Page 81 - BusinessWest May 2, 2022
P. 81

Filling Today’s Needs
Dental-office Renovations Highlight Changing Protocols, Technology
By Mark Morris
When Craig Sweitzer built his first dental office 37 years ago, he thought it was the coolest thing he had ever done.
As owners of Sweitzer Construction, Craig and his wife, Pat, enjoyed learning the unique design requirements and the technical knowl- edge required to build dental suites, known as operatories.
“We like to work on projects that are new, fresh, and exciting,” Sweitzer said. “Dental offices fit that bill because dental technology is evolving, and it’s fun to stay current with it.”
In a recent string of projects, the Sweitzers’ firm built or renovated three dental practices in the Berkshires, all owned by women dentists. Berkshire Dental Arts and Krol and Nazarov Fam- ily Dentistry, both in Pittsfield, and Shire City Endo in Lenox all presented different challenges to the team, among them building dental prac- tices during a pandemic.
Dr. Sarah Martinelli said the building where her practice, Shire City Endo, does business began as a “rectangular brick box.” Built in 1978, three different banks occupied the site before Martinelli purchased the building in February 2020. Having worked in the area, she knew that dentists referred patients for endodontic work from all over the region, so the central location
of this building on Route 7 in Lenox made it an ideal spot.
Craig Sweitzer explained that, when dentists plan a renovation or construction project, they will meet with him early in the process. From the choice of equip- ment to how each room lays out, together they form a plan.
“There are lots of decisions to be made,” he said, “from where the plumbing and elec- trical lines go to whether the doctor is right-handed or left, and do they want cuspidors or just suction?”
A dental-equipment supplier also enters the picture early on to work in partnership with the construction crew and the dentist.
“We do all the underground, behind-the-wall, and under-floor infrastructure work to make sure it will accommodate the specialized equipment the doctor ordered,” Sweitzer said.
Dental offices fit that bill because dental tech- nology is evolving, and it’s fun to stay current with it.”
For Shire City Endo, part of the early work
A dental suite at Shire City Endo
involved removing a drive-up window left over from the banking days. When the crew was drill- ing into the foundation to run plumbing and electrical lines, they ran into another legacy of the building’s former use.
Foundation floors in banks are usually much thicker than those in regular commercial build- ings to deter would-be thieves from tunneling
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