Whether the average healthcare professional wants to admit it or not, a significant number of patients find a visit to the dental office a little intimidating and somewhat off-putting. Still, the ordeal is a necessary part of dental health. With a little forethought time and effort, a stress-free environment can be achieved in the office. Here are just a few suggestions on dental office design to help get you reduce the anxiety in your waiting room.
Install comfortable seating
No matter how short the wait, your patients will appreciate a comfortable chair. Let them relax a little before the start of the procedure and they will remain relaxed throughout it. A selection of individual chairs and sofas is also recommended as it allows people to sit by themselves or comfort a distraught child. Another important factor to keep in mind when picking furniture is that your patients should not be spending more than 15 minutes in them.
Provide interesting reading material
Magazines and informative brochures not only keep the mind occupied but also allow nervous hands to busy themselves while waiting. In many cases, the stories in magazines can also encourage conversation among patients in the waiting room. In itself, this social interaction a very effective way of relieving the stress inherent in an office situation. Remember to keep the magazines timely, for they may bring discredit to your practice.
Use a muted decor
The overall color of the decor is also an important factor to consider. A particularly soft hue is the best choice, such as a beige or pastel color. A somewhat outlandish color like purple and orange will work, to convey a warm and inviting atmosphere. Also do not forget the floor material as wood and carpet can both be used effectively to add a subtle ambiance to any office space.
Add audio and/or video
The “sounds of silence” do not work well in a dental office environment. Instead, the white noise of nature such as rain and birds or the gentle strains of classical music can overpower any of those strident, fear-inducing noises that come from a busy dental office. Similarly, a video wall with closed captioning serves the same purpose. Both are simply intended to distract the patient while they wait.
Do not overlook the sense of smell
The science of aromatherapy has already taught us that the sense of smell has a distinct effect on the well-being, both physical and mental, of an individual. This offers a great effect in a dental office by filling the space with the smell of something reviving like flowers or fresh-brewed coffee. Both smells work wonders to create a sense of home and will sooth a nervous heart.
Consider an aquarium
Children especially love this solution. The fish are brightly colored, move about freely to occupy their eyes and their minds. Adults love them too as the fish are quite soothing in their movements. While this may seem to be a somewhat expensive option, a freshwater aquarium with many brightly colored fish can be installed for under $300 and maintained for less than $30 per month, a very affordable option.
For more information on creating the ideal, stress-free dental office for your patients, please contact us at HJT Dental Office Design. We can found online at HJTDesign.com or reached directly at 866.213.1268.