It’s no secret that visiting the dentist is not usually a preferred activity for the general population. Studies show that 36% of Americans fear going to the dentist, with 12% having extreme dental anxiety. An apprehension to visit the dentist can lead to detrimental outcomes for oral health and overall well-being, creating a greater need to visit the dentist, and resulting in a self-perpetuating loop. Given that a considerable percentage of the population has some anxiety around visiting the dentist, it’s a great idea to explore a couple of key elements to make your practice feel welcoming, safe, and trusted, thereby positively impacting the patients and increasing the number of regular visits.
1. Atmosphere Through Impression
The first thing patients see when they enter your practice is the reception desk and the waiting room area. Having front desk staff who immediately acknowledge the patient and who are warm and inviting creates a great first impression. Greeting the patient by name and sincerely inquiring about how they are doing is a great way to contribute to an environment where everyone feels welcomed. A patient with dental anxiety who feels ignored upon arrival will only have their anxiety increase, so checking in with the patient right away can help to assuage the apprehension.
As the client makes their way to the waiting room after check-in, consider having furniture that isn’t just office chairs—which can feel cold and sterile. You may wish to have club chairs or couches instead which will allow patients to relax while they wait. Having a self-serve beverage station with water or green tea available can help to calm patients, as well as alleviate any dry mouth they may be experiencing. Further inviting elements such as a minor water feature, fish tank, or live plants can add that additional layer of hospitality, communicating to patients that you are glad they are there and care about their experience.
2. Meet Clients Where They’re At
Everyone comes to the dental office with their own set of prior experiences and expectations. Approaching every patient as unique will help them feel like you understand their needs and can address their concerns. Informing the patient what you are doing/the procedure you are performing at each step of the appointment will help to ease the patient and control any potential over-thinking they may be doing. Ensuring the patient’s comfort in the chair position, as well as having a blanket on hand if needed are additional, simple touches, that will help to set the experience at your dental office above others.
3. Clients Trust an Online Presence
Ensuring your online presence is one that is a fulsome “snapshot” of the personality of your practice, as well as your dynamic team, will help to encourage patients to visit (and return to) your dental office. Staying up to date with reviews, and having a consistent social media presence with timely, knowledgeable, and helpful information will help to convey that you are a trustworthy practice that cares about its patients. Your expertise is in dentistry—leaving the management of your online footprint to us helps to ensure you can focus on what matters most, patient care!
We excel at dental marketing, and we are in your corner! We have the tools and resources to help propel your business to the next level! From marketing to staffing, we have you covered! Find us on Facebook or give us a call at 561.777.2439 to see how we can optimize your practice!