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Office design creates visual impact

Sept. 1, 2009
This month we feature an office that serves two functions. Dr. Greg Lutke practiced for 14 years in an office that was not his design and did not fit his practice type or individual needs.
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Story by Dr. Joe Blaes, Editor
Photography by Dr. Gregory M. Lutke

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: Dr. Greg Lutke, office design, Dallas Dental Solutions, cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry, visual impact.

This month we feature an office that serves two functions. Dr. Greg Lutke practiced for 14 years in an office that was not his design and did not fit his practice type or individual needs. One hundred percent of the design of his new office is based on his experiences from his previous office. The overall goal for the new office is to create a facility that will be perfect for Dr. Lutke's dental practice and for the courses he intends to present to visiting dentists.

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Dr. Lutke's office is located on the first floor of a general office building in a parklike setting in Plano, Texas. His office is located to the left of the front door so that when one opens the door with the right hand, one immediately looks left and sees Greg's inviting office. He limits his practice to cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry.

This is an office that truly has a tremendous visual impact on patients each time they enter. The visual impact is by design and is supplied by the decoration, selection, and positioning of artwork. This artwork is comprised of paintings, glasswork, and dental images (all taken by Dr. Lutke) that are turned into stunning visual artwork instead of boring before–and–after photos.

(From left) Keri Lutke, Dr. Greg Lutke, Wayna Glaess
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Finally, the floor plan and interior design of the office are intricately designed for patient flow, visual impact, and patient comfort. Treatment rooms are filled with sunlight from large picture windows.

This is an office that needs to be seen to be believed, so I have limited the words in this article and instead have used photos to visually portray this unique, but very achievable office. The office contains great ideas for dentists who might be considering a new build–out or who simply want to make over an existing office. Dr. Lutke's biggest return on investment is being able to practice exactly as he envisioned. This has added a tremendous amount of value to his life.

All of the equipment is new A–dec and custom–delivery units designed for the practice. There are five treatment rooms (two are used for hygiene) in the 2,600–square–foot office. Dr. Lutke has an oversized room that is specially equipped for the long and comprehensive appointments associated with cosmetic dentistry. This room even has an office for patients' personal use during breaks in treatment.

Achieving a white balance for digital photography purposes
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Dr. Lutke's wife, Keri, works in the office with her husband and is responsible for filling his lecture schedule. Dr. Lutke has been fortunate to have the same hygienist, Wayna Glaess, for his entire 24–year career! She designed her completely digital treatment rooms, and her main room is oversized.

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The secret to Dr. Lutke's success is his completely digital patient consultation. The goal is to convert treatment opportunities into patients who are willing to accept fully optimized treatment plans that are functional and esthetic.

The Digital Patient Consultation is the path for making this goal a reality. Historically, dental consultants have taught dentists and their teams to use verbal skills to communicate their cases.

A spacious sterilization area is evident at Dr. Greg Lutke's practice while patient photos adorn an interior hallway (below)
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This approach leads to a certain level of success, especially in nonappearance–related dental treatment. The reality is that, in modern society, patients are focused on esthetics. Studies have universally demonstrated that people learn most efficiently by visual means.

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The Digital Patient Consultation is completely visual, just like the treatment that dentists provide patients. Clear and accurate digital photography that is presented visually via Microsoft PowerPoint is the whole premise. A presentation of images completely about potential patients, their present condition, and their optimum treatment plan provide the communication necessary for case acceptance.

Regardless of how dentists think patients buy dentistry, they are always focused on results. Give patients an accurate result based on the wonderful advancements in modern dentistry, and they will commit their funds, time, and energy to the results.

The development of user skills is primary and can be learned at Dallas Dental Solutions. Remember that the presentation is stunning digital photography, and the quality of images is due to human skills and far less on the camera hardware. In the past, dental professionals focused on buying the correct hardware and software, this approach is a clear departure from the old model.

Practice foyer
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The Digital Patient Consultation is a technical skill based on people skills. While these technical skills are learned just once, they pay practice–transforming results forever. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so save all those words and communicate visually!

Gregory M. Lutke, DDS
Office equipment checklist

3M ESPE Filtek™ Supreme Plus Composite
A–dec chairs
A–dec stools and chairs
A–dec operating lights
A–dec dental rear delivery units
Air Techniques air compressor
Bien–Air electric handpieces
p>BioLase twilite laser
Cadco Dry Processor II hydrocolloid impression material
CareCredit patient financing
Dentsply Cavitron® Jet
Dentsply Caulk Aquasil™ Ultra impression material
Dentsply scalers
Health Sonics ultrasonic cleaners
Isolite dryfield illuminator
Kerr Optilux 501 curing lights
Macan electrosurgery unit
Porter MXR–1 nitrous oxide central
Ram Vac vacuum system
SciCan Statim 2000 autoclave
Sirona X–ray units
Ultradent Opalescence bleaching systems
W&H Assistina 301 Plus handpiece maintenance
Digital computer equipment
Adobe Photoshop CS4 software
Dell workstations and PowerEdge server
Dell UltraSharp 20–, 24–, and 30–inch monitors
Dentrix practice management software
Dentrix Image paperless charting with X–rays
Dentrix ImageCAM intraoral camera
Epson R2400, Epson 4880, Tektronix 8400 printers
Epson 3200 photo scanner
Ergotron computer monitor arms
Nikon D300 macro camera with dental and portrait setup
Suni digital X–ray

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