Health

Studio Dental: This luxury dentist-on-wheels comes to you

By Kitty Knowles 11 August 2017
Studio Dental has a mobile dentistry truck.
Summary

Drill into the details with Studio Dental's founders.

With bland waiting rooms, ugly uncomfortable seats, and disconcerting drill sounds, it’s safe to say: no one likes visiting the dentist.

But what if your dentist came to you, making you feel relaxed and empowered with its luxurious service?

That’s exactly the idea behind mobile service Studio Dental.

“We are re-designing dental care for the next generation of patients and providers,” co-founder and CEO Lowell Caulder told The Memo.

Inside the Studio Dental truck. Pic: Mitch Tobias

Dentistry-on-wheels

Launched in 2014, Studio Dental imagines a future where your dentistry appointments fit around your hectic lifestyle.

Yes, it has a beautiful brick-and-mortar office in San Francisco, but it’s the practice’s 26-foot slick black touring trailer that really steals the show.

Currently this visits half a dozen locations in the Bay Area, but there’s no reason this popular set-up wouldn’t work in other cities around the world, says Caulder.

One hell of a truck

Designed by the award-winning Montalba Architects, Studio Dental’s 230 square foot mobile space houses a sterilisation room, a waiting area, and two operatories – where their experts see to your teeth.

And to put it bluntly, it’s stunning.

Made from natural wood millwork, with bright white surfaces throughout, and patterns throughout that evoke a dense tree canopy, you could easily mistake the setup for a salon in a high-end spa.

“We’ve built soulful, one-of-a-kind spaces that tend to overdeliver on the beauty front,” says Caulder.

“Each operatory gestures to the sky, with 11-foot ceilings and translucent sculpted skylights above each chair [while] strategic mirrored strips visually expand the space and reflect natural light.”

There are even TV screens to distract you while you’re being worked on, with special acoustic material in the walls to make sure your private appointment remains private.

Inside the Studio Dental truck. Pic: Mitch Tobias

Check-ups at work?

Initially Studio Dental used its trailer to deliver dental services to people at work, co-founder Dr. Sara Creighton, the dentist who brought her expertise to the business, explains.

 

Creighton had noticed that her patients at Google were recommending her practice to each other and filling both her early and late appointments around their working days.

“We thought what if, by bringing dental services to our patients, we could make it easier to fit dental visits into their busy lives?” she says.

Today Studio Dental has expanded to accept bookings from the broader public, growing its patient list to over 3,500 happy customers – a number usually achieved over the best part of a decade.

If you thought having a dentist on their doorstep would make clients squeamish, you’d be wrong, says Creighton.

“People love having the ability to service their dental needs at work. I’ve been surprised again and again by how the convenience factor seems to outweigh all others, including privacy and consistency with a single dentist.”

A patient uses the virtual reception. Pic: Mitch Tobias

A customer-first future

Ultimately, the team’s success has come from a focus on customer service, Creighton says, which – in her own words – is “not a something often associated with the dental industry”.

The practice lets patients painlessly book visits with an online scheduler, it uses digital tools to provide accurate estimates of insurance coverage before any work is done, and has an ethos to avoid ‘dental jargon’ at all times.

“We believe there must be a more efficient, convenient, maybe even fun way to get the dental care every individual needs – and from booking an initial visit to dealing with insurance companies, we’re working to do just that: create modern, better service.”

“We’re for anyone looking for an easier, more transparent and a more delightful dental experience.”

Whether run by Studio Dental, or some other smart cookie, we bet a dentist on wheels will be rolling towards you soon.