Noisy environments in dental and medical clinics tend to foster a stressful and uncomfortable environment for our patients. To promote a more positive patient experience, we need to focus on noise reduction tips in the clinic setting. By maintaining a quiet level of sound in the clinic, we promote a peaceful, stress-free environment that makes our patients feel happy, comfortable and secure. Read on to discover our top tips for noise reduction in your clinic fitout.
Soundproofing – Wall and Ceiling Treatments
Installing soundproofing within the walls is an easy option to include whilst building a new clinic space, or when renovating a practice. The level of acoustic soundproofing available for installation is varied and the use is based on individual requirements. Specialised soundproofing materials are also installed for internal dental plant rooms, as well as solid core doors and the use of door seals. Solid core doors are also an adjunct to internal wall insulation to minimise the transmission of noise.
A variety of decorative wall treatments are available to absorb and reduce noise, without appearing obvious, and can be placed strategically where most needed. This is also ideal in situations where a plasterboard ceiling is in place, and not practical to alter.
Ceiling soundproofing can be installed during an initial build, but can also be added at a later time if needed, whether access is through a ceiling manhole or a drop-in panel grid ceiling.
There are also varying options of ceiling tiles available that offer different levels of acoustic absorption and can be minimalistic or decorative in appeal, to work with the palette of the practice. Additional decorative ceiling treatments can be suspended from both plasterboard and drop in panel ceiling types.
Incorporate Double Glazed Windows
If you’re renovating your clinic, consider replacing your windows with double glazed windows. Double glazed windows consist of two panes of glass with a 20mm gap between them. These windows can significantly reduce noise from outside, including traffic and weather noise. Additionally, this glass also provides insulation, which can reduce your energy costs.
The sound of soothing background music can often minimise loud disruptive noise, and creates a relaxing environment and puts patients at ease. Whether wired in speakers or loose WiFi speakers, both options can be coordinated in a new fit out, or easily retrofitted too.
Add Carpet In Your Clinic
To reduce noise in the waiting room, carpet is a great flooring option. Carpets are excellent at absorbing sound. Their individual fibres and underlay have different resonant frequencies at which they absorb sound. In particular, wool carpets are highly effective sound absorbers. The millions of wool fibres in one portion of wool fibre can have a range of lengths, crimps and diameters. This allows wool carpets to absorb sounds of a wide range of frequencies. On average, carpets can reduce sound by 35%. Although, with underlay, noise reductions of up to 50%-70% can be achieved. And don’t forget, the use of textiles and upholstery are not only decorative, but also absorb sound.
Install Helpful Signage In Your Clinic
A simple noise reduction technique clinics can adopt is including signage that reminds patients to keep the noise down. A simple “Turn Your Phone On Silent Mode” sign will help prevent loud beeps, pings and rings from bursting through the waiting room.
Create A Kids Corner
Bored kids in a waiting room can be a recipe for noise. Kids aren’t the most patient individuals, especially when they have to wait for an appointment. Providing children with some stimulation can help keep them entertained and can help keep noise levels down. Consider creating a kids corner, complete with books and toys (that don’t emit sound).
Keep Up With Machine Maintenance
A 2014 report in the Dental Research Journal from the Dental School of Damascus University found that most dental equipment can emit sounds of up to “92 dB for ultrasonic cleaners, 86 dB for ultrasonic scalers, 84 dB for stone mixers and 74 dB for low-speed handpieces” as explained in Bite Magazine.
Plus, the older our dental equipment gets, the louder our equipment can become. In particular, handpieces tend to be one of the main culprits of noise pollution in the clinic. If you notice your dental equipment has started to wear, it’s a good idea to have it fixed or replaced if necessary.
Wear Soft Sole Shoes
Try to encourage your staff to wear soft sole shoes around the clinic. Not only do these comfortable shoes provide good support, but they also reduce foot traffic noise in the clinic.
Create A More Positive Patient Experience With Dentifit
At Dentifit, our team of interior designers and expert fitout staff are well versed in crafting dental clinics that promote a calming, relaxing environment for your patients. We know you want your patients to feel secure and safe in your clinic, so we design clinics that instil trust in your brand. If you have any questions about Dentifit’s suite of fitout services, such as dental, medical or veterinary fitout services, be sure to contact our helpful team today.