How To Decorate a Dental Office To Calm Patients

December 15, 2020

Dental office design must fulfill two functions at the same time. While being professional, a dental office should also encourage a comfortable and relaxing environment for patients. The right design can transform your office and help calm your patients.

Alleviating Patient Anxiety

As many as 75% of adults experience fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist. Of those adults, between 5% to 10% have a dental phobia, which is more severe than generalized fear. While the fear of pain is the number one reason for fearing the dentist, a dental office environment can heighten those feelings. Having the right office decor can alleviate tension and anxiety in patients and drastically improve their overall experience.

Using Decor to Create a Comfortable Atmosphere

Before decorating an office, think about the way patients feel. Creating a homey atmosphere with decor can calm patients and help them feel at ease. In the past dental offices were characterized by rows of plastic chairs, coffee tables stacked with magazines, and possibly a toy or two for children. Today, this noticeably low-effort decor can send the message of not caring about one’s patients.

Incorporating elements that one would find in a home can help give patients more positive feelings. Items like a well-stocked mini-fridge, a coffee maker, and comfortable furniture create a more inviting and cheerful atmosphere. As for the artwork, use more unique pieces to make a greater impact. Photos, paintings, and drawings are a great way to inject warmth and personality into the office. Choose pieces that complement the rest of the decor rather than clash with it.

Adding a Touch of Nature

Dental offices can easily feel cold, impersonal, and sterile. Adding plants throughout the office can help combat those feelings without buying new furniture or artwork. Flowers and other decorative plants help breathe life into an office and allow patients to feel more at ease. Certain plants like lavender, chrysanthemum, and aloe vera may also have a calming effect on patients. The sight of thriving foliage in a waiting room can make a statement about the level of caring and attention to detail.

Playing Background Music

The soothing power of background music is invaluable to dental offices. Studies have shown that slower tempo tunes are great for relaxation and stress management. According to researchers at Stanford University, listening to music has the same effect on brain functioning as anxiety-reducing medications. Offices can play commercial-free, lyric-free background music to help put patients at ease and keep them calm for the duration of their appointments. 

Certain types of music are better for stress reduction than others. Celtic, Native American and Indian-stringed instruments are among the top sounds that people respond to favorably. Classical music, light jazz, or other types of easy-listening music are popular choices as well.

Color Matters

Although amenities, artwork, and background music are important, color is another significant factor in creating a calm environment for patients. Color is a powerful communication tool that can impact a person’s emotions and physiological reactions. Certain colors are associated with increased metabolism and high blood pressure, while others are associated with calmness and stress release. Using the right colors can help inspire feelings of ease in patients.

Using the Colors Green, Blue, and Purple

As the symbolic color of nature, green can evoke calmness and tranquility in patients, making it an ideal color to use as the basis for an office. Some ways to incorporate this color is by painting the walls of patient rooms in a soothing hue of green or adding other green decorations throughout the office. Blue is a popular color in the business world, as research shows that this color can incite feelings of trustworthiness and calmness. Using blue can help patients feel more trusting, which is important for patient retention and helping them feel comfortable. The use of purple can also add a feminine touch to a dental office. Purple combines the calming effects of blue with the energy of red, making it a great accent color for certain types of dental practices.

Keeping Age in Mind

It is also important to think about the age group that one’s practice caters to when decorating an office. Offices that treat adults can use their decor to create an environment where patients can relax. One can also make an office more entertaining for adults by installing televisions to distract patients while waiting or getting a procedure done.

Dental offices that cater to children can incorporate elements to foster a fun and cheerful environment. When designing a dental waiting area for children, one can use bright colors and soft materials with fun toys and games to help keep them entertained and calm while waiting. When serving children, consider adding the following elements:

  • Dedicated play area

  • Fun murals and wallpapers

  • Healthy snacks and beverages

  • Kid-friendly literature

  • Kid-sized furniture

The Modern Patient Experience Begins Online

Even if an office is calming and comfortable, it is futile if no one sees it. Use your website to show off pictures of your office and encourage prospective patients to schedule a visit. Our team at Doctor Genius can provide you with more online marketing solutions to establish and boost your brand. For more information about how our services can serve your marketing needs, contact us.

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