Dental Clinic Renovation, Refurbishments & Extensions

Whether you are making some small changes, building an extension or refitting the entire practice this article is a great place to start.

The whole dental practice in detail would be very difficult to cover in one article, so this is an over-view of the design, construction, installation and maintenance of different types of dental practice. They can be designed to suit a range of locations from a converted residential property or a purpose-built facility to a department within a hospital or prison.

A typical dental practice would have these dedicated areas:

  • Reception
  • Waiting room
  • Surgery
  • Decontamination room
  • Consultation room
  • Imaging room
  • Plant room
  • Staff room

Ultimately, the owner or decision maker within a practice will have a design and layout in mind. This will reflect the vision of the business and support objectives previously decided on. This project would be thought through carefully and calculated with experience and assistance from friends and colleagues. At this point a team of professionals can be gathered including architects, builders, surveyors, suppliers and engineers or a specialist company like Eclipse Dental can be appointed to work with the dental practice owners and staff to fully realise their plan.

Some business owners are confident in dealing with multiple suppliers, contractors and deadlines as well as utilising the knowledge and experience of our project managers who provide valuable advice on the suitability of the practice vision.

The NHS dental care centre at Croydon University Hospital were under-going a major refurbishment in the Orthodontic and Restorative Dental Department and we were chosen to be the fit-out and equipment supplier for this project. We worked closely with the main contractors: Gray Dungate Poole projects and Architects: Ingletonwood, to assist in the design of the new department and planning of the surgeries. Because of the working relationship between the companies, the objectives were easily communicated which created a seamless execution of the plan.

Another option is to employ a Turn-key solution and let a specialist take care of the whole build even while you are on holiday. The benefits to this are that you would not have to deal with the design and planning, you can just sit back and relax while we take care of everything.

Dental Refurbishment Companies

If you do not want the burden of dealing with different contacts and the time this would take, but do want to have a fair amount of involvement in the project then you can arrange a site consultation visit from our Project Managers to identify any possible roadblocks before the design is finalised. We supply architectural services, planning and building regulation considerations, equipment specifications and spatial planning. Industry standards including cross-infection, health & safety and disabled access is all carefully integrated during the early design stage.

Equipment specifications are also best concluded at the early stages to enable the architectural design to incorporate your tastes and needs. Working with our team will ensure your practice is built efficiently and effectively, with all alterations and building works completed in accordance with the national building codes.

Planning Permission

A dental practice is regarded as a non-residential institution under the D1 Use Class according to the Town & Country Planning Order 1987. This class covers clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law courts, non-residential education and training centres.

To change from one class to another, for example: from a residential property or a shop then you would generally need planning permission, although there are exceptions. And it is best practice to check the current status, as a property that has been in use as a dental practice might not have the correct D1 planning consent. This could be raised as an issue if the practice is sold and the owner is changed.

If you are based in London and would like to change a building’s use or if you are looking for an already granted D1 property there are some important factors to consider:

  • Onsite parking facilities
  • Noise Pollution
  • Local environmental dangers
  • Potential number of visitors
  • Transport options

Successfully building, upgrading, or expanding your dental practice will require plenty of advance planning and careful thought. Furthermore, the planning and careful thought will have to be applied throughout the project to deal with building regulations and CQC applications with teamwork and co-ordination being essential.

Plumbing, Electrics, Services and Building Works

The importance of specialist plumbers and electricians is often over-looked and even experienced professionals can come across unusual hurdles.

The majority of plumbing and electrical services in a dental suite is run under the floor to access the treatment centre. The alternatives to reduce the amount of services under the floor are mobile carts or hanging pendants.

Regarding the plumbing and before commencing the pipework design of a practice, all equipment details need to be obtained concerning water supply. Are they mains supplied, or do they use stored water? And, is a backflow prevention arrangement or device an integral part of the unit?

Backflow occurs when the water is drawn back from an appliance into the supply pipework and there are many areas where this type of incident could affect the quality of the water supply and place staff and patients at risk.

