Dental Practice Broker Articles
5 Quick Tips to Improve the Ambiance of Your Practice And Reduce Patient Anxiety
Tell me you didn’t have this experience when you were a child.
You’d find out you were going to the dentist, maybe you liked it, maybe you didn’t. Either way, your parents would drag you along for a check-up, and when you walked in, you felt a sudden surge of anxiety.
The lighting reminded you of an old horror movie, the sounds and smells quickly brought back memories of the drill, and suddenly the dentist’s office was the last place you wanted to be.
Though it’s probable that with your own practice, the associations you have with the dental office have changed, it’s important to remember that this could be happening inside the mind’s of your patients.
This is why when it comes to increasing the value of your dental practice and attracting patients in a competitive market, the atmosphere of your office plays a huge part in your patients’ experience.
Here are 5 ways to improve the ambiance of your dental office and helped reduce any anxiety that your patients may experience.
- Don’t try too hard to be a dental office.
Most dentists will try and mimic the competition and create a ‘nice dental office’, but remember that you want to distance yourself from any preconceptions that your patients may have.
Smell is the most primitive sense, and the one most attached to memory, so if it feels like a waiting room or smells particularly like a dental office, it can remind patients of childhood fears. Remember to maintain a professional environment but try something different like a calming aromatherapy diffuser filled with lavender or chamomile scented essential oils.
- Look at your lighting.
Natural light reminds people of open space and the outdoors and reduces any feelings of claustrophobia. Make sure your practice is well lit but also that it is not too bright and doesn’t have any lights pointing directly in the eyes of your patients.
- Give patients something to do.
The last thing people want to do in your waiting room is sit in silence and think about the dental procedure they’re about to have.
Make sure to keep interesting fine art on the walls, magazines and books to read, toys for children to play with – pretty much anything to divert their attention from any anxiety they might have.
- Take some tips from spas.
A trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, if you take some tips from the business model that spas use, it can even be relaxing.
You may want to introduce things like heated and scented towels, offer patients hot tea or water while they wait, and provide eye masks for those sitting in your waiting room. These small details can help relax and calm jittery nerves and can contribute to a patient’s positive dental experience.
- Consider your colors.
Changing the colors of the paint in your dental office is a quick and inexpensive way to help your patients feels more comfortable. Consider light shades, as opposed to dark, striking tones. Colors such as beige, light blue or sage green can all be particularly effective.
Whether you are looking to sell your practice or stay with it for years to come, it’s important to improve the atmosphere of the practice if you want to keep your patients satisfied.
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