Chris Josh 64242

You’re being judged

April 1, 2018
Dr. Chris Salierno, chief editor of Dental Economics, explains how the modern dental office is more than just about communicating modern health care. It’s a critical opportunity to manage patients’ expectations and improve the efficient workflow of the practice.
Chris Salierno, DDS, Chief Dental Officer, Tend

It was straight out of the 1970s. Cheap wood paneling, shag carpets, chipped orange Formica. The dentist may have been talented and versed on modern techniques, but everything about his office screamed the opposite. While I worked there, I felt like I was always on the defensive. “Yes, the office design is a little old but . . .” followed by a promise that the instruments were sterilized correctly, or some similar rebuttal to a patient’s raised concern.

We must acknowledge that patients judge us by our appearances. The quality of our work and the warmth of our team can be partially or completely undone by dated décor. I opened my dental practice eight years ago, and I’m already anticipating making cosmetic changes in the future. Wood, stone, and earth tones are still soothing and fashionable today, but I know at some point they will become the shag carpeting of the future.

A modern-looking office is more than just about communicating modern health care. It’s also about creating proper workflow, efficient circulation of instruments through sterilization, and career-saving ergonomics. It’s realizing that you don’t need a darkroom once you have digital radiographs and then reclaiming that space for some great new purpose. It’s finding new ways for your reception area to accommodate the patients you serve—coffee stations for busy professionals and video games for teenagers.

I am pleased to announce the launch of DE’s Design Studio. This is a digital hub for all things design. We’ll be sharing photos and plans for gorgeous practices, researching equipment options, and simplifying the financing process. Be sure to check out our feature on page 24 to learn more, or just go there yourself and explore:

The expression goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s a great piece of advice for readers. But the advice for the publishing company is, “Make the cover of your book beautiful.” As business owners, we are being judged all the time. A modern office design is a critical opportunity to manage the expectations of our patients and improve our own efficiencies. DE’s Design Studio will help you be judged fairly.


Chris Salierno, DDS
[email protected]

About the Author

Chris Salierno, DDS | Chief Dental Officer, Tend

Chris Salierno, DDS, is a general dentist from Long Island, New York. He graduated from Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine in 2005. Dr. Salierno lectures internationally on clinical dentistry, practice management, and leadership development. In 2017 he became a chief development officer with the Cellerant Consulting Group, and he was the chief editor of Dental Economics from 2014 to 2021. In 2021, he became the chief dental officer at Tend. He can be reached on Instagram @the_curious_dentist.

Updated May 13, 2022

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