A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Dentist Office Music

A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Dentist Office Music - SquareMany things go into creating the ambiance of a dental practice. These include the friendliness of your staff, the waiting room decor, the reading materials or entertainment you provide, and so on. When you put time and effort into creating a welcoming environment, you’re prioritizing the patient experience and making it easy for patients to choose you over your competitors.

One aspect of the dental experience that gets overlooked is dentist office music. The right music can put patients at ease as they wait for their dental appointments and create a calming atmosphere that’s pleasant and soothing. Here’s our guide to picking the perfect music for your dental office.

Understanding the Role of Music in a Dental Setting

Music has the potential to play an essential role in a variety of settings. Many of us prefer to have music in the background while working, whether listening to a Spotify playlist or a satellite radio station. The right melodies can help people do a better job of concentrating on tasks and can even ease anxiety.

When patients come into your dental office, they may be feeling anxious or uncertain. Music, especially when it’s paired with relaxing and welcoming decor, can take the edge off negative emotions associated with dental procedures and put patients at ease.

Reasons to Play Music in a Dentist Office

There are several significant benefits to playing background music in your dentist's office. A review of studies published in the Dentistry Journal found that the right kind of music in a dental setting could deliver these benefits to both patients and staff.

  • It has a calming effect. Patients sometimes experience anxiety when visiting a dentist. Soothing dental office music is a non-pharmacological solution to put nervous patients at ease and provide peace of mind when they arrive for an appointment and during treatment.
  • It masks unpleasant noises. Some dental patients are upset by the sounds they hear during treatment. The noise of a drill is a classic example. Music can be a form of distraction from these noises, providing relief to patients.
  • It improves productivity. Music is good for your employees as well as your patients. People tend to focus better and be happier at work when there is music playing in the background.

The study we linked shows that music is effective for adults and might even soothe children.

If any of these barriers ring a bell, it's time to revamp your system and ensure you and your team members have a plan for soliciting the patient reviews you need.

How to Choose Dental Office Music

Choosing the right dental office music involves some thinking and a clear understanding of what your patients might respond to.

Understanding the Patient Demographic

Your patient demographic can do a lot to help you select music for your dental practice. A practice specializing in treating children should keep kids’ needs in mind, while one treating primarily adults should cater to their preferences.

While your patients’ needs should be front and center, you’ll also want to consider your staff. A relentless soundscape of overly cheerful kids’ music might be too much for them.

Popular Genres for Dental Environments

Which genre of music is best for your practice? We’ve read some pieces online suggesting pop music, but picking the wrong types of music can be detrimental. Here are some genres to consider.

  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Acoustic
  • Instrumental Covers of Popular Songs
  • Nature Sounds and White Noise

Ideally, you want something soothing and unlikely to offend or upset anybody. You may want to consider tailoring music to different locations in your office. For example, you might opt for classical music for the reception area and white noise to mask sounds in your treatment rooms.

Volume Control

The volume of the music you play needs to be just right. It may not deliver the benefits we discussed if it's too soft. If it’s too loud, it’ll distract and possibly upset patients.

We suggest testing the volume in different areas with varying noise levels. Using a good speaker system can help you manage the volume of whatever music you play.

Legal and Licensing Considerations

The issue of licensing is one that many offices ignore. You should get permission from a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) if you plan to play music not in the public domain.

You can get around some of the expense by streaming royalty-free music. Even then, you may be on the hook to pay for recording copyrights, which are separate from composition copyrights.

Read this article that discusses the legalities regarding music in a commercial office.

Using Technology: Streaming Service with a Curated Playlist

It’s become a common practice for dentists to use streaming services such as Spotify or Pandora to create a curated playlist for their practices. You may consider this option if you prefer to have control over what you play.

If you use a streaming service, you could partner with a PRO like CloudCover, which is owned by Pandora. This article explains how PROs work and which ones are best for specific circumstances.

Patient Feedback and Customization

What happens if patients complain about the music you’re playing in your office? You’ll want patients to be happy with your choice, but it’s impossible to please everyone all the time. Here are a few quick pointers.

  • Have a backup option if the music is genuinely upsetting someone.
  • Take the volume of complaints into consideration. One complaint could be an outlier, while multiple issues could indicate you need to change the music.
  • Provide individual headsets. Highly anxious patients may prefer a headset so they can select their own music and control the volume.

You could take an informal survey of patients (or send an email poll) to ask them to rate the music in your dentist's office.

Seasonal and Thematic Music

Seasonal music is an option, but you’ll need to think about your patients and what that might mean for them. The most common time of year for seasonal music is the time leading up to big religious holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah.

You could try streaming holiday music, but be alert for patient feedback and switch it up as needed. Some people may take offense, and you’ll need to be sensitive to that.

The Power of Music in Enhancing Dental Patient Comfort

The best music for dental office use is pleasant and calming music. Whether you choose classical music, jazz, or something else, you should always prioritize your patients’ comfort. Doing so will ensure they’ll return to you for future treatments and refer their friends and family, too!

Are you ready to create the ideal office ambiance for your patients and staff? Our expert and creative approach to dental marketing can help you accomplish that goal. 

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