Categories: Dental
Reception and waiting room at South Bank Dentist, London

At your dental surgery you might have excellent facilities, state-of-the-art dental technology and practitioners with impressive credentials. But there’s one thing that’s vitally important to your patients which you may have overlooked, and that’s your dental office waiting room design.

Your waiting room is the first thing that patients will see when they step into your surgery. They may spend more time there than they do in the consulting room, and they’ll absorb the atmosphere while they await their appointment. It’s no surprise that the appearance of your waiting room is a make-or-break factor that will have a big impact on clients’ overall experience. Here, we’ll show you how your waiting room design can be used to create a fantastic first impression that will reflect on your entire practice, put patients at ease and attract them back for a second visit.

Create a comfortable environment

Your patients (and their companions) could be in the waiting room for half an hour or more. That’s a long time to stay if you’re twiddling your thumbs in a disagreeable atmosphere. Keep your patients happy by making them feel more at home, with a few simple design techniques:

  • Choose comfortable furniture that’s a pleasure to use
  • Offer plenty to look at: display artworks on the walls and provide reading matter to help pass the time
  • Cater for patients with additional needs. Shiny floor surfaces may be a hazard for people who are not so stable on their feet. Smaller furniture can help make children feel at home.
  • Don’t overlook basic comforts: ensure that water is freely available and keep your bathroom facilities clean and in good condition

Relax your patients

Waiting for the dentist can be an agonising experience for anxious patients. Your dental office waiting room design can help to create a welcoming atmosphere and ease the tension.

  • Avoid harsh lighting; instead, use low lights to help your patients to relax
  • Soothe the senses with a calming colour scheme.
  • Indoor plants and even an aquarium are natural touches that can put people at ease

Optimise your layout

People react more positively to certain room layouts and furniture arrangements. You can create a more efficient and welcoming space by paying attention to the geography of your interior.

  • It’s common to dislike sitting with your back to a door. If that’s an issue in your waiting room layout, consider separating your reception desk and entrance door from the main waiting area using a curtain or room divider
  • Rows of chairs can seem crowded and intimidating. Try to arrange your waiting room furniture in a circle instead
  • Don’t keep people guessing – it can increase anxiety. Make it clear where they will need to go when their name is called and use clear signposting throughout the surgery

Get advice on your dental surgery interiors

At Apollo Interiors, we specialise in dental surgery interiors, refits and refurbishment. If you’re looking for help with your dental office waiting room design, check out some of our case studies, contact us on 01462 732 991 or email

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