Office Space: Atlas Orthodontics & Periodontics

by Darcie Galbraith, BA, Interior Design Coach; Peter Barry, C.M.C. Practice Success Coach

Atlas Orthodontics & Periodontics

THE WHY: The Owner’s Story

Atlas Orthodontics & Periodontics is a dual specialty clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario. It is the brainchild of Dr. Jason Zimmerman and Dr. Fernanda Barona. As business partners, they are also a proud husband and wife team who initially met in 2014 during dental specialty orientation week at UBC. As they grew closer during their studies, they often dreamed of combining their clinical talents to open a dual specialty practice under one roof. Upon completing their specialty training, they moved back to Dr. Zimmermans home province of Ontario, where they spent three years gaining experience in various clinical settings. Then, in March 2020, the global COVID shutdowns touched everyone’s lives. With more time, they put their creative minds together to begin exploring entrepreneurial opportunities as business partners.

Atlas Orthodontics & Periodontics

THE HOW: Planning & Preparation

Finding an ideal location to launch their plans for a dental practice turned out to be a learn-on-the-fly adventure, requiring careful planning, lots of patience, and a determined focus on the end goal. After considering their desires and the cost of leasing vs. purchasing, they decided to own the space was their top priority. This significantly narrowed the pool of available locations that checked all the boxes on their desires list. Over a year went by without anything promising landing on their radar. Their hopes and dreams eventually became replaced with exciting preparations for the arrival of their first child. As luck would have it, as they shifted their focus toward parenting preparations, a great location in a small plaza landed on their doorstep. Their diligence finally created their chance. They will never forget May 1st, 2021, as the day their son was born and the day they DocuSigned the deal to purchase their 1700-square-foot unit.

Atlas Orthodontics & Periodontics
Atlas Orthodontics & Periodontics

THE RESULTS: Technical Design Features

They creatively blended the functional needs of an open orthodontic operatory with the design of a closed periodontal operatory. This created five versatile treatment rooms that would allow both specialties to comfortably and interchangeably work out of each operatory. The overall practice is designed in a NASA-inspired theme that tastefully conveys their passion for space and adventure. Nods to NASA are subtly peppered throughout the office in the form of metallic finishes, futuristic millwork panelling on the walls, high contrast black and concrete grays to portray rocket-like features. The space is peppered with design elements that have a combined appeal to the younger orthodontic patient base plus the demographic trend towards an older periodontal population. The space is designed with artistic flare, ultramodern metallic inlay millwork, a high-contrast sleek gray and a white marble reception desk, custom-designed tile work in the washroom, and custom-made herringbone flooring to accentuate elegance in each operatory.

THE IMPACT: Empowered Practice Outcomes

They are so excited to finally integrate their two dental specialties into one beautiful and highly functional overall space. At Atlas, they believe that service to others is the rent they pay for their room on this earth. Their heart-centred values and beautifully designed practice make every patient feel they are entering a warm, loving environment focused on touching the heart before reaching for their teeth. They are excited to positively impact the health and well-being of their community through the specialized dental healthcare services they provide, as well as in the profession of dentistry as future educators/mentors.

Interior Design: Bella Vita Designs Inc. (Darcie Galbraith)
Equipment Supplier: Henry Schein
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, remodelling, expanding, or relocating your dream practice. To discuss your office space needs or to have your proud story & unique design featured, she can be reached at / IG @bellavitadesignsinc / 905-716-8528.

Peter is the Founder of Practice Mastery Inc., a Business Development Coaching company that serves the growth & development needs of your practice. His unique coaching empowers teams, principal dentists, associates & industry companies across North America to achieve extraordinary growth, higher income, and exceptional quality of life. FMI IG @peterbarrycoach,,, 416.568.5456.