Did you know there are around 181,013 dentist businesses in the US in 2023? If you’re a dentist, you’ll be keen to stand out from your rivals, and one way to do this is by providing an outstanding patient experience.
But how can you improve the dental experience for your patients? People are often nervous about going to their dentist, and you’ll want to make their visit as pleasant as possible. While every patient is different, there are numerous steps you can take to help them feel relaxed and comfortable when in your care.
Keep reading to learn more.
Tell Patients What They Can Expect
You can start preparing patients for what to expect before they walk in your door. For example, you can write a blog article for your website that explains how you look after patients. You could even create an online video that introduces people to your dental team.
Providing high-quality photos of your dental practice is another excellent idea. This could be part of your dental marketing strategy and you may find it helpful to work with a professional firm that can help you achieve the best results.
Streamline the Check-In Process
The last thing patients want is to find there’s a long check-in process when they arrive for their dental appointment. To avoid this issue, make sure you have enough employees working to manage the reception duties. This could include having one person available to take phone calls while another staff member greets patients.
You could even invest in an automated system that allows patients to check in on a screen. This can reduce the risk of a patient becoming upset when they may already be feeling stressed.
Provide Modern Waiting Room Facilities
If patients become bored when waiting for their appointment, they could start to worry about what’s to come. But, you can help people relax by providing them with a delightful waiting room experience. This could involve adding a tea and coffee machine along with a water cooler.
You can also put TV screens on the walls, ensuring they are visible to every patient. By considering what demographic visits your dental clinic, you can then put on relevant content that they would find interesting. Of course, not everyone may enjoy your chosen programs, and you can offer free wi-fi for patients who prefer to browse the internet on their phones.
By making your waiting room a welcoming environment, you could find your patients are much calmer before the start of their treatment.
Keep Patients Informed
When a patient makes a visit to their dentist, they could be keen to get in and out again as quickly as possible. But, this may not always happen. Perhaps there could be a dental emergency with another patient, leading to delays and people having to stay longer in the waiting room.
While this can be frustrating for a patient, they are likely to understand if you keep them informed. Rather than someone wondering when they will be seen by the dentist, you can tell them when this will happen. Your patients can then settle down to watch a program or read a book while they wait.
Be Ready for Your Patient
Patients expect first-class service, and they may be disappointed if you aren’t ready to begin their treatment. Be sure to have your dental equipment and patient notes close to hand. It’s also important that your dental assistant is ready to help.
Being prepared will give a professional impression to your patients and make them feel they are in safe hands.
Explain the Procedure
A patient may know a little bit about their treatment before their dental visit, but it can help to provide them with more detail. This might include explaining why the procedure is necessary and stating how long it will take. You can also advise if there will be any recovery time required after the treatment.
Taking a few minutes to talk to your patient at the start could help make them less tense throughout the procedure.
Ask How Your Patient Is Feeling
Not every patient will speak up if they are in discomfort. This could be a problem when you are trying to improve their dental visit experience. Therefore, it can be a good idea to ask how they are feeling at regular intervals.
If you learn a patient is feeling uneasy, you can then decide how to help them feel better. Taking a short break and providing a patient with a glass of water could make a considerable difference during the procedure.
Encourage Patient Feedback
You already provide an excellent patient experience, but it can always be better. To learn what aspects you can improve, ensure you ask for feedback. You could do this by asking people to fill out a form before they leave, or you could email your patients a questionnaire.
This can show patients that you value their well-being and are doing everything you can to make their dental visits more enjoyable.
Provide a Top Class Dental Experience for Your Patients
Providing patients with an excellent dental experience is a priority for every dentist. To help patients relax you can provide entertainment in the waiting room, and explain what will be involved in their dental treatment. You could also engage with patients by asking them what you could do to make their experience better the next time they visit your practice.
Patients could soon be recommending your dental clinic to their friends and family!
If you’ve enjoyed reading this dental experience article, check out more of our interesting blog posts before you go.