Oral Health Group
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Office Space: Willow Dental

December 3, 2021
by Darcie Galbraith, BA, Interior Design Coach


THE WHY: Owner’s story
Willow Dental is a well-established practice that has been serving dental healthcare to its community for over 50 years. In 2018, its latest owners moved Willow Dental to its most recent location in Mississauga, Ont. Dr. Neil Elman (Principal Dentist) and Lisa Duncan (Hygiene Corporation) share a collaborative strategic alliance that empowers their two teams to synergize well in the spirit of providing highly personalized overall dental healthcare experiences to their patients. They are excited and proud to be practising in their newly built location that has been creatively and uniquely designed to reflect their core values, while also supporting the expanding size of their patient base.

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THE HOW: Planning & preparation
Their previous location was feeling dated and lacking the energy to match the brand of dental healthcare they were providing. As the initial design for their new space was being planned out pre-construction, Lisa attended a Tony Robbins Empowerment Event where she experienced a breakthrough realization that inspired them to take a much more creative approach to designing a space that truly stood out to represent who they were. They realized that a well-planned space is as important in dentistry as it is in any other business or professional field that serves people. After extensive research and planning, they re-designed their plans to embody more of a yoga studio atmosphere, where people could flow through the practice feeling stimulated, inspired and empowered on a deeper level.

THE RESULTS: Technical design features
With a yoga theme in mind, they began to dissect every aspect of the space by carefully considering the details of flow, function and esthetics, as well as how to blend them cohesively into an overall vibe or theme. Willow Dental wanted to embody more of a dynamic, active yoga studio vibe that provides an atmosphere for calmness, reflection and healing. They created a space where people can synergize and collaborate energetically in the spirit of inspired health and wellness relations with the healthcare team. They achieved this by incorporating plenty of warm wood tones with cedar, blissful, blank white walls, high-contrast, matte, black fixtures/finishes, no TVs, a sophisticated coffee station and ceiling features inside each operatory designed to represent different parts of the world.

THE IMPACT: Empowered practice outcomes
The feedback from the Mississauga community has been exciting and heartwarming. Patients will often (pre-COVID) arrive early for appointments to enjoy a cup of coffee while taking a comfortable seat in a waiting room that feels more like living room space for guests. The team is also quite happy to have a spacious private staff room for eating, lounging and forging strong bonds within the team. The treatment consultation lounge has also been uniquely designed with four armchairs and a coffee table to allow patients a more comfortable personal setting in which to discuss their family’s dental healthcare opportunities. Willow Dental is proud to serve its community out of a space that is fresh, calm and energizing to all.

Construction: Interface Construction Group Inc.
Equipment Supplier: Henry Schein


About the Author

Darcie is an interior design coach and project coordinator specializing in the field of dentistry. She is co-founder of Bella Vita Designs Inc. with @peterbarrycoach. Bella Vita is an interior design company specializing in creating beautiful functional spaces in your existing practice as well as creative technical design support for building your new dream practice. Bella Vita Designs also provides dental professionals with a large selection of quality office furniture solutions. To have your proud story and unique office design featured she can be reached at darcie@bellavitadesigns.ca / IG @bellavitadesignsinc / 905-716-8528.


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