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2015 Dental Office Design Winner - 5 Star Dental Care

Outstanding Design Efficiency Category
5 Star Dental
Rick Vu, DDS, owner of 5 Star Dental in Pleasant View, Tennessee, was the recipient of the 2015 Dental Office Design of the Year Award in the Outstanding Design Efficiency category at the 2015 ADA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Rick Vu, DDS, owner of 5 Star Dental in Pleasant View, Tennessee, was the recipient of the 2015 Dental Office Design of the Year Award in the Outstanding Design Efficiency category at the ADA 2015 in Washington, D.C. The office is built around a small town bedroom community with a mix of old and new buildings and all socioeconomic statuses.  Dr. Vu wanted the office design to reflect that market without being too extravagant or mundane.

Describe your practice philosophy and how it influenced your design?

My practice philosophy lies within the name of my dental practice, 5 Star Dental Care. The goal is to give patients 5-star treatment and cater to all walks of life; to be warm, inviting, and comfortable. As we all know no one likes going to the dentist, but I wanted to change the perception people have about visiting a dental office.

I had an idea and vision to create an office that would be inviting, aesthetically pleasing, and timeless. My architect took my vision to the next level and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Explain how you and your team approached the design of your office?

We designed the office with efficiency in mind, especially HIPPA concerns. First with the front office, we have the check in/check out area at 90 degrees to each other to reduce noise and eliminate HIPPA concerns.

Secondly, each individual operatory has a wall rather than an island to reduce conversations heard from another operatory. TVs were placed in each room to add background noise to reduce conversations being overheard.

Third, we provide a consultation to address patients’ questions and concerns with treatment and billing and to have private conservations/discussions as needed.  Our business assistants can also use this room when dealing with insurance companies regarding billing and accounts payable issues where privacy is a must.

The design of the office allows for a well-organized flow for both patients and employees. 

What advice do you have for designing a facility?

My advice to anyone undertaking a big project like this is to research, research, research! It is such a big undertaking and it should start with the book “ADA Practical Guide to Dental Office Design.”  It’s a very useful book and a good starting point. Another pearl is attending a course by Dr. Michael Unthank and his group. It helped me out tremendously and gave me interesting new design concepts. Lastly, choose the right architect to turn your vision into reality.


The rest of the 2015 Dental Office Design Competition winners can be found here.


Entries are now being accepted for the 2016 Dental Office Design Competition. Go to the Wells Fargo Practice Finance site for more information.

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