Dental Surgery Design Fundamentals

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Dental surgery design

The dental surgery is the engine room for all dental clinics.  It’s where your patients spend most of their time in your practice – so it’s essential that your surgery rooms are impeccably designed.

Dental surgery design

We explore the three fundamental elements of a dental surgery room you should consider when it comes to the planning and design of your clinic.

Patient Experience

The aesthetics and clinical function of your dental surgery environment can have a significant impact on your patients’ experience during their appointment.  Your surgery room should be spacious, uncluttered and modern-looking. If you’re blessed with a nice outlook, large windows can provide a welcome distraction for patients during treatment.

Stylish dental surgery design with a blue accent colour
Photo credit: New Black Studios – Commercial

Also consider adding some colour to the room.  While white is a popular and timeless option, adding an accent element through timber cabinetry, coloured splash-backs or dental furniture can help to liven up your surgery.

Your surgery should be appropriately sized and laid out for dentists and staff to move freely and efficiently.  This helps to ensure treatments don’t take longer than they should, and keeps your appointment schedule on track.


While the comfort of your patients is vital, the importance of ergonomics in the design of your dental surgery environment cannot be understated.  Many dentists find themselves adjusting their bodies to fit their work practices, which can lead to significant injury over time. 

By considering ergonomics in equipment selection and placement, you can achieve complete freedom of movement and deliver easy access to instruments. This greatly reduces the risk of musculoskeletal pain. 

Ergonomic equipment options are now more widely available and affordable.  Some of the most popular options include: operator stools with tilting backrests for better postural alignment; patient chairs with narrow upper backrests to allow closer access for both dentists and assistants; and delivery systems with easy retrieve and return handpieces that eliminate pull-back, resulting in reduced fatigue.


A dental surgery needs to look seamless and clean. We associate cleanliness with white light, so light with a high colour temperature works best. The higher the colour temperature, the brighter the light. Bright sunlight against blue sky is 5000-6000K, while an incandescent bulb is around 2000-3000K.

A bright and light-filled dental surgery design

Ceiling lights should be filtered by translucent covers to avoid filling the surgery with harsh shadows. This puts a soft edge to even the brightest light, while LEDs mean surgeries can be brightly lit all day without heat from halogen bulbs or high costs.

Contact Us

As healthcare design and fitout specialists, the Elite team have a thorough understanding of how dentists work. We use this knowledge to design your dental practice floorplan to balance clinical function, ergonomics and aesthetics. 

Take a look at some of our recent dental fitouts, or contact the team to discuss your dental clinic plans.

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