The Water Supply Regulations set legal requirements for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of plumbing systems, water fittings and water-using appliances. They have a specific purpose to prevent misuse, waste, undue consumption or erroneous measurement of water and, most importantly, to prevent contamination of drinking water. Therefore, plumbing work in any surgery should be completed in accordance with the information set out in the WRAS ‘Water Regulations Guide’. It is also a criminal offence to undertake installation, alteration or modification of plumbing systems in dental premises without the water supplier’s consent, except in the case of repairs or like-for-like replacements.

For these reasons it is of utmost importance to use a specialist plumbing professional and to minimise the risk of blockages or breakdown in the pipework. The correct specification, location and material for plant machinery (air compressors and suction pumps) pipes must be well-planned. This is all critical for optimum performance.

Piped medical gases, medical and surgical air and medical vacuum systems have strict guidelines for patient and staff safety and guidance should be followed for all new installations and refurbishment or upgrading of existing equipment. More can be read in the Health Technical Memorandum 2022 (Medical gas pipeline systems) from the British Compressed Gases Association -

Electricians would also need extensive experience with medical facilities as the dental chair and other equipment have dedicated circuits and transformers making them PELV (protective extra-low voltage).

Each compressor, vacuum pump and manifold should be supplied from a separate sub-circuit and where piped gases and electrical wiring are enclosed in a boom, gas control panel, dental pedestal or other similar enclosure, the wiring should be carried in separate conduit or trunking so that it cannot come into direct contact with the piped gas installation.

Smoke alarms and heat detectors should be installed in the plant rooms in accordance with HTM 82 ‘Firecode: alarm and detection systems’.

Whether you are planning a multi surgery practice or a single surgery Squat practice you will need to consider these points:

  • How will your equipment be supplied with water, gas and electricity?
  • What are the water backflow prevention arrangements?
  • Do you have frost prevention in place for outside pipework?
  • Has the water supplier been notified?
  • Is the pipework of correct specification and material?
  • Has every piece of equipment been included in the planning of supply channels?

Dental practice design and planning

You will need to create a functional balance between efficient traffic flow and comfortable movement between work zones for both staff and patients, incorporating ergonomic design, clinical function and technology integration within the scope of your budget.

Patients are more likely to have a positive experience if they are relaxed and comfortable, so the environment should be designed to help form a calming and relaxed atmosphere. Disabled access is also imperative in your overall layout design.

Your reception and waiting room is the first impression you give to your patients and the entrance is one of the most important elements on the patient journey. We have covered this subject in our article – Designing a dental practice reception area and waiting room. Here we discuss the customer experience, furniture options and arrangements, distractions, colours, lighting and decorations.

The design of the staff workflow depends greatly on the layout and size of the building and focusses on good infection control procedures. The decontamination process should be carried out by ensuring that a dirty- to-clean workflow is maintained. This is a one-way process that can be achieved by temporal separation or physical segregation.

Temporal separation is the method where instruments are reprocessed in the same room as the patient treatment area including a dedicated sink or two, regular disinfection of surfaces and adequate ventilation / air extraction.

Physical segregation is a dedicated decontamination area which has been developed and separated from the patient treatment area in another room; enhanced dirty–clean separation should be a priority in design and operation. For more information on layouts, flooring, surfaces and equipment, see our article on – Decontamination Room Design.

The dental surgery is the heart of the dental practice and must be highly practical for staff workflow, comply with regulations, be easy to clean as well as being pleasing to the eye to reduce patient anxiety.

Every dental surgery is different and factors like: The type of dentistry being performed, preference for way of working ergonomically and the type of dental chair / delivery unit can be challenging to blend with personal taste, aesthetics and functionality. Our project managers put together an article on how to achieve a harmonious balance in your dental surgery designs. Click this link to discover their considerations for Dental Surgery Design and Fit-out.

Another consideration for a dedicated room is for plant machinery, i.e.: Air compressors and suction pumps and the space needed for this equipment would depend on the number of dental chairs within the practice.

Cabinetry is a very important aspect of practicality and aesthetics, which is why we supply and install completely bespoke surgery and decontamination room cabinets. Our design team and fitters can create any appearance and feel that you are looking for. Check out our comprehensive guide to compliance, materials, colours and ranges in Dental cabinets for surgeries and decontamination rooms.

