How to Create an Inviting Waiting Room at Your Dental Practice

How to Create an Inviting Waiting Room at Your Dental Practice
September 1, 2017 Vividus Admin

An inviting waiting room is an essential element of any patient’s visit to your dental practice.

A well designed dental waiting room can have a number of benefits, from inspiring your patients to return to enhancing their overall comfort.

Here are some simple ways you can create a memorable waiting room at your practice.

1. You had me at ‘hello’

A cost-free exercise to incorporate into your waiting room, if it’s not being done already, is for reception to offer a friendly greeting to customers as they arrive. It instantly makes people feel welcome and puts them at ease. Good communication in general is vital for creating a good patient-practice bond. Encouraging your staff to get to know your patients and learn about their interests, hobbies and families will make them feel like no other dentist knows them as well.

2. Introduce more appealing music

Background music is a must in your waiting room, but what should it be? Playing FM radio is generally not a good idea because of the ad breaks which can be jarring to patient’s ears and set them on edge, and connecting up your iPod or using a radio streaming site is also a no-no according to industry experts. With a little searching you can find an upbeat work playlist, with appropriate music for a dental office on Spotify.

Alternatively, many dental practices overseas are turning to custom channels that can play an extensive, fresh daily mix of music, with a broad range of songs and range of styles in each playlist. This ensures no song is played twice, which your staff will appreciate!

3. Ditch the fluorescents

With the myriad of lighting options out there, relying on fluorescent lighting is outdated and feels harsh and artificial. How you light your waiting room can really affect patient experience so it’s a key design element you should really take advantage of.

Offer changes in light level, rather than a blaring overhead fluorescent light because it’s cheap. The right lighting should create ambience, so think sconces and pendants, as well as uplights and track lights.

4. Wifi and active waiting

Patients are usually taking time out of their work day to visit, so offering free Wifi will be a welcome service. It also stops them getting fidgety if you’re running over time for their appointment. Providing interesting reading material outside the average Women’s Day magazines will help them participate in ‘active waiting’ which feels shorter than sitting there watching the clock.

5. Pampering perks

A recent photo posted on Instagram shows how popular pampering is and how it can be used to great effect in a waiting room. While a massage chair in a dental office is an interesting concept (and will get you lots of Instagram interest), introducing pampering perks such as a free coffee bar or a mini bar with complimentary water, are small ways to give your patients an enjoyable waiting room experience.

6. Design for clientele

Last but not least, consider incorporating design and furniture to your waiting room that reflects your practice values. If you’re using cutting edge techniques, and are based in the city, go for modern clean lines with a pop of colour and interesting artwork.

If families make up a large part of your clientele then have a child-friendly area where parents can entertain kids without bothering others. Different seating arrangements are also preferable if you have the space, so people have a choice of where they want to sit.

It’s also important to consider your dental equipment. It may seem more like a technical requirement, as opposed to an aesthetic feature, but to your patient’s eye a dental chair for example can be either appealing or incite fear. Make sure that if your patient’s can see down hallways or into your procedure rooms from the waiting room that they look inviting and modern. The last thing you want is a dark room at the end of the hall that amplifies anxieties about going to the dentist.

Ready to upgrade your dental equipment? Contact us today to find out how we can help you take your practice to the next level.