THE WHY: Owner’s story
Dr. Wenyi Yuan started his career as a vaccine research scientist. At the age of 29, he decided to follow his heart by shifting career directions and enrolling in dental school at U of T. During dental school he would often envision opening his dream start up practice – a uniquely designed, well-constructed office that would empower him to practise dentistry and serve the community according to his values, ideals and interests. He and his wife are proud parents of two lovely daughters, one of which was born during dental school (which enabled her to attend his graduation!). This was a memorable, heartfelt moment for the whole family. After residing in Richmond Hill, Ont. for over a decade, they recently moved to King City, Ont., just a short drive from their newly built practice in Richmond Hill. The nostalgia of living close to their established roots and working in the community of Richmond Hill was important to their family.
THE HOW: Planning & preparation
After graduating in 2018, Dr. Yuan gained valuable clinical experience as an associate for three years while concurrently exploring the dental marketplace for entrepreneurial start-up or acquisition opportunities. The first came in the fall of 2021 when he acquired Yonge Smiles Dental. A few months later, he walked into a local Starbucks and saw a closing sign on the door. He felt two simultaneous yet conflicting emotions: one of sadness due the community vibe his beloved Starbucks was leaving behind, and one of excitement for the opportunity to call the landlord in the hopes of taking over the space and building the unique start-up he often dreamed of in dental school. Feeling excited, he knew he had to act quickly to secure such a highly visible, ground-floor, end-cap unit in a centrally located plaza surrounded by box stores and quality merchants.
THE RESULTS: Technical design features
Dr. Yuan decided to combine an overall “stars in the sky” design concept with his favourite colours; teal and blue are peppered throughout the office. They subtly used shapes, textures and patterns, as well as other abstract design elements, to create a minimalistic, modern style. Hues of blue are digitally imprinted onto high-end, touchless glass doors. Everyone that enters enjoys plenty of natural light radiating through floor-to-ceiling windows and permeating the interior of the space through stylish tempered glass design features. Artistic, uniquely shaped lighting fixtures support the imaginative, subtle “stars in the sky” theme. The designer and equipment specialists collaborated creatively with the contractor to configure five operatories, a private consult room, a luxurious reception area and a universal (barrier-free) washroom into a 1500-sq-foot space that flows well, looks beautiful and feels peaceful.
THE IMPACT: Empowered practice outcomes
Since opening in May of 2022, they have seen significant patient traffic and are proud to call Yonge Star Dental their professional home away from home. The design is a natural extension of Dr. Yuan’s lifestyle – a space where he previously spent so much time, enjoying a good book, drinking coffee and sitting on the patio in the summer months. He is now excited to have opened a healthcare space that makes people feel warm and comfortable while representing the high-quality care they provide. The entire team is excited to deliver great dentistry with heart to all patients who visit their newly opened facility.
Equipment Supplier: Patterson Dental
Interior Design: Valente Designs
Construction: Canadian Dental Construction
About the Authors
Darcie is co-founder of Bella Vita Designs Inc; an interior design company specializing in creating beautiful functional spaces for start-ups, remodeling, expanding, or relocating your dream practice. To have your proud story and unique office design featured she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org / IG @bellavitadesignsinc / 905-716-8528.
Peter is Founder of Practice Mastery Inc, a Team Development Coaching company that serves the growth & development needs of your practice. He provides customized group and one on-one “Success Training” to dental professionals & industry companies across N. America. IG @peterbarrycoach / email@example.com / www.practicemastery.com / 416-568-5456.