A WORD ON STYLE
When new patients
are sitting in your
area with pristine
chairs and modern
you before you’ve
It’s important to my partners and me that
the lab is clean, both for avoiding
contamination of restorations and for making
a professional presentation to customers and
patients. You would judge my lab like you
would judge a real estate broker, a clothing
store, and a restaurant by their appearances.
When was the last time you sat in your own
reception area and looked around?
Let’s face it: you are selling dentistry. To
clarify, selling in dentistry is not the pushing
of unneeded treatment in unethical ways. I’m
talking about the proper education of patients
and effective presentations of their needs.
But we must keep in mind that our appearance and the appearance of our practices are
also making a presentation to our patients,
for better or for worse.
How about your office? Was it built to per-
fection with the most modern instruments,
desks, couches, and furniture . . . 25 years ago?
If your office looks like the set of the Brady
Bunch, it’s time to reupholster. When new pa-
tients are sitting in your relaxing reception area
with pristine chairs and modern comforts,
you’re building their confidence in you before
you’ve even introduced yourself.
Those high expectations are carried through
the visit as you and your hygienist use digital
radiographs, intraoral cameras, and digital
charting. Yes, the digital workflow is efficient,
and the diagnostic capabilities are unparal-
leled, but the impression these technologies
leave on patients is priceless. The term “
patient wow factor” may be overused in our
industry, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less
real or any less important. If you’ve been the
first person to use an intraoral scanner on a
patient and have witnessed the reaction, you
know exactly what I’m talking about.
The relationship between patient and
dentist—and for that matter, dentist and
technician—is based on trust. When visiting
a lab that looks like the men’s room at a
stadium during a football game, where the
desks, walls, and floors are covered in dust
and pumice, how much confidence do you
have that the work will be done with care?
You and your office might not be looking
your best for a number of reasons. Perhaps
business hasn’t been great lately, so you
don’t want to invest in a new office and
instrumentation. I understand, but that’s
fairly short-sighted. When you originally
bought your office, you had to invest to get
it to where you are now. Maybe now is the
time to reinvest in yourself in order to reenergize yourself.
The term “patient wow factor” may be
overused in our industry, but that doesn’t mean
it’s any less real or any less important.