5 Ways To Improve Your Dental Waiting Room
Your waiting room is the first impression most patients get of your dental practice. If your waiting room has outdated furniture or a dull aesthetic, it won't reflect well on your staff and can negatively impact how patients perceive your clinic. If you're ready to make a change, consider these 5 tips to improve your dental waiting room, optimize patient comfort, and transform how everyone experiences your healthcare practice.
1. Update Your Waiting Room Décor
You want this space to feel clean and welcoming, helping patients feel comfortable and at ease while they wait for their appointment. There are many practical ways to update your dental office furnishings and design. Here are some of the simplest, most popular ideas:
- Add plants around the room
- Replace worn, outdated furniture
- Hang intriguing artwork on the walls
- Ensure there's plenty of light
- Don't be afraid to add a pop of color
2. Focus on the Waiting Room Layout
An easy way to significantly improve your dental waiting room involves focusing on the overall layout. Does the space have enough furniture and room to fit everyone comfortably? Does the floor plan strike an appropriate balance between openness and privacy?
Your waiting area plays a significant role in helping patients enjoy their dental visits. By focusing on the layout, you'll provide an inviting, comfortable atmosphere that accommodates everyone. Some excellent ways to instantly improve your waiting room's design include:
- Using a variety of furniture: You don't only have to be stuck with the traditional box-arm guest chairs. Consider adding variety to your waiting room with couches, loveseats, and maybe even something less traditional like a beanbag chair.
- Ensuring adequate seating: Nobody likes standing around awkwardly while they wait for their appointment. Make sure your waiting area has plenty of seating for everyone.
- Leaving room for personal space: Don't just arrange your furniture haphazardly—consider personal space. Parents will likely want to sit close to their children, but most patients won't want to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with total strangers.
3. Provide Beverages and Snacks
When patients arrive at your dental practice, they're often stressed out and restless. You can help anxious patients calm down by providing a selection of beverages and snacks. This idea can greatly improve your dental waiting room and encourage patients to enjoy the wait, especially long ones around lunchtime.
Adding a small table or countertop with food items doesn't take much time, effort, or expense. You can also install a mini-fridge to keep drinks cool and provide tea and coffee. As you think about offering snacks and beverages in your waiting room, consider the following:
- Avoid sugary snacks. Having variety is great, but not if it affects your patient's oral health and goes against everything the dentist recommends.
- Be aware of allergies. Some patients may have severe allergies to peanuts or dairy products. Try not to provide snacks that may put your patients at risk.
- Keep a trash can handy. You'll want a large trash can nearby so that patients can dispose of their waste and keep the waiting area clean.
4. Offer High-Speed Guest Wi-Fi
Offering high-speed Wi-Fi in your dental waiting room is a must if you want your practice to provide a modern experience. Most patients will probably whip out their smartphones as soon as they sit down to check social media, read through work-related emails, or play games. You can help them enjoy the wait by providing free guest Wi-Fi.
Is your dental office's waiting area working well, but do you still struggle with dental production? At Dental Intelligence, we offer insights to pinpoint the problem and devise solutions to fit more patients into your schedule or offer more dental services to each patient. Check out our tips on how to increase dental production.
5. Add Activities and Play Areas
Let's face it—sitting in a waiting room for an hour is no one's idea of a good time. You can provide fun ways for your patients to pass the time by adding activities for adults and play areas for the kids. Examples of waiting room activities include:
- Magazines with local travel articles
- A TV tuned to the sports channel
- Crossword puzzles and Sudokus
- Games like Jenga or Connect Four
Improve Your Dental Practice Today
An enjoyable trip to the dentist's office starts with a well-designed dental waiting room. At Dental Intelligence, we provide the state-of-the-art tools and up-to-date resources you need to make that (and much more) happen. If you're looking at significant changes, learn more about how to simplify patient adoption of new technology to help the transition go smoothly.