Written by Brittany German
Most dentists are struggling right now. They're struggling because staff members are leaving to find safer options, and patients are staying home to stay safe during the pandemic.
However, some dentists are thriving. How? They're implementing safety measures and showing them off to their patients and staff. Struggling dentists might even have the same safety measures in place but that isn't helping them if no one knows about it.
As a dental office, how can you create a safe haven that will have staff working comfortably, and patients returning for their oral care?
The key is patient reassurance.
What is Patient Reassurance?
Patient reassurance is making your patients feel safe and comfortable. It is a necessary step in seeing more patients come to your dental office, as well as maintaining a committed team. To reassure your patients, you need to educate them. They need to know how and why they should feel assured. To keep your hardworking staff, you need to show them how your new protocols are keeping them safe.
Patient reassurance has never been more relevant where dental offices and Covid-19 are concerned. Making patients feel safe and providing them with a safe place to be will encourage their return to your office.
Dr. Ami Barakat from Villanova Dental Studio explains how he is thriving during the pandemic:
Being Safe vs. Feeling Safe
It's one thing to be safe; it's another thing to feel safe. It won't matter to patients if you tell them it's safe. What matters is showing them how you've created a safe environment.
The most effective part of a security system is the sticker on the front window. It's the deterrent that shows people this is a secure property and they won't have much luck breaking in. With a dental office, all the health and safety protocols you have in place won't matter if people don't know about them. You need that sticker - whether that be a newsletter, social media posts, or dashboards - to make patients feel safe walking into your office.
If patients don't know about the efforts you're taking to make a safe environment, your protocols are not doing their job.
It's one thing to be safe; it's another thing to feel safe.
It's important you understand you're also a medical business and not a grocery store. People expect better health and safety guidelines from you to counteract the aerosol-generating procedures. Having hand sanitizer and face masks isn't going to cut it. Every building has that. What are you doing to be the cleanest, healthiest, safest dentist with the best experience in town?
Dr. Calvin Richardson from Port Perry Dental Centre explains how the sensors in the Jaspr air purifier help patients feel safe:
Being able to see and hear an air purifier working around them proves to patients that the air they're breathing is safe. The sensors on an air purifier give patients something to look know the air quality is healthy.
The Benefits of Transparency
Right now, everyone is on high alert. There's likely no one that will want to risk their health with a business that isn't being transparent with their health and safety protocols. To make patients feel safer than they would at home, you need to be transparent. Highlight your safety measures and educate patients. Show them why they'll want to book an appointment.
Then, if you've done your job properly, your transparency will build trust. Patients will be happy to share their positive experiences with others. You'll develop relationships that create loyal patients. And when patients are questioning returning to a dental office, they will know where to take their business.
There are two stakeholders to consider when optimizing your dental office. You need to consider your hygienists who are putting their health at risk all day, and your patients who are scared to be breathing in contaminated air.
Hygienists are even more aware of the health and safety guidelines in the dental offices in which they work. If they aren't seeing quality precautionary measures, they will look elsewhere for safe employment. That's what's happening to dental offices that aren't going above and beyond with their safety; they're losing their dental hygienists who are looking for an office that is doing it better.
A survey by the American Dental Association outlines the difficulty dentists are having recruiting certain positions:
Covid-19 has made many patients too uncomfortable to make an appointment with their dentist. The problem is, avoiding medical procedures like the dentist leaves the door open for medical issues to develop or worsen. Some people who are adamant on staying home have resorted to DIY treatments which can cause worsening problems for patients and dentists when they finally visit the dentist again and need more complicated and expensive treatment.
46% of dental offices report working with patients who had attempted a DIY treatment at home like whitening, or even tooth extraction.
An at-home tooth extraction without the proper experience, tools, and medicine, can lead to serious health problems, but some patients would rather take that chance than visit a dentist's office because they don't know how safe a dentist office can be.
It's even more difficult for some patients to visit their dentist during the Covid-19 pandemic because of dental anxiety. A research paper mentions that 50% to 80% of Americans suffer from dental anxiety. Even before Covid-19, 20% of patients with dental anxiety did not see their dentist regularly, some even avoid healthcare altogether. Mix dental anxiety with the anxiety surrounding Covid-19 and it is that much less likely to bring patients in to your office if you aren't reassuring and educating them.
To calm and comfort anxious patients, whether that be due to dental anxiety or Covid-19, don't just tell them, but show them how safe your office is and they will choose your office over others, or over the one they normally visit, because you reassured them that it's one of the safest environments they can be.
The Jaspr Air Purifier for Dentists
The Jaspr Air Purifier was created specifically for dentists. The goal was to create a product capable of medical grade purification so that medical and dental offices could rely on a hands-off experience and trust that it would thoroughly clean the air. It had to be quiet, because as our scientist, Mansour AbdulBaki, says, "the air purifier is not effective if it's turned off". It had to be beautiful so that it could stand in a dentist office and look like it belonged there. But most of all, it had to be informative. The purifier itself is great for patient reassurance. The big screen with the bright green light means you can trust the air.
4 Tips to Reassure Your Patients
Share your health and safety guidelines with patients
They want to know what efforts you're implementing to create a safe space. They need to know how you differ from the other five dentists they're considering.
Show don't tell
On top of telling your patients about your new and improved protocols, show them. How can they be sure your air purifier is as good as you say? Show them the screen, show them how the fans kick on when they need to.
Leverage your social media platforms
Another way to share with your patients what you're up to is by posting about it. Send them newsletters about your super clean air, post a picture of your air purifier working, put up posters or flyers that highlight your unique and exhaustive measures to create a safe environment.
Go above and beyond
You are not the only dentist out there. You are also not the only dentist with basic health and safety measures. You need to kick it up a notch to stand out. Show your patients what you have or what you do that no other dental office is doing.
There are many ecstatic Jaspr Air Purifier users who have great things to say about it and how it's helped them.
We are very happy with Jaspr air purifiers, they work great, their new technology make them a great addition to our dental practice. The staff and our patients feel safer. We highly recommended for clinical settings. Margarita G.
As Jaspr Air prioritizes health, I highly recommend the Jaspr Air Purifier, as it is an investment in the health of the dental team and patients, all of whom are extremely appreciative of the investment to keep everyone safe. The sleekly designed Jaspr Air purifier is efficient, quiet, easy to read and the bright green color display provides a visual assurance that the air is clean. A wholehearted thanks to the Jaspr Air team! Carla S.
Love the new addition to my operatories! Besides helping air quality compliance issues necessary during this pandemic, its slick appearance blends well with our other Hi-tech equipment. We keep it on high volume when patients enter the operatories (turning it down while they’re seated) and turn it back on high while they leave. This always initiates conversation as to the investment we’ve made to keep our visiting patients, and ourselves safe and healthy with high quality HEPA filtered air! Virgil H.
Follow their lead and make your dentist office thrive.