According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019 64.9% of U.S. adults visited the dentist in the past year.
Dental visits are vital for ensuring oral health, however, as the statistic shows, not everybody regularly goes to the dentist. Luckily there are several things you can do to encourage your patients to make regular dental appointments, such as improving your dental office waiting room.
Read on to learn the simple but effective ways you can transform your waiting room so your patients feel more comfortable.
6 Transformational Dental Office Waiting Room Ideas
A poorly designed dental office waiting room can add to the anxiety your patients feel when they visit your practice. That’s why it’s important to think about how your waiting area can put your patients at ease and give them the right first impression of your practice. The good news is that even with a few simple changes, your waiting room could be transformed.
1. Paint Your Waiting Room
A fresh lick of paint can go a long way for transforming a space. This is also true with dental office waiting rooms. But you might want to think carefully before selecting your color.
The best color for dental office waiting rooms is calming colors. Neutral colors such as beige can help to promote calmness, which is perfect for reducing anxiety in your patients. You might also decide to complement your waiting room with lighter colors such as light blue to help create an even more peaceful environment.
2. Update Your Waiting Room
Modern dental office waiting rooms implement the latest technology to ensure patient visits are more rewarding and relaxing. Adding digital signage, playing videos about dental procedures, or creating a quick digital sign-in are all ways that you can modernize your practice.
Digital signage gives your patients something to look at while they wait, which might help speed the wait up. Videos about dental procedures can provide your patients with vital information about what they can expect during their visit. It might also be a good opportunity for you to show your patients what services you offer.
And a digital sign-in offers your patients a quick and easy option when they arrive. This can help reduce the time they need to spend queueing at the front desk.
3. Add Entertainment
If your dental practice caters to families then you need to make sure you have entertainment that appeals to all. This means magazines might be a good option for parents, while some toys or games are a good option for their children.
But you don’t need to stop there, as we’re in the digital age. Many patients will want to go on their smartphones while they wait, so you could add free WiFi. You might also want to think about device charging stations and offering those without smartphones the chance to browse on your tablets.
4. Make It Fit for Purpose
We mentioned painting the walls beige, but remember you need to make your dental office waiting room fit for purpose. Think about who your patients are and what they want. You might also want to ask your patients for feedback on how their experience is and what you can do to improve.
Families will prefer a more homely feel and will enjoy the touch of interactive things to do while they wait. While practices that offer more premium services should think about a more luxury dental office waiting room design and finish. For example, more high-end practices should have the latest technology, ease of appointment making and confirming, and luxury seating.
Not sure what your dental office design should look like? Then check out this great guide for inspiration on the most effective dental office design.
5. Increase Comfort
Your dental office waiting room chairs must be comfortable to sit on. Some of your patients may have to wait long periods of time, so it’s important to think about which chairs will offer the most comfort.
It might be a good idea to incorporate a variety of seating arrangements. Families will prefer to have a communal seating area, where they can sit together and parents can keep an eye on their children. While individuals might prefer more privacy.
Different chair options can also help your waiting room cater to the needs of your patients. For example, you might have some softer chairs with padded cushions and some harder chairs which can help with posture.
But comfort in a dental office waiting room isn’t only about where your patients sit, it’s also about the feel of the room. That’s why you might decide to add some plants to your waiting room or add some calming fragrance to your room, such as lavender.
6. Decorate Walls With Educational Content
Your patients will spend at least 15 minutes in your waiting room, so why not offer them a little education? Decorating your walls with relevant dental content can help educate them on dental practices, oral health, and the procedures you offer. It is also a great way for them to pass the time if they don’t want to engage with other entertainment.
You might also want to include information about your appointments. For example, a first-time patient might be anxious because they don’t know what to expect, so a step-by-step guide about what will happen can help put their mind at ease.
Transform Your Dental Office Waiting Room Now
As you can see, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars transforming your dental office waiting room. All it takes is a few small changes here and there to ensure your patients are comfortable and satisfied with their experience. Remember that it’s all about putting your patients first, so if you aren’t sure what to change ask for their feedback.
Discover some of our other articles to find out more about how you can improve your dental practice.