How Comfortable Are YOUR Patients?

The goal of every dental office should be to make sure that each patient visit is as comfortable and pleasant as possible because building relationships with our patients is the secret to our success. People are more likely to schedule for their dental care and do what is best for their dental health when the recommendation comes from providers who they know, like and trust.

 It is important that your office is clean. If you own your own building, it is up to you. If you rent the housekeeping provided by most building management does nothing more than run the vacuum and empty the trash. It is usually up to the Doctor and team to ensure that doorways are dusted, counters are wiped down and the coffee bar and other public areas are clean.

135Take the time to sit in the reception area and view the office from a patient’s point of view. Occasionally dust and wipe down your work area and other common areas of your office, check the edge of your carpet, you know by where the carpet meets the wall, is it dusty?
Offer the patient amenities, bottled water (take care to note if patient account is flagged to NOT offer them plastic bottles as people who recycle can become offended if you don’t respect this wish). Provide a coffee bar, for waiting guests. Pens, Chap Stick, golf tees and nail files are other patient gift items available to give to patients to enhance a wow experience.
If a patient is upset about their visit for any reason, ask you Doctor or Office Manager if gift cards are available to give to the patient to ease the discomfort.
Monitor the reception area; take notice of any patient who is waiting a long time for their appointment, the admin team should regularly communicate with the clinical team to keep themselves informed if the team is running behind schedule. Offer these waiting patients, magazines, water or coffee, keep patients informed of how long it will be before they will be seen and apologize that the team is running behind.
Keep your voice low when discussing patient’s personal business such as monies due or recommended care when other patients are within ears shot of the conversation. Review your office HIPAA policy, on a regular basis, with your team.
The most important part of the patient’s dental appointment is how they feel when they leave the office. If everyone on the team keeps this in mind and treats each patient with care and respect your office will be a patient care comfort success!



  1. Great Expression Smiles | | Reply

    Nomi thanks for the info I will bookmark your website. These tips will increase productivity in dental clinic.

  2. Justin | | Reply

    This was an interesting tooth extraction by a young boy. He says he wants to be a dentist. Starting with his sister maybe was a good idea |

    any tips for a kid that has the desire to become a dentist?

    • Nomi Waters | | Reply

      I love this kid and his sister. Very cute video. I think this boy is on his way to becoming a dentist already, he was sure determined to pull that tooth! 🙂

  3. Dr Young Lee | | Reply

    The way I think about it is that going to the dentist is the kind of thing people will put off over and over, because they are so used to the sharp tools, the bleeding gums, the harsh flossing they do when they are doing a cleaning.

    If you don’t want your patients flaking out on their appointments they need to know you are going to have to get them used to you going out of your way to make them comfortable. Not even talking about scented candles and magazines here – they have to know that you take their discomfort seriously.

    Every time a customer comes into my Issaquah dentist office I just try and go as easy on their gums as I can, I try and minimize pain as much as possible by thinking about how things might feel to THEM. Sometimes I think health professionals just forget what its like to be a patient.

    • Nomi Waters | | Reply

      I agree, Dr. Lee. I think we do tend to forget what it is like to be a patient. Thank you for the reminder!

  4. | | Reply

    Nice post! I agree, no one’s coming back if their first visit isn’t good. Keep in mind, first impressions last especially with kids. They’ll be afraid of dentists or have trauma like my kid. It’s really hard to make her come with me on a dental checkup.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *