3 Tips for a Better Dental Office Atmosphere

Author: Dental Geek
08.17.12 / 11:04 am

Much of a patient’s time in a dental office is spent waiting. These 3 simple tips can help make the patient experience of either sitting in the waiting room or in the operatory before the dentist is ready, much better. During this waiting time the patient is likely looking around inspecting their surroundings. It’s important to keep this in mind, as the surrounding atmosphere will always be something that subconsciously contributes to a patient’s decision to come back for treatment.

Consider these 3 tips to give your practice an inexpensive cosmetic boost:

  1. Keep Signage Current: Although some patient education signs may still be relevant, such as how to properly brush, or an overview of dental implants, it’s important to keep these signs as current as possible. Something as minute as the date on the bottom left corner can turn a patient off and make them feel as though their doctor is not up-to-date with the latest medical information available. Colgate Professional actually offers a number of patient education tools on their website. Deliver some of these (or other available videos or brochures) to your patients on an iPad prior to treatment to continually stay current with the latest materials available.
  2. Color, Color, Color: Choosing a soothing wall color is a simple fix that can really brighten up a dental office and diminish tense feelings that may come with stark white walls that are reminiscent of a sterile hospital room. Like any room in an office or home, the color on the walls can impact a patient’s mood and comfort levels. Some soothing color choices to consider are shades of blue, yellow, or green.
  3. Simple Additions: The materials placed within your waiting room can set the stage for an upcoming appointment. Doing your best to calm your patients and make them comfortable and relaxed can help prevent fear and anxiety that can typically come with some dental visits. For instance, the sound of water running is known to prompt relaxation, so you might consider bringing in a small fountain. Light music in the background, rather than the abrasive sound of a newscast on the television is also a simple fix to provide additional patient comfort. Bringing a few fresh plants into your waiting room or operatory space also provides an inexpensive and quick upgrade. Contact The Eco-Dentistry Association for some more great tips on creating a serene space!

Implementing these minor changes into your practice can help enhance your patient’s experience and contribute to return visits. They’re cost-effective ways to bring a new, bright feel to your space without killing time and money with a complete design overhaul. Do you have any additional tips to help create the most ideal atmosphere for your dental patients?


Dental Geek

Dental Geek

6 responses to “3 Tips for a Better Dental Office Atmosphere”

  1. Love the article! I believe that it is very important to create a comfortable atmosphere for your patients. Making a place they will feel at home and want to come back to. Thanks for sharing.
    Ross@ Teeth in one day

  2. Thanks for reading, Ross! You’re right, comfort is key here. It’s the little things that can really change the patient’s perception of their dentist!

  3. These are great ideas. Some items that we provide in our dental office is a beverage station with teas, coffee, hot chocolate, bottle water, and juice. We also have pillows, covers, and handheld cd players with headphones in each operatory. Our patients really love it.

  4. I appreciate what you said about keeping signage up to date in a dental office. For some reason whenever I’ve visited a dental office in the past or even a hospital and they have old magazines or old advertisements up it is really off-putting. I also never thought to include things like fountains to increase the comfort level of your dental office rather than the news playing.

  5. Your article is so reflective of the current trend in a dental practice. Good comfortable surrounding means less stressful patients. Well written article.

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