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When your new patients come into your dental office for the first time, they often come with different experiences. Some patients feel at ease while others may be on edge. Many adults and children alike feel uncomfortable in a dentist’s office, not only due to feelings of vulnerability but also due to the fear of being judged for poor cleanliness. Regardless of where your patients fall on the comfort scale, there are ways to make your office feel inviting to new patients from the get-go.

Give Office Tours

You may think your dental office is unique, but that might not be the case for new dental patients. Being familiar with something provides comfort, so be sure to offer new patients an in-depth tour of your office. Giving new patients a tour of your office gives them the opportunity to get to know the staff and become familiar with the office. Tours are also a great way to give your credibility a boost by showcasing the dental technology you have. This is also a great time to make sure your patients understand how your billing system works, and any membership programs you may have. Make the payment process as intuitive and easy as possible- most patients of the younger generation prefer online payment methods to calling or mailing in checks or bills.

Refrain from Having Harsh Lighting

Making sure your patients are visually comfortable is important too. If the lighting is too bright, it can cause people to feel disoriented or have headaches—especially as they stare up at the ceiling from a dental chair. Instead, use gentle lighting to create a calm and soothing environment for your patients. While having natural light is a good thing, too much of it can be a bad thing due to the glare it can produce. Think about your ceiling tiles and the fact that many of your patients will be looking up at them for a long time. Create interesting patterns with soothing colors, and make sure the ceiling is clean.

Turn Up the Heat

Some patients may have had an experience where the dentist office was cold or too drafty for their liking. No one wants to sit in chilly temperatures while waiting to have their teeth looked at. While cool air promotes a sterile environment and can keep patients calm, blasting cold air can go so far as to ruin your reputation as a good dentist. Having the proper heating installation will provide patients, both new and old, with a comfortable feeling. Pay attention especially to how the air pressure and heat change when moving from the office to the examination room to the receptionist area. You may not be aware of how drastically the heat or cooling can change in your office.

Purchase New Furniture

First impressions are very important, especially for a dental office. In fact, the furniture you have in the office can say a lot about your practice as a whole. If you have uncomfortable and possibly damaged furniture, it will put your patients on high alert. It’s also worth mentioning that the comfortable furniture shouldn’t end in the waiting area. Make sure to incorporate it into your operating and testing rooms as well. Try to have matching furniture throughout the office, and consider matching it to the color and style of the whole space.

Final Thoughts

Patients will be creating judgments about your office even before they step inside- if the parking lot is cramped or full of litter, or if the front walkway or even doorway is littered with posters, it will send a message about your practice. Even if you don’t have complete control over the outside space, for instance, if you share space with other offices, think about going the extra mile to create a welcome environment before your patients even enter the office. Follow these tips to make sure your dental office is as comfortable as possible and put a smile on your patients’ faces.

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