Most family dentist practices have one large waiting room for every patient. It gets loud, noisy and can be bothersome to some patients. But if you are planning to open, own and operate a family dentist practice, here is how you can open one that appeals to all ages.
Have Separate Waiting Rooms
Kids are boisterous and playful. They really should have their own waiting room filled with toys and books that appeal to them. You might even want to throw in a TV and DVD player that plays various kid-friendly movies and cartoons to entertain them while they wait their turn in the chair. It also gives the parents a little break, since they do not have to find a way to amuse their children until you are ready to see each child.
Adults without kids generally like to sit in a quiet place and read or check their smartphones and tablets while they wait. You could have an entirely separate waiting room with doors that close and soundproof walls just for this cross-section of your patient population.
Your seniors may even want to sit in this separate area, but you could also build another waiting room just for senior patients. It would provide your senior and elderly patients with an area that would allow them some time to socialize until your staff call their names to come back. Additionally, you can put in a TV and card table with various games your retired and elderly patients like to play while they wait for their turn in the dental chair.
Have Different Dental Chairs for Different Ages
Kids are more apt to be willing participants in dental exams if they like the rooms they are in and the chairs they sit in. There are some unique dental chair designs out there just for pediatric dental offices. You could use a couple of these for your pediatric wing of your practice, and then use kid-friendly paintings and colors on the walls to help keep them distracted.
Adults with dental anxiety issues may prefer relaxing and massaging dental chairs that provide a shiatsu massage and an easy reclining position. Chairs that also make it easier to administer an IV sedative may be a good option for this age group. A combo chair is best, but if you cannot find those in stock, then a couple chairs of each may be the best option.
Seniors may not be able to recline or may have trouble sitting in backward. Supportive, full-tilt chairs may be helpful for your senior patients because they place them in a reasonably comfortable position that will not bother their physical ailments and/or limitations (e.g., sciatica, fused spines, arthritis, etc.). These chairs, when placed in your senior patient wing, will also help you perform your dental duties more ergonomically.
For more ideas and options, consider talking with other dentists in your area, such as Cassity, Jessica DDS.