Waiting Room

Waiting Room Blues: How Interior Design Can Ease Dentist Fears

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There are many ways to take advantage of Melbourne’s sunny weather and proximity to the bay. The view alone can provide enormous comfort to those who are in tense situations, such as people waiting for their turn at the dentist’s chair. Of course, a few minutes at the waiting room of any dental clinic can be immensely nerve-wracking to those who have specific phobias. The mere sight of a waiting room can conjure terrifying flashbacks of having one’s wisdom tooth removed or having one’s gums injected by a long and sharp needle. Decorations, ventilation, and office fitouts in Melbourne clinics play a bigger role than at first glance in alleviating some of those understandable fears.

The question is, how should waiting for a dental appointment be less nerve-wracking for people with phobias? Will interior design help? Maybe it’s worth a try.

Remember the Kids

Remember, a good chunk of dental patients are very young children. What is a frightening experience for some adults is doubled in the eyes of youngsters. Keep the interior design age-appropriate for everybody. Instead of official, neutral colors, opt for relaxing pastel colors and simple patterns. Polka dots and stripes and contrasting sweet, pastel hues with vibrant, playfully bold colors on the walls will give the whole waiting room a less intimidating vibe. If possible, set aside a corner made exclusive for children. Stuff it with cuddly toys, picture books about dental care, rubber mats, and soft balls. Also, make sure that the entire room is well-lit with a mellow, relaxing, but bright enough light.


Keep the Boredom Away

Besides old magazines, provide older patients with new issues. Make sure that the kinds of magazines are as varied as possible. That means there are some for teenagers, some for young adults, some for men, and some for women. Adding bookshelves with different genres of books is also a good idea. Add self-help books as well as works of fiction. Coffee table books, especially the ones about fine arts and photography, are also relaxing to check.

The Sound System

Keep the music light and relaxing. Don’t go for hard rock music or dance-pop, as much as you can. Patients of all ages will appreciate and be soothed by classical, instrumental, or lounge music. Instrumental versions of popular hits are also advisable if you want to cater to the young ones. Remember, you are cultivating a space that is safe, inclusive, and relaxing for all kinds of patients. You want to make sure that your patients will be comfortable enough to go for a return check-up.

Going to the dentist is tough enough as it is for some people. As people who work in the dental field (or even those who are into interior design and architecture), we can encourage people to take better care of their teeth by taking care of them first. Part of this is helping them associate a safe, comfortable place like the waiting room with dental health and proper dental care. Whether we admit it, a waiting room that looks boring, intimidating, or terrifying can discourage us from entering the dental clinic itself. It confirms our worst fears. We want the opposite to happen.

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