Put Patients at Ease with Creature Comforts
Many people struggle with dental anxiety – especially children. But if we can help ease a patient during their visit, they’re more likely to come back. Think about your favorite restaurant, or that cute bed and breakfast you love to visit. What makes those places so great is the way they make you feel – the attention to detail, the customer service, and little extras that make you feel special.
Any dentist can clean teeth. But the great ones differentiate themselves by making their offices inviting, and creating a relaxing experience for each patient. Dentists who can comfort anxious kiddos get extra points. And if you want to be the dentist that parents love, and tell their friends about, you’ll want to incorporate creature comforts into your office. Here’s how!
It all starts in the waiting room… This is a patient’s first experience with your practice, and you’ll want to make the right impression with a clean and orderly space. Both kids and adults will appreciate a few modest distractions while they wait. Current magazines, local newspapers and used books are great for grownups. As for the little ones, make their visit feel like a treat with anxiety reducing fidget toys and coloring books from SmileMakers. Take their minds off the upcoming treatment and occupy little hands while they wait!
The nose knows.
You’re probably already aware that wall colors and furniture should be clean and simple to keep patients relaxed. But you might not think about smells. Smell is a very powerful sense with the ability to evoke deep-seeded emotions. Some patients say that dental offices have a medicinal or chemical smell, and that can carry a negative connotation. Try a diffuser with lavender, rose or chamomile oils to help relax patients while they wait. It’ll make them feel like they’re going to a spa instead of getting a root canal.
Create an ambiance that makes procedures painless.
Waiting for your appointment is one thing, but actually going through the procedure is a whole different animal. Headphones can keep patients distracted with their favorite music or television show while helping to block the unpleasant sounds of drills and suctions. Even funny posters with wacky characters can get kids through routine cleanings or fillings. Protective eyewear can help those with light sensitivity stay comfortable. And for patients who need a little extra comfort or distraction, SmileMakers offers fidget spinners to play with and plush animals to squeeze! When you’re ready to wrap up the procedure, lip balms and hot towels go a long way, especially for older patients. An inexpensive hack… keep a slow cooker on a low setting filled with dampened, rolled towels. Patients will feel like they’re getting the star treatment!
End it on a great note!
Make sure patients leave your office wanting to come back. Talk to your staff to ensure you’re all aligned on customer service efforts. End every visit with a smile and a SmileMakers goodie bag filled with everything from toys to toothbrushes. Love social media? With the patient’s or a guardian's consent, use the opportunity to capture a happy moment and post to your page. It’s the little extras that make people feel special, so let them know you care.