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Inaugural ADA Design Innovation Awards winners announced

September 24, 2019

By Kimber Solana

Tooth Bar
New build: From left, Drs. Lauren Jacobsen and Kimberley Barclay stand outside of Toothbar, their dental practice in Austin, Texas. The duo won the “new build” category in the inaugural Design Innovation Awards. 
The ADA Council on Dental Practice, ADA Member Advantage and BMO Harris Bank announced Sept. 24 the winners of the inaugural Design Innovation Awards, which recognize excellence in dental facilities that seamlessly combine esthetics appeal, function and design.
The winner for the “new build” category is Toothbar in Austin, Texas, owned by Drs. Kimberley Barclay and Lauren Jacobsen. The winner in the “remodel” category went to Studio Smiles Northwest in Clarkston, Washington, owned by Dr. Robin J. Henderson.
The two practices received the most votes in their respective categories at the ADA Practice Excellence area on the Exhibit Hall floor during ADA FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco. The ADA Council on Dental Practice had narrowed the field of applicants down to the top three contenders in each category. Annual meeting attendees who viewed the finalists’ submissions voted for a winner in each category.
Both winners will receive a $1,000 prize and be featured in ADA publications.

Judging criteria for the contest included esthetics appeal, such as use of color, light/windows and theme; utilization of technology; function and efficiency; innovation; and how well the design has accomplished the entrant's objective.

Toothbar is a 3,267-square-foot practice with a concept that sought to redefine the way people think about going to the dentist, according to Drs. Barclay and Jacobsen.

Smile Studio reception area
Remodel: Studio Smile Northwest, a 3,200-square-foot practice in Clarkston, Wash., won the “remodel” category in the Design Innovation Awards. Pictured is the dental practice’s reception area.
“We had always heard from patients that they hated going to the dentist,” said Dr. Barclay. “When we decided to start and build our own practice, we wanted to create a practice where patients valued their visits.”

Toothbar opened in April 2018. Its lobby is set up to resemble a hotel lounge, complete with a tech bar which features complimentary Wi-Fi and a refreshment bar. It has floor-to-ceiling windows to showcase a 360-degree view of different parts of Austin.

The practice has an open floorplan concept. During their appointments, patients can take advantage of a “brush bar,” which includes the doctors’ favorite dental products and a large vanity mirror so patients can refresh themselves before or after their dental visit. In addition, the practice has a “toothbar lounge,” which has three massage chairs and a lounge with a bar. The space can be reserved for teeth-whitening parties or if patients want a quick polish and floss in between their six-month cleanings.

“The [DIA] win reminded us of what we were doing, and why we’re doing it,” Dr. Barclay said.

Dr Henderson
Dr. Henderson
Studio Smiles Northwest is a 3,200-square-foot practice that was formerly a longtime chiropractor’s office. Today, the practice includes an area dedicated for the dental team with large private lockers, kitchen, break and conference rooms.

According to Dr. Henderson, the remodel design began with a focus on the new patient experience. The practice’s new patient room includes glass walls adorned with a large fingerprint, which serves as a reminder that each patient is unique and deserves a unique treatment plan.

“I wanted an office that better reflected the level of care provided by my team, that accommodated a digital workflow and improved access for my patients,” said Dr. Henderson, adding that winning the Dental Innovation Awards is a meaningful recognition to those who worked on the project. The renovation began in November 2016. The practice began seeing patients in September 2017.

“This isn’t just a win for my practice, but for our entire community, which makes it so much more rewarding,” Dr. Henderson said.

Dr. Rudy Liddell, ADA Council on Dental Practice chair, said the council supports the design competition not only because of its member value proposition, but also because it offers dentists the opportunity to look at the practice from the patient’s perspective.

“The program gives other Association members ideas of what can be accomplished with a new build or a well thought out renovation,” said Dr. Liddell. “I would not be surprised if some members who stopped by the voting booth went back to their offices and started making plans for renovations of their own.”

The call for submissions to the 2020 ADA Design Innovation Award competition will open in June 2020.