Oral Health Group

Improve Patient Experience: 7 Proven Tips for Dental Clinics

July 25, 2022
by Roman Shvydun


Photo: iStock

Did you know that 80% of patients will look for another clinic if you fail to provide a great patient experience and their expectations of convenience are not satisfied?

That’s why it’s of an immense importance for dental clinics to strive at patient experience improvement. You might even have to reframe your work to satisfy your dental patients’ needs and apply post-pandemic strategies for the dental practice. Addressing both emotional and physical conveniences contributes greatly to patient satisfaction with your dental service.

Below we share seven tips on how to get an improved dental patient experience.

Follow them to create a welcoming atmosphere in your dental clinic and strengthen the bond with your patients.

Improving Patient Experience in Your Dental Clinic with 7 Hands-On Tips

  • Make your dental website user-oriented

There are some obvious signs your dental website is outdated.

“User-friendliness is one of the main criteria that visitors use to assess your site (mostly, the assessment is done subconsciously),” states Joe Troyer, Founder of ReviewGrower.com. “A superb browsing experience boosts customer satisfaction and enhances your professional appearance,” he adds.

To make your dental website user-oriented, follow these pieces of advice provided by Joe Troyer:

  • Make sure your page loading speed is less than 2–3 seconds
  • Engage with visitors via call-to-action buttons
  • Add surveys and contact forms
  • Apply a winning content marketing strategy
  • Balance text and images
  • Incorporate easy navigation
  • Use color and shape psychology in web design

Remember that responsive design is one of the top qualities of great dental websites.

  • Streamline the processes that require patients’ involvement

Once you have ensured streamlining your dental practice in terms of navigating your dental business yourself, it’s also significant to simplify and optimize the processes that involve patient participation. Simplification will keep them pleased with the speed of your dental services and save their time and nerves.

If you aim at improved patients’ experiences, consider these three aspects, in particular:

  • Appointments

To increase patient loyalty and trust, enable real-time access to manage appointments from patients’ accounts. Let them book, reschedule, cancel appointments, etc. “Book Now” buttons are one of the website features every dental practice needs.

At the same time, optimization and automation should also concern those dental patients who prefer using mobile apps.

When it comes to appointment management, you might need an online scheduler for mobile or a doctor appointment app.

  • Dental insurance

Have you decided to streamline dental insurance claim processing? Great! However, that is not enough to boost dental patient experience.

“You should also take care of patients’ understanding about their dental insurance and whether it may cover the entire treatment plan or only a part of it,” says Anthony Martin, Founder and CEO at ChoiceMutual.com. “So basically, you dwell on the following: deductibles, co-insurance, maximums, reimbursement levels, and copayments. Moreover, convey it to your patients that coverage and costs vary by geographic location. You should also provide dental treatment estimates based on individual insurance plans,” Anthony recommends.

In addition, you need to guarantee successful and ethical dental insurance billing, flexibility of payment plans and simple payments with multiple methods.

  • Payments

When patients have to deal with payments, a full-scale payment processing system is a highly useful variant to promise pleasant experiences with dental clinics and their services.

The Weave Payment platform, for example, offers a Text to Pay option for those patients who have forgotten their credit card, cannot get onsite at the moment or have to pay additionally for the previously provided service at your dental clinic.

  • Expand the list of payment options

Grey Idol, Director of Marketing at altLINE Sobanco, observes that “Dentistry has become one of the first industries to use mobile pay successfully. However, with advanced payment technologies, dentists shouldn’t forget to offer a variety of payment options (including some traditional ones) to their patients: cash, auto-payments, credit/debit card, virtual terminals, etc.”

Why not consider digital currency as a form of payment? Ladner’s Riverside Dental, for example, started accepting Bitcoin payments in 2018.

  • Use modern technologies in your dental clinic

According to the research on patient satisfaction in dental healthcare centers, the satisfaction level with infection control monitoring, the availability of necessary dental instruments and dentist’s use of modern tools was rather low –  only 31.5% of the overall satisfaction.

Advancements in dentistry and modern dental technologies will not only improve oral health of your patients, but also enhance the state of comfort. Crucially, you should leverage new technologies for patient retention.

Some essential modern tech changes in your dentist office may include the following:

  • Dental cone-beam computed tomography system
  • Intraoral cameras
  • Chairside dental CAD/CAM system
  • Laser cavity detection tools (such as the DIAGNOdent laser)
  • Rotary endodontics instruments, etc.
  • Invigorate your office environment

Have you ever thought about any additional improvements to the physical appearance of your dental office?

You might be well content with the décor, furniture and other aspects of your work environment, but it turns out your patients may not like the feeling of visiting your dental clinic.

Here’s how to avoid patients’ dissatisfaction in this case:

  • Reconsider your design (go with smart office design, choose peaceful color schemes and soothing visuals)
  • Make your reception desk easily accessible
  • Add entertaining elements to the waiting room (music, TV, books, aquariums, motivational quotes, paintings, etc.)
  • Eliminate the smell of medicine
  • Bring emotional support animals to the office, etc.

Functionality should meet aesthetics. That’s your golden rule, if you want your patients to feel satisfied with your dental service.

  • Offer freebies and create a referral program

Some perks and freebies can stimulate patients’ interest and level up satisfaction. You should mind that when encouraging patients to recommend your dental clinic to their friends or relatives, you may not always use rewards, coupons or discounts. For instance, in Alberta, dentists are not allowed to participate in rewards programs that aim at promoting their services.

Check your local laws on this matter and take advantage of some other strategies to increase patient referrals.

  • Personalize dental appointments

What if we told you that people are afraid of you? Of you as a dentist, we mean.

Dental anxiety affects 36% of the population, whereas 12% of people suffer from an extreme dental phobia. Personalization helps overcome this fear and get into the dentist’s chair anxiety-free.

You can motivate individual patient behavior, as well as personalize and optimize patient experience with psychographic segmentation. It’s one of the foremost things to do, if you’d like to achieve superior personalized experiences.

Ensure maximum comfortability, as soon as the patient is in the chair. Knowing your patients’ tastes, likes & dislikes, you can make even the smallest gestures of politeness and personal care. Like turning on their favorite songs, audiobooks or TV shows.

Don’t shy away from creating individual “thank you” gifts and showing your sincere smile, in the first place.

Summing Up: Essential Dental Clinic’s Improvements to Enhance Patient Experience

Dental patient experience depends on your willingness to ignite changes in your dental clinic and make certain improvements. In this article, you have seen which ones you need to try right now.

Build positive relationships with your clients online (via website or app) and in your dental clinic’s office. Make the best use of innovative technologies, automate processes and work out individual approaches in treatment plans of each client.

Show that you actually care about your dental patients before, during, and after the appointment.

“Take care of the patient, and everything else will follow.” – Thomas Frist, M.D., co-founder of HCA Healthcare


About the Author

Roman Shvydun writes informative articles mainly about everything related to marketing, business, productivity, workplace culture, etc. His articles focus on balancing information with SEO needs, but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read. See a few more examples of Roman’s articles by visiting his Twitter: https://twitter.com/Roman27561221


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