The ADA Council on Dental Practice, ADA Member Advantage and BMO Harris Bank announced Nov. 15 the winners of the third annual Design Innovation Awards, which recognize excellence in dental facilities that seamlessly combine esthetics appeal, function and design.
The winner for the "large new build" category is Mattson Hellickson Dental, owned by Ben Hellickson, D.M.D., and Sam Mattson, D.M.D., in Beaverton, Oregon; the "small new build" category went to Jessica Cohen Orthodontics, owned by Jessica Cohen, D.M.D., in Highland Park, Illinois; and the "remodel" category winner is Gary Cash DDS, owned by Gary Cash, D.D.S., in Austin, Texas.
The three practices received the most votes in their respective categories at ADA.org/DIA, which was available for open voting Oct. 1-31, as well as at Dental Central, the new designed exhibit hall, during SmileCon in Las Vegas.
The ADA Council on Dental Practice narrowed the field of applicants in each category. Voters who viewed the finalists' submissions voted for a winner in each category.
The trio will receive $1,000, and their practices and design processes will be featured in various ADA publications during the upcoming year.
Judging criteria for the contest include esthetics appeal, such as uses of color, light/windows and theme; utilization of technology; function and efficiency; innovation; and how well the design has accomplished the entrant's objective.
Mattson Hellickson Dental is a 4,014-square-foot practice that sought a "non-dental-office-like" look and feel, that was welcoming and comfortable for patients and ergonomically efficient for the dental team.
"Let's be honest: Going to the dentist is rarely someone's favorite place to be, however with our office we have created a warm, welcoming and modern environment for our patients to enjoy while receiving excellent dental care," said Drs. Hellickson and Mattson. "We had an amazing team of architects, builders along with ADEC and Henry Schein who shared in the excitement of our vision of what an innovative dental office should be. With our team we focused on efficiency, comfort and beauty. The collaboration was something we thoroughly enjoyed and we believed that it showed in our result."
The practice includes an indoor/outdoor waiting room, and a second small lobby, which doubles as a second entrance for their most vulnerable patient population as an option to be isolated from other patients - especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the latest in technology, the practice includes curated art and furniture, framed photographs of staff and their families, a vintage Ms. PacMan game console in the lobby, and custom "brush and floss" tile in the restroom - elevating the design of the practice yet still providing a calm and welcoming ambiance.
Cohen Orthodontics is a 1,170-square-foot practice across from the Highland Park library and train station. Its large windows are often dressed to impress with fabulous floral façade that changes with the seasons. The ease of access and abundance of sunlight through the windows add to the inviting atmosphere of the practice. The practice is also filled with top-of-the-line technologies, such as 3D printing and iTero scanning.
"I wanted my patients to walk into my office like they would a spa and have something pretty to look at from every angle," Dr. Cohen said. "I still remember the day my dad and I saw the for rent sign outside of my current space. I personally negotiated the deal, and I feel thankful to be able to make my vision a reality."
Dr. Cash's winning practice is a remodeled 1,780-square-foot facility that is located in a central location in Austin with top floor views of the ever-growing cityscape.
"However, our office was aesthetically dated, consisted of a cramped, compartmentalized and inconvenient layout that did not separate patient and staff zones, and the original design did not take advantage of the two features we were most proud of: the views of the city and the potential for natural light to flow into the core of the office," Dr. Cash said.
In 2021, 10 years after acquiring the practice, Dr. Cash shut the office down for six weeks for remodeling.
"It is humbling that our design and workflow vision resonate with so many of our colleagues," he said. "Our vision was to create patient comfort, flow and a work space that reflects our quality of dentistry and patient care."
The call for submissions to the 2022 ADA Design Innovation Awards will open in June. To learn more about the ADA Design Innovation Awards, visit ADA.org/DIA.