Do your patients think you’re a good dentist? Most of them keep coming back so that’s a good sign. What criteria do you think they use to judge you? That’s the important question to give consideration. Unless your patients are also dentists, you can be certain they’re not judging you based on our clinical skill. You could be the best clinician in the world and you’re patients wouldn’t have a clue. You’ve worked years toward perfecting your practice so this may not seem fair but that doesn’t make it any less true. If you were to overhear one of your patients describing you to a friend you’d likely hear something like, “my dentist is the best. You can watch movies while you’re being treated and the staff wears the cutest scrubs.”
Use this to your advantage. Make sure the waiting area is comfortable and there is a good selection of current magazines. Keep this area clean and tidy. Set office protocol for greeting patients when they come into your office. Greet your patients by name when you first enter the treatment room. Have your hygienists and assistants do so as well. Try not to leave your patients alone for long periods of time without someone checking on them.
There are dozens of little (and often inexpensive) changes you can make to your office to improve the treatment experience of your patients. Take a walk through your office as if you were a new patient and really consider what you see. Meet with your staff to set uniform protocol for patient relations. The happier your patients are, the happier and more successful you’ll be.