How to Improve Patient Experience in Your Dental Office

For your dental practice to thrive, patients need to feel comfortable coming to your office again and again. 

Not everyone enjoys visiting the dentist, and many patients have a choice of practices to receive care from. So, to provide the best possible care and to maintain a prosperous practice, it’s essential to provide an excellent patient experience. 

Dental Office Features that Improve the Patient Experience

To ensure that your patients aren’t one-time visitors, go the extra mile to provide comfortable and convenient care.

What are some features of dental practices with happy and loyal patients? Focus on the following areas to improve the patient experience at your practice. 

Online Scheduling

Medical offices have been slower than most businesses to adopt online scheduling, but it’s a feature that patients expect and appreciate. According to research by Healthgrades, 80 percent of patients prefer to visit medical offices that offer online scheduling. 

Purchase an app or web-based solution that allows patients to make an appointment with a few taps or clicks. Your software should also make it easy for patients to complete any necessary paperwork electronically in advance of their appointments. 

Electronic Payments

Along with cash and checks, even physical credit and debit cards are becoming less common, replaced by purely digital payment methods. Apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet make payments fast, easy, and sanitary. 

Match your payment options to the preferences of modern consumers. Offer a tap-to-pay option, online payments, or use a point-of-sale (POS) system that accepts app-based payments. 

Clean and Well-Designed Waiting Room

A clean and organized waiting room communicates that your team cares about the well-being and comfort of patients. 

Concern about disease prevention will remain high for the foreseeable future. So, take extra steps that make it clear to your patients that the waiting room is safe and sanitary. These may include:

  • Providing hand sanitizer
  • Leaving space between chairs to avoid close contact between patients
  • Cleaning pens and clipboards between uses

Along with sanitation measures, it’s important to maintain reasonably new decor elements like carpeting, furniture, and paint jobs. Replace old and damaged materials as needed to keep your waiting room looking sharp and pleasant. 

Digital Patient Portal

Patients are entitled to access their dental records. However, not all practices prioritize granting and communicating records access to patients. Therefore, this is an accessible way for a patient-friendly practice to stand out. 

Use a digital patient portal that supplies your patients with records access. The best portals are simple, secure, and convenient. Provide written instructions in the form of a handout or poster that help patients understand how to easily access their records. 

Pleasant and Colorful Interior Design

White, lifeless office environments are boring at best. At worst, they agitate patients who may be nervous or fearful about their appointment. 

The ideal colors for waiting rooms include:

  • Earth tones
  • Yellows
  • Greens
  • Blues 

Colors should be soft and warm to promote a calm atmosphere. However, don’t be shy about incorporating your practice’s brand colors into your interior design. 

Along with a thoughtful color scheme, the best waiting room feature you can provide is a set of windows that offer pleasant views of nature. That’s not always possible, but you can make the interior and exterior area around your windows as attractive as possible. 

As a substitute for peaceful window views, use paintings. Research suggests that the most calming artwork for medical waiting rooms includes natural subjects, like landscapes, gardens, or flowers. 

Easy Parking

The car parking experience may seem minor, but it forms a first impression of your practice. If it’s a struggle to find a decent parking spot, that gets an office visit off to a bad start. 

Providing good parking isn’t always within a dentist’s control. You may be limited to a certain number of spaces that are shared with neighboring businesses. However, it’s worth prioritizing good parking to the extent possible. If your office has a few dedicated parking spaces in a shared lot, make sure that those spots remain open for your patients. 

Work with Dental Industry Experts to Improve Your Patient Experience

Duckett Ladd is a financial services provider for dental practices. Our team of accountants and growth advisors are dental industry experts who can help your practice grow, scale, and sustain. 

Contact Duckett Ladd today to create new growth opportunities for your practice. 


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