Nine New Trends in Pediatric Dental Office Designs
Posted by HJT Design
Successful pediatric dental office designs are functional, fun, and slightly whimsical. The spaces blend professionalism and down-to-earth playfulness to put children and parents at ease. The latest trends in pediatric office designs offer a better way to connect with patients and create a satisfactory appointment experience.
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Kids generally don’t want to visit the dentist. They may want the free toothbrush and sticker at the end of the visit, but sitting through the appointment can be intimidating. Dental offices have the power to shape patient experiences, starting with the moment a child walks through the door. The latest trends use distraction, sound-dampening technology, and other tactics to put patients at ease.
Get on Board With Color
Practices that cater exclusively to younger children can embrace bold color schemes, patterns, and design themes. An underwater or storybook theme can bring characters and scenes to life as a distraction for young children.
Those who serve young children and teens may opt for minimalistic designs featuring a few bright colors strategically interspersed throughout the office. Natural wood, durable carpeting, and interesting light shapes can add visual interest to a pediatric dental office.
Choose Fun Furniture
Blend adult-and child-size seating in the waiting room. Commercial furniture companies make small stools, benches, and computer chairs designed with children in mind. Consider fun built-in nooks and partitions to add depth and interest to the waiting room space. Use colorful dental chairs and themes in treatment rooms to keep the space from feeling institutional.
Offer a Technology Escape
Create a technology station in the waiting room where children can play video games or watch kid-friendly programming as they wait for an appointment. Consider adding a strategically positioned television in the treatment room to keep children occupied during routine teeth cleanings.
Go beyond technology with bookshelves, easily disinfected toys, and spaces to encourage exploring. Consider keeping a few different sets of distractions on hand and regularly exchange them to provide returning patients with something new to discover.
Disguise Dentistry Tools and Equipment
Use decorative covers, soundproofing materials, and unobtrusive instruments whenever possible to decrease the fear a child may experience. Keep specialized equipment outside the treatment space and introduce it on an as-needed basis.
Encourage Good Hygiene
Extend the design theme to the bathroom and hand-washing stations around the office. Many children will willingly wash up and help staff members with infection control if hand-washing stations, hand sanitizer stations, and bathrooms appear inviting. Include child-sized accommodations in the bathroom and extend themed elements into the space.
Pediatric dentists can lose patients if parents feel unsatisfied with the experience. Provide beverage stations and other materials to help a parent pass the time. Choose a waiting room layout that gives parents full view of their children who are exploring the space.
Consider Special Needs Accommodations
Soundproofing and distractions play a particularly important role in caring for children and adults with special needs. Certain conditions prevent individuals from feeling comfortable with sounds, human touch, and certain textures or feelings. ADA design standards offer some support for special needs considerations, but parents appreciate additional thoughtfulness. Procedural sedation, treatment room distractions, and sound-muting wall coverings can all put a special needs child at ease.
Partition Waiting Rooms
Some dentists treat small children, adolescents, and adults. Use open space dividers to give children and adults an inviting place to wait for an appointment. Flexible office arrangements can deliver whimsical fun and a timeless design in one space to support the patient experience.
Pediatric dentists don’t need an in-office sandcastle or a barnyard display to make small patients feel at ease. Well-chosen colors, kid-friendly furniture, and built-in distractions allow them to associate the dentist’s office with fun instead of fear.
HJT Dental Office Consultants specializes in dental office redesigns. If you’re opening up a new location, moving your practice, or just want to revamp your pediatric dental office, keep these tips in mind to create a welcoming, stress-free atmosphere for your patients.