Visiting a dental practice can be an uncomfortable and intimidating experience for some people. In fact, visiting dentists is recognised as an actual phobia. Various research highlights that the facility’s design can have a direct impact on patients. From the disinfectant smells to the poorly styled layout – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Choosing a holistic design and functionality for your practice can enhance it in all the best ways possible. Here’s how:
What is holistic design
Holistic design is the concept of not just treating patients when they’re sitting in the dental chair, but through the whole environment too. This style communicates with all five senses, reduces fatigue, boosts productivity and moods, and therefore improves overall health. Holistic design and functionality can be achieved by:
Choosing the correct colours:
It seems that all types of healthcare practices can be very bland and lack colour. Although it’s thought that a bland colour scheme is the most soothing, studies actually suggest that a variety of hues, tones and saturations work best. Choosing the correct colours and even art work will have a positive, yet subtle effect.
Consideration to the furniture and its layout
It’s another subtle and small change, but the style and type of furniture and its layout can impact moods. If furniture is cluttered, or placed too closely together, this can cause people to feel stressed and trapped. Avoiding this can be as simple as changing the positioning of chairs in the waiting area. Rooms should be made to feel spacious and bright.
Lighting, in both waiting areas and in treatment rooms, should aim to be as naturally lit as possible. Overly bright artificial lighting can worsen patient’s anxiety. Some furniture choices can help enhance the rooms brightness, for example; a mirror can enhance brightness. Moreover, new LED technology can be used for dimmable and flattering lighting, which could help patients find their way about hallways.
Anti-bacterial is a typical practice smell. Although this smell is essentially the scent of cleanliness, it’s associated with health and medical practices. This can trigger bad memories and instantly unsettle patients. Scents of Lavender can help mask the smells of disinfectant and medicines and can even help reduce anxiety.
How will this enhance a practice?
It’s a no brainer really…
Patients are relaxed
If you follow the simple steps above when designing your dental practice, you’ll notice a visible change in patient’s mood. Many of these recommendations have been proven to help relax nervous patients. For example; A 2005 study published in Physiology and Behaviour observed patients waiting for dental treatments and found that breathing in lavender scents minimised anxiety and enhanced mood. If patients feel relaxed and worry-free, they’re going to be easier to cooperate with.
When patients feel relaxed and have a great experience in your dental practice, they are likely to recommend your practice to others. Recommendations from clients means a possible boost in new clients, and this will ultimately enhance your business. Good recommendations also means good reputation.
Increases staff productivity
Not only does holistic design and functionality have an impact on clients, it impacts staff of the practice too. Staff will be productive, healthy and happy if they too are in an area that is surrounded by subconscious benefits of mind and body wellness. A dental practice isn’t just a place where people go to keep their teeth in check, it’s someone’s work place as well.
Humanises the practice
When people think of dental practices, they have a stereotypical image in mind of a dated, dull and unwelcoming place. Holistic designs can humanise a practice by softening the reminders that it is a dental practice. One of our more relaxing and welcoming practice designs has been Buttercup 7 Day Dental. We designed this to resemble more of a coffee shop than a dental practice!
The benefits of holistic design and functionality in dental practices are endless. We have transformed several practices into welcoming and unique areas for patients and staff. You can some of our best designs and happy clients here.