High tech meets cosy comfort in a Parisian clinic

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Located in a quiet street in the 11th arrondissement in Paris, the entrance to Dr Esther Azoulay’s new clinic could easily go unnoticed. But the modesty stops at the threshold − once you enter, you immediately notice that the interior is quite out of the ordinary. With stone walls and skylight windows combined with the latest technology, the result manages to be both cosy and classy at the same time.

“I wanted the clinic to reflect my personality,” says Dr Azoulay. “The space used to be a yoga studio, and I was looking to maintain its warmth and charm, but at the same time I wanted space and comfort. After all, this is where I spend most of my time. I also wanted my patients to feel cosy and at home. They have been quite impressed with the place, which has been nice to notice.”

Taking the leap from associate to business owner

Dr Azoulay has been working as an orthodontist since 2015. After several years working as an associate for different practices, she decided to take a risk and set up her own business. 

“I am under the impression that many dentists of my generation prefer to work as associates and avoid the stress of being a business owner. But my good friend Marine Bonhomme from Planmeca’s distributor Maison de Création Dentaire really encouraged me to proceed with my plan. I also happened to know an architect, so I decided to take the leap.” 

After having found the perfect location – “I fell in love with the place immediately,” she says – everything happened rather quickly, but not without a few setbacks. First, the space needed to undergo major structural renovations and had to be rendered accessible to people with disabilities. The renovation started in March 2020, just before lockdown, facing several delays along the way. Finally, Dr Azoulay was able to open her clinic last November.

An ideal time for orthodontic treatment

Dr Azoulay, who loves working with children and says that they were the reason she decided to specialise in orthodontics in the first place, points out that the demand for adult orthodontics has increased considerably. 

“The pandemic has been an ideal time for orthodontic treatments, since people are wearing masks anyway. I have been treating a lot of young adult patients with aligners or even braces.”

For the time being, Dr Azoulay is the only orthodontist working at the clinic, but she is looking to expand. “I have always worked in big teams, so I would like to find an associate and at least three dental assistants. Right now, it is just me and one assistant, but I like it when there is life in a clinic, lots of people and interaction.” 

“Planmeca is a benchmark brand”

For her new clinic, Dr Azoulay ended up choosing Planmeca’s equipment. “I think Planmeca is a benchmark brand that stands for reliability and great ergonomics.” 

Dr Azoulay decided to purchase three Planmeca dental units at once, even though she only works with two of them for the time being. She uses one for new patients and longer treatment sessions and the other one for dental check-ups and taking digital impressions.

Two of the dental units are placed side by side in the same treatment room – the plan is to seat siblings in them for faster treatments. “I like to keep a dynamic rhythm in what I’m doing.

Planmeca dental units are also great for “petites siestes”

For Dr Azoulay, the most important factors when purchasing three dental units at once were good working ergonomics and good value for money.

 “Since I have had shoulder issues in the past, I was looking for a dental unit with over-the-patient delivery, and Planmeca had the best solution for me. Planmeca Compact™ i3 is ergonomic, comfortable and simple to use with a large movement range. I like the beauty and simplicity of the design. The right to left hand conversion is also very practical. Right now I work alone, but once I have more colleagues, this will be a great feature.”

“The dental units are also perfectly comfortable for taking little afternoon naps,” she adds, laughing.

The Planmeca ProMax® 2D imaging unit and the Planmeca Romexis® software were the clinic’s choices for cephalometric imaging.  “The imaging unit is very easy to use and the software is brilliant. I have also been happy with the user training and after sales service provided by Planmeca’s distributor. I can always reach someone in case I need any help. Although everything is so intuitive to use that I rarely do.”

A big adventure in great company

“It’s great not to feel all alone when one begins a big adventure like this,” Dr Azoulay says, referring to the help she received from her friend Marine Bonhomme at Maison de Création Dentaire.  “Marine had lots of ideas because she is used to organising projects like these. She really helped me with equipment choices and definitely knows her dental units.”

According to Marine Bonhomme, the two know each other from attending the same dental events in Paris. “Our paths crossed again at Journées de l’orthodontie (Orthodontic Congress) in 2019, where Esther told me about her project and that she had found a yoga studio which she was planning to renovate with the help of an architect and a contractor. I visited the place and thought it was really special and different. The plan was to keep and accentuate all the details of the place.”

The two realised that they had much in common besides dentistry – motherhood, age, interests – and have been friends ever since.

A clinic where all patients feel at home

“Our job at Maison de Création Dentaire is to accompany our customers from A to Z in their project and to find the right professionals for each stage, meaning an architect, a contractor, an IT specialist − you name it. And of course, we help them with all the technical requirements of dental equipment and find out the customer’s working preferences to be able to propose the right solutions,” Marine Bonhomme explains.

In Dr Azoulay’s clinic, preserving beautiful details such as the original stone walls required some creative thinking.  “In order to answer to the strict infection control requirements of a clinic environment, we decided to cover the walls with glass for protection.”

Marine Bonhomme adds that it is always gratifying to see the end result of a long project and to see the customer enjoy it, too.  “When I see Esther thriving in her new clinic and loving her new working tools, it just makes me really happy.”

 “My clinic is a very warm and friendly place. I think I have the best profession in the world and I want everyone to feel good when they visit my clinic,” Dr Azoulay concludes.


Dr Esther Azoulay


Marine Bonhomme, Maison de Création Dentaire


Copy: Hanna Korlin
Images: Sébastien Ruat

Planmeca Oy and Planmeca Group
Planmeca Oy is one of the world's leading dental equipment manufacturers with a product range covering digital dental units, CAD/CAM solutions, world-class 2D and 3D imaging devices and comprehensive software solutions. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Planmeca’s products are distributed in over 120 countries worldwide. With a strong commitment to pioneering innovations and design, it is the largest privately held company in its field. Planmeca Oy is part of the Finnish Planmeca Group, which operates in the field of healthcare technology.  The Group's turnover in 2019 was MEUR 770, and it employs nearly 2,800 people worldwide.