How One San Francisco Practice Thrives in 1400 Square Feet

The story of Dr. Carlos Longa and Dr. Kimberlee Dickerson’s practice goes back to 2008 when they started working together at San Francisco’s Glen Park Dental.

The two were dating at the time. When Glen Park Dental’s owners decided to sell the business a few years later, Longa and Dickerson jumped at the opportunity and managed to buy the practice just four months before their wedding.  The new Glen Park Dental ran smoothly for the next decade until unexpected rent hikes in 2020 forced the couple to rethink their location.

Catalyst Q4 2023

The operatory easily fits the new dental chair & more compact cabinetry

Thanks to a patient, they were able to find another, albeit smaller property for sale two blocks away. Because of their connection to their patients and community, Longa knew purchasing the property was the right choice.

“We’re attached to the neighborhood; 80% of our patients live in the neighborhood. Spacing is tight, but it’s not insurmountable.”

Doing More With Less 2

The couple brought in Rick Deming from Burkhart to help reduce their footprint without downsizing the business. “Rick connected us to the architects he’d worked with in the past. We went through a number of iterations trying to figure out how we can get five chairs into 1400 square feet. I don’t know how we got wind of Burkhart, but it was probably one of the best things for our young practice.”

Doing More With Less

To make their 3-floor business fit in a significantly smaller space, they got creative. One strategy was swapping out bulky equipment with more compact options, replacing three of their five wall-mounted X-ray units with Vatech handheld X-rays.

They were also able to consolidate two labs into one by purging excess inventory. “We had a lot of cabinetry at the old location that was holding 15-year-old dental equipment or supplies that weren’t getting turned over. Now, it’s just utilizing those spaces more purposefully.”

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Reception Area of Glen Park Dental.

Even though square footage was lost, Burkhart ensured that quality wasn’t. “I know Rick fought hard with his manager at certain points to correct things that weren’t done to the level he or I wanted them. It wasn’t so much a business relationship as a friendship with Rick.”

Whether dealing with patients or business partners, Glen Park Dental has a history of being supported by good people. For other doctors opening a new practice, Longa says this is his number one tip, “Connect with peers who have done it before. I had a good friend who started the process probably six to eight months after we did. I was constantly giving him feedback as to what my experiences were.”

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CBCT and staff break area.

Longa and Dickerson continue to explore ways to streamline their practice, but overall, they’re very pleased with the new space. Not only have they been saving money and building equity, but they’ve also been able to take control of their business in ways they couldn’t before. And, of course, it looks great.

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Extra office space.

“Anytime a new patient came into our old office, they were like, wow, this is really nice. There was a waterfall in the center of the property that went from the second floor to the first floor. So, coming up with a space that was half the size but still had those qualities was a key feature. I feel like we accomplished that.”

To learn more about Glen Park Dental visit

Written by Danielle Janota

Published in CatalystQ4 2023.

Category: Equipment, Office Planning & Design

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