You only get one chance to make a first impression. How can you make your dental practice appealing to your patients? Today we’ll share a few of the favorite features we make sure to include in our dental office construction projects around the Portland area.
Let’s get started!
1. Clear Exterior Signage
See more images from our project at 2nd & Madison Dental in Downtown Portland
Don’t overlook the value of the sign outside your practice. It can help new patients find your office and eliminate the stress that comes with getting lost or confused.
Best Practices For Your Practice’s Sign:
- Well-lit – If you offer early morning or evening hours, make sure your sign is illuminated.
- High-contrast – High-contrast signs with large letters and numbers are easy to read from a distance.
- Well-maintained – Remember that your sign will need to be cleaned and maintained to keep it looking good as new!
2. Welcoming Waiting Room
The waiting room of Progressive Periodontics would fit right in at a high-end spa or lounge! Check out the modern lighting, big windows, and self-contained fireplace.Take a look at more pictures from this project.
Remember that dental anxiety is very real! Over 20% of adults suffer from dental anxiety and actually avoid the dentist because of it.
Your waiting room should be designed to make your patients feel relaxed and calm. Avoid anything that makes your patients feel like they’re in a cold, sterile doctor’s office. A few of our favorite features include:
- Warm LED lighting – Not only eco-friendly but can make the room more relaxing, too!
- Comfortable furniture – No hard chairs! If you wouldn’t want to sit in it, don’t put it in your waiting room!
- Coffee or tea station – An area for providing a nice cup of coffee or tea can help your patients relax while they wait. And the smell of fresh-brewed coffee can add a pleasing, homey aroma to your waiting room.
3. Natural Features & Unique Design Elements
See more images of how Dr. Frank Sioda makes use of natural flowers and wood in his practice’s waiting room.
Your waiting area is your first opportunity to connect with patients. Many dentists we work with in the Portland area are incorporating unique elements and interesting natural features to make their personality part of the design.
When remodeling your dental practice or building out a new location, think about including:
- Reclaimed wood
- Fish tanks & water features
- Large windows to let in light and show off outdoor greenery
4. Calming Colors
Light colors help patients feel relaxed in Dr. Sioda’s treatment areas and make the space feel more open and airy! See more images.
Our moods and feelings are influenced by the colors of our surroundings.
When designing your dental office, use this to your advantage! Cool, natural colors like blues, greens, and natural browns can help patients stay calm and relaxed. Avoid the overuse of reds, oranges, and yellows– these colors can increase anxiety and agitation.
Here in Portland, with our long, dark winters, use lighter colors to reflect as much natural light as possible. This will help your office seem open, airy, and friendly. Using too many dark colors can make a space feel cramped and make your patients feel more stressed and worried.
The treatment areas at Progressive Periodontics are sleek, modern, and filled with the latest technology!
Are your patients showing up 20 minutes early to hunch over a clipboard and fill out form after form? This low-tech approach is going out of style! Many modern dentists allow their patients to complete forms at home on their computer. This saves time in the waiting room and also allows patients to focus on entering accurate information, rather than just rushing through a long form.
In the office, many dentists provide iPads or other tablets to patients who need to fill out paperwork while they wait. This also saves your front office staff time when it comes to transcribing handwritten forms.
Beyond the waiting room, technology can improve your patients’ experience throughout their entire visit:
- CEREC technology allows you to craft perfect crowns in minutes, helping patients get back to their lives with no need for a follow-up visit
- DIAGNOdent lasers detect cavities in their earliest stages, resulting in smaller less invasive fillings
- 3D cone beam technology may eliminate the need for traditional x-rays.
When you have the opportunity to use technology to increase patient comfort, improve the care you provide and reduce the length of a patient’s appointment, do it!
Your patients will absolutely love it.
6. Spa-Like Amenities
Only a decade or two ago, the idea of a spa-like dentist office would’ve been unheard of. However, in a recent study, nearly 5% of ADA dentists surveyed used the word “spa” to describe their office environment.
The most popular spa amenities we’ve seen in our dental clients’ offices include:
- Paraffin hand waxes
- Hot towels
- Neck pillows
- Noise-canceling headphones
All of these represent small investments with a big return when it comes to patient satisfaction!
Patients not only appreciate these little niceties, they love to talk about them, too. You’ll be amazed at how many new patients will be aware of your patient comfort amenities.
More than anything else, new patients will notice you, your approach to their care, and how you interact with them.
By putting thought and care into the details of your office, you’ll show patients you care before they even meet you!
Did you know that bicycles make up nearly 5% of the traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge? Portland is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the entire United States! Your practice can be part of the bike movement and support your patients’ efforts to stay healthy by providing bicycle parking.
Dedicated bike racks aren’t expensive and by encouraging bicycling to your practice, you’ll reduce your practice’s parking needs, too. Reward bicyclists by raffling off an electric toothbrush for anyone who bikes to their appointment!
Thinking About Remodeling Your Practice?
At BnK Construction, our dental office construction and remodeling team has more than 75 years of combined experience. We’ve worked with dentists throughout Portland and the surrounding areas and we’re always available to answer your questions.
Contact us today and tell us what you’re planning for your practice!