Out of all the things to not look forward to in life: loved ones passing away, failing health, and broken relationships, etc… visiting the dentist has to be very near the top of the list.
I’m amazed going to the dentist is such an awful experience. So much of an experience is the expectations you have going into it. The expectations between walking into an ice cream parlor and the dentist are completely different. The dentist arguably has the lowest standards possible. There is nothing but fear inside the head of someone visiting the dentist. Fear of a cavity, of not flossing enough, of having bad breath, of having to make conversation about the weather while someone has their hands in your mouth. Delivering an experience other than awful isn’t that hard for a dentist office to do with the bar so low.
I’m making an assumption here, but when you open your own practice, I assume you have some control over the environment you create. Therefore, if you chose to hang a picture on the wall that looks like the type of stock picture the frame came with, you’re deliberately choosing to have a bad environment.
Cue the music:
The worst sound in the world is the dentist drill. The only other time you hear that noise in another context is when a screw is going through a wall or piece of wood. By association it’s a terrible sound to have in your ear. Is it only my dentist that doesn’t offer noise canceling headphones? Why not give people noise canceling headphones and some Sigur Ros to listen to?
Where are you supposed to look when you’re in the dentist chair? You can’t look straight up because there is a light beaming into your eyes. Why not put a riddle on the wall? How about a sudoku or crossword puzzle? Or just take 2 minutes to go to Google.com, type in “funny cat pictures” and print off the first 3 you find. All better options than admiring the blinds.
Why is the dentist such an awful experience? Again, I’m sure many are better than the one I go to, but they’re the exception. Part of the reason is that no one sees it as their “job” to improve the customer experience. They clean teeth, fix cavities, schedule appointments, and feed the fish. They don’t see it as their job to improve the experience, even though you can make a boring idea into a billion dollar company that way.