Dental Visit or Dental Experience—There’s a Huge Difference
Dental professionals don’t just care about replacing crowns or the number of dental caries they fill in one day. Above everything else, they care about their patients. That’s why dentists and hygienists from every corner of the world are looking at treatment from a “What can I do to make my patients more comfortable?” perspective. And when I say “comfortable,” I don’t mean they’re adding 1,000 fill down pillows to their waiting rooms. I mean they’re actually investing in expensive technologies, such as dental lasers, that help create ideal environments for the patient who fears local anesthesia or the unfortunate sounds that creep out of exam rooms. Just thinking about both are enough to send someone running in the opposite direction of anyone with a bright smile and precision lenses around his or her neck.
Okay, back to the whole idea of defining “comfort.” Some dentists very well could be upping the atmosphere of their practice by providing patients with down pillows—maybe even blankets, too—while they wait for their turn in the chair. In that case, is it a practice or something else?
…Let’s go with something else.
Ever heard of the term “dental spa?” It’s a real thing and many dentists are converting their once white and sterile walls into this phenomenon. Forget the lasers and other accommodating technologies for a moment, and wrap your head around the fact that there are spas and then there are dental spas—and they’re basically one and the same!
According to Consumer Guide to Dentistry, dental spas may offer massage therapy, reflexology, aromatherapy, complimentary beverages and snacks, and heated hand mitts. Can you imagine? One day patients perceive dental visits as their personal nemesis, and the next they can’t wait to go back for a paraffin wax hand treatment. It’s like the twilight zone and former beliefs about “the dentist” may never be seen or heard from again.
The dental spa—is it the solution to a decrease in oral health diseases and the key to healthier mouths in general? Only time will tell. But for now, all we know is how much patients love the experience, and if the dental spa ran for president, it would get everyone’s vote.