A dental office can be a stressful environment for both patients and practitioners. Because there is so much focus on an individual’s health, because some patients might come in experiencing pain, and because the office environment is usually very busy, tensions can run high. Luckily, there are many ways that you can reduce the less of stress in your office. Here are a few of the more effective methods.
1: Provide Accurate Time Estimates
Many dentists tend to underestimate the time procedures take because they leave out the procedures their assistants undergo before they enter the room, such as sterilization of instruments and preparation of the patient. When providing a time estimate for how long a procedure will take, confirm the estimate with your assistant. Getting a better picture will give patients a more accurate feel for how long they have to wait, which will reduce their anxiety.
2: Order Ample Equipment
It’s amazing how under-ordering can affect the office environment, but not having enough equipment on hand can add stress to both the provider and the patient. Make sure that your office is always well-stocked, especially when it comes to trays, disposable burs, and other essential items. This keeps your tools fresh, minimizes stress on the part of the hygienist, and thus also reduces the stress that the patient might pick experience through contact.
3: Hire an Assistant for Every Chair
As dental offices expand, they often add extra sitting and exam areas for patients but don’t necessarily hire the staff to go with it. While intended to make things more efficient, this winds up creating longer wait times and leaves patients alone and uncomfortable. Make sure that you have an assistant for every chair in your practice so there can always be somebody on hand to answer questions and respond to problems even when the dentist is working with somebody else.
4: Be Prepared for Emergencies
Sometimes, a patient comes in experiencing extreme agony or loudly suffering through their dental problem. If this is a legitimate dental emergency, it needs to be taken care of immediately. Your office should have an emergency procedure in place that can be applied consistently to many different patient situations. This helps keep things moving when stressful situations occur and reduces the stress that other patients might feel if they see somebody suffering who is not getting the care they need.
5: Offer Flexible Financing
Even for patients with strong insurance, dental finance is one of the biggest sources of stress for patients. You can put this stress at ease by offering dental payment plans that are easy to understand and which don’t cripple a patient’s finances. Options like Ajeva.com provide a way to enhance patient financing by giving a no credit check, simple payment plan that can work for almost anybody. This also helps get money into the practice more quickly, benefiting everybody.
From the general environment to patient financing, there are many ways you can reduce stress for patients and providers. By following the tips above, you will notice a much more positive vibe in your office.