A patient’s take on the importance of dental office design
“I don’t think dentists realize how important their office decor, the atmosphere, and their brand is to helping draw in new patients like me, otherwise they’d all change!”
Yes, I was afraid of going to the dentist
I am a 35 year-old woman, highly educated, with a great career in International finance. Despite my accomplishments and education, most of my life I have been apprehensive about visiting a dentist despite knowing it is good for me. Most of my life I have dreaded walking into a dentist’s office knowing I will be nervous and anxious not just for the day of the appointment, but the days or weeks leading up to the visit.
A year or so ago, a friend gave me a personal recommendation for a dentist. She claimed the dentist was different. She raved about the “experience” and how I have no reason to be anxious. Much to my surprise, when I walked into this new dentist’s office for the first time, the first thing I felt was absolute calm, which is not what I usually feel.
Design does make a huge difference
The dentist has always been an anxiety-filled experience for me ever since I was a child. It always felt like a cold and uncomfortable space that left me feeling unsettled, even before sitting in the chair. No matter how skilled or patient the dentist or hygienist was, it was like I couldn’t shake the feeling of uneasiness I had when I first walked into the office. That feeling would stick with me throughout the whole visit, when I left, and when I returned for my next visit. It was like I couldn’t shake that initial reaction that I had to the dentist as a child, and now as an adult, I was still stuck reacting like a child. Every dentist’s office that I visited was medically cold and put me on edge.
When I walked into my current dentist’s office, I felt an emotion I had never felt at the dentist before: calm. It was like all of those negative feelings I had towards this experience stopped at the door. I spent a few days trying to figure out what was different with this dentist than all the others. I could only pinpoint one thing, the soothing design of their office. I felt they had indeed put more thought and effort into their space. It was open, had natural light, and really focused on feeling modern and patient-friendly. I loved that it felt like this office knew I would be nervous and created a space that made me feel at home. They used a mix of elements, colors, and decors, and put plants around the office; when I walked in, it almost felt more like a model home than a dentist’s office.
I don’t even mind the drive
I never thought I’d be a person that chose a dentist because of their office design, but I honestly did! I chose my dentist because they cared enough about their patients to make sure they feel calm and relaxed before they even sit in the chair. That’s why when my dentist moved towns, I didn’t find a new dentist. I decided I would drive over an hour to their new office. When I walked into the new location and discovered that they had put just as much care into designing this office as they did their last, I was overjoyed. It was worth an hour’s drive to get to the dentist because I didn’t have to feel anxious anymore. I am so impressed with how warm and welcoming each room was, from the lobby to the exam rooms. Each one seemed uniquely designed to offer the patients a sense of tranquility, which is precisely what you need when you are getting your teeth cared for. DesignWise made my dentist’s office choices simple.