Ideas to make your dental practice more attractive to patients

Even if your budget doesn’t stretch to a full-blown architectural/interior designer for your dental practice, it is so important to make your practice environment as appealing to patients as possible. 

Superficial though it may be, human nature dictates that the initial impression we receive is deep and long-lasting.  This, together with the fact that a lot of people are nervous of attending a dental practice means that you must do all you can to make patients feel at ease and comfortable in your environment.

Sometimes we need to look at things with a ‘fresh’ pair of eyes.  Take 15 minutes to do a full assessment of what your practice looks like from a patient’s perspective, ensuring that you start from outside the practice. 

Here are some things that you may wish to consider:

  • What does your signage look like?  Is it branded to your practice?  Does it make it clear that you are a dental practice?
  • Is the approach to the practice visually appealing?  Are any shrubs/grass well kept?  Is the exterior of the practice in good condition?  Does anything need fixing?
  • Is it clear when you enter the practice where reception is?
  • Is the reception desk welcoming?  Is it too high?  Is it clutter-free?
  • Do you have your prices on display?  Are there practice leaflets/brochures/newsletters available?
  • Is there suitable signage to the toilets?
  • What is the lighting like?
  • What does the practice smell like?
  • How do you rate the general tidiness & cleanliness in the non-clinical areas?
  • What state are the walls in?  Does the paint-work look fresh?
  • Are there any visual branding elements?  Would a patient know they were sat in your dental practice?
  • What condition is the seating area in? Are there any stains or tears on the chairs?
  • Are there up-to-date magazines or children’s books for patients to read?
  • Do you have a water cooler for patients to help themselves to a drink?
  • Are there any accessories to make the practice more attractive?  Think plants, flowers and artwork.
It can be all too easy to neglect the seemingly superficial elements of your practice in favour of concentrating on the technical, clinical aspects (which are of course important).  However, remember that your patients are unable to make a quick judgement on the quality of your clinical skills; instead they will be making judgements based on how they feel and the tangible elements that they can see.