A Waiting Room You Can Enjoy: Ideas for a Dental Office

A Waiting Room You Can Enjoy: Ideas for a Dental Office

Why You Should Consider Redecorating Your Waiting Room

A visit to a dental office is usually not a very fun experience. Patients sitting in the waiting room are either already in pain or they soon will be going into an uncomfortable situation. In any case, anxiety and fear are a common part of the whole affair. 

A waiting room is where your patients get their first impressions about your practice and possibly spend some time worrying about what's coming next. Hence, it is imperative to make this area as pleasant as possible. If you are thinking about renovating your dental office, check out dental office floor plans at ON POINT Design Build for more suggestions. 

To ensure that patients return to your dental office, you need to create the right atmosphere that will last throughout the visit. And that means starting from the waiting room. Here are a couple of design ideas on how to turn the waiting room into a relaxing and enjoyable place. 

Think About Your Patients' Needs

Before you start renovating, you need to define your target audience. What kind of patients are you trying to attract? What is the age, gender, income level, and family status of your ideal patient?

Imagine this person sitting in your current waiting room. Will they like what they see? What kind of changes do you need to make for this person to feel welcome and relaxed?

The next thing to consider is how your waiting room relates to the five senses. 

  • What do your patients see while sitting in the waiting area? Are the colors in the room soothing or disconcerting?
  • Are there any noises that might annoy people that are already on edge? Or is there an awkward silence?
  • Is your furniture comfortable enough? Are patients crammed into a small space, sitting too close to one another?
  • How does the room smell? Does it have an unpleasant hospital or disinfectant smell?
  • Have you provided water or other beverages?

Use the answers to compile a list of things you need to change in your waiting room, so it reflects your brand and meets your patients' needs. 

New Furniture and a Better Layout

Most waiting rooms look pretty much the same — uncomfortable chairs, old magazines, a television on mute, and not enough personal space. Your patients will spend around 20 minutes in this space. As a result, they will feel tense, and the only thing they will think about is when they'll be allowed to leave. 

To avoid this effect, spend some time working on your dental office design ideas. Reorganize the layout to offer a variety of seating options. A couch and a coffee table for families, a kid-friendly corner, a quiet area, and movable chairs are just a couple of examples. 

The color, material, and style of the furniture should reflect your brand. Does modern style with clean lines align with your message? Or are natural materials and neutral colors a better fit?

Instead of opting for a sterile, cold look most dental offices have, use the influence colors have on people's moods to your advantage. Choose a suitable color scheme and strive to avoid colors that excite — for instance, soothing tones with a splash of vibrant color or pattern will make the reception area look amazing.

Think About Decor and Small Luxuries

Interesting artwork and fresh flowers are the oldest tricks in the book. However, do not omit them. Flowers and wall decorations are a standard part of dental office design because they really brighten up the atmosphere. 

Avoid wallpapers with busy prints. Instead, put up happy pictures of your dentists, satisfied patients, and other staff. Photos will make the room feel more welcoming. 

Calming music is always a better choice than television. But if you have a TV in your waiting room, avoid news stations and switch to documentary channels. 

If you have enough space, try going the extra mile and add some small luxuries. For example, since water has a calming effect, a fountain or a fish tank could be a great addition. Aside from looking attractive, they decrease stress and blood pressure, and can even minimize pain. 

Your patients will absolutely love a massage chair in the waiting room. Massage will help people relax and take their minds off the pain. Parents could also enjoy a massage and some quiet time while their children are getting their teeth checked. 

Finally, consider adding a coffee bar or a fridge with bottled water and other beverages. This extra effort will send a message that you care about the people who come to your practice. A bit of luxury can earn you plenty of points.

Make Waiting Fun

Even in a stylish and beautiful reception area, waiting for a long time inevitably makes people frustrated and irritable. Therefore, your goal is to decrease the perceived wait time.  

Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time. Hence, to stop your patients from nervously checking the clock, you should provide an activity or an infrastructure they need to be productive. 

Aside from free Wi-Fi, add multiple sockets for phone and laptop chargers. Since people often miss work for an appointment, individual desks will allow them to continue working while they wait. 

Providing some interactive content for patients will also make the time go faster. For instance, interactive games will keep the kids occupied so they won't bother other patients in the waiting room. Similarly, user-controlled content and built-in tablets will provide the necessary entertainment for adults. 


When it comes to your dental practice, the main reasons people come back are you and your skills. However, why not gain a bit more advantage over your competitors by using these dental office design ideas? 

Adjust the colors and sounds to relieve your patients' stress and ache. Provide entertainment and a place for work to make the time go faster. And, above all, spoil your clients with small luxuries and treats. 

A memorable waiting room and a time well spent there will turn your clients into loyal customers.