Going to the dentist is not an activity which most people enjoy. That means, even if you love the work you do and provide incredible service, the majority of people on the street will still unfortunately associate a trip to the dentist with pain and discomfort. It’s this fear that is one of the main reasons why patients may be waiting years between dental visits, or why they may be going to other dental practices.
It’s vital for you to understand why patients may not be visiting your dental practice if you want them to become return patients. Read on to find out the key reasons why your patients may not be returning, and what you can do to make a comfortable, welcoming dental practice.
Fear of painful pokes and jabs!
People often make light of going to the dentist but for a lot of people, the thought of painful pokes, scrapes, and jabs from a dentist is a real fear. In fact, according to a survey of 2000 Australians by Finder.com.au, fear is the second most cited reason why patients are not visiting their dentists. This fear is all-encompassing, from fear of needles and pain to fear of the dentist themselves.
If your tools are getting a bit old, this can cause pain for your patients. While we have seen some amazing advances in dentistry technology, a dull sickle probe or a dental drill with a faulty motor can lead to enhanced discomfort. That’s why it is a good idea to invest in new tools if you notice your patience seeming overly squeamish or they are complaining a lot.
An awkward and uncomfortable waiting room
Chances are your patients are stressed and nervous when they come to you. Either they are scared of the soon-to-be pain of dental work, they had to rush over from work, or they are trying to wrangle their sugar-riddled children. However, patients are increasingly expecting better experiences when going to the dentist.
If your patients are already nervous, then an uncomfortable waiting room is going to make the situation even worse. If they are bunched together on a limited amount of seats with complete strangers, or the lighting is too bright, then their fears and discomfort will become even worse.
This is very bad for your practice. Uncomfortable patients might not return, and will try to find another dentist where they feel comfortable and at peace.
Clinical and cold operating rooms
If your patients have made it through your waiting room, then the next terrifying step for them will be the operating room. For some patients, this is the cause of their dread and lack of dentist visits. And if your operating room feels more like a morgue than a place of good health, then that frightened patient is definitely going to go to your competitors. A freezing cold room with an old leather chair digging into your back and tools hanging on the wall like a sideshow haunted house doesn’t feel inviting.
How to make a comfortable, welcoming dental practice
Luckily for you, there are many things you can do to help your patients feel comfortable and to encourage them to become return patients. You can change the layout of your waiting room, or possibly hire a waiting room manager.
The ways to make your dental practice comfortable are endless, and doing so while also trying to run a practice can be overwhelming. There are colour charts to choose, regulations and bylaws to adhere to, installation of heavy and awkward equipment.
That is why our team of medical fitout experts is here to help! For over a decade, the medical and dental shop fitting Dentifit has been helping dentists, doctors, and veterinarians to design and build the best possible layout for their practice. From recommending wall paint colours and drawing up a design to sourcing and installing furniture and equipment, Dentifit is here to help.
Contact Dentifit today to start designing and building a practice that you and your patients will love!