and the number one regret I hear constantly is ‘I did not build enough ops.’ The biggest mistake that doctors can make when designing a facility is to not create enough operatories,” said Dr. Tristan Hamilton (shown, below), who holds degrees in architecture and dentistry.


“If you can have that one extra op for one doctor, and if you have multiple doctors, two ops that are dark 50 to 70 percent of the time, that would increase your bottom line anywhere from 10 to 17.5 percent,” advises Dr. Tristan Hamilton, during dentistry’s inaugural NextGenSummit, May 31 in NYC.

“One of the rules of thumb I tell dentists: know how you practice. Having one op that’s dark 50 to 70 percent of the time is the way I design practices. If you have four ops that are constantly running, you are one op too small. … If you can have that one extra op for one doctor, and if you have multiple doctors, two ops that are dark 50 to 70 percent of the time, that would increase your bottom line anywhere from 10 to 17.5 percent,” added Dr. Hamilton, a consultant who shapes dental office designs across America.

Dr. Bradford Picot, a 2018 40 Under 40 honoree who operates South End Smiles in Charlotte, North Carolina, shared a personal example.

“I consult with a few dental design companies on ergonomics and chairs, as well as operatories and space. Recently, one of the companies approached me and wanted to give me a $10,000 unit to give them feedback. It was an impressive unit, but I ended up not incorporating it into my practice because I knew it would cause me to compromise a patient experience in having comfort and my ability to educate patients on their dental disease and effective treatment.

I turned it down because:

1. It was a chair that was only right-handed… even though I’m right-handed I may hire a hygienist in the future who is left-handed. I didn’t want to restrict myself in terms of production and flow.

2. In terms of space, it didn’t allow me to move freely in the room, it didn’t allow my staff or team to move freely in and out of the room, as well as the patient. I did not want anyone to feel claustrophobic in that room. People are already coming to dentistry anxious, they don’t need to be in a space where they feel restricted.

3. It was also a space where I couldn’t move the monitor in a variety of positions, only directly in front of the patient. It’s very important in our practice when we’re doing case presentation to move the monitor over them and in multiple positions. When they are looking at Netflix, it has to have functionality.”

Dr. Picot, shown below, left, added, “It’s very important in designing a practice that you have your team in mind, your patients in mind, and that you have the growth of your practice in mind.”



Benco Dental VP of Marketing and Supply Chain Terry Barrett moderates panel discussions at dentistry’s Inaugural Next Gen Summit, including “Setting Up a New Practice” featuring 40 Under 40 honoree Dr. Bradford Picot, Melissa Sprau, NCIDQ, LEED AP, (shown) and Dr. Tristan Hamilton. Incisal Edge Photo/Eric Larsen

“Whether you recognize it or not design is actually one of the most powerful forces in our lives. It’s not just creating beautiful spaces – it’s human centered. It’s how we experience the world around us,” said Melissa Sprau, NCIDQ, LEED AP, (shown, above, center) who leads Benco Dental’s award-winning CenterPoint Design team with 10 years of architecture and design experience.

What else did you miss at the #NextGenSummit?

Stay tuned at TheDailyFloss.com for upcoming weekly recaps of each of the Summit’s four topics, continuing next Thursday with “Technology, What It Means for Your ROI” featuring 40 Under 40 alumni Dr. Sabiha Bunek, Dr. Angela Enriquez and Dr. Jason Auerbach.

Learn more about the Summit’s attendees, including, 34 of the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40, America’s best young dentists: