Join us for our newest episode of our Sunday Brunch with Kappler and SurfCT In today’s episode, we invited Dr. Mike Fisher and Dr. Marisa Zitterich froM FISHER & ZITTTERICH Dentistry in Texas. Hear about their experience with building a new dental office.

Transcription below:

Paul Vigario: Good Morning Everyone!

Julia Kappler: How’s everyone doing today?

Dr. Fisher: Very good. How are you?

Julia Kappler: Good! Yeah! We’re happy to have our special guests today. So Dr. Fisher and Dr. Zitterich, thanks for joining us today!

Dr. Zitterich: Thanks for having us!

Julia Kappler: Yeah, absolutely. We have Holger on here, Paul on here, myself, every weekend. We just want to have a conversation with you guys to hear how your business is going, how your practice is going. So we’ll jump right into it!

Holger Kappler: Would you mind to give us a short introduction on where you’re from, what you’re doing, just so we get to know that.

Dr. Zitterich: So we are located in Rockwall, Texas, and we are a private practice, so family cosmetic and implant practice. And we joined together four years ago. So we partnered together and we realized really quickly that we ran out of space in our old location. So we started this process a little over two years ago of building our dream office. So here we are, you can see it slightly, the reception room behind us, and we’re really happy. We love being in it now, and things are a little different and unique with the current worldly problems around us, but we’re working through it.

Julia Kappler: Okay, great. So you’re a unique combination. So you’re two partners…

Holger Kappler: We still have Mike! We still have Mike!

Dr. Fisher: Oh no, the major introduction is right here. No, I’m Mike Fisher. And again, I’ve now been doing this for 30 years.

Holger Kappler: Did you say 30, you said 30 right?

Dr. Fisher: 30 years.

Holger Kappler: I think it’s worth just to repeat it. 30 years!

Paul Vigario: Dr. Mike you look super young. I mean, I’m serious.

Dr. Fisher: I mean, it’s mostly the soft filter on the camera. What I would love to do, and I realized as I’m looking at the view, cause this is one of our favorite rooms. When Holger and Julia first started designing our office, this room was the first thing we saw, the very first thing that they showed us.

And so I’m going to tilt the camera up, which will be a little awkward for a moment. And I want you to see the ceiling treatment that they did. Yeah! And so, this is what really, really captured our attention and really just sold us on what they were doing. So just wanted everybody to see that.

Paul Vigario: Yeah, no, that’s beautiful. That’s really nice. And it’s nice and open and airy. And I was going to ask, and I think you kind of answered the question, but I was going to ask, how do Texas doctors end up with European designers? That’s so cool! You know, that’s so cool.

Dr. Fisher: Well, we thought they were Texans from the accent. We didn’t realize it!

Holger Kappler: I never heard that story!

Dr. Fisher: We’ll claim them as honorary Texans if they’ll claim us as honorary Germans. We met actually through our Dentsply Sirona rep. So about two and a half, almost three years ago now. We were at Dentsply Sirona World and, funny story now, but it didn’t start out that way.

We went there with our design for the office and we had captured the external vision of the office very quickly. We kind of knew what we wanted to do out there, and it’s really kind of a fun melding of the local architecture we have here in Rockwall with that kind of Germanic, hometown town, square kind of buildings.

So it’s got a clock tower and some decorative features outside. So we landed on the external look very quickly. We really struggled with our architect on the internal floor plan. I mean, we truly did. We went back and forth for six months and he kept coming back with ideas and he’s a great guy, nice guy, but he just didn’t have the artistic sense for the internal design of a dental office.

And he was very much the paradigm that 99% of dental offices in America are with the dual entry and the very, very traditional layout. So we were struggling with that. And we went to Dentsply Serona World and had our floor plan on this same Mac book, and we met Julia and Holger at lunch through the Dentsply Serona rep and we sat down and we very proudly opened up our Mac book to say, “here’s where we are.”

And we were going to hope that he would give us some ideas for cabinets. And Holger had that exact same smile on his face for about three minutes and didn’t say a single word. I’ll let Dr. Z pick it up from there because that’s where it got kind of fun.

Dr. Zitterich: Yeah. So we knew that we were not fully satisfied with where we’re playing was at that moment, but we thought that we were 90% there and that we were going to be making some tweaks.

And within seconds of Holger looking at it and Julia, they had recommendations on how everything that we were currently designing within the floor plan was already outdated. And so if we’re building an office that we want to last for the rest of his career and the rest of mine, for the next 30 plus years, we needed to have something that was forward-thinking.

And so obviously just trying to minimize wasted space and maximizing the areas that you know, are really important. Having a nice big reception room, a really nice working area. How many consult rooms to have, how big the lab is supposed to be. Even down to the layout of the doctor’s offices, we had talked about having one big doctor’s office and then having multiple doctors in there and Holger, had some really nice insight on splitting them up and, and having, you know, we’ll be at different phases of life and having our own separate offices. And so instantly within that first sit down conversation, we knew that we were with the right people that were going to be able to completely take over and make sure that we had the right office to last for a lifetime.

And so we just love the modern look like what you’re saying, there’s nothing around us that’s like this. When you walk into other dental offices, you just are praying to leave as quickly as possible. And when people walk into ours, they love it. We even have people that will sit out here and drink coffee and just kind of enjoy the time and being here.

So we will have it.

Paul Vigario: Yeah, that’s wonderful. I mean, your backdrop there looks absolutely amazing. And one thing I’m picking up from what you’re saying is that you know, again, your architect was a friendly guy, nice guy, struggling with the layout and you guys actually have not only a beautiful design now, but you actually have a functional layout and it’s that function, right?

Like not just beautiful looking, but actually functional for the way you guys want. And I’m just picking that up on my end. I can see that coming through.

Dr. Fisher: I would love to speak to anybody that’s contemplating single entry versus dual entry. I was a very late adopter because after almost 30 years of doing this and every dental office I’ve ever worked in had two entrances in and out of the room, it was so normal.

I couldn’t even conceive of something different.

Julia Kappler: Yeah.

Dr. Fisher: So if we were initiating our relationship with Holger and Julia, we actually went and toured other offices. We went up to Wisconsin, saw an office there. We went out to California toured some offices and everywhere that we walked into had single entry.

It was so unusual, but it was so instantly, right. And that’s kind of a weird thing because sometimes we have to really, really sell yourself something. It was such a rapid, “Oh my gosh. How did we never think of this before?” Because we thought we’d done this for a while. And so we instantly signed on with the idea of single entry.

And so we went to Holger and Julia initially thinking, we’re just going to look for some cabinetry. Cause we loved their sleek, beautiful white clean cabinetry, and it was instantly, Oh my gosh, it’s not the cabinetry. It’s the space that cabinetry goes in. And yes, the cabinetry is incredibly important, but everything else is, it’s so important as well.

So, we love single entry rooms. I could not imagine going back, and I would tell anybody that’s, in fact, we’ve talked to a number of people, you know, recently that Holger and Julia have been in contact with. And I would tell anybody if you’re thinking about single entry versus dual entry, just stop thinking about it because I promise you’ll never want to go back after you have private rooms that feel so different in price.

Dr. Zitterich: And I’ll add to that when they first mentioned single entry, in the back of my mind, I’m like, no, absolutely not.

Dr. Fisher: Actually I think she said that in the front of her mind too.

Dr. Zitterich: Dentists can sometimes be particular and they have things in their head on how they want it. And I’m just so thankful because just from our, our old office where we did have that dual entry, now, when the door is shut, I mean, it affects my stress level, just not knowing or hearing other conversations or things happening behind me.

I’m just so focused and relaxed and I can turn the music up if I want. And it’s just been absolutely wonderful and very private and more upscale concierge-type field.

Holger Kappler: We really love to hear that. And one thing, I think that we all remember especially Julia – when I was talking so directly to you about that maybe not being the right plan. I think I did not say it that nicely. I think I said it way more direct.

Dr. Fisher: The word was in German, so we didn’t know exactly what it meant!

Holger Kappler: Two or three people underneath the table kicked me.

Julia Kappler: We really did! I kicked his leg because I was like, “Oh my God, this is too German right now! Settle down!”

Paul Vigario: I love the authenticity you get out of Holger. There’s no question about it.

Dr. Fisher: They’ve become very dear friends. They’ve had insights and things that we’ve valued that honestly, we didn’t even know we would early on, case in point cause Holger was so prescient on this.

When we talked about having a place to launder scrubs in the office. Here in the US traditionally, everybody everywhere wore their scrubs in and out of the office and we’d go to lunch in scrubs and we’d go home and scrubs, and it was our absolute norm.

Amazingly he foresaw what was becoming with the COVID crisis before anybody else because you said, I can’t believe you’re wearing scrubs out of the office and we thought, well, everybody else does. And so with the COVID crisis, we instantly, we already had the laundry room ready, we had changing rooms ready for the team.

It was seamless for us to completely change our paradigm in a moment. So when we reopened after our two-month closure, which is a whole other story, being closed for two months was not the most fun thing after just moving in. But instantly it was so easy because we already had everything in place from their design and recommendation where everyone wears their street clothes to the office.

We change here, we change before we go home, and it’s seamless and works beautifully.

Paul Vigario: Yeah, that’s really nice. That’s really nice. Yeah. There are so many options and functionality built-in that you don’t even know until like you, you need it and then, you know, cause it was already thought of. Right?

Dr. Fisher: Well, and there are things you don’t know, you know, until, you know. Again, after my 30 years, I’ve been at three different offices.

Two of which I had a hand in outfitting and designing, so to speak, which meant, you know, creating a floor plan. And those were usually done in conjunction with a traditional dental equipment company. We all know how that works. They take the very traditional model of putting all these things in this space and that’s what we get and they were functional, but they were terribly inefficient.


Stay tuned and don’t miss our next Video about dental office design.