by Duane DaPron
Dr. Paul Kraisinger emulates late business great to achieve success.
What do the late Walt Disney and Dr. Paul Kraisinger have in common?
Disney, of course, was the architect of one of the world’s largest and most well-known entertainment empires. His creation of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney World in Orlando, Fla., continue to provide special “magical” experiences for a multitude of visitors annually.
Like Disney, although on a smaller scale, Dr. Kraisinger follows much of the same approach at his dental practice - Today’s Complete Family Dentistry - in Greensburg, Pa.
Through such techniques as music in the practice’s parking lot, water fountains located both inside and outside the building, a daycare center for children, and special themed operatories, Dr. Kraisinger makes it a point to provide patients with memorable and enjoyable experiences.
So much, in fact, that the Greensburg doctor calls his novel approach to dentistry “dentertainment.”
“For patients, visits to the office have to be an ‘experience’ and they have to be unique,” he said. “It’s much like when you go to a Disney attraction.
“You must work hard on defining patients’ expectations. Then you need to exceed those expectations,” he added.
Dr. Kraisinger has been following this philosophy since earning his DMD in 1986 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.
“I think it is important to define your practice and be unique. As dentists, we tend to be very eclectic and egocentric,” he said. “Because of this, we can isolate our practices as islands.
“It’s not good when we don’t share ideas with fellow dentists,” he continued. “We should share our successes, and even more importantly, our failures with others. We should be proud to share our showcase offices. It is important that we are constantly updating, improving and tweaking our practices.”
Dr. Kraisinger has done just that.
During the early stages of a 12-year stay in a leased facility that had just four operatories - and with his practice growing despite limited patient parking - the dentist knew he would eventually have to make some changes if he wished to accommodate his growing patient numbers.
“At our previous location, I couldn’t solve these situations so I knew that I needed new construction,” he said.
But Dr. Kraisinger faced a dilemma.
“I knew I needed to do something but I didn’t know what,” he pointed out.
So, he turned to a pair of good friends and colleagues - Drs. Kevin Metzger and Ed Thornblade - whose offices received guidance from THE Design.
“They have fabulous offices and were nice enough to share them with me,” Dr. Kraisinger said.
In addition, the Greensburg dentist attended several CE courses and seminars, including more than one presented by THE Design founder Dr. Harry Demaree.
Dr. Kraisinger poured through several industry magazines during the initial planning for a new building. One series of articles, in particular, caught his attention. It was a three-part series in Dental Economics®, penned by Dr. Nate Booth in 2002, about the lessons that dentists could learn by following the lead of the incredibly successful Walt Disney.
Buoyed with this type of information, Dr. Kraisinger began what turned out to be a nearly two-year vigil to plan and design a new facility.
The practice staff played a vital role during the conceptualization stages.
“Staff members were just ‘out of this world’ with their support. During this time, they embraced my concept and vision for the practice,” the dentist said.
Dr. Kraisinger eventually located a parcel of land for the new facility located just three miles along the same highway from the previous practice.
After one year of construction, the practice opened the doors at its new location in August 2004.
The new facility, which includes eight operatories, has several distinguishing features.
First, the practice is built into the side of a hill. This provides for a natural two-level layout. Located on the lower level is a daycare center for children, which features a covered, heated entry area that comes in handy on many cold winter Pennsylvania mornings.
“It’s great to hear the children’s laughter at playtime,” Dr. Kraisinger said. “If the kids are happy then grownups and everyone else are happy, too.”
Located just above the daycare entry is a feature for the Today’s Complete Family Dentistry staff - a patio/deck area just outside the staff lounge.
“We use the patio during lunchtime,” the Greensburg doctor said. “Interestingly, my contractor tried to talk me out of (building) it. But the area has been great for staff morale. Getting together for lunch on the patio has proven to be one of the best times of the day for staff and provides a boost for work in the afternoon.”
Two themed operatories grace the office. One is decorated in a deep sea, ocean motif. The other operatory features race cars, one of Dr. Kraisinger’s passions.
“Dentistry is so meticulous, it is like racing,” he said. “One must strive for perfection in both.”
Walt Disney probably uttered the word “perfection” often while building his entertainment empire. In much the same vein, Dr. Paul Kraisinger has achieved success with his attention to detail and his novel dental approach.
“Today, it is not enough to constantly and continually provide high-quality professional care,” he said. “We, along most other dentists, have always done that. At Today’s Complete Family Dentistry, we also provide ‘dentertainment.’”
- Glean information from Dental Economics® articles
- Visit as many dental offices as possible for new ideas
- Assemble the finest staff on the planet (no matter what it takes)
- Attend as many CE courses as possible
- Attend a seminar by Dr. Harry Demaree of THE Design
- For remodeling or building a new building, use a negotiated contract bid and hire the “right” contractor
- Hire an interior decorator
- Build it bigger (than you think you should)
- Plan for the future
- Strive for a balance between your professional and personal lives