And, if you would like to read about the importance of lighting for a dental practice, we have some Top tips for dental surgery lighting including guidance and a fact-sheet to get the most out of your lighting design and set-up, offering possibilities and solutions.

More clinics are installing disabled access and DDA WC’s especially as they are required as part of some NHS contracts.

Other permissions

If your practice has a landlord, then you would have to get approval to make any changes to the fabric of the building. If the refit is a small project with like-for-like replacements, then it would be less likely that their approval would be required. So, it would be best to check the contract and in the best interest of the future relationship, to keep them informed with any changes.

Dental refurbishment solutions for the whole practice

We provide the complete solution to your dental practice fit-out and refurbishment needs with meticulous attention to detail and personal service. From comprehensive surgery and decontamination room fit-out or complete practice design and build our experienced team takes care of each stage and will ensure that your project runs smoothly. Whether you are making some small changes, building an extension to your practice or completely refitting the entire practice this checklist will give you an idea of what to contemplate:

  • Plan out your objectives
  • Make sure your branding runs throughout the practice
  • Employ experts with a wealth of knowledge and experience
  • Ensure objectives are clear
  • Consider patient flow and staff workflow
  • Investigate planning permissions and building regulations
  • Check equipment specifications and spatial planning
  • Comply with industry standards including cross-infection and health & safety
  • Explore options for disabled access
  • Keep the patient experience in mind
  • Consider financing possibilities


Dental finance solutions provide bespoke loans designed to assist with a variety of requirements, ranging from starting a new business, upgrading equipment or investing in renovations and refurbishment projects. We recommend Braemar Finance and would be happy to supply cases where their services have been utilised.

Dental Practice Design Ideas

Our project managers, designers and in-house dental engineers are knowledgeable and experienced in all of the areas outlined above and any contractors that we employ are equally qualified and experienced in medical facilities, due to the multitude of different building designs and layouts. And in most cases, it is more important to know what not to do to ensure there are no future issues or snagging problems.

Furthermore, if you need to discuss anything about the project, our project managers are more than happy to discuss the finer details at any stage. All you need to do now is sit back, relax and watch your vision unfold.

To discuss your dental practice ideas, whether you are refurbishing a surgery, extending the practice or converting a residential property contact us on 01322 292222, email at or use this Contact Form.

We look forward to working with you on your next project soon!

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Testimonials and Case Studies

Practice Expansion

“Expanding a practice is always a busy and stressful time, especially when faced with maintaining a service to patients. Having Eclipse Dental as a partner in this project, helped reduce the stress and ensured we were able to honour this commitment, and we now have a practice that is state of the art and totally fit for the modern dental market. “
Marden Dental Care - Dr K M Dhutia

Practice Refurbishment

“With eclipse, I carried out a more or less basement to attic refit of the surgery, including: glass enclosure entrance, reception desk, flooring to 2 surgeries, Heka Unic chair to one surgery, replacement cabinetry to one surgery, new suction and compressors and air conditioning to the entire building and a ‘best practice’ compliant decontamination and sterilisation room including all equipment for this.
Whilst a project of this size will always encounter hiccups, with Eclipse, they were few and far between and all were dealt with efficiently and speedily.
I just wish to thank Eclipse for their stress free and excellent service, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
S. Yusef Moazzam Ali, Dental Surgeon - Case Study

Eclipse helped me to refurbish my two dental surgeries. I knew exactly what I wanted, however, being right in the centre of Brighton we were restricted in terms of space. Eclipse listened to my ideas, they added a lot to them and improved my initial design. They had loads of realistic and creative ideas for a 21st century dental practice! Two surgeries were refurbished on time without any interruption of our clinics. A decent company and people to work with. Thank you.
Dr Ramin Hassani, Norfolk Square - Case Study

Project Management

“We had an 8 surgery build and fit-out project to be completed with tight time schedule and budget. Eclipse Dental was very professional throughout and their team of project managers, construction staff and engineers were able to complete the project very efficiently with great attention to detail.”
Queen Mary’s - Mr Mosoko Moffah

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