Australasian Dental Practice

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01 Sep 2005 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Perth practice wins WA Master Builders award

Accent Dental, the practice of Dr Peter Wroth in Perth, has won a Master Builders Association award for its builders, Oaklane Projects and designers, Levitch Design Associates (LDA) whose collaboration delivered an inspiring, innovative and award winning result.


Several years ago, Dr Wroth was facing a classic mid-career dilemma: he had a good CBD practice and he had built up a suburban branch practice, but how to consolidate these and plan for succession and retirement? Some ideal office space had become available in the corporate end of town. This was where he wanted to be. If he could establish the right presence, perhaps he could move into a more up-market practice. If he miss-stepped now, however, it would put back his plans for a decade. The other choice was to do nothing and risk his assets gradually reduce in value over the years. He vacillated on the horns of this dilemma as he considered his options and weighed the risks.

Fortuitously, he was also a member of Dental Innovations and attended one of their dinners where he was pleased to meet and hear Anne and Dr Genna Levitch of LDA as they presented a portfolio of their work. It crystallised in his mind that to begin with, he needed to find the right designer.

Although excited by the innovate designs he had seen, he was doubtful that some one from over east could deliver the goods.

He proceeded with his negotiations and secured 169 square metres in the mezzanine floor of the building he was interested in. As it happened, the interior fit out contractors for the building, Oaklane Projects, was a firm he knew as they had experience in dental fitouts. Dr Wroth asked a number of local designers to tender for the project, but none of the proposed floor plans seemed to fulfil his brief.

He then rang Anne Levitch and asked if she would at least do the finishes. LDA often provide piecemeal service, but after a look at the plans, declined the offer. "The plans Peter showed me were not practical, and did not take advantage of the unique location," she recalls. "I did not want the results to be a compromise."

She called Dr Wroth and he eventually decided that he had little choice but to use LDA. He hoped there would be no trans-continental miscommunication. The Levitch team came to Perth to present a floor plan that made sense and gave him the fourth surgery he wanted. The finishes were developed to complement and contemporise the traditional marble and bronze finishes of the building itself.

Charlie Rowan, Director of Oaklane and Martin Hickey, Project Manager, were excited by the plans for the surgery. "The floor plan was efficient and used every inch of space, the colours and finishes were fresh and sophisticated, but what we liked the best was the level of documentation we received from LDA. We had everything specified from plans for each trade and joinery detailing to a full 'Scope of Works'. We could quote, build and install with confidence. The surgery was completed on time and on budget."

Dr Wroth had put together his dream team and the gamble had come off. Oaklands was delighted that it had built a surgery to a standard equal to the best in Australia and submitted the project for the 'Under One Million Dollars Commercial Fit out Awards' category in the Western Australian Master Builders Awards. LDA proved again that its thoroughness in documentation meant its designs could be built any where in Australia.

The combination of far-sighted client, excellent builder and creative designer produced an award winning result. Oaklane Projects collected the award on July 2, 2005 at the Perth Hyatt Regency. Levitch Design received a "Certificate of Commendation" as project architects.

Nine months on, Dr Peter Wroth provided an update: "I lost some patients initially, who were time wasters anyway and we had to increase our advertising so people would know where we were. This took several months to produce results, but nine months into the new practice we can report a 70% increase in practice turnover. This is nearly double what LDA predicted, in half the time!

"The staff mix needed fine-tuning so we had Kathy Metaxas of Platinum Professional Development helped us there. We now have a fantastic team with a great practice manager. A new graduate, Dr Daniel Abbondanza, joined us 3 August. He is well accepted by the patients and I'm impressed with the growth of his clinical skills. We seemed to have tapped into a stream of new patients who want the level of dentistry we enjoy. They, of course, are far more inclined to accept our treatment plans."

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