Many people have anxiety surrounding trips to the dentist, even if they’re just in for a routine cleaning. Just walking into a dentist’s office can trigger a stress response, and a good dentist should be sensitive to that. At Elite Smiles, I strive to create an atmosphere that doesn’t resemble a typical dentist’s office at all. By creating a soothing, stress-free environment, we can help patients walk into the space with a sense of calm rather than anxiety.
Here are just a few ways that we’ve transformed our practice to ensure that patients feel welcome and relaxed as soon as they walk through the door.
Warm and Inviting. Many dental practices (and many other medical offices for that matter) have a distinct sterile feeling to them. The waiting room might be cramped and full of uncomfortable chairs lined against the wall. The receptionist sits behind a sliding glass window. The lights are too bright, and old magazines are in piles on small side tables. This is what we’ve all gotten used to, but here at Elite Smiles we strive to break this unfortunate norm.
Our office has a warm and inviting coffee-shop atmosphere with a lot of open space, natural light, and high ceilings. Our patients are considered honored guests and are greeted by a host or hostess at a stand rather than a receptionist behind a desk. Usually, patients will be led straight back to their private chair and exam room. If there’s any wait at all, patients have the option to grab a coffee or tea and a small pastry or sandwich from a small kitchen in the waiting area.
Our prompt VIP service and amenities help put patients at ease, especially those who have had bad experiences with dentists in the past.
Appealing to the Senses. Memories can be conjured by the smells and sounds of a dental practice as well. Our office doesn’t have the heavy smell of disinfectant like many dentist’s offices do. We use a scent machine that is attached to our air conditioner that pumps a pleasant smell throughout the office and eliminates any overly sterile smells. In fact, it’s the exact same scent machine that the Ritz-Carlton uses to accommodate their guests.
I’d say one of the least relaxing things in the world would be hearing the hum of a dental drill in the background while you’re waiting. We know that a lot of the noises associated with dental offices can give patients anxiety, so we play white noise through speakers that are all over the office. We also offer noise-cancelling headphones to eliminate any equipment noise or conversations that might be going on close by.
Showing Gratitude. We are so thankful for every one of our patients, and we want them to know! Each new patient receives a small gift, and we give larger gifts as prizes throughout the year for loyal patients or those who refer a friend.
Everyone is Welcome. We pride ourselves on being able to care for patients of all ages and walks of life. Our staff is prepared to accommodate the unique needs of each patient. We have a play area for parents to entertain their kids. For those with more severe dental phobia, we offer sedation dentistry. We want to ensure that every patient feels welcome, relaxed, and comfortable when they walk through our doors and throughout their whole experience.
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